FDIC lying in Wall Street Journal ad

Posted on June 16th, 2008 by bile
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Writes Stephen Fairfax: “Today on page A5 of the War Street Journal, the FDIC has a full-page ad. They have the gall to display a $100,000 Series 1934 Gold Certificate, with the words ‘One Hundred Thousand Dollars in Gold’ plainly visible.

“Of course, the FDIC has never paid an atom of gold to any depositor, and was created as part of the gigantic theft and fraud associated with FDR’s gold confiscation. Wikipedia reports that it is still illegal for private citizens to own the gold certificate whose image leads the FDIC propaganda.”

Things like this make it seem more plausible that some of the many conspiracies surrounding the Federal Reserve are true.

Chris Edwards of Cato on Obama’s tax proposals

Posted on June 16th, 2008 by bile
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Candidate Obama has introduced an array of tax proposals, which he discusses in various places on his campaign website. There are four overlapping themes in the Obama tax proposals the way I see it:

  1. Social engineering.
  2. Discrimination.
  3. Economic micromanagement.
  4. Empty populism.

Under social engineering, I would put Obama’s plan to greatly increase the dependent care tax credit. That would further encourage parents to find institutional day care for their children, rather than providing care themselves.

Under discrimination, I would put Obama’s proposed special tax break for the elderly. The federal fiscal system is already heavily tilted in favor of the elderly, thus it is unclear why Obama would want to further discriminate against the young.

Obama’s “American Opportunity Tax Credit” also creates unfair discrimination. This new tax break for college essentially increases subsidizes for future lawyers, accountants, and other professionals. Why subsidize these folks who will likely have much higher earnings than factory workers, retail clerks, and others who don’t go to college?

Under economic micromanagement, I would put Obama’s Patriot Employer Act, which provides tax breaks to certain businesses that jump through hoops related to hiring, wages, and other items.  Obama wants to cut capital gains taxes on certain investments and increase capital gains taxes on others, and he is proposing various narrow energy tax breaks.

Under empty populism, I would put Obama’s railings against “tax haven abuse” and “corporate loopholes.” If Mr. Obama really wanted to reduce corporate tax avoidance–rather than just using it as a campaign prop–he would join with John McCain and call for an across-the-board corporate rate cut.

A final category might be “innocuous tax cuts that do nothing for economic growth.” Here I would put Obama’s $500 payroll tax credit called “making work pay.” If Obama had wanted to spur employment, he should have proposed a cut in the payroll tax rate, which would change the marginal incentive to work, unlike the proposed credit.

In sum, Obama’s tax proposals are pretty awful. It is true that many Republicans and Democrats have proposed similarly bad tax ideas over the years. But Obama can be contrasted with candidate McCain, who thus far has avoided narrow favoritism in his tax proposals, and favors broad-based tax reductions designed to spur economic growth.

This is “change?” Looks like more of the same failed policies and economic ignorance.

$1.4 billion of taxpayer’s money up in smoke

Posted on June 6th, 2008 by bile
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Find out why here. At least the pilots survived.

Baltimore Bids to Ban Selling Small Cigars Individually

Posted on May 31st, 2008 by bile
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Hoping to curb the increase in the number of young people who smoke small, inexpensive cigars, Baltimore plans to bar shops from the common practice of breaking open packages to sell them individually.

Baltimore would be the first city to impose such a regulation, said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, the city’s health commissioner.

The city has put the proposal out for public comment until July 1 and expects to impose the ban, possibly with revisions, soon after, Dr. Sharfstein said. Under the city code, the commissioner has the power to regulate health hazards without legislation.

A ban on selling tobacco products to minors has had limited effect, Dr. Sharfstein said, and studies have shown that higher prices have a larger deterrent effect on youth smoking.

“This isn’t going to work but we’ll do it anyway.”

It’s frightening that the health commissioner has so much power.

Texas Supreme Court rules that CPS must return the FLDS children

Posted on May 30th, 2008 by bile
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Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled that Child Protective Services (CPS) abused its discretion by seizing 468 children from the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints ranch in Eldorado. Eugene Volokh has a roundup of the legal analysis.

