Total recall…. Wisconsin style.

At least $63 million wasted. That’s good money that could have been used to create jobs, open businesses, invest, but instead it was flushed down the proverbial toilet.

I’ll go ahead and skip to the end today.  I’m talking about the effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Not only did he defeat the recall vote, he actually increased his percentage of winning from the 2010 gubernatorial election. On November 5, 2010, Scott Walker defeated Milwaukee Mayor Tom Burnett by 52% to 47%.  Yesterday, Walker won by a margin of 53% to 46%. While that seems insignificant, it is actually a really big deal.  More on that later.

Real quick…  The intrepid reporters here at CentsToChange do believe in the freedom to recall an elected official.  That is the ultimate check and balance within a representative Republic. It is also the belief of this organization that regular elections occur often enough for a bad politician (I know, redundant) to be booted from office.  Therefore, a recall should be held in case of criminal activity or complete, outright mismanagement. Disagreement with a platform or legislation is not just cause for a recall.

But I digress…..

On January 3, 2011, Scott Walker was inaugurated as the Governor of Wisconsin. A month later, February for those keeping score at home, Gov. Walker outlined his plan to get Wisconsin finances in the black and out from at $3.6 billion shortfall.

It’s at this point that I share a little history with you.  In 1959, Wisconsin became the first state to unionize public employees. The typical union mantra is that it takes a union to speak for the individuals.  That’s really at the core of unionization.  Individuals will never be able to get a fair deal and only through the collective will the worker be compensated properly.  Now, we could argue the need for unions in today’s society all day long.  I believe that in the early 20th century, unions gave workers the confidence to stand up for themselves. Once the individual believed they had a choice in their own future, the economy of the USA skyrocketed. As did personal wealth and standard of living.

Unions are no longer necessary.  Period. Everywhere unions have a strong presence, you will find higher costs, lower standards of living, and less ingenuity. You see, from a social aspect, modern unions have completely undone all the good they did initially. Unions of today have made the “members” believe that they are worthless without the union; that outside of the union umbrella of protection, they cannot achieve a fair deal.

I put “membership” in quotes because, generally speaking, when someone is a member of something, it’s voluntary.  I am a member of several organizations because I choose to be a member.  In a lot of states, union membership is required by law.  In Wisconsin, union membership was required to the tune of $1,100 a year.

Back to Gov. Walker….

He recognizes that unions are crippling the government of Wisconsin. He also recognized that the benefits package for public employees was way out of line compared to private industry. Additionally, Walker saw that collective bargaining was stifling local districts from making decisions that were in the district’s best interest. Lastly, he found it wrong that a teacher was required to join the union through the force of law and have union dues taken out of their paycheck even before taxes..

You got to wake up really early to beat the taxman to a paycheck withholding…  Really early….

So what doe Gov. Walker do?

He outlines a plan where government union (redundant) employees will actually contribute to their own pension.  Up until now, a pension was simply a benefit given based on years of service.  He asked that the employee put some skin in the game to the tune of 3%.  Keep in mind that very few, if any, private companies provide pensions anymore. In the “real world” people are required to plan their own long term investment strategy.  So the mere fact that they get a pension at all is a benefit way beyond private industry.

If you get a wild hair, do some searching on pension fraud and double dipping.  You’ll see that it is not uncommon for people to work to a certain point, retire for a day, get full state pension, and start working in a new position racking up a new pension.  Seriously…

Gov. Walker also saw health care as a possible way to save money.  State employees only had to pay 3% of their insurance premiums.  Not 3% of their health care bills, 3 points on the insurance premium.  That’s a sweet deal… Gov. Walker proposed making that 6%.

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH      THE HORROR OF IT ALL!!!!!

Actually making people pay for things….  Remember to cue the “teachers are never paid enough” song in the background…  I’d say full pension and pretty much free health care adds quite a bit to what is already a decent salary.  The average salary for a teacher n Wisconsin is between $45,000 and $50,000.  Add in the pension and free health care and that turns into a pretty generous compensation package.

Just for grins, let’s do some simple math…  A general rule of thumb for saving is 10% of your gross.  If you do that, you will have a comfortable self financed pension. So let’s say the pension benefit is $4,500 per year.  A typical family health care insurance policy can run $1,000 a month.  I know. So that’s another $12,000 per year.  Add it all together and your salary is now $61,500 to $67,000.  Add in the fact that you only work 9 months out of the year and that prorates to $82,000 to $90,000.  Not to shabby for a profession that has the easiest major in college.

As far as the collective bargain goes, Gov. Walker saw that individual districts should be able to make decisions for themselves; that the local school boards know what’s best for their schools, not the union goons in Madison.  Think about like this…  You have a school, K-12, all under one roof.  The principal make a decision for the curriculum for the entire school, every grade.  These classes and material are taught irrespective to the age and knowledge level of the individual grades.

That’s how things were in Wisconsin under the goon based collective bargaining agreement.  Now each grade is allowed to make their own decisions when it comes to class material, schedules, and how to interact with the students.  Put the decision power in the hands of the people involved on a daily basis.  Makes too much sense….

Now…  I saved the best and most important reform for last.  Voluntary vs. compulsory union membership. This got the least attention, but is by far the most important reform when it comes to union membership…  By far…

Here’s how it works.  Every single teacher in the Wisconsin school system is a forced member. It costs $1,100 per year to be a member of this exclusive organization.  According to TeacherPortal.com there are 59,552 teachers in Wisconsin.  That means that every January 1st, the union goons count on $65,507,200.00 in their bank account.  They turn right around and donate huge percentages of that money to liberal and democrat causes because it’s the left that always gives unions more power.

Follow the money….

If teachers are allowed to opt out of the union, that’s $1,100 per member the union loses.  Read this op ed piece from a teacher in Wisconsin.  Pretty revealing.

Why this teacher chose the non-union option

So those are the reforms Gov. Walker proposed. As expected, Armageddon was predicted by the left. Union goons organized protests.  Teachers walked out of classrooms. And the Democrats ran away to Illinois to hide. Classy.

Remember all the while that Wisconsin voters elected a Tea Party candidate that ran on a platform of fiscal reform. And won.  Handily.

So, Gov. Walker simply does what he said he would do and the left goes nuts.  I mean, hide in Illinois?  Really?  To avoid a vote?  And how old are you?

My elementary school age son acts more adult than that…  Really.

