Observations

GM’s problems aren’t new. If one thinks back to the Obama interference in the GM troubles the meddling in the bankruptcy proceedings. Remember how he unlawfully forced out bondholders, stockholders and wanted to give control of the company to the union. They knew if they took ownership, they would be responsible for profits.
What you are seeing is the result of government meddling in private business.

GM to halt production at several plants, cut more than 14,000 jobs

General Motors said Monday it plans to effectively halt production at a number of plants in the U.S. and Canada next year and cut more than 14,000 jobs in a massive restructuring that will cost up to $3.8 billion.

In response, the United Auto Workers vowed to use “every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue” to fight the changes.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also criticized the automaker’s decision.

“I am not happy,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn Monday afternoon, speaking of CEO Mary Barra. “You know, the United States saved General Motors. For her to take that company out of Ohio is not good. I think she is going to put something back in soon.” [snip]

The Detroit automaker said plants in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, and Ontario will be “unallocated” in 2019 and it will cease operations at two additional plants outside of North America by the end of next year. It will also wind down operations at propulsion plants in White Marsh, Maryland, and Warren, Michigan.

Although the decision effectively shuts down those plants, the company wouldn’t say outright that they are closing. Shuttering a plant is a matter of negotiation with the UAW, GM spokeswoman Stephanie Rice said in an email. [snip]

I defy any individual to show where ANY government meddling in business, operations, physical running of the same has been successful.

Now GM will close plants, layoff workers and finally get rid of the UAW in most of it’s operations.

Of course a Progressives will promise anything to make idiots happy.

Watch: Six Years Ago Obama Promised to Buy a Chevy Volt. Now It Is Dead

Six years ago, President Barack Obama promised to buy a Chevy Volt after his presidency.

“I got to get inside a brand-new Chevy Volt fresh off the line,” Obama announced to a cheering crowd of United Auto Workers activists. “Even though Secret Service wouldn’t let me drive it. But I liked sitting in it. It was nice. I’ll bet it drives real good. And five years from now when I’m not president anymore, I’ll buy one and drive it myself.”

Now it looks like Obama will not get his chance to make good on the promise. General Motors announced Monday that it would cease production of the hybrid electric plug-in Volt and its gas-powered sister car the Cruze. The announcement came as part of a larger restructuring by the car company as it seeks to focus production around the bigger vehicles in favor with U.S. consumers.

The Volt and the Cruze were two of the signature achievements of the partnership between the Obama administration and General Motors following the auto-industry bailout. Although the Volt was long-planned by GM executives, it received a lot of support from the administration. Obama described the Cruze as “the car of the future.”

Both cars reflected the policies of the Obama administration but never really caught on with the car-buying public. They initially enjoyed a brief bout of enthusiasm from consumers but this was short-lived. Particularly after the price of oil fell dramatically, American consumers moved on to larger vehicles such as SUVs.

The failure of both the Volt and the Cruze is instructive. The Volt was a very high-priced car that was heavily subsidized by government policies, both federal and state, favoring electric vehicles. Many thought its high-price tag doomed it, especially since the gas-powered Cruze was a very similar car at a lower price point. But neither achieved the expected sales. These were cars Americans did not want.

Obama, who once described the manufacture of these cars as “jobs of the future,” could not be reached for comment.

So much for a socialist future.

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Government

The warm caresses of the socialist political bent once more shows that socialism requires a totalitarian form of governance.
Believe as we do or die.

Don’t expect to see any of this on the Nutworks or the cable news.

Venezuela: Maduro Regimes Continues Military Purge as Arrests Reach Record High

Politically motivated arrests of soldiers and military personnel in Venezuela reached an all-time high in 2018, according to a report from grassroots Venezuelan site Crónica Uno published Monday.

According to the latest figures, 197 members of the military are facing charges on crimes such as incitement to rebellion, treason to the fatherland, and breach of military etiquette, charges meant to target any dissent within the ranks of dictator Nicolás Maduro’s military. The number now surpasses that arrested former Venezuelan dictators Hugo Chávez and Marcos Pérez Jiménez.

As part of their effort to guarantee loyalty, the regime recently began purging high-rankings members of the military who they suspect of disloyalty. In March, Maduro issued a presidential decree announcing that 24 soldiers had been demoted or dismissed from the military over their supposed attempts “to damage the Republic by violent means.”

Some of the individuals dismissed from their military positions included the exiled General Antonio Rivero of the Voluntad Popular party, Hugo Chávez’s former defense minister and imprisoned government critic General Raúl Isaías Badue, and Captain Juan Caguaripano, who last year stormed a barracks and called on the military to overthrow the regime.

Yet there is growing evidence of widespread discontent among lower military ranks, as thousands of soldiers choose to jump ship amid devastatingly low morale caused in large part by a drastic fall in wages that has left many of them unable to access enough food or living essentials.

There have also been various rebellions designed to overthrow the regime, including an alleged assassination attempt against Maduro himself, although none have had any measurable success. Tensions reached a head back in January, following the assassination of the rebel militia leader Óscar Pérez, himself a former police officer. [snip]

Once Maduro gets rid of the untrustworthy, he’ll be free to unleash the military of any and all opposition.
Understand that Maduro’s brand of political BS cannot be wrong. Therefore failure is blamed on those resisting the warm fuzzy caress of Socialism at it’s finest.Or the claw for the unbelievers.

Idiot’s Corner

For those of you who believe Socialism is just a warm and fuzzy governmental friendship, and not Communism, take a gander at Venezuela’s new national ID card.

Venezuela is rolling out a new ID card manufactured in China that can track, reward, and punish citizens

Venezuela is rolling out a new, smart-card ID known as the “carnet de la patria,” or “fatherland card,” manufactured by Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp.

The ID transmits data about cardholders to government computer servers, and is increasingly linked to subsidized food, health, and other social programs most Venezuelans rely on to survive.

The fatherland card, critics argue, illustrates how China, through state-linked companies like ZTE, exports technological know-how that can help like-minded governments track, reward, and punish citizens.

In April 2008, former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dispatched Justice Ministry officials to visit counterparts in the Chinese technology hub of Shenzhen.
Their mission, according to a member of the Venezuela delegation, was to learn the workings of China’s national identity card program.

Chavez, a decade into his self-styled socialist revolution, wanted help to provide ID credentials to the millions of Venezuelans who still lacked basic documentation needed for tasks like voting or opening a bank account.

Once in Shenzhen, though, the Venezuelans realized a card could do far more than just identify the recipient.

There, at the headquarters of Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp, they learned how China, using smart cards, was developing a system that would help Beijing track social, political, and economic behavior.

Using vast databases to store information gathered with the card’s use, a government could monitor everything from a citizen’s personal finances to medical history and voting activity.

“What we saw in China changed everything,” said the member of the Venezuelan delegation, technical advisor Anthony Daquin. His initial amazement, he said, gradually turned to fear that such a system could lead to abuses of privacy by Venezuela’s government. “They were looking to have citizen control.”

The following year, when he raised concerns with Venezuelan officials, Daquin told Reuters, he was detained, beaten and extorted by intelligence agents. They knocked several teeth out with a handgun and accused him of treasonous behavior, Daquin said, prompting him to flee the country.[snip]

But 10 years after the Shenzhen trip, Venezuela is rolling out a new, smart-card ID known as the “carnet de la patria,” or “fatherland card.”

The ID transmits data about cardholders to computer servers. The card is increasingly linked by the government to subsidized food, health, and other social programs most Venezuelans rely on to survive. [snip]

An economic meltdown in Venezuela is causing hyperinflation, widespread shortages of food and medicines, and a growing exodus of desperate citizens. Maduro has been sanctioned by the United States and is criticized by governments from France to Canada as increasingly autocratic. [snip]

Digital “I see you”

If you are, like most Mellinnials, addicted to your digital life, you are oart of the Government ‘Digital Archipelago. You believe that the (any) government is benign. If so then what color is the sky in your world.

