Marked “Confidential”

During my career I worked in several companies. My first job during college was with International Harvester Co. Advanced Research dept. I never worried about keeping my work secret because I was a grunt who never got close to anything confidential. After graduation from college, I began as a rookie for Danly Machine Company. Even though I earned engineer wages my work involved helping a journeyman assembler on the production floor at night. I was kept in the “dark.” Eventually, I graduated into the R&D department working on customized machines. Next, I ventured upward to the Electromotive Division of General Motors in the R&D department. At least at GM I did some serious design work on a super secret project involving a Sterling engine. Two years later, I moved to Westinghouse Air Brake formally named WABCO. My job was Senior Design Engineer for a line of quarry mining machines. It was the first time that was working on a product that someone would actually put to work. One of my proudest projects was to design the world’s largest jaw crusher built to order for a mining company in the Yukon Territory of Canada. They mined, what today is probably outlawed, asbestos ore. I learned that asbestos is found in nature in the form of fibers. In the Yukon the fiber was exceptionally long making this particular asbestos extremely valuable. The problem is that it was found in permafrost. Permafrost being frozen earth is as hard as ice and requires blasting, digging, and crushing to a manageable size. My crusher was used to break huge boulders of frozen asbestos into smaller chunks. Since no one ever went to the Yukon they never saw my machine work, and it didn’t need to be a secret.

Things changed drastically when I left WABCO to begin work for a plastics manufacturer named PANDUIT. If the owner ever heard me call his business plastics manufacturing he would fire me on the spot. We made ELECTRICAL products from plastic. Panduit was steeped in security. On day one I had to sign non-disclosure agreements, and swear upon a bible to keep my mouth shut even to my immediate family about what I, or the company did. They issued a badge for the sole purpose of opening doors. Each door was programmed and my badge was coded only to get in and out of the space I worked in. Information was doled out on a need to know basis. Since I was totally new, I didn’t need to know anything, and was kept in the dark about how my project was to fit in the scheme of things. As time moved on so did I. My need to know eventually expanded to know just about everything in the division. We taught our people to label our internal correspondence on products, and processes as “Confidential”. It wasn’t long before everything we did within engineering department was labeled confidential. It was too difficult to define what was, and what wasn’t, so we erred on the side of safety by marking everything with “Confidential.”

This practice made my retirement move-out very easy, I sorted my documents into two piles, save and shred. The rule was to wind up with one very short pile of save, and a mountain of shred. It worked and I never moved any documents to my home.

This long story is the result of my hearing how the FBI raided Past President Donald Trump’s home looking for precious confidential documents. Trump should have learned from Hillary that the safe way was to destroy all evidence of documentation, both paper and electronic, and to worry about consequences later. How can anyone accuse you of stealing secret documents if they don’t exist anymore?

Thank you Sam

Here is something to think about! How true!
The American dream in 2022
Both parents wake up in the morning at 4 a.m in a house where they never truly own the property but more or less rent the property off the government by paying property taxes. They say good morning to each other and try to put together a lunch for themselves with food that’s price has increased on average 7% in the last year. They don’t get to see their kids off to school in the morning or welcome them home bc both parents have to work a job where they are making less this year than they were last year bc inflation has gone up 7% in the market but their paycheck only went up 3% bc that’s the national average. Then they proceed down the street in a vehicle where they are forced to pay to register, inspect, and preform maintenance on it yearly, on roads that haven’t been redone in years to a gas station that charges them between a .56 cents and .74 cents per gallon tax to “repair” said roads. Once they get to their place of work they work on average 10 hours per day for 5-6 days a week to then be taxed on that money, all while their government tells them what they must do health wise to come to work to pay those taxes that funds them. After all those taxes are taken out of their paycheck they then must still pay taxes on practically every other transaction of money they do, along with a price increase on every good. They get home in the evening worn out, where they hopefully get to see their children who are being raised by the government due to the fact both parents must work, where the government is grooming them to be the next generation of cattle to milk dry in taxes so the cycle can continue. They turn on the tv while they cook dinner to hear from their government officials that they worked all day to fund tell them how “they are the problem” and cause division across the country and when they are up for re-election convince you why you need them to fix your issues. They turn the tv off and walk upstairs and lay next to their spouse hoping and dreaming that one day in 50+ years if they are lucky to make it that long that they might get to enjoy each other’s company for 5 years together in retirement.
The system is so broken and it’s disgusting. I hope people are waking up to the fact that more government regardless of party isn’t the answer. We don’t need politicians they need us, but somehow that narrative has been lost over time. Something needs to change in this country and it needs to happen quick bc the Nation is a dried out tinder box ready to be lit. I know I can’t be the only person tired of being stepped on in literally every aspect of life. It’s almost like we left a place once in our history bc of over taxation. This isn’t the American dream it’s the American nightmare where you aren’t a free American, you’re a free American to do what you are told. Copied and pasted.

