Enough Already! – Millionaires most downwardly mobile income class

What’s the most downwardly mobile income class in America? Turns out it’s millionaires. If you made a million dollars in 1999 your chances of making a million dollars in 2007 were less than 10%, and that’s before the recession lowered incomes even more.

Veterans Day

Message from: MG Paul E. Vallely. US Army Ret

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory”. There were plans for parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business activities at 11am.

We pause this day in America to remember our fallen heroes, the men and women who answered the call of freedom and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Let us remember and thank them for the nights they slept freezing in a tent or sweating in the desert, for the lonely days they spent fighting boredom and missing loved ones, for the hours they spent sick in pain from battle and without someone holding their hand other than their fellow soldiers, for the moments of sheer fright in the heat of battle, for the wounds suffered fighting evil, for the endless days in hospitals undergoing painful surgeries, for the precious occasions missed at home with family and friends.

For all of these sacrifices, we need to thank them on behalf of millions of Americans who are so grateful. We truly appreciate their dedication to duty. A special thank you to all families and friends, to the parents who raised them, stood by them and made them honorable men and woman. We thank the wives, husbands, and loved ones who stood by them and supported them with their love.

May their legacy be honored for generations to come, may the tears shed over their coffins fertilize the fields of patriotism in our nation. The new generations to come must be built on strength, duty, honor and country, willing and able to follow in their Warrior footsteps when duty calls to defend America. May their blood not have been shed in vain. May we prove worthy of their sacrifice.

You who have served and are serving as our brave ones, our heroes, are our national treasures. You are the pride of our nation, our strength and our foundation. Thanks to you, millions have been freed around the world. Those who criticize our country, burn our precious flag, and speak ill of you, are able to do so because their freedom is built upon your blood and your sacrifice.

Our son speaks from his resting place below our feet in Bigfork.. He speaks to me each day from his hallowed space with beautiful skies and mountains majestic white with snow. God bless his soul and the others buried here and I thank him for his wonderful contribution to our life. He lives forever in our hearts. I fear no evil when I walk with Warriors. We walk in the valley of death but we fear no evil. We are the Masters of our Destiny and the Captain of our souls. You are the wind beneath my wings. I fly with you forever in eternity.

WE salute you one and all. WE bow before you in respect and humility.

Today, our Nation comes together to honor our veterans and commemorate the legacy of profound service and sacrifice they have upheld in pursuit of a more perfect Union. Through their steadfast defense of America’s ideals, our service members have ensured our country still stands strong, our founding principles still shine, and nations around the world know the blessings of freedom. As we offer our sincere appreciation and respect to our veterans, to their families, to those who are still in harm’s way, and to those we have laid to rest, let us rededicate ourselves to serving them as well as they have served the United States of America.

Our men and women in uniform are bearers of a proud military tradition that has been dutifully passed forward—from generation to generation—for more than two centuries. In times of war and peace alike, our veterans have served with courage and distinction in the face of tremendous adversity, demonstrating an unfaltering commitment to America and our people. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the country they loved. The selflessness of our service members is unmatched, and they remind us that there are few things more fundamentally American than doing our utmost to make a difference in the lives of others.

Just as our veterans stood watch on freedom’s frontier, so have they safeguarded the pros­perity of our Nation in our neighborhoods, our businesses, and our homes. It is our moral obligation to ensure they receive our support for as long as they live as proud veterans of the United States Armed Forces. On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to our veterans, to the fallen, and to their families. To honor their contributions to our Nation, let us strive with renewed determination to keep the promises we have made to all who have answered our country’s call. As we fulfill our obligations to them, we keep faith with the patriots who have risked their lives to preserve our Union, and with the ideals of service and sacrifice upon which our Republic was founded.

On this day in 2011, we formally announce here in the Flathead Valley of Montana in the United States of America, a formal announcement to Restore the Constitutional Republic of the United States and a Declaration by all Veterans and Patriots to restore and stand by our beloved Constitution and renew our oath.

We CALL upon every member of federal, state and local government, legislative, judicial, law enforcement and military, who have taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitutional Republic from all enemies, foreign and domestic, to act upon those oaths for the stated purpose of restoring the Constitutional Republic.

We CALL upon ALL veterans and veteran organizations in America, who still believe in their oath to protect and defend, to unite with us at once – in this Declaration to Restore the Constitutional Republic.

