Let’s Just Clear A Few Things Up Shall We…

stand-up-for-americaYou know, I found myself arguing back and forth with Ray and Todd yesterday, trying to make my point. At some point I crossed a threshold and realized that I was writing another damn article just to make my point. That isn’t to knock those two. I love to be challenged. They were doing exactly what I want people to do. But there seems to be some sort of misunderstanding about where I stand on the issues and where I lean politically. More important, there seems to be some misconceptions about this site in particular and what I created it to do and what I hope it will become. So let’s just take some time to address those particular questions, shall we?

Quite a few times during the discussions, it was pointed out that bias showed through in the way that I wrote things. Well, I have to tell you all a secret. I am biased. 

Media Bias BedOf course I am biased. I have never once, in over 200 articles, made the claim that I am unbiased, that this site is unbiased, or that anyone commenting here is unbiased. Come on kids, there is not a person in the United States of America who is “unbiased”. The only ones who are supposed to be unbiased in their thinking are journalists claiming to report the news and justices of the court. And I don’t think anyone is going to try to claim that any of those cats are unbiased, one way or the other. Jesus, folks, I don’t try to hide who I am here. For 200 articles I have thrown out my opinion every night for the world to read and judge me on. And the best argument people are coming up with is that I am biased? You bet your sweet ass I am biased, and proud of it. I believe what I believe. And I am willing to post it every night for any liberal, conservative, anarchist, communist, or christian who is man (or woman) enough to do so to take their shots at telling me what a dumbass I am.

So just so that we are clear, and there are no further misunderstandings about who I am, I don’t like either one of the two shitty parties in the United States political arena these days. I think they are both full of shit. But let’s drill it down further. I think the Republican party is just slightly less full of shit than the Democratic party. And here is why:

I believe in social darwinism, and no that does not mean everyone dies. It means you adapt and find some way to survive, be it working harder or learning to beg for charity better. Don’t do something to make people want to give you a means to live, then you die, and I don’t feel bad about it. As a General rule Republicans believe in a helping hand not a handout, but don’t support staying completely out of my pocket for it. Democrats believe in increasing entitlements, which creates a larger dependent class. Edge Republicans.

taxes_peopleI believe that I should keep the fruits of my labor. I am OK with some taxes (a bare minimal amount) to provide for those things mentioned in the Constitution. As a general rule, Republicans want to cut taxes, while Democrats tend to raise them (despite their constant claims otherwise, Obama has already increased taxes on the poor substantially). Edge Republicans.

I believe that job growth comes from those who have money being willing to pay those that don’t have money to do the things they need done. As a general rule, Republicans believe in trickle down economics and cut taxes on the wealthy to create jobs and spur the economy. As a general rule, Democrats raise taxes on the wealthy and believe believe that providing a better ability to help Bob buy a loaf of bread spurs the economy. The Democrats trickle up theory just makes zero sense to me at all. It defies the logic in my head. Edge Republicans.

I believe in the rights of the individual over the rights of the state or the rights of a majority to intervene in the affairs of others. Republicans generally oppose gay marriage because it is not within the christian belief system to accept same sex marriage. Democrats believe that same sex couples should not be discriminated against and should be allowed to take advantage of the same benefits of marriage as same sex couples, thus not discriminating one way or another or judging someone else’s choice. Edge Democrats.

I believe that an embryo becomes a person when it has the ability to live outside the womb on its own (and please let’s not get into this debate again, I only put it here as a Democrat/Republican topic, not as a signal to begin raging the debate all over again). Republicans oppose abortion altogether, which IMO infringes on the right of the mother. Democrats believe in the woman’s right to choose, and therefore are closer to what I think. If Democrats switch to thinking that late term abortion is OK, they lose me on this one. But, at least for the moment, as I understand things, Edge Democrats.

not-about-guns-about-controlI believe in the 2nd Amendment and the right of every American to own every gun he or she wants to own. I don’t care if it is a bazooka. If they use it to commit violence, punish them harshly, but they have the right to own any weapon they like. Republicans fight gun control. Democrats do everything in their power to remove guns from society. Edge Republicans. 

I believe in the right to free speech. And that means any speech, whether I like it or not. Generally Republicans have supported this and I haven’t seen a lot of them trying to silence the left, regardless of how looney some of them have gotten. The Democrats threaten to enact the Fairness Doctrine and release DHS reports that say those who speak about state’s rights, gun control, or constitutional integrity are right wing extremists. And while we joke about it here, I am honestly hurt and angry that they would label me that way, especially as hard as I defended their right to voice dissent during the Bush years. Silencing opposition seems to be a cause for them. Edge Republicans.

I believe in the Free Market and the power it has to work if done correctly. Republicans do just slightly less than Democrats in terms exerting control over the market. I would have called this one a tie with both sides sucking, but lately the Democrats have gone over the top crazy in taking control over private industry and exerting control over it. So now I have to say, Edge Republicans, but barely.

We could do this all night with every issue in the world, but I think this covers most of the big ones. Bottom line here folks, Put the VDLG Party into the mix and they get the win on every one of these issues. Put me on a stage with whatever jackasses the two big parties want to put up there and I will make them look like 5 year olds debating Einstein. But given the two choices we have right now, Republicans beat the Democrats 6-2. So I like the Republicans more than the Democrats. I feel like the Democrats are taking us towards socialism or fascism at a faster rate than the Republicans, although both are doing it. 

So there is full disclosure. I am biased. I lean more conservative than liberal, especially when you take into account what MY definition of liberal is from the “March Towards Socialism” Series. But I don’t lean all the way conservative, as many of you have seen in my rants against the Christian right. I don’t have a problem with Christians, obviously, just with religion guiding legislation. And make no bones about it, right now the Democrats control an unstoppable Congress and the Presidency. So they are who takes the brunt of my ire against the government. If it were Republicans in that position right now, you liberals would love me to death when I went after them instead. And I would. 

Respect BoobsAs for this site. I stated above that I haven’t claimed that this site doesn’t have any bias. Since I am the author, and I am biased, it obviously has bias. I didn’t claim to anyone who came to the site that they would find me presenting unbiased views that were 50/50 split. What I claimed, and I would like for someone to correct me if I am wrong on this, is that “I welcome all views to the discussion under the protection of the site that opposing viewpoints will be debated with respect and intelligence”. That is not a claim that I “will present all sides.” That isn’t my gig. My gig is to present my side. Your gig as readers is to process what I present and discuss, refute, agree with, debate, or otherwise react to what I write. That is how this works folks. 

What I promised is intelligent debate and an honest presentation of the facts as I see them. And I think I do a pretty good job of honoring what I promised. I present the truth as I see it. I welcome anyone to show me where I am wrong, and I am 100% willing to admit when I am wrong or when you have me on presenting something inaccurately. Some of you have shown me where I was wrong, and I hope you can see that when you do I will say so and admit I was wrong. I have the thickest skin I know. I can take the shots of anyone who wants to bring and I provide a promise of honest and respectful discussion and debate. Try getting that same promise from any other political blog out there. 

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” William F. Buckley

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” William F. Buckley

I take the shots from the liberals who say my site is less of a site because I have a conservative bias. I hear them when they tell me that their liberal friends won’t come and play because of my bias. What that tells me is that those liberal friends are not interested in having conversations about their beliefs. Because if they can’t come here and debate them with me on a site where I offer a promise of respect and honesty along with a willingness to deal with competing facts and find common ground, then where exactly can they go to debate with people from the other side? If they are afraid of having a debate under those conditions, then I submit they are afraid that they cannot defend their positions. I think I can safely say that all differing opinions on this site have been debated fairly and respectfully. Am I wrong?

I really see this site as a great place to debate and discuss. And what is that the more I research and debate, the more I learn. But I really see this site as a place where we can come together and all the willing minds wishing to do so can come up with a plan that can make this country better. To that end, I have article series showing historical patterns and presenting fallacies as I see them. Furthermore, I feel like there are several on this site who do a great job of keeping us grounded in sound principles and sound philosophy.

And to that end, there is a series of articles coming beginning in the next couple of days that is going to help us all to form a more solid base to work from as we work through the issues. I am really quite excited about it and its implications in terms of making all of a bit better prepared for the tough work ahead. I hope that all the folks who read here regularly will be willing to engage in the the debate and introspection that can come of it as we go down yet another multi-article series. More information to come on this tomorrow night…

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Comments

  1. TruthSeeker says:

    AMEN!

    I align myself to almost the same beliefs. You have laid it out perfectly, and If none understands after this, they are lost.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hello All,

      Come on VLDG/VDLG (whatever it is called) Party! Looking forward to your new series US Weapon!

      I would like to suggest that our icon is an upside down pyramid. That could denote the “Individual” as the foundation with something LIKE Beck’s “Tree of Values” roots entwined at the bottom and going deep into the earth which signifies giving it strength and the support that it needs. The apples on the tree need to stay well away from the top of the pyramid to prevent them being plucked.

      Regards,
      RS

      • RS

        I was going to let this go “Come on VLDG/VDLG (whatever it is called) Party! Looking forward to your new series US Weapon!” but am feeling good this morning so figured a good chance to throw some philosophy/logic around. Not aimed at you by the way. You just gave me the opportunity to expound on a thought for everyone to consider.

        VLDG = Very Little Damn Govt. This would be BF’s party because if you have a Damned Govt you would not want very little you would want none. And we all know that BF considers any govt as damned. Therefore:
        VLDG = Very Little Damn Govt. = No Govt.

        VDLG = Very Damn Little Govt. This is JAC’s party because damn is the adjective describing the relative amount of “little” considered acceptable. And we should all know by now that JAC doesn’t think govt is evil, just that is like a vicious animal and should be kept in a secure cage. Therefore:
        VDLG = Very Damn Little Govt. = Only essential govt., with a guard at the door.

        Truth in advertising: I created the phrase but it was Life of Illusion who created the party. I am a member for now. My future membership will depend on how closely my political philosophies align with everyone else who wishes to be a member.

        More hugs back at you this AM.
        JAC

  2. SFC Dick says:

    US,

    Hell dude, you just got labaled that’s all.

    The though police were summoned because you attacked and argument and refudiating an attack and defending an argument takes work.

    Screw work, I’m calling the thought police.

    You were judged biased. Bingo, end of story.

    “Alright move along folks, nuthin to see here”

    Were I a Dick I’d drill it down a bit. Wait, I am not only a dick, I am Dick.

    The word biased came into play heavily when referring to the MSM, no one who liked the MSM bias was able to repudiate that argument, heck some people even came out with facts and figure as proof of the bias.

    So, like a little kid when it realizes the power of the word no and runs around saying ‘no” to everything, the thought police realized the power of this word.

    “heck, our biased media was called biased. It is. It is bad that people have begun to openly accept that fact. How did that happen? Ah, the word biased was used, biased is a powerfull word, let’s use it against our enemies’

    Ok, so, like the word “hater” being used to attack people by the people that regulate whom and whom not society is allowed to hate, so now the word biased is being misused as a weapon by people to describe personal preference.

    The brain stem only regulates basic body functions, higher thought requires more mass.

    The thought police don’t understand that the word biased only is a “bad thing’ if you profess yourself to be unbiased or you as an institution must be unbiased.

    Again, funny coming from the group that regulates hate, bias, prejudice and preferential treatment using Government.

    “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

  3. Black Flag says:

    A joke my wife heard:

    It was once said that a black man would be president when pigs flew…

    Well, behold, 100 days into his presidency… “Swine flu”.

    • TruthSeeker says:

      Now THAT is funny!

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      🙂

    • RWBoveroux says:

      That was sent around my office by an African American and everyone was laughing their posteriors off. Another part of my location, it was sent by a non-minority and they got called on the carpet. Riddle me that!!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Uhhmmmm… that would be typical… no surprise there 🙂

      • esomhillgazette says:

        It all depends on who tells the joke doesn’t it? When an minority person tells a joke about their people, it’s funny. When a non-minority tells the same joke, it’s racist. It’s all in the perspective and todays racisism paranoid society.

        • Well, mostly true Esom. We all have a complex when it comes to jokes about our nationality. But it was funny as hell to me and my non-majority (I like how Esom tried to be politically correct :-)…just joking with you) sent it to me. So it depends who you are…

    • Alan F. says:

      I’d think the pork was flying well ahead of that considering your new spending habits.

  4. Do decisions break down more than politics, religion, or family? Do they have to reach the biological level with people for them to at least put their thoughts forward? Perhaps so, because the inteligence vs. stupid arguement is too inflamatory.

    Two things most dangerous in this world:
    1. A man with nothing to lose
    2. An intelligent man who lets passion cloud his sight

    I’m big on quotes, most likely because I relate to the digital age, “sound-bites” and all.

    My personal fear [being a closet conspiracy nut] is that you are looking for the “Sword of the Lord”. Someone who will just say “fuck it” and do your bidding. Therefore, seditious announcements of “right-on” and “I’m in”, are cause for some concern.

    For instance: The torture of terrorists doesn’t mean much to me because I dated a woman who would have cum if I did those things to her, and then asked for more. But then arguements migrate towards, “it’s the principle” or “your a prevert”.

    Did the statement make you laugh? If so, good! Did it make you think? If so, even better!

    NOw…Rumsfeld [who makes a shitload of money off of swine-flu] can go fuck himself because he didn’t listen to Shinseki.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi Lortz,

      Respectfully, I would like to say, that some of your posting seems nasty due to some of your word/phrase choices which IMHO are totally unecessary. Just as an FYI, because of this, I personally don’t want to review/respond to your postings in the future.

      Kind Regards,
      RS

      • Dear Sir;

        I understand your point. I have a “knack” for pissing people off. I’d be more than willing to provide my personal email via an intermediate, USWEAPON@GMAIL.COM.