A Mystery to Me

The huge shortage of new cars continues to baffle me. I have read many articles and listened to some videos explaining the shortage of computer chips that is the root cause. I just don’t buy the story. To me, this is a fake news story that is bigger than any used to bring down President Trump. In the mean time, people continue to drive old cars, or buy used ones at prices that the new ones brought two years ago. The fleet grows older as the shortage continues. My own car just turned 177,000 miles and celebrated it’s sixteenth birthday. I have friends who insist that my car is young and brag that their car has close to three hundred thousand miles. I will agree that the quality and reliability of modern cars has improved exponentially with the advent of electronic ignition, fuel injection, and CNC machines that can control metal part tolerances to four digits. Assembly has tightened gap tolerances with the assistance of computer controlled robots, and dipping car frames in electrostatic baths before applying primer and paint with robots that never get bored with monotonous spray patterns to give each car the same coverage. Yes, all of these wonderful technologies use computer chips in their controllers, and the cars use many computer chips to eliminate troublesome mechanical switches throughout. I understand all of that. I can even believe that the modern car has as many as forty chips deployed throughout. What I don’t believe is that modern car companies didn’t see the shortage coming. I also, don’t believe the chip manufacturers are out of capacity to make chips. Both car companies and chip producers have been in business for a long time. They couldn’t possibly have lost their ability to forecast demand. I can believe they might be a few percentage points off of a forecast, but not so far off that their businesses are in jeopardy.

Making a computer chip takes smarts, most of which comes from people in the USA, but the manufacturing cost is high and the result is that chip makers farm the manufacturing to cheap labor countries like China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and the Philippines. By transferring the making to those countries they get chips at a lower cost and make more money. The problem is that when a pandemic hits the labor pool those companies sink. I truly believe COVID had some effect on chip production, but not all.

I tend to be an aficionado of conspiracy theories, and have dreamt up a new one to chew on. What if the Green New Movement is in bed with all the car companies of the world? What if these car companies have pledged their allegiance to the Greenies to halt standard car production in favor of electric cars. How will they deal with the huge fleet of modern gas consuming vehicles in the WW fleet? As it turns out the chip shortage has been a great excuse for not making new cars while the older ones keep on ticking. That gives them time to convert manufacturing to all electric cars. I am shocked to learn that Cadillac, a division of General Motors is switching to all electric cars by 2025. The list doesn’t end with Cadillac. Add the following to the list of Greenies headed toward batteries:

Jaguar, Audi, Alfa Romeo, Rolls Royce, Mini, Volvo, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat, Renault, Nissan, Volkswagen, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota. These companies are committed to selling zero emission vehicles by 2020-2030. Only Toyota who has been selling the Prius since the 1990’s has a delayed date of 2050. Hmmm. Maybe Toyota knows something the rest of them don’t. Toyota is also betting on hydrogen powered cars over electric.

All the facts support my theory of a conspiracy to save the world by forcing electric cars down our throats.

I have but one more question: what happens if after the entire world is solar, wind, battery, and hydrogen powered, and that includes, cars, trucks, trains, planes, and ocean going ships, and Antarctica melts anyway? Do we really want to waste our energy (pun intended) in trashing fossil fuels?

Bureaucracy 101

      In my last post I made some comments about the Federal Bureaucracy. Afterwards I decided to educate myself on what I meant. A search was in order to learn just how many bureaucracies we have. We all know about a few that I list here:

Plus a few more like:

  • The internal Revenue Service
  • Justice Department
  • Supreme Court
  • Social Security Administration
  • Bureau of Veteran Affairs
  • Treasury Department.

       All of the above agencies are mentioned frequently in the news, and I thought they were the only ones. Then, I made the mistake of searching the government websites for information on how many there are. I was amazed. The first page of the website

https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/

was a table by alphabet. Clicking on a letter yields a list of agencies with names beginning with the letter selected. I can create a table showing you just how many agencies there are listed under each letter of twenty-two alphabet, but it will be easier to click on the link and go there yourself. The letters Q, X, Y, & Z were not on the list. I counted the agencies and got a sum of 629. No wonder no one wants to tackle the problem of reducing government spending. At first glance the problem seems to be insurmountable.

      How do bureaucracies begin? It is simple. When Congress passes a law to spend money on something like Civil Rights they need a way to implement the law. They hire people to put the law in place and to enforce it. That act becomes a new bureaucracy. I have never seen a Bureaucracy disbanded or a law repealed in my lifetime. The only law I know that was repealed was Prohibition.

      In my job as an engineer, I was introduced to the Pareto-Principle by one Joe Duran a American Quality Control guru who converted the Japanese car industry to the QC system that would reverse their shitty cars into the most sought-after vehicles in the world. The Pareto Principle was invented by an Italian engineer in the 1800’s. Basically it states that 80% of the benefit comes from 20% of the effort. My first step in analyzing this problem of bureaucracy is to use the 80/20 rule on the whole problem.

