Monday, December 31, 2012

HR 6649 - Reward Turkish Government For Threatening Israel


On the last day of the year, there has been an attempt to allow President Obama to send, for free, two U.S. frigates to Turkey.  This has been receiving bi-partisan opposition in the House of Representatives because Turkey, over the past year, has used their navy to threaten Israel and Cyprus and to forcefully aid Hamas.

Other frigates were being offered up to Mexico and Thailand for no cost.  In addition, Taiwan would be allowed to purchase four frigates.

The DOD has offered up these transfers as a matter of "national security interests."  The argument is that the bill has been available for examination for two weeks [during the time the Congress has been away or working on the fiscal cliff issues].

After debate, the Chairman called for a voice vote to suspend normal rules so that this bill could be passed.  The vote passed with at least a dozen aye votes and a couple of nay votes.

In another voice vote, the House passed H.R. 6649, a bill authorizing the transfer of 10 frigates to U.S. allies Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. There was some debate over whether two of these frigates should be given to Turkey given that country's recent posture toward Europe, but despite this opposition, no one asked for a recorded vote on the bill. [source]
That's how things get done in Obama's world.  Full debate and mark-up through committee for renaming post offices; abbreviated debate with no committee mark-up and most members absent for important foreign affairs votes.  And Turkey gets to expand its navy to further threaten Israel and aid terrorists.



2012 Blogger's Choice


As 2012 winds down, this is a good opportunity to look back at some of this blog's posts that were most popular by month:

I have to state that most of those were not my favorites, but they reflect the wider interests of readers... Whitney Houston, Apple, and Detroit most apparently.  But then, I tend to write for myself first and let others choose if anything interests them.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New York Newspaper Publishes Information To Criminals On Which Homes Are Not Protected


While trying to tell the world who owns a gun, the White Plains, NY, Journal News inadvertently informed all area would-be home invaders which homes are not protected by guns [image].

Some criminals might be tempted to let an armed home owner "make his day," but it is more likely that anyone with a computer and half a brain would click on the interactive map and find out which home he  should avoid... leaving a lot of protection-averse homeowners available for an up close and personal visit.

Just to be fair, the newspaper also published an interactive map of all of their unarmed employees who would like to personally reason with anyone who might be tempted to commit a crime.  Oh, wait.  That was done by a blogger who thought it was poetic justice.

Meanwhile, the newspaper plans to publish more information regarding armed homeowners so that the criminals can avoid those places as well.

Homeowners who do not have guns are requested to call 911 if a criminal invades their home.  A person with a gun will eventually respond... hopefully before the homeowner is harmed to some degree.
The gun control debate has shifted over the last 20 years. Back then it was common to hear that it is in everyone’s best interests if the government made guns go away. The legislative agenda of anti-gun groups was much more radical and overt. Activists pointed to Britain, Australia, and Canada as models of gun control policy. 
In 1997 Britain banned handguns, and between 1998 and 2003 gun crimes doubled. According the British Home Office, between 1997 and 2001 homicides increased by 19% and violent crime increased by 26%, while in the U.S. those same crimes fell by 12%. Between 2000 and 2001, robbery increased by 28% in Britain but only 4% in the U.S. Domestic burglary increased by 7% in Britain, but only 3% in the U.S. 
In 1996 Australia enacted sweeping gun control laws. In the six years following, violent crime rates rose by 32%. Canada isn’t faring well under its stringent gun control laws. Today Canada’s violent crime rate is more than double that of the U.S. [source]

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Suggested New Taxes For Obama's Budget


We need new taxes.  Debt is raging and spending cannot be cut without hurting those who are most vulnerable in our society... politicians.  Literally dozens of politicians would be thrown out of their jobs if they failed to deliver the customary freebies to their special interests.  Consequently, we need to be creative in our taxing.

Obviously, we can tax the rich more.  They may simply move their wealth elsewhere, but we could catch a bump in revenue for a year or two while they make the necessary adjustments.  No, we need to go where the sources are not so mobile.

