RANT: Self-control that is essential for preservation of freedom

Thursday, September 30, 2010

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/book-review-the-next-american-civil-war/

Book Review: The Next American Civil War
The pushback against the all-encompassing state has its roots deep in the American tradition.
September 29, 2010 – by Janet Levy

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Harris sees the threat to liberty today as not emanating from Marxism, the essential focus of Tea Party activists, but from prosperous modern civilizations supported by cumbersome government bureaucracies, corporations, and media and from our failure to cherish freedom. He reasons that if we cared enough about freedom and less about material comforts, Marxist policies opposed by the majority of Americans would not be imposed upon us. The supremacy of the state as a vehicle to improve the lives of citizens has become a betrayal of American founding principles of individual liberty and traditions of self-sufficiency, hard work, and self-governance.

Harris proposes that a turnaround for future generations begins with our children. Rather than raise them with a sense of entitlement in which the struggle for their rights is paramount, we need to raise them with a sense of duty and responsibility. They need to be taught self-control that is essential for preservation of freedom and to admire and emulate the heroes throughout our history who fought for freedom.

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Clearly, the battle will be separating the Gooferment from education of future voters. Close the “reeducation camps”!

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INSPIRATIONAL: No mosque at Ground Zero

Thursday, September 30, 2010

“I’m against building mosques, churches, synagogues, temples anywhere, because I’m an atheist and I think these are places that perpetuate mass delusion.”
— Comedian / Political Commentator Bill Maher September 14, 2010 Larry King Live


POLITICAL: Massachusetts Sales Tax Roll Back initiative

Thursday, September 30, 2010

http://goo.gl/5MQb

Energize Our Economy and Your Family’s Future
Reduce the Sales Tax to 3% — Vote YES on Question 3
by Charles C. Ormsby, Ph.D.

*** begin quote ***

New Hampshire’s Unemployment rate is 5.7%.

Massachusetts’ Unemployment rate is 8.8%.

54% higher!

Why?

Why have so many large retail stores fled the Merrimack Valley just to be resurrected in Salem, Plaistow or Nashua? Why are the businesses that remain focused mainly on food, clothing or automobiles?

The answers are obvious as: The Massachusetts Sales Tax.

The symptoms did not just arise when the state legislature and Governor Patrick increased the sales tax from 5% to 6.25%. These symptoms were evident before the increase, but this increase in the middle of a gut-wrenching economic downturn has seriously exacerbated the problem.

The effect of taxes on economic prosperity is not a mystery.

It is clearly visible when the economies of countries are compared. Countries that have historically low levels of taxation (if accompanied by a respect for property rights) are generally prosperous and have above average growth rates. Those with high tax rates (often accompanied by an onerous regulatory burden) typically are mired in poverty and despair with few prospects for a brighter future. When countries significantly alter tax levels, their economies respond rapidly: either expanding, if tax levies are reduced, or contracting if levies are raised.

The same effect is evident when comparing state economies. Just look at the dramatic differences in job creation when the highest tax states in the U.S. are compared to the lowest tax states. The nine states with the lowest taxes had over twice the job growth rate over the last decade as the nine states with the highest taxes.

Increasing taxes is not merely an indirect factor influencing some obscure economic statistic that somehow or other relates to the decisions of companies to close factories, to close retail outlets, or to lay off employees.

Higher taxes directly cause these results and directly impact our economic prosperity and security. Lowering taxes can reverse these effects.

Let’s just look at one, local example: The Methuen Mall (now The Loop).

Do you remember when there was a Sears at the Methuen Mall? And a Jordan Marsh? And Filene’s Basement? And more than 50 other retail outlets? Of course, the Mall took a nose dive after Sears moved (1991) to the expanded Rockingham Mall. The Mall’s final gasp high-lighted a “Sheds Unlimited” outlet; a fitting requiem for what was once a thriving retail complex.

But prosperity is a group activity. Success feeds on success. There is excitement in prosperity and commerce … just as dullness and fear accompany decline and failure. Taxes discourage commerce and block prosperity, engendering failure.

Customers shop where there is convenient access to a wide variety of goods and services. Salem, Plaistow and Nashua are thriving because they lack the extra burden of a sales tax. Our 6.25% sales tax is a huge advantage for New Hampshire businesses and a major deterrent to anyone considering locating or expanding their business in Massachusetts.

