Tuesday Night Open Mic for September 1, 2009

Open Mic 1Tuesday night open mic. I cannot even begin to tell you how glad I am to be here. A night that doesn’t require as much of me. The last couple nights have been tough with lots of reading and research. The health care series, which I plan on posting the first part of either tomorrow night or the next (I planned for tomorrow but it may have gotten bumped a day to discuss the “czars”, especially the whack jobs that want to fine bloggers) has been a lot of work. And I am only nearly finished with the first article! And last night’s socialism article was also much more time consuming than I thought it would be when I started it. But boy did it result in some classic discussions. I appreciate that what I have read thus far was respectful, but man was there some nonsense flowing from all directions. But we have reached the night where I only offer a few suggestions and allow you to choose the topics. So let me not dilly dally here any longer and get on to gettin on. Let the Open Mic begin…

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Comments

  1. USWeapon Topic #1 (Actually this one is a good request from Willo)

    We are at another barking war over torture and the Attorney General going after those in the CIA that are liable for such actions. Allow me to offer things as I see them. This was investigated. The President then came out and stated that we were not going to continue on with this, that we were going to put it in the past, and look forward. I thought to myself, “OK, the President isn’t going to play the petty partisan game with this one. Bravo, Mr. O.”

    Not so fast. Eric Holder, being the stand up lawman that he is, is now looking at re-opening this stuff and prosecuting those who were involved. We have been through the discussion about whether this was torture or not in at least these two articles:

    https://standupforamerica.wordpress.com/2009/04/28/interrogation/

    https://standupforamerica.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/couldnt-happen-to-a-better-person/

    So we don’t have to go through the entire debate over what is torture and what is not again. What is interesting is the flip-flopping going on around these issues. Obama says yes, then no, and now no comment as his attorney general says yes again. And that makes me ask a few questions:

    1. Does he have Obama’s blessing in reopening the case?

    2. Is this nothing more than political gamesmanship? The Democrats are getting ass handed to them over health care and cap and trade in the press and across America. They were a lot more popular when the topic of the day was torture. Is this another attempt to distract us away from the health care debate, to steal air time on the news networks away from the glaring failures being reported in this administration?

    As for question #1, there are follow ups. Does he need Obama’s blessing? Hypothetically I would say no, but we all know that is not how things really work, so I have to conclude that he wouldn’t be doing this without that blessing. After all someone who ran such a stellar campaign doesn’t allow this type of action by “accident”.

    What does everyone else think?

    • Holder is doing exactly what his master is telling him to do. I do believe it’s a part of a plan to distract the public from Health Care. Call me paranoid, but he has already used this tactic before when he meets resistance to any of his plans. So why should I believe this is NOT just more of the same? I just hope to hell that it doesn’t work this time.

    • Thanks for using my suggestion USW!
      This one really makes my blood boil. First I would like to let you all know that I am the proud wife (of 33 years) of a Viet Nam Vet. Anything that would do harm to our troops makes me want to do physical harm to the people who so glibly disregard our safety.
      Obama said he would let the past be the past. Eric Holder is an idiot of the nth degree! Our security is being jeopardized by our government. If, in fact, this administration can go back and investigate actions of a previous administration, why then could we not hold Bill Clinton accountable for the devastation of 9/11/2001 because he gave Bin Laden a pass when we could have killed him!
      Anyone in their right mind that knows what the terrorists have done (i.e. Danny Pearl and others) that thinks what we did/do to interrogate enemy combatants was torture doesn’t belong to live in the free world.
      Thanks for listening to my rant.

      • Bill Clinton about Bin Laden in his own words:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaNIBFSMjb8 Part 1
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT7yKfXN4p0&feature=fvw Part 2

      • So Willo, if these CIA agents used methods beyond those explicitly allowed, are we to just ignore the violation of law?

        Do we condone and ignore our govt’s violation of our laws just because we think they are “keeping us safe”? Or worse, just because one administration is out of power?

        The original discussion of torture and what is it does not apply in this case, at least as leaked to this point. It involves violation of specific guidelines. Even though the guidelines themselves have been subject of debate, it is not the guidelines being investigated.

        I do not think Holder is a puppet and I do not think this is meant as a distraction. There are true coincidences in timing when it comes to a massive govt and all it does.

        But the leaks of this information while under investigation should in itself be investigated and heads should role. That includes Holder if he has even remotely authorized, by a wink, the leaking of this information.

        • As I understand it, no laws were violated. Each act was brought before the legal team and was ok’ed. With one exception, and that soldier was found guilty and went to jail. For them to reopen the whole thing is ridiculous at this point.

          • This is not about soldiers. This is about CIA interrogations.

            It is my understanding they exceeded the written guidelines and directives established by the AG and others. That is the issue.

            Now CIA is saying it won’t cooperate because it jeopardizes security.

            So do you want the CIA to be able to do what it wants and refuse to cooperate in an investigation of potential criminal activity?

            • Well, to be totally selfish, if it keeps us safe then yes!

            • You don’t need special prosecutor for violations of guidelines. If the interrogators DID exceed the directives, then yes they should be prosecuted. What I am hearing about the special prosecutor that was appointed implies tha tthis will make the investigation of Clinton look like Romper Room.

          • This matter was investigated by career Justice lawyers years ago. One contractor person (not a soldier, a CIA contractor) was tried and convicted. The Justice lawyers decided no other people should be prosecuted and referred the matter back to CIA. CIA took unspecified disciplinary actions against some of the employees.

            That should be enough. We need finality here. These people cannot be subject to investigation/prosecution the rest of their lives and still function effectively in their jobs. In addition, it would not be fair to the employees to leave the matter open-ended with no end to their jeopardy.

      • Never waste a crises….even a manufactured one….so states the Democratic Mantle. Even if…and that is a big IF…even if the CIA exceeded some rule….BO, himself, stated to let the past die. My administration will not do this and he stopped it. Now a reversal…no doubt in my mind that this is now a manufactured crises and a distraction. Very effective in military tactics…very effective in political tactics….I do not think the public will be distracted.

        All Holder will do, is dismantle another step and it will change nothing. This administration is violating more rights in one day than the CIA did in 10 years. Where is the Justice Dept now?

        This is planned…..MY OPINION.

      • Your CIA is a done deal. They’ve had all their teeth pulled, claws removed and are in for a slow death on display in Langley. Holder’s end is just a show be that for distraction or as blood sacrifice for not including a “public option” in the you know what.

    • I have a hard time believing that Holder is just doing is on his own. I do believe that his strings are being pulled from behind the stage.

      Shame on them for trying to dig this up again. Just let it rest and move forward.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      AG Holder is to operate independent of the POTUS – he doesn’t need his approval to pursue this action.

      There is an argument that properly investigating a crime somehow places our current and future soldiers at risk. Okay – but there is also an argument that the actions taken by our soldiers and operatives have only strengthened who you talk to. I find the whole argument utter nonsense and weak from those of you that oppose this. Investigations of corruption by police officers in places like Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles may be seen to place other officers at risk of physical harm – but it simply DOESN’T HAPPEN. The prospect of some downstream action should not preclude the top ranking law enforcement in our Country from investigating a potential crime.

      If our soldiers aren’t in places where they shouldn’t be then they are less at risk.

      I have to call hypocrisy here as well folks – you want transparency, you want accountability, you want people to take ownership, but you don’t want it if the shoe isn’t on the foot of a liberal politician – b.s. I say – take your hypocrisy and take a hard look in the mirror.

      • The matter has been investigated by career Justice lawyers with jurisdiction over the case. They took action they thought was appropriate. One CIA contractor was convicted; no other prosecutions were warranted. Internal CIA disciplinary actions were also taken.

        The original investigation relied heavily on the CIA Inspector General report, the same document Holder says he is relying on now. A different part of the Justice Department is spearheading the current effort, one that does not ordinarily have jurisdiction over non-Justice, non-lawyers.

        Holder and Obama are clearly trying to appease the Democratic left wing at the expense of CIA employees that have already been investigated and punished as appropriate. It is shameful.

      • Hi Ray….I will agree with you except on one premise. I do not feel that he is acting on his own. If he truly was, then there would be more investigations of the violations of money and its sources to this administration…which is more important, to me, than what the CIA did.

        As you know, I have no problems that in war time, the end justifies the means and, if you read my post on this, you know my boundaries.

        At any rate, I think the timing stinks.

        How are you doing, my friend?

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          I’m tired D13 – have an office in three sites and sometimes the travel is a bear.

          IMHO Holder has seemed relatively quite in a lot of matters. For the record I have always disagreed with the AG being a political appointee – it creates inherent stink where none should have existed to start.

          I do understand your view regarding ‘end justifies means’ – I will always fail at allowing any interpretation of that ideal as it is too easily perverted. My Lai could be interpreted as such, the idiocy of Son Tay, Hill 937 and other litany of the like.

      • Obama said they were not going to pursue this further. It had already been investigated. It seems clear this is not about any pursuit of justice.

        As for myself, if my child were kidnapped, and I caught one of those responsible, what would I do? What would you do? There is nothing I would not be willing and able to do to get my child returned safely. The police are bound by laws on treatment of prisoners. If he does not talk, its my word against his that he’s even involved, so he will go free.

        An enemy combatant, using weapons against our soldiers is captured, and identified as a leader. He is questioned and its determined he may know about attacks planed on US citizens. They have set rules for how to question and torture these terrorists. A few of the interrogators exceeded those rules, shooting a pistol in the next cell to portray an execution.

        Waterboarding is torture. Sleep deprivation is torture. I can sleep at night knowing this is being done to terrorists without making silly excuses about what legally is torture. And I do not think its right for us sitting safe in our homes should be overly critical of the actions others took to keep us safe. Because if I am willing to do the same for my child, how is it different that they would do this for my child that they do not even know?

        So again, what would you do if your child was taken?

        • Using the what would you do if it was your child is not the best argument to make. How far would you be willing to go? Would you rape his wife? Hell, from some of the stories coming out of the US prisons in Iraq would you rape him? Would you torture and kill the children of the man you were holding to get the information?
          This is going to the polar end of the question but I am sure there are people out there who would be willing to do all of them to protect their children. Would you feel comfortable if all of those things were being sanctioned and practiced by your government?

          Is torture the best method to obtain information?

          • Bob, your question “Is torture the best method to obtain information?” is not as simple as it sounds on the surface. There are certain instances where enhanced interrogation techniques (sorry couldn’t resist) would be acceptable…IMO. There are many more instances where they would not be acceptable than would be acceptable.

            Some captives may “spill the beans” quite easily, while others will not. That said, it would depend on the value of the information, combined with the will of the captive whether those enhanced techniques would/should be employed…but only in the extreme cases, which in itself is another slippery slope.

            • This is not the same but I once had to get something cut out of my leg without anaesthetic. I would have told you I shot JFK, was the first man on the moon and lived as a transvestite on the weekends to make that pain stop. Once you start inflicting pain on someone how can you be sure you are getting accurate information?

          • Bob, I do not know how far I might go. Rape his wife or him? Which is better looking? Does he have any pets?(joking, I’m boringly strait)

            I am more likely to shoot his kneecap, squeeze his hand or other body part in a vise, etc.

            A few soldiers raped and murdered civilians. They were tried and convicted. That has nothing to do with the torture of terrorists. They were questioned by methods much more civilized than what I have stated I am willing to use. Is torture the best method to obtain info? I don’t know, what I’ve read, it was only used on a few.

            But you side-stepped my question. What would you personally be willing to do for your wife or child, or the Queen? The morals involved are the same.

            Let me be even more politically incorrect. I am proud of the actions taken by my government regarding the torture of terrorists. They used remarkable restraint to gather this information, and went to levels protecting the terrorists that practically no other nation would bother with.

            • What I would do personally to save my child should not be my nations policy regarding interrogation. My emotional response should not be the basis for a rational national policy.

              Ah the question you posed is now “What would Life Of Illusion do to save his wife/child?” which is different than what you posed, again there would be people who would be happy for every single man, woman and child to die in Iraq if it meant the safe return of their wife/child, would you now say that would be a reasonable response? How far are you willing to go? Do you draw the line at physical pain for him or would you be happy for the CIA to start drilling his young daughters kneecaps to get the necessary information?

              • “What I would do personally to save my child should not be my nations policy regarding interrogation.”

                No, but it should be the basis of you passing judgment on the actions of others.

                “Do you draw the line at physical pain for him or would you be happy for the CIA to start drilling his young daughters kneecaps to get the necessary information?”

                I am proud of the actions taken by my government regarding the torture of terrorists. They used remarkable restraint to gather this information.

                If you and your government want to bring their daughters into a torture chamber, that’s your call. I don’t see the reason to wonder about all that, since they set clear limits as to how far they would go.

              • But the actions they did were sanctioned by the government. Would you want your government to tell the CIA to do whatever is necessary to get the information?

                Using the “what if….” question should not be the basis for judgment. The question is used to create an emotional hyberbolic response and using that to determine if something is right or wrong is not the best way to go about it. Clear heads need to be used in these situations. We are supposed to be morally better then the people we are fighting, using torture against them drags us down to their level which then begs the question what are we fighting for?

          • If you were a Muslim, you would be expected to rape both men and women with Allah’s blessing. Good thing there were no Muslims in the CIA at the time! I can’t imagine what we’d be talking about were the agents of that faith.

            • For Bob’s perusal. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/133214

              Just a guess but harsh language isn’t going to work on those of this mindset.

            • “They do it so we should as well” is again not a very good argument. I suppose we should hack off the heads of those who are not useful anymore right?

              • Bob what’s with the simpleton’s response? Its not a matter of doing as they do. Its a matter of why do anything at all if what you intend is nothing they wouldn’t do to their own children. Harsh language isn’t going to save you from a bear attack so your answer is not going into the woods at all where mine is make the bear aware of you and fear such. You’re not going to get “why eat the bear?” out of that sentence are you?

              • Do try and use better analogies I dont know where the bear attack crap is coming from.
                Are the bears in your backyard? Did you put them there? Did you pull out their teeth and claws? Is comparing the reactions of an animal in any way shape or form the same as a human?

                What do you propose would be the best way to handle the interrogations?

              • You’re too busy citing the extreme to even entertain the idea of a middle ground. If you can’t fathom a middle ground then how can you discuss one? You can’t.

                If what you are willing to do is naught past what they can easily tolerate, drop the capture policy altogether. Only through communications intercepts and the like will anything be gained information wise.

                In the case of those in the field, a capture policy where holding becomes a matter of catch and release begs the question, “Why put your men in harms way to effect the capture in the first place?” Once that comes off the table its all about tagging as many as you come into contact with which is infinitely easier. I’d rather be water boarded than dead. How about you?

          • Bob, allow a simple old soldier to respond, please.

            You asked: Is torture the best method to obtain information?

            D13 Responds: No, it is not the BEST method but it is expedient given a particular time scale. Inflicting extreme pain will not necessarily reveal pertinent information. As stated, any information to stop the pain will most likely happen..again, given the time factors. I could tell you the best methods but that is not pertinent here.

            It is the definition of torture that is pertinent. It has been discussed here very in depth. Some people see sleep deprivation as torture or loud and constant music to be torture. (Having had teenagers, I can almost agree to that one).

            I do know what works and I know what does not work. I have witnessed that in 6 different countries from military personnel to police brutality in Europe and their torture methods…especially Germany and France on their own civilians.

            It is a tough call and emotion plays a large part. Defining torture is paramount.

            D13

  2. USWeapon Topic #2

    From an article on Fox News:

    College Republicans Compiling List of Liberal Professors at Ohio School

    The University of Toledo’s College Republicans are compiling a list of liberal professors who they claimed have a bias against conservative students.

    The list will include professors who students say have let their political views interfere with the way they interact with students in the classroom.

    UT College Republicans President Matt Rubin, a junior majoring in political science and public administration, said the list is not an attempt to bash professors who have liberal ideas, but instead, it is an attempt to speak out for students who may have been victims of the bias, which was then reflected in their grade.

    Read the rest of the article at: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/31/college-republicans-compiling-list-liberal-professors-ohio-school/

    I have to say that I 100% support the effort of the College Republicans here. My personal opinion is that the overwhelming majority of educators in colleges in America tend to lean left. And far too many of them use their position to sway the opinion of impressionable teenagers and young adults. It is shameful, and further is is a continuation of the American Public Education System’s indoctrination program for our youth, creating good little citizens that believe in the nonsense socialism spouts like we saw here yesterday. The last thing the public education system is interested in creating is a new generation of critical thinkers. That would be the most dangerous thing possible for today’s government.

    These professors force students to adopt their point of view and will give lower grades to those who don’t get on board the far left crazy train with them. The Universities don’t have the balls to deal with these nut jobs, so kudo’s to the students for standing up for themselves.

    • I don’t know about Ohio, but it sure happened to my oldest here in GA. He was unfortunate enough to have his REQUIRED Political Science class right at the Presidential Election last year. He spent his whole Semester arguing politics with his professor (an Obamaton).

      Of course, he failed the class. Anyone who did not agree with her, at least on the face, failed her class. I am amazed that someone can fail a class for having a different political stance from the teacher. The class protested their grades and filed a complaint against her. Never heard 1 word from the school.

      • Good for him to stand up on this beliefs, regardless of the outcome of the grade. That is what is wrong with the school system, their is no debating of sides. One side is the only being heard. I would make sure that the complaint is heard loud and clear.

        • It didn’t do him any good though. He still failed the class, and he has to have it to graduate. I just hope he gets a more rational Professor the next time. I’m not going to tell him to lower his values for some stupid moron just to pass the class.

          I probably should, but I can’t. I am the reason he thinks like he does. He has been taught that you have to make a stand and not back down. He has been raised Conservative from birth.

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      “in the nonsense socialism spouts like we saw here yesterday.”

      Why there are 20 of you in here instead of 20,000,000. You’re on the fringe and irrelevant.

      “The last thing the public education system is interested in creating is a new generation of critical thinkers. That would be the most dangerous thing possible for today’s government.”

      Right, so home school (brainwash) them into being paranoid about dealing with others. That’s a good answer to the public education issue (which does need reform and definitely protects teachers who can be manipulated via politics). Or would you rather than conservative teachers who create a new generation of non critical thinkers?

      For the record, the nonsense we saw in here yesterday came from the conservative side but I don’t have time (or desire) to play back and forth semantics today.

      Nonsense. You said it, brother.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        GGcs,

        What do you propose as an education system which actually would produce people capable of critical thinking?

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          Send them to BF … you’re the backup.

          That should solve all your problems.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Ah, still incapable of answering a perfectly legitimate direct question I see… well I guess at least it doesn’t violate tradition….

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Your question has prejudice agenda built into it. Your version of critical thinking is obviously different than mine. I happen to believe the education system does swing left (regarding professors and their expectations from students) but I also suspect that yours would swing right. Teaching kids to think for themselves is probably the best start … but so long as you label socialism evil, you’re not being very honest with your kid (or yourself). That’s one answer. Another is you and BF handle it (then your agenda issues are addressed and you’ll have, at least while they’re young, a bunch of kids who can’t think for themselves. In the end, though, there will always be a few who are exposed to just enough of the real world to run for the hills (and join our ranks). Why our numbers are greater than yours … Karl Rove’s strategy (wingnuts and hardline Christians) no longer works, does it?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                My question is loaded in no way whatsoever.

                I asked you what you would do to come up with a system of education which would encourage critical thinking. I did not say you had to use your, my, or anyone else’s definition of critical thinking.

      • Let be the first to say that you are the one who is irrelevant and full of nonsense. You’re Socialist rants yesterday, combined with your idiotic pompousness should have embarrassed you instead of pumping your head full of more stupid inane comments today.

        Matt at least makes sense in that he is just a liberal Democrat, and some of his ideas are actually refreshing to hear. But you make no sense at all. Bragging about how Socialistic you are just makes you look like a moron.

        Please try to refrain yourself from talking to me furthur. I don’t care to have an idiot barking at me like a seal.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          “I don’t care to have an idiot barking at me like a seal.”

          Stay away from mirrors, honey.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            GGcs,

            If you feel that Esom’s response to you was inappropriate or insulting, that is something you should bring up with USWeapon. Simply responding to Esom in an insulting manner does absolutely nothing other than convince the rest of us that that is the only way you are capable of arguing.

            I value Esom’s contributions to this site, and believe it or not, I value yours as well, especially when you actually participate in the discussion rather than just attempting to demean someone else’s position.

            We all attempt to be civil here, and sometimes we do fail- we are human, however, calling someone “honey” and telling him to stay away from mirrors probably isn’t the best way to address the issue.

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Here’s logic for you: If you feel that Esom’s response to you was inappropriate or insulting, that is something you should bring up with USWeapon. Simply responding to Esom in an insulting manner does absolutely nothing other than convince the rest of us that that is the only way you are capable of arguing.

              One of you insult me and my reply convinces the rest of you that I am incapable of arguing.

              Let me set you straight, my man. Esom can go ___ her/himself. That’s #1.

              #2: Rats go to the teacher. I choose to fight back.

              #3: “I value yours as well, especially when you actually participate in the discussion rather than just attempting to demean someone else’s position.”

              You and BF have a very loaded way of getting your points across (talk about demeaning someone else’s position).

              #4: “We all attempt to be civil here, and sometimes we do fail- we are human, however, calling someone “honey” and telling him to stay away from mirrors probably isn’t the best way to address the issue.”

              Perhaps you’re her/his savior. Let them kiss your cheek. After what I was called, you found “honey” offensive?

              Like I said, here’s logic for you …

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Here is logic for you:

                “Someone behaved uncivilly to me on a website which claims to allow civil discussions between people with differing points of view, so since they said something uncivil to me, I will just fight back!”

                Yup, that is logical.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Works every time.

            • Thanks anyway Peter, but I can handle him. He pissed me off with his asshole answer to something that didn’t concern him, but I’m ok now. I’ll just ignore him from now on. I should have ignored him to begin with, but I digress.

              I had a bad morning and was kind of ill. I intended to apologize, but now….

              Have a good day Peter.

              • I tried having a logical discussion with him for a while, but I’ve given up after getting nothing but blather for the entire argument. Once or twice today I started to respond to the insults he’s thrown around, but decided my peace of mind is more important than arguing with someone like that.

              • Wish I’d done that instead of bothering to say anything to him.

                Oh well. Say la vie!!

                Have a goodun’ JB

              • C’est la vie indeed. Another oneIlikeisqueserasera.

                Goodeveningtoyouaswell!

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                But not that I’ve called him an “asshole”, i’ll go have a goodun’ myself.

                You people kill me (in a ha-ha, funny way).

      • GG,

        You read a lot into my positions that you should not. The socialism had nonsense on both sides and some good stuff on both sides. Whether you like it or not, what I saw from you yesterday was a lot of rhetoric without any desire to answer some basic questions that help define your position. I cannot tell you how many times I saw you asked just how you would decide certain things only to have you simply reply you aren’t answering because BF is difficult.

        BF is difficult, and to be honest I saw him spouting some nonsense that I completely disagreed with yesterday as well. I appreciate that you believe this site irrelevant. I had twenty people 8 months ago. That number has grown, and I hope it will continue. I am not on the fringe. You keep telling yourself that until you feel better.

        The biggest mistake the liberals make is to disregard conservative thought. They actually believe Obama was voted for rather than the reality that the vote was nothing more than a vote against George Bush.

        But if you want a specific answer to what your nonsense was, it was the completely immoral premise that you have the right to take from someone else. That is nonsense, and it is realistically nothing more than the thoughts of a person with an immoral position finding the best way he can to rationalize his position rather than act morally. You would make a great movie villain, you could do the whole speech to the movie hero about how your perverted acts of evil are all done in the name of public good, justifying each heinous act.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          “But if you want a specific answer to what your nonsense was, it was the completely immoral premise that you have the right to take from someone else. That is nonsense, and it is realistically nothing more than the thoughts of a person with an immoral position finding the best way he can to rationalize his position rather than act morally.”

          Now we’re getting someplace. I don’t have the right to take from someone else; that is granted. Yet, if a community forms (gov’t, etc.) and “agrees” (a majority) to take something (not everything—whether it be taxes or inheritance) to take assets for the greater good, than I (me) doesn’t see it as “taking” but rather “contributing” (based on the majority rule). I understand how you perceive it (an immoral position, etc.)

          As to this: “You would make a great movie villain, you could do the whole speech to the movie hero about how your perverted acts of evil are all done in the name of public good, justifying each heinous act.”

          You’re starting to sound like BF (or a lunatic Christian minister). I propose socialism (in debate form) and it is ridiculed. I understand why (you people leave no room for actual debate—you decided what is moral and/or evil and you hang on to it with dear life – maybe why you’re all so paranoid). Fair enough, but you’re starting point is as flawed as mine (or anyone else’s) if you perceive that which you don’t agree with as “evil”.

          Since you seem to see everything in black and white terms, much like BF, then you shouldn’t want any gov’t either (since to form one, people will have to compromise and do things they personally wouldn’t want to—whether it’s paying taxes or not burning a cross on your neighbor’s lawn).

          That was civil. Try responding in kind.

          • “That was civil. Try responding in kind.”

            Um…

            “you people leave no room for actual debate”

            “maybe why you’re all so paranoid”

            “You’re starting to sound like BF (or a lunatic Christian minister)”

            Doesn’t really sound civil to me…

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Try reading what started it:

              But if you want a specific answer to what your nonsense was …

              That came first. See what I mean?

          • When were you engaged in debating the merits of socialism VS capitalism? I surely wouldn’t have missed that one. Debate is more than mere tit-for-tat or saying the inverse to what’s been presented by the opposition. Also name calling signals a forfeit.

            You want to do a plus minus for socialism VS capitalism, start a thread and argue well in today’s open mic. Break down each portion as to contain a “why” this should concern your opponent and a “what” will be accomplished.

            • GreaterGoodscs says:

              I appreciate your advice but it’s your side that can’t resist being sarcastic and/or rude.

              Esom didn’t like my socialist rantings … she thought I was bragging … that I was smarmy, etc.

              I was being honest; she didn’t like what I had to say.

              That’s it for me defending why I respond in kind.

              • Well -shock-

                GG has discovered the law of Mutuality – told ya it was a Natural Law!

                He just said he will ‘respond in kind’…

                Wonder if he will realize the implication of Mutuality as it applies to human action?

              • Are you going to tell him it’s Mr. Esom?

              • Nah, Miss GG knows that already – he is experimenting with the Law of Mutuality.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      If they want a more conservative/close-minded education then there are a multitude of options available that service the need. There are ways to engage liberal-minded professors and to do so without being failed out of your class.

      • Not in many cases Ray and that is the point.

        My son also ran into the issue and had to suck it up and write what the Proff wanted to hear in order to pass the class.

        Students had and continue to complain about the guy and nothing happens. Tenure you know.

        I am concerned anytime any group starts compiling lists of “bad” dudes and dudets. So much room for error and abuse.

        Ray, stop linking conservative to closed minded. It is insulting and displays lack of serios thought on the part of the accuser as well.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        My definition of education and my definition of brainwashing are quite different.

        If a student is taught that he must regurgitate back to a teacher precisely what the teacher wants him to say/write/respond, then that is brainwashing, regardless of the position of the teacher.

        If a student is taught to analyze a problem, think it through, and then logically be able to defend his answer, and is graded on the basis of his/her ability to do this regardless of the position of the teacher, then that is education.

        If a teacher says, “You do not agree with me, so you get an F”, then that teacher is not a teacher.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          “If a student is taught to analyze a problem, think it through, and then logically be able to defend his answer, and is graded on the basis of his/her ability to do this regardless of the position of the teacher, then that is education.”

          You left out so long as he agrees with you that socialism = evil.

          And that, my dear friends, is nonsense.

          Socialism may not be the preferred choice (for you or anybody else) but to say it is evil is nonsense. You lose all credibility (hear me, BF) when you use terms like evil.

          • GreaterGood, I get that you are outnumbered, from reading the last few days I even see that an amount of rudeness has entered the conversations from many parties-but coming here ready for a fight will only stop communication-So lighten up and I hope others will also lighten up. Understand I am not talking about political correctness, I’m talking about civility and it’s a hard line to walk at times. That is my 2 cents worth-My intentions are good. Hope people will take it as intended

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              I appreciate the sentiment and advice. Thanks.

              I’ll respond in kind (as others do unto me) but won’t get into a semantics match about what they did or why they did it and whether or not they were acting with the universal morality in mind when they did it.

              Peace.

              • The idea is not to react in kind, unless truly provoked, it takes fuel to keep a fire burning and simple civility makes the one adding the fuel look the fool. As far as the rest you don’t have to answer any post, if you so choose, but you do seem to be limiting your opportunity to communicate.

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              You did read this, I assume:

              Let be the first to say that you are the one who is irrelevant and full of nonsense. You’re Socialist rants yesterday, combined with your idiotic pompousness should have embarrassed you instead of pumping your head full of more stupid inane comments today.

              Matt at least makes sense in that he is just a liberal Democrat, and some of his ideas are actually refreshing to hear. But you make no sense at all. Bragging about how Socialistic you are just makes you look like a moron.

              Please try to refrain yourself from talking to me furthur. I don’t care to have an idiot barking at me like a seal.

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              To squished below, but here’s a novel idea:

              How about some of you act civil? Then I won’t have to let my emotions ruin it for you.

              Me, I prefer to go punch for punch. I detect sarcasm, i return it. Same goes for general nastiness; punch for punch.

          • GG,

            I think you are wrong here on what Peter would define as a proper response. As a teacher I would not at all want to ensure that students thought socialism was evil. That may be my thought, but the students are free to believe what they want. What determines their grade is their ability to back up whatever their sentiment with logical thought.

            Your claims that many here simply want to replace liberal thought domination with conservative thought domination are baseless. A simple review of past articles and comments would back up my claim here. I desire an education system of free thinking and critical thinking students, period. Doesn’t matter which “side” they fall on.

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              When does Peter chime in?

              What you propose is more than fine with me, but you can’t start with the premise that Socialism or communisim or any ism is “evil”. You may believe that to your heart’s content, but once you espouse it to a student (even in joking form–and I have been in many classes where very liberal professors did exactly that–joke about the right in a very demeaning manor), you are no longer teaching and have begun to preach.

            • Here’s one for you guys. Note that the current fad is for Conservative talk show hosts to complain that the Obama Czar’s by and large are Communists, not just Socialists but out and out professed Communists.

              The MSM’s response is: Yawn.

              That is how wonderfully successful our educational system is in brainwashing us. Take a political philosophy which outlasted nazism by almost a century, has triple (at least) the body count of the Nazi’s and make it a viable acceptable alternative governmental choice.

              Answer me this, if Obama had appointed openly avowed fascists, exactly how long would have it been before the articles of impeachment were written?

              Sorry to get (maybe) off track here but the discussion of left wing faculty and what they can do hit me personally. There was this one Ronald J. Christ, assistant professor of modern literature at Manhattan College who felt it was his duty in 1967-8 to spend the entire semester on the Viet Nam War and the sex habits of LBJ, Mrs. LBJ and the LBJ daughters. Having had enough after eight or so sessions I called him on it publically and not tactfully. I ended up the year with a D. Never ever in my life did I ever get below a B plus in a lit class. That SOB rankles me to this day.

              • I’m with you on this one SKT. People don’t even notice, and seem completely unaware of Communisms body count. I guess they just assume that it can’t happen here.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            GG.. the difference is, I LEFT NOTHING OUT.

            Agreement is not required.

            If I were a teacher of political science, and a student of mine were to write a very well-written paper defending the concepts of socialism, used refrenences, made proper citations, and really made the honest attempt to defend that position, I would give that paper a good grade, regardless of the fact that I think that socialism is evil.

            So your claim is totally baseless.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Greatergoodcs,

            Here my friend is where you fail to understand freedom completely.

            Let us say, for example, that I am indeed a teacher. Let us also say that I think that communism is evil.

            If I am teaching a political science class, I am free to say, “I feel that communism is evil, and here is why…” and then I proceed to logically describe the reasons why I feel that communism is evil.

            Some students will accept my reasoning, and see my position is valid based upon that logic and reason.

            Other students will reject my reasoning, and see my position as invalid based upon that rejection.

            If I give those students a failing grade because they disagree with me, then that is NOT teaching.

            If I encourage all of the students to logically think through the process and come to their own conclusions, then THAT IS teaching.

            If I give a student a good grade simply because he says, “I disagree with you” but he makes no attempt to explain why, then that is not teaching.

            If I give a student a good grade simply because he says ,”I totally agree with you” but he makes no attempt to explain why, that is not teaching.

            The number one point of teaching should NEVER BE to attempt to force a child to agree with one position or another. The number one point of teaching should be to attempt to get the child to the point where they can look at a premise on their own, evaluate that premise using logic and reason, and reach their own conclusion.

            A logical and reasoned thought process is not biased. The OUTCOME of a logical and reasoned thought process is biased nearly 100% of the time. The outcome of a logical and reasoned thought process will naturally tend to reject the illogical and unreasoned.

            • Though I agree with your conclusions, I disagree with your premise. I don’t think a teacher should ever have to say “I think” in the classroom. They are there to present the facts, whatever they may be, without any spin or bias. I think it is exactly the “I feel” statements that people are upset about now.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I would challenge any professor of political science or sociology (or many of the other “ologies” to figure out what “just the facts” were.

                🙂

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              you wrote: “If I am teaching a political science class, I am free to say, “I feel that communism is evil, and here is why…” and then I proceed to logically describe the reasons why I feel that communism is evil.”

              Wrong. You are the teacher; they are impressionable. They will lean toward what you “think” or “feel”.

              How about letting them do the research and coming up with their own answers. Then debate the issues in a fair manner. I’ve already stated I’ve seen liberal teachers present negatively conservative viewpoints. I know it occurs in reverse as well.

              • Yes, but first you have to find the conservative teachers. At University levels, they are few and far between.

                I never minded an opinion of a teacher or student as long as it was not followed by a “whatever” when I asked why they felt that way. Teachers are not robots, they are human beings and bring their opinions and prejudices into the classroom. The good teacher however is one who says “Show me why I am wrong” and challanges his class to think. The bad teacher is the one who ridicules or mocks his students who disagree with him or who by dint of a strong personality “awes” his or her students.

                Communism, for example has a body count three times higher than Nazism. Those deaths were the result of official governmental policy not just a few renegade commies going off the reservation. Why is it so difficult for those who would condemn the very mention of Nazi fascism to condemn Communism. There are no redeeming graces about it. It survives, like the Che shirt, only because of some ridiculous overly romanticised tripe peddled by assholes who think that human life, other than their own, has no redeeming value. I am told to constantly cry for the vctims of Pinochet but never for those of Castro.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                To pretend that one has no point of view, whether in a classroom or in the rest of life is silly.

                To say what your point of view is with a reasoned, logical explanation of why is fine.

                To say that your point of view is 100% correct without offering any reasons whatsoever, and then penalizing students for disagreeing is reprehensible.

                I would rather have “impressionable children” know where the teacher is coming from and why rather than have the teacher PRETEND to have no point of view and no bias.

    • I like that these kind of things are finally being called out. Along with tea parties, this shows to me that all independent and conservative thinking people are sick and tired of the progressive, liberal and now socialist crap that has been put forth for ever and are finally speaking out.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Here is an article on FOX News about Court’s Order to remove a young girl from home-schooling – EVEN though she is doing perfectly fine academically and socially. The child’s father and mother are divorced; the father is “concerned” over the child’s “social” interactions.

      http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,545340,00.html?test=latestnews

      RS

      • Spitfire,

        I read that earlier. In general, the government thinks it knows best on how we should raise our children, and will use force to make us comply. Its worse in other countries.

        “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.”

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

        “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.”

    • Now, now.. this doesn’t seem particularly friendly, guys (and gals).. GG, I do think you could cool it down a little bit. Though I do see where you’re coming from, these guys don’t respond well to hostility.

      That said, I had many teachers with whom I disagreed in school (I went to a liberal arts college, whatever that means). It has been my experience that, while there are teachers who are only interested in hearing agreement, the vast majority love to be argued with. I would frequently adopt the other side of the argument just to get a rise out of them and was never once (implied or otherwise) threatened in any way.

      Further, I have never seen a teacher advocate a political view in class without student prompting except in political science courses I have taken. In those instances, my teachers were happy to receive arguments for or against their positions as long as they were well reasoned. I do not view this as a threat to impressionable young children.

      I am, however, speaking of college and high school. I have no recollection of this sort of thing happening before then, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen and that I wasn’t influenced by it. However, I was not a very political 10 year old, so I doubt my teachers would have penalized me for my views.

      I do, however, see threats to the education of minors when school boards decide to ban the teaching of education, or decide that students should be educated about influential conservatives, but not liberals. I am certain that there are examples of liberals foisting their views on conservative children, but none come to mind.

      • That last paragraph should read:

        I do, however, see threats to the education of minors when school boards decide to ban the teaching of evolution, or decide that students should be educated about influential conservatives, but not liberals. I am certain that there are examples of liberals foisting their views on conservative children, but none come to mind.

      • Wow, wish I could say that about my college classes. Even in Texas, UT Austin, in the 60’s was horribly biased…even in business courses. Always discourse on how bad our economic system was. At any rate, I know several students that received “f’s” on papers that did not agree with the profs. I, being one of them, and it was not even business or political science. It was “friggin” English class. Wrote an objective piece on the writings of Dylan Thomas. Made my assumptions, as required, posted my thesis, as required, and I still have the paper with a resounding F on the front with the sentence written, in red…as follows: Your assessment of Dylan Thomas and his writings are incorrect. Your assessments are contrary to the conclusions that I have formed over the years having read all of the writings of this great thinker.

        That is it in a nut shell. I appealed the grade and was turned down. Ahhhh..the joys of college.

        However, I heard that he was fired about two semesters later for organizing an anti war rally and advocating the burning of the ROTC building at the very school that paid his salary. Point is..it happens. And in today’s society, I think he would be given the Nobel Prize.

      • I’m in the same boat, Matt. I’ve only had one prof (and a guest lecturer at that) who did any kind of opinionated indoctrination. Ironically enough, it was an anti-Christian rant in a Lutheran affiliated college (weird, no?). Anyway, like you said, there may have been some indoctrination that I never really noticed as a kid. Like I’ve said before, the facts need to be presented without any bias or spin. This is true on both sides of the table. Often I’ve seen someone on this site say something to the effect of “you just want a conservative bias.” Though some may feel this way, I think the majority of us do not. We want honest TEACHING without any BIAS of any sort.

        As far as evolution goes, let me say this. Micro-evolution has been proven. A being will evolve to overcome some difficulty. Say the sun gets hotter, then our skin will build a resistance over time. Macro-evolution has not been proven. Say the sun gets hotter, there is no direct evidence to say we will evolve into fish so we can cool off in the water. That being said, it is a popular THEORY with its merits and faults. I have no problem with it being taught in school, but I do have a problem if a teacher says evolution is fact and the Bible is fiction. Separation of church and state means they cannot say exactly that. Also, I don’t believe the Bible should be taught in public schools.

  3. USWeapon Topic #3

    Also from a Fox News Article:

    Don’t Exhale: EPA Expected to Declare Carbon Dioxide a Dangerous Pollutant

    The Environmental Protection Agency is expected in the next few weeks to declare that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases are pollutants, a move that would require the federal government to regulate them — even without legislation.

    Don’t exhale.

    That advice may need heeding if the Environmental Protection Agency declares carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases dangerous pollutants, a move — expected in the next couple weeks — that would require the federal government to impose new rules limiting emissions.

    The rest of the article is here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/28/hold-breath-epa-expected-declare-carbon-dioxide-pollutant/

    This seems to me to be a ridiculous thing to do. Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant that should be regulated by the EPA. It seems to me that in light of the changing environment (nice play on words USW) around climate change and cap and trade, the government is looking for another way to do an end around and attempt to control emissions anyway. And you can bet that this ruling by the EPA will be used as “evidence” that we need to enact legislation to help regulate it later. Government sucks. I am not on the “no government” bandwagon, but I still think it sucks.

    And for the record, I think that the EPA is just as worthless than the FDA and the IRS.

    • Perhaps this is an opening for a breathing tax?

    • All;

      It is another shell game to move the media attention away from the negative press directed towards the Health Reform and Cap and Trade bills. The democratic regiem is very good at playing shell games.

      Everyone needs to realize that this regiem has many methods for pulling the wool, however at the same time their plan is designed so that when one shell game fails another one, recieving less or no attention, wins a battle or directive.

      The “green” concept is a broad and diverse platform. It contains many different and confusing magic tricks; a great deal we have not yet seen.

      My father taught me to question everything espoused by a government or government representative regardless of his/her particular party alliance. They are a lot like fishermen, if their lips are moving they are lying. Always ask to see the fish and resounding evidence that it was actually caught.

    • This is simply another tactic to get Cap & Trade by us. When it was so unpopular in Congress, Obama had to find another way to get it in anyway. The EPA has already came out with the resolution that greenhouse gases were hazardous to health.

      That didn’t work, so now we have this. I hope this doesn’t work either. I have my doubts though because they don’t have to have any Congressional power to get this in in this way. That’s exactly WHY the EPA will make this announcement. As CM states; a shell game.

    • EPA’s ruling is not a distraction nor is it an end run around derailed Cap and Trade legislation.

      If you recall I have on several occassions pointed out that EPA already has authority to regulate CO2 and any other thing it wants.

      In fact, the EPA ruling is probably needed to make Cap and Trade work. I doubt they can legislate the interstate commerce of “air” that is not already classified as a pollutant.

      Remember that the EPA administers something similar to Cap and Trade for other pollutants already. Total Maximum Daily Loads are allocated and permitted.

      The Best to You this AM
      JAC

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        JAC,

        Since this is my area of expertise, I can actually state that this COULD be used as an end-around to make cap and trade happen without any legislation being needed.

        You see, in the convoluted world of the EPA, the EPA has to declare that something is a pollutant before the EPA has the authority to regulate it as a pollutant. Once something has been declared to be a pollutant, the EPA is REQUIRED BY LAW to regulate it, and such regulation does not require congressional approval. Sometimes congress will pass laws such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Air Act Amendments in order to force the EPA to declare certain things as pollutants, but once the EPA is forced to declare certain things as pollutants, the EPA is still the agency which writes the regulations- the President and the Congress do not.

        This is part of the reason why organizations such as the American Lung Association are pushing the EPA to recognize “second hand smoke” as a pollutant, because then the EPA will have the authority to regulate “second-hand smoke”

        So basically, once the EPA declares that CO2 is a pollutant, it has free reign to craft regulations on how to control CO2 emissions. If the EPA decides that Cap & Trade is the best way to do this, EPA can then enact Cap & Trade without any law being passed by Congress.

        Congress will still have to make laws regulating exactly how Cap & Trade works, but they will no longer have to worry about making laws about the existence of Cap & Trade.

        They will simply say, “EPA has declared that CO2 is a pollutant, and the scientists at the EPA have decided that Cap & Trade is the Best Available Control Technology for controlling emissions of CO2, so now we HAVE TO create a working Cap & Trade system in order to meet the new EPA regulations.

        Voila, Cap & Trade comes into existence without the need of congress passing a law.

        • Just read in L. Neil Smiths “Lever Action” that cooking bacon gives off more pollutants than you get from second hand smoke. Are anti-bacon laws coming soon?

        • I agree with everything, and in fact that is what I was trying to say, with this exception.

          To me an end run is if we can’t do this then we will do this to get what we want.

          The EPA ruling was going to happen regardless of the Cap and Trade bill. It is in fact part of the entire package. Thus it is not a classic “end run”.

          With the EPA rules they will get the regulated output side established. It may or may not help them pass the C&T legislation. But it won’t matter because EPA will probably set TMDL’s for CO2 and other gases and then will allow exchange or trade of permitted levels.

          But unlike other pollutants, the challenge will come in the mechanism to reduce the permitted TMDL on an annual basis to reach the 20% reduction target. It will also be interesting to see how they handle the combined point source and non-point source components of the problem.

          With water quality they let the states develop Best Management Practices to address the non-point issue. But CO2 is everywhere so I foressee massive volumes of regulations to try and address the non-point source issue. It will affect every agency and dept of government and every aspect of our lives.

          We are so screwed.
          JAC

    • Send the Carbon Police, USW. I just stood outside and hyper-ventilated to add my carbon footprint.

  4. USWeapon Topic #4

    From a CNN article:

    GOP senator warns of ‘minor revolution’ over health care

    After a month of town halls back home, Alexander said it’s clear to him and other Republicans that Americans are “scared to death” about the sweeping policy changes coming from Washington this year and the massive debt they are creating.

    Alexander warned there would be “a minor revolution in this country” if Democrats try to “ram” a health care overhaul using a legislative tool called reconciliation, which would allow a bill to pass with 50 votes instead of 60.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/09/01/gop-senator-warns-of-minor-revolution-over-health-care/#more-66960

    I read this and wondered to myself if this was actually possible. I know that we have some folks who fully believe that a revolution is coming in America. I personally hope it doesn’t come to violence. I do understand that many Americans are frustrated and many more are scared. And I think they are rightfully scared. Things are changing at such a rapid pace and the changes certainly don’t appear to be good for America.

    But I am interested in whether people really think that a revolution is a possible scenario? This is not the first time people have been frustrated or worried or scared when it comes to government action. Is a revolution a realistic possibility in today’s environment? If it did happen, would it stand a chance?

    • USW,

      I think its possible IF the econmomy continues to tank AND people feel they have no voice. As it is now, anyone who starts trouble still has alot to lose. Once a large number of citizens have nothing left to lose, that’s when the troubles will begin. So, the answer to you question is: no, not in today’s environment.

    • Morning! I don’t think a revolution is that close, but if thinks continue as they are, it may not be that far away. I just don’t think we’ll make it till 2012.

      Besides, I’d like one more growing season st fill the shelves with. After that, fire away! I do wonder where the lines will be drawn as far as who against who, if it comes to this (which I don’t wish for).

      Will follow today

      G!

    • You say you want a revolution.. Well, you know, we all want to change the world. You tell me that it’s evolution.. well, you know, we all want to change the world. But when you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out? Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right?

      Violent revolutions don’t have a prayer. Not in this time in this place. The government holds the cards in that sense and you cannot hope to win. They’d spin you as extremist radicals and destroy you. You want to make a difference, try the only approach that has ever worked really well in modern America (hint: think MLK).

      • You are correct…a passive revolution is the only one that would have a prayer…violence will only beget violence in return…their guns are much bigger than ours, and I cannot help it, apologies in advance…”You will lose”!

      • Mathius,

        Well said. I have gone on record here many times saying a violent revolution would have no chance. My question was more about whether people here think that something like that is coming.

        • Not that I disagree that a violent revelution would stand no chance, but I cant think of an example where rights were won from a government without violence in general. Please inform me if im forgetting something. It has been my observation people either lose rights or gain them through violence. I most certainly dont agree with using violence but it seems to be the nature of people.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mlk

            Please let me know if this helps.

            • I disagree yes MLK did believe in a non violent solution however there was violence invovled mostly not from those who were trying to gain the freedom (there were exceptions) but mostly from those doing the oppressing. To say there was no violence invovled would be ignoring a large part of what happened at the time. I should have clarified that I meant violence in general not nessecarily a war

            • I will say this though it did provide a good example of not reacting with violence. And it has got me thinking. We will see what comes of it.

    • All;

      I think this non-representing representative is mostly trying to stir the pot. I don’t believe that the American people, as a majority, would join any kind of violent revolutions. They don’t have the resolve and means to withstand a government controled repression, which is what would happen.

      There may well be some pockets of semi-organized radicals, but those who chose to raise arms against a seated government would quickly disapear.

      I agree with Mathius’ concept of a MLK like movement.

      CM

    • I don’t think we’re in danger of a violent revolution any time soon. More like a peaceful one. And it’s already started to a small extent. They’re called “Tea Parties”. And there’s a Tea Party Express headed to Washington now.

      IMHO peaceful protests are the only things that will work. Any violence would be put down with extreme predjudice by this Government. Hell, by ANY Government.

    • I think a major push is happening. I dont think it is a relovution is going to happen. I think we need a major push, but I also think if it turns violent that it will be written off as crazy fringe folks.

    • I think that as long as the people have their 1st and 2nd amendment rights there will be no violent revolution. The 1st in part represents the peoples ability to freely address their problems with the government. It is the peoples greatest offesive tool. The 2nd represents the peoples ability to defend themselves. As long as these two tools are intact I doubt the people will be motivated to revolt. Simply because they will have a Safer option with which to fight the government.

      I would think that we will most likely see a state seceed before a revolution starts.

      • Seed, how are you this morning?

        The FCC is working on our 1st Amendment rights right now. And now they’re even talking about fining bloggers for making comments about important (at least in their own minds) people.

        If they’re going to do that, I guess that will spell the end of The National Enquirer, Star, and People.

        • Im doing good this morning, got busy around here so Ive havent been able to reply
          How everything in your world.

          I think that what is going on with the FCC is scary. But probably the logical move by the government if you can slowly strip away the rights of people you can prevent a revolution. All an action like this does is divide the people against themselves, because there will always be a small portion who will buy the Bill of Goods.

        • EHG,

          I will be discussing the fining bloggers subject tonight. For obvious reasons, that strike a little too close to home.

          • I think it’s insanity. How can you fine someone for blogging their opinion?

            TNE, Star, People, and other rags have gotten rich off telling lies about public figures. Why would Obama and the FCC pick out bloggers? Possibly because they are on the wrong side?

    • Hi USW. I do not think there will be a violent revolution. It can be shut down too easily. I know for I have seen the SOP’s dealing with it. Trust me on this. You do not want martial law declared. That was the one thing that I feared as an army officer. You have no idea of the power that the military would have.

      There is revolution beginning on the local levels. I just attended a meeting of the school board in Fort Worth and I am aware of the same in Dallas. The makeup is beginning to change and the parents are taking control once again. Text books are being examined at the parental level and school board administrators are beginning to be held accountable. I know there is the same move afoot in Coppell, Texas concerning the property taxes which all increases were just shelved because of the outrage.

      BF actually gave me a great idea and my form of revolution has taken hold in the illegal immigration area. Non violent approach…. instead of writing and complaining on blogs and doing nothing,we formed a business coalition of sorts. We now have 46 volunteers and it is growing. We simply drive around and take down license numbers and addresses of companies using illegal workers. They are not hard to pick out. We do not bother to turn them in to the government because there is no enforcement. We simply take out ads in papers, use the internet, and phone calls to city hall officials on those places that are employing them. They, the companies, do not like the exposure of illegal status and are now beginning to not hire them and they are leaving for California. We plant ourselves out side of construction sites and take pictures of the pick up trucks with their beds full of workers,and post them. We follow them to where they pick up these illegals and take more pictures and send them to City Hall and we post names of the council men that we turn them into. Result….we are getting action. We find the apartments that house them, take pictures, and send them in. We let the apartments know that we are sending them (the pictures)in and then we put the pressure on the city officials. Finally, we organize boycotts of those businesses and post it.It works. Non violent and within the rule of current law. We are actually seeing a decrease in the emergency rooms in parts of the city because of this. This is saving tax money and opening up rooms for real emergencies. We do not carry weapons except for cameras and we do not walk on private property. We do everything from public access. We do not block entrances or create traffic problems. We simply get the word out and let people know who hires them and uses them and exploits them. Them = illegal immigrants.

      This is perhaps not what you were talking about but it is our form of revolution. Parents are taking on school systems, we are holding elected officials accountable, we are forcing the rules to be followed. If people don’t like the rules, then change them. One thing this administration (BO) has done is angered people enough that they are taking control back and we will elect officials that we want and stop being complacent at the local and State levels and it is getting attention…..Is this what you were talking about?

      • very nicely done d13! c

      • bottom line says:

        I like it. Public ridicule and humiliation as a means to inhibit the sucessful encroachment of illegal immigration. That’s awsome!

      • Nice work D13! Another reason to move to Texas.

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Dear D13,

        Sir, you are da BOMB! I applaud you!

        —————-

        A “Peaceful” Revolution is the way to go first!

        Best Regards,
        RS

      • D13

        That is the way to do it. Non violent pressure. It is amazing what can happen when people actually see what business are doing this.

        This is what people need to do, the silent action works much better than violent action.
        We do not want martial law in place.

      • D13,

        Your version of revolution is the only sane one. That is more the type of revolution that I am hoping will take place in America. The idea is for Americans to begin taking their country back from the politicians.

        I have longed preached that violent actions against the US government are first, futile, second, suicidal, and third, will evoke the exact opposite reaction from what the people want. Because of our shared past, we are both well aware of the consequences of martial law or the capabilities of the military should they be deployed against American citizens.

        Thanks for your thoughts.

        • bottom line says:

          I won’t argue against the capacity of our military to reign hell on entire populations. I will however argue that conventional means would be of little challenge to an armed and organized populace millions strong…who has a tactical advantage of inherantance of the land. Look at the insurgency in Iraq, or in Vietnam. Now imagine it much bigger in American streets instead. They’d almost have to use chemical or bio to win…or some sort of electronic weapons such as the “maduca” or whatever else they have in their bag of tricks.

          Another question is the willingness of our troops to reign hell upon their own people. I doubt such orders would fly for very long. There’d be quite a few conciencious objectors.

          “You cannot invade the mainland United States.
          There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

          – Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

          • Hey Bottom, how are you? You are right and you are wrong. Wrong in the sense that the martial law would be so quick and unannounced, there would be no time for the populace to organize. And it would not be the entire country…just very selected pockets of it that controlled the rest of the country. Power grids and communications would go first and with the populace in the dark and only limited radio communications and no food being produced would control it quickly. You don’t have to fight the populace…just control it. There would be no planes, trains, and autos and once the gasoline ran out that was already in the vehicles, no way to get around. One week of starving the children and the cities and towns and not stopping the food riots and water riots and let the chaos reign….it is over before it starts.

            Not a pretty picture, is it. The populace, with the exception of a few, would drop their arms and eat. Weapons for food and water and unquestioned obedience to orders.

            Do not take this lightly. I have seen the program. The movies that Hollywood puts out is just that….a movie. Once martial law is declared, there is no local or National Government. Congress would be jailed and isolated. Mayors and teachers would be jailed and isolated. Schools and Universities shut down and local leaders isolated. The only safe places would be where the military controlled. After the mayhem settles down, then there would be a takeover, one town at a time. It is scary and it is powerful and the military leaders reign supreme. I, as an Army Colonel, would never advocate this. You do not want it and as romantic as it seems, you could not stop it. But, if I was still in the military, and it was ordered..I would follow my orders and so would most of the soldiers. We would not like it at all and it would be very emotional. As long as there was no armed conflict except defense, a soldier will endure a lot. Also, do not over look the fact that a soldier’s family would be picked up and isolated in safe compounds. Once a soldier’s family is ok, they will follow orders. It has been all thought out and I have not seen the final draft. By the way, this draft I am talking about originated first in 1968 and resurrected in 1995. I do not know the status of it as of 2005.

            • Side note….I would hope that it does not exist any longer.

            • bottom line says:

              D13-Your reply almost insinuates ignorance on my part. While I don’t claim to have the experience of an army colonel, mind you, I myself am a veteran as well. So I don’t take my position with complete ignorance. You don’t have to explain control by seizure of infastructure and food to me. The movies aren’t my frame of reference. And I certainly don’t romanticise martial law. I know your description of a martial law scenerio is as ugly as it is acurate. Martial law is no bullshit. I get it. I just believe that you cannot supress the human spirit. As the meyem settles down, a resistance would form as it already is on the fringes of our society. Initially it would start with gangs, militias, veteran groups, unions,…ect. It would likely grow as word spreads. There are too many gun owning,experienced/trained killers in this country with a Patrick Henry attitude. I honestly dont think that our forces have enough sustainable manpower to seize the whole country against a resistance large enough to practice effective attritional warfare. Like you said, it would be control of areas and not the whole country. Concentration being in urban areas. Meanwhile, everywhere else, farmer joe and his buddies are getting their cammo, guns, and night vision ready. Before you know it soldiers at checkpoints are getting sniped with .308’s. and supply lines are being cut. I see this as possibly turning into a perpetual debate. I can argue the value of attrition and effectiveness and efficiency of an insurgency all day long. As powerful as our forces are, like everything else they have weaknesses that can be exploited. It’s not unheard of for our army to have their asses handed to them by an insurgency either. And if you think that there wouldn’t be soldiers refusing orders, you are mistaken. There is already a movement in our military that would at least hinder the army’s effectiveness in case of such an event. You said yourself that you would not want the power that would be given to you. Starving innocent american children takes its toll on even the most battle hardened soldier.

        • Hey USW…..yes..I did not mean to suggest that YOU have no idea of martial law….I used the “you” metaphorically. It is nothing to be reckoned with and the citizenry would be amazed at the power that the military would have. There is no Miranda. There is no political correctness. You do not have the right to anything. Under martial law, the Military does not answer to courts or police or FBI. It is scary. AND it is subject to the commander on scene. Very nasty.

          As a Colonel, I would not want the power that would be given me.

    • bottom line says:

      As we all know, the housing market hasn’t been doing so well in recent years. Being a tradesman, I was of the first to feel the impact. In order to stay steadily employed, I have adapted by living a semi-nomadic lifestyle. Instead of waiting in one area for the work to kick back in, I’ve gone in search of it elsewhere. In recent years I’ve been across this country(coast to coast to gulf coast) four times and everywhere in between. I get around. As you can imagine, I’ve met alot of folks along the way. And let me tell you…People from all walks of life all over this country are expressing dissent. The reasons vary, but the dissatisfaction is pretty much unanimous. IMHO, The intelligence estimate given to “homeland” defense secretary Nepolitano was accurate with the exception of it being a gross underestimation. It’s not just extremist and such…it’s everyone. Look at how gun sales have gone throught the roof. The silent majority speaks in different ways. People in general, are tired of the bullshit, and prepared for a fight.

      What I see in the modern US, is common to every revolution in history. When you have dysfunctional governance combined with a populace that is desparate for necessity, you have civil unrest, civil wars, revolution, and reformation. I agree with what cyndi said in regards to what will trigger it. If we continue down our current path…if our economy tanks…if the people find themselves in a cornered position…it’s gonna hit the fan.

      As I stated yesterday, The CIA estimated that we could see a constitutional crisis and/or revolution by as early as 2014. I feel this is slightly off. I think we have the potential to do so by 2011-2012. I think they undersestimated the tolerance level of the silent majority.

      The land of the free and home of the brave has issues. We have a faultering economy, job market, housing market, banking system, immigration policy, representative government, healthcare, tax system, ect…ect…One of the things that makes this country so great is that our constitution gives us problem solving capabilities. What makes our situation unique to our own history is that our representatives appear to be ingoring the people in regards to greivances. Instead of voting in favor of constituants they’re jamming massive legislation down our throats, and inserting what has been dubbed “stealth legislation”. Not good.

      No form of government is more powerful than the will of the people. Period. It’s inevitable that we will see some form of reformation. Our state rights and individual unalienable rights are being stripped away. I suspect, as does the CIA, that this won’t be tolerated for much longer. Hense their “constitutional crisis” estimation. They’re not the only ones saying so either. Gerald Celente, and more notably, russian acedemic Igor Panarin, have basically predicted all hell breaking loose in America in the near future. If our indevisiable union divides, it’s over. In addition to our other issues, we have a 10th amendment issues. Thirty something states are passing legislation to declare state sovereignty in response to big government infringing on state rights. Not good. The last time state soverignty was with issue, we ended up with succession and civil war.

      We are closing in on our breaking point. Something has got to give. What’s it gonna be? What’s the trigger mechanism, and when will it happen? I’m not sure anyone really knows. I think we could avoid revolution if can have successful reformation. If things continue at current course and speed, we’re on a fast track to oblivious fukdom.

      • Bottom line – good post and insight.

      • I think your spot on Bottom Line. People all over are getting really tired of being ignored by the people we elected to represent us. I personally feel that if after the 2010 election and our newly elected officials don’t start listening to what we the people are saying, things could get really, really ugly.

        Prepare for the worse, hope for the best.

        • bottom line says:

          I agree. 2010 is important, even crucial. It’s time to use the power of voting to clean house.

          • Yup and even the democratic party knows that they are in trouble next year and are already trying to circle the wagons, so to speak.

  5. This is for Black Flag…..

    Remember when you asked me to keep you informed about Pohnpei? Well, I contacted a lawyer in Pohnpei. Here’s his reply:

    Hi Cynthia:

    If you are a U.S. citizen you are automatically entitled to enter, live and work in the FSM. If you want to start your own business you will need a foreign investment permit from Pohnpei State, but that is a separate issue from immigration.

    Call me when you get here if you have more questions.

    Regards, Mike Sipos

    The CIA Fact Book has some good information about the FSM. Worth a look.

  6. For Mattius and Ray, who think I’m being a tad paranoid and am overreacting. This is an expamle of why I feel they way I do…..

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/09/obamas-nazi-national-socialist-tactics-oganizing-for-america-911-day-of-action-fight-back-against-ou.html

    • Mathius.. why is my name so difficult?

      Or Matt for short..

      One T is Mathius, two T’s in Matt..

      I’ll take a look at your link and let you know my thoughts once I get a chance, but it sounds from the snapshot like alarmist noise. Still, that’s just my initial impression – I shall, as always, go into this with an open mind.

      Mathius
      Grand Poobah
      Fifth Directorate
      Eastern Division, WALNUT

      • Is your name pronounced like ‘math’ ‘e’ ‘us’ or ‘ma’ ‘tie’ ‘us’?

        • ‘math’ ‘e’ ‘us’.. though it’s not my real name (which is obviously Matthew), so I guess you could pronounce it however you like..

        • forgot to say good morning… off-off topic question — in your exalted position at an unnamed financial institution, have you heard any rumors about a major failure? I saw teaser on a different blog yesterday.

        • I just sometimes search through the forum looking for “Mathius” to make sure that I don’t leave people hanging when they were waiting for a response.. it becomes too much to read through, and I might never find a comment/question addressed to me if my name is misspelled.

        • Good morning to you, CSM.

          No, I have not heard any such rumors, but even if I had, I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone.

          I’m pretty bullish myself, but I don’t do the trading. My responsibility is essentially handling the trades that other people do and making sure that everything is done correctly (that is, if trader A makes a deal over the phone with trader B, I make sure that that trade actually happens in the real world, the money changes hands, and the event is accurately recorded – there’s a lot more, but that’s the gist – I am the Director of Middle Office, if that clarifies things). From my stance, I get a good feel for things that have already happened but almost no view of what will happen.

          There’s a saying though: I don’t now where the market will be tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that, but eventually, it’s going up. So, if you can afford to buy and hold indefinitely, you’ll eventually make money

      • Enough already, this is not a Fox blog where we correct others’ spelling and grammar. Mat or Matt, doesn’t matter as much as your thoughtful posts. Please.

    • * RECLAIM OUR LAND FROM THE HEIRS OF, YES: BIN LADEN *—* YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE *—

      Interesting.. not at all alarmist. I guess I have to eat my words here. It is good to know that the good people of AtlasShugs2000 are on top of the situation. I, too, find it horrendously distasteful and downright un-American for groups on the political left to try to organize a phone in by citizens to their elected representatives for the purpose of making their view heard. This smacks of radical Islamic fundamentalism – to be expected of the heirs of, yes: Bin Laden – to me. You, ma’am, have my full support in whatever you wish to do about such sinister activities.

      Tell them: Because it’s American to take care of our own.

      Sounds pretty un-American to me..

      So, now I join you on the right, because I can no longer tolerate being associated with people who would behave this way. Ladies and gentlemen of the StandUpForAmerica blog, I hereby renounce my leftist evil practices and am moving to the right of BF.

      Mathius
      Grand Poobah
      Fifth Directorate
      Eastern Division, VDLG

      • What in the Hayull are you talking about MaTT?

      • Mathius:

        Hoo-Rah!!!! Your mind is no longer a terrible waste.

        CM

        • Hoo-Rah!

          But I guess I need to change my signature above.. I can’t be the Grand Poobah, because nobody has any right to have any power over anyone else..

          All men are free to establish whatever they think is best for themselves, no matter how it may affect others!

          Down with taxes!

          Wow.. this is liberating!

          • Matt. Did you READ what she posted, or just take a quick glance at it?

            AS wasn’t saying that garbage. The Democratic Congressmen from IL were. And they were calling people against UHC the heirs of Bin Laden. AS just posted their comments.

            • I did read it, but stopped at the signatures. It seems I misattributed the statement. I no more excuse this behavior on the left than I do the right. Still, the site did call this “Obama’s Nazi tactics” – hyperbolic to say the least. “Community brown shirts?” Neither side is innocent.

          • Mathius;

            Do I detect some sarcasum?

            “All men are free to establish whatever they think is best for themselves, no matter how it may affect others!”

            This is not the case:

            All men/women are free to establish whatever they think is best for themselves, as long as those thoughts/actions do not violate the feedoms of another”

            CM

            • Of course.. I would never advocate for taking away the freedom of anyone else. Please forgive my lapse – I just go caught up in my new-found political clarity! 🙂

              And me? Sarcastic? I assure you, sir, that I have the utmost sincerity.

          • You still misunderstand.

            WALNUT is not the govt.

            No need to resign your exhaulted position.

            But you may want to consider changing the membership requirements so that you are not lonely.

            • WALNUT, of course, secretly controls the government, along with ACORN, CASHEW, and the League of the Elders of Zion. We (they – I have resigned) keep the metric system down, they keep the Martians under wraps! They do, they do!

              So of course, I had to resign.

      • Matt,
        I’m not fussed about the almarmist aspect. What bothers me is that so many of our fellow citizens have such contempt for anyone who disagrees with them. Why is that so hard for you and some othes to comprehend? I think its dangerous given what we now have in the White House and Congress.

    • I saw this on the morning news this morning. Someone actually filmed one of these “Brown shirts” talking and telling folks this. That is terrible!

    • Cyndi P;

      I saw a commercial about a week ago that promoted Obama’s Youth movement. They were all lined up like soldiers doing varous exercises and march/drill moves in unison. They all wore that same color pants (brown/tan) and wore maroon jackets with the Web address on the back. Scared the freeken hell out of me…Can you say Hitler Jugend?

      This really bothered me, I mean really bothered me. The Nazi party believed that if you controled the youth, you controled the future of the nation.

      If anyone out there who has teenages see’s any attempt by this organization to infiltrate our schools, 4-H, Boy/Girl Scouts, churches, etc., please bring it to the attention of your local representatives and those of us on this site.

      It must be stopped. It has the potential to become even more devistating than any of the bills discussed today.

      Don’t let your children any where near these people, they are worse than sexual preditors.

      CM

      • does anyone know anything about Obama addressing the schools next Tuesday?

        http://www.docstoc.com/docs/10582301/President-Obama%E2%80%99s-Address-to-Students-Across-America-September-8-2009

        I found that tidbit on Drudge and a bit more on the tinfoil sites, but nothing else.. c

        • I respect the office of the presidency but I don’t blindly follow the president and I don’t want my children to blindly follow him. Seems the idea here isn’t to think and learn but to figure out what the PRESIDENT wants you to do and DO IT. Crazy and scary

        • School children will also be helping with the census:

          http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/census/2009-08-26-census-kits-schools_N.htm

        • Most the schools it seems is leaving it up to the individual teachers to decide if they want to watch the address. Alot of parents though are planning on keeping their kids home from school that day

        • I saw it on Fox. You can also go to http://www.ed.gov and see the announcement about it.

          They are even going to give out schoolwork for kids to do before and after the speech. You can look at what they are going to give them (guidelines) in either .pdf or Word form.

          I am kind of uneasy about this. To be completely fair after looking at the work I don’t really see anything wrong with it. I didn’t see where they want the kids to sing hosanas to Obama’s greatness or anything, but the possibility is there.

          In his speech he could say anything. And the teachers could do just about anything also if they want to. My real concern though would be if the suggested schoolwork was turned into REQUIRED schoolwork by a overeager school district. I guess we’ll see.

        • I’ve emailed our Superintendent to ask if our district is participating, how parents are being notified and if there is an opt-out procedure.

      • MC,

        I hadn’t seen that one. It reminds me of a news story before the election of some kids goose stpeeing around praising Obama. The story, of course, gave it all a positive spin.

        If it all very worrisome. Why is it so few people can see where this is headed? This has happened before in other times and places.

      • I saw an article where Van Jones (The Communist)was saying that, the reason the Republicans are trying to block “change” is because they’re @$$ holes. BUT there is a Democrat President, House and Senate. The Repubs don’t have the votes to block anything.

        I was also upset seeing the folks in military garb who support Obama. Add this to the Black Panther resurgence and the talk of FCC “fairness” and a conspiracy starts to come into view.

        Now, this is just my humble opinion, so please set me straight if I am far out.

        It’s looking more and more like the current gang in DC is looking for “reparations” by disturbing the economic balance of power from one demographic to another.

        I am NOT a racist, I believe in the Human Race. However
        the “whitey pays” concept is getting old. Many people gave their lives for the Civil War, and the 1960’s saw a lot of good changes start to happen.

        The whole Harvard Professor / Jeremiah White / stuck in the 60’s attitude toward race relations is out of hand. Let’s stop trying to steal from A to support B.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Cyndi – react as you may – the link you sent just underscores for me that there are completely batshit crazy people from the far left and far right – they are marginal by definition and deserve not one whiff of attention for their nonsense. In my mind they cancel each other out. Leave 9/11 alone and let the 912ers march/gather as they may.

      • Ray,

        The extremists on both side should be marginalized. The problem as I see it, is that the left side is becoming more brazen. There is no outrage. My concern is that it will become more acceptable. The right side isn’t nearly as hateful and angry as the left. The seems more afraif than anything. This too is dangerous.

        • Cyndi,

          Extremists yes, but the Tea party’s and 9/12 er’s are trying to be peaceful and responsible. They have a right to express their opposition to the governments out of control spending and contempt of our laws. The problem comes when they are agitated by groups such as ACORN and SETI, who will “incite riot” to portray the protesters as being violent, and a biased media helping spin the story.

          I saw on the news this morning a clip showing a pro-health organization instructing its members on the methods to “shut down” discussion.

          • The scariest thing of all that is the fact that the media is either blatantly ignoring the fact that most do not support a lot of this crap like UHC and C&T, or shut down all discussion on them as you said.

            And then to finish it up Obama’s supporters are willing to do ANYTHING to make his policies look popular, including staged demonstrations. The Government seems hell bent on passing these whether they are wanted or not. And the Media is mostly just tra-la-la-la-la-ing along like nothing’s going on.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            LOI – interesting that you’d use the word “discussion” – there has been ample video to show that is not always the case. Both sides are guilty to the point I shut the shit off now. Remember we tussled a while back on “town halls”? I suppose I agree now that town halls are pretty much a crock of shit. Just more posturing because most all involved cannot have reasoned discussion.

          • LOI,

            I don’t consider the Tea Partiers to be extreme, nor the 9/12 group. These people are angry and some are frightened but that is’t the same as hateful.

    • bottom line says:

      Interesting.

  7. Alert in Michigan says:

    Last week there was a discussion about a bill in Congress that would allow the president to “shut down” the Internet. The conversation decided he couldn’t effectively do that because the Internet is hosted on servers around the world. However, if the government could get the major Internet providers (Charter, Comcast, Verizon, etc.) to restrict or shut down peoples’ access, wouldn’t it be about the same? In effect, the masses would be shut off from Internet communication. Am I incorrect?

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi all…posting for emailed comments! Best Regards, RS

    • Yes, it is called fines and imprisonment. FCC Czar. Control Satellites and frequencies. It is easy and has already been proven in some areas.

      • No it would not be easy, if America had one ISP it would be easy but you have quite a few. The vast majority of the traffic is sent over landlines and not satellites, you would have to find a way of cutting off the atlantic and pacific fibre cables. You could try and put a firewall on each computer but even China gave up on Green Dam. Obama is not going to have a big red button with the words “Internet Off” on it.

    • They can have my wireless internet verizon thingie when they pry it from my cold dead hand! 😉

    • Alert in Michigan says:

      “The vast majority of the traffic is sent over landlines and not satellites, you would have to find a way of cutting off the atlantic and pacific fibre cables. ”

      But aren’t these cables just for communication between the US and other countries? If they were cut they would not have impact on internal US communication.

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Black Flag has made the assertion in the past that in a moral sense Bernie Madhoff did absolutely nothing wrong because the people that gave him their money did so freely.

    I have always felt that there was something wrong with that premise, but couldn’t quite put it into words. I finally figured it out though 🙂

    The clients of Bernie Madhoff did not freely GIVE him their money. They did not simply come into his office and say, “here is my money- goodbye!”

    They came to Bernie Madhoff and he OFFERED THEM A SERVICE of investing their money, and for this service he charged them a fee.

    Obviously there is risk of loss with investment, but the problem with the Bernie Madhoff case is that in the vast majority of examples, he DID NOT PROVIDE the service which he was being paid to provide.

    Taking one client’s money and simply giving it to another client so that it APPEARS that it is the profits from an investment is demonstrably not the same as taking a client’s money and investing it as per your agreement with the client.

    So I apologize BF, but I have to finally throw the BS flag on your assertion that Bernie Madhoff did nothing immoral. He was paid to provide a service, and demonstrably did not provide the service which he was paid to provide. Taking money in order to provide a service which you then fail to provide is an example of theft.

    See, I do not ALWAYS agree with BF 🙂

    • I award ten points to PeterB.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Now if those points are actually redeemable for anything useful, I will be a happy guy 🙂

        • Oh, they are. 200,000 points can be redeemed for a can of Coke. 500,000 gets you a six pack of the domestic beer of your choice.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I may have to start keeping a running tally in that case…

            How many points is it for one of those REAL Dr. Peppers that has cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup?

            • I don’t know, but 26,243,754,913 points gets you a Lamborghini Murcielago.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                On the basis that you hold the absolute authority to determine which of my posts merit the award of these “points” and which do not, I strongly suspect it might take more time than I have on this earth in order to accumulate enough points for that award 🙂

              • Don’t forget that I can also arbitrarily deduct points too

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      “Black Flag has made the assertion in the past that in a moral sense Bernie Madhoff did absolutely nothing wrong because the people that gave him their money did so freely.”

      But Bernie knew it was wrong … therefore Bernie is EVIL … and if BF supports Bernie he too supports EVIL.

      Irrational, you will robinson …

      What happened to the NO GOV’T for 304,000,000 all getting along because of their morality?

      Sweet Jesus on a vespa …

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        GGcs,

        As usual you missed the point. Freedom does not depend on all 304,000,000 people having the ability to be moral. It would certainly make freedom a lot EASIER, but it is not a requirement.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Oh, and I forgot, it doesn’t even imply that all 304,000,000 people “get along”. Once again, it would make it EASIER if they did, but it is not a requirement.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          and here, once again (talk about missing the point) is my question to you and BF:

          So what happens when those 304,000,000 don’t get along? Who wins? Who losses? Why?

          Just once answer those questions without the use of the usual gibberish.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            GGcs,

            I rarely if ever agree with you, so I guess you could say that we don’t get along.

            However, my point of view being completely different from your point of view – hence us not getting along- does not require government intervention to protect you from me or to protect me from you.

            Also, as far as I know, it is not a contest, so I am not sure that it is possible to determine who wins or who loses or why this matters.

            The fact that you and I “do not get along” has no material effect on my daily life, and it has no effect on your daily life.

            However, I do realize that there are occasions when people do not get along where this can lead to actual conflict. You seem to indicate that government is a requirement for eliminating such conflict without violence.

            What I am saying is that there are plenty of non-violent ways to resolve conflict without the intervention of government, and you have probably used some of these methods yourself without even realizing it.

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Peter: I applaud your civility!

              I understand what you are saying but it does not address what BF proposes. We (the 304 million) will all have individual wants. Those are bound to conflict (whether over a piece of land or food or puddle of water, etc.). How do such conflicts get resolved without Government? Yes, there are many ways to resolve conflict that do not require violence (we have courts), but … those courts are part of a judicial system of government. How do 304 million free thinkers resolve their issues without violence? How do the naturally non-aggressive fare against those who are naturally aggressive (not just violence here; I’m talking about those who use their minds aggressively).

              I hope I cleared some of my question up, but I suspect BF will volley with more of the same old (rational vs. irrational vs. the universe, etc.). Not an answer, just another avoidance.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Yes, we do currently have courts which are a part of government as ONE means of resolving disputes.

                Can you think of a means of resolving a dispute non-violently that does not involve the use of government? We do have quite a few…

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Can you apply them to 304 million people living freely? I doubt it (no sarcasm intended). How, without an agreement between each other (a social contract) does that happen?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                You did not answer the question, just posed questions of your own without providing any answers. Try again.

          • Very simple, GG. I will answer your questions, even though I was not invited for I am one of the 304,000,000.

            What happens if they don’t get along? They argue and fight and become recluse.

            Who wins? The strong
            Who loses? The weak
            WHY? Law of the Jungle.

            Not my way.

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Thank you, D13.

              YOU answered my question.

              YOU win the prize!

              Seriously, thank you … that is exactly what I think would happen.

            • It is not the Law of the Jungle as viewed in popular interpretations.

              It is “natural law” as expressed by theories of “common law”.

              Before you can claim govt is required to keep all from killing each other you must define what “government” is.

              What is it about “government” that is going to “protect” all of us from each other?

              Now, why can’t we accomplish this without this thing called “government”.

              My tribal ancestors seemed to have gotten along quite well without it so I am at a loss as to what this magical thing is you believe exists in this entity you call government.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Too late, bro, you lose.

                Who were your tribal ancestors, by the way?

                If I mention social contracts, you’ll just dive into another round of “what is that?”

                You know … D13 sure did …

                Chaos is what you get from no gov’t. Pure chaos where might is right (whether mental or physical).

                you prove my point.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                And yet your point still remains unproven.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              D13,

              Are you implying that the law of the jungle is a necessary outcome of no government, or was the “not my way” an attempt to refute what you yourself had just said?

              • Nice catch. He wanted an answer and I gave it. That is what would happen. However, the law of the jungle is not my way. You cannot have chaos and survive to where the winner is the one with the biggest guns. I do not agree with big government, nor do I believe that government is the answer. I do not think that no government is the way to go either and, unfortunately, BF’s world will not exist. Simply put…man will not live that way. I do not have the answer but I am a realist. We are currently under the system we have…I will do what I can within the guidelines of this system to change it for the better. And, I think that it is beginning to change. I do not agree with GG that that conservatism is the fringe in the US and I do not care what the rest of the world is or thinks. One thing this administration has done is awaken a lot of people and has shown what this Progressive Party really is and is not what the majority wants. Long answer to your question, sir…
                But I was saying the law of the jungle is not my way.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                And then you said it was what would happen; that BF’s version cannot exist (which is the “nonsense” I’ve been saying since I got here).

                I’ll give you this much, Obama is Bush III and accomplishing nothing so far.

              • Actually, Bush is a piker compared to Obama. I once thought there could never be a President worse than Jimmy Carter.. I have been proved wrong. Do not lump me in the right wing zealot camp. I am not. Do not lump me in the left wing at all…I am not. Just so you know me a little better. I am a warrior…actually retired warrior…I am a fiscal conservative and do not advocate the greater good at all. I owe nothing to you or society or the world except to leave you alone and in peace. I believe in earning and enjoying the fruits of my labor. Sharing, if I want…not sharing, if I want. I OWE nothing to the destitute or the under privileged. If I desire to help, I will.

                I am a social moderate. I do not believe in entitlement programs except on a very limited and provable basis….and there are damned few of those. Any government has only the privilege of providing for the common defense. Period. I believe in a woman’s right to choose and I would stop a mugging in progress not because of a civic duty but a sense…my sense…of right and wrong. I do not believe the way you do and actually think that you are wrong but I defend your right to say and believe the way you do and I would die defending your right. Not out of civic duty but the way my beliefs are and no one else.

                But, I think that you already knew this. I am a simple old soldier that knows nothing.

                D13

              • I agree 100%…we are of like minds, in this and I am sure many more things.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Careful, Terry … you don’t want to agree with my “nonsense” … I’m a Savage, you know. Very irrational and recently an asshole.

                You may get stoned for agreeing with moi. These people are mostly bible thumpers … they’ll thump you (us) in the Lord’s name because, of course, it’s what Jesus would’ve done, I’m sure.

              • Colonel:

                Here in lies the crux of the debate going on here for months. “BF’s world will not exist. Simply put…man will not live that way. I do not have the answer but I am a realist.”

                You make such claim with certainty. Yet man has lived that way. But throughout history someone comes along and decides a “central govt” is required to create order from supposed chaos, when what they really mean is “I wish to impose my definition of order”.

                Having lived my entire life in the sticks or small communities it is not hard to see how BF’s concept could work. It in fact is practiced to a large extent across the very rural parts of America. However, I have not discovered any examples of “anarchy” or its close “cousins” existing in or around large cities.
                Perhaps therein lies the real challenge.

                As I have posted so many times before, we must define our goal before we prepare options, objectives and tactics. In my view, the ideal is the long term goal. The reason we must seek the ideal is because we know, based on 200 years of history, that if we don’t make sure our goal is grounded firmly on moral and ethical grounds, our efforts will be destroyed by non other than us, or our decendents.

                I do not know that BF’s proposal is not in fact the ideal. I have seen no good arguments against it as an ideal. That is arguments based on sound philosophical principles. Simply stating man can not, without providing proof is not making a case. If there is an argument against it, it must lie within the nature of man himself. In ohter words in some inconsistency between BF’s ethics or politics when compared to the nature of mankind. If discovered it would mean that BF’s ideal is contrary to the universe.

                Now lets assume that BF has the ideal, or even VDLG is the ideal. It matters not for example purposes.

                There is absolutely no way in hell that we can simply step off this ship (undesirable) onto the other ship (ideal) in the middle of a typhoon. If we try we will perish. And if you all have paid close attention BF himself has admitted this truth.

                We must develop lower tier goals/objectives/strategies and tactics to get to the other ship. But all efforts are aimed at getting on that other ship. They are not to look to some other ship/boat or island, or to just re-arrange the chairs on this ship. Our goal is THAT ship.

                If we are to properly evaluate BF’s positions then we must do so through comparison of man’s nature and capability. Not man’s current behavior which has been so greatly influenced by a contrary philosophy.

                Can we change? Is it trully in our nature to be free?

                Can enough of us change to impose freedom upon others?

                I caution against over using the term “I am a realist”. The distance between that and “I am a pragmatist” is not far. I wouldn’t want to see you take the wrong path.

                Best Wishes
                JAC

              • HI JAC..howzit going? Good points. I thought I was pretty clear in the past but perhaps not. A realist. I see, hear, feel, and touch what is around me. That is real. I do not say that BF is wrong or right. He has his points and, philosophically, I cannot fight that. I am not a philosopher. I am the warrior. However, if all the stars are in alignment, then some of what he says would be a pretty place. I simply do not see the reality of it. The world and us, now, are not small communities any longer. And while your arguments are sound in that vein, I still see them as not realistic. Your goals of that ship are perfect tactics and quite correct but in waiting for the tempest to stop, seems illogical to me.

                I don’t use the term realist in the philosophical sense. I use the term as follows: a person who accepts the world as it literally is and deals with it accordingly. I don’t think that I am a pragmatist in the Webster definition although part of it does fit but I will stick with what I can see, hear, feel, and touch.

                But, thank you for your input. Hope you and yours are doing well.

              • And this dear Colonel

                “I use the term as follows: a person who accepts the world as it literally is and deals with it accordingly. I don’t think that I am a pragmatist in the Webster definition although part of it does fit but I will stick with what I can see, hear, feel, and touch.”

                Is the first step to becoming a warrior and a philosopher. A most necessary thing if mankind is ever to experience peace.

                If you are a realist in the meaning you provide and your ethics are where you say, you are close to adopting a philosophical system called Objectivism. Heaven forbid I should use that term but it seems to describe where you are right now.

                As a realist, grounded in the real world, you accept truth based on discovery. The challenges BF lays down are nothing but part of the search for the truth, if we can.

                Is there an ethic of non initiation of force that is supported by a principle called freedom and liberty which is supported by the need of man to survive and prosper to according the his nature as man.

                You have arrived at the conclusions regarding the beginning. You now just need to decide if you can support your truth with an ethic/politics/laws that is consistant and different than that of BF.

                By the way, it appears you have arrived at the valley occupied by JAC and his small tribe of VDLG. Welcome. We are trying to decide if we will stay here forever or set a long term goal of moving to the valley next door where BF and his tribe live. They always seem so damn happy over there. Or maybe those screams are of mass riots and mayhem. We can’t really tell from this distance.

                Best to you and yours also sir.
                We are good here with some warm early fall weather and dramatic thunderstorms mixed in.

                JAC

              • Colonel:

                I forgot to address one important thing.

                I do not suggest nor wish to wait until the storm subsides.

                I am saying that we must carefully and deliberately build a gangway or rope chair or bridge if you will that will get all of us safely on board THAT ship.

                Perhaps that requires getting on another ship in between. But we do so only as a deliberate strategy to get to the other ship.

                We are currently engaged in a holding action. We need to approach the next 2-3 years with that reality in mind. It may in fact take longer before we can go on the offensive.

                Sleep well and live free my friend
                JAC

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                D13,

                You have to realize that BF is not advocating a completely disorganized and chaotic society, but one which is organized based upon moral priciples.

                Since government as we currently know it is based upon immoral principles (stealing from A to give to B for example) then we cannot organize society using “government”

                Do not be confused by the false claims of some that “no government” does not allow for society to be organized in any way.

      • Jesus drives a vespa?!?!? I always figured him for a Honda kinda guy.

      • Jesus has a Vespa? Sweet!

    • Sounds like Social Security. Madoff should get a cabinet post. The other crooks aren’t fixing anything.

  9. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I get to disagree with BF, part II 🙂

    BF has argued several times that it is fine to copy a book, or a song, or a piece of software because “intellectual property rights” make no sense.

    I definitely disagree with that as well. In his argument he generally points out that an idea is not “physical” and so there can be said to be no “owner” of an idea. At least that is the way that I read and interpreted his argument.

    The problem is, when an idea for a book is written down (or typed out or whatever) that idea has become a physical product. Likewise, when an idea of a programmer becomes actual code for a program, it has become a physical product. When the score for a song is written out, it has become a physical product.

    Using the book as the primary example here, in general, an author writes a manuscript for a book and submits it to one (or several) publishing houses. The manuscript often comes back to the author with suggestions for changes. Then the revised manuscript goes back to the publishing house. If the publishing house likes it enough and thinks that it will sell well, they offer the author a contract which states that they will mass-publish the book, and in exchange, the author will get royalties (payments) for every copy of the book that actually sells.

    Because of this, making a copy of the book without paying for it is stealing money from the author.

    Music distribution agreements work in much the same way.

    In the case of software, a company such as Microsoft or Symantec pays programmers to come up with software applications that people will actually use, and then sells the software to people who wish to use it.

    So yes, there are musicians that put some of their music out there “for free” as a means of promoting their work, and there are software companies that offer some of their applications “for free” as a way of promoting software that they want you to pay for, and there are authors that put books or portions of their books out there “for free”, usually in the hopes that you will buy their other books.

    Simply because SOME of this stuff is available at no cost to the user/reader/listener does not mean that it is moral to copy someone else’s work for your own use if they have not specified that you can actually do that.

    BF likes to use the example of the car. I would submit that it is a lot easier for the vast majority of people to copy a song, a program, or a book than it is for them to copy a car. However, if it was really easy to copy a car, that wouldn’t make copying the car a moral thing to do. A company paid designers to come up with the concept of the car, a company paid people to produce the car, the company has the right to profit from the production and sale of the car.

    With a book, someone wrote the book, a company paid for the right to publish, distribute, and sell the book, so the author and the publishing company have a right to profit from the sale of the book. It is not materially different from the car.

    If all of you are getting excited because I wrote 2 entries where I disagreed with BF today, don’t get too excited, it is pretty likely that I am still going to agree with him on a lot of things today 🙂

    • Well, I didn’t agree with BF on this one either. I didn’t say anything yesterday because I didn’t want to interrupt ya’ll when you were on such a roll on Cap’n Socialism.

      I think BF got carried away with that though.

      • I could have used some support..

        It was just me vs the Flag, and that’s a tough battle on any subject.

        • Well, you wuz doin’ a fine job! I saw no need to intervene. Besides I done been there and done that! No thank you. He has already pulled me halfway over to his view. 😉

        • Yes I thought you were handling it quite well. I didn’t get to read it until late last night and I figured I would go in and add my thoughts there. However, since Peter brought it over to today’s post I will do so here if BF chooses to continue the discussion.

          You will have support on this I am sure.

          And yes, battling him alone is definitely tough.

    • I would award two more points but BF will say:

      “I am not taking anything from you. You still have your book. I am making copies of my book. I bought this book, so I own it. I am doing work to produce and sell my copies and have earned the revenue.”

      Or something to that effect.

      I tried this argument yesterday.

      He does not recognize that you are selling him the right to use/read his one copy, on the understanding that you will not reproduce/redistribute it. He does not recognize the right to “own” the things that constitute the book (ie the story/plot/characters/etc) – only ownership of the book itself.

    • You have just caused me to delete my response to BF on both issues. Arrrrgh.

      I would add this. The criteria that property is defined by its “divisibility” seems arbitrary to me.

      If by dividing something it is destroyed seems to run against the concept of a definition.

      Besides, a book can be divided.

      I add one more thing. I do think we need to reconsider the time frame for which intellectual property and other patents are protected. And I do believe recent rulings have gotten far afield from true intellectual property.

      Good Job Peter.

    • Peter,

      This was the argument from BF that I read yesterday that I thought was nonsense as well. I know I can be dense, but his concept that thought is shared and not lost was completely off base in terms of intellectual property rights.

      Thanks for the comments.

      USW

  10. Interesting story I browsed recently,

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/…0,5812073.story

    Basically a man was executed in Texas for committing arson which killed his 3 children. After investigations a few years after it turns out that all the evidence points to an accidental fire. What are everyones thoughts on the death penalty?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Bob,

      This is a great example of why the death penalty is not the greatest of ideas.

      The death penalty is not equivalent to killing someone because they are a direct and immediate threat to you and/or your family. It is merely revenge against someone for committing a violent act.

      I would submit that if someone poses a direct threat to my safety or the safety of my family, I have a right to defend myself. I would say that if someone has already committed a violent act against some other individual, family, or group, I am not high up enough on the God-ladder to determine whether or not that person “deserves” to die.

      • Do you think there are some offenses that are worth the death penalty? The last person executed here was in 1964 but we did not abolish the death penalty for all offences until 1998.

        It is a tough one for me, I initially thought I was against the death penalty but thought it should be allowed for certain crimes. Well I realised that thinking like that was a complete contradiction so I have had to submit that no criminal should be sentenced to death no matter the crime. Your right I dont think anyone is high up the chain to make the call.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Bob,

          This is a tough one for me as well. If you look at what Mathius wrote below, he makes a compelling argument FOR the death penalty in certain cases.

          Again, the big sticking point for me is that I am unsure that I posess the moral authority to deprive someone of their life, even if it can be demonstrated with certainty that they did, in fact, deprive a person or people of life.

          I would have to say that I am definitely against it as a method of deterring others from comitting crimes, because even in the States that have the death penalty, murders still occur, so I am not sure that it can be correlated that it has any meaningful deterrence effect.

          • I do not suggest that it can be a deterrent in all cases, simply that it might be in certain cases. I do not claim to know if this is true in any cases at all, but I would suggest that it is an imperative to gain the moral authority to authorize the death penalty. The only cases where I see this as likely would be premeditated actions where risk/reward are weighed in advance.

          • If it does nothing else, it definitely prevents the perp from repeating his crime. Too many times (once would have been enough) violent (rehabilitated) criminals are released only to repeat the offense they were convicted of, or worse.

            I really do not like the death penalty, but believe in some cases it is definitely warranted.

            If you think that life in prison is the answer…maybe it is. I just really don’t like that it costs as much as it does to house, feed and care for these criminals.

      • I have been back and forth with the death pently issue. Yes there are some crimes that are terrible that people feel that a life sentenance is not enough.
        For me it came down to the fact, I dont feel I have a right to make the decision to ends someone’s life. Even if they commit a terrible act. Second thing for me was, we are human. Our justice system are run by humans. We make mistakes. If we make a mistake and put someone to death before that mistake is found. That is a decision we cant take back.

    • I’m going to have to say that the death penalty is acceptable when the four following criteria are met:

      (A) The crime is of sufficient severity – rape, murder, voting for Nancy Pelosy

      (B) The conviction is solid – no trial irregularities, etc. How to define this is sticky, but let’s just go with it for now.

      (C) The execution will serve as a deterrent to others.

      (D) There is no chance of rehabilitation of the criminal.

      • C – Would it actually serve as a deterrent? Are people thinking rationally when they commit these crimes?

        D – How can we judge if they can be rehabilitated or not, is there a metric we could base that off?

        • Bob,

          Excellent point. I don’t think the people committing these crimes are thinking about the penalty if caught. Because of that I don’t think the death penalty is a deterrent to violent crime.

          • It is most definitely a deterrant to the one put to death though.

            • It depends. I think, as my analogy above showed, that there are different types of violent crime.

              In spontaneous, emotional crimes, I agree, no thoughts are generally given to the consequences, so death penalty is not a deterrent.

              However, in a premeditated violent crime (we’re going to rob this bank, and start by shooting the guard), I think they know full well the consequences before the act. As such, they have to weigh the risks vs the rewards.

              If the death penalty can tilt the balance so that it is more risk than reward, I would call that success.

              • I think what he was saying, and the point I would make, is that the person put to death will not commit any more crimes — the final solution, if you will.

                I’m not a big death penalty advocate, but I think life in prison ought to mean life in prison. Of course, this would be only for the worst crimes.

      • perfectly legitimate questions.

        (C) a cold-blooded planed murder is very different from a irrational, wild murder. If I catch my wife in bed with another man and kill them then and there, I’m probably not thinking rationally – no results (ie death penalty) will likely enter the equation. However, if I find that she’s cheating, then make a deliberate decision to murder them several days later in a way that probably won’t get me arrested, yes, I will have thought it through, and the result will have occurred to me. If changing the balance (I am willing to kill them if it means jail vs I would have to be willing to die for this) might prevent my action, I would say it is justified.

        (D) Also tricky – I do not have a good metric here, though I would suggest that a lack of remorse, a history or recidivism, etc might be factors – this one is probably better left up to the psychologists. If a person can be rehabilitated, then they may yet have a good life where they are not a danger to others, as such, their life retains value. Otherwise, their life is worthless and, in fact, a drain on society which is better put to use as an example.

        • If people who do preemptive rationalized murder actually being rational? How many times have you planned someones murder?

          Would you feel the same if the person had a mental illness and committed the crime?

          • How many times have I planned someone’s murder? Many, many times. Haven’t carried it out though…

            Mental illness is another sticky issue. Everyone probably has a mental illness of some type or another to a varying degree. I guess this, like everything else, would have to be a shades of gray issue. I would say that if he is competent to stand trial and knows the difference between right and wrong, that is sufficient for me on that point. But, again, I am not a psychologist.

      • Bob, Matt,

        Some good questions and thoughts. My two cents, in this day of DNA, the death penalty can be used in many cases with as close to 100% as is achievable. If a man rapes a child, I do not want him rehabilitated, nor care if it is a deterrent. And its not about revenge, but being sure he never can do such a thing again. And why should we pay 20-30 thousand dollars a year keeping him locked-up for the rest of his life? If a person has the morals of a rabid dog, and inflicts severe violence against others, they should be put down just like that rabid dog.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Very good question LOI.

          I have to think about it some more. In the case of the rabid dog, the dog poses a threat not because the dog is immoral, but because of the fact that the dog has a disease, so I am not sure that the analogy holds…

          Gotta think about this one some more….

        • Or let him out early to kidnap and rape an 11 year old and hold her hostage for 18 years

      • Definitely the Pelosi thing!!!

    • Bob,

      I was following that same story. I have to say that it is criminal the way that the system ignored the requests to use evidence that would have cleared this man. It seems pretty clear that he did not do what he was accused of doing.

      The death penalty is a difficult thing for me. I have not put a lot of thought into it thus far, so whatever I say here is subject to change should someone provide a reasoned response I can agree with. It seems to me the death penalty is a revenge act. As such it serves no purpose. However, there are crimes that are so heinous that they warrant severe punishment. If it was life in prison without parole, I guess I could live with that. If the evidence was overwhelming, I can understand the argument that the costs of incarcerating them for life is expensive and they are of no use to society anyway.

      The problem with the death penalty is that you get things like this that happen and we have a clear case of someone executed by the state for a crime that they didn’t commit. What I would like to see in this case is some sort of criminal prosecution of those that intentionally ignored evidence and took actions that resulted in the wrongful execution.

    • Hi Bob….being from Texas, you already know my answer. It is a vote thing here. It was voted in and it will stay.

      The death penalty is a reaction, that is for sure. So is jail or prison. Stick a person in prison for life….he may still be alive but he is as dead as a beaver skin hat. I do not know the correct answer but do believe in deterrents. There are mistakes made. Both ways. Imprisoned for life or life taken. There are plenty of arguments out there that says the person in prison for life and released 20 or 30 years later because of a mistake has been “institutionalized” (psych word). He is the walking dead. Really a tough call.

      Playing God is not fun nor easy and tough to live with. As a commander, I ordered soldiers into battle. That was my responsibility and I have to live with the consequences of my actions for life and do and it is tough. The death penalty is a decision that takes life on the basis of evidence and the facts at the time, like that of a commander, and sometimes proves wrong. That is the tough part and everyone reacts differently.

      I still support it as a deterrent. I do not think prison is a deterrent to the hard core criminal.

      • We wrongly imprison people all the time, the thing with life in prison is that people can be set free if evidence is later presented and compensation can be made. Unfortunately with the death penalty we have not figured out how to unkill people yet, as soon as we sort that out its going to be hard to compensate them for their wrongful conviction and punishment.

        If it is supposed to act as a deterrent would the murder rate be lower than those states that do not execute people?

      • “I still support it as a deterrent. ”

        It is a deterrent only of potential future crimes that would have been committed by the dead criminal.

        It does not deter the current crime by him nor others, at least in significant numbers.

        I agree with USW that prosecutors should be charged. In every death penalty or life imprisonment case of mistaken guilt, that I have reviewed, there was obvious stuff held back or hidden because the prosecutors view their role as gaining convictions, not dispensing justice.

      • I don’t support the Death Penalty unless there is irrefutable evidence of guilt, and the crime is henious enough to warrant the Penalty being given, like in the case of a serial killer. In that case though, I feel that is the only reasonable sentence.

        And crazy is not an excuse. You have to be insane to do something like that. And we put rabid dogs down. Why not rabid humans? And as far as I am concerned, you can throw rapists of women and children in there with them.

        • So you would be happy for someone with a known mental disorder to get the death penalty?

          • Ask GG…..I bet he goes with the greater good theory. If the greater good of society can be obtained by putting the criminally insane to death…then do it. For him to say otherwise, I think, would be hypocrisy, would it not?

          • Oh sweet jumpin’ Joseph Bob!! No I’m not talking about putting a mentally disabled person, a PROVABLY mentally challenged person up for the death penalty.

            But how many times have we seen serial killers or brutal rapists try to get off on the insanity plea? That’s what I am talking about. Yes they are insane. Only a mentally deranged person would commit that kind of crime.

            Should crying insanity get them out of it? NO.

            • I was just reading something yesterday (newsletter from The Skeptic Society) describing how the insanity plea was almost never successful before, and now even people who would be instantly recognized as insane by reasonable people such as you and me don’t fit the “legal requirements”. The courts will go to any length to prevent someone from using the insanity plea.

              The example given was a murderer in Texas who cut his victims’ hearts out and put them in his pockets, and then gouged out, and ate, his own eye. The court rejected the claim he was insane. He later ate his remaining eye.

              • I knew of his story too – it amazes me how far a man will go to prove he is insane…..

                (I cannot imagine the suffering that soul has – both he and of his victims….)

    • As someone who not so long ago lost a close relative to the gang violence BS…I’m all for letting me have about 30 minutes alone with the monsters who stabbed him 6 times because he was wearing a red belt. I’ll do it myself. I’m all for revenge on this one. But now the punks are sitting in jail awaiting trial all the while being hailed as heros by their gang family in jail.

  11. Chris

    It’s called the elenchus. It amounts to persistently asking your interlocutor for clarification until he eventually contradicts himself. While this may seem like a valid method of inquiry, it’s results are entirely dependent upon the lack of equivocation (i.e., bait and switch) on the part of the interrogator.

    As usual, Chris stumbles.

    1) It is a valid method

    Chris doesn’t like it because he cannot use his fine skill of rhetoric to dazzle.

    “Socrates Drilling” destroys rhetoric because if forces those skillful in propaganda to actually prove their points

    2) It does not require ‘bait and switch’.

    The ‘interlocutor’ does a fine enough job contradicting themselves because their argument is in contradiction.

    BF, I think you are often guilty of oversimplification and pandering to amorphous concepts like ‘freedom’ and ‘evil’ to make your points. While you seem to firmly believe that your definition of freedom is self-evident and sufficient, the fact that you rarely allow for subtlety tells me that you are more interested in furthering your own agenda than getting to the truth of any matter.

    Chris, you are guilty of overcomplexity and baseless rhetoric in place of definition and argument.

    “Freedom” and “evil” – I have specifically defined these terms, as you are perfectly aware. I have not required anyone to suffer such concepts (and other concepts) to be ‘self-evident’ or ‘vague’. I have asked for everyone to provide their definitions to me – and most, including you, refuse.

    Your complaint is completely baseless – I have asked, pleaded, and demanded your definitions (and from everyone else) of these concepts. You have typically refused or your definition fails to describe or has been wholly incomplete.

    Your dribble of a complaint about me here should embarrass you, sir!

    You claim ignorance or omniscience depending upon your immediate goal, which is invariably to paint your opponent as someone who prefers ‘violence’ over ‘freedom.’ You name drop and pretend to be some self-taught luminary of science, yet you hide behind a moniker.

    It is my right to protect my privacy.

    Because you are careless about yours does not influence me to change my decisions.

    If you weren’t such a coward you would use your real name and not rely upon some imaginary persona.

    Your ad hominem and insults betray your weaknesses.

    Feel free to cut and paste this and rearrange it to make me look unreasonable or irrational.

    You need no such assistance from me.

    Eventually people may see you for the free-market snake charmer you truly are.

    I do hope people see me as I am.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      My impression of BF from the relatively short time I have been on this site is that BF would say,

      “If something contradicts my core belief, then I cannot do it, nor can I condone it, even if the OUTCOME may appear to be “good” for some people.”

      My impression of many of the people here is they have some willingness to strive to get to that point.

      My impression of some of the people here is that they would say, “I am not really sure what you even mean by “core-belief”, and regardless, if the outcome of an action appears to be “good” for at least some of the people that I think deserve a “good” outcome, then the action taken must have been “good”.

      • One thing that makes a good poker player a great poker player is the very difficult understanding and skill to…

        …separate action from consequences.

        You can be a ‘good’ person – you can play ‘good’ poker – and still lose in life and at the table.

        The Universe is like that – it has, in all things, a high degree of probability and uncertainty – we do not know what WILL happen until IT happens, which means, occasionally bad things happen even if you do the right things.

        In life and in poker, doing the ‘right thing’ and playing ‘good poker’ no matter what … no matter how big or small the stakes; in the little things of life and in the big things in life; no matter who is your opponent; no matter whether you are tired, in pain, happy, in joy, rich or poor, or about to die – is the most important lesson of life (and poker).

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Yes, even though the universe is highly ordered, and thus may be described using a tool called “science”, it is still not possible to accurately predict exactly what is going to happen at one point in space at one point in time, nor is it possible to accurately predict the outcome of a given event at one particular point on the space-time contiuum.

          Now, if you want to REALLY engage in making a mess, go ahead and attempt to CONTROL exactly what happens 🙂

          The only place where one can even have a reasonable shot at any control whatsoever is in one’s own life, and even then, things will happen that are beyond your control. Start attempting to control things OUTSIDE of your own life, and let me know if you find a way to get consistently good results from THAT project 🙂

    • Chris Devine says:

      The contradictions only arise when you make people argue on your terms. I never said the elenchus requires bait and switch:

      “it’s results are entirely dependent upon the lack of equivocation (i.e., bait and switch)”

      If you equivocate, then as valid as your method may be your conclusions will never be sound. You define ‘freedom’ and ‘evil’ in such a way as to make arguing against them impossible. Even if you negate the frame you still activate it.

      I too have offered my thoughts on freedom, violence and evil. Just because you don’t accept them doesn’t mean I refused to offer them. Freedom implies both limits and interaction with others. To say that a solitary castaway is free is meaningless. You rail on about choice but never admit that choice can be limited by the decisions of others. It’s not always a matter of who works harder or who is more shrewd. Often it is about who started with more. You can babble on about how it’s not your fault that some people are born poor or that if they really tried hard enough anybody can be as rich as Bill Gates or Sam Walton. You can also blame the ill effects of commerce on the government that tries to regulate it. But how you honestly believe that without government everything would balance out is beyond me. It seems pretty obvious that if all regulatory power were left to the market itself then certain entities would accumulate wealth to a point where they get to dictate everything on their terms. How is that freedom and how would the market stop it (realistically not hypothetically).

      To me violence is forcing someone to sacrifice something you wouldn’t or will never have to in order to feed his family. To people like you the only reason people are poor is because they’re lazy. If I point out that some succeed despite their efforts just as others fail, you reply that Jesus said the poor will always be here. Don’t forget that Jesus also said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven. Cheery-picking scripture to support your views seems like sophistry to me.

      You accuse me of using rhetorical devices because I argue with passion. I accuse you of the same because you argue dispassionately. You say that the only way to be free is by accepting the inevitability of suffering and letting people be free to make the choices they are given. What about the freedom to determine what actually counts as a choice?

      You accuse me of insults and ad hominem attacks. How is attacking a faceless name ad hominem? For all I know you are a department at the Cato Institute trying to disseminate free-market propaganda.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Chris,

        Nice try, but wrong.

        At no point EVER did BF state that freedom does not have limits. It just isn’t limited in the way you think it is.

        And the first part of your offered definition of violence is absolutely correct. Violence is FORCING SOMEONE TO SACRIFICE…. If you had merely put a period there and ended the sentence it is a GREAT definition of violence.

      • Chris,

        Some thought out responses here from you.

        I am interested in going down the rabbit hole a little bit. I understand your argument that without regulation the businesses of immoral men would act immorally. Can you think of an example of this? By an example I mean something in the modern world, not the factories of the turn of the century. I am not trying to be difficult, I am trying to really understand.

        For me I see it like this: Microsoft is a giant. Without government regulation they were absolutely able to use coercive practices to become an even bigger giant. However, the flip side to this is that without government support they would never have been able to reach the size and power necessary to use coercive power over others. So government enabled them to get giant and then government had to control them once they became giant. Perhaps without the government interference in the first place, we would not have needed the second. I don’t claim to know everything here. I am just attempting to explain my point of view and hoping you will have an honest discussion about where we are parting ways on the trail.

        • Chris Devine says:

          I suppose one instance where I think a business acted both immorally and irrationally is when GM closed its plants in Flint, Michigan to move them to Mexico. They laid off 30,000 people who had devoted their lives to GM and didn’t even make a long term profit on the deal. Flint was devastated for a short term gain for GM shareholders. Foreign currency speculators that caused the Asian economic collapse in the late 90’s are pretty high on my list of immoral businessmen. Agribusinesses like Monsanto who hide the effects of their products and threaten to sue journalists for exposing them are pretty unsavory as well.

          Any US company that primarily relies upon third world sweatshops for labor just so we can have cheap plastic crap to buy is immoral. However, anybody who buys such products with full knowledge that they are produced immorally also shares some of the blame.

          People talk a lot about how the market will automatically adjust to any external pressures. If that’s the case then what is the problem with setting a minimum standard of fair play for all participants? Instead of allowing a race to the bottom through so-called free trade agreements (with no exceptions for environmental, health or safety concerns) we should set up a system where all are held accountable. I am in favor of full public knowledge about all aspects of a business instead of the BS public relations garbage we get now. Who cares if a company gives X amount of dollars to charities if they cause a greater amount of damage?

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          USW – to your point or question of:

          “I am interested in going down the rabbit hole a little bit. I understand your argument that without regulation the businesses of immoral men would act immorally. Can you think of an example of this? By an example I mean something in the modern world, not the factories of the turn of the century. I am not trying to be difficult, I am trying to really understand.”

          Sure – I will give you two very specific examples – one of which I have used before:

          (1) The example of securing credit card data – as I have described before, there is a consortium of CC brands (e.g. Mastercard, Visa, AMEX, etc) that under the umbrella organization the Payment Card Industry (“PCI”) Standards Council have issued what is known as the Data Security Standard or DSS or PCI DSS. In conjunction with acquirers; merchants and service providers, based largely on transaction volume, are required to comply with PCI DSS. There are twelve primary controls with sub-controls – this is known as the “Digital Dozen” – USW – if I remember correctly, based on the industry you work in, your company likely is required to comply with this. Here is the issue – for the larger players they are required to either internally test their compliance and issue what is known as a Report on Compliance, or “ROC” – this is usually done by Internal Audit and must be signed off by an officer of the company – this is provided to the acquiring bank they work with. The second and more common path is to hire a Qualified Security Assessor, or QSA, which is an external firm certified to perform the testing and attestation. The whole idea here is to better secure credit card data and mitigate ID theft and other crimes. It has failed and failed miserably. It is well known as to which QSA’s you can hire to come in and easily mark you as compliant – if you watch the news closely you’ll see some compromised businesses that scratch their heads and say “gollee gee, we were just marked as PCI Compliant”. Here is what happens and where I am going with this – the tester comes in, usually a snot-nosed 22 year old kid billed at 300 bucks an hour. They coast through their testing processes, maybe ID a couple of issues, then boil things up. Higher ups look at the issues and make a risk calculation – they work out a stall plan with the QSA to fix the issue at some future point and then laugh their asses off. They laugh their asses off because for them, they’d rather pay the money in fines and temporary reputation loss because it is usually cheaper for them to pay fines than to actually fix their goddamn problems. I have had more than one C-level executive say to me – “I know we’ll lose data (CC) – its not a matter of if, but when. Its cheaper for me to pay the fine than to pay X dollars to fix the problem”. Here is the rub – Congress – seeing this bullshit happening, has opened hearings to ascertain if this PCI program – something that grew up out of the market – is really achieving objectives, or if it is a bunch of bullshit. I can guarantee you that there are dozens of lobbyists aggressively lobbying against any government efforts to tighten this failed noose – I know because I have met them. Companies are more than willing to pay slick lawyer-lobbyist types to lobby against better protections to secure your data. If you have not received one of those “sorry bub – we lost your CC number” letters than you are in the minority nowadays. It isn’t that industry cannot protect your data – it is because they won’t. And to answer your likely counter – remember – they carefully weigh this decision – consumers as a whole are NOT voting with their purchasing power. Maybe you say that is your idea of the system is working in a perverse way – I doubt you can offer it is morally acceptable.

          (2) Similar example is what is occurring in Massachusetts – 201 CMR 17 was written to help look out for the citizens of MASS and to address to it any businesses doing business with her citizens where they collect Personally Identifiable Information or PII (e.g. Name + DLN). A key aspect of a draft of the bill was to require covered entities to essentially inventory data and ID where they hold/store/process MA PII. Businesses flipped out – its too expensive, you’re screwing the little guy, you’re creating a burden on us, so on and so forth. New version of the bill – that requirement went POOF. Let’s decompose this – as an InfoSec guy – if I am to ensure I am properly protecting your data then I need to know where the hell it is. My only other option is to treat every morsel of data as being the most sensitive and control it as such – highly impractical and extremely costly. One can easily (using scripts for example) ID where certain data elements are, structured or unstructured. I know this can be done – this is how my wife’s company essentially defined their scope of PCI (see above). So USW – it isn’t that the cannot – it is that the profit motive is more important than taking a fundamental, moral approach to protecting one’s customers data that you collect. It is cheaper to pay the fine than to do the right/moral thing. A neutered regulation is the same as no regulation at all.

          Thanks,

          Ray

  12. Chris Devine

    Your questions are always loaded. You presuppose an answer in the way you frame them. This is precisely what I was trying to get at a while back. When you ask a question like “when did you stop beating your wife” there’s no good answer. Asking “why do you hate freedom” is exactly the same.

    Nice strawman, Chris.

    Since I never asked about his wife, nor have I asked why he hates freedom

    My question is valid – for it will define and expose his belief systems. You don’t like it, because his belief system is nearly the same as yours – and you know the answer that will be given will either be a contradiction or a response of savagery – and neither suits you well!

    You have no trouble justifying a market where individual choices result in macro-scale effects (e.g., unemployment).

    Economics always has unemployment! It exists because workers are free to move from one employment to another and therefore can become unemployed between those times of employment.

    Your understand of economics is degrading, Chris! You’re going backwards!

    Why can’t you allow for similar choices (i.e., votes) to justify macro-scale management (i.e., government).

    Because the free market has an important word – free! Voluntary choice.

    The system you offer requires Force and Coercion upon non-violent people. It is immoral and evil

    You have yet to explain why you think the limitation of choices due to market pressures is not a limitation on freedom.

    You do not understand freedom. Freedom is not “doing whatever I want” – the Universe demonstrates that this definition cannot be correct, since man cannot do whatever he wants (ie: cannot fly like a bird)

    Freedom is the lack of imposition from another man. The free market does not impose – it is voluntary – hence, the word “free” precedes “market”.

    How is “work for what I’m willing to pay even if it’s below subsistence level” a real choice (especially if there is no other practicable option)?

    Practical and Pragmatism are the original sins. They pervert one’s principles of action to take the ‘easy way out’ instead of the ‘right way out’.

    Economics clearly demonstrates that paying more for a job’s worth will eventually be unsustainable, and the business will fail. For a short term gain – a massive loss – the worker instead of some pay, gets no pay. For you -bizarrely- that seems to be the better trade-off.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      In a free market, there is no way to FORCE a worker to work for wages which are insufficient to provide for his basic needs.

      A worker could CHOOSE to work for a company which paid him a wage which was insufficient to meet his needs, but I would submit that that would not be a particularly wise choice.

      If a company can only make a profit on widgets if they pay their workers an extremely paltry wage, the company is going to fail, because no one is going to work there for very long. The company will have extremely high turn-over, and they will be constantly wasting money trying to train new and inexperienced workers how to make widgets. The company will either realize that it had better pay the current workers enough to retain well-trained workers, or the company will cease to exist.

      For several years, I worked in a small, private environmental lab in the Chicago area. The first 15 months that I was there, this lab was paying the sample preparation workers a ridiculously low wage by Chicago standards. As a result, the sample preparation workers would stay for about a year (long enough to make it look good on their resume) and then they would leave for a higher-paying job at another lab.

      We brought in a new Lab Director, and I explained to him how much money the lab was losing by under-paying our sample prep people, losing them after a year, and then having to train someone new to do the same exact job. He immediately met with the owner and convinced him to raise the wages for all of the sample prep workers to a more competitive rate. The company still loses sample prep workers from time to time, but it is usually due to their promotion within the company from a sample-prep job to an analyst job rather than them leaving to go to another lab to get paid a higher wage to do the SAME job.

    • Chris Devine says:

      Nice straw-man yourself. How could you possibly interpret that statement to mean that I thought you asked someone “when did you stop beating your wife?” It was an example. Likewise, I didn’t mean to imply that you literally asked “why do you hate freedom.” However, it should be pretty obvious that you have complete disdain for anyone who disagrees with your interpretation of it.

      Also, I wasn’t talking about unemployment that results from people moving from one career to another. I was talking about pervasive unemployment where people have no jobs and no resources to change that fact.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Chris, you mean like now, when we have pervasive unemployment as a direct result of massive government intervention in the economy?

        • Chris Devine says:

          Bad choices by particular politicians is not an indictment of government in general. If you recall we also had government help in alleviating such unemployment when Roosevelt created public works agencies.

          To be clear:

          I am for government provided it does its job (i.e., serve its citizens). I am also in favor of businesses when they do their jobs (provide non-essential services without harming the consumer).

          Do I think either of these things are automatic or easily accomplished? Of course I don’t. Do I think that we should give free reign to one or the other because of such difficulties? Absolutely not. All I want is balance and effectiveness, neither of which is inherently stable. That is why we must all do our best to keep our politicians and businessmen on their toes.

          • A reasoned response…. I like it.

            I think then, that the difference of opinion that we share is in defining what is the definition of “serving its citizens”. You tend to go too far in my opinion, and I tend to not go far enough in your opinion.

            • The greater the power of govt the greater the chance for “bad choices”. Thus the only way to reduce the probability of “bad choices” is to constrain the power of govt.

              But govt always strives to increase its power? Why?

              If bad politicians require govt to harm us with their bad decisions then why should we not condemn govt in general? Without govt there is no politician to harm us.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                JAC – and the same is true in business for what you offer

              • In a sense but very different in its affect. And of course govt can maintain its growth at the end of a gun. Big business, with the exception of the federal reserve banks, can’t do that. The banks own the money so they own the police and army when it gets right down to it. You know, oyster cuttin time.

                However, if both are true then why tolerate either?

                Decentralization Ray, that is the beginning of your trip to salavation and prosperity.

          • Black Flag says:

            1929 3.2% < Hoover era,
            1930 8.7
            1931 15.9
            1932 23.6
            1933 24.9 < FDR, New Deal begins
            1934 21.7
            1935 20.1
            1936 16.9
            1937 14.3 < recession begins, May
            1938 19.0 < recession ends, June
            1939 17.2

            As one can see, FDR did not alleviate unemployment – in fact, as Rothbard and Hayek pointed out, FDR prevented the economy from correction.

            FDR’s policies competed directly with business for capital – and FDR exhausted the capital of the economy by twisting it into massive, weak ROI projections, instead of being directed into businesses high ROI.

            He dragged the economy to hell.

            • Chris Devine says:

              He may have “dragged the economy to hell” according to your standards, but he made sure a hell of a lot of people had enough cash in their pockets to feed, clothe, and house their families.

              Just curious, why is it you never here of many economists who grew up poor?

            • Chris Devine says:

              I just took another look at your numbers here. When FDR took office unemployment was at 24.9% (the peak of unemployment during the Great Depression). From 1933-37 unemployment steadily declined to 14.3% (a greater than 10 point drop). Then it climbed 5 points in 1938 and fell again to 17.2%.

              Let me get this straight, Hoover starts with 3.2% and ends with 24.9%. FDR starts with 24.9% and ends with 17.2% (in 1939). Sorry if I’m missing something but it seems to me that FDR did a hell of a lot better than Hoover. What was unemployment like on Dec. 6, 1941?

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        Chris, are you one of us?

        Defined as anything remotely passing for reasonable?

        Don’t make yourself crazy arguing in here. There are a few who will debate but mostly it is akin to slamming your head into a wall. 20 (and that’s pushing it) or so who have cornered the secret to life.

        • Chris,

          I sincerely hope you distance yourself from arguments of GG. He will utterly devastate what ever remains of any argument you hold.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          If someone agrees with a faulty premise, it does not make them “reasonable”.

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            Exactly … why you and BF have zero credibility.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              I think that you will find your own credibility significantly lower than mine or BF’s, but I could be wrong… you never know, right? 🙂

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Only if you discount D13. The man knows his stuff.

                I say revolution … BF is ousted by D13.

                Long live D13!

              • OK, I vowed not to bite, but I am…..

                To even suggest that you could align yourself, with your sense of morals, to those of D13 is one of the most outrageous things you have said yet.

              • Thank you, Kathy. I stand before you bowing ever so humbly for your comments. And I thought that I was considered a cracked pot.

              • GreaterGoodscs says:

                I am one outrageous dude but he stillproved my point (so technically he agreed with me), but nice try.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                And yet, still nothing has been proved

  13. Chris Devine

    So if I write for a living then nothing I produce can be considered my property? Nice.

    I do not judge ‘nice’ or not.

    I do not care that an action you may engage in makes you rich or poor.

    All I care is that your action does not violate my right.

    You do not own my knowledge – and an attempt to use force to prevent me from using my knowledge is evil.

    All of your assertions regarding freedom, government and business boil down to this:

    It would be extremely difficult to manage these entities so why bother? We should just let the chips fall where they may and call the result freedom.

    You are starting to get close – because those ‘chips’ are human beings with purposeful action. They are amply able to ‘figure it out for themselves’ without you needing to beat them.

    What you call a ‘whim’ I call due process. I would no more kill somebody (or risk my life) to defend real property than I would my writings. However, this does not mean that the product of my creativity isn’t worth as much as some hypothetical widget.

    Again, you fall into the fallacy of consequence – I do not care whether your creativity is valuable or not.

    Your claim it is ‘property’ is false. Hence, any construct you make that depends on your claim is also false.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I still have to say that I agree with Chris on at least one thing here:

      Let’s say I am an author. My books are good enough that a publisher thinks his publishing company can make money by publishing many, many copies of this book and selling them.

      As a result, I, the author, sign a contract with the publishing company giving them the rights to publish and sell the book in exchange for a portion of the profits.

      If I had not written the book and I had not attempted to sell the book to a publisher, there would have been no shortage of OTHER books for the publisher to choose from, but none of them would be exactly the same as the book which I wrote.

      I have seen the claim that if you put enough monkeys on typewriters they will eventually come up with a Shakespearean Play, but I most certainly have yet to see that actually demonstrated.

      It walks like property, it quacks like property, so to me it is property.

    • BF

      It seems to me that your concept of intellectual property rights is completely contradictory. You have made arguments consistently that the fruits of one’s labor should remain with the producer of that labor. Yet you feel that this only applies to physical property and physical labor.

      So what you are claiming here is that labor of the mind is worthless. If Chris writes a book, that book is the same as the widget that you make that you claim as your property. It was his mind that created the book. His effort and labor that resulted in a thing that was marketable. Thus the proceeds from that book are the fruits of his labor.

      I have to say that this is the biggest contradiction that I have seen you make on this site. How is it even possible that you hold such a firm stance on theft and property rights yet hold a completely contradictory stance when it comes to intellectual property. I have not seen one rational argument from you on this subject. Your stuff with Mathius yesterday and again on here today make no sense at all.

      You either respect the rights of the creator of a good or product, or you do not. Theft is theft. And you taking the work of others and having no problem with it in this area completely negates your arguments in other areas. Failing to recognize the labor of the mind simply baffles me.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Would like to hear Kent’s views on this.

        I do agree that BF may need to wash his shoes – he has stepped in his own pirate poo.

        • I wrote about this recently here Intellectual property

        • I wrote about this recently here Intellectual property

          Something else that has just come into being inside my head:
          Once you give someone else an idea or a thought, you have rewired their brain, and the thought becomes just as much theirs as it ever was yours. It will probably be altered and modified somewhat as it is incorporated into their mind. That is the danger, and the glory, of sharing your ideas through writing and creating.

        • I think my reply may have gotten caught in the spam filter because I added a (necessary) link. In fact, I tried to post it 3 times before my sleepy brain told me what was going on. USW can delete the shorter version when he gets around to the approval process. 😉

  14. Greatergoodcs

    :G-Man/BF … EVER wonder why there are about 20 of you in here patting each other on the back (and that all of you pretty much think alike–at least conservative enough to consider socialism evil? It’s because you’re on the fringe … of the general population and reality.

    Your claim may be true or it might not. But it does not matter.

    Just because ‘evil’ may outnumber ‘good’ does not make ‘good’ bad or make ‘evil’ the right thing to do.

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      Unless … evil (as you define it) is good and good (as you define it) is evil.

      I submit (submit is another word yo’ll seem to like) to you that your interpretation of evil is in fact good.

      But you could start to convince me (of something) when you explain how 304,000,000 individuals (each with his or her own set of values) would manage to survive on this planet without forming a government of some kind … or why it never happened in the first place.

      • To “convince” you requires you to accept reason.

        You do not.

        Therefore, there cannot exist any ‘convincing’.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Greatergoodcs,

        Have you ACTUALLY READ BF’s definitions of good and evil? Do you understand them? Do you agree with them? If you do agree with them, why? If you do not agree with them, why?

        P.S. No, I do not actually expect you to provide any sort of sensible answer to any of those really simple questions.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          you wrote: “No, I do not actually expect you to provide any sort of sensible answer to any of those really simple questions.”

          Good, then you won’t be disappointed.

          To quote your blog God in here: “I refuse …”

  15. Peter, JAC, Mathius and Epsom all get failing grade like Chris on the matter of intellectual property.

    Just wanted to say that – because you guys are going around in a ‘back slap’ circle a wee-bit prematurely.

    Patience, good friends, a response to all your comments is coming.

    (See, like IBM, a pre-announcement to quieten the market!)

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      I am a bit curious, but I will try not to preempt your post too much. It sounds like, from some of the stories you tell, the source of a great deal of your money is your ideas (your ability to “solve problems”), so I am definitely curious.

      Let’s say that you come up with a solution to a computer problem which no one has thought of or implemented before, and someone recognizes your solution as something which could be applied to more than just the specific case in which you applied it. It seems to me that you are indicating that you would not demand any recompense for the use of your solution, even though you were the one that came up with it, and I find that somewhat confusing.

      I look forward to your upcoming post.

      • NOt to stick my nose, and not to defend BF’s perspective…He is capable of doing that himself.

        IBM has done just that for many years. Every time a Systems Engineer would visit a client to see how they were doing they would discuss issues with that clients system programers. (This was more prominate in the mainframe days, but it is still done to this day) Alot of times those client system programmers would tell the IBM Engineer about a solutions they came up with for a continued problem in the operating system. The IBM engineer would ask if he could have a copy to look at and take it back to IBM’s development team. IBM would in turn incorporate it into their support library and use it at other companies when the same problem arose. It was refered to back in the day as a “Fix”. This practice went on for many years and was part of a constant effort of IBM (and now all software/hardware company’s) to promote new releases. In short they (IBM) used the client base to help them test and improve their products.

        Were they stealing?

        BTW: Did everyone know that DB2 was “stolen” from Oracle? Oracle had developed the first “relational Database” and was working on it to get it to market, when IBM obtained a copy. IBM put on a huge effort to clone it and release DB2 before Oracle could.

        “Theft” and cloning have been SOP in the IT industry pretty much since it’s birth.

        Agaon, not defending or disagreeing with BF.

        CM

    • Cool, another new word this week

      “quieten”

    • Sorry guys, I have to back Mr. Flag up. Now that I’ve seen the light, I recognize that the ideas in my possession, regardless of their origin, are my possessions and mine to do with as I will. You may not impinge upon my freedoms.

      Matthew 20:15: http://bible.cc/matthew/20-15.htm

      That’s from the book named after me, but feel free to copy away since I don’t own it if it’s in your head.

      • Matt:

        I don’t understand how your link is related to your newly formed position.
        Can you explain?

      • “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own?” – seemed fitting.

        • I don’t think it actually fits the discussion but let me ask this to test your conversion.

          What is the rest of the condition that makes it unlawful to do as you wish?

          And we will ignore “lawful” for now.

          • I may do whatever I will with mine own – so long as it does not infringe upon the freedoms of others, of course.

            .

            .

            .

            And with that, I’m going home. Good night, and good luck to all. And I am not eating my veggies 🙂

            • Black Flag says:

              (Black Flag – shocked! – another pirate now lives in the caves….!)

              • You give him more credit than I dear Flag. I am wary of this one for he is very smart and clever.

                If he is a true pirate he will be able to extract himself in quick order from the tangled web that ensnares him.

                But I think he is but singing us a lullaby in hopes we become drousy.

                I must admit he is at least more fun than others who have entered the caves.

              • Black Flag says:

                Indeed, I will still sleep with a musket under my pillow, and sword at ready reach.

              • Set the parrot by the cave entrance 😉

              • *Squack* I can’t help you if he’s already inside the cave! *Squack*

    • Epsom? I’m salty? I guess I can live with that. 😉

  16. Black Flag says:

    PeterB in Indianapolis

    Bernie Madhoff did absolutely nothing wrong

    First, you mistaken my position. To argue against a position I do not hold subjects you to a ”opps, sorry, you missed me” razz! 😛

    I did not say, ever, that “Madoff did absolutely nothing wrong”. Clearly he lied and was deceitful.

    What I did say (write it down so you get it right this time) He did not use physical violence in taking the money –it was voluntarily given to him- and therefore, no person has a right to use physical violence against him

    (Man in Black: I have something to tell you….
    Spaniard: What?
    Man in Black: I am not left handed either…)

    So, Spaniard, pick your sword back up off the floor and try again!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      Ok, now we are getting somewhere… which is the fun part.

      Here is my position:

      You state that he did not use violence in obtaining the money, it was freely given to him. I agree with that. He was given the money freely, in exchange for the service which he claimed he was going to provide.

      You state that because he did not use violence in obtaining the money, no one is entitled to use violence against him. That’s fine, I do not want anyone to use violence against him. However, they people that he lied to and decieved are entitled to recompense, correct?

      So, in my view, if someone gave him $1,000,000 to invest, and instead of investing the money at all, he gave it to someone else as the illusory profits of a false investment, then the person who is out the $1,000,000 is entitled to get their money back.

      Further, if Madhoff was silly enough to provide guarantees of a certain rate of return in the contracts which he signed, then the customer who also signed the contract would be entitled to any “profits” which he guaranteed. I never meant to imply that I was in favor of violence being done against him. Plenty of people think that going to jail is an appropriate punishment for his crime. It is not! He is totally unproductive in jail. It would be far more appropriate to have him go out and earn money so that he could repay those that he deceived in my book.

      I am sorry if I misinterpreted your previous posts on the Madhoff issue, I will have to go back and re-read them more carefully to see why I got the impression that you were saying that he did nothing wrong. Perhaps I was confusing your claim that he did nothing violent with something which you did NOT claim (that he did nothing wrong)… time to go search the archives 🙂

      • Black Flag says:

        PeterB in Indianapolis

        which is the fun part.

        I’m a fun guy!

        However, they people that he lied to and decieved are entitled to recompense, correct?

        Correct – as long as they do not violate his rights.

        So, in my view, if someone gave him $1,000,000 to invest, and instead of investing the money at all, he gave it to someone else as the illusory profits of a false investment, then the person who is out the $1,000,000 is entitled to get their money back.

        Walk slowly….

        Quote:…GAVE him…

        Thus, that money is no longer their money . It is his money.

        By agreement, he was to give them money back (plus…) – but since he has not, it is still HIS money, not THEIR money.

        Further, if Madhoff was silly enough to provide guarantees of a certain rate of return in the contracts which he signed, then the customer who also signed the contract would be entitled to any “profits” which he guaranteed.

        Guarantee is no stronger then the man whose word you trust.

        It would be far more appropriate to have him go out and earn money so that he could repay those that he deceived in my book.

        Mine too – however, I have no right to force him to do this

        I am sorry if I misinterpreted your previous posts on the Madhoff issue, I will have to go back and re-read them more carefully to see why I got the impression that you were saying that he did nothing wrong. Perhaps I was confusing your claim that he did nothing violent with something which you did NOT claim (that he did nothing wrong)… time to go search the archives

        If you are going swish swords with me – one must be very careful, not? 🙂

        I am very careful (or try my best to be) not to muddle ‘evil’ and ‘immoral’ and ‘wrong’. That is why I go out of my way to define these things.

        Chris is brilliant in muddling these concepts – for a purpose. If he can get you to agree that all of these are essentially arbitrary moral shades of the same thing, he will convince you it is a Right to inflict violence on non-violent people.

        • So BF, what is your proposed solution to the Madoff example?

          • Black Flag says:

            The People ostracize him.

            As he has been shown to be untrustworthy, how possibly could Free men do any exchange with him?

            He would recant and work to undo the consequences of his deed or die of starvation.

            • Chris Devine says:

              Who showed him to be untrustworthy? If it weren’t for the legal establishment he’d still be out there conning people.

              • Black Flag says:

                Anyone without sticks for brains knew he was a fake.

                But because of a false sense of protection provided by government – and of course, their own greed – they got burned.

                I believe fools get their justice.

              • Chris Devine says:

                Black Flag, PhD, P.T. Barnum Clown College and School of Economics

              • Black Flag says:

                What does economics have to do with Madoff?

  17. Drill, Comrade Drill?

    Why are Cuba and Canada exercising more common sense on drilling than the United States? And how come they’re doing it right in our own backyard?

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/09/01/heritage-oil-drill-cuba-canada/

    Thanks to a 1977 treaty, the U.S. and Cuba split control of the waters between them right down the middle. And Cuba is working with energy companies from Russia and other countries to explore for oil and natural gas.

  18. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    There is, believe it or not, one way in which I would agree to paying for the government to provide services to myself and to the community. However, this would be highly unlikely to happen.

    First of all, the government would have to come up with a list of goods and services that it proposed to provide to the individuals in the community, then it would have to list the cost of each individual service.

    Once it provided this list, it could be broken down like this:

    Maintenance, upkeep, and useage of roads = you pay $10 per month

    Food, shelter, and clothing for the unemployed/homeless/etc. = you pay $20 per month.

    Monthly stipend provided to the elderly = you pay $15 per month

    Police, fire, ambulance, pubic safety = you pay $30 per month

    From this list, you would be able to pick and choose which services you were either going to use, or which services you wished to pay for so that others could use them (like the welfare-type services).

    In this scenario, the government would only be allowed to spend the money it collected for each good or service on that specific good or service, and the government would NOT be allowed to spend more money than what it took in.

    Now, a whole bunch of you just went, “Well THAT would never work! Lots of people are not going to VOLUNTARILY pay for X, Y, or Z, so how is it going to get done?”

    How do you KNOW that a bunch of people are not going to pay for X, Y, or Z? I submit to you that you would be very surprised how much money would be voluntarily paid into the government for the provision of these services. If people truly think that a particular good or service is worthwhile, THEY WILL PAY A REASONABLE AMOUNT for that good or service.

    So sure, maybe you won’t have 100% of the people actually voluntarily paying for the item, “Food, shelter, and clothing for the unemployed/homeless/etc.” So what? Price it right so that 100% participation is not required. If you price it so that enough people feel that it is worthwhile for the price, and that price is sufficient to provide the service, you do not need 100% participation. Also, if you do not PAY for a good or a service provided by the government, you must either NOT USE that good or service, or find an alternate provider for that good or service and pay the alternate provider instead.

    Under those circumstances, government provision of goods and services would be just fine with me 🙂

  19. Black Flag says:

    PeterB in Indianapolis, JAC, Epsom, Mathius, Chris… and whoever else…

    Property is any physical … entity that is owned by a person or jointly by a group of persons. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property has the right to consume, sell, rent, mortgage, transfer, exchange or destroy his or her property, and/or to exclude others from doing these things.

    Disclosure: I have, of course, eliminated non-physical component of this particular definition (though in the description, the author admits that there is a big debate whether that non-physical things are or are not property).

    So, let us analyze some tests of property.
    (1)“destroy” – you cannot destroy my knowledge – hence, knowledge is not ‘property’
    (2)”consume” – you cannot consume my knowledge – hence, knowledge is not ‘property’
    (3)”owned” – you cannot own my knowledge – hence, knowledge is not ‘property’.

    JAC, this is where the test of ‘divisibility’ exists. If you divided it, and the consequence of such division is a smaller or diminished thing, it is property.

    If, after division, it is exactly the same thing it cannot be property, because it is not physical; it is hypothetical, or a abstraction, or a concept, or a thought.

    It is like asking “Divide beauty in half, what do you get?” “I own beauty, therefore, you cannot be beautiful too without my permission” Can you destroy beauty? No, it is in the eye of the beholder. Can you steal beauty? No, there is nothing to steal.

    When I frame your argument by simple insertion of another example of abstraction, concept or thought the perversity of your argument is obvious.

    When I frame property – and replace any physical object – no matter what physical object, it becomes clear that it is property.

    If I divide a human being in two, does a human being remain the same? No. He dies . Hence, a person is property.

    If I divide a plot of land in two, is it the same land? No. There now exists two, smaller, pieces. Hence, land is property.

    Property exists to define scarce resources and the allocation of those scarce resources among men.

    Knowledge fails the test of property here, too.

    Knowledge is not scarce. The whole world of humanity can hold the same knowledge at the same time without any exhaustion of that knowledge.

    Apply these tests; it simply separates ‘abstraction’ from ‘reality’. Property is real and scarce. Knowledge is abstraction and inexhaustible.

    The problem is, when an idea for a book is written down (or typed out or whatever) that idea has become a physical product.

    Peter,

    The book is a real product. The knowledge is abstract. Because you made a book does not transfer a physical existence to knowledge.
    The computer disk is a real product.
    The computer is a real product.
    The sheet music is a real product.
    The music performance is a real product.

    Using the book as the primary example here, in general, an author writes a manuscript for a book and submits it to one (or several) publishing houses. The manuscript often comes back to the author with suggestions for changes. Then the revised manuscript goes back to the publishing house. If the publishing house likes it enough and thinks that it will sell well, they offer the author a contract which states that they will mass-publish the book, and in exchange, the author will get royalties (payments) for every copy of the book that actually sells.

    Fallacy – argument of consequences. Same mistake Mathius made.

    It does not matter how much work, or how much money, or how much water a man may drink in an hour – you do cannot make ‘knowledge’ a scarce physical ‘thing’, nor own my knowledge!

    Because of this, making a copy of the book without paying for it is stealing money from the author.

    Your conclusion is faulty due to logical fallacy.

    Because you like the reward of your argument, does not make your argument true.

    I cannot steal what does not physically exist. Theft requires loss – I cannot steal your ‘knowledge’ because you do not ‘suddenly forget’ what you know. You have suffer no loss.

    Music distribution agreements work in much the same way.

    Hold that horse up, partner!

    Agreements and contracts are not part of an argument of whether knowledge is property. Free men can agree to anything they wish – but such agreement does not prove or disprove anything about the existence knowledge as property or the existence of God or the existence of fire breathing dragons!

    Thus, your comments about agreements to use software, or agreements to use sheet music or agreements to use written words has absolutely no bearing in proving knowledge is property.

    .
    BF likes to use the example of the car. I would submit that it is a lot easier for the vast majority of people to copy a song, a program, or a book than it is for them to copy a car.

    The same, terrible, argument that Mathius tried.

    “Difficulty (or lack of) replication does not prove property”

    Mathius

    He does not recognize that you are selling him the right to use/read his one copy, on the understanding that you will not reproduce/redistribute it.

    Feel the whip of wet noodles striking your face

    First, you never made such an argument! How dare you violate my copyright of MY argument and steal it for your own nefarious purposes!

    I explained that to you yesterday in rescuing you from strangling in your own web of folly! Even Alan offered his comment about EULA’s!

    Ownership of ‘knowledge’ is not proven (or disproven) by agreements between free men!

    You most certainly can demand an agreement of use – that does not contradict (or confirm) that knowledge is or is not property.

    He does not recognize the right to “own” the things that constitute the book (ie the story/plot/characters/etc) – only ownership of the book itself.

    Correct. “Story” “plot” “characters” are all abstractions. You can have a character called “Harry Potter” and so can I – and your “Harry Potter” in your story has not changed one little bit

    Just A Citizen

    If by dividing something it is destroyed seems to run against the concept of a definition.

    No, that is not my definition of divisibility, if you recall (though divisibility COULD destroy property).

    I said :” The former [real property] cannot be divisible without diminishing it, the latter [knowledge] can be divisible without diminishing it.

    Besides, a book can be divided.

    Yep, you can rip pages out all you want – but it will not be the same book as when you started – it is ‘diminished’ – hence, the book is property

    I add one more thing. I do think we need to reconsider the time frame for which intellectual property and other patents are protected. And I do believe recent rulings have gotten far afield from true intellectual property.

    So, you contradict your position on private property, JAC? GASP!

    Do you also believe that private property should have a time limit on its protection too? Say, after 10 years, I get your house because your time is up?

    Either property is protected as a right or it is not.

    Back to PeterB in Indianapolis

    … sign a contract with the publishing company …

    Once again – agreements between free menIt does not prove knowledge is property.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      You are intentionally confusing the concept of “knowledge” with the result of USING that knowledge.

      Many people have the “knowledge” to write a book. Not all people have the ability to write a good book that other people will actually want to read.

      Knowledge is abstract, and therefore cannot be “owned”. The PRODUCTS of that knowledge are no longer abstract.

      So, I have no argument whatsoever with your premise that knowledge is not property. I’m cool with that. However, if you assert that a novel which I have written is merely “knowledge” and therefore it is not owned by the author, I am affraid I just have to disagree with you on that one.

      I think that part of the confusion here is the whole insertion of “knowledge” or “idea” into the argument. Are you CAPABLE of writing the same novel as I am? Perhaps you are capable, but it is virtually impossible that you and I would write the same novel.

      Am I CAPABLE of writing the same software as Microsoft? Maybe, but I doubt it. I am perfectly willing to pay Microsoft for software that they have paid their software developers to develop. Whether it comes on a floppy disk, a CD-ROM, a DVD-ROM, or I download it using the internet, I am paying Microsoft for it. Am I paying them for their knowledge? Nope. I am paying them because they paid someone else to USE their knowledge to come up with a software application that people found useful enough to be willing to pay for. Whether that software is on a disk, or on a server where it can be downloaded to my computer, it still has a PHYSICAL EXISTENCE somewhere.

      Now, you could make the argument that simply because you have copied my book, you have not STOLEN my book (my book still exists, it is right on the shelf where you returned it after you borrowed it to make a copy…)

      If you make that argument, my question to you is as follows:

      Simply because something can be copied, does that mean that copying it without the consent of the author is moral?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      By the way BF, I do not believe that I ever made the assertion that knowledge was property. I made the assertion that the unique products of that knowledge were property.

      Once a designer makes blueprints for a particular design of a car, that is no longer merely “knowledge”… in the same way, once a programmer actually codes a program, that program is no longer merely “knowledge”. You may not be able to touch the code for the program, just as it is now pretty likely that you would not be able to touch the blueprint for a car design (since that type of thing is usually done on a computer now).

      So, I was never arguing the postition that knowledge was property… I was arguing the position that the PRODUCTS of knowledge are property.

      • Black Flag says:

        PeterB in Indianapolis

        BF,
        You are intentionally confusing the concept of “knowledge” with the result of USING that knowledge.

        Sir, I am not confused at all.

        I believe those that attempt to make an abstraction ‘property’ are very confused.

        Many people have the “knowledge” to write a book. Not all people have the ability to write a good book that other people will actually want to read.

        Writing a book or not has nothing to do with anything.

        Knowledge is what is in my head.

        It is mine, since it is my head.

        I can use what is in my head and my effort to earn the things I need to live.

        You have no right to stop my non-violent actions.

        The PRODUCTS of that knowledge are no longer abstract.

        The physical thing is physical – and that thing ‘tests’ well as property. Therefore that “thing” is property.

        But you do not ‘own’ the thing I own. You own the thing you own.

        So, I have no argument whatsoever with your premise that knowledge is not property. I’m cool with that. However, if you assert that a novel which I have written is merely “knowledge” and therefore it is not owned by the author, I am affraid I just have to disagree with you on that one.

        I have a piece of paper.
        I write on my piece of paper.
        It is still my piece of paper, I still own it.
        I can sell my piece of paper for what every price or for what ever reason I chose.

        I think that part of the confusion here is the whole insertion of “knowledge” or “idea” into the argument. Are you CAPABLE of writing the same novel as I am? Perhaps you are capable, but it is virtually impossible that you and I would write the same novel.

        Capability does not define property. I cannot create land out of thin air – therefore land is not my property?

        , it still has a PHYSICAL EXISTENCE somewhere.

        Yes, and it is my property if I own it.

        Now, you could make the argument that simply because you have copied my book, you have not STOLEN my book (my book still exists, it is right on the shelf where you returned it after you borrowed it to make a copy…)

        That is my argument.

        If you make that argument, my question to you is as follows:
        Simply because something can be copied, does that mean that copying it without the consent of the author is moral?

        Moral or immoral has nothing to do with Human Rights or Right of Property. I can be a profane, unkempt, ugly, lying and rude – I still have 100% of my rights and 100% of my property.

        It is immoral to break your word. But my breaking of my word does not give you the right, however, to inflict violence on me.

        By the way BF, I do not believe that I ever made the assertion that knowledge was property. I made the assertion that the unique products of that knowledge were property.

        Many physical things exist by the creation of man.
        The things that I make are mine.
        The things that you make are yours.

        • BF:

          “I can use what is in my head and my effort to earn the things I need to live.

          You have no right to stop my non-violent actions.”

          Do I have the right to impede or impair your actions if mine do not stop you outright?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          BF,

          You said, “Moral or immoral has nothing to do with Human Rights or Right of Property. I can be a profane, unkempt, ugly, lying and rude – I still have 100% of my rights and 100% of my property.”

          But you have also stated in the past that private property is the basis for all rights, and that theft of property is immoral because it violates rights.

          So, how is it that moral or immoral has nothing to do with rights or property?

    • Black Flag says:

      Re: Property

      Consider “air”

      Open Air is not owned nor is it property. Breathing air does not diminish your breathing nor is air scarce.

      Air is owned in a scuba tank, and hence property. My breathing your scuba air certainly does diminish it and it is scarce!

      • However, your poisoning of the air has also poisoned my air, thus diminishing it’s utility to support my life. You have in fact diminished my property that is required to support my existence.

        • Black Flag says:

          At the point you created scarcity, Property is established!

          Completely correct, good sir!

          As soon as diminishment and scarcity are established, so is property!

          And, thus, I have no right to pollute your air

    • “So, you contradict your position on private property, JAC? GASP!”

      You have greatly over reached my dear pirate friend. I think you know that but perhaps I was sloppy in my explanation.

      Note, I was discussing property of the “intellectual” nature. I can not remember the examples at the moment but I have seen some Patent requests and approvals these past years that stretch beyond what I would consider property, even in a knowledge context. Merely rearranging procedures to be different comes to mind but can’t remember the details. Most of them center around new computer technology.

      I misunderstood your definition a bit and was pointing out that a definition of an object as something should not require that it be made into something else. However, we are dealing with the mixture of concept of classification versus the object, so your expanded definition is fine by me.

      Do I not have the “right” to use my intellect and knowledge to support myself in a manner of my choosing, so long as I am not impeding upon your same right?

      • Black Flag says:

        Just A Citizen

        Note, I was discussing property of the “intellectual” nature. I can not remember the examples at the moment but I have seen some Patent requests and approvals these past years that stretch beyond what I would consider property, even in a knowledge context.

        A patent is a writ of government enforcing a monopoly on production of a good.

        Like all monopolies, it requires government violence to enforce and is evil.

        Do I not have the “right” to use my intellect and knowledge to support myself in a manner of my choosing, so long as I am not impeding upon your same right?

        Bingo.

        • BF

          “A patent is a writ of government enforcing a monopoly on production of a good.”

          But what if it is issued by a private organization funded by voluntary decisions of those registering their “property”?

          The registration would do nothing more than assure the protection of their property from theft or use without permission, would it not?

          • Black Flag says:

            How would you enforce it upon me, Black Flag, that is not a member of your cabal?

            • Your own moral code prevents you from imposing upon me.

              You may not diminish the value of my property.

              If you take it and copy it you will have diminished its value, thus imposing upon my desire to use my property for my own purposes, in this case to earn more money.

              I will of course need to prove it has been diminished and that will, I assume, be decided by jury. Since I paid the fee to register my property and such date precedes yours, if you have one, I am hopeful the jury of my peers will consider this in determining whether the book and necessarily its contents, were in fact my property.

              If you persist, then the Free People will shun you for what free man would trade with someone who will take his property for his own. And you will either repent and make restitution to me or you will starve.

              • Sorry JAC – I didn’t pay attention to which forum and I replied in the Socialist Thread #47 ….

                If you’d like to read it and the respond back here… (or where ever !)

              • I am out of gas for the evening.

                Will copy your response forward tomorrow along with my reply.

                Then gotta mow the lawn. Damn sun and rain.

    • I will answer when I have a moment. But I will tease with this:

      BF, your definition of property is flawed and erroneous. Therefore your entire argument can be discounted.

    • Have any of you ever seen a pack of wolves fight a bear? It’s interesting. You see, the bear is much bigger and stronger and can dish it out far worse than a wolf. But eventually, the wolves start nipping around the edges and the bear starts to wear down. He gives some ground, then gives more ground. Eventually one of the wolves gets in a good shot and the bear is wounded. That is when they move in for the kill.

      Somehow this analogy comes to mind when I see a forum full of people arguing with Mr. Flag.

      • Black Flag says:

        But, fortunately, I am not a bear – I am a pirate (note the flag) with a ‘big brain’.

        I have well placed traps for wolves like to fall into…..

        • Chris Devine says:

          You have a big mouth and an even bigger ego. Disregarding off-hand any criticism is not the same as being right.

          • Black Flag says:

            You have never seen my mouth open, therefore continue to falsify your statements.

            You have seen my ego, though.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I have not seen too many examples of BF disregarding criticism.

            He generally attempts to refute critical arguments.

    • This whole merry-go-round made my head spin.

      “Intellectual property” is not actual property, as long as it can be copied without damage and not removed. To protect it (the fruits of your labor, as some have said) you require anyone who accesses/reads/uses it to agree to not re-distribute it. The agreement would be enforced in the same manner as any other contract in Black Flag’s free society – typically by other members of the society refusing to deal with those people who have broken such agreements. Imagine if software pirates/redistributors suddenly found themselves unable to purchase any software because no one would do business with them!

      It is the government regulations that make people think they are safe and thus in reality expose them to immoral practices.

  20. Hello All.

    This is for topic #4

    ________________________________________________________

    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it’s evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    But when you talk about destruction
    Don’t you know that you can count me out
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
    all right, all right

    You say you got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We’d all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We’re doing what we can
    But when you want money
    for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell is brother you have to wait
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
    all right, all right
    Ah

    ah, ah, ah, ah, ah…

    You say you’ll change the constitution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it’s the institution
    Well, you know
    You better free you mind instead
    But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
    You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
    all right, all right
    all right, all right, all right
    all right, all right, all right

    • Judy,

      I thought posting songs was my thing, now everyone is doing it. LOL

    • What could possibly go wrong?

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

      “Mrs. Sanders, please.”

      “Speaking.”

      “Mrs. Sanders, this is Dr. Jones at St. Agnes Laboratory. When your husband’s doctor sent his biopsy to the lab last week, a biopsy from another Mr. Sanders arrived as well. We are now uncertain which one belongs to your husband. Frankly, either way the results are not too good.”

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

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

      “That’s dreadful! Can you do the test again?” questioned Mrs. Sanders.

      “Normally we can, but the new health care system will only pay for these expensive tests just one time.”

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

      “The folks at Obama health care recommend that you drop your husband off somewhere in the middle of town. If he finds his way home, don’t sleep with him.”

      • Good one LOI

        See, you’re doing all the jokes, so somebody had to throw song lyrics in, so I thought why not me.

      • I saw that one before.. I thought you were more original.. cute though

        • An American is having breakfast, in Paris , one morning (coffee, croissants, bread, butter and jam) when a Frenchman, chewing bubble-gum, sits down next to him. The American ignores the Frenchman who, nevertheless, starts a conversation.

          Frenchman: “You American folk eat the whole bread??”

          American (in a bad mood): “Of course.”

          Frenchman: (after blowing a huge bubble) “We don’t. In France , we only eat what’s inside. The crusts we collect in a container, recycle it, transform them into croissants and sell them to the states.” The Frenchman has a smirk on his face.

          The American listens in silence.

          The Frenchman persists: “Do you eat jelly with the bread??”

          American: “Of Course.”

          Frenchman: (cracking his bubble-gum between his teeth and chuckling).

          “We don’t. In France we eat fresh fruit for breakfast, then we put all the peels, seeds, and leftovers in containers, recycle them, transform them into jam, and sell the jam to the states.”

          After a moment of silence, The American then asks: “Do you have sex in France ?”

          Frenchman: “Why of course we do”, he says with a big smirk.

          American: “And what do you do with the condoms once you’ve used them?”

          Frenchman: “We throw them away, of course.”

          American: “We don’t. In America , we put them in a container, recycle them, melt them down into bubble-gum, and sell them to France .”

          • Ne pas manger la croûte? Mais quelle horreur!

            It’s always safe to pick on the French . . . however, they understand that the crust is the best part. 🙂

            Greetings to USW, BF, LOI, JAC, Richmond, Judy, Pete, G-Man, Mathius and all: I have enjoyed reading this blog for months. Thank you for sharing your conversations. I’m interested in joining the debate, eventually (as soon as I feel I can articulate and defend a well-thought-out position).

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              Bonsoir Refugiee!

              Welcome! Don’t be shy…really, we don’t bite (too hard). Looking forward to getting to know you.

              Best Regards,
              RS

              P.S. That is about the most I can remember from my 9th Grade French Class. Monsieur Simmons would be so disappointed in me.

              • Merci, Richmond!

                M. Simmons serait très fier de vous. I’d venture to say the French you learned is still with you and could be reactivated.

            • Bonsoir Refugiee! (whatever that means)

              Welcome, we would love to hear your thoughts. Bob is from the UK, and we disagree frequently, but its still fun to
              debate things with people with a different perspective.

              • Merci LOI!

                I copy all of your jokes to a file on my computer and now have a very long document. My family and I are enjoying them very much.

        • A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.

          The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.

          The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.

          Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.

          The little girl said, “When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah”.

          The teacher asked, “What if Jonah went to hell?”

          The little girl replied, “Then you ask him “.

          A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child’s work.

          As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.

          The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”

          The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.”

          Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”

          A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds.

          After explaining the commandment to “honor” thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?”

          Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, “Thou shall not kill.”

          One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.

          She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?”

          Her mother replied, “Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.”

          The little girl thought about this reve lation for a while and then said, “Momma, how come ALL of grandma’s hairs are white?”

          The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture.

          “Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, ‘There’s Jennifer, she’s a lawyer,’ or ‘That’s Michael, He’s a doctor.’

          A small voice at the back of the room rang out, “And there’s the teacher, she’s dead.”

          A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, “Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face.”

          “Yes,” the class said.

          “Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn’t run into my feet?”

          A little fellow shouted,
          “Cause your feet ain’t empty.”

          The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray:

          “Take only ONE. God is watching.”

          Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.

          A child had written a note, “Take all you want. God is watching the apples.

    • Thank you, Judy.. I thought no one was going to bite at the reference.. I may be a youngun, but I still like my Beatles 🙂

      • Hey, I more or less grew up with them. I remember when they were on the Ed Sullivan show. Telling my age now, aren’t I.

        • I have their entire collection on CD.

          Men are from Mars

          Women from Venus

          Government from Uranus

          L. Neil Smith

        • Ed Sullivan? Never heard of him 😉

          • Just how old are you then, if you don’t know who he is? That’s if you don’t mind me asking, or is that too personal?

            • Not too personal at all, and we’ve already had this question out for debate. RS, I believe, came the closest with her guess of 25. The correct answer is 26.

              But I still know who Ed Sullivan was – hence the 😉

              • You’re younger than my oldest son by a year, he’s 27. So are you saying, you do know, or don’t know, because according to you answer, sounds like you do.

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Hi Mat’the’us…

                It was actually 27…!

                You know what…You are a pretty cool cucumber!

                Best Regards,
                RS

              • Ha, thank you! I endeavor to be the coolest cucumber I can be.

                As for Ed, yes, I know who he was. I may be young, but I wasn’t raised by wolves.

              • Okay, okay, was just wondering Mathius.

                I wasn’t sure, that’s all.:D

              • Never mind that last part, I was trying to make a smiley face, didn’t work.

    • Ha! Did a routine to this song for a talent show (untalented?) back in the day……..

  21. Topic #1. I say, let the CIA do the job they are suppose to do. Do they need the ok from the president and congress do to what they were trained for? First Obama says he was going to just forge on, and not go back, now it seems he has changed his mind again, and now wants to proceed with it. Or, is it really Holder that wants to go through with this?

    Topic #2. There seems to be a lot of professors out there that for some reason or other get off the subject to which they teach, and start in with the political talks. Since my son has been going to UNR, he said there isn’t a professor he has had or has brings the subject up, and starts a debate with the students. He said a lot of the students will challenge the professors with what they feel is wrong, or what they feel is right, and if you disagree with the professors, they threaten you with a lower grade. My son himself has challenged professors with debate just to get a reaction out of them and to see what they say. He even told them, there is no way they can threaten students with a lower grade just because someone doesn’t agree with their political views. He sais he has had some heated debates with professors to the point, that they do back down somewhat.

    Topic #3. I guess we had better stop breathing then, if they think that carbon dioxide is a pollutant. What are we suppose to do, wear space helmets? Please, give me a break.

    Hope all is having a good day today.

    Judy

    • Bob and I are still dueling on #1. One of my remarks:

      Let me be even more politically incorrect. I am proud of the actions taken by my government regarding the torture of terrorists.

      • Like I said, let them do the job they are trained for. Do what ever it takes to get the info you need.

        • As I was asking LOI how far are you willing to go to get the information you need?

          • What ever it takes. Within reason of course. I don’t mean they should break any legs or arms, but I don’t think that water boarding, or sleep deprivation or loud music for that matter is torture.

            In all honesty, I don’t know what they do to get the info they need, but if it works, then I’m for it. No worse than what they do, I’m sure.

          • Bob,

            I stand by my response, I don’t know if I would go further than kneecapping or crushing a body part in a vice. Raping them or a family member is not likely.

            “We are supposed to be morally better then the people we are fighting, using torture against them drags us down to their level which then begs the question what are we fighting for?”

            I understand your position.

            My position is I will not pass judgment on these people for their actions, if I would do the same if my child was threatened.

            You have never answered what would you do for your wife or child. Is waterboarding or sleep deprivation something you would consider? Or would you take the moral high ground while they were raped and killed? Answer that and then tell me if you feel those interrogators have done wrong.

  22. BIG BRUHAHA in Fort Worth. Just heard it on the local news. It seems that the POTUS is going to give a speech to be broadcast into every American School….all grades on the 9th of September. It has been further stated that it is up to the local school districts in Texas to decide whether or not to allow the broadcasts. This has never been done before. There is no national emergency, no historical precedent, and no reason to do this. The majority of parents are outraged here and it is stated that if school time is preempted for political speeches, that their children will be pulled out of school for that day. Since there was some discussion concerning colleges today, this concerns the public school system and all grades to 1st grade.

