Author Archives: KWMatthews

A crackpot theory that struck a chord

I was speaking with an acquaintance yesterday. Now, we all know the liberal stereotype. Over-educated but inexperienced, neck beard, unbathed, lazy sacks of… potatoes? Sure, potatoes works. This man is that stereotype made flesh.

I try my best to avoid political conversations, I really do. Unfortunately, I have my mother’s temper and my father’s pride. When someone starts to spout off with stupidity, I sometimes can’t help myself.

I’ll spare you the details of the conversation. In short, I replied that the recent scandal with the IRS points to an absolute necessity for a flat tax system. The response fit the conversation. I really thought it made sense. So did he.

“Well no sh*t, Sherlock,” he replied.

What? There is no way, and I mean it just couldn’t be possible that a liberal just agreed that a flat tax was necessary, could it? I wanted to think that we found some common ground. In a sick, twisted way, we did. I asked for clarification.

My acquaintance explained that due to Republican obstruction to tax increases, and the “obvious” fact that there was nothing to cut in the budget, the Democrats must institute a flat tax of sorts. At a minimum, they must institute a simplified tax code. Since the Republicans have pushed for it for so long, they’d look absolutely stupid if they didn’t embrace and support the proposal.

With the installation of a simplified tax code, everyone would fall into one of two categories. For the first category, you would pay 10% of everything you make. No exceptions and no exemptions. This adds a very large pool of taxpayers to the equation.  For the second category, anyone making more than the national median household income, somewhere around $50,000 per year, you would be taxed at 25% of everything they make. No exceptions and no exemptions. All forms of income would be included. To clarify, his means that social security and capital gains would be included, and there would be no exclusions for things like retirement savings.

Under the plan, the vast majority of Americans would see a tax increase, and all working Americans would pay taxes. When people inevitably complain, liberals would simply point to the conservatives and say that it was their idea and their fault, regardless of how the implementation happens.

In short, even if the administration loses with the scandal, liberals win big in the long run. Either liberals cement their power by proving that the government can do as it pleases with no recourse, or they maliciously twist a conservative idea to raise taxes on all Americans.

I don’t know if this is the actual endgame. Frankly, it sounds like a crackpot theory, but it struck a chord. I can’t get it out of my head. No matter how this goes, with the right manipulation, liberal ideology simply can’t lose. Even if they lose a few key players to prison time, they win.


The UN: Keeping you safe from yourself

United Nations-affiliated election monitors from Europe and central Asia will be at polling places around the U.S. looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups, a concern raised by civil rights groups during a meeting this week. The intervention has drawn criticism from a prominent conservative-leaning group combating election fraud.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a United Nations partner on democratization and human rights projects, will deploy 44 observers around the county on Election Day to monitor an array of activities, including potential disputes at polling places.

Liberal-leaning civil rights groups met with representatives from the OSCE this week to raise their fears about what they say are systematic efforts to suppress minority voters likely to vote for President Obama.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP and the ACLU, among other groups, warned this month in a letter to Daan Everts, a senior official with OSCE, of “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans — particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities.”

Read the rest at


“If I were the devil.” – A must watch


UPDATE: Intellectual dishonesty

I’m tired of fighting the blame game battle when it comes to the national debt. Yes, the national debt increased substantially under President Bush, and it went up substantially under a Republican controlled House and Senate. There is no question there. Unfortunately, many have oversimplified the matter. Here are the facts:

  • National debt when President Bush took office: $5,727,776,738,304.64
  • National debt when President Obama took office: $10,626,877,048,913.08

Well, golly! The debt rose 86% under Bush! Republicans are clearly the tax and spend demons!

  • National debt when President Obama took office: $10,626,877,048,913.08
  • Current national debt (9/7/2012): $16,045,515,411,416.83

What? Obama only made the debt rise 51% since he took office? Clearly he’s the fiscal conservative this country needs, right?

Not quite.

  • National debt when Democrats took control of the House and Senate: $8,673,152,446,066.83
  • Current national debt (9/7/2012): $16,045,515,411,416.83

In a little over six years, that’s an increase of 85%. In the six years before the Democrats took control, the national debt increased by a little over 51%.

