Thursday, March 7, 2024

50 Is The New 20

















My wife has typically gone to our bank every week to withdraw $500 in twenty dollar bills with a couple of $50’s to make the pile smaller. She likes to pay cash for groceries, gasoline and other purchases. She believes this will make her less vulnerable to government surveillance and keep her off “the grid”. Under current Dem rule, I don’t think this is paranoid.

This year, she started drawing out $1000, all in fifty dollar bills.

Until recently, passing a fifty dollar bill at a store was difficult or impossible. Some stores would not accept bills larger than a twenty. At others, the cashier would hold up the bill to the light to look for the watermark and then give it the yellow marker test to make sure it was real.

Something has changed. Lately, our grocery cashiers and gas station clerks don’t give them a second look. They get stuck into cash drawers just like they were $20’s. Why is that?

My wife mentioned being in the checkout line a couple of days ago, listening to the woman in front of her howl when she saw her tiny bag of groceries rung up for $75. Last month, someone on my local social media site posted a picture of a small package of lobster and crab at the deli counter of our local supermarket with a price of $109.95 stamped on the saran wrap.

A basket full of groceries with enough for two adults for a month averages $510 to $820 today.

Gasoline to fill a 15 gallon tank cost less than $28 in 2020. Today it costs over $49.

People who do the shopping for their families know that inflation is not “under control”, as President Biden and his advisors are insinuating. When was the last time any of them went food shopping or filled up their own gas tank?

"The economy is booming and everyone knows it — except for the American people," wrote former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers this month in a working paper on inflation and the cost of money. A January Gallup poll found that 45% of Americans think the state of the economy is "poor" and 63% say it's getting worse.

What’s the reason for the disconnect? Well, statistics and politics have a lot to do with it. The primary measure of inflation, CPI (Consumer Price Index), is constantly being manipulated and redefined to achieve the desired results.

There have been hundreds of revisions and adjustments to the CPI over the years. Also, many versions of this inflation indicator have been generated, so that it is confusing which one is being cited. There is the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), the Retroactive Series R-CPI-U-RS, Core CPI, CPI Core Core (also known as Supercore) and Chained CPI (C-CPI-U).

Some of these measurements minimize or entirely eliminate the costs of food, fuel, energy, and housing from the inflation calculation due to their perceived “volatility”.

Although the reported CPI during the 2021 – 2022 time period was between 7 to 9%, some economists have calculated the inflation rate to actually have been up to 16% or more.

The orchestrated evolution of the CPI from a Cost of Goods Index (COGI) to a Cost of Living Index (COLI) has allowed the government to report lower CPIs. This has resulted in higher tax brackets for taxpayers and lower Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) for Social Security recipients.

Chained CPI was signed into law in 2017 and uses consumer buying habits to adjust income tax brackets for inflation. If, for instance, consumers can no longer afford steak for dinner and switch to eating breakfast cereal (as recommended by Kellog’s CEO), the rate of inflation is adjusted downward to account for the reduction in consumer spending, and taxpayers are pushed into higher tax brackets.

In other words, sacrificing your lifestyle by cutting your spending to fight inflation ultimately results in higher taxes.

Vladimir Lenin once stated that the way to crush the bourgeoisie (i.e., the middle class) is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.

In 2022, the US government printed a record-breaking number of $50 bills. 756,096,000 were printed, taking it from being one of the rarest bills (other than the $2 bill), to one of the most prevalent, outpacing $10 and $5 bills in 2021 and 2022.

We can thank that “under control” inflation rate for the breakthrough prevalence and acceptance of the $50 bill as the new $20 bill.

Andrew Thomas

as published in American Thinker

Monday, February 5, 2024

The Fall of Harvard


The laughs continue at Harvard.  Read the Moonbattery article here.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Democrats Attempt to Ban Rat Traps

Democrat congressmen Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff introduce the "Glue Trap Prohibition Act" to save poor, suffering rats, because they have nothing better to legislate.  See the article in Moonbattery.



