Friday, June 29, 2012

Dark Clouds Gather over the Land

This has been an historic week for the Supreme Court and America. They ruled in favor of the health care law by naming the cost to not purchase health care a tax. They ruled that in protecting free speech it is permissible to claim military service and medals earned. They threw out most of SB 1070. The one part they allowed was abrogated immediately by Obama ordering Homeland Security to not co-operate with Arizona law enforcement, making it a hollow victory. What this means to me is that States Rights have been compromised. My reading of the Constitution is that the intent was to give maximum power to the States with only a few well defined rights to the Federal Government. With the new power to tax whatever they want the Federal Government will reign supreme. These are not political issues, they are States Rights Issues. Jack B. Walters June 29, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Letter to the editor concerning the City Courses

Golf Course thoughts to consider Without doing extensive research I have the following comments to make. I have avoided playing on public courses for over ten years while before they were my venue of choice, for the following reasons; 1-After taking my picture and printing my resident card which was to be for all time, the management decided to have an annual fee. I have refused to pay it. 2-The city decided to sock it to winter visitors who brought their motor homes to Tucson for the winter by adding 75 cents to their costs to pay for Kino Stadium. I talked with some of them at the time. This added cost cut their playing time from twice per week to once per week. Others were mad enough they left Tucson altogether and went to Benson where they were warmly welcomed. 3-Ten years or so ago the city fired anyone who had any knowledge about golf and replaced them with city employees who I suspect were buddies of theirs. What happened, greens were poisoned at El Rio causing a great loss. I’m sure there were other issues like this that I didn’t follow through lack of interest. 4-Rudeness of starters and other employees- Somewhere along the way the employees decided that golfers were of lower estate than they. I can personally attest to this on the few occasions I did play. Others have mentioned similar experiences. I have continued to play golf at other courses since leaving the city courses. Your editorial in today’s Star is what occasioned me to write. The City raising cost by $3/ round will result in fewer tee times, not more. Golf is a business. It should be run by business people as a profit making venture not just for the benefit of city employees with their generous pensions, etc. My suggestion is to put it out for bids and let the private sector take over. If some courses can’t make it, then convert to parks. Jack B. Walters May 10, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Special Election

It’s over now. Barber will hold the seat at least until the end of the year. Up to now I have held my tongue but now want to say the whole charade was a farce. Everyone of course felt empathy for Giffords. Our district had muddled along for over a year without her operating as an able bodied member of Congress. As I understand it the election cost the taxpayers over one million and there were at least 2.2 million spent in political advertising. What a waste of resources and the time taken by many during the process. I can only assume the Democratic leadership felt it would be to their advantage to do this as coupling in November might not have been good strategy. Jack B. Walters June 13, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

President Nixon Deserves Credit

He deserves credit for coming to the aid of Israel during their 1973 Yon Kipper war with Egypt and Syria. Israel was nearing the end of having sufficient military equipment to continue. General Moshe Dayan advised Prime Minister Golda Meir that they were approaching the point of last resort i.e. the nuclear option. Henry Kissinger learned of this the morning of October 9. That same day President Nixon ordered the commencement of Operation Nickel Grass, an American airlift to replace all of Israel’s losses. 8,755 tons were received before the end of the war. Supplies were provided by airlift and by sea, a total of over 112,000 tons including F-4 fighters, A-4 attack airplanes, 12 C-130 Cargo planes, and every other type of equipment requested by Israel. It ended by the end of December at a total cost in today’s dollars of $4.19 billion dollars. As a sidelight to all this, only two European countries allowed our planes landing rights; Portugal and the Netherlands, so much for NATO support in time of need. Another sidelight was Henry Kissinger demanding that Israel not conduct a first strike as they had done in 1967. He said Israel would not receive “so much as a nail”. I am sure Israeli losses were much greater by waiting until attacked by Egypt and Syria. Had President Nixon not acted with such powerful full out support, it is conceivable that Israel might have been forced to use tactical nuclear weapons. What the consequences of that might be is open for conjecture. He did the right thing while in the middle of the Watergate investigation. I say give him the credit deserved. Jack B. Walters June 11, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Jack Kennedy-Elusive Hero by Chris Mathews

