"Republicans never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity." — Chuck Muth
Last weekend was the big GOP Nevada Central Committee Hoedown in Winnemucca.
I can report that my fellow columnist and friend Chuck Muth (who wasn’t there) is absolutely correct—at least insofar as Nevada is concerned—that Republicans “never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity.”
The first negative out of the meeting was the re-election of State Chair Michael McDonald.
Forget anything else negative we’ve ever written about Mikey. Only one thing is relevant and it is this:
If Bill Parcels or Bill Belichick had McDonald’s won-loss record, they’d be coaching in Canada if at all.
In the last election, his leadership managed to ring up losses in every statewide election except one. And all of those losses came because of Clark County which is where Mikey is from.
That, however, isn’t nearly as irritating as a rules change which, summed up, instructed what passes for leadership in the party NOT to release contact information for central committee members both at the county and state level.
And you should have heard these phony guardians of democracy explain their position.
One lady—we’ll not use her name to protect the guilty—had the nerve to say that she did NOT represent Republicans and she didn’t want to talk to JUST anybody.
What does this woman think a county central committee is supposed to do?
And the really strange part is that this woman comes from a county where you could almost count the residents on your abacus. If she couldn’t handle being open to contact from her county, how in the hell could she presume to make informed decisions about the future of the state?
The problem with these so-called Republicans is that they are like mall cops. They want authority but they don’t want to give you a meaningless badge number. Anybody on any quasi-public committee who doesn’t want to give out their contact information should immediately be fired. Especially when you consider the party’s official position on openness and transparency. From the 2016 platform: Based on these principles, this platform is an invitation and a roadmap. It invites every American to join us and shows the path to a stronger, safer, and more prosperous America.
And the platform goes further: The President and the Democratic party have abandoned their promise of being accountable to the American people.
What part of accountable don’t these folks understand?
I see a bunch of go along to get along sycophants totally unworthy of any party position—especially the Republican Party.
Frankly, to all those who do not want their contact information made public…quit the party and join a book club—assuming you can read.
And these are the people who strongly back a President—as they should—who gave millions of documents to Robert Mueller so Mueller could conduct a witch hunt which turned up NOTHING.
Did these people do anything correctly?
Yes. They dispensed with a very expensive caucus designed so that clowns like Bill Weld, Mark Sanford and Joe Walsh could get their 15 seconds of fame. And this guy is the fake Joe Walsh. The real Joe Walsh is older, wiser, sings and plays the guitar much better.
And probably actually does have an accountant who pays for it all.
Ask yourself if you were President, what would you do if you discovered that a foreign country has been waging an underground war against the nation you are sworn to protect surreptitiously killing tens of thousands of your people every year by pouring a drug so deadly that merely accidentally touching a small amount could kill you?
What would you do if you discovered that the same country had been engaging in economic warfare against your country designed to emasculate critical industries, gain control of the mining of critical rare earth minerals used in military manufacturing and manipulating your currency on the world market to ensure that key domestic manufactured goods could not compete on the international market?
And what would you do if you were to discover that this same country was stealing the intellectual property created in your country through forced technology transfers, industrial and government spying and outright theft of individual and company’s patent protections, with this stolen creativity fueling their dynamic economic growth?
If your answer is nothing, then you are at some level describing how the United States government had been responding to China since at least the late 1980s. Some, like the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations attempted to deal with currency manipulation, when the Treasury pegged it as a manipulator between 1992 and 1994, and later the U.S. administrations would also try to stop technology transfers to China, but ultimately their attempts failed because they weren’t willing to create a meaningful cost to the Chinese government.
The resulting opiate and economic hollowing out crisis is what led to Middle America to embrace a Donald Trump presidency. America lost faith that traditional leaders would fight for their interests and Trump promised them that he would put America (them) first when dealing with Washington, D.C. and the rest of the world.
So when President Donald Trump took the oath of office to the Presidency of the United States and pledged with his hand on the Bible he pledged, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” much of America took heart because for the first time in a long time, they believed that he meant it.
Not being a politician who was steeped in the mythology that somehow China was going to forego thousands of years of history and suddenly transform into a western, capitalist republic similar to Japan’s forced Post World War II conversion, President Trump looked at China through a different lens.
President Trump went to Beijing and was quoted as bluntly stating to Chinese President Xi, “I don’t blame China. After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country to the benefit of its citizens? But in actuality, I do blame past [U.S.] administrations for allowing this out-of-control trade deficit to take place and to grow. We have to fix this because it just doesn’t work for our great American companies and it doesn’t work for our great American workers. It is just not sustainable.”
While many in the media and elsewhere focused upon President Trump’s seemingly giving China a pass for being a bad economic actor, in reality, he was announcing to China and the world, that there was a new sheriff in town and the on-going hollowing out of our nation’s manufacturing sector would no longer be accepted.
Now, almost three years into Trump’s first term, the President has prioritized four items when dealing with China: stopping fentanyl from China; protecting intellectual property rights; stopping Chinese currency manipulation and normalizing tariffs between the two countries.
Incredibly, publications like Bloomberg, which are supposed to be financial in nature, are publishing articles like: U.S. and China got in a trade war and Mexico won demonstrating that they have little understanding of what is at stake either economically or strategically.
First and foremost, those Chinese apologists who believe that someday the communist Chinese government will suddenly reform into good little capitalists and democrats because we are making them incredibly wealthy are dangerously wrong. China has been engaged in an on-going war against the United States for more than twenty years, enabled by open economic borders types who argue that we should ignore that Chinese slaves are making our apparel, plastic junk and yes many of our electronics and their internal components, because the low labor costs drive our prices down.
Importing slave made finished goods is no different than importing cotton for the mills before the Civil War more than 150 years ago, it is astonishing that anyone in modern America would make this argument, yet unwittingly that is exactly what the open economic borders globalists do.
It also cannot be missed that President Trump has engaged his Chinese counterpart more on the fentanyl import issue than any other. Opioid addiction is hollowing out our nation. It knows no economic class or race. Opioids are so addictive that virtually anyone can become controlled by the desire to attain them. And yes, many people die, almost 70,000 a year, from opioids — 30,000 of these directly from fentanyl — which arrived in American bloodstreams straight from China.
Chinese President Xi promised to crack down on the fentanyl trade and his government did recently make it a regulated controlled substance. Xi has promised time and again to stop the fentanyl flow, and yet, just last week, the Mexican Navy interdicted a shipment of 25 tons of fentanyl directly from Shanghai on order from the Sinaloa Cartel which was planning on hotlining it into our nation using their various border crossing routes that some in our nation don’t believe should be shut down.
Unlike an American president, the president of China and his government controls all economic activity including the shipping from China’s ports. The Lazaro Cardenas port where the drugs were seized is Mexico’s largest port and has, off and on, been controlled by the Sinaloa drug cartel. Given the Chinese government’s relatively iron-fisted control, it is more likely than unlikely that they were directly involved in pushing this poison onto the streets with their Sinaloa partners.
A simple understanding of how China lost the first and second Opium Wars to the British in the mid-1800s, is enough to explain why the Xi regime views the destruction of America by attacking the soul of our nation through the same addiction that many believe took China 100 years to recover. And in their wake, they leave millions of broken people and tens of thousands dead each year.
If 30,000 dead Americans each year due to Chinese fentanyl and the burden of supporting human slavery don’t fully make the moral case for changing our fundamental relationship with China, then the theft of intellectual property might. America uses the best research university and government laboratory systems in the world to create the science which will drive the 21st century world. And then China either steals or purchases the ideas flipping them into products that they sell back to the U.S. at ten cents on the dollar. Meanwhile the critical applied sciences manufacturing sector that will determine which country will lead the 21st century ends up in China, as it doesn’t make economic sense to make it in the United States.
It is this last point that head in the sand conservative globalists fundamentally don’t understand. So, here is the point — when a company decides that it makes more sense to make a product in Mexico, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, India or Australia to export to the U.S. rather than China, it is a win. China’s manufacturing sector is diminished and more importantly, the U.S. has supply lines for crucial products outside of the Middle Kingdom.
When Bloomberg declares that Mexico is the winner in the trade war, that means that the United States wins on multiple fronts. As stated in the paragraph above, Mexican supply lines are secure, which benefits the U.S. consumer. Also, as China has to compete with other countries to supply goods to the world, suddenly there is real leverage against the Xi government to crack down on fentanyl production and trade, in exchange for more favorable tariff rates.
And it should not be forgotten that it is in the United States’ interest for the Mexican economy to be healthy as a strong Mexican economy is the most natural barrier against illegal entry into the U.S. of all.
Winning the trade war is not only about transferring manufacturing from China to the U.S., it is about ending China’s opium war on the U.S, its role as a virtual sole source provider, and diversifying the markets which serve the United States. On that front, the Chinese are clearly losing and the U.S. is winning (along with other economies like Mexico).
Diversifying trading partners also allows U.S. consumers a choice. If you are upset that Chinese Christians are jailed for simply having a Bible, say no to products made in China. Upset about the forced organ donations those in concentration camps, the Trump trade war is giving you a “not made in China choice.”
While the market is not moral per se, it is made up of hundreds of millions of transactions by people who are. And by providing a “not made in China” option, President Trump is allowing those choices to have a moral component.
Because ultimately, the so-called trade war by President Trump is a moral and economic fight for the future of the world. It is just sad that so many very smart people are so divorced from any sense of morality, that they cannot see it for themselves without having it explained in explicit terms.
Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government and a guest contributor to pennypress.com: the conservative voice of Nevada. His views and opinions are his own. This article was originally published at pennypress.com and has been reprinted with permission.
The CDC is currently investigating close to 450 cases of vaping related illness and 5 reported deaths. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine has found evidence of lipoid pneumonia in a case where a 21 year old became sick after vaping nicotine and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) daily.
