December 26, 2012

The Show Must Go On

As the President dramatically rushes home early from his vacation in Hawaii to meet with members of Congress to solve the Fiscal Cliff Financial Crisis remember this: Congress - both sides of the political aisle - and the White House created the Fiscal Cliff on purpose.

As each side tries to manipulate the situation the so that the blame falls on the other party, do forget that THEY ALL DID THIS TOGETHER. This mess is a bi-partisan creation.

If they manage to come with some sort of even semi-effective solution (and really what the chances of that happening?) neither side should get any credit for fixing a problem that is result of their own incompetence.

Are any the 537 people holding elected office in DC right now worthy of their positions?

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:07 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

December 24, 2012

I Don't Understand the Left in this Country

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne La Pierre gave a press conference outlining the organization's response to the slaughter committed in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Some of what he said was so common sense that the only criticism should be why are you standing there stating the obvious:

How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order? Think about it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses--even sports stadiums--are all protected by armed security. We care about the President, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers.

Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family--our children--we as a society leave them utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predators of this world know it and exploit it.

The NRA proposed a solution of putting armed security in schools. La Pierre highlighted the organization's expertise in this area and said the NRA would provide that expetise and training for free.

The left, predictably, was outraged.

Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who governs the city with the most restrictive gun laws in the nation and goes nowhere without armed security, captured the essence of what passes for thinking on the left:

It’s outrageous and unsettling that the NRA would choose to address gun violence not by taking assault weapons off our streets, but by adding more guns to our schools. 

Sandy Hook Elementary School was a building full of small children leaning to read, spell and add. It was a gun free zone until, despite the law, one person added guns.

What if one member of the staff was armed? What if that member of the staff put a bullet in the murder's head before the first child was killed. What if that bullet only stopped the last child from being slaughtered?

What if the sick deranged individual knew that there was good chance some of the staff might be armed and that he might not be able to end his life by sending a big F U to the world? What if, lacking an easy target, he chose to sit alone in his basement and eat a bullet?

When Rham Emanuel proposes making Chicago City Hall and the mayor's office a gun free zone I'll consider taking him seriously. When the President and Congress pass laws making the Congress and the White House gun free zones I'll start to consider that this something more than not letting a crisis go to waste and an another assault on the Constitution.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:02 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

December 15, 2012

Understanding Evil

Newtown, CT and the Sandy Hook Elementary school are about 20 miles from my home. I know people that live there, though none of them have children young enough to be at that school. I don't know that this proximity does anything to change the nature of the horror. It certainly does nothing to help with understanding.

I am a person who approaches the world with reason and logic. I look at something like this and my first need is to try to understand the why. Maybe it's just because the what is too horrific to think about. I'm not sure I will ever be able to gain that understanding of why because the answer lies somewhere outside of reason and logic.

The news media, as is usually the case, was utterly deplorable. I suppose I should thank them for that. Being able to be angry at them helped diffuse some of the anguish. Aside from the endless incorrect speculation and reporting of rumors, I heard numerous reporters from a number of different outlets commenting that they were being "kept far away" from the fire station next to the school where the parents of the victims were. If they truly had to be kept away from parents who just learned that their kindergarten child had been murdered, if their impulse was truly to put a camera and a microphone in the face of these people at that moment then they are as inhuman as the gunman lying dead in that school.

As for the killer, the bullet he ate was far far less than that despicable piece of human trash deserved. But in the end there is nothing that could have been done to him that would have equalled justice.

NOTE: I removed a video link because it was not possible to turn off the auto-play
The speed with which the discussion of this tragedy became political is a pretty sad testimony as well. Immediately people were pointing to this as a reason for greater gun control because it is too easy for a mentally deranged person to get access to guns. No one seems to be asking why someone so sick and twisted as to be capable of this act was walking the streets to begin with.

The question we should all be asking and demanding an answer to is why didn't someone shoot him before he had a chance to slaughter a classroom full of five-year-olds?

UPDATE: CT State Police have had to assign officers to keep reporters away from victims families. These people are scum sucking assholes.

NOTE: I removed a video link from this post because I could not remove the embedded advertising and could not turn off the autoplay.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:48 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

December 03, 2012

On the Head of a Pin

We're going over a cliff.

One way or the other. With a deal or without a deal. It's not going to end well.

The Democrats and the Republicans are currently arguing over if they should raise revenue for the federal government by raising tax rates or cutting deductions. The Republicans are adamantly opposed to to raising the tax rates. The Democrats are opposed to cutting deductions. Both sides are motivated by the fact that  they think their method helps them and hurts the other side politically.

But in reality… it just doesn't matter.

If my federal income tax bill goes up by $200 or $1,000 or any number in between, it doesn't matter if it went up because they raised the rate or reduced a deduction. 

Which makes Obama's remarks that the GOP plan could impact the mortgage interest deduction particularly obnoxious. If you cut that deduction and keep the tax rates the same, my tax bill still goes up. The real negative impact is to the banks because mortgage interest becomes less attractive as a deduction. Go take a look at where the big banks put the bulk of their campaign donations and you will see why Democrats want to protect that write-off

The White House and Congressional Republicans will continue to debate how many tax dollars they can fit on the head of a pin. Eventually, just before time runs out, they will reach a deal in which everyone's tax rate will go up a bit and everyone's deductions will be reduced a bit. And on April 15 the federal government will have taken more of the money I earned, to largely hand over to people who did not earn it.

Before you ask, no I do not make more than $250,000. But that doesn't matter. My tax bill is going up, and so is yours.

As for cutting spending? Forget about it. It's not really part of the show.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:22 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

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