Wednesday, April 17, 2013

et ceteras

My April 13th post said I would be opining about gay marriage in a series of consecutive posts, but today I am dropping the word "consecutive" because I don't feel like waiting to chime in on some of the other topics swirling about:

Boston Marathon I
There are so many kudos to go around...To the medical staffs of area hospitals, whose combination of urgency and composure helped keep the mortality rate far below what it might otherwise have been...To those on the scene who immediately ran toward the epicenter rather than away from it, seeking to help others rather than seeking only to remove themselves from the danger zone...To the alert spectator who, also thinking beyond himself, tackled a suspicious-looking person so authorities could question him...To the residents of Dorchester who gathered in an extemporaneous candlelight vigil to honor the memory of Martin Richard...And there are many other worthies, no doubt.

Boston Marathon II
Unfortunately there are also some notable non-worthies afoot, and I would be remiss if I gave them a pass. One is the uber-Left, uber-PC types who are attacking people's rational and responsible reactions by accusing them of being (what else?) racists. Michelle Malkin has done a superb job cataloguing and commenting on those actions, here. Another non-worthy is...

Boston Marathon III
President Barack Obama. As much as I hate to criticize our commander-in-chief at a time like this, he deserves it. The monotone, emotionless delivery of his remarks after the bombing was eerily reminiscent of his tone following Benghazi, and strikingly different than the tone he has when talking about, say, Skip Gates or Trayvon Martin.

Obama's engine roars when talking about things that have nothing to do with his presidential responsibilities, but sputters when talking about things that do. After Benghazi he said we would "bring to justice" whoever did it, but he never acted like he meant it and today those perps remain scot-free. Yesterday he said that whoever carried out the bombing in Boston will be made to "feel the full weight of justice," but again it didn't seem like he meant it.

A Thought About Thatcher's Funeral
Or, more specifically, about Obama's absence from the funeral -- an absence I consider to be reprehensible and a national embarrassment. The United Kingdom has been one of our staunchest allies throughout history, and Margaret Thatcher was arguably our staunchest ally among all the prime ministers who have ever led the U.K. Had she not been in 10 Downing Street during the 1980's, the Cold War might not have been won by the West and the lives of today's Americans would be immeasurably worse than they are. Keep in mind that Obama also did not send anyone in his place and that he chose not to attend from the beginning (i.e., well before the Boston Marathon, meaning his supporters can not use the bombing as an excuse). But of course this was not the first time he has spit in Britain's face. The way he is going, we will have not a single friend left on the planet come 2016.

A Thatcher Anecdote
I obviously did not witness this incident, since I was a schoolboy and on the wrong side of the Atlantic when it occurred. But it perfectly sums up Thatcher's personality and here is how Conrad Black described it after she passed away last week: "When she became the leader of the party, she entered the Carlton Club, the Conservatives' social headquarters in Saint James, and when informed that ladies were not allowed in other than as guests, she replied as she brushed past the doorman: 'They are now.'"

Gun Control
Count me among those who are against universal background checks for people attempting to purchase guns. Why? Because I am still waiting to hear what specific items on a background check Big Brother is looking for, and what exactly Big Brother plans to do about certain items. After all, background checks are not simple "pass" or "fail" documents, but lengthy troves containing tons of information about you.

If you had a DUI when you were in college and blew 0.001 over the legal limit, will your masters in Washington now declare you ineligible to ever own a gun? Will they declare you ineligible if you once pled no contest for failing to file your 1991 tax returns, even though you have meticulously filed and paid taxes for every year before and after? My rule is this: The less specific the government is, the more vociferously we should tell it "No!" -- regardless of what the subject is.

And lastly, tax (un)fairness
You might be aware that President Obama is literally a "one-percenter" -- but did you know he intentionally pays far less than what garden variety liberals and hardcore Occupiers would consider to be his "fair share" of taxes? Of course you don't, because the MSM is loathe to report it, but the truth is this: While the people Obama considers middle class (families making under $250,000) paid a standard effective federal rate of 33 percent last year, The Exalted One had an adjusted gross income of over $600,000 yet paid just 18.4 percent.

This was not because rates are lower for the rich, but because he used many of the parts of the tax code that he always claims are immoral and unfair when used by others. Dare I say that if he believed his oratory, he would bypass those parts of the tax code and pay the higher rate he insists others in his income bracket pay? Or if not that, shouldn't he press for measures that would help middle class Americans more easily lower their effective rates to be in line with his?

Milton Wolf of The Washington Times has an excellent piece about this and you may go here to read it. Essentially, he says that since we have a thing called the Alternative Minimum Tax, we should also have something called the Alternative Maximum Fairness Tax, which would stipulate that no American be required to pay federal income taxes at a higher effective rate than the president. Therefore, if next year Obama or his accountants again calculate his effective rate to be 18.4 percent, you will only have to pay 18.4 percent even if the calculations made by you or your accountant come out to 29.9 percent. Wolf suggests that the GOP make this a mandatory addition to any taxing/spending legislation proposed by Obama or by Democratic legislators. I think both the idea and the strategy are excellent, and therefore I am asking yet again that the GOP grow a spine and act!

No comments: