Friday, April 30

The Return of the Vera Baker - Obama Affair Rumor

For those who do not know who Vera Baker is, the story copied below will answer your question of who some people think she might be:
Vera Baker was Obama's mistress: Swiss paper says it has evidence to prove it

April 30, 2010 08:37 AM EDT (Updated: April 30, 2010 08:50 AM EDT)

Swiss newspaper Le Matin is reviving old claims that President Barack Obama had an extramarital affair in 2004 with Vera Baker, a young woman who worked on his campaign team when he was running for Illinois Senator.

The paper claims "video surveillance tapes exist that are rather compromising for the 44th president of the United States." It also alleges that software engineers have dug up email exchanges between Obama and Baker since he has been President.

There are also claims that Michelle Obama found out about the affair and had Baker shipped off to Martinique. - Link
The Vera Baker rumors came out all the way back in 2008 but nothing ever came of it. It will be interesting to see where this latest revelation will go, if anywhere. If this latest story turns out to be true, how long will the White House Press Corps ignore it?

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Thursday, April 29

ENTRY INTO THE US WITHOUT INSPECTION IS A CRIME

Americans and Legal US Residents have to subject ourselves to search (and seizure of some items we bring back into the country) by US Immigration and US Customs. Not to mention subject ourselves to mandatory taxes when traveling into and out of the country by air and sea as well as possible import duties

It has bugged me to no end to hear politicians and illegal alien activities claim that illegal aliens are not breaking the law by avoiding Immigration and Customs Agents when crossing into the country. After all people get fined, detained, arrested and deported at border crossing stations every day. How can it be possible to enter the country legally by crossing the desert, hopping a fence, sneaking through a tunnel, or hiding in a car, truck, railcar or cargo container. Well, it is not possible:
ENTRY WITHOUT INSPECTION IS A CRIME: In fact, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1325, crossing the border illegally is a crime--a misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony for the second and subsequent offenses. But of course, ignoring or mischaracterizing the law is a very convenient way for those in power to avoid the laws they find most inconvenient. Sadly, statements such as these are also a signal that Americans will have to wait a long time before their government articulates any credible immigration enforcement policy. - DAN STEIN (Found via Michelle Malkin)
Of course crossing the border is not the only crime illegal aliens commit. They also work here without authorization to work. Many do not pay taxes. They do not show up for court dates when they are caught and released on their own honor to return. They steal people's identities by using Social Security numbers that do not belong to them. They misuse IRS ITIN numbers, fabricating fake Social Security cards. American's get punished for doing these things. However, illegal aliens do not.

These people should not be here. Yes, they are, but many are here because they believe that eventually they will be given the right to live here legally. This is a legitimate expectation given how others who have came here before them have managed to makes lives here for themselves with little fear of being caught by the authorities.

What is needed is more enforcement like in Arizona. The Federal Government makes it too easy for illegal aliens to live here. As I have said before, if this is about fairness, then why not approve a residence permit for a person who has waited for one for every person who came here illegally.

One more relevant piece of law people normally ignore, hiring illegal alien day laborers is a felony:
A person (including a group of persons, business, organization or local government) commits a federal felony when he:
  • assists an alien whom he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him to obtain employment,
  • encourages that alien to remain in the U.S., by referring him to an employer, by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way, or
  • knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions.

Penalties upon conviction include criminal fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of vehicles and real property used to commit the crime.

Anyone employing or contracting with an illegal alien without verifying his work authorization status is guilty of a misdemeanor. Aliens and employers violating immigration laws are subject to arrest, detention, and seizure of their vehicles or property. In addition, individuals or entities who engage in racketeering enterprises that commit (or conspire to commit) immigration-related felonies are subject to private civil suits for treble damages and injunctive relief. - Link

(Click on the label Illegal Aliens for more thoughts on this matter.)
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Monday, April 26

Perpetual Democrat Election Plan - 'Reconnect with their base' BS

So with the Democrats heading for a disaster of an election this fall, their strategy is quickly appearing to be to lie once again to their base.
The DNC released this clip of the president rallying the troops, if rather coolly, for 2010, with the express goal of "reconnecting" with the voters who voted for the first time in 2008, but who may not plan to vote in the lower-profile Congressional elections this year.

Obama speaks with unusual demographic frankness about his coalition in his appeal to "young people, African-Amerins, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 [to] stand together once again." - Politico
The message surely is going to be that only Democrats can work on behalf of minorities. This is as Drudge calls it, pulling out the race card.




