Tuesday Night Open Mic for September 8, 2009

Open Mic 1We reach another Tuesday Night Open Mic on the heels of part one of the health care series. Some interesting stuff put out there yesterday. Interestingly I saw very little in the way of support for the current plan, even from our resident left leaning folks. I do not think, however, that my good fortune will continue as we continue down the path. Finding a solution or really figuring out what is going on is going to be a true test of everyone’s ability to put aside the rhetoric and have honest discussions about what is right and what is not right. I look forward to the challenges that await us. But tonight we tackle open mic! For those new folks with us, this is the day where you can post any topic at all for discussion and we will all weigh in and discuss it. I offer a few different topics to get things started, but don’t feel like we have to stick with them. Fire away with topics that YOU want to talk about.

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  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    Obama Betting Magnetism Enough to Counter Health Care Reform Opposition

    Republicans want President Obama to hit the “reset” button on health care reform when he addresses Congress Wednesday night. But if the president’s fiery speech to the AFL-CIO Monday is any gauge, he’s planning to crank up the volume instead.

    In doing so, the president will be upping the ante in the debate, effectively hinging progress on his own magnetism and talent for persuasion — rather than the merit of the policy proposals he’s left up to Congress since taking office.

    The question in the coming weeks will be whether that magnetism will be enough to overcome public discontent and break the partisan gridlock in Washington.

    Read the rest of the article from Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/09/08/health-care-debate-hinges-obamas-magnetism/

    I have to say that I feel that the proposals put out thus far for health care reform have been crap. I admit that Ray and I agree on that statement for very different reasons. But the bottom line is that thus far there has been very little to none in the way of “merit”. And in this way I think that we are beginning to see the cracks in the facade of the President.

    For far too long, his “magnetism”, as the article calls it, has been the only real force in Washington. His policies have not been all that strong. His actions are questionable. And whether you like the stuff he has done or not, the reality is that we have yet to see a REAL “case” made for any of the major legislation that has been passed or proposed. He has yet to persuade Americans of any actions based on the merits of those actions or on the merits of the causes of those actions. Everything has thus far been accomplished on the basis of being a great salesman. It makes me feel like I go spend an hour looking at new TV’s, buy one, and come home. My wife asks me why I chose that particular TV, and the only answer I have is because the salesman told me it was the right one to buy. I know nothing about the TV, its specs, its warranty, nothing. But without telling me anything about the TV, he managed to get me to accept his suggestion that buying it was the right thing to do.

    Do the left leaning folks feel this way at all? I am trying to not make this a left or right issue, just an observation of how things have rolled over the last 6 months. Do the liberals here think that he has made a case for any of the stuff he got rammed through? Has he done anything at all to EXPLAIN the things he is suggesting for the future? Or are we just supposed to go along because, after all, “he won”?

    It will be interesting to see his speech Wednesday night, and see whether he actually “says” anything.

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      Well, he’s not leaning left enough for me, but what he did ram through so far wasn’t to my taste. I was against the Bush bailouts and Obama and his crew (the Dems) seemed content to embrace somebody they called an imbecile for 8 years and expanded those bailouts. It was Wall Street extortion, pure and simple and it cost the workers of this country jobs and benefits that will take decades (if ever) to get back. Between the two of them (Bush II and Barrack Bush III), they set back the workers of this country 50 years (in lost benefits). The Dems came to power legislatively in 2006 and proceeded to give Bush II everything he wanted (just about) over the next two years. They didn’t prosecute or attempt to impeach him for the war he lied us into or anything else. I suspect they saw how bad he was doing in the polls and figured they couldn’t lose the white house with the stink of Bush II on the Republicans. They were right (at our expense) and what have they done since? Well, Barrack Bush III gets his chance to push health care reform through again tonight. Unless he has the Senate votes to get it done, I suspect tonight will be an attack on Republican opposition (to distract us from his inability to get his party in line with his policies).

      We do need national health care and even a weak proposal is better than none. It is a crisis for those without insurance now and/or those about to lose their insurance. France and Holland and Germany all handle the problem with higher taxes. Granted, they are much smaller than us, but if we could end these two absolutely absurd wars and the cost of those to our national debt, surely we could pay for national health care.

      And, yes, Tort reform should be part and parcel of any reform package. If it isn’t in the current package, it just goes to show the legal lobby has the Dems in their pocket (somebody say John Edwards). Why both parties are useless to the American worker and why Ralph Nader is the only man proposing true reform across the board.

      Thank you and … good morning?

      Oy-vey …

      • Good Morning, GG, I will post later today as to why socialism, in any form will never work (at least for long) in our country. It’s early, so for now I must keep you in suspense.

        G!

        • So your military, fire department and police services have never worked?

          • Perhaps it is better to say socialism en masse. Just because some social programs are commonly accepted doesn’t mean other programs will be.

          • The military, police and fire departments are NOT socialism, Bob.

            The ownership of the means of production and transportation, is socialism.

            Govt owned and operated health insurance is socialism.

            Govt mandated and controlled health insurance is fascism.

            And for the record, our military obviously workds damn fine.

            The police and fire are not as consistent. Police are a special problem in many cities.

            You forgot one of the classic Lefty responses to socialism. The other is our “public schools”. But then I bet you know what we think about how that one is working already.

            • Wait a minute you will have to explain this one to me. How are the services provided by the military, police and fire service which are funded by the tax payers for everyone different than the services that would be provided by a UHC funded by the tax payers for everyone?

              • Well I know for one that the Constitution itself provides for the Military.

                Police to enforce the Laws of the Land pure common sense.

                Firemen are not necessary if you want to stand helplessly and watch your house burn down.

                UHC is not necessary at all. Health Reform would be nice, but not Government mandated health care.

              • Would it not be best if the military role was handed out to private contractors and national defense handled by voluntary militias? You would save a ton of taxes. Also would the police and fire services also be best handled by private companies, you would also save a ton of taxes there too.

                If something is obviously needed does that not make it socialist anymore?

                If something is written in the constitution does that not make it socialist anymore?

              • Bob no corporation would handle outright the military. Its and impossibility. Where’s the initial capitalization needed to merely initialize such let alone sustain it? Name a single corporate entity anywhere on this globe including any multinational able to spend as is necessary for any military to exist at the level of the United States Forces. Name one!

              • Most police and fire are under local funding and control. Might be why Obama wants a civilian corps, as powerful as the military.

              • Military, police and fire are all end of line services. Ownership or control by govt does not affect other aspects of the economy, ie. means of production. The ability to fund these services affects the abilitiy to purchase toys but does not exert controll upon the toy makers.

                Govt ownership of Health Insurance, or the Medical Care, exerts control on all aspects of the means of production and delivery of health care. By its very nature it controls who does and doesn’t get paid and how much they get paid. It will dictate operational procedures, services provided and eventually the quantity and quality of services rendered.

                It will exert control over 17% of our GDP.

                And of course the UHC will be Federally owned, much like the military. While the other entities are state or locally owned. Another significant difference in terms of potential impact or power to controll economic output.

                I will grant you they are all “socialistic” in their nature, ie govt owned, but they are significantly different in the nature of the impact to the production and delivery of services.

                The point is also that you on the Left always throw these examples back as a RATIONALIZATION of socialized, “universal”, health care. They are significantly different in their nature but either you don’t realize it or you are deliberately trying to create associations that appear benign in order to sell your bankrupt theories to the public.

                So which is it in your case Bob?

          • Essential services have ever had to be cost effective? When the whole show is the same as “essential services” where do you get your taxed dollar from?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        GGcs,

        I will simply disagree with a few of your statements.

        The first statement I disagree with is “We do need national healthcare”. I think that that is far from settled.

        The second statement I disagree with is “a weak proposal is better than none”. If you are going to do something, at least make an honest attempt to do it well, not some weak lame attempt that is going to end up hurting far more people than it helps.

        The third statement I disagree with is “…if we could end these two absolutely absurd wars and the cost of those to our national debt, surely we could pay for national health care.” I have no problem ending the absurd wars. That is fine. However, you must already realize that the wars make up less than 25% of our 1.8 to 2.0 Trillion dollar deficit, so without those wars, we would still be running around a 1.35 to 1.5 trillion dollar deficit. Nope… that didn’t find us NEARLY enough money to pay for national health care.

        • Peter,

          Let me be even more dis-agreeable. It’s not a “weak” proposal, it’s a dishonest one. We know they have delibertly mislead us about several issues in this bill.

          GreaterGood, if a used car salesman told you a car had never been wrecked, and you found out it had, would you then let him explain it away, and make you a better deal? And would you make such a “deal” knowing you children and grandchildren would be the ones paying for it?

      • Good Morning…..my waaaay out friend. I will have to say you are extreme. How are you today?

        I will have to sit down with you someday and have you explain to me the reason you like the European model so well. You won’t ever convince me of it but I would like to know the reason why you like it so well. You already know that I am not a “greater good” theorist but I would be interested in your view point.

        Anyway, have a bodacious day.

        D13

        • Don’t have much time today as the wheels of capitalism have me working hard … I have a few friends in live in France who swear by the system (health care and otherwise). High taxes, no such things as mortgages (straight loans from banks for all capital purchases with taxes built in to pay for loss of job protection, etc.).

          More people there are covered than here (%age wise). The greatergood …

          • Black Flag says:

            Years of financing a heavy state and generous welfare system, French public debt is expected to reach 75% of GDP in 2009, when the budget deficit will be over 6% of GDP.


            France is facing the deepest economic recession of the post-war period. After the severe contraction recorded in the last quarter of 2008, activity seems to have slowed further in early 2009.

            Yet with financial-market turbulence a persistent threat and the risk of an even larger shrinkage in world trade, there is great uncertainty as to the timing and strength of the recovery. In any case, the decline in economic activity is likely to be very significant, even if less pronounced than elsewhere.

            Yet, given the already very high tax burden in France, and the need to eventually lower it, the drive to restore health to the public finances will have to focus essentially on reducing outlays.

            *France is expecting to cut back its health services as it is too expensive*

            http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/20/32/42655601.pdf

            • The state statistics agency says France will enter recession in 2009 for the first time in 16 years and faces a sharp rise in unemployment.

              http://www.france24.com/en/20081219-state-agency-predicts-recession-2009-lagarde-growth-france

              First time in 16 years (after what our free market economy did to the world). Not bad … not bad at all.

              • Black Flag says:

                Sir, France has been in a recession since 2007/2008 – no matter what its government wants to advertise.

                Considering that France has held a 8% unemployment rate for the last decade – it will be interesting to see how high that rate will go…..

              • Black Flag says:

                PS: The US does not have a ‘free market system’ – it has a mercantile/fascist system.

              • Except there people don’t have to sweat out insurance oir being homeless. And ours is at 10% … I like their stats better

              • Black Flag says:

                France is a nice place – and they have had their taste of global empire to satisfy them forever (except for minor excursions).

                They may be taking advantage of their lack of empire lust – and of the innovations coming offshore. Good on them.

                I would not want to emulate the French, however.

              • They do “sweat out” levels of care most definitely as they do various levels of government housing. My daughter billeting with a well to do family had been seen in a great clinic which accepted only those already on its patient list. I highly doubt any she saw there were “of the poor” but I’ll ask her. I also highly doubt many here would accept what the majority of the young and unemployed do for living quarters. They are identical to that currently enjoyed by those working the industrial cities of North China which also would not be acceptable to the vast majority in America and Canada who are our poor.

                I worked as a house painter for a time and saw the Housing Authority’s properties as well as many First Nation’s housing. In France they’d be seen as glorious by the poor not merely “good enough for now” as they were constantly referred to here by both those on “farewell” and “The Rez”.

            • How do you survive at 75% of GDP? You don’t…unless you print more money or unless the tax rate increases, I think. But what happens when the Law of Diminishing returns hits, as it surely will.

              • Welcome to Bolivia! “Following many years of rampant inflation, the peso boliviano was replaced in 1987 by a new boliviano at a rate of one million to one. At that time, 1 new boliviano was roughly equivalent to 1 U.S. dollar.”

    • I think Obama’s magnetism is growing thin and the general public, aside from the Obamatons, can see through him now. Most folks who voted for him are starting to say “what the hell did we vote in?”

      All his campaign promises are now coming to pass as being pure BS. If only they had listened BEFORE voting his ass in. I have to agree with GG that some would have voted for anyone besides Bush at the time. Too bad the only viable candidate opposing Obama at the time was McCain.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      I am on the fence as to whether I watch POTUS tonight – I’d honestly rather play with my infant son – read him books, teach him to touch his nose, and butcher a few nursery rhymes – and maybe catch up on things on the rebound. I will agree with most of the MSM that POTUS needs to man up on this Healthcare issue – as some may have guessed I have about zero interest in seeing anything in its current form – if they aren’t going to do it right then please do not pass some piece of garbage and pretend like you reformed anything. I’d much rather see focus placed back on our economy, back on Afghan/Iraq and back on showing results – I’m tired of the attention deficit disorder this administration continues to show as it bounces from issue to issue and I am tired of opponents that don’t want a good fight so much as they just want to fight.

      • Oh God….where is Ray and what have you done with him? He has been abducted by Aliens.

        Good Morning, Ray….my fine blogging friend… teach your son how to “pull the finger”….naaah…I got in trouble when I did that years ago. But it was funny. Mom did not think so but…hey, it was a guy thing. It was funny to see the 4 yr old run up to granma’ and say..” Granma, pull this”. Granma’ did not think it funny either,,,,sigh..no sense of humor.

        Back to the subject. I am in agreement with you Ray…(I know, it is a shockeroo) but your post this morning hit my good side. Rather nothing than something stupid just to say “see, we did it”. Sorta like the economy he is now taking credit for completely ignoring the fact that it is following the same trends it has always followed the last four decades. But, that is politics.

        Remember the poll I am taking and working with? One of the questions is ” Did you vote for John McCain or Barrack Obama? Then the follow up question is, ” would you vote the same again?” Here is a sampling of the incomplete poll…

        43 voters so far….24 voted for McCain and 19 voted for Obama. Of the 19 that voted for Obama, so far 3 are for ANY health care reform no matter how weak. 11 said that they would vote for him again, 8 said they would not. On McCain, 14 of the 24 actually stated that they have now seen how far “left” McCain actually is and would not vote for him or Obama. However, one significant statement that is resonating among all of them…whether Republican or Democrat or Independent. They are all tired of the same old politics and to a letter, all but 2 said that Obama does not have control and cannot control the congress and are likely to vote a more conservative congress to curb spending. The focus seems to be on spending. Thought this would be interesting to you…understanding that my methodology is not professional and up to your standards…but this is what the street seems to be saying. Even the democrats are worried about the spending and the fact that there really has been no change…same old big boy politics.

        There is one thing that seems to be very interesting that I am hearing. Both sides seem to be very worried about this Czar thing and why is Congress allowing this power to be taken away? This is something that is catching attention on both sides as well.

        D13

      • I have to say I agree with you too Ray. Completely. If they are just going to pass a dog turd just to say they got something, then “No Thank You”.

        I will probably watch Obama just to hear what he has to say, since my boys are already grown.

        I too wish the Congress would get together, work together and try to make a difference instead of fighting like a bunch of schoolgirls.

        If they would work together and listen to each other i am quite sure there is a solution to health care that would satisfy most, if not all.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Esom – I just recall watching the last Healthcare oriented primetime press conference (you know – the one with the Gates b.s. at the end) and wondering at the end of it if I could have that one hour of my life back. Hate to say it but I give POTUS failing grades on Healthcare (poor Ted Kennedy must be rolling in his grave) – this debacle is giving him a well deserved black eye – as I said a few months ago – my concern was that this guy I voted for was going to try and fix everything at the same time – change for the sake of changing everything is way too risky and while the vote may have appeared to given that ‘mandate’ – the public will soon come around and say “hey – hang on – you sure you got this right”. I do not want to see him fail – but I don’t detect a humble man at the moment.

          • Obama,IMO, doesn’t seem to STAND on anything-just vague ideas without any substance, just rhetorical BS

          • I know we need some kind of Health Reform. And it’s a shame that we have millions uninsured. But as long as Obama keeps up with the arrogance and the Democreats will not work with the Republicans and vice versa, nothing will be accomplished but a bunch od one-sided shitty deals.

            Somebody needs to slow down and come together for a good solution to this problem instead of rushing into a crappy compromise that will NOT work. What they have right now will just cost ALL Americans a fortune and make the health care debacle even worse.

            You would think they would have learned from the Spendulous crap that they passed too fast and without reading.

            Right now I have zero use for any of them. All I see ahead is a train wreck.

            • I feel it is going to be very difficult to get any meaningful health reform, if three of the biggest and most costly issues that arent being addressed in a proper fashion but only given lip service too are going to basically remain the same. Tort reform, medical fraud and insurance company costs are the three major problems not being addressed onstructively.because of their size of their lobbying groups they cant be dealt with without costing the politicians major funds. Since its always about politics and money i am a doubting Thomas on seeing any good come from what this one party extremely partisan bill will offer us. Who can take on the lawyers,or who would dare? or who would want to? Same with fraud, there is a lot of kick back money to be had and the lawyers win here as well in trying to get that money back. The one sided shifty deals will probably get worse.

      • Agreed Ray. He’s got to suck it up or step off of the issue altogether. We did ours “all in” and we don’t mind the result but we want a lot more of your setup to bleed north. How in God’s green earth anyone with all the clout necessary to do it properly could let the inmates make policy for the asylum just because they are in the same political party is beyond me. I truly don’t think the man is anything like the hype nor have I ever but he believes adamantly. There must be a room in the White House half done in mirrors and the other his clippings and cover pages with a single swiveling chair at the center.

    • “the fact remains that the Democrats’ proposals would still empower unelected bureaucrats to make decisions affecting life or death health-care matters. Such government overreaching is what we’ve come to expect from this administration.”

      http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jeff-poor/2009/09/09/palin-sticks-her-guns-wsj-op-ed-says-obamacare-would-give-government-life

      • And in this….you are correct and is to be fought.

        • Who will lead the fight? Could you imagine the lawsuits that will arise from families trying to save the lifes of loved ones. The law field is going to be very prosperous from this one new avenue alone. You wont get much help from lawyers on this one and unfortunately most politicians these days are lawyers and funded by other lawyers its seems so you wont get much help from politicians.
          MAny business owners are strapped for cash and are laying off and cutting back on inventory and growth plans, so they wont be able to wage a decent battle against the lawyers and their vast reserves.
          Can us ordinary everyday people rise up and win this fight against the bureaucrats and their shadow army?

          • Yes we can…the same system that put BO in can take him out.,,in the political sense. However, what do we replace him with?

  2. USWeapon Topic #2

    U.S. Begins Immigration Crackdown on Federal Contractors

    For federal contractors, it is time to start checking whether employees are able to work legally in the United States.

