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GARA

It just never seems to quite work out for the little guy. Back in 1994 representatives of the people of Kansas (home of Cessna, Beechcraft and other airplane makers) introduced to Congress the General Aviation Revitalization Act. What it did was close out foreign competitors to private aviation. It didn’t close out access for the big boys, just for the little guy. Whereas in 1955 the private pilot could buy a brand spanking new Cessna for about $8,500 dollars (a little over a year and a half wages for a blue collar guy), it pushed the price of a new Cessna today to over $300,000 dollars. A tad more than a year and a half wages. Try 8 times a years blue collar salary.

So today private pilots scramble to buy the only thing still affordable, the decent 30/40/50/60 year old plane. Not as nice, not as safe. Or they can buy a kit from overseas, but not an assembled plane. So for $90,000 dollars or so they can spend what should be the price of new, and take a year to build it themselves. And the associated risk of a DIY project. 30 years ago seniors took group bus day trips to Canada to buy prescription drugs. The business model for the pharmaceutical industry has always had Americans paying 10 times what they do in Canada or Mexico, under the guise of having Americans pay for research and development.

Those 2 examples were pretty easy to figure out with 30 years of hindsight. I’m old enough to have noticed how votes in Congress go. If something that helps corporations comes up, well by golly it just barely squeaks by with enough votes. If its going to screw the little guy, some Senator who is 6 years out on reelection provides the passing vote. Funny how that works. Now the ammo shortage that has been going on the past 12 months has me stumped.

Now I understand why ammo producers like keeping a shortage going, they can make profits hand over fist by keeping supply low and prices high. But what I don’t understand are the sellers, the big box stores. Ya can’t sell what you don’t have. They haven’t had ammo or primers to sell for a year. If they had some they could sell ungodly amounts. The pent up demand is incredible. So since its not being produced domestically, why aren’t they going to foreign sources?

Their sales figures have to be way down. And there’s no reason for it. They’ve been importing a percentage of foreign ammo for years. Any shooter is familiar with Aguila, Sellier & Bellot and Armscor (Mexico, Czech Republic and Philippines). So they are not barred from importing. But why just those 3 makers? I suppose you could add a fourth one we’ve seen, TulAmmo from Russia I believe, but why just those 4? You know other countries that make guns, also make ammo, Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Germany, so why aren’t we getting ammo from them? Its not like they have a civilian market they have to satisfy. (I just this week found out about a new one that a couple of online sellers are importing, but not big box stores, Igman from Croatia)

Boutique parties

An interesting phenomenon happened this year. After Democrats stole the election for Biden, people on the right knew they were fed up with the ‘can’t do’ Republican Party. I watched this play out on Gab (the 10% of the population with a pulse). A guy by the account name of Liberty Lion started the MAGA Party, tailor made for Donald Trump. Hold that thought, Trump had never heard of it and made noise about the ‘Patriot Party’. So Liberty Lion chucked ‘MAGA’ out the window and became the Patriot Party!

Screeching halt again! Fickle Trump decides he’s not going to go 3rd party at all but stick with those good ol’ Republicans. So MAGA/Patriot Party never gets off the ground at all and just becomes some guy barking at the moon on the internet. Another good guy on Gab (Henryk Fantazos) decides none of these parties are Christ centered enough, so he starts the American Populist Party. Based on Gab founder Andrew Torba’s populist platform.

Evidently the Reform Party, Constitution Party, Libertarian Party, Green Party, Socialist Workers Party and Patriot Party weren’t good enough. So some guy on the internet is going to rock the world with his American Populist Party. That’s 9 parties I can count, and I know I’m missing some. 7 of those are “no counts”. They don’t count for a hill of beans because they are all fighting for the same 10% of disaffected people. The 10% of people who have seen through the farce and ain’t playing that 2 party game no more.

The trouble is, 10% in one party would carry some weight. But splintered up between 7 different parties, they’re no force at all. They’re a farce not a force. Nobody cares about your 1% or 2%. You get 10% and you’re wielding power. 15% and you’re into John Anderson territory (1980). Having watched this for 50 years it always plays out the same. The egos involved can’t begin to entertain the idea of joining together. Their pride simply will not allow it.

When I pointed this out to Henry in a very delicate way, he stated “that party is as active as a coma”. Well, Henry, they believe every thing you do, so why don’t you give them your time, energy and money, and maybe they’ll become something! Oh hell no. He’s going to rant, rave and bark at the moon on the internet and that’s going to solve the world’s problems! Maybe not Henry. The 2 majors are counting on people staying stupid. Let’s do the exact same thing again!

When things go south

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

John Adams

This quote has always stuck with me. If you know the origins of our form of government it makes complete sense. “Enumerated” powers mean we the people list what functions we’ll allow the government to perform. Through the Bill of Rights we further limit what the government can do. Not us, the government. Our Constitution was written to give the people great latitude in the way they chose to conduct their lives.

In fact it was the complete opposite of the nanny state we have now. If you wanted to do stupid things that would ruin your life, they said, “Have at it!” The difference then was no one was going to bail you out when you drove into the ditch.

It was the polar opposite of what we have now. Just this year the government is stripping us of our rights under the guise of dealing with a pandemic. Race riots originating in Minneapolis are further destabilizing society. The economic upheaval as a result COVID-19 expenses are going to create great strife in groups used to handouts. An election year filled with this much chaos and will be exacerbated by the media and the Democrats to cause as much bedlam as possible to insure Trump’s defeat.

Already we have people being prosecuted for protecting their property against the looters. Clearly I think its the government’s attempt to send a clear message: You are not to be self-sufficient! Government does not shrink, it only grows. Independent people do not need Big Government.

What Super Bowl?

Christmas is the Post Office’s ‘Super Bowl’. Carriers know it, they bust balls. Clerks? They have 1 speed: molasses in January. As they added standards to carriers, they took them away from clerks. Can’t make in-city overnight delivery? Remove the standard! Not, lets change things so we do meet overnight, lets just do away with the pesky standard!

Package volume such you can’t fit them all in a truck? Can’t get them all worked? Maybe you should start early? Nope. Maybe work the big ones before shift so subs can run them out ahead of time? So then they’d all fit? Nope. Instead clerks choose to work them (small to large) at a snails pace so the carrier is out past dark. So the customer gets poor service.

When a business puts the customer last, the customer will put them last.

[For over 20 years Des Moines made Tuesday letter volume artificially light. Sometimes 1/3 Monday volume. I just happened to get burnt because I forgot that. They wouldn’t even change their M.O. to accommodate Christmas. Can you believe that?]