On the one hand we have this report:
Allegations that Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in recent attacks gained traction on Sunday when France said it had “information” of toxic gases being used against opposition targets.
The claim, by the French president, François Hollande, follows accusations by the exiled Syrian opposition and rebel groups in the west and south of the country that gas has been used nine times in the past two months, killing more than 10 people and affecting hundreds more.
via France backs claims that Syrian forces have used chemical weapons recently | World news | theguardian.com.
And on the other hand we have this one:
In remarks on April 19, Kaag said Damascus has removed 80 percent of its declared CW. She said the Assad regime could meet an April 27 deadline to surrender the rest of the weapons agents.
Over the last few weeks, the international community reported an intensification of Syrian efforts to honor its commitment to eradicate some 1,000 tons of CW agents. For months, OPCW cited missed Syrian deadlines, and at one point the United States accused Assad of reneging on his agreement.
via UN: Syria has removed 80 percent of chemical weapons arsenal – World Tribune | World Tribune.
Seriously, who do we believe? I suppose both could be true but I can’t help but think that Assad and Putin are punking us and the rest of the world.
Article source: http://weblog.larrydburton.com/2014/04/21/assad-seems-to-be-a-gas-bag?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=assad-seems-to-be-a-gas-bag
I found out that to be a qualified candidate for a write-in campaign in Georgia one needs only to notify the Secretary of State’s office of your intentions to be a write in candidate and place an ad in one Georgia paper stating you are running. I’ll announce my intentions right now to do just that for the office of US Senator from Georgia. I’ll wait until after the primaries, of course, but in the election you will be able to write in a vote for me, if you are registered to vote in Georgia, and your vote for me will count.
I’ll set up a campaign site on this weblog over the weekend. I think this will give me the opportunity to express some ideas that I haven’t done so well expressing on here in the past thirteen years writing here. I hope I can entertain and maybe even make you think with this campaign. With some luck perhaps you might even vote for me.
Article source: http://weblog.larrydburton.com/2014/04/03/larry-for-senate?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=larry-for-senate
An article in PandoDaily bemoans all the government subsidies going to Fortune 500 companies. They give the Koch Industries as an example (naturally).
Consider Koch Industries. Despite the Koch Brothers being the biggest financiers of the anti-government right, and despite their billing as libertarian “free market” activists, their company has relied on $88 million worth of government subsidies.
via Fortune 500 companies receive $63 billion in subsidies | PandoDaily.
Now I don’t support government subsidizing business but I think the term “relied on” in the above excerpt from the article could more accurately sum up what KI has done by replacing it with availed themselves of legal government programs set up to promote commerce and economic growth in specific sectors or specific parts of the country.
Personally I think the best way to get rid of government subsidies for business would be to remove the taxes on business. If you aren’t paying any tax you can’t receive tax breaks or rebates and it levels the playing field for all business and not just the large corporations.
Article source: http://weblog.larrydburton.com/2014/03/24/remove-all-taxes-levied-on-business-is-the-answer?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=remove-all-taxes-levied-on-business-is-the-answer
There is much in this article for me to disagree with (for one, giving money away and other methods of providing safety nets do not reduce poverty, they just blunt the hit for those finding themselves poor) but he does come to a conclusion that I’m fully in agreement with:
But the countries with really generous welfare states and social insurance systems, like those of Scandinavia, do not pay for them chiefly or solely with “soak-the-rich” income taxation. Progressive income taxes are part of the mix — but as Peter Lindert has pointed out, broad, relatively regressive taxes that fall on the middle class and working class, such as payroll taxes and the value-added tax VAT, a consumption tax, are necessary to fund governments that take a bigger bite out of a nation’s GDP without inducing capital flight — or even capitalist flight.
via Paul Ryan’s worst nightmare: Here’s the real way to cut poverty in America – Salon.com.
A consumption tax is going to be necessary to fund the government at the rate it is demanding that it be funded and not cause more capital to flee than already is taking place.
Article source: http://weblog.larrydburton.com/2014/03/18/paul-ryans-worst-nightmare-heres-the-real-way-to-cut-poverty-in-america-salon-com?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=paul-ryans-worst-nightmare-heres-the-real-way-to-cut-poverty-in-america-salon-com
Consumption taxes are coming. It’s the only fair way to tax the people of this country and the only way to tax at the rate required to fund our government without driving away the capital needed to fuel the economy. Even the nations wealthiest philanthropist thinks so.
