Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Now Obama targets your FedEx, UPS packages

wnd ^ | 3/19/13 | staff

The Obama administration is demanding the nation’s two biggest shipping companies police the contents of Americans’ sealed packages, and a FedEx spokesman is warning that the move “has the potential to threaten the privacy of all customers that send or receive packages.”
FedEx and UPS are in the Justice Department’s cross-hairs for not flagging shipments of illegally prescribed drugs the companies say they had no way of knowing were in their possession.
Criminal charges could be coming against the carriers, even though the government has not alleged any deliberate wrongdoing by the companies.
FedEx spokesman Patrick Fitzgerald said his company has a 40-year history of actively assisting the government crackdown on any criminal conduct, but he told WND this probe was very different from the start.
“What is unusual and really disturbing is it became clear to us along the way that FedEx was being targeted for some level criminal activity as it relates to these medicines that are being shipped from pharmacies, and we find it to be completely absurd because it’s really not our role,” Fitzgerald said. “We have no way of knowing what is legal and not within the packages that we’re picking up and delivering in this situation.”
“At the heart of the investigation are sealed packages that are being sent by, as far as we can tell, licensed pharmacies. These are medicines with legal prescriptions written by licensed physicians. So it’s difficult for us to understand where we would have some role in this. We are a transportation company that picks up and delivers close to 10 million packages every day. They are sealed packages, so we have no way of knowing specifically what’s inside and we have no interest in violating the privacy rights of our customers,” Fitzgerald said.
(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...

Circus Music

Tax Scofflaws Infest Federal Government

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 15 Mar 2013 | John Semmens

IRS figures indicate that 300,000 federal employees have evaded over $3.5 billion in federal income taxes. Forty White House employees account for over $300,000 of these unpaid levies.
While some in the media find this scandalous, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew does not. “When you think about it, the whole idea of a federal employee having to pay taxes on pay from the federal government is kind of nonsensical,” Lew observed. “Isn’t asking them to give back part of what we paid them wasted motion?”
Lew suggested that “some sort of amnesty is probably the best way to resolve this discrepancy. Most of these people are hard-working and underpaid public servants. We shouldn’t be hassling them for their initiative aimed at reducing the inefficient two-way shuffling of money back-and-forth. A better option for the future would be to exempt all federal employees and officeholders from all federal taxes.”


Saddam Hussein’s Revenge

The American Conservative ^ | 03/19/2013 | Patrick J. Buchanan

Ten years ago, U.S. air, sea, and land forces attacked Iraq.
So, how now does the ledger read, 10 years on?

Of the three goals of the war, none was achieved. No weapon of mass destruction was found. While Saddam and his sons paid for their sins, they had had nothing at all to do with 9/11. Nothing. That had all been mendacious propaganda.

Where there had been no al-Qaida in Iraq while Saddam ruled, al-Qaida is crawling all over Iraq now. Where Iraq had been an Arab Sunni bulwark confronting Iran in 2003, a decade later, Iraq is tilting away from the Sunni camp toward the Shia crescent of Iran and Hezbollah.

What was the cost in blood and treasure of our Mesopotamian misadventure? Four thousand five hundred U.S. dead, 35,000 wounded and this summary of war costs from Friday’s Wall Street Journal:

“The decade-long [Iraq] effort cost $1.7 trillion, according to a study … by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Fighting over the past 10 years has killed 134,000 Iraqi civilians … . Meanwhile, the nearly $500 billion in unpaid benefits to U.S. veterans of the Iraq war could balloon to $6 trillion” over the next 40 years.

Iraq made a major contribution to the bankrupting of America.
What makes the question more than academic is that the tub-thumpers for war on Iraq a decade ago are now clamoring for war on Iran. Goal: Strip Iran of weapons of mass destruction all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran does not have and has no program to build.

This generation is eyewitness to how a Great Power declines and falls. And to borrow from old King Pyrrhus, one more such victory as Iraq, and we are undone.
(Excerpt) Read more at theamericanconservative.com ...

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Stick solar energy mandates “where the sun don’t shine”

Glenwood Springs Post Independent ^ | March 19, 2013 | James D. Kellogg

A growing number of municipalities across the United States are dictating minimum percentages for solar generated energy in residential and commercial buildings. Proponents of mandates, which infringe on private property rights, insist that solar must replace hydrocarbon energy sources like natural gas. Ostensibly, diminished individual liberty is justified by the greater good of economic savings and reduced environmental impacts. Stick these claims “where the sun don’t shine”. Solar energy is not a “magic bullet” substitute for natural gas and should not be forced on American families and businesses.
Current solar technology has practical constraints. Buildings have limited roof space for installation of south-facing panels. And what happens when the neighbors’ trees are taller than your building? Solar advocates’ solution to such problems is forcing building owners to invest in offsite solar power facilities. They don’t mention that it takes about 10 acres of solar panels to produce an average of 1 megawatt of electricity, which can power about 750 U.S. households when the sun is high in the sky.
For comparison, a single natural gas well can easily provide the fuel to generate more than 5 megawatts around the clock. In most cases, solar systems are impractical without backup and supplemental electricity sources. That means natural gas demand will increase proportionally to expanded solar power capacity.
(Excerpt) Read more at postindependent.com ...