The era of anger.

It strikes me that there are two fundamental elements driving the anger we see in the American political system today. These elements are envy and change.

Americans that are “doing well” very much dislike any change that results in them doing “less well.” Americans that are not “doing well” envy those that are “doing well” and immediately subscribe to any politician that says the root cause of their “not doing well” is an “unfair playing field (i.e., it’s not your fault; it’s the ‘other guy’s’ fault).”

Because of the current remarkably unusual presidential election cycle, we have pundits that like to call this “anger” Trumpism. But as I see it, Trump is simply the politician, or “non-politician” if you prefer, who calculated that tapping into this anger was the road to the nomination. The pundits didn’t have a clue and still do not. They were anticipating “politics as usual.” Jeb Bush was the “politics as usual candidate (oops).” The pundits fell into the “we don’t like change that makes our life less good” group, and they are “angry.” They are “angry” at Trump because he made them look like fools.

But let’s face it. Trump didn’t cause the “anger,” he simply used it to manipulate a calcified political process. Oh, I am not saying that he didn’t fan the flames of “anger,” because indeed he did. But that was his game plan and it was unbelievably successful. In my humble opinion, this is why he seems to change positions on a daily basis. He simply says what he sees at the moment as cementing the voting public’s preconceived reasons to be “angry.” Trump is the hero of the “we hate change” crowd.

Bernie Sanders tapped into the anger from the “envy” side of the equation. Seriously, have you seen a Bernie political speech? He is practically apoplectic with anger. When I see the anger on the Democrat side of the presidential debate (i.e., “feel the Bern”), I see Trump as the lesser “angry politician.” When Bernie is gone and it is Trump v Hillary, Trump will goad Hillary into being angrier than Bernie before the election is over. Trump, isn’t personally “angry.” He’s a master manipulator and at the moment he is manipulating yours and my “anger.” It is also why I believe that more Bernie supporters will move toward Trump than toward Hillary.

The moment of clarity for me in my switch from skeptic to supporter of Donald Trump was when I realized that there is much about which we have a right to be “angry.” A friend and reader sent me an article by Dr. Charles Murray (and thanks KC for sending it). I highly recommend that you read it (not just the article itself but the comments that follow). Both are quite illuminating.

[From Dr. Murray’s article] Trumpism is an expression of the legitimate anger that many Americans feel about the course that the country has taken, and its appearance was predictable. It is the endgame of a process that has been going on for a half-century: America’s divestment of its historic national identity.

For the eminent political scientist Samuel Huntington, writing in his last book, “Who Are We?” (2004), two components of that national identity stand out. One is our Anglo-Protestant heritage, which has inevitably faded in an America that is now home to many cultural and religious traditions. The other is the very idea of America, something unique to us. As the historian Richard Hofstadter once said, “It has been our fate as a nation not to have ideologies but to be one.”

This latter fact is what I believe the Democrat Party has sought to change. And this drastic error on their part was done for political expediency, to cement their stranglehold on the American political system. Over the past 100 years the Democratic party has held power nearly twice as long as the Republicans. If Americans are angry, they need to direct that anger at the architects of “change” and “envy” – the Democrat Party.

Roy Filly

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Thoughts for the day.

The following, while tongue in cheek, are accurate. Humor is the best medicine for what is ailing our beloved nation.

Untitled attachment 00012 Untitled attachment 00015 Untitled attachment 00033 Untitled attachment 00042 Untitled attachment 00063

And thanks to PCoop for sending these to me.

Roy Filly

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Worse than 2008?

The 2007-2008 financial meltdown was often called “the debt crisis.” U.S. households and financial institutions became increasingly indebted or overleveraged during the years preceding the crisis. This increased their vulnerability to the collapse of the housing bubble and worsened the ensuing economic downturn.

Key statistics include:

Free cash used by consumers from home equity extraction doubled from $627 billion in 2001 to $1,428 billion in 2005 as the housing bubble built, a total of nearly $5 trillion over the period. U.S. home mortgage debt relative to GDP increased from an average of 46% during the 1990s to 73% during 2008, reaching $10.5 trillion.

