Whirlwind Trip to Colorado, Hillsdale National Leadership Seminar

Last week, RB49 and Hubby flew to Denver for a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar.  I usually have an aisle seat on an airplane, but this time I had the window seat, and I saw some beautiful scenery below.

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We picked up the rental SUV, and drove south to the city of Colorado Springs, where we found the Broadmoor Resort, a very old, and very beautiful, hotel at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.  We barely had time to get settled in our beautiful room, before it was time to attend the President’s Club reception.  Here’s the view from our room.

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At the reception, we met up with some people we already knew from Ricochet, one couple who live in Colorado Springs, and a woman from Texas (yes, Hillsdale has supporters all over this country).  We went in to dinner, and had a very nice meal.  Tuesday’s dinner was Frank Luntz, a well-known pollster, who told us that he became a conservative gradually, while learning about what motivates the people he polled over the years.  His theme was “how to speak about conservatism”, and he emphasized some of the points I have been saying over the years (you can’t convert liberals by arguing with them-you need to appeal to their emotions).  Here’s one of the many slides he showed about better terms to use in your conversations.

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After that dinner, Hubby and I went on a little walking tour of the building.  The Broadmoor has dozens of original paintings and sculptures by Western artists, accumulated over the more than 100-year history of the property.

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In a dimly-lighted lounge, I spotted this cleverly-designed footstool.  Very cute!

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Can you tell that he’s a turtle?

We fell into bed, exhausted from our busy day.  The room was sumptuous by our standards, and very comfortable and quiet, even though it was just across the hall from the elevator.

The next day, after continental breakfast, there were more speakers, including Sharyl Atkisson, a rather famous journalist (whose computer was compromised by Obama stooges), and Mollie Hemingway.  Both ladies had very interesting stories to tell.  Mollie used to be an editor at Ricochet, before she went to The Federalist.

After a nice lunch and one more speaker, the conference adjourned.  We had a bit of time before we had to head back to Denver for our 8:00PM flight, so we went to the hotel bar for a quick drink.  The main building is across a small lake, and I got to capture some of the beauty of the resort on the way over.

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Once we arrived at the hotel bar and ordered our drinks, I had the opportunity to pay more attention to the inside of the bar.  Very beautiful! This picture must have been of some patrons from the Robber Baron days of the late 19th Century.  I didn’t find out who they all were.

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After our nice drink, it was time for us to head home.  As is my normal, I pay attention to architectural detail wherever I am!  Here are some creatures who saw us off from the main entrance.

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We made it back to the airport in time, dropped off the rental car, and boarded our plane.  It was a very rushed trip, but certainly productive. The venue was gorgeous, speakers were fascinating, and our friends warm.  What more could a person ask for?

 

A Pretty Good Argument Against Only Owning an Electric Car

A Pretty Good Argument Against Only Owning an Electric Car

This past weekend, my hubby and I were watching TV (pretty rare for us), and he tuned in to the NHK World program, an English feature of the Japanese network NHK.  They had a very interesting program dealing with how technology helps Japan deal with the many natural disasters they face, living on the Ring of Fire.  They showed a special floodgate that can redirect flood waters with no human assistance.  And they spoke with a Japanese farmer who told how he dealt with the inability to use his cellular phone, in the aftermath of a big earthquake that knocked out all power to his area for weeks.

This put me in mind of how bad his situation would have been if his only transportation had been an electric vehicle.  If the power goes out to your neighborhood, or your entire city for longer than a day or two, you might be stranded.  Your “vehicle” would be nothing more than a big lump of toxic waste (think how hard it will be to recycle that huge battery) sitting in your driveway, or your barn.  What about the city which prohibits any but electric vehicles in its limits?  What happens if that city is flooded with 6 feet of muddy water?  Needless to say, all the electric vehicles would be deathtraps, and totally useless for evacuation.  And all those people would have no way out.

Just look at what happened to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit last year.  In February, many people there were still without power!  Those people can get power with gas-powered generators-fossil fuels!  If they had had electric cars, those would have been totally useless.

Many political units have already stated that they will be prohibiting “fossil-fuel” vehicles within the next 10-20 years.  I know for a fact that their desire to “go green”, and to force their citizens to do so, was not thought through very well.  And my prediction is that it will not happen in 20 years, nor in 40 years.    They will discover that mandating electric vehicles would be a very poor policy, and cause more undesirable effects than beneficial effects.  Oh, and it would be absolutely useless in “saving the planet”, since the planet is bigger than they are, and not in need of saving.   Citizens can stock up on gasoline to prepare for a possible disaster.  They can’t stock up on electricity.

Who ARE these people?

I found this picture this morning, of Democrat 2020 presidential hopefuls. Just look at these potential candidates.

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What impressed me about this picture is the expressions on the faces of all four. Every one of them comes across as a scold. Not one smiling face. The three on the right are obviously speaking angrily to their audience. The one on the left looks like he has a stomachache. Will the American people elect an angry scold to the Presidency? Will these potential candidates appeal to the good side of the electorate, or will they attempt to rile us up to throw that nasty, racist, misogynist occupant of the White House (which is what they all think of President Trump) out on his ear?

RB49 followers and readers, what would you think of this field if you were just some average citizen?

Vindicated!! RushBabe’s Staying off Facebook and Twitter was the Right Decision

Vindicated!!  RushBabe’s Staying off Facebook and Twitter was the Right Decision

Just lately, there have been a number of stories in various media of huge tech companies having their discriminatory policies toward users with conservative viewpoints exposed to public view.

Just lately, the big story has been that Twitter staff have, behind the scenes, “shadow-banned” conservatives by making their tweets essentially invisible to their followers.  Current and former Twitter employees were caught on tape bragging about having made tweets by conservatives not available to their followers.

Earlier, a big story was how YouTube, owned by Google, banned PragerU from its service, comparing it to “white supremacists”.  Google is the Big Kahuna of the Internet, and its algorithm changes can prompt uproars from various “harmed” groups.  And then, there’s the recent case of Google engineer James Damore, who was fired for posting an internal essay regarding the internal culture of the company, which would put conservative employees “on trial” and shun them; many stories of disturbing content on internal Google message boards have come out recently.

Facebook, that other Big Kahuna, has also been accused by multiple parties of censoring its “news feed” to eliminate stories by and about conservatives.  It has also been called out for censoring user posts that show conservative views.

Gee, this seems to make me sound prescient for simply staying off Facebook and Twitter. So far, nobody has tried to censor RushBabe49’s conservative posts and viewpoint.  And I thank all my loyal followers for their support, even though it’s mostly silent.

…On the Other Hand… 2017 Wrap-up

…On the Other Hand… 2017 Wrap-up

2017 was an “on the other hand” year for RushBabe49.  For every great thing that happened, there was something disgusting in return.  No good thing goes un-punished, and 2017 was a great example.  Starting in January with the inauguration of duly-elected President Donald Trump.  Election night in 2016 was the most fun I had had in years, spending hours on the live chat on Ricochet.  Many members’ comments were priceless, and when we went to bed that night (some stayed up until the wee hours of the next morning) we were elated.  But the Left’s tantrums at having been defeated were not terribly unexpected, but they were more violent than we thought.  The “Resistance” was immediate and loud, and we have been putting up with it for the entire year.

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This response shows the level of culture of the majority of leftists.  They immediately start with the worst curse words they can come up with.  Too bad, President Trump remained in office.  The resistance was also widespread within the bureaucracy in DC, and every one of the new president’s appointments was drawn-out and fought tooth and nail by the “deep state”.  I remember being on a trip in February, and being regaled by all the crap thrown at Michael Flynn, who was forced out of his position for communicating with the Russian ambassador, which was part of his job!

The Deep State and the Democrat Senate Losers tried their best, but they could not stop the nomination and confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, one of President Trump’s most important achievements in his first year in office.  President Trump has also had confirmed twelve new federal Circuit Court judges, a victory for Constitutionalism.

On the other hand, 2017 was marked by numerous murders of police officers, many in ambush situations, all over the United States.  By July, the total of police officers killed in the line of duty had risen nearly 20% from 2016.  The Ferguson Effect, where community members not only do not help the police solve local crimes, but positively hinder them, was much in evidence.  The murder rate in cities like Chicago and Baltimore skyrocketed, as gang members felt more comfortable carrying on their wars in many neighborhoods.

The employment situation in the US improved in 2017, as companies brought jobs back from overseas and opened new factories.  About 1.7 million new jobs were created in Donald Trump’s economy, and the stock markets reached new record-highs multiple times throughout the year.  Locally, tech companies have been on hiring sprees, with software engineers and systems analysts able to field multiple job offers and basically write their own tickets.

On the other hand, the cost of living in many big cities has also gone up so high as to price non-techies out of the housing market.  Landlords raise rents, and ordinary working stiffs have to leave town to find places they can afford to live.  Those of us who own our homes already just face increasing property taxes and utility fees, but we can remain in our homes.

On the other hand, we saw huge data-breaches that exposed the personal information of hundreds of millions of Americans, who had NO choice of where their data were stored.  The big breach at the credit-reporting giant Equifax brought it home to Americans how fragile their hold is on their privacy.  The subject of cyber-security was a big one in 2017, and promises to remain so in the new year, and for the foreseeable future.

