Tuesday Night Open Mic for September 7, 2010

Tuesday night finds me quite under the weather. What started yesterday as a minor annoyance in my sinuses has grown into a full blown summer cold! Not something that I am used to, as I rarely get sick at all. Apparently this cold/flu has been circulating at work, as I am now the 3rd person to fall victim to it at my workplace. Fortunately, I have been working on the open mic topics for the last couple of days, always searching for new topics. It will mean, however, that there will only be three topics presented by me this evening. I am now getting hopped up on NyQuil and Mucinex, which I am hoping will lead to rare night of sleep before 4:00 am. With any luck, I will get ten hours of drug induced sleep and feel much better tomorrow (I sure hope so because I never call out from work, I’ve missed one day for sickness in 20 years). So I ask that some of you please pick up my slack and offer a few additional topics today!

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  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    Nevada Candidate Pushes Pay-to-Speed Program to Solve Budget Crisis

    One Nevada gubernatorial hopeful sees a speedy fix to Nevada’s budget crisis.

    Nonpartisan candidate “Gino” DiSimone believes people would pay for the privilege to drive up to 90 mph on designated highways — and fill the state’s depleted coffers.

    DiSimone calls his idea the “free limit plan.” He estimates the plan would bring in $1 billion a year.

    First, vehicles would have to pass a safety inspection. Then vehicle information would be loaded into a database, and motorists would purchase a transponder.

    After setting up an account, anyone in a hurry could dial in, and for $25 charged to a credit card, be free to speed for 24 hours.

    The Nevada Highway Patrol isn’t keen on the idea, saying it would lead to increased injuries and traffic deaths.

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/04/nevada-candidate-pushes-pay-speed-program-solve-budget-crisis/

    OK, as soon as I read this particular story, I simply started laughing at both the short-sightedness and the ridiculousness of the proposal. A couple of thoughts…

    This program would bring in a billion dollars a year? That equals 40 million times that the $25 fee would be charged in a year. Nevada has 2.6 million residents. That means that every man, woman, and child in the state of Nevada would have to pay that fee over 15 times a year. I call bullshit. A billion dollars in revenue is a pipe dream and a completely unattainable number.

    And this isn’t even taking into account the costs of implementation or running the program once it was set up. Outfitting patrol cars with whatever sensor they might need, creating a database, etc. It also doesn’t take into account the revenue that would be lost had those same people been caught speeding.

    Next there is the fact that if I pay $25 for the right to speed, what will force other cars in front of me to get out of my way. I can’t get people going slow in the left lane to get out of my way now, and I am not going 90. Would road rage incidents go up? Would traffic jams cause the state to have to refund the fee, since the traffic didn’t allow me to take advantage of what I payed for? And finally, the state highway patrol is right, the accidents and would be worse than they are currently, which would incidentally, increase the costs to the cities unless they do the ridiculous charges we talked about a couple of weeks ago ($2k for jaws of life usage).

    Overall, a testament to the idiotic ideas out there that have an opportunity to actually gain some sort of credence in the political discourse. Someone as short sighted as this guy obviously isn’t who I would trust to be a public servant.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Radar detectors are cheaper.

    • Not to worry.

      I just spent the day in Las Vegas. First to get my wife’s retired dependent ID card renewed at Nellis AFB, then to hit COSTCO and Wally-WORLD (WAL-MART to the un-initiated) and other things and places. Once we crossed the Hoover Dam – That new bridge is not scheduled to open until Oct 18th – it took us TWO WHOLE HOURS to get from Boulder City to Nellis AFB (all of maybe 10 miles).

      That is how congested Nevada’s highways are. Believe me, NO ONE will even be able to do the speed limit let alone go 90mph . . . No matter how much they pay!

      A trip that should have taken only 6 or 7 hours took almost 14 hours – We try not to go there unless we absolutely have to!

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hey all

      Living in Nevada, and when I read that, I too thought it was pretty stupid. I thought, try explaining that to the cops when you get pulled over, even if you have that paper saying you’re allowed to, not to mention the accidents it can cause.

      As for Gino DeSimone, we don’t see any commercials on him at all, just Reid and Angle. He might have some good ideas, but who knows, nobody has ever heard of him until now.

    • USW

      Basic flawed logic. Product of liberal college no doubt.

      If speed limits are required for safety then exceeding speed limits is unsafe, unless you pay the special permit fee, then it is safe.

      Therefore, speed limits are not required for safety.

      Special permit fees are required for safety.

      Who said money is not the cure for everything.

      • Exactly. If speeding is not dangerous, the speed limit should be raised. If it is not dangerous for certain cars, then an inspection allowing certain speed should be allowed. If safety is an issue, but money is more important, then, well, I guess we know what really matters to politicians. :)

  2. USWeapon Topic #2

    Shorter School Weeks to Save Money

    Thanks to a long Labor Day weekend, most students heading back to school today will enjoy a four-day school week. But for some students around the country, every week this school year will be only four days. Facing massive budget cuts and teacher layoffs, some school districts have opted to cut operational costs by closing schools one day per week.

    “We brainstormed every single possibility we could think of and put a dollar amount next to it,” says Peach County, Georgia Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Clark. “We had two options, lay off 39 teachers or go to a four day school week.”

    Having Mondays off is nothing new for students in the Peach County School District. Administrators trimmed the school week to four days last year, when the height of the recession forced them to make some serious cuts. Dr. Clark says that one-day off has cut operational costs for things like heating and cooling, cafeteria expenses and transportation costs without jeopardizing the quality of education for students. She says total savings has been around $400,000 – enough to save 39 teachers from being laid off.

    “As long as we’re facing the financial difficulty that we are, we’ll be continuing that four day week,” Dr. Clark says. “But the best part about it – teachers, administrators and everybody in the district appear to be very focused in making sure our children get everything they need to get.”

    Despite some initial criticism that longer weekends would allow students to become complacent and fall behind in their school work, educators in Peach County Schools say they have actually seen improvements in grades, achievements, behavior and attendance. Byron Middle School Principal Annette Ross says teachers and students have adjusted to a tougher schedule and streamlined to make the time they have in the classroom more efficient.

    “I explained to them that if they wanted to keep Mondays off then they needed to come to school everyday. Come to school and work when they came to school, and they did that,” Ross says. “We had our teacher and student absence to drop tremendously – perfect attendance increased and we saw a big decrease in office referrals.”

    Peach County District officials admit there were some initial adjustment issues and some parents were skeptical of the four-day week, but now parents, students and teachers alike have grown to like the shorter schedule. Youth programs and community groups have started daycare and tutoring programs to help working parents deal with the extra day off.

    “Most parents would tell me their weekends were so busy that by the time Sunday night rolled around their kids were exhausted,” says Dr. Clark. “Parents, particularly those parents who stay at home, really began to like it because they had some quality time with their children.”

    The four day school week is starting to catch on as a stubborn recession refuses to let up. The Georgia Legislature recently passed a law that makes it easier for schools to cut days and still meet state academic requirements. In addition to Peach County Schools, we found at least 120 other districts across the country who have shortened their school weeks to save money.

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/09/07/shorter-school-weeks-to-save-money/

    I know that we have touched on this topic a bit before. At a minimum I remember mentioning it in an article about cities looking for ways to cut costs. But now that we have seen this actually starting to come to fruition, I wanted to bring it forward and tell you what it means to me. I see this move as proof that the public education system is not valued by cities and counties. We hear a lot about how important the kids are, but honestly, that is nothing more than lip service.

    At a time when local governments are faced with tough decisions around their budgets, one of the first steps that they take is to cut the budget of public education. They don’t start trimming the fat on their projects. They don’t decrease salaries of city workers. They don’t find other places to balance the budget. They cut education. Don’t get me wrong, I am OK with it, because I think for the level of education being provided, the public education system doesn’t deserve near the money they are getting.

    The answer in this case: decrease the amount of time that students are learning by 20%. I won’t bother to point out that we are getting our ass handed to us by other countries who have school days 50% longer than ours. I won’t point out that we are getting shellacked by countries where they have fewer teachers, more challenging academic coursework, and far less federal funding. What I will point out is that when it comes right down to it, politicians believe that the one thing we can afford to sacrifice is the education of the next generation. As much as I despise the public education system, it is what we are stuck with right now for a lot of children. How about we don’t screw them any further….

    And as a further note, this doesn’t help those people in the school district. I am glad that those who are stay at home parents like the extra time with the kids. But that isn’t the majority of parents. And all the rest of those parents now have to arrange for some sort of child care throughout that day. Great plan, save the government money by forcing struggling parents to pay more expenses they couldn’t afford. Which means they won’t have money to buy stuff, which means the government won’t get sales tax revenue. Sounds like the start of yet another vicious cycle to me.

    • Save what money? With all those teenagers out on the streets over the new long weekends spells trouble with a capitol T.

      Vandalism will go up, juvenile delinquency will go up, they will soon be out of control . . . But wait! . . . Barack Hussein Obama has an idea . . . He will form “Obama Youth” and have them all out goose-stepping the streets to ensure that their dumb parents will learn how to vote for him in all his glory!

      Wow, what a perfect plan!

      WTF is going on here?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        G.A. – you had me until the Obama Youth nonsense. Not sure where that came from.

        • Well, it was late at night after a grueling day trying to negotiate the traffic in Vegas . . . Mostly it was a tired attempt at a tongue-in-cheek stab at all the liberals I know who used to tell me that Bush was a dictator . . . after all, don’t all dictators want to have a youth movement named after them?

          Seriously, I do not think that dumping education quality for monetary savings would be a good idea . . . but then I did not like school back when I was a kid either . . . .

          • Maybe the videos of goose stepping school children singing Obama’s praises had something to do with it, no? Also, check Organizing For America to find out how young people can become politically active…..

    • USWep

      Time in school does not equal better schooling.

      We probably spend -maybe- 4 hours a WEEK doing “schooling” and our daughter is in “Grade 9″ @ 13 years of age.

      I say, eliminate the schooling all together – the education would improve!

      • Good Morning, BF…It may work for you. I suggest that the majority do not think like you or I ( and that is probably good ) and would not home school their children. I would be willing to wager that over 75% of the children would not get any formal education from their parents or their own free will. I believe it is that bad out there and I also beleive that the modern day parent, for the most part, (my 75% prog) are two wager earner parents. There would not be a lowering of the tax rates or taxes with the elimination of schools because that is how the cities will now balance or try to balance their budgets. I also beleive that the private industry will not step in and take over. They may try, on a limited basis, but the cost of private education will be expensive and since there will not be lowering of taxes or the tax rate….who would be able to afford it except for the ” MEAN AND EVIL” rich?

        A lot of cities are already closing libraries to save money. I submit that schools have become modern day baby sitters… and since truancy laws are rarely enforced because of “civil” rights…. do you for a minute think that children will voluntarily seek formal education? Do you really feel that most parents will actually quit work or seek alternative work to educate their children? Do you think that private industry will step in and take up the slack and even if so, do you think that parents will send their kids? Do you think that the cities and counties will reduce taxes or simply spend it elsewhere? Since 1960, we have raised two generations of “give me” and “I am entitled” attitudes.

        I like the idea but I do not think it feasible….what say you, sir?

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        I so wish that I could homeschool my children. Both of the school-age children have mentioned it to me. I think between my parents (who live in the same neighborhood) and I, that we could do it. The only problem is their Father would not allow it. I would say that perhaps I could take him to Court, but that’s useless, because Today’s Court System is all about the so-called “service of the community” vs. personal choice (i.e. Liberty).

        T (the young man who’s 12) has to catch the bus at 6:55 am (and we have to travel 25 minutes for that) and has after-school care at the YMCA. C (the young lady, who’s 8) goes to the YMCA for before and after school care. I have to pay $151 every other week for this arrangement. Here in Chesterfield County, VA they have 4 different Bus Runs, the first of which are high school, starting at 6:20 in the morning…that is RIDICULOUS!!!! Truly, what high school age student is “awake” and able to learn at 6:30 to 7:00 am in the morning?????

        This whole public school situation totally sucks!

      • re grade 9 @ age 13

        I don’t understand. If she’s you daughter, then she’s an AI. Shouldn’t she be well past there? I mean, it’s just a question of installing the appropriate software, no?

      • D13, Mathius, Richmond

        I would be willing to wager that over 75% of the children would not get any formal education from their parents or their own free will.

        You have a seriously distorted view of the common household.

        Do you honestly belief parents have no interest in their children’s future?

        for the most part, (my 75% prog) are two wager earner parents.

        Maybe not that high – but a large percentage – I would agree.

        There would not be a lowering of the tax rates or taxes with the elimination of schools because that is how the cities will now balance or try to balance their budgets.

        (Shrug) So?

        I do not see how this matters.

        Either you prepare your kids, or they will languish – and then what was the point of having children?

        I also beleive that the private industry will not step in and take over.

        They already do! The amount of free education on the web is staggering – even Bill Gates’ kids use the free web education material because it so much better than school instruction

        They may try, on a limited basis, but the cost of private education will be expensive

        Free is not expensive!

        and since there will not be lowering of taxes or the tax rate….who would be able to afford it except for the ” MEAN AND EVIL” rich?

        If it is good enough for Bill Gates and he could buy any education for his kids I’m confident it will do for the masses.

        A lot of cities are already closing libraries to save money.

        Who needs a library when all the material exists at a mouse click?

        I submit that schools have become modern day baby sitters…

        I agree – but I thought we were discussing education.

        and since truancy laws are rarely enforced because of “civil” rights…. do you for a minute think that children will voluntarily seek formal education?

        Absolutely! Kids love learning!

        What you live under is your poor experience at the militarized version of schooling called the public education system -which alienates all learning.

        And that is its goal…. to drive out the natural questioning and learning and replace it by rote, authoritarian “following orders”.

        Do you really feel that most parents will actually quit work or seek alternative work to educate their children?

        I feel most parents love their kids and would do handstands to give them any advantage they can afford.

        Society has taught people to consume – hence, the drive to acquire more income.

        But if they review their own real goals it would be to provide a good standard of living for their family.

        So, given the choice I am sure they would pick their kids over income.

        But most parents aren’t even aware there exists a choice.

        Do you think that private industry will step in

        Already have.

        and take up the slack and even if so, do you think that parents will send their kids?

        How about home?

        Do you think that the cities and counties will reduce taxes or simply spend it elsewhere?

        Don’t care – not part of the calculation at all.

        Richmond Spitfire

        The only problem is their Father would not allow it.

        I can’t see how he could stop it.

        Use the guilt trip strategy – what is best for the kids – and have the kids tell him what they want.

        If still a no, I’d ignore it and let HIM take YOU to court. He won’t bother.

        Mathius
        I don’t understand. If she’s you daughter, then she’s an AI. Shouldn’t she be well past there? I mean, it’s just a question of installing the appropriate software, no?

        You have to load the software no faster then the increase in RAM.

        • @ BF:

          BF states and then asks: “You have a seriously distorted view of the common household.

          Do you honestly belief parents have no interest in their children’s future?”

          D13 answers: I don’t think that it is that distorted, however, I digress on this. My only experiece in this comes from a significant other that is a vision impaired teacher and works within a public school sysytem.

          As to parents and childrens welfare….yes and no to your question. I think education is not a priority at all to most. I think that your view of the parent today is distorted from your own view…meaning that you probably think that most parents think as you or I…I do not think that is the case.

          BF states: “Either you prepare your kids, or they will languish – and then what was the point of having children?”

          D13 Agrees: Yes sir…for you or I. I still think the majority will not do so and I think that particular majority is huge. It may not be 75%…but I really feel that it is greater than 50%…and I think much greater.

          BF states: “They already do! The amount of free education on the web is staggering – even Bill Gates’ kids use the free web education material because it so much better than school instruction”

          D13 asserts: Ok…I digress here as well because I am unaware of this. However, I wonder how much of the population actually will even take advantage of this either. You or I will…we believe this way. But from the discussions that I hear, it is abysmal.

          BF states: ” If it is good enough for Bill Gates and he could buy any education for his kids I’m confident it will do for the masses.”

          D13 answers: I don’t know why Bill Gates has anything to do with this other than he is rich and has chosen this method over private schools but are you thinking that Bill Gates is a household word that is held up to example?

          • Sorry hit the submit button….to finish:

            BF States: “I agree – but I thought we were discussing education.”

            D13 answers: We are..but I am referring to the mindset that it is easier to send kids away for someone else to “educate” than for a parent to do on their own. I do not think the majority of today’s parents think the way you or I do. We will take care of our kids…but I see it all the time where parents do not even help with homework and then bitch about how much their kid gets.

            BF states: “Absolutely! Kids love learning! What you live under is your poor experience at the militarized version of schooling called the public education system -which alienates all learning.
            And that is its goal…. to drive out the natural questioning and learning and replace it by rote, authoritarian “following orders”

            D13 states: You are preaching to the choir here. I agree with you totally. My kids were formally educated at private institutions, tho. I never used the public school system at all. All went to college prep schools because I could afford it. However, for kids to “love” learning…they have to be taught this from inception, I think. It has to come from leadership in the home. Some parents do this…but again,,,,I think not the majority. I recognized that education is priority and did the best that I could. They all received a great education and got the college of their choice and both are successful in their fields of endeavors. So, I understand…but still languish in the fact that the majority do not.

            BF states: “So, given the choice I am sure they would pick their kids over income.”

            D13 answers: I do not think the stats back your perception up…but once again, I digress to just what I am hearing around the dinner table.

            BF asks: “How about home?”

            D13 wonders: ” HOw many parents can actually do this? THey may think it, but it requires time at home and time to do it. HOwmany parents, I wonder, will take the initiative…not many…me thinks.

            Anyway..have a great day sir…and thanks for your answers…time to go clean more smoke damage now that the rains have let up.

            • D13

              where parents do not even help with homework and then bitch about how much their kid gets.

              Have you been to a school? First, the parents are told NOT to help with homework, in fear “the parent will do all the work”. So fine – the parents don’t help. Then the kid struggles, asks the teacher, and the teacher says “Aren’t your parents helping???”.

              Catch-22.