Here are a few suggestions:
  • 10% church tax.  There are so many wealthy churches out there.  They have hardwood pews and expensive stained glass windows.  Money up the kazoo.  They won't miss some of that cash that's just lying around. [image]
  • 20% charity tax.  These charities raise millions of dollars each year, maybe billions.  They are supposed to help the poor or sick, but that's the job of our government, not private individuals or groups.  Besides, they have huge administrative costs unlike the government which returns $2 for every $1 collected.  Charities are so 18th century.
  • 30% meat tax.  Vegetarians don't need meat so why should anyone else?  It's a luxury and should be treated as such.  Think of all of those hamburgers and chicken sold at fast food places.  Luxury, that's all it is.  There are plenty of soybeans available. [image]
  • 40% new car tax.  What's the matter with an older car?  There are millions of older cars... and second cars around.  New cars require energy to produce and that produces CO2 which will kill everyone in 20 years if we don't have sequestration.  Walking is healthier.
  • 50% electronics tax.  People buy new cell phones and TVs much too often.  Besides, all of those electronics are cluttering the airwaves and making birds ill.  Someone has to save the birds and that will cost money... lots of money.  The government will do it, but it's time to stop the offenders. [image]
  • 60% health care tax.  Oh, wait.  That's being handled already.
  • 70% energy tax.  People in Africa and India get by without all of that expensive heating and air-conditioning.  It's healthier to have fresh air in the house and it will be fresher without all of that energy pollution.
  • 80% education tax.  Only applies to those who live within 100 miles of a school and based on average expenditures per pupil.  Private schools will have a 20% surcharge on this tax. Exemption forms will be available in person at the IRS offices in Washington, D.C.  Please have 4 sources of picture identification and your original birth certificate which will not be returned.  Members of Congress, the Executive Branch [department heads and above], and those illegally in the U.S. are exempt from filing exemption forms. [image]
  • 90% birth tax.  New children are taking up valuable space and resources better used by Canada geese and coyotes.  Tax based on average cost to raise a child to age 25 when they can become wards of the government.
  • 100% death tax.  You don't need it anymore and your government does.  Trust us. [image]

Fiscal Cliff And Higher Taxes - Follow The Money


The Democratic Party has failed to develop a budget for the past four years.  By simply ignoring good fiscal management, the Democratic Party has plunged the U.S. deeply into debt and now wants to shift the blame for this mismanagement onto the Republican Party because the Republican-controlled House of Representatives does not want to allow the mismanagement to continue... masked by higher taxes.

President Obama has tried to maintain his distance from the debate over how to resolve his party's fiscal mismanagement, but now is attempting to create the impression that he is taking a "leadership" position in his attempt to create the impression that the Republicans will not compromise so that there can be a "bi-partisan" solution.  The reality is that President Obama wants to legislate increase taxes but only offer a vague promise to bring spending under control... not actually reduce spending.

What is the result of that approach?  Just look at France.

Yes, follow the tax money... right out of the country.  The wealthy have options.  When push comes to shove, they will walk away with their money and tax revenues will fall.



Friday, December 28, 2012

Killing Children In The U.S.


From The Huffington Post:

In 2011, guns were used to murder 8,583 people living in the U.S., according to the most recent FBI data available. Among those murdered by guns, there were 565 young people under the age of 18, and 119 children ages 12 or younger -- the latter number nearly equivalent to six Newtown mass shootings. And these figures include only homicides.
From NBC News:
Nearly all states report abortion numbers to the federal government, but it's voluntary. A few states — including California, which has the largest population and largest number of abortion providers — don't send in data. Experts believe there are more than 1 million abortions performed nationwide each year, but because of the incomplete reporting, the CDC had reports of about 785,000 in 2009.
So, let's put that into perspective.  In the U.S. there are over 1,000 times more children's lives extinguished by abortion than homicide and guess what "progressives" and "liberals" want banned?




If you are a small business, you probably are in violation of at least one and perhaps several federal regulations without having the slightest idea that you are.  That won't affect you unless some situation comes up where you are involved in a legal issue.  Then watch out.  This looks to be an opportunity for a "LegalZoom" type of website that quickly identifies both federal, state, and local regulations affecting specific businesses.  Of course, the database for that website would probably be unmanageable.

Here is a snapshot from, the federal government website.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blame It On Bush Once Again


President Obama wants the people of the United States to believe that he only wants to raise taxes on the rich.  After all, the Bush tax cuts only helped the rich, right?  The Democrats didn't want the tax cuts in the first place and only agreed to go along on the condition that that could last only ten years.

