Tuesday Night Open Mic for August 18, 2009

Open Mic 1As we breeze through another week of fun and politics, we reach tuesday night open mic once again. Its been an interesting week thus far, with the far left taking a shot at me, a new dog in my household (which in day one has been a lot of work), and a return to work coming that I am not looking forward to. But tonight is easy. Open mic is always a nice break for me. Although, as you have all noticed, I have taken a few nights off here and there. Good for the sanity (and the marriage I might add!). I appreciate all the health care questions you guys submitted as we trek towards the upcoming series. I was surprised to see so much that people wanted to know. I will do my best to not let you down. As for tonight, the topics I have to offer include a fraudulent campaign by the Clean Coal Coalition, Charges pending in the Obama as Joker posters, and weapons being brought to Presidential Town Hall meetings….

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Comments

  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    From an article on the Huffington Post:

    Five More Forged Letters Uncovered From Bonner & Associates’ Work for DC Coal Lobby

    Five new forged letters fraudulently sent to Congressmembers have turned up in an ongoing Congressional investigation into the Astroturf campaign launched by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) and it subcontractor Bonner & Associates.

    The newly confirmed forgeries were sent to at least three Congressmembers and all fraudulently claimed to represent the views of elderly services organizations and senior centers, including the non-profit Erie Center on Health & Aging.

    A total of 13 letters from nine different community groups have now been verified as forgeries, with dozens more letters still being vetted to determine if they were forged by Bonner & Associates, or actually represented the views of the named signers.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-grandia/five-more-forged-letters_b_262496.html

    Personally I find this reprehensible behavior, but I have unfortunately become a bit numb to the stupid games that the reight and the left play in the world of politics. Every conservative who has an opinion is accused of being astro or in the pocket of a big corporation. And this idiotic move by some PR firm in DC did nothing but give the far left something to whine about and give Senator Markey something to do with his time.

    The most idiotic part of this? the PR firm thought the best way to get Congress members to vote against the bill, was to send letters to congress members urging them to do so. As if members of Congress give two shits what the people they work for think. If you are going to deface your firm by committing fraud, at least do it in an area that you can impact. A letter to a Congress member? I wonder if they got the neat form letter sent back to them….

    Just to add to the hilarity of what I read there, they included this quote from Chairman Markey:

    “Weve seen fear-mongering with our nations senior citizens with health care, and now were seeing fraud-mongering with senior citizens on clean energy,” said Chairman Markey. “Lately, democratic debate has been deceptively debased by fake facts and harsh rhetoric. We must return to an honest discussion of the issues, and ensure that this sort of campaign does not further poison the well of trustworthy debate.”

    Yes we have seen fear mongering by both sides, not just one. Except fear mongering on the left won the White House, the Congress, and got billions of tax dollars sent to corporate folks who line Congress’s pockets. The last sentence was the best though. honest discussion of the issues? trustworthy debate? Since when does anyone in DC have any clue what those words even mean. Markey, you get my stupid statement of the week award.

    • I think our non-representatives are so narcissistic that they think we’re going to believe whatever BS they throw out there.

      Hope that Hurricane Bill stays away from NC.

  2. USWeapon Topic #2

    From an article on Fox News:

    Felony Vandalism Charges Possible in Obama Joker Poster Case

    A Florida teenager could face felony vandalism charges for allegedly gluing posters depicting President Obama as the Joker onto public property, FOXNews.com has learned.

    Clermont, Fla., Police Capt. Eric Jensen said the state attorney will review evidence to determine whether to charge the unidentified teenager with gluing “dozens” of the posters last week to the city’s light poles, public and private buildings, bridge overpasses, road signs and a mailbox.

    Jensen said damage to city property exceeded $800, and it cost roughly $200 to remove the adhesive that was used to affix the poster to the mailbox.

    “If he hadn’t glued them, we wouldn’t be having this discussion,” Jensen told FOXNews.com. “[The adhesive] didn’t come off the road signs.”

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/18/felony-vandalism-charges-mulled-obama-joker-poster-case/

    I have to say that this is just dumb. Let me say up front that this kid should be forced to pay for whatever is needed to undo any damage that he did in putting up the posters. Vandalism is vandalism, no matter how funny. But federal felony charges? C’mon….

    First, I have no problem with the posters themselves. The content is not the reason. I believe that Obama does lean towards socialism, or more accurately Marxism, in his beliefs. That doesn’t make it a conspiracy, just an observation of what I think his core beliefs are. But the fact that they attack Obama isn’t what makes me OK with them. I am OK with them because there is nothing wrong with free speech ending up showing up in this form. There is far more hateful and dishonest stuff out there. For example, that doctored picture that appeared to show Palin in a bikini with a gun did far more damage. I didn’t see any charges or outrage with that. And there were plenty of posters from the left depicting Bush as a Fascist during the liberal psychological breakdowns of the last 6 years of his Presidency (cause let’s face it, the left’s unadulterated hate for Bush was every bit as bad as anything we are seeing with Obama, perhaps worse).

    The sheriff said if he hadn’t glued them we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Bullshit sheriff. I throw the shenanigans flag and assess a 10 yard penalty. This is politically motivated. If it wasn’t we would not be seeing possible felony charges. We would be seeing a fine and nothing more than the offender being forced to pay for repairs.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi USW,

      Agreed…Vandalism is Vandalism…

      It does not matter the content of the posters. How many of you have seen hundreds of posters put up on signposts for Bands, for Yard Sales, for Childcare, For Buying Ugly Houses??? I haven’t heard of those folks being charged locally, at state, much less FEDERAL level. Ridiculous!

      Best Regards,
      RS

    • I agree that the possible felony charges are BS. As far as I know the cost to fix the vandalism is what usually drives the punishment. For example in my area someone in the last year was charged with a felony for approximately $60,000 worth of damage from tagging over 5 years. There is a big difference between that and $1000. Sounds like it should be community service and a fine.

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Hi Naten,

        Even then, it should be at the “state” level, not federal. Do you know if the example you gave was at the “State” level?

        As both you and US Weapon states…this is BS (Bulldookey) and is most definately policially motivated because of the “Federal” charges being considered…

        Best Regards,
        RS

        • I don’t know if it was at the state or county level. I will try to look it up.

          • Couldn’t tell what level he was prosecuted at but searching for his name, “Ian Debeer” you can find many article that deal with it.

            From one article, “The graffiti task force alleges that Debeer caused approximately $212,000 in damages in Pittsburgh.”

            The $60,000 I said was actually described in another article as being $65,000 to city property. The rest is private and railroad.

            • The funny part of this article is the guy from Home Depot saying a bottle of Goo Gone would have stripped the glue off with a little rubbing. Thats what should be done, hand the kid some Goo Gone and bag of rags and send him on his way to clean.

              Federal charges are just stupid. Or is this a part of the awesome Stimulous Package rammed down our throats? Are the Feds paying to repaint mailboxes and light poles in LA to stimulate the economy there? I highly doubt it but then some of the other crap was just as lame.

        • You are right, the damages should be paid for and maybe some community services to teach a lesson for hurting public property. But Federal charges? Please lets be real. Where is the BS flag on this one.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          RS – re-read the article – they are NOT considering Federal charges – USW made that up.

          • This from the article….

            “U.S. Postal Inspector Ed Moffitt said Clermont Postmaster Willie Montgomery contacted his office to investigate the case following the discovery of the posters on Aug. 11. Defacing federal property, including a mailbox, is a violation of Title 18 of U.S. Code, Moffitt said, but federal authorities decided the case “does not meet their guidelines,” since the damage did not exceed $1,000.”

            Wonder what would have happened if the damages exceed $1,000?

            I think about 40 hours on road side chain gangs policing and painting over graffiti would be nice.

          • Ray,

            As D13 pointed out, you need to re-read the article. The part he added was there, and they did in fact consider federal charges and decided against it. If you will read my comments more closely I was opining that federal charges were a ridiculous consideration. Later when I mentioned what he is actually facing, the term I used was felony, not federal.

            I made nothing up, you should pay better attention before you accuse me of “making something up”.

            USW

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              USW – you should know by now that I read left to right and look at context of what you are writing:

              “I have to say that this is just dumb. Let me say up front that this kid should be forced to pay for whatever is needed to undo any damage that he did in putting up the posters. Vandalism is vandalism, no matter how funny. But federal felony charges? C’mon….”

              By including the partial sentence “But federal felony charges” as tailing the preceding you are insinuating that federal felony charges are THE not A POSSIBLE outcome of the incident.

      • I am not so sure this is Politicaly motivated Spitfire.

        It is stupid and I think reflects the mind set of many of our law enforcment types, primarily the lawyers (prosecuters).

        They, which reflect WE, have lost any common sense.

        In the day, the sherrif brings the kid home to Mom and Dad.

        Next day the kid buys the solvent and begins removing all the posters and cleaning off the glue.

        When done the sheriff says, “well OK, I hope you have learned your lesson”. “Nuff said?”

        Kid says “Yes sir”.

        End of story, no media, no grand expense, lesson learned and carried into life.

        What we see here is the net effect of an ever encroaching govt on the lives of a free people.
        It manifests itself in small ways, not just large. The loss of common sense is tied to our loss of responsibility which is tied to someone making decisions for us. The more we allow them to take over the day to day the more those who have the power will exercise it as they deem fit. Because we don’t have the time nor inclination to be bothered.

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Hi JAC,

          As usual, you bring up good points…Yes, in our day…it was handled in the appropriate way where a life lesson was taught.

          Isn’t it strange that the Non-PC way is really the correct way and the PC way is really the wrong way. I can assure you that had I done that, I would have sore arms and blistered hands (from the cleaning) and a blistered @ss (from the whooping). Today, I would be taken away from my parents and placed into Foster Care for the cleaning and @ss-whooping.

          But, I do still think this is politically motivated…”Federal” charges, not “State” tell me that it is political…”We’ll teach that rotten little brat (and others) to not have free speech about the President”.

          I guarantee you had it been a picture of ANYONE else other than BO, “State” or “Local” charges (depending on $ damages) would be set against the rotten lil brat!

          Just my opinion for what it is worth!

          Best regards,
          RS

          • even further….in my day my dad would have blistered my butt and it would never have happened again.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Except in some cases nowadays little junior is packing heat and will think nothing of doing something stupid – not worth the risk.

    • But this is POTUS we’re speaking of and I’m certain the death penalty is not off the table but being rewritten in crayon.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Alan – that’s funny – glad to see you have a sense of humor, else I’d have to think you were completely nuts.

        • Completely nuts… never! A taste of maple syrup with a somewhat nutty finish… most certainly.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      More lies and distortion from USW – please re-read the article you yourself linked to: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/18/felony-vandalism-charges-mulled-obama-joker-poster-case/

      1. To your charge of “federal felony charges” ~

      From the cited article: “U.S. Postal Inspector Ed Moffitt said Clermont Postmaster Willie Montgomery contacted his office to investigate the case following the discovery of the posters on Aug. 11. Defacing federal property, including a mailbox, is a violation of Title 18 of U.S. Code, Moffitt said, but federal authorities decided the case “does not meet their guidelines,” since the damage did not exceed $1,000.”

      Conclusion:
      The Truth = 1
      USW = 0

      On Sarah Palin ~

      2. From USW: “For example, that doctored picture that appeared to show Palin in a bikini with a gun did far more damage. I didn’t see any charges or outrage with that.”

      Okay – so you have no issue with “content” when it comes to the Obama picture but you do with Sarah Palin huh? Its okay because your gut tells you that Obama is Socialist/Marxist anyway while Sarah Palin obviously favors 2nd amendment and has likely wore a bikini at some point in her life (perhaps her soft porn, er, beauty pageant days)? I throw the flag on you sir.

      Conclusion:
      The Truth = 2
      USW = 0

      3. From USW: “The sheriff said if he hadn’t glued them we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Bullshit sheriff. I throw the shenanigans flag and assess a 10 yard penalty. This is politically motivated. If it wasn’t we would not be seeing possible felony charges. We would be seeing a fine and nothing more than the offender being forced to pay for repairs.”

      Huh? Your conclusion is what we in IT refer to as vaporware. The political motivation was the a-hole posting the signs. It was a crime regardless it it were an Obama cartoon or a Nailin’ Palin DVD cover.

      Conclusion:
      The Truth = 3
      USW = 0

      • In a way this is kind of funny…because US Postal Service says “tampering with or destroying a mail box is a federal offense.” So I can imagine they could have pressed charges for tampering even if there were no damage.

      • When cryptic posters portraying President Obama as the Joker from “Batman” began popping up around Los Angeles and other cities, the question many asked was, Who is behind the image?

        Was it an ultra-conservative grassroots group or a disgruntled street artist going against the grain?

        Nope, it turns out, just a 20-year-old college student from Chicago.

        Bored during his winter school break, Firas Alkhateeb,

        http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/08/obama-joker-artist.html

        • I’ll have to dig up who it was but one blog tried floating Glen Beck as being behind the dastardly deed.

      • Alrighty Ray,

        Obviously someone peed in your wheaties this morning and scrambled your brain so that you lost the ability to be logical or make coherent sense.

        More lies and distortion from USW – please re-read the article you yourself linked to:

        I did. Please re-read what I wrote before you open mouth and insert foot again. And where do you get off calling me a liar? Quite an unfair accusation. You simply don’t like my truths, but you take a step further when you call me a liar. I am slightly hurt and very disappointed that you would say such about me.

        1. To your charge of “federal felony charges” ~

        So the Clermont postmaster considered it a federal offense, and the the law says it was an offense. It was considered and rejected. But considered none-the-less. What I wrote was: I have to say that this is just dumb. Let me say up front that this kid should be forced to pay for whatever is needed to undo any damage that he did in putting up the posters. Vandalism is vandalism, no matter how funny. But federal felony charges? C’mon….

        Where in there did I say they were still considering federal charges? Later when I addressed what he is still facing, I clearly said felony and left the federal out of it for a reason. What I did was intentionally be very specific in not adding federal to what was still being considered. What you did was attempt to read what you wanted into what I read and use it to discredit me.

        USW=1
        RH=0

        On Sarah Palin ~ Okay – so you have no issue with “content” when it comes to the Obama picture but you do with Sarah Palin huh? Its okay because your gut tells you that Obama is Socialist/Marxist anyway while Sarah Palin obviously favors 2nd amendment and has likely wore a bikini at some point in her life (perhaps her soft porn, er, beauty pageant days)? I throw the flag on you sir.

        And where did I say I was NOT ok with the Palin content? What I said was that it did more damage and there was no outrage or charges as a result. Both statements are true whether you like them or not. On the contrary, I now use that picture of Palin as satire regularly because I think it is quite funny. Again, you read into what I wrote what you wanted to see there. Stick to what I say, not what you want to see. I saw both as free speech. I see one being punished and the other not. Nothing more, nothing less.

        USW=2
        RH=0

        3. From USW: “The sheriff said if he hadn’t glued them we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Bullshit sheriff. I throw the shenanigans flag and assess a 10 yard penalty. This is politically motivated. If it wasn’t we would not be seeing possible felony charges. We would be seeing a fine and nothing more than the offender being forced to pay for repairs.”

        Huh? Your conclusion is what we in IT refer to as vaporware. The political motivation was the a-hole posting the signs. It was a crime regardless it it were an Obama cartoon or a Nailin’ Palin DVD cover.

        Your conclusion is what we in the real world refer to as wishful thinking. Vandalism it was and as I said, punishment for such is something I support. Had this not been political, he wouldn’t be facing felony charges, he would be facing misdemeanor charges for vandalism. Felonies give the left an excuse to make sure this kid can’t buy a gun. They are a much bigger deal, as you know. He is being punished unfairly for his views. This could have been a non-issue if the sheriff had handled it appropriately instead of letting politics motivate him to do more that render fair punishment.

        USW=3
        RH=0

        Good try though Ray. But this really showed little more than your inability to pay attention to what is actually written and your ability to read into it whatever serves your mood of the day. I expect better from you.

        • Murphy's Law says:

          USW,

          I just love it when you can clearly not only state your opinion but defend yourself as well, just as clearly, against knee-jerk posts like Ray’s. Sorry Ray, but IMO when you see anything about Sarah Palin in print here that isn’t negative you come out choking on your anger and sputtering nonsense.

          Just calling ’em as I see ’em.

  3. USWeapon Topic #3

    From MSNBC:

    Man with assault rifle attends Obama protest

    PHOENIX – About a dozen people carrying guns, including one with a military-style rifle, milled among protesters outside the convention center where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday — the latest incident in which protesters have openly displayed firearms near the president.

    Gun-rights advocates say they’re exercising their constitutional right to bear arms and protest, while those who argue for more gun control say it could be a disaster waiting to happen.

    Phoenix police said the gun-toters at Monday’s event, including the man carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle slung over his shoulder, didn’t need permits. No crimes were committed, and no one was arrested.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32457652/ns/politics-white_house/

    OK, first of all, it is simply dumb, in today’s age, to take a gun to the place where the President is going to make a speech. I understand the right they have to do so. But it is patently stupid to elevate the threat level of everyone involved in order to make a point. I applaud that these folks did nothing to cause a stir. But they didn’t have to bring guns to a Presidential “campaign stop”.

    As you all know, I have owned many guns in the past, and I am a big supporter of gun rights. Everyone should be able to have them, and the penalties should be harsh if you use one to commit a crime. But I do agree that their exercising their rights, while they have every right to do so, makes everyone around them uncomfortable and is not the right way to enter into logical debate.

    So how does everyone else feel about this situation?

    • Morning, I have heard some rumers that the person with the AR-15 was actually standing with the supporters of the healthcare bill. This has not been verified yet, but if it’s true, I’m sure we’ll here about it.

      IMHO, if it’s legal, it’s legal. After the incident in St. Louis, people are not going to let something like that happen again.

      I’ll be back later.

      G!

    • It’s more complicated than free speech. If Obama were currently pushing gun control as his main focus, I would say that the guns were a part of free speech just like the signs.

      Certainly you have a right to own your guns*, and you have the right to bring them around with you in some jurisdictions and within certain bounds.

      But it seems to me that the point of bringing the guns was not so much because they just like to have their guns with them**. These guns were specifically brought to make a statement, and the 1st Amendment has very specific boundaries. These guns were there as a threat. The men carrying them were specifically saying, we don’t support you, and we are armed and willing to resist you if we deem it necessary. Threatening the President of the United States with violence is not protected by either Amendment.

      *There is some debate on this point – remember that “a well maintained militia” part? Everyone seems to remember the second half well enough, but what of the first half? I’m not a Constitutional scholar, but it seems to me that we have to take it all or take none of it, picking and choosing parts that we like to support our arguments is somewhat disingenuous, no?

      **After all, who routinely carries around an assault rifle?

      • “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

        • Thank you, regulated, not maintained, I apologize.

          But yes, some here on the left think that maybe that might mean that gun ownership shall not be infringed upon so long as the purpose it to maintain a well regulated militia.

          Me personally, I think the phrasing is deliberately obtuse. The Founders knew how to make themselves clear, they chose not to.

          But some thoughts – a militia is not necessary to security of a free state anymore. We have the national guard, the army, etc for that. I understand the concern that if the people are unarmed and the government becomes (more?) oppressive, then how will they rise up, but this is hypothetical at best. We have a very good process for getting rid of oppressive rulers.

          This was written in a time when a gun could fire one shot, with long delays, and the guns where HUGE, and impossible to conceal. The Founders could never have conceived of assault rifles being owned in a time when the Red Coats aren’t a threat. Guns served the purpose of fighting wars where the enemy stood in a line, and defending ones home. They were impractical for crime, and a homicidal maniac could only do limited damage before someone stopped him – he could not hold off the police in a Mexican standoff for hours.

          • Mathius

            I will assume your linkage of the militia and the right to bear arms was the point of your first comment. So I answer as so:

            The founders, like all men of the time, had a writing style that was based on a hundred years of tradition. They were not being deliberately obtuse, nor even unintenionally obtuse. The first part is not a prerequisite. This is supported by all documentation of the debates surrounding ratification. It is a broad statement that provides “one very important” basis for the protection of the right to bear arms. It was not the only one, just the one that the more Liberal framers thought most important.

            A well armed and regulated Militia is in fact necessary to the security of “a free state”. Perhaps not for the protection of a Nation, but certainly for a “free state/nation”. The right to rise up against a tyrannical govt is part of that protection. While the practicality of such is certainly questionable, the concept remains valid to this day.

            If our system of casting off oppressive rulers works so well then why haven’t we been able to cast off the oppressive rulers?

            Your last paragraph is a simple rationalization using false comparisons. Technology is relative to its time. They had their weapons of mass destruction and private citizens did own them. And conealable handguns did exist and were used to kill people.

            Yes there are dangers because of the technology we have. We will continue to struggle to deal with them in a way that protects our rights. I just hate to see us use advancement in technology or other faulty arguments becasue it does nothing but increase that paranoia…you know….”at least not yet”.

          • My point will be concerned about what weapons and military technology had existed at the time of the writing of the Second Amendment. That is similar to today.

            At this point in time the Ferguson rifle was invented and used in combat against the American troops at the Battle of Brandywine. This was a breech loading rifle that was revolutionary in design yet poorly utilized. Pistols though large and bulky by todays standards existed. Trenches/earthworks were used in siege campaigns such as the Siege of Boston, and Yorktown. The Americans also utilized guerrilla warfare, and similar combat was used against the Americans by Indians during and before the Revolution. My point is the potential for mass loss of life caused by firearms was well known at the time.

          • If you are a good shot…it only takes one shot! So guns shooting more lead is a mute point.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          You hit the key phrase here, which is “the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT be infringed”

          It doesn’t say “should not”, it says “shall not” which has a much stronger meaning.

      • It’s not more complicated Mathius.

        It is the right to “bear” and it is “free speech” and it is “all rights and powers not explicitly contained herein are reserved to the states or the people”. Nuff said?

        Now, it is bad form given the paranoid nature of the opponents and the way the media likes to harp away on something like this. I bet if you interviewed those folks you might find Chris Matthews had more to do with their decision than any desire to “intimidate” the president.

        And the First Amendment does not contain any specific boundaries. At least none that you are hinting at here. For you to say they are there as a threat requires you to know the actualy thinking and intent of each person carrying a gun. Then you assume it is the president who is the target. Perhaps it was a statement for SEIU and ACORN.

        Now for the real question. What is it that you are alluding to regarding mention of the “militia part” in the second amendment?

        Are you ready to repent today?

        Good Morning by the way.
        JAC

        • And good morning to you as well, JAC.

          For your information, I am fully unrepentant.

          As for the militias, I think that’s entirely the point. If it means nothing, why is it there, if it means something, what does it mean? If it means nothing, then it stands to reason that the Founding Fathers were not perfect and that there is some room to reconsider what they meant, or if it is even applicable in this day and age (remember 3/5’s? How can they be said to be 100% correct in all matters? Sometimes issues need to be revisited)

          I would suggest that this debate was raging even back then, and the Founders could not settle on the issue one way or the other, thus the convoluted phrasing. As such, it seems unfair to accept this right as absolute.

          As for the First Amendment, I know that nothing in it specifically sets limits, but the Court has decided that it is so. Specifically, you may not slander, or present a clear and present danger. Also, in the First Amendment is freedom of religion, but the Mormons may not practice polygamy or marry underage girls, a Mayan would not be allowed to practice human sacrifice. You have the right to assembly, but not to disturb the peace. We have free press, but they cannot libel. There are commonsense limits, and they must be observed. Threatening (even if only implied) the President is not protected speech.

          If your argument is that they weren’t making implied threats, well then there is ground there for debate. I base my opinion on the matter on what seems to be the logical conclusion, but not necessarily any hard truths.

          • You are correct. The Supreme Court has placed limits on those rights “explicitly” included in the Constitution. And therein lies the Black Flag defense that “there is nothing you can do” to prevent govt from becoming tyrannical.

            I have explained above why I think the reference to Militias is included.

            I assure you there was no debate, at least any I have ever seen, regarding the control of weapons of anykind.

            In fact there was a concern that the govt could outlaw or otherwise control hunting. Madison replied that was a crazy thing to think. It was inconceivable that the govt would try to take away the right of the citizen to have guns and even more ludicrous to think it would prevent a man from hunting for food as he deemed necessary.

            The right to bear arms made it into the bill of rights. Hunting did not. We lost the right to hunt for food many, many years ago.

            You must remember also that the Bill of Rights was a compromise to the anti-Federalists and to those who thought the Constitution was not strong enough to contain the federal govt. Madison, who wrote most of it, argued that a Bill of Rights was not needed as ONLY THOSE POWERS EXPRESSLY GIVEN were allowed to the Federal govt. Opponenents pointed to some of the flowery language and claimed that the devious could use it to dive a wedge between the document and the people.