              Aside: homework is a functionally stupid concept. You mean that the school cannot teach the necessary material in the entire time the kid spends at school?. Or is it the school admitting they can’t teach as well as a home?

              Say NO! to any homework.

              If I were a parent with a child in public school, I would be outraged at my child having to spend even more time doing school work then the hours they already waste.

              However, for kids to “love” learning…they have to be taught this from inception, I think.

              Pray tell. How did you teach your child to learn????

              Did you have to teach your child to learn before they learned how to speak? Did you have to teach your child to learn before they started to learn to walk?

              It has to come from leadership in the home.

              Children are parrots. What they see, they do.

              So, I believe it is the other way.

              Children are taught not to learn by their parents who were taught the same thing when they were kids.

          • D13

            My only experiece in this comes from a significant other that is a vision impaired teacher and works within a public school sysytem.

            That is liking asking a cop whether or not society is moral or not :)

            The view from inside the system is completely jaded. Though 1% of the population may be violent criminals, the cops face 95% of these people every day – ergo, 95% of society is violent criminals.

            Teachers, the same. They will only recall the very brightest and the worse of any class – each representing a slim percentage of students.

            I think education is not a priority at all to most. I think that your view of the parent today is distorted from your own view…meaning that you probably think that most parents think as you or I…I do not think that is the case.

            I circle between many different families and decisions regarding education – the entire rainbow. I haven’t yet run into a family that “couldn’t care less about their kids”.

            Many parents believe the public system is the best option regardless of its failings – mostly due to a lack of knowledge regarding alternatives.

            In a world where the perceived choice is only option (A), it’s hard to blame them.

            I still think the majority will not do so and I think that particular majority is huge. It may not be 75%…but I really feel that it is greater than 50%…and I think much greater.

            As I said, I haven’t met one family that things that way – out of the thousands of I have met.

            D13 asserts: Ok…I digress here as well because I am unaware of this. However, I wonder how much of the population actually will even take advantage of this either.

            It will be a matter of knowledge. If they know its there, they may use it.

            But it is not advertised. The mainstream public school system avoids such tools, for obvious reasons.

            Most people get their medical advice from medical doctors trained within institutionalized medicine – thus, preach institutionalized medicine and that is what people get.

            Most people get the kids’ educated in public school institutions that preach institutionalized schooling. Thus, the result: most people only know about institutionalized schooling.

            I don’t know why Bill Gates has anything to do with this other than he is rich and has chosen this method over private schools but are you thinking that Bill Gates is a household word that is held up to example?

            His choice provides credibility because he has the most choices to chose from.

        • Ah.. critical RAM shortage.. we’ve all been there..

          Well at least, being related to you, I’m sure there’s no deficiency in the CPU.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling

          • Common Man says:

            Not only should she be applauded for her bravery, but for her wisdom, despite having endured 13 years of indoctrination.

            The public education system has many flaws, but the most distrubing and hurtfull is the act of surpression via conformity.

            Everyone needs to be able to read, write and apply basic mathmatics, but from that point in time teachers and the educational system would better serve both the students and our society by nututring individual passions.

            Teachers should have one goal for each student and that is to help that student find their individual passion or passions; and then assist that individual to learn all that they can about those passions.

            I have preached for years that if a teacher and/or parent can help a child discover passions and encourage that child to explore, investigate and learn all that they can about those passions, the child will grow wise.

            This is a discussion that my wife and I have had for years. Initially she disagreed with the concept, arguing that children need to learn basic skills and applications. She has gradually come around and now works with each child she nutures to discover at least one passion per school year. It has proven very beneficial especially in the ‘Special Education classroom’.

            And what is most interesting is that those students that aggressivlely pursue their passion learn a great deal more in general.

            Today’s classroom is constructed to control and train not learn and expand.

            If you cannot home school your kids, you should at least investigate the ciriculum and discuss it with each teacher. If you find the subject matter not to your liking, let the teacher know and provide opposing information for your children. Go to every open house and conference, get involved in or at the school. Volunteer to present opposing view points.

            Our children are our hope.

            CM

            • Common Man says:

              And let me add this about my lovely wife, soul mate, best friend and mother of my children:

              She flourishes in a profession where the great majority leave or quit within the first 5 years; my wife is now on her 10th year in Special Education.

              In addition to helping each student find at least one passion she also instills the passion of reading, because reading is the one absolute ability to learning.

              I say this because when we discuss ‘public education’ we need to realize there are still good teachers that care about the kids, and want to instill creativity, thought, independence and the concept of learning in each child.

              As a parent we need to find and promote teachers like my wife, because we can only affect change at the local level.

              CM

          • I have been to enough of these events to guess the guy in the suit behind her is either the principal or the superintendent of schools.

            Regardless of his position, he becomes very uncomfortable and at one point you can see his face turning pink.

            If I had been this girls papa I would have been in tears and a slobbering fool by the time she was done. Hell, I was that way for mine anyway, and they didn’t get to give a speech.

          • Bottom Line says:

            I was utterly impressed when I viewed that vid…gives me the warm and fuzzies.

            There IS hope for todays youth!

        • BF, I agree with most of what you said..except the part where parents would voluntarily teach their kids. I think you’re off on that. Most parents are more worried about running the household than helping kids with their homework. Now you expect that they will just drop everything to home school? They don’t want that responsibility. It’s sad but true. I have two sisters that are teachers. Their experience is that there are two groups of perfect attendance kids: The ones who are actually wanting to learn and the ones who’s parents want them outta the house for the day …because THEY have created a monster child…even in extreme sickness.

          • Anita,

            Yes, there are some poisonous households that make being in school a better environment that staying at home.

            But that is why there are options.

            I am NOT against schools

            I am against Public Schools.

            • Ok I’m with you on that.

            • Common Man says:

              BF, my learned friend:

              “Against Public Schools” is in some way like saying you are against Catholic churches, or Ivy league universities, or ecologists because they all force a particular mind set.

              I know a few Catholic’s that are outstanding people. I know of a couple Catholic churches that do a great deal for society and the people in that society. I have some friends and business relations that have Ivy League educations, and I know a great many ecologists that promote sensable ecological science.

              I also know some private schools that indoctrinate their kids to be self-serving indignant punks. These schools promote class warfare, and those that have need not concern themselves with lesser beings.

              Public education has become for the most part an abomination of true education, however that does not make all public schools a bad environment. A great deal is dependent upon parent participation.

              As you preach, we cannot fight a government institution on a national level and expect to win, but we can influence a local entity and eventually turn the tide.

              I believe that regardless of the school, public or private, each parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle/brother/sister needs to investigate the teachers while taking a day-to-day interest in what goes on inside the school room.

              CM

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                CM,

                Government should not be in the “education business”.

                That is reason enough right there to be against public schools, regardless of the fact that some of them might be “good” by your particular standards.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      I read in the paper a while back, that they wanted to have 4 day week for schools, but for 10 hours a day, How can that make it easier? As it is here, they changed the time for school to start at 9:30 to 3:30. I don’t see what difference it makes to go to 4 days a week, if they plan on making it for 10 hours a day.

      • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

        The assumption that we make is that “liberals” are making these complaints. I don’t think that there has been a “liberal” since Sam Nunn retired. The people running the show over on the left are doctrinaire radicals who would as soon put you up against the wall and shoot you as they would argue with you. No, I take that back, they would prefer to shoot you since what you say might actually influence someone else.

        Now before everybody gets all bent out of shape and accuses me of gross exaggeration, I would like to point out that this is what happened in Nazi Germany and in Bolshevick Russia and to a lesser extent in Fascist Italy and Spain. Orwell wrote “1984” for a reason and the human race has not progressed to the point where these things cannot happen again nor is it likely to. Can these things happen on the conservative or liberterian right? Of course they could but they are not happening now and not likely to happen in the near future. Comparing wacko movements with 50 members to wacko movements with 50,000 members is dishonest at best.

  3. USWeapon Topic #3

    State Department Calls Plan to Burn Korans ‘Un-American’

    The State Department described as “un-American” plans by a controversial church to burn Korans in memory of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks — though the head of that church says he is not deterred.

    State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called the plan “inflammatory” at a briefing Tuesday and said it would put U.S. troops and interest around the world at risk, echoing a concern expressed by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

    “It doesn’t represent the vast majority of American views,” Crowley said.

    Gen. David Petraeus, head of Multinational Forces in Afghanistan, repeated his warning Tuesday that any plans to burn the Muslim holy book — considered a major offense in the Islamic community — would jeopardize U.S. military efforts.

    But Terry Jones, pastor of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., says not even protests and death threats will deter him. He told MyFoxOrlando.com that he and the church’s members feel strongly about their decision to hold the book burning despite being denied a permit from the fire department.

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/07/pastor-says-church-deterred-petraeus-warning-koran-burning/?test=latestnews

    I have a couple of thoughts on this one. First, I will say up front that I think that the idea of burning the Korans in an open demonstration is just as despicable and ignorant as burning a bible as a demonstration is. I just wanted to get that out up front.

    As despicable and ignorant as I personally think it is, it does not impact me. It does not infringe on my freedoms. It does not suppress my individual choices. It is what we call freedom, no matter how much we may not like it. As many of us have said over the discussions in the past, protecting freedom and liberty isn’t about protecting what is popular. It is about protecting the rights of those doing what is unpopular. I 100% support this ignorant pastor’s right to hold a Koran burning ceremony with anyone who would like to join in and show us all their intolerance and hatred.

    I think this backwoods pastor and his flock may find out sooner or later how muslims react to such acts against their faith. I mean heck, they will slit your throat for drawing a picture of their prophet. How well do you think they will take burning their holy book? I think I am a pretty tough guy. I won’t be attempting to desecrate the holy book of 1.5 Billion people anytime soon. I aint that tough.

    And I really don’t mind that the political folks are coming out and saying that this is wrong. The State Department, General Patraeus, Eric Holder. They should condemn it as an act of intolerance. They should also point out that it is a free speech act that we are powerless to stop. But I would really like to gain a better understanding why so many in the government would quickly jump to decry such an act against the Islamic faith. Paticularly when they certainly NEVER jump up to decry similar acts against the predominant faith in the United States, christianity. Or say perhaps, flag burning. I don’t see the state department issuing a statement when demonstrators do that. Why are the muslims getting special treatment? (and no that was NOT an implication that Obama is a muslim).

    I am just saying….

    • USW…..two things.

      I could give a shit less about what Muslims think across the world. They have run their bluff long enough and I do no see why we should run scared. The minute we run scared, the minute the terrorists win. Now, having said that. And, no, I am not…let me see… Islamophobic? That is the new buzz word, is it not?

      Burn the Koran (sp)
      Burn the Bible
      Burn the Flag
      Burn the Constitution

      while I may not like it…it is still an expression of freedom of speech and protest, is it not? Put aside tolerance crap…put aside bias. I am a little surprised that you feel 1.5 billion people is worth not pissing anyone off simply because of their belief. If they get pissed and resort to violence….then then all they “claim” is horse patootie….right?

      If our government wishes to say that to burn our flag or pull down our religious symbols is protected speech..then why the exception?

      Religious writings are no more precious than our flag and constitution.

      • 1.5 billion people, of whom 1/10th of one percent are lunatics. Of that 1/10th of one percent, one percent are crazy enough to actually kill you over it. And 1/10th of one percent of them, might just make it a point to come over here and kill you. And, of them, 1 in 5 might actually be able to get into the country (or are already here) to attack you. And of them, 1 in 3 might actually kill you.

        1,500,000,000 Total Muslims
        1,500,000 Lunatic Muslims
        15,000 Crazy enough to kill you over it
        15 Willing actually come here to kill you
        3 Able to get to where you are
        1 Actually kills you

        That’s the problem when dealing with really large numbers. Even a tiny percentage is still enough.

    • How many flags have been burned in the US in the last few years? I can think of no publicized occurrences. (note, flags are made of a flame retardant material, so you would need some some of accelerant).

      How many bible burnings have there been in the US in the few years? I can think of no publicized occurrences.

      How many Constitution burnings have there been in the US in the few years? I can think of no publicized occurrences.

      What special treatment are you (Christians) looking for, exactly? I’m sure if a group of atheists got together to burn the bible, you bet the government would condemn it.

      • Good morning, my once again, my intrepid friend….

        It matters not where anything is burned….that was not my point. It matters not if it is publicly stated. My point merely is/was…what is the difference? Why doesn’t our government just say it is a freedom of speech and leave it alone….unless there is a legacy that the BO man wants to impart!

        By the way, for your amusement, I do not claim to be Christian….never have. So, I am looking for nothing. Who cares if nothing has been burned in years…it does not matter. What makes the Koran(sp) any different than anything else….certainly not because it is a religious writing….and certainly because we are not afraid….what is the purpose of all the hoopla? I do not understand it. Let them burn it, let the media film it, let the critics and the world condemn it….then go on with life. I would say the same if it were the Bible or the Tanakh or the Torah or the writings of Sutra.

        Sorry….I still do not and will not run scared of 1/10th of any population.

        • My point is more along these lines: There are things that a civilized people should not do. Yes, they have the right to burn anything they want, but I think the government is right in condemning it. It should be clear to the world that the official position of the United States is not represented in these acts.

          Many Muslims feel that the US is at war with Islam, so it is important to clarify that it’s not us.. just a few lunatics within our ranks. We are only ‘at war’ with the militants who would attack us.. and the millions of innocent Muslims who get caught in the crossfire.

          • So you actually draw a distinction then? Or, should the government condemn say…flag burning? It seems you think that world opinion is more important than local issues…OR are you saying that if a bunch of Muslim youth in Tehran, for instance, if they burn an American Flag in a public burning that their government should likewise condemn it or at least our government should condemn it…publicly.

            • Yes and no..

              I think there’s a perception out there that the US is anti-Islam. So it is good to distance ourselves from that. Especially since it impacts our world standing and our interests in Muslim countries.

              There is no perception that America is anti-America. So burning of flags is clearly a political protest, not a blanket statement of hatred and intolerance. I don’t know that it’s quite as important, but yes, I would like the government to say something against it if it happened.

              If a group of Muslim youths burned the US flag in Tehran, I would like to see the government (theirs and ours) condemn it. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Anyone think the good pastor Jones should worry about his health and safety? Sure its his right. Not a real smart way to exercise it.

      • Now this I can agree with. What is his motive for a public burning, I wonder. Why not just go do it, have a DP and watch it burn. Why the publicity?

        As to his safety? Hope he has a good set of eyes….in front and the back of his head. But even with that, Ray….why run scared? Why do we have to adjust our lifestyle simply because of some radicals out there? Are we to just shut up out of fear? Maybe I am the only one that thinks this way….ok. I can live with that.

        • You are not the only one who thinks that. I think his wisdom is a bit misplaced, but he should not have to fear for his life.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @D13 – I was simply trying to call out the reality of the situation – if he chooses to be a martyr then fine – not so sure it changes how radicals see us.

          • Yep…I agree and thought you were pointing out the reality of it….I am so opposite of that spectrum it is hard for me to identify with it hence my hawkish attitude towards that type of thinking.

      • I think it’s wrong to burn a Koran, Bible or flag, however in a free society it is a right. BUT there may be consequences so choose your battles wisely. AND one more thing, if the Muslims believe America is so bad, why don’t they go back to the Middle East?

    • “The State Department, General Patraeus, Eric Holder. They should condemn it as an act of intolerance. They should also point out that it is a free speech act that we are powerless to stop.” Sums up my thoughts as well.

      from American Thinker,

      New Koranic Dissimulation (Taqiyya) From Imam Feisal Rauf
      Andrew G. Bostom
      Imam Feisal Rauf makes the following comment that includes a quote from the Koran near the conclusion of his treacly 9/7/10 New York Times, Op-Ed:

      The Koran declares in its 36th chapter, regarded by the Prophet Muhammad as the heart of the Koran, in a verse deemed the heart of this chapter, “Peace is a word spoken from a merciful Lord.”

      Rauf is quoting, selectively sura 36, verse 58 (36:58; Arberry translation): “‘Peace!’ – such is the greeting, from a Lord All-compassionate.”

      But the next verse, 36:59 states, “Now keep yourselves apart, you sinners, upon this day!”

      The noble sounding verse 36:58 refers to the Muslims who are to be kept apart from the disbelievers, i.e., the non-Muslims, at Resurrection.

      For example, the classical commentary of Ibn Kathir (d. 1373) calls v. 36:59, “The Isolation of the Disbelievers and Their Rebuke on the Day of Resurrection.” Suyuti (d. 1505), another seminal Koranic commentator, referring to v. 36:59 says simply, “Separate yourselves from the believers!” While the modern al-Hilali and Khan Koranic translation and commentary states, “And O you the Mujrimun-criminals, polytheists, sinners, disbelievers in Islamic Monotheism, wicked evil ones-[Note: All lumped together!] Get you apart this Day (from the believers)”

      Al-Tabari (d. 923), author of perhaps the earliest and most important authoritative Koranic commentary, explains Koranic verse 3:28, which sanctions “taqiyya,” Islamic religious dissimulation, as follows (translation by Raymond Ibrahim):

      If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims'] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them … [know that] God has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers-except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.

      One can only conclude that Imam Rauf’s selective citation of Koran 36: 58, without the requisite context of the accompanying verse 36:59, is a deliberate act of “taqiyya” — sanctioned lying to infidels.

      • “The State Department, General Patraeus, Eric Holder. They should condemn it as an act of intolerance. They should also point out that it is a free speech act that we are powerless to stop.”

        I personally think they should stay out of it. Since they’ve chosen to get involved, they can condemn as act of intolerance, point out the free speech aspect, but call upon all Muslims to also show tolerance.

        • “call upon all Muslims to also show tolerance.”???

          Do you think that will work, or just being balanced? Sounds a lot like asking for world peace. I just got an email from Newt, warning about the dangers of Muslim’s in the Mideast. I think he’s wanting to use that as an excuse to bash the Democrats.

