Tuesday Night Open Mic for June 17

Open Mic 1We come to another Open Mic day as it is already Tuesday night again! We had some interesting discussions again yesterday around the curriculum in today’s public schools and the day before on the current tactic on the left of linking psychopaths to the right in order to discredit their opinions. But today we open up the discussion board so that we can discuss all of the different topics that are out there that I have not been covering (I am, after all, just one man). I think that we will have some good topics this week. I have been watching the news boards and there are some interesting happenings in the world and in the USA. I am getting used to the open mic idea and now find that I see articles or things out there throughout the week and I make a note to add them into the open mic forum! So what topics are on the minds of my astute readers?

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Comments

  1. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #1

    PBS has decided to enforce a 20 year old rule that bans religious programming from being offered on the the public stations. This means that the Sunday morning services that have been broadcasted for decades will no longer be added to the PBS lineup. Existing shows are allowed to continue but no new ones can be added for now. Eventually the ones existing will be phased out.

    “PBS’ goal is to not have religious programming on PBS affiliates of what we call ‘pure’ religious (content)” such as Masses or devotional readings”. Federal law does not bar showing the services on public television, but PBS worries that the broadcasts have the appearance of an official endorsement from the network. Allowing such programming to air “would cause the public’s trust in PBS to erode, along with the value of the brand,” Read the article here:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/16/pbs-begin-phasing-religious-programming-airwaves/

    • USWeapon says:

      Allowing such programming to air “would cause the public’s trust in PBS to erode, along with the value of the brand”

      Now that is a joke. PBS doesn’t have to worry about a brand losing value or the public’s trust being eroded. That happened a long time ago.

      PBS now will begin enforcing its rule — on the books since 1985, but never rigorously enforced — that all stations provide non-commercial, non-partisan and non-sectarian content. That means no ads, no political advocacy — and, after Tuesday, no new religious transmissions.

      Now that is a joke. Anyone ever watched the Bill Moyer’s show on PBS? No political advocacy? No partisanship? It shows how hypocritical the PBS folks are. They fully blow off this rule when it comes to politics and partisanship, But they think it is important to take away the individual station’s right to broadcast Sunday morning mass for those who cannot go to church to attend in person. Screw PBS.

      • Chris Devine says:

        \’Non-partisan\’ is not the same thing as no opinion. \’No advocacy\’ doesn\’t mean that controversial subjects are verboten.

        There are only five stations in the entire country affected by this. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill.

        I\’m guessing I won\’t see you at the grocery store with your PBS tote-bag anymore.

        • I think the big problem with this is that no pro-religious programs can air, but Moyer’s blatant anti-religious program can.

        • Good old Webster on “partisan” – a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person

          Therefore would not any opinion expressed by a PBS pundit with consistency be falling into the above and in fact then be engaging in partisanship? You betcha! Inescapably so! Obvious to the blind! Where’s my cane?

          Also, its never a big deal until it affects you personally in some way, shape or form. To those so affected I’ll go out on a limb and say its indeed a big deal.

          Also Chris, you’re a “the few warrant their agenda being accepted over the masses” with regard to a great many causes or have at least written such. How can you then discount “the few” in this case? Call them all or don’t call them at all umpire.

          • Chris Devine says:

            PBS isn’t run by the government and has no more of an obligation to air sectarian programming that Fox or MSNBC. Nobody expects the 700 Club to give equal time to atheists or agnostics.

    • TexasChem says:

      Yeah this is in the works in legislature now with the Fairness Doctrine.Brought to you by the same people who are legislating the Pedophile Protection Act.

      • Chris Devine says:

        Obama doesn\’t support the Fairness Doctrine and won\’t sign any such legislation. Besides the Fairness Doctrine had nothing to do with PBS rules and is just a wedge issue straw man.

        By the way, I couldn\’t find anything about a \’Pedophile Protection Act\’ on either the House or Senate websites. Oh, and the only people in Congress concerned with the Fairness Doctrine are the Republicans pushing legislation to ban its return.

        • Pedophile Protection Act = Hate Crime Bill

          • Chris Devine says:

            I should have guessed. They seem so similar. Does this mean that it is like the ‘Clears Skies’ and ‘Healthy Forests’ initiatives as well as the ‘No Child Left Behind’ act (i.e., does exactly the opposite of what the title implies)?

    • And…..who watches PBS????

    • Bama dad says:

      Well you know religion is that terrible no no that has no place on PBS. But yet, for education, this Saturday their Point of View feature film is Georgie Girl. Now I know PBS thinks it is going to corrupt peoples mind with that god stuff so they have to counter balance that by having a show on a transgender politician from New Zeeland. As a side note they have a place for educators to go for the recommended reading list to help with questions that might come up after students see this film. They listed 30 or 40 different books to review but I liked the following 4:
      1. Speaking sex to power: the politics of pleasure & perversity.
      2. Blending gender: social aspects of cross-dressing and sex changing.
      3. Performances of gender and desire
      4. Cross-dress for success: a resource guide for boys who want to be girls.

      All this came right off their web site. Wow

      • Oh, I love that! I agree with D13. Who watches them anyway? There is never anything on there to watch to begin with.

        And since Bert and Ernie came out of the closet, my kids haven’t watched it either.

  2. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #2

    Despite his claims that he will have transparency in his administration, Obama officials are blocking access to the lists of the names of visitors to the White House. This is a George Bush doctrine that has carried over into the current administration, despite the last two years spend denouncing everything Bush and pledging that he will have a transparent government and White House. I am just wondering who is coming to the White House that he doesn’t want people to know about.

    Article on Fox News:http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/16/white-house-blocks-access-visitor-list/
    Article on MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31373407/ns/politics-white_house/

    • How about writing a law, then breaking it? Do as I say, not as I do—

      President Obama swept to office on the promise of a new kind of politics, but then how do you explain last week’s dismissal of federal Inspector General Gerald Walpin for the crime of trying to protect taxpayer dollars? This is a case that smells of political favoritism and Chicago rules.

      Gerald Walpin, Inspector General of the Corporation For National and Community Service, was fired by President Barack Obama.

      There’s also the question of how Mr. Walpin was terminated. He says the phone call came from Norman Eisen, the Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, who said the President felt it was time for Mr. Walpin to “move on,” and that it was “pure coincidence” he was asked to leave during the St. HOPE controversy. Yet the Administration has already had to walk back that claim.

      That’s because last year Congress passed the Inspectors General Reform Act,

      ” which requires the President to give Congress 30 days notice, plus a reason, before firing an inspector general.”

      A co-sponsor of that bill was none other than Senator Obama. Having failed to pressure Mr. Walpin into resigning (which in itself might violate the law), the Administration was forced to say he’d be terminated in 30 days, and to tell Congress its reasons.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      May I suggest that with respect to matters of National Security are there visitors that we have no need to have awareness of in real-time? I know this issue tastes bad to some folks, but investigative reporters need not be so lazy to ID who visits the White House.

    • There is no transparency…there will be no transparency. Czars are the way around Congress and the public…but no one seems to be upset by this. We sleep, Washington is burning, the fiddler is fiddling…and no one cares. There will be NO transparency until it does not matter.

      • Danak13 says:

        God…I just re-read my post and how negative I am….geez. Need to have a proposal in mind before leaping with criticism…sorry all.

      • No D13. There is no reason to apologize. How can you help but feel negative these days? You are right. There will be no Transparency. This Administration is the same as the one before, only with more money being spent.

  3. Chris Devine says:

    The Preamble of the U.S. Constitution reads:

    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    What is meant by the phrase, \”promote the general welfare?\”

    • General good of the people….not welfare like “we are the government we are here to help you”

    • Chris, in the same statement you can argue the vernacular of the word “blessings” in what was a very religious time period too.

      • Chris Devine says:

        From what I understand Americans are much more religious today than at the time the Constitution was drafted (if going to church is a fair gauge of such a thing).

        • Alan F. says:

          They have a census of church goers for that time period? I’d love to see that. Was the practice of recording births, deaths, emigration and immigration recorded within the parish there as they were indeed here in Saskatchewan or was there merely the township’s through land titles?

    • A related question:

      Does the founder’s original intent have any relevance today other than an interesting bit of history?

  4. Good Morning, I’ve often wondered what this small part of a sentence meant to different people. With that in mind, I found an answer that best reflects my personnal feelings and views.

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_Promote_the_general_welfare_mean

    G!

  5. Republicans in congress proposed 127 amendments to the annual Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill, two of which were attempting to cut off funding to ACORN and one to probe Nancy Pelosi’s accusation about the CIA lying to congress. Majority Dems closed the floor at 6:30 pm, some stuck around to debate and resume voting Wednesday. At 8:30 pm they reopened the floor and called for a vote. Passing the bill without those pesky Republican amendments.

    http://congress.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/06/17/on-call/#more-329

    Yet more proof that our government is crumbling from the inside. Both parties are guilty of crap like this, the Dems get the blame this time.

  6. Bama dad says:

    More from the Education Gestapo, do it my way or no way. Watch video.

    http://www.wmtw.com/education/19763059/detail.html

    • A Maine high school senior was denied his diploma at graduation after he took a bow when his name was called, pointed to friends and blew a kiss to his family.

      Justin Denney was graduating from Bonny Eagle High School June 12 and had gotten up on stage to receive his diploma when he gestured to his friends and relatives.

      School Superintendent Suzanne Lukas abruptly told Denney to return to his seat, according to WMTW TV in Maine. He didn’t get his diploma.

      http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,526642,00.html

  7. I am concerned about the President trying to fire the Americorps Inspector General. A President has to give congress 30days notice and list examples and reasons for the request to fire a inspector general. Which has not happen. His only reason is I dont trust him.
    Or could it be that he inspected Kevin Johnson (ex NBA player, now Sacramento mayor) of misusing Americorps funds (ie taxpayer dollars)for his lifestyle. He did a year long probe and has a report that proves that he did misuse funds.

    Really? Now he is being fired?

    Plus I am very concerned on the oversight they want to give to the Fed on all banks they believe are to big to fail. The Feds would have oversight and a right to set rules if those banks are not doing what they believe is right.

    Another Scary

    • It’s funny that the government breaks laws and nothing happens. This is one example. Another is the automotive deals. Chrysler paid off something like $0.54 for every dollar to the unions but only like $0.20 (?) to the bondholders. By law the company must pay back guaranteed bondholder $1.00 on each dollar first. In other words, the government deal is AGAINST THE LAW! O’Conner put a stay on the deal, but let it expire without doing much. Why? Well probably because if the supreme court had done anything about it the GM deal would have gone down the tube.

      Looks like the Supreme Court is abandoning the law. Is that not scary to anyone? Isn’t that their job?

    • Ellen, oops, posted the same on US’s #2. Here’s the link

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124511811033017539.html

    • Ellen, Your concern is not overblown, but very real. Here is a link to some more things that may verify your concerns (as well as mine)!

      http://current.com/items/90209160_charles-krauthammer-speech-comments-on-the-new-economy-and-barack-obama.htm

      PEACE!

      G!

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        G – the summary is of a speech given by a conservative columnist that writes for a conservative-leaning paper and speaking to a conservative think tank – were you expecting different results? Grain of salt is in hand.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      I’m not certain this is as scary as Fox News or the Washington Post would lead all the believe. In the letter sent to Congress on the 16th there is specific reference to the prior letter being prepared based on “long practice with respect to the form of such letters and the Administration’s view of the statute”. I’d suggest we see what that practice is/was before we suggest that are intentionally breaking the law.

      http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/lieberman_collins_061609.pdf

      • Ray

        A President has to give congress 30days notice and list examples and reasons for the request to fire a inspector general. Maybe Obama needs a lawyer to explain what that means before he ignores legal procedure.

        If Bush had done this, you would be calling for impeachment.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          LOI – please re-read my post – it appears that the ‘practice’ of what was done extended far before President Obama. I’m suggesting we understand more about what that practice was and why it was acceptable (if it was) before, prior to calling for anyone’s head. Suffice to say that there is likely more to this issue than what the WSJ or Wash Post has written on. If the IG did something wrong then sure – punish – but do in the letter of the law.

          • Ray,

            “it appears that the ‘practice’ of what was done extended far before President Obama”

            I will concede that without checking. How is that relevant? New law Obama ignored.

            I do not want his head for this, I want honesty. If he made a mistake, admit it and we move on. Deny any wrongdoing if he violated a law he co-sponsored and signed is where I question his “transparency”.

            And there are questions about him respecting the law. Where is his authority to fire the head of GM. Where is the governments authority to set aside the law on the auto makers bond holders?

            “I’m not certain this is as scary as Fox News or the Washington Post would lead all the believe.”
            I can agree with you here.

            “intentionally breaking the law.” I have no doubt they did not intend to break the law, so make it right with simple apology.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              I think we are after the same thing here – just tell the darn truth. The 6/16 letter does not make it wholly clearer but seems to shove things under a rug. My opinion is that someone made a rash decision and threw the boss under the boss. I am presuming the “prior practices” are under the ’78 law rather than the ’08 reform law. In any event, there are laws that are not always followed to the letter and we know this. If we’re going to true up then wipe the slate clean and just admit it if you made a mistake. I hate the lawyers crap (and the 6/16 was written by a lawyer).

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              If you, a citizen, claim ignorance of a certain law, yet you are caught violating that law and arrested, ignorance of the law is not a valid defense.

              If you, a citizen, know about a law, and perform a certain action that breaks that law even though that was not your intent, yet you are caught and arrested, your claim of lack of intent to violate a law is not a valid defense.

              If the President is ignorant of the law (one which he himself co-sponsored) or claims that even though his actions violated a law that was not his intent, should his ignorance or lack of intent to violate the law be a valid defense?

              • Peter,

                You are correct on all points. By my principals and ethics, I should be screaming for a full investigation. SOMEONE broke the LAW. They should face whatever those legal consequences are, and we should witness this.

                Reality is we can stir things up a bit, but will not win this one. The fired inspector seems able to fend for himself, and will likely win a settlement for wrongful termination, etc.

                For us, the taxpayers, investigations and such will be an expense and distraction. Might even been deliberate to draw attention away from his health care push. Like Clinton, even if guilty, nothing will stick.

                I will admit I could be wrong, Al Capone was caught for tax evasion, may be a little thing that brings Obama down.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Okay – so PeterB is car #15 in a line of 30 cars traveling down the Interstate at 25 miles above speed and is pulled over because, well, he’s from Indianapolis is a good enough reason, does it makes sense to ticket him and not the other 29? Well, he broke the law, so sure. Or, should the cop head to the front of the line, stay in opposite lane and slow the traffic down to the posted speed?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Your analogy makes no sense in pertaining to the particular breakage of the law under current discussion.

              • USWeapon says:

                I think it may Peter, although I am guessing at Ray’s intent. The point was that all 30 cars were breaking the law. Rather that singling out Obama in this case, we should take into account the other previous administration’s actions and see whether Obama was acting as part of the group, doing what everyone else has done, or is the a grievous abuse of power that no other President did. If it was common practice, and accepted practice, it is hard to fault Obama for following it.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Is it your argument that the cop should go to the front of the line and prevent ALL Presidents from breaking the law? If that is your point, I am totally with you on that one!

      • Found this site with some interesting info on the KJ/Sacramento situation that Walpin was investigating.

        http://hoguenews.com/

        And, since we are so into disclaimers, the author of this site is a conservative, but if you read all the articles and his comments, he is/was actually very supportive of KJ’s efforts.

    • Bama dad says:
      • And now the WH is coming out with more claims on Walpin

        “was confused, disoriented and unable to answer questions and exhibited behavior that led the board to question his capacity to serve.”

        Hell, that describes Biden to a tee…….

        • Alinsky’s Rule for Radicals:

          RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions

        • Bama dad says:

          I saw the man do an interview the other night and he was none of the above

    • Bama dad says:
    • USWeapon says:

      I listened to an interview with Walpin on the Tom Sullivan show yesterday afternoon. I have to admit that I liked him. And he certainly didn’t seem crazy or any of those things he was accused of. Something in this entire story isn’t sitting right with me. I tend to fall on the give benefit of the doubt side, but I have a feeling that the firing on this guy is a bad thing, and perhaps a measure of either revenge or protection, but I will investigate further.

      I am thinking about writing an article on this, but I am not sure yet.

  8. HEALTH CARE

    How do the progressives get things done? Income tax started as a flat tax (1-2%?). It has been expanded and added onto, and where are now? How did welfare start? Was it ever intended to promote out-of-wedlock childbirth?
    Social Security when being passed, was promised to never be put in with the general fund. How long did that last?

