The Cost Of Doing A Good Deed

On Saturday the Kansas City Star posted an article about William Marotta, who is being sued for child support because he answered and ad on Craigslist placed by a lesbian couple looking for a sperm donor.

This is the story:

Marotta (the donor), Bauer and Schreiner (the lesbian couple) signed an agreement saying Marotta would be paid $50 per semen donation, with the arrangement including a clear understanding that he would have no parental rights whatsoever with the child or children.

The agreement also called for Bauer and Schreiner to hold Marotta harmless “for any child support payments demanded of him by any other person or entity, public or private, including any district attorney’s office or other state or county agency, regardless of the circumstances or said demand.”

Marotta’s attorney, Hannah Schroller, said her client consulted with his wife and decided to donate free rather than take the $50. In the years since Schreiner gave birth to a daughter through artificial insemination, Marotta received periodic email updates on the child but hasn’t had much contact with the couple, Schroller said.

On Oct. 3, attorney Mark McMillan filed a petition on behalf of the Department of Children and Families seeking a ruling that Marotta is the father of Schreiner’s child and owes a duty to support her. It said the department provided cash assistance totaling $189 for the girl for July through September 2012 and had paid medical expenses totaling nearly $6,000.

In 2007 the Kansas Supreme Court ruled:

The Kansas Supreme Court today upheld legislation governing artificial insemination, ruling that a known sperm donor does not acquire parental rights unless there is a written agreement with a child’s mother.

The decision affirming the statute’s constitutionality was the first of its kind in the nation, arising out of consolidated actions filed by a mother of twins conceived through artificial insemination and by the known sperm donor for the procedure.

The mother and donor disagreed on whether they had entered into an oral agreement giving rise to parental rights for the donor. They also disagreed on whether certain documents constituted a written agreement.

What a mess. It will be interesting to see how this case is decided.

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The Problem With The Internet (If You Are A Politician) Is That Everything You Have Said Or Done In The Past Is Easily Accessed

National Review Online posted an article today about some inconvenient history that seems to have been overlooked in the current debate about gun control. NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre was denounced, ridiculed, and called all sorts of names for suggesting that we put policemen in our schools. Although his statement, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” makes sense, he was ridiculed for stating the obvious.

Oddly enough, President Clinton did put policemen in our schools as a response to the April 1999 shooting at Columbine High School.

The article lists some of the supporters of President Clinton’s program to put guns in the school:

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district was one of the first to receive funding through the program: $3.25 million for 26 new police officers, to be exact. As a whole, California, also home of Dianne Feinstein, received $5.6 million in grants from the COPS in Schools program in 1999 alone.

Touting the grants set to be distributed to several New York state school districts in 2004, Senator Chuck Schumer acknowledged that “we live in a different world now than we did 20, 30, or even three years ago” and said that the new realities are forcing parents to think constantly about the safety of their children. “Getting more police officers on school grounds will go a long way toward making sure our kids stay out of harm’s way,” he said. Schumer assailed the Bush administration’s 2005 budget for doing away with the COPS in Schools program and, in doing so, attested to its efficacy. “Thanks to COPS, people feel safer with their children on the streets today,” he said in a press release in May 2004. “But now the Administration has proposed ending the program and taking away funding to hire thousands of police officers just when they are needed most. Why the Administration would want to rip a hole in that sense of security by slashing COPS funding is beyond me.”

It’s amazing to me that the history of guns in our schools is being overlooked in the current effort to take guns away from private citizens.

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If You Tell A Lie Often Enough People Begin To Believe It

CNS News posted a story yesterday about a comment President Obama made on NBCs “Meet the Press” on Sunday. President Obama stated, “Well, I have to tell you, David, if you look at my track record over the last two years, I cut spending by over a trillion dollars in 2011. I campaigned on the promise of being willing to reduce the deficit in a serious way, in a balanced approach of spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy while keeping middle class taxes low.”

That statement sounds really good, but what are the facts?

The article states:

According to the White House Office of Management and Budget, federal spending was not cut by $1 trillion in 2011. In fact, in fiscal 2010, federal spending was $3,456,213,000,000. In fiscal 2011, federal spending was $3,603,213,000,000. That was an increase of $147 billion.