The left predicts a financial implosion and that all learning will cease and children will die in the streets begging for knowledge.  Well, maybe not that far.  But pretty close….

So the left does what the left does best; organize….  In June of 2011, a federal lawsuit is filed against Gov. Walker for his collective bargaining reform.

The left continues to whine and formally announces a recall effort in November 2011. Now, let’s put this in historical perspective…  Since the formation of our good ole United Sates of America there have only been two gubernatorial recall elections. Two. In 1921, Lynn Frazier was booted out of the governor’s office in North Dakota, just like Gray Davis of California in 2003.  Think about how many governors there have been and only two were so bad that they deemed a recall attempt.

So the left organized and this is where union goons showed what makes them union goons…..  The petition effort was enormous.  By January 2012, enough signatures had been collected.  Democrat leaders claim that one million signatures had been collected. I have no idea of the actual amount.  You are welcome to count them yourself here: Wisconsin GAO. My gut says that the same accounting firm was hired for the recall petition signature count as was hired to count the participants in the Million Man March.

Regardless, there were enough for a recall vote.

The entire Wisconsin world was put on hold and the media descended like a flock of vultures (not seagulls, Dennis) for the recall election on June 5. Actually, that would be a venue of vultures. Sorry. So the state of Wisconsin was really a state of limbo as is the case in an election year.

Enter in usual politics…  Mud is slung, truths and half-truths told…  Dire predictions and empty promises…  Oh, and Gov. Scott Walker campaigned as well as the Democrats.

Tuesday was the big day.  National political pundits went on record as claiming victory before the first ballot had been cast.  The same pundits also said that this election will be a foreshadow of the general election in November.  Other pundits said it has no bearing on November. Everybody picked a winner.  Now it’s time for the voters to choose their elected officials.  Again…

The recall efforts for the Governor and Lt. Governor failed, along with three of the four State Senate seats.  The fourth is still being counted and may result in a runoff.

In other words, nada.  Nothing.  Zero change.  And yet $63 million (at least) spent.  And that, my friend, is the true definition of the word waste.  To expend effort and energy with zero change.

The Democrats thought this was a slam dunk based on the number of signatures they collected. Yet they lost.  Here’s a little explanation…  You see, the petitions were collected in person.  Someone with a clipboard told you that you needed to sign this petition to recall a herd of politicians.  Or is that a gaggle? Never can remember. Regardless, you are making a declaration at the direction and under the eye of someone else.  If you are a teacher or other public employee, you sign just to prevent the backlash of not signing.

Then…..  In the privacy of a voting both, with no one watching, you share your true feelings.  You vote your conscience.  This is why we must keep union formation elections secret ballot.  If it were up to petitions alone, then strong arm tactics would win.  If unions are really good for a group of people, then it will pass in a secret ballot.  If not, it will fail.

Back to a comment I alluded to in my opening paragraphs.  The margin of victory.  This is a big deal.  When Walker first ran against Burnett, it was a general election.  Your run of the mill, every four years deciding on a obstinancy of politicians.  Or is that a battery?  I still can’t remember.  I guess you’ll have to look here and decide for yourself.

But anyway… The recall, was a mandate from the irate masses.  Voter turnout is what wins elections. You have three kinds of voters:

  • Always vote regardless
  • Vote when they are passionate
  • Never vote regardless

It’s the middle that change the course of elections.  If one side is very passionate about a cause, they will turnout in much higher numbers than those that see it as a typical vote.  No big deal.  It’s all about voter turnout.

In a case such as this, with as many signatures as was collected, you would think the passionate side would win handily.  Yet they lost.  And by a wider margin than when they lost in the general election. The left, so rabid about removing this awful man from office, lost ground to the side that put him there in the first place.

Very interesting.

In Other News of the Ironic, if a teacher opts out of the union, and spends the union dues on the added pension and health insurance premiums, they still have a net gain and more disposable income.

Interestingly enough, the reforms put in place by Gov. Walker are already working.  The Milwaukee School District is already forecasting an $11 million surplus thanks to the reforms. Of course, Walker was challenged by Burnett, a former Mayor of Milwaukee.

Lastly, the city of Madison, a very heavy left-leaning district, is reporting (unsubstantiated at this time) a voter turnout of 119%.  That’s odd because if every eligible voter voted, it would have been 100% turnout; which has never happened. I bet if they checked for identification the numbers would be a lot more believable.  Except there is no such thing as voter fraud, so there’s no need to check ID.  I forgot.

Anyway….  $63,000,000.00 wasted on a recall attempt that failed.  A state deadlocked into inaction.  Tens of thousands of man-hours wasted because the union goons got their panties in a bunch.

Here is my biggest fear and my biggest hope resulting from this recall attempt.  My fear is that we will have a never ending stream of elections.  When one side loses an election, they will promptly begin petitions for recall.  That will completely cripple the government.  Which, really isn’t a bad thing.  hmmmm. My hope is that when a group talks of recall, they think twice.  They really remember, or recall if I may, this attempt and base the effort on a real, substantiated just cause. And not simply on the grounds of disagreement.

What would you do with $63 million?

 

And the winner is…..

About this time of year, I start getting a little antsy.  You see, college football is approaching, and I love college football.  Always have.  There is something about Saturdays in the fall that just seems right.  The brisk weather, the smell of a grill working a delicious meal, the pre-game excitement, the environment of the stadium, and the joy in victory or the agony of defeat. All of these things go into a perfect Saturday in the fall.

*nothing like The Flats in the fall

I opine that American football is the perfect sport. I can safely say this because I have played, in a competitive arena, just about all the major sports.  So I have firsthand experience.  Baseball is long durations of boredom interrupted by a few seconds of excitement. Basketball is a game of thugs and soccer a game of whiners. Hockey is at least entertaining, but the season goes on way too long and no one cares until the playoffs start.  NASCAR, well don’t get me started on NASCAR…  Just don’t.

Football is a chess game.  In chess you have a lot of different, unique pieces and each has an integral role on the board.  There is only one king, but many pawns.  A couple of knights, rooks, and bishops, all with varying capabilities.  A good chess player thinks several moves ahead, all the while dealing with the moves from his opponent. .

If you look at a team photo of a soccer, baseball, or basketball team, they all look alike.  Nothing is different on a soccer team photo from the goalie to the striker.  They look the same.  As it is in baseball.  Look at a team photo of a football team and you see 350 lb men towering 6’-8” standing right next to the 5’-6” 150 lb player.

