Goodbye Barry - Welcome Home AMERICA!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

We Definitely Have A "Gun Problem" In This Country!

And, the problem is that not everybody in the country owns guns! I have had enough time to calm down after yesterday's murder of 20 children and 8 adults at Newtown, Connecticut... and plenty of time to recover from the Aurora, Colorado shootings, and Tennessee State and Columbine. Despite the fact that they were all conducted by young men, there is one other common condition that they all share - there were no armed staff members!

In almost all things, I tend toward believing Friar William of Ockham - a 14th century English logician - who said, "When you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better."

The overly-simplistic theory of the left is essentially, "If we pass more laws eliminating private ownership of firearms there will be fewer murders." However, the flaw in that kind of logic is that laws are written for, and adhered to, only by the law abiding. In this country, crimes are defined by law. A criminal is a person whose general behavior is composed primarily of ignoring and/or breaking laws. New York City, has one of - if not THE - toughest gun-control law in the country - The Sullivan Act - a "law" which has been in effect for over 100 years. Yet between 2003 and 2011 there were 4,161 homicides in NYC, of which 69% had firearms listed as the weapon of choice. I say ""weapon of choice", because anybody with sufficient dedicated intent to take the life of another person will find the means to do so. If a gun is not available, weapon of choice #2 is a knife (23%), with "other" (poison, golf club, baseball bat, large rock, suffocation, garrotte, etc.) coming in a distant 3rd with a combined total of 8%.

"Gun Free Zones" - such as schools - are not "gun free" once a gun is introduced from outside that zone. At that point, the zone should be renamed the Victim Abundant Zone..., because the "rule followers" (that's us) are all unarmed. The premise that "eliminating private ownership of firearms" will result in "fewer murders" sounds (at least superficially) theoretically reasonable. If 69% of all murders are committed with the use of firearms, then we should reasonably expect to see a 69% reduction in murders. Right? However, the part of that statistic that is fallacious is the assumption that guns are committing those murders. Guns are inanimate objects - they possess neither will nor motivation. Guns are tools. The true statistic is that 100% of all murders are committed by murderers! Their choice of tool with which to commit murder is irrelevant.

In China yesterday, December 14th, 2012, "... a knife-wielding man slashed 29 children, two teachers and a security guard Thursday in the second such school attack in China in two days. Initially officials had reported that 28 children had been hurt but they later realized they had miscounted.
Experts called it a copycat rampage triggered by similar incidents Wednesday and last month. They said the wave of school attacks falls amid poor care for the mentally unstable and growing feelings of social injustice in the fast-changing country.
Thursday's attack at the Zhongxin Kindergarten left five students hospitalized in critical condition in the eastern city of Taixing, said Zhu Guiming, an official with the municipal propaganda department. Two teachers and the security guard were also hurt.

We cannot legislate sanity, or even a sense of morality. The knee-jerk reaction to violence is to create more laws - laws to be ignored - while the more logical reaction would be to create fewer victims. If protecting our children in school is the only goal, then arm and train at least 50% of the school staff in student protection, situational awareness, use of deadly force, marksmanship, and threat recognition and elimination. If protecting the public at large is the goal, then recognize our Constitution's Second Amendment as being the law of the land, and deprive no law abiding citizen of the right to keep and bear arms - within his/her property or publicly. There has never been a murder at an NRA Convention or at a Gun Show. Nobody attacks a "Gun Friendly Zone"... think about that.
Over 65 Million guns in the U.S.A. killed nobody today!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Obama Administration's Good News-Bad News Plan...

Excerpts from today's WND article, Obama's Next Targets: Walmart & Best Buy?(with my added emphasis):
"A far-left think tank founded with input from President Obama is pushing a plan for private retail stores such as Walmart to create a “new wage floor” that hikes workers’ wages by at least 27 percent to $12.25 per hour."
"The scheme is outlined in a new study published by Demos, a longtime partner of the disgraced ACORN activist group."

"According to Demos’ own website, while Obama was a state senator in 1999, he served on the working group that founded Demos."

"Last month, Demos released a 15-page research paper titled “Retail’s Hidden Potential: How Raising Wages Would Benefit Workers, the Industry and the Overall Economy.” "

"The study provides a chart listing the country’s biggest retailers, including Walmart, Target, Kroger, Home Depot, Walgreens, Lowe’s, Best Buy, Safeway and Macy’s.
The plan urges the enactment of a “new wage floor” for the lowest-paid private retail workers equivalent to $25,000 per year – or $12.25 per hour – for a full-time, year-round retail worker at the nation’s largest retail companies, identified as those employing at least 1,000 workers.
The think tank posits the pay hike would create 100,000 or more new jobs, thus stimulating the economy. It surmises the pay increase would cost consumers “just cents more per shopping trip on average.”The study, however, does not mention that the template for the “new wage floor” is a failed Demos plan urging a “living wage.

Now let's look at this seemingly "altruistic", but highly impractical scheme, from a more practical standpoint.
  1. This plan has been tried before in the 1990s, and was an abysmal failure for the businesses involved.
  2. Does nobody in the Obama administration understand that the cost of living is directly tied to the minimum wage? The retailers are not going to "take one for the team"! As their operating expenses go up (such as the mandatory Obamacare costs, and this harebrained scheme), they will pass those costs along to the consumer!
  3. The plan (as explained today) would apply to "full-time, year-round retail workers". And who would be surprised when Walmart, Target, Kroger, Home Depot, Walgreens, Lowe’s, Best Buy, Safeway and Macy’s suddenly has upper-level management (who are already making more than the proposed minimum wage) as their only "full-time, year-round workers"? The floor personnel, shipping and receiving, stockers, etc., would be immediately converted - and employed as - "part-time, seasonal workers" in order to obviate that unnecessary payroll expense.
  4. The "100,000 or more new jobs" they claim it would create would be 100,000 new part-time, seasonal jobs to take up the slack created by these retail giants converting their original staff to part-time, seasonal! 
  5. Every product and service we pay for would be increased by approximately the same percentage as the minimum wage hike. A can of Pork & Beans that was $1.69 the day before, is now $2.15, and that's not counting any increase for Obamacare. And that increase would be seen in every item we buy, or service we use!
Such a plan is nothing more than another dangerous psychological "warm & fuzzy" for those earning minimum wage. Any benefit they might see from an "increase" would be immediately offset by the increase in their cost of living, and (and this is most-likely the real driving force behind the wage "increase") moving them into a higher tax bracket! The more they make, the bigger cut the government gets!

This is just one more example of the liberal left's "Voodoo Economics", and "Smoke and mirrors" math, guiding us blithely down the path toward the fiscal cliff. We pay more, while Congress and the Obama Administration steals more from us... all the while disguising that theft as a "wage hike" for those on the bottom rung of the earnings ladder.

Details of the above referenced article may be found at: 
http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/obamas-next-targets-walmart-best-buy/
 

Friday, November 23, 2012

I May Have A Tendency To Oversimplify Politics...

but here's how I see the reasons behind our country's great loss in the recent Presidential Election.

  1. There was insufficient differentiation between the Republican and Democrat platforms. So little differentiation, that Romney's platform was widely seen as ObamaLite. Although not unusual for politicians, neither candidate was particularly forthcoming about their "plans" for the country. Obama couldn't run on his record, because he didn't have a single positive achievement to emphasize. So, he made the usual empty promises to those who choose not to work, and those who are feeding from the national teat, and Romney failed to form aggressive responses to verbal challenges by Obama.
  2. The Republican masses had a miserable turnout of less than 40%, while Democrats were at almost 48%. Were the registered Republicans too lazy to vote, were they insufficiently motivated to vote, or did they assume "the fix is in" and just not give a rat's ass? 
  3. The poor Republican turnout may have been compounded by voter fraud, and other behind-the-scenes active Democrat shenanigans (like [as reported] going door-to-door, and illegally hand-carrying the votes of others to the polling stations)? The default vote in electronic machines was set to "Obama", and there were many instances reported where votes for Romney were registered as votes for Obama.
  4. Romney failed to garner enough of the available "Independent" votes, and then there was Gary Johnson, in the (unintentional?) role of "spoiler". Had Johnson encouraged his loyal followers to give their votes to Romney, it may have given Romney the majority popular vote.
  5. The "popular vote", which is the voice of the people, is easily cancelled out by the Constitutionally-directed Electoral College vote - which undoubtedly would have gone to Obama anyway (re: "the fix is in", above).
  6. The Republican platform for 2012 would have satisfied America's "Mugwumps" (the old joke that a "mugwump" is a person sitting on the political fence, with his mug on one side and his wump on the other). The most accurate description I can use for the Republican party's platform this election is "tepid".
  7. There have been many suggestions (probably from Democrats) that the Republicans need to adopt the principles of the Democrats. In my opinion, that would then provide us with TWO totally unprincipled political parties.
There has been little-to-no questioning of the lack of legality - and ethics - in the voting process this election cycle by the lamestream media. I am quickly losing my faith in the intelligence of my countrymen, and have lost all faith in the voting process, and what little respect I had for the media (a few decades ago) has long since been dead.

As long as 538 people have the legal authority to override the voice of the people, then the people's voice means absolutely NOTHING!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Now The U.N. Wants To Own - and TAX - The Internet!

Next month, the 12th World Conference on International Telecommunications, or WCIT-12, will be held in Dubai. At the meeting, the 193 member countries of the U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union, or ITU, will consider renegotiating a fairly obscure treaty known as the International Telecommunications Regulations, or ITRs.

The 24-year-old agreement delineates much of the ITU’s rule-making authority over telecommunications. The hope of several countries is that they can expand the ITU’s jurisdiction to the Internet, replacing the current governing system with one that is controlled by a U.N. bureaucracy.

The member nations will also consider an "Internet Tax" designed to collect money from more affluent nations and redistribute it to poorer nations to improve their Internet infrastructure.

The U.N. has no investment of time, money or labor in the Internet, what makes them think that they are entitled to control and tax it? (Except that it is another fine example of the workings of the socialist mind.) Redistribute? The U.N. isn't entitled to benefit from our tax dollars... we are! We don't need any help in digging a deeper hole for our national debt... we have Obama! Redistribute my ass.
 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Is THIS What Really Happened? If So, Shame On Us!

The following are excerpts, that pretty-much express my own analysis of "WTF happened?" in the election, from PoliticalOutcast.com. I have, in the recent past, mentioned Gary Johnson's role as spoiler in the election, as I have the stupidity of  lazy-ass "straight party ticket" voters, the Obamabots, and the "anybody-but-Obama" crowd (of which I was a member). The only "enthusiasm" I had for either candidate was, "Well, he's NOT Obama". Here's the PoliticalOutcast.com analysis, with added highlighting:

"The race was almost split 50/50. Obama got less than one percent of the votes more than Mitt Romney. Of interest, libertarian Gary Johnson got right at one percent. Gary who? Right. How did a guy with almost no presence during the primaries get one percent of the votes? The only other Libertarian to get this much traction was Ed Clark in 1980 with 1.1 percent. But this wasn’t so much a victory for the Libertarian Party as it was a loss for the GOP. How did Gary Johnson get so many votes? Ron Paul. Sorry, but that’s just the truth.
Most disillusioned Ron Paul supporters chose either to not vote, to vote for Gary Johnson, or to write in Ron Paul even though such a vote would be largely symbolic."

"Most of the people, if not all, who voted for Mitt Romney would have voted for
whomever the GOP nominated. No matter what. Anyone but Obama, remember? These people voted pragmatically… er, not so pragmatically now that all is said and done. So most of the people, if not all, who voted for Romney would have voted for the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man if he had been on the ballot with an “R” next to his name. So they really don’t matter in the end. Despite all of the media drivel about electability, any Republican candidate would have gained at least the number of votes that Romney did. But I believe a few of the primary candidates could have gained more. The Republican Party was trying to get some extra votes from the middle, so they chose a big-government-lite candidate with largely liberal social policies that could appeal to “moderate” voters. Wrong plan of action. Moderate voters swung to Obama anyway. All the Republican Party did by putting all its eggs into the middle-of-the-road candidate was jettison the swing voters they should have been appealing to instead: the conservative idealists. Consider it this way: liberal idealists love Obama. And moderate voters like him too. So Obama is the perfect candidate for the Democratic party. He consolidates the base while reaching beyond it. Conservative idealists (the ones who vote on principle alone—damn-the-torpedoes type people) hated Romney. Tea Party conservatives also disliked Romney. But the hold-your-nose-and-vote Republicans weren’t numerous enough to result in a Romney victory. They needed just one extra percent."

"Let’s think about this. What if Ron Paul had been nominated? The 'hold-your-nose-and-vote' Republicans would still have voted for him. And if they wouldn’t, they have no place whatsoever to criticize idealists who wouldn’t vote for Romney. If the GOP machine had gotten behind him like they did Romney, there’s no indication that Paul would have fared any different than Romney. At least as well, as I said. But on top of the hold-your-nosers, Ron Paul had a rabid base of extremely motivated supporters (at least a million, actually… just ask Gary Johnson) who certainly would have voted for him though they refused to support Romney. He also attracted many moderate voters who liked his states-rights stance on illegal drugs and homosexual marriage. Colorado just voted to legalize marijuana, by the way… and it went to Obama this election… again.  So, bottom line: if Ron Paul had been nominated, in all likelihood we would have a Republican President-elect right now. But he’s not electable… And Romney is? Hello!? Any of the candidates would have done at least as well as he did, and I think any of them would have actually done better. Romney wasn’t the voters’ first choice. He was the GOP establishment’s first choice. Let’s not kid ourselves on that one. And this is the same group that gave us McCain. Remember that guy? He was “electable” too. When will we ever learn?"

