Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bosque Farms Centenarian Passes

Just last month, we celebrated Erlinda Garley Moya's 100th birthday. Tomorrow we have her funeral Mass.

Bosque Farms and Peralta have lost a strong lady. No — lost isn't the right word. As Deacon Eddie said at Mrs. Moya's Rosary this evening, we haven't lost her because we know where she is.

But she has left us — after 100 years, 1 month, and 2 days of a very full life. She will be missed.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

How to Save on Taxes

Become an illegal alien!

Obama Actions on Jobs

President Barack Obama is "focused like a laser" on job creation, according to his supporters. So what has this focus accoumplshed?

  1. Obama decided to delay (at least) the Keystone XL pipeline that would have brought Canadian oil to the US and created at least 20,000 jobs.
  2. Obama's Agriculture Department has decided to delay (at least) drilling in Ohio's Utica shale that would have created more than 200,000 jobs.
  3. Obama's Interior Department continues to stall deepwater drilling for oil, despite supposedly having lifted the moratorium (ban) it imposed, thus blocking restoration of the Gulf region's jobs and oil production.
  4. "The President’s plan is to simply say ‘no’ to new energy production," House Natural Resources Committee chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash, said to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar during a Congressional hearing.
If these are the results of his focus on jobs, can we please get him to focus on something else? Anything else? Please?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Both Sides of His Mouth

A prime example from the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto:

Two Former Enron Advisers in One!

• "There's obviously a relationship between tax rates and revenue. That relationship is not, however, one-for-one. In general, doubling the excise tax rate on a good or service won't double the amount of revenue collected, because the tax increase will reduce the quantity of the good or service transacted. And the relationship between the level of the tax and the amount of revenue collected may not even be positive: in some cases raising the tax rate actually reduces the amount of revenue the government collects."--from "Economics," by former Enron adviser Paul Krugman and Robin Wells (Mrs. Krugman), second edition, 2009

• "In Democrat-world, up is up and down is down. Raising taxes increases revenue. . . . But in Republican-world, down is up. The way to increase revenue is to cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy."--Krugman, New York Times, Nov. 18, 2011

Clearly, President Barack Obama and his supporters believe the second Paul Krugman, and not the first. But it was the first that won the economics prizes.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day, 2011

In 2007, Kyle-Anne Shiver wrote an open letter of thanks to America's veterans that is a must read — especially today. Here's an excerpt:

And it is also true, that unless one has been in battle, one does not truly understand the depth of your passion for liberty. To families that have borne no soldiers, you are an enigma. To cowards, you are a shaming presence, a constant reminder of their weakness. To your parents, you represent both the mountaintop of pride, and the deepest valley of concern that mothers and fathers can ever know. And to most of us ordinary citizens, you are the unseen, under-appreciated protectors of all that we hold dear.

Military men and women really are different. Like their brothers and sisters in fields such as firefighting and law enforcement, they are the ones who run toward the fire and toward the firefight, not away. They are the sheepdogs, the ones who protect the sheep from the wolves — but whose presence makes the sheep uncomfortable. They're not all the same; they come in all types. But they share that difference. Sometimes you can see it in their eyes. Sometimes you can see the difference without being able to see who they are.

Even when you're not be able see the difference, the difference is still there. But whether you see the difference or not, whether you are aware of them or not, they are the ones who are there to be a deterrent — and, if necessary, a force for protection and rescue. They are the men and women who have secured and preserved our freedom. To them, along with Kyle-Anne Shiver, I say
You serve and fight for the greatest Nation in the history of civilization. There has never been a grievous wrong that good Americans have not sought to rectify. There has never been a just cause on which America has turned her back for long. You, our soldiers, have been and continue to be, the greatest force for freedom and human rights ever gathered. You have raised our flag around the world, not for domination, but to bring greater liberty and a better way of life. You are the reason America remains a beacon of hope to the entire world.
To all our veterans, and to all who serve, THANK YOU!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Supercommittee Democrats' Bait & Switch

There had supposedly been negotiations between the Democrats and the Republicans on the "supercommittee". The Republicans had made what appeared to be a good offer. The Democrats "had sounded amenable to the possible deal, but their position suddenly hardened after going back to their caucus." Translation: They got their orders, from whoever, and followed them.

