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Here’s My Say
Since Mrs. Gulick has so much to say about our town of New Milford, I’m saying she should fix her lousy sidewalk and driveway. It’s dangerous walking back and forth to the Post Office for me.
Good Ole Boys?
Rather notorious for biting humor, the Smothers Brothers threw more than a few zingers. Among their most memorable, there’s “Some people believe chickens have lips.” Decades later, I believe it has some relevance with regard to the continuation of President G W Bush’s tax breaks for this nation’s wealthiest top two percent. Some people, who would ostensibly stand to benefit the most by that continuation, used their time on cable channel news rather unexpectedly. They condemned that continuation.
Likely enough out in television land, some viewers commended those ostensibly self-sacrificing souls for being patriotic or even altruistic. Expecting altruism from this nation’s wealthiest top two percent is like expecting chickens to grow lips. That ain’t gonna happen.
What’s more, I can prove those ostensibly self-sacrificing souls are looking out for their own interests. Let’s represent the wealth of one of those aforementioned souls with a hundred dollar bill. In as much as the rich usually get richer, the increase in wealth in the course of the following year can be represented by a five dollar bill.
So, at the end of that year, that person’s wealth can be represented by $105. As interest rates go nowadays, that’s pretty decent. If $105 looks pretty decent, then $110 has to look positively righteous. Now then, for that to happen, those aforementioned tax breaks have to continue. The only fly in the ointment would be the monetary inflation that would necessarily come about from the unavoidable budget deficit. In this example, let’s say the inflation is ten percent (10%).
It takes very little math to discover that the continuation of the Bush tax breaks would, in terms of the original $100, make that $110 worth only ninety-nine dollars ($99). According to corporate bean counters, that’s more than a loss of just a dollar, more like a loss of six ($6).
How many times have you heard that word when it comes to the subject of national and state spending? Unsustainable - defined as not able to be maintained at the current rate. In other words, there will come a time when bad things will happen because the people and their representatives continue to ignore the consequences of unsustainable spending. If you want a look at our future, if we continue as we have for fifty years, take a good hard look at Greece. The public employee unions are rioting in the street. Look at the UK where the students are rioting because of massive increases in tuition costs. We, here in the US, are playing with fire and we are still sticking our heads in the sand.
There will be a great deal of pain to share when the chickens come home to roost. Those who are drinking at the public well are going to protest mightily. We may see protests, strikes and even rioting if and when government employees, who currently, on average, are paid about 50% more in wages and benefits than the average private sector worker, realize that their privileged positions are about to vanish. Unions, especially public sector unions, may well go on strike, and there goes the food supply. Students, as they did in California, will be up in arms over tuition hikes. All these groups will loudly proclaim that they are entitled to what they have been promised by the politicians. In 1962, JFK, by executive order, not law, permitted government employees to unionize. The subsequent collective bargaining between the unions and the government has led to the pay disparity between private and public compensation. After all, the government negotiators are not limited by the ability of their “Company” to pay. They just print more money and cave in to the union. As a side dish, they, the politicians, garner more loyal voters, primarily Democratic voters.
When the issue is finally addressed, either deliberately or by bankruptcy of our county (China stops buying our bonds), expect all hell to break loose. There will be an outcry that some (the fortunate or successful) have plenty of money so it should be taken from them to pay for the political promises made (as stated by Van Jones, former Green Czar in the Obama WH). So, which side of the fence are you going to be on. For myself, I have been retired for sixteen years. I still pay my own way (I expect that my SS will be reduced) and I have no intention of being intimidated or coerced into handing over what I have worked for over forty years. Resistance to those forces takes on several forms. It behooves you to implement whatever forms will work for you. But, don’t tarry. It will come swiftly when it comes.
Let Them Hear You
On December 12, Oakland Township residents found flyers in their mailboxes stating that the Cabot Oil Co. has made proposals to withdraw approximately 3,000,000 gallons of water total per day from at least two sites on SR 92. One of the sites is the old "Victory Park," or "the flats" as it is known locally, with the other at the corner of Hilborn Road and State Route 92. The applications call for water withdrawal from the Susquehanna River at the rate of 1.5 million gallons per site, per day. This would mean approximately 500 trucks per day, at each site, for a 24 hour period, or 24 trucks coming and going each hour for a 24 hour period.
