Serena Williams - Spoiled Rotten Loser

| Friday, October 21, 2011 | 0 comments |
The US Open once again proved itself as one of the most theatrical stages in sports last night during the women's semifinals where Serena Williams saw her chances for repeating as champion ended after losing her cool and going off on a line judge. After Serena became upset at the judge's unexpected call for a foot fault, she pointed at the official and yelled, "I swear to God, I'm f*ckin' takin' this ball and shovin' it in(?) your f*ckin' throat… I swear to God." As if the outburst wasn't sensational enough, Williams then got docked for a penalty point (she had already received a warning after smashing her racket at the end of the first set) which couldn't have come at a worse time—match point. That meant that the confrontation would be the final point of the tournament for Williams, sent packing by Belgian Kim Clijsters. Here's the extended play of the whole string of events, that we imagine left Eli Manning doing a nervous gulp of his Oreo Double Stuff.

The Times calls Serena's flare-up "a shocking display of vitriol and profanity" and Mike Lupica's Sunday column really rails America's most dominant player in the sport these days, calling it "a shameful performance" and saying she "got exactly what she deserved." Williams did not win back any points for grace after the match, giving an unapologetic, nonchalant press conference saying she doesn't live her life with regrets. She also told reporters that "my idol was John McEnroe" and continues her on-court sentiment that "people have done way worse." She even defends herself that she had just been watching heated moments from Opens past in all the old matched\s being dug up by the networks and shown during the last two days of rain delays. (The media's glorification of violence strikes again!) The press conference, called by Lupica "a ridiculous, disingenuous performance" is after the jump.


Premiums Up, Choices Down: The First Wave of Obamacare

| Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D.

Kaiser Family Foundation just released further bad news about the poorly named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). American families facing a bad economy, high unemployment, and crashing home values now get hit with another cost increase: higher health insurance premiums that are rising more every year.

Obama’s campaign focused on “hope and change,” but I suspect these winds of “change” are ones that most Americans did not “hope” for, did not want, and would like to escape.

Look at the bleak facts:

In 2011, the annual health insurance premium for a family of four was pushed above $15,000 for the first time ever.

The 2011 annual health insurance premium was 31% higher than 2006, and 113% higher than in 2001.

Health insurance premiums were 9% higher in 2011 than in 2010. And the media says there is no inflation? Did your income go up 9% from 2010 to 2011? Not for the vast majority of Americans!

Hurricane Irene wreaked visible damage all along the Eastern seaboard this fall. The damage from Obamacare’s extensive new mandates and regulations is less visible, but no less damaging to individuals, families, businesses, and our overall economy. At least we had warning that Hurricane Irene was coming and could take steps to prepare and protect ourselves. But we were falsely promised that the hurricane named Obamacare would lower costs, improve access to health insurance, and “protect patients.” Even in this earliest stage, with only a fraction of the mandates implemented, we are seeing massive damage.

Obamacare advocates like to blame the “greedy” insurance companies. But most of the blame for higher premiums is directly caused by the Obamacare first wave of mandates and regulations.

As of the fall of 2010, all insurance policies must:

keep adult “children” up to age 26 on parents’ policies,
provide “free” preventive care and screenings for everyone
cover pre-existing medical conditions for children

Adding this coverage unavoidably means the policy will have to cost more.

Obamacare regulations already control practically every decision a private insurance company can make. It is only going to get worse as government “medicrats” micromanage every single aspect of insurance coverage.


A Short History of the Income Tax

| Monday, October 17, 2011 | 0 comments |
Presidents Wilson (left) and Taft, fathers of the modern income tax
by John Steele Gordon

Whether the "millionaires and billionaires" are actually paying their fair share of taxes is a matter for the electorate to decide. After all, fairness is hardly an objective standard.

Before the modern era, however, the federal tax system was manifestly unfair by any reasonable standard, grossly biased in favor of the well off. Ironically, attempting to fix that unfairness is what has brought us to the present moment, with a federal tax system that is grotesquely complex, often arbitrary, and corrupted by mutual back-scratching between members of Congress and influential lobbyists.