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Hi Lortz,

          Please understand that you haven’t po’d me. I ‘personally’ just think that the “F” Bomb should be used very sparingly and with reservation! That’s it.

          Btw…it’s Ma’am, not sir…or, feel free to call me Richmond or RS.

          Kind regards,
          RS

          • Alan F. says:

            While that language is/was meant to be sharp, using too often actually accomplishes the very opposite. Type everything in caps, you’re just yelling away and everyone just tunes you out.

    • Lortz:

      I would like to echo Spitfire’s sentiments regarding your “style”. Perhaps the reason you make people angry (three words that express the same thought without mentioning bodily fluids) is because you resort to vulgariy. Something our elders told us was a sign of ignorance. I myself slip into it when angry because I have a limited vocabulary. I always admired men like W.F. Buckley because they could shred a man with the most genteal words.

      You display great potential for critical thought and argument. I hope you will make an effort to fulfull that potential.

      And by the way, your #2 fear above is an oxymoron. A truly intelligent man would not let his thinking be clouded. But he would have very strong convictions, until it was proven they were wrong. Then he would change.

      Best Wishes
      JAC

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Hi JAC…

        It’s interesting…My Mother (a Southern Lady) is able to shred a person w/o them realizing it for a few weeks!

        She used to do that to my first husband…to this day, he laughs about it and tells me quite often that he’d be driving somewhere and all of the sudden “get it”; and feel somewhat abashed!

        Regards,
        RS

      • Ditto

    • USWeapon says:

      Well Lortz… It seems that I have arrived after some folks were a little upset with the way that you phrased some things. Not to worry. A couple of thoughts on the language. I don’t have a lot of problem with language, so long as it is not directed towards anyone on the site. What I will not tolerate is an attack on anyone expressing a different opinion. You, sir have not crossed that line so I thank you.

      For all: while a bit crude in the expression of his thoughts, Lortz does bring up some good thoughts. While the language can be offensive, be careful not to simply ignore relevant thought because you don’t like the delivery. Remember that the liberal folks don’t like MY delivery, and it would be a shame if they passed on learning what I need to teach them because of that. What I greatly appreciate is that everyone expressed their opinions respectfully. I personally might have used different wording, Lortz, my friend. But I am also aware that every person has their own way of communicating. However take their criticism to heart. I have been called on similar things and while I intended no disrespect, as I know that you did not, I still work to make that change in my delivery, because the point for me is to be effective. You have much to add to our discussions, let’s make sure everyone is listening.

      To your points: “Do decisions break down more than politics, religion, or family? Do they have to reach the biological level with people for them to at least put their thoughts forward? Perhaps so, because the inteligence vs. stupid arguement is too inflamatory.”

      I think that people at their core want to be good. 90% of them anyway. I don’t think people are generally stupid either. I do think that many people lack several things: The desire to be informed and the ability to think critically about the things they are presented with. Therefore I try to do both, inform and provide critical thinking with it.

      “Two things most dangerous in this world:
      1. A man with nothing to lose
      2. An intelligent man who lets passion cloud his sight”

      I agree with JAC above. A truly intelligent man does not let passion cloud his sight. I try my best to not do so, although I fail sometimes. Each different position presented to me here is one that I will consider, apply critical thought to, and either accept or reject, nothing more or less. I am not looking for anyone to follow me, just listen to my thoughts. That is why I put them out there. Then they are free to tear them apart, which they often do. Will people follow me? Hard to say. I lead naturally. But that is not my intent here. I want to learn and teach together with everyone willing to learn and teach me, so that we can create a base from which we can weather the storm rolling in and rebuild a better place when it passes.

  5. Black Flag says:

    And as far as unbiased, I’m the only one who could claim that!

    I see no redeeming value in ANY politician or government 🙂

    • If an angry mob drags you out into the street, don’t you think you’d be looking for a cop?

      • A smart man wouldn’t stand around waiting for the angry mob to get close enough. While I respect cops for the work they do, I personnally have no use for them.

        G!

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          My answer to this issue:

          Average response time to a 911 call is over four minutes.
          Average response time of a .357 magnum is 1400 FPS

          Kind Regards,
          RS

          • esomhillgazette says:

            😀 Right on Sista Girl!!!

          • RS

            My dear you make my heart sing. I will be smiling all day with that one.

            Lots of Hugs and Best O the Morning to Ya
            JAC

          • DominoMF says:

            SING IT GIRL. Funny, if I were a criminal (which I hope that I never become), I know that I would not want to break into your house.

            Shoot first… Ask questions later.

      • SFC Dick says:

        Lortz

        No need to look for cops if they’re the one’s doing the dragging.

        See Richmond spitfire, it’s ok.

        I believe the moment took him and the taboo slipped out.

        Taboo? one of the things that will get your movie an NC17 rating.

        It has to do with Females

        and “arriving”

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Lortz,

        If you had gone back over the history of Black Flag’s postings on this site you would realize what a silly question that is. Go back and read past articles, read his past article, read his responses and replies to the past articles, and then come back and see if it makes any sense to ask him that question again.

        • I do not live in the past, I live in the now.

          If you wish to reference movies…

          In the Disney Movie, “The Jungle King”. The baboon teaches Simba a lesson by smacking him in the head. What was that lesson?

          I fill follow this up with another “off-the-wall” reference. “IMUA”

          • Most of us learn lessons in two ways. 1. By making personnal mistakes. 2. By watching others make mistakes (see last election).

          • “I do not live in the past, I live in the now.”

            The net effect of which is to ignore knowledge and its roots, reason and reality.

            Words have meaning, use them wisely.

            JAC

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            One should live in the now, but know the lessons learned from the past so as not to repeat someone else’s past failures.

            Also what I was saying is that knowing the content of Black Flag’s past postings on this site would give you plenty of background to realize how silly your question was.

            I don’t think that I referenced any movies in MY post… perhaps someone else did.

          • Alan F. says:

            “I do not live in the past, I live in the now.” So do dogs according to Caesar Milan little wonder they’re not running things.

    • Black Flag says:

      Lortz,

      The last time an angry mob dragged someone out into the street, the cops were standing – scared – down the street and watched.

      It took the brave citizens who acted that saved his life.

      You do remember the L.A. riots, right???

    • So you are ok with mob rule?

      We need police and we need fireman, they serve a greater good.

      Now I will tell you that if someone decided they wanted whatever is inside my walls and I am home well….I would need the police to write the report indicating a rightous kill since I would be “in fear of my life and I stopped the threat”.

      Cops do help keep the peace if by no other means than they are a threat to those who would initiate violence.

      This kind of wraps around the idea that there is a need for some government controls and laws, since the lack thereof would be chaos. Despite what people think there is both good and bad in the world, and organized entities dedicated to serving a purpose better ensures peacefull cohabitation.

      Besides if you don’t have a form of government rule, supported with common laws you will have a form of government by default. It will be kind of like the game we use to play called “king of the mountain” I rule until somebody stronger can knock me off the hill.

      It’s a fun game, but no way to manage a society; history has proven that.

      A government for the people and laws promoting that government are an absolute if you want the liberties we endear.

      • SFC Dick says:

        Common man, sir

        I dissagree with

        “Cops do help keep the peace if by no other means than they are a threat to those who would initiate violence.”

        the good people of the US keep the peace by acting in an oderly fashion, by selfcontrol.

        were every one to act as that mob of knuckleheads did in LA all the cops in the US couldn’t maintain order.

        I put cops in the same catagory as fire rescue, they are real good at responding and fighting the thing, but as prevention

        1. It is not fire rescue’s job to prevent.

        2. It is the cops but they can’t do it.

        I don’t think Americans as a whole realize how much they have to do with the US being a pretty nice place to be.

        There are place around the world, I can think of a couple right off the top of my head, where there is much policing and alot of “cops” on the ground but these places are not safe at all.

        Why?

        Because the citizenry does not give a damn about any one but themselves and have no self restraint.

        America, give yourself a great big round of applause, it is you, the every day dude and dude’t that behave well, don’t chase down and kill people because of some real or assumed slight and , for the most part, don’t engage in centuries old blood fueds.

        Nice work folks.

        • I applaud your appreciation for the decent citizens of America; and yes I beieve that as a whole we are good hearted neighbours.

          My disagreement is with the prinicpal that we don’t need a police force.

          That is kind of like saying we don’t need a military. If you leave the people to police themselves then you are setting yourself up for chaos.

          I am a staunce supporter of the 2nd Ammendment, but there are people out there that should not have access to weapons. They are just evil and left unchecked, or instilled with a sense of rule, would do bad things.

          Without laws, a police force and a judicial system how do you guard against them wrecking havoc?

          A proper and peaceful society needs to be supported by a realistic structure serving the good of the whole. Leaving people to govern themsleves and you will return us to trible instinct.

        • Black Flag says:

          Common Man,

          So tell me, with all these “rules” by government and cops….

          … why is there still crime and evil?

          You will find that your answer means crime has nothing to do with rules by government, so making a case that “without government, there would be mob rule” is exactly the same case “with government rule”. There is no difference in your argument.

          The difference I offer is between a “MORAL” basis and government (which is Immoral).

  6. esomhillgazette says:

    Howdy Doody US:

    I agree to pretty much all you said up top except the Abortion thing-a-ma-jig. And I won’t go into any detail because you already know that. You have your op and I have mine and that’s that.

    I pretty much enjoyed the conversations yesterday. Even the Liberals viewpoints made you think. I think a couple of times they were arguing so hard that they didn’t realize that they were agreeing with us on some of it.

    I have to say that I too am biased. Probably much more conservative than you are in some repects. A little less in others.

    I did not vote for Obama but didn’t do much politically aside from voting until the last election. And like you I tried to support out new President simply because he WAS the President and in the Army I was taught that you repected the CIC no matter who he was. I was lucky however that RR was Pres. while I was in.

    But as Obama began his Presidency it didn’t take but just a few days for my fears about the bastard to be realized. Starting with his first act as Pres to close Guantanamo. No plan. No nothing. Just close it. Then after all the preaching from him about Bi-Partisanship, the first thing he does is tell the Republicans in Congress, I won, we’ll do it my way. I have to say that this is the very point when I began to say. WTF????

    I will admit that there have actually been 1 or 2 things that I can see his point on. I can’t remember what they are but I do remember thinking, now he’s right about that. And also, he did lay all this horsehockey he’s doing now down in his campaign. There just were too many caught up in his personality and his “hope and change” crap to notice.

    His way and Nazi Pelosi and Harry Reid’s ways are going to be a disaster for the Nation if they get what they want. And if Frankenstein gets in, and gives them that 60 vote majority, we are well and truly screwed.

    You know, I have never been so down and out about the Country in my adult life. There was a time when I would have gotten in some assholes face and told them: Hey! This is my Country! We may not be perfect but we’re the best thing out there! If you don’t love my Country then why don’t you get the hell out! Move back to (insert place here).

    I still would say that even now. But 4 years from now, will I still say it then? Will this Nation even resemble the one that I defended so vehemently? I can’t help but wonder.

  7. Black Flag says:

    So Obama won’t release the “torture pics” because it could endanger the troops.

    Exactly my point about torture.

    • BF

      I don’t think that is the real reason. Just the standard excuse.

      And top of the mornin to you also
      JAC

      • Black Flag says:

        Thanks!

        Still buried in the “Freezer” watching for non-existent fires!

        Thankfully, tomorrow they should be done.

    • Actually, my understanding is that these are separate issues. The pictures are supposedly of prisoner abuse that was performed un sanctioned and with no expectation of gaining vital information. Where as the ‘torture’ that has to do with harsh interrogation techniques was sanctioned. The issues are being addressed next to each other I believe with the intent to confuse the common American reader/listener.

      • Beth:

        Outstanding information. I for one had not heard that. Meaning the goal of confusing was achieved.

        Do you have any references so I could dig deeper?

        JAC

        • esomhillgazette says:

          Yeah JAC. These pictures the press and the ACLU are arguing about releasing are more pictures like the ones a few years ago when the guards were taking humiliating and degrading picures of Iraqi prisoners. These had a little to do with Rumsfeld eventually stepping down.

          The press and Liberals wanted his butt so bad thay couldn’t stand it. Like he personally did it. They wound up “Scapegoating” a few and legitimately prosecuting a few more.

          These pics have been in the court system for a few years now with the ACLU Lawyer scumbags arguing for their release. The judge decided in favor of the ACLU and against the Bush Administration, which is when this whole bunch of dookey started.

          Obama has simply waffled on whether to release them or not. Or say no in the interests of National Security. Which he will probably have to do to keep them out of the public eye.

          • Now I understand.

            He is passing the buck to the courts. He looks good holding them back and some judge catches the OOMPAH later for deciding to release them.

            Thanks for the clarity.
            JAC

    • CWO2USNRet says:

      Torture? What torture? AFAIK we haven’t beaten, cut, burned, broken bones, attach electrodes to private parts, etc. to anybody. The EITs in the news don’t come close to reaching the level of torture, legally or morally, with one possible exception. Waterboarding is borderline and debatable but, IMO, is not torture.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        CWO, some of us keep saying that but have thus far been ignored. As for me, I could really give a crap if they were tortured or not. After 9/11, my sympathy for those bastards is in no-existent.

      • CWO:
        Did you find those dancing snakes yet?

    • Alan F. says:

      Was not about that as I posted earlier but another sleight of hand. Uni-health is taking a beating as is destroying fragile ecosystems to go “green”. He merely chose the wrong diversion. Look for another to take its place immediately as its necessary.

