A Pile of Excrement

KNXV VA Hospital_1398301849003_4184583_ver1.0_640_480

Today the big news is about the Veteran’s Administration Hospital making their customers wait months for treatment. Some have waited so long that they have died waiting. This is not the way we should treat the people who serve the country. The hospital is in Arizona and I heard an interview with Arizona Senator John McCain challenging him on what he will do to correct the problem. My assessment of his answer is nothing. No one is responsible for what is going on. The Senate and Congress only legislates and passes laws, the administration defers to the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Attorney General doesn’t act unless a bureau breaks a law, and then only if it is a law he considers worthy of prosecution. In my opinion the President is responsible for the performance of all the Bureaus and departments. A good CEO will fire bureau chiefs who run shoddy operations. When the main man is lax in his duties so will the Bureau chiefs. They are good, however, at playing pass the buck. Nothing ever gets done and the Bureaus and Departments keep getting larger and more unmanageable. By the time the VA fixes this current problem we will be in some future war, and the retired military people will be dying from chemical exposure, injuries, and maybe even normal health problems.

The real aim of this piece is to point out that the VA Hospital system is a mini-Obama care. It serves a very small segment of the population, i.e. veterans, and is free, and considered an entitlement. What we see in action today within the VA is what we will see in another year or so for those of us forced into Obama care. Limited resources put us on waiting lists for tests and treatment. In the case of a cancer diagnosis, early discovery and treatment is necessary to save a life. Delays are deliberately designed into the system. The Obama care system wants people to die to save the cost of treatment. To me, this smacks of a government that is designing a master race of citizen. Only healthy perfect specimens of human live in a Statist Utopia. The sick, the aged, the mal-formed, the handicapped have no place in a health care system that does not have the resources to care for them.

I thank everyone who voted for the current leader who is succeeding in transforming our country into a pile of excrement. You must be proud of your accomplishment.

Starving Artists

In my recent post “Horn Man” I went into an overly long essay on how I went about creating an original piece of art. I’m positive I could have done a better job on a photo essay with clever captions. During the sixteen week period during which I made four Intarsia pieces I thought a lot about the business of selling art. Could I make a living doing this? Could I even make any money at all doing this?

I thought about Michelangelo and Da Vinci  and the remarkable work they did. How did they survive? The simple answer is they had patrons who supported them in return for their work. Michelangelo’s sculpture of David took him two years or more to complete. It is not easy chiseling a larger than life-size man from a single block of marble. I wonder if he had any “oops” moments during that time. I had many “oops” moments during the making of Horn Man, but glue and more wood made it easy to either fix the “oops” or to remake the part. Da Vinci had a list of patrons as well. He lived with them while he learned the trade and then worked for them afterwards. When a patron lost his place in society, and could no longer afford to patronize an artist both Michelangelo and Da Vinci found themselves new patrons. While unpatronized they took part-time work by doing commissions for the wealthy.

Getting back to my thoughts about selling Intarsia art I pondered the value of my work. Would I charge by the hour and if so, what is the value of one of my hours? I know what I made while working as an engineer, would I use that value? If  not charging by the hour, then charging by the piece would be the next way to sell. I have seen Intarsia artwork at craft fairs but never at art fairs. The pieces I see are very simple and flat in form indicating that the crafter did not put much effort into the work. I have never been satisfied with the flat style of Intarsia. My pieces become three-dimensional and sculpted. That is why they take me so long to make. If you look at my bass, or the Blue Jay you will see that these pieces are more lifelike than a flat work. The value I see on Intarsia pieces at fairs ranges from twenty dollars to one hundred dollars, unless the picture has hundreds of discrete parts. In cases where a customer commissions a complicated work the value  can jump to thousands of dollars.

StrippedBass-1780845_10201407376251910_722702533_n

Stripped Bass

Blue Jay

Blue Jay On Apple Blossoms

Largemouthbass

Large Mouth Bass About to Eat

When I completed Horn Man I had logged one hundred and five hours on the project. At the current minimum wage of $9.80 per hour I would have to charge  $1039.00 for the Horn Man. If I use my hourly rate as an Engineer the price is $6300.00.

Horn Man

Horn Man

Let me assume I sold each of these four pieces at one fair, and I charged the minimum wage; I would have netted twenty-seven hundred dollars. Divide that by sixteen weeks of time and my gross salary is $169.13/week which extrapolates into a whopping $8794.50/year. No wonder people would rather be on welfare.

The reality of doing something I like loses to what I have to do to make a living wage.  Some of the latest spin by Liberals about why we need the Un-Affordable Care Act is that a person would be free to pursue his dreams if he didn’t have to worry about paying for health care. I recommend reading two recent articles, the first by Avik Roy who wrote a piece published by Forbes and a quote by Nancy Pelosi on Redstate.com

The idea of forcing me to pay for someone else’s dream smacks of slavery. It is different if I choose to patronize that person. Neither Michelangelo nor Da Vinci had healthcare benefits but they followed their heart’s desire to become experts in their field of art and invention by getting a job working for a patron.

Obama is transforming America into a socialist Utopia(Utopia is a place where pigs fly), and to do that he has to make the middle class worker like you and me into a tax-slaves who pay for those who follow dreams without a job. I don’t know about you, but I sure as heck would rather be free to work my ass off as I see fit, and to spend my wages the way I want to.

The Last Nail

Taxery

 the act of making a person the legal property of government in order to extract their wages by force.

DSA-Divided States of America

It appears that Progressives have made another baby step toward their goal of achieving an imaginary state of Utopia.

It ain’t over folks. The Fat Lady hasn’t sung yet.

America, the Un-Perfect Society

WOW! I just finished reading Mark Levin’s new book Ameritopia, The Unmaking of America. I will not sleep tonight. Visions of Big Brother will be racing through my mind. Those of you who know me realize that I am a Conservative who leans toward Libertarianism. You know that Ameritopia is just the kind of book I often read and report on.

Mark Levin has crafted a beautifully logical premise to support the direction “We the People” are being led in. He begins with Plato’s Republic moves on to Thomas More’s Utopia, Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, and Marx’s Communist Manifesto,  and explains their various schemes for creating a Utopian (perfect) society where all men are equal in every way. In each case, in order for the philosophers to create such a society they needed a superior élite leadership. In each case, the inventor had a problem dealing with people who became seriously ill and did not fit anymore. One philosopher suggested a person who was unable should commit suicide for the good of the community. After educating the reader on the history of equal citizenry, Levin moves on to explain the impact of John Locke, Alexis de Tocqueville and Charles de Montesquieu, all philosophers, on the framers of the US Constitution. The men who drafted the Constitution were careful not to steer the new government toward Utopianism.

Mark puts the argument to bed by exposing the men who began to distort the US Constitution and point the country toward Utopia. These were men who believe the government should rule over the people and not the other way around. Guys like Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton, and now Obama are responsible for turning us into government dependents.

Although I found the early part of the book hard to read, it got easier as the author moved into more modern times. Levin presents a sound and logical argument for how our government is turning us into a utopian state. We are being spoon fed to become people who are dependent upon government for everything. Examples of these efforts are Social Security, Medicare, and Obama Care, all intended to free us from our responsibility, and to assume more power over us.

If Levin’s read on the history of Utopianism beginning in 380 BCE is correct, none of the scheme’s ever worked and there are huge reasons why they did not, nor ever will. Utopian societies depend on citizens who are happy to conform, and who like to be led by really special smart people.

Where is Glenn Beck when we need him?

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