Thursday, September 21, 2017

Our Halcyon Past. Who Wants To Be Accused of Causing Discomfort and Racial Bias? Going Nuclear? The Crazy Left. the Brilliant Jefferson. 25 Top Museums.


 A look back: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/QoDXTAajEzY?rel=0
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Several memos ago I wrote about my concerns regarding the unfunded liabilities owed  by various government entities.  Yesterday an article on this subject appeared in The WSJ and it sets forth some of the unfunded amounts and they are staggering.

One of the consequences may be cuts in pensions not only due to be paid but also those already being paid.

When Mother Hubbard opened the cup-board she found it was bare.  Governments, like Ms. Hubbard, are no different when they pledge what they cannot meet.

Andy Stern is partly to blame because, when he took over the Union for Public Employees, he began demanding higher pensions and pay and politicians were happy to accommodate because they were able to extract greater campaign funding from the workers. Well the loop feedback game has been uncovered because of new accounting rules and these unfunded liabilities are now being revealed.

Inflation and high interest rates were a boon for a while but eventually inflation and high interest rates led to deflation and low interest rates. What goes up eventually comes down.  Economists and union executives know this. They just hope it does not occur on their watch.

The world has been experiencing mild deflation for several decades. This is why unemployment is high, consumer demand is not growing, rising wages have become a thing of the past  and the middle class has been shrinking.

It should not take a rocket scientist to understand this phenomena and certainly politicians are not going to let you in on this secret so they have resorted to accounting wizardry. That game has now been arrested/exposed.

The next big issue will be the $20 trillion federal deficit and the underlying unfunded amount that exceeds many trillions more. At some point, Congress will have to react to the fact that the Federal Cup-board is also bare.  They cannot keep it closed and hidden forever as the future rise in interest rates sucks more money away from their grasp, entitlements grow and funding for rebuilding our military begins to impinge on the mess we have allowed to happen. Obama did not create deficit spending he simply accelerated it so the pigeons are more likely to come home to roost sooner.

The deficits Trump's Administration  will accrue are directed at job growth versus welfare entitlements and that is a plus but he will still increase the amount of debt. The hope is that through stimulating the economy the debt will be minimal.

Those who have warned about rising deficits have been accused of being spoilers, ruining the punch and party gaiety. Smoking pot, I am told, is fun.  Like alcohol, however, the morning after is the price paid for the indulgence. Withdrawal may soon be in or future.

If you think our nation is polarized now just wait till the candy begins to be taken away from the "entitled" masses, Then you really will see class warfare and heightened discord. This is what devotees of Saul Alinsky have been working towards and what the anarchists want to see happen. Chaos creates opportunity. The consequence of this could be the ultimate break up of our republic as we turn away from our constitutional protections. Create the problem, weaken the system's financial and productive ability to fight off the virus, wreck the education system, then set citizen against citizen. This was Obama's prescription for transforming America. It was there for anyone who wanted to see but that would cause discomfort and signify racial bias and who wants to be accused of  that?  (See 1 and  4 below.)
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Will a nuclear confrontation take our mind off the building financial mess?

The can, other presidents have kicked down the road, has now grown to be a realistic threat akin to the financial one.  Where does all of this lead?  Stay tuned.(See 2 below.)
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This from a dear friend who served his nation admirably and also is a fellow memo reader. (See 3 below.)
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Those who would destroy Jefferson's statue do not even know anything about the man.

Their ignorance is far more dangerous than his brilliance. (See 4 below.)
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Trip Advisor's top 25 museums.

