California Girls

“California Girls”

Well East coast girls are hip
I really dig those styles they wear
And the Southern girls with the way they talk
They knock me out when I’m down there

The Mid-West farmer’s daughters really make you feel alright
And the Northern girls with the way they kiss
They keep their boyfriends warm at night

I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California girls

The West coast has the sunshine
And the girls all get so tanned
I dig a french bikini on Hawaii island
Dolls by a palm tree in the sand

I been all around this great big world
And I seen all kinds of girls
Yeah, but I couldn’t wait to get back in the states
Back to the cutest girls in the world

I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California girls

Really, we knew this all along

Alison Lundergan Grimes preparing to shoot herself in the foot

From the Gateway Pundit:

O’Keefe Strikes Again! Senate Campaign For Democrat Alison Grimes Admits She’s Lying To Get Elected!
Posted by Andrew Marcus on Monday, October 6, 2014, 10:32 AM

James O’keefe strikes again, this time in Kentucky.

O’Keefe’s undercover investigators documented systemic admissions of deceit when it comes to  Kentucky Democrat Alison Grimes’ position on the coal industry. Publicly Grimes says she disagrees with President Obama and supports coal. Privately, her entire campaign says she’s lying about that just to get elected!

Progressives Today asked O’Keefe about the investigation and he reports that his investigators “couldn’t find a single staffer who thought she wasn’t lying.”

O’Keefe also tells Progressives Today that his investigation into Grimes’ office has been on-going since June and that “We have much more on Grimes and it get’s worse. Much worse.”

Watch the video at Progressives Today. It’s some of O’Keefe’s best work to date!

And here’s the video:

From Progressives Today:

NRO has some of the more blatant quotes from the video:

“You know she has to say that,” said Juanita Rodriguez, a Warren County Democratic operative. “Because in Kentucky if you don’t support the coal industry, you are dead . . . It’s a lying game, unfortunately.”

“If we can get her elected, do you think she is going to do the right thing and she’s gonna try to wipe out that coal industry and go for better resources?” one of the reporters asked Fayette County Democratic Committee member Gina Bess.

“I absolutely think she is,” Bess replied.

Progressives Today asked O’Keefe about the investigation and he reports that his investigators “couldn’t find a single staffer who thought she wasn’t lying.”

A bit more at the link.

Now, to be fair — or at least as fair as I wish to be concerning Kentucky Secretary of State Grimes — Mr O’Keefe didn’t catch the candidate herself saying these things; he caught some of her soon-to-be-unemployed campaign staffers, along with other Democratic operatives in the Bluegrass State.

The First Street Journal has pointed it out before: even if Mrs Grimes believes exactly what she says she believes, even if she really does mean everything she says in her campaign, if she is elected, her very first votes will be to give greater power to those Democrats who do not believe the things she claims she does, who would work to curtail our Second Amendment rights, and who would work to harm the coal industry. The tapes by James O’Keefe simply add evidence that she doesn’t believe what she says.

Now, what does Mr O’Keefe’s tape really mean?  For the dyed-in-the-wool, yellow dog Democrats, not much: they’ll vote for Mrs Grimes anyway.  For the liberals in Kentucky, still not much: they always hoped that she was lying, and they’ll vote for her, too.  Where the tapes might make a difference is among the conservative Democrats, and there are a lot of them in Kentucky, the people who elected a moderate-to-conservative Democrat majority to the state House of Representatives, but who take a dim view of the more liberal politics of the Democratic Party in Washington, the people who like their local Democrats to be honest.

If I Were The Devil – by Paul Harvey

Paul Harvey predated Rush Limbaugh by a decade or more. However, I always thought his 5 minute commentaries at times made more sense than an hour of Rush. We did not have talk radio in the 60′s, but we had Paul Harvey and his noon time comments. His “rest of the story” comments were good stories of good people. However, reading this today rings true and worse in the following 50 years:

The oldest genuine Paul Harvey version of this piece we’ve found so far appeared in his newspaper column in 1964: (Snopes)

If I Were the Devil

If I were the Prince of Darkness I would want to engulf the whole earth in darkness.

I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree.

So I should set about however necessary, to take over the United States.

I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whispers to you as I whispered to Eve, “Do as you please.”

To the young I would whisper “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that “man created God,” instead of the other way around. I would confide that “what is bad is good and what is good is square.”

In the ears of the young married I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be “extreme” in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct.

And the old I would teach to pray — to say after me — “Our father which are in Washington.”

Then I’d get organized.

I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull, uninteresting.

I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies, and vice-versa.

I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing, less work. Idle hands usually work for me.

I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could, I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction, I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the Devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions; let those run wild.

I’d designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts and I’d get preachers to say, “She’s right.”

With flattery and promises of power I would get the courts to vote against God and in favor of pornography.

