Philadelphia

It’s been some time since I’ve written anything here. A lot has changed. I’ve taken a job up in Philadelphia. It was a bit sudden but I’ve been out here for about a six weeks now. It’s definitely different than living in the suburbs of Miami-Dade county. Luckily, I’ve managed to dodge a really bad winter. I don’t think I would’ve survived that.

I think I am more or less settled. I’ve got a place along with two roommates out in Manayunk, which is a neighborhood right before the city limits in northeast Philly. It’s a really lively area made up of students and beginner pros. Maybe a little noisy but it’s a small price to pay to be walking distance to all the nightlife. I hadn’t really lived like this since being out in New Zealand and that was for a shorter period of time.

Of course, moving out to a new area comes with it’s own challenges. Similar to when I moved to Orlando, developing a social life has been a difficult task. However, having roommates who are sociable and friendly has made the experience better than before. Everything still feels temporary and it will probably remain that way until I find a crowd of people who I can develop close relationships with.

Getting my social life settled will be no easy task. I left a really good thing in Miami. At my previous job I have found a group of friends that I felt a bond with similar to that of the friends I grew up with in grade school. It was really difficult leaving that behind. It made the move that much more scary. My best friend moved out west the same weekend I did. That really spreads out my old crew who I’ve managed to keep in touch with until now.

I’ve convinced myself that this move is a necessary step to growing up and those friends I left behind are not lost forever. If it wasn’t me moving away it would be them as they were all looking for ways out of Miami as well. I can only pray that they find their way up here where it will be easier to reconnect.

Perhaps I should focus on my personal development while I am out here.

Advertisements

Thomas Sowell: The Power of Fallacies

I’m at my computer. I’m drinking tea. I’m going to briefly review the first chapter of Thomas Sowell’s Economic Facts and Fallacies.

 

The Zero-Sum Fallacy

The assumption that only one person gains in a voluntary transaction of two individuals. Sowell explains that voluntary transactions would not occur unless both people were gaining something in the process. Though, he then points out areas where government policy has intervened in these transactions. The results have been fewer terms being available for such transactions or the elimination of the transactions themselves. Rent Control in Egypt, Hong Kong, New York, and Stockholm have resulted in housing shortages.

The Fallacy of Composition

This is the belief that what is true of a part is true of a whole. His great example: “A baseball fan can see better by standing up but, if all the fans stand up, they will not all see better.”

The economic example can be a little more complex. Revitalization projects by local governments intended to improve communities don’t necessarily improve the community as a whole or the entire economic situation of the city. Money is collected by tax payers that would have been spent in one way is merely collected to be spent in another. Often this results in population movements. The poor move from the area being developed and a higher class is moved in.

The Chess-Pieces Fallacy

(He) who is wise in his own conceit seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board.

The thought that politicians may believe that they are so wise they can merely change society by shaping laws and policies. Social experiments are conducted with the idea that they are going to make peoples lives better. However, it is often overlooked that human beings have their own individual preferences. There own plans for their own lives that may be interfered with by constant government meddling of society.

John Maynard Keynes, the popular opponent of the Austrian school, is cited as “seeing the uncertainties about the future generated by the experimental policies of the New Deal administration in the 1930s as tending to discourage investment that was much needed to get out of the Great Depression.” The idea that the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression is expressed by Tom Woods as well in “the Politically Incorrect guide to American History.”

“People are not inanimate objects.”

The Open-Ended Fallacy

Thomas Sowell states “the most fundamental fact of economics is that resources are scarce and have alternative uses (which are also valuable)”

Health, Safety, and Open space are all examples of things which are Open-Ended. There are movements and plans that seek to address each of these issues without any consideration that there is a limit in which you can address each of these things. At least in regards to efforts by governments. You cannot simply devote all resources to addressing all health problems when the resources that used by healthcare have other uses besides that.

The Post Hoc Fallacy

Better understood as “After this, therefore because of this”

If A occurs after B  has occurred, then A is a result of B.

Sowell explains that it was believed for a while that the Great Depression or the collapse of the entire economy was a result of stock Market crash in 1929. However, a similar crash occured in 1987 which results in 20 years of economic growth.  Unemployment peaked at 9 percent after the stock market crash of 1929. Unemployment actually went down to 6.3 percent before the government decided to implement it’s first major intervention known as the Smoot-Hawley tariff, the second highest increase of tariffs in 100 years and resulted in other countries raising their own tariffs against the United States.

 

 

A Year of Correction

What am I doing? I’m going to make a list. A timeline without the time.

Started this year in New Zealand.

Two months in to the year, I realize I want to leave so I return home.

I get a job about four weeks after returning. I feel like there is potential in this new job but I discover that this job is just limbo for people waiting to move on.

I made multiple attempts to advance to move on. These attempts have so far ended in failure.

I watch friends from work advance but it seems to be a greater struggle for me. This become murder on my own morale.

I started buying bitcoin back in July. I actually made some money. Nothing too significant.

