Thursday, September 18, 2008

Two for Me and None for You

News flash: Joe Biden declared today "wealthy Americans must pay more taxes to show patriotism".

Just less than a week ago, the very same Joe Biden released his income tax return over the past 10 years. Despite income ranging from $210,432 - $321,379 over the ten-year period, the Bidens have given only $120 - $995 per year to charity, which amounts to 0.06% - 0.31% of their income.

Wait, Obama wants to raise taxes on the wealthy Americans. To his definition, those who make more than $250,000 should anchor the government's revenue, i.e. Mr. Biden is unfortunately in the so-called evil wealthy group.

Considering how little Biden has given to charity, it makes you wonder how enthusiastic he is about paying more taxes of his own.

Two for me and none for you.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Buying Votes

When I was a kid in Taiwan, often times I heard of the scheme of buying votes during election years. Certain candidates would stop by your house then ask for your vote. Before they left, they dropped an envelop, in the name of personal gratitude. That was the bad 'ole days when Taiwanese were untrained and unaware of the spirit of democracy. In spite of it, my parents taught me well about the values and principles that hold together a just society. When I learned about the vote-buying scheme, I dismissed such a conduct right away. Decades later, I'm in the United States, which is supposed to have a highly evolved and mature democratic society. The educated Americans are supposed to bury the vote-buying scheme, a disgraceful political maneuver, long ago. Unfortunately, it is still alive, and being massively utilized, only disguised under a very different form.

We call it Obama's tax cut.

Ladies and gentlemen, 30 years of Republican tax policy have now completely eliminated federal income taxes on the poor and lower middle-income Americans, and almost eliminated them on middle America. The data have shown that the top 1 percent of income earners now pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes, which is almost double their share of the national income. The top 10 percent pay 71 percent of federal income taxes, though they earn just 39 percent of the nation's pretax income.

However, Obama proposes new income tax cuts for the low and moderate income and middle class, which Reagan Republicans have already eliminated most of their income tax liability. What is Obama talking about? Essentially what Obama proposes is to allow the federal government to redistribute the tax revenue to those who either pay little or pay no income tax. It is not a tax cut. It is a giveaway, a federal spending program that hides in the tax code.

What's more is that Obama says he will cut tax for 95% of Americans. Sounds good? Let's dive into it a little deeper. He proposes $500 refundable income tax credit for all but the top 5 percent of income earners. Conveniently, the bottom 40% of income earners will all get another $500 check from the Uncle Sam, rather than a reduction in tax liability, which Reagan Republicans have eliminated long ago.

It is very clear that Obama's tax proposal is a shameful huge government spending program, rather than a tax relief. It is also a vote-buying scheme, which bribes low-income voters for their ballots. Hey, vote for me now then you will get a juicy check later. It is a disgrace to the human dignity and an insult to human intelligence.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Star Was Born

Sarah Palin, a small-town hockey mom with 5 kids, beat all the odds to rise to the top of our national political stage. She doesn't have the Ivy league credential, nor a prestigious bloodline. She, just like you and I, is a regular American. We Americans mind our daily business, we pay our taxes, we help each other, and most importantly we love our country. The American spirit is about that everyone has the opportunity to succeed, and it is that spirit to bring me to America from the other side of the Pacific Ocean. To me and many many other Americans, Sarah Palin's story is inspirational. She signifies the beauty of our system.

But the elite media think we are stupid, and they think Palin is stupid, too.

Elite media promote progression, period. They despise the traditional values, although they rose to fame through the traditional system. Irony? No, they want monopoly. Once they destroy the system, they will be in the position to dictate a new system, just like the hierarchical system in the Western Europe. What the elite media are afraid of is the very same rise of hard-working Americans. They simply don't want you to know that the system is still functioning. As long as they can convince you that the system is broken, they can advocate their system. Sarah Palin's story threatens them, therefore, elite media want to destroy her.