However, how stupid do voters have to be to fall for this election year gimmick every two years?!?!?! Really, the Democrats F-over their base after every damn election and once the next election cycle comes around return to promise their supposed base the same damn crap they did the previous election cycle.

At least with the Republicans, they are not going to promise you handouts that they never plan to deliver on. Maybe for once, the voters might want to vote on results and not on promises and hope.

Part of this election-year strategy will include dealing with illegal immigration. Keep in mind that any push by the Democrats to legalize illegal aliens is solely an attempt by them to shore up their voter base. After all, if they wanted a resolution to the illegal immigration problem then all they need due is push a legalization strategy that excluded Citizenship. They won't do that though as the Democrat Party gets nothing out of it.

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Wednesday, April 21

Yes, The US Government has an Obligation to Help Americans Trapped Overseas

Most Americans have never had to visit a US Embassy overseas. If you are part of that group, consider yourselves lucky because visiting a US Embassy, even as a US Citizen is a horrible experience. And this is just for regular business. If for some reason you have to visit an Embassy as a result of some self-stupidity (i.e. getting drunk and losing your passport), forget it. But regardless of the reason, you are interrupting their day and in many cases, they will resent your interruption and do nothing to hide their resentment, treating you in a condescending matter. So if you can avoid it, stay far away from any US Embassy. (Note: Yes there are some wonderful, helpful people working in US Embassies, but those who do a crappy job will do their best to keep you from reaching any of them.)

That said, there are thousands of Americans trapped in Europe due to the Iceland's volcano fallout. there has been discussion of the US's responsibility to help these people. Surprising many people are wholly unsympathetic to their plight. (Perhaps they are State Dept. employees.) So I thought I would comment on what, if anything, the US Embassies in Europe should be doing to help these people.

First, we need to evaluate the situation that caused the problem. It is one thing for an Embassy to show a lack of interest in helping you when you have done something that resulted in you getting into trouble. Such as skipping on a restaurant bill, driving drunk, creating a public disturbance, etc. However, it is another thing entirely when you become a victim through no action of your own, other than deciding to take a vacation. This is a perfect example of that kind of situation. Over 40,000 Americans ended up trapped in the UK due to airports being closed. Given that these people are powerless to resolve the problem on their own, many have looked to the local US Embassy for guidance and assistance with little to show for it. And that is a shame. (Here is the guidance statement from the US Embassy in London)

Even now that the skies are opening up, there is the ongoing problem of a shortage of available seats to carry the passengers from the canceled flights, given that the seats on these flights had already been booked by others. This is a perfect example of how the US can work to solve the problem by arranging for additional airlift, either by chartering commercial craft or by requesting military airlift to assist. None of this has been done.

Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that the US fly these people home for free. They should be charged a reasonable fare for the service. As it so happens this is what the US does when they bring refugees to the US (at least they did). That is not the only form of assistance that should be provided. The Embassies should also be willing to extend a loan to these Americans trapped overseas. Many are in need of money and have no easy way of getting additional funds from the US or have simply spent their last dollar.

It makes no sense to me how people can complain how the Government comes to the aid of Americans at home (think Katrina) but somehow reason that you should be on your own simply because you are outside the country. Given that the US Government will tax you where ever you live simply for being an American, it should should be ready to provide a lifeline when needed, where ever you are. This is certainly one of those times.
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At Least We Will Know Who To Blame When We Are Standing knee-Deep in Global Warming Water

You have to wonder about the European Union. They would love to believe that they are standard bearers of the 'Modern Society', pressing issues like human rights and fighting to save the planet from Global warming climate change.

However, their latest do-good task seems to be in direct odds with what many EU politicians call the greatest threat to mankind, Global warming climate change.
Under the proposed scheme, which could cost Europe’s taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds a year, pensioners, young people aged 18 to 25, disabled people and families facing “difficult social, financial or personal circumstances” would receive cut-price holidays.

Northern Europeans would be encouraged to visit southern Europe and vice-versa.

A spokesman for Tajani said: “Why should someone from the Mediterranean not be able to travel to Edinburgh in summer for a breath of cool, fresh air? And why should someone from Edinburgh not be able to travel to Greece in winter?”

The programme will be piloted until 2013 and then put into full operation. - Link
Are these people crazy? They have already spent years increasing the cost of air travel and demonizing airlines, claiming that they are responsible for causing (as yet unproven) global warming. So now that they have taken away travel by making it unaffordable to many people, they now plan to give it back to them as some sort of subsidy.

Why not just lower the expense of travel by removing all the crap taxes? Well, if they did that they would be losing some of their control of the people.

