A Night With No Topic…

I wanted to write tonight and had every intention of doing so. Unfortunately, I am whipped. 15 hour day today and then when I got home the puppy was all about spending time with me. I felt guilty because I haven’t gotten to spend much time with him the last couple days. So we played and went for an hour walk at midnight and played some more. Then he curled up next to me while I read a book for a little bit and all was right with the world. So rather than spend all night writing an article, I figured I would bring forward a few of the conversations that I was in and continue them. I figure it will ensure that some of the debates I started continue to get discussed. Outside of what I bring over, I hope that those of you who were having good debates or discussions will copy and paste them to today’s thread and continue them as well. I know that it isn’t quite the same as getting a topic for the day, but it will have to do for tonight!

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  1. USWeapon and Charlie Stella Continued from last week

    USWeapon posted:
    October 1, 2009 at 1:14 am e

    On to part 2!

    2) Here is where my above response most applies (I think). Imagine what happens when the displaced (who can’t earn a living in urban areas)

    And that is the rub on urban areas. They are too urban and cannot possibly support their populations. If New York cannot sustain 7 million people without government assistance, I am willing to bet that in the absence of government, 5 million would leave and start New York #2 and #3. Three separate cities with three separate infrastructures, each capable of sustaining its population. Problem solved. No government required. That is how most of the United States was founded. When the city couldn’t sustain more people, the people moved and started a new city! It wasn’t until big government stepped in and began replacing the need for a city sustaining its population with government handouts, subsidies, and tax breaks that the cities became the massive unsustainable cesspools that they are today.

    seek some neighboring refuge (which leads to another concern regarding lack of a strong central gov’t—limited resources, land, etc.).

    How has a strong central government even begun to alleviate the concerns of limited resources or land? They haven’t. In fact, what they have done is take 100 years to seize control of the largest amount of land for themselves that they could possibly get their grubby little hands on. Leave the city for a bit (which I know you have). The amount of land out there is massive. With a population of 300 million, we have still only developed less than 30% of the land in the United States. Resources are plentiful. The problem is that the government now controls and allocates what we can use. Without government having its hands in the pot, we would have had solar farms, wind farms, electric cars, and lord knows what else long ago. When government is out of the equation, man becomes resourceful. With government he becomes dependent and has his solutions dictated to him.

    Also, ultimately local laws are subject to federal law. In an extreme case, it was local law theory that led to the Civil War (we can’t forget that states right back then insisted on slavery). What happens if a township and/or state is inhabited over time by the KKK or those in the witness protection program (which is my belief has probably already happened with all the deals this government makes to shortcut their workload)?

    My guess is that those cities inhabited strongly with the immoral would quickly lose their moral population. And the immoral would be left with nothing to prey on but each other. If a bunch of KKK idiots want to start a town where they burn crosses and chant we hate blacks all day, I could care less. They won’t be welcome in “SUFAville” (get it Stand Up For America-ville? I crack me up). And I will refuse to do business with them, visit their town, trade with them, recognize them, or anything else. And my guess is that they will quickly find that they have ruined their prospects for prosperity by being hate filled bigots.

    Something has to regulate laws that are insane (i.e., in Minnesota there are pot sellers doing 10 years—for selling pot!). The Rockefeller drug laws were finally curtailed (somewhat) last year (not even by the federal government–which is scary). And we all know how pedophiles and rapists and murderers are sentenced in some states—3-4 years at best in some cases. Why not make it a national criminal code?

    Why does it have to be federally regulated. In Singapore they cane you for stealing. You know what, they don’t have many thieves in Singapore. The thieves go live elsewhere. In South Korea, it is the death penalty for having a weapon. You know what, no one there has a weapon. In SUFA-ville, I would make castration the penalty for sexual assault on a minor. I bet there won’t be many people attempting to accost my youth population. However, if the people of Sufaville want to allow pot, they will, and the people who want to smoke a phattie will move to Sufaville. And I will have a thriving pizza delivery business. Criminal codes don’t need to be the same across the country. What they need to be is effective. A national standard might be easier, but we have already seen that it is not effective.

    In a more direct answer, yes, something has to regulate laws that are insane. That something is common sense and moral integrity.

    I can’t address the leaving the country issue because I agree with it, I guess; that a strong central government is required and the price to pay is less than a weak government.

    Yes, life is harder with a weak government. But the people are more free and they like their life more. Remember that the people that founded this country fled a strong central government to do so. Why do you think that they did that? It certainly would have been easier to stay and take whatever was thrown at them, just as you are espousing here. But I would leave this country in a heartbeat if there was a new America found where my life would be difficult but free.

    John Galt would have come for me. And he wouldn’t have had to take 2 hours to convince me. He would have explained the deal, I would have left the next day, and all of you would wonder why there was no posting on the Stand Up For America the next morning, lol.

    I’m not sure I’ll be able to answer your response with any speed today, but I’ll try.

    As you could see , that wasn’t an issue for you, but it was for me! I am supposed to be off work on Thursday so hopefully I will be more available for discussion.

    • Charlie Stella says:

      Charlie Stella Replied:

      “If New York cannot sustain 7 million people without government assistance, I am willing to bet that in the absence of government, 5 million would leave and start New York #2 and #3.”

      I’m not as sure about this as you are (and I used to take bets so I might take yours). Once you remove gov’t I think you have quite a problem on your hands. Without having those other cities already in place (almost relocation centers), you have chaos to the nth degree. When the U.S. was founded and today are two very different apples, USW; there were cities on rivers available (for necessary transportation, etc., land wasn’t bought the same way (if at all), the populations were night and day by comparison); we can’t apply when America was founded to 2009. It doesn’t fit. It is a drastically different world.

      “Without government having its hands in the pot, we would have had solar farms, wind farms, electric cars, and lord knows what else long ago. When government is out of the equation, man becomes resourceful. With government he becomes dependent and has his solutions dictated to him.”

      Once you remove gov’t from our system regarding the above, those already in power (money) will just take control of what is left (and there’s no way you’ll convince me that they’re goals will be beneficent, they will be profit motivated [much the way these investment bankers gambled with our money, lined their pockets and left us paying their bills] (and with no regulations because there’s no gov’t); we’ll be back to forming labor unions for the sake of fighting labor abuse. Back in the early days of industrialization, I don’t recall reading about many owners of the means of production concerning themselves with the plight of their workers (i.e., Sinclair Lewis, The Jungle). Case in point: Why/how did the mob (traditional organized crime) start to flourish (as strike breakers! Management put them to work first!). I don’t buy it that powerbases such as the most wealthy are going to do anything other than help themselves at the ultimate expense of the rest of us.

      “KKK Town vs. SUFAville: And I will refuse to do business with them, visit their town, trade with them, recognize them, or anything else. And my guess is that they will quickly find that they have ruined their prospects for prosperity by being hate filled bigots.”

      The problem here is some poor SOB walks through KKK Town and gets lynched. If it’s a free country, whose going to oversee what they do to people that mistakenly wonder into KKK Town? Please don’t say collateral damage.

      “In SUFA-ville, I would make castration the penalty for sexual assault on a minor.”

      Now this I don’t mind at all, but you’re wrong to suggest it would stop pedophilia … or serial killing, etc. I think there are sociopaths that will never be deterred but don’t believe for a second that there aren’t many thieves in Singapore. They have organized crime just like EVERY nation has it. We don’t hear about it is all. Those are fairly restrictive governments that aren’t big on openness. I’m all for a much tougher criminal code (and I was a criminal). Side note: You’ll actually find most criminals involved in the stuff I used to deal with are actually VERY conservative about pretty much everything (but then again, no gov’t meant the booty was for the taking).

      “Remember that the people that founded this country fled a strong central government to do so. Why do you think that they did that?”

      Again, that’s 200+ years ago. It just doesn’t apply to the modern world/modern America. It’s not a valid argument today (or there would have been another revolution by the right long ago).

      • I’m not as sure about this as you are (and I used to take bets so I might take yours). Once you remove gov’t I think you have quite a problem on your hands. Without having those other cities already in place (almost relocation centers), you have chaos to the nth degree. When the U.S. was founded and today are two very different apples, USW; there were cities on rivers available (for necessary transportation, etc., land wasn’t bought the same way (if at all), the populations were night and day by comparison); we can’t apply when America was founded to 2009. It doesn’t fit. It is a drastically different world.

        I think that initially there would be chaos. But fairly quickly chaos would settle into a slow and steady decline to order. You are correct, though that it is difficult to compare 200 years ago to now. I don’t think the infrastructure and all that is the same, but I think it is a valid comparison to evaluate human nature of the two times similarly. My comparison is limited to the way man tends to deal with situations. I simply believe that man will adapt and begin to expand his resourcefulness and ingenuity. When government no longer controls everything, there would be massive amounts of land suddenly available. People would claim it. Sure there would be some turf wars, but I really believe they would be smaller than you think. And people would begin to rebuild, albeit without the restrictions on their prospects that exist now. A sudden freedom would cause chaos, I agree. Then people would realize the gift they have been given.

        Once you remove gov’t from our system regarding the above, those already in power (money) will just take control of what is left (and there’s no way you’ll convince me that they’re goals will be beneficent, they will be profit motivated [much the way these investment bankers gambled with our money, lined their pockets and left us paying their bills] (and with no regulations because there’s no gov’t); we’ll be back to forming labor unions for the sake of fighting labor abuse. Back in the early days of industrialization, I don’t recall reading about many owners of the means of production concerning themselves with the plight of their workers (i.e., Sinclair Lewis, The Jungle). Case in point: Why/how did the mob (traditional organized crime) start to flourish (as strike breakers! Management put them to work first!). I don’t buy it that powerbases such as the most wealthy are going to do anything other than help themselves at the ultimate expense of the rest of us.

        I think that this is the biggest misunderstanding of the difference between our two positions. From my perspective, here are the realities of that situation. The rich are weak. They always have been. Does anyone on this board (gals included) think they couldn’t whip Bill Gates if they had to? And they are especially weak against a mob of poor. As it stands today, the only thing allowing the rich to be crooked, cruel, or mistreat people is government. The rich elite in France lost their heads the second they lost their legitimacy. Their money couldn’t buy them power or protection. Without government, the wealthy have more money, but zero power. If they mistreat people, there will be nothing or no one to protect them. If they are honorable and treat people, their workers, and their customers well, they will be protected by those same people. You can’t be an arrogant asshole to a poor person when there is no government to stop him from punching you in the face for doing so. There will be moral rules, but no government, which means his being an arrogant asshole will be taken into account.

        The problem here is some poor SOB walks through KKK Town and gets lynched. If it’s a free country, whose going to oversee what they do to people that mistakenly wonder into KKK Town? Please don’t say collateral damage.

        A very valid point and one that I don’t have an answer for. I will have to ponder this but I am not sure how something like this would be handled. The one thing I will say is that far more horrendous things happen today under the current big government reality. Perhaps one guy getting beaten for mistakenly wandering into KKK town is better than thousands of people getting beaten by police officers in LA? Just a thought.

        Now this I don’t mind at all, but you’re wrong to suggest it would stop pedophilia … or serial killing, etc. I think there are sociopaths that will never be deterred but don’t believe for a second that there aren’t many thieves in Singapore. They have organized crime just like EVERY nation has it. We don’t hear about it is all. Those are fairly restrictive governments that aren’t big on openness. I’m all for a much tougher criminal code (and I was a criminal). Side note: You’ll actually find most criminals involved in the stuff I used to deal with are actually VERY conservative about pretty much everything (but then again, no gov’t meant the booty was for the taking).

        Singapore has crime for sure. But not at the level that we have it here. Their murder rate is among the lowest in the world. And their harsh methods do in fact deter a TON of crime. It will never stop all the crime. But then again, nothing we are doing now is even slowing down the rate in increase in violent crime, despite the bogus reports we here from cities like Detroit that try to claim violent crime is down 5% (meaning only 800 were killed this years instead of 840).

        As for “(but then again, no gov’t meant the booty was for the taking)”… there was a very large government and a large police force, yet that didn’t stop you did it? So why not give my way a shot? Yours isn’t working.

        Again, that’s 200+ years ago. It just doesn’t apply to the modern world/modern America. It’s not a valid argument today (or there would have been another revolution by the right long ago).

        How can you possibly look at the division in this country, the massive increases in protests against government (not against Democratic government or Republican government, but against all government) and feel that the feeling of wanting to flee an over-reaching and expanding government doesn’t apply to today? I think it applies as much today as it did then. The groundswell is beginning to build. As more of our money gets sucked up by a government that doesn’t represent us any longer (taxation without representation), more people are beginning to say screw both sides of the aisle. Government had best change its ways, or its gig might be up far faster than you or I are prepared to deal with.

        • You caught me off guard, USW. I’m half asleep this morning and its getting busy here. I might have to delay other responses to much later or domani. Hope all is well by you and yours.

          You are in quotes.

          “A sudden freedom would cause chaos, I agree. Then people would realize the gift they have been given.”

          I’ll stipulate this much to your argument (which you’ve made in the past); once people are used to getting things for free, they won’t give them up very easily. That is a problem and I’m not for wholesale welfare. My issue always comes back to powerbases. Once one has the power, they are reluctant to give it up and I don’t believe that a free market will provide genuine competition (to me it never really has once industrialization took place). If power is concentrated (as it always is), who gets served. In a purely free market, those with money; in a more regulated gov’t, wealth can be dispersed more evenly.

          “I think that this is the biggest misunderstanding of the difference between our two positions.”

          I agree … it is our basic difference.

          “The rich elite in France lost their heads the second they lost their legitimacy. Their money couldn’t buy them power or protection.”

          Because life had become so unsustainable and unjust, people revolted. Again, a long time ago. Not going to happen here until there’s a genuine depression (if at all).

          “Without government, the wealthy have more money, but zero power.”

          I see it the other way; money rules the day. Money owns our government; the way that happened was graft. Graft came about once people living in a class system realized their positions were worth more to the guys with the money than the poor suckers trying to earn it. What makes you think a gov’t free market would be legitimate? Why do you assume that businesses would act honorably? Historically they haven’t (why unions formed). This is our basic difference in perspectives, for sure.

          “A very valid point and one that I don’t have an answer for. I will have to ponder this but I am not sure how something like this would be handled. The one thing I will say is that far more horrendous things happen today under the current big government reality. Perhaps one guy getting beaten for mistakenly wandering into KKK town is better than thousands of people getting beaten by police officers in LA? Just a thought.”

          I can’t imagine no police force (if I’m reading you right?).

          “Singapore has crime for sure. But not at the level that we have it here. Their murder rate is among the lowest in the world. And their harsh methods do in fact deter a TON of crime. It will never stop all the crime. But then again, nothing we are doing now is even slowing down the rate in increase in violent crime, despite the bogus reports we here from cities like Detroit that try to claim violent crime is down 5% (meaning only 800 were killed this years instead of 840).”

          I think our crime rate has a direct link to our class system (and that’s not to excuse it in any way, shape or form). As I stated once before much to the horror of many here, if I were starving (or my family were starving), I’d find a way to eat (stealing, etc.). That’s not to excuse junkies form stealing for drugs but it is a money based system and they do need money to get their fix. I hope that doesn’t read as a defense of junkies mugging people for a fix but it is one explanation of why it happens.

          As for “(but then again, no gov’t meant the booty was for the taking)”… there was a very large government and a large police force, yet that didn’t stop you did it? So why not give my way a shot? Yours isn’t working.

          I can’t imagine it (see above). Money corrupts. Take away police (who are much less corrupted today than they were in the 70’s, for instance) and you have mobs running things. The mob in NY ran the construction industry in NY in the 70’s. Absolutely ran it. It’s been taken down by gov’t deals that (as abhorrent as they are to me sometimes) definitely work. Mostly, the surge against crime has come from the media (believe it or not). It’s much harder to get away with being corrupt because of the media (the few honest journalists out there and here I’ll include Bill O’Reilly for doing some decent work in the area). When they do their jobs (the media), corrupt officials are exposed. Now, send them to state prisons instead of club feds and you might see some actually deterrence.

          “The groundswell is beginning to build. As more of our money gets sucked up by a government that doesn’t represent us any longer (taxation without representation), more people are beginning to say screw both sides of the aisle. Government had best change its ways, or its gig might be up far faster than you or I are prepared to deal with.”

          Basically, what just happened with the bailouts, in my opinion, was proof positive of Marxism come home to roost; our citizenry slept through the entire fiasco. That bailout was the things revolutions should be made of; they took our money while permitting our 401k’s to be depleted, while allowing businesses to reduce benefits and continue to outsource jobs overseas (the same businesses that took bailout bucks). What did our good citizens do? Nada. A few protests here and there but in the end, the Democrats and the Republicans (which to me are separated by a very thin pubic hair) continue to rule the roost and represent big business and themselves ahead of the people. It should have been revolutionary and nothing happened. Instead of religion to blame (as the opiate), I blame all the technology and lack of parental control (through the years) over our children. Our kids (on the whole) are busy playing X-Box and text messaging each other; playing the fiddle, so to speak, while Rome burns.

          More later (I hope) …

  2. USWeapon and Charlie Stella continued from last week part 3

    USWeapon wrote:
    October 1, 2009 at 1:49 am e

    3) I forgot Third … I have a problem with the definition of moral (which BF has promised to figure out for me). Aside from sociopaths (who can’t be classified) and assuming your 80% figure is accurate, there are issues that cannot be dealt with at a local level without the potential for discrimination, etc.

    Again I would have to point out that the strongest central government on earth has done absolutely nothing to eliminate the discrimination or potential for a “wrong outcome” in dealing with criminals or disputes. The one thing that I agree with in Black Flags constant circles is the fact that you cannot make an argument based on asking the theoretical future meet standards that the current future will never meet either. We must be careful that we don’t fall into a pattern of refusing to accept a possible solution because it is not perfect. In reality, it only needs to be better than the solution we have now. And there aren’t many scenarios that are not better than the strong central government that we have now.

    As for the definition of moral, that is certainly always going to be relative. People in California may find that their definition is different than those in Savannah (A beautiful city, I used to live there). And that is OK. There definitions don’t have to match up. Because the reality is that they don’t have to get along, do commerce together, or anything else. If they want to do commerce, despite their differences, a contract can be written that is acceptable for both sides. If either side breaks it, I imagine that the rest of the country won’t be jumping to do business with the other side.

    Even those who are moral (however defined) may have different ideas regarding punishment. Everyone in an urban setting carrying a weapon would lead to war before we knew it (trust me on this)

    Possibly, but again I point out two distinct facts. Boston in the 1700’s was a place where every citizen was armed. Yet no war broke out between the people. Second, the idea that “Everyone in an urban setting carrying a weapon would lead to war before we knew it” doesn’t sit well with the facts regarding weapons in America today. Our urban areas are chocked full of guns. New York, Detroit, Chicago, LA, Atlanta, etc. have the highest guns per capita in the country, yet no wars have broken out, despite a single distinguishing factor: the VAST majority of the guns are owned by criminals. Add to that the fact that the cities with the strictest laws on handguns are also the cities with the highest rate of gun violence.

    So the evidence says increasing gun ownership decreases gun violence. Decreasing gun ownership increases gun violence.

    and while our criminal system is insanely skewered, that is part of the morality/value issue that cannot be mitigated by small government (taking a wild guess here, about half the population accepts the government protecting the guilty (alleged?) and about half wouldn’t mind lynching them.

    You cannot attempt to define how our theoretical future would deal with our current criminal system. In the free society that would emerge, the criminal system would not be anywhere remotely like the one we have under a strong central government. That strong central government is the REASON the system is insanely skewered. In “my” version of society, crime and punishment would look very different, and the discrimination that we see today wouldn’t happen because people would exist with those who wouldn’t discriminate. It is my contention that the major reasons for discrimination in today’s world are all the result of the government, not in spite of it.

    Commerce and business … the problem is all the power remains in the hands of the monied (and smaller government only insures the power remains there).

    On the contrary, big business only exists in today’s world with a powerful government mandate. Corporations where risk is mitigated by the mythical forming of an entity (which is the only reason corporations are formed, to eliminate risk) are the direct result of big government intervention. The number of powerful companies that fell was far higher before government intervened in the market. Yes, there were those few who abused their workers, monopolized markets and all those other horrible things. But look back at history, monopolies always had government help to get that way. Poor working conditions could have been alleviated with unions, and without government interference.

    We only need big government regulations in commerce because of the already existing manipulations of big government in commerce. Commerce thrived before big government. And it will thrive again when big government falls on its ass.

    I don’t think the social Darwin theory works except in theory; the powerful today are just too powerful to ever lose.

    Again, I have to disagree. The people are having a vast influence on the powerful as we speak. The most powerful group in the world wants to create a vast health care mess and the poor, pitiful people are stopping it in its tracks. The powerful are defeated all the time when government is not there to protect them or alleviate their risks. Take the auto bailouts. Three American powerhouses would be defeated and gone. They produced inferior products and didn’t take care of business. The consumer stopped buying their product. The poor defeated the powerful. But then government stepped in….

    Another example: that woman who staged a “debtor’s boycott” of Bank of America. They screwed her by jacking her interest rate to 30%. She was told to kiss off by the most powerful bank in the US. So she took her message to YouTube. It went viral. They contacted her and lowered her interest rate back to where it was supposed to be. The power of big business is an illusion. The consumer is king and always will be, unless a strong central government steps in and uses force to silence them.

    And I am not powerful in the sense that you mean. But I will say this. Should the need arise, I will bank on the fact that I can use morals, reason and logic and rally as many as I need to take on any powerful person that wants to come get some.

    Social Darwinism isn’t something that works or doesn’t work. It simply is. Eliminate a strong central government from the equation and the weak get weeded out. So it isn’t something you have to agree with whether it will work. It will happen regardless of whether you think it will work or not. It will happen even if no one thinks it will work. Now you can question whether social darwinism is a good thing or not. My position is that it is a good thing and a natural thing. Your position appears to be that it is a bad thing to allow it to happen. I see it as a natural thing and you see it as an avoidable thing. But always increasing the amount of people who shouldn’t survive only means that eventually they will outnumber those that should, and overpopulation for any species is a bad thing, Charlie. It leads us right to where we are right now in the urban areas you are talking about.

    • Charlie Stella says:

      Charlie Stella replied:
      October 3, 2009 at 6:28 am e

      “Possibly, but again I point out two distinct facts. Boston in the 1700’s was a place where every citizen was armed. Yet no war broke out between the people.”

      Yes, but there was nothing to war against. When there was (the British), they took up arms.

      “Second, the idea that “Everyone in an urban setting carrying a weapon would lead to war before we knew it” doesn’t sit well with the facts regarding weapons in America today.”

      Again, once you put something in the face of any group that is armed (i.e., once you make it a war—and taking away wholesale everything they depend on is akin to starting a war), there is a very good chance they would fight for their needs.

      “Our urban areas are chocked full of guns. New York, Detroit, Chicago, LA, Atlanta, etc. have the highest guns per capita in the country, yet no wars have broken out, despite a single distinguishing factor: the VAST majority of the guns are owned by criminals. Add to that the fact that the cities with the strictest laws on handguns are also the cities with the highest rate of gun violence.”

      Again, these are criminals (for the most) acting independently. There isn’t some banding together for war.

      “So the evidence says increasing gun ownership decreases gun violence. Decreasing gun ownership increases gun violence.“

      I’m not sure I buy that, but even if that is an accurate account, that only has to do with how easy access to illegal guns is (especially in urban areas).

      “On the contrary, big business only exists in today’s world with a powerful government mandate.”

      Yes, but because it (gov’ts) are owned (corrupted) by business.

      “Poor working conditions could have been alleviated with unions, and without government interference.”

      Only if you didn’t mind management hiring the mob as strike breakers; it wasn’t until the mob figured out they could corrupt the unions just as easy when unions actually accumulated power.

      “Commerce thrived before big government. And it will thrive again when big government falls on its ass.”

      I think we’ll see world depression when that happens quickly followed by a revolution … but I’ll be long gone before either happens.

      “The people are having a vast influence on the powerful as we speak. The most powerful group in the world wants to create a vast health care mess and the poor, pitiful people are stopping it in its tracks.”

      Hold on, USW. The Insurance companies/health industry just spend 380 Million in bribes to keep their spokesman (Congress) in order on this. The people have NOTHING to do with it.

      “Take the auto bailouts. Three American powerhouses would be defeated and gone. They produced inferior products and didn’t take care of business. The consumer stopped buying their product. The poor defeated the powerful. But then government stepped in”

      Come on, you’re reaching here. Why stop at the auto companies. What about Wall Street? The powerful extorted this country into paying their gambling debts. What did the people have to say about that? Nothing.

