Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday's Political Funnies

Obama To Freeze Federal Pay For 2 Years As It Reaches All-Time High

Well that's nice that the President is going to freeze federal pay raises for the next 2 years, hoping to save around $40 billion but that still doesn't help people like me who is still out of work and those in the private sector who haven't had a significant or cost of living raise in those last 5 years. I think he should be cutting federal jobs in the process since their pay and the bulk of any hiring has been done on the federal level and not the private or local level where it is needed most. Many of us are scrapping by at best Mr. President. Read more below.
h/t Zero Hedge and Left Coast Rebel

Federal pay increases the last 5 years. Chart below:

A study by USA Today, using US Office of Personnel Management data, confirms what has been widely known: that the biggest beneficiaries of government largesse over the past 5 years as a worker cohort, are none other than Federal workers themselves. The numbers are stunning: those earning over $150,000 in the past five years have grown from 7,420 to 82,034, a 1,006% increase. More shockingly, those earning over $180,000 has surged from just 805 in 2005, to 16,912 in 2010: a 2,001% increase. And it is on the background of this that Congress is planning on giving 2.1 million federal workers another 1.4% across the board pay raise! Additionally, it appears that the bulk of the gains have taken place since Obama took office. Can someone please stop the lunacy: this country is beyond bankrupt and it turns out that in addition to Wall Street (which everyone knows does nothing but transfer wealth from the middle class to a few choice CEOs and groupthinking Bloomberg terminal operators), the biggest thief is the very government itself, which has perfected the art of giving with one hand, and taking with 10, almost as well as those enclosed in glass corner offices on Park, Lexington and Broad (and now West).

Read this:

Federal salaries have grown robustly in recent years, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Office of Personnel Management data. Key findings:

* Government-wide raises. Top-paid staff have increased in every department and agency. The Defense Department had nine civilians earning $170,000 or more in 2005, 214 when Obama took office and 994 in June.
* Long-time workers thrive. The biggest pay hikes have gone to employees who have been with the government for 15 to 24 years. Since 2005, average salaries for this group climbed 25% compared with a 9% inflation rate.
* Physicians rewarded. Medical doctors at veterans hospitals, prisons and elsewhere earn an average of $179,500, up from $111,000 in 2005.

Federal workers earning $150,000 or more make up 3.9% of the workforce, up from 0.4% in 2005.

Since 2000, federal pay and benefits have increased 3% annually above inflation compared with 0.8% for private workers, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Members of Congress earn $174,000, up from $141,300 in 2000, an increase below the rate of inflation.

Jessica Klement, government affairs director at the Federal Managers Association, says the government's official pay analysis shows that federal workers earn less than private workers for comparable jobs. Still, she says, managers are willing to give up next year's raise: "If it will help the country bounce back, they're willing to make the sacrifice."

The Laffer Curve

I found this very detailed article on The Laffer Curve when I was looking up tax cuts and Reagan among other things over the weekend. This is from The Heritage Foundation. There you can read the full article in detail, and see other graphs and pictures on how it was used and worked during the Reagan and Bush #2 years and the early origins using tax cuts during the Kennedy years when cutting taxes actually created wealth and jobs. It is very detailed and makes a lot of sense. It's pretty basic too. At 0%, you get Zero revenue. At 100%, you get Zero revenue. There are also many sites out there that have articles on "debunking" The Laffer Curve, but history has shown and proven, that this simple economic model has worked and can continue to if applied for future generations.

The story of how the Laffer Curve got its name begins with a 1978 article by Jude Wanniski in The Public Interest entitled, "Taxes, Revenues, and the 'Laffer Curve.'"1 As recounted by Wanniski (associate editor of The Wall Street Journal at the time), in December 1974, he had dinner with me (then professor at the University of Chicago), Donald Rumsfeld (Chief of Staff to President Gerald Ford), and Dick Cheney (Rumsfeld's deputy and my former classmate at Yale) at the Two Continents Restaurant at the Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C. While discussing President Ford's "WIN" (Whip Inflation Now) proposal for tax increases, I supposedly grabbed my napkin and a pen and sketched a curve on the napkin illustrating the trade-off between tax rates and tax revenues. Wanniski named the trade-off "The Laffer Curve."

