An Independent Voice on American Life

​Wealth in Congress
by Karl Logan, 06/09/2012

Why did President Obama waste his political capital to pass healthcare legislation when he could have taxed the rich? Obamacare passed because Democrats controlled Congress. With Democrats constantly espouse ‘taxing the rich’ why not seize the opportunity to pass legislation when you control the majority? Is it possible that the Democrats do not want to tax themselves?  

A 2009 article from USA Today stated that “Democrats represented 57% of the 4.8 million households that had incomes of $200,000 or more in 2008. In 2005, Republicans represented 55% of those affluent households”. So when Obama took office he not only had the majority in both houses, Democrats represented more wealthy districts than ever. Why wasn’t there a mandate to increase taxes? Michael Frank’s article in The Heritage Foundation states “In 2007, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat, surprised many Washington insiders…” by not pursuing a tax on mega-millionaires.

It is fine to espouse taxing the rich until the tax man comes home to roost. In 2011, see attached PDF or link below, 109 Democrats had a net wealth of over 1 million. 21 were over 10 million and 5 were over 100 million dollars. Wealthy Democrats represent hypocrisy. Perhaps Michael Frank stated it best when he mused in his article that “… Democratic voters might follow a different…lead, that of the fraternity pledge in Animal House? Perhaps they will accept these tax rises as a political and economic hazing and greet each new tax hike with”: "Thank you, sir. May I have another?"  

I think NOT. It is ingenious for Democrats to loath the wealthy Republicans when they use the same tax accounts. 


Income Tax breakdown for Obama, Biden, and Romney
by Karl Logan  04/29/2012

The Tax Policy website has a great breakdown for the income of President Obama, Joe Biden, and Mitt Romney compared to the average American.  Tax rates are interesting.  No matter what you earn, dollar for dollar, the more you make the more you pay in taxes, it is the tax rate that varies.  

Obama earned $789, 674 and paid 23.4% in federal taxes.  Biden earned $379,035 and paid 30.5% in federal taxes.  Romney earned $20,901,075 and paid 15.4% in federal taxes.  The average American married couple paid 16.7% of their income in federal taxes.  

Obama paid $184,000 in taxes, Biden paid $115, 000 and Romney paid $3,2000,000.

So when Warren Buffet says that he paid less in taxes than his secretary, he really means as a percentage of income. The tax structure is set up to benefit investment earnings.  The wealthy have more investment earnings than the rest of us so they benefit the most, as a percentage.  

If taxes are to be more equitable, not fair but equitable, long term capital gains taxes must be progressive like income taxes.


Government waste
by Karl Logan on 04/12/12

I will start this blog by saying I am sure there are government employees that work hard and some even put their life on the line every day.  Some examples are police, firefighters, and military.  Having said that, I am so frustrated by the news surrounding the General Services Administration's (GSA) spending abuses.   I do not believe for one minute that this is an isolated incident.  Government waste must be eliminated.

No doubt you have heard about the GSA Las Vegas conference.  The commissioner spent $200,000 on a party.  The entire conference cost the tax payer $823,000.00.  Some employees got bonuses for doing such a great job planning this lavish conference.  In addition, a GSA incentive program also gave IPOD's and other goodies to GSA employees, all on our dime.  With the recent revelation, a Vegas tripped planned for April 25, 2012 was canceled.

Where does it stop?  Not in Vegas.  The GSA also sent 5 employees to Hawaii for a 5-7 day vacation to attend an hour long ground breaking ceremony of a new FBI building.  The tax payer footed the bill.  To make matters worse, another vacation was planned this fall (2012).

In all fairness, similar spending abuses occurred under Bush.  So this is not a partisan issue.  This is a BIG government issue.  The government is too big to police itself.  This is criminal.  No matter which side of the isle you stand, you should be outraged.  We’re being cheated by the government.  Government debt and deficits are sky rocketing and this is what the government is doing with our precious tax dollars.  I have always contended that the deficit and debt is not a revenue issue it is a spending issue.  Taxing the rich will not solve the problem and correcting the problem will be painful.  People will have to lose their jobs to eliminate waste.

