Tuesday Night Open Mic for July 28, 2009

Open Mic 1Well, I enter the regular Tuesday Night Open Mic weathered and worn. A teenage son that actually wants to hang out with and do things with his dad is a beautiful, albeit tiring endeavor. Add to that work and a blog, and I sometimes feel I am burning the candle at both ends! Add to that more character attacks to defend against, and I am downright worn out. But it’s all good, folks, that’s what I signed up for when I began writing this blog many months ago (Hard to believe I have been at this for 9 months already). Lots of stuff going on out there. I am finding that I tend to tackle things in the open mic that I don’t want to dedicate an entire article on. It is like Open Mic allows for the distracting stuff, so that we don’t let it get in the way of the important stuff the rest of the week. And that is a nice freedom to have during at least one night of the week. So without delay, I offer my Open Mic Topics and look forward to yours!

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Comments

  1. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #1

    Let’s end the debate on whether Obama is a citizen of the United States and therefore eligible to be President. From a Fox News article last night:

    State officials in Hawaii on Monday said they have once again checked and confirmed that President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen, and therefore meets a key constitutional requirement for being president.

    and

    However, Obama’s birth certificate along with birth notices from the two Honolulu newspapers were brought forward even before he took office. But that’s done nothing to shake the belief by many Obama critics that the president was born abroad.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/07/28/hawaii-declares-obama-birth-certificate-real/

    Let me add my two cents here. I have listened to the argument against him being a citizen. They have not persuaded the logical person in me that he is a fraud on this issue. The two birth announcements in the newspapers from 40 odd years ago were the clincher for me, along with the issued statement from Hawaii. Bottom line, I think he is a natural born citizen. Bottom line number two, Even if he HAD been born in Kenya, he was raised here, and has a firm grasp on being an American, so I really would not care. And finally bottom line number three, as BF pointed out, the argument is moot. He is the President, he is going to be the President for at least 3.5 more years, and there are far more relevant issues to be discussed and debated. I am not going to change the mind of anyone who believes he isn’t a citizen, but my research led me to my conclusion. So I am more than happy to let this issue rest and focus on more important things, like what he is doing to our country.

    • I agree the newspaper birth announcement (in two separate rags) is the clincher for me…

    • Wait a minute I gave you links to those details last week or something but now foxnews says the exact information I linked you to through factcheck its all confirmed and true now?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        C’mon Bob – its only true and accurate if it comes from Fox News – everyone else is biased. 😉

      • USWeapon says:

        No Bob, that is not the case at all. Let me be more clear on my stance before you get your panties any further wadded. I came to this conclusion back in October, when I researched it the first time. Go back and read my recent thoughts on this and you will find that I said I believed him to be a citizen before, and my only issue was that the administration was not doing anything to address this and put it to bed.

        As for why I mention it today, I merely have seen the questions persist. I have continued to receive emails asking me about it. I wrote this quick piece in the hopes that it will put the issue to rest here on the site so that we can focus on the real issues that need addressed. I included the link to Fox News so that those who didn’t believe it from other sources might accept it from a source they trust more.

        • I agree with both USW and BF. He is the President. Whether or not anyone likes it, it is too late to do anything about it. As for me personally, I don’t have to be convinced further. He is an American citizen. At least according to the paperwork. In his mind it may be a different story.

      • I didn’t say when it was the clincher, simply it was the clincher…

  2. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #2

    This whole Harvard Professor getting arrested thing is a mess. Let me be clear on where I stand. Gates is a racist. Of this I have no doubt. This officer overreacted slightly, he should have walked away. And Obama sincerely believes that racism is alive and well in America, and while he cannot come out and say so, he can address issues under that assumption, just as he did in making his idiotic statement.

    I do think racism is a big topic in America today. Because it is a big problem in America today. But I think that blacks in America are 100% just as responsible for its persistence as an issue as whites in America. The majority of people today could care less if someone is black, but many in the black community have been preconditioned to assume race is the issue in every situation. I will continue to write about race issues when I think it is relevant to do so.

    But when it comes to this particular incident, we should read it, learn the lessons that are there to be learned, and move on. The lessons: (1) There are blacks in America that will see race in EVERY situation, so protect yourself from this by never putting yourself in a situation where they have a leg to stand on. (2) There are cops in America who are the authority when they are doing their job. Whether you agree with that being the case or not, you had better respect that authority or you will pay the price. (3) Finally, if you have to start your statement with “I don’t have all the facts yet” then it is best that you finish right there and say nothing else. Now that you have learned the lessons, lets ignore this distraction from the real issues and get back to focusing on what matters instead of some jackass racist professor.

    • USW – Here I go again, disagreeing with you on the petty stuff!

      You said “This officer overreacted slightly, he should have walked away.” And you said “(2) There are cops in America who are the authority when they are doing their job. Whether you agree with that being the case or not, you had better respect that authority or you will pay the price.”

      On the first statement you made – We do not walk away from a confrontation, that is pure suicide. I do know the facts as I have been it that same situation many times. Once, a man with a dilapidated pickup truck and wearing what amounted to old raggedy clothes was at the site of a multi-million dollar private home construction site. He had no I.D. on his person or in the truck. I hooked him up and put him in my unit and called it in and the Architect was called out to the site and identified the man as the owner of the home. This man was a multi-billionare (that was in the early 1980’s) and was very appreciative that someone was watching out for his property and actually thanked me for hooking him up and he even promised to have his drivers license with him before he moved his truck. That is the way that professor should have acted, but he instead chose to act like a nincompoop. His charge was akin to “Impeding a police officer in the act of performing his duty” as he was arrested for disorderly conduct. He should have been thankful for his neighbor being concerned enough to call the police, and for the police actually responding. That Officer conducted himself in a very professional manner while conducting a preliminary burg in progress call. However, we all know that neither that professor nor the President did not.

      As for the second statement – Police officers are not in authority when doing their job – All police officers do is asses the situation to find out if a law has been broken and if someone has been injured or not. That is why it is imperative that we all cooperate with police officers while they are in the performance of their duties. We have a tendency to think that someone who is arguing with us or berating us at the possible scene of a crime just might be committing a crime themselves, and we have a tendency to believe that someone who cooperates with us has not committed a crime. That is why I was willing to wait at that construction site until the architect showed up to I.D. the owner – he was very cooperative and civil to me as I was to him.

      Remember – Cops are people too, and we deal with more B.S. in an eight or twelve hour period than most people do in a year. “It ain’t easy being blue”.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        G.A.

        I agree with a lot of what you said.

        The main thing is that if the professor had merely said to the officer, “I am sorry for the inconvenience that you even had to come out here, but I am glad my neighbor was looking out for my house. Here, let me go get my identification for you!” That would have been the end of the whole thing and no one would have even heard about it.

        As far as I am concerned, the officer did nothing wrong whatsoever, and the professor was out of line.

      • Robert C says:

        I agree with your statements 100%. As a news photographer in L.A.
        I worked closley with the police departments of more than 14 juridictions, they were all professional in dealing with the public.
        The president should have stopped at “I don’t have all the facts”

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          I agree with your last statement.

          Perhaps based on your own experiences you never encountered or saw unprofessional behavior in the ranks of the LAPD – however, fairly simple Google searches reveal that not to be the truth on whole.

          • I agree, the police are not ALWAYS respectful of the general public. There are those of them that when they put on a badge and a gun let the power go to their head.

            I have found that 99% of the time, respect begets respect. If respect is shown toward the officer from the beginning, the reciprocal is usually the case.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            But Ray,

            The Police are the enforcement arm of the government; therefore, they must be the good guys! 🙂

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      As long as there are holdout radical black racists seeking reparation in every nook and cranny of caucasians’ characters, there will be this problem. THIS statement can pretty much be said for holdout radical racists of any color against any color.

      Radical racists of any color use these type of incidents to stage theatrical productions for their cause. In alot of cases, radical racists go looking for these type of situations so that they can cash in on whatever “negative” is popular of the day and use that “cash” to obtain buy-in and infuse inflammatory messages into the ranks of their ilk.

      I am proud to call a couple of black people my friends (decent per my values); on the other hand I am ashamed of some of my caucasian relatives (trashy per my values).

      Doesn’t matter the color of a person; what matters is how that person comports him/herself. A person becomes my friend or a “valued” relative based upon his or her values. There are alot of black (you can also insert other races here) people that I don’t care to be friends with because I have NOTHING in common with them – I’m sure the reverse can be said about me; I personally don’t care — leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone.

      Do “real” racial incidents occur? – Yes — deal with them via the law; the theatrical productions need to stop as they simply do nothing more than cause more racial tensions.

      • It will be interesting to see these guys have a beer at the WH. I think that the Policeman deserves an apology from BO and the Prof., but we all know better than that. Very sad.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        What ‘theatrical productions’ are you referring to or do you simply mean this as a general statement?

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Hi Ray,

          I think both…

          One specific incident coming to mind was the OJ Simpson Trial…It became a “Racial Theatrical Production”…did a great deal of damage in regards to race relations.

          Best regards and I hope this day finds you well,
          RS

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            I’m in a sweltering hot office in NJ w/ no AC – so damn hot you cannot even think straight

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              Ray,

              Try a peppermint patty!

              🙂

              Hope it gets better,
              RS

            • JayDickB says:

              Ray – I hope you realize you left yourself wide open for a smartass comment about your thinking ability.

              However, because I am an empathetic person, I feel for your lack of AC and will refrain from making such a comment.

              Good luck.

              JD

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                No Jay – I was setting myself up to parlay some seething ‘crazy-man’ comments. Then the air came on, I ate lunch, and nearly slumped over in my chair from a food coma.

            • Hey Ray!!

              I thought you were in PA?? Where are you in NJ? I was born and bred in NE NJ and lived there before I got sick and tired of all the stupidity in Trenton and moved. Unfortunately, I moved to a worse state; MD.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                I am in PA – live and work primarily West of Philly but have a group in downtown Philly and one in Mount Laurel that I see periodically. I lived years ago in Frederick MD and have family in the Essex area.

            • Alan F. says:

              Since there aren’t any cows in the office I’d guess the greenhouse emissions are all yours?

    • A Real President
      Doesn’t Pull Race Card
      Without Facts

      GarthD
      A Real President Doesn’t Apologize For His Country

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      USW – please do tell why you have no doubt Gates is a racist (read – define what you think a racism is and what of Gates, his past and present makes him a racist in your eyes).

      I think Gates may have overreacted – but hold here the thought that I am not a black man, I have not experienced racism is my past, so it may be difficult for to assert how I would react – this notion is no different than the idea that I cannot possibly fathom the full scope of emotion that a woman who has been raped previously must feel when she placed in an uncomfortable or threatening situation with a man.

      I think the officer was doing his job. He could have walked away – sure – but when a situation quickly escalates they have to take decisive action to de-escalate.

      • USWeapon says:

        Ray,

        I define racist as someone who makes a determination or judgement of someone based on their race. This is difficult to explain as there are nuances to it in my opinion. For example I make a judgement when I see a black teenager with his pants below his but and a shirt 5 sizes too big and a hat cocked oddly. But in that case it is not his being black that causes me to judge him, it is his appearance, because I would make the same judgement of a white kid dressed the same way. Race relations are a tough thing, but I have no doubt in my mind that I don’t use race as a determining factor.

        Gates is a racist in my opinion and there are several reasons why I feel that way. When initially told that Crowley was investigating a report of a possible break in at the property, Gates immediate response was “why? because I am black”. He immediately assumed that because the officer was white, he was a racist (making a judgement based on skin color). On top of this I searched last week for more information on Gates as I prepared to write an article on this subject and decided against it. Some of the things I found:

        In an interview given last week: “If I had been white this incident never would have happened. He would have asked at the door, “Excuse me, are you okay? Because there are two black men around here try’na rob you [laughter] and I think he also violated the rules by not giving his name and badge number, and I think he would have given that to one of my white colleagues or one of my white neighbors. So race definitely played a role.”

        While a student at Yale, Gates wrote the following on his application to Yale: “As always, whitey now sits in judgment of me, preparing to cast my fate. It is your decision either to let me blow with the wind as a nonentity or to encourage the development of self. Allow me to prove myself.”

        In 1994 he discussed Malcom X’s racism: …”[I]n 1959 we were watching Mike Wallace’s documentary called “The Hate that Hate Produced.” It was about the Nation of Islam and I couldn’t believe — I mean, Malcolm X was talking about the white man was the devil and standing up in white people’s faces and telling them off. It was great.”

        In 1996 at a speech in a forum he co-hosted with Cornel West, he stated: The only reason we have so many people doing so well – the only reason – is because of …the civil rights movement and its child affirmative action. Without affirmative action we would never have been able to integrate racist historically white institutions in society. And to me, the first issue we have to address is how to protect, defend, and expand affirmative action.
        …because of racism I never would have been allowed to compete on a more or less level terrain with white boys and white girls. And for me, for someone who has benefitted so much from the opportunities from affirmative action, to stand at the gate and try to keep other black people out, would to me to be as hypocritical as Clarence Thomas.

        Another incident: This past March 29th, Professor Henry Louis Gates was being interviewed in front of a small group by Walter Isaacson on C-SPAN’s Book TV. Thirty-three minutes into the discussion about his new book on Lincoln, Professor Gates began a detailed account of his own genealogy. He said that in doing so he had discovered he was about “50% white”. He said that this was quote, “To my astonishment and horror…”.
        He continued by saying that he had subsequently sent his DNA off to be tested. This time, upon finding out he was “57% white”, he said again, “to my horror …. I was becoming more white by the minute”.

        Couple the above with reading some exerts from his book and watching his interviews have left me with the distinct impression that he allows race to permeate every thought that he has. Race is the determining factor in every though in his head. That is the definition of being a racist in my mind.

        I could be wrong, but that is what I got from what I read about him. Thanks for asking.

        • So basically what you are saying USW is, due to the facts, he is a racist.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          USW – let’s first tackle your definition because I think some progress may be possible here.

          Your statement:

          “I define racist as someone who makes a determination or judgment of someone based on their race. This is difficult to explain as there are nuances to it in my opinion. For example I make a judgment when I see a black teenager with his pants below his but and a shirt 5 sizes too big and a hat cocked oddly. But in that case it is not his being black that causes me to judge him, it is his appearance, because I would make the same judgment of a white kid dressed the same way. Race relations are a tough thing, but I have no doubt in my mind that I don’t use race as a determining factor.”

          So to this I have some questions for you that will help me better understand you and your views:

          What is the judgment you are making of any white kid/black kid dressed with drooping pants and a large shirt? Why would you make such a judgment w/o getting to know first the person under that shirt and wearing those pants?

          Now let’s look specifically at your definition: “I define racist as someone who makes a determination or judgment of someone based on their race”. To me, first glance, that seems overly broad. Would a web site devoted to health issues in black Americans be considered a racist? Would stating that a urban black males are more like to die in a violent crime that white males of the otherwise same demographic be considered racist? A hard read of your definition would indicate that is possible.

          How about the following two statements?

          “I’m simply pointing out that 95% of black and many whites voted for him BECAUSE of his skin color.”

          Is that a racist statement? According to your definition it seems that it could be. A judgment has been made that because they are black and because Barack Obama is black, 95% of blacks voted for Barack Obama.

          Or

          “OF COURSE black men say they were stopped only because of their skin color. Hell half of the blacks in this country seem to believe that everything negative that happens to them is race related.”

          Is that a racist statement? It strikes me that ‘black men’ (meant generally I think) or “half of the blacks” are being judged based on perceived reaction to being stopped by law enforcement and then anything negative that happens to them is due to the fact they are black (likely thus that they must possess some negative attribute that would lend them to think this way – if the statement was not pejorative I may think otherwise)

          • You forgot:
            ‘Its about time we had a black president.”

            Is that a racist statment?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              By itself – no. If it were used in conjunction with other statements to convey that some advantage or superiority is gained due the skin color.

              For example:

              “Its about time we had a black President. This demonstrates that our Country has become more diversified”

              I would not consider that racist.

              Make sense?

          • USWeapon says:

            What is the judgment you are making of any white kid/black kid dressed with drooping pants and a large shirt?

            I am making a judgement about their behavior. In general I am assuming that they will not speak professionally. They will not treat others with respect. I am assuming that they will probably have a low work ethic, will probably use profanity quite liberally, and that they listen to rap music.

            Why would you make such a judgment w/o getting to know first the person under that shirt and wearing those pants?

            It is stereotyping, and that I admit to. Stereotyping is natural and essential. It is how we survive in the world. I make those judgements from the beginning because it tells me to be alert and aware. It tells me about how they are MOST likely to behave. It does not mean that I change how I behave. I will still treat them the same as anyone else unless they do something that tells me more information for certain. I will say hi, offer to shake their hand, introduce myself. If they return that courtesy we proceed with no regard for their appearance.

            I understand what you are getting at here. The difference is that I do NOT act on those assumptions. I will treat them the same as I treat everyone else until they show me that my assumptions were correct. There is nothing wrong with assessing a situation and using past experience, general knowledge, and common sense. It is an entirely different animal when you act on that knowledge without verifying it. So I judge because it is prudent to do so. I act only after I am certain of what I know of the person.

            Now let’s look specifically at your definition: “I define racist as someone who makes a determination or judgment of someone based on their race”. To me, first glance, that seems overly broad. Would a web site devoted to health issues in black Americans be considered a racist? Would stating that a urban black males are more like to die in a violent crime that white males of the otherwise same demographic be considered racist? A hard read of your definition would indicate that is possible.

            No Ray, your examples do not fit my definition. Those are concrete facts about situations and medical findings. They are not determinations or judgements made because of color of skin. The website is medical facts determined by scientific means in regard to genetics. The crime statistic is a verifiable set of data, not a judgement. A judgement would be to say this is fact because blacks are more violent than some other group, which would be incorrect.

            First of all, for racism to exist it must be a negative judgement of a group of people, even if stated in a positive way. For example, if I say Chinese people are smarter than white people, I have made a judgement of both races, but only racist because it assumes a negative connotation of white people. That changes to fact rather than judgement if a scientific study concluded this is genetic fact.

            But I will attempt to define further. A racist is a person who based solely on someone’s race, applies negative traits to someone, and further acts on those thoughts in some way, be it verbally or physically. If what you have witnessed is that a large portion of blacks in your city that dress a certain way or do certain things are criminal, that is simply remembering what you see. You may later see someone who fits that mold in your mind to a t, but you are a racist if you treat that different person a certain way because of that stereotype.

            “I’m simply pointing out that 95% of black and many whites voted for him BECAUSE of his skin color.” Is that a racist statement? According to your definition it seems that it could be. A judgment has been made that because they are black and because Barack Obama is black, 95% of blacks voted for Barack Obama.

            Nice play pulling old comments of mine. Not a racist statement. Start with the black vote. I was not suggesting that 95% of blacks voted for him because he is black, although I do see how it could be read that way. What I am suggesting is that because he was black, he garnered 95% of the black vote as opposed to the roughly 80% of the black vote that democratic candidates usually get. So my suggestion was that the 15% swing in the black vote was due to his being black. I have had many black friends tell me that they voted for him because he was black, and many others tell me this was the first time they voted ever and it was because there was a chance to elect a black man president. I see no other cause for the change in historical voting patterns that would dispute what they are telling me. As for the whites, there are a good many white people who voted for him as a way to prove they were a post-racial white person. I have talked to plenty of people who have admitted that. So neither was a statement about judging them based on their race. It was a statement about observing the changes in historical voting patterns.

            “OF COURSE black men say they were stopped only because of their skin color. Hell half of the blacks in this country seem to believe that everything negative that happens to them is race related.”

            Is that a racist statement? It strikes me that ‘black men’ (meant generally I think) or “half of the blacks” are being judged based on perceived reaction to being stopped by law enforcement and then anything negative that happens to them is due to the fact they are black (likely thus that they must possess some negative attribute that would lend them to think this way – if the statement was not pejorative I may think otherwise)

            Could be perceived as racist. I am not sure that it is in the way that I meant it. I come into contact with MANY blacks, the city I live in is a clear majority black. I attended an all black university for a year. The hundreds that I have come into contact with are roughly evenly split in what I hear from them. One half debunks the theory that they are held back by race, the other uses that excuse nearly every time things don’t go their way and a white person is involved. Gates is a prime example, he assumed that what was happening to him was because of his skin color, when that may or may not have been the case.

            I used the term half as a general term. There are many blacks that don’t do this. I just threw out a number of “half” based on what I have observed. I obviously haven’t tracked actual numbers throughout my life, but I have heard race as the blame for many many things from many many people. In that university they actually TAUGHT students that the obstacle to success is their skin color. So I don’t blame them for believing that to be true. I don’t sit in judgement of them for feeling that way. But I will point out, as I did with that statement, that it is a mentality that permeates the black community. And for the record many influential leaders in the black community speak out about this as well, Bill Cosby comes to mind. So I point it out, as Cosby and others do. Does that make me a racist? I guess that is for you to decide.

