Friday, September 28, 2012

Latest Media Attack on Romney

The Obama campaign has released a video from 1985 where a young Romney is talking about the Bain Capital business strategy. The attack on Romney centers on the comment of buying undervalued companies and then in 5 to 8 years time harvesting their investment at a profit.

While it is nowhere stated in the video, Theo Obama campaign links this "harvesting" comment to bankruptcy and off-shoring and job loss. What the media leaves out is Romney's comment about helping companies "realize their potential value".

The important point here when it comes to bankrupt companies that the media continually fails to point out, is that this Romney's handling of bankruptcy is how bankruptcy should be performed. Romney's not picking a profitable company and leaving them bankrupt. If Bain capital chose to invest in a struggling company it was already failing and bankrupt. Instead of a government bailout like GM, the Romney strategy it was to reorganize and restructure the company keeping the profitable parts of the company and eliminating those parts of the company that were failing and not profitable.

The Romney/Bain Capital system is how bankruptcy is to be done and has nothing to do with off-shoring jobs to China it has to do with how bankruptcy should be handled and saving valuable US companies and returning them to profitability without needing a federal government bailout.

When a failing company goes through bankruptcy and restructuring instead of getting a bailout, do some people loose their jobs? Yes, but many more Americans keep their jobs, and a good American company is saved and returns to profitability.

When you save a bankrupt company from collapse, do the restructuring investors make money? Yes, because the one-time worthless stock rises as the company returns to viability and profitability.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tariffs and the Great Depression

My son in taking a social studies class in Middle School and came to me today after reading in his textbook that tarrifs caused or exacerbated the Great Depression. I was impressed that he remembered that I have discussed this issue with him and that I and many others disagree.

While textbooks blame the Hawly-Smoot Tariff Act for worsening the Great Depression, not everyone agrees that protectionist policies caused the Great Depression. Economists, Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz maintain that the FED and not tariffs caused the Great Depression. Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz said the FED's contraction of the money supply is what triggered the Depression. (A Monetary History of the United States, 1963)

The FED initially rejected this analysis, but a recent comments by FED chair Ben Bernanke demonstrates how he views this issue. In 2002, Ben Bernanke spoke at Milton Friedman's 90th Birthday and jokes that Milt was correct all along that the FED caused the great depression by contracting the money supply in a fractional reserve system:

"Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You're right, we did it. We're very sorry. But thanks to you, we won't do it again."

Later in 2004, Ben Bernanke spoke at the Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia again expresses support for the monetorist theory of money, and the FED's role in exacerbating the Great Depression by increasing interest rates several times, and advocating several banking holidays which exacerbated cash and gold hording.

"Finally, perhaps the most important lesson of all is that price stability should be a key objective of monetary policy. By allowing persistent declines in the money supply and in the price level, the Federal Reserve of the late 1920s and 1930s greatly destabilized the U.S. economy and, through the workings of the gold standard, the economies of many other nations as well."

The American Civil War was fought over protectionism and tariffs among other reasons. In the beginning, the South didn't need to industrialize like the North because of slavery. But eventually the South recognized that machine-power beat man-power. As the South industrialized, they resented having to pay higher prices to the North for machines. The South preferred to buy cheap slave-produced goods and machinery from importers like the East India Trading Company instead if the North. This resentment over Tariffs vs. “Free-Trade” was one of the major economic reasons behind the American Civil War.

Unfortunately, FDR's blame of the Great Depression on tariffs is what turned the traditionally protectionist Republican Party towards “Free-Trade”. Famous Protectionist Republican US Presidents include: Lincoln, McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, and Hoover. Unfortunately, because of mistaken general consensus, the economic policy of “Free-Trade” has robbed our county of domestic industrial and manufacturing infrastructure, millions of skilled jobs, and much of our self-reliance.

