(Reuters) - The day after a task force unanimously recommended razing and rebuilding Sandy Hook Elementary School, residents expressed relief tinged with sadness on Saturday in the small New England town that became a focal point of the national debate on gun control.
There is no "gun control." The very premise is a fraud; the government proposes to use guns to come take property and your right to life from you.
That's exactly what's going on -- without the ability to defend your life you don't have such a right at all. You instead have the right to have a coroner show up and stick a tag on your big toe.
Just ask the victims' families at Sandy Hook.
$57 million is about $2,068 per person (man, woman and child) or about $8,000 per family of four. That's what these people will pay to tear down a perfectly-functional building and make a new one. That's what Lanza has managed to bill to every resident of Newtown and the worst of it is that they are volunteering to pay that $2,068 and further they are forcing their neighbors to do so whether they agree or not.
Oh, and if you don't want to pay and think it's outrageous to tear down a perfectly-functional building because someone committed an evil felony within its walls?
They have a solution to that problem.
They'll use guns to make you pay.
The police union billboards feature the warning, “DANGER: Enter at your own risk; This city does not support public safety,” MyFoxMemphis.com reported.
Mike Williams, the president of the MPA, said the billboards are meant to target city leaders and are about protecting union’s jobs and benefits.
But when you read on you find that the issue is not about staffing levels. It's about this:
Wharton said Memphis instituted a 4.6 percent pay cut to protect jobs, as opposed to issuing layoffs, but police officers want their pay reinstated and Williams said the signs are just the start of the union’s public campaign.
Oh, so the more you pay a given cop the better job he does? That sounds kind of like extortion to me -- "gimme more money or I let the crooks go free."
The union has the right to free speech.
The Mayor ought to fire them all and go out and reinstitute a Sheriff system with deputized officers, all working on an "at will" basis, and get the public involved in protecting themselves and the community as well.
I bet Memphis could cut the cost by 50% and improve public safety at the same time, while rendering all of those liars unemployed.
Never let a crisis go to waste.
Let's add to that: Consume the idiots on the 'Net with tinfoil crap about false flags while you find a way to rob them, and you've really accomplished something.
Guess what -- you're about to get rammed -- again.
As early as Monday, the Senate will vote on a bill that was introduced only last Tuesday. The text of this legislation, which would fundamentally change interstate commerce, only became available on the Library of Congress website over the weekend. And you thought ObamaCare was jammed through Nancy Pelosi's Democratic House in a hurry.
This is Enzi's "Marketplace Fairness Act", and would impose a 50-state and audit liability requirement on all web-based businesses that don't qualify for the "small business" exemption (US $1 million in sales.)
This is an attempt to get around the Quill decision that made such attempts to impose tax liability on entities not in a given state unlawful. Quill essentially set a demarcation line -- as a merchant with no offices or people in a given state you had no obligation to comply with the demands of that state.
This is an inherent part of a federalist system of government -- there are 50 state laboratories for what works and that doesn't, including different systems of taxation and spending. Those who approve of one particular state's handling of such things can move themselves (and their business interests) there, while those who disagree can move away.
Enzi's proposal, along with other similar ones and this "sneak it in the back door" game, would in fact discriminate against online retailers. Those retailers in a given state with no sales tax don't have to inquire or document where their customers come from -- you can drive across the border, buy something and drive back.
Yet now if you run your business online you will have to collect that information and both collect and remit the taxes based on where the item goes, even though it is the customer who causes the item to go there, just as he does when he drives it back in his car.
There is an argument that since these issues are inherently ones in interstate commerce Congress has the ability to regulate them. That may be technically true but the fact of the matter is that discriminatory conduct is both wrong and implicates the equal protection clause.
That the states find their tax situation untenable in an increasing-interconnected world isn't the problem of a merchant in a different state. Resolving that issue is something that each state should endeavor to do on its own in the best tradition of the "50 state laboratory" model; those successful models of taxation and spending will thrive (and add population, both of people and businesses) while those that are unsuccessful will fail (and lose both population and businesses.)
Force is the wrong approach, but force is all the government knows.
Today, while you are busy making excuses for the blatant 4th Amendment violations in Boston the Senate may well use the opportunity to stick that fine government gun in a tender place and extract the contents of your wallet.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The people of Stockton will feel financial fallout for years after a federal judge ruled Monday to let the city become the most populous in the nation to enter bankruptcy.
But the case is also being watched closely because it could answer the significant question of who gets paid first by financially strapped cities — retirement funds or creditors.