      “The power of big business is an illusion.”

      You’re sounding like a Big Business shill here. Surely, you’re not serious.

      “And I am not powerful in the sense that you mean. But I will say this. Should the need arise, I will bank on the fact that I can use morals, reason and logic and rally as many as I need to take on any powerful person that wants to come get some.”

      It seems to me that big business has conservatives doing their grass roots job for them. Defending patriotism and small government, etc. The fund Congressmen for what they want on the books and then rally the support of conservatives towards ideas that keep them (big business) in power (the status quo).

      “Social Darwinism isn’t something that works or doesn’t work.”

      Yes, but speaking of morality. I can’t think of something more immoral than this concept; to let the weak die off. Seriously, it kind of flies in the face of your morality argument (and if you don’t think so, therein lies one problem with the morality argument—there are several perspectives on what is moral/what is not).

      “My position is that it is a good thing and a natural thing.”

      Then the strong should survive and we’re back to a state of Nature. No government, tough guy wins. I don’t know how you align this with morality.

      “I see it as a natural thing and you see it as an avoidable thing. But always increasing the amount of people who shouldn’t survive only means that eventually they will outnumber those that should, and overpopulation for any species is a bad thing, Charlie. It leads us right to where we are right now in the urban areas you are talking about.”

      So (and I’m being serious here), why waste all that time waiting for them to die off? Why not shoot them? I’m trying to understand your morality argument in terms of social Darwinism. For me they just don’t give.

      I’m off to my power meet … this isn’t going to be pretty. More much later, if I can type. All best. Good stuff, USW.

      • Yes, but there was nothing to war against. When there was (the British), they took up arms.

        And what more is there to war against now than there was then? Replace the British with an out of control US government and the situation is identical, only the guns are better. Yet the war hasn’t broken out in the streets of Boston yet.

        Again, once you put something in the face of any group that is armed (i.e., once you make it a war—and taking away wholesale everything they depend on is akin to starting a war), there is a very good chance they would fight for their needs.

        Who would they fight for their needs? The only people who would have the things they need would be the wealthy according to your premise. And according to your premise the wealthy would quickly seize power and be untouchable without government to control them. So the people with the guns who would have to fight for their needs are left with no one to attack.

        Again, these are criminals (for the most) acting independently. There isn’t some banding together for war.

        Yes they are. Gang violence is at an all time high. Here in the south we have an inundation of MS-13, perhaps the nastiest gang in America. And you know why they get away with it? Because government has taken the guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens.

        Yes, but because it (gov’ts) are owned (corrupted) by business.

        I really think that you have it backwards here. Business corrupts government. True, but they only do so because government is the only way to give business power worth corrupting over. We are now in a chicken/egg scenario. You believe government is moral but business has corrupted it. I believe government in its current form is immoral and business has worked to use that immorality for corrupt purposes. Monopolies don’t exist without a government mandate. Unsound business practices don’t produce sounds business results without government protection. What is funny is that those on the left hate “the corporation” yet fail to realize that the corporation is a made up figment of the imagination only possible because government pretended it existed. Without government saying so, how would it even be possible for a corporation to suffer no risk to its owners (which is the only reason to incorporate)?

        Only if you didn’t mind management hiring the mob as strike breakers; it wasn’t until the mob figured out they could corrupt the unions just as easy when unions actually accumulated power.

        Now it is I that say that was a different time. That would be a much more difficult situation to find in today’s world of rapid communication and instant video and audio.

        Hold on, USW. The Insurance companies/health industry just spend 380 Million in bribes to keep their spokesman (Congress) in order on this. The people have NOTHING to do with it.

        Please don’t tell me you actually believe that. If the people had nothing to do with it the government wouldn’t spend so much time telling us lies through the media. If the people had nothing to do with it the left wouldn’t be so adamant about shutting down opposition with claims of racism. The people have everything to do with it. Did the insurance companies throw a lot of bribe money out there? You bet. And that bribe money is influencing government officials, but don’t fall into the liberal media trap of believing that the tea party movements are the result of an astroturf insurance company campaign. The PEOPLE are the ones starting to influence things. The current administration figured they pull off this health care deal. The insurance companies figured they could buy off the politicians. Neither figured in the groundswell of opposition to their deceitful plans.

        Come on, you’re reaching here. Why stop at the auto companies. What about Wall Street? The powerful extorted this country into paying their gambling debts. What did the people have to say about that? Nothing.

        What could they say about it? Wall street extorted government. Despite rampant opposition from the people, government ignored them and did the deal. The tea party movement was born. They haven’t done “nothing”. They couldn’t stop government from doing what it did. But they are waking up.

        You’re sounding like a Big Business shill here. Surely, you’re not serious.

        You bet I am serious. The consumer is king…. that is unless government steps in and protects big business. And THAT is what has happened every time for the last 100 years. Government took the power away from the people and gave it on a platter to business. Remove government and big business loses all its power over the consumer.

        It seems to me that big business has conservatives doing their grass roots job for them. Defending patriotism and small government, etc. The fund Congressmen for what they want on the books and then rally the support of conservatives towards ideas that keep them (big business) in power (the status quo).

        Don’t you see that without government they don’t get to stay in power except by the will of the people? Really. I ask that with all honesty. So big business uses both sides to retain their edge. Just like government uses two parties to retain theirs. Take away the government side of the equation and it is no longer two sides battling each other while big business laughs. It then becomes big business versus the people with no government protection for business. In that engagement, the people will crush them. I do believe that.

        Yes, but speaking of morality. I can’t think of something more immoral than this concept; to let the weak die off. Seriously, it kind of flies in the face of your morality argument (and if you don’t think so, therein lies one problem with the morality argument—there are several perspectives on what is moral/what is not).

        If it is natural, how can it be immoral. Is it immoral when a lion kills an antelope? Yes I know we are higher beings, but the reality of the world still exists no matter how much we want to ignore it. It is not about being immoral. I don’t think that anyone here would say I don’t care or that I don’t operate with morals. But if you are nothing but a drag on society, a part of the species that causes the rest to suffer for you, exactly why is it immoral to let you fail? Every pack animal on earth will kill or abandon a weak or useless member. They do so to ensure survival of the species. What makes the smartest animal on the planet think they are immune to this part of nature?

        And yes this is what makes morality tough. Different definitions. But that is a great argument AGAINST a large centralized government. One rule to apply to everyone regardless of their beliefs and morals. The absolute cause of all argument in America… differing versions of what is “right.” So let’s eliminate the big government, and align ourselves in areas with other who share our definition. Makes a lot more sense than attempting to tell 300 million different definitions that they all have to live under this one definition that only a small portion totally agree with.

        Then the strong should survive and we’re back to a state of Nature. No government, tough guy wins. I don’t know how you align this with morality.

        No, we are a higher learning animal. That means that if a weak guy has a brilliant brain and is therefore important to society, those who value him will protect him. If he serves no purpose to society, yes, the strong will eventually weed him out. It is sad but essential for survival of the species.

        So (and I’m being serious here), why waste all that time waiting for them to die off? Why not shoot them? I’m trying to understand your morality argument in terms of social Darwinism. For me they just don’t give.

        Because we are a higher learning species. You cannot make a quick determination of someone’s worth to society. But if the chains of government are removed, they will find a way to be productive or useful in society or they will weed themselves out. That is how nature works. A great beggar will survive. on his begging skills. A great mind will survive on his thinking skills. A great fighter will do the obvious. Someone who is “none of the above” will either learn to be a productive member of society or perish. Shooting them in the beginning gives them no chance to prove their value. Allowing them to perish on their own means that if they can come up with nothing to value in their personality when times get the hardest, they will unfortunately perish.

        I have to say that I am enjoying the conversation. And I hope that you are not becoming as frustrated with me as you were with others. I am doing the best I can to answer the questions without running in circles. It stinks that neither of us have as much time to devote to this conversation all at once, but I am committed to seeing it through.

        • I finally get to answer #2 … sorry for the long delay. You’re in “quotes”

          “And what more is there to war against now than there was then? Replace the British with an out of control US government and the situation is identical, only the guns are better. Yet the war hasn’t broken out in the streets of Boston yet.”

          We’re spoiled … on the whole, our society is so spoiled it can’t think for itself (how clowns like Olbermann and Beck, etc. and reality shows, etc.) rate so high. Our overall education continues to decline (with reading and everything else) … Marx might call this the opium of the masses. Stella sure does.

          “Who would they fight for their needs? The only people who would have the things they need would be the wealthy according to your premise. And according to your premise the wealthy would quickly seize power and be untouchable without government to control them. So the people with the guns who would have to fight for their needs are left with no one to attack.”

          That’s happened. Money seized the reigns a long time ago. They have it. If it ever gets desperate enough (genuine depression) we might see something akin to revolution, but I suspect we’ll have worldwide nuclear war long before then.

          “Yes they are. Gang violence is at an all time high. Here in the south we have an inundation of MS-13, perhaps the nastiest gang in America. And you know why they get away with it? Because government has taken the guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens.”

          You’ll never get me to agree to vigilantism. As much as my emotions might lean that way, I know what it would lead to … a lot of innocent people getting maimed and killed.

          “I really think that you have it backwards here. Business corrupts government. True, but they only do so because government is the only way to give business power worth corrupting over. We are now in a chicken/egg scenario. You believe government is moral but business has corrupted it. I believe government in its current form is immoral and business has worked to use that immorality for corrupt purposes. Monopolies don’t exist without a government mandate. Unsound business practices don’t produce sounds business results without government protection. What is funny is that those on the left hate “the corporation” yet fail to realize that the corporation is a made up figment of the imagination only possible because government pretended it existed. Without government saying so, how would it even be possible for a corporation to suffer no risk to its owners (which is the only reason to incorporate)?”

          I don’t believe government is moral … I believe it can regulate a lot more fairly than it currently does, but that would require the removal of all the grifters in Washington … and as fast as we replace them (in a capitalist society), money would corrupt the next crew overnight.

          “Now it is I that say that was a different time. That would be a much more difficult situation to find in today’s world of rapid communication and instant video and audio.”

          In a capitalist society, the only weapon that counts is cash. Big business has it.

          “Please don’t tell me you actually believe that. If the people had nothing to do with it the government wouldn’t spend so much time telling us lies through the media. If the people had nothing to do with it the left wouldn’t be so adamant about shutting down opposition with claims of racism. The people have everything to do with it. Did the insurance companies throw a lot of bribe money out there? You bet. And that bribe money is influencing government officials, but don’t fall into the liberal media trap of believing that the tea party movements are the result of an astroturf insurance company campaign. The PEOPLE are the ones starting to influence things. The current administration figured they pull off this health care deal. The insurance companies figured they could buy off the politicians. Neither figured in the groundswell of opposition to their deceitful plans.”

          I totally believe it. The People aren’t influencing jack right now … nothing has changed after the election of change and that has little to do with cries from the right to keep things as they were. It has to do with the money influence big business has over moderate and conservative Democrats (Republicans in drag). I could care less about tea parties … but they are insignificant as compared to the influence of the purse (insurance purse). The groundswell is a mirage. This congress and president weren’t going to come close to that kind of change.

          “What could they say about it? Wall street extorted government. Despite rampant opposition from the people, government ignored them and did the deal. The tea party movement was born. They haven’t done “nothing”. They couldn’t stop government from doing what it did. But they are waking up.”

          I wish (and hope) you’re right but I seriously do not believe so. If it all comes crashing down again, they’ll do it all over again. They haven’t passed one single regulation law over what they claim brought everything down. Not a one.

          “You bet I am serious. The consumer is king…. that is unless government steps in and protects big business. And THAT is what has happened every time for the last 100 years. Government took the power away from the people and gave it on a platter to business. Remove government and big business loses all its power over the consumer.”

          Sorry, I don’t buy this. My gut feeling about capitalism and greed holds; those who accumulate the power/money are only going to solidify it and it will rarely be to the greater good’s benefit.

          “Don’t you see that without government they don’t get to stay in power except by the will of the people? Really. I ask that with all honesty. So big business uses both sides to retain their edge. Just like government uses two parties to retain theirs. Take away the government side of the equation and it is no longer two sides battling each other while big business laughs. It then becomes big business versus the people with no government protection for business. In that engagement, the people will crush them. I do believe that.”

          See above. I can’t buy it. We’re all gullible (some more than others) and money talks. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss … it ain’t just a lyric.

          “If it is natural, how can it be immoral. Is it immoral when a lion kills an antelope? Yes I know we are higher beings, but the reality of the world still exists no matter how much we want to ignore it. It is not about being immoral. I don’t think that anyone here would say I don’t care or that I don’t operate with morals. But if you are nothing but a drag on society, a part of the species that causes the rest to suffer for you, exactly why is it immoral to let you fail? Every pack animal on earth will kill or abandon a weak or useless member. They do so to ensure survival of the species. What makes the smartest animal on the planet think they are immune to this part of nature?”

          Why I say it’s tough to use morality as a basis for an argument. You can’t say we’re higher beings than lions that kill antelope and then say natural law applies. If we’re higher beings, it’s immoral to let the weak die. If we’re just animals, we should eat the weak.

          “And yes this is what makes morality tough. Different definitions. But that is a great argument AGAINST a large centralized government. One rule to apply to everyone regardless of their beliefs and morals. The absolute cause of all argument in America… differing versions of what is “right.” So let’s eliminate the big government, and align ourselves in areas with other who share our definition. Makes a lot more sense than attempting to tell 300 million different definitions that they all have to live under this one definition that only a small portion totally agree with.”

          Who makes the “one rule” … you and I already disagree on what is moral. How can we agree to one law above all? I don’t buy you’re definition of morality. I’m not trying to convince you otherwise, but you aren’t convincing me.

          “No, we are a higher learning animal. That means that if a weak guy has a brilliant brain and is therefore important to society, those who value him will protect him. If he serves no purpose to society, yes, the strong will eventually weed him out. It is sad but essential for survival of the species.”

          See above. I find that immoral. Again, you’re using higher being in two different ways here.

          “Because we are a higher learning species. You cannot make a quick determination of someone’s worth to society. But if the chains of government are removed, they will find a way to be productive or useful in society or they will weed themselves out. That is how nature works. A great beggar will survive. on his begging skills. A great mind will survive on his thinking skills. A great fighter will do the obvious. Someone who is “none of the above” will either learn to be a productive member of society or perish. Shooting them in the beginning gives them no chance to prove their value. Allowing them to perish on their own means that if they can come up with nothing to value in their personality when times get the hardest, they will unfortunately perish.”

          See above. Don’t buy it. Can’t imagine it.

          “I have to say that I am enjoying the conversation. And I hope that you are not becoming as frustrated with me as you were with others. I am doing the best I can to answer the questions without running in circles. It stinks that neither of us have as much time to devote to this conversation all at once, but I am committed to seeing it through.”

          Not at all, USW. It’s fun. I’m just sorry I can’t get back to you sooner on this stuff. It’s been busy again at work (a good sign—mostly obscene divorce cases) … but this is all cool with me. No problem. I understand your point and I can see where and how it makes sense, but I don’t agree with it and I think that leads back to the morality issue (what is or isn’t to different peoples).

          Hope all is well. I’ll try and get back to #3 tomorrow.

          Skankies got away with murder tonight … that left field line ump. I wonder how fat the envelope was he got for that call on Mauer in the 11th … totally bogus call.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Hey Charlie,

        I would just like to point out to you that you like to argue that the current government is corrupt becase it is owned by the people with big money.

        This is very likely to be true.

        Your solution seems to be to make government even BIGGER. The problem which I see with that is that even bigger government will simply mean even greater power to the wealthy.

        Smaller, de-centralized, localized government will NOT prevent the wealthy and powerful from amassing wealth and power, but it WILL make it harder for them to exert their influence NATIONALLY. Smaller, localized, de-centralized government would tend to limit the power of the wealthy and powerful to LOCALITIES.

        Of course, you might end up with a “Boss” running every town if every town was basically independent, and the “Bosses” might collude with each other to try to make the rules highly in their favor accross localities. This would, of course, mark the return of a centralized government, where they could concentrate their power and amplify it.

        This is what we would have to prevent.

        No matter WHAT system we employ, the wealthy are going to strive for power. So, you basically have only 2 options:

        Option 1: Have a strong, centralized government, but DESTROY ALL WEALTH so that no one person has access to more power than any other person (this is the extreme form of what you seem to advocate).

        Option 2: Have a weak, localized, de-centralized government with strong rules concerning what the government can and cannot do, and MAKE SURE THERE IS A WAY TO ENFORCE THESE CONSTRAINTS.

        The Constitution was SUPPOSED to give us option 2. Instead, it gave us something which more and more is beginning to resemble option 1.

        You also have option 3:

        Society organized on moral principles. Law is based on Natural Law and Common Law. Law is justly and equally applied to all, regardless of wealth or social status. No one is allowed to initiate violence upon the non-violent, all are allowed to defend themselves against the violent. Restitution is highly favored over retribution.

        Would option 3 ever work, or would it just quickly descend into total chaos? I say “I don’t know… probably wouldn’t work unless we could find a way to have people regain the concepts of freedom, liberty, and personal responsibility. If we could do that, it MIGHT work.”

        I cannot provide any guarantee whatsoever that freedom, liberty, and personal responsibility supported by a morally organized society would result in a good and lasting society.

        I CAN guarantee you that all other systems that humans have tried so far either HAVE FAILED or ARE FAILING. When what you have tried before has failed, and what you are currently trying is failing, it might be time to try something different, even if the something different has no guarantee of success.

        At least if the something different is well-designed and based on good principles and you give it a solid foundation, you provide a chance for success.

        • “Your solution seems to be to make government even BIGGER. The problem which I see with that is that even bigger government will simply mean even greater power to the wealthy.”

          I only have time to answer this one right now. No way do I want a BIGGER gov’t per se … I want a legitimate government actually representing the people (which cannot come exclusively from the so-called professional ranks). The gov’t doesn’t have to be HUGE to be fair, but if you mean overseeing more than it does now, yes, I do think we need to regulate business much more and to regulate how contracts are doled out (no bid contracts to Haliburton, et al was criminal). We paid $7.00 for a roll of toilet paper shipped to Iraq because a) Haliburton asked for $10 and the corrupt gov’t permitted $7.00.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Ok, that clarifies your position nicely.

            I understand your point of view much better now.

            I still don’t necessarily agree, but it makes a lot more sense when you state it that way.

            Thank you!

            • BTW, I like option 3 and would absolutely consider it. I do have the same reservations you stated, however. It’s just tough going all around, I guess.

              Also, how about lending us peyton manning for a few years?

  3. Good Morning!

    There was some discussion on “welfare reform/elimination” yesterday. I’m interested in more ideas and thoughts on how this can be done. It’s been my belief for along time that welfare is a cancer on our society. What are the problems caused by it, how to fix it and why can’t it be done away with?

    G!

    • Just curious here.. if the poor cannot provide for themselves (unable, not unwilling), then they should just die?

      Adding, before they just lie down and die, do you think it possible/likely that they will decide a better approach is to steal from you? If we suppose that you have X percent chance of being robbed by the poor, and Y amount of loss, then your expected loss under this equation is X times Y + emotional trauma and inconvenience Z. Let’s call this E (expected loss). If Z > T (taxes allocated to welfare) then it is worth it for you. If not then not. Though I would add to this equation the suffering, indignity, not misery of being both poor and forced into crime, I know some here would not.

      Also adding, I think job training and/or continuing education should be a mandatory part of receiving welfare benefits. I’m happy to help out, but I feel it should contribute to a situation where my help is no longer required.

      • Sorry.. equation should read if E > T.. thought I caught that in time, guess not though..

      • No one is talking about letting people die. We’re talking about making it hard for people to abuse the system. Imagine if people taking welfare had to prove that they are attempting to find a job or volunteering somewhere for 40 hours a week (like a real job). I also think people on welfare should have mandatory drug tests before they get their check.

        I once took food to a family who “needed help.” I walk in their apartment and see a big screen tv with cable and kids wearing nice clothes, but they can’t afford food?

        • Canine Weapon says:

          I’m with you 1,000%, Jack. I had a similar friend back in high school (he had two x-boxes along with his large screen TV.. why could you possibly need two x-boxes with one TV?!). Your complaint is about abuse of the system and I couldn’t agree more.

          They should have to:
          (A) volunteer for 8 hours a day, 3 days a week (the other days are for interviews/applying to jobs etc, and continuing education/job training)
          (B) provide itemized receipts for all purchases over a certain amount (so you can’t buy X-boxes and large screen TVs)
          (C) submit to drug screening (maybe only if there’s a reason to suspect abuse, this could become expensive and difficult to implement)
          (D) PROVE that they are applying to real, full-time jobs for which they have a chance to be hired. (ie, you can’t apply to be CEO of IBM and say they’re just not getting hired)
          (E) Have insufficient savings – that is, they actually need the money
          (F) Show that the cause of their need is not their fault (they cannot deliberately get fired etc in order to collect)
          (G) Exactly ZERO tolerance for criminal activity while receiving payments. (maybe agree to harsher penalties for criminality as a condition of acceptance?)
          (H) Limited amount of time for receipt once on welfare
          (I) Limited number of times you can go on welfare in your life

          I’m sure you can add to this list. But my thinking is that this would cut down on many of the abuses and create a more beneficial system for all involved.

          • I think that they need to not only either volunteer or job hunting. But have either typing or some kind of skills class they have to attend. I use to volunteer at the food bank here and I saw one lady who said she had a 2 pack a day habit. But no money for food.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Speaketh the Devil’s Advocate…….

            (A) volunteer for 8 hours a day, 3 days a week (the other days are for interviews/applying to jobs etc, and continuing education/job training)

            – Can I still go to Church on Sunday? Should I spend any time with my kids? Who determines what qualifies a volunteering?

            (B) provide itemized receipts for all purchases over a certain amount (so you can’t buy X-boxes and large screen TVs)

            – How will this prevent me from buying x-boxes or TVs? I’ll just hide it ay my buddy’s house. Maybe I use my X-Box for looking up jobs online. How big does a TV need to be to qualify as ‘large screen’?

            (C) submit to drug screening (maybe only if there’s a reason to suspect abuse, this could become expensive and difficult to implement)

            – What if my drug of choice is booze? You’re ont going to catch me.

            (D) PROVE that they are applying to real, full-time jobs for which they have a chance to be hired. (ie, you can’t apply to be CEO of IBM and say they’re just not getting hired)

            – How do I determine if I have a chance to get hired – especially for jobs which I am qualified for?

            (E) Have insufficient savings – that is, they actually need the money

            How much savings is insufficient? Does this mean I must give the governmnet access to my bank account?

            (F) Show that the cause of their need is not their fault (they cannot deliberately get fired etc in order to collect)

            – How do I prove this? Loss of job is rarely a ‘clean break’.

            (G) Exactly ZERO tolerance for criminal activity while receiving payments. (maybe agree to harsher penalties for criminality as a condition of acceptance?)

            – What does this mean? If I get arrested do I lose payments? Do I need to be convicted? I’m on my cell phone doing a job interview because I am in between my volunteering work and picking up my three kids from Grandma’s office – I get pulled over and busted for talking on my cell phone in my car – criminal activity?

            (H) Limited amount of time for receipt once on welfare

            – Meaning what? If I am in Detriot (little to no opportunity) versus Phoenix (more job opportunity) do the same rules apply?

            (I) Limited number of times you can go on welfare in your life

            – How many? If I lose my job twice in one year am I just screwed?

            This approach seems very flawed. It would require extensive oversight, cost and intrusion to implement and manage – and there are far too many gaps and holes in the plan. Needs more baking 🙂

            …..but it is a good start!

            • If I’m paying for you to live, you may do the following with my money:

              -Pay rent/mortgage (and applicable taxes)
              -Buy food (non-premium – that is, you cannot go to Morton’s Steakhouse, but you may buy meat at the grocery store)
              -Car payments
              -Electricity
              -Heating
              -Phone (and I’ll add in internet because it’s a job search tool)
              -Job application related expenses (resume printing etc)
              -Job/skill training
              -Clothes (non-premium – though some allowance should probably be made for interviewing attire)

              Don’t like it? Get a job. I am not paying for you to be happy. I am paying for you to subsist.

              And the million dollar question: How do we enforce this?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                The more we try and define the “what” the deeper in doo we get:

                How much rent/mortgage is appropriate? Should I pay for the bozo that bought the 750K house he can no longer afford?

                Car Payment? Same problem. What is reasonable and appropriate? Should I pay for the neighbor who lost his job to retain his Hummer?

                …..and on down the line. I supposed you could use cost-of-living numbers/averages based on geography. I am still of the camp that what the person does with the money I will ultimately have little control over – to control it will merely expand the entire welfare program into something completely unmanageable – which is contrary to what most are thinking on this.