While President Obama did not cut federal spending by $1 trillion in 2011, he did increase the debt by more than $1 trillion in that fiscal year. In fiscal 2011, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget, the federal deficit was $1,299,595,000,000. That was up from a deficit of $1,293,489,000,000 in fiscal 2010.

The White House website also repeats the claims of the President, but when you begin to read, you discover that the cuts are over a period of ten years. There are also claims that Obamacare will reduce spending. The only reason Obamacare has not already collapsed under its own weight is that the taxes it increases are collected for years before the benefits take effect.

The thing to keep in mind here is that what is called a spending cut in Washington would be called a spending increase anywhere else. Because of the concept of baseline budgeting, any time a government department does not receive additional money, that department’s budget is considered cut. Until Americans begin to understand that, we are doomed to ever-increasing federal budgets and ever-increasing federal debt.

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A Concise, Honest Statement About The Fiscal Cliff

Yesterday Real Clear Politics posted a video and transcript of a statement made by Senator Tom Coburn on Face the Nation.

This is the statement:

SEN. TOM COBURN (R-OKLAHOMA): The characterization is no matter where we raise taxes, what’s going to happen wit the money? We’re going to grow the government with it. We’re not going to reduce the deficit, because we refused to solve the bigger problems like saving Medicare, insuring Social Security Disability (SSI). We’re not going to use that money to do anything except continue to grow the government.

So, the characterization is that we’re wanting to protect — what we’re wanting to do is to make sure we have a dynamic economy. And I have no problems, I’ve been out there for a long time with saying those who are making more ought to contribute more, but where does that money go? And what do you do with the money? Do you do something with the money that will actually get us further down the road and fix our ultimate long-term problem, which is we’re bankrupt? And we went off the cliff two years ago when we covered 90% of our debt-to-GDP? And by the way, if you actually look at it the way every other country [does], our debt-to-GDP right now is 120%. Not 90%, not 100%, it’s 120%.

So, if you look at that, what’s ultimately going to happen — one last fact, the average Greek citizen‘s debt, for their country, is $36,000; we’re at $51,000 per person in this country. We’re becoming Greece, and we have a government where we’re willing to pay the taxes for 65% of the cost of it. We need to change that. We need both, we need to do both.

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Banning Something That May Not Be The Problem

Today’s New York Post posted an article about a disagreement between two scientists over the dangers of salt.

The article reports:

“We cannot extrapolate that lowering sodium consumption would reduce cardiovascular risk or premature death,” declared Dr. Sean C. Lucan of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in this month’s American Journal of Public Health.

Meanwhile, New York City declared war on salt in 2010.

The article reports:

The city launched its salt plan in 2010, with the goal of a 25 percent reduction of salt in packaged foods and restaurants by 2014.

Dr. Lucan has called the war on salt misguided and potentially dangerous. Dr. Lucan points out that as salt is removed from foods, it will be replaced by other things which may be less healthy.

The article reports:

Lowering salt, Lucan notes in his article, “may also decrease insulin sensitivity, alter lipids, and stimulate a variety of neurohormonal pathways detrimental to the cardiovascular system.”

Sodium is simply a marker of unhealthy food, Lucan said, adding that the real target should be refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods — and the city’s war on that front also falls short.

“Refined carbohydrates are a greater enemy,” he warned in the journal. “If sugar-sweetened beverages are a public-health problem, then why aren’t sugar-laden cookies?”

Good grief! Why can’t we all just be free to eat what we want and suffer the consequences?

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It’s The Spending–Not The Taxes

On Friday Representative Darrell Issa posted an editorial in the Washington Times about the current fiscal cliff debate in Washington.

He begins the article with some recent history on American tax policy:

Twenty-six years ago, President Reagan implemented significant tax reforms that lowered the individual income tax rate, limited deductions and brought equality to tax rates across all levels. Before that reform, there had been 15 different marginal tax rates reaching levels as high as 50 percent for top brackets. By the time Reagan left office, the number of brackets had been reduced to two: 15 percent and 28 percent.