After the Civil War, nearly all the wartime taxes—including the nation's first income tax—were repealed and the federal government relied mostly on the tariff for revenues. It provided the government with more than ample peacetime income. In 1882, the government had revenues of $403 million, but expenses were only $257 million, a staggering budget surplus of nearly 36%. The reason the tariff was so high was, ostensibly, to protect America's burgeoning industries from foreign competition.

Of course, the owners of those burgeoning industries—i.e., the rich—were greatly helped by the protection, which enabled them to charge higher prices and make greater profits than if they had had to face unbridled foreign competition.

But the tariff is a consumption tax, which is simply added to the price of the goods sold. And consumption taxes are inherently regressive. The poor, by definition, must spend all of their income on necessities and thus pay consumption taxes on all of their income. The rich, while living in luxury, bank most of their income and largely escape these types of taxes.

As the vast surpluses piled up in the Treasury, the political pressure to institute an income tax on the rich grew steadily. In 1894, with Democrat Grover Cleveland in the White House and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, a federal income tax became law. The new tax, however, was very different from the Civil War income tax, which had exempted only the poor. The new one hit only the rich, imposing a 2% tax on incomes above $4,000. Less than 1% of American households in 1894 met that income threshold.

Needless to say, the tax was attacked in court, in a 1895 test case called Pollack v. Farmers' Loan & Trust. The case turned on the definition of a "direct tax," which the Constitution requires to be apportioned equally among the states according to population, something obviously impossible with an income tax.

The court split 4-4 as to whether the new income tax was constitutional. One member of the court, Justice Howell Jackson of Tennessee, was absent because of illness (and died less than three months later). But with the case drawing enormous public attention, the court agreed to reargue it and Justice Jackson rose from his deathbed to hear it.

Jackson was known to favor the income tax and it was assumed that it would now be upheld 5-4. But one of the other justices switched his vote (the opinion is unsigned and we don't know by whom or why) and it was voted down 5-4.

The income tax was dead. But the pressure to tax the incomes of the largely untaxed rich only increased, especially as the Progressive wing of the Republican Party grew in strength under Theodore Roosevelt. By the time of the administration of President William Howard Taft (1909-13) the pressure was becoming overwhelming. One representative suggested simply repassing the 1894 tax bill and daring the Supreme Court to overturn it a second time.

That idea horrified Taft, who revered the court. He feared that it would weaken its position as the final arbiter of the Constitution. He came up with a brilliant, very lawyerly, alternative: He proposed a constitutional amendment to legalize a personal income tax, while meanwhile imposing a tax on corporate profits. In the early 20th century such a tax was, in effect, a tax on the rich. As the corporate income tax is technically an excise tax, there was no constitutional problem. Taft's solution was implemented and in 1913 the 16th Amendment was declared ratified, just as Taft was leaving office.

The new president, Woodrow Wilson, and the strongly Democratic Congress promptly passed a personal income tax. It kicked in at 1% on incomes above $3,000 (a comfortable upper middle-class income at the time) and reached 7% on incomes over $500,000. But there were many deductions, bringing the effective tax rates down sharply from the marginal ones—a feature of the tax system ever since.

Unfortunately the corporate income tax, originally intended as only a stopgap measure, was left in place unchanged. As a result, for the last 98 years we have had two completely separate and uncoordinated income taxes. It's a bit as if corporations were owned by Martians, otherwise untaxed, instead of by their very earthly—and taxed—stockholders.

This has had two deeply pernicious effects. One, it allowed the very rich to avoid taxes by playing the two systems against each other. When the top personal income tax rate soared to 75% in World War I, for instance, thousands of the rich simply incorporated their holdings in order to pay the much lower corporate tax rate.

