Sunday, January 20, 2019

#296: SSB & AM RF Envelopes, Peak Envelope Power (PEP), Average Power an...

The Truth About "MAGA Kids" And The Native Americans

Decentralization Is the Solution to the Government Shutdown by Ryan McMaken

The partial shutdown with the federal government has helped, perhaps more than any other recent political event, to illustrate some of the biggest problems that come with centralizing an ever-larger number of government activities within a single, centralized institution.
Were the US government more decentralized, we'd not now be facing a nationwide systemic failure that has continues to cripple the private sector in many ways.

Held Hostage by a Shuttered Regulatory State

The federalization of resources and regulatory power over the past century has created a situation in which numerous industries depend on licensing and regulatory approval from federal regulators to function. And yet, thanks to the shutdown, these industries can do little when facing a federal government that imposes mandates, but won't provide the agency "services" necessary to allow agencies to function under those mandates.
For example, As The Washington Post has reported , those areas where the federal government has a large regulatory footprint — such as Alaska — are at the mercy of politicians thousands of miles away.
Most (61 percent) of Alaska is government land managed by five different federal agenciesaccording to the congressional Research Service. The state’s main industries, including fishing, tourism and oil and gas, all depend on the day-to-day actions of federal workers and regulators.
The fisheries have so far avoided major disruption, despite a few close calls. Most boats are still getting by on licenses and inspections which occurred before the shutdown.
But time is running out. Major commercial boats are required to carry onboard observers to monitor their catch. But when they return from a trip, those observers must be debriefed by the National Marine Fisheries Service — and it’s not holding debriefings during the shutdown.
Alaska is an extreme example, but other states that also have sizable federal ownership of land (which includes most western US states) are also affected. Nationwide, states with coastal states that depend on the smooth-functioning of federal regulation of fisheries and natural resources affected as well.
And it doesn't end with natural resources. With the Tax and Trade Bureau shut down , breweries can't ship beer. That leaves an entire industry up in the air, and small craft brewers are affected the most. As the shutdown continues, more of these workers can expect their paychecks to eventually dry up due to a lack of revenue.
Meanwhile, the FTC, the SEC, and the FCC are all partially shut down .
Some anti-government activists might look at this and say, "great, we don't need those agencies anyway!" But here's the problem: although those agencies' staff members may be staying home, that doesn't mean the private sector is no longer subject to the mandates and regulations those agencies oversee. Private companies still must obtain all the usual licenses and regulatory approvals from federal agencies. It's jsut that federal agencies are no longer available to make approvals or answer questions.
That's hardly something to celebrate.
In short, all the usual federal roadblocks exist to stymie the private sector. Except now, there are even fewer ways to get around those roadblocks. What's even worse is that this problem is nationwide.
Were these regulatory powers and agencies decentralized out of the hands of the federal government, of course, we wouldn't be looking at a nationwide problem. Were a single state to experience a "shutdown" — something that is extremely rare at the state level, by the way — we wouldn't now be facing a nationwide problem in which whole industries are facing crippling regulatory bottlenecks. Problems would be limited to single states. And those states that were prone to shutdowns or other regulatory bottlenecks would see an exodus of industry and capital.
Nor would we be facing a situation in which 800,000 federal employees — nationwide — are currently unpaid. This is a problem that has been made much larger in scope by the centralization of government power.