In 1993, President Clinton raised the top two income rates to 36 percent and 39.6 percent while also raising the corporate tax rate, increasing the taxable portion of Social Security benefits and increasing income taxable for Medicare. This is what has become known as the “Clinton tax rates.”

In 2001, President George W. Bush changed the rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent, lowered the capital gains and dividend income rates, and expanded credits and deductions such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The current discussions in Congress are centered on the idea of raising taxes–not on cutting spending. What would be the impact of raising taxes on the rich?

Representative Issa points out:

If you raised taxes on the top income bracket, you would generate around $1 trillion over 10 years. The past four years under President Obama have resulted in trillion-dollar deficits each year. At this rate, in 10 years we’re looking at $10 trillion in new debt. At best, the “tax-the-rich” proposal is just a 10 percent solution.

Government spending has traditionally been about 18 to 20 percent of America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Under President Obama, it has been about 24%. Since tax revenue is about 18% of GDP for year, the source of the deficit is obvious. Even when taxes are raised, tax revenue remains about 18% of GDP.

Representative Issa concludes:

The other side tries to boil this down into a seven-second sound bite about taxing the rich and people paying their fair share. In 2009, the top 10 percent of earners in the United States already paid more than 70 percent of federal income taxes.

This isn’t about fairness and unfairness. It’s about taxing and spending, and the federal government has spent enough.

The federal government collects more tax money from all Americans than the Medieval lords collected from the serfs. It really is time for that to stop.

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Under The Radar At The National Labor Relations Board

President Obama stacked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with pro-union people early in his administration. The lone Republican‘s term ended December 16th. At this time there are three Democrats remaining on the board, two were appointed by ‘recess’ appointments which were made while Congress was in session.  reported yesterday on some of the NLRB’s recent actions.

The article reports:

The NLRB now allows that unions no longer are required to provide proof, through audits of their finances, to so-called “Beck objectors” that their money is not spent on union politics.

In addition to saving unions from mandatory financial audits, the NLRB also decided that lobbying expenses are now “chargeable to [Beck] objectors, to the extent that they are germane to collective bargaining, contract administration, or grievance adjustment.”

These new rules mean that workers who are forced to join unions and pay union dues have less control than ever over how their money is spent by union leaders. Labor bosses can now spend those funds on just about any lobbying expense whatsoever and never have to justify it.

The NLRB also declared that a corporation is required to collect union dues during the time between contracts between the corporation and the union. In other words, if the union is on strike against the corporation, the corporation will collect union dues for them. Wow.

This is ultimately about money. The unions are the major fund source for democrat politicians. Union membership has been dropping over recent years. If the unions lose their power, the Democrat party loses a large percentage of its campaign funds.Enhanced by Zemanta

Good News !

MyWay is reporting today that former President George H.W. Bush has been moved out of intensive care.

The article reports:

President Bush’s condition has improved, so he has been moved today from the intensive care unit to a regular patient room at The Methodist Hospital to continue his recovery,” family spokesman Jim McGrath said Saturday. “The Bushes thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes.”

That is wonderful news. President George H. W. Bush is our oldest living President. President Jimmy Carter is the second oldest.

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Exciting News For The Students Of Today

The Washington Post reported on December 7th that the new Common Core standards for Curriculum, which will be put in place in 46 states, will require that by graduation in 2014, 70 percent of all books studied have to be nonfiction.

The article reports:

Some suggested texts include “FedViews” by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the EPA’s “Recommended Levels of Insulation,” and “Invasive Plant Inventory” by California’s Invasive Plant Council.

Wow. Won’t that encourage our children to read.

The article further reports:

The people behind the core have sought to defend it, saying that this was not meant to supplant literature. This increased emphasis on nonfiction would not be a concern if the core worked the way it was supposed to, with teachers in other disciplines like math and science assigning the hard technical texts that went along with their subjects. But teachers worry that this will not happen. Principals seem to be having trouble comprehending the requirement themselves. Besides, the other teachers are too busy, well, teaching their subjects to inflict technical manuals on their students too, and  they may expect the English department to pick up the slack. And hence the great Purge of Literature.