                Just my two pennies.

              • Ray, you and I usually see eye to eye.. this is somewhat unusual.

                But again, from my perspective, I am not giving you money because you’re poor. I am giving you the money to stay alive, fed, clothed, and housed, plus what is necessary to help you find a new job. I am doing so for a limited time with the understanding that you are trying to help yourself as well.

                You would help those who are unwilling to help themselves. I would only help those who are unable.

                And yes, if you have a huge mortgage because you are an idiot or a huge car payment, you should not be entitled to it. Cost of living statistics makes sense to me.. maybe a one-month grace period so people don’t get evicted if the situation is temporary?

                Yes, the logistics are a nightmare, but could more than be made up with the savings. And consider this: they would need to hire to handle the logistics (more jobs) while making it less comfortable to be unemployed (thus pushing people to get jobs, and making it difficult to be a welfare queen). Seems win-win.

                By the way, I also advocate for means testing social security.. just saying..

          • Canine Weapon – you must have had some good playtime last night to come up with these great ideas!

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          JB – why should people be forced into taking drug tests? What will that prove, show, eliminate, etc? If person A grows their own weed why is it any of your concern? If the ‘drug of choice’ for person B is alcohol and they will spend any red cent they accumulate on it, and they’re smart enough to lay off the sauce for ‘x’ hours before the test, then what have you accomplished?

          • Hi Ray….it becomes my concern because my money is being used. I do not find it unreasonable and not an invasion of rights to expect a person to be drug/alcohol free IF on the public dole. I would not be against random checks as well….just like the private workplace. So, if you want to take a handout from the government, then prove worthiness. Prove you are productive to society and indeed in hardship.

            I have always thought and continue to think that welfare systems and entitlement programs stifles and destroys integrity and promotes laziness and breeds complacency. And, before you tear into me…no, not everyone on welfare does this….but those that do not take advantage are the true minority and I am not talking skin color.

            Now,how are you doing, my friend? Hope you and yours are well. Deer season starts here in Novemeber,,,bow season opens soon.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              It would seem to me you are mixing criteria and attempting to legislate morality.

              Would you test for nicotine?

              What is the person uses welfare to buy junk food? Should I expect that my tax dollars be used to buy bulk goods of “good food” versus 10 gallons of ice cream (e.g. stretching the dollar)?

              How about our military folk? I know they are not taking “handouts” – but I pay their salary – should they be drug/alcohol tested as well?

              I just think its no win. To test means you need the means to do so and then you need to do something with that data.

              I prefer a much harsher, rubber-hits-the-road approach – we’ll give you the tools and access to the means to help yourself, what you do with the money is your call, but once we fill your tool box with tools, teach you how to fish, then your safety net disappears. If you ever need a safety net it will appear again, it will be very small and will be taken away even quicker.

              Otherwise I am good. Need to replenish the firewood supply and am dreading doing so.

              • Hmmm….as to military, we are checked regularly for drugs and HIV…..not alcohol. However, the military is non forgiving. There is no rehab…show up drunk..you are gone. Show up on drugs, you are gone. Have HIV…you are gone.

                And, of caught, it is a permanent part of your military record.

                However, I see your point…and your harder approach does the same….safety net once, less twice, third strike…you are out. I might can go this with refinement.

                Chop that wood fella. Good exercise. This is Texas and I have a fireplace….LOL…go figure.

              • Kristian Stout says:

                Ray, don’t faint, but I think that your approach is the best one that I’ve heard so far. I don’t mind helping people but I do mind being taken advantage of.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Ray,

                Why not just advocate giving away money to anyone with no means of ascertaining whether they actually need it or not, and no means whatsoever of testing whether they are using it appropriately or not, since that is what you seem to be advocating.

                No matter what suggestion people have, you have a “problem” that you come up with.

                If I am giving you MY money, you better live up to MY standards, or you just plain can’t have my money.

                It is like your parents used to say when you were over 18 and still living in THEIR house, “If you don’t like the rules, move out, get a life, and make your own rules in your own place.”

                I have no problem “legislating morality” to people on the public dole. By paying them, I have become their employer. Their job, when employed by me, is to go out and find a far more productive job that gets them off of MY payroll.

                Like any other employer, I can subject them to random drug and alcohol testing, and any other standards I want.

                People receiving PUBLIC money are no longer PRIVATE citizens. They have become PUBLIC citizens, because the public is paying for them to live.

                As PUBLIC citizens, they are not entitled to “privacy”.

                Anyone who makes the claim, “well yeah, I am on PUBLIC assistance, but any attempt to ascertain what I actually DO with the money violates my PRIVACY is simply an idiot.

                The problem is, you are trying to mix freedom and liberty (good concepts) with welfare (a concept which has nothing to do with freedom and liberty).

                If a person wants to accept other people’s money and still have a reasonable expectation of PRIVACY, that money needs to come from PRIVATE sources, not PUBLIC sources.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Peter – I just sense a helluva lot of problems with people whining about privacy rights, legislating morality, ACLU involvement. In order to enforce what you may advocate you almost require government to do so. I agree that need must be established – but what is that minimum criteria.

                Really shocked BF has not chewed this up and spit it out. I consider a safety net a humane thing to do – how we control it and remove it is the problem.

          • It is meant as a deterrent as well as a check. If a person is on welfare and they test positive for drugs, they have obviously spent welfare money on drugs, which I think we can all agree is unacceptable. I never said there wouldn’t be ways around it or cracks, but it sure would help, no?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              I just don’t think it will serve as a deterrent and the system is too easily circumvented.

              • Ray
                I agree that it would be hard to enforce. I think it would be worth the effort. We will not catch all but catching who we can is worth it to me.

                Hope you are having a good day!

              • You are blinding your logic with opinion. Welfare reform = bad, therefore it won’t work…

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                JB – it can work – I guess figuring the lesser of the evils is the question. How many people that need the help will bitch about giving Uncle Sam access to their bank records to verify they really need the money.

                I’ve become very much the ogre in watching a well intended system be so blatantly abused.

          • Most companies require drug testing to be hired so it would only seem to make sense that in order to collect a welfare check, you should also have to submit to testing.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Well, if it makes sense, the government sure isn’t going to make it a requirement…

              🙂

      • This country got along just fine for 170 years WITHOUT a federal welfare system. It was not at all unusual for dad to go to another city or another state to earn a living and send most of his money home to mom and the kids. Many of the illegals who come here do precisely that. For those that were truly down on their luck, there have always been charities that will help them to survive. You might not like the conditions that you have to meet to get the charity, but you’ll live.
        What happened 80 years ago that we suddenly needed a national welfare system? Were people suddenly less charitable?

    • G! and all,

      I am an evil capitalist, getting rich by exploiting 50 to 100 others (some refer to me as a small business owner). We are firing another worker today, being a heartless bastard, I don’t care if their puppy died or what their personal problems are. I look at their inability to work more than three days a week and that’s where I stop. Most of our turnover is because people will not work 40 hours a week.

      I have women and older employee’s that have worked 40-55 hours/week for years on end (it helped that I made them swear a blood oath, binding their soul to my service). Some of my friends are also small business owners, and they face the same problem in finding workers. Out of every ten new hires, only two on average will last a month. And half will quit, the other half will be fired for poor attendance. Maybe one out of 20 will be fired for cause.

      I have reason to suspect most abuse drugs or alcohol, which may be the root cause of their poor attendance. I would strongly support drug testing for all who receive government assistance. Why should we pay thousands or millions to sit on their ass, getting high?

      Oh well, back to counting my blood money.

      • You bad, bad person. We need to find more ways to tax you and punish you for your innovation, work ethic, contribution to a productive society. We can’t have this!

        • I get a lot of punishment already, wife’s shoe tax may require closet stimulus.

          • Sorry, have the same shoe impediment so no sympathy for you.

            I have considered writing them off as a business expense, but since we’re in the mode of health care, maybe it’s really more like a prescription to an illness…..hey, yes, that’s it!

            Now for the name….

            Shoelepsy? Shoecema? Shoeitis? Shoefection? Shoerexia?

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Bacterial Shoengitis.

              • I had to ban my wife from stacking her shoe boxes higher than her head. I thought that stopped her until she just took over more closet space and started a new stack… alas!

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                My wife, thankfully, does not suffer from shoeholism. She does, however, like purses.

                Luckily her mother buys her about 2 new expensive ones per year and that seems to satisfy her addiction, so I never have to pay for the darn things.

                Now if I could just convince my wife to go out of the house more often so someone else would see these nifty purses…

                Oh wait.. that might involve her finding other ways to spend money if she went out more often… nevermind… 🙂

              • Canine Weapon says:

                Emilus also suffers from Purse-ism (though she calls them handbags.. I’m not sure what the difference is).. she has taken over the entire top shelf of the closet with them. I fear for my life when I’m in there.. they could bury me in a landslide (purseslide?)!

                Here lies Mathius – crushed to death by his wife’s purses.

    • This drug testing thing is one that absolutely gets me going. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll pee in a cup for them anytime they want to test me. Our firm does some work on public infrastructure. On any project that has federal participation the fed requires random drug testing for our employees. Because of this all of our new hires are required to drug test during the interview process and once employed if they fail a drug test they will be terminated. So here is what chaps me, the folks out there working and supporting themselves get the shaft if they show any drug use, while the folks getting a check for doing nothing can use all the drugs they can buy or steal with no penalty. If the fed is going to require drug testing for workers then they need to require it for welfare recipients.

    • I have some experience on this particular subject as I was on welfare for a little over a year while pregnant and going to a trade school. I got fired primarily because I wouldn’t put up with my supervisors drunk boyfriend and cover for her when she was with her husband instead of him. (Jerry Springer episode in the making!)

      In California (at least at the time, I don’t know if they still do this or not) it was mandatory that you had to take a test to determine your placement in state ran classes. Your test score determined what they felt you could be trained for, nurses aide, receptionist, food worker things of that nature. These trainees get preferential hiring status for city and county jobs not to mention employers also got tax breaks for hiring them as well.

      Now the biggest problem with this was if you had kids what to do with these kids while attending the test and/or classes. Another problem was regardless of how high your test score was you would get stuck on a waiting list for the classes because mothers with multiple kids would be placed in the classes before someone pregnant or with just one kid even if the multiple kid mother had already been through several of these classes and choose to not work.

      With that being said, here are my suggestions:

      1) Testing and training is a must!! Each and every person on welfare should be required to volunteer X hours a week to state ran child care centers. This would enable the people attending classes, going to job interviews and even working at new jobs have someplace safe to leave their child until they could afford to pay for their own child care.

      2) Random drug testing and home visits (and I do mean RANDOM…none of this calling them a week in advance to let them know your coming crap!). This would ensure the children are being properly cared for and a site inspection would give the workers a better idea of how their money is being spent. Its not reasonable to think that every single welfare recipient could be tested every month, but it would give them something to worry about if they are up to no good. If caught, they get 3 months to fix the problem and have to enroll in NA or some other program IMMEDIATELY! They will be retested randomly during this period. If caught a second time, they get terminated from the program at the end of the 3 month period.

      3) Food Stamps should be in the form of a debit card. This card only works for actual food. No chips, no sodas, no candy, no crappy food period!

      4) There should be a limit to how much money can be received per household. This crap with getting a “raise” everytime you have another kid encourages people to have kids every 3 years to remain eligable and get that extra money coming in.

      I have more but my boss just handed me some actual work to do…YAY!!! Something to do!!!!!

      • Kym,

        Great post, I strongly agree with requiring their involvement in day
        care, and would add school also. Can a teacher have too many aids?
        Many of the deadbeat parents regard school as free babysitting, so they need to volunteer to sit for others.

        • Sorry, LOI for being my punching bag today.

          I just love this comment:
          “so they need [meaning ‘we will force them’] to volunteer to sit for others”

          Welcome to the Army – “I order you to volunteer for this suicide mission!”

          IF you force them into schools, they will be a disaster for the kids.

          If you do not force them into schools, they will not go.

          • No “force”, just require they contribute their time if they wish to receive my dime.

            Its amazing the results I get here, you want my money, do this job to my standards. Don’t like the deal, go out the same way you came in, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

            • LoI

              …yet, you refuse to use the same argument to your employment vs. “illegals”?

              Perhaps this is why the situation is all screwed up?

              • I do not hire illegal anyones, so does not work for my situation. I also think others should do the same. I think having borders is a good thing at this time. I think citizenship should be earned, because assimilation has proven to work for our society. And societies that do not require their immigrant population to assimilate have short lives.

              • Chinese civilization did very well not requiring assimilation – for oh, 4,000 years and counting.

                As soon as we see our human brothers and sisters different from ourselves we provoke conflict.

                As soon as we see them with the same rights as we have, they instantly reunite with us and become our brothers and sisters again.

    • I understand the “conditions” for receiving welfare that have been suggested and why. But this will remove the ‘worst of the worst’ from welfare. Then what do they do??? Or, what do you think they’ll do…

      I suggest you start hiring more police and expand the courts and prisons before you make these changes, so you’re ready for the ‘response’…

      I saw an article a few months ago that welfare is $23 billion per year. I don’t know if that’s all ‘welfare’ programs, or just the standard ‘welfare’… That’s a lot of money, but you’re not going to balance the Federal Budget on that…

      What percentage of welfare recipients do you think will fail these conditions?
      How much money are you going to spend to implement this monitoring, vs how much will you save?
      How much will you then spend on expanded police/prisons?

      How much will you expand the Federal Government to accomplish this?? 😉 Cheap shot – I couldn’t resist!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Todd,

        Statistics show that if you get the worst of the worst off of the welfare rolls, they do generally behave violently. However, they usually spend most of their bullets and baseball bats taking each other out, and not going to your house or my house and taking us out. If I was truly cynical (which I am, but only part-time), I would say that this is social Darwinism at work.

        Anyway, the point is, you are attempting to use A PROBLEM WHICH HAS BEEN CAUSED BY THE EXISTENCE OF THE SYSTEM in order to justify the continued existence of the system.

        Basically, your argument is “the screwed up system produced this potential for massive violence, so if you take away the screwed up system, you will unleash the massive violence that the system produced the potential for.”

        That is called a “circular agrument”. Basically your argument proves that the system is terribly flawed and should never have existed in the first place. The best way to rectify the situation is to eliminate the horribly flawed system, even though there are temporary negative consequences for some people.

        Some people will say that that solution is heartless, because some people will probably be hurt and killed. Bullshit. People get hurt and killed on a daily basis. Sure, eliminating this behemoth of a flawed program might get more people hurt and killed TEMPORARILY, but in the long run, elimination of the program is going to cause people to behave MORE RESPONSIBLY, so on net, it is going to be a positive FOR SOCIETY.

        You GREATER GOOD folks claim you want what is best for society. So, what do you want? Do you want a temporary increase in violence to eliminate a flawed and immoral program, or do you want a permanent gradual increase in violence as this flawed program continues to grow?

        In one scenario, you have a potential for a burst of violence, followed by what would likely be people starting to be responsible for themselves and behaving responsibly.

        In the other scenario, you have a potential for more and more people behaving more and more irresponsibly over time, which will result in more and more violence.

        I would think that the GREATER GOOD would be scenario #1 personally….

        • Hi Peter,
          Looking for a fight today?? 🙂

          You read a lot of things into my comments…and you make a lot of assumptions about how things will workout in the two scenarios you present.

          I’m not saying “do nothing”. I’m saying move slowly and think about unintended consequences.

          Instead of choosing one of your black and white extreme scenarios, I’d suggest a shade of gray that’s more in the middle. Instead of focusing on kicking the “bad” welfare recipients off, how about focusing on helping the “good” welfare recipients improve their situations and move off welfare? This will encourage people to move up the economic ladder, rather than being forced down the ladder.

          The changes made to welfare in the 1990’s were good, and I’m disappointed that they’ve been reversed. But the 1990’s changes were under-funded, which made them less effective than they should have been, and in many cases did not address the support needed for job training, etc.

          Once this process is in place and working, deal with those who don’t want to work their way off welfare…

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I guess that part of it is not that I necessarily want to “pick a fight”… it is more that your position seems to be that government SHOULD be in the business of helping people out that are in need, and my position is that PEOPLE (not government) should be in the business of helping out people who are in need.

            Part of my problem with ANY sort of government “safety net” is that it tends to discourage people from being charitable, because “the government will just take care of the needy”.

            We all know how inefficiently government does ANYTHING. Asking the government to be efficient is like asking the moon to ACTUALLY be made of green cheese. Sounds nice in a fantasy world, but doesn’t translate well to reality.

            Part of personal responsibility (to me anyway) entails giving people a hand up, rather than a handout. You cannot teach someone else to be responsible for themselves by simply giving them things.

            I am ALL FOR helping others when they are in need. I do not believe that government programs are the way to go about it personally.

            If your neighbor is down on his luck, and you help him in some way, this builds stronger communities. If your neighbor is down on his luck and the government sends him food stamps, this weakens communities in my opinion.

          • “unintended consequences”, one of my favorite flavors…

            Earlier this year, economist David Neumark of the University of California, Irvine, wrote on these pages that the 70-cent-an-hour increase in the minimum wage would cost some 300,000 jobs. Sure enough, the mandated increase to $7.25 took effect in July, and right on cue the August and September jobless numbers confirm the rapid disappearance of jobs for teenagers.

            The September teen unemployment rate hit 25.9%, the highest rate since World War II and up from 23.8% in July. Some 330,000 teen jobs have vanished in two months.

            …. The biggest explanation is of course the bad economy. But it’s precisely when the economy is down and businesses are slashing costs that raising the minimum wage is so destructive to job creation. Congress began raising the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour in July 2007, and there are now 691,000 fewer teens working.

            http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2009/10/05/record-teen-unemployment-only-wsj-seriously-looks-minimum-wage-hikes-cau

          • More of those “consequences”.

            A Cash for Clunkers hangover hit every major automaker except Hyundai last month, pushing down sales and leaving the industry searching for signs of a recovery in October.

            U.S. sales of cars and light trucks fell to just under 746,000 in September, down 41 percent from August.

            Both GM and Chrysler were the biggest losers last month, while Ford, the healthiest of the Detroit Three, reported the smallest drop of major automakers. Of the top companies, only Hyundai posted higher sales, up 27 percent from September 2008.

            http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2009/10/02/september-vehicle-sales-press-still-wont-concede-possibility-gm-chrysler

            Reality check, what does more government not make worse?

      • Ponder this a bit. By reforming the system, I would hope that people are encouraged and pushed to get off of welfare by getting a job. Then not only do we release the burden of those abusing the system, but we also reduce the burden of “lifetime” welfarers.

        What to do with the non-compliant is a good question, though. Do we let them die? It would be their own fault and I tend to think USW would propose to do so, but I cannot bring myself to give out a death sentence, even one self-imposed.

        One thing you and Ray need to remember is that we are working to fix problems. Just because there will still be flaws does not mean we shouldn’t try. I equate this with the argument, we can’t stop people from buying fireworks so just don’t make a law against it (that’s Indiana for you!).

        • JB

          Ponder this a bit. By reforming the system, I would hope that people are encouraged and pushed to get off of welfare by getting a job.

          There are only two ways to “encourage” a behavior.

          Reward it. (Carrot)

          Punish the opposite of it. (Stick)

          Human Action Theory demonstrates that “Sticks” eventually break. That is, instead of changing the behavior, humans begin to work in ways to AVOID the stick, while maintaining their behavior pattern.

          Sticks are very good in ‘shocking’ a person into an action. Pain is a powerful motivator. Sticks are not very good in maintaining action. People adjust to pain.

          The only long term method is “reward”.

          The challenge is the moral dilemma of welfare. How can you possibly reward someone better than getting paid for nothing?

          It would be their own fault and I tend to think USW would propose to do so, but I cannot bring myself to give out a death sentence, even one self-imposed.

          Do not believe people will roll over and die without a fight.

          You will have to shoot them down in the street, while they are burning down your house.

          One thing you and Ray need to remember is that we are working to fix problems.

          The problem is deep and systemic.

          “Thou shalt not steal, unless by majority vote”

          As long as this is the mantra of the People, the problem cannot be solved.

    • Someone has to keep voting for Democrats

  4. USW….can I throw something in here…well, I guess I can, I suppose…so here goes.

    There is something that seems to have been over looked on here concerning the health care debacle. I have read the house version and (2) Senate versions. I also listened to a news piece from Senator Burgess. So far, none of the health bills have a start date until AFTER the 2012 Presidential elections….but the collection of taxes begins immediately upon signature from the President. The buzz in Washington now is that there will not be a health bill this year or maybe even next year but in any event, I would like to know the proponents point of view on this blog concerning this. Here is the direct question. Does anyone one here agree with the idea of collection of taxes prior to the actual implementation of the health bill, if there is one? If you do agree with this, please provide justification on the collection of taxes PRIOR to implementation.

    Several Senators are really belaboring the fact that the health bill and any agreement on it, will not take place in 2010 because it will be political suicide from the democratic point of view. There will be bills out before the end of this year, but there will be no final passage from committees of putting anything together.

    I feel that the repubs want a cram down or nuclear option from the dems and are banking on the fact that such will fuel a 2010 revolt when combined with the fact that taxes start immediately and the implementation is after 2012.

    Comments,please.

    • I cannot speak to the efficacy of the proposed health care bills. Here is what I can say. If you tax in advance, you can use some of the interest generated from the stockpile of advance cash to help mitigate the cost of the bill once it kicks in. In that manner, you have lower taxes over the long-haul. Do I think that’s what will/would happen? No. But that might be the “logic” being employed. I would need to research this as this is the first I’ve heard of it. If that’s the case though, I’m more than ok with it.

      Just an off the cuff thought..

      • Thank you for your reply…I am against nationalized health care anyway, and as you know, I am on it through the VA. I would rather pay my way than have higher taxes. The only reason I am on the VA now, is that no private doctor treats war injuries related to Agent Orange poisoning.

        However, the taxes that I see so far are allocated to the general revenue fund and not set aside in a separate account having oversight. I could think about it better if the funds were actually allocated to a separate account with oversight and no borrowing from that account to welfare or highways or anything else like the SSN funds are now.

        I personally believe that taxes collected prior to implementation would be used for other sources and not be there when needed and because of that….more taxes raised later. Also, according to my numbers, when you take into consideration the Baucus bill from the Senate…it kills Obamas no tax pledge on those under $250 K. It will raise taxes on all incomes over $22,500 in the range of 11% and change and those funds are allocated to general revenue as well.

        So, even with my sympathy, at this time, I am not in favor of any nationalized health care and not willing to entertain any compromise unless I am ASSURED that the taxes are done at implementation, allocated to a direct account with oversight with a constitutional amendment making it illegal to take from that account except for its intention (like we do in Texas – example..Texas cannot borrow from allocated highway funds to build a hospital even if the fund has a surplus), and that the tax is capped for a period of years and the health plan reviewed. The review to be done with three outside auditing firms and not the government auditors.

        I am afraid that this is the only way that I could possibly consider it. Thank you for your input, however.

        • My concern would also be that if the government has its mits on money, they will justify its use on just about anything other than its original intent…of course they might issue government bonds to cover the shortage…sort of Social Securityesque…

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        Because there is a MASSIVE deficit, the money collected to “pay for the new healthcare program” does NOT go sit in an account somewhere accruing interest that can be used to later help defray the costs of the program.

        NOPE

        The money is ALREADY SPENT on other programs that are in the red, before the government even collects it. So while this “collecting interest” thing SOUNDS good, there is no reality to it whatsoever.

        If we all had to have mandatory HSAs and put our money into those, then we ourselves could accrue interest, but of course, the government wouldn’t do something THAT sensible.

        • To get my support, they have to put it in one of Al Gore’s locked boxed. Otherwise, pre-taxation is a no-go for me.

          It is worth noting, however, that they don’t actually care what I think..

    • D13,

      It sounds like the same principal that is used for buying a car or house, you have to pay a down payment. And this would also be reasonable to start a program. If you are going to hire people, you first have to have money. So there is reasons that would justify this.

      My thoughts, it is another excuse to impose more taxes, they are up against Obama’s promise not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250K?

    • Because it’s easier to implement new taxes than it is to implement healthcare reform…

      Because it lets Obama and the Dem’s hang the ‘carrot’ of healthcare reform in front of the voters during the 2010 and 2012 elections…

      I’m serious about these, but it’s also a little “ironic”…or something like that…

    • Hey guys! I agree that the immediacy of the tax is to prop up the almost bankrupt medicare/medicaid and other social programs. Been reading every day but haven’t had much time to post. Plus, you guys all say it so much better than I can 🙂

  5. Canine Weapon says:

    The Pope and Nancy Pelosi are on the same stage in front of a huge
    crowd. The Pope leans towards Mrs. Pelosi and said, “Do you know
    that with one little wave of my hand I can make every person in this
    crowd go wild with joy? This joy will not be a momentary display,

    like that of your followers, but go deep into their hearts and
    they’ll forever speak of this day and rejoice!”