I personally do not remember the details of that evening, but Wanniski's version could well be true. I used the so-called Laffer Curve all the time in my classes and with anyone else who would listen to me to illustrate the trade-off between tax rates and tax revenues. My only question about Wanniski's version of the story is that the restaurant used cloth napkins and my mother had raised me not to desecrate nice things.
The Historical Origins of the Laffer Curve

The Laffer Curve, by the way, was not invented by me. For example, Ibn Khaldun, a 14th century Muslim philosopher, wrote in his work The Muqaddimah: "It should be known that at the beginning of the dynasty, taxation yields a large revenue from small assessments. At the end of the dynasty, taxation yields a small revenue from large assessments."

Theory Basics

The basic idea behind the relationship between tax rates and tax revenues is that changes in tax rates have two effects on revenues: the arithmetic effect and the economic effect. The arithmetic effect is simply that if tax rates are lowered, tax revenues (per dollar of tax base) will be lowered by the amount of the decrease in the rate. The reverse is true for an increase in tax rates. The economic effect, however, recognizes the positive impact that lower tax rates have on work, output, and employment--and thereby the tax base--by providing incentives to increase these activities. Raising tax rates has the opposite economic effect by penalizing participation in the taxed activities. The arithmetic effect always works in the opposite direction from the economic effect. Therefore, when the economic and the arithmetic effects of tax-rate changes are combined, the consequences of the change in tax rates on total tax revenues are no longer quite so obvious.

Figure 1 is a graphic illustration of the concept of the Laffer Curve--not the exact levels of taxation corresponding to specific levels of revenues. At a tax rate of 0 percent, the government would collect no tax revenues, no matter how large the tax base. Likewise, at a tax rate of 100 percent, the government would also collect no tax revenues because no one would willingly work for an after-tax wage of zero (i.e., there would be no tax base). Between these two extremes there are two tax rates that will collect the same amount of revenue: a high tax rate on a small tax base and a low tax rate on a large tax base.

The Laffer Curve itself does not say whether a tax cut will raise or lower revenues. Revenue responses to a tax rate change will depend upon the tax system in place, the time period being considered, the ease of movement into underground activities, the level of tax rates already in place, the prevalence of legal and accounting-driven tax loopholes, and the proclivities of the productive factors. If the existing tax rate is too high--in the "prohibitive range" shown above--then a tax-rate cut would result in increased tax revenues. The economic effect of the tax cut would outweigh the arithmetic effect of the tax cut.

Read more here on The Heritage Foundation's site.

Some Links

This one is the story of funny actor Leslie Nielsen passing away yesterday. "Yes I'm serious, and don't call me Shirley".

The director of THE best Star Wars movie - The Empire Strikes Back - passed away as well. They always say it comes in 3's. Who's next to pass away in Hollywood?

Some Oregon Muslim leaders are asking people to call down and hoping that retaliation doesn't happen after the weekend's failed bombing attempting by some 19 year old punk who wanted to kill a mass of people during Portland's Christmas tree lighting over the weekend. It amazes me how this religion and their extremists are constantly trying to harm us, but when we foil one of their plans, they ask for forgiveness. I'm just glad that this plot was foiled, no one got hurt and profiling and undercover work by the Feds is what got this guy.

Why haven't we caught the founder/hacker of WikiLeaks? Our Government can shut down anything they want here, do super secret stuff all the time, etc, yet we can't catch him or shut down their site? Besides, how is this guy getting all the intel anyways? I thought this was under lock and key? The first time this year, the info he released was putting our troops in danger, now he’s revealed diplomatic secrets.