As an example of where big government leads, in Germany, upon retirement an employee told 500 of his co-workers that he hasn’t worked a day in 14 years.  He was at work but he didn’t produce anything.  This occurrence in Germany is an example of where America is headed.

This most stop.  No matter who is president, waste must be eliminated and it will hurt a lot of people.


The real scoop about the Post Office
by Karl Logan on 03/19/12

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, HR 6407 was really bad legislation.  Being the conservative that I am, I don't generally buy into the political bather about anything.  Having said that, I have had the opportunity to work on behalf of Deadwood to Save Our Post Office and have read numerous articles on the subject.  I'm not quite sure what Congress was thinking.  What is interesting is that the bill requires the USPS to pay for accrued pension of $27 billion for military personnel that became postal workers.  That was Bush's idea?  Push the pension obligation on the Post Office?  The legislation also requires USPS to pay $5.5 billion in annual pension costs.  No wonder the Post Office is struggling.  

With the recession, the Post Office is losing money and not making the necessary changes to correct the loss.  However, USPS is owed $55 billion by the Office of Personnel Management which miscalculated pension funding back in 1971. The Postal Service was required to pay 75 years of pension in just 10 years, a $5.5 billion per year obligation.  Despite this, the Post Office managed to get by until the recession.  

There has been some relief.  House Bill 1351 (HR 1351) allows the USPS to use the current $6.9 billion surplus to satisfy its' obligations.  In June of 2011 USPS said it would stop paying into the pension system because they had a $7 billion surplus.  

Honestly, the Post Office has enough problems competing with UPS and Fed Ex, they certainly don't need the government creating legislation to drive them out of business.  


Censorship and more
by Karl Logan on 03/07/12

It is unbelieveable to me that the Federal Government can shut down an internet site due to content.  Last week the Department of Justice shut down a gambling site www.bodog.com that is based in Canada.  This is censorship pure and simple.

Remember SOPA, the internet privacy bill?  Some websites shut down for a day and Google blacked out it's logo to protest.  Congress got the message and backed away.  However, they are at it again.  The federal government can shut down your business and your website.  But loss of rights doesn't stop there.  The NDAA now has detention provisions.  The Fairness Doctrine attempts to slant conservative radios broadcasts.  What happened to our First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech?  What about your Second Amendment Right to Bear Ams?  All of these rights are under attack.

Where does it stop?  The government now has the legal right to hold a U.S. citizen in detention indefinately, shut down internet sites, and even execute American citizens without a trial.

US gov’t claims right to seize any .com domain

Who is in the 1% of top earners
by Karl Logan on 03/04/12

I have written about civil service incomes before.  The article I just read outlines the problem very nicely.  The link is below and it is a must read.  In summary, it outlines that the true one percent are government employees that retire with the equivalent of $5-10 million in pension funds, and there are 21 million government employees.  Some Teachers Union bosses are making $500,000 per year (but it's for the children).  A Toll worker in New York is retiring at 50 years old with a pension payment of $120,000 per year for life.  Do the math.  If he lives just 10 years he will earn $1.2 million and life expectancy is 80 years old.  That translates to a $3.6 million pension.  The average federal employee makes $123,049 per year.  In Las Vegas the average fire fighter makes just under $200,000 per year and some are eligible to retire at 45.  The tax payer will pay the equivalent in pension benefits for his life then pay his spouse after he dies.

This kind of misuse of tax payer money bankrupt Greece, they are cutting 150,000 employees to survive.  Cuba is cutting 2 million government employees in an effort to stave off bankruptcy.  So what is it that America does see?  Countries in Europe are failing due to pension abuse and some Americans are hailing Europe as the perfect example.  Read the article.  It is enlightening if not infuriating. 

Government employees -- the true 1 percent, By Wayne Allyn Root, Published March 02, 2012, | FoxNews.com, 
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/03/02/government-employees-true-1-percent/#ixzz1oAXCL7iH

The New Democrat
by Karl Logan on 02/17/12

I believe the Democratic Party has been hijacked.  The Democratic Party as I knew it growing up is nothing like the Democratic Party today.  My parents are Democrats.  My Grandparents were Democrats.  My in-laws are Democrats.  Many people I know and love are Democrats.  However, the aforementioned Democrats do not represent the Democratic Party of today.

