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Friday, July 25, 2014

Doctor Frankenstein's social experiments

Senator Harkin of Iowa wants to allow disabled Americans into our armed forces:
[Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa] wants to push [providing disabled individuals with equality under the law] even further, including an amendment in a Senate draft of the annual defense appropriations bill last week that would require the military to study the possibility of allowing disabled individuals to enlist in the military in non-combat and support roles.

“The military now permits individuals to remain on active duty if they acquire a disability while serving their country,” Harkin said during an appropriations hearing July 17. “However, for a person with a similar disability who wants to enlist in the military and be a part of our defense establishment, they would not allow that, even if they needed the same reasonable accommodations.”

The Defense Department already follows federal law mandating “reasonable accommodations” for disabled civilian employees, but no such exceptions are made for enlistees.

“They're not going to be combat people, but we have a lot of people with disabilities who are lawyers who would like to enter the JAG Corps and be a part of our military,” Harkin said. “For every one combat person, there are 10 behind them.”
Meanwhile far from D.C. tens of thousands of illegal immigrants are inundating our borders ever since Obama advertised the big open bar party on the northern side of the border. When you ask who's to blame for the border crisis, all you get is deflection and talking points. The Democrats wanted this. Don't think for one minute that this insanity isn't by design.
Nearly a year before President Obama declared a humanitarian crisis on the border, a team of experts arrived at the Fort Brown patrol station in Brownsville, Tex., and discovered a makeshift transportation depot for a deluge of foreign children.

Thirty Border Patrol agents were assigned in August 2013 to drive the children to off-site showers, wash their clothes and make them sandwiches. As soon as those children were placed in temporary shelters, more arrived. An average of 66 were apprehended each day on the border and more than 24,000 cycled through Texas patrol stations in 2013. In a 41-page report to the Department of Homeland Security, the team from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) raised alarms about the federal government’s capacity to manage a situation that was expected to grow worse.
Meanwhile in your own neighborhoods and at your local orphanage and foster-homes It's apparently the age of inclusion. Queue the hippy music. You want to get married to a consenting adult? Two consenting adults, three? Polygamy? Incest? You want to marry your sister? We don't care! Have a ball!
Judge Garry Neilson, from the district court in the state of New South Wales, likened incest to homosexuality, which was once regarded as criminal and "unnatural" but is now widely accepted.

He said incest was now only a crime because it may lead to abnormalities in offspring but this rationale was increasingly irrelevant because of the availability of contraception and abortion.

"A jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now 'available', not having [a] sexual partner," the judge said.

"If this was the 1950s and you had a jury of 12 men there, which is what you'd invariably have, they would say it's unnatural for a man to be interested in another man or a man being interested in a boy. Those things have gone."
America's services—schools, welfare programs, emergency medicine, and sundry social services of one kind or another—are sort of like an open bar where the drinks are free for those who're invited. Invitees are permitted to partake of the refreshments at will. The people legally here are welcome. They're expected. They paid the entrance fee, or their parents did. But, what happens when you let legions of party crashers willy-nilly into your open bar? Vandalism, hooliganism, violence, broken furniture, fires, is what you get and worst of all you also run out of booze. A party where the bar-stools are all kindling, the jukebox is smashed, and the open bar has no more booze, is about as entertaining as a quadriplegic prostitute.

I'm blind in one eye. I have been since a car accident that happened when I was twenty years old. The various armed forces wouldn't allow me to sign up with my almost insignificant disability. If you think about it, you only shoot with one eye anyway so what was the big deal? The lesson from 300 is a good place to start.



The key phrase that Leonidas explained to Efialtes was this: "We fight as a single impenetrable unit." If I was a soldier and I failed to see something because of my blindness or failed to catch something that had been thrown to me because of my poor depth perception and either of those sorts of failures caused the death or injury of a fellow soldier or soldiers, then how would those who allowed me to sign up explain their decision?

Our soldiers fight as a single unit. They expect each man to do his job. It doesn't get more life and death than a battlefield, so how can anyone justify allowing our armed forces to be compromised with a bunch of weak links? It therefore baffles me that that our politically correct leaders have sprinkled our military with a selection of weak links.

The way they've sissified basic training is an example of misguided policy makers making fair-seeming decisions with unintended yet terrible consequences. Women, homosexuals, and now disabled will all be handed an M-16 and ushered onto some battlefield, somewhere. What's wrong with that you ask? For those of you who ask "why not?", I'll ask you just this one question. What if the managers of your favorite NFL football team make the decision to put women, transsexuals, and even cripples on the line of scrimmage? Well, are you okay with that? And even if you are, do you think the other players on the team will go for it? They play as a unit. If a weak-link keeps letting the defensive tackles breeze by and the quarterback keeps getting sacked and at some point injured, what then?

What about all these "social experiments" regarding marriage? We hear the phrase "social experiment" all the time and it just sort of flies by without triggering any emotional reflex. Social experiment ... ho-hum ... yawn. Here's a social experiment for you: Get a 45 caliber revolver and load all six chambers. Then carry the gun to your kindergarten son or daughter's classroom and hide it in the toy chest. Are you awake yet? I argue that allowing these "experimental families" the opportunity to adopt someone else's child is as equally insane. Are these people serious? I'm just shaking my head in dismay at what's happening in this country.

