The Rockin Johnny B

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Interesting stuff

Raise Social Security retirement age to 100
   I figured out how to fix Social Security. Let’s raise the eligibility age to 100. That’ll fix it.
   Nearly nobody would live to collect it, thereby making Social Security financially fit, allowing the government to tap into it with abandon, and we, the working stiffs, 
could just keep dropping dollars into a retirement program that we’ll never live to see. And we could balance the budget with the funds we are no longer paying out to Social Security recipients.
   Also, let’s privatize Medicare. Let’s face it, Medicare is a big money loser. Bunch of old people who are gonna die anyway. Why pay out benefits to those losers?
   If we privatize, the big ol’ moneymaking corporations can say, “Hey, you are too old. You don’t ‘qualify’ for benefits any more.”
   And if someone is disabled, they gotta get better quick. If they are a long-term sickie, then they, too, can only qualify for X number of days of benefits.
   Corporations are out there to make money, not lose it. So if you are a sickie with a long-term affliction, the corporation will lose money on you, therefore you no longer qualify.
   If this sounds reasonable, be sure and vote Republican this next election. They’ll fix everything and balance the budget in the process! Yay!
   n John Belville, Nampa

Yep, that's me, ol' Johnny B sounding off at the government and everything else.  hehehe.

Feds drop charge against Idaho grizzly shooter
   BOISE — Federal prosecutors on Wednesday dropped a misdemeanor charge filed against a northern Idaho man accused of illegally shooting and killing a male grizzly bear at his home in May, U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said.
   Jeremy Hill, 33, pleaded not guilty last month to unlawfully taking a federally protected species. His case has generated public and political backlash against federal officials.
   As part of a deal, Hill agreed his actions violated a regulation of the Endangered Species Act against removing nuisance bears and paid a $1,000 fine. The act classifies the grizzly bear as a threatened species in the lower 48 states, and the animals are protected by federal law.
   Hill claimed he was protecting his children when three bears walked on to his property near Porthill, near the Canadian border, on May 8.
   Olson said investigators were unable to determine the location of Hill’s children at the time the bears were first seen in Hill’s yard near the pig pen. But by the time Hill fired his final shot, he was aware that his wife and children were inside their home, Olson said.
   “The United States Attorney’s Office well understands Mr. Hill is a concerned husband and father who wants to protect his family,” Olson said in a press release.
   Hill was not immediately available for comment at his home Wednesday.
   Olson said anyone who sees a grizzly near their home or campsite should immediately contact wildlife officials, who will take steps to remove the animal.
   “These regulations are designed to ensure citizen safety and protect the grizzly bear,” Olson said.
   A court hearing for Hill in Coeur d’Alene in August drew dozens of supporters who claim he was doing nothing more than protecting his family. 
The crowd was so large that the magistrate judge moved the hearing to a bigger courtroom.
   A jury trial had been set for Oct. 4. Hill could have faced penalties of up to one year in prison and fines up to $50,000 if convicted.
   Idaho Gov. Butch Otter wrote a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, saying he strongly supported the rights of individuals to defend themselves.
   Hill and his wife have six children, and their home is between two federal grizzly bear recovery zones — the Selkirk zone to the west and Cabinet-Yaak zone to the east. Biologists estimate that 100 grizzlies inhabit the zones.
   Supporters say several of Hill’s children were playing in the yard when the bear approached, and he notified Idaho wildlife officials after shooting it. The community raised $19,500 for a defense fund for the family at a 4-H animal sale in Bonners Ferry.

Finally, some sense shown.  The guy sees 3-bears in his front yard and he's got a wife and three kids in harm's way, and he shoots it?  Hip, hip, hooray!  I would do the same, and so would any other smart person.  I know Smokey the Bear is iconic, but the Grizzly is a dangerous animal and needs to be treated as such.  Could he have avoided shooting the animal?  Maybe.  But nobody should dis him for doing it.  Fine him?  Maybe, but do not arrest him and prosecute him.  Animal control up the area where he lives would have a hard time reaching him if the animals attacked.

Luna seeks $61M share of surplus
   BOISE (AP) — Education would get about a third of the projected $180 million budget surplus Idaho is expected to carry into the next fiscal year under a spending plan public schools chief Tom Luna submitted Wednesday to the governor’s office.
   He wants at least $61.7 million of the surplus to go toward public education in the 2012-2013 school year, according to the preliminary budget request Luna is required to give to the governor’s office in September.
   Under Luna’s budget request, more than $20 million of that extra money would be used to replace funding that would be taken from salaries to pay for new education changes backed by Luna and the governor, such as teacher merit pay.

Good move on Luna's part.  I don't like the guy, but this is smart.  Pay our teachers, by God.  They, of all people, deserve it.

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