Friday, November 16, 2012

Rockets Fired From Egypt as Israel Hits Hamas HQs

Sources in Israel also tell us that rockets are now coming out of Egypt's Sinai peninsula, as well as the continued rain from Gaza.

This after Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil visited Hamas' front lines, and President Mohamed Morsi berated Israel for their actions.

According to the Israeli Defense Forces, one of the Gazan rockets hit electrical cables, which feed Gaza, knocking power out to the northern part of the area.

Israel hit Hamas Headquarter buildings, in Gaza, over night, so as to avoid casualties.

Israel is continuing airstrikes into Saturday, as they try to end the confrontation, before ground troops become required.

The Cabinet has authorized the call up of seventy-five thousand reservists, sixteen thousand of which have already received word.

Denver Police Looking for Missing Sixty Year Old

Denver police are looking for sixty year old Randy Gomez.

He was last seen near 7th and Glencoe Street, Friday afternoon.

Police are worried about him as he suffers from severe dementia, and may not know how to return home.

Gomez is described as Hispanic, five foot ten, two hundred and twenty pounds, with grey hair and brown eyes.

When he was last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a black sweater, and a green jacket.

Anyone with information should call Denver Police at 720-913-2000.

Review: Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2, hit theaters at midnight Thursday/Friday.

As the last movie in the Twilight Saga, it had a lot of closing up to do.

After the Cullens are falsely accused of turning a child into a vampire, the Volturi are coming to destroy them.

The epic battle between the Volturi and the Cullens with their werewolf allies, clearly takes place, as you can see in the trailer.

There's a lot of build up before that, mostly with Bella getting used to being a vampire, and the Cullen's gathering vampire allies, to help them against the Volturi threat.

Yes, there is an actually rather spectacular twist, near the end of the movie, though apparently those who read the books, won't be quite as surprised as those who didn't.

We won't say anything more, so as not to spoil the movie, but Twilight fans will love this last installment, those just going along to the movie should enjoy it as well.

O, and despite the rumors, there isn't anything after the credits, though there is some pretty decent music during them.


Walmart Workers Planning Black Friday Strike

Walmart workers are planning another strike, this one to take place on Black Friday.

Organizers with Organization United for Respect at Walmart, say that over a thousand stores will see strikes.

It is unclear how many employees will participate, as there is no union in the company.

According to the organizers, the strike's goal is "to inform customers about the illegal actions that Walmart has been taking against its employees".

The decision comes after Walmart announced that Black Friday shopping specials will begin at 8pm, on Thursday, which is Thanksgiving.

That decision, by Walmart, has been spoken against by employees and shoppers.

October saw the first ever strikes against the company, which is the largest employer, in the world.

Workers are complaining about poor treatment and low wages.

Chicago Alderman Seeking Ban on Energy Drinks

Alderman George Cardenas, of Chicago's twelfth district, is proposing that the city ban caffeine filled energy drinks.

He made his call just two days after the FDA announced links between energy drinks and deaths.

Cardenas says that the city of Chicago should ban the energy drinks for anyone under the age of twenty-one.

He is the City Council's Health Committee, and has attacked various other things he saw as unhealthy, like sodas, before.

The Alderman sees no reason to ban energy drinks that don't have caffeine in them, as the FDA has not linked anything to them.

Taliban Accidentaly Reveals Email Contacts

Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, spokesperson for the Taliban, made a slight error, Saturday morning.

He accidentally revealed everyone who he sends emails to.

Instead of using the BCC, or blind carbon copy, function he used just plain old CC, showing everyone who received the email, who else got it.

Whilst most of them were Afghani journalists, to whom the Taliban sends their press releases, attack claims, etc., some of them were not.

The others included government officials, scholars, and activists, bringing into question why they're on the mailing list.

All of those non journalist recipients can now expect to be investigated for ties to the Taliban.

Missouri Police Arrest Man Planning Twilight Theater Shooting

Police in Bolivar, Missouri have arrested Blaec Lammers, twenty, on charges that he planned to shoot up a movie theater.

According to police, Lammers had recently purchased rifles and ammunition, with the goal of recreating the July tragedy at a theater in Aurora, Colorado, where thirteen were killed.

He had a ticket to Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 at the B&B Theatre, in Bolivar.

His mother turned him in, Thursday, when he asked her if he should change his target to a Walmart, as he was worried about running out of ammunition.

Lammers is being held at Polk County Jail, on charges of felony assault, making a terrorist threat, and armed criminal action.

Four Vets Killed by Train Remembered

Stouffer, Boivin, Michael, and Lubbers
Four people were killed and seventeen injured, Thursday, when a train crashed into the parade float they were riding, through Midland, Texas.

The parade had been honoring United States' veterans.

Four of the injured remain in the hospital, one of them in critical condition.

The identities of the four dead were released, Friday, they were all US veterans.

Sergeant Major Gary Stouffer, thirty-seven, Sergeant Major Lawrence Boivin, forty-seven, Army Sergeant Joshua Michael, thirty-four, and Sergeant Major William Lubbers, thirty-four.

Midland, Texas is reeling from the tragedy, mourning those lost in it.

Officials are investigating why the train was going so fast through town.

According to parade organizers, no train was scheduled, until hours later, so they thought they were safe.

The parade has been taking place for years, always along the same route, never with any incidents, til now.

Hamas Continues Rocket Fire, Israel Prepares Ground Troops, Egypt Supports Hamas

Iron Dome blocks two incoming rockets
Over one hundred and fifty rockets were fired at Israel, on Friday alone, bringing the total, over the last few days to near six hundred.

Israel's Iron Dome Defense System has intercepted around two hundred of the incoming projectiles.

Almost all of the rockets have been aimed at urban areas, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Three Israelis have been killed and dozens more have been treated by medical staff as Gazan terrorists, led by Hamas, continue their rain of terror.

The Israel Defense Forces' precision retaliation and targeting has killed twenty-eight and injured over one hundred Gazans, most of whom were militants, some of whom were human shields.

Israel is now deciding on whether or not a ground war will be a necessary thing.

The Cabinet has allowed for the activation of up to seventy-five thousand reservists, of whom sixteen thousand have already received the call.

Ground troops have been building up, along and near the border, ever since the first calls went out.

Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil visited Hamas' front lines, showing his country's support for their actions.

Israel held off fire during his visit, a cease fire that was not matched by Hamas, who used the opportunity to fire more rockets.

During Qandil's visit, two thousand Egyptians protested in Tahrir Square, demanding the government act against Israel.

Two Missing After Oil Rig Explosion

Two people are missing and eleven were injured after an explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, on Friday.

Four of those are in critical condition from the burns they received, off the coast of Louisiana.

The remaining crew were evacuated to other nearby rigs.

There's little to no risk of a major oil leak, according to the US Coast Guard, and Black Elk Energy who owns and operates the rig.

Production had already been shut off before the accident occurred, so any leak would've been at most twenty-eight gallons.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is sending safety investigators, to the rig. 

Hostess: Unions Bite Hand That Feeds Cream Filling

In January, I wrote about the struggles that Hostess was enduring regarding their pending bankruptcy.

In the reorganization and restructuring the bankruptcy brought, the company introduced new union contracts designed to keep the company from cutting jobs and production in an effort to repay debts and, once again, make a profit.

Hostess owed a ridiculous amount to pension funds. Their overhead was bogged down by unrealistic labor benefits demanded by the unions. These were aggravated by rising costs and federal regulatory fees on sugar. To add more to the pain of the sugar taxes and costs, fuel prices have increased, adding to the overhead costs in bringing products to market, as well as costs of production in paying for the electricity and natural gas necessary to produce their baked goods.

Hostess's answer was to cut the company's contributions to many benefits, including pension funds and health benefits. They also sought to reduce the number of allowable hours in an effort to reduce the labor costs associated with paying overtime wages.

The deal also called for an average 8% wage cut. The union inaccurately told workers the cut was closer to 32%.  

The various unions didn't like the deal. They threatened to strike.

Hostess told the unions that the company would not stop them from striking. However, the company warned that if production fails to meet levels necessary to cover operating costs of any plant, they would be forced to close the respective plant. That would mean those striking workers would no longer have a position of employment to be striking with.

The union went on strike.

The unions also refused to tell the striking union members about what Hostess has informed them. So the wonderful union lied to its members and hid the truth from them.

Given the current state of the economy and the number of jobs being cut from various companies across the country, this may not have been the brightest move the unions made. In fact, this may have been as dumb of a move as backing Obama for president.

Next, Hostess announced closure of three plants.

The warning wasn't enough. Union workers claimed that their unemployment and union benefits were better than the conditions of the new contract. So, they increased their strikes.

The result was that Hostess went back to bankruptcy court and told they were no longer seeking Chapter 11 restructuring bankruptcy. The company is now closing all of its facilities and selling off the remaining stock.

The union bit the hand that feeds them, cream filling in this case. Now they won't be fed by that hand. At last estimate, as many as 18,500 jobs with Hostess no longer exist. Now those union members have no pension fund. They have no medical benefits. They have no overtime. They have no regular wages. They have no jobs at all. And, they are no longer on strike, since they are just unemployed people picketing.