            Again the key for me here is that I do not treat them differently because of the fact that they feel this way. I don’t think it is a black “attribute”. I think it is the result of a culture (parents, community leaders) that has taught them that this is a fact of their life. If I felt that ALL blacks are like this, I would be assigning an attribute to a race. But making a rough “half” statement indicates that I have seen a good portion meet this description. In this instance, the discussion was around blacks. Had the discussion been around hispanics I would have said half of them blame getting pulled over on their race. Had the discussion been about white people, I would say that half of them think they are being picked on by cops with a god complex. I hope some of this is making sense.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              USw – the the pants & shirt – I’d only suggest you aren’t quite judging yet as that carries finality – you’re simply assessing and mentally building scenarios if you will on likely possibilities. Just semantics, but sometimes that matters.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              USW – lets back up a second here.

              First – your response:

              “Nice play pulling old comments of mine. Not a racist statement. Start with the black vote. I was not suggesting that 95% of blacks voted for him because he is black, although I do see how it could be read that way. What I am suggesting is that because he was black, he garnered 95% of the black vote as opposed to the roughly 80% of the black vote that democratic candidates usually get. So my suggestion was that the 15% swing in the black vote was due to his being black. I have had many black friends tell me that they voted for him because he was black, and many others tell me this was the first time they voted ever and it was because there was a chance to elect a black man president. I see no other cause for the change in historical voting patterns that would dispute what they are telling me. As for the whites, there are a good many white people who voted for him as a way to prove they were a post-racial white person. I have talked to plenty of people who have admitted that. So neither was a statement about judging them based on their race. It was a statement about observing the changes in historical voting patterns.”

              1. That actually is NOT an old comment of yours (at least where I pulled it from – this was a comment made by Cyndi – so unless you are really Cyndi, or Cyndi is you, or one of you has multiple personalities, or – oh nevermind).

              To the original comment:

              “I’m simply pointing out that 95% of black and many whites voted for him BECAUSE of his skin color.”

              2. Let’s at least agree that is an opinion and not fact. There is no data I can locate to support someone passing this off as factual.

              3. A key determinant for me was the emphasis used in the word ‘because’ – the word was used to indicate a cause and effect relationship between two thoughts or actions. That is was placed in all caps (“BECAUSE” versus ‘because’) indicates the writer believes the relationship to be primary or singular based on the availability of other relationships. In other words, of two available relationships here:

              95% of black and many whites voted for him BECAUSE of his skin color

              and

              95% of black and many whites voted for him because he likes the White Sox

              the first statement would be seen as the primary cause/effect since the word ‘because’ is placed in all caps. Extending this, wherein the author presents no other potential cause/effect relationships in the posting indicates the likelihood that they believe the relationship to be singular – or – there is no other reason that 95% of blacks and many whites voted for Barack Obama. Since the word ‘because’ was used to indicate cause/effect and since the word was capped, I would conclude that the author intended to convey that there is no other reason, other than skin color, that 95% of blacks and ‘many’ whites voted for Obama.

              4. To your statements of informal polling (talking to friends) – I’d only ask if you dug any deeper into dialogue with these folks. Ask simple follow-up questions like “is there any other reason you voted for him?”. I wasn’t privy to those conversations, but for someone to vote for Obama simply because he is black is like you or I saying we voted for Bush or Kerry because they are white – and that is the only reason we voted as such. It is wrong. I’d ask also whether the same folks voted for an Alan Keyes (or someone similar that is a polar opposite politically of Obama).

              5. I think your notion that the statement is just a good way to explain the shift in historical voting patterns is terribly wrong and I think you know that. To suggest that 95% of blacks and many votes simply tuned everything else (including what was coming out of his mouth) out whenever they saw Obama (thus focusing only on the fact there was a black man in front of them or on TV) is astonishingly shallow coming from a deeper thinker such as you. Even simplistic tests of potential/actual voters could repeat campaign slogans and at least the broader messages put forth by the campaign – you may not have liked the messages from him (I know for the most part you did not) – but this idea that millions of people were just blindly mesmerized by his ‘creamy skin’ (I know – Cyndi’s words and not yours) and nothing else is just asinine.

              Conclusion – the statement makes a determination of judgment based on skin color, and by your definition and my analysis is racist.

              PS – compare thus your assertions regarding Skip Gates with your adamant view regarding whether the aforementioned is racist or not – apply your own same logic and see if you get the same result. You cannot simultaneously sit on both sides of the teeter-totter USW.

              • “Her skin was smooth and white like milk.”

                Is that a racist statement?

                His skin was the color of coffee with milk.

                Another racist statement? Or maybe, just maybe, an observation? Is it racist to notice someone’s skin?

                Is it bigoted or racist to notice if someone is fat or obese? Is it bigotd or racist to blame fat people for man made global warming? Is it bigoted or racist to blame fat people for running up expenses in an entire nation’s health care costs?

                “Skin color and body fat are physical attributes.”

                Is this a racist or bigoted statement?

                What about ugly people? Is it bigoted or racist to notice if someone is is ugly? Is it racist or bigoted to notice if someone is attractive? Is it racist or bigoted to comment if someone is ugly? What if someone comments on someone’s attractveness? Does that make it a bigoted or racist statement? Or is it racist or bigoted ONLY if someone can twist the words to claim offense?

                Just asking.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Cyndi – I have offered my definition which is more narrow than what USW has offered – you can take it and decide what is and what isn’t and quit being so recondite.

              • USWeapon says:

                Answered at #39 below Ray.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              USW – as to the second statement:

              “OF COURSE black men say they were stopped only because of their skin color. Hell half of the blacks in this country seem to believe that everything negative that happens to them is race related.”

              I read your response (several times actually). I think that taken out of context it can certainly be construed as a racist statement – but more likely it was just a poorly written statement. When you place emphasis on the statement by capitalizing “Of course” – you are implying that in so far as the mental state of any given black man – he has no other choice when stopped other than to think it was being done because he is black. Your explanation makes sense – but offers that you do not think all black men feel this way versus some.

              I’d again ask you to re-read your cut-outs regarding Gates and apply the same contextual setting you offered me. Does your conclusion still seem as solid or slightly less so?

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          USW – now – Gates as a racist? Well – I’m not ready to say yes or no – I read your post with interest because I wanted to see whether Gates is one thing on the outside and something else on the inside.

          First off, I think you are wrong in passing all the examples off as facts. It is not clear that those ‘things’ are facts or more scuttlebutt.

          “Gates is a racist in my opinion and there are several reasons why I feel that way. When initially told that Crowley was investigating a report of a possible break in at the property, Gates immediate response was “why? because I am black”. He immediately assumed that because the officer was white, he was a racist (making a judgment based on skin color). On top of this I searched last week for more information on Gates as I prepared to write an article on this subject and decided against it. Some of the things I found:

          RH Response: Not sure there is a free pass here – I’m not so sure he was assuming Crowley to be racist was he? Or was he more so overreacting to the process or police in general (and given a history of racism in his own family)? I dunno.

          “In an interview given last week: “If I had been white this incident never would have happened. He would have asked at the door, “Excuse me, are you okay? Because there are two black men around here try’na rob you [laughter] and I think he also violated the rules by not giving his name and badge number, and I think he would have given that to one of my white colleagues or one of my white neighbors. So race definitely played a role.”

          RH Response: Here is a more complete text of the quote (from the Daily Beast):

          (Question posed to Gates) So you do think this was reduced to race? You do think this was purely racially motivated—that when he came into your home uninvited and didn’t read you your Miranda rights and he didn’t follow procedure?

          “No, when I was arrested I was not read my Miranda rights. I clearly was arrested as a vindictive act, an act of spite. I think Sgt. Crowley was angry that I didn’t follow his initial orders—his demand—his order—to step outside my house because I was protected as long as I was in the house because he didn’t have a warrant. I think what he really wanted to do was throw me down and put handcuffs on me because he was terrified that I could be dangerous to him and that I was causing violence in my own home—though obviously he didn’t know it was my home.

          If I had been white this incident never would have happened. He would have asked at the door, “Excuse me, are you okay? Because there are two black men around here try’na rob you [laughter] and I think he also violated the rules by not giving his name and badge number, and I think he would have given that to one of my white colleagues or one of my white neighbors. So race definitely played a role. Whether he’s an individual racist? I don’t know—I don’t know him. But I think he stereotyped me.

          And that’s what racial profiling is all about. I was cast by him in a narrative and he didn’t know how to get out of it, and then when I demanded—which I did—his name and badge number, I think he just got really angry. And he knew that he had to give me that, and his police report lies and says he gave it to me. If he had done that I would have simply taken it down and wrote a report! I was definitely going to file a report, now—just not as big as the one I’m about to file!

          RH Response: Here is where I take a hard turn at Gates – assuming this quote is complete and accurate he would need to explain to me his statements. Now – if I use your definition, which is overly broad (oddly a far left tactic), I might say that Gates’ statements in this example are racist. However, it is my belief that the test further include determination as to whether or not the supposed racial difference (here it would be black (Gates) over white (Crowley)) produces an inherent advantage or superiority for Gates over Crowley. That is clearly not the case here – Gates still ended up in handcuffs and his own, albeit ignorant, statements indicate his own perception of an inequity for him in the relationship. Therefore, I would not use this example to support that Gates is racist.

          “While a student at Yale, Gates wrote the following on his application to Yale: “As always, whitey now sits in judgment of me, preparing to cast my fate. It is your decision either to let me blow with the wind as a nonentity or to encourage the development of self. Allow me to prove myself.”

          RH Response: I cannot find anything that corroborates this actually occurred. Where did you find this?

          “In 1994 he discussed Malcom X’s racism: …”[I]n 1959 we were watching Mike Wallace’s documentary called “The Hate that Hate Produced.” It was about the Nation of Islam and I couldn’t believe — I mean, Malcolm X was talking about the white man was the devil and standing up in white people’s faces and telling them off. It was great.”

          RH Response: This is another example of where, upon searching, I could find no where that provides the entire context of the story and why he would have said such a thing. I’d encourage you to read the following which shines some dubious light on this. http://mediamatters.org/research/200907280047

          “In 1996 at a speech in a forum he co-hosted with Cornel West, he stated: The only reason we have so many people doing so well – the only reason – is because of …the civil rights movement and its child affirmative action. Without affirmative action we would never have been able to integrate racist historically white institutions in society. And to me, the first issue we have to address is how to protect, defend, and expand affirmative action.

          …because of racism I never would have been allowed to compete on a more or less level terrain with white boys and white girls. And for me, for someone who has benefited so much from the opportunities from affirmative action, to stand at the gate and try to keep other black people out, would to me to be as hypocritical as Clarence Thomas.”

          RH Response: This statement is far more compelling to me – I am not sure it crosses the line to make him a racist – he is not judging other people based on skin color – he is advocating a flawed process that sought to even the field and went past its time. His comments are more dumb than racist.

          “Another incident: This past March 29th, Professor Henry Louis Gates was being interviewed in front of a small group by Walter Isaacson on C-SPAN’s Book TV. Thirty-three minutes into the discussion about his new book on Lincoln, Professor Gates began a detailed account of his own genealogy. He said that in doing so he had discovered he was about “50% white”. He said that this was quote, “To my astonishment and horror…”.

          He continued by saying that he had subsequently sent his DNA off to be tested. This time, upon finding out he was “57% white”, he said again, “to my horror …. I was becoming more white by the minute”.”

          RH Response: I searched diligently and could not find a proper attribution for this statement. Every link I followed conveniently cuts out portions of the statement. That makes me nuts. It makes real tough to understand context of the statement when big chunks of it are missing. He could have been serious, he could have been joking. I don’t know w/o seeing/hearing the complete statement rather than pieces of it.

          Couple the above with reading some exerts from his book and watching his interviews have left me with the distinct impression that he allows race to permeate every thought that he has. Race is the determining factor in every though in his head. That is the definition of being a racist in my mind.

          RH Response: Which book? I think you may confuse his own personal story, history and teachings with some ignorant statements or acts. I do not believe him to be a racist based solely upon what was discussed herein.

          Thanks and look forward to your response.

          • USWeapon says:

            I will have to reply to this other half tomorrow as it is almost 4:00 am and I need to get some sleep.

          • USWeapon says:

            I copied and pasted this comment from you, Ray, as #41 below. Will answer down there.

      • Alan F. says:

        Anyone resorting to race as an excuse for their actions or inaction in a given situation is a racist. Pretty basic stuff I would think. That president Obama HAD TO react immediately with his condemnation speaks volumes. If that’s the slip while he’s aware of being watched by millions at the time, just imagine the escalation when he’s “safe” to let it all out.

  3. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #3

    Remember my big rant against the sin taxes when they drastically raised the tax on tobacco 5 months ago? Do you recall that I told you the next thing they would start to go after was fat people? Well what do you know…

    Obesity is a big problem.

    It’s considered a major risk factor for conditions like heart disease and diabetes. It causes us to spend tens of billions of dollars every year on health care. And it’s not getting better: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in a recent study that the proportion of obese U.S. adults rose again last year, to 26.1 percent.

    So what to do about it?

    The CDC is attempting to answer that question this week, with a three-day conference in Washington, D.C., called “Weight of the Nation.” The agency has issued a slew of reports on obesity in recent weeks and just released a set of two-dozen recommendations for how communities can implement better programs and policies to slim people down.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/07/28/government-tackles-obesity-anew-restraint/

    So let me put this into the perspective that I am seeing it in. America is a fat country. We already know this. About two thirds of Americans are overweight and according to this article one fourth of America is actually obese. So the government is already starting to pump up the rhetoric about how much of a financial drain this is on the health care system. And the article clearly states that this conference is looking to determine “how communities can implement better programs and policies to slim people down”

    In this era of possible impending health care reform, are you starting to see how this is going to play out? I don’t know if the liberals here will agree with me or not on this. It will be interesting to find out. Once government is “paying” (meaning using your money at their discretion), they will feel they once again have a “mandate” to start making laws and policies that force Americans to change their lifestyles and diets in order to be more healthy and therefore less of a strain on the health care system. In my opinion, anyone who approves of this health care reform as it is being pitched has lost their mind.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      So are you saying obesity is not a drain on the healthcare system? Aren’t many health plans already on the wagon with looking at this in re: how costs are calculated? Are you suggesting any plan should willy nilly pay for someone’s intentional abuse of their own bodies? What of your notion of personal responsibility? I’d think people should be required to be held accountable here – if you want to abuse your own body, then be prepared to pay higher premiums because we know we are far more likely to see you needing care.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ray,

        Interestingly, the proportion of people that are obese is MUCH higher among the poor. Many people who are on food stamps are among the most obese.

        Perhaps the government should restrict the use of food stamps to allow only the purchase of foods that are healthy (e.g. grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, poultry, dairy, etc.) and not allow them to buy foods that are ridiculously high in fat, cholesterol, sodium, etc.

        I mean, they are already in a government program that allows them to buy food… would it not make sense for the government to restict what they buy so that they would be healthier and less of a drain on the economy?

        • One word I love and would like to see implimented is “workfare”.
          Traditional welfare benefits are available with little required of the recipient, save their continued search for employment, if that. Under workfare, recipients have to meet certain participation requirements to continue to receive their welfare benefits.
          Such as … if you’re not busy, how about getting out and doing something like cleaning up trash from the side of the road, or any other minor physical work that anyone can do.
          How about getting at least some return on payments by making your city and roads cleaner and in better shape.

          • They still do this in California anyway. Every few months or so they have a food give away. Usually cheese, rice, beans, powdered milk and a few other things. They show up, flash their food stamp card and they get a box full of stuff.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Only if they can be directed to buy food products from stores/manufacturers that donate more money to liberal causes & candidates.

          ‘…..no the circle, won’t be broken……’

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Ray,

            But of course this would be the case!

            If the so-called “Soda Tax” gets passed, the Democrats can probably say bubeye to any future donations from Coca-Cola and Pepsi though 🙂

        • JayDickB says:

          I remember the forerunner to the food stamp program: the commodity distribution program. It started out distributing to the poor the surplus commodities the government purchased from farmers to keep prices from going too low. I think it eventually expanded to cover a wider range of commodities needed for a basic sustenance.

          The retail grocers didn’t like the commodity distribution idea and convinced the congress to replace it with the food stamp program. The benefits to grocers is obvious.

          I always liked the commodity distribution program, but there’s probably no way to resurrect it now.

        • Exactly Peter. Why don’t they have foods that are disallowed from food stamp purchases? I worked in a convenience store, they would come in and buy sandwiches and fountain drinks with food stamps. However if they warmed the sandwich up or had a straw in the drink it wasn’t allowed to purchase them with food stamps. Also, the parents would send their kids in with a $1 food stamp to buy a single piece of bubble gum then the parents would come in and buy a 6 pack of Bud with the change. Made no sense to me why this was allowed or that a convenience store was even allowed to accept food stamps.

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Going slightly off subject here…but related to Food Stamps and other welfare type programs.

          This is just my personal opinion as to why I hate Welfare Programs. It isn’t that I’m selfish and have no concern for people. The last thing I want to see is a person starving, freezing, etc.

          Where I object to this is the type of behavior that Kym states above. It is the misuse, the lack of honor, the feelings of entitlement for material things, the laziness, the “sneak one” over on them mentality that I abhor.

          I resent the fact that I (who have been paying taxes since I was 18 – now 43) would be unable to utilize “temporary” welfare services if I needed them because I “make too much money”. But it is okay for me to support someone who doesn’t BOTHER to even try to support themselves. I resent this because I or you or you could easily have a temporary bad situation and the fact that I made too money up until that point doesn’t fill my children’s bellies on that day.

          Unfortunately, our “system” is callous and doesn’t “believe” me (an honorable person) when I tell them, “Hey, I need a bit of help this week only”.

          The whole root of the problem is that a good portion of the American Population is without honor or pride in themselves and are willing/taught/want to be dishonest in order to get a free ride.

          (Disclaimer: Ray – I mean this generally. There are people who for whatever reason are unable to work; there are people who are welfare program recipients who are honest, not lazy, sneaky, entitled, etc.)

          WELFARE REFORM IS VERY MUCH NEEDED. DaveE…I like the concept of Workfare…

          Best regards to all,
          RS

          • Kristian Stout says:

            Karyn,

            When my best friend was in the process of a divorce a few years ago she needed some help. She went to the Department of Children and Families for this help. All she needed was food stamps for a couple of months so that she could get back on her feet. The caseworker that she had basically told her that the only way that she could get help would be if she quit her job. If she quit her job they would not only gove her food stamps they would pay her car insurance her car payment her rent and her untilities. If she would just quit her job she could get all of this help. She refused and was unable to get any assistance. How’s that for screwed up?

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              Hi Kristian,

              It hits home with me…When my daughter was born in 1990, I was ordered to bed early. My disability kicked in, but only paid 60% of my salary. After having her and two weeks prior to going back to work, there just wasn’t enough money to pay for her formula. I got sick and tired of begging money from my parents. I called WIC to see about getting Formula only for 3-4 weeks until I received my 1st normalized paycheck. The woman that I spoke to basically laughed at me. I told her that I still needed to feed my baby. She told me that I should talk to either my family or churches for help. I told her that I had paid taxes and was just in a rough period. So sorry she says. I was furious. If it were only me, then I would have suffered…ate Oodles of Noodles. But this was my child and I had to put my pride aside…only to be “laughed” at. It still makes me furious to this day. I ended up going back to my parents for assistance. In addition, back at work, 2 co-workers (both black women) went to the grocery store and purchased forumula to help out. Now, that really did my heart good — to see humans helping humans because they really do care.

              GOVERNMENT DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YOU, ME OR YOU OVER THERE…

              Best Regards,
              RS

          • Real workfare would be nice..
            If a welfare recipient was deemed healthy anough and physically capable (assessment by independant doctors, not the recipient’s), in order for them to receive payments they would have to participate in work, a supervised program where they did such simple menial tasks such as cleaning roadways, picking up trash, and so on. Spend a day (8 full hours)working under direct supervision, get credit for that day.
            Of course there are people out there who truly require assistance. But it is my personal opinion that most welfare recipients are capable of self-support, but choose to take the easy, and lazy path.
            Just like you guys, I have worked all my life, pay taxes, and I don’t appreciate watching some lazy-ass collecting welfare and developing a fat arse when anyone can see they are capable of work.

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              Hi Dave,

              Of course, welfare recipients would be looking for a host of many other reasons to “exclude” them from the program.

              Example: I don’t have anyone to watch my children
              Solution: They put their children in the daycare program staffed by other WORKFARE participants; WORKFARE Daycares would be conveniently located at Public Housing locations as would Eldercare (if they try to use that excuse).

              Example: I don’t have transportation.
              Solution: A van stops by your Public Housing location on the hour and is driven by other WORKFARE participants. In addition, every attempt should be made to place WORKFARE assignments within walking distance to the recipients place of residence…HMMMM…GEEE wouldn’t that help lower their drain on the medical system by helping them lose some weight if they happen to be obese.