I’ve managed to save some money. This is good.

For me, 2017 wasn’t very successful. 2017 is merely the year that resulted from me changing the direction of my life. I’ll call it a “correction.” Of course, I can’t really know that until later on when I stop to look back on it.

All this means in that next year has to be better. I will try.

 

Democracy is Overrated

I keep tuning into these crazy debates going on across the country. Everyone seems to have differing views on everything from healthcare to other social welfare. I also thought about the incredible political gridlock that we have been in for the past X number of years. The nation is as divided as ever and, unfortunately, we have policies in place that in their current form are hurting American families financially. Nothign will change anytime soon.

This entire system is crazy, and quite frankly, STUPID. We have one level of government creating laws for over 300 million people in a country that is 2600 miles wide horizontally and 1500 miles vertically. A country where the culture and values of one side is vastly different to the other. A government that is creating laws on top of 89,000 other governments that are constantly creating there own. It is no wonder nothing can be fixed because we have created a system that in extreme conflict with itself.

Here is an idea. The federal government focuses on Defense, foreign affairs, immigration, and of course settle disputes between states (generally done by the supreme court). The federal government will be given limited taxation authority. If an income tax must exist it must have a cap that is low in order to allow states to adjust their according to the way in which that want to govern. State governments will have a greater focus on domestic/economic/regulatory affairs. If a state is more liberal it will have plenty of room to tax enough to finance it. If a state is more conservative it may choose to tax less.

These states may each develop their own systems of healthcare, their own education systems with more room to fund it without damning the economy. This is how it should be. This is how it used to be. We need a return to federalism.

Maybe chop up some states while we are at it.

What if: A conservative response to mass shootings

It is noon on November 6th. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe are standing together preparing to answer questions from the media in regards to US-Japanese relations and North Korea. However, it is also the day after a terrible shooting in a church outside San Antonio, Texas. The President and his team are expecting to get some questions about the incident during this run in with the press.

The President finally gets the question about his response to the tragedy in Texas. He could give the typical talking points that every president uses after an incident like this. “Our prayers are with the victims.” “Thank you to our first responders.” But instead the President settles with something different.

“Everyone here knows that I am an elected Republican president and the very last thing I am going to do is call for more gun control legislation. No matter how much our friends on the left would like that. That’s just not going to happen.”

The president may seem frustrated. This is still the same year as the shooting in Las Vegas and only a few days after a truck attack in New York.

The president continues.

“However, in this age of mass shootings and terrorism, we cannot protect ourselves by putting down our own weapons. Gun control is an impractical solution in a free nation such as ours. Which is why I will be meeting with governors and law makers to discuss a conservative solution to this problem.

I hope that we can convince our governors to make it easier for the people to be issued concealed carry licenses. At the same time, I will be leading a campaign to restore the deteriorating gun culture in our country and encourage the responsible ownership of these weapons. In the wake of these tragedies, I still believe a better armed society is a safer society. Not only from foreign threats, but from threats on our own soil.

Thank you.”

 

If only.

Three recent Laws signed by Trump

While the media would make it seem that Trump has had no legislative accomplishments during his time as President, Trump has actually signed about 70 new bills since becoming president. Here are some more obscure laws passed by President Trump this year.

Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017

Signed October 26, 2017

This law was actually managed to reach the media during it’s legislative attempt in 2015. The bill was introduced by Sen. Ron Johnson in response to the suicide of a VA Psychologist who questioned the over-medication of the VA medical center in Tomah, Wisconsin.

The Hill states:

The bill would require the head of executive agencies to notify the appropriate inspector general when an employee commits suicide to determine if the suicide was work-related.

The bill would also extend protections to probationary federal employees, which Kirkpatrick was.

Other provisions of the bill include making sure the Office of Special Counsel has access to all information needed to investigate retaliation claims, allowing for the removal or demotion of an agency head who retaliates against a whistle-blower, prohibiting employees from accessing other employees’ medical records and providing training to supervisors on how to respond to whistle-blowers’ complaints.

Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017

Signed October 6, 2017

This law was actually introduced by Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen. It was a bill five years in the making and was actually a bi-partisan effort in including more women in diplomatic efforts around the world.

USA Today states:

Under the bipartisan Women, Peace and Security Act, by law it would be a core priority for U.S. diplomatic, development and military personnel to include women in preventing and resolving conflicts.

The writer of that article, Allison Peters stated in the title that signing this would make feminist history. However, it doesn’t seem like modern feminists have heard the news yet.

Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act of 2017

Signed October 18, 2017

This bill increased penalties on marketing schemes against senior citizens over the age of 55. This law came forward after Karl and the late Marlene Sibert of Cedar Rapids spent about $44,000 on nutritional supplements over 20 months for health and nutrition-related products when Marlene was hospitalized.

According to the article, the telemarketers had noted that the elderly couple suffered from dementia or “memory issues.”