        • Lifted from comments on another site, but I agree:

          Petraeus is wrong to say this will threaten American troops. This is based on the assumption that they are fighting us because we are doing things they don’t like. Actually they are fighting us because of imperatives within the Islamic faith. They will never like us unless we convert to Islam or submit to Islamic rule. If we stop doing things they dislike, where will we draw the line? How far will Sharia advance in the U.S., with Americans afraid to stop its advance for fear of offending Muslims and stirring them up to violence? The Muslim Students Association is already pushing for halal cafeterias, segregated dorms, segregated gym facilities on campus. This is incompatible with American freedom. We have to draw the line.

          • Kathy,

            Sorry, but I disagree. We do not need to allow them to define the reasons we are fighting. I agree with calling this a “War on Terror”, that allows for peaceful Muslims to stay peaceful. Petraeus is right, that burning Korans will incite more violence.
            This is the path to changing this into a religious war, and we don’t need to revisit that again.

    • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

      I find that the press dedicated to the pastor and his fifty congregants far outweighs what he proposes to do.

      I see this thing as an interesting tactic if one brings in the Ground Zero Mosque. Just for the sake of argument, does not the stupid tactic of this reverend play into the hands of those who want to build the Mosque? All of us more or less agree that it is a legal but stupid idea. It is even more stupid if you realize that those in favor of the Mosque will use it as justification to “show the world’s Muslims” we are not all intolerent boobs.

      If I ran the ministry of Propaganda, I couldn’t have thought up better. Portray those of us opposed to the construction as no better than that flaming jerk from Florida. keep your eyes open and your ears tuned. There is a change in the wind coming over this. The linkages have already started.

      • I wondered about that too – 50 people and the whole world is up in arms and the State Department and Generals in the field are weighing in. What?

        As I said above – should have left it alone.

    • I think this incident should actually help our image with Muslims around the world (or should). Sure there are some crazies who burn Korans, but the majority of the American people oppose such nonsense (though acknowledge the right to do so). Even the people who are up in arms about the GZ Mosque (**cough**Sean Hannity**cough**) come out saying what a bad idea this is!

  4. From my e-mail bag . . . This subject is dear to my heart . . . At least it would be a starting point;

    Retribution is less than 65 days away!

    Take a look at this and just remember elections in November 2010.

    U..S. House & Senate have voted themselves $4,700 and $5,300 raises.

    They voted to NOT give you a S.S. Cost of living raise in 2010 and 2011.

    Your Medicare premiums will go up $285.60 for the 2-years

    You will not get the 3% COLA: $660/yr.

    Your total 2-yr loss and cost is -$1,600 or -$3,200 for husband and wife.

    Over these same 2-years each Congress person will get $10,000

    Do you feel used?

    Will they have your cost of drugs – doctor fees – local taxes – food, etc., decrease?

    NO WAY.

    Congress received a raise and has better health and retirement benefits than you or I.

    Why should they care about you?

    You never did anything about it in the past.

    Send the message to these individuals — YOU’RE FIRED!

    In 2010 you will have a chance to get rid of the sitting Congress: up to 1/3 of the Senate and 100% of the House!

    Make sure you’re still mad in November 2010 and remind their replacements not to screw-up.

    Maybe it’s time for Amendment 28 to the Constitution.

    “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators or Representatives, and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States .”
    Let’s get this passed around, folks – these people in Washington have brought this upon themselves! It’s time for retribution. Let’s take back America .

    • YO, GA…how are ya? It is raining pretty hard today due to the storms from the coast.

      I am surprised, sir.

      GA says: “U..S. House & Senate have voted themselves $4,700 and $5,300 raises.” You forgot the provision that they no longer have to vote on their increases in the future..they are now automatic.

      GA says: “They voted to NOT give you a S.S. Cost of living raise in 2010 and 2011.” You forgot the “proposal” (not yet voted on)..to freeze the COLA through the year 2015 AND raising the eligibility to 70 and in 2020 to 75 YOA.

      GA says: “Your Medicare premiums will go up $285.60 for the 2-years.” You forgot to add that the cost of supplemental insurance has already risen by 22% and that the private sector health insurance premiums will go up over 18% under the new health care law. In addition, beginning with the third year, there is a “cost” index for the Medicare premiums to automatically go up with out voting (percentage unknown at this time).

    • Cost of a 4,700 house raise and a 5,300 senate raise: $2,574,500

      A lot of money to be sure. And I agree they shouldn’t be getting raises when the economy is in the dumps.

      But relative to that, what is the cost of the SS effects you mentioned above? I’d venture a guess that it’s several orders of magnitude bigger.

      Let’s try to keep some perspective, shall we?

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        “A penny saved is a penny earned.” ~Ben Franklin

        I assure you that most small business owners are not giving themselves raises during this recession. They are looking at every possible option to not go under. Our gov’t needs to tighten the belt in every conceivable way and do the same!!!!

        • Mathius said: And I agree they shouldn’t be getting raises when the economy is in the dumps.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Most small business owners are plotting ways in which their income will be BELOW the $250,000.00 threshold next year. Why? Because they do not want to be subjected to increased taxes.

          As such, most are not going to grow their businesses, hire new people, or do anything agressive, for fear of exceeding the threshold.

          Also, many new (and old) regulations do not kick in unless and until your business has greater than a certain number of employees. I believe that the magic number for many regulations is around 20 or 30 employees until the regulation kicks in.

          As such, if you are a smart small business owner, you will stay below the number of employees which would cause regulations to kick in, and you will stay below the $250,000.00 income threshold.

          This is terrible for the economy, since small businesses GROWING it what drives economic growth. The problem is that right now small businesses have tremendous disincentives to grow, and this will stifle the economy.

          • I agree with you on the number of employees cap (it may vary by state for some regulations). Still, I think big corporations should be treated differently than small company, though I am not sure exactly how to do this the best way – I’d have to give it some thought..

            However, you are completely off base on the income. Tax rates don’t work that way. Let’s say the tax rate for the first 250k is 10% (easy math) and 20% above 250k. If I make 250, then my tax is 25. If I go above that, say, to 300, my tax is 35 (.1*250 + .2*50) – about 11.6% as a weighted average. My marginal rate goes up, but I do not make less money. So the incentive to make earn above 250 is still there. Yes, you’re paying “increased taxes,” but they’re not taking less home.

            The way you describe it, making 250, the whole thing is taxed at 10%. Making 250,001, the whole thing is taxed at 20%. So at 250,000, your take-home is 225k, and at 250,001 it’s approx 200k. That extra dollar of income costs you 25,000. That’s not the case – that would certainly give a disincentive to earn above 250k (unless you can earn 281,250 which would be the break even point).

            • Mathius

              “Still, I think big corporations should be treated differently than small company,”

              Not surprising when your base philosophy views Justice as “justice for me but not for you”.

              Eliminate the word “corporation” and simply think “big business”. Treat everyone the same. Justice is all that is needed.

              While you math is true you are ignoring Peter’s primary point. A reduction in the return on my investment of time, headaches, heartaches, risk, etc is reduced. There comes a point where it is NOT worth the extra effort.

              • Most small business owners are plotting ways in which their income will be BELOW the $250,000.00 threshold next year.

                His point is that people are deliberately “plotting” to earn less. That is, plainly, preposterous given way taxes are set up.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Mathius,

                YOU may find it preposterous, but many small business owners do not.

                Less employees, less paperwork, less regulations to be subjected to, less taxation, and all of that means more free time for the business owner. I personally know several small business owners that are taking that approach. They do not find it preposterous at all, they simply find it to be in their own best interest.

                The calculation goes like this:

                I can hire more people, work more hours, do more paperwork, and be subject to more regulations (meaning more COSTS), and due to marginal tax rates I will take home THE SAME AMOUNT…….

                OR…

                I can hire fewer people, work LESS HOURS MYSELF, be subject to FEWER regulations (hence lower costs) and still take home THE SAME AMOUNT.

                Which option would any sane person choose?

              • You’re arguing about more hires. I have already agreed to this point.

                But what I find preposterous is your assertion that they are specifically plotting to earn less – that makes no sense.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Ahh, but it DOES make sense to plot to earn less if you are anywhere near the threshold.

              • No. It. Doesn’t.

                The 250,001st dollar (and every dollar thereafter) is taxed at a higher rate but the 250,000 before it are taxed the same. Earning more does not cost you.

              • Matt, is that correct? I was under the impression that if you are in a particular tax bracket due to your adjusted gross income, you were liable for that percentage for the entire adjusted gross income amount. I don’t believe that I get a graduated tax rate on the amount I earn…but I am no tax expert…

              • Terry, I am correct in this.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States

                (read the paragraph next to the first chart (below the three tables).

              • Thanks Mathius, you never get too old to learn something nw!

              • “justice for me but not for you”.

                That’s entirely unfair. I pay far more taxes than most people. I am paying my “share” and the shares over several other people.

                I seek justice for everyone, not just those who can afford it. You inject hypocrisy into my view where there is none. Perhaps I don’t have it quite right, and I can’t see all ends, and a lot of details still need to be fleshed out, but to say I want justice for myself and want it denied to others is simply false and, I feel, very unfair.

              • Mathius

                That is the reduction of your philosophy.

                The complex boiled down to its bare bones. Just like the statement:

                Freedom for me but not for you.

                They capture the essence of the foundation you stand on. I suspect you still don’t understand that completely.

                For example, you immediately jumped from Justice to Fairness. They are NOT the same concept. But in your philosophical base they are mixed together. The result is a confused human mind. One that rationalizes the unjust treatment of another for the sake of fairness to a third.

                So it is not false and it is completely justified. It may be deeper than your intended point. But that is my mission in life.

            • What you say has relevance, Matt but the business owner will still find a way to avoid those increased taxes. I know that I would/will. I do not want my taxes any higher than they are now.

              The BO man is also talking about keeping a lot of the Bush era tax cuts including reinvestment incentives (ie: accelerated depreciation, etc) As a business owner, I would reduce my income per capita by setting new companies to fall under the $250,000 thresh hold. Also, any hiring that I would do, would fall under the magic cap of employees for each company so I could take advantage of that issue. I would then create a holding company for tax advantages that are left in. (ie. Loss carry forwards, etc. from one company to another). Creating new companies and bringing the employee balance under the threshhold for each company also avoids the card check issue that is coming up and numerous tax increases. The end result will be a greater hoarding of cash until we see what the total impact of BO man’s policies are going to have. I would then eliminate the over head of corporate administrative/payroll support and go to the outside to have it done, creating a cost of doing business that would be cheaper than keepomg poeple on the payroll with the upcoming new emplyer taxes for Federal unemployement insurance and health bennies.

              Result…unemployment goes higher, cash is reserved instead of spent, families saving more to overcome what may happen. BO man is out there imploring and almost begging people to refinance and take advantage of the govs programs now and people are not doing it. They are scared.

              I don’t have the answers to everything, but the very thing that companies did in the 70’s..they will do again.

              • Sorry for all my typos and transpositions….I should proof read, I guess. I thought my new keyboard could spell better. Smoke got my other computer and keyboard…so I thought this new one would be better…..sigh.

      • The cost perspective still does not change the fact that Congress has excluded themselves from feeling the same pain that citizens feel. Their elitism is sickening…They already make way more than the median income of us peons…I say that thier pay should equal the median income of working Americans.

        • I don’t know… they perform an important job, and we want it to attract qualified people..

          But the problem is that the money isn’t in the salary, it’s in the perks and the industry job that comes afterward..

          So lowering the salary wouldn’t affect who is drawn to the job… (not that it would really matter since they’re pretty much all worthless (red shirts, in my opinion, generally more so))

          Tying it to mean salary would seem a good incentive.. but how about 2x mean? That’s, what? 40k-ish? (remember, they have to maintain residences at home and in DC).

          • 90% of them are lawyers and are not in it for the money, rather the power that comes with the position. It is the power that attracts them to the position…and you are correct, the perks are seemingly endless…

          • Mathius

            “I don’t know… they perform an important job, and we want it to attract qualified people..”

            I choked on my coffee with this one. That was damn funnnnnnnnnnny Matt.

            Nuff said?

          • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

            Since it is a part time job, how about creating barracks style living for them while they are in town. I’m sure we could find something over at Andrews or Ft. Meyer that would be appropriate. We could let them eat in the mess too.

            • That would certainly be poetic justice!

              • Ok, now you’re getting somewhere. But you don’t want them interfering with the troops. So I think the brig is a better location.

                And, for their own protection of course, we should probably lock the door.

      • I agree, perspective is important.

        One issue I sometimes take with liberal leaning friends is the “oh, it’s just a million dollars” statement. While a million or so is tiny with respect to the entire government, what would happen if we trim a million dollars here and there everywhere? We’d save a LOT of money! Anyway, why are we even paying congressmen? All they do is campaign! They don’t even read the bills on which they vote!

        Another example, public school teachers in my area no longer get paid extra for extra-curricular activities. Some said we should raise property taxes to cover it, after all, it’s only 1.5%! That’s a pittance! Well, say we do that. Now we need to save the hospital which is cutting back. And now the public transit system, etc. It doesn’t take long for 1.5% to because 10%! How about instead we encourage some of the 400,000 college students in the area to volunteer? That way they get experience, the kids get their extra-curriculars and we all save some money.

        How’s that for some perspective?

    • Spent the long weekend in the company of a good friend who is a Dentist and owns her practice. She is working with her accountant(s) to figure out all the options/costs/increased taxes and then trying to weigh business decisions on growing/staying put/downsizing based on those results.

      You are exactly right with your analysis Peter.

  5. Richmond Spitfire says:

    This was on Judy’s Facebook…..

    City Council Meetings to Begin with Muslim Prayers

    In the wake of the battle over a mosque at Ground Zero, a move by the Hartford City Councilis sure to have its critics.

    The Council announced Tuesday that it has invited local imams to perform Islamic invocations at the beginning of the Council meetings in September.

    Though meetings don’t regularly begin with any form of prayer, an email from the Common Council called it “an act of solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

    The email even referenced the ongoing issue in New York. “One of the goals of the Council is to give a voice to the many diverse peoples of the City, which is especially important given the recent anti-Islam events throughout the country.”

    Council President rJo Winch called it an important move for the Council. “I feel it is very important that, as a Council, we project a culture of inclusiveness in the City of Hartford. Too often it is our differences that divide us. In my opinion, it is our combination of differences that makes us strong,” Winch said.

    Article is found at http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local-beat/Council-Meetings-to-Begin-with-Muslim-Prayers-102387499.html.

    A chart to the right of the article indicates that 87% of locals are “FURIOUS” over this. Of course, there is nothing to stop non-locals for “voting”.

    I really don’t mind who does an opening prayer, as long as it is consistently done with a wide range of all religions taking turns, including a night of non-prayer to serve the area’s atheist constituents.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hey RS

      And I said, if anybody else wanted to say any prayers, all hell would have broken out too, or somebody would have been thrown in jail or thrown out of that meeting too. Why is it okay for them to say their prayers anywhere they want from the streets of N.Y, but anyone else would be arrested? Why are they any different from the rest of us who wants to pray in public? Why don’t they get arrested like everybody else? Doesn’t sound fair to me. If we have freedom of religion, then we too should be allowed to pray in public without the fear of getting busted for it. And, that’s just my opinion.

  6. I’m throwing the BS flag!

    In the wake of the battle over a mosque at Ground Zero, a move by the Hartford City Councilis sure to have its critics.

    The Council announced Tuesday that it has invited local imams to perform Islamic invocations at the beginning of the Council meetings in September.

    An e-mail from the Common Council called it “an act of solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

    The email even referenced the ongoing issue in New York. “One of the goals of the Council is to give a voice to the many diverse peoples of the City, which is especially important given the recent anti-Islam events throughout the country.”
    Council President rJo Winch called it an important move for the Council.

    “I feel it is very important that, as a Council, we project a culture of inclusiveness in the City of Hartford. Too often it is our differences that divide us. In my opinion, it is our combination of differences that makes us strong,” Winch said.

    • Big Woops. Sorry Spitfire!

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        :) Hey Anita…I’m just glad to know that we are both peeved over the same thing!!!!

    • I don’t see the problem..

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        The problem as I see it is that they don’t regularly have a “prayer” or invocation at the beginning of the City Council Meetings.

        They either “Should” or “Should Not” period. They should not pick nor choose one group over another.

      • Ok, Oh wise one! Let’s hear your justification for this one!

        • Well, if your objection is the same as Richmond’s above (that they don’t usually have a prayer and shouldn’t make a special exception for Islam), I’m on board with you.

          Otherwise, what’s the issue?

          Adding, I don’t think there should ever be a prayer, period. Separation of church and state.

          • I agree Matt, but let someone say a Christian prayer at a Graduation and everyone freaks out. Let’s not hold any one religion in higher regard than others. To me that is the intention of the 1st amendment. Separation of Church and State is just the way people spin it.

    • Inconvenient Truth: 10 Times More Hate Crimes Against Jews Than Muslims

      By Noel Sheppard
      Mon, 09/06/2010 – 20:18 ET

      If you believed the media, you would think that hate crimes against Muslims was a growing epidemic in America.

      Just Monday, the New York Times had a front page story hysterically noting a “torrent of anti-Muslim sentiments and a spate of vandalism.”

      “The knifing of a Muslim cab driver in New York City has also alarmed many American Muslims,” wrote Laurie Goodstein in the second paragraph of her article titled “American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?”

      Unfortunately, as Michael Doyle reported on August 28, the most recent data concerning hate crimes in this country paint a very different picture than what Goodstein and others in the media have been dishonestly portraying of late:

      Hate crimes directed against Muslims remain relatively rare, notwithstanding the notoriety gained by incidents such as recent vandalism at the Madera Islamic Center.

      Jews, lesbians, gay men and Caucasians, among others, are all more frequently the target of hate crimes, FBI records show. Reported anti-Muslim crimes have declined over recent years, though they still exceed what occurred prior to the 9-11 terrorist attacks. [...]

      In 2008, 105 hate crime incidents against Muslims were reported nationwide. There were 10 times as many incidents that were recorded as anti-Jewish during the same year, the most recent for which figures are available.