    Pelosi replied, “I seriously doubt that. With one little wave of your hand?

    Show me.”

    So the Pope slapped her.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Good one Puppy!

      http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=video&video-id=2540

      Best Regards to all,
      RS

    • Would love to see this…..

      Although watching Pelosi and Reid before that mic and seeing good ‘ole Harry wrap his arm around Nance was not bad either.

    • One year at Thanksgiving, my mom went to my sister’s house for the traditional feast. Knowing how gullible my sister is, my mom decided to play a trick.

      She told my sister that she needed something from the store. When my sister left, my mom took the turkey out of the oven, removed the stuffing, stuffed a Cornish hen,and inserted it into the turkey, and re-stuffed the turkey. She then placed the birds back in the oven.

      When it was time for dinner, my sister pulled the turkey out of the oven and proceeded to remove the stuffing. When her serving spoon hit something, she reached in and pulled out the little bird. With a look of total shock on her face, my mother exclaimed, “Patricia, you’ve cooked a pregnant bird!” At the reality of this horrifying news, my sister started to cry.It took the family two hours to convince her that turkeys lay eggs!
      Yep……………..SHE’S BLONDE!

    • NEW YORK , July 22 — A public school teacher was arrested today at

      > John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a

      > flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a

      > slide rule, and a calculator.

      > At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said

      > he believes the man is a member of the notorious “Al-gebra’ movement.

      >

      > He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with

      > carrying weapons of math instruction. “Al-gebra is a problem for us,”

      > Gonzales said. “They desire solutions by means and extremes, and

      > sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.

      >

      > They use secret code names like ‘x’ and ‘y’ and refer to themselves as

      > ‘unknowns’, but we have determined they belong to a common

      > denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every

      > country. As the Greek philanderer, Isosceles, used to say, ‘There are

      > 3 sides to every triangle’.”

      >

      > When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, “If God had

      > wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have

      > given us more fingers and toes.”

      >

      > White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more

      > intelligent or profound statement by the President.

    • Good Morning Canine Weapon

      That was funny, can I borrow that? Hope you are doing well today.

      Judy

      • Canine Weapon says:

        Borrow away! I didn’t come up with it though.. my sense of humor mainly consists of crewed up Master Weapon’s shoes..

        • Thank You Canine,

        • Canine Weapon says:

          Sorry.. it’s tough to type without fingers.. I meant to say “chewing up Master Weapon’s shoes”

          oh boy is that funny.. and watching how he holds the tennis ball after a slobbered all over it.. he he he

    • An engineer dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, “Ah, you’re an engineer — you’re in the wrong place.” So the engineer reports to the gates of hell and is let in. Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in hell, and starts designing and building improvements. After a while, they’ve got air conditioning, flush toilets and escalators, and the engineer is becoming a pretty popular guy. One day God calls Satan up on the telephone and asks with a sneer, “So, how’s it going down there in hell?” Satan replies, “Hey, things are going great. We’ve got air conditioning, flush toilets and escalators, and there’s no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next.” God replies, “What??? You’ve got an engineer? That’s a mistake — he should never have gotten down there; send him up here.” Satan says, “No way! I like having an engineer on the staff, and I’m keeping him.” God says, “Send him back up here or I’ll sue.” Satan laughs uproariously and answers, “Yeah right. And just where are YOU going to get a lawyer?”

    • *A LITTLE KNOWN BASEBALL FACT*:

      The first testicular guard (cup) was used in baseball in 1874 and the first
      Helmet was used in 1934.

      It took 60 years for men to realize that the brain is also important.

  6. Fraud Problem With Current Government-Run Health Care

    Prescription Problems

    Amid concerns over a proposed government-run health insurance option, the Government Accountability Office says it has major problems with the current government-run option. A new GAO report says that in fiscal years 2006 and 2007, prescription drug fraud in Medicaid cost more than $63 million in just five states: California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina and Texas.

    The report says about 1,800 prescriptions were filled for people who are dead and another 1,200 prescriptions were signed with the names of deceased doctors,
    (is ACORN running this also?)
    costing a half-million dollars: “Medicaid offices in the selected states generally did not periodically compare their information against death records.”

    Medicaid also paid $2.3million to 65 health care providers and pharmacies, even though they are barred from receiving federal funds.

    Cushy Jobs?

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,562020,00.html

    After taking control of the House in 2006, Democrats said lawmakers would work four or five days a week to bring change to America. But the Politico’s Jake Sherman reports on October 7, 2009 that midway through President Obama’s first year in office, the House, “has settled into a more leisurely routine. Members usually arrive for the first vote of the week as the sun sets on Tuesdays — and they’re usually headed back home before it goes down again on Thursdays.”

    The report says that since the House returned for its fall session, members have stuck around for a Friday vote just once, to approve an almost 6 percent increase in Congress’ own budget.

    Missouri Republican Congressman Roy Blunt looks on the bright side: “Two and a half days a week is plenty of time to consider the ideas coming out of this Democrat-led House. Imagine the damage they could do with five-day workweeks.”

    But Majority Leader Steny Hoyer points to appropriations bills stalled in the Senate: “It takes a long time to do it.”

  7. Its interesting with all the talk about health reform, how little we hear from doctors. From the “Million Med March”.

    RUBIN: Well, first thing we need to do is to repeal the McCairn-Ferguson Act, which is an obscure ruling that I think went into law like in the 1960s which basically exempts insurance companies from anti-trust laws. So insurance companies can dominate the market and create a monopoly or an oligopoly because they’re allowed to collude and discuss prices with each other. That’s something that other businesses – especially doctors – cannot do. So, right there, that drives up the cost of premiums.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brad-wilmouth/2009/10/08/fnc-fbn-highlight-conservative-doctors-group-abc-nbc-tout-obama-docto

  8. The Senate climate bill, called the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, just made its debut today. There are still pieces deliberately left out of the bill that will be subject to Senate debate, and of course, time will need to be taken to properly analyze the 800-page bill (hey, at least it’s shorter than Waxman-Markey’s 1300-pager). But here’s a first look–a rundown of its pros and cons, how it’s different from the climate bill that passed the House, and what to expect next.

    Obama has already lauded Senators Boxer and Kerry, the bill’s authors, saying it will spur innovation in the energy sector and lead to greater energy independence.

    Deeper Emissions Cuts
    Matt noted that the emissions reduction target were a little steeper (20% by 2020 instead of 17%, and 83% by 2050 instead of 80%). According to Kerry himself, these cuts will come from heavy industry, and leave agriculture untouched, at least for now.

    http://www.alternet.org/environment/142997/senate_climate_bill_revealed%3A_a_quick_guide

  9. bottom line says:

    BLACK FLAG

    From yesterday:

    G MAN – That’s my whole point. There are many jobs for OUR citizens, that are being taken by the illegals, by the criminals ect. Why not put those on welfare to work doing these jobs? Would it not motivate them to get better?

    BF – “Ooohh … don’t get me started on why it is right to prevent a man from finding a job, simply because he cross an imaginary line.

    Illegal workers have jobs because Americans do not want them. They are typically ‘below the dignity’ of most Americans…”

    BL – I feel compelled to weigh in on this. I offer my two cents worth as a means to, not argue, but rather enlighten you and any who read this. Your above statements were in stark contrast to the reality of my life for the last 12 years. I’m not making an assertion. I’ve lived it.

    Illegals are a big problem. I can think of so many ways that the illegal folks are bad for America. But I’ll try to stick to the “jobs” aspect of it. They’re taking jobs and lowering wages for the jobs they’re NOT taking. Half the money they make here is getting sent home, mostly to Mexico to be stashed for their later return home. I know all about them because I have lived with illegal Mexicans. Most of them are good honest folks.

    Jobs that Americans don’t want to do? Nope, I reject that. Mr Flag, you are dead wrong brother. For example…Go to southern Nevada/Las Vegas area, look around, and then tell me where they are picking crops in the Mohave Desert. No, they’re taking service jobs, construction jobs, factory jobs, ect…all that American citizens would normally, GLADLY do.

    This jobs/wages thing has effected me personally in a big way. When I first got out of the service(’98), I was 23. I had the immediate need to provide for myself. I got into painting because I already had a little experience working with my uncle painting as a teen, and plenty of industrial painting on ships in the Navy. There were plenty of want ads for craftsmen in the paper, as the housing industy was still booming at the time. It paid the same, or a dollar or two more an hour, than anything else that I could apply for/in my realm of occupational experience. So, I departed from the diving board, so to speak. I dove in and got into painting houses.

    Starting out as a little green in the trade, I could make a meager living wage that provided all my self sufficing needs. If you watched your budget CAREFULLY, in 1998, in midwest USA, you could survive off of $10-12/hr. 40-50hrs./week. I could successfully provide myself a comfortable 1 BR efficiency apt., a basic(already paid for)chevy sedan/insurance/gas, groceries/toiletries/hygene items,cheap clothes,ect..

    Typically the more experience you have as a craftsman equates to higher wages, as it is truely worth more. Like others, in the housing/construction/remodeling industry, it equates to being qualified to do higher priced work.

    For instance: A 5-30 million dollar mansion with a great deal of intricate woodwork that the homeowner expects to look like fine furniture, requires a higher level of skill and a more complex process to produce. Thus worth more money to the contractor. More time,more steps, better materials, higher skilled labor = charging more $$$. The men painting the fancy house are gonna make approx. 12-13 for the greenies, 14-16 for the average, 17-23 for the highly skilled and foreman, and the approx. combined total employee’s wages for the owner/contractor.

    Being skilled enough to do this type of work is the only way I have been able to compete with illegals.

    Over the last decade or so, governed by supply and demand of workers, I have seen various craftsmen’s wages not only freeze, but drop. That $10-12/hr. greenie wages doing average houses, has dropped to $7-9/hr. That $17-23/hr. for the highly skilled doing fine quality work,has dropped to $14-19/hr.

    Why? A: Because millions of unskilled Mexicans have come to the USA for a better life in Mexico. …And because greedy contractors increase profits by charging according to labor costs of skilled workers, while hiring unskilled cheap workers that aren’t subject to the financial demands like taxes that american workers are. Skilled appropriately paid workers are forced to compete by working for less.

    Combine a drop in wages with an increase in taxes and the cost of living and inflation over a 10-15 yr.period(1990’s-2010)…and you get a nineteen ninety something $23/hr. skilled craftsman making $15/hr. worth of rent,car,groceries.

    Take the annual income of that same painter and deduct 3 months for the non-working months when paint doesn’t dry/freezes and everyone spends their $$ on bills and thnxgiving/X-mas/new years… Then deduct another month’s wages for things like rain days and misc. occurances. Now deduct for the cost of things like tool replacement and painter’s whites.

    Now, figure the difference between what that painter DID make in a ten year period, and what he WOULD HAVE made in that same ten year period.

    I already know the answer….. It comes out to equal A HOUSE OF HIS OWN.

    That painter is me.

    Further more, …I wouldn’t consider skilled craftsmanship as “typically ‘below the dignity’ of most Americans…”
    In Fact, I’m kinda proud to be a skilled craftsman. You should see some of my work.

    Thank you, and have a nice day,

    Bottom Line.

    • bottom line says:

      even furthermore…unskilled illegal workers have also caused a lesser standard in the quality in which your average american home was built over the last 20 or so years.

      For example: Brick walls end up crooked, and the morter mix ends up with too much sand in it. They don’t know any better.

      Result: a brick wall that should last 100 years, starts cracking after 100 days. Ive seen this happen. These houses still got sold as if they were really worth a quarter million bucks. A homebuyer got ripped off IMO. Multiply that times a few thousand houses across the country.

    • bottom line says:

      Even yet further… Add “and/or the investment cost of A BUISNESS OF HIS OWN”, to A HOUSE OF HIS OWN.

    • bottom line said

      G MAN – That’s my whole point. There are many jobs for OUR citizens, that are being taken by the illegals, by the criminals ect. Why not put those on welfare to work doing these jobs? Would it not motivate them to get better?

      BF – “Ooohh … don’t get me started on why it is right to prevent a man from finding a job, simply because he cross an imaginary line.

      Illegal workers have jobs because Americans do not want them. They are typically ‘below the dignity’ of most Americans…”

      BL – I feel compelled to weigh in on this. I offer my two cents worth as a means to, not argue, but rather enlighten you and any who read this. Your above statements were in stark contrast to the reality of my life for the last 12 years. I’m not making an assertion. I’ve lived it.

      Illegals are a big problem. I can think of so many ways that the illegal folks are bad for America. But I’ll try to stick to the “jobs” aspect of it. They’re taking jobs and lowering wages for the jobs they’re NOT taking. Half the money they make here is getting sent home, mostly to Mexico to be stashed for their later return home. I know all about them because I have lived with illegal Mexicans. Most of them are good honest folks.

      So, do you have the same complaint if someone from New York takes a job from a Texan?

      Why not?

      Why does a arbitrary line on a map change your perspective?

      Making it illegal to work is probably among the top worse abuses of human rights I can think of.

      Jobs that Americans don’t want to do? Nope, I reject that. Mr Flag, you are dead wrong brother. For example…Go to southern Nevada/Las Vegas area, look around, and then tell me where they are picking crops in the Mohave Desert. No, they’re taking service jobs, construction jobs, factory jobs, ect…all that American citizens would normally, GLADLY do.

      Contradiction.

      If they are glad do the work – why are they not doing the work?

      Obviously, they are not glad to do the work – they want something else or demand something more than the other guy.

      This jobs/wages thing has effected me personally in a big way.

      As usual, people believe that “this” economic good is somehow immune to the laws of economics in this case.

      Labor is no different an economic good/service as any other economic good/service

      Typically the more experience you have as a craftsman equates to higher wages, as it is truely worth more. Like others, in the housing/construction/remodeling industry, it equates to being qualified to do higher priced work.

      Explain to me why you believe this.

      Being skilled enough to do this type of work is the only way I have been able to compete with illegals.

      The only way Toyota competes with Kia is providing a better product.

      Why do you think you are immune to the same economic laws that apply to Toyota and Kia?

      Over the last decade or so, governed by supply and demand of workers, I have seen various craftsmen’s wages not only freeze, but drop. That $10-12/hr. greenie wages doing average houses, has dropped to $7-9/hr. That $17-23/hr. for the highly skilled doing fine quality work,has dropped to $14-19/hr.

      Why? A: Because millions of unskilled Mexicans have come to the USA for a better life in Mexico. …And because greedy contractors increase profits by charging according to labor costs of skilled workers, while hiring unskilled cheap workers that aren’t subject to the financial demands like taxes that american workers are. Skilled appropriately paid workers are forced to compete by working for less.

      Why did computer prices fall from $25,000 to $400? Because of competition. Why are some computers sold and bought for $10 million? Because they perform and offer value to the buyer far in excess of the $400.

      Apply laws of economics to labor. Then talk to me.

      even furthermore…unskilled illegal workers have also caused a lesser standard in the quality in which your average american home was built over the last 20 or so years.

      So what? It is the buyer who pays for the level of quality they want. You can build a car by hand, but no one will buy because they don’t need a car quality that comes from being made by hand.

      For example: Brick walls end up crooked, and the morter mix ends up with too much sand in it. They don’t know any better.

      Obviously, the buyer does’nt care either.

      Result: a brick wall that should last 100 years, starts cracking after 100 days. Ive seen this happen. These houses still got sold as if they were really worth a quarter million bucks. A homebuyer got ripped off IMO. Multiply that times a few thousand houses across the country.

      Whether YOU believe someone got ripped off or not is moot. I think someone who buys a car not made by hand is getting ripped off too. SO WHAT?? I’m not the one buying that car!

      Come back to me and expalin why you think labor is not an economic good.

      • bottom line says:

        Indulge me, if you please, in another hypothetical, Mr. Flag Sir:

        BF – makes argueably semi-ignorant statements in regards to illegal immigrant workers, imaginary lines, Americans not wanting sub-dignity jobs.

        BL – Not really BF, I’ll explain. Check this out bro…
        Illegals are a big problem because of….. I know because I’ve been there, done that.

        BF – Hmmmmmmm……Never really heard it put quite like that before BL. Thanx for the perspective.

        BL – No problem Mr. Flag, I’m glad I could contribute some food for thought.
        CHEERS!

        BF – CHEERS!

        • bottom line

          Indulge me, if you please, in another hypothetical, Mr. Flag Sir:

          BF – makes argueably semi-ignorant statements in regards to illegal immigrant workers, imaginary lines, Americans not wanting sub-dignity jobs.

          BL – Not really BF, I’ll explain. Check this out bro…
          Illegals are a big problem because of….. I know because I’ve been there, done that.

          BF – Hmmmmmmm……Never really heard it put quite like that before BL. Thanx for the perspective.

          BL – No problem Mr. Flag, I’m glad I could contribute some food for thought.
          CHEERS!

          BF – CHEERS

          Fair enough.

          I can see where you think I was too harsh in my response.

          I could also give you a history how economic calculation made me rich and made me poor.

          But, regardless of personal experience – laws of economics remains immutable.

          Any solution to an economic problem requires an economic solution. If you try to use a political solution to a economic problem, the consequences will be wholly political, and not economic at all.

          If your concern is economical, this consequence will create a serious negative for you – in one way or another.

          If your concern is political, I would suggest you do not try to solve that problem with economics.

          • bottom line says:

            I’m not trying to argue the laws of economics brother. I am simply offering you something that you obviously can’t see from your horse. I see it because it’s literally in my face.

            The bottom line of my point is that illegal immigration has had a direct effect on the socio-economic mobility of the average skilled American worker(myself included). And it’s not because we don’t wanna do the work. Cuz we sher ain’t lazee.

            I love this tune.

            “Working Man” – RUSH

            I get up at seven, yeah
            And I go to work at nine
            I got no time for livin
            Yes, Im workin all the time

            It seems to me
            I could live my life
            A lot better than I think I am
            I guess thats why they call me
            They call me the workin man

            They call me the workin man
            I guess thats what I am

            I get home at five oclock
            And I take myself out a nice, cold beer
            Always seem to be wondrin
            Why theres nothin goin down here

            It seems to me
            I could live my life
            A lot better than I think I am
            I guess thats why they call me
            They call me the workin man

            They call me the workin man
            I guess thats what I am

            Well they call me the workin man
            I guess thats what I am

            • Bottom Line

              illegal immigration has had a direct effect on the socio-economic mobility …

              But explain why this is not bad if it is a New Yorker who ‘took your job’?

              In other words, BL, the argument you use against “illegal” workers is the same argument you can use against:

              – someone from New York
              – someone from an adjacent state
              – someone from another city
              – someone from another neighborhood
              – someone on your street.

              Any worker – who is willing to supply the same product at less cost will displace you.

              You are no different economic good than an apple. If I can buy the same or near-same apple from him cheaper than you, why would I pay more for yours?

              • How about someone from Detroit?
                Bring those rioters down, tell them there is “free money” being given out, when they show up, break the news, the money is free, but you have to work to receive it.

              • LOI

                And they will show that they are welfare recipients, which does not mean they are stupid.

                They will rip you to shreds trying to make them look like fools.

      • Sorry if I’m being a pain in the @$$ but there is a word: “Illegal” Let’s build Wal Mart’s in Mexico and those people can get jobs at home. Then bring our troops home to guard the border and let the Arabs sort out their own problems. And not go broke re-building stuff we blew up.

        I no longer see the point of our young people dying overseas, and I think Obama should put a deadline on sending troops vs. bringing them home. I know the reservists will add to the unemployment numbers, but would rather be unemployed that dead because the Commander-in-Chief can’t pull his head out of his ass and act like the Leader of the Free World.

        God, we are so screwed

        • bottom line says:

          Wasabi – Sorry if I’m being a pain in the @$$ but there is a word: “Illegal” Let’s build Wal Mart’s in Mexico and those people can get jobs at home. Then bring our troops home to guard the border and let the Arabs sort out their own problems. And not go broke re-building stuff we blew up.

          BL – WASABI FOR PRESIDENT!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Economic reality:

      Most people don’t seem to mind a cheap house with a shoddy paint job.

      Economic reality:

      “Illegal Aliens” will do a shoddy paint job on a cheap house for less money than “American” painters will.

      Economic reality:

      In order to make a decent living as a painter, you need to possess the skill to do a great paint job on well-constructed homes (cater to the well-off and wealthy). By doing this, you are catering to people who are willing to pay a higher price for quality work and will not settle for crappy work regardless of how “cheap” the price is.

      Looks like as a painter you adjusted to these economic realities pretty well.

      • bottom line says:

        I’ve had to. There’s where Social Darwinism comes into play. Adapt or starve.

        • Has nothing to do with Darwin.

          It has to do with Adam Smith.

          The product you sell into the market place has to be one that someone else will buy.

          If you are not worth the price you are asking, no one will buy.

          If you are worth more then the price you are asking, you will never starve.

          • bottom line says:

            It’s more about “Joe the plumber”. Go get a job as a craftsman competing with illegals, BF, then come talk to me about economics.

            • I am talking to you about economics.

              As long as you divorce yourself from economic theory, you will punish yourself.

              As I asked, explain the differences between
              – someone from New York
              – someone from an adjacent state
              – someone from another city
              – someone from another neighborhood
              – someone on your street.

              …as it effects your ability to sell your services.

              • bottom line says:

                Moving from state to state isn’t illegal.

              • Not the question, BL – this is a lesson in economics, not politics.

              • bottom line says:

                BL – It’s more about “Joe the plumber”. Go get a job as a craftsman competing with illegals, BF, then come talk to me about economics.

                Point: You can argue all the finer points of economics ’till yer blue in the face, but until you actually step into mine and other’s shoes…you will remain, to some degree, ignorant of the position.

              • No, sir.

                I have been in your shoes – different industry, same story – and it is always a matter of economics

                If one ignores this, you will doom yourself and your children to suffering the same consequences, over and over.

              • bottom line says:

                BF – No, sir.

                I have been in your shoes – different industry, same story – and it is always a matter of economics

                If one ignores this, you will doom yourself and your children to suffering the same consequences, over and over.

                BL – Okay then, school me brother. I concede. Make your point, I’m listening.

              • Simply, think about my question regarding the list of someone’s listed above..

                What is the difference between them, if they displace you?

                Is the last one listed vile to you?

                The first one?

                Why or why not?

              • bottom line says:

                How ya like them apples?

                lol sorry, I couldn’t resist.

              • BL

                By demanding (with threat of or use of violence) that someone should pay you more than you are worth, you are creating an institution that will use violence upon you to seize your wealth.

              • bottom line says:

                I’m not making the connection between coersion and me getting out of bed to paint a rich guys house.

              • You want to use violence to prevent a man from earning his living.

              • bottom line says:

                No, I just want to be able to die with being able to say that my kids are gonna be fine by themselves. That means giving to them, wich means having it to give, which means earning it, which means competing with folks cutting me out of what’s rightfully mine…AKA “The American Dream”. It’s no different than being stolen from BF.

              • bottom line says:

                soon, I’ll have to give up this comp to a kid doing homework research. If I’m unable to reply before I go to sleep, I’ll continue tomorrow.

              • The kid doing homework is infinitely more important than me.

                Enjoy!

      • Political reality, I know of instances where illegal aliens have accidents, and the police refuse to cite them. They do not want to bother with translators, locking them up(cost money) for non-payment
        ( no job with wages to garnish). But a citizen will get a ticket, because they can collect the revenue with little trouble.

        The number of illegal aliens has grown because the government has selectively refused to enforce the laws. Many of those illegals therefore feel contempt for our laws and citizens, making assimilation
        into our society a failure. And what happened to Rome?

        • Life of Illusion said

          Political reality, I know of instances where illegal aliens have accidents, and the police refuse to cite them. They do not want to bother with translators, locking them up(cost money) for non-payment/

          So the problem is the immigrant – not the arbitrary and care-less police!

          The number of illegal aliens has grown because the government has selectively refused to enforce the laws. Many of those illegals therefore feel contempt for our laws and citizens, making assimilation
          into our society a failure. And what happened to Rome?

          Rome debased its currency and collapsed its economy to a point where tax collection forced farmers off their land.

          The consequence of rebellion required an ever-increasing military expenditures while suffering ever decreasing tax revenue.

          I posted in this in past.

  10. re: Welfare elimination

    Mathius

    Just curious here.. if the poor cannot provide for themselves (unable, not unwilling), then they should just die?

