March 26, 2015

Controlling the Economy

Posted in Politics tagged , , at 12:48 am by gruundehn

Central planning does not work and yet we keep trying it and defending it. “Someone has to manage the economy” as a friend of mine keeps saying. But central planning does not work and central planners do not manage the economy except in the broadest and most inefficient manner.

Think about it, you manage your portion of the economy pretty well don’t you? You walk into a grocery store and walk the aisles and buy what you need and what you want within what yhou can spend. You evaluate various choices and determine to buy X as opposed to Y because X has what you are willing to pay the price for. If you need food and you don’t have much money you buy ramen rather than steak. Your choices are made according to your needs.

A central planner does not care about your needs. And probably has no clue as to what your needs are. That central planner uses the concept of “the greater good” as the guide for making decisions on the economy. But “the greater good” is subjective especially when one is removed from the results of one’s decision. A central planner may decide that breakfast cereal does not meet “the greater good” and thus gets banned. But you like cereal and thus are harmed (so to speak) by this decision. I don’t like cereal and thus do not buy nor eat it; but that is my decision and does not affect you decisions – you are still allowed to buy all you want. A central planner decides to outlaw breakfast cereal and your choices are removed from you.

Not that a central planner is likely to do something that drastic that was just an example. Central planners have their priorities straight. First comes their agency, after all that is where their salary comes from and any hope of improving their position requires that they advance the cause of the agency enough so that they gather commendations and get promoted; no agency promotes someone who does not advance the cause of the agency. Second comes special interests; these come second because the special interests are always around the bureaucrats and interacting with them, so naturally the bureaucrats listen to them, the bureaucrats are familiar with the special interests. Third comes you because bureaucrats don’t know you nor what you want or need whereas they know what the special interests want and need since they hear those wants and need almost daily.

Another point to consider is that central planners work, in theory, for elected officials and those elected officials come to office with agendas. Operation Choke Point is an example. This is an operation wherein bureaucrats are acting to destroy the ability of legal businesses to operate because the elected officials responsible (?) for this operation do not like those businesses. You may not like those businesses but what is done today to businesses you don’t like can be done to businesses you do like, and want to patronize, in the future.

Lastly, central planning has given us Crony Capitalism wherein big businesses are able to get central planners to do what the businesses want and this means eliminating or at least restricting upstart competitors. Why work hard when you can get some central planners to rule that an innovation is “unfair competition” and outlaw it; or laden a small business with such high regulatory costs that they cannot expand to seriously compete with you.  Regulatory expenses tend to be a fixed amount, more or less, and not a percentage of income. If a regulation costs a million dollars a year regardless of the size of the business then a small or medium-sized business will have a harder time meeting that expense than a big business. And yes, I know that regulatory costs do vary by size of business being regulated, but this is not linear instead it does not shrink enough for small businesses to consider it anything but a huge burden.

Central planning is a tool of big business, at least in a capitalist economy. In a socialist economy central planning is a toll of control over the population. It is never something that benefits the population as a whole.

March 23, 2015

5th Sunday in Lent, 2015

Posted in Personal tagged , , , , at 2:52 am by gruundehn

Palm Sunday is next week, then Easter. Next week Grace-St. Paul’s is doing the Gospel reading from the congregation instead of from the lectern. Various members of the congregation will speak various parts. I get to play Peter. Not many lines but very emotional.

I chewed out the Pima County Board of Supervisors last Tuesday and I am either wearing them down or I am making sense to them. I had most of the Board agree with me, the Chair told me that she agreed with me only after she made sure there was no one else within earshot and no one had a camera on her. There is another guy who chews the Board out a lot but I am more polite than he is and he is more counter-productive. I don’t think they even hear him any more. They do hear me and I am glad I am doing soe good.

I discovered that I am not getting a cell phone signal at my home with any regularity. I never had any trouble until just recently and now when I check my signal, I usually have one bar or less. With that, I can hear an incoming call but the person on the other end can’t hear me. Frustrating.

I don’t have anything on schedule this week, unlike most weeks for the past several months. I am going to cram on Imperial Investigator and try to get it at least through what I call the zero draft when I have the story complete but need to chapter it and make sure that the continuity is right and so forth. Then I can get back to Magic in the Monastery and finish it off and go back and finish Dreadnought and Generations upon Generations and send those three out and Magic in the Monastery as well. Then I can go back to the Imperial Investigator series and get several more done in that series.