The Federal Government Has Too Many Issues on Its Plate

Another reason to decentralize is to end a situation in which government shutdowns are more likely due to the broad scope and complexity of the federal budget and federal responsibilities.
In the United States, the federal government's prerogatives have expanded over the past century to include everything from old-age pensions, to highways, to health care regulation, to farming subsidies, and much more. This has all been added on top of the more traditional federal prerogatives of foreign policy. It's only natural then that the likelihood of shutdowns would increase as the number of areas for political conflict increases.
After all, the current shutdown does not come out of only a dispute over of a border wall. It is a larger issue that stems from the fact that the Democrats want to use the wall's potential funding for a myriad of other uses. And, the larger the federal government has grown, the possible targets for government spending has grown ever larger.
Moreover, even the issue of building border walls was not always a federal issue. Prior to the late nineteenth century, state governments were the governments that dealt with the issue of limiting migrants in-flows. Although some conservatives now create ornate legal arguments in attempts to prove immigration — a separate issue from naturalization — has always been a job of the federal government, the actual historical experience makes it clear the federalization of immigration policy is itself a later innovation.
So, we're now left with a federal government where the president and the legislature can argue endlessly over every little thing under the sun. If it's the federal government's job to control and fund everything from cancer research to national parks, then it's only matter of time until we endure a political impasse over one of the countless issues being discussed.
Nor is it just the scope of issues. The sheer size and scope of the United States is itself problematic. The US is so large, and culturally and demographically diverse, that significant disagreements over how federal prerogatives ought to be used are inevitable. A less fragile and more responsive system grows out of a decentralized political system that allows for diversity in policies that affect travel, education, poverty relief, and more. If education policy, for instance, is decided at the state level, then we can be sure we'll never see a federal shutdown over funding of schools. It simply becomes a non-issue at the federal level.

The Solution Lies in Decentralization

The solution lies in removing from the federal government its authority over such a wide range of issues, and to allow diversity and localism in government. This naturally includes welfare programspublic landsairport securitylaw enforcementmilitary land forcesimmigration, and the regulatory state.
As it is, American governmental institutions — being so dependent on federal funding and regulatory oversight — are now fragile, bloated, unresponsive, and prone to political bottlenecks. We now see this at work. 
The problems we now encounter with the shutdown ought to placed squarely at the feet of those who have called endless for ever greater levels of federal control over state and local communities, while centralizing both financial and regulatory power under within a single institution. Not everything needs to turn into a nationwide systemic problem when the federal government encounters a political impasse. We ought to take steps now to limit the damage the feds can do.

Another “Useful Idiot” Seeks to Prop Up Cuba’s Thuggish Regime by Regurgitating Propaganda January 20, 2019 by Dan Mitchell

