The Gross National Debt

Friday, August 11, 2017

Colin Who?

Blog by request.

Full disclosure, I do not care about professional sports. I had to do more research than usual to find out what this controversy is and why and who and what and so on.

In the words of a bud, "Yet, a whole ‘nother set of Americans are pretty much indifferent. Some of us support his stance (if it is sincere…and who knows). Some of us couldn’t care less….because it doesn’t immediately impact us. Some of us hear/see the word football, and everything after that turns into white noise."

So I will cancel the white noise generator and pretend to care.

Colin Kaepernick is a professional football player. He chose to kneel during the National Anthem in an apparent protest. Not long after his NFL contract ran out (get it, football player? Ran out? Work with me here), he became a persona non gratis. His protest led others to emulate his actions.

Vilified, excoriated, attacked, slandered, libeled and in general rejected by so many people, despite having done nothing to harm them.

Colin also has plenty of supporters. I just wonder if they are supporting him for the right reasons.

I support his right to try to make a living playing football.


Do I support his protest? Ehhhhh.

He said kneeling instead of standing is a protest. He has right to call his action what he wishes. I read where he called it a protest. Much of the planet is calling it a protest.

What did he do? He knelt during the national anthem. According to what I read, Colin is also a Christian. The dood has Psalm 18:39 tatt'ed on his arm. And you thought Tebow (?) was cool for putting verse numbers on his eye patches. Here's a quote from Colin, "God has brought me this far. He has laid out a phenomenal path for me. And I can't do anything but thank Him."



Football players take a knee when a player is injured on the field.

I think people are missing something. He. Knelt. If Colin is the Christian that my readings show him to be, kneeling was not an accident.

To me, that's a pretty awesome display of respect. Those with a religious faith will kneel when they go to their god in prayer. Christians definitely do.

But he said it was a protest, not a show of respect.

If it was respect, I want to believe he was showing that respect to the people who have suffered, those killed, tortured, summarily evicted and etc. But it was not respect. It was a protest. Please tell Aretha Franklin she'll have to wait a few more minutes before singing R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Kneeling is also a way to show sorrow. To ask forgiveness. To seek redemption. To petition. To go before the Great Maker and plead a case. To seek assistance. To plead a case. You can do all that for yourself, or on behalf of someone else.

He said it was a protest.


So do I support his protest?

His right to stand, kneel, sit, dance, sing another song, hula-hoop, work on a car engine, fry fish and so on (and if he can do all that at once, whoa) during the National Anthem is his right. Period. Ain't none of your business and ain't none of mine. It's his business.

Forcing someone to do anything during the National Anthem is flat wrong. Smacks of slavery or at least a dictatorship.

Dood was doing something to bring attention to a matter that is important to him. He harmed no one.

Good'un onya CK.


The protest apparently cost him his job as a football player.

Up front, I have a LOT of problems with the NFL, all of which are directly related to taxpayer subsidies of this sport. Tax dollars have no business building giant stadiums for professional sports teams or supporting those teams.

If the NFL were truly a private organization, then the team owners should have the right to hire and fire whom they please. Since the NFL is so intertwined with tax dollars, I'm having real problems parsing this one out.


This is about money. Principles get left at the locker room door. NFL players do not belong to themselves. Their contracts set forth standards of behavior. Violate and they get fined or worse.

Don't like the contract terms? Don't sign the contract. However...

On one hand, the team owners should be able to pick players they think will generate wins.

On the other hand, if taxpayer dollars are involved, we need some leveling going on here.

(Excuse me a sec, I need to get Kali).

On the other hand, professional football is brutal, ritualized violence. Most people cannot do it.

On the other hand, if he is good and can deliver the wins, rational thinking says the man should have a contract.

On the other hand, if he is so disliked, having him on the team could cost money from reduced ticket sales.

On the other hand, Hodges' Rule of Thumb says do not expect rational behavior from beings with opposable thumbs.


