Today is the third day of Kwanzaa and marks Part 4 in my ongoing Kwanzaa series. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here. As I have already established, I believe Kwanzaa is antithetical to traditional American values. Moreover I believe Kwanzaa’s creator, Dr. Ron Karenga meant it to be that way as he sees American values as destructive to “Africans in America”. You can refer back to Part 1 to read about the roots of Kwanzaa and why it is based in Marxist theory, but today we are here to explore the third of the seven principles of Kwanzaa – Ujima.
The Ujima principle stands for collective work and responsibility. There’s that Marxist buzz word again – collective. The idea of Ujima is that all “Africans in America” would form a sort of social collective, creating and producing – a “from each according to his gifts to each according to his need” sort of thing. We’ve seen how well that has worked out for the world wherever its been applied. I’m not going to beat this particular principle to death. As with the rest of Kwanzaa it sounds rather innocuous when separated from the history of the holiday. However, one must keep in mind that every admonition and encouragement in the Kwanzaa celebration is designed to exclusively enjoyed by Black peoples. Whites need not apply. They are the oppressors. The whole celebration is meant to be one big reminder of how oppreseed we are in this country and around the world. Below is a link to a short video of Kwanzaa’s founder, Maulana Ron Karenga (nee Ronald McKinley Everett) talking about the principle of Ujima. When you watch it, please remind yourself that you are listening to a man who was convicted in 1971 of the false imprisonment and torture of two young women in his militiant Black Power group “US” (as in “us” against “them”). Remember this description of the event that was published in the LA Times in 1971 as Dr. Karenga speaks on the video:
“Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis’ mouth and placed against Miss Davis’ face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vise. Karenga, head of US, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said. They also were hit on the heads with toasters.”
In an email this morning, Johson said that “a credible Libertarian candidate for president is the real path to liberty, opportunity, and a government that is put into its proper and limited role.”
Gary Johnson had been badly trailing the other GOP candidates for months and had no chance at finishing the GOP race near the top, but he states a different reason for jumping ship at such a late date:
In a recent national poll 63% of Americans said they wished there was a third choice for 2012. There is, and I intend to educate the voters about what we offer America.
If Ron Paul is the consummate Libertarian, then Johnson is perhaps a more moderate version. Where this might play in the general election is difficult to predict, but could give anti-establishment voters somewhere to go if Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich win the nomination.
An independent outlet seemed to question Johnson’s libertarian credentials by noting that “Johnson joined the Libertarian Party in 1993-4, but did not renew his LP dues after the first year because he felt that at the time the Libertarians were too extreme.”
Johnson would likely take more votes from the right than the left which stokes fears of another Ross Perot-style dismantling of the Presidential election resulting in another four years of President Obama.
Johnson is the former governor of New Mexico – a swing state in the 2012 elections. And according to a PPP poll, his independent run would likely split the vote in that state resulting in the electoral college votes from New Mexico going to President Obama. It would not take too many other states following suit to allow the Obama’s to keep the White House as their home address.
Johnson had little impact in the nomination race in which he attracted less than 1% of registered voters in most polls and many are discounting his independent run as sound and fury, signifying nothing. Patrick Griffin, a senior fellow at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College says that people like Johnson are “malcontents, and frankly, they should go on book tour.”
Ron Paul’s polling in Iowa and nationwide also give him a strong chance to be the nominee. If that becomes the case, Johnson’s message will likely fall on deaf ears.
Whether Johnson’s run has any impact at all in the 2012 election remains to be seen. It could mean nothing or it could mean another term for the current administration.
His announcement video can be seen on his campaign website here.
On Wednesday, Gary Johnson sent out the following email to announce that he would no longer be seeking the GOP nomination for President.
By now, you have probably heard the news.
This morning, I stepped before the microphones at a news conference in the New Mexico capitol and announced that I am seeking the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States. The Libertarian Party nominee will be on the ballot in all 50 states – as was the case in 2008.
It was both a difficult decision – and an easy one. It was difficult because I have a lot of Republican history, and a lot of Republican supporters. But in the final analysis, as many, many commentators have said since watching how I governed in New Mexico, I am a Libertarian – that is, someone who is fiscally very conservative but holds freedom-based positions on many social issues.
Frankly, I have been deeply disappointed by the treatment I received in the Republican nomination process. Other candidates with no national name identification like Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman were allowed to participate in the debates.
Incredibly candidates with no executive experience like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum were allowed to participate while I, a successful two-term governor with a solid record of job creation, was arbitrarily excluded by elitist media organizations in New York. My appeals to the Republican National Chairman for basic fairness were ignored.
I had hoped to lay out a full libertarian message on all the issues in the Republican contest. I think this election needs a libertarian voice. While Ron Paul is a good man and a libertarian who I proudly endorsed for president in 2008, there is no guarantee he will be the Republican nominee.
When I announced that I was running for president, I promised you I would be a voice for bold ideas to bring government and its spending under control. I promised I would put my record as the ‘most fiscally conservative’ governor in the nation in front of the voters. And I said that, unlike too many Republican politicians, I think Americans’ government should be smaller and less intrusive and let people make decisions for themselves.
