DaTechGuy conducting an interview Photo via M Rogers Granite Grok

I was planning to write a piece this morning on the Arab threats that if we recognized Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel they would not make peace with them (as opposed to the every other reason that they have not made peace with Israel over the last 70 years) when I got a phone call from work letting me know that I was laid off once again

In a business dependent on e-commerce such layoffs after the Christmas season are not uncommon but layoffs during said season are unusual but when you are dealing with high end products there is less of a Christmas bump as such folks don’t wait for a sale at Christmas to buy, so if volume doesn’t match projections the budget has to drop and as a 54 year old temp in a place full of people young enough to be my children or grandchildren I’m very expendable.

It’s a tough lesson in economics but the real lesson is the one that I’ve mentioned many times before. In the 2 1/2 years that I’ve been at the warehouse off and on, the minimum wage in Massachusetts has gone up twice first to $10 and hour and then to $11. This means that a potential client locates his product is a state at the federal minimum wage they can have three workers for the price of two in Massachusetts.

So as always the real minimum wage remains steady at Zero which is where I am right now.

And so I am once again asking for your help in this matter. The bite will start hitting next week when my last paycheck comes in so I ironically have 12 days before the money stops coming in the Christmas season.

Every $440 I can raise is a week the wolf remains away from the door, if I can raise $3600 by the 21st that will mean I’ll be OK through the end of January which will hopefully be time enough to convince someone in Massachusetts that a guy soon to be eligible for senior discounts who supports Trump and doesn’t check off a single affirmative action box is worth their investment. So I would ask you to consider Hitting DaTipJar Here.




You can also help out by buying my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer and recommending it to your friends. Using scripture as it’s basis it explains why the Hail Mary is a prayer our protestant brothers should embrace rather than reject.

If I can sell 10,000 paperback copies at $6.99, not only will my cut carry me all the way through February or March but as part of every sale supports WQPH 89.3 FM EWTN Catholic Radio you can support the station that carries my weekly show, Your Prayer Intentions Saturdays at Noon EST each week. And of course it would make an excellent Christmas Gift for the person of faith on your Christmas list.

Finally the math of my job is pretty simple. $440 a week comes to $1892 a month over the course of a year. (440 x 4.3) If you divide that by 20 that comes out to 94.6 meaning if I can get 95 new subscribers by the end of this month. I can permanently replace my warehouse job and do this full time while still paying my writers and other costs with the existing subscribers I currently have. This will give me time to work on several other book projects as well.


Choose a Subscription level



All subscribers get a copy of my book autographed and sent to them. While my current stash lasts I can send said book as a Christmas present to whomever you wish. (If I run out of copies on hand I’ll arrange for another shipment from the publisher Imholt Press as fast as I can.)

So if you think what I and my writers do here is worthwhile and you think the original reporting without the MSM spin from questioning Donald Trump at Press conferences

to exclusive interviews with people like Corey Lewandowski

but have held off subscribing till the right time, may I humbly submit and suggest that the right time is Right Now!

Either way let me once again thank you for your continued support for this site and myself. It continues to be an honor to serve you.

UPDATE: Mega Instalanche: Thanks Ed and Glenn and thanks all of you. I’ll be going through DaTipJar hits and emailing you all and updating the totals as soon as time permits and the server decides it can let me in to do so.

Update 2:

Good think I’m planning on hitting confession tomorrow as these two images might constitute violation of the sin of pride

Give me the Insty book club anyday

Might I suggest this might be a great book for a confirmation class

Update 3: (12/12 Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe) OK my plan which I blast emailed out to everyone who kicked in was to work on my book this month and start job hunting in January unless something dropped into my lap.

About 20 minutes ago something dropped into my lap. I got a call from the temp agency that I had this job through that said employer asked for me back.

Given my age and speed or lack thereof I’m presuming that there has been a sudden bump in business that requires bodies in a hurry, even old slow ones old enough to be the father or grandfather of many of the folks there. Of course there is also something to be said for us older folks brought up in the tradition of showing up for work and doing your job.

