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Tom Sears

June 8, 2010

On the Right Side: Politics often triumphs over principles

— It’s time to mention several topics, rather than just one, in my column this week.

First of all, please mark your calendars for two important dates. There are two Tea Party rallies being held in Walton this month at Robinson’s Auction Barn from 9 a.m. to noon. The dates are Saturday and June 19. Please make every attempt to participate and give this new group our strong support.

Another observation: The last few times I have driven down Main Street in Oneonta, I noticed something different but couldn’t put my finger on it. A good friend, W.S., nailed it for me. He said it was the absence of the anti-war sign wavers who used to be present every week, and he was right. Where did they go?

I consider myself pretty well-read, but I must have missed the fact that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were over. I double-checked, and sure enough they were still going full blast, especially in Afghanistan.

As a matter of fact, Obama, following the successful Bush doctrine, actually sent more troops to Afghanistan. At the time I wondered why the number of protesters didn’t increase dramatically when he did this.

The only reason I can come up with is that these individuals really didn’t care about the wars — or our brave troops — at all. They were simply the same old, unoriginal Bush-haters who saw their numbers dwindling and their hero, Barack Obama, failing. This is a perfect example of what you get when people like these put politics first and sacrifice their principles.

Third, the same friend pointed out to me the fact that the congressional health care bill HR3590 requires that health insurance premiums paid by employers be shown on individuals’ W-2s by 2011. He called our U.S. congressman to find out if this was true and whether the premiums would be taxable.

As is probably typical with almost all of our representatives, he didn’t know initially. To his credit, he eventually sent my friend a letter with what he found out. Yes, it is a requirement, but no, not all plans will be taxed, just the “Cadillac plans.”

Unfortunately, he didn’t define what a “Cadillac plan” was. Also, he said that the levels were inflation-adjusted, but since medical costs are increasing faster than the rate of inflation, that only means that more and more plans, and taxpayers, will be subject to this new tax.

Maybe someone can tell me why the insurance premiums paid have to be included on an individual’s W-2 to begin with.

If you really believe that it is an innocent requirement and the premiums will never be taxed, then you will probably be foolish enough to vote for Obama all over again.

Finally, don’t you wish we had a leader with a backbone like Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? He actually puts the safety and security of his own countrymen over world opinion. Obama just wants everyone, especially the bad guys, to like us.

Someone want to tell me where the reasoning is incorrect? Israel and Egypt formed the blockade in 2007 when Hamas took control of Gaza from the rival Fatah party after Israel unilaterally withdrew. The blockade is simply to prevent weapons from being smuggled in by sea. The ships are then told to dock at a nearby Israeli port and trucks will transport the humanitarian aid to Gaza. Just last November, a ship bound for Gaza was seized after 200 tons of weapons were discovered.

The terms of this blockade were well known by all since it was instituted. The blockade itself was legal according to international law. Three cheers for Israel for putting the safety of its citizens first and foremost.

Here’s an idea. Why don’t all these anti-Semite Palestinian sympathizers take themselves and their families and relocate to the towns and villages near Gaza. Let them put their children at risk of the hundreds, if not thousands, of rockets that have been fired upon these areas.

It’s just like those idealistic Americans who went to Iraq to chain themselves to hospitals and schools so that American bombers wouldn’t bomb these facilities (knowing full well that our Air Force wouldn’t do that, anyway).

When Saddam Hussein instead wanted them to be located around military facilities, they put their tails between their legs and scurried home to safety. Once again, so much for principles.

And where has the mainstream media been defending Israel’s actions? As usual, AWOL As columnist Joel Mowbry said: “Much like the narrative of Israel’s ‘peace-loving’ enemies, the story of the mainstream media’s downfall is pretty straightforward. As the news titans have continued to disregard the truth, the general public has likewise decided to disregard them.”

Tom Sears is a professor of accounting at Hartwick College in Oneonta. He can be reached at SearsT@hartwick.edu. His column appears every other week. His columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/tomsears.

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