In 2001, when Bush proposed the tax cuts, Democrats argued they would benefit the wealthy, create long-term deficits and deprive social programs of needed money. Some Democrats at the time were open to a more modest tax cut, especially one less favorable to the rich. Bush could push his tax cuts through Congress only by agreeing they would expire a decade later. [source]
Now, President Obama has had second thoughts.  Those terrible Bush tax cuts that cut into social programs for the benefit of the rich are all right as long as the rich are excluded.  That way they can pay their "fair share."

But what really happened with the Bush tax cuts?
According to official IRS data, the top 1% of income earners paid $84 billion more in federal income taxes in 2007 than in 2000 before the Bush tax cuts were passed, 23% more.  The share of total federal income taxes paid by the top 1% rose from 37% in 2000, before the Bush tax cuts, to 40% in 2007, after the tax cuts. 
In contrast, the bottom half of income earners paid $6 billion less in federal income taxes in 2007 than in 2000, a decline of 16%.  The share of federal income taxes paid by the bottom 50% declined from 3.9% in 2000 to 2.9% in 2007. 
The Bush tax cuts also included a doubling of the child tax credit from $500 per child to $1,000 per child.  Because of that, and the 33% cut in the bottom tax rate, nearly 8 million more people dropped off the federal income tax rolls entirely, paying zero federal income taxes.  Indeed, under the Bush tax cuts, the bottom 40% of all income earners not only paid no federal income taxes, as a group on net.  By 2009, they were being paid cash by the IRS equal to 10% of all federal income taxes. 
These Bush tax cuts did not explode the deficit, as Obama and his echo chamber have alleged.  By 2007, the deficit was down to $160 billion, less than 15% of Obama’s deficits today.  Total federal revenues soared from $793.7 billion in 2003, when the last of the Bush tax cuts were enacted, to $1.16 trillion in 2007, a 47% increase.  Capital gains revenues had doubled by 2005, despite the 25% capital gains rate cut adopted in 2003.  Federal revenues rose to 18.5% of GDP by 2007, above the long term, postwar, historical average over the prior 60 years.  CBO was projecting surpluses to return indefinitely in 2012 through the end of its projection period in 2018. [source]
Well, the fiscal crash happened and federal revenues dried up as personal wealth dried up.  Blame it on the rich... which is exactly what the Democrats are doing.

So, what makes the Democrats believe that by reversing the Bush tax cuts for those earning over $250,000 per year revenues will increase... when revenues increased when the tax rates were cut?  Actually, President Obama doesn't believe that at all.  This is nothing more than an extension of his politics of class warfare that will do nothing to solve the excessive spending problem of the Federal government and do everything to stifle economic growth an tax revenues.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Obama Sidesteps Congress To Impose Cap And Trade


The Heritage Foundation points out that the Obama administration once again sidesteps Congress through the Environmental Protection Agency which has set mileage standards so high that only a few vehicles will meet the standards... requiring manufacturers to purchase "credits" from other manufacturers if they cannot meet the standards.  The unanswered question, of course, is how will the other manufacturers meet the mileage standards?

Well, the answer to that is through the magic of EPA mileage calculations.  If you have a plug-in electric car with a range of 25 miles, the EPA does a little numerical dance and says that car gets 100 MPGe... that's miles per gallon equivalent.  You won't actually get anywhere near 100 miles per gallon, but the Obama administration gets its way into forcing manufacturers to make cars people don't want or can't afford for little or no benefit.

As stated in the article:

The new CAFE standard requires American families to bear all the costs the regulation imposes, while allowing special interests receive all the benefits. As Loris and Morgan note in their paper, “Under this new mandate, the Energy Information Administration warns that new cars priced under $15,000 may no longer be available.” While the federal government acknowledges the regulations will drive up the sticker price of vehicles, “consumers will likely realize only a fraction of the fuel savings that the government claims.”
This is not the only way the new fuel efficiency will affect car buyers. It also limits consumer choice. Consumers have other preferences as well, including weight and engine power, for safety, enjoyment, and practical reasons. Ignoring those preferences and forcing companies to make vehicles that are lighter and thus more fuel efficient has the unintended consequence of making them less safe.
It makes all of the 51%-ers feel good that they are helping save the planet and fundamentally changing the United States.  But I'm guessing that this picture will not change much.

Hey, high level government officials are exempt ... from so many laws affecting you commoners.