What kind of children are we planning on raising? Anyone can order a government pamphlet and read it. There is no reason to waste time in high school reading how to insulate a house (unless you are training for construction). Reading literature helps students understand the challenges of those who have gone before them. It also (possibly) gives them an appreciation of the ease of the lives they live.

My favorite talk show host is Bill Bennett. I enjoy listening to him because he is the product of a Classical Catholic education. He talks as easily about Shakespeare as he does about recent events on Capitol Hill. His perspective is framed by his education in the classics of literature–not by what plants he can bring into California.

The Common Core Standards is one of the dumbest ideas to come along in  a long time. I hope teachers will reject it quickly so that the students can actually learn to appreciate literature.

NOTE: I posted a similar article on December 7th. I am posting this article because I think it contains more detail on what is actually planned.

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The Continuing Battle To Overturn The HHS Mandate In Obamacare

The American Center For Law And Justice (ACLJ) is reporting today that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that temporarily blocks the abortion-pill mandate from being imposed on business owners in Illinois.

The article reports:

With this important ruling, all of the ACLJ’s clients with pending litigation over the HHS mandate have now been granted a temporary reprieve from the mandate’s violation of religious liberty as our lawsuits continue.

The article also mentions:

It is also important to note that the court stated that the Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene in Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the mandate earlier this week, is not determinative of this case or many others across the country, as the legal standard for the Supreme Court’s intervention requested in that case “differs significantly” from the standard applicable to motions for injunction in federal trial and appellate courts.

It should be illegal to force business owners to violate their consciences. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will rule that way when the case eventually arrives.

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It Has Taken A While For The Truth To Come Out

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that Suha Arafat, the wife of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, stated last month in a TV interview that the Palestinian terror campaign against Israel launched in 2000 was a premeditated act orchestrated by her husband, not a spontaneous “intifada,” or uprising, as many have claimed.

The intifada was supposedly triggered by the visit to the Temple Mount by then-leading Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon. What actually occurred was that Yasser Arafat felt that he was being pressured to betray the Palestinian cause and was not willing to do that. He told his wife in Paris after the failure of the Camp David negotiations, ‘You should remain in Paris because I am going to start an intifada. They want me to betray the Palestinian cause. They want me to give up on our principles, and I will not do so.’” It would be interesting to know exactly what those principles were.

The article reminds us:

In a summit convened by President Bill Clinton at Camp David in July 2000, Arafat rejected an offer by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barack to create a Palestinian state in the equivalent of roughly 97 percent of the West Bank, including land swaps, and all of the Gaza Strip, according to an account by America’s chief Middle East negotiator at the time, Dennis Ross. East Jerusalem was to be the Palestinian capital.

It should be noted here that had Arafat agreed to that offer, he would have been signing his death warrant. Anwar Sadat was murdered by the Muslim Brotherhood for making peace with Israel, and it is quite possible that Arafat would have suffered the same fact. His body is currently being exhumed to determine the actual physical cause of his death, but I am not sure that if evidence reveals that he was murdered, there will be an obvious choice of motive.

The article concludes:

As a result of the four-year terror campaign, more than 1,000 Israelis were killed by Palestinian terror groups, while more than 3,000 Palestinians, including terrorists, died as result of Israel’s efforts to stop the violence.

The world’s media accepted the fact that the visit to the Temple Mount was the cause of the intifada. The world’s media has accepted many false stories about tensions and violence in the Middle East. It is refreshing to see that (even years later) someone told the truth.

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The French Court Rejects The Millionaires Tax

Reuters is reporting today that France’s Constitutional Council has rejected French President Francois Hollande’s planned 75 percent tax on people with an annual income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million). The tax was due to take effect in 2013.

The article reports:

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the government would redraft the upper tax rate proposal to answer the Council’s concerns and resubmit it in a new budget law, meaning Saturday’s decision could only amount to a temporary political blow.

While the tax plan was largely symbolic and would only have affected a few thousand people, it has infuriated high earners in France, prompting some such as actor Gerard Depardieu to flee abroad. The message it sent also shocked entrepreneurs and foreign investors, who accuse Hollande of being anti-business.

