The Asan Bay Overlook is one of many monuments that was erected by the National Park Service to honor the memory of those who liberated Guam in 1944. The monument has a wall recording those who died during the battle for Guam and a plaque dedicated to the Chamorro sailors who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The memorial overlooks the Asan Bay and also gives a brief overview of the Japanese capture of the island in 1941 and subsequent defense in 1944. This memorial is a wonderful place to visit and I would highly encourage anyone who visits the island to stop by. Enjoy all of the photos on the full page here.
This post just covers the Guam Vietnam Veteran’s memorial located in the southwestern portion of Guam. The monument overlooks a valley and small bay to the south and is a nice place to sit and reflect. Find all of the photos and the full page here.
A constant refrain that I hear from progressives is that the United States had 90% taxes during the 1950s and the country was still prosperous. Progressives seem to believe that it is a golden era that we need to emulate in all economic facets…
I wonder how many of these proud Party members have actually taken the time to think about what caused the United States to be the world’s pre-eminent economic power during the 1950s. Is it possible that 90% income tax rates on the wretched and vile “1%” led to economic prosperity (or at least didn’t hinder it) or is there something more to the story? Let’s start by taking a look at what taxes were paid to the Federal Government in the post WWII years (I bet WWII took a while to pay off also). A publication produced by UC Berkeley in 2007 entitled “How Progressive is the U.S. Federal Tax System? A Historical and International Perspective”provides much insight into what the “1%” actually paid in taxes in the 1950s. Let’s take a look:
“The 1960 federal tax system was very progressive even within the top percentile, with an average tax rate of around 35 percent in the bottom half of the top percentile to over 70 percent in the top 0.01 percent. This finding illustrates the theme that it is important to decompose the top of the income distribution into very small groups to capture the progressivity of a tax system. Although very top groups contain few taxpayers, they account for a substantial share of income earned, and an even larger share of taxes paid.
Interestingly, the larger progressivity in 1960 is not mainly due to the individual income tax. The average individual income tax rate in 1960 reached an average rate of 31 percent at the very top, only slightly above the 25 percent average rate at the very top in 2004. Within the 1960 version of the individual income tax, lower rates on realized capital gains, as well as deductions for interest payments and charitable contributions, reduced dramatically what otherwise looked like an extremely progressive tax schedule, with a top marginal tax rate on individual income of 91 percent.”
So the actualized income tax rate for the rich was 31%, not really much different from where it stands today. That is a most interesting point to come to terms with. Such results also show that Sandroids don’t actually know what they’re talking about when they claim that the United States had a 91% income tax rate.
“The greater progressivity of federal taxes in 1960, in contrast to 2004, stems from the corporate income tax and the estate tax. The corporate tax collected about 6.5 percent of total personal income in 1960 and only around 2.5 percent of total income today. Because capital income is very concentrated, it generated a substantial burden on top income groups. The estate tax has also decreased from 0.8 percent of total personal income in 1960 to about 0.35 percent of total income today. As a result, the burden of the estate tax relative to income has declined very sharply since 1960 in the top income groups.”
The true source of where the “1%” paid out comes to light. If you look at the current U.S. corporate tax rate, you will see that it is extremely high at 39.1%. Many progressives will also claim that many major corporations don’t pay any taxes. I really would like someone to tell me which of those evil corporations pays zero taxes. As for estate taxes, is there really a need to tax a citizen after he is dead?
“Second, the composition of top incomes has changed substantially. Figure 2 shows the breakdown into wage income, business income, capital income (including imputed corporate taxes), and realized capital gains. In the 1960s, top incomes were primarily composed of capital income: mostly dividends and capital gains. The surge in top incomes since the 1970s has been driven in large part by a steep increase in the labor income component, due in large part to the explosion of executive compensation. As a result, labor income now represents a substantial fraction of income at the top. This change in composition is important to keep in mind, because the corporate and estate taxes that had such a strong effect on creating progressivity in the 1960s would have relatively little effect on labor income.”
The income of wealthy Americans has gone up which raises inequality. Progressives certainly can’t have inequality or a tax code that doesn’t redistribute the wealth. . Progressives will commonly harp on the shrinking middle class; they simply can’t shut up about it. The New York Times will even write a story on this very subject when the data that they use as a source shows that most of the reason the middle class has shrunk is due rising incomes overall. The New York Times’ blatant misrepresentation of the data is simply astounding. I suppose that progressives would seek to bring the wealth of the average American down though as we must all be equal. Just one more reason that “inequality” is a stupid issue. Just because someone else’s income is rising does not mean you are worse off. Anyone who is curious where such numbers originate from can look to the U.S. Census Bureau website.
Further reading, for anyone who is interested:
Mises Institute-The ‘New Economists’ and the Great Depression of the 1970s
American Enterprise Institute-Returning to the 90 percent top tax rates of the 1950s would probably be terrible for the US economy
Bloomberg View-1950s Tax Fantasy Is a Republican Nightmare
Manhattan Institute-Revisiting the High Tax Rates of the 1950s
Just as importantly, who actually cares anymore? The only news story that seems to be making any waves is the bombing of a Medicins Sans Frontieres hospital. How many U.S. citizens are worried about how Afghanistan is simply falling apart? The number of Afghan security force deaths is averaging over 300 per week now, more than double the same time last year. Afghan Interior Minister Nur ul-Haq Ulumi stated “We are taking so many casualties,” and “That is the reality.” Here’s another gem from the U.S.A. Today article:
“Because the Taliban are not able to muster groups of more than several dozen fighters, they have been unable to mount offensives on anything more than small checkpoints.
