Thursday, January 31, 2013

Property Tax Regressive?


“Regressive,” as any practicing progressive knows, is the opposite of “progressive.” Theoretically, a progressive income tax is levied on those who, in the words most often used to defend the tax, can well afford to “pay their fair share,” the fairness of their share to be determined, naturally, by progressives. The sole purpose of the progressive income tax is to shift the burden of tax payments from the poor to the rich.

During the war years, Franklin Roosevelt, spurred on by progressives, signed into law the “Revenue Act of 1935,” a “wealth tax” that raised the federal income tax to 75 percent on incomes over 5 million. The 5 million, as it turned out, was but a foot in the door. Under the administrations of President Barrack Obama and Governor Dannel Malloy, millionaires have come down in the world, and anyone who makes a quarter of a million per year is considered, for progressive tax purposes, a millionaire.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Self Reliance And Personal Security by Sean Murphy


Sean Murphy is a conservative activist who lives in Woodbury

I have been watching the politicization of recent mass shootings and it is time that we have an informed and unemotional discussion about what is going on today.

The issues I am about to discuss are not directed at a specific event, but are general commentary.  I am not an avid shooter or hunter.  I was not brought up around guns.  I have educated myself on firearms in the past few years.  I have attempted to grasp why so many Americans have the positions they do against firearms. 

DeStefano Florida Bound?



It’s important when you are the Democratic mayor of a large city in Connecticut to have an immovable rug under your feet so that political opponents may not pull it out from under you, sending you sprawling into anonymity. The traditional power structures in cities ain’t what they used to be.

In New Haven, while Mayor John DeStefano was tending to more important things – inviting school unions to partner with him in forming educational policy for the city, rolling out the red carpet for illegal aliens or, if one prefers, undocumented workers, community policing – a slate backed by Yale’s unions seized control of the party last year.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Gun Hearing Crowd



Here are three pictures of the crowd waiting in the snow to enter the Legislative Office Building (LOB) either to testify or watch the hearings on gun control. The pictures were taken on the morning of the hearing at 10:30. The hearing was due to begin at 10:00.


The picture above shows the entrance to the LOB. The end of the line is marked by the yellow cone at the far right of the picture. Parking proved to be a problem. The LOB lot was full, and arrivals after 10:00 were told by police that there was no parking on site. I was told by a private parking lot attendant that the nearest public lot was down Capitol Avenue about 9 blocks. The nearby streets were all lined with parked cars.   

 
The picture above gives an idea of the length of the line. It stretches from the entrance to the parking lot building  seen at the far left and snakes back again to the entrance seen in the first picture above. People are standing five and six abreast.
 
I was so far back in the line that I had to give up hope of getting in. A gentle snow was falling as I left. A second amendment lawyer with whom I had a conversation while in line also threw in the sponge. He wanted to testify. Via I-Phone, he was in communication with another lawyer then inside the building who had drawn from a basket his testimony number -- well into the two-hundreds. He also left. Behind us, the line continued to grow.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

On The Other Hand



As a survivor of the Luby's massacre, Hupp testified across the country in support of concealed-handgun laws. She said that if there had been a second chance to prevent the slaughter, she would have violated the Texas law and carried the handgun inside her purse into the restaurant. She testified across the country in support of concealed handgun laws, and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1996. The law was signed by then-Governor George W. Bush.




Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Where Is The Technological Solution To Unauthorized Gun Use?



One of the reasons Americans are by nature optimistic is that they seem to believe that there is no problem on earth to which there is not at least one technological solution.

State politicians are now actively engaged in addressing the mass murder in Sandy Hook where, more than a month ago, a gunman fired upon school children, killing 20 children and 6 staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and some critics have attacked a few of the legislative solutions so far offered because they regard them as non-solutions.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Harvesting millionaires, French Expats, Malloy Snoozing


The best laid plan of Socialist French President Francois Hollande (pronounced O-Lend) to tap millionaires with a 75 percent tax appears to be falling asunder.

Popular French actor Gérard Depardieu recently moved to Belgium, nearly within spitting distance of France, to escape France’s new 75 per cent top marginal income tax rate imposed on millionaires, as noted here in Connecticut Commentary.

M. Depardieu took the additional precaution of acquiring Russian citizenship, but this was intended, some suppose, to spite the lesser socialistic pretentions of M. Hollande.

Now, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy appears to be following in M. Depardieu’s footsteps. According to a piece in the UK’s Daily Mail on Line, M. Sarkozy is hightailing it to London along with his lovely wife Carla Bruni.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Coming Neanderthal Congress


Good or bad news on the scientific front, depending upon one’s political orientation.

A professor at Harvard Medical School, George Church, believes he may be able to reconstruct Neanderthal DNA. And Mr. Church, a pioneer in synthetic biology who helped initiate the Human Genome Project that mapped our DNA, is not just whistling Dixie.

The thing is doable: Mr. Church has analyzed the Neanderthal genetic code using samples from bones, and the analysis, he says, is sufficiently complete to reconstruct their DNA.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Spending Sink Hole and the Fat Lady’s Song


Governor Dannel Malloy’s budget staff and the General Assembly’s non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis are now on the same budget gap page. All the green eyeshade folk have agreed in a consensus report that Connecticut has entered the sinkhole.

Only a few weeks ago during a special session of the General Assembly, Mr. Malloy and Republican legislative leaders came together – in the spirit of Sandy Hook, as one of them put it – to wrestle to the ground a budget deficit of nearly a half billion dollars.