      The San Francisco Examiner broke those numbers down a little further:

      According to the latest hate crime statistics available, there were 1,606 hate crime offenses motivated by religious bias in 2008. A closer look: 65.7 percent of them were committed against Jews. Against Muslims? 7.7 percent. [...]

      Another interesting data point: 4.7 percent of hate crimes in 2008 were motivated by anti-Catholic bias. Another 3.7 percent were anti-Protestant. So from a raw numbers perspective, there were more hate crimes against Christians in America in 2008 than there were against Muslims. Given our large Christian population, it’s true that each Christian is far less likely to be victimized, but the numbers still show that religious haters have not been singling out Muslims.

      Some data provided by USA Today last November also helps to put this in perspective:

      The number of attacks on blacks increased 8% to 2,876, accounting for seven of every 10 race-motivated crimes. [...]

      Hate crimes based on sexual orientation increased 3% to 1,297,although the number of people victimized went up 13% to 1,706.

      So, in 2008, the last year such statistics were available, there were 2,876 hate crimes against blacks, 1,297 against gays, and 1,055 against Jews.

      Yet, with only 105 such disgusting acts committed against Muslims, America’s media want you to believe this nation is Islamophobic.

      Consider their premise as you watch the following video of a pro-Palestinian rally that took place in Washington, D.C., Friday (h/t Right Scoop):

      Imagine the wall-to-wall, 24 hour media coverage that would ensue if rabbis at a pro-Israel rally spoke with such vitriol about Muslims.

      On the flipside, filmmaker Oliver Stone in July said America’s “Jewish-dominated media” prevent Adolf Hitler from being portrayed in his proper context.

      The prior month, the historically anti-Semitic Helen Thomas said Jews should go back to Germany or Poland and “get the hell out of Palestine.”

      A month before that, Comedy Central’s website offered an astonishingly anti-Semitic video game wherein one character said, “You lied to me, Jew producer.”

      A month before that, a report was released showing that anti-Semitic acts around the world had more than doubled in 2009 reaching levels never seen since figures started being kept on such things, and our media almost totally ignored these disturbing findings.

      Yet America’s an Islamophobic nation – don’t you ever forget it!

      Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/09/06/inconvenient-truth-10-times-more-hate-crimes-against-jews-muslims#ixzz0ywwPTMqS

      • Given our large Christian population, it’s true that each Christian is far less likely to be victimized, but the numbers still show that religious haters have not been singling out Muslims.

        And here’s the math.

        Given their populations, we would expect (assume random distributions), of 1,606 attacks:
        Jew: 21
        Muslim: 8
        Catholic: 835
        Protestant: 385
        Other: 356

        but we get (according to the above percentages):
        Jew: 1055
        Muslim: 124
        Catholic: 75
        Protestant: 59
        Other: 292

        So, relative to what we expect, they receive the following times as many attacks as we would expect:
        Jew: 49.3
        Muslim: 14.8
        Catholic: 0.1
        Protestant: 0.2
        Other: 0.8

        That’s right, Jews win again, with almost 50x as many attacks as a random distribution would suggest. Muslims take a distant second with almost 15x. But the authors assertion that “the numbers still show that religious haters have not been singling out Muslims.” Appears to be false. They’ve been singling out Muslims.. and Jews.


        Calculations (in messy form – throw it into excel and pipe delimit, you should be fine):
        |% of attacks|attacks|pop %|population|expect|Ratio
        Jew|65.7|1055.142|1.33179033333333|3995371|21.3885527533333|49.3320895606441
        Muslim|7.7|123.662|0.519356|1558068|8.34085736|14.8260538050971
        Catholic|4.7|75.482|52|156000000|835.12|0.0903846153846154
        Protestant|3.7|59.422|24|72000000|385.44|0.154166666666667
        Other|18.2|292.292|22.1488536666667|66446561|355.710589886667|0.821712955167085
        Total|100|1606|100|300000000|1606|

      • Side note: 1/3rd of Europeans responded in a poll a while ago that the financial crisis was the fault of “The Jews.” That may have some bearing on any increase in anti-Jewish hate crimes.

        http://hotair.com/archives/2009/02/13/one-third-of-europeans-blame-the-economic-collapse-on/?print=1

        (couldn’t find the original survey)

        Adding, HAPPY NEW YEAR (almost) to all you fellow Jews out there! Almost done with 5770, and on to 5771!

        • So Matt, do you blame yourself?

          “There’s the 32 percent of Democrats who blame “the Jews” for the financial crisis.”

          Labels: 2010election, poll

          posted by John Lott at 12:01 PM
          9/06/2010
          The wacky fringes of politics
          I often wonder whether many of the responses are simply by people expressing their political frustrations as opposed to things that they actually believe. For example, if people say that they believe Obama is a Muslim, is it because they just dislike him so much that they will latch on to anything that comes up to show it? However, that doesn’t explain why a third of Democrats blame “the Jews” for the financial crisis.

          There’s the 32 percent of Democrats who blame “the Jews” for the financial crisis. There’s the 25 percent of African-Americans who believe the AIDS virus was created in a government lab. There’s support for state secession, which may have been higher among liberals in the Bush era than among Republicans in the age of Obama. And there’s the theory that the Bush White House knew about 9/11 in advance, which a third of Democrats endorsed as recently as 2007. . . .

        • Happy New Year, Matt.

          I get the next two days off (paid) as well. Whooohoo!!!

          Love religion when it means free money!!! :)

  7. Aaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnndddddddddd… here we go..

    Black Flag: Humans have Human rights that determine how Humans Rightfully act among Humans

    My rights are independent of the species to whom I apply them. That is, my “right to life” is not respective to how I might have that right taken away. I do not have a specific right not to be stabbed to death and another right not to be shot to death and another not to be poisoned, etc. I have a general right not to be killed.

    A shark has no right to eat me. That the shark is not smart enough to know that it shouldn’t eat me is a different matter entirely.

    Shark logic:
    Hey, that looks edible! I’m going to go eat it! CHOMP!

    Super Intelligent Shark:
    Hey, that looks edible! Oh, it’s a human.. hmm.. well humans are sentient creatures with an inviolable “right to life”… it would be morally evil to kill it. Oh well. CHOMP!

    If we humans have superior rights to the animals

    Who made this claim?

    I made this claim. I can morally eat cows. I cannot morally eat humans. Why? Because cows do not have a right not to be killed and my desire for a medium rare chateau briand takes precedence.

    Right exist or they do not, but they are not relative to the actor. So either the cow has an inviolable right or it does not. Which is it?

    • RAPTO-Shark ………… I don’t care it it anyway. I am always hungry.

    • Mathius

      You have finally sucked me into this.

      You really need to slow down and think at the basic level first. You run like the roadrunner but you keep bouncing off rocks as if they don’t exist.

      Right off the bat you posit an erroneous claim of rights and then use this to create strange “what if” scenarios to defend it.

      First, you do NOT have a right NOT to be killed. You have a right to your OWN life. Now it may seem the same but the second includes far much more than just being killed.

      You can be killed by another human. Your right to life doesn’t prevent the act of evil. We call it evil because WE have determined that humans killing humans is evil. Why? Because it threatens our survival, advancement and thus our rights that are linked to those values.

      The shark, bear, or whatever can kill a human. It is not evil from the human perspective. Killing the shark is not evil, from the human perspective. We have NO WAY of knowing what the shark thinks or believes about the whole thing. At the shark’s view is irrelevant as it has no bearing on how humans interact with other humans. Just as our view has no bearing on how sharks interact with other sharks.

      How we interact with sharks is a subject of negotiation between two species. One of which is at the top of the food chain.

      • We’ve meandered from the topic, so let’s bring it back. Maybe you can give me a clearer answer than Flag deigns to.

        Because it threatens our survival, advancement and thus our rights that are linked to those values.

        You, it seems, ground our rights in a Darwinian perspective. That is, “it is wrong for humans to kill humans because doing so threatens our survival as a species.” The problem with that is that it fails to protect infertile individuals, post-menopausal women, the (severely) mentally disabled, paraplegics, quadriplegics, and sentient computer programs like BF – none of whom can advance the survival of the species. Yet, I’m sure, you would maintain that they have “human rights.”

        So I see three options:
        A. You are mistaken, rights do not derive from a Darwinian logic. They derive from ________.
        B. I misunderstood you. What you meant was __________.
        C. No, they do derive from a Darwinian logic, but I missed the boat because __________.

        The whole point here is that we have created a whole theory of “rights” but no one has ever given me a satisfactory explanation for where they come from. They always just are. You are the first to ever give supporting logic (we have decided this because…). That’s a good first step, but it’s either incomplete, or there are some major ramifications.

        • Mathius

          B.

          We are humans. That is a fact of reality and we are subject to the rules of the universe. Those rules include the fact that we are humans and not something else.

          This is not about Rights yet. Mistake number two.

          This is Metaphysics.

          Rights come from Epistemology, Ethics and Politics.

          Human Rights come from Humans. We discovered them in the sense that we developed abstract thoughts and concepts to consider our nature, our role, our proper associations with others, etc. As we evolved our capacity to think about these things one day we realized that due to our nature as humans, we have these things called Rights that accompany us.

          The problem with your questions so far is you are trying to mix concepts. You argue with BF over human rights and in doing so try to apply human rights to other living creatures. Can’t be done. There is a legitimate question but you have not asked it. So let me help.

          Are there “rights” that are universal for ALL living creatures in the universe? You see, that is an entirely different issue.

          Darwin simply developed a theory of species evolution based on observation. So to some extent his theories are probably consistent with the laws of the universe. “Things change”, for example. To go beyond that is I think a fallacious argument often used to attack concepts that favor individual liberty over group needs. There is nothing in the theory of evolution that requires or even condones killing feeble people. That is an area of Moral and Ethical study.

          My argument is that the moral and ethical rules we select must be consistent with the metaphysical and epistemological rules that apply to humans. Way ahead of myself here, so sorry.

          Back to the basic questions. Your turn.

          • ok, fine.

            Human Rights come from Humans. We discovered them in the sense that we developed abstract thoughts and concepts to consider our nature, our role, our proper associations with others, etc. As we evolved our capacity to think about these things one day we realized that due to our nature as humans, we have these things called Rights that accompany us.

            But how did we arrive at this conclusion?

            • Mathius

              By THINKING.

              An active pursuit of knowledge over a very long time.

              This is where your questions start to look silly from this side of the fence. So please describe what is confusing or why you asked that question.

            • “BY THINKING”

              I think that A^2 + B^2 = C^2 for a right triangle.

              You probably think the same thing.

              But here’s the important thing: I can back it up with logical proofs (several, in fact). I can show how one might arrive at this conclusion.

              What is the specific and logical construct of BY THINKING whereby you reach the conclusions which you have reached?

              1 + 1 = 2

              Not:
              BY THINKING, therefore 2

              • Don’t want to interrupt the conversation -so just a quick question-where is the humanity in your mathematical, computeristic calculations. I use the word(maybe incorrectly)of emotional components of our thinking process-but where does compassion, love and other human emotion fit-is it illogical to use them as a part of reason. Not talking about government but as a part of logic and the determination of individual rights. Hope this makes sense. :)

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Exactly V.H. Emotion HAS to be added to the equation.

                When I look at my Mom and Dad who are getting elderly, I know that I will do anything that I am capable of to make their remaining years good ones. If it means them moving in with my family, then so be it…even though my mother is post-menopausal and my father is crabby! I have emotion (love) for them no matter what.

              • My dearest Spitfire. So nice to see you mixing it up.

                Emotions are part of being human.

                The point I am making is that by THINKING we humans have come to recognize this feeling as an “emotion” and something we call “love”.

                Our understanding of this emotion is due to our THINKING, including reason and logic.

                The biggest point, which I know you and V.H. are not making, is that we humans do not simply react instinctively to emotion, like a deer reacts to any loud sound. We think about the reaction and the outcome. If we don’t like it we try to change the stimulus or how we react. If we like it, we will try to enforce it.

                It is a conscious effort rather than completely instinctive or reactionary.

                Best to you and yours.
                JAC

              • Exactly :) a legitimate and necessary PART, I will repeat, Part, of our thinking process if we want to be human vs. a robot.

              • We are all robots.

                Sophisticated and complicated and poorly understood, with many design flaws.

                Emotion is an artifact of the evolutionary processes and a byproduct of our CPU’s (brains). Nothing more.

                As Iago said: “Love is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will.”

              • You are putting me into mom mode here!!-Young man have you lost your friggin mind!!!!! Please tell me you are not serious or I will be drawn into sputtering mode.

              • We are incredible quantum amchines.

              • V.H.

                It is not illogical because such emotions and values are also part of being human.

                Where logic and reason come to play here is in developing some type of rational standards to help us determine when certain values, or virtues are appropriate.

                Also to help control potentially destructive emotions.

                I would say the concept of rights apply in the context that without rights such as your right to your own life, you are not free to feel or not feel emotions that are part of you.

                For example, the desire to live without fear is subverted by those who use force against you. Absent a right to protect yourself against attack will cause you to live in constant fear.

                Something like that.

              • You propose to use emotion to lay the groundwork upon which you use reason and logic in order to reach all your conclusion.

                But then you reject my “appeals to emotion” elsewhere.

                Seems somewhat disjointed, no?

              • Mathius

                B) You misunderstand.

                Emotions are tied to values, at least some values.

                Emotions are part of the human feedback mechanism.

                Emotion does not lay the groundwork. It is not the foundation upon which reason and logic are formed.

                It is one way to test the results of our actions against the intended result. Just as reason and logic are methods of testing the rationality of the emotion itself.

                They are connected in a loop if you will. One validating the other, continuously. That is if one is THINKING in a rational manner.

                An “appeal to emotion” is a statement designed to rationalize the use of “whim” over “reason”. Its meaning is act upon your “emotion” or “feelings” ALONE.

                That is why I reject that statement when it is used in its normal context.

              • Mathius, JAC

                Further, most decisions we make in our lives are not adaptable to objective reasoning – they are very subjective.

                “Do you like to go out to eat or stay in?”

                “What is your favorite movie and color?”

                Our emotional feedback of “like/dislike” applies to (I’d guess) 98% of the decisions we have to make.

                We chose our subjective values, and apply objective calculation to obtain those values and goals

              • BF

                I would only add that if we work at it we can objectively evaluate those emotions to decide if they meet our broader values.

                For example, I like to eat out but doing so makes me fat and reduces my savings, both of which act against some higher value emotion. So I stay home and eat my veggies.

                I would also add that they are unique to the individual. Thus the freedom to “pursue happiness” requires “personal choice and action”. It requires FREEDOM to choose and to act, according to one’s personal requirements.

              • Mathius

                For purposes of our discussion THINKING is more than adequate.

                If you wish to interject Reason, Logic and Rational Thought into the discussion that is fine. But not really necessary.

                The concept of Rights was discovered by men who were Thinking, in the most specific sense. Active, hard thinking. Those who came up with the idea shared it with others, and those with others.

                More men started to think about these ideas. And after time some realized that the ideas were sound, consistent with their understanding of mankind, and so they began teaching them to others.

                Other men did not like the concepts. For what ever reason they decided to develop whole new ideas based on different views of the universe. They also were thinking.

                So the question becomes, how do we know which men were right?

                By what means do we THINK about these ideas to determine if one is correct and the others are wrong?

                Our evaluation is limited to our ability to THINK according to the rules of nature. That is according to our nature as humans.

                I propose that humans must think in a rational manner and thus the use of reason and logic are the proper means of evaluating whether these concepts are right or wrong.

                The other choice is to accept them as truth because “somebody” told me so.

              • I cannot evaluate if they are right or wrong (I suspect wrong) without knowing the logic that brought us to them.

                One smart guy sat on a rock and thought them up, to me, is no different of a basis than “because the bible says so.” It is appeal to authority and nothing else.

                If you propose that humans must think in a rational manner [...] evaluating whether they are right or wrong, we need to know the logical steps being used, or create our own steps and see if we arrive at the same place.

              • Mathius

                I did not say some guy simply said so and the rest accepted it.

                I said he shared the concept and the others started THINKING about it.

                Of course you can judge whether they are right or wrong. It may be hard work but I bet you are totally capable.

                You don’t need the exact steps to validate a philosophical concept. You can use other steps as long as they are logic based, in my opinion.

                Logic: A process of thinking designed to eliminate contradictions.

                Your starting to sound silly again because your argument appears to be summed up as “I can’t tell if they are right or wrong because I will not accept something created by one person.” You argument is predicated on a claim (one man told us) that ignores thousands of years of human study and thought on these matters. It also ignores the fact that you are capable of testing this one man’s claims using reason.

                So what is your real question?

                Are you asking me to construct a logical argument to support human rights?

              • Yes. I am.

                Please construct said logical argument.

                I am, as yet, unable to construct one for myself that leads to conclusions that resemble my understanding of your understanding.

              • Mathius

                I am starting over at the left.

    • Mathius

      Lets first make sure we are on the same planet.

      Man is real (exists). True or false?

      Man is man. True or false?

      Man is a living entity. True of false?

      Man must live to continue existing. True of false?

      For man to live man must act in accordance with man’s nature? True or False

      Please, if you agree with the concepts included in the questions (real, living, entity, man) then just answer T or F and lets not chase rabbits we don’t need to chase.

      • Real: True

        Man: True

        Living: True

        Must live to continue to exist: I’m not sure what you mean… To exist in the same form (ie as a man), a man must continue to live? Then yes, true

        Live accordance with man’s nature: I have no idea what you mean by this.

        • Mathius

          Fair enough.

          By our nature means that we must live within the rules or characteristics that comprise our entity. For example, we can not stand with our feet on the ground and eat foliage from the tops of trees. That would be a giraffe.

          So let me ask a question.

          By what means does man live?

          Put another way, what allows us to survive, to continue living?

