Thursday, November 30, 2006
Oh...you just new this was going to
happen... is this really news??? What would have been news is if the Rev. Jesse Jackson didn't call for a boycott.
Anyway everyone has put their two cents worth in on this except for yours truly it seems so here we go.
Do I think Michael Richards is a racist? I don't know... I don't know Michael Richards. I do know what he said was racist and completely inappropriate regardless of how stressed out or angry he was at some hecklers.
Those comments should never have been used, and I believe that educated people, no matter of what race they come from, do not use racial slurs in their vocabulary no matter how aggravated they get.
Of course all of this made me realize there really is no word that offends me the way racial slurs can offend some people. For one I don't get offended, I don't have the time to be offended. I have better things to do with myself than walk around offended.
Oh wait...Now that I think of it, there is one thing I guess you could call me that would make me grind my teeth...
Atlanta police went to a home on Neal Street in Atlanta last week to execute a search warrant. When they kicked the door in the only occupant of the home, an 88-year-old woman, started shooting. She hit all three police officers, one in the thigh, one in the arm and another in the shoulder. All police officers will be OK. The woman will not. She was shot and killed by the police.
I'm not blaming the cops here. Not at all. They had a valid search warrant, and they say they were at the right address. Shots were fired, three cops hit, and they returned fire. An 88-year-old woman who was so afraid of crime in her neighborhood that she had burglar bars on every door and window, is now dead.
The issue isn't whether or not the police should have returned fire. Of course they should have. They didn't know who was doing the shooting. They believed they were entering a house where drugs were being sold. On the other hand, Kathryn Johnson did the right thing also. Scared to death of living in that high-crime neighborhood, she had properly armed herself. She had heard of a recent rape of an elderly woman nearby. She was simply defending herself when she was killed.
Now we have an interesting twist. The informant is now saying that the police told him to lie, they told him to say that he had purchased drugs from the home. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think that the informant is now lying to cover his behind. The problem is that the police have been caught in a few inaccuracies themselves.
The police first told us that the police officers made the drug buy in the home earlier that day. Then that story was changed to it was a paid police informant who is a highly reliable police asset in the war on drugs in Atlanta. Then come to find out the informant has a rather lengthy arrest record. We were also told that police found narcotics in the home. Later we're told they only found a small amount of marijuana .. not considered to be narcotics.
So what the hell happened here? How did this all go so wrong?
Well, who knows for sure but if I had to guess I would say it went down like this: The informant, for whatever reason, wanted the old lady gone. So, he goes to the police and says I just bought x amount of narcotics in this house. The police are pretty sure of his story, but they know a judge may not give them a warrant because of the informants long arrest record. So the police go to the judge and claim that they bought the drugs earlier that day. The judge grants the warrant and you know the rest.
Like I said, I don’t blame the police officers that kicked in the door for this. The blame lies on the idiotic way we continue to fight the war on drugs in this country. We have all the studies we need; all of the comprehensive data is in. We can do a much more effective job of reducing drug use in this country if we'll just take a portion of the money we spend for law enforcement and spend it on treatment programs.
A Rand study showed that we can reduce illicit drug usage in this country a specific amount through treatment programs at about 10% of the cost of reducing drug usage by that same amount through criminalization and law enforcement. Study after study confirms this but the American people have the need to punish those who get involved with drugs rather than treat and help.
There's just something in the American psyche that demands that drug users be punished instead of treated and rehabilitated. We think they're stupid and weak for getting mixed up with those drugs in the first place. Perhaps they are, but stupid and weak can be fixed.
We could save billions of dollars a year in law enforcement and incarceration costs if we would wise up and stop this absurd war on drugs. Identify the users and offer them treatment. Crime rate goes down. Money is saved, and we get reduced usage and dependence on drugs. Which I thought was supposed to be the goal of the war on drugs anyways.
What I'm trying to get across here is as long as we insist on wasting billions of dollars treating drugs as a law enforcement problem we're going to continue to have tragedies like Kathryn Johnson's death in cities across the countrty.
You think this is just an isolated event? Think again. Police swat teams invade the wrong house more than you might think. Check out the next post.
Well, imagine this, a criminal informant for the police department has a major beef with you. He goes to the police and says that he bought narcotics off of you. The police obtain a "no knock warrant" for your arrest.
Then you are laying in bed when some one kicks in your door. You think you are being robbed and reach for a gun to defend yourself. You see the barrell of a long gun getting ready to come around the corner. You fire and shoot what you believe to be a burgler.
Turns out its the police, of course you didn't know because they are not in uniform. They in return shoot you dead. No drugs are found because you don't use or sell drugs.
Think it doesn't happen??? It happens a lot.
Here’s an interactive map of botched paramilitary police raids. The raid map is from the Cato Institute, a prominent Washington Libertarian think tank.
This map is quite interesting. It shows raids done by police that resulted in the death of innocent victims, police officers, incidents where police had the wrong house and more. Also with details of what happened.
These raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users.
Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night.
But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare.
If this map is an indication of rare I would hate to see excessive.
Here are some botched raids in North Carolina since 1990.
"Operation Ready-Rock."November 2, 1990—NC
Officers from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and 45 local police conduct "Operation Ready-Rock," essentially a massive paramilitary drug raid on entire street in one predominantly black Chapel Hill neighborhood.
Police armed with assault weapons and dressed in camouflage and black hoods kick down doors and enter homes unannounced. Police block off the area shortly before the raid begins, and allow white citizens to vacate the area.
The four-hour raid yields 13 arrests for minor drug offenses, but no one is ever formally charged. The remarkable warrant indicts an entire street of people, and even predicts the future, stating, "there are no 'innocent' people at this place. Only drug sellers and drug buyers are on the described premises."
A court would later find the warrant unconstitutional. In 1996, the participating jurisdictions would pay $200,000 to settle lawsuits associated with the raid.
Christian Parenti, "SWAT Nation," The Nation, May 31, 1999, p. 16.
"Lessons of Graham Street," staff editorial, Chapel Hill Herald, February 25, 1996, p. 4.
Joyce Clark, "Suit over drug raid settled for $200,000," Raleigh News and Observer, February 22, 1996, p. B1.
Jeffrey and Phyllis Hampton. May 10, 1995—NC
In May 1995, police in Concord, North Carolina mistakenly storm the home of Jeffrey and Phyllis Hampton. The Hamptons are relaxing at around 9:30 pm when police break down their door, come into the house with assault weapons, and order the couple to the floor. Police realize their mistake after about a half hour of interrogation.
"I feel like they've taken part of my life away," Phyllis Hampton would tell the Charlotte Observer. "I used to feel safe in my home. Now I don't feel safe anywhere."
It is the first of three botched raids in the town of Concord in four years.
Anna Griffin, "Drug raid at wrong house moves couple to file suit," Charlotte Observer, September 16, 1995, p. C1.
Priscilla Clark.December 15, 1998—NC
In December 1998, SWAT officers in Raleigh raid the home of Priscilla Clark, who is pregnant at the time.
Clark tells the Raleigh News and Observer her first thought was, "'Oh my God, someone's coming in here to kill me.' I looked out my bedroom door and saw this big gun coming down the hall and a man dressed in black."
Police lock Clark's two children in a bedroom while Clark attempts to explain to them they have the wrong house. Police eventually believe her, and apologize.
Craig Jarvis, "Drug raids usually hit mark, occasionally bomb," Raleigh News and Observer, July 7, 1998, p. B1.
Charles Irwin Potts.September 4, 1998—NC
On September 4, 1998, police in Charlotte, North Carolina deploy a flashbang grenade and carry out a no-knock warrant for cocaine distribution on a tip from an informant. By the end of the raid, police have put four bullets in 56-year-old Charles Irwin Potts, killing him.
Potts was not the target of the raid. He had visited the house to play cards. Police say Potts drew his gun (which he carried legally) and pointed it at them as they entered. The three men in the house who saw the raid disagree, and say the gun never left Potts' holster. Police found no cocaine, and made no arrests as a result of the raid.
The men inside the house at the time of the raid thought they were being invaded by criminals. "Only thing I heard was a big boom," said Robert Junior Hardin, the original target of the raid. "The lights went off and then they came back on . . . everybody reacted. We thought the house was being robbed."
Police were cleared of all wrongdoing for Potts' death.
Leigh Dyer, "Anatomy of a Deadly SWAT Raid," Charlotte Observer, September 9, 1998, p. C1.
Leigh Dyer, "SWAT Team Serves Risky Warrants, Often Uses Flashbang Devices," Charlotte Observer, September 9, 1998, p. 4C.
Gary L. Wright and Leigh Dyer, "No charges in 2 police killings," Charlotte Observer, November 4, 1998, p. C1.
Earl Richardson.June 1, 1998—NC
In June of 1998, police in Raleigh, North Carolina raid the home of 66-year-old Earl Richardson, punching a hole in his front door and ripping out its interior frame. An officer clad in black points a rifle at Richardson and orders him to the floor while police rummage through his belongings.
Police had intended to raid an unmarked apartment to the rear of Richardson's home after a tip from an informant, and after finding marijuana residue in the trash. Police insist they knocked and announced before entering, which Richards denies. "That's an outright lie," Richardson told the local paper. "I would have heard them. The window of the room I was in is right next to the front door. The only thing I heard was the crash."
After an apology from Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer days later, Richardson added, "I don't have anything against the city. I'm just glad I didn't get shot."
Anne Saker, "Police raid the wrong home," Raleigh News and Observer, June 5, 1998, p. A1.
Craig Jarvis, "Drug raids usually hit mark, occasionally bomb," Raleigh News and Observer, July 7, 1998, p. B1.