    Beginning Tuesday, the U.S. government was requiring federal contractors to use the E-Verify system to check the immigration and citizenship status of the people they hire and assign to new federal contracts.

    “Don’t panic about this. You do have time, but the time will pass quickly, so vigilance is important,” Bonnie Gibson, a partner with New York-based Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy law firm, told hundreds of contractors who dialed in to a conference call last week for an explanation of the Obama administration’s latest immigration enforcement rule.

    Contractors have 30 days from the date a contract is awarded to enroll in E-Verify, and 90 days to start submitting information on new hires and certain current workers. Contractors have the option of checking their entire work force, once they notify the government of their intent to do so. They also will be responsible for requiring subcontractors to use E-Verify.

    Read the Rest of the article at Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/09/08/begins-immigration-crackdown-federal-contractors/

    I find this interesting. At present it seems to only be “required” if you are a federal contractor. I am really torn on illegal immigration at this point. I understand why they come. I understand why some people don’t like them coming. I understand why businesses hire them. I understand why people dislike that too. I don’t know off the top of my head who started the E-Verify ball rolling, but if it is being implemented now, I assume it was an act done under Bush’s watch, and probably under the Congress before the 2006 Democratic takeover. I don’t see Democrats pushing a law like this through, when they are obviously counting on the hispanic vote (And maybe with ACORN’s help the illegal immigrant vote, lol).

    If this system does what it is intended to do, I can imagine that by the time you get to the subcontractor level, there could be a lot of folks who all the sudden don’t have workers. If it happens on a larger scale in industry, we may see a real problem with labor in some fields where immigrants dominate the workforce.

    • Need to research this to determine why this is happening.Doesn’t seem the right time for the current administration to allow this.Must be an ulterior motive somewhere.

      • The ulterior motive is that the unions aren’t getting paid their dues on the illegal workers contractors have working. Contractors are sending illegals to jobsites but not listing them on their certified payroll forms required to be submitted by all contractors and their subs working on federal/state projects. The unions aren’t getting their $$$ so naturally they are pushing for this. You could always check a workers SSN, they are just now making it mandatory.

        • Well if that’s the Ulterior motive behind Obama doing this, I guess this is ONE ulterior motive with a potentially good outcome.

          • Maybe yes…maybe no. The unions here already have a stranglehold on the small businessman. More and more mom & pop shops are closing daily because they are getting harassed by the unions unmercifully. My boss got slammed with a $650K bill from the union because they made bad investments with the pension money and are now going after any business that was or still is union in the last 15 years to pay pensions again. Seems unfair to me.

            • Kym that sounds unfair to me to the point I would tell them to crap in one hand and wish in the other and see which gets full the fastest.

              Are ya’ll still in the union or did they used to be?

              • used to be. not enough work here to support 6 employees at $60 an hour to do simple little service calls. The big companies grab all the big jobs so he opted out of the union about 4 years ago. Basically he’s screwed over this and according to his lawyer the only option is to bankrupt the company and start over to get out from under this debt, which is looking more and more likely thats what he may do.

    • This will not doubt hurt many many small contractors. But then Obama doesn’t like small business owners anyway. He is too deep in the pockets of Unions and big business. So I don’t believe he gives a damn.

      If contractors are hiring illegal immigrants I honestly can’t say that I’m going to shed too many tears over it either. The hard facts are that if they hadn’t hired illegal aliens to begin with, then they wouldn’t be faced with this problem now.

      However, I have to admit that if we (the government) hadn’t allowed them in in the first place we also wouldn’t have this problem. It’s all about the almighty dollar and how much can be saved by hiring illegals.

      As a former paint contractor I can say first hand that we were partially driven out of business by illegal aliens taking paint jobs for half what we could do the same job for. The fact that they used 2 by 4 ladders and did a crappy job notwithstanding.

      • I am all in favor of this. I support legal immigration, where they are looking to become citizens and assimilate. Letting them come here and identify themselves as Mexicans or other home countries leads to America loosing its identity.

        • I am totally in favor of LEGAL immigration. I am not in favor of amnesty for the ones already here. I am not in favor of giving any employers a pass on hiring them either.

          I am also not in favor of signs in 80 different languages and interpreters hired in schools so that children speaking other languages do not have to learn english. If that bothers anyones racists bone, well that’s too damn bad. This Nation speaks english. If we immigrated to any other country, we would be REQUIRED to learn their language.

          I am not in favor of my children being REQUIRED to learn Spanish in school either. It is always good to learn a second language. Why should they be required to learn spanish just because there are 10 to 20 million illegal aleins in this country? Throw their ass out and don’t allow them back in without doing it LEGALLY.

          • And if they can’t read English well enough to vote, then they should not be voting!

          • The forced bilingualism that we experienced here really drove a wedge in between the Quebec/Ontario border. Out here in Western Canada upon finding out that changing signage and French in schools was mandated to us while in Quebec itself anything to do with English was voluntary, turned being mildly annoyed to outright disdain for the Quebecois that still exists 30 years later.

            • I don’t blame you since you live in a bi-lingual country. Couldn’t they have made it where Canadians learned both languages in school? Or would that have been feasible? Not criticizing, just curious.

              • We Canadians indeed have to take some French in school. They on the other hand are FRENCH Canadian and English is voluntary to either learn or ridicule.

    • It is truly amazing what walking around with a camera and taking pictures of license plates and trucks in the construction areas really does. It is even more amazing what posting the names of the apartment buildings that house the illegals does and the boycotting and public postings of business that hires them and protects them does. Public pressure…local pressure really does work and it is non violent.

    • Black Flag says:

      Federal Contracts

      As happened in California – if you want to fund the government, contract to the government – and you will “help out” by accepting IOU’s from the government.

      The People are so gullible – the government burns them over and over again…

  3. USWeapon Topic #3

    Priceless: How The Federal Reserve Bought The Economics Profession

    The Federal Reserve, through its extensive network of consultants, visiting scholars, alumni and staff economists, so thoroughly dominates the field of economics that real criticism of the central bank has become a career liability for members of the profession, an investigation by the Huffington Post has found.

    This dominance helps explain how, even after the Fed failed to foresee the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, the central bank has largely escaped criticism from academic economists. In the Fed’s thrall, the economists missed it, too.

    “The Fed has a lock on the economics world,” says Joshua Rosner, a Wall Street analyst who correctly called the meltdown. “There is no room for other views, which I guess is why economists got it so wrong.”

    Read the Rest of the Article from the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/07/priceless-how-the-federal_n_278805.html

    Bravo to the Huffington Post to tackle what I think is a fairly sacred institution in today’s main stream media: the Federal Reserve. I think that the article is spot on in many ways. I am certainly interested in hearing (or reading) what some of the more economic folks on this site think of the article.

    But more important, I am interested in hearing what people think the answer to this is. Let’s assume for a moment that the article is dead accurate. The Federal Reserve controls the economists. What implications does that have for the future of our economy? I assume the implications are really bad for the rest of us. So is there anything that the American Citizens could do that would allow us to get the Federal Reserve under control at this point?

    • I hate to say this USW, but I believe that ship has already sailed. And it was named the Titanic. The time to slap down the Fed was BEFORE they got us in this mess, not afterwards. We are in way too deep financially to save ourselves.

      Our esteemed Politicians got us into this mess but are unable to get us out of it even if they wanted to. If the Big Money Men of the World Conspiracy Theory is true then those dudes are laughing their asses off right now in anticipation of the fall.

    • I don’t know what you read USW but economists like Thomas Sowell have been slamming the Fed every step of the way. It might be that the economists in academia won’t say a word about the financial “public option” that’s been in existence since Carter is an abomination but certainly not that “all” do such.

      He’s Milton Friedman on the topic: http://www.swifteconomics.com/2009/09/02/milton-friedman-abolish-the-federal-reserve/

    • Black Flag says:

      95% of economists are Keynesian – because government funds universities and pays economists to be on government staff. It is self-fulling, then, that economists love government intervention into money.

      Audit the FED. The FED is terrified of this – and has tried to stall Ron Paul’s attempt at it – we will see Sept. 30th if the SuPrimo’s allow the audit

      • Yes BF I agree with you the FED should be audited but I have to ask you would the harm done to the US economy be worth it? From what I have learned it could cause total economic collapse.

        • As spoken by whom? I can see shutting down the FED itself without whittling it down first as causing such but a mere audit? Only those whose finger prints will be turned up all over dirty dealings would say such and I have little doubt do.

  4. USWeapon Topic #4

    Thank You, Glenn Beck!

    Thank you, Glenn Beck. By helping force the resignation of Van Jones, you have done a great service to your country. But in the exact opposite way than what you intended.

    Your vile and vicious smear campaign has helped reverse one of the worst examples of miscasting since John Wayne took on the role of Genghis Khan in The Conqueror.

    Don’t get me wrong: Van Jones was the best person for the job he just gave up. But the job was not the best use of Van Jones.

    Contrary to the media caricature, the real Van Jones is a thoughtful leader who knows how to use words to move people to action. To stick him behind a desk, working out the details of tax credits for green jobs — incredibly important though the job is — was never the best use of his unique and abundant skills.

    Read the Rest of the Article from the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/thank-you-glenn-beck_b_278839.html

    This article was written by the one and only Arriana Huffington herself! I really thought when I read the headline that I was going to see a side of Arriana that I would embrace. I thought she would thank Beck for exposing someone who obviously was not the right person to be among the leadership of this country. I thought I would read her being reasonable after Beck exposed so many horrible things about Van Jones.

    Instead, she see Van Jones as a heroic leader, who gets things done and is a great asset to the country. What!?

    I agree with Ray when he says Jones was an opportunist. But I also, after researching him and watching entire speeches of his and reading entire works of his, think he is a shining example of everything that is wrong in this country. He doesn’t love this country. He doesn’t love this form of government. He blames every bad thing that happens on racism, whether it is relevant or not. He is bitterly partisan. He thinks militant tactics are the best way forward. This country has begun to lose its mind, and he is a prime example of all that is wrong here.

    And Arriana thinks he is a great leader and a great person. I wonder what doctor she found to go a step further and provide her with a prescription for crack cocaine…

    • Ask yourselves the question of what Anthony “Van” Jones true purpose was as Green Czar then read this excerpt from the Riehl World View.

      http://www.riehlworldview.com/carnivorous_conservative/2009/09/van-jones-follow-the-money.html

      Van Jones: Follow The Money
      Before Van Jones entered Obama’s WH, he started several organizations, all geared to receive or help channel government cash into the inner cities. It appears as though some of those may have received stimulus funds Jones was expressly brought in to oversee. Also below in a recent interview, not one from the past, Jones cited profit making enterprises using prisoners – see note below with prisons*. Companies like Starbucks, apparently. The labor is marketed by … who do you think? Government. My, what a red state Washington is, huh?

      State Corrections agencies are even advertising their prisoners to corporations by asking these questions: “Are you experiencing high employee turnover? Worried about the cost of employee benefits? Getting hit by overseas competition? Having trouble motivating your work force? Thinking about expansion space? Then the Washington State Department of Corrections Private Sector Partnerships is for you.”

      What the several links below begin to reveal is a liberal infrastructure that manufactured an alleged best seller on green jobs by using their internal mailing lists. That was Jones’ only so called best seller to date. Lastly, what this all amounted to was the same old politics of color, black, not green, that feeds existing corrupt, Democrat urban politcal structures.

      When Van Jones came onto the scene he mentioned some specific organizations with which he had been deeply involved. In fact, he started many of them and also used them to sell his book. As for who else helped in that effort, among several other liberal groups, does the Tides Foundation ring a bell?.

      Plus, the final version of the bill eliminates the loan guarantees the Senate had included for nuclear and so-called clean coal technology development — false environmental ‘solutions’ that would have made matters worse, not better.

      It’s an especially exciting moment for me and my colleagues at Green For All, the Apollo Alliance, the Workforce Alliance and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. The stimulus includes $500 million for green jobs training — funding we’ve been trying to get for two years. That means that the recovery package won’t just stimulate the green economy. It will also make sure that the green economy includes pathways out of poverty for low-income people and people of color.

      So, what did Jone’s Green For All do? Surprise, surprise … they helped organizations get the very same stimulus monies Jones was involved with securing and dispersing at the WH.

      Okay, so the stimulus bill was packed with a lot of funding for eco-initiatives and green job creation. Old news. But the question still lingers, with most of that money still yet to leak into the economy, how exactly do interested businesses secure funding and create those green jobs?

      The nonprofit group Green for All answers that question (and more) with its Capital Access Program, an effort designed to help green-minded businesses secure stimulus funding and enter the clean energy economy. Here’s how it’ll work.

      How convenient:

      Van Jones, the head of Green for All, has been named special adviser to CEQ for green jobs, enterprise, and innovation. Jones, the author of The Green Collar Economy, has gotten considerable attention recently for his efforts to create “green” jobs to help low-income communities. CEQ also established an associate director position to address climate change.

      A group of organizations, including the Tides Foundation, pimped Jones’ book to thier own mailing lists and, lo and behold, an alleged green jobs demand was born based on a book sold to other liberal activists.

      Their words were like music to our ears. It felt like a victory for all of our organizations, which have been making this argument for some time. So … hats off to the Apollo Alliance, Ella Baker Center, Workforce Alliance, Center for American Progress, Sustainable South Bronx, Center on Wisconsin Strategy, 1Sky, Energy Action Coalition, Green For All, and many more. And then yesterday The Washington Post ran a major story on green jobs, Time magazine has taken up the issue, and CNN just featured it on their Situation Room. So it is now official: our demand for “green-collar jobs” has finally broken through!

      Here’s how they created a bestseller. It wasn’t done on the open book market.

      Using a Web-based, viral marketing strategy, Jones and Green For All, an environmental organization he recently founded, worked to get the word out about his book far and wide. The result was a place — number 12 to be exact — on the New York Times best sellers list in the book’s first week. “Everyone is stunned,” Jones told the Huffington Post. “Usually to get to number 12 the first week as a new author you’ve got to spend a million bucks or be on Oprah.” Through a combination of emails and phone calls to friends, bloggers, and a network of activists, Jones estimates that the viral campaign he and his co-workers launched resulted in emails being sent to millions of people, many of whom surely forwarded it along. The initial commercial success of “Green Collar Economy” proves that Internet buzz combined with online activism can push a book onto the best sellers list.

      You see, capitalists actually create prisons in Jones’ view – and these aren’t old views, they’re currently held. Update: Jones’ view is actually that Republicans like prisons as a source of cheap labor. So, the suggestion that corporations create prisons is a correct interpretation of his views.

      Often these are for-profit, privatized prisons; U.S. corporations use prisoners for labor and undermine union jobs. But when a prisoner is released, the same corporation that used his labor in prison won’t even hire him—because now he is an “ex-felon.”

      I did find an instance where a Workforce Alliance received ten million in stimulus funds. But these are complex organizations, so I’m not sure what is and isn’t the same for now. I have other work to do, as well. Bloggers might want to start looking into what organizations linked to Jones received stimulus funds.

      Green For All, the Apollo Alliance, the Workforce Alliance and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

      And the final point one should understand is that this was never about the environment first, this is the same old failed urban entitlement myth we debunked in the Eighties dressed up in a different color to make it sell. It will ultimately funnel money into the same old failed and corrupt Democrat establishment of our urban centers and do little to help black youth achieve on their own in the end. They don’t even embrace capitalism, for heaven’s sake.

      A growing cadre of young black activists is using the Internet in an attempt to eclipse traditional civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and hit the refresh button on the civil rights movement. Bloggers with names such as the Cruel Secretary, and blogs called What About Our Daughters? and the African American Political Pundit, have railed against groups in the “black-o-sphere,” saying they do not understand young black Americans, are behind the times and react too slowly to incidents involving the younger generation.

      The leaders of the fledgling movement — Van Jones and James Rucker of ColorOfChange.org — may not be familiar to many, but their work is. They circulated a letter and a petition last week promising that the Democrats will pay a “political price” if they overturn the will of black and young voters and choose Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y) as the party’s nominee over Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.).

      * Jones is citing private corporations who use prisoners for labor here. How much would you like to bet as to which parties constituents mostly employ this practice?

    • Oh just frickin’ great! Now he’s going to get martyred. Just what we need. These far left morons NEED a good shot of something to calm their butts down. Everyone is not out to get them. At least not ALL of them. 😉

    • Bee in my Bonnet says:

      This explains why Arriana thinks he’s so great:

      http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/14437

  5. MATHIUS STATED:”I’m not necessarily a huge fan of religion, but Islam is not a violent religion per say (any more so than the old or new testament, anyway). Is is unfair to blame religion for this. It is not about religion. It is about religion being used as an excuse for a group of people to use another group of ignorant people as tools. This is about power and nothing else.”

    You are wrong with the first part of your statement but entirely correct with the second.Islam is a violent religion.It condones honor killings.It allows the murder of “infidels”.It violates the basic civil rights of women.I could go on and on.

    Islam has been a violent religion since its introduction/interpretation to the world by Muhammad.He used Islam himself as a tool to rise to power and dominate the Middle East.

    Do not compare christianity to Islam and expect them to be at the same standard when it comes to condoning violence.Nothing makes less sense than to compare the New Testament and Old Testament teachings to justify saying that Christianity is a religion of violence since it didn’t evolve into its’ current form untill Jesus was born.Look at the books of the Bible as a history lesson to see how Christianity evolved from Judasim into the form it is now.The exodus from Egypt occured around the 1200’s BC.Islam began in its current form around 610 AD or so.

    Nowhere in the New Testament will you find the teaching of killing unbelievers as you do in the Koran.
    Nowhere in the New Testament will you find the teaching of lieing being acceptable as you do in the Koran to further Islam.
    Nowhere in the New Testament will you find the teaching of war as acceptable to spread christianity.

    Anyways I would ask that you study history a bit before expressing ideas that Islam is not a violent religion.Muhammad used religion to dominate the middle east in his age; it is now being taught and spread in order to dominate the world.

    • It’s been a while, but I have read the Qur’an. As far as I remember, there is nothing in there about killing non-believers. In fact it says to avoid them. Islam, the true religion, is as pacifist as Christianity is. The problem is that certain people have preyed upon followers of both religions and convinced them that violence is justifiable and right. There are examples of such in all religions, I’m sure, but right now radical Islam is in the forefront of our minds. We need to be sure that we do not associate all Muslims with those radicals who twist the Qur’an to say something it does not.

      That being said, the “religion” of Islam has come to accept “honor killings” and other such farces, which is a major problem, especially for those Muslims who know it is wrong. I’m not an expert on Islam, but I would hope that this is not truly a part of it.

      Now, don’t take all this to mean that these religions are “bad.” I can’t understand why people would use this as a reason to denounce the entire religion. Too often we use examples where people went wrong to condemn a group. Hypocrisy does not illegitimate a teaching! If I say murder is bad, it is a correct statement (I hope you’re all on board for this). If I go and murder someone, my statement is still correct! I just haven’t lived up to it.

