Monthly Archives: November 2012

Female Military Members File For Combat Roles

The Pentagon has a policy of not having women serve in active ground combat units. Ground combat units essentially being various forms of front line combat units situated on land — Infantry in all of its glorious forms (11 series & 300 series), Tank, Artillery, Scout, special operation’s forces, etc. The closest that women can currently get to these operations is as Military Police.

The Pentagon’s decision has to do with countless factors, naturally, but we will discuss that later…

SAN FRANCISCO — Four female service members filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the Pentagon’s ban on women serving in combat, hoping the move will add pressure to drop the policy just as officials are gauging the effect that lifting the prohibition will have on morale.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, is the second one this year over the 1994 rule that bars women from being assigned to ground combat units, which are smaller and considered more dangerous since they are often in battle for longer periods.

The legal effort comes less than a year after the ban on gays serving openly was lifted and as officials are surveying Marines about whether women would be a distraction in ground combat units.

“I’m trying to get rid of the ban with a sharp poke,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jennifer Hunt, who was among the plaintiffs in the latest lawsuit and was injured in 2007 when her Humvee ran over an improvised explosive device in Iraq.

Hunt and the other three women said the policy unfairly blocks them from promotions and other advancements open to men in combat. Three of the women are in the reserves. A fourth, Marine Corp Lt. Colleen Farrell, leaves active duty this week.

Women comprise 14 percent of the 1.4 million active military personnel. The lawsuit alleges that women are barred from 238,000 positions across the Armed Forces.

At a Washington, D.C., news conference, Pentagon press secretary George Little said the Defense Department was making strides in allowing more women into combat. He said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has opened about 14,500 combat positions to women.

“And he has directed the services to explore the possibility of opening additional roles for women in the military,” Little said. “His record is very strong on this issue.”

American Civil Liberties Union Ariela Migdal, who represents the four women, said Panetta’s actions weren’t enough. She called for an end to the combat ban. “These tweaks and minor changes on the margins do a disservice to all the women who serve,” she said.

The Washington Post

I love how the ACLU is involved — it shows their concern with meddling quite well.

The initial decision to not have women in combat roles stems from the most obvious reason:  women do not have equal strength to men — women are 40-50% weaker in upper body strength, and 20-30% in lower body strength (roughly).Not to mention other general facts such as men have denser, stronger bones; 56% greater lung volume; men also tend to be 15 cm (6 inches) taller; men also tend to have thicker skin, literally, if not also figuratively…

In combat it is not unheard of for a person to incur a life threatening injury which requires evacuation from a dangerous area or the combat zone entirely. It is also not unheard of for a battle to occur over a prolonged period of time and perhaps, unbelievably, require rigorous movement and displays of power. Having strength on a physical level is traditionally considered to be an important part of being a front line combative.

It is also occasionally suggested that one has balls.  This may be a reference to the testosterone that many studies have found make men more aggressive.

Now, let us say that combat units had a larger number of female soldiers present. During battle it is not unthinkable that female members who do not have the equal upper body strength would fail to extract wounded soldiers and may also not have the strength to power through the entire duration of a prolonged battle; this would result in more deaths, potentially and greater combat ineffectiveness while also a lowering of morale for the unit as a whole knowing that amongst them are members incapable of saving their lives in a situation that their life depends on.

However, the ACLU and others feel that lowering the combat effectiveness of units is not a big deal because, after all, we’ll never, ever, ever have to worry about using the military to fight a war again, right?

The only concern could be entirely… unmilitary in nature. We would be having the ACLU dictating how combat effective the military would be allowed to be at the end of the day which is utterly illogical.

But… Do file suit.

In Obama’s new America we are willing to sacrifice the efficiency and ability of anything to accomplish its given task if it dares to suggest that there is an impractical element.

Georgia Could Appeal Immigration Law Case

Georgia passed a law that was sensible — probably not even sensible enough as the Police should have the right to be able to pursue the removal of illegal immigrants for the mere fact that they are illegal immigrants as opposed to letting them continue to live in their state and undermine the local economy. However, it is said that a Federal law ‘pre-empts’ this one and thus Georgia’s police force should not have the power to pursue the removal of illegal immigrants…

… rather, the (purposefully?) incompetent and (purposefully?) underfunded Federals should exclusively have the right to enforce immigration law. A scenario that only leads to the benefit of people who exploit illegal immigrants for a living and a law, of course, which enables violent illegal immigrants to remain (!!!) in America.