Wait a minute, how about Obama? Isn't his story also inspirational? How come media is on his side? Rudy Giuliani nailed it last night: Obama's rise is remarkable in its own right — it’s the kind of thing that could happen only in America. The difference between Palin and Obama is that Palin advocates the existing system while Obama opposes the exsting system, even though both came through the very same system. To use simple English, Obama helps media making the case, while Palin sabotages media's case.

Nevertheless, Palin gives America a hope. In these dark hours of American history, when American values are under siege and people are losing faith in our system, Palin's rising reminds us that the very same system is not yet broken and our values are still strong. For too long, inspirational American stories have been ignored. Partisanship has overshadowed our political landscape. Americans were in despair, impatient ones are longing for change just for the sake of getting out of this stagnancy.

Despair no more. A star was born.

Palin has demonstrated that:

1. Integrity can make a difference
2. Ability to govern is not dictated by the Y chromosome
3. Inspiration is not from celebrity nor fairy tale. It is from the ordinary people meeting their daily challenges
4. It's common sense, not the sophisticated academic advice, to fulfill our potential
5. Heroes are all around us but we take them for granted
6. God has purposes for everyone of us, no matter how insignificant we believe we are.

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Famous Pirates

Yours truly and his family spent the past weekend in the Storyland, NH. The sun was up, the summer rain was gone, and the world is new. A buck reduction of the gasoline price over the past few weeks didn't hurt, either. Due to the last-minute decision to visit this watered-down version of Disney, I'd had a hard time to book a hotel room. Eventually, I found a place to stay, which cost me around 200 bucks per. Considering the labor day weekend, one of a busiest traveling weekends of the year, it actually wasn't such a bad deal, as long as you do not care about dining in a restaurant, which is not in the hotel.

Funny things happened at Storyland though. The most memorable one was the buccaneer pirate ship ride. You waited in line for about 15 minutes, then bingo, you got onto this lame pirate ship wanna-be. About 20 something seats available for kids and parents alike to enjoy this pirate ship ride. Before the ship set sailed, the pirate queen, AKA the captain of the ship, asked everyone on board if we knew any famous pirates. My dear 6-year-old answered promptly "captain Hook". The pirate queen replied "good, anyone else?" Well, the following 10-15 seconds there was only mumbling. I thought to myself, "come on people, this is pathetic.", then I decided to be cute. "Obama" I shouted.

It was silent in the whole ship for about 10 seconds. I guess I killed the enthusiasm, right there. Of course, the pirate queen couldn't just seal her lips for the whole ride. After all, Storyland pays her minimum wage to play the female villain. She needed to honor her contract by entertaining the crowd vocally. In the meantime, the ship approached a treasure box on the shore. She shouted "look at that treasure box and all the gold and jewels, they are pirate's treasures." I then blinked to my wife "that's the tax payers' money".

This Obama-rama is quite breathtaking. It reflects of more a current political culture than Obama himself as a candidate. Obama's refundable tax credit is nothing more than an income redistribution, i.e. if you don't pay taxes, government will send you a check to reward you. If you pay taxes, sorry pals, you will not get even a penny from your dad's brother Sam. Translation: Uncle Sam will force you to write checks to those non-taxpayers, in the name of communism. Of course, Obama doesn't have the audacity to declare communism himself. However, what he proposed is exactly that: Taking from the haves to the have-nots.

It's piracy.

However, if you have a chance to talk to some less educated friends, you would be disappointed with their reactions. "So what, Obama only wants to raise the tax for those whose income are over $250,000. I'm not making that much so why do I care?"

