How Do We Stop Legislative Madness?

pork-bustersI was watching Glenn Beck’s (Yes I know some of you have issue with him, but he is entertaining) video about the cap and trade legislation this evening and he was railing against the pork that was put into the bill at the last minute. And this got me steaming again on this topic and I decided that I wanted to discus the subject with everyone and figure out how we can begin to curb this practice in the US Congress. We have discussed the idea before, but we need to really start figuring out how we can stop it. The common practice has become to add pork to legislation in order to get people to vote for a bill that they would otherwise not vote for. And it is ridiculous and, in my opinion, criminal. And the fact that members of Congress simply smile and tell us that this is just part of doing business in Washington pisses me off to no end. Is this the Hope and Change that everyone voted for? Because it seems like it is nothing but more of the same with a dose of HGH…

So what am I talking about initially here? At approximately 3:00 am Friday morning, 340+ pages of amendments were added to the Cap and Trade bill that passed in the House of Representatives on Friday. These additions were most (actually completely) pork added in order to get the thing passed. Beck spent a good deal of time railing against Democratic Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio. Included in the cap and trade bill amendments was $3.26 Billion in new lending for renewable energy projects in Ohio and other midwestern states. Kaptor is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and the House Budget Committee. On Thursday she was undecided on the cap and trade bill. She wasn’t sure it would work or that it was a good plan economically for America.

Marcy Kaptur

Marcy Kaptur

So what do the Democrats drafting the bill do? They BUY her vote. They promised her money for projects in Ohio in return for a vote for the cap and trade bill that she wasn’t planning to vote for. That is a blatant disregard for the way the political system is supposed to work. The bottom line is that her vote was bought in exchange for pork being thrown her way. Apparently she proudly said so on her website, where the statement appeared saying, “The Great Lakes states would benefit from the creation of new regional power marketing authority thanks to the key amendment that congresswoman Marcy Kaptur succeeded in placing in the climate change legislation” She is proud to have brought home the bacon.

Believe me, I am not trying to make this a partisan issue. Both sides are guilty of this game in nearly every piece of legislation that they pass. Kaptor is simply one example, and the example that Beck offered during his discussion. Just about everyone in Congress (save a very few select members) is guilty of changing their vote in exchange for pork barrel legislation that benefits their home state or a personal cause. It used to be a game that the Democrats played much more often than the Republicans, but no longer. We discussed the economic stimulus bill and the amazing 8,000+ earmarks that were in that bill. 40% of those were for Republican members of Congress, so let’s not lay this trend on the Democrats and pretend that they are to blame.

I find this practice to be absolutely criminal. And the fact that Americans have allowed this to happen and be accepted as common practice says a multitude of things about the apathetic approach and moral shortcomings of today’s voter. There is no way to call this something other than what it is… a criminal act that goes against every single moral fiber of what a member of Congress is elected to do. They are elected to serve their constituents and represent them in the United States Congress. Yet they are allowing their vote to be openly bought and paid for. It amazes me that when a Senator or Representative takes a bribe from a lobbyist, they are demonized as criminals who have no ethics.

Congress Violation of ParoleBut when that same bribe for the vote is offered within the legislation, there is no cry of ethical ineptitude. There is no outrage by the citizenry that screams for morality in Washington. People simply accept it. It is par for the course. I simply don’t have the capacity to understand how the people see this as OK for their elected representatives to do. They are blatantly selling their vote. They aren’t representing their constituents, they are simply selling their vote.

I know that some want to argue this practice is an accurate and moral way for them to work for their constituents. I have had the discussion with folks like this in the past. Their argument boils down to this (and I will use the Kantor deal as an example again): She traded her vote for the ability to take care of the people in her district. She is doing exactly what they elected her to do, get money for her district. Sure she voted for a bill that she didn’t believe was a good bill to support. But she did so in order to serve her people and get money funneled to her district.

To this I can only say WRONG. She wasn’t elected to simply find ways to get federal funds funneled to her constituents. She was elected to represent their voice in the legislative process. If we are saying that it is OK to sell your vote in exchange for favors that funnel money to her home state, then we are also saying that it is OK to sell your vote to a lobbyist who bribes her and claims that they will support her in her home district. In both cases she is selling her vote. The only difference is one is illegal and will land you in jail while the other is a legal blackmail practice in the everyday workings of Congress.

CONgressAnd what happened to the President’s promise for earmark reform and transparency. He promised during the campaign that he would push for earmark reform and “go line by line” on every bill passed to eliminate earmarks. He said he would get earmarks down to 1994 levels. And he promised the transparency provided by allowing all Americans the time to read these earmarks and see what pork is being thrown into a bill. He has followed through on none of these promises. We saw the timetable on the economic stimulus bill and on this cap and trade bill.

Obviously the President was full of crap when he made those promises. And I certainly hope that many Democrats and Moderates who voted for him are beginning to see that all that “Hope and Change” was really just a campaign slogan. Not only is this business as usual in Washington, it is being done on a grander scale than was done in the past. So what are we to do about this?

We have all done a lot of bitching over the last several months about the way things are and the problems in our government. But bitching is only going to get us so far. It is time for us to start coming up with some solutions. It is time for us to start putting into practice some of that philosophy learning we got a couple of weeks ago. So let’s keep those lessons in mind and start talking solutions.

What can we do to eliminate the practice of earmarks and allowing our elected representatives to sell their vote on nearly any issue? If the VDLG party comes to be, what are we going to do?

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Comments

  1. Cyndi P says:

    The solution is educating voters, one at a time.

    A simple statement but not a simple task. The problem, IMO, is that Americans have had it so good for so long, that they no longer understand what is required to make our system work. Most Americans are complacent. They don’t believe things can get any worse than when President Bush was in office. Now that Obama is in charge, things are already better, so why get involved? So in order to educate our voters, we first need to get their attention. Let them feel the pain of their foolishness. Its like the patient who refuses to listen to the doctor until said patient has been carried into the emergency room. Once they understand that their actions have life altering consequences, they’ll pay attention. So let’s not keep saving them from themselves. Help reality give ’em a swift kick in the pants. Of course, thing will be tough on us, but we’re kind of shafted anyway.

    • Vinnster says:

      Well said. America is in for a “Come to Jesus” moment in the near future. All the Stimulus, TARP … bills did was delayed the day.

      Individually, I am an optimist and I see a decade or two down the road a new America emerging from a period on par with and maybe worst than The Great Depression. All the recessions in America’s history have been of two flavors, inventory-caused (excess production because of over optimistic forecasts)and debt-caused by excessive debt (this is not a credit bubble as many call it , but a debt bubble) and excessive leveraging.

      All have been inventory-caused except two, the 1930s recession which turning into the Great Depression and 2008 recession which will also turn into a depression (defined as a reduction in GDP by 10% peak-to-trough).

      I see our current flavor of politician as described by USW in his post (very good)becoming the most loathsome human being in America after a very turbulent time of economic collapse.

      And as I said, I am optimistic in the long run…I still believe deep inside most people in America is the genetic material of the people that founded our great nation still believe (once realty hits the between the eyes):

      “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    • lilteabag says:

      I agree people are complacient. I was too. I didn’t watch any news except to occational nightly and local news. then i got into the election because i always did at election time. most people did but the difference this time I continued to listen. i had a gut feeling after the hurricanes when the housing started to climb to crazy hight. common sense told me this can’t last. i think we need to keep exposing our public servants for their good and bad. until people emerge as true public servants, and voting time i will be there. i will also be there localy to see what can be done in my community. i will also be at every tea party i can. happy 4th

  2. USW, I can see this a different way when it comes to Con. Kaptur. She knows that “Cap and Trade” will hurt the folks in the Midwest and NorthEast a great deal. She may have told the Dems that if she don’t get this Amendment, she will vote “No”. Somehow, she is trying to save her career, and may have bribed the Dem majority to try and achieve this. My understanding about her is that she supported a Climate Change bill, and said so publically, but knew it would hurt her in the next election (and it probably still will).

    The pork needs to end! The practice should be regulated by the people somehow.

    G!

    • Another part of the problem here is if she stands on principal, and Votes “NO”, then during the next election cycle you will see ads saying that she voted against 3.26 Billion in Loans for renewable energy. Nevermind what else was in the bill.

  3. Its another case of the inmates running the asylum.

    IMO a two term limit for everyone should be in effect. They’d worry a lot less about being re-elected (at least the second time).

    Face it, a politician’s career is built upon not offending 51% of the population of their district or state. As long as they can sell their BS to that many people they don’t really care about the ramifications of the “laws” they are putting into effect.

  4. One other thing!

    If I hear one more person call this country a freaking DEMOCRACY I think I will shoot someone!

    Democracies fail!!!!! All the founding fathers felt that way. Republics stand!

  5. I thought we should have a clean bill act. Where a only one single topic or law can be on a bill. NO pork can be added at the end to get people to vote for something. This way you know what and who is voting for what. You never know now, because of all the extras that are added to the bill to sway people. Shame on all of them that do this! Always looking at what will get them reelected, not the whole bill will do to this country. Truly sad!

  6. USW;

    Given this quite a bit of thought, and still doing so. First we need to defeat the Cap and Trade via whatever means. I still think that focusing on it during the 4ths Tea Party’s will infuse a great deal of public exposure. In addition we all need to locate and hook up with a state Representative and work them to sponsor a bill in the house. A bill that would mandate a public vote on any and all new tax bills. I am still investigating this whole process, as the timelines from idea to house vote can be very lengthy. Nevertheless, garnering a couple state representatives in each state could make a difference. I think the most immediate action is going to come through a currently seated elector.

    We should avoid party alliances, keep things independent to ensure we stay away from the rhetoric associated with each party. I still think we could form an “American Pary” and it does not have to be one formally recognized by the government. Hell, all the other special interest groups influence policy without party alliance, so can we.

    We could allign ourselves with current strong and influencial SI groups like the NRA, and others that see things along our lines. Those I know at senior levels in the NRA agree pretty much as I do about taxes, the current regime, and Constitutionsl rights.

    The key is that we need to pander to individual representatives and organizations that can help us get the word out.

    BTW: I am just kind of Story-boarding here, not absolutely sure all of this makes sense, but the key is to start throwing out ideas.

    Form a National “Tea-Party” alliance or non-profit organization called the “Second American Revolution” and solicit for donations. I am sure there are enough rightous minded people out there to get this off the ground.

    Influencial residents of individual states could ban together around a set of demands and request set-downs with their elected officials. If the elected officials refuse or blow them off, then we could go to the local news and make our point, and that our representatives refuse to meet with us.

    The biggest challenge we face right now is timing and time itself; it is working against us given the Cap and Trade and Health Care Reform.

    Attend any and all functions attended by targetted Representatives, especially those that alow for public Q&A. Demand at those functions that those Representatives make their positions clear on the Stimulus Bill, Cap and Trade, Health Care Reform and the like. If they intend to or did vote yes on any of those bills, as them to defend their position against public oppinion. PUT THEM ON THE HOT SEAT!!!!!!

    Maybe an Internet letter signed by all those in America that believe as we do, forwarded to the House, Senate and White House. It could read along the lines of “We the Citizens of the United States demand our country back and that those elected to office be required to follow public oppinion…We want the wasteful spending and taxation stopped, we want true representation. We want Term Limits, We want the Constitution and Bill of Rights re-instated as supreme doctrine, We want our borders protected and illegal immigration stopped, We want a balanced budget, etc, etc.

    As I said earlier still thinking this all through, but wanted to get some ideas out. Hope everyone else will add more.

    Maybe this article and it’s results could be the rough draft for an action plan???

    CM

  7. Danak13 says:

    “Republic…I like the sound of the word. It means that people can live free..talk free…go or come…buy or sell…be drunk or sober…however they choose. Some words give you a feeling…Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat. The same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step or when his first baby shaves and makes his first sound like a man…Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm….Republic is one of those words.” From the Alamo as quoted by John Wayne.

    Perhaps we, as Americans, have forgotten this. Perhaps we, as Americans, have forgotten what it takes to make a Republic. Perhaps we, as Americans, have become complacent and want some one else to stand up. Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know…perhaps we, as Americans, have forgotten the sacrifices both in war and peace that have given us this freedom that is so taken for granted.Perhaps we, as Americans, have forgotten that we can do change and that change is in the ballot box.

    Well, I have not forgotten because I have helped provide the freedoms that many take for granted and I will not sit idly by and watch it erode without a fight. I like the idea, one vote at a time. No rhetoric on how the vote does not matter…no rhetoric on how archaic our system is…despite ACORN, despite despots, despite our Congressmen and women who only have personal agendas, despite the conscious effort to destroy this country from the extremists, who are now in control, and despite the stupidity of the people that vote blindly and without reason or cause….despite all of this…WE ARE STILL THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD AND I WILL NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT WITHOUT TRYING TO CHANGE IT BACK…NOT FOR MY SAKE BUT FOR THE SAKE OF MY CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN.

