Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I am thinking about declaring myself an illegal.

This week I paid my taxes.  I am retired from 28 years of teaching. I receive a monthly income from Teacher Retirement Fund and Social Security.  I pay taxes on both incomes. The taxes I paid totaled one month of my Teacher Retirement income.  So, I got to thinking what about those who never pay taxes?  So here is the story, I sure you have heard this one before but here it is again.

You have two families: "Joe Legal" and "Jose Illegal". Both families have two parents, two children, and live in the great state of Indiana.  Joe Legal works as an HVAC tech, has a Social Security Number, and makes $30.00 per hour with taxes deducted.  Jose Illegal also works as an HVAC tech, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 cash "under the table".

Ready? Now pay attention...

Joe Legal: $30.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1200.00 per week, or $62,400.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state, local,  and federal tax; Joe Legal now has $43,680.00.  Jose Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200.00 per year. Jose Illegal pays no taxes. Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $1200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $29,280.00.  Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics at a cost of $0.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.  Joe Legal’s insurance will go up at least 7% next year to cover Jose Illegal’s medical cost.

Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $23,280.00. Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps and welfare. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays a mortgage of $948.00 per month, or $11,376.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $11,904.00.
Jose Illegal receives a $500.00 per month federal rent subsidy. Jose Illegal pays $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $ 31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for auto insurance. Joe Legal now has $9,504.00.
Jose Illegal says, "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and still has $31,200.00.  Joe Legal has to make his $9,504.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc.  Jose Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline and what he sends out of the country every month.

Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.  He is struggling to keep his house out of foreclosure and pay his health insurance. Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family at the local park supported by Joe Legal. Joe Legal's and Jose Illegal's children both attend the same school. Joe Legal pays for his children's lunches while Jose Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch. Jose Illegal's children have an after school ESL program paid for by Joe Legal’s taxes.  Joe Legal's children go home loaded down with homework that Mrs. Joe Legal must take the time to help them complete.

Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but Joe paid for them and Jose did not pay for these services. Jose Illegal also gets a multitude of other government benefits no questions asked, that Joe Legal and his family do not get although they were paid for by Joe Legal. If Jose does pay some taxes on a portion of his income, he gets the EIC and is refunded all taxes he paid plus he gets a $2500.00 tax refund (welfare) giving him $33,700, for the year.

Our government leaders who represent Illegals more than they do Legal U.S. Citizens and the business owners who support the Illegals are no less a criminal than those who are here illegally.

So, I am thinking about declaring myself an illegal.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Civil War-150 Years Ago

It is that time of year where I will spend over one hundred hours in researching seven Civil War soldiers that will be portrayed in our Civil War Cemetery Tour.  This year the tour will be held on June 18th at 1:00 p.m. 

Over the past two years, all the stories were based upon research from the actual Indiana Regiments and Companies of the soldiers portrayed in the Tour.  Even though the information is factual the feelings and comments are “what might have been said.”

Two hundred and ten thousand of Indiana’s bravest and best men and boys answered the call to serve the state of Indiana and their country.  Their feet trampled the battlefields with waving banners; they marched southward and fought the great battles for the life off this nation.   There were 24,416 of them that perished, some lie in unknown graves, while others are scattered among the cemeteries of our towns and cities.

Those who did return home to family and friends were received with emotions of sorrow and pride.  The scars from battles and disease carried a heavy toll on those who survived.   Many returned home with loss of limbs and bodies weakened and wasted by the physical toll made upon them over the course of the war.  

Those who died on the battlefields far from home have now been forgotten.  These men gave the greatest in sacrifice for the way of life we now enjoy.  In 1938 the last of these brave men were laid to rest in our county--Boone.  These warriors of freedom trusted us that we would keep their memories alive.  It was for this reason I choose to present a cemetery tour each year from now until 2015. (The Lord willing.) 

Indiana was one of the earliest states in the Union to respond to President Lincoln’s initial call for 75,000 volunteers to put down the rebellion.  Indiana’s initial quota was 7,500 volunteers.  The quota was reached with many being turned away in disappointment.  Everyone felt the war would only last for three months.  This assumption quickly changed as the rebellion turned into the greatest nightmare of our nation.  Before the war ended, Indiana had assembled 126 infantry regiments, 26 batteries of artillery and 13 regiments of cavalry.  Many of these regiments won national fame and honor through their heroic efforts in the struggles of the war.