Oh, it WAS a “test” all right, just not what you thought was being tested…from Rico

Understand that I am not a Luddite.

– I use technology that works for me [e-mail; internet], but try to avoid technology that enslaves me and puts me into the digital control grid of Big Brother [read: the digital gulag of any device called “smart”].

With the understanding that anything that can be digitized is databased, but without digressing into facial recognition, biometric data, shared social media information, and the implications of China’s “social credit” program as a digital governmental control mechanism, we’ll discuss here only that FEMA test alert from the other day.

The FEMA Alert Test.
– It WAS a “test” but less a test of the emergency broadcast system than of the ability to know where you are, and who you are.

– The implicit message is “we can find you.”

Doubt me? Here’s how it works:

– FEMA has co-opted the E911 chip in your smart phone and can access it at will.

– This gives them access to everything on your phone (phone logs, social media, texts, e-mails, photo’s) and control of every function on your phone (camera, microphone, etc), plus your location.

– You cannot disable, block, uninstall, or opt out.

Such a deal!

– How “smart” is it to trade convenience for digital slavery?

Yeah, living in the “SMART” digital world isn’t as nice as the announcer tells you it is, when they want you to be on smart’ circuitry. The power of the government can only be expressed in levels of pain.

Think not? Ask any individual from a Soviet Bloc country who is now free of them. Ask about living the Gulag lifestyle..
Ah, they’re just making it up, right Snowflake?

Big Spenders

How are your taxes? A posting found on Drudge noted that you pay more in taxes than on your monthly utility and all your house bills combined. This will get worse as time passes.
What happens when you cannot pay for the mortgage, that new car, all those neat electronic gizmos, food and insurance? Your income  doesn’t cover all your debt, so you make payments when the collectors call up and finally : Bankruptcy>

Interest on the national debt now exceeds our spending on the Military.
At the rate of spending by the government increases, the interest also rises; any interest rate increases will require your taxes to rise to cover this cost. Then the government tries to pay the interest on those T-Bills that other countries bought.
It is your problem on a grand scale and we take it in the shorts, like Venezuela. Think about this in the upcoming Mid-term elections.

This post was cut short for the sake of brevity. Read the rest for I left out the really nasty parts about your life with out ll that government money sloshing around.

As Debt Rises, the Government Will Soon Spend More on Interest Than on the Military

The federal government could soon pay more in interest on its debt than it spends on the military, Medicaid or children’s programs.

The run-up in borrowing costs is a one-two punch brought on by the need to finance a fast-growing budget deficit, worsened by tax cuts and steadily rising interest rates that will make the debt more expensive.

With less money coming in and more going toward interest, political leaders will find it harder to address pressing needs like fixing crumbling roads and bridges or to make emergency moves like pulling the economy out of future recessions.

Within a decade, more than $900 billion in interest payments will be due annually, easily outpacing spending on myriad other programs. Already the fastest-growing major government expense, the cost of interest is on track to hit $390 billion next year, nearly 50 percent more than in 2017, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

“It’s very much something to worry about,” said C. Eugene Steuerle, a fellow at the Urban Institute and a co-founder of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center in Washington. “Everything else is getting squeezed.”

Gradually rising interest rates would have made borrowing more expensive even without additional debt. But the tax cuts passed late last year have created a deeper hole, with the deficit increasing faster than expected. A budget bill approved in February that raised spending by $300 billion over two years will add to the financial pressure.

The deficit is expected to total nearly $1 trillion next year — the first time it has been that big since 2012, when the economy was still struggling to recover from the financial crisis and interest rates were near zero. [snip]

With this cost that MUST be serviced, money for programs to repair/replace infrastructure such as roads, bridges and government buildings.

What is never mentioned is the pressure to keep the fake entitlements and it will also crush the real entitlements: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Thanks to LBJ, he funded the Vietnam War with money from the Social Security Trust Fund by putting it into the General Fund. Congress loved it and cheerfully started spending this new “revenue”.