Ladies and gentlemen, you should care. The majority of the Americans are employed by small business owners. Many business owners file their tax returns under their own names. Mrs. Smith owns a flower shop, with 8 employees, down the street, she makes more than $250,000; Mr. Johannson has a bookstore, with 10 employees, he makes more than $300,000 annually; Mr. Donaldson runs a local hardware, with 6 employees, and he makes more than $350,000 per year. You raise their tax, then you will kill their business. The impact is not only those business owners, but also the employees working for them. You raise the tax in the name of combating inequality, but what you really accomplish is to take people out of their work. You want people to rely on the government, but you conveniently ignore the fact that government's resources are from people's production. If people don't produce, government will have no income tax. Have you notice that in the socialist society of the western Europe, small business can hardly survive? Higher tax means the death of entrepreneurship.

What makes America special is the spirit of entrepreneurs. We risk for a better future. By working hard and working fair, everyone has a shot. Every given day, people are waiting in line to become Americans, simple because in America everyone has an opportunity to be what they want to be. Do you see people waiting in line to become a citizen of France? Germany? or Britain because of better opportunities there? Ask yourself. If you really want America to be like Western Europe, maybe you should've gone to Europe; if you want America to be like America, Reject the socialism that is so widely promoted by the media.

America is not without problems. We don't need a divine government to fix the problems, after all, there is no divine government. We need everyone to be educated about the system and be accountable for the system. If everyone can be self-sufficient, the pirating, AKA the income redistribution, will not be attractive. Instead, the pirating will be a disgrace to our dignity.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Boys of Summer

Out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac, a little voice inside my head said "don't look back, you can't never look back".....

Don Henley's 1985 smash hit said it all. As we roam through life, we missed out what was worthwhile holding onto due to our restlessness. Of course, if you are a baseball fan, "the boys of summer" means a whole lot different than Don Henley's lyrics suggested. Anyway, the summer is almost over: many kids are already back to school, the daytime is getting shorter, the peach harvest season is on, and most importantly, the vice president candidates for both parties have been chosen(almost, McCain is going to announce his running mate anytime now.)

Nevertheless, this has been an unusual summer. The seemingly perpetual rainy and cool summer days somewhat defied the definition of summer in New England. Conveniently, we haven't heard a peep about global warming. It almost makes no sense to talk about global warming at this juncture in the heart of the US media home court. Let's face it, no matter how deceived people are, deceivers don't want to trigger people's suspicion by presenting controversies. Well, those charlatans are not stupid. Therefore, give them credit for their organized crime, as cynical as I sound.

How was your summer?

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Carbon Belch Day

Have you had enough guilty feelings about burning carbon by driving your kids to and fro in your minivan for soccer practice, using your lawnmower to mow the lawn of your 2 acre yard, keeping your room temperature at 70 degree Fahrenheit for a new born baby in New England in the dead of winter, or buying a computer that has all the memory and CPU made in Taiwan but consumed thousands of gallons of gasoline to travel around the world before it reached your doorstep? Worst yet, every time you exhale that little evil carbon dioxide, as the environmental extremists label it, comes out of your body to pollute this planet. Doesn't it make you question your very existence every time you try to keep your basic bio-mechanical processes, A.K.A. breathing, going? Life is such a struggle, isn't it?

Hopefully, you are not one of those who feel OK about everything listed above for themselves but keep telling their friends to conserve for the sake of the planet; nor one of those who has deep pockets and pays for carbon credits for a luxury lifestyle, polluting the planet on one hand while buying their self-righteousness with carbon credits on the other.

Therefore, yours truly declare that carbon is the new sex symbol of the 21th century: can't live with it, but can't live without it.

A piece of good news for those who are intelligent enough to understand the bogosity of carbon credit: Carbon Belch Day is around the corner.

What's Carbon Belch Day? Easy, it's simply a day to live like a normal human being, without your dignity being taken away by those environmental extremists. You are encouraged to temporarily forget about anthropogenic global warming, carbon pollution, carbon credits, and every carbon related environmental issues spewed out of nothing over the past 2 decades. As a matter of fact, you are highly recommended to live like a human being in the '60 or '70, when the same environmental extremists declared the inevitability of the upcoming ice age, living with dignity, and most importantly maximizing your potential.