    Many progressives are calling for one source health care. Obama has said that is not possible at this time. The intentions of any health care reform they pass, whatever they call it, is to lay the foundation for a program that can be expanded until it is the only one available. Look at SCHIP, where children in households making less than $20,000 was raise to households with income of $60,000. Of course, that’s being paid for by tobacco users, so it was not a “tax” in the true sense, and its for the children, how can you begrudge helping children?

    Health care reform, I can support. Look at what doctors pay for malpractice insurance. How much does that cost hospitals? Answer is $0. We pay for the cost of all that insurance. Tort reform is needed.

    Emergency rooms are abused by the un-insured. No job, the ER is “free” to you.
    No wages for the hospital to garnish, so the cost is passed on to everyone who pays for their treatment. Child has a fever, go to ER, its FREE!! This could be partially addressed with vouchers for seeing a regular doctor.

    And in closing, I would like to state this is all caused by the failed policies of the Carter/Clinton administrations. Obama is just trying to outdo Bill.

    • My Mom is a Nuclear Xray Tech, has been for 35yrs. She has so many stories of people who use after hour ER/Hospital services for everyday care. Instead of waiting and going through the right channels to see a doctor. Example: She was on call, she gets called in for a Leg xray on a women. The women has been in 8 times in a week. All after hours when someone has to be called in. Cost are crazy for this services afterhours. But she doesnt care, because she is on assistance from the state.

      You want to talk about a waste (pork) money!

    • You might find this interesting http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/, goes into some of the national health care providers around the world and lists their good and bad points. The Germans and Swiss seem to have good systems.

      • Bob,

        Great link and point. Have not had time to view all yet.

        After 9/11, I wondered why the US was overhauling airport security in such a screwed-up manner. Israel has had a very successful program and would have given assistance.

        Health care, why do we not look at what works and what does not, and apply? The only answer is its not about providing health care. Its about government taking control.

        • LOI, As I listen to c-span about the helthcare reform bill, you hit the nail on the head, it’s about control.

          G!

      • Mike M. Houston Texas says:

        Yes it does seem good however the main issue that I have with the German system is this. I visisted there some time ago and worked with my German counterparts in Munich. One girl got the flu around December 3rd of that year. I asked why she had not been to the doctor and she said the state was out of money for non emergency care. The flu is a non emergency so she could not get any medicines until the 1st of January when the new budget kicked in. While yes there was good and bad about it I dont want to be told “sorry the well is dry” “wait till next year”.

        • What happens if you get a serious illness and your insurance decides to not pay out? Of all the people who file for bankruptcy due to medical bills, 75% of them had insurance at the beginning of their illness. Insurance companies hire hundreds if not thousands of people who’s sole job is to deny people coverage for their health care, it is in the insurance companies best interests to not pay out. The NHS in the UK who are arguably worse than the German system would not turn people away, there would be a national outcry if anyone got turned away from a doctors or hospital for treatment.

          • Black Flag says:

            Bob,

            Get the rest of the story regarding insurance.

            Typically, it is a prior condition that the insured failed to disclose while obtaining their insurance policy.

            It is not in the best interest of insurance companies not to pay out!

            It is in the best interest of the insurance company to avoid fraud so to enable them to pay out real, honest claims.

            If the person was dishonest in declaring prior conditions or risks, they are essentially uninsured and are wasting their money paying premiums!

            So many people believe they can pull the wool over insurance companies by trying to hide medical problems and then trying to insure themselves because they know its going to be expensive.

            Hear me – Insurance companies are very, very, rarely fooled.

            As I’ve said before, many people are utterly confused about the purpose of insurance and hence, when they think they need it, they are exactly the ones who can’t get it.

            Insurance is there to mitigate (not absolve) a horrific financial disaster due to unforeseen or unlikely event.

            Trying to use it as a ‘rainy day piggy bank’ or trying to get them to pay for something that you knew was coming (and you failed to prepare for it) will nearly always guarantee that you will waste your money, lose your money and not get a dime of benefit from insurance.

            • Black Flag says:

              Rules:

              1) Never lie to an insurance company. Do this and you will not be insured again by any insurance company, and will lose ALL of your insurance benefits and ALL of your paid premiums.

              2) If you have risks, disclose them. If an insurance company finds out that you had undisclosed risks, you lose all your premiums and all your insurance benefits.

              3) Understand exactly what you want your insurance to accomplish. Example: I put aside $10,000 to cover emergency health for the family. I expect that I will pay for my own health needs. I have insurance so to cover unforeseen health needs – which are so substantial that it will financially destroy my family. Thus, my cost of health insurance is so low, I spend more on buying a daily cup of coffee.

              Same with life insurance. I have saved enough to satisfy my wife’s financial needs in her elderly retirement years, without me.

              I do not expect myself to retire.

              I have enough life insurance to pay for my daughter while she is at home with her mother to complete her upbringing until she goes on her own, and enough life insurance to pay for my wife up until the ‘retire plan’ would kick in.

              Why would I expect insurance to pay MORE than what I would do if I was alive?

              • Mike M. Houston Texas says:

                Thanks for answering that for me BF. Insurance clearly lists what they will pay and what they will not. I have great insurance but it is not 100% covered when I go. I pay along with the insurance company. My point was this girl could not go period. The doctors offices were closed the only thing open were the hospitals which she could not go to. I am only speaking from a personal conversation with several German colleagues over dinner. Which formed my opionion about their medical system. I took this to be genuine as they were not really complaining. It was more of a matter of fact discussion of something they just put up with.

              • Black Flag says:

                If I have no money, and my car has no gas to take me to the hospital, do you believe the gas company should fill my tank anyway?

              • Chris Devine says:

                That’s what ambulances are for.

              • Black Flag says:

                And if they have no gas in the tank and no money in the pocket, is it the responsibility of the gas station to still fill the car?

    • LOI, Healthcare reform should start with eliminating welfare first. Second, any government medling, medicare, medicade and workers comp should be privitized as well. Those two areas are what is really driving up healthcare costs, with malpractice insurance coming in a close third. What the boneheads in Congress want to do will never work, but make matters far worse. If Obama controls healthcare, controls energy (cap and trade) and controls education, he then controls the masses! This will get far worse in the years to come than anyone wishes to believe. Freedom is getting to be a empty word, sad to say.

      G!

      • G!,

        Not sure I can agree on eliminating welfare. I am not opposed to there being a “safety net” to catch people when they fall. There also needs to be a ladder they have to start climbing back up, off that net. Reality check, we cannot eliminate welfare in today’s political climate.

        Not sure on privitizing. Insurance companies could have done better to stop health care cost abuses. Instead they just pass it on to the consumer.

        I can agree with you on the rest. Its a scary thing, watching Obama tell everyone what they want to hear, and the media acting
        like his choir.

        • LOI, I should have said welfare as a lifestyle, my mistake. I can agree with a saftey net, but a temperary one. I work in healthcare, and medicare, medicade and workers comp do not pay market value, which drives up the cost for those of us who do pay. If the govt. gets more control, it will get far worse.

          G!

    • Black Flag says:

      From Las Vegas:

      “Most of the roughly $300 billion coming directly to the states is being funneled through existing government programs for health care, education, unemployment benefits, food stamps and other social services,” The Associated Press reported this week, out of Sacramento.

      Two-thirds of recovery money that flows directly to states will go toward health care. Not hiring new doctors or nurses, mind you. Just paying medical bills for poor people – and the salaries of those who handle this redistribution of your hard-earned cash.

      By comparison, about 15 percent of the stimulus money will end up going for transportation – including airports, highways and rail projects – according to Federal Funds Information for States, a service of the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

      Overall, two-thirds of the stimulus funds will go to subsidize state budgets and unemployment compensation – paying people NOT to work. Much smaller pieces of the pie will be allocated for weatherization, affordable housing and other projects designed to create jobs, The AP reports.

      “We all talked about ‘shovel-ready’ since September and assumed it was a whole lot of paving and building when, in fact, that’s not the case,” explains Chris Whatley, the Washington director of the Council of State Governments, a trade group for state governments. He estimates states will get three times more money to prop up payrolls in the government schools than for transportation.

      John Husing, a Southern California economist, agrees keeping teachers and cops employed could help prevent the recession from getting worse. But he says the stimulus package would have improved communities’ ability to grow over the long haul if it had dedicated more money to public works – as promised.

      If the aim of the stimulus package was to jolt the economy, the government could have concentrated more of the money on areas that have suffered the steepest declines during the recession – housing, auto, retail and restaurants – says Edward Leamer, an economist with the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.

      Instead, in Georgia for instance, two-thirds of the $3.9 billion in “stimulus” funds the state expects to receive over the next 16 months will go to support existing social programs. Mississippi expects to spend about only 13 percent of its $2.8 billion in federal “stimulus” money on highways and bridges. The rest will be spent, as it is in other states, to preserve existing government programs and jobs.

      Seven hundred billion dollars “to bail out the welfare moms and make sure government bureaucrats continue to get fat paychecks, benefits, and raises”?

      That’s quite a campaign slogan. Is that actually what they promised us, last year? If so, you’d think we would have remembered.”

      • Great post Flag,

        And history repeats itself. California went through a “Golden Age”, spending 85% on infrastructure, 15% social, modern times see’s that reversed with their state bankrupt.

        From the Bobo Files.

        The Golden State as Metaphor: California Agonistes

        The demographer and economic trend guru Joel Kotkin recently asked the rhetorical question: Can California make a comeback? . Dr Kotkin’s answer to his own question is discouraging. In short, California can make a comeback but it would require a political revolution in a state where well-funded and somewhat fanatical special interests consisting of the public sector unions and the environmental lobby strangle any attempts to adopt policies in the interests of all Californians.

        To better understand the features of the “California disease” it is helpful to look at California’s so called Golden Age where the political establishment worked very closely with the private sector to create an economic miracle. The Golden Age of California is generally thought to have spanned the period of 1950 to 1975. During that time California enjoyed a growth rate that lead the nation and the prosperity was wide spread. This period saw consistent increases in real incomes for middle class Californians. The policy mix that brought about this sustained level of economic growth and expansion also achieved an enviable level of social cohesion with nearly everyone benefiting from the uplift of the economy.

        The key policy driver for California’s Golden Age was a bi-partisan emphasis on the expansion and improvement of physical and other infrastructure assets. Whether a Republican or Democrat was in power, a pattern of continuous reinvestment in infrastructure was maintained. During this period the California University System, the California Water Project, a huge expansion of the road network, various energy projects, and the State Park System were created and funded. These projects uniformly lifted middle call incomes and quality of life. During this time the percentage of state income devoted to social programs was about %15 and the amount devoted to general infrastructure was 85%.

        In the time since California’s Golden Age, the proportion of social spending to general infrastructure spending has been flip flopped. 85% of spending in California is now devoted to the welfare state and infrastructure spending with the remaining, paltry 15% going toward infrastructure spending. In conjunction with out of control lawyers and regulators the inversion of social spending away from infrastructure and the simultaneous breakdown of the pro-growth bipartisan consensus is almost entirely responsible for California’s current plight. The once magnificent infrastructure plant in California is now becoming decrepit, needing billions of dollars in upgrades and retrofits.

        Tragically the Obama Administration is looking to extrapolate the bad California model on a national level. The recently passed stimulus bill maintains a 85% to 15% ratio of social welfare spending to infrastructure spending. The paltry amount infrastructure spending in the stimulus bill is further diluted by Team Obama’s bizarre obsession with wind and solar power. The U.S. economy desperately needs immediate investment in nuclear power, oil exploration, roads, and energy transmission. All of these needs are largely ignored in the Obama budget.

        What we we have to look forward to is out of control public sector unionism, frivolous lawsuits, brownouts and a crumbling physical infrastructure. Americans have traditionally been strongly pro-growth and somehow this consensus will have to achieve political expression before we officially descend into the status of a banana republic.

        http://thetradingmastermind.com/newday/?p=185

      • Amazed1 says:

        I knew you were around here some where BF…..things as usual “have no fear the government is here”. I think the money would have been better spent if they would have just open the windows and threw the $$ into the wind.

  9. ABC = All Barack Channel!

    ABC will be broadcasting from the White House and then holding an infomercial for BO’s health care bill.

    Nothing but state-run media. Very hubris of Charlie Gibson et al, wouldn’t you say?

  10. All;

    I know there a lot of Vet’s tuned into this site, some of which have spent time in SF. So, my topic for today is: Our involvment in the Middle East – yes or no and how should it be handled?

    I supported going to Iraq and Afganistan, the latter being less controversial given our effort to find the idiot Binladen. I took the stance that we should always deal aggressively with any threat directed towards the US, and it is better to deal with it early before it has the time to grow.

    I use to think that the US had a moral duty to stand up against all those who would surpress the masses and create general hostility.

    I use to believe that we as a nation were peaceful folks that just wanted freedom for everyone and those who promoted war or repression needed to be dealt with so that people could live free.

    I am not so sure these days as to how we should be conducting ourselves given current circumstances.

    What are we really trying to accomplish in Afganistan and Iraq? What happens if we just stop our involvment and come home?

    Do we as a people really give a dadburn about the Iraqi and Afganistan people, or any of the people living in a repressed country?

    How should we be conducting our efforts in Afganistan? (I’m really interested to get those of you who have spent time in SF thoughts on this)

    What happens around the world if we just draw in our horns, return to our own borders and focus our efforts internally?

    Does the presence of the US as the lone superpower really maintain a certain amount of stability to the world as a whole?

    Given technology today we are not going to be surprised by any kind of conventional attack, so do we really need to have a presence in the areas that we have established bases today?

    Is the current VA system really working in the best interest of those that served? How should we change it?

    Are those young men and women returning from the battle field getting the rightous service they so justly deserve?

    I am wondering if we as a nation decided to stop enabling other countries, supporting those actions deemed necassary by the UN, and stopped funding everyone else’s problems, would they be able to work it out themselves to the benefit of the whole? I think this kind of thought goes along with BR’s philosophy, but I am sure I will be corrected if that is not the case.

    Bottom line: How should we conduct ourselves as a world country militarially, fiscally, and morally?

    I look forward to everyone’s comments and thoughts.

    CM

    • As someone from the UK here are my thoughts about Iraq and Afghanistan as we are also heavily involved. Iraq was an illegal war based on fabricated or bad intelligence, we have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians and lost thousands of our troops. Invading Iraq has weakened the UK’s national security and all we have done is create a breeding ground for Al Qaeda. As soon as we pull out there will be a civil war creating even more suffering.

      Afghanistan is a bit of a stickier situation, we had the hunt for Bin Laden and the terrorist supporting Taliban so we may have been justified with the ground invasion. Why we are still there is another matter for discussion.

      • Bob;

        Regardless of Iraq being justified or not does your country and mine stay? If there is to be a civil war do we care? Nobody really gave much of a damn when the US fought a Civil War. Nobody came in a tried to invoke a peaceful resolution or surpress the repressor. So should we let it happen?

        What is the general position of the UK’s people relative to Iraq and Afganistan?

        BTW: How are the soldiers of UK treated when they return home? Are they getting the service from your government they deserve?

        • Well I think we should not have gone there in the first place. Why we are still there baffles me. The best thing we can do is tuck our tails between our legs and get the hell out of there if not we will be there for decades to come.

          The Iraq war especially is pretty unpopular over here, there are some people trying to get Tony Blair to the Hague for war crimes.

          I say the opinion on the troops is okay, people tend to see the people who took us into the war as a problem and not the people fighting. I work in the telecommunications industry and there are a lot of ex squaddie’s around.

      • Bob,

        Iraq goes back a few years, and sorry, it was legal. You could say it was immoral.

        The December 1998 bombing of Iraq (code-named Operation Desert Fox) was a major four-day bombing campaign on Iraqi targets from December 16–19, 1998 by the United States and United Kingdom. These strikes were officially undertaken in response to Iraq’s failure to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions as well as their interference with United Nations Special Commission inspectors.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Iraq_(December_1998)

      • Bama dad says:

        Bob
        I agree there was bad intelligence (it was worldwide, not just US and Brit), but fabricated that’s a little much.

        • True maybe I put my tin foil hat a bit early there, but the UK and the US are supposed to have some of the best intelligence gatherers in the world, when you commit thousands of troops and commit to a lengthy occupation I think I would check twice to be honest.

          • Amazed1 says:

            I think the operative word here is “did have” the best intell….years of budget cuts and new regs have cut out intel down to….he said, she said.

            • So if you were president would you go to war on the basis of “err Iraq might have weapons of mass destruction”. Think a bit of tinfoil hat is justified for the Iraq invasion.

              • Amazed1 says:

                Well it probably did not help that Sadam wanted everyone to believe he did. When you play poker you do not always pull out the bluff. Hind site is always 20-20 Seems like alot of people thought the info they were getting was correct.