CPS invited some mental health workers to the various shelters to help care for the hundreds of children. The mental health workers were disturbed by what they saw of CPS’s treatment of the women and children, and their written reports corroborate the bitter complaints of the FLDS mothers. I don’t think the news media has given this aspect of the story the attention it deserves — so here are some excerpts from the various reports that have been made public:

  • “Women were constantly lied to about where their children [were] and when they could see their lawyers and about when they would be reunited with their children.”
  • “Constant reminders that the adult women were only guests and that they were not in charge of the children and what CPS did to them. [The children] belonged to CPS now and they could talk, interrogate, separate and treat them any way [CPS] wanted. This included physical exams and x-rays without [parental] supervision.”
  • “I sat with Audrey while three of her children were removed for six hours of questioning.”
  • “The children arrived healthy and happy and left sick and crying.”
  • “The door to the room was almost constantly open. Even when the women closed the door to reduce noise during naptime or to dress themselves or the children, it was almost immediately opened again [by a CPS worker].”
  • “The women were lied to and denied access to their attorneys.”
  • “At least 5 mothers reported that at night CPS [workers] circled their beds, held flashlight in their faces & then would sit inches away from them as they tried to sleep. Mothers reported that they were scared CPS would take their children during the night.”
  • “The CPS workers were openly rude to the mothers and the children, yelled at them for trying to wave to friends and family members in surrounding shelters, threatened them with arrest if they did not stop waving to others, continually reminded them that the women were guests only and could be made to leave if they did not cooperate, threatened the mothers with never seeing their children again if they did not cooperate, and ignored requests for anything.”
  • “The children were amazingly clean, happy, healthy, energetic, inquisitive, well behaved, and self-confident; while the mothers were consistently calm, patient, and loving with their children.”
  • “Living conditions in the coliseum were not conducive to good health for anyone, and the presence of hostile CPS workers who spied on them constantly, kept them awake at night by shining lights in their faces and talking and laughing created enormous stress for the mothers and children. None of them slept well or enough.”
  • “Try to imagine all these children from age 1 to 12 years, left in that coliseum [separated from their mothers] with only CPS and [police officers] to care for them. The only others were mothers whom CPS decided were under 18 and kept in their custody along with their children. The floor was literally slick with tears in places. A baby was left in a stroller without food and water for 24 hours and ended up in the hospital. A 4 year old boy was so terrified that he snuck away and hid and was only found after the coliseum had been emptied the next day.”
  • “I witnessed a young mother named Rosinith be required by CPS to board the bus back to the ranch, though her young child was in the hospital with 104 degree fever and even though the child’s physician had personally requested the mother’s presence at the hospital. This event haunts me still, and I cannot imagine such a heartless act.”
  • “By the second day, I was ready to run in front of the CNN cameras to shout that there was a travesty happening inside those walls…. Of course I was cautioned not to interfere in a ‘crime scene investigation.’”
  • “I have always been proud to be an American and a Texan but this incident is not what America or Texas stands for and something must be done to undo the horrible injustice that has been done.”

CPS denies the allegations of mistreatment. But the excerpts above are eyewitness reports from objective/disinterested social workers that CPS invited into the shelters.

Justice is still not served. Not until restitution is paid and those who brought this about are punished directly. Now we need the state to return the children kidnapped from Strong City. Jeff Bent, Wayne Bent aka Michael Travesser son, was on Free Talk Live yesterday for those interested.

Court rules that the state had no right to take FLDS children

Posted on May 22nd, 2008 by bile
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The state of Texas should not have removed more than 400 children it took from a polygamist sect’s ranch, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

Earlier this year, authorities raided the Yearning for Zion ranch in Eldorado, Texas, after they received reports of child abuse.

About 460 children were taken from the ranch, which is run by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a polygamist sect linked to the jailed “prophet” Warren Steed Jeffs.

Parents have denied the claims of abuse and have been fighting to get their children back.

This is a great turn of events. Just in the past days I’ve heard that another court in Texas hearing some part of this case told the mothers that if they wanted their children back they’d have to repudiate their religion. As I understand it that’s an unforgivable sin, blasphemy. If true that’s absolutely disgusting. Effectively asking them to choose between eternal damnation or their child. In any case this ruling is the first positive thing to come out of this travesty. Hopefully it continues on this new path. Unfortunately even if nothing is ever found likely no one from the State will be held responsible for this. No charges will be brought or if they are nothing will come from it. No restitution. The Nuremberg defense will be used and at worst maybe a reprimand or a bureaucrat or two will loose their job. Nothing however to change the likely pre-existing belief the FLDS had that the modern world was controlled by Satan. They have no doubt now.

It bugs me that as much as the MSM talks about this case they still don’t really mention that the original call was a fake. That the whole operation was completely unfounded. That several if not dozens of the women are over the age of 18 yet kept in custody as children. Likely they prefer to stay with the younger ones but it’s still disgusting.


Here is the AP version:

A state appellate court has ruled that child welfare officials had no right to seize more than 400 children living at a polygamist sect’s ranch.The Third Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the grounds for removing the children were “legally and factually insufficient” under Texas law. They did not immediately order the return of the children.

Child welfare officials removed the children on the grounds that the sect pushed underage girls into marriage and sex and trained boys to become future perpetrators.

The appellate court ruled the chaotic hearing held last month did not demonstrate the children were in any immediate danger, the only measure of taking children from their homes without court proceedings.