Friday, February 15, 2013

National Guardsman Shot and Killed in Chicago

Sergeant Willie Cook, a member of the Indiana National Guard was killed in Chicago, on Friday.

He had taken his son to visit his grandmother, in East Chicago, when they were shot at fifteen times.

Cook died shielding his two year old son, Antoine.

Police believe that the shooting was a case of mistaken identity.

The twenty-five year old had returned from a tour in Afghanistan, five months ago.

Missing From California: Mikayla Anderson, 12

Twelve year old Mikayla Anderson is missing from Huasna, California.

She was last seen Thursday afternoon, leaving school.

Concerns are high as the area is frequented by bears and mountain lions.

Ground crews, including six K9 units, and helicopters are actively searching for her.

Mikayla is described as five foot three, one hundred and five pounds, with brown hair, and green eyes.

When last seen, she was wearing camouflage clothing.

Anyone with information should call the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department at 805-781-4550.

She was found safe, Friday evening.

Jesse Jackson Jr. Charged With Using Campaign Money For Personal Use

Jesse Jackson Jr. has been charged in a federal court, for conspiracy to use campaign money for personal use.

He is accused of using seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars of campaign funds to buy items for himself and his family.

His wife was also charged with filing false tax information.

The former Democratic Illinois Congressman is expected to plea bargain the charges.

Jackson has already admitted guilt and in a statement said he had "no excuses".

Syria and Turkey Exchange Artillery Shells

Turkish artillery fired into Syria, on Friday.

Moments before, a Syrian shell struck near the town of Yayladag.

No injuries were reported by either side.

Turkey is heavily concerned with defending it's border from an overflow of the Syrian civil war.

Over the last few months Syrian ordnance has fallen into Turkey, killing people at times.

Last month, US, German, and Dutch troops arrived in Turkey with Patriot missile batteries, to help defend the country from any possible air strikes.

Cops in Schools Bill on The Way

Representative Mark Meadows, of North Carolina, is set to introduce a bill that will bring cops into US schools.

The bill would bring back the "Cops in Schools" program, in which the federal government provides money for local jurisdictions to hire officers specifically for guarding schools.

Meadows already has found thirty million dollars of funding, for the program.

His plan would take the money from the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as they have money that they are not using.

Cops in Schools was first brought into being in 1998, but was allowed to expire in 2005.

A Look at What Harrison Ford Being in Episode VII Means

Rumors of Harrison Ford's return for Star Wars Episode VII continue to grow in strength. So far there is still no official confirmation, but several Hollywood media outlets are putting out their own confirmations.

Star Wars fans know what his return would mean. If Ford returns to play Han Solo, then likely most if not all of the original cast will have parts, as well. It would also seal where the movie would take place, in the Star Wars universe.

Ford's return would mean he'd have to look the part, so with his being seventy, Han Solo could be about that age. Solo was twenty-nine in Episode IV. Canon books have been written to a point about forty-four years after then, putting Solo's age at about seventy-three. It would mean that the new trilogy would be taking place right after that, and so much would be set in stone for what has happened since Episode VI.

Many fans agree the trilogy should focus on the well known characters, even if it takes place so much further down the time line. First problem there would be catching everyone up on what's happened over the last forty years. A lot has changed in the galaxy since the second Death Star was blown up. Only fans who've read enough of the books will be automatically prepared.

Other rumors have that the new trilogy won't be in line with the others, but elsewhere in the Star Wars universe. This would allow for them to be at any time after Episode VI. However, with Disney confirming that there will be at least two non trilogy films maybe they'll stick to the timeline and use other movies to explore the rest of the galaxy far, far away.

2 Arrested After Body of Missing Oklahoma Man Found

Two people have been arrested after the body of a missing Oklahoma man was found.

Thirty-two year old Nathan Blankenship had been missing from Purcell, since February 2.

Thursday evening, police found his body, in a field.

Friday morning, Jessica Cornwell, thirty-three, and Adena Beasley, thirty-two, were both arrested on charges of unauthorized removal of a dead body.

Both women, from Oklahoma city, knew Blankenship.

Police are investigating his death as a homicide.

Kangaroos Delay Australian Women's Open

The ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open was delayed a bit on Friday.

Dozens of spectators streamed onto the courses, and wouldn't get off of them, right away.

That they were kangaroos may have led to a communication barrier.

Eventually grounds crews were able to herd the hoppers off, and play resumed.

The Open has already had problems, this year.

During the qualifying rounds, one of the golfers was bit by a poisonous spider.

Horsemeat Found in British School Lunches

Europe's horse meat scandal continues to grow.

The fake beef has no longer just been found in supermarkets.

On Friday, it was announced that schools in Britain had found horse meat in their food.

Many school districts have already announced that they will immediately remove beef from their menus, until the entire scandal is cleared up.

Officials are ensuring parents that their children did not have much of the horse meat, if any at all.

North Korea Prepares More Tests as They Make Demands

Kim Jong Un, right
North Korea has told China that it will conduct one or two more nuclear tests, as well as rocket launches, this year.

Having just made a test on Monday, that would mean three tests within a year.

Kim Jong Un's government warned that they will continue testing weapons until the US stops threatening the regime.

Satellite evidence shows that another nuclear test may already be set to go and that a launch pad is being prepared for a rocket.

They also demand that the US hold nuclear talks with them.

The UN banned North Korea from having nuclear weapons or missile technology, but that has done nothing to stop them from continuing their programs.

World powers have threatened the country with more sanctions, but that is something that the North clearly does not care about.

Meteor Explosion Over Russia Injures 1100

Around eleven hundred Russians required medical treatment after a meteor exploded over central Russia, Friday morning.

Roscosmos, Russia's space agency said that it came in at over nineteen miles per second and could be seen over three hundred miles away.

It exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk, sending shrapnel and a shock wave which damaged buildings and shattered windows.

Most of the injuries were from broken glass.

Officials told people not to panic, that it wasn't an attack.

Objects from space regularly hit the earth, but most burn up in the upper atmosphere.

Scientists are still trying to figure out just how big this one was and they're trying to determine what caused it to explode in such a dramatic fashion.

A series of dash cams show the meteorite coming in:

CCTV shows the force of the shock wave:

From The Mouth of Matuszak: Sequestration Scare Excuse For Tax Hikes

Obama made a bunch of promises during his imperial decree state of the union speech to congress. He proposed a multitude of of new government programs.

Meanwhile, the nation is looming near that fiscal cliff. It backed away a step earlier this year. However, the nation's credit limit is still over-extended and facing another debate over raising it. Then on March 1, 2013, the so called "sequestration cuts" will take place.

So, on March first, the majority of government programs will face having their budgets cut. Yet, here was Obama proposing more programs that will cost more money the federal government doesn't have.

How important is this issue to congress? Not very. They are on a one week break. Some are using the sequester cuts to push their agenda. Socialists are using it to push for higher taxes and raising the debt limit. Conservatives are pushing for more reasonable cuts in domestic spending and reducing the burden on national defense. In the end, perhaps the best would be for nothing to be done.

It seems that is exactly what the majority of our legislators believe as well. However, there just may be some "last minute, save the day" bill that is a poor plan comprised of conservative capitulation, yet again, with a new law that will prove disastrous to our nation. Most likely, it will amount to just kicking that can down the road until sometime this summer.

That opens several questions that require explanation from Obama, his cabinet, and the legislators in congress.

First, what is the problem with the sequester?

The only government "programs" facing cuts that perhaps should not, or should not see as deep of cuts as they face are national defense (military), postal services, Social Security (since this is actually a debt the government owes to those who paid into it), the VA (part of national defense), and Medicare (another loan Americans are forced to give to the government that they owe back to those who paid into it).

But how deep are these across the board cuts?

Let's look at this in terms of a household budget. Currently the government spends about $4.3 Trillion a year. Their income is about $3.1 Trillion. That means they fall $1.2 Trillion short, per year, and are forced to borrow.

In "kitchen table" terms, say your family has a take home pay of $31,000 a year. Your bills, expenses, and other spending is currently $43,000 a year. You are falling short by $12,000 a year. Well, it may be a smart idea to sit down and start cutting luxuries and seeing where you can save some money. That would be common sense, anyway.

The sequestration cuts equate decreasing that household spending by $850.00 a year. That would be $16 a week in spending cuts. That still leaves $215 more a month to cut.

Instead of cutting, however, Obama is suggesting engaging in more luxuries we cannot afford.

So how will we afford all of these new luxuries?

To cover repair of  postal roads and interstate commercial roadways, the proposal is to raise fuel taxes. The tax on gasoline and diesel is currently $.18 a gallon, and has been for twenty years. Now this tax is an excise tax directly on the consumers. It doesn't include the other taxes and regulatory fees collected from the refiners, drillers, and importers of crude oil, all of which are also passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices at the pump. Then that additional direct tax is applied. With prices already high, the proposal is to raise them even more on the individual citizens.

But that is ok. Obama wants a $9 minimum wage. So, minimum wage earners will make more. Meanwhile, those making over $9 an hour will face not seeing a raise in a long time. That is if they will even be able to hold a job since positions will be cut in order to afford the higher costs of labor. Supply and demand dictate that the more something costs, the less of it that will be purchased. Also, the higher rate will mean more taxes collected by the government. 12% of $9 is more than 12% of $7.75. But wait, those same people will be facing other taxes due to the PPACA. So this raise in minimum wage will net a take home wage lower than what they are making now. So, it won't help anybody. It will hurt them.

Also, fewer people will then be paying any taxes, since more will be unemployed.

The plan for federally mandated and controlled schools, to include this "universal pre-K program" is going to cost money. Where will it come from?

Well, that is a great question. We're broke. The only answer is to hike income taxes and other regulatory fees. Expect a federal tax or regulatory fee on charter and private schools (to include home schools). It may not ever pass congress. But it will be proposed. Also, they will fine any non-public school that does not conform to their mandated curricula. It's coming. Pay attention.

So, the next great question is simple: Where is the federal budget?

We haven't had one in over four years. Each proposal Obama has presented has been late and voted down even by his fellow socialists in the US Senate.

And he is late this year, yet again. All of these proposals and no prospectus on how much they will cost and how they will be paid for. 

Sequestration cuts are real cuts. They just are not enough. The only bad parts are the cuts on national defense, especially if they don't promote eliminating civilian public sector jobs in the DoD. But, in the grand scheme, the cuts are not that deep. In fact, they aren't deep enough, especially on the little pet-project spending that is outside of what the Constitution mandates.

So, they are a good start. Public support for the sequestration cuts just may wake up the less informed voters. It may force the socialists to face the fact that they have run out of other people's money to spend. It may force them to see that it is time to balance the budget and direct federal spending where it is supposed to be spent. We cannot take this much longer.

Original Article and Commentary published at P-G Matuszak's  Mental Aikido. Copyright 2013. Reprinted with permission.