Liberal and Progressive policy have hijacked the Democratic Party.  The new Democrats believe in abortion.  My mother would view abortion as murdering her grandchildren.  Through their actions, the new Democrat is atheist.  My mother believed in the bible.  The Democrats I knew recited the "Pledge of Allegiance" with pride.  The new Democrat wants God removed from the Pledge.  Society used to place their hand on a bible when taking an oath.  The new Democrat replaced God and the Bible by placing their hand over their self-centered heart. 

The American Flag was revered.  The new Democrat burns it and drags it through the street.  The Democrats I knew honored their fallen soldiers and those that returned.  The new Democrat disgraced them and spit on their grave.  The Democrats I knew and loved were proud to be Americans.  The new Democrats loathe America.  The Democrats I knew were patriots and believed that America and our constitution represented "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".  The new Democrat wants to change the constitution as they believe it to be, in Obama's own words, an imperfect document.

The Democrats I knew growing up simply wanted a job.  The new Democrat expects a government hand out.  The Democrats I knew believed that immigration was an important part of the American dream.  The new Democrat promotes illegal immigration and government subsidies; welfare for all illegal immigrants, subsidized housing for illegal aliens, driver's licenses instead of green cards, and even extending the right to vote.  That is really what the new Democrat wants.  VOTES.  And they will make a deal with the devil to get them.  Give me your vote and I will give you a life free of labor.  The new Democrat is so over extended on promises they can only pay them back through deficit spending.

The Democrats I knew fed their families themselves with the food they bought.  They didn't depend on the government to feed them.  They didn't depend on the government to tell them what or how much to eat.  School lunches were brought from home and mothers packed them with love.  Breakfast was simple and didn't require a pyramid.  Families ate dinner together.  You were responsible for each other.  The new Democrat and the new family are told what and when to eat.  Low fat, no salt, eat your vegies, and lean the meat.  Michelle Obama eats ice cream while telling restaurants, schools and the military what to cook.  The new Democrats are told what to think, how to think, and who to vote for.

The Democrats I loved growing up believed that "planned parenthood" was having children after you were married.  The new Democrat created and subsidizes "Planned Parenthood" which promotes promiscuous sexual behavior.  The Democrats I knew growing up taught abstinence, the new Democrat has placed contraceptive devices in school vending machines.  My mother believed that marriage is between a man and a woman.  The Liberal Progressives have moved beyond civil unions.  The new Democrat wants to promote and sanction gay unions with "Marriage Certificates". 

Today's Democrats believe in the United Nations.  My father and grandfather believed in the United States of America.  American Presidents did not bow to other Presidents, Prime Ministers, or Kings.  American Presidents stood tall and were respected.  American Presidents, Democrat or otherwise, didn't apologize for war.  We didn't apologize for our foreign policy.  Roosevelt and Truman didn't apologize to Hitler or Hirohito. 

The American citizens that proudly wore the Democratic moniker when I was a boy, are not the Democrats of today.  Old school Democrats have nowhere to turn.  They have been abandoned by their own party.  Their party has been hi-jacked.  The new Democratic belief system does not accurately represent yesterday's Democrat.  Yesterday's Democrat was hard working, self-reliant, family oriented citizens that believed in god and country.

If you believe in removing god from your life and country, if your patriotism aligns with the United Nations, if you do not support the soldiers that gave you the right to burn the flag, if you believe in open borders and welfare for all, if you prefer government cheese over self-reliance, if you believe in abortion and gay marriage you have been successfully modeled into a New Democrat. 

Even if you do not agree with every position above, the Democrat party does.  If you vote for these candidates, you are endorsing these positions.

The Lunch Gestapo
by Karl Logan on 02/15/12

This would be a great episode of Ripley's believe it or not.  The "Lunch Police" in U.S. food inspector clothing visited an elementary school and confiscated a child's lunch.  Yes, taking another step into the deep abyss that is a police state, the White House dressed as Michelle Obama is inspecting school lunches.  "No more soup for you", unless it meets U.S. Department of Agriculture Guidelines.  The Gestapo has finally arrived.  This all took place in Hoke County (read Ho ke' for the fun of it). 