And who is going to pay for the therapy some of these people are going to need for being forced to contribute to global warming?

And since they are declaring vacations a 'human right', what are they going to do when people demand vacations to the US, Africa and Asia? What are they going to do when people head off on state-subsidized sex vacations?

You can bet that the family of deadbeats mentioned at the bottom of this post are already lining up for their vacations.

Really, has the EU just simply run out of common sense? How about just teaching people to save. Worse, the people they are targeting with this program probably have serious financial issues that sending them off on a vacation will only make worse, given that the vacations are not 100% financed.

This is little more than sheer stupidity and a waste of taxpayer funds.
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Tuesday, April 20

Accident Report - Keep Your Wooden Shoes at Home!

Here is another classic accident report from the Danish Maritime Authority. We have a ship's engineer, wooden shoes and alcohol.

Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents - Denmark

Accident to seafarer – EGESUND – 20 January 2010 Summary
EGESUND is a tug with a tonnage of 135.6 BT. The ship is built in 1994.

During stay in port the ships chief engineer came back to the ship after a visit in the town of Thybor√łn. At the day of the accident there were snow on the quay and it was freezing.

When entering the ship he slipped on a provisional arrangement used as a gangway. The arrangement consisted of a wooden pallet 3 metres long. The chief engineer fell in the gap between the ship and quay.

The fall was observed by a witness who alarmed the crew. The chief engineer was rescued by the crew and some bystanders. Subsequently he was hospitalized.

At the fall the chief engineer suffered injuries to his back and chest.

Conclusions
It is the opinion of the Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents that the causes to the accident were:
  • An inappropriate arrangement used as gangway.
  • Inappropriate use of footwear, wooden shoes.
  • The chief engineer’s judgment- and reaction capability were reduced due to consumption of alcohol.
  • The chief engineers overweight restrained his freedom of movement and made his rescue difficult.
  • There were no satisfactory procedures describing to access to the ship.
  • There was not sufficient equipment on board to ensure safe access to the ship.
Recommendations
The Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents has recommended:
  1. That the owner ensures means to safe access to the ship under all circumstances.
  2. A revision of the ships Safe Management System.
A report is available in Danish. - Danish Maritime Authority
So, how many of you Europeans take your wooden shoes to sea with you?

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Thursday, April 15

USS JOHN MURTHA (LPD-26) Ship Emblem

Here is what I think of the news that the US Navy plans to name a ship after corrupt former US Congressman (and ABSCAM crook) John Murtha.


Yes, the pig is from the Porkbusters logo.

As for a motto for the ship, how about 'Bringing Home the Bacon!'

Click on the Murtha tag below for previous posts on Murtha.

Also, see more at CDR Salamander.

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Tuesday, April 13

UK Revenue 6,465 Pounds per Resident. Gov't Spending 10,900 Each!

This all started when I saw this image and related post 'Tax cheats cost you £1,150 a year' on the website Tax Research UK:


This made me wonder, just how much revenue does the UK take in per person? Nicely enough, another post on the website links to their report 'Tax Justice and Jobs: The business case for investing in staff at HM Revenue & Customs' (Link to PDF Report) which provides a link to the UK's Revenue statistics. The total tax revenue estimated for the 2009-2010 tax year is 397 Billion British Pounds. (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax_receipts/table1-2.xls)

Now take the total population of the UK:
The estimated resident population of the UK was 61,383,000 in mid-2008, up by 408,000 on the previous year. Children aged under 16 represented around one in five of the total population, around the same proportion as those of retirement age. In mid-2008 the average age of the population was 39 years, up from 37 in 1998. - Office of National Statistics, UK
So:
  • Revenue: 397 Billion
  • Population 61.4 Million
  • Revenue per person: 6,465
  • Revenue per family of four: 25,870
This would mean, according to the numbers above, that the UK Government is taking in almost 6,500 Pounds per person. For the Government to not run a deficit, which would limit it to not spending more than it takes in, it would have to limit spending to no more than 6,500 pounds per person.

As we all know, the UK Government is not able to limit it's spending and according to the UK Treasury, they are spending much more than that and I dare say that they are spending an irresponsible amount of money:

Where taxpayers money is spent

Total public spending is expected to be around £671.4 billion this year, around £10,900 for every man, woman and child in the UK. It is set to rise to £701.7 billion in 2010-11. - UK Treasury

So, for a family of four, the UK plans to spend 43,600 Pounds. That is simply insane, not just for the fact that they are taking in nowhere near that amount of money but also for the fact that they plan to spend even more money, whether or not it is collected in revenue.





