Stupidity on CW

I missed a couple of days because of work obligations, and it appears as though I was too late to say most of what needed to be said about this video because other blogs beat me to it.

I do, as you would expect, have a couple of thoughts to add that perhaps others haven’t thought of.

This idea comes along all the time from anti-gunners- the idea that a militia armed with AR-15’s can’t fight a government armed with tanks, fighter jets, and nukes. The most obvious retort to this, is that this argument only makes the case that the 2A applies to tanks, jets, nukes, and especially MANPADS, ATGMs, and other heavy weapons. (If you don’t want 2A to apply to nukes, I am sure that you would have no problem getting an Amendment passed to that effect.)

No, the less obvious answer is that a militia isn’t going to be relegated to a confined field of play, as if war was some sort of spectator sport like football. The more likely continuation of the above video is that Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Walker leaves his bunker from a long day of shooting drone launched Hellfire missiles at NRA members like Andy Baker and gets in his car to go home. When he gets there, he discovers his 12 year old son in bed in a pool of his own blood, his throat slashed from ear to ear. Rigor mortis has already set in. His wife and 4 year old daughter are missing. In the girls bed is a note which reads: “If you ever want to see your daughter alive again, the next Hellfire you shoot needs to hit Senator Schumer.”

He refuses, and redoubles his desire to kill the entire membership of the NRA. His daughter’s body is found in a ditch two days later, his wife is never found. In his rage, the distraught Staff Sergeant begins randomly firing Hellfires into right wing neighborhoods, killing dozens of people, some of whom may actually have been gun owners, most were not. The father of one of those killed is the vendor who sells pork to the base mess hall. One day, about a month after the daughter’s death, the Staff Sergeant is eating in the mess hall when he finds his wife’s engagement ring in his pulled pork. Tests confirm that the “pork” is a match to his wife’s DNA. The butcher is never caught and is currently wanted by the FBI, who believes that he has joined the growing underground resistance movement.

Two weeks after the arrest warrant is issued, the FBI is distracted by another case at the Norfolk navy base when 140 sailors die after someone added a deadly bacteria to a shipment of lettuce that was bound for the USS Gerald R. Ford’s mess facility. The entire US military is ordered to begin eating only MRE’s or canned food manufactured more than 6 months ago. Morale plunges with food quality, and the government soon realizes that they have less than 90 days of “safe” food supplies for themselves, even after confiscating all canned goods nationwide. Citizens in large cities begin having food riots as most people can’t get more than 900 calories a day. The food just isn’t there.

Civil wars get ugly. Bosnia. Rwanda. Rhodesia. Kosovo. Even the American Civil War. The US civil war, as a percentage of the US population, was the bloodiest war in American history. In 1860, the US census measured the population at 31.5 million people. Six to ten million were killed and wounded. That means the war killed and wounded 20 to 30 percent of the nation. If a conflict with similar casualty rates were to occur today, we would see about 40 million killed and another 30 million wounded in direct hostilities, and another 60 million dead from disease and famine. With casualty rates like that, societies break down. Medical systems stop working. Famine, disease, and poverty reign.

The secret here is that the government is scared. Every senior government official saw exactly what we saw- nearly 400 cops being held at bay by a single teenaged loser with an AR-15 because they didn’t want to get “clapped.”

Then they realize that the nation has well over 100 million gun owners, many of them veterans, who like to see how fast they can shoot things that are as far as a mile away. For fun. They remember the two losers who shut down all of DC by creating a sniper’s hide in the trunk of a car. How can they trust a police department to protect them when the shooting starts? This scares them, which is why there was a division of troops airlifted into DC in the days following J6.

And before those on the right get too smug, don’t be thinking that the military will automatically refuse orders to kill civilians. History is filled with examples of militaries that gleefully slaughtered their own citizens when ordered to do so.

No, the most likely outcome of a civil war is for some people, and some military units, to take one side in the conflict, and others to take the other. Then there will be those who are nominally on one side while feeding information to the other. It’s the kind of conflict that starts with a few thousand and soon sees everyone choosing sides. Picture a US Civil War, part 2 where a third of the nation is dead or incapacitated within half a decade.

That’s something that is truly frightening to me, and something to be avoided at any cost short of abject despotism. It is also an outcome that seems more likely every day, because there are those on both sides that seem to desire it.

I Need Some Ammo Money

It’s that time of year again- cops begin offering money for unwanted guns. I have an old piece of crap Stevens single shot .22 rifle that I would like to turn in for some ammo money. I just won’t drive all the way to Orlando to get $50, especially not Pine Hills.

