Sunday, January 6, 2013

Kuwaiti Man Sentenced to 2 Years For Tweet

Kuwait's Emir
In October, Rashid Saleh al-Anzi, tweeted, something millions around the world do every day.

However, in his case it resulted in a two year jail term.

Anzi was arrested for making a tweet that was critical of Kuwait's Emir.

Insulting the Emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, is illegal in the country.

Kuwait has a history of cracking down on freedom of speech, especially when it comes to political matters.

Just during 2012, several were arrested for posting controversial tweets, including Sheikh Meshaal al-Malik Al-Sabah, who called for reforms.

A Look At December Jobs Numbers

Photo Copyright 2012 by P-G Matuszak. All Rights Reserved.
The unemployment (U3) report for December 2012 is out. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nothing of importance has changed. They claim that the U3 unemployment remained at 7.8%. They claim that the Workforce Participation Rate remained at 63.6%.

The U6 unemployed and underemployed rate is closer to 15.3%.

In common sense terms, the numbers stink. It screams of what President "Peanut" Carter called "malaise".

The Workforce Participation Rate (WPR) at 63.6% over the holiday season should strike citizens as alarming. From late October through December there is normally a seasonal uptick in employment and WPR. Normally, college students garner employment between semesters. Normally, some stay at home parents grab part time employment during these months in order to bump up their holiday celebration budgets. Obviously, this was not the case this year. If it were, then U3 will jump and WPR will drop in January.

If the WPR were the same, today, as it was for December 2008, the U3 unemployment rate would be 13.2%. The U6 unemployment rate would be 20.8%. This is closer to what the real unemployment rate is.

Long term unemployment remained constant, indicating that those out of work made no headway in acquiring employment. Those marginally attached indicated the same. These numbers show that any "increase" in employment in "non-farm", "healthcare", etc. categories are really not increases in employment. It just means some employed people shifted employers.

Not addressed in the report is the increase in applications for SSDI. Following trends over recent months, applications in December set a new record over November's record numbers. However, those approved for SSDI payments in December are still counted as part of the WPR until their first full month of receiving government handouts has completed. This means that the WPR may be actually lower than reported.

Of note is that the average hourly wage has increased a whopping 7 cents. That means your average working citizen is still making less, now, than in November 2011 when the average was closer to $25 an hour than the current $23.73. Non-supervisory jobs average $19.92 an hour, for comparison.

In this article, there is a quote from Mike Huckabee using November 2011 numbers. Government handouts approximate what a working/producing person would gross at $30 and hour, if working forty hours a week, and be tax exempt. Your average worker is making $23.73 and hour with an average work week of 34.5 hours with non-supervisory at $19.92 for 33.8 hours. That is before federal income taxes, socialist insecurity theft social security taxes, and medicare taxes. So, gross, before taxes, it's obvious it currently pays more to be lazy.  

The recently passed amended version of HR 8 still increases social security taxes (for a bankrupt program) by 2%, or an average of $17 a week less in net income for your average worker. Due to the PPACA, health insurance and healthcare plans now cost your average worker an average of $3600 a year ($70 a week). The cost of government mandated deductions continues. So, your average working American, of which there are fewer and fewer, is making less yet paying far more in taxes than prior to Obama's first inauguration.

Hope seems gone. Change is not necessarily growth or progress or prosperity. The "change" Obama and his ilk have brought are entropy, decay, destruction, and ruin. The numbers don't lie.

Original article and commentary posted at P-G Matuszak's Mental Aikido. Article and Photo Copyright 2013 by P-G Matuszak. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.

From The Mouth of Matuszak: Illinois' Gun Control Problem

Illinois remains the state with perhaps some of the strictest anti-gun laws in the US. Yet, the state's largest city, Chicago, still ranks among the highest in violent crimes to include over 500 murders in 2012. By and large, these murders were committed with firearms.

Illinois still bans both concealed and open carry of firearms by non-police personnel. By state law, one must apply for and be issued a Firearm Owners' Identification Card (FOID) prior to purchasing any firearm or ammunition. In addition, federally mandated background checks must pass favorably for each purchase. The firearms must be registered with the state. The state also has a required waiting period.

Despite all of these measures that deter law-abiding citizens from owning firearms and prevent those same law-abiding citizens the right to bear them, there is a rash of gun violence in the state. Chicago, with its own additional restrictions has the largest problem.

The reason behind this is clear. Private, law abiding citizens with concealed carry permits do not go out and randomly shoot people. Private, law abiding citizens who exercise their Second Amendment rights do not commit murder. Criminals do. Criminals do not care about the law. They intend to break the law by committing murder. So what is a little illegal firearms possession charge in comparison? Nothing. They still acquire the weapons illegally. They steal them. They buy them on the black market. In some cases, they make "zip guns" in their garages. The bottom line is, although illegal or controlled, they still have them. Those who obey the laws do not and are soft targets for the criminals.

In places that are less restrictive on exercising the right to bear arms, violent crime is much lower. The reason is that criminals are far less likely to prey upon people who are more likely to be armed with a means to adequately defend themselves. Criminals are cowards. They are predators. Predators prey upon the weak, not the strong. For one glaring example, compare per capita crime stats of Chicago and Kinnesaw, Georgia.

So what is Illinois answer to their gun problem? Their state legislature proposes to ban all semi-automatic and automatic firearms within the state. This includes BB guns. The ban would be on any firearm that uses a detachable magazine. In addition, one of the new bills puts higher restrictions on privately owned firearms ranges. It limits usage to only those with Illinois issued FOIDs. That means Joe, who has a concealed carry permit issued by Indiana, must apply for an Illinois FOID to shoot at his brother's range across the border in Illinois.

To further demonstrate common sense's exodus from Illinois, that bill also gives state and local police the authority to determine if a range is legal and safe. That doesn't mean that the law enforcement agencies just have the responsibility to inspect, it means that those agencies will have the power to, at whim, decide those standards subjectively. This just opens the door for extortion, graft, corruption, and bribery. Then again, Illinois houses Chicago, a city with a long history of all of the above.

The irony is that both Chicago and the state of Illinois have had their anti-gun laws struck down by federal courts over the past few years. Chicago's handgun ban was struck down by the US Supreme Court as unconstitutional and a violation of private citizens' rights to self defense. The Illinois laws were struck down most recently by Federal Appeals Courts. The state legislature was given a time limit to pass less restrictive and invasive laws that would not infringe upon these rights. These latest laws do not meet the federal courts' criteria. Instead, they appear to be even more restrictive, infringing upon the rights to own (keep) and carry (bear) arms.

Some may argue that the regulations on ranges do not do infringe. However the law indicates nothing less than the evacuation of all sense and reason from the socialists and tyrants in the Illinois legislature. For people to be responsible firearms owners, they need to practice. Practice at ranges limits the change of collateral damage. It improves the chances of accidents due to improper safety procedures (ranges are where people learn how to safely handle a firearm). Setting up training scenarios on a range also improves decision making, helping firearms owners understand target selection and situational awareness. In other words, they know that bullets don't stop when they hit the bad guy and may hit the old lady behind him as well.

Though these range restrictions are part of a "public health and safety" legislation, they indicate that the politicians do not really care about public safety. If they did, they would mandate minimum range time per year for firearms owners. What they do care about is enslaving people and taking away their abilities to protect themselves and others. What they care about is leaving people unarmed and unable to defend against tyranny.

Original article and commentary appears at P-G Matuszak's Mental Aikido. Reprinted with permission.

From the Mouth of Matuszak: Communism Rising While Watching GOP Infighting

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
All sorts of punditry surrounds the passing of the amended HR 8 "fiscal cliff" bill. On the left, several die hard socialists claim that the bill didn't go far enough to force prosperous individuals to pay more than their fair share. Conservatives are moaning because tax rates have gone up on job creators who earn over four hundred fifty thousand dollars a year.

The words of Valerie Jarrett are echoing. Days before the November election, she accurately predicted her fellow Marxist's re-election. In doing so, she also threatened all conservatives and capitalists. She stated something to the effect that any who opposed Obama's re-election was going to be punished.

This latest tax bill is the first wave of that punishment. It not only increases capital gains and income taxes on those making over four hundred fifty thousand dollars. It also increases indirect taxes on households making over fifty thousand dollars a year. Social Security taxes are increasing. Payroll taxes are increasing. Paychecks will still be smaller.

Meanwhile, the bill did nothing to cut subsidies to leeches and moochers. Instead, it increased the duration of unemployment handouts by twelve months. More and more, that property that was rightfully earned and acquired by those who do is being stolen and given to those who do not. Communism just won another battle and our country has lost.

Former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, published the following food for thought on his Facebook page (emphasis mine):

Last month, the Senate Budget Committee reports that in fiscal year 2011, between food stamps, housing support, child care, Medicaid and other benefits, the average US household below the poverty line received $168 a day in government support. What’s the problem with that much support? Well, the median household income in America is just over $50,000, which averages out to $137.13 a day. To put it another way, being on welfare now pays the equivalent of $30 an hour for a 40-hour week, while the average job pays $25 an hour. And the person who works also has to pay taxes, which drops his pay to $21 an hour. It’s no wonder that welfare is now the biggest part of the budget, more than Social Security or defense. And why would anyone want to get off welfare when working pays $9 an hour less?

However, these facts could be used as an argument for an increase in the federally mandated minimum wage. That would just be paying people more than their efforts and skills are worth. In reality, those who do the bare minimums their employers expect usually do not stay at minimum wage more than six months, anyway. Increasing the mandatory minimum wage will just increase the time before those who work harder can expect a well earned raise.

The other trend this information indicates is a form of shaping operation intended to pave the way for a federally mandated "living wage". For those unaware, a "living wage" is a socialist ideal that everybody is entitled to an income just for breathing and sucking up resources even if they do not work to produce anything. It means paying people to waste, to destroy, to steal, and to oppress prosperity. It is a completely asinine idea. It is poison. It is economic suicide. However, it is gaining popularity.