State Route 92 has a tremendous amount of truck traffic as it is and more when the Rt. 81 weigh station is open. The site at the base of Hilborn Road is on a blind curve and is a school bus stop! We don't need anymore accidents or tragedies in our area.
I implore Oakland Township residents and those who use State Route 92 to go to their workplace, etc. to contact Mr. Andrew DeHoff of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and let him know State Route 92 is not a suitable place for water retrieval. His phone number is: (717)-238-0423, extension 221 and he may also be reached at his email address: email@example.com. Your elected officials, Rep. Sandra Major, Rep. Tina Pickett, and Senator Lisa Baker should be made aware of your concerns and discontent as well. This is very important, both for our township and our beloved Susquehanna River. Our voices need to be heard.
Q And A On DADT
It took the Department of Defense (DOD) nine months and 257 pages to answer the questions, should the policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) be repealed? Should the U.S. follow the examples of 26 other nations that have ended their bans on homosexuals in the military? And finally, should the U.S. end its discriminatory policy against entry into the military of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transvestites (LGBT)?
Three key questions. Each demands a critical examination and answer. First, does the DOD's report support the repeal of DADT?
The DADT survey polled 115,000 troops and 44,000 spouses. But results raised questions about its objectivity. (1) The thrust of the study was never a matter of “if” but “when” to integrate LGBTs into military service. (2) The report has apparent contradictions. It states that a suspiciously high 92 percent of the troops support open homosexuals in the service. But how can this be reconciled with the results of these questions quoted from the survey:
Q45. If you had a leader whom you believed was gay or lesbian... .9 percent positive, 91 percent negative or mixed on unit's performance.
Q66. If open homosexuality impacts combat performance, is the impact... 9 percent positive, 91 percent negative or mixed impact.
Q68C. [summarizes results] 85 percent of Marine Combat Arms, 75 percent of Army Combat Arms, 64 percent overall say Negative, Very Negative, or Mixed impact on unit trust if DADT is repealed.
And (3): The data was skewed by grouping answers of "equally positive and negative" and "no effect" with "positively or very positively" answers. This shifted negative results to positive thus creating false positives.
Further, the report recounts discussions among troops: “[R]epeatedly, we heard service members express the view that [repeal of DODT would cause] an overall erosion of unit cohesion.”
In fact, the DOD's exclusionary policy has less to do with morality and more to do with unit cohesion.
“One of the most critical elements in combat capability is unit cohesion, that is, the bonds of trust among individual service members,” states Federal law Pub.L. 103-160 (10 U.S.C. 654).
The statute continues: “The presence of persons in the armed forces who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to unit cohesion that [is] the essence of military capability.”
In a heated exchange between Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Adm. Michael Mullen, the senator asked why the survey failed to ask service members the pivotal question: How do you feel about repealing DADT?
McCain: “Why wouldn't we just ask the question?”
Mullen: “It's an incredibly bad precedent to ask them to essentially vote on a policy.”
McCain: “It's not voting, sir, it's asking their views.”
Summing up, the DADT survey is a study in how to arrive at a desired conclusion. It serves a political agenda not a military purpose. As such, its recommendations are suspect.
The second question: Should the U.S. follow the lead of the 26 nations that have ended their discriminatory ban?
If they should do such, the DADT survey would be superfluous and the opinion of service members rendered irrelevant. At best, it would be a thoughtless answer to a critically important question. Few would endorse it.
The third and final question: Should the U.S. military end its discriminatory policy?
The military is the most discriminatory institution. It bars applicants who fall outside of a specified height and weight range; the elderly are discriminated against as well as those who are physically handicapped or infirm. It also discriminates against those who are not intelligent enough and bars applicants judged to be psychologically unsuitable.
Discrimination per se is not wrong. Everyone discriminates daily. Every choice is an exercise in discrimination. The military, as all institutions and businesses, exercises the same prerogative.
The purpose of the military is not to provide an equal opportunity for all or to function as an engine of social change. Serving in the military is a privilege open to some and denied to others. It is not a right.
“The primary purpose of the armed forces,” according to the statute previously cited, “is to prepared for and to prevail in combat.”
Essentially, the Marines, Army, Air Force, and Navy are instruments of destruction designed to kill people and destroy property. It is meant to be an intimidating force that, with luck, will prevent its ultimate application.
Paradoxically, peace in large part depends upon this machine brushing aside disruptive influences and operating at peak effectiveness, making war an unchoosable option.
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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