President Obama is no Captain James Tiberius Kirk

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

Captain James T. Kirk didn’t command the Enterprise because of his political connections.  No.  He commanded the Enterprise because he was the best damn captain in Starfleet history (see Five Leadership Lessons From James T. Kirk by Alex Knapp reposted 2/23/2014 (originally posted 3/5/2012) on Forbes).

In his many years of service to the Federation, James Kirk embodied several leadership lessons that we can use in our own lives. We need to keep exploring and learning. We need to ensure that we encourage creativity and innovation by listening to the advice of people with vastly different opinions. We need to occasionally get down in the trenches with the members of our teams so we understand their needs and earn their trust and loyalty. We need to understand the psychology of our competitors and also learn to radically change course when circumstances dictate. By following these lessons, we can lead our organizations into places where none have gone before.

President Obama is no Captain James Tiberius Kirk.  President Obama is a committed ideologue.  And will not consider exploring and learning other knowledge.  For this committed Keynesian will not even consider learning the classical economics that made the U.S. the number one economy in the world.  He will not work with the Republicans.  When it came to the stimulus he shut them out completely with the statement that he won the election.  And elections have consequences.  After his “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” lie of the year (2013) he’s not earning much trust and loyalty these days.  His foreign policy has made Iran and Russia stronger.  As well as emboldened militant Islam.  So he doesn’t understand our competitors.  At all.  Finally, the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) has been a disaster.  But is he radically changing course?  No.  He’s exceeding his Constitutional authority by rewriting the Affordable Care Act to try and push the more painful parts of Obamacare past the 2014 midterm elections.  To make people less angry at him and the Democrats when they vote this fall.

Captain James T. Kirk never put himself or his agenda ahead of the mission.  Which is why he was a great leader.  Whereas President Obama is beholden to an ideology.  And will sacrifice anything for that ideology.  Our economy.  Our health care system.  Even our leadership position of the free world.  Something Captain Kirk would never do.  Because he was not beholden to an ideology.  Which made him a great leader.  Unlike President Obama.

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Smoking Marijuana may give you Lung Cancer, Heart Disease and Diabetes

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

It’s no secret.  You get the munchies after smoking marijuana.  Whether it’s recreational smoking.  Or medical smoking.  Apparently (see Girl Scout sells 117 boxes of cookies outside Green Cross medical marijuana clinic by Heather Saul posted 2/22/2014 on The Independent).

A girl scout has proved it really is “all about location” after selling 117 boxes of cookies from her stand outside The Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary in just two hours.

Thirteen-year-old Danielle Lei set up her cookie stall outside of the clinic in San Francisco and was welcomed by patients and staff.

Danielle sold out of her first batch within 45 minutes, according to the clinic, which is a fully licensed dispensary serving qualified California patients.

The left wants to tax sugary beverages.  They want to take away McDonald’s Happy Meals from our children.  And Michelle Obama wants our kids to eat rabbit food in school because our kids are too fat.  As childhood obesity leads to chronic and costly health problems later in life.  Then there’s the crusade against smoking.  Which they have banned from pretty much everywhere.  As first-hand smoke, second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke will kill you.  For just the whiff of tobacco odor will give you lung cancer.  Yes, the left is very concerned about what we eat, drink and smoke.  Because we apparently don’t know what’s good for us. Or what’s bad.  Thankfully, they do.

Which makes their drive to decriminalize marijuana puzzling to say the least.  They say it’s harmless.  No worse than a cocktail after work each day (though there are some who will say you are an alcoholic if you have a drink every day).  But marijuana causes first-hand smoke, second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke.  Giving marijuana smokers lung cancer.  And if that wasn’t bad enough marijuana also makes people obese.  Because of the munchies.  It’s so bad that people have to buy Girl Scout cookies just after buying their medical marijuana.  Even before they gave themselves a little more lung cancer by smoking it.  And it should be noted that Girl Scout cookies aren’t rabbit food.  No.  They’re the kind of food that tastes good.  And makes our kids obese.

Lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc., are bad.  And we need to change people’s eating, drinking and smoking habits so their poor choices don’t become a burden to society.  Unless you get lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc., from smoking marijuana.  Because smoking marijuana will give you the less deadly and less costly forms of lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.  Apparently.