Oh, and the article claims a grenade was turned in at a past event. The guy got a good deal, because it was an inert grenade:

I wonder if you could buy a $15 dummy grenade and turn it in for a $50 gift certificate?

Biden’s War on Banks

So the Biden administration has just guaranteed all depositors of the SVB bank. Now that he has taken this step, this has effectively nationalized all of the deposits of all banks in the country. Now banks are free to take all of the risks that they want, because they aren’t risking their own, or even their depositors’ money. It’s more free money from Uncle Sugar’s printing press.

The thing is, those who owned stock in the bank are getting screwed out of their money. The bank has declared bankruptcy, and anyone who owned stock in the bank can’t even sell it. In fact, those who were selling the bank short have also lost all of their money. The billionaire depositors are being bailed out, but the bank’s stockholders are not.

The government has removed risk from the banking sector, now it doesn’t matter if you are a good bank manager or not, you are gonna get paid by the taxpayers. There are those calling this a failure of capitalism, but they are wrong. In a free market system, well run businesses are rewarded, poorly run businesses fail. That is how the market stays healthy- the poorly run businesses are eliminated.

Not so in our system. In this system, poorly run businesses that are favored by government are continually bailed out, thus avoiding all consequences of their poor decision making. This is the government picking winners and losers. So let’s look ahead and see the consequences:

Stocks in small banks just became a whole lot riskier, while keeping huge balances in them are now without risk. Banks will have gigantic pools of money that they are now able to use to make risky loans and investments. If the risks don’t pan out, the depositors will be made whole, and the stockholders left holding the bag. A larger bank will then buy out those risky investments for pennies on the dollar. It’s a system begging for abuse and fraud. The ultimate consequence is the destruction of small banks, concentrating all banking in the realm of banks that the government has deemed “too big to fail.”

I wonder who paid one of the Biden clan to make this happen, and how much did it cost?

Don’t Talk To Cops

AWA over at GunFreeZone shows us once again why you shouldn’t talk to cops, beyond what the law requires. In his post, he refers to a case where a cop initiates a traffic stop without any clear evidence that the target of the stop was breaking any laws. The target then hands over his license and his CCW, even though CT doesn’t require that you inform* a police officer that you are carrying a weapon. The cop then uses the fact that the target has presented a permit that the cop hasn’t bothered to verify to say that the target is likely committing the crime of carrying a weapon without a permit.

Ever since my incident in Orange County, Florida in 2001 where a Deputy Sergeant threatened to kill me when I presented him with my permit during a traffic stop, I don’t inform cops of shit. This is how it should go:

Cop: “Do you know why I stopped you?”

Driver: “No, I have no idea.” (Truthful. How do I know what he was thinking?)

Cop: “Where are you headed?”

Driver: “East on Highway 23.” (Again, be factual)

Etc. Don’t say shit.

* Title 29: Chpt. 529 Sec. 29-35 only requires that you present your permit if the officer is investigating a crime AND has observed you are are carrying a pistol or revolver. The law reads:

(b) The holder of a permit issued pursuant to section 29-28, as amended by this act, shall carry such permit upon one’s person while carrying such pistol or revolver. Such holder shall present his or her permit upon the request of a law enforcement officer who has reasonable suspicion of a crime for purposes of verification of the validity of the permit or identification of the holder, provided such holder is carrying a pistol or revolver that is observed by such law enforcement officer

Insurance as an Inflation Indicator

I closed the books on 2022 and got our taxes filed this past weekend, a full month early. I didn’t do too bad with the projections from last year. We only owed $400 this year. It’s the smallest check to the IRS I’ve written in quite a few years. With that, the financial merry go round never stops. It’s time to start on 2023’s projections.

Our insurance costs went up significantly this year. We just got our insurance bills for the year. Homeowner’s insurance is up 35%, auto insurance up 11%, and our umbrella policy is up 10%. Overall, insurance costs are 16% higher than last year.

The stunning increase came from our rental. Expenses for running our rental were up 27% year over year (2021 to 2022). We only raised rent by 11%, so we lost ground, making our margins smaller. We made a profit of about 7.4% on our investment. Our target is 8%, so we were a little under what we want to see.

This is being caused by increasing expenses. It’s going to be just as bad for 2023, and we only raised rent by 12%. For our rental, insurance is up by 56%, 2022 to 2023. In fact, we are seeing big increases across the board:

  • Insurance is up 56%
  • Pest Control up 7%
  • Termite treatments up 12%
  • Lawn Service up 10%

I do all repairs, and that is dependent on how many problems there are. Still, we are looking overall at a 20% increase in expenses there. That will mean another rent increase next year, and we may see a loss for 2023. That will mean a minimum of a 10% increase in rent for 2024, perhaps as high as 20%. I would love to hold it to less than 15%, but that depends on how the rest of 2023 goes.