So, what’s your point, Dr. Filly, ask you? My point, answer I, is that it is happening again.

1252d748-a2fd-413f-a857-900660862740

It appears that the lesson has been forgotten.

And thanks to PK for sending this graph to me.

Roy Filly

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Why are Americans all het up over immigration?

The simple answer is enshrined in what occurred outside the Trump rally in New Mexico a couple evenings ago.

The angry mob caused mayhem outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico turning the city into a de facto Third World country. The rampaging “crowd” was made up of anti-Trump goons who were waving the Mexican flag while simultaneously burning the American flag.

Is there any question why “building a wall” resonates with the vast majority of Americans? But not Hillary, of course. She wants to “build a bridge” to Mexico, “not a wall” so we can see more American flags burned while illegals wave the flag to which they pay allegiance!

Roy Filly

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Another absolutely wacko college notion.

“Safe spaces,” “trigger words”… college students have gone off the rails. But, apparently we are only at the beginning of this nonsense.

Oberlin College is a prestigious college not far from where I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. Oberlin students have petitioned school administrators to eradicate any grade below a C, and further are requesting alternatives to the standard written midterm examination, such as a conversation with a professor in lieu of an essay.

Why, ask you, would students demand such a major alteration in the way colleges have functioned for nearly a millenium (the University of Bologna was inaugurated on 1088)? You are going to “love” their answer! Because, answer I, they want to diminish the focus on academics so they can better turn their attention to activism.

In a detailed article in The New Yorker, the students say that between their activism work and their heavy course load, finding success within the usual grading parameters is increasingly difficult. “You know, we’re paying for a service. We’re paying for our attendance here. We need to be able to get what we need in a way that we can actually consume it,” student Zakiya Acey told The New Yorker. “Because I’m dealing with having been arrested on campus… I can’t produce the work that they want me to do…”

This is the reward of a half century of liberalism on US campuses. It would take more than a half century to undo this harm. We are DOOMED!

Roy Filly

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Gender neutral bathrooms.

I looked around my home to assess the political correctness of my bathrooms. Whew! They are all “gender neutral.” Not a urinal in site! I guess the gender police won’t be fining or imprisoning me!

The economy grew at an abysmal 0.5% last quarter, Russia is doing close fly overs of US navy ships, the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, Libya and Venezuela are failed states, planes are being blown out of the sky, the Chinese are taking over the South China Sea… and the Obama is zeroed in on… urinals! Let’s face it friends, the only real difference between a “boys” and a “girls” bathroom is urinals.

Urinals are a pragmatic solution to the age-old problem of inattention and poor aim by school boys when emptying their bladders. School boys (and husbands), when using a stall, also are not good at either lifting the toilet seat when urinating, or, if present of mind and having lifted it, then failing to put it back down. Attentive school girls using the stall next will either vomit when assessing the innumerable “droplets” left by the last male user or, alternatively, inattentive school girls may have to be shoe-horned out of the toilet by a male custodian because they sat down without noticing the inopportune position of the toilet seat! Won’t that be fun! I wonder what the Obama administration’s solution to that will be? Perhaps, they will mandate “gender neutral janitors.” All of these horrendous problems were solved years ago by Andrew Rankin, the inventor of THE URINAL! (Footnote)

The boys, on the other hand, will literally freak out when staring at a used tampon or Kotex pad. It is quite possible the most common activity in “gender neutral bathrooms” will be emesis rather than elimination of bowels and bladders. And let’s not even get into “hand washing.”

Schools are going around their boy’s bathrooms and taking out urinals. Wow! This is the ignominious end of a once great nation. This is the result of “altruists” running a government instead of a home for the halt and the lame. I am a libertarian on most social issues, but this is madness and “social justice” run amok!

Reality is “real.” Simply look at the root of the word! Science has learned what makes a human being genetically male of female. Males have a Y chromosome paired with an X chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes. If one wishes to change their gender (other than in their own… well, lets call it their “mind”) they would need to go into every cell in their body and change out a sex chromosome. It’s actually not all that easy to answer the simple question of how many cells there are in the human body. But recently, scientists have made a pretty good stab at it. And their final count is… 37.2 trillion. So, good luck with extracting every “wrong” sex chromosome from every cell!