Macrophages, which are scavengers that rid the body of pathogens and other harmful substances in the body, were found to be “lipid-laden,” or full of a fatty substance. They suspect this fatty substance to be caused by inhalation of Vitamin E acetate that was only present in marijuana vaping products and not the average nicotine e-cig. Vitamin E is commonly used in hand creams, moisturizers and as a supplement due to its oily nature, but is not to be inhaled.
Since the lungs are designed to oxygenate the lungs and exchange out carbon dioxide, oily substances can clog the works.
Experts say the Vitamin E acetate is not believed to be apart of regular e-cigarettes that do not vape THC, the psychoactive component to marijuana.
This is a developing story….
The FDA is investigating 127 reports of seizures in e-cigarette users (up from 35 this Spring).
Many were teenagers and young adults.
Since 2010 the agency has received multiple reports but is unclear if e-cigarettes actually caused the seizures or if there were underlying medical conditions predisposing the neurological disorder.
The 92 additional cases since this April is concerning and the FDA is working to determine if vaping contributes contributes directly to serious neurological conditions.
In April FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb tweeted:
Dr. Ned Sharpless, current acting FDA Commissioner, is encouraging people to report adverse events as, “Additional reports or more detailed information about these incidents are vital to help inform our analysis and may help us identify common risk factors and determine whether any specific e-cigarette product attributes, such as nicotine content or formulation, may be more likely to contribute to seizures,” (Reported by CNBC).
A seizure occurs when there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain. If the electricity doesn’t conduct properly, brain function gets disrupted. This could lead to convulsions (involuntary jerking movements), loss of muscle tone, changes in senses such as vision, hearing and smell, loss of bladder control, loss of consciousness and sometimes stroke, brain damage and death.
Nicotine toxicity has been linked to seizures. E-cigs sometimes contain more nicotine than cigarettes alone.
A study published by the American Heart Association found nine different E-cig flavors to impair blood vessel function, which can impair heart health.
Endothelial cells, which delicately line blood and lymph vessels, were found to become inflamed at low concentrations of some vapor flavors. And at high concentrations of others, exhibited cell death. Nitric oxide production, necessary for vessel dilation to improve blood flow, was impaired as well. These are often the same changes seen in early heart disease.
The 9 flavors (and the chemicals within) cited in the report to cause the endothelial inflammation and/or damage were:
Strawberry flavoring appeared to have the most adverse effect on the cells.
Many other flavors were not included in this study, so it's unknown how safe they may be.
For more on the study, read here.
An alternate study published last November looked at vaping flavors and their effects on heart muscle cells.
For more on this study, read here.
The moral? Just because we love the taste of something, doesn’t mean its safe to inhale.
A study from New York University found the nicotine in electronic cigarettes to cause DNA damage similar to cigarette smoking.
Dr. Moon-shong Tang and his colleagues exposed mice to e-cig smoke during a three-month period, 5 days a week for three hours a day. They found these mice, compared to those breathing filtered air, to have DNA damage to cells in their bladders, lungs and hearts. The amount of nicotine inhaled was approximately 10mg/ml. That dose would be commonly consumed by many humans who vape.
They then looked at human bladder and lung cells and found tumor cells were able to grow more easily once exposed to nicotine and vaping chemicals.
Last May, researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville found e-cig smoke to increase one’s risk of bladder cancer.
In 2015, the University of Minnesota identified chemicals commonly found in e-cig vapor to include:
Although electronic cigarette “juice” may appear safe, it could produce harmful chemicals once heated to become a vapor.
A lethal dose of nicotine for an adult ranges from 30-60 mg and varied for children (0.5-1.0 mg/kg can be a lethal dosage for adults, and 0.1 mg/kg for children). E-cigs, depending on their strengths (0 – 5.4%) could contain up to 54 mg of nicotine per cartridge (a 1.8% e -cig would contain 18mg/ml).
The topic of nicotine increasing one’s vulnerability to cancer is nothing new as decades ago researchers found nicotine to affect the cilia (brush border) along the respiratory tree, preventing mucus production and a sweeping out of carcinogens trying to make their way down to the lungs.
More research needs to be performed but this recent report reminds us that exposing our delicate lung tissue and immune system to vaping chemicals may not be as safe as we think.
For more on the study read here.
Last week, experts warned that many chemicals in vaping liquid may change to toxic substances (once heated) that can irritate the lungs.
Last year one study reported that toxic levels of lead and other metals may leak from the heating coil element into the vapor inhaled during e-cig use.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found these metals to include:
We’ve known for some time that vaping fluid could contain chemicals that turn toxic once heated, but this study shed light on e-cig metal components causing metal leakage to the vapor making contact with delicate respiratory epithelium (lining).
Reported by Forbes, Rich Able, a medical device marketing consultant, stated the following, “the FDA does not currently test any of the most popular vaping and e-cigarette instruments being manufactured at unregulated factories in Asia that source low-grade parts, batteries, and materials for the production of these devices,” suggesting that “the metal and parts composition of these devices must be stringently tested for toxic analytes and corrosive compounds.”