    No one will die willingly – if there is any policy that causes a large group of the population such a threat, you will have cites burning down.

    Also adding, I think job training and/or continuing education should be a mandatory part of receiving welfare benefits. I’m happy to help out, but I feel it should contribute to a situation where my help is no longer required.

    This is a no-starter.

    I would offer that nearly 100% had mandatory public schooling – and that was ineffective. Forcing more “education” would be equally ineffective. You cannot force someone ‘to learn’.

    JB

    No one is talking about letting people die. We’re talking about making it hard for people to abuse the system. Imagine if people taking welfare had to prove that they are attempting to find a job or volunteering somewhere for 40 hours a week (like a real job). I also think people on welfare should have mandatory drug tests before they get their check.

    This does not work – (last first) it is a human rights violation to demand drug testing – and if that did happen, you would simply alienate, again, a massive segment of the population which will have no mental barrier to burning down your city.

    Your first position; is simply arbitrary. How do I prove I am “looking” for a job? Anyone can screw up any ‘interview’. Further, distance bureaucrat couldn’t care less if I am looking or not as long as my paperwork is in order. All this does is create another level of government paperwork with little to no benefit.

    I once took food to a family who “needed help.” I walk in their apartment and see a big screen tv with cable and kids wearing nice clothes, but they can’t afford food?

    Now you have your answer – return welfare to private charity. Private charity wholly depends on voluntary donations – made by people who demand performance. Private charityes WILL separate those in need with those who are merely playing the system.

    Canine Weapon

    I’m sure you can add to this list. But my thinking is that this would cut down on many of the abuses and create a more beneficial system for all involved.

    No, I do not believe it will – you are merely adding level of bureaucracy over an already thick level of bureaucracy. Other than wasting more trees, and hiring more government employees, nothing will change in the welfare – (except costs, too will go up)

    Mathius

    And the million dollar question: How do we enforce this?

    The same way it is done now – that is, it cannot be done.

    You forget why there is welfare – it is not to ‘help’ people, but make them dependent on the government. You are asking for government to change at its core.
    Ray Hawkins

    The more we try and define the “what” the deeper in doo we get:

    I wholly agree with Ray.

    Matt

    You would help those who are unwilling to help themselves. I would only help those who are unable.

    Then instead of giving your money to government, give it to private charity. The latter exist solely on their works for those in need and are directly responsible to you. It is the only thing they do.

    Government does not exist to provide welfare and is not responsible to you. Guess why there is a problem….

    • Detroit: A Look at the Civil Unrest to Come?
      (From another blog)

      Rumors that the Obama administration was giving away $3,000 “stimulus checks” started the ruckus. The Detroit Police Department’s Gang Squad, along with other tactical units, were called in for crowd control purposes. From the FOX story:

      Scuffles erupted as several thousand Detroit residents jockeyed, pushed and shoved Wednesday to get free money being offered to only 3,500 of the city’s recently or soon to be homeless.

      Several received medical treatment for fainting or exhaustion while frantically trying to obtain the applications for federal housing assistance. The long lines and short tempers highlighted the frustration and desperation that Detroit residents feel struggling through an economic nightmare.

      The line around Cobo Center, a downtown convention center, started forming well before daybreak. Anger flared within a few hours as more people sought out a dwindling number of applications for the program.

      The city was distributing applications for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing program, and its bureaucrats will decide what 3,500 people will get a maximum of $3,000. The city’s application, planning, and approval process is, I’m sure, a “stimulus” program all on its own, providing a lot of work for the government’s tax eaters. This was seen as a gift from Obama because his cheerleaders among the masses knew he would take care of them – food, gas, mortgage, and all. As desperation materializes, and the reality becomes clear – that there is only job destruction in Detroit and the surrounding area, not job creation – both people in genuine need, and those who spend their lives plotting and taking and feeding off the system, will become more agitated and more demanding, and the unrest will escalate. Considering the limits of the cash freebie, what happens when those 46,000+ people get turned down for assistance? The Detroit News reported:

      Wednesday’s line stretched for blocks and before the process could be completed at least six people were taken away by ambulance, 150 police were called to the scene and the city stopped distributing applications before noon.

      View the startling photographs from the Detroit News (right side).
      http://detnews.com/article/20091008/METRO01/910080431/1409/METRO/Chaos-erupts-at-Cobo-as-thousands-jockey-for-federal-aid

      • I wonder how many of the people in the pictures have been on welfare for a long time. This reminds me of that mentality, if it’s free, I’ll fight for it, but if I have to work for it, i’ll pass.

        I’ve thought alot about your comment about burning cities if welfare was to be cut off. While that would not be a good thing, it may not be a bad thing either. For the sake of this post, let’s pretend I have no conscience or remorse.

        Let the rat infested cities burn, most likely they will burn their own neighborhoods first, before the National Guard shows up. Yep, many will die, as they off each other in their rage. They will however be contained to their neighborhoods, which are burning down. The blight of government housing is now up in smoke. News choppers show it all on TV, and the world now witnesses the savagry that has enveloped these cities for decades. Death and destruction last about a week, 10’s of thousands perish. Finally, exhausted, the violence ends. Many arrests are made from the news videos, tent cities are built to help the survivors.

        Cleanup and rebuilding is the new way, with those in the tent cities finding long term employment rebuilding the cities that were destroyed by those that were savages when welfare existed. A new peace and a strong, non-racist community evolves during the rebuilding process. Small businesses grow with the refreshed economy of the new working class, jobs are plentiful, and welfare is a distant memory. The handicapped now have a strong family to aid them, the weak have risen into prosparity never dreamed of. The people no longer tolerate drug dealers or gangs, having learned their lesson. A new city emerges, safer, cleaner and education of the youth becomes the new goal of the people, to ensure the past does not repeat itself, ever.

        I do have an imagination, but sometimes the worst possible events can lead to a better future.

        And just for Charlie, the greater good has been served.

        PEACE!

        G!

    • Once again, just because it will have flaws does not mean it shouldn’t happen. If “requiring” people to try to find a job encourages anyone to do so rather than living in welfare, then the action was successful. If having drug tests discourages anyone from buying drugs, then it was successful.

      I know I’m being an optimist and this was really just what I would like to see, not what I believe could actually happen.

      • JB

        I understand your frustrations.

        However, introducing more paperwork to a system awash in paperwork is very unlikely to solve the problem.

        You are asking for more government employees to walk behind these people to see if they are finding a job. How much will that cost? What is the measure of success? One job per $1,000 or $10,000 or $1 million of tax dollars?

        The only way to stop welfare is to stop paying welfare.

        You cannot stop welfare to those living on welfare today.

        But you can begin to stop people from joining the welfare rolls.

        It will have to be a weaning process, with lots of fits and starts – but the goal must be:
        1) not disturb those whose entire life is now dependent on government
        2) do not add to this dependency.

    • At least the poor people aren’t starving, nave you seen these fat @$$ welfare people??? Not to mention they have no $$ but all the latest Blackberry and I Phone gadgets. If these people were starving maybe they would get a job, but then we either want to starve children or whatever. 4 years since Katrina and these people are still getting nowhere. There’s your Darwinism.

  11. Gold $1055 – from now on, it will be a new record price….

    Lessons in Money – When Money fails…

    http://mises.org/resources/4016

    • bottom line says:

      Would you suggest buying gold…as in “holding it in your hand or safe place” yours?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I would buy physical gold (not futures, contracts, or any other pieces of paper) and keep the gold in a VERY safe place (a safe deposit box at a bank is probably NOT a very safe place, especially if there were to be a run on the banks, and/or many banks closing their doors).

        The government may well confiscate the contents of safe deposit boxes from shuttered banks if worst comes to worst. They may even DEMAND that you turn in all of your gold to the government. This isn’t even far-fetched. They already did it once in 1933.

        Buy gold using CASH. Buy it from a local dealer. Make sure the “official” records of any such transactions are minimal to non-existent. That way the government DOES NOT KNOW that you own gold.

        Don’t use your credit cards, do not order from a big national dealer and have it sent to you.

        Buy gold coins or bullion from a reputable, local coin shop, preferrably one with an ANA certified coin dealer. As I said, pay in cash and get a hand-written paper recipt rather than a computer-generated one.

        This all sounds massively paranoid; HOWEVER, the purpose of gold is to protect yourself from some really bad scenarios happening, so a certain amount of paranoia makes sense for these types of preparations, no?

        Buy your own safe. Small ones do not cost much. Your own safe COULD end up being MUCH safer than a Bank Safe.

        Also, keep in mind that any transactions (even taking your own cash out) that exceed $9,999.99 are tracked by the government, so don’t go taking $27,000 in cash out all at once to buy 25 ounces of gold. Spread that sort of purchase of gold out over at least 3 months time if not longer unless you have ready access to that kind of cash without involving a bank (which seems unlikely for the vast majority of people).

        You are trying to plan for a time when the government becomes even less stable than it is now. When making preparations for such a potential eventuality it is best to avoid alerting the government that you are making such preparations 🙂

        • To add to Peter -re: Gold.

          He is correct about the withdrawal of money.

          However, purchases of Gold coin or bullion is not tracked nor reported as, from government point of view, merely a purchase of a commodity.

          However, any SALE of the commodity is a tax issue. Capital gains will attract taxes, and capital loss will attract a deduction. Therefore, keep your receipt (if taxes are important to you).

        • bottom line says:

          PBI – I would buy physical gold (not futures, contracts, or any other pieces of paper) and keep the gold in a VERY safe place (a safe deposit box at a bank is probably NOT a very safe place, especially if there were to be a run on the banks, and/or many banks closing their doors).

          BL – that’s why I asked the way I did.

          PBI – This all sounds massively paranoid

          BL – Not at all. You’d be suprised to know what I’ve seen, that has been dismissed as paranoid conspiracy BS. But that is a VERY long and complicated story. Not for today.

          PBI – Don’t use your credit cards,…

          BL – NEVER in my life have I owned a credit card. There’s no service charge on Benjamin’s.

          PBI – Also, keep in mind that any transactions (even taking your own cash out) that exceed $9,999.99 are tracked by the government, so don’t go taking $27,000 in cash out all at once to buy 25 ounces of gold. Spread that sort of purchase of gold out over at least 3 months time if not longer unless you have ready access to that kind of cash without involving a bank (which seems unlikely for the vast majority of people).

          You are trying to plan for a time when the government becomes even less stable than it is now. When making preparations for such a potential eventuality it is best to avoid alerting the government that you are making such preparations

          BL – I know all about how the federal goverment tracks things. Thanks for the advise guys. I am taking it into serious consideration.

      • Re: Purchase of Gold at this time.

        Please evaluate your own personal position. Ask yourself “Why am I buying gold?”

        We live in a nation that has not had gold or silver coins in circulation since before 1920.

        Few people know that a silver coin is worth more than a laminated dime. 99.99% of Americans have never seen a gold coin.

        Only specialized buyers and sellers of coins understand this. They will command a high transaction price for the exchange in a collapse. They will give paper money for coins. They will not provide goods. They will not be in the retail business.

        You will be able to buy used goods at pawn shops. You will pay a high premium for every exchange. But these goods will be nearly worthless consumer goods, not food or necessities.

        Coins will be used in a post-crisis situation to rebuild the economy.

        They will be valuable at that time. But you must get through the crisis period without selling your coins.</b.

        Coins are good for inflationary times, but not hyperinflationary times.


        Rules: ”

        Better coins than paper money.

        Better the goods that you will want to buy than coins.”

        When you hear “collapse,” take the word seriously. Coins will not help much. Necessities will.

        The meaning of “collapse”:
        It means hyperinflation.
        It means that the dollar ceases to function as a means of exchange.
        It means millions will die.
        It probably means you will be one of them.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          A few corrections for BF, but most are insignificant…

          US minting of gold coins for circulation as a means of payment of public and private debts stopped in 1932. A few gold coins exist with a mint date of 1933. VERY FEW.

          Silver dollars (which actually were 90% silver) were minted until 1935.

          Silver half dollars, quarters, and dimes which were 90% silver were minted until 1964.

          “Silver” coins in 1965, 1966, and 1967 were still 40% silver.

          After 1967 all “silver” coinage became an alloy of copper and nickel containing no silver.

          Commemorative gold and silver coins have been minted periodically from 1964-present. These are not meant for “circulation”.

          Silver and Gold Eagles have been minted since 1986 (not sure if they are still minting the gold ones or not). Silver Eagles are 1 oz. Gold Eagles come in sizes ranging from 1/10 oz. to 1 oz. These are “Troy” ounces, not “Avoirdupois” (“standard”) ounces. Gold and silver are always measured in troy ounces, so it really doesn’t matter exactly what weight an “ounce” is, but a troy ounce is more than a “standard” ounce.

          As to whether purchases of gold or silver are tracked…. well, I suspect that the government has ways of tracking commodity purchases… I certainly would not put it past them to track such a thing….

          As BF points out… gold will offer you some protection against high inflation. However, gold will DO NOTHING MUCH for you if we have hyperinflation.

          If inflation goes to 25%, gold will hit $10,000 and you can pay for your house with a pound of gold.

          If inflation goes to 2000%, gold aint gonna help you much.

          • Peter
            I agree with your comments regarding the MINTING.

            I am talking about the CIRCULATION.

            Paper completely replaced gold coins by 1920 in CIRCULATION. The paper was backed by gold up until 1972.

            The point is, people today do not know what a gold coin looks like, nor what a real silver coin looks like. To them, all coins look alike. Show them a $20 Gold coin, they’ll give you $20 bill in exchange.

            As to whether purchases of gold or silver are tracked…. well, I suspect that the government has ways of tracking commodity purchases… I certainly would not put it past them to track such a thing….

            If you pay by cash and take gold in hand – it cannot be tracked. There are no serial numbers on coins.

            Note: Gold ore is tracked!

            All gold ore has a unique isotope signature – metallurgists know if the gold comes from Russia or S. Africa or Canada or USA or Australia, or Amazon, etc.

  12. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    The lasted card dealt in the race game!!!

    The Congressional Black Caucus (a racist name to begin with, no?) has accused Republicans of racism because Republicans have demanded that Charlie Rangel either pay his taxes or step down from his powerful committee chairmanship.

    Not sure whether I should laugh or cry at this one… If wanting a black Congressman to ACTUALLY PAY HIS TAXES constitutes racism, I want to die and be reincarnated as a black Congressman 🙂

    • Sooo tired of these crooks getting away with this just because of the race card being played. Rangel needs to go to Prison, and yes it is my g-d business.

  13. Antarctic Ice Melt at Lowest Levels in Satellite
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    Erahttp://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2009/10/06/antarctic-ice-melt-at-lowest-levels-in-satellite-era/

  14. HOW TO GET MONEY MOVING AGAIN

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or even a Harvard MBA to understand that it is the velocity of money that is the prescription for a healthier economy.

    It is common sense that every time a dollar changes hands it gins up the marketplace, whether it is exchanged at the deli on Main Street or the brokerage house on Wall Street. If a dollar changes hands only once in a day we are in a Depression. But if that same dollar changes hands ten times in one day we are in boom times.

    So how do we increase the “velocity” of money? We return to that which has been done before and proven effective. We need to unleash the power of the individual. Get rid of the restrictions to velocity imposed by the government on taxpayers and small business owners.

    The problem today is that the age old fundamental differences in philosophy between Democrats and Republicans still exist when it comes to the economy. Add to that the fact that the Democrats are in control of government by a big majority and it’s even tougher to advance policies that benefit the individual over government.

    Democrats believe it is the velocity of government spending that will improve the economy while Republicans believe that smaller government and the power of an individual’s money moving around will be the cure for our weakened economy.

    Here are a couple of things the government could do right now that would have an immediate and positive effect on the economy and get money moving around:

    1. Eliminate the Capital Gains Tax: Today, individuals are penalized for selling their property out of fear that they will have to pay 20% on the gain of the sale of assets like stocks, bonds, precious metals and real property. If this tax were eliminated, people would be free to move their property through a sale, exchange or some other means without being encumbered by a tax burden. The sheer velocity of the money moving throughout the country generated by these transfers would be immediate and real.

    2. Eliminate the Death Tax: American families are faced with a huge tax liability when a loved one dies. The same assets that were taxed on the purchase of an asset during one’s lifetime are taxed again after a death. This amounts to double taxation. The current death tax rate is 46% with a exemption on the first $2 million of assets. This burden hits small business owners the hardest. If, for example, a gross estate is comprised of a small business with assets of $3 million dollars the estate would have to come up with $460,000 in taxes. In most instances this burden would spell the end of the family business. The heirs would be forced to liquidate or sell the business just to pay the death tax! Many economists believe that the elimination of the death tax would favorably increase the velocity of money because businesses would continue to operate and would be more successful without the fear of a looming tax that would in affect put them out of business.

    By eliminating the restrictions on the velocity of money and by encouraging the American people to be successful, more money will flow into our Treasury through our income taxes. The sheer velocity of money at the hands of the individual will create and preserve jobs. And, what’s more, it will encourage and foster the great entrepreneurial spirit that is America.

    • even a Harvard MBA to understand that it is the velocity of money that is the prescription for a healthier economy.

      This is a Keynesian theory of money – which is divorced from any economic theory.

      You cannot improve an economy by simply passing paper between two people.

      Think about it. I have a dollar and give it you, and you give it back to me. The faster we do this, increases our velocity.

      Please tell me how much wealth we have created after doing this for an hour?

      It is common sense that every time a dollar changes hands it gins up the marketplace, whether it is exchanged at the deli on Main Street or the brokerage house on Wall Street. If a dollar changes hands only once in a day we are in a Depression. But if that same dollar changes hands ten times in one day we are in boom times.

      See above example.

      The only way an economy becomes prosperous is by increasing productivity.

      Passing paper around does not improve the economy.

      Working hard, cheaper and longer hours increases productivity.

      1. Eliminate … Tax

      Has nothing to do with velocity of anything.

      Taxation removes wealth from the hands that create it and puts it into hands that do not create it.

      Such an action destroys wealth – it moves it from wealth-creators to wealth-eaters.

      Any reduction of any tax reduces this destruction. By keeping wealth in the hands of wealth creators, wealth is multiplied.

      This is the case of getting the one right answer by guessing.

      Be very careful, and try to understand the underlying economic theory that is being presented. Often, the theory will accidentally give a right answer – but lay a foundation of error, that when applied, will make the situation far worse.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        In SOME ways, the “velocity” of money does make a certain amount of cents… err.. I mean sense 🙂

        If I have a five dollar bill, and it sits in my pocket, it is not doing me (or anyone else) much good.

        If I take that $5 to a coffee shop and buy a grande latte or some such crap, it then causes the employee of the coffee shop (who was being non-productive) to BECOME PRODUCTIVE and make me my latte. This generates profit for the business, which then spends that $5 to buy more coffee, cream, stirrers, etc.

        The thing that the “velocity of money” theory MISSES COMPLETELY is that the velocity of money does not determine whether the economy is good or bad. Monitary velocity is a RESULT of whether the economy is good or bad.

        It is a classic case of attempting to reverse cause and effect.

        If there are lots of people making money, they will go out and spend it, which will allow more people to make money, which will allow them to go out and spend it, and so on, and so on, and so on. The people “making money” are doing so by BEING PRODUCTIVE… that is, producing goods or services that OTHER PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO PAY FOR.

        The Keynesian theory of velocity of money states that all you have to do to pump up an economy is DUMP DOLLARS INTO IT. This FAILS EVERY TIME IT IS TRIED.

        It may SEEM like a chicken/egg thing… that is, it may not SEEM to make any difference whether the productivity comes first or the money comes first. The problem is, when the money comes first, it does not NECESSARILY follow that there will be an increase in productivity. You attempt to “jump-start” the economy by throwing dollars into it and HOPING that this will CAUSE productivity.

        If it does NOT cause productivity, all you did was dilute the value of ALL DOLLARS within the economy without helping in any way.

        If the productivity comes first, there is a much more solid foundation in place to justify THE EXISTING DOLLARS to start moving around again.

        Dollar velocity is great AS THE MEASURE OF THE HEALTH OF AN ECONOMY. Trying to FORCE an increase in velocity merely by injecting more dollars into the system in exchange for NOTHING will not automatically make people more productive. It MIGHT, but there is no guarantee whatsoever. If productivity increases FIRST, then the existing dollars in an economy will naturally start moving around faster.

        It is like looking at a barometer and saying “because the barometer is reading low pressure, it is going to rain”.

        NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

        “Because there is a low pressure system in the area AS INDICATED BY THE BAROMETER, it is going to rain!”

        Velocity of money is MERELY A BAROMETER of the health of an economy. FALSE MANIPULATION OF A BAROMETER DOES NOT BRING RAIN.

        • If I have a five dollar bill, and it sits in my pocket, it is not doing me (or anyone else) much good.

          Again, this is not a matter of ‘velocity’ – but one of deflation. You have removed currency from the economy.

          However, you have a benefit – you are storing wealth for a future purchase. Your default is purely temporary.

          The thing that the “velocity of money” theory MISSES COMPLETELY is that the velocity of money does not determine whether the economy is good or bad. Monitary velocity is a RESULT of whether the economy is good or bad.

          It is the conversion of a commodity from one form to another – from having something you do not want any more into something that you desire more.

          An increase in trade does signify an improving economy in most circumstances.

          The Keynesian theory of velocity of money states that all you have to do to pump up an economy is DUMP DOLLARS INTO IT. This FAILS EVERY TIME IT IS TRIED.

          Keynesians do not believe money is an economic good.

          They divorce monetary theory from economic theory.

          Thus, when Keynes talks about his General Theory – it is not a General Theory because it does not explain the economics of money.

          Because of this fault, they believe the creation, expansion and use of money has a different cause and effect than the creation, expansion and use of gold – which used to be money, but it not any longer.

          But when gold was money, it did not change from what it is now – that is, a metal and a commodity.

          Ask a Keyensian why, when gold was money, it operated under a different economic theory than gold does now, when it is not money.

          I doubt the protons and electrons changed.

      • Hi Judy!

        At some point this has to be said, so it may as well come from me.

        The most important velocity I’m concerned with is that of LEAD! And Preferrably the lead coming from the end of my barrel.

        G!

        • Hey G

          For a minute there I was wondering what you were talking about, then I realized what. DUH!

          Hope you’re doing good today.

          Judy

  15. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    A bit more on gold and silver:

    IF you are buying gold and/or silver as an inflationary hedge, do NOT be “fooled” into buying “rare” coins. Simply buy gold or silver coins for as close to the spot price as you possibly can and horde them.

    Stuff that a coin dealer will attempt to dazzle you with:

    Condition of a coin:

    Rated on a 1-70 point scale. 1 being a coin which barely has any visible detail left, 60 being a minimum “mint state” and 70 being a “flawless mint state”. To a COLLECTOR, condition matters a GREAT DEAL. Collectors will pay HUGE PREMIUMS for coins in exceedingly nice condition. In nasty economic times, people are only going to care about the gold or silver CONTENT of the coin, not what it looks like.

    Rarity of a coin:

    Rarity is based on the number of that specific coin minted, how many examples of that coin are still thought to be surviving, and demand for that particular coin. Some coins have only a few thousand examples still thought to be in existence, but not many collectors want them for whatever reason, so the collector value is not that high, in spite of extreme scarcity. Other coins have hundreds of thousands of surviving examples, but MILLIONS of collectors want that particular coin, so the value is ridiculously high.

    For example, a relatively high mint-state example of a 1909 Lincoln penny minted in San Francisco with the engraver’s initials present on the back of the coin (V.D.B) is worth thousands of dollars, even though it is a mere penny.

    In really bad economic times, NO ONE is going to buy that from you at any price. It will still be as rare as it is now, but THERE WILL BE NO DEMAND regardless of rarity or condition.

    Assuming moderate to borderline “high” inflation, collections of rare coins, especially in good condition, will likely increase greatly in value. Once you hit true “high” inflation, the demand for rare coins drops through the floor, and you are stuck with them.

    If you want to collect something that is truly beautiful and pass something on to future generations that will LIKELY increase in value and has historical significance, a rare coin collection is wonderful. If you want a hedge against inflation, a rare coin collection is OK, provided inflation does not go TOO HIGH.

    Beyond a certain inflationary point, rare coins are worthless. Beyond yet another inflationary point, gold and silver are worthless. To protect yourself TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE, buy gold and silver coins or bullion for THE CONTENT ONLY.

    Another big problem with gold/silver coins:

    Dealers charge a mark-up over spot price for common gold and silver coins. It is NOT a huge mark-up. Dealers do NOT make much money this way.

