Tariffs on imports from Mexico are a tax on U.S. citizens.

If President Trump wants Mexico to pay for The Wall, he can not do it by putting a tariff on imports from Mexico to the U.S.  A tariff on imports is a tax paid for by U.S. consumers in the form of higher prices.  If the tariff stops the imports, it will allow the higher prices to be charged for U.S. made products.  It will be a “win” for the company and its workers who get the protection, but it will be paid for by U.S. citizens, not Mexico.

Our government is spying on us.

Should there be some limit to government spying on we citizens?  Remember, we the people created our government to protect our lives, our liberty, and our property.  We granted only limited powers to our government.  We retained for ourselves and the States all powers not specifically granted to the federal government in the Constitution.  We believe that people are innocent unless proven guilty and that there needs to be some “probable cause” before our government is allowed to search our property or intrude into our private lives.  A key question is: Should private data that is held by third parties be subject to search without any probable cause?  Specifically, should our government be able to “scoop up” data related to our phone calls, internet activity, or banking activity without a specific warrant based on probable cause.  Today, the answer appears to be yes, our government can do that to us.  I think the answer should be no.  I understand that if the answer is no, that it will be more difficult for our government to protect us from terrorists.  The price of freedom and liberty is not free.  Along with our freedom, including privacy, comes risks: risks from which our government may not be able to protect us.  At the same time, the history of humankind is littered with oppression of people by their governments.  That is why our founding fathers intentionally made it difficult for our government to expand its powers.

Giving money to Egypt is actually welfare for rich corporations

Planet Money reported recently that the $1.3 billion in military aid that we send to Egypt every year is being wasted.  All of the money we give them is to buy military equipment from U.S. manufacturers.  Much of what they buy is duplicative and excessive for the Egyptian military and is simply being stored in crates.  The primary reason that this continues is that U.S. manufacturers lobby Congress for it to continue, and Congressmen and Senators want to keep the jobs and money flowing into their States.

Listen to the audio report at this link:  http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/08/23/214928040/episode-482-why-the-u-s-keeps-sending-weapons-to-egypt

Backup data lost? No problem!

Dilbert, the comic in the Register, recently  revealed a great tip for computer users:  If you lose your data for any reason, and you don’t have your own backup or if your backup fails, then you can appeal to the N.S.A. to get a copy of the “backup” of your data that our government keeps.