Thursday, 10 January 2013

WHAT IS A BILLION?

Ken Berwitz

Our pal Toy Insurance Bob sent this to me today.  It is a number of years old, but the points it makes, though exaggerated in a number of cases, remain very valid and very worth thinking about, so - albeit in somewhat revised form - I am posting it here.  See what you think:

THIS IS TOO TRUE TO BE FUNNY

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, But one advertising agency did a good job of Putting that figure into some perspective in One of its releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

E. Another billion dollars of deficit spending - i.e. money we do not have - took only about 8 hours.

And how are we getting the dollars that are not even enough to keep pace with what we spend?  Well, here are some (by no means all) of the ways:

.Building Permit Tax
.CDL License Tax
.Cigarette Tax
.Corporate Income Tax
.Dog License Tax
.Federal Income Tax (Fed)
.Federal Unemployment Tax (FU TA)
.Fishing License Tax
.Food License Tax
.Fuel Permit Tax
.Gasoline Tax
.Hunting License Tax
.Inheritance Tax
.Inventory Tax
.IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
.IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
.Liquor Tax
.Luxury Tax
.Marriage License Tax
.Medicare Tax
.Property Tax
.Real Estate Tax
.Service charge Taxes
.Social Security Tax
.Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
.Sales Taxes
.Recreational Vehicle Tax
.School Tax 
.State Income Tax 
.State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
.Telephone Federal Excise Tax
.Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
.Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
.Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
.Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax 
.Telephone State and Local Tax
.Telephone Usage Charge Tax
.Utility Tax
.Vehicle License Registration Tax
.Vehicle Sales Tax
.Watercraft Registration Tax
.Well Permit Tax
.Workers Compensation Tax

(And to think, we left British Rule to avoid so many taxes)


STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago...And our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt...but we had a huge middle class.


What the hell has happened to our country?????

Can you spell...

P O L I T I C I A N S?      S O C I A L   E N G I N E E R I N G?      D E F I C I T    S P E N D I N G?


THE NEW OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: JACK LEW

Ken Berwitz

Jack Lew is President Obama's forme budget secretary and current chief of staff.  He is being nominated as our next Treasury Secretary to replace Timothy "tax cheat" Geithner.

Here, via Greta Van Susteren's piece in foxnewsinsider.com, are excerpts from an advance copy of the statement by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AK) regarding why he (and, I would think, a great many other Republican senators - maybe even a Democrat here and there),will oppose Lew: 

"Jack Lew must never be Secretary of Treasury. His testimony before the Senate Budget Committee less than two years ago was so outrageous and false that it alone disqualifies...

Lew, as the President's budget director, appeared before Congress and continued to insist that President Obama's budget-which Lew had crafted-would not add to the debt of the United States. His original statement, to a national television audience, was as follows:

 'Our budget will get us, over the next several years, to the point where we can look the American people in the eye and say we're not adding to the debt anymore; we're spending money that we have each year, and then we can work on bringing down our national debt.' ...

"To 'look the American people in the eye' and make such a statement remains the most direct and important false assertion during my entire time in Washington...

"It's time for a Secretary of Treasury to look the American people in the eye and lay out an economic plan for America that will end our debt path that has endangered our future and which will find support among the American people and the world's financial community. Far from being a positive force towards this essential good, Mr. Lew has given priority to the political interests of the President, in whose White House inner circle he has now served for several years...

At this time of unprecedented slow growth, high unemployment, and huge deficits, we need a Secretary of Treasury that the American people, the Congress, and the world will know is up to the task of getting America on the path to prosperity not the path to decline. Jack Lew is not that man.

A military general might say "defeat is not an option".

We have a commander in chief who, by this appointment, is saying "honesty is not a requisite".

But we voted him in for another four years, didn't we?  Well, this is what we're getting.

How do you like it?


SOME TIPS ON LIFE, FROM DR. BOB MOOREHEAD

Ken Berwitz

With a tip of my hat (if I ever wear one) to Jerry Vickery for reminding me of it, here is a short essay about life.

Though Jerry erroneously ascribes it to the humorist and sometimes-philosopher George Carlin, it actually was written by Dr. Bob Moorehead, who, until 1998, was pastor of the Overlake Christian Church in Seattle, Washington.  

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

You may not agree with everything Dr. Moorehead wrote, but I'll bet you found enough to make the minute or so it took to read it worthwhile.

Anyway, I hope so.