    Dealers also charge a mark-up between what THEY are willing to pay YOU for a rare coin, vs. what YOU will have to pay THEM for the exact same coin. This difference is the grey-sheet (wholesale) price vs. the retail price. In the case of rare coins in high conditions that are in high demand, THIS MARKUP CAN BE $1000.00 ON ONE COIN.

    This essentially means if you pay a dealer say $10,000 for one particular rare coin in spectacularly good condition and you went accross town to sell it to another coin dealer, he would only offer you MAYBE $9000.00 for the same coin. This is where coin dealers make their living!

    A coin dealer would rather sell ONE very rare and expensive coin in an entire day instead of selling 50 ounces of gold. The dealer will make more money from the single coin!

    For these reasons, COLLECT coins if you ENJOY DOING SO. I am a bit of a coin collector myself, and was even a part-time rare coin dealer. There is nothing particularly wrong with collecting rare coins, and for the most part, the collection WILL go up in value, but it will take MANY YEARS for you to overcome the wholesale/retail gap and make any sort of a profit being a collector unless you choose the coins you buy very wisely and make sure to get the best price possible for the highest quality coin possible. Even then, it takes a while to break even, let alone come out ahead.

    One last note, strictly for the people who either do collect coins, or are thinking about collecting rare coins for fun (and perhaps eventual profit):

    There are MANY places that now offer to “certify” coins. Certification involves having your coin examined by a panel of “experts” and professionally graded on the 1 to 70 point grading scale. Sometimes a difference of 1 point can mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars in value difference.

    The problem is, only 2 grading services are considered to be very well respected. These are PCGS and NGC. About 4 or 5 others are “fairly well respected” (among these are ANACS, PCI, and about 2 or 3 others). Any other coin grading services are basically considered “bogus” and purposely inflate the grades on their coins because (surprise surprise!) they SELL THEIR OWN GRADED COINS TO YOU FOR A HUGE PROFIT! If you are merely amassing gold and silver as a hedge against inflation, DO NOT BUY PROFESSIONALLY GRADED COINS!

    If you are a collector, and you want the best coins possible, BUY COINS GRADED BY THE RESPECTED GRADING SERVICES IF YOU REALLY WANT “PROFESSIONALLY GRADED” COINS. Otherwise, buy them “raw” from the dealer.

    Professionally graded coins offer the protection of the coin being encased in a sealed plastic holder, which prevents oxidation and damage. If you get a coin graded by NGC or PCGS, ANY DEALER will recognize that grade as legitimate. YOU WILL PAY A PREMIUM FOR PROFESSIONALLY GRADED COINS. Grading services charge money. Collectors and dealers send rare coins to be professionally graded in the hope of MAXIMIZING THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THEY CAN SELL THE COIN FOR.

    Now that I have bored 99.99% of you to tears, this ends today’s tutorial on coin collecting 🙂

    • Question for you PeterB and others,

      I have some “supposed” rare coins – I really have no idea as I’ve never had them looked at. Received them many years ago from Grandparents and put them away. Aside from taking them somewhere to determine value, what would you recommend I do with them? I have no interest in collecting.

      I appreciate your (you too BF) insights and advice in these areas.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Kathy,

        I have some expertise in “rare” coins, at least if they are American in mintage. I don’t want to put my personal contact information on this blog for all to see, but maybe USW could forward you my email address or something and I can attempt to answer any specific questions you have on coins. If they are of US mintage, I may be able to point you in the right direction and maybe give you a rough idea of the value of what you have… a lot depends on conditon and such, as well as specific dates/mintmarks and all of that stuff 🙂

        I don’t check my personal email as often as I should, so if you do send me an email, make sure to post a reply to one of my posts here, “Hey, I sent you an email.. did you get it?” At least that way I will go check.. lol.

        • Thanks Peter. I will get in touch with you – may not be right away as first I need to retrieve the coins!

    • Need to ask one more question…..

      Gold jewelry. Have come into some recently. Some has emotional value, will not part with, some does not. Would this be a good time to part with it? Where is the best place to do this? Reputable jeweler in area has ad saying to come in and cash it in. Is this a good idea?

      • Unless you have a driving need for quick cash, hold on to it.

        Jewelery is far more marketable than coins. People know jewelery who have never seen a gold coin. If need be, it is far easier to barter with a gold necklace than a $20 gold coin.

        In all cases, gold is going up – your jewelery can only appreciate.

        And besides, you value it as a artifact of your life – so, I would hold.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Go to as many reputable jewelry stores within a 50 mile radius as you feel is practical to do. (Preferably no fewer than 3).

        Don’t tell them you are interested in SELLING your jewelry… tell them you want them to APPRAISE it. They MAY charge an appraisal fee, but in the end you will find this worth paying most likely. Ask them to appraise each piece separately so you can have an appraised value for each piece. If the appraisal fee seems outrageous, simply say, “no thanks”. They will think you are having it appraised for insurance purposes. Let them think that, it is to your advantage.

        After you have had it appraised by at least 3 jewelers, ask each one of them how much they would be willing to ACTUALLY PAY for it. They won’t pay even half of the appraised value in 99% of all cases.

        If none of them make what you consider to be a reasonable offer, you may want to try selling on EBay, and use the appraisals which you got to show the “value” of the jewelry.

        This way, if you get an offer you “can live with” you can simply sell it to one of the jewelers and be done with it. However, if you think that they are all low-balling you, you can try the eBay route or some similar method of selling it directly yourself, which MAY net you more money (note the MAY).

        Jewelers generally count on the fact that you NEED the money NOW if you come in and simply offer to sell them your stuff outright. That is the worst thing you could do from a bargaining position.

  16. Shoot an innocent man, conspiracy to protect the shooter
    http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/09/23/Family_Says_911_Tape_Caught_Cops_Planning_Cover-Up_After_Shooting.htm

    Posted by William Grigg

    Anthony Arambula acted quickly on the evening of September 17, 2008 after an intruder broke into his house. After the invader crashed through a window in the family’s Phoenix home, Arambula grabbed his personal firearm and held him at gunpoint.

    Then he made the nearly fatal mistake of dialing 911.

    Three Phoenix PD officers were already in the neighborhood when the call went out. Outside the house, Arambula’s wife Lesley informed Sgt. Sean Coutts that her husband had already taken the intruder into custody and was holding him at gunpoint.

    Either out of reflexive contempt for a mundane or criminal incompetence, Sgt. Coutts neglected — or refused — to pass along this vital information to his fellow tax-devourers. Before Mrs. Arambula could relay those important facts to the other officers, Officer Brian Lilly shot Anthony six times in the back — twice after he had hit the floor.

    “You just killed the homeowner,” gasped Anthony as he bled into the floor of his house. “The bad guy is in there.”

    “We f***d up,” Lilly reported to his dispatcher. Fear not, he and his fellow officers acted quickly to address the most pressing issue — no, not the threat to Anthony’s life, or that posed by the intruder, but rather the risk to the career of the police officer who shot the innocent man.

    Displaying natural leadership ability, Sgt. Coutts quickly devised a cover story: In the official version, Anthony had pointed his gun at Officer Lilly, yet somehow managed to take six rounds in the back.

    “That’s all right,” Coutts consoled Lilly as Anthony was bleeding to death in front of his children. “I got you back … we clear?”

    The entire incident was captured on the 911 recording. The audiotape didn’t record what happened next, according to the family’s lawsuit:

    “Tony made what he believed was a dying request to the officers; he did not want his young family to see him shot and bloodied. Officers callously ignored his request and painfully dragged Tony by his injured leg, through the home and out to his backyard patio, where they left him bloodied and shot right in front of Lesley, Matthew and Zachary.”

    The officers later dragged the wounded man onto gravel, then shoved him on top of the hood of a cruiser and “drove the squad car down the street with Tony lying on top, writhing in pain.”

    In order to preserve their cover story, the police insisted on treating Anthony like the suspect in a drug bust, forbidding family and friends to visit him in the hospital.

    Not surprisingly, Anthony — who managed to survive being “protected and served” by Phoenix’s “Finest” — still suffers from chronic pain from his injuries, and most likely will for the rest of his life.

    • Those officers should have been either fired, or forced to take a leave until further investigations were done. What a horrendous way yo treat anybody, doesn’t matter if it was the home owner or the intruder.

  17. Hi Ya’ll!

    As I read along today, I was amazed at the discussion and ideas that occured about welfare. Wish all of you were actually in D.C. working on a fix for the mess that it is.

    I don’t think it can be totally eliminated, but it could surley be minimized to a great extent. I wouldn’t recommend this occurring under the current economic circumstances, but it can and should happen.

    Black Flag had some good responses, and as our resident economic guru, what is your opinion on how the folks living on welfare will adapt to high inflation (20% or more)? In my own imagination, this would be very much like a major reform of welfare, because welfare could not sustain these folks.

    I toast everyone today on a fine debate!

    G!

    • “what is your opinion on how the folks living on welfare will adapt to high inflation (20% or more)?”

      Let’s go over the government options:

      (1) Let inflation erode the payments.
      Consequence: A substantial erosion of life style upon a large group of people who have zero economic means to replace it will be a massive political explosion.

      There will be massive food riots in the streets, since it is a very large segment – all at the same time – suffering the same calamity. Picture thousands of National Guard troops patrolling the streets.

      (2) Maintain increases in payments at the rate of inflation
      Consequence: inflation will begin to accelerate. The iteration of this solution will eventually push inflation rates into hyper-inflation. We know how that ends.

      If there are any other options, let me know.

      I see (1) as being the solution. G. A. Rowe will be happy. He can use is “Total War” theory.

      • I would think that if welfare would be minimized to the greatest extent possible, option “A” could possibly be minimized as well.

        Ofcourse this requires common sense in D.C., and all of us aren’t there. Darn the bad luck. Guess I’ll have to rely on that velocity thing again, LOL.

        G!

  18. I’ll tell you one thing making me crazy right now about “free markets” … as much as I hate what major league baseball has become, this “black out” policy is absolutely criminal. Nothing like open competition my butt. Nice way to treat the paying public … shut them out of the cable package tournaments.

    I haven’t gone to a baseball game in 15 years and I would go now if you gave me a ticket. Then again, back in 86 when the Mets knocked off the Astros and the Red Sox (both 7 game series), I was able to scalp blocks of tickets because the free market precluded average fans from seeing the team they supported all season long … the tix were bought up by corporations and we had an in.

    Dispicable, really. The national pasttime … yeah, right.

    Had to rant there … just remembered why I couldn’t watch the games last night.

    • WOULDN’T GO NOW … excuse that typo

    • Charlie

      That is because you are not the ‘paying public’. You are watching TV.

      If you go to the park and pay, you are the ‘paying public’.

      • BF, the paying public has been shut out of the game (trust me on this). Unless you’re a season ticket holder, you’re pretty much screwed. Have any idea what season tickets at Skankie Stadium cost?

        Or how about what the Giants did last year, charged their season ticket holders a fee for the right to buy season tickets.

        If that’s what free markets call competition, you can keep it.

  19. Is this a case of OOOOOOOOOOPS!

    Fingerprinting errors made by U.S. Census Bureau employees may have resulted in the hiring of 200 people with criminal backgrounds to conduct door-to-door canvassing, according to the Government Accountability Office.

    In testimony before a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday, GAO Director of Strategic Issues Robert Goldenkoff said tens of thousands of temporary census workers were improperly fingerprinted by bureau employees — including individuals with extensive criminal records.

    “It is possible that more than 200 people with unclassifiable prints had disqualifying criminal records but still worked, and had contact with the public during address canvassing,” he said.

    Goldenkoff’s testimony, part of a larger progress report on the bureau’s implementation of the 2010 Census, identified key pitfalls in the hiring of the nearly 1.4 million temporary workers needed to go door-to-door to count every person in the U.S. — including “weaknesses in the bureau’s information technology.”

    The bureau implemented fingerprinting for the first time in 2010 to better screen its workers. According to the new guidelines, bureau employees are directed to obtain two sets of fingerprint cards for each prospective worker — and then send them to the bureau’s processing center in Jeffersonville, Ind., where are they scanned and submitted to the FBI. If the candidate is found to have a criminal record, making him ineligible for employment, the bureau is “to either terminate the person immediately or place the individual in nonworking status until the matter is resolved.”

    If the first set of prints is deemed “unclassifiable,” the bureau’s processing center must send the second set of fingerprints to the FBI for processing.

    Goldenkoff testified that of the 1,800 workers with criminal backgrounds, 750 — or 42 percent — were terminated because of their records, which included crimes like rape, manslaughter and child abuse.

    But about 22 percent of the 162,000 hired so far to conduct the census had “unclassifiable prints” that could not be processed by the FBI because of errors that occurred when the prints were made. Goldenkoff said that, as a result, it was possible 200 individuals with such unclassifiable prints had criminal records but worked anyway.

    “Applying these same percentages to the approximately 600,000 people the bureau plans to fingerprint for non-response follow-up, unless the problems with fingerprinting are addressed, we estimate that approximately 785 employees with unclassifiable prints could have disqualifying criminal records but still end up working for the bureau,” he said.

    The GAO said the Census Bureau is working to address the errors by improving the image quality for the fingerprints and by improving instruction manuals for its workers.

  20. Overstepping his bounds.

    Dr. Phil McGraw

    A former patient of Dr. Phil McGraw has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the talk show host alleging that she was sexually harassed, brainwashed and subject to fraud at the hands of the doctor and members of his staff.

    Plaintiff Shirley Dieu claimed she was “held against her will” in McGraw’s Hollywood production offices in 2007 after seeking therapy from the television personality. Dieu also claims in the suit that she was “forced to be in the same room as a completely naked live man (employed by McGraw) while he exposed his entire naked body”. Dieu alleges she was “blocked by staff” when she tried to escape and the phone was disconnected when she attempted to call 911 – resulting in her suffering from “post traumatic syndrome.”

    According to the suit, Dieu was also subjected to “brainwashing” while under McGraw’s care and “suffered public ridicule and humiliation” when she was forced to watch edited tapings depicting her as a different personality than her own

    But that’s not where the allegations end – the plaintiff additionally claims that she endured mental and physical abuse, was deprived of sleep and food during this time and “touched inappropriately by different defendants” – one of which being McGraw who Dieu alleges touched her left breast.

    The suit also accuses the defendants of fraudulently obtaining Dieu’s signature on waiver/release forms by withholding certain pages of the document.

    Dieu is seeking unlimited general damages, punitive damages, exemplary damages and fees and court costs as a result of the “sustained serious personal injuries and mental anguish due to unethical and illegal practices”.

    A rep for McGraw did not immediately respond for comment.

  21. Often there are accusations of Slippery Slope Arguments when discussing government action and future consequences.

    Matt often levels this claim again yours truly.

    My argument back is:
    because its true

    From my “Who woulda thunk this slippery slope” file:
    25 arrested on meth-related charges

    Before 2005, you could buy as many Sudafed packages as you did Big Mac sandwiches, and the police didn’t care. Now, your 30-day allotment is nine grams.

    So this seems like it would be enough, but what if you are buying for two people or an entire family, or lose some, or give them away to a friend, or they fall to the back of the cabinet, or you’re out of town? And how can you possibly track precisely how much you have purchased?

    There is now an air of fear and threat in the process of fixing a clogged nose that wasn’t there a few years ago. When I bring this subject up to people, they say, “Oh, that’s plenty of Sudafed for one person, so stop your kvetching.”

    To me, this illustrates how regulations and rationing have a way of changing the subject from principles to practicalities.

    In every case, the charge is “unlawful possession of a precursor.” The “precursor” here is Sudafed.

    Can you believe it?

    What was lawful only a few years ago now gets you written up in the papers as a drug dealer. It ruins your life. You now have a record.

    “This is an outrage, and it is even more disgusting that the local press is glad to play along with it.”

    Again, back to our friends in the police lineup. For all we know, these people didn’t do anything related to meth production or distribution. They stand accused of buying too much cold medicine.

    To put it simply, this is an outrage.

    Here we have a nice illustration of how the police are used in an age of arbitrary law and despotic consumption controls. You become a criminal merely for buying today what was legal yesterday. And then society avoids you. You might be a druggie, and the suspicion alone is enough justification for you to be robbed of all rights and utterly smashed as a human being.

    The real horror is the prohibition, which has brought about a dark despotism that everyone pretends not to notice. It now even affects our ability to innocently medicate our way out of the common cold

    • Personally I think they need to pull it completely off the market and stop the bathtub drug market.

      • Why?

        Do you not like bath tubs?

        • BF… I like my tub just fine…don’t use it to makes drugs either….lots of wasted lives tied up in Meth….and the poor kids, my heart breaks for all the kids who parents can’t take care of them because of their habit.
          The idea that sudafed and others stay on the market just really blows my mind….wouldn’t it have been easier to just pull it off the market instead of making it a crime to possess more than 9 grams…..dumb law.

          • You can die from water poisoning.

            There exists nothing that is harmless.

            Let each individual chose their own. Only they, in the end, know – or suffer.

    • The other bizarre thing is that my local grocery store has baby formula behind the counter. I asked why once and was told it is used in some drug processing??? I don’t know if they track purchases, but who would think that baby formula would one day require proof of proper useage?

  22. Gotta love aliens!

    Two aliens landed in the Arizona desert near a gas station that was closed
    for the night. They approached one of the gas pumps and the younger alien
    addressed it saying, ‘Greetings, Earthling. We come in peace. Take us to
    your leader.’

    The gas pump, of course, didn’t respond.

    The younger alien became angry at the lack of response.

    The older alien said, ‘I’d calm down if I were you.’

    The younger alien ignored the warning and repeated his greeting. Again,
    there was no response.

    Annoyed by what he perceived to be the pump’s haughty attitude, he drew his
    ray gun and said impatiently, ‘Greetings, Earthling. We come in peace. Do
    not ignore us this way! Take us to your leader or I will fire!’

    The older alien again warned his comrade saying, ‘You probably don’t want
    to do that! I really don’t think you should make him mad…’

    ‘Rubbish,’ replied the cocky, young alien.. He aimed his weapon at the pump
    and opened fire. There was a huge explosion. A massive fireball roared
    towards them and blew the younger alien off his feet and deposited him a
    burnt, smoking mess about 200 yards away in a cactus patch.

    Half an hour passed. When he finally regained consciousness, he refocused
    his three eyes, straightened his bent antenna, and looked dazedly at the
    older, wiser alien who was standing over him shaking his big,green head.

    ‘What a ferocious creature!’ exclaimed the young, fried alien. ‘He damn near
    killed me! How did you know he was so dangerous?’

    The older alien leaned over, placed a friendly feeler on his crispy friend
    and replied, ‘If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my intergalactic
    travels, you don’t want to mess with a guy who can loop his penis over his
    shoulder twice and then stick it in his ear.’

  23. More Slippery slope
    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/windsor/story/2009/10/08/windsor-trucker-smoking-laws-091008.html

    The fining of an Ontario truck driver for smoking in his rig

    He was fined under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, a 2006 law that prohibits smoking in enclosed workplaces and public areas such as bars and restaurants.

    An enclosed workplace can also be any vehicle covered by a roof and that employees work in or frequent while working, regardless of whether “they are acting in the course of their employment at the time,” according to the legislation.

    —–

    Hope you don’t have a home business and smoke!

    • Personally, I think that is just ridiculous, if he owns and operates the truck himself, then what’s the harm?

      I remember reading a long time ago about this person in Conn, who was smoking in his own house, and his next door neighbor said he could smell the smoke coming into his windows, and he was going to sue that neighbor. I can’t remember the outcome of that, darn it. But if I smoke in my own home, which I do, and my next door neighbor said he can smell the smoke, and was going to sue me, I think I would just have to tell him good luck. I don’t think there is any laws that prevent you from smoking in you own home, YET, anyway.

      Sorry, but I think this is getting out of hand, and it’s getting to the point where people need to keep their noses out of other people’s business. We can’t smoke inside the building, but nothing stops us from doing it outside, so far. First time anybody tells me I can’t smoke outside, Well, they better not.

      Here is an example about smoking outside where I work at. The people downstairs complained that my smoke is seeping into their windows, not mind you their windows are closed, tighter than a drum, okay. she said that it irritated her throat, and made her sneeze. You don’t want me to say what I said about that, not very nice. I now go in the back parking lot. Just waiting for her to complain about that.

      That’s my take on this smoking issue, if I’m outside smoking, minding my own business, then don’t go or come where I’m at.

  24. Black Flag said
    October 8, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Sorry, LOI for being my punching bag today. That’s OK, I have taken harder hits, but a punching bag doesn’t hit back, suggest you don’t stand still, admiring yourself. Be interesting to see how the judges score the bout.

    MEXICAN LOGIC, Very Interesting

    Below is a good example of a discussion with a master of circular logic. Don’t be logical, don’t respect the truth or your adversary, just say what you think makes a new case when the previous case gets too difficult to defend.

    On the streets of downtown Houston . . . May 1, 2006.

    Jim Moore reporting for a Houston TV station:

    Jim: Juan, I see that you and thousands of other protesters are marching in the streets to demonstrate for your cause. Exactly what is your cause and what do you expect to accomplish by this protest?

    Juan: We want our rights. We will show you how powerful we are. We will bring Houston to its knees!

    Jim: What rights?

    Juan: Our right to live here…legally. Our right to get all the benefits you get.

    Jim: When did you come to the United States

    Juan: Six years ago. I crossed over the border at night with seven other friends.

    Jim: Why did you come?

    Juan: For work. I can earn as much in a month as I could in a year in Mexico. Besides, I get free health care, our Mexican children can go to school free, if I lose my job I will get Welfare, and someday I will have the Social Security. Nothing like that in Mexico!

    Jim: Did you feel badly about breaking our immigration laws when you came?

    Juan: No! Why should I feel bad? I have a right to be here. I have a right to amnesty. I paid lots of money for my Social Security and Green Cards.

    Jim: How did you acquire those documents?

    Juan: From a guy in Dallas. He charged me a lot of money too.

    Jim: Did you know that those documents were forged?

    Juan: It is of no matter. I have a right to be here and work.

    Jim: What is the “right” you speak of?

    Juan: The right of all Aliens. It is found in your Constitution. Read it!

    Jim: I have read it, but I do not remember it saying anything about rights for Aliens.

    Juan: It is in that part where it says that all men have Alien rights, like the right to pursue happiness. I wasn’t happy in Mexico, so I came here.

    Jim: I think you are referring to the Declaration of Independence and that document speaks to unalienable rights … not Alien rights.

    Juan: Whatever.

    Jim: Since you are demanding to become an American citizen, why then are you carrying a Mexican Flag?

    Juan: Because I am Mexican.

    Jim: But you said you want to be given amnesty … to become a US citizen.

    Juan: No. This is not what we want. This is our country, a part of Mexico that you Gringos stole from us. We want it returned to its rightful owner.

    Jim: Juan, you are standing in Texas. After wining the war with Mexico, Texas became a Republic, and later Texans voted to join the USA. It was not stolen from Mexico.

    Juan: That is a Gringo lie. Texas was stolen. So was California, New Mexico and Arizona. It is just like all the other stuff you Gringos steal, like oil and babies. You are a country of thieves.

    Jim: Babies? You think we steal babies?

    Juan: Sure. Like from Korea and Vietnam and China. I see them all over the place. You let all these foreigners in, but try to keep us Mexicans out. How is this fair?

    Jim: So, you really don’t want to become an American citizen then.

    Juan: I just want my rights! Everyone has to right to live, work, and speak their native language wherever and whenever they please. That’s another thing we demand. All signs and official documents should be in Spanish. Teachers must teach in Spanish. Soon, more people here in Houston will speak Spanish than English. It is our right!

    Jim: If I were to cross over the border into Mexico without proper documentation, what rights would I have there?

    Juan: None. You would probably go to jail, but that’s different.

    Jim: How is it different? You said everyone has the right to live wherever they please.

    Juan: You Gringos are a bunch of land grabbing thieves. Now you want Mexico too? Mexico has its rights. You Gringos have no rights in Mexico. Why would you want to go there anyway? There is no free medical service, schools, or welfare there for foreigners such as you. You cannot even own land in my country. Stay in the country of your birth.

    Jim: I can see that there is no way that we can agree on this issue. Thank you for your comments.

    Juan: Viva Mexico!

    • And why does Israel refuse to make peace?

      • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/08/avigdor-lieberman-no-chan_n_313605.html

        President Barack Obama’s Mideast envoy finds himself increasingly hamstrung, with Israel’s foreign minister on Thursday all but ruling out a peace deal for years to come and the Palestinian leader weakened by his decision not to push for a Gaza war crimes tribunal against Israel.