If you wish to do so, please pray for: Katharine the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, Steve and the other clergy of Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; for those in the military especially those in combat zones, especially Ronald Berryhill, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Donna Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Catherine Brown, Alysha Collins, Walter Collins, Jay Elliston, Jim Franks, Phyllis Garver, Oma “Sam” Guard, Sara & Terry, Janet Kells, Jean Keplinger, Brett Lange, Gwen McCaffery, Christine Nelson, Suzanne Nystrom, Danielle Phillips, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Christine Nelson,  Danielle Philips, Barbara & Sam Reynolds, Susan Southwick, Cathy Wolfson, Ed, Lee, Eva Brown, William Brown, Mildred Gregory, Francesca Jarvis, Tony Jones, Julie LaRue, James Lincoln, Maribel Ortiz, Cindy Osche, Brenda Pentland, Peggy Southwick, Amy, CJ, Ian, Jerry & Rondy, Joel, Kurt, Monica, Roan & Danitza, Nate, Nichole, Nick & Emily, Penny, Phil, Tina; for animal companions in need especially Jelly Belly, Pepe, Shonee; for those who have died especially Eleanor Marr, Kaye Bernard, Ray Hickey; for animal companions who have died especially Jasmine. I also ask that you pray for the millions who have been killed, driven from their homelands or otherwise persecuted by Muslims around the world.

What I am reading: Various religious books and some history books. No series or specific book that is taking up a lot of time.

What I am writing: Imperial Investigator.

What I a watching: Various DVDs, I seem to put Cats on a lot. I like that musical, especially the dancing.

March 19, 2015

Gun Control

Posted in Politics tagged , , , , , , , at 2:04 am by gruundehn

Of all the amendments that make up the Bill of Rights the 2nd gets the most arguments; although the 1st is rapidly gaining what with Political Correctness and all. The phrase “of the People” is taken to mean elsewhere in the Constitution to mean individual rights, but in the 2dn Amendment it somehow changes and becomes a collective right if you belong to a certain organization. And that collective is supposed to refer to an organization that didn’t even exist until a hundred years or so later.

With speech one can either directly or indirectly rile up a mob and cause great suffering, even death. A gun kills one at a time, a speech can kill hundreds. And yet the gun is irrationally feared. You can join an organization and as part of that organization cause great suffering , even death. A gun kills one at a time, an organization can kill millions. And yet the gun is irrationally feared. The greatest mass murders in American history were not caused by guns, but by gasoline or fertilizer. At least one, and I seem to remember two, nightclubs were burned to the ground with hundreds of people trapped inside the buildings with just some gasoline and a lighter. And then there is Oklahoma City and the famous bombing there. And the only change, as far as I remember, to either gasoline or fertilizer is that some marker chemicals were added to fertilizer so that it could be traced back to its origin if this ever happened again. Nothing has been done to gasoline as far as I know.

I don’t (yet) need a permit to write a letter to the editor, to speak in public (although the Pima County Board of Supervisors might like to consider that idea) nor do I need permission from the government to join the VFW, a church, or any other organization – to associate with others as I please. Speaking and associating can be deadly, so why do I need a permit to own and / or carry a handgun? It is because of an irrational fear.

I call it an irrational fear because if one investigates the evidence one discovers that guns are less dangerous than many things we accept without thought. How many hundreds of millions of guns are out in society? And what percentage are used criminally? How about something along the lines of one thousandth of one percent?

So why do we hear about gun violence all the time? Money. The various news media require advertising to survive. They can charge more per advertisement if there are a lot of people following that specific outlet. To measure how many people follow any specific outlet, TV or radio, Sweeps Week was instituted. During that period various organizations measure how many people are watching or listening. The bigger the number, the more that outlet can charge for advertising on it. Print media just counts the number of copies sold and computer media counts the number of unique hits. And, again, the more people the more money that come in. And, because they are so rare anymore, gun violence stories are given big play. There is another possible reason but claiming an agenda on the part of the news media seems to be counterproductive.