              Damnit all…I just don’t run around giving people money for nothing in return…

              Best Regards,
              RS

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Thanks Kathy – that frightening picture will be burned in my mind all day.

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Dear Lord,

        I pray that she doesn’t decide to start dancing in/plowing fields in the nude to show support for needed rain in India…

        Again, someone take a hot poker to my mind’s eye to erase this image!

        🙄

        RS

    • With all the taxes and fees and everyother payment we’re force to pay the multiple governments in out lives, they might as well have a “Fat Tax” to help pay for all this spending that’s happening. At least I won’t have to pay this one!

      G!

  4. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #4

    Speaking of Sin Taxes…. It is interesting to me the ways that government is looking at raising money. From a CNN article tonight:

    Instead of raising taxes, states are putting taxes and fees on specific items and services as they try to decrease their budget gaps.

    “You see this blizzard of fees popping up all over the country and in very unusual places,” CanagaRetna said.

    One of the more controversial ideas is to legalize the sale of marijuana, as proposed in a bill introduced in California’s state legislature by Democratic State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano this year. The bill proposed taxing pot by $50 per ounce. If legalized, marijuana could become California’s No. 1 cash crop, bringing in an estimated $1 billion a year in state taxes.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/28/states.budget.crunch/index.html

    What is amazing to me is that states are actually looking to legalize illegal activities in their states, so that they can collect taxes on them. The state mandates that activity A is illegal. For whatever reasons that they claim it is illegal, that is the situation. But they come right out and say that they find it morally acceptable to legalize something that they previously held as morally unacceptable, merely because they can make money on it. And people accept this as OK! Politicians once again show a complete lack of integrity and the people say YAY!

    The article also talked about a proposed $5 cover charge collected from everyone who enters a strip club, to be paid to the government. They did nothing to earn that $5. But they think that they have the right to simply create a tax out of thin air, do nothing to earn it, and collect it. I am well aware that this is the case in MANY of the taxes the government currently collects. But you would think that when they act this brazenly, the people would finally wake up and realize the government for what it is, a collection of crooks who feel legally authorized to commit their crimes. If the mafia collected a $5 cover from every patron of a business they had nothing to do with, that would be called “extortion”, but when government does it, that is OK?

    And they get away with these things because the American public seems to think it is OK to add all these types of taxes and fees and stuff to the minority groups. The idiots don’t understand that Law of Mutuality that BlackFlag continually espouses.

    • It is more moral to legalize the sale of marijuana than to tax soda to pay for healthcare.

      GarthD
      One should always pronounce moral judgement

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      If the elected representatives of the State decide it is okay then why is there an integrity issue?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ray,

        For YEARS the politicians on both sides of the aisle have been telling us that marijuana is worse than cigarettes and worse than alcohol, and morally there was no way they could see legalizing it. They say it is a “gateway” drug that leads people to use “hard drugs” like cocaine and heroin. They say the stuff is just GODAWEFUL!

        Now that they see it as easy money for the government, they say, “nevermind all that stuff we told you before, millions of people are doing it anyway, so we might as well be able to make tax money off of it!”

        You don’t see any moral chicanery going on there?

        • I see the government controlling us at every turn. Just because they say it is more harmful than alcohol or cigaretts doesn’t necessarily make it so. I see your argument that they say one thing until it means money in their pockets and then they change course and that has, unfortunately, become the norm for them.

          Personally, I do not see an issue with the legalization of it. It is much less debilitating than alcohol and that is a legal substance. Of course, obesity might even get worse!

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Yes, when one has the munchies, one very rarely gnaws on a carrot stick to ease the cravings… lol

          • Up here in Canada there was a very tiny legal loophole where suddenly a person could not be charged for posession of a small amount. Of course, it was slammed shut within a couple of weeks.
            But during that time, pizza sales went through the roof.

            When you got the munchies…. 😉

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          So if the citizenry says fix the budget, and they care less if legalization is part of the equation (or by lack of protest infer that they care less) then why is there moral chicanery happening? I thought you were an advocate of politicians ‘listening’ to the citizenry (e.g. tea parties, stop healthcare reform, dump cap n trade)?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Ray, you are missing the point (probably intentionally).

            Politicians on both the left and the right claimed for many years that there was NO WAY they could legalize pot due to moral reasons.

            Now they have changed their tune because it would provide an easy source of cash. That makes them the associate dope-dealer, since they are profiting from the sale, no?

            That is the point which you seem to be intentionally missing.

      • papadawg says:

        So, you believe in every fiber of your soul that if a politician says it is so then it is?

        What ever happened to a vote of the people and the majority rule?

        You can’t seem to see the greed through your socialistic rose colored glasses, can you?

        The politicians in Kahlifornia are willing to kill their constituents in order to get more money – throw the bums out and start all over with a new crop cause this batch is rotten to the core!

    • As I tried to tell the people at the town hall Saturday. If Universal or socialized health care is passed, it will not be free. Nothing is free. Even if you get your haelth care for no charge at all, you will still pay for it. You will pay in all kinds of new and bizarre taxes, and through increased prices as producers pass their new taxes along to the consumer.

      NO GOVERNMENT IS BETTER THAN THE ONE WE HAVE RIGHT NOW.

    • Alan F. says:

      Welcome once again to Canada! Once thing that has never failed to shock the hell out of Canadians on their first time visit to an American Liquor store… HOLY CRAP IT’S ALMOST FREE!!!

  5. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #5

    As I have discussed before, I have a big problem with government interfering with private industry. But that doesn’t mean that Congress’s biggest idiot, Barney Franks, isn’t willing to further intrude on business. From the article:

    A House panel voted Tuesday to prohibit large financial firms from offering corporate pay packages that encourage executives to take big risks, going further than what President Barack Obama wanted to curb excessive salaries and bonuses on Wall Street.

    Lawmakers, including Republicans who opposed the proposal because they said it went too far, said they were under tremendous pressure from constituents.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/28/house-panel-votes-in-favo_n_246541.html

    So here we go again. Even after President Obama made comments that indicated that we had to guard against making villains of Wall Street, Barney can’t help but use the opportunity to put even more restrictions into industry in places government has no business being. The politicians feel they have the right to intervene and mandate the salaries of executives in private companies that took no bailout money. Using the public sentiment that CEO’s are bad people who don’t deserve their pay, a sentiment that they very carefully sowed, politicians are making moves to limit that pay.

    This bill, which has now passed in committee, would limit “excessive” salaries (who is Government to determine what is excessive?), eliminating salaries tied to activities which the government deems too risky (who is government to determine what is too risky?). I hate to have to once again harp about the free market, but it certainly seems that this Congress and administration believe they have the right to intrude wherever they like. Am I wrong here?

    • Robert C says:

      We need to limit the salary paid to congress, have all pay raises approved by a vote of the people also change their retirment, put them on Social Security
      {then they would fix it}. Well I can dream anyway.

    • JayDickB says:

      Wasn’t there a law several years ago that limited how much a corporation could deduct (as an expense for tax purposes) for executive salaries? Didn’t this provision result in executive compensation being restructured so that less was paid as salary and more paid through various performance-based incentives (that were not subject to the salary limitations)? Isn’t this part of the explanation of why we are where we are?

      The more the government mucks around in business, the more they screw it up. And we want to increase the government’s role in health care financing? Boggles my mind. Some people never learn from mistakes. Oh wait, we’re dealing with politicians here. They don’t care what works or doesn’t; they just want more power.

    • I'm learning! says:

      For starters, no one in Washington DC has a clue what is risky. They are entirely more risky with my money than most corporations would ever be.

      I understand people’s frustration with overpaid exec. I felt the same way for many years. The company I work for is private and founded by an incredible man. He worked hard, built a great company, treated his employees well (how many companies always contributed 15% to profit sharing to each employees retirement every year he ran the business?) and he deserved every dime he earned and was generous with his employees. Then he passed away. Eventually they hired a CEO – who lasted for 5 long horrible years. His morals and values had nothing to do with the company and community he was now a part of. This once admired business was quickly becoming hated by the locals. Finally the board of directors woke up and he was let go almost 2 years ago. In the mean time we were no longer a profitable business due to his excess spending. They eventually promoted from within to the CEO position. The last year was hard! Lay offs, salary freezes, more work for everyone! But things are better. Even with a recession, we are making profits that are equal and most likely will exceed the pre “evil CEO” period. During those 5 years of nonstop turmoil, I would very easily think legislation to cap benefits and salaries would be an awesome idea. I now know better and understand that for every evil one there are probably a thousand or more that are very good.

      Individual circumstances can skew logical thinking. A few bad apples can ruin the barrel. We just need individual responsibility to throw those bad apples in to the compost pile so the rest of the good apples can shine on!

  6. Cyndi P says:

    USW,

    I think the government is really over stepping its bounds any way you look at it. Many Amerikan Sheople have yet to feel the Master’s prod on their back side. When they do, we may have a chance at reversing this theft of our freedom. I’ve noticed there are plenty of chubby Obama lovers around. When O takes/taxes away their junk food they might start to see him for what he is. As more of those little things that make life a little nicer begin to go away, there’s a better chance they’ll finally get it. I hold O accountable for everything. Congress obeys him like an obedient pet because the Dems either agree with what he’s doing, or are too chicken to stand up to him. I fully expect the Blue Dog Dems to cave in to the Master. The Republicans are too clueless to be effective.

    Note to Ray: Master is a reference to pets and their Masters.

    Obama is finally keeping a campaign promise. He said said he’d take the greatest country in the world and change it.

    You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.

    • Cyndi. I have to agree with Glenn Beck. Obama told the world exactly what he was going to do before he was elected as President. People just didn’t listen or only heard waht they wanted to hear. A few of us knew he was a damn Socialist before the election. How? Because he said he was!

      • Calling Obama a Socialist is quite generous. At the risk of someone trying to Baker Act me, I’d say he’s more of a communist dictator, if you’ll just give him enough time and power. I’ve noticed the less stubborn Obama voters are complaining about what’s going on, and are looking forward to the next election. I wonder what will happen if enough people feel that the vote was rigged or dishonest in someway? I don’t get the feeling that the will of the masses means much to Obama and crew. I don’t see how all of a sudden, they will bend to our wishes. The next few years should be very telling.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Esom – would you also agree with Glenn Beck that Obama hates white people and is a racist?

        Just curious.

        :X:

        • Alan F. says:

          Racists come in all colors and I’d guess degrees too. That my wife is darker than president Obama wouldn’t exempt me from being one nor excuse her from consideration but my actions indeed would and hers has proven time and time again to be far less tolerant than I on my worst day. So with actions being the only guide, where has prsident Obama’s taken him?

  7. Kristian Stout says:

    I was watching Fox & Friends this morning and heard a C-Span sound byte from a Congressman Conyers, saying that he was amused at the members of congress who kept saying “read the bill”. He wanted to know why should they? When the bill is a thousand + pages, why should they read it? Well Congressman Conyers, here’s the deal, those thousand + page bills that you don’t want to read because they are too long are going to affect my life and my livelihood not yours so damn straight you better read the damn thing before you pass it. We the people fully expect you to take a couple of days or even a week and use as many lawyers as is necessary to read that bill before you pass it and make some irrevocable change to the lives of the citizens of this country, that’s your job. And if you don’t want to do your job we can always elect someone else to your position.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The interesting thing is that Congress has the authority to legislate, but they are neither writing or reading the bills that they vote on, apparently this has all been delegated to lobbyists and other people who are not members of Congress. I suspect this method of writing legislation is probably unconstitutional… I am sure that they would argue that as Congressmen they do not have the time to sit down and craft legislation, but that would be equivalent to any of us telling our bosses, “Hey, I WOULD do my job that you hired me for, but I just don’t have the time!”

      Probably time for us sue Congress for dereliction of duty.

      • Kristian Stout says:

        Or just fire their asses! You know that if we were to pull that crap at work we’d get pink slipped so fast it would make our heads spin.

    • JayDickB says:

      Conyers (inadvertently) put his finger on several problems here.

      1. Most federal legislation is way too complicated. It has too many provisions, exceptions, conditions, etc. He is probably right that it wouldn’t do any good for him to read it. He wouldn’t have a clue what it means.

      2. Which bring up a second problem. Members of congress don’t really understand what they are enacting, to say nothing of the likely results of their legislation. For the most part, they accept their party’s description of what will happen. These descriptions are often (mostly?) wrong.

      3. Even the section-by-section summary that comes with proposed legislation (or used to when I was working for the government) often leaves out key details. The devil is always in the details, especially with federal legislation.

      All this happens because government, especially at the federal level, is completely out of control. That’s why I like the VDLG approach, but it probably won’t happen in my lifetime. Any movement in that direction, however, would be a welcome change.

      • Kristian Stout says:

        That’s why I said take time and a couple of lawyers and find out all those little details. The majority of these people are lawyers I would think that they would be able to read all of the legalese themselves. I think it’s simply a case of he doesn’t have to and no one is going to make him. Money says that even after saying that he gets re-elected.

    • That would be the esteemed Mr. Conyers who’s wife Monica (former Detroit City Counsel member) recently admitted to taking bribe money and will hopefully spend some time in jail.

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    “RELEASE THE HOUNDS!”

    That wouldn’t be Scarlet Houndmaster Loksey now, would it?

    Bonus geek points to anyone who got that, or even saw it as a tagline for open mic on the main page.

  9. Does anyone have information on California turning over a number of prisoners to the federal gov’t.

    GarthD
    Taking from Peter to pay Paul is immoral

    • Found somethinng on this

      http://cssrc.us/web/37/news.aspx?id=6406

      • papadawg says:

        That just ain’t gonna happen cause Janet From Another Planet has issued orders that illegal aliens who “have not committed a crime” cannot be arrested for just being an illegal alien.

        Uh . . . What?

        We need a new definition of what illegal is and when illegal is illegal . . . or just define “Is” if you could.

  10. I'm learning! says:

    Greetings Everyone!

    I am finally caught up with all the postings (but probably only for a day or 2). I have posted the occasional question or comment on this blog over the past few months. But for me summer is busy. I work full time. Like USW I have a 17 year old son who still likes to hang with his parents. My husband still finds this puzzling since he didn’t have the best relationship with his parents, but I am grateful he is that way. I know too may families that are not. He could possibly be gone in a year and I am hanging on to everything I can now. So despite his now full time job that is fortunately flexible for weekends, we camp – trip # 5 is this upcoming weekend and # 6 the following before we take a short break again. Between my father in law passing away earlier this month, some issues with my parents, the garden that I love tending and canning, and camping like crazy, I barely can read everything let alone comment. As my name implies, I am still learning.

    Everyone here puts so much effort in posting. The articles, the discussions, the controversy! While everyone needs to do what is best for themselves, I hope that this doesn’t stop! Your thoughts and words are read and by people like me. Often when I am catching up, questions I have ended up already asked by someone posting on this site. I feel like people like you are doing the work, and I am just sitting here absorbing and learning it all. However, I also feel that there is a time for everything, and at one point in the future, I might be able to contribute on a larger scale like you, and will feel more prepared to do it. In the mean time, I share my leanings in conversations with others and help to awaken them to what is happening around us.

    I do like reading everyone’s comments, but I just want to send a quick note to a few!

    Judy S – I could see us being friends. Your character, compassion, and love of family is unbelievable. You have incredible qualities as a person that comes out consistently when you write. This means that it must also exist consistently in your mind and soul. I remember you asking BF some question along the lines of what he thought of you and why since you 2 had never met. This is what I see and why I see it. You are amazing!

    As for BF – I remember thinking you sounded crazy the very first day I ever read this site. Now I find myself thinking “I wonder what BF would think about this situation”. I would love to live in a world that you created. I wish that world existed somewhere! I also love the story you told about your years in Morocco. So wonderful, so sad! You have had quite the life. Your story was a wonderful break from all the stress and politics that are (and should be) discussed every day! Would you be willing to share other experiences occasionally? You seriously could write books. It probably could be sold as fiction, but would be more factual than anyone reading it would ever realize. But if you would share more on this site, even just once every couple of months, it would be interesting to read!

    USW – thank you for starting this blog. Thank Mrs. Weapon also. A person’s job and passions not only affect them, but the ones they love. I know you feel bad if you can’t contribute a lot of information consistently, but your first responsibility should be to yourselves and your family. I think we have lost too much of that in our lives and that is a big part of where things have gone wrong in our world. On the flip side, families also need to understand you have responsibilities and passions too. Balance is important and you appear to try and keep that balance the best you can.

    JAC, Kathy, PeterB in Indianapolis, GA Rowe, Ray, Chris, DK 13, Richmond Spitfire, Mad Mom, etc, etc (I can’t even begin to remember all of you posting here regularly) – my life is better for having all of you in it!

    Thank You All!

    • I’m Learning

      I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the compliment you gave me, it means a lot to me to hear or read those words. I think you gave everybody here the same, and it is very thoughtful of you to say it. Sounds to me like you have a happy life with your family as well, and my condolences to you and your husband with his father passing, may he rest in peace.

      I have been wondering what it would be like if we could all meet somewhere and have a USW reunion, I think that would be great to see each other face to face, and actually put the faces with the names here. But I’m sure that would be kind of hard to do though, but you never know.

      I want to wish you and your family all the best there is to offer. I would consider it an honor to call you my friend

      Best to you always.

      Judy

    • Black Flag says:

      Thank you for the kind words.

      Everyone always starts out thinking I’m crazy. But what is that quote about a sane man in an insane world? The insane see the man as crazy….. 🙂

      I believe everyone’s life could be a best-selling book.

      That’s the beauty of life – we all have profound experiences that allow us to grow spiritually – I believe that is why the Universe created life, so it could experience itself in its own magnificence.

      Therefore, it is our duty as humanity to live as great as we can.

      I was a door-man at a movie theater when I was 16, and became the manager of that theater at 18. I watched some movies over 800 times …..

      People go to the movies to watch (whether fact or fiction) other people having remarkable experiences – we don’t go to movies about paint drying on walls (well…most of the time 😉 )

      I decided to live a movie life, and then, when I was a bit older, I added “… while not harming anyone. ” That is, I didn’t want a soldier’s movie life of killing and dying.

      Yes, there were (and are) many days I am so stressed I would barf. But, one way or another, it always turns out.

      I am glad you enjoy my life stories – and yes, I’ll share some more when the days are quiet.

  11. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    A note to Ray on the whole marijuana legalization thing:

    I personally do not care whether individual states legalize marijuana or not. The thing that I do have a problem with is the same politicians that have been telling us for years that pot is evil and Marijuana is the Devil’s Weed are now the same ones saying, “Nevermind that, it gives us another way to take money away from you, so let’s legalize it regardless of any safety and health issues we claimed prevented us from legalizing it in the past!”

    You seem to be confusing morals with pragmatism here Ray, and USW’s claim was that they were flip-flopping on a supposedly moral-based issue, which they indeed are.

    My other question is, what will California do with all of the “criminals” that are currently jailed for marijuana-related offenses if it gets legalized? Will they be released back into society (and perhaps even appointed as the new “Drug (selling) Czars?”

    • There are very few people who are jailed here for Marijuana related offenses short of cultivation and sales. Cultivation offenses are usually also combined with firearms violations, the grower trying to “protect” their crops with booby traps and automatic rifles as needed. As to the sales aspect, very rarely is anyone selling marijana ONLY selling marijuana. 9 out of 10 of them have other illegal substances they are selling as well. Or maybe they can back charge them for tax evasion…it worked on Capone didn’t it?

  12. Good Morning Everyone

    Topic #1. If they say he is an American born citizen, then I guess we have to accept that. But, there will always be those doubts, and there will always be the questions of whether or not those birth certificates are real.

    Topic #2. First of all, Obama should have kept his mouth shut on that, especially if he didn’t know the whole story behind it. I still think he should apologize to the officer in question, for saying what he did. Second, racism will never, ever go away, the race card will always come into play no matter what the situation is. What if the situation was in reverse, then would it still be called racism or not.

    Topic #3. I agree that America has become known as the fattest nation, but sometimes there are circumstances where a person cannot help themselves for being fat. There are those people who might have a thyroid condition, and are taking medication for it that will cause them to gain weight. Maybe there are those who are just naturally fat, and no matter what they do to try and lose the weight, nothing helps, except maybe getting their stomach stapled if that’s the only way they can do it, who knows for sure. Then there is the fast food places and restaurants that serve an enormous amount of food, maybe they should serve half the portions, then people wouldn’t eat so much. But then, there are those who just don’t give a hoot about themselves or depression can also make a person gain weight, or stopping smoking can cause a person to gain weight. Any number of factors I think play into it. Didn’t I hear before that they were thinking of taxing fat people because of the cost for insurance and medical? That’s my opinion anyway.

    Topic #4. About making marijuana legal. I’m kind of on the fence about that one. Here in Nevada, if you’re caught with I think one ounce, it’s considered a misdemeanor, and if you’re caught with more than that, you’re looking at some jail time. They do not recognize medical marijuana here at all. If you’re caught with it, you’re in trouble. There was an incident here a few years ago, where this girl was pulling out of parking lost where she worked, hit a motorcycle cop, and killed him. She had to have a blood test taken, found she had it in her system, she is now in jail for 5 year because of it. But she claims that there were trees in her way, and the coop had his sirens on, but she swore she didn’t see him or hear the sirens, Didn’t matter, what mattered was that she had marijuana in her system. So, with that I’m not sure which way to go.