    Education begins at the grassroots and we need to get involved again. Education of the voters is necessary and urgent now. That is the only way to stop this maniacal push. I do not agree with those that think we have a Congress that has our interest at heart…. we have a congress that is drunk on power and money…BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.

    We need to start our election process at the bottom of the voting page and work up.

    D13

    • Danak13 says:

      “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” Wish I had said this but kind of sums it up.

      D13

    • Well Said D13. I particularly loved the first comment from John Wayne. I doubt very many folks even remember what a great American the Duke was. To me, that was one of the greatest lines in any movie. Because it’s true.

      Republic IS one of those words that make you tight in the throat. Too bad we no longer have one, or won’t soon. I like you will not let it go silently into the night. I will do anything in my power to stop Obama and the Congress from ending MY Republic.

      Cedartown has a July 4th Tea Party planned. I plan to be there and talk to everyone I see. This Nation will not just collapse because of Politicians if I have anything to do with it.

      • Black Flag says:

        I always smirk at John Wayne quotes:

        Here is a man who made a living portraying American heroism in war…

        …who avoided going to war himself…

        “Despite enormous pressure from his inner circle of friends, he put off enlisting…”

        Thus, John Wayne did not illegally “dodge” the draft, but he never took direct positive action toward enlistment.

        …his widow suggests that Wayne’s rampant patriotism in later decades sprang not from hypocrisy but from guilt. Pilar Wayne wrote, “He would become a ‘superpatriot’ for the rest of his life trying to atone for staying home.”

        • Well BF, leave that to you to smirk.

          But The Duke did more during WW2 for his Country making patriotic war movies than he possibly could have done in the Military. Besides, there were plenty of other actors that went and volunteered.

          I do imagine he felt guilt though.

        • Danak13 says:

          I fully expected you to say something like this BF…and it is ok because it is who you are. I, personally, do not have a problem with him because he would have been rejected anyway….4-f. The reason was his feet. He would not have been able to even fly a plane.However…whether guilt or otherwise, he sold more war bonds than any other actor. There is more than one way to fight a war. But, he admitted, in public, that he always regretted not being there so he did the next best thing…..but, his reasons for not being there do not subtract from the words spoken. They are true…even if Obama had said them. (Now, therein lies the joke….A Commander in Chief with no military experience is like kissing your sister…it just ain’t there. Oh, and, please, do not list all the CIC’s that have had no military experience..I am well aware…too bad it is not a prerequisite. It should be.)

          And, I know you got the point.

          D13

        • Black Flag says:

          vs. Jimmy Stewart??

          …. was rejected for failing to meet height and weight requirements for new recruits

          He beefed up and joined evenutally to become….

          …squadron commander, at the rank of Captain. In December, the 445th Bombardment Group flew its B-24 Liberator bombers to RAF Tibenham, England and immediately began combat operations. While flying missions over Germany, Stewart was promoted to Major. In March 1944, he was transferred as group operations officer to the 453rd Bombardment Group, a new B-24 unit that had been experiencing difficulties. As a means to inspire his new group, Stewart flew as command pilot in the lead B-24 on numerous missions deep into Nazi-occupied Europe. These missions went uncounted at Stewart’s orders. His “official” total is listed as 20 and is limited to those with the 445th. In 1944, he twice received the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions in combat and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. He also received the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters. In July 1944, after flying 20 combat missions, Stewart was made Chief of Staff of the 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing of the Eighth Air Force. Before the war ended, he was promoted to colonel, one of very few Americans to rise from private to colonel in four years…

          …Stewart did not often talk of his wartime service, perhaps due to his desire to be seen as a regular soldier doing his duty instead of as a celebrity. He did appear on the TV series, The World At War to discuss the October 14, 1943, bombing mission to Schweinfurt, which was the center of the German ball bearing manufacturing industry.

          This mission is known in USAF history as Black Thursday due to the high casualties it sustained; in total, 60 aircraft were lost out of 291 dispatched, as the raid consisting entirely of B-17s was unescorted all the way to Schweinfurt and back due to the contemporary escort aircraft available lacking the range.

          Fittingly, he was identified only as “James Stewart, Squadron Commander” in the documentary.

          In 1966, Brigadier General James Stewart flew as a non-duty observer in a B-52 on a bombing mission during the Vietnam conflict.

          At the time of his B-52 flight, he refused the release of any publicity regarding his participation as he did not want it treated as a stunt, but as part of his job as an officer in the Air Force Reserve.

          After 27 years of service, Stewart retired from the Air Force on May 31, 1968

  8. Ron Hess says:

    USW;
    Good Day to you, sir. Thank you for hosting this blog and doing what you can to “save the republic”.
    Ideas for furthering our efforts to “take back” the leadership of this country will probably be slow in coming, given the risks involved for those identified as “enemies of the current state”, so to speak.That notwithstanding, I would like to support the notion that we (i.e. like minded individuals in support of the “way things were meant to work in our country”) adopt the tactics that worked so well in electing our present government. By that I mean take advantage of the internet to organize our opposition, raise funds, select a platform, elect leaders, promote rallies to educate the populace, etc; and, also join with those existent power bases (such as NRA) which already have traction with significant parts of our populace (ala Common Mans reply). There are lots of us out here in the “hinterlands” that are looking for some way to contribute to this effort; but are at a loss as to where to start. Thanks for the opportunity to chime in.

  9. Organize LOTS of people, educate citizens about what is going on and how certain legislation will effect them directly, then get in your legislators’ faces, and don’t let up. This is what I’m constantly blathering about on this blog, and it works. We have had several successes doing this in RI, at the local level (holding the line on taxes), the state level (reining in grotesquely lavish union contracts, keeping taxes from increasing), and now we are focusing on the state level as our Congressmen and Senators make their rounds during the July 4th recess.

    The key is building an army. You’ll need of “minutemen” who can show up at a protest or go to a town hall meeting to query your Senator or hang out in the State House Chamber Gallery and watch the idiots in action. They aren’t used to that and DO NOT like it. They act completely different and do not pass egregious bills secretly when they are being watched. This needs to be accompanied by a barrage of calls, letters, and emails, protests, press releases, and media coverage of your side of the issue. Getting media coverage is a whole science in itself, but can be done by “creating” newsworthy events. We did this very effectively by protesting our local ABC affiliate for doing the Obama healthcare infomercial and the station received hundreds of emails from people stating they would boycott the station and their advertisers if they aired the show without any rebuttal. They had me come on the news show to explain the boycott and then to give a rebuttal after the Obama show. If this can be done in the bluest of blue states, it can happen anywhere.

    While you are focusing on the federal legislators in this post, pork happens at the state level too via legislative grants and lobbying.

    Now onto those federal morons (and trust me, with admitted drug and alcohol addicted Patrick Kennedy as my Congressman I am allowed to say this and nobody can dispute it). I spent the last two days attending meetings with the other Congressmen from RI, Langevin, and Senator Whitehouse, who is on the healthcare committee. This is another opportunity to mobilize the army, get some folks at every event, and hammer the legislators with questions. With the Congressman, we focused on Cap and Trade and asked him pointed questions. Let them know you have the army, that they are on your target list for the next election, and you will be happy to introduce them to their replacement in 2010. With the Senator, we focused on healthcare. These people live in an alternate universe; when they see their constituents are upset and mobilized and focused on ousting them, they hopefully will change their attitudes. But it takes a ton of work to get people mobilized and off their butts, to keep them focused, and energized. We can harness the angst out there to do just that. But we’ve ALL got to do it to effect federal legislation.

    Our next order of business is to conduct healthcare and Cap and Trade forums around the state with well respected speakers who can address the issues at hand and answer folks’ questions. This NEEDS to be done everywhere, to counter the administrations efforts to do the same. There needs to be a robust debate and people need to know what is at stake.

    There are many good government coalitions, taxpayers groups, constitutionally focused groups already out there. We are holding a summit later this month and have invited representatives from every group to come together so we can develop a streamlined, focused message. The RI Tea Party (which is now incorporated as a non-profit) will be the umbrella group and we will develop different “brigades” to focus on separate issues; federal issues, state issues, communications and technology, volunteer coordinators and recruitment, candidate recruitment, fundraising, educational forums, media relations, etc. This is war and we are taking rules from the playbook of the left to organize just like they do. If we all do something like this in each of our states, we will prevail.

    • Great post, MadMom. Thanks for your input and motivation.

      • Thanks Kathy. I forgot to mention one thing. If you organize and lead, they will come. I am new to this state and barely knew a soul. Put together a credible grassroots coalition and people will sign up in droves to volunteer. People are aghast at what is going on and want to be given something to do to make a difference. Once you’ve organized a serious group, the government leaders, important businesspeople, and the media will suddenly ring your phone off the hook. I received a letter from a Senatorial candidate who left this state because he had given up on the apathy of the people. He thanked me for what we’ve done, said he is reconsidering everything and will be coming home to run for Governor. The People have Power. Use It!

    • Madmom,

      Bless you for what you have accomplished. I wish you could get on Glenn Beck or Fox (any show) to help promote your efforts.

      You give me hope that something can be done before it’s too late.

      I hope your organization spreads to other states, do you have any plans for that?

      Thanks for what you are doing!

      • Forgot something.

        Is there a link to a video of your rebuttal on the ABC affiliate?

  10. In addition to the middle of the night amendments/bribes, this bill had a “placeholder” for further language to be inserted, after it was voted on. I’ve never heard of this before, but how can anyone vote for a bill that has this in place?

    From Conservative blogger, Michelle Malkin: http://michellemalkin.com/2009/07/01/here-is-the-cap-and-tax-placeholder-wheres-the-fine-print/

  11. Years ago, we had a worker steal a $200 electronic part. He pawned it for $15.
    Did not matter what it cost us, he got $15 for free. (Lost his job, violated his parole). How is that different from what congress is doing? Its free to them, its cost them nothing to take our money and use it to buy their re-election. Just like before Rome fell, feed and entertain the masses, and your personal future is secure.

    One of my posts from yesterday.

    Guess there wasn’t enough pork in the stimulus bill.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/01/us/politics/01climate.html?_r=2&hp

    By JOHN M. BRODER
    Published: June 30, 2009

    Liberal Democrats got a piece, too. Representative Bobby Rush, Democrat of Illinois, withheld his support for the bill until a last-minute accord was struck to provide nearly $1 billion for energy-related jobs and job training for low-income workers and new subsidies for making public housing more energy-efficient.
    (I remember the spendulous had public housing improvement funding, and that it was reported to have been completed in D.C., one of the “shovel ready projects” and then turned out not to have been done)

    In its odyssey from introduction in late March to House passage, the climate-change bill sponsored by Mr. Waxman and Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, grew to more than 1,400 pages from 648 pages.

  12. The 8 Republicans who voted for the bill
    Mary Bono Mack (Calif.)
    Mike Castle (Del.)
    Mark Kirk (Ill.)
    John McHugh (NY)
    Frank LoBiondo (NJ)
    Leonard Lance (NJ)
    Dave Reichert (Wash/)
    Chris Smith (NJ).

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Notice that 5 of the 8 are from New Jersey, New York, and Deleware, and one is from Illinois….

      Just where do you think carbon credits are going to be traded? Perhaps Wall Street and perhaps the Chicago Board of Trade? Just maybe?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      ….and the beat goes on……and the beat goes on

      sorry – couldn’t resist

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ball of Confusion?

      • Yeah, this beat goes on
        This beat goes on, this beat goes on
        Ray, back atcha

        This beat goes on, this beat goes on
        This beat goes on, this beat goes on
        on and on, on and on, on and on, on and on

        THIS BEAT GOES…

        Nothin’ matters but the weekend
        From a Tuesday point-of-view
        Like a kettle in the kitchen
        I feel the steam begin to brew

        Switchin’ to glide, switchin’ to glide
        Switchin’ to glide, switchin’ to glide

        Energy can be directed
        I’m turning it up, I’m turning it down
        Even love can be affected
        Harmony’s the sweetest sound

        The Kings, Switching to Glide

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Am thinking the friends to the North may recognize this one…….

