Archive | April, 2013

How Sad — What of West, Texas?

23 Apr

Even in the highly charged aftermath of the Boston bombing, the low level of reporting on the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas is shameful.  Ten “First Responders” lost their lives, along with four others.  Two hundred (?) injured.  Now THIS is an American tragedy.

The bombings are hot news, but the explosion in Texas pretty much blew up a town, and not a person in that town will be unaffected in a major way.

And ten brave responders died as heroes, having chosen to face and fight a very dangerous situation.

Where is the appropriate recognition of this horrific event?

 

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The Joys of April 15th

15 Apr

I distinctly remember a time when I was fine with paying my federal income taxes.  Proud to, in fact.  I have paid income tax every year for 45 years, some years a relatively small amount (my military years), and some years huge amounts (by my definition).  But it used to be about how blessed and fortunate I have been.

But the pride has entirely gone now.  And what is worse, I am at a point in life where I have to actually pay money when April 15th rolls around – withholding does not cover the “tab” at this phase of my life.  In fact, over the past several years I have found it galling, disgusting, disturbing, insulting, angering, and downright ridiculous to have to pay money out-of-pocket – to “write a check” – for an additional few thousand dollars (beyond withholding), well knowing that it is going to the most bloated, inefficient, misguided and corrupt organization in the United States – or passing through to millions of people who are on the public dole for no good reason other than they CAN be (and I am NOT talking about the truly needy here).

I believe Andrew Jackson made a comment after the Missouri Compromise of 1821 (?) that he was glad, or hoped, that he would not still be around when the country paid the price for dealing with the slavery issue through such compromises.  He happened to be on the wrong side of history (to say nothing, perhaps, of the wrong side of morality), but I understand his sense of foreboding.

The thought does cross my mind to take the Alfred E. Neuman approach to the destabilization and decline of what has possibly been the greatest, most innovative, most prosperous and most generous nation the world has ever seen – “What, me worry?” – since I expect the country will hold together until my passing.  At least I hope so.

Can we recover?  The only ways I can see a recovery is to 1) regain our moral footing and dedication to founding principles and common sense laws and regulations, 2) eliminate multiculturalism in favor of unity of purpose and culture (i.e., assimilation), 3) prevent the dependent class from achieving majority-voting-block status, and 4) get our financial house in order by constraining the size, reach, and spending of the federal government.

And do I see all these things happening?  Hardly.  But I am a great believer in miracles.

Afterthought:  I find that it is one thing to have money withheld for taxes out of salary, and maybe get some part of it back, and quite another to actually have to pay “extra” out-of-pocket.   Maybe what we need is a tax system in which there is MORE of a requirement to pay out-of-pocket — say, a target to withhold only 50% of estimated tax burden — so that ALL Americans (the tax-paying portion of us, anyway) can feel the pride or anger in writing that extra check to those bozos at the end of the year.  Think the cumulative outrage might get better performance out of them?