    Topic #5. There again, I think that this administration and congress should not dictate what a person should or shouldn’t make, leave that up to the company, not the government. They’ve got their hands in too many cookie jars as it is. What, with the auto industry, banking business, health insurance, education , and whatever else they have their hands in. I say it’s none of their business what a person makes. If a company can afford to pay their employees a lot of money, then just who does the government think they are to say otherwise. I’m sick of them dictating to everybody what a person, company or whomever or whatever can and can’t do. Enough already, leave us alone and let us make a living as we see fit. BUTT OUT.

  13. Black Flag says:

    Bob

    Your skirting around the issue completely here Black Flag, who is going to put that donor kidney in?

    A doctor.

    I don’t think I’m getting the point in your line of questions.

    Last time I saw the operation it wasnt like putting in a USB cable. Its good you got health insurance and are prepared for the worst what about those with birth defects or illnesses who would never be able to get insurance?

    I have a birth defect and have insurance. (I have an ‘alien’ heart)

    What about those who got an injury later in life had health insurance through work but due to a job loss they no longer have insurance and would not now be able to get insurance anyway due to the pre existing condition?

    If I have insurance, and get injured, how is it that =now= I don’t have insurance?

    As far as my “job” getting insurance “for me”. The concept is bizarre.

    Either the company is insuring me for their loss if I can’t work, or I am insuring myself for my loss if I can’t work.

    I do not depend on anyone paying insurance for me, for my loss.

    Making these basic mistakes is why so many people get in trouble. These mistakes are common because many people believe they can live off other people’s earnings.

    The moment people take responsibility for themselves – the self-deception disappears.

    Tough luck, hope you dont get ill?

    I hope I don’t get sick, either.

    But if I do, I do not expect you to pay for it.

    • You are intentionally being obtuse Black Flag, my friend who would have no way of affording the transplant or previous dialysis would now be dead if he used your ideal system. I would be visiting his grave this Saturday instead of going out for a meal with him.
      Good for you, you managed to get insurance with a pre existing condition. You do realise there are people out there with pre existing conditions which insurance companies will not touch?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        We all have a pre-existing condition, called being alive. All insurance companies know that this condition is 100% fatal, no matter what we do about it. Most of us manage to get insurance in spite of this pre-existing condition.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Perhaps at birth, a representative of an insurance company (or the government) should sit down with every newborn and explain to them, “We are sorry Mr./Miss Soandso, but you are now alive. This condition is 100% fatal, and there is nothing we can do about it. Sometime in the next 1 second to 100 years, you will die of this condition!

      • Black Flag says:

        You are intentionally being obtuse Black Flag,

        I doubt it. As I said, I don’t see the point of your questions.

        my friend who would have no way of affording the transplant or previous dialysis would now be dead if he used your ideal system.

        I am happy for your friend.

        But I’m sure the man who would kill a child for the heart would be happy to, to be alive, with a new heart.

        Because the man stays alive, does that give him a right to take that heart?

        Yes, that is way-extreme; but the point is no different.

        By what right do you believe you can steal from me?

        How much was your friends life worth? Why didn’t YOU sell your house and car to pay for his life, if it was so valuable?

        Why is his life so less worth your house, but worth enough you felt you could support stealing money from other people to save it?

        I would be visiting his grave this Saturday instead of going out for a meal with him.
        Good for you, you managed to get insurance with a pre existing condition.

        Of course! I let them know, they asked for tests, I got them, and they said !Ok!

        As long as they know what they are getting into, they calculate their risk and yours, and give you a cost.

        Whether you pay or it or not is up to you.

        It’s like getting flood insurance for your house and you live in a flood plain. Do you expect me to pay the same as you, when my house is on top of a mountain?

        You do realise there are people out there with pre existing conditions which insurance companies will not touch?

        Because if they do pay, they will not be able to pay for those that do not have such conditions but then need health care.

        There is not an infinite amount of resources or money to pay everything for everybody. It is allocated on YOUR ability to pay or not.

        As pointed out before, if care is proportioned by your design, regardless of how simplistically well-intentioned, the system will collapse and no one will be able to get the care they need.

        • Chris Devine says:

          The point is that if we all help nobody will have to sell their house. That’s why it should be considered a basic human right and not a luxury. It’s only when the selfish yet fortunate among us decide to take their toys and go home that things like this become an issue. Why can’t you see that it’s in your own best interest for health care to be universal and not contingent upon your ability to convince some bean counter that you’re an acceptable risk?

          • Black Flag says:

            It is not in my best interest to pay for someone else.

            There is NO economic system that exists that perform the way you wish it.

            If you value a service below its cost, it will be consumed to exhaustion. This is economics, Chris. It matters not how compassionate you are, or evil.

            The only economical way to provide a service is to charge to those that use it the cost of use.

            If you pervert economic systems, they (shock) are no longer economical. Within this perversion, more and more inputs will be required while at the same time, less and less outputs will be forthcoming.

            Costs borne by the subsidizer will go up, while the services provided continue to decrease.

            The ones that organize the system will, of course, be immune to this. They can pervert the system to ensure they are first among the many – leaving whatever remains to be consumed by the masses.

            It is in MY best interest that an economical system is in place.

            • Alan F. says:

              “The only economical way to provide a service is to charge to those that use it the cost of use.” Indexed to inflation.

        • Hahaha my friends transplant = child killer scenario, I have never seen such hyperbole. I would have gladly paid whatever money I had to keep him alive but luckily I live in a country where everyone who can pays into a health system where everyone is able to benefit (although not perfect). Sorry Black Flag if you tell me it would be better in your society that the severely disabled and my friend were dead it is not a society I would want to live in.

          • Black Flag says:

            So, why didn’t you pay for it then and save the system all that money so it could use it for someone else?

            And no, society is better off with as many people as possible.

            But society cannot exist by stealing from each other. Your friend may live by the fruits of theft, but the society his children and grandchildren may suffer will be severe.

            Economics is not fooled by your false generosity of spending other peoples money.

            • Because I didnt need to because the NHS provided for his treatment, also I indirectly paid for it anyway. I pay into the NHS and he was able to benefit just as I am able to benefit when I need help just as every single person can in this country.
              So society is better off with as many people as possible just as long as they have enough money to pay for their health care. If not they are better off dead?

          • v. Holland says:

            I thought that hospitals have to treat people in life and death situations and aren’t there free clinics for people to go to?

            • No in Black Flags fantasy land if you are sick and dont have enough money then the ER will kick you out on the street and leave you to die.

              • v. Holland says:

                My question was meant to point out that right now we do not just allow people to die, we have systems set in place to take care of people without insurance. So our discussion of whether we should or shouldn’t have government controlled heath insurance should take that info into consideration. Do these systems not work-if not -why not?

              • Is it better to catch disease early or is it better when the person is so sick they have to go to the ER, the mostly costly form of treatment you can get?

              • Black Flag says:

                Prevention is important…. which absolutely nothing to do with insurance nor forcing others to pay for it.

  14. Black Flag says:

    Chris

    Regarding your superb insurance, is that $10k deductible for a set time period or is that per incident? The reason I ask is because you could easily spend that much on emergency care following an accident.

    Time – per year. And yes, if an accident is severe, it will cost a lot – which is why I have insurance; to mitigate Not Resovle a serious financial consequence due to an unlikely (ie: not common) event.

    If that accident wasn’t covered by another form of insurance (e.g., automotive liability) or couldn’t be recouped through a civil suit (due to negligence), then all it would take is for you to have a string of bad luck and now you’re no better than someone who was denied insurance in the first place due to pre-existing conditions.

    And an asteroid could hit the earth, and all is for not then too.

    I am not omnipotent – nor do I expect anyone else to be.

    But I do not expect others to pay for my bad luck.

    Your scenario about forethought and personal sacrifice is nothing but BS. There are plenty of people in this country who work their asses off to provide just the bare necessities and to suggest that they must somehow have $10k in the bank (otherwise they deserve whatever happens to them) is about as moronic and despicable as anything I’ve heard.

    Whether it is $10K or $2K or $0- I am not the one who has any right to chose for others their own capability or risk. I do not believe I am smart enough to know about what other people need or want or what they can do. Those that believe they can are insane.

    What is despicable is a belief that someone can force another to pay for them. That is known as “slavery”

    The fact remains that health care should not be paid for through insurance. It should be considered a basic human right and everybody should help pay for it according to their ability.

    Health is not a right if it imposes violence upon another person.

    You wish to play humanity for suckers.

    No one will pay for someone else. Instead everyone will demand the maximum from the system – since whether they use it or not, they have to pay. Without no brake on demand, all supply will be exhausted – ending up with nothing for everyone. Such is the consequence of all Socialist systems.

    We all benefit from a healthy society and we should all pitch in to ensure that we have one.

    Health is important to the person. Your health is not my concern. Thus, I need not do anything to you to make you healthy, since it is not my concern.

    You are free to smoke, eat until your fat, drive a motor bike without a helmet, and drive your car over a cliff – it does not concern me. You are a free man.

    On a side note, life insurance is about the worst investment you can make. You would have been better off putting that money in a savings account to cover any expenses when you die. Throwing $350/month away when you could have been saving since you were 25 (or 45) is asinine.

    I do not agree.

    The fallacy you position yourself into is assuming that insurance is ‘an investment’.

    It is not. That is why it is called insurance.

    If I had your God-gift of perfect future sight (which must come with the God-gift of knowing what is best for other people), yes – investing $350 a month somewhere else may be a better plan,

    Unless of course, I happened to die tomorrow – then my $350/mon. was one hellva a deal!

    When God tells you the day of my death, you’ll let me know, ok?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Insurance is merely gambling in any case. With health insurnance, the insurance company is betting that you are not going to incur large medical expenses. They hedge this bet by setting premiums based upon how much of a risk that they calculate that you have of incurring large medical expenses.

      In the case of life insurance, the insurance company is betting that you are not going to die any time soon. They hedge this bet by adjusting your premium based upon age, health factors, etc.

      In this case, BF (being a poker player) understands this full well, and is gambling right along with them. He has selected FOR HIMSELF a policy which could cause him to spend $10,000 out of pocket within every 12-month time period. By doing this, he has reduced the cost of his policy (because the insurance company is pretty darn willing to bet he will not incur over $10,000 in medical expenses in a year, so they will sell him this policy for what is likely a small premium). BF is betting “with the house” that he is not going to incur over $10,000 in medical expenses over a one-year period, but he is hedging his bet by having the policy so that in case something catastrophic happens that costs $100,000 or whatever, he only has to cover 10% of it. Most likely, he has the ability to pay $10,000 per year in medical expenses if necessary, or he would not have selected that amount.

      Good poker players understand betting 🙂

    • Black Flag says:

      And, Chris, insurance is not there to pay for my funeral expenses – I don’t need a million dollar funeral. A cardboard box and a hot fire is fine by me.

      It is to ensure that my wife can continue to raise my daughter in the same manner she is doing today. After I am 65, my daughter should be self-sufficient, and I won’t need insurance.

      • Chris Devine says:

        All I’m saying is that you could have saved that money instead of playing the lottery.

        • Black Flag says:

          Yes, but that wouldn’t help my child if I died before my time.

          If I didn’t have a child, I’d make a different choice too.

          But I do have a child, and it is important to me that she be cared for, so I put into place a contingency in case I am not there to actually continue my care.

          • Chris Devine says:

            If social security were fully funded (and not perpetually raided) you wouldn’t have to worry. I have no trouble offering a tiny fraction of what I make to ensure that your daughter succeeds.

            • Black Flag says:

              How much amount was that, Chris?

              I’ll send you my address – I’ll take a cashier’s check, if you don’t mind.

              SS cannot, could not, and will not be able to deliver on its promise.

              A system that the people withdraw an ever increasing amount over time, while their inputs remain static or decrease, cannot survive.

              Further, there is a point the youth will refuse to pay for the old.

    • Chris Devine says:

      What you couldn’t bear the thought of carrying on without an audience? Grandstander.

      I’d say the odds of you being in an accident are significantly higher than a comet destroying the earth. (BTW asteroids don’t hit the earth, meteorites do)

      It’s awfully admirable of you to sacrifice the well-being of yourself and your family should you suffer from a string of bad luck. But doesn’t it seem a bit more prudent for all of us to pool our resources so that it would be a non-issue for every single man, woman and child in the country. It would cost less and we’d all be better off.

      The more I hear about your vision of a libertarian Utopia the more I see that it is based on feelings of futility and a desire to go back to a time when things were simpler (i.e., fire departments were bucket brigades and a shot of whiskey and a wooden stick to bite on were considered anesthesia). Seriously, you’re telling people that the only way we can make things better is by doing nothing and waiting for the government to collapse. I bet you think the best strategy after an invasion is to hide in the storm cellar and hope they don’t take too much. At least we wouldn’t have to resort to violence, right? Oh, I forgot self-defense is OK. No wonder they call people like you reactionaries. Try being proactive for once.

      If you don’t like the way this government is being run then do something about it. Make some noise. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Instead you hide behind some silly nickname and pontificate to others with some pseudo-intellectual esoteric nonsense. You’re a fraud. But, hey, at least you’ve got principles. Screw the poor or the unfortunate. Life’s not fair, huh?

      And as far as gambling is concerned, it’s about the biggest waste of time and resources I can think of. Sure it’s fun, but when people rely on it for income, when they manipulate the game (or the rules of the game) to amass wealth without doing anything productive, it ruins everything. Every time a bunch of speculators decide to rig the system or exploit some loophole they take risks that have consequences beyond themselves. I’d say every economic collapse has its roots in some shyster who thought he knew better than the rest of us suckers who actually work for a living.

      • Black Flag says:

        What you couldn’t bear the thought of carrying on without an audience? Grandstander.

        I just like cardboard and hot fire 😉

        I’d say the odds of you being in an accident are significantly higher than a comet destroying the earth. (BTW asteroids don’t hit the earth, meteorites do)

        Perhaps that is why asteroid insurance is so cheap….

        (And, BTW, Asteroids DO hit the Earth – and by the way, get your asteroid insurance soon….

        Space rock ‘on collision course’
        An asteroid discovered just weeks ago has become the most threatening object yet detected in space.

        A preliminary orbit suggests that 2002 NT7 is on an impact course with Earth and could strike the planet on 1 February, 2019 – although the uncertainties are large.
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2147879.stm )

        It’s awfully admirable of you to sacrifice the well-being of yourself and your family should you suffer from a string of bad luck.

        So you are saying that I have the right to steal your car, house and wallet so that the well-being of my family is secured?

        Well – Thank You, Chris!!! Email me your address – I have a feeling my foot is starting to hurt….

        But doesn’t it seem a bit more prudent for all of us to pool our resources so that it would be a non-issue for every single man, woman and child in the country.

        Sure! Its called “insurance”. What a concept you’ve discovered!

        And here’s another thought! (My God, I am so smart!)

        How about those that are a higher risk pay more – I mean, if you drive like a fool, you’re going to get into more accidents – it makes sense that you should pay more than I, who drives not-like-a-fool!

        It would cost less and we’d all be better off.

        No, the cost would be exactly the same – and only those that have to use insurance are better off – those that do not, have taken no benefit.

        However, the mitigation of extreme financial ruin makes the small fee worthwhile.

        All insurance systems will fail if any one of the following conditions comes into play:

        1) Cost of insurance does not reflect the user’s risk
        2) Insurance pays for any and all costs, no matter how common or uncommon.
        3) High financial risk cannot be recovered by appropriate fees to the insured.

        The more I hear about your vision of a libertarian Utopia the more I see that it is based on feelings of futility and a desire to go back to a time when things were simpler (i.e., fire departments were bucket brigades and a shot of whiskey and a wooden stick to bite on were considered anesthesia).

        I have no idea why you think freedom de-civilizes people. Do you think free people can’t use computers or technology?

        Who do you think created the environment for you to afford the computer you are using? Government??? LoL

        Seriously, you’re telling people that the only way we can make things better is by doing nothing and waiting for the government to collapse.

        Because I believe you are a smart guy, the only way you could possible make the statement above, I must conclude, is that you cannot read.

        I have NOT said things will get better (or worse) by ignoring government.

        I HAVE said to get rid of government, you ignore it.

        Whether what follows is better (or worse) all depends on what moral principle the People chose to uphold.

        I bet you think the best strategy after an invasion is to hide in the storm cellar and hope they don’t take too much.

        Bad bet. With thinking like that, I’d probably push you all-in and take your stack.

        At least we wouldn’t have to resort to violence, right? Oh, I forgot self-defense is OK. No wonder they call people like you reactionaries. Try being proactive for once.

        Proactive does not allow me to pro-violent. You are offering a belief that for me to act, I need to strike you first, then play nice.

        If you don’t like the way this government is being run then do something about it.

        You cannot change a system that is based on a principle of evil to provide consequences of consistent moral good.

        And I am doing something about it – I am withholding my energy from the evil. Believe me, it is hard sometimes to do nothing, than to do something, even if it is futile.

        Make some noise. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

        I want the wheels to seize – so I am withholding the grease.

        Instead you hide behind some silly nickname and pontificate to others with some pseudo-intellectual esoteric nonsense. You’re a fraud.

        Ah, the ol’can’t-argue-against-them-so-ad-hominem-them fallacy!

        But, hey, at least you’ve got principles.

        Yes, I do.

        Do not impose my rules upon others.

        Screw the poor or the unfortunate.

        Being free does allow compassion. But that is foreign to you.

        You won’t sell your house or your car for the poor – that’s asking too much for you to be consistent with your beliefs.

        But you have no problem forcing others, though!

        The Socialist elitist philosophy:
        “Good for me, but not for you.”

        Life’s not fair, huh? And as far as gambling is concerned, it’s about the biggest waste of time and resources I can think of. Sure it’s fun, but when people rely on it for income, when they manipulate the game (or the rules of the game) to amass wealth without doing anything productive, it ruins everything.

        The way I play poker, Chris, it’s not gambling!

        I’d say every economic collapse has its roots in some shyster who thought he knew better than the rest of us suckers who actually work for a living.

        And you couldn’t be more right.

        It was a government thug who thought he could print money to create wealth.

        Of course, since he was from government, he had no idea what wealth is, how it is created or how to work for it, so it is understandable what happened.

        • Chris Devine says:

          Asteroids are objects in space. Once they enter the atmosphere they’re called meteorites. The streak of light you see is what is called a meteor.

          What I have a problem with is health insurance for a profit. Why should somebody make a profit off of the misery of others?

          • Black Flag says:

            It is still an asteroid, Chris.

            You probably are confused about calling some dogs a German Shepard.
            —–
            Profit is an economic concept. It does not belong in the understanding of moral concepts.

            Profit is the difference between the cost of what it would take YOU to do the work, and what it costs another who does the work for you.

            If you can do the work CHEAPER than I, you will not hire me.

            If I can do the work at the SAME price as you, you probably will not hire me.

            If I can do the work at CHEAPER than you, you would hire me….and if the costs to me to do the work is less than that, that is my profit.

            My profit comes from my ability to do the work better than you at less cost then you.

            You benefit – you get the good/service at a cost less than you could do yourself.

            I benefit – I can maximize my ability to my prosperity – and have more wealth from which to buy YOUR good/service.

            A profit is the maintains economical sustainability. It allows the service to exist indefinitely.

            • Black Flag says:

              PS:
              A meteoroid is a sand- to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar System.

              An asteroid is a bit bigger….

              • Black Flag says:

                Meteoroid

                The current official definition of a meteoroid from the International Astronomical Union is “a solid object moving in interplanetary space, of a size considerably smaller than an asteroid and considerably larger than an atom.”[1] The Royal Astronomical Society has proposed a new definition where a meteoroid is between 100 µm and 10 m across.

              • Chris Devine says:

                MeteorITE. Apparently I’m not the only one who can’t read.

              • Black Flag says:

                A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives an impact with the Earth’s surface. While in space it is called a meteoroid.

                Meteoroid
                A meteoroid from the International Astronomical Union is “a solid object moving in interplanetary space, of a size considerably smaller than an asteroid and considerably larger than an atom.”[1] The Royal Astronomical Society has proposed a new definition where a meteoroid is between 100 µm and 10 m across.

                As you can see, I read perfectly.

                (PS: Don’t mess with a physicist, who as a kid, built his own telescopes) 😉

              • Chris Devine says:

                A meteorite is any object from outer space (meteoroid, asteroid, or comet) that hits the Earth. Why can’t you just admit you were wrong? Not once did I use the word ‘meteoroid’.

                And taping toilet paper rolls together doesn’t count as building a telescope.

              • Black Flag says:

                If I was wrong, I’d say so.

                But I tend to use the definitions of the IAU – the guys whose job is to define these things.