There are regulatory filings with the state that are due in April. Required annual reports, fees paid to registered agents, those sorts of thing. Those remained unchanged from last year.

The next big expense will be coming in July when we get the TRIM notice of expected property taxes from the county. Since our largest expenses are insurance and taxes, that largely sets the rental rates for the coming year.

I imagine that many households are seeing similar increases in their budgets. I am guessing that inflation’s true number is somewhere around 15%, all things considered.

What the Well Dressed Criminal Will Wear in 2024

There is a company out there marketing black hoodies with a device built in that is designed to obscure the face of the wearer from identification on security cameras. Black hoodies that conceal the wearer from camera identification- who could that be marketed for?

I had a thief in my neighborhood do this using a flashlight. It’s effective.

With riot season, errr election season less than a year away, you can guess what this is for. So why not take a page from anti-gunners? The only use for this hoodie is to enable criminal activity, so anyone who has a criminal use this against them should sue the maker of this hoodie for enabling criminal activity.

Taxes Are Racist

It’s tax season, and now we have an article claiming that taxes are racist: “Black married couples face heavier tax penalties than white couples,” and it’s pure BS. This is the logic:

When a Black or white couple have the same income, deductions and family structure, they will have the same tax liability, Gale said. But given the average economic differences between white and Black couples, according to the report, Black married couples are still more likely to face penalties and smaller bonuses.

Before tearing into the faulty logic here, I want to point out that “white” is not capitalized once in the article, while “Black” is capitalized every time. A bit of subtle “othering” that happens in journalism today.

So the taxes aren’t racist, it’s just that black married couples have more children than their white counterparts and taxpayers with children generally tend to face larger penalties under our current tax code. So it would be more accurate to say that the tax code discriminates against those with children.

I call bullshit on that, too. If a couple has a child, they get additional personal exemptions, they also get:

  • child tax credit
  • dependent care credit
  • earned income credit
  • adoption credit
  • education credit

Let’s look at two married couples: they have the same income, same jobs, same financial situation. Each couple earns a combined $68,000 a year. Their employers withheld $5,000 from their paychecks for Federal taxes. The only difference is that couple one has no children, and couple two has two children.

Couple one is in the 12 percent tax bracket, with an effective tax rate of 11.03%. They will pay $4,644 in Federal income taxes this year, so they will get a $356 refund.

Couple two has two children. They are both latchkey children, so there are no childcare expenses to deduct. They are also in the 12 % bracket, and had the same effective tax rate as couple two. However, they get more credits, so only wind up paying a net $644 in Federal income tax, and will wind up with a refund of $4,356.

So if in fact black couples have more children that whites, blacks pay LESS in taxes.

Value of Employees

The left is complaining about a company that is laying off 8,000 employees while it continues to pay Matthew McConaughey $10 million a year. The article complains that CEOs aren’t making sane financial decisions. This attitude comes from a complete lack of comprehension of how employees add value to a company.

Let’s look at the numbers. Salesforce has about $31 billion a year in annual sales, earning about $200 million in profit. That’s a profit margin of less than one percent. The company employs about 80,000, meaning that 8,000 workers are about ten percent of the workforce, and cost the company somewhere around half a billion a year in salary and other HR costs. McConaughey costs the company $10 million. Since he is a contract employee, there are no real HR costs.

So how much value do those employees bring? That is, McConaughey may cost $10 million, but if him being the spokesman brings $800 million in sales, it’s a good investment. That’s why companies have celebrity spokesmen. It’s why Michael Jordan was the single best shoe salesman in Nike history.

Then consider the 8,000 employees. How much do they bring in? That’s the question that needs to be answered, which is what the CEO does. It’s a value computation, not just a cost computation. Companies are not there to be a jobs program. Companies exist to make a profit for their investors. If there is not enough profit, there are no investors. If there are no investors, there is no operating capital. If there is no operating capital, there is no business. It’s not that difficult.

If you want to make more money, make yourself more valuable as an employee. You do that by showing your employer that you can help them make more in profits. Learn a skill that your employer finds valuable. If all you know how to do is flip a burger, pick boxes before putting them down over there, or pushing an idiot stick (a broom), then you are worth very little and can be replaced by nearly anyone. Or no one.

The real minimum wage is zero.