My Agenda for America is clear:
– I want to end deficit spending and cut federal spending by 43%.
– I want to enact the Fair Tax to stimulate real economic growth and jobs.
– I want to end the manipulation of our money by the Federal Reserve.
– I support the Second Amendment and oppose gun control.
– I oppose expensive foreign wars in places like Libya and Afghanistan.
– I support a woman’s right to choose.
– I support marriage equality for gay Americans as required by the Constitution.
– I support legalization of marijuana, which will save us billions and do no harm.
– I support returning strict adherence to Constitutional principles to our government.
It is clear that the elite national media and the political “ruling class” don’t want this message heard. It frightens them. It frightens them because they know our message is one that actually reflects the true beliefs of millions of Americans – and they don’t want those millions of people to know there really is a candidate for president who represents them, whether they are Republicans, Democrats, Independents or Libertarians.
Sadly neither the Republicans nor Democrats will offer this agenda to the American people.
They can’t handle the notion of a successful two-term governor, elected and reelected as a Republican in a Democrat state, who could veto 750 spending bills to shrink government — while refusing to play the special interest game or impose a social agenda on people who prefer to make their own judgments about “values”.
In other words, there is no room in the national two-party club for a candidate who actually proved that governing as a libertarian works – and whose platform on every issue is clearly supported by a majority of the American people.
Sometimes the best answer is the simplest. I’m a Libertarian in belief. I successfully governed as a Libertarian in everything but the name, and I am running for president as a Libertarian.
Even before I announced my decision, polls are showing that I would today gain more votes than any Libertarian presidential candidate in history – and have a very real impact on the election nationwide. And that is before our campaign even begins.
If I earn the Libertarian nomination, I will be on the ballot in all 50 states. I will not be held hostage to a system rigged for the wealthiest and best-known candidates in a handful of states who happen to have early primaries. And most important, we will offer a political “home” for millions of Americans who are not finding one in the current political establishment or its candidates.
I am excited. I am liberated. And I am committed to shaking the system as it has never been shaken before. Just the speculation that I might run as a Libertarian has garnered more national media attention than I ever received as a Republican candidate whose voice they didn’t’ want to hear.
Depending on which poll you read, at least 40% of Republicans are not satisfied with the “field” of candidates the media has produced for them. At least 1 in 4 Democrats is having real second thoughts about Barack Obama. Do the math, and it confirms what I have seen for months on the campaign trail: The only political majority in America today is the one made up of voters who are looking for leadership they haven’t found yet. America is ready for a President who will restore common sense to our fiscal and foreign policies and get government out of the boardroom and the bedroom.
A credible Libertarian candidate for president is the real path to liberty, opportunity, and a government that is put into its proper and limited role.
In a recent national poll 63% of Americans said they wished there was a third choice for 2012. There is, and I intend to educate the voters about what we offer America.
Together, you and I are going to offer that majority a choice. They will see that Your support in the past few months has created this amazing opportunity. I may be the messenger, but this isn’t about me. It is about seizing a moment in history and bringing America back from the brink.
I want you to be with me as we launch this great endeavor. I ask for your continued support. I ask for your advice. And I am asking for your contribution today to provide the spark for the movement we are igniting.
You are one of my most generous supporters, and I must depend on you to be as generous as you can once again. Please send your contribution of $2,000, $1,000, $500, or $250. It will be used wisely to take our message to every corner of this great country, and to provide a voice that will otherwise never be heard in 2012. Go to: Gary Johnson 2012.com.
As a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination my campaign will be eligible for Federal Matching funds — which means whatever you send will ultimately be matched. A $100 contribution is worth $200. A $250 contribution is worth $500. Please send your maximum contribution today.
Thank you for your support and your friendship. It means more to me than you will ever know.
P.S. For those who say my decision to run as the Libertarian Party candidate will only draw votes from the Republicans and re-elect President Obama let me predict that, as my full platform based on freedom becomes known, my candidacy will draw votes from both the Republicans and Democrats and many, many independents.
The days are short, the nights are cold and the chances of encountering rain, snow, sleet or some other form of weather-related treachery during the course of any daily drive are at their peak. It just may be time for consumers to consider upgrading their current rides for vehicles more befitting the season. To help you ponder the possibilities, kbb.com expert editors put together a list of the Top 10 Winter Driving Vehicles for 2012.
“Although this purposefully diverse roster includes a full spectrum of highly capable alternatives, all share one common trait: Each boasts some type of user-friendly all-wheel drive system that can help keep you on the road – figuratively and literally – as you head to your final destination,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director for Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com. “Whether that journey involves a mundane commute to work or a well-deserved weekend getaway to a favorite ski resort is up to you.”