London and Gun control

If one needs to see the efficacy of trying to control inanimate objects instead of the wielders of such items, one only needs to look to the UK for how that works.

Teens slash each other with MACHETES in horror Luton knife battle epidemic.

//players.brightcove.net/2540076170001/B1CdpYh2z_default/index.html?videoId=5837944236001#t=8s

Footage shows the moment Che Stephens, LucaSanni and Imani Pobi Da Silva lash out at each other  with huge knives as young children watch on.

The clip then reveals Stephens stabbing Pobi Da Silva, aged 17 at the time, before Sanni lunges at Stephens with a machete.

The youngster is then seen struggling to stand, before passing out and appearing to have a seizure in a pool of blood.

Stephens managed to escape and calmly left the scene as Sanni, who was bleeding heavily, was saved by an ex-Army medic.poi

Observations

Incredibly, people sit in some stupor even when they suffer the loss of freedom, fiscally and personally. Given the penchant for liberal/progressive government overbearing rule.

Freedom in the 50 States

New York – #50

New York has been the least free state in the country for a long time. Economic freedom is the most significant weakness, but the state has not kept up with the rest of the country on personal freedom either.

The only fiscal policy area where New York is not below average is the ratio of government to private employment, where the state has actually improved significantly since the early 2000s. The government GDP ratio has scarcely fallen over that same time period, suggesting that New York pairs relatively low government employment with high salaries and benefits for public employees. New York’s local tax burden is twice that of the average state: 8.5 percent of income in FY 2015. This is a dramatic rise from the early 2000s, when it was 7 percent. However, New Yorkers have ample choice in local government: 2.9 competing jurisdictions per 100 square miles. The state tax burden, at a projected 6.8 percent of income in FY 2017, is also higher than the national average. Debt is the highest in the country at 31.2 percent of income, and liquid assets are less than half that, at 14.2 percent of income.

New York is also the worst state on regulatory policy, although here it is at least within striking distance of number 49. Land-use freedom is very low, primarily because of the economically devastating rent control law in New York City. Local zoning is actually fairly moderate compared with surrounding states not named “Pennsylvania.” Renewable portfolio standards are high. The state enacted a minimum wage in 2013–14 and also has a short-term disability insurance mandate. Cable and telecommunications are unreformed. Occupational freedom is a bit subpar, but nurse practitioners did gain some independence in 2013–14. Insurance freedom is a mixed bag (the state has stayed out of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact), but property and casualty insurers gained some freedom to set rates in 2013–14. The civil liability system looks poor, but we may underrate it slightly because of the state’s large legal sector.

New York’s criminal justice policies are reasonably decent. While drug arrests are about average, nondrug victimless crime arrests are quite low. Incarceration rates are below average. Unfortunately, the state is one of only a few to impose loss of a driver’s license as a punishment for non-driving-related drug crimes. Local law enforcement enthusiastically participates in equitable sharing, even though the state law imposes only modest limits in the first place. Tobacco freedom is the worst in the country because of smoking bans and stratospheric taxes ($4.30 a pack in 2015 dollars in 2016). Since 2014, localities have actually enacted total prohibition for 18-to 20-year-olds. New York is perhaps the worst state for homeschoolers, and it has no private or public school choice programs. Sparklers were legalized in 2015 and mixed martial arts competitions in 2016. Gambling freedom is better than average; casinos were introduced in 2005. Cannabis freedom is now slightly above average, as the state enacted a limited medical law in 2014. Alcohol freedom is a bit above average, but grocery stores can’t sell wine. Gun rights are hedged about with all kinds of restrictions, but it is possible with some effort to get a concealed-carry license in some parts of the state. [snip]

We shall endeavor to find the top rated state. Surely it won’t be California, Massachusetts, Maryland or Illinois. For starters, we place our money on either Nevada or New Hampshire. Remember, things change as migration affects political positions.

These are interactive maps and data; scrutinize the site.

In New York, how does the freedom ranking compare to these concepts.
Here’s some answers.