The long-running legal battle over Georgia’s illegal immigration law could continue for months and keep a hotly debated part of the statute on hold if the state decides to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Georgia officials said Tuesday that they were still considering their options after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta rejected their request for a rehearing in the case.

The state had asked the appeals court to reconsider its decision against a part of the law that would punish people who knowingly transport or harbor illegal immigrants while committing other crimes. In August, the court ruled the measure is pre-empted by federal law, which already prohibits such activities.

Another part of the statute — nicknamed the “show-me-your-papers law” — has been on hold while the case was before the appeals court. That other provision would give police the option to investigate the immigration status of suspects they believe have committed state or federal crimes and who cannot provide identification or other information that could help police identify them.

Georgia has about 90 days to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could accept or decline such a case. Under that scenario, the state’s show-me-your-papers law could remain on hold until the Supreme Court acts.

“We are considering our options and no decisions have been made at this time,” the Georgia Attorney General’s Office said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

I bloody love it… They call it the ‘show-me-your-papers’ law because they are asking people who are already suspected of breaking the law to prove their citizenship. The fact that this question is not pursued when receiving any federal benefits, renting a home, opening a bank account, visiting a hospital, etc. already shows the ineptitude and backwardsness of American bureaucracy. A bureaucracy that we all know is clearly inept because of the elites who benefit off of illegal immigrant workers and the exploitation thereof.

The irony is that people like me are branded racists for opposing inefficiency that enables businessmen to exploit the illegal immigrants. In reality, our concern is purely for the legitimacy of the workforce in our own nation which would help with grave issues in the economy and produce fairer wages all around… but bleat on, liberals, as sheep.

Here’s to hoping for Georgia to appeal to protect its’ state right to self-determination and enforcement of sensible laws which it has passed.

Violent Demonstrations Rock Egypt

Not that long after the people overthrew a dictator they are now dealing with another situation where those in favor of liberal democracy are squaring off with a government that  may very well be inclined towards Islamism:

Supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi clashed Friday in the worst violence since he took office, while he defended a decision to give himself near-absolute power to root out what he called “weevils eating away at the nation of Egypt.”

The edicts by Morsi, which were issued Thursday, have turned months of growing polarization into an open battle between his Muslim Brotherhood and liberals who fear a new dictatorship. Some in the opposition, which has been divided and weakened, were now speaking of a sustained street campaign against the man who nearly five months ago became Egypt’s first freely elected president.

The unrest also underscored the struggle over the direction of Egypt’s turbulent passage nearly two years after a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian regime. Liberals and secular Egyptians accuse the Brotherhood of monopolizing power, dominating the writing of a new constitution and failing to tackle the country’s chronic economic and security problems.

“I don’t like, want or need to resort to exceptional measures, but I will if I see that my people, nation and the revolution of Egypt are in danger,” Morsi told thousands of his chanting supporters outside the presidential palace in Cairo.

But even before he spoke, thousands from each camp demonstrated in major cities, and violence broke out in several places, leaving at least 100 wounded, according to security officials.

The Indian Express

100 wounded… talk of rooting out ‘weavils’ eating away at the fabric of Egypt. No doubt this was not the way anyone envisioned the Arab Spring ending in Egypt but things are quite predictable when a large amount of the population remains dependent on the concept of an Islamic led government while others want democracy…

Western media did its best to portray it constantly as a struggle for democracy in the terms that we understand it when in reality this may be looking like it will be a very different form of democracy — not one of the liberalism with which we are familiar but rather one that focuses on cultivating an international Islamic alliance and, indeed, seeing to it that Islam remains the strongest force in the nation.

I look forward to following the new Egypt more…

After 8 Days Israel Claims Victory

Of course, there will be some interesting spinning by Hamas here:

Israel’s military said it had accomplished the objectives of its airstrike campaign against Hamas by causing “severe damage” to its military capabilities after a cease-fire was declared late Wednesday.

A statement on the Israel Defense Forces website said Operation Pillar of Defense had “damaged and destroyed significant elements of Hamas’ strategic capabilities” in the Gaza Strip.

“Following eight days of operations, the IDF has accomplished its pre-determined objectives for Operation Pillar of Defense, and has inflicted severe damage to Hamas and its military capabilities,” the  IDF statement said.

“These actions have severely impaired Hamas’ launching capabilities, resulting in a decreasing number of rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip,” it added.