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I am unabashedly biased, and I most certainly don’t care if people know it. 20 years ago I was unabashedly biased in completely the opposite direction and didn’t care who knew that then either.

    What made me “switch sides”? Mostly it was the fact that I finally saw the left for what they truly were. The left claim that they care about the poor and downtrodden, they care about the environment, they care about union workers, they care about the children, and on and on and on.

    Instead of supporting policies that would truly educate our children and give them the skills that they need to actually succeed in life, they have created a public schooling system that is of poor quality and indoctrinates the students into a culture of dependency on Government.

    In spite of the United States having the cleanest Air, Water, and Land that we have had since 5 years after the Industrial Revolution started, they continue to push for more and more stringent environmental regulation in order to shut down business, make money off of the people, and generally assert more control over whatever they can.

    Instead of trying to create a welfare system where those in need are given further education and training in both vocational and life skills and then rewarded for ultimately becoming productive members of society, they have created a welfare program which gives people more money for remaining single, having more kids, and not taking a job even if one is available.

    Instead of creating an environment where industry is allowed to flourish and provide jobs for the people (especially unions), they have created an environment where industry is regulated into the ground to the point where it cannot be competitive with other industrialized nations any more.

    Those are just some of the reasons I went from being a big liberal to being a big conservative. When you see a philosophy claiming to support a whole bunch of things, and yet almost every program they inact has the exact opposite effect of what they claim to intend, you cannot any longer support their position.

    Think about this folks. We constantly hear that 2/3 of the US GDP is Consumer Spending. Think about what this actually MEANS (AND THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!)

    If 2/3 of our GDP is consumer spending, then only 1/3 of our GDP is PRODUCTION. This essentially means (if you do some simple math) that we are SPENDING 50% more per year than the value of goods we are PRODUCING, and this SPENDING is the main driver of GDP/the economy. I would argue that that is clearly unsustainable.

    If the VDLG really wants to make a splash, they need to come out in favor of responsible reindustrialization of our Nation, because that is the only thing that has any hope of rescuing our economy from total collapse in my humble opinion.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Peter,

      I agree with your statement of reindustrialization. It seems that the ONLY thing “Made in America” now are:

      * @ss-kissing “Services” for ‘elective’ purchases
      * @ss-kicking “Mandates” for ‘necessary’ purchases/needs

      Because of the @ss-kicking “mandates”, my ability to obtain @ss-kissing “services” has dramatically reduced.

      Regards,
      RS

    • Peter B:

      Your 1/3 and 2/3 comparison of GDP does not support you argument about lack of sustainability. That simply shows the “value added” between production and consumption. Also remember that “theoretically” most base production jobs expand to 6 or 7 jobs economy wide. I happen to think these are false numbers but all economists use them.

      I don’t disagree with your conclusion, however. The primary clue is the consumer debt load compared to expenditures and average income, from all sources. We have been consuming on debt. Unsustainable, as we now see. Unfortunately those in govt don’t seem to think the same economic rules apply to them.

      Now for a real head scratcher. How can consumer spending be 2/3 of our GDP when combined govt spending is probably around 40 to 50% (local, state, federal)?

      The VDLG will have zero tax on business and only those regulations that protect our health and safety (clean air & water based on human consumption, not general comfort), that is if I have the final say. Of course there in lies the real problem. One of us doesn’t get to decide for the rest.

      Good Morning to you Peter as well.
      Best Wishes for a great day.
      JAC

      • Black Flag says:

        Zero tax on “business” – including “Corporations”?

        Or Zero Tax only for real people?

        • Zero “income” tax on all businesses, including corporations. We’ll get to the rest later.

          What are you doing looking over my shoulder anyway? I thought you were in the freezer?

          LOL
          JAC

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        JAC

        My 2/3 of the GDP being attributed to Consumer Spending vs. 1/3 coming from Production led to the VERY simple math that we are spending 50% more than the value of what we produce. I will admit that doing 1/3 divided by 2/3 = 50% is a BIG oversimplification economically speaking, but I think it is clear to everyone that on a personal level, on a corporate level, and on a Governmental level, America as a whole does actually seem to be spending about 50% more than we are taking in on an annual basis, and I see this primarily based in the fact that America does not produce “things” anymore for the most part.

        I do realize that my “simple math” was a gross oversimplification, but I think that statistically it bears out pretty well. I suppose in the future I should make it more clear when I am vastly oversimplifying things in that way just to make a point 🙂

        Having a good day here and hoping you are too!

        Peter

        • Peter:

          I understood you were generalizing. And I was not using the 50% govt spending to criticize your math. I brought it up because the general numbers you used are used by the media and they don’t add up with the known value of govt spending as the result of the last 6 months allocations.
          What I was tryng to point out is that using the difference between the value of goods sold by producers and the value paid by consumers to consume is not necessarily a measure of the problem you are presenting.

          I agree with your diagnosis regarding the need to produce more in our country. In the long run a country must be able to balance the inflow of capital with the outflow. If we want to increase wealth then we need more inflow of capital than outflow. That requires more export.

          This would create a wealthy nation but not one where everyone was necessarily employed. And therein lies the crux of the politics being played out before us today.

          Best to you and yours
          JAC

        • Producing “things” is no longer necessary to gain great wealth. We have left the industrial age and are now in the information age. Not that we don’t still need industry. Just like we still have agriculture, even though the industrial age happened, we will still need industry, but that’s not where the big money is . . . America still leads the world.

          The VDLG’s position of not taxing business (it only really taxes individuals anyway, just cost passed down the line) and very little regulation is the best way to ensure that America stays on top and leads. It is also the only way to permanently raise the living standard for poorer Americans and people through out the world.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I disagree that producing things is no longer necessary to produce great wealth.

            Perhaps if the “thing” you produce is a piece of software, that thing is less tangible than an automobile.

            However, let’s look at something like Facebook for example. Some person (or people) came up with the idea of putting together this “social networking site” in which people can communicate with each other in a new(ish) way. The maker of the site makes the majority of profit by selling advertizing space on the site.

            Originally this “idea” is thought to be worth BILLIONS of dollars. However, once everyone realizes that it is not THAT novel of a concept and that the amount of money it can make through the sale of advertizing space is going to be limited because, although popular, the site will never exceed a certain number of subscribers, then the value of the “idea” falls to a more realistic figure based upon the projected average number of subscribers and the projected revenue through sales of advertising space. At that point, a more “true” value of this idea is achieved. This has happened with virtually all of the dot com companies, whether it be in the grand collapse of 1999 or the slower collapses of value of each and every dot com company we see today.

            The problem with things like facebook is that they literally produce nothing, outside of advertizing space for other entities. Sure, they do produce some jobs for people that must take care of the hardware and software and servers, and negotiate agreements with advertizers, etc. But, on net, they produce NOTHING. In fact, it could be argued that they make people less productive 🙂

            I firmly believe that until we start producing real goods for our own purchase, use and consumption again the economy will continue on its downward spiral. It is possible that I am wrong, but as I see it, every year that the production of actual goods in this country has declined, our national deficit and national debt has increased.

          • CWO2USNRet says:

            “The VDLG’s position of…”

            Sounds like the beginning of a platform! I like it.

          • Production of goods IN America is vital. Not everyone will or wants to go to college. There are those people out there, my son for example, who just don’t want to work in an office or at a computer station all day and prefer working with their hands making things. He works for a commercial glazing company and is currently studying to get his contractors license. This work is not brain surgery or rocket science but does require common sense. Industry provides work for these types of people and unless we get more production work back into the US alot of these people will fall into the government entitlement trap. These jobs will raise the standard of living for the poorer americans and bring back much needed jobs.

        • SFC Dick says:

          we need industry making real goods. Software and such is real but we need more nuts and bolts stuff.

          I used to be a gun dealer.

          Yeh, a dealer…show up to the school yard, find a kid and hand him a little 2 shot derringer “ok dude, first one’s free, the others are going to cost you’

          I think this happened, the assault weapons ban, well I know that did, but a part of the ban was to ban importation.

          wasn’t the effect of that, the void in the markett, what drove all manner of gun manufacturing through the roof.

          Springfield armory expanded it’s line to making (very nice, high quality) H&K’s and FN type weapons.

          Didn’t that lead to a whole bunch of new manufacturers of AR15 types?

          I believe it did. The irony is incredibley sweet on that.

          Just call the president’s C.O.S, tell him, ya gotta ban cars capable of going 100mph.

          All imports stop and somebody will buy the tooling from GM.

          thank you, that’s what I do. I’m here to help.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Peter – I am very curious as to the how and why of your own personal flip flop and thus will ask (and not to harp on a single part of your post but more as an example):

      “Instead of supporting policies that would truly educate our children and give them the skills that they need to actually succeed in life, they have created a public schooling system that is of poor quality and indoctrinates the students into a culture of dependency on Government.”

      So here is what I am curious about – what was Peter’s sweat equity in this? How did Peter get involved? Did he attend school board meetings? Did he run for a seat on the school board? Did he meet and dialogue with teachers? Did Peter discuss the issue with other parents and develop pragmatic ways to effect any modicum of change? What were Peter’s expectations at the start? In the middle? At the end? What was the context of the ‘policies’ given the mix of rule the last 20 years and who the Sec DOE was at any particular time? Assuming Peter had/has kids – how much time was spent on the back end with the same to augment what was/was not being learned in school?

      Help me understand – personally I have never viewed the educational system from a political perspective and I have no children of my own yet- thus I have only loosely assembled notions/ideas of what reality is.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ray,

        Fortunately or unfortunately, I am not speaking from the perspective of an activist on either side of the equation, but more as an opinionated observer.

        I have been married twice. My first wife had a son (prior to her relationship with me) who is now 17. He spent his K-8 years in a Catholic school and has spent his first 3 years of high school in a Charter School (nominally part of the public school system, but much more centered towards actual education in my opinion).

        Now, my second wife and I have 2 kids of our own, but they are currently 3 and 5 and have not started formal schooling yet. I may not be able to afford to put them into a private school, so they may be destined for the public school system. If that is the case, you can bet that I am going to try to get them into Charter Schools (though the waiting list where I am is HORRIBLY LONG) rather than getting them into “traditional” public schools. You can also bet that either my wife or I (or both of us) will be involved in the school board, will actively talk with the teachers of our children, and be a very active participant in their education.

        It is also possible that my wife and I could home-school our kids, but we have not decided yet if we want to go that route or not.

        My beef with the public education system can basically be summed up as follows:

        I do not know the current number of students in the US that still cannot read even though they have “passed” the eigth grade since I haven’t looked up that statistic recently, but I do know that whatever that number is, it should be a hell of a lot closer to ZERO. I do not care what your socio-economic background is, well before the age of 13, you should be taught a skill as basic as reading and should pretty well have mastered it by the age of 13. If we have a public education system that is allowing students to progress to 9th grade without a basic ability to read, the system is an abject failure. I could give further reasons why I think that the public education system is a failure, but they would all be variations on that same theme for the most part.

        As far as a liberal vs conservative viewpoint on public education:

        From my viewpoint, we are paying the government to provide the service of educating our youth. I have seen figures ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 per year per student as the cost of educating our children, depending on the school district. If this education system that we are paying this much money for the service of educating our children, and our children are not getting the best possible education available for the money that we are spending, we are essentially getting ripped off.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        Ray, I can also expand on this issue as I work IN a Middle School. There are in fact 8th graders who still are unable to read, do math problems, and do not care whether or not they receive an education at all. Neither apparently do their parents. Yet they are passed on to the 9th grade because, after all, we can’t have anyone failing now can we?

        This phenomenon is NOT approved of by the teachers. It is FORCED on them by our Government through the “No Child Left Behind Act”. This is why I say that that act is all well and good in THEORY, but worthless in actual practice. And when this worthless Act fails, who gets blamed? The Teachers!! I have heard it said that it is not a failure of the Program, but a failure on the teachers part to implement the Program properly. In my opinion that is typical CYA Government Bulldookey! If the Government implemented a plan, nothing could possibly be wrong with it right?

        Our school teachers here spend more time doing Government required paperwork than they do teaching children and grading papers. They spend their entire summers taking Government required classes, not in actual schooling to teach their children better, but to better implement the Governments bullshit programs that have already been proven not to work!

        Then we have the illegals here in my County school system that are included in the Annual Yearly Progress reports. They come from some of the worst schools in the world and half of them are more interested in getting in the local gangs here than they are actually learning! Yet, once again, we are REQUIRED by our Government to enroll them in school whether they are illegal or not. Some cannot even speak English! And before it is said, this does not include ALL of them. Only about half. Some are as smart as my kid, and mine is in the gifted classes as are they. Most of these Hispanics are 2nd Generation though and not illegals.

        We have no Charter schools here and the only Private ones are IMO, substandard small christian schools. And in Floyd Co. we have the Ultra Expensive Darlington School. It cost upwards of $20K per year to go there although it is an excellent school. I don’t make but $20K per year, so that is out of the realm of possibility.

        Public Schools are without doubt a disaster. At least in this County. I have seen nothing from others that sounds any better.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Now I fell like I am in a pickle – it seems like the charters around where I live are all corrupt. Ugh!

        • Esom;

          You are striking the nail correctly. My wife is a Special Education teacher in Flint, MI (yeah I no UGH, what a city) and I hear all the bunk relative to Government mandates. As an example she is expected and mandated to teach Science, Social Studies, World History and more to kids who can’t yet read “Dick and Jane”. She has a hard enough time getting these kids to understand basic money principals so that they can buy candy at the local store without getting ripped off.

          In addition the system insists that these kids spend as much time in regular class rooms as possible, which in a number of cases serves to set the special kids back. A result of name calling and belittleing. And it is all driven by the “No child left behind act”

          I will tell you that she manages to do a great job, validated by the continued increase in parent participation, but the system still drives for more unrealistic goals.

          Most of these kids have IQ’s below 70, some under 50 so an understanding of World History, advance math, economics is as realistic as expecting them to take over a major corporation as the CEO. It is just not in them.

          And nobody wants to get me started on the Public Educations System.

          If you are put into a position where your kids must attend public schools, take a daily interest in what they are being taught, and work with them to learn alternate realities. My wife and I did and although we were not well liked by the administrative staffs, we were greatly appreciated by the teachers.

  9. Ray Hawkins says:

    Well thought out US (mostly)……

    Exchange bias for objectivity and the debate may shift a wee bit – mea culpa here

    social darwinism – not that I do not disagree with this – but I need someone to wrap my head around why this does not lead to class warfare?

    Taxes? C’mon – what happened when Reagan cut taxes? Deficit spending? Edge = no one

    Free Market – not sure who gets this edge – a purely free economy is a dangerous thing (yes – I’m a moderate Keynesian). Edge = anyone that can apply the right brakes the right time

    2nd Amendment – I know this horse has been kicked many times and I suppose I’ll never understand the redeeming qualities/needed for certain classes of weapons to be available to the GP – I often think ‘well why do we then have speed limits (people kill people not cars), drink limits at bars (people kill people, not the amount of booze you ingest), standards on drug manufacturing and distribution (people kill people not improperly designed or dispensed drugs)’. I know the argument folks – I know that you’re pointing and screaming at the 2nd amendment and to hell with everything else. Edge = logically / Democrats, practically = the NRA

    Free speech – I read your argument as supporting a Democrat view – help me out here folks

    Economic growth – I think if you true and adjust for ‘screwed-up-ness’ – e.g. reduce all the growth of the last 10-14 years by the cluster we’re in now, and work from a balanced budget perspective we may find that no one has ‘won’ here. The sweetness of today is being paid by the bitterness of tomorrow.

    So – my net net is that I’m pretty sure the GOP does not come out ahead – as you said we can have this pissing match all day.

    FWIW I did enjoy the read though.

    • Hey Ray,

      We must have been writing at the same time; this is exactly what I would like to see, except, explain your actual views and how they are practiced and how they will move our country forward instead of the “look what Reagan did” as an answer to taxes.

      Like free speech – yep, that’s how the Democrats like to view themselves – very open to free speech, but how do the liberals actually practice it? Look at the hullabaloo over Ms. California; the tea parties, and on and on and then tell me again how the left is tolerant? You don’t see this or just won’t admit it?

      Look forward to reading your thoughts….

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Ok Kathy – I will take the bait here

        Example: Carrie Prejean, during the pageant, was an employee of the sponsoring pageant organization. While she has a constitutional protection of free speech – there is ample case law that demonstrates that in the context of employment her speech may be limited. It is why she had to sign a contract with the organization. It is the same reason that in most all places, when you get a job you are required to read and agree to certain policies that restrict your speech while in the work place. Prejean had no more right to protections of free speech during her employment that I do to make racist statements while I am at work – regardless of what battle my ancestors fought in. Make sense?

        Example: Tea Parties – I am not sure what the beef here is. Are you another liberal that hates the idea of the fairness doctrine then bitches that the liberal MSM media didn’t cover it? I saw portions of the tea party in Philadelphia and watched reports of it from all angles of media – I saw plenty of ‘free speech’ there – some of it well thought out and well put, some of it counter-productive, hate-filled and racist. Make sense?

        Example: Taxes – I was responding generally to a generalization (“As a general rule, Republicans want to cut taxes, while Democrats tend to raise them”). I find the statement to generally be b.s. – read my lips: they all raise taxes or they spend in deficit. To state one side is cleaner than the other is a vacuous notion and therefore rejected. Make sense?

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Should have read “are you another conservative” in pt deux

        • Free speech: Are you saying that an employer has the power to force a US citizen to make statements that are contrary to their core values? I’d like to see the contract that Prejean signed that stated she had to support gay marriage. She was asked the question as part of the pageant, and answered it honestly. Since when are the pageant contenstants told they should lie? the problem is that she was raked over the coals for her answer. You don’t have to agree with her, you just have to debate respectfully. Free speech isn’t free if you are threatened physically, financially, or otherwise when you excercise it.

          I am extrememly disapointed in people from the left (most of whom do not represent the Democrat Party)in their lately taken stance on speech. Liberals always used to be the champions of individual freedoms and have done a great deal of good in this country because of it. It’s very sad that they have abandoned that position the moment they felt threatened by it.

          Tea Parties: It’s not that they weren’t covered so much, more that the media derided and even decended to the level of vulgar jokes to demean them.

          Taxes: I have to agree with you here, Ray. Both parties raise taxes, sometimes blatantly and sometimes obliquely, both parties grow govt. The Republicans just do a better job of sounding like they’re not. You do have to admit though that Obama has created unprecedented tax and govt growth.

          • Michelle

            Your frustration with Liberals is the same as many of us.
            They are not “Liberals” anymore.

            By the way you will become an automatic member of the VDLG once you become a radical right wing liberal. Everyone else has to work harder to get in….

            Cold, windy and cloudy here. I assume you have the same.
            Good morining anyhow!!!
            JAC

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Michelle – Prejean is whining that the attempts to control her free speech cost her the crown. I am simply stating that as an employee of the pageant free speech doesn’t have jack to do with it. She (and you) are confusing the issue. She can say whatever the hell she wants, but it wasn’t a freedom of speech issue. I can absolutely be threatened financially (work place) if I exercise free speech that my employer has told me I do not have – but that is not what happened at the pageant.

            • I have not heard her “whine”. She has answered questions when asked in a professional manner. Has she made personal attacks at Hilton? Has Hilton made personal attacks at her? So who is doing the “whining”?

              Freedom of speech, yes the contest has the right to censor her speech. Her answer was allowed within their guidelines or she would have been dis-qualified. Be honest, whether you like her or her statements, she has shown “class” in all her answers, while her critics are reduced to petty name calling.

              • esomhillgazette says:

                Miss California. WOW, what a babe! Not only good lookin’, but extremely smart and articulate also. Told it like she felt and castigated by the Liberal Moron Mob. Judging by Her, CA Mama, and Kym, I have seriously misjudged California’s women. They’re not ALL Liberal Wackos as they’re represented by Pelosi are they? Ladies, please accept my heartfelt apology and my heartfelt condolences that Nazi Pelosi represents ya’ll in Congress.

              • Its an easy assumption to make, truth be told I was beginning to think I was one of the only ones here that doesn’t have a little Pelosi shrine in my entry way to pay homage to.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Number one – Hilton is an imbecile.

                Number two – she is the one that was staking her part to Freedom of Speech. “The First Amendment has nothing to do with getting flak for speaking one’s mind; it simply protects a citizen from being imprisoned for that act.”

                Even though I don’t agree with her I give her kudos for speaking her mind.

                As the great Keith Olbermann put it:

                “Your grandfather did not fight to protect your right to answer a question during a network television soft porn special without consequences or fallout… He fought to protect you from having the government stop us from speaking our minds.”

              • Was this the same response Olbermann gave when someone from the Repub party questioned the patriotism of those attacking the war effort while our troops were engaged?

                Or was that when he started doing his Edward R. Murrow routine and screaming McCarthy, McCarthy at the top of his lungs.

                Which of course gets to the original point. The statement was made about the hypocrisy of the Left or those who claim to be Liberals. The more you try to justify the uproar the more you make Kathy’s case.

              • Ray,

                I do not watch Olbermann so I was hoping you could help me out with this. Has Olbermann or any of his guests taken Hilton to task for his actions?

                It seems everyone is laying the blame on Prejean for simply answering a loaded question.

                Personally I watch O’Reilly and he has had two feminists on the program that did nothing to defend Prejean. One even went so far as to make fun of her breast implants. (go figure?)He has also had a gay journalist on who really didn’t take a side. I would think that the gay community would want to back Prejean in this instance just to show Hilton that he is not in the majority with his tactics and opinions. Not to say that they agree with her, but just to state that they agree that she has a right to express her opinion.

            • “I am simply stating that as an employee of the pageant free speech doesn’t have jack to do with it.” This is a conclusion based on erroneous conclusions regarding realtiy.

              She is not an employee.
              The contract places no restrictions on her answers to questions posed during the contest.
              She was verbally crucified by the judge(s) and others for her answer, which was given within the terms of her contract.
              Judges admitted that she lost her assumed crown due to her answer, which was given within the terms of her contract.

              I have not heard the lady whine or otherwise complain about the results. If you have evidence please provide it.

              Now, if personal attack on someone for expressing a view point in an answer to a question posed during a contest, and the answer is within the terms of the contract, is not an attack on free speech – then what is it?

              Let me tell you…it was an attack on the freedom to think and thus hold an opinion.

              Ray, your whole argument here is not connected to the issue. The contract is connected to her participation in demonstrations for ant-gay marriage rallies. But that was addressed when “The Donald” ruled it was all just a “misunderstanding” and allowed her to retain her Miss California Crown.

              • esomhillgazette says:

                What I really want to know is what all the hoopla is about anyway. They asked. She answered. It cost her the crown. She don’ care because she answered with her honest opinion. If Sicko Perez didn’t like the answer, he shouldn’t have asked it. As far as the pictures she made, I’ve seen racier pics than that on television.

                So once again. What’s the big frickin’ deal?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                I spent cycles trying to present the position – read my response to LOI.

            • I’m agreeing with Ray on this. You can be fired from a job for stating opinions your boss has specifically told you not to do. In this case though Perez should not have been allowed to ask the question in the first place because no matter what her answer would have been it was destined to upset one group or another. I will applaud her for answering the question truthfully according to her beliefs.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                It is sad if she lost the crown b/c of her answer – Hilton is piece of scum that makes a living off the misfortune of others.

        • jrobo1980 says:

          So if a co-worker asks you if you like Mexicans or how you feel about illegal immigration and you answer in the negative then your up for being fired?

          How about if your boss asks you the same question?

          Just curious

          on a side note in line with a past article on “sin taxes” their is this article on Politico.com http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22444.html

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Ray,

      Social Darwinism… yes, this could lead to class warfare I suppose. My answer to this is to do our best to give the people (both the adults and the children) the tools they need to enable them to succeed to the best of their abilities. No matter what you do, some people are going to have the skill-set necessary to become a doctor, and some people are going to have the skill-set necessary to work in a coal mine. That in and of itself is not a bad thing. The son or daughter of a coal miner may well possess the skill-set to become a doctor!

      Taxes – When Reagan cut taxes inflation went down, employment went up, the GDP went up, incoming revenue to the Government went up, and overall the economy improved. One only need to compare 1976-1982 to 1983-1988 to see that the economy improved dramatically.

      2nd Amendment – “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Thomas Jefferson

      Economic Growth – Pretty much agree with your statement here. It seems clear to me that in the absence of much true production of hard commodities by the US, the Federal Reserve and the Government have conspired to give us a series of booms and busts, each boom being less prosperous than the previous, and each bust being more grevious than the previous. This cycle is unsustainable. Currently you see the Government and the Federal Reserve attempting to create another false boom using the same tactics that created the last several false booms. Injecting play-money into the economy and freeing up the debt markets so that corporations, the Government, and the people can borrow even more (which they clearly cannot afford to do) will only work so long before the entire system goes bankrupt.

      “It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.” TJ again.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        I completely agree with you then on SD – I would like to see USW weigh in how this DOES NOT become class warfare (although I supposed wherein there is heavy hand from external then perhaps class warfare does happen – is someone always going to feel like they are getting screwed?).

        • The answer to that will be yes…someone will always at least feel like they are getting screwed, and most likely SOMEBODY, always will be getting screwed, at least from their perspective.

        • “(although I supposed wherein there is heavy hand from external then perhaps class warfare does happen – is someone always going to feel like they are getting screwed?).”

          Ary you being intentionally criptic or is this the result of the text messaging generation? Please explain what his means.

          • Please explain what (his) THIS means.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              The external hand of government and/or charity

              • Explain the entire thought. It makes not sense to me as stated.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Jesus H. Christ.

                SD I agree is natural and real. Does the hand or role of government take SD and make it CW or is that too easy an answer. I suspect the two are connected but am simply asking if someone out there has thought thru this more. There is no trap or ‘a-ha’ moment here.

        • You proposed the question so why don’t you explain how it does result in class warfare!

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            I asked the question because I don’t fully understand – I could say GOVERNMENT but that is too easy a response.

            • Oh but I think you do have an opinion or you wouldn’t have raised the question. US didn’t raise the connection between social darwinism and class warfare, you did. In essence it sounds as though you are saying you don’t know if it does, so prove it doesn’t.

              That is a poor construct of a question. If you do not suspect it will then why raise the question? If you do suspect it will then explain why. Then we can all add support or provide an alternate view point.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Ok – I get it – you think I’m trying to jackpot you.

                So I read this:

                “Social Darwinism refers to various ideologies based on a concept that competition among all individuals, groups, nations, or ideas drives social evolution in human societies.”

                and I read this:

                “Class conflict refers to the underlying tensions or antagonisms which exist in society due to conflicting interests that arise from different social positions. Class conflict is thought to play a pivotal role in history of class societies (such as capitalism and feudalism) by Marxists[1] who refer to its overt manifestations as class war, a struggle whose resolution in favor of the working class is viewed by them as inevitable under capitalism.”

                and I then ask myself –

                I agree for the most part that social darwinism is real and a fact. I also think we do have class warfare and I recognize that most people think it is a fulcrum of the far left. It also seems that SD is thought to be real, natural and occurring and supported by at least USW if not the majority here. So – I see two things that look, smell and feel very similar which complicates the equation as I just offered. I for one don’t feel I can explain that the two are not linked (SD resulting in CW).