I found this book at the library. It is an in depth study of his life starting as a child and student. It is not my type of book. While filled with facts I just didn’t feel the real Jack Kennedy, none the less I would recommend reading for anyone interested in his life and Presidency. He was always bold and willing to push the envelope whether in school, the Navy or politics. He was always his own man, never willing to lean too much on others. I will confine this review to statements made by Ted Sorensen and Jackie Kennedy. Ted Sorensen –“ An American President, commander in chief of the world’s greatest military power, who during his presidency did not send one combat troop division abroad or drop one bomb, who used his presidency to break down the barriers of religious and racial equality and harmony in this country and to reach out to the victims of poverty and repression, who encouraged Americans to serve their communities and to love their neighbors regardless of the color of their skin, who waged war not on smaller nations but on poverty and illiteracy and mental illness in his own country, and who restored the appeal of politics for the young and sent Peace Corps volunteers overseas to work with the poor and untrained in other countries _ was in my book a moral president, regardless of his personal misconduct.” Jackie Kennedy – She gave a four hour monologue to Teddy White of Life magazine. The article was read by millions around the world. They accepted her widow’s vision; they took to their hearts the notion of Camelot_ that vanished, shining place presided over by a noble, merry hero. One last thought that was brought out in this book was his aversion to sending combat troops into Vietnam even though pressured to do so by his military staff. Early in the book there were comments about France fighting to maintain their colony there, so his aversion came early in life. I am totally convinced that he would not have allowed combat troops into that country. With his death the flood gates were opened. We all know how that came out. He did avert doomsday by keeping the military from bombing Cuba which could have resulted in Russia taking over Berlin and perhaps retaliation using nuclear weapons. We as a country and as a people were starting to regain our confidence. With his death followed shortly by King and then Bobby brought this all to an end from which we have never recovered. Jack B. Walters June 9, 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Short Discourse on the evolution of Social Security and Medicare

Social Security was enacted in 1935. Taxes started being collected in 1937 and the first benefits were provided. In the early years the beneficiaries were granted income far in excess of their own personal contributions. That was to be expected and should not have been a concern. It had to start sometime and the vestiges of the great depression were still being felt. The payments, even as low as they were, aided poor people who were desperate. At first only men were eligible. As the years passed by, the Act was amended many times to include house employees, farm labor, etc. The amount deducted and the benefits paid were also adjusted nearly on a two year cycle. This continued until 1956 when Dwight Eisenhower was President. At that time SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) was added. This provided benefits to disabled persons below the age of 65. Eisenhower opposed it but did sign into law after passage by Congress. It was funded by the Social Security Payroll Tax. Disability can be mental, back pain and other hard to prove ailments. Wikipedia reports that in 2002, 7.2 million people were receiving benefits. This increased to 10.6 million in 2011. In 1972 when Richard Nixon was President SSI (Supplemental Security Income) was approved. This program provides income for people over 65 and blind or disabled children. It is funded by General Revenues. At the same time, people in the SSDI program were made eligible for Medicare after receiving benefits for 24 months. It is my contention that the SSDI program enactment and subsequent amendments paid for with funds from the Social Security Trust Fund has drastically depleted funds from its original intention, thereby hastening the doom for the Fund. The monies placed into it to provide supplemental income for seniors is now being siphoned off at an ever increasing amount to where today it is rapidly depleting the Fund. This never should have been allowed to pass. It is not that I am insensitive to those in need; it is that welfare should be handled separate from old age insurance and Medicare. The reason I am taking the time to write this paper is after receiving an e-mail yesterday entitled “Where are the gray hairs”. It showed a picture of a Social Security Office filled to overflowing with obviously much younger people applying for benefits. Another interesting piece of information I gleamed from my research was that in 1983 when Reagan was President, Social Security income was taxed for “rich” people; singles earning $25,000 and families $32,000. Every year when I prepare my income tax, I am angered that I must do the calculation to see how much of it will be taxable income. The funds taken out of my paychecks during my working years amounted to fewer funds available to support my family. The only justification could be to add funding to run the government. It is a wonder to me that anyone bothers to work today. There are multiple ways to scam the system; the items mentioned above, food stamps, unemployment compensation extended year after year, free health care for those deemed in need, welfare checks, income to support arts and studies of all kinds. Just look at your income tax form to see the many lines that can be used to decrease taxes paid. I read recently that many holders of food stamp debit cards sell them to others and claim they were lost. This can happen multiple times without recourse, unbelievable to me that safe guards cannot be enacted to correct abuses like this. I see little hope for sanity to somehow be discovered. The truth is no politician (either party) has the gumption to correct issues like the above, since they must pander for votes. How far have we fallen when the citizens must be bribed for their votes? Whatever happened to patriotism, self-reliance and responsibility? Farewell to the American dream of a free country better than all the rest, full of movers and achievers. A major reason has been our government’s inability to preserve good paying manufacturing jobs. Our companies pay the highest corporate taxes of any other country, our regulations are far more restrictive and costly, we allow countries like China to manipulate their currency and steal our industrial secrets, all for the sake of Wal-Mart shoppers searching for the lowest cost merchandise. Jack B. Walters June 2, 2012