Is The Fiscal Cliff Just A "Trigger Mechanism" For "Fundamentally Changing" The United States?


It seems amazing to many that there is so little concern about the massive debt that has been accruing in the Federal government.  A little bailout here, a little "quantitative easing" there, and presto-chango we have a Keynesian solution to all of our problems.

As noted in the previous post, the next president faces a $20 trillion federal debt and few options to pay it down.  One of the authors of Econbrowser, a liberal economist from the University of Wisconsin, proposed that inflation would solve all of our problems... just make money worth less or worthless?  To be fair, the proposal was for modest, targeted inflation, not runaway inflation.

The present crisis is the so-called "fiscal cliff" which seems to be generating a lot of hot air in Washington, D.C., but not much real action.  Solutions range to spending cuts ... cutting the rate of spending increases from planned levels, but still above present levels... to a symbolic tax increase on "wealthy" Americans ... those making more than $250,000.  The latter, of course, is classic class warfare, but not much in the way of a solution to ever-increasing debt.

But this is small change.  Perhaps we need to harken back to President Obama's words.

Some reduction in the rate of spending increases and some minor tax increase are not "fundamental changes."  What would be fundamental?  The following is from Doug Hagmann at the Canada Free Press:
Life for the average American is going to change significantly, and not the change people expect. First, DHS is preparing to work with police departments and the TSA to respond to civil uprisings that will happen when there is a financial panic. And there will be one, maybe as early as this spring, when the dollar won’t get you a gumball. I’m not sure what the catalyst will be, but I’ve heard rumblings about a derivatives crisis as well as an oil embargo. I don’t know, that’s not my department. But something is going to happen to collapse the dollar, which has been in the works since the 1990s. Now if it does not happen as soon as this, it’s because there are people, real patriots, who are working to prevent this, so it’s a fluid dynamic. But that doesn’t change the preparations. 
And the preparations are these: DHS is prepositioning assets in strategic areas near urban centers all across the country. Storage depots. Armories. And even detainment facilities, known as FEMA camps. FEMA does not even know that the facilities are earmarked for detainment by executive orders, at least not in the traditional sense they were intended. By the way, people drive by some of these armories every day without even giving them a second look. Commercial and business real estate across the country are being bought up or leased for storage purposes. Very low profile. 
Anyway, I am hearing that the plan from on high is to let the chaos play out for a while, making ordinary citizens beg for troops to be deployed to restore order. but it’s all organized to make them appear as good guys. That’s when the real head knocking will take place. We’re talking travel restrictions, which should not be a problem because gas will be rationed or unavailable. The TSA will be in charge of travel, or at least be a big part of it. They will be commissioned, upgraded from their current status. 
They, I mean Jarrett and Obama as well as a few others in government, are working to create a perfect storm too. This is being timed to coincide with new gun laws.
That sounds fairly "fundamental."
How much clearer do you want it? The Second Amendment will be gone, along with the first, at least practically or operationally. The Constitution will be gone, suspended, at least in an operational sense. Maybe they won’t actually say that they are suspending it, but will do it. Like saying the sky is purple when it’s actually blue. How many people will look at the sky and say yeah, it’s purple? They see what they want to see. 
So the DHS, working with other law enforcement organizations, especially the TSA as it stands right now, will oversee the confiscation of assault weapons, which includes all semi-automatic weapons following a period of so-called amnesty. It also includes shotguns that hold multiple rounds, or have pistol grips. They will go after the high capacity magazines, anything over, say 5 rounds. 
They will also go after the ammunition, especially at the manufacturer’s level. They will require a special license for certain weapons, and make it impossible to own anything. More draconian than England. This is a global thing too. Want to hunt? What gives you the right to hunt their animals? Sound strange? I hope so, but they believe they own the animals. Do you understand now, how sick and twisted this is? Their mentality? 
The obvious intent is to disarm American citizens. They will say that we’ll still be able to defend ourselves and go hunting, but even that will be severely regulated. This is the part that they are still working out, though. While the plans were made years ago, there is some argument over the exact details. I know that Napalitano, even with her support of the agenda, would like to see this take place outside of an E.O. [Executive Order] in favor of legislative action and even with UN involvement.
The Republicans wouldn't let that happen, would they?
Stop thinking about a normal situation. The country is divided, which is exactly where Obama wants us to be. We are as ideologically divided as we were during the Civil War and that rift is growing every day. Add in a crisis - and economic crisis - where ATM and EBT cards will stop working. Where bank accounts will contain nothing but air. They are anticipating a revolution and a civil war rolled into one (emphasis added by this author). 
Imagine when talk show hosts or Bloggers or some other malcontent gets on the air or starts writing about the injustice of it all, and about how Obama is the anti-Christ or something. They will outlaw such talk or writing as inciting the situation - they will make it illegal by saying that it is causing people to die. The Republicans will go along with everything as it’s - we have - a one party system. Two parties is an illusion. It’s all so surreal to talk about but you see where this is headed, right?