Thus I would evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, then from the Houses of Congress.

Then in his own churches I’d substitute psychology for religion and deify science.

If I were Satan I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg

And the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

If I were the Devil I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. Then my police state would force everybody back to work.

Then I would separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines and objectors in slave-labor camps.

If I were Satan I’d just keep doing what I’m doing and the whole world go to hell as sure as the Devil.

Does this sound familiar. Paul Harvey wrote it in 1964, it could just as well been written in 2014.

Hidden taxes

Photo taken at a BP gasoline station, in Flatwoods, West Virginia, on Saturday, 27 September 2014. Click to enlarge.

Photo taken at a BP gasoline station, in Flatwoods, West Virginia, on Saturday, 27 September 2014. Click to enlarge.

Do you remember when stickers like this were common on gasoline pumps? I do: growing up in Kentucky, I used to see them all the time. These days, they are rare, rare, rare!

And that’s why I decided to take the picture at the right. The total price of the fuel was $3.35 per gallon, far more than we ought to be paying, but even that is down from a few months ago. But, at least at the BP station at which I fueled up my Ford F-150 on my trip to the Bluegrass State, the station management informed its customers just how much they are paying in fuel taxes. From the Tax Foundation:

Map of State Gasoline Tax Rates in 2014
By Richard Borean, Scott Drenkard | June 3, 2014

This week’s tax map takes a look at state gasoline tax rates, using data from a recent report by the American Petroleum Institute. California is in 1st place with the highest rate of 52.89 cents per gallon, and is followed closely by New York (49.86 cents/gallon), Connecticut (49.3 cents/gallon), and Hawaii (48.05 cents/gallon). On the other end of the spectrum, Alaska has the lowest rate at 12.4 cents per gallon, but New Jersey (14.5 cents/gallon) and South Carolina (16.75 cents/gallon) aren’t far behind. These rates do not include the additional 18.4 cent federal excise tax.

Gas taxes are generally used to fund transportation infrastructure maintenance and new projects. While gas taxes are not a perfect user fee like tolls, they are generally more favorable than other taxes because they at least loosely connect the users of roads with the costs of enjoying them. However, some of our recent analysis shows that many states do not rely on gas taxes and tolls as much as they could, and instead fund substantial amounts of transportation from other sources like income and sales taxes.

Map copyrighted by the Tax Foundation; republished in accordance with their copyright policy. Click to enlarge

The editor of The First Street Journal actually approves of the concept of fuel taxes, because, as the Tax Foundation article noted, they are at least reasonably related to the public’s use of the roads, highways and bridges that they are meant to fund. Nor does the editor have a problem with toll roads, because the tolls paid are used to build and maintain the roads. At least locally, the Turnpike Commission1 does a pretty good job of maintaining the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a road my wife uses to go to work. I would note, however, that Kentucky removed the tolls from the Mountain Parkway in 1985, when the toll revenue bonds were paid off, but now Governor Steve Beshear (D-KY) has proposed a widening project which would be paid for, in part, by restoring tolls, but Kentucky funds road maintenance for the Mountain Parkway through it’s normal state highway spending.

But, that I have no problem with the idea of fuel taxes, or something reasonably related to highway usage, to pay for highway maintenance does not mean that I approve of the fact that most people don’t really get to see how much they are being taxed for the roads. What this station in West Virginia did ought to be done at every filling station, in every state, so the the public can see how much they are being taxed. It’s a dirty little secret among politicians: they don’t want the public to see how much they are being taxed, so they try to hide as many of the taxes as they can. For instance, the tax on diesel fuel is higher than the tax on gasoline: the federal tax of 24.4¢ per gallon is 6¢ higher than the federal tax on gasoline, and many states tax diesel fuel at higher rates as well. In Pennsylvania, the state tax on diesel fuel is 52.1¢ per gallon, bringing the total tax on diesel to 76.5¢ per gallon, second highest in the nation (behind Connecticut’s 79.3¢). Most people in the Keystone State don’t buy over-the-road diesel fuel directly, but virtually everything that Americans buy is transported, usually more than once in the raw materials-to-production-to-sale point, by diesel-fueled trucks; all of the costs of bringing goods to the market are included in the sale price, and that means that American consumers are paying those higher diesel fuel taxes, simply a few steps removed. We see the direct sales tax imposed, on register receipts, but very few people think about the taxes which are hidden in the final sales prices. We have previously noted the damaging effects of individual state corporate taxes, and the penchant for the Democrats to talk about taxes on those evil ol’ corporations,2 in their attempts to hide from he public just how much they are really being taxed.

We have to pay taxes: the government provides many necessary — and, unfortunately, many unnecessary — services, and these services require taxpayer dollars to be provided. But for too long our politicians, Republican and Democrat alike, have looked for ways to conceal from the voters just how heavily they are being taxed. The sticker I photographed on that fuel pump in West Virginia is a start, but we need an informed electorate to see just how highly they are being taxed.

