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bkgarner (Brent Garner)

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Fair tax

Actually, the way I have seen it explained is that, using your example, income $0-$35,000 is not taxed. The first tax is collected on any amounts over $35,000. Thus, in your example, the person making 34,999 would pay zero, but the person earning $36,000 would pay tax on $1000, not on the entire $36,000. Thus, there is an incentive to move above and beyond the "specified amount".

September 6, 2011 at 5:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Apologies due

You are somewhat in error. See my response to cg22165. Supreme Court rulings supplant any local ordinances or state ordinances.

June 21, 2011 at 6:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Apologies due

The Supreme Court, in a case several years ago, determined that law enforcement can, at anytime, ask you to identify yourself. This may require that you produce a driver's license or other identification. The upshot is that you had better be carrying ID at all times and be able to produce it upon demand.

June 21, 2011 at 6:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Racial inequities mark drug war

There have been countries who have successfully combatted drug trade. I refer you to a period of time in Canton, China leading up to the first Opium War. England had introduced opium to China and the drug was devastating in its impact. The Emporer appointed a fellow named Lin to go to Canton, which was the center of the opium trade, and fix the problem. Amazingly Lin did. Lin was uncorruptable. He was also forceful using both persuasion and actual physical force and violence to wipe out the opium parlors and confiscate the opium. He forcefully seized over 2 million pounds of opium which he then destroyed. His actions put an end to opium trade in Canton but, unfortunately, triggered was with England over his insistence that British citizens in Canton be subject to Chinese Law. The important point is that his heavy handed methods worked. He raided suppliers, threw them in jail, even executed many. The result was an end to the trade. However, the US lacks the courage to do the same and lacks the uncorruptible officials to carry it out.

June 17, 2011 at 5:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

California search raises alarm

Verity, I'm with you. Certainly don't want a heavily armed SWAT member breaking in on me while I am in the loo. Could be highly embarrasing.

As for this raid, this seems to be excessive especially given that the sought for individual was not living at the address raided and had not lived there for a year. Would seem to me that someone somewhere didn't do their homework.

As for the Indiana Supreme Court decision, gladly I don't live in Indiana. I do not believe the police, or anyone for that matter, should have the authority to break down doors and enter homes on any pretense. That sounds so Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, Assad Syria, Ahmadinijad Iran, Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, etc.

As for the 8-1 Supreme Court ruling, I am a bit chilled by it. I recognize the need to prevent the destruction of evidence. But, and again I am going to draw on Verity's reference to toilet flushing, how do we prevent innocent individuals who happen to be using the bathroom from being mistaken for flushing evidence away? There have, in my opinion, been far too many incidents where police break down the door of someone who is not a criminal--these usually result from either poor preparation by the police, poor police work, poor clerical work--incorrect address on warrant, and even police who can't find the correct address. Some of these have resulted in the deaths of the innocent citizens on the other side of these doors that were broken down. Citizens who had done NOTHING wrong and shouldn't have even been considered suspects. One was an elderly woman in her 90s who, upon the heavily armed police breaking down here door and bursting into her living room went promptly into cardiac arrest and died! The police should be held responsible for these incidents but according to these rulings probably won't be. Since there are no negative consequences for the police, this will only make these kind of incidents more likely to happen. This is not a good thing.

As for the Patriot Act, I whole heartedly believe we should find the bad guys both foreign and domestic who are planning terrorist/criminal activity. But, the powers granted the government under most provisions of the Patriot Act are simply, in my opinion, too broad, too far reaching, too intrusive. In the hands of a benign or good person, those provisions would not be abused, but do we have any confidence that such persons have occupied the positions of power in recent times or in the current time? Sadly, I would say the answer is negative. I was opposed to the passage of the Patriot Act and opposed to its extension.

June 17, 2011 at 3:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Public prayer

Au contraire, every election cycle black churches have gatherings, particularly for black political candidates, to "endorse" those candidates, raise funds for them, expose them to the congregation, etc. Yet, no one even says "boo" about this. But, let a conservative Christian church denounce a candidate, oppose a democrat/leftist policy, oppose abortion, oppose homosexuality, etc., and the screams for IRS investigation come down like rain from those on the hypocritical left.

June 16, 2011 at 2:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Valued service

Unions, non-public unions, served a purpose in helping to address many of the labor abuses that occurred during the era of their creation and rise. There is no question on that point. However, can we say, with a clear conscience, that such is the purpose and function of unions today? My personal experience calls that into question. As a teenager I worked in a grocery store which was unionized. I had to join the union in order to keep my job. If I refused, I would be fired. At the time I was earning $3.08/hr. I paid $18/month in union dues. I worked anywhere between 20 and 40 hours per week. No, the $18/month wasn't particularly burdensome, but it was irritating. I had been the one who had shown up clean shaven, neatly dressed, with a clean history, with references, and then sat through the interview as well as followed up with that employer and landed the job. The union had nothing to do with my getting the job. Granted, their contract dictated what my pay rate was but I still found it grating that I had to pay someone so I could work. Later, I got a teaching degree and went to work as an elementary school teacher. I was approached by the teacher's union and declined their invitation. Not long thereafter I started getting threats. This culminated in a specific note left in my box at the school in which I was told that if I didn't join the union bad things would happen to my automobile. This made me very angry. I took said note and went straight to the local union leader. I informed him that if anything happened to me or to my property this note was going to the police. I further told him that he and his thugs could take a long walk off a short pier. As a consequence, and in light of numerous other examples of union thuggery, I have a very negative image of unions today. I recognize that the working person needs some kind of protection against those employers who would exploit, but I strongly doubt that unions, as presently constituted, are that protection.

June 13, 2011 at 2:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Public prayer

OK. True, he doesn't have to go to Texas to pray. You are absolutely correct on that one. You may even be correct that this is more fundraiser than prayer breakfast. But, if we are going to condemn this one, why not condemn the ones hosted by black churches for democrat candidates and officer holders? If one is wrong, why is the other not wrong? Or, are we simply showing our anti-religion, anti-conservative bias today?

June 13, 2011 at 2:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Death decisions

Is killing oneself wrong? If ending one's own life is ethical, then what are the circumstances which would justify such drastic action? On Sep 5, 2009 my 25 year old son took his own life. It became clear to his mother and me, as we dealt with the aftermath, that our son was deeply depressed. Based on bills we received it appeared he was talking to a counselor. Yet, due to his incredibly depressing financial situatioin, combined with his use of alcohol and his association with those who live only for the moment, he felt that there was no other way out other than to end his life. Sadly, he was wrong. Yes, a way out for him existed but it would have required change and sacrifice and humbling himself. These he was unwilling to do so he ended his life. Let me assure you that his action affected far more than himself. His mother and I stood ready to help him but he rejected us and pushed us away unwilling to listen. The pain I carry and will carry for the rest of my life caused by his suicide causes me to doubt the ethicalness of allowing self-termination or even assisted termination of one's life.

June 13, 2011 at 1:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Public men behaving badly

Amazingly, again, I find I have to agree with Mr. Pitts central premise, that premise being that each of these men has demonstrated markedly poor judgement and, therefore, are not worthy of the public trust given them. Here! Here! Amen and Amen, Mr. Pitts! However, please note that when a particular major political party had the opportunity in a Senate trial to remove from office one of these lechers, that party chose political power and politics over justice and truth. Can we, then, conclude that said political party does not view such violations of trust with any significant alarm? And, if that is true, then can any member of that political party be worthy of public trust???

June 13, 2011 at 12:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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