American Hero

A small Midwest hometown just buried one of its own, Sgt. Bradley Atwell. He was killed in Afghanistan by a group of Afgan insurgents who had dressed as U.S. soldiers and made their way into Camp Bastion, a U.S. military base there, where they attacked our soldiers. We, the people of the United States, have now lost over 2000 of our finest men and women in uniform in that God forsaken country. We have been fighting there for over 10 years. The Russians were there 10 years before us.
My reaction to the photos and stories of Sgt. Atwell and the heartache felt by his family, friends, and community has been one of sorrow and anger. Bradley Atwell is a hero. He and all who are in the military or who have ever been in the military deserve our highest respect and deepest thanks. It is our leaders who must be questioned. It is those who send our troops all over the globe who must answer. It has recently been reported that we now have troops in well over 130 countries around the world maintaining bases, doing humanitarian work, and fighting.
It is the ones in which we are fighting that must be the most questioned. We do not seem to learn. Viet Nam was a disaster. We left there having about 54,000 Americans killed and who knows how many maimed. We went to war in Iraq for what turned out to be nothing. There were no weapons of mass destruction, never were, and Iraq had nothing to do with the attack on the Twin Towers in New York. President Bush knew that. Iraq was never a threat to the United States of America. We went there because Bush and Cheney wanted us to. That war resulted in about 4500 deaths of our soldiers with over 30,000 wounded. What a waste.
The war in Afghanistan really became President Obama’s war. He announced a total withdrawal date. The real question is why wait. Why not just get out of there now. It does not matter whether we get out now or stay another 10 years; that country and its people are primitive and will stay that way. They have no oil which is really our only national interest in the Middle East; that and Israel. The Taliban will take that country back 100’s of years as soon as we leave. The only presence we really need there should be covert with Special Ops and/or CIA attacks when people who have the potential to hurt the United States are identified. Other than that, time to leave and come home.
We must face facts. The Afgans don’t like us. The Pakistani’s don’t like us much either. Then there is India. They are the ones who should be most concerned and the ones who, if military action is called for, should step up to the plate. Pakistan and India both have nuclear bombs. They need to work out their own destiny. The United States cannot and should not be the world’s policeman. Under President Obama, we have done much to create a Middle East with few friends of the USA.
Finally, we simply cannot afford to be at war. In case no one has looked recently, we are broke. Our national debt is sky high and climbing. We do not have the money to hand out to others around the world. We need to be taking care of our own first. If resources are left over at some point, then aid can be given to other countries. Our leaders are failing us. They have failed the thousands who have given their lives to protect us. Time to say, NO MORE.

Honey Bees

We don’t think of it much, but honey bees are vital to our own survival. They do their thing each year without direction from human beings. They pollinate all sorts of plants that we depend upon like tomatoes, apple trees, watermelon, Kiwifruit, nuts, cucumbers, cherry trees, and many more. The problem is that honey bees have been dying off in droves. Billions of bees have disappeared in the United States with estimated losses as high as 30% and counting.
Honey bees are crucial to the cultivation of a full 1/3rd of our food here in the USA. This means that with the loss of honey bees the security of our own food supply is at risk. What is the problem? It is called in scientific terms, “Colony Collapse Disorder”. One of the highly suspected causes is the use of pesticides called neonicotinoids.
One such chemical is “Clothianidin” which is produced by Bayer CropScience, a German Corporation. It is used as a treatment on crop seeds, including corn and canola, which happen to be among honey bees’ favorite foods. This class of pesticides needs to be banned if bee colonies are to survive. The EPA is dragging its feet on this matter.
France, Italy, Slovenia, and Germany have already banned Clothianidin. The United States needs to follow their lead. The EPA wants to wait until 2018 to finish their review of the pesticide’s safety but our honey bees cannot wait 6 more years. Stop the threat. Do the ban.