There is a cultural aspect to this irrational fear as well. Most people, especially city-dwellers, do not have an understanding of guns except through TV and movies. And those lie for dramatic effect. So folks see guns being portrayed as some sort of super weapon, and they get scared. Not having any personal reference they accept as truth the dramatic fiction and have a false understanding of what guns are, or are not.

So, what is needed? I would say that the militia needs to be reformed, the National Guard never was the militia, and people need to get some experience with guns of various sorts. Then maybe we can have a rational discussion about gun control.

March 16, 2015

4th Sunday in Lent, 2015

Posted in Personal tagged , , , at 1:51 am by gruundehn

I’m trying to keep focused on the book I stopped writing Magic in the Monastery for but my mind keeps coming up with new story ideas. If I could turn out each idea into a full-fledged book in a day it would be great but I can’t finish one book without many others trying to get my attention. I end up having to ignore and “throw away” the vast majority of them and that saddens me. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just wave my hands and a completed book comes forth whenever I have a book idea? But, would you or anyone want to read that much of my writing? I read many years ago about the man who is considered to be the world’s most prolific writer, something over 600 books at the time. Most of those books were probably formula books where he just fleshed out a script that was reused time and again. I don’t know because, if I remember correctly, the man was Brazilian and I don’t understand Portuguese. I don’t want that, I want my writing to inspire some thought in those who read, even if it is just “What a load of crap” or some such.

Last Tuesday the Board of Supervisors discussed raising the sewer fees to county residents by an annual 4% rate for the next several years. I had spoken with one of the Supervisors prior to their meeting and he related that previous Boards had chosen to neglect the sewers for decades, with little or no maintenance, and no the County was trying to catch up. I can believe it. But including the greater than inflation rate hikes over the past few years this planned future greater than inflation series of hikes is too much. The Board decided to not decide and refer the issue back to the County Staff for further explanation. During the Supervisors’ debate I got a surprise when one of them used my previous arguments, on other but related issues, to justify not acting to pass this horrible rate hike. Maybe I am getting to them and honest and efficient government is in our future. I doubt it, we are talking about politicians after all.

When I was on active duty I could have, if the internet was available, put a lot more into a blog, but since most of what I did was classified it wouldn’t have been much more. But it is amazing that when living the events of my life they seem so interesting but thinking about them tonight they don’t seem interesting at all. I mention that I am writing my book but you don’t want to see the pages as I dash them off before getting them ready for reading, do you? I didn’t think so. So, there is a large part of my week right there. Not just writing the words down but sitting down, staring into space as I try and work out something in the book. Plus, YouTube calls far too often. I think I’ll watch one as a break and two hours later I realize just how much time has passed. Computers have made writing easier and the internet has made research easier but there are times I think I was better off writing in longhand on a yellow note pad. It was easier to not get distracted.

If you wish to do so, please pray for: Katharine the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, Steve and the other clergy of Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; for those in the military especially those in war zones especially Ronald Berryhill, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Donna Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Catherine Brown, Alysha Collins, Walter Collins, Jay Elliston, Jim Franks, Phyllis Garver, Oma “Sam” Guard, Sara & Terry, Janet Kells, Jean Keplinger, Brett Lange, Gwen McCaffrey, Christine Nelson, Suzanne Nystrom, Danielle Phillips, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Barbara & Sam Reynolds, Susan Southwick, Cathy Wolfson, Ed, Lee, Eva Brown, William Brown, Mildred Gregory, Francesca Jarvis, Tony Jones, Julie LaRue, James Lincoln, Maribel Ortiz, Cindy Osche, Brenda Pentland, Peggy Southwick, Amy, CJ, Jerry & Rondy, Joel, Monica, Roman & Danitza, Nate, Nichole, Nick & Emily, Penny, Phil; for animal companions in need especially Jelly Belly, Shonee; for those who have died especially Elinor Marr, Kaye Bernard, Michael Piech; for animal companions who have died especially Jasmine. I also ask that you pray for the millions of people who have been killed, driven from their homelands or otherwise persecuted by Muslims throughout the world.

What I’m reading: Sister Fidelma and various religious books.

What I’m watching: YouTube mostly. It is addictive.

What I’m writing: Still working on Imperial Investigator and slowly making progress.