If you continue to look at the amended HR 8, you'll also find that tax breaks were extended for a select few special groups of snowflakes and communists. Millionaire filmmakers are exempt from those increased capital gains and income taxes that will hit other business people. So, those darling snowflakes in Hollywood who urge you to surrender your First and Second Amendment rights are getting tax breaks. Those millionaires who urge those doctors, lawyers, and small business entrepreneurs who built their businesses through long hours of hard work and sacrifice to pay "their fair share" get special tax breaks. The breaks are not new. They have been there for years. Nobody noticed them. Look at the tax exemption extension bills dating back to 2008.

Those special tax breaks for NASCAR have been there as well.

The same goes for algae growers and so called "green energy" businesses who support not only ecological alternative resources, but a socialist one world global tyranny.

Where were the conservatives to stop this?

They were bickering.

Boehner was busy trying to look like he had a backbone while he was kissing up to Obama and Reid behind closed doors. Mitch McConnell was busy being browbeat by the union thug Joey Biden. It would not surprise me if Biden had channeled Don Corleone during those closed door talks. I wonder why, as president of the senate, Joey Biden didn't just read his proposal in open session. It's probably because CSPAN would have live broadcast his mafia tactics for all to see.

So, the rift within the Republican Party is now openly evident. The "moderate" Republicans reveal themselves as being, in reality, the "Blue Dog Democrats" in RINO clothing. They aren't moderates. They are just big government socialists, though not as extreme as those in the Democratic Party. This is the "old guard" GOP that dates back to the days of Nixon. They are not conservatives. But they, by and large, are the entrenched establishment corrupted by being too long in office. Their influence has allowed them to garner "leadership" positions.

On the other side of the rift are the TEA Party affiliates who seek smaller government. There reside those who want the US Constitution to be followed. Among them are those who want to live their lives without the government telling them how to blow their nose or put on their pants. Their representatives are the likes of Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, and Ted Cruz. They want the government to be run as the contract with the governed (The US Constitution) and their oaths of office mandate.

The "old guard" ousted the conservatives from important committees, including several fiscal committees where their conservative ideals are greatly needed.

Now, public support for Speaker Boehner has faded. Under him, congressional opinion polls have hit the basement.

Herein lies a problem. Today the next congress is sworn in. That means a new Speaker will be elected by the House. Republicans have the majority. However, the party is divided. If Boehner is re-elected to the position, the country faces being railroaded by socialists at every turn over the next two years. It also means that socialists may just regain control of the House in 2014 elections.

On the other side, if a more conservative individual opposes Boehner well enough to keep him from garnering a majority of the votes, the rift will be exploited and we could see a socialist elected as Speaker despite a Republican majority in the house. For the next Speaker to be a Republican will require a majority, if not all, of the Republican representatives to get behind and support the nominee. While Boehner will be disastrous, he may be less so than one of Obama's puppets having that position.

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

Pakistan Claims Indians Attacked

Indian border guard looks over the border
Pakistan claims that they repulsed an attack from India, on Sunday.

They claim that a group of Indian soldiers crossed the Kashmir border and attacked a Pakistani military outpost.

India calls the claims "baseless" stating that their troops only returned fire, when fired upon from across the border.

One Pakistani soldier was killed and another wounded in the firefight.

The incident is not expected to effect relations, between the two countries, as they are both busy elsewhere.

Internal conflict with the Taliban is keeping Pakistan's focus.

While India is busy with recent civil unrest and supporting the South China Sea region, against Chinese aggression.

Assad Makes Public Speech

President Bashar Assad made his first public appearance since June, on Sunday.

During his one hour speech he admitted that Syria is in the midst of a war.

Assad went as far as offering a national reconciliation conference.

He continued to blame the fighting on outside forces, corrupting the Syrian people.

After his speech, loyalists mobbed him chanting his name and praising his efforts.

Opponents responded by reiterating their demands for Assad's resignation.

They stated that his doing so is the only way to end the war.

According to UN figures, over sixty thousand people have been killed in the twenty-two month long conflict.

Missing From Arizona: Cole Evans, 7

Seven year old Cole Evans is missing from Seligman, Arizona.

He was last seen about 10:00, Saturday morning, but then wandered off his grandmother's property.

Neighbors searched for about two hours before police were contacted.

On Sunday, the search was joined by a search and rescue helicopter.

Cole is described as four foot two, seventy pounds, with brown hair, and blue eyes.

When last seen he was wearing a black hooded coat, with a Batman emblem, and black snow boots.

Anyone with information should call the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office at 928-567-7734.

Missing Texas Woman Found

According to the Gregg County Sheriff Jacklyn Arrendondo is safe.

The thirty year old had been missing since Friday morning.

She had last been seen out jogging in Tyler, Texas.

Police simply said she had been "found alive and well".

They did not release any further information.