Should College Athletes be Paid?

Pay For Play | Should College Athletes get Paid?

Forward:  I am offering these comments as a prior college, then professional athlete who received a full athletic scholarship prior to signing a professional baseball contract.  Regardless of the NCAA rules regarding “amateur” athletes, there are a lot of ways colleges and universities skirt these rules to make sure they attract the best possible athletes.  There are also issues involving Title IX, men and women equality in college sports, that are at play.

Primary Focus, Football and Basketball:  Let’s be honest, the primary focus of this pay-to-play versus amateur status is for college men’s football, then men’s basketball.  That is where the big TV bucks are and that is where colleges subsidize most of their other athletic and other academic operating costs.  All toll, colleges rake in about $11,000,000,000 (yes, 11 billion) dollars per year from ticket and merchandise sales, and from student “fees” from associated athletic activities.  Out of that, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) receives about $1 Billion per year.  96% of that money goes back to its member schools to fund their athletic programs, pay staff, build facilities etc..  The stark difference between Football/Basketball versus all other collegiate sports and revenue brought in by men’s versus women’s sports is visually shown below:


While the NCAA itself makes more off of basketball than it does football, the seeming anomaly is due to the fact that the NCAA receives a large share of the NCAA basketball tournaments while they do not run nor receive much from post-season football bowl games.  The bottom line is that men’s football and men’s basketball, pretty much subsidize the other athletic programs at the collegiate level.  

NCAA Revenue Is Skyrocketing!

What About Title IX? 

Title IX is basically a Federal mandate that reads: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”  (Note: Not only are institutions that receive grants from the Federal Government included, but if any of their students receive tuition loans they are subject to Title IX.)  The law does not state that men and women, or specific sports programs receive the same amount of money.  It does require that each receive the same scholarship dollars proportional to their participation.  Other than scholarships, the law only requires equitable treatment and benefits for both men and women athletes.

Keep in mind that Title IX did not anticipate athletes receiving any type of salaries or royalties based on their athletic participation. Title IX will be an issue when trying to include salaries and royalties for collegiate athletes.

Amateur Vs Professional Status

I can tell you that playing college sports versus professional sports is a totally different “ballgame”,  literally!  College sports has more of a collegial, team spirit.  The game, winning, and doing your best is the focus along with pride for your school.  In pro sports, the focus shifts to you as an individual and what you can do to further your career.  In some instances, the better you do in your position versus others is your success focus.  Sure, winning is important but it is a means to an end and that end is a better bonus or a better contract.  

You see pro athletes today sporting flashy cars, clothes, jewelry and living the “good life”.  The other side of that is the temptation towards drugs, alcohol and other vices.  College athletes, even on full ride scholarships and “perks” are no where near on par financially with their pro counterparts. 

That said, you should understand that “star” college athletes who are heavily recruited enjoy many benefits that their academic counterparts do not.  Some of the “perks include cars that are furnished by alumni for use by the athletes.  Others have “jobs” that they never have to show up for or actually do.  Others have tutors, housing allowances and much more given to them to play ball!  Even though there are a lot of NCAA rules surrounding perks, they still exist and many of these athletes would not be able to attend these colleges without them.  But, these perks are not the same as a multi-million dollar contract and the life-style it affords.

I personally do not agree that college athletes should receive a salary or commissions or royalties while attending college.  One of the biggest tragedies that I witnessed were athletes suddenly thrust into a multi-million dollar lifestyle without any counseling as to how to manage this new found windfall or how to live a non-destructive wealthy lifestyle.  Their focus was not on their career but on what that career allowed them to do.  The game was secondary as was their team.  The more money, the more they focused on themselves.  Maybe I am a bit Pollyanna but I like the fact that collegiate athletes focus more on the game, their team, and their school.  

I have also seen many instances where some college athletes were pushed through their classes and passed on without achieving any real academic benefit.  If there pro career ended or they never received a pro contract, they were dead in the water.  They had no marketable skills!  Paying college athletes would only exacerbate this as the focus would be solely on the game and not on their life.

Finally, just how on earth are you going to devise a scheme where college athletes are paid to participate in their sport, and participate in jersey and other sales royalties?  Will 99.9% of the money go to men who play either football or basketball?  Can’t!  Title IX will certainly raise it head and then you get the politicians involved.  IF anyone can screw this up they would. 

Is it fair for male athletes to get the lion’s share of the proceeds?  You witnessed the Women’s USA soccer team complain that they receive less than their male counterparts even though the gate receipts for the men’s sport exceeds that of the women.  Football and Basketball players are on TV and everyone sees their jerseys with their name on the back so they would generate more jersey sales than let’s say, women’s lacrosse! 

Joy Read already implored Black athletes to attend Black colleges (HBCUs) to try to get more focus and revenue for those colleges.  Let me see, if I am a Black football player, I can go to Alabama with huge TV coverage or Morehouse College.  Morehouse is rated the #2 HBCU but if an athlete is seeking a pro career, they are seeking TV coverage. Morehouse is a great academic institution and has many great alumni athletes including Edwin Moses, Donn Clendenin,  Roman Harewood and others.  But, if you are a young athlete with stars in your eyes, Morehouse is probably not high on your list. This is not a criticism but a fact.

If the NCAA and others who “police” college sports do go ahead and try to implement some kind of pay-to-play for amateur college athletes, lawyers and sports care dealers will be the biggest beneficiaries of this social experiment.  Civil Rights suits of all kinds will ensue.  Politicians will line up before any camera they can find and pontificate till the cows come home.  And, college sports will disintegrate into the cesspool of big money, corporate avarice, and the athletes will miss out on a right of passage that others have benefitted from.

RD Pierini



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How Much Money Does the NCAA Make?




The Metamorphosis of the GOP Under President Trump


The election of President Lincoln in 1860 birthed the newly formed Republican Party as a legitimate force in American politics.  The party was formed in 1854 to oppose the continued expansion of slavery into newly explored and settled western territories acquired though the Louisiana Purchase.  At the core of its principles was the new Republican Party’s opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act that was staunchly supported by the Democrats led by Stephan A. Douglas.  The act allowed further expansion of slavery into these new territories.

