Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Democrats Fuel Class Warfare


 Top 20% Paid 94.1% of Income Taxes in 2009

Is the Democratic Plan to increase the tax rate on the Top 20% so that instead of paying only 94% of the taxes, they can pay 100% - Leaving 80% of the people not having to pay any?

While the opening sentence above may be viewed as... it does make the point about the article below, which concerns an issue that many of us already understand and know about, and yet many Politicians, particularly Democrats and President Obama seem to continually dismiss.  They continue to produce Rhetoric in their efforts to get reelected or promote their own agenda through creating and maintaining Class Warfare – the Rich verses the Poor -  

Report after report over the years continues to show that the majority of personal income taxes (as shown below at 94%) are paid by a small percentage and minority of the population, or in this example 20% of the people – the so called Rich – and still our elected officials lie to their own constituents and the people who vote for them about this issue, and create separation of classes over a non-existent and made up issue – The truth and facts from the governments own agencies is that the rich and corporations already pay the majority of income taxes.

So why do Democrats continue to spread this made up issue? There are many answers and Politics is a main one – but don’t misunderstand, Republicans have issues too, and trying to be objective about this, the issues with Republicans do not include creating an environment of hatred towards each other and continuing to maintain a society of Classes where we not only do we look at each other as rich, poor and so on, but create policy and programs that mandate it.

There is also a link in the below article about the so called Warren Buffett Tax story, and here too is another example of out of context remarks and twisting of what people pay - for example Buffett's lower tax payment was because of income he earned from various stock type sources that he already paid taxes on, and therefore did not have to pay taxes on the income he already paid tax on in previous years - But they won't tell you that part of the story. 

Below Article posted in CAPRI DIEM

The Top 20% Paid 94.1% of Income Taxes in 2009 



The chart above is based on data in the recently-released CBO report "Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009," showing the share of federal income taxes paid by income group in 2009.  In 2009, almost all (94.1%) federal income taxes collected were paid by just one-fifth of Americans (top quintile) and the top 1% paid almost 39% of all taxes collected.  In contrast, the lowest and second quintiles were net "tax collectors" because that 40% of Americans received more in refundable tax credits than they paid in income taxes.

But all we hear about is how the rich don't pay their fair share of taxes, and proposals for increasing taxes on "the rich," like the one from
Warren Buffett discussed here.  


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Man On The Moon


July 20, 1969
 
On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong (1930-) and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (1930-) became the first humans to land on the moon. About six-and-a-half hours later, Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. As he set took his first step, Armstrong famously said, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." The Apollo 11 mission occurred eight years after President John Kennedy (1917-63) announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Apollo 17, the final manned moon mission, took place in 1972.

Apollo 11 Mission: July 16-July 24, 1969

At 9:32 a.m. EDT on July 16, with the world watching, Apollo 11 took off from Kennedy Space Center with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins (1930-) aboard. Armstrong, a 38-year-old civilian research pilot, was the commander of the mission.
After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19. The next day, at 1:46 p.m., the lunar module Eagle, manned by Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the command module, where Collins remained. Two hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the lunar surface, and at 4:17 p.m. the craft touched down on the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Armstrong immediately radioed to Mission Control in Houston, Texas, a now-famous message: "The Eagle has landed."
At 10:39 p.m., five hours ahead of the original schedule, Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module. As he made his way down the module's ladder, a television camera attached to the craft recorded his progress and beamed the signal back to Earth, where hundreds of millions watched in great anticipation. At 10:56 p.m., as Armstrong stepped off the ladder and planted his foot on the moon’s powdery surface, he spoke his famous quote, which he later contended was slightly garbled by his microphone and meant to be "that's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
 

Aldrin joined him on the moon's surface 19 minutes later, and together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests and spoke with President Richard Nixon (1913-94) via Houston. By 1:11 a.m. on July 21, both astronauts were back in the lunar module and the hatch was closed. The two men slept that night on the surface of the moon, and at 1:54 p.m. the Eagle began its ascent back to the command module. Among the items left on the surface of the moon was a plaque that read: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon--July 1969 A.D--We came in peace for all mankind."
At 5:35 p.m., Armstrong and Aldrin successfully docked and rejoined Collins, and at 12:56 a.m. on July 22 Apollo 11 began its journey home, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean at 12:50 p.m. on July 24.

  

Apollo Program: Background


The American effort to send astronauts to the moon had its origins in an appeal President John Kennedy made to a special joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: "I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth." At the time, the United States was still trailing the Soviet Union in space developments, and Cold War-era America welcomed Kennedy's bold proposal.