                That’s all. Make sense?

              • Then show how they are linked.

        • CWO2USNRet says:

          On SD: It’s equality of opportunity not equality of outcome that makes people happy. Ongoing and routine academic studies (sorry, no time to look up references, but I do remember reading it, anyone help me out here?) show that people are more content when they are more certain that they can, by their own action, improve their position in life. A content population will not engage in class warfare. They will simply work to improve their lot. Class warfare is a construct of the political class to manipulate the voters.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Oh and I forgot freedom of speech. In my personal view, liberals are in favor of “free speech” when they are agreed with and not offended. The same could be said about certain conservatives, especially the ones belonging to the so-called “religious right”. So at least to a certain extent, neither side favors free speech.

    • Ray:

      “a purely free economy is a dangerous thing”

      Prove this statement please!

      JAC

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        First – I am working from the definition that a free economy/market is one devoid of government intervention – no rules, no regs, no oversight, no control – the market makes its own rules, it grows or contracts organically and always self-corrects. Change the definition and the argument is not the same.

        That is a dangerous thing because: the markets and economies of the world have become far too integrated to assume they will just fix themselves. There is too muc at risk, not the least of which is the welfare of the people and national security. Wherein there are no controls we increase the inherent risk of another calamity such as occurred with the credit default swaps and associated derivatives that were un-regulated, un-controlled. The problem spun up, the entire system was put at risk and now we are baling these scumbags out.

        So what is control in my mind? I know for a fact that we have the smarts, the technology, the wherewithal and the ability to implement transparent and highly effective safeguards and controls that serve as brakes to the race conditions we see from time to time. My view is that brakes help a car go faster, but within reason. The problem is what I call gumby-ism – gumby as in brainless, gutless, spineless, soulless, and heartless. The entities that would be the keepers of the controls have failed time and time again to act. They should have a legal responsibility to act and when they don’t, they should be punished. It sickens me that we had some of our best and brightest screaming that jerks like Bernie Madoff where committing crimes and offered proof for YEARS that it was happening – and no one acted. No one acting in that sense is the same in my mind of the detective controls never existing to begin with. We have the ability to implement control that helps and doesn’t hurt the market, we’re just too scared to do it.

        • Black Flag says:

          Ray,

          Why would you want to jail Madoff?

          Why do you think Madoff is a problem?

          Think carefully before you answer because you have some very deep, and very troubling, assumptions of the free market and how it works.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            I’ve tangled with you on this before and we both walked from it. I offered A definition and a manifestation. Change the definition and there may be change in how the role of government should or should not play into it. Madoff – If found guilty of breaking the law he should go to jail because he broke the law. If you want to play three billy goats gruff with me we can argue efficacy of the law elsewhere.

        • Ray:
          First, your definition of free market is fine by me for purpose of this discussion. Now;

          “the markets and economies of the world have become far too integrated to assume they will just fix themselves.” This is a conclusion based on no evidence. You need to first prove this assumption. I see no connection between integration or complexity and an economy’s ability to “fix” itself.

          “There is too much at risk, not the least of which is the welfare of the people and national security.” Doesn’t this sound a little like the “its to big to fail” argument? A good way to get more of what you want, if you are the one in control. We have survived normal swings in economic activity in the past without jeopardizing our welfare. Set backs occur but are temporary. Controlled economies have been proven to have much more severe swings and even total collapse. So I conclude it is control that threatens our welfare and security.

          “Wherein there are no controls we increase the inherent risk of another calamity such as occurred with the credit default swaps and associated derivatives that were un-regulated, un-controlled.” This is a false statement on two counts. First, the economy has been and is supposedly “controlled” and it has constantly failed. Which means that your conclusion is not supported by the facts, it is simply conjecture. Second, the financial instruments you mention were regulated as were the underlying assets and system they were based on. Thus once again, you have only provided evidence that a controlled or mixed economy has in fact failed. Your logic that if a controlled system fails then a free market system will fail is well….illogical.

          “The problem spun up…,” Yes, this is true. The swaps and other instruments multiplied the impact of the falling real estate market. But they did not cause the underlying problem.

          “….the entire system was put at risk and now we are baling these scumbags out.” Yes we are bailing them out. Because we have a controlled economy. Once your controls fail then implement more. Just more proof that a highly regulated and controlled economy doesn’t work. But still no proof that a free market economy will not work.

          By the way, I am not convinced that the credit default swaps and other derivatives would have existed in a truly free market economy. Such an economy would favor rational behavior and thus there would be less demand for irrational investment mechanisms. There would also be little need for them as the market would have established the value of loans and real estate, eliminating the entire sub-prime market and preventing the bubble in the first place.

          I think, as it is my opinion, that you need to look deeper.
          JAC

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            JAC – ok – you reeled me in and I am taking bait here as well.

            First:

            ““There is too much at risk, not the least of which is the welfare of the people and national security.” Doesn’t this sound a little like the “its to big to fail” argument? A good way to get more of what you want, if you are the one in control. We have survived normal swings in economic activity in the past without jeopardizing our welfare. Set backs occur but are temporary. Controlled economies have been proven to have much more severe swings and even total collapse. So I conclude it is control that threatens our welfare and security.”

            My “proof” as you seek that your thinking is not correct 100% of the time is Norway – there is a lengthy article in today’s NYT on why control, done effectively, can work.

            Please find me an economist (Phil Gramm does not count) that thinks the issues today are a ‘normal swing’.

            • This is not a normal swing and I did not even hint that it was. This is the direct result of considerable govt interference in the economy. Thus more control and manipulation results in greater disaster.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            ““The problem spun up…,” Yes, this is true. The swaps and other instruments multiplied the impact of the falling real estate market. But they did not cause the underlying problem.”

            I never said it did. One is liked to the other.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            ““the markets and economies of the world have become far too integrated to assume they will just fix themselves.” This is a conclusion based on no evidence. You need to first prove this assumption. I see no connection between integration or complexity and an economy’s ability to “fix” itself.”

            Foreign banks do not necessarily have a fiduciary responsibility or requirement to play nice when our banks and other financial institutions that they have major stakes in begin to fail. They cut and run, or better, call in and pull out. Where this is no legal requirement for someone outside our borders to help us eat the shit sandwich then they pull the rug (or puke bucket) out from under us. My guess is you are assuming that with integration/complexity then they will self correct? Well, okay, when Deutsche, and Barclays and others called in on AIG, and Bear and Merril and others the balance sheets got real screwy and they figured out they were not going to dig out of the hole they were in. I spent the later half of ’08 and very early ’09 supporting forensic accountants and loss prevention people on un-clustering some of these clusters.

            • But without the govt’s involvement from the beginning the problems doesn’t exist and thus the impacts you use as base examples do not exist.

              I still see your examples tied at their base to govt interference in the markets, not the other way around.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                I think we just disagree at the base – I’ve worked with too many Wall Street types and have become jaded to feel that w/o any control they only become greedier and would bankrupt us all so long as they keep their houses in the Hamptons.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            “Wherein there are no controls we increase the inherent risk of another calamity such as occurred with the credit default swaps and associated derivatives that were un-regulated, un-controlled.” This is a false statement on two counts. First, the economy has been and is supposedly “controlled” and it has constantly failed. Which means that your conclusion is not supported by the facts, it is simply conjecture. Second, the financial instruments you mention were regulated as were the underlying assets and system they were based on. Thus once again, you have only provided evidence that a controlled or mixed economy has in fact failed. Your logic that if a controlled system fails then a free market system will fail is well….illogical.

            Ok – then tell me why is it the Commodity Futures Modernization Act paved the road for ensuring default swaps and derivatives would not be controlled or regulated? The failure there was the lack of safeguard not the lack of enforcement. It is not conjecture but FACT. No government body or entity had the authority to regulate that so-called shadow banking system. Further, my point has emphasized that you need the controls in place and they must be enforced. A system of controls can fail if they are not designed well, not monitored or not enforced.

            • The Fed was monitoring and condoning these mechanisms because as Mr. Greenspan said in his book it allowed the US economy to reduce risk by selling it around the world. So, if the Fed thought it good and acted to allow it to occur, then we once again have govt interference. Once again you are arguing the effects instead of the root cause. Without govt involvment these instruments would not have existed.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                I thought Greenspan said ‘ooops – I messed up’? Wrong issue? The swaps and other instruments were not monitored – no way – even the PhDs that designed the risk models claim they don’t fully understand them.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            “I think, as it is my opinion, that you need to look deeper.”

            I backed my opinion up. Your turn.

            • Actually, I don’t think you have defended your opinion or conclusions. You have simply restated the same argument.

              Providing evidence of a govt controlled economy’s failure is not proof that a free market won’t work. It is proof that a gov’t contolled economy will not work.

              You turn again

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                JAC the sky is blue

                “Prove it”

                Look up

                “Because you say its blue and it looks blue doesnt make it blue”

              • Absolutely wrong example to explain your failure to show how free markets are risky and dangerous.
                Or to explain the difference between our positions.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                JAC – I’m not going to show you how to scratch your own ass. You can equate free market with the shadow (read: free) financial market and the point is the same.

              • And out come the insults.

                I am disappointed.
                I thought you had more substance than that.

                Maybe next time.

              • Black Flag says:

                I’m confused.

                Ray, (assumed) different definitions for the same term.

                Can you make more clear what you mean between

                Free Market
                Free Finance.

    • Ray:
      “social darwinism – not that I do not disagree with this – but I need someone to wrap my head around why this does not lead to class warfare?”

      It does not result in class warfare. That is created by a philosophy that debases and demonizes the successful and that uses envy and jealousy to foment hate against them. All for the purpose of using the less fortunate, or successful, as a tool to weaken the more fortunate, or successful, in order to contol both.

      That is not a philosophy held by most Conservatives I know. So who among us holds that philosophy. Who among us continues to espouse the concepts that fit this philosophy. You be the judge.

      JAC

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        So by extension – those who promote the philosophy are exempt from it? (They would have to be, no?)

        • How can you be exempt from a philosophy that you support. Not you in particular.

          You didn’t answer the question by the way.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            What question? Do I believe in class warfare? I dunno. I’ve not been on the shortest end of the stick in life so it makes me wonder how those folks see it ya know? Have they been Darwinized and manipulated? Maybe.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ray and JAC…

        Here is my definition of social darwinism and the point at which it leads to class warfare.

        It is a given (in my opinion anyway) that some people have the skills and drive necessary to be a rocket scientist, and some have the skill set and drive necessary to dig a ditch.

        Depending on labor pool, demand for skills, and market conditions, generally the rocket scientist will be paid more than the ditch digger. Generally the labor pool of ditch diggers will be much greater than the labor pool of rocket scientists, so even though there are far more ditches to be dug than there are rockets to be designed and built, the wage of the ditch digger will be markedly inferior to the wage of the rocket scientist.

        Why does this NOT lead to class warfare? My argument is that IF LEFT ALONE, the ditch digger realized that (A) he does not have the skill set to be a rocket scientist and (B) digging ditches probably isn’t going to pay as well as designing and building rockets. IF LEFT ALONE, the ditch digger’s natural state (again in my opionion) will be that he is PROUD that he went out and put in an honest day of labor in order to be able to provide for himself and his family (if he has a family) and he will be motivated to make sure that his kids get the best education that they can get in the hopes that they have the skill set necessary to do things that he is not capable of doing and make a better living for themselves and their families than he has. The natural state is to be happy and proud that you are doing what you are capable of doing for yourself and your offspring. IF LEFT ALONE, man is very forward-looking and much more concerned about the future prospects of his offspring as opposed to selfishly caring about only his own current position.

        Class Warfare enters in when an OUTSIDE FORCE enters the picture and tells the ditch digger, “Hey, it isn’t acceptable that the rocket scientist is making so much more money than you are! You deserve better! You deserve everything that rocket scientist has!” This encourages the ditch-digger to become envious of what the rocket scientist has. It shifts the focus of the ditch digger from making sure his kids have it better than he did to now focusing on “why don’t I have it as good as that rocket scientist RIGHT NOW! We are both people, we deserve the same stuff!”

        So, in my opinion, class warfare is not INNATE in human beings. In my opinion, most human beings have an innate understanding of their own limitations and an innate understanding of basic economics. In short, I believe that the ditch digger KNOWS that he shouldn’t make as much money as the rocket scientist, and the ditch digger IS OK WITH THIS ABSENT OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE.

        You used to hear a ton of stories of how proud people were just to be able to go out and do a job (regardless of what the job was) to be able to support themselves and their families and give their children a shot at a better life than they have. You still hear a story like that from time to time, but not nearly as often anymore, which I think is a sad reflection on where we are now.

        You can all go ahead and try to tear that to shreds now if you would like, but as I said, it is simply my opinion.

        To sum it up in one sentence, my opinion is that class warfare would not exist in human society without outside forces telling people that one person should not be entitled to be better off than another person.

        Ok, debate away on that one 🙂

        • esomhillgazette says:

          I’m not going to debate it. I’m going to agree with it.

          My Daddy was a House Painter. His Daddy was also a House Painter. So was his Brother and a lot of my cousins and even me for a while.

          We were PROUD to be the BEST House Painters in the State of Georgia. We didn’t make very much money, but we were still proud of the job we did.

          Having said this, my Dad wanted a better life for me and my brother. He didn’t want either of us to be Painters because he knew we were capable of so much more. He made us go to school. He made us get good grades. We WANTED us to go to College. He always taught us self reliance and self dependence.