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Lincoln’s election as the head of a fledgling party was historical and game changing for the Republican Party and the Nation.  The election of Donald J. Trump in 2016 may well rival Lincoln’s historical election, hopefully without a second Civil War, hopefully.

Lincoln faced a nation deeply divided by the institution of slavery and the threat of Southern Democrat let States to leave the union.  Trump also is facing a deeply divided nation based on the scope, nature and future of our founded Constitutional Republic.  While the divide is less defined by geography, it is no less hate filled, pitting family members and others against one another.  Both Presidents faced a real threat of the destruction of our Constitutional Republic.

In the 1900’s, the Republican Party edged its way towards progressive globalism and away from the focus on the American people, their inalienable rights, the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.  It adopted the internationalist, interventionalist goals of the Neo-Conservatives, (actually created by Bill Krystal’s father who was a Democrat!), which moved the Republican Party into the globalist realm.     Ironically, the 2nd Republican Platform Plank in 1860 clearly restated our founding principles based on American, not global or international principles, and that the individual, all men (and women), the governed, are the apex of our government’s power and we were granted this power by our Creator!

“2.  That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Federal Constitution, “That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” is essential to the preservation of our Republican institutions; and that the Federal Constitution, the rights of the states, and the Union of the states, must and shall be preserved.” 

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If you follow Donald Trump’s rallies and speeches, these principles and God given rights are reinforced constantly.  Abraham Lincoln, and the infant Republican Party, embraced these same principles and rights in the face of Democrat Party opposition and their seditious activities.  The same is true today!  In 1860, the Democrats were trying to overturn the US Constitution, the inalienable rights of slaves, and their actions led to the Civil War.  In 2019, the Democrats are trying to overturn the US Constitution, and the inalienable rights of free peoples by destroying the electoral processes contained in the Constitution, and enslaving the American Peoples by adopting centralized, big government socialism.  Ironically, the 6th Plank of the Republican Platform of 1860 called out the “Swamp” and its inherent corruption:

“6. That the people justly view with alarm the reckless extravagance which pervades every department of the Federal Government; that a return to rigid economy and accountability is indispensable to arrest the systematic plunder of the public treasury by favored partisans; while the recent startling developments of frauds and corruptions at the federal metropolis, show that an entire change of Administration is imperatively demanded. “

The New Trump Republican Party that is forming eschews globalism, internationalism, interventionalism, and refocuses on the governed predominance over the government and the governed inalienable rights given to them by God, our creator.  In short, Trump branded this re-planking of the Party as “America First”, implying, “Americans’ Sovereignty First”. 

But, the good old boys Republican Party is not going quietly and is joined by the radical left Democrat Party and their lap dog media.  RINOs like Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and countless others sit on the sidelines ready to pounce on any opportunity they can to attack Trump and his supporters.  The Democrat Party is continuing its seditious activities that they started under the Obama Administration to use our national security agencies and law enforcement agencies to spy on and attack the Trump candidacy, then his Presidency.  Both of these groups espouse anti-American ideals and seek to regain power by destroying our Constitution’s check and balances and the sovereignty of the governed.  

As President Trump continues to succeed in rebuilding our economy, our national defense, our border sovereignty, and returning our rights as granted by our Creator to “We the People”, his hegemony over the Republican Party grows stronger every day.  Even RINO hold-overs in Congress are being marginalized more and more and the Real Republicans, the people, ignore their anti-Trump rhetoric.  Trump has returned the Republican Party back to its members and pushed out the so-called power brokers who support the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and international organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations.  Trump only has one simple principle, “Is a policy good for Americans, if so, adopt it.”  

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The Tea Parties started the movement to take back America, Trump is memorializing it!  This is why the Left and the RINOs tried to kill the Tea Party Movement.

RD Pierini




Updates: Fannie and Freddie and China/US Trade and Military Cold War

Occasionally some world and local events require us to circle back and look at perceptions, facts and events that we have contemplated before.  Today. two such items require revisiting.

Trump’s Addressing Root Cause of 2008 Crash-Freddie and Fannie

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Link to Original Post (2/24/2019):

In February, contrary to “conventional wisdom”, (meaning Fake News aided and abetted by RINOs), was that President Trump would NOT seek to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and eliminate government control over these two quasi governmental agencies and by and large eliminate the potential liability for these agencies by we, the taxpayers.  Both entities were originally chartered as private entities in 1938 when they were created.

The “wisdom pundits” postulated that Secretary Mnuchin and others in the administration would convince the President that privatizing these agencies would be a bad idea.  The big government control freaks love the idea of being able to control each of us and generally, our largest personal asset, our homes, by controlling the liquidity of mortgages.  In 2008, the fallacy of keeping these two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) was highlighted as we, taxpayers, had to bail out both of these entities after they knowingly, and with the aid of Republicans and Democrats, bought up junk mortgages and loans from banks who made sub-prime loans.  

Today, President Trump is pushing the privatizing of both of these entities in order to restore accountability and responsibility for their operations.  Their sole purpose is to provide a secondary market for mortgages and loans so banks “sell” these loans and restore the cash they need to give more new loans.  If you have refinanced or bought a home, you probably received a note that your loan was bought out by Freddie or Fannie and you probably were given the name of a new processing company to send you payments to.  Your original bank was then off of the hook for your loan and the responsibility was shifted to Fannie and Freddie, and you the taxpayer.

The fallacy of this quasi-government arrangement was that there were already private companies doing the same thing as Freddie and Fannie.  But, they could not compete with the purchase rates nor the lack of liability that Fannie and Freddie enjoyed.  So, the private market pretty much is insignificant.

President Trump want to recreate the private secondary market by removing the GSE status of these agencies and force them to compete on the open market.  Private investors would have never made the decision to buy worthless paper as these two agencies did in early 2000’s until the crash in 2008.  Congress will find it much harder to create a bubble like they did in the 2000’s that led to the housing crisis.  There will be no willing partners in the secondary market.  Also, it reduces Congress’s ability to fiddle with the mortgage market and create politically popular short-term bubbles.

