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The War Against Sheep Smuggling

The first US attack in Syria was in June of 2003, and the excuse was “rock solid intelligence” that Saddam and his sons were escaping to Syria.

This time it was a senior member of al Qaeda in Iraq cleverly disguised as a few construction workers and a family.

There are no Syrian troops in the area because they don’t want to die protecting sheep smugglers from attacks by the US military, as has happened in the past.

If sealing the border to prevent the Syrians from coming into Iraq to sell sheep at huge profits is so important, why doesn’t the US or Iraqi government seal the border? Trust me, you can seal a border from either side and the US and Iraq have a lot more troops than the Syrians.  Invading a neighboring country and killing people is considered a major “no-no” in international law.

October 27, 2008   19 Comments

“Emanuel Conception”

They say they are Democrats, but don’t believe it.

When Mark Foley had his meltdown over House pages, he already had a Democratic opponent in the general election, David Lutrin, a local teacher who started from the ground up to build a credible campaign. He was a real Democrat seeking to change what was happening in Congress. He was getting some help and guidance from members of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and was working on getting name recognition in the 16th district of Florida.

Then everything changed. Just before Foley’s problems became public, Rahm Emanuel persuaded Tim Mahoney, a wealthy Republican, to switch his voter registration and run for Foley’s seat. Lutrin was cast aside. You may have read about Tim Mahoney’s problems that are probably going to cost the Florida Democrats a seat in Congress in an election that should have been a “slam dunk”.

[Read more →]

October 27, 2008   4 Comments

Taxes and Jobs

Playing with the tax code generates jobs for programmers changing the payroll programs, and it’s the same amount of work whether the taxes go up or down.

The Florida legislature loves to have “sales tax holidays” during which sales taxes are not collected on specific items. Usually there’s one before the start of hurricane season for flashlights, batteries, and other “emergency supplies” and another before the start of school on school supplies and children’s clothing. This requires reprogramming the cash registers and computer systems for businesses, so, again, the people who do the programming get some extra work, and the business sector has an extra expense.

No one hires people because of the tax rate. The whole concept is a form of dementia. You hire people because your customers want more of your goods or services. A middle class tax cut is going to help people pay off their debts, but will have a minimal impact on demand. If you want to boost demand, you put more money in the hands of poor people. Poor people spend whatever they get to survive. This isn’t a matter of economic policy or theory – it is economic reality.

October 27, 2008   2 Comments

RIP Tony Hillerman 1925-2008

One of my favorite authors, Tony Hillerman, has passed away. If you don’t read mystery novels you wouldn’t be familiar with his work, but his novels set in the Four Corners of the American Southwest are an introduction to Native American culture and excellent police procedurals.

His Wikipedia entry covers his many jobs and the highlights of his life, but if you have worked in law enforcement you can appreciate his painstaking detail in how real police work takes place, and it isn’t “CSI”. His description of the interaction between Federal agencies and local police is absolutely accurate to anyone who has ever struggled to get information from the FBI that is needed for a case.

Thanks for sharing Mr. Hillerman.

October 27, 2008   2 Comments