Thursday, August 28, 2008

Heinous Acts on the Border

I've been meaning to transcribe this for some time. I've listened for some time to the Pat and Edd show. On July 21, 2008, Edd of the Pat and Edd show went to San Antonio, Texas for the Texas Sheriff's association meeting, specifically talking with the Texas Border Coalition Sheriff's Association.

He interviewed one of the attendees, Gary Bergman who worked in Florida on a fast coastal interceptor crew and later as a border patrol agent near Eagle Pass. One of the things the former agent shared seemed too wild to be true, but it's hard to contradict someone who actually worked in border patrol. Here's what Gary said:

Gary: "For about a six month period they were kidnapping children down in Mexico, and whenever a child came across the checkpoint sleeping in the car seat, we had direct orders to wake up the child because they were surgically removing the child's insides and stuffing them with dope and putting an actual heavy-duty zipper. So, whenever a car came through the checkpoint we had to say, 'Ma'am can you wake up the child?' They're like, 'He's sleeping.' 'I know I need to wake up the child.' As long as we saw movement in the child, you know, then we let them through."

Edd: "But your direct intelligence was these people are so heinous, so violent, so bloodthirsty, so cold and evil they actually would use the corpses of children in car seats to bring dope in."

Gary: "Absolutely."

I'd like to have the story verified. If it can be, it justifies putting the military on the Southern border to stop such awful acts.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hilarious!

Forwarded by Mark from this source, this picture is incredibly entertaining. Whether your for or against Obama, you probably realize that like most politicians, there's an ego there. The media should be helping to bring any popular politician back down to earth. Since they're not, a silly picture or two might help.

Photobucket

What's he holding in his left hand? That'd be arugula, from his comment at an Iowa farm in the primaries, "Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?" Yes, some Midwestern farmers may grow arugula, but they're unlikey to shop at Whole Paycheck or eat any of it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Original Ownership is a silly argument

One of my favorite programs received input from a gentleman named Juan who used the "California belonged to Mexico first!" argument on them. I couldn't resist replying to it, and thought I'd post it for a broader audience.

The "original ownership" argument used to claim California still belongs to Mexico is as fallacious as it is disingenuous.

It's like saying the people who bought my house new in the late 1940's have the right to come and take it from me because they had it first.

Ironically for Juan's argument, Mexico didn't own California first. Neither Spain or even the American Indians from whom they took it. There's solid evidence of a people living in much of North America before American Indians arrived, meaning they took it from an earlier people who probably took it from someone else.

California was acquired as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American war. The U.S. paid $15 million (about $315 million in today's dollars) for the land, guaranteed existing property rights of Mexican citizens and took on $3.25 million (about $70 million in today's dollars) in debt owed by Mexico to Americans.

This territory was paid for in American lives and dollars. The fact we bothered to pay anything to the nation that lost the war and guaranteed the rights of her citizens was much more civilized than most of the previous "transfers of ownership" in the past.

I really don't care who owned the land when. It has nothing to do with a coherent border security policy, which is necessary for any modern nation. If I illegally entered Mexico, then demanded the same rights and services as citizens there, I'd be put in prison for a few years and then shipped back to the U.S. All I'm asking is we are at least as serious about our border as Mexico is about theirs.

Who pays the taxes? (California Edition)

Governor Schwarzenegger is finally pushing for a "temporary" tax hike after saying for five years that we don't need tax hikes in California. He was right on that point. We have a spending problem.

What I didn't know is how low the bar is for rich in California. The highest income-tax bracket of 9.3% kicks in at a whopping $44,814 if you're single, or $89,628 for married filing jointly.

As a founder of an LLC, my partner and I split the revenue of the company after expenses and pay the rest as income. We actually don't dispurse all of that revenue, but still have to pay taxes on it. Hey California, nice to know how easy it is to be rich. Now if it was only that easy to pay all the bills.

The CIA didn't create Osama

Well, at least it didn't fund him in Afghanistan. It's a common myth, perpetuated by the short-attention-span media.

It turns out there were two groups of fighters in the Afghan fight against the Soviets. Local and Pakistani mujahidin were funded by the CIA. The so-called Arab Afghans were bin Laden's group, and we had nothing to do with them. In fact, you may remember the Afghan mujahidin--they later became known as the Northern Alliance, who helped a lot in our ousting of the Taliban in 2001.

Richard Miniter (his excellent book is Disinformation : 22 Media Myths That Undermine the War on Terror) actually interviewed the man in charge of funding the fighters. That man turns out to be now be a congressman:
Even if the CIA wanted to pay “Arab Afghans” -- which agency officials insist they did not -- bin Laden would be a far from obvious choice. Bin Laden himself rarely left the safety of Pakistan’s northwestern cities and commanded few troops of his own. At the time, bin Laden was the Arab Afghan’s quartermaster, providing food and other supplies.