The preschooler's home prepared lunch consisted of (before I tell you what's in it,  I want you to pause and think of a lunch worthy of confiscation by the Gestapo) a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice, and potato chips.  Wow…no wonder the Gestapo confiscated that lunch.  Its poison I tell you, poison.  Apparently school staff are supposed to rummage through children's lunches and substitute items to reach the correct nutritional balance as recommended by the  U.S. Department of Agriculture.  If that wasn’t enough, the school sent home a note and billed the parent for a school lunch.

Michelle Obama has already went to the military bases and told the soldiers to eat their vegetables.  School vending machines now offer better snack choices and the morning after pill.  Restaurants are forced to offer healthier choices, NY establish lower salt standards and burger joints banned from down town L.A.  Do you think this doesn't affect you?

"It ain't over till it's over!"

Preschooler's homemade lunch replaced with nuggets, Published February 14, 2012, | FoxNews.com
Food Police, http://weaselzippers.us/2012/01/25/food-police-chief-michelle-obama-unveils-new-federal-government-nutrition-rules-all-schools-will-have-to-meet/
Reason.tv: LA Food Police Ban Burger Joints - Is Your City Next?, March 23, 2011
Michelle Obama Announces New National Nutrition Standards, January 31, 2012 at 8:23AM by Zoe Bain

Global Warming update
by Karl Logan on 02/05/12

Is the earth really warming?  If measurements are correct the short answer is yes.  However, we must put this into context.  When we consider current global warming measurements are scientist drawing the right conclusion.  Is this a way for Al Gore to make money or is this a catastrophe waiting to happen?

The sun is approaching an end of an 11 year cycle where the solar flares wane and earth’s temperature drops.  If I consider Al Gore's global warming theory I wonder what we did to screw up the sun so badly.  The short answer is nothing.  I do think that bloviating politicians might have something to do with global warming.  Or maybe it is Al Gore's mansion or traveling by jet. 

Volcanos might be the culprit of both global warming and cooling.  Recent research concludes that volcanic aerosols reflected the sun's rays which reduced earth temperature through a series of volcanic eruptions.  This little ice age occurred around the 13 century.  Today, volcanic eruptions produce CO2 among other gases which can impact global warming.  So is it human activity or Mother Nature and Apollo, the sun god, that are creating climate change? 

There is a lake 13,000 feet below the ice sheet, one of many, in the Antarctica.  If it is a lake by definition as it was on the surface free of ice at one time in history.  How can this be?  It suggests that the earth was warmer at one time, as the article states 20 million years ago.  It also suggests that ocean front property was once an underwater garden.  Yes you might say that some of today's coastal communities could have been the Lost City of Atlantis.  Moreover, the earth looked much different thousands of years ago.  Are humans to blame?

The Great Salt Lake is yet another mystery that befuddles man.  The water has evaporated over 33,000 years.  Perhaps this was also due to mankind and global warming.  Humans by definition are parasites, living on a host and sucking the life out of it.  Some parasites, like humans on earth are symbiotic.  We rely on the host surviving.  Maybe the problem with social and earthly decay is just a few parasites in Washington.

While the debate continues whether global warming is just a cyclical trend or a manmade potentially catastrophic event more evidence is pointing to normal global fluctuations in temperature.  If it weren't for billions going to alternative energy companies and carbon credits (and of course, science) I might place a little more weight on the side of manmade global warming.

Al Gore could become world's first carbon billionaire

Russian scientists seeking Lake Vostok lost in frozen 'Land of the Lost'?  Published February 02, 2012
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/02/russian-scientists-lost-in-frozen-land-lost/#ixzz1lWg1xpEF

With sun's activity set to diminish, is global cooling coming? Published January 31, 2012, FoxNews.com
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/01/31/with-suns-activity-set-to-diminish-is-global-cooling-coming/#ixzz1lWcsgTzj

Volcanoes may have sparked 'Little Ice Age'  By Wynne Parry, Published January 31, 2012, LiveScience
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/01/31/volcanoes-may-have-sparked-little-ice-age/#ixzz1lWdb979H

The Great Salt Lake in Utah was once Lake Bonneville.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Salt_Lake

Federal Budget in perspective
by Karl Logan on 01/16/12

The Federal budget, spending, deficit and debt are so big that the numbers are meaningless to most Americans, so most Americans ignore them.  But let's put the numbers into figures that are meaningful.  If we knock off eight zeros the numbers look more like some American incomes. 