Top 10 Winter Driving Vehicles for 2012
#10: 2012 Subaru Outback
Classy, comfortable and capable, the 2012 Subaru Outback is a superb year-round travelmate that truly rises to the occasion whenever Mother Nature does go on a rampage. Even the base Outback 2.5i with its economical 2.5-liter flat-four engine packs an impressive feature set, highlighted by Subaru’s excellent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a comprehensive Vehicle Dynamics Control system. The more potent six-cylinder Outback 3.6R as well as the Premium and Limited variations available for each respective Outback model make it easy to find the best match to up the creature comforts ante even further. An options list that includes a GPS navigation system, harman-kardon premium audio, a Cold Weather Package and Mobile Internet access further bolster the Outback’s appeal.
#9: 2012 Toyota Sienna AWD
If only a minivan can really meet your basic transportation needs, there’s just one choice to be made: the 2012 Toyota Sienna with optional On-Demand All-Wheel Drive System with Active Torque Control. Available on V6-powered Sienna LE, XLE and LTD models, this totally transparent upgrade adds a new level of sure-footed confidence to Toyota’s well-appointed space ship. Like its front-drive kin, this even-more capable Sienna offers easily reconfigurable room for seven or eight, loads of standards and the choice of adding a passenger-pleasing Dual-View Entertainment Center on the XLE/LTD models as well as a Navigation Package and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control on the primo LTD variant.
#8: 2012 Acura MDX
Well-mannered, richly appointed and offering room for seven, the 2012 Acura MDX makes a strong case for its spot on our list by matching a refined 300-horsepower V6 engine with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission and Acura’s stellar Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. Couple the MDX’s dynamic prowess with standards like power heated leather seats, a premium audio package, tri-zone climate control and a power rear liftgate, plus available Technology, Advance and Entertainment Package upgrades, and this well-rounded Acura takes on all the charm of a safe and secure mobile living room.
#7: 2012 Ford F-150 AWD
Perennial best-seller in the full-size pickup segment, the 2012 Ford F-150 in 4WD configuration won our votes for its smart blend of style, comfort and, yes, even fuel economy, thanks to the available 365-horsepower EcoBoost V6 – which has become the most popular engine in the entire F-150 lineup. Like the base V6 and two optional V8s, the EcoBoost/4WD combo can be had in Regular, SuperCab and SuperCrew body styles and multiple trim levels. While all F-150 4WD models boast Hill Start Assist for 2012 and upline versions add a new 4×4 “auto mode” to the existing 4Hi/4Lo setup, only EcoBoost 4WD models also get a new 36-gallon fuel tank that lets them match their best-in-class 21-mpg highway mileage with a best-in-class 756-mile range.
#6: 2012 Honda CR-V AWD
A generational makeover brings a more contemporary appearance as well as many welcome new features to the 2012 Honda CR-V, not the least of which is the introduction of Honda’s Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System. Optional on all models of the automaker’s compact, crossover-style SUV, this smaller, lighter and quicker-responding upgrade of the previous Real Time AWD setup helps the latest CR-V cope with challenging traction conditions even more effectively. The people side of the CR-V package benefits from a similarly well-measured upgrade regimen that includes a quieter, more stylish cabin, better ride comfort and a new rear-seat entertainment system option, plus significantly improved fuel economy from its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission.
For the full list of Top 10 Winter Driving Vehicles for 2012 from Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com, visit http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/top-10-winter-cars-for-2012.
With 2012 fast approaching the, issue of the 2nd Amendment and gun rights has been on the back burner in the debates for the most part. Our nation has many issues of importance in the upcoming election and the winner of the presidency could have a big impact on our right of gun ownership. Where a candidate stands on one particular issue may not determine the way you vote but might tip the decision scale one way or the other.
Michele Bachmann – GOA (Gun Owners of America) grade A+
Michelle Bachmann has co-sponsored two pro-gun bills and supported two others while in Congress.
• S.1001: A bill to restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia
(Mar 27, 2007: Co-sponsored by Bachmann. The bill was designed to overturn the gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington)
• H.R. 197: National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009
• S. 845: Respecting States Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009
• H.R. 126: Fairness in Firearm Testing Act
(Jan 5, 2011; Co-Sponsored)
Bachmann also helped pass the Minnesota Personal Protection Act and legislation protecting gun ranges.
Rick Perry – GOA grade A
Rick Perry has been an advocate of the 2nd Amendment on the state level for many years now. Perry served in the United States Air Force and holds a concealed carry permit. Perry is against any form of gun control, and believes the emphasis should instead be placed on education of the public on the reality of gun use and legislations.
That’s why as governor, I have been proud to sign many pieces of legislation supported by the state affiliate of the NRA. We have protected Texas shooting ranges from junk lawsuits that tried to shut them down for making too much noise. We passed a law that allowed Texans to possess a handgun in a recreational vehicle. And because the NRA has done such a tremendous job promoting safety with the Eddie Eagle Gun Safe program, I signed a law that requires visiting resource officers in public elementary schools to offer to teach the program at least once a year. We have also worked hard to strengthen our right to carry law because it is a good law that has made our people safer… In Texas, we believe that people should have the right to protect themselves whether they have called Texas home for years or are just visiting for a few days. In the past year alone, Texas has more than doubled the number of reciprocity agreements with other states that allow citizens from other states to legally carry a concealed weapon here in Texas as well as allowing Texans to carry away from home. I’m committed to ensuring we have as many concealed handgun reciprocity agreements as possible with other states. So far we have 18.