These chemicals may act as neurotoxins, affecting our nervous system, cause tissue necrosis (cell death) and even multi-organ failure. Moreover, they can affect how our immune system reacts to other chemicals as well as foreign pathogens, affecting our ability to fight other diseases.
Although studies have suggested e-cig vapor to be safer than tobacco smoke, not enough research has been done, in the relatively few years vaping has been around, looking at how heat-transformed chemicals and leaked metals affect our breathing, lungs and other organs once absorbed into the body.
"The income tax has destroyed the concept of financial privacy. It has demolished the idea that a man's home is his castle. It has provided unlimited funding for politicians to wreck lives and property. It has forced one-earner families to become two-earner households -- leading to decreased parental supervision of children; loss of family values; and increased crime, promiscuity and drug use. So long as the government has the power to invade our lives, rummage through our records, and take what it wants from our income, we will have only as much freedom and take-home pay as the politicians condescend to let us have." –Harry Browne
First, I have to tell how the Word of God NEVER ceases to amaze me. It covers every facet of life known to mankind, from how we are to live before our Creator (John 14:21; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Ephesians 2:8, etc.) to how we are to treat each other (Luke 6:32), and how we are to address every given situation that pertains to our everyday life, and yes, even taxes (Mark 12:17).
Before I get started here, lest one attempts to pervert my words (Matthew 22:15), for the record, I am not a tax protester. I am simply just tired of the lack of accountability and reallocation of my tax dollars being spent where I have not delegated my representatives to disperse them.
American Freedom To Fascism - A 2006 documentary film by Aaron Russo, which alleges among a variety of claims that income tax is illegal.
Without further ado, let me address the issue.
Charlie Reese was a former writer for the Orlando Sentinel in Florida for over 40 years and when it came to his taking a last stand in confronting the established government (This column was originally published in the Orlando Sentinel on Feb. 3, 1984), he named his last column “545 people are responsible for the mess, but they unite in a common con.” He wrote,
“Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans (Unconstitutional) are against deficits, we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes? (I’ll get to this in a moment)!
You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don't have the constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code (There isn’t one). The Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy the Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine (Unelected) Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of 238 million (325.7 presently)- are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. Don't forget about the 325.7 million Americans today that tolerate this.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Bank because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.
I exclude all of the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it.
No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.
Don't you see now the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party (Article 4 section 4 US Constitution).
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of Tip O'Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan for creating deficits.
The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land (Article 6 section 2), gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes. O'Neill is speaker of the House. He is the leader of the majority party. He and his fellow Democrats, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto.
Just 545 Americans have fouled up this great nation (With the approval of the 325.7 million Americans that have failed to hold them accountable).
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted - by present facts - of incompetence and irresponsibility.
I can't think of a single domestic problem, from an unfair tax code to defense overruns, that is not traceable directly to those people.
When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise complete power over the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red. If the Marines are in Lebanon, it's because they want them in Lebanon.
There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take it.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation" or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone have the power. they and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses - provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.”
I mean to highlight what Charlie had written concerning taxation. Here is a partial list of taxes that Americans pay. Did you approve of these tax appropriations?
Michael Snyder wrote:
#1 Air Transportation Taxes (just look at how much you were charged the last time you flew)
#2 Biodiesel Fuel Taxes
#3 Building Permit Taxes
#4 Business Registration Fees
#5 Capital Gains Taxes
#6 Cigarette Taxes
#7 Court Fines (indirect taxes)
#8 Disposal Fees
#9 Dog License Taxes
#10 Drivers License Fees (another form of taxation)
#11 Employer Health Insurance Mandate Tax
#12 Employer Medicare Taxes
#13 Employer Social Security Taxes
#14 Environmental Fees
#15 Estate Taxes
#16 Excise Taxes On Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans
#17 Federal Corporate Taxes
#18 Federal Income Taxes
#19 Federal Unemployment Taxes
#20 Fishing License Taxes
#21 Flush Taxes (yes, this actually exists in some areas)
#22 Food And Beverage License Fees
#23 Franchise Business Taxes
#24 Garbage Taxes
#25 Gasoline Taxes
#26 Gift Taxes
#27 Gun Ownership Permits
#28 Hazardous Material Disposal Fees
#29 Highway Access Fees
#30 Hotel Taxes (these are becoming quite large in some areas)
#31 Hunting License Taxes
#32 Import Taxes
#33 Individual Health Insurance Mandate Taxes
#34 Inheritance Taxes
#35 Insect Control Hazardous Materials Licenses
#36 Inspection Fees
#37 Insurance Premium Taxes
#38 Interstate User Diesel Fuel Taxes
#39 Inventory Taxes
#40 IRA Early Withdrawal Taxes
#41 IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
#42 IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
#43 Library Taxes
#44 License Plate Fees
#45 Liquor Taxes
#46 Local Corporate Taxes
#47 Local Income Taxes
#48 Local School Taxes
#49 Local Unemployment Taxes
#50 Luxury Taxes
#51 Marriage License Taxes
#52 Medicare Taxes
#53 Medicare Tax Surcharge On High Earning Americans Under Obamacare
#54 Obamacare Individual Mandate Excise Tax (if you don’t buy “qualifying” health insurance under Obamacare you will have to pay an additional tax)
#55 Obamacare Surtax On Investment Income (a new 3.8% surtax on investment income)
#56 Parking Meters
#57 Passport Fees
#58 Professional Licenses And Fees (another form of taxation)
#59 Property Taxes
#60 Real Estate Taxes
#61 Recreational Vehicle Taxes
#62 Registration Fees For New Businesses
#63 Toll Booth Taxes
#64 Sales Taxes
#65 Self-Employment Taxes
#66 Sewer & Water Taxes
#67 School Taxes
#68 Septic Permit Taxes
#69 Service Charge Taxes
#70 Social Security Taxes
#71 Special Assessments For Road Repairs Or Construction
#72 Sports Stadium Taxes
#73 State Corporate Taxes
#74 State Income Taxes
#75 State Park Entrance Fees
#76 State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)
#77 Tanning Taxes (a new Obamacare tax on tanning services)
#78 Telephone 911 Service Taxes
#79 Telephone Federal Excise Taxes
#80 Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Taxes
#81 Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Taxes
#82 Telephone State And Local Taxes
#83 Telephone Universal Access Taxes
#84 The Alternative Minimum Tax
#85 Tire Recycling Fees
#86 Tire Taxes
#87 Tolls (another form of taxation)
#88 Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
#89 Use Taxes (Out of state purchases, etc.)