Kerry and Vietnam War Video



President Barrack Obama has nominated Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

“It gives you pause for thought” – Leo Thorsness, POW, 5 years

Click here for video of Vietman and the Kerry years.
 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Face in the Crowd


I selected him at random out of a crowd at the rally numbering about a thousand, according to the head counters, though the crowd seemed larger than that to me. He was, I would guess, about 50+ years, dressed for warmth, as was most of the crowd on this cold mid-January day. We were slightly pressed together, people bustling and talking on all sides of us. The crowd stretched the entire length of the Capital building and was deep enough so that those on the edge spilled across the driveway and parking lot, some standing on the grass on the North side of the Capital. As most people who have over the years participated in rallies well know, this is the cold side of the grounds. For present purposes, we’ll call him Mr. Easton, the town he hailed from. I purposely did not ask him his name, neither did I identify myself as a political writer. If you want a canned response from a member of a crowd at a rally – any rally – you have only to identify yourself as a media person. I had not intended to report on the rally and brought with me no recording device. The interview below is a fresh and faithful recollection of our conversation.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Conspiracy Theorists And Connecticut Lawmakers




The absence of authoritative reports and data is the breeding ground of conspiracy theorists. No conspiracy theorists so far – though it may be best to keep quiet about this; you never know – has alleged that those who believe the earth is round are engaged in a vast conspiracy to subtly undermine the truth, which is that the earth is flat, as everyone can well see. For the professional conspiracy theorist, there is no point in doubting received truths of long standing.
Everything else is fair game.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No More Briefings Please


“It's not what you don't know that kills you, it's what you know for sure that ain't true” -- Mark Twain

The police report on the mass slaughter in Sandy Hook will not be completed until mid-March. But the absence of a final  report will not hinder Governor Dannel Malloy; and in fact, the governor told reporters on Tuesday, January 15, that he has broken off briefings from the state police, according to an Associated Press report.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sharkey in the Water


In closing a $2 billion hole in Connecticut’s next budget, Governor Dannel Malloy does not have many cards left in his hand. In his first budget, Mr. Malloy was careful to steer a path around state cuts to municipalities. He chose instead to execute a broad based tax increase, the largest in state history. That hefty tax increase permitted the governor to “hold the towns blameless,” in the words of recently installed Speaker of the State House Brendan Sharkey.

That was then. And now?

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Real State of the State


Govern Dannel Malloy’s State of the State message gave little indication of his plans for the future. From a budgetary or strategic planning point of view, there wasn’t much “there” there, but the speech evidentially was framed for a national audience.

Everyone who has made a speech on any topic will tell you that the substance of a speech is determined in large part by the nature of your audience. One report indicated that the address was, compared with other state of the state addresses, a bit out of the box; other governors have used the occasion to map out a plan of governance for the new legislative session, and Mr. Malloy didn’t.  On the other hand, he felt compelled to say something about Sandy Hook, a national and even international story.  On Sandy Hook, he should be telling the legislature not to be precipitous; wait for the investigation to be completed.  He may be doing that, but one never knows what goes on behind closed doors.

Hageman on the Republican Party

Note: The video below is somehat dated. But in any necessary reform, it helps to take a look back before taking a leap forward.

At the end of the presentation below, State Senator Joe Markley steps forward to recommend Doug Hagemen as Chairman of the State Republican Party, and he credits Mr. Hagemen for having cajoled and pushed and pulled him into state politics.

I would add my commendation to his. Mr Hageman's remarks show the French were right when they said -- it sounds better in French -- "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Guns, Taxes and Governing


In response to the mass killing in Sandy Hook, Democratic legislators in Connecticut’s General Assembly, under pressure to do something – anything, quickly!!! -- have so far offered some novel recommendations.

State Senator Beth Bye of West Hartford and state Representative Bob Godfrey of D-Danbury have proposed a limitation to high capacity weapons; the Majority Leader in the State Senate, Martin Looney, has vowed to introduce a bill prohibiting those barred from legally owning firearms from possessing ammunition as well. Ms. Bye and Mr. Godfrey want a 50 percent tax on ammunition, and Mr. Looney anticipates a bill that would tax “expensive guns,” the proceeds from which could be used  to set up a fund for mental health support. No one should hold his breath; dedicated funds in Connecticut melt into the General Fund whenever the legislature has written too many costly bills – which is to say, always.

None of these larval bills would have prevented the slaughter at Sandy Hook. The weapons used by Adam Lanza were properly purchased by his mother, the killer’s first victim. Connecticut is a small state, and both weapons and bullets easily can be purchased elsewhere.

Monday, January 07, 2013

How to Write a Dumb Law


The easiest way to write a dumb law is to pass a bill uninformed by certifiable data.

Following the massacre of school students at Sandy Hook Elementary school, U .S. Senator Chris Murphy, newly sworn into the Congress, issued his first media release of the New Year in the course of which he vowed to fight “to strengthen Connecticut’s economy” and “grow jobs in science, technology, manufacturing, and defense.”

And with a nod in the direction of bloodstained Newtown, the junior U.S. Senator from Connecticut pledged “to be a leading voice in the national conversation to end the kind of gun violence that shattered precious young lives and devastated a community in Newtown, Connecticut just three weeks ago.”

Friday, January 04, 2013

The Fiscal Cliff Aversion Bill


The Washington Post – generally not considered to be either conservative or tea party friendly – puts the hard truth bluntly in the lede to a front page story in a Hartford paper:

“Economists generally offer three theories for what’s hampering the still-sluggish U.S. economy: the Keynesian theory, which would like to see lower taxes or more government spending; the spending/debt theory, which would like to see both of those reined in; and the uncertainty theory. Under none of them can the White House-Congress deal to avert the ‘fiscal cliff’ be considered an economic success.”

And then, of course, there is your mother’s theory: “Don’t spend more than you take in, and try to tuck away a little savings for the inevitable rainy day.”