FT131: “If liberals say sin taxes hit low-income and young adults disproportionally they must know they have photo IDs.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 17th, 2012

Fundamental Truth

Liberals want to Tax the Poor while Looking Like they’re not Taxing the Poor

A sin tax is an excise tax.  An excise tax is a flat tax.  Everyone pays the same amount.  Which liberals/progressives find unfair.  As these taxes hit low-income people disproportionately.  Whether it’s someone living on low wages.  Or on limited government support.  They live on a small amount of money each week.  And if they buy alcohol or cigarettes those sin taxes consume a large proportion of their weekly spending money.  By greatly increasing the price for alcohol and cigarettes.  When you hear things like ‘placing a bulls-eye on Joe Six-Pack’s back’ it refers to a low-income guy that enjoys drinking beer.  But drinking beer is difficult for him to do because the current tax structure favors the rich.  Who can more easily afford excise taxes.

And it’s the same for cigarette smokers.  There has been a war on tobacco.  And it’s been so successful that a lot of college-educated people don’t smoke these days.  For it is politically incorrect to smoke today.  They’ve banned it from restaurants.  From the office.  Even outside in some places.  Some are even trying to ban it in people’s homes if they have children.  Progressives hate smoking so much that they have placed enormous sin taxes on cigarettes.  Making it very difficult for Joe Six-Pack to buy his cigarettes.  And it is the low-income and those without college educations who tend to smoke these days.  So the people who can least afford to pay these high sin taxes pay most of them.

Progressives want to raise tax rates on the rich.  Because they have more money and therefore should pay more in taxes.  According to them.  So they can transfer the cost of government away from the low-income to the high-income.  And they’ve succeeded.  Today almost half of all taxpayers pay no federal income taxes.  While the top 10% of earners pay approximately 70% of all federal income taxes.  Yet despite this huge transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor sin taxes have continued to rise.  Meaning the liberals want to tax the rich.  And they want to tax the poor.  While looking like they’re not taxing the poor.  By ascending their self-righteous soapboxes.  For they know better than we.  Sin taxes, they say, are for our own good.  They discourage bad behavior.  And encourage good behavior.  Behavior that they approve of.  And it’s only coincidental that they these taxes fall disproportionately on Joe Six-Pack.  Then they try to take the little income remaining from poor Joe by selling him lottery tickets.  Something else more lower income people buy than rich people.  For rich people are already rich.

Obamacare combines the Joy of a Colonoscopy with the Fear and Loathing of an IRS Audit

Most people would rather have a colonoscopy than sit through an IRS audit.  Why?  Because a colonoscopy is more enjoyable.  It only takes a couple of hours as an outpatient in the hospital.  Your odds are better for getting good news after a colonoscopy than after an IRS audit.  And doctors are happy to give good news to their patients.  While IRS agents are happy when they can take your money.  The more of it they can take the happier they are.  And with today’s tax code they can always find money to take from you.  Especially if you’re a business owner.  Or a movie star.  Where you can lose your pension, your children’s college fund and your house if you made a mistake or trusted an untrustworthy accountant.  So given the choice people would choose a colonoscopy over an IRS audit almost any day.  Even without the anesthetic.

And speaking of health care and the IRS, how about that Obamacare?  The liberals’ solution to ‘fix’ health care.  Even though it wasn’t broken.  Americans have long opposed any form of national health care.  They opposed it when Hillary Clinton tried to put a plan together behind closed doors.  And they still oppose it.  Based on that majority of the population that wants to repeal Obamacare.  Which they passed into law thanks to some backroom deals.  And fun with numbers.  The big selling point was to keep the cost of it below what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost.  If the liberals could keep the price tag below a trillion dollars over a ten year period they could say it wouldn’t cost Americans an extra dime to give ‘free’ health care to everyone.  Because they would just transfer all of that war spending to health care spending.  Despite those trillion dollar deficits.  A debt approaching $16 trillion.  And an economy wallowing in the Great Recession.

So how did they do it?  Keep the cost under a trillion dollars?  By being devious.  The data they submitted to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) included ten years of expenditures but only 6 years of benefits.  Because 6 years of benefits cost about a trillion dollars.  Well, almost.  They also stole about $700 billion from Medicare.  So the real cost of Obamacare over a ten year period is closer to $3 trillion.  Or about three times the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  How’s that for free health care?  So Obamacare is really, really expensive.  Which is why Obamacare forces all Americans to buy health insurance.  Even the young and healthy who would rather put that money into a house payment while they are young and healthy.  And how are they going to enforce this?  By combining the joy of a colonoscopy with the fear and loathing of an IRS audit.

