Free Markets, Free People

Bruce McQuain

1 2 3 411

An explanation

I feel I owe those who read QandO an explanation as to the paltry number of posts you’ve seen up here in recent times.

You see, when I retired I started this little business doing Social Media Marketing to give me something to do each morning when I got up.  You know, a filler.  Something to keep me busy.  Make some fun bucks.

Well guess what … it has taken off.  Boy has it taken off.  You take one Facebook page from 6,000 likes to 1.1 million likes and boom, you’re a “guru”.  Everyone wants you to either consult with them or manage their page.  And, well, I’m swamped.

Not exactly my plan, but I’m having a tough time turning stuff down, and the money is very good.

So bear with me.  I’ll get back on track.   The contract I’m working right now demands a lot of time and it is a “turn around” job if you get my drift.  I’m about a month into it and it is turning around.  But much more work to come.

I guess, in reality, you could say I’m no longer retired.  But I refuse to give it up just yet.

Best to you all.


Stray Voltage

Does anyone else get tired of saying “I told you so” on a multitude of subjects that are dear to the left?  Take ObamaCare (please!):

Aetna’s decision to abandon its ObamaCare expansion plans and rethink its participation altogether came as a surprise to many. It shouldn’t have. Everything that’s happened now was predicted by the law’s critics years ago.

Of course it was.  For instance:

Who could have envisioned such problems? Not ObamaCare backers. They were endlessly promising that the law would create vibrant, highly competitive markets that would lower the cost of insurance.

Critics, however, were spot on. They said that, despite the individual mandate, ObamaCare wouldn’t attract enough young and healthy people to keep premiums down.


Critics predicted sharp hikes in premiums and big increases in medical claims. That’s what’s happened.

Critics said people would game the system, waiting until they got sick to buy insurance, then canceling it once the bills were paid, because of the law’s “guaranteed issue” mandate. That’s happening, too. In fact, administration officials are trying to tighten the rules to mitigate this problem.

Yes, friends, I’m shocked … truly shocked.  Can’t you tell?  All ObamaCare has done is layer cost and more costly regulation on an already expensive industry. Value added?  Nothing.

Speaking of “I told you so” – minimum wage.  Here’s the tale from Seattle:

The average hourly wage for workers affected by the increase jumped from $9.96 to $11.14, but wages likely would have increased some anyway due to Seattle’s overall economy. Meanwhile, although workers were earning more, fewer of them had a job than would have without an increase. Those who did work had fewer hours than they would have without the wage hike.

Accounting for these factors, the average increase in total earnings due to the minimum wage was small, the researchers concluded. Using their preferred method, they calculated that workers’ earnings increased by $5.54 a week on average because of the minimum wage. Using other methods, the researchers found that the minimum wage hike actually caused total weekly earnings to drop — by as much as $5.22 a week.

The minimum wage isn’t done increasing in Seattle.  Soon it goes to $13 and finally to $15 an hour.  But:

Increasing the minimum wage increases the costs of hiring workers. As a result, employers must accept reduced margins or customers must pay steeper prices.

If employers cannot stay in business while paying their staff more, they will either hire fewer people or give their workers fewer hours. As a result, even if wages per hour increase, workers’ total earnings could decline.

That’s reduction in people or hours (or both) is exactly what they’re seeing at $11.14.  Imagine the impact of $13 and finally $15 an hour.  As usual, leftist economic ignorance hurts those who can least afford it.  But, of course, that’s not who will get the blame when unemployment soars, is it?

This isn’t rocket science or even a difficult economic concept.  But, like ObamaCare, the economic principles are roundly ignored.  And, like ObamaCare, the results are entirely predictable.

Meanwhile in “Whack-a-do” land the “Three Blind Mice” just aren’t acceptable:

A University “Bias Incident Team” took a carving knife to three students’ “three blind mice” Halloween costumes last fall, saying the costumes mocked the disabled.

The incident took place at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, according to records reviewed exclusively by Heat Street. The offending students had posted pictures of themselves in costume on Facebook.

The documents,which Heat Street obtained under open records laws, reveal that a member of the Bias Incident Team reported the students herself: “There was concern about their choice as it makes fun of a disability,” says the team’s meeting minutes.