That's just nonsense talk.

Perhaps.  There are a lot of conspiracy theorists on the left and the right.  The propose scenarios that might be possible, but seem completely implausible.  The suspension of the Constitution?  Government by Executive Order?  Arming of Executive Branch departments.  Firing of top military officers?


And Now Come The Christmas Bills


From Forbes:

President Obama's Legacy: $20 Trillion in Deficits for 2016 Victor.

Five trillion dollars in new debt will allow Obama to pursue his second-term political objective of a bigger and more intrusive federal government that serves his interests and those of his political allies.  With a compliant Fed and willing foreign bond buyers (largely in Asia), he might be able to stave off the bond market vigilantes throughout his second term, if he is lucky. But he will leave his successor with a $20 trillion debt. At a “normal” interest rate of five percent, Obama’s successor will face annual interest payments of one trillion dollars. To gain some perspective, the CBO projects social security to cost one trillion in 2018. Our interest payments on the national debt (at 5 percent) would roughly equal the entire cost of social security!
A trillion here, a trillion there; pretty soon you're talking real money.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas And Happy Eating


We hope that Christmas and the New Year brings you love and happiness.  And if you feel ambitious, you can try this old recipe for our family's favorite dessert.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Obama The Common Man's President Arrives In Hawaii As Fiscal Cliff Looms


Can you imagine what the mainstream media would be doing if George Bush were president and the fiscal cliff was dead ahead... and he did this?

Obama and family arrive in Hawaii for Christmas

Updated 3:31 am, Saturday, December 22, 2012
KAILUA, Hawaii (AP) — President Barack Obama and his family have arrived in Honolulu to spend Christmas in Hawaii, where the president was born and raised. 
Air Force One touched down in Honolulu minutes after midnight local time on Saturday. The first family departed the plane and traveled quickly to their vacation house in the beach town of Kailua, a scenic, sleepy beach town on the east side of Oahu. [more]
Meanwhile, the common man's president has indicated that the common man's senator from Massachusetts, John Kerry, would be the next Secretary of State.
Five luxury homes, 76-foot yacht, SUV, and a private jet: John Kerry models the lifestyle of a liberal who allegedly believed James Hansen's 1988 carbon dioxide warning [source]
This is big government working for ... those who are elected to big government.  How's that you common-man suckers?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Obama Intentionally Weakening U.S. Military


It has been widely reported that President Obama is gutting the top echelon of the military.  Seven top military officers have been "retired" after Obama's bungling in Benghazi... bungling he has attempted to blame on those very men who Obama refused to allow to take action in Libya.

For those of you who have forgotten, our military preserves our rights and freedoms, and undermining the military undermines the protection of those rights and freedoms.

What is going on?

Hey, you can connect the dots.

Meanwhile, as Obama focuses on weakening our military, he has taken sight on our 2nd Amendment.  That's pretty much what Stalin did.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Joe Biden To Oversee Gun Ban Task Force


President Obama announce that Joe Biden will oversee his task force to come up with how to stop crazy people, who can't be put into politically incorrect psychiatric hospitals because they were closed, from misusing firearms that millions of Americans own responsibly.

Here is what Joe had to say:


What a team they make!  No, Joe, you can keep your shotgun and handgun.  There is still a 2nd Amendment.  Keep that in mind as you lead this 30-day wonder.

But, hey, Obama already knows the answer for preventing crazies from shooting up schools, malls, theaters, and Ft. Hood.  Just do what they did in Chicago for Valerie Jarrett's daughter.
As many as 200 Chicago police officers were assigned to provide extra security for the wedding of White House adviser Valerie Jarrett’s daughter, despite the fact that this year Windy City residents have been slain in greater numbers than U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan
The federal government did not pay for the police presence; the cost of the extra security will be borne by the Chicago Police Department. [source]
Another unfunded mandate?  No, probably just a little payback to Obama and Jarrett from their old pal, the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel... Obama's former Chief of Staff.  Too bad our schools and malls and theaters and Ft. Hood can't afford to have an extra 200 armed guards protecting them from crazies that should have been put away in facilities that were closed by well-intentioned progressives.  Well, maybe Ft. Hood could have, but that's another politically-correct issue, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

There Was A Reason These Countries Were Backward


From the BBC:

Two polio vaccination workers have been killed in north-western Pakistan in the latest of a spate of deadly attacks. 
The shootings in the Peshawar region left a vaccination supervisor and her driver dead, and injured a volunteer. 
The deaths brought to eight the number of health workers killed in this week's anti-polio drive. The three-day drive is now over. 
No group has claimed responsibility, but the Taliban have issued threats against the UN's anti-polio efforts. 
The militants have accused health workers of working as US spies and say the vaccine makes children sterile.
Everything would have been just fine if the British had left western and southern Asia alone.  Then their 7th century mentality would have lined up nicely with their 7th century technology.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Real Tragedy Behind The Newtown, Connecticut Tragedy


It was expected.  President Obama will seek tougher gun laws because a gun was used to kill people.  Of course, knives, forks, and spoons kill people, too.  Sure, that's a little sardonic.  But the reality is that the misuse of knives, forks and spoon account for ten times the annual deaths in the U.S. than the misuse of guns.

  • Estimated annual deaths from obesity - 112,000.
  • Annual homicide deaths by guns - 9,146 or 11,493 depending on source.
Naturally, Michelle Obama is spearheading the restrictions on knives, forks, and spoons.

Regardless, the President and legions of his liberal friends are simply overlooking the obvious.  Murders, especially mass murders, are the work of those who are pathologically incapable or unwilling to control their murderous instincts.

This is the contents of a Facebook exchange between me and my niece on Sunday night.  Keep reading until you get to the end of the post where you will be quite surprised.
MY NIECE:  A short personal essay on what it's like to be a mother of a mentally unstable child who also has violent episodes. i've heard stories from my mom too about dealing with her students who exhibit similar behavior...and how sometimes there is little that can be done until they have really hurt someone or themselves.
When this woman drops her child off at school, he spends the day with a teacher like my mom. That is why I am proud of her and all her hard work with her students, but often worry for her as well.
I am xxxxxxxxxx's Mother - The Blue Review
ME:  Site doesn't respond [may now that the initial number of site hits has subsided], but just a few observations. 60 years ago, a person with demonstrated mental problems would be put in an institution and given some variety of "treatment." The purpose was to remove the person from society where he/she could a potential threat to themselves or others.
This didn't sit well with those who felt "mental illness" [vaguely defined] was a disease [non-communicable, but dangerous] and should be treated as a disease... primarily by allowing the mentally ill to live "normal" lives while receiving "assistance" from ... somewhere? The reality is that most of these people either ended up on the streets or living with parents who were ill-equipped to manage them. But it made a lot of professionals feel better about themselves even though the "patients" were potentially far worse off and a real danger to those around them. 
What had been a "throw them all in the institution" policy became a "let them all fend for themselves" reality. So, people like your mother have to deal with such children who are a threat to themselves and others, simply because it is good progressive policy despite being intentionally blind to the consequences. 
Some people cannot be helped in a "normal" environment. That's not to say that is the case for all. But those with violent tendencies should be removed from society... even if they have not acted in a mass-murderer fashion... yet. There needs to be something other than an "all or nothing" policy about institutionalizing people. Here in Michigan, we closed down a large hospital sized facility for the mentally ill and they went... who knows?
After closing psychiatric hospitals, Michigan incarcerates mentally ill.
MY NIECE:  Uncle Bruce - that's definitely been a major problem resulting from the "de-institutionalization" of people suffering mental illness. The county needs to find some way to work with patients so that they get just the right help they need. It's not an uncomplicated problem and will take lots of work by many many people to solve this problem.
ME:  As I said, the "enlightened" principle of "mainstreaming" those with mental issues has probably done more harm than good. That same principle has been extended into education so that your poor mother not only has to deal with children who are physically and mentally impaired, but also children who have severe emotional issues as well. They don't belong in the classroom and, as they get older, they will probably require some sort of institutional restriction... though it shouldn't be jail just to protect the "success" of mainstreaming.
When it became "enlightened" to handle people with severe mental problems as "special needs who should be mainstreamed," and the psychiatric hospitals/mental wards were closed down with reckless abandon by those who really wanted to be "enlightened," the doors were literally opened to those who should have been humanely separated from the rest of society... for their good and ours.  The Connecticut mass murderer of children was one such individual whose mother was forced to try to handle him and who ultimately became another victim of "enlightenment."
Due to deinstitutionalization in the 1960s and 1970s, there was less of a need for hospitals like Fairfield Hills [in Newtown, Connecticut]. With the high cost of running underused hospitals, state hospitals around the country shut their doors. In 1995, Gov. John Rowland closed Fairfield Hills and its sister hospital, Norwich State Hospital. All patients that remained were moved to Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown.[3] 
The Town of Newtown rented out the first floor of Canaan House [a psychiatric facility] from the mid-1990s up until 2005; it was home to the town's Board of Education, Planning & Zoning, and Fire Marshall. The Reed Intermediate School is also located on the property. [source]
The irony is just tragic.