Personally, I have decided to take the advice of Walter E. Williams and declare that I am a springbok trapped in a human body! Why is that, ask you? Because, answer I, as Professor Williams cleverly points out, they a handsome animals. very fast, extremely agile and they are NOT REQUIRED TO PAY TAXES under the US Internal Revenue Tax Code! (And, by the by, I highly recommend that you read Dr. Williams excellent article.)

Transexual/transgender individuals may be inconvenienced by having to find a bathroom appropriate to their needs. As I noted in my first sentence they will have no trouble if visiting in my home – and I would certainly not object to a transgender visitor. But it is irrational to force 316,000,000 other Americans to change millions of bathrooms to be socially sensitive to those “needs.”

Roy Filly

Footnote: The urinal was first patented in the United States immediately following the Civil War, when Andrew Rankin introduced an upright flushing apparatus in 1866.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

A reader raised an interesting question on cohabiting parents.

There is clearly a difference between single, unwed mothers raising a child alone and unmarried, cohabiting parents. The statistics on unwed mothers having children is appalling, at least to me (see graph below). I must admit I am having difficulty finding accurate information that separates the two categories (although some studies cited below do compare these two distinct groups). Likely there is a difference in these two groups due to the presence of a male figure in the lives of the children. However, the statistics on cohabiting parents are dismal to say thee least. I am reproducing an article on the issue below.

It never ceases to amaze me that young adults believe that more than 4000 years of human practice (approximate period of  “human history” that marriage has been an institution) can be ignored with impunity. Why is that, ask you? Because answer I, they believe that are so much “smarter” and “more modern” than us old fogies.

Roy Filly

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.24.34 AM

For kids, parental cohabitation and marriage are not interchangeable.

Alysse Elhage

An article in… Parents magazine explores the new “norm” of unmarried childbearing—the increasing number of younger Americans who are choosing to have and raise children in cohabiting unions instead of marriage. The article features a few happily unmarried couples raising children, most of whom echo a popular Millennial view of marriage as essentially unnecessary to parenting.

“Traditional marriage is beautiful and wonderful, but it’s not important for me because a wedding is what you do when you start your life with someone,” said cohabiting mom Allison, who is raising two kids with her boyfriend of four years. “With two kids, a dog and a cat, we’re already living it.” Jennifer, a single mom who recently ended a nine-year cohabiting relationship with the father of her three year-old-son, said prior to their split, she and her ex were “secure in our relationship, and no wedding, piece of jewelry, or common last name was going to make us feel any more so.”

While some cohabiting adults seem happy enough to live together without marriage, what about their children? It is an important question considering that about one in four American children today are born to cohabiting parents. According to Child Trends, the number of cohabiting couples with children under 18 has nearly tripled since the late 1990s—increasing from 1.2 million in 1996 to 3.1 million in 2014. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that the majority of recent non-marital births (58 percent) are to unmarried women living with their child’s father.

On the surface, the trend away from divorced or unwed mothers raising kids on their own, toward more children living with both of their parents, seems like a positive one for children raised outside of marriage. However, when it comes to child well-being, cohabiting unions more closely resemble single motherhood than marriage. As eighteen noted family scholars stated in a 2011 report from the National Marriage Project, “cohabitation is not the functional equivalent of marriage,” and it is “the largely unrecognized threat to the quality and stability of children’s lives today.”

For children, the differences between cohabiting and married parents extend far beyond the lack of a marriage license. Compared to children of married parents, those with cohabiting parents are more likely to experience the breakup of their families, be exposed to “complex” family forms, live in poverty, suffer abuse, and have negative psychological and educational outcomes.

Unstable Unions: One of the major sources of inequality between cohabiting and married parenthood is that cohabiting couples tend to split up at higher rates than married couples. According to the 2013 National Marriage Project report, Knot Yet, children of cohabiting parents in their twenties are three times more likely to experience the dissolution of their family than children born to married parents. The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCW), meanwhile, finds that “nearly half of parents who are cohabiting at the time of their child’s birth break up within five years, compared to only 20 percent of married parents.”