Afghan and coalition officials said security forces have been able to hold terrain despite the high casualty rate among soldiers and police.”
A short time ago the Taliban captured the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, displacing 20,000 families. The United Nations Assistance Mission evacuated four out of thirteen provincial offices along with cities like Charchino, Oruzgan are under constant siege by the Taliban and unable to safely leave the city. The police chief of Charchino, Wali Dad, stated the following:
“We do not have any way to escape,” and “If we get any means of escaping, I will not stay for a second in the district. The government is failing in their governing, and it’s better to let the Taliban rule.”
The “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” is using such news in their propaganda website with amazing articles such as “93 hireling troops surrender in Char Chino” and “The liberation of Kunduz showed military capability and moral magnitude of the Mujahideen.” It seems apparent that the will of the Taliban to restore their rule has not been broken. The will of the Afghanistan National Army to fight for the central government certainly seems to be falling apart though. The city of Kunduz was only occupied by the Taliban for three days before an A.N.A counter-offensive took control of the city back, but I have a hard time believing that this will be the only such occurrence.
I think that a good question to ask would be what is the purpose of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan? Are we there to break the will of the Taliban? Are we there just to help the Afghan government hobble along? Is victory the goal? Who are we even calling our enemies in Afghanistan?
One of the things that I must disagree with in the following video is the idea of a “War on Terror.” Terror is a tactic, a means to an end; not an entity to be fought, broken, or conquered. One could declare a war on a country, or the Taliban, or some actual group of people. But a war on the tactic of terror makes no sense and would be never-ending.
I’ve always found the idea behind “rules of war” as seen by many to be most curious. War by its very nature is not something that lends itself to nice rules. No matter what kind of Rules of Engagement you attempt to enact, innocent people will die. Quite horrible things often have to be done to break the enemies will to fight. A war effort should be a “Total War” effort to break the enemies will to fight, or simply not be fought at all.
I wonder if the President really thinks that he can control events in the Middle East with “red-lines”, drone attacks, and bombing campaigns, or if he’s simply doing what he must to show that he cares about what happens? If the threats in the Middle East are not going to be taken seriously, why waste the time, money, and lives on fighting a war where victory is never intended to be achieved? Perhaps the President will turn to the U.N. for help? Afghanistan seems to be falling back into the hands of the Taliban, and few really seem to care.
Bonus Round: Can you tell the difference between real news and satire?
Good news concerning Iraq, Ramadi has fallen to the Islamic State! Dear Leader’s policies of “leading from behind” and backing off of the world stage are progressing well. A few days ago Iraqi government forces left Ramadi and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated: “The ISF (Iraqi Security Forces) was not driven out of Ramadi. They drove out of Ramadi,”. So obviously, it must not be a big deal right? The Islamic State is just the JV team right? The State Department is also claiming that Iraqi forces are simply “regrouping” and “consalidated”. So I guess what is happening in Iraq isn’t that big of a problem. Many current and former military members are wondering why the current administration has executed their policies on Iraq. Why don’t these men understand the glory of current U.S. foreign policy? Obviously, everything is going as planned…
In other Caliphate news, the Islamic State captured the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra from the Syrian government. Various groups are worried about the antiquities contained in the city, there’s been no communication with a Syrian Army outpost for a while, and a military prison was also amongst the spoils conquered by the Islamic State, or JV team. The Islamic State has spread the Caliphate all over Syria and is even nearing Israel and the Golan Heights. Indeed, the Islamic State can be desperate at times, but is still very resourceful and intelligent. The Islamic State may even accomplish the administration’s stated goal of regime change, isn’t it just wonderful?
I’ll end this post just full of wonderful news with a video of Dear Leader and some
propaganda photos to share with all of your friends. Enjoy fellow dhimmis!
I’ve typed up about the Greeks and their fiscal woes a little bit, but the Greek socialists must be getting really desperate now. The Greek government recently put a price tag on WWII reparations that they are demanding from the German government at 279 billion euros. Since this isn’t the first time countries have demanded a payout from Germany of war, perhaps the Greeks wouldn’t try it again. Besides, one would think that the Greeks would be demanding a payout from the Italians since they’re the ones who decided to attack Greece. Hitler and Germany were perfectly content with leaving the Greeks alone, but Il Duce just had to have Greece. But it’s not like the Italians have any money to pay up, and they would respond with a resounding no just like the Germans did to such an inane request.