Bill Gates thinks the federal government should do away with payroll taxes and income taxes entirely.
via Bill Gates Fears ‘Robots’ Will Soon Take Over Many Low Skilled Jobs.
Article source: http://weblog.larrydburton.com/2014/03/18/another-filthy-rich-white-guy-wants-to-do-away-with-income-taxes?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=another-filthy-rich-white-guy-wants-to-do-away-with-income-taxes
Smart Balance is one manufacturer of packaged foods that is contributing to the rise in non-GMO foods. Sales of GMO-free food an beverages rose at a projected 15% compound annual growth rate through 2017. However, that is still small potatoes considering the near dominance over the food chain by large seed suppliers like Monsanto, Dow Chemical and Dupont.
Between Monsanto, DuPont, and Swiss-based Syngenta , the three biotechs control 53% of the world’s seed production. Some 94% of all soy, for which DuPont is the world’s dominant producer, is genetically modified. More than half of our sugar comes from sugar beets, 95% of which is grown from Monsanto’s GM, and 86% of all corn grown in the U.S. is from lab-altered seed. And where 87% of canola is also genetically modified, 80% of wild canola, or rapeseed, has been contaminated because of the escape into the wild of these genes.
via Smart Balance Melts GMO Option – DailyFinance.
At some point, though, the growth in demand for GMO-free foods is going to hit those big seed producers in the purse and they will have to find ways to provide what the consumer wants.
Article source: http://weblog.larrydburton.com/2014/03/10/smart-balance-melts-gmo-option?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=smart-balance-melts-gmo-option
Looks like we are getting tough with Putin on this Ukraine thing. One of our leading House committees has approved a symbolic resolution on the issue:
The House Foreign Relations Committee’s resolution condemns Russia for its occupation of the Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and called on the Obama administration to enact tough financial and trade sanctions against Russia.
via Congress steps up action on Ukraine.
Personally I think Congress is wussing out on Russia’s invasion of the Crimean peninsula. Historically speaking, Russia has given us enough provocation for us to start an aerial bombardment of their troops and ships and place boots on the ground as soon as aerial superiority is achieved.
Don’t believe me? Russia flooded Crimea with troops and stationed troops on their border with Ukraine. Iraq flooded Kuwait with troops. Numerous treaties and documents spell out Ukraine’s sovereignty and the Crimean’s relationship with Ukraine. Numerous treaties and documents spelled out Kuwait’s sovereignty. Russia has oil. Iraq has oil. Russia has weapons of mass destruction. Iraq was only suspected of having weapons of mass destruction.
The precedent is clear. We must invade Russia.
Article source: http://weblog.larrydburton.com/2014/03/06/congress-steps-up-action-on-ukraine?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=congress-steps-up-action-on-ukraine
You hear it all the time, the people saying that if someone has the drop on you with their gun you’ll never reach your own gun in time to defend yourself. That isn’t true as we see by an incident in Detroit.
Saturday’s other incident happened at about 12:30 a.m. on Abrington, on the city’s west side, when a woman pulled her car into the garage, and was surprised by a gunman. The woman threw her keys to distract the man, reached for her own gun, and fatally shot him.
via Police: West side Detroit homeowner shoots, kills man trying to break in | The Detroit News.
The story tells about homeowners defending themselves three times last week from home invasions with their own guns.
Article source: http://weblog.larrydburton.com/2014/03/04/woman-shoots-gunman-in-her-garage?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=woman-shoots-gunman-in-her-garage
“Gun violence drastically increases during the ages of around 15 to around 29. You are much more likely to be shot either fatally or nonfat ally when you’re in that period,” said Chelsea Parsons, associate director of crime and firearms policy at the center.
via Gun Violence in U.S. Disproportionately Affects People Under 30 – News – Politics – Voice of Russia – US Edition.
Really?! I would imagine if you studied it you would also find out that fist violence drastically increases during the ages of around 15 to around 29 and I would imagine that these findings would also hold true regardless of the nation and regardless of the overall gun violence rate of the country. It’s called growing up.
My comments have nothing to do with gun control here. Regardless of your views on guns if you have one bit of common sense you have to agree with me.
Article source: http://weblog.larrydburton.com/2014/02/25/another-study-that-makes-me-go-duh?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=another-study-that-makes-me-go-duh