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Tags: Obama | Accused | Military | Purge | Antarctic Ice Sets New Record | Government Workers Absent More Than Others | Hitlers Fate

Obama Seen Purging Military of Dissent; Antarctic Ice Growth Defies Climate Claims

By    |   Sunday, 03 November 2013 02:45 PM

Insider Report from Newsmax.com

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Obama Accused of Military 'Purge'
2. Government Workers Absent More Than Others
3. Report: $165 Billion a Year to Comply With Tax Code
4. Antarctic Ice Sets New Record
5. New Flap Erupts Over Hitler's Fate
6. Carpooling Down Despite Gas Price Hike

1. Obama Accused of Military 'Purge'

The United States military is being "purged" of officers suspected of disloyalty to or disagreement with the Obama administration, several sources charge.

"We recognize President Obama is the commander-in-chief and that throughout history presidents from Lincoln to Truman have seen fit to remove military commanders they view as inadequate or insubordinate," Investor's Business Daily (IBD) observed.

"Yet what has happened to our officer corps since President Obama took office is viewed in many quarters as unprecedented, baffling, and even harmful to our national security posture."

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely believes Obama is "intentionally weakening and gutting our military and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged."

According to Breitbart.com, at least 197 officers, mostly at the rank of colonel or above, have been relieved of duty for a variety of reasons, or for no stated reason at all.

Nine senior commanding generals have been fired by the administration this year, "leading to speculation by active and retired members of the military that a purge of its commanders is underway," IBD reported.

Among those officers:

  • Gen. Carter Ham was relieved as head of U.S. Africa Command because he disagreed with orders not to mount a rescue effort in response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Benghazi, Libya.
  • Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette, commander of Carrier Strike Group Three, was relieved of duty in October 2012 for disobeying orders when he sent his group to assist and provide intelligence for forces ordered into action by Gen. Ham, according to IBD.
  • Two nuclear commanders were fired in a single week — Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, head of the Air Force unit that maintains control of 450 intercontinental missiles, and Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the No. 2 officer at U.S. Strategic Command. Carey was sacked "due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment," while Giardina lost his post for allegedly using counterfeit gambling chips at a casino.
  • Maj. Gen. Ralph Baker, commander of the Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, was fired for alcohol use and sexual misconduct charges. Defense officials told CNN the reason was "loss of confidence."
  • Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charles Gurganus was terminated for questioning the "winning hearts and minds" policies that led to the murders of U.S. officers by Afghan recruits, according to FrontPage magazine.
  • Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller was relieved of his command in Afghanistan after he told a media source that Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other government officials were "isolated from reality."
  • On the last day of November 2011, the administration terminated 157 Air Force majors, citing budget shortfalls as the primary reason — a move that some legal experts said was illegal.

According to IBD, a senior retired general said on the condition of anonymity that "they're using the opportunity of the shrinkage of the military to get rid of people that don't agree with them or do not toe the party line."

FrontPage concluded: "Obama has made clear that he will aggressively pursue anyone who defies his agenda. Now it seems that chilling message has been sent to the military as well."

Editor's Note:

2. Government Workers Absent More Than Others

Government workers at all levels are significantly more likely to be absent from their jobs for personal reasons or illness than private-sector workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Each month the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey compiles data from 60,000 households, including information on time spent on and off the job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses this data to publish employment statistics.

The survey asks questions in reference to the week that includes the 12th day of the month.

The BLS states: "When an employed wage and salary worker who usually works 35 hours per week is reported as having worked fewer than 35 hours during the survey reference week (including those with jobs who worked zero hours), a question is asked as to why he or she worked fewer than 35 hours.

"Workers whose reasons for missing work include their own illness or other personal reasons (such as family responsibilities or transportation problems) are counted as having had an absence."

Employees who worked fewer than 35 hours because of vacation, holiday, labor-management dispute, or bad weather that results in an employer temporarily curtailing business activities are not counted as having an absence.

In 2012, 4.1 percent of federal government employees reported an absence from work in the typical reference week, as did 4.4 percent of state workers and 3.7 percent of local government employees.

For government workers at all levels, the average was 4 percent, compared to just 2.9 percent for private-sector employees. So a government worker was 38 percent more likely to be absent from work than a private-sector worker.

Among all the private-sector occupations or industries listed by the BLS, only two had an absence rate of 4 percent or more — "Healthcare support occupations" (4.6 percent), and "Community and social service occupations" (4 percent).

The occupations with the lowest absence rate in 2012 were "Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction" (1.9 percent), and "Wholesale trade" (2 percent).

Editor's Note:

3. Report: $165 Billion a Year to Comply With Tax Code

The Tax Foundation has released a report providing an eye-opening look at many facets of the federal tax system — which the foundation calls "abominable."