OMG – break out the smelling salts, special snowflakes ahead. Note the unchallenged assumption underlying the response – the assumption that their “choice” was made to “make fun of a disability”.  Really?  Based on what evidence?  Oh, wait.  We don’t do evidence anymore.  We now deal in assumptions and those assumptions are now much more valid than … evidence.  If I were the “mice” I’d use the Hillary defense and claim there was no “intent” to make fun of anyone.  Case closed.

Enjoy your weekend!


BLM – just another gang wanting “reparations” and “free” stuff

Black Lives Matter has finally gotten out of the middle of interstates and quit shrieking long enough to publish their “manifesto”.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the same old racial warfare stuff:

In a policy agenda titled “A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice,” organizers call for policing and criminal justice reforms.


It also includes a request for the passage of a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for descendants of slaves.


The document also calls for changes in U.S. educational policy including free tuition and retroactive forgiveness on federal student loans.

Not a word on black-on-black crime.  It’s all about getting stuff for nothing.  Because, you know, they’re “owed” this stuff.  The SJW invented “white privilege” is what justifies their grab.

The fact that none of them have been a slave or have ever even known a slave, have had the right to vote before they were even born and are students at some of the most elite educational institutions in the world, many of them on full rides, doesn’t matter one whit.

They perceive themselves to be victims.  To be discriminated against.  Micro-aggressions, you know, those nasty little comments and actions that they can handily interpret (because it supports their agenda and because white guilt for some reason lets them get away with the nonsense) as “racism”.  And, of course, they’ve redefined “racism” so they can never be accused of being what they denounce even though they are the very definition of the old racism definition.

So … nothing new here.  Just a bunch of petulant, spoiled, entitled people demanding something for nothing. Well, not “nothing” – they demand you pay for it.

These types have been a part of the world since it’s creation.  And when they get in the position where they can dictate how society functions, we all know what happens.

It’s one reason I call them “The New Red Guard.”



The wages of Socialism

“Wages” being a euphemistic term in this case:

Home to the world’s worst economy, Venezuela is beset by severe food shortages, riots in the streets and hyperinflation that’s closing in on 700 percent. World oil prices have plummeted — and Venezuela relies on oil for 95 percent of its income.

Agriculture was neglected as Chavez and Maduro placed all their economic chips on crude and elected to import goods from abroad while spending on social programs that rallied the poor behind the government.

But now Venezuela has no cash to import food or other essentials. And because Chavez nationalized so much industry, it has no private sector to compensate.

So Maduro has now issued an executive decree that subjects all workers to being forced to work for 60 days (or more, “if circumstances merit”) in the fields, growing badly needed food.

Economically, the move makes no sense. Morally, it’s barely one step up from government-sanctioned slavery.

And there’s a Senator from Vermont that would love to see the system that is sliding into slavery at work here.  More intriguing is the fact that there are studies out that say that Sanders should have won the primary election that was apparently fraught with fraud and rigged from the beginning.  Think about that for a minute.

What does that say – other than total ignorance – about those who felt it was a good idea to “feel the Bern”?  Not that Bernie would have had much success in passing and implementing his programs.  I’m simply making the point that a significant portion of our population thought this potential tyrant was the best choice because – historic blinders, ignorance or both.  Not that anyone is getting a particularly better deal with the two nominees of record (one a crook and the other a clown).

What continues to puzzle me is how Venezuela, which is in the news every single day and pretty much implemented every one of Bernie Sanders policies and programs, is ignored so resolutely by these people.  How do you do that and call  yourself intellectually honest?

But considering their second choice, honesty – intellectual or otherwise – doesn’t seem to be much of a priority.

So there’s that …


Hillary’s challenge from the even farther left

How unattractive a candidate is Hillary Clinton?  Well, first she’s not the first female to nominated for president by a US political party (you have to put “major” in front of “political party” for that to be true and only if you think that difference matters).  The Green Party has been doing it for years.

Speaking of the Green Party, this is how unattractive a candidate Clinton is … among her own kind:

Now that Hillary Clinton has officially won the Democratic presidential nomination, chances are we’re going to hear a lot more about Jill Stein. The Green Party candidate, currently polling in the low single digits nationally, has been gunning for the support of disaffected Bernie Sanders fans, urging them to “keep the revolution going” by getting behind her own long-shot White House bid. Tuesday, she was on hand at the Democratic convention to meet aggrieved Sanders delegates, some of whom formed a small crowd around her to chant, “Bernie or Jill.” Thanks to progressive grassroots rage, she may well peel off a few percentage points of the vote come the fall, when she’s expected to be on the ballot in about 47 states.