Congratulations President Trump…

Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping Stuck on World Domination Goals

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Link to Original Post  (9/1/2019):

This week we saw that the Hong Kong leaders pulled back the Chinese Government Law that would have allowed Hong Kong Citizens to be sent to mainland China for interrogation and prosecution.  (Ask Muslims how this has worked out for them!)  But, the Hong Kong protestors are also demanding:

  1. Unconditional release of all protestors that have been arrested.
  2. Elimination of the characterization of the protests as Riots
  3. Independent inquiry into the actions of the police.
  4. Universal suffrage and control over Hong Kong by their citizens.

While President Xi was not publicly involved in this action, I believe that he convinced the hardliners in the Communist Party that a Tiananmen Square type of crackdown would only exacerbate the Hong Kong problem but also endanger any hope of a US trade deal and invite international condemnation.  I do not believe that, as of this writing, the Chinese are willing to go much further in terms of turning over more autonomy to the people in Hong Kong.  This would have ramifications within the Chinese mainland as well as Taiwan.

While this may signal some softening inside of China, it may not.  But, if Xi did overcome objections by the hardliners, there is some hope that Xi may also be able to push forward trade talks with the US.  I still am less than hopeful that President Trump and Xi will arrive at a point acceptable to the Chinese hardliners or President Trump.  But, I still do not believe that President Trump cares if he gets a deal or not.  He can achieve his goals by the end of his second term by revamping the Chinese goods supply chain and move US companies out of China.  This will severely hurt the Chinese economy, prop up the US economy, and cripple the Chinese ability to fund its military expansion.  

Don’t forget that President Trump has also ramped up our military sales to Taiwan to the dismay and consternation of the Chinese.  He is also protrolling the south Chinese Sea in the face of Chinese protestation.  Trump is poking a lot of different sticks in the Communist Chinese Eyes and they are quite dumbfounded as how to respond…

RD Pierini


California’s Prop 13-Not A Solution To Crippling Property Taxes-ANYWHERE!

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Proposition 13 in California was written, promoted, and paid for by industrial and commercial real estate developers in lieu of the California Governor, and the State’s legislature, to develop a fair and sustainable property tax reform.  I was there!  I was a Mayor of one of California’s cities who pleaded for years with the State Government to get off of their rear ends and tackle property tax reform before soemone with a vested interest in molding property tax governance to suit their special interest would do so .  Senior citizens were being taxed out of their homes; businesses could not adequately assess the impact of property taxes on their current and future budgets. 

  • Cities and Counties knew that the Prop 13 pushers, Jarvis and Gann, both involved in real estate, would propose a “solution” that did not address the true issues of the current property ad valorem tax; would not consider the impact of their self serving proposition on local Cities, School Boards and Counties;  would transfer even more property tax control to the State government; would write the constitutional amendment to favor long-term proprety owners such as commercial and industrial property owners;
    • Would ignore residential homeowners who, on average, sold their home every 4+ years, thus eliminating their Prop 13 tax base!

Property Ad Valorem Taxes Are Unfair to Homeowners and Other Property Owners-Period

First of all, let me say that I totally oppose the concept of an ad valorem tax on property:  What is an ad valorem property tax?  It is a tax that is levied on the property owner based on the ASSESSED VALUE of the property, before the property owner has realized any personal gain due to the assessed value of the property.  To simplify, income taxes are levied on income you have actually earned AND received.  You have not earned NOR received any compensation from your property’s value, period.  I firmly believe that Ad Valorem Property taxes should be abolished and replaced by authorized taxing agencies with income or other post benefit source.  Taxing citizens, especially low income and/or senior citizens on fixed incomes, based on the theoretical value of their home is the epitome of bad public policy…

One other issue with ad valorem taxes on Your Property!  WHY SHOULD YOUR CITY, COUNTY OR SCHOOL BOARD GET AN INCREASE IN TAXES JUST BECAUSE YOUR ASSESSED VALUATION WENT UP?  Are they providing more services?  Nope.  Do you receive any added benefit from their windfall? Nope!  Did you get a check in the mail equaling your increase in assessed valuation?  Nope!  The result of this revenue windfall is that these local agencies adjust their spending upwards based on this increase rather than on WHAT YOU AS A TAXPAYER WANT YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE FOR YOU.  When 2008 happens again, they will have bloated budgets that then have to be cut!

Back to Prop 13:

Prior to Prop 13, local governments had the ability to raise or lower property taxes within their jurisdictions.  It is important to note that PRIOR to Prop 13, under local government control, the average California property tax rate was 2.67%.  Local governments were able to assess property on their “market value”.  It is important to note that prior to Prop 13, local government adjusted their property tax rates up or down to keep the overall property tax revenue the same as the year before

After Prop 13, the assessors had to assess property on its purchase price.  That valuation under Prop 13 could increase by 2% a year thereafter.  Most agencies adopted the maximum increase from 1978 until the Recession of 2008.  Under Prop 13, the tax rate was “fixed” at 1% but loopholes allowed local governments to add on parcel taxes, impact fees and “Mello-Ross Assessments”.  Impact Fees were used most often to have developers pay for the infrastructure costs associated with their development.  Impact fees do NOT require a 2/3rds vote by the taxpayers for approval.  Mello-Ross assessments require a majority of the taxpayers OR a Majority of the property owners.  Since the developers usually own the land subject to the assessment, they can vote the measure in then pass it on to the buyers later on!  Since Prop 13, California impact fees are the highest in the nation for single family developments, and are three times higher than the US national average. 

There is No Free Lunch!

Figure 22 - Impact Fees Increased Notably in Recent Years

Figure 24 - New Development Assessments Increasing

Keep in mind, that after Prop 13, property valuations were based on the Purchase Price, that now includes Impact Fees and Mello-Ross Assessments!

Prop 13 Local Government Impacts

As an ex-mayor, I can tell you from personal experience that city, county and school board elected officials are the most responsive to local voters.  Why, we live where you live and you can “reach out” and touch us one on one!  Try that with your State and Federal elected officials!  So, when Jarvis and Gann came up with Prop 13, one of the first provisions was to give all of the control over property taxes to the State Government and leave the cities, counties, and local school boards begging to the State for a share of the property tax revenue.  