            It turned out the skeptics were correct and the very wise men who drafted the document were wrong. The one thing they depended on to prevent the abuse that was fortold betrayed them. That was the diligence of the people to guard and protect their Liberty.

        • But I would much rather debate the Constitutional aspect than the specifics of this instance – I think what happened at the town hall was only noise. The big issues will be around a lot longer.

      • Mathius,

        “These guns were specifically brought to make a statement,” I agree.

        “These guns were there as a threat.” Your opinion, can you back that up? What statements did the gun toters make? Did the media ask them why they were carrying guns?

        “The men carrying them were specifically saying, we don’t support you, and we are armed and willing to resist you if we deem it necessary. Threatening the President of the United States with violence is not protected by either Amendment”

        Did a single one of them say anything like that? The secret service was not at all concerned, does that not tell you something, if they did not feel there was a threat being made to the president, why do you and the media insist there was?

        Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said armed demonstrators in open-carry states such as Arizona and New Hampshire have little impact on security plans for the president.

        “In both cases, the subject was not entering our site or otherwise attempting to,” Donovan said. “They were in a designated public viewing area. The main thing to know is that they would not have been allowed inside with a weapon.”

        http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/18/dozen-protesters-guns-outside-obama-speech/

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          LOI – glad to see you’re leaving common sense out of the equation. I wonder how many folks thought the same of the supposed Black Panthers in Philly during the voting last year – picture this –

          Folks on this board adamant that two guys that appear dressed as Black Panthers, in a overwhelmingly minority Philly voting district, one holding a nightstick, are classified as threats and should be removed (there were no claims filed of voter intimidation by actual voters)

          versus

          Guys showing up to places where Obama is speaking armed with guns, some semi-automatic are not to be seen as a threat but as merely exercising their constitutional and legal privilege.

          Consider also that there may be some things that Donovan cannot and will not tell you with respect to threat assessment and management.

          • It is a stretch, Ray.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Ray,

            In one case, voter intimidation is against a specific law.

            In the other case, what the people were doing was not against any specific law.

            Yes, in the one case you state that no one CLAIMED that voter intimidation was occurring, to which I have previously answered that I would not have reported voter intimidation to the local authorities under the circumstances, because I would have personally felt that the local authorities condoned the actions of those doing the voter intimidation.

            You are basically comparing the actions of some people that were violating the law (in spite of the fact that no one complained, they were still violating the law) with the actions of some people that were not violating the law, so it is not a valid comparison.

            Let’s say, for example, that several white guys in rural Arizona came to a voting precinct carrying billy clubs and stood next to a “vote McCain” sign. Your argument is basically, “Well, all the yokels were going to vote McCain anyway, and none of them complained, so obviously there was no voter intimidation involved!”

            This of course assumes that either there was not a single person at that voting precinct that was going to vote Obama, or perhaps it assumes that the people that were going to vote Obama simply didn’t report the issue to the local authorities because they didn’t think it was an issue (as you assert in the Philly case), or because they strongly suspected that the local authorities highly approved of what the white guys with the billy-clubs were doing (as I assert in the Philly case).

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              …..Peter – but it was ultimately ruled not to be voter intimidation – therefore it was not intimidation. If the voters felt protected versus intimidated then why is it different?

          • I guess it would depend on what the state law is concerning carry weapons in that state.

        • Ray,

          Common sense? If its not legal(or used) in D.C., why should the rest of the US apply it?

          Number one point, did they break any law? Do I think it was wise? No. Would I do the same? Maybe. During the campaign, a man was arrested in Pennsylvania? for open carry. It was legal!!! He broke no laws, but was arrested.
          It is a good thing that people are PEACEFULLY challenging the governments authority. We need to know if the written laws still apply, or do they just arrest people because they feel like it?

          “Consider also that there may be some things that Donovan cannot and will not tell you with respect to threat assessment and management.” Agreed, and have already had those thoughts.

          Other thoughts, people feel the government is trampling our rights, that they do not have the legal right to force all Americans to have health insurance. I think it was a PR move to draw attention to our basic rights.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hello all,

      As you most know, the 2nd Amendment is near and dear to my heart. As G-Man says above, Legal is Legal.

      Every year, in Virginia, VCDL organizes a pro-2nd Amendment lobby-day during General Assembly. Armed citizens arrive at the General Assembly Building (hundreds of them) and visit every single representative to discuss the gun control issues that are being vetted that year. It is always peaceful. We do run the risk of being made fun of (and have been by our representatives), “oh, look, the crew from Deliverance is here today” type of comments.

      These ‘grassroots’ lobbyists are from all walks of life…Black/White/Yellow/Red, Skinny/Fat/Voluptuous/Rubenesque, Male/Female/Unknown, White Collar/Blue Collar (some have dirty collars), Concealed/Open-Carry, etc…

      Regarding the armed citizens at Town Hall Meetings, it was most likely “Politically Incorrect” for those folks to “carry” to a demonstration where the President would be speaking…but Damnit…that’s what wrong…people are too concerned about being PC which in turn makes them too scared to stand up and and quietly utilize their rights…there is not a damn thing wrong with it. What is wrong is all the people wanting to take away those rights who start acting all “dramatic” over something that they should be dramatic over (all for the sake of forcing PC on other people who are doing nothing wrong).

      In all actuality, that area where the “gun” people were was probably the safest place to be in that town that day.

      I really wonder how many criminals were there that were illegally carrying firearms – maybe none, maybe one, maybe 21 — who knows.

      Best Regards,
      RS

      • Your second paragraph follows nicely, I think, from my prior post. When you arm yourselves and visit your reps to discuss gun control issues, you bring your guns as part of your statement. That cannot be said of this instance. Here, it was an implied threat.

        For the record, I do not have a problem with gun ownership and see no reason why you should not be given all the tools in the world to defend yourself, your home, your family and your possessions. But I do not think that it extends to you menacing others.

        For example, if you get into an argument with another man and, in the heat of it, show him the gun you are carrying – not point it at him, not specifically threaten him, just make a point of showing him that you are in fact armed – does that not constitute a threat of violence if he doesn’t back down? How is it different for the protesters and the President?

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Hi Mathius,

          I did not specifically address what was in your posting because apparently I was typing mine up as you were posting your’s, so I didn’t see it.

          To say that Gun Control is not an issue with this President is simply not a true statement. He is the most gun control president that I can remember. His Appointees are gun control advocates. During this administration, it is simply a matter of time until attacks against the 2nd Amendment are ramped up with with the same vigor shown towards Health Care/Insurance Reform….Gun Control will become the “flavor of the week” and will be couched and hidden in so many different ways.

          “Showing” a person a gun during any type of a confrontation (not pointing) is wrong — it’s called “Brandishing” and there are laws against this. I can assure you…not ALL citizens who carry are dimwits with low IQs — but even those who are dimwits with low IQs do have a right to protect themselves, right?

          In this case, I believe Mathius that you are operating under a PC cloud. That is my opinion.

          Mathius, I am happy to hear that you are pro-2nd Amendment!

          Best Regards,
          RS

          • I don’t know that I’m actually pro 2nd Amendment. I don’t know how to interpret it in light of my opinions on Gun Control. Specifically, while I think I agree with the gist of what you believe on the subject, I do not know that it comes from the 2nd Amendment. Just a nuance, but important in the larger scheme of things..

            And, whether he is or is not a gun control enthusiast (and honestly, I haven’t been following this issue as assiduously as you, so I’ll just have to accept that at face value), his rally was not about gun control. It was about health care. Not even Obama has the political capital to take on the gun lobby at the same time as the health care lobby (he may not have the political capital to do either).

            The time to protest his gun control laws is if/when he is actively pushing them.

            Also, I do not see the harm in some common sense gun laws (serial rapists should not be allowed to own, convicted murderers, violent criminals, the genuinely certifiably insane and unstable). Gun ownership, it seems to me, needs to be regulated. It should be like a driver’s license (easy to obtain and, unless there is a VERY good reason why not, you should have it – ie repeated drunk driving arrests should disqualify you from operating a 2,000lb kinetic missile). The “they’re coming for our guns” argument isn’t necessarily fair – they’re not coming for your guns (not yet anyway), they’re coming for the guns belonging to irresponsible lunatics. (As usual, there is a slippery slope argument to be made here – I do not claim the divine knowledge of where and how to draw the line, but that doesn’t mean it should be attempted).

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              Hi Mathius,

              I don’t have all the answers either. I am a mother of three children; people who are irresponsible/ignorant vs. criminal who own guns do indeed scare me. Then again, people who drive drunk creating a 2-ton moving weapon scare me too.

              I am indeed torn here…2nd Amendment rights for all vs. commonsense regulations put into place regarding the 2nd Amendment…I hate feeling/being hypocritical.

              Best Regards,
              RS

            • Mathius

              Don’t sell yourself short. “(serial rapists should not be allowed to own, convicted murderers, violent criminals, the genuinely certifiably insane and unstable).” You see you have described the line.

              It is also reasonable, in my view, to establish rules for carrying firearms in certain public places, such as the court house or hall where legislative bodies meet.

              Private property owners have a right to deny armed access. This takes care of bars and dance halls.

              As you said, the paranoia over “they are coming for my guns” is tempered by “not yet anyway”. As long as there is a possibility of the latter there will be the former, and it will be justified.

              And I don’t know why drunk driving should prohibit me from having a kinetic missle or even a tank. If I have no drivers license I won’t be able to drive them in public anyway.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              I was going to reply to this, but I really don’t have anything to add to what JAC alreay said 🙂

            • Mathius,

              We are getting to the question, do you support the bill of rights and the 14th amendment? The 2nd amd. does not grant us a right, it recognizes our inherent right to self defense, and the means to do so.

              “I do not see the harm in some common sense gun laws (serial rapists should not be allowed to own, convicted murderers, violent criminals, the genuinely certifiably insane and unstable).”

              This would be a first or fourth amendment issue. The Virginia shooter could not legally own guns, but the gun store had no legal way to know that, and the instant background system had no legal access to his medical records.

            • Mathius;

              Yes they are “coming for our guns” and have been for a great long time. They (liberals) are doing so in conjuntion with their overall plan, which is to surpress the citizenry into a mindless, defenseless herd of sheep-peoples. As I have said many times, and as many writing in this site will agree, these non-representing representatives don’t care one little bit what you, me or any American has to say. They are only interested in continuing their power and place on the elitist platform.

              Because of the 2nd Ammendment the left have made “gun control” a major part of their campaign, because surpressing an armed citizen is far more difficult than and un-armed citizen.

              As for Obama and his regime not currently working to take our guns, that is false. Bill HR 45 is an example of that effort, and there are many more both current and in the works. Although I have not yet done the research, there is one Act that would require gun owners to denote their guns on their yearly IRS file. Gun control has been a focused effort for several years. Couple that with the rhetoric spewing from various gun control advocates that we are “Rednecks, gun-toteing extremists”, and many other degrading words, further validates a continuing effort to remove guns from the citizenry.

              Those elected officials think little of those they are suppose to serve, but they think even less of those who own guns and support the 2nd Ammendment; most likely because they fear our ability to defend ourselves.

              I encourage you to investigate the current regimes stand on gun ownership, the majority would willingly remove any and all guns from lawful owners. Just because Barry isn’t currently speaking out about the 2nd Ammendment doesn’t mean his miniuns aren’t doing things behind the curtain to change it.

              BTW: It is already illegal in every state for felons to own or purchase any guns. Additionally, Michigan has a drunk driving law that says 3 DUI convictions makes you a felon; and if you are a felon you cannot legally own a weapon. My point, which most non gun owners don’t know, or don’t seem to know, is that felons and the clinically insane cannot buy weapons. We don’t need additional laws to further enforce ones already on the books.

              You might want to go to the NRA’s web site and educate yourself on gun rights and gun laws; especially if you want to engage with the people on this site.

              CM

            • I see I’ve found another one of those trip wires JAC was talking about.

              Let’s see what happens if I just push on.

              We on the left, of course, get the news letter on the top secret plans of the Leftist Elite Global Dominion Campaign. Though I can’t share the specifics with you (they’re watching, you know), I can tell you that taking your guns is not the real plan.

              Mostly the plan rests on whipping you into hysteria so often that you (figuratively) shoot yourselves in the foot. Then we can come in with our pharmaceuticals and subliminal messaging (planted during Obama speeches – and you thought you were just getting tired, you were actually being brain washed).

              Of course once we have this done, you will gladly give us your guns (and your tobacco and alcohol as well). Then we will turn these over the the leaders of our sister groups ACORN and The Elders of Zion (disclosure, I am a card carrying member of the Junior League of the Elders of Zion), who will then ruthlessly oppress you with our communist ways.

              We will make all your decisions for you and allow you no free choices whatsoever. You will drive a Chevy Volt, and pay 80% taxes, you will watch The West Wing reruns, and you will think Nancy Pelosy is a brilliant leader. And you will thank us for all of this.

              BWA HAHA HAHA AHAHA.

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Mathius…

                ROFLMAO! You are a pretty cool dude, considering that you are liberal!

                This is another defense mechanism of the cave…An hysterically snorting and laughing hyena — the caterwaulting is unbearable by those not acclimated to it!

                Best Regards,
                RS

              • Now that was funnnnnny.

                Removal of a sense of humor is required by the Left Wing isn’t it?

                So maybe your not a lefty after all.

                Humor without personal and vile attack is the first sign of repentance. Be careful. You are starting to crack.

              • Not at all. I shall never repent. From my earliest days as a member of the Washington A**hole Liberal’s New United Teamsters (WALNUT) to my dying day as a member of Crazed American Socialist of the East and West (CASHEW), I shall never repent my leftist nature.

              • Mathius:

                Well, well, at least we now know who and what you are realy about. Ha Ha!

                You should go back in this site’s archives and read my post entitled “My Mnatra going Forward”. It was posted in either January or February this year.

                They (liberals) do have a plan to further infiltrate and seize total control of the citizenry, greatly due to greed and power lust.

                They do not have our interests at heart. Helping the down troddened, oppressed, poor and illegals is not done because they (left) feel it is their moral duty to do so, they do it to gain support and maintain the vote, which allows them to live as the feel they deserve. They beleve that they are better than most, deserve the lavish lifestyle awarded to royalty, and the common folk of this great nation are too stupid to make their own choices and decisions. Because of that mentality, and the continued status it promotes, the left has a calculated plan to ‘change’ America into a Fasciolism nation; simply because it solidifies their self imposed mindset.

                And this is not something that is only unique to the current regime. It started with FDR and has progressed since.

                You should go back and read the series on philosopy started on this site.

                It is all about control and their desire to advance and maintain it.

                CM

              • Mathius

                Sorry for the spelling error. My article was published on May 16th this year and was entitled “My Mantra going Forward” should you care to read it.

                CM

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                CM – you and I went a few rounds on this with you simply offering for each of your perfect storms that you believe there is an underlying need/want/desire for power thus any grand plan from the left you insinuate most therefore be true. Again – just because you believe something does not make it truth (in the real or practical or philosophical sense).

              • Ray, hope you are well and your work has given you some time to enjoy summer.

                And in response, just because you don’t believe does not make it true.

                My question: Knowing, from a historical perspective, that Socialism, Fascism and Communism do not work as a stablizing form of government, why would any free born individual(s) want to push their county towards one of the above?

                CM

              • There is no conspiracy.

                How do I know this? I know this the same way I know that there aren’t aliens being held in Area 51.

                No group of people that large can keep a secret like that. I forget who said it, but the quote is “two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead.”

                We leftists, do frequently feel superior, just as you on the right frequently feel the same way. Everyone always thinks they’re right and the other people are wrong. If you thought we were right, you would be on our side, and you would think you’re right. QED.

                I hate to be the one to point this out to you, but in seriousness, America is far, far closer to our world-view than it is to yours. As such, it is you who wish to change America into something it is not. We wish only to push it a little bit further. The rugged frontiersman mentality, the individualist mindset, it is the spirit behind our great country, the laws and society are far closer to our end of the spectrum.

                I would like you to answer a question for me: which states have the poorest population, least healthy population, lowest average levels of education, and highest rates of gun ownership? Answer me that, then tell me what the political bent of these states are. Then tell me if you see any correlations.

              • I know this the same way I know that there aren’t aliens being held in Area 51.

                You’re right, I have it on the best authority (UFO Files — History Channel or was it Discovery TV) the aliens are at Wright-Pat in Ohio. 😉 c

              • Are they here illegally?

              • :mrgreen:

              • Mathius;

                Because we are being squeezed I am going to post my response as a new one; see below.

                CM

              • Kristian Stout says:

                Mathius,

                I just wanted to tell you that it is such a pleasure to have you here. I’ve been reading the posts from the last 2 days and you my friend are very funny. It is good to see someone who can match wits with BF and keep his sense of humor. I hope that you stay with us and continue to post often. Thank you for the laugh, it was greatly appreciated.

              • My pleasure Kristian.

                And thank you again, to Kristian and everyone else for the warm reception. It is truly heartwarming to be welcomed with such open arms among people who are diametrically opposed to most of my dearest beliefs. My hope is that we all come out stronger for it (you will pull me to the right and I will pull you to the left). We are all ill-served by talking in an echo chamber.

              • Hang around…we will change you…..Buahahahahahahaha…

                This Texan lurks…be afraid…be VERY afraid.

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              Mathius,

              Let me ask you this?

              What cities & states have the most violent crime (gun-related)? Tell me about their gun control laws.

              Let me ask you another set of questions…

              If you were a city dweller and this economy were to get worse, what would you do to feed your family? What would you do to ensure your family has heat? Do you think that your family would survive long without food/heat? In a sustained economic meltdown, do you think that a good many city dwellers might start the migration to the countryside…to get help from those illiterate, gun-toting, poor, unhealthy people?

              Mathius…this is where I start to get annoyed at such blatant “arrogancism”. It is those illiterate, gun-toting, poor and unhealthy people that are the truly the backbone of this country.

              It is these illiterate, gun-toting, poor and unhealthy people that grow the veggies you eat…that raise the beef, pork, etc. that you consume. It is these people that remember the stories passed by the previous generation to the next of how to survive. It is these people that process the oil to make gasoline, plastic, etc.

              You know…Technology & Science is great…It truly does enhance our lives and in most cases, makes things better/more convenient…Technology and Science is “fun” too.

              But guess what…if the collapse of life as we know it happens and the $hit hits the fan…it will be the so-called “educated” people sitting in their ivory towers who find the defecation on their faces…not the people who are illiterate, gun-toting, poor and unhealthy — these people will continue to strive and survive just as they have for always…because they have that mentality.

              Regards,
              RS

              • Guess I’m no longer so cool in your book.

                That’s ok, because you have some legitimate points and I am willing to recognize them even if you are not willing to recognize mine.

                I do not imply inferiority of the people or their morality. I suggest merely that the wealthiest, best educated, healthiest societies in the US tend to be leftward leaning. One can ask this question though which I cannot answer: are they so healthy, wealthy, and wise (to borrow a phrase) because they lean left, or do they lean to the left because they have such great lives that they have no concerns and needs to adhere to the rightward psychology?

                It may be a chicken and the egg question. I do believe that you are probably correct that in the event of a total collapse of society, you would be better off than me (I do not know how to farm). This does not mean I would curl into the fetal position and wait for death to come.

                Science and technology make your life what it is (note the technological wonder that is this forum). Do you honestly believe that the 300,000,000 people living in the US could survive if we were all farmers? There are 9,161,966 sq km of land in the US. 18.01% is arable. This works out to 1.36 acres per person. Tell me (and this is a legit question), is that sufficient land to sustain yourself? I think not, but then again, I admit to being under informed on the subject.

                We parcel up responsibilities in society. One group grows the food, the other transports it, the third provides services and technology, etc.

                But let us consider the great state of Alabama. Alabama has the second lowest high school matriculation rate. It has third lowest life expectancy. Second highest gun ownership rates (behind Louisiana). And second highest gun death rates.
                http://www.vpc.org/press/0905gundeath.htm

                So tell me. Is this a coincidence? Why do the five biggest gun owner states (as a percentage of population) have at least triple the gun death rates? If guns make us safer, how is this the case? If the residents of such a red state are such good survivors, why do they not live as long, or get killed (by guns!) so frequently?

                So I answered your question, and the answer only backs up my point. I am sorry, but the truth hurts sometimes.

              • clarification: the top five gun owning states have triple the gun deaths vs the top five lowest. I don’t think this was clear as I phrased it.

              • uh oh….park your car my friend…it is far more lethal than a gun.

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Hi Mathius…

                Yes, you are still cool! 😉 I like you…you are funny and you are willing to listen!

                Where are you getting your figures from please?

                I really don’t want to comment until I’ve had a chance to review them.

                Best Regards!
                RS

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Oops…Sorry…didn’t see the link in the email

              • v. Holland says:

                http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/04/21/weekinreview/20070422_MARSH_GRAPHIC.html

                I wonder how these statistics fit into the equation. Very interesting and sad.

              • Interesting.. if I’m reading that right, and I like to think that I am, 25 people are murdered daily with guns.

              • v. Holland says:

                I found the statistics on suicide surprising and a little misleading in the context of this discussion, if I wanted to kill myself and I lived in a state with tough gun laws-I would simply use something else. Mostly I just thought it was interesting.

                The point really isn’t criticizing the VPC- It’s whether or not there are other reasons (than loose gun laws) that cause an increase in death by gun- I have attached part of the Wikipedia definition of Crimes in United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States) which IMO backs up the article by the Gun Control Kills website. As far as a trend, maybe, but issues are complicated and there can be many factors that can effect outcomes. Personally, I take statistics with a grain of salt because you can almost always find one that will support what you want it to. As far as their rationals, I do believe they are saying us folks from the south, which includes Me, are just plume crazy-

                Say it loud people God is Great, Beer is good and People are Crazy. 🙂 may have just proved their point.

                P.S. I found the information about the District of Columbia very interesting

                This is from Wikipedia:

                “States
                Map of violent crime per 100,000 people in the US by state in 2004.
                100-200 >200-300 >300-400 >400-500 >500-600 >600-700 >700-800 >800

                Crime rates vary greatly across the states. Overall, New England had by far the lowest crime rates, for both violent and property crimes. New England states also had the lowest homicide rates in the country. Densely populated states such as New York and New Jersey also had crime rates well below the national average. Southern states had the highest overall crime rates. Crime can also be isolated to one particular part of a state. Lafayette, Louisiana, for instance had only 6 murders per 100,000 people in 2004, while New Orleans, Louisiana, had 32.5 murders per 100,000 people. [51]

                With few exceptions, there also seems to be a strong correlation between median household income and crime rates. In addition to having the country’s lowest crime rates, New England states also had the country’s highest median household income, while the Southern states have the lowest. Almost all of the nation’s wealthiest twenty states, which included northern mid-western and western states such as Wisconsin and California, had crime rates below the national average. The nation’s more dangerous states, such as Texas, Arizona and Arkansas in turn ranked among those with a household income below the national median. For example, New Hampshire was one of the nation’s wealthiest and safest state. New Hampshire’s total crime rate was 57.9%; its violent crime rate was 64.1% and its homicide rate 69.1% below the national average. Connecticut, the nation’s fourth wealthiest state, had a crime rate 27% and a homicide rate 52.7% below the national average. This contrasts starkly to some of the nation’s poorer states such as Georgia, Florida or Louisiana. Louisiana had a crime rate 27% and a homicide rate 130.9% above the national average and ranked as the nation’s fourth poorest state with a median household income 20% below the national median. While these trends hold generally true, several states who fell below the national median for household income such as Maine and Kentucky also had crime rates below the national average, while some wealthier states such as Maryland and Hawaii had crime rates above the national average.[51][52]

                The highest total crime rate of any state, except for the District of Columbia, was found in Arizona, followed by South Carolina. The crime rate in Arizona was 46.82% above the national average and three and half (3.5) times as high as that of New Hampshire, America’s safest state. The homicide rate was highest in the District of Columbia and Louisiana, as both states are home to some of the most violent areas in the entire country, namely eastern Washington, D.C. and the city of New Orleans. Overall there were six states with fewer than two homicides per 100,000 residents. Yet there were also eight states with more than seven homicides per 100,000 residents. These findings further illustrate the drastic degree to which crimes rates vary from state to state.[51]”

              • v. Holland says:

                Didn’t mean to put that there-Thought I had it on the bottom-Sorry

              • v. Holland says:

                Also found this-thought it was interesting-haven’t researched the info but thought it was a perspective that might need to be looked at.

                http://www.guncontrolkills.com/410/guncontrol/violence-policy-center-slanders-louisiana-using-rigged-data/

              • I find the agenda of the Gun Control Kills website to be somewhat transparent. This does not mean that they are wrong. But for them to call out the VPC for their alleged agenda is something of the pot calling the kettle black, no?