      • http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/023-violence.htm

        Let me refresh your memory JB,
        This research is not mine but I checked it as to its validity to the Qur’an.

        The most peaceful religion ever? If all the world converts then there will be peace? Allah knows best!

        Here are the mantras from the Quran, which create the killing machines. Here is what Quran says about the unbelievers.

        (Readers note: There are many similar verses in the Quran. I have given a partial list only)

        God sealed the heart of non-believers, great penalty (2:7)
        Even if some believe, God does not trust them (2:8)
        In their heart is a disease, God has increased the disease (2:10)
        Unbelievers make mischief on earth (2:11,12)
        Wander like blind ones (2:15)
        Deaf, dumb and blind (2:18)
        The fuel of fire is men and stones (2:24)
        Be apes (2:65)
        Most grievous punishment (2:81,104)
        Penalty shall not be lightened (2:86)
        God curses the blasphemers (2:88)
        God curses those without faith (2:89)
        God’s wrath and humiliating punishment (2:90)
        God is an enemy to those who reject faith (2:98)
        Disgrace and exceeding torment for unbelievers (2:114)
        Companion of blazing fire (2:119)
        Only Islam is acceptable (3:85)
        Punishment for rejecting faith (3:91)
        No friends from outsiders (3:118)
        God makes some one more sinful so he can be punished more (3:178)
        Punishment for apostates (3:86-88, 3:90, 4:137, 16:106)
        Torment for non-believers (4:56)
        Kill non-believers (4:89)
        Non-believers go to hell (4:140, 7:36)
        Partial believers will go to hell too (4:150)
        No friendship with non-believers (3:28, 4:144)
        Severe punishment for atheists (5:10, 5:86)
        No friendship with Jews, Christians (5:51)
        Intentionally preventing unbelievers from knowing the truth (6:25, 110)
        God could guide, if chose to, but He did not (6:35)
        Those who reject faith are dogs (7:176)
        Smite unbelievers at neck and cut off fingers (8:12)
        Penalty for unbelievers is fire (8:14)
        It is not ye who slew them; it was God (8:17)
        God is a “plotter” (8:30)
        Unbelievers are impure, will be heaped together and cast into hell (8:37)
        Fight them on until there is no more tumult ….(8:39)
        Taste the fire of blazing fire (8:50)
        The worst of beasts is one who rejects God (8:55)
        Apostle should not take prisoner of war …..(8:67)
        Enjoy booty of unbelievers (8:69)
        After the holy four months slay the pagans wherever you find them (9:5)
        Mosques are for believers only (9:18)
        No friends with parents/siblings if not believers (9:23)
        Pagans are unclean (9:28)
        Unbelievers pay Jizya tax (9:29)
        Grievous punishment for not joining in war (9:39, 48:16))
        Heat will be produced from the wealth the forehead branded (9:35)
        Be firm against unbelievers (9:73)
        Do not offer prayer at death of unbelievers (9:84,113)
        Fight non-believers (9:123)
        Boiling water for unbelievers (10:4)
        Fire heaving of sighs & sobs for unbelievers (11:106)
        Fire will seize unbelievers (11:113)
        Yokes around necks, companions of fire (13:5, 2:81)
        End of unbeliever is fire (13:35)
        Intentionally misguiding those whom he pleases (14:4)
        Boiling fetid water to drink) (14:16)
        In gulp boiling water, death (14:17)
        Unbelievers covered with shame and misery (16:31)
        Fire for the pagans (16:62)
        Hell a prison for those rejecting faith (17:8)
        Unbelievers will burn in hell (17:18)
        God destroys or punishes a population (17:58)
        Intentionally preventing unbelievers from understanding Quran (17:45-46)
        It is God who causes people to err and He punishes them for that (17:97)
        Increases the fierceness of the fire (17:98)
        Terrible punishment for unbelievers (18:2)
        Fire like walls, roofs, waterlike melted brass to drink (18:29)
        Sinners will not find a way to escape fire (18:53)
        A veil put on heart (18:57)
        Hell as entertainment for unbelievers.(18:102)
        Those rejecting prayers face destruction (19:59)
        Unbelievers brought on their knees round hell (19:68, 72)
        Unbelievers will be burnt (19:70)
        Torment of hell (44:43-58)
        Sadistic punishment (56:42-43)
        When you meet non-believers smite the neck of non-believers (47:4)
        Severe punishment for non-believers (22:19-22, 72:23, 98:6)
        (Quran translation by A. Yusuf Ali)

        sura 4:89 they long that ye should not believe even as they disbelieve- take them and kill them wherever you find them.
        9:123 kill the non-believers
        9:29 kill the non-believers.
        9:28 kill all non-believers until only islam.
        2:193 slay and kill non-believers 9:5 kill all non-believers.

        There are numerous Hadiths and Suras that say kill the non-believers.

        The reason as to why I have chosen to quote such a lengthy list of verses is to illustrate just how violent, terrible, unkind, intolerant and savage Quran is towards the people of other religions. Mind you, I have not finished the entire Quran. I just quoted merely about a third from the Scripture. I have not even touched the Ahadith at all, which are just as violent and tyrannical as Quran is if not more. You can clearly see that practically every chapter of Quran is full of these hate-mongering verses. So, when a Muslim digests these verses from his childhood, what do we expect him to become? Shall he become loving, forgiving, kind, tolerant, just, sympathetic, understanding and fair with people of other religion? This is simply impossible. He simply cannot think in terms of humanity. There can be no written books as hateful as Quran is. If a Muslim is tolerant to other faiths, it is not because of Quran. It is because he does not follow Quran. It is because he follows his own conscience and innate human compassion. The world doesn’t rea;ize how good it really is in that most Muslims do not follow the Quran. Otherwise, we will have the 11th September horror every day of the year around the globe.

        • 1 Say (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)to these Mushrikoon and Kafiroon): “O Al-Kafiroon (disbelievers in Allah, in His Oneness, in His Angels, in His Books, in His Messengers, in the Day of Resurrection, and in Al-Qadar, etc.)!
          2 “I worship not that which you worship,
          3 “Nor will you worship that which I worship.
          4 “And I shall not worship that which you are worshipping.
          5 “Nor will you worship that which I worship.
          6 “To you be your religion, and to me my religion.”

          Sounds violent to me..

          • Taqqiya and Kitman.Research those two words for yourself Mathius.

            Islam is the only world-religion that implies in its scriptures that it is ever permissible (or even encouraged) to lie. In his Sira, Muhammad authorized lying to improve the chances of successful assassinations, for example in the case of Shaaban Ibn Khalid al-Hazly and Bin Kaab.

            • I’ll take that on faith.

              And then I’ll ask: “so?”

              That makes Islam a violent religion while Christianity is peaceful?

              I simply argue, yet again, that either both (all three, actually) are violent or none are.

              • History 101:

                Judaism=Tanakh (which contains books from the Old Testament)

                Islam=Qur’an (A history of Muhammads rise to power in the middle east combining religion with politics)

                Christianity=New Testament+New Covenant (Old Testament is viewed as a history lesson and applied to teach what the Old Covenant God had with Israel was, that is no longer in effect as it has been replaced with the New Covenant)

                So Mathius the Old testament books contain the history of the Jewish people.The Old Testament is not taught by christians as containing the rules bound in the New covenant.That is solely the New Testament scriptures purpose.The Old Testament does contain great wisdom but also great tribulation.

              • Just so I’m clear on this one.. We* Jews, who consider the Old Testament to be the “current” covenant with God are practitioners of a a violent religion?

                *I guess I’m technically Jewish – I was baptized Catholic and bar mitzvah’d Jewish. I don’t think either got it right though, not that I know what “right” is.

              • If your mother is Jewish then so are you. That’s how it works. My mom was Catholic and dad was Jewish. So my husband refers to me as a half-hebe or a JAP 😉

              • Same here (my mother is half mormon, half catholic), so according to judaism, I’m christian, and according to christianity, I’m jewish.. I think.. screw them though. I’ll decide for myself what I am.

              • Black Flag says:

                The 30 Years War was fought for that right.

              • Be careful, here. The New Testament was not meant to replace the old. God’s law still stands, it’s just that Jesus Christ reconciled us who could not do so ourselves to the law of God.

              • So are you still obligated to keep kosher? Keep the sabbath? Honor thy father? Wear a yarmulke? What got preserved and what was thrown out?

    • Oh, I’m going to have some fun with this one. I appologize in advance to the many denizens of this site who I’m about to insult/anger/annoy.

      Let’s, for the sake of argument, skip over the many acts of casual violence and cruelty by God. These include, but are not limited to, casually killing Lot’s wife, visiting plagues upon Egypt rather than just transporting them out, telling Abraham to sacrifice his son, the trials of Jonah, etc.

      So, teachings in the New Testament that you should kill the unbelievers.. no, nothing quite comes to mind, but you do have in the Old Testament (and the citation eludes me) a story where Jesus has to be convinced to heal a pagan (something along the lines of “he isn’t Jewish, so I don’t care about him”.) Can someone help me out with this one? I think it’s in Matthew..

      Funny, though, that you keep saying in the New Testament. Do you reject the old as false? Is your religion not based on it? If it is, then if your religion cannot be without the violence in it.

      You shall not suffer a which to live – the cause of countless death of innocent women.

      Anyone who blasphemes shall be stoned to death by the entire community. 24:16

      The “heathens” and “strangers” are to be their possessions forever. 25:44-46

      And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.” 26:29

      “every leper, every one that hath an issue, and whoever is defiled by the dead.” 5:1-4

      The smell of burning flesh is “a sweet savour unto the Lord.” 15:3, 13-14, 24

      For impaling the interracial couple, God rewards Phinehas and his sons with the everlasting priesthood. 25:10-13

      All nations shall be terrorized by the followers of Yahweh. 2:25

      At God’s instructions, the Israelites “utterly destroyed the men, women, and the little ones” leaving “none to remain.” 2:33-36

      I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point here.

      Planting different crops side by side – death. Wearing clothes of two different threads – death. Failure to keep the sabbath – death. Failure to keep kosher – death. Looking over your shoulder when you shouldn’t – death. Being a first born non-Jew in Egypt – death.

      Now, here’s where things get interesting: The Inquisition, of the Spanish variety, tortured and killed countless “heathens” in the name of the God of the New Testament. Does this make Christianity violent? How about the Crusades?

      And the answer, before everyone attacks me, is no. If you cherry pick your quotes, you can derive any conclusions you seek. If you look only and the violent extremists of Islam, you will see that it is a violent religion (never mind the BILLION peaceful practitioners). I’m quite clear on my history and Early Judaism, Recent Christianity and Modern Islam all have their violence in equal measure and a reading of their books bears this out. I have read all three cover to cover – have you?

      • And for good measure, from the New Testament:

        Peter claims that Deuteronomy 18:18-19 refers to Jesus, saying that those who refuse to follow him (all non-Christians) must be killed. 3:23

        Homosexuals (those “without natural affection”) and their supporters (those “that have pleasure in them”) are “worthy of death.” 1:31-32

        God makes peace through blood. 1:19-20

        Those who disobeyed the Old Testament law were killed without mercy. It will be much worse for those who displease Jesus. 10:28-29

        And the entire book of Revelation

      • I meant to say in my second paragraph “the trials of Job,” not Jonah – though he didn’t have it too easy either..

        I anxiously await your reply, TexasChem.

        • We can trade volleys of which religion says what about death and punishment, but, ultimately, here’s the deal, and thereby the difference . . .

          And I realize that the mere mention of some of these truths offends some in our midst; I do not intend to offend anyone, but simply to point out what is a major differnece among the religions we like to compare here.

          We’re all in a lot of trouble . . . to paraphrase C. S. Lewis, if you study the pattern and complexity of nature with an open mind, then you will be hard-pressed to ignore the presence of a design which requires that there must be a designer, and a masterful one at that.

          Further, if you study the spectrum of humanity, you will discover a recurring theme . . . each culture seems to have an innate sense of right and wrong; although the definitons will be different, the pattern is evident and obvious.

          From where (or from whom) does that pattern come?

          It must come from that same master designer.

          And that pattern of right and wrong must mean that the master designer is a moral being, and more powerful than the universe itself.

          And, since I have already violated the premise of right and wrong (and we all have), it is too late for me to match the morality of that master designer.

          And I am not alone. It is too late for all of us.

          So, having discovered that I have offended a moral and masterful designer who is more powerful than all of the universe, I am in a hopeless situation.

          It is too late to start being “good” in order to appease this master designer.

          Is there any hope for me?

          Yes.

          The Master Designer has provided the way through His own plan to do what it is too late for me to do myself.

          He has become one of His own creation.

          He has satisfied His justice by taking on Himself all of my offences.

          And He has accepted the punishment, vicariously, in my place.

          And He has graciously offered the high price of that payment to me as a free gift.

          And that is the difference.

          “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-6

          “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

          “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—” John 1:12

          “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

          And that is the difference.

          • Eloquently stated. Though I may disagree with your conclusions, I can certainly appreciate the sentiment.

            • Thanks, Mathius.

              Maybe someday. 🙂

              • Give me evidence and a logical case and you’ll have my conversion.

              • I could spend a lot of time, quote a lot of Scripture, formulate a lot of proof, present detailed and logical arguments, but, Matthius, I don’t think that is what I want to do, mostly because you are most likely a better debater than I am, and we can arm wrestle about points of view for a decade and still not settle the issue to satisfaction.

                But, I can tell you this; this gift of God that I referred to earlier, this Gift that He paid the price of, this Gift that He offered to me as, well, a free gift, has changed my life . . . forever.

                I am not a Christ follower because of what I do or have done, I am a Christ follower because of what He accomplished at the Cross. He took on flesh, became one like you and me, and willingly endured not only horrible physical abuse, but also bore the entire weight of the wrath of God against my sin . . . and satisfied that wrath with His own life . . . in my place.

                Then He offered that expensive and priceless gift to me . . . for free, as a free gift.
                And when He beckoned me to come and receive the gift, He accomplished some marvelous things.

                I was forgiven.

                I was redeemed from the slave market of my sin.

                The wrath of God was satisfied.

                But, that’s not all.

                I was also born into His family as His child. Forever.

                And that is not religion, that is relationship.

                And it is the relationship that has completely changed me from one with no hope and no future, into one who has new life, new hope, and a new and permanentfuture . . . with my new Father.

                And you have the same opportunity.

                “Yet to all who received him (received Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—” John 1:12

                And, Mathius, that’s the best I can do.

              • Black Flag says:

                The original scriptures states, clearly, that:

                Jesus was a son of God, NOT the son of God.

                Jesus, himself, said that all things he could do, any man could do, even greater – they merely needed belief and faith
                (John 14:12).

              • Well Said.

              • Alas, I do not believe as you do. It would be nice, comforting even, to believe such a thing, but I cannot. If the day comes that I find myself standing before the gates of heaven as a sinner, I hope they will accept and forgive my honest disbelief. Because I am as I inevitably had to be by virtue of my birth and upbringing. If there is a true God and he is omniscient and omnipotent, then it is by his design that I am as I am. I would hope that he would not judge me for his own choices.

                To you your faith, to me mine.

              • Black Flag says:

                What is God lacking that He would need to judge you?

              • Welcome to freewill. Its always been on each of us and only us unto ourselves. Can’t blame the spark for what you do with the resulting fire. The onus is all yours or mine, his or hers. Singular.

              • What more evidence do you need than first hand accounts? If you allow yourself to, you will experience God.

              • I’d prefer something of the burning bush variety. The wonder of the miracle of birth, example, is amazing, a creation of life, but I have nothing to say that it is God’s will rather than, say, the inexorable result of a long chain of chemical and biological reactions. And given the choice between the two, experience has shown over and over again that the things we ascribe to God are actually physical properties we just don’t understand yet. (For example, it was thought God held up the birds in order to allow flight, then we learned about aerodynamics).

                (Please only click this link if you’re going to interpret this as humor and not me being offensive to your faith)
                http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1572#comic

              • Black Flag says:

                Matt,

                God created the Universe – thus all thing within are an act of God.

                Perhaps the ultimate human search is to discover the ‘mind’ of God – but isn’t that effort of discovery what we would call Science?

              • I think that was Star Trek V…

                On what grounds do you claim that God created the universe rather than, say, the universe creating itself? I can’t rule it out, but I simply have no evidence of that.

              • Black Flag says:

                By definition.

                St. Thomas Aquinas defense of God –

                The First Cause

                That which existed before things existed.

                And, by the Theory of Incompleteness of Godel, a consistent set must have an unprovable premise – a “first cause”

              • sure, but by what logic do you arrive at a God as the first cause rather than a fluke of the underlying principles of the physics that existed before the universe?

              • Black Flag says:

                Matt,

                What part of “unprovable premise” did you miss?

                It is “by definition”.

                If you define God as a guy on a throne in a white beard with angels singing songs to his glory… sorry, can’t prove that one.

              • unprovable, sure.. but they (probably not you) reach the conclusion of the guy in the white beard with the angels etc. Why not, with all due respect, a flying spaghetti monster?

              • Black Flag says:

                I approach God scientifically – the thing that all things came from.

                What was before that is moot – we have no reference to understand that.

                But I can understand things IN THIS UNIVERSE because I have lots of frames of reference.

                Others approach God with another premise -faith- and organize their arguments from there – that’s called that Theology.

                The test then is merely consistency.

                If a man is consistent within his faith, then who can argue with him?

                If he is not consistent, then what good is his faith?

                PS: I’ve seen flying spaghetti monsters – anyone who has eaten spaghetti with a toddler probably has too. 🙂

        • What part of this statement did you not understand?

          “Nothing makes less sense than to compare the New Testament and Old Testament teachings to justify saying that Christianity is a religion of violence since it didn’t evolve into its’ current form untill Jesus was born.
          Look at the books of the Bible as a history lesson to see how Christianity evolved from Judasim into the form it is now.”

          Deuteronomy 18:18-19 “Moses prhophecies about a messiah”
          “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”

          Acts 3:23
          Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’

          also translated as this depending on your Bible version:
          ‘And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’

          Ok so with these two scriptures you are attempting to argue that the New Testament condones killing from the book of Acts.You interpret it as killing when in reality at that time in history the meaning would be that whomever did not accept the Messiah would be dead to God.It says nowhere that christians must kill non-believers.

          Nice try Mathius but research and think for yourself next time before posting information from a website such as “The Reason Project” which is devoted
          entirely to defaming Christianity.

          They post entirely from the King James version of the Bible as well which most current day english speaking people have a difficult time understanding.Why don’t you read the NIV version.I am certain you would understand more clearly the teachings.

          Romans 1:29-32 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

          OK, so Paul writes a letter to the Romans lets break this down so you can understand it shall we?

