Friday, March 22, 2013

Old Jarhead Political SitRep for March 23, 2013

Old Jarhead Political SitRep for March 23, 2013
Robert A. Hall

Saturday will be a 15-hour day, so no SitRep on Sunday. But I have a couple of good Guest Posts I’ll put up for you. Enjoy. ~Bob

Must Read: An American Cyprus? By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: Now Cyprus has wound up in the middle of the European Union’s meltdown as everyone scrambles to salvage what they can from an unsustainable system at the expense of everyone else. We are seeing the beginnings of bailout cannibalism as the Eurocrats manipulate entire nations into fighting each other. The real purpose of the deposit grab was to wreck Cyprus’s banking sector and continue the centralization of international finance.

Growth Dividend from a Lower Corporate Tax Rate. By Michael Schuyler
Excerpt: The United States currently imposes the highest statutory corporate tax rate in the developed world. Contrary to what some believe, studies show that even the effective corporate tax rate in the United States is one of the highest in the world. In a literature review of thirteen credible, independent studies that estimated effective tax rates using a variety of data sources and methods, Philip Dittmer reported that every study found the U.S. effective corporate tax rate to be substantially higher than the average in foreign nations.[1] Across all thirteen studies, the U.S. effective corporate tax rate exceeded the foreign average by 7.6 percentage points, if all countries are counted equally.[2] The U.S. effective corporate tax rate exceeded the foreign average by 3.7 percentage points, if countries are weighted by their gross domestic products (GDP). (A Progressive would always raise taxes on the “rich” and on business, even if it brought in less revenue for programs, because it’s “fair.” ~Bob.)
Workers Saving Too Little to Retire
Excerpt: More Americans than ever before will soon be retiring and evidence suggests many are not saving enough for retirement. A combination of financial and demographic forces is making it more difficult for households to prepare for their future, says the Wall Street Journal. An updated 2012 report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) shows that 57 percent of U.S. workers reported less than $25,000 in total household savings and investments, excluding their homes, which represented a 7 percent increase over 2008. Twenty-eight percent of respondents in the survey had no confidence that they will have enough money to retire, which is the highest level in the study's 23-year history. According to the Society of Actuaries, as much as $97 billion could be added to corporate pension liabilities because of rising life expectancy.

One in three elderly have dementia when they die
Excerpt: Payments for health care, long-term care, and hospice care are expected to increase from $203 billion to $1.2 trillion by 2050 for patients ages 65 and older. Medicare costs for an older person with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia are nearly three times higher than for seniors without dementia. Medicaid payments are 19 times higher. The stress on caregivers is estimated to result in the more than $9 billion in increased health care costs.

Senate calls for an end to medical device tax
Excerpt: The Senate on Thursday approved a bipartisan budget amendment calling for the end of a medical device tax enacted as part of President Obama's healthcare reform bill.
The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 79 to 20. (I recently spoke with the CEO of a very large company that makes devices. He said the cost of complying with the tax will be about $10M a year, with the tax itself far higher. That money has to come from patients, from stockholders like your retirement fund and/or from cutting back on employees. ~Bob.)

Three Marines die in shootings at Quantico
Excerpt: Two Marines were shot and killed Thursday at the Officer Candidate School at the Marine Corps Base Quantico, and the suspected shooter, also a Marine, fatally shot himself at the base, Marine Corps officials said. The shooter gunned down a male Marine before seizing a female Marine and killing her, then himself, officials said. … The Marines are still trying to confirm a motive but are investigating whether some of the dead had been romantically involved. 

Now Obama targets your FedEx, UPS packages
Excerpt: The Obama administration is demanding the nation’s two biggest shipping companies police the contents of Americans’ sealed packages, and a FedEx spokesman is warning that the move “has the potential to threaten the privacy of all customers that send or receive packages.”

Honors Night Nixed: Principal Says Awards May Be ‘Devastating’ to Others
Excerpt: A Massachusetts principal has been criticized for canceling his school’s Honors Night, saying it could be ‘devastating’ to the students who worked hard, but fell short of the grades. (Oh, BOO HOO. –Jer. Steadily our culture is removing the incentives for excellence. People do what they are rewarded for. Now mediocrity is rewarded the same, so why bother? As was said by someone else, Obama is the first president of the “Everybody gets a trophy” generation. ~Bob.)

Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that are not crimes.
--Abraham Lincoln

Video: Islamic Slavery in Sudan Alive and Well
Excerpt: Where is the Left’s moral indignation about the Islamic-Arab racism against, and enslavement of, African blacks? (Muslims now more PC than blacks. You can be the next victim group loved by Progressives. ~Bob.)

Sources: Clements murder investigation will look at Saudi prisoner connection
Excerpt: Investigators looking into the shooting death of the director of the Colorado Department of Corrections will look at the possibility that Tom Clements’ murder may be tied to the recent decision not to grant a transfer of a Saudi man in a Colorado prison. Homaidan Al-Turki was convicted in 2006 of unlawful sexual contact by use of force and other charges. Prosecutors said he sexually assaulted a housekeeper and kept her as a virtual slave for four years. (He was just using “that which his right hand possessed,” as allowed by the Holy Qur’an. ~Bob.)

Motorcycle bomb kills 1 boy, wounds 10 in Thailand's restive south
Excerpt: More than 5,000 people have been killed since an Islamist insurgency erupted in the sub-region in 2004. (“Restive” is reporter-speak for, “Don’t go there; the Muslims will kill you.” ~Bob.)