#90 Utility Taxes
#91 Vehicle Registration Taxes
#92 Waste Management Taxes
#93 Water Rights Fees
#94 Watercraft Registration & Licensing Fees
#95 Well Permit Fees
#96 Workers Compensation Taxes
#97 Zoning Permit Fees
Yet, despite all of this oppressive taxation, our local governments, our state governments and our federal government are all absolutely drowning in debt. To date 22.03 trillion dollars.
When the federal income tax was originally introduced a little more than 100 years ago, most Americans were taxed at a rate of only 1 percent. Many of today's taxes were not incurred then.
But once they get their feet in the door, the social planners always want more.
Since that time, tax rates have gone much higher and the tax code has exploded in size.
1 – The U.S. tax code is now 3.8 million words long. If you took all of William Shakespeare’s works and collected them together, the entire collection would only be about 900,000 words long.
2 – According to the National Taxpayers Union, U.S. taxpayers spend more than 7.6 billion hours complying with federal tax requirements. Imagine what our society would look like if all that time was spent on more economically profitable activities.
3 – 75 years ago, the instructions for Form 1040 were two pages long. Today, they are 189 pages long.
4 – There have been 4,428 changes to the tax code over the last decade. It is incredibly costly to change tax software, tax manuals and tax instruction booklets for all of those changes.
5 – According to the National Taxpayers Union, the IRS currently has 1,999 different publications, forms, and instruction sheets that you can download from the IRS website.
6 – Our tax system has become so complicated that it is almost impossible to file your taxes correctly. For example, back in 1998 Money Magazine had 46 different tax professionals complete a tax return for a hypothetical household. All 46 of them came up with a different result.
7 – In 2009, PC World had five of the most popular tax preparation software websites prepare a tax return for a hypothetical household. All five of them came up with a different result.
8 – The IRS spends $2.45 for every $100 that it collects in taxes.
10 – When the U.S. government first implemented a personal income tax back in 1913, the vast majority of the population paid a rate of just 1 percent, and the highest marginal tax rate was just 7 percent.
If it was up to me, I would abolish the income tax and shut the IRS down.
But neither major political party in the United States is even willing to consider such a thing.
So the monstrous system that we have created will continue to get even bigger and even more complicated.
We are literally being taxed into oblivion, and most Americans don’t even seem to care.
Simply put, Americans are paying for their own demise (Numbers 32:23).
Reports of former Vice President Joe Biden’s eye turning “bloody” surfaced this week. He was speaking at a CNN hosted town hall on climate change when reporters noticed his left eye turned blood red.
The condition however is called a “subconjunctival hemorrhage” and is harmless, but needs some explanation.
The conjunctival is a vascular membrane that lines the eye and lids. When a blood vessel breaks, hemorrhages, it appears dark beefy red over a portion of the white part of the eye.
Sometimes these hemorrhages occur when one incurs trauma to the eye or rubs it aggressively, but most often it occurs spontaneously within a week or two as the blood gets cleared by body mechanisms.
However, of note, a subconjunctival hemorrhage could happen when blood pressure rises, such as during a sneeze, laugh, strain when stooling, or cough. It could also happen if one has a bleeding disorder, or inability to clot.
Although the subconjunctival hemorrhage is benign, those who incur one might consider having their blood pressure checked and labs to ensure they have strong clotting abilities.
When I was in my 20s and pregnant with my first baby, life was going along just fine thank you, and out of the blue, my doctor told me I had diabetes. He blew me out of the water, telling me I had flunked the test with flying colors. I had heard of diabetes. I remember a girl in high school passed out and then learned she was diabetic. Other than that, I knew nothing. And this was in the middle of my first pregnancy where I already was realizing I knew less than nothing, and then they threw that at me!