THAT'LL BE SIX DOUBLE CHEESEBURGERS, FOUR DOUBLE FRIES...AND TWO LARGER SCOOTERS

Ken Berwitz

This all-too-telling sign of the times comes to us from Public Relations Ann - who, I assure you, is not in the picture:

Perhaps a salad bar would be the better option.

Maybe I'm just getting old and curmudgeony, but - especially in the supermarket - I find myself having less and less patience with people in those things.

I'm not talking about the people whose physical issues require them.  I'm talking about the fatasses who have made themselves so obese that it is just easier to take an exerciseless ride than to waddle from aisle to aisle accumulating the mass quantities of foods that got them into their condition in the first place.

As someone who can certainly afford to shed weight, here is my advice:  Get off those two cottage cheese factories posing as butt cheeks, get onto your feet and WALK a little.  Maybe then, when you die, your family won't need a carpenter to put two coffins together, and a double plot to fit you in the cemetery - with a tombstone that says "Here, and also here, lies...."

I don't know.  Am I being too unkind?  You tell me.


THAT'LL BE SIX DOUBLE CHEESEBURGERS, FOUR DOUBLE FRIES...AND TWO LARGER SCOOTERS

Ken Berwitz

This all-too-telling sign of the times comes to us from Public Relations Ann - who, I assure you, is not in the picture:

Perhaps a salad bar would be the better option.

Maybe I'm just getting old and curmudgeony, but - especially in the supermarket - I find myself having less and less patience with people in those things.

I'm not talking about the people whose physical issues require them.  I'm talking about the fatasses who have made themselves so obese that it is just easier to take an exerciseless ride than to waddle from aisle to aisle accumulating the mass quantities of foods that got them into their condition in the first place.

As someone who can certainly afford to shed weight, here is my advice:  Get off those two cottage cheese factories posing as butt cheeks, get onto your feet and WALK a little.  Maybe then, when you die, your family won't need a carpenter to put two coffins together, and a double plot to fit you in the cemetery - with a tombstone that says "Here, and also here, lies...."

I don't know.  Am I being too unkind?  You tell me.


THE BIDEN - NRA MEETING: HOW DID IT GO?

Ken Berwitz

How did today's meeting between Vice President Joe Biden and the NRA go?

Well, here is Joe Biden's position...

"There are executive orders, there's executive action that can be taken.  We haven't decided what that is yet. But we're compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required."

...and a statement issued by the NRA after meeting with Biden:

The National Rifle Association of America is made up of over 4 million moms and dads, daughters and sons, who are involved in the national conversation about how to prevent a tragedy like Newtown from ever happening again. We attended today's White House meeting to discuss how to keep our children safe and were prepared to have a meaningful conversation about school safety, mental health issues, the marketing of violence to our kids and the collapse of federal prosecutions of violent criminals.

We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be "prejudged," this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners - honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans. It is unfortunate that this administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works - and what does not.

Summary:  Biden is threatening executive orders which bypass congress and - given the 2nd amendment and the Supreme Court's 200+ year history of upholding it - very possibly unconstitutional.  The NRA intends to work through congress.

How did it go?  You tell me.


GUN MASSACRES: SCREAMING VS. ADDRESSING THE ISSUE

Ken Berwitz

We are now at the stage where politicians are siezing on the Newtown, Connecticut horror to score easy political points. 

How I wish they would be more interested in stopping the people who perpetrate such horrors.

This morning, about five or six seconds into a video of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo explaining his new gun control proposals, I had a memory flashback to an incident, many years ago, at a Yankee game.  

I, along with everyone near me, was subjected to some leatherlunged fan who did not stop screaming his encouragement (to Yankees) and taunts (to the opposing team) at the top of his lungs.  Since just about all of us were Yankee fans, the issue was not whether we agreed with him; the issue was that he didn't stop screaming.  This lasted until the mid-innings when, due either to being told by enough fans to shut the @(#^ up, his voice giving out, or some combination thereof, his shouting subsided.  Hallelujah.

On this morning's video, Mr. Cuomo channeled that loudmouthed fan beautifully.  He did not state his positions, he screamed them at the top of his lungs.  And, since screaming that gun ownership and usage should be limited is a slam-dunk crowd pleaser, the louder he shouted the more cheers and applause he got. 

Let me start by pointing out that I am in agreement with most of what Mr. Cuomo proposes.  I have no problem at all with the enactment of common-sense laws which make it much harder for dangerous people to come into legal possession of guns,

My problem, however, is that not one of the things Govenor Cuomo proposes would have stopped what happened in Newtown, Connecticut...or, so far as I can tell, any of the other mass shootings in schools, movie theaters, mall parking lots, etc. which we have endured over recent years.

