Running On His "Record"

And the beat goes on. Jean-Francois Kerry and his detractors are still going at it hammer and tongs about his four months in Vietnam. Aside from the obvious ramifications of his overblown and possibly falsified "record" of largely meaningless medals, one has to wonder why anyone would build an entire campaign around a four-month period 35 years ago and completely omit a 20-year Senate career.

This is one occasion when the old "what have you done for us lately" should rear its ugly head. Unfortunately, there seem to be far too few voters interested in that 20-year record. Or....? Maybe the voters are interested, but the dominant media are not. Since the dominant media have always carried water for the Democrats, this possibility should not surprise anyone.

And what exactly has Kerry done during the last 20 years in the Senate? His voting record (when he showed up to vote) puts him to the left of even Ted "Chappaquidick" Kennedy. Hardly a record to be proud of or to flaunt before the truly mainstream people of middle America.

Even though Michael Badnarik -- Libertarian candidate for President -- has our vote firmly in his back pocket, we can't help but hope that Bush wins anyway. If for no other reason than just to aggravate those whose sole motivation and interest in the campaign consists of absolutely nothing more or less than a white-hot, visceral hatred of Pres. Bush. May they stew in their own juices come November.

Econ 101

It never ceases to amaze us how economically illiterate most Americans are. To begin with, very few even understand the difference between inflation and the wage/price spiral. Worse yet, as the esteemed Neal Boortz points out, far too many people, when asked how much they paid in income tax the previous year, respond by saying "Oh, I didn't have to pay anything! I got a refund!". What's tragic is that they completely miss the point that the refund represents an over-payment of the taxes they paid.

It's also amazing how illiterate the majority of taxpayers are concerning even the most basic concepts regarding taxes. Never mind the nuances of the controversy surrounding the fact that the 16th Amendment was not properly ratified by a number of states. The concept of "tax-deductible" comes to mind. For the uninitiated, "tax-deductible" does not mean that an item is deducted from ones taxes, it means the sum is deducted from ones taxable income. Ergo, the tax burden is only reduced by the marginal tax rate applicable to the item.

Which brings up that most sacred of cows: the home mortgage deduction. It was rather distressing to be in the position of almost having to use pen and paper to prove out point to Santa, whose genius IQ certainly puts him well on the path to Mensa membership.

The illustration we used went thusly: two people of equal income, in the same tax bracket, buy houses that cost exactly the same. For the purpose of simplification, we'll assume that both earn $50k/year and are in the 25% tax bracket. One buys the house outright, the other assumes a mortgage, the first-year interest on which comes to $10k.

With Mortgage No Mortgage
Gross Income $50,000 $50,000
Mortgage Deduction 10,000 0
Taxable Income 40,000 50,000
Tax Due 10,000 12,500
Disposable Income 30,000 37,500

So, if that "tax-deductible" mortgage is so great, how come the second guy has an extra $7,500 in his pocket?

Class dismissed.


A Kinder, Gentler War??

So now, Jean-François Kerry says he would still have gone to war in Iraq, although he would have fought a "more thoughtful.... more sensitive" war.


Apparently, liberals really are those who just never grew up. Maybe this guy smoked too many left-handed cigarettes in college. War is nasty business, and there's nothing "thoughtful" or "sensitive" about it.

Then-General U. S. Grant said that the art of war is very simple: "find out where your enemy is, get to him as fast as you can, hit him as hard as you can, and keep hitting until he gives in".

Even in our day, Gen. "Stormin' Norman" Schwartzkopf declared that war is a matter of "breaking things and killing people, and the side that does that best is the side that wins".

Although it is true, as someone pointed out years ago, that "the country that will draw a broad line of demarcation between its thinking men and its fighting men will find its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools", the time to be thoughtful about war is well before the shooting starts. After that, pausing to think can prove fatal.

We've seen numerous charts of the various (and too numerous) military decorations that this country hands out and to our relief, there's not a one (yet!) that's awarded for "sensitivity". The highest awards are reserved for selfless acts of valor, not sensitivity and thoughtfulness.

God help America....