LDS Apostle/US Senator Reed Smoot did not cause the Great Depression and War (WW2) did not end it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Armada Amassing in Strait of Hormuz

News reports naval vessels from many countries amassing in the Strait of Hormuz to prevent an Iranian blockade in response to an attack by Israel. A blockade by Iran on the Strait would send oil prices over $200/barrel. Oil at that price would destroy the US economy faster than Fed Chair, Ben Bernanke's announcement of QE3 which calls for the indefinite printing of $40 billion every month until the economy recovers.

The problem with all these ships in the Persian Gulf is that they are all sitting ducks to anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles. None of these slow-moving ships has any defense against modern anti-ship missiles. So, when Israel strikes Iran, Iran will sink every ship in the Gulf and blockade the Strait. In response, the US will again allow itself to be goated into going to war.

The consequences of being lured into war with Iran will be disastrous fit the US. Russia and China are making ready for the ultimate retaliation.

Cooperation vs. Winner-Take-All?

During the Democratic convention Pres. Obama made a critical and deceptive mischaracterization on Romney which has not been rebutted. Pres. Obama said that this election would come down to a difference of vision for this country. According to Pres. Obama the vision of the Republican Party was "winner-take-all" while the vision of Pres. Obama was an America where each citizen felt a responsibility to cooperate with and help one another. This "winner-take-all" characterization by the DNC of the RNC is a gross mischaracterization.

"Winner-take-all" philosophy is the philosophy of Ayn Rand and her godless, individualistic, objectivist, meritocracy. The philosophy of Ayn Rand is not the vision Traditional Conservatives have for this nation.

Traditional Constitutional Conservatives recognize we all have a sacred responsibility to help one another in this nation. However, it's not the job of the Federal Government to force people to help. Those that need help need to freely ask and those that can help should freely give. Traditional charitable giving blesses both the asker and the giver. Government welfare hurts both sides.

Ayn Rand was wrong about her Meritocracy. This nation is built upon the principle of self-government according to the "golden rule". Our leaders were to be elected on the basis of virtue and not merit.

Natural Child Birth

Let me be clear from the start. First, I recognize that modern medicine is far from perfect. And Doctors are even further from perfect. But the problems and imperfections in medicine are not a reason to reject the whole thing. Citizens need to educate themselves and keep what's good and try to avoid the bad parts.

Next, I think there is a place in medicine for Certified Nurse Midwives. CNMs should operate just like other midlevel providers like nurse anesthetists or PA,s. OB/Gyn specialists do not need to attend low-risk deliveries. Jesus Christ taught "the whole hath no need of a physician, but them that are sick". Pregnant females are not sick. However, and OB and a Neonatologist should be at hand as backup in case something goes wrong with the delivery. Doctors should not be seeing well patients and doing well checks. It's a waste. Doctors should devote their time to seeing the sick in all areas of medicine. Doctors should train nurses and PA's to see well checks.

When it comes to having a natural birth without any medication. I'm okay with this. I get that some women want to have the experience or want to practice techniques to deal with pain. Women have been having babies without medical intervention for thousands of years. However, we should never forget that giving birth historically was the most dangerous time for mother and baby. In the old days women and babies just died if anything went wrong. Today, third-world countries still suffer high infant mortality due to a lack of basic neonatal resuscitation. Women can go natural if they wish but should not put their baby at risk by depriving them of access to medical care or intervention in the case a routine delivery doesn't end up routine.

Last week my wife was invited to a meeting of women who had lost babies though miscarriage or stillbirth. In reality, the meeting turned out to be a group of women advocating for home-birth (very bad idea).

Ruth was concerned that this conservative group, who were advocates of midwifery and home-births, were using all the same arguments for abortion to defend home-births. Ruth was surprised when she heard conservative Christian women using the same arguments to support homebirth as liberal pro-choice movement does to support abortion.