The Mackin-Howie Family.May 22, 1998—NC
Police in Concord, North Carolina raid the home of Leonard Mackin, Charlene Howie, and their four children. Officers burst in with guns drawn and order the family to the floor. After repeated pleas by Mackin to police that they had the wrong house, Detective Larry Welch recognizes Mackin as a co-worker with the city and asks, "Leonard, is that you?"
A confidential informant had given police the wrong address.
It is the second of three botched raids in Concord in four years.
Kerry Prichard, "Concord Family Sues Over Search By Police," Charlotte Observer, May 25, 1999, p. C3.
Catherine Capps and James Cates.May 6, 1999—NC
In May of 1999, police in Durham, North Carolina storm the home of 73-year-old Catherine Capps. Also in the house at the time was Capps' friend, 71-year-old James Cates.
Police say they obtained a warrant for the home after a confidential informant claims to have bought crack cocaine from the residence. According to her family, Capps -- the only resident in the house -- had poor vision, was deaf, and "could not even cook an egg without being extremely out of breath."
When police raid the home, they order Cates to stand. Hobbled by a war wound and frightened, Cates stumbles at the order, and falls into a police officer. Sgt. L.C. Smith apparently mistakes Cates' stumble as a lunge for the officer's pistol. Smith responds by punching the elderly man twice in the face.
Cates isn't permitted to use the bathroom during the search, causing him to urinate on himself. Both Cates and Capps are also strip-searched. No drugs are found in the home or on Capps' or Cates' person.
Capps later died from health maladies her family says she incurred during the raid. Police continued to insist they had the correct residence. The only reason Capps was never charged with selling crack cocaine to the informant was that, according to prosecutors, trying her would have required them to release the informant's name.
Subsequent investigations conducted by the Durham Police Department, the FBI, and the local district attorney found no wrongdoing on the part of police.
About six months prior to the Capps-Cates raid, the city of Durham had set up a citizens' review board, in part due to community complaints about other allegations of excessive force on the part of police. But like similar review boards in other parts of the country, proceedings were often conducted in secret, complainants weren't given access to witnesses or evidence, and laws regarding search warrants kept vital information sealed.
When Capps' family attempted to file a complaint with the review board, the board instituted a new rule denying a hearing to any complainant who had sought financial compensation from the city prior to the complaint, and applied the rule retroactively.
Though neither Capps nor her family had asked for any compensation, Cates had, which the review board said was justification for them to refuse to even listen to a complaint about the raid. After complaints from local activist groups, the board relented.
John Sullivan, "Durham man, 71, files lawsuit over drug raid," Raleigh News and Observer, May 9, 2000, p. B4.
Dan Kane, "Council committee hears critics of disputed police raid," Raleigh News and Observer, November 5, 1999, p. B4.
Jen Gomez, "Internal inquiry exonerates officers in drug raid," Raleigh News and Observer, August 14, 1999, p. B7.
John Sullivan, "Durham DA absolves police," Raleigh News and Observer, July 27, 1999, p. B1.
Kimberly Marselas, "Watchdog watchers see problems; Some disturbed by slow pace, record of citizens board that monitors police," Durham Herald-Sun, July 16, 2000, p. B1.
Thomas Edwards, Jr.April 13, 1999—NC
In 1999, police in Concord, North Carolina shoot 15-year-old Thomas Edwards, Jr. during a drug raid. Edwards is on his hands and knees, per police orders, when he's shot.
Edwards and five other children, all aged 13-17, are at the house playing video games when police conduct the raid. Edwards is shot below the hip by Officer Lennie Rivera when, according to an internal police investigation, "a sudden movement jolted his gun, causing him to tighten his grip on it and pull the trigger."
Police find a small amount of marijuana and cocaine at the home.
Police Chief Robert E. Cansler said his officers had done surveillance on the home an hour or two prior to the raid and that "At that time there were no indications of a group of children present."
Officer Rivera was found to have improperly held his finger on the gun's trigger, and was assigned to more training with the Heckler and Koch weapon. It's the third of three botched raids in four years in the small town of Concord.
Emily Bliss, "Police note officer's mistake in shooting," Charlotte Observer, June 30, 1999, p. C6.
Dep. Steven Lanier.October 5, 2002—NC
On October 5, 2002, a sherif's department SWAT team in Brunswick County, North Carolina raids the home of 25-year-old Paul Pelham and his roommate, Atari Thomas. The raid commences after police say an informant sold Pelham an ounce of crack cocaine two days ealier.
The police, dressed in camouflage, forcibly enter the home. They say they announced themselves, though neighbors would testify for Mr. Pelham at trial that they heard no announcement.
Pelham is awoken late at night to the sound of flashbang grenades, reaches for his gun, and shoots at what he says he thought were intruders.
Pelham shoots and wounds Dep. Steven Lanier. One bullet hits the officer in the back, another hits him in the hand. Other officers then open fire on Pelham, shooting him 17 times. Pelham says he didn't know the raiding officers were police until after he was shot.