U.S. Government Seizes BitTorrent Search Engine Domain and More. If this was happening under former President Bush, the media and the far left would be up in arms and crying over this.

Then here are some links about the North Korean attack on a South Korean island recently that was unprovoked. My Way/AP, Reuters, Guardian UK, and Huffington Post to name a few.

Here is a video from Fox News Sunday where Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill told Chris Wallace that the Obama $787 billion stimulus, TARP and the auto bailout were “wildly successful.”

McCaskill voted for Stimulus, Obamacare and the monstrous Financial Regulation bill.
She will have a hard time convincing her home state she’s not like Obama.

The auto bailout was “wildly successful.” For the unions. h/t Gateway Pundit

And lastly, here is an article about how for one hour of flight, it costs $181,000 to fly the President. This is a President who has spent more time on AF1 abroad in his first 2 years than any President before him. There's one way to cut wasteful spending, have the President stay in America more and concentrate on US, than going on vacations and seeing other leaders over there.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Flashback Friday! - The Freddie Jackson Edition

This guy had some awesome love songs back in the day. Good R & B singer/crooner. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday's Political Funnies

Full List Of Airports That Currently Have The Full Body Scanners In Case Anyone Was Wondering

I'm not really sure how to go about this subject. The people who work for the TSA and these new procedures are kind of evasive to our personal space. And people thought the Patriot Act right after 9/11 was bad.

I've been seeing a lot of reports on television lately about the uncomfortableness of the new pat-down procedures that the TSA is doing and these full body scanners. There is good and bad to all of this, but in MY opinion, if I have to wait an extra 20 minutes to go through security to make sure I am safe on a plane, by all means do it. With the pat downs, metal detectors, full body scanners, taking off your shoes, emptying your pockets, etc.

I know we are America and we want to exercise all of our opinions and civil liberties, we're supposed to be free and protected, and we basically have to strip to get onto a plane nowadays (which is uncomfortable for me and many for some), but there are real dangers out there and people who will try by ANY means to hurt us. Look, they are still sending out letters with white powder, and mail bombs. I don't want someone other than my GF or Wife touching my "junk", or see me "naked" and all that, but you can warn the TSA people not to get "too close" to your areas. They are supposed to listen. At least I hope they are supposed too. I can see the lawsuits lining up soon...

What needs to happen is profiling or random searches like they do overseas. Europe uses the full body scanners too. It works. Profiling sounds bad, can be bad, some abuse that option, but if you have ever noticed, especially in crimes, profiling works.

Via Gizmodo:

According to the TSA, there are currently 385 full body scanners in 68 different US airports. Check to see if your local airport is using these scanners to sneak a peak at your goodies.

• Albuquerque International Sunport Airport
• Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
• Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
• Boston Logan International
• Bush Houston Interncontinental Airport
• Boise Airport
• Bradley International Airport
• Brownsville
• Buffalo Niagara International Airport
• Charlotte Douglas International
• Chicago O'Hare International
• Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International
• Cleveland International Airport
• Corpus Christie Airport
• Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
• Denver International Airport
• Detroit Metro Airport
• Dulles International Airport
• El Paso International Airport
• Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International
• Fort Wayne International Airport
• Fresno Airport
• Gulfport International Airport
• Grand Rapids Airport
• Harrisburg International Airport
• Harlingen/Valley International Airport
• Honolulu International Airport
• Indianapolis International Airport
• Jacksonville International Airport
• John F. Kennedy International Airport
• Kansas City International
• LaGuardia International Airport
• Lambert/St. Louis International Airport
• Laredo International Airport
• Lihue Airport
• Los Angeles International
• Luis Munoz Marin International Airport
• McAllen Miller Airport
• McCarran International Airport
• Memphis International Airport
• Miami International Airport
• General Mitchell Milwaukee International Airport
• Mineta San José International
• Minneapolis/St.Paul International Airport
• Nashville International Airport
• Newark Liberty International Airport
• Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
• Oakland International Airport
• Omaha Eppley Field Airport
• Orlando International Airport
• Palm Beach International Airport
• Philadelphia International Airport
• Phoenix International Airport
• Pittsburgh International Airport
• Port Columbus International
• Raleigh-Durham International Airport
• Richmond International Airport
• Rochester International Airport
• Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
• Salt Lake City International Airport
• San Antonio International Airport
• San Diego International Airport
• San Francisco International Airport
• Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
• Spokane International Airport
• T.F. Green Airport
• Tampa International Airport
• Tulsa International Airport