*nothing but clones

And each one is just as important to the success of the team.  Just ask Morten Andersen.  Andersen played 24 years in the NFL and is the all time leader in points scored and games played.  And he’s a kicker. Every player on a football team brings a unique talent that fills a crucial role.   If you think that quarterbacks are more important than kickers, go find a Buffalo Bills fan and watch as they implode in self rage at the mention of the name Scott Norwood.  It’s actually pretty funny.

*in his defense, it was a 47 yard field goal… attempt…

As I said, college football is almost upon us.  Summers mean an endless supply of experts ranking and re-ranking teams.  Choosing the pre-season favorite for this and favorite to win this game is a national pastime in and of itself. Which team will have the best defense, while which team will win it all.

Every college football fan is an expert, by the way. Myself included.  I love talking to anyone who has a passion for college football. I love talking about how I think my team will fare in the upcoming year.  I love talking about past games and past plays that changed a season.  I love the buildup until toe finally meets leather and the season starts.

*the original “toe meets leather”

This is similar to how the government works.  There is nothing but talk until a bill, plan, or initiative is passed. Everybody has his/her own ideas, thoughts, and pontifications.  Everybody makes his best guess as to how things will turn out.  Often times the rules are tweaked based on the previous season’s results.  Herein lies the difference.

In college football, the teams actually play the games and the season goes on until there is an end result.  Eventually one team is number one and deemed the best team in college football. More often than not, the team that wins it all is not the team picked by the pre-season polls.  In fact, that almost never happens.

This is where government is different.  Once they pick a favorite based on the pre-season polling and endless talking, the season is suspended and the winner proclaimed without a single snap of the ball.  You see, the government picks a winner and that’s final.  End of game.

When the government picks the winner, tons of money flow their way in the form of subsidies, tax breaks, and secured government loans. Just like in college football, the predicted winner seldom turns out to be successful.  Eventually the selected winner fails and every penny spent is gone. Never to be seen again. A giant waste.

In this specific case, I want to spotlight two government winners that ended up costing the American taxpayers a lot of money. Solyndra and Fisker Automotive.

The game in question is energy.  The players, both “green” companies.

*yes, it’s green, just not the green I mean

Both were declared winners and the government floodgates opened wide. For Solyndra it was a flood of money equaling $535,000,000.00.  Fisker Automotive was only given $529,000,000.00.

For Solyndra the money flow started in September, 2009, and ended when the company declared bankruptcy in August, 2011.  They blew through over half a billion dollars in less than two years.  And that’s just the government money. I don’t know how much private money was lost on the gamble.

*this image has absolutely nothing to do with the surrounding context

Every excuse in the book, except for one, was given.  China was killing them price wise, raw materials have gotten too expensive, labor was too hard to find and expensive when it was found, global supply was too great and demand too low, blah blah blah.  Only thing missing from the excuse list is the truth.  Truth being Solyndra developed an inferior product that cost too much and built a business model based more on hope and pipedreams.

$529 million gone.  Never to be seen again. Just the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl…  But I digress….

In Other News of the Ironic, Solyndra lobbied really hard for this money during the Bush administration.  The Bush Department of Energy deemed the Solyndra product inferior and business model faulty and rejected the application for loan guarantees.  Interestingly enough, George Kaiser, the top investor in Solyndra, visited the Obama White House 16 times between March 2009, and July 2011, including three times in one day when it appeared that the Obama Department of Energy was arriving at the same conclusion as the Bush administration. Solyndra got the money.

In Other News of the Not So Ironic, George Kaiser donated at least $50,000 to the Obama campaign.

Next up is Fisker Automotive.

*wrong Fiskars

In April 2010, they were given an open line of credit from the US Department of Energy much like Solyndra.  The loan guarantee amount was a paltry $529 million.  The goal?  To design and manufacture two lines of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. I guess it is impossible to develop a hybrid vehicle without a huge influx of government money.  Oh, except for Toyota and Honda…

Fisker used $169 million to bring the $100,000 hybrid vehicle, Karma, to market. Of course it is manufactured in Finland and only 1,000 have been sold.  Oh, and when Consumer Reports did a study of the Karma, it crapped out. The car died during testing and Fisker Automotive blamed it on a faulty battery.  You know, the core of the car.  The thing that makes it go.  That part…. Insert joke about having bad Karma.

*quite possibly the worst karma of all time

And shouldn’t that be Carma?

And if Karma was lost without their friend Diego, would you say, “Where in the world is Karma sans Diego?”

Just curious.  And no, I’m not buying.

*not on boat

Anyway.

So where is Fisker Automotive and the 2,000 promised jobs at the Maryland manufacturing plant? Gone.  Somewhere else.  Not building a manufacturing plant in Maryland. At least the Imperial Government did one thing right and halted any more withdrawals on the $529 million.  Of course, over $200 million had been spent and the American taxpayer has nothing to show for the investment other that the privilege to purchase a $100,000 Karma hybrid electric vehicle.  But I thought people bought hybrids to save money?

But anyway.

So….. The IG picks winners.  They spend $735 million.  Almost a full billion on two projected winners.  Both lose.  And in reality, the biggest loser is the American taxpayer.

What would you do with $735 million?

It seemed like a good idea…

The law of unintended consequences. And I don’t mean the leading cause of death among redneck males ages 18-24.

*trained actors, do not try this at home

In case you are curious, the leading cause of death is the phrase, “Hey…  Y’all watch this.”

The law of unintended consequences is a simple social construct stating that while something may start out as a good idea with good intentions, something entirely different can be the result.  This is neither good nor bad, just a truism. More often than not, it ends up badly.

Adam Smith, one of the greatest economic philosophers, wrote about the law of unintended consequences in his opus,  An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth Of Nations in 1776.  He describes an “invisible hand” that can move society.

“…each individual, seeking only his own gain, is led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. … It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, or the baker, that we expect our dinner,but from regard to their own self interest.”

*not a redneck

The unintended consequence is that the general public benefits from individuals working towards their own means.  It’s like this…..  A few years ago I was in a discussion with a social liberal (there are many kinds) that accused me of “…being selfish and only looking out for your own self.” I replied that I was, in fact, looking out for myself and my family.  She quickly retorted that “what would the world be like if everyone was selfish like you?”

To which I replied…  ”If everyone was selfish like me, and took care of themselves like me, then no one would need to be taken care of.”

