With Statistics You Can ‘Prove’ Anything.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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statistics word cloud

With statistics you can prove anything.

Take global warming for example.

Although Al Gore blatantly exploited the global warming theory to make himself millions of dollars in one of the biggest scams in recent history, the real inconvenient truth about the guff he was peddling was that the statistical evidence didn’t back up what he was saying.

Al Gore climate change hoax

That was a BIG problem for his credibility and for the credibility of the pseudo-scientists who had grabbed on to his coattails to try to make a name for themselves also.

There were only two possible things they could do.

(1) admit they had got it wrong,

or

(2) change the statistics.

two doors

Of course, door number (1) meant telling the truth, so they chose door number (2).

They changed the statistics.

Basically what the pseudo-scientists have now done is made the inconvenient “pause” in global warming disappear.

In a new paper published by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) they now estimate that global temperature during the period 1998 to 2012 increased twice as fast as all other estimates had calculated.

NOAA logo

Of course, their new study stays well clear of six of the seven temperature sets used by climate scientists and instead uses the one regarded as problematic, the one shunned even by the UK’s own Met Office.

How they think they can get away with such crap is beyond me.

What they have done this time is just make the numbers up as they need them. Where instrument readings didn’t exist, for example for the Arctic, they stuck in a ‘guess’ of what they would have been, a ‘guess’ that would be sure to support the conclusion they wanted to reach.

Past temperatures like the HOT 1930s have been erased and other figures ‘massaged’ to emphasize recent warming.

us-high-records-by-date

The whole thing is another big fraud to manipulate the public who invariably believe whatever they are told by supposedly ‘learned’ sources and to give unscrupulous governments the ammunition they need to introduce more unnecessary legislation and taxes.

Facts, like the almost two decade long pause in global warming, are officially accepted by organizations like the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), but you would never know it if you read any of their reports because this type of information is buried so deep within it that hardly anyone sees it.

So if you ignore reality and make up your own numbers you can indeed prove anything with statistics.

In fact….

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my post stats

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Charles Munger Agrees With Me.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I always think it’s nice when someone agrees me. Even more so when they are well versed in the subject matter.

Charles Munger is such a guy. And he agrees with me, or at least he would do, had he read a post I wrote recently about Burger King’s move to Canada to avoid high US corporate taxes. (Click here if you want to read it.)

Anyway, we’re saying the same thing, and that’s what matters.

For those readers who don’t know who Charles Munger is, he is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the world famous investment company headed by Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world.

Charlie_Munger

Munger says people who criticize Burger King’s plan to shift its headquarters to Canada, where tax rates are lower, are “stark raving mad”. What they should be calling for are cuts in corporate taxes to encourage business to stay in the US and even relocate there.

More than 40 U.S. companies have reincorporated abroad since 1982.

In fairness it has to be said that Munger does have a vested interest of sorts to stick up for Burger King. Berkshire Hathaway committed $3 billion to help finance Miami-based Burger King’s planned takeover of Tim Hortons Inc., the doughnut maker with headquarters in Oakville, Ontario.

Burger King meal

But that’s not why he said what he said. He is smart enough to know what is good for business generally and levying hefty taxes on corporations is not good. In fact he said, “If I were running the world, I would probably have low corporate taxes and get at the well-to-do people in some other way, like consumption taxes.”

Unfortunately President Barack Obama isn’t so smart. He has continued to criticize American companies that move to other nations in search of lower corporate tax bills.

And his Treasury Secretary, Jacob J. Lew, has recently announced new rules aimed at making it more difficult for American companies to lower their tax bills by relocating overseas and that would wipe out the benefits for those that do.

The changes will affect only deals that are completed from now on. But they could include pending inversion deals, like the one involving AbbVie, an Illinois-based pharmaceutical company that is in the process of acquiring its smaller British rival, Shire, or the Minneapolis medical device maker Medtronic, which is acquiring Covidien in Ireland.

And if the government continues on this path what will happen?

I think if US companies are prevented from making these kind of deals by ever greedy and intrusive government legislation they will simply close down altogether in the US. Wealth creation will be lost, many thousands of jobs will be lost and America will lose its long held position as the commercial powerhouse of the world.

When the American people were offered “Change” I don’t think this is what they were expecting.