          I was a Painter for a while (12 Years), but always wanted something more. So, at age 32, I went to school and got it. Now I work in a School as a IT Tech. The pay is not very good, but it’s easy and there aren’t many out there who can do what I do. And I am proud of what I do. I am proud to support my family on what I make.

          I am not jealous of the Programmer at the Central Office who makes ten times more than me because he has not only a lot more Education, but a lot more skills than I have.

          But then I was raised to accept my position in life as what it is. A position appropriate to my learning and education and skill-set. I was not raised to be envious of someone else’s life who through the circumstances of their own life is better off than me. I earn my living and they earn theirs. It’s called LIFE!

    • Ray

      You espoused yesterday in favor of effective government vs. bigger government. I hope you will expand on that regarding DEM/REP.

      On the 2nd Amendment. Can we agree to apply what works instead of some utopian ideal of how things could/should be? Example: The most deadly animal to Americans is deer. They cause more fatalities than sharks, snakes,
      bears, etc. all combined. All efforts to control their population through any means other than hunting have FAILED. They cannot control the population in a ten square mile area.

      The National Parks are required to control their animal populations, and spend millions each year paying either park rangers or “professional” hunters to cull the herds to the desired level. Why not allow public hunting through permits that would generate revenue instead of it being an expense?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        By effective I mean lack of fraud, waste and abuse; efficient, specific purpose driven with measured results. This whole system is very complex – I get that, but I also know that we can and should do better and that should not cost me more money or perpetuate greed.

        Example: several years ago the BRAC Commission recommended that Letterkenney Army Depot in Chambersburg, PA be closed. Its essential functions were duplicated for the most part by Anniston Army Depot in Anniston, Al. Anniston was newer, cost less money to run, and was seen as having a bigger localized economic impact. A purpose of the BRAC was to eliminate some of the wasteful spending in the DoD and reduce duplication where possible. Having grown up in the area, my own mother worked at Letterkenney and we had many friends and extended ‘family’ the worked there. It would hurt to close the base, but, as has been demonstrated, the area has become a bedroom community of both Harrisburg and Washington D.C. During the time, Rep Bud Shuster (R – U.S. 9th District), vehemently opposed it. Myself? I supported it. My mom? She supported it. It was the right, but painful and effective thing to do. Guess which base was closed? Neither. Bud, the captain of pork barrel in his day, carried enough sway to keep Letterkenney open. That my friends is NOT effective government – we knew what was right, we knew it would hurt, but we gumbied up.

        • Damnit Ray, don’t get all reasonable on me, not sure how to take it. OK, some good answers.
          Effective government, was the stimulus act effective or wasteful? Just saw in includes 2.6 million to study alcohol
          and hookers in China. Could we at least do that in Vegas & save a little $$$?

          The right answer here could get you in the VDLG party.

          • esomhillgazette says:

            LOI, could someone explain to me why all these studies are being done in other countries?

            First it the study of Alcoholism in Gay Argentine men. What’s wrong with our Alcoholic Gay men?

            Now it’s Alcoholic Chinese Hookers? What’s wrong with our Alcoholic Hookers?

            And most of all, why does it take a total of $3 million to study them?

            • Esom,

              I am sure the government could do a study on how government studies are awarded, selected & where they should take place.
              Three million might cover that. Should we apply for funding and where should we go?
              We could include alcohol and hookers in our study and save the gov. some money.

              • esomhillgazette says:

                Yay on the Alcohol and Hookers.

                Nay on the Alcohol and Gays. I don’t swang that way.

                I think we could have done that study with a plane ticket to Vegas and a few Thousand for the Hookers and Beer.

                How many Hookers and cases of beer would $100,000 get us?

                If I’m gonna get Hookers, I want High Class ones!

                As a matter of fact we would need more because I would wind up having to give my wife half my stuff in the resulting divorce. 😀

              • With you on all except the 100,000. I don’t drink cheap beer, so I’d run us over budget.
                And my divorce would be
                expensive.

              • That’s what I said.

                “As a matter of fact we would need more because I would wind up having to give my wife half my stuff in the resulting divorce.”

                What? Say $1 million?

                Apiece? 🙂

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Are you serious? Ugh! 2.6 million? WTF!

            For me, in all honesty the jury is still out on the stimulus, but not by much. There has been very compelling argument made numerous times here as to the fraud, waste and abuse in the act. I for one know that it has had impact on me already as an InfoSec guy which makes no GD sense. My initial stance was that each line item in the bill needed to have linkage to jobs created that are sustainable – which is why I do not blame some for rejecting some of the money that would set them up to fail down the road. Studying Chinese hookers? That does not pass the sniff test.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        I live now not far from Valley Forge park – you haven’t seen a deer pbm until you’ve ridden thru there at sun down and seen the herds. I fully support public hunting there – in the end it is better for the animals and us.

        • And on to the “class” of firearms. It has been shown the previous “assault weapons” ban had no effect on crime. This is from the US Dept. of Justice. They also have studies that show firearms are used a minimum of 750,000 times each year for self defense. Weigh that against the 30,000 deaths due to firearms and tell me what gun control make sense to you?

          Note, “assault weapon” has been mis-applied by the media and politicians. The military definition requires it to be capable of fully automatic fire, as in machine gun. MSM portrays it as “looking like” a machine gun, and being semi-automatic.

      • LOI
        Out West we have found an excellent control for deer populations that does not inovlve hunting. Its called the federal govt’s wolf reintroduction program. Works wonders on cutting down on the number of elk calves as well.

        Somewhere in Georgia is a hunter with broken (now repaired) bones who had a friendly encounter with this population control mechanism while hunting in Idaho (thought you would like the connection Esom).

        Would you guys in the east like some? We would be glad to oblige.

        JAC

        • esomhillgazette says:

          Thank you JAC.

          We have a serious deer problem of our own here. Almost everyone I know has hit at least one deer with their car. It has become so big of a problem that Insurance has moved deer damage from Comprehensive coverage like windshield damage to collision coverage.

          Which means that if you don’t have full coverage auto insurance, they don’t have to pay to fix it.

          But while our deer population continues to grow out of control, our state refuses to lengthen the Deer Hunting season or increase the amount of deer you are allowed to take.

          Meanwhile our State Bunny Huggers are still screaming how cruel hunting in general is.

          Makes you want to smile don’t it? 🙂

          • By the way Esom. Have folks in GA tried using deer whistles on cars? We use them in parts of the west where heavy deer pops along highways, especially in winter. It has greatly reduced collisions.

            JAC

            • Amazed1 says:

              How funny JAC….in our state we have lots of people who will tell you the whistles do not work…
              it is so bad that we don’t generally hit the deer they hit us in the side or top.

              • Apparently deer in diff parts of the country have diff sensitivity to whistles.

                Never heard that before.

                And anyone who moves rattlesnakes INTO and area ought to be shot and skun. That would help keep the rest of the do gooders away.

                JAC

          • Amazed1 says:

            In our neck of the woods the do gooders brought in rattlesnakes, beavers and bears all three are a horrible problem. The beavers destroy the trees, back up all the creeks and rivers and even build dams in pounds and eat all the fish, the bears will come up on the porch and fight your dogs for their food and destroy your trash can. The snakes are just plain dangerous…crawl up on your door step or hide in your flower bed. I wish the do gooder city slickers just turned these critters lose in downtown where they live, instead of in our neck of the woods.

            • They IMPORTED Rattlers????

              From freakin’ where?

              Hell, we’ve got enough of those flippin’ things down here already!

              I agree with JAC.

              Like Jerry Clower once said. “How do you kill a snake bad?”

              • amazed1 says:

                Oh yea….hugh rattlers with transmitters….better not kill one! Traded our turkey for them….smart hey?

        • I am Ok with more predators for game animal control.

          I think animal attacks on humans has risen slightly.

          My concern comes that they have stopped the measure to allow
          concealed carry permit holders to be armed in Nat. parks where that states laws would allow for (drumroll please)
          failure to conduct ENVIRONMENTAL impact studies!!! Does a gun give off some toxic substance while carried in your purse or pocket?? The lead only comes out if its fired, which in this case would be for self defense only.

          • esomhillgazette says:

            OMG!!! What a crock! ENVIRONMENTAL Impact Studies? Are you kidding?

            If you come up for instance on a Grizzly, what are you supposed to do, throw rocks at it? I know some will say run, but you can’t outrun a Grizzly!

            • Sir, I am completely serious and can validate my statements. Bush rescinded a measure forbidding firearms on fed. controlled land just before leaving office.
              Change came in the form of a lawsuit and a fed. judge placing an injunction on the measure because they had not done an environmental impact study. So we get to pay for a study that will show guns have no impact on the environment unless fired.
              And damn little when fired for an extensive period of time in a highly concentrated area.

            • LOI is absolutely correct on this. The greenies were suing and Dept of Int reversed the rule because it was decided it needed and Env. Impact Statement.

              Thanks to years of appeal court decisions, mostly out of the 9th circuii in Calif., EIS’s are now needed for many program or policy level decisions that might allow something that might happen.

              Last year we had a distric judge threatening to jail the undersecretary of agriculture because the Forest Service had not prepared an EIS for the application of fire retardent on fires. The fact the the law requires the impacts be evaluated on a “site specific” basis didn’t matter. How do you know the effect if you don’t know where you’ll use the stuff in advance? Didn’t matter. The idiot judge actually threatened an injunction but backed off when he realized Congress might fix the whole thing with the stroke of a pen.

              Believe me when I say most of you don’t have any idea how out of control this stuff has become.

              JAC

            • Esom:

              When encountering a Griz you back away slow. If it charges you roll up in a ball and start praying.

              You are not allowed to carry guns in 95% or more of the areas where the Bar lives.

              Now did I hear you say you would like some wolves?
              Life of Illusion, did you put in a bid for some to?

              And by the way, mountain lion attacks on humans are way up in the west for the past several years. It started a couple of years after trapping and use of hounds to hunt cats was prohibited in certain states.

              Hope yer having a Howling good day.
              LOL
              JAC

              • Sure, ship me a pack. I think a
                lot of the mountain lion attacks are where we have put housing
                developments in wilderness tracks.
                People who want to get back to nature who don’t realize nature has her own “feelings”.

                As for myself, I feel I have a decent ideal of what is happening, sadly,I miss some because you have to look for it, MSM does a piss poor job of informing.

              • Can’t build houses in wilderness. Its illegal.

                I know I’m splitting hairs.

                Many lion attacks have been in rural areas of long standing, no cat problems in the past.

                Some have been in new developed areas.

                If you hunt deer or elk you don’t really want a pack, or even one. But it is cool to have them back. We just got to accept trade offs, which the govt denied would happen when they started shipping them back into the U.S.

                Where you located? Wouldn’t want to get crosswise with state govt.

              • SFC Dick says:

                yeh, they outright banned hunting of cats in CA. The “good, thoughtfull” people.

                I wonder if the lady who was jogging in the hills behind her house, that was eaten by a cat, wanted that ban.

                alot of folks complain how dangerous it is to have hunters around.

                I wonder how many cat hunters have eaten CA joggers?

              • JAC, when encountering a Griz you back away slow. If it charges you, why then you roll into a fetal position with your head firmly between your legs.

                Then you kiss your ass goodbye because the freakin’ bear is going to probably kill you ass! 😀 Hope ya’ll have a pleasant evenin’ out west!

              • Barberian says:

                I always carry in potential areas legal or not.

                Would rather be fined by the Government than be buried as “SCAT”!

        • Wolf packs are sometimes one effective way to help control deer populations, however they can and do cause other problems. this is especially true in rural areas that maintain domestic animals.

          Wolves are opportunistic hunters and will take more easily accessable prey given the chance.

          Michigan re-introduced the Red Wolf back into the northern lower a few years back in an effort to help control our elk herd. Problem is the northern lower is home to a whole bunch of Miciganders; farmers, city folk and regular rural folk.

          Since Red Wolves are about 20-30% smaller than Timber Wolves they are not very effective hunting elk. I’m sure they do get a few from time to time, however they are spending more time eating livestock and pets.

          They do hunt the Whitetail as well, but we have more ‘corn-rats’ in Michigan than Carter’s got pills.

          Wolves (Timber, Grey or Red) don’t belong in or around rural areas and it is not an effective way to control any deer critter in areas that provide multitudes of easier prey (sheep, chickens, cattle, pigs, etc, etc)

          I could go on and on about critter issues in Michigan and how the DNR thinks things should be run, but it would take many words.

          I would encourage any avid hunters out there to come and enjoy our bounty of critters, hell we even have an open season on ferral pigs.

          BTW: The fishing in MIchigan is also some of the best and diverse around. We have every kind of fresh water species you can imagine.

  10. I’m biased because I have beliefs and if you have beliefs, they are going to be biased. Even you BF, have biases. What I would like to see from Ray/Todd (does Chris still check in?) is an outline similar to what you’ve laid out in your post, USW. I don’t know that I’ve ever truly had a discussion and I mean discussion, with a liberal that has been able to lay out their positions and beliefs and why they support it.

    Beautiful day in Wisconsin today after some wicked storms last night – have a good one everyone!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      I believe Chris lurks – seeking the proper time to swoop in. 🙂

    • Black Flag says:

      I have bias, sure – I like MY Wife and Child more than I like OTHER men’s wives and children. 😉

      But I have exactly the same opinion of all politicians – regardless of which team they play on.

      • Which of course is a bias.

        Are your ears frost bit yet?

        JAC

      • Black Flag says:

        I can see my breath… 😉

        Typical issue – one HVAC shutdown with all this power stuff going on, so the other goes into high gear – flooding the front of the room with freezing air – but without HVAC#2 drawing out the hot air from behind the racks – there is a huge bubble of cold in the front, and a huge bubble of really hot air in the back.