 

 













In 1966, after five years of work by an international team of scientists and engineers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted the first unmanned Apollo mission, testing the structural integrity of the proposed launch vehicle and spacecraft combination. Then, on January 27, 1967, tragedy struck at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, when a fire broke out during a manned launch-pad test of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rocket. Three astronauts were killed in the fire.


Despite the setback, NASA and its thousands of employees forged ahead, and in October 1968 Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, orbited Earth and successfully tested many of the sophisticated systems needed to conduct a moon journey and landing. In December of the same year, Apollo 8 took three astronauts to the dark side of the moon and back, and in March 1969 Apollo 9 tested the lunar module for the first time while in Earth orbit. That May, the three astronauts of Apollo 10 took the first complete Apollo spacecraft around the moon in a dry run for the scheduled July landing mission.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lessons from the U.S. Shale Revolution:


It Wasn't from Gov't Planners, but Private Entrepreneurs 

Here is an interesting article posted by Dr. Mark J. Perry on his Blog concerning how recent economic improvement was a result of Private Entrepreneurs and not Government.  
 
From the WSJ editorial "The Shale Gas Secret":

"One of the few bright patches in the Obama economy is the booming production of shale gas and, increasingly, oil. The U.S. ranked 159th in GDP growth last year. But in natural gas production, it's now No. 1. 
 
How did that happen? Partly it's the luck of geology, though plenty of other countries have abundant shale resources. Partly, too, it's American technological leadership in developing hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling. But those techniques are now widely understood the world over.


What gave the U.S. its edge is that the early development risks were largely borne by small-time entrepreneurs, drilling a lot of dry holes on private land. These "wildcat" developers were gradually able to buy up oil, gas and mineral leases from private owners while gathering enough geological data to bring in commercial producers. 

Now compare this to Europe, which sits on an estimated 639 trillion cubic feet of shale gas yet remains heavily dependent on Russian imports. The governments of France and Bulgaria have banned fracking on dubious safety grounds, with nary any pushback from their publics. That might not be the case if French farmers, for example, were able to profit from the riches underneath their terroir.

Countries such as Poland and Great Britain are willing to develop their shale potential. Yet in both places the absence of private mineral rights has delayed exploration and production.

In time, perhaps even the French will recognize their lost opportunity and lift their ban on fracking.  

But the deeper lesson is that this is a revolution that came about not through government planning or foresight, but through a combination of individual risk-taking and private property. Europeans could benefit by doing more to broaden the latitude for both."


Dr. Perry is a professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan

Saturday, July 14, 2012

BLACK EAGLE FORCE - Another 5 Star Review

Ken Farmer and Buck Stienke continue to receive high praises and 5 Star Reviews for their Book "Black Eagle Force."  Buck and Ken will be available for book signing at the  LEXICON WRITERS CONFERENCE on July 21-22, 2012 in Denton, Texas, and will also he hosting a workshop.
KEN FARMER
July 10, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars 
A uniquely-rich, masterpiece of storytelling
July 10, 2012 By Shaun P. Cunningham "Picto" (TX, USA)
This review is from: Black Eagle Force: Eye of the Storm
This is a novel with the power of seduction rivaled only by lust itself. Be warned that it may gently draw you in until you can't let go, whether you want to or not.

A uniquely-rich, military-action adventure novel, one of its most striking qualities is its incessant ability to deceive you into thinking you're reading some sort of factual account from the annals of American crime history.

Several underpinning stories of international conflict are told in order to provide a foundational underbelly for the existence of a US Delta Force-style of tier one, special counter-terrorist team known as the Black Eagle Force whose ultimate mission is to take down Javier Cojone, a Pablo Escobar-esque Mexican arms dealer, white slaver and drug lord. The story develops with all the requisite objectives, conflicts and antagonistic forces one would expect from a military action novel, but does so with such rich development of characters that you may ask yourself how fiction can be so convincing when it is by its very nature devoid of facts. Black Eagle Force is written with such aplomb (and never gratuitously) that you may also find yourself believing that everything written between the covers surely happened to somebody, somewhere, at sometime (or perhaps should).