Pelham is eventually charged and convicted of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflicting serious injury, three counts of assault with a firearm, and drug charges. He is acquitted of first-degree attempted murder and the charge of selling crack to an informant, the charge that brought the raid.
Pelham is sentenced to 19 to 26 years in prison.
Deputy Lanier suffers permanent disability from his injury, and can no longer serve on the SWAT team.
Millard K. Ives, "Jury Finds Winnabow Man Guilty in Assault on Officer," Wilmington Morning Star, October 30, 2002.
State of North Carolina v. Pellham, No. COA03-636, Filed: 4 May 2004.
Charles Alford.February 27, 2002—NC
On February 27, 2002, police raid the home of 77-year-old Willie Alford on a narcotics warrant issued for his daughter and two grandchildren.
Police from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, the Cumberland County, North Carolina Sheriff's Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation broke into that home at 8 pm and, according to Alford, "came in shooting." Two children, ages eight and 13 were also present in the home.
Alford's son Charles, a truck driver visiting from out of town who wasn't a suspect, was shot in the arm, legs, and side. Police found no weapons in the home. Two suspects named in the warrant were arrested at the site of the raid, and one was arrested the following day.
Christina DeNardo, "Vander Gunfire Probe Under Wraps," Fayetteville Observer, April 13, 2003.
The Cheek Road Raids.February 15, 2002—NC
In February 2002, 100 Durham police officers, two National Guard helicopters and 10 State Bureau of Investigation agents seize an entire neighborhood, then embark on a series of forced-entry raids. The exercise is dubbed "Operation TIPS," short for "The Aggressive Police Strategy."
Police arrest 35 people and sieze an "undisclosed" amount of drugs. They also find two pistols. Residence say police were "brutal" in the raids, including one incident of attacking a 13-year-old boy and holding a gun to his head.
A judge would later throw out all the arrests and evidence, delcaring the entire operation to be unconstitutional and "partially illegal." Superior Court Judge Orlando H. Hudson concluded that some of the officer behavior amounted to "criminal conduct."
A police attorney who viewed a videotape of the raid disagreed, finding that the officer involved concucted themselves in a "very fine and upstanding manner."
John Stevenson, "All Cheek Road Drug Raid Charges Dropped," Durham Herald-Sun, July 13, 2002.
Tomika Smith.July 2, 2004—NC
Police toss a flash grenade into a home as part of a no-knock raid in July 2002. The grenade lands on a couch where Tomika Smith is sitting, ignites the couch, and leaves Smith with severe burns.
Smith was on a date at the time, and not suspected of any crime. She won a $10,000 settlement in 2004.
"Cumberland County Pays Burned Woman $10,000," Fayetteville Observer, October 1, 2004.
Of course, you know there has to be a government agency that deals with this problem. I mean if we can have a government agency that deals with the standardization of the threads of screws and nuts, there must be one that deals with birth control.
This responsibility falls under the Department of Health and Human Services and the person in charge is someone with the title of the deputy assistant secretary of population affairs. This is no joke…this position really exists! And you thought they just made up titles and positions at your job.
Anyways, this deputy assistant secretary of population affairs oversees the Title X family-planning program. His job is to provide birth control information to the general public. He's also responsible for providing information on such matters as HIV and other STDs. Over 4000 clinics around the country are funded by this program.
So who is the deputy assistant secretary of population affairs? Well, it turns out that President Bush has just appointed a new one. He's an OB-GYN doctor from Massachusetts. So he should know all about birth control, right? Well, not exactly. Dr. Eric Keroack doesn't believe in birth control ... of any kind…
Here are some of the publicly stated opinions of our newly appointed deputy assistant secretary of population affairs:
1. Condoms offer no real protection from herpes or HIV.
2. Fifteen out of 100 people who have sex (outside of marriage, I presume) will get AIDS.
3. The use of birth control is demeaning to women and degrading of human sexuality.
4. A woman who has an abortion will be eight times more likely to get breast cancer before she's 45.
5. If you have premarital sex you won't be able to bond with your wife or husband and your marriage will most likely fail.
Wow!!! Almost all of those statements can be proven false … However, our President, George W Bush, has made this guy the nation's go-to bureaucrat for family planning! What the hell is Bush thinking?
Oh, that’s right… I must have forgotten. The Republicans just got kicked in the head in the midterm election and Bush thinks it's because they abandoned their core conservative values. He would be right, but to some of us core conservative values mean less government, lower taxes, less spending, more individual responsibility and defending our nation. Bush must somehow think that these core conservative values mean pandering to the so-called "religious right."
“Amazing Grace” is not the answer here.
Now, I am not trying to say that abstinence is the wrong answer. It is the only answer that I know of to be 100% effective, but it is not the only answer. If abstinence works for you then that’s great, but anyone who thinks for a moment that this country is going to accept abstinence as the preferred form of birth control is completely out of touch with the American people. Someone's been listening to Dr. James Dobson a little too long.