Complex Families: Because of the fragile nature of cohabiting unions, children born to cohabiting parents are also more likely to transition in and out of new—and often confusing—family forms after their parents split up. According to the FFCW study, nearly 40 percent of unmarried mothers will cohabit with a new partner after their relationship with their child’s father ends, and 14 percent will have another child with a new partner. As Sara McLanahan and Christopher Jencks explain in a recent article, the instability and complexity of cohabiting unions “have important consequences for children’s home environment and the quality of the parenting they receive. Both the departure of a father and the arrival of a mother’s new partner disrupt family routines and are stressful for most children, regardless of whether the father is married to their mother or merely cohabiting with her.”

Child Poverty: Children raised in cohabiting unions are significantly more likely to experience poverty than those whose parents are married. In fact, cohabiting parents are second only to single mothers in terms of child poverty rates. According to a study by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, children in married-couple households have a poverty rate of 11 percent, compared to a 47 percent poverty rate for children in cohabiting opposite-sex couple households, and a 48 percent child poverty rate in single-mother households.

One reason for the higher poverty rates among children in cohabiting unions has to do with pre-existing differences between cohabiting and married parents. According to a Child Trends analysis, cohabiting parents tend to have less education, lower incomes, and less secure employment than married parents. Also, because cohabiting unions are more likely to dissolve than marriages, children in cohabiting unions are at a greater risk of spending time in a single-parent family, which significantly increases their poverty risk.

Child Abuse: While children living with their unmarried biological mother and her live-in boyfriend face a higher risk of suffering child abuse than kids in any other type of family, children who live with their own cohabiting parents are more likely to be abused than children of married parents. Data from the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect shows that children living with biological cohabiting parents are over four times as likely to be physically, sexually, and emotionally abused as those living with their own married parents.

Negative Life Outcomes: On average, children living with cohabiting biological parents fare worse on several social, psychological, and educational outcomes than children born to married parents, even after controlling for factors like race, household income, and parental education. According to the National Marriage Project, children in cohabiting families are more likely to use drugs, suffer from depression, and drop out of school than children from married-parent families. While some of the negative effects of cohabitation on children can be partly explained by their parents’ lack of resources, according to W. Bradford Wilcox, “cohabitation has an independent negative impact on children.”

While cohabiting parenthood may look like marriage in that it provides children with both a mom and a dad, it is a more fragile and less safe family union than marriage that robs children of a wide range of social, psychological, and educational benefits. As Wilcox has written here, “No other institution reliably connects two parents, and their money, talent, and time, to their children in the way that marriage does.”

Despite the popularity and convenience of cohabitation, marriage is still the best setting to have and raise children. Now more than ever, we need to do a better job of communicating that truth to the next generation.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

“CEO earnings:” The political lie.

A reader sent me the graph below (thanks, PK). Kinda’ makes one wish they were a “CEO.” I am a great fan of graphs, but only those that advance our understanding. Does the graph actually depict the average salary of a CEO? As it turns out the graph and the following statistics were “researched” by the largest labor union. Democrat candidates for the presidency like to quote these statistics.

Report: CEOs Earn 331 Times As Much As Average Workers, 774 Times As Much As Minimum Wage Earners. The AFL-CIO “has data” stating that American CEOs earned an average of $12.3 million – an eye-popping 331 times the average worker’s $46, 400.

And now “the graph”:

e9b1c9e4-6f4f-4145-bd61-baea98276dff

 

However, let’s move into the realm of reality. The American Enterprise Institute, in an article by Mark J. Perry, gives us the straight scoop. The average US CEO last year made only $178,400 (about the same as a dentist), and got a raise of less than 1% (the average wage increase for all workers was 1.4%).