                Their argument seems to be that DC and NH have strong laws and high crime rates. Interesting. But even if one includes these, 5 of the top 7 highest gun crime states would still be the top 5 highest gun owner states. And the top 5 safest states are also very low ownership states (I lack sufficient data to say where exactly they fall, but it is clear that they are low on the totem poll). This constitutes a trend.

              • Listing the top and bottom 5 does not seem arbitrary to me. Listing the top 7 would seem odd. 5 is a fairly standard number, so I don’t think that qualifies as them being deceptive.

                Your second site also assigns rationals behind the higher rates in the West and South (the West is wild, the South hasn’t lost it’s rebel yell) – while this sounds nice, I fail to see how this is fact than just a person’s impression.

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Reply Posted at #14 for readability.

              • RS;

                “A country boy can survive”

                CM

              • Country girls too, hehe

              • City slickers, too!

              • Mathius;

                In the city yes, but you would need to rely on the kindnest of country folk to make in the sticks.

                CM

    • Heh..heh..answering this one is going to be fun and not what I suspect most of you would think coming from me.

      As a Texan, first, and gun owner, second….owning a gun is a fundamental right. So is owning a car, a hammer, a knife, a club, or anything that can cause damage when used improperly. Gun ownership carries with it a responsibility. The same responsibility that anyone has in driving a car. Responsibility means fully knowing the consequences of any action that is derived from these freedoms. Violate those and you violate your freedom of expressions and the right to do so. (hear me out BF)..Any sane and responsible gun owner knows the where and when and the therefore’s. I, personally, take gun ownership seriously. I have over 20 weapons and ammunition and reloading equipment. I would NEVER…NEVER…NEVER carry a weapon of any kind (gun, knife, club, hammer) to ANY political rally, gathering, or place where the President (no matter how much I dislike him/her) is going to be speaking and I have a CHL to allow me to do so. That is simply stupid. (And before you ask Mathius, the ONLY assault rifle that I have is an AK 47 that everyone on here already knows I took from a NVA who tried to stick me with the pointed end of it. It is a war trophy). Although it is my right to buy and carry an assault rifle (especially in Texas where we can even own a stinger missile if we want one)….why would I want one? I submit that most responsible gun owners do not have assault rifles of any type. I do not have hand grenades and I do not have a tank in the back yard. I do not have bunkers built under my home and I do not have food and nuclear protection to last me 100 years….and neither do the greatest majority of gun owners. Ninety Five percent of gun owners are not white supremacists or black panthers or any other fringe element to include unqualified and self imposed militia’s.

      So, USW…..it is irresponsible for anyone to carry a gun to any political rally. Just as irresponsible for someone to drive a car that has had even ONE drink of alcohol or a puff from a marijuana cigarette or a needle shoved up their arm. As stated above, gun ownership carries with it responsibility….so, in my opinion…my VERY strong opinion, any person wielding any kind of weapon (not just one that goes bang) at any Presidential rally needs to reside with Barney Frank and whatever planet he is from….it is simply irresponsible.

      • And therein lies the beauty of individual responsibility. It is up to the individual to exercise.

        The govt has no place in the discussion.

      • I agree with you on this one D13. Yes he has a right to carry the gun. That is correct. But really- why would anyone carry any gun to a Political rally? Outside of wanting the attention. I own some guns ( mostly gun I have gotten when grandfather passed on) and they are correctly locked up(away from any children that might be at my home. Yes it is my right to have them, but never in a million years would I take one to a rally that the President is speaking at. Common sense folks

      • D13,

        Respectfully, I disagree. “owning a gun is a fundamental right. So is owning a car” Owning a car is a basic, legal right. Operating a motor vehicle is a privilege granted by the government, that they can resend at will, for poor driving, or not paying taxes. Perhaps it should be a right, that the founders could not have envisioned the coming of the automobile, and its impact on society.

        As for being armed in front of the president, who accuses us of “bitterly clinging to our guns and religion”, perhaps they are trying to peacefully indicate to him, we are clinging to all our rights, and the government does not have the right to force us to buy health insurance.

        • No problem with any of your statements…I just used the word responsibility. You and I are in agreement on principle…just different methods of projecting same.

        • Black Flag says:

          Life of Illusion

          Respectfully, I disagree. “owning a gun is a fundamental right. So is owning a car” Owning a car is a basic, legal right.

          100% correct. Owning anything is a fundamental right.

          Operating a motor vehicle is a privilege granted by the government, that they can resend at will, for poor driving, or not paying taxes.

          Ooops, tighten that up.

          Operating a motor vehicle is a fundamental right too.

          The government has no right to stop you from driving your car on your property. Heck, you can drive drunk on your own property.

          It, however, government does claim a right to control driving on public roads.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            BF – so wherein our Founders considered slaves as property they were merely exercising a fundamental right?

            • Black Flag says:

              People aren’t things.

              The Founders were men of their time and many like Jefferson found themselves very contradicted by the very views they advocated.

              (But your point is noted)

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                BF – so – by your logic – notions of “rights” must consider “one’s time” as a factor of applicability? May that also include environmental factors, external conditions and the like? Perhaps rights as I have understood your position are not at all universal and timeless but perhaps situational and contextual? You’ve lost me bro’!

                Peter?
                JAC?
                LOI?

                If much of what has been bantered about philosophically is so deeply rooted in the history and traditions of our founding fathers, yet we acknowledge a contextual “one’s time” – then how solid is that base? Why should I shrug it off and say “well – they meant this but not that” or the more popular “do as I say not as I do (because I don’t know that what I am doing is actually very very wrong)”.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I believe that the key is that “people are not things.”

                Also, I would note that BF and I do not advocate a “return to the old ways” because we feel that you cannot go back to something that was broken to begin with and it will magically be fixed just because you go back to it.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Do you “own” your child or children? (I’m not being smart-a – just trying to understand you guys). If you do not own them – then under these notions of individualism, what right do you have to coerce your child to clean their rooms? Eat their vegetables? Do their homework?

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Hi Ray,

                Even a Tigress teaches her young to hunt.

                Best Regards,
                RS

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Children are minors Ray

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Peter – it becomes a question then of what was/is that “something” that was broken to begin with and how can you, or I or anybody live with/in all or some of the ideas, principles and guidelines built upon it.

                If “one’s time” is a very important consideration concerning property ownership (and in this case as I put forth – slavery) then why is the same construct invalid to so many when it comes to the 2nd amendment? The same logical “body” exists but people can rationalize one and not the other. I’m not a 13th amendment expert by any stretch, but can we assume the change was made/implemented because “one’s time” had changed and a voting majority saw slavery as counter-intuitive to the other ideals of the Founders? If we’re okay with that, why do notions of socialized medicine, gun control, or any other major issue today become taboo when the “one’s time” test determines that voting majority wants something changed? Does the anti-socialized medicine crowd of today equate the slave owners of 1865? (In their minds on the philosophically correct right side of an issue but opposed by a majority).

              • Separate the two concepts Ray.

                The right to own property is universal.

                The right to classify another human being as property has to be sanctioned by something called govt. Thus it is not a right in the real sense of the word.

                Inalienable rights are those given to man as part of his nature. Property is required for man to fullfill his fullest potential. Only the man can determine what that means and how much of it he needs to satisfy his goals.

                Slavery is an issue of ethics, not natural rights.

                But notice that it was the issue and full support of the right to own property that delayed abolition for so long. Even Lincoln could not draw the line between ethics and rights.

                Does that help in any way?
                JAC

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Let’s keep this going JAC – this is getting good.

                The right to own property is universal.

                – So says who? For a right to be universal must not all whom that right apply agree that it is universal? What give you the right to tell me what rights are and are not universal?

                The right to classify another human being as property has to be sanctioned by something called govt. Thus it is not a right in the real sense of the word.

                – It does not require government in all cases.

                Inalienable rights are those given to man as part of his nature.

                – But whom defines that nature JAC? If we have differing epistemological views then who ultimately decides what rights are inalienable and which are not? Does it not require coercion then to assert one over the other?

                “Property is required for man to fulfill his fullest potential.”

                – I do not agree – you negate the man/woman who surrenders all his property in his quest to reach, what to him/her, is his/her greatest or fullest potential. Suggesting property is required for him/her is coercive.

                Only the man can determine what that means and how much of it he needs to satisfy his goals.

                – An extension from above – by affirming it is requried to begin with you are affirming that some amount, any amount is needed – that argument fails for at least one reason – property is not property unless I recognize that what you refer to as your property is indeed your property. I can claim to be king of the world and own everything in her existence – unless those whom are impacted by that, agree to that, then it is not my property. You alone cannot define what property means.

                Slavery is an issue of ethics, not natural rights.

                – Agreed

                But notice that it was the issue and full support of the right to own property that delayed abolition for so long. Even Lincoln could not draw the line between ethics and rights.

              • Ray

                I will stay with you on this.
                You have hit some good hard line drives.

                Will post new below.

                Am starting to work through now and will post in a little bit.

                JAC

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                The right to own property IS universal. Just because a right can be abridged does not suddenly make it NOT ar right

              • Ray, I did reply,posted just below.

              • Sorry Ray, I was away,
                now I’m back,
                but don’t want to play. LOL

                Notice mean,Mr. Flag left part of my post out, “Perhaps it should be a right,”

                My thoughts are a contract must not be subject to change simply because of shifts in the popular understanding of language. The constitution might should have been written in Latin. In their time, “malitia” meant able bodied
                men, today, people think of it as the national guard.

                Roman emperors wore robes of “purple”, this became a royal color. What color would we call it today?

      • D13 good buddy;

        While I agree with you that carrying a weapon to a Presidential Rally is not a smart thing to do, it is a right and lawful, provided you are licensed to do so.

        I would not carry to an event like this simply because the Secret Service doesn’t need to follow any laws when it comes to the safety of the President. And I don’t have the time to deal with the problems and/or time involved of being “hauled away” by the SS. It is just not intelligent.

        I will argue with you on owning and using a AR-15 like weapon; they make great hunting rifles, especially in the .308 caliber. I have had the pleasure of taking two bucks with mine. And yes Mathius, I do eat what I harvest.

        • Posted above,

          Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said armed demonstrators in open-carry states such as Arizona and New Hampshire have little impact on security plans for the president.

          “In both cases, the subject was not entering our site or otherwise attempting to,” Donovan said. “They were in a designated public viewing area. The main thing to know is that they would not have been allowed inside with a weapon.”

          http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/18/dozen-protesters-guns-outside-obama-speech/

          • Right. Do not question that they were safe and responsible,,,just question the why? That type of “show” only feeds anti gun nuts. It may justifiably prove a personal point but the object is to win the war, and not just little battles. However, since it was Texas and most people know that we have guns from birth to death…I am sure the mantra was…those damned Texans and their guns.

        • Do not deny the AR 15…great weapon. I just do not use one…used one in Vietnam and Kuwait. The AR 15-1, actually.

          I am sure that you use yours responsibly. I am a member of a gun club in Fort Worth (Alpine gun club). There are 312 members that regularly attend and only one assault type weapon. Nice red dot scope tho….can pick a pimple off a flea’s ass at 500 meters…

          A matter of choice on me (assault weapons)…but if you want one…blaze away. I like fresh meat as well…eat what I shoot…except the damned coyotes on our ranch…leave them for the food chain…buzzards gotta eat too.

          • D13;

            “buzzards gotta eat, same as worms”

            I will tell you though that even though I like my AR-15, my 2 favorite long guns are my Marlin 1895 in 45-70 and my Rugar model #1 in 25-06. the first one will knock the snot out of anything on the North American continent and the 25-06 produces 2 inch groupings at 300 yards.

            Maybe someday I can get down your way and use the 25-06 to harvest one of them Texas Pronghorn you boys shout about. Maybe combine that hunt with some time honing my skills erradicating some of them prarrie dogs.

            CM

      • Very well said D13…I couldn’t agree with you more!

    • You get to actually handle in public a rifle within town/city limits? You get to carry a pistol outside of transporting to THE gun range cited on your A-to-B transport permit and don’t have to get a new permit when you guest shoot at a friend’s club? Lucky buggers…

      • Nope…no restrictions whatever. In Texas, we can carry a “long gun” anywhere. Rifles and shotguns are considered long guns from the western days. Handguns and concealed handguns require a license. Long guns do not.

  4. RBoveroux says:

    We all have spent a lot of time and effort stating our positions on how this country is messed and is headed in the wrong direction. A number of us have stated that if this or that happens the person would start thinking about living in an other country. I would be interested in knowing people’s opinions as to where they would think of moving to and why.

    • Mexico. Canada is too cold and Australia is too far away.

      • Too cold? Pansy.

        • Sorry.. I’m a warm weather creature. The year I spent in Arizona was the most perfect weather of my life. I’m not happy unless the humidity is near 0 and the temp is pushing 100. (not exactly sure just what I’m doing in New York…..)

          • Black Flag says:

            Yeah, I loved the Caribbean – not too hot, and not too cold.

            Just have to avoid hurricanes.

    • From a republican viewpoint they would have trouble making the move to anywhere that is not a 3rd world country. On the worlds political spectrum Obama is just right of centre, in the UK our conservatives who are considered right wing would be considered liberal lefties in America.

    • New Zeeland sounds pretty good to me 😉

    • If there were a trully free country, where criminals were not running part of the show (Somalia is not on my list) then I would seriously consider going there, regardless of the weather or distance.

      But since virtually all of the world is not trully free, wouldn’t be easier to reinstate freedom here and let the statists leave. They would have many more choices than I would.

      And I’m with you Willo as to my first choice.

    • How about Texas?

      We have so state income tax, personal or otherwise…a winter that lasts only two and one half months and an average temp of 38-54 degrees in those winter months (our summers can be brutal tho) We have a constitutionally balanced budget, the line item veto, true separation of powers in our government, a legislature than meets only once every two years and only for 140 days, salaries that are around $7,200 per year, no earmarks on legislation and voter referendums. We have oil, natural gas, wind power, solar power, nuclear power, farmland and cattle ranching. We have the world’s largest free standing (meaning it fights as a separate unit)Military Reserve force over 20,000. Deep water seaports that never freeze, and an agricultural base that is also free standing (meaning we do not need imports from other states.) We do not infringe upon the rights of others but will fight like hell when our rights are infringed upon. We know our neighbors and say hello. We wave at people on the highway without road rage and we do not shoot indiscriminately. We protect our women, horses, and whiskey and we carry our weapons proudly.

      Yes, we have our detractors, but they are in the minority. We are a free spirited bunch and have proven that we will fight for our independence and will do so again, if necessary. We prefer to “get along” but don’t push too far. Even our grandmother’s carry and will shoot when necessary and hit what they aim at.

      So come on down….Chivalry is still alive and well.

      • As a matter of fact, I wonder why don’t go ahead and just secede from the Union, form a republic, again, and apply to the United States for foreign aid? With all the money being thrown around, we would probably get it. Then B.O. can come to the Republic of Texas and apologize to us, hand us a check, and leave.

        Wow..what a concept.

        • Wooo pig,

          Living next door, can we join you? Understand Texas also has tort reform, later today I will try to compare insurance cost, see if there is a difference.

          • Oh Man…forgot about our tort reform…it was mainly in the medical malpractice and worker’s compensation area. In worker’s compensation, we eliminated the lump sum award and allowed for self insurance so the lawyers vacated the area fast. In medical malpractice, the awards are limited to $250,000 and that is it. Again, the lawyers abandoned ship.

            The down side to this was that individual responsibility did not take over. While the costs have not risen dramatically, they also did not fall. The doctors simply pocketed their savings. None have been passed on.

            In the Worker’s Compensation arena, the insurance rates reduced by almost 75%. THAT was amazing.

            As to my Arkansas neighbor, you are welcome. I do miss the Southwest conference rivalry tho….those were fun days.

      • well, yeah, … BUT …. you have the Cowboys…. I don’t know ’bout that.

      • Now Texas I could handle. The heat would be a toughie but I could cobble together a space suite and a decent AC unit.

        • You bet Alan…..we know how to manufacture A/C here…

        • We will even let BF in and give him his own piece of property all walled in. Then he could see how we are non violently handling our illegal problem and it is working. They are leaving by the hundreds.

      • Texas is nice but I remember getting chased through it by a very ominous tornado once. Figured that was just a warning for me to keep moving on.

        • Ahhh…tornados….we live with them and just dodge around them…Just a big wind.

          • Been through several tornados as a child in Ohio. Never had one bob, weave and jump around following me before. I took it as an omen of sorts.

            • I am sure that you are a very attractive lady (this Texan tipping his hat to you)…Our tornados are smart and would follow you.

              Ok ok…so I was not PC here…but it was funny.

    • Not Germany,

      In 1938, Germany outlawed homeschooling. The ban is one of the few bills introduced by Adolf Hitler that is still on the books in Germany today. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, hundreds of ethnic German families from Southern Russia and Kazakhstan emigrated to Germany. Many of them were Baptists who had been fiercely persecuted in the Soviet Union for their religious beliefs.

      Following their arrival in the West, the Baptists soon became unhappy with what their children were learning in the secular German public schools. They decided to homeschool their children. This move led to fierce repression by the German authorities who took the parents to court on charges of “Hochverrat und Volksverhetzung” (high treason and incitement of the people against the authorities).

      Some parents were imprisoned, some were robbed of their parental authority, some had their children taken away from them. Some children who sided with their parents, such as 16-year old Melissa Busekros in 2007, were placed in a psychiatric ward because, as the psychiatric evaluation report stated, she “considers herself healthy and her behavior fully normal” and, hence, needed “urgent help in a closed setting” where she would get “special education treatment to ensure schooling.”

      http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4052

    • Black Flag says:

      RBoveroux

      As someone who has lived ‘everywhere’ – freedom it is not a ‘place’ but ‘an action’.

      Freedom is a verb, not a noun.

      To rid yourself of government takes energy (work). It takes sacrifice – are you really willing to unhitch yourself from the State?

      You can be free right where you are – it may be easier somewhere else – but it is futile if you are not, first, free in your own mind.

      So, I ask:
      What is it that you are seeking to avoid by moving?

      • Not really looking to avoid anything and I am not moving from where I am. There were posts in the past about abandoning the US if this or that happened. I was just curious as to what some people here would think. I think that this is the greatest nation in the world that has abandoned it foundation. I wonder if that foundation can be recovered.

        I agree that freedom is an action and not a place. That is why the word is a verb as you so rightly pointed out.

        Other than the laws that I have to follow in order to keep the ability to move around and do what I want, I do not see myself as hitched to the State. I do not get a check or such from the Government in any way, nor do I ask anything of the State but to leave me alone.

        • Black Flag says:

          The US will suffer badly, but in the world, it among the best places to suffer.

          Lots of food, reasonable weather, resources, land, good people, secure (except from itself), etc.

          Every place has its advantages and disadvantages.

          Again, as in Poker, there are some tables that may be rich, but I avoid because better players than me are hunting there – some tables maybe full of weak players, but the play is light and weak and the hourly earning isn’t there.

          You have to find the table that has the right mix for you.

          Same with a country.

          What is important is to uncouple yourself from the notions of Patriotism or Nationalism. You are a human being on Earth – you belong anywhere you want to be.

          Do not get entangled with ‘love of country’ that is only defined by lines on a map.

    • New Zealand or Australia. Beautiful places and nice weather

    • Federated States of Micronesia. Probably Pohnpei or Kosrea. Extremely close to my present location, tropical climate, friendly people, Christian nation, representative government, Most people speaking English, no history of of racial hatred (unless you count the Japanese during WWII), not a well known nation, near Austrailia, New Zealand, and Philipines. Down side, its pretty third world and is very dependent on the US. Planning to head over in December to explore legal options.

      • Black Flag says:

        What out for locations that need imports for survival. Prices will explode especially for those that need ships/planes to get goods.

        Don’t forget to make a judgment about that as well.

        In any case, it is very good to get the residency requirements dealt with well in advance. When it all goes ‘boom’, all ‘welcome mats’ will be pulled. You better be able to show you belong there.

        • Good points BF. I was there in May and checked it out. The islands are volcanic in origin and receive 400 inches of rain a year. Food grows everywhere, and plenty of clean fresh water! Imports make life a little nicer, but the place is a tropical paradise! Fish are plentyfull too. No doubt the folk at the top of society will notice the difference when the brown and stinky hits the fan, but there are already a lot people living in huts. The regular folks seem pretty happy and content, at least soutwardly so. Funny thing is, almost every hut I saw had a compact car parked beside it, and an electricty power meter on the outside of the hut! As someone who spent almost a year living in a car, or a camper shell, I know I could live in a nice hut. 🙂 At least I wouldn’t have to worry about getting rousted by the police “Hey, you can’t sleep here!” I figure my job skills might also be useful to the country.

          You brought up good points that I’ll have to keep in mind while researching options.

  5. I'm learning! says:

    I know there are a lot of questions that involve the health care bill for your upcoming series. If I remember correctly, you said you have a family member working in health care and have some insight that many don’t have. I think maybe you could include a history of health care, and include in there what went wrong. It is easy to say things like “too much government regulation”, etc. But a little more information might help the more “recently enlightened” people who read this blog to understand what happened. Why are insurance companies not allowed to cross state lines? Why do the current government programs (Medicare, etc.) cause such a nightmare for the medical community? Why do insurance programs seem to be so “anti-alternative medicines” which has been so effective for many people (mostly in other counties) for dozens if not hundreds of years? Why do prescriptions cost so much here and no so much in other countries? And that is just a few things that came to mind in the last couple of minutes. I’m sure there is more to ask than that. Everyone agrees that there is a mess right now. Most people agree that a government plan isn’t the way to go. So enlighten the people that don’t know how or why we are in the mess we are in and what are the ideas on what can be done to fix it. Sorry, I probably should be one trying to research here instead of asking you to. I just wish I had the confidence to know if what I am reading is valid or propaganda. Especially on a topic that I have limited knowledge on.

    • Ok, I will take a shot at this…great questions.

      You asked: Why are insurance companies not allowed to cross state lines?

      D13 responds: Good question and I am sure the answer lies in the State Rights area where the States have the right to govern. I did call and ask an insurance friend of mine and he says that it is primarily State laws where benefits are different…especially Texas where we have had significant tort reforms in our laws. Also, the cost is different and the collection of premiums to the State.
      ————————————–

      You asked: Why do the current government programs (Medicare, etc.) cause such a nightmare for the medical community?

      D13 Responds: First hand knowledge here. The answer is cash flow. It takes an average 6 to 7 months to get paid by Medicare. This is just one thing. Paperwork and filling out forms makes doctors hire personnel just for this reason. It is burdensome and costly to administrate.
      ——————————————-

      You asked: Why do insurance programs seem to be so “anti-alternative medicines” which has been so effective for many people (mostly in other counties) for dozens if not hundreds of years?

      D13 responds: First hand knowledge here. Again, profits and the fact that western medicine keeps alternative health out of the competition. The FDA refuses to recognize alternative procedures as healthy. There was a move in Texas to bring all massage therapy and chiropractic therapy under the auspices of the Medical Community. It lost by a large margin. Doctors are beginning to recognize that alternative health is a great preventative medicine and made an attempt to control it. It never got out of State Committee.

      Hope this helps some.

      • The alternative medicines bit I know of. In America as in Canada there MUST be studies done in accredited labs pinning down both pharmacological value and risk. Most of these homeopathic products are no where near able to fund such. This is exactly why you see sponsorship of labs on campus’ by Dupont/Merc, BASF etc.

        • Right you are…..but I was referring more to procedures in preventative medicine than pharmacology but you are quite correct.

      • I'm learning! says:

        Yes, it helps and I’m sure more questions are coming. I wish insurance companies would recognize the benefits of alternative medicines. It would end up being a cost savings to them. I can go to the chiropractor 1 or 2 times a month for a year and get a massage every month or 2 for a year, feel much better and be healthier for less money than my husband’s “twice a year diabetic medical check up” at the clinic – which by the way goes well because we followed the advice of our chiropractor and massage therapist closer than our Dr. That dropped his average blood sugar when diagnosed from over 300 to close to 100, and dropped his triglycerides over 100 points in 6 months. Now our DR who thought he would never get off of a low dose insulin might even get by soon without prescription medicines.

        I had such a misconception of massage before I met ours. I just pictured wasting money for something like you see on TV or in the movies. But when you go to a well trained one, there are moments that you really want to swear at her. But you realize in the days after it is over, that it was benefical.

        • I'm learning! says:

          I thought I clicked on the reply for D13 – oh well, I appreciate feedback from everyone, but he was the one that said “I hope this helps some” and I was initially trying to reply to that.

        • Every time someone says “I wish the insurance companies covered that” what we are really saying is “I wish someone else would pay for what I want”.

          • I'm learning! says:

            JAC

            I really didn’t mean to imply that I wanted anyone else to pay for my medical care. But to me insurance is a business. I pay them a fee for a service. And that is quite a fee for my $3,000 deductible I still have to pay even though I am on a corporate policy and know full well that I am not flipping the whole bill! Maybe what I should say for my own purpose is it would be nice if some alternative medicines would be covered under medical spending account that I set up to cover my bills. But I have that set up through payroll. Maybe I’m just stuck with whatever rules I have since I choose to work here and have my insurance and medical account set up here.