              • USWeapon says:

                I think that this is exactly correct Amazed. That is the one fact that everyone who makes the WMD argument seems to not take any stock in. Saddam regularly trotted out and told the world that he had WMD’s. He denied having nuclear capability, but he wanted everyone to think he had the abilities. And when the administration took him at his word, they get hammered on it.

                Yet those same folks want us to take all these other countries (Iran, Syria, Palestine, North Korea) at their word and have a nice chat with them. Doesn’t make sense to me.

              • Maybe we should do proper intelligence on those countries instead of doing a half assed job like with Iraq. Anyways I am not aware of Syria or Palestine saying they have WMD’s?

              • USWeapon says:

                No they are not saying they have WMDs but they are quite happy to tell the world that they hate us.

                I think that the intellignce on Iraq was done as well as possible in the circumstances that were prevalent at the time. I still believe that he had bio or chem weapons. And I don’t believe that we will ever find them, unless we get lucky. Finding them there is like a needle in a haystack.

            • Chris Devine says:

              So ‘smaller government’ and privatizing don’t work for everything. What a surprise.

        • Black Flag says:

          Fabricated?

          Well, if one makes up “Yellow Cake” stories, and ignores all evidence to the contrary…

          …while holding on to invasion plans after declaring “I’m going to invade Iraq” at the begining of his term (pre 9-11)….

          …my answer: Yes.

        • Black Flag says:

          Bama,

          Invasion of Iraq and Afghanstan had already been laid out well in advanced of 9-11.

          They were merely waiting for a “casus belli”.

          It’s all about Caspian Oil, my friend.

          • Well I don’t want to come out as a crazy truther or anything but yes I honestly believe that it was the black stuff and having another military base in the region that made us go into Iraq.
            What makes me chuckle is all the huffing and puffing we do about the crap North Korea does, but we will not do anything about it because they have weapons of mass destruction.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              North Korea does have weapons of mass destruction; however, North Korea has ABSOLUTELY nothing that we actually want, so unless NK attacks SK, you won’t see any action there, just a lot of bluster from us.

        • The purpose of us being in Iraq and Afganistan was all about POWER/CONTROL/MONEY. They gave us a False Flag/crisis called 9/11…now look at everything happening around you.

    • Danak13 says:

      CM….wow…what a litany of questions.

      Ok..Afghanistan. Whether or not we should be there is another topic but how would I fight it. We already have. We fought it when the Soviets went in. As a former SF and experienced in these matters and having “chewed the dirt”, small unit tactics seem to work best when attached to indigenous forces….assuming that there is a workable government in place. Honestly, sniper teams that take out the leaders on a consistent basis keeps the head of the snake from being formed. It is much easier and safer to fight a Hydra than to fight a single snake. If the mission is to disrupt the Taliban, et al….then SF units that are trained to operate with indigenous is best. If you are going to send in ground troops…then do it. An army is destructive…not “winning the hearts and minds” which is a crock of shit anyway. I have been through that. But, experience and history has proved that to keep the “battle” in country, the best way is to keep the heads of the snake cut off.

      I think that as a Nation, we would like the rest of the world to be as we are. Do we export that? I used to think yes, but I am thinking now that maybe we should take care of our own. I simply do not care for the United Nations. This is a joke, has been a joke, and will always be that way. We are the greatest Nation in this Earth….I vote that we lead by example and leave the rest of the world to itself. We can attain the economic world status again. We should not care what the rest of the world thinks of us. With all due respect to those on here from other countries….we do not owe the world anything. Perhaps it is time to balance our trade, take care of our own, and let the rest of the world survive. If we lead by example, I think we would be better off.

      What happens to the rest of the world? It is time for them to fend for themselves. I am an advocate of that…now. I am very tired of being the world’s policeman and then being ostracized for it. We have done some things wrong, yes, but we have been mostly right.

      Being the lone super power….I agree that we are the lone MILITARY superpower… but there are other ways to be a super power. We keep our enforcement muscle (military) intact because that is out deterrent..however, if we regain the economic status…that weapon is stronger than any bomb. will there be despots? Yes. Let their neighbors do something about it. Some will say that this is isolationist but I wonder if that applies in modern days.

      Wow….morally. Again, I suggest that we lead by example. Our moral integrity died a long time ago with the idea that a government is the best way to go. We quit being a society of winners and leaders and have become a society of takers. We have allowed our leaders to create a society of lemmings than cannot think and act for themselves. We cannot lead by example, when we have become a slave state larger than anything in the 1800’s. We need to regain that which made us great. Individualism, capitalism, creative thought, freedoms that are taken for granted…and the list goes on. It is time to regain this before we can lead by example.

      The example that I feel we are giving the world today is one of weakness….we are weaker now than we have ever been before and that includes before WWII. We have a leader in Washington that some voted for that is destroying this country. He is not doing it by himself…..we have no statesmen left…just politicians. And until we, as the fabric of this country, get off our ass and do something and get involved, we will never lead again. Socialism/fascism/communism…..is not the way. History has proven this.

      The VA and the returning vets…..hooo boy….I am availing myself of these services. To answer your question, is the VA helping? To the extent they can…yes. There are some great people in the VA and I have been helped. Is it long lines and long waits…again yes. Are we, vets, getting the right treatment? No, the VA cannot begin to cover the problems out there and there must be some interaction with civilian doctors to take up some slack. I am a victim of Agent Orange poisoning. Am I getting care for that? No…why? because it has been determined that since there are so few Americans with this problem and the fact that this herbicide is no longer being manufactured, the decision was made that it was not worth the cost to continue research for cures. A panel of people make this decision. Not based on need but based on cost. If this is what National Health Care is going to be? I do not want it.

      Have I helped any CM?

      D13

      • D13

        Yes thanks your thoughts are greatly appreciated and respected. I too believe we should stop the enablement of other countries and fend for ourselves.

        I am looking forward to others imput as well

        CM

      • In what ways is the USA “the greatest Nation in this Earth”, are we talking GDP, military power, standard of living for its citizens?

        • Danak13 says:

          Bob…you from Uk …right?

        • Danak13 says:

          GDP Ranking of individual countries….as I stated Greatest country on this Earth. I DO NOT consider the EU to be a country and therefore to keep “Apples w/ Apples”

          GDP – 2008 list by the International Monetary Fund #1 USA w/14,264,600 (millions USD)

          GDP – 2007 list by the World Bank #1 USA w/13,811,200 (millions USD)

          GDP – 2008 list CIA World Fact Book #1 USA w/14,330,000 (millions USD)

          There are a variety of books and economist projections out there that throw several factors in determining this type of ranking. But since you asked, this is the straight dollar amount as reported…not taking in “weighted” other factors.

          World Military Power – USA, China, Russia, S Korea, UK

          Denmark and Sweden once again lead the rankings of The Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009, released for the eighth consecutive year by the World Economic Forum. The United States follows suit, up one position from last year, thus confirming its pre-eminence in networked readiness in the current times of economic slowdown.

          The United States is less than 300 years old. Europe, Asia, Persia….are all 1’000s of years old. In less than 300 years, USA has liberated more countries, protected the freedoms of more countries, leads in space technology with more risk, protects the rights of its population better than the rest(no confirmation on that one)..has provided more assistance to impoverished countries, provides the lions share to the UN (which I wish would stop)….the list goes on and on…..please show me another country in this world that has done better and I will acknowledge that I am wrong.

          Over all…when it is said and done…The United States has done more as a neophyte and fledgling than has the rest of the world combined.

          AND, I have not even thrown in Texas.

          • Chris Devine says:

            How is it that Denmark and Sweden have such high standards of living? I thought they were just socialist hell holes.

            Europe and Asia are continents not countries and Persia refers to a region not a country. The United States has the longest standing constitution in the world, even if it is only less than 300 years old.

            Furthermore, most of our common law is derived from Britain and the Roman Empire.

            • TexasChem says:

              Sweden has a population of 9 million.Denmark 5.5 million.Hard to compare the standards of 305 million in the U.S. to 14.5 million when taking into consideration standard variables to benefits dun ya think?The two countries social problems are arising from an influx of immigrants.Research it.

              I believe he meant populated for thousands of years Chris with his remark concerning accomplishments of a geographical/governmental area.

              The English Empire and Roman Empire were quite successful in their age were they not? Or have I simply misread my history books? Why not pull knowledge gained from succes?

              • Chris Devine says:

                Why should country size matter all that much? It seems to me that if you could make something work for 10 million, then it could work for more. I couldn’t find anything about Denmark and Sweden immigration problems. Perhaps you could suggest some info.

                There were millions of people here for thousands of years before the Europeans landed.

                Exactly what were those empires (British and Roman) successful at?

          • Chris – “I couldn’t find anything about Denmark and Sweden immigration problems. Perhaps you could suggest some info.”

            Don’t think you looked too hard.

            Muslim Rape Epidemic in Sweden and Norway – Authorities Look the Other Way : http://fjordman.blogspot.com/2005/02/muslim-rape-epidemic-in-sweden-and.html

            Immigrants wage rape and robbery war in Sweden! : http://www.alipac.us/article1650.html

      • D13

        My Dad is a Victim of Agent Orange also. He is 100% disabled because of it. He was told by his doctors that he meets 100% of the criteria for Agent Orange poisoning. He now has 100% Service Connected Disability.

        However, he is being treated for the symptoms. No cure is even being considered. But then, it seems to me that we are not looking for a cure for ANTTHING

      • Chris Devine says:

        “I am a victim of Agent Orange poisoning. Am I getting care for that? No…why? because it has been determined that since there are so few Americans with this problem and the fact that this herbicide is no longer being manufactured, the decision was made that it was not worth the cost to continue research for cures. A panel of people make this decision. Not based on need but based on cost. If this is what National Health Care is going to be? I do not want it.”

        I’d say this is more a picture of the current private insurance based health coverage system. Insurance companies make a profit by taking in more money than they spend. They avoid spending money in many ways. Some would argue that efficiency is the key, but I think there is more than enough evidence to show that denying the claims of premium-paying customers is the easiest way to turn a profit.

        The government isn’t in the business of turning a profit. It is in the business of serving it’s citizens (better yet it’s not ‘in business’ at all). Since it doesn’t have to turn a profit it can use more of it’s resources for providing services. Profitable is not synonymous with efficient or fair.

        Having said that, we must ensure that the services the government is providing are the best they can be. That’s what citizen watchdog groups are for. We must make the government accountable. Learn as much as you can about the health care proposals on the table now. Don’t just believe one side or the other. The insurance companies and the AMA have a great deal to lose if they don’t get their way. Obama may have his ideas, but once Congress gets a hold of this things could change considerably. Keep an eye on the politicians who receive money from these groups.

        http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2009/06/diagnosis-reform.html

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          The government is not in the business of turning a profit, and citizen watchdog groups have no real power; therefore the government has no incentive whatsoever to run anything efficiently or take any measures to cut costs.

          You can say government is in the business of serving its citizens, but that is simply bulldookey. The government is in business for one particular reason. That reason is the amassing of power and control and the maintenance of power and control.

          If you honestly think anyone in government has your best interests at heart, I pity your gullibility.

          • Chris Devine says:

            I pity your cynicism.

            • Chris

              We are a little off subject here, but please wake up and smell what they are cooking in the kitchen.

              With the exception of those organizations and lobbiest that contribute monies to any representative that will take them NO ONE in any branch of Government is looking out for the COMMON MAN/WOMAN. These elected officials have evolved from Statesmen to Politicians bent on grabbing as much of the brass ring as they can carry. they may take up a heart felt cause from time-to-time, but there are hidden agendas even then.

              There are no Statesmen left in any current branch of the government, and I don’t believe a moral one in the lot. BTW: this is not pointing just at the current regime, it goes back a few legacy’s.

              Don’t believe me, write your representatives and senators and see what kind of chain letter response you get. Hell, these bastards don’t even read letters, the have staff members that consolidate them into subject matter stacks and then respond with pre-written reply’s.

              As a people we are no longer being represented only manifulated. Our individual voice is falling on deaft ears because their peers have more influence than the people they represent.

              • Sorry for the spelling errors I am just too busy to go back and check.

              • Chris Devine says:

                No worries.

              • Chris Devine says:

                There are plenty of examples where public opinion has caused the politicians to rethink their attempts to act in favor of big money over little guys like you and me. For instance, the attempts to privatize social security blew up in the face of the Bush administration and Congress. If enough of us let our feelings be known we can influence the people in power.

                Before somebody jumps in and starts complaining about the masses voting themselves bread and circuses, I think it’s important to note that we as citizens have responsibilities not to expect more than what is fair or reasonable. However, I don’t think that considering basic medical care as a human right is beyond reasonable. I’m sure somebody here will disagree, but I think they have a difficult argument to make that the richest country on Earth can’t provide that to everybody and not just those fortunate enough to afford it.

              • Black Flag says:

                Chris,

                The richest country in the world cannot afford to give away something of value for less than its worth!

                It is a guarantee
                that:

                1) it will have to stop doing so at some time, to prevent going completely bankrupt – and most likely the very worse possible time since a) there will be no alternative available since ‘free’ or ‘nearly free’ will have chased out any free market alternative, leaving NO SERVICE b) demand will be at the highest level which is why the system will have been pushed to the brink or c) the system goes completely bankrupt and takes out the entire nation with it.

                There is NO ALTERNATIVE to these consequence, Chris!

              • Chris;

                I really don’t believe that you said what you said. Holly feaken bulldockey!

                Before I go on I must say that I really think you thrive on controversy, cause making the statement that the “richest country on earth should provide health insurance to all as a HUMAN RIGHT” is going to get you a ton of response.

                Do I as a government owe you a job?
                Do I as a government owe you a home?
                Do I as a Government owe you an education?
                Do I as a government owe you a retirement?
                Do I as a government owe you a happy exsitance?
                Do I as a Government owe you a new car every 3 years?
                Do I as a government owe you the right to see the Yankees play baseball?

                I could go on and on and on and on, but you need to understand that this type of mentality will and does lead to the ellimination of individual freesom, liberty and personal achievement. It also exlemplifies a socialist regime. It deters from entrapanureal spirit and evolves into a Government controled population not unlike those in current socialist, communist, fascist country’s. All of which are only benefiting those government officials running them.

                Please everyone reading this, chime in and feel free to ‘correct’ Chris’s mindset.

                Talk about walking into a whirlwind…

              • Chris Devine says:

                I think it is in everybody’s interest to ensure a healthy and educated populace (the rest I’ll leave up to the market).

                Your kind of freedom isn’t something I put too much faith in. Nonetheless, how does providing education and health care lead to loss of freedom? Enlighten me please. Walk me down that slippery slope. Then tell me how relying on huge multi-national corporations to provide the same service makes me free. It seems obvious to me that for-profit enterprise doesn’t provide freedom when ‘take it or leave it’ is usually the choice.

              • Black Flag says:

                Because – for government to provide such things – requires it to STEAL from me to pay for you.

                If I wasn’t here – you’d have to pay for yourself or go without.

                Why do you believe this must change because I am simply ‘here’???

              • Black Flag says:

                And I’m consistently amused by you raging against an entity that owes its entire existence to government – the other entity you believe gives justice for all!

              • Chris Devine says:

                I’m working on that one as well. I think we should definitely rein in the power of corporations. I don’t think our government is perfect, but I have a lot less faith in the profit motive to make life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness possible.

                Why should we be defeatist and assume our government is beyond fixing?

              • Black Flag says:

                Depending on your definition – however –

                …government cannot be fixed – because it’s core premise is evil (the right to inflict violence on non-violent people).

                It will ALWAYS pervert and destroy what ever it touches – since it knows nothing else but perversion and destruction. When all you have is gun, the whole world looks like targets.

              • Chris Devine says:

                …and if all you have is price tags everything looks like a product for sale.

              • Black Flag says:

                Because, everything is for sale.

                The only way a man can obtain the resources for his life is from some sort of means of economics.

                He earns it.

                or

                He steals it.

                It is all still economics – the latter being its daughter – politics.

              • Chris Devine says:

                Economics is your paradigm. You’re not alone, but I don’t see this world that way.

                ‘Earning’ is just a euphemism for sufficient effort justifying appropriation. It doesn’t matter if the appropriation is consensual or not. As long as somebody feels entitled for whatever reason he can claim he ‘earned it.’

              • USWeapon says:

                Boy did you just describe the liberal mentality to a tee ;)

              • USWeapon says:

                Common Man

                Watching the Yankees play baseball is torture and we don’t torture here in the USA ;)

          • Chris Devine says:

            And if you think health insurance companies have their customers’ health as a primary (or even secondary) concern…

            • Black Flag says:

              Absolutely they do!

              It is in the insurance company’s best interest that their customers are healthy!!