*hmmm…

Let that resonate for a minute.  If people took personal responsibility for themselves, their actions, and their future, wouldn’t the world be a much better place?  That was the unintended consequence Adam Smith foresaw.

Unintended consequences often have more disastrous results. Social Security was originally intended to be a cost of living supplement to ensure that the elderly had enough to survive.  Since then, many have come to expect Social Security as their primary long-term investment strategy.  The lack of personal investment and personally funded retirements was a bad consequence.

In the wake of the Exxon Valdez disaster, laws were passed that put an unlimited liability on oil shipping companies.  All that did was get the big, safe shipping companies to hire out to smaller, less stable, shippers.  So the intent was to make it safer to ship oil, it actually had the inverse because more oil is shipped with small, less insured, and less stable companies.  If a big spill were to happen again, there would not be a big company to clean up the mess.

*musty old claptrap

In 1936, the American sociologist Robert K. Merton wrote an article titled, “The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action.” In it, Merton identified five sources of unanticipated consequences. The first two—and the most pervasive—were “ignorance” and “error.” Merton labeled the third source the “imperious immediacy of interest.” This is the one that we see most often in today’s government.

What Merton described was what happens when someone wants a change so much that they completely ignore any warning signs of negative unintended consequences. Like wanting hope and change so much that a populous is willing to elect a Socialist as President.  They wanted hope and they wanted change, unfortunately the hope and change we all got was bad on both fronts.

The government wants so badly to push the green energy movement, they they are completely blinded by the negative consequences.  They fail to even notice when Spain completely disbands any and all government spending on green energy because it has single handedly bankrupt the country.  In Spain, official unemployment is at 25%. How many more Solyndra’s do we need to realize green energy is a bad investment?

Now, I understand that talking about the law of unintended consequences in broad, general terms in regards to government makes it impossible to put a price tag on waste.  So what we have to do is look at smaller individual cases and see how money is wasted.

Enter in the Buffalo Public School System (BUPSS).  One thing to remember throughout this discussion, is that they are self insured.  That means when a member of the Buffalo Public Schools Insurance Policy goes to the doctor, it is paid directly by the taxpayers within that district.  Directly.

*notice their mission has nothing to do with teaching or learning

In the 1970′s, BUPSS union goons wedged into their contract plastic, cosmetic, and reconstruction surgery.  The good idea and thoughtful intent was to cover the cost of major reconstruction surgery to burn victims and disfigurement from accidents.  A noble cause.

And until recently, that was where the majority of spending went.  It wasn’t until that provision was threatened to be removed that it became a major benefit of working at BUPSS.  In 2004, spending on cosmetic surgery was at $1 million annually.  In 2009, that price tag went to $9 million.  That was spent on 500 employees receiving an average of $18,000 worth of work. Records show that by a wide majority, the work done was elective surgery.  A little botox here, a little nip/tuck there, some skin rejuvenation elsewhere.

*let’s do half now, and half later

Of the BUPSS employees, only 2% of the employees took advantage of the Hot for Teacher clause, yet these costs consumed 9% of the total medical expenditures.

The intent was to provide coverage for people who have suffered disfiguring accidents and it turns out that 2% of the employees are burning through 9% of the spending so they can feel better about themselves….

In Other News of the Ironic, one doctor, Dr. Kulwant Bhangoo (real name) billed the district $4.3 million in 2009, for cosmetic surgery and even advertises in local educational journals reminding the employees of BUPSS that the benefit is available.

*I don’t feel tardy…

The money spent on cosmetic surgery in Buffalo could hire at least 115 new employees, thus reducing the teacher to student ratio, put more people back to work, and help the economy in a real way.  Instead, Dr. Bhangoo gets to keep $4.3 million himself.  Sure he employees people, but not 115. And they sure as heck aren’t helping our most prized treasure, our children.

So…  You can have a tummy tuck or 115 more teachers. Which is more important?

One other tidbit of info…  The BUPSS union contract has expired. Yet in the language of the previous contract, every employee is guaranteed an annual wage increase and all of the benefits from the expired contract until a new contract has been signed. I can see that the union goons have a lot of reasons to get that new contract signed post haste….

What would you do with $9 million?

 

The War on Intelligence

stu·pid

adj \ˈstü-pəd, ˈstyü-\

Definition of STUPID

1
a : slow of mind : obtuseb : given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless mannerc : lacking intelligence or reason : brutish
2
: dulled in feeling or sensation : torpid <still stupid from the sedative>
3
: marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting :senseless <a stupid decision>
4
a : lacking interest or point <a stupid event>b : vexatiousexasperating <the stupid car won’t start>
— stu·pid·ly adverb
— stu·pid·ness noun
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
― Albert Einstein

 

Blogging is easy when you copy/paste. No pictures today. Heavy stuff.

I get flack from some of you when I write about what is considered to be a drop in the federal cesspool of spending. A million here, a few hundred thousand there, doesn’t make a big difference in the overall spending. So today I am going after a big one. Maybe you will stop complaining.

How about $15,200,000,000,000.00. That’s $15 trillion for those of you that got lost counting zeros. A lot of money. It works out to spending $9,902.53 every second for 48 years.

Every second.

Or $594,151.62 every minute….

For 48 years.

In 1959, 22.1% of Americans lived in poverty. Enter in LBJ’s famous “War on Poverty” in 1964. An admirable idea as no one wants to see anyone live in poverty. The Imperial Government felt that it was their responsibility to confiscate money from the remaining 77.9% and redistribute that wealth to the 22.1%.

By 1969, the poverty rate had dropped to 13.7%. So it must be working. The population in 1969 was 198,059,959 according the Census.gov. So 27,134,215 Americans were still living in poverty. But that is less than the 38,682,626 that were living in poverty in 1959.

Now, we could argue the definition of poverty and what other influences were involved in the decrease, but for the sake of brevity let’s give the IG the entire credit for the 8.4% decrease in percentage of population or the 11,548,412 fewer people living in poverty.

But that would be a stretch.

Since 1964, $15 trillion has been spent on anti-poverty means-based welfare. Means-based welfare is defined as meeting a certain criteria to qualify. That’s a lot of money.

In 2010, 15.1% of the population was considered living below the poverty line. So $15 trillion later we have increased the percentage of population by 1.4%. Now, that number is deceptive. Because the population has grown as well. In 1969, 13.7% of the population meant 27,134,215 people. In 2010, 15.1% of the population means 46,621,936 people are considered to be in poverty. So not only did we spend $15 trillion, but added 19,487,701 people to those already living in poverty.