April 12, 2005, Perry speaking at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting, Houston
Perry drew both praise and criticism after an April 2010 jog when he shot and killed a coyote that was threatening his daughters Labrador retriever.
Mitt Romney – GOA grade D-
I believe we need to focus on enforcing our current laws rather than creating new laws that burden lawful gun owners. I believe in safe and responsible gun ownership and that anyone who exercises the right to keep and bear arms must do so lawfully and properly. I do not believe in a one-size-fits-all federal approach to gun ownership because people keep and use firearms for different reasons. Law-abiding citizens have a right to protect their homes and their families and as President, I will vigorously defend that right.
January 7, 2008, The Washington Post- Mitt Romney
Romney has seemed to reverse is stance on gun control from what it was early in his political career. Romney supported the Brady Bill and only two exemptions under Massachusetts’ strict gun laws: One for handguns already licensed in the state prior to October 21, 1998, and one for “match-grade” pistols. Other than those two exemptions handguns must pass the states “safety” criteria and you must have one of two licenses to carry a gun and only the class “A” allows concealed carry. The class “B” allows one to transport an unloaded gun to and from hunting areas and shooting ranges.
Newt Gingrich- GOA grade C
Newt Gingrich has a mixed record on gun issues. Gingrich did not vote for the Brady Bill, but did support the criminal Safe Zones Act. Prior to 1994 Gingrich had earned an “A” rating with Gun Owners of America.
As long as I am Speaker of this House, no gun control legislation is going to move in committee or on the floor of this House and there will be no further erosion of their rights.
The GOA rating quickly dropped to a “C”. Gingrich voted for the bill that included the Lautenberg Gun Ban. Gingrich said the Lautenberg Gun Ban was “a very reasonable position.” And refused to co-sponsor a repeal of the ban despite repeated requests.
Gingrich did however get a repeal of the Clinton Gun Ban passed through the House but it died in the Senate.
Ron Paul- GOA grade A+
Congressman Paul has long been on the side of the 2nd amendment. Introducing legislation to repeal the “Brady Bill” and the “Assault Weapons” Ban. Paul also authored legislation allowing pilots and specially trained law enforcement officers to carry weapons on airlines for protection of passengers. Paul introduced
H.R. 1096: Second Amendment Protection Act of 2007 to Congress.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to restore the right the founding fathers saw as the guarantee of every other right by introducing the Second Amendment Protection Act. This legislation reverses the steady erosion of the right to keep and bear arms by repealing unconstitutional laws that allow power-hungry federal bureaucrats to restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Specifically, my legislation repeals the five-day waiting period and the “instant” background check, which enables the federal government to compile a database of every gun owner in America. My legislation also repeals the misnamed ban on “semi-automatic” weapons, which bans entire class of firearms for no conceivable reason beside the desire of demagogic politicians to appear tough on crime.
Finally, my bill amends the Gun Control Act of 1968 by deleting the “sporting purposes” test, which allows the Treasury Secretary to infringe on second amendment rights by classifying a firearm (handgun, rifle, shotgun) as a “destructive device” simply because the Secretary believes the gun to be “non-sporting.
January 9, 2003, US House of Representatives
Ron Paul has stood firm on all 2nd Amendment issues since the beginning.
Rick Santorum – GOA grade B-
Rick Santorum is a defender of gun owners and gun manufacturers alike. Santorum voted in favor of 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which prevents civil suits from being brought against gun manufacturers when their products are used in a criminal act.
Santorum is a lifetime NRA member and compared America’s gun owners as the “canary in the mineshaft” describing gun owners as the first victims of an ever encroaching government that is now targeting other liberties as well.
For those of you that own firearms, train hard and well and teach those that do not know how. Be good stewards of the right to bear arms, for we are the last line of defense against tyranny.
Snarky letters from the “Gay Community” aside, the resignation and scandal of Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch is a painful embarrassment to the Minnesota GOP and for Protection of Traditional Marriage activists.
Senate Majority Leader Koch resigned her post Dec. 15 amidst accusations of having an inappropriate relationship with a male staffer, one day after a confrontation with members of her party. She will remain a Senator but said she will not seek re-election. Koch was elected to office in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.
Koch did not name the person with whom she had an affair, but insiders believe it might be Michael Brodkorb, a staffer who helped write a protection of marriage act currently being considered in the Minnesota legislature. Minnesota statues already bans gay marriage, but the amendment to the constitution would add more protection against legal action taken by the gay community activists who want to extend marriage benefits to same-sex couples.
On Tuesday, the Senate GOP elected Rochester resident Dave Senjem as the new Senate Majority Leader after a 10-hour debate. Senjem was first elected in 2002 to the Senate and previously held the title of Senate Minority Leader before that honor was passed onto Democrat Senator Tom Bakk.