March 12, 2015

Immigration

Posted in Politics tagged , , , at 12:06 am by gruundehn

In the late 19th Century Progressives, in their racist wisdom, decided to restrict immigration and keep “those people” out of the country. For a hundred years or so the Progressives kept the racist quota system in place. Finally the racist quota system was replaced with a cap on the total number of people allowed to immigrate.

But why do we have such a cap? It is a remnant of the old racist system and serves no purpose other than to limit population growth. But the number of people wanting to immigrate is so large that injustice to those turned away happens all the time. Indeed, since I do not know the procedure to select which people are allowed to enter, it may be that the old racist quota system survives, albeit disguised.

We can absorb a lot more people without destroying our quality of life and for those millions who yearn for the freedoms we promise, we should allow the to enter and become citizens and members of our society. So I propose that we eliminate the immigration cap and instead welcome those yearning to breathe free.

I am not proposing absolute open borders but instead a system that, if you can pass a criminal background check and a health check, you are given a entry visa and allowed to enter legally. The benefits to this country are legion. There are many studies that suggest that immigrants do better than native-born in a lot of ways. Their children usually do better in school, they work hard and support their families, they in an all-around way out-perform natives. However these studies are fairly recent so I do not know, and cannot know, if that was the case decades ago before the entitlement society grew large. It was said, when I was in school, that the California Gold Rush made many people rich. Most people who got rich did so by gathering nuggets – taking the easier portions of the available old but that the Chinese grew rich, not only be providing services such as groceries or laundry and so forth, but by gleaning the smaller amounts of gold available in worked over and abandoned claims.

Are there downsides to this proposal? Yes there are. One being that states that mandate that ballots be printed in all languages, even if only those over a certain percentage of the population, will find that their costs will shoot up massively. Multi-lingual bureaucrats will become necessary to deal with the various ethnic groups – but even that may not be as bad as it could be since immigrants tend to learn enough English to get by, especially if they are here legally and intend to stay. There are others I am sure but I haven’t spent a lot of time considering them so I can’t say what they are, I just acknowledge that they exist.

March 9, 2015

3rd Sunday in Lent, 2015

Posted in Personal tagged , , , , , at 2:37 am by gruundehn

Lent is almost half over. One reason I like being in a liturgical denomination, the Episcopal Church in case the obvious clues in the request for prayers was never noticed, is that the church year is broken up into themes. Like Advent, Lent is a season of preparing. Advent, the first season of the liturgical year, is preparation for Christmas and Lent is preparation for Easter. The two most major events in the church year have their seasons of preparation. When I was young there was the tradition of denying yourself something for the season and putting whatever you would have spent on that into a small blue United Thank Offering box and giving the box and money at the Easter service. I haven’t seen a UTO box in decades so I do not know when or why the tradition stopped. Many times I tried to go the daylight hours without eating and give what I would have spent but I cannot even try that now, what with my diabetes. So I have gotten out of the habit of Lenten denial and pretty much treat Lent as any other part of the year.

I see a psychologist tomorrow about the possibility of an eating disorder. Ever since Sister Pascaline got me to thinking about Luke 4:14-18 before the start of the day, I have wondered and worried about my eating habits. However, I am increasingly thinking that I don’t have a disorder, I just eat when bored. Or I eat just to be doing something and nothing else comes to mind. But, I will keep the appointment and see what the psychologist says.

When I started in taking early Social Security I planned on saving most of the money I got in that check. Surprise, surprise! I didn’t. Even if I had spent some of it but saved $500 a month I would have close to $20,000 now. I have squat. I could blame my parents and say that I was never trained to manage money properly, and I wasn’t, but I could have learned on my own and didn’t. Well, not quite, if I am managing someone else’s money I handle it well. My time as an NCO in the Air Force taught me how to manage money but I just never took that training and applied it to my personal life, just my professional life. Years ago I went very frugal for a few months, I forget why, and saved up enough to buy a nice laptop, something around $1000 at the time, however I got out of the habit and so still don’t have any savings. Poor me! I wonder who I can blame and sue for this? I can’t sue my parents, they are both dead. Which reminds me, I need to get a rag and Brasso and go to Saint Michael’s and All Angles and polish their grave markers. Maybe President Bush? He gets blamed for everything else.