Federal budget numbers                                                             Converted to Individual budget

Federal Tax revenue      $2,324,000,000,000                          Annual Income                 $23,240

Federal Spending             $3,629,000,000,000                          Annual Expenses             $36,290.

Federal Deficit                   $1,304,000,000,000                          Annually overspent        $13,040

Federal Debt                      $15,239,000,000,000                        Credit card debt               $15,239

Unfunded Liabilities        $117,190,000,000,000                     Total Debt                           $117,190

Some Americans might have $15,000 in credit card debt but not with an income of $23,000.  The average American wouldn't be this irresponsible.  The average American would never be allowed to be this irresponsible.  The average American would go bankrupt, go to jail, or both.  Yet Congress has been doing it for years. 

The deficit has NEVER been so big and the numbers keep growing by the second.  Go to the Debt Clock at http://www.usdebtclock.org/.  This is why the Tea Party is so upset.  Congressional spending is bankrupting of America.  Both parties are equally irresponsible.  But adding additional programs like Obamacare and bail-outs to wealthy companies must stop.  Obama will attempt to balance the budget by reducing the military like Clinton did.  But at the same time Obama is instigating a war with Iran.

In addition, outrageous pension payments for federal, state, and local government employees will further push America into financial ruin.  For reference, every tax payer owes over 1 million to cover the cost of the total unfunded liabilities incurred by the Federal Government.

Energy Conundrum
by Karl Logan on 01/15/12

Sources of energy include water, wind, sun, nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas, biomass (waste products), and geothermal.  Today, we use them all worldwide.  Some are cleaner than others.  Some are efficient, and some are renewable.  We already know that many of these sources are dirty, dangerous, or both.

 We need to utilize the cleanest energy source we can find.  Those sources are water, wind, and sun.  We also need to find a renewable source.  Again we have water wind and sun energy.  The source must also be efficient.  Again we have water, wind, and sun until you factor in the cost in energy to manufacture and install the source.  We are left with water.

 Here's the conundrum.  The cleanest, most efficient, renewable energy source we have is water power, both hydroelectric and tidal (wave) power.  Both of these sources have fallen under scrutiny by environmental groups due to salmon habitat and coral reefs.  Frankly, these environmentalists need to put up or shut up.  Find me a solution or stop complaining.  Even among themselves they can't seem to find common ground.  What is their issue?  I live on this earth too and I want a clean renewable source of efficient energy.  But there is give and take with every path we choose.

 We all want clean energy for our automobiles and to heat our homes.  Electricity is the cleanest source of energy, or is it.  It really depends how you acquire the electricity.  A utility company in Europe completed some research and summarized it in the attachment (link) below.  They calculated Calorific Values for each energy source.  Here are the numbers.  On one end we have hydroelectric which is 95% efficient, on the other we have solar power at 15%.  Everything else falls is in the middle averaging about 40%.  Burning oil and coal to make electricity is only 40% efficient.  In other words, we lose 60% of its calorific value converting it to electricity.  So why would we want to convert it to electricity? 

 India developed a car that runs on compressed air.  A pneumatic car?  Great idea.  No more gas stations, burning dirty oil, or importing oil from rogue nations.  It is a perfect solution. The car needs to be refilled with compressed air which requires an air compressor.  The air compressor requires electricity.  Where does the electricity come from?  Oil-coal-nuclear-or hydroelectric? 

 Become informed.  Read the report.  You will soon realize that there is a tradeoff for everything.  That electricity doesn't magically come out of the wall in an endless supply.  While we are blessed in the Northwest to have bountiful hydroelectric, some parts of the country must use other sources like nuclear, oil, and coal.  While electric and pneumatic cars might keep the city air cleaner, the air is dirty somewhere else to make your life better.  Don’t shut down hydroelectric and wave power without considering the tradeoffs.

 Report drafted by:

EURELECTRIC "Preservation of Resources" Working Group's

"Upstream" Sub-Group in collaboration with VGB - July 2003

Link for pdf on tool bar at right