            However, I wish insurance companies as a business would recognize the importance of alternative medicines and include it in their coverage plan. Then some of that could be applied to my deductible. However, I would guess it isn’t due to either some legislative BS that I am not even aware exists.

  6. From yesterday, I think Flag is correct, its one, not two hundred as this report indicates.

    Jennie said
    August 18, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Sorry, I’m still not buying that medical mistakes are due to a lack of incentive to prevent them. I would be interested to know more about the 100000 deaths a year statistic. Are these all people with non-life threatening conditions that go into the doctor and die as a result of treatment? If you are dragged into the ER half dead and the doctor fails to save your life, did you die of a medical mistake if in hindsight it appears that a different treatment might have saved you? Anyway, I’m just curious what this statistic actually represents.

    It would be interesting to see how your anarchic medicine would look. I’m not sure it would have all of the effects you claim. I can see it lowering prices, but I don’t think it would do anything for medical mistakes. Probable more that 100,000 would die the first year trying to play doctor on themselves and prescribe their own medicine. I’m not against letting people kill themselves with their own stupidity, but it’s not going to be popular with a lot of people.

    Nurse practitioners can prescribe medicine too, by the way. I think having more of them would be helpful in bringing down the cost of health care.

    I don’t think DOs are part of the AMA, so they could be considered a competitor of MDs.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/10/earlyshow/health/main5229458.shtml

    Probe Points to Preventable Medical Errors, Hospital Infections; Says Report Meant to Reverse Tide Not Being Heeded Americans will die this year from preventable medical errors and hospital infections. Heart dubbed its report, “Dead by Mistake.” The report also says 20 states have no medical error reporting system in place, five have voluntary ones, and five more are developing reporting systems. What’s more, says the report, in those 20 states make medical error reporting mandatory, hospitals report only a tiny percentage of their mistakes, standards vary wildly, and enforcement is often nonexistent. Heart also blames special interests for blocking progress in this area, noting that, “Ten years ago, the highly-publicized federal report, ‘To Err Is Human,’ highlighted the alarming death toll from preventable medical injuries.

    • I’m not sure my point was clear. Flag was saying that because MDs have a monopoly on medicine they have no incentive to perform their job well. My point was

      1- I’m not sure this monopoly exists. There are MDs, DOs, nurse practitioners, PAs, chiropractors, iridologists, acupuncturists, and so on that practice health care. At least three of those can prescribe medicine. Sure most of them have to have licenses, but so do hairdressers. Do hairdressers have a monopoly on haircare? If we eliminated the requirement for their license would the cost of haircare go down, or just result in more bad hair? I don’t know. I’d be willing to risk bad hair to find out, but if people are unwilling to risk bad hair, do you think they will risk it with their health?

      2- The idea that doctors need more incentive to not kill their patients is bizarre to me. It reminds me of the logic that says we need to punish people who accidentally kill their own children by leaving them in the car on a hot day. Does anyone really need the threat of harsh punishments to keep them from killing their own children? Similarly, for most doctors killing their patient is it’s own punishment.

      Oh, and those killed my medical error are not necessarily killed by doctors. It may just as easily be nurses or other health care workers.

      I’m not saying I’m against letting anyone “practice medicine” . I’m fine with that. I just don’t think it’s THE solution to our problems with health care.

      • Jennie, you are missing the real point of BF’s argument.

        First, the AMA does in fact maintain a govt approved monopoly. Virtually all guilds strive to create such monopolies. Carpenters, construction contractors, barbers and hairdressers. It reduces competition.

        Second, the essence of the argument is that the Free Market acts to correct problems because the buyers will move to those producers who do not cause problems for the buyer. Such as faulty stereo’s or bad medicine.

        We have empiracle evidence of product safety issues being rapidly resolved in the free market. Mecicine contamination was a good example. The producer had to restore consumer confidence or lose market share perhaps the entire market.

        Doctors are not exposed to the same level of competition. We see incresing levels of product liability, in the form of incresed deaths due to bad medical practices. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that it is the lack of a free market that has reduced the competitive forces which would in turn force the profession to address its high mortality rate.

        Your hairdresser example was timely for me. There was a lady who had been cutting the townsfolk’s hair for years. Everyone loved her work and some even travelled from surrounding towns. Then one day she put up a barber pole on her shop to advertise her location.

        Well the LAW showed up and issued a big fat fine for practicing the evil witchery of haircutting without a license. Only licensed Barbers can have a striped pole in front of their business. To hell with the fact that candy stores used to display a similar contraption. Seems the Barber Guild had a law passed protecting the pole and thus their profession from the withches who would practice such medicine without their concent. She could continue to cut hair, for free and only if she removed the pole, or she could go to jail. The townsfolk raised up in arms and travelled to the State house demanding the witch be given a license to cut their hair. NO said the State. She has not attended the required schools nor passed the required tests. What tests demanded the townsfolk? Why the test developed and administered by the Barber Guild, cried the State. And by the by, it will take several years for this witch to complete the school and required apprenticeship before she can take the test.

        The townsfolk and the witch returned home, very sad and angry. But alas the witch took down the pole and she quit cutting hair all together.

        Now the townfolks go to one of them factory haircutting joints and few are happy. But at least they have legal haircuts and no longer worry about the State showing up at night to check on their new dooo.

        • I’m not missing the point. I get it. I really do. I think you are missing mine.

          Maybe health care is too big a fish to start with. Maybe we should try to free up hair care first. We can stage protests and hold up signs that say “Get your hand off my hair care”. I wonder how much media attention we would get. Of course, we might attract the attention of the libs. Then they would want free hair care for everyone. That might lead to shortages and pretty soon rich people who could afford it wouldn’t even be able to get their weaves. It could be ugly. On second thought, lets just leave hair care alone.

      • Another story (true also)

        A young man from Russia came to the USA to practice his profession and grab a little of the American dream. The young man was talented beyond his years and as a result became a skilled surgeon while still in his twenties.

        Upon arrival in the land of the free and home of the capitalists, the young man was told that he could not practice his profession. Why asked the man? Because you have not completed the requirements of the profession replied the State. What requirements asked the young fellow. Those created and administered by the AMA laughed the State. You truly must be new to this country to ask such a fool question.

        OK replied the man, what must I do? Do I need to complete my residency again? No replied the State. Must I return to Medial school to take certain courses I did not have in my mother Russia? No cried the State now howling with laughter. You must start over!

        Over? implored the young surgeon. Yes! You must start over. You must go back to college and starting with your Freshman year you must complete all required courses sanctioned and approved by the State and AMA. Then you may attend medical school and then complete your residency and then if you pass the last steps you may become a doctor. But that will take me another 10 years or so, cried the young man.

        Well then perhaps you can just let me be a nurse? No said the State, the same rules apply. Go back to school and start over. How about a medical assistant of some kind? Nope.

        The young man walked away, sad and agry but with little recourse. I want to help people and I love the medical field, he mumbled. But I do not have the money to start over right now, so what can I do? He shared his frustration with a friend, who in turn offered one idea that would at least help the young man in a very small way.

        The young man, now ex-doctor/surgeon, was indeed driven to help others so he took up the friends idea. He is now attending classes to become certified as as EMT.

        • That must be a very old story because I know that’s not how it works now.

          • Black Flag says:

            Are you sure, Jennie?

            I know, for fact, that many doctors from India and Eastern Europe suffer the same assaults.

            At one of my customer’s, I know of the maintenance man – he paints and fixes toilets – is a doctor from Pakistan…..

            • Maybe they couldn’t pass the exam here. I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I did work with a guy who did med school in Guatemala. He worked as a post doc in the lab I worked in for a while then applied to residency and was accepted. He did not have to do med school over again. My husband has worked with a few foreign trained docs, but I’m not sure what they had to do to work here.

            • Jennie is correct. The system does not work that way. You do not have to attend college again.

            • BF,

              Now each state is different. For my state(Wi) and person with foreign education must take a ECFMG exam ( which you have three times to take) if you fail after 3 time you must redo that last two years of medical school. If you pass, your education must be able to be verified. And a background check for medical malpractice must be able to be perform. If those cant be preform they person will have to start over. Now if they pass both steps, then they have to do 1yr of training with a approved Doctor in their field in WI. Then they are good to go.

          • The young man from Russia is a friend of my son’s. They attended college together two years ago. The young man was taking some college classes while also working to complete his EMT training.

            So, not very long ago.

          • I did not think this was true either. I asked my son many questions. He assured me that the State had told this young man what I related to you.

            So if it is not true, then why would someone of authority tell him it is?

            If it is not true then he could have made it all up I suppose. But my son is not very gullible. So odds are not zero but greatly reduced that he lied about his circumstances.

            But I have read other accounts and even proposals regarding immigration that suggest our shortage of Gen. Practitioners could be alleviated by a targeted immigration policy and reduced AMA imposed criteria. These Docs would flood in from Russia, India and China/SE Asia.

            True? Don’t know. I can only relay what has been told to me and what I have found in the literature.

      • Black Flag says:

        Jennie

        I’m not sure my point was clear. Flag was saying that because MDs have a monopoly on medicine they have no incentive to perform their job well. My point was –

        I’m not sure this monopoly exists.

        An economic monopoly exists when someone, by law, is prevented from earning.

        Your examples of sub-categories of the medical monopoly would be like me saying: “There is no monopoly of an army by the government, see – there are privates and generals and air force and navy, and marines and coast guards – there’s lots of competition!”

        The fact is, if you say you provide Medical Care and you are not licensed, you will be charged, arrested and if found guilty fined and or jailed.

        Sure most of them have to have licenses, but so do hairdressers. Do hairdressers have a monopoly on haircare?

        YES!

        If we eliminated the requirement for their license would the cost of haircare go down, or just result in more bad hair? I don’t know.

        YES! Prices would fall!

        YES! There might be more bad hair – but since lots of people cut their families own hair, I doubt the rest of us would notice a big difference!

        The reason, I believe, hair care was licensed was to reduce person-to-person transfer of head lice.

        Since hair care shops cater to strangers, it was an attempt to prevent strangers passing lice on to unsuspecting people.

        However, we do not need a license or government to prevent that.

        I’d be willing to risk bad hair to find out, but if people are unwilling to risk bad hair, do you think they will risk it with their health?

        I agree!

        I doubt I would go to a person who ‘claimed’ themselves a doctor. I would investigate them to ensure their skill and training was significant.

        But it is not your right to prevent me from going to a quack.

        What if I knew my neighbor was a wonderful ‘doctor’ – self-taught. I’m ok with him/her doing doctoring. Why can’t I go there, or recommend my friends to go too?

        What right do you have to prevent that?

        2- The idea that doctors need more incentive to not kill their patients is bizarre to me. It reminds me of the logic that says we need to punish people who accidentally kill their own children by leaving them in the car on a hot day. Does anyone really need the threat of harsh punishments to keep them from killing their own children? Similarly, for most doctors killing their patient is it’s own punishment.

        I do not see any equivalence at all between my child dying and my neighbor dying.

        The former might devastate me for the rest of my life – the later would make me sad for a day.

        It is not the incentive of the doctor, individually, that is the complaint. I know many doctors – and all the ones I know personally are able, moral and compassionate.

        However, the medical system is careless – and could care less about the human tragedy since it has no incentive to alter its processes and in fact, has a large incentive to resist change.

        A powerful example:
        Ignaz Semmelweis was the Hungarian physician who demonstrated that puerperal fever (also known as “childbed fever”) was contagious and that its incidence could be drastically reduced by enforcing appropriate hand-washing behavior by medical care-givers. He made this discovery in 1847 while working in the Maternity Department of the Vienna Lying-in Hospital. His failure to convince his fellow doctors led to a tragic conclusion, however, he was ultimately vindicated.

        Without the discipline of the market, systemic change is resisted.

        It is the free market, unhindered, that drives innovation.

        I’m not saying I’m against letting anyone “practice medicine” . I’m fine with that. I just don’t think it’s THE solution to our problems with health care.

        I believe it is the fundamental problem of the entire health care debate – A to Z – Soup to Nuts.

        As long as the free market is prohibited from addressing the demands of the consumer, perversions in the service and its delivery will, eventually, overwhelm that service.

        • I brought up other health care workers because you specifically said doctors and the AMA had a monopoly.

          I agree there is a difference in killing your child and killing your neighbor, so do you need artificial incentives to not kill your neighbor?

          I agree that the fundamental problem with health care is a restriction of the free market. Doctors (and other health care providers) being the only ones allowed to practice health care is only one of the restrictions on the free market. I think there are others that are more important.

          • Black Flag says:

            Re: Doctors – AMA is the Association, that by law, grants or denies medical licenses

            I accept your point, however. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

            Re: Incentives – again, doctors are not purposely killing patients, so they don’t need an incentive for them to stop purposely killing.

            However, they are slaughtering them by accident – and it is systemic.

            What the latter means – it is by procedure (or lack of) that is causing this ‘accidents’ – and without market motivation (that is, a motivator at the same cognitive level, ie: systemic) – these procedures become ‘rooted’ and resistant to change.

            As I’m sure you’ve noted – I am a “attack the root” type of a guy. The root of the problem starts with the monopoly – yes, its removal may not solve all problems, but now solutions are no longer stoped by law.

          • Jennie,

            Yesterday I challenge Flag on something he had said that I felt was wrong. With some research, I proved my point to him. On this, I have no reason to challenge him, as it matches the little I know on this subject. I do like that you are asking questions, its how we all learn here.

            Bottom line, at least 100,000 die in the US from medical mistakes, and its getting worse, not better.
            History shows where free market solutions are more effective than government solutions. Maybe the Post Office can take over the medical industry? LOL

        • Maybe since I’ve challenged you on what you think the biggest problem with health care is I should offer my own thoughts on what the problem is, so you can tell me why you think I’m wrong.

          You made a statement a while back that was something like this, “Anything that is free will be consumed to exhaustion.”

          I think this is the biggest problem. For too many people health care is “free”.

          I’ll put them in three categories.

          1- The poor with no insurance. These people get free health care in emergency rooms. Many of them go without and only go to the ER in true emergencies. Others figure out quickly that they can get care there and no one can make them pay, so they use it as their free clinic and go for anything and everything. Some of these people go to the ER to get tylenol because it’s cheaper for them personally. The hospital charges people who are paying more to make up for these people. If many of the people at the store are shoplifting, the prices are going to be higher.

          2- People on medicaid. These people don’t pay anything for their health care. It doesn’t matter if they go to the ER or get an appointment it costs them nothing, so they do whatever is most convenient for them with no consideration for cost. We get to pay for these people through taxes.

          3- People with good insurance. Health care isn’t actually free for these people, but it kind of feels that way. Once they get to the doctor they’ve already paid, so the don’t consider the cost too much. Because so many people fall into this category, doctors don’t often even ask if you want this or that test. They just send you to the lab for your tests and you have to actually say “Wait I don’t want this test.” Most people don’t care because they aren’t going to pay anymore if they have the test or not. (I found this frustrating with my first pregnancy. I would go to the doctor and he would hand me a list of test and send me to the lab without much discussion. I would look at the list on the way there and say to my husband, “But I don’t need these tests!” and he would say “Shut up! You’re getting them!” And I would say “But I know my blood type and I don’t have HIV!” Then he would drag me to the lab and pester the doctor on our next visit to add some extra tests to the list, and I would glare at him while they drained all of the blood from my veins.)

          Soooo, all of these things make for a lot of unnecessary test and ER visits and other expensive proceedures that would not be done if people were having to pay out of pocket.

          Now, BF, you can tell me why I’m wrong.

          • Jennie,

            He may not see your post here, you might want to go down to his most recent one and tell him you posted up here. You list some good points.

            “The poor with no insurance. These people get free health care in emergency rooms.” This is true and false. If they have a job, the hospitals usually turn them in to a bill collecting agency, that hounds them for years. Hospitals will also bargain with the un-insured. You owe $10,000, how much can you pay? Get a loan, pay us $6,000 now, or $3,000
            now and set up payments for the ten.

            • A lot of the people I’m talking about are illegal aliens. I doubt the hospitals have much luck getting anything from them.

  7. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Last week JAC and I were having a conversation as to how a truly free society would prevent itself from polluting itself to death.
    At one point, JAC said he had some ideas, but he was getting stuck at the point where he could not figure out a way to reduce or prevent pollution without some method involving coercion.

    Here is the crux of where I believe JAC gets stuck:

    Currently, in order to produce energy and goods on the scale required for the population, pollution is unavoidable. It is know that pollution has deleterious health effects, and therefore, polluting can be seen as immoral.

    So, we have a problem. An immoral thing (pollution) is currently a REQUIREMENT of our production of energy and goods. However, in a truly free society, we cannot outright REGULATE pollution through the threat of the use of force against the polluters. What to do? If the pollution is currently an unavoidable byproduct of the processes we use to produce energy and goods, the production of pollution is not necessarily “evil” unless it can be shown that the producer of the energy or the goods is INTENTIONALLY POLLUTING MORE THAN IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for what he is producing.

    Back in last week’s open mic, I gave JAC some of my ideas as to how a free society avoids polluting itself to death, but it was probably Thursday or Friday of last week by the time we got to that point in the discussion, so most of you probably missed it.

    I would like to see some of YOUR ideas as to how a free society would maximize the production of energy, goods and services while also trying to minimize any potential damage to the environment or to the health of people. LET’S ROLL!

    • Glad you pulled this forward Peter.

      Actually my point of “stickage” was in determining that level of pollution that could be viewed as “harmful to the health or property” of others. At that point pollution becomes an imposition in the sense of a coersive force.

      The mechanism for controlling pollution is civil action by those directly affected. But that requires proving that damage has been done, or that the action poses a direct and clear threat to my life or property.

      My dilemna is in finding a way to set the “standard” or “threshold” that is truly objective. I prefer privately owned and operated labs. Others think the govt should do this in order to assure objectivity. What they really mean is funding.

      How do we assure that the “threshold” established is not tainted by those who have some particular agenda? Whether it is the Greens or the Clean Coal peeople does not matter. We know that if govt has this power both sides will fight to control it. But if the private sector has this power, how do we fund the work in a trully free society?

      Would enough people voluntarily give money to support good labs in order to assure their long term health?

      Oh darn, I just discovered a flaw in my thinking. I’ll let it be for now though. Perhaps others will discover it as we try to solve this big question.

      This is a chance for those who wanted to get on with building VDLG solutions to help build the “platform”.

      I am anxious to see what ideas may develop.

      JAC

      • What would stop the companies that the labs are investigating from buying a controlling share in the lab?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          The same thing that prevents them from doing that now!

          Oh wait… nothing really prevents them from doing that now… nevermind 🙂

          • Private companies can buy controlling shares in government run facilities in America?

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Bob,

              No, but private companies CAN buy controlling shares in private environmental labs which are responsible for environmental testing.

              For example, I worked for one environmental lab that was owned by a company which also owned several major landfills.

              Guess which lab the landfill company used to monitor the pollution from all of its landfills? The one that it OWNED of course!

              The lab still had to prove that all of our data met strict EPA method requirements including strict quality assurance and quality control of our data, and we still had annual audits by the State-level EPA, but nonetheless, the landfill company owned the environmental lab 🙂

            • Yes Bob they can. It’s called lobbying and electioneering.

              If govt controls the decision then those affected (both sides) will try to gain the power of the govt to secure the best answer for themselves.

              The downside of govt labs is that they become sanctioned as “the experts” by non other than ……. the govt.

              Private labs could be challenged during the legal process. Evidence presented as to whether they were good scientists or shills. Data from competing labs can be presented and considered by a jury of our peers.

              And if they were found guilty of transgression the fine would be given to the affected parties, not to some govt agency.

              What ever we do, we want to stop all financial incentives tied to govt enforcement. Govt has the monopoly on power. We do not want their funding dependant on their enforcement and thus use of power.

              Like police depts getting the traffic ticket funds. You know when city budgets are tight by the number of speed traps in town.

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    On the unintended consequences of “environmental justice”:

    A local gas company had a coke battery on the east side of Indianapolis. Coke is the fuel for blast furnaces at steel mills, for those of you that do not know. The local gas company produced coke at this coke battery which it then sold to the steel mills in Northwest Indiana (yes, some still exist there) for a profit. Because the gas company was able to profit from the sale of coke to the steel mills, the average gas bill for the customers of this utility company was lower than it ordinarily would have been.

    One of the primary emissions from a coke battery is benzene, which has been shown to be carcinogenic. The coke battery was located in a poorer area of town, within 1/4 mile of a public school.

    The concept of environmental justice basically states that the poorest, most disadvantaged people live in the most polluted areas, because real-estate and rents are cheapest in those areas. This obviously consitutes an injustice, because these poor people are exposed to the most pollution, and therefore they have a higher incidence of deleterious health effects than people that are not as poor.

    The utility had already made some effort to mitigate the pollution produced by the coke battery by installing the best available control technology for the operation, but the coke battery was about 100 years old, so there was only so much they could economically do.

    The state and local government determined that what had already been done by the coke facility was not sufficient for the protection of public health, and mandated even more strict pollution controls. In addition, any emissions from the coke battery above a newly set limit would result in fines being assessed against the utility company.

    It takes a tremendous amount of energy to re-start a coke battery once it has been shut down and allowed to cool. The utility company determined that the modifications needed to bring the coke battery into compliance with the new regulations would require a complete shutdown, extended maintenance and modification, and then a re-start.

    After calculating all of the costs associated with doing this were prohibative, so the utility company decided to simply shut down and dismantle the coke battery rather than modify it to bring it into compliance.

    Net result: The people that live in the area are no longer exposed to benzene emissions from the coke oven battery. However, many of them worked at the facility and have lost their jobs as a result of this. Also, the utility no longer profits from the sale of coke to the steel mills and had costs associated with shutting down and dismantling the coke battery, so the gas bill that the people in the city now pay for heating their homes has gone up. This includes the gas bills of the people that live in the poorer part of town where the coke battery was. Right about the same time that the coke battery shut down, the city decided to consolidate several pubilc schools due to decreasing enrollments, and closed the school that was 1/4 mile away from the coke battery, just to add some additional irony to the situation. Per the historical record, the coke battery was sited in that location about 8 years prior to the school being sited there, so the coke oven came BEFORE the public school.

    So this outcome was obviously mixed, but on the whole would you say it was a net positive or negative for the city?

    Also, yesterday, Mathius and Ozymandius argued that if you don’t like what is going on where you live, you always have the option to simply move, and moving supposedly does not take much in the way of resources according to their arguments, so why did the people living near the coke battery that were potentially negatively impacted by the pollution not simply move?

  9. Black Flag says:

    Late to the debate as usual

  10. Black Flag says:

    PeterB and JAC

    At one point, JAC said he had some ideas, but he was getting stuck at the point where he could not figure out a way to reduce or prevent pollution without some method involving coercion.

    And I have no problem with force being used – just like I would have no problem with force being used to defend myself from attack.

    Pollution is a violation of MY property by the action of another. They have no right.

    Currently, in order to produce energy and goods on the scale required for the population, pollution is unavoidable. It is know that pollution has deleterious health effects, and therefore, polluting can be seen as immoral.

    It’s even simpler than that.

    All humans pollute – I expect you need bathroom services multiple times a day.

    Simply because it is a biological function and a requirement for your life – you do not have a right to defecate in my yard

    So it is not defecating that is immoral (rephrased: pollution is not immoral) – it is imposing your pollution on me that is immoral (rephrase: it is imposing on me that is immoral)

    So the solution is not about pollution or not – that is actually a ‘head fake’ distraction about the issue.

    The solution must address the imposition!

    So, simplify your question – how does one mitigate/solve/compensate someone for an imposition?

    Think about that for a bit….

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      In this case, I personally think that you are oversimplifying things just a bit (not by much, but by at least a small amount).

      I assume that you will admit that at least with current technology, the production of energy and goods results in pollution as a by-product. (I know it is dangerous to assume, so correct me if I am wrong on this point).

      So, what happens is, you get the benefit of industry (energy and goods to use) along with the deleterious effect (pollution).

      So, for me, the difficulty is to weigh the imposition (pollution) vs. the benefit (availability of energy and goods). It seems to me that if I determine that the benefit already outweighs the imposition, then additional compensation would not be required.

      If it suddenly becomes possible to produce energy and goods without the concomitant production of pollution, then ANY pollution would be an imposition, but at least for now, there are very few (if any) economical or practical ways to produce energy and goods without pollution.

      So for me, the question is, “How much pollution am I willing to accept as a necessary consequence of my desire to use energy and posess things?”

      • Black Flag says:

        IMO, it is not “how much am I willing to accept”.