          God’s Wrath Against Mankind

          18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
          21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

          24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

          26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

          28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

          So once again this scripture does not condone nor tell christians to kill unbelievers but rather EmPhASizes the fact that those that adhere to the actions in above scripture deserve death from God.

          Basically the scripture is stating that those people that know their actions to be evil and continue to act upon those actions then they are dead to God and have no chance at eternity with God.

          Colosians 1:19-20 God makes peace through blood.

          19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

          UMMMM…. Yes Jesus died on the cross for the sins of mankind so that we may have an oppurtunity at an eternity with the creator.A great sacrifice to give ones life for.The blood referred to in that scripture has been talked about for centuries.It is a symbol of the new covenant mankind has with God.

          Hebrews 10:28-29
          28Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
          29How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

          The book of Hebrews was written…well to the Hebrews living around the 1st century!The author is unknown but many scholars believe it has Paul’s influence to it.The purpose of the book was to inform the Hebrew people of the dangers of not embracing the New Convenant.The hazard is in sinning willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth. The horror is in the fact that if we do so, there remains no more sacrifice for sins.You would be dead to God.This scripture is a warning not a means to condone the killing of others.

          So Mathius I await your reply and hope you try a bit harder the next go round.As I said before the Bible is in and of itself a truly wonderful history book.To understand it you need to understand culture at the time original scripture was written.If you are going to use the KJ version then I highly recommend studying the English culture of the 1600’s in order to grasp its’ full meaning.

          Ok that’s all from me this morning I’m going to bed now.I worked a 12 hour shift last night and need sleep something fierce.Good day to all of you.

          • Oh almost forgot…I took the liberty of defining the Books the passages of scripture belonged to for you so you could read the full paragraphs and understand their meaning for yourself instead of leaning on someone elses biased pov.

        • Bee in my Bonnet says:

          We can just concentrate on the negative, or, with an open mind, acknowledge that Christianity has also had a positive influence on the world. Some positive influences as a direct result of applied Christianity:

          Orphanages
          Hospitals (St. Jude, etc.)
          Universities (Harvard, etc)
          The Scientific Method (Thomas Aquinas, Newton, Galileo, Mendel, etc)
          The Renaissance
          Abolition of Slavery
          World Vision
          Zillions of different mission projects, all around the world
          Inner city outreaches
          Crisis pregnancy centers
          Hurricane and disaster relief
          Salvation Army

          • An excellent point, Bee. And I agree whole-heartedly. I just think it’s unfair for TexasChem to say that Islam is violent when Christianity is peaceful. Bear in mind that Islam has also given us plenty of good things and provides many of the same services as does the church. One of the central tenants of all three religions is charity (Sadaqah).

            They did, however, give us algebra, and this I can never forgive.

            • Black Flag says:

              And Islam has given us science…

              The scientific method. It consists of seven steps:

              1) Observation

              2) Statement of a problem or question

              3) Formulation of a hypothesis, or a possible answer to the problem or question

              4) Testing of the hypothesis with an experiment

              5) Analysis of the experiment’s results

              6) Interpretation of the data and formulation of a conclusion

              7) Publication of the findings

              European scholars had been conducting experiments for three hundred years, ever since a Franciscan monk named Roger Bacon advocated experimentation in the thirteenth century.

              One of Bacon’s books, Perspectiva (Optics) challenges ancient Greek ideas about vision and includes several experiments with light that include all seven steps of the scientific method.

              Bacon’s Perspectiva is not an original work, however.

              It is a summary of a longer work entitled De aspectibus (The Optics). Perspectiva follows the organization of De aspectibus and repeats its experiments step by step.

              But De aspectibus is not an original work, either.

              It is the Latin translation of a book written in Arabic entitled Kit’b al-Man’zir (Book of Optics). Written around 1021, Kit’b al-Man’zir predates Roger Bacon’s summary of it by 250 years.

              The author of this groundbreaking book was an Arab Muslim scholar named Abk ‘Al+ al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham.

              Born in Basra (located in what is now Iraq) in 965, Ibn al-Haytham—known in the West as Alhazen or Alhacen—wrote more than 200 books and treatises on a wide range of subjects. He was the first person to apply algebra to geometry, founding the branch mathematics known as analytic geometry.

              Ibn al-Haytham’s use of experimentation was an outgrowth of his skeptical nature and his Muslim faith.

              He believed that human beings are flawed and only God is perfect. To discover the truth about nature, he reasoned, one had to allow the universe to speak for itself.

              “The seeker after truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition, puts his trust in them,” Ibn al-Haytham wrote in Doubts Concerning Ptolemy, “but rather the one who suspects his faith in them and questions what he gathers from them, the one who submits to argument and demonstration.”

              To test his hypothesis that “lights and colors do not blend in the air,” for example, Ibn al-Haytham devised the world’s first camera obscura, observed what happened when light rays intersected at its aperture, and recorded the results.

              This is just one of dozens of “true demonstrations,” or experiments, contained in Kit’b al-Man’zir.

              By insisting on the use of verifiable experiments to test hypotheses,, Ibn al-Haytham established a new system of inquiry—the scientific method—and earned a place in history as the first scientist.

              • The Babylonians were using algebraic equations 4000 years ago.
                Brahmagupta an Indian mathematician was solving linear equations in the mid 600’s.He was also the first documented mathmatician to apply the number zero as a number instead of just a placeholder.

                The historian al-Biruni (c. 1050) in his book Tariq al-Hind states that the Abbasid caliph al-Ma’mun had an embassy in India and from India a book was brought to Baghdad which was translated into Arabic as Sindhind. It is generally presumed that Sindhind is none other than Brahmagupta’s Brahmasphuta-siddhanta.

              • Well at least give them inventing mustachio wax.

      • I don’t know why I’m even responding to this, you’ve made it abundantly clear that you believe this and won’t change you mind based on a logical, religious argument, but I’ll give it a shot.

        Rather than go through each line, most of which are obvious misapplied (“The smell of burning flesh is “a sweet savour unto the Lord.” 15:3, 13-14, 24,” uhh, burnt offering as in animal flesh…) I’ll just make an overall statement.

        There is a moral order to the world. Anyone who breaks that moral order deserves death. If you can’t accept that then there’s no reason for me to talk to you. The beauty of Christianity is that God took pity on us humans, because we can’t NOT break His order. He thus took our deaths upon Himself to bring balance back to the universe. If you don’t always understand His commands, that’s fine, neither do I. All that shows, though, is that our minds can’t comprehend the infinite!

        I always hate to get into religious arguments with atheists, because no one will change their minds. I hate having my religion attacked and you love to do so. Therefore, I will say no more on this topic and wish you a good day!

        • JB,

          I’m only bringing out these lines to demonstrate that Judaism and Christianity are no more peaceful in their holy books than is Islam. Some of it’s practitioners may be, but that is not his claim. He states that Islam is a violent religion and my argument is that that may be so, but then so are Judaism and Christianity.

          For the record, I am not an atheist. My closest affiliation could be said to be Judaism – and though we have been history’s punching bag for the last few millennia, we are by no means entirely innocent ourselves.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Saying, “One religion has some bad attributes, and another religion has some bad attributes, so they are morally equivalent.” is not necessarily correct.

            In order to do a proper evaluation, I submit that you would have to read and analyze the whole of the scriptures from each religion in question, and tabulate all references to approval of killing of non-believers, and all references to peaceful co-existance with non-believers.

            I have of course not done this. Let us say, just as an example, you read all of the books of Christianity and came up with:

            2000 references to killing non-believers vs. 500 references to peaceful co-existence with non believers (TOTALLY MADE UP NUMBERS)

            Then you read all of the scripture of Islam and came up with:

            1000 references to killing non-believers vs. 700 references to peaceful co-existence with non believers (AGAIN TOTALLY MADE UP NUMBERS)

            From this, you could logically conclude that Islam is less violent than Christianity.

            So, if any of you are truly bored enough, I challenge you to do this and numerically determine which religion is more violent 🙂

            You can’t just say, “Charles Manson did stuff that was wrong, and Pete Rose did stuff that was wrong, so Charles Manson and Pete Rose are morally equivallent.” That is a lazy analysis.

            Also, there are many of you that like to point to the Crusades (which, by the way, we do not really know which side STARTED that whole mess) and the Spanish Inquisition as prime examples of the violence of Christianity… but I would submit to you that if you have to go back hundreds of years to find really good examples of violent Christianity on a large scale vs. going back not very long ago at all to find pretty darn good examples of violent Islam on a large scale, you really have to think about that comparison as well.

            Finally, yes, Catholics and Protestants have killed each other from time to time for various religious reasons, but Shiites and Sunnis kill each other quite regularly (like on nearly a daily basis) for religious reasons.

            So, I submit that a bit more throrough analysis should probably be done before declaring all religions “morally equivalent”.

      • I don’t recall ever reading about Jesus refusing to heal a person because he wasn’t Jewish. But I’m sure going to find out for you. As for the rest, I’m not going to comment at all. Except to say that the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades were wrong and were led that way by the Roman Catholicism that they were practicing.

        • Please do find the reference.. I couldn’t. Also, there was a story about a battle where the commander (who I want to say was Moses) ordered all the men and children killed and the women “taken.” Biblical scholars seem to believe that this implied rape and/or slavery – this story I don’t remember from my reading but was on History channel talking about the bible, so it’s probably in there somewhere and I just forgot it.

          But again, my point is simply that Christianity is not a “peaceful” religion while Islam is “violent.” Either both are violent or neither.

          • I think the point they seem to be missing is that Christianity is not NOW a violent religion, while Islam most certainly is.

            But at least some of the reason for Islam being such a violent religion is the fact that most of the ones being taught the Koran are ignorant sheep herders who can’t read and are going by the teaching of extremist Mullahs who are telling these people lies to get what they want done.

            I don’t see any Mullahs running into markets and setting the bomb off that is strapped to THEIR chests. I also don’t hear of any of these religious teachers running around setting off roadside bombs.

            All I ever see these worthless turds doing is telling others to do it for their reward of paradise and virgins.

            • Too true. But our friend TexasChem seems intent on seeing the underlying religion as the cause of the violence. Perhaps if, as Anne Coulter suggested, they were to be “perfected” by becoming Christians, this wouldn’t be happening. Because destitute oppressed uneducated Christians are never manipulated into acts of unspeakable violence on “religious” grounds.

            • And, I’m going to have to take slight exception to your statement that “Islam most certainly is [violent].” The texts say what they say, but you can read it however you like, as with the the Bible or Torah. It is the people who are violent or not and it is the Koran which is just being used as an excuse to justify these acts, it is not causing them. Many Muslims are every bit as appalled by terrorism as we are (and more so since it’s being done in the name of their faith).

              • The only thing I can say is that if all these Islamic Nation are so horrified by the acts of violence done in the name of Islam. Then they should get up off their behinds and do something about these people.

                I support our troops 100%. I don’t support the fact that our Nation is over there in that place and our troops are dying to help people who don’t appreciate a damn bit of it.

                IF it were up to me we would bring all of our troops home and let those nations over there either handle the terrorists themselves or be destroyed or taken over by them.

                Then the first time even one of our citizens was harmed by one of those terrorists. After ascertaining which nations terrorists had perpetrated the act, I would turn them into a big ol’ parking lot.

                And then if another attack, another parking lot until somebody got the message that the best thing to do is leave the US strictly alone if you want to continue to exist as a People.

                And it goes without saying that this would involve the US staying STRICTLY out of other nations business.

                Trade with all. Interference with none, so to speak.

            • Black Flag says:

              But my friendly salty guy Epsom … sorry, Esom 😉

              Let me respond this way:

              Where are all the Americans are so horrified by the acts of violence done in the name of America?

              90 people slaughtered by US bombs while gathering fuel.

              How many in the church that was leveled by the US bombs?

              The million or so dead and injuried Iraq people?

              Where is your outrage? Or is because it is being done by America with bombs from 30,000 feet that makes it “ok” – but if done by people whose only weapon is a rock – it is evil?

          • Mathius stated:
            But again, my point is simply that Christianity is not a “peaceful” religion while Islam is “violent.” Either both are violent or neither

            Not true.Islam continues to teach, condone and foster any means possible to allow itself to dominate the world.Whether it be utilizing murder or lieing; any means necessary will be used to accomplish that goal.

            Christianity does not condone these acts under any possible condition in this day and age.Misinterpretation of scripture for personal gain by mankind over the centuries has lead to thousands of deaths.That is true.That was from evil men under the New Testament, not God Mathius.

            The Old Testament was written at a time in Human history under an Old convenant with God in which his directives were absolute; to mold the tribes of Judea to his will as he saw fit to accomplish his plans for an uncivilized mankind.

            You compare apples to radiators when taking into consideration the timeframe between the current age in which Islam still functions exactly the same as when it was founded in 610 AD to 2009.Christianity has matured according to Gods will and is the true “religion of peace” by those who know Christ as their lord and saviour.

            • I’m sorry, my friend, the bible is the same (mostly) book it was when it was written by a Roman committee. The practitioners of Christianity may have matured and become more civilized. So, for that matter, have the practitioners of Islam – note, again, the BILLION peaceful Muslims. There are just a few throwbacks. Here’s an SAT question for you:

              Radical Islamic fundamentalists are to Islam as ____ is to Christianity.

              (answer: the KKK)

              It’s the klan gone global and better financed and deriving their “divine” justification from a different book.

              Try to refrain from painting an entire people with one brush.

              • “the bible is the same (mostly) book it was when it was written by a Roman committee”

                I think compiled would be a better word than written.

              • There was definitely some editing too. But fair enough. Compiled it is.

              • You cannot marginalize the dangers of radical Islam with stating it is just a few “throwbacks” involved in the violence.

                It is not just a few.The resources of multiple Arabic nations are being utilized in their efforts.

                Libya has a new hero in the Lockerbie bomber who murdered 270 people yet was cheered upon his return by an entire nation.Iran diplomats have stated their goal of destroying Israel and wiping them from the face of the Earth.Crimes against christians and even their own Islamic brothers occur daily in each and every Islamic country in the world.Somalia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan…etc.Just a few off the top of my head.The list is endless if you would take the time to research it.

              • Now, now, Tex (can I call ya Tex?)..

                I would like to assign you some homework. Please look up the total number of Muslims world-wide. Then please try to find (as near as you can) an accurate assessment for the number of bat-shit loco Muslims intent on the destruction of Israel and the forced conversion of everyone else. Take the second number and divide it by the first number then multiply by 100 and at a percent symbol. I would be very interested in the result.

                I can and will marginalize the dangers of a stark raving mad lunatic fringe. This is not the bulk or Muslims, and it has nothing to do with Islam. It is cultural. These people live in a sandbox and their leaders have to blame someone. So who do they blame? They blame the same guys everyone else has for the last few thousand years: The Jews. Your odds of getting killed by a terrorist are far less than getting struck by lighting. I’m ok with that. It’s far more likely you’ll be killed in a car accident on your way to work tomorrow. It’s when we over-react and invade and kill a bunch of people unnecessarily and stir up all this animosity that we generate more terrorists.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Mathius, let us say for example that that number is 3%… However, the number of Christians that want to wipe Isreal or Islam or anything else of the map is 0.1%…

                Are they then still morally equivalent?

              • What would the percent of Christins who think that be if they lived next door to Israel and were told their whole lives that the Jews were to blame fore everything wrong in the world?

                And is it fair to judge an entire religion on 3% of its members? God was going to spare Sodom if it contained even a few innocent men.

              • Black Flag says:

                Careful, Matt.

                The Arab world blames Israel for the Palestinian disaster – not the whole world of problems.

              • You assume to know the general mindset of millions of people?

                How liberal of you Mathius!

          • This might be what you are referring to-

            “And, behold a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil…..But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”

            My own personal interpretation of this is that Christ was pointing out to the Jews the humility and faith of this woman who was a Canaanite.

            • Maybe.. I don’t think that’s it.. I’m a little hazy on this one.. I thought Paul had to convince him to do it… I could be making this one up, I’ll admit. Either way, it’s off topic. Thanks though, Jennie 🙂

            • I take this to be a metaphor for the extension of God’s people to those who are not Hebrew.

              • Do you mind if I ask, how is it that Christians always claim some parts to be metaphors but others are literal? It seems very convenient to me that the parts they disagree with are metaphors and the parts they like are the incontrovertible word of God.

                For example, “homosexuality is a sin” is literal, but the story of creation is a metaphor for the Big Bang. Who gets to make these judgments? Seems to me that it should be all or none, no?

              • My first sentence was very unfair..

                Do you mind if I ask, how is it that Christians always claim some parts to be metaphors but others are literal?

                should have been

                Do you mind if I ask, how is it that some Christians claim some parts to be metaphors but others are literal?

                Not all are guilty of this and I wouldn’t want to imply that they are.

              • For the most part it takes study to rightly divide the word of God. Each person should make it their own responsibility to study what they believe. I for one believe most of the word to be literal even the part about creation. Sometimes imagery is use to help illustrate a point or story, but even that is usually obvious which parts are which with study. I dont see how “homosexuality is a sin” can be taken as a metaphor seems pretty straight forward just as other forms of sexual immorality are sins.

                Anyway I did appreciate that you pointed out that cherry picking qoutes from any text is a dishonest way of proving a point. I quickly lose appreciation for people when they adamently cherry pick and try to prove something. Context is a big deal of what is said.

              • That being said I have been guity of cherry picking in the past too. I continue to try and provide context when use quotes but that often gets long and cumbersome.

              • Of course, when I say it is metaphorical, I’m not saying that it didn’t physically happen. I’m just drawing some meaning from it.

              • If something is intended in the Bible to be a metaphor, such as Jesus’ Parables, it says so.

                I believe that you either believe everything the bible says, or you believe none of it.

                I am Baptist. Not a Jimmy Carter Baptist either.

                But I also tend to not be a very good christian either. That is my fault. Because I am human, with human weaknesses and frailties.

                Back a few months ago I tried to explain on here about creation. It’s been too long ago for me to remember where.

                Just suffice to say that the bible says that God created the earth in 6 days.

                But what is a day to God? Maybe God chose to say a day because man had no comprehension of a billion years. To one who is eternal a billion years would be no different to a day to a mortal man.

              • 2Pe 3:8
                But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

          • Black Flag says:

            Mark 7:24-7:29

            Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret

            In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet.

            The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

            “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”

            “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

            Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

            So, Jesus first did not – he saw her as a heathen – but her reply changed his mind.

      • To Mathius….yes, I have read all three. It was required reading of Army line officers to understand prior to going overseas. I have also talked to numerous Imams. Also had to study the writings of Siddhartha Gautama, Mahabharata, and Ramayana. We were going to be in that part of the world and it required an understanding of the beliefs of the people.