Something is wrong because The Modern Museum of Art and The Mellon do not make the list as well as some of the great California, Texas and Oklahoma museums because of distance? (See 5 below.)
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Dick
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1) States Need $645 Billion to Pay Full Health-Care Costs

New accounting guidelines urge local governments to put their full health costs on their balance sheets


By Heather Gillers
When Aurora, Ill., closed its books last December, about $150 million disappeared from the city’s bottom line.
The Chicago suburb of 200,000 people hadn’t become poorer. Instead, for the first time it recorded on its balance sheet the full cost of health care promised to public employees once they retire.
States and cities around the country will soon book similar losses because of new, widely followed accounting guidelines that apply to most governments starting in fiscal 2018—a shift that could potentially lead to cuts to retiree heath benefits.
The new Governmental Accounting Standards Board principles urge officials to record all health-care liabilities on their balance sheets instead of pushing a portion of the debt to footnotes.
The adjustments will show that U.S. states as a group have promised hundreds of billions more in retiree health benefits than they have saved up. The shortfall amounts to at least $645 billion, according to a new report from the nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts based on 2015 data. That is in addition to the $1.1 trillion that states need to pay for promised pension benefits, according to Pew.
The new level of transparency around retiree health expenses for public workers could lower municipal-bond prices and force new decisions to reduce or scrap retiree health benefits as a way of coping with ballooning future costs, some analysts and researchers said. “I think the market has understated the concern,” said Richard Ciccarone, president and chief executive of Merritt Research Services LLC, a research firm that tracks municipal bonds.

Rising retiree health-care costs are compounding government pressures when many state and local officials are struggling to manage their ballooning pension liabilities and balance their budgets. Waves of baby boomers are already wrapping up their working lives, and expenses are expected to rise in coming years.
“By not dealing with it, we could be setting ourselves up for a very unwelcome surprise,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
The change will lower bottom lines by tens of billions for some state governments. In New York, the state’s health-care liabilities as reported on its balance sheet will jump to $72 billion once the new accounting rules are in place, up from $17 billion. That new total would be 10 times the state’s pension liabilities, Mr. DiNapoli’s office said.
Mr. DiNapoli said New York has been upfront with bond-rating firms about its retiree health liabilities, but he hopes the new numbers will provide a wake-up call for policy makers. For the last decade, he has helped draft legislation annually that would establish a fund to set money aside for retiree health costs, but he said those bills have stalled.
“If you can put money towards a school or a senior center today, that has a lot more appeal,” Mr. DiNapoli said.
Most states have almost no money saved up for future retiree health-care costs and treat the benefits as an operating expense. States had just $48 billion in assets set aside as of 2015, compared with $693 billion in liabilities, according to Pew.
One state that has been setting aside more is Michigan, where retiree health-care liabilities have dropped by roughly $20 billion since 2012 partly because of added state payments. The state also stopped offering retiree health care to new employees, instead contributing an additional 2% of salary to their defined-contribution plans to limit the state’s exposure to rising health costs.
“It’s transferring the risk for those inflationary items from the state to the employees,” said Kerrie Vanden Bosch, director of Michigan’s Office of Retirement Services.
Even so, states’ retiree health obligations are still much smaller than future pension promises, which are already reported this way. Even if states were to start setting aside money for future costs, annual state spending on retiree health care would still be just 3.4% of expenditures, compared with 1.4% today, according to a study by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators and the Center for State and Local Government Excellence.
States that want to bring their liabilities down will likely face fewer legal hurdles to benefit cuts than they have with public pensions, which enjoy ironclad legal protections in many states. Courts have often upheld employers’ rights to increase health-care costs and reduce coverage unless the benefits are laid out in explicit detail in a collective-bargaining agreement or protected by a state constitution, said University of Minnesota Law School Professor Amy Monahan.
“It’s going to be really hard to prevent those changes,” Ms. Monahan said.
Among more than 80 state and local governments surveyed last year by Segal Consulting, 57% said they were somewhat or very likely to reduce benefits in response to the new accounting standards. The guidelines aren’t mandatory, though they are widely followed and ignoring them can complicate audits.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents public-sector workers, opposed the new Governmental Accounting Standards Board guidelines. It said in a comment letter that “implementing new standards during a fragile recovery may lead to hasty and unwarranted decisions about retiree health benefits.”
“If you’re going to tell people that you’re going to give the best years of your life as a firefighter or cop, you have to figure out a way to bridge those people to Medicare,” said Steven Kreisberg,  director of research and collective bargaining for the union. “These are manageable expenses, if you want to manage them.”
Write to Heather Gillers at heather.gillers@wsj.com
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2)Trump Goes Nuclear

Critics of Trumpian rhetoric live outside the range of Kim’s missiles—for now.