        It is, “how much are you willing to pay me to compensate for your imposition”

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          BF,

          As I said, if you are deriving a benefit from the production of energy and goods (albeit paying for those benefits) as well as deriving a consquence from the production of energy and goods known as pollution, how does one accurately address the balance between the cost we are willing to pay for the benefits of available energy and goods vs. what we feel we should be paid to mitigate the consequences such as pollution?

          It seems this would be a highly individualized decision. If I am willing to live in such a way as to minimize my own useage of energy and goods, then I suppose I would feel that I was owed more by the entities that produce energy and goods and the concomitant pollution. If I decide to live my life in such a way that I consume large amounts of energy and goods, then perhaps it is not the producers of the energy and goods that are the issue, but my own personal choice to use energy and goods in large quantities… gotta think about this one some more.

          Pollution absolutely for the sake of producing pollution and nothing else, would require a great deal of compensation in my opinion, but pollution as a by-product of the production of energy and goods which I freely choose to use and pay for the use of seems a bit more complicated.

          • Black Flag says:

            PeterB

            As I said, if you are deriving a benefit from the production of energy and goods (albeit paying for those benefits) as well as deriving a consquence from the production of energy and goods known as pollution, how does one accurately address the balance between the cost we are willing to pay for the benefits of available energy and goods vs. what we feel we should be paid to mitigate the consequences such as pollution?

            First, one has to prove harm.

            Throwing a pebble into my yard is not your right, but how much harm did it do?

            Therefore, my response must be measured by the imposition – and as such, I can’t go and burn down your house. The most I probably could do is yell a lot.

            But, say, you continue – each individual pebble does little – but now the pile prevents me from safely mowing my lawn. NOW I have good cause to demand compensation and/or remediation.

            I can’t see why this can’t happen with pollution.

            Because I may use the positive consequences of pollution (mobile energy) and therefore I’ve already accepted the balance between imposition and convenience does not mean that those that have not accepted such should have to pay for me.

            Their rights are not removed by my convenience.

            Yes, the solution may be more challenging but I think if we thought about it for a good long time (and especially if I was an energy company and hyper-motivated to figure it out we would find a reasonable solution.

            “seems a bit more complicated.”

            It sure is.

            It is a whole lot hard to operate in a manner that immutably respects all people’s rights then to simply pick up a club and beating people over their head until they agree.

            Violence is always a far simpler solution to problems which is why government uses it all the time.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              One further question BF,

              If we are able to assess that harm is being done by pollution, who is, in fact, performing the act that causes harm? The people producing the goods and energy (and hence the pollution) or the people agreeing to USE the goods and energy?

              If no one were using the goods and energy, they would not need to be produced, but of course everyone needs food, shelter, clothing, etc. all of which currently require a certain amount of pollution in order to exist.

              Even if you decide to live “off of the grid” and build yourself a log cabin and build a spill-pipe system in a creek on your property to produce your own electricity, dig your own latrine on your own property, sheer sheep and tan hides to make your own clothing, etc. you are still not eliminating all of your own sources of pollution or completely limiting them to your own property (although you are at least making the attempt).

              So, who is responsible for any imposition caused by pollution? Is it the producer of goods and energy, the user of goods and energy, or some combination of both?

              • Peter,

                Life. If you live, you consume and create pollution. Its good to impose as little as is practicle,
                the choice comes down to living, or the alternative.

    • BF and Peter/et al.

      I earlier reference to a flaw was in my assumptions about finding a threshold for “damage”

      BF is correct in my view that pollution reaches a point where it imposes. Given our freedom ethic that means it must be causing damage. We have established that mere inconvenienc or dislike is not enough to be called imposing on a right.

      But I forgot that “damage” in the environmental world is not a hard and fast number. Peter later started getting to the issue with his example of the Benzyne threshold.

      Pollution affects everyone differently. Some are not affected, others can get sick and others can contract cancer. The Harm can depend not only on single exposure but long term exposure. Thus amount and duration can be variables.

      Thus, at least for air pollution and some water pollution, we get answers with assumed and accepted levels of Probable occurance and Acceptable Risk. These are currently hidden in the regulatory framework or the results of work done under a regulation. Some govt person has decided that one death in one million is acceptable.

      But such a determination by another human being is not valid under the ethics we have established here with VDLG. Only I can determine what risk I am willing to accept.

      While that addresses the simple ethic, it does nothing to solve the dilemna of how to get someone to stop putting out levels of pollution I find unacceptable. And what if I don’t want it, but all my other friends don’t care?

      I would like to point out that the original concept of Cap and Trade was intended to address this dilemna for the economic standpoint. To address the very thing Peter is raising. It obviously fails to do what it was intended to do, in this regard.

      A fellow the other day suggested one more criteria that may be helpful here. That is the concept of occupancy. Who came first. We were discussing nusance law as a way to deal with pollution and avoid zoning. If you are there first and the polluter moves in they must meet your standards or pay for the taking of your property. The value of your property was determined by the uses you chose when you actually occupied the property.

      This avoids folks buying up large amounts of land to protect some future right to do whatever they want. If they don’t move onto the land until others have built a town, then they can not impose upon those already living in the town.

      I think this has possibility but we still need to address the long range, as in geographic distance, effects of pollutants. Especially air pollutants.

      Well now I have spilled more water on the table. Any idea how we can get this all mopped up and put in the proper buckets?

      JAC

  11. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    On the flaw in EPA’s current “unit risk factor” in the assessment of health risk:

    To estimate the risk to public health associated with the release of certain chemicals into the environment, the EPA employs what they call the “unit risk factor”. The unit risk factor is ESTIMATED using epidemiological data (usually from rat studies).

    In typical rat studies, rats are given large enough doses of a particular chemical to induce the desired (err.. UNdesired) response in 50% of the animals tested. This determines a number called the LD50 (the dose at which a lethal consequence was induced in 50% of the population tested).

    The EPA then uses various models and fudge factors to estimate the unit risk, which they define as the doseage required to potentially induce this negative effect in 1 out of 1 million people in the population.

    A 1 in 1,000,000 risk factor SOUNDS like a reasonable number. HOWEVER, it must be noted that the risk most often associated with toxic chemicals is generally some form or other of cancer.

    Why is this important? Statistically, 25% of the population of the US will develop some form of cancer at some point in their lifetime. This is mainly due to genetics, with small portions also attributable to diet, smoking, longer life span (the longer you live, the higher the odds that one of your cells will go haywire and become cancer), and pollution, among other factors.

    So essentially, your risk factor for developping SOME sort of cancer JUST FOR BEING BORN is 25 in 100, or 0.25, and what the EPA is trying to determine through the use of its unit risk factor is the amount of a specific chemical exposure which would elevate your cancer risk from 0.25 to 0.2500001. Regulations are formulated by this increase in your risk of cancer.

    In my example above relating to the coke oven, it was ESTIMATED that in the area within 2 square miles of the coke facility, the cancer risk associated with living in that area was increased by a factor of 93 in 1 million. This SOUNDS pretty significant, but the fact is that about 30,000 people actually live in the area being discussed. Out of that 30,000, statistically 7500 are going to get some form of cancer in their lifetimes regardless of what we do. The remaining 22,500 that would ordinarily not get cancer had their risk of getting cancer elevated by 93 in 1 million or approximately 1 in 100,000. So, because of the emissions from the coke oven, it was estimated that 1 out of 100,000 people would get a cancer that they would not ordinarily get. However, the population affected by the increased risk is well under 100,000 so according to my math, the actual risk is that there is about a 22.5% chance that one person in this area will get a cancer that they would not ordinarily get due to the coke oven emissions.

    The question is, should we be basing regulations and fines on an ESTIMATE that 1 person out of 30,000 has a 22.5% chance of getting a cancer that they would not have ordinarily got? How do we reasonably define “acceptable risk”? Perhaps some of you think that the way it is being done is fine, and that is ok. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and this is a very tricky issue. Obviously pollution is in no way a wonderful thing, and we should strive to limit it as much as possible. At the same time, we should strive to have a flourishing economy, so I see a need for balance here- and I am not personally sure that where we are at right now is the proper balance.

  12. Mathius;

    It is not a conspiracy, it is a plan. According to Websters a Plan is a specific project or definate purpose. A conspiracy is an evil unlawful treacherous plot.

    The left are executing a plan and our current regime have all the right players (Dodd, Pelosi, Frank, Reed, Obama, Hilary, etc, etc.

    Keeping a secret is not the point, selling an ideal is, especially when you are selling an idea that is easilly swallowed by a dumb-downed society, and one that has grown accustom to an entitlement mentality (Social Security, Medicare, wealfare, unemployment benefits, food stamps, etc.)

    I do not feel I am ‘superior’ to you and neither do the majority that write here today, we are equals as free men and women.

    Just because you believe that this country is far closer to a world-view does not make it so. You are speaking for those who believe as you do, that this country needs to be more like the liberal world, and that our historical choosen ways are greatly responsible for the majority or world issues and/or tragedies/transgressions. America becoming more like Europe is not a solution to the problems we face as a universal society.

    I know where you are going relative to your request for an answer, but your thinking is incorrect. Michigan as an example has one of the poorest economy’s in the country today, We also have some of the poorest high school graduation levels per capita. Our unemployment is at an all-time high, and we are most likely one of the most un-healthy states as well. Interestingly enough we are one of the highest gun owner states per capita, which is greatly due to the number of hunters living in Michigan. We are still maintain the largest boat ownership per capita in the US, because we have the Great Lakes. Our state and local Government’s are predominately Democratic, and have been for many, many years.

    Those of us labelled ‘far-right’ have said, and continue to say; “If America wants to know what the country will look like, should the current regime accomplish all that they have proposed, take a look at Michigan as it is today”.

    If I was to explore your question I imagine I would find that the majority of states with the worst downed economy, poorest graduation levels, un-healthy population, etc., would in fact be blue.

    That is due to the Democrats / liberals controling the government and excersizing their Fasciolist ideals: raising taxes, increasing wealfare benefits, increased sin taxes, increased business taxes, increased government funding, the passing of unconstitutional laws, increased entitlements, corrupt politicians, and a continued effort to control it’s citizens.

    These are the acts of an out-of-control government bent on limiting freedoms and liberties. It is an example of how a government excellorated by a liberal media conveying that governments “Plan” can “change” a once great nation. It is not what most Americans want, despite what the lib’s spew about; and NO it is not about being more like the Europeans.

    Ask yourself what our country is going to look like in 20-30-50 years should the current regime accomplish it’s plan. How will the Financial Industry look, what kind of cars will we be driving, what will the government be teaching our children, how will free-trade be handled, what rights will you have given up so that the less fortunate can go to college or work on Wall Street? What will you be paying for your basic needs when China, Japan and Korea are no longer allowed to import goods because they don’t wish to abide by the Cap and Trade bill? How much will you be paying to heat or cool your home using solar, or wind energy?

    These are things that those of you on the left need to think about. Because once you have obtained the goals set by the current regimes plan those of us who disagree with you will not be around to help. We will have moved to Texas, which by then will be its own nation.

    Cm

    • A lot of points to hit here, but I have a lot of work to accomplish (alas, also a trend), so I will make this short.

      I know what the world will look like in a few years, and I know what kinds of cars people will be driving. I even know how we will get our power and how much it will cost.

      We will be driving flying Delorians powered by Mr. Fusion. This will provide very cheap power. People will be largely happy and I saw no evidence of guns or gun violence, but you will still have to be careful around people named Biff Tanner.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        I like it! 🙂

        If I remember correctly, Mr. Fusion can be re-charged using cheap beer, and since drinking cheap beer is generally nasty, feeding it to Mr. Fusion instead will be largely preferable.

        • Kristian Stout says:

          If I remember correctly it could also be fueled by household garbage. That helped the environment by recycling and avoiding pollution! You guys are a hoot!

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Indeed Kristian, household garbage mixed with cheap beer was the fuel of choice for Mr. Fusion!

            An all-around great invention, no?

            🙂

      • Mathius;

        I hope you are correct, flying cars would be a much practical mode of transportation, and at the same time save a great deal of tax payer money now being used to repair highways and roads.

        Relative to your earlier post touting gun deaths and gun ownership I shall investigate that, for I believe those numbers to be greatly skewed. I would expect to find out that when all the factors involved are examined, the results will take on a different perspective.

        CM

    • I once went to these meetings (Friends of Bill W.) and a well-known quote was, “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it:”. These people, our non-representatives, aren’t even thinking about their OWN children or grandchildren, just their own personal riches and power. Very sad but true. I wonder if they will blame G.W. Bush when they realize what a bunch of crap this is.

  13. Richmond Spitfire says:

    A funny for today!

    Prelude to Obama Care!

    The phone rings and the lady of the house answers, “Hello.”

    “Mrs. Ward, please.” “Speaking”

    “Mrs. Ward, this is Doctor Jones at the Medical Testing Laboratory. When your doctor sent your husband’s biopsy to the lab yesterday, a biopsy from another Mr. Ward arrived as well, and we are now uncertain which one is your husband’s. Frankly the results are either bad or terrible.”

    “What do you mean?” Mrs. Ward asks nervously.

    “Well, one of the specimens tested positive for Alzheimer’s and the other one tested positive for AIDS. We can’t tell which your husband’s is.”

    “That’s dreadful! Can’t you do the test again?” questioned Mrs. Ward.

    “Normally we can, but Medicare will only pay for these expensive tests one time.”

    “Well, what am I supposed to do now?”

    “The people at Medicare recommend that you drop your husband off somewhere in the middle of town. If he finds his way home….. don’t sleep with him

  14. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi again Mathius,

    As long as I can remember, groups (and individuals) advocating for certain things have taken statistics and have twisted them to various “views” of reporting so that they can justify their message, their goal, etc.

    The link that you provided is the Violence Policy Center. The 2nd Paragraph under About VPC says:

    The Violence Policy Center (VPC), a national tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, works to stop this annual toll of death and injury through research, advocacy, and education. The VPC approaches gun violence as a public health issue, advocating that firearms be subject to health and safety standards like those that apply to virtually all other consumer productst. Guns and tobacco are the only two consumer products for which there is no federal health and safety oversight.

    I am not saying that VCP is “lying”, I’m just saying that they are displaying data that highlights to their best advantage, their reason for being. A lot of times, important nuances are left out…Drug-Related Killings; Home-Invasions; Robber killed by homeowner…that sort of thing.

    Take for example some research that I conducted this morning…this data is valid data, but it highlights my goal to make you see that Gun Control doesn’t lessen Homicidal Crime. I sure wish I had more time to show you different statistics than what I come up with below.

    In order to make you see this, I am trying to compare apples to apples.

    ALL STATISTICS BELOW are from US Dept. of Justice/Bureau of Justice Statistics which can be found at http://bjsdata.ojp.usdoj.gov/dataonline/Search/Homicide/Local/LocalHomicide.cfm. The same database was used to obtain all statistics noted.

    Data Searched On: Local Reporting Agencies with population coverage of more than 250,000 that reported in both UCR (FBI Uniform Crime Reports) and SHR (FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports).

    First, I took two counties (which are side by side) in Virginia – Happens to be where I live. Both of these counties “touch” the City of Richmond, VA. (Please note: Data was not available for City of Richmond)

    Chesterfield County is more rural than Henrico County, but they are close in population. Chesterfield County is a bit more lenient when it comes to guns; Henrico County rules to the left in all things related to guns (both are within State Law of course). Virginia law allows for a person to purchase and own firearms and is a shall issue state for conceal-carry…there are rules/regulations associated with this – too much to note here though.

    Search criteria:

    For Year, 2005; Variables Selected: # of Victims AND Weapon Type; Reporting Agencies: Chesterfield County, Virginia AND Henrico County Virginia

    Data Results:

    Chesterfield County, 8 Homicides (50% by Gun)
    Henrico County, 14 Homicides (78.6% by Gun)

    Next, I took two cities (near each other) where the gun control laws are much more strict.

    Search Criteria:

    For Year, 1997 (1997 was last year of reporting for Washington DC in database); Variables Selected: # of Victims AND Weapon Type; Reporting Agencies: Baltimore City, Maryland AND Washington, District of Columbia

    Results:

    Baltimore, MD, 312 Homicides (84.6% by Gun)
    Washington, DC 301 Homicides (80.4% by Gun)

    Finally, to keep it fair, I performed the same search (2005 instead of 1997) for counties near each of the metro cities – Anne Arundel in MD and Fairfax in VA.

    Search Criteria:

    For Year, 2005; Variables Selected: # of Victims AND Weapon Type; Reporting Agencies: Anne Arundel County, Maryland AND Fairfax County, Virginia

    Results:

    Anne Arundel County, MD, 12 Homicides (50% by Gun)
    Fairfax County, VA, 13 Homicides (41.7% by Gun)

    Now, based upon these results, I can make the following points (and be totally accurate, because I have the data to support my statement):

    *Localities/cities that have strict gun control have a significantly higher rate of homicide by firearm than localities/cities having less gun control.

    *Rural localities have less homicide by firearm than cities.

    You know Mathius…I’m sure that I could make many more assumptions about my searching…just as you could.

    My whole point with this time-consuming exercise was to show that data can be reported in many ways to advocate whatever you want it to. Our government does it all the time; Businesses do it all the time; Teachers do it all the time; Parents do it all the time – I’m doing it right now!

    Best Regards,
    RS

    • Spitfire, great post, I was responding at the same time below. Other info,

      D. Police cannot protect — and are not required to protect — every individual

      * The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect individuals, only the public in general. For example, in Warren v. D.C. the court stated “courts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community.”23

      * Former Florida Attorney General Jim Smith told Florida legislators that police responded to only about 200,000 of 700,000 calls for help to Dade County authorities. Smith was asked why so many citizens in Dade County were buying guns and he said, “They damn well better, they’ve got to protect themselves.”24

      * The Department of Justice found that in 1989, there were 168,881 crimes of violence which were not responded to by police within 1 hour.25

      * Currently, there are about 150,000 police officers on duty at any one time to protect a population of more than 250 million Americans — or almost 1,700 citizens per officer.26
      A. Poor track record

      City

      1997 Murder rate
      Washington, DC 56.9 per 100,00027
      Arlington, VA 1.6 per 100,00028
      (Arlington is just across the river from D.C.)

    • NIIIICE post….

    • Good post RS….The city of LA has more gun deaths than our whole state and just about everyone around here owns at least one gun. More people killed by cars is LA too….seems like someones data is a little warped, as usual. I am glad I am a backwoods redneck….make sure not to let my neighbors know will ya? Have a wonderful evening.

  15. Black Flag says:

    Just A Citizen

    Heh, heh, heh,

    Told you so…

    “The team also found that the radiative imbalance was sufficiently small that it was necessary to consider the effect of geothermal heating. Knox believes this is the first time this additional source of heat has been accounted for in such a model.”

    …small!…

    But, yeah – same as the melting of Greenland Ice Sheets – it had to be man-made!…. as long as they ignored the volcano under the ice….

    • I think you have misunderstood my point.

      If you recall I said that I felt the oceans were having a much greater effect on climate than believed. And that the volcanic acitivity under the ocean is having a much greater impact on the whole story than anyone has been willing to admit.

      Thus the “I told you so”.

      There has been a very large amount of CO2 missing from the cycle (unaccounted for). The CO2 content of the oceans, even if it contained the missing CO2 do not account for the oceanic temperature effects I have seen in my lifetime. The thermodynamics just don’t seem to work out in support of this.

      They are finally looking at the geothermal effects because the radiative imbalance is far to small to account for the effects being measured.

      I have seen IR photography showing a large volcanic hot spot just east of the eastern ice shelf of Antartica as well. Yet I have never seen that photo shown in any story discussing the reduction of that ice sheet. In the photo I saw it was massive and has to be affecting ocean temperatures and/or currents.

  16. MatHius said, ON #3

    States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates

    Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate per 100,000

    1 Louisiana 45.6 percent 19.58 50

    2 Alabama 57.2 percent 16.99 49

    3 (tie) Alaska 60.6 percent 16.38 48

    3 (tie) Mississippi 54.3 percent 16.38 47

    5 Nevada 31.5 percent 16.25 46

    States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates

    New York 18.1 percent 5.20

    Connecticut 16.2 percent 4.95

    Rhode Island 13.3 percent 4.43

    Massachusetts 12.8 percent 3.28

    Hawaii 9.7 percent 2.58

    That information is provided by an anti-gun organization. Do you really care if someone uses a gun to kill you instead of a knife or club? Is it not more valid to look at violent crimes. Also, they count suicide. Would you prefer someone who wants to die, to use their car instead of a gun?

    http://www.statestats.com/cit07pop.htm

    CITIES OF 500,000 OR MORE POPULATION: (32 cities)

    Please correct any inaccuracies, NG for no guns permitted, G for guns allowed.

    Safest 10: Most Dangerous 10:

    1 San Jose, CA NG 1 Detroit, MI NG

    2 Honolulu, HI NG 2 Baltimore, MD NG

    3 El Paso, TX G 3 Memphis, TN G

    4 New York, NY NG 4 Washington, DC NG

    5 Austin, TX G 5 Philadelphia, PA NG

    6 San Diego, CA NG 6 Dallas, TX G

    7 San Antonio, TX G 7 Nashville, TN G

    8 Louisville, KY G 8 Charlotte, NC G

    9 Fort Worth, TX G 9 Columbus, OH G

    10 Jacksonville, FL G 10 Houston, TX G

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The point here is ridiculous.

      For example, Detroit does not allow guns, yet it is well established that Detroit has among the highest per-capita murder rate of any city on a regular basis, and a majority of those murders are done using…. you guessed it! GUNS!

      But wait… Detroit DOES NOT ALLOW GUNS!!! HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN????

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      One must also remember that you cannot blame stupidity on an inanimate object.

      If you stub your toe on your son’s skateboard getting out of the car, you probably say, “Stupid skateboard!!!”, but it was not the skateboard that was stupid! It was either your son being stupid for leaving it there, or you being stupid for not watching where you were going 🙂

      In much the same way, we cannot blame gun violence on the existence of guns. A gun is an inanimate object. It requires either accidental or intentional intervention by a sentient being in order for it to actually hurt someone.

    • These statistics are out of date. I know this because I worked in the 9th most dangerous city in the US as of last year.

      • Sorry, the correct listing is the listing above the data cited. This data just analyzes large cities, which will cause a skewed understanding of the listing.

        • My bad, it was hard to post, and had to be edited.

          Columbus, you poor soul. Move south, great golf here even if you don’t hunt or such.

          • I actually worked in Richmond, CA. These numbers have been updated.

            If you follow the link, the topmost listing of data provides the safest/most dangerous cities regardless of population size.

  17. Black Flag says:

    v. Holland

    So what do you suggest-I’ve read much about how bad and evil the government is-so what are we to do-I keep hearing about a VDLG Party or tying to influence the Republican Party but anytime anyone talks about what we can do to change the system-I hear you can’t change the system-so please help me understand just what we are talking about

    VDLG is USWep/JAC and others concept.

    I do not believe it will work if it still manages to create a government (<-my definition of government).

    The current status of this two-against-one discussion is on the definition. Remember that long thread? I still believe we have not yet resolved the differences between "what is reality" and "what is fantasy".

    We'll see what happens when that finally is nailed down…

  18. Black Flag says:

    Chris Devine

    Do you think that’s wrong? Would it be better if the patient with the most money got the treatment?

    Yes.

    Suppose a super-rich rock star needs a liver transplant due to years of substance abuse. Do you think he should be able to jump the queue because he’s got more money?

    If he can pay for it, yes.

    What if the person who was supposed to get the next liver was an upstanding member of his community, a father, and suffering through no fault of his own. We can even up the ante and say that his ailment was caused by exposure to toxic substances by his employer (who remained silent). Furthermore, we know that the rock star is still abusing heroin and alcohol and will likely damage his new liver as well.

    Can you seriously say that whomever can afford it deserves treatment? That seems just as arbitrary and rather unfair/unjust.

    Yes.

    …. because it is the voluntary decision of free men to enter into any trade between them.

    Just because you do not like the trade between JAC and I gives you no right to interfere since you are not a party in that trade.

    The challenge you suffer is that you pretend that your information about such a trade gives you a right to that trade.

    The test, Chris, is your ignorance. If you did not know that trade happened – and thus may or may not have happened, did it affect your life?

    If the answer is no – then the trade and its circumstances is not your right to involve yourself in.

    In your example, let’s put that father in Russia and that Rock Star in the USA.

    That father has no knowledge that there was an exchange. That circumstance is precisely equal to him as if no exchange happened. Therefore, he has no right to interfere with the exchange.

    As we agreed a while back, there cannot exist complete equity in all things. Scarcity of resources demands choices between haves and have nots.

    Thus, the difference between our positions is simple:

    You want to steal and seize property and wealth from others and give it to those that did not earn it – based on your belief of fairness.