I’d say we lost the war. It’s almost as if the United Nations Peacekeeping Force was responsible for planning and fighting this war. At least France surrenders. The UN simply loses.

Now is when we talk about the idea of “good money after bad.” We spent $15 trillion with no change. More people living in poverty then when we started regardless of how you look at the data. Simply throwing a lot of money at the problem is not doing anything positive. So what will?

Easy answer. Freedom. Remove the oppressive yoke of an over dominant and omnipowerful Imperial Government and teach the poor that their own success is in their hands; that they can be successful. Remove the glass ceiling of taxation from the poor and tax consumption, not productivity. See, here’s a nasty secret the IG doesn’t want you to know. At a certain income threshold, the disposable income goes down considerably. The poor are given thousands of dollars annually for being poor. Not only do they pay nothing in taxes, they actually get a check for being poor. Factor in all the free health care and you have a pretty substantial compensation package for doing nothing.

But……. Once they cross the poverty line, those welfare checks stop. The tax checks stop. AND they have to start PAYING taxes… Not to mention the fact that they have to start paying for their health care along with the health care of the people still poor.

Someone making $24,000 a year has more disposable income than someone making $60,000 a year after you factor in all the welfare. So where is the incentive? Let me get this straight, I do nothing all day. Live in free (or heavily subsidized) government housing, I get money automatically added to my WIC and foot stamp debit card, I get checks at tax time, and all I have to do is nothing? Why would I get a job? Why would I care….

Poverty will never be cured until the poor have incentive to be successful. And this country has spent $15 trillion in federal, state, and local taxes fighting a battle that it won’t win nor will ever win because the system encourages poverty.

Then again, promising poor people more free stuff or claiming “the other candidate” will take free stuff away is an easy way to keep in office. But that would be cynical of me.

What would you do with $15 trillion?

Links:

Poverty 2008-2010

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/historical/people.html

Poverty 1959/1969

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/census/1960/index.html

20008 population

http://www.census.gov/popest/data/historical/2000s/vintage_2008/index.html

20008 population

http://www.census.gov/popest/data/historical/2000s/vintage_2009/index.html

2010 population

http://2010.census.gov/news/releases/operations/cb10-cn93.html

Sex and lies

And now for something completely different…..

*needs no caption

San Francisco has a lot of problems. I spent a week there in January and saw a lot of them first hand.  Although I greatly enjoyed the Golden Gate Bridge State Park.  Tolls are a problem.  I got tired of paying just to cross a bridge.  Of course I’ve also driven from Boston to Maine so I know tolls.  But still…  Why is it so stupid expensive just to cross a stupid bridge?

And then there is this problem:

*worse than pink nightmare

Sorry about that.  Mind Bleach is on aisle 8.  Get the name brand stuff, it works faster than the generic and only costs a few cents more per dose.  No, look further down the aisle…  On the right….  About knee high…  So you’re tall..  Knee high on an average height person…  5′-9″ is average…  There you go..  I don’t know how big of a bottle…  You can’t ever have too much… Just get a big one…  Besides, you will want to apply liberally.

Long way to go, but I got there…  Anyway…

Apparently San Francisco has a sexual problem as well. And not this guy…

*not on boat

San Francisco also has a truth problem.  That is to say, they can’t tell the truth. That’s pretty obvious as shown by their chosen Congress Person.  When you combine the two, you end up with lying about sex. Apparently that’s a pretty big problem in San Francisco.

So big, that in August of 2009, the Imperial Government included $1,260,717.00 in funding to the University of California, San Francisco to develop new and better ways of collecting sexual information during surveys.

That’s right…  Reliability of sexual data in surveys….

Let me quote from the grant abstract:

Research findings of sex surveys provide abundant empirical evidence that the reliability and validity of self-reported sexual behavior is a major problem, particularly when assessing behavior among those with multiple partners and sexually risky behaviors.

You can read the whole thing here….  Grant 1R01HD056950-01A2

In Other News of the Ironic, this grant was part of the Stimulus package.  I didn’t know Obama was literal when he was selling a package to stimulate.

Some interesting statistics, aside from the $1,260,717.00 price tag.

50%: As reported on Recovery.org (see oxymoron) the project is only half complete.  It’s been almost three years. I guess they just can’t finish properly…

.78: The number of jobs reported to have been created or saved.  So $1.2 million to compensate one person for 30 hours a week.  I would love that gig.

So there you have it.  $1.2 million to try and find ways of getting San Franciscans to tell the truth when participating in a sex survey.  Why in the world am I paying for this?  Why is this so important that it trumps the 10th Amendment?  Besides, how about a 6 pack of Zima or wine coolers?  Wouldn’t that be easier to get people to talk about sex? And a lot cheaper.

*Mike, thanks for the photo, hope you and your seven friends didn’t have a hangover

In a nutshell, the problem is that when people fill out a survey by themselves, they lie. The know-it-all college academics opine:

We propose to conduct an experiment to test an innovative method of administering a survey interview–conversational interviewing–that has shown remarkable improvements in respondents’ understanding of survey questions and in the accuracy of their responses when compared to administering it using the standardized interviewing method.

So they think that people will be ore honest when talking to a live person than on an anonymous survey form..  Hmm…

Regardless, I can still think of better ways to spend $1,2,260,717.00…  Can’t you?

 

I hope Santa can swim

This is a long one. CentsToChange is easy to read on a tablet or e-reader (The Kindle Fire is the single greatest piece of technology, ever) so cozy up on the couch, get a cup of coffee, and enjoy.

Dire warnings from the Great White North.  To quote a NOAA Monthly Weather Review:

The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas about Spitzbergen [an island 12 degrees south of the North Pole – ed.] and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The warmth of the waters makes it probable that the favorable ice conditions will continue for some time.

Many old landmarks are so changed as to be unrecognizable. Where formerly great masses of ice were found, there are now often accumulations of earth and stones. At many points where glaciers formerly extended far into the sea they have entirely disappeared. The change in temperature has also brought about great change in the flora and fauna of the Arctic. There were few [white fish and] seal in Spitzbergen waters this year, and last winter the ocean did not freeze over even on the north coast. With the disappearance of white fish and seal has come other life in these waters. This year herring in great shoals were found along the west coast. Shoals of smelt were also met with.