Koch is reported to have received a sarcastic letter from gay activists “apologizing” for sabotaging her “traditional marriage”. The letter, written by John Medeiros of Minneapolis, says in part:
“On behalf of all gays and lesbians living in Minnesota, I would like to wholeheartedly apologize for our community’s successful efforts to threaten your traditional marriage… We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry.”
See the whole letter at http://www.citypages.com/2011-12-28/news/gay-community-apologizes-to-amy-koch/
To no one’s surprise, LGBT activists have piled on praising the exit of Koch from Senate leadership claiming it a victory against anti-gay marriage legislation. Articles bashing Koch have appeared in the Daily Kos and in the Minneapolis/St. Paul City pages.
The Koch resignation and scandal certainly hurts, and the Liberal response to it is not surprising. What is surprising and under-reported is the response of GOP leaders in this matter. Koch’s demise as Senate leader didn’t come as the result of an attack from opponents, it is the result of action taken by her peers, who felt that her inappropriate relationship, or her leadership, had to end for the good of the party.
Liberals and progressives have repeatedly demonstrated through the years that they have no moral compass. The only compass they own points them to a place where they may take political advantage over their enemies. (Remember serial molester Bill Clinton, housing market burning flamer Barney Frank and pervert Anthony Weiner). Time after time they will defend their offensive leaders tooth and nail stating that, “it doesn’t really matter. It only matters how he votes” or “it’s only a lie about sex, everybody does it.” Weeks, months and years go by before any Liberal politician is forced by the opposition party to step down. But when leaders of the same party, the Grand Old Party, hold the line, the offender agrees to the standard set and immediately concedes to the will of her peers, a stark difference between us and them.
Conservative MegaBlogger Andrew Brietbart brilliantly illustrated this point at his memorable appearance at the Americans For Prosperity’s right-wing blogger conference RightOnline2011 that took place earlier this year in Minneapolis. He essentially called out the Liberal Media hypocrisy in which they unapologetically defend their politicians who behave badly while at the same time pillaring conservative women like Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin. See the video on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60zAjQx1HDs&feature=endscreen&NR=1 around the 7:57 mark.
“I think there’s kind of a cool parady there,” said Brietbart, “I’m not, like, for the suppression of the outing of corrupt corporations. I’m not for the suppression of the outing of corrupt Republicans. In fact there’s a huge difference. . . I’m totally for all these Republican screwballs getting in trouble, getting fired, or quitting the day they get caught, not stretching it out for three ludicrous unbelievably joyful weeks. Thank you Congressman Weiner!”
While the Liberal establishment gaily, (oh my, did I really use that word?) jumps up and down in unapologetic glee and celebration, there is an important thing to remember: the state GOP is stronger not weaker for having stood up to their leader and applying the standard.
Conservatives and Christians aren’t perfect. We occasionally have our leaders who with their faults and foibles fail us. The difference between us and them is that we recognize the higher standard, the one higher than man’s whim. That’s why we hold our leaders to account and why they don’t.
The Left is correct in stating that the major issue on the ballet of 2012 will be jobs. That’s good because in the area of job creation they’ve sucked royally as the Liberal Policies of Jimmy Carter sucked. It means we have the political leverage because Minnesotans and Americans as a whole know that the Left have no idea how to create a job and we do. That’s why we will win in 2012.
But the social issues are important too and conservatives need to continue to push back against progressivism and uphold our values in the face of their assault. Most people recognize the rights of gays as human beings the same as everyone has basic civil rights, but most of us still believe that marriage is defined as an established relationship between one man and one woman. And, we believe that leadership matters.
The Amy Koch story won’t change that. This story simply illustrates who has standards and who doesn’t.
In this final installment of the FAIRTAX series I want to review the content of the series and give a few personal thoughts on our country, our system, and how I see the FAIRTAX being an integral part of the solution to our debt issue, though not the only aspect, and of how we get the United States back on steady financial ground.
As I write this series, our nation owes more than $14 trillion to other nations, mostly Communist China. Our debt ceiling has just been raised to about $17 trillion, money that will surely be spent as fast as government presses can print it. Our overall unfunded liabilities, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all of the other unfunded promises run in the neighborhood of $130 trillion depending on which numbers you believe. From watching our esteemed federal government the last 40 years, I tend to lean towards believing the higher numbers, with no foreseeable end in sight to the irresponsible activities of those elected to “govern” us.
It is apparent to me that cutting taxes, changing the tax structure, or confiscating every dollar of We the People will not do all that is necessary to solve our financial woes. We face basically two major problems. One is government spending, a matter I will delve into later. The other problem is taxation. The FAIRTAX is designed to be revenue neutral, which means it won’t destroy government funding as some alarmists would have you believe. On the other hand, the FAIRTAX will not raise the cost of everything you buy by the 30% that the alarmists would also have you believe.
I would much prefer to receive the entire paycheck and decide for myself how it is used. The studies that have been done to show why companies locate overseas have been overwhelming to me. The cost of labor is being driven ever higher by the tax structure, which is a never ending catch-22 situation. The more taxes paid by those doing the hiring the less there is for them to pay We the People for work. The more I have to pay in taxes the more money I need to combat inflation. Every penny collected in taxes makes it more difficult to survive and prosper. Every job shipped overseas due to the tax structure, prohibitive regulation, and government “oversight” makes our nation that much less prosperous and safe.