There’s a long and sordid history of people in Western nations acting as dupes and apologists for communism.
This is especially the case with the wretchedly impoverished totalitarian outpost 90 miles south of Florida.
Based on what he wrote for the opinion pages of the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof belongs on that list of “useful idiots.”
Cuba…in health care…does an impressive job that the United States could learn from. …an American infant is, by official statistics, almost 50 percent more likely to die than a Cuban infant. By my calculations, that means that 7,500 American kids die each year because we don’t have as good an infant mortality rate as Cuba reports. …a major strength of the Cuban system is that it assures universal access. Cuba has the Medicare for All that many Americans dream about. …It’s also notable that Cuba achieves excellent health outcomes even though the American trade and financial embargo… Cuba overflows with doctors — it has three times as many per capita as the United States… Outsiders mostly say they admire the Cuban health system. The World Health Organization has praised it, and Ban Ki-moon, the former United Nations secretary general, described it as “a model for many countries.”
Kristof admits in his piece that there are critics who don’t believe the regime’s data, but it’s clear he doesn’t take their concerns seriously.
And he definitely doesn’t share their data. So lets take a close look at the facts that didn’t appear in Kristof’s column.
My first recommendation is to watch Johan Norberg’s video on the real truth about Cuba’s infant mortality.
But there’s so much more.
Jay Nordlinger authored the most comprehensive takedown of Cuba’s decrepit system back in 2007. Here are some of the highlights.
The Left has always had a deep psychological need to believe in the myth of Cuban health care. On that island, as everywhere else, Communism has turned out to be a disaster: economic, physical, and moral. Not only have persecution, torture, and murder been routine, there is nothing material to show for it. The Leninist rationalization was, “You have to break some eggs to make an omelet.” Orwell memorably replied, “Where’s the omelet?” There is never an omelet.…there is excellent health care on Cuba — just not for ordinary Cubans. …there is not just one system, or even two: There are three. The first is for foreigners who come to Cuba specifically for medical care. This is known as “medical tourism.” The tourists pay in hard currency… The second health-care system is for Cuban elites — the Party, the military, official artists and writers, and so on. In the Soviet Union, these people were called the “nomenklatura.” And their system, like the one for medical tourists, is top-notch. Then there is the real Cuban system, the one that ordinary people must use — and it is wretched. Testimony and documentation on the subject are vast. Hospitals and clinics are crumbling. Conditions are so unsanitary, patients may be better off at home, whatever home is. If they do have to go to the hospital, they must bring their own bedsheets, soap, towels, food, light bulbs — even toilet paper. And basic medications are scarce. …The equipment that doctors have to work with is either antiquated or nonexistent. Doctors have been known to reuse latex gloves — there is no choice. …So deplorable is the state of health care in Cuba that old-fashioned diseases are back with a vengeance. These include tuberculosis, leprosy, and typhoid fever. And dengue, another fever, is a particular menace.
Wow, I guess shortages extend well beyond toilet paper.
Next we have some very sobering data from a 2004 article in Canada’s National Post.
…a small bottle of tetracycline costs US$5 and a tube of cortisone cream will set you back as much as US$25. But neither are available at the local pharmacy, which is neat and spotless, but stocks almost nothing. Even the most common pharmaceutical items, such as Aspirin and rubbing alcohol, are conspicuously absent. …Antibiotics, one of the most valuable commodities on the cash-strapped Communist island, are in extremely short supply and available only on the black market. Aspirin can be purchased only at government-run dollar stores, which carry common medications at a huge markup in U.S. dollars. This puts them out of reach of most Cubans, who are paid little and in pesos. Their average wage is 300 pesos per month, about $12. …tourist hospitals in Cuba are well-stocked with the latest equipment and imported medicines, said a Cuban pediatrician, who did not want to be identified. …”Tourists have everything they need,… But for Cubans, it’s different. Unless you work with tourists or have a relative in Miami sending you money, you will not be able to get what you need if you are sick in Cuba. As a doctor, I find it disgusting.”
And here’s some scholarly research from Katherine Hirschfeld at the University of Oklahoma (h/t: Scott Johnson).
…the Cuban government continues to respond to international criticism of its human rights record by citing…praise for its achievements in health and medicine…the unequivocally positive descriptions of the Cuban health care system in the social science literature are somewhat misleading. In the late 1990s, I conducted over nine months of qualitative ethnographic and archival research in Cuba. During that time I shadowed physicians in family health clinics, conducted formal and informal interviews with a number of health professionals, lived in local communities, and sought to participate in everyday life as much as possible. Throughout the course of this research, I found a number of discrepancies between the way the Cuban health care system has been described in the scholarly literature, and the way it appears to be described and experienced by Cubans themselves. …After just a few months of research, …it became increasingly obvious that many Cubans did not appear to have a very positive view of the health care system themselves. A number of people complained to me informally that their doctors were unhelpful, that the best clinics and hospitals only served political elites and that scarce medical supplies were often stolen from hospitals and sold on the black market. Further criticisms were leveled at the politicization of medical care… Public criticism of the government is a crime in Cuba, and penalties are severe. Formally eliciting critical narratives about health care would be viewed as a criminal act both for me as a researcher, and for people who spoke openly with me. …One of the most readily apparent problems with the health care system in Cuba is the severe shortage of medicines, equipment, and other supplies. …Many Cubans (including a number of health professionals) also had serious complaints about the intrusion of politics into medical treatment and health care decision-making.
Three academics at Texas Tech University also found very troubling data when they investigated the nation’s health system (h/t: David Henderson).
With 11.1% of GDP dedicated to health care and 0.8% of the population working as physicians, a substantial amount of resources is directed towards reducing infant mortality and increasing longevity. An economy with centralized economic planning by government like that of Cuba can force more resources into an industry than its population might desire in order to achieve improved outcomes in that industry at the expense of other goods and services the population might more highly desire. …Physicians are given health outcome targets to meet or face penalties. This provides incentives to manipulate data. Take Cuba’s much praised infant mortality rate for example. In most countries, the ratio of the numbers of neonatal deaths and late fetal deaths stay within a certain range of each other as they have many common causes and determinants. …Cuba, with a ratio of 6, was a clear outlier. This skewed ratio is evidence that physicians likely reclassified early neonatal deaths as late fetal deaths, thus deflating the infant mortality statistics and propping up life expectancy. Cuban doctors were re-categorizing neonatal deaths as late fetal deaths in order for doctors to meet government targets for infant mortality. …Physicians often perform abortions without clear consent of the mother, raising serious issues of medical ethics, when ultrasound reveals fetal abnormalities because ‘otherwise it might raise the infant mortality rate’. …The role of Cuban economic and political oppression in coercing ‘good’ health outcomes merits further study.
The bottom line is that Cuba is a hellhole and statistics from a repressive regime can’t be trusted.
Though the real message of today’s column is that we should be revolted by people who are willing to be dupes for totalitarianism.
And I can understand why people willing to debase themselves in that way are so sensitive to criticism.
P.S. The New York Times has a pathetic history of covering up for the crimes of communism, most notably Walter Duranty, who was given a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 even though he despicably lied in his reports to promote Stalin’s horrid regime. He even covered up Stalin’s holocaust of the Ukrainian people. Even though Duranty’s evil actions are now public knowledge, the Pulitzer Prize Board has not revoked the award. The New York Times, to its credit, at least has acknowledged that Duranty lied to promote Stalin’s brutal dictatorship. One wonders if the newspaper eventually will apologize for Kristof.
P.P.S. I’m also not impressed that a former Secretary General of the U.N. endorsed Cuba’s health care system. After all, it was an official from the U.N. who praised the lack of obesity among the starving people of North Korea.