The issue here is that UK spending has gotten to a point that the majority of the population is unable to provide the Government with their fair share of the bill, and by 'fair share' I mean about 10,900 Pounds in taxes/Revenue to the Government.

So back to that claim above that 'Tax cheats cost you £1,150 a year'. Given the numbers above, the real thief in all this is the UK Government, spending well more that it's population, including the tax cheats, can afford to pay.

As for the United States, we are no better. See my earlier post 'Obama's 2010 Budget Spends Almost $12,000 Per American!'
Now comes the President's 2010 budget that is also screaming that this is something the Country can't afford.
After taking office in January, Obama released a bare-bones version of his budget in February that offered a spending plan for 2010 carrying a price tag of $3.55 trillion. The White House revised up the size of the spending plan to $3.59 trillion. - Yahoo News
At $3.59 Trillion, the Government will be spending around $11,970 per American (Given 300 million Americans). That comes out to Government spending of $47,900 for a family of four.

This is an impossible spending figure for the country to sustain. Hell, it will take years, most likely decades of taxation just to pay this one year's deficit back.

Think of buying a car for that amount of money. You would be looking at a five or seven year loan. Most all sensible families would opt for a more fiscally responsible alternative. Now picture buying and trying to pay off a car that costs $45,000 every year! This is the kind of debt that the Obama Administration is burdening families with.

This story gets worse:
The new White House figures bring the deficit estimates closer in line with the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which has forecast a $1.85 trillion deficit this year and $1.38 trillion in fiscal 2010. - Yahoo News
So, for 2009, the Government is borrowing $6,000 per American. That is $24,000 per family of four.

Then in 2010 they plan on borrowing another $4,600 per American ($18,400 per family of four).

I have a senior management position in a company that employs over 100 people. Looking at my own tax bill for 2008, I am guessing that the senior management's tax payments is nowhere near to covering the gap between what the staff is paying in taxes and what the Government is spending.

Now remember that half of the population pays no taxes. That means that the amounts need to be doubled for the half that does! - Link
So when a politician/leftist berates you that cutting taxes will kill children or make angels cry, Tell them that you already gave $40,000 of your family's share of the budget and if they couldn't save the children with that amount that they can't be the right person to spend any more.


Pre-Posting Update:
As I proof this article for posting I come across this example of abuse of the system in the UK. Keep in mind the statement above that 'Tax Cheats cost you 1,150 a year'.
Why work when I can get £42,000 in benefits a year AND drive a Mercedes?

By Paul Sims

The Davey family's £815-a-week state handouts pay for a four-bedroom home, top-of-the-range mod cons and two vehicles including a Mercedes people carrier.

Father-of-seven Peter gave up work because he could make more living on benefits.

Yet he and his wife Claire are still not happy with their lot.

With an eighth child on the way, they are demanding a bigger house, courtesy of the taxpayer.
More on the way: The Davey family at home

'It's really hard,' said Mrs Davey, 29, who is seven months pregnant. 'We can't afford holidays and I don't want my kids living on a council estate and struggling like I have.

'The price of living is going up but benefits are going down. My carer's allowance is only going up by 80p this year and petrol is so expensive now, I'm worried how we'll cope.

'We're still waiting for somewhere bigger.'

Mrs Davey has never had a full-time job while her 35-year-old husband gave up his post in administration nine years ago after realising they would be better off living off the state.

At their semi on the Isle of Anglesey, the family have a 42in flatscreen television in the living room with Sky TV at £50 a month, a Wii games console, three Nintendo DS machines and a computer - not to mention four mobile phones.

With their income of more than £42,000 a year, they run an 11-seater minibus and the seven-seat automatic Mercedes.

But according to the Daveys they have nothing to be thankful for.

'It doesn't bother me that taxpayers are paying for me to have a large family,' added Mrs Davey.

'We couldn't afford to care for our children without benefits, but as long as they have everything they need, I don't think I'm selfish.

'Most of the parents at our kids' school are on benefits.'

She added: 'I don't feel bad about being subsidised by people who are working. I'm just working with the system that's there. - Daily Mail, UK
Go read the whole story because the sheer sense of entitlement is amazing. You can bet that this family is not the only one sucking off the system. And leftists are demanding that Governments raise taxes on self-supportive people to support deadbeats. That's right, the Davey family are deadbeats and as far as I am concerned the aid should stop for them and they should be thrown on the street to fend for themselves. If that is too cruel, use the tax money that they are destroying and use it to support an entire village somewhere.