    I view this as forced indoctrination. It was further stated that some schools will offer opt out procedures but those opt out procedures are sitting the students in the hallways. Other schools have said it is mandatory and no student will be allowed to opt out.

    Therefore, for those of you whom are religious….if this is allowed, then you have good reason to want religious time and services to be added back in and have prayer time in school….mandatory.

    Someone justify this, please.

    • D13

      Lil’ Red Ridinghood says: Grandma, what big ears you have.

      The Wolf says: The better to hear you with my child.

      Lil’ Red Ridinghood says: Grandma, what big eyes you have.

      The Wolf says: The better to see you with my child.

      Lil’ Red Ridinghood says: Grandma, why does the President want to talk to all of us at school?

      The Wolf says?

    • Doing some research…here is an update:

      But in advance of the address, the Department of Education has offered educators “classroom activities” to coincide with Obama’s message.

      Students in grades pre-K-6, for example, are encouraged to “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals.”

      Teachers are also given guidance to tell students to “build background knowledge about the president of the United States by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama.”

      During the speech, “teachers can ask students to write down key ideas or phrases that are important or personally meaningful.”

      For grades 7-12, the Department of Education suggests teachers prepare by excerpting quotes from Obama’s speeches on education for their students to contemplate — and ask as questions such as “Why does President Obama want to speak with us today? How will he inspire us? How will he challenge us?”

      Activities suggested for after the speech include asking students “what resonated with you from President Obama’s speech? What lines/phrase do you remember?”

      Frederick Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, said the suggested lesson plans cross the line between instruction and advocacy.

      “I don’t think it’s appropriate for teachers to ask students to help promote the president’s preferred school reforms and policies,” Hess said. “It very much starts to set up the president as a superintendent in chief.”

      Amid the debate on the federal government’s level of involvement on issues like health care and others, Hess said, “There’s a lot of people” on both sides of the political spectrum who will rightfully be concerned with the president’s call to action.

      “It shows exactly what the problem is,” he said. “This is going to open the door to all kinds of concerns.”

      After reading the Department of Education lesson plans for the speech, McCluskey said he noticed several passages that should set off “alarm bells,” including language that attempts to “glorify President Obama” in the minds of young students.

      “It could be a blatantly political move,” he said. “Nobody knows for sure, but it gives that impression.”

      McCluskey also noted that the lesson plans for young students contain suggestions to write letters to themselves on how they can help the president, but that suggestion is not in the lesson plan for middle and high schoolers — perhaps due to the likelihood of increased political ties at that age.

      “You don’t want to see this coming from the president,” McCluskey said. “You don’t want to see this coming from the federal government.”

    • “Other schools have said it is mandatory and no student will be allowed to opt out.”

      Mandatory? I’d be damn if they would!

      • I don’t think it is going to fly at all but I would still argue that the religious right would now have an excellent case.

    • IMPORTANT UPDATE: District 6 school meeting tonight in Fort Worth. I am going. Purpose: to discuss the upcoming Obama speech. I am told that there is an ACORN rep that will be in attendance to explain the reasons. I might make the news tonight.

      On second thought, it would not make the news. ACORN is open season here.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        D13 – any chance on getting a sense of what the speech is about before we jump the gun and accuse the guy of subliminal messaging? Maybe I missed it but all I heard was “he’s giving a speech” – somehow that became – “he’s indoctrinating our youth”?

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi all,

      This is the reason that I believe politics needs to stay out of school PERIOD.

      I have posted this video before and I find it unbelievable. This teacher is “NUTS”. She goes further in an interview afterwards, justifying her actions. She should be removed as a teacher.

      In addition, I’ve stated it before and I’ll state it again. Regligion does not belong in school either. I do not want my children to be exposed to religion by someone that I do not know or approve of his or her religious beliefs.

      My village (i.e. our family) ill take care of my children’s religious and political upbringing.

      Best Regards to most!

      RS

  23. A Government-Run Betting Monopoly Goes Broke

    By Tom Blumer

    New York State’s Off-Track Betting Corp. (OTB) is filing for bankruptcy “as a municipality” under Chapter 9 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code “after four years of losses totaling $38 million.”

    You read that right: A government-run gambling monopoly has gone broke, after losing money for years.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2009/09/02/government-run-betting-monopoly-goes-broke

    it seems that OTB probably has hired too many people, paid the people they hired too much, provided overly generous benefits, couldn’t eliminate unprofitably outlets, and perhaps fell behind on technology and investment in the future. All in all, as a government operation, it has turned what should be a fairly simple-to-run money pot and into a money pit.

    • GreaterGoodscs says:

      But illegal bookmaking marches on! I’m very familiar with it. Nothing like letting the guys run it on there own; you don’t pay, you lose the service of a finger or two (unless you need it to work). Great system. Nothing like deregulation to boost the economy. Just ask all those people who lost homes because they were given money they could never afford to pay back.

  24. Black Flag says:

    Chris

    I haven’t forgotten about you, buddy! Only can fight one front at a time though!

    Only “Fezzik” (aka USWep) is capable of dealing with 20 opponents at a time in a fight 😉

  25. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon

    It seems to me that your concept of intellectual property rights is completely contradictory. You have made arguments consistently that the fruits of one’s labor should remain with the producer of that labor. Yet you feel that this only applies to physical property and physical labor.

    I can sit around and thing all day – but I have yet figured out how that puts food on the table unless I do something physical.

    So what you are claiming here is that labor of the mind is worthless.

    Do an experiment, USWep.

    Stay in bed, laboring in your mind, for one week. Test daily to see if that puts food on the table.

    I doubt your wife will allow this experiment to go on for more than a day.

    If Chris writes a book, that book is the same as the widget that you make that you claim as your property.

    Yes, he has his book – he can burn it, eat it, use it for toilet paper, or sell it. It is, after all, his book.

    My ‘widget’ is my widget – I can use it as a hammer, a pry bar, a toilet plunger or sell it. It is, after all, my widget.

    It was his mind that created the book. His effort and labor that resulted in a thing that was marketable. Thus the proceeds from that book are the fruits of his labor.

    Sure are – no debate from me there.

    And by my effort and labor I market my book, the proceeds from that book are mine, too.

    I have to say that this is the biggest contradiction that I have seen you make on this site. How is it even possible that you hold such a firm stance on theft and property rights yet hold a completely contradictory stance when it comes to intellectual property.

    Because “knowledge” is not property.
    It fails the tests of property – it is not scare and it cannot be diminished.

    Therefore, any construct using a falsehood (ie: knowledge is property) is wrong.

    It doesn’t matter if you like the conclusion or hate it. It is a truth.

    I have not seen one rational argument from you on this subject. Your stuff with Mathius yesterday and again on here today make no sense at all.

    Thoughts, abstractions and knowledge are not property. Attempting to make them so will only confuse reality with fantasy.

    You either respect the rights of the creator of a good or product, or you do not.

    I do. Goods are something real – that can be diminished – and are scarce.
    Products are goods.
    Knowledge is cannot be diminished nor it is scarce.
    Knowledge is not a ‘goods’.

    Failing to recognize the labor of the mind simply baffles me

    Do the test, USwep.

    Labor in your mind for a month – but until you act with effor and produce something real – food will be….scarce! (I love puns!)

  26. Revolution is Coming to America!!

    The president & democratic congress no longer represents you……they represent only big government. They now have only democratic groups trying to show support for the president, not Americans who represent no political party.

    There’s a new, underground book just out that shows how Americans will fight tyranny of government (as Amerians fought tyranny of King George III). It’s about the 2nd American Revolution & it’s about your town & how local government has been replaced by federal government…Read it to see what is next for America……… (www.booksbyoliver.com)

    • The President and a Republican congress before that did not do any better job of representing me. They also only represented big government. If it is an “underground” book, I imagine that its ideals and proposed solutions would be morally “underground” as well.

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        This is where I guess we differ most. I say the gov’t represents big money … at the expense of the greater good.

        And no, BF, I’m not gonna define greater good AGAIN.

        • Black Flag says:

          You haven’t defined it in the first place so to attempt to define it “again”.

          Oh, sorry, that was reasoning – a language that you have yet to understand.

  27. $2.7 Billion for Captain Morgan?

    It looks like the company that makes Captain Morgan rum is going to open a new state-of-the-art distillery in the Virgin Islands, and the entire $165 million cost of construction will be paid for with US tax dollars. In total, $2.7 billion in tax credits and other benefits will go to British company Diageo PLC, the world’s largest liquor producer, so that they can start up operations on the Virgin Islands.

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/johnstossel/2009/09/27-billion-for-captain-morgan.html

    • LOI…..wow…I can’t believe you found this. I was reading about it several weeks ago. Follow the money and the stimulus package…it is there.

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      Like I just said … gov’t by big money, for big money … at the expense of the greater good.

      • Was that a fog you were in? No something else?

        Purple haze all in my brain
        Lately things just don’t seem the same
        Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
        ‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky

        Purple haze all around
        Don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down
        Am I happy or in misery?
        Whatever it is, that girl put a spell on me

        Help me help me
        Oh no no… no

        Yeah
        Purple haze all in my eyes
        Don’t know if it’s day or night
        You’ve got me blowin, blowin my mind
        Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?

        No, help me aw yeah! oh no no oh help me…

        Hendrix knew you well

      • GreaterGood,

        Correct me if I make any false statements.

        You support the governments efforts to take over healthcare.

        You will support their efforts to pass Cap and Trade.

        You did favor the stimulus Act.

        You say: “gov’t by big money, for big money … at the expense of the greater good.” The people you are applauding are the gov’t by big money. How much did Obama receive from Fannie/Freddie? The same people selling you on “Healthcare” are the ones paying for that distillery.

        Putz? That was some creative damn humor, sorry if you don’t get it, or can’t laugh at yourself. I answered you on where my name comes from. That should give you a clue as to how I may respond. Consider freedom of speech includes being silent. You may respond to anything I post, or ignore it.

        You might should read some of the jokes posted, it might take some of the piss and vinegar out.

        • I was trying to get GG to follow the money. It is well documented. This greater good government that is being espoused by this current administration does NOT have the greater good at heart. It is a catch phrase for votes.

        • GreaterGoodscs says:

          I support national health care, yes.

          I’m against Cap and Trade.

          Totally against both the bailouts and the stimulus package (thought it was cause for genuine revolution–not yours, mine).

          You lost me on your next point (probably because you assumed so wrong).

          piss and vinegar … a chuckle a post

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Which is ALL YOU ARE EVER GOING TO GET WITH GOVERNMENT… So why do you favor MORE of it.

        Your argument is basically, “Government is bad… more government would be better.”

        It is an interesting argument… very interesting.

    • Drinking Captain Morgan can be very stimulating, so I’m thinking this falls within the guidelines!

  28. Black Flag says:

    Chris Devine

    I suppose one instance where I think a business acted both immorally and irrationally is when GM closed its plants in Flint, Michigan to move them to Mexico. They laid off 30,000 people who had devoted their lives to GM

    And GM paid them well for their “devotion” – called a “salary”.

    and didn’t even make a long term profit on the deal.

    Which is why they moved to Mexico.

    Flint was devastated for a short term gain for GM shareholders.

    The citizens of Flint should review – if the cost of labor exceeds the value of the work, the business will close.

    Perhaps, next time the people of Flint will learn economics via an ‘easier way’ then the lesson taught to them this time.

    Foreign currency speculators

    Such speculation is due to the fiat money system of government.

    The uncertainty for a producer to be paid for his product with enough currency to be able for him to purchase his supplies of goods and labor to continue operation created such speculations markets.

    Get government out of manipulating money, and ‘currency’ speculators would not exist.

    that caused the Asian economic collapse in the late 90’s are pretty high on my list of immoral businessmen.

    …but not government, of course, who are the cause of inflationary practices of which destroys the value of money….

    …the only evil for Chris are those that attempt to shore up the ability for international trade to occur are evil….

    Any US company that primarily relies upon third world sweatshops for labor just so we can have cheap plastic crap to buy is immoral.

    Indeed, paying people to work – instead of letting the rot in the street is so immoral.

    However, anybody who buys such products with full knowledge that they are produced immorally also shares some of the blame.

    Anybody, who by physical action, prevents a man from earning his living is evil.

    People talk a lot about how the market will automatically adjust to any external pressures. If that’s the case then what is the problem with setting a minimum standard of fair play for all participants?

    The problem is such ‘standard’ is wholly arbitrary. No such ‘standard’ exists objectively. Thus, it is merely a man forcing another man to live by the former’s mere arbitrary wish.

    Once you believe you need to regulate (which is what you require) you impose upon the action of the free market. The consequence will always be a reduction of economic activity and a reduction of prosperity for all people

    • Chris Devine says:

      You misunderstood. They didn’t turn a net profit AFTER moving to Mexico. If they had stayed in Flint they would have had the same overall returns without putting 30,000 people on the street with no way of paying their bills.

      Everything with you is an all or nothing proposition. Why is it they could either “rot in the street” or work for substandard wages? Why couldn’t they work a reasonable shift and earn enough to survive? Should they be thankful they now work 12 hour days/six days a week for little more than starvation wages?

      I don’t think you understand the word ‘arbitrary.’ Either that or you’re equivocating. According to the Oxford English Dictionary ‘arbitrary’ means “dependent on the decision of a legally recognized authority” or “based on mere opinion or preference as opp. to the real nature of things.” From what I can tell you use it to mean the latter even if someone like myself is referring to the former definition. But then again you’d rather there not be any legal apparatus to resolve disputes. If that’s the case then how do you expect abuses to be curbed?

      If anyone is being inconsistent and irrational it is you. You claim that in a free market the invisible hand will protect us. Yet you freely admit that withholding information is permissible. If you can lie to people without fear of retribution then what is going to stop abuses? Why can’t you admit that some form of regulatory apparatus is necessary even if perfect justice is an unachievable goal? It seems that you would rather abuses occur than for authority to make attempts to rectify them. That doesn’t seem much different than our justice system which theoretically aims to let ten guilty men go free before convicting an innocent man. All human interactions are inherently flawed. Putting all your faith in some invisible hand that magically solves all problems without violence or evil is just hocus-pocus. Just because complete objectivity is an unattainable goal doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to get as close as we can or try to fix things given our limited resources.

      You consistently refer to the inevitability of this or that and how the free market can fix things. What evidence can you provide to those ends if a free market has never existed? Man, you’re nothing but a prophet of profits.

      • Chris, let me try something.

        “You claim that in a free market the invisible hand will protect us.” None of us that support the concept of free markets has ever claimed it will “protect” anyone. The “free market” is a reflection of the actions of a free people, trading with each other on their own terms. Because of the large number of people participating in the market good and bad decisions seem to generally balance out. View it as a wave with small amplitude and large frequency. Ups and downs but nothing drastic.

        Now interject powerful govt. Especially, a govt sanctioned Central Bank or a treasury that prints money to cover debt for which it has no funds. You now get distortions in the waves. Greater amplitude and reducing frequency. Add tones of regulations upon the market to achieve “political” goals and you get further distortions.

        The interjection of an outside entity, Govt, distorts the normal ups/downs, plus/minus, right/wrong of the larger market place. Because the govt doesn’t deal in the “free market” as a “free entity”. It uses coersive force to achieve its goals. It can do nothing but disrupt the market, and thus disrupt the decisions being made by a free people based upon their own free will. It in fact eliminates the freedom that is required to make a free market.

        So any reference to the flaws of a supposed “free market” that is in fact influence or controlled by govt is false. It is not a free market and therefor its problems can not be assigned to something that it is not.

        “Yet you freely admit that withholding information is permissible. If you can lie to people without fear of retribution then what is going to stop abuses?” No one, including BF has said there should be no retribution. You are confusing action by free people with action of government.

        “Why can’t you admit that some form of regulatory apparatus is necessary even if perfect justice is an unachievable goal?” A regulatory apparatus does not require government. A boycott is a regulatory apparatus exercised by free will. I always argue against your support of regulation because I know you mean govt. But consider there are other options. And the more we can find the less onerous and “necessary ill” govt becomes.

        I was going to break the following down but have left intack.

        “All human interactions are inherently flawed. Putting all your faith in some invisible hand that magically solves all problems without violence or evil is just hocus-pocus. Just because complete objectivity is an unattainable goal doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to get as close as we can or try to fix things given our limited resources.”

        Do you see the contradictions in your argument if its purpose is to support the need for government?

        • Chris Devine says:

          Wealth begets wealth. Wealth is power. Accordingly, wealth and power become more concentrated into fewer hands as time goes on. This does not require government. Even though government has been complicit in the past and present, the fact is it is neither necessary nor sufficient for the concentration of wealth and power. If governments were eliminated today how would you prevent the large entities that already exist from using their inordinate influence at the expense of the rest of us?

          Union busting is every bit a political goal and without fair labor laws individual workers would have no influence or real choice (ergo, no freedom). It seems that you want to eliminate any form of collective bargaining in favor of individual choices. What you propose is a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy.

          You guys are fixated on the rosy picture of people making choices of their own free will without any coercion. However, the limitation of choice is itself a form of coercion. Businesses used Pinkerton guards and other mercenaries when they thought the rabble were getting out of line with their choices. Once again, even if government has been involved in violent actions against peaceful people it doesn’t mean such actions would disappear with government. How do you propose to prevent such violence? Warring bands of mercenaries?

          Where is the retribution if abuses remain hidden? Without a regulatory apparatus how are consumers ever going to find out they’re being conned. Do you think business owners are going to invite Ralph Nader or the Consumers’ Union to come and inspect their operations? Who will protect whistle-blowers?

          There are no contradictions in my argument. I freely admit that government (like any human institution) is inherently flawed. My overarching point is that we must constantly strive to improve our institutions. We must never rest on our laurels hoping that things will all balance out if we just set things up right in the first place. Call it the entropy of human relationships. That is my philosophy.

      • Black Flag says:

        You misunderstood. They didn’t turn a net profit AFTER moving to Mexico. If they had stayed in Flint they would have had the same overall returns without putting 30,000 people on the street with no way of paying their bills.

        It was a business decision and the business gained or suffered – because it was their decision.

        Obviously, the costs at Flint were such that Mexico was attractive.

        I am sympathetic to Flint – because they were doomed.

        Even if the people of Flint knew they were too expensive – by the force and violence of government and being forced into a Union- had no independent means of negotiation.

        Everything with you is an all or nothing proposition.

        Between freedom and slavery – there exists no middle ground.

        Why is it they could either “rot in the street” or work for substandard wages? Why couldn’t they work a reasonable shift and earn enough to survive?

        Because the company would not be able to earn a profit to substantiate their costs and risk – thus, probably would not attempt it.

        Should they be thankful they now work 12 hour days/six days a week for little more than starvation wages?

        Better than starving to death.

        I don’t think you understand the word ‘arbitrary.’ Either that or you’re equivocating. According to the Oxford English Dictionary ‘arbitrary’ means “dependent on the decision of a legally recognized authority” or “based on mere opinion or preference as opp. to the real nature of things.” From what I can tell you use it to mean the latter even if someone like myself is referring to the former definition.

        Until you clarify, how am I to know?

        However – what right does such authority make choices for me?

        Just because it self-justifies such right makes it arbitrary (latter definition).

        But then again you’d rather there not be any legal apparatus to resolve disputes. If that’s the case then how do you expect abuses to be curbed?

        I advocate many dispute resolution strategies – none of which requires government.

        JAC’s reply is brilliant – I will not stir this pot any more – awaiting your responses to him and mine as such.

  29. Your new green czar, and what he thinks of republicans.

    Van Jones, the Obama administration’s “green jobs” adviser, told a group of listeners earlier in the year that the reason Republicans are stonewalling the president is because they’re “assholes.”

    Jones’ remarks were recorded in a video from February that was posted to YouTube.

    He made the remark during an energy lecture in Berkeley, Calif., after a woman in the audience asked him why President Obama and congressional Democrats were having trouble moving legislation — even though Republicans, with a smaller majority, didn’t have as much trouble earlier in the Bush administration.

    “Well, the answer to that is, they’re assholes,” Jones said, to uproarious laughter. “That’s a technical, political science term.”

    The questioner responded, “I was afraid that that was the answer.”

    But Jones said that, even though Obama is “not an asshole,” others have to step up the fight.

    “Now, I will say this. I can be an asshole, and some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity,” he said.

  30. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi,

    I’ve seen this funny before…If it has been posted here previously, then my apologies…:

    A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in California when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him.
    The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the cowboy, “If I can tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?”
    Bud looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, ‘Sure, why not?’
    The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location, which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.
    The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.
    Within seconds, he receives an e-mail on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL database through an ODBC-connected Excel spreadsheet with e-mail on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.
    Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the cowboy and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”
    “That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,” says Bud.
    He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.
    Then Bud says to the young man: “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?” The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”

    “You’re a congressman for the U.S. government,” says Bud.
    “Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie. “But how did you guess that?”
    “No guessing required,” the cowboy said. “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew to a question I never asked. You tried to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about cows … this is a herd of sheep.
    Now give me back my dog.

    • Hey RS

      Good one, and no, I haven’t heard that one.

    • bottom line says:

      very funny

    • Spitfire, I think I still owe you one.

      #10. You can trade an old 44 for a new 22.

      #9. You can keep one gun at home and have another for when you’re on the road.

      #8. If you admire a friend’s gun and tell him so, he will probably let you try it out a few times.

      #7. Your primary gun doesn’t mind if you keep another gun for a backup.

      #6. Your gun will stay with you even if you run out of ammo.

      #5. A gun doesn’t take up a lot of closet space.

      #4. Guns function normally every day of the month.

      #3. A gun doesn’t ask , “Do these new grips make me look fat?

      #2. A gun doesn’t mind if you go to sleep after you use it.

      And the number one reason a gun is favored over a woman….

      #1. YOU CAN BUY A SILENCER FOR A GUN.

    • RS,

      Ma’am, if it’s not too forward, I would like to give you a big hug for that there joke. It was quite excellent.

      And LOI, very nice too. I’ve seen a similar one about beer.. will have to see if I can dig it up for you tomorrow.

      And now, for real this time, goodnight to all!

    • OH man,,,,,,you got me on that one…..how funny. May I copy this?

    • Ah, Richmond, c’est excellent. My 13-year-old loved it too.

  31. What I recall about American history, our founding fathers, after a had day deliberating what our government should be, would retire to the pub, hoist a few pints, and see if further wisdom was forthcoming.

    A History of Beer – Part 1

    http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4061

    Three parts total.

  32. Mike M. Houston Texas says:

    Not to hijack the thread but. Those that are for socialism please let me know. I have an address in which I would like the checks sent. I am glad you all worked hard for your money and are so willing to share it. I believe GG and Ray are willing to send some my way. BF and USW and others, I suspect will not ask for the address.

    This is an unoffical poll to see just who is for it and who is not.

    Please bear in mind that I am “unable” to work more than 60hrs per week therefore I should be considered disadvantaged and should get some socialist monies.

    What is your minset when reading this? Is it “I am not sending that guy a @$@#@%”? Or is it let me get my checkbook out? I suspect that no one will fall into the last bucket, hence you must be against socialism. Are you willing to give your money to someone you dont know?

    • Black Flag says:

      Nice throw with the grenade, Mike.

      I, too, am watching who running after it while calling “Mine! Mine!”…. 🙂

    • Sorry my friend, but your so on your own. Get a second job to pay for the gas in your Caddy, or for that matter sell your spinners!

      G!

    • Mike, fellow Texan, 60 hrs? Is that all…you slacker. I will give you no money until you prove your worth. No, wait. I suppose you demand health care and vacations and holidays and personal days and sick days and whatever else days at your employers expense because you are entitled? Wait…are you self employed? Then you are deserving because you are taxed to death. Wait…if you deal internationally and use sweat shop labor, then you are greedy and need to money….wait…if you desire freedom of choice, then you are against the greater good and, therefore a pariah and undeserving….wait…will you voluntarily give to charity of the proceeds sent to you? Then you are deserving….wait…if you choose to not give to charity, then I will have to take it from you…so you are still deserving so I can take it….ahhhh…what the hell…..Let’s go have a beer…..wait….a Marguerita….oh…don’t wait…my check is not coming.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Greetings Mike – no you will not be getting a check from me – but you already knew that didn’t you? You also know – if you’ve bothered to follow my retzev over time – that I do not advocate full and complete Socialism any more than I am a complete disciple of Keynes – you pick off the pieces that work and you use them and you tweak them when they do not work well. If you want to grapple on something specific – let me know what – we’ll throw some gloves on and go a few rounds.

      • And therein lies the problem Ray.

        You can’t be half pregnant and you can’t be just a little bit socialist or only partly Keynesian.

        The philosophy that supports these eventually lead to the FULL DEAL.

        It has all through history.

        We must break the cycle of govt abuse and to do this we must adopt a new paradigm.

        Ya can’t keep fishin in the turd pond and hope yall come up with rainbow trout. Aint gonna happen.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Nice try JAC – but my philosophy is completed supported in how I approach things – I rarely see a problem in black and white only and know there are multiple paths/solutions to get to the same result. I don’t swing the way of ascribing to a philosophy that because I pick off ‘what works’ from different solutions and reapply – always willing to re-tool, re-examine, and try something new/different that works that I am then somehow devoid of core beliefs. Now I understand why moderates are so detested.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Ray,

            There are ALWAYS multiple ways to approach and solve problems, this is correct.

            There are even usually multiple MORAL ways to approach and solve problems.

            The reason many people detest moderates is that they refuse to reject immoral approaches and solutions.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Peter – I reject it when I can reject it (rarely would I not reject it) – I know I cannot die on every hill but I will not forget any hill I had to bypass.

  33. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi Mike M.

    Please do give me your address…Hope you don’t mind if I TP it? lol

    Best Regards,
    RS

  34. I am not sending that guy a @$@#@%”?

    Hey Mike H. of Houston, Texas, there’s my answer for you. Do I pass?

  35. I would like to touch on the Revolution subject alittle. I will agree with D13, that Marshal law is a very bad thing. With that said, I haven’t read anywhere that said that this will be started by conservatives. Most are not of that nature (I do say most not all), I myself would not commit suicide by going there. Last thing I want to do is fight my own miltary brothers and sisters.

    Now let me present something off the wall alittle. Obama’s campaign was premised on “Hope and Change”. Many of our minority citizens climbed off their park bench and out of their public housing and voted for “Hope and Change”. First act, the stimulus bill, promising this and that, delivering nothing many months later. Next up, ObamaCare, and the ongoing fight over that issue. Those that opposed have been labelled racist, un-American and many other terms, but the most used is racist (is this not stirring the pot alittle). ObamaCare fails due to the racist opposers, further fueling the fire. Civil unrest begins, but not by the opposers, but by the supporters who want to continue to leach on the government teat. Innercities become war zones and Marshal Law is declared.