Cities, Counties and School Boards had to come up with the property tax shortfall from any sources they could tap.  Keep in mind that Cities, Counties, and local School Boards are where you live and where you receive the vast majority of services that you rely on in your everyday lives.  What do you get from the State?  What do you get from the Federal Government?  Do they pick up your trash?  Do they provide you with drinking water?  Do they process your sewage?  Do they low the lawns in your parks?  Do they put out a fire at your house?  Do they respond when you have a burglar in your home?  Do they provide the ambulance when your loved one hurts themselves at home?  Not on your life, which is really the point!

We had less than 6 months to figure this out and our taxpaying citizens were not happy campers.  They did not realize the impact of Prop 13 until they had voted for it!  This is what happens when elected officials are derelict in their duty to property legislate and meet the needs of their constituents.  Poor public policy ensues and the vary people, our taxpayers, not special real estate interests, suffer.

For cities that were more urban or tourist destinations, they adopted higher hotel taxes in addition to taxes other local agencies adopted such as utility taxes, sales taxes, and use fees.  Those who had ordinances that allowed for local income taxes used this source to offset their revenue shortfall.  I literally had to reduce our police and fire budgets by over 20% and postponed infrastructure improvement and maintenance projects for 5 years.  Many of the revenue increases required the local governments to seek voter approval for the increases that were not always granted.  To say that local governments in California were in dire straights for a time, is an understatement.

The graph below shows the shift from property taxes as the primary source of revenue to other sources.  The graph shows the relative increases since 1978 when Prop 13 was passed:

Figure 14 - Other Local Taxes Increased More Than the Property Tax

Now, for those rural cities, counties and school districts, which was true in my case, we did not have tourist and hotels and restaurants to pick up the shortfall.  We had to convince our citizens that it was a good idea for the parents of Little Leaguers to pay $25 for each child they enrolled in the city leagues.  In 1978, $25 per child in a rural agricultural community was not insignificant Water, sewer, refuse and other fees were increased significantly and we had to work with our county to increase sales taxes.  While none of our citizens liked the prior property tax scheme, they were even less enthralled with the new pay-to-play post Prop 13 world that was created!

The graph below shows the gradual shift from Property Tax revenue to other sources.  What this graph does not show is the ever increasing animosity to rising property taxes via increased assessments, reassessment at sale, and fee assessments.  This on top of a lower level of service that is possible by local governments due to lower tax revenues.  All the while, those who keep their property for longer periods of time such as commercial and industrial landowners, continue to reap pre-1978 property assessments that have been capped at the lowest rate.

Figure 15 - Cities and Counties Increasingly Rely on Other Taxes

Post Mortem Warning 

I now live in Idaho and am seeing the “California Phenomena” of growth into this great State from, yes, California and other not so conservative States.  Many of the current residents, native and transplant, are saying that a State like Idaho needs something like Prop 13 in order to curb rising property taxes.  My assessed valuation on our my home has increased 36.6% in three years along with my property taxes.  Senior citizens are being driven from their homes due to property tax increases.  Idaho has a “circuit breaker” provision that allows for any household making less than $30,400 to get a tax break on their property.  But, this is a very low income level in today’s economy, especially for seniors whose SSI payments are increases at a rate that is half of our property tax increases!  

I have three suggestions based on personal experience as a taxpayer, an elected local official and a senior citizen:



RD Pierini



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Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping Stuck on World Domination Goals

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This is part two of what is behind the current US-China “trade” stalemate.  The first part was “Trump China Tariff Policy-Win-Win for the US!”, (Short link:  The first is from Trump’s point-of-view and the second from Xi and the Communist Party.


Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its current leader, President Xi, not only believe their own rhetoric in promoting  world economic and military domination aspirations but are blinded by it.  Keep in mind, their economic growth is merely the catalyst to achieving world military domination and the spread of the Chinese Communist model around the world.  They believe that it is their destiny to spread communism where others have failed.  This goal seeks to replace the US dominance forever.  When they adopted their “Fifth Plenum”, the fifth of seven major meetings of the CCP to review and set their 5 year plan policies and goals in October of 2015, they  memorialized their domination plan objectives for 2016-2020.  This plan is also critical in that it is the first plan produced under President Xi’s leadership. 

The only thing missing from their plans was the election of the US President, Donald J. Trump!

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Plan vs Reality

The new Xi plan was formulated at a time when world economists were forecasting a downturn in the Chinese economy all the while the CCP was touting its unending economic growth to its people and the world.  In spite of outside forecasts, the CCP and Xi aimed to double the Chinese GDP by 2020 with a 6.5 annual increase in their GDP!  (Remember that this is a closed, communist system that creates false narratives regarding their economic data so be careful when trying to understand their economic results which are primarily propaganda The very survival of the CCP and President Xi in China rests on their ability to hoodwink their citizens and keep a lid on any internal uprisings using the most brutal tactics deployed in the world today.  The failure of their economic plan is not an option and their personal survival depends on it.  President Xi was awarded a “lifetime” tenure as the Chinese President but you should focus on the world “lifetime”.  If he fails, he would most likely not survive and be replaced via assassination by the CCP leadership.  A person can fail but not the communist state.  

For those pundits and talking heads that have read in a Chinese Fortune Cookie that the current stalemate is due to the ancient Chinese cultural norm that prohibits the “losing of face”, I say you are naïve and actually ignorant of current Chinese reality.  Failure is not an option for the Party or for Xi as they will cease to exist if they fail.  PERIOD.  You won’t find this in a fortune cookie!

Poor Performance vs US Trade War

The importance of the Chinese plan for 2016-2020 is key to understanding the seeming duplicity of the Chinese negotiators.  At one point, it appeared that a comprehensive agreement was imminent when suddenly the Chinese pulled out of the negotiations and tore up the agreed upon tenants.  This was countered by Trump doubling and tripling down on our tariffs against China.    At the center of this duplicity is the unprecedented decline of the Chinese economy and the failure of Xi and the CCP to deliver economic prosperity to their citizens.  The Chinese have repeatedly devalued their currency since the Trump tariffs were imposed in order to keep the cost of their exports to the US low but this is causing inflation and a lack of real growth at home.  According to Bloomberg; “Concerns over global growth slowdown and the persistence of U.S.-China trade war would continue to cloud the economic outlook. In the domestic market, whether the rebound in retail sales growth is sustainable is still uncertain.”  But, retail growth inside of China is difficult as the per capita income in China is 1/6th that of the US.  While all iPhones are made in China, the Chinese consumers cannot afford to buy them!  Inflation and rapid unemployment increases threaten the vary existence of the XI/CCP.