              • Chris Devine says:

                That assumes that the customers lack of health directly relates to lack of profits. However, as long as the companies can avoid paying out for any reason they will turn a profit. I’d say the records speak for themselves that insurance companies will do anything to make a buck.

              • Black Flag says:

                Not really.

                As stated above, almost every case is the insured trying to get the insurance company to pay for an undisclosed risk.

                It is VERY IMPORTANT that the insurance companies are stern and rock solid in preventing such bad claims!

                It will keep insurance costs down for those WHO PROPERLY USE INSURANCE and also do not try to steal from insurance.

                Yes, disclosing a risk will cause your premiums to go up. This is reason #1 to get the proper insurance WELL IN ADVANCE of potential risk increases.

                However, trying to ‘cheat’ your premiums by failing to disclose is totally foolish – its worse than not having insurance!…because you are STILL PAYING a PREMIUM for NO COVERAGE! Better just not pay at all for no coverage!

              • Chris Devine says:

                If it wasn’t a matter of profits and actuarial tables this would be a moot point. Perhaps a comprehensive public health effort and complete coverage regardless of genetic predispositions or other unavoidable sources of risk would be the best answer (or at least better than trying to cover the easy bets).

              • Black Flag says:

                With out price/profit mechanisms, you cannot provide an ECONOMIC model for insurance – and hence, it will FAIL economically.

                Insurance will cover any bet – for a price. Which makes sense…..

                …the higher the risk, the more likely the payout, the higher the cost.

                …the higher the potential payout, the more costly the premium.

                Again, I feel you misunderstand the concept of insurance. It is to mitigate (NOT SOLVE) an unforeseen or unlikely financial disaster.

                To demand it to be something else will only make you mad (as in crazy).

              • Chris Devine says:

                I don’t think insurance of any kind is the solution? I think that providing basic health care should fall under the ‘general welfare’ mentioned in the constitution. I’m not suggesting boob-jobs, Botox, and Viagra should be free on demand. But it should be within our means to provide life-saving procedures to everybody if we pool our resources.

                I’m sure you realize that I don’t subscribe to your ‘taxes are theft’ philosophy. I accept that personal sacrifices must be made if we are to advance individually and collectively. I see taxes as one of those sacrifices and provided I get my money’s worth it seems like a bargain.

                I know somebody’s gonna start crying about all those suffering millionaires who pay the majority of taxes, but without a healthy and educated workforce their chances of maintaining that wealth are pretty slim.

                I appreciate your libertarian ideals. I understand where you’re coming from. But I really don’t seem them as being very practical on a grand scale. When you and JAC start your commune please send me a postcard. I honestly wish you the best of luck.

              • Black Flag says:

                And, just like all non-economic measures, your justification of what constitutes “medicine” is merely a subjective “I don’t think this, but maybe that, as long as its good for me…and maybe (maybe not) for you”

                What is ‘life-saving’? Going for a 30-minute walk is life saving – you going pay people to do that?

                To what degree? Save a life for a minute, hour, day, week, month, year? How much will you spend to extend a life an hour? $100, $100,000, $1,000,000, nothing? How about a day – what price? A year – what price?

                Of course, anything you put in there is purely subjective. I could suggest completely different values and be exactly the same “correct” as you. And that’s the same for every single person on earth – what ever they subjectively chose, is as equally ‘correct’ as yours. Its merely a preference, like a favorite color.

                So, as all subjective measures of economic means enforced by the power of violence, it will collapse into corruption, cronyism, and fail. It cannot do anything else.

                There are millions of collective actions that do not depend on theft to fund. Ask any charity.

                And, thus millionaires will invest in education in a free market, just like any other free market good or service that you enjoy.

                Practical and Pragmatism – the Original Sin.

                Chose Practical over Principle and, surely it will end in the horrific demise of those that live their lives in that choice of order.

              • Chris Devine says:

                I get it. There are choices to be made and you’d rather make all your own choices. If that’s what you consider freedom then I understand your point of view.

                However, I don’t accept that consensus is a form of tyranny (necessarily). I believe compromise is very much as inevitable as death (and taxes). I don’t think that avoiding hard choices makes us more free. It’s precisely the courage to face the difficult realities of life that makes freedom of any sort worth while. Relying on ‘the invisible hand’ to make those choices for you isn’t freedom, it’s passivity.

                The sustainable wealth of millionaires isn’t the only justification for public education, it’s only the one that justifies their increased tax burden. A compelling argument could be made that society benefits in many ways from educated members. Less crime, technological advances, arts, culture, etc. All these are benefits and they all justify the pooling of resources according to each individuals means.

                Charity will always be honorable, but it is hardly sufficient. Personally I think this world would be a better place if charity wasn’t even necessary and people didn’t complain when they paid their dues.

                This doesn’t mean they can’t complain when their dues are misspent. By all means if you think your money is being wasted speak up. Shout. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

              • USWeapon says:

                And therein lies the problem Chris. When you are referring to taxes, it is ALL misspent. Even taxes spent on the right things are done in the wrong way. For example, withe the education debate, why do private schools do more, perform better, and get better results while spending half as much per student? Because they do not misspend the money, wasting it on red tape and overhead BS like the government does. This rapid increase in government scope and size that you feel is not only justified, but desirable and good, simply means that more money is misspent. Hmmm. I smell a new article here.

              • Chris Devine says:

                I’m more than a little skeptical about your claims regarding private schools. I’d say they are just as much of a mixed bag as public schools (some good, some bad). You can complain about government red-tape while I complain about the revenues wasted as profits. The fact remains that success isn’t guaranteed by the profit motive or the tax dollar. It takes real effort and proper management. I think there should be plenty of examples in both the public and private sector to show that success and ineptitude are possible regardless of the source of funding. Ineptitude is a human condition in general and not limited to endeavors of a particular kind.

                My support for public health care and education isn’t based on efficacy (totally). It’s based upon the supposition that things needed by everybody should be provided by government. Governments should manage hospitals, police and fire departments, schools and the military because it is the government’s sole job to serve its citizenry. If somebody else wants to make a buck providing these services let them try (with perhaps the exception of the police and military). However, relying on the profit motive to provide all of these services seems pretty imprudent considering the mismanagement prevalent in for-profit enterprise. Why put all our eggs in one basket? Nonetheless, if I had to choose between one or the other I’d choose government because I at least have the opportunity to vote them out of office.

              • USWeapon says:

                However, you are taking out one very important part of the private versus tax funded public schools. If the private school sucks, or it manages money badly, or provides a crappy education, I have the right to know longer provide it with my money. The public schools have blown it. Yet, here we are. Since government is running them the answer is that we will take even MORE of my hard earned money and throw it at the system under the false strategy of throwing money at the problem. If you are at the point that you believe that public (government run) education, construction, whatever, is operating at anywhere near the efficiency of privately run entities doing the same thing, I submit that you aren’t paying very much attention. And the problem for me is that we have zero ability to withhold our money from government while we can tell a private company to kiss off. They perform or they fail. Where as government run public education operates under the “you perform or we will throw more money at you from the taxpayers, and even then you won’t be actually HELD to a standard that is on par with what would put a private school out of business”.

                However, relying on the profit motive to provide all of these services seems pretty imprudent considering the mismanagement prevalent in for-profit enterprise.

                I can’t believe that someone of your intelligence even tried to use that as an argument. Mismanaged for profit enterprises fail, that is unless government steps in and deems them too important to fail and rewards their bad practices with a bailout.

              • Chris Devine says:

                You can’t condemn every public school. There are plenty who still perform as good as or better than their private counterparts. Your assertion that the only way to fix public schools is to throw more money at them is as simplistic as your assertion that if a private school doesn’t live up to its promises you just withhold payment. What if they’re the only game in town (either public or private)? I think it’s awfully defeatist to just give up on a school and the children who need it.

              • Black Flag says:

                Free market schools aren’t the only game in town no more that food stores are the only game in town. The idea behind your statement is that if there isn’t a government choice in everything, there is no choice.

                Your false dichotomy is between government vs. free market.

                The free market, by itself, offers the greatest of choices without government.

                “Give up on a school”…. no, give up on GOVERNMENT schools.

                The biggest challenge is understanding government disaster is the time-delay between action and consequence.

                It certainly appears, initially, that some government action creates a ‘good’ – but it is merely an illusion.

                To understand this more clearly, consider inflation.

                All inflation is caused by government – as the creator of currency, they are the ones that changes the amount of currency that circulates in an economy – hence, they create inflation and deflation at their whim.

                Since government creates inflation, they get to use the inflated funds first – at full value, without the loss that inflation will afflict upon the currency after it begins to circulate.

                Government gets the un-inflated value of its use of inflated dollars, THEN the economy suffers systemic inflation as those dollars enter the economy. The time delay masks 1) the cause of inflation and 2) benefits government.

                Same as government action in schools – the initial appearance of bright, new schools, with clean desks, new books and educated and trained teachers all offers an appearance of “wow, look how nice and good for my kids”. But that’s the point - it is merely an appearance, an illusion.

                The systemic premise of government schooling is wholly unsupportable. Over time, it cannot happen any other way – eventually it will distort society, become a drain on wealth, a corruption of children, and a pawn of power and control.

                So, today, an economy that more or less requires dual incomes – one to feed the family and another to feed the government – no parent can care for their own children – and are forced into the babysitter mode of public school. The perversion of public schools continues to warp society – changing from education and into social manipulation – and now the refrain from schools is how to build model citizens from children – a task wholly different from education.

                But because of the time delay, people do not see that the fault and distortion occurred a long time ago, at the start – and that it is systemic and core and it cannot be solved other than tossing the whole system into the garbage.

                Yes, the transition from disaster of public school to some free market alternative will be difficult – and important to discuss and implement. There have been a multitude of society systems build around public schools that cannot be rebuilt overnight, and hence, the sudden loss of public schools would wreck a significant portion of society.

                But be warned – public schools will fail and collapse completely on their own – either the People realize this eventuality and do something NOW to prepare, or suffer the wreck regardless.

                But this discussion can only happen AFTER the People have finally decided that public school is, was and will be a corrupted, twisted distortion and needs to be tossed. Only after that mindset is firm, can the real solutions of transition be made – otherwise, those whose interests remain rooted to this perverted system will continue to resist and fight any change.

                And as long as they succeed in preventing the change, they will make real the inevitable wreckage upon society.

              • Just the DC voucher system proves the point, that there are alternatives that should be used. Not only has Obama proved his shallow concern for black children, when he failed to even continue a program that only cost $16 million with zillion $$ earmarks.

                I heard him pontificate how he would do whatever was the best for children and then stabs them in the back to cowtow to the the teachers union. Just do a search on voucher john stossel – he has been talking about this for years.

              • Chris Devine says:

                I’m not a big fan of John Stossel.

                http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=19&media_outlet_id=19

              • Please. Even here, so much closer to sustainable socialism thanks to our hidden true love of capitalism, private school’s and Catholic school’s graduates do that much better in their secondary education. Its a fact here so how could it be otherwise in America? The biggest issues I see are tenure and the astounding effect unions have had on what a teacher’s responsibility to the student actually is.

              • Chris Devine says:

                What about the private money misspent on administration and profits? Why do you believe that for-profit enterprise doesn’t suffer from red-tape or overhead? I’d say the rapid increase in CEO salaries and corporate mergers is a much bigger problem than any perceived increase in government.

              • Not really Chris because the coporations are spending their money….the government is spending mine.

              • Sorry this was a post to Chris in #32

              • Unionist Dreams of Empire is a nice title.

              • The number one priority for insurance companies is their bottom line and their shareholders, the customers will come second every time.
                It is in the best interest of the insurance company to pay as little as possible to get you healthy again. If you get really sick they then weigh how much money they will possibly get out of you in the future compared to how much your treatments will cost. If they reckon you will not be profitable in the future they will try and do whatever they can to get out of paying for your treatment.
                They are a business out to make profit, if you become unprofitable to them then you better hope every i is dotted on your insurance forms.

              • Black Flag says:

                The number one priority for insurance companies is their bottom line and their shareholders, the customers will come second every time.

                Bob,

                like any company, insurance needs to make money, or it cannot exist.

                It must maintain tight control over its costs.

                AND IT NEEDS CUSTOMERS to pay money.

                If you do not believe the insurance is doing you a service then do not buy insurance!

                It is NOTHING DIFFERENT than any other good/service you wish to purchase!

                If it is not servicing your needs, STOP SPENDING YOUR MONEY on it!

                It is in the best interest of the insurance company to pay as little as possible to get you healthy again.

                They do want you to be healthy – its makes you happy AND saves them money.

                It is in MY BEST INTEREST TOO! as their customer, for it keeps MY COST DOWN!

                If you get really sick they then weigh how much money they will possibly get out of you in the future compared to how much your treatments will cost. If they reckon you will not be profitable in the future they will try and do whatever they can to get out of paying for your treatment.

                They do not do that (and if your insurance company does do that, then why the hell do stay with them?????

                They are a business out to make profit, if you become unprofitable to them then you better hope every i is dotted on your insurance forms

                Are you saying that you do not read nor understand the documents you sign!?!??!?

                Perhaps that’s the problem!

                In nearly every case, it is either someone failing to disclose a risk, or failed their own due diligence!

                Both are NOT THE FAULT OF INSURANCE COMPANIES.

            • Chris,
              The difference between government and private business is money. If Chris tells me he can build a road from point A to point B 10 miles down the road for 1M and that he will do X and I hire him, if he does not do as contracted I can take him to court. Now if the government takes the job it can only build 5 miles for the same 1m because the other half goes to feed government red tape and paper pushers (hundreds of them). If they don’t uphold their end of the contract taking them to court is worthless. Our Govenment is inefficent and ineffective. The private secture does alot better job at alot less cost. They take your money and my money to do this really crummy job….
              In reality the government can not even take care of the government efficently and effectively and we want them to take care of us????? I don’t think so.

              • Yet people put so much trust in a government run military, would you advocate the privitisation of the military? How about the police forces and fire services should they also be run on a private sector basis. Would you prefer private ownership of highways?

              • Chris Devine says:

                I’ll answer for them. Yes they do advocate private highways. Police and the military are just tools of oppression and should be gotten rid of. If we need protection there’s always Blackwater and Pinkerton.

              • Bob.
                No that is what government is for establishing roads, military forgiegn policy. State government is for police, fire, schools, health care ect.
                Welfare is best left to the people…that way if they give 100 the recipant actually gets 100. Instead of the goverment getting 50 and the recipant getting 50. I believe that federal government should only do thing that benefit all the population… not take money from people in Ma to build a road only in Ca. Federal government should not run healthcare…look what they have done to medicare.
                I don’t want the federal government doing the plumbing in my house, or building the fences around my farm. Federal government needs to stick to what it was design to do and leave state government to do what it was designed to do.

  11. Bama dad says:
    • If a company can sell those knives for £50 all the power to them. I dont think they will take off to be honest.

  12. Black Flag says:

    Boiling Hot Water Found in Frigid Arctic Sea
    
    24 Jul 08 – “Many miles inside the Arctic Circle, scientists have found vents of scalding liquid rising out of the seafloor at temperatures that are more than twice the boiling point of water.

    “The vents, one of which towers four stories high, are located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Greenland and Norway, more than 120 miles farther north than other known vents.

    “The newfound vent field is one of the most massive such deposits ever found on the seafloor, said expedition member Marvin Lilley, a University of Washington oceanographer.

    “I wonder what’s more powerful, scalding liquid rising out of the seafloor plus massive underwater volcanoes, or a 60-watt light bulb on my front porch?” asks reader Kenneth Lund. “Doesn’t make much sense to blame that light bulb!”

    See entire article:

    http://www.livescience.com/environment/080724-black-smokers.html

    • Danak13 says:

      Thus…goeth the way of the “global warmers”….. somewhere along the line, Bush is going to be responsible for the volcanoes and steam vents.

      Al Gore is rich of this scare tactic and, despite what I have read….global warming is not a man made problem….for the greater part.

    • Must be more global warming in action. Damn those cow farts.

  13. Black Flag says:

    End of US hegemony on money

    he city of Yakaterinburg, Russia’s largest east of the Urals, may become known not only as the death place of the tsars but of American hegemony too – and not only where US U-2 pilot Gary Powers was shot down in 1960, but where the US-centered international financial order was brought to ground.