Chicago Midway International Airport, Houston William P. Hobby Airport, and Saipan International Airport are supposed to receive their full body scanners soon. Given that many of the airports in the list are major destinations, chances are someone's going to get a real good look at you the next time you fly (which could very well be this holiday season). Supposedly, TSA's goal is to up the amount of full body scanners to a 1000 by the end of 2011 too. [TSA via Geekosystem]

FCC May Regulate Internet Lines Days Before Christmas

Wanting more control over everything. That's what this administration loves to push for. The regulations the FCC is pushing are anti-business and government overreach. They say that it will create an open Internet. However, if the government regulates it, it will not be an open Internet. It will be a gateway to Internet regulation. It is crucial that we keep the government as far away from the Internet as possible. The Internet is a main force in opposition to Obama and the Democrats, and we are in the run-up to some more critical elections. Email them and let them know not to do this. Like one person said, the FCC Commissioners should be confirmed by the Senate, but they aren't. The American voice is very strong -

Via The Hill: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a Christmas gift in store for the phone and cable industry: it may move ahead on its controversial net-neutrality regulations three days before Christmas.

An FCC source confirmed on Friday that the commission plans to push its December meeting back by a week, meaning it will fall on the 22nd of the month. That's the same meeting in which analysts say the agency may move forward on its controversial net-neutrality proposal.

Though the FCC has not confirmed that it will vote on net neutrality this year, rumors are swirling that it will.

The timing of the meeting is already raising eyebrows. Some see it as a way to move the matter along before the GOP assumes the majority and while Congress is not in session to criticize the effort.

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), ranking member of the telecom subcommittee, questioned the schedule on Friday.

Read more on The Hill

Raising Taxes Will Not Reduce The Deficit

Obama and the Democrats say they are going to fight the Republicans in the next Congress. Now you know what they’re fighting for – higher taxes and more spending.

Via WSJ Online: The draft recommendations of the president's commission on deficit reduction call for closing popular tax deductions, higher gas taxes and other revenue raisers to drive tax collections up to 21% of GDP from the historical norm of about 18.5%. Another plan, proposed last week by commission member and former Congressional Budget Office director Alice Rivlin, would impose a 6.5% national sales tax on consumers.

The claim here, echoed by endless purveyors of conventional wisdom in Washington, is that these added revenues—potentially a half-trillion dollars a year—will be used to reduce the $8 trillion to $10 trillion deficits in the coming decade. If history is any guide, however, that won't happen. Instead, Congress will simply spend the money.

In the late 1980s, one of us, Richard Vedder, and Lowell Gallaway of Ohio University co-authored a often-cited research paper for the congressional Joint Economic Committee (known as the $1.58 study) that found that every new dollar of new taxes led to more than one dollar of new spending by Congress. Subsequent revisions of the study over the next decade found similar results.

We've updated the research. Using standard statistical analyses that introduce variables to control for business-cycle fluctuations, wars and inflation, we found that over the entire post World War II era through 2009 each dollar of new tax revenue was associated with $1.17 of new spending. Politicians spend the money as fast as it comes in—and a little bit more.