I was told it was likely gestational, which means it happens during pregnancy, and it would probably go away after the baby was born. I was given a diet to follow, and when I asked if there was more I needed to know, I was told, “Just follow the diet.” That was not much help, and it certainly didn’t ease my fears.
Then I heard all the horror stories from various people who really knew nothing. I was told this happened because I ate a lot of candy (not true – well, the candy part was true, but that didn’t cause this). I was told I would probably lose my feet … because that’s what a nurse should tell a pregnant woman who is newly diagnosed with a scary disease. I often got the serious pity look when I told people my news … the look that really helps a person newly diagnosed with anything. One person said, “Oh no! You’re pregnant?? Does your doctor know??”
So as you can probably imagine, it was a very difficult time for me. I was terrified that I would not be able to have a healthy baby. I was pretty scared anyway just trying to bring a baby into the world, and this definitely did not help. Then they told me I had to go into the hospital for a week so I could get my blood sugar under control and learn how to give myself insulin shots. I tried to pretend I was cool about the whole thing, but I’m sure I wasn’t very convincing.
Moving forward a little bit, I had two healthy babies from diabetic pregnancies. The diabetes was not gestational, and although I was taken off insulin between the pregnancies and for five years after the second one, I was put back on insulin and had to accept I would not be going off of it. It was again upsetting and something I had to come to terms with. I finally did when I read a book called Diabetes Without Fear, and the author wrote about a friend of his who had stomach cancer and said something like, “I’d give anything to be able to give myself shots to stay alive.” That was a big moment. I realized I didn’t have it so bad, and I needed to suck it up and stop feeling sorry for myself.
Ok, fast forward to today, some 30+ years later. I know so much more, technology has come so far, and I’ve left my state of denial for good. I now have the latest insulin pump, which is referred to as an “artificial pancreas” because it acts the way my pancreas should act but doesn’t. I call her Harriet. I decided if I was going to be so intimately attached to something, it should have a name, and for reasons I do not know, she seemed like a Harriet.
Some days, Harriet pisses me off with all her vibrating alerts, and some days I’m pretty sure I piss her off as well. But most days, we get along pretty well. She lets me know if my blood sugar is going too high or too low, she tells me if I need to test it, and I’ve learned if I listen to her, my numbers are much better, which means my diabetes is in better control.
Some days, but only on occasion, I tell her to kiss off. Last week, for example, I got to go to Lawry’s The Prime Rib in downtown Chicago, a place I had wanted to go for a very long time, and yeah, that was definitely one of those days. She wasn’t happy about it, and she got a little bitchy, but I told her she needed to simmer down. I enjoyed one of the best meals I’ve ever had, and except for her bitching the rest of the evening, I had no regrets. I knew, though, that the next morning, I needed to clean up my act, because the bottom line is the more I control my diabetes, the less I have to worry about complications.
I have a fabulous doctor now who cheers me on every step of the way. I’ve worked with other great medical professionals over the years as well, who far outweigh the few really awful ones like the nurse mentioned above. Overall I’ve been very fortunate. One wonderful educator told me to avoid thinking of myself as a diabetic and instead think of myself as a person living with diabetes. That was another big moment. Instead of thinking of myself as a sicko who had to be deprived of so many things, I began to think more that I was someone who could handle this diagnosis and not let it get in my way. When it became more about my decisions and my control, I did a whole lot better. I have never responded well to being told what to do. Some might think I have an attitude, and to that, I say, “No s#!t.” I do much better when I have been given good information and know the consequences of an action and then choose to behave accordingly.
The amazing thing I have learned is I can keep living my life and take care of my diabetes at the same time. It really doesn’t get in my way most days. I now also have a sensor that monitors my blood sugar and talks to Harriet so she can keep me in line.
I’m so grateful for researchers and new technologies that are getting better all the time. Recently, I talked to a woman who was upset that her young granddaughter had been diagnosed and was using the same pump I have. The girl’s mother can monitor the pump on her smartphone and contact the school when adjustments are needed. I can hardly believe we have come so far! I told the grandma that I wouldn’t wish diabetes on anyone, especially a child, but her granddaughter was diagnosed at the right time. The researchers are making so many advances that I believe diabetes will be cured, if not in my lifetime, certainly in her granddaughter’s.
So, all in all, it doesn’t suck too much. I’d definitely rather not have it, but I’m grateful that it’s something I can live with. I will hopefully get better at not pissing Harriet off, even though sometimes she really is uptight.
This is what I’ve learned about life plans. They don’t usually go as planned. I planned my whole life to be a teacher, and I changed careers after four years. I planned to never be divorced. Oops. I also planned to have four children and willingly stopped after two. But with all of these unplanned things, it really just meant I was going in a different direction. So add this to the list. It wasn’t what I planned, but I’m doing just fine in this different direction.