  1. There are charges of graft and corruption amongst the commissioners.
  2. You know, corporations and other private businesses, the wicked companies which provide the jobs for three-quarters of all working Americans.

From Around the Blogroll

Your Editor was in Kentucky, doing some work on our new retirement house, preparing it for the renters, and he took a couple of pictures.

Yeah, it needs some work, but doesn't every home?  (Click to enlarge)

Yeah, it needs some work, but doesn’t every home? No, this is not the house we bought! (Click to enlarge)

More pictures below the fold, along with the From Around the Blogroll listings!

Continue reading ‘From Around the Blogroll’ »

Rule 5 Blogging: Basic Training and an #Ebola Rant

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Megan Fox in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude. This week: basic training!

The Army is sending 1,400 troops, about half of whom will be combat engineers, to Liberia, as part of the mission to contain the spread of the ebola virus and ebola hemorrhagic fever. But, when I look at how soldiers are trained, and the missions of the soldiers to be sent, the obvious question is: is this a proper and reasonable use of our soldiers?

Combat engineers are trained to build the support structures for the infantry to defend against, and advance upon, the enemy; what does this have to do with fighting the spread of ebola? Our soldiers are trained to fight other soldiers, to overmaster them and win; just what training do they really receive in defending against a microscopic virus? The military mission “will include building 17 100-bed hospital facilities and a health care facility for infected physicians and health care workers,” according to the linked story, but we will still be sending our troops into an area in which the ebola virus is spreading rapidly, on a mission which will put their lives in danger, though the President has declined to place restrictions on travel into the United States from the countries where ebola is a problem.

The goal is: don’t let your boots touch the ground! (Click to enlarge)

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Basic Training and an #Ebola Rant’ »

Small Businesses Debate Minimum Wage Increase

Small Businesses Debate Minimum Wage Increase

With several cities and even federal government entities discussing minimum wage increases, small businesses are starting to crunch the numbers. Even the most well-meaning entrepreneur such as Glen Gonzalez can’t make every budget work with higher minimum wages. This economic debate has more than just two sides, however, making it a hot topic until changes occur to local laws.

Skills Versus Value

One of the main concerns regarding wage hikes is skills compared to value. If a fast food worker is paid $13 per hour, for example, their skill set should reflect that hourly wage. For many limited-skill workers, there isn’t a real justification for the wage hike except for cost of living. With their wage increase, other skilled workers may force employers’ hands to increase their specific wage because of perceived value to the company. This domino effect could actually hurt both small- and medium-size businesses.

Quality Productivity

The flip side to this argument is enhanced work ethic. When a worker feels valued with a higher wage, they’re more inclined to work harder and faster in the same time period. Beds could be made faster or food served more rapidly, depending on the industry. This effort only reflects positively on the employer, boosting their profit margin with returning customers and stellar services. The wage increase could even be covered by more business walking in the door, making the debate a moot subject.

Balancing the Ledger

Small business owners argue that higher minimum wages only force them to make creative employee schedules, including layoffs and decreased hours each week. Unlike large corporations, small businesses don’t have the ample loans and credit to float through a month until customers pay bills. Cash flow is tight, making payroll one of the largest debts on the books. Some owners believe a higher minimum wage could actually put them out of business, contributing to unemployment rates and poor local economic conditions.

Economy Boost

Assuming businesses can hold onto their employees with better work ethic as a result, higher earnings spread across the local economy. With more money to spend, minimum wage earners could boost local business profits by purchasing a car or a new bedroom set. Even small expenditures at the grocery contribute to better lives for employees, employers and local residents. Earners may eventually be able to buy a home, lifting property values higher and contributing to lucrative funds for local schools.

Workers Want to Stay

Business owners know that taking care of employees is the best way to keep them at their current positions. When employers have high turnover rates, their costs soar because of recruiting, interviewing and training necessities. Workers earning a solid wage with familiar job duties are more inclined to stay put than to strike out to another job interview. Companies with loyal employees show that employers treat them like humans instead of as a number. Although you can’t stop everyone from seeking other career opportunities, higher pay is a strong reason to stay.

A reasonable quality of life is a right that everyone should have, but small businesses are still concerned for their bottom line. It will only take time to see how these economic changes will turn out. Ideally, businesses will find a way to keep all their employees and still break even. It may be some time before lucrative profits can actually make their way into entrepreneurs’ pockets.

Rule 5 Blogging: Our Secret Weapons against ISIS!

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Mila Kunis in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude. This week: the women thumping ISIS!

Islamic State terrorists flee females: ‘They believe they’ll go to hell’ if killed by woman
By Cheryl K. Chumley – The Washington Times – Monday, September 22, 2014

Turns out, terrorists on a jihad are terrified of women — at least, of being killed by a woman.