We also looked at different time periods (e.g., 1947-2009 vs. 1959-2009), different financial data (fiscal year federal budget data, as well as calendar year National Income and Product Account data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis), different lag structures (e.g., relating taxes one year to spending change the following year to allow for the time it takes bureaucracies to spend money), different control variables, etc. The alternative models produce different estimates of the tax-spend relationship—between $1.05 and $1.81. But no matter how we configured the data and no matter what variables we examined, higher tax collections never resulted in less spending.

This is exactly the opposite of what the tax-increase lobby in Washington is preaching today. For example, Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of the president's deficit reduction commission, suggested at a briefing several months ago that there will be $3 of spending cuts for every $1 of tax increases. Sound familiar? Reagan used to complain that he waited his entire presidency for the $3 of spending cuts that Congress promised for every dollar of new taxes he agreed to in 1982. The cuts never came.

We're constantly told by politicos that tax increases must be put "on the table" to get congressional Democrats—who've already approved close to $1 trillion of new spending in violation of their own budget rules over the last two years—to agree to make cuts in the unsustainable entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Our research indicates this is a sucker play. After the 1990 and 1993 tax increases, federal spending continued to rise. The 1990 tax increase deal was enacted specifically to avoid automatic spending sequestrations that would have been required under the then-prevailing Gramm-Rudman budget rules.

The only era in modern times that the budget has been in balance was in the late 1990s, when Republicans were in control of Congress. Taxes were not raised, and the capital gains tax rate was cut in 1997. The growth rate of federal spending was dramatically reduced from 1995-99, and the economy roared.

We suspect that voters intuitively understand this tax and spend connection, which is why there is such hostility to broad-based tax increases. "Polls consistently find that a majority of Americans believe any new taxes will be spent by the politicians," pollster Scott Rasmussen told us recently in an interview.

The grand bargain so many in Washington yearn for—tax increases coupled with spending cuts—is a fool's errand. Our research confirms what the late economist Milton Friedman said of Congress many years ago: "Politicians will always spend every penny of tax raised and whatever else they can get away with."

WSJ Online

Entitlement: Head Of Household With 4 Kids On Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than That Of One Making 60K

This sucks. I've always said to people that the ones that do the least, lie and kiss butt are the ones that get away with things. Even when I was working and for a long time, worked for minimum wage, I still never got assistance with Medi-Cal, or any other of these social services that I pay taxes into because "I wasn't poor" and "I wasn't rich". I was always in that little gray area that never qualified. I didn't understand it then, and I still don't understand it today. People like me who try to be honest in everything they do and say, always get blamed and left behind. Something needs to change.

Via Zero Hedge: Tonight's stunning financial piece de resistance comes from Wyatt Emerich of The Cleveland Current. In what is sure to inspire some serious ire among all those who once believed Ronald Reagan that it was the USSR that was the "Evil Empire", Emmerich analyzes disposable income and economic benefits among several key income classes and comes to the stunning (and verifiable) conclusion that "a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year." And that excludes benefits from Supplemental Security Income disability checks. America is now a country which punishes those middle-class people who not only try to work hard, but avoid scamming the system. Not surprisingly, it is not only the richest and most audacious thieves that prosper - it is also the penny scammers at the very bottom of the economic ladder that rip off the middle class each and every day, courtesy of the world's most generous entitlement system. Perhaps if Reagan were alive today, he would wish to modify the object of his once legendary remark.

Read the whole thing on Zero Hedge

North Korea Opens Fire On South Korea

So what does this mean for the USA? Time will only tell. We are shown to protect and help South Korea in any event, and the North looks like their getting cocky again especially since the reports of a new enrichment facility.

Reuters: North Korea fired scores of artillery shells at a South Korean island on Tuesday, killing two soldiers, in one of the heaviest attacks on its neighbor since the Korean War ended in 1953.

The barrage -- the South fired back and sent a fighter jet to the area -- was close to a disputed maritime border on the west of the divided peninsula and the scene of deadly clashes in the past. South Korea was conducting military drills in the area at the time but said it had not been firing at the North.