Now in this business it’s not odd for a layoff after the Christmas season and I wouldn’t be surprised if by the week of January 6th I find myself laid off again. But for now I’m going to take things as they are and see if this is two weeks work, two months work or full time work. But I think I should definitely do CPAC which means I won’t have to ask for money to go there.

I’ll keep you all informed.

Eagle River, Wisconsin

By John Ruberry

“‘Many are the strange chances of the world,’ said Mithrandir, ‘and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.'”
Mithrandir (Gandalf), in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Simarillion.

This week greets the first anniversary of Donald J. Trump’s historic election to the presidency.

Historic? Yes. Trump is first first non-politician–or former general–ever elected to the nation’s highest office. The Manhattan billionaire was one of 17 candidates for the Republican nomination and it’s very safe to say that among the GOP establishment, Trump was the least popular member of this group.

But among the unpolished masses–the folks that Hillary Clinton dubbed “Deplorables” a year later–Trump was their champion. House Speaker Paul Ryan said after Trump’s upset win over Clinton, said that the president-elect, “Heard a voice that no one else heard.”

Clinton, on the other hand, was clearly the choice of the Democratic Party insiders, and that point was driven home last week by Donna Brazile, the interim DNC chair when Trump scored his upset win.

Trump was branded a racist when he said that Mexico was sending “rapists” and “criminals” over the border and he vowed to build a wall at the Mexican border. Was he wrong to say that? Yes. But Trump revealed a glaring hypocrisy among the Republican Party. The GOP’s idea of “getting tough” on illegal immigration was to talk tough about illegal immigration. And suddenly, the emerging Trump base learned, here was a candidate who will do something about illegal aliens–who yes, not only take away American jobs, such as in food service, but also drive down wages.

Barack Obama waxed eloquently–he’s good at that–about the plight of the laid-off workers at a Maytag refrigerator plant in Galesburg, Illinois–the manufacturer shifted that work to a factory in Mexico, both in his memorable keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and in Audacity of Hope. Trump vowed–and vows–to stop the exodus of blue collar jobs to south of the border. After eight years of President Obama in charge, whose response to these job losses was to offer retraining to workers for scarce jobs in “green industries,” Trump’s message resonated. While Clinton doubled-down on green failure.

Last week Rush Limbaugh praised Trump’s making an issue during the campaign of China cheating on trade deals and its currency manipulation “China is ripping us off on trade,” Trump screamed. At the time El Rusho saw it as too esoteric of a topic for presidential campaign. But the “weak” understood while the “wise” faltered.

And the Deplorables of Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan–many of whom voted twice for Barack Obama–went with Trump last year.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Last Monday I had a errand to run for work–which brought me to Milwaukee’s suburbs. And for the first time in five years I drove on Interstate 94 north of the Illinois-Wisconsin state line–on what is known as the Milwaukee to Kenosha I-94 Corridor.

A lot has changed since 2012. As I left a toll road south of the border and entered a true freeway–okay, to be fair, the toll road has been there for decades–I noticed a lot.

Businesses–with huge facilities–that weren’t there five years ago leap out at you. Most obvious is the massive Uline warehouse in Pleasant Prairie. The headquarters office of the industrial supplier moved a few miles north from Waukegan, Illinois into Pleasant Prairie in Kenosha County in 2010. Its “Chicago warehouse” followed four years later.

In the 1980s Wisconsin’s tourism slogan was “Escape to Wisconsin.” Illinois businesses are now heeding the call.

Yes, the Chicago area has a couple of Amazon fulfilment centers, but farther north on my drive I saw a massive one in Kenosha–it opened in 2015. The Milwaukee Business Journal calls it “the largest in the recent Kenosha County industrial boom.” There is a “Hiring Now” sign out front.

Sears Holdings, an Illinois loser

South of Kenosha County is Lake County in ILL-inois. There is no Lake County industrial boom. There is no Illinois industrial boom.