The herd has moved to where the grazing is profitable. They have left the dry hole in Massachusetts.

Yes, after more than a decade, the Methuen Mall (The Loop) came back. Now, nearly 20 years later, we are back to where we were before the sales tax induced competition from Salem emerged. Salem has exploded to ten times its size in 1990 while once-dominant Methuen has barely managed to tread water. All thanks to a 5% sales tax.

But The Loop is not what it was in 1990. It is now dominated by enterprises that sell tax-free items (groceries, clothing), or low-cost/convenience items (less than $100), or by businesses that are equivalently taxed in New Hampshire (e.g., restaurants). The Home Depot outlet in Methuen sells taxable items, but ask store management where people go for the high-ticket items – the Home Depot store in Salem.

Try to find a store on the Massachusetts side of the border that sells major appliances or 50″ High Definition TVs. There are very few. Did you see the new Ultimate Electronics Store in Salem? Too bad it couldn’t consider Methuen, Lowell, Haverhill, or Lawrence for its home.

You don’t miss what you don’t see. Not only are these stores gone, along with their jobs, but gone also is the secondary economy that supports them: construction, maintenance, insurance, accounting, and on and on. Not to mention all the resultant spending from those employed that in turn supports real estate development, barbers, lawn services, painters, auto repair. All gone to New Hampshire.

More jobs lost. More opportunity stolen from your family. More prosperity denied. More economic risk and despair to deal with.

Of course, with less tax revenue derived from a growing and prosperous business community, the government beast still wants to be fed; well fed in fact. Welcome to even higher property and income tax demands.

That is why our brilliant legislators, with an excess of law degrees but no business experience, thought it wise to increase the sales tax from 5% to 6.25% and further disadvantage Massachusetts businesses and degrade the Massachusetts economy.

Their philosophy must be: If shooting yourself in the foot slows you down, try shooting yourself in the groin. Hey, why not go all in and try a shot between the eyes?

Of course, they are not that stupid. We all know that their idiocy is driven by self interest.

Taxes are the pump that transfers wealth from the private sector to the public sector. Those in the public sector like the pump; in fact, they love it. They love it so much that they promise to do everything in their power to keep those who will protect and enlarge the pump in power.

The politicians and the special interests have a deal: The politicians will work tirelessly (lying when needed) to keep the pump working and the special interests will work tirelessly (lying when needed) to keep them in office and campaigning to avoid any reduction in pumping operations.

Of course, they also agree to divvy up the loot in the form of wages, benefits, pensions, and special favors. Just like the Hole in the Wall Gang after a bank robbery, except, this time, the hole is in your wallet!

The last ballot initiative that attempted to reduce taxes (eliminate the income tax) provided a classic example. The proponents were able to raise and spend approximately $493,000 in support of the ballot initiative (100% from individual private donations; most under $100). The opponents spent over $7.5 million (more than 15 times as much) to defeat the initiative (with 99.8% coming from special interest organizations; 60% of this from teachers’ unions and the remainder from other government unions such as AFSCME and the SEIU).

The special interests can only continue this racket if we let them. They will outspend those trying to reduce our taxes again; almost certainly by more than ten-to-one. They will tell us that reducing the sales tax will cause a plague. Children will go hungry. Teachers, police and firefighters will be laid off. Life will come to an end.

They are lying. The proof is only a few miles to your north. If New Hampshire can prosper with NO sales tax and NO income tax, why will a reduction in the sales tax to 3% be a problem?

Not only will it NOT be a problem, it will re-invigorate the economy.

It is projected to create 33,000 new jobs.

Families like yours will retain $500-$1000 in earnings every year instead of losing these earnings to the state’s bloated bureaucracy.

Businesses will have a fighting chance to compete and add jobs in the Merrimack Valley.

We can also emulate the successful New Hampshire strategy of attracting shoppers and businesses from contiguous states. With a 3% sales tax, shoppers will be attracted to Massachusetts businesses from Rhode Island (7%), Connecticut (6%), New York (7+ %), and Vermont (6%). That differential, if sustained over 5-10 years, will dramatically grow the Massachusetts economy.

State government merely needs to cut its out-of-control spending by a mere 5% with NO CUTS in local aid.

Don’t fall for the lies of the special interests … no matter how often they advertise.