That’s because their beliefs teach that suicide missions lead to an afterlife of 72 virgins — unless they’re killed by a woman. Then, their afterlife is virgin-free, spent in the fiery furnaces of hell, a lawmaker told the New York Post.

“These ISIL soldiers apparently believed that if they were killed in battle, they went to paradise as long as they were killed by a man,” said Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, in the New York Post.

But if they’re killed by a woman, then it’s a no-go on the virgins, he said.

Females are currently being recruited in Iraq to join the Kurdish peshmerga forces and fight against Islamic State terrorists, The Blaze reported. And the results have been eye-opening.

“These female soldiers were communicating their satisfaction with the fact that they had taken the fight to ISIL and had stopped the advance, turned back the advance — slated a number of these fighters, who would then run away,” Mr. Royce said in the New York Post report.

And here’s what they’re facing:

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Our Secret Weapons against ISIS!’ »

From Around the Blogroll

From Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion:

Chelsea Manning Sues for Hormone Therapy
Posted by Amy Miller | Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 12:00pm

Chelsea Manning, the U.S. Army private formerly known as Bradley Manning, is suing in federal court over allegations that the U.S. Army is delaying her (sic) hormone therapy treatment.

Manning, who is currently serving a 35 year prison sentence in Leavenworth, Kansas, alleges that (his) diagnosed gender dysphoria will cause (his) mental state to spiral if left untreated:

Via the ACLU:

“The government continues to deny Ms. (sic) Manning’s access to necessary medical treatment for gender dysphoria, without which she (sic) will continue to suffer severe psychological harms,” said Chase Strangio, attorney in the ACLU Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender project and co-counsel on Ms. (sic) Manning’s case. “Such clear disregard of well-established medical protocols constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.”

Ms. (sic) Manning is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital, the ACLU of Kansas and civilian defense counsel David E. Coombs. Last month, Ms. (sic) Manning’s legal team sent a letter to the DOD and Army officials demanding that she (sic) receive treatment for gender dysphoria in accordance with medical standards of care, including hormone therapy and permission to follow female grooming standards. Her (sic) treatment needs have continued to be unmet and her (sic) distress has escalated.

“I am proud to be standing with the ACLU behind Chelsea on this very important issue.” said David E. Coombs, “It is my hope that through this action, Chelsea will receive the medical care that she (sic) needs without having to suffer any further anguish.”

After Manning announced her plans to live as a woman, (which happened just after (he) was convicted for turning over classified secrets to WikiLeaks,) (his) attorneys initiated a full media blitz about her transgender status, (his) diagnosis, and the consequences of not providing Manning with hormone therapy.

In addition to seeking access to the hormones, Manning is also demanding intensive psychological therapy to help deal with the emotional effects of gender dysphoria. (His) current therapist admitted in a statement to the court that she isn’t qualified to treat the condition.

This is the kind of situation where no one wins. The idea that taxpayers should be expected to provide hormone therapy for a transgendered person makes less sense than forcing taxpayers to pay for birth control pills. On the other hand, allowing an inmate of a government facility to mentally devolve to the point of self-harm is something that no one should feel comfortable with.

Bradley Manning had his name legally changed to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, and thus The First Street Journal will, albeit grudgingly, allow references to his new legal name. The federal government, which holds Mr Manning in prison, did not oppose the name change, another bit of idiocy from President Obama and his administration.

However, The First Street Journal also recognizes that Mr Manning, regardless of his new legal name, is still male, and will not use feminine pronouns or other references to him.  If I decided that, somehow, I wasn’t human but was actually a Vulcan, does anyone think that any (serious) person or news organization would actually treat me as a Vulcan and use Vulcan references toward me, apparently sincerely and seriously?

Nope, none would; I’d be regarded as a whacko, whose fantasies ought not to be indulged . . . and the same is true of Mr Manning. He was born male, has male genitalia, male chromosomes, was reared as a male, had all of his previous experiences as a male, and remains male today. If he gets his fondest wish, and is castrated and has a plastic surgeon craft him some faux female organs, he will still be male.

And the last thing we should ever do is waste taxpayer dollars on any “treatments” for him. If he decides to have such mutilation performed on him after he is released from prison, then I don’t care, as long as he pays for it himself.

As for Miss Miller’s statement, “On the other hand, allowing an inmate of a government facility to mentally devolve to the point of self-harm is something that no one should feel comfortable with,” I feel perfectly comfortable with it. It is not the government’s fault, nor is it my responsibility, that Mr Manning is Looney Tunes.

And now, on to the blogroll!

Your Editor will be leaving for the Bluegrass State in the morning, to do some final work on the new house before the renter moves in on October the Oneth. He will not have a computer or the internet available to him, so other writers, step up this coming week!