If you folks don't know who Dr. Dobson is then I just proved my point.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Well, I got just a few things to blog about this morning and then I am hitting the road. It's back to the farm/ranch in Illinois for Thanksgiving. I am going to do some hunting with dad and enjoy some of mom's good cooking.
I am going to take some extra days off from the blogoshere as well. I should be back sometime next week.
"You know, education--if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
Well, now we have Charlie Rangel, who is trying to bring back the draft because he claims there are a lack of upper middle class and rich people in the military fighting in Iraq.
“I’m saying if you are going to go to war don’t just let the poor that come from these communities of high unemployment be in harms way”
Thank God for John Kerry and Charlie Rangel. Why I had no idea that I was uneducated and poor until now… Now, I know why I am stuck in Iraq, and fighting the rich mans war!!!
It can’t have anything to do with our country being attacked on 9-11 why I am here… No, no… I left my civilian job, took a huge pay cut, and enlisted after 9-11 because I was uneducated and poor. Who knew???
Sen Obama: I'm not saying to retreat and lose, I'm saying to just retreat and let the terrorist have Iraq...
The Democrat Sen. from Illinois who may have presidential aspirations for 2008 has now weighed in with what he thinks should be done with Iraq.
Speaking to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Obama said there should be a "phased redeployment (surrender and retreat) of U.S. troops from Iraq on a timetable that would begin in four to six months."
"I'm not suggesting that this timetable be overly rigid," he added, but said President George W. Bush should announce as policy a "gradual and substantial" withdrawal (again surrender and retreat).
To completely translate what Obama is saying: I'm not saying we should lose "rigidly" in Iraq, I'm saying we should just cut and run and let the terrorist have it.
So there you have, Obama is nothing more than another "cut and run" democrat.
I don't understand a "gradual redeployment plan" why not just pull out all at once? The result would be the same.
Another thing for all you democrats who voted for the war, but are now against the war and want to redeploy, gradually redeploy, cut and run, surrender and retreat, whatever you want to call it... If you were going to just give up and quit when the going gets tough then why did you vote to send me to Iraq in the first place!!! Why did you put my friends and my life on the line and let some of my good friends die, if you were not going to see the mission through.
Anything short of completing the mission in Iraq is a slap in my face as far as I am concerned. Thanks for waisting almost a whole year of my life in Iraq for nothing you democRat bastards!!!
Now, I know Obama has always been against the war, and for that I can respect his desicion more. I definately do not agree with it but can respect it...
So…Let’s see if I got this straight. Iran is a grave threat.. Iraq was not a grave threat and should not have been invaded.
Hmmmm…. Well lets take a look at the Iraq threat at the time of the invasion and the Iran threat now.
Nuclear capabilities. Iraq was developing nuclear capabilities long before Iran was. Thankfully, Israel set them back a couple years with an air raid..
Nuclear weapons. Iran says they aren't developing these weapons. We now know that Iraq was.
Use of WMDs. Iraq has used them before. There is no evidence that Iran has ever used WMDs.
Invading sovereign nations. Iraq has invaded sovereign nations. Iran has not.
Insane Fanatic Islamic Leaders that want to kill the US and Israel. Well Iran and Iraq can both claim this great achievement.
Yes, Iran was such a bigger threat than Iraq.
Isn’t it just a bit odd that right after the Democrats take control of the Congress all of a sudden we are hearing so much about how much of a threat to peace Iran presents.
Oh.. Don’t get me twisted now. I agree!!! Full heartedly, Iran must be dealt with, and have been blogging about the Iran threat right here for quite a while now ... but when you look at both Iraq and Iran, can't it be said that Iraq needed to be dealt with also? I think so.
I have just one question to the main stream media and the democrats. What was our big mistake in Iraq? Was it removing Saddam Hussein, or trying to provide the people of Iraq a democratically elected government that would protect their freedoms instead of murdering them?
The History Of The Middle Finger
Well, now......here's something I never knew, and now that I know it, I feel obligated to share it with my more intelligent friends in the hope that they, too, will spread the message and make us more knowledgeable. Isn't history more fun when you know something about it?
Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as "plucking the yew" (or "pluck yew") .
Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck yew!
Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute!
It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as "giving the bird."
IT IS STILL AN APPROPRIATE SALUTE TO THE FRENCH TODAY!
And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing!!!!!
Monday, November 20, 2006
Here we go…the winners in this year's midterm elections are:
The focal point of the global war against Islamic terrorism is Iraq. Hey, don’t take my word for it, Osama Bin Ladin said that not me. Oh my, Osama and I can agree on something!!!
The jihadists have been and keep sending their fighters to Iraq to fight American and coalition troops. They see America continuously growing week and losing the will to fight them. What was once American resolve is now American weakness. The people have listened to both the republicans and democrats-- one group that wanted to finish the job, another that didn't -- and gave the nod to the quitters. Today America is weaker in the eyes of those who would destroy us. Sad, sad day in America, definitely not a day for celebration.
A huge percentage of the people who went to the polls on Tuesday went there to vote for and to continue their career of living off the government through government handouts. They feel that the purpose of government is to make sure that the basic necessities of their lives are paid for. While they will never advance farther than the mail box to collect there government checks, at least they don’t have to fight the rush hour traffic.
Now that the republicans have been kicked out of the majority in the House of Representatives, the president and the Senate will have no problem passing their plan for amnesty for the 20 million plus illegal aliens that have invaded our country. Oh .. and you can forget about border tightening border security.
Those who want a weaker America
A poll earlier this year said that 58% of Europeans wanted a weaker America. Well, they got their wish. I just wonder, if not America, who is going to be there to bail them out when they finally wake up and realize the great strides that have been made in the Islamification of Europe? You can get use to saying Eurabia.
The first casualty in the weakening of America will take place when the Democrats get rid of John Bolton as the Ambassador to the United Nations. They'll replace him with someone who will not stand up to UN corruption and the forces who want to weaken us.
The Libertarian Party
This is more of a potential winner than actual winner. This election clearly showed that a lot of conservatives and libertarians in this country are completely fed up with the Republican Party. If ever there was a time for the emergence of a third party to rise that would embrace true conservative and libertarian values -- now is the time. The Libertarian Party could be just that party.
The leftist media.
Ninety percent of these folks vote Democrat. They engaged in a six-year campaign of destroying President George W. Bush and it worked. They must be so proud.
Here we go…Get ready for two years of investigations, subpoenas, hearings...you name it. Everything will be investigated, and then investigated again. But the Republicans have no one to blame, they did it to themselves...every last bit of it.
Who is Scott Burns you ask? Well, he is one of the five most widely read personal finance writers in the country. He co-authored "The Coming Generational Storm" that was published in 2004. Which is a great book and I highly recommend that you read it if you care anything about your future financial situation. (You can thank me later for the plug Scott) But seriously, this book was endorsed by 5 Nobel laureates and listed as one of the top 25 books of 2004.
Here's the column. Burns is responding to a letter from one of his readers. Please note that at the end of his column Scott Burns is asking for you to vote for or against the Fair Tax.
Oct. 18, 2006, 10:06PM
ADVICE: PERSONAL FINANCE
Single flat sales tax is fair, and it solves some problems
By SCOTT BURNSUniversal Press Syndicate
C.C. in Houston writes to say there is nothing fair about the Fair Tax plan for a single flat sales tax. He quotes a letter from another concerned citizen to the editor of the Houston Chronicle.
"The so-called Fair Tax scheme is a blatant attempt by the wealthy to reduce their tax payments. I call it the 'unfair tax,' as it will tax consumption rather than income. Those in the lower- to middle-income brackets usually spend most all of their income on necessities and can't save. They would be taxed on practically 100 percent of their income. Retirees, whose income may require them to pay no taxes, would end up paying taxes on all of the money they spend, which would greatly reduce their purchasing power.
'What's fair about that?'
"On the other hand, those who make more than they spend, and indeed those whose incomes greatly exceed their expenditures, would pay taxes on significantly less of their incomes, proportionally. What's fair about that? In fact it is a total reversal of the graduated tax system that we now have where we pay taxes based on our ability to pay. Our current system is certainly flawed and needs major overhauling, but it is still the fairest method of taxation.
"Let's fix the system we have rather than shifting the tax burden to lower-income Americans."
I've heard this argument before. It doesn't hold water. I believe that junking the current tax system — in its entirety — would create a modestly graduated tax system with a very broad base, consumption. By replacing both the income tax and the employment tax (among others) with a single sales tax, we would accomplish these good things:
· Eliminate the fastest-growing and most regressive tax in our lifetime, the employment tax.
· Massively broaden the tax base from only some income to all consumption.
· Eliminate the corporate income tax and the entrenched corrupting lobbies that it has engendered.
· Make visible, for the first time, the size of our collective tax burden.
· Save the incredible amount of time and money wasted on tax planning and scheming.
· Create a path for dealing with the unfunded liabilities of Social Security by increasing the tax base that supports it.
· End the biannual festival of finger-pointing and envy that has become the hallmark of every election cycle.
· Remove the embedded expense wedge that reduces the competitive position of American-made goods.
The Fair Tax proposal calls for giving all households a "pre-bate" of what they would pay in sales taxes for the necessities of life. The pre-bate would be paid to households monthly, eliminating the burden of taxes on our poorest families. Because of the pre-bate, the new tax would amount to a graduated tax.
The argument that poor people save little and rich people save much is a red herring because it ignores two realities.
First, the only benefit from having money is what we can consume with it. If you earn money that is not spent, you are deriving no immediate benefit from the money and shouldn't pay taxes on it. As long as the money not spent is used in our economy, it is providing benefits to everyone in the form of new investment, new jobs and working capital.