          • To continue living, we must do the following (not an exhaustive list):

            -Eat appropriate solids (food)
            -Drink appropriate fluids (water)
            -Breathe appropriate gas (air)
            -Maintain appropriate internal circulation of these via the blood
            -Avoid lethal physical trauma
            -Avoid toxins
            -Avoid infections
            -Avoid radiation
            -Maintain appropriate body temperature
            -Live in appropriate gravity (we don’t do well long term in space)
            -Intake correct trace elements
            -Avoid body malfunction (ie, cancer, heart disease, kidney failure), or obtain appropriate medical treatment

          • -Avoid extremes of magnetism
            -Avoid extremes of electricity

            And don’t do this

            • Bah hahaha ahahahahah I’m dead ahhaahhahaha :)

            • Mathius

              And what is it that is required for us to avoid all these pitfalls or to secure the things we need?

              Come on man think.

              • I would argue:
                -a functioning body
                -a functioning mind
                -insufficient competition (or sufficient resources) to allow you to get what you need
                -sufficient ability to protect yourself (or insufficient dangers to necessitate protecting yourself)

                I’m not sure what you’re fishing for..

              • Mathius

                Geez, I gave you the answer. OK, one more time.

                You must think and you must act.

                Now, True or False?

                Next, what kind of thinking is required?

                And jumping ahead, just in case you get it.

                What kind of action is required?

              • Mathius

                For the sake of time today lets summarize.

                1. Man exists and man is man. In order for man to survive, continue to exist, he must live. In other words, reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent of man’s feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.

                2. Mans primary means of surviving, of living is by thinking and acting. In other words, reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses) is man’s only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival.

                Agree or Disagree?

              • Complete agreement.

              • Mathius

                In order for man to use his faculty of reason he then must be able to do so.

                If this faculty to reason or to act upon that reason is impaired he ability to survive is also impaired.

                Agree or Disagree?

              • Agree.

                And that’s all I have time for today. It’s New Years!

                I’m out tomorrow and the day after.

                Good night, and good luck!

  8. NOt to let my own home state off the hook….. How about this new law… Cigarettes that are sold in Texas will now have to be “fire safe”. That’s not a joke term; it just means the cigarettes will need to burn out more quickly when not being inhaled. The hope is to reduce the number of fires caused by smokers who fall asleep with lit cigarettes and those who litter by throwing their lit buds out of their cars.

    Let me see if I understand this correctly. Ok, I use a match to light a cigarette. It is now burning…to keep it burning with the new requirement of “fire safe”..you must keep inhaling it…making more smoke….making the cig burn faster….so you buy more….and put more in your lungs. You impose higher costs for fire safe cigs to keep STUPID people from falling asleep while smoking and throwing lit butts out of the window.

    See….we are not immune.

    • not sure I follow your logic, but I’m not a smoker, so I could be missing something..

      Yes, you have to smoke them faster, but you still get your nicotine fix. So how does that put more smoke in your lungs?

      • Seems logical to me…although I am not a smoker either…until last thursday…but I don’t think fire smoke qualifies here….

        If you have to inhale quicker and more oftem, seems to me that you run out of cigs quicker…which means you increase your intake because you run out quicker…..I dunno… I am not a smoker but seems like a pretty lame law.

        • I’m a stupid smoker so let me enlighten you guys. There are two “rings” on smokes these days which is the fire safe part. You don’t have to inhale any faster..the smoke gives you ample time to puff past the ring. If too much time passes between puffs the smoke goes out. I for one cannot smoke while lying down so I don’t see how anyone can burn the bedroom down. If anything I see it as saving money because if you get sidetracked while smoking the smoke goes out, then you cuss out the stupid govt for making the stupid rule..then you carry on with your stupid habit. Any questions? You may not ask why I am so stupid for smoking. :)

          • I wouldn’t ask that. I was always too cheap to take up the habit (thank the Gods). But there was a lot of peer pressure to “be cool” and smoke. I got more enjoyment selling cigarettes (which my 18 y/o friend bought for me) at $10 / pack or $1/each. That was in the days when you could buy a case of reds for 18 bucks. Nice profit margins.

            Meanwhile, have you looked at the eCigarettes? They seem to be picking up steam. Some people (I forget who, but someone on this site) loves his/hers. Other people, like my coworker thinks they’re worthless. But I think they’re worth a try. Plus, you can smoke in restaurants and in movie theaters etc. Just a thought..

            • Never looked into those. But call me really stupid if you want..I have no prob not smoking in theatres or resteraunts..I can totally relate to not imposing on others’ clean air. I also won’t smoke near my kids. It is a drag though in airports while waiting for a connecting flight and you have to go 2 1/2 miles to get outside for a smoke!

              • I didn’t call you stupid, did I?

                But if you had one of those things, you could smoke in airports, on plains, in government buildings, etc.

                Might be fun to see the look in the faces of the smokers who do have a problem not being able to smoke there :)

              • You never called me stupid but on this subject ..you’re allowed.

          • Not gonna ask about you….BUT…..are you telling me there are really cigs out there that are fire safe?

            Wow. Thought we were being stupid for having a law like that. Question….does it make you smoke more or less? (Curious minds wish to inquire).

          • Why are you so stupid for smoking?

    • I believe it’s to save the Insurance companies from having to pay out claims. I think we should legalize marijuana, but force everyone to use the Fire Safe paper. They would quit out of frustration.

  9. The WISDOM that comes with time.

    Or, the universe is folding in on itself.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/08/fidel-castro-blasts-ahmad_n_708592.html

    • I saw this too JAC. Now if we can get these guys into a time machine too….

      A-Jad..Obama & Co….Mathius…
      :)

      • Nooooo…keep Matt….we have to have our token leftie/rightie/middle person.

        • Wow.. never thought I’d have any respect for Fidel.. go figure.

          No, please.. send me back in the time machine.. let’s see how good I am with the stock market.. I bet you, by the time this blog is started (again?), I’ll be the richest man in the world.

          • NOOOOOOOO….. I’m sending you forward so you too can come to your senses like Castro.

            • That’s cool too.. I’ll get that flying car after all!

              • Not only that, Matt, but you have an inexhaustible supply of fuel….(sending you plans on how to surrepticiously tap into the Washinton DC Senate and House hearings and Committee meetings and the Oval (now square) office meetings and conform that hot air and endless mass of bullshit into fuel)

                Fly free and don’t forget the RB.

  10. ‘Web of Lies’ — A JournoLiar Browser App?
    By James Lewis, American Thinker

    If any of you techies out there want to get rich quick and Save the Republic to boot, here’s your chance. This idea is all yours, free. All you have to do is write a tiny program.

    Here’s what you need to know.

    Up to four hundred mainstream “journalists” got caught a couple of months ago conspiring on an e-mail listserv that was cleverly called “JournoList” to fix the news for Obama in the 2008 election. They agreed on when to smear Sarah Palin and when to cover up Jeremiah Wright. This is the same Big Media you’ve come know and despise so well, except now we can see their secret machinations right in front of our eyes. These four hundred shameless agitprop artists were fixing an American election for the most radical Leftist administration in U.S. history. These are not “journalists.” They are corrupt propaganda artists, Soviet-style.

    As CNSNews.com wrote,

    Other stories from the Daily Caller showed liberal journalists and academics pondering whether to organize a coordinated, left-wing message in an effort to use their platforms to help elect Democrats. Also revealed was an effort by liberal journalists to provide cover for then-candidate Barack Obama by diverting attention away from the controversial comments of his long-time pastor in Chicago, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

    One journalist suggested that his liberal colleagues pick out prominent conservative figures and accuse them of being racists so as to discredit them should they criticize Obama over the allegedly racist comments uttered by Wright.

    They also shared violent fantasies about conservatives.

    Spencer Ackerman: “Let’s just throw Ledeen against a wall. Or, pace [sic] Dr. Alterman, throw him through a plate glass window. I’ll bet a little spot of violence would shut him right the f— up, as with most bullies.”

    An NPR producer wrote that if Rush Limbaugh had a heart attack, she would “laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out. … I never knew I had this much hate in me.”

    We knew, Ms. NPR producer. Oh, we knew how much hate you have in your heart. It shows, it shows. Nobody could miss it.

    More than a hundred of those highly paid, professional frauds have now been exposed on the web. They are some of the biggest leftist propagandists in the MSM, from the Washington Post, New York Times, and that old Stalinist rag, the U.K. Guardian. All of them fixing the news to get Obama into office. Charming, ain’t it?

    And if you think the JournoLiars didn’t know Obama was a radical Leftist, Chicago Machine-style, just go back to your nap and don’t bother Mommy and Daddy. There’s a good kid.

    The world knows who the JournoLiars are today, but they never got fired. That’s because their bosses probably knew exactly what they were doing, and their vaunted “news organizations” specifically wanted those artful liars to coordinate the Leftie propaganda line.

    You can bet that today they are still conspiring the fix the news, but they are using a more secure Google site to do it. It’s easy, and none of them have even bothered to apologize to the millions of American voters they lied to. They just never noticed there was anything wrong with what they did — and there’s no reason to think they aren’t doing it right now.

    This the way the media control their ideological monopoly, just like the Soviet Ministry of Propaganda. JournoLiars hold the most prestigious places in American media, owned by some of the biggest corporations: Disney owns ABC; GE has NBC; Viacom owns CBS; Time Warner controls AOL, CNN, Comedy Channel, and Time. Add the Google Empire and George Soros, and you can put them all into a bulging phone booth.

    Contrary to the goofy fantasies of the Left, the liberal media are not the enemies of rich and powerful corporations. They are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Big Corps. The biggest scam of the liberal media is the idea that they stand for “the little guy.” That kind of demagogic propaganda line goes back to Julius Caesar and Aristotle. Obama makes use of it every single day.

    JournoList therefore existed at the pleasure and sufferance of GE and a couple of multi-billionaires. By coordinating their Obama propaganda line day after day of the 2008 election, they have realized Teddy Roosevelt’s very worst nightmare of the “power of the Trusts.” TR had only Hearst and the Yellow Press to deal with. Today we have coordinated “news” all over America — and with the Guardian being on JournoList, you can bet they are coordinating with the Eurosocialist elites. You may have noticed that hysterical liberal attacks on George W. Bush were closely coordinated between the U.S. and European media.

    This is not good for America. It is not good for you and me, nor for our families.

    What can normal Americans do about this deep rot in the dominant media? We don’t get a vote for NBC and the New York Times. But we don’t want to be suckered by them, either, and they are still running their old propaganda line every single day.

    Honest people therefore need a consumer warning to notify us about JournoLiars: Whenever their names pop up, our web browsers should warn us: You are about to read a known professional liar and Democrat corruptocrat. Be warned.

    Enter a new browser plug-in: The “Web of Lies”! It’s just like the Web of Trust, a nice Firefox plug-in to let you know when you’re visiting a site that does bad things to your computer. The Web of Trust plug-in protects you and your kids against online predators. Web of Lies could protect you and your kids against power-hungry predators who want to steal your country, your money, and your freedom.

    In November, Americans must go beyond firing the Democrats. We must take their corrupt infrastructure apart as well. Obama is willing to sacrifice the Democratic Congress because he’s got the ObamaCare hook into our jaws. Once they have control over our personal medical care, and therefore over our very lives, Obama figures he can haul us in at his leisure. It doesn’t matter if it takes another Democrat president and Congress to do it. They will take their time if they have to.

    The real power of the Left is in the Big Media, the bureaucracies, and education. The first step to regain American freedom is to turn off the propaganda. A second step is to have a plug-in like Web of Lies — which doesn’t exist yet, but it is easy enough to create. A third step is to liberate the education system and to build a parallel educational system on the web.

    Once free people in America and in the rest of the world are in control of their own media and educational systems, we will have the high ground of our culture, rather than the radicals of the Left.

    That little “Web of Lies” plug-in is one good step in the right direction.

    Who wants to make it? Remember, this is a free-market invention. Help the free market to free our minds from the controlled media.

  11. Mathius

    My rights are independent of the species to whom I apply them.

    *blink*

    Your rights are Human, meaningful only to Human, apply to only Humans, and deals with Rightful acts between humans.

    Cows don’t care, and neither do sharks or dogs.

    I do not have a specific right not to be stabbed to death and another right not to be shot to death and another not to be poisoned, etc. I have a general right not to be killed.

    No, you do not have that right not to be killed.

    The Universe does not provide you that right – you will die, therefore there is no right to “life”

    You have a right to be FREE – that is, a lack of imposition by another human being

    Notice: sharks are not part of that sentence…

    A shark has no right to eat me.

    Human rights applies to humans, not sharks.

    I made this claim.

    You have no substance to make such a claim.

    I can morally eat cows.

    Mathius, you are one confused fellow.

    We are talking about human rights, not morals. Keep on subject man!

    I cannot morally eat humans. Why?

    Because you have no Right to impose upon a HUMAN.

    Because cows do not have a right not to be killed

    Cows do not have Human rights. What part of “cow” and what part of “human” so confuses you?

    Right exist or they do not, but they are not relative to the actor.

    Human rights exist for humans.

    So either the cow has an inviolable right or it does not. Which is it?

    Ask the cow about his cow rights.

    Ask a human about his human rights.

    Do not ask a cow about human rights.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “You have the right… not to be killed.
      Murder is a CRIME!
      Unless it is done…
      By a Policeman.”

      Know your Rights
      The Clash

  12. OK everyone. This one is so full of immoral and unethical issues I’m going to leave it up to ya’ll to find them and comment.

    This story was featured on HuffPo yesterday under the headline “Rick Santorum’s Anal Sex Problem”. It was left there most of the day in that form. The headline this morning has changed to “Rick Santorum’s Google Problem”.

    That is “unethical” and “immoral” act number one. I provided it because unless you had seen it yesterday you wouldn’t have known how HuffPo plays the game to keep the ass clowns all stirred up.

    Any way, here is the story: http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/08/rick-santorum-google-problem-dan-savage

    Now there is one other tid bit hidden in this story that perhaps Ray or Matt could talk about.

    The story notes that the Obama campaign “purchased” search engine hits, or something like that, to bury sites claiming he was Muslim or not a citizen.

    Someone please explain to me how this works. I know that with the right key words you can get your site to pop up near the top of the search list. But is there now some way to “purchase” your position or to “purchase” making others lower?

    • No. You cannot purchase a place on the search. But you can provide a sponsored link. That is, if you pay Google to show your result when you search for SUFA, you’ll appear in that shaded box at the top (which is clearly marked “Sponsored Link”). This, in effect, moves all other hits down a step.

      So if I search for “Obama,” BarackObama.com pops up as the first hit (sponsored), but the next hits are all according to Google’s proprietary algorithm. Now, there are rules that Google makes everyone play by. For example, you cannot artificially include words on your site just to get a higher rank.

      So if you are trying to provide negative publicity for Obama, you might buy a domain name and put a list of tags such as “usurper, terrorist sympathizer, Manchurian candidate” etc in small print at the bottom of the home page. If you do this, someone can report you to Google and Google will weigh it in with their algorithm. If enough people complain, it carries more weight. If it is egregious enough, they may even remove it by hand. There are a bunch of rules. But there is no way to “buy” this.

      Similarly, companies will often deliberately buy up negative domains such as “ObamaSucks.com” so that no one else can use them.

      • Mathius

        Here is the quote from the article. So exactly what does this mean to purchase “paid search results”?

        “Mark Skidmore, an expert in search-engine marketing at the online strategy firm Blue State Digital, says Santorum should also consider buying paid search results for his name. He says the Obama campaign successfully used this strategy to help bury sites that claimed Obama was a Muslim or not an American citizen.”

        • You can buy sponsored links (“paid search results” which appear at the top of the search list. I guess you could call that burying other links (since they go lower) but I would consider that a stretch.

          • Mathius

            What is a “sponsored link”?

            • Go to google and search for Apple.

              See that first hit in the pink box? That’s a sponsored link. Apple paid money to (A) ensure that they’d be the first hit and (B) to make their hit stand out.

              All other hits get pushed down one step.

              • Mathius

                OK. Google Obama.

                I see top box is pink so this is the paid sponsor. Weird they still have that one.

                Now virtually all the others on the first page are obviously favorable. A couple actually refer back to another.

                So I assume these are sites that were created and then pumped up by folks to raise them to the front page of Google search. Correct?

                So if a site with bad info showed up on the first search page, all you have to do is get a few thousand hits organized for the other pages to have them move up. Is that right?

              • Sortof.

                What you describe is called a google bomb. It used to be much easier. Searching for “Miserable Failure” used to take you to W’s profile page on the White House website. “French Military Victories” and clicking on the first link (or just clicking the I’m feeling lucky button) takes you to a fake google page with no results (get it? The French have no victories), but give you the option to search for defeats instead which leads to a very amusing site.

                Google has messes with their algorithm to make this more difficult. And they don’t tell anyone how their algorithm works, so it’s tough to get around.

    • Ummm, they quote from a guy named Skidmore in this article? Oh OK…..

  13. Man defends home against twenty five gang members, but the story seems to be about the gun that he used
    The man used an AK-47 to defend his home. I assume that it was a civilian version of the gun (i.e., a semi-automatic), and he was legally allowed to own it. The news article doesn’t mention that this was a legal gun until the very end of the piece.

    UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBS 2) — He was arrested for protecting his property and family.
    But it’s how the Long Island man did it that police say crossed the line.
    He got an AK-47 assault rifle, pulled the trigger and he ended up in jail, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.
    George Grier said he had to use his rifle on Sunday night to stop what he thought was going to be an invasion of his Uniondale home by a gang he thought might have been the vicious “MS-13.” He said the whole deal happened as he was about to drive his cousin home.
    “I went around and went into the house, ran upstairs and told my wife to call the police. I get the gun and I go outside and I come into the doorway and now, by this time, they are in the driveway, back here near the house. I tell them, you know, ‘Can you please leave?’ Grier said.
    Grier said the five men dared him to use the gun; and that their shouts brought another larger group of gang members in front of his house.
    “He starts threatening my family, my life. ‘Oh you’re dead. I’m gonna kill your family and your babies. You’re dead.’ So when he says that, 20 others guys come rushing around the corner. And so I fired four warning shots into the grass,” Grier said.
    Grier was later arrested. John Lewis is Grier’s attorney.
    “What he’s initially charged with – A D felony reckless endangerment — requires a depraved indifference to human life, creating a risk that someone’s going to die. Shooting into a lawn doesn’t create a risk of anybody dying,” Lewis said.
    Grier said he knew Nassau County Police employ the hi-tech “ShotSpotter” technology in his area and that the shooting would bring police in minutes. Cops told Guzman he was very cooperative. . . .
    You may think a person has the right to defend their home. But the law says you can only use physical force to deter physical force. Grier said he never saw anyone pull out a gun, so a court would have to decide on firing the gun.
    Police determined Grier had the gun legally. He has no criminal record. And so he was not charged for the weapon.

    http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/

    • It figures….this is New York. Don’t do it here. The morgue would be busy.

      • “He starts threatening my family, my life. ‘Oh you’re dead. I’m gonna kill your family and your babies. You’re dead.’

        Terroristic threatening, and they arrest the homeowner, and most likely kept his firearm. And when they come back, he will be less able to defend his family. The police are helping the criminals. And after the gang kills him or his family, he cannot sue the government, which has no individual duty.

  14. Gold hits record high, breaks 1260

  15. Judy Sabatini says:

    So, it’s okay for them to do this then. Read the article here.

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/285123/christians_in_gaza_fear_for_their_lives.html?cat=9

    • Judy

      Why would you think anyone here is condoning this behavior?

      Just because I think the guy who wants to burn the Koran is an idiot doesn’t mean I support the action of other idiots.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Not saying anybody isn’t JAC, just sharing the article. To be honest, I think burning the Koran will only lead to more trouble. Just saying.

        BTW, Hope you’re doing well.

  16. Cyndi has brought this up before and it looks like there are some meetings scheduled where retirement account monies are going to be discussed.

    http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/2010/ebsa082610.html

  17. burn Koran, Bible or flag

    Yea, please don’t. I like not being on fire.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      It is my Constitutional Right to burn a Flag if I so choose!

      (Provided it is no imposition on you of course :))

      Somehow I think burning a PERSON named (or with the pseudonym) “Black Flag” would probably constitute an imposition on that person.

  18. :) :) :) Has anyone else noticed VH getting testier as the days go by. She’s been cussing alot, even though she politely asked someone not to cuss on SUFA because she encourages her kids to visit the site. She’s up there threatening Matt now. I think she needs a break. PARTY AT V’s HOUSE :) :) :)

    • You have a long memory :) :) I will try to do better! discouraging bad language is a good thing even if I don’t always follow my own advice. I also question whether friggin is an actual cuss word, if it is I’m in trouble. :) It wasn’t my intention to threaten Matt, simply to say his statement IMO was nuts without inferring that his beliefs made me not like or respect him or his right to believe them. Guess I failed :)

      But I’m always up for a party. :) :) :)

      • Golden Rule

        Do as I say, not as I do.
        :)

        Big hug to you V. Looks like you could use it.

      • 1)If I would have said friggin when I was young I would have had soap in my mouth.

        2)Matt’s arguement (for two days) is NUTS

        3)Settled. Party @ V’s

        8)

        • I don’t know if my mom would have objected or not-back then saying crap was frowned on but my mom didn’t get upset about it’s use. I suspect as the words get more rough-our standard of acceptance grows too.

          • We had very tight rules. Couldn’t say “shut up”, “fart” or “turd”, let alone any of the heavy hitters.

            • My mom objected to those too-just crap-she would allow that word-guess she though I needed some word to convey passion :) I actually objected to those words too-at least coming out of my kids mouths.

  19. Hey USW – Hope you feel better soon!

    Vitamin D!

  20. Everyone has to watch this. I won’t comment on the sometimes obvious bias and idiocy of the authors opinions about economics but the primary story will make the best campaign add possible for Any Republican that has the guts to use it. Courtesy of a “liberal democrat”.

    Watch all the way through, it gets better by the end.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/7/robert_scheer_on__the_great

    Then if you will, please try to remember what I told you about the people this Administration was bringing on board after the election.
    :) :)

    • Finally got through it. Interesting.

      BTW, he apparently LOVES Feingold – I’m working very hard to make sure he is soon unemployed.

      • Kathy

        I know. The guy is a died in the wool lefty. That is what made this so funny. The way he went off on Obama and all the Dem leadership and stuck the whole housing bubble on Clinton. Seemed to me the lady doing the interview was flabbergasted. I think she was afraid to ask another question.

        He completely destroyed 4 years of Dem talking points. And today they just keep going on and on without even blinking.

        If it weren’t all so sad it would be absolutely hilarious. Ah hell, it’s hilarious anyway.

        He seems to think Feingold was warning about all this garbage from day one. I noticed he said Barney Frank was on top of it also but then back tracked on Frank later.

        I didn’t follow Feingold so is this part true? At least as far as you know.

  21. Ray Hawkins says:

    Need a good laugh at the expense of reality show contestants? Here ya go!

  22. Ya gotta love it when there a politician that speaks candidly and truthfully:

    http://www.therightscoop.com/oh-yeah-more-chris-christie-porn

  23. Check this out folks, I just found it on FoxNews dot com . . . . .

    HAVANA — Cuba’s communist economic model has come in for criticism from an unlikely source: Fidel Castro.

    The revolutionary leader told a visiting American journalist and a U.S.-Cuba policy expert that the island’s state-dominated system is in need of change, a rare comment on domestic affairs from a man who has taken pains to steer clear of local issues since illness forced him to step down as president four years ago.

    The fact that things are not working efficiently on this cash-strapped Caribbean island is hardly news. Fidel’s brother Raul, the country’s president, has said the same thing repeatedly. But the blunt assessment by the father of Cuba’s 1959 revolution is sure to raise eyebrows.

    Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, asked Castro if Cuba’s economic system was still worth exporting to other countries, and Castro replied: “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore,” Goldberg wrote Wednesday in a post on his Atlantic blog.

    The Cuban government had no immediate comment on Goldberg’s account.

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    Julia Sweig, a Cuba expert at the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations who accompanied Goldberg on the trip, confirmed the Cuban leader’s comment, which he made at a private lunch last week.

    She told The Associated Press she took the remark to be in line with Raul Castro’s call for gradual but widespread reform.

    “It sounded consistent with the general consensus in the country now, up to and including his brother’s position,” Sweig said.

    In general, she said she found the 84-year-old Castro to be “relaxed, witty, conversational and quite accessible.”

    “He has a new lease on life, and he is taking advantage of it,” Sweig said.

    Castro stepped down temporarily in July 2006 due to a serious illness that nearly killed him.

    He resigned permanently two years later, but remains head of the Communist Party. After staying almost entirely out of the spotlight for four years, he re-emerged in July and now speaks frequently about international affairs. He has been warning for weeks of the threat of a nuclear war over Iran.

    But the ex-president has said very little about Cuba and its politics, perhaps to limit the perception he is stepping on his brother’s toes.

    Goldberg, who traveled to Cuba at Castro’s invitation last week to discuss a recent Atlantic article he wrote about Iran’s nuclear program, also reported on Tuesday that Castro questioned his own actions during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, including his recommendation to Soviet leaders that they use nuclear weapons against the United States.

    Even after the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba has clung to its communist system.

    The state controls well over 90 percent of the economy, paying workers salaries of about $20 a month in return for free health care and education, and nearly free transportation and housing. At least a portion of every citizen’s food needs are sold to them through ration books at heavily subsidized prices.

    Cuba says much of its suffering is caused by the 48-year-old U.S. trade embargo. The economy has also been slammed by the global economic downturn, a drop in nickel prices and the fallout from three devastating hurricanes that hit in quick succession in 2008. Corruption and inefficiency have exacerbated problems.

    As president, Raul Castro has instituted a series of limited economic reforms, and has warned Cubans that they need to start working harder and expecting less from the government. But the president has also made it clear he has no desire to depart from Cuba’s socialist system or embrace capitalism.

    Fidel Castro’s interview with Goldberg is the only one he has given to an American journalist since he left office.

  24. Ray Hawkins says:

    I always encourage folks to read Lakoff – he is spot on much of the time and easily capture why Democrats/Liberals/Progressives lose the moral battle/fight (and why I think there will be some hefty change in the midterm).

    From the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-lakoff/the-cry-for-democratic-mo_b_703227.html)

    (and ftr – the struggle with arguing for one’s values and the predominant language to do so – they have long failed and will continue to fail to do so)

    If you have not read Drew Westen’s outstanding piece, “What Created the Populist Explosion and How Democrats Can Avoid the Shrapnel in November”, on the Huffington Post, Alternet, and other venues, read it immediately. Westen states as eloquently and forcefully as anyone what he, I, and other progressives have been saying from the beginning of the Obama administration. I agree fully with everything he says. But …

    Westen’s piece is incomplete in crucial ways. His piece can be read as saying that this election is about kitchen table economics (right) and only kitchen table economics (wrong).

    This election is about more than just jobs, mortgages, and adequate health care. All politics is moral. All political leaders say to do what they propose because it is right. No political leaders say to do what they say because it is wrong. Morality is behind everything in politics — and progressives and conservatives have different moral systems.

    In the conservative moral system, the highest value is preserving and extending the moral system itself. That is why they keep saying no to Obama’s proposals, even voting against their own ideas when Obama accepts them. To give Obama any victory at all would be a blow to their moral system. Their moral system requires non-cooperation. That is a major thing the Obama administration has not understood.

    The conservatives understand the centrality of morality. They attacked the Obama health care plan as immoral for violating the moral principles of freedom (“government takeover”) and reverence for life (“death panels.”) The Obama administration made a policy case, not a moral case. The conservatives have characterized the bailouts as thievery and Obama’s ties to Wall St. as immoral — as being in bed with the thieves. The attacks on government are seen as moral attacks, with government seen as taking money out of working people’s pockets and giving it to people who don’t deserve it. Whether it is the birthers, or the anti-Muslims, or the anti-immigrants, of the pro-lifers, the attack is a moral attack. The Tea Party cry is moral — for “freedom” (see my book Whose Freedom?), for God, for patriotism. Even jobless benefits are seen as giving money to people who are not working and don’t deserve it. Even social security that workers have earned, that are deferred payments for work, are seen as undeserving people “sucking on the tits of the government.”

    The moral case is not answered just by good policy that will help people who need help — as Westen proposed. The good policies — extending unemployment benefits, help to small businesses, help for teachers and firemen, limits on credit card rates, restrictions on rate increases and service reductions by HMO’s — in themselves fit a progressive moral system, but don’t in themselves make a case for progressive moral leadership.

    Why are so many people about to vote against their interests? The Republicans are not offering kitchen-table benefits. When people are voting against their interests, more interest-based arguments don’t help.

    Westen’s discussion of “the center” and of populism in general, misses what is crucial in this election. There is no one “center.” Instead, a considerable number of Americans (perhaps as many as 15 to 20 percent) are conservative in some respects and progressive in other respects. The have both moral systems and apply them to different issues — in all kinds of ways. You can be conservative on economics and progressive on social issues, or conservative on foreign policy and progressive on domestic issues, and so on — in all sorts of combinations.

    Neuroscience 101, which Westen correctly invokes, tells us that in the brains of such voters, the two incompatible systems inhibit each other, that strengthening one weakens the other, and that the stronger one can have its influence spread to other issues. The “swing voters” are really “swing thinkers.” And it is language — moral language, not policy language, heard over and over — that strengthens one political moral system over the other and determines how people vote. The Democrats need to reach the swing thinkers — the people who are moral conservatives on some issues and moral progressives on others — and strengthen their progressive moral views. The kitchen table arguments must become moral arguments as well — arguments about freedom, life, fairness, and the most central of American values.

    What are those values? They are the values that won the 2008 election for Barack Obama — and they were not just hope and change. Candidate Obama made the case that American is, and has always been, fundamentally about Americans caring about each other and acting responsibly on that care. Empathy, which he proclaimed over and over was the most important thing his mother taught him, and is the basis of our form of government. Responsibility is both personal and social. “I am my brother’s keeper,” as he said over and over in the campaign. And thirdly, excellence — doing everything as well as we can, individually and as a nation. That is why we have life, freedom, fairness, equality — and quality — as fundamental values.

    We haven’t heard that kind of moral leadership since the inauguration. Americans are longing for it. And those moral values really do motivate every kitchen table policy!

    It is morality, not just the right policy, that excites voters, that moves them to action — that creates movements. Legislative action must come from a moral center, with moral language repeated over and over.

    What should be avoided, besides policy-wonk and pure-policy discourse? Again, the answer comes from Neuroscience 101. Offense not defense. Argue for your values. Frame all issues in terms of your values. Avoid their language, even in arguing against them. There is a reason that I wrote a book called, Don’t Think of an Elephant! Don’t list their arguments and argue against them using their language. It just activates their arguments in the brains of listeners.

    Don’t move to the right in your discourse or action. That will just strengthen the conservative moral system in the brains of swing thinkers. Frame your arguments from your moral position.

    In addition, beware of the same pollsters and focus-group-dialers who missed Scott Brown’s moral message to the swing-thinkers in Massachusetts and claimed that Martha Coakley would win so handily that she could go on vacation. Just because a message plays well in focus-group-dialing doesn’t mean it will win elections.

    Finally, Democrats need a truly effective communication system. They need unified, morally-based framing of issues. They need to train spokespeople all over the country in using such framing and avoiding mistakes. They need to organize those spokespeople. And they need to book them, as conservatives do, on radio, TV, in civic and religious groups, in schools and universities. This is doable, but this late, it will take resolve from the top.

    Winning this election will require the right policies and actions, but it will also require moral leadership with honest, morally-based messaging and a communications that will not just blog and knock on doors, but will be there in the districts with the crucial swing-thinkers 24/7 day and night.

    The Democrats cannot take their base for granted. Only moral leadership backed by actions and communicated effectively can excite the Obama base once more. Without that excitement, the Democrats will lose big.

    • Ray

      Good reference. I had missed this story.

      I would like to point out that this guy and the one he refers to are part of that group that “manipulates” us. I think you’ll remember my discussions about that some time back.

      His points are very valid, but notice he doesn’t subscribe to building a solid philosophical foundation based on specific values, he talks about how to use our perception of American values to get you to vote Democrat. He seems to miss the point that some of us are having a debate over just what are American values in the first place. Which, by the way, I think is healthy if done with civility.

      And the Republicans do the same thing. They knew that the gay marriage issue would trigger the moral button in the Hispanic population during Bush’s re-election bid. The Dems are notorious for mis-understanding the motivations of the minority groups they claim as their own.

      I do wonder exactly what the Progressive base ethic/morality is. What is their long term goal, what do they stand for, etc. He seems to say it is “I am my brothers keeper”. If that is the case then I think any effort to turn the 20% to their view will meet with mixed results at best, and perhaps fail outright.

      Now for the Republicans. There seems to be an intellectual disconnect between the party leadership and the “moral” base the author discusses within the tea party, as well as their traditional conservative base. I saw a very large backlash against corporate greed when the movement first started. I doubt that has faded away just because the “leaders” don’t talk about it.

      Right now the political leadership in both parties seem confused and slightly frightened. Despite the R’s bravado, they are freaked by the results of the primary elections. The PEOPLE are speaking out and not following orders anymore. The politicos are looking a bit like deer in the headlights.

      Now if only those among the regular folks who think they are progressive/liberal and those who think they are conservative would realize they share many core values and agree on many key issues. If they worked together they could destroy the establishment within the next two years.

    • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

      The only place I can really disagree is the reason for voting for Obama in ’08. I’m the son of what would be called Blue Dog Democrats and have quite a few friends in that category. Since most have now renounced their 2008 vote, I am free to ask why they chose to vote that way to begin with.

      Almost all were tired of Bush, Cheny, Rumsfelf. That’s it, thet’s the reason. They had previously expressed their tiredness with the Republican Comgress and Tom Delay in ’06.

      By and large it was an anybody but Bush (or his ilk) moment. I have a particularly good friend out of Jersey City whom I asked the following, “If Obama had come out of Jersey City and run for President, would you have voted for him?” His answer, because of the massive historical corruption in JC was a resounding no. So, I asked why a Chicago pol? His answer was even though Chicago was bad, he just had to take a chance on someone other than a traditional Republican.

      So Republicans may be ahead on moral issues, the problem with the Dems is that they are out of tune with the vast American majority on those moral issues ansd seem incapable of altering their belief systems or running anyone who might be socially more conservative.

      If the Republicans return to Bush, Cheny, Rumsfeld and Delay, then the Democrats will win again, not because anyone agrees with them but because they are not BCR & D.

      • That was the same with many I spoke with concerning their vote for BO. Many told me they didn’t vote for BO…they voted for the Democrat. Amazing…

        JAC…you said “Now if only those among the regular folks who think they are progressive/liberal and those who think they are conservative would realize they share many core values and agree on many key issues.”

        Wonderful insight, and in fact, while golfing last week I had the pleasure of meeting up with a couple on the course that I had never met. The woman was a retired lawyer and a Democrat…her husband from S. Africa was a staunch Conservative. They were delightful folks and the woman initiated a discussion concerning politics. Her daughter is running as a Democrat for LT. Governor of Louisiana. Amazing the paralells we found. In short, I am voting for her daughter who stands for limited government and fiscal responsibility. She has never held office of any kind, and will most likely be badly beaten, but I will promote her to any who will listen.

        • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

          One just hopes that there will be a change in the Democratic Party and it will return to the slightly goofy but honorable status it had before the Viet Nam war.

          Hopefully this young lady will walk the walk.

          Another thing about Obama that I have noticed from those who voted for him. I as a conservative since Goldwater knew where he stood. Most of my friends who are not political saw what they wanted. How, I wonder could a guy with his background ever seem to be all things to all men? maybe that’s because there was very little record for him to run on or away from. The American people should really learn something from this ongoing nightmare.,

          • I think that most were hoping since he was new he would not be influenced by the entrenched politicians in DC…they didn’t bother to look at his record or associations. Or, they just were to hopey for changy!