The attack came as the reclusive North, and its ally China, presses regional powers to return to negotiations on its nuclear weapons program and revelations at the weekend Pyongyang is fast developing another source of material to make atomic bombs.

It also follows moves by leader Kim Jong-il to make his youngest, but unproven, son his heir apparent, leading some analysts to question whether the bombardment might in part have been an attempt to burnish the ruling family's image with the military.

"Houses and mountains are on fire and people are evacuating. You can't see very well because of plumes of smoke," a witness on the island told YTN Television before the shelling, which lasted about an hour, ended.

YTN said at least 200 North Korean shells hit Yeonpyeong, which lies off the west coast of the divided peninsula near a disputed maritime border. Most landed on a military base there.

Photographs from Yeongyeong island, just 120 km (75 miles) west of Seoul, showed columns of smoke rising from buildings. Two soldiers were killed in the attack, 17 wounded. Three civilians were also hurt.

News of the attack rattled global markets, already unsettled by Ireland's debt woes and a shift to less risky assets.

Experts say North Korea's Kim has for decades played a carefully calibrated game of provocation to squeeze concessions from the international community and impress his own military. The risk is that the leadership transition has upset this balance and that events spin out of control.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who has pursued a hard line with the North since taking office nearly three years ago, said a response had to be firm following the attack.

But he made no suggestion the South would retaliate further, suggesting Seoul was taking a measured response to prevent things getting out of hand.

The North has a huge array of artillery pointed at Seoul that could decimate an urban area home to around 25 million people and cause major damage to its trillion dollar economy.

The two Koreas are still technically at war -- the Korean War ended only with a truce -- and tension rose sharply early this year after Seoul accused the North of torpedoing one of its navy vessels, killing 46 sailors.

North Korea said its wealthy neighbor started the fight.

Read more and see the video on Reuters

Feds Outlook For 2011 Not So Good

When people start opening their eyes, pay attention to the blogs, reliable online news sources and Fox and stop listening to the other idiots like MSNBC when it comes to the state of the union and this economy? The Federal Reserve kind of "shocked" people today when it lowered it's outlook for 2011 (not that myself and other blogs I've seen have been reporting for a while now, didn't know this) and that the economy and unemployment will be bad in 2011 but they are optimistic for 2012 and 2013 (which is perfect cause that's when Obama's 1st term is up). Read more about the numbers and predictions below.

Yahoo!/AP: Federal Reserve officials have become more pessimistic in their economic outlook through next year and have lowered their forecast for growth.

The economy will grow only 2.4 percent to 2.5 percent this year, Fed officials said Tuesday in an updated forecast. That's down sharply from a previous projection of 3 percent to 3.5 percent. Next year, the economy will expand by 3 percent to 3.6 percent, the Fed said, also much lower than its June forecast.

Fed officials project that unemployment won't change much this year, averaging between 9.5 percent and 9.7 percent. The current unemployment rate is 9.6 percent. Progress in reducing unemployment has been "disappointingly slow," the central bank said, according to the minutes of its Nov. 2-3 meeting.

The darker view helps explain why the Fed decided at its meeting earlier this month to launch another round of stimulus. The central bank plans to buy $600 billion in Treasury bonds over the next eight months in an effort to lower interest rates and spur more spending.

The Fed is slightly more optimistic about 2012, in part because officials expect the bond-buying program to have a positive impact. The economy should grow 3.6 percent to 4.5 percent that year, a tick better than June's forecast of 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent.

The economy will also grow 3.5 percent to 4.6 percent in 2013, the central bank said, the first time it has issued projections for that year.

The economic outlook was prepared at the Fed's meeting earlier this month and released Tuesday. It reflects the views of the Fed's board of governors and its regional bank presidents.

The jobless rate will be 8.9 percent to 9.1 percent in 2011, Fed officials predict. That's much worse than June's projection of 8.3 percent to 8.7 percent.