By Daniel Henninger
Mr. Trump violated foreign-policy sensibilities on the Eastern Seaboard by saying out loud what has been an implicit reality of U.S. strategic policy since the dawn of the nuclear age: We reserve the right to use nuclear weapons to pre-empt a first strike from an adversary, and that includes an enemy’s nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. The reason resided in one simple Cold-War word: deterrence.
Toward the end of the Obama presidency, concerns emerged that Mr. Obama would adopt the “no first use” doctrine on nuclear weapons long favored by progressive arms-control activists. He did not. Also worth keeping in mind amid the outcry that Mr. Trump’s speech violated some sort of international gentlemen’s agreement is that NATO has refused for 70 years to adopt no first use.

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Until recently, no American president needed to make such threats in public. An assumption of the Cold War was that the Soviet Union’s leadership ultimately was rational, and so we negotiated nuclear agreements with them. Some similar baseline of assumed rationality attached to dealing with each subsequent nuclear power, such as China, India and even Pakistan.
Pakistan and India—estimated to have more than 100 nuclear warheads each—rattled the world’s nerves as recently as 2002, when the two countries massed armies along their 2,000-mile border after a terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament.
Whether Iran’s revolutionary and messianic religious leadership is “rational” in the Cold War meaning lies at the heart of the disagreement over the Obama nuclear deal with Tehran. The Iranians understood this requirement, and so they put forth as their negotiator Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, a “rational man” from Hollywood central casting, unlike the evil-eye mullahs who actually decide Iranian nuclear strategy, which looks a lot like North Korea’s nuclear strategy. Yet another of Mr. Trump’s violations of Eastern Seaboard sensibilities is to suggest the Iranians are less trustworthy on nukes than, say, Mikhail Gorbachev.
Since 1993, the U.S. has pursued the standard model of rational-man arms control negotiations with North Korea. This false, 25-year-long presumption now has brought us to within perhaps one year of Kim being able to attach a miniaturized nuclear bomb to the cone of an ICBM.
The day that happens, the world will have crossed a Rubicon into a nuclear reality incomparably more dangerous than anything in the previous seven decades. On Tuesday, a U.S. president spoke truth to nuclear power. Eastern punditry will never recover from the way Mr. Trump said it, but the rest of the rational world will adapt.
Adaptation of some sort is needed as well to Mr. Trump’s thoughts on sovereignty, mentioned more than 20 times in the speech. I haven’t anything enlightening to add on this subject because I have no fully graspable idea what he is talking about, and I’m not sure Mr. Trump does either.
The idea of protecting a country’s national security and economic interests is easy enough to understand, for instance when renegotiating a trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico. Mr. Trump, however, seems to be talking about something more transcendent.
Sovereignty as a mystical force in the lives of nations is an idea brought into the Trump presidency by Steve Bannon and articulated in the U.N. speech and elsewhere by Mr. Trump’s chief speechwriter and Bannon ally, Stephen Miller.
Nationalism and what it means for increasingly volatile populations is a good subject just now, but I don’t think Messrs. Bannon and Miller, for all the time they’ve spent talking about sovereignty, have put across the idea in any feasible operational sense for U.S. policy makers. In practice, that makes it largely irrelevant.
My own tastes in Trumpian philosophizing run more toward statements like this at the U.N.: “Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some, in fact, are going to hell.”
Again, the pundits gagged, presumably nostalgic for the prudent, considered cadences of Barack Obama, whose foreign policies left much of the world, um, going to hell. Aleppo’s bombardment into rubble comes to mind.
Hearing Mr. Obama describe more of the same will cost you $400,000 now. President Trump gets to talk for free about Kim Jong Un’s march toward a nuclear Armageddon. Between these two, I’ll take the free version.
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3) If you feel like the left keeps getting crazier, you aren’t alone. In fact, your feelings are right on the money. It’s hard to pin down exactly when they committed to trying to usurp the moral high ground, but it has pushed them into a fascinating corner.
The entire Democratic Party is now stuck in a self-destructive cycle that cannot possibly win them future elections. They’ve proven resilient in the past, so they may recognize their error and recover, but the current tactics are in every way unsustainable.
Antifa
Let’s address this from the start. Antifa exists on the premise that anyone who is not wearing a mask with them is an enemy. These enemies consist only of soulless Nazis who deserve every bit of violence directed towards them. In fact, remaining peaceful would be immoral.
Never mind the fact that they are repeatedly caught fighting the wrong people. Dozens of beaten and pummeled white males have turned out to be peaceful protesters on the same side of issues as the Antifa thugs. In fact, there’s an easy way to tell if Antifa was beating up a real conservative: the gun-carrying conservatives would shoot them.
There is a reason international treaty bans soldiers of any country from wearing masks. Hiding your face reduces accountability and promotes crimes against humanity. Antifa’s extremism is predicated on violating the humanity of those they deem bigots. The entire process is hypocritical and alienating the majority of the left (often by beating them with clubs). Even the University of California at Berkeley as shied away from an Antifa presence. If that doesn’t make you stop and think about your extremism, what will?
Increasingly Fractional Base
Antifa may be the extreme example, but the premise is the same throughout the left. Because they have tied all of their positions to claims of morality and not logic, a “true liberal” must conform to conflicting ideologies. You can’t respect your African or Native American heritage while adhering to the most ridiculous tenets of extreme feminism.
And, that is exactly why subgroups have been clashing throughout the progressive rallies this year. So many niche groups are trying to vie for the same attention and resources. Butting heads are bound to ensue, but because each is claiming to be a paragon of moral superiority, there can be no rational discourse or sharing of resources between these subgroups.
Everyone is fighting to be the most marginalized, and the stupid silliness of it is that they are all succeeding. No one outside of each niche gives respect to any of them, no matter how progressive they might claim to be. For those of us living in sanity, the whole thing is almost outrageous enough to be funny.
Marginalizing the Center
As we follow this strategy to its logical conclusion, we see that the moral high ground approach is doomed to fail. It might stand a chance if it was rooted in reasonable moral claims, but the commitment to extremism is unsustainable. Ultimately, if everyone who disagrees with you is a subhuman bigot, and you trend towards niche groups that don’t share common ground, you marginalize the majority of Americans. There is no way to win democratic elections from this stance. Here’s an easy example to see the illogic necessary to be a modern liberal.
According to progressives, poverty can only be the product of greed and evil rich people. Since the majority of rich people in the U.S. are white, then obviously white people are inherently evil. In fact, it is often repeated that it is impossible for a white person to not be racist. Conversely, they claim it is impossible for a minority to be racist. In the midst of this, adhering to this philosophy requires us to ignore the fact that 60 percent of Americans living in poverty are white. We’ve barely begun and these core principles have already turned on themselves. How can the Democrats be the heroes of the poor if they believe 60 percent of their base is inherently racist and evil?
The scariest part of the whole thing is that progressives have incredibly intelligent minds at their center. They are experts in subversion, and they will often speak ideals that sound great on the surface. It always requires you to peel back the layers to find the ugly truths. Thankfully, there are still plenty of us willing to make that effort. In the meantime, whenever you are stuck with someone who just doesn’t get it, consider this: If someone’s only argument is that their opponents are evil, then they have no argument at all. Morality can be an amazing compass, but true morals never need to self-contradict, and they can be backed by logic and rational thought. “He’s bad,” should never be sufficient to convince you to agree to something for the sake of opposition.
~ American Liberty Report
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4)Thomas Jefferson


Its amazing how true his statements are today. 
 Thomas   Jefferson

 
His Portrait is on the Two $2.00   Dollar Bill.