In my research what I have found interesting is the involvement of religion during the Civil War.  Although the Quakers were influential, they were relatively small in numbers and confined mainly to the eastern part of the state.  Methodist and Baptists were the most numerous in the state.  Yet many Quakers along with Methodist, Baptists, Congregationalist, Catholics, and Presbyterians volunteered to secure the freedom and unity of this nation.

Indiana culture included revivals, conversions, teaching of morals, and imparting information from the Bible.  Sunday school was a major part of the process, even with a decline during the war years religious life continue you be important in the lives of Hoosiers.  During the war there was a decline in some areas but in others they were having revivals because of the thousands of deaths and the moral question of slavery.  Toward the end of the war prayers were more about victory and security than dealing with the spiritual conditions of the soul.   

The importance of religion reached to the highest office in the land—the President of the United States.  On at least three occasions, President Lincoln proclaimed public fast days when he urged Americans to go to their houses of worship, to confess their sins humbly to the Almighty, and to ask God's blessing. These and other less formally designated times of confession provided opportunities for ministers to express the conviction that the war was a baptism of blood.  The pouring out of blood was cleansing the nation of its sin and preparing it for moral rebirth. That moral rebirth required more than the abolition of slavery; it required citizens to surrender their selfishness and individualism and to subject themselves more unquestioningly to duly constituted authority. A true and worthy American nationality could be born only to the extent that citizens were prepared to sacrifice themselves for it.  More than 600,000 paid the ultimate price during the war.  America was truly baptized in blood.

During the war religion was important to most soldiers on both sides. You won't find a whole lot of atheists during a battle while you are marching toward a group of people trying to kill you. Many soldiers went to church services on a regular basis. Some even went to so far as to carry the Bible with them at all times.  Both armies had chaplains that would comfort the men either by just talking to them when they were feeling weak or more often than not in a field hospital after getting wounded. 

Chaplains would take some of their personal time and devote it to writing letters back home for soldiers that had either been killed or simply could not write their own letters for one reason or another. Chaplains also saw their fair share of battle. They would often join their unit and march into combat with them.   It was in 1864 a number of new regulations were issued concerning chaplains. Chaplains were given rank without command.  They were required to hold regular public services and funerals for deceased soldiers.  They were some amazing men.

One of the soldiers buried in the Old Cemetery where the Civil War Tour is conducted is Russell D. Utter chaplain for the 150th Indiana Regiment.  He was a Methodist minister and entered the war on December 20, 1864.  Over the course of his ministry he achieved a reputation as a scholar, educator, and preacher in the Northwest Indiana Conference of the Methodist Church.  In 1887 he received his Doctorate of Divinity at the age of 61.  He died on June 12th, 1919—92 years ago a forgotten memory of the war.

Thorntown has many gallant dead, whose deeds in life, and whose heroic deaths should be recorded for all to remember.  If you can make it June 18, 2011 at the Old Cemetery you will be welcome.

Not to exclude the South a good book to read is Christ in the Camp.  Here is a review of this book that can be downloaded free from Google Books.

This is an amazing book, that will tell you everything you need to know about the revivals in the CSA during the war. It talks about the noble, Christian leaders of the Confederacy, and the men that made up its best soldiers. The stories of men who stayed true to God will challenge your whole-hardheartedness as a Christian. This book portrays the Christian nature of the Confederate soldier, and how it gave him the courage to fight so long and so hard against impossible odds. This book is full of touching stories of men who found Christ in the camp. And what's more, every story was told by an eyewitness or was written during the war period. This will open your eyes to a part of the War Between the States you rarely hear about, but it is the most important thing to the war. A soldier in the 6th VA Cavalry said that the Chaplains were the number one force to instill courage and fortitude in the men. And that would be true for many men. You can't read about the war, without reading about Christians. This book will give you a glimpse into the life of Confederates throughout the war, and it will challenge you greatly. I found it to be amazing, and I loved it. If you are a history buff or Civil War buff, don't wait. Read it now! Its worth it.-- Dixie