Why is that? Sure, tax incentives from Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker have helped greatly. Illinois, when inept Democrat Pat Quinn was governor, offered tax breaks to Sears Holdings, which operates the Sears and Kmart brands, and Mitsubishi Motors, to encourage them to stay. This was a few months after a huge income tax hike was enacted. What about attracting new business? By all accounts Sears and Kmart are on life-support and Mitsubishi closed its Bloomington plant in 2015.

Corporate taxes might be slightly higher in Wisconsin–no place is perfect. But Illinois has the nation’s highest median property tax rate. And Illinois’ expensive workers compensation laws frighten business owners.

In 2015 Wisconsin became a right-to-work state. All the states that border Illinois except for Missouri are right-to-work states and Show Me State voters will be asked next year if they want to join the trend. Nearby Michigan has been right-to-work since 2012. Job creators don’t like unions and based on recent workplace votes, neither do workers.

Illinois has its 800-pound odious gorilla in its basement, a woefully underfunded public-worker pension system. Wisconsin’s state pensions are by most accounts fully funded. Businesses don’t like uncertainty and Illinois’ pension bomb, despite a massive personal and corporate tax hike put in place this summer, has not been defused. Not even close. Ka-boom is coming.

Blogger in Pleasant Prairie

This summer Wisconsin and the Milwaukee to Kenosha I-94 Corridor snagged its biggest prize, the Foxconn factory. The Taiwanese manufacturer will hire anywhere from 3,000 to 13,000 employees for its facility in Mount Pleasant in Racine County. Yes, Illinois had also bid on the Foxconn plant.

Indiana is also enjoying great success poaching Illinois firms for the similar reasons.

And when the jobs leave the people leave. And Illinois is one of only three states with negative population growth.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from Illinois at Marathon Pundit.

Let’s face it; everyone makes mistakes when they are younger. Whether it was a night of underage debauchery with your parent’s pilfered booze or a dare to rob the cash register at the local 7-Eleven, you might still be reeling in the wake of that bad decision today. People who were arrested as a youth have unique struggles in life, as they are often treated differently than those who haven’t had a run-in with the law. Here are a few challenges that the 70 million Americans who have been arrested might face.

Getting a Job

Image via Flicker by reynermedia

Getting a job is the number one issue with having an arrest record. Many job applications ask you to disclose any arrest information, and if you have anything listed, many companies simply choose not to interview you. Even if you do make it to the interview stage, 69 percent of employers perform background checks. In a background check, your employer will be able to see all of your arrest records, court reports, criminal convictions, and police reports.

If the report does come back negative, only 58 percent of employers allow candidates to explain the arrest or conviction. The rest will automatically decline the candidate for the position.

Renting an Apartment

Employers aren’t the only ones who can run a criminal background check on you. Landlords also choose to do this, and many are swayed by negative results. While this is technically against the law, many landlords are choosing to deny prospective tenants regardless. The Fair Housing Act is intended to prevent against this sort of discrimination, but landlords will come up with other reasons to justify their bias.

If you’re thinking of just skipping rentals and jumping into homeownership, think again. In a survey of 25-year-olds, 21 percent of them who had never been arrested owned a home. However, only 15 percent of people who were arrested owned a home. The rates were even worse for those who had been convicted, with only 10 percent being homeowners.

Earning a Professional License

If you’ve ever wanted to become a professional of any kind, you might be banned from doing so thanks to your criminal record. For example, many states won’t allow you to become a plumber, cosmetologist, or funeral director if you’ve been arrested before. Oklahoma, in particular, is extremely strict, limiting anyone with two convictions of marijuana possession from becoming a physical therapist, interior designer, or land surveyor.

Filling Up Your Bank Account

Whether it’s because they can’t find a good job or because of salary discrimination, those with an arrest record make far less than their peers. At age 25, the median income for someone who was never arrested was $25,000. For those with an arrest, it fell to $23,000, and for those with a conviction, $20,000.