Just the facts:

  • With a Republican majority in the house and senate, the debt increased by $2,942,819,504,668.40 (51%) in roughly six years.
  • With a Democrat controlled Senate, the debt increased by $7,372,362,965,350 (85%) in roughly six years.
  • To compare apples to apples, that means that the Democrat Senate (Congress changed hands in 2011) has increased the debt at a rate of 2.5x that of the Republicans.
  • With Bush in the White House, the debt increased by $4,899,100,310,608.44 (86%) in eight years.
  • With Obama in the White House, the debt increased by $5,418,638,362,503.75 (51%) in under four years.
  • This means that adding to the debt has been 1.1x HIGHER in only FOUR years under the Obama administration than it was in EIGHT years under the Bush administration.

To make the final comparison more appropriate, let’s look only at Bush’s second term and compare it to Obama’s first.

  • National debt at the start of Bush’s second term: $7,613,215,612,328.37
  • National debt at the time the Obama administration took over: $10,626,877,048,913.08

This means that the federal government added $3,013,661,436,584.71 (40%) to the debt in a four year period under the Bush administration.

This also means that in roughly the same four year period, the debt increased at a rate of 1.8x faster under the Obama administration.

Granted, the budget is created and goes into effect for the next fiscal year. That means that during 2009, the budget the Obama administration operated under was passed by the House and Senate in 2008. If nothing else is inferred from this data, we must accept that we have a spending problem. Our debt is now greater than our GDP. Both parties are guilty of adding to the debt, and both parties must be responsible to bring it back to a manageable level.

In truth, we can blame either party we want, but it doesn’t make a difference. The simple fact is that our representatives are doing exactly what we elect them to do. They represent our unquenchable thirst for further spending and expanded programs. At a minimum, they represent the idiocy of the average voter that honestly believes we can spend at an exponentially higher rate without consequences.

At some point, and it doesn’t matter if it happens tomorrow or in ten years, we will have to cut our spending and begin to pay off the debt. The process will be painful, but it is unavoidable. We have no one but ourselves to blame.



Survival Saturday: Water sources in an urban environment

We’ve covered locating sources of water in a forested area, but what if you live in an urban environment?

Believe it or not, there are many sources of water readily available to you if you have the ability to purify. Even though drinking untreated water is a very BAD idea, doing so is infinitely better than dying of dehydration. A viral or bacterial infection brought on by untreated water can be treated. Death by dehydration cannot.

You either did not store clean water or have already run through your stores. Where do you look?

  • Hot Water Heater – Your hot water heater should hold between forty and eighty gallons of water. Every hot water heater also has a drain valve. This will be the easiest source of water and should not be forgotten. In the event of utility loss, fill the tubs with water and immediately shut off the water main. This should prevent contamination of the water in your water heater.
  • Canned Goods – Canned vegetables and many canned meats come packed in water. Do not ignore this resource or let it go to waste. It can generally be used without additional purification. In certain situations, the water content will be more valuable to your longevity than the food.
  • Pipes – Just because the water is no longer flowing to the house does not mean there is no longer water in the pipes. Open every faucet and allow any remaining water to trickle out. This is particularly effective in a two-story house.
  • Toilet Water – While the water in the bowl is an absolute last resort (do I have to explain why?), the water in the upper tank is usually a decent source of between one and five gallons of water.
  • Garden Hose – Assuming you store your water hose vertically on the side of the house, those loops of the hose can be a life-saver. Have one person hold the end of the hose above a container and carefully unravel the hose. Depending on the length of your hose, you could be sitting on up to a gallon of water.
  • The Freezer – Normally, the ice that builds up along the wall of your freezer is an annoyance. If things go wrong, it may change your mind. While the ice will melt fairly quick, it sits as an available water source in the bottom of your freezer.
  • Dew – When dew sets in, you just need a rag to soak it up and a container to hold it. Simply soak up some dew with the rag, wring it out over the container, and repeat.
  • Water Features – Many newer housing developments feature man-made ponds or creeks. Assuming there are no dyes or chemicals used, this water is easily treated and available. Beware of runoff from the road.

