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Archive for August, 2012

Orrville’s new patrol car

The Wooster newspaper, The Daily Record, ran a story on the front page today. Neighboring Orrville, population 8500, had acquired an armed personnel carrier.

Orrville is an idyllic little town; the biggest employer is the Smucker Corporation, whose headquarters are there. As Smucker’s has done well in the last few years, Orrville has not been affected much by the recession. I carried mail there, on loan, a couple of winters ago. I was struck by the fact that in contrast to Wooster,everyone shoveled their walks. It was so universal that I asked if the city maybe cleaned the walks, but no, it was just the way it was in Orrville. And I was struck by the fact that there were fewer run-down older homes in Orrville, and fewer rough neighborhoods.

So, you may ask, does such a bucolic little town need an armed personnel carrier? Well, the police chief explained, you never know when there is going to be an Aurora style mass shooting. He did emphasize that no Orrville tax dollars were used, that it was given to the town by the federal government. It did not seem to occur to him that this was still tax dollars.

The story put me to mind of a picture I saw in the same paper a few years ago. In the aftermath of a drug raid a Holmes County sheriff was strutting down a street in Millersburg, the county seat,  assault rifle in hand, wearing camouflage.  Huh? I thought. You might need camouflage crawling through a field. Why do you need it for a drug raid in town? Holmes County has the largest Amish population in the world; a straw hat and suspenders would make a better disguise.

But it is obvious that the real motive was that cops like to be badass, to throw their weight around.

No, not all of them, of course. But if you don’t think that a disproportionate number of police recruits are motivated by the chance to be tough guys with societal blessing you really don’t understand the human condition.

Think Barney Fife.

Only sinister.

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Ryand

Click for clearer image:

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Slow blogging; I spend a disproportionate amount of my limited time online reading the conversation on the NFP thread. A really good conversation, very thought-provoking,  with only occasional moments of (subdued) rancor. Though I really don’t have time to comment much I am reading intently.

Meanwhile, I offer this:

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Oink

While austerity hits everyday Americans, seemingly scarce tax dollars are being squeezed from their pockets to fund exorbitant CEO pay, according to a report released Thursday from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

image: Institute for Policy Studies According to the thinktank’s 19th consecutive Executive Excess report, The CEO Hands in Uncle Sam’s Pocket, “Our nation’s tax code has become a powerful enabler of bloated CEO pay.”

For example, the report states that “26 U.S. corporations last year gave their CEO more than they paid in taxes to Uncle Sam.” The CEOs at those corporations received a staggering $20.4 million in average total compensation — a 23% increase above the previous year.”

Among the CEOs detailed in IPS’s report are these five who received more in compensation than their corporations paid in federal income tax:

 

Name of CEO Corporation 2011 CEO Compensation 2011 Federal Income Tax Bottom Line for Corporation
Vikram Pandit Citigroup $14.9 million $144 million refund
Miles D. White  Abbott Laboratories $19.0 million $586 million refund
Randall Stephenson  AT&T $18.7 million $420 million refund
James McNerney Boeing $18.4 million $605 million refund
Robert Benmosche American International Group $13.9 million $208 million refund
Aubrey McClendon Chesapeake Energy $17.9 million $13 million payment

Read the rest

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Finally

I have long said that most people in this country who call themselves “prolife” should really call themselves “pro American fetal life”, as so many of them exhibit so little care about any other kind.

Apparently some of them agree. The other day I saw a yard sign that said:

“BE PATRIOTIC!

VOTE PROLIFE!

Protect the Unborn American.”

I found the honesty refreshing.

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The Giving Poor

From NPR:

“Ever wonder how charitable the people are who live in your state or community? It turns out that lower-income people tend to donate a much bigger share of their discretionary incomes than wealthier people do. And rich people are more generous when they live among those who aren’t so rich.

That’s according to a new study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which breaks charitable giving down by ZIP code. It found that generosity varies greatly from one region of the country to another.”

Read the NPR story here.

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The NFP Dilemma, Again

In case you missed it, I would like to call your attention to the comboxes, where the long-dormant discussion on NFP has resumed, after a long anonymous post that detailed one couple’s struggle  with the questions raised over a year ago (and their problematic “solution” to the problem). That discussion- the longest and most heartbreaking in this blog’s history- was prompted by my post “Is Natural Family Planning Really Natural”, which raised doubts about the NFP establishment’s claim that there was an absurdly low divorce rate among couples practicing the method. I contrasted this with my anecdotal experience of knowing teaching couples whose marriages had failed or were in trouble, and speculated that the periodic abstinence during ovulation (the woman’s most ardent time) stressed marriages and actually weakened them.

Anyway, some of those who had written last year are updating their stories…

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