    Challenging America will be the prime focus of extended meetings in Yekaterinburg, Russia (formerly Sverdlovsk) today and tomorrow (June 15-16) for Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and other top officials of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The alliance is comprised of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrghyzstan and Uzbekistan, with observer status for Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia. It will be joined on Tuesday by Brazil for trade discussions among the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

    The attendees have assured American diplomats that dismantling the US financial and military empire is not their aim. They simply want to discuss mutual aid – but in a way that has no role for the United States, NATO or the US dollar as a vehicle for trade. US diplomats may well ask what this really means, if not a move to make US hegemony obsolete. That is what a multipolar world means, after all. For starters, in 2005 the SCO asked Washington to set a timeline to withdraw from its military bases in Central Asia. Two years later the SCO countries formally aligned themselves with the former CIS republics belonging to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), established in 2002 as a counterweight to NATO.

    Yet the meeting has elicited only a collective yawn from the US and even European press despite its agenda is to replace the global dollar standard with a new financial and military defense system. A Council on Foreign Relations spokesman has said he hardly can imagine that Russia and China can overcome their geopolitical rivalry,1 suggesting that America can use the divide-and-conquer that Britain used so deftly for many centuries in fragmenting foreign opposition to its own empire. But George W. Bush (“I’m a uniter, not a divider”) built on the Clinton administration’s legacy in driving Russia, China and their neighbors to find a common ground when it comes to finding an alternative to the dollar and hence to the US ability to run balance-of-payments deficits ad infinitum.

    What may prove to be the last rites of American hegemony began already in April at the G-20 conference, and became even more explicit at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 5, when Mr. Medvedev called for China, Russia and India to “build an increasingly multipolar world order.” What this means in plain English is: We have reached our limit in subsidizing the United States’ military encirclement of Eurasia while also allowing the US to appropriate our exports, companies, stocks and real estate in exchange for paper money of questionable worth.

    “The artificially maintained unipolar system,” Mr. Medvedev spelled out, is based on “one big centre of consumption, financed by a growing deficit, and thus growing debts, one formerly strong reserve currency, and one dominant system of assessing assets and risks.”2 At the root of the global financial crisis, he concluded, is that the United States makes too little and spends too much. Especially upsetting is its military spending, such as the stepped-up US military aid to Georgia announced just last week, the NATO missile shield in Eastern Europe and the US buildup in the oil-rich Middle East and Central Asia.

    The sticking point with all these countries is the US ability to print unlimited amounts of dollars. Overspending by US consumers on imports in excess of exports, US buy-outs of foreign companies and real estate, and the dollars that the Pentagon spends abroad all end up in foreign central banks. These agencies then face a hard choice: either to recycle these dollars back to the United States by purchasing US Treasury bills, or to let the “free market” force up their currency relative to the dollar – thereby pricing their exports out of world markets and hence creating domestic unemployment and business insolvency.

    When China and other countries recycle their dollar inflows by buying US Treasury bills to “invest” in the United States, this buildup is not really voluntary. It does not reflect faith in the U.S. economy enriching foreign central banks for their savings, or any calculated investment preference, but simply a lack of alternatives. “Free markets” US-style hook countries into a system that forces them to accept dollars without limit. Now they want out.

    This means creating a new alternative. Rather than making merely “cosmetic changes as some countries and perhaps the international financial organisations themselves might want,” Mr. Medvedev ended his St. Petersburg speech, “what we need are financial institutions of a completely new type, where particular political issues and motives, and particular countries will not dominate.”

    When foreign military spending forced the US balance of payments into deficit and drove the United States off gold in 1971, central banks were left without the traditional asset used to settle payments imbalances. The alternative by default was to invest their subsequent payments inflows in US Treasury bonds, as if these still were “as good as gold.” Central banks now hold $4 trillion of these bonds in their international reserves – land these loans have financed most of the US Government’s domestic budget deficits for over three decades now! Given the fact that about half of US Government discretionary spending is for military operations – including more than 750 foreign military bases and increasingly expensive operations in the oil-producing and transporting countries – the international financial system is organized in a way that finances the Pentagon, along with US buyouts of foreign assets expected to yield much more than the Treasury bonds that foreign central banks hold.

    The main political issue confronting the world’s central banks is therefore how to avoid adding yet more dollars to their reserves and thereby financing yet further US deficit spending – including military spending on their borders?

    For starters, the six SCO countries and BRIC countries intend to trade in their own currencies so as to get the benefit of mutual credit that the United States until now has monopolized for itself. Toward this end, China has struck bilateral deals with Argentina and Brazil to denominate their trade in renminbi rather than the dollar, sterling or euros,3 and two weeks ago China reached an agreement with Malaysia to denominate trade between the two countries in renminbi.[4] Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad explained to me in January that as a Muslim country, Malaysia wants to avoid doing anything that would facilitate US military action against Islamic countries, including Palestine. The nation has too many dollar assets as it is, his colleagues explained. Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan of the People’s Bank of China wrote an official statement on its website that the goal is now to create a reserve currency “that is disconnected from individual nations.”5 This is the aim of the discussions in Yekaterinburg.

    In addition to avoiding financing the US buyout of their own industry and the US military encirclement of the globe, China, Russia and other countries no doubt would like to get the same kind of free ride that America has been getting. As matters stand, they see the United States as a lawless nation, financially as well as militarily. How else to characterize a nation that holds out a set of laws for others – on war, debt repayment and treatment of prisoners – but ignores them itself? The United States is now the world’s largest debtor yet has avoided the pain of “structural adjustments” imposed on other debtor economies. US interest-rate and tax reductions in the face of exploding trade and budget deficits are seen as the height of hypocrisy in view of the austerity programs that Washington forces on other countries via the IMF and other Washington vehicles.

    The United States tells debtor economies to sell off their public utilities and natural resources, raise their interest rates and increase taxes while gutting their social safety nets to squeeze out money to pay creditors. And at home, Congress blocked China’s CNOOK from buying Unocal on grounds of national security, much as it blocked Dubai from buying US ports and other sovereign wealth funds from buying into key infrastructure. Foreigners are invited to emulate the Japanese purchase of white elephant trophies such as Rockefeller Center, on which investors quickly lost a billion dollars and ended up walking away.

    In this respect the US has not really given China and other payments-surplus nations much alternative but to find a way to avoid further dollar buildups. To date, China’s attempts to diversify its dollar holdings beyond Treasury bonds have not proved very successful. For starters, Hank Paulson of Goldman Sachs steered its central bank into higher-yielding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities, explaining that these were de facto public obligations. They collapsed in 2008, but at least the US Government took these two mortgage-lending agencies over, formally adding their $5.2 trillion in obligations onto the national debt. In fact, it was largely foreign official investment that prompted the bailout. Imposing a loss for foreign official agencies would have broken the Treasury-bill standard then and there, not only by utterly destroying US credibility but because there simply are too few Government bonds to absorb the dollars being flooded into the world economy by the soaring US balance-of-payments deficits.

    Seeking more of an equity position to protect the value of their dollar holdings as the Federal Reserve’s credit bubble drove interest rates down China’s sovereign wealth funds sought to diversify in late 2007. China bought stakes in the well-connected Blackstone equity fund and Morgan Stanley on Wall Street, Barclays in Britain South Africa’s Standard Bank (once affiliated with Chase Manhattan back in the apartheid 1960s) and in the soon-to-collapse Belgian financial conglomerate Fortis. But the US financial sector was collapsing under the weight of its debt pyramiding, and prices for shares plunged for banks and investment firms across the globe.

    Foreigners see the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organization as Washington surrogates in a financial system backed by American military bases and aircraft carriers encircling the globe. But this military domination is a vestige of an American empire no longer able to rule by economic strength. US military power is muscle-bound, based more on atomic weaponry and long-distance air strikes than on ground operations, which have become too politically unpopular to mount on any large scale.

    On the economic front there is no foreseeable way in which the United States can work off the $4 trillion it owes foreign governments, their central banks and the sovereign wealth funds set up to dispose of the global dollar glut. America has become a deadbeat – and indeed, a militarily aggressive one as it seeks to hold onto the unique power it once earned by economic means. The problem is how to constrain its behavior. Yu Yongding, a former Chinese central bank advisor now with China’s Academy of Sciences, suggested that US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner be advised that the United States should “save” first and foremost by cutting back its military budget. “U.S. tax revenue is not likely to increase in the short term because of low economic growth, inflexible expenditures and the cost of ‘fighting two wars.’”6

    At present it is foreign savings, not those of Americans that are financing the US budget deficit by buying most Treasury bonds. The effect is taxation without representation for foreign voters as to how the US Government uses their forced savings. It therefore is necessary for financial diplomats to broaden the scope of their policy-making beyond the private-sector marketplace. Exchange rates are determined by many factors besides “consumers wielding credit cards,” the usual euphemism that the US media cite for America’s balance-of-payments deficit. Since the 13th century, war has been a dominating factor in the balance of payments of leading nations – and of their national debts. Government bond financing consists mainly of war debts, as normal peacetime budgets tend to be balanced. This links the war budget directly to the balance of payments and exchange rates.

    Foreign nations see themselves stuck with unpayable IOUs – under conditions where, if they move to stop the US free lunch, the dollar will plunge and their dollar holdings will fall in value relative to their own domestic currencies and other currencies. If China’s currency rises by 10% against the dollar, its central bank will show the equivalent of a $200 million loss on its $2 trillion of dollar holdings as denominated in yuan. This explains why, when bond ratings agencies talk of the US Treasury securities losing their AAA rating, they don’t mean that the government cannot simply print the paper dollars to “make good” on these bonds. They mean that dollars will depreciate in international value. And that is just what is now occurring. When Mr. Geithner put on his serious face and told an audience at Peking University in early June that he believed in a “strong dollar” and China’s US investments therefore were safe and sound, he was greeted with derisive laughter.7

    Anticipation of a rise in China’s exchange rate provides an incentive for speculators to seek to borrow in dollars to buy renminbi and benefit from the appreciation. For China, the problem is that this speculative inflow would become a self-fulfilling prophecy by forcing up its currency. So the problem of international reserves is inherently linked to that of capital controls. Why should China see its profitable companies sold for yet more freely-created US dollars, which the central bank must use to buy low-yielding US Treasury bills or lose yet further money on Wall Street?

    To avoid this quandary it is necessary to reverse the philosophy of open capital markets that the world has held ever since Bretton Woods in 1944. On the occasion of Mr. Geithner’s visit to China, “Zhou Xiaochuan, minister of the Peoples Bank of China, the country’s central bank, said pointedly that this was the first time since the semiannual talks began in 2006 that China needed to learn from American mistakes as well as its successes” when it came to deregulating capital markets and dismantling controls.8

    An era therefore is coming to an end. In the face of continued US overspending, de-dollarization threatens to force countries to return to the kind of dual exchange rates common between World Wars I and II: one exchange rate for commodity trade, another for capital movements and investments, at least from dollar-area economies.

    Even without capital controls, the nations meeting at Yekaterinburg are taking steps to avoid being the unwilling recipients of yet more dollars. Seeing that US global hegemony cannot continue without spending power that they themselves supply, governments are attempting to hasten what Chalmers Johnson has called “the sorrows of empire” in his book by that name – the bankruptcy of the US financial-military world order. If China, Russia and their non-aligned allies have their way, the United States will no longer live off the savings of others (in the form of its own recycled dollars) nor have the money for unlimited military expenditures and adventures.

    US officials wanted to attend the Yekaterinburg meeting as observers. They were told No. It is a word that Americans will hear much more in the future.

    • BF;

      Vegas huh, stay away from the slot machines. Could you please let us know where you obtained this information?

      CM

    • Danak13 says:

      BF…great post….have to reread it to answer but great post and informative.

    • TexasChem says:

      So let me get this straight.These nations are meeting to discuss basically how to topple America from the seat of being an economic/military superpower through new trade and marketing strategies and yet Obama continues to push America further into debt with his spending plans?Why isn’t this being addressed on every media station in America?Amazing how Obama speedily pushed his spendulous plans through and is attempting to even further American debt.Something smells fishy here.If I understand this article correctly our economy is headed to hell in a handbasket if preventive countermeasures aren’t implemented soon.BF pleases expound upon this article a bit for me would you?

      • Black Flag says:

        The world has, since Nixon, been subsidizing the USA financially. The world has committed its own financial prosperity to the USA – and the world is tired of it.

        The USA turned that gift into a superpower hegemony – and into becoming a global threat, instead of mentor and peacemaker.

        USA failed with Russia – a millennium-class opportunity for a 1,000 year global peace – and the USA fretted it away.

        Russia has yet to achieve its pinnacle of power whereas the USA has reached its own.

        Russia is sealing in its dominance of Eura-Asia. Europe lives or dies on Russian oil. China lives or dies on oil pipelines that cross Russian controlled or dominated regions. Russia – not China – is the true emerging superpower.

        It is of tremendous notice that they are meeting in Russia – not China.

        • Very interesting article, I remember reading something a few months ago about some countries using the euro as their standard, have not heard much since. Yes Russia is getting itself into a dominant position, they still have vast resources and if they get ticked off with any country in Europe they can just turn off the gas tap, like what they did with the Ukraine.

  14. Danak13 says:

    Maybe NO is what we need.

  15. I usually dont read or watch mainstream news. Lack of truth in it,make me crazy. A friend of my sent me this, I thought it was interesting reading. So I will pass it on, and have everyone make up their minds on it.

    http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/26742/?ck=1

    • Ellen,

      Very interesting reading. The writer nailed every issue.

    • Hi Ellen,

      I get Beck’s daily newsletter and he had the link to this letter on there. I think it expresses how many of us feel – at least I do!

    • JudyS.NV. says:

      Hi Ellen, I just read that letter, and it represents everything I feel. If you go back to USW site on education,there is a letter there written by a 4th grade teacher, and it says a lot of what this one says. Maybe you might have already read it, don’t know. The letter that was written by that teacher was suppose ably sent to the White House, and I hope it made it.The gal that wrote that letter to Beck should send it to the White Hose as well. We need to stand up for what we believe in and start fighting back for it. Time to take back the good old U.S.A.
      Judy S.

    • Kristian says:

      WOW…that was the first word that came to mind after reading that. That needs to be read nation wide, everyone needs to see that. I’d be willing to bet there are more out there in every party that feel the same way as the author of that letter.

    • I saw that letter as well. I’d sign my name to it.

  16. S. 787 Totalitarian Control of the Water Supply.
    The Great Federal Water Grab

    All water’s everywhere will belong to the Federal Government and the owners of the land/water will still have to pay taxes.

    Senate Bill – 787
    The sponsors call it the “Clean Water Restoration Act.”
    It’s kind of like calling the shredding of the Bill of Rights under Bush II, the PATRIOT Act.
    If the federal government takes control over all the non-navigable water in the US and the land adjoining it, then it will have the right to seize it and give it away.
    Give it away to who?
    Well, that multi-trillion dollar deficit has to be paid off somehow.

    Read the whole bill at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-787
    —————————————————————–
    Got Food? HR 2749: Totalitarian Control of the Food Supply

    Food Freedom
    June 17, 2009
    A new food safety bill is on the fast track in Congress-HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. The bill needs to be stopped.
    HR 2749 gives FDA tremendous power while significantly diminishing existing judicial restraints on actions taken by the agency. The bill would impose a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme on small farms and local artisanal producers; and it would disproportionately impact their operations for the worse.
    HR 2749 does not address underlying causes of food safety problems such as industrial agriculture practices and the consolidation of our food supply. The industrial food system and food imports are badly in need of effective regulation, but the bill does not specifically direct regulation or resources to these areas.
    To read a detailed account of the bill, go to: http://www.ftcldf.org/news/news-15june2009.htm
    (Read the section on tracing. That is NAIS, isn’t it? – highly disguised yet triggered by the word “trace.” )
    Alarming Provisions:
    Some of the more alarming provisions in the bill are:
    * HR 2749 would impose an annual registration fee of $500 on any “facility” that holds, processes, or manufactures food. [isn’t this every home in the US, every garden?] Although “farms” are exempt, the agency has defined “farm” narrowly. [What is the definition?] And people making foods such as lacto-fermented vegetables, cheeses, or breads would be required to register and pay the fee, which could drive beginning and small producers out of business during difficult economic times. [Yes. There are laws against this corporate-size-destroys-the-little-guy policy, aren’t there? Are home bread or cheese or lacto-fermented vegetable makers who make for their own families included in this?]
    * HR 2749 would empower FDA to regulate how crops are raised and harvested. It puts the federal government right on the farm, dictating to our farmers. [This astounding control opens the door to CODEX. WTO “good farming practices” will include the elimination of organic farming by eliminating manure, mandating GMO animal feed, imposing animal drugs, and ordering applications of petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides. Farmers, thus, will be locked not only into the industrialization of once normal and organic farms but into the forced purchase of industry’s products. They will be slaves on the land, doing the work they are ordered to do – against their own best wisdom – and paying out to industry against their will.