    
There are two parts.Be sure to read  the 
2nd part in RED .

Thomas Jefferson   Was a very remarkable 
man who started learning very   Early in 
life and never stopped.At 5, began  
studying under his cousin's tutor. 
At 9, studied   Latin, Greek and French. 
At 14, studied  classical literature and 
additional languages. 
At 16, entered  The College of William 
and Mary. Also could write in Greek with 
one hand while writing the same in Latin 
with the other.

At 19, studied  Law for 5 years starting 
under George Wythe.

At 23, started   his own law practice.

At 25, was  elected to the Virginia House of Burgess's.

At 31, wrote the   Widely circulated 
"Summary View of the Rights of British 
America " And retired from his law 
practice.

At 32, was a  delegate to the Second 
Continental Congress. 
At 33, wrote the  Declaration of 
Independence. 
At 33, took  three years to revise 
Virginia's legal code and wrote a 
Public Education Bill and a statute for 
Religious Freedom.

At 36, was   elected the second Governor 
of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry. 
At 40, served in  
Congress for two years. 
  
At 41, was the   American minister to 
France and Negotiated commercial 
treaties with European nations Along 
with Ben  Franklin And John Adams.. 
At 46,served as  the first Secretary of 
State Under George  Washington. 
At 53, served as  Vice President and was 
elected President of the American 
Philosophical Society. 
At 55, drafted   The Kentucky Resolutions 
and Became the active head of 
Republican Party  
At 57, was  Elected the third president of the  United States.

At 60, obtained   The Louisiana Purchase doubling The nation's  size.

 
At 61, was  elected to a second term as President.

 
At 65, retired  to Monticello...

 
At 80, helped  President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.

 
At 81, almost   
Single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.

 
At 83, died on  the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence along with John Adams.

 
Thomas Jefferson   
Knew because he had studied the previous failed attempts at government. He understood
Actual history, the nature of God, His laws and the nature 
Of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand 
Today.

 
Jefferson  really  knew his stuff.

 
A voice from the   
Past to lead us in the future:

 
John F. Kennedy   
Held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of 
The most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

 
"When we   get piled upon one another in large cities, as in 
Europe,we shall  become as corrupt as Europe ." --
Thomas   
Jefferson
"The   democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are   willing to work and give  to those who would not." 
--   
Thomas 
Jefferson

 
"It is  incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes.
A   principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world." 
--   
Thomas 
Jefferson

 
"I   predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of  them." --   
Thomas 
Jefferson

 
"My   reading of history convinces me that most bad government results   from too much  government." --
Thomas   
Jefferson

 
"No free  man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." --
Thomas   
Jefferson

 
"The  strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is,
As a  last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in 
Government."
 
--   
Thomas 
Jefferson

 
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from  time to time  with the   blood  of patriots 
                                                                      Thomas Jefferson
  "To  compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves And abhors is sinful and tyrannical
                                                             Thomas Jefferson

Thomas   
Jefferson said in 1802:

 
"I  believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our  liberties than  standing armies.

 
If the  American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency,
first by   inflation,then by deflation,
the  banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks  will deprive the people of all property -until  their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

Thomas Jefferson
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5)

TOP 25 MUSEUMS IN THE WORLD

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
  2. The National WWII Museum, New Orleans
  3. Musee d’Orsay, Paris
  4. The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
  5. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, St. Petersburg
  6. The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, New York City
  7. Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City
  8. Acropolis Museum, Athens
  9. Prado National Museum, Madrid
  10. Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  11. National Gallery, London
  12. Vasa Museum, Stockholm
  13. Musee du Louvre, Paris
  14. Egyptian Museum of Turin
  15. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  16. Uffizi Gallery, Florence
  17. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
  18. Instituto Ricardo Brennand, Recife
  19. Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa), Wellington
  20. Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo
  21. War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City
  22. Museo Larco, Lima
  23. Gold Museum (Museo del Oro), Bogota
  24. The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Xi’an
  25. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 



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