"Don’t blame the Paulbots or the independents for four more years of Obama’s national train-wreck. Blame the GOP establishment power brokers. Their stubborn unwillingness to listen to their constituency and their blatant disregard for the traditional federal constitutionalism that once made the GOP “grand” has cost us yet another election cycle, perhaps the most critical to date. We can’t afford to place our trust in them anymore. Let them know loud and clear: “Give us candidates who fully support our values, not your agenda! And back these candidates with your full endorsement. We won’t be fooled again. We won’t accept another Romney, and if you give us one, we will not vote for him.” Do we have the courage to do this? We didn’t have that courage this election. We thought too much was at stake. Too much was at stake. And we lost it because of fear. If we don’t gain the courage necessary to stand on conviction, this country is most assuredly doomed."

And now, we must suffer the consequences of:
1. A choice between poor nominees for elected national office.
2. The Electoral College concept - where roughly 540 people can override and cancel out the will of the people, as expressed via the popular vote.
3. The "deal" struck between the two major political parties, several decades ago, wherein they agreed that whichever party got the majority of a state's electoral votes, gets ALL that state's electoral votes.
4. Being stupid enough to re-elect a record-proven, America-hating, Socialist-"progressive" Marxist as our nation's chief executive.
5. Being too lazy to go to the polls and vote.
6. Being energized enough to vote, but too ignorant to realize that voting for a 3rd party candidate at this point in time fails to cancel out a vote for the one you did not want as President. Understand that there is no 3rd party candidate that can be elected to the office of POTUS.
7. Allowing 18 year olds to vote - the majority of whom lack the life experience to vote with anything other than their emotions.
The Average American Voter

How long before the U.S. actually becomes the Greece of North America? We're already close...
 
God save us from our own stupidity!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Government Waste, Fraud and Abuse.

Our government has been wasteful for decades! "Members of Congress have the only job in the country whose occupants can set their own salary without regard to performance, profit, or economic climate," said Tom Schatz, president of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste in a press release. "Clearly, members must think that money grows on trees."

IT ALL STARTS WITH CONGRESS
Simply because Congress controls the purse strings for the government budget.  Members of Congress are on track to receive a pay raise in 2013, unless they vote against it when they return from August recess.  The maximum pay boost lawmakers are eligible for in 2013 is 1.1 percent, or about $1,900 for most.  The 1989 Ethics Reform Act created the current formula, which is based on changes in private sector wages as measured by the Employment Cost Index, and automatically takes effect unless Congress votes against it, or it’s more than the pay raise given to federal workers. Many congressional watchdogs expect the Congress to vote against a pay raise for 2013, as they have (surprisingly) done since 2009.
Government cuts must start at the top

REDUCE THE SIZE AND COST OF GOVERNMENT 
We could save money in government by reducing the size of the House and Senate by 50%, cutting their pay in half, reducing their staff by half, restricting those who "serve" to two terms, placing them into the Social Security system, postpone any lifetime benefits until those elected officials reach retirement age, and reduce retirement payments to 20% of their last full-year Congressional salary.

FLAT TAX MAKES SENSE AND IS FAIR
We could also go to an across-the-board FLAT TAX rate for workers and corporations. Since our taxes are now (and have been for several years) calculated by computers, reduce the size of the IRS by 90%. The numbers of those computers could be reduced to two, and established in locations like Utah, for the west-central and western US, and Arkansas for the east-central and eastern US. The computers would each be maintained by crews of 12 technicians and one supervising engineer, and operationally monitored by teams of 6 operators.

REALITY STRIKES AGAIN
However, to be politically realistic, because those who would be most affected by the cuts are those who MAKE the laws regarding said appropriations, it will never happen... UNLESS such possibilities are put forward as a public referendum.  Perhaps we need a movement to remove that right from Congress and place all Congressional compensation packages before the public referendum!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

U.S. Embassies Attacked, Americans Murdered


Apparently, it is Open Season on American diplomatic missions and associated personnel. Attacks upon any nation's embassies is in clear violation of International Law. Where were the U.S. Marines that are generally assigned as the protectors of our embassies? (Oh, yeah... they were being helicoptered in from Tripoli, in a "too little, too late" operation.)
The Reuters news report stated, "We can see a fire inside the compound and security forces are firing in the air. The demonstrators are fleeing and then charging back," one witness told Reuters".
The "demonstrators" were a VIOLENT MOB, intent upon doing evil to both the Embassy structure and it's occupants! Had there been armed U.S. Marines assigned to the compound, perhaps there would have been no "charging back" by the "demonstrators".

Yes, the first wave of attackers should have been - and were - met with directed gunfire over their heads... but only until the point that mortars and RPGs were used by the attackers. At that point, and IF there was a second wave of attackers, the (imaginary) Marines response should have been heavy weapons fire directly into the mob. American civilians overseas CANNOT be perceived as human targets to be killed with impunity! But, the Islamists know that they have a "Get Out of Jail Free" card issued by Barack H. Obama, who has yet to show he has grown a pair in international affairs.
The Obama administration claims "We are not at war with Islam", yet Islam obviously is at war with us - or at least those of us who are unarmed, and whose security depends upon Muslim guards - guards who are understandably reluctant to fire upon their fellow Muslims for the sake of "the American infidels".
These murderous attacks are against relatively easy targets - smaller embassies, lacking Marine security forces, and protected by only a handful of unmotivated local guards. The larger missions are properly defended, and therefore the attacks thus far are restricted to rock and bottle throwing from a distance, and no serious attempts to breach the gates and walls.
However, our Marines MUST NOT be used only for their intimidation factor. Our "Rules of Engagement" are absolutely ridiculous, considering that those who attack us have no such rules binding them. The U.S. Marines assigned as embassy security forces must be given a blanket "Green Light" to engage attackers with whatever force is determined necessary by the senior Marine on-scene. They should not have to wait for authorization from some political fat-cat, busily relaxing half-way around the world!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America..


Here's a short video that those of us with children and/or grandchildren being educated under the "public school system" should see:



I can recall my own primary and secondary education of 60-50 years ago, when teachers still seemed to be interested in educating children, rather than indoctrinating them.  Those who could - and would - do the work, were "rewarded"... by good grades, and promotion to the next highest grade at the end of the school year.  Those who failed to do the work successfully, whether by intellectual insufficiency or personal choice (laziness), got poor grades and were not promoted, and were "rewarded" with another year in the same classroom, with the same teacher, doing (or not doing) the same work.  Students are not all equally capable, nor should they be treated as such if our system of education is to turn out a satisfactory end-product. And, yes, I did refer to the education process in terms similar to that of a successful production line, since it should be essentially that.

The student should move from grades K-12 in an assembly line fashion, proceeding from one point to another after passing a "quality control" check (final exams).  If the student is incapable of passing the QC, they should be returned/retained at that level until they do succeed.  However, unlike a true assembly line, we should not discard our "product" if it fails QC.  Recycling is the order of the day - remedial education and "Summer School" are where we should attempt to assist the student in making the adjustments.

Great Britain has an interesting, and perhaps superior, way of dealing with the educational process.  Education is compulsory for all children from their fifth birthday to the last Friday in June of the school year in which they turn 16. This will be raised, in 2013, to the year in which they turn 17 and, in 2015, to their 18th birthday.
  Existing tests at the end of Key Stage 3 were abandoned after the 2008 tests, where severe problems emerged concerning the marking procedures. Now at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 3, progress is examined via individual teacher assessment against the National Curriculum Attainment Targets for all subjects. Test results for schools are published, and are an important measure of their performance.  Insufficient performance at the Secondary Educational level, usually results in students being enrolled in what we in the USA call VoTech (Vocational/Technical) Education classes, insuring that students who fail academically are trained (to whatever extent they are capable of absorbing such training) in a usable craft/skill that will allow them to become productive, self-sufficient members of society, rather than "going on the Dole" (the UK's version of "welfare").

Twenty-five percent of Americans that start high school do not graduate.  Thirty percent of high school graduates do not go on to college right after graduation, and  forty-three percent of students who start college will not graduate in 6 years.  How does this compare with other countries? In 2010, the U.S. high school graduation rate was lower than the rates of the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Finland and Denmark.

What about college? The U.S. once led the world in college graduates. As an example of this, Americans age 55-to-64 still lead their peers in other nations in the portion with college degrees (41 percent). But this number has flat-lined for Americans. In 2010, the same percentage of Americans age 25-to-34 and age 55-to-64 were college graduates.
Meanwhile, other nations have caught up, and some have pulled ahead. Among this younger age group, 25- to 34-year-olds, all of the following nations now have a larger percent of college graduates than the U.S.: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The faux-reasonings for this "dumbing down" are manifold, and the results are obviously disastrous!  Excuses such as, "Failure is not good for the child's psyche!" and "No child should be left behind".  Well, guess what? You have to earn your own way in the real-world workplace - there are no "free rides" when an employer is paying you wages for your work. If you are unsuccessful at meeting your employer's expectations, you will be fired.  Unemployment is not good for the economy, starvation is not good for one's health, and socialism kills individual motivation and work-ethic. Socialism isn't good for ANYBODY!

(The details of the above are covered in a book by Charlotte Iserbyte, who served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education during the first term of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and staff employee of the US State Department (South Africa, Belgium, and South Korea). The book is available as a free, downloadable eBook from:
http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/MomsPDFs/DDDoA.sml.pdf)

 C

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How To Get RICH For Doing Absolutely Nothing! Part I of II

The short answer: Get elected to the House or Senate.
The current salary (2011-2012) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year.
  • Members are free to turn down pay increase and some (damn few) choose to do so.
  • In a complex system of calculations, administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, congressional pay rates also affect the salaries for federal judges and other senior government executives.
  • During the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin considered proposing that elected government officials not be paid for their service. Other Founding Fathers, however, decided otherwise.
  • From 1789 to 1855, members of Congress received only a per diem (daily payment) of $6.00 while in session, except for a period from December 1815 to March 1817, when they received $1,500 a year. Members began receiving an annual salary in 1855, when they were paid $3,000 per year.
Congress: Leadership Members' Salary (2011-2012)
Leaders of the House and Senate are paid a higher salary than rank-and-file members.
Senate Leadership
Majority Party Leader - $193,400
Minority Party Leader - $193,400
House Leadership
Speaker of the House - $223,500
Majority Leader - $193,400
Minority Leader - $193,400
A cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increase takes effect annually unless Congress votes to not accept it. (Yeah - like that happens!)
Benefits Paid to Members of Congress
You may have read that Members of Congress do not pay into Social Security. Well, that's a myth.
Prior to 1984, neither Members of Congress nor any other federal civil service employee paid Social Security taxes. Of course, they were also not eligible to receive Social Security benefits. Members of Congress and other federal employees were instead covered by a separate pension plan called the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). The 1983 amendments to the Social Security Act required federal employees first hired after 1983 to participate in Social Security. These amendments also required all Members of Congress to participate in Social Security as of January 1, 1984, regardless of when they first entered Congress. Because the CSRS was not designed to coordinate with Social Security, Congress directed the development of a new retirement plan for federal workers. The result was the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986.
Members of Congress receive retirement and health benefits under the same plans available to other federal employees. They become vested after five years of full participation.
Members elected since 1984 are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Those elected prior to 1984 were covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). In 1984 all members were given the option of remaining with CSRS or switching to FERS.
As it is for all other federal employees, congressional retirement is funded through taxes and the participants' contributions. Members of Congress under FERS contribute 1.3 percent of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6.2 percent of their salary in Social Security taxes.
Members of Congress are not eligible for a pension until they reach the age of 50, but only if they've completed 20 years of service. Members are eligible at any age after completing 25 years of service or after they reach the age of 62. Please also note that Members of Congress have to serve at least 5 years to even receive a pension.
The amount of a congressperson's pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest 3 years of his or her salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member's retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary. (Even if they don't get a pay bump in 5 years, 80% is $117,600... for what?)
According to the Congressional Research Service, 413 retired Members of Congress were receiving federal pensions based fully or in part on their congressional service as of Oct. 1, 2006. Of this number, 290 had retired under CSRS and were receiving an average annual pension of $60,972. A total of 123 Members had retired with service under both CSRS and FERS or with service under FERS only. Their average annual pension was $35,952 in 2006.

My questions:
1. Why do national office seekers spend millions of dollars to get a job that pays $174,000 per annum?
2. What have any of these elected officials done to improve the condition of the nation in general?
3. Why do "We the People" permit this to continue?
4.  Why does Congress get to vote on their own pay raises? Shouldn't their employers - We the People - be doing that?
and my answers:
1.  First one must understand that seeking political office is not about the money. Government is about the ability to control the masses, and with that control comes power. Historically, those in control have the higher standard of living, and significant money behind their campaigns. This money may be family money, or investments by corporate and/or individual "contributors" - each expecting something in return should their candidate be elected. The USA has the best government money can buy. Nobody in politics does anything just because "it's the right thing to do."  Where does the "rich" part come in then? Bribes, kick-backs, gifts, contributions, etc.
2.  In a word... NOTHING. In it's first 175 years our Republic grew at a tremendous rate!  No country on Earth could duplicate what we had accomplished in that relatively short period of time.
3.  We the People are either too stupid to see and acknowledge that there is a problem, or we are too complacent to do anything about it.  We'll just wait until it collapses and see.

Yes, Barack, you did that!