This comes down to something I said years ago. The first person to attempt to blaze a trail is also the first person to get eaten by bears. If Colin is not eaten, he's certainly badly mauled.

Trails must be cut through the wilderness to get to the other side. If that wilderness needs to be tamed, then some very good people are going to become bear poop before it is whipped into shape.

As I see it, Colin is protesting because the world is not fair. He wants it to be fair. That bothers people.

I'm for being fair. I think we need more people like Colin Kaepernick. Unfortunately, few of us have the financial resources he does to take such a stand.

Colin's protest has nothing to do with how well or how badly he does his job. In a fair world, his protest would be irrelevant to NFL team owners. He would be considered solely on his ability to play the sport of football. The world ain't fair. Very few people want it to be fair. I'll wager most of the readers of these words are not interested in a fair world; I speak from decades of observing humans.


In one very important respect, what Colin is doing is old news. People started standing up for what they believe before recorded history. Our history books are the stories of people who stood up for what they believed in. Colin is only getting attention because he is a celebrity.

People all around the world are doing the exact same thing, but are ignored, except by the people who feel affected. Feel affected. Whether or not they are affected is a different matter.

Some of these people, who are taking a stand, won't live to see the sun set today. This too is old news.

The good ones, in my opinion, are those who fought for the right for you to suffer the consequences of your own actions. (And a lot of people are gonna misinterpret that statement. Just so yer clear, I'm responsible for what I write, not what you think I wrote.)

In that regard, Colin K. falls into the good ones category. He's not trying to impose his will on others. He merely wants to bring attention to past injustice in hopes of preventing the same in the future.

Depending on which side of the belief-under-examination you fall, the stand can be for evil or good. Mao Tse Tung, Iosef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, John Brown, Paul, Guru Arjan are just a few who either killed or were killed for what they believed. Pick a name. Someone will call that person evil. Someone will call that person a hero.

Many people die for their beliefs. That list is many millions of people long.

Some people killed for their beliefs. A short list of people responsible for killing for a belief structure includes Adolf Hitler, Barack Obama, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher. The full list of people willing to kill for a belief reaches into the millions billions. If you have ever cheered the misfortune of another human being, your name goes on this list.

There is no practical difference between celebrating harm to another and causing harm to another. The difference between creating harm and ending a life is just a matter of how deep the knife goes.

Only a few are willing to take the harm and pain for their beliefs. Colin K is one. More power to him.

As it turns out, I do care ... just not about football. I care about and support the message Colin is trying to spread.

Allow me to rephrase as I close: The full list of people willing to kill for a belief reaches into the billions. If you have ever cheered the misfortune of another human being, your name goes on this list.

Like it or not, that's reality and truth. If the truth hurts, yer living wrong.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Equal treatment of unequal individuals is the height of injustice

Me bud Doc posted this bullet point meme. I replied in thread, but I think the replies are truncated and deserve more exegesis.

1 - Read The Bladerunner by Alan E. Nourse. This is not the movie. This is a dystopian SF novel with universal health care as the plot device. It proves the adage, a government big enough to give you anything you want is big enough to take everything you have away.

2 - Willing to reluctantly concede this one.

3 - Utter tripe.

People with enough money to get the best possible health care will continue to do so. They will go where they want, when they want and get what they want. It is impossible, under a single-payer system, to provide anything remotely resembling uniform benefits. People with the money go to 3-4 cancer treatment centers, sometimes a thousand miles away. Why? They provide the absolute best outcomes.

A single payer system is not going to ship a single mother of 5 on public assistance to Houston, Texas, for treatment for cancer.

4 - This implies people will take more responsibility for their own health. As long as we have food deserts, this ain't gonna happen. As long as people are allowed to chose SuperSize v. a salad, this ain't going to happen.

5 - Yes. From the docs who chose to participate. See No. 1 above.

If you force all medical providers to participate, you have immediately restored slavery to the United States.