    I refuse anyone the right to steal – period.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Perhaps the members of the community in which the fine upstanding man resides should hold some sort of event in which they accept donations, and they can raise enough money so that the fine upstanding man will get his transplant ahead of the drug and alcohol abusing rock-star.

      • Or the people donating the organs could stipulate who it can go to. Or the people/hospitals performing the surgeries could have their own self-imposed standards on recipients of the organs, and then if I donate my organs I make sure it goes to the hospitals that will dispense of them in a manner I agree with.

    • Chris and BF

      His lack of knowledge can not negate the effect of the trade upon him, in and of itself. The trade either affects him or it does not.

      And conversely, his mere knowledge does not create an effect, in and of itself.

      The reality of the example is that the Rock Star gets the organ because he has more money and the child dies because his Dad had less money.

      The error in the set up is the premise that the boy was first in line. But who created the criteria for the line in the first place? Eliminate the assumed validity of the line and restart the problem.

      • Black Flag says:

        The knowledge/ignorance is merely a “test”.

        If by an action, causes the same consequence as ‘no action’ upon you – then you are not a party to that action.

        Me hitting a pillow, and you watching me has the same physical imposition upon you as you not knowing I’m hitting a pillow.

        Many people act as if knowing something has been done is the same as that action being done to them and react as such. That is why the ‘ignorance test’ should be applied.

    • Chris Devine says:

      Bidding wars for vital organs, how compassionate.

      You get points for answering truthfully, though (however bat-shit crazy your answers seem to me).

    • Chris Devine says:

      So medical ethics (in which likelihood of survival and demonstrated need are key) have no place in medicine?

      I can’t tell if you’re just playing devil’s advocate for an extreme version of free-market economics or if you really think that all decisions should be based upon who has the most gold (and I can’t decide which would be worse).

      • Black Flag says:

        Who determines “need”, Chris? You based on the Gift-from-God?

        I’m sure your need will always exceeds someone else no matter what!

        The problem with your strategy is that you force people at gun point to give up to the benefit of those that did not earn it.

        It has nothing to do with ‘bidding wars’ – it has to do with FREE and VOLUNTARY action.

        Your system depends on force, violence and coercion – and the one with the gun determines everything.

        Yours is the way of the savage – and has no place in civilization.

        • Black Flag says:

          There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it.

          A politician who portrays himself as “caring” and “sensitive” because he wants to expand the government’s charitable programs is merely saying that he’s willing to try to do good with other people’s money.

          Well, who isn’t?

          And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he’ll do good with his own money — if a gun is held to his head.

        • Chris Devine says:

          So if a physician has a choice to treat two patients, one who has plenty of money but little chance of survival while the other has no money but a good chance of surviving (only if treated), the physician should choose to treat the patient who can pay?

          I thought I answered your question regarding need by posting this link:
          http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics.shtml

          I ask you again, do you think that ability to pay should be the overriding factor in someone receiving medical treatment or not?

  19. Black Flag says:

    Back in a few hours….

  20. Alert in Michigan says:

    I got this on email today and post it perhaps just for a chuckle, perhaps for conversation. According to the email & sites found on Google it is attributed to Georgia State Rep. Mitchell Kaye.

    NEW PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION

    “We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed-wetters. We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights.”

    ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

    ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone — not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

    ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful; do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy..

    ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes …

    ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we’re just not interested in public health care.

    ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don’t be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

    ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don’t be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won’t have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

    ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

    ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

    ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don’t care where you are from, English is our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from!

    ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country’s history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!

  21. Doctors have competition. Other doctors. You are approaching an analysis of macro-level without looking at the micro-level.

    I hope you understand that all doctors are not alike. Many use a combination of herbal remedies alongside allopathic medicine.

    The FDA does not approve most herbal remedies because since the 1990s, these have often been categorized as dietary supplements. Congress has removed the FDA’s jurisdiction in these areas. Therefore, the FDA does not approve herbal remedies because it does not have the power to approve or disapprove them. It can regulation if the herbal remedy is shown to cause harm (and there are specific regulations that establish a fairly high standard for harm).

    • Hi Ozy.

      I noticed you said you worked in Richmond, Ca. May I ask how long ago that was? I used to live in Richmond when I was a little girl, then we moved to Pinole, ever hear of it? Curious.

      Thanks

      Judy

      • I worked there this past summer. I’ve been out to Pinole recently to do some work.

        It was my first time being in Contra Costa County, although I’ve had friends that lived there previously. It’s too hot during the summers…

        • We moved there, I want to say the late 50’s. We first lived in Pinole Valley, then moved closer to town there. I went to school there from the 3rd grade on up to 12th. Stayed there until I got married in 1969.

          Just strange to see that somebody on here was in where I grew up at. Before we moved to Pinole, we lived in Atchison Village in Richmond.

          What kind of work do you do, if you don’t mind me asking? I work with my husband, yea, same guy from 69, and his brother in his brother’s Environmental lab.It’s an analytical lab.

    • Black Flag says:

      Ozymandius

      Doctors have competition. Other doctors. You are approaching an analysis of macro-level without looking at the micro-level.

      That’s like saying soldiers have competition, they are other soldiers – as an argument that the government does not maintain a monopoly on armies.

      Therefore, the FDA does not approve herbal remedies because it does not have the power to approve or disapprove them.

      The efforts of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the FDA are trying to change that.

      • The military does have competition these days with private entities.

        However, I disagree with your statement regarding doctors. Unlike the government, which is a single unit, all doctors are not a single unit. They compete, as each is an individual business entity, depending on specialty type. You have a choice, and doctors offer differing services.

  22. A few days late.

    Dear friend,

    Happy Cost of Government Day! Today, August 12, is Cost of Government Day (COGD), the day of the calendar year when the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government on the federal, state, and local levels.

    COGD falls 26 days later than last year’s date, and it’s 23 days later than the previous all-time high of July 20, in 1982. There are numerous reasons for this explosive growth in government spending including TARP, the so-called Stimulus, and the big three auto “bailouts.” If Congress and the President had not pushed for TARP, Americans would have celebrated COGD on July 25 rather than on August 12.

    As your Congressman and Senators hold their town hall meetings this recess, you should ask them why you needed to spend 224 days working to pay off your share of government. You should also ask them if you’ve already spent this much time working to pay off government, why would you possibly want to spend additional days working for a government takeover of healthcare?

    View the COGD report at http://www.CostofGovernmentDay.com and arm yourselves with the data to ask your representatives the necessary and hard questions about the astonishing growth in government. The report contains a state-by-state breakdown so you can find out how your state ranks.

  23. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Geez LOI…

    Now I’m in a sourpuss mood!

    Grrrrrhhhhh,
    RS

    • Well we can’t have that,

      The Why’s of Men:

      1. WHY DO MEN BECOME SMARTER DURING SEX?
      (because they are plugged into a genius)

      2. WHY DON’T WOMEN BLINK DURING SEX?
      (they don’t have enough time)

      3. WHY DOES IT TAKE 1 MILLION SPERM TO FERTILIZE ONE EGG?
      (they don’t stop to ask directions)

      4. WHY DO MEN SNORE WHEN THEY LIE ON THEIR BACKS?
      (because their balls fall over their butt-hole and they vapor lock)

      (You’re laughing, aren’t you?!?!)

      5. WHY WERE MEN GIVEN LARGER BRAINS THAN DOGS?
      (so they won’t hump women’s legs at cocktails parties)

      6. WHY DID GOD MAKE MEN BEFORE WOMEN?
      (you need a rough draft before you make a final copy)

      7. HOW MANY MEN DOES IT TAKE TO PUT A TOILET SEAT DOWN?
      (don’t know…..it never happened)

      ( C’mon guys, we laugh at your blonde jokes!)

      And my personal favorite:
      8. WHY DID GOD PUT MEN ON EARTH?
      (because a vibrator can’t mow the lawn)

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Dear LOI…

        You have totally redeemed yourself!

        Now…to pick myself up off the floor and compose myself!

        LOL!

        Thanks,
        RS

      • LOI

        RS might not be laughing, but I sure am.

        Thanks

        Judy

      • Sheldon

        A man walks to 5th Ave. & 42nd St. in New York City during a downpour and

        somehow manages to get a taxi immediately. He gets into the taxi, and the cabbie
        says, “Perfect timing. You’re just like Sheldon.” “Who?”
        “Sheldon Cohen. There’s a guy who did everything right. Like my cab being vacant

        during a rainstorm. It would have happened like that for Sheldon every single time.”
        “Well, no one is perfect. There are always a few clouds over everybody”,stated the passenger.
        “Not Sheldon,” said the cabbie. “He was a terrific athlete. He could have gone on the pro tour in tennis.
        He could golf with the pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star.

        Handsome and sophisticated,more than Cary Grant. He had a better body than Arnold in his prime.

        He was something! “Somehow Sheldon just knew exactly how to make women happy,” the cabbie

        continued. “He had a memory like a computer. Could remember everybody’s birthday. He knew
        all about wine, which fork to eat with. He could fix anything. Not like me. I change a fuse, and the

        whole neighborhood blacks out.”
        “Wow, incredible , no wonder you remember him!” said the passenger.
        “Well, I never actually met Sheldon,” admitted the cabbie.
        “Then how do you know so much about him?” asked the passenger.
        “After he died, I married his wife.”

      • Fair and balanced.

        Men strike back! ! ! ! ! ! !

        How many men does it take to open a beer?
        None. It should be opened when she brings it.
        ——————————————————————-
        Why is a Laundromat a really bad place to pick up a woman?
        Because a woman who can’t even afford a washing machine will probably never be able to support you
        . ——————————————————————–
        Why do women have smaller feet than men?
        It’s one of those “evolutionary things” that allows them to stand closer to the kitchen sink.
        ——————————————————————-
        How do you know when a woman is about to say something smart?
        When she starts a sentence with “A man once told me…”
        ——————————————————————-
        How do you fix a woman’s watch?
        You don’t. There is a clock on the oven.
        ——————————————————————-
        Why do men fart more than women?
        Because women can’t shut up long enough to build up the required pressure.
        ——————————————————————-
        If your dog is barking at the back door and your wife is yelling at the front door, who do you let in first?
        The dog, of course. He’ll shut up once you let him in.
        ——————————————————————-
        What’s worse than a Male Chauvinist Pig?
        A woman who won’t do what she’s told
        ——————————————————————-
        I married a Miss Right.
        I just didn’t know her first name was Always.
        ——————————————————————-
        Scientists have discovered a food that diminishes a woman’s sex drive by 90%.
        It’s called a Wedding Cake.
        ——————————————————————-
        Why do men die before their wives?
        They want to.
        ——————————————————————-
        Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
        ——————————————————————-
        In the beginning, God created the earth and rested. Then God created Man and rested. Then God created Woman.
        Since then, neither God nor Man has rested.

      • Butt Dust & Fleas
        These have to be original and genuine – no adult is this creative!

        MELANIE (age 5) asked her Granny how old she was. Granny replied she was so old she didn’t remember any more. Melanie said, “If you don’t remember you have to look in the back of your panties. Mine say five to six.”

        STEVEN (age 3) hugged and kissed his Mom goodnight. “I love you so much, that when you die I’m going to bury you outside my bedroom window.”

        BRITTANY (age 4) had an earache and wanted a painkiller. She tried in vain to take the lid off the bottle. Seeing her frustration, her Mom explained it was a childproof cap and she’d have to open it for her. Eyes wide with wonder, the little girl asked: “How does it know it’s me?”

        SUSAN (age 4) was drinking juice when she got the hiccups. “Please don’t give me this juice again,” she said, “It makes my teeth cough.”

        Drew (age 4) stepped onto the bathroom scale and asked: “How much do I cost?”

        MARC (age 4) was engrossed in a young couple that were hugging and kissing in a restaurant. Without taking his eyes off them, he asked his dad: “Why is he whispering in her mouth?”

        CLINTON (age 5) was in his bedroom looking worried. When his Mom asked what was troubling him, he replied, “I don’t know what’ll happen with this bed when I get married. How will my wife fit in?”

        JAMES (age 4) was listening to a Bible story. His dad read: “The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.” Concerned, James asked: “What happened to the flea?”

        TAMMY (age 4) was with her mother when they met an elderly, rather wrinkled woman her Mom knew. Tammy looked at her for awhile and then asked, “Why doesn’t your skin fit your face?”

        The Sermon I think this Mom will never forget…. this particular Sunday sermon…”Dear Lord,” the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. “Without you, we are but dust.” He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter (who was listening!) Leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little girl voice, “Mommy, what is butt dust?”

  24. Kristian Stout says:

    I’ve sat here today and read all of these posts, had some much needed laughter, thank you for that, and spent a lot of time thinking about what everyone is talking about. What I don’t understand is why all of this has to be so darned complicated. I think part of the problem is that no one functions at the community level anymore. How many of you know your neighbors and would stand with those neighbors should they need protection? Not many I’d bet and I’m sorry to say that I am one of them. I wasn’t raised that way. My daddy knew everyone and they knew him and they stood for each other. You don’t see that anymore. Growing up we never had to lock our doors! We lived in the middle of town and daddy would leave the keys to the truck in the ignition because he knew that he would find the truck right where he left it the night before. You can’t do that now. And I think I know why. This country has developed an entitlement mind set. People, especially young people today, feel as though they are owed something. The world owes them a living. They are owed healthcare and anything else they care to say that we owe them. This may make me sound like a hard hearted bitch but that’s ok, I’ve been called worse, I owe them jack. Zip, Zilch, nada and any other words that can be used to say nothing. I say this having 2 young people myself. I raised them to know that whatever they get in life they have to earn it. I had to and I’m sure that many that post here did too. I understand wanting your children to have more than you did but what was so wrong with what we had? My brother’s and I played outside cause momma was cleaning the house and she’d kill us if we dirtied her floors after she mopped them. We went to school and we earned our grades. We weren’t graded for effort we were graded on our knowledge and if we didn’t learn what the teachers taught then it was our own fault for not studying. We didn’t always make the team that we tried out for. That wasn’t a bad thing it just meant that we weren’t good at that sport. We did the chores that we were assigned to do and if we didn’t we got our butts tore up. And let me tell you my daddy was a good butt tearer upper! But, in order to avoid that we did what we were told! See how that works? What’s so wrong with that?

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi Kristian,

      There isn’t a thing wrong with that!

      I sure do wish that life were like that again…I miss it.

      Best Regards,
      RS

      • Hi Kristian, Hi RS

        Kristian, you hit the nail on the head with that one. Everything you said is so true, I thought I was reliving my own youth there.

        It’s true, we only know a couple neighbors, and isn’t that a sad thing, especially in this day and age. When we lived in Burbank, Ca. our neighborhood was loaded with kids, parents got to know each other, while the kids all played together. When our boys were young, and no matter where they were playing, the parents all ended up in that yard chatting with each other.

        Can’t say that about now though.

        Judy

  25. Fox New is now reporting that the Dems are harassing for profit insurance companies inquiring about their business practices and how much money they make. A bit premature don’t you think?
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/18/house-dems-seek-records-health-insurers/

  26. On the gun issue, my husband has a FFL (albeit it is for collectors). He is a huge civil war buff and we have been everywhere a bunch of times. He mostly collects antiques.
    Years ago, when Clinton was spouting off about banning automatic weapons, we hightailed it down to Gibraltar, Michigan to a gun show and he bought an AR15. Not sure why but he said if they told him he couldn’t have it, he was going to get it!
    Me thinks that having a house full of guns is going to come in pretty handy over the next few years.

    • Hi Willo

      We used to do civil war reenactments ourselves, but don’t do it anymore. My oldest son has a 57 caliber Enfield Rifle Musket, that we paid like $500.00 for,and that was like 10 years ago or so.

      We too have a house full of weapons, and my husband has a concealed weapons permit, and he carries all the time. You just never know what or who you will run into.

      BTW, what is and FFL, if you don’t mind me asking?

      Thanks

      • Federal Firearms License, comes in different classes, for collectors, gunsmiths, and machine guns. So, in the US, it is still legal to own a machine gun, if you obtain the proper license.
        (I do not have any of the above)

        • Thank you for answering. I just didn’t know what an FFL was. Boy, do I feel like an idiot now.

          • No reason for that, I know because I have asked questions, which is good. What if I bought a machine gun, but did not know it was illegal?
            After all, assault rifles are legal in the US, right? Depends on what you consider an assault rifle, military defines it as being capable of automatic fire. So ALL SEMI-automatic rifles they call “assault rifles”, are just semi-auto’s.

  27. Black Flag says:

    Ray Hawkins

    Do you “own” your child or children? (I’m not being smart-a – just trying to understand you guys). If you do not own them – then under these notions of individualism, what right do you have to coerce your child to clean their rooms? Eat their vegetables? Do their homework?

    No, I do not own my child. However, she is still only a child.

    The best way to contemplate how I view my child is like a sovereign-king (or queen).

    The child is declared queen, but being a minor, a “protector” is named.

    The Protector’s duty is to manage the affairs of the sovereign in the best interests of that monarch until the monarch is capable of doing so themselves.

    This includes enforcing responsibilities on the monarch themselves – like eating their veggies and cleaning their rooms.

    When the child has demonstrated the cognitive ability to make decisions for themselves, then the Protector is relieved of their duty.

    • What makes your role as a parent different from that of the government which you so dislike?

      Assume not everyone is capable (or willing) to make every choice for themselves.

      Note: I’m not stating that I support the government act or not act as a parent.

      I say you turn your household into an anarchy and let your child decide if she wants peas, carrots, or ice cream. After all, she is queen.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        A parent tells their children what to do,

        The government tells EVERYONE what to do, regardless of whetether they are a child or not; therefore, the government attempts to treat us all like children.

        However, the government is made up of PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU AND ME; therefore if WE are children, then THEY are also children, so government is just a bunch of kids attempting to tell other kids how to behave 🙂

        It is even worse than that however. In the case of being a parent, I intimately know my children. I know their talents, their limitations, and their foibles, and I can reasonably assess what is best for them that will help to bring them to successful adulthood where they will no longer need my guidance and I will not provide it to them until and unless they ask for it.

        With government, they do not know you, they do not know your talents, your limitations, your foibles, etc. They have no way of assessing WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU PERSONALLY that will bring you to successful adulthood where you no longer need the guidance of the government anymore.

        In fact, that is not the goal of the government! They never want you to grow up to be successful enough to no longer require their guidance.

  28. Black Flag says:

    Ray Hawkins

    BF – so – by your logic – notions of “rights” must consider “one’s time” as a factor of applicability?

    No. You’ve misinterpreted my point.

    I their time, they held a view of some of humanity that was in contradiction to their belief in rights. Many understood it back then too – and had a hard time reconciling the reality of what they were doing to the moral basis of their belief.

    Because they held contradictions does not make their core belief wrong.

  29. What great comments today. Still don’t know why so much time was spent on the guy with assault rifle and the 2nd Amendment stuff, seems rather futile to me. Nobody has even figured out if this guy was for or against the issue, or even if he was Secret Service or another police agency, but yet everyone jumps to conclusions. His presence would not have bothered me in the least bit, as violent people don’t stand around in a crowd with an AR-15 on their shoulder, especially at a Presidential event.

    To Mathius, The gun control issue is dead, there will be very little, no guns for felons and nutcases, already laws on the books everywhere, that they still can’t enforce. The only recourse is to protect ourselves, buy a gun my friend and learn how to use it!

    To Richmond Spitfire, Your counters were wonderful today, your guns are safe!!!

    To BF, Hope you read my answer yesterday, may not be perfect in your eyes, but it’s a start.

    To Judy, Hope things are well with you!!

    To USW, Keep the thick skin, you’ll need it when times really get tough!

    To LOI, Thanks for the funnies today, LMAO!!

    To everyone else that I did not mention: PEACE to you and your family, we are American and we will survive!!

    G!

  30. Black Flag says:

    Ray Hawkins and JAC

    JAC- The right to own property is universal.

    Ray – So says who? For a right to be universal must not all whom that right apply agree that it is universal? What give you the right to tell me what rights are and are not universal?

    You don’t have to agree at all. For example, a savage doesn’t agree. He may believe that he has the right to kill you to please the Gods.

    But, assuming you’re not a savage….

    All human rights derive from property rights.

    Human rights, when articulated without property rights turn out to be vague and contradictory, causing Statist to attack such rights as malleable in cases of “public good.”

    For example, the “human right” of free speech.

    Freedom of speech is supposed to mean the right of everyone to say whatever he likes.

    But the question is: Where?

    Where does a man have this right?

    He certainly does not have it on property on which he is trespassing.

    He has this right only either on his own property or on the property of someone who has agreed, as a grant or by contract, to allow him on the premises.

    In fact, then, there is no such thing as a separate “right to free speech”; there is only a man’s property right: the right to do as he wishes with his own or to make voluntary agreements with other property owners.

    So, a person does not have a “right to freedom of speech”; what he does have is the right to rent property like a theater or to own his own property and address the people who are also on the property.

    When we understand this, we now can properly evaluate the case of the yelling of “Fire” in a theater.

    If we ignore property rights when evaluating a “right to free speech”, we end up with a very confusing and weakening of the concept of all (or any) right – for example, as by the claim by Justice Holmes’s that no one has the right to shout “Fire” falsely in a crowded theater, and therefore that the right to freedom of speech cannot be absolute, but must be weakened and tempered by considerations of “public policy.”

    And yet, if we analyze the problem in terms of property rights we will see that no weakening of the absoluteness of rights is necessary.

    For, logically, the shouter is either a patron or the theater owner.

    If he is the theater owner, he is violating the property rights of the patrons in quiet enjoyment of the performance, for which he took their money in the first place.

    If he is another patron, then he is violating both the property right of the patrons to watching the performance and the property right of the owner, for he is violating the terms of his being there.

    For those terms include not violating the owner’s property by disrupting the performance he is putting on.

    In either case, he may be prosecuted as a violator of property rights; therefore, when we concentrate on the property rights involved, we see that the Holmes case implies no need for the law to weaken the absolute nature of rights.

    Ray – Does it not require coercion then to assert one over the other?

    No. Freedom does not need coercion to exist – freedom is the lack of coercion.

    However, freedom must be ready to use force to resist initiating force that attempt to impose upon freedom.

    JAC – “Property is required for man to fulfill his fullest potential.”

    Ray – I do not agree – you negate the man/woman who surrenders all his property in his quest to reach, what to him/her, is his/her greatest or fullest potential. Suggesting property is required for him/her is coercive.

    No.

    Property is the root of all rights – so JAC’s assertion is perfect.

    Remember, the concept of ‘property’ is larger than clumps of dirt. It includes the shirt on your back, your money and your body, as other examples.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      BF ~ in response:

      “Human rights, when articulated without property rights turn out to be vague and contradictory, causing Statist to attack such rights as malleable in cases of “public good.””

      – the monk or nun may disagree with you. Why would you suggest they can own no property but only have human rights that are vague or contradictory? The “public good” or Statist tends to leave these folks alone.

      “All human rights derive from property rights.”

      – No – human rights derive from the agreement of two or more humans that such a right exists. The sky is blue because two or more people over the years agreed that the color property associated with the sky is something we associate as blue. The blind or color blind person cannot derive from the sky that it is blue, he/she must agree with someone else that it is blue in order for them to think it is blue. A right is universal to man only the extent to which man agrees it is a right.

      Next….

      Lets keep this clean – the original to what you responded was ~

      “Inalienable rights are those given to man as part of his nature. (JAC)

      – But whom defines that nature JAC? If we have differing epistemological views then who ultimately decides what rights are inalienable and which are not? Does it not require coercion then to assert one over the other? ” (Ray)

      BF response:

      No. Freedom does not need coercion to exist – freedom is the lack of coercion.

      However, freedom must be ready to use force to resist initiating force that attempt to impose upon freedom.

      – Ah – but BF – you inserted something we were not discussing specifically – that’s okay – it took me a bit to figure out why you’d do this. So back to my point – who defines then what is inalienable? If a man defines what is inalienable can he be so all-knowing to get it right? Is right to liberty an inalienable right? Is it even theoretically possible to live thus according to one’s will – I say it is not. It is not because this pre-supposes that the extent to which actors act upon their will always be in congruence with those around him. Liberty necessarily has constraint in order to have order (your child – by your definition cannot have complete liberty until you say she is capable of having complete liberty) – the debate thus is on degree not the nature of.

      ” JAC – “Property is required for man to fulfill his fullest potential.”

      Ray – I do not agree – you negate the man/woman who surrenders all his property in his quest to reach, what to him/her, is his/her greatest or fullest potential. Suggesting property is required for him/her is coercive.”

      BF: No.

      Property is the root of all rights – so JAC’s assertion is perfect.

      Remember, the concept of ‘property’ is larger than clumps of dirt. It includes the shirt on your back, your money and your body, as other examples.

