2017 July 15

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July 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

President Trump May Be in the White House But He’s Out of Control

"He can't get Congress to send a health care bill for him to sign. His own family is causing public relations (and possibly legal) problems. He was something of an outsider at the recent G-20 meeting in Germany, emerging with no major deal and left behind as his international counterparts forged ahead with a climate change agreement the United States has now abandoned. Leaks – some of which are apparently coming from his own staff – reveal a White House foundering and struggling to get traction."

"President Donald Trump, made famous by being a dominant boss on reality TV, has lost control of the biggest enterprise he has taken on, the running of the federal government, analysts and experts say. And the one thing on which the Twitter-happy president has kept a firm grip – his mobile phone – has only gotten him in further trouble, with his tweets used against him in court decisions and by his political foes."

Cars With Carbon Ceramic Brakes Are Going to Be the Used Car Plague

"As some of you know, I'm currently mired in the search for a new car to replace my ancient Range Rover daily driver, which I've had for the last five years or so. One of the cars on my short list of Range Rover replacements is the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon -- and while I can't afford a newer 2014-2016 model, I've been eyeing them anyway, because they're perfect for me: cool, high tech, all-wheel-drive (good for winter!) and exciting to drive.

So I found a nice E63 Wagon for sale on Autotrader, and I sent it to my friend Peri, and he replied: "You know that one has carbon ceramic brakes, right?" Apparently, the gold-colored calipers give it away."

"Carbon ceramic brakes? In a luxury station wagon?"

"I looked it up, and Peri was right. Beginning in 2014, Mercedes-Benz started offering carbon ceramic brakes as an option on the E63 AMG and the E63 AMG Wagon -- and not just any option, but an option with a sticker price of just under $13,000. Mind you, the base price of a 2014 E63 AMG Wagon was only $103,400. This single option was nearly 13 percent of the car's entire price. Imagine, if you will, a $2,500 single option on a Toyota Camry."

It bothers me that the only way that is being proposed to implement a new single payer healthcare system is to create a new tax. Why not fund single-payer healthcare out of existing taxes? Couldn’t enough fat and waste in government be cut to fund a new single payer healthcare benefit?

The United States Government, along with the many governments at the State and Local-level serve many more purposes and functions then they did in years past. While many of them are meaningful, there is also a lot of waste, fraud and abuse. Local government in particular is notoriously duplicative, when most local government functions could be provided by the state government.

I suggest radically downsizing the military and local police forces. We don’t need to be preparing against the next Soviet invasion, as the USSR is no more and cold war is history. Close prisons and jails, get rid of costly laws, like those against minor crimes and drug abuse. Allow private citizens and corporations to sue for monetary compensation, as a deterrent against property theft and minor injury or damage caused by criminals. Limit criminal appeals, replace long prison sentences with the death penalty. There is no reason to feed and clothe millions of people that offer nothing more for society.

Put spending caps on medical professionals and doctors, limit spending at both primary schools and colleges. People can make existing resources go further, there is no need for always investing in the latest technology or a fancy new building. Just make everything go further. Make everything in education and healthcare lower cost.

And remember all the savings that could be gotten by eliminating Medicaid and Medicare, along with regulations on Healthcare Companies. All that money could be put into the single-payer pot. 

I think before we propose a new tax to fund healthcare for all in our country, we should be looking harder at cutting existing spending in governemnt.

Sworn Police Officers per 1,000 residents

The ratio of law enforcement versus population has grown over the years, from 2.23 sworn law enforcement officers in 1992 to a high of 2.51 sworn law enforcement officers in 2008. The numbers have declined in recent years due to state and local cut backs due to the recent recession. Most likely if newer data was available, another uptick would be seen in the data.

Data Source: National Sources Of Law Enforcement Employment Data. April 2016 Report. https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5600

Gun owners more likely to be politically active, says Pew Research Center

"In addition to the political implications tied to the issue, the Pew survey also revealed deep cultural divides on guns."

"About half of gun owners said all or most of their friends also own guns, compared to just 1-in-10 non-gun owners who said the same."

"And in the long-running debate over guns and crime levels, more than half of gun owners — 54 percent — said they think more Americans owning guns would reduce crime, while 23 percent of non-gun owners said the same."

"Mr. Gottlieb said gun control advocates are the ones looking to play up such divisions."

“This divide has been created by media and politicians who are hostile to gun ownership who use terms like gun violence epidemic when in fact crimes committed where guns are used is in fact down,” he said."

Map: Goose Pond

Map: Goose Pond

The Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area, an Adirondack Park unit of New York's Forest Preserve, straddles the Essex County-Warren County line in the towns of Ticonderoga, Hague, Horicon and Schroon. The county road along the east shore of Schroon Lake forms the western boundary; to the north, private land and NY 74 form the boundary. The state land boundary forms most of the remaining perimeter except for a stretch of NY 8 on the south.

The area contains 39 bodies of water covering 1,100 acres (4.4 km2), 62.8 miles (101 km) of foot trails, and 14 lean-tos.