If your arrest record is affecting your life, there are steps you can take to have it expunged after a certain period of time. Doing so might make life a little easier, so be sure to look up the rules in your specific state.

In a world where hatred and horror are marching in lockstep, we can all use a good laugh. With this in mind, below is an unsent, albeit sorely tempted to do so, response to an actual customer survey. It must be noted the views and opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the writer and in no fashion speak on behalf of, or represent, the employer of said writer. (As if it isn’t obvious.)

Dear Mr. C(remainder of name redacted):

Thank you for your customer survey response regarding your recent visit to, and purchase from, our store.

We deeply apologize for the store and staff not meeting your expectations, this surmised from both your written comments and your grading the store as a one on all scale of one to ten questions. We readily confess this comes as something of a surprise, given that since late last year, through the course of several dozen returned surveys we had not once received an overall score lower than eight. We appreciate you, unlike the aforementioned several dozen misguided individuals, setting the record straight.

Addressing a specific point made in your response, namely how the store carries far too much Superman and Transformers product, a quick calculation reveals out of the 448 feet of linear shelf space available the two toy lines mentioned presently occupy eight feet. We are grateful for you opening our eyes to how this 1.79% waste of display area is entirely too high, and are presently carrying out a detailed action aimed at reducing this to 1.78%. Regrettably, you did not detail what should be done with this newly available space, this leaving us to our own painfully inadequate devices commonly referred to as “what sells.” Which, to our astonishment and we confidently say yours, includes an alarmingly high amount of Superman and Transformer toys.

Concerning your grievance over the survey containing too many questions, we are compelled to note the survey is run by a third party and therefore is not entirely under our control. However, we have communicated your concerns to the survey provider, and have been assured it is hard at work on a new version which will contain nothing but one emoji happy face and one emoji frowny face. This will greatly reduce the time and effort required to complete the survey, as compared to its present seventeen scale of one to ten grueling questions.

We could not help but to notice in addition to the two items you did purchase, you are a member of our rewards club for frequent shoppers. Given your disdain for our store, the only possible conclusion is you are suffering from retail self-flagellation, a/k/a punishing yourself by shopping at a store you detest. This can result in dangerous symptoms such as monetary loss and a sharp increase in hypocrisy. We urge you to exercise maximum caution and watch for these signs.

In conclusion, we again deeply apologize for our store and ourselves. We hope you will give us another try, especially encouraging you to visit our board game area and pick up a copy of The Game of Life to remedy a noticeable deficiency in this area.

Sincerely,
Someone At The Store You Hate

by baldilocks

I had a lot of trouble concentrating today, as anyone who follows my Facebook and Twitter feeds already knows. I got up at around two this morning, having “slept” for a few hours—more of a fitful opening and closing of my eyes.

The problem? I have been applying for jobs like crazy for the past few months and the only feedback I received was an “Unfortunately” letter from Trader Joe’s. You’d think that it would be easy to get a job in the present environment—especially for a veteran who can write, think a little bit, and pass a drug test, but it isn’t. I haven’t been looking for a jackpot; just something I can use to keep from scratching, scraping, and begging my readers to help me with. By the way, fans of baldilocks are some of the most wonderful and generous people in existence.

So, as I said, I expressed my frustrations on my accounts and received an avalanche of great ideas, leads, links and at least one solid opportunity.

I’ve kept some information to myself and to personal friends, but I want to let it out here and now. The only reason I’ve remained in California since the loss of my house in December 2014, is to be near my church. Otherwise I’d be in New Mexico near my parents and most of the rest of my family. I love my people dearly (here’s a gratuitous link to one of the writers among that number), but God comes first and when I put Him first, He provides. I’m human and my faith wavers, but it does not fail because I’ve asked Him to help me with it. It’s an ongoing endeavor.

I love to write; here, at baldilocks, and wherever. One of my wonderful friends even gave me an opportunity—a different one than the one mentioned above–to get a well-compensated position as a technical writer. However, it’s necessary to consider that job in the context of why I remained in California. Would I have time for my church? What about time to write in-depth pieces for DaTechGuy and for baldilocks? Unlikely. No doubt, I will have more difficult decisions to make, should the job be offered.

But today, I have faith, just enough for today. Tomorrow, will be time enough for tomorrow’s faith. And so on.

(Thank to FW, CF, and JVS)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

Wendy’s recent announcement that it’s installing 1,000 self-service kiosks in its restaurants is a huge counter-salvo against the Fight for $15 and its effort to push through an unreasonable national minimum wage.

Most mainstream economists believe paying America’s youngest and least-skilled workers at least $15 an hour will kill countless jobs, especially for those least able to lose them. But the progressives behind the push, seemingly ignorant about how the economy actually works, claim the wage hike would have few ill effects.

But the Wendy’s plan, plus similar automation ideas being considered by other fast-food chains, puts the lie to that contention. When you force employers to pay workers more than they’re worth, the result is fewer people have jobs.

The battle over the minimum began at the turn of the 20th Century, the dawn of the original Progressive Era . There is, however, a huge difference with how the leftists of yesteryear approached the issue. The original Progressives backed a minimum wage precisely because it would throw people out of work.

As economic historian Thomas C. Leonard explains in Illiberal Reformers (Princeton University Press, 2016), the Progs were a new breed on the national landscape at the end of the 19th Century. Devout believers in science as a cure for every ill, Progressives were convinced the only way America could survive and thrive was if all aspects of society were run by experts — namely themselves.

One of the Progressives’ main concerns was racial purity. They feared that Americans of Anglo-Saxon stock were threatened by hordes of inferior creatures, primarily racial minorities and immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. They concluded that an efficient way to protect the native-born was to drive the undesirables — whom they called “unemployables” — out of the workforce.

The “experts” believed the government had to intervene to prevent white workers’ pay from plummeting to unsustainable levels. They thought blacks and immigrants would accept lower living standards than white men, so they would accept lower wages. The ensuing “race to the bottom” would cut white men out of the job market and leave them unable to raise families.

To that end, the Progressives sought a national minimum wage — or, as they called it even back then, a “living wage” — to make labor so expensive that employers would hire only highly competent workers (i.e., white men).

(The Progressives also wanted women out of the workplace. Not only did they hold jobs that men could do, but the Progs also wanted females at home, breeding and caring for their families for the betterment of the race.)

So what would the “unemployables” do if they were prevented from working? Under the Progs’ plan, some — imbeciles, drunkards, criminals and the disabled — would be institutionalized, while others would be placed in “labor colonies,” a euphemism for work camps. It’s not a stretch to imagine that such places could eventually become concentration camps.

By 1919, fifteen states had minimum wage laws, but the Progressives never got the federal law they wanted. Acts were passed, but the Supreme Court struck them down as unconstitutional because they interfered with employers and workers’ right to enter into free and willing contracts.

Not until Franklin Roosevelt’s administration did Congress approve a law, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, that survived judicial review.

When it comes to the Progressive Era, historians are unfailingly generous in telling how it improved American life by creating better working conditions, establishing food and drug regulations, and reforming the political system. Many also credit the movement for women gaining the right to vote even though most Progressives opposed the idea.

But the dark side of Progressivism is buried and rarely comes to light in the history books. Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism is an excellent antidote that is both enlightening and entertaining. Now we can add Thomas C. Leonard’s Illiberal Reformers to the must-read list for exposing the anti-humanity ideals that formed the core of the Progressive machine.

 

An old lecturer of mine once said that marketing is a combination of art and science. As I delve into the world of internet marketing further, I find what he said to be true. Marketing involves a lot of creativity, but it is also a scientific process. Both creative thinking and data-driven decision making abilities are critically important if you want to be a good internet marketer.