Car bomb at Pakistani refugee camp kills 13
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: In addition to the 13 killed, another 25 people were wounded in the blast that happened just as hundreds of people lined up to get food, police officials said.

The War on Easter
Generally, I'm a fan of Fox news, except when Geraldo Rivera or Bill O'Reilly come on. But last night, before I could click from O'Reilly to something more informative (like the Weather Channel), I caught him saying something about a war being waged on Easter. I didn't hear much more after that, because I really can't stand O'Reilly. His ego ate him up a long time ago, and he just can't get over himself. Anyway, it seems like the people who have a beef with Christmas are going after Easter now. And the Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs. I didn't catch what they want the bunny to be called, but Easter Eggs are henceforth to be called Spring Eggs. I was curious, but not curious enough to keep listening to O'Reilly. I doubt that they really have a problem with bunnies or eggs. They, like Santa Claus, are just collateral casualties in the unrelenting cultural war against Christians and Christianity. The Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs are the secular counterpoints to the traditional Christian observance, aren't they? It must be the word "Easter" that's gotten their panties all wadded up. And on it goes. –LLW

Eugene Robinson’s op-ed on Assault Weapon ban, and reply to him
Mr. Robinson: Please explain how restricting military-style weapons will accomplish any reduction in gun violence. Rifles of all types are used in fewer murders than hammers and other blunt instruments (FBI statistics). Effective control of military weapons should start with preventing BATFE from shipping them to Mexico. Why aren't you calling out Eric Holder on that? It seems to be easier for you to engender fear of armed white men than confronting the hard truth that the overwhelming majority of gun violence is black on black. Most of that is in cities where gun ownership is severely restricted. As they say, you are entitled to your opinion, but not your own manufactured "facts". I personally resent your reference in today's column to "ostensibly 'private' sales at gun shows". I have owned guns all of my adult life. I trade them privately between individuals, as well as through dealers. Your implication lumps me into a category of "straw purchasers". These would cease to exist overnight if current gun laws didn't create black markets in the cities with the worst gun violence. It is especially disconcerting to read an African-American columnist rail against private gun ownership. All modern "gun control" laws in the U.S. are steeped in the history of disarming former slaves after the civil war. Even the lynchings in the Jim Crow South pale in comparison to the precursors to every genocide in history-disarmament of the private sector. Gun control has never been about the guns- it's people control. All gun laws are based on presumption of guilty intent on the part of the gun owner. How democratic is that? The truth is that gun owners prevent hundreds of thousands of crimes every year, mostly without a shot being fired. Try a little balance in your analysis. Respectfully, Steve Arnett

Senate lets the Navy’s ‘green fleet’ sail on
Excerpt: The Senate defeated a proposed amendment that would have transferred money from the Navy’s biofuels program to increase the Defense Department’s operations and maintenance funding.

Excerpt: A fast-talking, smarmy-looking guy, would make outrageous claims along the lines of “It has more seats than the Astrodome” and “It goes faster than a speeding bullet,” and everyone knew it was a takeoff on every overly zealous, ethically-challenged, salesman who had ever tried to sell you a lemon. Today, it seems to me that we have his cousin living in the White House. I mean, is there anything our commander-in-chief says or does that doesn’t remind you of the cheapest sort of huckster?

America’s Famine
Excerpt: Unlike many nations in human history, America has never really known want. Even the Great Depression of the 1930s does not begin to compare with the famines of antiquity that devastated entire civilizations and resulted in the starvation of millions of people. With such extreme prosperity dominating the United States, the average American cannot even begin to imagine the kind of hunger that has characterized large segments of humanity throughout history.

Administration Refuses to Explain Why It’s Arming a Domestic Agency for War
Excerpt: Surprise, surprise! The most transparent administration in history feels no need to explain its recent purchases of ammunition, including 1.6 billion rounds by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS.) It’s been estimated that’s enough ammo to carry on a war for over 20 straight years.

Wasserman Schultz: My Aides Can't Afford Good Meals
Excerpt: On Tuesday, FL Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her colleague VA Rep. Jim Moran openly whined about the impacts of spending cuts on their personal office budgets. Moran fretted that, with the looming sequester cuts, he may have to cut one staffer from his office. Wasserman Schultz upped his ante, however. She, almost literally, suggested that her staff were on the brink of starvation, due to the cuts. (Sequestration is going to force congressional aides into starvation? We've known for a long time that this woman is ditzy, but she's moving into new records now. It's good to be able to find humor in politics these days. –Del. Let them eat cake! ~Bob.)

Media Play Up Faulty Study Suggesting Link Between Guns, Death Rates. By John R. Lott, Jr.
Excerpt: Do fewer guns mean fewer firearm deaths? If you believe the March 6th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association of Internal Medicine, the answer is "yes." A study by Eric Fleegler and four other co-authors received massive national news coverage from USA Today to the television networks. But the report is based on embarrassingly bad statistics that are rigged to get the result the authors wanted. (And people wonder why defenders of the 2nd Amendment feel paranoid.... You're not paranoid when there really are people out to get you! This example of educated professionals who really should know better publishing a piece of total junk science is a perfect example of why gun owners worry so much about all the efforts to somehow make up new laws that are supposed to, in effect, cancel out evil in human beings. Because it's the evil in criminals and crazy people that cause the most egregious uses of violence, as in Newtown recently. Reasonable gun laws already exist in many states, and the places with the most stringent gun laws, DC, Chicago, Detroit, etc, still have the highest rates of gun violence. There's a lesson there, but people refuse to see it. --Del)

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