The article explains, “The Constitutional Council is a politically independent body that rules on whether laws, elections and referenda are constitutional.”

Raising taxes does not mean increased revenue. The Laffer Curve (google it for more information) shows the relationship between the rate at which people are taxed and the amount of revenue collected. In July, I posted an article ( about the consequences of raising taxes on millionaires in Maryland.

The article at explained the results of that tax increase:

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley pushed through a millionaires tax that went into effect in 2007 and expired in 2010. Yesterday CNBC reported that during that time Maryland lost approximately $1.7 billion in lost tax revenues. The tax imposed a rate of 6.25 percent on incomes of more than $1 million a year. Approximately 31,000 residents left the state during the time the tax was in effect.

People who make the kind of money we are talking about have the brains (or the accountants) and the mobility to avoid confiscatory taxation. Increasing taxes on millionaires simply sends them in search of new and better tax shelters for their wealth.

There is a worldwide spending problem. That is what we need to face, and that is what we need to deal with. Even if you confiscated all the money in the world from the ‘wealthy,’ you would still have countries operating with budget deficits. How many times when you or your spouse have received a significant raise has the money just seemed to disappear and you were left wondering how you survived on your previous salary? The other thing to remember is that in the United States, a budget cut is not a budget cut–it simply means slowing the rate of increase. Thus, if your department budget was $100 this year and expected to be $120 next year, if you increased your budget to $110 next year, that would be considered a budget ‘cut.’ That is why spending in Washington never actually decreases.

Taxing ‘the rich’ doesn’t work–decreasing spending does. It’s time we held Congress’ feet to the fire on that fact.

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An Organization With A Good Cause Made A Serious Mistake

Today’s Daily Caller posted an article about a legal settlement demanding a payment of $9.3 million by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to the parent company of the Ringling Bros. Circus.

The article reports:

Feld Entertainment, the circus’s operator, said Friday that the settlement resolves the ASPCA’s part in paying Tom Rider, the star witness procured by a larger group of animal advocacy organizations, to testify falsely about abuse he claimed to have witnessed at the hands of circus trainers. That lawsuit was first brought into federal court in 2000.

The payment releases the ASPCA from liability related to a racketeering counter-suit Feld brought against the animal organizations in 2007 after documents turned over in discovery showed that the plaintiffs made payments — often through a nonprofit managed by their lawyers — to Rider.

The case also involved the Fund for Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute and the Animal Protection Institute United with Born Free USA. The Humane Society of the United States also became a defendant when it merged with the Fund for Animals in 2005.

Again, the ASPCA supports a good cause. Like many charities, it has grown so large that much of the money it receives goes to administrative costs. According to a website called Outdoor Adventures, the CEO of the ASPCA makes $500,000 a year. That seems a little high to me. Aside from the fact that the witness in the elephant abuse case seems to have been bribed, it it time to look closely at the activities and salaries of the people involved in all of our major charities.

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Obama Is Politically Tone Deaf As He Is Ready To Begin His Second Term

The battle over the fiscal cliff continues. Meanwhile, back at the ranch… Today’s Weekly Standard is reporting that President Obama has issued an executive order ending the pay freeze on federal employees, thus giving a pay raise to Vice-President Biden and members of Congress.

The pay raises are not large, but it does seem odd that at a time when government spending is spiraling out of control, the government is giving out raises to government workers. Also, I would withhold a raise to Congress until they pass a budget.

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More Fallout From President Obama’s Foreign Policy

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about the recent changes in adoption policies regarding Americans adopting children from Russia. The new Russian policy takes effect on January 1st, and will stop all adoptions in process, including those about to take place.

The article reports:

The New York Daily News reports that Russia has 740,000 children not in parental custody with 18,000 Russians standing in line to adopt children. The law is aimed at Americans and suffused with anti-American animus as well as Russian nationalism:

Some recent news articles in Russian have claimed that violence against adopted Russian children in America goes unpunished and that the adopted children were being used as organ donors, sex toys or cannon fodder for the Army. Because the press is run by the government, the Russian people have no reason to doubt this.