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Marine Insurance shows why Obamacare won’t Work

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

As ships began to ply the world’s oceans some of them did not make it to their destination.  Instead, they ended up on the ocean floor.  The financial loss for a ship lost at sea was enough to bankrupt a shipper.  Which greatly inhibited early transoceanic trade.  But then the good men at Lloyd’s of London began selling marine insurance out of a London coffee house.  Spreading the risk of a large financial loss across all shippers.  Where each shipper paid a small fee (i.e., an insurance premium) to cover the financial loss for the few ships that sank.  It was an excellent system.  Mitigating the risk of the very risky transoceanic trade.  It worked so well we still use it today (see Ship loses more than 500 containers in heavy seas by Tim Lister posted 2/22/2014 on CNN)

On any day, between 5 million and 6 million containers are on the high seas, carrying everything from potato chips to refrigerators. But not all of them make it to their destination, as the crew of the Svendborg Maersk have just found out.

Their Danish-flagged ship was in the Bay of Biscay last week as hurricane-force winds battered the Atlantic coast of Europe. Amid waves of 30 feet and winds of 60 knots, the Svendborg began losing containers off northern France. After the ship arrived in the Spanish port of Malaga this week, Maersk discovered that about 520 containers were unaccounted for. Stacks of others had collapsed.

It’s the biggest recorded loss of containers overboard in a single incident…

The Through Transport Club, which insures 15 of the top 20 container lines, has put the loss at fewer than 2,000 containers a year. But other industry sources say the number may be as high as 10,000. That would still represent far less than 1% of the containers traversing the world’s oceans. Maersk, one of the world’s largest lines, says that its highest annual loss in the last decade was 59 containers.

If we crunch some numbers we can see how insurance works.  Let’s make some assumptions.  Conservative ones.  Let’s assume the low end of 5 million containers.  And the high end of lost containers (10,000).  This puts the total loss of containers at 0.20% of the total shipped.  Which means that 99.8% of all containers shipped reach their destination.  So the insurance pays for a very small number of lost containers.  Now let’s assume an average value of $250,000 per container.  That makes the value of all containers shipped $1.25 trillion.  And the value of containers lost $2.5 billion.  Or 0.20% of the value shipped.  Which is a small fraction of the total.  If we spread this amount over each container shipped that comes to an insurance premium of $500 per container.  A small price to pay to avoid a $250,000 loss.

This is why marine insurance works.  Because it’s insurance.  Where shippers pay a small premium to insure against a very large possible financial loss.  Which is why Obamacare won’t work.  Because Obamacare isn’t insurance.  Neither was health insurance before Obamacare.  Because people expect a free ride.  If they have ‘insurance’ they don’t want to pay for anything.  Which isn’t how insurance works.  That would be like shippers having someone else pay for their marine insurance.  And then expect to ship things across the ocean for free because they had insurance.  Marine insurance doesn’t work like that.  And neither should health insurance.

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Wal-Mart is the new General Motors for the Middle Class

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

The left hates Wal-Mart.  Because they are nonunion.  And their low prices make it difficult for small mom & pop shops to stay in business charging their customers higher prices.  But being nonunion lets them hire more people.  And their low prices allow people to buy more with their paychecks.  Good things.  Yet the left hates Wal-Mart.  Because they would rather have union jobs even if it means fewer jobs.  And higher prices.  Despite Wal-Mart being the best thing for the middle class since General Motors (see Walmart and the middle class, sinking together by Rick Newman posted 2/21/2014 on Yahoo! Finance).

It was once General Motors (GM) whose fortunes reflected those of the middle-class Americans who bought its products. Now, that bellwether Goliath is Walmart (WMT)…

A chronically weak job market is pinching lower-income consumers — some of whom can’t even afford to shop at Walmart anymore.

The digital revolution has left Walmart at a disadvantage against etailers such as Amazon (AMZN), which has 7 times’ Walmart’s online revenue, and a much smaller physical footprint to manage.

With Walmart tied so closely to the fortunes lower-middle-class Americans, it’s no exaggeration to say that, as goes Walmart, so goes America. And vice versa…

A century ago, Henry Ford famously doubled the pay of his workers — to $5 per day — to reduce turnover and make his production lines more efficient. That move had the added benefit of raising living standards for Ford workers and helping establish the modern middle class.