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The Problem with Liberals is that they dispise Education, Training, Skill and Experience

One problem with the Liberal Agenda is that they simple ignore the basic fact that many people who earn lots of money have put in years of hard work, education and training to get the experience to earn that money.

Take this recent comment from liberal economist site Tax Research UK:
It costs £32 to see a GP in Jersey. The shape of things to come under the Tories in the UK? I suspect so. - Tax Research, UK
I left the following comment which was promptly deleted by the blog author since it does not fit with his message.
And just how valuable is a doctor's time? In the US, those with insurance pay a co-pay. Those without insurance get to see a doctor for free when they want their kids to see a doctor. I asked the reception why they are not asked to pay a small $10-$15 fee like everyone else. I was told flatly that if they had to pay anything, they would not bring their kids to see a doctor. It is not about affording the fee. The waiting area was packed with 'poor' children wearing expensive shoes, playing electronic games.

Everyone should pay. Those who cannot afford it get assistance money. Everyone else has to make choices when it come to money. Maybe the poorest are in that situation because they do not have to save for necessities as the state takes care of it... - Fred Fry
Yes, wages are not equal in the modern world. The left's answer to this is to simply tax the hell out of those who spend years learning a trade or getting experience to be experts in their field. They totally ignore the inconvenient detail that the doctor they are demanding to see for free spent eight or more years learning to be a doctor.

Yes, in some countries the doctor's education fees are paid by the state, but still the state is dependent on the student to dedicate years of time to study to become a doctor. No amount of money in the world is going to turn someone into a doctor if they do not want to become one, or are not interested in putting in the time and effort required as part of the education. Simply put, not everyone can be a doctor.

If you could, then why not send all the poor to school to learn trades. But wait, there are already educational opportunities available for poor and minorities. So the opportunity is available, provided people are willing to put in the effort to take advantage of it. Take US Federal Academies. They are 'free' but put students through a very demanding program. Since the Academies have been traditionally under-represented by minorities, it is very easy for them to get accepted, and still they have a hard time finding minority students to take advantage of the opportunity. (Part of the problem is that qualified minority candidates also have many other attractive competing offers available to them.)

At the end of the day, the full price of the products and services offered need to be paid for. Take this comment:
Older Russians invariably recall the Soviet era as a time of stability and social security, if not prosperity, and feel they have suffered unfairly from the social turmoil and repeated economic crises of the past two decades.

"You could buy a loaf of bread for 16 kopeks (cents), and that was a stable price for many, many years," says Alevtina Dimitrieva, a Moscow pensioner. "Now the price is different every day. The authorities promise to raise our pensions, but even when that happens, rising prices gobble up the increase immediately." - Christian Science Monitor
One of the problems of the Soviet Union was that prices almost never reflected the true cost. In the example above, the cost of bread was determined by the central Government. This of course also goes for other things, such as wages. That was another problem of the Soviet System, even if they could get everyone to accept that they were all equal and all earning their 'fair share', people would either not accept it or not be satisfied with what they were being compensated.

Think of it as if everyone agrees to work their hardest so that everyone can have a home, two cars and a boat for their family. It is a great idea until someone decides that they don't want to work hard enough for the boat.

And with that is where the socialist system falls apart. So the system we have includes a level of inequality. But it is not just a level of inequality in terms of wages, but also in terms of work input.

P.S. Do not take this post as dismissal of the notion that some people are in need and need assistance. I am sure that there are people who need public support. My problem is that there are so many people taking advantage of the system, or not taking advantage of ways to escape from poverty (such as moving to where the jobs are) that it is all but impossible to identify who these people are. In addition, many in need are being buried in all sorts of aid programs. Shouldn't one of these cover family expenses? (And if we are going to give 'free' health care to the poor, how about having them use a portion of their unemployment, welfare, whatever payments as a payment for the insurance.)

That said, if the poor have the expectation that they too are expected to pay their fair share, then I am pretty sure that they will adjust their habits and pay when needed.

Unfortunately, the effects of attacking the financial incentive to become a doctor are spreading to the US:
The new federal health-care law has raised the stakes for hospitals and schools already scrambling to train more doctors.

Experts warn there won't be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

That shortfall is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of U.S. doctors, which now totals about 954,000. - Wall Street Journal
I simply do not understand the insistence of the left to destroy the concept of cost and value. Not only that, but they also seem to have a very short memory of how horrible typical Government-run 'customer service' really is! It is a shame that we are all being forced down this path for the sake of a painful reminder.

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