If we’re being honest, how many countries in existence don’t have land taken from someone else? What land isn’t occupied land? Should reparations go all the way back to Cain and Abel? Who would get money for the Punic wars? I could bring up numerous wars and list the losers, but plenty of people have done that in the comments section of the Yahoo! News articles. Let’s take a look at some of them:
I mean really, why work to get money? Why spend less? Just make random demands for cash. Here are the specific stories for anyone who’s interested in getting some laughs out of the reparation demands:
Yahoo! News-Greece puts a figure on World War Two reparations from Germany
Yahoo! News-Germany dismisses Greek demand for billions in WWII reparations
Yahoo! News-Greek minister:Evidence for massive German war reparations
I recently happened to stumble upon a video depicting just how successful the Arab Spring that President Obama was a big proponent of, is going. The video depicts Salafis in Tunisia and what they believe in. Just watch how much they want to live in peace and stand in awe of how they want to be in a prosperous, free republic.
By really any measure, Tunisia has had the least violent revolution and amount of bloodshed. The Tunisians live in a constitutional republic now. Compared to pretty much everyone around them, Tunisia is doing pretty well. If we turn our attention over to Libya the government that was formed after Gaddafi was removed from power no longer controls the two main cities of Benghazi and Tripoli. A civil war rages on and the body count continues to rise in Libya, probably safe to say that Libya is a failed state. But hey, the internationally recognized government is trying. One of the interesting things I should point out is that the Pentagon did more to try and stop the U.S. from entering the war in Libya than the State Department under Hillary Clinton did. The Washington Times piece on this aspect of the story is well worth your time. As we can all see, the 110 Tomahawks fired at Libya were for a good cause. I guess Hillary would respond to this criticism by saying something like “What difference does it make“.
We can then focus on Egypt for a few minutes, where President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thought supporting (and still do actually) the Muslim Brotherhood was a fabulous idea. If you work at the New York Times, you even think working with the Muslim Brotherhood, who considers the United States an enemy, to be a great policy idea. Mohammed Morsi was elected president of Egypt, for a short time anyway. After millions of Egyptians decided to march in the streets and suffer under the Muslim Brotherhood no more, he was deposed and al-Sisi was elected as president. At least the Muslim Brotherhood is no longer in power and Egypt is avoiding the type of war that Libya, Syria, and Iraq are dealing with. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated some of the Egyptian Government’s thoughts on U.S. State Department officials entertaining meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptians couldn’t be happier that this is actually be allowed to happen. On a side note, President al-Sisi is one of many Arab leaders who doesn’t trust President Obama and is looking towards Russia for support. Is this how leading from behind works?
We could also talk about how a certain genius came up with “red lines”, said he was going to get involved in the Syrian civil war, and then (thankfully) backed off. I wonder if progressives count that as a foreign policy victory? As we all know, Iraq and Syria are still in the middle of a war that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. Both the Syrian and Iraqi governments are nominally supported by Iran now, which is always a good thing right? Is it even proper to say that Iraq and Syria are countries anymore? I wonder how many people genuinely believe that the Arab Spring is working out well? Perhaps it’s also time for some progressives to take Obama for peace bumper stickers off of their car. If we’re not really going to finish a war why fight at all? What’s the point in risking American lives if the current administration isn’t going to take it seriously? I suppose that Iraq is doing as splendid as Yemen right now, a real foreign policy victory. I also wonder if I should believe that no American soldiers are in danger in Iraq?
The Economist put together this map showcasing the condition of various Arab states. Doesn’t look promising does it? One thing not reflected upon the map is how the Yemeni government was toppled. If any information on this post is out of date, please let me know.
Perhaps those living in the Gaza Strip weren’t thinking clearly when they put Hamas in power. What do you think?
The Middle East Media Research Institute translates numerous Farsi and Arabic videos into English and other Western languages. They’re definitely worth taking a look at, what they put out is pretty interesting. Embedded in this post are two videos of Mosul Archbishop Nikodimos Daoud and his thoughts on recent events regarding Iraq, Syria, and the Islamic State. What do you think of what the Archbishop is saying? I think that I’m glad not to be a Christian living in Iraq or Syria, their numbers are certainly dwindling these days.
By now you’ve probably heard about NBC news anchor Brian Williams lying, I mean “mis-remembering” a story he gave about his helicopter being shot at with an RPG.and spending some nights in the desert. What’s most amazing about this is that there are people actually willing to defend Brian Williams over what is an easily verifiable lie. I really feel that if I was in a helicopter that got shot at by an RPG and was stuck in the desert I probably wouldn’t get that mixed up with something else. It’s just so amazingly stupid, Williams had little to gain and everything to lose by making up and continuously repeating such a bogus story. For anyone who’s interested in looking up other false claims from NBC staff Breitbart has pointed out several lies and inconsistencies.
Perhaps leftists will blame the Koch brothers or “Faux” News somehow. I’m sure that the Kos kids will try to find a way to absolve Williams. We should all just get off our high horse. Posted below is what one of the men actually on the damaged helicopter had to say:
Posted below is the response of Brian Williams:
Here’s a video of Brian Williams pushing his narrative in 2013:
Here’s Brian Williams’ apology for the “fog of memory”:
Anyway, enjoy the photos and get a good laugh out of a prominent man aiding in his own demise with idiotic statements. Truth be told, I think that Brian Williams is a pretty good fit for NBC.