  25. Ray Hawkins says:

    Arthur Sulzberger: ‘We Will Stop Printing The New York Times Sometime In The Future’

    All NYT jokes aside – I guess its a sign of my age that I find it tough to envision a day where I’m not holding the paper in my hands with a hot cup of coffee on the table beside me and my two dogs at my feet (while baby and my better half are asleep). Just cannot yet bring myself to drop the 200 on a kindle or iPad or whatever new gadget someone tries to convince me I need.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/09/arthur-sulzberger-we-will_n_710251.html

  26. Matt….it won’t work. I had an individual yesterday offer me a……………………….Red Bull. Sending “agents” to indoctrinate me will not work.

    • I might add, that he thought me rude at my hysterical laughter until I explained to him why I was laughing so hard….I invited him to read SUFA and gave him the link….perhaps the two of you can conspire together.

      • It’s funny how SUFA sneaks in to our daily lives. I’ll be in a conversation with friends, something will be said, I’ll start laughing thinking ‘I wish JAC/BF/D13,etc were here to help me clobber you’ and my friends think I’m losing it.I’m surrounded by D’s. Sometimes I think I AM losing it.

        • Anita

          Those feelings and thoughts?

          It means you are finding it.

          Stand proud and loud.

          • I’m making progress JAC. When there is a pack of friends together I am the obvious target but one on one they are willing to listen. I’ll steal Cyndi’s term and call of few of them closet conservatives. I know how Matt & Buck feel around here! ;)

            • My lib friends admit they hate talking about “things” with me because I make too much sense! hahahahaha

              Plus they can never answer my questions on how their way works. That really throws them.

  27. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    A continuation of my discussion with Mathius from above:

    Mathius,

    You have 2 options as a small business owner that is making close to the $250,000.00 threshold.

    Option 1:

    Expand your business

    Hire more employees (which may run you afoul of new regulations)

    Do more paperwork (because of increased regulations you must comply with)

    Advertize agressively

    Work more hours (many of which will be wasted on regulatory compliance rather than growing your business)

    Risk exceeding the magic $250,000.00 income threshold, which means that you will be working more hours FOR THE SAME NET TAKE-HOME PAY.

    Option #2.

    Sit tight, perhaps downsize a bit to get rid of some onerous regulatory compliance issues, don’t be too aggressive but simply work to maintain your existing customer base, work fewer hours, stay below the magic $250,000.00 threshold…

    And WHILE WORKING FEWER HOURS AND MESSING WITH LESS REGULATIONS, TAKE HOME THE EXACT SAME NET PAY AS YOU WOULD WITH OPTION #1.

    Apparently YOU would choose option #1, but I ASSURE you that the vast majority of small business owners that are near the income threshold are content to choose option #2.

    • Peter

      Generally speaking you are correct. But there are many considerations. One is the form of the company/business, such a partnership, LLC, S-Corp or regular Corp.

      Many small businesses are S-Corp or LLC’s. S-corp push the net profits to the owners who then pay personal income tax. So they will not push the company to the point where their personal income bracket jumps, unless the marginal return is worth it to them. LLC’s are taxed as partnerships so the same is true for them.

      The real damage from letting the current laws expire is really not in the bracket creep. It is in the loss of expensing much of the capital investments for equipment, the rise of capital gains, reductions in child tax credits, etc, etc. All of these were put in place to spur business growth during the last turn down. They would all expire with the tax brackets.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        JAC,

        The majority of small businesses are either S-Corporations or LLCs. As such, the majority of small business owners report their business income as personal income.

        Also, I agree with:

        “The real damage from letting the current laws expire is really not in the bracket creep. It is in the loss of expensing much of the capital investments for equipment, the rise of capital gains, reductions in child tax credits, etc, etc. All of these were put in place to spur business growth during the last turn down. They would all expire with the tax brackets.”

        Basically, Mathius has several axioms about people.
        One of these is “People Are Greedy”. A second is “People Are Lazy”.

        When you incentivize “People Are Lazy” far more than you incentivize “People Are Greedy” most intelligent people will calculate that “Lazy” is much easier for them than “Greedy” and will act accordingly.

    • Peter,

      Once again, the issue is not with the number of employees, which I agree may be an issue. I seem to recall that at the 25 employee mark, you hit new regulations and I understand wanting to stay under that cap. I generally agree that this is a poorly designed law, though I do not know enough specifics about it to go further than that.

      HOWEVER, the assertion which I rejected is your claim that they are “plotting to earn less than 250,000.” You then go on to make this claim: “Risk exceeding the magic $250,000.00 income threshold, which means that you will be working more hours FOR THE SAME NET TAKE-HOME PAY.” This is false.

      If you clicked on my wikipedia link above, you would see how these calculations are carried out. There is no penalty for making more money. If you exceed the threshold, you make more money, not the same.

      Assuming the same easy to calculate numbers as I used above,
      250,000 in income nets 225,000.00 (250,000 – 250,000*.1)
      250,001 in income nets 225,000.80 (250,000 – 250,000*.1 + 1 – 1*.2)

      That extra dollar earns you less than previous dollars, but it does earn you something, thus there is still an incentive to earn more.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Most small business owners do not see it that way if they are close to the $250,000 threshold. I am sure if they have the opportunity to SIGNIFICANTLY increase their income beyond the threshold, they would do that. However, if they calculate that they are going to have to put in a LOT of work for a minor increase in income and then they would BARELY exceed the threshold, they will choose not to do that.

        Most people do not simply calculate “Hey, this extra $10,000 is going to net me $6,250 even though it pushes me into a higher bracket!”

        Most people do calculate “Hey, if I make an extra $10,000, that is going to net me $6,250 even though it pushes me into a higher bracket, BUT, in order to do that I am going to have to hire more employees (which may result in more regulatory costs), and it is going to cause me to have to advertize more (more costs), and it is going to cause me to work more hours (time is money, and more time away from family).

        So, in order to determine whether it is worthwhile to go over the threshold involves balance HOW MUCH over the threshold you can go, versus ALL of the other factors I listed above.

        You are oversimplifying the calculations involved.

        • Peter,
          I have to question where you get this information from. Please provide a source for this comment and other similar comments:

          Most small business owners are plotting ways in which their income will be BELOW the $250,000.00 threshold next year.

          How many of these small business owners have you talked too? And they all just happen to be making approximately $240,000 a year, and are concerned about going over $250,000?

          Your arguments, examples, calculations, options – your entire line of thinking Peter – show a complete lack of understanding of how businesses (and people in general) operate.

          First, the $250,000 you’re talking about is profit, not sales, revenue, etc. It takes multi-million dollars worth of sales to generate $250,000 in profit. We’re not talking about a “Mom & Pop Corner Grocery Store” here…

          Regulations – I’ll agree there is a small disincentive to add employees at certain levels, but that will not hold back someone who sees an opportunity to expand their business. There’s plenty of software available to handle HR and regulatory issues – that’s just part of doing business.

          Business owners are usually talked about as some of the hardest working people around, but you seem to portray them as quite lazy.

          The only way for a business to survive is to expand, innovate, grow. Any business that decides to “sit tight, perhaps downsize a bit…don’t be too aggressive…work fewer hours” won’t have to worry about “the magic $250,000.00 threshold”. They won’t be anywhere near that threshold.

          And the idea that a “magic $250,000.00 threshold” even exists tells me you don’t understand the US tax code, and that you don’t know anyone who makes anywhere near $250,000 a year.

          Small business incomes fluctuate widely from year to year. I doubt anyone is planning to “limit” their income – they just might end up “limiting” it down to zero.

          I personally know several small business owners that are taking that approach.

          So business is so good and the economy is so strong, these small business owner’s that you personally know can just sit back and take it easy and still rake in $249,000 a year? If that’s the case, I think you need to stop complaining about Obama’s economic policies, because they seem to be working pretty good…

          I could go on and on Peter. Your entire line of thought sounds like a Joe The Plumber argument – it fails in the face of reality.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            My argument does not fail in the face of reality, as you will SEE FOR YOURSELF as the economy stagnates even further as more and more new taxes and new regulations go into effect.

            Until you see it for yourself, which you will, you can (for now) continue living in your delusion, far detached from the reality which I am describing.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Todd,

            You claim that I do not understand what motivates humans and how humans operate.

            On the contrary, I understand it perfectly well. You; however, I am not so sure about.

            Let’s keep it simple, shall we?

            If you incentivize a certain behavior enough, you will encourage people to engage in that behavior.

            If you disincentivize a certain behavior enough, you will encourage people to avoid that behavior.

            My argument is extremely simple.

            For people who are making SOMEWHERE NEAR $250,000.00 what the government is doing is HEAVILY DISINCENTIVIZING a small business owner from trying to exceed that level of income.

            My argument is that for many people that are near that magic number, the disincentive is now strong enough that they are conciously making the decision to avoid the behaviors which would cause them to exceed that income level, because they perceive the RISK as greater than the REWARD.

            This is simple psychology Todd, no mystery whatsoever. If you do not understand simple psychology, then you do not understand what motivates people. You appear to have a complete lack of understanding of how PEOPLE operate, and it is PEOPLE that run small businesses and determine how said small businesses operate.

            Here are the current factors DISINCENTIVIZING the desire of small business owners to grow their businesses:

            1. Higher Taxes
            2. More Regulations (which means higher costs)
            3. Difficulty in obtaining credit
            4. Uncertainty about further governmental actions over the near-term
            5. Uncertainty about the economy in general.

            If only one or two of these factors were present, I suspect that most business owners would calculate that the risk of expansion was worth the potential rewards.

            However, believe me, with all 5 of these factors present in MAJOR degrees, there are a lot of small business owners who are trying to simply maintain where they are now, or even downsizing their operations.

            It is just reality.

            • Peter,

              Here are the current factors DISINCENTIVIZING the desire of small business owners to grow their businesses:

              1. Higher Taxes
              2. More Regulations (which means higher costs)
              3. Difficulty in obtaining credit
              4. Uncertainty about further governmental actions over the near-term
              5. Uncertainty about the economy in general.

              You’re getting to the real causes here – and I agree!!

              But #1 and #2 are small potatoes compared to #3, #4, and #5.

              Get rid of #1 and #2, and not much changes.

              Get rid of #3, #4, and #5, and a real recovery will start.

              But your obsession with this “magic number” of $250,000 is incorrect.

              I’ll ask again:

              Where do you get this information that small business owners are plotting ways in which their income will be BELOW the $250,000.00 threshold next year?

              How many of these small business owners have you talked too?

              And they all just happen to be making approximately $240,000 a year, and are concerned about going over $250,000?

  28. Shows you how naive a am-I never realized the STATE had this list.

    Sheriffs want lists of patients using painkillers

    BY LYNN BONNER – staff writer

    Sheriffs in North Carolina want access to state computer records identifying anyone with prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances.

    The state sheriff’s association pushed the idea Tuesday, saying the move would help them make drug arrests and curb a growing problem of prescription drug abuse. But patient advocates say opening up people’s medicine cabinets to law enforcement would deal a devastating blow to privacy rights.

    Allowing sheriffs’ offices and other law enforcement officials to use the state’s computerized list would vastly widen the circle of people with access to information on prescriptions written for millions of people. As it stands now, doctors and pharmacists are the main users.
    Quantcast

    Nearly 30 percent of state residents received at least one prescription for a controlled substance, anything from Ambien to OxyContin, in the first six months of this year, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly 2.5 million people filled prescriptions in that time for more than 375 million doses. The database has about 53.5 million prescriptions in it.

    Sheriffs made their pitch Tuesday to a legislative health care committee looking for ways to confront prescription drug abuse. Local sheriffs said that more people in their counties die of accidental overdoses than from homicides.

    For years, sheriffs have been trying to convince legislators that the state’s prescription records should be open to them.

    “We can better go after those who are abusing the system,” said Lee County Sheriff Tracy L. Carter.

    Others say opening up patients’ medicine cabinets to law enforcement is a terrible idea.

    “I am very concerned about the potential privacy issues for people with pain,” said Candy Pitcher of Cary, who volunteers for the nonprofit American Pain Foundation. “I don’t feel that I should have to sign away my privacy rights just because I take an opioid under doctor’s care.” Pitcher is receiving treatment for a broken back.

    The ACLU opposed a bill in 2007 that would have opened the list to law enforcement officials, said ACLU lobbyist Sarah Preston. The organization would likely object to the new proposal.

    “What really did concern us is the privacy aspect,” she said. Opening the record to more users could deter someone from getting necessary medicine because of the fear that others would find out, she said, “particularly in small towns where everybody knows everybody.”

    The state started collecting the information in 2007 to help doctors identify patients who go from doctor to doctor looking for prescription drugs they may not need, and to keep pharmacists from supplying patients with too many pills. But only about 20 percent of the state’s doctors have registered to use the information, and only 10 percent of the pharmacies are registered.

    Many chain pharmacies aren’t connected to the Internet, said Andy Ellen, a lobbyist for the N.C. Retail Merchants Association. Pharmacy computers work on closed systems so they won’t be vulnerable to viruses that could slow or crash their networks. Pharmacies are trying to figure out a way around that obstacle to the controlled-substance prescriptions list, he said.

    Bettie Blanchard, a woman from Dare County whose adult son is recovering from addiction to prescription drugs, said doctors should be required to consult the list when prescribing controlled substances.

    She also wants doctors to get more education on prescribing narcotics. Doctors should be required to tell patients that the medicine they are being prescribed can be addictive, she said.

    William Bronson, who works in a drug control unit at DHHS, presented what could be a compromise to the sheriffs’ request – allowing local drug investigators to request information related to ongoing investigations, but not let them go in to the computer records themselves.

    Eddie Caldwell, lobbyist for the N.C. Sheriff’s Association, said the level of access to the data is up for discussion.

    “There’s a middle ground where the sheriffs and their personnel working on these drug abuse cases get the information they need in a way that protects the privacy of that information,” he said. “No one wants every officer in the state to be able to log on and look it up.”

    Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/09/08/669723/lists-of-pain-pillpatients-sought.html#ixzz0z2vPzY00

    • There is NO middle ground.

      The govt should have no authority to search our records looking for potential crimes. Search must be based on probable cause and it must be tied to a specific suspect.

      Just another example of “our Constitution means nothing” when you become focused on some narrow objective. In this case the Sheriffs are to focused on stopping drug abuse and not on their primary mission.

      So USW, are the tea party folks organizing a massive letter campaign to these sheriffs? Telling them point blank that anyone pushing for this will be the target of the next election cycle?

  29. http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/09/the_political_violence_of_the.html

    The Political Violence of the Bible and the Koran
    By Bill Warner
    One of the most frequently used arguments in the defense of Islam is that the Bible is just as violent as the Koran. The logic goes like this. If the Koran is no more violent than the Bible, then why should we worry about Islam? This argument suggests that Islam is the same as Christianity and Judaism. This is false, but the analogy is very popular since it allows someone who knows nothing about the actual doctrine of Islam to talk about it. “See, Islam is like Christianity; Christians are just as violent as Muslims.” If this is true, then you don’t have to learn anything about the actual Islamic doctrine.

    However, this is not a theological argument. It is a political one. This argument is not about what goes on in a house of worship, but what goes on the in the marketplace of ideas.

    Now, is the doctrine of Islam more violent than the Koran? There is only one way to prove or disprove the comparison, and that is to measure the differences in violence in the Koran and the Bible.

    The first item is to define violence. The only violence that matters to someone outside of Islam, Christianity, or Judaism is what they do to the “other,” or political violence. Cain killing Abel is not political violence. Political violence is not killing a lamb for a meal or making an animal sacrifice. Note that regardless of whether a vegan or a PETA member considers both of these actions violent, neither constitutes violence against vegans or PETA members.

    The next item is to compare the doctrines both quantitatively and qualitatively. The political violence of the Koran is called “fighting in Allah’s cause,” or jihad.

    We must do more than measure the jihad in the Koran. Islam has three sacred texts: Koran, Sira, and Hadith, or the Islamic Trilogy. The Sira is Mohammed’s biography. The Hadith are his traditions — what he did and said. Sira and Hadith form the Sunna, the perfect pattern of all Islamic behavior.

    The Koran is the smallest of the three books, also called the Trilogy. It is only 16% of the Trilogy text[1]. This means that the Sunna is 84% of the word content of Islam’s sacred texts. This statistic alone has large implications. Most of the Islamic doctrine is about Mohammed, not Allah. The Koran says 91 different times that Mohammed’s is the perfect pattern of life. It is much more important to know Mohammed than the Koran. This is very good news. It is easy to understand a biography about a man. To know Islam, know Mohammed.

    It turns out that jihad occurs in large proportion in all three texts. Here is a chart about the results:

    It is very significant that the Sira devotes 67% of its text to jihad. Mohammed averaged an event of violence every six weeks for the last nine years of his life. Jihad was what made Mohammed successful. Here is a chart of the growth of Islam.

    Basically, when Mohammed was a preacher of religion, Islam grew at the rate of ten new Muslims per year. But when he turned to jihad, Islam grew at an average rate of ten thousand per year. All the details of how to wage jihad are recorded in great detail. The Koran gives the great vision of jihad — world conquest by the political process. The Sira is a strategic manual, and the Hadith is a tactical manual, of jihad.

    Now let’s go to the Hebrew Bible. When we count all the political violence, we find that 5.6% of the text is devoted to it. There is no admonition towards political violence in the New Testament.

    When we count the magnitude of words devoted to political violence, we have 327,547 words in the Trilogy[2] and 34,039 words in the Hebrew Bible[3]. The Trilogy has 9.6 times as much wordage devoted to political violence as the Hebrew Bible.

    The real problem goes far beyond the quantitative measurement of ten times as much violent material; there is also the qualitative measurement. The political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place. This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies. The violence remains a constant threat to all non-Islamic cultures, now and into the future. Islam is not analogous to Christianity and Judaism in any practical way. Beyond the one-god doctrine, Islam is unique unto itself.

    Another measurement of the difference between the violence found in the Judeo/Christian texts and that of Islam is found in the use of fear of violence against artists, critics, and intellectuals. What artist, critic, or intellectual ever feels a twinge of fear if condemning anything Christian or Jewish? However, look at the examples of the violent political threats against and/or murders of Salman Rushdie, Theo van Gogh, Pim Fortune, Kurt Westergaard of the Danish Mohammed cartoons, and many others. What artist, critic, or intellectual has not had a twinge of fear about Islam when it comes to free expression? The political difference in the responses to the two different doctrines is enormous. The political fruits from the two trees are as different as night and day.