*I practice catch-and-release when smelt fishing

This is bad news.  Maybe Al Gore was right.  Maybe by powering a 14,000 sf home where he rarely stays while flying private jets around the world and driving big SUV’s followed by flocks of Secret Service, he is saving us from the impending collapse of a climate catastrophe due to carbon pollution. Yes, Al Gore has the carbon footprint of Mt. Pinatubo.

*not Al Gore

Vocabulary lesson:

Open Minded: Having strong convictions or beliefs yet willing to seek out opposing viewpoints with the intellectual honesty to change your view should you encounter evidence to counter your conviction.

I consider myself a very open minded person.  I have changed my views, opinions, beliefs, or convictions without remorse when confronted with new and enlightening information.  Ask Mark about the whole red light camera thing.

For years I have studied, read, discussed, sought, explained, and meditated on the whole climate thing. In 2001, I actually read the entire Kyoto Treaty, you know the global climate tax that was defeated unanimously during the Bill Clinton and Al Gore administration? Regardless of what I find,  I keep arriving back at my original hypothesis:

The Earth exists to serve human beings.  It is our responsibility to be good stewards of our home. The Earth is much bigger and more resilient that we can ever imagine. Soccer mom’s driving SUV’s will not change our global climate.  Coal fired power plants will not destroy the environment.  I would like to see cleaner and cheaper ways of generating electricity as power (combined with clean water) is the fuel to bring any society out of huts and into prosperity. Finally, history shows that climate alarmists are social engineers that use dire and impossible to prove predictions to manipulate society into their form of utopia.

There is more science in Scientology than in climate science.

*an actual Scientologist

But maybe I am wrong.  The quote above is pretty damaging evidence to the shrinking polar cap and the onset of global heating that may be irreversible. We may have found the silver bullet to the climate debate.  Looks like the skeptics were wrong and all the people at the IPCC, East Anglia University, Michael Mann and his Hockey Stick Chart, were right….

*neither Al Gore nor a Scientologist.  I believe his name is Phil

Whoops. My bad…..  I just looked at the date of the NOAA report and it was November, 1922. A full 90 years ago this Fall. You can read the original report here on the NOAA site. So maybe I am still correct in my assessment of the climate movement.

The climate movement is so convinced of mankind’s effect on our atmosphere that they look for any and every possible way to connect the two.  Even when it doesn’t make any sense.  Like this story about tracking the carbon footprint of wasted milk.  Really.  Wasted milk.

In Other News of the Ironic, our crack reporters did exhaustive investigative research and discovered that  the same people worrying about the carbon footprint of wasted milk were, in fact, crying.

*not the actual spilled milk, this image is from a reenactment of the event for the purposes of this blog.

So there you have it.  1922 predicted the end of the polar ice caps and a global warming that would cripple civilization.  All before the onslaught of SUV’s and the evil soccer mom’s who drive them.  (For the record, well intended environmental supporters drive SUV’s because they have too and therefore don’t make as big of an impact as the people who chose to drive those evil monstrosities).

I think it’s time for all the world’s climate scientist to gather in Bali for another meeting about reducing everybody else’s carbon footprint.  Or Bangkok. Or Bonn. Or Accra.  I guess climate scientist have never heard of GoTo Meeting.  I wonder if there needs to be a panel to put together a report of the carbon footprint of the people traveling to talk about carbon footprints..  Much like the study study study study from earlier..  Hmmm….

It works like this.  The Earth is a lot older than us.  We can debate exactly how much older, but regardless it is older.  Does it have naturally occurring weather and climate patterns that shift over time?  Yes. Can we really stop the Earth from changing over time?  Not a chance.

In Other New of the Ironic Part Deux, the very same scientists who say that The Theory of Evolution is the only way the Earth, all life, and the entire universe was created argue against the Earth naturally changing over time.  And that any changes to the Earth are man made… So on one hand, everything ever created was the result of random chance and natural evolution (changing over time), but any changes here on Earth are the result of a greater being forcing the environment to be altered.  Makes perfect sense.

Back to my thought.

Does mankind have an effect on the environment.  Yes.  The very first caveman fart did that. *side note* Those in the Cents To Change newsroom deep in the bowels of the International Worldwide Headquarters (IWH) often accuse this author of having the single largest carbon footprint, due to flatulence.  This author opines that (a) he who smelt it, dealt it, and (b) everybody likes their own brand.

*still not as bad as pink nightmare from earlier in the week

All of this climate studying is extremely expensive.  And never ending.  Let’s look at Michael Mann, the chief propagandist.  For years he has toured the globe drumming up support for the global warming cooling climate catastrophe. He was the author of the 1999 report that debuted the famous Hockey Stick Chart showing global temperatures sharply rising in the 20th century.  Of course he has yet to release his source data or the computer code for the models he ran. He later became a pivotal figure with the IPCC and was responsible for reviewing the data included into the IPCC Climate Reports, including his own research.  No bias there.

So the big question is simple…  What would he (much less all the self appointed climate experts and Al Gore) do for a living without a catastrophic  global climate prediction? I took a recent poll and here are my findings:

1. Fry cook

2. Barista regaling customers with tales of the good ole’ days when he was king of the climate world

3. Set designer for the smash Broadway hit “River Dance on Ice”

4. Chuck E Cheese impersonator in an off-strip Vegas casino

5. Unemployable

Please remember, that Mann is considered the world’s foremost expert on climate.  Let’s look at his bio:

“Dr. Michael E. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University.”

<sarcasm> Lot’s of degrees dealing with the weather and atmospheric sciences. </sarcasm>   I’m sure his qualifications as a climate scientist stem from watching the news at 6 and 11.  They talk about weather.

So, in the often heard screams of the liberal environmental left, follow the money.  And it all leads back to the people who are claiming that something has to be done.  And by “something” they mean keep writing big checks to their research departments…

Really quick, back to the topic of volcanoes…  Read this, then come back.

NASA Volcano Report

*still not Al Gore

Two very interesting things jumped out.

1. According to Al Gore, the debate on man-caused climate change is over and done.  Without questions. Like here. Yet NASA reports that the effect of VOLCANOES on the climate:

“Volcanic eruptions [1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption] of this magnitude can impact global climate, reducing the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface, lowering temperatures in the troposphere, and changing atmospheric circulation patterns. The extent to which this occurs is an ongoing debate.”

So, it is 100% science that soccer mom’s are destroying the atmosphere, but we’re not sure if volcanoes have any affect.