    There will be no way to be frugal, to grow one’s own grain to feed the animals, to raise healthy animals without GMO grains or drugs, to work with nature at all. Grassfed cattle and poultry and hogs will be finished. So, it’s obvious where control will take us. And weren’t these the “rumors on the internet” that were dismissed but are clearly the case?]
    * HR 2749 would give FDA the power to order a quarantine of a geographic area, including “prohibiting or restricting the movement of food or of any vehicle being used or that has been used to transport or hold such food within the geographic area.” [This – “that has been used to transport or hold such food” – would mean all cars that have ever brought groceries home so this means ALL TRANSPORTATION can be shut down under this. This is using food as a cover for martial law.] Under this provision, farmers markets and local food sources could be shut down, even if they are not the source of the contamination. The agency can halt all movement of all food in a geographic area. [This is also a means of total control over the population under the cover of food, and at any time.]
    * HR 2749 would empower FDA to make random warrantless searches of the business records of small farmers and local food producers, without any evidence whatsoever that there has been a violation. [If these bills cover all who “hold food” then this allows for taking of records of anyone at any time on no basis at all.] Even farmers selling direct to consumers would have to provide the federal government with records on where they buy supplies, how they raise their crops, and a list of customers.
    [NAIS for animals and all other foods?]
    * HR 2749 charges the Secretary of Health and Human Services with establishing a tracing system for food. Each “person who produces, manufactures, processes, packs, transports, or holds such food” [Is this not every home in the US?] would have to “maintain the full pedigree of the origin and previous distribution history of the food,” and “establish and maintain a system for tracing the food that is interoperable with the systems established and maintained by other such persons.” The bill does not explain how far the traceback will extend or how it will be done for multi-ingredient foods. With all these ambiguities, [with all these ambiguities, it is dangerous, period, separate from the money] it’s far from clear how much it will cost either the farmers or the taxpayers. [It is massive and absurd and burdensome beyond the capacity of people to comply – is this not fascism? – so it is a set up for being used to impose penalties endlessly and/or to eliminate anyone at will.]
    * HR 2749 creates severe criminal and civil penalties, including prison terms of up to 10 years and/or fines of up to $100,000 for each violation for individuals. [Does it include judicial review, Congressional oversight, a defined and limited set of penalties and punishments for a defined set of “crimes”? Or is it entirely ambiguous and left to the whim and sole power of “the Administrator”? Who is that person set to be? Is it Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and executive, as Food Democracy has said? That is, do these bills set up an agency by which the entire US food supply will be turned over to the control of a multinational corporation under WTO regulations (and not to US farmers and not to US laws under the Constitution), with boundless freedom to do what it wants, and one infamous for harm to farmers and lack of safety of food?
    If it was not clear before how frightening these bills were, this small section of provisions, should make their actual fascism clear now. It goes way beyond “food safety” to absolute control over farms, animals, food, and us, including our movements and access to food at all.
    Action to Take:
    Contact your Representative now! Ask to speak with the staffer who handles food issues. Tell them you are opposed to the bill. Some points to make in telling your Representative why you oppose HR 2749 include:
    1. The bill imposes burdensome requirements while not specifically targeting the industrial food system and food imports, where the real food safety problems lie.
    2. Small farms and local food processors are part of the solution to food safety; lessening the regulatory burden on them will improve food safety.
    3. The bill gives FDA much more power than it has had in the past while making the agency less accountable for its actions.
    HR 2749 needs to be defeated!! Please take action NOW.
    To contact your Representative, use the finder tool at http://www.Congress.org or send a message through the petition system (the petition will be on our website this evening) athttp://www.ftcldf.org/petitions_new.htm. Or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
    To check the status of HR 2749, go to http://www.Thomas.gov and type “HR 2749″ in the bill search field.

  17. This would be funny, except, it’s my money, once again.

    http://www.scrappleface.com/

    Did the leader of the free world really say “BFF”? Maybe this is bogus? I’ts too weird to be real.

    • I don’t know about the BFF part, but he did do the other about the Gay partners.

      While I don’t care about that, I do very much care about the BFF’s. As you say, that’s too weird to be real. Isn’t it? :suprise:

    • Kristian says:

      It’s bogus. I’m not a big fan of the president but I don’t think he’s stupid either. Doing something like that would be the height of stupidity. The man got himself elected to the top office in the country he has to have some kind of smarts…lol

    • USWeapon says:

      Yeah, I wrote it off as BS the second I read it. Didn’t pass the sniff test.

  18. JAC:
    I am sure you have read and heard about all of the drills that are going on all around us and I am sure you have also heard how our police force have lost the good sense God gave them. Well, we are getting closer to what you feel will never happen…Martial Law.

    FEMA Web Page Shows Martial Law Exercise With Foreign Troops

    http://targetfreedom.typepad.com/targetfreedom/2009/06/femawebpagemartiallawforeigntroops.html

  19. Swine Flu…
    1st your children- http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1706916/government_prepares_for_mass_swine_flu_vaccinations/

    Swine Flu Vaccination Poses Serious Threat to Your Health
    Euro-med
    June 17, 2009
    Global Research 13 June: It looks like governments around the world will either force these vaccinations on the public or launch a massive propaganda campaign to trick you into submitting to a jab. If they attempt to force these untested and essentially experimental vaccinations on you, cite the Nuremberg Code, which states: “The voluntary consent of the human subject is essential.” No experimental vaccine should be “conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur, except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as a subjects.

    Associated Press 16 June 2009
    Schools are being put on notice that they might even be turned into shot clinics. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday she is urging school superintendents around the country to spend the summer preparing for that possibility. No decision has been made yet on whether and how to vaccinate millions of Americans against the new flu strain that the World Health Organization last week formally dubbed a pandemic, meaning it now is circulating the globe unchecked. But the U.S. is pouring money into development of a vaccine in anticipation of giving at least some people the shots.

    Research shows that squalene is the experimental anthrax vaccine ingredient that caused devastating autoimmune diseases and deaths for many Gulf War veterans from the US, UK, and Australia, yet it continues in use today and for new vaccines development in labs.

    ATTENTION, Please: The WHO has declared swine flu (N1H1) pandemic. This will probably imply governmental demands for universal mass vaccinations under penalty for not complying. Flu vaccine contains squalene oil as an adjuvant.

    Micropaleontologist Dr. Viera Scheibner conducted research into the adverse effects of adjuvants in vaccines and wrote: Squalene “contributed to the cascade of reactions called “ Gulf War syndrome. GIs developed arthritis, fibromyalgia, lymphadenopathy, rashes, photosensitive rashes, malar rashes, chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, abnormal body hair loss, non-healing skin lesions, aphthous ulcers, dizziness, weakness, memory loss, seizures, mood changes, neuropsychiatric problems, anti-thyroid effects, anaemia, elevated ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, deadly Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Raynaud’s phenomenon with paroxysms of lack of blood in fingers and toes in fingers and toes, Sjorgren’s syndrome with blurred vision, chronic diarrhea, night sweats and low-grade fever.”

    Wikipedia A study linking squalene, as experimental vaccine adjuvant, to individuals with the clinical signs of Gulf War syndrome was published in 2002. A U.S. Federal Judge ruled that there was good cause to believe aqualene to be harmful, and he ordered the Pentagon to stop administering it in October 2004.

    Something peculiar is going on: The Bilderberg meeting wanted to appoint the WHO as the Health Ministry of the UN world government. Now an unprecedented hype is taking place: A non-existing risk of a pandemic flu is being blown up out of all proportions by the WHO – and without any measures being taken! Does this New World Order organisation with a very dubious reputation (its first director was Brock Chisholm – founder of the World Federation for Mental Hygiene, which has scuppered our culture) play a trump card to promote itself in the New World Order? It might be inspired by looking at the successes based on lies like the climate lie, the home made terrorism, and now the also home made financial crisis as for financial gains and promotion of the New World Order. Then the conclusion that you can really achieve great results in terms of world government by mendacious scaremongering seems inevitable!!

    The WHO declares the first pandemic in the 21. century
    Reuters 11 June 2009 The World Health Organization declared the first flu pandemic of the 21st century on Thursday, urging countries to shore up defenses against the virus which is “not stoppable” but has proved mainly mild so far. However the WHO imposed no restrictions on travels or contacts between people.

    “Moving to pandemic phase six level does not imply we will see an increase in the number of deaths or very severe cases.The WHO recommended drugmakers stay on track to complete production of seasonal influenza vaccine for the northern hemisphere’s next winter in the next two weeks. Each year, normal flu kills up to 500,000 people and infects millions.

    The Times 11 June 2009: So far it has caused relatively mild, cold-like symptoms with headaches and vomiting, with only 141 deaths among 27,737 cases in 74 countries worldwide since March, In Britain, the number of confirmed cases has risen steadily to 797, with about 40 fresh cases a day.
    Deutsche Welle 11 June, 2009: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon:Our best response is a firm demonstration of global solidarity.”

    This pandemic is a hype
    The EU sponsored Blogactiv on 06/05/09 quotes the Washington Post of 27 April, 2009 (now removed from the web) “The media hype is not in any scale to the real threat, it can be good entertainment like circus in ancient Rome and a tool to put the common people’s focus on trivialities.”

    The following is from an article by Stephen Lendman 10 June 2009 on the Global Research
    The industry-run US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notoriously rushes inadequately tested drugs to market, putting their efficacy and safety into question, and turning those who use them into lab rats. It includes everyone if a mass vaccination is ordered on the mere claim of a public emergency – no proof required.
    If mass vaccinations are ordered, millions of Americans may ask: Why have you willfully and maliciously ruined my health?

    Dangerous side effects of flu vaccinations due to vaccine adjuvant squalene
    Imunologist Dr. Pamela Asa first recognized autoimmune diseases showing up in GIs that mirrored those in lab animals injected with oil formulated squalene adjuvants.

    According to Matsumoto, today, “Squalene adjuvants are a key ingredient in a whole new generation of vaccines intended for mass immunization around the globe. Squalene is not just a molecule found in a knee or elbow – it is found throughout the nervous system and the brain.” When injected in the body, the immune system attacks it as an enemy to be eliminated. Eating and digesting squalene isn’t a problem. But injecting it “galvanize(s) the immune system into attacking it, which can produce self-destructive cross reactions against the same molecule in the places where it occurs naturally in the body – and where it is critical to the health of the nervous system.” Once self-destruction begins, it doesn’t stop as the body keeps making the molecule that the immune system is trained to attack and destroy.

    Matsumoto says “Squalene is a kind of trigger for (a) real biological weapon,” what Soviet researchers called “a biological time bomb!!” He and Dr. Pam Asa conclude that “Oil adjuvants are the most insidious chemical weapon ever devised,” including ones with squalene. So what American scientists conceived as a vaccine booster (or what’s now being developed in labs) was another ‘nano-bomb,’ instigating chronic, unpredictable and debilitating disease. Using squalene in vaccines is outlandish and criminal.

    Gary Matsumoto is a New York-based award-winning investigative journalist. His 2004 book, “Vaccine A: The Covert Government Experiment That’s Killing Our Soldiers and Why GIs are Only the First Victims” took sharp issue with IOM results and the Pentagon’s denial of Gulf War syndrome.

    Investigating the shadowy vaccination development world, he discovered US military-employed doctors and scientists conducted secret medical experiments on US citizens in violation of the Nuremberg Code and fundamental medical ethics.

    According to Matsumoto, the Pentagon violated these and other standards, betrayed the troops, and the fundamental duty of military and civilian leaders to protect them. Since at least 1987, biowarfare development trumped the welfare of tens of thousands of GIs used as human guinea pigs for inoculation with experimental unlicensed anthrax vaccines containingsqualene – administered involuntarily without disclosure of its harmful effects to human health.

    Matsumoto wrote:

    A d v e r t i s e m e n t

    “The unethical experiments detailed in this book are ongoing, with little prospect of being self-limiting because they have been shielded from scrutiny and public accountability by national security concerns.”

    Other research shows that squalene is the experimental anthrax vaccine ingredient that caused devastating autoimmune diseases and deaths for many Gulf War veterans from the US, UK, and Australia,
    yet it continues in use today and for new vaccines development in labs.

    “There are now data in more than two dozen peer-reviewed scientific papers, from ten different laboratories in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia, documenting that squalene-based adjuvants can induce autoimmune diseases in animals…observed in mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits.
    Matsumoto’s book includes numerous case studies of GIs afflicted with one or more of the above syndromes, their devastating effects, and the outlandish US government reaction – failing to acknowledge their existence or a connection between them and administered vaccines. Also denying the effects of other toxic Gulf theater exposures (like depleted uranium) as well as withholding meaningful treatments or protocols.

    Money above others´health
    So why does Washington sanction its use? According to Matsumoto: “scientists in the United States are now literally invested in squalene.

    Disturbingly, many of the cutting-edge vaccines currently in development by the NIH and its corporate partners contain squalene in one formulation or another. There is squalene in the prototype recombinant vaccines for HIV, malaria, herpes, influenza (including the swine strain), cytomegalovirus and human papillomavirus.” Some of these “are intended for mass immunization(s) around the globe” and that possibility should terrify everyone enough to refuse any mandate or doctor’s prescription to take them.”

    Comment
    Now the WHO hype is aimed at provoking mass hysteria over a non existing threat to humanity: Swine flu, a much milder A flu than seasonal flu. Such politically created hoax will probably be associated with mandatory mass vaccinations for no medical reason – but for the enormous profits of the New World order corporations and their “scientists” – as well as for global/political reasons.

    The vaccine carries a risk of very serious complications. Firstly we remember the Bayer´s contaminations of products for hemophiliacs with AIDS virus and this year Baxter´s contamination of seasonal flu vaccine with deadly bird flu virus.
    However, there is also a very serious problem with the adjuvant of the vaccine: the oil squalene, which is said to have caused the “Gulf Syndrome.”
    Is there a connection to the illuminist and self-conceited world elite´s depopulation programme in their bid for their own luciferian “godhood”?

    Here is an excerpt of what I wrote on Jan 18, 2009: In the 1990’s the UN’s World Health Organization launched a campaign to vaccinate millions of women in Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines between the ages of 15 and 45, allegedly against Tentanus. The vaccine was not given to men or boys!
    It was revealed by a Catholic organisation that the Tetanus vaccine contained human Chorionic Gonadotrophin or hCG, a natural hormone which when combined with a tetanus toxoid carrier stimulated antibodies rendering a woman incapable of maintaining a pregnancy. None of the women vaccinated were told.It later came out that the Rockefeller Foundation along with the Rockefeller Population Council , the World Bank (home to CGIAR – a Rockefeller agricultural control organzation), and the United States’ National Institutes of Health had been involved. In addition, the Government of Norway, the host to the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault , donated $41 million to develop the special abortive Tetanus vaccine. Global Research 11 June 2009: ‘A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.’ – Ted Turner to Audubon Magazine, 1996.

    Motives for this pandemic hype
    Do I have to reiterate that bilderbergers and CFRs like the former US Defence Secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and George Shultz have shares in the the Tamiflu-producing corporatin, Gilead, being on its board, Rumsfeld even as chairman 1997–2001? They now have a serious problen: The seasonal H1N1 has mutated into a form that resists the Tamiflu , although it is still susceptible to the Relenza (Glaxo-Smith-Kline) alternative. So, for these greedy New World Order charlatans it is vital to hype a swine flu pandemic. For swine flu virus is susceptible to Tamiflu!!! And the sale of it is now soaring !!

    The WHO will now recommend that pharmaceutical companies make swine flu vaccine.The U.S. government has already increased the availability of flu-fighting medicines and authorized $1 billion for developing a new swine flu vaccine. There is big money in this – and big opportunities to promote the WHO to be the health ministry of the New World order UN-government! The Council on Foreign Relations 12 June 2009: “What now kicks in is a greater sense of urgency for the pharmaceutical industry,” says CFR Senior Fellow for Global Health Laurie Garrett
    “Now that pandemic has been declared, more and more countries will guarantee that they will purchase vaccine if it is available, and WHO and World Bank will guarantee to purchase for the poorest countries in the world.”
    The Irish Times 13 June 2009: It would cost about €80 million to purchase a vaccine against the swine flu.
    It had long been predicted that the WHO would declare the swine flu to be a level-six pandemic!!

    Dare you let yourself be vaccinated against a harmles flu virus –much less harmful than seasonal flu – by money– and powergrasping New World Order psychopats?

    You can’t make a vaccine in less than 2 months. Well they have!
    Baxter expects to deliver A/H1N1 vaccine to WHO by July http://www.pharmabiz.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=50249

    • Judy S. says:

      I think I’d rather have the flu, than all those side effects that goes with the vaccine. We’ve had a few cases here in Reno, but there’s no panic about it. Most of the cases have been in schools, but a few other people have gotten it, but have recovered. Haven’t heard of any body dying from it here, at least not that I’m aware of anyway.