We CALL for ALL citizens who still desire freedom and liberty, to stand with us and carry our demands to right the wrongs against our nation in the preservation of freedom, liberty, justice and the rule of law.

“We are Facing a Battle That Will Decide our Fate as a Nation!”

God Bless all of you and God Bless our Nation.

 

Paul E. Vallely MG, US Army (Ret)

CEO – NEMO Arms Inc ( New Evolution Military Ordnance); pvallely@nemoarms.com

Chairman – Stand Up America; E-Mail: standupamericausa1@gmail.com;; www.standupamericaus.org; www.soldiersmemorialfund.org

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Occupy Your Noggin

By: Carl Graham, President, Montana Policy Institute

Is it just me or do people in the “Occupy” movement seem mostly interested in occupying their time? They’d be better off trying to occupy that vast empty space between their ears; but why bother when someone will give you a slogan and armband for free.

The whole thing is starting to look like an amateurish knockoff of European austerity protests. Now those people know how to riot.

In the beginning it included Ron Paul conservatives with “End the Fed” signs and a lot of ordinary people with legitimate gripes about bailouts and corporate cronyism (but I repeat myself). Now, though, it’s mostly the standard agitprop by anarchists and communists that gets trotted out anytime sanitation rules are relaxed,

In fact, one of my favorite themes is that we need to end government corruption by growing government. Of course. And I plan to get skinny again by hanging out at buffets.

Here’s a thought. Rather than fighting government corruption by adding more layers of corruptible government, how about we fight government corruption by removing the reasons for corrupting it in the first place? Let’s remove the odor rather than buy a new air freshener.

And that odor we smell is crony capitalism. It’s government picking winners and losers, and people paying to be on the winners’ list. H. L. Mencken said that every election is an advance auction on stolen goods, and we’ve created the biggest auction house in the world.

Take Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. With all the focus on the one percent it would be forgivable to have missed that these government sponsored businesses, which are on track to lose upwards of $120 billion in bailout funds, just paid their top executives nearly $13 million in bonuses. (1) Funny we didn’t see the Occupy Wall Street protesters marching by their headquarters.

Funny we didn’t see them marching by the White House, either. Another odor coming from those sanitation free zones across the country is the idea of equal incomes, and according to census data U.S. incomes have never been more unequal than they are right now under the current administration. (2)

But here’s a nugget the protesters can chew on to occupy their minds. Incomes are never equal. Politburo members were wildly better off than average Soviet citizens. The elite in socialist or despotic countries are always richer than the masses whose lives they’ve taken it as their burden to look after. And of course Washington D.C. is one of the few places where employment and incomes are growing, even in this economy.

The truth is that the poorest Americans live better than the majority of the world’s inhabitants, and have comforts that “the one percent” didn’t dream of 100 or even 50 years ago. Prosperity isn’t zero sum. It doesn’t come from equal incomes; it comes from the increased incomes that reasonably regulated free markets make possible. And all incomes can and do rise if people are allowed to reap the fruits of their labors.

The relevant question isn’t about equal outcomes, but about how opportunity is allocated. If government picks winners and losers only the favored will prosper and the Bill Gates’ of the world will never get out of their garages. If we are equal under the law, though, that protects the right to use our talents, ambitions, interests, and even luck to achieve our potential. Government can and should protect that right, but it should not allocate it.

I’ll never understand those who think that, by putting something in government’s hands, it will somehow be artfully and magnanimously managed. Government is people; people who come from the same gene pool as the rest of us. There are the same percentages of good, bad, competent, and incompetent in government as anywhere else. You wouldn’t hand your health care, family, faith, or any other important decisions over to Google or General Motors. Why would you hand them over to another bunch of people who are even less accountable and know less about you?

We should all be free to reach for our potential. But government picking winners and losers only helps the connected few. We ought to occupy ourselves changing that.

####

For Immediate Release

696 Words

 

Carl Graham is president of the Montana Policy Institute, a nonprofit policy research and education center based in Bozeman.

He can be reached at:

67 W. Kagy Blvd., Ste. B

Bozeman, MT 59715

(406) 219-0508

cgraham@montanapolicy.org

 

Notes: (for ed. use)

(1) http://news.investors.com/Article/590345/201111021859/White-House-Bonus-Hypocrisy.htm

(2) http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acs-16.pdf, p. 3