Friday, December 21, 2012

Don’t touch my junk!

I am trying very hard to make the arguments about cutting, or not, spending on two Government benefits. Social Security and Medicare are being tossed around like a rag doll, and all the stuffing is coming out. Our elected officials and the News Media refer to these programs as “entitlements”, as if they are a form of welfare and something to be looked down upon.

I am not going to rant and rave about a Congress that can’t even show up for work on a daily basis. I will not rant and rave about the hundreds of billions of dollars we pay for these “no show” jobs through our tax donations. I will not rant and rave about a Citizenry that refuses to hold their elected Official’s feet to the fire when it comes to honoring contracts.

I will, instead, rant and rave about the fact that our Federal Government will be in serious breach of contract, if anything small, or large, is cut from these two programs. Beside the fact that there will shortly be a slew of additional folks on the Social Security and Medicare “rolls”, there is the flip side of that equation. There will be vastly more potential job opportunities opening up as hundreds of thousands of “baby boomers” come to the end of their careers, and slide into retirement.

The mechanisms designed to aid our Senior Citizens through their remaining years are Social Security and Medicare. These two Programs are run by the Federal Government, but they are in no way paid for by the Federal Government. How can this be, you may ask? This can be solely for the reason that these two Programs are legal contracts between the working Public and the Federal Government. These Contracts are identical to the Contract you might encounter when signing up for Life Insurance. The deal is that you pay a certain amount of money over a certain amount of time into a fund that in turn promises to pay you a certain amount of money at a certain, predetermined time. This is assistance in connection with your expendable income, once you have hit that predetermined point in time (retirement age).

How does all this relate to our Nation’s Treasury and our current financial situation? In a nut shell, it doesn’t relate to our fiscal crisis one bit. Are there some much needed reforms for each of these two Programs? Yes, most definitely there are reforms that can and should be implemented, and very soon. I don’t think too many people can effectively argue against either of these questions. The question that is arguable is that of how the Federal Government treats these two Funds. Are they going to honor their Contract with the American People, or will they continue to be in breach of said Contracts? That’s correct. They are currently in breach of both contracts. Social Security has been “borrowed” against in past years to shore up other, not so well funded, Programs, and Medicare has been grossly mismanaged and defrauded.

Where does leave the U.S. Citizen transitioning from the working days into their retirement days? It leaves that sector of our Society in a very precarious position. Luckily the money is still there in sufficient amount to fulfill the Contracts. However, if any looting occurs to either one of the Programs, the American Public has every right to file a Civil Law suit against the Federal Government on a myriad of grounds.

Two of those “grounds”, as mentioned, would be “BREACH OF CONTRACT” and “MISMANAGEMENT OF FUNDS” (fraud) (embezzlement), etc. The scary part of this situation is that we are upon it right now, and no one seems to be going to bat for the common, working folk of this Country. And, in a sense, why should anyone stick his/her neck out for us? We don’t seem to be able to do that for ourselves, now, do we? If this Problem goes unaddressed too much longer, there are going to be some Senior Citizens with very short fuses. That, my friends, could get ugly.

Hutch Dubosque is a retired Manufacturing Engineer who has taken up writing Socio-Political commentary using social media. He has a B.A. in Journalism and an AAS in Energy Technology, and is a current member of the Academy of Political Science, among other pertinent organizations. Mr. Dubosque is also the Vice President of the PTSD Alumni Association of Northport, NY, Inc.( a non-profit organization assisting Veterans).

Monday, December 17, 2012

Guns& us

I decided to take a look at the weapons manufacturing statistics for the U.S. A couple of stats jumped off the pages as I checked:” (D&B), the “”, “”, and “”. This seemed to give the most centrist and accurate report of our Nation’s production of firearms. With only a few exceptions, all the weapons made here are available to the General Public through distributors, or on-line. And, the last set of numbers I looked at were the prices of some of the more popular items (see below). Looks like just about anyone can afford ownership. These are just the numbers. Draw your own conclusions about their meaning and what might be the appropriate course of action.

Gun & Ammunition Manufacturing Industry Overview

Excerpt from Gun & Ammunition Manufacturing Report

The US gun and ammunition manufacturing industry includes about 300 companies with combined annual revenue of about $6 billion. Major gun and ammunition manufacturers include Browning Arms; Freedom Group (which includes Remington Arms, Marlin Firearms, and Bushmaster Firearms); Olin; Alliant Techsystems; Sturm, Ruger & Company; and Smith & Wesson. The industry is highly concentrated.

Competitive Landscape

Demand is driven partly by hunters, gun enthusiasts, and weapon upgrades by police departments. The profitability of individual companies is closely linked to marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by producing premium-priced high-quality or decorative guns. Although automation has increased, the industry is still labor-intensive: average annual revenue per worker is about $140,000.

Products, Operations & Technology

Major product categories include firearms and ammunition, each of which accounts for about half of industry revenues. The industry produces more than 4 million guns per year: about 30 percent are pistols and revolvers; about 40 percent are rifles, and about 30 percent are shotguns and other firearms. Within a category, a company may make guns of different caliber and style. The most popular pistol calibers are 9 millimeter, .45, and .22. The most popular revolver calibers are .357, .45, and .38.

Major Manufacturers and distributors

General Online Sales:                                                             8 companies

Firearms manufacturers and sole U.S. distributors:       111 manufacturers

Firearms Distributors/Sellers:                                                6 companies

Barrels:                                                                                     2 manufacturers

Silencers:                                                                                  1 manufacturer

Ammunition Suppliers:                                                            3 manufacturers

Firearms Training:                                                                  17 companies

Body Armor:                                                                           14 manufacturers  

United States — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law:
Federal firearm legislation is limited US states and municipalities regulate firearm use with their own gun laws

Stockpiles/Gun Numbers

Number of Privately Owned Firearms:

The estimated total number of guns held by civilians in the United States is 270,000,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population:

The rate of private gun ownership in the United States is 88.82 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms – World Ranking:

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, the United States ranked at No. 11

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population – World Ranking:

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 179 countries, the United States ranked at No. 12

Government Guns:

Number of Military Firearms:

The defense forces of the United States are reported to have 3,054,5533 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in the United States are reported to have 897,4004 firearms
Defence & law Enforcement =     3,951,953
                                 Civilians = 270,000,000

Firearm Manufacture

In the United States, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence22

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, the United States is ranked \'major\'23 24
Last Updated on 23 July 2012

Short References

1.Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q4)

2.Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q5)

23.Small Arms Survey.2001.‘Ranking of World's Small Arms Producers (By Sales).’ Small Arms Survey 2001: Profiling the Problem.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q103)Full Citation

24.Cook, Philip J, Wendy Cukier and Keith Krause.2009.‘Firearms and Firearm Regulation in North America: United States.’ The Illicit Firearms Trade in North America.London:Criminology & Criminal Justice,1 August. (Q1980)

And, these were the middle of the road in price:


Seller: AA GUNS & AMMO—BKLYNBOY  Area Code: 770                       $ 979.99


Seller: AA GUNS & AMMO—BKLYNBOY Area Code: 770                        $ 789.99

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gun Control & the 2nd Amendment

                                   Commentary from We The Peeps 1 follows this oral diarrhea.



                            You can kiss the U.S. Constitution goodbye if this goes through.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States reversed policy on Wednesday and said it would back launching talks on a treaty to regulate arms sales as long as the talks operated by consensus, a stance critics said gave every nation a veto.

The decision, announced in a statement released by the U.S.
State Department, overturns the position of former President George W. Bush's administration, which had opposed such a treaty on the grounds that national controls were better. On Wednesday, Obama Took the First Major Step in a Plan to Ban All Firearms in the United States. The Obama administration intends to force gun control and a complete ban on all weapons for US citizens through the signing of international  treaties with foreign nations. By signing international treaties on gun control, the Obama administration can use the US State Department to bypass the normal legislative process in Congress.

Once the US Government signs these international treaties, all US citizens will be subject to those gun laws created by foreign governments. These are laws that have been developed and promoted by organizations such as the United Nations and individuals such as George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. The laws are designed and intended to lead to the complete ban and confiscation of all firearms. It will never happen! The Obama administration is attempting to use tactics and methods of gun control that will inflict major damage to our 2nd Amendment before US citizens even understand what has happened.
Obama can appear before the public and tell them that he does not intend to pursue any legislation (in the United States) that will lead to new gun control laws, while cloaked in secrecy, his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is committing the US to international treaties and foreign gun control laws. Does that mean Obama is telling the truth? What it means is that there will be no publicized gun control debates in the media or votes in Congress. We will wake up one morning and find that the United States has signed a treaty that prohibits firearm and ammunition manufacturers from selling to the public. We will wake up another morning and find that the US has signed a treaty that prohibits any transfer of firearm ownership. And then, we will wake up yet another morning and find that the US has signed a treaty that requires US citizens to deliver any firearm they own to the local government collection and destruction center or face imprisonment. This is not a joke nor a false warning.

As sure as government health care will be forced on us by the Obama administration through whatever means necessary, so will gun control. Please forward this message to others who may be concerned about the direction in which our country is headed; Straight into socialism if Obama has his way. We are being led like a lamb to the slaughter (Socialism/Dictatorship).
{The preceding was received in an e-mail.}

From the desk of We The Peeps 1:  

I, for one, will never “kiss the Constitution goodbye”. Maybe that comes from actually fighting for it. If you want to effect change on that level, join the process and earn it the old fashion way; work for it. Any one of us can write this drivel and beseech the recipients to forward it to everyone they know. If that is all the “game” you bring to the table, please, fold your tent and go home. President Obama is not going to take your big, bad guns away. He is sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and he is doing just that. The President is trying to make this Country a safer, more peaceful place to live. The oral diarrhea above does need forwarding with a caveat that the sender may not have all their oars in the water. And, may I suggest that these “authors” go back to school, and learn the English language, grammar, punctuation, and all.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jumping off the Cliff

Commentary follows the hi-lighted footnotes.

President, Americans for Tax Reform

Two Thoughts on Navigating the "Fiscal Cliff"

Posted: 11/21/2012 5:46 pm

On January 1, 2013 three things happen:

First, the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts lapse along with a number of temporary tax reductions that have been extended so many times they are collectively known as "the extenders." (Note to self: possible name for female rock band.)[1]  This collection of tax hikes total $500 billion in 2013. The $1,000 per child tax credit drops to $500. The Obama Social Security tax holiday ends again. The bottom tax rate jumps from 10 percent to 15 percent and the top personal income tax rate jumps from 35 to 39.6 percent -- plus Obamacare's new 3.8 percent surtax: total for top rate 43.4%. (Do be sure to add 10.3 percent for the state income tax if you live in California, 5.75 percent in Maryland or 8.82 percent in New York.)

And unless changed, the AMT will hit 30 million families, up from 4 million last year.[2]  The AMT was originally created as the quintessential "tax on the rich" targeting all of 155 people.[3]

Second, the "sequestration" or automatic spending reductions of about $100 billion a year for ten years. This will save taxpayers $1.2 trillion over the decade and was part of the Budget Control Act (BCA) that Obama and Boehner agreed to in 2011 to "pay for" the debt ceiling increase.[4]

Third, the surtax on income of 2.9 percent rises to 3.8 percent and starting January 1, 2013 it hits capital gains making the total top rate not today's 15 percent, not Bill Clinton's 20 percent, but 23.8 percent. The top rate on dividends increases from today's 15 percent to not just 35 or 39.6 percent, but 43.4 percent total. (And then add state and local income taxes.)[5]

Obama would like to have a "grand bargain" -- as in 1982 or 1990 -- where Republicans were promised they would get three or two dollars of spending reduction for every dollar of tax increase. (The tax hikes were real and permanent and spending was not cut but actually rose from baseline.) Reagan said 1982 was his greatest mistake. His second biggest mistake learned nothing and agreed in 1990 to "two imaginary dollars" of spending cuts for each dollar of tax hike.[6]

How can Americans protect themselves against being TARPed again? This new verb is a favorite of congressmen and senators who feel they were rushed to vote for the Troubled Assets Relief Program the way a sleazy salesman urges you to buy the aluminum siding NOW without bothering your pretty little head with reading the contract.[7]

There are two protections available to the American people:

First, we can and should demand that the negotiations between Congress and the White House on continuing the various "Bush" tax cuts be done in front of C-SPAN cameras. No more secret negotiations. Open covenants, openly arrived at. Every American -- not just PHARMA and the insurance companies -- should be in the room when something as large as Obamacare or today's $500 billion tax hike is under discussion.[8]

Republicans should promise not to be snarky and must resist the temptation to remind Americans that C-SPAN coverage of such talks was one of Obama's key promises in 2008. Oh, well. Better late than never.[9]

C-SPAN cameras will allow Americans to know who is being reasonable and who is not. Who presents real solutions and who repeats talking points. If Republicans demand the negotiations be covered by C-SPAN and Obama refuses -- then we would know, as King Solomon did -- who is acting in good faith and who is not. Perhaps Obama is dealing from the top of the deck and he will demand C-SPAN start-to-finish coverage.

Second, once a "deal" is agreed to, it should be written down in legislative language and put online for every American to read for seven full days: 168 hours. No rushing tired congressmen before cameras to endorse legislation they have not read because it only exists in outline form in someone else's briefcase.[10]

If going into these "fiscal cliff" negotiations every participant knows that both his private and public statements will be heard by all Americans and that the final work product must stand the test of being read by citizens, the chance of another 1982 or 1990 or TARP 2008 will be greatly reduced.[11] Risk can rarely be taken to zero. But the ability of the American people to watch the sausage made and read the contract before signing is a better guardian of our future than the hurried endorsements of the Washington establishment based on private assurances of politicians.[12]

Commentary from the desk of We The Peeps1:
From the man who was to propel the GOP into the White House and gain control of the U.S. Senate, here is an article by Grover Norquist. Read with a careful eye and a smattering of history, this article seems to signal a sea change in the behind the scenes maneuvering in the Republican Party. If, indeed, Norquist is a “shaker and mover” in the GOP, what we have here is an “about face” in rhetoric, at the very least.
Based on the hi-lighted footnotes I placed throughout the article, we need to straighten a few things out:
[1]    ...."the extenders." (Note to self: possible name for female rock  
          Haven’t the folks of the Republican Party figured out that there are more women
              voters than  
              men? When do they intend to stop their verbal and fiscal assault on the women of
              this  Country?

[2]    ...30 million families, up from 4 million last year.
         Did anyone send the memo to dear little Grover that the Affordable Health Care Act
            kicked in this year, with more to come in 2013 & 2014? This increase is a calculated
            and known increase due precisely to that Act. This is a qouting of fact that has
            absolutely no bearing on our fiscal
            woes, at the moment.
[3]    ...targeting all of 155 people.
        This number is misleading, if you don’t put it in context. It is a number from 1980
            and the Reagan years. As of 2012, there are vastly more “Millionaires” than there
            were way back then.
[4]    ...Budget Control Act (BCA) that Obama and Boehner agreed to in
        To include a statement like this one is totally meaningless. It has no relevance
           whatsoever to any argument Grover could pose.
[5]    ...increases from today's 15 percent to not just 35 or 39.6 percent,
         but 43.4 percent...
         This is what they are complaining about?  How about asking the elder Senators and
            Representatives what their Fathers and Grandfathers paid in taxes for Capital Gains
            and Dividends? Those figures reached up to 90%, in some cases.
[6]    ..."two imaginary dollars" of spending cuts for each dollar of tax
         Well, there you go, again. Trashing Ronnie for a few “minor” little mistakes he made
             in his vision of fiscal integrity for this Nation. OOOPS!
[7]    ...congressmen and senators who feel they were rushed to vote
         for the Troubled Assets Relief Program the way a sleazy
            And, why was it that they were “rushed”? The Republican filibuster in the Senate
            caused the Bill to get backed into a corner at the Eleventh hour. The “sleazy
            salesmen” were your boys, Grover.
[8]    ...done in front of C-SPAN cameras. No more secret negotiations.
         Um...Mr. Norquist, do you think any of your puppets would ever agree to be live on
            camera, and doing the Nation’s business? You really do think that we’ve all lost our
            ability to remember just how infantile your Congressional Lemmings really are.
            Really? Cameras? Live?

[9]    ...Oh, well. Better late than never...
         Do I hear Grover coming over to President Obama’s point of view? Ladies and
            Gentlemen, we have a flip-flop!
[10]   ...and put online for every American to read for seven full days....
         I don’t know about your tired, overworked Congressmen and Senators, but the
            American People could very easily read these documents, front to back, at least twice
            in the given time frame. And, after all, isn’t transparency a Democratic issue?
[11]   ...the chance of another 1982 or 1990 or TARP 2008 will be
         greatly reduced...
         I’m actually beginning to think Grover is a Democrat, or, at least, a centrist and a
[12]   ...the ability of the American people to watch the sausage made
         So, according to Grover Norquist, our National Legislation is akin to a sausage? I
            hope this mislead, unfortunate man gets off the bus at the very next stop. The
           American People have endured enough of this oral diarrhea, and its time to clean up
           our ride into 2013 and beyond.