Of course, it is much easier to blame guns... which is why I'm blaming knives, forks, and spoons.


ACLU helped block bill that could have stopped shooter


Monday, December 17, 2012

Obama: John Kerry To Carry On My World Apology Tour


If you thought Hillary Clinton was a disaster as Secretary of State, you might be unprepared for the new era of American apologizing to the world with John Kerry in that role.

Washington (CNN).
 -- President Obama has decided to nominate Sen. John Kerry to be the next secretary of state and could make a formal announcement as early as next week, a Democrat who spoke to Kerry told CNN Saturday. The expected nomination follows U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's decision to withdraw her name from consideration for the post. She dropped out of the running Thursday after weeks of criticism from Republicans about statements she made about the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. [full story].
Possibly the only position Sen. Kerry could hold that would be worse than his present position of senator and potential position as Secretary of State would be Secretary of Defense.


Gateway Pundit has this old video of John Kerry who picked up a couple a scratches, a couple of Purple Hearts, and an early trip back to the U.S. to ingratiate himself with the left wing and tell whoppers to Congress.

As Secretary of State, he can certainly damage relationships with our allies as he courts favor with our antagonists, but at least he can't screw up the entire military structure.  One has to wonder what Teresa Heinz sees in this unappealing person.  Of course, we can all understand why President Obama finds John Kerry appealing... two political peas in a pod.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cultural Sterotypes


When it comes to making judgments about the people of various countries, stereotyping is a convenient shortcut.  Of course, like all short cuts, the results might be a little short-circuited and short sighted.  Still, stereotyping doesn't just happen in a vacuum.

Just for fun, let's stereotype a list of countries starting with the United States so no one gets offended that they are being picked on.  This is not politically correct.

  • U.S.A. - cowboy mentality; crassly rich; violent; boorish; generous; land of opportunity; land of special interests.
  • Canada - 51st state; always heading south; socialistic Americans.
  • England - land of oddballs; sports nuts; underachievers; living in the royal past; terrific spies; cowering in the face of Muslims.
  • France - snooty about culture and food and wine; would rather make love than fight; inflated egos; generally intolerant but try to appear cosmopolitan.
  • Germany - industrious; neat; clean; amenable to following orders; more friendly than you'd expect.
  • Spain - laid back; hiding in plain sight.
  • Eastern European nations - we know someone whose ancestors emigrated from there.
  • Russia - depressing; corrupt; deteriorating.
  • Japan - overcrowded; over-achievers; over-wired.
  • China - oppressive; unethical; sneaky; dangerous.
  • North Korea - hell on earth.
  • South Korea - same as Japan a few decades ago.
  • India - chaotic; weird; crowded; dirty; a parody of western civilization.
  • Israel - resourceful; politically incorrect.
  • Iran - rich history; well-oiled; ruled by nutjobs.
  • Turkey - trying to live in the past and present; trying to be Islamic and Western.
  • Arab countries in general - violent; misogynists; prone to religious extremism.
  • Sub-Saharan countries in general - tribal; violent; dramatically underachieving.
  • South American countries in general - speak Spanish or Portuguese; lousy economies; grow stuff; mostly forgotten by the rest of the world.
  • Australia - have a Fosters, ay mate?