"Black Eagle Force: Eye Of The Storm" is a masterpiece of storytelling and may become the surprise elite of American military novels. You don't read this book, you experience it and if you're concerned about your imaginational capacity to absorb it, don't be. Any deficit in your imagination is negated by the sheer storytelling brilliance of writers, Farmer and Stienke. Black Eagle Force is a must-read for all those who are fascinated by (or even remotely curious about) the amaranthine conflict between the international powers of good and evil within the deep, dark underworld that remains omnipresent in our every day lives.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Davy Jones of Monkees Fame Dies

WHERE WERE YOU THE FIRST TIME YOU SAW THE MONKEES TV SHOW?

Hearing about the death of the Davy Jones of the Monkees from the 1966-1968 TV show fame struck me with a rush of memories yesterday.  I imagine most of you old enough to remember the Monkees have similar memories watching the show, but my memories may be a little different, and I will admit I did really like the Monkees.

My memories are different and the reason I really really liked the Monkees probably had something to do with the fact the Monkees TV show was the only music I was exposed to in 1966-1967.  The only music you may ask…well at that time I was a ten year old boy living in Ireland. I was born in the US, but my parents divorced and around 1963 my mother took me to Kilkenny Ireland where she had been born and raised.  At the time when I arrived in Ireland electricity had just been made available in the area and so there was a few light bulbs in the house, but no bathrooms, refrigerator, running water, radio, and no TV except for the small black and white my mother had brought with her from the States.  There was a fireplace and a barrel outside to catch rain water.  

There seemed to be only one TV station which broadcast a few hours each evening, and so when the Monkees show came on one Friday evening, I was hooked.  Besides the Monkees, there was some sort of Robin Hood show, but besides that, those are the only shows I remember seeing.  I guess that equaled about an hour of TV a week…imagine that, only an hour a week.  The only other TV memories I have from Ireland was the broadcast during the week President Kennedy had been assassinated and buried in November 1963.  It was odd because I remember that week very well and all the people in the area making a point to tell me how sorry they were about losing my President. They all loved Kennedy because of the Irish Catholic connection, but since I was a Yank, they felt that I had even a closer connection.

So, the first time I saw the Monkees TV show I was a ten year old boy in Ireland in 1966. The next year in 1967 my mother took me with her back to the United States, New York city…now that was culture shock, but the Monkees were on TV for another year, as was Star Trek, Lost in Space and others, and hearing the radio, I fell in love with Petula Clark and her singing Downtown, somewhat ironic song and symbolic to a ten year old thrust into New York City, the Downtown and Broadway. Of course can’t forget Nancy Sinatra and those boots and the first time hearing the Rolling Stones.


Monday, February 13, 2012

First Vietnam POW’s Released 39 Years Ago


February 12, 1973 marked the beginning of Operation Homecoming

This article is a re-post from an Original Post on 4/28/2009 in the National Museum of the US Air force  http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=14412
 
OPERATION HOMECOMING
The Paris Peace Accords of 1973 included provisions for exchanging prisoners of war. The plan to bring American prisoners home was called OPERATION HOMECOMING. Prisoners were to be returned to U.S. control during February and March 1973, with the longest-held generally returning first.

The North Vietnamese assembled the POWs and told them the war was over. As the POWs prepared to leave, the North Vietnamese tried to issue them brightly-colored sweaters and suits with ties--another of their endless propaganda attempts. The POWs did not want to look well-treated or like civilians, but they compromised to keep from jeopardizing their release. They accepted low-key outfits of dark pants, shirts, and windbreakers. Many of the items in this exhibit were carried home in tote bags issued to POWs.

At Hanoi's Gia Lam Airport, the men were thrilled to see USAF C-141A Starlifter aircraft landing to pick them up. The happiest moment came when the aircraft left the ground--and POWs knew for certain that they were free.

Free Again
Ex-POWs first stopped at Clark Air Base in the Philippines for medical exams, good meals and new uniforms. After stops in Hawaii and California, they finally returned to their families and their lives as free Americans.

OPERATION HOMECOMING returned 591 POWs: 325 Air Force personnel, 77 Army, 138 Navy, 26 Marines and 25 civilians. Those who were not freed at Hanoi--POWs held in South Vietnam by the Viet Cong, mostly Army and civilians--left from Loc Ninh, the scene of the North Vietnam-South Vietnam prisoner exchange. A total of 660 American military POWs survived the war.

About eighty percent of the military POWs who survived the war continued their military careers. Most of the 500 returning airmen retrained and resumed their aviation careers. These ex-POW airmen adopted the motto "Three's in," signifying an aircraft, number three in a four-ship group, rejoining a "missing man" formation.

