Biggest news of the year/ decade

Seems like everyone is focused on politics, president Cheeto-head, the Kardashians, ISIS, or the crisis-of-the-month.  But this little tidbit almost slid by my radar:  94% of the jobs created in the past decade were not traditional 9-5, full-time jobs.  According to this study, conventional jobs are disappearing. You know, like jobs with benefits.

For those of us who are boomers and maybe Gen-Xers, it’s not a huge problem.  We mostly already have jobs.  But millennials have to figure out how to carve out a living with small chance of buying a home, getting health insurance from an employer, or providing for retirement.

Something to think about when the government thinks about shutting down health insurance subsidies and cutting back on social security benefits for those just entering the workforce.  And I guess that Uber drivers can always raise their families in their vans, which is OK as long as the founders of Uber are zillionaires.




Can cops legally shoot you for any reason?

One year ago on Thanksgiving, a Paradise CA cop shot a motorist who was exiting his wrecked car.  The cop claimed that he accidentally pulled out his weapon, accidentally aimed his weapon at the motorist, and accidentally shot the motorist. (The motorist eventually died from his gunshot wound).  The cop was not prosecuted because “he is human and humans make mistakes”.  There’s a little more to the story that’s not on this clip.  It seems that because cops are trained to shoot twice (double tap), if they only shoot you with one bullet, it must be an accident. This story stunned me because it seemed to imply that cops have a free pass to shoot anyone for any reason.  I can’t see how you can interpret this in any other way.

So it’s one year later and I followed it up and found that after protests, he was eventually tried and found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. So, if citizens protest wrongful shootings, it’s possible that cops will have to stand trial for shooting you.  The cop, Patrick Feaster, is supposed to be sentenced in December.  He only faces up to 5 years in jail for killing someone.

Note that his fellow officers defended his actions.  Of course they did.  It’s us vs. them.  And of course, his dirt-bag lawyer is trying to get another trial on a technicality. So, can cops legally shoot you for any reason?  We don’t yet know.

Texting vs. guns

In 2015, 30,000 tickets were issued in California for texting while driving.  That’s 30,000 people who were OK with killing me on the road.  Yet, all the leftists here in CA are concerned about guns.  Where’s the outrage for texting?  I’ll tell you … those same leftists want to be free to kill me with their distracted driving.  But they want to take away my ability to protect myself with a gun.

How to hike to Black Point Fissures

FissuresThe Fissures at Black Point, next to Mono Lake, are interesting formations that are worthy of the shortish hike.  But as you’ve read, it’s hard to find the fissures because there’s no trail.  So, here are come clues to finding the Black Point Fissures at Mono Lake.

  1.  The fissures do not face the lake, they face west, towards highway 395.
  2. You’ll be tempted to start from the trail head by ambling south along the hill.  Only do that if you want a longer hike. Suck it up an head straight up the hill at only a SLIGHT angle, as shown on the map, a clockwise route.
  3. If you hike too far south, you will stumble on what I call “faux fissures” like I did.  Not worth the side trip.  I deleted that side trip from my GPS route you see.
  4. The route that takes you south of Black Point peak is easier because it’s a bit more gradual and the terrain is a bit more open, meaning, fewer picker bushes.
  5. You do not have to scale Black Point peak to get to the fissures, I recommend skirting to the left or right, unless you really want to see the 360 degree view.  You’ll see the same view by taking my route.
  6. The route north of the point is the way I took back to the trailhead.
  7. A good GPS setting for finding the Black Point Fissures is: 38 01 36 W, 119 05 53 N.  I’m surprised that I couldn’t find this anywhere.  Set your GPS and just go for that point; you can’t go wrong.  I think you can just go straight to that point, and not so far south as I did.
  8. I’m not recommending the route I took, ONLY the GPS setting.  If you give yourself time, you’ll easily spend an hour or three exploring a wider range of fissures than is shown on this map.
  9. In the summer, it can get hot here.  IMO, start early in the morning.  Good luck!

How to Fix the Deficit

The State of Washington has figured out a way to fix the deficit.  Tax our constitutional rights.  They’ve put a $25 tax on guns and a tax on bullets, so that’s taxing our 2nd amendment rights.  But that’s just a start. Let’s look a few more amendments:

1st:  Tax free speech.  If you want to say something publicly, you must pay a tax.  I should have to pay a tax for this blog.

3rd:  Don’t want your home used as a military barracks?  Pay a tax.

4th:  Pay up or the police can raid your home and do full body cavity searches whenever they feel like it.

5th:  Relying on the 5th amendment to not be forced to testify against yourself?  Pay a tax or lose the right.

6th :  Tax the right to counsel.  If you hire a lawyer, you must pay a tax.  This could be huge.

7th:  You want a jury trial?  Pay a tax

8th:  You don’t want to be subject to cruel and unusual punishment?  Pay a tax or it’s the “rack” for you.

9th:  Pay a tax or the govt will take away other, unnamed rights.

13th:  You don’t want to be a slave?  Pay up.

14th:  Pay a tax if you want to be a citizen

15th:  If you’re black and want to vote, pay a tax

19th:  If you’re a woman and want to vote, pay up

It’s interesting that until Washington State, no one thought of this, so I can’t take credit.


Minimum Wage – let’s not freak out

I was a little concerned that we’re rushing to increase the minimum wage, and didn’t understand the rationale.  Then I found this site and realized that in real terms, the minimum wage today is quite a bit lower than when I was making minimum, back in the early 70s.  I still don’t believe that the minimum in Hell, MI should be the same as in SF, CA, but there’s clearly room for some growth.  Something to think about.