May 21, 2007

Trial of Two of Kevin Barnhill’s Three Murderers Begins

Filed under: Immigration,News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:27 pm

NixGuy caught it in the Enquirer earlier today.

The third person involved, Enrique Torres, is still at large, and believed to be in the Greater Cincinnati Metro Area:

Torres

Like the two who are on trial, Mr. Torres is also an illegal immigrant.

Finding him so he can be apprehended would be a very good thing.

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Previous Posts:
- Jan. 27, 2007 — Illegal Immigration Update: The Stories, Government Action, and Media Letdown (Part 1, Mason Council and Enrique Torres)
- Oct. 22, 2006 — Illegal-Immigrant Crime in SW Ohio: Willful Blindness Is a Big Part of the Problem
- Sept. 18, 2006 — Illegal Immigration Hits Home in Warren County
- Sept. 4, 2006 — Describing This Murder as “Tragic” is Pathetic

Paras of the Day: Steyn on the Immigration Madness Coming out of Washington

At the conclusion of his appropriately titled Sunday Chicago Sun-Times column (“Capitulation — From A to Z”), the One-Man Global Content Provider cuts through all the clutter and gets to the basics:

At some point, it’s worth trying to climb over the rubble of the 2007 Z-1s and the 1986 amnesty and the 1965 immigration act, and going back to basics: What is immigration for? In the modern Western world, to question immigration in even the most cautious way is to risk being demonized as a racist. Most of us like to see ourselves as nice people, and so even to raise the subject of immigration — even illegal immigration — feels like an assault not on distant foreigners so much as on our self-image. Yet, whatever the virtuousness of immigration for the host society, a dependence on it is a sign of profound structural weakness, and, when all the self-congratulation about celebrating diversity has died down, that weakness ought to be understood as such. The unspoken premise behind this bill is that the socioeconomic order in America is now so dependent on the vast apparatus of a giant shadow state of illegal immigrants that it cannot be dismantled but only legitimized and thereby expanded. If that is true, that is a basic structural defect that should be addressed honestly.

Meanwhile, the reluctance of Washington to be seen to enforce its own borders is very perplexing. From the “Washington sniper” to 9/11, there has been for a generation a clear national-security component to the illegal immigration issue. To present it only as a matter of “the jobs Americans won’t do” is lazily reductive. The economists may see the vast human tide as an army of much-needed hotel maids and farm workers and nurses and plumbers, but to assume that everyone on the planet sees themselves as primarily an economic entity is complacent and (post-Sept. 11) obtusely deluded. The political class’ urge to capitulate on the integrity of the national border sends as important a message to the world about American will as their urge to capitulate on Iraq.

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UPDATE: Insta-Bullseye — “More than hostility to illegal immigrants, I think a lot of the backlash is driven by the sense that Washington insiders don’t really value what ordinary law-abiding people do by way of living their lives and, you know, abiding by the law.”

And they seemingly take their safety for granted, which, given this and this (both of which took place within 5 miles of the BizzyBlog bunker in supposedly ultra-safe Warren County, Ohio), is something we don’t have the luxury of.

An Overlooked Benefit of the 2003 Dividend Tax-Rate Reductions

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:06 am

The following is from “Marking the 4th Anniversary of the 2003 Tax Relief Law: A Boon to
Taxpayers, Tax Receipts, and the Economy,” issued by the Senate Republican Policy Committee (PDF stored at BizzyBlog host is here). Though it will clearly be seen as “partisan” by many, it has the advantage of being demonstrably correct.

The overlooked benefit mentioned in this post’s title is the more frequent redeployment of capital caused by the reduction of taxes on dividends received:

The success of the 2003 rate reductions are also evidenced by the resulting reforms and improvement in economic efficiency in the corporate sector. Historically, the tax law created a bias that prompted corporations to reinvest their earnings in new equipment or the development of new products or services, even when such actions might not complement the core competency of the business. To the extent that such reinvestments led to higher stock prices, shareholders would realize capital gains, which were taxed at a 20-percent rate prior to the 2003 tax cuts. In contrast, companies that distributed their earnings as dividends left shareholders with ordinary income, which was taxed at as much as 38.6 percent prior to 2003.

By equalizing the dividend and capital-gain rates, the 2003 tax cuts largely eliminated that bias. Consequently, managers now have an incentive to invest only in the best capital projects available to their company – new equipment and/or development of products or services that are consistent with the business’ expertise and that produce superior returns. And, the unneeded earnings can be distributed to the shareholders, who now pay the same 15-percent tax on dividends as they do on capital gains. The result is a more efficient use of reinvested earnings to provide capital for corporate growth and expansion.

It’s essentially “use it (wisely) or lose it (pay it out to shareholders)” for corporate managers now, who are expected to pay out funds that would otherwise be inefficiently used to shareholders as dividends. Shareholders can then find better uses for the money.

Those who are concerned the concentration of power in ever-bigger corporations should applaud the dividend tax cuts, because they work to put pressure on companies not to get bigger unless it really makes business sense.

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UPDATE: The above redeployment is over and above the more obvious money-shifting that occurs becaause of the reduction in taxes on capital gains. We know that investors have been selling more often. Why? Because capital-gains tax collections are up substantially, even though the tax rate went down; a lot more sales had to take place for that to happen. Investors doing so usually redeploy that capital elsewhere to opportunities they believe are better.

Positivity: Finally, a new face for young Hamoody

Filed under: Biz Weak — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Seattle (don’t miss the slideshow at the link; HT Michelle Malkin):

Sunday, May 20, 2007

On the day Muhammed “Hamoody” Hussein was to get his new face, he begged for a fast ride in a wheelchair, shot a toy cannon down the hall and professed his adoration for the hospital receptionist.

“I love you!” the blind Iraqi boy told hospital admissions clerk Paula Royal. “Are you sure?” she asked. “What shall I call you?”

“Bob.”

Eight hours of surgery and many unexpected difficulties later, Hamoody is now in critical condition in the intensive-care unit, having taken the first step toward a new life on Friday.

What was destroyed by a gunshot in May 2005 when his family, who are Shiites, were ambushed by Sunni insurgents, was partially restored by the skilled hands of Drs. Joseph Gruss and Craig Birgfeld — who donated their time — at Children’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center.

It was a yearlong wait for the big day to arrive.

Last May, Hamoody was brought from Iraq to the Seattle area by the Everett chapter of the national nonprofit Healing the Children, which matches children in need of medical care unavailable where they live with doctors and hospitals willing to donate it. He was placed in the Snohomish home of Randy Smith and Julie Robinett Smith, and doctors at Swedish Medical Center planned to donate their services. But once doctors began to examine him last summer, they found that not only could they not restore his sight as they initially had hoped, but that Hamoody had severe sleep apnea and badly damaged sinuses from having been shot in the face during the attack — an attack that killed his uncle and critically wounded his mother.

The shooting left him blind, shattered an eye socket and his nose and displaced much of the soft tissue, leaving the boy disfigured. Another uncle drove Hamoody to Iran for surgery, but what was done there only complicated things, local doctors say.

The past year has been full of tests as doctors tried to determine the full extent of Hamoody’s injuries. Eventually, Gruss, an expert in repairing facial gunshot wounds, took over the case, but even he was surprised on Friday at the extent of the damage he found once the surgery began.

Go here for the rest of the story.