      • …[T]he incredible discomfort that Goldstone, a Jewish judge who denounced apartheid, has created among liberal American Jews who know that Gaza was a horror but are afraid to face these facts. Nine dead Israelis, 1400 dead Palestinians: of whom the majority were civiilans. The Israelis destroyed the only remaining flour mill, destroyed chicken farms with bulldozers, and dropped white phosphorus on children. American Jews were never silent about napalm in Vietnam. Here they are tonguetied and helpless, and the Times is helping them to avoid this important question by suppressing the news.

        • (I still think the majority of Muslims are peaceful, but I have not seen many cases where even those who are not violent, speak out against violence.)

          The Pope says that jihad violence is against God’s nature, and officials fear that in response, Muslims enraged by this insult will commit… jihad violence.

          >>Muslims murder 3,000 innocents in New York and expect no criticism.
          >>Muslims murder 202 tourists in Bali and expect no criticism.
          >>Muslims murder 333 schoolchildren and their teachers in Beslan and expect
          >>no criticism.
          >>Muslims murder 292 innocents, mainly Kenyans and Tanzanians at two US
          >>Embassies and expect no criticism.
          >>Muslims murder 241 US and 58 French peacekeepers in Beirut and expect no
          >>criticism.
          >>Muslims fire 4,000 Katyusha rockets into Northern Israel killing over 50
          >>innocent civilians and expect no criticism.
          >>Muslims murder 52 in London and 191 in Madrid and expect no criticism.
          >>Muslims murder 200 in Mumbai and expect no criticism.
          >>Muslims behead Western hostages in Iraq, Buddhist monks in Thailand and
          >>Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia and expect no criticism.
          >>Muslims murder 500,000 in Darfur and expect no criticism.
          >>Muslims regard Jews as ‘sons of pigs and monkeys’, and vow to nuke Israel
          >>and expect no criticism.
          >>Muslims force women to wear hideous sacks, stone to death women for
          >>getting raped and for leaving the home unescorted, engage in honor
          >>killings of sisters and daughters for unapproved dating, and expect no
          >>criticism.
          >>Muslims danced in the streets and handed out sweets to their kids to
          >>celebrate the 9/11 atrocity, and still expected no criticism.
          >>Since 9/11 Muslims have killed over 26,000 and wounded over 50,000 in
          >>terrorist attacks worldwide since 9/11 and expect no criticism.
          >>Since 9/11 Muslims have committed terrorist attacks in Afghanistan,
          >>Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Chad, Chechnya, Dagestan, Denmark, East
          >>Timor, Egypt, England, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India,
          >>Indonesia, Ingushetia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Jordan-Iraq,
          >>Kabardino-Balkans, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mauritania,

          >>Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Gaza-Palestinian Authority,
          >>Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Somalia, Spain, Sri
          >>Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab
          >>Emirates, United Arab Republic, United States, Uzbekistan and Yemen, and
          >>still expect no criticism.
          >>
          >>Muslims have carried out over 5,800 fatal terrorist atrocities since 9/11,

          >>and countless thousands since Islamic conquest began in 623 AD and expect
          >>no criticism. But if a Pope dares to tell the truth about Islam or Danes
          >>publish cartoons about Mohammed, then let the outpourings of Islamic hate >>and outrage begin.
          >>
          >>
          >>And, by some twisted reach of logic, they demand the Pope

          >>issue an apology.

          • Iraqi civilian dead, 101,000+
            http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

            Afghanistan
            2001

            * On October 9, 2001, in a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, a United Nations spokeswoman reported that a cruise missile had killed four U.N. employees and injured four others in a building several miles east of Kabul. The casualties were Afghans employed as security guards by the Afghan Technical Consultancy, the U.N. demining agency (Afghanistan is the most heavily mined country on the planet).[88] The Taliban reported about 8 to 20 civilian casualties, unconfirmed by independent sources.[89]

            * On October 10, 2001, the Sultanpur mosque in Jalalabad was bombed (BBC) twice – once during prayer, and again when rescue workers returned to remove the wounded and the dead. Initial casualty estimates ranged from 15-70 in the first attack, and up to 120 in the second. This two-hit bombing was repeated later on November 19, when 32 people were killed in Shamshad and then the rescuers were hit again. Several other mosques were bombed later, such as the Kunduz mosque on October 12 and the particularly deadly bombing of the Kala Shah Pir village mosque on October 23. On the same day, the villages of Darunta, Torghar, and Farmada were bombed, killing between 28 and 100 people.

            * On October 11, 2001, the village of Karam was completely destroyed. (The Guardian) Reporters on the scene reported having to hold their noses due to the smell. Between 160 and 200 people, in addition to their livestock, were killed, as reported by the surviving villagers. In response, Donald Rumsfeld stated “We do not have information that validates any of that”, but added that Washington’s information on the ground was “imperfect”. Al-Qaeda was believed to have training camps and ammunition storage tunnels in the area around Karam.

            * On October 17, 2001, downtown Kandahar was targeted with bombs and rockets in the area around a ministry building; the bombing destroyed several dozen stores and homes, and killing between 40 and 47 people. This was repeated the following day elsewhere in Kandahar, where bombs near the Kepten intersection destroyed a bazaar and killed between 10 and 47 additional people. This began a relatively deadly few days, where 40 people were killed in the Kabul area on the 18th, several dozen people were killed in Tarin Kot on the 19th, and 60-70 were killed in Herat and 50 killed in Kandahar on the 20th.[citation needed]

            * On October 21, 2001, the casualty rate peaked with the bombing of a hospital and mosque in Herat. The 200 bed hospital, used for both military and civilian patients, was reportedly not the target; the target was 300 feet (91 m) away. Approximately 100 bodies were found among the wreckage. On the same day, over 20 people (including 9 children) died when the tractor trailer used by several families to flee Tarin Kut was bombed (similar to an event on October 24); a stray bomb in the Parod Gajadad district of Khair Khana destroyed two homes; in another district of Khair Khana, 18 people were killed when 17 homes were destroyed by a bomb that missed a military base by 1/2 mile (800 m); 5 people from Kabul’s Kaluezaman Khan neighborhood were killed; an 8 year old girl was killed in Macroyan, Kabul; 11 people were killed in Tarin Kut; and 3 were killed in Kandahar city. The following day, the casualty rate didn’t fall much, with the coalition stepping up the targeting of fuel trucks and the accidental bombing of homes and shops in several cities, killing well over 100 people.[citation needed]

            * On October 23, 2001, the village of Chowkar Kariz was destroyed; testimony from the survivors indicated a casualty number between 52 and 93. Times journalist Paul Rogers reported that “not a single house has been left intact” and that “evidence that this remote spot had ever been used for military or terrorist purposes is non-existent.” In the face of opposition from human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, U.S. officials continued to claim that the town was a “fully legitimate target” and that “the people there are dead because we wanted them dead.” This was the last major case of civilian casualties for the next few weeks, as incidents dropped to an average of four per day and an average of about 8 casualties per said attack. The most lethal attack between the 23rd and November 4, 2001 was an attack on residential areas in Kabul on October 29 that took 25 lives.[citation needed]

            * On October 26, 2001, twenty-three people were killed in a bombing raid in the village Thori in the Urozgan province.[90]

            * On November 5, 2001, an upswing in civilian casualties occurred with major attacks on Kabul and villages in the Balkh province. The most deadly of the attacks occurred in Ogopruk village, near Mazar e Sharif, where 36 people in a residential area were killed by stray bombs. The daily civilian casualty rate remained over 50 through November 10, where it peaked with attacks on three villages near Khakrez that killed approximately 125 people.[citation needed]

            * On November 13, 2001, an American missile went “awry”, according to the Pentagon, and destroyed the Al-Jazeera bureau in Kabul. In (November 27, 2003 – Hearst Newspapers, http://www.commondreams.org/scriptfiles/views03/1127-07.htm).

            * On November 17, 2001, 62 people were killed in the bombing of a Madrassa in Khost, while 42 nomads were killed near Maiwand, two families with a total of 30 people were killed in Charikar village, 28 people were killed in Zani Khel village, and other scattered attacks took another 13 lives.[citation needed]

            * November 18, 2001 proved to be one of the more deadly days of bombing in the conflict. Scores of Gypsies were killed in Kundar, 100-150 people were killed in villages near Khanabad in an attack described by witnesses as “carpet bombing”, 35 people were killed in Shamshad village, and 24 in Garikee Kah village. Several of these villages were near the front lines, and were likely hit by stray bombs. A similar error occurred on November 20 when 40 people were killed as their mud houses collapsed from a stray bomb in a village near the Kunduz front line.[citation needed]

            * An incident, similar to the October 9 incident, killed 12 people at another mine clearing facility.[citation needed]

            * On November 25, 2001, 92 people (including 18 women and 7 children) were killed by bombing in Kandahar. On the same day, 70 people were killed when cluster bombs were dropped in the Kunduz area, as well as scattered deaths in Adha village and Takhta-Pal.[citation needed]

            * On December 1, 2001, about 100 people were killed by 25 bombs in their houses in the village of Kama Ado. Kandahar city reported numerous civilian casualties, while four trucks and five busses carrying passengers fleeing the war were hit on a highway, killing 30. Talkhel and Balut villages suffered 50 casualties, while Chperagem village suffered 28. About 20 people were killed in the Agam district, while 15 people died in refugee vehicles in Arghisan, and over 30 people died in the Jada area near Herat. It proved to be another particularly lethal day in the conflict for civilians. The subsequent days were little improved. About 150 civilians died across the country on December 2 in a variety of villages. In the same week, over 300 villagers in the white mountains near Tora Bora, as US forces attacked villages which fighters passed through, hoping to kill any which remained in the area.[91]

            * After the Tora Bora bombing campaign, the effort dispersed to kill Taliban and al-Qaeda members fleeing with their families, and focused on the Paktia and Paktika provinces. Numerous villages were hit shortly after the leaders passed through, leaving a chain of destruction following their path. The first place to be struck was Mashikhel in Paktia, in what inaccurate intelligence had said was a Taliban base. The city’s mosque (Saqawa) was hit, killing 10 and injuring 12. The bombing then moved to Mashkhel, killing another 16 civilians. On December 20, 2001, U.S. AC-130 gunships and Navy fighters attacked and destroyed a convoy in Afghanistan believed to be carrying the leaders and struck surrounding villages. The convoy turned out to be carrying tribal elders heading to the inauguration ceremony for Hamid Karzai; between 20 and 65 people died.[92] Overnight on the 27th, US forces struck at the village of Naka. Between 25 and 40 people were killed, 5-25 houses were destroyed, and 4-60 people were injured; however, US forces got one of their targets (the Taliban’s Minister of Security, Qari Ahmadullah) and two sons of a commander they were also seeking (Maulvi Ahmed Taha). Taha himself was not killed in the attack. The next night, the village of Shekhan was bombed, killing 15 civilians and destroying three houses.[citation needed]

            * The following day (December 31, 2001), one of the largest single incidents of civilian casualties in the entire war occurred: at least one U.S. fighter jet, a B-52 bomber and two helicopters swooped on Qalaye Niazi near Gardez, killing over 100 people. The area was littered with craters; one person (Janat Gul) recounted how all other 24 members of her family were killed. Body parts were reported scattered throughout the streets; the United Nations has confirmed that all of the dead were civilians.[92][93]

            [edit] 2002

            * On July 1, 2002, 48 people at a wedding party in a village in Oruzgan province were killed, and a further 117 injured, in a bombing raid.[91][94] New figures from October 2006 say that 46 people were killed.[92][95] The name of the village is Del Rawad, though early reports gave its name as Kakrakai or Kakrak. Gunfire meant to celebrate the wedding was apparently mistaken by US military for hostile gunfire. A B-52 bomber and AC-130 gunship were both involved in the incident, which reportedly went on for over an hour. The victims included many women and children. Some survivors were treated in Mirwai Hospital in Kandahar, and at least four children were treated at military hospitals in Bagram and Kandahar. The incident resulted in a formal protest, and later a warning, from the Afghan government. An anti-American rally was held in Kabul on July 5 as a protest against the incident. On July 3, US President George Bush expressed “deep condolences for the loss of human life”, and US authorities later stated that the area affected by the bombing would be rebuilt. Several inquiries into the incident were undertaken.[96] According to The Times, a preliminary UN report has stated that US forces arrived at the scene of the bombing raid and removed vital evidence.CNN reporting on the Times report However, this has been dismissed as false by the Afghan government. United States bombs have also struck a Kabul residential area and struck near and damaged a military hospital (according to the U.N.) or an elderly home (according to the Pentagon) in Herat.

            [edit] 2003

            * February 2003 – At least 17 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in coalition bombing raids in a mountainous region Helmand province.[92][97]

            * February 2003 – Reuters reported that, according to locals, 8 civilians were killed in the Baghran Valley area of Helmand province when a U.S. bomber and gunship attacked the area. [92]

            * April 9, 2003 – Eleven Afghans, seven of them women, were killed and one wounded when a stray U.S. laser-guided bomb hit a house on the outskirts of Shkin in Paktika province.[91][92]

            * September 2003 – At least eight civilians died in a U.S. air strike in the Naw Bahar district of the Zabul province that also killed a Taliban commander.[92][98]

            * October 30, 2003 – In a small hamlet near the village of Aranj in the Waygal district of Nuristan province, Afghanistan, six people of the same family were killed when a house was bombarded by U.S. warplanes. The house belonged to a former provincial governor, Ghulam Rabbani, who was in Kabul at the time. The raid was aimed at Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Mullah Faqirullah, both of whom had left the area just hours before. The victims (three children, an adolescent, a young man and an old woman) were all relatives of Mullah Rabbani.[92][99]

            * November 15, 2003 – Six civilians died when a U.S. warplane dropped a bomb in the Barmal district of Paktika province.[100]

            * December 5, 2003 – Near Gardez in Paktia province, an air and ground attack by U.S. special forces on a compound, used by a rebel commander Mullah Jalani to store munitions, killed six children and two adults.[91][92]

            * December 6. 2003 – According to both villagers and the U.S. military, 9 children – 7 boys and 2 girls from the ages of 9 to 12 – and a 25-year-old man were killed when two U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt II planes targeted the village of Hutala with rockets and guns. Mullah Wazir, the intended target, was not at home at the time. U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad stated the next day that Wazir was killed in the attack, but retracted the statement shortly after. Names and ages of the children killed: Habibullah, 11; Obaidullah, 10; Faizullah, 9; Ismail Jan, 11; Nabi Jan, 9; Habibullah, 12; Aminullah, 9; Bibi Toara, 10; and Bibi Tamama, 9. [91][92][101]

            [edit] 2004
            Wiki letter w.svg
            Please help improve this article by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page. (April 2007)

            * January 18, 2004 – 11 civilians – 4 children and 7 adults – were killed by a U.S. air strike on a house in the village of Saghatho.[102]

            [edit] 2005
            Wiki letter w.svg
            Please help improve this article by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page. (April 2007)

            * July 1, 2005 – An “unknown number” of noncombatants are killed in an airstrike in Kunar province.[103] A second source dates the incident on July 3 and gives quotes the number of victims as 17.[104]

            [edit] 2006

            * January 14, 2006 – Several missiles are fired over the Afghan border into the Pakistani village of Damadola in the Bajaur area. 18 civilians are killed[105]
            * March 14, 2006 – Canadian troops in Kandahar open fire on a taxi, killing one of its passengers, Nasrat Ali Hassan[106]
            * May 22, 2006 – 17 villagers were killed when coalition warplanes attacked Taliban forces in Kandahar Province. The U.S. military, which said dozens of militants also died in the fighting, expressed regret over the deaths. [95][107]
            * August, 2006 – Canadian troops shoot and kill an Afghan policeman[108]
            * August 22, 2006 – A 10 year old boy riding as a passenger on a motorcycle is shot and killed by Canadian troops in Kandahar[109]
            * October 18, 2006, a rocket hit a house during a nighttime clash between suspected Taliban insurgents and NATO and Afghan security forces in the farming village of Tajikai, 135 miles (217 km) west of Kandahar city. The rocket was fired from an aircraft and killed 13 villagers inside the home. A NATO spokesman said alliance jets and helicopters fired rockets and dropped bombs on Taliban positions in the area after 2 a.m.October 18, 2006, but could not confirm that they hit a civilian house. He added that the Taliban had been using mortars in the area of the clash. About 100 families live in Tajikai.[95]

            * October 19, 2006 – Airstrikes by NATO helicopters hunting Taliban fighters ripped through three dried mud homes in southern Afghanistan as villagers slept early October 18, 2006. At least nine civilians were killed, including women and children, said residents and the provincial governor. Angry villagers in Ashogho condemned the attack, which set back NATO’s hopes of winning local support for their tough counterinsurgency campaign. The airstrikes came at about the same time a rocket struck a house in a village to the west, reportedly killing 13 people. One of the homes that was attacked had only one wall standing, and looked ready to topple over. A blast ripped a hole through the middle of another. “If the foreign soldiers were so smart that they knew there were Taliban here, why didn’t they see the women and children who were sleeping? Why do they want to kill us? How can they help us rebuild if they want to kill us? Maybe they should leave”, a villager shouted. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said in a statement that October 18, 2006 operation in Kandahar was believed to have caused several civilian casualties. The alliance said the operation was meant to detain people involved in roadside bomb attacks in Panjwayi district, which borders Zhari District. NATO said it regretted any civilian casualties and that it makes every effort to minimize the risk of collateral damage.[95]

            * October 26, [2006] Between 40 and 60 villagers are killed in two separate night air raids, followed by mortar and rocket attacks against villages in the Panjwayi and Pashmul districts of Kandahar province.[110]

            * November 16, 2006 – UK troops shoot at a vehicle and kill two of its occupant, wounding a young girl, near Girish, in Helmand Province[111]

            * December 12, 2006 – An elderly motorcyclist was shot and killed by Canadian troops in Kandahar[112]

            [edit] 2007

            * January 12, 2007 – Afghan police claim 13 civilians killed in a NATO airstrike in the Garmser district of Helmand Province. NATO claims “no evidence of any civilian casualties”[113]

            * January 24, 2007 – NATO troops fired at a vehicle which failed to stop in the Gereshk district of Helmand province. The bullets killed a passerby.[114]

            * February 17, 2007 – An unarmed man acting in a suspicious manner was shot and killed by Canadian troops near the village of Senjaray 12 km west of Kandahar[115]

            * February 17, 2007 NATO troops shot and killed a civilian who was running through convoy near Kandahar[116]

            * February 18, 2007 – Canadian troops mistakenly gunned down an Afghan National Police officer and a homeless beggar after their convoy was ambushed in Kandahar City late Sunday[117]

            * February 27, 2007 – Canadian troops fire at a Toyota car that failed to stop at a security cordon around a broken down Canadian vehicle in the Kandahar area. One occupant is killed, the other is wounded. No weapons or bombs were found.[118]

            * March 4, 2007 – Approximately 16 civilians are killed and dozens are wounded by US marine gunfire on the road between Jalalabad and Pakistan after a bomb blast directed the marine convoy in what has become known as the Shinwar massacre.[119][120] In a March 14, 2007 article, the Afghan human rights commission alleged Marines put the number of victims at 12 people—including a 4-year-old girl, a 1-year-old boy and three elderly villagers and stated the Marines used excessive force, as they shot at people as the y fled the scene of the bomb, even miles from the incident location. This report on killings of civilians in the Nangarhar Province is consistent with U.S. findings. The Marine commander and NCO were shipped back to the United States after this incident[121]

            * March 5, 2007 Nine civilians, including five women and two to three children are killed when their home was destroyed by two 2,000 lb (910 kg) bombs in the Nijrab district, in the Kapisa province, north of Kabul. The troops were responding to an attack that hit a Nato provincial reconstruction team.[122][123]

            * March 16, 2007 – Five Afghan policemen are killed by US troops at a checkpoint in a village near Gereshk, in Helmand Province.[124] In later reports, the US denied its troops had been involved in the killings[125]

            * April 14, 2007 – A suicide bomber hits Afghan police by blowing himself up outside a police headquarters in the Khost Province, killing at least eight people, police have told.[126]

            * April 29, 2007 – Six people including a woman and a teenage girl are killed by US and Afghan forces as they raided a suspected “car bomb cell” in the Bati Kot area of Nangarhar province, very close to the location of the March 4th 2007. Another woman and another teenage girl were wounded. incident.[127][128]

            * May 1, 2007 – About 50 civilians, including women and children were killed by US and NATO bombings in Herat province of western Afghanistan during the preceding week.[62][129]

            * May 9, 2007 – Between 21 and 38 civilians, including women and children are killed by a US Air Raid in the village of Soro, in the Sangin district of Helmand Province. Five homes were bombed after US Special Forces came under attack, an attack which cost the life of one US serviceman.[130][131][132][133][134][135]

            * May 31, 2007 – At least 15 civilians were killed by NATO forces in the Kajaki district of Helmand Province. [136]

            * June 11, 2007 – Three civilians are killed by “NATO-Led Troops” troops in the Kunar Province as they approached a checkpoint in a vehicle.[137]

            * June 15, 2007 – 6 children are killed and 4 injured when a suicide bomber attacks a NATO convoy in Uruzgan province. Another civilian is killed in a crossfire in Helmand.[138]

            * June 18, 2007 – Seven children are killed in a US Air Strike directed at a compound in Zarghun Shah, in the Paktika province. Initially the US claimed they did not know that children were in the compounds but some U.S. officials confirmed that U.S. forces were indeed aware of the children’s presence but military officials told NBC News that Abu Laith al Libi, an al-Qaida leader, was considered such a high-value target it was worth the risk that some children might become casualties of the attack. [139][140]

            * June 19, 2007 – 10 civilians are killed in a US missile strike inside Pakistan [141][142][143][144]

            * June 22, 2007 – About 25 civilians including 9 women and 3 children are killed in an air strike in the village of De Adam Khan, near the town of Gereshk in Helmand Province. [145][146]

            * June 24, 2007 – Two men on motorcycles were shot as they approached the site of an IED explosion against a British vehicle in which a British soldier was killed. This incident occurred near Lashkar Gahin, in Helmand Province. One of the two motrocyclists died, the other was wounded. [66]

            * June 29, 2007 – Four civilian men were killed in a house by US troops who were looking for insurgents. An 85-year-old man, Mohammada Jan, two of his sons and a grandson had been killed by troops who first blew up the gate of house in the village of Nokrukhel in Sherzad district of Nangarhar province.[147][148]

            * June 29, 2007 – Between 50 and 80 civilians are killed by Air Strikes on the village of Hyderabad, in the Province of Hellmand in southern Afghanistan. [149][150][151][152]

            * July 7, 2007 – Villagers from Watapour in the Province of Kunar claim that about 35 civilians were killed by Air Strikes, 10 on July 5 and another 25 on the 7th when the funeral for the 10 was bombed [153][154]

            * August 2, 2007 – Many people, possibly in the hundreds, are reported wounded and killed by an air strike in the Baghran district of the Province of Helmand. [155][156][157][158][159][160][161]

            * September 19, 2007 – One Afghan civilian and several others wounded in a traffic collision with a Canadian convoy. [162]

            * September 19, 2007 – Six civilians, women and children are killed by an airstrike in Helmand province. [163]

            * September 23, 2007 – A US helicopter accidentally killed two policemen and three security guards during an anti-Taliban operation in Kunar Province. Eight more were injured. [164]

            * October 2, 2007 – A man on a motorcycle is killed and a child riding behing him is wounded by Canadian troops in Kandahar [165]

            * October 23, 2007 – A child was found dead in a tent and four others found wounded after coalition forces fired on the tent from which they claimed they had received gunfire. [166]

            * November 15, 2007 – A man in a taxi is killed and another wounded when they were shot at in Kandahar by Canadian troops riding in a convoy [167]

            * November 28, 2007 – An Afghan official, Nuristan governor Tamim Nuristani, claims U.S.-led coalition troops killed 14 road construction workers in air strikes in eastern Afghanistan. This incident was confirmed by Sayed Noorullah Jalili, director of the Kabul-based road construction company Amerifa whose employees were killed in the bombing. [168]

            [edit] 2008

            * January 24, 2008 – Nine or ten Afghan policemen and two civilians were killed by US Forces in the Ghazni province, 100 km south of Kabul[169][170]

            * January 30, 2008 – Three civilians showed up at a Kandahar hospital with gunshot wounds, claiming they had been shot at by a Canadian convoy. One of them later died of his injuries.[171][172][173]

            * March 12, 2008 – The British government says its troops were responsible for an airstrike that killed two women and two children around Helmand. At least 10 others were injured.[174][175]

            * March 13, 2008 – Two women and two children are killed in Pakistan by cross border shelling fired by US forces in Afghanistan [176]