Second, many people who are rich or well-off spend more than their income on consumption because they are spending a portion of their capital. Some of that capital would not be taxed at all in the current system. The portion that was capital gain would be taxed at only 15 percent. With the Fair Tax, the very rich would pay taxes on all consumption. This includes mega yachts, wine cellars, and much other consumption that is taxed lightly or not at all. Instead, they would pay at the higher sales tax rate.
Right now our entire tax system is stacked against the young. The burden is getting worse, not better. It is possible that some older people would pay more in taxes than they do under the current system. That would only happen, however, if they had significant assets that they spent on consumption.
In that case, the sales tax would be highly progressive. It would tax those with assets that were used for consumption. It would not tax those who had no assets to use for consumption.
The only people who should fear the Fair Tax are the politicians, of both parties, who would lose their tools for extortion.
Most public polls show that more than 50 percent of the voting public — left, right and middle — favor a radical reform of our tax system.
So let's take a poll. Send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Put "Keep it the way it is" in the subject line if you like our current tax system.
Put "Go for the Fair Tax" if you'd like to see broad reform.
I'll report the results in a future column.
ON THE WEB
The Fair Tax Web site
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Under Iraqi law, Saddam will be granted an appeal process. A 9-judge panel will review his case to see if he has any grounds for an appeal. Since he doesn't, he'll be promptly hanged, that's the process. A trial, a speedy appeal and then he'll be off to his eternal desert sand nap.
How do we get that system in this country? From start to finish....from verdict to hanging ... all in less than 90 days.
Yet in this country, some people wait on death row for 20, sometimes 25 years before they're executed. Then we go through this lengthy process of lethal injection with witnesses and all that nonsense. Looks like we could learn something from the Iraqis here.
The only question left then I guess is whether or not Saddam's execution will be televised. Perhaps on pay per view.
I think they should put it on pay per view and take all the proceeds and use it to help pay for the war. I would pay $100.00 to watch the butcher of Baghdad dangle from a rope.
C’mon…you know you would too, or am I the only sick twisted freak.
"The Al Qaeda army has 12,000 fighters in Iraq, and they have vowed to die for God's sake" said Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, in the audio tape on militant web sites.
Also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, al-Muhajir became the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed by the U.S. military in June.
The tape also describes George W. Bush as "the most stupid president" in U.S. history, the Al Qaeda leader reached out to the Muslim world and said his group was winning faster than expected in Iraq. Gee that sounds familiar...like I have heard that before. That’s right democrats.
The U.S. president's policy had enabled the militant group to achieve their goal of fighting more Americans, said the Al Qaeda leader.
"We call the lame duck (Bush) not to hurry up in escaping the same way the defense minister did," he said, referring to the removal of Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary following the Democrats' victory in Midterm elections.
"They are getting ready to leave, because they are no longer capable of staying," the Al Qaeda leader said."Remain steadfast in the battlefield you coward," he called on the U.S president.
Story And Video Here
Iran, Syria Relieved That Democrats Won
Al-Queda Gloats Over "Lame Duck" Bush
Al-Queda claims, winning war
VOWS TO BLOW UP WHITE HOUSE
Khamenei calls US elections a victory for Iran...
Internet audio clip boasts of 12,000 terror 'troops' in Iraq...
Al Qaeda: We'll Never Rest Until White House Destroyed
So, naturally they screamed the headline: "Bush Accepts Iraq-Vietnam Comparison.” Holy Quagmires Batman!!! Bush has admitted Iraq is like Vietnam! We're surely doomed for good now.
Hold on a second…there was more to what the President said.
“My gut tells me that they have all along been trying to inflict enough damage that we'd leave," Bush said. "And the leaders of al Qaeda have made that very clear. Look, here's how I view it. First of all, al Qaeda is still very active in Iraq. They are dangerous. They are lethal. They are trying to not only kill American troops, but they're trying to foment sectarian violence. They believe that if they can create enough chaos, the American people will grow sick and tired of the Iraqi effort and will cause our government to withdraw."
So basically all we have here is Bush agreed to a comparison of the Tet Offensive to the insurgency, and that's where the comparison ends. By the way, did you know that the Tet Offensive was successful and the United States won? It was only after the anti-war mainstream media stepped in was it called a defeat. Just a small detail.
Read my column from the archives Will Iraq be my generations Vietnam.
At any rate, other than how the news media has been able to sway public opinion on Iraq and turn them against the war, Iraq is nothing like Vietnam. Never was, never will be.
In fact from a military stand point Iraq and Vietnam couldn't be more different. For starters we defeated the Iraqi Army and Saddam Hussein. Now we're trying to go the extra step of helping Iraqis form a representative government. The only problem at the moment is keeping the peace...and trying to kill as many terrorists as possible. Nothing like the situation in Vietnam was. In Vietnam we never overthrew the communist regime.