Black Mirror's 'Bandersnatch' Takes Viewers on a Wild Interactive Ride

Black Mirror's 'Bandersnatch' Takes Viewers on a Wild Interactive Ride: With a non-linear script, 'Bandersnatch' is a unique viewing experience. Throughout the film viewers can make decisions for the protagonist.

From Historynet: Today in History January 20

1327          Edward II of England Image result for edward ii of england is deposed by his eldest son, Edward III Image result for Edward III of England.

1616          The French explorer 
Samuel de Champlain Image result for Samuel de Champlain arrives to winter in a Huron Indian village after being wounded in a battle with Iroquois in New France.

1783          Britain signs a peace agreement with France and Spain, who allied against it in the American War of Independence.

1908          The Sullivan Ordinance bars women from smoking in public facilities in the United States.

1930          Charles Lindbergh Image result for Charles Lindbergh arrives in New York, setting a cross country flying record of 14.75 hours.

1935          Belgium arrests some Nazi agitators who urge for a return to the Reich.

1941          Hitler Image result for Hitler meets with Mussolini Image result for Mussolini and offers aid in Albania and Greece.

1942          Nazi officials meet in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to decide the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question."

1944          Allied forces in Italy begin unsuccessful operations to cross the Rapido River and seize Cassino.

1945          Franklin D. Roosevelt Image result for Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated for his fourth term.

1945          The Allies sign a truce with the Hungarians.

1946          France's Charles DeGaulle Image result for Charles DeGaulle hands in his resignation.

1952          British troops occupy Ismalia, Egypt.

1954          Over 22,000 anti-Communist prisoners are turned over to UN forces in Korea.

1977          President Jimmy Carter Image result for Jimmy Carter is sworn in and then surprises the nation as he walks from the U.S. Capitol to the White House.

1981           Ronald Reagan Image result for Ronald Reagan is sworn in as president at the same time 52 American hostages are released from their captors in Tehran, Iran.