Enter Hong Kong

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The 13 straight weeks of very large protest in Hong Kong have added a new threat element  to the CCP and Xi’s reign.  In China proper, their social enforcement army quickly strikes down any sign of protest before it can germinate.  Hong Kong was a part of the British empire until 1997 when it was transferred to China.  Today, it is officially known as a “Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China”.  While a part of the British empire, Hong Kong became “Europeanized” and grew to become a major international financial and economic powerhouse.  The people of Hong Kong have more of a Western outlook than they do Chinese.  The recent uprisings over sovereignty has created a challenge for Xi and the CCP.  If China does not tamp down or quell the uprising, it could spread to the mainland of China.  If they react too harshly, they will certainly face a major international backlash especially from the US and Europe.  In addition to facing economic warfare from the US, they now face a political-social uprising from Hong Kong and their own citizens.  The latter is exacerbated by their high unemployment, not supposed to happen under a controlled communist regime, and their spiraling economic downturn spurred by the trade war.   This is not about saving face, it is about survival for Xi and the CCP!

Next Move for China?

Today, Xi has been very silent on the trade war with the US and has not been all that visible regarding the Hong Kong uprising.  The hardliners in the CCP have been out in front denouncing the US trade policies and the uprising in Hong Kong.  So, if we are to have a sane breakthrough in both of these conflicts, who will be the face of that resolution?  Is Xi the real or merely titular head of China today?  My personal opinion is that Xi and his leadership have been side-lined by the hard-liners.  The hard-liners will seek to quell the Hong Kong uprising using force if necessary.  They will also not agree to Trump’s demands for balanced trade without IP theft.  They are totally focused on their quest for world communist domination.  This is the same hubris that destroyed the Soviet Union!  

Assuming I am right, then what we will witness in Hong Kong is a bloody resolution at best.  The CCP will have to use force to put down the uprising then sell it to their own people as a threat to their existence as a Chinese people.  The international community will stomp their feet and yell but in the end the US will stand alone against the Chinese aggression as Europe is too reliant on Chinese trade to protest too loudly.

The Trade War will go on and on until Trump is successful in reducing our trade deficit to zero and cut off IP technology transfers.  Trump will have successfully wounded the Chinese military/industrial complex and set their “Fifth Plenum” goals back years.  As I stated in “Trump China Tariff Policy-Win-Win for the US!”, (Short link:, Trump will have met his goal in reducing the Chinese military threat by using economic warfare, not ground troops.  Hope I am right!

RD Pierini



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Stupidity Behind Hand Wringing Over “Treasury Yield Inversion”

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Don’t kid yourself that any of the Business Talking Heads on TV who are wringing their hands over US Treasury Bond Yield Inversion are smart, they are NOT!  You would think, or hope, that these same “brilliant” geniuses at least understood supply and demand but obviously they do not!

The morons on Wall Street say constantly that if the yield or interest you get from a 2 year Treasury bond is More than you would receive from a 10 year Treasury bond then we have a Bond Inversion that signals A RECESSION WITHIN 24-26 MONTHS!  Great but that little piece of wisdom has not historically not been true with any consistency and WORLD CONDITIONS THAT WE HAVE TODAY ARE EXTREMELY UNIQUE

IF you buy German Bonds today, YOU HAVE TO PAY THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT INTEREST JUST TO HAVE THE HONOR OF BUYING THEIR BONDS (30 year)!  No, that was not a typo!  You read right, the German Government Bond carries negative interest and you have to pay them to buy their bonds.  Many of the other European countries are at zero interest or closing in on it.

So, where would you buy bonds if you were wanting to actually receive a yield (interest) on your investment?  YUP!  The good old US of A.  What happens when our bonds are the best buy in the world, yep, more people want to buy them.  What happens to the yield (interest) on our bonds in the short term.  Yep, it goes down as we don’t have to give as much in order to sell our bonds! 

So, bond investors are buying our short term bonds, 2 year, expecting that the rest of the world will come to their senses and do something to jump start their economies.  So, with people flooding to buy our 2 year bonds, those bond yields go down and may actually yield less than our 10 year bonds.  This is not rocket science and is not a predictor of anything other than how dumb you would have to be to buy a negative interest German Bond!

We have discussed this before but let me give you an easy example so you can maybe get your liberal friends to understand what the “geniuses” on Wall Street don’t.

Let’s say your bank offers you a CD that yields or pays you 3% interest.  The bank across the street offers CDs that yield or pays -1%.  Are you going to buy from your bank and get 3% interest or buy from the bank across the street and have TO PAY THEM 1% to buy their CD?  (Please say that you would buy from your bank!)  The more people who buy the 3% CD from your bank, the higher the chance that your bank will start reducing the interest rate since they have more buyers demanding their CD.  At some point, your bank will find that they can only lower their CD’s interest so far before they start to lose customers.  

The world economy was totally messed up by the end of 2010 following the deep world-wide recession of 2008.  Central Banks, like our Federal Reserve, began monetizing their debt by merely creating more paper money.  Our Federal Reserve during the Bush and Obama years ran up over $4 Trillion in debt, not counting Bush and Obama driving our national debt to $19 Trillion.  Europe, Asia and virtually all developed countries followed suit until today we have developed countries with negative growth, massive debt, and no market for their bonds that are sold to service these massive debts.  All but the US under Trump.  We are the only country exhibiting healthy growth.

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It is this imbalance that is causing our short term bonds to be scooped up by investors and driving their yield below our longer term bonds.  This is a sign of non US economies being week, not the US economy being week!