Part II to follow shortly...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Making The Case For INCREASED Gun Ownership

There is a city in Cobb County, GA called Kennesaw  – where gun ownership is mandatory. It’s not the “Wild West” like some people predicted when it passed a mandatory gun ownership law. “The city of Kennesaw was selected by Family Circle magazine as one of the nation’s ‘10 best towns for families.’

In 1982 the city passed the following ordinance [Sec 34-21] which was in response to a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Ill.

(a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.

(b) Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.

The city's website states that Kennesaw “has the lowest crime rate in Cobb County,” one of the most populous counties in Georgia. In fact, from 1982 through 2009, Kennesaw had been nearly murder free with one murder occurring in 2007.

There were three murders in 2010 committed by the same man in what is described as a “school safety zone,” an area extending 1,000 feet from any school, including adult colleges and technical schools. This means that even though Kennesaw has the most liberal gun laws in the United States, employees at the facility where the murders were committed could not have a gun on the premises.

Statically, it has been shown that - nationwide - as legal gun ownership by law-abiding citizens increases, violent crime decreases.  Yet the left (including the socialist-dominated United Nations) constantly argues for greater restrictions on private firearms ownership.

There is a discomfiting pattern developing in the USA.  One of increased government intervention in, and control of, our Constitutional rights. One of collusion on an International scale, and one which could very easily permit Obama to abrogate his presidential responsibilities in favor of UN demands. The left-wing Obama administration is "chomping at the bit" for an opportunity to sign on to the UN's Arms Trade Treaty. That way - when the international gun grab begins - Obama can maintain a high degree of deniablility from the actions. There is much more to the UN ATT than meets the eye. It is worded in such a fashion that loopholes large enough to drive a military tank through exist... possibly for the purpose of actually driving military tanks through them, and down Mainstreet, USA, as the jackbooted, blue-helmeted UN thugs kick down doors and confiscate whatever they determine to be "illegal firearms". The goal of the "United Nations" is WORLD DOMINATION, and the majority of the 192 country/states that make up the UN are inimical to the USA, our successes, our freedom, and our way of life in general.


Contact your Senators and demand that they OPPOSE the UN's Arms Trade Treaty. It's not good for American citizens, and it's not good for the USA. In WWII, the Japanese decided against a land battle within the USA because - according to Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy - "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." It is our ability, as a nation, to defend our country, our culture, our sovereignty and our Constitution, particularly at the individual level, that keeps us free from land invasions (other than via our southern border, anyway. Mexico has been invading us for decades!).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Deconstructing Our Constitutional Republic

Just so we're all on the same page, and have the same (or, at least a similar) understanding of the term "deconstructing", this is a definition:

Definition of Deconstruct:

de·con·struct (verb \ˌdē-kən-ˈstrəkt\)

transitive verb
1: to examine using the methods of deconstruction
2: to take apart or examine in order to reveal the basis or composition of often with the intention of exposing biases, flaws, or
3: to adapt or separate the elements of for use in an ironic or radically new
4: destroy, demolish deconstructing themselves >

For the purposes of this post, I will be using definitions 2-4 (since def #1 is a rather vague, circular, and DTYS generalization) as I see them applied to the demolition of our once-great country.  The successful deconstruction of a Constitutional Republic, such as ours, must be done in the same manner as one would eat an elephant... one bite at a time.  Our current administration is engaged in deconstruction, following the tenets of the Cloward-Piven "Strategy of Manufactured Crisis".

Despite the mass media news blackout, a series of books, talk radio and the blogosphere have managed to expose Barack Obama's connections to his radical mentors -- Weather Underground bombers William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis and many others. David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks.org have also contributed a wealth of information and have noted Obama's radical connections since the beginning.

Before the 1994 Republican takeover, Democrats had 60 years of virtually unbroken power in Congress - with substantial majorities most of the time. Can a group of smart people, studying issue after issue for years on end, with virtually unlimited resources at their command, not come up with a single policy that works? Why are they chronically incapable?

One of two things must be true. Either the Democrats are unbelievable morons, who ignorantly pursue ever more destructive policies despite decades of contrary evidence, or they understand the consequences of their actions and relentlessly carry on anyway because they somehow benefit.

I believe they fully understand the consequences. For many it is simply a practical matter of eliciting votes from a targeted constituency at taxpayer expense; we lose a little, they gain a lot, and the politician keeps his job. But for others, the goal is more malevolent - the failure is deliberate. Don't laugh. This method not only has its proponents, it has a name: the Cloward-Piven Strategy. It describes their agenda, tactics, and long-term strategy.

The Strategy was created by a pair of radical socialist Columbia University professors, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. David Horowitz summarizes it as:
The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.
Cloward and Piven were inspired by radical organizer [and Hillary Clinton mentor] Saul Alinsky:
"Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one.
Newsmax rounds out the picture:
Their strategy to create political, financial, and social chaos that would result in revolution blended Alinsky concepts with their more aggressive efforts at bringing about a change in U.S. government. To achieve their revolutionary change, Cloward and Piven sought to use a cadre of aggressive organizers assisted by friendly news media to force a re-distribution of the nation's wealth.
In their Nation article, Cloward and Piven were specific about the kind of "crisis" they were trying to create:
By crisis, we mean a publicly visible disruption in some institutional sphere. Crisis can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognized disruption to public attention.  (e.g., the "Occupy Movement".)
No matter where the strategy is implemented, these are it's hallmark characteristics:
  1. The offensive organizes previously unorganized groups eligible for government benefits but not currently receiving all they can. (e.g., ACORN)
  2. The offensive seeks to identify new beneficiaries and/or create new benefits. (e.g. championing illegal immigration)
  3. The overarching aim is always to impose new stresses on target systems, with the ultimate goal of forcing their collapse. (e.g., unrestrained government spending, borrowing, and devaluation of our currency)
Capitalizing on the racial unrest of the 1960s, Cloward and Piven saw the welfare system as their first target. They enlisted radical black activist George Wiley, who created the National Welfare Reform Organization (NWRO) to implement the strategy. Wiley hired militant foot soldiers to storm welfare offices around the country, violently demanding their "rights." According to a City Journal article by Sol Stern, welfare rolls increased from 4.3 million to 10.8 million by the mid-1970s as a result, and in New York City, where the strategy had been particularly successful, "one person was on the welfare rolls... for every two working in the city's private economy."

The vast expansion of welfare in New York City that came of the NWRO's Cloward-Piven tactics sent the city into bankruptcy in 1975.  Rudy Giuiliani cited Cloward and Piven by name as being responsible for "an effort at economic sabotage."  He also "credited" Cloward-Piven with changing the cultural attitude toward welfare from that of a temporary expedient to a lifetime entitlement, an attitude which in-and-of-itself has caused perhaps the greatest damage of all.