That would be lovely.  In fact, I’ve read in more than one place that votes for the Johnson/Weld libertarian ticket might actually find votes on both sides of the political spectrum, those from the left coming from “dissatisfied Democrats” who can’t stomach Clinton. How bad is it when the chosen candidate (she was certainly not “elected”) can’t even dampen the fire of contention in her own party?

And, finally, a recent poll found Clinton’s unfavorable rating to be atmospheric in relation to other presidential candidates in recent presidential elections.  Like not even close!

Look, we all know Stein is Sanders in a skirt.  An unrealistic, economically illiterate Socialist platform based on wishes, hopes, unicorns and rainbows.  But frankly, if it’s enough to siphon off votes from Clinton, I say let the unicorns stampede.

This could end up being a very interesting election after all.


Awaiting Act II of the charade called “democracy”

Act II, of course, being the Democratic National Convention where the fix was in from the beginning for the chosen son, or in this case witch.

Everyone expected the RNC to be a circus, but this particular convention promises to take the cake.  Thus the 4 mile fence they’ve built around the venue to keep the plebs at a distance.

So, Democratic voters, you really thought you had a role in all of this?  Bwaahaaahahaha.  You hadn’t a chance of deciding.  Your vote was simply part of the stage props necessary in the attempt to keep the facade of “democracy” alive.  The Superdelegates picked long before the first vote was cast had already decided the contest.  You were window dressing.

And I have to tell you, I am loving the Wikileaks DNC email dump.  Latinos are part of the “Taco Bowl” constituency.  Just shut up, grab a burrito and vote for Hillary.  They’ll ignore you later.

Meanwhile, it appears “Clinton, Inc.” is having a pre-move in sale:

The documents, which were circulated among top DNC officials in April, could raise legal questions for the party, says Ken Boehm, the chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group.

“The disclosed DNC emails sure look like the potential Clinton Administration has intertwined the appointments to federal government boards and commissions with the political and fund raising operations of the Democratic Party,” Boehm told The Daily Caller.

“That is unethical, if not illegal.”

The claim now circulating is the DNC server was hacked by Russia.  But Hillary’s server?  As safe as the gold in Ft. Knox, rest assured.

What a world we live in.  We have two of the worst candidates – that’s right, there is no “lesser of two evils” this time – running for a job in which they’ll each try to outdo the current worst president the US has ever suffered under.

As for the profession of “journalism”, you know what to expect:

At the beginning of the Republican National Convention last week, NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer confronted presidential nominee Donald Trump about dialing down the intensity of the passions percolating at the event. “Would you be willing to make a pledge to speak to everyone involved in this convention and say, ‘Please tone down the rhetoric’?” Lauer urged. “Can you say to the people who are going to take to that podium this week, ‘No personal attacks, no vitriol, keep it civil?”

The irony there is that political journalists themselves, Lauer included, have become as inflammatory as the politicians they lecture about incivility. In the aftermath of last month’s Orlando terrorist massacre at a gay nightclub, for example, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper badgered the increasingly offended Attorney General of Florida interminably about her stance on gay marriage. More recently, Fox News’ Shepherd Smith berated Gov. Bobby Jindal for using the “divisive” phrase “All lives matter.” CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, who wears her biases as openly as her keffiyeh, hammered away contentiously at British MP Daniel Hannan for nine minutes over the recent Brexit vote.

Screw it.


Setting history straight

This. A black man recounts history … real history, not the fable that sustains the left and Democrats today:

I did my bit today. I sat with the OR resident leftists- a couple of hearts on their sleeves white folks who keep telling me how horrible Republicans are and why I should agree with them that religious people are the source of every problem in the world, and that American police love to kill black people.

Well, this black man let them have it. I walked them through the history of the Republican party, the speeches and writings of Frederick Douglas… and I was just getting started. I told them who founded the KKK, and which states in the South were for segregation and which party their governments belonged to. I kept going, indices of economy, family stability, education of black people in America and how that has declined since welfare. Some idiot in the corner piped up about how blacks in WW2 were not educated and welfare and the 60’s had changed all that. Well, I happen to have a picture of a Tuskegee P51 Mustang as my laptop wallpaper…. I waded in with their glorious history. I spoke of the honour and character of the American “Negro” at the height of segregation and contrasted that with the black lives matter hooligans today. I quoted excerpts from Martin Luther King’s speeches and contrasted them with those of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

It was dead quiet. And then, I put on my Texas operating hat… and walked out, but not before saying.. “next time I’m in the tea room… we can really talk about the state of the American black.. and who exactly is to blame for his current state.”