Let's go over them one by one and see if the most recent sick, murdering subhuman, adam lanza, would have been affected.  Governor Cuomo's proposals are in rust, my comments are in blue:

1: Enact the toughest assault weapon ban in the nation, period. adam lanza did not acquire the guns he used legally, he took them from his mother and blew her face off - quite possibly after she tried to stop him.  Even if his mother had no guns in the house, one look at any major urban center in the country should tell you that getting guns illegally is no problem at all

2. Close the private sale loophole by requiring federal background checks. Again, no problem getting guns illegally.

3. Ban high-capacity magazines. If guns are easy to come by illegally, would it not stand to reason that ammunition for those guns would be too?  Plus, since lanza was unchallenged by anyone in Sandy Hook Elementary school, even with smaller capacity magazines, he had time to casually reload.  Who was there to stop him? 

4. Enact tougher penalties for illegal gun use, guns in school grounds and violent gangs.  lanza killed himself after killing all the others.  This would have meant nothing to him. 

5.  Keep guns from people who are mentally ill.  Great suggestion.  But how do you do it if the shooter is both mentally ill and not at all concerned about breaking the law? 

6. Ban direct internet sales of ammunition in New York.  Excellent proposal, but nothing that would have stopped lanza. 

7. Create a state [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] check on all ammunition purchases.  Another excellent proposal...that would be meaningless to someone who is not worried about breaking the law.

As you can see, although Governor Cuomo is making loads of sense with his proposals, they do not in any way address what happened in that Newtown elementary school.  Or the Aurora movie theater.  Or Columbine.  Or West Virginia University.  Or that parking lot where Rep. Giffords was speaking.

My questions for Governor Cuomo: 

-Where are you on the cultural issues that adam lanza, and james holmes, and eric harris and dylan klebold, and seung hui cho, and jared lee loughner were constantly exposed to?

-On the movies and video games that reduce humanity to nothing more than targets to shoot at and decimate? 

-On the  rap lyrics and music videos that not only talk about killing, but avidly encourage it - the "music" that children, maybe even your children, dance to at parties as if it were nothing more than entertaining fun.

Or does the political party you  belong to get too much money from these industries for you to go after them?

Here is a fact, Mr. Governor, which you may think of as a trite cliche, but it is 100% true:  no gun jumps up and starts shooting by itself.  A gun is only as dangerous as the person who picks it up and starts using it.  Where are you on what motivates someone to do that?  Like, for example, the movies and videos and rap lyrics mentioned above, which are available every second of every minute of every hour of every day to the lanzas, holmes', laughners, etc. etc. etc. of the world?

And since a mass murderer has all the advantages over law enforcement until the killing starts - e.g. adam lanza alone knew was going to kill, when he was going to do it, where he was going to do it and who he was going to do it to - what is your proposal for instances, like Newtown, when someone with a gun, regardless of how it was obtained, blasts into a school and starts shooting?  What will stop the murderer then?  What will stop him most quickly from his killing spree, so the casualties are as low as possible? 

It sure as hell won't be you screaming out a speech.

Maybe one day Governor Cuomo, and other politicians, will start taking this issue seriously; they will start looking at the entire issue, not just cherry-picking the parts that will get them the most votes.

Sadly - tragically - if Governor Cuomo's scream-a-thon is any indication, that day obviously is not here yet.

Zeke .... ..... Rifles cause maybe 10% of the gun deaths in the US. .... ..... Citizens with legal conceal carry pistols stop thousands of thugs in the act of committing violent crimes. ..... ..... The "definition" of "assault rifle" is stupid .... not at all related to its lethality. (flash suppressor, pistol grip, adjustable stock). .... .... NONE of Cuomo's brilliant proposals affect the issue of ILLEGAL guns, which are probably responsible for most of the CRIMINAL gun deaths -- ---- ----- ---- Note that ALL mass killings (4+ deaths) in the last 60 years have been in GUN-FREE ZONES (safe for psychotic murderer zones) -- with one exception -- Congresswoman Giffords in the AZ supermarket parking lot. .... ..... ..... Chicago, DC have the nation's strictest gun laws ... and the highest murder rates (done with guns). .... .... (01/10/13)


Buy Our Book Here!


Return to Current Blog
We're Hopelessly Partisan

hopelesslypartisan.com, is a web site which is dedicated to honest, blunt, debate on the issues of our time.


About Us



Privacy Notice: In conjunction with the ads on this site, third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser, or using web beacons to collect information.


At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!