      Regards
      Judy

      • H1N1 overdrives your immune response in much the same way bug venom can cause a hyper histamine response. In theory coming off of anything else would reduce H1N1’s overall on your system. It works best against a strong immune system fully available to react where an already engaged immune system should be far less available. The body’s resources are finite and those with little left in the tank (myself) or a worse natural immune system while suffering more though other flu’s can shake of H1N1 easily.

  20. Black Flag says:

    Suitcase With $134 Billion Puts Dollar on Edge: William Pesek

    Commentary by William Pesek

    June 17 (Bloomberg) — It’s a plot better suited for a John Le Carre novel.

    Two Japanese men are detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland. Details are maddeningly sketchy, so naturally the global rumor mill is kicking into high gear.

    Are these would-be smugglers agents of Kim Jong Il stashing North Korea’s cash in a Swiss vault? Bagmen for Nigerian Internet scammers? Was the money meant for terrorists looking to buy nuclear warheads? Is Japan dumping its dollars secretly? Are the bonds real or counterfeit?

    The implications of the securities being legitimate would be bigger than investors may realize. At a minimum, it would suggest that the U.S. risks losing control over its monetary supply on a massive scale.

    The trillions of dollars of debt the U.S. will issue in the next couple of years needs buyers. Attracting them will require making sure that existing ones aren’t losing faith in the U.S.’s ability to control the dollar.

    The dollar is, for better or worse, the core of our world economy and it’s best to keep it stable. News that’s more fitting for international spy novels than the financial pages won’t help that effort. It is incumbent upon the U.S. Treasury to get to the bottom of this tale and keep markets informed.

    GDP Carriers

    Think about it: These two guys were carrying the gross domestic product of New Zealand or enough for three Beijing Olympics. If economies were for sale, the men could buy Slovakia and Croatia and have plenty left over for Mongolia or Cambodia. Yes, they could have built vacation homes amidst Genghis Khan’s Gobi Desert or the famed Temples of Angkor. Bernard Madoff who?

    These men carrying bonds concealed in the bottom of their luggage also would be the fourth-largest U.S. creditors. It makes you wonder if some of the time Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner spends keeping the Chinese and Japanese invested in dollars should be devoted to well-financed men crossing the Italian-Swiss border.

    This tale has gotten little attention in markets, perhaps because of the absurdity of our times. The last year has been a decidedly disorienting one for capitalists who once knew up from down, red from black and risk from reward. It almost fits with the surreal nature of today that a couple of travelers have more U.S. debt than Brazil in a suitcase and, well, that’s life.

    Clancy Bestseller

    You can almost picture Tom Clancy sitting in his study thinking: “Damn! Why didn’t I think of this yarn and novelize it years ago?” He could have sprinkled in a Chinese angle, a pinch of Russian intrigue, a dose of Pyongyang and a bit of Taiwan-Strait tension into the mix. Presto, a sure bestseller.

    Daniel Craig may be thinking this is a great story on which to base the next James Bond flick. Perhaps Don Johnson could buy the rights to this tale. In 2002, the “Miami Vice” star was stopped by German customs officers as he was traveling in a car carrying credit notes and other securities worth as much as $8 billion. Now he could claim it was all, uh, research.

    When I first heard of the $134 billion story, I was tempted to glance at my calendar to make sure it didn’t read April 1.

    Let’s assume for a moment that these U.S. bonds are real. That would make a mockery of Japanese Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano’s “absolutely unshakable” confidence in the credibility of the U.S. dollar. Yosano would have some explaining to do about Japan’s $686 billion of U.S. debt if more of these suitcase capers come to light.

    ‘Kennedy Bonds’

    Counterfeit $100 bills are one thing; two guys with undeclared bonds including 249 certificates worth $500 million and 10 “Kennedy bonds” of $1 billion each is quite another.

    The bust could be a boon for Italy. If the securities are found to be genuine, the smugglers could be fined 40 percent of the total value for attempting to take them out of the country. Not a bad payday for a government grappling with a widening budget deficit and rebuilding the town of L’Aquila, which was destroyed by an earthquake in April.

    It would be terrible news for the White House. Other than the U.S., China or Japan, no other nation could theoretically move those amounts. In the absence of clear explanations coming from the Treasury, conspiracy theories are filling the void.

    On his blog, the Market Ticker, Karl Denninger wonders if the Treasury “has been surreptitiously issuing bonds to, say, Japan, as a means of financing deficits that someone didn’t want reported over the last, oh, say 10 or 20 years.” Adds Denninger: “Let’s hope we get those answers, and this isn’t one of those ‘funny things’ that just disappears into the night.”

    This is still a story with far more questions than answers. It’s odd, though, that it’s not garnering more media attention. Interest is likely to grow. The last thing Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke need right now is tens of billions more of U.S. bonds — or even high-quality fake ones — suddenly popping up around the globe.

    (William Pesek is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

    • I’ve been waiting for this story to pop up in the news or at least on talk radio, but it’s nowhere. What is going on?

    • The Market Ticker

      Today, 8:27 AM
      by Karl Denninger (blog: The Market Ticker)

      Bearer Bonds Saga: Resolution?

      Yes and no.

      First, the “yes” part. Treasury says they’re fakes:

      June 17 (Bloomberg) — U.S. government bonds found in the false bottom of a suitcase carried by two Japanese travelers attempting to cross into Switzerland are fake, a Treasury spokesman said.

      “They’re clearly fakes,” said Stephen Meyerhardt, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of the Public Debt in Washington. “That’s beyond the fact that the face value is far beyond what’s out there.”

      Ok, let’s accept both parts of that statement (yes, there are two) at face value:

      *
      The “bonds” seized in Italy are fake.
      *
      “The face value is far beyond what’s out there.”

      The latter is exactly what I noted is out there in authorized issuance in my second story on the matter:

      Mr. Holmes would be initially puzzled by such a caper. On the one hand we have the impossibility of the bonds being real, because there simply isn’t $130 billion of issues remaining outstanding.

      As it turns out, the Bloomberg update tells us something surprising:

      Meyerhardt said Treasury records show an estimated $105.4 billion in bearer bonds have yet to be surrendered. Most matured more than five years ago, he said. The Treasury stopped issuing bearer bonds in 1982, Meyerhardt said.

      $105 billion? Uh, that’s a lot more than the DTC estimates I’ve seen, which were in the area of $3.5 billion outstanding! Suddenly there’s thirty times that on deposit with the DTC out there according to Treasury?

      This also leaves the second part of the question open:

      On the other hand we have the impossibility of negotiating a fake $500 million bearer instrument, making the exercise of counterfeiting one expensive and futile.

      Finally, what happened to the two gentlemen caught with them?

      The latter is a rather important question, I’d think. See, counterfeiting is a serious offense. Just try printing up some fake $100s or $20s and see how amused the Secret Service is (hint: don’t try this at home unless you are interested in a free stay at Club “This Ain’t Fun” Fed.)

      There are conflicting reports: Some that the two individuals were not arrested or charged. Detained briefly, but not charged, with some sources claiming that an Italian lawyer is involved and essentially sprung them (whether on their own recognizance or via bail is unreported, and if on bail, how it was posted.) Others, particularly a recent article out of the UK, simply says they were “arrested.” I have seen nothing from a credible news stream stating that they are being held at the present time. And then there’s this:

      We can’t read Japanese, and Google Translate isn’t particularly helpful, but a reader informs us that the gist of this story is that a newspaper sent a reporter to Como, Italy and found that the men had been released, with their whereabouts unknown.

      Uh, do you really let two counterfeiters (suspected felons under American law and I suspect Italian as well) go without having any idea where they are and, it would appear, without retaining their passports?

      The new questions that have now arisen are:

      Why did it take Treasury six days to issue a statement that these bonds are “clearly fakes”? Does it really take more than one business day for the Italians to email someone a photo of the faces of the bonds, showing serial numbers and such? Either they’re real or they’re not – was Treasury hoping the story would “just die”?

      Exactly who are the two who got caught with these things and where the hell are they? There’s an English-language news report out of Japan that states:

      Italian police say the 2 Japanese passport holders, one in his 50s, and the other in his 60s, were caught on July 3rd at the Swiss-Italian border on a train from northern Italy. They say one man is a resident of Kanagawa Prefecture, central Japan, and the other is from Fukuoka Prefecture, western Japan.

      If they’re not under indictment from the US side with an extradition request to Italy, why not? After all, counterfeiting $134 billion in alleged bonds is rather more serious than the usual guy who gets caught printing up a bad $20 or two, right?

      And oh, by the way, America seems to get justifiably angry when an American counterfeits Japanese bonds:

      The Commission alleges that, since at least October of 1997, the Northeast defendants have been engaging in an apparent scheme to defraud U.S. investors through the offer of fraudulent Japanese treasury bonds.

      How many more bad bonds are out there? One would assume the answer is “not many”, given that the US hasn’t issued bearer-form debt since 1982. But then again the assumption by virtually everyone (myself included) was that the ~$3.5 billion that the DTC has in their vaults was the majority of outstanding issue in these instruments. Now we find out that Treasury itself says the number – just for Treasuries – is in fact $100 billion – 30 times that number. Hmmm…

      Do we have a Treasury confidence problem? Maybe. The latest data released Monday shows that China was a net seller of Treasuries in April. Given that we think we can issue $2 trillion of new ones over the next year or so to pay for our profligate government spending programs……

      There’s still things that make you go “hmmmmmm” in this story.

      Let’s hope we get the rest of the answers.

      CNBC has asked me to appear at 1:40 PM Eastern on Power Lunch in relationship to this topic; if you’re around a TV at that time tune in! It should be fun considering Dennis Kneale’s “lead” for it last evening….

  21. Idaho’s stimulus:

    http://www.accountability.idaho.gov/whatsnew/OER_MayNewsRelease.pdf

    There are several road/bridge projects in the works as well as the ones shown at the above web site.

    Other than the road projects, the stimulus funds seem to be being spent on agenda pushing objects, rather than areas of the economic sector that are really suffering.

    A pilot program for solar panels on schools, energy efficiency projects at schools, research for renewable sources of energy, and LED light manufacturing, all in a state with abundant, clean, cheap hydro power.

    So what’s the stimulus doing in your state?

  22. Judy S. says:

    My son showed me this site, thought you might be interested in reading and signing it.http://www.912petitions.com/

    I read it and signed , and so did my son.

  23. Here is a question for you people.

    You’re in a boat with the President and Vice President, it starts to sink, who do you save?

    • Just for the heck of it, I’ll check tomorrow and see if any of you answered. Hope you all have a wonderful night.

      Chow
      Judy

    • Black Flag says:

      Yourself.

    • If Pelosi wasn’t next in line, I’d give my life and make sure it sinks fast!

    • Turn it over to a commitee. They can investigate the causes and upon determining the sinking was the fault of George W. Bush and the free market, raise taxes and institute greater regulations over boat manufacturing. Also it is evident that the waters (I’m assuming a lake or river) are being mismanaged by private individuals so they must in future be taxed for their part in this whole tragic affair. On the way down I’d alert the EPA and make sure they had thoroughly tested the water for purity fit for the next Messiah to drown in . . . oh, I forgot, Obama can walk on water, never mind. No one will miss Biden anyway. He doesn’t have enough faith in his master.

      I guess I’ll just swim away.

    • USWeapon says:

      I am with BF on this one, I save myself first. If I have the ability to save the other two I save both of them. I may not like them, but I am not willing to let them sink and die unnecessarily.

    • Myself!!!

    • Neither. Why? My interpretation of “a greater good” in granting my family’s leading man a better chance at survival. I do my job very well and generate wealth in excess of that which I consume benefiting those I directly and indirectly affect, neither of them can say the same.

  24. Black Flag says:

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2009/06/15/fp-comment-proudly-announces-new-junk-science-prize.aspx

    Junk Science Week is proud to announce The Rubber Duck Award for achievement in the field of junk science. The awards, to be given annually, are intended to recognize the scientists, NGOs, activists, politicians, journalists, media outlets, cranks and quacks who each year advance the principles of junk science.

    Winners will be scored on the degree to which they succeed in meeting FP Comment’s standard definition of Junk Science: When scientific facts are distorted, when risk is exaggerated or discounted, when science is adapted and warped by politics and ideology to serve another agenda.

    The Rubber Duck Award is named in recognition of the work of Rick Smith, executive director of Canada’s Environmental Defence lobby group and one of Canada’s leading purveyors of junk science. One of his claims is that toy rubber ducks can kill, a distortion of scientific fact so great that it deserves to have an award named after it.

    The 2009 Junk Science Week Rubber Duck Award winners will be announced this coming Saturday, June 20, including a special Lifetime Achievement Award to a person or institution that has done much to undermine confidence and instill fear in the population.

    • Black Flag says:

      http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2009/06/15/terence-corcoran-the-models-behind-the-financial-crisis.aspx

      In Against the Gods, Mr. Bernstein cites John Maynard Keynes, who said that certainty about the future is impossible. The future is uncertain, and cannot be turned into a matter of probability. “The game of roulette is not subject, in this sense, to uncertainty.”

      Economic futures are not a matter of probability: “There is no scientific basis on which to form any calculable probability whatever. We simply do no know.”

      —–

      Understand that simple truth, and you’ll understand economics better than 90% of the money managers on earth.

    • Chris Devine says:

      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Junk_science

      Yet another example of the well-funded conservative spin machine.

      And since when is it the job of scientists to bolster confidence? If scientists find something we should be afraid of (e.g., a potentially fatal side-effect of a widely prescribed drug), why should they avoid telling us even if it means the stock price of pharmaceutical firms may go down? I thought the point of science was to keep us informed, not in the dark for the sake of profits.

      • Chris, I’m not being smart here or trying to ‘getcha’ with this question. I am truly interested in your perspective. What exactly is a ‘conservative spin machine’ and what evidence do you have of this? Or is your statement hyperbole meant to accentuate a point? (which is ok too).

        Re your second paragraph, my perspective is that science’s job is to deal in facts and solid research. Having worked in research for many years, I can tell you that when you look at ‘scientific research’, you need to look at the entire scope of the particular study. Unfortunately, our society, bolstered by media, politicians, talk show hosts, etc., likes to take individual statements out of research studies and present them as gospel to promote agendas (both on the left and on the right).

        • Chris Devine says:

          Don’t worry I’m not thin-skinned and I take your curiosity at face value.

          What I mean is that there is a huge amount of money spent on think tanks and other organizations to influence public policy and opinion. Some will say that this is done by groups of all political leanings. However, the vast majority of the think tanks (CATO Institute, Heritage Foundation, et al.) are right wing propaganda mills. Have a look around on SourceWatch. I’m sure you can find plenty of info about the influence of the right and left wing spin machines.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Chris,

            The left-wing spin machines are equally abundant and equally well funded.

            However, I actually work in the field of air pollution, and I can with all honesty tell you that air quality has vastly improved over the past 30 years.

            As to global warming, there is quite a debate going on still (as usual), but the preponderance of evidence seems to currently indicate that the latest peak in global temperature occurred around 2001-2002 and the average mean global temperature has been gradually falling since then.

            You see, the sun is in a quiescent phase right now. Magnetic storms on the sun and sunspot activity are in a waning phase. Also, ocean cycles are between El Nino and La Nina, which is neiter a cooling or warming phase, it is pretty much just climatically boring.

            Nature GREATLY overpowers any impact that man has had on global temperature whatsoever. When the “climate change” believers say that “current data is being distorted by the lack of solar or ocean activity” what they are really doing is admitting that the impact of man’s activities on global temperature are negligible at best.

            • Chris Devine says:

              I beg to differ with you about the left wing spin machines. They are certainly trying to catch up, but the coffers of CATO, Heritage and others are several magnitudes greater than their liberal counterparts.

              Air quality in what sense? Particulates? Ozone and NO3 levels?

              Feel free to assume that the overwhelming majority of scientists are wrong. To me it boils down to which conspiracy you believe: the one funded by the oil companies and other polluters or the one funded by those who art part of an international effort to impose environmental standards as part of a plot to rule the world.

              • Black Flag says:

                Don’t muddle science and political activism.

                Nor confuse better environment for PEOPLE vs the environment of the earth – they are not the same thing.

                Anthropogenic Global Warming is a fraud. There is no scientific basis for any of the claims.

                As far as the impact of humanity.

                If there was no bees, all life on Earth would end.

                If there were no humans, life on Earth wouldn’t change.

                We are completely insignificant.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                The overwhelming majority of scientists actually do NOT believe that the earth is warming, but you are free to continue to believe that since the media tells you it is so.

              • Chris Devine says:

                I know you are, but what am I?