A Flying Memorial
The first group of POWs to leave Hanoi on Feb. 12, 1973, flew on a C-141 later dubbed the Hanoi Taxi. This historic aircraft is part of the National Museum of the USAF's collection. The Hanoi Taxi, though modified over the years, was also maintained as a flying memorial to Vietnam-era POWs and MIAs. In 2002, during the aircraft's last PDM (Periodic Depot Maintenance), it was repainted in its 1970s gray and white scheme, and it ended its flying career with the USAF Reserve's 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB in 2006.

Recalling his own journey out of North Vietnam on Feb. 18, 1973, Maj. Gen. Ed Mechenbier, the last Vietnam POW to serve in the USAF, said, "When we got airborne and the frailty of being a POW turned into the reality of freedom, we yelled, cried and cheered." 


Friday, January 13, 2012

Interview with Actor/Author Dale Dye: By S. B. Newman

A good Army friend and Author, S. B. Newman, just completed an excellent interview with Actor/Author Dale Dye.  An very well done interview and excellent read to find out more about Dale Dye, who always seems to pop up in movies like Platoon, Saving Private Ryan and others.  Steve has done a great job with this interview and wanted to share it with you. Also check out Steve's Site  http://thenighteaglessoared.blogspot.com/
Interview with Actor/Author Dale Dye!

First allow me to say thank you Mr. Dye for participating in this series of Author Interviews for my Local Voices segment on the Patch.com.  It is a great honor!  Most of my readers will know you from your acting career with such credits under your belt as “Saving Private Ryan” and “Band of Brothers.”
What many of them may not know is that you are also a prolific writer with several published titles to your name.  That is what I am most interested in, learning about you as not only an actor but also as a writer.
1.  What is your full name and please tell us a little about yourself.  I know you are a veteran, a combat veteran?  What books you’ve written?
DALE ADAM DYE was born October 8, 1944 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He graduated as a cadet officer from Missouri Military Academy but there was no money for college so he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January 1964. He served in Vietnam in 1965 and 1967 through 1970 surviving 31 major combat operations. He emerged from Southeast Asia highly decorated including the Bronze Star with V for Valor and three Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in combat. He spent 13 years as an enlisted Marine, rising to the rank of Master Sergeant before he was chosen to attend Officer Candidate School. Appointed a Warrant Officer in 1976, he later converted his commission and was a Captain when he was sent to Beirut, Lebanon with the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in 1982-83. He served in a variety of assignments around the world and along the way managed to graduate with a BA degree in English Literature from the University of Maryland.
DYE worked for a year at “Soldier of Fortune” Magazine when he finally decided to retire in 1984. He spent time in Central America, reporting and training troops in guerrilla warfare techniques in El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica before leaving the magazine in 1985 and heading for Hollywood.  He founded the leading military consultancy to motion pictures and television shortly thereafter and his WARRIORS, INC. firm has worked on more than fifty movies and TV shows including several Academy Award and Emmy winning productions.  DYE is a published novelist, screenwriter and director.  He is also a consummate character actor with appearances in many films and television productions.
His published novels include “Run Between The Raindrops,” “Platoon” (novelization of Oliver Stone’s film script), “Outrage,” “Conduct Unbecoming,” “Duty and Dishonor,” “Code Word: Geronimo” (a graphic novel), “Laos File,” (Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal winner), and “Peleliu File.”
2.  Please tell us about the body of your work and how does that relate to your writing?  Has being an actor helped you in your writing?
We’ve just listed my books. If by “body of work” you mean my film and TV work as a screenwriter, director, consultant and actor, there’s just too much at this point to mention here.  Interested folks can look it all up on IMDb.com or go to my website at www.warriorsinc.com for a full run-down.
I’m not sure if being an actor has helped my writing or the other way around.  As an actor, I’ve certainly gained some valuable insights about things like dramatic structure; pacing, character development and voice that have all improved my writing.  As a writer I’ve been blessed with a vivid imagination, a glib hand with language and an eye for detail.  In the end it’s all about being a good, enticing and captivating story-teller. Whether you’re doing that through the written word or performance on screen, the business of telling or interpreting an interesting, engaging story is the same.
3. What is one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
Well, two things, I guess.  My stories are mostly military-oriented and they are based on real-world experiences of one kind or another.  Secondly, I have an agenda in my work whether it’s writing, filmmaking or acting and that’s to shine some long overdue positive light on our men and women in uniform.  I’m out to correct some misconceptions about professional military people and destroy some of the negative stereotypes that have hung around in popular media since Vietnam. 
4. When did you know that you wanted to become a writer, or that you had become a writer?
I come from a family of great story-tellers and the first fascinating things I can remember hearing as a kid were bawdy jokes or booze-fueled war stories from World War II and Korea vets.  There was something about listening to those guys swap lies and compare experiences that just fired some sort of genetic trigger in me.  I knew I wanted to tell stories.  I didn’t know how to do that but I was convinced I should and would one day.  I’ve also always been an avid reader; one of those guys who can easily and willingly completely immerse himself in a good book by a captivating author.  I love language and get a real kick out of playing with it, so writing was a natural creative pursuit for me.
5. In your writing style and methods, what is your greatest strength?
I have a genuine, no-nonsense work ethic when it comes to writing. Once I decide to write, whether it’s a screenplay, a book, an article or anything else in that vein, I look at it as a mission and I work at it regularly without fail.  Even if it’s only a sentence or two or a single paragraph, I write on the project religiously at least once a day.  I’m told one of my greatest strengths as a writer is dialogue.  I know my character’s voice and I write in that voice using appropriate grammar and vocabulary which makes my dialogue ring true to readers or listeners.
6. How would you describe your creative process?  Do you approach it like a 9 to 5 job or does it just come naturally to you?  
My response to the previous question will give you some insight to this one in terms of creative process.  That said, I think it does come naturally to me. Only very rarely does writing seem like work and that’s usually when I’m writing something for pay that I really don’t want to do or working on something that doesn’t hold my interest. I’ve always found – particularly in writing fiction – that the story and characters take over from me at some stage of the process. I can’t describe it accurately because I really don’t understand it but I find that at a certain point in writing a novel, there’s very little cognitive thinking going on and the story just seems to unfold in front of me as I pound on the keyboard.  It’s as if the character just jumps up off the page and says “OK, here’s what happens next.  Now describe it.” Might be some kind of voodoo or weird literary mojo but it works for me. 
7. What are the biggest obstacles you find to creativity, in writing?
The biggest obstacle in writing is failing to do so.  If you’re motivated to write, learn to use language creatively and practice at it.  Don’t be afraid to copy your favorite writer’s style as a starting point until your own voice develops.  On the other hand, if it turns out to be an agonizing labor for you, drop the idea.  Life is too short to suffer like that.  I believe we are all born with a certain creative bent that provides enormous satisfaction in our lives.  Sometimes that comes from writing; sometimes it comes from hobbies or handicrafts.  There’s nothing sacred about writing.  Some people can do it and others can’t. 
8. What is your next project?  Is it a novel?
I’m working on a new Shake Davis/File novel to continue the very popular series that began with “Laos File” and “Peleliu File.”  As an actor, I’m getting ready to reprise my role in the TNT sci-fi series “Falling Skies” where I play a leader of human resistance to an alien invasion of earth.  We’re shooting right now in Vancouver.  As a writer/director, I’m preparing a new feature film that I’ll be shooting in Belgium this spring.  It’s a World War II/82nd Airborne Division story called “No Better Place To Die.”
9. Tell us more about the work you do with (Veterans or other groups or charities?) and how can our readers find out more about your efforts and ways we can help out?
I’m a big supporter of our active military and I spend a lot of time each year as an invited guest and speaker at bases around the country.  Naturally, many of those are Marine bases but the Army and Navy also keep me fairly high on their lists.  I do a lot of work for the Wounded Warriors Project and lend what time I can afford to organizations such as the VFW and American Legion.  In fact, the American Legion is honoring me with the 2012 National Commander’s Public Relations Award this February in Washington, DC.
10. How can our readers find out more about your writing?  Are your books available as eBooks?  Is it possible to order a signed copy?  How do we do that?
All of my current work is available through Amazon.com or through www.warriorspublishing.com. The books are available for e-readers of most kinds.  If you order a book through Warriors Publishing Group, I’ll be glad to personalize it and add my signature.  Lots more information and links to other features can be found at www.warriorsinc.com.
Well, we all appreciate your time Dale!  Thank you so much for all that you have done to help me in my efforts to learn about screenwriting and the industry in general.  I am a big fan of your work, which I know for a fact is very well respected throughout the military community.  It is my hope that perhaps we can get another chance to hear from you after you finish with your current projects.  I for one am very excited to see both the television series and the new movie!
Again, thank you Dale!
And thank you to our readers.
Everybody, please feel free to join me on facebook!
Steve Newman, Author - "The Night Eagles Soared"