As the Carbon Belch Day promoters suggested, you may indulge yourself in many ways, such as:

Host a Barbecue(don't forget to invite yours truly)

Drink beer(don't drink the American beer, instead, drink the beer coming from Belgian that requires gasoline for shipping)

Watch TV(especially the plasma TV that sucks electricity like there's no tomorrow. You need to admire the quality of the plasma TV images to get your eyes worked up)

Drink bottled water(hey, the water from my well smells like sulfur. Don't I have the same right to drink tasteless water as Al Gore?)

Smoke 4 cigars NOT(C'mon, smoking is not a good idea, health-wise, so why going extra miles to sabotage your own argument)

Let's cheer for the Carbon Belch Day and sink the carbon credit to delinquency.

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Got Doled?

Disgruntled employees can be very dangerous. The latest disgruntled one is Scott McClellan, a former White House press secretary in the Bush Administration. Scott took advantage of the anti-war sentiment and conveniently vented his disgruntlement, while cashing in big time. In the midst of this mess, a former Republican Senator Bob Dole wrote a letter to Scott to show his displeasure. From the letter, you shall see how Scott McClellan got Doled.


There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don't have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues. No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique.

In my nearly 36 years of public service I've known of a few like you. No doubt you will "clean up" as the liberal anti-Bush press will promote your belated concerns with wild enthusiasm. When the money starts rolling in you should donate it to a worthy cause, something like, "Biting The Hand That Fed Me." Another thought is to weasel your way back into the White House if a Democrat is elected. That would provide a good set up for a second book deal in a few years.

I have no intention of reading your "exposé" because if all these awful things were happening, and perhaps some may have been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your cushy, high profile job. That would have taken integrity and courage but then you would have had credibility and your complaints could have been aired objectively. You're a hot ticket now but don't you, deep down, feel like a total ingrate?


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Friday, May 9, 2008

As Good As Gold

Yours truly has been too busy to wander in this realm for a while. Truth be told, my company actually bans posting on blogs. To comply, I've honored that code of conduct by bolting the door to this domain during my work hours. Unfortunately, when I was home I watched FoxNews until I was spent. That's just how my life has been lately. One pleasant surprise about my new job is that I have an Indian co-worker ,whose talent ought to be utilized in the financial sector rather than in the engineering industry, and I've learned a thing or two from him about the financial market. Being away for a few weeks, I would like to contribute my newly acquired market insight on how to maneuver through the current market uncertainty.

Ready for the crap?

Gold, the ever desirable, has always been the symbol of value, love, and standard. If you happened to invest in gold as recent as two years ago, please pat yourself on the back for doubling your investment, on paper. Look at the gold price now:it is $870 per ounce as the market closed this afternoon. Too high to buy? Let's look closely and from a slightly different angle. The following is the gold price history over the past 10 years:

In May 2001, one ounce of gold cost you around $300. 300 bucks!! In May 2008, one ounce of gold cost you around $870, 870 bucks!!

Kicking yourself for not jumping into the golden pool 7 years ago?

Well, assuming that you are one of those euro carriers, have you also made a killing by investing in gold? In May 2001, one euro was worth about $0.87; today one euro is worth about $1.50. To make it easier for my loyal readers, I'm doing the math for you. Back in May 2001, one ounce of gold would cost you 344 euro, while in May 2008, one ounce of gold would cost you 580 euro. That's a 68% increase. Comparing to the 190% increase in dollars, it does raise an eyebrow on how much more valuable gold really is today.

Or can we say if the value of gold has been steady, the currency we use, either euro or dollar, have become so inflated that they are quite hopeless in terms of face value? You might think yours truly is an alarmist who sexes up the inflation number to scare you. Isn't 2-3% annual inflation what we've heard?

Think again.