If you wish to do so, please pray for Katharine the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, Steve and the other clergy of Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; for those in the military especially those in combat zones especially Ronald Berryhill, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Donna Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Catherine Brown, Alysha Collins, Walter Collins, Jay Elliston, Phyllis Garver, Oma “Sam” Guard, Sara & Terry; Janet Kells, Jean Keplinger, Brett Lange, Steve Mattix, Gwen McCaffery, Christine Nelson, Suzanne Nystrom, Danielle Phillips, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Barbara & Sam Reynolds, Susan Southwick, Cathy Wolfson, Ed, Lee, Eva Brown, William Brown, Mildred Gregory, Francesca Jarvis, Julie LaRue, James Lincoln, Maribel Ortiz, Brenda Pentland, Peggy Southwick, Amy, CJ, Jerry & Rondy, Joel, Monica, Roman & Danitza, Nate, Nichole, Nick & Emily, Penny, Phil; for animal companions in need especially Jelly Belly, Pepe; for those who have died especially Kaye Bernard, Michael Piech; for animal companions who have died especially Jasmine. I also ask that you pray for the millions of people who have been killed, driven from their homes or otherwise persecuted by Muslims throughout the world.

What I am reading: Sister Fidelma and various religious books.

What I am watching: Various DVDs but nothing specific.

What I am writing: Still plugging away at Imperial Investigator.

March 5, 2015

Doctor Shortage

Posted in Politics tagged , , at 1:08 am by gruundehn

There was an article, a series of photos with captions actually, about the eight reasons your doctor is behind schedule or some such title; it doesn’t really matter that much except you get the idea. But the most common reason was not mentioned – there is a doctor shortage and it is getting worse.

To get back to the level of doctor / patient ratio that existed in the 1950’s something like 100,000 doctors would have to be added to the rolls immediately; and that won’t happen. Doctors are leaving the profession, retiring or otherwise, faster than being replaced. Often these doctors cite paperwork from the government or insurance companies as a primary reason for the departure.  And why is the number of incoming doctors so low as to be below replacement level? Too few medical schools and the ones that are available are too small for one factor; a second is that people are being discouraged from entering the profession due to the regularity overload and time spent on paperwork and the lawsuits with the resulting malpractice expenses.

And a lot of this is caused by state and federal governments in conjunction with the AMA. There are too few medical schools and anyone trying to start one, other than government-run, faces a difficult time, especially if it is considered “for profit” and thus somehow evil. You see, a government run medical school, since it does not have to justify school levels, can limit the number of slots available to students whereas a privately run “for profit” school has an incentive to have as many openings as possible. And government run or privately run schools graduate students who take the same board examinations and meet the same quality standards so doctor quality should not be a concern. And, by the way, doctors from “for profit” medical schools tend to pass the boards sooner and better than those from government schools as far as I have been able to learn on the subject. So, why not have more “for profit” medical schools?

Now, as far as regulations and paperwork and other imposed impediments go there are few that actually have a useful purpose and those come almost always from the insurance industry and not the government. The insurance industry wants to avoid paying out money and so any regulations that they impose are going to be effective, or soon gone. The Underwriter’s Laboratory, the source of the UL symbol on electric and electronics equipment (not seen as much today as formerly) does such a good job at testing electric and electronic equipment that the Federal Government could not take control of that process. Indeed, even today the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has better standards for auto safety than the Federal Government, the difference between the UL and the IIHS is that the UL was created and had established itself before the Federal Government could take control whereas the IIHS was established after the Federal Government had taken control of the concept of auto safety. The difference is huge and thousands of people die as a result.

Another critical reason for the doctor shortage is the payments made by the payers, the government especially. Governments pay doctors a small amount compared to the level of training doctors have and the time required to perform the procedure in question and complete the paperwork. There was reports of several doctors a year or so ago who refuse to take insurance, including government insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) and take cash only. They make more money, since they don’t have the expenses required to fill out the insurance forms, and the patients pay less due to the lessened doctor expenses. This refusal to take insurance frees up a huge amount of time for the doctor, who then can either take more time with the patients or see more patients for the same number of hours per workday. This increase in the number of patients being seen would reduce the effective doctor shortage.