      Ah – but BF – you are “forcing” your definition of freedom, and rights and potential and property onto others that reject your notions of such and do nothing to interfere with the way you live, what you believe and who you are. By requiring that one cannot have rights without property, and ignoring a differing epistemology regarding the notion of rights and property you are logically negating that they can exist. I ask you again, if I reject the notion of property and I see any ‘earthly possession’ as belonging to a spiritual being I worship, do I thus in your mind have no rights? Do I have no right to breathe the same air as you?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        “- No – human rights derive from the agreement of two or more humans that such a right exists. The sky is blue because two or more people over the years agreed that the color property associated with the sky is something we associate as blue. The blind or color blind person cannot derive from the sky that it is blue, he/she must agree with someone else that it is blue in order for them to think it is blue. A right is universal to man only the extent to which man agrees it is a right.”

        I am sorry Ray, but your assertion here makes absolutely no sense. Rights ARE, whether you agree to them or not.

        The sky absorbs a certain wavelength of the spectrum. Whether you call it “blue” or you call it “banana” it still absorbs the same wavelength of the spectrum.

        The fact that you think that rights only exist if you agree to them and the fact that you think that the sky will absorb some different length of the spectrum if you want it to are both wishful thinking.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Sorry Peter – if I do not acknowledge what you claim to be your rights then they are your beliefs rather than truth – you can claim any right you or Ayn Rand tells you you should have. If no one acknowledges that right then it exists only in your head.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Ray,

            If you do not acknowledge the rights which I HAVE (independent of whether I claim them or not), then you will most likely impinge on those rights (either knowingly or unknowingly) at some point.

            However, if you fail to acknowledge the existance of the Sun, the Sun does not cease to exist simply because you fail to acknowledge it, sorry. The same goes for my rights.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Ray, If you do not acknowledge what I KNOW to be my rights it is not a failure on the part of the existence of the rights, it is merely a failure of you to acknowlege them.

            There are plently of examples of individuals and even entire societies that fail to acknowledge individual, unalienable rights. Ask yourself how those societies have worked out so far 🙂

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      BF – more since I had to get some sleep and do some “baking” overnight.

      You said:

      “You don’t have to agree at all. For example, a savage doesn’t agree. He may believe that he has the right to kill you to please the Gods.

      But, assuming you’re not a savage….

      All human rights derive from property rights.”

      – Are you saying that since a “savage” (not even sure what that is supposed to mean) does not agree with your premise he therefore, in your view, has no rights? Who or what is a savage? A tribesman in the Amazon? A Jeffrey Dahmer? By your definition a savage may indeed ‘own property’ (his spear, his chunk of the rainforest) – but since his value system is not deeply rooted in philosophy or education or life experience – does he possess less rights than you do?

      Moreover – what do you define as a “man” in the sense of having rights? Who does not fit in that bucket? You’ve already offered that a child will not ‘have’ those rights until they are deemed proper to have those rights by a parent or parents (I guess you mean they are held in some sort of ‘reserve’).

      Anyone else?

      Going down this road of the child sorta kinda not having the rights…… – must one be cognitive of the rights in order to have them? What of the 30 year old born with severe mental handicap that may/may not have any concept of rights, liberty, freedom? What of the accident victim who is left in a permanent vegetative state?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ray,

        Just because the savage is NOT AWARE of rights does not mean that he HAS NONE, it simply means that he may not recognize the rights that he has or the rights that you have, and therefore he may inadvertantly abridge your rights or ALLOW YOU TO ABRIDGE HIS because he is not cognizant of the rights which he and you both have.

  31. Black Flag says:

    Ozy

    The military does have competition these days with private entities. However, I disagree with your statement regarding doctors. Unlike the government, which is a single unit, all doctors are not a single unit. They compete, as each is an individual business entity, depending on specialty type. You have a choice, and doctors offer differing services.

    I cannot get drugs from my neighbor.

  32. Black Flag says:

    Ozymandius

    What makes your role as a parent different from that of the government which you so dislike?

    Because the government did not birth me, and I am an adult human with my own brain.

    Assume not everyone is capable (or willing) to make every choice for themselves.

    “Unwilling” is a valid choice –

    “Incapable” there are numerous and reasoned justifications to put in place guardians and protectors whose duty and responsibility is to act on behalf of the inflicted in their best interests.

    I say you turn your household into an anarchy and let your child decide if she wants peas, carrots, or ice cream. After all, she is queen.

    When she is old enough, she’ll have her own house and she can eat whatever she wants.

    • BF, I have to disagree with you on one point here. If a child is capable of making her/him own decisions, then why not let her/him? Why do you feel you have to make that decision for her/him? I would sometimes let my 2 boys make their own decisions when they were old enough to make their own decisions. Why must it be when they are old enough to live on their own, then, and only then can they make their own decisions on what to eat?

  33. Ray: Reply to discussion of rights.

    First of all I would like to suggest you go back to the philosophy discussion, especially Ayn Rand’s summary of Objectivism and its defense individual liberty.

    I was going to start over with the philosophy stuff but I think instead I will just try to tackle your questions first. If needed we can back track after that.

    Inalienable Rights do not require agreement or acceptance by anyone. By their definition as inalienable they simply exist. The big question is “what are they”? I would submit that the core rights are universal and timeless. It is the manifestation of those rights that creat the appearance of temporal or geographic context. The right to own a car for example. We express this as a right but the actual right is that of freedom of mobility and the ability to sustain ones life, including pleasure. Three hundred years ago that meant horse or a horse/wagon. Today that means a car in addition to a horse/wagon.

    Now in my search for discovering or describing these rights I have every right to tell you what I think and you have the right to ignore me. Your right to ignore my discovery or explanation does not negate the nature of man nor the laws of the universe. It is up to you to decide if you think I have discovered truth or falsehood. Just as I reject the relativistic philosophies you can reject the objectivist or logic based philosophies. But eventually one or both of us will be found wrong. But we both can not be right.

    No one decides what the nature of man is. Man is part of the natural world, the universe, and the nature of man must be consistent with that universe. The only way this could be false is if Man was placed into the universe by a third party that exists outside the universe and is not subject in anyway to its laws. Not even the religions of man propose such a thing.

    So we are now back to that nature. First, mans nature is also what it is (law of identity). Man as an entity is obviously tied to the nature of Man. You can not separate them. The real question is not “deciding” what it is, but “discovering” what it is and then describing it accurately. We do that through the use of reason. Some believe it just materializes in our minds and others don’t think there is such a thing, beyond normal biological functions. In the end we must each decide if what it is we are considering seems to be consistent with what we know of man. Does it seem to make since based on some application of logic and reason?

    If we have differing philosophies, epistemology to some extent but ethics for sure, we may in fact come up with different answers. Thus the concepts of Altruism and Selfishness result in completely differing sets of ethics, politics and obviously results. The question is whether each is consistent with the rules of the universe as represented by the core essence, or nature, of man.

    Now with respect to rights, I submit that inalienable rights are those that allow man to exist according to his nature. While this appears circular it is not. In the Any Rand series I explained what I thought the essence or basic nature of man was. Thus the right to own property is essential to man exercising his free will as he deems fit.

    Your example and suggestion of coersion is in error. To describe or declare something a right is not coersive. To force it on you is coersive. If I declare a right to own property it does not REQUIRE YOU to own property.

    Your young monks can not give up all property and survive. Food and water are the simplest form of property. Lets assume they beg for everything. Once they receive clothing it is their property. They can give it up, but I can not take it. They have a right to possess it. Now if everyone gave up everything and depended on begging or reaping the fruits of others labor, man would soon starve. Thus we have an example of something that is not consistent with the nature of man. For the most basic essence of man is life itself. If man must live to be alive, to exist, then man must have the right to assure his existence. I stop here at the basic but the concept is applicable to other traits as well.

    And to declare property as essential to fullfilling ones potential as one determines is not coersive to your young monks either. They still have the right. They are not forced to own property. It is their choice to give away everything and live off the charity of others.

    Now lets take a side trip on property. We must also remember that a long line of philosophers have identified property ownership as a basic necessity for achieving individual wealth and prosperity. They did so because throughout history those who wish to subvert others, to make them slaves, always take the property. Those with property have the control over their destiny. This is the essence of freedom. Control over ones destiny, to the extent possible. If someone else can take my property they are negating my right to existence at its base.

    I do find your argument that my property is not mine until you recognize it as so quite strange. Are you going to reject the history of mankind regarding recognition of property ownership? And do you realize you just created the philosophical justification for murder and theft? The logical extension of your argument is that you do not have a right to life until I recognize such a right. By the way this is one outcome of the Altruism ethic. In order to justify sacrifice of some for the good of others, there must be a negation of the right to life by the others upon the some.

    Now the other side of your comment supports property as a right. If you acquire said property from your own efforts, including by free trade with another, then I will recognize it as yours. To ignore that right means that I also do not have that right. So you can now steal from me if you choose.

    I am starting to run on here so am going to take a break.

    Go ahead and swing away for now.
    JAC

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      JAC – its getting late so we can pick this up tomorrow as well –

      Two things jumped out to me:

      “Your young monks can not give up all property and survive. Food and water are the simplest form of property. Lets assume they beg for everything. Once they receive clothing it is their property. They can give it up, but I can not take it. They have a right to possess it. Now if everyone gave up everything and depended on begging or reaping the fruits of others labor, man would soon starve. Thus we have an example of something that is not consistent with the nature of man. For the most basic essence of man is life itself. If man must live to be alive, to exist, then man must have the right to assure his existence. I stop here at the basic but the concept is applicable to other traits as well.”

      – Oh but they can give up all notions of property and ownership and still live and breathe and pray and so on – you see – they do not necessarily share or adhere to your notions of property – to them can it not be an entirely different concept? The elements of property as you (or I) may define them are wholly different. To them, assuring their own existence is to release themselves of earthly possessions, both real and conceptual. Your definition seems to not allow that someone cannot define properly differently than you and be completely happy, content, alive, a man, whatever.

      “I do find your argument that my property is not mine until you recognize it as so quite strange. Are you going to reject the history of mankind regarding recognition of property ownership? And do you realize you just created the philosophical justification for murder and theft? The logical extension of your argument is that you do not have a right to life until I recognize such a right. By the way this is one outcome of the Altruism ethic. In order to justify sacrifice of some for the good of others, there must be a negation of the right to life by the others upon the some.”

      – I am assuming you live somewhere in North America. As I see property, the land variety, it had to at some point have been taken forcibly from the original owner – he who claimed it in absolute from nature as no other man existed to claim it. What say thus of any downstream “owner” of that property? If I buy a stolen car and didn’t know it was stolen do I get to keep it once the cops tell me it was stolen? Or do I have to give it back? All the pieces and parts and production of what ultimately became of the car was legal – the illegality occurred whereupon it was stolen and I bought it – I do not deserve to call it my property – even if I drive it for twenty years and even if it is sold 30 times over the next ten years. The end owner still has a stolen car on his/her hands – it is not their property.

      And btw – you misunderstood a core of my approach – I can claim to have a right to live – a right to life. That right is meaningless if you do not recognize it as well – if you do not recognize it as such then you likely would not value my life and killing me may seem as casual as baking a loaf of bread. Notions of rights existing in a box or vacuum mean nothing if there is nothing else with cognition that can comprehend and understand and accept those rights.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ray,

        Just because I don’t recognize your right to live does not make that right meaningless. My failure to recognize your right to live makes me a threat to you and a threat to your right to live.

        As a free man with rights, you must assess the level of threat that I pose against your right to live and choose to act accordingly.

        As I said above, if you fail to acknowledge the existance of the Sun, the Sun does not suddenly cease to exist. If you fail to acknowledge the existence of rights, the rights do not suddenly cease to exist either.

      • I promise I will come back to address the deeper philosophy of “property” but I wanted to at least catch this pop up.

        “I am assuming you live somewhere in North America. As I see property, the land variety, it had to at some point have been taken forcibly from the original owner – he who claimed it in absolute from nature as no other man existed to claim it.”

        Your example starts to fit the discussion but then you dive into new water with the issue of history of title, etc. But your argument in the case of all Indian lands I know of is based on a false assumption. That we simply stole the land.

        You see, we stole it fair and square. We didn’t just steal it. Most tribes and maybe all didn’t have a concept of “real estate” ownership tied to the individual. Their view of land ownership appears however to be consistent with those philosophies supporting property ownership that evolved in Europe. Namely, that occupation for sustenance constitutes ownership. If they didn’t they wouldn’t have attacked those who encroached on their “territory”.

        Now along come our good ol’ ancestors who also share this core concept but have developed a system of drawing lines on maps and writing titles to the area within the line. When they find this land occupied but unclaimed by “written title” they don’t just take it. They negotiate for it by threatening the Indians with extinction (stealing) and the Inidans cede those lands to them (fair and square).

        The irony is that the Indians ceded lands to the U.S. that per their beliefs they did not own. Yet they protected their right to occupy that land under the same core philosophy as the Europeans used, which caused them to feel it necessary to codify the theft through legal treaty.

        And NO, this does not support your argument. The Indians had a right to occupy the land they lived in. While it did not include pieces of paper and lines on maps, they sure as hell defended it as theirs. Further evidence that such rights are universal, because we see it played out by someone (Indians) who didn’t even acknowledge it themselves.

        I think Peter addressed the issue of your Monks and the recognition of rights. Do you still disagree with his point?

        JAC

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      JAC – one quick thought before the days captures me – do you recall back when you guys were putting forth your philosophical ideas and concepts – almost completely rooted in Ayn Rand – Chris and I (there may have been others) offered several times that you were taking a path that precluded an open discussion of ideas since you were tying yourselves so completely to one person – albeit someone not universally recognized in the philosophy community, but as Chris put it – an entertainer, a pot stirrer, a novelist…..

      I was looking for a more of a survey approach – what is there – and what are the fundamentals and ideals. You and others assured me that I shouldn’t get hung up on the particulars – we’re just developing “a base”. Well – I rejected it then and I reject it now. If I reject your base to begin with – why would I try and re-understand or re-frame my positions and arguments under your rules? We can still agree on many, many issues – we’re just going to have to take different paths to get there.

      So – my answers are not to be found in Ayn Rand – you’ve offered up what I feared you would do months ago – try to debate me back to the premise I already reject or have disagreements with.

      • Ray:

        I have done no such thing. I am afraid you misunderstand.

        I sent you back to Rand only because she provides a good summary of the defense of property rights. Given the latness of the hour I didn’t feel like restating everything that had already been said. As a contemporary writer her explanations of why property is required for the survival and success of mankind is much easier to understand than those who originally developed the concepts. I did not send you there for the answer, only a summary. Consider it a starting point.

        The diversion you referred to at the time, at least from my perspective, was that I didn’t want to debate Rand and her sex life or her acceptance by the Philosophical community. I openly admitted that I agreed with most of what she offered. I tried to explain that I reached those conclusions after much study and introspection. Her explanations make sense to me. They seem to be consistent with the world as I see it and understand it, most of the time but not all of the time. For example, she never tackled the hardest part. How do we implement her concepts into a functioning govt and society. And as I said then, that is the real challenge.

        Those on this site who claim they want freedom must work together to develop a system that supports freedom. If we can not figure out how to develope such a system, based on the basic principles summarized by Rand, then we must ask ourselve if those principles are in error, or are we simply not advanced enough to find the answer.

        Now, as I said then, my goal at the time was to show everyone what a “philosophical system” might look like. We then launced into a search for core values. While I will argue against others in favor of those values I have adopted, I have never said you must accept them.

        My hope is that either I will be able to show you that you are wrong or you will be able to show me where I am wrong. The latter has not happened and by your statement it looks like niether has the former. I do recall you asking alot of questions about Rand at the time and the concepts she put forth. I do not recall you ever stating you rejected her concepts and more importantly which ones you rejected.

        So perhaps we could enlighten me now as to what those are. And remember the concept of linkage between man’s success and the right of property ownership go way back past Rand. I believe even Aristotle discussed it.

        Part of the problem in this whole discussion has been that we started jumping around on philosophical issues once the series took a break. Each political or current issue we tackle lends itself to a different level of discussion regarding principles. And some don’t at all.

        As far as I recall, your questions regarding the existence of property rights is in fact the first question regarding the basic philosophical principles discussed a couple months back. Perhaps you were not ready yet to discuss them. But I am ready anytime you wish to investigate. But please don’t stoop to accusing me of some nefarious trick in trying to manipulate the discussion.

        I am not taking you in circles using Rand to justify Rand. Chris is correct in that she did not develop much in the way of original philosophical concepts. As I tried to explain then. What she did do was provide a documented philosophical system that can be used to philosophically defend a nation and government based on individual liberty. She also developed examples and arguments that applied those principles to contemporary issues.

        Now lets start with the most basic. Do you accept the Law of Identity as valid?

        Do you accept the concept of this law as espoused by Rand?

        And thank you by the way for raising your concern. I would rather get that resolved now that have it completely muddy the waters later.

        Best Wishes
        JAC

  34. Black Flag says:

    Judy S.

    BF, I have to disagree with you on one point here. If a child is capable of making her/him own decisions, then why not let her/him? Why do you feel you have to make that decision for her/him? I would sometimes let my 2 boys make their own decisions when they were old enough to make their own decisions. Why must it be when they are old enough to live on their own, then, and only then can they make their own decisions on what to eat?

    She can buy her own food, then, too.

    However, is she requires me to buy the food, she gets what I offer.

    If she lives with me, she lives with my rules (my house, my rules).

    • Not sound silly here, but what if she doesn’t like what you offer her, then what?

      Short story here okay,

      When our oldest son was between 2 and 3, he didn’t like anything, and I’m not kidding. He only liked peanut butter and yogurt, and just a few other things. His pediatrician said not to worry, as long as he’s eating, then don’t worry. He was still getting what he needed. He will outgrow that, and he did.

      I come find, that if you force a child to eat something they may not like, they will find a way to throw it away, or some other way of disposing it.

      Yea, sure you buy it, you offer, she eats it, she lives by your rules. But does she ever retaliate against you? Yes, our boys had rules too that they had to live by. If they didn’t, they knew what would happen. We didn’t spank our kids, they had time outs, and it did work.

      OH! About them buying there own food when they move out. Got news for ya BF, they might buy there own, but they always come back home. My boys moved out over 5 years ago, but we see them more now, than when they lived at home.

      • Black Flag says:

        I raise her with her best interests forefront.

        Believe me, she does not suffer.

        As she matures, and able to deal with her own decision’s consequences, then we go with that.

        I’ve never had to chase her to bed, nor found it necessary to force her to eat, nor do her homework. Occasionally she needs to be reminded to clean her room – she is messy like her Dad.

        • Mind me asking how old she is? Sounds like you have very nice, polite girl BF. You sound like my oldest son. Even though he’s out of the house, he still has some furniture here, just in case it doesn’t work out with his girlfriend.

          But anyway, looks like half his stuff is trying to get out of the drawers, part way in, part way out, closet looks like it’s about to explode. But yet our youngest son, is as neat as a pen. Has to have everything just right. Of course he got that from me you know.

          Have to get after him every time he comes over, which is about every other day. Hey, has that lived in look.

        • Black Flag says:

          She is a happy and very tall 13.

          • Well no wonder you sound like the proud dad. I bet she’s a cutie too. I Thought maybe she was very young like 5 or 6 or something like that. And I bet you are very protective of her too right. What dad isn’t protective of his daughter

            When my niece was first starting to date when she was 16, her dad scrutinized every boy that wanted to take her out. He would ask the boy if he has a job, does he do drugs, what are his intentions towards his daughter, I mean he really drilled the guy. needless to say only one passed his test.

            But that was years ago. She’s now 37 years old, happily married to a doctor, and has the cutest twins girls who just turned 9 years old.

            Don’t know why I went into all that, sorry BF if that bored you any. I don’t have girls, so I don’t know what it’s like to raise them. But I understand they can be a real handful, more so than boys. Just don’t driver her crazy, okay.

            Thanks for sharing that BF, I enjoy hearing about people’s lives and such.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      A parent tells their children what to do,

      The government tells EVERYONE what to do, regardless of whetether they are a child or not; therefore, the government attempts to treat us all like children.

      However, the government is made up of PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU AND ME; therefore if WE are children, then THEY are also children, so government is just a bunch of kids attempting to tell other kids how to behave

      It is even worse than that however. In the case of being a parent, I intimately know my children. I know their talents, their limitations, and their foibles, and I can reasonably assess what is best for them that will help to bring them to successful adulthood where they will no longer need my guidance and I will not provide it to them until and unless they ask for it.

      With government, they do not know you, they do not know your talents, your limitations, your foibles, etc. They have no way of assessing WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU PERSONALLY that will bring you to successful adulthood where you no longer need the guidance of the government anymore.

      In fact, that is not the goal of the government! They never want you to grow up to be successful enough to no longer require their guidance.

      Copied from a response I made above in case people missed it…

  35. Black Flag says:

    In the latest The Trends Journal you make very dire predictions of tent cities, food riots and tax rebellion by 2012. Do you still envisage conditions will be as bad as you were projecting?

    Economists now predicting recovery are the same people that were saying recession wasn’t here even when we were in recession. Go back to the campaign in 2008, they didn’t start talking about the recession until the Fall of 2008 even though the recession began in December 2007.

    These are the same people talking about green shoots a couple of months ago and as you go back to the beginning of the year, they said we would be in recovery by second quarter of 2009. The Obama administration, which began with a stimulus package, had estimated that without the stimulus package, unemployment in 2009 would be at 8%. We had a stimulus package and unemployment is at 9.5%. They had also said that they would create by mid-year 600,000 jobs and we lost 2.5 million. At best, at best, they saved 150,000. All their forecasts are wrong. There is nothing they have forecast economically that has come to pass.


    But the improving signs of bank profits and new financial earnings reports, don’t give you hope?

    Let’s look at the bank reports. We know that hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money has been given to the banks and they refuse (this is like fiction), to tell the people (the taxpayer) who gave them money, where the money went, how they are spending it.

    If you gave me, as they gave Goldman Sachs, $13 billion to cover losses with AIG – 100% coverage of losses – converting Goldman Sachs from a brokerage firm to a bank holding company, giving them access to $10 billion, plus all the loans and benefits they are giving them at discount prices, could you show a profit? These are profits that are pumped up by bailouts, rescue packages and stimulus plans. Yesterday the market went up because Caterpillar showed better earnings than they had thought, or rather losses less severe. They are not better off; their profits are off 66%. Who in the real world wouldn’t call that depression level results? I would consider that atrocious. What you didn’t have a 77% decline? Oh, you only lost one arm and a leg, but you still got your two eyes and the use of one leg!

    You have said this bailout bubble can be more lethal than the earlier bubbles. Can you explain?

    In The Trends Journal in 2004 we predicted the great recession. We noticed it would happen. It was very easy to see that after the dot com crash in March 2000, rather than letting Wall Street take its $5 trillion worth of speculative losses that were built up by the dot com boom, the Federal Reserve began to lower the interest rates to 46-year lows. They created this borrow-and-spend mentality that was unprecedented in American history.

    You want to buy a new house, borrow on your old one; with your new equity loan, you can build that new addition, go on a vacation, buy a new car, send your kids to school, go on a shopping spree. Your house is a piggy bank.

    So housing as an asset became artificially inflated by the availability of historically cheap money rather than letting the bubble burst. With the bailout bubble, they have added $13 trillion worth of phantom money. This isn’t real money, it is phantom money printed out of thin air, based on nothing, backed by nothing. So they are creating a bubble, but when this financial/real estate bubble bursts, it is worse than the dot com bubble, because now government has an equity position in these companies, and they have government executive powers and management controls. This is unheard of in American history. This used to be the entrepreneurial empire of the world, that so much of the world respected and revered as the capital of entrepreneurism. No more.

    You developed a fair amount of credibility in the media with your previously accurate predictions. But some of the things you are saying sound shrill. Do you really believe it will be as extreme as you are saying or are you trying to pierce through the clutter of the positive blather?

    Not at all. We take what they are saying to be extreme. How could people believe these people when everything they said is wrong. If you can show me they are right here, I’ll say fine, we’re only humans, we all make mistakes. But we can say with all certainty, and we say it over and over again, you cannot print phantom money out of thin air based on nothing, backed by nothing without destroying the economy. Look at Brazil, India, China, Russia, the BRIC countries, they all talk now about another reserve currency.

    But when you say food riots, tent cities and tax rebellions?

    Tax rebellions, let’s take that. Go back to 2007, we wrote about tax revolts when George Bush was president. We saw this coming. Current events inform future trends. They are squeezing the people at every level. Look at what is happening in California. Tax rebellion is already happening. They are trying to downplay them when tea parties and tax protests happen. This hasn’t happened in America before in my lifetime. And now they are commonplace. They happened in April and again on the 4th of July. This is just the beginning. Food riots, oh yes. When people get hungry, when they have nothing to eat, you are going to see a lot of ugly scenes happen in America.

    What would you project the unemployment rate to be at end of 2009 and end of 2010?