          He’s a rebel and a runner
          He’s a signal turning green
          He’s a restless young romantic
          Wants to run the big machine

          He’s got a problem with his poisons
          But you know he’ll find a cure
          He’s cleaning up his systems
          To keep his nature pure

          Learning to match the beat of the old world man
          Learning to catch the heat
          of the third world man

          He’s got to make his own mistakes
          And learn to mend the mess he makes
          He’s old enough to know whats right
          But young enough not to choose it
          He’s noble enough to win the world
          But weak enough to lose it —
          He’s a new world man…

          He’s a radio receiver
          Tuned to factories and farms
          He’s a writer and arranger
          And a young boy bearing arms

          He’s got a problem with his power
          With weapons on patrol
          He’s got to walk a fine line
          And keep his self-control

          Trying to save the day for the old world man
          Trying to pave the way for the third world man

          He’s not concerned with yesterday
          He knows constant change is here today
          He’s noble enough to know whats right
          But weak enough not to choose it
          He’s wise enough to win the world
          But fool enough to lose it —

          He’s a new world man…

          • We’ll be fighting in the streets
            With our children at our feet
            And the morals that they worship will be gone
            And the men who spurred us on
            Sit in judgment of all wrong
            They decide and the shotgun sings the song

            And the world looks just the same
            And history ain’t changed
            ‘Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war

            I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
            Take a bow for the new revolution
            Smile and grin at the change all around me
            Pick up my guitar and play
            Just like yesterday
            No, no!

            I’ll move myself and my family aside
            If we happen to be left half alive
            I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
            For I know that the hypnotized never lie

            Do ya?

            YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

            There’s nothing in the street
            Looks any different to me
            And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
            And the parting on the left
            Is now the parting on the right
            And the beards have all grown longer overnight

            I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
            Take a bow for the new revolution
            Smile and grin at the change all around me
            Pick up my guitar and play
            Just like yesterday
            Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
            We don’t get fooled again
            Don’t get fooled again
            No, no!

            YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

            Meet the new boss
            Same as the old boss

            The Who

          • Alan F. says:

            Better late than never. You bet we do! Ray gets extra points for international diplomacy.

  13. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    “I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” Robert A. Heinlein.

    Time to wake this sort of spirit up in the people again!

    I think the only way to end pork is to push for a Constitutional Amendment making it illegal to add pork to legislation. I am sure that we can get 3/4 of the States to pass it… the question would be if the government would ever ratify the amendment….

    • Bills be passed should be on 1 specific topic. This crap with adding misc. legislation to get something passed is just plain stupid! Peter is right, we need an ammendment making it illegal to do so.

  14. Ray Hawkins says:

    Sorry for the randomness of post here:

    (1) Supposedly the big trading houses already have carbon credit trading desks set up and are primed for this to pass – why do I sense yet another underground and unregulated financial market? I don’t recall seeing trading safeguards baked into Cap & Trade

    (2) I supposed I fall into the camp of calling b.s. on selling votes – sure it can be construed as looking out for your district, but in the larger framework of this f’in large bill – it is clear that no scrutiny was placed on whether (a)a regional power marketing authority (wtf is that anyway?) is really necessary and (b) if Kaptur’s district is the most appropriate place to put the damn thing

    (3) I am disgusted at how this bill has transpired. Put aside the GW/CC argument for a moment – if I were to apply the same approach to where I work I would be fired – immediately. Now I am going to sound like the black helicopter guy, but I sense:

    (a) This bill has been in the works for a long time – it is scary that Waxman fits the typo of a Sociopath – he is doing something under the covers but he wants to be ‘found out’. This bill was his porn mag and the amendments were his box of tissues. I’m furious that there was no debate, no scrutiny, no analysis – just backroom bullshit handshakes that produce a bill that is so sweeping yet does not see the light of public debate.

    (b) Who were the lobbyists that wrote the bill? I am no SME in the subject matter offered – but from what I have digested thus far – this reeks of something written by a lobbyist.

    (c) The amendments – why the F can I not find a common sense, in ‘plain English’, version of the amendments? I am sick of this shit. I found the amendments, wanted to read before I post here, but sounded like a broken record with all my WTFs. (http://www.pserc.org/docsa/Cap_Trade_Amendment_Proposed.pdf)

    Consider me the pissed Liberal – its hard to defend a POS like this that you cannot even begin to wrap your head around. It should border on criminal that our Congress shirks a basic fundamental responsibility. I’d bet these guys/gals don’t run their private lives this way, but its okay to gamble with so much at stake. Feel like we need Colonel Jessup and 219 code reds.

    • Amen, Ray…

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      To “soften the blow” of the bill, they have decided to GIVE CARBON CREDITS AWAY for free to many coal-fired power plants in the midwest and places like Pennsylvania and West Virginia. All places that basically rely on coal for power.

      Since they are giving the credits away for free, directly to the types of entities that they supposedly wanted to regulate, how is this actually going to help limit carbon emissions in any way?

      Also, won’t the provision of free credits to the largest polluters dilute the price of any “non-free” carbon credits that will supposedly be traded? Won’t this have the effect of making it cheaper for anyone not receiving free credits to go ahead and pollute anyway?

      Even if I DID believe in AGW (which I don’t), I would CLEARLY recognize that this bill will do NOTHING to reduce carbon emissions, and is simply a new vehicle for the fat-cats to make more money.

      I have read (from what Ray would call non-reliable sources) that Al Gore is positioned to PROFIT in excess of 1 BILLION dollars if this crap passes the Senate.

      Wouldn’t it just be more efficient to give Al Gore $1 Billion and tell him to go away and shut up?

      • And that is not to mention what others stand to gain. For instance GE, whose leader (Jeffery Immelt) has driven the company in a downward trend. Was posted to a position on President Obama’s financial team, and now also stands to make quite a load of cash if and when the cap and scam goes into effect…T. Boone Pickens is also another one who is looking to get richer with cap and grab…

    • Ray and others:

      For those who don’t know it, virtually every bill in Congress is jointly written by Congressional Staff and Lobbyists. The lobbyists bring the expertise in the particular area the bill will impact.

      Not all are intitiated by lobbyists but staffers will seek their advice or input when drafting. Quite frankly I don’t care who writes the thing.

      What matters is whether our “unrepresenting representatives” take the time to evaluate it, discuss it with their lobbyists (those they represent) and then vote on it.

      And remember, everyone here has at least one lobbyist working for you in D.C. They just may not be as high up on the “Friends” list as someone else’s lobbyist ( see response to Jay D below for Friends List).

      By the way, Mad Mom is now a lobbyist in the effective sense, while perhaps not the “registered” sense. I like Mad Mom so I don’t want to kill all the lobbyists.

      Hope your smilin now.
      JAC

    • Ray,

      Agree and like your thoughts except, “I supposed I fall into the camp of calling b.s. on selling votes”. Not sure I am understanding your meaning.

      Ellen said on #5, “I thought we should have a clean bill act. Where a only one single topic or law can be on a bill.”

      GOOOH also calls for this, and I think it should be a core principal for any party.

  15. Here’s a story from Rolling Stone on Goldman-Sachs interest in the fiasco.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/16763183/TaibbiGoldmanSachs

  16. JayDickB says:

    USW – Good topic.

    A while back, you and I had a discussion on term limits. Someone above (Edward, #3) suggested a two-term limit regarding this issue. You once asked if I understood BF’s objection to term limits as you thought his argument was very strong. I replied that I found his argument unpersuasive.

    After that, I went back and reread his original posts on this subject to make sure I remembered correctly. As I understand his argument, he believes term limits remove legitimate choices from the voter, i.e., a candidate many voters might like is not allowed to run. He didn’t like this reduction in choice and freedom.

    Technically, term limits prescribe who can and cannot hold office (as opposed to who can run for office), but that’s too fine a hair to split. I find BF’s argument unpersuasive because any restrictions on who can hold office (age, residency, citizenship, etc.) do the same thing. We are just arguing about which restrictions are wise and which are not. BF seemed to think there is something inherently different about term limits as opposed to other restrictions. He found the other restrictions acceptable, but not term limits.

    I think a restriction is a restriction and the argument is really about which are wise and which are not. Restrictions such as age, residency, and citizenship are a bit more basic, but I don’t seem them as different at the core. They are still restrictions.

    We have term limits for the president (at least for now). I think that is wise and that term limits for Senators and Congressmen would be wise as well.

    The problems you lay out in your post are all related to politicians’ desire for power; to keep/gain power they must be reelected. If we could reduce their ability to achieve power, we would mitigate (not eliminate) the problems you discuss.

    Of course, a more basic step to reducing politicians’ power is to reduce government power. That’s a good long term goal, and term limits might even help a little in achieving that goal.

    • Jay D:

      Term limits and restrictions due to age are absolutely NOT THE SAME.

      Yes both restrict.

      But they do so based on fundamentally different criteria. One applies to 100% of the population (age) the other only applies to those who the people chose to represent them.

      You missed BF’s fundamental point. It is not that it eliminates voter’s choice in and of itself.

      It is that if you TRUST the people to make a choice of who they want to represent, then how can you argue that you DO NOT TRUST them to continue making a choice.

      Such a position is a fundamental CONTRADICTION in the underlying philosophy supporting a “representative” republican form of govt.

      And by the way, the existing term limits for House are 2 years and the Senate is 6 years.

      Once again, remove the authority that gives them power they are not supposed to have and the entire issue of “term limits” disappears. Remove that authority and much of the federal govt also disappears. One solution with numerous benefits.

      Term limits as you present are a “gimmick” and nothing more. Idealogues are just that. They only needed 3 months to do what they did this time. What do you think they will do if they know they do not have to answer to the voters because they are prohibted from running.

      Cut off their power and their source of fat income/benefits.

      By the way, my state has term limits and it is a red state and it passed an increase in CHIP to include families earning over 65000 per year and it passed a requirement that insurance companies provide 75000 per year for early behaviorial intervention for kids with Autism, and it passed use of Spendulus funds to shore up education retirement and benefits along with a host of other garbage projects.

      So now tell me again how term limits will solve the problem?

      If you threaten their financial and worker support you will have their attention. Mad Mom is correct in her approach if you want short term influence. BUT, the power you yield had better be REAL because you will only get ONE chance to use it.

      Long term we need major reform to the Constitution, pure and simple.

      FYI Ranking of Elected Officials Friends (as best my memory serves)

      1) Those who donate big money and who work for election.
      2) Those who donate big money.
      3) Those who donate serious time to work for election.
      4) Those who can influence large blocks of votes (which are usually also #1,2,or 3).
      5) Those who donate a little and/or some time to help with election.
      6) Those who vote both parties but can be pursuaded.
      7) Those who vote straight party ticket.

      Politicians quote to me: “I don’t care what the people think, I only care what the people think who vote for my party or who can be pursuaded”.

      Jay D, I don’t mean to be harsh but the term limits thing is simply not consistent with our supposed liberty and freedom minded principles.

      I would like to see harder evidence that this idea made a real difference in those states that adopted it. There were many and there should be adequate evidence if it is in fact a real solution.

      Best Wishes and Stay Free
      JAC

      • JayDickB says:

        JAC – Always interesting to discuss with you. Don’t worry about harshness; I can take it, and its not personal.

        If you trust the people (I don’t trust anybody very much)(remember the “Merry Minuet”?), why do we need limits on residency? Age? Etc. Does trust in the people have to be absolute? Aren’t we talking about matters of degree, not whether we trust the people or not?

        I don’t think term limits are a magic bullet. But I also don’t think there are any magic bullets. Reduce power and money? Great! As long as we can do it without trampling on free speech, etc. Reform the constitution? Sure. It would scare the bejeebers out of the current crooks we call elected representatives.

        Liberty and freedom are good, but they cannot be absolute in any society.

        I don’s see term limits as an ultimate solution. I see them as one small step we could take to reduce politicians’ power. If we reduce government power so that politicians can’t get very much power, term limits might be superflous. But, until then, I think they would be helpful.

        Remember, the only absolute is that there are no absolutes.

        • JayDickB says:

          I know, the original line from “Merry Minuet” was “And I don’t like anybody very much”, but it was too close to resist plagiarizing it.

        • Lets start from the bottom:

          “Remember, the only absolute is that there are no absolutes.” Go back to the Philosophy article where I showed everyone how to look at catch phrases to find the truth behind them. I would like to see if you or anyone can tell me what this phrase really means.

          “Liberty and freedom are good, but they cannot be absolute in any society.” They sure as hell can. Don’t confuse government construct with those in society who choose to use coersion against others. Liberty and freedom are absolutes. You either have them or you have “sewage” (credit to the Flag for that analogy).

          “Does trust in the people have to be absolute? Aren’t we talking about matters of degree, not whether we trust the people or not?” I disagree strongly. One deals with basic qualifications of those running for office. Their skills and abilities. Now age was used because our founders accepted the concept that age was related to experience and thus wisdom. An old world construct given to us by Greek Philosophers. You are arguing that of those who are qualified (age, IQ, or whatever) that your qualifications change due to your gaining additional experience.

          We are in fact saying we do not trust the people to choose wisely. If that is the case then why give the people the chance to choose at all?