      The total budget for the federal government is $4.829 trillion. Applying the Pareto Principle to the budget means that we spend .9658 trillion to get 80 percent of the services, and flush 3.8632 trillion dollars down the drain for twenty percent of service. How smart is that? Why our simple-minded politicians can’t wrap their brains around that is astounding. All I can figure with my feeble old brain is that it is too hard for Congress to undo what they have already approved.  

      After a few seconds of research on the web I found some suggestions for how Congress can restrain executive agencies.

 By:

  • revising statutes that established the agency’s mission.
  • exercising control over an agency’s budget.
  • conducting audits or holding hearings.
  • influencing the selection of agency directors (Senate)

      Would it be a wet dream to believe that 469 Congressmen and 100 Senators could take on 503 Government agencies to reduce spending? In my book that is 503/569 = 0.884 agencies per Congressional seat. If a single Congressman can’t reduce costs of an assigned agency by eighty percent by the end of his first term he should pack up his bags and let someone in who knows how to do the job. That objective should be written in the job description.

      I know, I know, a single Congressman cannot cut costs by himself. We are a country of laws and a Congressman’s responsibility is to draft laws to get things done. Well, with that in mind, a Congress-person can write a law to cut the costs and present it to the legislature for approval. Of course, if the law does not pass those that voted against the law will have to come up against you to pass theirs. Since your jobs depend on cutting costs. It won’t take long for Congress to get the idea, and begin to cooperate with each other.

      My whole plan depends on people who run for office wanting to save the country, and stop inflation by reducing government spending. It also depends on us (We, the People) to pick the right individuals at election time. If we don’t like who is running, maybe we should throw our own hat into the ring.

Here are a few more goals to think about using the 80/20 rule:

  • Eighty percent of the benefit comes from 126 Agencies. Eliminate the remaining 503. Which ones would you save?
  • Cut the Federal Budget by twenty-five percent to save 1.2 trillion dollars.
  • Use the savings to pay off the National Debt over thirty years.
  • Cut the federal budget another 25% to save 905 billion dollars, and return it to the tax payers.

Think of all the money that would put in your pocket. A total of $905,000,000,000/350,000,000 = $2585.71 would go to each member of the population.

Instead of setting goals such as I have listed we will get nonsense like printing more dollars to pay bills. Since President Nixon finally ended the Gold standard in 1971 the US dollar has lost 70% of its value meaning one dollar can only buy thirty cents worth of goods today as it could in 1971.

      Our current inflation rate exceeds 11% and is climbing. If it rises higher the USA will go bankrupt, and I don’t want to live to see that happen.

A Little Bitty Bird Made Me Lie

A few days ago I posted a bit about the coming of spring. In it, I mentioned that the Junco, a bird from up north, left to go home. This morning as I looked out on the yard I spotted a Junco hopping around under the feeder picking up sunflower seeds. Damn, I exclaimed to myself. He made me a liar.

What I suspect is that the Juncos are migrating south to north, and this guy is late. Probably because he winters further south. It doesn’t matter except I wrote a bald faced lie in my last post. I don’t like to lie, telling lies is reserved for politicians on the stump, or defending their shoddy records. Politi-speak has evolved into something that is widely accepted even though we all know it is wrong. So then, why do we continue to vote for the people that live to tell untruths? A great example of this type of talk was displayed during the last election cycle when then candidate Biden stood before the country and said he would eliminate COVID. We all knew that was BS, but the Trump haters were so anxious to get rid of someone who knew how to run the country that they accepted that lie and many more.

Just as we all know that state run elections are running over with fraud, but the chiefs in charge continue to accept the lies told by state attorney generals who certify results. As long as those who oversee the election run by the laws in their state they cannot see the real fraud going on because they followed the law to the letter.

Another common form of lying, that is publicized, is when a politician makes a statement based on his knowledge of the facts at hand, and newly uncovered facts come up. On the basis of the new facts the old statements are now false, therefore the subject is telling a lie.

I wonder if America will ever get any of this stuff straightened out to correct the system. Until then, I have to rely on my own judgement of what is, and what isn’t a lie. Reading opposing viewpoints makes things worse because because often a lie is challenged with another lie. I tend to believe the people I want to believe in, and anyone else is a liar. I don’t think I’m alone on that point. In the meantime, I’ll try to correct my own lies with fresh news based on new facts about the migratory habits of my bird residents. Or, are they residents if they only stay here for the winter? That poses another question, just where does a migratory bird call home? Since he commutes between places one or the other must take precedence. I guess I’ll just go sit on my rock and strike a Rodin pose whilst pondering the issue.