Survival Saturday: Your BMR, TDEE, and the implications in a crisis situation

We can talk all day long about what your caloric needs are in a crisis situation, but in truth, there is no universal answer. If Mrs. Walker eats the same as Mr. Walker, one will feel just fine every day while the other will be miserable and suffer from hunger pangs.

To determine your minimum caloric needs, we need to determine your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditures).

BMR: The number of calories your body needs for basic function at rest. You would burn this many calories even in a state of sleep.

To determine your BMR for men, calculate three numbers:

X = (Your weight in pounds) x 6.23

Y = (Height in inches) x 12.7

Z = (Age in years) x 6.8

BMR = 66 + X + Y – Z

EX: If you weigh 210 pounds, are six feet tall, and 32 years old, you get the following:

X = 1308.3 = 210 x 6.23

Y = 914.4 = 72 x 12.7

Z = 217.6 = 32 x 6.8

BMR = 2071.1 = 66 + 1308.3 + 914.4 – 217.6

Based on this calculation, a man with the above stats should eat 2071.1 calories every day.

To determine your BMR for women, calculate three numbers:

A = (your weight in pounds) x 4.35

B = (Your height in inches) x 4.7

C= (Your age in years) x 4.7

BMR = 655 + A + B – C

EX: If you weigh 145 pounds, are five feet four inches tall, and are 29 years old, you get the following:

A = 630.75 = 145 x 4.35

B = 300.8 = 64 x 4.7

C = 136.3 = 29 x 4.7

BMR = 1450.25 = 655 + 630.75 + 300.8 – 136.3

Based on this calculation, a woman with the above stats should eat 1450.25 calories every day.

Can’t be arsed to pick up a pen and paper? Click here for an entry form.

More below the fold…


Mass shooting in Colorado

From GMA:

A lone gunman burst into a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., at a midnight showing of the latest Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 50, police said.

A 24-year-old suspect, who was apprehended at the scene, was clad in a bullet-proof vest and riot helmet when he crashed into the movie theater from an emergency exit door at the front of the auditorium, setting off a smoke bomb and then shooting off dozens of rounds from multiple firearms, police told ABC News.

“The suspect throws tear gas in the air, and as the tear gas appears he started shooting,” said Lamar Lane, who was watching the midnight showing of the movie with his brother. “It was very hard to breathe. I told my brother to take cover. It took awhile. I started seeing flashes and screaming, I just saw blood and people yelling and a quick glimpse of the guy who had a gas mask on. I was pushed out. There was chaos, we started running.”

The most troubling aspect of this is how well-planned everything was. The young man is dressed in a way that could be confused for a costume (as you often see on opening nights), chose a film that would be loud and filled with explosives and firearms, and used diversion devices to confuse the crowd.

Unlike the movies, there was no hero to save the day. I have no doubt justice will come, but until then, there are many questions to be answered.

More below the fold…


Obama panders to women with false information

This campaign video was released a couple of days ago.

Now, at face value, this sounds horribly sexist. Women are only paid $0.77 for every $1 a man makes for the exact same work? While I’m a man, I am married, and I don’t like the idea of my wife facing discrimination.

It seems I don’t have much to worry about because the statement is incorrect. The $0.77 number is sensationalist and ignores many factors.

From Politifact:

The 77 cent figure has become a rallying cry for those who seek to eliminate employment discrimination based on gender. And it’s a genuine statistic. In a report released in September 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau wrote that in 2010, the female-to-male earnings ratio of full-time, year-round workers was 0.77.” Translated into dollars, that means that in 2010, women working full-time earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by men working full time.

But the Obama ad takes a solid statistic and describes it incorrectly. The campaign is wrong to say that the 77-cent figure describes the pay differences between men and women “doing the same work.” (By contrast, former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine recently earned a Mostly True on a similar claim because he was not specifying the number was for the same occupations.)

The 77-cent figure compares all male and female workers, regardless of their occupation. Whether due to a historical legacy of discrimination or because of personal choice, women and men are disproportionately represented in certain jobs. For instance, women dominate the ranks of receptionists, nurses, and elementary and middle-school teachers, among other fields. Men are disproportionately truck drivers, managers and computer software engineers.