Getting a Photo ID is too Costly, too Complex or just too Time Consuming unless you’re a 16-Year-Old Anxious to Drive

Because of Obamacare everyone will have to prove to the IRS that they have bought health insurance.  Which means if you want health care you better file your federal income taxes.  Have a Social Security number.  And have proven to your employer that you are a legal citizen.  With two pieces of documentation.  Like a Social Security card.  And a photo ID.  Pretty intense requirements.  And much more stringent than it used to be when anyone could go to the emergency room and receive treatment.  Today if you’re sick you better hope dotted your ‘i’s and crossed your ‘t’s.  Because in Obamacare before you can get a colonoscopy you have to first answer to the IRS.

And Joe Six-Pack?  We love you.  Because you’re just an average Joe.  The backbone of America.  Working hard and raising your family.  So who are we to begrudge you a cold beer after a hard day’s work?  Or a smoke?  We won’t judge you for enjoying those things.  Because a lot of us enjoy those things, too.  Even if it’s not politically correct.  Or in our best interests.  Or behavior those ‘better than us’ would approve of.  Just make sure you have your photo ID before you buy your beer.  Or your pack of smokes.  Because unless you look old you aren’t buying either without one.  Even if you’re a grizzled war veteran.  And been to hell and back in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Because even a Purple Heart won’t get you beer or a pack of cigarettes without a photo ID.

The liberals have made it harder for you to get health care.  Or to smoke.  And they’re not making it any easier to drink adult beverages.  If you want to do any of these things you better suck it up and get a photo ID.  Because proving who you are, how old you are and whether you are a legal citizen are very important to liberals.  Unless, that is, you want to vote.  Then they don’t give a damn.  They even say asking for a photo ID to vote is only a way to disenfranchise the low-income and young adults.  So they can’t vote.  Because getting a photo ID is too costly, too complex or just too time consuming.  (Except for all those 16-year-olds anxious to drive.)  Yet these are the very same people who acknowledge that the low income and young adults pay a disproportionate share of sin taxes.  Which they pay on those things you can only buy with a photo ID.

So why this bizarre and inconsistent behavior on the part of liberals?  Well, it must have something to do with the vote.  And based on their devious behavior in passing legislation people don’t want, one can only assume that their lax attitude is for one reason.  Making it easier for them to win elections when they pursue policies that the people don’t want.  Like Obamacare.  Which is why when it comes to the vote they want anyone to be able to walk in off the street and say they’re whoever they say they are and vote.  Unlike the ‘hell’ people have to go through to buy a beer, a pack of cigarettes, getting a job or collecting their lottery winnings.  Yes, if you win the big one you’ll need a photo ID to claim your money.  But you don’t need it to vote.  Because voting just isn’t as important as these other things.

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The TSA’s Obsession with our Genitals Borders on the Ridiculous and Threatens our Security

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 20th, 2010

You don’t Touch a Stripper’s Genitals because it’s Wrong and Could Spread Infectious Disease

When I was a younger man I visited a strip bar or two.  And one thing about young men when they consume vast amounts of alcohol, they get handsy.  They’ll do things that can get the men with the thick necks over to you and bounce you out before you know what’s happening.

Back then (and probably now), you looked but didn’t touch.  Mostly.  Sometimes you could touch.  But there were limits.  Butt cheeks.  Some boob.  But no naughty bits.  Well, maybe some naughty bits.  Some strippers would let you bury your face in their breasts while you did the motorboat.  But you kept your mouth shut.  Because some other guy might have just been where you are now.  And you don’t want to swap spit with strange men. 

Some rules were a little more lax than others.  Depending how slow the night was and how drunk your stripper was.  But one thing you didn’t do was make genital contact.  If the guys with the thick necks caught you doing that, they’d ask you to leave.  And I don’t mean in a polite way.

Why?  Strippers could spread some nasty diseases that way.  One stripper with Chlamydia could infect a lot of men who could in turn infect a lot of women (wives, girlfriends, one-night stands, etc.).  That’s why bouncers will throw you out.  Because genital contact in a strip bar is like a flashing neon sign that says, “Shut us Down.”

Don’t Put that Gloved Hand Down my Pants.  I don’t Know Where it’s Been.