President Donald Trump’s 2017 economy also brought the opening up of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines and the opening up of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in places to oil exploration to increase America’s energy independence.  And the best news of all, the most consequential tax reform of recent history was passed in December, ensuring that the majority of Americans will see the government confiscating less of their hard-earned money.  The tax bill repealed the individual mandate of ObamaCare, so many young people will not be required to purchase unaffordable health “insurance” or pay a huge fine/tax.  Since their employers will also be paying less to Uncle Sam, employees may get another benefit from the new tax laws.  Many big companies have already announced special bonuses for their employees (including those sleazy liberal TV commentators who swore the bill was horrible for the country).

President Trump’s foreign policies have also borne fruit, with ISIS being deprived of most of the territory they held, the UN de-funded of $285 million, and Jerusalem being declared the Capital of the State of Israel.  We have now brought the Israelis back as our friends, when the Obama administration had denigrated them and sided with the anti-Semites in Europe.

On the other hand, 2017 has brought increasing conflict (mostly words so far on our part) with the madman at the head of North Korea, and the mullahs who still rule in Iran.  But President Trump is doing his best to unravel the one-sided Iran nuclear “deal” which was a terrible bargain for the US.  2018 is bound to bring more tensions on those fronts, but America will now be dealing from a position of Greatness, not leading from behind.

Illegal immigration to the United States has gone down dramatically since Donald Trump was elected, and that is in the absence of the border wall!  This shows that even the expectation of action can affect the behavior of those who might be affected by the action.  On the other hand, the “deep state” judiciary has continued to throw obstacles in the way of the President’s legitimate power to allow or not allow anyone to enter the US.  This makes me very angry, and so far every one of the “bans of bans” that makes it to the Supreme Court gets overturned.  I hope that in the New Year the Supreme Court will be able to finally rule that the Executive Branch is solely in charge of immigration policy.

Personally, my own situation has remained very good in 2017 and going into the new year.  Hubby and I are still gainfully-employed, mostly healthy, and comfortable in our home, with our owner, Kikyo the black cat.  I again played the full-length Messiah the day after Christmas, and was just transported by the wonderful singing of the choir; an excellent end to the season.

I extend my best wishes to all my readers and followers at Calling-All-RushBabes for a very Happy New Year of 2018.

Oh, yes, here are my two last photos of 2017, taken on a shopping trip this afternoon.

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Seattle Liberals-stuck on stupid with their Sweetened Beverage Tax

On January 1, Seattle initiates a new “sweetened beverage tax”, of $0.0175 per OUNCE of sweetened beverage (Coke, Pepsi, Simply Lemonade, VitaminWater…).  Below is information I copied off the City of Seattle Web site.  Now, the reason for this tax in the first place is to make the citizens of Seattle healthier by making it more expensive to drink those evil sweetened beverages.  Except that…wait for it…they say below that the tax is NOT INTENDED TO BE PASSED ON TO THE CONSUMER!
Now, what are the chances that the beverage distributors will simply eat the huge cost of this tax?  Yes, about zero.  They will certainly pass the cost on to the retailers who stock the beverages, who will increase the cost to consumers.  The tax will about double the cost of a 21-ounce bottle of soda. **The tax on one 12-pack of 12-ounce cans will be $2.52, which is about the wholesale price of that 12-pack!!!
Cook County (Chicago) tried this a while ago.  And you know what happened?  Well, citizens of Cook County simply traveled a few miles, across the county line, and bought their sweetened beverages in the suburbs and towns next door.  Distributors laid off employees, due to the reduced business within the city.  And the county made very little money from the tax.  So it was repealed.
Liberals always assume that when they levy a tax on an activity or a commodity, those subject to the tax will simply pay up.  Well, they don’t!  If you tax something, you get less of it, which liberals never seem to learn.  The city of Seattle states that the tax is not intended to be passed on to consumers, but they seem never to have heard of the law of unintended consequences.  When people get taxed, they tend to change their behavior.  When the price of cigarettes skyrockets in a municipality or state, cigarette smuggling skyrockets.  When the cost of a sweetened beverage doubles in the City of Seattle, I predict that citizens will simply make a run to the new Lynnwood Costco to stock up on Coke or Pepsi.  Costco even carries VitaminWater now, so they can save even more.  I wonder if Seattle will pass a new law outlawing the carrying of sweetened beverages across the city limits?  Another question: how much additional business will Seattle retailers lose due to this tax?   Probably few people go shopping just for beverages, so how much additional revenue will Seattle stores lose when residents simply do all their grocery shopping outside the city?
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SWEETENED BEVERAGE TAX (SEATTLE)

Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, the City of Seattle will impose a sweetened beverage tax. View Ordinance 125324.

