Friday Follies for August 30, 2013

Labor Day creeped up on me this year. I’d completely forgotten about it until earlier this week. When I was growing up in the Illinois coal country, Labor Day was as big a yearly event as was Independence Day. It was a day of parades, Flags and picnics.

Most of the families in my southern Illinois county had union ties. In fact, thinking back, I don’t remember anyone who didn’t have some kind of union connection.

No more…and, I believe, that’s a good thing. Industry has evolved since the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Industry depended on muscle power, as a source of power in the mines, or directing machinery as mechanization grew. Health, wages and working conditions were the motivations for unions during the early industrial age. The unions won.

But that changed. As early as WW1 and the coming decades, unions were infiltrated by socialists operatives whose goals were not the benefit of the union membership, but a goal of politics. In many cases those union leaders were directed by foreign governments, which socialists admit.

Once again, we will celebrate Labor Day this coming weekend. There will be fewer parades and flag-waving. Families will still have picnics and that last fling at the lake. Union involvement, like the numbers of union membership, is declining, and that, too, is a good thing.

The country has evolved. We no longer need an archaic hold-over of 19th century economic and political thought. Communism and socialism has been proven false. It’s time to move on.


Followup on yesterday’s post.

Obama’s new executive order will kill the 110-year-old Civilian Marksmanship Program

4:12 PM 08/29/2013

The White House announced on Thursday that it intends to “ban almost all re-imports of military surplus firearms to private entities” through executive order, which would effectively shut down the 110-year-old Civilian Marksmanship Program.

In a Fact Sheet published on today referencing the upcoming executive order the ban on importing military weapons is designed to “keep military-grade firearms off our streets.” Exceptions for import may be allowed for museums.

The CMP tightly controls the distribution of obsolete military weapons. The program was created by the U.S. Congress as part of the 1903 War Department Appropriations Act with the purpose of allowing civilians to hone their marksmanship skills, should they later be called into military service.

Participants receiving firearms through the CMP must comply with all state and federal firearm laws and undergo a background check conducted by a dealer holding a Federal Firearms License in order to receive the gun.

Additionally, they must also be a member of a CMP affiliated shooting club, making participating in the program more difficult than anyone trying to purchase a firearm through usual retail channels.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program was administered by the United States Army from 1916 through 1996 when it was changed to the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice & Firearms Safety, a 501(c) (3) organization federally chartered by the U.S. Congress.

There are no data indicating any of the weapons involved in homicide were imported surplus military rifles. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s homicide crime statistics, rifles accounted for only 323 deaths out of 12,664 homicides in 2011, the most recent data set provided by the FBI.

“Apart from a donation of surplus .22 and .30 caliber rifles in the Army’s inventory to the CMP, the CMP receives no federal funding,” the CMP website states, adding that they have been overwhelmed by requests and orders are taking 30-60 days to ship product.

The rifles that the Executive Order would affect are typically from U.S. allies and are pre-Vietnam era. Without the importation of these rifles, the CMP is likely to become defunct and thus destroying a 110 year tradition of saving military arms and their civilian ownership.


Quote of the day. A bit tongue-in-cheek.

Obama talks tough, carries matchstick

AUGUST 30, 2013 AT 6:25 AM

President Obama is serious this time. No, really. Critics of the president’s approach to the Syrian crisis don’t understand the many nuances undergirding the president’s philosophy of using “smart power” to lead from behind. Forget all those previous signals of how serious he is about taking decisive action to stop the killing. He means it. This time. No, really, he does.

Obama’s history of dithering captures the most basic problem confronting the chief executive on Syria: He’s promised action over and over again, but in the end has actually offered little more than words. That is why nobody should be surprised that Americans, as well as leaders in Moscow, Beijing, London, Paris, Tehran and Damascus, find it difficult to put much stock in what Obama says now about the Syrian crisis and what he might do in response to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s blatant use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people.

You can read the rest of the column here.


Several times a year I have a conference with the folks who manage my 401K. I had one such conference this week. The meeting held to its usual agenda, their outlook for the economy, the steps they are taking to reduce the impacts of any unexpected events and the distribution of funds across stocks, bonds, commodities and cash—much of the funds going into the latter category this year.

The 401K manager asked a new question this time. “How is your local economy?” The topic quickly changed to one of the conversion of full time jobs to part-time jobs, the loss of healthcare and other benefits to spouses and family, in general, the impact of the coming Obamacare fiasco throughout the nation.

The MSM has alluded to some of these impacts. FOX has had a few stories, but few people in the media seem to care about the revolutionary changes coming to the workplace. I contributed a story of local warehousemen losing their full-time jobs and benefits and being replaced by part-time employees…employees who won’t have benefits.

My story wasn’t the only one. The open letter below posted via Freedom Works is such an example of our changing economy.

An Open Letter on Obamacare

By Jon Gabriel on August 29, 2013

Craig Daliessio isn’t by nature an angry man. But recent events have brought him to the end of his rope.

“The past five years have just worn me down,” he told me over the phone. He couldn’t help but write about his experience.

After years of economic struggle, the loss of his home, and failure to find steady employment, Daliessio shared “An Open Letter to Barack Obama,” which is spreading quickly on blogs and social media.

Mr. President, three days ago I was informed that a job I had been offered only a week before, has been withdrawn. The company decided to freeze hiring for the foreseeable future. Part of their reasoning was the rising cost of healthcare, making it unaffordable for them to provide. This unaffordable-ness came as a result of your “Affordable Care Act.”

Five years ago I might have smiled at the irony of those words. But I’m not smiling.

In the letter, Daliessio describes his life since December 2008 when he lost his career as a mortgage broker. The real estate collapse hit the industry hard. Workers without political connections bore most of the pain.

Soon he lost his Nashville-area dream house, but as a single dad he wanted to stay close to his daughter. Instead of fleeing to Texas, North Dakota or another conservative holdout where jobs were slightly more plentiful, he stayed in Tennessee.

Without a home, he lived in his car.

Sleeping in your car is actually against the law. It’s vagrancy and so it required me to hide my car in some tall brush behind a church in Nashville. I took showers at the County Rec Center. I ate every other day sometimes. I worked every odd job I could find and put out hundreds of resumes. To date I have put out almost 250 resumes to no avail… I kept on trying. I kept on being my daughter’s dad. I refused to let her see me broken so I hid my tears.

Instead of limiting himself to a career in his profession, Daliessio worked odd jobs and even resumed his college education through an online program. A year ago he graduated from Liberty University. He still didn’t have a home, but now he had an education. And hope.

“But no doors opened,” he said. He continued with the odd jobs, sending resumes, and sleeping in his car or a friend’s couch or a borrowed office space. “Writing became a haven,” he told me. Over the past five years, he has written and self-published four books, the most recent titled Remembering America.

Earlier this month, it appeared as if the long job search was about to bear fruit. A job offer was extended. But last week the company withdrew their offer to Daliessio due in part to Obamacare. That law requires him to sign up for a health insurance exchange, but he finally decided that enough is enough.

I will NOT be registering for that exchange. I am a man. I am a dad. I am an American. I want to pay my own way. I refuse to let others pay for something I would gladly pay for myself…

I want a job. I want to work, and pay my own way. Your job is to create an environment whereby employers can hire men and women like me. Then we can take responsibility for ourselves, and pay our own way.

I respectfully refuse your handout, sir.

Though politically conservative, Daliessio has never been a bomb-thrower. “I don’t wish [Obama] ill, but I wish people would wake up,” he told me. “The country is stuck in neutral. My letter came from a place of frustration and brokenness.”

Words for us all.