          I don’t know that Age should be a criteria. I certainly know young folks with alot more sense and understanding of liberty and republican govt than the bozos in D.C.

          Residency is more understandable. I agree that those who vote should be those who have committed to live within and support their city, county, state, country. They should be citizens of the USA and resident of a particular state. I sure don’t want New Yorkers telling me how my state should run.

          I would still like to see actual evidence that term limits have had a positive effect in those states where it was adopted. If evidence was solid then you would find me more pursuaded that this is worth pursuing as a SHORT TERM solution.

          Here is another thought that goes with this issue and others. If we convince the public that something is needed to fix the problem and we get it implemented, they will lose their fire and drift away. They will assume the problem has been solved.

          And when they find out it hasn’t they will no longer listen to our solutions. We will have become just like those we despise. That didn’t work so let us try this other idea. There is real danger right now in taking action that will not have lasting positive results.

          Fifteen to Ten years ago this was ripe for action, given the nature of the population upset. Today my sense is the people (at least some) have progressed to a much angrier and more determined place. Momentum is building. If lasting solutions are not given then it may be impossible to regain this kind of momentum for a very long time. People will then either throw up their arms in disgust or they will pick up and start using their other arms.

          If WE decide Term Limits is a valid SHORT TERM solution then we need to make sure that everyone in the fight knows and fully understands that going in. They need to know and believe that a Constitutional Convention is where this all has to lead. And short of that, they need written amendments to hand their elected “representing representatives” so that they may pass them on our behalf.

          Hope this helps add some ideas.
          JAC

          • JayDickB says:

            Discussions on this blog in general and with you, BF, and USW in particular always spark new ides.

            “You are arguing that of those who are qualified (age, IQ, or whatever) that your qualifications change due to your gaining additional experience.”

            Exactly. Experience in the Federal legislature corrupts the majority of those who experience it. USW’s opening post above proves this.

            I do believe that term limits would enhance the chances for a constitutional convention, which I agree would be a good thing.

            As for term limits’ track record, how about the presidency or, better yet, the governorship of some states? We have had some bad presidents since Roosevelt, but how many two-term presidents might have sought and won a third term? Clinton probably would have, and he probably would have won. I think it’s better that he couldn’t. The governorship in the state where I live has been occupied by moderate Democrats and conservative Republicans for a very long time. They haven’t been perfect, but they have been a lot better than most. Term limit = 1 4-year term.

            Your comments about timing and voter reaction look valid to me but, as you say at the end, making it clear going in that this is a short term band-aid might work. I guess I’m discussing theory more than making a concrete proposal at this point, but if a theory is good, we must begin thinking about implementation at some point.

            I don’t know the origin of the saying about absolutes, but what it means to me is that if you think you have found something that is always true, look harder for the conditions under which it is not true; there probably are some.

            Freedom and liberty are/are not absolute in society — if you have a government, which I think almost all societies have, even if it’s tribal, I don’t see how freedom and liberty can be absolute. There are usually obligations and limitations imposed by the government, e.g., requirement to assist in the common defense. If you don’t like these limitations, I guess you can leave the society and become a hermit, but you’d better find a really isolated location. And, at this point, you’re no longer living in a society.

            • Black Flag says:

              Jay,

              Freedom is absolute.

              But a question first, because it does dictate the premise by which you making your argument.

              What do you define ‘government’?

        • Amazed1 says:

          Jay,
          I to have thought term limits would be a great answer to alot of the problems we see in congress. But, After my temper simmered down and I could see and think a little more clearly I asked myself this question. If I was hired to do a job for a set time and pay and regardless of whether I did a good job or bad I was out at the end of two years…..what incentive do I have to do a good job? Win lose or draw I am in the same postion I started in so what changed?
          I do not think term limits are a solution to the problem…infact term limits may make the problem worse.
          Maybe laws requiring our represenatives to actually post the preposed bills on a site and having their consituants vote yea or nay and the represenatives having to vote exactly as the people want them to vote may help. But unless the people have full control of someone, in two years or fours years a represenative can vote in a lot of tax and spend.

  17. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Today marks the 7th consecutive day with no sunspot activity. There were no solar flares in the past 24 hours. Solar activity is projected to continue to be very quiescent.

    If this continues, brace for a short summer, a crappy fall, and a LONG cold winter!

    When the sun is active (as it was in the period of 1850-2000) it produces more radiation (light, heat, etc.) From 2000-present, the solar activity has been waning, and we have now reached the point where the sun is basically not active at all.

    Scientists and NOAA and NASA are predicting that the sun will remain quiet until at LEAST 2014. Many scientists are saying this is an under-prediction, and we could be entering a sun-cycle in which the sun is essentially quiet for at least 10 years. If this happens, the average global temperature will drop at least 2 degrees centigrade over the next 20 years. If the sun remains quiet for any longer than that, and the temperature drops more than 2 degrees centigrade, glaciation will begin to occur, first in Canada and then down into the upper US, much like during the last ice age.

    Core measurements show that in the past, atmospheric CO2 levels were as high, or higher, than they are now. The oceans are much like a can of carbonated drink. If the oceans are cool, they have the capacity to hold onto a greater quantity of CO2. As the oceans warm up (much like a warm Pepsi), they release more CO2. It takes oceans MUCH longer to cool off than it takes land masses to cool off, so the atmospheric CO2 maximum usually occurs about 800 years AFTER the cooling cycle starts.

    The average ice age is about 90,000 years long. The average warm interglacial period is about 10,000 to 12,000 years long. The previous ice age ended about 12,000 years ago.

    http://www.suncycle24.com

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Sorry… incorrect link in post above… should read

      http://www.solarcycle24.com

      I apologize… hopefully USW can remove the bad link and keep the good one 🙂

    • JayDickB says:

      Peter – EXCELLENT post. It helps nontechnical people like me better understand what’s going on.

      I have seen other understandable writings like yours on the side saying AGW is not valid. I have never seen anything comparable from the pro AGW side. All I have seen from them is pure rhetoric that sounds like a circuit preacher railing against sin (no offense intended to circuit preachers). Is there such a thing?

    • Black Flag says:

      Be wary of ‘ice core’ Co2 studies – there appears to be a flaw in the concept.

      Using Peter’s example of a bottle of Pepsi (or Coke) – so you can observe the contents through the glass.

      Take a cold bottle and observe it.

      Warm it up and observe it.

      What do you see?
      .
      .
      .
      .

      That’s right – nothing.

      Peter is right about temperature – but pressure is more important. The pressure inside the bottle keeps the Co2 dissolved in the liquid, regardless of the temperature (yes, there is a point where it will be so warm as to blow off the top – but it is the pressure that blows the top, not the Co2).

      What they have found in ice cores: the pressure on the ice hundreds of feet thick is stunning – over 100,000lb per sq. in.

      At these depths, something interesting happens – ice turns to liquid. A quick explanation: When water freezes, it is unique by its characteristic – it expands in volume (all other substances shrink in volume as they turn from liquid to solid). This is why ice floats in liquid water.

      Temperature and pressure are the two variables, but @-20C and @40,000lbs/sq.in., the pressure forces the ice to contract and it turns back to a liquid! The colder the ice, the more pressure needed.

      So at great depths, there is super-cold liquid water. When an ice core is drilled, the pressure is suddenly released, instantly turning the water into ice.

      However, Co2 in ice is static. Co2 in water is not. Thus, the mere act of ice core dramatically changes the composition of Co2 in the sample. Drilling an ice core is like popping the cap on a bottle of pop. Co2 is moving through the liquids and cracks and changing its location in the core and its concentrations.

      Since depth equals age, the moving of Co2 through the core will give the indication that there is more (or less) Co2 in a given era than actually may have been there.

      The huge pressure on the ice keeps Co2 contained – the ice core releases all that pressure and obviously changes the Co2 composition.

      The theory of gas composition in ice cores is under serious re-examination. It appears that it probably will not be a valid method of measuring past atmospheric compositions.

      • Flag,

        “So at great depths, there is super-cold liquid water.” Have not read about that one, I understand and agree on super-cold water, but have never seen it mentioned when discussing ice cores.

        Have read on tree ring studies, that are non-conclusive.

        “It appears that it probably will not be a valid method of measuring past atmospheric compositions.” Technically true, but in general, false. I reached my conclusion on global warming by comparing the science and historic studies. Ice cores and history agree on everything from the time of the Roman Empire til today. I wonder if Chinese history has been researched looking for weather information?

        Will also state the key is solar studies. If the furnace ain’t burning, ‘taint gonna get no heat.

        I am dissapointed in you. My #15 post yesterday was on economics, and you did not respond. I bathe daily, use deodorant, so whats the deal?

        • Black Flag says:

          Ice cores and history agree on everything from the time of the Roman Empire til today. I wonder if Chinese history has been researched looking for weather information?

          No atmospheric data from ice core data from Roman period up to day is useful at all – all it shows is that for the last 2,000 years, we haven’t had an ice age 😉

          Ice core data is useful on the scale of thousands of years – geological time scales – but for their isotope value; I don’t believe it is useful for gaseous compositions of the atmosphere.

          Re: Chinese. Yes, which is why we have historical confirmation of the Medieval Warming Period – “Green”land, and making red wine in England, et al.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The pressure inside the bottle keeps the Co2 dissolved in the liquid, regardless of the temperature (yes, there is a point where it will be so warm as to blow off the top – but it is the pressure that blows the top, not the Co2).

        BF,

        Have to disagree with you on this one, at least to an extent. Yes, the pressure in the bottle HELPS to keep the CO2 dissolved in the liquid, but so does the temperature.

        At a lower temperature, more CO2 is dissolved in the liquid, and less is in the vapor phase above the liquid. This is the reason that a bottle of pop will not “explode” if you open it when it is cold unless you shake it.

        As the bottle of pop is warmed (with the lid on), more of the CO2 is released into the vapor phase above the liquid. This increases the pressure inside the bottle (more CO2 vapor = more pressure). This is why a well-sealed pop bottle that was kept cold will “explode” if you warm it relatively rapidly and then open it. The pressure is caused by the release of the CO2 from the liquid to the vapor phase. At colder temperatures the equilibrium favors CO2 being dissolved in the liquid, higher temperatures favor CO2 being released into the vapor phase.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Further example, just for fun…

          Open a bottle of carbonated drink (cola, beer, etc.) and set it out and allow it to come to room temperature for an hour or so.

          What do you SEE:
          .
          .
          .
          .
          that’s right, NOTHING…

          Now, what do you TASTE? Your drink tastes like crap, because it has “gone flat”… the carbonation has left the drink.

          Now, take an identical bottle of carbonated drink and pop the top off, but leave it in the refrigerator for an hour or so. You still see NOTHING, but what do you taste? SOME of the carbonation has still left the drink, but it still has retained some of the carbonation, so it doesn’t taste AS crappy as the room-temperature drink.

          Even though both bottles have had the pressure released by removing the top, the warm drink loses more CO2 than the cold drink.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I do agree that it is possible for ice to become a super-cooled liquid under tremendous pressures, and it is indeed possible that the measurement of CO2 could be inaccurate due to disturbing the matrix and forcing the super-cooled liquid to return to ice form.

        Disturbing the matrix is why pouring a cold pop over ice suddenly releases a lot of the CO2 that was in the liquid.

    • Black Flag says:

      BUT ice cores are valuable in determining what our sun was doing during ice ages!

      The water molecule has Oxygen – and there is an isotope of Oxygen that appears when cosmic rays hit it. The more cosmic rays, the more we see this isotope.

      So, the isotope is created in the air by a cosmic ray. The isotope gets bound to Hydrogen making water, which then falls as snow, which then is compressed into the ice pack.

      It has been found that the isotope is a far higher concentration during the periods of ice ages, and lower concentrations during inter-glacial periods. There appears to be a correlation between the isotope and ice ages.

      Increases and decreases of the isotope changes with the existence of ice ages (or not). Thus, the isotope and ice ages are linked – but that cause which is creating isotopes is also causing ice ages.

      Further studies have shown that cosmic rays create a high-atmospheric cloud cover – so high that it reflects a substantial portion of solar radiation back into space.

      Cosmic rays travel to the earth from the center of our galaxy – but cosmic rays hitting the earth is a direct function of solar activity – the more active the sun, the stronger the solar wind, and the greater deflection of cosmic rays away from the earth (the Solar wind acts like a cosmic shield), fewer high-atmospheric clouds, more solar radiation hitting the surface and the warmer the earth.

      The lower the activity of the sun – the weaker the solar wind, the more cosmic rays hitting the earth, the more high-atmospheric clouds, the less solar radiation hitting the surface, and the cooler the earth.

      The current belief is, the longer the sun is quiet, the more likely the earth will turn to an ice age.