The report is titled "Putting a Face on America's Tax Returns: A Chart Book."

The Foundation states: "The income tax system in the United States is a sprawling mass of provisions spread across dozens of volumes and has been called everything from a 'disaster' to an 'abomination.'

"It takes Americans as many as seven billion work hours every year just to complete the paperwork required. The IRS' own National Taxpayer Advocate estimates that it costs individual and corporate taxpayers more than $165 billion annually to comply with the income tax code.

"In order to figure out what we need to fix, we need to understand how the system works now. We've compiled this chart book to not only 'put a face on American taxpayers,' but to provide some must-know background information on the key issues of the tax reform debate."

In 1913, the federal income tax started as four pages of forms and instructions, according to the report. Today, the income tax code spans more than 70,000 pages.

Back in 1940, the year before the United States entered World War II, excise taxes — including gas and cigarette taxes — were the largest source of federal revenue, followed by Social Security payroll taxes, then corporate income taxes.

Today, individual income taxes are the top source of revenue. It is estimated that in 2014, individual income taxes on wages, capital gains, dividends, and other income sources will provide $1.38 trillion. Social insurance taxes, which fund Social Security and Medicare, will bring in $1.02 trillion.

Corporate income taxes will provide $380 billion, and excise taxes just $93 billion. Another $169 billion will come from estate and gift taxes and other sources.

Some highlights of the Tax Foundation's report:

  • The median taxpayer earns about $33,000 a year, so half of the 145 million tax filers earn less than that, and 47 percent of filers earn less than $30,000. Three percent make from $200,000 to $499,999, and 1 percent earn $500,000 or more.
  • Taxpayers who make less than $100,000 annually pay 18 percent of all income taxes, while those who make more pay over 80 percent. Those earning 1 million or more account for 11 percent of all income, but 23 percent of all income taxes paid.
  • In 1985, the top 10 percent of taxpayers accounted for 54.7 percent of total income taxes. Today they account for 70.6 percent. The bottom 50 percent of taxpayers pay 2.4 percent of all income taxes.
  • The average tax rate for the top 1 percent of earners is 23 percent, and the average for the bottom 99 percent is 9 percent. The average for all filers is 12 percent.
  • The bottom 20 percent of earners receive an average of $24,125 in federal spending while paying $2,967 a year. At the other end of the scale, the top 20 percent — earning about $119,600 or above — pay $86,975 in federal taxes and receive $21,402 in federal spending.
  • Another way to look at it: The bottom 20 percent receive $8.13 for each dollar they spend in federal taxes, and the top 20 percent receive $0.25.

"Tax reform is in the air in Washington these days," the foundation states. "There is growing bipartisan agreement that the tax code is too complicated, burdensome, and uncompetitive, and is undermining our economic potential."

Editor's Note:


4. Antarctic Ice Sets New Record

Amid ongoing warnings about the perils of global warming and rising sea levels comes the news that the extent of sea ice surrounding Antarctica set a new record in September — for the second year in a row.

On Sept. 22, sea ice extended over 7.51 million square miles of the Southern Ocean, the largest extent in the satellite record, NASA reported.

The previous record, set in September 2012, was 7.50 million square miles.

Antarctic sea ice reaches its minimum extent in February or March and then grows until reaching its maximum in September or October.

"For the second year in a row, we set a record high winter maximum," said Walt Meier, a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "But even though it is a record high, it is only 3.6 percent above the 1981-2010 average maximum."

The overall trend shows growth in the extent of sea ice of about 1.5 percent per decade, NASA disclosed, adding: "Multiple factors — including the geography of Antarctica, the region's winds, as well as air and ocean temperatures — all affect the ice."

The Climate Policy Initiative's "Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2013" report, issued in October, disclosed that governments and private entities around the world spent $359 billion to fight global warming in 2012.

Of that total, 94 percent was spent to support "greenhouse gas mitigation," according to the report, including more than 2,000 large-scale projects involving renewable energy in 19 countries.

Editor's Note:

5. New Flap Erupts Over Hitler's Fate


The British authors of a book purportedly chronicling Adolf Hitler's escape from Germany and death in Argentina have been accused of plagiarism by another author who wrote about the Fuhrer's fate.

"Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler" was penned by former BBC and Reuters journalist Gerrard Williams and military historian Simon Dunstan, and was made into a documentary film earlier this year.

Now Argentinian journalist Abel Basti, author of the 2010 book "Hitler's Exile," is alleging that the two authors used his research to substantiate claims in their book, The Guardian reported.

Williams acknowledges that he traveled to Argentina in 2007 and received help from Basti for an earlier documentary. When that documentary was canceled, Basti claims, he requested that his research material be returned, but nothing was sent back.