How long can a city - or nation - survive under such socioeconomic stresses?  In 2012 several other large U.S. cities have filed, or are on the verge of filing, bankruptcy. Scranton PA (F), Sacramento CA (F), Compton CA(F), San Diego CA (V), NYC NY (V), San Jose CA (V), Cincinnati OH (V), Honolulu HI (V), San Francisco CA (V), Los Angeles CA (V), Washington D.C. (V) and Newark NJ (V), among others.  Last fall, Jefferson County, AL filed the biggest Chapter 9 bankruptcy in American history. There seems to be a pattern emerging there.  The larger the welfare rolls, the fewer productive taxpayers. The fewer productive taxpayers, the greater the possibility a city/count/state/nation will become bankrupt.

Cloward and Piven looked at this strategy as a gold mine of opportunity. Within the newly organized groups, each offensive would find an ample pool of foot soldier recruits willing to advance its radical agenda for little or no pay, and expand its base of reliable voters, legal or otherwise. The radicals' threatening tactics also would accrue an intimidating reputation, providing a wealth of opportunities for extorting monetary and other concessions from the target organizations. In the meantime, successful offensives would create an ever increasing drag on society. As they gleefully observed:
"Moreover, this kind of mass influence is cumulative because benefits are continuous. Once eligibility for basic food and rent grants is established, the drain on local resources persists indefinitely."
The next time you drive through one of the many blighted neighborhoods in our cities, or read of the astronomical crime, drug addiction, school drop-out rates, and out-of-wedlock birth rates, or consider the failed schools, strapped police and fire resources of every major city, remember Cloward and Piven's thrill that "...the drain on local resources persists indefinitely."


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan sports beard, judge delays hearing!

Can you believe this?

"The judge in the trial of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan delayed pre-trial motions Friday when he ruled the defendant to be in violation of the Army's grooming standards."        

"Hasan showed up for the half-day administrative hearing sporting a beard, which the military prosecutors said was a violation of Army regulation 670-1 and court-martial rule 804(4)(1). Judge Col. Gregory Gross then went on record saying that Hasan's beard was a disruption to the proceedings.  "It is a disruption. The judge felt it was," Fort Hood media officer Chris Haug told the media. "He's in violation of the Army's dress and grooming standards."

The son-of-a-bitch is on trial for murder! What makes the Army think he'll give a rat's ass about being "in violation of the Army's grooming standards"? He has proven by his actions in November of 2009 that he is not an American soldier, but he is an enemy terrorist. They should have had MP's shave him right there in the courtroom and then proceed with the trial!!  It was nothing but a delaying tactic cloaked in "religious belief. His religion hasn't changed since he murdered 13 people, and he is still a member of the U.S. Army.


And why is he even having a trial? Here's the scenario facing the police when they arrived on the scene:
1. A roomful of dead and wounded service members.
2. One man standing, armed with two guns, who then fired upon the responding police officers, striking one.


There's only two dots to connect there. Many people dead and injured from gunshots + a shooter. If the police had done their job properly, there would be no need for a trial. Hasan would have left that room in a body bag. It doesn't take a Sherlock F. Holmes to figure this one out!


Inasmuch as Hasan did survive, there is a requirement for a trial under the heading of "Due Process". The due process of executing this man is well behind schedule.


I'm Gil, and you're not. This means that one of us is lucky!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Customer Service - The Good, The Bad, and the Nightmares

For my meager band of faithful followers: I have heard some real horror stories about the "customer service" practices of some firearms (and also firearm accessories) manufacturers, and it's true of many manufacturers in all industries.

I just had an amazing interaction with the folks at LaserLyte, that began when my RSL-1 (Rear Sight Laser for Glocks - their first model) decided it was tired of working properly. The RSL became extremely resistant to being turned off, and drained a set of batteries. Installed a new set of batteries, and it took me 20+ complete switch cycles (3 presses per cycle) to turn it off again.

So I emailed LaserLyte on Sunday, explaining the problem to them, and got a reply first thing Monday morning from their Customer Service Representative, Evelyn Slipher. I bought this unit in Oregon in the latter-half of 2010, and with no paperwork available, not even a roughly accurate purchase date, their reply said (in-part): "Thank you so much for getting back to me. I am having a new RTB-GL tested and sent out to you. The RTB-GL is the newest version of the RL-1 laser that you have. You will get the UPS tracking information emailed to you once it is shipped. I’m also including a postage paid envelope for the return of the defective unit. Once received, please place the defective unit into the postage paid envelope and send it back via U.S. Mail. If I may be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me."


WOW! There really are still some companies that apparently believe that customer satisfaction is the key to their continued success. It was a pleasure doing business with them, and LaserLyte will be my first choice if/when I decide to put a laser on my G23. Thinking about "lighting up" your pistol? I wholeheartedly recommend LaserLyte without any reservations. Any other customer service stories out there - good, bad or indifferent? I think it's good if we know which companies treat customers right, and which companies don't. Two of the things I really like about the LaserLyte sight is that it replaces the Glock's plastic rear sight with a steel one - which incorporates their laser - and does not require the user to go hunting for a special holster.


I'm Gil, and my firearms and accessories recommendations are based upon more than 60 years of shooting experience, and over a half-century of owning and maintaining my own firearms. Those of you who know me personally know that I would never recommend anything that I didn't consider to be a top quality product. LaserLyte and Glock were made for each other - both are absolutely top quality. LaserLyte Home



Monday, March 26, 2012

Public Law 112-95 - The FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011

This bill should really be called "The Bleed The Taxpayer Dry Act of 2011", inasmuch as it has authorized funding for the FAA of approximately $3.35B per year for the period 2011-2014. The costs for this one government project are $100.69 per person (and increases their $49,752.84 share of the national debt to $49,853.53 [source: Congressional Budget Office] ). Just what we don't need - another $13B+ of debt.

 

According to WashingtonWatch.com, this "law" - as is true with most legislation - was basically sold to the highest bidder! In the House, whichever side provided the greatest monetary incentive - Yea or Nay - got the nod (with a handful of exceptions who apparently voted for the people). All of Utah's representatives voted for H.R. 658 - now PL 112-95 - and in the Senate, Orrin Hatch chose not to vote at all.

 

Have our lawmakers not heard that we are not only BROKE, as a nation, we are in debt (primarily to China) to the tune of $15.6 TRILLION DOLLARS! Since September 27th, 2007, our national debt has increased at the rate of $4.02B per day! And there is no end in sight!! Has everybody in Washington D.C. gone totally INSANE? How will we ever pay off such indebtedness? Increase taxes levied upon the citizens, of course. Perhaps not directly as "taxes" per se, but by insinuating "fees" and "charges" into everyday activities. An example is the 1% transaction "fee" on each and every banking transaction, as proposed by the Obama administration. Make a deposit - personally or by Direct Deposit - of $1,000 and your account is debited $10 for the privilege of making that deposit. Write a check for $500 and your account will reflect a $5 "fee" for that transaction... a business transaction in which the government itself has no investment of time, labor or money! What is the difference between this activity and "protection money" paid by small business owners to street thugs? Such a governmental action is nothing more than legalized (by imperial fiat) extortion of the taxpayers!