There has since been a sort of evolutionary arms race, as tax lawyers and accountants came up with ever new ways to game the system, and Congress endlessly added to the tax code to forbid or regulate the new strategies. The income tax act of 1913 had been 14 pages long. The Revenue Act of 1942 was 208 pages long, 78% of them devoted to closing or defining loopholes. It has only gotten worse.

The other pernicious consequence of the separate corporate and personal income taxes has been a field day for demagogues and the misguided to claim that the rich are not paying their "fair share." Warren Buffett recently claimed that he had paid only $6.9 million in taxes last year. But Berkshire Hathaway, of which Mr. Buffett owns 30%, paid $5.6 billion in corporate income taxes. Were Berkshire Hathaway a Subchapter S corporation and exempt from corporate income taxes, Mr. Buffett's personal tax bill would have been 231 times higher, at $1.6 billion.

Just as in the late 19th century, the tax code is now hopelessly arbitrary and unfair. It requires a complete overhaul.

Mr. Gordon is the author of "An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power" (HarperCollins, 2004).

Hundreds of plants and animals up for new protections

| Sunday, October 9, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Matthew Brown

The Obama administration is taking steps to extend new federal protections to a list of imperiled animals and plants that reads like a manifest for Noah's Ark - from the melodic golden-winged warbler and slow-moving gopher tortoise, to the slimy American eel and tiny Texas kangaroo rat.


12-year-old girl banned from wearing rosary necklace at school

| Saturday, October 8, 2011 | 0 comments |
Rosary necklace banned for being a
'gang symbol' at Nebraska school

by Michael Zennie

School administrators in a Nebraska town of 26,000 told a middle school girl to take off her cross necklace because it looks too much like a rosary, which they say is being used by gang members.

Twelve-year-old Elizabeth Cary says her necklace is a reminder of her faith. And she vowed to stand up for what she believes in and fight the Fremont, Neb., school district, where she is a sixth grader.

The local Catholic archdioceses has condemned the decision to ban rosaries from schools and says administrators should be smart enough to tell which students are at risk for gang activity.

Taphorn told KETV-7 in Omaha, Neb., that the ban on rosaries is an infringement on Elizabeth's rights to freely practice her religion.

'It makes me feel like I want to scream really bad,' Elizabeth told the TV station.

Little Elizabeth said she doesn't even know what a gang is and doesn't understand why the school won't let her wear her necklace any more.

'I’m deciding to stand up for Jesus and do whatever I can to stop this,' she said.


Ohio Muslim Inmates Sue Over Meal Preparation

| Thursday, October 6, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Associated Press
A death row inmate says the Ohio prison system is denying him meals prepared according to Islamic law, known as halal, according to a federal lawsuit that alleges a civil rights violation.

Condemned inmate Abdul Awkal says the prison system's failure to provide the halal meals is a restraint on his religious freedoms.

Awkal, joined by a second inmate not on death row, says the vegetarian and non-pork options offered by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction aren't good enough. The inmates say the food must be prepared in specific fashion, such as ensuring that an animal is butchered by slitting its throat and draining its blood, to conform with Islamic beliefs.

Awkal, 52, is scheduled to die in June for killing his estranged wife, Latife Awkal, and brother-in-law Mahmoud Abdul-Aziz in 1992, in a room in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court.

Joining Awkal in the lawsuit is Cornelius Causey, 35, serving 15 years to life for murder and aggravated robbery convictions out of Hamilton County.

Ohio argues that it provides both non-pork and vegetarian meals to Muslims and says the courts have sided with this practice. The state also says that providing halal meals could hurt Ohio financially, given the current budget situation.

"The complete restructuring of ODRC's food service administration and preparation, at a cost of millions to the State of Ohio during fiscal crisis, is at stake," Ryan Dolan, an assistant attorney general, argued in a court filing.


Click here for your free copy of Sharia Law For The Non Muslim...

Proposed List Of Demands For Occupy Wall St

| Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Lloyd J. Hart

Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending "Freetrade" by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.

Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

Demand four: Free college education.

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants.

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the "Books." World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the "Books." And I don't mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.

These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.