Meanwhile, people in Gaza declared victory. “Allahu akbar, (God is greatest), dear people of Gaza you won,” blared mosque loudspeakers in Gaza, according to Reuters. “You have broken the arrogance of the Jews.”

The exiled leader of the Islamist Hamas movement, Khaled Meshaal, said that Israel had been defeated and failed in its “adventure,” Reuters reported. “We have come out of this battle with our heads up high,” he said.

And while he said Hamas would respect the truce if Israel did, Meshaal also sounded a warning. “If it [Israel] does not comply, our hands are on the trigger,” he told a news conference in Cairo.

The stats:

Gaza health ministry officials say more than 160 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes and shelling in the narrow enclave, Reuters reported. More than half of them were civilians including 37 children.

The IDF statement said five Israelis had been killed and 240 injured.

It listed the military successes of Pillar of Defense, saying the IDF had “targeted over 1,500 terror sites including 19 senior command centers, operational control centers and Hamas’ senior-rank headquarters, 30 senior operatives, damaging Hamas’ command and control, hundreds of underground rocket launchers, 140 smuggling tunnels, 66 terror tunnels, dozens of Hamas operation rooms and bases, 26 weapon manufacturing and storage facilities and dozens of long-range rocket launchers and launch sites.”

It said that 1,506 rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel during the period of the operation with Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense system intercepting 421 of the missiles.

Good on Israel’s technological capabilities that were able to take down 1/3 of the rockets that were fired. Big problems for Hamas and other militants as now this is even being defeated by the general superiority of Israeli military forces.

Israeli forces said they had seized 55 suspected Palestinian militants in the West Bank Thursday, Reuters reported.

The detainees were from various armed Palestinian factions and included “senior operatives,” the army said in a statement, adding that it would “continue to maintain order … and prevent the infiltration of terrorists into Israeli communities.”

NBC

Senior operatives captured — big news, potentially, if these are actually senior operatives.

Lots of dead militants. Hamas still claiming victory. Heh. Five killed? Or…let me guess… more western liberals cheering them on and convinced of the cruelty of Israelis who defend themselves?

It’s all absurd.

Israel fought for self-defense against outright attacks… peaceful protests  and peaceful resolution attempts by Palestine have not been working out at all and of course they now complain after initiating violence and paying for it.

SF Ban On Public Nudity Barely Passes

San Francisco just enjoys attempting to break down any and all standards a human being should ever abide by. The idea that being nude throughout the city and being allowed to essentially expose one’s genitals anywhere as vital to freedom surely could only happen in Zombieland, San Francisco:

San Francisco lawmakers disappointed committed nudists on Tuesday by narrowly approving a ban on public nakedness despite concerns the measure would undermine the city’s reputation as a sanctuary for free expression.

The Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 in favour of a public safety ordinance that prohibits exposed genitals in most public places, including streets, sidewalks and public transit. The law still must pass a final vote and secure Mayor Edwin Lee’s signature to take effect early next year.

Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced the ban in response to escalating complaints about a group of men whose bare bodies are on display almost daily in the city’s predominantly gay Castro District.

“The Castro, and San Francisco in general, is a place of freedom, expression and acceptance. But freedom, expression and acceptance does not mean anything goes under any circumstances,” Wiener said Tuesday. “Our public spaces are for everyone, and as a result it’s appropriate to have some minimal standards of behaviour.”

I love it — a call for a ‘minimal standard’ of human behavior is necessary. The idea that such words have to be used to address a crowd of San Franciscans is absolutely titillating.

Weiner’s opponents on the board said a citywide ban was unnecessary and would draw police officers’ attention away from bigger problems while undermining San Francisco values like tolerance and appreciation for the offbeat.

“I’m concerned about civil liberties, about free speech, about changing San Francisco’s style and how we are as a city,” Supervisor John Avalos said. “I cannot and will not bite this apple and I refuse to put on this fig leaf.”

CBC News

Oh, I love it — being nude is a civil liberty and everyone from children to the elderly should be subject to someone’s displays of genitals. I also enjoy the concerns for it being the style of San Francisco. As if having a propensity for the bizarre is an invitation to proceed down that path relentlessly. Oh, please! Pass a bill that allows for people to romp about nude throughout the city.

The idea that subjecting the general public to your genitals as vital to freedom is just preposterous… but naturally we will see people try to continue down this path, prioritizing the right to be a pervert as a form of expression over the right of people to not be subjected to it.