The sweetened beverage tax is a tax on the distribution of sweetened beverages in the city of Seattle. The tax is collected on the final distribution of sweetened beverages by a distributor. The tax is not collected by the retailer nor is the tax burden intended to fall onto the consumer. The intent of the sweetened beverage tax is to tax the distributions of sweetened beverages into Seattle for retail sale in Seattle.

For more information, please review:

If you have questions or concerns, contact SweetenedBevTax@seattle.gov.

Tax rate

The standard tax rate for the sweetened beverage tax is $.0175 per ounce. There is a reduced tax rate for certified manufacturers. That rate is $.01 per ounce.   ***Editorial comment by RushBabe49:  Which manufacturers in Seattle will voluntarily pay that exorbitant tax on their legitimately-produced soda?  Might those businesses simply write off Seattle and move their factories outside the city?  If they do, how much B & O tax revenue will Seattle be losing?

Guidelines to follow

Distributors are liable for the sweetened beverage tax on distributions of sweetened beverages into Seattle for retail sale in Seattle. Distributors need to file the sweetened beverage tax online at https://www.filelocal-wa.gov/. Distributors will either file annually or quarterly; following the same schedule as its B&O tax filing due dates. The imposition of the tax does not begin until Jan. 1, 2018. For quarterly tax filers, the first due date to remit the tax will be April 30, 2018.

Exemption from the sweetened beverage tax

If a distributor sells products from a certified small manufacturer (annual worldwide gross revenue of $2 million or less), those sales are exempt from taxation. The manufacturer must apply for the exemption with the City.

Reduced tax rate

If a distributor sells products from a certified manufacturer that has worldwide gross revenue of over $2 million but less than $5 million, those sales are eligible for a reduced tax rate ($.01/ounce). The manufacturer must apply for the reduced rate certification with the City.

Additional exemptions

For a listing of sweetened beverages that are exempt from the sweetened beverage tax, please see Seattle Rule 5-953.

Redistribution Certificate

The intent of the Redistribution Certificate is to ensure that the tax only applies to distribution of sweetened beverages for retail sale in Seattle. Retail businesses that receive distributions of sweetened beverages in the city of Seattle but then redistribute some or all of the sweetened beverages for retail sale outside the city may issue redistribution certificates to distributors. The retailer then becomes responsible for remitting the tax to the City only on those sweetened beverages receipted and sold at retail in Seattle.  ***Editorial Comment from RushBabe49:  Just read this paragraph-can you imagine the labor involved in determining when this rule applies?  What distributor will do this?***

In accordance with Seattle Rule 5-953 Sweetened Beverage Tax, this certificate may be completed by a person who requests to the distributor that they be liable for the sweetened beverage tax on sweetened beverages ultimately distributed for retail sale in Seattle.

Any distributor that accepts a Redistribution Certificate must provide a copy of the completed certificate to the City of Seattle within 15 days of receipt and the distributor will receive a confirmation of receipt from the City. The Redistribution Certificate is only valid with a confirmation receipt from the City of Seattle.

Distributors that accept a Redistribution Certificate must remit a copy by fax to (206) 684-5170 or by email to sweetenedbevtax@seattle.gov.

Read the code

You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) for legal details about the sweetened beverage tax.

SMC Chapter 5.53 covers the sweetened beverage tax.

Seattle business tax rule 5-953 provides further information.

A Short ECON101 Lesson about Taxes

A Short ECON101 Lesson about Taxes

Right now, the US Congress is hashing out a “tax reform” set of bills intended to change the ways taxes are confiscated from American workers and savers.  Those on the Left often refer to “tax cuts for the rich”, showing their basic envy of people who actually EARN their livings in the real world.  Republicans, in the majority in both the House and Senate, and in possession of the White House, consider it their responsibility to reduce the tax burden on working and saving Americans.

The concept of “revenue neutrality” was originated by Democrats who are horrified at the thought of Government receiving one fewer cent of its lifeblood from those Americans who pay income taxes (currently just slightly over 50% of Americans).  A young member over at Ricochet opines that the current tax scheme MUST be “revenue neutral”, as the Federal Government is already overdrawn on its accounts and can’t tolerate any reduction in its “income”.

That is not true, and here’s why.

Reductions in Tax Rates, especially for high-earners, always result in more revenue for the government (small and large business owners keep more of their earnings, add employees to their payrolls, and create more taxpayers). Why is this so hard for people to understand? This is Econ 101. And why, oh why, should the all-mighty Government not shrink? Why can’t waste be eliminated from all levels of Government? The less Government confiscates from your paycheck, the more you have to spend, and save!

The problem is that those in Government do not trust their fellow Americans, who pay their salaries from their own legitimate earnings, to know how to allocate their own money. “Revenue Neutral” is a crock!