    Disclaimer: This rather insane theory was first presented to me by a member of the local DNC, who whispered that the Dems goal was to get rid of poor minorities. I asked for more details, he said you’ll see. With that said, I do not believe this idea to be a forecast of the future, but rather a crazy left wing switch and bait theory.

    Peace!

    G!

    • G!,

      I have stated that if unrest occurs, I do not fear the military, that has sworn an oath to the Constitution. Obama’s civilian force, that is to be as powerful and well financed as the military….

      I hope they wear different uniforms.

  36. Chuck Norris sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and
    unparalleled martial arts ability. Shortly after the transaction was
    finalized, Chuck roundhouse-kicked the devil in the face and took his soul
    back. The devil, who appreciates irony, couldn’t stay mad and admitted he
    should have seen it coming. They now play poker every second Wednesday of
    the month.

  37. Black Flag says:

    Darn – wasn’t watching what forum I was in…. this may be a repeat, Chris….

    Chris Devine

    The contradictions only arise when you make people argue on your terms. I never said the elenchus requires bait and switch:
    “it’s results are entirely dependent upon the lack of equivocation (i.e., bait and switch)”
    If you equivocate, then as valid as your method may be your conclusions will never be sound. You define ‘freedom’ and ‘evil’ in such a way as to make arguing against them impossible. Even if you negate the frame you still activate it.

    So, defining my terms – to you – is a fallacy!?!

    It would be so, if I denied others their definition. However, I do not – in fact, I appeal for them.

    I too have offered my thoughts on freedom, violence and evil. Just because you don’t accept them doesn’t mean I refused to offer them.

    You have not defined freedom – you describe it, as if it an arbitrary opinion.

    To say that a solitary castaway is free is meaningless.

    It has meaning, Chris – it means no one is imposing upon him.

    Because your definition is incomplete does not make my definition meaningless or incomplete.

    You rail on about choice but never admit that choice can be limited by the decisions of others.

    You are badly mistaken, again. Of course I have stated that – often.

    If you chose to impose upon me, you most certainly have limited me.

    It’s not always a matter of who works harder or who is more shrewd.

    It is not, I agree.

    Just like in poker, often the better player will lose the hand.

    Often it is about who started with more.

    Often it is.

    Just like in poker, those that start with a large stack can play ‘badly’ longer than one with a smaller stack.

    You can babble on about how it’s not your fault that some people are born poor

    It is not babble if it is true. It is not my fault.

    Is your birth my fault, Chris??

    or that if they really tried hard enough anybody can be as rich as Bill Gates or Sam Walton.

    I have made no such ‘babble’ – though you often make this claim about me.

    Do you not read my posts and simply ‘make things’ up about me as you go?

    You can also blame the ill effects of commerce on the government that tries to regulate it.

    Yes, for government action (use of violence on non-violent people) in a free market place (voluntary exchange) will always pervert and degrade the marketplace.

    Free men, in voluntary exchange, will always try to avoid, divert, withdraw, hide, etc. from those that wish to do violence upon them.

    But how you honestly believe that without government everything would balance out is beyond me.

    My ‘goal’ is not to achieve balance – I am not God in the Universe so to determine ‘what balance’ is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

    I let the Universe determine that.

    My goal is freedom.

    Let free men by their action find their own balance.

    It seems pretty obvious that if all regulatory power were left to the market itself then certain entities would accumulate wealth to a point where they get to dictate everything on their terms.

    They cannot legitimately coerce anyone to purchase or trade for their goods.

    No entity, no matter how it is formed, can be more powerful that the Free People – who command their own dollars and their own will and how they will spend them or exercise it.

    How is that freedom and how would the market stop it (realistically not hypothetically).

    How would freedom and a free market stop freedom?

    ..Sorry, it is impossible to answer that question…

    To me violence is forcing someone to sacrifice something you wouldn’t or will never have to in order to feed his family.

    I agree, forcing someone makes it violent. I do not agree with anyone forcing a sacrifice upon someone else.

    A man making his own voluntary choice between wants and needs is a man who is free to make such choice.

    To people like you the only reason people are poor is because they’re lazy.

    You do me serious disfavor in representing claims that I have never made.

    If you persist in lying about me, we may have to end our dialogue.

    If I point out that some succeed despite their efforts just as others fail, you reply that Jesus said the poor will always be here.

    I have pointed out – if you cared to read at all – my analogy of life and poker, where I have amply explained my position.

    And yes, no matter the grinding of your teeth and no matter how much violence you can justify, there still will be poor people and suffering.

    Don’t forget that Jesus also said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven.

    He did not say it was impossible, nor did he suggest that, therefore, it is a right to steal from rich men.

    You accuse me of using rhetorical devices because I argue with passion.

    I enjoy your passion – it does make you a great writer.

    I accuse you of the same because you argue dispassionately.

    I admit that I am inferior at passionate writing then you – which is probably why you can earn a living writing and I am “forced” to solve technology problems.

    You say that the only way to be free is by accepting the inevitability of suffering and letting people be free to make the choices they are given.

    Suffering is inevitable –the Universe makes it so,so we must accept it.

    To be free – by definition – is to be able to make free choices. Note, they sort of go ‘hand in hand’.

    What about the freedom to determine what actually counts as a choice?

    No matter how hard I try, I will never score more goals in hockey the Gretzky.

    Therefore, you claim I am not a free man?

    You accuse me of insults and ad hominem attacks.

    I do so, with strong evidence – true?

    How is attacking a faceless name ad hominem? For all I know you are a department at the Cato Institute trying to disseminate free-market propaganda.

    Maybe I am – but so what?

    The message is the same whether I am Cato or BF –

    The goal is freedom.

    • Chris,

      “What about the freedom to determine what actually counts as a choice?” That is an incredibly scary sentence. You are actually speaking of being free to give away your freedom or a portion there of or being free to take that choice away from others. I can see why you don’t get BF at all. No choice pertinent to him is beyond his making for himself, without exception.

      • Powerful observation, Alan – I missed that completely.

        Damn scary…

      • Chris Devine says:

        You misinterpreted what I said. What I mean is that when one party has a great deal more leverage than the other it can dictate the terms. How is it a real choice if one side has no say whatsoever. All he can say is yes or no. While that may seem like freedom on the surface (he can always say no, right?), if he is desperate then the odds of him turning down an unfair agreement are slim.

        Read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle to get an idea of what worker relations was like before the Wagner Act. Without sensible regulations to protect workers and consumers, we will go back to such times. All I am in favor of is setting reasonable minimums. What do I consider reasonable? Wages that allow a man to feed, clothe and shelter his family in the same area where he works is what I consider reasonable. As long as this standard is universally accepted everywhere, then there should be no trouble with employers shopping around to find the most desperate individuals to exploit.

  38. Black Flag says:

    Chris Devine

    :He may have “dragged the economy to hell” according to your standards, but he made sure a hell of a lot of people had enough cash in their pockets to feed, clothe, and house their families.

    The facts appear to contradict you – the numbers barely changed – hence, the numbers you claim could not be so.

    Just curious, why is it you never here of many economists who grew up poor?

    Depends on who you listen to.

    Mises grew up poor, lived lower-middle class (I believe he never could afford to buy a house) and died the same. He was an Economist, not a business man.

  39. Black Flag says:

    Man, Chris….

    There are only a handful of posters that can keep me exhausted in reply – you, JAC, Peter and USWep are at the top…

    Get a beer for Gawds Sake!

  40. o Survive and Thrive Obama’s Gotta Kick the Left to the Curb

    If he doesn’t boot his base soon and concentrate on winning back trust with key voting blocks like independents, he can expect a continued free fall in his approval ratings.

    In August, 2007 Senator Barack Obama said in an interview that he had the capacity to unify the country and move it out of what he called “ideological gridlock.”

    “I think it is fair to say that I believe I can bring the country together more effectively than she can,” Obama said (referring to Hillary Clinton).

    Fast forward to 2009. We’ve seen nothing like that rosy picture that was painted by the then presidential hopeful. In that, it’s all been evidence to the contrary. Since taking office, it seems Obama has been more focused on advancing his leftist ideology than bi-partisan brokering. And what does that do? It further divides — not unites — the electorate.

    The president has spent his summer straddling the fence on a public option for his health care overhaul, he’s vacillated over whether or not we’re in a War on Terror, remains vague about where he stands on prosecuting the CIA and hasn’t articulated a clear position on Afghanistan.

    President Obama knows that by spelling out where he stands on each one of these topics, he’ll light up the left — something he seems to want desperately to avoid. But he can’t do it much longer. This consistent inconsistency has rendered him incompetent when it comes to convincing the country to have confidence in him and he has polarized the nation by triggering unprecedented levels of anger by his actions. The fury is most present in the voting block Obama needs the most: independents.

    The numbers aren’t pretty. According to Rasmussen Reports, when it comes to health care among those not affiliated with either major party, 55 percent oppose the legislation. That includes 47 percent of independents who strongly oppose it.

    Fifty-four percent of voters not affiliated with either party are opposed to the investigation of the CIA. And, most damaging for the White House are the president’s overall approval ratings with independents: a lackluster 38 percent.

    Then, there’s the number one issue that matters most to independents: the ballooning deficit. Obama has completely lost control of his fiscal message, further polarizing the nation.

    The deeper the divide grows, the harder it will be for him to accomplish anything on his agenda.

    Threatened with the growing consensus that Obama just isn’t capable of leading the Democratic Party in a direction that will allow them to remain in power, the president might be getting the message. According to a recent report by Politico:

    “Obama is considering detailing his health-care demands in a major speech as soon as next week, when Congress returns from the August recess. And although House leaders have said their members will demand the inclusion of a public insurance option, Obama has no plans to insist on it himself, the officials said.”

    (Cue record-scratching sound).

    After the political equivalent of “Who’s on First,” is Obama finally adopting the age-old presidential adage: you can screw your base and they won’t budge? (Where else are they going to go?) Or is this more of a grey area, triangulating at its best, that will put him at odds with Pelosi and many congressional Democrats?

    Like Clinton, his new strategy might entail curbing the kowtowing to the left with a move to the middle. The question is: will it be too late? Unlike Clinton, Obama doesn’t have an economy on the rise, or the foil of a Republican-led Congress. — His numbers are also lower than Clinton’s were at this time in his tenure, making it more difficult to rebound.

    If he doesn’t boot his base soon and concentrate on winning back trust with key voting blocks like independents, he can expect a continued free fall in his approval ratings. And like Clinton, he’ll soon get a Republican Congress. That’s the thing about the restart button. If you don’t hit it, the American people will do it for you.

  41. Another interesting article from Stratfor….

    Here is a great example of failing to understand Game theory …

    AQAP: Paradigm Shifts and Lessons Learned

    By Scott Stewart | September 2, 2009

    On the evening of Aug. 28, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi Deputy Interior Minister — and the man in charge of the kingdom’s counterterrorism efforts — was receiving members of the public in connection with the celebration of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. As part of the Ramadan celebration, it is customary for members of the Saudi royal family to hold public gatherings where citizens can seek to settle disputes or offer Ramadan greetings.

    One of the highlights of the Friday gathering was supposed to be the prince’s meeting with Abdullah Hassan Taleh al-Asiri, a Saudi man who was a wanted militant from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Al-Asiri had allegedly renounced terrorism and had requested to meet the prince in order to repent and then be accepted into the kingdom’s amnesty program. Such surrenders are not unprecedented — and they serve as great press events for the kingdom’s ideological battle against jihadists. Prince Mohammed, who is responsible for the Saudi rehabilitation program for militants, is a key figure in that ideological battle.

    In February, a man who appeared with al-Asiri on Saudi Arabia’s list of most-wanted militants — former Guantanamo Bay inmate Mohammed al-Awfi — surrendered in Yemen and was transported to Saudi Arabia where he renounced terrorism and entered into the kingdom’s amnesty program. Al-Awfi, who had appeared in a January 2009 video issued by the newly created AQAP after the merger of the Saudi and Yemeni nodes of the global jihadist network, was a senior AQAP leader, and his renouncement was a major blow against AQAP.

    But the al-Asiri case ended very differently from the al-Awfi case. Unlike al-Awfi, al-Asiri was not a genuine repentant — he was a human Trojan horse. After al-Asiri entered a small room to speak with Prince Mohammed, he activated a small improvised explosive device (IED) he had been carrying inside his anal cavity. The resulting explosion ripped al-Asiri to shreds but only lightly injured the shocked prince — the target of al-Asiri’s unsuccessful assassination attempt.

    While the assassination proved unsuccessful, AQAP had been able to shift the operational paradigm in a manner that allowed them to achieve tactical surprise. The surprise was complete and the Saudis did not see the attack coming — the operation could have succeeded had it been better executed.

    The kind of paradigm shift evident in this attack has far-reaching implications from a protective-intelligence standpoint, and security services will have to adapt in order to counter the new tactics employed. The attack also allows some important conclusions to be drawn about AQAP’s ability to operate inside Saudi Arabia.

    Paradigm Shifts

    Militants conducting terrorist attacks and the security services attempting to guard against such attacks have long engaged in a tactical game of cat and mouse. As militants adopt new tactics, security measures are then implemented to counter those tactics. The security changes then cause the militants to change in response and the cycle begins again. These changes can include using different weapons, employing weapons in a new way or changing the type of targets selected.

    Sometimes, militants will implement a new tactic or series of tactics that is so revolutionary that it completely changes the framework of assumptions — or the paradigm — under which the security forces operate. Historically, al Qaeda and its jihadist progeny have proved to be very good at understanding the security paradigm and then developing tactics intended to exploit vulnerabilities in that paradigm in order to launch surprise attacks. For example:

    Prior to the 9/11 attacks, it was inconceivable that a large passenger aircraft would be used as a manually operated cruise missile. Hence, security screeners allowed box cutters to be carried onto aircraft, which were then used by the hijackers to take over the planes.

    The use of faux journalists to assassinate Ahmed Shah Masood with suicide IEDs hidden in their camera gear was also quite inventive.

    Had Richard Reid been able to light the fuse on his shoe bomb, we might still be wondering what happened to American Airlines Flight 63.

    The boat bomb employed against the USS Cole in October 2000 was another example of a paradigm shift that resulted in tactical surprise.

    Once the element of tactical surprise is lost, however, the new tactics can be countered.

    When the crew and passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 learned what had happened to the other flights hijacked and flown to New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001, they stormed the cockpit and stopped the hijackers from using their aircraft in an attack. Aircraft cockpit doors have also been hardened and other procedural measures have been put in place to make 9/11-style suicide hijackings harder to pull off.

    Following the Masood assassination, journalists have been given very close scrutiny before being allowed into the proximity of a VIP.

    The traveling public has felt the impact of the Reid shoe-bombing attempt by being forced to remove their shoes every time they pass through airport security. And the thwarted 2006 Heathrow plot has resulted in limits on the size of liquid containers travelers can take aboard aircraft.

    The U.S. Navy is now very careful to guard against small craft pulling up alongside its warships.

    Let’s now take a look at the paradigm shift marked by the Prince Mohammed assassination attempt.

    AQAP’s Tactical Innovations

    First, using a repentant militant was a brilliant move, especially when combined with the timing of Ramadan. For Muslims, Ramadan is a time for introspection, sacrifice, reconciliation and repentance — it is a time to exercise self-restraint and practice good deeds. Additionally, as previously mentioned, Ramadan is a time when the Saudi royal family customarily makes itself more accessible to the people than at other times of the year. By using a repentant militant who appears on Saudi Arabia’s list of most-wanted militants, AQAP was playing to the ego of the Saudis, who very much want to crush AQAP, and who also want to use AQAP members who have renounced terrorism and the group as part of their ideological campaign against jihadists. The surrender of an AQAP member offered the Saudi government a prize and a useful tool — it was an attractive offer and, as anticipated, Prince Mohammed took the bait. (Another side benefit of this tactic from the perspective of AQAP is that it will make the Saudis far more careful when they are dealing with surrendered militants in the future.)

    The second tactical innovation in this case was the direct targeting of a senior member of the Saudi royal family and the member of the family specifically charged with leading the campaign against AQAP. In the past, jihadist militants in Saudi Arabia have targeted foreign interests and energy infrastructure in the kingdom. While jihadists have long derided and threatened the Saudi royal family in public statements, including AQAP statements released this year, they had not, prior to the Prince Mohammed assassination attempt, ever tried to follow through on any of their threats. Nor has the group staged any successful attack inside the kingdom since the February 2007 attack that killed four French citizens, and it has not attempted a major attack in Saudi Arabia since the failed February 2006 attack against a major oil-processing facility in the city of Abqaiq. Certainly the group had never before attempted a specifically targeted assassination against any member of the very large Saudi royal family — much less a senior member. Therefore the attack against Prince Mohammed came as a complete surprise. There are many less senior members of the royal family who would have been far more vulnerable to attack, but they would not have carried the rank or symbolism that Mohammed does.

    But aside from his rank, Mohammed was the logical target to select for this operation because of his office and how he conducts his duties. Mohammed has long served as the primary contact between jihadists and the Saudi government, and he is the person Saudi militants go to in order to surrender. He has literally met with hundreds of repentant jihadists in person and had experienced no known security issues prior to the Aug. 28 incident. This explains why Mohammed personally spoke on the phone with al-Asiri prior to the surrender and why he did not express much concern over meeting with someone who appeared on his government’s list of most-wanted militants. He met with such men regularly.

    Since it is well known that Mohammed has made it his personal mission to handle surrendering militants, AQAP didn’t have to do much intelligence work to realize that Mohammed was vulnerable to an attack or to arrange for a booby-trapped al-Asiri to meet with Mohammed. They merely had to adapt their tactics in order to exploit vulnerabilities in the security paradigm.

    The third tactical shift is perhaps the most interesting, and that is the use of an IED hidden in the anal cavity of the bomber. Suicide bombers have long been creative when it comes to hiding their devices. In addition to the above-mentioned IED in the camera gear used in the Masood assassination, female suicide bombers with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have hidden IEDs inside brassieres, and female suicide bombers with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party have worn IEDs designed to make them look pregnant. However, this is the first instance we are aware of where a suicide bomber has hidden an IED inside a body cavity.

    It is fairly common practice around the world for people to smuggle contraband such as drugs inside their body cavities. This is done not only to get items across international borders but also to get contraband into prisons. It is not unusual for people to smuggle narcotics and even cell phones into prisons inside their body cavities (the prison slang for this practice is “keistering”). It is also not at all uncommon for inmates to keister weapons such as knives or improvised stabbing devices known as “shanks.” Such keistered items can be very difficult to detect using standard search methods, especially if they do not contain much metal.

    In the case of al-Asiri, he turned himself in to authorities on the afternoon of Aug. 27 and did not meet with Mohammed until the evening of Aug. 28. By the time al-Asiri detonated his explosive device, he had been in custody for some 30 hours and had been subjected to several security searches, though it is unlikely that any of them included a body cavity search. While it is possible that there was some type of internal collusion, it is more likely that the device had been hidden inside of al-Asiri the entire time.

    AQAP’s claim of responsibility for the attack included the following statement:
    “…Abdullah Hassan Taleh al-Asiri, who was on the list of 85 wanted persons, was able, with the help of God, to enter Nayef’s palace as he was among his guards and detonate an explosive device. No one will be able to know the type of this device or the way it was detonated. Al-Asiri managed to pass all the security checkpoints in Najran and Jeddah airports and was transported on board Mohammed bin Nayef’s private plane.”

    AQAP also threatened additional surprise attacks in the “near future,” but now that the type of device al-Asiri used is known, security measures can — and almost certainly will — be implemented to prevent similar attacks in the future.

    While keistering an IED is a novel tactic, it does present operational planners with some limitations. For one thing, the amount of explosive material that can be hidden inside a person is far less than the amount that can be placed inside a backpack or is typically used in a suicide belt or vest. For another, the body of the bomber will tend to absorb much of the blast wave and most of any fragmentation from the device. This means that the bomber would have to get in very close proximity to an intended target in order to kill him or her. Such a device would not be very useful for a mass-casualty attack like the July 17 Jakarta hotel bombings and instead would be more useful in assassination attempts against targeted individuals.

    We have not been able to determine exactly how the device was triggered, but it likely employed a command-detonated remote device of some kind. Having wires protruding from the bomber’s body would be a sure giveaway. The use of a wireless remote means that the device would be susceptible to radio frequency countermeasures.

    One other concern about such a device is that it would likely have a catastrophic result if employed on an aircraft, especially if it were removed from the bomber’s body and placed in a strategic location on board the aircraft. Richard Reid’s shoe IED only contained about four ounces of explosives, an amount that could conceivably be smuggled inside a human.
    What the Attack Says About AQAP

    While the Aug. 28 attack highlighted AQAP’s operational creativity, it also demonstrated that the group failed to effectively execute the attack after gaining the element of surprise. Quite simply, the bomber detonated his device too far away from the intended target. It is quite likely that the group failed to do adequate testing with the device and did not know what its effective kill radius was. AQAP will almost certainly attempt to remedy that error before it tries to employ such a device again.

    In the larger picture, this attempt shows that AQAP does not have the resources inside the kingdom to plan and execute an attack on a figure like Prince Mohammed. That it would try a nuanced and highly targeted strike against Mohammed rather than a more brazen armed assault or vehicle-borne IED attack demonstrates that the group is very weak inside Saudi Arabia. It even needed to rely on operatives and planners who were in Yemen to execute the attack.

    When the formation of AQAP was announced in January, STRATFOR noted that it would be important to watch for indications of whether the merger of the Saudi and Yemeni groups was a sign of desperation by a declining group or an indication that it had new blood and was on the rise. AQAP’s assassination attempt on Prince Mohammed has clearly demonstrated that the group is weak and in decline.

    AQAP has not given up the struggle, but the group will be hard-pressed to weather the storm that is about to befall it as the Saudis retaliate for the plot. It will be very surprising if it is able to carry through with its threat to attack other members of the Saudi royal family in the near future. Indeed, the very fact that AQAP has threatened more attacks on the royal family likely indicates that the threats are empty; if the group truly did have other plots in the works, it would not want to risk jeopardizing those plots by prompting the Saudis to increase security in response to a threat.

    Lacking the strength to conduct large, aggressive attacks, the weakened AQAP will need to continue innovating in order to pose a threat to the Saudi monarchy. But, as seen in the Aug. 28 case, tactical innovation requires more than just a novel idea — militants must also carefully develop and test new concepts before they can use them to effectively conduct a terrorist attack.

  42. BP unveils ‘giant’ oil discovery in Gulf of Mexico

    Peak oil takes another ‘hit’ – and Bush’s war for oil looks more and more futile.

    http://ca.news.finance.yahoo.com/s/02092009/24/f-afp-bp-unveils-giant-oil-discovery-gulf-mexico.html

    • The oil is 6 miles underneath a sea and the amount of oil in there would last at the worlds current consumption levels 100 days.

      • Guess we are fortunate there are more oil fields in the world then just one.

        There is no shortage of oil – we are awash in hydrocarbons throughout the Universe – entire planets are made up of them – to believe that we, on Earth are running out of it is a bizarre theory.

        • The fact that they are drilling for this oil should be cause for concern. The easy oil is gone, they are going to send a drill 4 miles down to the sea bed and then drill down into the rock the distance of mount everest, that explains a lot.

          Natural oil is a finite resource it will run out, unless we find out a way to replicate it in a cost and energy efficient process we better start trying to figure out fast on how to replace the energy it generates. Oil consumption is going to go up due to the emerging middle class in China and India. The oil is not going to last forever and its going to get get very expensive, what BP are doing is not cheap, we have gone past the days of finding oil wells with a shovel.

          • Black Flag says:

            Oil, in the terms of human consumption possibility, is unlimited.

            The amount of oil we have used couldn’t fill 1/3 of Lake Tahoe.

            Yes, ‘easy stuff’ has been found and need to go deeper, but so what? There is by my educated guess maybe 1,00x more oil at that level than the ‘easy stuff’ – and by the way, we have 1,000 years of the easy stuff left – the oil shale of Venezuela and USA are MASSIVE – the dwarf conventional oil by factors of 10x or more.

            Don’t worry, Bob – we have LOTS of oil – thousands of years of the stuff, maybe ten’s of thousands of years….

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Bob,

        The projected recoverable oil in this field would last far more than 100 days….

  43. Gold passed 975 after a month idling at 950.

    Remember – if it breaks a $1000…..

  44. http://www.independent.org/blog/?p=3260
    World War II: An Unspeakable Horror Now Encrusted in Myths

  45. What do you IT wizards make of this? The comments that people have posted are about 50/50 as to should this woman be freaked out or not. What do you experts think?

    http://www.thedonovan.com/swwbo/2009/09/is-the-white-house-already-tra.html

    • What this guy said:

      “SSL certificates are your way of guaranteeing you’re talking to the right server. So all it means is that whitehouse.gov had a problem with their certificate.

      I don’t see how you get a whitehouse.gov certificate from tweetdeck, and I don’t see how a problem with whitehouse.gov certificates would cause a problem with twitter.

      I also don’t see how (much less why) they would target an individual in this fashion. It would be much less effort, and require no security, to simply capture the public stream and filter out the targets of interest. You’d never be aware they were watching you, any more than you could spot a person in a crowd at a baseball game if you were the pitcher.

      I think some coincidences may have created an alarming–but misleading–impression.”

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Maybe I am missing something here – but the .gov traffic should be standard http for any normal user.

      I do not know Tweetdeck real well and what other apps may be running in background but I suspect the referenced cert is fake.

      See what happens when the starting line is already paranoid? Kinda sucks to live that way sometimes.

    • Cindy,

      Assumed you are being tracked and act accordingly. There is no real way to know when, or if, or if not you are being tracked, copied, spied on….

      Everything and anything you say will be used against you. So, make sure you say what you mean and stand by it.

      • Thanks BF. I figure I’m pretty small fry when it comes to not being an ObamaBot. Its the security by obscurity thing, but your advice is wise.

        I’ve never even looked at one of the social networking sites. The link I posted is someting I came across at Atlas Shrugs. Bob and Ray addressed my post but I still don’t understand why the woman even got the certificate notice. Is someone playing a trick on her? I don’t think she’s being overly paranoid. It came from somewhere. So where? is my question

  46. No thumbprint, no money, bank tells armless man

    Public schooled robot no doubt….

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090903/us_nm/us_bank_thumbprint

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