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2009 November 17 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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The Military Is Broken

CNN reports that Army suicides set another yearly record

Washington (CNN) — Suicides among soldiers this year have topped last year’s record-breaking numbers, but Army officials maintain a recent trend downward could mean the service is making headway on its programs designed to reduce the problem, Army officials said Tuesday.

Since January, 140 active-duty soldiers have killed themselves while another 71 Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers killed themselves in the same time period, totaling 211 as of Tuesday, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, U.S. Army vice chief of staff, told reporters at a briefing Tuesday. But he said the monthly numbers are starting to slow down as the year nears its end.

Not only is the trend up overall, but it is up among soldiers who haven’t deployed to a war zone, and December is traditionally a terrible month for suicides. People are overstressed and this is a clear indication of the problem, along with the increasing rates of domestic and substance abuse.

November 17, 2009   8 Comments

Satire Is The Only Truth

Naturally it’s from The Onion: Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be

ESCONDIDO, CA—Spurred by an administration he believes to be guilty of numerous transgressions, self-described American patriot Kyle Mortensen, 47, is a vehement defender of ideas he seems to think are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and principles that brave men have fought and died for solely in his head.

“Our very way of life is under siege,” said Mortensen, whose understanding of the Constitution derives not from a close reading of the document but from talk-show pundits, books by television personalities, and the limitless expanse of his own colorful imagination. “It’s time for true Americans to stand up and protect the values that make us who we are.”

If you have lived in SoCal, the Escondido dateline isn’t accidental, i.e. this describes a significant portion of the population of the town. It may be caused by the exhaust fumes from I-15.

November 17, 2009   2 Comments

Just Weird

I just had a visitor searching for “illegal uses of floor wax” – huh?

There is probably a logical reason for that search, but I’m not sure I want to hear it.

November 17, 2009   26 Comments

About That Middle Class Tax Break

You remember that item in the stimulus package that was going to help workers by giving them more money in their paychecks so they would continue spending? Well, it wasn’t very well designed.

CNN/Money reports on the Stimulus surprise: 15 million may owe IRS.

Congress still thinks we live in a “Father Knows Best” world of single income nuclear families living in the suburbs with two kids, a dog, and a DeSoto in the driveway. The simplistic way that the law was written is going to take a tax bite out of a lot of people because Congress apparently didn’t consider the possibility of people with multiple jobs.

This is just one of the manifest reasons to not use the tax system for anything other that raising revenue for the government. When you use the tax system for “social engineering”, there are always unintended consequences. The massive increase in home equity lines of credit is a direct result of screwing around with the tax code.

November 17, 2009   Comments Off on About That Middle Class Tax Break

Standards Have Fallen

It wasn’t that many years ago that the Israelis were able to carry off bogus propaganda attacks against their “enemies” [the rest of world] in a convincing fashion, but no more. The days when Israelis spoke unaccented Arabic and could create the documents of any nation in the world have passed.

When it comes to faking Iranian munitions the US has proved its incompetence, and now the Israelis have screwed up in a major way: from Juan Cole, 20-Year-Old Letterhead points to Israeli Forgery in Francop Affair.

Come on, this is what Wikipedia is all about, current information. Intel agencies need to get out more and look at what’s happening in the real world.

Of course, the Israelis will claim that the Iranians did this on purpose to shield them from charges, but I would point out that when governments transfer weaponry and don’t want to have it traced back to them, something the US does a lot, they use cut outs, intermediaries for the operation. The US often used the Israelis for this purpose [Iran Contra ring a bell?].

The Israeli seizure of the Francop was an attempt to create anti-Iranian propaganda. It’s just another area that the Israelis are no longer any good at after years without any credible threats.

November 17, 2009   9 Comments