        Prior to you joining this blog, I did extensive research, named the Mosques, and posted the results. The end result was that the “peaceful” ones would not, and will not renounce the violence publicly. They will not out of fear. The one Imam that I got to talk to extensively took this approach….”I do not condone the violence, however, if it takes that to further my religion, I also cannot go against it”. To me, that was the most contradictory statement. I also noted that the women were ushered away and I was allowed access only to one part of the Mosque. That did not bother me but I was not allowed to “look around”. I was prohibited from talking to the women of the Mosque and they were instructed to avoid me…and did. I do not profess Christianity. I am still not sure where my spirituality lies.

        As an outsider in terms of Christianity, I feel like the Old Testament is NOT the foundation of the Christian Religion. It was interpreted my man and is a history book. Nor was the Spanish Inquisition nor the Crusades a foundation for Christianity. Any war, takeover, indoctrination, etc. in the name of any religion is wrong and that includes mission projects of modern day. As an Army Officer, I have talked to and seen the result of “religious missionaries” and their indoctrination techniques in other countries. For any religion to denounce another as false or wrong, contradicts their very existence…unless violence is their preferred method, and that is contradictory as well. The New Testament is also a history book interpreted by man but supposedly “God inspired” and Jesus is the way to eternal salvation because mankind cannot live within the doctrines of the New Testament, God sacrificed his Son to take the sins of man. At least that is my interpretation of it and that of the Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth.

        Religion is in the eye of the beholder. It is spiritual and lies within the breast of everyone. There are ZEALOTS on both sides. I will never say one is right and the other is wrong. I believe in the reality of what I see, hear, touch, and breathe. BF and I have lived among BOTH religions and shared their teachings, food, traditions, etc. We both have different viewpoints and are entitled to them. But, I deal in the reality and what is presented.

        D13

        • “There are zealots on both sides.” Well stated. You have my complete agreement.

          That said, I visited a mosque over here in the states. The women were not segregated, they were not burka-clad, and we were allowed (encouraged even) to explore the mosque and the Sunday-school-like classes and talk to members. I feel that, like so much else, this attitude toward women or outsiders that you speak of is vastly more a function of the society in which the people are practicing their religion than of the religion itself.

          • Perhaps….the Mosques here did not allow me to go through and the women were in burkas in all three mosques but not face covered.

            But it could easily be the social norm…the only thing that bothered me was the refusal to denounce the violent extreme of the Muslim world. That I do not understand. That tendency, leads me to believe that they would tacitly stand by and condone the violent actions.

            • That is, indeed, troubling. But I wonder if you asked that of a Imam in a more reformed mosque what he would say. I imagine you’d get a very different answer.

              Christianity had a schism: it broke into dozens of mini-religions of various degrees of orthodoxy with different beliefs and practices. There are sects that are basically agnostic and those that consider it a moral obligation to convert others by any means necessary.

              Judaism has its own, but we just don’t acknowledge it: there are reformed, conservative and orthodox Jews. We are as different from each other as Greek Orthodox is from Mormon.

              Islam, too, had its own splits (sunni/shia), but it also had others. There are observant Muslims, fundamentalist Muslims, non-practicing Muslims, and bat-shit loco Muslims. It is this last group that gets the attention. And they are all that guys like TexasChem can see.

              • I’d say, prudence makes it essential that we keep the dangers that radical Islam holds but be very careful not to make the mistakes of the past(detention camps) because of our fears or beliefs.

              • Very fair, V. It’s unlikely that I’ll get struck by lightning, but that doesn’t mean I should fly kites in a thunderstorm.

              • Go ahead and fly em….I wanna watch.

              • Alright.. I’ll let you know how it goes! 🙂

            • Black Flag says:

              Remember, it was Islam that was the first to codified the women’s rights

              Yes, as with all things that create influence in human affairs, it becomes perverted by those that seek power over others.

              Christianity saw that with Catholic Church.

              Islam suffers the same.

              There are always those that will pervert things in their hunger for power.

        • Everyone seems to be wondering why Muslim terrorists are so quick to commit suicide.

          Let’s see now. . . .

          No Jesus

          No Christmas

          No television

          No cheerleaders

          No baseball

          No football

          No hockey

          No golf

          No tailgate parties

          No Wal-Mart

          No Home Depot

          No pork BBQ

          No hot dogs

          No burgers

          No chocolate chip cookies

          No lobster

          No shellfish, or even frozen fish sticks

          No gumbo

          No jambalaya

          No Beer

          Rags for clothes and towels for hats.

          Constant wailing from the guy next-door because he’s sick and there are no doctors.

          Constant wailing from the guy in the tower.

          More than one wife.

          You can’t shave.

          Your wives can’t shave.

          You can’t shower to wash off the smell of donkey cooked over burning camel dung.

          The women have to wear baggy dresses and veils at all times.

          Your bride is picked by someone else.

          She smells just like your donkey.

          But your donkey has a better disposition.

          Then they tell you that when you die it all gets better!

          I mean, really, is there a mystery here?

  6. I'm learning! says:

    I might be a day late and dollar short on this one. I have been gone for a few days and have been trying to catch up on what has been posted. So if you have already seen this, forgive me. Otherwise I just got this e-mailed to me last night.

    Please take a minute to sign this petition keeping Government control OUT of healthcare.

    http://www.freeourhealthcarenow.com/

    By the way G-man – I’ve canned chicken. Good stuff! I usually end up in the “stuffing the chicken in the jar and seal” part of the process. What do you like to use your chicken for? I am always interested in new things. I usually just use it for hot dishes or creamed chicken over mashed potatoes. We can beef too – which is my favorite. 1/2 hour to yummy beef tips and gravy after work! And it would be ready sooner if I didn’t have to make the potatoes – but I just don’t care for instant!

    • I.L. As it turned out we froze them instead. Things got busy and with much to do that was the least time consuming.

      Darn, you made me hungry this morning!

      G!

  7. GOOOH update, by Tim Cox

    Latest Poll: America says FIRE Congress!

    Did you see the latest Rasmussen poll? A mere 25% of voters nationwide, when asked if they would keep or replace the entire Congress, said they would keep them. The only surprise here is that a few people seem surprised. This is terribly old news. Every person in America knows the politicians need to go, that our non-representing representatives are completely out of control; they have been for years.

    We need an alternative. We want a solution. The good news is we finally have one. We simply need our countrymen to know about GOOOH.com. It may not feel like it, yet, but your efforts to spread the word are working tremendously well. We are making fantastic progress, but we need you to do more. Can you personally get five others to join us? Don’t just send a mass email, email each person individually, ask them to join, and then follow up to ensure they have. Most people need a little push. Are you willing to make the effort? We must keep working. This will not happen without effort.

    I will be in Washington, D.C. September 10-12, and would like to enlist the help of every GOOOH member who will be there. We have 25,000 pieces of GOOOH literature (tri-folds, business cards, bumper stickers, etc.) to distribute and I could use your help.

    I’ll be in the lobby of the JW Marriott Hotel on 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest in Washington, D.C. at the following times to hand out material:

    Thursday, September 10th, 6pm

    Friday, September 11th, 9am

    Friday, September 11th, 5pm
    Saturday, September 12th, 8:30 am

  8. Alert in Michigan says:

    Several weeks ago on an Open Mic night (which I can’t find now) someone did an informal poll to see who could survive without government. My answer at the time was “no- but working toward it”. But later I got to thinking about the question and wondered if I understood it completely. Since I don’t remember who asked the question, I will ask for some clarification. Our family is not on any sort of federal funding or programming – we completely support ourselves financially; we do, however use “government services” like local water, sewer, etc. and in a need would call for police services, for instance. How much does “survive without government” entail? I’d love to hear what the original questioner (or whomever wants to answer) intended. Thanks!

    • AIM

      “survive without government”

      If all utilities and food shipments ceased for what ever reason, can you and your family survive and for how long. Using what you have on hand in your home do you have the necessities to sustain life? Do you have a 72 hour kit in case you are forced from your home and had no one to turn to? This has nothing to do with an end of the world type scenario but all to do with being prepared.

      • Alert in Michigan says:

        That’s mostly what I was thinking it meant. Looked up Black Flag’s preparedness site and am starting some of their lists and suggestions. 72 hours we could do (with a little more prep – we’re working on it) but end-of-world scenario wouldn’t be pretty. Thanks for the feedback.

    • That were G Man,

      Flags post on #14 is basically the same thought.

  9. Not political, and I am kinda a chauvinist pig, but this Georgia girl is kicking it! Esom, a cousin of yours?

    No prom, no big deal: Oudin stars at US Open

    NEW YORK — Melanie Oudin missed the junior prom.

    Skipped homecoming, too.

    And the 17-year-old isn’t spending a lot of time hanging out with pals at the mall, either.

    Then again, none of the other kids back in Marietta, Ga., is preparing to play in the U.S. Open quarterfinals Wednesday night.

    pulled off a fourth consecutive upset victory at Flushing Meadows.

    “I know she misses the normal life a little, but she does not regret it at all. Zero,” Katherine said. “She’s totally OK with it, because she knows this is what she’s wanted her entire life.”

    That’s a relative term, of course. When your “entire life” encompasses 17-plus years _ and you began playing tennis at 7, hitting balls out of a bucket with Grandma Mimi _ you haven’t exactly been waiting forever for success. Indeed, Oudin is the youngest U.S. Open quarterfinalist since Serena Williams in 1999.

    Sure has. A year ago, Oudin was ranked 221st and lost in the first round in New York. She never had won a Grand Slam match until Wimbledon in June. Nowadays, she high-fives security guards on her way into the locker room.

    Everything is “awesome” and “cool,” and she’s “freaked out.” Her stunning win over three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova? “I just had a blast.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2009Sep08/0,4670,TENUSOpenOudin,00.html

    • As far as I know I’m not kin. BUT, I keep finding out that I am kin to people all the time, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

      I’d have to see who she was kin to. I do have kinfolk that live in Marietta.

      • Come on Esom everybody knows that country folks from Georgia don’t have a family tree. If you trace your roots back you come up with a hula hoop instead of a tree, just kidding. Turnips, kale and cabbage sure are looking good in the old garden, do you have one going? 🙂

        • I used to live in Alabama too. I lived in Tecumseh, AL for several years when I was a youngun’. And yes, like AL our family trees don’t have very many branches. More like the family stick.

          And I have Collards.

  10. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Grandma’s – You gotta love them! Here’s a quote from a government employee
    who witnessed a recent interaction between an elderly woman and an
    antiwar protester in a Metro station in DC:

    “There were protesters on the train platform handing out pamphlets on the
    evils of America. I politely declined to take one. An elderly woman was
    behind me getting off the escalator and a young (20ish) female protester
    offered her a pamphlet, which she politely declined.

    The young protester put her hand on the old woman’s shoulder as a gesture
    of friendship and in a very soft voice said, ‘Lady, don’t you care about
    the children of Iraq?’ The old woman looked up at her and said, ‘Honey,
    my father died in France during World War II, I lost my husband in Korea,
    and a son in Vietnam. All three died so you could have the right to stand
    here and bad mouth our country. If you touch me again. I’ll stick this
    umbrella up your @ss and open it. ‘”

    Best regards to all!

    RS

    • Ahhhh…RS…..what would we do without you to enlighten our day with such wit. The imagery….sigh. (but laughing hysterically).

    • Oh I would have LOVED to have been there to see that!

    • Where’s that doggone dog? Got something for you Fido! Have to leave early, so good day to all.

      A boss wondered why one of his most valued employees had not phoned
      >> >in sick one day. Having an urgent problem with one of the main
      >> >computers, he dialed the employee’s home phone number and was
      >> >greeted with a child’s whisper.
      >> >”Hello.”
      >> >”Is your daddy home?” he asked.
      >> >”Yes,” whispered the small voice.
      >> >”May I talk with him?”
      >> >The child whispered, “No.”
      >> >Surprised and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, “Is
      >> >your Mommy there?”
      >> >”Yes.”
      >> >”May I talk with her?”
      >> >Again the small voice whispered, “No.”
      >> >Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the
      >> >boss asked, “Is anybody else there?”
      >> >”Yes,” whispered the child, “a policeman”
      >> >Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee’s home, the
      >> boss
      >> >asked, “May I speak with the policeman?”
      >> >”No, he’s busy”, whispered the child.
      >> >”Busy doing what?”
      >> >”Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman,”
      >> came the whispered
      >> >answer.
      >> >Growing more worried as he heard what sounded like a helicopter
      >> >through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked, “What is that
      >> >noise?”
      >> >”A helicopter” answered the whispering voice.
      >> >”What is going on there?” demanded the boss, now truly
      >> apprehensive.
      >> >Again, whispering, the child answered, “The search team just landed
      >> >the helicopter.”
      >> >Alarmed, concerned and a little frustrated the boss asked, “What
      >> are
      >> >they searching for?”
      >> >Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle:
      >> >
      >> >”ME!!”

    • WIFE VS HUSBAND

      A couple was driving down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.

      An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position.

      As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, “Relatives of yours?”

      “Yep,” the wife replied, “in-laws.”

      W O R D S

      A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a
      day… 30,000 to a man’s 15,000.

      The wife replied, “The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything
      to men…

      The husband then turned to his wife and asked, “What?”

      CREATION

      A man said to his wife one day, “I don’t know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time.

      “The wife responded, “Allow me to explain. God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me; God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!

      The Silent Treatment

      A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each

      other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.

      Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a
      piece of paper, “Please wake me at 5:00 AM.” He left it where he knew she would find it.

      The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn’t wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, “It is 5:00 AM. Wake up.”

      Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.

      MARRIAGE SEMINAR

      While attending a Marriage Seminar dealing with communication, Tom and his wife Grace listened to the instructor,

      “It is essential that husbands and wives know each other’s likes and
      dislikes.”

      He addressed the man;

      “Can you name your wife’s favorite flower?”

      Tom leaned over, touched his wife’s arm gently and whispered, “It’s
      Pillsbury, isn’t it?

      God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.

    • Doctors experiences – funny

      >
      > 1. A man comes into the ER and yells, “My wife’s going to have her
      > baby in the cab!” I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted
      > the lady’s dress, and began to take off her underwear. Suddenly I
      > noticed that there were several cabs and I was in the wrong one.
      > Submitted by Dr. , San Antonio, TX.
      >
      > 2. At the beginning of my shift I placed a stethoscope on an elderly
      > and slightly deaf female patient’s anterior chest wall. “Big
      > breaths,” I instructed. “Yes, they used to be,” replied the patient.
      > Submitted by Dr. , Seattle, WA
      >
      > 3. One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that
      > her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct. Not more than
      > five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family
      > that he had died of a “massive internal fart.” Submitted by Dr.
      > , Manitoba, Canada
      >
      > 4. During a patient’s two week follow-up appointment with his
      > cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor, that he was having trouble
      > with one of his medications. “Which one?” I asked. “The patch. The
      > nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours and now I’m running
      > out of places to put it!” I had him quickly undress and discovered
      > what I hoped I wouldn’t see. Yes, the man had over fifty patches on
      > his body! Now, the instructions include removal of the old patch
      > before applying a new one. Submitted by Dr. ,
      > Norfolk, VA
      >
      > 5. While acquainting myself with a new elderly patient, I asked, “How
      > long have you been bedridden?” After a look of complete confusion she
      > answered…”Why, not for about twenty years – when my husband was
      > alive.” Submitted by Dr. , Corvallis, OR
      >
      > 6. I was caring for a woman and asked, “So how’s your breakfast this
      > morning?” “It’s very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can’t seem
      > to get used to the taste” the patient replied. I then asked to see the
      > jelly and the woman produced a foil packet labeled “KY Jelly.”
      > Submitted by Dr. , Detroit, MI

      > 7. A nurse was on duty in the Emergency Room, when a young woman with
      > purple hair styled into a punk rocker Mohawk, sporting a variety of
      > tattoos, and wear-in strange clothing, entered. It was quickly
      > determined that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was
      > scheduled for immediate surgery. When she was completely disrobed on
      > the operating table, the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been
      > dyed green, and above it there was a tattoo that read, “Keep off the
      > grass”. Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a short note

      > on the patient’s dressing, which said, “Sorry, had to mow the lawn.”
      > Submitted by RN no name
      >
      > AND FINALLY!!!…………….
      >
      > 8. As a new, young MD doing his residency in OB, I was quite
      > embarrassed when performing female pelvic exams. To cover my
      > embarrassment I had unconsciously formed a habit of whistling softly.
      > The middle-aged lady upon whom I was performing this exam suddenly
      > burst out laughing and further embarrass-sing me. I looked up from my
      > work and sheepishly said, “I’m sorry. Was I tickling you?” She
      > replied, “No doctor, but the song you were whistling was, “I wish I
      > was an Oscar Meyer Wiener”. Dr. wouldn’t submit his name.

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Dear LOI,

        I was on a “work” conference call and I decided to read this one…I want you to know that I literally busted out laughing…just couldn’t contain myself! Of course, everyone on the call was like “What’s so funny Richmond Spitfire?”. Of course, I had to tell them that I thought I was on mute and just saw something funny outside.

        Thank you for the great laughs!

        Best Regards,

        RS

    • Three Italian nuns die and go to heaven. St. Peter meets them at the
      Pearly Gates.

      He says, “Sisters, you all led such exemplary lives that the Lord is
      granting you six months to go back to earth and be anyone you wish to
      be.”
      The first nun says, “I want to be Sophia Loren”; and *poof* she’s gone.
      The second says, “I want to be Madonna”; and *poof* she’s gone.
      The third says, “I want to be Sara Pipalini…”
      St. Peter looks perplexed. “Who?” he asks.
      Sara Pipalini,” replies the nun. St. Peter shakes his head and
      says, “I’m sorry, but that name just doesn’t ring a bell”.
      The nun then takes a newspaper out of her habit and hands it to St.
      Peter. He reads the paper and starts laughing. He hands it back to
      her and says…..
      “No sister, the paper says it was the
      ‘Sahara Pipeline’ that was laid by 1,400 men in 6 months.”

      If you laughed, you are going straight to hell!
      ————————————-
      A man had just settled into his seat next to the window on the plane when another man sat down in the aisle seat and put his black Labrador Retriever in the middle seat next to the man.

      The first man looks very quizzically at the dog and asks why the dog is allowed on the plane. The second man explained that he is a DEA agent and that the dog is a “sniffing dog”. His name is Sniffer and he’s the best there is. I’ll show you once we get airborne, when I put him to work.”

      The plane takes off, and once it has leveled out, the agent says: “Watch this.” He tells Sniffer to “search”. Sniffer jumps down, walks along the aisle, and finally sits very purposefully next to a woman for several seconds. Sniffer then returns to its seat and puts one paw on the agent’s arm.

      The agent says, “Good boy”, and he turns to the man and says: “That woman is in possession of marijuana, so I’m making a note of her seat number and the authorities will apprehend her when we land.”