Today US government is reporting inflation 8% lower than the way it was calculated back in 1980. Back in the early 1980’s inflation was raging at a clip of over 14%. The Feds had to raise interest rates dramatically to prevent hyperinflation and to support the US dollar. This era was when 16-18% mortgage interest rates existed. Fed Chairman Paul Volcker was able to finally tame the inflation beast and interest rates fell dramatically, making it possible for the US economy to begin to grow. Late in the 1980’s, the US decided that one way to prevent run away inflation expectations from growing was to modify the way inflation is calculated; hedonic adjustments to inflation was born. The following graph shows the disparity between the two different inflation calculations:

We have seen oil go from a low of $20 per barrel in 2002 to $120 today, with very little increase in reported inflation despite the rather large component the cost of energy plays in the US. Understanding inflation is actually quite inflationary. By the US reporting inflation significantly below the actual inflation rate, it allows the Feds to cut interest rates far lower than where they should be. In a way it was designed to stimulate the market.

How much is gold's real value now? If we look at the oil price hike, it should give us some idea, roughly. As uncertain as the current market is, the wisdom of the old sounds pretty good to me. As good as gold, if I'm going to bet my money I'm going to put it on gold.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is It Spring Yet?

Spring is still more than a week away. As much as I like the change of seasons in New England, I have to say that the on-going icy and snowy winter is really getting under my nerve. Many New Engalnders can't wait to move to sunnier and warmer part of country, just to get away from the dreary winters, even under the influence of the bogusly portrayed man-made gloabl warming.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2008 January global land surface average was below the 20th century mean (-0.02°F/-0.01°C) for the first time since 1982. Shocking? how can it be? Hey, I do not have the audacity of those environmental commies' to fabricate data. If you are interested in a more complete climate data of 2008, please do yourself a favor by checking National Climate Data Center for the inspiring data. The following is the rundown:

1) Certain regions had above-average surface temperature, others had below-average surface temperature. Overall the average global land surface average temperature was below the 20th century mean.

2) The January 2008 snow cover extent was the largest extent over the 42-year historical record, surpassing the previous record set in 1985.

3) the January 2008 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent, which is measured from passive microwave instruments onboard NOAA satellites, was below the 1979-2000 mean, but greater than the previous four years.

So, what does all those mumbo jumbo mean?

For starters, our Vatican Catholic leaders have updated the so-called "sin list". One of them is "pollute the earth NOT". The Vatican archbishop who talked about the new sins said Catholics offend God not only by stealing or lust, but by ruining the environment. In recent years, under Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor John Paul II, the church has held scientific conferences on global warming and has taken steps to make the Vatican more "green."

No disrespect to our Catholic brethrens, they should just stick to what they know the best: worshiping the God and reaching out to the non-believers. While updating their sin list, maybe they should take a deep and hard look at the sin which they somewhat ignore: Sloth. Sloth as being more simply a sin of laziness or indifference, of an unwillingness to act, an unwillingness to care. When the science community is hijacked by politically driven interest group, the rest of scientists, along with the believers, should be steadfast with the spirit of pursuing truth, and resist the temptation of go along with public pressure. Otherwise, we are committing the sin of "sloth". I honestly do not believe that our Catholic brethrens in Valican are lazy per se. What I do believe is that the power of media have persuaded our Catholic brethrens the clear and present danger of the climate change. Have mercy on us, dear Lord.

Going back to the climate data of January 2008, does the data suggest that the man-made global warming has stopped? Well, it depends on the reference point. January 2008, just like any other month in the recent history of mankind, we have regional warming and cooling. Interestingly enough, all the scary alarming stories about the unstoppable warming and the Arctic melting seems to fade into the background in the recent weeks/months.

Poor Al, where art thee whilst those alarmists needeth thee the most?

Maybe the global warming commercials are seasonal, just like a major league baseball commercial on December: utterly waste of money. Those alarmists are not stupid enough to try to scare people off by telling people that the Arctic ice is melting while the snow is pounding their cities every week. It just simply doesn't work psychologically. On the other hand, I bet that they can't wait for the winter to be over, so they can start their spinning.

Is it spring yet?

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