    It is time for so-called intellectuals to get down to the basics of judging Islam by its actual doctrine, not making lame analogies that are sophomoric assertions. Fact-based reasoning should replace fantasies that are based upon political correctness and multiculturalism.

    – Bill Warner, Director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam

    • Nice find LoI.

      “It is time for so-called intellectuals to get down to the basics of judging Islam by its actual doctrine, not making lame analogies that are sophomoric assertions.”

      —This happens here on SUFA quite frequently since these “self proclaimed intellectuals” will not read and understand the Koran, Sira, and Hadith! Just because a group proclaims this a religion DOES not mean its doctrines are protected under our American belief in freedom of religion if the doctrines pose a threat to our own individual American society and culture!

      • Texaschem,

        The threat of religion – whether Islam, Christian or Judaic (or any other) – is a threat to civilization.

        It replaces one’s own thinking with rote delivered by religious authority.

        It replaces reason with myth.

        It replaces self-responsibility of ones own actions with “doing God’s will”.

        By claiming “God’s will”, based on myth and delegating one’s own conscience to authority, great evil has been done upon mankind.

        Your complaint covers all religions – but you don’t see that – so you believe you can use your religion to condemn another, not at all understanding you are not solving but accelerating the problem.

        • BlackFlag Stated:”Your complaint covers all religions – but you don’t see that – so you believe you can use your religion to condemn another, not at all understanding you are not solving but accelerating the problem.”

          TC:No my friend, my complaint covers religions and doctrines that are detrimental to the wellfare of man.You can not find one teaching of the Nazarene principles that does that.Not one.Yet you sit and judge my intellectually based decision on…what?

          How much have you actually studied the religions of the world?The Bible we have today is incomplete in regards to both Old Testament and New Testament books..Enoch,Jasher, the Apocrypha…I can’t remember them all but in the neighborhood of 35 to 40 religious writings are not there.Ever read them?I have.Very interesting material.This does not change in any way the meaning behind the New Testament, nor the teachings of Jesus however.

          • Texaschem,

            I judge on action not by the rapid motion of one’s mouth.

            If you are an adherent to the Nazarene’s wisdom, you would not be rallying forces against and condemning another religion

            Thus, the hypocrisy – professed Christians acting unlike the Christ.

            • BF Stated:”If you are an adherent to the Nazarene’s wisdom, you would not be rallying forces against and condemning another religion

              Thus, the hypocrisy – professed Christians acting unlike the Christ.”

              If I put my total trust and belief in God as my creator; then wouldn’t I have to believe that he provided me with a mind in which to analyze a situation and develope a remedy for any situation that would pose a threat to myself or my families survival or way of life?

              If I am in the woods and see a bear running towards me am I not to defend myself?
              If I am swimming in the water and see a shark circling can I not just get back in the boat?
              If an intruder breaks into my house at night and I am faced with defending my family or allowing him to harm them am I to do nothing?

              How is that hypocritical to use my mind to remedy a situation oh great thinker?
              Judge that BF!

          • Texaschem

            How much have you actually studied the religions of the world?

            I have studied all of the significant ones and they all say the same thing in their basics.

            “Do unto others as you have them do unto you”

            …the Golden Rule…

            I have also found it interesting it is an exception to have any of the adherents to these religions actually follow the basics of their religions – the mass actually seem to want to live in denial of it.

            • BF Stated:”I have studied all of the significant ones and they all say the same thing in their basics.

              “Do unto others as you have them do unto you”

              …the Golden Rule…”

              TC:Well…exactly my point.How do you defend a religion when its core doctrine goes against that belief?

              • Texaschem,

                How do you defend a religion when its core doctrine goes against that belief?

                (1) It’s core doctrine says no such thing.

                (2) How can you defend YOUR religion when the vast majority of those who claim it act in a manner directly contradictory to its claim?

                It is either a pointless religion as it has no influence, or those that believe in it are hypocrites.

        • BlackFlag stated:”By claiming “God’s will”, based on myth and delegating one’s own conscience to authority, great evil has been done upon mankind.”

          TC:Why, I couldn’t agree with you more on this subject BF!

        • Flag, Tex & all,

          If religion is used to:

          “Replaces one’s own thinking with rote delivered by religious authority.
          Replaces reason with myth.
          Self-responsibility of ones own actions with “doing God’s will”.”

          Myself, that is a poor description on my religious views. Western civilization is based on Judeo/Christian principles, and has been the most successful form to date.
          When forming one’s own core values, considering the inclusion of principals that has worked well for others.

          I do not steal or kill, because I think it would be wrong.
          Being in agreement with God on these issues is not a bad thing. I have friends that are homosexual, and have no plans to stone them or treat them with anything but respect.
          If asked, I do tell them why I think their behavior is wrong, and MY view, that it will not damn them to hell. I believe God forgives, or else I am in for a very hot eternity.

          • JAC: “I believe God forgives, or else I am in for a very hot eternity.”

            You won’t be lonely…at least I live in Louisiana and am used to the heat!

          • LOI,

            God doesn’t need you, nor has a need to forgive you because you cannot do him an injustice nor do him harm.

            • Flag,

              “God doesn’t need you”

              Agree. I need him.

              “nor has a need to forgive you”

              I don’t know. If he has such a need, it is one she imposes on herself.

              “you cannot do him an injustice”

              If I do not live by my values and standards, that are a reflection on those he has taught us, I have committed an injustice to both of us.

              “you cannot do him harm”

              If you daughter does something tragic later in life, drugs, runaway, rampage killing(she take out six clowns at the circus), would you feel “hurt”? It’s self imposed. God created us in his image, like a father, he feels hurt at times.

              • “If you daughter does something tragic later in life, drugs, runaway, rampage killing(she take out six clowns at the circus), would you feel “hurt”? It’s self imposed. God created us in his image, like a father, he feels hurt at times.”

                TC:And like a father: he would still love us unconditionally.

              • Texaschem, LOI

                God created us in his image, like a father, he feels hurt at times.”

                How possibly could God be “hurt”? To be such would mean he is vulnerable. But that contradicts your definition of God.

              • LOI

                “nor has a need to forgive you”

                I don’t know. If he has such a need, it is one she imposes on herself.

                How could God, who is complete, need to impose upon itself?

                “you cannot do him an injustice”

                If I do not live by my values and standards, that are a reflection on those he has taught us, I have committed an injustice to both of us.

                How can God, who is complete, be damaged by injustice?

                “you cannot do him harm”

                If you daughter does something tragic later in life, drugs, runaway, rampage killing(she take out six clowns at the circus), would you feel “hurt”? It’s self imposed. God created us in his image, like a father, he feels hurt at times.

                How can God, who is complete, feel hurt?

                I think you need to define “God”…..

        • BlackFlag Stated:”It replaces one’s own thinking with rote delivered by religious authority.

          It replaces reason with myth.

          It replaces self-responsibility of ones own actions with “doing God’s will”.”

          TC:Oh thats hogwash BF!I promise you there is more wisdom contained within the Bibles books than in your intellectual mind!Have you ever taken a narcissistic personality inventory?

          You have to understand culture and tradition at the time of these books writing to truly see and understand this.It amazes me the lack of credibility to the social and cultural relevance of some of the best kept historical writings mankind has to offer!

          The problem man has is ability to delegate his interpretation of scripture and ancient history with his conscience thought, to create an authority; to use for his own ends!

          As you said before though, this ability does mankind great evil!

          • Texaschem,

            If the “Bible” or the “New Testament” was the word of God, then it would not need to be relevant to adjust it depending on the culture and the times.

            Thus, it is merely the words of men.

            • It is not being adjusted.

              It is being interpreted.

              • Texaschem,

                It is not being adjusted.

                It is being interpreted.

                Do you believe God is so confusing he needs to be interpreted?

                What language do you think he speaks?

            • And I’m outed.(damn you Flag)
              I am a pseudo christian.

              I believe the Bible is the word of God, but was written by men, and I think, like everything else man-made, has some mistakes.

              So I interpret it in a way that a good person will not be damned just for being a homosexual.

      • My, what deep thoughts we are all having:lol:

        1. Ever wonder about those people who spend $2.00 a piece on those little bottles of Evian water?
        Try spelling Evian backwards:NAIVE
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        2. Isn’t making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool? (My sentiments exactly!)
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        3. OK ….. so if the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as the ‘Jags’ and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known as the ‘Bucs,’ what does that make the Tennessee Titans?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        4. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea does that mean that one enjoys it?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        5. There are three religious truths:
        a. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
        b. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
        c. Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or Hooters.
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        6. If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren’t people from Holland called Holes?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        7. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*
        8. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren’t they just stale bread to begin with?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        9 Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a race car is not called a racist?
        * ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        10. Why isn’t the number 11 pronounced onety one?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        11. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?
        *~*~*~*~*~*! ~*~*~*~*
        12. If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        13. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        14. What hair color do they put on the driver’s licenses of bald men?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        15. I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me … they’re cramming for their final exam.
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        16. I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        17. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them?
        Why don’t they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?
        *~*~*~*~! *~*~*~*~ *~*
        18. If it’s true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        19. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        21. Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn’t zigzag?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        22. If a cow laughed, would she spew milk out of her nose?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        23. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
        *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
        24. At income tax time, did you ever notice: When you put the two words ‘The’ and ‘IRS’ together it spells … ‘THEIRS’?

    • Hey, muslims should be flattered! Isn’t imitation the greated form of flattery? They burn burn something ‘we’ respect; we burn start burning something ‘they’respect! Who says islam hasn’t contributed to America? Must be racists who said that…..sarc off.

      • :lol:

      • Cyndi, but what do they respect? I’m truly at a lost to answer that.

        • Hi Kathy,

          The comment was made with sarcasim. BUT, what are you confused about? The Muslims respect their quran and burn the American flag. The folks who respect the American flag are burning qurans. The ‘right wing barbaric Chistians’ (more sarcasim) are evolving and behaving just like the morally superiour (sarcasim) Muslims! Our friends on the Left are always telling us how superior Muslims are to Christians, so now that Christians are doing their best to be like Muslims, our friends on the left and ther Muslim allies should be pleased as punch. Ain’t it great? (more sarcasim)

  30. PeterB in Indianapolis says:
  31. SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

    UPDATE

    Apparently the owner of the Ground Zero Mosque site has made it clear that he is willing to sell the site at a slight 200-300 percent profit. The sponsor of the proposed Mosque is outraged at this and of course predicts dire consequences if it is not built.

    Since nobody seems to have the money to build the damn thing and completion is scgheduled for one year from now (HAH! in NYC), is it possible that the whole thing was nothing but a real estate scam from the beginning?

    • FOX reported one of, or the main investor would be willing to sell, but may have to have his partners approval. Real estate scam is an interesting thought. Play with our prejudices for profit.

    • Heard Trump was willing to buy this partner out.

      • Just heard on the radio that Jones or whatever was not going to burn the quaran and that the Imam had agreed to move the mosque-supposedly the two of them had come to an agreement-have no idea if this is true but it is being reported.

        • and now of course, the Imam says, jinx, I had my fingers crossed when I said that!

          I am so, so tired of this Muslim crap. They all need to be called out and held accountable. Screw it! I’m tired of taking the high road. Tolerance, my ass.

          • Calm down. O’Reilly is all over it. Just listened to his Talking Points memo..a good one. His TPM from yesterday is also good.

            • :) And today’s was better. Then he had that Brigette something on there, she’s very against the whole jihad thing, with one of Rauf’s female cronies. If they had been in the same studio there would have been a serious cat fight :)

          • Kathy

            I just heard the press conference where the Pastor said he had a deal and was going to NY. But………the Muslim imam that was standing with the Pastor IMMEDIATELY told the press that the deal was not certain and that was why they were going to NY. To see if it could be done.

            The Imam in NY says no. But it aint his money or his building. Those with the money in the pot will make the decision and I understand one of them is a big real estate developer. Can’t say if true but was told this by a blogger who knew the people behind the funding. Seemed credible.

            Came out today that Trump offered them a 25% return on their investment to sell him the building. News is they said no but nobody knows for sure.

            I offer this because it looks like the Pastor may have misunderstood and/or misspoken and now folks are thinking the NY Imam lied. But the Imam at the press conference said its not for sure.

            So there you go. Who the hell knows at this point. Not sure anyone is interested in the truth at this point.

            • I think everyone better be keeping their eyes open for more car bombs in NYC and Florida :evil:

            • One things for sure-IF the real estate guy who owns the building wants to get a higher % of profit to sell the property-He certainly wouldn’t want the Imam to come out and say it IS going to be moved :)

        • Westboro Baptist Church to burn Qurans if Dove doesn’t

          By Chad Smith
          Staff writer

          Published: Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 2:42 p.m.
          Last Modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 5:20 p.m.

          Westboro Baptist Church, the small Topeka, Kan., church that pickets funerals of American soldiers to spread its message that God is punishing the country for being tolerant of homosexuals, has vowed to hold a Quran burning if Gainesville’s Dove World Outreach Center calls its off.

          “WBC burned the Koran once – and if you sissy brats of Doomed america bully Terry Jones and the Dove World Outreach Center until they change their plans to burn that blasphemous tripe called the Koran, then WBC will burn it (again), to clearly show you some things,” the church announced in a news release this week.

          And Jones in the last day has indicated some reluctance to burn the Muslim holy book.

          The Canadian Press reported Thursday that in an interview with a Canadian radio station, Jones said the church was considering calling it off.

          “We are very much in prayer about it. There is the possibility, of course, that we will not do it,” Jones was quoted as saying.

          He told a group of reporters Wednesday that he planned to burn at least one copy of the Quran.

          Dove World is one of the few groups to join forces with Westboro members, who have protested at funerals across the country.

          In April, a handful of Westboro members picketed outside of the University of Florida Hillel, the Jewish student center, and Trinity United Methodist Church, and Jones and about 30 members of his congregation joined the WBC members outside of Trinity United.

          While officials from President Barack Obama to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have condemned Jones’ plan, Fox News reported Thursday that a White House spokesman said the administration is considering contacting Jones to urge him to call it off.

          http://www.ocala.com/article/20100909/ARTICLES/100909743/1412?Title=Westboro-Baptish-Church-to-burn-Qurans-if-Dove-doesn-t

  32. Appeals court blocks Pa. town’s immigration law!

    By MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press Writer,Thu Sep 9, 12:57 pm ET

    ALLENTOWN, Pa. – A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Hazleton, Pa., may not enforce its crackdown on illegal immigrants, dealing another blow to 4-year-old regulations that inspired similar measures around the country.

    The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said that Hazleton’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act usurped the federal government’s exclusive power to regulate immigration.

    “It is … not our job to sit in judgment of whether state and local frustration about federal immigration policy is warranted. We are, however, required to intervene when states and localities directly undermine the federal objectives embodied in statutes enacted by Congress,” wrote Chief Judge Theodore McKee.

    The northeastern Pennsylvania city had sought to fine landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and deny business permits to companies that give them jobs. A companion measure required prospective tenants to register with City Hall and pay for a rental permit.

    Mayor Lou Barletta had pushed the measures in 2006 after two illegal immigrants were charged in a fatal shooting. The Republican mayor, now mounting his third try for Congress, argued that illegal immigrants brought drugs, crime and gangs to the city of more than 30,000 and overwhelmed police, schools and hospitals.

    Hispanic groups and illegal immigrants sued to overturn the measures, and a federal judge struck them down following a trial in 2007. The laws have never been enforced.

    “We’re glad that the court recognized that allowing states and municipalities to set up alternate employment and housing regulations for immigrants will lead to an unworkable patchwork of laws,” said Vic Walczak of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, which represented the plaintiffs.

    Barletta did not immediately return a phone message Thursday.

    Hazleton’s act was copied by dozens of municipalities around the nation that believe the federal government hasn’t done enough to stop illegal immigration.

    The crux of the debate has now shifted to Arizona and its strict new law, provisions of which include requiring officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws. A judge has blocked the law’s most controversial provisions.

    In the Hazleton case, the appeals court said the city’s ordinances conflict with federal immigration law and thus are pre-empted.

    • “The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said that Hazleton’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act usurped the federal government’s exclusive power to regulate immigration.”

      TC:The only problem is the feds are not regulating a damn thing!

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      I visit Hazleton on a regular basis. This is another of those cases where the town is being buried by illegals. Each time you go there you see more blocks gobbled up by blight. Last year a new section was turned from a nice single family home area to God know what with ten cars parked on the desertified lawn of each house. Scores standing around all day and doing nothing but drinking. The worst part is that there is not enough work in Hazleton to support the existing population. This is coal country and we all know that coal mining isn’t going to get any better.

      Looks like Hazleton can join Arizona in the Supreme Court.

  33. 1756 hrs 09Sep10

    Iran has officially announced that it will blockade 100% the IAEA inspectors and will refuse to acknowledge or turn over any documents now or in the future about any facility anywhere in Iran.

    Interesting.

    • Oh, but here it comes D13…..

      in over one gazillion years, the Iranians have never, ever laid a hand on anyone!

      So fear not.

    • D13,

      Your information is false.

      They did not say they are blockading IAEA inspectors.

      They are using their right to accept or decline the inspectors that they believe are spies or under the influence of foreign powers.

      They did not allow two inspectors into Iran. They allowed the rest in without any issues.

  34. Ray Hawkins says:

    Okay conservatives – is this or should this be the face/voice of the conservative movement? Listen entirely and listen carefully. Thanks!

    http://tpartyus2010.ning.com/video/video/show?id=3180617%3AVideo%3A38975&xgs=1&xg_source=msg_share_video

  35. Richmond Spitfire says:

    A very interesting article at Forbes…

    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0927/politics-socialism-capitalism-private-enterprises-obama-business-problem_2.html

    The author’s take is that BO is an anticolonist as his father was.

    Best Regards,
    RS

    • Very interesting article and take on The One. It’s amazing how so many of us are just scratching our heads trying to figure out who and what this guy is about.

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