My brother owned a custom home building business in Raleigh, NC. He had his own crew for certain jobs but for most he relied on subcontractors. As the years passed the subs began hiring more and more immigrants because they couldn’t find enough willing, reliable, and skilled Americans. The next thing that happened was the immigrants figured out what the sub business was all about and started their own subcontractor businesses. Because they couldn’t find Americans to do the work they too turned to relying on immigrants. It’s like I said, we’ve always needed immigrants. We needed the Irish and Chinese to build our railroads. We needed Italians to mine our coal. We needed Poles to make our steel and other East Europeans to butcher our beef. And we needed Mexicans to harvest our fields and orchards. Most of these people assimilated, gained citizenship, and eventually prospered and added to the diversity and strength of America. Just think what life would be without the gastronomic influences of the Mexicans and Italians. No tacos or pizza. Just go ahead and kill me!
Remember when Volkswagen got caught cheating on the pollution numbers about its diesel cars? Well, they had to recall about 350,000 cars, most of which are sitting on giant parking lots all across America waiting for some decision on what to do with them. In the meantime they are being fully maintained to keep them sellable. Could there be some great car deals in the months ahead?
Based on my assumption that there are less critics of a common and long existing .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle, like the one I gave my grandson, than of a .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle that has been labeled an “assault” rifle, I’ve been doing a lot of research on where the truth lies and so far it remains elusive.
Yesterday my son dug through his junk box and came up with a couple of different sample rounds, a 9mm and a .223. I searched and found a .22 hollow point. As you can see in the photo I took the 9mm projectile is quite larger than the other two but the case of the .223 is much larger. The diameter of the .22 and the .223 are almost identical with the .223 projectile being somewhat longer and more aero-dynamically shaped. The cartridge case of the .22 is miniscule compared to the two other rounds.
So, what’s all this mean? It means my grandson’s .22 semi-automatic shoots a bullet almost identical to the military .223 used in an AR-15. The target is getting hit by about the same amount of metal. The 9mm bullet, being larger, will cut a larger hole in the target. In addition to the bullet size is the amount of gunpowder in the cartridge case, the more powder the faster and further the bullet will travel. And when it arrives at the target less energy will have been spent and the potential for damage increases. If the target is an animal or human the bullet may begin to tumble as it enters the body which could multiply the damages. Distance would also be a factor. On the assumption that the 9mm would be shot from a pistol distance would have a major influence on bullet’s potential. Being fired from a rifle the bullet could travel further before losing it’s ability to be effective. In this comparison the .223 reigns supreme because of its speed or velocity.
While there is no end to the science behind ballistics and to the debate over which is the best ammo round. The one truth I understand is that every bullet has the potential to kill. Oh, and that includes a BB, “it will take your eye out!”
A lot of laid off coal miners voted for Trump because he got them to believe in the lie that coal was coming back to Eastern Kentucky and Trump would be driving the lead truck. Well that’s just not going to happen if you believe in reality. There is not a single indicator lending evidence that coal is in out future.
While coal consumption has been dying in America the same has occurred in other nations. China just cancelled the construction of 103 coal-fired generating plants in favor of natural gas. China has stopped importing coal and has laid off tens of thousands of their own miners due to lack of demand.
I became interested in saltwater fishing in the mid 1990, especially around the Morehead City, NC area. The Gulf Stream runs along the NC coast about 35 miles out and is prime fishing for dolphin, king mackerel, wahoo, and several species of tuna. The most prized tuna is the Atlantic bluefin and can bring huge money in Japan. The US government and the state control the tuna catch and the penalties for bagging one out of season can be substantial.
My brother, who lived many years at the coast told me one year a couple of guys had been out in the gulf stream and hooked up a pretty large and very out of season bluefin. Greed got the best of them so they hid it in the bilge and brought it to shore. That they had the animal for sale quickly became known and it didn’t take long before the tuna cops tracked them down. When it was all said and done the fish had cost them many thousands of dollars in fines, some jail time, and the loss of their 35′ center console deep-water boat, it’s trailer, and the big dually they used to pull the rig.