Barack Obama Hope Change

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Term Talk

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

Generic Political Directional Signs

Don’t worry the title of this post doesn’t mean that you’re back at school again. This ‘term talk’ in the title refers to politics and politicians.

President Obama takes a lot of stick because of his headstrong insistence in implementing his Obamacare legislation. As I’ve said before, it’s a laudable goal, but the country can’t afford it. But on he goes anyway.

Love him or hate him, or neither, he’s limited to two terms of four years in office, then he has to go and make way for the next person who wants the job.

To begin with that’s a stupid system because the main thrust of the first Presidency about half way or so in office isn’t governing the country but instead trying to ensure election for a second term and wasting billions of dollars doing it.

4-four-more-years-button

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the present system sucks. Nor do you have to be a professor of politics to suggest an alternative  –  for example a single term of five or six years, which still leaves plenty of time to settle into the job and implement whatever policies you have promised the electorate.

So that’s the first problem solved.

However, there is another term problem that infests American politics (and many other countries too).

What about the rest of the elected politicians?

Well, why not introduce the same system for them? Elected for a five or six year term after which they have to start to earn a living again?

Sounds good to me.

According to Wikipedia John Dingell has managed 58 years in the House and still going. John Conyers has been there for 49 years. Coincidentally both these politicians are Democrats and both represent Michigan, so another problem that these ‘lifers’ cause is that there is no incentive for new blood to enter politics when they have little or no chance of being selected for election.

john_dingell
Congressman John Dingell

I’m not picking on these guys in particular. They just happen to be the two longest serving examples. There were others of similar longevity but they had the good grace to eventually retire, or die after half a century or so. Amazingly more than one hundred members of Congress have been allowed to serve for at least 36 years.

When I say “serve” I am just using the normal expression for these jobs. Whether they realize it or not, career politicians are nothing more than parasites living a cozy life off the money provided by the rest of us through our taxes. When an elected representative is entrenched in his or her position for a very long period of time they are not serving their people, they are simply relying on their people to provide them with a good living, premier health care and generous pension benefits (assuming they retire eventually!).

“Ah,” I hear someone say. “But what about the ‘experience’ that these long serving members bring?”

“Oh,” I reply. “What about it? Have we not seen in recent years and months that whatever experience they bring is not worth a hell of a lot. Just look at the mess the country is in and tell me if fresh faces could do any worse.”

So the solution to the two worst political problems that face America are easily solved.

The next question is will they be solved?

And the answer to that is probably ‘NO’. And it is probably ‘NO’ because the people who have the power to change the law are the very people that that law would affect.

turkeys voting for Christmas

They say turkeys wouldn’t vote for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Asses and elephants probably wouldn’t vote for this idea either.

What a pity.

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The Stupider People Are, The More They Complicate Things!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Time for a mid-week rant I think.

danger bureaucrats at work

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You may have noticed from the tag line of this blog that its major theme is to expose stupidity and bureaucracy and hopefully to encourage people to fight against it, rather than meekly fall in line with every idiotic rule and regulation that the bureaucratic morons introduce to make our lives a misery.

It is one of those curious contradictions in life that the stupider people are, the more they complicate things and the more they try to regulate things that require no regulation.

They just don’t understand that simplicity can sometimes be the most effective solution to problems – if indeed the problems they perceive even exist in the first place.

On the other hand, things that do need regulating, like the banksters for example, are left largely without interference.

how many bureaucrats does it take to screw in light bulb

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The big question is, why do these idiot bureaucrats needlessly complicate our lives? 

Many years ago I figured it out.

They do it to try to enhance their own importance. It’s as easy as that.

Let’s face it, most bureaucratic jobs don’t take a rocket scientist’s brain to cope with them. They are easy and repetitive but if done correctly can be completed quickly and without upsetting anyone.

But the bureaucrats won’t have it that way. Complicate the task is their solution. If they do that they need more staff to help them. If they have more staff they get to be in charge of more people, which makes them more important. If they complicate it even more they might need a whole department. And on and on it goes.

In the business world there are empire builders in all large companies. People of mediocre ability, but with enough survival instinct to create a belief that what they do is useful to the company. 

As time goes on they are able to hide within their little empires inside a company and no one questions if what they are doing is really needed and certainly few realize how dumb they are. It is only once they leave this safe environment that the truth becomes clearer.

I have encountered several of these beasts out in the open and it is not a pretty sight. They are so dumb that they have forgotten how dumb they really are. Inflated with their artificially induced and undeserved stature within their former companies they imagine that out in the real world they are, not just ‘as good’ as everyone else, but ‘better’ than everyone else! Invariably they make a mess of things, but unfortunately they cause a lot of damage, sometimes irreparable, before they are caught on and fired. 

Obviously the same type of people are in public life too. In fact this is where they excel, because here it is much harder to pin down their accountability and fire them. In many cases the people who have the power to fire them are exactly the same types and the last thing they want to do is diminish the size of their own empires.

baseball cap bureaucrats suck

Have you ever noticed that an average town or city can function quite well and efficiently with a mayor and a handful of administrators.

Yet if you take the same town or city ten years later, while it probably hasn’t changed much as regards size, (only in exceptional circumstances would it have doubled or trebled its population or area), it’s local bureaucracy has more than doubled and trebled in size, probably a lot more. It probably also has an increasing number of by-laws and regulations and to pay for it all more and more property and other taxes are being demanded from the community. Clearly all this additional bureaucracy is not needed. But it is there and will continue to grow.

Why do we allow this? Why do we keep electing people whose only idea seems to be the provision of the same basic services at an ever increasing cost?

Big government, federal government, is even worse.

The European Parliament, for example, churns out regulation after regulation after regulation, about ridiculous things like how straight a cucumber should be or how bent a banana can be and still be called a banana! 

Washington has adopted the same strategy, sticking its nose in things that are none of its business and that only serve to hinder rather than help the people who elected them.

banana wars

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It’s about time we tried to stop this spiral into disaster.

It’s time big brother and all his little administrators had their noses put out of joint. 

Remember, “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”,  wherever and whenever you can!

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Are These Dumb Politicians And Bureaucrats Trying To Make America A Better Place Or Just Trying To Destroy It!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I talked before about the bureaucrat’s insatiable desire to make things more difficult, awkward and expensive for legitimate businesses in America and Europe. That’s all they know how to do. I’ve also said before that introducing ever more taxes and regulations on bricks & mortar businesses would not be enough. They would have to try to destroy businesses operating online as well.

Well that latter attempt at destroying what is left of American entrepreneurship moved up another notch this week when the US Senate passed the “Marketplace Fairness Act”.

online sales tax cartoon

 

I’ll come back to that in a moment, but the title of this latest piece of needless bureaucratic interference illustrates perfectly once again the deceitfulness of the politicians and bureaucrats.

The “Marketplace Fairness Act” is not about “fairness”. It is not about leveling the playing field between those businesses operating online and those on the proverbial “High Street”. Anyone who tells you that is lying. (Really, a politician lying? Whatever next?)

fairness

 

Like all similar legislation, the “Marketplace Fairness Act” is about control; about making life more difficult for people who want to do business; and, not least, about trying to extort the last penny out of your pocket in the form of taxes.

I say “your” pocket, because at the end of the day businesses have to pass their increased costs on to the final consumer and that my friends is us!

Yes, the “Marketplace Fairness Act” has just been passed by the US Senate. As these things do, it still has to pass through the House of Representatives as well, and it will, if not on the first attempt on subsequent ones. Have you ever seen a stupid bad law that wasn’t pushed through by fair means or foul?

What the “Marketplace Fairness Act” does is to impose sales taxes for business transactions or sales done online. In other words, when you buy something from an online retailer, or a retailer with an online facility, you will be subject to the addition of a sales tax.

In the simplest terms, for you, the consumer, this Bill means that your bills will be bigger – you will have to pay more! For the business operating online it means more bureaucracy, more forms to fill out, more tax filings to be done – in short more hassle.

But for the government it means more money to be squandered on another war or on the next idiotic idea that Washington can think of.

Internet_Sales_Tax

 

And another unfairness that the Marketplace Fairness Act will create is that online businesses operating outside the United States will be laughing their tax free socks off.

You see this law will not – cannot – apply to foreign companies who do business online and sell to US-based consumers.

Why? Because the US authorities have no practical way to enforce it, and because businesses in foreign countries couldn’t care less about enforcing it, nor will their governments.

Do you seriously think for one moment that either businesses or governments in, for example, China, or India, or even Mexico are going to waste their time collecting sales tax for Uncle Sam?

So if I was setting up an online business would I still do it in America? I think you know the answer.

You could be forgiven for asking whether these dumb politicians and bureaucrats are really trying to make America a better place or just trying to destroy it!

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Cyprus Theft Update

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Anyone who has been following this story that I posted about a few days ago, (here if you missed it), will know that the European Union bureaucrats made an attempt to steal the savings of the Cypriot people right out of their bank accounts.

With at least one eye on their chances of being re-elected, the Cypriot parliament rejected the proposal out of hand. The proper thing to do no doubt, but there is also no doubt that this will not be the end of it. Indeed the fallout continues.

Western governments are desperate because of the financial mess that they and their bankster accomplices have created. And desperate governments are known to take desperate measures to try to patch things up.

Look out for more attempts by these governments to steal your money, whether it be in the form of savings in the bank, government bonds, stocks or in pension plans. Nothing is safe from the clutches of these thieves.

The goings on in Cyprus has already proven their intent and alarm bells have begun to sound among those who are awake and paying attention. The bureaucrats’ attempted money grab has already sparked off suspicion and panic throughout Europe and elsewhere as to the amount of trust people can have in their governments.

Even among the financially stronger nations the trend is clear. In Germany, for example, a recent opinion poll showed that the majority of Germans do not trust their leader, Merkel’s, pronouncements that their money is safe in a bank.

Throughout Europe those who can are moving their money to offshore locations away from the thieving hands of their own governments. Big corporations, including US corporations, are doing the same. It has already happened in Ireland and Spain and France and, to a lesser extent, in the UK too.

What a sad commentary on how these stupid politicians and bureaucrats have mismanaged our affairs.

Will it hit America as well?

That depends just how stupid the political administration in Washington really is – which is perhaps a kind way of saying, please err on the side of caution if you are an American citizen.

The $ as a currency will probably be okay for a while, despite the humongous debt that Obama is piling up, but eventually it will become impossible to print their way out of trouble.

All those highly paid morons and herd followers called ‘money managers’ who work for the various funds that you entrust your savings and pensions to, and who do little more than buy up T-Bills with it, may find that their strategy is going to backfire. Like the banksters, however, they will still charge you a fee for looking after your money whether they invest it wisely or lose it all.

But whilst the bureaucrats will never be able to figure out how to run an economy – their, “take more and more taxes out of less and less income” strategy will never add up – eventually the penny will drop with the good citizens and they will waken up and realize they have been completely shafted by incompetent politicians and greedy banksters.

Then the brown stuff will hit the fan – big time – and people will get real mad. And then the powers that be will have no choice but to turn on their own citizens if they are to cling to power. Preparations for this started under Bush and now Obama has added even more legislation to make this possible.  

It is a rather bleak scenario, particularly for those who choose to ignore what is happening around them. But whether it happens in one year or another five, if the politicians and bureaucrats do not wise up – and their is little sign of them doing that especially when they have yet to realize how incompetent they are – it will happen.

So start to think seriously about your own circumstances and what you can do to protect what you have from thieving governments. Or just settle down and get another 40 winks assured in the knowledge that those in Washington, Brussels, London and Berlin know what they’re doing.

Cyprus ATM
Cyprus ATM

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A Question Of Lies And Gross Indecency, But Just Who Is Responsible?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The election is looming. Just about a month to go in fact.

Despite his numerous gaffs, after the first televised debate Romney has pulled slightly ahead in the polls and according to news reports, is “hardening his lead”, mainly on the back of a lackluster performance by Obama.

The VP debate last week didn’t produce a clear leader either – just created a frenzy among viewers to find out who was under the desk tickling Biden’s feet.

Last evening’s bout at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York didn’t produce a clear winner for me either, although some media polls put Obama ahead. His performance was certainly way better than in debate one, but you could easily have written the totally predictable moron media’s “Obama fights back” headlines without even watching it.

What this all means is that it’s still all to play for and far too close to call. In the end the committed supporters on each side will largely cancel each other out and the king-makers (or president-makers in this case) will be the 5 to 10 percent so far undecided.