                But you can use YOURS or someone else’s….

                And Chris, it seems you don’t know what a telescope is — I bet you didn’t even know that you don’t need sides on it at all.

                Do you know why many ‘home’ telescopes do have sides, but the large ones, say at Palomar Observatory, does not?

              • Chris Devine says:

                Why anybody puts up with your obstinate, argumentative BS is beyond me. Show me where I used the word ‘meteoroid.’ What’s the IAU definition for ‘meteorite?’ The one I quoted is straight out of my college astronomy text, Horizons: Exploring the Universe, 6th ed.

                I know plenty about astronomy and telescopes. Stop bragging.

              • Black Flag says:

                Already given – a meteoriod that enters the atmosphere.

                Why is this so hard for you?

                I go to source, you go to a text book.

                (Shrug) Difference between the professional and the amateur I guess

                How many telescopes have you built? Have you ground your own mirrors? What size?

              • Chris Devine says:

                Can’t you answer a simple question? Why is this so hard for you? Where did I use the word ‘meteoroid?’

                I don’t care if you are some astronomical idiot savant who can grind mirrors using telekinesis. What I see is someone who doesn’t pay attention and jumps to conclusions if it suits his agenda or makes him look smarter.

                Shrug all you want. Your arrogance is pathetic and unwarranted.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Chris,

            The sole purpose of government is so that a few people can profit off of the misery of the masses, yet you fully support it, so I fail to see why you do not support it if it is a private entity supposedly engaging in the same behavior… that just seems odd.

            • Chris Devine says:

              I don’t agree with your premise. The purpose of a government is to serve it’s citizens. Results may differ, but the purpose doesn’t.

              • Black Flag says:

                So, by observation, the government is not serving all its citizens, what do you call it? (It is obviously not in your definition)

              • Chris Devine says:

                In need of repair.

              • Black Flag says:

                How can it serve all citizens when it requires some to sacrifice for others?

              • Chris Devine says:

                It requires all make sacrifices for the benefit of all.

              • Black Flag says:

                Who decides and by what right do they get to decide?

                What if I decide the sacrifice is evil?

                What if I see no benefit (since I’m part of the ‘all’)

              • Chris Devine says:

                Work to make sure it does benefit you. Don’t just throw your hands in the air and stomp your feet. Do something productive.

              • Black Flag says:

                I do.

                I earn my living – force my will upon no one; I force no one to live as my slave and force them to pay for my benefits.

                I create wealth everyday, and make those around me better by my effort.

                I do not steal from others under the guise of “helping the suffering”.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Chris,

                If the government serves its citizens, it is, by definition, the SERVANT and the citizens are THE MASTERS.

                Last I checked, the SERVANT does not have the power to tell the MASTER what to do…

                But wait! The government tells the citizens what they can and cannot do all the time! Therefore, government is NOT the SERVANT… try again with your definition.

              • Chris Devine says:

                This isn’t about servants and masters. Your slave metaphor, however interesting, doesn’t fit.

                The government derives its authority from those it governs.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                You believe that my metaphor does not fit… however, your belief has no bearing on the fact that my metaphor was absolutely correct.

              • Chris Devine says:

                That’s your opinion. I think you’re wrong.

              • Black Flag says:

                So, if it gets its authority from the governed, it can only have the same authority as the People hold themselves, right?

                It can’t exceed the authority of the People, right?

    • I agree with most everything you state…ESPECIALLY:

      “No one will pay for someone else. Instead everyone will demand the maximum from the system – since whether they use it or not, they have to pay. Without no brake on demand, all supply will be exhausted – ending up with nothing for everyone. Such is the consequence of all Socialist systems.”

      This is the same reason any government trough will always empty before all pigs can eat from it…

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Some of us are once again falling into a fallacy here (though not all of us). See #16

  15. Just wanted to say hello to everyone especially Esom. I am still here Esom. Been reading everyone comments and I have seen some interesting discussions. I figured its best for me to just read and not comment because I don’t like being labeled a conspiracy theorist, especially when I present topics and I back them up 100% with facts and links but still get that label. As things unfold in the near future, we will see the outcome.

    • Black Flag says:

      Hey, Nubian.

      I hope you read my post about conspiracy theories a few blogs back.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Hi Nubian!

      Good to see you again. Wish you would still post! Even if you get labeled a conspiracy theorist, your posts are thought provoking and are indeed well supported with facts and links. In many cases you are probably closer to the truth on quite a few issues than any of us would care to know.

      Glad to see you are still around, even if you aren’t actively participating 🙂

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      I’ve missed you Nubian! Glad you are still here….

      Haven’t seen much of Esom either!!!!

    • I am still here also Nubian. I do more reading than replying because I don’t get on the net every day.

      IMO, a lot of your so called Conspiracy theories are starting to look more realistic every day. Like the Onw world government theory. I have lately heard that line from Obama’s mouth himself.

      God bless you and your’s Nubian.

    • Hi Nubian,

      I never considered you a nut job. I’m right with you in many cases, including be labeled a nut. Hang in there, Girl!

      🙂

    • Hey Nubian…glad you are here. Don’t worry about being labeled….check out some of the other labels flying around here, tehe,tehe. Some on here have shells like turtles.
      Kinda missed you around here, glad you posted.

  16. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Many of us have the belief that government is a necessary, benevolent, and beneficial entity that is responsible for ordering society in such a way that the vast majority of us can all get along and be protected from “the bad guys” both internal and external.

    As a VERY wise man (in this case Stevie Wonder) said, “When you believe in things you don’t understand, you SUFFER”

    • The more power they get, the more they want. There is no end in sight to what lengths the government will go to control every aspect of our lives…it starts small and seemingly insignificant and grows from there. The longer it grows, the faster the growth becomes…before you know it, we are consumed by it.

      It IS coming, just because many wish to think otherwise does not make it false.

      • Hi Terry

        I agree with you 100% on what you said. But, you know this wouldn’t surprise me on this either, and I’m not sure if it can be done, but you never know. I’m just waiting for those little tiny cameras to start coming around and spying on everybody to see what we’re doing.

        Now, I suppose somebody here will tell me they’re already doing that somewhere.

        Have a good day

        Judy

        • Kristian Stout says:

          Judy,

          If you haven’t seen it yet you should check out the movie Eagle Eye. It’s a great movie and it’s kinda scary too because it’s about tiny cameras and Big Brother. My husband and I watched it and it is a fast paced movie with lots of action.

          • Hi Kristian

            Isn’t that a relatively new movie that just came out? I have a bad case of CRS today, so who’s in it?

            Thanks

            Judy

            • Kristian Stout says:

              It is relatively new. It stars Shia LeBeouf, you know, the kid from Even Stevens on Disney.

              • Morning Kristian

                Thanks for the answer, but I never heard of either one, the person who is in the movie, and we don’t watch Disney.

                Judy

  17. papadawg says:

    O. K.,

    One World Government. It is not a conspiracy, per se. It is a factual undertaking of that most impotent of political waste-gate organizations known exclusively as the United Nations.

    If you want to find out, then google the UN and do the research cause I ain’t gonna do it for you – THAT is the problem with Americans screwing ourselves politically from the gitgo because we just leave it up to the talking heads to tell us how to vote . . . and THAT is how we got saddled with those Communist S.O.B.’s in the White House,Speaker of the House of Representatives, the great majority of the House of Representatives, and the great majority of the U.S. Senate. “Ye Shall Reap What Ye Shall Sow” . . . So enjoy America, yer just got what yer wanted!

    Obamacare will be signed into law before August!

    How’s THAT for a conspiracy theory!

  18. Richmond Spitfire says:

    WOW!

    If this has already been posted, my apologies…

    Best Regards,
    RS

  19. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I am sorry, I have finally reached the point where I just don’t get it.

    I am a scientist. I hypothesize, I make observations, I do calculations, and I either prove my hypothesis or throw it out and start with a new one. This just seems like a natural process to me.

    Why is it then that most people have the hypothesis that the government is only looking out for the good of the people and that the government can handle major problems in an efficient and cost effective manner, even better than private entities can?

    This hypothesis has been DISPROVEN time and time again by countless observable phenomena, and yet, somehow, the vast majority of people still cling to the hypothesis! (??!?!!!??!??!)

    I mean, talk about a general failure of logic. I see countless examples of this every day… on this site, on other sites, in the news media, talking to people, etc. Why is it so easy to dislodge the notion that the moon is made of cheese, and yet it is so difficult to dislodge the notion that the government is “just here to help”.

    My brain is fried… I need a Dr. Pepper 🙂

    • Black Flag says:

      Because, old friend, just like Chris, and nearly everyone else as per previous, intense blog, there is a vital differentiation between what people wish government was for them, and what government really is in reality.

      They cannot let go of the wish.

      It’s like kids believing in Santa Claus – no matter the evidence by observation (why are there thousands of Santa’s on the street?) and by reasoning (how does he get into the house through that little pipe of a chimney?) – they believe…..

      Too bad government wasn’t as benign as Santa, then it wouldn’t matter.

      But as long as they wish to hold the illusions, the monster lives and sucks the life out of the people.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        BF,

        Totally agree, except that some people still firmly believe that the government is not only as benign as Santa, but the government is EVEN BETTER THAN SANTA and will give them more toys and presents.

        I have never been totally “pro-government” (well, maybe in my college days at that liberal arts college in Minnesota I was pretty close… :)), but I have never been totally against government either, because I was still clinging to the wish.

        I think I finally gave up clinging to the wish after a few months on this site debating with people like you and JAC. I am sure that you will still see remnants of “the wish” in some of my posts from time to time, but I am working at eradicating those remnants.

        You see, the biggest argument people have when you tell them that there should be no government, is that they say, “Bad people will do bad things! People will take advantage of one another! The strong will try to dominate the weak!” and other such crap.

        The thing is, THIS ALL ALREADY HAPPENS IN THE PRESENCE OF GOVERNMENT, AND IS, IN FACT, SANCTIONED BY GOVERNMENT IN MANY CASES! So basically, all of those arguments can be immediately discarded.

        • Hello you two;

          Sigh! . . . So, Please tell me again just how good people will be WITHOUT any laws, WITHOUT any law enforcement, WITHOUT any recourse for greivances EXCEPT personal violence against those whom people believe have done them wrong in one way or another?

          Yes, by all means, please tell us all how life would be soooo wonderful with roving bands of punks armed to the teeth taking whatever they wanted from whomever they wanted.

          The problem with PHD’s is the PHD!

          Since the dawn of time mankind has beget violence upon mankind ad infinitum!

          WITHOUT any kind of law, and law enforcement, mankind will beget violence upon one another on an individual basis AD INFINITUM!

          Mankind INVENTED forms of government to combat just those very things – the only problem is we have allowed our governments to be populated with those we would classify as criminals and allowed them to control us in the name of peace!

          We do not need to get rid of government! We need to CONTROL government!

          Sigh! . . . PHD’s do not seem to understand that.

          Translation; B.S. = We all know what that stands for! M.S. = Now that’s just more of the same! P.H.D. = Well now, that’s just piled higher and deeper!

          🙂 😉 🙂

          • Who says no government = no laws?

            No government just means I have the right to ignore your laws as long as I don’t impose on you, and you have the right to choose not to associate with me if I don’t act the way you want me to act.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              I have met the enemy – he is us

              No government means what? Anarchy?

              • How could you possibly get that from what I said, which was exactly the opposite?

                You could have a society looked very much like our own and only imposed its rules and taxes and benefits upon the willing while allowing the others to live free in peace and associate as they will and that would still satisfy the conditions.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            G.A.

            You are confusing a lack of government with lawlessness. Many people make this mistake.

      • BF:

        Why do you spend your time responding?

        Do you think you can change someone like Chris, Ray, Bob, etc?

        I just don’t get it BF.

        GarthD
        Taking from Peter to pay Paul is immoral

        • Chris Devine says:

          He responds because it gives him an opportunity to show off. He is nothing but a charlatan and a braggart. He tosses out a few bits of highfalutin mumbo-jumbo and everybody here just sits back in awe as the master destroys yet another fallacious moron. He gets off on it.

          Personally, I’d just like to give him enough rope to hang himself in the hopes that maybe somebody else will call him on his BS. Hope springs eternal.

          • Richmond Spitfire says:

            Hi Chris,

            Respectfully, I disagree.

            I believe that Black Flag thinks very logically and breaks problems down to the lowest denominator. I believe that Black Flag is pure to his way of thinking; thus his “pit bull” approach to hanging on. A person doesn’t have to agree with the results of his thinking process; but a person can admire his thinking process. I have never known BF to get emotional and start demeaning anyone at this site. In fact, I equate him to Mr. Spock in my mind.

            Best regards,
            RS

            • Chris Devine says:

              Mr. Spock didn’t try to mince words and feign ignorance in order to frustrate someone who disagrees.

              • USWeapon says:

                Yes he can be quite frustrating. The one thing I will defend him on is that he does not stray from the core belief he has. There is no contradiction from him. If you are willing, you can learn from him, while still disagreeing with him. I rarely agree with him, but I learn plenty watching his debates. I hope you will participate in the same type of dialogue with me when I present the multi part article on health care soon.

          • Chris Devine says:

            Oh, one more thing: he can’t tolerate not having the last word. No matter how petty it makes him look, he will defend a meaningless side note that isn’t even remotely related to the topic at hand.

            • Black Flag says:

              Right is right, Chris – and I’ll continue to correct your mistakes.

              …and the Truth always, finally, gets the final word. It sorta has to work that way – it certainly can’t be a lie or a falsehood, right?

        • Hey Garth

          Totally off topic here, but did you ever make to wherever you said you were going? I’m sorry, but I forgot where. Hope you had a good time. BTW, did you buy your 5 carton’s of smokes as well?

          Regards to you.

          Judy

          • Judy:

            Got to OK for a trip on lake Eufula (sp?) with a boat captain who after being on the water for about 1/2 hour said: “I don’t really know where I am or how to get there”. Since I did not have to be anywhere, I checked to see if I had phone reception. I did so I sat back and enjoyed the trip.

            Eventually, we got almost to where he wanted to go; ate, then turned around. Did you ever try following crumbs that have been dropped in the water? Well that was our way back but we made it.

            Did not buy the cigarettes, guess I just don’t care enough about the difference in cost. Not sure why I don’t. Maybe someone will take pity on me and buy them for me. Oh, Obama, where art thou, oh, holy one.

            GarthD
            A Moral President Doesn’t Play The Race Card Without Facts

            • Garth

              Sounds like you enjoyed yourself regardless of where you ended up.

              As for your last sentence, Obama isn’t moral.

              Judy

              • Judy:

                You got it!!

                See BF, it works.

                GarthD
                Taking From Peter To Pay Paul Is Immoral — But, it assures Paul’s vote.

              • Judy S. says:

                Garth

                I got it long before I even came on this site. And I must say, I don’t argue with BF, he knows more than I do, and I have learned a lot from him and come to have a great respect for him as well.

                Judy

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Garth – do not assume that every interaction BF and I have had involves one changing the other – you would be erroneous in such.

    • Chris Devine says:

      The fact remains that private enterprise has even less accountability and no more willingness to serve the benefit of all. At least government has a mechanism (however flawed) to make the appropriate changes. Private enterprise is only interested in concentrating wealth. To it service is a means to an end. With government service is the end. I propose that you have an issues with the means.

      Like I said before, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. What have you done today to make your displeasure known (besides bellyaching and preaching to the choir on blogs like this)?

      Anybody who believes powerful organizations will continue to do the right thing without any input is like somebody who gets mad when his car veers of the road at 100mph. I don’t care how straight the road looks you still have to hold onto the steering wheel. Sometimes if you see yourself headed towards a cliff you need to wrest that wheel from the suicidal maniac who’s driving. That’s what elections are for and that’s why Obama is in the White House instead of McCain.

      • Chris, I found your conversation with BF rather amusing. I work in the healthcare industry, and have a strong understanding of the systems abilities. Where I live, we have two companies in the business, one is non-prifit (my employer), and one is for-profit. The for-profit is currently in bankruptcy and may not survive at all, despite the consessions given to them by their employees. If they close their doors, it would be devistating to our local healthcare system, simply not enough beds or space to handle the onslaught of patients.

        My company gives away millions in free healthcare each year. The current government controlled entities, medicare, medicade and workers comp, do not pay for the actual cost of the services rendered, which inturn raises the cost for the insured. This is why I would like to reform welfare first.

        I have read the reform bill HR 3200, and if it’s passed , it will kill the system. Family doctors will be so overwelmed, it could not survive. Hospitals will not be able to stay above ground fiscally and many will have to close, thus making things worse. While your thoughts of working together for the betterment of all is admirable, we are not Amish, and the system could not handle this, it will simply collapse, making things much worse than what everyone is led to believe.

        I’ll add more shortly, I have to make a short run>

        G!

        • To continue, Hr 3200 is written to cover ONLY 70% of the actual cost of given healthcare. Premiums are based at 1/12 of your annual income, and your percentage is based on that income, from 1.5% to 10% for thos making less than 88K (which is a majority of workers today). Employers will pay 74% of premium for indivduals, 65% for families. OUT OF POCKET is capped at 5K for individuals and 10K for families annually (does that 10K sound familiar?) This will allow companies to force their workers into this system (est. around 80 million). So, for the benefit of less than 3% of the population, as many as 50% of the population will now be in a program that could put them far more vulnerable to a health expense bankruptcy, then they were otherwise. Yes, it cost them more, but they were much better off if catastrophy had struck (myself included).

          The math does not add up, and as Flag said, the system will be exhausted. These are facts that you can read. When government says they can lower healthcare costs and save money, they are mathematically dillusional and they are LIEING to all of us.

          May Peace be with you and your family!

          G!

          • What I see happening under the “New” health care plan is higher unemployment with the outlook for new jobs at zero. Right now we pay 100% of our employees health insurance, it costs 300 a month and our employees make good money so if they choose to add their dependents the cost is on them. So now under the new plan we have to insure 75 of all health care costs for the family which is 390 per month and the employee has to pay the balance. People will quit working and go on government freebees. Employers will cut their staff and stifle raises. Economic out look…bleak. Our government has tried medicade and medicare and run the system right into the ground and they think this will work better….idiots.

      • papadawg says:

        Hey . . . What’s this?

        “Sometimes if you see yourself headed towards a cliff you need to wrest that wheel from the suicidal maniac who’s driving. That’s what elections are for and that’s why Obama is in the White House instead of McCain.”

        Either way we would have wound up with a suicidal maniac at the wheel – only difference is that McCain would have been driving slower!

      • USWeapon says:

        Chris,

        “The fact remains that private enterprise has even less accountability and no more willingness to serve the benefit of all. At least government has a mechanism (however flawed) to make the appropriate changes. Private enterprise is only interested in concentrating wealth. To it service is a means to an end. With government service is the end. I propose that you have an issues with the means.”

        Interesting statement, so I want to ponder it for a bit. I am debating writing a piece on government somewhat based on the conversation between you and BF. Would you be opposed to my using some snippets of the conversation?

      • The difference between private enterprise and government, is that with private enterprise, I can choose to take my business elsewhere. Then, if enough people actually care about the issue and do the same, there will be sufficient demand for a private enterprise which meets my desires (be that open accounting, integrity, whatever).

        • Amazingly, that actually works in our country. Can’t for the life of me understand why so many want it for the illusion of free!

          G!

        • Some of you guys on here want a complete deregulation of private enterprise. If that is the case how does the free market guard against monopolies and price fixing? Not trying to cause a fuss I am genuinely interested.

          • Who says there needs to be a guard? If prices are higher than costs, then there is always incentive for a new entrant to the market, and without government protection the big companies wouldn’t be able to bully the small ones around or forcibly buy them out.

            If the monopoly survives by, say, paying off retailers to only sell their product, then their costs are higher and a new entrant can take advantage.

            If the monopoly survives by offering its products at lower than cost, then the consumer benefits and there’s nothing wrong with the monopoly.

            If the monopoly survives by truly unique and skilled practices that make its costs lower than anyone else’s, and their prices do not exceed the costs a new entrant would have, then consumers are still getting a good deal and the monopoly is rewarded for its quality work.

            • What about gas companies, if a gas company became a monopoly and started charging $10 per gallon how exactly is a new company going find entry into that market. Same applies to energy, health insurance and any other essential service that people would have to pay no matter what.
              I understand your reasoning when applied to small businesses but when it comes to big businesses who provide essential services I fail to see how someone can just suddenly enter the market and supplant them.

    • D13 would recommend a Dublin one……

  20. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    BF makes a great point above. If the government truly does derive its authority from the people, it cannot possibly have more aggregate power than what the people have. Law of conservation of energy and all that fun stuff.

    However, this is clearly not the case. As I argued with Chris above, if the government is the servant of the people, it is the people who can tell the government what it can and cannot do, and not the other way around.

    However, clearly it IS the other way around, so clearly, the government does not serve the people.