Occupation Average Annual Wage
Anesthesiologists $235,070
Surgeons $233,150
Oral Surgeons $218,960
Obstetricians $212,570
Orthodontist $196,270
Internists $188,440
Family Practitioners $183,940
Psychiatrist $182,660
Chief Executives $178,400
Dentist $168,870
Nurse Anesthetist $156,690
Petroleum Engineer $149,180
Average for All Workers $46,440

So from where did the graph and statistics proselytized by the AFL-CIO materialize? The graph reports the salaries of the top 200 CEOs among the S&P 500 companies. The Democrat candidates wring their hands and criticize the “excessive CEO compensation.” They inevitably comparison rising CEO salaries to stagnant pay for average workers, and how that contributes to rising income inequality, etc.

According to the US Census, there are more than 27 million private firms in the US. So, do the top 200 firms reported in the above statistic constitute a representative sample? Hardly! The “sample” constitutes only one of every 135,000 private firms in the US, or 0.00074% (less than 1/1000 of 1%).

The chart provided above gives a more accurate and complete picture of CEO compensation by looking at wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in its annual report on Occupational Employment and Wages. The BLS report provides “employment and wage estimates by area and by industry for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups,” including the category “chief executives.” The BLS reports that the average pay for America’s 248,760 chief executives (not just the 200 highest paid) was only $178,400. Let me ask if you have heard Bernie rail against “excessive orthodontist compensation?”

Like virtually everything that emanates from the mouths of Hillary and Bernie, it is distorted. We should applaud the richest 200 CEOs as a group of the most successful American business professionals, and not vilify them. And we should keep in mind that they are an outlier, elite group, and not representative of the average CEO in America.

Roy Filly

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Famous presidential lies.

The following are straight from an email blast. But it encapsulated how I feel about the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Famous Presidential Lies Contest

Written by, To The Point News

LBJ:

  • None of our boys will die on foreign soil

Nixon:

  • I am not a crook

GHW Bush:

  • Read my lips – No New Taxes

Clinton:

  • I did not have sex with that woman… Miss Lewinski

GW Bush:

  • Iraq has weapons of mass destruction

Obama:

  • I will have the most transparent administration in history. 
  • The stimulus will fund shovel-ready jobs. 
  • I am focused like a laser on creating jobs. 
  • The IRS is not targeting anyone. 
  • It was a spontaneous riot about a movie. 
  • I will put an end to the type of politics that “breeds division, conflict and cynicism”. 
  • You didn’t build that! 
  • I will restore trust in Government. 
  • The Cambridge cops acted stupidly. 
  • The public will have 5 days to look at every bill that lands on my desk 
  • It’s not my red line – it is the world’s red line. 
  • Whistle blowers will be protected in my administration. 
  • We got back every dime we used to rescue the banks and auto companies, with interest. 
  • I am not spying on American citizens. 
  • Obama Care will be good for America. 
  • You can keep your family doctor. 
  • Premiums will be lowered by $2500. 
  • If you like it, you can keep your current healthcare plan. 
  • It’s just like shopping at Amazon. 
  • I knew nothing about “Fast and Furious” gunrunning to Mexican drug cartels. 
  • I knew nothing about IRS targeting conservative groups. 
  • I knew nothing about what happened in Benghazi. 
  • I have never known my uncle from Kenya who is in the country illegally and that was arrested and told to leave the country over 20 years ago. 
  • And, I have never lived with that uncle.  He finally admitted (12-05-2013) that he DID know his uncle and that he DID live with him. 
  • If elected I promise not to renew the Patriot Act. 
  • If elected I will end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan within the 1st 9 months of my term. 
  • I will close Guantanamo within the first 6 months of my term. 
  • I will bridge the gap between black and white and between America and other countries.

And the biggest one of all:

  • “I, Barrack Hussein Obama, pledge to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

The rise of unmarried parenting. It’s not just a US problem.

The best available evidence suggests that marriage is about 4,350 years old. Others believe marriage is a truly ancient institution and predated recorded history. Of course, marriage has changed dramatically over the millenia, but it has proven to be the backbone of society and child rearing. That function of marriage appears to be coming to an end. I am glad I will not be around to witness the aftermath. Americans are rightfully chagrined at the rising numbers of unmarried women having babies. I was somewhat surprised to see that we are not alone or even in the forefront of the problem.

chartoftheday_4877_the_rise_of_unmarried_parenting_n

Mirabili dictu!

Roy Filly

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments