August 15, 2014

The Europeanization of America

You never know where you will stumble across one of the left's stupid ideas. This one I found on one of my regular design blog reads. I can't say if they agree with the nonsense, they may have just liked the design.


If you are one of those people who scoff at people like me who argue that one of the goals of the left is turn America into another anemic European socialist paradise, check out the Vacation Equality Project.

Be sure to scroll down to the map.

Their main cause is that:

America is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee any paid vacation days.

Seriously. If I wanted to live in Europe, I would move there. Why don't you clowns move there and leave free people alone.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:32 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


August 14, 2014

At The Table

Israel is apparently engaged in trying to negotiate a truce with Hamas in their recent conflict in Gaza. I cannot understand why they would even bother.


Based on observation, Hamas appears to have two positions to bring to the bargaining table. Position one amounts to, "Give us everything we demand or we will keep firing rockets at your cities." Position number two is, "Give us everything we demand and we will keep firing rockets at your cities."

You cannot negotiate with that. You cannot negotiate with an enemy whose goal is your total annihilation. You do not compromise with that enemy. You destroy it.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:48 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


August 11, 2014

Toward A Consistent Goal

There is a consistent pattern in the repeated foreign policy failures of the Obama Administration that causes me to wonder if his foreign policy decisions are not directed toward a consistent goal.


Since the end result of every foreign policy action by this administration has been to weaken American influence around the world and allow the advance of totalitarianism - particularly Islamic totalitarianism - the only conclusions that can be drawn are either that they are extraordinarily incompetent or that they are accomplishing their goals.

Al queda is advancing in Syria and Libya. Iran continues unchecked in its quest for nuclear weapons. The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan. The administration is siding with Hamas in its aggression against Israel. Russia is poised to annex all of the Ukraine. China is seeking to expand territorial control over international waters in the South China Sea.

The feckless Obama administration served by pathetically weak politically motivated appointments to the position of Secretary of State has put in place policies that have not only permitted all of this to develop unchecked by American influence, but in cases such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have actually helped the spread of tyranny.

That this comes from a president who routinely threatens to subvert the democratic process of American governance through the use of executive orders isn't all that shocking. The totalitarian impulse is a driving force behind Obama and much of the American left.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:51 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


August 04, 2014

On the Border

President Obama's unconstitutional disregard for the laws governing immigration and his apparent distaste for the concept of border security have created a crisis. This should really come as no surprise as he needs a crisis to use as cover for his next extra-constitutional edict - the granting of legal status to 5 or 6 million illegal immigrants.


All of which is part of his plan to "fundamentally transform" America. To change it from the land of the free and the home of the brave into ... something else.

I do not think this is crisis that cannot be solved constitutionally, and relatively quickly. Here's how I propose it be done.

Close the Border
The very first thing that has to be done is to immediately establish real border security. Security that will actually prevent illegal entry into the country. If this cannot be done with current ICE Border Patrol resources, bring in the Army to back them up until ICE can handle the task on its own. Troops, tanks, air support all of it.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Offer people currently in the country illegally a limited opportunity to become legal. This process would require such persons to report to an immigration border control point on their way out of the country to declare that they are leaving the country for the purpose of applying for legal status.

Once they are out of the country they can apply for status as a legal immigrant and if they can document that have been productively employed while in the country illegally, and they have not been convicted of a serious crime, they will be granted a limited legal immigrant status. They will have access to public services and the full protection of their individual rights. They will not be permitted to vote in Federal elections.

This limited option for obtaining legal status is available for one year. Any person found to be in the country illegally after this one year will be subject to immediate deportation.

I'm Here. Now What?
Persons who have been granted legal immigrant status under the program above will have that status for a period of five years. At the end of that time if they remained a productive member of society and have not been convicted of any serious crime they will be eligible, for two years, to apply for full citizenship. If they have not met those requirements they will be subject to immediate deportation.

What took so long?
At the end of the two-year eligibility period, those who have not applied for full citizenship will be asked to leave.

The idea is designed to filter out those who want to become citizens and respect the rule of law from those who do not - and to remove those who do not from the country. It does not grant a blanket amnesty but requires the demonstration of a serious commitment on the part of those who wish to stay in this country.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:22 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 23, 2014

Finding Out What's In It

Former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, famously quipped about the Affordable Care Act that "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it." Yesterday we found out a little more, and it's not good news for Nancy and Company.


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia ruled that the plain language in ObamaCare specifying that premium subsidies are available on policies purchased via an exchange established by a state, means exactly what it says.

It also, according to the ruling, means that subsidies are not available for policies purchased on the exchange established by the federal government.

Despite the subsidy deal that was written into the law to entice states to set up exchanges, 37 states chose not to do so. Under the law as written people who are no longer eligible for subsidies and cannot afford Affordable Care, will be exempt from the individual mandate and it's penalties.

The court rightly decided that the law enforced should be the law that was passed. That if the Congress wanted to offer subsidies via the federal exchange they should have written the law accordingly. The court was also correct in asserting that it is not the role of the court to amend the legislation. That is the job of the legislature.

There will of course be an appeal to the full Appeals Court panel, and inevitably to the Supreme Court. If this ruling survives the appeals, ObamaCare will collapse under the weight of its own flaws.

Faster please.


Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:10 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 15, 2014

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations...

Just when I am convinced that we have we have seen the full extent of this administration's contempt for the individual rights, liberty and the rule of law we get a story like this:


The U.S. Department of Justice has sent a member of its Community Relations Service team to investigate a Nebraska parade float that criticized President Obama.

A Fourth of July parade float featured at the annual Independence Day parade in Norfolk sparked criticism when it depicted a zombie-like figure resembling Mr. Obama standing outside an outhouse, which was labeled the "Obama Presidential Library.”


Regardless of what you think of this float as political commentary; regardless of what you think of the appropriateness of this float in an Independence Day parade; regardless of what you think of the Obama administration; regardless of what you think of Barack Obama; this action by the Justice Department is an egregious and abusive violation of the right to free speech.

If the outhouse in the float represents the Obama Presidential Library, Attorney General Eric Holder can be found in the lower level of the reading room.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:10 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 14, 2014

Chillin Old School

The refrigerator decided to crap out this weekend. The parts that make the cold stopped making cold and the cost of new parts was approaching the cost of new refrigerator so a new refrigerator was ordered and is expected by Wednesday. Until then we have traveled back to a simpler time. A time when a refrigerator just kept things cold. It didn't serve you water and fresh uniform ice cubes. It didn't have wi-fi so it could order groceries for you.




Since the fans are all still working, I put two 20 lb. bags of ice in aluminum roasting pans in the freezer and a third one in the refrigerator section. We don't have any frozen food - but at least the cold food is staying cold. 

Based on the current rate of melting it looks like I'll have to replace 2 bags a day. Unfortunately there is no Ice Man with his kindly horse delivering ice to my door. That's the price of progress!

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:34 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 10, 2014

Insecurity

I know why President Obama did not want to visit the southern border while he was in Texas. It's not just because there are no good golf courses there.


Everywhere the president goes he is accompanied by a large contingent of security and he is opposed to having any security on the border.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:59 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 06, 2014

Refreshing

Since Hold the Mayo was recovered from the great mu.nu crash of 2014 I have been thinking that in addition to a renewed commitment to writing here more often, it was time to update the look. 


Since this blog was started in August of 2003 it have lived on three different platforms. Even through the migrations the look of the site really never changed all that much.

So I decided to play with the design. Not really a huge change just a tweak hear and there. A new banner, new fonts and changed the look of the sidebar. Added a little orange here and there as an accent.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:04 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 04, 2014

Wishful Thinking

Steve Forbes has in interesting column headlined: The Time Has Come: Defund The IRS


I have no quarrel with virtually every word in the piece with the exception of this bit of wishful thinking:

Defenders of liberty, especially Republicans, must now think and act strategically.

With the exception of a small handful of individuals, looking to the Republican Party as a defender of liberty is simply delusional.

The Democrats and the Republicans are no longer two distinct political parties advocating two distinct political philosophies. They are nothing more than competing factions of the Washington Party.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:46 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 03, 2014

Outside of the Box

In 1776 a vision was put forth for a nation of free citizens with authority granted to the state to govern by the consent of the governed. This vision was later codified in the Constitution of the United States.


Little by little, and more recently in ever increasing chunks at an ever more rapid pace, that vision has been cast aside.

Now it seems as though this is the only relevant passage remaining:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

The train of abuses and usurpations has indeed grown long and it often seems that the not only is the object to reduce us to a state of tyranny, but that this goal is precariously close.

The time has come to throw off such government. But I wonder if we can manage to do this at the ballot box.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:12 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 02, 2014

Get Another Hobby

The level of absurdity in the left's reaction to the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case would be comical if it were not so predictable. The perpetual faux outrage of the left has gotten tedious.


They need to take up a new hobby.

Here's my take on it - and from what I have read it syncs up with fairly mainstream conservative opinion. 

Women have a right to privacy in making their personal medical and "reproductive health" choices. Women have an absolute right to purchase whatever method of birth control they prefer.

Women do not have the right to demand that everyone else pay for that choice.

The left claims they do not want government or their employer to be part of women's decisions on their "reproductive health." Good. I agree, They should have no part in it. Including paying for it.

But there is one fact that gets lost in all the caterwauling about birth control and "reproductive rights." The battle over the Affordable Care Act is not about birth control. It's about people control. Birth control is just one means to that end. The true source of the left's outrage is that a small segment of the population found a small way to get a little bit out from under the thumb of government control.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:22 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


June 26, 2014

I Don't Work For The IRS

Aaaaaaaand, we're back!

Hold the Mayo has been offline for a while. On May 14 it just disappeared from the internet. Naturally my first thought was that somehow my blog was hosted at the IRS and it was lost in a server crash.

I was half right. It was a server crash. But since I don't work for the IRS nothing was actually lost. And thanks to the efforts of the venerable Pixy Misa, Hold the Mayo is back from the dead.

My family and Facebook friends will be grateful that I have somewhere else to rant.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:00 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


May 07, 2014

Top Secret Polution

The Inspector General for the Environmental Protection agency testified in Congress that a political office within the agency, and run by the Obama White House, was blocking investigations into the agency.


EPA's deputy administrator, Bob Perciasepe, told the House Oversight and Government Reform committee that he will instruct EPA's little-known Office of Homeland Security to seek permission to share information with the inspector general's office.

The announcement came during a congressional hearing after a top investigator with the inspector general testified that the office, run out of the EPA administrator's office, had for years systematically refused to share information on external threats, computer security and employee misconduct, citing national security.

I'm not an expert on everything the EPA does, but I am having a hard time imagining where the mission of the EPA intersects with national security.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:44 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


May 04, 2014

The Easy Road

Here it is May 4 and there is only one post here in all of 2014.


Pathetic.

It'a not that I have stopped caring or stopped thinking, it's just to easy to a quick drive by commentary oar share something I saw on Facebook. Writing a blog post takes work. I have been lazy and taking the easy way out.

I'd like to promise that this will come to an end, but honestly I don't know if I have the time or energy.

I'm going to try. I'm setting the bar low to start - one post a week. We'll see how that goes then go from there.

Stay tuned?

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 11:00 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 18, 2014

The End Game

I left this as a comment to a post on Breitbart where Jason Scheurer wrote a lengthy rebuttal of the argument to raise the minimum wage. I thought I would share it here as well.

An extremely thoughtful and utterly useless argument.

The left's obsession with raising the federal minimum wage has absolutely nothing to do with "helping" unskilled labor. They fully understand every fact you presented, and are counting on them.

The influx of unskilled immigrant labor puts downward pressure on wages giving them a reason to call for raising the minimum wage. The loss of jobs due to the increase of the minimum wage gives then another reason to call for raising the minimum wage to help the bottom of the labor pool.

Every increase they can engineer in the federal minimum wage triggers wage increases in union contracts that are keyed to the federal minimum wage. Which means more money going into the pockets of the labor unions. Which means more money going into the pockets of politicians.

They do not care about helping the poor or unskilled labor. They do not even care if they harmed in the process. The end game is money and power. And they play to win.

Ayn Rand wrote,"Don't bother to examine a folly--ask yourself only what it accomplishes."

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:32 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 07, 2014

Boating Inequality

Socialists (Democrat ad Republican alike) are still prattling on about "income inequality." I believe that income is what you earn. People have unequal capacities to earn therefore their incomes will be unequal.

I have a new motivational slogan written on the whiteboard in my office:

You're gonna need a bigger boat

Allow me to explain.

I work for a small business. Small as in the owner, six full-time people and one part time person. The owner has a boat. I don't know any of the details but it's a big power boat (nobody's perfect). Big enough to sleep on in some comfort.

I wrote the Jaws quote on my whiteboard to remind me that I want the company to be successful enough that my boss can buy a bigger boat. If the company is successful enough that the boss can buy a bigger boat, then the company can keep paying me - and maybe even pay me more. Maybe the company can even pay me enough that I can someday buy a small boat of my own.

With sails.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:04 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 06, 2014

Unquestioned Premises

I had Sean Hannity on the radio while driving home today and true to his format he had on one conservative and one liberal to debate a range of issues. As usual Hannity let the leftist slide on an outrageous statemnet because taking the time to question her premise would have taken away from three points he planned to make when he brought up the topic of  New York's new very left wing mayor. 


The liberal panelist (I did not hear her name and I'm the end it really doesn't matter) was talking about income inequality in the city. She lamented that  increasingly the poor and the middle class could not afford to live in the city and "That is not the kind of New York that we want."

If it were my radio show my next question would have been "Who exactly is we and what gives you the right to decide how New York should be?"

Individuals make decisions based on circumstances and their standards. The result is the city as it is. If the result is not as "we like it" that's too damned bad.


Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:03 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


December 20, 2013

It's Duck Season

Here's the thing about the whole Duck Dynasty A&E controversy that has sucked all of the oxygen out of the room for the last two or three days; it just doesn't matter.


Phil Robertson had every right to say what he said, and he has every right to say a lot worse. He said what he said and A&E put him on an indefinite suspension.

So What.

Robertson's right to speak his mind does not impose an obligation on A&E to continue to employ him. If the suspension is within the parameters of his contract with the network, they can suspend him all they want. That is their right.

I can think that is a stupid decision arrived at by fear and an overwhelming sense of political correctness and refuse to watch another show on A&E. That is my right. A&E's right to suspend Robertson imposes no obligation on me to continue to watch their programming.*

That's how it works.

*I am actually not sure if I have ever watched a show on A&E. I am sure I have never watched Duck Dynasty.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:56 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


December 18, 2013

The Alphabet of Databases

Do you know why people are upset about the massive database of phone call information the National Security Agency maintains on EVERY person in the United States.


The concern can be summed up in three letters: IRS.

The Internal Revenue Service used to be a politically neutral agency serving the function of collecting tax revenue for the government. Now the IRS has become a tool for the political administration to pressure and silence it's opposition.

It does not take a big leap of tin-foil hat paranoia imagine the same thing happening with the NSA.

Have you ever called a Tea Party organization? Ever called someone who is a member of the NRA? Ever called someone who may have called someone who gave money to the Republican Party?

That's how data mining works. That's how easily you can be flagged as worth a closer look. Combine that with the ongoing efforts to increase regulatory control and financial dependency on the federal government and you have the tools to punish and silence all dissent.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:30 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


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