    For example, over 50% of the people now believe that Obama’s handling of health care is the wrong way to handle things, and yet he is still trying to ram the bill through congress. If OVER 50% of the people DO NOT WANT THIS, then how is ramming the bill through congress “serving the people”?

    That is just one example of MANY I could come up with to illustrate that government does not, in fact, derive its power from the people, nor is it there to serve them.

  21. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I think maybe I just figured out the illusion today, even though I have talked about it before. Perhaps JAC and BF will think I have finally set foot on the path of enlightenment, and Todd, Chris, and Ray will think I have set foot on the path of complete lunacy, but so be it.

    The FACT is, if government were here to serve the people, it would do its level best to ensure that ALL OF THE PEOPLE were absolutely, positively maximizing their potential to be successful human beings.

    This would not involve taking away from one person to make up for the shortcomings of another, and it would not involve dumbing down a class so that the intellectual children in the class were bored but the others in the class could “get it”.

    If government was the servant of the people, each individual person would be encouraged to become the best that they could be at the things which they were good at, which would be of great benefit to society as a whole.

    This is what most people WISH government would do. This is what most people TRY TO CONVINCE THEMSELVES THAT GOVERNMENT IS DOING, BECAUSE IT IS WHAT THEY WISH IT WOULD DO.

    All I can say to you people is open your eyes. Government cannot and will not do what you wish it would/could do. It simply wasn’t designed for that. That is like asking an Edsel to take you to the moon (which it might have if you were in the back seat with your girlfriend/boyfriend), but clearly, that Edsel was never going to ACTUALLY make it to the real moon.

    The other thing that some of the people on this site still have to realize is that all men are born free, and all men are created equal, but all men do not have the same intellect, the same talents, and the same abilities. Government attempts to homogenize us and treat us all the same. We most certainly are NOT!

    I can take a case, power supply, motherboard, processor, and other parts, put them together, install an operating system, and voila, you have a computer that will work for you.

    Give me a broken down car and a bunch of parts that will supposedly get it working again? I have no idea what the hell to do with it.

    We are all different, but government lacks the discernment to differentiate between us and simply tries to lump us all together and makes the assumption that if plan A is good for BF, it is good for me. If policy B is good for me, it is good for Chris. In some cases, this may actually be true… in many, it is not.

    • Peter, I agree with your post; I too have been significantly enlightened and perhaps headed toward that lunacy path – I’m glad to know I have such good company! Your second statement is the most significant to me:

      “The FACT is, if government were here to serve the people, it would do its level best to ensure that ALL OF THE PEOPLE were absolutely, positively maximizing their potential to be successful human beings.”

      Instead the government works very hard to do the opposite.

  22. Hi all

    I thought maybe you all would be interested in reading this, and seeing what the Dems are up to.

    _________________________________________________________________________________

    Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats, along with a handful of Republicans-in-Name-Only, are holding secret closed-door meetings in a last ditch effort to ram ObamaCare down the throats of the American people before they leave town.

    You read that right… before they leave town for their summer vacation.

    And what about the news reports that say ObamaCare is stalled… that there will be no legislation coming out of Congress in the foreseeable future? You really didn’t believe that the politicians in Washington had given up… did you?

    According to a late-breaking news report released by the Associated Press on Tuesday:

    “A bipartisan group of senators is closing in on a health care compromise… as lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol labor to deliver sweeping health legislation to President Barack Obama.”

    And, according to an article published on The Washington Examiner’s website on Tuesday:

    “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still claims that she has the votes to approve the new legislation and that a floor vote could come by Friday….”

    In addition, The New York Times claims House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is looking at keeping the House in session to pass whatever health care bill comes down the pike:

    “The House Democratic leader… said it was conceivable the House might stay in session a few days longer and vote on Aug. 3 or 4.”

    Anthony G. Martin, in an article published by The Washington Examiner, gives perhaps the best description on what is going on right now:

    “It doesn’t take an enormous amount of digging to see what’s going on here. The self-styled ‘rulers’ who now run Washington seem intent on ramming through legislation that no one has read and that even Barack Obama had great difficulty explaining… The ultra-liberal Democratic leadership, along with the ‘blue dog Dems’ and the RINOS (Republicans in Name Only’) would like nothing better than to foist upon an unsuspecting public a multi-trillion-dollar healthcare fiasco, complete with rationing, just so they can fulfill some sort of ideological obligation in their demented, brainwashed minds that ‘government must take care of ALL of the needs of the people.”

    It’s as if we’re fighting the Amnesty battle all over again. The American people, in resounding numbers, are saying “no” to ObamaCare and politicians in Washington are, for some inane reason, trying to sneak it past us anyway.

    And that’s not acceptable.

    Let’s tell these politicians in Washington that when it comes to ObamaCare, the American people don’t want any so-called “compromises” made behind closed doors in the dark of night.

  23. Black Flag says:

    Chris Devine

    The fact remains that private enterprise has even less accountability and no more willingness to serve the benefit of all.

    I do not to hold you accountable, Chris, if your actions do not impose upon me.

    Whether you act, or do not – would have no effect upon me.

    So why should I hold you accountable?

    If I hold that you must act for my benefit, then I am forcing myself upon you – thereby requiring me to account for such an action. I would thus have to prove my right to impose upon you.

    You have your onus backwards – if you force someone to benefit you, it is you who has to be accountable and prove why you are using violence on a non-violent person

    I await, with great interest, such a proof.

    Private enterprise is only interested in concentrating wealth.

    Whether it does or does not matters not. What is it to you?

    it’s not your wealth; you didn’t create it. And if they do not impose upon you, they existing or not makes no difference on you.

    If they offer a benefit to you, voluntarily, what harm do they do to you?

    That’s what elections are for and that’s why Obama is in the White House instead of McCain.

    The system is not a car. A car is design to be transportation – that is its essence.

    Government is NOT designed to serve the people. IT CANNOT. It must take from the people by force so to live. It’s essence is immune to the designs of the likes of Chris.

    The illusions are powerful – they are able to warp the minds of some of the brightest who, in their hearts of hearts, wish to solve the suffering of mankind. The government feeds this illusion, for it brings in these hearts – even though human suffering cannot be solved. But the heart is stronger than the mind for many.

    So the heart seeks the illusion – and ignore the slaughter and the human suffering such seeking causes.

    The illusion makes ‘elections’ meaningful – masking that nothing changes in a tyranny regardless of who sits in the ‘chair’. The meaning of elections are well demonstrated in North Korea.

  24. Black Flag says:

    Chris Devine

    Can’t you answer a/ simple question? Why is this so hard for you? Where did I use the word ‘meteoroid?’

    Can’t you read?

    The definition of meteorite comes from meteoroid. A meteorite is a meteoroid that enters the atmosphere. Keeping up?

    A meteoroid is defined as a body of specific size – that is, less than an asteroid but larger than an atom (and now has some specific sizes in meters). Still with me?

    A meteorite is a meteoroid which is not an asteroid. Got it?

  25. Black Flag says:

    GarthD

    This is important:

    I am not trying to change anyone’s mind.

    I am trying to get people to think for themselves.

    By exposing the contradictions and inconsistencies of some arguments, I hope to provide a basis to reason a better society.

    • BF:

      Thanks for the answer.

      Why don’t you sign off with that statement on every post?

      It might sink in.

      GarthD
      A Real President Does Not Apologize For The USA

      • Black Flag says:

        …because the goal is for people to think for themselves…

        even if it hurts.

        • BF:

          Guess I would more likely respond as Thomas Paine once did to General Howe in 1778:

          “To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.”

          GarthD
          There is little luck in the long run.

  26. Black Flag says:

    G. A. Rowe

    Please tell me again just how good people will be WITHOUT any laws,

    So, please point out where anyone said (other than YOU) – “…without any laws…”

    The question I’ve asked – repeatedly – with no reply from you:

    “What is law, how do you know a ‘law’ is ‘good’, who gets to make the laws and why do you obey it or not?”

    It is not a matter of law – it is wholly a matter of moral law and the right to make law.

    WITHOUT any law enforcement, WITHOUT any recourse for greivances EXCEPT personal violence against those whom people believe have done them wrong in one way or another?

    As soon as you come up with your moral premise that YOU live by – the better the answers to these questions.

    As long as you cannot articulate such a premise, the questions and answers are irrational.

    Mankind INVENTED forms of government to combat just those very things

    No, sir. Quite the opposite.

    Government is the invention of those thugs and criminals to legitimize their violence and theft on the people.

    Legitimacy reduces the risk of death for the thugs. If People believe thugs have a right to kill, the odds are the People will not act against the thugs.

    As long as People like you, good sir, believe the State has the right to kill the innocent and non-violent, the thugs win.

    We need to CONTROL government!

    How can you control a thing that makes up its own rules for itself and enforces those rules on itself?

    If you make up your own rules, GA, for yourself, and make it a law that only you can enforce that rule on yourself, how many rules do you thing YOU would obey? (Only the ones you want to – if you don’t want to, whose going to force you?)

    • You know, BF, it never ceases to amaze me just how deft you are at NOT answering a direct question. I do believe now that you must possess a PHD in politics because you do that with such political efficiency.

      You ask such ambiguous questions it is almost absurd.

      Try stepping down off of your pseudo pedestal and mingling with the real folks for a change – then you might understand the questions that we ask you.

      Here is a suggestion – google “Violence/history” . . . you might learn something.

      FYI – Don’t take it so personal, I am just frustrated with someone who is so educated that they have no common sense left.

      • G.A. Just a short question. Without police and all the laws we have, why couldn’t we survive peacefully?

        My thinking is that we, with our morallity, would band together to protect ourselves from those who are immoral. (sorry my spelling button isn’t workiing LOL) Is it not the government that has inhibated our ability to protect ourselves through gun control? If that was not present, then the immoral would only fear one thing, death, because they aren’t too afraid of incarceration IMHO. We are civilized, and can manage our own affairs without Big Brothers getting involved. Just curious!

        G!

        • In SoCal there are these folks who prey upon other people who just want to live peacefully. These folks are called gangs and they go by all sorts of names like Crips, Blood, etc. They do these things called home invasions and more often than not they usually leave someone dead or raped or both when they leave. Here is the sad part – we white guys get the blame from all the racists in SoCal. The truth is this; Asians prey upon Asians, blacks prey upon blacks, Mexicans prey upon Mexicans, and whites prey upon whites. The people who get invaded won’t tell cops who the gang members are for fear of retaliation.

          Yes the situation is bad, and we in law enforcement do our level best to catch all the bad guys, but when the victims refuse to come forward . . . well, there you have it.

          Now put yourself in my shoes for just a moment – Without the law enforcement just what do you think would happen? Do you really think all those peace loving folks would band together to protect themselves from those gangs of whatever you want to call them? Not on your life! Remember that these folks just want to be left alone. So here is what will happen . . . There will be a continuous gang warfare for the control of those peace loving victims and whoever would be in control would have a field day with the innocent folks. And do you really think that the likes of BF and his ilk would come to their rescue? Not on your life! The people who cannot protect themselves will be the slaves of the strongest gangs in the land.

          With government – and remember that no government in the history of mankind has been anywhere near perfect – at least we have a chance to provide some measure of protection for the innocent.

          And finally – Do you remember what happened when the Soviet Union collapsed in what is now Bosnia? Without the strong Soviets to keep them under control we had neighbors who had coexisted peacefully for many decades suddenly turn on their neighbors in one of modern history’s worst bloodbaths. Just think about it.

  27. Black Flag, Thought your conversation with Chris was entertaining. You are correct when you stated that the healthcare system would be exhausted if this mess of a reform idea happens.

    I was reading the Constitution today and read the article about taxes having to be assessed proportionately. In you estimation, how many taxes are in violation of this article? My guess is all of them!

    G!

    • Cross posted from another forum written by an American:

      “A quick comparison between us the UK shows that we could easily afford it.

      To put the UK’s GDP in perspective with ours (data on GDPs and populations came from Wikipedia):
      In 2007 their GDP was $2,230,000,000,000 and their population was about 61,000,000. Their healthcare spending (6%) was about $133,800,000,000. That’s about $2200 per person per year.

      Our GDP in 2008 was $14,334,000,000,000 and our population was about 306,075,000. So we made 7x as much money as they did, and we only have 5x more their population. So comparitively, we have more money and fewer people to provide healthcare to.

      If you figure in that report I showed that said we’d spend a trillion in five years on insurance claims in the current market, you’ll see that it’s actually more expensive for us right now with healthcare in the hands of private insurance. $1,000,000,000,000 spread over five years is $200,000,000,000 (two hundred billion dollars) per year. That’s what we’re currently spending, and NOT getting universal healthcare.

      The average American (of those who actually HAVE health insurance) spends between $6,000 and $12,000 per year on premiums. That’s cash out of pocket. If we raised taxes slightly to cover the 5% GDP spending I outlined earlier, we’d spend only about $2400 per person per year – $200 per person more than the UK. I think we can cover that.

      I think we would not even need to take the UK’s approach and spend a full 6% of our GDP on healthcare, since we have MORE money and FEWER people. We would actually probably be able to get away with only 4% or 5% under the exact same blueprint. If we spent 5% of our GDP, we’d spend $716,700,000,000. That means we’d be spending 5x what the UK spends for 5x the people – sounds comparable to me. AND we’d be spending LESS of our GDP than they do (5% instead of 6%) for the same healthcare.

      Now I’m no econometrics expert, but this quick-and-dirty look seems pretty straight-forward to me.”

      • Kristian Stout says:

        Bob,

        I’ve been watching this healthcare debate for sometime now and I’m starting to get ticked off.The simple fact of the matter is that no matter how great you think your healthcare system is, we don’t want it! We have said repeatedly this is not what we want. I work my ass off forty hours a week and I pay my taxes and I am not going to pay for some sorry ass to sit back and collect freebies from the government. I say that having a diasabled sister in law at home who collects social security and receives an annuity from her deceased father’s military retirement. But you see, she has Down’s Syndrome and alzheimer’s, she is incapable of taking care of herself and that kind of help I have no problem with. It’s the teenage mom’s collecting welfare because they don’t know how to anything but get pregnant. It’s the young men who are perfectly capable of working but won’t because they know that their government will support them.

        I also know that if that healthcare bill passes it will be the final straw for my company. They will close their doors. Freight is already an issue, this will put them over the top. So, go ahead, advocate universal healthcare just remember that there are a lot of people in this country that are in the same boat that I am and if you think that unemployment is high now, wait, it’ll get worse.

        • I dont understand Kristian the numbers posted shows the US is spending nearly double on health care than any other western country that has implemented UHC.
          When you say “we” who do you mean? All Americans? I chat with a fair few who think very differently.

  28. Concerned in Michigan says:

    This is a letter from US Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-MI). I can’t get the graphic to copy & paste, but the web address works. Lots of red circle around D.C. Hmmmm…. Has anyone else seen this sort of graphic?

    “Pete’s Perspective: Where Are The Jobs?

    Job Postings Per Capita

    Washington, Jul 23 –

    People across America are hurting, especially in Michigan, whose suffering has been particularly prolonged and severe. Since early 2008, Michigan has shed nearly 400,000 jobs and is currently experiencing an unemployment rate of 15.2 percent, the highest in the nation. Despite such a devastating reality, leadership in Lansing and Washington continues to lead us down the dangerous road of an ever-growing government, higher taxes and skyrocketing deficits.

    Recently, a job trends report was released that clearly illustrates both Michigan’s desolate job market along with massive growth in the federal employment. Indeed.com, an online job search engine, released its second quarter job rankings for the nation’s 50 most populous metropolitan areas. Not surprisingly, Washington D.C., home of the federal government, ranks number one in new job postings while Detroit ranks dead last. It is no wonder why Vice President Joe Biden believes that the economic stimulus bill is a success and Obama’s Chief of Staff claims “we rescued the economy.” They live in a bubble.

    Job Postings Per Capita
    For the 50 Most Populous metropolitan areas in the United States.
    The bigger the dot, the more job postings per capita.

    http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends.jsp

    I often say that a basic indicator of economic growth in a given area can be measured by the number of construction cranes you see on the horizon. A drive through metro Detroit and other cities across Michigan these days reveals a largely barren landscape. Meanwhile, a snapshot of the Washington, D.C. skyline is an illustration of the findings in the report.

    Unfortunately, in Washington Congress is simply building a government bureaucracy. Under current leadership the cranes are creating permanent, long-term offices to house more bureaucrats with jobs centered around intruding further into the lives of private citizens.

    Crippling taxation, excessive spending and over-regulation have been the Michigan model for years and have led to a population exodus from the state. Such policies have already decimated the Michigan economy and are on track to have the same effect nationally. America and Michigan will begin to move forward once again when we begin empowering the people not the bureaucrats in Washington and Lansing.”

    • From your neighbor in Youngstown, Ohio, I can sure feel your pain. This is a big problem. One big red dot is a invitation for disaster if another nuclear capable nation decided take out the USA. With such a huge population living within that red dot, that is a major National Security issue.

      Knowing out govt we’ll still be strip searching 90 year old great grandmothers at airports!

      Good info, I know where not to go in the near future.

      G!

    • Concerned in Michigan says:

      By the way, I believe Hoekstra is running for MI governor next year.

  29. Judy S. says:

    Good Evening

    I have a question and I hope I can get an answer that I’m able to understand. Not a long drawn out one where I will have to look in the dictionary at what the words mean.

    Okay, here goes.

    What would happen if all the states succeeded from the union? Didn’t Texas do that? Now I understand that Nebraska is thinking of doing the same.

    Thank You.

    Judy

    • Judy, No state has succeeded from the union, ever.

      Texas talks big, which I like, but what you are talking about was the cause of the Civil War. There have been states that have enacted legislation affirming their 10th Amendment Rights under the Constitution.

      G!

      • Hi G-Man

        Thanks for your answer, and I guess I misunderstood then. I thought they have succeeded, my mistake. I hear so many different things and read so many different things, it’s hard to believe anything anymore, you know.

        Outside of that, how ya doing G.? Hope all is going well with you.

        • Sorry about the short answer. I’m holdin my own, gettin ready for anything that may require my relocation in the future. Me and my Dad planted a nice garden this spring, and this weekend was “green Bean” weekend, picked and canned 56 quarts. Next up, tomatoes and potatoes, gee can’t wait. Didn’t really expect the success of the garden in it’s first year, but it’s kickin hard. Can’t wait for the fresh sweet corn!

          And How are you?

          G!

          • Geez-Louise G You can open up your own veggie stand if you have to. Hey there ya go, a side job. LOL.

            I’m doing pretty good, been busy at work, lots of samples coming in. Dealing with some people though can try your patients. They don’t seem to understand that it’s our 2 son’s that go out and get the samples, and hey do that when they like get off work, or out of school for the day. In other words, that’s their side job to make a little extra money.

            It’s been awfully hot though, had some thunder and lightning yesterday and a little today, with more on the horizon for tomorrow. The temps have been in the high 90’s
            with no cooling for the next several days. Thank God for air conditioning .

            Judy

          • v. Holland says:

            You just brought back memories from my childhood-Granddaddy tilling up the potatoes and us kids digging them out. Walking though the planted fields barefoot because the earth was so cold right next to the plants, and picking cotton, boy did that hurt your hands-and riding in the back of the (I don’t know what it was called but it was a big truck that went through the fields and filled the truck up with grain-I think back and I can’t imagine how many bugs was in that grain that I was playing in and sticking chicken feathers in corn cobs and throwing them in the air-Goodness memories are wonderful.

        • I’m going this route for easy reading. Here in Ohio, it’s been the coolest July in recorded history (avg temp). I like the hot weather (90’s) so I would really likes to slap Al Gore upside his head, LOL.

          The garden is in PA. In the mountains, but it has really done far better than expected. We have to still can the T’s and Potatoes, and maybe some corn. But we also can venison, it’s last longer than freezing. Have a 1/4 cow in the freezer, and stored many other durable goods. With plentiful game animals, and very little access from the outside, wood heat, and ample lighting and a generator we are in good shape. Best thing is noone can find us, unless we choose for that to happen. Prepare my friend, tough times are a coming.

          G!

          • That made me laugh about slapping Al Gore up side the head. I’m still laughing at that. Hey, at least it would make you feel better if you could. Give him one for me too, okay.

            Well, at least G you won’t be starving with all that food you’re hoarding. LOL. Of course I’m only kidding you about hoarding all that food, well, maybe I am, I’m not sure about that. LOL

            You know G, really, that sounds like a nice quiet place you have there, Can I come too? I need to get away from everybody here. LOL Just kidding again, maybe.

            I hope these tough times you’re talking about doesn’t come too soon. Things would be a lot better if it wasn’t for Obama and his henchmen. It just amazes me how he still blames Bush for everything when he opens his mouth. Well, I just hope that all these people, my brother in law included here, are happy with what they voted for. I told my husband that I’m tempted to smack his brother for voting for him. BTW, it’s not his twin, but his older brother who voted for the idiot.

            But I will certainly do my best in getting ready for the tough times. Not sure what though, but I’ll certainly try.