2. Later in the article we accidentally see the truth in the climate left research. Read this:

“Man-made, or “anthropogenic” emissions can make the consequences of volcanic eruptions on the global climate system more severe, Stenchikov says…

“While we have no observations, the 1963 Agung eruption on the island of Bali probably did not deplete ozone as there was little atmospheric chlorine in the stratosphere. In 1991 after the Pinatubo eruption, when the amount of CFCs in the stratosphere increased, the ozone content in the mid-latitudes decreased by 5 percent to 8 percent, affecting highly populated regions,” says Stenchikov.”

So they are claiming fact, man-made emissions make volcanic eruptions worse, and then use a 1963 eruption as the control in their testing.  Yet they admit that have no observations, records, calculations, data, or accounts of any kind, but assume that the eruption probably didn’t have an effect.

 

In 2011, the Imperial Government spent at least $2,481,000,000.00 on climate research in no less than seven different departments.  With no results.  Nothing to show for the effort.  Nada.  And there never will.  Think about this… IF there is an actual problem then a solution will need to be found.  Once that solution is enacted the problem will be solved.  As long as the problem continually changes, there can’t ever be a real solution.  Thus never ending research that nets the tax payers nothing at all.  At least the space race gave us velcro and Tang.

And by nothing, I mean Solyndra.  But you can read all about that in a soon to be published post.

What would you do with $2,,481,000,000.00?

A dog and his tail, NASCAR, and GAO-12-480R…

Question…  Name three things that will circle pointlessly unless stopped by an outside force.  For dogs, that outside source is either boredom of they forget what they are doing and do something else. For NASCAR, I don’t know.  Never watched a race all the way through. And for GAO-12-480R, it’s voters standing up and complaining about our elected officials wasting too much money and voting them out of office.

Quickly…

The GAO is the Government Accountability Office. By the name alone one has to chuckle.  ”Government” and “accountability” is oxymoronic and I don’t mean just the idiots in office now, I mean throughout time….  Interestingly enough, every single form of government or social grouping ever created since the dawn of time has failed.  Without exception. Furthermore, with the amount of “accountability” in our current elected officials and government departments, you would think that the GAO is staffed by two well meaning accounts constantly pointing out the stupid obvious only to be laughed at and sent back to their cubicle.

*example of an oxymoron, not to scale

This article is not about spending money on the GAO.  I actually think the GAO is good to have within the Imperial Government.  Unecessary if the government runs as it should, but “people” are involved so you can guarantee that the IG won’t run efficiently.  As a result, we do need the GAO.

This from the GAO “About” page:

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. *AUTHOR NOTE* I would rather they work for American citizens and not Congress *END NOTE* Often called the “congressional watchdog,” GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.

And for the most part, they do a yeoman’s job of pointing out waste, fraud, and opportunities.  I especially like report GAO-12-740T, “Opportunities and Challenges of Oil Shale Development.”  In this report, the GAO testifies that:

Tapping the vast amounts of oil locked within U.S. oil shale formations could go a long way toward satisfying the nation’s future oil demands. Oil shale deposits in the Green River Formation are estimated to contain up to 3 trillion barrels of oil, half of which may be recoverable, which is about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.

Wow. Enough in one deposit to equal proven global reserves?  Makes sense why we are doing everything we can to prevent this field from being developed. Makes even more sense why the administration has stonewalled attempts at a pipeline to bring any of this oil to market.  Perfect sense.

But I digress….

The GAO report GAO-12-480R was requested by brass at the Pentagon in May of  2010. Apparently the Secretary of Defense noticed that a large amount of money was spent, are you ready, writing reports. So they commissioned, are your ready again, a report on the amount of cost writing reports. For real.  You can read the findings here: GAO Study of Studies

So what does the DOD do about this problem?  They require people to generate a report of the estimated costs of performing a study.  So the study found that completing a cost study of a proposed study was necessary to save money.  I am not making this up.  In addition, read this quote from the GAO Study Study:

In September 2010, the CAPE office, in conjunction with the military services, established the Cost Guidance Group to implement the Secretary of Defense’s requirement to estimate the cost of preparing DOD reports and studies and publish that cost on the front cover.

How much did it cost to get the memo out to everyone that there was a new cover sheet for the reports?

Stranger that fiction.  You can’t make this up. Great movie, by the way.  Will Ferrell has a lot more range as an actor.  But he could never pull of Frightened Inmate #2.

So here we have the IG spending two years and untold tax dollars to write a report on how much money it costs to write reports only to arrive at the decision that a tool is necessary to generate a report of the anticipated costs of writing the proposed report and report that estimate on the new cover sheet when the other report is done.

I like this line in the findings report referencing the report cost estimator:

The tool, also referred to as a calculator…

Wow.  Just brilliant.

Here’s where I am really lost…  Where is the idiocy?

  1. The volume of reports generated by the DOD is so great that the Secretary of Defense recognized this as a way to reduce costs. Then commissioned a report to find out.
  2. The GAO for spending two years to identify that writing reports is expensive, and putting these findings in a report.
  3. The solution is to to generate a report of the anticipated costs of writing the report.
  4. Cost of a new report cover sheet.  Did you get the memo?
  5. The post implementation report on how effective the report estimating report generator of the study study was working.
  6. The energy I’ve expending writing a report of the report generator cost estimator report of the study study study report.
  7. All of the above.  Except for the new cover sheet.  I’ll get you another copy of the memo.

At this point I am afraid of finding out exactly how much all of this cost.  Suffice it to say, a lot of money.  As we know, nothing involving the DOD is reasonable.

*The $436 hammer. The Left-handed version was even more.

In Other News of the Ironic, a by-product discovery of the GAO report was an new invention called “the circle” (photo below).

*you know, for kids.

I’m done.

Misfire….

 

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Thank you Founding Fathers.  It’s interesting how the right to bear arms is the second most important right in the eyes of the framers of the Constitution. Just to be clear, the right to bear arms is not so law abiding citizens can hunt, nor is it for personal protection.  The 2nd Amendment is part of the checks and balance system established by our Founding Fathers because, quite simply, an armed populous is difficult to dictate.

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

As a firm believer in the check and balance system, you’d think that government spending relating to our 2nd Amendment Right would be something that I favor.  And normally that would be the case.

But in this case, I have 15,680,000 reasons not to like this venture…..

*not the actual dirt pile referenced in this article.  Enlarged to show texture.