        …and, of course, all the work I have to do is in the front….

        • SFC Dick says:

          Black Flag

          ya know, HP has an advanced cooling system that would take care of all those problems you are having.

          ya know, I’m just sayin’

        • Black Flag says:

          Yeah, so does APC, but it all costs money.

          I don’t write the checks….

          😉

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Anyone claiming to be unbiased has a bias towards self-delusion.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Can one be biased and objective?

        • ABSOLUTELY

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I believe that it is POSSIBLE to be biased and objective. However, in order to achieve this, you must first recognize that you are inherently biased, evaluate what your biases are, and try to evaluate WHY you feel that being biased in the way that you are is OK.

          Once you recognize your own bias and accept it for what it is, it is then possible to see things from outside of your own biases and at least make an honest attempt at evaluating someone else’s point of view and comparing it to your own to see if it has more merit than what you currently think.

          I am pretty sure that this is exactly what USWeapon was getting at with this article.

          We are ALL biased. The key is to recognize that we are biased and then evaluate our own ideas and ideals so that we can then make the attempt to HONESTLY evaluate the ideas and ideals of others. If we do not admit our own bias, we will never admit that someone else’s idea might actually be superior to our own idea. By recognizing our own bias and trying to evaluate it, it opens us up to recognizing the bias of others and evaluating it and makes us more open to an honest debate and honest exchange of ideas.

          You’re damn right I am biased, and I am proud of it! But I am not SO proud of it to not accept the possibility that I MIGHT be wrong some of the time 🙂

          • Black Flag says:

            Bias is simply the ‘preform’ of a belief – it exists without proof but acts as a starting point of action.

            As long as someone holds on to reasoning and logic, incorrect bias is easily dispelled.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              BF said that so much more succinctly than I did!

              That is basically what I was trying to say in my long-winded pseudo-intellectual style 🙂

              Maybe I should just try to get to the point once in a while for variety… LOL

  11. Black Flag says:

    Talking about being in my “Freezer” ….

    The Catlin Expedition to “prove global warming” and the “Arctic will be ice-free in 5 years” have given up – due to extreme cold and ice.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/latestfromtheice

    Nice pic….

    They only got 50% the way to the Pole after days of ice, cold, frostbite, hypothermia, pain and general misery being endured by the team as their ice measuring equipment that was built for these extreme conditions, froze and broke – even the most ignorant, blind and deaf newspaper reporter must be aware now that the Arctic is a very cold and icy place.

    Hats off to their commitment, though – I’d bet they just missed being nominated for the Darwin Awards.

  12. Black Flag says:

    “I come here not to dispute the suggestion that I haven’t yet achieved enough in my life,”

    …so sayeth the Great Deliver of all Good Things upon the People.

    Be afraid of a politician who hasn’t “yet achieved enough”…..

    8)

  13. Black Flag says:

    Change the definition and there may be change in how the role of government should or should not play into it.

    There is no changing a definition of ‘free market’. So I’m kinda confused by what you’re trying to say there.

    If you are discussing a fascist economy, then there are no ‘rules’ at all other than the dictates of government.

    This is an important point, Ray.

    What most people believe are rules – that we all play by them equally.

    But that is not at all how government works. It does not play by those rules at all.

    Madoff exists because government made people believe that the responsibility for the investor’s money was a ‘regulation’ and they failed to take care of their own money.

    Madoff threatened no one, did not commit any violence upon any one.

    Madoff – If found guilty of breaking the law he should go to jail because he broke the law.

    Why? Who said he did anything wrong?

    By what measure are you thinking he did wrong?

    If I give you my money and you blow it gambling – whose fault is it?

  14. Of course everyone is biased. I also think everyone must, can’t help but, base their decisions on their beliefs. Whether your belief is based on Christian values or not, you base decisions on beliefs. Why exactly are the Religious Right so demonized and marginalized because of their specific beliefs? I do not identify myself with what people call the Religious Right, but I do have conservative beliefs, largely based on the religious teachings I have had.

    Please define “Religious Right” and explain why their beliefs are invalid as a decision-making basis.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I personally define the “Religious Right” as a group that is socially conservative, used to be fiscally conservative, but is currently becoming more aligned with “big government” on certain issues.

      There is nothing wrong with them using their own beliefs as a decision making basis.

      What I am against is their attempting to use their beliefs as a decision making basis for EVERYONE, because their beliefs are not automatically superior to anyone else’s. When they get to the point where they say, “Government needs to do X because God says so”, then that is where I begin to have problems with them.

      Their beliefs are not “invalid”, especially not when applied to themselves. Their beliefs become “invalid” when they insist that their beliefs are inherently superior on a moral basis and that they should apply to everyone.

      If a person from the “Religious Right” says, “You should not perform activity XXX in the bedroom because God says that activity XXX is wrong.” I am fine with that. They are perfectly within their rights to make this statement.

      If a person from the “Religious Right” says, “God says that performing activity XXX in the bedroom is wrong, and therefore we must legislate that performance of activity XXX in the bedroom is illegal.” I have a problem with that.

      • Gosh darn it now I have to respond.

        Seperation of Church and State. I think that is written down somewhere in one of those important historical documents.

        This country was to a degree founded on the Christian faith, and our laws (local, State and Federal) echo those of the 10 Comandments.

        Faith based organizations have and will continue to have influence over how we live, but only when a majority supports it do they get to influence laws; just like any other structured group.

        Majority rule is a foundational principle of a Republic.

        I don’t hold much stake in most religons as I think the majority are hypicritical. God knows the Christians have killed more in the name of Christianity than any other religon.

        I do however believe that each of us needs a spiritual appreciation and some kind of faith to help maintain sanity.

        I agree with Peter B relative to those organizations sticking their noses in my affairs. What goes on inside my castle walls is NOT their business, and if the American majority doesn’t agree with them they have nothing to push the issue with.

        We should keep things as they are ‘Seperation of Church and State’.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          The first amendment is actually written thus:

          Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…

          Doesn’t actually SAY “Separation of Church and State”. Separation of Church and State is a more modern Supreme Court interpretation of what the first amendment actually says.

          Also, you state that majority rule is the foundational principle of a Republic. This is not actually the case. Majority rule is a foundational principle of a Democracy. The foundational principle of a Republic is that the minority must have the power to interfere as much as possible with the will of the majority, thus preventing the “tyrrany of the majority”. In a Republic, we all have equal rights. Safeguards are put into the foundation of a Republic to ensure that the rights of the minority are not able to be simply trampled on by the majority.

          This is the main difference between a Democracy (which the US is NOT supposed to be) and a Republic (which the US IS supposed to be).

      • Amazed1 says:

        The problem maybe Peter that the “Relegious right” don’t want laws making them accept what is not in their belief right either. It quickly become sinking sand. For instance most people believe that government has no right in someones bedroom….but if a certain class wants to bring the government into the bedroom to make others accept what goes on in their bedroom by making laws forcing the people to accept….there in causes a problem.

    • Michelle:

      I previously pointed out to others that what the left call the “religious right” are not really on the right, they are on the left. My definition of the left are those that support statist governments. Those Christians, or other religeous folks, who would use govt to impose their religeous beliefs on others are statists.

      The key is “using govt to force” as opposed to “using values to govern”.

      JAC

      • esomhillgazette says:

        I haven’t ever thought of it that way JAC, but danged if you ain’t right! See Ray? Some of us can change our viewpoints! 😀

        I’ll never see religious zealots the same! Why they’re right over there with the Liberal Wackos like Nazi Pelosi, just differing views on what kind of Socialists we should be!

    • Ok, I think I see what you are saying. You oppose people using thier personal belief system to justify control over others.

      I just have this to ask though, isn’t all government–any government at all–an attempt to control others behavior? I think only BF can say that he does not wish to use his beliefs to control others through the force of government. It’s perhaps the degree to which we wish to control others, and not whether we wish to control others that is the issue.

      I disagree with using govt to force others in principle, but I do wish to have govt to force others to not steal from me, or murder me, etc. I am not strong enough on my own to fend off all the criminals in the world so I rely on Govt. Does that mean I am impossing my belief that I should not be robbed from on others?

      I am certainly for limited govt. I’d support the VDLG wholeheartedly, with my vote at least. But I think we need to accept that any govt at all is an attempt to control others based on our own beliefs.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Yes Michelle,

        Any level of government whatsoever (no matter how minimal) is an attempt to control others based upon our own beliefs.

        However, one of the primary jobs of government should be the protection of the people consenting to be governed. I very purposely put “consenting to be governed” there, because if the people do not give their consent to be governed, the government is illegitimate.

        The Black Flag version of the Golden Rule is: You cannot initiate violence against the non-violent. This could also be stated as the Zero Agression Principle: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-5723-Albuquerque-Libertarian-Examiner~y2009m5d7-The-reason-the-ZAP-works

        The Zero Agression Principle does not say that you can never use agression, only that you can never use violence against the non-violent.

        If we accept that we need a government (which is “a whole ‘nother debate as we say in Indiana), then government should also govern by the same principle.

        Someone who robs you has committed an act of agression against you and should be dealt with accordingly. Therefore, having a law against robbery is not really an attempt to control someone else’s behavior, so much as it is an attempt to protect your individual right to life, liberty, property, the pursuit of happiness, and all that good jazz.

        Someone else could claim that in committing robbery they were exercising their right to pursue happiness. However, in robbing you, they violated YOUR individual rights, which is what makes robbery unacceptable.

        Did I do OK there BF?

      • Michelle: Peter did do a good job but I would like to add one more point that applies.

        “but I do wish to have govt to force others to not steal from me, or murder me, etc” No Govt can force others to NOT steal or NOT murder. At least no gov’t we could afford. Can you imagine the number of policemen that would take in Philly or D.C.? There are evil folks in the world and they don’t want to adhere to the no coersive force rule.

        Govt gets what it wants by imposing coersive force against others, whether that is regulations, permits, fines or taxes. All are forms of coersion. The question we must ask ourselves is how much force are we willing to authorize the govt to use against us. The last time we the people really discussed that issue was 1787. Seems to me we are over do for a real public discussion on the matter.

        Hope all is well
        JAC

  15. Black Flag says:

    I don’t see SD and CW are essentially linked.

    SD, or better description – Social Evolution – is a requirement of a functioning and vibrant society.

    Life changes and so should mankind’s organization and structures.

    But Class Warfare is a disease of envy – and much as Peter portrayed – is merely an extension of the violence of “Might is Right” doctrines.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The more BF and I read each other’s posts, the more we seem to be in agreement on a heck of a lot of things…

      Interesting 🙂

  16. anoninnc says:

    I think I can best express how I feel at the moment by sharing a practical story about my own household.

    I have a high school sophomore, my daughter.

    She is wise, moral, and comes to her own conclusions. And her conclusion is that conservative principles best reflect who she is and the world that she hopes to live in.

    We have taught her to listen, and to make sure that she is articulate in her answers, when she gives them.

    We have also taught her that profanity is indicative of a lazy vocabulary.

    Your opening statements disappoint me. I do not think they properly reflect the depth of your wisdom or your vocabulary. Your choice of languge certainly does not promote your opinion.

    Maybe you’re frustrated and having a bad day?

    The raised bar here is what I found refreshing in the beginning.

    I’m glad today’s post was not a part of a civic lesson for my 16 year old . . .

    • USWeapon says:

      Anoninnc,

      What about my opening has disappointed you? I ask that with genuine concern. Are you referring to my limited use of profanity? If so, upon reading it again just now, I do notice that despite a bit of frustration, I avoided the REALLY bad words and only used sh**ty a couple of times, except where I used dumba@@ to describe myself. But in reading today I can see where the language I used perhaps took away from my point and was unnecessary. Was it language that disappointed you? Or was there something about the actual content that would make me unfit as a civics teacher?

    • Yes, this is what I’ve been feeling and couldn’t pull out of my head.

      We’re all biased – no doubt. But when that bias comes across so strong, it starts to over-ride any logical arguments, especially for someone who does not share your (or my) opinion.

      That espicially came across to me in yesterday’s discussion.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        USWeapon has very strong opionions… I am sure that Todd as well has very strong opinions.

        It is NOT human nature to take a very strongly held opinion and simply let go of it because someone else TELLS you that your opinion is wrong. In order to get someone to alter a strongly held opinion, you must present a factual, logical, well structured argument to attempt to convince the other person of the validity of your position.

        I personally hav not seen a ton of “logical arguments” from certain people here. “I am right because it should be obvious that I am right” is not a logical argument.

        Also, we need to recognize that there are logical arguments that can support both sides of a certain issue, and regardless of this (or perhaps because of this) people are just going to disagree from time to time.

        It is OK to disagree, especially if both sides can base their arguments in facts and logic. Get used to it, it happens.

        From what I have seen so far, USWeapon’s point of view seems to be that this country was founded on the ideals of freedom and individual liberty, so anything that takes away from freedom and individual liberty is contrary to the ideals that this country was founded on. I would say that that is a pretty strong position to be arguing from, so for the most part, it is going to be difficult to move him off of his position on many issues.

        That isn’t to say he doesn’t admit when he needs to re-think his position, but in general, he is only going to re-think his position if the NEW position is even more in line with freedom and individual liberty.

        If you come from an angle that certain things are ok or even desireable in our society even if they violate the concepts of freedom and individual liberty, US probably isn’t going to rush in to accept your position unless you can back it up with absolutely iron-clad facts, logic, and argument.

        Sorry if I put words in your mouth there USWeapon, please correct anything that I have said that was a misinterpretation of your stance.

        The intent was not to put words in your mouth in the least… just that I know you are a busy guy and I had a few minutes to write down my perspective of what I thought you might say.