6 - Well, yes. But it is exchanged for government interference with care.

Do your homework. Read this report -

7 - This is, simply, delusional. When the US Post Office is paying $1,500 a month for a building in a residential neighborhood that would rent for maybe $400 as a home (and this is common within the USPS), no. This is but one of many thousands of examples.
Especially this one -

8 - Show me any government program that saves money v. the private sector doing it. I will show you two examples of government-run programs that cost more.

9 - There is nothing so unjust as equal treatment of unequal individuals.

This proposes to pay the same amount for the same procedure in the middle of New York City as in Eutaw, S.C. as in Kotzebue, Alaska. Check the cost of living in all three places. Equal pay? This proposal will make medical care providers even more wealthy or greatly reduce their pay. Some will be about even.

10 - If you truly and honestly believe public ownership and public oversight is a good thing, you are henceforth barred from ever criticizing any elected official from the president on down.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Worms, bulldozers and economics

Let's open a can of worms and serve annelid sammiches all around.

How many believe the law-mandated minimum wage is wrong?

How many believe employers should pay whatever they think is appropriate?

Aight, now the real question - how many of you believe employers should subsidize pay for substandard employees?

Ah so. That is not a hypothetical question, or as Hawgin' likes to say "Great. Baker is making stuff up again."


Anyone see a problem here?

If this proposal passes, it is going to eliminate jobs for the handicapped. Poof. Gone. Is not like there are a lot of jobs for handicapped folks anyway.

Employers will not hire disabled folks because they will have to pay 'em the same as nondisabled people.

This goes deeper than what you are thinking right now. Maybe. Possibly not. You may be ahead of me. Let's see.


If you've read this blog with any regularity, you know my take on employee pay. If you don't know my take, go ye forth and be edified within this blog.

Lemme digress a second here to splain something. I grew up farming. Dad paid employees, and me, based on what we did. We got paid for productivity. The more we worked and produced, the more we made. In the 80s, we had one lady who worked for us who made more than $100 a day. We had some who barely made $20.

Is this fair?

More to the point, should employers be forced to subsidize the pay for handicapped employees?

Things like tax incentives and less than minimum wage mean people with disabilities can get jobs. They may not earn as much as other folks. But what if they can't produce as much as other folks? What if their production is 75 percent of the average nondisabled person's output?

How much should they be paid?

An employer hires a person with disabilities. The person does their absolute best. At minimum wage, the employer is losing money by keeping that person on staff. At less than minimum, the employer breaks even.

Which one is fair?


All in favor of a level playing field? What if that leveled playing field means running over you with a bulldozer?

The Americans with Disabilities Act is one of the most massive pieces of legislation the liberal left ever pushed onto the American people. It goes beyond Abominable Care. Bush I signed it into law.

The ADA puts an unbelievable burden on employers and businesses. Yes. It does. I've seen it. Some people in California have literally made a VERY good living just suing people under the federal ADA and the state version.

This is a case of using the whole fire department to extinguish a single candle.


Here's economics so people on the far left and far right can understand. Businesses have employees because the employees help the business make money. Employees who cannot produce get fired.

So, do handicapped people deserve to have a job?

I say certainly, if they can do the work. But that is a decision an employer must make.

If they can do the work, but not as well as a nonhandicapped person, then should they be paid less? Or, should the business be forced to subsidize the pay? Is it right to penalize the nonhandicapped employees against their wishes to support the handicapped employees?

If we're running this strictly on the economics I list just above, handicapped employees get fired. But when they get paid less because they produce less, employers are willing to step out and offer jobs.

Mandating identical pay is going to flat kill those jobs. That's fair to whom, exactly?


No doubt I'm gonna get someone whose left wing knickers are now in a Gordian knot. I'm going to be called all kinds of pejoratives.

Shuddup. You have no idea what you refer to. I do. The above situations? Handicapped person trying to get a job? I'm living it RIGHT NOW. So, shup until you have walked with me and understand my situation.