So genital contact with strangers is not a clean thing to do.  Infectious disease-wise.  Even strip bars that have nude or semi-nude women dancing in dark rooms with loud music systems and smoke affects will police any genital contact with extreme prejudice.  Because strip bars are responsible.  Unlike the TSA (see Woman says her Lambert security screening was sexual assault posted 11/18/2010 on KMOV St. Louis).

Moroney explains “Her gloved hands touched my breasts…went between them. Then she went into the top of my slacks, inserted her hands between my underwear and my skin… then put her hands up on outside of slacks, and patted my genitals.”

The TSA wears gloves.  Because they don’t want to catch anything when they run their fingers through our naughty bits.  But the question that begs to be asked is this: are they changing those gloves between searches?  I mean, how do we know where that gloved hand has been?  Looks like catching a cold on an airplane may be the least of our health worries when flying now.

Water Boarding an Enemy Combatant is Wrong but Hitting a Lady in the Vagina is Okay?

You don’t dare touch a stripper’s genitals.   Or do this (see Enhanced pat down leaves Grand Rapids airline passenger in tears posted 11/18/2010 on WZZM 13 Grand Rapids).

“The female officer ran her hand up the inside of my leg to my groin and she did it so hard and so rough she lifted me off my heels,” she says. “I think I yelped. I was in pain for about an hour afterwards. It just felt excessive and unnecessary.”

You do this in a strip bar and not only will they bounce you, but the guys with thick necks may take you out back.  For a good ‘talking to’.  It’s one thing for a drunken guy to cop a feel, but it’s another to hit a lady in the vagina.  That just ain’t right.    At least the 3 terrorists we water boarded were caught trying to kill Americans.

Profiling isn’t Racism if it’s Anecdotal

A lot of people are asking if we’re any safer from all of this genital groping.  Well, no, we’re not.  But we’re being politically correct.  And our government apparently feels that is more important than our security.  But the people are ready for some politically incorrect profiling (i.e., stereotyping).  Hey, if we can laugh about it in the movies, we ought to be able to handle it in real life when our lives are at stake (see Don’t touch my junk by Charles Krauthammer posted 11/19/2010 on The Washington Post).

In “Up in the Air,” that ironic take on the cramped freneticism of airport life, George Clooney explains why he always follows Asians in the security line:

“They pack light, travel efficiently, and they got a thing for slip-on shoes, God love ’em.”

“That’s racist!”

“I’m like my mother. I stereotype. It’s faster.”

If you haven’t seen the movie, Clooney’s character clocks more air miles than most people do in a lifetime.  The point being that observational experience may NOT be stereotyping.  It may just be anecdotal.

That riff is a crowd-pleaser because everyone knows that the entire apparatus of the security line is a national homage to political correctness. Nowhere do more people meekly acquiesce to more useless inconvenience and needless indignity for less purpose. Wizened seniors strain to untie their shoes; beltless salesmen struggle comically to hold up their pants; 3-year-olds scream while being searched insanely for explosives – when everyone, everyone, knows that none of these people is a threat to anyone.

The ultimate idiocy is the full-body screening of the pilot. The pilot doesn’t need a bomb or box cutter to bring down a plane. All he has to do is drive it into the water, like the EgyptAir pilot who crashed his plane off Nantucket while intoning “I rely on God,” killing all on board.

If you want to stop terrorists, we should try to stop people as well as bombs.  But not all people.  That would be grossly inefficient and divert resources.  We need to observe the behavior of those who are similar to those who have actually carried out terrorist attacks. 

We should treat them like people returning from Canada into the United States.  Talk to them.  Observe their body language when they answer.  Listen to the sound of their voice.  Are they breathing rapidly?  Sweating?  Avoiding direct eye contact?

We need to ask them questions.  Start general and get specific.  Is the person you’re visiting married?  What’s his wife’s name?  What color is her hair?  Their children names and ages?  Where do they shop for groceries? 

We need to ask questions based on their previous answers.  If they say they’re visiting friends from college and are going to the ‘big game’, ask some questions about the team that’s playing.  Or the college.  Or the city.  If this person is up to no good, a good questioning will out him.

During WWII, we caught a lot of Germans wearing American uniforms.  They spoke clean English.  No hint of an accent.  But they didn’t know American slang.   Or who won the World Series.

The TSA and their Advanced Body-Imaging Systems are no Match for a Determined Suicide Terrorist

With the tightening of Security, the bad guys are resorting to more and more suicide attacks.  This requires less sophisticated bombs and timers/detonators.  And a suicide bomber can hide a bomb where no one or nothing can find it.  Up the rectum (see Convergence: The Challenge of Aviation Security by Scott Stewart posted 9/16/2009 on Stratfor).