"Basti did in no way invent the idea of Hitler being alive in Argentina," Williams told the Observer. "Books on the subject existed as far back as 1953 and 1987. I have never plagiarized anyone's work. Simon Dunstan, as the author of over 50 books on military history, hasn't either."

The almost universally accepted view is that Hitler shot himself to death on April 30, 1945, as Russian forces closed in on his Berlin bunker, and his new wife Eva Braun committed suicide by taking cyanide.

The "Grey Wolf" authors assert that instead, Hitler, Braun, and her brother-in-law Hermann Fegelein left the bunker via a secret tunnel leading to the surface just after midnight on April 27. The head of the Gestapo had already arranged for body doubles who would pass for the corpses of Hitler and Braun.

Hitler and his party made their way to a boulevard that served as a makeshift runway, and a Junker-52 transport aircraft flew them to Denmark. From there, they flew to Spain, and General Franco supplied them with a plane to take them to the Canary Islands, where they boarded a German submarine and made it to the coast of Argentina.

According to the authors, who say their research was based in part on recently declassified testimony, Hitler died in Argentina on Feb. 13, 1962, at age 73 — after he and Braun had two daughters.

The "Grey Wolf" account does differ in many ways from Basti's earlier work.

"The idea that Hitler could have escaped — and kept that escape hidden — seems farcical," the Daily Mail observed.

"And yet many continue to believe it. Tens of thousands of Nazis escaped after the war, including the notorious Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele."

In July 1945, Russian commander Marshal Georgi Zhukov claimed Hitler's body had not been found. Further fueling escape theories, he said in 1952: "We have been unable to unearth one bit of tangible evidence of Hitler's death."

Skull fragments found by the Russians near the bunker but not known to the West until 1968 were believed to be Hitler's. Then in 2009, DNA testing of the bones showed that they in fact belonged to a woman, according to the Mail.

But a British historian commissioned to probe Hitler's death after the war spoke to many of those who were in the bunker during the last days. Every one of them said Hitler had killed himself and his body was cremated.

After "Grey Wolf" was published, historian Guy Walters declared that its claims about Hitler's fate were "2,000 percent rubbish."

Editor's Note:

6. Carpooling Down Despite Gas Price Hike

The price of gasoline rose by about a third from 2007 to last year, but the percentage of workers who drive alone to their job actually increased — and carpooling was down.

In 2007, 76.1 percent of commuters drove to work alone, according to American Community Survey data. In 2012, the percentage was 76.3.

In that span, lone drivers comprised 94 percent of new commuters, accounting for 1.55 million out of the additional 1.6 million daily one-way trips.

About 810,000 fewer people traveled to work by carpools in 2012 compared to 2007, and the percentage of all commuters who carpooled dropped from 10.7 to 9.7. Carpooling decreased in 47 of the 52 major metropolitan areas with more than 1 million population.

"The big news in the last five years of commuting data is that virtually nothing has changed," Wendell Cox stated on the Newgeography.com website.

"This is remarkable, given the greatest economic reversal in 75 years and continuing gasoline price increases that might have been expected to discourage driving alone," noted Cox, the author of "War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life."

Public transit usage rose ever so slightly from 2007 to 2012, from 4.9 percent of all commutes to 5 percent.

Last year, 2.8 percent of workers walked to their jobs, and 4.4 percent worked from home.

Other findings from the American Community Survey include:

  • The highest percentage of commuters who drove alone last year was in Birmingham, Ala., 85.6, followed by Detroit with 83.7 percent.
  • Public transit is most popular in the New York metro area, where 31 percent of commuters utilized transit. Yet even in New York, 50 percent of commuters drove to work alone.
  • San Francisco is second in public transit usage (15.1 percent), followed by Boston (11.9 percent), and Chicago (11 percent). Just 0.4 percent used transit in Oklahoma City.
  • The largest percentage of commuters who carpooled last year was in Salt Lake City, 12.8 percent. The Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., metro area was right behind at 12.2 percent.
  • Walking to work was most popular in New York and Boston.
  • Working at home accounted for 6.4 percent of all workers in Austin, Texas; Raleigh, N.C.; Portland, Ore.; and San Diego.

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Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Insider Report from Newsmax.comHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Obama Accused of Military 'Purge' 2. Government Workers Absent More Than Others 3. Report: $165 Billion a Year to Comply With Tax Code 4. Antarctic Ice Sets New Record 5. New Flap Erupts Over...
Obama,Accused,Military,Purge,Antarctic Ice Sets New Record,Government Workers Absent More Than Others,Hitlers Fate,Carpooling Down Despite Gas Price Hike
Sunday, 03 November 2013 02:45 PM
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