            Judy

  30. Subject: Shifty ( Darrell ) Powers
    My son sent me this today, and after I read it, it brought tears to my eyes. We or should I say I, watch the Band of Brothers whenever it comes on, I really enjoy watching it.

    I just thought I’d share this with everybody just for a little break.

    Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did.

    Judy

    __________________________________________________________________

    We’re hearing a lot lately about grandiose memorial services for
    an entertainer.
    How about a nationwide online memorial service for Darrell “Shifty”
    Powers???
    Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy
    Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne
    Infantry. If you’ve seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the History Channel, you
    know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is
    interviewed in several of them.

    I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I
    didn’t know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having
    trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at
    the right gate, and noticed the “Screaming Eagle”, the symbol of the 101st
    Airborne, on his hat.
    Making conversation, I asked him if he’d been in the 101st
    Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the
    101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and
    how many jumps he made.
    Quietly and humbly, he said “Well, I guess I signed up in 1941
    or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 . . . ” at which point my heart
    skipped. At that point, again, very humbly, he said “I made the 5 training
    jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know where
    Normandy is?” At this point my heart stopped..
    I told him yes, I know exactly where Normandy is and I know what
    D-Day was. At that point he said “I also made a second jump into Holland,
    into Arnhem .” I was standing with a genuine war hero . . . . and then I
    realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day. I asked
    Shifty if he was on his way back from France , and he said “Yes. And it’s
    real sad because these days so few of the guys are left, and
    those that are, lots of them can’t make the trip.” My heart was in
    my throat and I didn’t know what to say.
    I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was
    back in Coach, while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back
    to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward,
    I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I’d take
    his in coach. He said “No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that
    there are still some who remember what we did and still care is enough to
    make an old man very happy.” His eyes were filling up as he said it. And
    mine are brimming up now as I write this.

    Powers, Darrell C.: Awarded two Bronze Stars, Presidential Unit
    Citation , Combat Infantry Badge, and Expert Rifleman Badge. Discharged in
    1945. Moved to California becoming a machinist. Then moved back to hometown
    and worked at Clinchfield Coal Company for 33 years. (
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_Band_of_Brothers_veterans

    Shifty died on June 17, 2009 after fighting cancer. There was
    no parade. No big event in Staples Center. No wall to wall back to back
    24×7 news coverage. No weeping fans on television. And that’s not right!!
    Let’s give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet way.
    Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans.
    Rest in peace, Shifty.
    “A nation without heroes is nothing.” Roberto Clemente

    • Thanks Judy, I read this about two weeks ago, but it still is very heartwarming. At 44, I still can tear up with respect and sadness. I hear the National Anthem every morning at work, via a radio station out of northern Nevada, and for those minutes, I am silent and tell others to be as well, work stops in my office. My boss, an ex Marine, also will not allow anyone to dispose of our tattered U.S, flags from our hospitals several flag poles, other than me, which I do with honor. Tell your Son(s), we’re proud of them, fight hard and come home safe!

      G!

      • v. Holland says:

        Makes me wonder -the other day at work and we run an office out of our home-the Star Spangled Banner came on and Chris and I who are older both stopped what we were doing and when we looked at each other we both had tears in our eyes but Chris’s daughter who just happened to be there didn’t respond, she just kept doing what she was doing. Just makes one wonder.

      • Thanks G, but they are home, not overseas. My oldest son is full time National Guard, in fact he’s the ammo manager for the state of Nevada. He’s going to be going to Warrant Officers school next summer, and we’re not sure what is going to happen then.

        Our youngest son is a former Marine, and is now in the National Guard Reserves. He’s the one who did 2 tours in Iraq. He is also the one who is in pre-med, and will be going to medical school in about 2 years.

        Like you V. I too get tears in my eyes when I hear our National Anthem. People just don’t give a damn anymore when they hear it, they just keep on doing what they’re doing without any regard.

        Maybe some day, this country will get back to it’s roots and be more patriotic, I’m hoping.

        Take care

        Judy

  31. Well, I think I’m going to get off for the night. Want to get in my comfy clothes so I can relax and watch a little boob tube.

    Will catch you tomorrow.

    Have a great night.

    Take care

    Judy

  32. Cyndi P says:

    Here’s a little something for the “Birthers” and closeted “Birthers to mull over. Maybe you’re not so crazy after all…..

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/07/the_alchemy_of_democrat_coveru.html

    😉

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Cyndi – I won’t name call – but the article you referenced is chock full of lies and distortions:

      The John Kerry portion – all of that has been overwhelmingly rejected by multiple sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kerry_military_service_controversy

      John Edwards – a Democrat cover-up? Pure bs – his own staff despised him (rightfully so). Edwards is one of the biggest scumbags to ever don a suit and tie. Odd though that you don’t hear konservatives calling out John Ensign, or Mark Sanford, or David Vitter, or Randall Tobias, or Tom Delay, or Newt Gingrich, or Mark Foley, or Larry Craig, or Bernard Kerik, or Rudy Giuliani. Need I go on?

      Fannie/Freddie – there are a lot more than Dems that have blood on their hands. To suggest the party to the left covered it all up is ridiculous

      Clinton Contribution to 911? Huh? Nonsense. The failure of many admins to adequately build and support intel community is not Clinton’s alone

      Sandy Berger – his punishment was not severe enough imho – however, the 911 Commission was not hampered by his conduct – they received everything they asked for.

      You see Cyndi – pieces like that one from Fairchok are just thinly veiled attempts to try and justify a conspiracy theory. The Democrats are not hiding anything. President Obama is not hiding anything. Factual evidence exists to prove he is a citizen. That it came from people other than Obama is a good thing! As I stated before, if Obama or the Democrats had provided it – you’d call them liars anyway. There was nothing to hide because the very premise you and others operated from was flawed to begin with.

      😉

  33. You have got to be kidding me. This is actual news from cnn.com (and I am sure they are going to talk about it 5 or 6 times today on their station).

    Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal thinks that Samual Adams should be served at the white house for beergate because it is made in america and since it happened in mass instead of each persons personal choice.

    What a waste. MSM and this guy are nuts to be making this news.

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/07/30/beer-choice-at-obama-meeting-touches-off-new-debate-2/#more-62636

  34. To Ray:

    RECONDITE

    adjective 1. dealing with very profound, difficult, or abstruse subject matter: a recondite treatise.
    2. beyond ordinary knowledge or understanding; esoteric: recondite principles.
    3. little known; obscure: a recondite fact.

    I take it you’re implying I’m being diffuclt? No more than you, and giving you a taste of your own tactics. I can play word games and take offense as well as anyone to make my point. Which, I still see , you have noticed.

    As for implying I’m likely defective because I persist in believing in ‘conspiracy’ theories. I’m not defective. I have lost trust in political leaders and their supporters. Why won’t you acknowledge that? Are politicians in general trustworthy?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      In so far as me implying anything when it comes to the birther conspiracy theory – I will not imply anything Cyndi – I’ll simply state that those who sit in the birther camp lack intellect, logic, rationality and common sense and likely have some small doses of racism when it comes to believing the bullshit. If you consider yourself a birther then you now know how I feel about you with respect to that issue. Did I mince too many words for you?

      With respect to the dialogue between USW and I – if you’re trying to act like a rumble strip then I’ll simply drive right over you. If I seem complicated in what I am trying to explain just say so and I’ll try and do better – I am not a very good writer. If you’re objective is to go provincial on me and keep distracting with ‘what about this statement’ and ‘what about that statement’ I’ll just ignore you. I gave you my criteria – dump any 10lb pile of shit into that 5lb bag that you so desire – just don’t bitch at me when you get dirty.

      • Okay Ray, I get it. You’re not smart enough or mature enough to keep up with me. Throw my way, all the childish insults you can remember from junior high. Its too bad. You might could have learned something from me.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          I’m not smart or mature enough ‘to keep up with you’? Huh?

          Let’s replay your comment to me shall we?

          Cyndi said:

          ““Her skin was smooth and white like milk.”

          Is that a racist statement?

          His skin was the color of coffee with milk.

          Another racist statement? Or maybe, just maybe, an observation? Is it racist to notice someone’s skin?

          Is it bigoted or racist to notice if someone is fat or obese? Is it bigotd or racist to blame fat people for man made global warming? Is it bigoted or racist to blame fat people for running up expenses in an entire nation’s health care costs?

          “Skin color and body fat are physical attributes.”

          Is this a racist or bigoted statement?

          What about ugly people? Is it bigoted or racist to notice if someone is is ugly? Is it racist or bigoted to notice if someone is attractive? Is it racist or bigoted to comment if someone is ugly? What if someone comments on someone’s attractveness? Does that make it a bigoted or racist statement? Or is it racist or bigoted ONLY if someone can twist the words to claim offense?

          Just asking.”

          So Cyndi – are you really “just asking” because you really want to understand if I think it is racist or bigoted to notice if someone is, in your words, “ugly”? Or, as I believe, are you once again trying to redirect a dialogue between two people that have different views into some rat hole because you vehemently disagree with anyone that does not sit so far to the right as you, filled with disgust and repugnance for anyone with the nerve to try and logically challenge your wild conspiracy theories and “they’re coming to take me away, they’re coming to take me away” nonsense?

          If you’d bother to (a) actually read what I write and (b) actually try and understand what I wrote, then you would not have needed to post such ridiculous drivel. You weren’t ‘just asking’ – you were trying to entangle me into some rope-a-dope exercise, hoping you’d ‘catch the liberal in one of his liberal lies’. There may be things I can learn from you. You seem to have an immense set of stories to tell with respect to your life experiences – its unfortunate that it seems you’re more apt to use those as a fulcrum to then redirect your own brand of hate and verbal abuse back to others that disagree with you. I’m thus left to say to myself – “sure, there are plenty of things I can learn from Cyndi – most of it will be ‘what not to do, how not to think, etc.'”. Sorry Cyndi – the joke is on you – that isn’t a Junior High School insult – that’s just a fact.

          • Cyndi P says:

            Hate and verbal abuse? Whatever. When you insult me like this, I know I won the argument.

            Ray, grow up.

            For your new child’s sake.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Thanks Cyndi – I really do not need your advice on how to position myself for my child’s sake – I am pretty comfortable on educating him to avoid people like you as if you were the plague or a wart on the ass of an ass.

              And to be clear – ‘winning’ an argument implies that you made an effort to honestly, and with integrity, argue with / debate me – that you did not do and I called you on it numerous times over several posts – yet you continue to try and drag me into the mud, at your level, and engage me in some self-flagellation. The only thing you won Cyndi was the own labels you afix to yourself with your off the chart views, childish pricking, and nonsensical rambling. If your self-absorbed enough to feel like you have to always ‘get the last word in’ then keep trying. But understand that my shortcoming in obsessive-compulsive behavior and my own brand of Cyndified argumentative schadenfreude will require me to continually respond to you. So – keep up the work Cyndi – I gots all day. 😉

  35. ‘get the last word in’

    Hello pot, this is kettle!

    I admit I’m guilty of schadenfreude. I’m ejoying watching people like you squirm defending Obama the man and his destructive policies. Its very entertaining to watch. I don’t have to say ‘told you so’ because its becoming plain to see. I also get my childish little thrills winding you up and watching you spin. So let’s play! Your turn Junior!

    😉

  36. Ray Hawkins says:

    Cyndi – you’ve mistaken me politically – a usual tactic from where some who lean and sit on the right – its easy for sure to call anyone who voted for Barack Obama an Obamatron, Sheeple, or whatever clever epithet you can think of. The mistake in that is that no more is everyone to the left all the same as are people to the right. Yes – I am left leaning. Yes – I am liberal, on some issues. I see myself as to the left of center, and I do not have tolerance for extremism to the left anymore than I do for extremism to the right. When a single net is cast it is usually an attempt to paint and pigeonhole people. I am guilty of this from time to time.

    I voted for and support our POTUS – however – I do not give him a free pass on everything nor do I blindly support him. If you’re curious what my opinion is of any particular issue with respect to POTUS just ask politely. What I will get dander up is when I try and dialogue with folks who take pot shots at the guy just because he breathes the same air or folds versus crumpling. The easy thing to do is to just throw one’s hands up in the air and say ‘it’s all going to hell – and I need someone to blame so I blame him’.

    So – you will not make me squirm Cyndi. I have encountered enough people in my life since that summer of 1984 when I moved to little ‘ol Waynesboro, PA with a thick Southern drawl and most everyone I came in contact with accused me of being a Klansman w/o ever having met me or talked to me – it was easy enough that I was different and from the South. I took my share of lumps that Summer (sure is easy to gang up on kid and kick his ass because he’s different) and into the school year (at beautiful East Jr High) – so before you think you’ll make me squirm by assuming too much about me, understand that 1984 taught me a lot – I just become more narrowly focused and deliberate in my actions.

    • USWeapon says:

      For the record I never accused you of being a member of the Klan, lol. The problem was that you went to East. Had you gone to Antietam, you would have encountered the “cultured” members of Waynesboro Junior High School Students. I crack me up.

  37. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Uhh…How about a beer summit in the rose garden…

    (karyn laughs nervously as she makes an attempt to lighten things up)

    • That is too funny, Girl! Probably not a good idea to give me booze, though. If you think I’m an A-hole now, just add alcohol!
      How about nice cold glass of unsweet iced tea?

      🙂

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Now Karyn – us liberals like wine! Haha – actually trying to have a cold one right now – much as I thought having a kid would be hard – an 8 week old that screams for hours straight has frazzled the nerves a wee bit. But I love every minute of it.

      Cheers!

  38. Okay Ray,

    I can respect your point of view. I may have mistaken your politics, but I think you may have done the same to me. I admit I’m a bit right of center, however, a quick way to get my dander up is label me a right wing extremist. So, I propose a truce. Now that we both know how to push each others buttons, why don’t we refrain from doing it to each other. Fair enough?

  39. USWeapon says:

    Ray, I moved down here so that we could continue the conversation and also so it was easier to navigate to (easier to grab the slider on the left and pull all the way to the bottom than to scroll down to find it). I thought that I had answered this particular set of questions but I don’t see it up there so perhaps not.

    USW – the the pants & shirt – I’d only suggest you aren’t quite judging yet as that carries finality – you’re simply assessing and mentally building scenarios if you will on likely possibilities. Just semantics, but sometimes that matters.

    I would agree with what you are saying there. I don’t feel like I am judging them, because regardless of my reservations I will treat the as any other unless they give me something concrete to judge them on. And when it comes to the issue of race, semantics can matter greatly, so I will attempt to remember that.

    First – your response:
    1. That actually is NOT an old comment of yours (at least where I pulled it from – this was a comment made by Cyndi – so unless you are really Cyndi, or Cyndi is you, or one of you has multiple personalities, or – oh nevermind).

    Cyndi and I are definitely not the same person. Unless I really am mentally ill in terms of having multiple personalities, in which case I am unsure if I would know that we are the same person.

    To the original comment:
    “I’m simply pointing out that 95% of black and many whites voted for him BECAUSE of his skin color.”

    2. Let’s at least agree that is an opinion and not fact. There is no data I can locate to support someone passing this off as factual.

    I can absolutely agree on this. It is opinion and not fact. I would not attempt to pass it as factual. If it had been my statement, I would have been presenting it as opinion. Claiming anything other than that would be false.

    3. A key determinant for me was the emphasis used in the word ‘because’ – the word was used to indicate a cause and effect relationship between two thoughts or actions. That is was placed in all caps (”BECAUSE” versus ‘because’) indicates the writer believes the relationship to be primary or singular based on the availability of other relationships. In other words, of two available relationships here:

    95% of black and many whites voted for him BECAUSE of his skin color

    and

    95% of black and many whites voted for him because he likes the White Sox

    the first statement would be seen as the primary cause/effect since the word ‘because’ is placed in all caps. Extending this, wherein the author presents no other potential cause/effect relationships in the posting indicates the likelihood that they believe the relationship to be singular – or – there is no other reason that 95% of blacks and many whites voted for Barack Obama. Since the word ‘because’ was used to indicate cause/effect and since the word was capped, I would conclude that the author intended to convey that there is no other reason, other than skin color, that 95% of blacks and ‘many’ whites voted for Obama.

    Excellent points. To be honest I had not even taken a big notice to the capitalization of the word BECAUSE. I read the statement and thought about what I would have meant in saying it. I was actually relieved to find that I had not actually said that because I usually don’t forget writing things. I didn’t remember saying it, but was assuming that I must have or you wouldn’t have included it. I didn’t consider that you were simply offering examples. Once under the assumption that I must have said it, I thought long and hard about why I would make a comment like that, what could I have been thinking if I made it? The explanation I offered was the only way I could rationally think I would have meant a statement like that.

    4. To your statements of informal polling (talking to friends) – I’d only ask if you dug any deeper into dialogue with these folks. Ask simple follow-up questions like “is there any other reason you voted for him?”. I wasn’t privy to those conversations, but for someone to vote for Obama simply because he is black is like you or I saying we voted for Bush or Kerry because they are white – and that is the only reason we voted as such. It is wrong. I’d ask also whether the same folks voted for an Alan Keyes (or someone similar that is a polar opposite politically of Obama).

    I can honestly say that I almost always dig deeper when discussing these things. Obviously I am not afraid to challenge someone on their political views. I asked those kind of questions. The most I usually got in response was some vague reference to hope and change. That isn’t a knock, but it showed me that they really didn’t understand his political positions. But I will stand, however flimsy the ground, on the fact that it was their admission to me that their motivation was race. One particular person who worked for me was a Republican who quit his job working for me to go work for the Obama campaign. Politically, he was opposed to the entire Democratic platform, but he readily admits he wanted a black man in the White House. He has since contacted me via email to tell me he made a mistake and wishes he hadn’t helped get Obama elected. Granted, this is an extreme example, but a true one. Perhaps I have let it sway my opinion more than I should. That is something I will consider. I can honestly say I never asked any of them if they had voted for Alan Keyes. I know that many of them said this was the first time they had EVER voted. Many told me they felt it was their duty as African Americans to get off their ass and support a black candidate who had a legitimate shot.

    5. I think your notion that the statement is just a good way to explain the shift in historical voting patterns is terribly wrong and I think you know that. To suggest that 95% of blacks and many votes simply tuned everything else (including what was coming out of his mouth) out whenever they saw Obama (thus focusing only on the fact there was a black man in front of them or on TV) is astonishingly shallow coming from a deeper thinker such as you. Even simplistic tests of potential/actual voters could repeat campaign slogans and at least the broader messages put forth by the campaign – you may not have liked the messages from him (I know for the most part you did not) – but this idea that millions of people were just blindly mesmerized by his ‘creamy skin’ (I know – Cyndi’s words and not yours) and nothing else is just asinine.

    I will agree that many of that 15% who switched parties did know some of the basic slogans and thoughts. How could they not? It was EVERYWHERE. I will also agree that it is not fair to say that all of that 15% (the other 80% I assume would always vote Democrat since they did in the past as well) did so only based on the color of his skin. However when Howard Stern can go into Harlem and ask registered voters who his running mate was and they think it was Palin and they cannot tell the person interviewing them whether a stated platform is Obama’s or McCain’s, I think it is fair to suggest that there were a fair amount of people who actually did vote for him based on skin color. Perhaps I was wrong to equate the entire 15% of change in voting patterns to race, but I think it is equally wrong for you to assign NONE of it to race.

    And for the record I did like a lot of the things that he was saying during the campaign. I just didn’t believe that he actually was going to do them. Time, thus far, has proven me right in that he has not lived up to his promises. But I do allow that it has only been 6 months. So I attack what he does that I don’t like right now. And will give him credit when I think he does things right. Whether you believe it or not, I really don’t care which side of the aisle a candidate comes from. I care what their policies are. I agreed with some things he said, disagreed with others. I didn’t vote for him because I didn’t trust him and because the issues I agreed with McCain on were more important to me personally. But I watched every debate with and open mind and really listened to the responses. I went into the election wanting to make the right choice, not the partisan one. In hindsight, I am thus far not convinced that either one was the right choice. But he has 3.5 years to prove me wrong.

    Conclusion – the statement makes a determination of judgment based on skin color, and by your definition and my analysis is racist.
    PS – compare thus your assertions regarding Skip Gates with your adamant view regarding whether the aforementioned is racist or not – apply your own same logic and see if you get the same result. You cannot simultaneously sit on both sides of the teeter-totter USW.

    I can see where you reach that conclusion based on your argument. That doesn’t mean it was meant to be racist. I cannot say since I was apparently not the one who made it. But I can see your points.

    • USW,

      I’d like to explain how I got to my belief that Obama was elected primarily on account of his race. First, a poll of friends and aquaintances gave me that impresssion. With comments like “He’s one of us!” and “Its about time we had a black president”, what am I to think? I even asked the follow up question of what do you like about him and his policies? The response from a black person was something to the effect of white people will never vote for a black man. Huh? Of white supporters, I got the standard “he’ll give us hope and change”. I had no idea we were so hopeless as a people . Apparently we are, since a guy who ran mostly on hope, change and vague promises is now in office.