The children are the ones being hurt by this decision. The orphanages in Russia do not educate the children to find jobs when they leave the orphanage, and many of these children have no place to live or no food to eat. One of the charities that has been working to change the lives of these children is Orphan’s Promise. They are one of many organizations working to change things for the children in orphanages around the world with no hope for the future. Unfortunately, this new decision by the Russian government means that more children in Russia will be stuck in the poverty of that nation.

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Why Supreme Court Justices Are Important

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about the latest episode of the battle between Hobby Lobby and the Obama Administration over the HHS regulations in ObamaCare. Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected an emergency request for an injunction to prevent HHS from enforcing the contraception mandate on Hobby Lobby’s Catholic owners.

The article reports Justice Sotomayor‘s justification for her decision:

“While the applicants allege they will face irreparable harm if they are forced to choose between complying with the contraception-coverage requirement and paying significant fines, they cannot show that an injunction is necessary or appropriate to aid our jurisdiction,” Sotomayor wrote in a short opinion rejecting Hobby Lobby’s request.

Because Hobby Lobby will not comply with the mandate, they are facing fines of $1.3 million a day beginning on January 1st. HHS cannot collect the money immediately, but Hobby Lobby is required to set the money aside. I can’t imagine a company not being harmed by taking $1.3 a day away from their operating cash.

The article concludes:

Expect Hobby Lobby to keep pursuing the case, and keep an eye out for emergency requests from other appellate circuits.  If one lands on the desk of Antonin Scalia or Sam Alito, the outcome could be quite different — and we may get an expedited Supreme Court argument out of it, even if it would still be preliminary.

The HHS mandate requiring companies to provide free contraception is government overreach at its worst. Why is the HHS insisting on thisl when various forms of contraception are readily available and inexpensive?

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Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Has Been Arrested In Iran Again

CBN News is reporting today that Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was re-arrested in Iran on Christmas Day. Pastor Nadarkhani has been told that he will have to serve out the remainder of his three-year sentence because he is guilty of the crime of evangelizing Muslims. Iran is governed by Sharia Law, which makes it illegal (and punishable by death) to evangelize Muslims or to preach Christianity. Wishing someone Merry Christmas is considered slander against the prophet Mohammad, and is also punishable by death.

The article reports:

Christian activists worry that Nadarkhani still may not be safe, even if he is released after the 45 days are finished.

“We hope that Pastor Nadarkhani will be released without delay once this alleged sentence has been fully served,” Thomas said. “We are also asking for prayers for the pastor’s safety, and for his family at this difficult time.”

Please pray for the Pastor and while you are at it, thank God for the religious freedom we have in America.

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The True Cost Of A Broken Immigration And Deportation System

On December 9 of this year, the Boston Globe posted a story detailing some of the problems with our current system for deporting dangerous criminals. The article tells the story of Huang Chen, a Chinese citizen who was here illegally, jailed for choking, punching, and pointing a knife at Qian Wu in 2006. Chen was put in jail in Texas and released after three years because the government of China would not allow him to be deported back to China. After being released, he went after Qian Wu. No one warned her that he had been released. Chen killed Qian Wu early in 2010.

The article reports:

A yearlong Globe investigation found the culture of secrecy can be deadly to Americans and foreigners alike: Immigration officials do not notify most crime victims when they release a criminal such as Chen, and they only notify local law enforcement on a case by case basis. And even though immigration officials have the power to try to hold dangerous people longer, that rarely occurs.

The article explains:

More than 20 governments from Jamaica to China routinely block deportation of their citizens, even dodging calls from US immigration officers seeking to expedite the process, and critics say they suffer few consequences. Some, such as US Representative Ted Poe, a Texas Republican, argue that the United States should stop accepting diplomats from countries who do not repatriate their citizens, but the State Department has shown little interest, preferring to work through diplomatic channels to deport immigrants. Federal officials have refused to issue visas to only one nation, tiny Guyana in South America.

The article lists a few examples of criminals that were released only to commit murders. We need to remember that the first responsibility of government is to protect its citizens. It seems to me that as we watch government expand exponentially and the cost of government increase exponentially, we are also watching the government forget its original purpose.Enhanced by Zemanta

Has The Desire For Cheaper Products Caused Americans To Forget Who They Are ? posted a story yesterday about a disturbing note found in a box of Halloween decorations sold at K-Mart.