Those who say “tax the rich more” don’t realize, or don’t care, that the money paid in taxes does not benefit the overall financial situation of the nation. Higher taxes on the “rich” doesn’t make the poor any wealthier, as a matter of fact, it has the opposite effect. A poor person never provided me with any income. If the reverse was true Communism would not fail everywhere it is tried.
I see that out of 500 company CEO’s surveyed, 80% said that under the FAIRTAX they would build their next production facility in the United States, and the other 20% would move their entire operation here. That causes me to believe that those jobs that have gone overseas would be right back here and we would find ourselves in the position of having more jobs than applicants, a good position for the working class people as that would cause wages to rise. This in turn adds to the taxable income available. More jobs mean a broader tax base, more income for the government coffers, and more prosperity for more people.
Under our current system, those who produce legally pay the taxes. Under the FAIRTAX everyone would contribute. Those here illegally and working under the table for cash would contribute. Drug dealers, prostitutes, and tourists would also contribute to the tax structure where they don’t do so now. I can’t find any reason to not like the FAIRTAX system.
The Pre-bate is designed to take into account the cost of taxes on the basic necessities of life. I like the idea of food, medicine, utility costs, and other necessities being tax free, up to the poverty line. Every penny I don’t have to pay to the government in some form of tax is another penny I can spend on my family to make our quality of life better. This part of the FAIRTAX will benefit those at the lower end of the financial spectrum greatly as more money would be available to improve the quality of life for those with less to start with. If I choose to save money instead of spend it I can benefit where under the current system I can only save after the greedy politicians have taken their cut from my hard earned wages.
Today, we find about 45% or so pay no income or employment taxes at all and many of these complain that the 55% who do pay income and employment taxes aren’t paying their “fair share”. I find this rather ironic. Someone who pays nothing complains about someone else is not paying enough, not paying their “fair share”. I wonder how much the “fair share” of those not paying anything would be if the playing field was level. I believe that everyone should pay at least some taxes. We all have a stake in the safety and prosperity of the United States, not just the “rich”. This issue has been used by politicians for my entire life to divide and conquer for their own benefit, not for the benefit of We the People.
Remember, government does not produce wealth; they only take the production of others, filter it through their pockets, and then give it to those they deem deserving, mostly those who are too lazy to work for their keep and know how to game the system for their own benefit. Politicians use tax rates to buy votes. The latest figure I have seen, as of 2009, say that 28 cents of every welfare dollar actually goes to help recipients. The other 72 cents goes to “administrative costs”. I fail to understand how the current system “helps” anyone at all. I would think that a job paying money directly to a wage earner would be a much more efficient way of providing sustenance for people.
As any other decent American, I believe that taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves is the responsibility of all able bodied people. Paying women to have baby after baby to be able to stay on welfare rolls, those faking injuries to draw SSI, and those who are drug addicts and use that as a “disability” to draw SSI are all problems that are not “fair” to those of us working for a living. The FAIRTAX, or any other tax system, will not solve these problems.
I have seen various arguments made against the FAIRTAX. I don’t have the time or space to answer every argument made against this plan but I can say that I have not seen a better plan come out with the specificity of the FAIRTAX. Most of the arguments made at the various places I have posted this series are debunked in the book this series is based on, FAIRTAX: The Truth. The authors devote an entire chapter to covering the misunderstandings, the lies, and the disinformation that has been passed out to defeat this plan.
My intent in this series is to give an overview of the book, and a basic understanding of the plan, not rewrite it here. I can say that 86,000 pages of tax rules and regulations are a bit excessive and should be eliminated. The FAIRTAX does exactly that, and more.
The legislation is H.R. 25 and can be found at the Thomas Congressional Library website. You can look it up by bill number or by name as you wish. I also encourage you to buy the book and get a more in-depth understanding than I can give you. After reading the initial article a friend decided to buy the book and get more details. He e-mailed me that the book, FAIRTAX: The Truth, can be bought on Amazon.com for $3.95. This is the Cliff notes version and is designed to give you as broad and as fair a description as possible with the hopes that all who read my articles will look further and get a more complete understanding of the FAIRTAX and how it is designed to improve the lot of all Americans.
I understand that the FAIRTAX is not the only answer to our nation’s financial ills. Spending by politicians bent on preserving their power and prestige is a huge issue that must be addressed if we are to ultimately solve our nation’s financial problems. A large part of the spending problems stem from the fact that politicians of both parties can demagogue the tax issue, using class warfare to pit one American against another for the benefit of themselves, the political ruling class. The FAIRTAX goes a long way towards ending this practice.
I can assure you that if the FAIRTAX was of great benefit to the ruling class we would already have it in place, not just being bandied about, or more precisely, ignored by the ruling class. The more politicians oppose the plan the more I like it. Many economists and others have spent months coming up with this plan and I believe it is a much better system than we currently use. Nothing will ever be perfect but this comes as close as anything I have heard or read about. It gives We the People more say in how our wages are used.