Talk Show


Wednesday, August 2, 2023

15 Minute Prisons

This is a city of the future being created by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.  Xiongan City is a "15 Minute City", completely self-contained.  As you may know, many US Democrats and the WEF elite have been advocating the creation of "15 Minute Cities", allegedly to reduce "climate change".

Xiongan City will have cameras with facial recognition on every lamppost.  The city will be completely walled, with checkpoints at all entrances and exits.  About 4 million citizens with low "social credit" scores (i.e., political dissidents) will be involuntarily relocated there.  It will essentially be a prison three times the size of New York City.  New movie idea: "Escape From Xiongan City".

Is this the future that Dems and the WEF have in store for us, using the excuse of a "climate crisis" to imprison their political opponents?


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Don't Call Me "White"

Leftists are very perceptive in their use of language. They realize that words are powerful. The language you use shapes your thoughts and perception of the world around you.

George Orwell understood this very well in his book 1984. “Newspeak” was Big Brother’s way of controlling the populace by reducing the language to rudimentary concepts. Anything wonderful or excellent was “plus good”. Anything evil or nasty was “ungood”. “Crimethink” was any thought that opposed the regime in power.

Likewise, the left seeks to modify our language to direct our thoughts toward concepts that are politically favorable to them. They are perverting sexuality with absurd pronouns forced on the populace like “they/them”. They are normalizing pedophilia by changing the term to MAP, or “Minor Attracted Persons”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is changing “Monkeypox” to “Mpox”, because somehow monkeys are racist and “stigmatizing” to gays, even though they continue to deny that Monkeypox is disease primarily spread by gay sex.

But above all, racial identity politics, or separating people by their skin color and provoking them into mutual hatred, is a central leftist objective. Black becomes “African-American” while White stays White. The left has defined “White” as inherently racist, prejudiced, and potentially terrorist. “White” is now automatically associated with “Fragility”, “Privilege”, and “Supremacy”. “Whiteness” has become a pejorative term, meaning “evil”.

Afro-American” or “African-American”, on the other hand is associated with a cultural pride. However, the vast majority of Black Americans are not truly African. They were born in America. Elon Musk, conversely, is an authentic African-American. He is an American citizen (as of 2002) who was born in Pretoria, South Africa.

I submit, then, that if Black Americans can call themselves African-Americans because their great-grandparents were born in Africa, then the vast majority of White Americans can identify as “Euro-Americans”.

Again, words have emotional meaning. The left views “Whites” with disdain (even if they themselves are White). However, Europeans are viewed positively. Say “White guy” to a leftist, and he/she (or they/them) will visualize a southern redneck with a Confederate flag tee shirt or a skinhead with a swastika armband.

But, say “Euro-American”, and the typical leftist will visualize a socialist Swedish blonde, or maybe a socialist hero like George Soros. If you say “It’s OK to be White” you are a racist. But “It’s OK to be a Euro-American” sounds perfectly acceptable, as there are Black Europeans as well as White.

Since my great-grandparents were born in Europe, I can legitimately identify as a Euro-American, thereby escaping the horrible stigma of “Whiteness”. I suggest those on the right side of the political scale do the same and resist the left’s manipulation of language to divide and vilify us.

Andrew Thomas

edited version published in American Thinker

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Running America on Imaginary Technology

The human mind has a specific talent for extrapolation. That is, it has the propensity to project current events and technologies along a straight timeline with a constant slope into the future, predicting what the future will look like, and when it will occur.

Unfortunately, this talent is frequently vastly inaccurate. History and human events rarely follow a straight line. Some technological advancements occur on an exponential or geometric curve, while others flatline.

In the 1960’s, it was widely predicted that we would all be flying around in jetpacks and flying cars like the Jetsons by 1980. The 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey had us flying to Jupiter by 2001 in an advanced spacecraft controlled by an AI computer.

On the other hand, the original Star Trek (1965 – 1969) , while taking place in the 23rd century had them using crude flip-phone communicators. The transporter beams were pretty cool, though. Who knows if we could ever get that technology to work.