The author is a public relations professional. We thought we needed a break from politics—even the politics of healthcare. Her story originally appeared in the pennypress.com - the conservative voice of Nevada. Her opinions are her own. This version has been lightly edited, reprinted with permission.
We had another nutburger start shooting at police last weekend in West Texas.
The lame-o media—in this case NBC News—decided for America that the important part of the story was this:
Imagine that. Six Democrat who think they could, when they grow up, become President of the United States are so consumed with their run to get the nomination to nowhere that, irrespective of the facts, they hear about a crazy person using a gun to kill innocent citizens and can think of nothing more than we need new laws.
Answer me this: Isn’t murder and jacking a USPS mail truck already illegal?
To me, this comes under the heading of, “but Achmed, we can’t do that in the United States, there’s a law against that.”
For its part, Google gives the so-called national media infinite amounts of preference when you google “Odessa TX shooting” On early Sunday morning, you had to get to the fourth page before you got past CNN, MSNBC, NBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc. I never actually found the Odessa American on Google as a news source for the shooting, even though they had their police reporter assigned to it. The Washington Post? The New York Times? Seriously?
The fact is that the shooter is a resident of Odessa who was killed by police at a theatre complex after he hijacked a U.S. Postal Service truck killing the truck driver. And, had been fired from his job that morning. It has been reported that he called the FBI and other law enforcement tip lines before he used what appears to be an illegally purchased weapon.
The point is that, short of repealing the Second Amendment and confiscating over 300,000,000 guns, nothing “proposed” by the six Democrats referred to above would have prevented any of the “mass shootings” we have recorded since 1966.
The only thing which might work is repealing Democrat sponsored bills like those which make it illegal to consolidate databases of mental health issues and allow for one central constantly updated database against which background checks are made.
And even that’s a relatively long shot.
Because, in my opinion, what stops bad guys with guns are good guys with guns—and the training to make a difference.
They may be crazy when they go somewhere and shoot it up, but they’re not stupid.
These shootings almost never happen where there’s much of a chance that someone there might be able to shoot back.
But the left can’t accept that. Guns bad. Criminality good. That’s the way the left sees it—which is why NOTHING meaningful will ever happen.
If, by chance, one of these idiots were to get elected President and Democrats take Congress, you might see an armed revolution.
Or, more likely, we would find out that these guys were blowing smoke up our butts all along.
Editor’s note: Technically, National Blood Donation Day is September 5th, as Doc D. notes. BUT National Blood Donation week continues through the week ending on the 9th, so here you go.
This year September 5th is National Blood Donation Day. Blood banks all across America are holding drives to increase our nation’s blood supply.
Governors from nearly all states have proclaimed State Blood Donation Days to show their support.
Every two seconds, someone needs blood.
The American Red Cross provides these startling statistics:
We wear red today to show our support.
To donate blood visit the following sites:
Donating blood is a simple process that takes less than 45 minutes. For those who cannot donate blood, hosting a drive can be just as life saving and easy to do. Blood banks can host a drive at work on site or through a bloodmobile in the parking lot, with no cost to the host.
Almost all of the United States have declared State Blood Donation Days to help combat our nation’s blood shortage as part of National Blood Donation Week (NBDW).
This year National Blood Donation Week is September 2nd-0th with September 5th being National Blood Donation Day.
The movement began in 2015 when Nationally Syndicated Radio Host Dr. Daliah Wachs, asked Governor Brian Sandoval to proclaim Nevada Blood Donation Day to help fight the state’s blood shortage. The next year she took this movement national asking all governors to proclaim state blood donation days.
From our September 4th post:
Governors in just about every state have already proclaimed September 5th to be their state Blood Donation Day for 2018.
Oklahoma has proclaimed the month of September - Blood Donation Month.
Alaska proclaimed the month of July - Blood Donation Month.
“Blood and platelet donations are currently being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations are coming in, and more donations are needed, especially type O, to replenish the blood supply,” said Laurie Nehring, communications director for the American Red Cross. “We appreciate Dr. Daliah’s efforts to educate the public about the importance of regular blood donations.”
Emergency rooms treating trauma victims, hospitals treating anemic patients, and medical clinics replenishing low blood levels in cancer patients require a steady supply of blood products.
38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood but less than 10% actually do.
“The unified effort across America to proclaim state blood donation days around the Labor Day holiday comes at an important time for patients,” said Mitzy Edgecomb, Blood Systems Vice President, Donor Marketing & Communication. “Blood donations often drop dramatically during the summer months and over holiday weeks when regular donors take time away to enjoy family vacations. We appreciate and applaud the governors from the multiple states who have called attention to the ongoing need for blood donations and thank those who step forward to make a life-transforming impact on others by giving blood.”
Donating blood is easy and takes less than one hour. Many places of work can hold blood drives so employees don’t have to take off work (plus you get yummy cookies).
A case report in Annals of Internal Medicine describes a teen who went “blind” from a junk food diet.