Government interference is one of the primary reasons listed for doctors who are retiring or who are counseling others against entering the medical profession. Another way that the government keeps the doctor shortage in place.

It is time to reduce the doctor shortage and get the government out of medicine.

March 2, 2015

2nd Sunday in Lent, 2015

Posted in Personal tagged , , , at 12:35 am by gruundehn

For the second week in a row I have missed church. I overslept again and my bad sleeping habits are getting to be a pain. And yet, because my poor sleeping drains my energy, I have a hard time doing what I know needs to be done to fix the problem. But, I must do what needs to be done. So, I will.

I was expecting to meet with the surgeon about my arm this coming Wednesday, and so went down to the VA last Friday to get the x-rays done. No order had been placed for the x-rays and it turns out my appointment had been cancelled due to a funeral the surgeon was to attend. I have no problem with the surgeon attending a funeral but the rest of it – yeah, a problem. The surgeon forgot to place the order for the x-rays during my last appointment, just before Christmas, and so I wasted my time going to the VA hospital instead of doing some grocery shopping. Oh well. The real issue is why no one called me to let me know the appointment had been cancelled, the VA had my correct phone number. The VA hospital here in Tucson is rated as best I the system but maybe it has started on a downward slide. I hope not.

Next week I see a psychologist about the possibility of an eating disorder. The more I think about it, the more I believe I jumped the gun on this idea. However, I started this, however in error or not, and I need to see this through just in case. I do remember that a psychologist that the A hired to do an evaluation on me several years ago told me that I have an addictive personality, which is why, perhaps, I jumped so readily to the idea of an eating disorder.

If you wish to do so, please pray for: Katharine the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, Steve and the other clergy of Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; for those in the military especially those in combat zones, especially Ronald Berryhill, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Dona Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Catherine Brown, Alysha Collins, Walter Collins, Jay Elliston, Phyllis Garver, Oma “Sam” Guard, Janet Kells, Jean Keplinger, Brett Lange, Steve Mattix, wen McCaffrey, Christine Nelson, Suzanne Nystrom, Danielle Phillips, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Barbara & Sam Reynolds, Susan Southwick, Cathy Wolfson, Ed, Lee, Eva Brown, William Brown, Mildred Gregory, Francesca Jarvis, Julie LaRue, Maribel Ortiz, Brenda Pentland, Peggy Southwick, Amy, Jerry & Rondy, Monica, Roman & Danitza, Nate, Nichole, Nick & Emily, Phil; for animal companions in need especially Jelly Belly, Pepe; for those who have died especially Kaye Bernard, Jeffry Jahn, Michael Piech. I also ask that you pray for the millions of people who have been murdered, driven from their homelands and otherwise persecuted by Muslims throughout the world.

What I’m writing: I’m still working on Imperial Investigator but with my sleeping problems, I’m not getting very far.

What I’m reading: Sister Fidelma and various religious books.

What I’m watching: Various DVDs and Blu-rays with nothing taking up a lot of time.

February 26, 2015

Lawyers yet once again

Posted in Politics tagged , , at 1:04 am by gruundehn

Lawyers have made the various legal codes so complex that an average person cannot understand them; indeed, lawyers have a hard time understanding those legal codes. Lawyers, and especially that pernicious subset of lawyers: politicians, control this country as a result. You can be walking along the street, minding your own business, and get arrested for some crime you have never heard about. Which is a result of the plethora of laws. Which is why I say we are no longer the Land of the Free but instead are the Land of the Not Yet Arrested.

The mindset of lawyers (and I have been told that I have this to some degree) is: Unless you plan for any contingency, regardless of how remote the chance, you have not planned well enough. Unless you have prepared for a hurricane in Des Moines you are negligent.

And lawyers have gotten this mindset percolating throughout society which is why so many lawsuits happen. And which is why society has slowed down on improving products and procedures and instead gone to preventing such lawsuits. Business does surrender to lawsuits, regardless of the merits, because it is cheaper to settle than fight. However fighting might prevent a thousand similar suits but that is rarely a consideration in such decisions as far as I can tell. And each settlement emboldens lawyers to continue their attacks on randomness.