Shortcuts, but they can give a flavor for the culture and attitudes that affect global relationships.  The problem is that they are stereotypes and miss the complexity as well as the individuality that can and do significantly vary from these shortcuts.  That said, stereotypes don't emerge from thin air.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Shooting Children: The Pathology Of Mass Murder


The news about the shooting at the Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook elementary school is all over television, radio, and the internet.  You won't be at a loss for details.  What you may be at a loss for is an explanation of why what happened.

There will be discussions about "mental instability" and "gun control" and "warning signs," but because the shooter is dead, there won't be any real answers.  That's not acceptable to most, but the puffery that goes on in the name of reporting will try to fill the knowledge void.

What do we know?

We know that the children did not incite the action against them.  They were targets, but not causes.  We know that the teachers and administrators did not incite action against them.  They were targets, but not the justification.

In another country, the attack might have been carried out with explosives and the attacker might have been called a hero... even if some might call him a terrorist.  What we call the actions and the actors merely obfuscate the obvious.

What we know is that mass murder is mass murder and reasons are not justifications... especially when children are targeted.  What we want to believe is that the mass murderers are deranged and different from the rest of us.  They are to the extent that they have carried out horrible, unimaginable actions from our perspective.  They have their reasons.  We may not understand how they arrived at that state, but they found a path there.  We can call it pathological, religious extremism, insanity, or whatever.

We want to understand, but even if we are given reasons, we will not understand... we will only believe the reasons are crazy or malignant.  So it is with the killer of these children in Connecticut.  There is no understanding; there is no vengeance; there is nothing but loss.  The children should always be remembered.

The killer's name should never be spoken again.  It will not be written here.  He should be consigned to oblivion.  The names of all mass murderers should be torn from our collective recognition and only be called evil... for that is all they are.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Obama: Al Qaeda Recognized As Legitimate Government Of Syria


It was bound to happen.  President Obama, using the logic that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," drank the Kool-aid and declared the Syrian "opposition" as the legitimate government of Syria.

This is the same President Obama who sent arms to the Libyan "rebels" who turned them against the U.S. ambassador at Benghazi and which subsequently ended up in the hands of the Syrian "rebels."  The problem is that these "rebels" were nothing more than another face of al Qaeda.

The President, in other words, is aiding and abetting our enemies.  In any other era, the President's actions would have been immediate grounds for impeachment and trial.  Today, it is merely grounds for the media to praise his skills in "diplomacy."
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has formally designated a rebel group fighting in Syria as a terrorist organization in hopes of marginalizing the Al Qaeda affiliate and reducing its chances of playing a major role in the country should the government fall.
Administration officials blacklisted Jabhat al-Nusra, or the Nusra Front, describing it as a wing of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans during the height of the Iraq war. The Nusra Front is one of dozens of rebel groups that have emerged in the Syrian conflict.
U.S. officials hope the move will convince more mainstream opposition militias in Syria to steer clear of the Nusra Front, and will persuade Mideastern allies that may be arming the group to stop. But reaction to the blacklisting remains unclear, since many other militias respect the Nusra Front’s fighting abilities and have gained access to weapons caches by collaborating with them. [full story.]
What have we learned about the President's propensities?

  • He is willing to arm terrorist groups in the hope that they will destabilize or overthrow governments that don't align with his worldviews.
  • He will attempt to justify his actions with obfuscation and outright lies, such as the case with Benghazi, and the arming of the "opposition" in Syria in which it is "hoped" that designating a faction as terrorists will actually have any impact on who takes power when shipping weapons into a chaotic situation without the presence of American troops.
A total of 29 opposition groups, including fighting "brigades" and civilian committees, have signed a petition calling for mass demonstrations in support of Jabhat al-Nusra, an Islamist group which the White House believes is an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
  • He will bestow legitimacy upon avowed Islamists, such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and declare them the true democratic voice of the nation... even if its leader tried to declare himself a dictator extraordinaire and backed off due to extreme internal Egyptian opposition [However, Morsi is now attempting to use the army to suppress opposition in a second attempt to solidify his power.]

President Obama, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.  So, why are you actively supporting our newest enemies?  Your Middle East "strategy" is leading to increased danger of a general war in that area.

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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)