Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Government to continue to meddle in market...

GM bankruptcy plan eyes quick sale to gov't

Why do we even bother having a market any more? Why don't we just close all the businesses and let our new Overlords run the entire economy. They just keep ensuring that the Unions, with their unsecured debt, get a good crack at assets that should rightfully go to secured bond holders. It's outright theft.

A far better writeup than I can provide is at The Market Ticker.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Unfunded Obligations

The 81% Tax Increase

From Forbes comes an excellent real idea of what I have been talking about in previous posts regarding our National Debt, and the unfunded obligations we have in the forms of Social Security and Medicare.

There is NO WAY we can afford either of these programs in their current form, without jacking taxes up 81%.

From the article:
To put it another way, Social Security's unfunded liability equals 1.3% of the gross domestic product. So if we were to fund its deficit with general revenues, income taxes would have to rise by 1.3% of GDP immediately and forever. With the personal income tax raising about 10% of GDP in coming years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, this means that every taxpayer would have to pay 13% more just to make sure that all Social Security benefits currently promised will be paid.


To summarize, we see that taxpayers are on the hook for Social Security and Medicare by these amounts: Social Security, 1.3% of GDP; Medicare part A, 2.8% of GDP; Medicare part B, 2.8% of GDP; and Medicare part D, 1.2% of GDP. This adds up to 8.1% of GDP. Thus federal income taxes for every taxpayer would have to rise by roughly 81% to pay all of the benefits promised by these programs under current law over and above the payroll tax.

Since many taxpayers have just paid their income taxes for 2008 they may have their federal returns close at hand. They all should look up the total amount they paid and multiply that figure by 1.81 to find out what they should be paying right now to finance Social Security and Medicare.

Go take a gander and see what the jackasses in Government are setting us up for.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Finally! Political Dissident Control!

Saudi 'Killer Chip' Implant Would Track, Eliminate Undesirables

Are you having problems with Right Wing Extremists, Iraq/Afghanistan War Veterans, and annoying "teabaggers" protesting your right to take and destroy their hard-earned wealth? Dissidents throwing bricks through the windows of your party's headquarters with quaint references to that silly Constitution on them?

Worry no more! Now, with our new Sure-Kill Dissident Removers you too can ensure you know exactly where those patriotic scum are, and remove them with a simple push of a button!

And if you act now, we'll throw in the Rapid Inject chip application system for free! Just pay shipping and handling.

Supplies are going fast, call now! Obama would be a fool to pass this one up.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Law? Hah! I AM the Law!

I'm from the Government, and I'm here for your money.

From the Washington Post comes this lovely little gem:

...the Obama administration, judging by its cavalier disregard of contracts between Chrysler and some of the lenders it sought money from, thinks contracts are written on water. The administration proposes that Chrysler's secured creditors get 28 cents per dollar on the $7 billion owed to them but that the United Auto Workers union get 43 cents per dollar on its $11 billion in claims -- and 55 percent of the company. This, even though the secured creditors' contracts supposedly guaranteed them better standing than the union.

Among Chrysler's lenders, some servile banks that are now dependent on the administration for capital infusions tugged their forelocks and agreed. Some hedge funds among Chrysler's lenders that are not dependent were vilified by the president because they dared to resist his demand that they violate their fiduciary duties to their investors, who include individuals and institutional pension funds.

The Economist says the administration has "ridden roughshod over [creditors'] legitimate claims over the [automobile companies'] assets. . . . Bankruptcies involve dividing a shrunken pie. But not all claims are equal: some lenders provide cheaper funds to firms in return for a more secure claim over the assets should things go wrong. They rank above other stakeholders, including shareholders and employees. This principle is now being trashed." Tom Lauria, a lawyer representing hedge fund people trashed by the president as the cause of Chrysler's bankruptcy, asked that his clients' names not be published for fear of violence threatened in e-mails to them.

emphasis mine

The rule of law is what this Declining Nation is supposed to operate on. No one is above the law, and the law is to be modified only in certain ways. Bankruptcy law clearly defines the precedence of each class of debtor. Some debtors are to be paid in full before any other debts are serviced. Look again at the emphasized text above. Our criminals in the Federal Government have decided that they are entirely above the law, and are able to wave a magic wand and nullify contractual obligations for no better reason than they want to make sure THEIR CONSTITUENCY profits - at the expense of EVERYONE else.

These brigands, thinly disguised as Agents and Administrators of the Federal Government, are denying investors and pension funds the money they were guaranteed by contract and law - money those funds and investors need to live their lives, retire, feed their children, pay their mortgage, etc. They are ensuring that the very people who had a direct hand in the failure of GM and Chrysler, the UAW, receives as much money as possible, despite the fact that it is not their money to give out.

To complicate matters, Judicial Watch successfully sued to get the notes from the meetings in which banks were allegedly forced to take TARP money, including:
  • "CEO Talking Points" used by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson confirming that the nine bank CEOs present at the October 13 meeting had no choice but to accede to the government's demands for equity stakes and the resulting government control. The talking points emphasize that "if a capital infusion is not appealing, you should be aware your regulator will require it in any circumstance." Suggested edits of the "talking points" by Tim Geithner, then-New York Fed President, were withheld by the Obama Treasury Department.
  • "Major Financial Institution Participation Commitments" signed by the nine bankers on October 13. The CEOs not only hand wrote their institution's names but also hand wrote multi-billion dollar amounts of "preferred shares" to be issued to the government.
  • Email documenting that, on the very day of the meeting, the Chief of Staff to the Treasury Secretary and other top Treasury staff did not know the names of any of the banks that would be in attendance.
  • Email showing Treasury officials wanted to use the Secret Service to help keep the press away from the CEOs arriving at the meeting.
  • Email showing a public relations effort, run in part out of the Bush White House, to tamp down public concerns about "nationalizing the banks."
  • Email showing that Paulson was able to brief Barack Obama about the bankers meeting almost immediately, but could not reach Senator John McCain.