One of the best ways to master these skills – and the other essential abilities every marketing executive must have – is by pursuing an MBA from top names such as Pepperdine University. Today’s best MBA programs are tailored not only to help you master marketing-related skills, but also to allow you to understand the A-to-Z of internet and mobile marketing along the way.

Upon completing the course, you will have a vast new array of knowledge to implement.

 

Find out more about these knowledge and other details about how an MBA can help you be a better marketer from the Anatomy of a Marketing Executive by mbaonline.pepperdine.edu.

Marketing Executive | MBA Online Pepperdine

 

220px-fort_calhoun_power_plant_1Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant, another victim of the anti-nuclear movement

This week, covered up by election coverage, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant closed down for good. Somewhere, a whole bunch of anti-nuclear activists are cheering. To replace Fort Calhoun, Omaha Power will instead use coal fired plants in Nebraska City, unless of course the future President Clinton shuts down coal, in which case Omaha will just not have enough power.

Fort Calhoun’s problems are just the surface of a growing threat to the future of nuclear energy in America. More nuclear plants are closing, and we aren’t building replacements. The soaring cost of nuclear regulation is piling on to what should be cheap power. The building of nuclear plants requires high level engineering work, something that normally brings in stable, long-term and high paying jobs.

But not anymore. I keep in touch with a headhunter that places nuclear-trained officers (like myself) into jobs after they leave the Navy. He sent a very depressing email to his distribution group, where he declared that he would no longer place officers in the commercial nuclear field:

The promise of cheap power via commercial nuclear was supposed to be its big advantage.  It was once even touted as “too cheap to meter!”  But it is economics that are now killing the industry.  Utilities are deciding it’s less expensive to close plants that are already operating than continue their operation.  Think about that:  it’s more economical to idle billions of dollars worth of existing infrastructure and spend the money to be build new generation facilities.  That’s crazy and a powerful indication of how uncompetitive commercial nuclear power has become.

We at -redacted- believe that strong professional successful Navy Officers should now avoid jobs and careers in commercial nuclear power and are suspending our relationships with our corporate clients in that sector.  If a career in commercial nuclear power is your focus, we will not be a good career transition resource for you.

Recent and future nuclear power plant closings and changes:

  • San Onofre in CA closing
  • Diablo Canyon in CA closing
  • Crystal River in FL closing
  • Vermont Yankee in VT closing
  • Pilgrim in MA closing
  • Kewaunee in WI closing
  • Harris in SC, 2 plants cancelled
  • Levy County in FL shifting from nuclear to natural gas
  • Comanche Peak in TX, 2 plants cancelled
  • Quad Cities in IL closing
  • Clinton in IA closing
  • Oyster Creek in NJ closing
  • And more are coming…

I have a former Naval Officer friend that worked at San Onofre who confirmed all this bad news. She has since left with her husband for a completely different career field.

pm2anuclearpowerplantModular nuclear plant? That’s so 1960’s

Meanwhile, China is rapidly building nuclear capacity, growing their engineering base in the process. Now they have designed a small reactor capable of providing 6 MW of power, enough to power a small island (South China Sea anyone?). Although the media is touting this as an accomplishment, it’s not. The Army built a number of small reactors, the Navy currently operates reactors on its submarines and aircraft carriers, and even the Air Force attempted to make nuclear powered aircraft. And this was back in the 60’s and 70’s. If we had continued investing in nuclear power, we could have closed our dirty coal plants and lowered electricity costs, perhaps enabling us to build the renewable energy sources for long-term electrical generation. Instead, we’re taking a second seat to China.


This post is the opinion of the author and does not reflect the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.


If you enjoyed this article, check out my blog and perhaps buy my kids book. And, instead of paying 5 dollars for a latte from Starbucks that they’ll use to fund Planned Parenthood, you should consider sending that to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar instead.

Lastly, please say a prayer for all the families of the engineers affected by Fort Calhoun’s shutdown. They now have to find new employment, and it’ll be hard on them for the next few years.