      “Say, that’s pretty neat” replies the first man.

      Once again, the agent sends Sniffer to search the aisles.

      The Lab sniffs about, sits down beside a man for a few seconds, returns to its seat, and this time, he places TWO paws on the agent’s arm.

      The agent says, “That man is carrying cocaine, so again, I’m making a note of his seat number for the police.”

      “I like it!” says his seat mate.

      The agent then told Sniffer to “search” again.

      Sniffer walked up and down the aisles for a little while, sat down for a moment, and then came racing back to the agent, jumped into the middle seat and proceeded to poop all over the place.

      The first man is really grossed out by this behavior and can’t figure out how or why a well-trained dog would act like that, so he asks the agent “What’s going on?”

      The agent nervously replied, “He just found a bomb!”
      ——————————————————————————-

      Subject: 25-inch
      A guy with a 25-inch peepee went to a doctor and said, “I can’t live with this anymore! It’s too long.”
      The doctor replied, “I can’t do anything for you, but if you see the witch doctor in the bayou, she can help you.”
      So, he went to the bayou and saw the witch doctor. The witch doctor said, “Go into the swamp and find a female frog. Ask her to marry you. She’ll say ‘No’ and you’ll lose 5 inches off your member!”
      So, he went to the swamp and found the frog and asked her, “Will you marry me?” “No!” she said.
      He lost 5 inches off his member! The guy liked the results, and thought, 20 inches is just too much. So he asked the frog again, “Will you marry me?” The frog said, “No!” And the guy lost another 5 inches. He thought, 15 inches is great! But 10 inches would just be perfect. So he asked, “Will you marry me?”.
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .

      And the frog said, “How many times do I have to tell you…
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      NO! NO! NO!”

  11. D13, and other vets.

    Colonel, I have a burning and potentially hot question. It has been eating at me ever since you posted the “martial law” plans.

    Many of those opposing the ratification of the Constitution did so based on their fear that a “centralized” military would eventually be used against the citizens. Loyalty to the govt at best or the President at worst, was the inevitable conclusion of a “standing army”.

    Your posting reawakens our ancestors worst fears and brings them to their apparent inevitable conclusion. The mere fact that our General Staff would develop such a plan as a feasible option tells me that they do not grasp the meaning of “defend the constitution”. It seems they have arrived at “follow orders of our leader”.

    The fact that the jailing of congress and local elected officials was included is my proof of this claim. Decentralized governance through representation is the keystone of our Constitutional Republic. To even consider a plan that takes any action against this principle flies in the face of that keystone.

    You have made statements, and not just you, here that furhter support my claim. Something along the line of “following orders”.

    Is my conclusion accurate with regard to the military’s allegience?

    If it is, then how can we construct a “standing army” whose allegience is to the people, throught the constitution?

    Because if we can not, then a “standing army” must be eliminated as an option of the VDLG.

    And, there is not animosity intended here, I am however deeply concerned by what you shared.

    No hurry on the answer as I am about to leave for a brisk game of swat and follow. It will take at least 4 hours so take as much time as you like.

    Best wishes for the entire day.
    JAC

    • Oh Yes…the game of “AHHHH SHIT”……Cow pasture pool….swat and follow….more business deals conducted on the field of golf than in the strip bars of New York.

      Fear not, I only posted what is the reality of a “true martial law” implementation. There are a variety of variations and different levels of same. However, it is sobering to actually understand what total martial law would mean and, you are quite correct, flies in the face of the “defending the constitution” oath we all take. The underlying premise…martial law is control by the military. Period. It can be implemented by the President of the United States in a perceived national emergency. It can only be rescinded by the President of the United States. Among the issues of Martial Law are the following:

      Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Functions.

      * EO 10990: “allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.” [9]
      * EO 10995: Federal seizure of all communications media in the US.
      * EO 10997: Federal seizure of all electric power, fuels, minerals, public and private.
      * EO 10998: Federal seizure of all food supplies and resources, public and private and all farms and equipment.
      * EO 10999: Federal seizure of all means of transportation, including cars, trucks, or vehicles of any kind and total control over all highways, seaports and water ways.
      * EO 11000: Federal seizure of American people for work forces under federal supervision, including the splitting up of families if the government so desires.
      * EO 11001: Federal seizure of all health, education and welfare facilities, both public and private.
      * EO 11002: Empowers the Postmaster General to register every single person in the US.
      * EO 11003: Federal seizure of all airports and aircraft.
      * EO 11004: Federal seizure of all housing and finances and authority to establish forced relocation. Authority to designate areas to be abandoned as ‘unsafe,’ establish new locations for populations, relocate communities, build new housing with public funds.
      * EO 11005: Seizure of all railroads, inland waterways and storage facilities, both public and private.
      * EO 11051: Provides FEMA complete authorization to put above orders into effect in times of increased international tension of economic or financial crisis (FEMA will be in control in case of ‘National Emergency’).

      This to name just a few. The military would be he muscle and the entire policing agency. This is worse case scenario and is controlled by the Pres.

      Scary, huh. Now…in reality. As an Army Officer, I would follow the lawful (key word lawful) orders of my superiors. We do have the right to determine lawful according to our oath.

      The more scary part to me, is the creation (should it happen) of the civilian force under the Pres just as powerful and just as trained as the Armed Forces. More scary than martial law.

      • “The more scary part to me, is the creation (should it happen) of the civilian force under the Pres just as powerful and just as trained as the Armed Forces. More scary than martial law.”

        That scares me more than martial law also. If implemented, those folks will be loyal to Obama and Obama alone.

      • IMHO, I don’t think our servicemembers would infact fire on it’s own citizens, unless it was in self defense. I only see this happening in the inner cities as well, as the rural areas will not have the problems with violence as the cities will.

        I also think that this is why Obama wants a civilian force! Anyone want to guess who their oath would be to!

        I have the utmost faith in our military, afterall, they are our kids and grandkids. Not to many silverspooners in that crowd. I havn’t talked to a vet, or active duty member, who actually likes what government is doing. My guess is they fight for US, not them!!

        G!

      • I seem to remember that a lot of these things were initially proposed in the 1950’s on the assumption that there could be a survivable nuclear war. Am I correct in that? If so, they have obviously outlived their intent and usefulness. So, it is time for them to go. How do we make that happen

        • Black Flag says:

          Government can’t repeal laws requiring the tying horses to trading posts outside of a business…

          …and we believe they will repeal laws that give them unlimited power?

          Ha!

          • You are in a mood today, aren’t you? I refuse to go into the WTC thing again, that’s one we are just never goint to agree on, not until one of the hundreds of conspirators spills his guts on the oprah show.

            I really wanted to get the take on when martial law as outlined by D 13 got so formalized. I doubt that many of our reps even know it. Seems like a great cause to get involved in. Since all out survivable nuke war is off the table, martial Law should revert back to State jurisdiction rather than Federal.

            • Black Flag says:

              Science, math, and engineering are very clear regarding 9/11 – whether or not you wish to to play ‘blind monkey’.

              What you do not want to know will most certainly hurt you in this matter.

              If the truth is wholly different then what the government claims – the people who are in power are powerful enough to distort this truth are far more powerful to distort the truth regarding YOU, too!

      • D13,

        What’s your take on this? I copied it from the Army Times site……

        Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1

        3rd Infantry’s 1st BCT trains for a new dwell-time mission. Helping ‘people at home’ may become a permanent part of the active Army
        By Gina Cavallaro – Staff writer
        Posted : Tuesday Sep 30, 2008 16:16:12 EDT

        The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

        Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

        Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

        It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home. In August 2005, for example, when Hurricane Katrina unleashed hell in Mississippi and Louisiana, several active-duty units were pulled from various posts and mobilized to those areas.

        But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

        After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one.

        “Right now, the response force requirement will be an enduring mission. How the [Defense Department] chooses to source that and whether or not they continue to assign them to NorthCom, that could change in the future,” said Army Col. Louis Vogler, chief of NorthCom future operations. “Now, the plan is to assign a force every year.”

        The command is at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., but the soldiers with 1st BCT, who returned in April after 15 months in Iraq, will operate out of their home post at Fort Stewart, Ga., where they’ll be able to go to school, spend time with their families and train for their new homeland mission as well as the counterinsurgency mission in the war zones.

        Stop-loss will not be in effect, so soldiers will be able to leave the Army or move to new assignments during the mission, and the operational tempo will be variable.

        Don’t look for any extra time off, though. The at-home mission does not take the place of scheduled combat-zone deployments and will take place during the so-called dwell time a unit gets to reset and regenerate after a deployment.

        The 1st of the 3rd is still scheduled to deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan in early 2010, which means the soldiers will have been home a minimum of 20 months by the time they ship out.

        In the meantime, they’ll learn new skills, use some of the ones they acquired in the war zone and more than likely will not be shot at while doing any of it.

        They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

        Training for homeland scenarios has already begun at Fort Stewart and includes specialty tasks such as knowing how to use the “jaws of life” to extract a person from a mangled vehicle; extra medical training for a CBRNE incident; and working with U.S. Forestry Service experts on how to go in with chainsaws and cut and clear trees to clear a road or area.

        The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

        The package is for use only in war-zone operations, not for any domestic purpose.

        “It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”

        The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.

        “I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered,” said Cloutier, describing the experience as “your worst muscle cramp ever — times 10 throughout your whole body.

        “I’m not a small guy, I weigh 230 pounds … it put me on my knees in seconds.”

        The brigade will not change its name, but the force will be known for the next year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF (pronounced “sea-smurf”).

        “I can’t think of a more noble mission than this,” said Cloutier, who took command in July. “We’ve been all over the world during this time of conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home … and depending on where an event occurred, you’re going home to take care of your home town, your loved ones.”

        While soldiers’ combat training is applicable, he said, some nuances don’t apply.

        “If we go in, we’re going in to help American citizens on American soil, to save lives, provide critical life support, help clear debris, restore normalcy and support whatever local agencies need us to do, so it’s kind of a different role,” said Cloutier, who, as the division operations officer on the last rotation, learned of the homeland mission a few months ago while they were still in Iraq.

        Some brigade elements will be on call around the clock, during which time they’ll do their regular marksmanship, gunnery and other deployment training. That’s because the unit will continue to train and reset for the next deployment, even as it serves in its CCMRF mission.

        Should personnel be needed at an earthquake in California, for example, all or part of the brigade could be scrambled there, depending on the extent of the need and the specialties involved.

        Other branches included
        The active Army’s new dwell-time mission is part of a NorthCom and DOD response package.

        Active-duty soldiers will be part of a force that includes elements from other military branches and dedicated National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams.

        A final mission rehearsal exercise is scheduled for mid-September at Fort Stewart and will be run by Joint Task Force Civil Support, a unit based out of Fort Monroe, Va., that will coordinate and evaluate the interservice event.

        In addition to 1st BCT, other Army units will take part in the two-week training exercise, including elements of the 1st Medical Brigade out of Fort Hood, Texas, and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Bragg, N.C.

        There also will be Air Force engineer and medical units, the Marine Corps Chemical, Biological Initial Reaction Force, a Navy weather team and members of the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

        One of the things Vogler said they’ll be looking at is communications capabilities between the services.

        “It is a concern, and we’re trying to check that and one of the ways we do that is by having these sorts of exercises. Leading up to this, we are going to rehearse and set up some of the communications systems to make sure we have interoperability,” he said.

        “I don’t know what America’s overall plan is — I just know that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that are standing by to come and help if they’re called,” Cloutier said. “It makes me feel good as an American to know that my country has dedicated a force to come in and help the people at home.”

  12. I have a follow-up to yesterday’s Health Care debate.

    I understand and agree that if you want a nice house, car, etc, go out and earn the money to buy those things.

    Does this apply to health care?

    Do the wealthy DESERVE better health care just because they can afford it?

    If so, why?

    • http://freemedicalcamps.com/

      I don’t know much about free clinics but there seems to be a lot of them and then you have hospitals for emergency situations-So, is it even true that people don’t have access to free health care-I personally have heard people say that they wouldn’t go to the clinics, whether government or charity because they had to wait too long, it was too much trouble, so they just took the chance that it wasn’t anything serious because, well, they were too lazy to go -Hopefully other people can enlighten me if there are things wrong with these clinics or maybe they won’t treat somethings, whatever.

      • V. Holland,

        If free clinics and emergency rooms are your only options, that’s not much of a choice. I wouldn’t equate that with the health care options I or most people with insurance have.

        • v. Holland says:

          What is your point-that having money makes life easier and that’s unfair-or that everyone should have access to health care? Health care is never going to be equal-I don’t care what system you put in place.

          • Black Flag says:

            Having money does NOT make your life easier – it makes buying things easier.

            But with money comes responsibility – and many are not willing to accept such – thus, they do not get that money.

            • v. Holland says:

              Sometimes BF, I think you like to argue for the sake of arguing 🙂 You are a nit picker 🙂 I will agree that money does not bring happiness or make the heartaches of life easier but it does make day to day survival easier. I have experienced both and with money it is easier.

              • Black Flag says:

                I, too, have experienced both – in the maximum way – living on the street inside a van to being “richer then God”.

                Money is nothing but a tool. It does not make LIFE easier – it simply makes BUYING things easier.

                If you equate BUYING things to be the joy of your life, then money is your God.

                Survival? I don’t think so. The grave is filled with young millionaires.

              • v. Holland says:

                Okay, I’m gonna add stubborn to nit picker 🙂 but since I don’t think we are actually disagreeing about anything-I’m gonna shut up now.

              • You too BF get the shivers passing the powdered skim milk, puffed wheat and “reduced” isles in the grocery store? Your only meat being bulk wieners, “Click” (the cheap Spam knockoff) or canned salmon which was less expensive than cat food. The worst had to be buying our school cloths at the United Church rummage sale but we always managed a few new things for our sister. Been there too but it also accounts for one of my best memories of 46 years on this globe.

                My mother, suffering terribly from a nervous breakdown which lasted 18 months having lost her business to my father’s robbing her deposits and partner (originally his friend) cleaning out her accounts, took it upon herself to wrap up our old toys and books in newspaper so we’d have something under our crappy little Christmas tree. Looking back, it was one of those days you appreciate that much more each year and it didn’t cost a dime.

                Its all about money to you, give it up right now. You’ll never be happy.

              • Think I made that statement about arguing to him a few months ago, and he agreed.

              • v. Holland says:

                Some things one just can’t deny-He reminds me of my father(which isn’t an insult)

              • Black Flag says:

                It’s just that many people have a very distorted view of money.

                We see it often – someone wins the lottery and think their lives will turn to Cinderella – to find out that it was the greatest curse to befall them.

                With money comes the greatest of responsibility – misuse it, it will destroy you.

                Use it well and it will provide for you.

                People who complain that they do not have money are exactly the people who should not have money.

                Money tends goes to those that attract it.

                You attract it by being responsible with wealth.

                (Of course, you can always steal it – but that rarely ends well)

              • v. Holland says:

                Point taken -and I agree-Actually won a lottery once. The amount doesn’t matter -wasn’t ready for the responsibility-had to come back the hard way-but managed and learned a lot on the trip.

          • V. Holland,

            Everyone equal is not my goal.

            Everyone having some basic level of coverage is.

            • v. Holland says:

              http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/insuranceqa/insuranceqa8.htm

              I do not know whether current programs will cover everyone but we already have plans in place to help the poor-It is my opinion that most people simply do not take the time to investigate their options, or to choose health insurance over other things that they want. Before we even consider changing our whole system to help a few, we need to look at and fix the programs we already have. We need to determine who really needs the help and only give help to those people. we need to look at whether charity can take care of these people or if we really need to open the door to government greed and incompetence. I don’t want to live in a society that just allows people to die on the street but it is insanity to think we can provide everything for everyone and it creates a mind set that destroys peoples drive. People need to realize that they can succeed if they will try and the few that just can’t than we should help with charity, if charity just won’t take care of that few than we very carefully open that door.

    • Its not a matter of ‘deserve’ – it is a matter of ‘earn’.

      My ability to buy my car comes from my ability to earn.

      Health care is no different an economic good/service as any other good/service

      Every law of economics applies to it, just like anything else of human value.

      Attempting to manipulate it under the mis-belief that it is different will pervert and distort the good/services.

      • Black Flag,
        Ok, I’ll change “deserve” to “earn”. Although, there are many people with wealth who did not “earn” it themselves. Are they still entitled to the benefits of that wealth?

        I know everything comes down to the free-market for you, but I think there are some areas where the less fortunate need some assistance to give them a chance to succeed.

        I’m not saying replace the current system with single payer, just help those that fall thru the cracks.

        An ounce of prevention, or a pound of cure?

        • Black Flag says:

          Ok, I’ll change “deserve” to “earn”. Although, there are many people with wealth who did not “earn” it themselves. Are they still entitled to the benefits of that wealth?

          It is NOT your wealth to be concerned about!

          By what right to you claim that you can make a decision about the wealth of others?

          If Gates gifted you a billion dollars, are you telling me that you would say “No, I didn’t earn it, so I’m not entitled to it!”??

          My daughter does not earn her living – I provide it to her. Are you saying that she ‘doesn’t deserve it,therefore she should not get it??”

          How I dispose of my wealth is my concern – and only my concern.

          “Thou shalt not covet”

          I know everything comes down to the free-market for you, but I think there are some areas where the less fortunate need some assistance to give them a chance to succeed.

          Charity does a darn fine job of doing that.

          Violence and force does a darn fine job of screwing that up.

          I’m not saying replace the current system with single payer, just help those that fall thru the cracks.

          There are many, many charities that offer all levels of support. They operate in a manner to help those in need – but filter out those who by their own choice are where they are.

          An ounce of prevention, or a pound of cure?

          If the ounce is poison – how much do you take before you are cured to death?

    • This is along the lines of what BF said.

      I agree that there seems to be something wrong with the fact that some people can’t get health care and I’m all for some sort of non-profit raising money to help such people.

      Health care is a service provided by a doctor or whoever. If we want to give health care to everyone, someone has to foot the bill. Why should a rich person HAVE to pay for a poor person? SHOULD he/she, yes! MUST he/she, I don’t think so.

      • Black Flag says:

        As JB said,

        If there is a economic problem accessing Health Care, it has to do with non-economic decisions being made regarding access to Health Care

        People believe that making political decisions in place of economic decisions will IMPROVE economic capability. But such belief is a contradiction to economics. You cannot improve economics by making non-economic decisions!

        • Black Flag,

          I’m not trying to improve economics. I’m trying to improve Health Care! 🙂

          I know, I’m just a drag on the US economy…luckily we have you to keep the economy afloat! 😉

          • Black Flag says:

            Health Care is an economic good/service

            If you want to exhaust such service, and make entirely unavailable to 99% of the People – then, by all means, continue to offer Political solutions to an Economic good.

            It will be like under the Soviet system: Yes, break and milk are free – too bad there is no bread or milk.