It has always troubled me that blacks in America, for the most part, and this guy being an obvious exception, don’t know the history of the left or Democrats.  They love to talk about the Bull Conner’s of the world without recognizing or perhaps realizing that Conner led the Alabama delegation at the Democratic National Convention in 1948. They laud the Civil Rights legislation of the ’60s but never seem to understand that Democrats filibustered it and 100% of the Republicans voted for the bills.  It was Republican Dwight Eisenhower that sent in the 101st Airborne soldiers to desegregate Little Rock schools and Democrat Orval Faubus that stood in the school house door barring the way.

They apparently don’t know that the first Republican (and many subsequent Republicans) from the post-Civil War south elected to Congress was … black.

Yet when this is brought up, it is all simply waved away with this popular myth of the Democrats being the black’s best friend that has somehow taken root among much of the black population.

I’m also old enough to remember something that struck me about the black civil rights protesters that Dr. Martin Luther King led.  Their dignity. And it was their dignity and the honor they showed throughout the horrendous process they endured that won over so much of the white population at the time.

Unfortunately this entitled bunch who call themselves Black Lives Matter lack both dignity and honor. They spend their days alienating those their grandparents spent their time and energy winning to their cause.  They have no idea what racism, as endured by their grandparents, really was like. Instead their fascists.  They take perceived slights as grounds for destructive protests even while many of the leaders of the movement lead entitled lives at some the the nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning.  They’re led by professional race-baiters and the same type of people who founded the KKK and tried to block civil rights legislation in the ’60s, but are ignorant of that apparently.  They don’t understand that they’re both expendable and being used to further the political agenda of people who really don’t care about them.  They’re sort of like the Palestinians of the Arab world, with the Democrats being the Arabs.

So this fella did do his bit today.  Good for him.  And apparently it stopped the usual suspects cold in their tracks.  Facts are powerful especially when their wielded outside the echo chamber I’m sure those he addressed usually reside in.

We need more like him spreading the facts in the liberal enclaves who’ve helped keep blacks “in their place” for decades.  Time to break out.  Hope he keeps this up.


Ironic and encouraging

And that’s despite this administration doing everything in its power to impede this:

Hydrocarbon trade between the Middle East and the United States has historically been something of a one-way street, as petrostates have made billions selling off their prodigious oil reserves and Qatar has solidified its position as the world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG). But the American shale revolution is shaking up the status quo, and two recent shipments of LNG have recently punctuated that shift. . . .

A decade ago, the United States was busy building massive, costly LNG import facilities along its Gulf Coast. What a difference ten years and an energy revolution can make, as those import projects have been idled in favor of export terminals, where workers are chilling America’s substantial stores of shale gas into liquid form and sending them off to ports around the world. The first shipment went to Brazil, but since then cargoes have made their way to Europe and, now, the Middle East.

Like its oil counterpart, the global LNG market is well supplied at the moment, with Qatar and Australia already exporting larger and larger volumes while the United States looks to become a major player in the coming years as more export terminals come online. It’s a buyer’s market, too, as prices have steadily come down both as a result of contracts that have included linkages to oil prices (which are today less than half of what they were two years ago) as well as sluggish demand coupled with surging supplies.

Selling LNG to Kuwait and Dubai won’t suddenly make the Middle East beholden to U.S. suppliers, but it does signal an important and ongoing change in global energy dynamics. And, as more Middle Eastern countries look to derive less of their electricity from costly and relatively inefficient oil-fired power plants, LNG demand should rise in the region. If and when that happens, there will be plenty of producers here in the United States willing to step up and subvert the traditional energy flows between the Middle East and America.

Capitalism, risk taking and innovation are the reason this is happening.  Government was an impediment because government was sure it had a better way, despite the evidence to the contrary.