Atlas needed a Twinkie, shrug.

This article is originally published at P-G Matuszak's Mental Aikido. Reprinted with permission.

From the Mouth of Matuszak: The CBO, A Cliff, & The Shrugging Titan

Several Mainstream Media outlets, such as Rachel Maddow, as well as their lap dog liberal supporters in the new media, such as the Huffington Post, claimed that the CBO's report on raising Capital Gains Taxes, Income taxes on the more affluent, and other socialist progressive fiscal measures would not harm our economic prosperity. If they had actually read the report and understood basic 100 level economics, it would be obvious that they are either incompetent or lying.

The CBO's report on raising CGT, overall, and income taxes on the "top 1%" (any household that earns an annual income over $250k) paints a rather dim picture. The bottom line is a projected drop of GDP by approximately 1.3%. The latest GDP numbers showed the GDP at 0.5%. A drop of 1.3% would mean a GDP of -0.8%. Given the increases in labor costs due to the PPACA, increased regulatory fees, and decreased production leading to lower profits, it is highly likely that real GDP could be in the negatives.

The report also states that the higher taxes will not generate enough revenue to even make a dent in the deficit. In fact, the raised rates will not garner an increase in revenue anywhere near the projected increases in spending.

That may appear a lot better than many countries within the so called "Eurozone" who reported negative GDPs recently.

The report also did not take into account the recent market declines that started after the report was prepared. Less capital is already being invested. The CBO anticipated a decrease in capital investment of 2.4% after the tax rates increase. They did not see the drop starting so early.

Second and third order effects will lead to an even greater decrease. The CBO report did not address the fact that your middle income bracket wage earners will now have lower propensities to save and invest. Those who believe that your average middleincome earner doesn't invest is somebody who has no idea what an IRA is or a 401K account is. They will have lower disposable incomes, therefore less that they can invest. The maintained low prime rate that was meant to reinvigorate the housing market leave low interest paid to savings accounts. So, the marginal propensity to save is also decreased.

Banks use the money in those accounts to provide loans and investments that generate capital. With less saved in their institutions, there will be less available to loan or invest.

The report states that average household incomes for the middle income bracket will drop even further than it has over the past four years. It predicts an increase of unemployment of up to 0.5% more unemployed, with an even lower workforce participation rate. The Marginal Effective Tax Rate on middle income earners will increase under the additional twenty-one taxes that the PPACA will impose. Add that to the decreased wages, and Americans will see their disposable incomes dwindle to scraps as their standards of living decline.

Due to the PPACA, many businesses are shrinking their labor forces and reducing productivity. Some are reducing their workforces to under fifty employees. Others are reorganizing the positions to part time positions working less than twenty-five hours a week. 

That is not prosperity.

That is the opposite of the American Dream.

What this means is that the raised tax rates will generate lower revenue, decrease productivity, and increase deficit spending. The only way to avoid deficit spending is to actually cut spending. That does not mean you will increase spending less. It means decreasing spending all together. It means wasting money on fewer subsidies. It means spending money only in accordance with what the Constitution intends, national defense and defraying operating costs.

The way it's going, when the lazy come to beg for their daily fish, there won't be any. Not only will the fisherman not have one to give, he won't have one for himself. In fact, he'll owe fish to people who won't loan him bait or a hook until he pays what he is unable. That means three people are starving.
Tootles & Thanks For The Flounder

That is allowing the left to pilfer and waste the "blessings of liberty" for "ourselves and our posterity" that the US Constitution was implemented to secure. That means that Obama and congress are failing to do their job. Worse, they are doing the exact opposite of  their jobs. Their jobs are not to pilfer those blessings, but to make sure that nobody pilfers them, especially the government.

As some in government look to step on the brakes in order to slow our "progress" to that so called fiscal cliff, others seek to grab the emergency brake. The socialists that cling to Keynesian economics and ignore the Laffer Curve look to cut the cable to the e-brake, while also attempting to step on a pedal. They think the gas pedal is the brake. It isn't, despite the left wing lap dog media's having labeled it as such. Changing a sign does not change the fact that the brake is the pedal on the left... and it is the left that must be stomped on hard! Stomping hard on the right one will just accelerate us towards that cliff even more.

As we head there, the center of gravity shifts and a titan struggles to maintain his grip on the unbalanced, cumbersome world. His trapezoids are cramping. His deltoids spasm. Atlas must either shrug or drop this fragile ball.

 Article originally appears at P-G Matuszak's Mental Aikido. Reprinted with Permission.