But let’s be clear.  The talking heads on TV are not basing their comments on economics but on politics.  They will do and say anything, including inciting a recession in the us, in order to defeat President Trump.  Don’t buy into their crap as it is based on the same “solid” foundation as their Russian Hoax or calling you a racist!

RD Pierini


The New Leftist Political 3 R’s! Russia, Racist and Recession!

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First the Leftist turned our own Intelligence agencies, and those of our international allies against Candidate Trump, and then President Trump; After the RUSSIAN Hoax failed, these same Leftist tried to brand President Trump AND ALL OF HIS SUPPORTERS AS RACIST;  When that failed, they are now crying out that the great Trump Economy is heading into a RECESSION!  

All three political hit jobs have one thing in common.  None are True! 

  • The Russia Hoax was fabricated by the Clinton Campaign, aided by the Obama Administration, and abetted by many of our so-called European and Australian allies.  This will end up being the most blatant disregard for the rule of law in US history.  Even Robert Mueller and his 17 pit bull leftist prosecutors could not find one shred of evidence against the President, his campaign or his Presidency with which to indict anyone for conspiracy or obstruction of justice.  This hoax went deep inside our DOJ, FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies and even corrupted the FISA process which is supposed to protect US citizens from unlawful surveillance.
  • Racist labeling of the President and his supporters have backfired and US citizens, Trump supporters and detractors, are tired of everything being labeled as racist.  It is so bad, that the Leftist morphed this word into WHITE NATIONALIST or WHITE SUPREMECIST!  The Trump economy has yielded the lowest unemployment numbers in the history of the US for Blacks and Hispanics.  Trump’s OPPORTUNITY ZONES target the rebuilding of mostly poor minority inner cities and poor rural areas.  The goal is to overcome decades of Leftist control over these areas that have left minorities and their communities in abject poverty in the midst of the worst school systems and drug infestations.  If Trump and his supporters were racists, why would be care about the plight of these areas?  Maybe the Leftist should be asked and forced to answer why they allowed these areas to decay, become rat infested, with substandard school system yielding over 50%+ illiteracy, and the residents with no hope for the future other than to hope that someone gives them money because they have long despaired and given up on America’s promise of Equal Opportunity!
  • Russia and Racist both failed so now the Democrat Leftists are ginning up a new hope that the Trump Economy is heading for a RECESSION.  They even embarrassed themselves by pointing out that the 2 year treasury bond yield was higher (for a few hours) than the 10 year treasury bond yield.  These morons stated that this “inversion” indicated that our economy would go into a recession, within 22-24 MONTHS, as it had in SOME PRIOR recessions.  Not all, SOME.  Well, I ate pasta just before the 1979. 1991 and 2008 recessions.  I guess I caused these recessions!  Don’t take my word for it, Dr. Sonal Desai, the Chief Investment Officer for the Templeton Investment Fund stated;  “In short: the economic data show no evidence that either the United States or the global economy is approaching a recession.”  

Why would the Democrat Left gin up a Recession and the fears of a Recession?  Simple!  2020

The President has turned this economy around and the US, its businesses and its citizens, especially blue collar and lower income people have benefitted the most.  There are no signs of a US recession.  You hear these Leftist pundits decry the Trump Tariffs against China as being a driving force for the upcoming recession.  Don’t confuse them with facts, especially the fact that the Chinese have devalued, manipulated, their currency below the tariff levels thus negating the impact on the US consumers.   Once again, if we tax a Chinese product that costs $1.00 10%, that product will now cost $1.10.  If the Chinese devalue their currency by 10%, then that product will still cost the US consumer $1.00.

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Jamie Diamond, Chairman of the Globalist Business Roundtable and Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Helped Structure the 2008 Recession Bubble!

Why do the Democrat leftist want to get rid of the Chinese tariffs?  Simple, the globalist, multi-national corporations like the status quo where they can maximize their profits by manufacturing in China where labor has been very low.  The more sinister view is that they really want to take down the US as the dominant economy in the world so these forces can dominate the world economy!  But I won’t go there now.  These business interest could care less if you lose your factory job because they cut a buck out of their costs!  Did you ever stop to think about what Obama and the leftist have said about jobs leaving America, never to return.  They said that it was a matter of companies HAVING to produce products wherever it was the cheapest so all  world consumers, even the US consumers, could get the best price.   Did you stop to ask just how a US factory worker who lost his or her job could afford to by anything now they do not have a job and a paycheck!  The leftist did not care if our middle class was decimated which it was.  The globalist goals were loftier and better for everyone, ESPECIALLY THEM.

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Then along came Donald J. Trump and his America First band of merry supporters.  First the Leftist laughed.  After all, they stomped out the Tea Party revolt!  How hard could it be to stomp out Donald Trump and his DEPLORABLES?  Very hard indeed.

Don’t let this latest Left-Wind hysteria regarding Recession worry youWe ARE the strongest economy in the world.  Our economy is the only hope the rest of the world has to avoid problems in their own countries.  We consume 25% of the world’s output and are now the dominant oil and gas producer in the entire world.  We have re-established our steel industries as well so no nation can now threaten us with energy or manufacturing  boycotts or price fixing.  

We will probably at some point have a slowdown or even a recession.  But for one political party and their leftist cronies and media to hope and promote the idea that a recession is inevitable and rapidly approaching, just when many Americans are starting to live the dream they thought was dead, is sick and demented.  

Enjoy the economic revival.  Why Would You Want to be Miserable Like the Leftist Democrats and their Media!  

RD Pierini



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Trump Manipulates the Media Again and Puts the “Squad” Front and Center in Democrat Party!

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President “D” did it again!  He tweaked the Media and the Leftist Democrats into bringing the Squad back to the forefront of the Democrat Party and totally obliterated any coverage of the weak primary candidates.  He also took the wind out of Pelosi’s gun control sails!  There is no doubt that the old line leadership of the Democrat Party is feckless in dealing with the President and their own radical members of Congress!

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This latest misdirection involved the two radical, Pro-Palestinian, Anti-Semitic members, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.  They shunned the Pelosi led delegation to the Middle East then tried to visit Israel on their own.  Their efforts were aided and abetted by Pro-Palestinian, Anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against the State of Israel) radical groups who seek to eliminate Israel as a State and replace it with a Palestinian State.  Tlaib actually said she wanted to visit “Palestine” rather than recognize the existence of the State of Israel. 