  18. I wrote a conspiracy theory last week, wondering if Obama/Pelosi had MJ offed to distract the sheeple. Looks like they have been distracted.

    The news cycle has been dominated by celebrity deaths – Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and even TV pitchman Billy Mays – and President Barack Obama’s health care initiative. Obama has used the compliant media to keep the focus to health care, and they are neglecting a critical largest news event that could impact the lives of every man, woman and child for the foreseeable future.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jeff-poor/2009/07/01/global-warming-overshadowed-media-give-massive-cap-trade-tax-second-billi

  19. Judy S. says:

    It’s like I said before, Obama made all these promises to the American people probably knowing full well that he never intended to keep any of them. They fell for it hook, line, and sinker. With all the talk of change, change, change. Well, to those who voted for him, I hope you’re happy with this change. Change with higher taxes, all the pork spending that he said he wouldn’t do,gradually turning this country into socialism, his choosing of how we spend our hard earned money, wanting to have socialized medicine, slowly taking away our rights. This what I see happening to this country. I really hate to see what this country is going to be like in the next 31/2 years from now. His constant apologizing to other countries about America, which is wrong, wrong, wrong. I do not see him standing up for America, but instead, I see him putting America down most of the time. Is this the kind of leadership that Americans want? I sure don’t. I find him to be arrogant and somewhat smug when he speaks, and not at all like a leader of people, but more like a follower, and I feel he doesn’t give a hoot about what we feel or what we the people think of the way he’s running, or should I say ruining this country. He’s going to do what he wants to do, and to me, it doesn’t matter whose toes he has to step on to get there. All I can say is, it’s too bad really at what’s happening to America.

    Good Day to All.

    Judy

    • Received an email, seems appropriate.

      “Dinner with Obama”
      Once upon a time, I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the President. I am a respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics. There was some talk that my industry was being scrutinized by the administration, but I paid it no mind. I live in a free country. There’s nothing that the government can do to me if I’ve broken no laws. My wealth was earned honestly, and an invitation to dinner with an American President is an honor.
      I checked my coat, was greeted by the Chief of Staff, and joined the President in a yellow dining room. We sat across from each other at a table draped in white linen. The Great Seal was embossed on the china. Uniformed staff served our dinner. The meal was served, and I was startled when my waiter suddenly reached out, plucked a dinner roll off my plate, and began nibbling it as he walked back to the kitchen.
      “Sorry about that,” said the President. “Andrew is very hungry.”

      “I don’t appreciate…” I began, but as I looked into the calm brown eyes across from me, I felt immediately guilty and petty.. It was just a dinner roll. “Of course,” I concluded, and reached for my glass. Before I could, however, another waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed the wine in a single gulp.
      “And his brother Eric is very thirsty.” said the President.
      I didn’t say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought. I will play along. I don’t want to seem unkind. My plate was whisked away before I had tasted a bite.
      “Eric’s children are also quite hungry.”
      With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under me. I stood,brushing myself off angrily, and watched as it was carried from the room.

      “And their grandmother can’t stand for long.”

      I excused myself, smiling outwardly, but inside feeling like a fool. Obviously I had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game. I reached for my coat, to find that it had been taken. I turned back to the President.
      “Their grandfather doesn’t like the cold.”
      I wanted to shout – that was my coat! But again, I looked at the placid smiling face of my host and decided I was being a poor sport. I spread my hands helplessly and chuckled. Then I felt my hip pocket and realized my wallet was gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. I learned shortly that my credit cards had been maxed out, my bank accounts emptied, my retirement and equity portfolios had vanished, and my wife had been thrown out of our home. Apparently, the waiters and their families were moving in. The President hadn’t moved or spoken as I learned all this, but finally I lowered the phone into its cradle and turned to face him.

      “Andrew’s whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven’t planned for retirement, and they need a house. They recently defaulted on a subprime mortgage. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do.”
      My hands were shaking. I felt faint. I stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor. The President cheerfully cut his meat, ate his steak and drank his wine.
      I lowered my eyes and stared at the small grey circles on the tablecloth that were water drops.
      “By the way,” He added, “I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories. I’m firing you as head of your business. I’ll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There’s a whole bunch of Erics and Andrews out there and they can’t come to you for jobs groveling like beggars.”

      I looked up. The President dropped his spoon into the empty ramekin which had been his creme brulee. He drained the last drops of his wine.

      As the table was cleared, he lit a cigarette and leaned back in his chair. He stared at me. I clung to the edge of the table as if were a ledge and I were a man hanging over an abyss. I thought of the years behind me, of the life I had lived. The life I had earned with a lifetime of work, risk and struggle. Why was I punished? How had I allowed it to be taken? What game had I played and lost? I looked across the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board between us. What had I done wrong?
      As if answering the unspoken thought, the President suddenly cocked his head, locked his empty eyes to mine, and bared a million teeth, chuckling wryly as he folded his hands.
      “You should have stopped me at the dinner roll,” he said.

      • Judy S. says:

        Very good, makes you stop and think. Kind of like that letter from the grandfather to his granddaughter I put on last night’s board. By the way, did you happen to read it? If you did, what did you think of it? I’m curious.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Judy,

          I did read your letter from a grandfather to his granddaughter yesterday, and it was not the first time I had read it nor the first place I had seen it.

          Not sure if it is a real letter or just and urban legend, but it is a great letter nonetheless. I hope that some grandfather really did write it!

  20. Judy S. says:

    Heard last night that Karl Malden passed away yesterday at the age of 97. Always thought he was a good actor. RIP Mr. Malden.

  21. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://www.iceagenow.com/Arizona_Aiming_to_Outlaw_Global_Warming_Legislation.htm

    We should all encourage our own State Legislatures to pass similar legislation!

  22. Black Flag says:

    I find this practice to be absolutely criminal.

    It is all criminal – but at least you see one small part of it to be so… slowly you’re getting there.

    And as usual, the common solutions that many attempt here on the blog can only result in exactly the same condition that the solution is trying avoid.

    This system, your system, all stems from agreeing that other people can legislate your life.

    All the finagling you’re doing here is merely your realization and annoyance that they are actually legislating your life. And you don’t like it!

    But you don’t have a problem if they legislate someone else’s life, however, just as long as they leave you alone.

    But that’s where all of your ideas fail. You think you can create a pervasive system that manages everyone else, except you.

    You forget that you’re part of the pervasive society! And if you make a rule against someone, they can make a rule against you. And, it seems, to your utter amazement – they do!

    The only way – and it is the only way – to stop them from making rules against you, is for you to stop making rules against them – and stop agreeing that someone has the right to make rules!

    As soon as you realize there is no right to impose upon another, the whole picture changes.

    As soon as you agree that someone has the right to impose upon another, you will -eventually- be the one being imposed upon.

  23. BF:

    Amen.

    How many of you thought it was alright to tax cigarettes, liquor or a myriad of other special taxes? Now it is your turn to feel the heat. I will feel it as well but you deserve the heat.

    • Hey Garth,

      Not sure I understand your position, but I think you will find most posting on here do not support these kinds of taxes at all, and in fact I believe USW did a post on “sin” taxes that you may want to go back and read.

      I guess I also don’t understand your “feel the heat” – who deserves to feel the heat now? No one wins when government decides to tax and control us.

  24. Since we are on the general topic of Legislation.

    For those who are screaming about Mr. Obama’s Czars and other shenanigans lets not forget:

    “Reorganization Plan No. 3 was an executive order submitted to Congress on July 9, 1970 by President Richard Nixon establishing the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and setting forth the components of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The order consolidated components from different federal agencies to form the U.S. EPA: “a strong, independent agency” that would establish and enforce federal environmental protection laws.[1] Unlike other agencies such as OSHA, the EPA does not have a single enabling act that established the agency”. (From Wiki).

    Look what a little reorganization resulted in!!

  25. Black Flag says:

    LOI,

    Followup on Ice Core –

    I’ve had the privilege of meeting Dr. Jaworowski – completely fascinating fellow – and reviewed much of his work as a background for a Climate paper I was reviewing for the authoer.

    From Financial Post:
    Once upon time, millennia before then, carbon dioxide levels atmosphere were low stable. Then came industrial revolution CO2 levels began rise. more man industrialized, more CO2 – temperature – rose. last half century, with industrialization unprecedented levels, CO2 reached levels unprecedented human history. story global warming.

    This story fable, says Zbigniew Jaworowski, past chairman United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects Atomic Radiation, participant chairman some 20 Advisory Groups International Atomic Energy Agency United Nations Environmental Program, current chair Scientific Committee Central Laboratory Radiological Protection Warsaw.

    Dr. Jaworowski agrees CO2 levels rose last half century. Starting 1958, direct, real-time measurements CO2 have been systematically taken state-of-the-art measuring station Hawaii. These measurements, considered world’s most reliable, are good basis science bodies like UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agency co-ordinating worldwide effort stop global warming.

    But UN does not rely on direct real-time measurements period prior 1958. “The IPCC relies on icecore data – on air has been trapped hundreds thousands years deep below surface,” Dr. Jaworowski explains. “These ice cores are foundation global warming hypothesis, but foundation groundless – IPCC has based its global-warming hypothesis on arbitrary assumptions these assumptions, now clear, are false.”

    Ice, IPCC believes, precisely preserves ancient air, allowing precise reconstruction ancient atmosphere. For true, component trapped air can escape ice. Neither can ice ever become liquid. Neither can various gases within air ever combine separate.

    This perfectly closed system, frozen time, fantasy. “Liquid water common polar snow ice, even temperatures low -72C,” Dr. Jaworowski explains, “and know cold water, CO2 70 times more soluble than nitrogen 30 times more soluble than oxygen, guaranteeing proportions various gases remain trapped, ancient air will change. Moreover, under extreme pressure deep ice subjected – 320 bars, more than 300 times normal atmospheric pressure – high levels CO2 get squeezed out ancient air.”

    Because these various properties ancient air, one would expect that, over time, ice cores started off with high levels CO2 would become depleted excess CO2, leaving fairly uniform base level CO2 behind. fact, exactly what ice cores show.

    “According ice-core samples, CO2 levels vary little over time,” Dr. Jaworowski states. “The ice core data Taylor Dome Antarctica shows almost change level atmospheric CO2 over last 7,000 8,000 years – varied between 260 parts per million 264 parts per million.

    “Yet other indicators past CO2 levels, such fossil leaf stomata, show CO2 levels over past 7,000 8,000 years varied more than 50 parts per million, between 270 326 parts per million. We know have been great fluctuations temperature over time period – Little Ice Age just 500 years ago, example. If icecore record reliable, CO2 levels reflected temperatures, why wouldn’t ice-core data have shown CO2 levels fall during Little Ice Age?”

    Dr. Jaworowski has devoted much professional life study composition atmosphere, part work understanding consequences radioactive fallout nuclear-weapons testing nuclear reactor accidents. After taking numerous ice samples over course dozen field trips glaciers six continents, studying how contaminants travel through ice over time, he came realize how fraught with error ice-core samples were reconstructing atmosphere. Chernobyl accident, whose contaminants he studied 1990s Scandinavian glacier, provided most illumination.

    “This ice contained extremely high radioactivity cesium-137 Chernobyl fallout, more than thousand times higher than found any glacier nuclear-weapons fallout, more than 100 times higher than found elsewhere Chernobyl fallout,” he explained. “This unique contamination glacier ice revealed how particulate contaminants migrated, made sense other discoveries I made during my other glacier expeditions. convinced me ice not closed system, suitable an exact reconstruction composition past atmosphere.”

    Because high importance realization, 1994 Dr. Jaworowski, together with team Norwegian Institute Energy Technics, proposed research project on reliability trace-gas determinations polar ice. prospective sponsors research refused fund it, claiming research would “immoral” if served undermine foundations climate research.

    The refusal did not come surprise. Several years earlier, peer-reviewed article published Norwegian Polar Institute, Dr. Jaworowski criticized methods which CO2 levels were ascertained ice cores, cast doubt on global-warming hypothesis. institute’s director, agreeing publish article, warned Dr. Jaworowski “this not way one gets research projects.” Once published, institute came under fire, especially since report soon sold out reprinted. Said one prominent critic, “this paper puts Norsk Polarinstitutt disrepute.” Although none critics faulted Dr. Jaworowski’s science, institute nevertheless fired him maintain its access funding.

    Is an alternative ice-core samples, which are but proxies which assumptions about historical composition atmosphere can made? “Yes, are several other proxies, lead different findings about CO2,” Dr. Jaworowski states. “But don’t need rely on proxies all.

    “Scientists numerous disciplines have been examining CO2 since beginning 19th century, have left behind record tens thousands direct, real-time measurements. These measurements tell far different story about CO2 – demonstrate, example, CO2 concentrations atmosphere have fluctuated greatly, several times past 200 years CO2 concentrations have exceeded today’s levels.