        Hopefully I wasn’t too far off… 🙂

        • USWeapon says:

          I wouldn’t change a thing there Peter. Thanks!

          The only thing I will add as a response to Todd and Ananinnc is that I understand what they are saying and I will do my best to form my opinions in a way that doesn’t push those in disagreement with me away from discussing it. I can’t promise, but I take the criticism to heart.

      • Yep, yesterday’s post: Pelosi! It is hard to defend the indefensible isn’t it? I understand why yesterday was extra tough.

    • SFC Dick says:

      OH MY GOD part II

      is that what this is coming to, the dissapointment, the agony inflicted upon some gentle readers because of profanity.

      Uhh, yeh, I’m gonna go ahead and log off now, and breath, because I’ve already seen this popping up here.

      I was wondering how long it would be, I guess it’s now.

    • anoninnc says:

      It is not the content of your opinion that I was referencing; simply put, your presentations would be a valid part of any good civics discussion/debate.

      But having tired of the cutesy use of pe.ri.od.s on the other blogs to get crass language and lazy-profanity through the filters . . .

      It was the use of vocabulary (or lack of it)that disappointed me earlier.

      The command of the language that is obviously yours makes the use of barnyard slang unnecessary . . . and distracting.

      Keep the bar high.

  17. Hey all;

    I have not had much of a chance to stay abreast, work is piling up. If I can I will chime in sometime between now and tomorrow morning.

    I wanted to let everyone know that I am headed into the woods tomorrow afternoon in an attempt to bag a turkey (literally). As such I will not be anywhere near a computer until Sunday afternoon. Since USW has made me the Friday guest commentator (thanks again for that privlage) I wanted to let everyone know I will respond then.

    Ya’ll have a great weekend!

    Common Man

    • Good luck on your quest for a longbeard. The only thing thats been responding to calls lately have been jakes. Might I suggest getting close to the roosting area and wait them out, they tend roost in the same general location.

      G!

      • G-Man

        Got this Oak tree on the property, must be about 4-500 years old. Trunk is 3 of me holding hands around, and I am 6′ 5″. They seem to congrigate in that area and roost in the surrounding trees. My brother-in-law was out this morning down the way from the oak tree and called one within 35 yards, but he missed. He said it came in within 35 minutes of his first call.

        They are just getting on the nest this past couple of weeks, been a long and cold winter here in the Great Lakes State. I’ll let you know.

        • SFC Dick says:

          OH MAN

          Turkey season.

          I have not yet hunted the bird, but I keep track of seasons, my life…the flow of life at Freedom Ridge, by the game season.

          I’m living in a box.

          a stinking filthy sand and hard scrabble black box of ….crap.

          The mission continues to deteroriate at the hand of command and all the lip service paid to the elements of COIN is the only movement being made, talk.

          I gotta get out of this place.

          • SFC;

            Stand tall soldier it will all pass.

            Has the temps exceeded 110 yet this year? My son was there in 05 near Balad and they did 97 days ina row on patrol from June to early Sept with the temps hitting 140 in August.

            Got to play with any camel spiders lately?

            He was also there in 03 and after we took the city his squad was stationed at Sadam’s private game ranch. I guess a few guys borrowed a Humve and went gazzel hunting. Apparently there were a bunch of them on the ranch. My son will tell you the M-16 is an effective gazzel weapon. They ate good, especially after 3 months prior of MRE’s mixed with sand.

            Keep your ass covered and your eyes open. See ya back here in the world soon.

  18. As we bicker back and forth about who is bias or not, we are all bias period. We all have our own beliefs and live our lives accordingly. Now, I have been reading several articles about how the school system and other organizations are exploiting or kids to be like the Hitler Youth…oops, I mean, Civil Service Youth. I find it disturbing that parents are not outraged what is going on with their own children.

    Ok, so we already know that HR 1388 The Give Act passed the same day Sebellius and the Swine Flu broke. Nobody made any noise about it. Then the child goes to the supreme court because she was “striped searched” in school because another student told the teacher she had IB-proffen. Next, we have camera’s the bathroom…a child takes the camera down and take it to his mom to show her. The child is suspended for 5 days, the prinicpal is praised for doing it yet, nobody else knew about this camera but the prinicipal (not the faculity or staff or parents). Then I read an article today about Boyscouts Fighting Terror http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/us/14explorers.html?_r=4&hp. I don’t know about any of you guys, but I have a child and I am so fearful of what Big Brother will do with our children in the near future. We are parents are just sitting at home doing nothing while all of this is going on. If we don’t fight for our rights, liberties, and sovereighy, for God Sakes, please FIGHT and STAND UP for the CHILDREN. My daughter is 2 and although she has about 2 years before she has to go to school, I am looking into homeschooling my child now. I work 8:30-5 but I will figure out what I need to do in order to teach my child and not allow Big Brother to corrupt her innocent mind.

    Okay…back to your bias discussion!

    • I could give you horror stories about public schools. Due to my husbands Navy career, my kids went to different schools all across the country. A few good, one ok but the majority…horrible! One school here in Cali, it was mandatory for my daughter to graduate high school she had to have a minimum 120 hours of community service. I got together with several other parents that were opposed to this “forced labor” and went to the school board with our objections. We fought this tooth and nail but ended up getting that requirement tossed. I could see using community service as extra credit, but a requirement?!?!? Nope, don’t think so.

    • Lot’s of parents with tough schedules homeschool. Keept reading about it and look into support groups in your area. Best of Luck.

  19. MyNameIsEd says:

    I’ll never truly understand where some out there think that politics is waving around red or blue and dubbing the other side the ignorant or biased means that they are not only exempt from those exact same labels, but are then qualified to say they know a damn thing about politics.

    Politics, in my view, are just as complicated and personal as religion. No matter how strongly you feel about your convictions, you can and very much might be proven wrong on any given topic. It aggravates the living hell out of me when a debate on politics is not only treated with as little respect as a college football game between two rival teams, but resorts to absurd name-calling childlike tactics that makes a bunch of 3rd grade bullies feel embarrassed for you.

    I apologize in advance, but I truly feel for the author of this piece. It’s annoying and less than gratifying when you want to have an intelligent and civilized dialogue with your peers and suddenly you’re labeled and written off as some biased hack.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Some people mistake an intelligent and civilized dialogue with “agreement”. It is POSSIBLE to have an intelligent and civilized dialogue even without agreement, provided the participants respect each other. Respecting each other does not necessarily mean coming to sudden agreement, and it does not necessarily mean attempting to disprove someone else’s position by using logically constructed arguments. It simply means that even when you disagree, and even when you try to disprove another person’s position by using logical arguments, you respect the other person in spite of your differing views.

      This site, more than any other, is usually a pretty good example of that.

      Not sure if I have seen you post before personally, so if you are new to the site, welcome! If you have been around at the site and I have just missed your posts in the past, I look forward to hearing from you again in the future!

      • MyNameIsEd says:

        You’re definitely right there. But then again, we as human beings are built with a unique skill to communicate in such abstract and gripping ways, it’s almost natural for us to mistake agreement as understanding and disagreement as not understanding.

        I am “new” to this site. I’ve been silently stalking the blog for a while, reading the author’s entry’s on my lunchbreak (Ha! which is a funny concept sometimes depending on my workday.) Some things I agree with, some things I don’t, but I appreciate the author’s candidness and so I felt compelled to put in my 2 cents and defend the man.

        See you around the blogosphere

        • USWeapon says:

          And I appreciate you doing so sir. Welcome to the site. I am glad that at least on some days I am able to bring some amount of pleasure to the middle of your work day. I can say honestly that there are times that I get frustrated. It is not easy putting your opinion out there for judgement every night. Especially to a group as intelligent as I seem to have had the fortune to attract here, as they are quick to point out where I am flawed.

          The feedback from others is welcomed and appreciated. In my ideal world I would have 1,000 of every opinion here to respectfully debate the issues. So I work to make the site better each day. I look forward to your continued comments when we touch a subject that peaks your interest.

  20. Well said USW. You have eanred my respect. As for those who still don’t respect you after reading this essay, well, they’re just plain hopeless.

  21. Well said USW. You have earned my respect. As for those who still don’t respect you after reading this essay, well, they’re just plain hopeless.

  22. OK, who was it that suggested Nancy Pelosi was suffering first signs of dementia?
    I just heard a replay of her press conference today, regarding waterboarding briefings.
    Who ever it was may be onto something.

    SFCDick shared a universal truth the other day that most of us probably overlooked.
    You don’t screw with federal agencies and not expect blow back. They have their ways of protecting themselves against Polytickshuns.

    JAC

    • Bama Dad says:

      She looked like a cat jumping around on a hot tin roof during the news conference. Before this is over, the wicked witch of the west is going to wish she could click her heels together and say there is no place like home.

    • Saw it replayed tonight – bad, bad, Nancy. “Why yes, the CIA always lies to Congress”. Oh my…

      I think its about being over-botoxed. That stuff must eventually seep into the brain, right? I think Biden might be aflicted with it too. It certainly would explain some things.

      • SFC Dick says:

        Kathy, Ma’am

        you posted

        “Why yes, the CIA always lies to Congress”.

        Let me get this straight, are you saying Pelosi, in response to this latest fiasco of water boarding and “I never was told” Pelosi says

        “Why yes, the CIA always lies to Congress”.

        and there is video of this?

        if so…..oh my.

  23. I’m jacking this post to share something horribly gruesome that I just read. Was catching up on all the sites and with Obama speaking this weekend at ND, there is a lot of controversy and chatter out there. Some time back we had a very responsible discussion on abortion and perhaps I should’ve put this there, but I wanted it to be more current. This is unbelievable and deserves a graphic warning.

    Brenda Pratt Shafer, R.N.
    I’m Brenda Pratt Shafer, a Registered Nurse with 13 years of experience. One day in
    September, 1993, my nursing agency assigned me to work at a Dayton, Ohio, abortion
    clinic. I had often expressed strong “pro-choice” views to my two teenage daughters, so
    I thought this assignment would be no problem for me.
    But I was wrong. I stood at a doctor’s side as he performed the partial-birth abortion
    procedure-and what I saw is branded forever on my mind.
    The mother was six months pregnant. The baby’s heartbeat was clearly visible on the
    ultrasound screen. The doctor went in with forceps and grabbed the baby’s legs and
    pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby’s body and the
    arms-everything but the head. The doctor kept the baby’s head just inside the uterus.
    The baby’s little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his feet were kicking. Then
    the doctor stuck the scissors through the back of his head, and the baby’s arms jerked
    out in a flinch; a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall.
    The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening
    and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby was completely limp.
    I never went back to that clinic. But I am still haunted by the face of that little boy– it
    was the most perfect, angelic face I have ever seen.
    * Partial-birth abortions are usually performed from 41/2 months to 9 months of
    pregnancy. In a tape-recorded interview with American Medical News, the doctor who
    performed the procedure described above said that in his practice, “80%” of these
    procedures “are purely elective.”

    • SFC Dick says:

      Kathy,

      not to diminish the horor that is partial birth abortion, but

      yehm duh…
      I thought we all knew this.

      I thought we all knew that in the continued battle of politics neither side is going to give an inch.

      I thought we all knew this and that is why Partial birth abortion is about as close as you can get to becoming Satan with out having to sign a contract.

      I thought we all knew.

      I’m about to break down, right Godamn now at this keyboard.

      I’m having a real bad day and i read this crap

      I got dinged, dinged pretty good once, permanantly.

      I can’t sire a thing, adoption circus is expensive and a mess.

      and I read this.

      Ah, I’m cool now. I think I just had to type a bit

      • SFC Dick says:

        Yeh, I wasn’t gonna leave on that note.

        I’m all better now, I petted my cat, well, she’s not mine, no one owns a cat.

        We kinda room together.

        She is a cat, a tiger at that, the best of the best.

        As she is a supreme hunter warrior she recognized me, out of all on this FOB as the top alpha warrior.

        She’s also a she, so in that respect it was inevitable that she was drawn to me.

        I woke up one night and she had found her way into my hooch and was sleeping on my rack.

        “Ok, I get it. We are now roommates”

        She had 3 kittens. They are in their kitty box on my rack.

        When the suck catches up with me I pet KC (kitty cat) and watch the babies.

        Soon they will be big enough to get out of the box and play.

        That is a period of time I look forward to.

        I’m the only guy I know that has a cat door on his hooch/room.

        “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

  24. Ray Hawkins says:

    Kathy – thanks for the story – how gruesome and terrible. I have fallen into that camp of ‘supports right to choose’ but doubt I could ever make that choice. My wife and I tried for years to have a child, pausing twice to be the direct care givers for cancer-stricken relatives that later died (one was 31, the other late 70s). After some significant medical help and a couple of failures we finally hit that 6 week spot where you’re either going to see/hear a heartbeat then or never. We finally saw and heard the heartbeat and I felt at that moment that my life had changed. I could never imagine stopping that heartbeat, unless my dear wife’s life itself was in danger, much less have a more viable baby that is then ripped to shreds by a ‘medical procedure’. In two weeks or so I’ll finally get to see that heartbeat live and in person (which means much less blogging for a spell). Right to choice? Wow – choice carefully I say.

    • Congrats and good luck Ray ! (I’m not here enuf to recall if I usually agree with you or not! ;=} )

      But you’re a lucky man !

  25. Jeff Gilbert says:

    Most of the articles have a very one sided view. You remind me of Fox news because they also have a one sided view. Did you know that a definition of Fox – “is to deceive”.

    • Jeff,

      Do you know the definition of irony?

      Did you read this blog? What did it talk about?

      Are you referring to Fox News or to Fox commentary?

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