Trump supported Israel denying them entrance into Israel as they were intent on using the trip to promote BDS and Palestine as the one State solution with the elimination of the Israeli State.  Israel rightly denied them entrance.  Tlaib later request a humanitarian visa to allow her to visit her Palestinian grandmother.  Israel granted her this accommodation then Tlaib rejected the offer blaming Israel for forcing her to not visit her grandmother as she would have to basically keep her mouth shut while in Israel.  

Of course, the left-wing media and the out-maneuvered Democrat leadership blamed Trump and Israel for denying this poor girl the right to visit her aged grandmother.  But, it was Tlaib’s choice to opt out of the visit.  The President continued to rub salt in Tlaib’s wounded ego by ending one tweet with the statement, “The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother,  She doesn’t have to see her now!

What happened to Pelosi and Schumer’s gun control push?   What happened to the Democrat Primary and their media coverage?  What happened to the Media drumbeat promoting that the US was most certain to go into a recession?  TRUMP HAPPENED!  He used the squad again to completely make Pelosi and Schumer irreverent; made the media chase the new shiny object of Trump colluding with Israel to deny a member of Congress entrance into Israel; he used the news about the squad to completely overshadow Democrat leadership and raised serious questions regarding the actual strength of the Democrat leadership!

The funny thing is that the President doesn’t even have to break a sweat to dominate the news cycle.  The left will ultimately shoot themselves in the foot and he is standing by to help them reload!

The only left-wing winner last week was Fredo Cuomo as this dust-up took the spotlight away from his idiotic rant!

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RD Pierini


Trump China Tariff Policy-Win-Win for the US!

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Watching the pundits and supposed political/business “experts” on TV would be comical if the stakes were not so high in the current US/China trade issues.  I would suggest to those TV talking heads that they should read Trump’s past books in order to “get it” and understand what Trump’s play is in this “trade war”.

Trump has two primary and simple objectives:

  • To rebalance our trade with China and eliminate the $500 billion trade deficit with China.
  • To eliminate the intellectual property theft by China from US companies doing business in China.

That’s it!  But, what is his strategy?  His tweets are confusing!  He seems to be jumping around with what he wants out of China from day to day.

Pay careful attention.   Here is the Win-Win:

  • Trump wins if China NEVER agrees to a trade deal!  Really?  Yep.  How?  Well, the US will collect about $100 billion per year in tariffs even if Trump does not raise them any higher.  That will reduce our trade deficit to $400 billion by itself (20% reduction).  During the ensuing months, US companies will have to find other countries, including the US, to produce their products.  This is the “revamping of the supply chain” that you hear about.  China will continue to lose manufacturing businesses to other countries and the US consumer will not see any significant price increases.  (July consumer price index rise was well below the FED inflation target!)  Why, because, until those companies leave China, China will have to keep devaluing their currency, negating the impact of our tariffs, as well as keep subsidizing its companies in order for them to compete with the tariff penalty.  China has to pay for the tariffs or risk losing manufacturing business even faster!  IF China continues to stonewall the negotiations, in time they will lose our business to other nations who are not subject to our tariffs.  Further, since our companies are leaving China, no further intellectual property theft will take place.  But the biggest prize Trump is seeking IS THE WEAKENING OF CHINA AND A WEAKENING OF THEIR MILITARIZATION POLICIES.  Without US trade, China’s cash flow will dwindle and they will be forced to reduce military spending just to keep their domestic base happy.
  • Trump Wins If China Agrees to a Trade Deal!  Trump will not back down on rebalancing our trade and eliminate our trade deficit with China as well as stopping China’s theft of our intellectual property.  He has no need to negotiate these away as he benefits that longer this drags on.  The only risk he is running is whether inflation, based on price increases due to his tariffs, starts hitting our consumers.  But, Trump is keeping pressure on oil producing nations to keep gas prices down (1 cent at the pump puts $1 billion back into our consumer’s pockets), all the while using the tariff income to subsidize our industries who may be suffering from China backing out of purchasing US goods. 

Trump is also betting that he has a second term as this trade war may not end, either way, during a single term.  China thinks that it has nothing to lose by waiting Trump out in the hopes that he is defeated in November of 2020.  Think again.  Trump will win again and at that point he will NOT need China to sign the deal.  He can merely wait them out until all of our companies have revamped their supply chains and abandon China altogether…  Then, Trump also wins the “cold war” with China in terms of its military build-up. 

Trump is already warning US companies to stop putting all of their eggs in China’s basket.  Apple is probably the most vulnerable as it relies almost 100% on China to product its products.  This would be a bad strategy regardless of the tariff war.  To give China that kind of power over your company is simply bad business.  Others are in a similar predicament.

All the talk about how strong China is economically is rubbish.  The US GDP is $21.5 Trillion while China is only $14.2 Trillion.  Looking at per capita GDP, the US in 2019 will come in at $65,062 per person while China will continue to lag behind at $10,099 per person.  The current “trade war” is hurting China and will continue to do so unless they come to the table.

When you hear the talking heads say Trump’s China policy is not effective, change the channel.  They clearly do not get Trump’s policy, economic or military.  

RD Pierini



“Red Flag Laws”, The Key to Stopping Mass Killings or a Slippery Slope?

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Tragedy, heartache, anger, sorrow, and loss.  But is there really a solution and are Red Flag Laws part of the answer…?

The sign above outside of the El Paso Mall where 22 were killed and dozens more injured, makes the statement, “United We Stand”.  But what are we standing for?  What will bring us together?  What is the root cause of the mass killer pathology?  Do we really believe that politicians can check their biases and political talking points at the door and really dig into the issue?

What are “Red Flag Laws”?

Before you endorse or condemn the proposition of Red Flag Laws, I suggest you go on a streaming service and watch “Minority Report”.  This film was released in 2002 by Steven Spielberg and starred Tom Cruise.  In the movie, there were three people who had “special powers” (Pre-Cogs) that allowed them to predict crimes before they were committed.  The movie has an interesting twist on who was outed to be the next murderer.  Watch it.