    It will probably be heading towards 11% by end 2009 and by 2010 it could well be into 12–13%.

    Where would you project the Dow Jones?

    We don’t know. The Dow Jones is a different game. It can go in any kind of direction. When you go to the Great Depression, you saw the Dow Jones improving. It is not an economic indicator, it is a casino.

    When do you expect housing prices to bottom out?

    It could be many years. It could be a decade. There are two buying seasons in America, Spring and Fall, period, paragraph. Spring buying season was a bust and Fall does not look any better. It is very dismal for the future.

    Do you think our money is safe in U.S. banks?

    We don’t give investment advice. I tell you what I do. I am a big believer in gold and I think Indians like gold. I hedge my money. In my business I need cash, so I spread it between euros and dollars, knowing that if euros go up, dollars go down, so I have parity. That is the investment strategy for right now, it is not to take risk, it’s wealth preservation….

    We are looking at mid-August for some dire economic news. In the event there is dire economic news, there are more financial collapses, there is a probability that they may call a bank holiday. It is not unprecedented, it has been done in America before, Pres. Franklin Roosevelt did it .… So are banks safe? It is not a question, are banks safe; it is a question, will they call a bank holiday, which they have done before? If they do, you will be restricted on how much money you can get out. They have done it in Argentina and other countries. Yes, you can get your money out, it’s FDIC insured. You just can’t get it out all at once and it may be devalued.

    What do you do with your investments and retirement accounts?

    I don’t have any. My investments are in the property and real estate I own. My retirement is all in gold.

    What can people do to minimize their employment and other financial risks?

    This whole mentality, this American mantra to shop until you drop, what kind of sick thinking is that? The businesses that we believe are going to make it in this new climate are going to be ones that accentuate quality – less is more. In our study, the very best company that we see are the ones whose profits are down between 25–30%, that’s the best. The worst are down 70% .…

    The other thing to consider is, why are you sending your child to college for an MBA, or a degree in communications, journalism, art, history? As an economist what is going to be the return on the investment? The college industrial complex is going to be one of the major economic collapses in the United States. They are producing students, retraining people for jobs that don’t exist. So unless you are in specialty fields in high-tech, health, engineering, alternative fuels, or smart areas that have more productive usage of resources, outside of those fields, the soft arts are going to be losers.

    This country was built not on a mantra of shop until you drop. It was called Yankee frugality: use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without. Those are the kinds of things that need to be considered again.

    At this stage what do you think are the greatest risks to the U.S. and the global economy?

    The greatest risk on the economic end is the collapse of the U.S. dollar. That is the greatest risk that we see, because America has the ability to destroy the global financial system with these unprecedented bailouts, stimulus and rescue packages. Whoever heard of this before? They are jeopardizing the global economy. It is not saving it, it is jeopardizing it.

    Are there other disruptive forces as well?

    We are only looking at economic issues. Back in 2001, President Bush’s popularity rating was as low as President Obama’s is now. It was declining rapidly. I even remember word for word, because I was writing about it, what the American media were talking about. There was this Congressman Gary Condit and his aide, a young girl Chandra Levy, who was missing, and shark attacks. That was the news, that is all they were talking about in the summer of 2001 and Bush was off on vacation in Crawford, Tex., for months as America was still suffering from the fallout of the dotcom bubble burst.

    Then all of a sudden on Sept. 11 the whole game changed. The war on terror began and Bush’s popularity skyrocketed. The same thing can happen here. Any wild card could happen and change the game at a minute’s notice and deflect people’s attention away from an economic policy failure, an economic policy that is doomed to fail.

    Do you envisage that as conditions worsen, immigrants could face a backlash?

    I don’t care what country it is, immigration is going to be a major issue because there is not going to be enough wealth to go around under the current system.

    Do you know that the anti-marijuana laws in America grew mostly out of the Great Depression and they blamed the Mexican immigrants for all the heinous crime. They trumped up the problem and blamed it on the immigrants. They made it an immigrant issue, which had absolutely no foundation at all, either the danger of smoking marijuana or the problem being caused by the Mexicans. But they blamed it on the Mexican immigrants and it was used as a pretext to have very severe anti-immigrant laws in place and they were of course also blaming them for undercutting the economy. So these trends are old. It’s just a new time and a new phase.

    Do you think either political party could have made a difference?

    No, it is like watching the World Wrestling Federation. They pretend to be arch-enemies on the stage. After the cameras go off, they do their deals together. There is very little difference between the two parties.

    • Alert in Michigan says:

      I looked this up online, but was wondering where you got it. And, do you agree with it or are you putting it up for conversation?

    • Thanks for that BF. You just made me feel a lot less guilty for indulging myself with $3,000 worth of Saudi 22K gold necklaces this afternoon!

      🙂

      • Black Flag says:

        Make sure you where them, but in a way no one knows.

        • I’d thought of that. I plan on making myself some local style dresses with the neckline high enough to cover the necklaces. I’ve got bracelets too. Long sleeves would be out of place here. That said, I’m pretty resourceful and can probably come up with a way of hiding those too. Pacific Islanders with wealth wear LOTS of gold jewelery (must be big fans of Mr-T) so, if I went sooner rather than later, wearing the stuff wouldn’t be a problem, as I don’t have that much of it. Still, its always a good idea to keep valubles out of sight.

  36. Alert in Michigan says:

    I’ve learned a lot since I started reading here and I am grateful to USW and others for sharing their wisdom and insights. I have a few follow up questions from conversations we had around economics for Open Mic Night July 21. Here are some of the highlights of those conversations:

    – the default on governmental debt is coming [soon]
    – inflation/hyperinflation will “explode”; imports will “evaporate,” and black markets will “thrive”
    – the USD will be devalued
    – nationalization of banks is at least an option and maybe a probability

    I am very much still learning about economics, which seems like more of an “art” than a “science,” as there are millions of factors that affect the overall trends. However, I was wondering if someone could please explain if the above 4 things are inevitable, are interrelated, or are alternatives.

    • Black Flag says:

      I am very much still learning about economics, which seems like more of an “art” than a “science,” as there are millions of factors that affect the overall trends.

      It is a science, but not like physics or chemistry.

      It is the science of human action. However, since we are studying people, there is always uncertainty on the timing – people can build a dam to block a river – however, the eventual outcome can be discovered – the river overflows the dam.

      However, I was wondering if someone could please explain if the above 4 things are inevitable, are interrelated, or are alternatives.

      the default on governmental debt is coming [soon]

      Soon or later, who knows.

      Default, yes – the alternative is hyperinflation and the FED will not allow the destruction of the Western world to occur. Hyperinflation would be a disaster equal to a nuclear war.

      – inflation/hyperinflation will “explode”; imports will “evaporate,” and black markets will “thrive”

      Inflation – 20% rate; higher than 25-30%, the FED has lost control – major danger.

      Imports will disappear – how are we paying for them?

      Black markets – bypass government price/wage controls

      – the USD will be devalued

      Already happening.

      – nationalization of banks is at least an option and maybe a probability

      Already happened.

      • Alert in Michigan says:

        BF: Thank you for your responses. It’s kind of odd, but I feel somehow reassured – no hyperinflation + less federal gov’t sounds good right now. Unfortunately, the economic & social upheaval that would be attached to that would not be pretty.

        I come back, again, to “What then shall we do?”, even as I am trying to learn and become educated and do a few things I’m learning in disaster-preparedness-type publications.

        For instance, I read one adviser that would say to sell our home, rent awhile, save the cash and then we’d be able to buy something a lot bigger when the market bottoms out in a few years. And another adviser says to pay off all debt (including home) and store up cash. And another adviser says to take on debt on home now because inflation will pay it off (providing we have jobs, I assume). Any thoughts on this one?

        • Black Flag says:

          Unfortunately, the economic & social upheaval that would be attached to that would not be pretty.

          Thanks for raising that – I forgot to add that component.

          Yes, the upheaval will be nothing like the nation has seen since the Civil War.

          Batten down the hatches.

          For instance, I read one adviser that would say to sell our home, rent awhile, save the cash and then we’d be able to buy something a lot bigger when the market bottoms out in a few years. And another adviser says to pay off all debt (including home) and store up cash. And another adviser says to take on debt on home now because inflation will pay it off (providing we have jobs, I assume). Any thoughts on this one?

          They are all right.

          So, you’ll have to figure out what is right for you.

          It depends on how old you are; the younger, the more risk you can absorb – you can earn your way out of problems; the older you are, the less risk you can afford, less years of available earning

          Where you are; in smaller communities will probably do better than larger cities

          What you do; if you are dependent on some form of government business, you’re messed – is what you do local? Do your neighbors see what you do as valuable?

          So work with the things you know – write them down – your age, risk profile, mobility, job and status, savings, location, distance from close family, age of your parents, potential (and unexpected) desperate family in search for help….

          You also know that inflation will come – there is zero doubt. The question is when. But since it some time “tomorrow” you have to act – you have to do something.

          This is one of those rare occasions that even doing something wrong is better than doing nothing – at least your feet are moving. Getting your feet moving is the hardest part – most people freeze in fear….and you can also correct your course once you’re on your way. It’s a lot easier to see where you are going once you’re clear of the fog.

          Knowing inflation is coming – merely holding cash will not be sufficient. Cash is king today, but tomorrow its toilet paper.

          You have to do something with your currency. Lots of options, but holding on the currency is not one of them.

          In 1929 Germany, the winners were the farmers. Near the end, selling one egg paid off all their debts that held them down like serfs.

          But owning land makes you dependent on guarding it…

          I think you get the point – but you have time to plan and time to act.

          But not a lot of time.

  37. Alert in Michigan says:

    Also,Black Flag made this comment:
    “Yes, you believe [the government]will default [on debt]” – you have to start asking questions about what happens when an entity does not pay its debt. Be careful, because government is not the same as a business. For a business, it is destroyed and its pieces are given away to pay for the debt. A government will not suffer this. So what happens instead? Ponder that for awhile.”

    I’ve been pondering and have decided I’m way too ignorant to answer the question. Since a government can change the rules, any scenario I envision may be quickly negated by a change in rules. For instance, we own our house. But if the government decides there is no more home ownership then we don’t own our home. That seriously impacts our (as currently perceived) economic future. So….what does it mean if the government defaults on its debt?

    • Black Flag says:

      Alert in Michiganpm

      I’ve been pondering and have decided I’m way too ignorant to answer the question. Since a government can change the rules, any scenario I envision may be quickly negated by a change in rules. For instance, we own our house. But if the government decides there is no more home ownership then we don’t own our home. That seriously impacts our (as currently perceived) economic future. So….what does it mean if the government defaults on its debt?

      You have a good essence of the potential of government action.

      When a government defaults, the government can no longer borrow money. Who will lend to it?

      It has only two methods of financing – inflation (print money) or taxation.

      The former will already be stressed to the edge; therefore I believe the latter will be necessary.

      However, we already see the beginnings of tax revolts. Government will be constrained on increasing taxes.

      Thus, the only consequence will be massive cuts in government expenditures.

      No more SS, no more Medicare/Medicaid/Social Medicine/massive cuts in military/cuts in everywhere.

      Fed. government will become morbid and essentially irrelevant.

  38. Alert in Michigan says:

    from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203550604574358800685686612.html

    Rose Friedman, who passed away this week, writing with her husband Milton in their 1980 book “Free to Choose”:

    Economic freedom is an essential requisite for political freedom. By enabling people to cooperate with one another without coercion or central direction, it reduces the area over which political power is exercised. In addition, by dispersing power, the free market provides an offset to whatever concentration of political power may arise. The combination of economic and political power in the same hands is a sure recipe for tyranny.

    • Black Flag says:

      Exactly.

      He is also the father of the ‘withholding tax’ – he said it was his biggest mistake.

  39. Thought maybe you guys might get a kick out of this one
    _________________________________________________________________

    Did you know:

    · That the words race car spelled backward says race car.

    · That eat is the only word that if you take the 1st letter and move it to the last, it spells it’s past tense ate.

    · And Have you noticed that if you rearrange the letters in “illegal immigrants,”and add just a few more letters, it spells out: “Go home you free-loading, benefit grabbing, kid-producing, violent, non-English speaking ass holes and take those other hairy-faced, sandal wearing, bomb making, goat loving, raggedy ass bastards with you.”

    How weird is that?

  40. Black Flag says:

    b>Cyndi P

    You said: Yes, it may force them to act via dictatorship and tyranny – but the mask would have been removed and the people made aware of exactly whom they are dealing with….
    Some people will acknowledge what they a re deealing with, but I’m afraid many more won’t. I’m reminded of Germany after WWII. The survivors claimed not to have known that 6 million of their countrymen had been murdered by their government. Jews were escaping if they weren’t being rounded up. THEY knew. How could the rest of the German people not know? I’m guessing they chose not to believe because it was ‘crazy’. My point, don’t count on enough people to wake up and stop the madness.

    Today we have the decentralization of information – the internet. It would nearly impossible for the ‘gate keepers’ to keep such a thing quiet.

    What the people do with the information – well, we’ll have to see

    • Hey BF,

      You’re right about the decentralization of information. I’m concerned about what the people will do. The Germans SAW the cattle cars of prisoners rolling down the tracks, and still, they were able to deny what they knew to be true. Look at how many people deny what’s going on now. If the worst happens, won’t most of the people who supported Obama and his actions be more inclined to deny the facts, rather than admit they are the ones responsible for what happened? Personal responsibility and accountablilty are two rare commodities these days.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Cyndi P.

        Governments have two very powerful tools at their disposal; indoctrination and fear.

        A certain percentage of the population can be indoctrinated to believe that whatever the government does is the right thing to do.

        A certain percentage of the population will fear the government enough to not object to whatever the government does.

        There must be a remainder of the population that possess the capability of rational thought and the courage to proclaim loudly that the actions of the government are evil. This remainder must be relied upon, for we cannot rely upon those who have been indoctrinated or those who are living in fear.

  41. Black Flag says:

    PapaDawg

    Have you ever heard anything about the “One World Credit System”, whereas everyone on the planet would be issued a planetary credit/debit card at birth with that persons identity number on it(something to do with DNA registration). Everyone would be paid in planetary, global or world credits that would be electronically added to their bank account. Sinister and science fiction like, I know, but there have been rumors

    Is it possible? Sure. It doesn’t have to be sinister.

    But likely, no.

    Centralization of ‘anything’ in the world is becoming less and less likely.

    Centralization requires enormous power, and the ability to project that power globally is shrinking.

    The only standard of future money and credit will come out of the people – naturally. It will be the individual, on the street, that will determine the thing that will be the most desired commodity – money.

    It might be gold, but it could be oil or a microchip.

    But I doubt a centralized cabal will be able to compete with it.

  42. Hwy BF

    I left you a message above, don’t know if you read it or not, just thought I’d let you know. It’s been nice as always chatting with you. Don’t play too mean with the new guys on the block, you might scare them away and not come back and play. But then, after reading the jousting between you and them, looks like you kind of met your match on some of the topics. At least I think so anyway.

    Take Care Bf, and good night.

    Judy

    • Black Flag says:

      Yes, thank you.

      Yes, she used to look like me when she was a toddler, now she looks like her mom.

      And, yes, I don’t envy her future suitors – I am a grizzly bear.

      Ozy and Mat are a nice addition – articulate and thoughtful – hope they stick around.

  43. BF, that was some good stuff in the later posts, and really keeps me open eyed! On track there.

    I’m gonna write about a picture, and you can look at it, as well as everyone else, and make your own opinions. It’s the guy with the Ar-15 in todays news that was discussed.

    First, I looked at the handgun. I see a .38 or smaller, 2 inch barrel with a oversized grip, not much there to be concerned of.

    Looking at the Ar-15, I see a “left handed” weapon, well cared for, and not used much. Too much oil for that region for me! I haven’t looked into te “lefty” style, but it’s clear that is what it is to me, as the selector is on the right side, on safe, as the red “fire dot” shows.

    It was held on the right shoulder, not consistant with a left hander. The cheap pistol, on the left side would confirm this.
    The mag is bullits up, not consistant with those that shoot often with that weapon (or types of weapon).

    The man was well dressed, had his wallet next to the mag in his left rear pocket, Ar-15 on right shoulder, backup weapon on the left hip, which leads me to see a right handed shooter. The AR-15 is not consistant (left Handed) to believe that he was there for the reasons given by the media. In addition, his mag in his back pocket, the top bullit was red tipped (tracer), but far too red to be one.

    IMHO, the Ar-15 was a fake! and so was the guy in the picture!

    What say tou?

    G!

  44. Black Flag says:

    Jennie

    Maybe since I’ve challenged you on what you think the biggest problem with health care is I should offer my own thoughts on what the problem is, so you can tell me why you think I’m wrong.

    You made a statement a while back that was something like this, “Anything that is free will be consumed to exhaustion.”

    I think this is the biggest problem. For too many people health care is “free”.

    I’ll put them in three categories.

    1- The poor with no insurance. These people get free health care in emergency rooms. Many of them go without and only go to the ER in true emergencies. Others figure out quickly that they can get care there and no one can make them pay, so they use it as their free clinic and go for anything and everything. Some of these people go to the ER to get tylenol because it’s cheaper for them personally. The hospital charges people who are paying more to make up for these people. If many of the people at the store are shoplifting, the prices are going to be higher.

    2- People on medicaid. These people don’t pay anything for their health care. It doesn’t matter if they go to the ER or get an appointment it costs them nothing, so they do whatever is most convenient for them with no consideration for cost. We get to pay for these people through taxes.

    3- People with good insurance. Health care isn’t actually free for these people, but it kind of feels that way. Once they get to the doctor they’ve already paid, so the don’t consider the cost too much. Because so many people fall into this category, doctors don’t often even ask if you want this or that test. They just send you to the lab for your tests and you have to actually say “Wait I don’t want this test.” Most people don’t care because they aren’t going to pay anymore if they have the test or not. (I found this frustrating with my first pregnancy. I would go to the doctor and he would hand me a list of test and send me to the lab without much discussion. I would look at the list on the way there and say to my husband, “But I don’t need these tests!” and he would say “Shut up! You’re getting them!” And I would say “But I know my blood type and I don’t have HIV!” Then he would drag me to the lab and pester the doctor on our next visit to add some extra tests to the
    list, and I would glare at him while they drained all of the blood from my veins.)

    Soooo, all of these things make for a lot of unnecessary test and ER visits and other expensive proceedures that would not be done if people were having to pay out of pocket.

    Now, BF, you can tell me why I’m wrong

    I think you’ve done a good job highlighting the dilemmas of 95% Socialist /5% Market Health Care system.

    The government believes it will all be fixed with 100% Socialist Health Care.

    But there is no talk about 100% Free market – because that would, actually, solve most of the problems.

  45. http://www.sundriesshack.com/2009/08/19/ms-nbcs-racist-lie-must-not-be-allowed-to-stand/

    What the hell is happening in American journalism? Even as an opinion piece this is a dung sandwich no matter what way its sliced.

    • Addendum: I originally thought Contessa Brewer a moron after seeing her several times months ago but I must now apologize to morons across the globe. I Alan F. am profoundly sorry for slighting you so with the association to the ignoramus Contessa Brewer. Oh crap! I must now apologize to ignoramus’ across the globe. I Alan F. am profoundly sorry for slighting you so with the association to the “dung for brains” Contessa Brewer. Damned! To those with “dung for brains” I must now apologize. I Alan F. am profoundly sorry for slighting you so with the association to the complete wast of seminal fluid Contessa Brewer. Nooooo! To all the spermatozoa out there I must appologise…

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Alan – blame Walter Cronkite for feeling compelled to editorialize under the guise of journalism.

    • Alan, thanks for saving me the time of finding these links. Unbelievable, huh?

  46. Richmond Spitfire says:

    From Virginia’s Citizen Defense League:

    ———————————————————————-
    VCDL’s meeting schedule: http://www.vcdl.org/meetings.html
    ———————————————————————-
    Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT: http://www.vcdl.org/help/abbr.html
    ———————————————————————-
    Congratulations, MSNBC, you have now set a new journalistic LOW, showing that you really have the art of propaganda down pat.

    At a recent Arizona town hall meeting with President Obama, there was one person carrying a rifle. It was a black gun-owner with an AR-15 on his shoulder standing with other gun owners outside the town hall building.

    The media almost melted down, as is their tendency when it comes to lawfully carried guns.

    In their story, MSNBC shows only carefully cropped video of that black gun-owner so that you could not tell his skin color, but only see his gun. They then switch to video of a white gun-owner being interviewed by a reporter. While there is plenty of video to be found of the black gun owner talking to reporters elsewhere, MSNBC does not use any of it.

    Why did MSNBC crop that video?

    Because the topic was about how gun-carrying protesters at the town hall meetings are RACISTS!!!

    You see, the rifle was eye-catching, but having a black man carrying it simply wouldn’t do for MSNBC’s purposes, so they fixed that little problem.

    Anyway, I literally jumped out of my chair when I saw this video. I don’t suggest watching it while eating or drinking:

    Hope all are well today! Best Regards,
    RS

  47. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Ray and I are having an interesting discussion of the concept of rights (and the concept of reality in general) above.

    I have several problems with Ray’s approach. First of all, Ray argues that the sky is blue because enough people have agreed to call it blue, and therefore, it is blue. A blind person cannot perceive the sky is blue, therefore the blind person only knows that the sky is blue by acceptance and agreement.

    Here is the main problem with this argument:

    Visible light is percieved in a spectrum of colors in the wavelength range of approximately 380nm – 750nm. Scientists came up with names for the various distinct colors of the spectrum, which in the english language is represented by ROYGBIV or Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet. We could have called these colors anything that we wanted to.

    The sky appears blue, because the atmosphere scatters light in the wavelenght range of 450nm – 495 nm more than it scatters light in other ranges of the spectrum. 450nm – 495nm corresponds to the color know as blue.

    Fact the first:

    Whether we agree to call the wavelength range of 450nm to 495nm blue or we agree to call it fred, the sky is going to BE that color. So, if you wanna call it fred, call it fred – makes no difference to me.

    Fact the second:

    If every sentient being on the planet were blind, we would be unable to observe this phenomenon, and therefore would not be likely to call the sky blue, or have any knowledge on the subject whatsoever. Our inability to see would not negate the fact that the atmosphere was scattering light in the 450nm – 495nm wavelength range and therefore possessed a certain color which we currently call blue.

    It is much the same with unalienable rights. I have the right to life, liberty, property, etc. These rights are not determined by someone else’s ability or inability to derive them from the nature of the universe. You are free to fail to recognize that I have a right to life. As a free man with a right to life, I have a right to defend myself against you if you do not recognize my right to life. Your failure to recognize my right to live DOES NOT SUDDENLY GIVE YOU A RIGHT TO KILL ME; however, it MIGHT give me a right to kill YOU if you become a direct threat to my existence.

  48. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    An easy explanation of the right to life:

    In the USSR, Stalin killed untold millions of people that he perceived to be a threat to his government. Can it be said that the right to life did not exist in the USSR because of this fact?

    Sane people capable of rational thought recognize Stalin’s actions as EVIL. We recognize these actions as evil because in his quest to retain and amass power, Stalin DEPRIVED THESE PEOPLE OF THEIR RIGHT TO LIFE.

    Sane people capable of rational thought could also say that it was pragmatic for Stalin to eliminate anyone he perceived as a threat to his power. In this case however, we are not engaging in rational thought, we are engaging in RATIONALIZATION OF AN EVIL ACT.

    This is why rationalization and pragmatism are both evil. Rationalization and pragmatism both yield an excuse for participation in, or legitimization of, evil actions.

    If we are sane and can think rationally, we are capable of recognizing evil. Evil is anything which violates the unalienable rights of an idividual. However, if we are sane and capable of rational thought, we are also capable of participating in pragmatism and rationalization, which are an attempt to justify an evil act by equating it as necessary for some greater good. In the case of Stalin’s USSR, his killing of countless millions was “justified” by his desire to have “a stable country”.

    Evil cannot produce good, so pragmatism and rationalization are the tools of evil.

  49. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    On Monks:

    Monks are a perfect example of the fundamental existence if unalienable rights.

    A monk FREELY CHOOSES TO GIVE UP CERTAIN RIGHTS when he takes vows of poverty, chastity, silence, etc.

    HOWEVER, the monk generally resides in a monastery. A monastery is…. PROPERTY! It is not the property of the monk, but the church (which does own the property) provides this property in order that the monks may have shelter.

    HOWEVER, the monk must also eat. The monks get food either through growing it in gardens and making it from animals at the monastery (which means it is necessary for the church to provide them with property), or they purchase the food using money (property) donated to the church by people exercising their right to worship at that church if they so choose.

    So, the monk does not provide an example of the absence of fundamental rights. The monk provides an example of someone freely choosing to give up certain rights and relying on the goodness and charity of others to provide the basic property he needs for his own survival.

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