Really, it is such an issue based off of one’s personal feeling over logic to some degree… of course, we can do logic all day on how there has to be general order in society as opposed to an embellishment of personal excess but it is not as if people who have grown up under the idea that the only possible reason government could exist is to prioritize the individual over a basic sense of harmony and decency would ever see it as such.

Great Apes Have Midlife Crisis? Well, Hmm?

Huh, this is certainly an interesting piece I have to put out here just for some future references and thinking…

At middle age, a great ape will neither cheat on a spouse nor buy a red sports car on impulse. But researchers have found that chimpanzees and orangutans experience midlife crises just as surely as do humans.

That finding, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could upend firmly held beliefs about the roots of human happiness and the forces that influence its odd trajectory across the life span. If our animal relatives share our propensity for sadness, withdrawal and frustration at life’s midpoint, perhaps the midlife crisis is actually driven by biological factors — not the wearing responsibilities of jobs and family and the dawning recognition of our mortality.

“This opens a whole new box in the effort to explain” the midlife dip in well-being, said senior author Andrew Oswald, a behavioral economist at the University of Warwick in England. “It makes one’s head spin.”

,,,

For men and women alike, social science researchers have located the winter of our discontent somewhere near the 50-year mark, wedged neatly between the vigor and drive of youth and the quest for meaning and happiness that marks the final decades of life. More than just a cultural cliche, the midlife crisis is the well-documented nadir of human well-being on the U-shaped curve of happiness that stretches between birth and death.

As happiness researchers have fanned out around the globe, they have documented this midlife trough in at least 65 countries, suggesting that it is a universal feature of human existence.

Until now, however, the social scientists that have dominated this burgeoning field of study have drawn on economic, psychological and sociological explanations. By midlife, youth’s hot-blooded drive to mastery has driven off. Responsibilities abound. Decades of striving — to raise a family, to establish oneself in the community, to climb the professional ziggurat — have shown us the mountaintop and, with it, the limits of our reach and usefulness. A recognition of our mortality settles in.

In the years after midlife, the theory goes, humans shoulder fewer burdens for the care of others. Their time horizons are shorter, prompting them to focus on people and activities that give pleasure and meaning to their lives. They regret less.

The pair put together an international team of primatologists from Scotland, Japan and Arizona and devised an unprecedented census of well-being among 336 chimpanzees and 172 orangutans of all ages living in two research centers, one sanctuary and nine zoos across five countries.

To gauge the animals’ well-being, the researchers turned to the keepers that knew them best and asked them a series of questions that might stymie even the most devoted dog or cat owner. Designed to capture the mood, sense of effectiveness and pleasure-seeking drive of apes across the life span, the questions were based on established methods of measuring human well-being but modified for this population.

Keepers were asked to rate the positive or negative mood of each subject and to gauge the degree of pleasure the animal derived from social situations. A third question was how successful each great ape was in achieving its goals — whether winning a mate, commanding the attention of a fellow member of its social group or gaining hold of an out-of-reach toy. Finally, the study authors asked keepers to consider how happy they would be if they had to live as their chimpanzees or orangutans for a week.

When the composite well-being score for each ape was plotted according to his or her age, the result was the same distinctive U-shaped curve seen universally in humans. Around the ages of 28 and 35 — roughly the midpoint of the chimpanzees’ and orangutans’ expected life spans — moods sagged, animals became less socially engaged and they were less likely to persist in attaining the things they desired.

“I certainly was shocked,” Oswald said.

Los Angeles Times

The article continues but, ah, there is the issue. It describes that the apes are generally less able to get the things that they wanted and are socially less happy with their position… but at no point is anything said of the well being and the status of the apes that are older and it merely seems that these issues may be correlated easily to the mistreatment that the apes may be having from others and the general weaknesses of their body causing them to be less happy.

The article may merely be poorly written or much of it had to have been omitted but with nothing here to indicate what apes experience later on in life it really seems like this is a half-assed piece that was spun together by  Melissa Healy because, well, it sounds a lot better than simply saying that apes agree that their lives suck when they are less physically able and more ignored…

It is also part of the idea of making humans be so tied to apes and that we are potentially all just evolved apes having no special touch that makes us above and beyond them — the more that they are able to equate us with animals the stronger the argument for a lack of God becomes even though it is clear to anyone that is objective that our skills, feelings and the complexity of our lives is far greater.

… but such is the reality of our times.