      Second reason I suspect Obama is in office mostly on account of his skin color. Hillary’s promises and vision were not substantially different, at least so far as I can tell. Every lib in the country was all about Hilliary until Obama delcared his candidacy. So a guy with a resume the size of a small post-it note throws his hat in ring, his platform is almost the same as the long time favorite, and all of a sudden he’s The One. If the policies between the candidates are pretty much the same, why the sudden change of heart? I still can’t come up with any other reason than race. Well, maybe one. Did all those libs suddenly decide they don’t like women in power? So, if the two I’ve come up with are out of the question, what’s another one? Please let explain it to me if you have one. I’d like to know.

      Third reason why suspect Obama was elected primarily for his skin color. Any white person who was planning to vote for MCain was, out of hand, usaully accused of being a racist. As a McCain voter (as opposed to actual supporter), I wasn’t allowed to explain my opposition to Obama. I was called a racist, and basically told to shut up. So if it stands to reason that someone who is against obama is a racist, why is it so hard to conclude that someone who is for Obama is also a racist, just in the other direction? Then, there’s the fact that race is still coming up. I thought a black president was our proof that race is not an issue, and yet, here we are. Any white person who is opposed to what Obama is doing is called a racist and told to shut up, or leave the country if you don’t like what Obama is doing. So what am I to think USW?

      Now for the creamy adjective I used one time. I’m beginning think I touched a nerve. That one comment has been brought up about half a dozen times, mostly by Ray, but also by you. If it was considered a meaningless, one time, and off the cuff remark, made by an obviously stupid and racist individual, why does it keep coming up? As for describing someone’s skin color, is that a racist trait? I used to read those trashy romance novels, and it was not uncommon for the writer to describe a character’s skin. Skin was sometimes compared to milk, chocolate, porcelean, cream, etc. A few years ago, I submitted my now ex-husband to the Mr Romance Contest, sponsored by Romantic Times Magazine. Out of literally thousands of submissions, he was selected to compete based on the write up I submitted. My point, I tend to write in a fashion that gets people’s attention. I use descriptive terms to create an impression. I don’t feel that’s indicative of racist thoughts. The only problem I have with being labled a racist, isn’t one of be concerned that someone won’t like me. I’ve never been one to bend over a kiss a behind just because it presents itself for the honor. My issue, is that charges of racism are the universal excuse used to avoid examining the other person’s viewpoint. Notice is say person, and NOT opponent. Charges of racism are an in your face tactic, right out of Rules for Radicals manual, that are used to shut down the discussion and claim victory. IMO, this is a serious problem for our country. We need to address not only racism, which I don’t believe to be the real problem, but how the charges of racism are being used to shut down discussion.

      I hope you don’t think I’m being contentious with you. That’s not my objective. I enjoy visitng this site and am grateful you allow me to contribute. If I come across strongly, its more a matter of my writing style than anything else. I’m not easly swayed in my views, but that doesn’t mean I don’t consider other people’s ideas and points of view. I’ve actaully started to modify my position on abortion thanks to a post made on this site. So I’m not entirely bull headed. 🙂

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Thanks for your response on this USW – your note about the worker who quit gave me a good chuckle.

  40. USWeapon says:

    USW – as to the second statement:

    “OF COURSE black men say they were stopped only because of their skin color. Hell half of the blacks in this country seem to believe that everything negative that happens to them is race related.”

    I read your response (several times actually). I think that taken out of context it can certainly be construed as a racist statement – but more likely it was just a poorly written statement. When you place emphasis on the statement by capitalizing “Of course” – you are implying that in so far as the mental state of any given black man – he has no other choice when stopped other than to think it was being done because he is black. Your explanation makes sense – but offers that you do not think all black men feel this way versus some.

    I appreciate your insight on the perception of what was apparently a poorly written statement by me. And I further appreciate that my response to your questions sufficiently shows that I did not mean it as a judgement of race, but merely an observation of a portion of the people that I have talked to.

    I’d again ask you to re-read your cut-outs regarding Gates and apply the same contextual setting you offered me. Does your conclusion still seem as solid or slightly less so?

    I really will do this. I am trying to make sure when I have a moment I come back to this conversation and answer your questions because I want to understand your point of view and understand the argument better. I WILL answer the other part of your reponses as promised. I have just been finding time tough to come by these last couple of days.

  41. Ray Hawkins says:

    Ray Hawkins said

    July 29, 2009 at 10:37 pm e
    USW – now – Gates as a racist? Well – I’m not ready to say yes or no – I read your post with interest because I wanted to see whether Gates is one thing on the outside and something else on the inside.

    First off, I think you are wrong in passing all the examples off as facts. It is not clear that those ‘things’ are facts or more scuttlebutt.

    “Gates is a racist in my opinion and there are several reasons why I feel that way. When initially told that Crowley was investigating a report of a possible break in at the property, Gates immediate response was “why? because I am black”. He immediately assumed that because the officer was white, he was a racist (making a judgment based on skin color). On top of this I searched last week for more information on Gates as I prepared to write an article on this subject and decided against it. Some of the things I found:

    RH Response: Not sure there is a free pass here – I’m not so sure he was assuming Crowley to be racist was he? Or was he more so overreacting to the process or police in general (and given a history of racism in his own family)? I dunno.

    “In an interview given last week: “If I had been white this incident never would have happened. He would have asked at the door, “Excuse me, are you okay? Because there are two black men around here try’na rob you [laughter] and I think he also violated the rules by not giving his name and badge number, and I think he would have given that to one of my white colleagues or one of my white neighbors. So race definitely played a role.”

    RH Response: Here is a more complete text of the quote (from the Daily Beast):

    (Question posed to Gates) So you do think this was reduced to race? You do think this was purely racially motivated—that when he came into your home uninvited and didn’t read you your Miranda rights and he didn’t follow procedure?

    “No, when I was arrested I was not read my Miranda rights. I clearly was arrested as a vindictive act, an act of spite. I think Sgt. Crowley was angry that I didn’t follow his initial orders—his demand—his order—to step outside my house because I was protected as long as I was in the house because he didn’t have a warrant. I think what he really wanted to do was throw me down and put handcuffs on me because he was terrified that I could be dangerous to him and that I was causing violence in my own home—though obviously he didn’t know it was my home.

    If I had been white this incident never would have happened. He would have asked at the door, “Excuse me, are you okay? Because there are two black men around here try’na rob you [laughter] and I think he also violated the rules by not giving his name and badge number, and I think he would have given that to one of my white colleagues or one of my white neighbors. So race definitely played a role. Whether he’s an individual racist? I don’t know—I don’t know him. But I think he stereotyped me.

    And that’s what racial profiling is all about. I was cast by him in a narrative and he didn’t know how to get out of it, and then when I demanded—which I did—his name and badge number, I think he just got really angry. And he knew that he had to give me that, and his police report lies and says he gave it to me. If he had done that I would have simply taken it down and wrote a report! I was definitely going to file a report, now—just not as big as the one I’m about to file!

    RH Response: Here is where I take a hard turn at Gates – assuming this quote is complete and accurate he would need to explain to me his statements. Now – if I use your definition, which is overly broad (oddly a far left tactic), I might say that Gates’ statements in this example are racist. However, it is my belief that the test further include determination as to whether or not the supposed racial difference (here it would be black (Gates) over white (Crowley)) produces an inherent advantage or superiority for Gates over Crowley. That is clearly not the case here – Gates still ended up in handcuffs and his own, albeit ignorant, statements indicate his own perception of an inequity for him in the relationship. Therefore, I would not use this example to support that Gates is racist.

    “While a student at Yale, Gates wrote the following on his application to Yale: “As always, whitey now sits in judgment of me, preparing to cast my fate. It is your decision either to let me blow with the wind as a nonentity or to encourage the development of self. Allow me to prove myself.”

    RH Response: I cannot find anything that corroborates this actually occurred. Where did you find this?

    “In 1994 he discussed Malcom X’s racism: …”[I]n 1959 we were watching Mike Wallace’s documentary called “The Hate that Hate Produced.” It was about the Nation of Islam and I couldn’t believe — I mean, Malcolm X was talking about the white man was the devil and standing up in white people’s faces and telling them off. It was great.”

    RH Response: This is another example of where, upon searching, I could find no where that provides the entire context of the story and why he would have said such a thing. I’d encourage you to read the following which shines some dubious light on this. http://mediamatters.org/research/200907280047

    “In 1996 at a speech in a forum he co-hosted with Cornel West, he stated: The only reason we have so many people doing so well – the only reason – is because of …the civil rights movement and its child affirmative action. Without affirmative action we would never have been able to integrate racist historically white institutions in society. And to me, the first issue we have to address is how to protect, defend, and expand affirmative action.

    …because of racism I never would have been allowed to compete on a more or less level terrain with white boys and white girls. And for me, for someone who has benefited so much from the opportunities from affirmative action, to stand at the gate and try to keep other black people out, would to me to be as hypocritical as Clarence Thomas.”

    RH Response: This statement is far more compelling to me – I am not sure it crosses the line to make him a racist – he is not judging other people based on skin color – he is advocating a flawed process that sought to even the field and went past its time. His comments are more dumb than racist.

    “Another incident: This past March 29th, Professor Henry Louis Gates was being interviewed in front of a small group by Walter Isaacson on C-SPAN’s Book TV. Thirty-three minutes into the discussion about his new book on Lincoln, Professor Gates began a detailed account of his own genealogy. He said that in doing so he had discovered he was about “50% white”. He said that this was quote, “To my astonishment and horror…”.

    He continued by saying that he had subsequently sent his DNA off to be tested. This time, upon finding out he was “57% white”, he said again, “to my horror …. I was becoming more white by the minute”.”

    RH Response: I searched diligently and could not find a proper attribution for this statement. Every link I followed conveniently cuts out portions of the statement. That makes me nuts. It makes real tough to understand context of the statement when big chunks of it are missing. He could have been serious, he could have been joking. I don’t know w/o seeing/hearing the complete statement rather than pieces of it.

    Couple the above with reading some exerts from his book and watching his interviews have left me with the distinct impression that he allows race to permeate every thought that he has. Race is the determining factor in every though in his head. That is the definition of being a racist in my mind.

    RH Response: Which book? I think you may confuse his own personal story, history and teachings with some ignorant statements or acts. I do not believe him to be a racist based solely upon what was discussed herein.

    Thanks and look forward to your response.

    • USWeapon says:

      I brought your comment down here so I could keep them all at the bottom. With this particular one, it is long. It was daunting to think when I started trying to respond I was going to have to answer ALL of it at once. As a result I was unable to find the will to begin! So I will answer it piece by piece as I find moments to do so.

    • USWeapon says:

      “Gates is a racist in my opinion and there are several reasons why I feel that way. When initially told that Crowley was investigating a report of a possible break in at the property, Gates immediate response was “why? because I am black”. He immediately assumed that because the officer was white, he was a racist (making a judgment based on skin color). On top of this I searched last week for more information on Gates as I prepared to write an article on this subject and decided against it. Some of the things I found:

      RH Response: Not sure there is a free pass here – I’m not so sure he was assuming Crowley to be racist was he? Or was he more so overreacting to the process or police in general (and given a history of racism in his own family)? I dunno.

      I saw an interview where he said that he was afraid because the officer was “big, white, and had a gun”. According to this Globe article : http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/obama-tries-to-defuse-racism-controversy/article1230910/

      Prof. Gates, 58, similarly respected as a scholar, has protested in numerous interviews that police, after showing up to investigate a report of a break-in, singled him out for harsh treatment because he’s black. He said they refused to believe his claim to being the home’s resident. And he has vowed to turn the incident into a rallying cry against police mistreatment of blacks.

      Additionally, according to the police reports, Gates accused police officers at the scene of being racist. According to those same police reports, Gates also repeatedly yelled, “This is what happens to black men in America.”

      I think that given his words and actions on the scene of the incident, it is clear that his belief was that Crowley was doing this because he is black, thus believing that Crowley is a racist (Because being a racist is the only reason Gates would think Crowley would take an action against him because of his skin color. So for example #1, I think I have this accurate. Gates was racist when the actions he took were directly because of HIS belief about white cops.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        I only dispute that base on my definition (and largely from wiki) – Gates’ view would not have provided him advantage/power over the police officer as a result of skin color. I think the opposite is true. Maybe such statements are just dumb rather than racist.

    • USWeapon says:

      “In an interview given last week: “If I had been white this incident never would have happened. He would have asked at the door, “Excuse me, are you okay? Because there are two black men around here try’na rob you [laughter] and I think he also violated the rules by not giving his name and badge number, and I think he would have given that to one of my white colleagues or one of my white neighbors. So race definitely played a role.”

      RH Response: Here is a more complete text of the quote (from the Daily Beast):

      (Question posed to Gates) So you do think this was reduced to race? You do think this was purely racially motivated—that when he came into your home uninvited and didn’t read you your Miranda rights and he didn’t follow procedure?

      “No, when I was arrested I was not read my Miranda rights. I clearly was arrested as a vindictive act, an act of spite. I think Sgt. Crowley was angry that I didn’t follow his initial orders—his demand—his order—to step outside my house because I was protected as long as I was in the house because he didn’t have a warrant. I think what he really wanted to do was throw me down and put handcuffs on me because he was terrified that I could be dangerous to him and that I was causing violence in my own home—though obviously he didn’t know it was my home.

      If I had been white this incident never would have happened. He would have asked at the door, “Excuse me, are you okay? Because there are two black men around here try’na rob you [laughter] and I think he also violated the rules by not giving his name and badge number, and I think he would have given that to one of my white colleagues or one of my white neighbors. So race definitely played a role. Whether he’s an individual racist? I don’t know—I don’t know him. But I think he stereotyped me.

      And that’s what racial profiling is all about. I was cast by him in a narrative and he didn’t know how to get out of it, and then when I demanded—which I did—his name and badge number, I think he just got really angry. And he knew that he had to give me that, and his police report lies and says he gave it to me. If he had done that I would have simply taken it down and wrote a report! I was definitely going to file a report, now—just not as big as the one I’m about to file!

      RH Response: Here is where I take a hard turn at Gates – assuming this quote is complete and accurate he would need to explain to me his statements. Now – if I use your definition, which is overly broad (oddly a far left tactic), I might say that Gates’ statements in this example are racist. However, it is my belief that the test further include determination as to whether or not the supposed racial difference (here it would be black (Gates) over white (Crowley)) produces an inherent advantage or superiority for Gates over Crowley. That is clearly not the case here – Gates still ended up in handcuffs and his own, albeit ignorant, statements indicate his own perception of an inequity for him in the relationship. Therefore, I would not use this example to support that Gates is racist.

      I imagine that we will have to agree to disagree here. Because I wholeheartedly disagree with your belief ” that the test further include determination as to whether or not the supposed racial difference (here it would be black (Gates) over white (Crowley)) produces an inherent advantage or superiority for Gates over Crowley. I am unsure of where this notion comes from, if I am reading your statement right. Since when does racism have anything to do with superiority, advantage or anything of the like? I will always scoff at this notion. The same people who scream racist at anyone who says something about Obama will say that advantage or superiority are needed. Under that assumption, no matter what ANYONE says, not matter how horrible, nothing makes them racist. They certainly don’t have any power over the President. Racism involves unfair judgement of someone’s traits based on their race. The poorest man in America can be racist. So can the richest man in America.

      I can understand this argument when we instead say discrimination, because to discriminate you have to have the power to grant or deny something to someone. THEN advantage plays a role, but not when discussing racism.

  42. Black Flag says:

    I’d like to read Chris’ comments on this Health Care Bill

    Pg 22 of the HC Bill mandates the Government will audit books of all employers that self insure. Can you imagine what that will do to small businesses? Every one will abandon “self insurance” and go on Government insurance. So when Obama says that there will still be private health care, it’s simply a lie: this mandate will force employers to abandon their private plans.

    Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill – a Government committee will decide what treatments/benefits a person may receive.

    Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill – YOUR HEALTHCARE WILL BE RATIONED! (We all knew this, because health care is rationed in Canada and Britain, but Obama kept saying it would not be).

    Pg 42 of HC Bill – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you. You will have no choice!

    PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill – HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise.

    Pg 58 HC Bill – Government will have real-time access to individual’s finances and a National ID Healthcard will be issued!

    Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Government will have direct access to your bank accts for electronic funds transfer

    PG 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions & community organizations (read: ACORN).

    Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Government will create an HC Exchange to bring private HC plans under Government control.

    PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill – Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the Exchange.

    PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specifics of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Government will ration your Healthcare!

    PG 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill – Government mandates linguistic appropriate services. Example – Translation for illegal aliens.

    Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Government will use groups, i.e. ACORN & Americorps, to sign up individuals for Government HC plan.

    PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specifics of Benefit Levels for Plans. AARP members – your Health care WILL be rationed.

    -PG 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill – Medicaid Eligible Individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice.

    pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue Government on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Government Monopoly.

    pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill – Doctors/ AMA – The Government will tell YOU what you can earn.

    Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public option plan. NO CHOICE.

    Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for HC for part time employees AND their families.

    Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Employer with payroll $400k & above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all payroll.

    pg 150 Lines 9-13 Businesses with payroll between $251k & $400k who don’t provide public option pay 2-6% tax on all payroll.

    Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable HC according to Government will be taxed 2.5% of income.

    Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay.)

    Pg 195 HC Bill -officers & employees of HC Admin (the GOVERNMENT) will have access to ALL Americans’ finances and personal records.

    PG 203 Line 14-15 HC – “,The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax” Yes, it says that.

    Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected.

    Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill – Doctors – doesn’t matter what specialty – will all be paid the same.

    PG 253 Line 10-18 Government sets value of Doctor’s time, professional judgment, etc. Literally, value of humans.

    PG 265 Sec 1131Government mandates & controls productivity for private HC industries.

    PG 268 Sec 1141 Federal Government regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs.

    PG 272 SEC. 1145. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!

    Page 280 Sec 1151 The Government will penalize hospitals for what Government deems preventable readmissions.

    Pg 298 Lines 9-11 Doctors who treat a patient during initial admission that results in a readmission – Government will penalize you.

    Pg 317 L 13-20 OMG!! PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Government tells Doctors what/how much they can own.

    Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion – Government will mandate hospitals cannot expand.

    pg 321 2-13 Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input required. Can u say ACORN?!

    Pg335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339 – Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures which of course forces health care rationing.

    Pg 341 Lines 3-9 Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Adv Plans, HMOs, etc., forcing people into Government plan.

    Pg 354 Sec 1177 – Government will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs people!

    Pg 379 Sec 1191 Government creates more bureaucracy – Telehealth Advisory Committee. HC by phone.

    PG 425 Lines 4-12 Government mandates Advance Care Planning Consultations. Think Senior Citizens end of life prodding.

    Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Government will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney. Mandatory!

    PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Government provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in how to die.

    PG 427 Lines 15-24 Government mandates program for orders for end of life. The Government has a say in how your life ends.

    Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An “advanced care planning consultant” will be used frequently as patients’ health deteriorates.

    PG 429 Lines 10-12 “advanced care consultation” may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from the Government to end a life!

    Pg 429 Lines 13-25 – The Government will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.

    PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life.

    Pg 469 – Community Based Home Medical Services/Non profit orgs. (ACORN Medical Services here?)

    Page 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATION. 1 monthly payment to a community-based organization. (Like ACORN?)

    PG 489 Sec 1308 The Government will cover Marriage & Family therapy. Which means they will insert Government into our marriages.

    Pg 494-498 Government will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, rationing those services. You’d better speak up now before you are on the “advanced care consultation” list.

    • Me too. I am working on the articles covering health care right now! Great list you came up with.

  43. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Good Morning all,

    This past week, there was a great deal of “racism” debates flying around.

    Here is a video that in my opinion shows how common and acceptable “reverse racism” has become in our great country.

    http://www.pjtv.com/v/2270

    I don’t post this video to be inflammatory, but I do think it does show that reverse racism (i.e. racism towards caucasians) is very much alive.

    In my opinion, racism (hatred, not a person’s preferences) is not good towards anyone.

    I wish everyone a wonderful day!

    Regards,
    RS

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Sorry…Left out that this was done by PajamasTV which is a conservative site.

    • Hi RS,

      Are you sure about that link? It doesn’t seem to be work. Of course, the problem could be an issue on my end. We usually have problems with video. Is there a transcript?

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Hi Cyndi!

        Hmmm…

        Try this. Go to http://www.pjtv.com. Click the link at the top for “Bill Whittle” (he’s one of the pundits).

        Once his page dipslays, page down (not far) and look for the video titled, “BizarroBurner: Where Black is White and Racists Don’t Get a Pass”. It is about 8 minutes long.

        Hope this helps, let me know if it doesn’t.

        Best Regards,
        RS

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          ooops…didn’t answer your transcript question…I do not see a transcript at the site.

  44. RS,

    The webpage won’t even display. Its probably something on my end. I’ll try again this evening when I get home. Thanks for responding. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who sees it. I’m less likely to get Baker Act’ed.

    🙂

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