What Stockton did is what was done here in Destin (and which is now the subject of a millage-rate hike fight) and what was done across the nation -- promising that which anyone with half a brain knew was bogus and could never be paid to retirees, coupled with ridiculously-generous work rules such as "20 and out" for firefighters and cops.
This bit Stockton hard and now their bankruptcy petition has been granted, which leads to an interesting setup between the 10th Amendment and Federal Bankruptcy law, the latter of which is an explicitly delegated power in the Constitution.
Unlike most such issues this one doesn't require stretching Constitutional boundaries -- the clear principle is that the Federal Government has the power to establish and regulate uniform bankruptcy laws across the nation. This is a good, by the way, not a bad, as it prohibits venue-shopping and other sorts of hinky games that could otherwise be exploited (and would be by particularly powerful plaintiffs) to screw the common investor.
But in this case it's going to bite hard, because now we have bond insurers who wrote credit insurance on California municipal bonds and leads to the open question: Can they pay?
It also leads to one of my more-serious concerns in today's world -- unlike in 2000 when I hid in munis, today that's dangerous as hell, especially if you try to do it with mutual funds such as the closed-end favorite of mine, IQI.
IQI is down from a high of $15.07 last summer (and was pretty stable through into December) to a latest quote of $13.30. That's a roughly 12% decline.
To put this in perspective the company has been paying a 6.875 cent/share dividend of late, or about 82.5 cents/share/year. At $15/share that's a ~5.5% yield, so the recent decline in price has wiped out about two years of earnings, assuming you sell.
The attraction of these funds is obvious on its face; 5.5% tax-free (federally anyway) is damned attractive in a world of ZIRP.
It remains attractive right up until 2+ years of those dividends disappear in capital loss at which point the clue-by-four hits you upside the head.
Remember, Stockton is one little town and by itself probably isn't even represented in IQI's portfolio -- and if it is, it's almost-certainly a small piece of it.
That's not the problem -- the problem is that this is likely to spread dramatically over the next five to ten years and as it does it will hammer the ever-loving hell out of these closed-end funds and their total return.
This is a point I've made repeatedly -- that formerly "safe" asset classes in which to hide are being narrowed dramatically, especially for people who don't have several million to spread around on their own. If you're in the "many million" camp you can buy individual bonds (which are typically sold in units of $10k each) and with some care in selection you can (mostly) evade these risks. But the smaller investor really doesn't have that choice because they are unable to get enough diversification in a bond ladder to both deal with duration and specific-issuer risk in a rational fashion, and thus they're pretty-much forced to turn to mutual funds in some form or fashion.
Municipal finance, in general, is a damned mess, even in places where you think it might not be. Virtually all of that is due to outrageously irresponsible "negotiations" that took place years ago where municipal and state employees were made ridiculously-rosy promises -- negotiations that anyone with half a brain had to know were going to eventually lead to massive budget blowups.
The responsible parties in municipal and state governments did not care about the fact that any sort of dispassionate mathematical analysis had to inescapably lead to the conclusion that they would go bankrupt. They did it anyway, and yet there has not been one prosecution or even serious investigation into the conduct of these people, all of whom have a fiduciary responsibility to the residents of their city, town or state.
All of these people -- every last one of them -- should be in prison, but just like all the other looting that has gone on in the economy over the last three decades none of them are.
Enjoy the ride folks -- it's going to get rough.
I've spilled much digital ink on the Jefferson County scamfest that was foisted off on the residents of Alabama, and to this day has both bankrupted the county and socked the residents with outrageous water and sewer bills; my coverage on this began in 2008.
Feb 14 (Reuters) - Officials in Alabama's bankrupt Jefferson County approved a deal on Thursday with European Depfa Bank Plc to cut interest charges on about $162 million of the county's school debt.
Although the "plan support agreement" saves only about $1 million a year for the county, which in 2011 filed a $4.23 billion municipal bankruptcy, the resolution passed by the Jefferson County Commission said the deal would likely help the county hammer out a broader adjustment plan with its Wall Street creditors.
Note that this is separate and distinct from the rest of the problem, which was centered around the sewer system.
If you remember, that incident centered around hinky deals that featured bribery (yes, real bribery for which people went to jail) and other schemes featuring (among others) our wonderful banksters such as JP Morgan.
If you remember, our fantastic and complicit government, which relies heavily on these very same banksters to screw you blind with deficit spending that destroys your purchasing power, "negotiated" a settlement with JP Morgan in this incident.
But nobody (at JP Morgan) went to jail.
Nor did they admit guilt.
And most-importantly, the people still got -- and are still getting to this day -- screwed blind and will be for the foreseeable future.
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