Don't Understand

I am having serious difficulty understanding why anyone of the Jewish faith would support President Barack Obama. His policies toward the Middle East have done nothing but put Israel at more risk. Now Iran and Egypt are both rattling sabers at the United Nations meeting in New York. Obama has been so wishy-washy on the whole Israel matter, they have no reluctance about flapping their gums in defiance. I wonder if it takes a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv or Jerusalem for the United States to get the message. We are approaching that point.
We just saw the death of our Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. It turns out the attack was preplanned and had nothing to do with the movie trailer about the Prophet Mohammad. The attack came on September 11th…… daaaaaaaaaa!!!! It does not take a genius to see that may be important. Yet the Obama administration continued to insist the attack was in response to a movie as were all of the demonstrations throughout the Muslim world. Denial extraordinary.
The naked truth of the matter is that our only real interests in the Middle East are oil and Israel. Always have been. After those two, I really don’t think we give a damn, and maybe shouldn’t beyond being sure no one has the capability to attack the United States of America. That we must assure.
Let’s face it. The extreme radical Islamists cannot be reasoned with and do not respond to “diplomacy”. They do not live in the current age but rather live in a barbaric time that existed over 1000 or more years ago. The treat women like chattel. I heard just today that most universities in Iran have now banned women from studying engineering and science. Back to the burqas, you women. Stay in your place. The crazy men rule.
Finally, you Jewish folks…… think hard before pulling the lever for Barack Obama. He is not the person you want if you want to assure Israel survives.

No Free Lunch

The Kokomo (IN) Tribune’s Guest Columnist on September 24th, Judy Dugan, went a bit overboard with her criticism of Mitt Romney while detailing her dependency on federal and state entitlements. She said she and her husband are and have been “dependent on federal and state entitlements”. With the exception of Social Security benefits including Medicare which I fully agree she and her husband are entitled to since they funded them during their working period before retirement, I point out that any other entitlements she has received have been at the expense of someone else. Entitlements are not freebies. There is no free lunch. By the way, contrary to her claim Social Security income is not taxable, it is.
A federal mortgage deduction means someone else has to pay more to make up for that. Forgiving a student loan means someone else has to pick up the tab. Any federal or state credits for anything mean someone else has to foot the bill or we as a country just continue to deepen the government debt now over 16 trillion dollars.
And Ms. Dugan just does not get it about the capital gains tax and dividend taxes. Taking those taxes to lower levels or eliminating them altogether puts more dollars into the funding of business development and expansion which means more jobs for many more people. She complains about anything that puts more money into the hands of the “wealthy”.
Let me tell you a little story. The State of Florida increased significantly the tax on yachts several years ago thinking the “rich” should pay more. Sales of yachts went down significantly putting the workers who build those boats on the street. The same for those who sold the boats, serviced them, worked as crews on them, sold fuel and supplies for them, and for all who were employed at harbors that housed them. In short, the money spent by the “rich” put people to work. Raising taxes put people out of work. That is pretty basic economics. Florida quickly eliminated the tax increase.
Since Ms. Dugan is now among the retired, it would be wise if she enrolled in an economics course at Ivy Tech State College which is “free” of tuition for those over 60 (another entitlement which must be subsidized by taxpayers).

Decisions Have Consequences

In an editorial on Tuesday, September 18th, the Kokomo (IN) Tribune took the position that requiring the children of illegal immigrants pay out-of-state tuition at state-supported colleges and universities is “unfair to immigrants”. They forgot an adjective. The headline should have read, “Law is unfair to illegal immigrants”.
The opinion piece went on to criticize Indiana Representative Mike Karickhoff who is from Kokomo and a co-sponsor of the bill passed by the Indiana General Assembly establishing this requirement. For one, I applaud his efforts.
One allegation in opposition to the measure is that “many undocumented students have been living in Indiana much of their lives and their parents actually have been paying taxes to support the state’s public institutions of higher learning”. I don’t know how this is possible without additional falsification of such as a Social Security number since that is required to file a tax return. Illegal immigrants don’t qualify for a Social Security number. If they have one, it would be yet another violation of law. Further, it is common street knowledge that a substantial portion of income received by illegal immigrants is in cash and never reported by either the recipient or the company that illegally operates this way.
Decisions do have consequences. The illegal actions of parents do not exempt their children from the consequences of violation of law by the parents. It should not be up to the taxpayers to subsidize non- Indiana citizen students which is what the Tribune is proposing. This is not offered to out of state students who are United States citizens. It makes no sense to offer reduced fees to students who are not citizens of Indiana or the United States.