Finally, the border situation is on everybody's mind. Tens of thousands of illegals most with children, and even some children all by themselves are pouring across the border. They don't speak English. They don't have any job skills. They aren't properly vaccinated; many harbor deadly diseases; they're hiding within their multicultural throngs a variety of murderers, rapists, drug dealers, thieves, alcoholics, addicts, etc. Dingy Harry wants them here. Obama wants them here. Nancy Pelosi and the entire left side of the political aisle all want them here. Why? Simply for their votes of course. None of these illegals bring anything else with them. They bring hungry bellies, disease, crime, and a vote. If you're voting for the same people these illegals will end up voting for, then this is your mess. You statists and progressivists might as well have shouted "OPEN BAR! COME ON IN!" to every wino in Times Square.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Raise the sales tax again ... why not go ahead and make it 100% now?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sources tell WREG-TV the heads of the fire and police associations in Memphis have proposed raising the city sales tax to restore full healthcare benefits. The head of the Memphis Fire Association however told WREG that is not something that will go forward and be proposed to the public.

Current city employees and some retirees will pay 24% more for healthcare, while some retirees will lose their entire insurance subsidy. We are told there has been a proposal for a tax hike by half a cent to 9.75%. That rate would put Memphis equal with several surrounding municipalities which raised their sales tax to fund new schools.

If the proposal were to moved forward, voters would have to approve it. There are estimates the hike could raise more than $45 million per year. A similar change in the sales tax, to fund pre-k, was defeated last November.

The Segal Company, a human resources consulting firm, found the city pension is underfunded by $467 million. That contradicts a report commissioned by the firefighters union which put the number at $301 million and a report done by PricewaterhouseCoopers which put it at $682 million.

As of July 1, the State of Tennessee requires local governments to contribute 100% of the cost, determined by outside agencies, needed to keep their pension funded.
Oh those poor police and fire-fighters! It's possible if I don't take a half-percent pay-cut that they could lose their 100% paid for insurance and pension plans. What an injustice that would be! Never mind that the privately owned company that I work for doesn't even have a pension plan. never mind that my family's insurance plan gets crappier every year, and for this ever-crappier insurance, I pay more and more and more every year. But never mind all of that. Why should my family's suffering have any bearing whatsoever on the city's decision to forcibly extract even more money from my own family's ever tightening budget?

I can tell you from personal experience that everything costs so much more these days than it did just six years ago. I haven't gotten a raise in those six years, so effectively I've already taken a 30% pay-cut. Now they want to make it 30.5%. And the best thing of all is that I have essentially no power at all to affect this decision. It seems like every year the city has another reason to raise the sales tax. In fact it seems like it was just last year when they wanted to raise sales tax to pay for pre-kindergarten.

Guys, I want to talk for a moment about simple math and simple economics for just a minute. I'm sorry if the following explanation gets a little dry and boring but I'll try to be brief.

For simplicity's sake let's take one guy with a family of four making $50,000 per year. After taxes that's $42,617.64. So you say, that's not so bad. 15% off the top for federal tax and social security. In other states there would be state income tax also deducted. But wait! There's less! After subtracting sales tax at 9.25% our seemingly fairly successful middle-class worker takes home only $37,875.00.

People who work for the city of Memphis say...well yes everything costs more. Rent, utilities, food, clothing, utilities, healthcare, everything costs more. So we need more money. Yes, but the city budget is paid for primarily with sales and property taxes. If food costs more then obviously the city gets more sales tax revenue. If a $10.00 ham has a sales tax of $0.92 and the grocery store increases the price of that ham to $15.00, then the sales tax collected is $1.39. This represents a 50% increase in the price of the ham and in the revenue generated from its sale. No matter how much prices rise, the city should still be floating like a boat rising higher no matter how high the waters rise.

Therefore if rent costs more it's because property costs more, meaning ever-higher property tax revenue. If food costs more it means increased sales tax revenue from its sale. If utilities cost more it means the city brings in increased revenue from taxes imposed on utilities. There's a direct one for one increase in revenue vs. prices no matter how much prices rise. Memphis takes the same percentage of money from every resident and visitor who purchases goods and services in the city.

I'm trying to explain that the excuse of inflation to explain raising sales tax is a low-down rotten stinking good-for-nothing excuse and nothing more. If everything costs more then that means the city makes that much more in tax revenue.

So why is there a budget shortfall? Is it perhaps because the city of Memphis promised pie-in-the-sky pensions for every city employee who puts in their 10 years? Is it perhaps because the city of Memphis promised pie-in-the-sky lifetime health-care for every city employee who puts in their 10 years?

A 20 year old man works for the city for 10 years and becomes fully 'vested' which means he qualifies for full retirement benefits from the city. He goes to another city and does the same thing, and another and another. He retires at age 65 with 4 pensions plus his social security benefits. Every year thereafter he'll cost taxpayers considerably more to sit on a couch and watch the TV than he ever did while he was working. Some cities or municipalities require a different period of time to become fully vested but the effect is the same to a greater or lesser degree. Public sector employees frequently if not ubiquitously retire with multiple full-pensions.

If you want to know why cities and states keep increasing the percentage of money they take it's because with advances in medicine—medicine paid for by the tax-payer—retirees live to greater and greater ages. This has an exponentially multiplying effect on city budgets. If people live ten years longer they cost the city double. twenty years longer and they cost the city quadruple.

I have a great solution to this pension problem. Do the same thing health insurance companies do. If you have two policies covering the same person then one takes precedence. The insurance companies may quibble amongst themselves about which policy takes precedence but still and all, only one insurance company pays the bill, not both. Public sector pensions should follow the same rules. You have three public sector pensions? Sorry, but only one will be paying you. In the interests of fairness, that paying pension should at least be the highest paying one. Don't forget you still get Social Security, so cheer up officer Bob.