Go to http://www.rollbacktaxes.com to help return Massachusetts to prosperity!

IN NOVEMBER, VOTE YES ON QUESTION 3.

Every tax cut is a pay increase … and a spur to economic prosperity!

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Dr. Charles Ormsby is a former member of the North Andover School Committee.

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In principle, same thing for New Jersey. Voters were fooled into passing the sales tax for property tax relief.

Fooled you!

In the theory, sales tax should be the ONLY tax.

But in practice, one must oppose every tax. Period. Every time. All the time.

The Dead Old White Guys must be rolling over. They revolted over a few percent. We can’t even calculate the Gooferment’s take.

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MONEY: When the politicians control the printing presses

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=208601

Politics versus gold
Thomas Sowell
Posted: September 28, 2010

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Inflation is a quiet but effective way for the government to transfer resources from the people to itself, without raising taxes. A hundred dollar bill would buy less in 1998 than a $20 bill would buy in the 1960s. This means that anyone who kept his money in a safe over those years would have lost 80 percent of its value, because no safe can keep your money safe from politicians who control the printing presses.

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“We, The People”, aka the Sheeple, are SO dumb. It’s a miracle that the species survives. It’s the meme of Gooferment that kills more than any disease, impoverishes us, and sets brother against brother over trivialities.

Argh!

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TECHNOLOGY: New form of spam begins. It looks like a standard LinkedIn invite.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New form of spam begins. It looks like a standard LinkedIn invite.

201009290912.jpg

But the URLs point to strange sites. Don’t worry I’m an Open DNS User (free) and they don’t resolve.

“Default” Users, who don’t take any precautions, should NEVER click on any link in ANY email.

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LinkedIn Users Targeted with Fake “Contack Requests” to Spread Malwa
Posted by: “Joseph”
Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:38 am (PDT)

LinkedIn Users Targeted with Fake “Contact Requests” to Spread Malware
By Mike Lennon on Sep 27, 2010

On Monday morning, cybercriminals began sending massive volumes of spam email messages targeting LinkedIn users.

Starting at approximately 10am GMT, users of the popular business-focused social networking site began receiving emails with a fake contact request containing a malicious link.

According to Cisco Security Intelligence, these messages accounted for as much as 24% of all spam sent within a 15-minute interval today. If users click, they are taken to a web page that says “PLEASE WAITING…. 4 SECONDS..” and then redirects them to Google, appearing as if nothing has happened. During those four seconds, the victim’s PC was attempted to be infected with the ZeuS Malware via a “drive-by download” – something that requires little or no user interaction to infect a system.

When Zeus infects PCs, users rarely notice any harm, and those who click on a link will may even have a chance manually download the executable file, as the malware first runs a series of browser exploits. ZeuS, also known as Zbot, WSNPOEM, NTOS and PRG, is the most prevalent banking malware platform for online fraud, and has been licensed by numerous criminal organizations. The program then waits for the user to log onto a list of targeted banks and financial institutions, and then steals login credentials and other data which are immediately sent to a remote server hosted by cybercriminals. It can also modify, in a user’s browser, the genuine web pages from a bank’s web servers to ask for personal information such as payment card number and PIN, one time passwords, etc. A new variant recently emerged that targets mobile devices – ZeuS in the Mobile or “Ztimo”- used to overcome two-factor authentication.

“Criminals are misusing brands familiar to business users to trick them into becoming infected by data stealing malware,” said Cisco Security Researcher Henry Stern. “They want to infect those users with access to large-dollar online commercial bank accounts. This attack is most interesting because of its scale. While there have been many previous attacks that impersonate social media sites, the scale of this attack, tens of billions of messages, makes it notable. The criminals behind this attack are among those who stole over US$100m from commercial bank accounts in 2009,” Stern added.

Back to top Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post

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RANT: Tax the rich vs. “decent salaries and benefits” are you kidding me?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

http://channel-surfing.blogspot.com/2010/09/governors-priorities.html

>>Gov. Chris Christie now says he wants to cut income taxes for the rich.
>I want readers of this blog to think about what he’s proposing
>and ask yourselves why giving money back to the rich makes more
>sense than providing teachers — or ensuring that the people who
>do the work that we need done get decent salaries and benefits.

Yes, it makes more sense to me on a several levels: Morally, Strategically, and Tacically.