 

Now these laws are not substantial but it does show that some things can get done in congress. Most laws passed outside the scope of the media. This includes all presidents before Trump. I’m personally a firm believer that laws should be narrower and shorter. What if someone merely introduced a law that eliminated one single tax from the Affordable Care Act? Maybe it would be small enough to fall under the radar of the Democrats and the media, allowing some non-Republicans(like Senator Collins) to sign it without the public abuse.

It’s only a thought.

Trump Exhaustion

I’m pretty conservative. I am absolutely glad that Trump won the election over Hillary Clinton. Four more years of a democrat would have either been a complete disaster or a constant stalemate. We’ve had many victories under a Trump presidency. Gorsuch in the Supreme Court is probably the biggest and most important victory so far. His appointment saved us from an activist Supreme Court. However, the media is annoying and very exhausting.

The media has been on full on attack since Trump was inaugurated. They are back to the same tactics that were used during the Bush years. A lot of the media headlines are not Trumps fault but an example of liberal hysteria. Nevertheless, President Trump has had plenty of media blunders of his own. The first couple of months were nauseating. Especially the week of Scaramucci. Of course, that was a turning point for the administration. John Kelly became Chief of Staff and has managed to calm the excessive leaks and media blunders that were coming out of the White House at the time.

President Trump still manages to make me cringe. The statement about no other president called the families of fallen soldiers, or telling the media to ask John Kelly about his son and President Obama and now possibly this “they knew was they signed up for” comment. Details are still unfolding about the second comment. Even if it turns out to be true, yes it will be an insensitive comment but it doesn’t make me think that Trump doesn’t care about the troops. Whenever he meets with the troops or veterans he seems the most genuine. For a guy who constantly fails with his own public display, he does a remarkable job when it comes to our military.

trump2

Regardless, sometimes I feel like he is giving the liberal media constant opportunities to jump on his. Every time he makes a silly mistake the media gets new ammunition and he tweets about it on the toilet at 2am.

It can all be real exhausting sometimes. Once in a while, I just need to unplug until it all blows over.

Rand Paul and Pres. Trump Tackle Healthcare

Today, Trump signed an executive order that is supposed to help allow people to purchase insurance plans across state lines. This is something that has long been argued to be a single variable of a free market solution to the healthcare crisis in the United States.

It turns out that Senator Rand Paul was a big player in getting the president to sign this order. After congress failed twice to repeal Obamacare, there needed to be some sort of reform to help remedy the crisis. Rand Paul explained that it could help encourage people to join associations across state lines and essentially lower premiums with the mere size of people entering the insurance market. It might work but there is still so much clutter in healthcare policy that it is difficult to tell.

Bloomberg Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9NP6mUQktA

I never thought I’d actually see the day come because I never understood why this existed in the first place. I simply don’t understand it’s origin. I assumed it would be a violation of the commerce clause in the constitution but what the hell do I know?

This will not immediately fix the healthcare problem and I hope congress returns to the table to try to tackle Obamacare.

Something Different

Ok, fine. I know.  I can’t commit to a daily post. Pathetic. I’ll just post as much as I can. At least once a week. Whatever. Today I want to write about something different.

I recently picked up Pokemon Silver from the eShop. It’s been a nice run so far considering this is a game I loved as a kid. It took Red and Blue, which I also loved, and turned it into something legitimately better. But then, I started to think.

I was thinking about the moon. That’s right. Pokemon Sun and Moon. The recent main release from the series which I ended up really disappointed over. I want to talk about that disappointment. Why does Game Freak add great features and then take them away?

keepsummersafe.png

I really enjoyed Pokemon X and Y. Omega Ruby and Alphe Sapphire were good too. Going back to a reliance on HM’s was a drag but it was still good. Sun and Moon was just… well three hour’s into the game I was still complaining.

Don’t get me wrong, the visuals, the camera, and the battles were good. The game looked beautiful itself. However, the game constantly interrupted me and wanted to tell me what to do. It felt like every time I entered a new area there was someone there waiting to talk to me. Actually, most of the time it was more than one person. The games also liked to play cut scenes too. It wasn’t just reading text. I frequently had to wait for the camera to move around. It was a headache.

The islands were so linear. The game consisted of a few islands with paths that all seemed to just a make a circle. I never felt like there was much to see or explore. Sometime’s I would be playing and suddenly realize I was in a trial since the trial areas tend to look a lot like every other area. The fact that I started rushing through scenes didn’t help either.

The last point I want to make before going back to Silver is, why did they take away the Player Search System and replace it with that carnival looking crap that was time wasting? The PSS was a smooth system that helped the game make you feel like you were really connected to the Pokemon community. The random battle requests and the shout outs were excited and simple to interact with. Oh yes, simplicity. The PSS was SIMPLE! It made trading and battling with your friends the easiest it has ever been for Pokemon.

Here’s an idea. Grab all those features that peopled liked about the old games and put it into one game. Oh, and bring back the Pokemon follower feature. Bye.