In 2010, the Clark County Shooting Range opened 25 miles north of Las Vegas, NV.  The initial construction cost $15.68 million.  That’s right.  Almost $16 million for dirt mounds for people to use as range backstops.

True, there are some structures.  Like pictured below:

and

and

and

You get the drift. Pretty heavy construction.  For the bulldozer guy.  Well maybe it was the cost of the land being near Las Vegas.  You tell me….

Can’t be the land…  No clue why it cost so much….  Regardless, it gets even worse.

Even when you factor out the cost to develop and construct, the shooting range expenses totaled $1.4 million per year and only takes in around $400,000 per year.  Simple math that even a Bulldawg can do leaves the taxpayers on the hook for a cool million per year to just to keep the doors open.

Let me be clear…  I like shooting ranges.  I like them a lot.  It’s a ton of fun to get out there and blow up some things.  I particularly like to go Office Space on malfunctioning office equipment.

I just don’t understand why the government feels responsible to engage in opening a shooting range.  That should be the responsibility of private citizens who recognize a need and pool resources to bring the business to market.  If the range is financially viable, then it can grow as revenue and patronage demands.

For those of you who have not been to an outdoor shooting range let me describe them to you.

Open field.

Dirt berm on one end. Maybe 20′ tall.

Tables at the other end on which to set your firearms.  Like this:

Someone to raise the “Range Hot” flag, declare when firing can commence, and when to cease firing. Of course anyone on the range can shout cease fire, but you still need a certified range officer.

And that’s it…. You don’t have to spend $15.68 million and $1.4 million per year to keep one open.

You see, here is the stark difference between government and private industry.  Government spends money as if it is an endless supply. Private industry spends money as it makes sense. If I owned that range, I would open up a few shooting areas since it’s dirt and tables.  As my business grew, I may open a small store with ammo and cold drinks (non-alcoholic) and snacks.  Then maybe a shotgun range.  But only as it made sense with the business.  The government on the other hand thinks of everything that they could possible spend money on, and buys two of everything.

The real world is not the Field of Dreams.  Just because it’s been built doesn’t mean people will come.  Ask the umpteen investors in Underground Atlanta.  I think it made a profit for a week, once 12 years ago.

In Other News of the Ironic, the Clark County Parks and Recreation Department had to close some swimming pools in densely populate areas due to budget shortfalls of roughly $1 million. Fortunately it doesn’t get that hot in Las Vegas during the summer.  Only 100-107 degrees. But it’s a dry heat.

What would you do with $15.68 million?

 

If you can’t take the heat….

For this post I’ll go ahead and let you know that I have no clue how much money was wasted on this specific government project.  I really don’t.  And in some ways, I don’t want to know. I want to remain blissful…

*BREAKING NEWS*

PEACHTREE CITY, GA (AP) – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Peachtree City, GA, has issued a dire report that once again, “Summer” is approaching. Recognized by many as the hottest time of the year, Summer is the result of Global Warming Anti-Cooling Continental Calamity Axial Rotation.

The NWS predicts the beginning of Summer to occur on June 20 of this year.

“We were surprised at the occurrence of Summer this year. Yet not totally shocked. Some of our computer models predicted that Summer would happen again,” said Ms. Lane E. Ous, PhD of the NWS.

Historically speaking, Summer has happened every year in recent memory, mostly due to soccer moms driving SUV’s.

Ms. Ous said in a press release yesterday, “Summer will continue to occur unless drastic measures are taken.”

Summer is widely regarded as the leading cause of higher temperatures that can fluctuate based on specific geographic locations. In other words, it may be hotter in some regions than others.  Interestingly enough, on the bottom of the globe thingy, it actually gets colder.

The downside to Summer is that it can get hot if you are not in a conditioned environment. Tens of people throughout the country die as a result of this extreme and unpredictable heat resulting from Summer. To combat these catastrophic and pandemic possibilities, the United States Department of Labor has spent untold amounts of money through their subsidiary department, OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) warning people who spend time outdoors of the imminent dangers of Summer. Link to life saving information.

Undocumented worker Manuel was quoted as saying, “El gobierno federal salvó mi vida diciéndome que podría ser caliente afuera.” A quick translation says, “Buster? I’m not sure I know who you are.” But we at the AP believe he may have been saying something out how hot something is because an intern recognized the word “caliente.” This is neither confirmed nor denied by anyone nearby.

While the entire respected global scientific community are in 100% agreement that GWACCCAR is the absolute cause of Summer, two self-appoint climate scientists, know as Skeptics, living in Bangladesh, opine that the “Sun,” the continuous nuclear reactor at the center of our solar system with a mass of 1.989e+30 that releases 5 million tons of pure energy each second by collapsing four hydrogen molecules into a single helium molecule, combined with the so-called predictable tilt of the Earth is more the cause of “Summer.”

No one in particular with some random, unnamed UN agency says, “Global Warming Anti-Cooling Continental Calamity Axial Rotation will not go away on its own.  We must act now by taking all the money from rich nations and giving them to poor nations.  That is the only way to determine if Global Warming Anti-Cooling Continental Calamity Axial Rotation can be stopped.”

This reporter painstakingly interviewed Dan Rather for the facts contained within and Dan swears that it’s all true.

*END BREAKING NEWS*

So there you have it.  Our Imperial Government felt so inclined to warn migrant workers, illegal aliens, and others that it can get hot during summer. That the cure is water, rest, and shade.

Awesome.

When is OSHA going to build a website on breathing? Oh wait…  They did:

“Human beings must breathe oxygen . . . to survive, and begin to suffer adverse health effects when the oxygen level of their breathing air drops…” For real…

In Other News of the Ironic, I love the blatant disrespect for farm workers on the main page of the OSHA website: “The work can’t get done without them”

Wow.

Notice every single photo is of a Latino. Even the foreman with the cowboy hat and giant belt buckle in the background. So in other words, only Latinos work outside during the summer. This accordingly to the Department of Labor.

In case you can’t tell if it’s hot outside, the DOL has also spent a stupid amount of money on a mobile app. Heat Safety Tool

And by stupid amount, I mean $643,997.60. 

Congratulations!  The free republic that our fore fathers created by standing up against the largest global power of that era has been relegated to telling us when it’s hot and what to do in case someone outside overheats.

How much of our tax dollars are spent on describing the obvious?

Author’s note: Any reference to people named “Summer” is completely coincidental. Including, but not limited to,  family members who are incredibly adorable and otherwise too cute for words.