A little more detail:

Sen. Pat Toomey had worked out a framework that he considered pro-growth and a reasonable first step toward fiscal restraint, while making a major concession to Democrats on revenue in the interests of getting a deal. Max Baucus especially had sounded open to it and a sub-group of the supercommittee had been discussing it seriously — but no more.
Apparently, the Democrats on the committee were ordered to "dump" the agreement.

Why do I say that? The Democrats claimed they wanted a "balanced" approach, one that included revenue increases as well as spending cuts. Their intransigence was there would be no deal at all without revenue increases. To get a deal, the Republicans gave the Democrats what they said they wanted. Revenue increases — half a trillion dollars over the ten year period. But, from the Democrats' perspective, there was one thing wrong: The Republican plan had revenue increases, but not tax rate increases, and what the Democrats really want is tax rate increases.

In short, the Republicans gave the Democrats what the Democrats said they wanted, but the Democrats lied.

I also saw on TV an analyst saying (approcimately)

The Democrats have always regarded the "supercommittee" as a scam — a means of conning the Republicans into accepting major tax increases.
We can only hope the Democrats don't get what they want.

UPDATE: Here's further confirmation. Once again, as in past years, their proposed "deal" is $1 in spending cuts for $1 in tax increases. Trouble is, the tax increases always take effect and the spending cuts always prove to be mirages.

All the supercommittee Democrats want is huge tax increases.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The "Christmas Tree Tax"

The Obama Administration announced the imposition of a new fee on the sale of every Christmas tree in the nation. The new levy was first announced in the Federal Register yesterday. It is being imposed to fund a public relations campaign to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States.”

Opponents popped up immediately. One opponent said “The economy is barely growing and nine percent of the American people have no jobs. Is a new tax on Christmas trees the best President Obama can do? And, by the way, the American Christmas tree has a great image that doesn’t need any help from the government.”

But the Administration is adamant that the new levy is not a tax — it is a fee. The White House has sent out its spokesmen to push this assertion. In one instance, White House spokesman Matt Lehrich told ABC News that “I can tell you unequivocally that the Obama Administration is not taxing Christmas trees. What’s being talked about here is an industry group deciding to impose fees on itself to fund a promotional campaign, similar to how the dairy producers have created the ‘Got Milk?’ campaign.”

I guess it can't be a tax since it's being done by an executive department and not by Congressional legislation. But this White House statement is quite dishonest. If it were true, there would be no need for government involvement. And there would be no government involvement. If it were true, the industry groupd would implement the fee, and Christmas tree sellers — at worst — would have to choose between paying the fee or withdrawing from the organization. But this fee is mandatory. It is implemented by the government, to be used for projects managed by the government. And you can bet the first costs paid from the fee will be for the government bureaucrats to manage the program — in this case, the new federal Christmas Tree Promotion Board. That's not "an industry group deciding to impose fees on itself." Especially since a significant number of Christmas tree sellers don't want it and are pretty vocal about saying so.

The only bright spot in this story is that the White House has apparently wised up just a little. It has announced that implementation of the new tax/fee will be delayed, and its existence will be revisited. Since I'm feeling a bit cynical today, I'll guess that means they'll put it through at a time they think people won't notice till it's too late.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How the O-2s Really Got to Viet Nam

It may not be new, but it's new to me.

Just a week or so ago, I was sent a link to a Thailand Aviation article on a Navy observation unit — VO-67 — that used P-2 Orion anti-submarine aircraft in Viet Nam for jungle surveillance. The aircraft were modified versions of the P2V-5F aircraft, redesigneted as OP-2E. The occasion for the article was the unit being awarded a Presidential Unit Citation forty years later.

In that article, it talked about the cooperation between the Navy surveillance aircraft and a unit of Air Force FACs (Forward Air Controllers) flying O-2A aircraft, a military version of the civilian Cessna Skymaster.

The FACs flew every day and night (mostly night) to identify the latest changes in anti-aircraft emplacements for use in the flight planning for the larger P2V-5F/OP-2E aircraft.

By happenstance, just a few days later, an old Air Force friend (and F-4 Phantom pilot) sent me a story about the O-2 and included his own observations on the aircraft. They make a good story, and it's good history.

Continue reading -->

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Scariest Thing I've Seen

In line with the scary holiday just past, here is the absolutely scariest chart I have seen in months. No, years. Maybe decades.

It was bad enough after 2001. But the leaps beginning with the first Pelosi-Reid budget (2008) are really bad! This cannot continue!

Happy Halloween

The above image shamelessly cribbed from Classical Values. I just couldn't resist.

[late, too ... penalty flag thrown]