One particular woman shared her grief at not being able to have a natural birth and "give birth" so-to-speak. After laboring at home for 36 hours, she was rushed to the hospital for a crash C-section. The entire incident caused this women great disappointed because the birth didn't go how she had planned. Instead of being grateful for medicine saving her and her babies life, she resented it.

My wife represented other polar-opposite end of the spectrum. Not only am I a MD, but Ruth's father is a neonatologist and teaches neonatal resuscitation all over the world. Ruth's brother, and uncle are both pediatricians. Ruth, summed up her feeling to this point by saying, having lost a baby at 32 weeks, she would have been happy however her baby would have been birthed.

I don't really understand this "give birth" concept which involves depriving your baby access to modern medical intervention. Again, the birth process is historically the riskiest the most life-threatening time for mother and baby. There is nothing "giving" about denying your baby access to modern healthcare if it is needed. Also, there is nothing "giving" about a mother planning a birth like she is planning her wedding. I feel that women who truly wish to "give birth" should make sure that the birthing process is more focused on providing for the needs of their baby first.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio is a hobby that has a lot of depth to it. There are so many facets that an operator/enthusist could explore. Here is a list:

HF: Using shortwave radio bands to communicate from 160-10 meters to talk regionally or long distance.
DX: Talking to radio operators who live in distance locations and countries.
Beacon: continuous transmitting station on a specific frequency for use in determining band openings and radio propagation quality.

VHF/UHF: Using higher frequencies like 2-meters or 440 MHz to talk to other radio operators locally.
Repeaters: setting up repeater radio with an antenna on a tower or mountain that facilitates communications throughout a local area. Repeater linking lets operators talk with operators in a neighboring location.
VOIP: Repeaters can be connected by the Internet allowing operators to connect to other EchoLink repeaters all over the world.
Satellite: using VHF/UHF to contact ham radio satellites and connect to operators in distant lands. Talk to astronauts on ISS.
Moonbounce(EME): using high power VHF/UHF to bounce radio off the moon and make distant contacts using line-of-sight, local frequencies.

Homebrew: building your own equipment.
Antennas: designing, constructing, and using your own antennas: wire, beam, vertical, phase-array.
Radios: building your own radio receivers or transcievers from scratch or kit.
Powersupply: building your own power supplies.
Antenna Tuners: building your own antenna tuner/match
Amplifiers: building your own amps.

Event Stations: set up a radio station during an event and publicize the event to other radio operators.
Contesting: participating in contests to see who can make the most contacts.
Paper Chasing: getting ARRLs awards for "worked all states", "worked all continents" etc.
QSL Cards: Sending and receiving colorful postcards that confirm radio contact with operators all over the world.

Digital Modes: Communicate via CW key or computer. Morse Code, Packet, Fast and Slow Scan TV, Teletype, PSK, Spread-spectrum, etc. Receive E-mail over the radio using an Internet-linked Gateway and TNC.
Software: design software to interface with and control your radio or to send digital modes over the radio.
APRS: automatic packet reporting system. Send and relay your GPS position or set up a weather station that sends telemetry data.

Community Service: provide volunteer radio communications for large events like marathons, triathlons, bike races, and parades.
Disaster Response: participate in disaster drills and provide communications in times of emergency.
Mobile Radio: use HF/VHF/UHF radio from your car, plane, boat, or hot-air balloon.
Emergency: use battery, solar or other alternative power in preparation for emergencies.
Weather: Skywarn nets pass information on storm conditions directly to National Weather Service.
QRP: low power radio communications < 5 Watts.
Direction Finding: Activity were operators race to locate a hidden source of radio transmission using a directional antenna.

Nets: Organize and hold weakly or daily nets on HF or VHF frequencies bring together radio operators with similar interests.
Trade: Attending HamFests, swap meets or traders nets and buying, selling, or trading radio gear and related electronic equipment.
Vintage Radio: restoring, collecting and operating antique radios.

Education: teaching ham radio classes and/or being a VEC or volunteer examiner. Developing learning materials, courses or teaching devices.