By 2012, when President Barack Obama faces the electorate, unemployment will be 7.7 percent to 8.2 percent, up from the previous forecast of 7.1 percent to 7.5 percent.

The Fed's forecasts of a slow economy with only gradual improvement in the job market are broadly similar to those by private economists. An Associated Press survey of 43 leading economists last month found that they expect the economy to expand just 2.7 percent in 2011, after growing only 2.6 percent this year.

The unemployment rate will remain at 9 percent by the end of 2011, the economists said.

The Fed said that data released since its last projections showed the economy was weaker in the first half of this year than it previously thought. The economy grew at only a 1.7 percent annual pace in the April-June period, much lower than the first quarter's 3.7 percent rate.

Consumers are still holding back on their spending, the central bank said, and recent reports on housing, manufacturing, international trade and employment were all weaker than expected at the June meeting.

The central bank expects prices will remain in check. Inflation is projected to rise 1.1 percent to 1.7 percent in 2011, little changed from the previous forecast of 1.1 percent to 1.6 percent.

Monday, November 22, 2010

SF - The Nanny State - At It Again

Another off the wall subject that the Nanny State of San Francisco is trying to control - circumcisions. Outlawing plastic bags, higher taxes, being a Sanctuary City (which I think should not be allowed anywhere in the country), banning Happy Meal toys, and now this. Really SF? The most liberal part of America once again thinks they know it all and wants to control every part of your life. Liberals love to do this. This is a parental decision, not a Municipal or Government decision. Can someone please bitch slap SF back into reality (if that was possible)?

Via SF CBS: The city that will soon outlaw toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals could have a measure banning circumcision on next November’s ballot.

“It’s genital mutilation,” said Lloyd Schofield, the author of a San Francisco ballot measure that would make it a “misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the...genitals” of a person under 18.

Baby boys in San Francisco may be relieved but not everybody agrees with a proposed ban.

“I just had him circumcised 3 weeks ago,” said Heather Wisnicky of Sacramento, mother of Tyler, a 6-week-old baby boy. “It’s a health issue. It’s cleaner,” she said.

Scientists with the Centers for Disease Control are still studying whether circumcisions are healthier, and have promised recommendations to the public. Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, a CDC researcher reported a sharp drop in the number of American parents choosing circumcision in hospitals — from 56 percent in 2006 to less than 33 percent last year.

“Most medical groups have not come out with strong opinions regarding pro or con circumcisions,” said CBS 5 medical reporter Dr. Kim Mulvihill. “Most are saying leave it up to the families, let them decide what’s right for their son.”

“Ah, that’s a little much,” said Earl Phillips of San Francisco about the proposed ban. “That goes a little bit too far.”

“You shouldn’t be performing cosmetic surgery for other people,” said Schofield, who points out that female circumcision is banned, but was covered by Blue Cross insurance in the United States into the 1970s.

“It’s your choice, it’s your child…government can’t rule us on everything we do,” said Wisnicky, the Sacramento mother.

“Tattooing a child is banned as a felony and circumcision is more harmful than a tattoo,” said Schofield, who believes religious traditions should change.

“People can practice whatever religion they want, but your religious practice ends with someone else’s body,” said Schofield. “It’s a man’s body and…his body doesn’t belong to his culture, his government, his religion or even his parents. It’s his decision.”

The measure is not on the ballot yet. Schofield needs to collect more than 7,100 signatures.

Read more and watch the video on SF CBS

Friday, November 19, 2010

Flashback Friday! - The Survivor Edition

This week has been crazy as you tell by the lack of posts. Been filling out more and more applications lately, finally some city positions opened up and so that's what I'm trying to submit at the moment.

In the meantime, enjoy this weeks "Flashback Friday". I can't remember if I did this one already, but in either case, who cares. I love this band. I think they are one of the best. Ron Burgandy agrees with me. This band will always be synonymous with the "Rocky" movies, but they did have a minor hit from the first "Karate Kid". Great songs!

This Week's Political Funnies