    “The IPCC rejects these direct measurements, some taken Nobel Prize winners. They prefer view CO2 seen through ice.”

    But this is only a part of this man.

    His work on radiation effects on humans is powerful. He has shown that mild doses of radiation of long periods of time will substantially improves the human body’s ability to overcome the effects of massive doses of radiation!

    The phenomenon is called “hormesis” — that is, the stimulating and protective effect of small doses of radiation, which is also termed adaptive response.

    More recently published hormetic effects include A-bomb survivors’ apparent lower-than-normal incidence of leukemia and their greater longevity….

    http://www.riskworld.com/Nreports/1999/jaworowski/NR99aa01.htm

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Good stuff BF,

      To think that ice is a closed system is indeed a fantasy. Kinetics may be slowed in a block of ice, but they are not stopped entirely. Also the effects of pressure distortion are completely ignored by the IPCC.

      I suspect if you found a way to quick-freeze 12 ounces of carbonated drink in the center of a much larger block of ice, subjected that ice to 300 atm of pressure for 10 years or so, and then did an ice-core sample of the Coca-cola center of the ice, the amount of CO2 in the sample would be on the order of 260-264 PPM, which would be an easy way to show that Dr. Jawarowski is correct. It would be even better to do this with maybe 100 blocks of ice containing 12 oz. of carbonated drink at the center, subject them all to 300 atm of pressure, and then ice-core sample 1 block every year for 100 years to see the variation in CO2 levels at the center of the ice. If I had the necessary lab equipment to do this, it would be great fun 🙂

      • Black Flag says:

        What is so problematic about this story:

        Jaworowski found all of this by accident. He was taking ice cores from glaciers all over the world for his own research on radioactivity.

        He is one of less than a handful who actually has taken cores globally. One of the few others is Dr. Thompson, famous ‘friend’ of Al Gore.

        Jaworowski discovered the problem with the ice cores while doing his ‘own thing’. He has made available all his raw data on all his cores to anyone wishing to review his findings.

        Dr. Thompson refuses to release the raw data of his ice cores. It would very easy to see if Jaworowski is right by using Thompson’s data. But, for suspicion reasons, Thompson refuses.

  26. Black Flag says:

    LOI, re: #15

    No, you don’t stink 😉

    But what part?

    Yes, a city does grow to become too big – then it breaks up, naturally, into its ‘communities’ and services are decentralized. Usually this means the city cores begins to ‘crumble’ – businesses leave and the poor move in…. so that the government steps in with ‘revitalization’ projects that always fail.

    Re: Highway Tax

    No comment needed – (expect, now, you’ve forced one 😆 )

    I agree, there is no way to stop government from overtaxing. Tax laws are written to be specifically complex and muddled. No one knows what the right answer is on any tax question of moderate complexity – and this is on purpose. It allows government to act arbitrarily upon anyone they wish, by simply complaining that you misfiled your taxes. You can’t prove otherwise.

    • After a recent trip to L.A., I have started thinking our large “mega-cities”(there are about 265 of them) might not be sustainable without subsidies. And therefore, it makes no economic sense to continue this practice. Consider, the large cities have some of the highest real estate rates. They have a large percentage of low income workers, (examples most food servers, starbucks, movies, stores, and most small businesses). So are a significant portion of our financial problems not tied to supporting these large cities, that cannot support themselves?

      “Yes, a city does grow to become too big – then it breaks up, naturally, businesses leave and the poor move in…. so that the government steps in”

      And how much of this interference has resulted in an unsustainable economy?

      • Black Flag says:

        I agree without subsidies, the cities could not exist as they are right now.

        Under a free market, the city would change dramatically – and remain viable – in what form? No idea. But it would be economically viable, guaranteed.

  27. JayDickB says:

    BF – We had this discussion once before. Your definition of government was so profound, I could not think of a response, and I let the discussion die. You know, the one about government being the only entity in an area claiming a monopoly on the use of force. The only exception I could think of to that definition is violence in self defense. Most governments seem to tolerate this violence.

    Anyhow, my definition is the entity that a group of people form to advance the common good as they define it and to provide for the common defense. I don’t think that is inconsistent with your definition, but it comes from a different angle.

    According to my definition, and maybe yours also, it seems to me that freedom and liberty cannot be absolute in any society that has a government. And I have never heard of a society that doesn’t have some sort of government, even if it is tribal in nature.

    BTW, I love your and Peter’s posts on global warming.

    • Black Flag says:

      Jay,

      Ignore my definition for the moment – though I believe it is absolutely correct and the most accurate definition so far offered.

      Chatting with USWep and JAC awhile back, I came to realize that almost everyone holds an ‘ideal’ that they define as government, and then discuss their concepts about this entity as if there ideal exists or has existed in reality or could exist in reality – that is, that it could be, with hard work, this government in Washington or any other national/state capital.

      So, there is the pervasive disappointment that people hold when this ‘ideal’ seems to be perverted by the politics that is government. Almost everyone (including, ironically, most politicians) see that there is something wrong that needs to be fixed in government – but no one seems able to find that ‘magic bullet’.

      Since this ‘ideal’ appears to be authentic (at least in the heart and mind), there is this great and tremendous effort that is acted upon in trying to ‘correct’ this Real Government – because it is so far off and wrong in comparison with one’s held ‘ideal’, there is this belief that something is ‘broken’ and needs to be fixed to bring it back to the ‘ideal’.

      So, for example, USWep’s definition (paraphrased) is the entity that is created to protect human rights. (More or less the preamble of the Constitution).

      Now, USWep honestly admits that no such government has ever existed in 10,000 years of human history, but that does not deter him from trying to correct ‘real government’ and its actions so to try to bring it into alignment with his ‘ideal’.

      And that is one of the biggest differences between myself and most others – almost everyone has, plus or minus minor degrees, the same ideal of ‘government’ – a placid, strong, moral force of good in favor of freedom, real liberty, peace and prosperity for all.

      From that point, almost everyone sees that the current iteration of government has made ‘big mistakes’ that can be ‘corrected’ – if one tweaks a bit here, votes “correctly” there, the ‘right people’ get in, limit terms, sacrifice sheep on an alter, make the ‘right’ law, remove the ‘wrong’ law…. etc. etc.

      Almost all of the people’s ideal (including Chris) are a ‘pretty good’ – all the thinking seems to be, in minor degrees difference, in alignment with moral behavior and belief. I, myself, could live under your definition of government or USWep’s or JAC’s or probably anyone else’s (except, ironically, mine!)

      But here’s the thing. Have you actually built upon your premise ideal to see what kind of ‘government’ and society that such a premise would actually create?

      My bet is …no…

      You’ve worked backwards, instead.

      You hold this “ideal”.

      You see government as it is.

      You believe that somewhere between your held premise/ideal and this current existence of government, something went wrong. Not sure what, but obviously something did, so you think to yourself.

      So you start with the government as it is, and try to work backwards to force it into the premise and ideal you hold.

      You did not start with your ideal, and work forward to create the ‘government’ and society that would support your great, moral idea!

      That is the real difference between you and me.

      I started at the premise and worked up to see what I would create.

      You are starting with a flaw, and trying to shoe-horn it back inside your ideal.

      Why your process is doomed to fail is because the government that exists as it is now was created by a different, and wholly in contradiction, to the ideal you claim upon it

      You cannot shoe-horn it into YOUR premise, because ITS premise is completely contradictory to yours.

      The hard you work at getting it to YOUR premise, the closer you move government to ITS PREMISE – violent, cruel, tyrannical.

      That is why the more you work trying to ‘fix’ government, the worse it seems to get.

      You working to get it back to a premise – which you belief is the same as yours – but it is not.

      Your hope is, that trying to move it to its premise, it will – somehow – flip to fall into yours, and avoid its own.

      But it cannot – you cannot make a pig fly. The creation of ‘this government’ came about by starting a premise of extreme violence, and molded and evolved to what we have today.

      Pushing it to it back to its core will only increase its violence and cruelty upon the People.

      The consequence will be – tyranny, bloodshed and evil.

      • JayDickB says:

        WOW. That’s pretty dark.

        Actually, I have two views of government. One starts with the current one, much as you suggest, and what might be done to improve it. This view recognizes that change big changes are difficult and are probably too much to hope for. This is especially true for the kinds of changes I want which mostly have to do with reducing government.

        My other view of government starts with a blank page and asks, if you could create an ideal government, what would it look like. Unfortunately, this view is still largely a blank page for me. I used to think I would start with the original U.S. Constitution and tweak it a bit to try to forestall some of the problems history has shown to exist. After reading this blog for a few months, I’m not sure that would be the best approach.

        It might be interesting to have a discussion on that sometime here. Question: If you could create a government from scratch, what form would it take?

        • Black Flag says:

          You start, and we must start at the very beginning, not in the middle – so here’s the starting question:

          What is your core, moral premise that you use to judge ‘good’ or ‘evil’?

          • JayDickB says:

            That will be tough to articulate. It’s kind of like pornography; hard to define but I know it when I see it.

            As it regards government, I guess it would be something like do as little harm as possible and as much good a possible. But that all gets pretty subjective. I don’t want government to do very much, because they so often do evil when they intended to do good.

            I really need to think about that a while.

            • Black Flag says:

              Jay,

              Take your time.

              I believe JAC, USWep and I may start a post to stir the minds on this topic

  28. I agree without subsidies, the cities could not exist as they are right now.

    Under a free market, the city would change dramatically – and remain viable – in what form? No idea. But it would be economically viable, guaranteed.
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  29. Black Flag says:

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/CutCollegeCosts/is-a-college-degree-worthless.aspx

    Peter (I think) discussed the value of college vs. not going.

    Here is a followup article.

  30. Black Flag says:

    This is big – the arctic hasn’t crossed above zero – and its July.

    The temp. will begin to swing back toward dense cold – which means the ice pack has not melted at all this year.

    But I guess global warming is still affecting the Arctic!

    All hail Algorians!

    • Black Flag says:

      And a graph regarding the mapping of temp. with cosmic rays –

      “Darn” say the Algorians, “a better fit than man-made Co2”

  31. Black Flag says:

    From another blog:

    An Economy Bigger than Russia, Brazil, Canada, India or Spain Is About to Default

    An economy bigger than Russia, Brazil, Canada, India or Spain is in imminent risk of defaulting on its debts.

    Which nation am I talking about?

    Not a country . . . but the state of California.

    California’s GDP was around $1.812 trillion in 2007.

    According to the International Monetary Fund, that is bigger than the 2008 GDP of every country in the world except the US, Japan, China, Germany, France, UK and Italy.

    Given that California has more people than any other state in the US, and some of the largest agricultural, manufacturing, high-tech and defense sectors in the nation, you would think that helping California would be important.

    And yet – instead of helping California – the federal government is giving aid to Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and the other financial giants who helped to cause the financial crisis, and to Israel and other foreign countries.

  32. Black Flag says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124650399438184235.html

    The People bleed, but Congress takes junkets – 50% increase – …

    …hey, its hard work to spend other people’s money! We need a vacation!… – Poly-tics mantra

    • Black Flag says:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8127000/8127519.stm

      Ant mega-colony takes over world

      A single mega-colony of ants has colonised much of the world, scientists have discovered.

      But it now appears that billions of Argentine ants around the world all actually belong to one single global mega-colony.

    • Black Flag says:

      COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican Gov. Mark Sanford didn’t misuse public money for trips to visit his Argentine mistress, state investigators concluded after a review of executive travel records.

      ….

      Of course not! Visiting a prostitute in Argentina is a legitimate business expense!

      ….

      Mr. Lloyd said his investigation showed that the trips, including the 2008 Buenos Aires leg, were for legitimate state business or paid for on Mr. Sanford’s personal credit card. State officials, including the governor, are entitled to free time even on state-sponsored trips

      …..

      Your money at work!