Even though Walmart is the nation’s largest employer — with 1.3 million U.S. workers — it seems highly unlikely it could achieve anything similar to what Henry Ford did. Global competition gives retailers little room to raise costs without giving away pricing advantages. And fading demand for lesser-skilled workers lacking a college degree leaves few companies with a real incentive to raise wages, aside from earning a bit of public goodwill. Before Henry Ford doubled wages, his workers often left for other blue-collar jobs in a booming industrial economy. Most Walmart workers lack such options.

Amazon is nonunion, too.  But Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, donated $2.5 million to support gay marriage in Washington State.  Donates primarily to Democrat candidates.  And supports an Internet sales tax (see What Are Jeff Bezos’s Political Leanings, and How Might They Shape the Washington Post? by David A. Graham, The Atlantic, posted 8/5/2013 on the National Journal).  So there are things the left likes about Amazon.  But they only have about 100,000 employees to Wal-Mart’s 2.2 million.  Which is why the left has an all out assault on Wal-Mart.  Because they want to unionize those 2.2 million.  For 2.2 million people would provide a lot of union dues.

Unionization or a higher minimum wage does not build a strong middle class.  A strong economy does.  That’s what helped Henry Ford raise his wages.  To keep his best workers from quitting so they could take higher paying jobs elsewhere.  Which is how people earn more money.  When an economy is so robust that there are more jobs than people to fill them.  Requiring employers to pay more to attract workers.  Not by forcing employers to pay more.  Especially during a weak economy.  When a business’ margins couldn’t be thinner.  Leaving them unable to raise wages without cutting workers.  Which the left will be glad to see.  Lost jobs.  As long as those remaining are union jobs.

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The Beating a Woman takes Playing Football with Men won’t be as Bad as Hand-to-Hand Combat

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

The NFL is coming under a lot of pressure because of concussions.  And the brain damage it may lead to later in life.  As players have never been bigger or faster.  And when they hit they hit hard.  The NFL has changed the rules to prevent the most damaging of these collisions.  Head to head contact.  There is even talk of eliminating the kickoff.  To prevent two ‘freight trains’ running into each other at full speed.  And those on the left are calling it a brutal game that we need to get rid of.  For it’s little better than gladiators fighting to the death in the Colosseum.  And we shouldn’t let our children grow up and play football.  Unless they’re gay.  Or women.  Then it’s a beautiful thing.  An openly gay man in the NFL.  Or a woman playing running back in the Indoor Football League (see Running Back Jennifer Welter Makes History By Playing In Pro Football Game by ThePostGame Staff posted 2/17/2014 on Yahoo! Sports).

Welter, who has starred at linebacker for a decade for the Dallas Diamonds of the Women’s Football Alliance, got her first carry midway through the third quarter. She took a handoff from two yards out of the end zone and scampered around the left tackle. But the 5-foot-2, 130 pound Welter was met by 6-4, 245-pound defensive lineman Cedric Hearvey for a one-yard loss.

Somehow, Welter was unfazed by the hit.

“I said, ‘Is that all you got?'” Welter asked Hearvey. “I didn’t want them to think I was intimidated…”

Welter had her number called twice more in goal line situations, but she wasn’t able to score either time.

If you follow the link you can see videos of her plays.  She looked like a child playing with men who towered over her.  And one hit just threw her like a train hitting something.  She got right up.  But with the men having a one foot height advantage and over a 100 pound weight differential these were traumatic hits.  A few more of these and she would be lucky to escape with only a concussion.  And these are the kind of hits the left wants to get out of the NFL.  Though I suppose they’re okay if it’s a woman getting the snot beat out of her.  It kind of reminded me of Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life where the boys played the masters in a rugby match.  As the grown men just beat the snot out of their students.

As tough as she is she is just not as big or strong as the men playing at this level.  And that’s because men and women are different.  Which is why we shouldn’t have women in combat roles.  For the hand-to-hand fighting in combat is worse than any football game.  And just like in football the bigger and stronger combatant usually wins.  But unlike in a football game when you lose your matchup you just don’t score.  Or lose the game.  In combat when you lose you die.  And you weaken your team.  Giving the advantage to the enemy.  Which will probably cause more of your team to die.

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