As the article points out, there are still inequities, but even some of those can be explained away by individual choices. My problem is how quickly and readily people latch onto statistics like these without bothering to research the matter themselves. When our “betters” are willing to stretch the truth so readily, it’s always a good idea to check things out yourself.


Honey badger don’t care (NSFW langauge)

If you somehow missed the original, check below the fold. More below the fold…


All I can do is nod

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Texas Primary 2012

It’s been an exciting night in Texas. If tonight’s primary is any indication of what can be expected during November’s elections, the democrats just aren’t showing up. There didn’t seem to be any energy for democrats to vote in the primary. Should we expect a change in time for the election? I hope not.

Please click here to view the results.

I’m glad to see certain RINOs eliminated and others challenged.

I’m particularly glad to see Giovanni Capriglione dethrone Vicki Truitt in Texas House District 98. He fought hard this election. Victory is his reward.


Knowledge is apparently not a prerequisite to regulation

If you have nothing nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all… So I’m keeping my mouth shut.


An interesting night

The other night was rather interesting. I was on my way to work. As is often the case lately, traffic on the highway simply wasn’t moving.

When we finally moved forward a few hundred feet, I noticed a Suburban in the field between the highway and the service road. I couldn’t tell which at the time, but either light smoke or heavy dust kicked up from the back end. As it died down, I assumed the owner simply abandoned the vehicle. Right as we start moving again, a woman runs out of the vehicle and desperately tries to push. It wouldn’t budge.

The traffic already ensured I couldn’t make it to work on time, so I pulled over to offer my help. I know if my wife was stuck in the middle of nowhere that I hope someone would help her. I first made sure no one was injured before assessing the situation.

Apparently, she grew tired of waiting in the traffic. Knowing her Suburban was a 4×4, she figured she’d just plow through the field. In some areas, she could have made it, but the road planners wanted to prevent that. They placed an embankment of about three feet high down the middle of the field. She thought she could challenge it. She was wrong.

More below the fold…


Interesting tactic to deter speeding

There is a ton of construction in my area. There are three reasonable routes from my home to my office, and all three face intermittent shutdowns, often with no warning. The work is badly needed, but it seems to me that they could have staggered the construction efforts.

But I digress.

What I find interesting in all of this is that the barriers make it difficult for police to monitor the areas for speeding. They know it’s happening, but there simply isn’t a safe location for them to sit with their radar. Normally, that would make me quite happy. I generally disagree with speed-limits, but with family in the construction field, I’m keen on the prevention of speeding through active construction zones.

I’m sure most of you have seen the displays on the side of the road that display your speed. I saw one the other day that was new to me, and proved immediately effective.

As you drive past, it displays your speed. When someone drives past at five mph over the limit, it flashes the numbers. When someone drives past at ten mph over, it flashes blue and red lights. While driving the other day, someone sped past at around fifteen over the limit. The sign lit up the red and blue lights, and the speeder slowed down.

No one received a ticket, but the action was corrected. I couldn’t help but smile.

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Bob Beckel Drops f-bomb live on Hannity

I’m curious what the fallout will be from this. NSFW language, obviously.


Stuff Liberals Say


Meet the AK-12

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of the Eastern Bloc firearms. There’s just something about them that draws me in.

It looks like I’ll soon have a new tool to obsess over. Meet the AK-12:

More below the fold…


A rant on grants for art

I have to rant.

I happened upon someone the other day. He told me all about his vision of a novel that he hoped to complete. He planned a grand story line and grand locations with equally grand characters that would ultimately coalesce into the next great American novel. It wouldn’t become critically acclaimed by luck like so many others, but by fate.

I asked him how much he had written.


I asked him what held him back.

“I’m waiting to see if my grant application is accepted.”

I couldn’t believe it. The young man honestly believed he couldn’t start writing until he received money from the government. I asked why, and he responded that he couldn’t start writing before receiving payment. How would he pay his bills?

The same way as thousands of other people.