If you flip a coin ten times and it does not come out five heads and five tails a lawyer’s first thought is that the coin is somehow defecting, a statistician will look at the outcome and determine what the odds of that outcome are before continuing to discover if there is another factor involved, other than a chance cluster. If the outcome isn’t alternating heads, tails, the lawyer’s first thought is that the coin is somehow defective, a statistician will look at the pattern before deciding if further investigation, to determine is another factor is involved, is required.

How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb? None, they sue the manufacturer for a defective product instead.

OK, that’s a bad joke – and I admit I love bad jokes. But, like most jokes it has an element of truth in it. And lawyers are not a bad joke, they are just bad. A few lawyers are needed, I presume. But the practice of law has become a road traveled by too many people and too high a percentage of them are control freaks. And we, and especially our future generations, are the worse for that.

February 23, 2015

1st Sunday in Lent, 2015

Posted in Personal tagged , , , , at 12:44 am by gruundehn

I haven’t been sleeping well, a continuing issue with me I know. But last night I slept well – I went to bed and read some going to sleep about 9:30 PM and slept for about five hours, was up from about 2:15 AM to about 5:00 AM and slept solid to about 12:30 PM. Obviously then I missed church. I must have been trying to catch up for all the nights I slept only three or four hours. I like sleeping but I hate missing church.

I haven’t been getting a lot done lately. I have been working on many projects but I keep wasting time on YouTube and hours go by before I know it. Technology is great until it isn’t. Computers make it easy to write and easy to waste time. When I started writing it was with a pencil on a yellow notepad, the kind you buy at an office supply place even yet today. My first computer was a TRS-80 with 4K of memory and data storage was a cassette tape. Yes, that is right 4K of memory. This computer I am working on now had 8G of memory or about 2000 times the memory; it also has a disc drive for external storage. In other words, the two computers can be compared only by courtesy as they are so different as almost to be different types of equipment – apples and oranges so to speak. And I have four or five older computers that I no longer use that are still so much better than my old TRS-80. But if my computer went down, I’d no longer be able to write as easily, try editing by lining out and re-writing something – it’s hard. I don’t have a typewriter anymore which would make it slightly easier to write but no less hard to edit. And setting up one of my old computers and transferring my writing to it runs into the problem that writing programs are forward compatible but not backwards compatible – that is I can transfer something written on an old program to a new one but going the other way runs into problems as the writing will probably use features of the new program that can’t be used on the older one. So, I’d have to re-write anything basically from scratch. I’d rather not have to do that. So, I hope that my computer never goes down until I have already transferred to a new one.

If you wish to do so, please pray for: Katharine the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, Steve and the other clergy of Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal church; for those in the military, especially those in combat zones, especially Ronald Berryhill, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Donna Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Beth Banks, Katherine Bernard, Catherine Brown, Alysha Collins, Walter Collins, Jay Elliston, Phyllis Garver, Oma :Sam” Guard, Janet Kells, Jean Keplinger, Steve Mattix, Gwen McCaffrey, Christine Nelson, Suzanne Nystrom, Danielle Phillips, Barbara Pritchard, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Barbara & Sam Reynolds, Susan Southwick, Cathy Wolfson, Ed, Lee, Eva Brown, William Brown, Jody Gebhardt, Mildred Gregory, Lucinda Iverson, Francesca Jarvis, Tony Jones, Julie LaRue, Jim Larson, John Lawing, Gloria Murphy, Maribel Ortiz, Brenda Pentland, Brian Roussel, Peggy Southwick, Tanya Tinajero, Beverly Wright, Amy, Annie M., Cyrus, Janet & Ishmael, Jerry & Rondy, Joel, John, Karl, Leah, Monica, Roman & Danitza, Nate, Nichole, Nick & Emily, Phil, Stefano, Sunny, Sharon & David, Wendy Joy; for animal companions in need especially Jelly Belly, Pepe; for those who have died especially Frank Q. Daniel, Sydney Zarow, James Angelo, Ruth Ann Williams, Juan Carlos Mendez Macias; for animal companions who have died. I also ask that you pray for the millions of people who have been killed, driven from their homelands or otherwise persecuted by Muslims throughout the world.

What I am writing: I am still working on Imperial Investigator and hopw to get back to other unfinished works soon.

What I am reading: Sister Fidelma and various religious books.

What I am watching: Dogfight and other DVD / Blu-ray programs when I think I have the time.

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