If a CIA officer tried to give money to bin Laden, he probably would not have lived through the experience. The arch-terrorist was known for his violent anti-Americanism. Dana Rohrabacher, now a Republican congressman from California, told me about a trip he took with the mujahideen in 1987. On that trek, his guide told him not to speak English for the next few hours because they were passing by bin Laden’s camp. “If he hears an American, he will kill you.”
Now if only we can keep the Taliban from resurging.

Who pays the taxes?

I've been hanging onto this link for a while, but realized it belonged here. One of the difficulties when discussing tax policy is answering the question, "who currently pays the taxes?"

WSJ pointed out, the rich are paying a lot:
The nearby chart shows that the top 1% of taxpayers, those who earn above $388,806, paid 40% of all income taxes in 2006, the highest share in at least 40 years. The top 10% in income, those earning more than $108,904, paid 71%. Barack Obama says he's going to cut taxes for those at the bottom, but that's also going to be a challenge because Americans with an income below the median paid a record low 2.9% of all income taxes, while the top 50% paid 97.1%. Perhaps he thinks half the country should pay all the taxes to support the other half.

Aha, we are told: The rich paid more taxes because they made a greater share of the money. That is true. The top 1% earned 22% of all reported income. But they also paid a share of taxes not far from double their share of income. In other words, the tax code is already steeply progressive.

We also know from income mobility data that a very large percentage in the top 1% are "new rich," not inheritors of fortunes. There is rapid turnover in the ranks of the highest income earners, so much so that people who started in the top 1% of income in the 1980s and 1990s suffered the largest declines in earnings of any income group over the subsequent decade, according to Treasury Department studies of actual tax returns. It's hard to stay king of the hill in America for long.
Yay rich people!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ecochondria in Remission?

A recent study indicates we're not as worried about global warming as we used to be. A lot of people are asking why.

We're not big on faith-based fervor in the U.S., and I think that's why the human-caused global warming craze seems to be dying down.

The more you study it, the more ambiguous the actual science becomes. In fact, a lot of the research done on our 0.7 degree Celsius temperature rise in the last 100 years points to solar cycles.

It's important not to pollute, and we have to work toward alternative energy, as dinosaur juice is absolutely going to run out eventually, but the ecochondriac push toward envirosocialism seems to be recoiling from the bright light of reasoned inquiry. They ran on emotion, and you can't keep people in a state of panic forever.

Another factor may be that many of the global warming activists knew full well this was not a human-caused environmental crisis, but a perfect vehicle for socialism. Why else would Al Gore be so vehement about the subject, yet live a life of massive consumption (aside from the lining his own pockets aspect, of course)? If you believe this is a coming crisis, you don't pay for carbon offsets, you actually change your lifestyle, yet many activists aren't doing that.

With Obama being hailed by the media as our next president, such activists no longer need a Trojan horse cause to usher in global socialism. He's openly talking about his plans to take us in that direction. That means these people can put down their "The End is Near" signs and pick up "Obama '08" signs.

Friday, August 8, 2008

UFO nutters on Larry King

Filed under "randomness"...

Larry King had some UFO moonbats on his show. They're not exactly polite to the scientists pointing out the problems with their logic. Here's the video, but the sound is a bit problematic:

Video Part 1
Video Part 2
Video Part 3
Video Part 4

The USSR is back!

They're not calling it the USSR, but it's back. It looks very much like Putin has quietly restructured the country to a system that will be much more robust than "Communism." I use quotation marks simply because actual Marxist Communism doesn't exist; it's simply been an excuse to set up an authoritarian government.

The new Russia, much like the transforming China, makes no pretenses of being communist. If you visit China today, there's no egalitarianism, and the State doesn't take care of the average person. You work hard, or you die from starvation. The workers are not indistinguishable from their leaders, who are fabulously wealthy, having been made rich by the labor of the proletariat.

Hm, that's kind of like John Edwards, Barack Obama or George Bush, isn't it? But I digress--they made their money in a capitalist system, in which it's fine to become rich even if it's not popular.

Why do I say the USSR is back? Putin is invading former USSR satellite states, bringing them back under Russian domination. This is not a surprise. We knew Putin was headed this way since he abolished elections for regional governors, making them Presidential appointees.

"Putin's not president anymore!" one might object. Well, true. However, he selected his replacement for the Presidency, then moved comfortably into the Prime Minister's chair following an election that left fair observers with a lot of doubts.

In short, we have a new USSR calling itself Russia, structured like China. Democracy was a brief experiment there and we can now probably expect a new cold war, as indicated by Putin's increasingly hostile rhetoric.