Splintered Syrian Forces Carrying On

The war carries on and while the EU is recognizing one group it is clear that the Syrian rebellion is not united…

Syrian Islamists fighting the Assad regime rejected a newly formed opposition umbrella group, raising questions about whether the new alliance can achieve its objective: to create a moderate force that can get funds and arms from foreign allies.

The umbrella group also got a boost Monday when the European Union labeled the coalition “legitimate representatives” of the Syrian people. The move stopped short of a French push for the EU to formally recognize the group, as did France, Qatar and Turkey earlier.

The National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, which was formed this month in Qatar with the backing of Western allies, was intended to diminish the influence of some of those same hard-line, ultraconservative Muslim militias that on Monday rejected the group.

Still, if the Islamist groups fight on as separate entities they pose a challenge to the unity of the opposition and its ability to challenge the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in a coordinated way.

“The situation is getting worse and more difficult for anyone to manage,” said Radwan Ziadeh, a prominent opposition figure and director of Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C., who said the video was of concern to his group. “Bringing the [rebel Free Syrian Army] under one group is our biggest challenge.”

Representatives from 13 Islamist factions, some dressed in military uniform, released a video statement of them rejecting the coalition. A Quran is prominently placed in front of a man reading the statement and on occasion the crowd breaks into chants of “Allah Akbar” or “God is Great.” It wasn’t clear how many fighters the factions represent, but they included one prominent militant group, Jabhat al-Nusra, an al Qaeda affiliate.

“We reached a consensus on the establishment of a just Islamic state and the rejection of any foreign plan from coalitions or councils imposed on those of us inside [Syria] no matter which side it [intervention] comes from,” the man reading the statement said in the video, which was sent to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group based in London.

The council’s supporters say that now is too early to judge whether the group is having impact over the war in Syria, but they assert their formation has given some members of the Free Syrian Army a moral boost. Many ordinary Syrians, opposition supporters say, are heartened to see the political leadership unify.

Wall Street Journal

I noticed the phrase ‘moral boost’ here which made me chuckle… You mean, it has made them feel more… moral… in their interactions? Terrific writing…

But in other news: it goes to show that there are many Islamist organizations that have no real interest in being members of this umbrella organization that the EU has intending to legitimize the revolution which, as it seems, will never quite be legitimized. It is a collection of very divergent people that, if the Assad regime were to topple now, would just run on into part two of the civil war…

Overall, it is a horrible scenario for everyone involved. The Syrian government is not making much progress and the rebels are going nowhere, not even able to come together to agree to something.

Republicans Plan For Flip-Flop?

Oh, this is…. fairly unbelievable:

On Sunday, former Hispanic outreach director to the Romney campaign, Carlos Gutierrez, appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and criticized not only the former Massachusetts governor, but the Republican Party‘s conservative base, as well for Obama’s re-election.

Specifically, conservatives’ belief that our border should be protected and that immigration laws should actually be enforced.

Gutierrez said:

“We are the party of prosperity, of growth, of tolerance. I mean, these immigrants who come across and what they do wrong is they risk their lives, they come here and they work because they want to be part of the American dream.

The Hispanics I know were scared of the Republican Party. I think it has to do with our incredibly ridiculous primary process where we force people to say outrageous things, they get nominated and they have to come back.”

In response to “outrageous things,” such as simply restoring the rule of law, Gutierrez , along with GOP fundraiser Charlie Spies are now forming what they call Republicans for Immigration Reform, a political action committee which will focus on “some sort of legalization,” for millions of illegal aliens.

While Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney never publicly endorsed a blanket amnesty for all of the illegal aliens currently inside the United States, his position on illegal immigration certainly could not be described as ‘conservative.’

In fact, at times it was difficult to draw any distinction between President Obama’s and Romney’s position on the matter.

On Monday, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said that he would not only honor the work permits which President Obama has been issuing to illegal aliens as part of his executive order DREAM Act amnesty, but will make it even easier for foreign nationals to come here despite the current unemployment crisis.

However, the horse had already left the barn at that point, and the apprehensions that many conservatives had about the former Massachusetts governor were given more credence.

Unfortunately, for those of us who wish to see the rule of law enforced and priority given to unemployed Americans over foreign nationals when it comes to jobs…there simply was no candidate to choose from this election year.

And, that is why fewer Republican voters showed up to the polls this year, than did in both the 2008 and 2004 elections.

