Skragnon's Blog


October 2, 2011
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I’m a nobody.  Well, that’s what I’m told at least.  By who you may ask?  Why the world around us!  Sure we are individuals, but are we not also just little cogs in the giant machine of society?  All parts moving in harmony together to a happy ending, right?  It is the responsibility of us all to work together, so the least among us can keep moving.  Nobody should be above another, nobody should be better than another, we should all be equal.

At least that is what we are told.  By whom?  Our leaders!!  For the good of society, for the good of the machine, we each labor in our small way so that society, the machine, continues to operate.  A portion of our labor is to support the good of society, for without society we can’t have the things that are around us.  No police, no fire protection, no schools.  For this we are to give a portion of our pay, a result of our labor, to society.

Yet there is a cancer in that society.  A large portion of the cogs in the machine have seized up and are no longer spinning.  No longer contributing to the society.  No longer putting in their portion of pay, their labor, into society.  What has happened?  Our leaders!!

Society is an imperfect machine.  Trade for value makes that machine move.  It is the lubrication, the oil, that ensures that the machine does not seize up.  That trade for value may take its form in many ways.  Historically it was through barter.  As society developed barter became burdensome.  You can’t always carry chickens around if you want to get some beans from the farmer.  Another form of exchange representing value was developed.  Money.  Money has become that lubrication because of what it represents.  Value that has been added to something, be it a product or service.

Now we are getting to the heart of the matter.  Some of the cogs aren’t putting in any lubrication, they are taking it.  All they are doing is absorbing the oil that allows the machine to move freely.  The machine, society, is beginning to slow down.  It is beginning to grind quietly, but it is ever growing louder in the distance.  Society can only continue for so long with less and less lubrication being put into the system.  It will eventually seize.

So, I can’t forever be a nobody.  I can’t forever just be a cog in the machine.  I need to be more.  More for myself.  More for my family.  More for society.  Yet I can’t be alone.  I can’t be the only one who realizes this.  I need to bring others with me, bring them out of the machine and help them understand that the machine is worthless without people who produce the lubrication.  Yet the ones that have to be taught, are the ones who are absorbing the lubrication.  They are benefitting from the effort and labor of others.  They are merely taking that which others produce.  Society cannot sustain itself this way, it must change.  Otherwise I fear what might happen.


Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill

March 28, 2011
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I keep hearing that the Budget Repair Law in Wisconsin is not valid until published in the newspaper.  Soooo, let’s look to see what the law requires.  I did a word search in CHAPTER 35 – PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF LAWS AND PUBLIC DOCUMENTS for the word newspaper.

LEGAL NOTICES; CLASS 5 (Definition: Class 5 — Legal notices.)
35.35 Requisition procedure
(1) (a) The legislative reference bureau shall provide to the secretary of state camera−ready copy in type not smaller than 5.5 point for the printing of any enrolled proposed constitutional amendment and of each enrolled resolution ordered to be printed in the official state newspaper by the president of the senate for resolutions originating in the senate or by the speaker of the assembly for resolutions originating in the assembly. The copy shall identify material deleted from existing law by stricken type, and material inserted into existing law by underscored type.
(b) The department may contract to sell, at a price equal to the cost of composition, camera−ready copy of the laws to any commercial publisher.
(2) Every state agency required by law to publish legal notices in a newspaper shall furnish printer’s copy to the department with a requisition therefor.
(3) All such printing shall be in the English language.

35.36 Fees; state legal notices.
(1) The compensation to the official state newspaper and other papers for all legal notices required to be published at the expense of the state may not exceed the rates specified in s. 985.08 (1), (2) and (3). All expenditures incidental to such printing shall be absorbed by the newspaper doing the publishing. Whenever the state elects to provide camera−ready copy for the publication of its facsimile ballots or other legal notices the maximum chargeable rates shall be adjusted as provided in s. 985.08 (2) (b).
(2) The costs of publication of legal notices shall, unless otherwise provided by law, be charged to the appropriation of the agency on whose order such publication is made.

35.84 Distribution, to whom.
The department shall make distribution of official documents as indicated and shall charge the appropriations of the state agency publishing or arranging for publication of each official document for the total cost of distribution as determined under s. 35.80. Distribution is automatic unless indicated otherwise. [See Figure 35.84 following]
(Editorial note: cropped the table for clarity)
99. Each newspaper as listed in Blue Book . . . . . . . . . . .
Blue Books; Code and s. 35.24 (1)

OK, anyone else unable to find anything in the law saying that the law is not valid until published?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Secretary of State LaFollette, you are full of crap.



September 16, 2010
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There has been something sticking in my craw for a while, and I’d like to dig around in there with a toothpick.  The damn thing is uncomfortable and it needs to come out.  Well, here it comes now and it might be a little bloody on the way out.