Now That The Shoe's On The Other Foot....

Georgia's Governor Sonny Perdue has signed legislation that would allow people to register to vote when they buy a hunting license. That loud sound you hear will be howls of anguish coming from the left-wing loonies.

Back when the first "motor voter" bill was introduced, we stated our opposition to the idea. Voting is one that that should not be made overly easy, nor should it be taken lightly. If people aren't motivated to study the issues and candidates and find a way to the polls, perhaps they ought not to be voting.

Nonetheless, we're stuck with the practice, making it all the easier for certain groups to perpetrate vote fraud. And now that we've made it easier for some people to register, why not other groups? If it's OK to register voters when they get their driving license, what's wrong with registering people when they get a hunting license?

Ah.... those hunters tend to be on the conservative or libertarian part of the political matrix. That explains it. Can't have those pesky ol' conservatives and libertarians voting against all those big-government, tax-and-spend, run-your-life-for-you socialists now, can we?

It's always amazing how the shoe never seems to fit all that well on the other foot.


And Your Alternative Is......?

OK, so -- barring any unforeseen change in the current situation -- we have no plans on voting for Pres. Bush's re-election (Mr. Badarik, the Libertarian candidate, gets our vote). However, we must admit to having long ago gotten pretty fed up with all the constant ad hominem attacks against Mr. Bush. Misguided and ill-advised though he might be, he does strike us as a decent human being who is trying to do what he earnestly believes is the right thing.

These attacks, of course, are coming from people who not only lack the intelligence required to run a hot dog stand, they also have absolutely nothing to offer the country except a visceral, white-hot hatred of the man who succeeded against great odds in defeating their candidate. Even that wouldn't be so bad if only they'd admit that it was a 7-2 decision, and not a 5-4 decision, by the US Supreme Court that ended the whole charade. (This prevented them from re-counting only selected precincts according to an ever-changing standard until they could pull ahead and declare victory. Instead, they were required to re-count ALL ballots in ALL precincts, according to one unchanging standard.)

It might also be slightly more tolerable if only they had something of substance to offer as an alternative. Unfortunately, even though Mr. Bush is clearly the lesser of two evils, the alternative is far worse. Where is the substance of Mr. Kerry's agenda? Should we vote for him for no other reason than that he wishes to replace Mr. Bush? (Oh, and that coupled with his four months of service in Vietnam.) What exactly does he plan to do if he gets elected?

For all of his faults, Mr. Bush is at least somewhat predictable. He's no conservative, that's for sure. But at least he (probably!) won't sell us out to the U.N. the day after inauguration.

We're reminded again -- as in the '92 election -- of Martin Luther's warning: "The angry mob does not ask how it could be better, only that it be different. And when it then becomes worse, it must change again. Thus they get bees for flies and at last, hornets for bees." In dumping Bush Sr for Clinton, the angry mob got bees. Will they now wind up with a hornet because of their insistence on change at the expense of improvement?


The Envelope, Please....

And this week's Henry Waldo Award For Literary Excellence does not go to Fox News Channel's Amy Kellogg. During a story on a police raid on suspected terrorists in London, Ms. Kellogg reports that the suspects were subsequently "de-arrested" (sic).


What is this? Make Up Your Own Language Week?

When they were "de-arrested", were they released from police custody?



Yeah, That Could Happen....

It looks like Neal Boortz must've been smoking something strange during his recent vacation. Apparently, he actually believes that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert will push for elimination of the IRS.

Maybe he will; maybe he won't, but it's guaranteed that he won't push hard enough and the fix is already in. There's no intention of eliminating it.

Even if he were serious about this (yeah, right), there's no way in hell it'd ever get passed. There are just too many entrenched bureaucrats and too many people (welfare, race/class warlords, tax lawyers & accountants) with a vested interest in the status quo to ever let this happen.

But.... they could always say, "Well, we tried. We're still your friend, right?".

Worse yet: Who's to say that they won't just go ahead and implement the new without ever getting rid of the old? Then we'd be stuck with both an Income Tax AND an NST/VAT.

Remember: if it seems too good to be true, you're probably right.