This memory was prompted by a story I just read about the first fish auction in Tokyo for 2017. The highest priced tuna brought $632,000 ($1,300 a pound). The same restaurant that bought this fish paid $1.76 million for a fish in 2013. That represents the world’s record.
What you don’t hear so often is how the demand for horribly expensive sushi is making tuna horribly rare. There is a worldwide need to place the fish on the endangered specie list before it ends up dead as the dodo birds.
I’ve been thinking about a statement being made by Trump, that he wants people in his cabinet who have made a fortune. It made me think of a man I knew in CA named Gene Feldman. Gene was the VP of the company I worked for and had made his fortune from the ground up. He began life at the bottom and through education and hard work became very wealthy.
About once every other month Gene would take whoever wanted to go to a local restaurant for beer and finger food. We’d all sit there as equals and do what people do, talk sports, jobs, family, etc. The “as equals” thing was at his request. For a couple of hours he wanted to be one of the crew and not the boss. He wanted us to know each other as people and not as boss/worker. We all knew and accepted that when the evening was over Gene became, Mr. Feldman again.
CEO TAX: Portland has passed a tax that targets companies where the CEO makes 100 times as much money or more than the average employee. City businesses pay a tax of 2.2 percent of net income, but companies where the CEO makes more than 100 times as much will be assessed a further 10 percent tax, and if they make more than 250 times as much the penalty is a further 25 percent tax. I like this!
Apparently Eric Trump got his tit caught in the Twitter wringer last weekend when he claimed the Wisconsin presidential recount called for by Jill Stein cost the lives of 5,000 children.
One might ask how did Jill Stein kill 5,000 children by ordering a recount? Well, according to young Eric, if the $3.5 million the recount cost had been spent on malaria relief that many kids lives could have been saved.
A friend posted concern that most of Trump’s nominees are very wealthy people from banking and Wall Street. Trump argues these are the people who understand the system and know how to fix it. I don’t have a problem with that. A guy who runs a 300 acre corn and bean farm probably doesn’t have what it takes to rewrite and correct the US income tax code.
But I do question whether the Wall Street insider who has the knowledge will also have the desire. It smacks of putting the mouse in charge of protecting the cheese.
Why would anyone with a high-end sweet job at Goldman-Sachs want to give it up and go to work for the federal government? Well, one answer is pure economics.
People who have a penthouse office with a corner window at places like Goldman-Sachs are partly compensated with stock or shares of the company. If/when they sell these shares they have to pay taxes.
But, if they take an executive job with the government they get to sell those stocks and keep the proceeds, tax-free. The government essentially hands them a tax-free bag of gold.
Donald Trump has now reached out to at least two such people and that number will most likely grow.
This is yet one more way the very rich get richer at our expense. Keep this in mind next time you cash in a CD or a tax-sheltered annuity and you get a tax bill along with the funds.
TOBACCO: 870 billion is the number of cigarettes manufactured by Philip Morris annually. The company has invested $3 billion into tobacco vaporizers, already available in some overseas markets, and plans to have the product in 20 markets this year. BTW, PM has announced it may be planning on exiting the cigarette business.
Following the great recession of 2008 the congress passed a stimulus bill that was supposed to focus on “shovel ready” infrastructure projects. In my opinion it was not as successful as it could have been because it didn’t authorize enough spending and it didn’t demand that every penny spent be spent with American contractors using American labor, American made equipment, and American made supplies.
Another major problem with big government spending programs has always been keeping them from becoming financial boondoggles and money trees for big corporations.
WASHINGTON BAD: Jeff Pence, the dude Trump is appointing to be the next US Attorney General is not a pot friendly person. He has said in public that, “good people don’t use marijuana.” Well in the state of Washington pot sales in the 2nd quarter of 2016 reached $212 million compared to $249 million for alcohol sales.