When the economy took a dive these 24 months past everyone started to do what is natural.  We tightened our belts.  We cut back, and by God we made it through because we prioritized our spending.  This is where my craw is not sitting well.  The people cut back to be within our financial means, but the drunken politicians broke out the credit cards and rang up the bill ever further.  WTF?

Then the teenagers up in Washington looked at those of us in fly over country, kicked out their hips, rolled their eyes and told us we didn’t understand.  Like hell we didn’t understand, we’re the friggin parents!  We understand all too well what happens when you can’t pay your credit card bill and the bill collectors start calling every day (maybe even more than once a day).

Well, the parents are looking like they will be taking that credit card away here pretty soon, and by God we’re going to set some better priorities.  In order to guide those priorities, lets look at what our Grandparents wrote down on our “to do” list a couple years back.

U.S. Constitution

Article I

Section 8.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;–And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Oh, and for those that think the “general welfare” clause gives us a blank check, let’s double check the note Grandfather James Madison put on the outside of the envelope.


Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction.

Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms “to raise money for the general welfare.

“But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter.

The objection here is the more extraordinary, as it appears that the language used by the convention is a copy from the articles of Confederation. The objects of the Union among the States, as described in article third, are “their common defense, security of their liberties, and mutual and general welfare. ” The terms of article eighth are still more identical: “All charges of war and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury,” etc. A similar language again occurs in article ninth. Construe either of these articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution, and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever. But what would have been thought of that assembly, if, attaching themselves to these general expressions, and disregarding the specifications which ascertain and limit their import, they had exercised an unlimited power of providing for the common defense and general welfare? I appeal to the objectors themselves, whether they would in that case have employed the same reasoning in justification of Congress as they now make use of against the convention. How difficult it is for error to escape its own condemnation!

Posted in Politics

Health care prediction?

March 3, 2010
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So, as I’m diligently plowing through my work day a thought occurs to me.

We’re going to get stuck with the universal health care debacle waiting in the wings, and I figured out how the Democrats will do it.  Assuming of course they get slaughtered in November at the polls.

Reconciliation is the vehicle, the timing is at question.  Everyone is concerned with the here and now, because the President has just had his health care summit dog and pony show.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they will table the proposal until later in the year.  I’m not sure how they will do it to save face, but that doesn’t matter.  The prediction is not swayed by such a thing, but only the resulting Democrat effort.

Health care will rear its ugly head after the November elections.  They currently have enough of a majority in both the House and Senate to pass destruction upon 1/6th of the American economy via reconciliation.  Reconciliation is filibuster resistant in the Senate, which is the only real stopping point to the society destruction that is the Democrat proposal.  The House has a slimmer majority, but to get the structure in place Pelosi will likely be able to break enough arms, and blackmail enough people to get her 50+%.

Now the rub, they’ll do it on the backs of outgoing politicians who have been shown the door by the people in the time between the elections in November, and the new Congress being sworn in that following January.  What the hell do those lame ducks have to fear?  They already lost their jobs!  Screw the small minded peons who don’t understand what is best for them?  Based on current predictions for possible Republican successes in November, they won’t have enough of a majority to generate the 2/3 majority required to overturn an Obama veto of legislation put forth to repeal the Democrat boondoggle.

Not that I would expect the Republicans to try and repeal the abomination.  They wouldn’t have the guts.

Tax the banks, we won’t pay for it.

February 6, 2010
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I’m driving home the other night and I’m thinking how a in mid-January the President was on the radio talking about how he intends to get the TARP money back from the banks who borrowed it. Except he wants to only go after the top 50 firms in the country (who apparently have paid back a large portion of the TARP money).

I did some digging and I find that 829 firms received TARP money.  50/849 comes out to about 5.9% of the firms that received TARP money will be assessed the “financial crisis responsibility fee”.

This didn’t sit well with me.

First because anyone who believes that corporations pay taxes doesn’t understand basic economics.  Taxes are a cost of doing business, and you pass the cost of doing business on to the end user (that would be the little guy putting $5 from his paycheck into the bank).

Second, because this really seemed to smack of a bill of attainder to me.  Not in a literal sense, I know that the government won’t pass a law saying these financial firms are guilty of treason, but in a figurative sense.  These firms are being turned into pariahs of the highest order by our government and the media in this nation.  They are being accused of being the only reason our economy took a nose dive at the end of 2008.  It was the banks that destroyed us, so now they must be punished!

By all that is holy, if the behemoth that is the US Federal government is not partially culpable then we need to walk over to the sink, turn the faucet on high (tepid water please) and place our face firmly underneath the stream to wash the cobwebs off.

