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Religion, Politics, & Culture: Defined and Explained


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ovoville Fix: California’s Jump the Shark Moment

Steve Camp did a song many years ago about “playing marbles with diamonds”. Camp was lamenting the fact that the Church seems to squander its opportunities and not take its job seriously. In like manner, the State of California is failing to take the issues relating to the Oroville dam seriously.

As I’ve stated before, nobody in State government has ever been involved in the construction of any large scale water storage project. There is no institutional memory in the government bureaucracy of how to successfully do such a project.  All anyone knows is that a mountain of paperwork is required before such a project can be undertaken; a process that can take decades to complete.  In their mind, a fix is not possible if they go thru normal channels; however, nobody wants to cede their part of the regulations to get the job done.

I submit that the situation is much more dire than you realize. Governor Brown has assembled a crack team of experts and this is what they have floated as a solution:

One temporary recommendation is building an angled flip just above the collapse site. If water needs to be released from the lake down the spillway, the flip would launch the water away from the hole, preventing further erosion.
Link: Making water jump the gap

Really? That’s the best you’ve got?

History lesson: we tried that before in California. It was called hydraulic mining.
Link: California Gold Rush hydraulic mining
It was outlawed in 1884 because of the devastation that it caused to California’s waterways and agricultural land. Now our crack state engineers want to use the same technique on an ever larger scale to save the Oroville Dam? What could possibly go wrong launching 100,000 cubic feet of water per second into the air? Amazing.

OK, so the government can’t do it, what about the private sector? I submit that in a litigious state like California that no insurance company will cover such a project. Look we already had one evacuation for 200,000 people; plus many more would be affected if the dam had further failure. Folks there are tens of billions in potential liability and whoever touches that dam will own it until the end of time. Unless the state gives the contractors a special exemption from liability, why would anyone want to participate in such a repair job?

Then there is the issue of state jobs requiring that prevailing wages be paid. In normal times, prevailing wages add forty percent to the cost of constructing a public school. Can you imagine how much this government mandated wage inflation—in one of the poorest regions of the state—is going to add to the price of any potential fix? Does Oroville even have the infrastructure in place to support the demand for concrete and related materials? I really doubt it.

Dear readers, there are thousands more similar infrastructure issues in this state that are currently being ignored by government. Oh and you have been paying taxes for decades to fix many of them but the money is diverted elsewhere. If and when “the Big One” happens, then you will know just how truly mismanaged this state has been.

Whatever happens to the spillway, I promise that it will be an excuse to raise taxes and somehow the money won’t really improve things all that much. Likely it will start out as a temporary tax that will still be in effect a century from now.

 

Posted by william on 03/26 at 06:47 PM
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Opposition to Trump One of Biblical Proportions

Anthology series like Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Amazing Stories often start with a world like ours and then tweak one aspect in order to allow a character to participate in some fantastic adventure that otherwise would be totally improbable. The results are often extreme; either to the good or bad for the person that is the focus of the story.

Rarely do we get to witness a real life adventure that is on par with these types of stories. I know there have been others. I had a great uncle named Charles that entered the US Army at the ripe age of 14 in May of 1941. In December of that year, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and my uncle spent the war fighting in the Pacific. He was discharged in 1946 and still not 21 years old and thus not even old enough to vote.

Today, we are witnessing one of the greatest stories of the 21st Century; the Presidency of Donald J Trump. Barack Obama divided the country more than anyone since Richard Nixon; however, Trump has united both parties in their hatred of him. Why? Trump actually expects the members of Congress to do their job and serve the people not themselves. This is the modern day version of Mr. Smith goes to the White House.

Trump is everything that Arnold Schwarzenegger promised California voters in his first run for governor and never delivered.  Trump is truly unique. What he promised during his campaign, he is delivering when in office. Folks, I can’t begin to tell you how rare and refreshing that this is. Both parties hate him for this. Trump is fighting an uphill battle against all three branches of government, plus the Federal Reserve, and the media. Make no mistake, this is total war. It’s Trump and about half the voting public versus the status quo.

Next time you read about the kings in the Old Testament tearing down the Ashura Poles and pagan high places, maybe you will understand the type of resistance that they faced and boldness it took for them to do this. I believe Trump is tearing down many similar strongholds in our nation. Gary North and R.J. Rushdooney’s idea that a change in law is a change in religion is clearly validated by Trump’s presidency.

Law, culture, and religion are all intertwined. Pluralism is just a temporary cease-fire until one faction gains a winning advantage over others. The faction that views government as their god tried to press their advantage to victory and crush the opposition; especially, Christians; this is the legacy of Barack Obama. 

Trump has been compared to Cyrus or Constantine—and this may be a fair comparison—because he is a defender of The Faith while he himself may not be a believer. I for one am praying for Donald Trump and hoping that he succeeds.