Then when you compare both the length of the war and the casualties, once again there are no similarities. We've been in Iraq not even 4 years, while we were in Vietnam for 20 years.** The casualty rate in Iraq, while too high, isn't a tenth of what we lost in Vietnam. (58,148)
Of course none of this matters. All that matters is now the Bush-hating media will be pushing its Vietnam-Iraq template hard and heavy especially now the democrats are in the majority.
**Officially the war lasted 11 years, however the first troops were sent as advisers to train the South Vietnamese in 1955 and the first American Soldier was killed July 8, 1959. The last American Soldier was killed in Vietnam on April 29, 1975 the same day the official U.S. presence ended as the last Americans were rescued by helicopter from the roof top of the US Embassy.
Whoops, I guess Faith Hill thought she should have won. [video]
Thursday, November 16, 2006
A lot has happened since I left for Fort Polk, La. for training last month.
The democrats took over the House as I predicted but also took over the Senate that I said was up for grabs. I will explain why the republicans lost, and what the party must do if they ever want to be in power again. You may be surprised by my answer, because it goes against what a lot of other so called experts are saying.
My Two Cents Worth has been nominated in the categories for Best Blog, Best Individual Blog, Best Conservative Blog and Best Media Blog.
Voting will be open to the public so all of you who visit this blog will get a chance to vote. I will let you know when that will be.
Win or lose this is a great honor for me and I would like to send out a special thanks to all my fans and every one who has supported My Two Cents Worth over the years. This has only been made possible because of all of you.
Also would like to thank Wizbang for the recognition, the oppurtunity to get my message out and hosting the Weblog Awards for the 4th year in a row.
The voters gave the Republicans their pink slips and a well-earned kick in the head in the mid term election. The Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives by an overwhelming margin. They needed 15 seats to gain control. They won well over 20. They have also captured the Senate by one seat.
However that is really not what makes this so interesting. What makes this so interesting is this country is in the middle of incredible economic growth, unemployment is around 4.3 – 4.6%, (better than it ever was under Clinton) the Dow Jones is above 12,000 (an all time high) and we are at war with Islamic terrorists who are determined to destroy our way of life! This should have been smooth sailing for the Republican Party, but the voters sent them packing.
The republicans worked very hard for this defeat and earned every lost seat. The republican majority that the voters fired at the ballot box share little resemblance to the republican majority that was elected to power 12 years ago on a “contract with America”. In that contract the American people were promised less government. Over the next 12 years the Republicans more than doubled the size of the government. We were promised control over runaway spending. In the last six years discretionary spending has also doubled. We were promised fiscal responsibility, instead we got a bridge to nowhere in Alaska. We were promised the elimination of the Department of Education because under this federal agency educational achievement had been on a steady decline. Since then the Republicans doubled funding for the Department of Education. In the meanwhile America continues to fail on the international scorecard of educational achievement.
The Republicans, in full control of the legislative and executive branches of the government, couldn't even protect our borders from a Mexican invasion. How many Hispanics invaded our country across the Mexican / American border in the last 12 years? Who knows for sure but the number is well over 12 million some estimate as high as 20 million. Funny, but I don't remember having to press 1 for English 12 years ago.
Then we learn that President George W. Bush worked so hard on the campaign trail to try and save the Republican Party in the midterm election.
If Bush wanted to save this republican majority he should have started working a long time ago on the project. Here are just a few of the things he could have done ....
After declaring that the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act was probably unconstitutional, he could have gone ahead and vetoed it instead of signing it!
While we are on the vetoes, how about a few vetoes of some of the Republican's spending bills? In fact, how about vetoing anything at all. In six years President Bush has used his veto pin only once…and that was on stem cell research.
Bush could have recognized that decisions affecting the education of our children are best made at the local level, where people have more contact with and sway over elected officials, than at the federal level. He should have recognized this, but he didn't. Instead, he got together with Ted Kennedy to federalize education. Now local school boards and officials have little to do but implement decisions made at the federal level.
He could have done something about the Mexican invasion. Isn't protecting our borders from an invasion one of the primary responsibilities of the Presidency? You don't have to come across the border armed, dangerous, and shooting for it to be an invasion. It should have been stopped. He didn't do it.
Democrats did not win because they had a better message or a better plan for America. Democrats won because the conservative base did not vote. They did not vote because they don't have a conservative, small-government party to vote for.
I can honestly say that I was neither surprised nor disappointed when I heard that the republicans had lost the House and the Senate. This may be the best possible outcome for the future of our Republic.
If the Republicans had maintained their power we would have faced two more years of business as usual. Two more years of spending and government growth. Now we have two years of Republicans figuring out what went wrong. Two years to second guess their free- spending, big government agenda. Two years to wonder what would have happened if they had adopted a national agenda as they did in 1994, rather than insisting on their concentration on local issues.
Let's face it, The only thing the republicans have going for them right now and have had going for them is they are not democrat. It is not going to be enough to get conservatives to the polls. It's time to regroup and put the conservatism back in the republican.