The point is that humans continually overestimate the ability of technology to meet their inflated expectations. This is especially true when politics is part of the mix.

I have personally experienced this phenomena many times in my line of work. I was involved with teams of business people attempting to design advanced electronic business systems over the past forty years.

Over and over, the same scenarios emerged. Each team member would throw up their fantasy wish-list of impossible system operations and objectives until my head spun. No one could be dissuaded that their desires were not feasible with the current state of technology. The consultants and business system development companies would inevitably take the money and run, leaving us with products that were substandard or nonexistent.

I was a member of senior management in a division of a global corporation in the early 1980’s. Our division had a great reputation for designing and building complex electronic medical devices. One day, we were visited by several senior scientists from corporate headquarters. They wanted to know if a new product they desired was feasible.

They showed us a wooden model of a small wearable insulin pump with painted-on displays and buttons. It had tiny removable wooden memory cards that plugged into it. Today, these micro cards are common. Back then, Atari game cartridges were the smallest data chips available. They told us a development company said they could design the product and put it into production in six months.

I didn’t want to insult our scientists by calling them crazy, so I told them this company would need to have many employees with minds on the level of Einstein and Edison to accomplish this. Products on this scale of technology typically take at least ten years of development or more, sometimes with no result.

Of course they didn’t listen to me, gave the development company six million dollars on a handshake, and wound up with nothing. The development company, on the other hand, did very well and grew into a major designer and manufacturer of medical products.

Let us shoot ahead to the present day. The electric vehicle (EV) craze has struck the minds of progressives as the solution to all of our climate problems. Reason and rationality are defenestrated.

You cannot tell progressive politicians that the technology for EV’s is still in its infancy. You cannot convince them that the current state of technology makes them completely impractical and unworkable on a national scale.

We are at the same point in technological history as we were in 1896, when we transitioned from “horseless carriages” powered by steam and electric motors to gasoline engines. What we see on the EV road today will in no way resemble what the technology ultimately comes up with.

If you examine the facts, you see this is true. Current technology extrapolated into a nation of more than 250 million registered vehicles on the road will result in EV chaos.

The current electric grid will need to be strengthened by the development of hundreds of new nuclear power plants. There is no political will in this country to do that, especially among those promoting EV’s the strongest. Hundreds of new windmill and solar farms aren’t going to cut it, and will negatively impact the environment and wildlife much more than nuclear.

Electric cable will need to be buried across perhaps hundreds of thousands of miles throughout the nation to support at least 145,000 charging stations needed to replace existing gas stations. They will be required at frequencies of at least every 100 miles of road, even across the Great Salt Lake and Mojave deserts and vast mountain ranges. The logistics behind this are staggering.

Has anyone determined the economic impact of slowing road travel across the country due to the time required to wait in line at charging stations and to adequately charge an EV? What will the impact be to crime and motorist safety in inner cities or lonely stretches of road?

Billions of giant batteries will need to be built. When do we reach peak lithium or cobalt? How much of the world will be devastated by strip mining using slave labor? Where do we store the billions of batteries when they die? The potential costs to humanity and the environment are incalculable.

Since Red China is the primary source for these batteries, as well as wind turbines and solar panels, will we become economically enslaved by our dependence on these products?

Up to 17 states are geared to follow California down the rabbit hole and ban the sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035, just twelve and-a-quarter years from now. Have they thought ahead to all of the potential costs and ramifications of this decision? No, of course not.

This is tantamount to throwing everyone off a high cliff and expecting someone to develop a parachute on the way down. You cannot force technology advancements by political edict.

Advancements will occur over time. At some point, perhaps after most of our lifetimes, practical non-gasoline engines will become a reality. They will most likely look a lot different than the visions of today’s progressives.

Solutions involving nuclear fusion or rechargeable hydrogen fuel cells may be the ultimate result. In the meantime, the technology fairy-dusters are intent on making our immediate lives miserable by imposing their unworkable fantasies.

Andrew Thomas

as published in American Thinker