Posted by william on 03/20 at 07:35 AM
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Friday, March 03, 2017

Entry Level Jobs Killed by $15 Minimum Wage

By X
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Remember those economically ignorant people that demanded a $15 an hour minimum wage and conducted a campaign of protests and walk-outs nationwide during the last few years?  Last year, California Legislators passed and Emperor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law here in Soviet California?  How about the issue coming up time and time again during the presidential election as Democrats tried to get this implemented nationwide?  This process has also played out in various municipalities and states across the nation.  California workers, congratulations on your wages increased, but before you go buy that brand new car or new iPhone you may want to take a look at how far automation has come in the last few years and how it will affect your job very soon.  Witness a conversation between X and the Blog Father about five months ago.


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iRobot—now closer than ever


Over dinner at a Mexican food establishment with a salsa bar, the subject of automation was brought up.  The Blog Father shared that he was recently at a local Wendy’s and to his surprise the monitor used to order food was turned around, facing him.  Obviously something was wrong.  After further analysis, it turned out that Wendy’s had two touch screen monitors back-to-back, one facing the employee and another facing the customer. The Blog Father speculated that this was a small test being done by corporate to get customers used to the idea of entering their own order. This test was for limited time only.  To the Blog Father, the ordering process appeared intuitive. Clearly customers could order seamlessly and upselling was literally right at your fingertips; or for those of you in Rio Linda, asking about add-ons like bacon, fries, soda, baked potato (seriously? Are we in Russia?), and chili were just a touch away. 

I imagine that the liberal counterargument to a more automated experience is that a machine can break down and isn’t unionized; thus The Party cannot receive union dues from the machine; however, the all-important sales tax still flows to government coffers.  However, I would argue automation has other benefits. It doesn’t need a vacation; call in sick because it was out too late the night before partying, doesn’t activate the fire suppression system due to prank phone calls, doesn’t have mandated medical insurance or payroll tax withholding, and is always ready to do what it’s told.

The employee and all his brethren protesting for $15 an hour minimum wage were right, the owners of fast food companies and other minimum wage jobs could never replace them, they were critical cogs in the process.  Initially they might have been right; the monitors were turned back to their original position of advertising products after a trial time.  Yup the $15 an hour folks were the smartest people in the room….until the executives realized they weren’t needed in the room, and could be replaced cheaply.

The people thinking they would be the economic beneficiaries of a minimum wage increase were wrong; Wendy’s has announced a roll out of automated kiosks nationwide, eliminating at least 1,000 jobs across the country. 
Link: Wendy’s deploys kiosks at 1,000 stores
The Elk Grove location is being renovated and modernized as we speak.  I fully expect that once it re-opens for business, this Wendy’s will be equipped with technology that replaces employees with automation.


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Wendy’s Order Kiosk—The future is now


A second example; Outback steakhouse—a favorite of X and Mrs. X—now has those annoying kiosk things at every table, and wait staff pushing guests to use them to order more drinks, check out, etc.  Keep in mind, I was there to eat a steak on Valentine’s Day and had to look at a tablet asking me if I wanted to buy a new alcoholic beverage every five minutes!  I mentioned to my waitress I thought it was a little over the top, her response shocked me; she said “corporate wants 70% usage of this kiosk at every location by the end of 2017!”  Yes, hard to believe but machines will be replacing the American worker. 

Readers of this blog smarter than the average CRA member understand that machines—not illegals—are replacing the American worker.  This comes as no surprise to either the Blog Father or X, as corporations and especially franchisees—whom most fast food workers really work for—will do everything possible to save a few dollars.  Now, that this reaction to the wage increase is happening, scores of low skilled workers will be replaced, likely on a permanent basis.  This has been the Democrats goal since the party’s birth; create a permanent welfare/government dependent class! 

Before you overreact, think about it, how many fast food employees would you say are worth $15 an hour?  (Don’t forget to add the health insurance cost of each worker mandated by Arnoldcare, paid family leave, and all the other employer mandated taxes that employers must pay.)

Ok, now let’s play devil’s advocate:
• How much are you willing to see the dollar menu increase by at McDonalds to pay the employee $15 minimum wage? 
• How about the two medium two topping pizza’s for $7.99 a piece at Dominos? 
• Like the 4 for $5 at Wendy’s?  Say Hello to 4 for $10, not such a great deal right? 
• Applebee’s burger, fries and coke for $9.99, how about $19.99? 
Okay by now I figure you get my point, but if you are a CRA member, Ted Cruz for President 2020 member, or Aaron or George Park, please stop reading as you are lost. 

My point is very simple, minimum wage jobs are not intended to be career wages; they are a starting point for entry level work.  By raising the minimum wage and making it seem more like a career choice, employment is going to be harder and harder to come by for younger and unskilled Americans.  Sadly, these unskilled or inexperienced folks think the Democrats are trying to lobby for higher wages to help them and thus gladly give them their votes but in reality the joke is on them. They are literally voting themselves out of a job and into a life of subjugation and dependence on government.  Look no further than the Wendy’s in Elk Grove, maybe I will be wrong, I hope I am, but I have a feeling that when it reopens after renovation, Wendy’s will be employing kiosks not people at the front counter.

Until next time,

X

Posted by william on 03/03 at 08:43 AM
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