The article reports:

Last October, Julie Keith, of Portland, Ore., opened up a kitschy box of “Totally Ghoul” Halloween decorations bought at Kmart and between two Styrofoam headstones found something more authentically jarring: an unsigned note in mangled English and Mandarin reading: “Sir: If you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands of people here who are under the persicution of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever. This product produced by Unit 8, Department 2, Mashanjia Labour Camp, Shenyang, Liaoning, China.”

The mysterious writer went on to note that the workers were effectively slaves, paid about $1.61 a month, with many prisoners sentenced to work there to punish them for belonging to Falun Gong, a peaceful meditation sect reviled by Beijing as a threat.

Meanwhile, what is the American media and business community saying about China? New York Times columnist Tom Friedman has stated, “One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks, but when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages.” He added that such a one-party state can “just impose” the policies that are needed. GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt has stated, “The one thing that actually works, state-run communism a bit — may not be your cup of tea, but their government works.” Please define ‘works.’

The article reminds us:

The main reason for the Obama administration’s lack of interest in human rights in China is because China enables the U.S. to continue its wild deficit spending. They’ve bought our silence on slave labor, in effect.

China now holds $1.16 trillion in U.S. treasury bonds, and is our largest creditor. So long as China enables Obama to spend cash at home, the silent screams will continue from China’s slave labor camps, only occasionally reaching the ears of the West.

The obvious reaction to this story is to say that we should no longer buy things that are made in China, but I am not sure that is the solution. Americans buy goods from China because those goods are less expensive than American made goods. Obviously, the American worker cannot compete with slave labor. As long as we are financing China through our overspending, our government and media will not even report what is going on in China.  I wonder if this story were widely reported if it would impact the buying habits of Americans. It is a concern that some of the American media and some of America’s business leader view the government of China as acceptable. If they truly believe that, are they willing to live there?

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What Has America Become ?

Today’s New York Post is reporting that the four State Department officials who resigned in the wake of the Benghazi attacks really didn’t resign–one has a new job and the other three took a short leave of absence.

The article reports:

Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “has accepted Eric Boswell’s decision to resign as assistant secretary for diplomatic security, effective immediately.” What Nuland omitted was that Boswell gave up only the presidential appointment as assistant secretary, not his other portfolios.

The other officials — Deputy Assistant Secretaries Charlene Lamb and Raymond Maxwell, and a third who has not been identified — were found to have shown “performance inadequacies” but not “willful misconduct,” Pickering said, so they would not face discipline.

It is so sad to see what has happened to America. The political class now rules at the expense of the people, at the expense of the concept of responsibility, and at the expense of honor.Enhanced by Zemanta

Why Repealing ObamaCare Is Still A Good Idea

As we approach the fiscal cliff and some of us realize that no matter what happens taxes on all Americans will be going up, we are forgetting what Obamacare is going to do to our taxes. Before I go into the details, I would like to remind everyone that the Medieval surfs only paid 10 percent of their crops to the lord of the manor. They were allowed to keep more of the fruit of their labor than Americans are currently keeping.

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday listing some of the new taxes that will be imposed by Obamacare. The new ‘taxes on the rich’ are expected to average approximately $700 billion over 10 years.

The article lists some of these new taxes. Here are a few:

Upper-income households. Starting Jan. 1, individuals making more than $200,000 per year, and couples making more than $250,000 will face a 0.9 percent Medicare tax increase on wages above those threshold amounts. They’ll also face an additional 3.8 percent tax on investment income. Together these are the biggest tax increase in the health care law.

Employer penalties. Starting in 2014, companies with 50 or more employees that do not offer coverage will face penalties if at least one of their employees receives government-subsidized coverage. The penalty is $2,000 per employee, but a company’s first 30 workers don’t count toward the total.