Morally, when someone — rich or poor — creates wealth — be it grows more tomatoes, makes more lumber, or enables the same by capital formation — the Gooferment has NO right to steal it. At least the Mafia was polite when it robbed you and left you enough to survive. The DofI states that all men are created equal. Except when it comes to taxes.

Strategically, in a capitalistic society, deferred consumption allows capital formation and risk taking. On Robinson Crusoe’s island, Robinson has to save some fish to sustain himself while he weaves a net that allows him to catch more fish in the future. And, there’s no guaranty that it will work. So too, today, we need “rich” people to forgo consuming, invest, and take risks. Who’s more likely to save, invest, and employ others? The rich or the poor? When the Gooferment taxes the rich at disproportionate rate, ti discourages investment and risk taking. Why take a risk when you can spend what would have been “capital”, enjoy life, and wait for better times? Tax rates that make the Gooferment your partner 50/50 is one thing. When the the split is 90/10 on profit and you take the loss, then you think real hard about it. (Similar to professionals like doctors who can “time” when they take income, rich people have options that the poor do not. Heck, LeBron went to Florida to save taxes.) High tax rates and “progressive” tax rates are counter-productive to society. But, not to the Gooferment, who’s desire for funds is insatiable. New Jersey was #4 on the list of “lost high earning” losers, I just saw.

Tactically, New Jersey’s tax rates are higher than the surrounding states. Why do politicians and bureaucrats think people are moving to Delaware and Pennsylvania? Retirees depart the state because they can’t afford to live here. Do you think that even poor people are stupid?

Now let’s look at cited case of teachers, politicians, and bureaucrats. Sorry but they do NOT engender sympathy. I’ve ranted before about Gooferment Skrules are themselves immoral, strategically wrong, and tactically stupid. I won’t repeat all those arguments but I’ll summarize in one sentence: “I didn’t have any part in the decision to have your children, don’t pay to feed them, and the Gooferment should NOT be propagandizing future voters.” The salary was supposedly lower than in the private marketplace, hence great pensions and benefits. Now, Gooferment workers make twice what the private industry. In private industry, there’s no pensions any more. There’s no job security. Heck, there’s not even salaries for jobs any more. The absolute piggishness of politicians and bureaucrats with their scams to pad salaries, pensions, and benefits is criminal.

And, please don’t say that allowing the “rich” to keep what they have earned so they can invest and take risks prevents the politicians and bureaucrats from earning “decent salaries and benefits”.

So let’s have some reforms:

(1) No politicians and bureaucrats can ever make more than the Governor.

(2) No pensions for anyone. Convert all to defined contribution plans.

(3) Everyone pays a percentage of their benefit costs. (Benefits are a Federal problem.)

(4) All income taxes — corporate and personal — are capped at 10%.

(5) Let’s have a 40 year plan to get the Gooferment out of education. 20 years to privatize it; 20 years to migrate it back to the parents.

(6) Let’s get serious about the definition of poverty. In comparison to the rest of the world, our “poor” are rich.

JFK said it best. “A rising tide raises all boats!”

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POLITICAL: Anti-war, not anti-D or anti R

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

http://counterpunch.org/jacobs09272010.html

September 27, 2010
We’ve Been Here Before
The FBI Raids in Context
By RON JACOBS

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In short, the government is attempting to criminalize the organizing of antiwar protests. Furthermore, it wants to make opposition to the the government’s assistance in repressing struggles for self-determination illegal. Other repressive actions by law enforcement against US citizens, including the sentencing of a videographer to 300 days in jail for trespass after he tried to film an unauthorized talk in Chicago and the acknowledgement (sic) by the Pittsburgh FBI office that it had spied on peace activists and used a private agency to help out, makes it clear that the PATRIOT Act and its excesses are alive and well under the Obama administration. Repression is a bipartisan activity, especially when it comes to the repression of the left.

*** end quote ***

I remember the anti-war left that was taken over by the D’s. Of course, as soon as a D was in the White House, that ended the anti-war protests.

Now, older and wiser, I see.

Both the D’s and R’s have no problem with “war” as long as they are in the White House and control of Congress to profit from it.

If we can’t end the warfare /welfare state, then we’ll have to divide and conquer.

Secession!

Just like what happened to the USSR.

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