One of the most recent suicide attacks was the Aug. 28 attempt by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to assassinate Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. In that attack, a suicide operative smuggled an assembled IED containing approximately one pound of high explosives from Yemen to Saudi Arabia concealed in his rectum. While in a meeting with Mohammed, the bomber placed a telephone call and the device hidden inside him detonated.

In an environment where militant operational planning has shifted toward concealed IED components, this concept of smuggling components such as explosive mixtures inside of an operative poses a daunting challenge to security personnel — especially if the components are non-metallic. It is one thing to find a quantity of C-4 explosives hidden inside a laptop that is sent through an X-ray machine; it is quite another to find that same piece of C-4 hidden inside someone’s body. Even advanced body-imaging systems like the newer backscatter and millimeter wave systems being used to screen travelers for weapons are not capable of picking up explosives hidden inside a person’s body. Depending on the explosive compounds used and the care taken in handling them, this method of concealment can also present serious challenges to explosive residue detectors and canine explosive detection teams. Of course, this vulnerability has always existed, but it is now highlighted by the new tactical reality. Agencies charged with airline security are going to be forced to address it just as they were previously forced to address shoe bombs and liquid explosives.

Advanced body-imaging systems such as backscatter and millimeter wave systems?  Why, these are the imaging systems that produce the nude images that have infuriated the flying public.  The very machines that they say are imperative to our safety.  But what good are they if they won’t detect a bomb in a rectum?  For that matter, what good is an aggressive pat down that won’t detect a bomb in a rectum?  You know what would probably give this guy away, though?  His behavior (see the same Stratfor link).

A successful attack requires operatives not only to be dedicated enough to initiate a suicide device without getting cold feet; they must also possess the nerve to calmly proceed through airport security checkpoints without alerting officers that they are up to something sinister. This set of tradecraft skills is referred to as demeanor, and while remaining calm under pressure and behaving normal may sound simple in theory, practicing good demeanor under the extreme pressure of a suicide operation is very difficult. Demeanor has proven to be the Achilles’ heel of several terror plots, and it is not something that militant groups have spent a great deal of time teaching their operatives. Because of this, it is frequently easier to spot demeanor mistakes than it is to find well-hidden explosives.

In the end, it is impossible to keep all contraband off aircraft. Even in prison systems, where there is a far lower volume of people to screen and searches are far more invasive, corrections officials have not been able to prevent contraband from being smuggled into the system. Narcotics, cell phones and weapons do make their way through prison screening points. Like the prison example, efforts to smuggle contraband aboard aircraft can be aided by placing people inside the airline or airport staff or via bribery. These techniques are frequently used to smuggle narcotics on board aircraft.

Obviously, efforts to improve technical methods to locate IED components must not be abandoned, but the existing vulnerabilities in airport screening systems demonstrate that emphasis also needs to be placed on finding the bomber and not merely on finding the bomb. Finding the bomber will require placing a greater reliance on other methods such as checking names, conducting interviews and assigning trained security officers to watch for abnormal behavior and suspicious demeanor. It also means that the often overlooked human elements of airport security, including situational awareness, observation and intuition, need to be emphasized now more than ever.

Profiling will work.  And has worked.  The Israelis use it.  And they should know a thing or two about keeping bombers off of airplanes.  From the ticket purchase, to the security line to the boarding gate, someone should be asking questions and observing.  And only those they flag should we pull aside for enhanced security screening.  And then and only then, should we violate their naughty bits

It’s Better to Offend a Few than Sexually Batter Everyone

Sexually battering our women and children may seem like tough safety precautions.  But it’s humiliating.  Unclean.  And most important of all, ineffective.  It reminds me of a MAD Magazine cartoon I read long ago as a child. 

A banker was explaining their impenetrable vault to a prospective depositor.  It had every possible advanced security feature you could imagine.  Then the prospective depositor asked what the unplugged electrical cord lying on the floor outside the vault was for.  The banker cleared his voice and said meekly that it was the plug for the super-secure vault.  And that someone must have tripped over the cord and pulled it from the outlet.  But to assuage any doubts the customer had, he assured him that they normally secured that plug to the outlet with a piece of scotch tape.

And this is what the TSA has given us.  A super expensive, complex and invasive security program that some guy with a bomb up his pooper can easily defeat.  Instead of studying behavior, the TSA plays with our genitals.  And tries not to offend people who ‘look’ similar to past terrorists.

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