Health care industries. Insurers, drug companies and medical device manufacturers face new fees and taxes. Companies that make medical equipment sold chiefly through doctors and hospitals, such as pacemakers, artificial hips and coronary stents, will pay a 2.3 percent excise tax on their sales, expected to total $1.7 billion in its first year, 2013. They’re trying to get it repealed.

The insurance industry faces an annual fee that starts at $8 billion in its first year, 2014.

The article also lists pharmaceutical companies, which are already paying fees; people who don’t have insurance, who will be fined; and people who use tanning salons. It is no wonder that the only gains in employment that have resulted from Obamacare are in the Internal Revenue Service.

The prospect of a fiscal cliff is looming right now. The prospect of a serious recession brought on by the taxes of Obamacare is also looming, but has somehow been lost in the shuffle. If America is to survive economically, we need a Congress who will deal with both in a way that is good for the country–not simply good for their re-election campaigns.

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Democracy As We Know It Has Ended In Egypt Before It Even Began

Democracy in some countries means one election one time and no further voting. In Egypt it took three elections–one for the President and two for the constitution. The Australian reported today that the second vote on the constitution in Egypt will cement the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement saying:

“The Egyptian people continue their march towards finalising the construction of a democratic modern state, after turning the page on oppression,” the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, said in a statement.

This will mean the end of the Coptic Christians in Egypt. They will no longer have the freedom to worship that they previously enjoyed.

The article reports:

Rights groups say the charter limits the freedoms of religious minorities and women, while giving the military too much power.

Mr Morsi had to split the voting over two successive Saturdays after more than half of Egypt’s judges said they would not supervise the polling stations.

We will now be watching Egypt become an Islamist state similar to Iran. Sharia Law will eventually be instituted. This does not bode well for peace in the Middle East.

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The Problem With Arithmetic

The problem with arithmetic is that if you always use the same numbers you always get the same answers. You can’t change the answer (solution) without changing the numbers. It’s just too rigid! Unfortunately, America is about to fall victim to the rigidness of arithmetic. It won’t be obvious until after it happens, but it is coming.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about the arithmetic involved in solving America’s financial problems. He points out that what is happening in America is also happening around the world.

The article states:

American voters accepted Obama’s claim that no change is necessary, that $16 trillion of debt is nothing to worry about. In France, voters put socialists into office, vowing not to give an inch on government benefits, ever. In Spain, Greece, and elsewhere around the world, politicians promise their constituents that nothing has to change, more money can be found somewhere. They are all lying.

The article cites an article by Janet Daley that appeared in the U.K. Telegraph on Saturday. The opening paragraph of the article asks:

Was 2012 the year when the democratic world lost its grip on reality? Must we assume now that no party that speaks the truth about the economic future has a chance of winning power in a national election? With the results of presidential contests in the United States and France as evidence, this would seem to be the only possible conclusion. Any political leader prepared to deceive the electorate into believing that government spending, and the vast system of services that it provides, can go on as before – or that they will be able to resume as soon as this momentary emergency is over – was propelled into office virtually by acclamation.

After France raised the taxes on millionaires, the millionaires began leaving the country. As California continues to raise its taxes on ‘the rich,’ the exodus of the wealthy from that state continues. After Maryland raised taxes on millionaires, the number of millionaires in the state declined, and state tax revenue declined. There is a lesson here, and America needs to learn it.

The article in the Telegraph points out:

Barack Obama knows that a tax rise of those proportions in the US would be politically suicidal, so he proposes a much more modest increase – an income tax rate of around 40 per cent on the highest earners sounds very modest indeed to British ears. But that is precisely the problem. If a tax rise is modest enough to be politically acceptable to much of the electorate, it will not produce anything like enough to finance the universal American entitlement programmes, social security and Medicare, into a future with an ageing population. There is no way that “taxing the rich” – that irresistibly glib Left-wing solution to everything – can make present and projected levels of government spending affordable. That is why Britain and almost all the countries of the EU have redefined the word “rich” to mean those who are earning scarcely twice the average wage, and pulled more and more middle-income people into high tax bands. Not only are there vastly more of them but they are far more likely to stand still and be fleeced, because they do not have the mobility of the truly rich.

As the debate on the fiscal cliff continues, we need to keep our perspective on exactly what is going on.

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