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Does it really matter who wins? After all, when it’s all done and dusted, the same types of people will hold the same offices as before. They will do the same things as before. And the mess we are all in will be as big as before – or bigger. I hope you have noticed that there has been a distinct failure by BOTH candidates to address the economic crisis in any meaningful and specific terms.  

But there are two other questions we need to address.

First, there is an obscenity here that no one is talking very much about. Call it the elephant and the donkey in the room if you like. It is an obscenity that has been around for far too long, but today in our current dire economic circumstances, it has been elevated to the level of gross indecency.

What am I ranting on about this time?

political money badge

 

Well, if you hadn’t guessed already, the obscenity I am referring to is the scandalous amount of money that BOTH presidential candidates are wasting trying to get themselves elected.

We all know Romney is a multi-millionaire, with equally rich chums or better, so it maybe isn’t such a surprise that he is able to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for his campaign war chest.

What is more surprising is Obama. His war chest is actually bigger than Romney’s and, quite unbelievably, is about to hit and probably surpass the $1 billion mark. It may already have by the time you read this.

Obama war chest

 

I know a billion dollars isn’t what it used to be in terms of purchasing power, but it can still buy a lot of stuff. If you are having any difficulty visualizing how much a billion dollars is, think of it this way. The median income in the United States is around $29,000, meaning half the wage earners  make less and half make more. If you make $29,000 a year, and don’t spend a single penny of it, it will still take you 34,482 years to save a billion dollars.

One Billion Dollars
One Billion Dollars

 

Now you are probably having trouble visualizing what it would be like to wait 34,482 years – if you are, it’s over 400 lifetimes!

Put another way, their combined waste of money could provide almost 150,000 surgical procedures, or more than 500 million meals for the poor and homeless, either of them money a lot better spent.

homeless in winter
homeless in winter

 

That anyone, Obama, Romney or A. N. Other can squander this amount of money for no return other than to aggrandize themselves with the title of President shows a deal of contempt for the ordinary people of the country, particularly those who are presently struggling to survive thanks to the financial mismanagement that these same politicians have presided over.

You can be sure that whoever gets into the big seat in the White House he will drown us in hypocrisy. We will get lectures about sacrifice and austerity measures, how deficits need to be cut, how taxes need to be raised, how you will have to tighten your belt for the sake of the country (whether you can still afford a belt or not) and so forth. Where was the belt tightening during the election campaign, boyz???

Rat Cartoon

 

Of course, we are told that the bulk of the money in the politicians’ war chests is made up of the small $5, $10, $25 or $50 donated by ordinary folks. That may be true. But there are two types of dollars donated for election campaigns – ‘gifted’ dollars and ‘investment’ dollars. Most of the dollars donated by big corporations, super rich individuals and bankers fall into the latter category. Those people will be expecting, and will get, a return on that ‘investment’.

political graft

Thus the system – which is now so corrupt that rich executives ride roughshod over the law at will, and without fear of being punished no matter who is president – will remain largely as is.

This is a recipe for disaster. If history has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that a nation, caught between a broken political system and a populist movement of those who feel increasingly disenfranchised and undervalued, will at some stage experience rebellion against that corruption.

If you think not, think again. In fact, think tea parties in Boston and how and why the United States came into being in the first place.

Boston tea party cartoon

 

Of course the solution to this particular obscenity is quick and easy. Put a ceiling on the amount of money a politician can legally collect and spend on his campaign. That would create a level playing field for all. Rich or poor, large party or small party, would have an equal chance of marketing their wears.

The only problem is that it is the same politicians who will have to make that law, and last reports still say that turkeys are very reluctant to vote for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Thanksgiving Turkey eat beef campaign

 

So that gets us to the second question in the title of this post, namely “Who is responsible?” In fact it is a two-fold question.

Are the politicians responsible because they lie to the people and promise one thing before an election and do another afterwards?

Or are the people responsible because they know fine well that the politicians are lying to them and won’t deliver on their promises, but still go out and vote for them anyway?

Let’s phrase these two questions another way.

Are the politicians responsible because they know that if they did not lie, not enough people would vote for them?

Or are the people responsible because they don’t really want to hear the hard truth and would not vote for a politician who told it how it is?

 

Everyone has to answer that dilemma themselves. Personally I wouldn’t vote for someone I know is lying to me, no matter what party they belonged to.

 

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