Archive for July, 2006

Minimum Wage and Maximum Earners (July 31, 2006)

Posted in Economics, Estate Tax, Politics on July 31, 2006 by

Raising the minimum wage to provide a livable wage is virtuous.  However, the economic evidence is almost irrefutable that a rise in the minimum wage leads to a reduction in employment.  The head says no.  The heart says yes.  Support the higher wage.

The Democrats are critical of the effort to raise the amount exempt from the estate tax.  However, raising the exemption to 10 million per couple would protect the assets of many hard-working members of the Greatest Generation.  [See the April 18, 2005 e-ssay entitled “Death and Taxes: $10 M and 33 1/3 %.”]  The more substantial figures suggested in the pending legislation are excessive.  Some who seek to eliminate the estate tax altogether may view this change as a start.  However, if reasonable legislation is adopted, the momentum to eliminate the estate tax altogether may dissipate.

World War III Escalates As Proxies Participate (July 24, 2006)

Posted in Bush, Middle East on July 24, 2006 by

Members of Hezbollah crossed a border they dispute.  That creates a challenge.  That action provided an excuse for Israel to do what it sought to do for some time.  Israel’s response is obscenely and criminally out of proportion to the provocation.  The U.S. sits and watches its proxy battle Iran’s proxy in this first round.  Condi Rice is busy buying shoes while babies die.  Israel may now have created its own Vietnam/Iraq.  Israel is reading from the failed American play book and uniting its many enemies and dividing its few allies.  Both America and Israel have lost the moral high ground as they have descended into the swamp. 

When a person sees no hope in life, he often does one of three things:  he 1) kills others, 2) kills himself, or 3) kills others and then kills himself.  There is no hope for many in the Mideast today.  Their reaction to their plight is logical and predictable.  America and Israel must deliver hope not ordinance.  The behavior in the Mideast is a corollary of the “flight or fight” response experienced by all threatened animals.  If they cannot flee, they will fight.  There is no place to run.  Any time you have someone cornered, you are caught in the same corner.  Few acknowledge that the chemical components in the tears of a Lebanese mother and an Iraqi mother and a Palestinian mother and an Israeli mother and an American mother are identical.  Hydrogen 2, Oxygen 1, Grief 10.  There is at least one seven year old boy who will survive the killing and dedicate his life to seeking revenge at any cost.  Events are quickly overcoming everyone.      

(On July 19, Bush vetoed the stem cell research bill that would have allowed surplus embryos from fertility clinics to be used for scientific research rather than tossed in the rubbish can.  Bush used his first veto to deprive others of hope.  The “pro-life” president vetoed life for many of the living.)  

(July 23 is the four year anniversary of the meeting reflected in the document described as the “Downing Street Minutes/Memo.”  The document exposes the lies and self-deception underpinning America’s invasion of Iraq.  See 

World War III Is Expanding (July 17, 2006)

Posted in Bush, Iraq on July 17, 2006 by

More that four years after Bush triggered World War III, others are joining the fray.  [See the March 20, 2006 e-ssay entitled “The (Unreal) March Madness” and the January 3, 2005 e-ssay entitled “Boycott Red America.” ]  The thug in Baghdad–Hussein–maintained order but not law among the three religious/cultural factions.  He served as the Tito of the country and by extension in the region.  Sunnis and Shiites inside and outside Iraq knew their place.  Iraq balanced Iran; Iran balanced Iraq.  Bush’s Crusade destabilized the country and the region.  In the last few years, Iraqis of all religious persuasions united in ousting the American aggressor.  The enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Others came across a border even more porous than Americas southern border and joined the fight.  Now the fight has been exported.  A war on two great fronts appears possible.  The Sunnis and Shiites can both fight the U.S. and fight each other.  The enemy of my enemy is now also my enemy.  The Turks and the Kurds are now free to battle for power and real estate.  American military might is now dissipated and weak.  America may have no option other than to pursue a diplomatic approach, but a diplomatic approach is effete without a viable military threat.  America is now incapable of fighting or resolving World War III. 

2006 Is A Year of Birthdays (July 10, 2006)

Posted in Society on July 10, 2006 by

During 2006, the rosewood frame and black leather chair and ottoman designed by Charles and Ray Eames turn fifty.  The National Interstate Defense Highways Act creating the Interstate Highway System also reached that milepost.  One allowed us to sit in modern style, while the other allowed us to move with speed even if we did not see anything.  Len Bias died twenty years ago of a cocaine dose.  President Johnson reluctantly signed the Privacy Act of 1966 known as the Freedom of Information Act forty years ago on July 4.  His presidential signing order stated in part “I signed this measure with a deep sense of pride that the United States is an open society,” although he privately disdained the legislation.  Freedom was 230 years young on that very day last week.  Thomas Jefferson, with some help from James Madison and Ben Franklin, penned the essay declaring the rationale for independence in a pamphlet captioned “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.”  In the same year, Adam Smith published An Inquiry Into The Nature And Causes Of The Wealth Of Nations, the economic declaration of independence, interdependence, competition, choice and free trade.

The Kennedy Court Reigns In the King (July 3, 2006)

Posted in Law, Supreme Court on July 3, 2006 by

A few days before the celebration of our independence from King George III, some of the Justices who appointed King George II reigned in the Emperor.  In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court ruled that some of the military commissions created by Bush had been improperly constituted. 

The health of the Constitution now turns substantially on the health of a Justice who is turning four score and seven years young next April.  Justice Stevens grew or emerged on the job.  Justice Kennedy is the lynch pin on the Court.  He is the real Decider who has grown and emerged on the job.  Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito are showing fealty to the one who appointed them.  The Four Justices of the Apocalypse–Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito–would be satisfied to recess the Court for good and let all three branches of government receive mail at and take direction from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Happy birthday to this very good Republic.