A 14 year-old boy described as a “fussy eater” presented to his doctor with fatigue after years of eating meals rich in fries, white bread, chips and processed meat. He was told to take supplements when they found him to be iron and B12 deficient but progressively over the next 3 years he began to suffer from vision loss. Upon lab testing he was found to be deficient in iron, copper, selenium, Vitamin D and Vitamin B 12. And upon further testing was found to suffer from optic neuropathy.
He was further treated with supplements and now is under the care of specialists including nutritionists and eating disorder specialists.
His condition stabilized but reportedly he still has deficits such as blind spots in the middle of his vision (central scotoma), rendering him “legally blind.”
This wasn’t the first case of nutritional optic neuropathy.
Above is a picture of the fundi of a 28 year-old male who suffered from central vision loss as a result of his diet which consisted of heavy alcohol use. The progression of his disease has stabilized with intervention but he too has had to learn to adapt to his central scotoma.
Our eyes need vitamins such as A, a variety of B’s, C, E, and omega-3 fatty acids to name a few. Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and for protection against diabetes and cancer.
Most fast food is rich in carbohydrates, fats, salt and preservatives, and lacking in rich nutrients and amino acids.
So comes the question, are the majority of our youth “malnourished?”
Unless our children are eating diets rich is fruit, vegetables, whole grains, protein, dairy and health fats, they could be at risk of not receiving vital nutrition.
Vitamin supplementation helps but may not satisfy all the nutritional needs of a growing child. Hence in addition to the millions of children who suffer from malnourishment due to poverty, millions more are expected to suffer similarly as a result of poor diet choices.
This is a developing story.
Bernie Sanders is strongly promoting “Medicare for All,” and claims to be its father (“I wrote the damn bill,” he proclaimed to the nation during the second round of Democratic Presidential debates).
His plan does not look like Medicare at all. It appears that he hardly knows anything about Medicare. He probably has no experience with it. Despite his advanced age, he does not need to depend on it. Members of Congress are allowed to receive Medicare benefits, but unlike most other Americans, they can receive other benefits in addition.
Sitting members of Congress can get routine examinations and consultations from the attending physician in the U.S. Capitol for an annual fee. And military treatment facilities in the Washington area offer free emergency medical and dental care for outpatient services.
Members are also eligible for the Federal Employees Health Insurance Program, and they won’t be kicked off as soon as they reach Medicare age. They do have to go through an Obamacare exchange, but it is a small one, the DC Health Link, which reportedly functions well. There are 57 gold-tier plans to choose from, not one or two as in many states. Their portion of the premiums could be as little as 25 percent of the total premiums. Apparently, subsidies for senators don’t run out just because their salary exceeds 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
Funding for Medicare for All will apparently be vacuumed up from all other sources of payment for “healthcare,” and will go into the big collective pot. Then people can get everything without premiums, copays, or deductibles—so they say. This is not at all like Medicare.
Medicare Part A, for hospital care, is funded through the Medicare payroll tax: a 2.9% first-dollar tax—no deductions--on all employment income, half of which is paid by the employer. Seniors believe that they have been funding this through their working years, as they are constantly told. They have indeed paid, but their taxes were immediately used to pay for the care of older retirees. So, their hospital bill today will be paid from the wages of about 2.5 workers (say the persons pumping their gas, collecting their trash, and repairing their plumbing). Already that is not enough, so the IOUs in the “trust fund” are being redeemed from general tax revenues. That fund will soon be gone, according to the Medicare trustees, as Baby Boomers are flooding into the system. It would vanish in a nanosecond if we loaded in everybody, with or without illegal immigrants.
Medicare has long been implementing ways to curb runaway expenditures. From the mid 1980s comes the Prospective Payment System, or Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs), under which payment has nothing to do with services rendered to a particular patient. According to my 1985 “Ode to DRG Creep”:
“Now the pay’s by the head, if alive or if dead,
Diagnosis determines the money,…
We need costs less than average, and discharges quicker
We will get no advantage -- For care of the sicker.”
Since “quicker and sicker” discharges might cause a need for readmission, the government penalizes hospitals for readmission. One way to prevent readmission is to discharge to hospice or directly to the morgue. If Bernie were an anonymous Medicare patient, he’d get a consultation on POLST. That’s Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, which translates in the Newspeak Dictionary to “Legally Enforceable Orders to Terminate Life-Sustaining Treatment Including Food and Water.”
Bernie might think he had been admitted—say he had an IV in a hospital room. But if he gets discharged before his second midnight, he might be classified as an outpatient, which is covered under Medicare Part B, and get a “surprise” bill for thousands of dollars, because of the “Two-Midnight Rule.”
Or Bernie might expect to have a little rehab after an orthopedic procedure, but if he is in hospital for fewer than three midnights, rehab isn’t covered. He might have the choice of paying out of pocket, or going home where he will be alone, unable to get out of bed.
Yes, Bernie on Medicare will have free choice of doctors—except for the ones who aren’t accepting Medicare patients.
If Bernie himself were stuck on Medicare with no way out, he might think it not so wonderful. Has anyone heard him tell people about these Medicare problems?
Maybe he means the Canadian Medicare system. It does have a way out for non-senators—called the United States.