  33. Judy S. says:

    Hi BF

    I kind of skimmed over that link you have up, and thought I’d put my 2 cents worth in if you don’t mind. I noticed he didn’t say anything about the cost of college today, and that he mentioned about college cost back in 05-07. As you may be aware I mentioned that my son is going to pre-med right now, and if it wasn’t for him being in the National Guard Reserves, he wouldn’t be able to afford to go to college. His tuition is about $2100 a semester not to mention the cost of books, which he pays for them himself, gets reimbursed for at the end of the semester. Used books alone are anywhere from $50 up to maybe $200 a book, depending on what book he needs. New books can cost him up to $300. He spends anywhere from $500 to $600 a semester on books, sometimes more. When he is done for that semester, he then tries to have the bookstore at his college buy them back, some of them they will buy back, and others they won’t, again depending on what book it is. But, he won’t get the full amount back, maybe half or less. His major is in Biology and has taken anywhere from 18-21 units per semester, which you can imagine the books he needs at the time. luckily for him, there will always be a call for doctors, but what about those who might be taking a business course or journalism or whatever, no guarantee they will have or get a job when they graduate. Right now, here in Reno, the ones who have degrees, are not necessarily finding jobs because of the job market. It doesn’t seem to matter if you have a degree or not, it’s whether there are any jobs or not, right. Since they raised tuition here by 10% makes it even harder to be able afford to go to college, unless you come from a wealthy family who pays your tuition, then you don’t have a problem. But for those who really want to get a degree are having a very difficult time in paying for it. Some of these students, whether young or old have to work maybe 3 jobs or more just to be able to attend college, and I’m not talking about some Ivy League college either, just UNR or UNLV. Like with us, we couldn’t afford to send our son to college, we don’t have the money to do it. But, we never forced either one of our boys to go to college, we left that up to them. We always told them, if you don’t go, then you’ll have a harder time in finding a good paying job, not unless you want to spend the rest of your life doing a job that only pays $10 an hour. We always told them we wanted nothing but the best for them as any parent or parents tells their kids. I didn’t go to college, just a high school graduate, my husband went to junior college for a while to try and get a degree in accounting, didn’t work out. But that was like 40 years ago when things weren’t so bad as they are now. At least, I don’t recall them being that bad. So, that’s my 2 cents worth on whether or not it pays to go to college or not. I could be wrong on what I said, just going by what the cost is for our son to go, that’s all.

    • Black Flag says:

      My career as a high-technologist is incredibly successful.

      There was no way I could get a ‘job’ in this career, since I have no degree in my field.

      So I am a consultant, since I don’t need a degree to hire myself 😉

      People hire me because I solve problems – ironically, they wouldn’t hire me as an employee, but pay a premium to hire me as a consultant – because as long as I solve their problems, they couldn’t careless if I couldn’t tie my shoes!

      My average billing rate is $300/hr. and on one occasion, due to the urgency and demand for solving a problem – charged $5,000/hr. I solved the problem in 5 hours – saving the company, literally, hundreds of millions of dollars in potential damages. They happily paid my bill.

      It has allowed me to live all over the world. I have lived in 5-star hotel suites, in exotic locations – worth $3,500/night – for essentially free – just had to pay the cleaning staff – for over a year and half – the most luxurious living I’ve ever enjoyed.

      This lifestyle is available to any kid with a modicum of motivation.

      Find a career that aligns with a hobby you love. Do your work because you love it.

      Because you love it, you will master it.

      People pay a lot of money to enjoy the work of a master.

      • Holy crap, we’ve been getting your advice on the blog for free! I knew I appreciated your knowledge, I just had no idea how much it was worth!

        • Black Flag says:

          I’m a bargain 😉

          I have more air-miles than God – millions –

          People would ask “Where are you going to go on all those air miles”?

          I said “Home”.

          • Judy S. says:

            Where might that be if you don’t mind me asking? Don’t recall ever seeing on here where you live at.

      • Judy S. says:

        He loves what he’s doing, that’s why he chose that field to go into. He has always wanted to be a doctor, been that way since he was 10 years old. This next semester he will be taking 20 units in order to be able to graduate at the end of 4 years, which is about 2 years away. He is very motivated when it comes to school, always got good grades, never quit until the job was done. He believes in himself and feels he will make a good doctor when the time comes, and we have always gave both our sons 110% of our backing them no matter what field they chose to go into. In fact, our oldest son who is in the National Guard full time also works for us on a part time basis getting samples, and is also going to school part time to get his real estate license so he can sell homes on a part time basis. I have to say, that both of our son’s are highly motivated when it comes to achieving something they want. Sounds like you really enjoy what your doing BF, and I commend you very much for what you do. It’s not everybody who can be a consultant, no matter what it might be in. Not everybody has a way of talking or taking care of people. You know what I mean I hope, having trouble trying to put it into words the way I want.

        • Black Flag says:

          True, consulting isn’t for everyone.

          But mastery is achievable by anyone.

          In the ‘new’ economy, it will matter not what paper you have.

          All that will matter is if you can perform.

          The difference between a .250 hitter and .300 batter is one more hit at 20 times at bat.

          One in 20… that’s all…

          Pay difference in the majors is about $7 million.

          Be the master at what you do, no matter what you do.

          • Judy S. says:

            Yes, that true, but sometimes that paper will matter at what you do. Without that degree and that license, my son won’t be able to practice at what he’s going to school for. Same as my brother in law. Without his chemistry degree, he wouldn’t have been able to teach chemistry when he did, or run his lab without one now, even though it’s a lab that runs test on drinking water, well water, soils, sand/oil separators, and the like. He just can’t open a lab without that degree and perform testings in it. Not to mention all the equipment it takes to run those tests. He had to have that degree behind him. So,that too, took going to school for many years, and getting that piece of paper to do what he does. He’s been doing that kind of work since he was in high school. Loved it so much, decided to go for his degree in it. He’s now 62 years old, so that tells you how long he’s been doing that kind of work. BTW, he’s my husbands twin. Just thought I’d throw that one in. Not identical though, fraternal twin.

            • Black Flag says:

              Oh yes, some professions are, by law, unavailable without having a degree – doctors, engineers, etc.

              • Judy S. says:

                To change the subject here a bit, what are your plans for the 4th? Or do you have any? We don’t usually do to much on the 4th. My husband and son’s and about 50 other people used to go river rafting down the Truckee up in Tahoe. They would all tie their rafts together, and just slowly drift down until they reached their destination point, then park it and wait until they fired off the fireworks, and be home around midnight. it was an all day event. Me, I never went, I was never into it really. I would spend that day by myself and have a ME day, which is far and in between. Even now I don’t get that many, too busy taking care of my mom, and working with my husband and brother in law at the lab. Hope you don’t mind the change of pace here.

        • He’d better love it, Judy. My husband is in his fifth year of residency, and he told me last night that there is no way he would do it again if he had it to do over. He loves what he does, but it is a long hard road.

          • Black Flag says:

            ..and almost all of it artificial.

            The struggle is the vetting – it teaches nothing.

            Those that survive get included into the ‘club’.

            A lot of great doctors are lost by these tactics.

            • Very true, I’ve often wondered how sleep deprivation, insults, and being treated like dirt are supposed to make you a better doctor.

      • Black Flag says:

        Another adventure ….(not the $5,000/hr adventure, however)

        A quite s few years ago, I had just finished watching a new 007 movie, and I thought – “Is it possible for one man, to go to anywhere on Earth, and diffuse an atomic bomb?”

        And I worked it out – you can research, hop on a plane to the right person, get them to teach you how to do it, hop on another plane and fly anywhere in the world and do it all in 24 hours. So, yeah, it would be close, but its possible.

        A couple of weeks later, on Dec. 22nd, a client of mine in the deep Caribbean – an offshore bank – lost their main computer system to a massive electric fire.

        The President called for help, but knowing that there wasn’t much I could do until middle of January.

        Because of the volume of tourists, regular airlines are full of tourist baggage, so there is a ‘box embargo’ – very little is shipped other than by regular, but infrequent, transport cargo.

        And there was no way I could get a ticket to the island….

        And the computer systems simply couldn’t be bought at any time soon, due to Christmas….

        He was dejected – he was looking at over three weeks of down time – while his bank did nearly $5 billion in transactions each week….

        I hung up, and decided to test my 007 theory.

        Called up the computer company, demanding two computer systems, $100,000 ea. to be delivered in 24 hours. This was their full retail price – no dickering if they got them to me on time.

        They hunted and found them in different locations across the country. Wired transferred the funds with a fax of the transfer, so they would release them for shipment.

        They could be delivered on the 24th, Christmas Eve.

        Received word that they had reached the shipping depot, but it closed at noon on the 24th for Christmas Eve.

        I showed up at noon with a rental van – with the shippers explaining that yes, it was on the truck, but it couldn’t be unloaded until after Christmas. They were closed for the day.

        I explained my 007 experiment to a handful of workers who were intrigued by the impossibility of it.

        But they decided they wouldn’t be the part that failed. They unloaded the truck. I had my computers.

        Headed straight to the airport – no luggage. Ponied up to the counter and asked for two tickets to the Caribbean (I brought along my VP of my consulting company, I needed an extra body to help carry the machines).

        None available….except for first class. Extra charge for the overweight luggage. Credit card, kaching! But only as far as Chicago….have to try to rebook there… I figured, get as close as I can at every attempt, who knows? A miracle might happen … it Christmas, after all 😉

        Landed in Chicago, got the machines out of luggage.

        Pony up to the ticket counter – yes, the next flight out was going to my island – but first class only and…. sorry, a box embargo. It has to be luggage, not a box.

        The counter guy stepped back, leaned against the wall, crossed his arms and said to me “You ain’t goin’ make it, 007 ..and…” as he looked at the clock,”…it leaves in an hour …” all the while smiling.

        Unfazed, I asked “How about an envelope?”

        “Sure – no problem”

        “What is the maximum size of an envelope?”

        “Well, there is no size limit I know of, just weight – it has to be less then 45 pounds”.

        🙂

        There were porters all around us, watching – I barked out “We need a lot of boxes! Find em’!!” as I started dissembling the computers right there on the floor. Away they went, intrigued by the impossibility of it all…

        Boxes were found, and I packed them up to 45 lbs. and they all made it… except for the cases.

        Can’t disassemble the cases and they came in at 51….

        The counter guy shook his head and said “So damn close….”

        .. and then, smiled and said “But what the hell! Good enough for me, 007!!”

        The flight was closing, but he said, “I’ll take a couple of those porters and get it down and on the plane myself!”

        I peeled off a few 50’s for all the potters and cargo guys and away they went, and I and my VP both ran to the gate carrying about 70 lbs of hard drives in two bags the porters had found behind some counter …making it to security, out of breath –

        “What is in those carry on bags?”
        “(gasp)Hard drives. (pant pant)”
        ” What?”
        ” (gasp) Hard drives, 10 in each bag (pant pant)”

        …puzzled look…

        “ok, then!”

        We made it by a minute before the doors closed. The bags barely fit under our feet – thank goodness we had first class seats! We were both drenched in sweat from running with all that weight – the looks from the others sitting in first class… mumbling about us…

        Flew into the night, landing on island just before dawn on Christmas Day.

        The amazed look of the tourists when they watched a half a dozen BOXES stream out of the luggage ….

        – “What about the box embargo??” one woman demanded!

        ” Ha! Not boxes – just big ENVELOPES!!”

        😆

        Wheeled up to customs – $200,000 @ 10% = $20,000.

        Offered them credit card – nope, sorry, cash only and only US$

        This is now Christmas Day. No banks are open.

        The customs official crosses his arms and said”… and we don’t reopen until the 27th…”

        “But you’re open for another hour today, right?”

        “Yes, but there are no banks…” as I bolt out the door leaving my VP to watch over the dissembled computers in their boxes…err… envelopes.

        Quickly got a rental car.. and away I sped…

        So, where do you go, on Christmas Day, to find $20,000 cash?

        …. a Casino!!….

        see, Poker experience really helps 🙂 ….

        Into the casino, offer my credit card – “$25,000 please”. (I need extra cash for expenses)

        Boy, they thought they had a live high-roller!! They were falling all over themselves getting the cash. “..plus 5% fee…” No problem, I just need the receipt.

        And the look when I just turned and walked out with the cash….

        Priceless. 8)

        Back to the customs, and plopped down 20 grand.

        “How?!, WHat!> Where did you get the cash!?” I just smiled.

        Put my VP right on the same plane he just landed on, first class, of course and he went back to his family for Christmas.

        I burned out to the bank.

        I had the code to their computer center (it was in a different building from the main bank, and had earned their trust over the years supporting their systems – I often would come onto the island, do my work, and leave without anyone at the bank seeing me).

        The ruins of the previous system was still there – but the backup tapes – diligently done twice a day – were untouched.

        Reassembled the computers, restored the data, and by dawn the next day, the 26th, the system was back online.

        The President happened to drop by the bank – he always was working – and he was puzzled that morning, seeing the computer building door open and a rental car.

        He popped in – and was shocked to see me!

        And he was speechless to see his systems were back online – only a day and half down – on Christmas!

        However, I couldn’t get back off the island until after New Years… all seats – including first class were booked solid for the after-Christmas rush of returns of tourists.

        The bank put me up in the best hotel on the island – all expenses, including food and beverage – covered.

        And, when I returned, I found his wire of $335,000 in my bank account back home – including a nice bonus 🙂 That was a nice pay day and an unintended vacation….

        … all by a guy without a computer degree….