Both parties already seem to agree that government should be big and expensive (despite GOP rhetoric), and now it would seem that the Republican Party is embracing the idea of rewarding those whose first act in this country is a crime.

If this is to be the case, Republicans can now bid farewell to the White House forever, as true conservatives will never compromise their principles as the GOP seems to do so easily.
Examiner

Dave Gibson wrote this good piece… I pretty much agree with him across the board.

It has taken decades for us to basically muster any sort of response on the issue… Now, just now, does it seem that people were really taking action on it and as Gibson points out both the left and the right had pretty much identical positions. Naturally, this made for a humiliating and boring election for the right wing who had no dog in this fight.

… Of course, this does not mean it is over for us. Rather,  it means that we have to wait and bide our time for the nonsense to really start coming full circle. Which, invariably, it always does.

I still enjoy (as does everyone else, I am sure) that there is no actual conclusion to the nastiness of this whole scenario.We are getting something like amnesty passed… and how long will that be? In all likelihood we are going to string people along for another decade or two.

US To Become World’s Biggest Oil Producer

We will be the fracking kings…

The US will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer “by around 2020”, an International Energy Agency (IEA) report has said.

The IEA said the reason for this was the big growth and development in the US of extracting oil from shale rock.

This has enabled the US to gain significantly more extractable oil resources.

As a result, the IEA predicts the US will become “all but self-sufficient” in its energy needs by around 2035.

The US shale oil industry has grown significantly in recent years.

It extracts oil from the ground using a method called fracking – pumping down a mixture of sand, water and chemicals at high pressure.

The industry says the method is safe, but critics say it could cause earthquakes and pollute water sources.

The IEA predicts that the US will be producing 11.1 million barrels per day by 2020, compared with 10.6 million from Saudi Arabia.

Currently the US imports about 20% of its total energy needs.

The IEA also expects that the US will overtake Russia as the word’s biggest gas producer by 2015, again thanks to fracking, which can also be used to extract natural gas.

BBC (pointed out to me by SiberianFox)

Science has the power to really put a nation on top even if it normally wouldn’t have had the resources to be considered as such.

Of course, with the US dependency on oil so high it is almost comical to think of us trying to systematically continue sustaining our oil consumption at a cheap price. But I guess if anything is going to do it, this is it. Naturally the US needs to get to a point of being entirely energy self-sufficient but the idea that we have gone the path of doing so with oil as opposed to more new and diverse technologies could actually be quite a bad precedent…

The potential for the environment being damaged more in the long run due to the harmful byproduct of an oil based economy… well, it seems that it just got a lot higher now, doesn’t it?

Dems & Repubs May Compromise…

Good news, indeed:

Democratic and Republican leaders appeared Sunday to draw closer to reaching a compromise on keeping the country from going off the fast-approaching “fiscal cliff” — with closing tax loopholes for America’s highest earners emerging as the potential middle ground.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker suggested that getting more revenue from the country’s highest-earners should be part of the mix but only by closing loopholes, not increasing taxes, and only if Democrats agree to cut federal spending.

Closing loopholes… Because it was such a good idea for us to have such a tax policy to exist in the first place, right? The idea of people writing loopholes into tax policy is gross and disgusting and goes against what we should really strive for in a transparent government that is clear and direct with the people. The fact that both parties are agreeing to close loopholes just goes to show how much the government, in the first place, worked for and was constituted by the Elites (whether left or right). This is not of the people.


The Tennessee senator also said party leaders could find likely compromise on generating revenue but the real challenge will be cutting back on such government programs as Social Security and food stamps, known as entitlements.

Social security is theoretically not an entitlement at all. We are supposed to have earned this with the taxes that we pay into it from our own paychecks. It does not strike me as an entitlement in most circumstances. The fact that this is going to be cut is rather irresponsible.

Whereas foodstamps… We’ve all heard the anecdotes about folks loaded up with brand new iPhones and beer buying other things with their foodstamps. Of course, this may actually hurt regular people who need to use these benefits for a while but, overall, I do not see any issue with cutting programs that may actually cut down on wasteful entitlements to undeserving parties.

Economists and others warn the country could go over the fiscal cliff in January when tax cuts for many Americans expire while nearly $1 trillion in federal cuts begin.

The automatic, across-the-board cuts are the result of Congress and the White House failing to compromise on a more measured way to cut the federal deficit.

Fox

The last part here sounds a bit exciting… but we will see. Many things always sound exciting but are quite lacking when crunch time actually comes.