More below the fold…


Consumers vs. Creators

Video games are a major part of my generation. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying them on occasion. Personally, I love spending an hour or two on Team Fortress 2 when I have the chance. Video games stand as a fantastic display of multiple art forms working together to create an experience for the player that is unrivaled, and they encourage a level of social interaction that my generation almost lost. That said, there are major problems that just didn’t exist with previous day killers such as movies and television.

1: They provide a false sense of accomplishment.

Make no mistake. I understand that certain games are difficult. Some take countless hours to complete and others have a final goal in mind. The games that contain a definitive end create the illusion of accomplishment in completion. Just seeing the game to the end is a victory to be celebrated. For others, gaining levels or in-game achievements satisfy a primal urge to win.

The problem is that the brain rewards these accomplishments in the same way it rewards any other kind of victory. There is a rush of chemicals that make the individual feel satisfied.

In the past, a young man would attain that feeling by honing his body and skills to win at sporting events or gain real-world skills in areas such as car repair, creating art, or improving in his career. Young men sought out the same feeling and achieved it in ways that made them better people in the long run.

With games, if things become too difficult, it’s easy enough to enter in some kind of cheat code or lower the difficulty settings. In the end, the brain doesn’t know the difference so long as the player is accomplishing something.

More below the fold…


I understand tough love, but this is inexcusable

Eagan Dad Accused of Punching Son Over Basketball Loss:

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Turn up the volume and know the words ring true

I hit the first link and went from there. Let’s make a playlist. A little Cash is good for the soul.

More below the fold…

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It’s Coming

© Erin Bonsteel 2011

Erin’s Facebook


Grab a beer and enjoy a hearty laugh before your feast

As funny as this video is, gun safety is important. An accident is never funny when it happens to you or someone you love.



Protect IP, a Corporatist dream

The Protect IP Act, or S. 968 is a bill designed to fight against piracy to help curb the losses the entertainment industries have been facing over the last decade or so. While there are already several over-reaching protections in place to help corporations fight against piracy, this act stands to strike a major blow to the liberties we value in this country.

The Act is being pushed because US legal jurisdiction only reaches so far. While several agencies do what they can to fight piracy and illegal file sharing, most of the sites that facilitate those activities are outside of the broad reach of our legal system. The act effectively allows our government to put a giant firewall on the internet that blocks any sites domain that is deemed to take part in the illegal activity. Within the country, it would allow an expansion of powers already in existence.

In and of itself, the Act doesn’t sound too bad. The problem comes in the ambiguous phrasing. Taken to its extremes, the law would allow a corporation to make a complaint about any site that shows any signs of potential copywrite infringement and shut it down before the “offending” site has the opportunity to respond, and the site will not be revived until the owners of the site can prove their innocence.

A couple examples taken to the extremes:

More below the fold…

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Funny, I’m seeing something similar all over the place

From the Atlanta Tea Party:


The Atlanta Tea Party has inquired on several occasions about securing city venues like Woodruff Park to hold rallies for conservative activists. Because of the the fees involved, and extensive bureaucratic red tape regarding the permit process, we decided to hold past events at the State Capitol instead. We were also told by Capitol Police we could not have signs on poles or sticks, or not allowed to even pass out little flags to wave, because they were held up by sticks. We complied, as we have always followed the letter of the law and conducted ourselves with honor of our City, State, and Country.

Occupy Atlanta has had control of Woodruff Park for the past weeks with no permit, no fees, the use of poles and sticks to hold some signs and their tents, and a disregard for public health with the conditions they are living in at the Park. Had Tea Party activists conducted themselves like Occupy protesters, they would have been arrested immediately, but Mayor Kasim Reed rewarded their disregard for the law with an Executive Order allowing them to stay, stating that he sympathizes with them. The Mayor has chosen to grant special rights and privileges regarding free speech based on which group is in line with his own political ideology. This action by Mayor Reed has set a precedent that has a profound and chilling effect on the First Amendment rights of not only conservative activists, but of all citizens.

The Atlanta Tea Party is planning a rally in the spring and we will seek to use a City venue. If equal rights are not shown and if we are denied, or forced to go through an extensive permit process and pay any fees whatsoever, we will file a discrimination law suit against the City of Atlanta.

Julianne Thompson and Debbie Dooley