 

Can we stop this financial bloodletting by our elected representatives? Maybe... but ONLY if we let them know that we are onto them, and that we will do everything we can to insure they are not re-elected if they continue along this path.

 

As I said in my opening paragraph, this is only ONE of the hundreds of pieces of cost-ignorant legislation passed by Congress each year. If we allow it to continue, perhaps we are as stupid and indifferent as they seem to think we are. If so, we deserve whatever they choose do to us!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

BLOWING SMOKE...

If you don't read news reports carefully, they can easily be deceiving... as they are generally intended to be. The mission sttement of the media in general is no longer to report the news, but to spin the news in support of whatever political position the publisher or station owner happens to have adopted. Here's a prime example of the "smoke and mirrors" used by the liberal media:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans claiming new jobless benefits fell back to a four-year low last week and manufacturing in the Northeast held up in March, providing more signs the economy was firmly on a self-sustaining growth path.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 351,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That took claims back to a four-year low reached in February.
Separately, the New York Federal Reserve said its Empire State general business conditions index rose to 20.21 - highest level since June 2010 - from 19.53 in February.
"This suggests that the recovery is firmly on track," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida."

On the face of it we tend to think, "WOW, that's great! Joblessness is at a four year low! The economy is on it's way back up!" But if you remove the 'rose colored glasses' that Reuters has surreptitiously slipped you with this article, and ignore the dying embers of hopefulness in your heart, here's what the article really says:
The number of Americans claiming new jobless benefits fell back to a four-year low last week and manufacturing in the Northeast held up in March, providing more signs the economy was firmly on a self-sustaining growth path. (There are fewer newly unemployed Americans applying for unemployment compensation than there have been during the past four years. This does not take into consideration those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and are still unemployed, since unemployment statistics only include those people who are drawing unemployment compensation. Manufacturing "held up" in the Northeast? What does "held up" mean in real words, and what about the status of manufacturing in the other 80% of the country?)
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 351,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That took claims back to a four-year low reached in February. (SMOKE ALARM! Okay, so 14,000 fewer new claims were made - BFD! The real statistic is that there are still 351,000 people who lost their jobs in February!! Where is the progress in that??
Separately, the New York Federal Reserve said its Empire State general business conditions index rose to 20.21 - highest level since June 2010 - from 19.53 in February. (How nice for New York State... and the 49 other states reported what?)
"This suggests that the recovery is firmly on track," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida." (I'm willing to bet that Scott Brown (WHO?) is a registered Democrat, liberal left-wing, "Hope and Change" weenie. And, exactly when did St. Petersburg, Florida become the economic forecasting capital of America? Did Greece use Raymond James of St. Petersburg for their economic guidance?)

The whole story is spun in an attempt by the liberal media to lull us into a sense of false security, and bolster the failing "Hope and Change" fairytale the current administration sold to America almost 3½ years  ago. This is "business as usual" for the vast majority of the mainstream media. There is a need for hope and change, but the hope is for a change... a change of "leadership" - once again - to get America back to its roots. Our survival as a Republic depends on that hope becoming reality!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

American Soldier Kills 16 Afghan Civilians - Who's To Blame?

There has been much ado made in the media about an American soldier killing 16 Afghan civilians during a one man night assault on two Afghan villages. The Afghan people are rightfully outraged by this unwarranted and (apparently) unsanctioned attack. Unsurprisingly, there have been calls from al Quaida for all kinds of reprisals against the U.S. and allied military forces - specifically beheadings. My question is: "Whose head should roll?"
The soldier - on his fourth tour in the giant litter box of the middle-east - reportedly had "suffered traumatic head injuries" during a previous tour. I suggest that he is as much a "victim" of this ridiculously prolonged conflict as were the Afghanis he killed. Four tours in a combat zone is at least two too many, and most likely three too many. If a soldier survives one combat tour, he is both lucky and thankful. A second tour surely makes him/her a bit uncomfortable. Surviving a third tour is "pushing his/her luck", and returning alive from more than three tours borders upon the miraculous.
Would this middle-eastern conflict have been so protracted if members of Congress, or their well-protected children, had to serve with our combat units? Would it have been so lengthy if those 535 of our nation's elected "leadership" could find a single pair of cojones between them, and permitted our military leaders to fight this as a real "war"? If you answered "No" and "No" to those questions, you're absolutely right. (You may have noticed that within my masthead I cite Shakespeare's Antony's [of the play "Julius Caesar"] "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war". This does not mean that I am a "warmonger" [although I have participated in one, I cannot, in good conscience, recommend war as a suitable replacement for other human social interactions].) What I do recommend though, is that when armed confrontation is required of us - by whatever series of events - we respond with all the force that is available to us in order to shorten the conflict and minimize our own casualties. However, our politicians do not share that point of view (which may or may not be a "good thing"). I am enough of a realist to accept the fact that wars have been around since the beginning of time, and they will continue for so long as there are two people left on Earth - one of whom wants something the other has, but the other is not willing to surrender that commodity without what is percevied as unduly high compensation. How is it resolved? Physical (perhaps armed) confrontation - a "last man standing" scenario.
How can we expect our soldiers - who by law must follow both a "Code of Conduct" and "Rules of Engagement" - to act in a perfectly rational way, when the enemy wears no identifying uniform, hides among the civilian population, and has neither a Code or Rules required of them? The only rule for them is "KILL THE INFIDELS!" We must expect, and accept, that there will be "collateral damage" in such a situation. Taking the moral "high road" is extremely costly in terms of American lives. Our troops should take two flags into battle with them - the "Stars and Stripes" and the modified "Culpeper (Don't Tread on Me) Flag"...
Allowing politicians to determine military strategy and rules of engagement, rather than those who are recruited and trained specifically for that purpose, is utter foolishness and an unwarranted waste of American lives.
Who, if anybody, should be tried for "war crimes" regarding this mass shooting of civilians in Afghanistan? I submit that it should not be the soldier who actually did the shooting, but those people - who with full knowledge of his pre-existing head trauma - so foolishly chose to return him to combat duty! But, that's just the way I see things...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Judge Issues Delay In Nidal Hasan Trial - AGAIN!

The murder trial for the Army psychiatrist charged in the Fort Hood shooting rampage has been postponed by Presiding Military Judge Gregory Gross until June 12.

The decision came Thursday at a hearing in which Maj. Nidal Hasan and his attorneys requested a delay in the trial. The defense argued their expert hasn’t completed the investigation of Hasan's background. (The defense expert hasn't completed the investigation?? After 2½ YEARS? Sounds like he has his career picked out - milking this case until he reaches retirement age.)