              • Chris Devine says:

                Do I really come across as somebody who believes everything the media tells me?

              • Black Flag says:

                No.

          • Thanks. I guess I consider the different sites just expressions of different perspectives….not necessarily propaganda.

            • Chris Devine says:

              That is exactly the mentality that poisons political discourse. It’s the whole ‘he said-she said’ model that is ruining this country. There is a huge effort by these institutions to frame discourse in such a way as to presuppose a specific ideological solution. It’s not that there are two equally valid points on every issue. There’s usually one set of facts that one side is trying to misrepresent. All this tu quoque BS is tearing us apart.

              The press, instead of evaluating the claims, just parrots them. It then becomes a battle of talking points. When the press does criticize something as inaccurate they are all of a sudden slammed as being biased. If that ‘bias’ towards truth happens to fall on one side more than the other then this becomes ‘evidence’ of a media-wide bias, when it’s really nothing more than a recognition of one side’s commitment to manipulation and distortion.

              Like I said, have a look around at SourceWatch or the Columbia Journalism Review. There are other media watchdogs you will find, but I hesitate to mention my own favorites for fear of seeming biased myself. Look at how much CATO or Heritage spins on spreading the conservative message on a whole range of issues. Then see if you can find a liberal outfit that’s even in the same ballpark.

              • Well, I agree with you that there is a lack of real discourse and debate and that there is a lot of throwing around of talking points by all sides. Personally, I believe that it’s a by product of our ‘sound bite’ culture. Discourse and debate take thought and preparation.

                The one thing I don’t totally agree with is that there is one valid truth or way and that anyone presenting their point of view is necessarily attempting to misrepresent facts. We all see the world from our own perspectives, and thus have our own ideas of what the solutions to problems are……we also have an innate tendency to rationalize (I recommend the book ‘Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) for a well researched discussion of this subject). I just ask that whoever is making a point, do so with facts to back them up rather than using talking points and that they not get upset or treat me like an idiot when I ask why and/or how they arrived at a viewpoint. I can’t judge validity of an argument based on ‘that’s the way it is’.

  25. Black Flag says:

    Chris

    Why should country size matter all that much? It seems to me that if you could make something work for 10 million, then it could work for more.

    Of course size matters.

    The smaller the group, the more likely the commonality of issues – and hence, common solutions.

    What may work for a few thuosand will not work for a few hundred million.

    I couldn’t find anything about Denmark and Sweden immigration problems. Perhaps you could suggest some info.

    I think they solved their immigration problems a few centuries ago.

    Immigration problems typically are border-joined; that is, it is your neighbors. Rarely is it a problem if the immigrants have to cross huge oceans or other countries before they reach ‘yours’.

    There were millions of people here for thousands of years before the Europeans landed.

    I’d say a hundreds of thousands…

    Exactly what were those empires (British and Roman) successful at?

    Killing.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      As BF so astutely points out, the British and Roman Empires were successful at killing. The US Empire has been pretty successful at this as well.

      Our time as a world power is waning, and one of the primary reasons for this is that we are not nearly as ruthless and successful at killing as we used to be.

      Of course, the intent of the founders was not that we ever BE a world power. Thomas Jefferson wanted trade with all and alliance with none, and he also believed in a strong military that would only be used in defense of the country.

      With the natural resources, the (formerly) well-educated populace, and our (former) adaptability, if we had remained free men and kept from meddling in world affairs except to defend ourselves, we likely would not be in anything even vaguely resembling the predicament we are in now.

      • Chris Devine says:

        Ever heard of the Monroe Doctrine?

      • Chris Devine says:

        Fast forward to 16:35.

      • Black Flag says:

        What about the doctrine is particular to Peter’s argument?

        The #1 trait of all empires is their ability to kill the indigenous populations.

        The better the efficiency and effectiveness of slaughter, the larger the Empire.

        It is no surprise that the largest Empire on Earth – Mongols – excelled in slaughter.

      • The US is able to kill better than any other yet unwilling to do such as was indeed done by others in the past. That is noteworthy and any talk of American expansionism that disregards this absolute is itself negated by dong such. Most of us as countries have come a long way in an incredibly short time but some have themselves not. That is the failing of the uber left. Comprehension that “they” are not “you” continues to escape them.

    • Chris Devine says:

      More than 90% of states have populations less than 10 million. From that perspective it seems an attainable goal to have the same standard of living as Denmark (especially with federal funding).

      • Black Flag says:

        I disagree.

        No State has necessarily the same capability nor concerns.

        It would be the same as you claiming since your an individual as I am, what is good for you would be good for me too.

        Obviously, that isn’t correct – hence, it cannot be correct for even larger entities.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          But BF, what is good for you does not matter! Only the “greater good” matters! Stop being so SELFISH! :)

          • Chris Devine says:

            It all matters. As has been pointed out here before, there’s a good reason why the Golden Rule is found is in virtually every religion and philosophy. The human race has climbed to the top of the food chain precisely because of our ability to cooperate.

            BF, what do you think about Nash equilibria? What about Pareto efficiency?

            • Black Flag says:

              The Golden Rule:
              Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you.

              Therefore, you better be damn careful what you think you should do unto me-because you’ll get a shotgun full of it in returned back to you! :lol:

              As far as Nash and Pareto…in how are you relating this to something?

              • Chris Devine says:

                In game theory (applicable to economics) Nash showed that it is often in all players best interest not to try to maximize their winnings. When everybody is trying to take as much as they can they often end up with less than if they didn’t try so hard.

                In Pareto efficiency there is a point where any change in the system makes the least well-off suffer. I like Rawls’ approach to justice because it doesn’t rule out inequity, but instead uses it make everybody better off. The oft-cited example is that it makes sense to pay doctors more because of the effort required to become a physician. Since everybody needs doctors it benefits everybody to pay them more than ditch-diggers.

              • Black Flag says:

                What was core to Nash’s thinking was, of course, Nash’s thinking.

                He viewed the world from his own psychosis – and assumed everyone was wholly self-centered (ie: short termed gratified). He failed to take into account that many people are long-term gratified.

                Poker is a great example. I paid for all my tuition for college by playing poker. A small group of us set up twice-monthly, weekend, home game – inviting oil workers – targeting, of course, pay day.

                I played pretty much solid all night and day (ie: hard), and earn considerable money. But our group had a rule – never take the guy’s whole pay check – because he’d never come back. Our long term view – earning as much as we could – understood the long term value of maximizing my winning with time as a multiplier (and thus, cannot be ignored).

                Nash’s theories missed that component – his time multiplier was always just 1 (ie: now).

                Pareto:
                Any system that is dependent on subjective measures (ie: “better”) will be suffer from massive uneconomical choices.

                Doctors are paid more because they are rare in the marketplace — not because they are ‘needed’.

                You need air – and it is valueless (unless you have none) because it is not rare (or in the latter, case very valuable because it is very rare).

                You need salt – and it was so valuable it was a currency – but today, your need has not changed from the need of a Roman Solider – but it is not that valued, because it is not rare.

                So what we think is valuable or ‘needed’ does not determine its price. It’s supply is the determiner.

                Replacing rarity with ‘need’ will absolutely ensure economic failure.

              • Chris Devine says:

                Nash won a Nobel with his theory. Somebody must have thought it wasn’t just a parlor trick.

                You misinterpreted the doctor example. Doctor’s are are obviously paid more and they are rare (relatively). The reason they are rare is because of the extraordinary talent and effort required to complete the education and training. That education and training is not a natural resource (like air) nor is it available through the evaporation of seawater. It takes the hard work of talented people to ensure that we have the physicians deemed necessary by today’s standards. Sure we could just get rid of doctors and accept an average forty year life-span, but given the standard of living we’ve become accustomed to it makes sense to pay those individuals more for their efforts. Most of us get to live longer as a result.

              • Black Flag says:

                So did Al Gore – so winning is not so much an indication of “correct”.

                Nash’s theories have validity – but also have faults as I pointed out.

                For example, Nash theories are responsible for the MAD doctrine – by assuming the worse of your adversary, and threatening total asymmetrical retaliation, would force your adversary to act the same way against you – ending up with a tense – but survivable – Mexican standoff. His theory can be argued to have prevented a nuclear war. But it only works in the realm of violence and immorality – government and politics – where suspicion and evil are the norm. If one attempts to apply the same base theory on individuals, it fails completely.

                Doctors are rare only because of government writ. Being a doctor really isn’t that hard – the education level is far less than my profession, for example. In my field, the knowledge base doubles every 3 years – by the time a person receives his 4-year degree half of what he was taught when he started no longer applies.

                Doctor’s are created under artificial duress demanded by the AMA, so to limit entry (and keep the numbers artificially low). For example, there is no necessity whatsoever to run doctors for 24 or 36 hours straight in any hospital – but every doctor has, at least once in his training, been forced to perform in that structure. Many brilliant doctors have been lost by such an artificial demand.

                There is nothing extraordinary about the profession itself – and like any profession, there are extraordinary people.

                But that’s my point – it is not the need – but the rarity that creates the economic price.

              • Chris Devine says:

                Al Gore didn’t win a prize in economics.

                Mutually Assured Destruction is not founded on Nash equilibria. While it has foundations in game theory it is more a result of the work of Herman Kahn and Jon Von Neumann.

                Physicists and physicians are apples and oranges. Does your field require you to make life and death decision on a daily basis? Do you think medical knowledge is stagnant? I will allow some of what you say about economic barriers to entry, but they usually have more to do with ability to perform, not whether you paid your dues to the board.

                And you still miss my point. It ultimately doesn’t matter what causes the disparity in pay (or whether we’re talking about physicists or physicians), the only issue is whether that disparity benefits the least well-off among us.

  26. Black Flag says:

    Chris

    I get it. There are choices to be made and you’d rather make all your own choices. If that’s what you consider freedom then I understand your point of view.

    It’s a bit more than that. It’s ‘you’ not imposing upon ‘me’.

    If it was merely a matter of choice – well, it’s like with my daughter – ,i>”Lil’ One, would you rather have peas or broccoli for supper?” By your definition, she is free to chose – but as you can see, its no where near my definition – because as long as someone can create my choices and prohibit others does not make me “free”.

    However, I don’t accept that consensus is a form of tyranny (necessarily).

    I don’t either! What makes it tyranny is if it is forced on me. My agreement is a consensus, and it works! Your consensus with your friends about me without my agreement, enforced by violence – is tyranny.

    I believe compromise is very much as inevitable as death (and taxes). I don’t think that avoiding hard choices makes us more free. It’s precisely the courage to face the difficult realities of life that makes freedom of any sort worth while. Relying on ‘the invisible hand’ to make those choices for you isn’t freedom, it’s passivity.

    No one ‘relies’ on it. It simply ‘is’. If there is a ‘want’ for one person, there is probably the same need for that same ‘want’ – or close to it – for others.

    By providing it to those who want such and trading for other wants, is the ‘invisible hand’.

    The sustainable wealth of millionaires isn’t the only justification for public education, it’s only the one that justifies their increased tax burden. A compelling argument could be made that society benefits in many ways from educated members. Less crime, technological advances, arts, culture, etc. All these are benefits and they all justify the pooling of resources according to each individuals means.

    It certainly may justify such pooling by those that believe as you – but it does not justify using violence to force others to act the same way because they do not believe as you.

    If you believe you can justify violence to force people to do as YOU may believe is right, you give everyone the right to justify violence ON YOU to force you to do what THEY may believe is right.

    The consequence of that is “He who is the most violent, wins”. That, sir, is hell.

    Charity will always be honorable, but it is hardly sufficient.

    It represents the vast majority of ‘giving’ in the world – dwarfing all the efforts of government-charity.

  27. BF
    Your statement RE: European immigration
    “I think they solved their immigration problems a few centuries ago.

    Immigration problems typically are border-joined; that is, it is your neighbors. Rarely is it a problem if the immigrants have to cross huge oceans or other countries before they reach ‘yours’.

    Maybe you missed my links posted previously
    Rape Epidemic in Sweden and Norway – Authorities Look the Other Way : http://fjordman.blogspot.com/2005/02/muslim-rape-epidemic-in-sweden-and.html

    Immigrants wage rape and robbery war in Sweden! : http://www.alipac.us/article1650.html

    http://fjordman.blogspot.com/2005/02/muslim-rape-epidemic-in-sweden-and.html

    Then id you look at Holland – you see another EU country that is in crisis due to liberal immigration policies.

    • Black Flag says:

      Sweden:
      Sweden little more than 1 homicide per 100,000 inhabitants. This figure is in line with most European countries, which also have a level of between 1-2.

      Stockholm’s homicide rate is on par with most capitals,[6] with around 3 annual homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, although the numbers are hard to compare due to large fluctuations between years. Murders are significantly less common now than in the 19th Century and earlier eras.

      The risk of getting mugged, however, is low–0.5% of Swedes surveyed reported to have been mugged.

      The percentage of the population in prison is also significantly lower than in most other countries. Of 100,000 inhabitants, 59 lived in prison facilities in 2001, which is about the same rate as the other Scandinavian countries.

      By comparison, most industrial countries in Europe had a rate of around 100 (England & Wales 125, Germany 97, Italy 90); and some eastern Europe states range between 150-300. The United States ranks high above Sweden with 682 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants, topped only by Russia’s 729

      …. Sorry, Frank – the rhetoric is unsupported by fact.

  28. Black Flag says:

    Chris

    Mutually Assured Destruction is not founded on Nash equilibria. While it has foundations in game theory it is more a result of the work of Herman Kahn and Jon Von Neumann.

    I said: “
    For example, Nash theories are responsible for the MAD doctrine

    So you disagree with me, then agree with me (ie: game theory) – and, again, Nash’s THEORIES resulted in MAD doctrine – as his THEORIES offered a conclusion that satisfied the designs of nuclear armed survival.

    Al Gore didn’t win a prize in economics.

    I didn’t say he did. I said he won a Nobel prize – the Nobel prize represents nothing important. Even Einstein couldn’t be bothered to go and pick his up.

    Physicists and physicians are apples and oranges. Does your field require you to make life and death decision on a daily basis?

    In fact, yes. There have been many times that a mistake by me could cause millions to suffer and risk thousands of lives. I’ve held entire nation’s infrastructure survival in my sole decision.

    Do you think medical knowledge is stagnant?

    No, I think that medicine is nothing special than any other profession.

    And you still miss my point. It ultimately doesn’t matter what causes the disparity in pay (or whether we’re talking about physicists or physicians), the only issue is whether that disparity benefits the least well-off among us.

    The focus of your review is short.

    If by artificial means, a shortage is created, creating another artificial increase in costs. Because it is artificial the economic process that automatically occurs to resolve such a shortage is short-circuited.

    The free market responds to a shortage by increasing its price. The price increases creates a larger profit. This attracts more supply. This resolves the shortage and decreases the price.

    The distortion of medicine is by government writ.

    Hence, there is a shortage, causing a price increase. But the free market is prevented from acting and delivering more supply. With no surprise, the price continues to increase, and will continue to increase up to a point that supply meets the price.

  29. Black Flag says:

    Bob

    Yet people put so much trust in a government run military, would you advocate the privitisation of the military? How about the police forces and fire services should they also be run on a private sector basis. Would you prefer private ownership of highways?

    Yes, SOME people put trust in government military, however, the Founders of the USA did not!

    A standing army of the government is the greatest threat to the liberty of citizens.

    A militia – in defense of their homes and nation – is more than adequate.

    Same as police/fire. Indeed, for most of western civilization, these services were provided by volunteer citizens until seized by government.

    The British police function was historically performed by private watchmen (existing from 1500 on), thief-takers, and so on. The former were funded by private individuals and organisations and the latter by privately-funded rewards for catching criminals, who would then be compelled to return stolen property or pay restitution

    In 1737, George II began paying some London and Middlesex watchmen with tax moneys, beginning the shift to government control.

    Further, volunteer fireman was the norm up until the last 40-50 years.

    And what makes highways any different than any other service that makes it immune to free market systems?

    Chris said
    Police and the military are just tools of oppression and should be gotten rid of.

    It is true – police are there to protect the government, not the citizens. The Supreme Court has confirmed this.

    The Army is obviously there to protect the government (see Katrina).

  30. Alan

    What are you doing posting in a month old blog?

    Don’t want anyone to read it – and want to get the last word in? :)

    • On the Bonds? It’s the last on a subject too tragic to be left alone. I believe only a few here, yourself very much included, see the systematic removal of America from the hub of the global economy and its relocation into another satellite of something else as incredibly bad for America.

      That so many just don’t comprehend America’s contributions to the global economy having just directly bailed out a whopping number of foreign banking systems still escapes this Canadian. Why all the crying about “pennies” when your whole GDP is very much tied to who you are/were in the global economy?

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