      • JB,
        Non-profits do a great job of raising money to help people who can’t afford health care, but they will never be able to raise the money necessary to cover everyone.

        I don’t view all government and taxes as evil, so I don’t have a problem with the wealthy being taxed an additional small percentage of their income to provide health care for low and working class.

        Another point – the 2001 and 2003 Bush Tax Cuts will have saved the wealthiest Americans over $2.5 Trillion thru 2010.

        The current Democratic Health Care Reform legislation is projected to cost $1 Trillion over the next ten years.

        http://www.ctj.org/pdf/bushtaxcutsvshealthcare.pdf

        I think the people who have profited from the tax cuts the most can pony up a little bit to cover Health Care.

        • Black Flag says:

          What you are saying, Todd – is that it is “OK” to steal as long as the victim is rich?

          Next, your figures are way off base.

          #Taxes on dividends will increase beginning on January 1, 2009;
          #Taxes on capital gains will increase, also beginning on January 1, 2009;

          Dividends and Capital Gains is the primary source of funds for the wealthy. There was a point in my life, my salary was $1 and took the rest of my living expenses as a Capital Gain.

          Health Care projections will be as accurate as any other government costs projects – it will so off-base and so incredibly higher than forecast.

          • Black Flag,
            I do not consider taxes ‘stealing’ or ‘evil’. Taxes are the price of enjoying the benefits of our society. In most cases, the wealthy have used the services of our government / society to accumulate their wealth.

            When I look around the world, I think the USA is a pretty good “value” as far as a place to live. The taxes are worth it to me.

            Providing health care for the lower and working classes also benefits the wealthy. Healthy workers are more productive workers. If businesses weren’t so short sighted, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, because they would see the value of well paid and insured employees.

            Taxes will increase on Dividends and Capital Gains starting January 1, 2010 because the Bush Tax Cuts will start to expire, correct?

            Projections are always just estimates. But they’re the best we have right now…

            Your attitude reminds me of a line from a song – “The rich stay healthy. The sick stay poor.”

            • Black Flag says:

              Re: Taxes

              They are taken by force and coercion – they are not a ‘price’.

              Prices are an economic calculation – not a political creation.

              You certainly can rationalize the forced taking of your income in anyway that makes you feel good about it.

              But don’t pervert definitions of stealing while doing so.

              I am glad you believe taxes are worth it to YOU – but why do you believe you have a Right to FORCE me to pay for you?

              Providing health care for the lower and working classes also benefits the wealthy. Healthy workers are more productive workers.

              The business owner does not benefit from his worker’s good health – only the worker benefits from his health

              If the worker cannot work – he is fired.

              If businesses weren’t so short sighted, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, because they would see the value of well paid and insured employees.

              Business is not short sighted.

              A business will not survive if its costs are larger than the value of its product.

              Forcing a business to pay for things that it is not responsible for will raise its costs. When those costs exceed the value of the product, the business will close.

              How much health care can an unemployed worker afford?

              Taxes will increase on Dividends and Capital Gains starting January 1, 2010 because the Bush Tax Cuts will start to expire, correct? Projections are always just estimates.

              But they’re the best we have right now…

              They are not the best – nor legitimate to support your argument.

              Using “made up” numbers – especially when, historically, government numbers have been horrifically wrong – is not a good argument.

              Your attitude reminds me of a line from a song – “The rich stay healthy. The sick stay poor.”

              Then learn how to get rich and healthy – but on your own dollar – not mine.

        • “Non-profits do a great job of raising money to help people who can’t afford health care, but they will never be able to raise the money necessary to cover everyone.”

          Of course not. They only have to cover those who won’t cover themselves. I have more faith in the generosity of Americans than I do in the government.

          BTW, why on earth would the government pass legislation that lowers the amount of charitable donations that can be claimed on taxes?
          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/25/AR2009032503103.html

          Perhaps because they want the government to take over?

          Let’s weigh the options, shall we. A non-profit that spends most of the money on health services or a government agency with lots of waste?

          No brainer to me.

    • I briefly mentioned this yesterday in my comments. I think Americans are proud of being able to buy better health care than the next guy.

      But I believe that health care is different, for the following reasons.
      1) Most Americans live on the same continent. To keep something like H1N1 were to get out of control, it would help if all Americans had equitable health care. Apply the law of science to it. More people getting vaccinations will keep more Rich People healthy. You’ll get your money’s worth.
      2) More people paying in = lower cost per person. Health insurance is a gamble. But the cost per person goes down when you have more healthy/young people paying in.
      3) More preventative care prevents later expensive crisis care. This saves everyone money and pain. Both Rich and Poor people.
      4) More patients in the system provides more research cases for everyone, more potential cures. So Rich people can think of the Poor people as their lab rats, if it makes you feel better.

      It is true, if someone else has a nicer car or house it’s not going to effect you. But when someone around you has H1N1, it could effect you.

      And those free clinics that we’re talking about – anyone have any idea who is paying for those? Seriously, anyone?
      I know there’s a Planned Parenthood clinic down here in DC that provides gynecological checkups for women and girls that don’t have insurance. They provide prescriptions for birth control pills. They’re funded by people who care. But I don’t know where those women would go for a toothache.

      • Black Flag says:

        Hi DCGirl

        1) Most Americans live on the same continent. To keep something like H1N1 were to get out of control, it would help if all Americans had equitable health care.

        IF H1N1 was something to worry about (and its not) AND it was to get out of control (it isn’t and won’t) it would not affect health care at all

        The CDC would mandate quarantine.

        Apply the law of science to it. More people getting vaccinations will keep more Rich People healthy. You’ll get your money’s worth

        Vaccinations cause more flu than it prevents.

        2) More people paying in = lower cost per person.

        Absolutely false.

        More people NOT taking = lower cost per person.

        Health insurance is a gamble.

        No, it is not!

        Insurance exists to mitigate financial catastrophe caused by an unlikely event – it is not there to act as your piggybank.

        But the cost per person goes down when you have more healthy/young people paying in.

        Your math is off base.

        First, the population – as a ratio – is getting older, thus your funding source is diminishing.

        Second, why would the young cheer about being forced to pay for the old? Believe me, in the future, the young will revolt against losing their income to pay for old foggies in wheelchairs.

        3) More preventative care prevents later expensive crisis care. This saves everyone money and pain. Both Rich and Poor people.

        Again, applying a stick to force people to act because by the very effort of lowering the cost of consequences makes people not care

        So, stop stealing my money and eliminating the consequences of people’s own behavior!

        Let those that engage in poor health behaviors pay for it~!

        4) More patients in the system provides more research cases for everyone, more potential cures. So Rich people can think of the Poor people as their lab rats, if it makes you feel better.

        In a free market, money follows to places where the Returns of such Investment are high.

        Today, research money is given to political choices – not to areas of positive returns.

        It is true, if someone else has a nicer car or house it’s not going to effect you. But when someone around you has H1N1, it could effect you.

        I highly doubt it.

        And those free clinics that we’re talking about – anyone have any idea who is paying for those? Seriously, anyone?
        I know there’s a Planned Parenthood clinic down here in DC that provides gynecological checkups for women and girls that don’t have insurance. They provide prescriptions for birth control pills. They’re funded by people who care. But I don’t know where those women would go for a toothache.

        A dentist – not a birth control clinic.

  13. So today is disaster day!
    http://getresponse.com/click.html?x=a62b&lc=rDWE&mc=m&s=hzfbH&y=h&

    There has been a flood and everyone in your city has been told to evacuate their homes for part of the day.

    * For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
    No spending money~? Yeeeouchhh!!!

    * You have no power for the whole day (except to fill out the questionnaire, or chat on facebook about what you are learning!)
    Damn! No generator~ I will probably be not around on the blog for a week – so now you can really talk behind my back!

    * You have to “leave” your house within an hour for at least 5 hours (but you don’t know if your house is going to be there when you get back).

    Safe location already found within walking distance – family already on the move

    * You can only grab what is in your disasters kit and ALREADY on your grab list when you leave. *remember your house may be destroyed when you get back

    Weekends work pays off!

    * You have to eat the food from your 72 hour kit while you are gone

    Nicely refreshed this weekend – whew!

    * Your family gets soaking wet during evacuation, and one of your family members cuts their toe open

    That probably would be me – Mr. Kultz

    * Your spouse is at work. You have to meet at your pre-determined meeting location when he or she is done work

    Already in motion!

    * Once your whole family reunites you can return to your house
    * When you get home, your fridge food is ruined, your basement food is flooded, and you need to make dinner with no power

    We do that almost every night anyway!

    * Keep your family entertained with no power (remember, after dark the lights, tv, appliances etc wont work!)

    I wonder how many new family additions will happen 9 months from now 😉

    ADVANCED “FOLKS” (for anyone who feels up to it)
    * You have to stay out of your house until it’s bed time
    * You can only eat your 72 hour kit food the whole day
    * You forgot your cell phone at home when you evacuated

    REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S LIMITATIONS AND TASKS WILL BE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. How long would you have lasted under these conditions?

    • No car-I can’t drive my car-never thought about that!!

    • Doesn’t play well for me, wife teaches, so she would have the kids, house is above 100yr flood plain & have 8kw generator, gas stove & heat. We huddle, watch DVD’s, etc.

      If I did have to leave, walking flood coming, would likely take my chances in our boat. No higher ground to go to. Tornado more likely worry, go to the basement, not fun but we would survive.

      • Black Flag says:

        A flood is the #1 natural disaster possibility for Americans – and most of humanity. Humans tend to live near water.

        The particular of ‘flood’ is not important – substitute for ‘snow’ or ‘hurricane’ or any other disaster.

        What is important is the random loss of certain expectations, like power or water, or house, or car…etc. What are you going to do?

    • I signed up for the program the other day and got the email that the “challenge” had started so I was surprised to see you here today BF. I think this is a good exercise and I’m starting at the beginning of the emails with the “baby checklist” to get our household in order.

      Yeah, that no spending money thing….YIKES!

    • Considering it doesn’t flood where we live in California (assuming it doesn’t fall off into the ocean like its suppose to) we’re set and have been for awhile now in case of an earth quake.

      2 week supply of food for all family members, gas and diesel generators to run our 5th wheel and well pump, extra gas, diesel and propane too as well as 3 full size batteries. Fully stocked first aid kit and lots of extra clothing, bedding and cleaning supplies of all kinds.

      Only hard part would be getting to our land about 150 miles away on the mountain but we have 2, 4 wheel drive vehicles, 1 of which has 2 gas tanks always full in case of emergencies and have several driving routes out of the area avoiding major freeways.

      Biggest thing we would have to pack up would be the firearms and ammo before we could be out the door and on our way…20 minutes tops.

      Now if the trucks are out of commision, it may be a different story.

    • Five hours would be a party around here. Walk in the park as well. Since I can’t drive, I would meet someone who could, at a safe location, and just head to the hills for a few days. Food for months, generator for power, wood for heat, several alternate routes to get there. Let the fun begin!!

      G!

  14. In the last two years, the self-described earmark king, Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, has sponsored earmarks totaling $2 billion dollars. This year he’s at it again:

    * $12 million to monitor sea turtles and monk seals.
    * $5 million for a supercomputer to help study planets and fruit flies.
    * $8 million for a cultural exchange between villages that once made a living killing whales.
    * $24 million for the East West Center, a private think tank even President Obama wants to cut.
    * $500,000 for music enrichment programs for Native Hawaiian children — part of $59 million for health and education programs targeted to Native Alaskans or Hawaiians.

    Inouye is one of the last of a generation of unapologetic earmarkers who feel it’s their job to bring federal dollars home. And when they reach Inouye’s level of seniority — he is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee — they can bring home a lot. He once even appropriated $20 million for a museum where he was chairman.

    VIDEO: $5 million robotic sailboat earmark

    The top Republican spender, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, made waves in 2009 with the largest earmark ever — $439 million to restore barrier islands off the Mississippi coast, a giant project that comes on top of $80 billion that taxpayers have already forked over to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    This year (in fiscal year 2009), Cochran helped sponsor 259 earmarks worth $1.2 billion, but he’s now aiming for a dubious distinction: he wants $2.6 billion for 2010 — a record for a single politician:

    * $201 million to his alma mater, the University of Mississippi, including $10 million for the Thad Cochran Research Center.
    * $750,000 Mississippi Biotechnology Association building — an organization that has no members and doesn’t exist, and that got $450,000 last year.
    * $4.4 million to build fire stations, $14 million to improve drinking water in local communities (responsibilities left to the states).
    * $1.6 million for a mobile music lab.
    * $650,000 to a private Christian school (Piney Woods) on 2,000 wooded acres where student tuition is $31,400.
    * $400,000 to pay overtime for the Jackson Police Department to combat drug use.
    * $950,000 for the local Audubon Society, despite national Audubon assets topping $18 million.

    Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., earmarked $120 million this year, and wants another $148 million for 2010:

    * $500,000 to improve the profitability of dairy farms.
    * $1 million to toward the $250 million Sky Shuttle, an urban Mag-Lev train for a university in southwest Pennsylvania.
    * $1 million for a trolley museum.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/09/09/tracking-taxes-earmark-kings/

  15. Time to fire em….all of them.

  16. Hi All

    Saw this on Fox.

    Ahead of Obama Speech, Baucus Says ‘Public Option’ Cannot Pass Senate
    Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who is trying to hammer out the details of a bipartisan compromise with five other senators, announced that he will be moving ahead with or without Republican support. But he said a government-run insurance plan cannot pass the Senate.

    Hours before President Obama was set to deliver a make-or-break speech on health care reform, a top Senate negotiator conceded the government-run insurance program so dear to the president’s supporters cannot pass the Senate.

    Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who was trying to hammer out the details of a bipartisan compromise Wednesday with five other senators, announced that he would be moving ahead with or without Republican support.

    But he made clear that the so-called “public option” would not be part of any deal with his name on it.

    “The public option cannot pass the Senate,” Baucus said. “I could be wrong, but it’s my belief that the public option cannot pass.”

    Obama, who will address a joint session of Congress at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, has indicated he wants a public option, but so far has not said he will demand it. He also has not said he will veto a package that omits a government-run health insurance program.

    Baucus’ assessment Wednesday afternoon is the latest blow to die-hard supporters of a government plan.

    Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has so far favored a system of non-profit cooperatives as an alternative to the “public option.” A draft plan he outlined Tuesday included the co-ops. Baucus also said Wednesday that a so-called “trigger,” which would keep a government plan on reserve in case private insurers don’t meet certain benchmarks, has not been part of talks — though many analysts consider a trigger a possible compromise.

    The four partisan bills that have passed out of committee in the House and Senate include a public option.

    Baucus said Wednesday he’ll be moving forward, putting out a version of a bill next week with a mark-up scheduled for the week after that. He said he still wants and expects Republican support, but that the GOP will not hold him up.

    “This is our moment. We’ve spent many weeks and months on this crucial issue, and now is the time to move forward,” he said. “If there are not any (Republicans), I’m going to move forward in any event.”

    Baucus said earlier he wanted to have a deal to the president before the address, but even though the senators continued to meet that appeared less and less likely.

    Watch President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress and the Republican response at 8 p.m. ET on FOX News Channel and FOXNews.com.

    But others tried to take the pressure off the time clock. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., a member of the Gang of Six, said the group wouldn’t have any great revelation.

    “It isn’t ‘get it done by 2 o’clock or it’s not going to happen.’ That’s just not the way it works,” he said.

    “There is a sense of urgency but that has to be counterbalanced by the task of getting it done right, not getting it done quickly,” added Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.

    Obama has spent much of the summer trying to drive back criticism — loudly on display at town hall meetings across the country — about government-sponsored health care reforms. He has offered explanations for what the program will not do but so far has said little about what he will insist be in the legislation.

    His supporters hope he will lay it all out in his address to Congress, which is expected to go about 35 minutes.

    In an interview that aired Wednesday morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the president said he doesn’t want a package that will add one dime to the deficit nor does he plan to stand on ideology. For him, time is of the essence.

    “I think what the country is going to know is exactly what I think will solve our health care crisis, they will have a lot of clarity about what I think is the best to move forward. So the intent of the speech is to A, make sure that the American people know exactly what it is we are proposing, B, to make sure that Democrats and Republicans understand that I am open to new ideas, that not being rigid and ideological, but we do intend to get something done this year,” the president said.

    But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said “the only thing bipartisan” about the legislative debate so far is the opposition. He proposed tort reform and changing the way medical malpractice suits are resolved. He said that insurance reforms, like intrastate competition, portability and no exclusions for pre-existing conditions were all areas where the two sides could “rally a broad bipartisan agreement.”

    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs suggested that the Finance Committee could be the key to a deal.

    Obama is hopeful that the committee “can get something done in a bipartisan way,” Gibbs said.

    “I think Senator Baucus has been working with this group of senators for almost a year on getting something out of the committee,” Gibbs said. “So obviously we’re hopeful that something can get done in that committee. That would obviously be an important milestone in this reform.”

    On Tuesday, Baucus circulated a proposal that would cost $900 billion over 10 years and guarantee coverage for nearly all Americans, regardless of medical problems. Fees on insurers, drug companies and others in the health care industry would finance tax credits to help expand coverage.

    One provision would fine families up to $3,800 for failing to buy health insurance, essentially requiring that everyone have medical coverage, much like the case with car insurance. Obama rejected both a mandate and fines during his presidential campaign.

    Gibbs said Congress is closer than ever to getting something done because the president let the committees write the final product rather than offering a plan of his own, a strategy that ensnared former President Bill Clinton’s attempts for reform in 1993.

    “I think if representatives and senators and the president listen to the American people, what they are telling them quite clearly is that we have to do something about health care. We have talked about this for decades,” Gibbs said.

    But concerns that the president isn’t listening to the American people have Republicans wondering if compromise is within reach.

    “I believe it would benefit the country more if Mr. Obama was coming to Capitol Hill to listen instead of to lobby for votes for a health care plan that will end up leading to rationed care, tax hikes and job losses. That’s the message I heard from the 5,000 people who came to my town hall meetings in August, and it’s a message the president needs to hear too,” said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

    The president will have to contend with more than just conservative Republicans. If he demands a government-run system, he could lose fiscally moderate “Blue Dog” Democrats; if he does not insist on a government option, he may lose liberal Democrats.

    “We will have a bill, it will be a good bill that will make sure that all Americans have access to affordable health care, and I believe it will have a public option,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

  17. I’m always looking for signs of hope. Here’s one I found today:

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2009/09/09/healthcare/print.html

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      HOLY CRAP! You may have just found a democrat/libertarian!

      I thought those went extinct around 1975!

  18. Black Flag says:

    http://www.economist.com/daily/chartgallery/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14288808

    The Big Mac Index

    The productivity of capitalism is enormous.