You can actually see the PDFs they received (with Geithner's notes redacted of course - probably because they're incriminating as hell).

Our Government has gone clean off the hinges here. They've completely lost their senses and the only outcome they'll countenance is the total subjugation of the country to their whims and will. And in my opinion, far too many people want them to do it.

The looters and moochers have finally taken over. In my opinion, it will take the secession of one or more states to provide any form of relief for those that still love Liberty, short of a full on Civil War.

A Tax on Both Your Houses

Smokers, drinkers to carry tax burden?

First, they came for the smokers, but I didn't smoke, so I didn't say anything. Then they came for the drinkers, but I don't drink, so I cheered them on. Next they came for the folks who like red meat and potato chips, but I figured I could use a diet anyways. Finally, they came for me....

One thing the Leftist thrives on is class warfare. They find it easy to point to an oil company that is making money, and raise the hue and cry that making profits is bad, and we should tax their "windfall", taking what is considered "excessive" profits. This said, however, just how much profit as a percentage of revenues are these companies making? According to this article from CNN Money:
But there's a problem with that theory. Even though many oil companies are reporting record profits, many people forget just how expensive it is for energy companies to engage in the oil business.

The average net profit margin for the S&P Energy sector, according to figures from Thomson Baseline, is 9.7%. The average for the S&P 500 is 8.5%. So yes, energy companies are more profitable than many others...but not by an inordinate amount.

Google, for example, reported a net profit margin of 25% in its most recent quarter. Should we have an online advertising windfall profit tax?

So who else do you target? Well, what else is smelly and annoying to many people? Smokers of course! You can scream and yell about the health risks, and the extra cost. But while you're at it, why not tax folks that eat/drink unhealthy foods? Even better, why not make people take a body fat percentage once a month and tax them based on their percentage above the "norm"?

Heck, where do you stop?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why Would You Need Your Gun There?!?!

How often do we hear it? Someone is talking about the places they carry, and inevitably another person will chime in "what, do you think you're going to need it there?!?". Often, (and unfortunately) the person making that exclamation is even a fellow CCW'er.

One of those places you commonly have this discussion about is the gym. "What, you think you're going to get mugged in the parking lot?"

Well, unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to a friend of mine very recently. He, like many of us, is attempting to shed the detritus of a too-sedentary lifestyle, and has been going to a local national chain gym to exercise. He lives in a reasonably decent area of North Dallas, I've been in that area to visit him a number of times.

He was coming out after his workout and heading for the car. He is not a CCWer, however, he does have a number of years of martial arts training, and has had enough experiences that he knows how to handle himself in a hands on situation. Well, as he's heading to the car, a young person in too heavy of a jacket approached him and gave the classical "approach/disarm" statement, something to the effect of "can I borrow a couple of bucks". When my friend answered in the negative, the thug-in-training reached into a pocket and pulled a knife, demanding his wallet.

A few things went very right for my buddy. Firstly, the thug telegraphed his movement for his pocket pretty well, my friend understood the moment the guy went for his pocket that things were very wrong (he went condition red, though he doesn't know it by that name), and as he told me, "I knew something was coming out, I just didn't know what it was." Finally, the thug was in grappling distance - not good when the other guy knows martial arts. My friend was able to control the thug's knife hand the moment he saw a knife come out of that pocket, and commenced to, shall we say...rearrange the thug's face. Once again, action beats reaction.

Long story short, he pounded the thug for a short bit, and when two other folks coming out of the gym saw that and asked what was up, the thug unfortunately was able to get away. Police were called, standard after action stuff here.

Ultimately, this continues to prove what I have known since I saw a SWAT team start clearing the building I was working in one day - life and death situations can happen anywhere. There are a number of people I know that only carry once in a while, "when I'm going to a bad place". They consider myself, and those like me that choose to go armed whenever and wherever possible, paranoid and delusional. "You'll never need it, and if you do, you won't be able to use it 'cause the guy will have the drop on you."

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that thugs don't hang out in bad places, they go to good places where the pickings are much better. They don't care if you're on your way out to a nice dinner, or are on your way to work out, etc. They want money, and they want it now. Do not make the mistake of thinking these kinds of people are rational like you and me.

A while back, I posted my thoughts on this in a post called "Just Give Them What They Want". Feel free to take a gander if you have the time.

I'll leave you with a video I linked in that post below. Please, for the good of yourself and your family, watch this video and think about what it means to be sharing society with people that think this way. The story behind the video is here.
(The sound is a little odd at the beginning, but it gets audible pretty quickly into the interview.) (caution, there is uncensored language, don't blast it at work)

My friend ended up unharmed, other than a slightly sore hand. It could have been so much worse for him. Remember, it just takes a moment for someone that, when thinking about your family, can only say "f@#$ 'em" to truly ruin your life, and the lives of those around you.

Stay ready, and always be prepared to stop any threat that presents itself. Be safe out there folks.

Current Quote

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." – Thomas Jefferson