Tax and spend politicians need to be sent home and people with common sense, and the safety and prosperity of all as their first priority elected to do the job they swear to do when they take office. The self-interest of politicians and the corruption they participate in every day needs to be stopped if we are to survive.
I have read the FAIRTAX book very carefully twice and parts of it more than that. Many people take a quick look at the plan and begin to berate it without truly understanding what it means and how it works. At one time I also looked at the FAIRTAX and thought “so what”!! I began to hear more about this plan, and as I took the time and effort to look into it a little more thoroughly I began to change my opinion about the FAIRTAX. I am convinced that this plan will make great strides in helping our nation come out of the financial doldrums and put us back on the road to prosperity in a hurry. All we have to do is convince the ruling class to put it to work. We do that by letting them know of our support for this plan and our insistence that they act soon.
You are welcome, and encouraged, to share any of these articles with anyone you would like to share with. Information is power and I write these to inform, educate, and motivate people. I hope everyone you know sees these articles.
Again, the legislation is H.R. 25 and can be found at the Thomas Congressional Library web site . The bill is very short and very simple to read. It is up to We the People to make the changes necessary to promote prosperity, not wait on self-serving politicians to do what is best for us. The bill can also be found at this link.
I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.
December 27, 2011
Sears Holdings Corporation reported that it would close up to 120 of its Sears and Kmart stores as it goes through a transformation.
Both Kmart and Sears stores have seen serious drops in the quarter over quarter numbers and year over year financials:
The declines have been blamed on reduced demand for appliances, electronics and apparel, but the company is using tax strategies to prevent it from taking a realized loss.
Due to our performance in 2011 we expect that we will record in the fourth quarter a non-cash charge related to a valuation allowance on certain deferred tax assets of $1.6 to $1.8 billion. Although a valuation adjustment is recognized on these deferred tax assets, no economic loss has occurred as the underlying net operating loss carryforwards and other tax benefits remain available to reduce future taxes to the extent income is generated. Further, we may recognize in the fourth quarter an impairment charge on some goodwill balances for as much as $0.6 billion. These charges would be non-cash and combined are estimated to be between $1.6 and $2.4 billion.
In order to transform the Sears retail network into something more competitive, the retail giant will be taking several steps:
- Close 100 to 120 Kmart and Sears Full-line stores. We expect these store closures to generate$140 to $170 million of cash as the net inventory in these stores is sold and we expect to generate additional cash proceeds from the sale or sublease of the related real estate. Further, we intend to optimize the space allocation based on category performance in certain stores. Final determination of the stores to be closed has not yet been made. The list of stores closing will be posted at www.searsmedia.com when final determination is made.
- Excluding the effect of store closures, we currently expect to reduce 2012 peak domestic inventory by $300 million from the 2011 level of $10.2 billion at the end of the third quarter as a result of cost decreases in apparel, tighter buys and a lower inventory position at the beginning of the fiscal year.
- Focus on improving gross profit dollars through better inventory management and more targeted pricing and promotion.
Sears is also modifying its long-held policy of keeping even marginal stores open:
Reduce our fixed costs by $100 to $200 million. While our past practice has been to keep marginally performing stores open while we worked to improve their performance, we no longer believe that to be the appropriate action in this environment. We intend to accentuate our focus and resources to our better performing stores with the goal of converting their customer experience into a world-class integrated retail experience.
While the store closures will reduce inventory by over $500 million and company debt by up to $350 million, there must be some concern over Sears’ reduced ability to compete with the growing number of Wal Mart and Target stores.
The BHO Show Continues Below, Enjoy.
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A Re-Mix Will Follow.
I know you can’t wait.
The slaughter of 7 people in the Dallas, Texas suburb of Grapevine on Christmas Day appears to be a case of an “honor killing” and suicide by a Muslim father angry that his 19 year old daughter was dating a non-muslim young man.
According to reports in the Dallas Morning News, the father, Aziz Yazdanpanah didn’t like his daughter’s non-Muslim boyfriend and was exhibiting stalker behavior.
“She couldn’t date at all until she was a certain age, but when he was going to let her date she couldn’t date anyone outside of their race or religion.”
Victims have been identified as Yazdanpanah, his estranged 55-year-old wife, Fatemeh Rahmati, their 19-year-old daughter, Nona Narges Yazdanpanah, and 15-year-old son, Ali Yazdanpanah.
Friends of the family said Fatemeh Rahmati’s 58-year-old sister, Zohreh Rahmaty, and her husband, Hossein Zarei, 59, and daughter Sahra Zarei, a 22-year-old pre-med student at the University of Texas at Arlington, also were killed.
A neighbor at the apartment complex reportedly saw the suspected shooter get out of his white sport utility vehicle dressed in a Santa outfit, including a full coat, pants, boots and belt. Based in part on that witness account, police believe the shootings occurred about the time a 911 call rang into the station at 11:34 a.m. Sunday.
Police have not yet stated a positive motive and said that determination would come when the investigation has been completed.
December 27, 2011
Today is the second day of Kwanzaa and marks Part 3 in my ongoing Kwanzaa series. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. As I have already established, I believe Kwanzaa is antithetical to traditional American values. Moreover I believe Kwanzaa’s creator, Dr. Ron Karenga meant it to be that way as he sees American values as destructive to “Africans in America”. You can refer back to Part 1 to read about the roots of Kwanzaa and why it is based in Marxist theory, but today we are here to explore the second of the seven principles of Kwanzaa – Kujichagulia.
As a teenager celebrating Kwanzaa, I hated this day the most because we could never pronounce it! Kujichagulia is Swahili for Self-Determination and the purpose of this principle under the Kwanzaa model is to “define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves”. At first blush, this seems like a an honorable and admirable principle. Don’t we tell our children often not to let others define them and to stick up for themselves? However, you must remember that we are looking at this through the eyes of a man who still carries much disdain for the America in which he has enriched himself and for white people in general. Karenga is also a purveyor of Marxist theory, and that is reflected in every principle of the celebration. On this day families are meant to light the red candle (although the order and number of colors can be flexible based on personal choice). According to kwanzaaguide.com: The red candle is symbolic of the effort a person, family, school or community makes. The lesson is that we light the red candle to reinforce the value of work and effort. Frederick Douglass reminds us that “If there is no struggle there is no progress.”
Again, on the surface this idea is not controversial, but as a Christian American who understands the history and intent of Kwanzaa I do find it antithetical to the American spirit and culture. The point of Kujichagulia is not just promote self-esteem, it is to separate oneself from the larger American culture. I’m all for cultural pride, but once again Karenga has determined that cultural pride can only be achieved by separatism, removing ourselves from our American communities. Indeed, any time in this country where we have seen communities engage in separatism it has become a disaster. Indian reservations across America are rife with poverty, drugs, alcoholism and abuse. Jim Crow laws led to a very sick society that eventually erupted in protests and violence. Even some cults who choose to wall themselves off from general American society have suffered great tragedies (Jim Jones, etc.). We are not meant to live separately from each other as cultures. Oh yes, culture is important and influential – that’s God’s flavoring! But cultures need not separate in order to thrive. As a matter of fact, American culture is so unique precisely because of all the other cultures it incorporates. It is a melting pot that takes the flavors of so many people who come here to find freedom and combines them to make one unique, diverse dish called America. Kujichagulia would have us breaking off from that American heritage, denouncing it, and declaring our African heritage (which is sometimes questionable this far into the history of America, as I mentioned in Part 1) as the only culture/heritage worth our pride our recognition.
I also take issue with the secular idea of defining ourselves, naming ourselves. God is removed from this equation under Kwanzaa. Dr. Karenga has been very clear that he does not wish for Kwanzaa to be religious in any way and that individuals can incorporate their own beliefs if they wish. Fine and dandy until you realize that Marxist/socialist theory calls for God to be removed from community life, and our Founding Fathers understood that belief in God was integral to a free society. We are defined by so much more than how we see ourselves. As a Christian, I believe I am defined by the Creator; a God Who has a purpose and a plan for my life and my community. I am a sinner. If I am left to define myself in totality, I am left with sin and a broken plan, for I do not see the larger picture. It is extremely valuable to understand that where you are and who you are with are all part of a bigger picture. Removing yourself and your community from that picture does not create prosperity, but division and hardship. We are meant to live intertwining lives. Our journey in America as Black people may have began in tragedy, but it has developed into a rich and influential history. We have become vital to the health and development of this nation. The curse of slavery has turned into a rich blessing. I would never want to separate myself or my family from that reality, or the blessings of the present because of the anger from the past. I believe Kujichagulia seeks to do that, whether or not Kwanzaa’s founder and celebrants would admit. This idea of separating ourselves is not American, and it is killing the Black community.
Part 4 tomorrow.
While Iran’s naval forces were in the midst of a 10-day war games exercise in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi issued a warning saying “If Iran oil is banned not a single drop of oil will pass through Hormuz Strait,” and “We are not interested in any hostility”. He continued on about how the West was plotting against Iran even though “Our motto is friendship and brotherhood”.
The Washington Post reported “Benchmark crude rose $1.66 to finish at $101.34 per barrel. Gasoline was flat at $2.6888 a gallon. Heating oil rose 2 cents to finish at $2.9085 a gallon. Natural gas was virtually unchanged at $3.1120 per 1,000 cubic feet. On the ICE Futures exchange in London: Brent crude rose $1.31 to finish the day at $109.27 per barrel.”
Tonight on the Dark Side we’ll talk about New Year’s resolutions and what you hope to see from our government in 2012. Also, is Nancy Pelosi really paying her fair share, or is she still busy being a filthy 1%er? Plus, we’ll discuss my ongoing Kwanzaa series and why I think Kwanzaa is antithetical to American values. We’re back! Tune in tonight at 10 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. Pacific on the CDNews Network on Blogtalk Radio.