They also argued they need more time to review documents involved in the case, a totaled of 320,000 pages as of December. (320,000 pages? This "expert" better have a staff of about 500 to read, summarize, analyze and report if the government wishes to go forward before the military judge retires or Hasan - now 41 - dies of old age!)

He is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder and faces the death penalty or life without parole if convicted in the November 2009 shootings. (Life without parole should not be an option. He personally ended 13 lives that day, and should forfeit his own right to live to see another sunrise! There should be no need for a trial, either. Hasan was caught at the scene with the weapons. He is GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt! It's just a shame that the police officers responding weren't better shots.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rioting over SHOES???

Nike released its retro version of a popular Air Jordan basketball shoe, Thursday at midnight. Police were called in late Thursday to break up a crowd that had gathered at the Florida Mall near Orlando in anticipation of the release of a new limited edition, glow-in-the-dark Nike shoe. There were also unruly Nike shoe mobs in Washington, D.C. and Seattle.

What kind of mentality do these weak-minded morons have, that drives them to indulge in antisocial behaviors in hopes of Nike allowing them an opportunity to spend $200-$300 on a stupid pair of shoes? Have outrageously overpriced shoes suddenly become the most important commodities in the world?

Imagine what these people rioting over shoes will do if there is a disruption of food or fuel... it's time for everyone to wake up and make preparations! The stupidity demonstrated by some people is almost unbelievable...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

JOSH POWELL - A TERRIBLY EVIL AND TRAGIC ACT!

First, understand that I was not witness to any of the following acts, and that these are my personal thoughts about the chain of events which led up to the loss of two innocent young lives... at the hands of their FATHER! (And, keep in mind that "Monday morning quarterbacks" can always call the correct plays that would have won the game for their team.) I have no special knowledge - my evaluation of this process is based soley upon information reported in the media.

I believe there were errors made from the initial missing person report of Susan Powell's "disappearance" from her home in West Valley, Utah, through the horrific ending in Washington. Most of the errors were systemic, as opposed to individual oversights/mistakes. I believed from the outset that Josh Powell had, at the very least, knowledge of what had happened to his wife. He either covered up her murder, murdered her himself, or did so in concert with his father - a voyeur, collector of 'kiddie porn', and suspected child molester. In my heart of hearts I believed that Josh Powell had personally murdered her and disposed of her body.

The first red flag was his explanation of his whereabouts the night of Susan Powell's disappearance. His story was so lame, it would have had greater credibility had he claimed she was "beamed up" by aliens! He claimed he had elected to take their sons, ages 2 and 4 at the time, camping... at midnight... in the dead of a Utah winter... during a heavy snowstorm, in sub-freezing temperatures. Would that story have had the slightest ring of truthfulness to anybody with a functioning adult mind? Of course not! But, the police must have solid evidence before they can act to arrest anyone, whereas I already had Josh Powell tried, convicted and executed (in the 'court' of my mind) from day one.

The next red flag was when it was suggested that perhaps his wife ran away... leaving her purse, cellphone and other personal effects behind. What woman would do that? (Unless... she was intentionally trying to implicate somebody in her disappearance.) But again, the police must have acceptable evidence that a crime had been committed before they can arrest anyone.
There was at least one report that the carpet in the Powell home was "still damp" at some point during the investigation. However, I heard no reports on if samples had been taken from the carpet and processed. (I have to believe that - if that report was accurate - officials [u]did[/u] take samples as evidence, and that the results were "inconclusive" at best.)
First error (in my opinion): Josh Powell was a "person of interest" in the disappearance of his wife, Susan. The question in my mind is why his status in the investigation was never upgraded from that of "person of interest" to "suspect", and why, even as a "person of interest", he was permitted to leave Utah and take up residence over 1,000 miles away?

Now to the most recent event - his murder of his two sons, and the ensuing conflagration of the home in which he was living...
Second error: The children were delivered to him at his domicile for a "supervised visit". Why was he not required to perform this "supervised visit" at the local DSHS office, under the supervision of a Child Protective Service officer? Or, at the very least, in a public place with the same supervisor? They knew they were dealing with an individual who had no real alibi for his involvement in a missing person case, and who may have been involved in that "disappearance". There was a cloak of suspicion of evil surrounding Powell - trusting him was a big mistake.

There are those who believe the social worker had some responsibility for the fate of the children. I am not one of those people. She did her job. Her only "mistake" (if one can call it that) was in allowing the children to approach and enter the house ahead of her, which gave Powell the opportunity to exclude her from entering. Do I believe the outcome would have been any diffferent had she been allowed to enter the house? Of course not! Powell had murdered before, and planned to murder his own young sons! Why would he not take the life of someone for whom he had no feelings at all? The only change in outcome would have been in the body count - +1.

According to media reports, Powell opened the door, grabbed the boys, pulled them into the house, and then closed and locked the door. The social worker than called her supervisor asking for guidance, because she had no prior experience of that kind. Personally, I believe she should have called the police first because Powell had violated the court-permitted "supervised visit". But, once again, I don't believe the outcome would have been any different had she taken a police officer with her on the visit. How much time would it take him to close and lock a door, then strike his children with an axe, and light a match? Less than a minute, I'm sure. How much time does it take for that action to fully register with the people on the other side of the door? 5-15 seconds? Then there is the procedural time wasted notifying headquarters of the act (unless the officer considered it an "exigent circumstance"). That's at least another 10-15 seconds. Then there is the banging on the door, establishing the authority and issuing commands - "This is the police! You are in violation of a court order - OPEN THIS DOOR!" More time wasted. By now the children have both been struck several times with an axe, and are probably lying on the floor unconscious, as their father lights the match that causes causes the house first to explode, and then immediately become an inferno. The lives of two innocent children were taken that day. Children whose only mistake was to (according to reports) "adore" their father... a man who was the embodiment of evil! According to reports, approximately 10 minutes elapsed between the time the children were taken by Powell, and the explosion. Apparently he felt that he had time to execute his plan - and his children - before anything could be done to stop him.

There are other suggested (ex post facto) alternate scenarios for the visit. The DSHS offices or a public place? Powell acquires a gun, takes it with him, and kills the boys and himself. Deny him visitation rights? Powell finds the boys, kidnaps them, and kills them. There was no possible "happy ending" for this story based upon what information we have at this time. The police were apparently unable to find sufficient evidence - required by the state prosecutor's office - to support the issuance of an arrest warrant. Was any evidence overlooked, or classified as irrelevant or insignificant? We don't know. What we do know is that the laws and the judicial system failed to properly protect Charles and Braden Powell, whose short lives were ended on February 5, 2012, in a final act of selfishness by their father. His final claim was that he "couldn't live without my boys", totally ignoring the fact that they could have lived without him.

My hope is that there is a special chamber in hell for Josh Powell, and those like him, where he will suffer for all time and eternity. God bless the little children, and care for their precious souls.