        • Judy S. says:

          WOW!. Now for the big question. Did that really happen or are you just pulling my leg? I’m sorry, but you have to agree with me that, that sounds like a movie of some kind. I’m not calling you a fibber, but that really sounds like a 007 movie. Besides, what does that have to do with what I asked you about if you have any plans for the 4th? JUST ASKING, my friend.

          • Black Flag says:

            Nuthin’ about the 4th, just a story about ‘mastery’ — if you have the right attitude and express it, everyone wants to join you and help achieve the impossible.

            And yes, its all true. I’ll have to make a movie of it one day.

            I’ve got hundreds of adventures like that one – I was “Mr. Impossible” – I got all the problems that everyone else couldn’t solve (which is how I got the bank as a customer in the first place – I did the impossible a few years before – IBM couldn’t solve their problem, and IBM was a good customer of mine – and they passed my name down to the President of the Bank – and viola! I’m in the Caribbean).

            Frankly, a lot of the problems could not be solved by me either – but my clients then knew they had done everything humanly possible.

            But the many I did solve paid the bills handsomely.

            Then there was the time in Caracas where I found myself sitting in an outdoor restaurant with a client, when bank robbers and the militia opened up on each other with their machine guns – one group on my left, and the other on my right.

            Most of the patrons didn’t even seem to notice….

            ..and then, in the Congo….

          • Black Flag says:

            And July 4th?

            I celebrate a different version of Independence Day…mine.

            I fly my Black Flag (carefully).

        • Anyone else, the BS Flag would’ve been thrown halfway through that story……..

          But you are BF so I’m, sorta, kinda, call me a sucker, believing it…….

          • Black Flag says:

            Oh, its all true.

            All it took was a belief, a miracle, and a strong line of credit!

            • And Grit, True Grit my friend.

              I will be thinking of you this weekend along with Mr. Jefferson.

              Here’s to all who dwell here.
              Live Free and Prosper

              JAC

    • Judy S. says:

      I forgot to mention that our son who is going to college also works part time in getting samples for our lab and also lives outside the home sharing an apartment with 2 other people paying his own share of expenses. Thought I’d mention that in case there are questions.

  34. Judy S. says:

    BF, I would like to thank you for the stimulating conversations we’ve been having, I have truly enjoyed it. You are a pleasure to chat with, and I always enjoy reading your posts, you are very a very informative person, and I can see why everybody enjoys talking or arguing with you. But, I have to get off this computer, my eyes feel like they’re going to fall out. I have been up since 5 a.m. this morning and I am without a doubt, drained, and I can’t think straight anymore. If I don’t see you here tomorrow, which I’m sure I will anyway though, I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow. I have plans to go out with my son and get a water sample out in Blairsden, CA. which is about a 4 hour round trip. It’s one of my get away days from all the stuff that goes on here around the house, and it gives me that chance to get a break from taking care of my mother. Jim, my husband will be here for her in case she needs anything. It’s one of those me days I mentioned on one of the post above. So, until then I will bid you ado my friend.

    take care

    Judy

  35. Black Flag says:

    I watched Glen Beck’s short ditty on the AGW and EPA suppression of the memo.

    The writer of the memo was on as a guest to explain his graphs.

    Watch the video, and you can understand why the “Warmist” dogma is winning.

    The AGW crowd is made up of mostly politicians – a fairly stupid, but quite articulate bunch.

    The Scientists are made up of mostly geeks – fairly smart, but quite blubbering and stammering in their communication skills.

    He who can talk, persuades.

    This guy can’t talk – fortunately Beck does all the talking for him. Unfortunately, most scientists are like this guy.

  36. TexasChem says:

    So after reading US weapons’ article; then the global warming discussion and James Bond stories I figured I would try to pull us back to the gist of what US’s article is about.Discussing solutions for the state of chaotic turmoil our government is now in.How do we fix it BlackFlag?

    There is no such thing as a true Independent political candidate.It seems in some states you have to form a political party just to gain ballot access.

    Reform to the two major political parties is not plausible in my opinion for the simple fact that they are beyond saving.They are past the point of no return.The political mindset in Washington would never allow that to come about.What concerns me the most is: are these poli-ticks embedded in Americas’ flesh so deep that we cannot dislodge them?

    We need a new party.A way to sell our political beliefs to the American public.I mean cmon Obama sold himself to the public with his outright blatant lies.I think with the truth it would be much easier to achieve this.The problem therin lies with finding a media outlet that is unbiased to reach the American public.If you can’t reach the public on the tube I think you should go to them in their cities and towns.Grassroots.People need someone and something to believe in.Real townhall meetings.Not this biased pre-prepared bullshit the mainstream media is broadcasting.

    Teddy Roosevelt tried with the Progressive Party to defeat the two party system and only succeeded in giving a democratic win by splitting republican vote.How could we defeat that problem?

    I truly believe that Americans are wanting change.Not the change they are getting from the current administration.Those numbers of Americans wanting change will steadily grow during this current administrations term.This will be a “crisis” for the Democratic Party.That “crisis” needs to be taken advantage of.

    It seems to me from my conversations with my peers that no one believes that one person can make a difference in the world.People want change but they want it the easy way.They do not want to work for it or pledge any of their time for that change.It’s the dreaded sheeple syndrome.Folks think they can’t make a difference.

    As I was growing up my Dad would push me to excel in sports and my school studies.He would coach basketball, baseball, and football with me.He would tudor me with my homework.One statement he said to me has always stood out in my mind.It’s a little red-neckish so some of you may not understand it.I was working out one day trying to increase my benchpress and had put on more weight than I thought I could lift.My dad walked in as I was struggling with the weight and I gave up and quit pushing.He asked me why I stopped and I told him “I can’t do it! It’s too heavy!” His reply in his deep southern drawl was “Cain’t aint never done nuthn’ boy! Cain’t; cain’t do nuthn’, cause it’s already decided not too!” Soo I strained and struggled again and finally did the lift.

    We need change.We need someone with charisma to step forward and be a leader.Snappy slogans and
    honest debate.No silver tongued circle talker.Straight-forward,to the point.This is where we are and over here; this is where we need to be.

    • Black Flag says:

      TexasChem

      Your approach is backwards.

      Go back to my reply to JayDick in Post #27 of this blog.

      Your assumptions about what is ‘broken’ and what needs to be ‘fixed’ is wrong from the get-go, Tex.

      If you get your assumptions wrong – you will end up pretty much where you are now – or worse.

      You MUST start from the root, Tex – and it has to start with an answer to the question I asked of JayDick

      What is your core, moral premise that you use to judge what is ‘good’ or what is ‘evil’?

  37. TexasChem says:

    Do no harm to others physically nor mentally.
    Contribute to the betterment of my community.
    Teach children sound morals, mores, and values so that they have the ability to increase their value to themselves and others as they grow into adulthood.
    Increase my and others in my peer groups’ knowledge of the world.
    The ten commandments are sound in their distinction between good and evil so I would add those beliefs.
    I suppose I could sit here all night pulling from other cultures societies and religions core beliefs that in my minds eye would benefit humanity but answer me BF how are these premises with their conclusions of good going to solve our problems with our government?Are we going to go out in the world and educate everyone so that they will ALL believe as we do?I don’t see where you are going with your line of thought.

    • Black Flag says:

      Tex,

      There is ONE core premise (which is why it is CORE).

      It cannot be judged – you hold it as a premise – there is nothing behind it – but it is the root measure or yard stick that you judge right from wrong – good from evil.

      Your core premise cannot be judged.

      It is what you use TO JUDGE.

      You already use it – but you do not know it.

      It is vital for everyone to articulate it – clearly – for it will provide you the rule by which you create the society you desire.

      Without this clear articulation, you will make judgment errors, be fooled by articulate but evil men.

      And you will end up creating or supporting evil.

      I believe you want to have a society whose core is derived from a moral base – not an evil base, right?

      So let me ask this question (though it may seem to be the same as before, it isn’t).

      How do you know right from wrong? What is your test?

      • TexasChem says:

        I believe the human mind to be far more complex than to have only one core premise to judge right/wrong BF.

        Can you base a society upon one core premise and then build off that one premise and expect it to be successful without taking into consideration other factors?You will end up in a never ending conundrum with only conjectural answers to your problems with no action to solve that societies simple problems.

        Dissident from within inside of that society would be commonplace as those that seek power will thwart the very nature of your “not committing violence upon non-violent peoples.”

        I could be a non-violent person yet if I had the monetary backing and political power to manipulate money markets could I not indirectly cause a foreign nation to poverty, starvation and civil war?

  38. TexasChem says:

    I look at things from a naturalist point of view influenced with my conclusion that there is a supreme being.God..Using reason, observance and logical thinking.
    A naturalistic approach can at least explain the origin of the full range of what are generally considered to be morally “good” behaviors, from simple kindness to strangers, to full-blown, self-sacrificial altruism. It seems that if we got a room filled with randomly selected atheists, Christians, and, say, animist hunter-gatherers from some prehistoric community, we would find wide agreement among them in calling many things “evil”: betraying the trust of friends for personal profit, torturing children for fun, putting one’s individual needs over the needs of the community, etc.; and we’d find similarly wide agreement in calling their opposites “good.” Of course, we’d also find wide disagreements outside of this small core set of values on such issues as, for example, the proper family structure, allowable sexual relations and roles, whether or not certain behaviors should be considered selfish (related perhaps to concepts of property), etc. Notice, however, that the areas of moral agreement have a very local focus—a focus on the immediate community or tribe.

    I do believe in a superior being.God.I do believe he has influenced mankinds growth through the centuries.I believe the religions of the world to be proof of that.His way of guiding humanity if you will.I believe the Bible and other holy books to be a history of mankinds struggle to try to “know” God.Not that the the books are necessarily the absolute “truth” from him because those books were written by men whose interpretations of their experiences with God could possibly be misguided by other factors.We all agree that certain things are wrong because they are the fabric of the universe–part of God.Example: It is not killing that is wrong..ie. killing to save ones family, but murder which is wrong, the needless killing of another.

    • Black Flag says:

      Give me your root premise in one sentence.

      • JayDickB says:

        BF – I have been pondering this for several days (intermittently, of course) and can’t come up with a single, unifying, overarching statement of concept. All I can get are semi-random thoughts, so I thought I would post a few of those.

        1. Do physical harm to others only with the greatest of justification, e.g., self defense.

        2. Words or deeds that cause non-physical harm to others should also not be done without good justification.

        3. Whether divine revelation or not, the 10 commandments form a pretty good standard for personal behavior.

        4. The golden rule is also a good standard, and I don’t mean the version that talks about who has the gold.

        5. Even if you don’t believe the bible is God’s word, it contains valuable moral lessons and much wisdom.

        6. The most valuable thing any society (or government) can provide its members is freedom. Whether we can have absolute freedom in a society or not, “more is better” is a pretty good principle.

      • TexasChem says:

        BlackFlag:

        You decide to go on a cruise with your loved ones to enjoy yourselves far away from a fast paced world.You and your family are in your stateroom when you decide to go up to the casino to play a few hands of blackjack while they rest from the days activities.On your way up to the casino you feel a jolt as the ship strikes an iceberg and begins listing, water is already pouring in to the upper deck you are on so you know the lower deck is flooding much faster!You rush down to your stateroom to aid your family.The water is already almost up to the level of the ceiling of your deck and you gasp for breath as the cold water engulfs you to your chin yet you push on towards your goal.You hear a multitude of people yelling for help from the door right next to your stateroom door.You know there are twenty five crewmembers berthed behind that door hot-bunking with another twenty five crewmembers becasue you had spoken to them since you first got on the ship and were neighbors.You only have time to wrest one door open before the water level is so high you cannot hope to save anyone let alone yourself.Do you save the twenty five crewmembers or your wife and child?What is your core, moral premise that you use to make your decision?

  39. i just heard that the states that voted for obama are getting more of the stimulus money, mccain state just a bit, so even in that he is different. Have you heard he has had a bill passed for 20 million more taxpayer money to be given to Hamas emmigrants to come to usa and this money will feed and house them until they can become citizens, where do I get my burka? Pelosi and CIA are really going at it, who is the liar? Also saw on news tonight that michelle is carrying a new handbag, price $6,000. to match her $600. tennis shoes she wore to a food bank while helping people get free food. Is this part of the stimulus money or his salary, sorry, maybe that is not right to discuss this. Whatever, I vote every time an election is held,in Oregon. we vote by mail and it is good as I am very disabled and this is better for me. thanks for letting me post.

  40. Diane Nees says:

    Honor In Ofice recognizes legislative faults. American people deserve better… it’s imperative that bills be read BEFORE votes are taken. Shame on legislators who think so little of their dishonorable behavior and of their responsilbilty and how it affects eveyone! http://www.honorinoffice.com/ check it out!!

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