Government picking the “winners and losers” in an economic situation is simply another form of socialist tyranny, where it acts as though it is the owner of the means of production and rewards the industries it backs while finding ways to punish those in disfavor.  Thankfully, at least in this case, government – specifically the Obama administration – has been out maneuvered by the shale industry and it’s favored industries have all but gone bust.

More irony – the administration tries at every opportunity to take credit for the hydrocarbon boom in the US.


Stray Voltage

We were told this was something which would never happen:

On Monday the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Ammon Target store where an adult female says a person taking pictures of her while she was inside a changing room trying on clothes. The woman noticed the person reaching over the wall of the changing room with a cell phone to take pictures. The victim confronted the subject who ran from the store.

Detectives interviewed witnesses and security footage from Target which led them to 43-year-old Sean Patrick Smith, who also identifies as Shauna Patricia Smith, a transgender female. After interviewing Smith she was taken into custody by Detectives and booked into the Bonneville County Jail for one felony count of voyeurism.

Like I’ve said many times, leftists get an “F” in “Human Nature 101”.

Laugh of the week from one of the most irony impaired women on the planet:

Hillary: “Can you imagine electing a vindictive man who might … send the IRS after his critics?”

And, of course, Legal Insurrection has it right:

Hillary has one thing going for her here. The media has pretty much abandoned all reportage of the IRS targeting scandal. How many average Americans even know Obama used the IRS to silence tax paying Americans in the run up to the 2012 election and got away with it?

I don’t know about you, but I can certainly imagine a vindictive Hillary Clinton doing exactly what she’s trying to project on Trump.

All you need to know about the lie that is ObamaCare:


Say, Mr. Obama, where’s that $2,500 dollars of savings you promised we’d all experience if we went along with your scam?

Had enough of Barry in the White House?  Well, if Hillary has her way, he may have a new lifetime community organizing gig in his future:

At a campaign event in Iowa Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton told the crowd the next president may have to appoint up to three Supreme Court justices. When one attendee mentioned Mr. Obama as a contender, she seemed excited by the recommendation.

“Wow, what a great idea. No one has ever suggested that to me, I love that, wow,” Mrs. Clinton said. “He may have a few other things to do, but I tell you, that’s a great idea.

“I mean, he’s brilliant, he can set forth an argument and he was a law professor,” she added. “So he’s got all the credentials, but we would have to get a Democratic Senate to get him confirmed.”

If you think he’s taken a wrecking ball to your liberties these past 8 years, make sure he ends up on the Supreme Court.  He’ll make the last 8 years seem like a walk in the park as concerns your freedom and the Constitution.

Law professor – ha!

Nice, France.  Ban assault trucks … no one needs a truck that big.  Enough said.

Your “feel good” story of the week.  A kid who wants a college degree badly and the town which rallied to help make that a reality.  Oh, and a cop is featured in this and he doesn’t even shoot the kid, even though he’s black.

Have a great weekend.


More outright lies from POTUS at the Dallas Memorial

So much for honoring 5 slain police officers.  Oh, Obama started out alright, but then he just couldn’t help himself.  He had to slip into ideological mode and tell a whopper of a lie to try and get it headed around the world before the truth could put on its shoes.  The lie?

 “It’s easier for a teenager to get his hands on a Glock than a computer…or even a book.”

Is it?  Really?  This is rhetorical garbage presented as “the truth”.  It is a base assumption you are supposed to swallow so when he says you need to give up your right to arm yourself in self defense, you will assume it is “for the children”.

The truth?  To get a book, all you need is the price of one or, if that’s not available, there are libraries which will give a child a book to read for just showing a library card.  I’m sure he’s heard of them.  And, as for a computer, again, it’s a price thing – come up with the money, get the computer.  Ironically, most libraries also have public computers.

But, and he might not know this, they won’t check out a Glock to you.

No, that process involves just a bit more work.  First you have to be 18 to even be considered as eligible to buy a gun.  Then, there’s that price thing again, not to mention a federal background check.  Hmm … I’ve never had a federal background check to buy a computer nor was I required to get one to buy a book.

Like most other things this man says, it is falsifiable nonsense.  It’s propaganda.  It’s the big lie, told often enough to be believed by low information citizens, especially on the left.  It is a false trail diverting the country from the real problem, a problem he has been instrumental in enabling.

Why couldn’t he just be a president for a day and join the country in mourning 5 officers who did gave their lives protecting others from a murderer?


1 2 3 411