The premise of Red Flag Laws is to have society out a person or persons who exhibit behavior that may threaten themselves or others.  A law would allow specific persons, family members, teachers, police or other designated individuals to petition a court to order a temporary removal of weapons from a person or persons who have exhibited threatening behavior.  A judge would make the determination as to whether law enforcement should remove all weapons from the accused.  The time that the weapons would be withheld would be determined the law or by the judge.  During the quarantine period, ostensibly law enforcement or some other group would investigate the legitimacy of the claim against the accused and if the individual is truly a threat to themselves or others.  If not, the weapons would be returned to the accused.

Remember the Patriot Act that gave the FISA courts power to surveil US citizens, without due process, to determine IF the target being surveilled was guilty of anything WITHOUT ANY LEGAL REPRESENTATION!  FISA Abuse is not well documented against the Trump Campaign and Presidency.  Keep this in mind…

Now, I wrote the above generically and did not spell out what kinds of weapons would be included or nor get into a lot of detail controlling the conduct of this “due process” law.  The reason is that Red Flag Laws are not hypothetical and in fact, as of today, 17 States and the District of Columbia have adopted some form of a Red Flag Law!  Did you know that?  The good or bad news is that these State laws differ considerably as to process and extent of enforcement.  

Lets take the 5 primary pieces of a Red Flag Law and look at each of these processes.  When talking about these processes, I’ll use YOU as the accused and that any confiscation order would not only include firearms but explosives, knives, bow and arrows and any other instrument that could be used as a weapon.

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1. Designated Finger Pointers:  So, the idea is that family member of YOURS or other designated people of various capacities would have the power to finger YOU as dangerous to YOURSELF or others.  But, will lawmakers limit this power to YOUR family members, police, or teachers, or will they allow regulators to expand this power to literally the public at large?  Opening this power to point the finger at YOU to the public invites, and I argue encourages, false accusations and taking bullying to a level we have not imagined.

2. Judicial Due Process:  Due Process is the procedure that allows YOU to defend YOURSELF against allegations.  In this case, someone would have fingered YOU as being dangerous to YOURSELF or others.  The next step would be for YOU to go before a judge, State or Federal, and defend YOURSELF for an ACT that YOU have NOT Committed Yet!  Who is going to pay for YOUR legal fees?  

So, what will be the criteria that the Judge will use to determine if YOU are dangerous to YOURSELF or others?  Will the legislation be specific in terms the criteria to determine YOUR level of threat or leave it to the judge to be clairvoyant in determining if YOU will commit an act of violence that has NOT taken place yet?  Is Congress, and arguably, anyone, even be qualified to determine this criteria?  Imagine that YOUR ability to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights would be determined by criteria defined by AOC or Maxine Waters!  

3. Order to Seize:  Assume that the judge thinks YOU are a threat to YOURSELF or others and orders that law enforcement to confiscate your weapons.  I assume that law enforcement would remove all classes of weapons at your primary residence and issue some sort of order prohibiting YOU from acquiring new replacement weapons until it is determined that YOU are not a threat to yourself or others.  How about weapons that are stored by at your family or friends?

4. Order to Assess:  The Law would have to contain designated processes that YOU will be subjected to in order to assess YOUR fitness to possess weaponry.  Ostensibly this would include psychiatric examinations, physical examinations, interviews with YOUR family, friends, employers, co-workers, spouse/girl/boy friends, and other acquaintances YOU have interacted with throughout your life.  YOU may have to surrender all of YOUR social media, email and text Userids/passwords so they could be reviewed as well.  In the end, all of those involved in this process would have a tainted view of YOU and your fitness regardless of the judicial outcome.  

5. Assessment Judgement:  The Law would have to define what the judge would be able to do to YOUR freedom based on YOUR ASSESSMENT.  For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that YOU would be subjected to one of two possible outcomes.  One, that YOU were judged to fit to possess weapons.  Two, that YOU were not judged to be fit to possess weapons.  This latter outcome then turns YOUR life upside down…

5a: Fit Assessment:  The Law would have to specify the conditions, if any, for YOU to possess weapons.  So basically, YOU were accused of potentially being dangerous to YOURSELF or others and found that YOU were not a threat.  In the process, YOU underwent an historical colonoscopy and sunshined YOUR life to everyone you have ever known!   Presumably, you have not had to pay for YOUR defense of a crime that never took place.  A “Fit Assessment” merely means that YOU were potentially accused without cause but “we” had to make sure!  

5b. Unfit Assessment:  The Law would have to specify what actions would be undertaken to make YOU fit to possess weapons or if YOU should ever be allowed to possess weapons.  I suppose that the process would include deep dive psychotherapy, possible pharmaceutical therapy, and whatever else Congress deems to be appropriate to make YOU a fit US citizens.  Could you be incarcerated if your therapy determined that you were a threat to YOURSELF or others?  Could YOU be permanently be banned from possessing all forms of weapons?  Possibly.

Are Red Flag Laws Good or Bad?

YES!  In a perfect world, with unbiased peers and family, unbiased politicians and judges, unbiased physicians and psychiatrists, you may be able to devise a system to prevent future crimes including mass murders.  In an unbiased world!

But, we do not live in an unbiased world.  How long would it be before a political opponent, a business competitor, a social enemy, or someone you don’t even know, accuses their opponent, competitor, enemy, or total stranger of being a danger without any evidence?  Can you really say that this law would not be abused in light of the fact that the FISA Court process was bastardized and turned against a political enemy of the DOJ/FBI!

The subject of another future article will be a discussion of the causal factors of mass murders.  Potential remedial actions and sociological changes that will be needed to eliminate this horrid phenomena.  In the interim, stop and think for yourself when you hear pundits and politicians spew “remedies” to make us all safe.  Always ask, “Would this solution stop mass murders”?  “Is it the instrument or the person”?

PS:  I hate to be a cynic, but I think if we wait 5-10 days, the media and the politicians will have moved on to the next “crisis”.

RD Pierini



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Saving our Nation through Vigilance

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