    If you live in a Third World country, or a second world nation like Mexico, you do not enjoy the output of two centuries of capitalism. There, you could not easily afford the things poor people here can buy.

    We take for granted something like a Big Mac. We pay no attention to its price, only its calories.

    The genie of economic growth has been out of the bottle since about 1775, or 1800 at the latest.

    The problem will be getting through the next two or three decades.

    The rise in government debt, the looming bankruptcies, and the default on the promises made to the elderly will create hard times for tens of millions of people.

    We want to see the restoration of liberty.

    We cannot get this until people change their minds about the welfare state. They will not change their minds based on complex reasoning.

    They will change their minds when the checks from the Government bounce or buy less.

    They will believe the welfare state is bad only when they feel pain.

    I don’t mean Nairobi pain. I mean the kind of pain a family feels when it receives an eviction notice from a bank. It is painful, but it is not the end of the world.

    We will muddle through. Creative, hard-working people will get by. Others will catch up with us. So what? That’s a good thing. We will have richer people to trade with. If some Chinese researcher discovers a cancer cure and his company gets rich, so what?

    Fiat money and tax man will come – full on and full force.

    The recovery will be delayed, weak, and may reverse next year or in 10 years.

    But, if you keep your job, your life will not be fundamentally different. You will still be able to afford a Big Mac a decade from now.

    I am assuming here that the FED does not go to hyperinflation. If it does, then there will be a catastrophe. The division of labor will collapse. Most of us would die.

    But I think the FED will put on the monetary brakes and let the government default.

    …and you still be able to afford a Big Mac.

    • Flag, You had mentioned gold and watch to see if it goes over a $1000 a troy ounce, it’s there (at least yesterday it was), what’s your current thoughts as compared to before?

      G!

      • Black Flag says:

        My thoughts remain unchanged.

        The $1000 is a barrier – the banks made a large sale, driving it down to $990 – if you haven’t bought, now is the time….

        They cannot sustain a $990 level – too much currency; China withdrawing its gold stores back to Hong Kong; China has created a ‘gold saving account’ where the typical Chinese can now use like we using a savings account – gold sales inside China are up 75%.

        There is not enough gold to cover the move of the rich into the market to save their capital. You will not be able to compete with what they will be willing to pay for that last ounce.

        If you are thinking about gold – today is the day. Not tomorrow. You will not win the competition tomorrow.

  19. Black Flag says:

    William Lind wrote of the Pentagon – which is what I see regarding all of Federal politics. If this is seen and exists in one part of the government, it is pervasive in all parts of the government.

    There is no chance America will adopt a defensive grand strategy or reform its military to move from the Second to the Third Generation — a necessary though not sufficient step in confronting 4GW — so long as the current Washington Establishment remains in power.

    That Establishment is drunk on hubris, cut off from the world beyond court politics and thoroughly corrupted by Pentagon “business as usual,” which knows how to buy whatever political support it needs.

    Like all establishments, it sees any real change as a threat, to be avoided. So long as it reigns, nothing will change.

  20. Black Flag says:

    More WTC –

    The 9/11 enigmas…

    Richard Gage, AIA has been a practicing San Francisco Bay Area architect for more than 20 years, and is a registered member of the American Institute of Architects. Most recently he worked on a $400M mixed-use facility in Las Vegas NV.

    But he is also the founder and CEO of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, now numbering over 800 A/E’s, calling for a new investigation into the destruction of all 3 WTC high-rises on 9/11.

    In all likelihood, you are unaware of the most important facts involving the destructions of the World Trade Center buildings. Nearly all the mainstream information sources and government officials have kept crucial information hidden from the public. This brief article will provide a clear explanation as to what actually happened to the Twin Towers and Building 7 (WTC 7) on September 11, 2001.

    World Trade Center – Building 7

    47-storey WTC 7 before destruction

    WTC 7 was a 47-story steel-framed high-rise 100 yards from the North Tower. Even though no airplane hit it, it collapsed rapidly and totally on 9/11, in the manner of a controlled demolition.

    Despite its suspicious collapse, the 9/11 Commission report does not even mention WTC 7. NIST left its analysis of the WTC 7 collapse until 2008, seven years after the events, long after all the rubble was destroyed. NIST claims WTC 7 collapsed due to “normal office fires” which created a “new phenomenon” in high-rise catastrophes: collapse caused by thermal expansion of beams. NIST claims this caused the failure of a single column – the rest just followed.

    Free-fall acceleration through 40,000 tons of structural steel?

    NIST Forced to Acknowledge Free-Fall of WTC 7

    In August 2008, NIST released the draft of its final report on Building 7. In that draft NIST claims that the building took 40% longer than “free-fall time” to collapse the first 18 stories. In a technical briefing that followed the release of the draft report Shyam Sunder, NIST’s lead investigator, denied that free-fall had occurred and stated that free-fall was incompatible with their analysis.

    He said, “… a free fall time would be an object that has no … structural components below it…And that is not at all unusual because there was [emphasis in original] structural resistance that was provided in this particular case. And you had … a sequence of structural failures that had to take place and everything was not instantaneous.”

    However, one of this article’s co-authors, David Chandler, used video analysis to show conclusively that for 2.5 seconds (about 100 feet) WTC 7 was in complete free-fall. He publicly challenged NIST’s claims at the technical briefing and he, along with others, filed formal requests for corrections.

    NIST were forced to reverse themselves in their Final Report and acknowledged 2.25 seconds of absolute free-fall.

    Yet they did not reconsider how this was compatible with their analysis.

    A network of heavy steel girders had to be forcibly removed suddenly across the width of the building for eight floors.

    However, a free-falling object cannot exert force on anything in its path without slowing its own fall, so the structural support had to be removed by something else!

    The free-fall of Building 7 is a smoking gun.

    • Black Flag says:

      NIST did not look at the dust, but independent investigators did.

      They discovered, along with the microspheres [which are created in temperatures exceeding 4500F – an impossible temperature due to jet fuel], tiny red-grey chips.

      They examined samples of WTC dust from different parts of Manhattan. All contained the red-gray chips. They found that the red layer consisted of unignited nano-thermite.

      Ordinary thermite is an incendiary: it can burn through heavy steel in seconds.

      The tiny particles in nano-thermite (1/1000 the thickness of a human hair) causes a much faster reaction so it can be used as a high explosive. [The production of nano-thermite is only within the realms of a national military – not men living in caves]

      The discovery of nano-thermite in the WTC dust was published in The Open Chemical Physics Journal in April 2009.

  21. I got this in my email box just now.

    Hope all is having a good day.

    Judy

    Would you allow an agency that had the compassion of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) make health care decisions for you and your family?

    Would you go to a hospital or doctor’s office run by the employees of your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)?

    If your answer is “yes” to one or both of the questions above, then do nothing. If, however, you believe that you should be able to make your own health care decisions… if you want quality and affordable health care… then the time to take action is now.

    Three Republican Senators (Charles Grassley, Mike Enzi and Olympia Snowe) have been meeting with Democrats behind closed doors in an attempt to strike a deal on ObamaCare. And if successful, their actions will effectively lead to government-run health care for all.

    In short order, they’ll attempt to pull so-called “compromise legislation” out of a hat. And, make no mistake, whatever plans and schemes they devise behind closed doors will give Barack Obama and proponents of ObamaCare essentially everything they want… paving the road to socialized medicine for you and your family… lack of choice… lack of quality care… rationing of services and a host of other evils.

    The plain and simple truth is that the only thing keeping ObamaCare alive right now is the fact that Grassley and Enzi and Snowe are still playing political footsies with the opposition.

    Without “compromise,” ObamaCare would be dead on arrival. Take the possibility of “compromise” off the table and ObamaCare would simply wither on the vine:

    Democrats in the Senate simply do not have the 60 votes needed to stop debate (break a filibuster) and pass the versions of ObamaCare that have already been passed out of committees in the House of Representatives. And thanks to millions of Americans making their voices heard, it is highly improbable right now that they will be able to obtain those votes.

    Liberals in Congress know the public is dead-set against ObamaCare. Their constituents have made that very clear by bombarding their offices with phone calls and faxes – not to mention the reception they’ve received at town hall meetings across the country.

    But… a recent poll commissioned by AARP – a huge proponent of ObamaCare- indicates that 76% of Americans would support health care legislation if they believe that Democrats are working with Republicans “to pass health care reform legislation.”

    The AARP poll simply confirms what proponents of ObamaCare have known for quite awhile… that the only way they will be able to pass ObamaCare is by convincing the public that they are working with Republicans.

    And Grassley and Enzi and Snowe are giving them the means to do just that… they’re giving it to them on a silver platter.

    Why do Grassley and Enzi and Snowe feel somehow compelled to keep ObamaCare alive? Do they believe the American people actually want ObamaCare? If that’s the reason, we can disabuse them of that notion right now.

    But whatever the reason, our course of action is clear. We must demand that Grassley and Enzi and Snowe walk away from the table and stand with the American people.

  22. Black Flag says:

    The conventional view of human evolution and how early man colonised the world has been thrown into doubt by a series of stunning palaeontological discoveries suggesting that Africa was not the sole cradle of humankind

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/a-skull-that-rewrites-the-history-of-man-1783861.html

  23. Here is a little known piece of NY City History which may make you think. Back in 1947, a businessman from Mexico came to NYC and developed Smallpox. He was hospitalized and within a few days several people he had been in contact with became ill. The Public Health Authorities at the time decided that they would innoculate the entire population of NY City. Within a month, 6.4 millon New Yorkers had been vaccinated. I was one year old at the time and only remember stories, perhaps apocryphal, from my parents. One involved the shortage (in a non-disposable era) of syringes. Sewing needles were used on the orders of the mayor.

    The whole reason I bring this up is the paranoia that seems to grip us these days regarding the issue of Public health. My eldest, the former Army Med. Corps officer took a Public health Masters and used to discuss with me the few and failed attempts of Quarantine in the recent past.

    I have a severe mistrust of the Government as most on this site do but I have read extensively on the 1918 Spanish Influenza outbreak and as an amateur military historian have always been struck by the fact that more US troops died of the flu in 1918 – 1919 than died in combat.

    As an adult when I first heard of the 1947 smallpox scare in my city, I was shocked at just how cooperative the population was. perhaps, coming only two years after the end of the War, Americans were less distrustful of the government or more trustful of each other.

    Another thing comes to mind and those of you in my age group may remember it. back in High School we were all exposed to a “Health” course, usually in Sr. year a Public health officer from NYC came in and discussed “social diseases”. For you younger folks, this was what we used to call VD and the clap in a less vulgar time. The thing I remember about it was that if you were reported to the authorities by your doctor for having contracted the diseases (doctors were required as in the case of a gunshot to report these cases) you would be interviewed by a Public health worker and required, under the penalty of being locked up, to inform who you had been sexually active with. At the time (1964)I was shocked that this could happen. I assume that since AIDS ceased being a disease and became a cause, this like the Wasserman test for Syphillis before you are married no longer happens.

    I just find the whole Public health area to be one where there are very substantial conflicts between being libertarian and being responsibile.

    Any comments out there?

    • Black Flag says:

      I do not see any conflict at all.

      There is no right to cause harm upon another person.

      Clear and Present Danger more than amply provides the standards of preemptive action towards a harmful potential.

      • Ahh, but today, would they agree that there was a clear and present danger as they did in ’47? One infected Mexican? Two other cases attributable to him? Would that be enough to convince people that 6.4 million should be vaccinated?

        At the end of the ’47 non epidemic, more had died from the innoculation than Smallpox. Not a lot more mind you just more. I wonder how this would have been handled in out repetitious 24 hour news cycle

  24. Black Flag says:

    Cost of air travel ‘must rise to deter people from flying’
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/sep/09/climate-change-air-transport

    Good ol’ Brits.

    At this rate, they’ll lock themselves on an island and freeze to death.

  25. Black Flag says:

    Interesting thought…


    I recommend that you go down to your ATM and withdraw currency.

    Do not re-deposit it.

    Here’s why. First, you’re fighting monetary inflation. This is good.

    Second, you are getting prepared for the next phase of the recession. There is going to be desperation among sellers of household items soon.

    Craigslist is filled with bargains now. This will increase. The unemployment rate will continue upward. Small businesses will cut back even more.

    As this happens, people sell items that would not normally sell. You can get some amazing bargains for currency.

    Then there are gold and silver coins. Buy them for currency at your local pawn shop.

    If you do this occasionally — one or twice a month — he probably won’t record the individual sales.

    Guns at gun shows are now growing scarce. You want to buy from private sellers. Buy for currency.

    Currency is privacy money. There are times when you should buy privacy. Now is such a time.

    Currency is desperation money for sellers of goods. It is the right kind of money for shoppers who want good deals on used goods.

    It’s best to withdraw currency in small amounts from an ATM, not at a teller’s window. Increase this a little each month. It will now draw any suspicion. Pay with a debit card. If the store offers you currency, take $60 or $80.

    With interest rates low, the opportunity cost of accumulating currency is minimal.

    People are not thinking about this. They do not understand the many uses of currency.

    I do not think they will catch on. This will remain a buyer’s market for another year, if the buyer can pay in currency

    • Alert in Michigan says:

      Where do you get this information?

      • Alert! Black Flag just is giving his opinion. Unless he gives a link, it is just that. Flag is no dummy, so I read, research, and verify, so far he is spot on. Go back a few months of postings, he gives his sources via links, and I believe they are accurate.

        PEACE!

        G!

  26. Black Flag says:

    Goodbye until tomorrow – flood waters are lapping at my ankles… and I have a cut toe…

  27. Not all doctors are greedy like the government is.
    _______________________________________________________________

    In diagnosing what’s wrong with the U.S. health care system, President Obama has suggested, among other things, that some doctors make decisions about care based on how much money they make off certain treatments.

    In July, Obama described a scenario in which a doctor treating a child with a severe sore throat may be influenced more by money than principle.

    “The doctor may look at the reimbursement system and say to himself, ‘You know what, I make a lot more money if I take this kid’s tonsils out,'” he said.

    Obama’s notion that health care is too expensive partly because physicians intentionally choose treatment with higher reimbursements deeply offended doctors.

    “The characterization that physicians would do this just for profit motive or gain I think that was a bit in error,” said Dr. Ted Epperly of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

    “For the president to say the physicians are … doing this for compensation — it’s such a disservice to the health care reform debate, it ultimately accomplishes nothing other than to fan the flames,” said Dr. Daniel Palestrant, founder and chief executive of Sermo, Inc., a physicians-only online network.

    At another point, Obama explained that if diabetes are not treated properly in their primary care, they can face the amputation of a limb.

    “That’s $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 — immediately the surgeon is reimbursed,” Obama said.

    Most people agree preventive care is important and saves money. But doctors also say the president’s numbers and understanding are way off — that doctors would be paid $500 to $2,000 for an amputation, not $50,000.

    And in any case, they argue, that’s not relevant to choices about care.

    “We know that the ethics and practice of medicine and surgery is such that a physician or surgeon would not decide what treatment is best based on the reimbursement involved,” Dr. Joseph Zuckerman of Orthopedic Surgeons said.

  28. My friend Black Flag said: “The original scriptures states, clearly, that:

    Jesus was a son of God, NOT the son of God.

    Jesus, himself, said that all things he could do, any man could do, even greater – they merely needed belief and faith
    (John 14:12).”

    Some words to chew on in your spare time:

    My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)

    What happens next is very intriguing . . . ponder this when you have the time.

    “Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

    “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

    “Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.” (John 10:31-39)

    And just one more and then I will leave you with your own thoughts. 🙂

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. . .”

    “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'”” (John 1:1-4, 14-15)

    Thanks for taking the time to ponder.

  29. v. Holland says:

    Since we have had discussions of religion today-I offer the following-even if you don’t believe-I hope you enjoy.

  30. I’m watching “The Speech” and am honestly feeling sick to my stomach. This guy is an outright liar and for him to stand there in front of everyone and make all these promises is absolutely appalling.

  31. Quotes in honor of tonight’s speech

    Facts don’t cease to exist because they are ignored.
    Author: Aldous Huxley

    Mystify people with your intelligence, and if u cant do that, mystify them with your B.S.

    A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”
    Albert Einstein

    “Fix the problem,
    not the blame.”
    Catherine Pulsifer

  32. Came across this by accident, part of the recent past and worth a look. Maybe they were wrong!

    G!

  33. The only way President Obama has any possibility of passing health care reform, is a commitment to remove illegal immigrants from gaining entrance to any public option? In the health care bill they must–PROVE–to the majority of the American People that–NO ILLEGAL FOREIGN NATIONAL–will be able to bleed the government extension in the package. An amendment to the 1000 page reform bill, must guarantee–IN THE WORDING– that a very thorough background identity check is performed on any applicant who applies? E-Verify would be a progressive identifier, with an initial examination of Social Security number in conjunction with Homeland Security Databases.

    To complete the operation of E-Verification this PC application, must branch out across the country as a permanent tool in business and industry for every worker newly hired or long time employee. Thousands or even millions of illegal workers could be hiding in plain site in the workplace, as they have never been checked as a citizen or legal residency compliance? It also seems that the auditing of 1-9 forms around the country, that the federal authorities forget to mention that irregularities by employers only allows them to dismiss the applicant? The fact is that ICE raids have trailed off, so that any illegal workers–ARE NOT DEPORTED–they can move onto yet another workplace. Anybody who is suspected of being in this sovereign nation illegally should be detained and held for ICE inspection, not released into the public mainstream?

    We all know that Fraudulent ID is so prevalent, that all security systems have been compromised, with even al-Qaeda murderers who brought down three passenger jets. On 9/11 these terrorists had in their possession numerous authentic drivers’ licenses and other picture ID. E-Verify is not perfect and can be cheated, but as it’s modified, collecting more tools to compliment the enforcement program it success rate will become exemplary. Those hired workers who then find themselves under suspicion, can have errors resolved through any Social Security agency. That special interest groups have remained silent about this matter, doesn’t need any explanation? most Americans want enforcement at our borders, the workplace, so contact your reluctant politician at 202-224-3121 MORE HONEST INFORMATION AT NUMBERSUSA & JUDICIAL WATCH. REMEMBER NO MORE BLANKET AMNESTIES!

  34. What???? I have all new respect for Maddow and MSNBC…ha ha! What was she thinking? How did they keep her on after this?

    AND WHY DOESN’T SHE DO THIS WITH EVERY SPEECH THE ONE GIVES!

    You know, every once in awhile you start to see signs of intelligence from unexpected places. You’ve found one here Alan. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Kathy / Alan – I watch her quite frequently – her show can sometimes border on the inane – but generally speaking she gets it right – and I am glad to see her apply some equal analysis regardless of which side of the political fence the subject is on. I doubt I’ll ever see that from Olbermann, or Hannity or Beck……..

  35. Only a couple days late to this one, I’ll subscribe for any future comments.

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