I’m not an economist, I don’t play one on TV, but no bank is going to give a loan to a person who can’t pay it back unless there is a gun being held to their head.  Do some digging, it doesn’t take long to find a history and summary of what happened.  You might start to choke, so don’t have a drink handy while reading.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
Thomas Jefferson

If someone from the government showed up at your door, is your first response a racing heart beat?  Sounds like the fear is on the wrong foot.

Posted in Banking, Politics

Random e-mail from my inbox

January 7, 2010
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You have two families: “Joe Legal” and “Jose Illegal”. Both families have two parents, two children, and live in California .

Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted.

Jose Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 cash “under the table”.

Ready? Now pay attention…

Joe Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; Joe Legal now has $31,231.00.

Jose Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200.00 per year. Jose Illegal pays no taxes. Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $24,031.00.

Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics at a cost of $0.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $18,031.00.

Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps and welfare. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $9,631.00.

Jose Illegal receives a $500.00 per month federal rent subsidy. Jose Illegal pays out that $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $ 31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for insurance. Joe Legal now has $7,231.00.

Jose Illegal says, “We don’t need no stinkin’ insurance!” and still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc.

Jose Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month.

Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.

Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.

Joe Legal’s and Jose Illegal’s children both attend the same school. Joe Legal pays for his children’s lunches while Jose Illegal’s children get a government sponsored lunch. Jose Illegal’s children have an after school ESL program. Joe Legal’s children go home.

Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but Joe paid for them and Jose did not pay.

Do you get it, now?

If you vote for or support any politician that supports illegal aliens…

You are part of the problem!

Posted in Politics


October 24, 2009
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Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a concept.  A radical concept to be sure at the time.  That being that the individual was sovereign.  That the citizen was king, and not the government.  Oddly enough a government was formed and framed around that very idea.

Now, 222 years later it has become quite apparent that government is once again king, and to quote:

“House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that the individual health insurance mandates included in every health reform bill, which require Americans to have insurance, were “like paying taxes.” He added that Congress has “broad authority” to force Americans to purchase other things as well, so long as it was trying to promote “the general welfare.”

Thank you very much Mr. Government.  I was unsure where I stood regarding my place compared to my government.  Of the people, by the people, for the people.  Such an antiquated concept days.

Dear Citizen,

You shall take the substandard health care that we mandate, and you will pay for it.  If you do not, we will put you in jail.  Additionally, since it is for the “general welfare” you shall also be required to purchase a Chevy Volt (our government owned car company isn’t doing as well as expected) because it is good for the environment.  Also, please be informed that your dietary desires have been changed.  Effective immediately you will not be allowed to eat meat, because it increases your cholesterol and increases our health care costs.  Don’t worry about all the people working in the meat industry, we’ll find them new jobs in the green economy (we’ll figure out the pesky details of if you can actually earn a living later).


Your Federal Government (because our own rules don’t apply to us)


[sov-rin-tee, suhv-]

–noun, plural -ties.

1. the quality or state of being sovereign.
2. the status, dominion, power, or authority of a sovereign; royalty.
3. supreme and independent power or authority in government as possessed or claimed by a state or community.
4. rightful status, independence, or prerogative.
5. a sovereign state, community, or political unit.

Posted in Politics

Labor Day

September 7, 2009
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As the days of summer seem to quickly tick past, Labor Day weekend has become the defacto close of fun and frivolity.

Yet as I consider the purpose of the Day, and what we are to celebrate (not that anyone actually does) I am saddened.  At one time labor unions performed an admirable purpose.  They guarded the worker from overzealous owners and foremen, they provided a structure for the common worker to express their dissent due to a lack of government protection.

Now, as we rapidly move forward to modern day, we have come to a point where both state and federal governments have established a plethora of alphabet soup agencies to do the work that at one time the unions had performed.  What purpose do labor unions still perform?  Do labor unions bring anything to the table in this modern day?  Do we separate labor unions from trade unions?  How does the concept of the Right to Work work in this environment?  How do we blend in the concept of Right to Work States into the mix?

As a general rule I argue labor unions (as separately defined from trade unions) are an anchor around the neck of business.  They should be discarded as the dinosaurs they have become and be encouraged to die a quick death (hemlock would be a good suggested method).  Labor unions are counter productive to their purported purpose of maintaining a fair work environment.  Labor unions eventually protect the least productive employee, and create work rules that raise the cost of doing business to the point that a business either declares bankruptcy or moves out of town.  Where the hell are the jobs they were protecting now?  Gone.

I separate a trade union because trade unions are much more similar to the old guilds than modern labor unions.  They act as a means for continuous educational training, for obtaining jobs and ensuring a consistent work quality.

More thoughts later.

Posted in Politics

    The profundity continues …

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