            * March 19, 2008 – Several civilians are killed by US troops in Muqibel, a village of Khost province.[177]

            * June 11, 2008 – At least 30 killed at 10 P.M. on Tuesday night, June 10, 2008, in the village of Ebrahim Kariz, Mata Khan district of Paktika Province. US forces launched an air and ground attack upon the village allegedly targeting a “militant hideout.” Residents said that dozens of civilians were killed [178]

            * June 23, 2008 – A father and son were allegedly killed by gunfire from US-led soldiers, a governor and witnesses said. Around 200 people demonstrated in the Khogyani district of Nangarhar province. [179]

            * July 4, 2008 – 23 civilians are killed by US air strikes the district of Waygal, in the province of Nouristan[180]

            * July 6, 2008 – 47 civilians attending a wedding (including the bride) are killed by US air strikes in Nangarhar province [181]

            * July 14, 2008 – Officials in Nuristan province said almost 30 defenseless civilians have been reportedly killed during NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) airstrike in Want-Waigal district of the eastern province. ISAF denies the claim [182][183]

            * July 15, 2008 – US Forces admit to killing eight civilians in the Bakwa district of Farah province. They bombed a number of houses from which they were receiving fire. [184]

            * July 17, 2008 – Dozens of civilians are reported killed and injured by air strikes in the Shindand district of Herat province. [184]

            * July 20, 2008 – Thirteen civilians are killed in two separate incidents: nine policemen were killed by a US air strikes in the Ana Darreh district of Farah province. In the second episode, a NATO statement said, at least four civilians were accidentally killed and four other civilians wounded in mortar strikes by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in the eastern province of Paktika. The deaths of an additional three people had not been confirmed, the statement said. [185][186]

            * July 26, 2008 – British troops opened fire on a vehicle that failed to stop at a checkpoint in the Sangin district of Helmand province, killing four and injuring three. [187]

            * July 27, 2008 – Canadian troops opened fire on a vehicle that came too close to a Canadian convoy in Kandahar. A two-year-old girl and her four-year-old brother were killed and the father of the two children was wounded. [188][189]

            * August 7, 2008 – US troops “inadvertently” killed four women and a child in an exchange of fire in an area of central Ghazni province.[190]

            * August 10, 2008 – Eight hostages held by the insurgents are killed by a coalition air strike in Uruzgan province. [191]

            * August 16, 2008 – Four civilians were killed by a British rocket attack against a compound in the Sangin district of Helmand province. Three others were wounded. The casualties included women and children.[192][193]

            * August 21, 2008 – The Afghan Interior Ministry reported that U.S. coalition bombs had killed up to 95 (up from 76) civilians, including 60 children, in an airstrike on Azizabad, a village in the Shindand district of Herat province. [194][195][196][197]

            * August 31, 2008 – Three children are killed by ISAF-fired artillery shells in the Gayan district of Paktika province. Seven other civilians were wounded. [198]

            * September 1, 2008 – A man and his two young children are killed in a night raid on his home in Kabul. His wife is injured. [199][200]

            * September 9, 2008 – At least two Afghan civilians have been killed and 10 wounded in an air strike by Nato-led forces in the eastern province of Khost, Nato officials say. [201][202]

            * September 18, 2008 – Canadian soldiers in a convoy fire at a civilian truck in Kandahar, killing one of the occupants.[203]

            * September 29, 2008 – A British soldier shot and killed a civilian on a motorbike at a checkpoint near the Forward Operating Base Inkermanin in the Sangin district of Helmand province. [204]

            * October 16, 2008 – About 18 civilians are killed by an air strike in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province [205]

            * November 3, 2008 – Dozens of people, including over 30 women and children, are killed by air strikes in the village of Wech Baghtu in the district of Shah Wali Kowt, Kandahar province. The strike was called in on the village when a wedding was taking place. [206][207][208] A joint Afghan-U.S. investigation found that 37 Afghan civilians were killed and 35 others wounded by the U.S. air strike.[209]

            * November 6, 2008 – At least seven civilians were killed by an air strike by international forces in the Ghowrmach district of Badghis province.[210]

            [edit] 2009

            * February 12, 2009 – Australian special forces soldiers killed 5 Afghan children in an attack on a compound in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan.[20]
            * March 2009 – A Danish smoke grenade that hit a kitchen during the course of fighting with insurgents flung a little girl against a wall, killing her. The Afghan child’s death occurred at the start of March during joint military action with British soldiers in the province of Helmand.[211]
            * April 9, 2009 – American-led military forces killed four civilians – a man, a woman, and two children – as well as an unborn baby in an overnight U.S. raid in the eastern province of Khost. The night raid killed the schoolteacher wife of Afghan National Army artillery commander Awal Khan, his 17-year-old daughter Nadia, his 15-year-old son, Aimal, and his brother, who worked for a government department. Another daughter was wounded. The pregnant wife of Khan’s cousin, who lived next door, was shot five times in the abdomen, killing her nine-month-old unborn baby. “The coalition has to stop this cruelty and brutal action,” a grieving Khan said. The US-led military initially said four people killed by troops were “armed militants”, but later admitted that the people killed and wounded were civilians. International humanitarian organisation CARE said in a statement that the slain schoolteacher had been working at a school that it supports. “CARE strongly condemns the action and demands that international military forces operating in Afghanistan are held accountable for their actions and avoid all attacks on innocent civilians in the country.”[75][76]
            * May 4, 2009 – American B1-B bombers killed at least two dozen and possibly as many as 147 Afghan civilians in western Afghanistan in what has been called the Farah massacre. Local Afghan officials in Farah province collected the names of 147 people that were killed in the airstrike.[85][212] After the Afghan government’s investigation, the Afghan Defense Ministry announced an official death toll of 140 villagers. A government list with the names and ages of each of the 140 killed showed that 93 of those killed were children, while only 22 were adult males.[86] A U.S. military investigation, on the other hand, estimated that 26 civilians were killed, but also admitted in its report that they would never be able to determine precisely how many civilians were killed by the operation. The U.S. military report concluded that at least two airstrikes on buildings should not have been ordered, and called for changes in the U.S. military’s rules for using airstrikes as well as retraining. The report was also critical of the military for failing to assess battle damage quickly, and called for the creation of an investigative team that can respond within two hours of a reported incident.[213][214]
            * September 4, 2009 – As many as 70-90 people, most of them civilians, were killed in northern Kunduz province by a U.S. airstrike called in by German ISAF troops after militants had hijacked two fuel tankers headed from Tajikistan to supply NATO forces. The hijacked tankers got stuck in the mud by Kunduz River near the village of Omar Khel. According to Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid, the insurgents opened valves to release fuel and lighten the loads, and villagers swarmed the trucks to collect the fuel despite warnings that they might be hit by an airstrike. According to some Afghan officials, the militants encouraged local people to take advantage of the situation. Word spread quickly and about 500 people from surrounding villages flocked to the trucks. At 2:30 A.M., a U.S. F-15 fighter jet dropped two 500-pound bombs on the fuel tankers, triggering a huge fireball that incinerated many of the people nearby. Video footage filmed in the morning showed piles of charred bodies lying by the river. An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team member and others said it was impossible to know how many people had died, with many bodies possibly having been washed away by the river. According to Afghan police, provincial officials, and doctors, most of those killed were civilians

          • Iraqi civilian dead, 101,000+
            http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

          • “And, by some twisted reach of logic, they demand the Pope issue an apology.”

            Maybe its not such a twist, is it, LOI?

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Uhm… how is the pope responsible for any of that?

              The US is NOT a Christian nation (at least according to Barack Obama), it has separation of church and state, and very few of the people controlling the government are catholic.

              Asking for an apology from the pope for US actions is a bit of a stretch.

              Of course, he COULD have pointed out that by NOT implicating the US actions as being against God’s nature, he was being a hypocrite….

              Oh by the way BF, why don’t you print up all of the incidents of Iraqi Muslims killing EACH OTHER (Shiite vs. Sunni for example) and see how many of EACH OTHER they have killed.

              I am sure it is close to 100,000 by now….

        • 2001

          * On October 9, 2001, in a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, a United Nations spokeswoman reported that a cruise missile had killed four U.N. employees and injured four others in a building several miles east of Kabul. The casualties were Afghans employed as security guards by the Afghan Technical Consultancy, the U.N. demining agency (Afghanistan is the most heavily mined country on the planet).[88] The Taliban reported about 8 to 20 civilian casualties, unconfirmed by independent sources.[89]

          * On October 10, 2001, the Sultanpur mosque in Jalalabad was bombed (BBC) twice – once during prayer, and again when rescue workers returned to remove the wounded and the dead. Initial casualty estimates ranged from 15-70 in the first attack, and up to 120 in the second. This two-hit bombing was repeated later on November 19, when 32 people were killed in Shamshad and then the rescuers were hit again. Several other mosques were bombed later, such as the Kunduz mosque on October 12 and the particularly deadly bombing of the Kala Shah Pir village mosque on October 23. On the same day, the villages of Darunta, Torghar, and Farmada were bombed, killing between 28 and 100 people.

          * On October 11, 2001, the village of Karam was completely destroyed. (The Guardian) Reporters on the scene reported having to hold their noses due to the smell. Between 160 and 200 people, in addition to their livestock, were killed, as reported by the surviving villagers. In response, Donald Rumsfeld stated “We do not have information that validates any of that”, but added that Washington’s information on the ground was “imperfect”. Al-Qaeda was believed to have training camps and ammunition storage tunnels in the area around Karam.

          * On October 17, 2001, downtown Kandahar was targeted with bombs and rockets in the area around a ministry building; the bombing destroyed several dozen stores and homes, and killing between 40 and 47 people. This was repeated the following day elsewhere in Kandahar, where bombs near the Kepten intersection destroyed a bazaar and killed between 10 and 47 additional people. This began a relatively deadly few days, where 40 people were killed in the Kabul area on the 18th, several dozen people were killed in Tarin Kot on the 19th, and 60-70 were killed in Herat and 50 killed in Kandahar on the 20th.[citation needed]

          * On October 21, 2001, the casualty rate peaked with the bombing of a hospital and mosque in Herat. The 200 bed hospital, used for both military and civilian patients, was reportedly not the target; the target was 300 feet (91 m) away. Approximately 100 bodies were found among the wreckage. On the same day, over 20 people (including 9 children) died when the tractor trailer used by several families to flee Tarin Kut was bombed (similar to an event on October 24); a stray bomb in the Parod Gajadad district of Khair Khana destroyed two homes; in another district of Khair Khana, 18 people were killed when 17 homes were destroyed by a bomb that missed a military base by 1/2 mile (800 m); 5 people from Kabul’s Kaluezaman Khan neighborhood were killed; an 8 year old girl was killed in Macroyan, Kabul; 11 people were killed in Tarin Kut; and 3 were killed in Kandahar city. The following day, the casualty rate didn’t fall much, with the coalition stepping up the targeting of fuel trucks and the accidental bombing of homes and shops in several cities, killing well over 100 people.[citation needed]

          * On October 23, 2001, the village of Chowkar Kariz was destroyed; testimony from the survivors indicated a casualty number between 52 and 93. Times journalist Paul Rogers reported that “not a single house has been left intact” and that “evidence that this remote spot had ever been used for military or terrorist purposes is non-existent.” In the face of opposition from human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, U.S. officials continued to claim that the town was a “fully legitimate target” and that “the people there are dead because we wanted them dead.” This was the last major case of civilian casualties for the next few weeks, as incidents dropped to an average of four per day and an average of about 8 casualties per said attack. The most lethal attack between the 23rd and November 4, 2001 was an attack on residential areas in Kabul on October 29 that took 25 lives.[citation needed]

          * On October 26, 2001, twenty-three people were killed in a bombing raid in the village Thori in the Urozgan province.[90]

          * On November 5, 2001, an upswing in civilian casualties occurred with major attacks on Kabul and villages in the Balkh province. The most deadly of the attacks occurred in Ogopruk village, near Mazar e Sharif, where 36 people in a residential area were killed by stray bombs. The daily civilian casualty rate remained over 50 through November 10, where it peaked with attacks on three villages near Khakrez that killed approximately 125 people.[citation needed]

          * On November 13, 2001, an American missile went “awry”, according to the Pentagon, and destroyed the Al-Jazeera bureau in Kabul. In (November 27, 2003 – Hearst Newspapers, http://www.commondreams.org/scriptfiles/views03/1127-07.htm).

          * On November 17, 2001, 62 people were killed in the bombing of a Madrassa in Khost, while 42 nomads were killed near Maiwand, two families with a total of 30 people were killed in Charikar village, 28 people were killed in Zani Khel village, and other scattered attacks took another 13 lives.[citation needed]

          * November 18, 2001 proved to be one of the more deadly days of bombing in the conflict. Scores of Gypsies were killed in Kundar, 100-150 people were killed in villages near Khanabad in an attack described by witnesses as “carpet bombing”, 35 people were killed in Shamshad village, and 24 in Garikee Kah village. Several of these villages were near the front lines, and were likely hit by stray bombs. A similar error occurred on November 20 when 40 people were killed as their mud houses collapsed from a stray bomb in a village near the Kunduz front line.[citation needed]

          * An incident, similar to the October 9 incident, killed 12 people at another mine clearing facility.[citation needed]

          * On November 25, 2001, 92 people (including 18 women and 7 children) were killed by bombing in Kandahar. On the same day, 70 people were killed when cluster bombs were dropped in the Kunduz area, as well as scattered deaths in Adha village and Takhta-Pal.[citation needed]

          * On December 1, 2001, about 100 people were killed by 25 bombs in their houses in the village of Kama Ado. Kandahar city reported numerous civilian casualties, while four trucks and five busses carrying passengers fleeing the war were hit on a highway, killing 30. Talkhel and Balut villages suffered 50 casualties, while Chperagem village suffered 28. About 20 people were killed in the Agam district, while 15 people died in refugee vehicles in Arghisan, and over 30 people died in the Jada area near Herat. It proved to be another particularly lethal day in the conflict for civilians. The subsequent days were little improved. About 150 civilians died across the country on December 2 in a variety of villages. In the same week, over 300 villagers in the white mountains near Tora Bora, as US forces attacked villages which fighters passed through, hoping to kill any which remained in the area.[91]

          * After the Tora Bora bombing campaign, the effort dispersed to kill Taliban and al-Qaeda members fleeing with their families, and focused on the Paktia and Paktika provinces. Numerous villages were hit shortly after the leaders passed through, leaving a chain of destruction following their path. The first place to be struck was Mashikhel in Paktia, in what inaccurate intelligence had said was a Taliban base. The city’s mosque (Saqawa) was hit, killing 10 and injuring 12. The bombing then moved to Mashkhel, killing another 16 civilians. On December 20, 2001, U.S. AC-130 gunships and Navy fighters attacked and destroyed a convoy in Afghanistan believed to be carrying the leaders and struck surrounding villages. The convoy turned out to be carrying tribal elders heading to the inauguration ceremony for Hamid Karzai; between 20 and 65 people died.[92] Overnight on the 27th, US forces struck at the village of Naka. Between 25 and 40 people were killed, 5-25 houses were destroyed, and 4-60 people were injured; however, US forces got one of their targets (the Taliban’s Minister of Security, Qari Ahmadullah) and two sons of a commander they were also seeking (Maulvi Ahmed Taha). Taha himself was not killed in the attack. The next night, the village of Shekhan was bombed, killing 15 civilians and destroying three houses.[citation needed]

          * The following day (December 31, 2001), one of the largest single incidents of civilian casualties in the entire war occurred: at least one U.S. fighter jet, a B-52 bomber and two helicopters swooped on Qalaye Niazi near Gardez, killing over 100 people. The area was littered with craters; one person (Janat Gul) recounted how all other 24 members of her family were killed. Body parts were reported scattered throughout the streets; the United Nations has confirmed that all of the dead were civilians.[92][93]

          [edit] 2002

          * On July 1, 2002, 48 people at a wedding party in a village in Oruzgan province were killed, and a further 117 injured, in a bombing raid.[91][94] New figures from October 2006 say that 46 people were killed.[92][95] The name of the village is Del Rawad, though early reports gave its name as Kakrakai or Kakrak. Gunfire meant to celebrate the wedding was apparently mistaken by US military for hostile gunfire. A B-52 bomber and AC-130 gunship were both involved in the incident, which reportedly went on for over an hour. The victims included many women and children. Some survivors were treated in Mirwai Hospital in Kandahar, and at least four children were treated at military hospitals in Bagram and Kandahar. The incident resulted in a formal protest, and later a warning, from the Afghan government. An anti-American rally was held in Kabul on July 5 as a protest against the incident. On July 3, US President George Bush expressed “deep condolences for the loss of human life”, and US authorities later stated that the area affected by the bombing would be rebuilt. Several inquiries into the incident were undertaken.[96] According to The Times, a preliminary UN report has stated that US forces arrived at the scene of the bombing raid and removed vital evidence.CNN reporting on the Times report However, this has been dismissed as false by the Afghan government. United States bombs have also struck a Kabul residential area and struck near and damaged a military hospital (according to the U.N.) or an elderly home (according to the Pentagon) in Herat.

          [edit] 2003

          * February 2003 – At least 17 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in coalition bombing raids in a mountainous region Helmand province.[92][97]

          * February 2003 – Reuters reported that, according to locals, 8 civilians were killed in the Baghran Valley area of Helmand province when a U.S. bomber and gunship attacked the area. [92]

          * April 9, 2003 – Eleven Afghans, seven of them women, were killed and one wounded when a stray U.S. laser-guided bomb hit a house on the outskirts of Shkin in Paktika province.[91][92]

          * September 2003 – At least eight civilians died in a U.S. air strike in the Naw Bahar district of the Zabul province that also killed a Taliban commander.[92][98]

          * October 30, 2003 – In a small hamlet near the village of Aranj in the Waygal district of Nuristan province, Afghanistan, six people of the same family were killed when a house was bombarded by U.S. warplanes. The house belonged to a former provincial governor, Ghulam Rabbani, who was in Kabul at the time. The raid was aimed at Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Mullah Faqirullah, both of whom had left the area just hours before. The victims (three children, an adolescent, a young man and an old woman) were all relatives of Mullah Rabbani.[92][99]

          * November 15, 2003 – Six civilians died when a U.S. warplane dropped a bomb in the Barmal district of Paktika province.[100]

          * December 5, 2003 – Near Gardez in Paktia province, an air and ground attack by U.S. special forces on a compound, used by a rebel commander Mullah Jalani to store munitions, killed six children and two adults.[91][92]

          * December 6. 2003 – According to both villagers and the U.S. military, 9 children – 7 boys and 2 girls from the ages of 9 to 12 – and a 25-year-old man were killed when two U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt II planes targeted the village of Hutala with rockets and guns. Mullah Wazir, the intended target, was not at home at the time. U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad stated the next day that Wazir was killed in the attack, but retracted the statement shortly after. Names and ages of the children killed: Habibullah, 11; Obaidullah, 10; Faizullah, 9; Ismail Jan, 11; Nabi Jan, 9; Habibullah, 12; Aminullah, 9; Bibi Toara, 10; and Bibi Tamama, 9. [91][92][101]

          [edit] 2004
          Wiki letter w.svg
          Please help improve this article by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page. (April 2007)

          * January 18, 2004 – 11 civilians – 4 children and 7 adults – were killed by a U.S. air strike on a house in the village of Saghatho.[102]

          [edit] 2005
          Wiki letter w.svg
          Please help improve this article by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page. (April 2007)

          * July 1, 2005 – An “unknown number” of noncombatants are killed in an airstrike in Kunar province.[103] A second source dates the incident on July 3 and gives quotes the number of victims as 17.[104]

          [edit] 2006

          * January 14, 2006 – Several missiles are fired over the Afghan border into the Pakistani village of Damadola in the Bajaur area. 18 civilians are killed[105]
          * March 14, 2006 – Canadian troops in Kandahar open fire on a taxi, killing one of its passengers, Nasrat Ali Hassan[106]
          * May 22, 2006 – 17 villagers were killed when coalition warplanes attacked Taliban forces in Kandahar Province. The U.S. military, which said dozens of militants also died in the fighting, expressed regret over the deaths. [95][107]
          * August, 2006 – Canadian troops shoot and kill an Afghan policeman[108]
          * August 22, 2006 – A 10 year old boy riding as a passenger on a motorcycle is shot and killed by Canadian troops in Kandahar[109]
          * October 18, 2006, a rocket hit a house during a nighttime clash between suspected Taliban insurgents and NATO and Afghan security forces in the farming village of Tajikai, 135 miles (217 km) west of Kandahar city. The rocket was fired from an aircraft and killed 13 villagers inside the home. A NATO spokesman said alliance jets and helicopters fired rockets and dropped bombs on Taliban positions in the area after 2 a.m.October 18, 2006, but could not confirm that they hit a civilian house. He added that the Taliban had been using mortars in the area of the clash. About 100 families live in Tajikai.[95]

          * October 19, 2006 – Airstrikes by NATO helicopters hunting Taliban fighters ripped through three dried mud homes in southern Afghanistan as villagers slept early October 18, 2006. At least nine civilians were killed, including women and children, said residents and the provincial governor. Angry villagers in Ashogho condemned the attack, which set back NATO’s hopes of winning local support for their tough counterinsurgency campaign. The airstrikes came at about the same time a rocket struck a house in a village to the west, reportedly killing 13 people. One of the homes that was attacked had only one wall standing, and looked ready to topple over. A blast ripped a hole through the middle of another. “If the foreign soldiers were so smart that they knew there were Taliban here, why didn’t they see the women and children who were sleeping? Why do they want to kill us? How can they help us rebuild if they want to kill us? Maybe they should leave”, a villager shouted. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said in a statement that October 18, 2006 operation in Kandahar was believed to have caused several civilian casualties. The alliance said the operation was meant to detain people involved in roadside bomb attacks in Panjwayi district, which borders Zhari District. NATO said it regretted any civilian casualties and that it makes every effort to minimize the risk of collateral damage.[95]

          * October 26, [2006] Between 40 and 60 villagers are killed in two separate night air raids, followed by mortar and rocket attacks against villages in the Panjwayi and Pashmul districts of Kandahar province.[110]

          * November 16, 2006 – UK troops shoot at a vehicle and kill two of its occupant, wounding a young girl, near Girish, in Helmand Province[111]

          * December 12, 2006 – An elderly motorcyclist was shot and killed by Canadian troops in Kandahar[112]

          [edit] 2007

          * January 12, 2007 – Afghan police claim 13 civilians killed in a NATO airstrike in the Garmser district of Helmand Province. NATO claims “no evidence of any civilian casualties”[113]

          * January 24, 2007 – NATO troops fired at a vehicle which failed to stop in the Gereshk district of Helmand province. The bullets killed a passerby.[114]

          * February 17, 2007 – An unarmed man acting in a suspicious manner was shot and killed by Canadian troops near the village of Senjaray 12 km west of Kandahar[115]

          * February 17, 2007 NATO troops shot and killed a civilian who was running through convoy near Kandahar[116]

          * February 18, 2007 – Canadian troops mistakenly gunned down an Afghan National Police officer and a homeless beggar after their convoy was ambushed in Kandahar City late Sunday[117]

          * February 27, 2007 – Canadian troops fire at a Toyota car that failed to stop at a security cordon around a broken down Canadian vehicle in the Kandahar area. One occupant is killed, the other is wounded. No weapons or bombs were found.[118]

          * March 4, 2007 – Approximately 16 civilians are killed and dozens are wounded by US marine gunfire on the road between Jalalabad and Pakistan after a bomb blast directed the marine convoy in what has become known as the Shinwar massacre.[119][120] In a March 14, 2007 article, the Afghan human rights commission alleged Marines put the number of victims at 12 people—including a 4-year-old girl, a 1-year-old boy and three elderly villagers and stated the Marines used excessive force, as they shot at people as the y fled the scene of the bomb, even miles from the incident location. This report on killings of civilians in the Nangarhar Province is consistent with U.S. findings. The Marine commander and NCO were shipped back to the United States after this incident[121]

          * March 5, 2007 Nine civilians, including five women and two to three children are killed when their home was destroyed by two 2,000 lb (910 kg) bombs in the Nijrab district, in the Kapisa province, north of Kabul. The troops were responding to an attack that hit a Nato provincial reconstruction team.[122][123]

          * March 16, 2007 – Five Afghan policemen are killed by US troops at a checkpoint in a village near Gereshk, in Helmand Province.[124] In later reports, the US denied its troops had been involved in the killings[125]

          * April 14, 2007 – A suicide bomber hits Afghan police by blowing himself up outside a police headquarters in the Khost Province, killing at least eight people, police have told.[126]

          * April 29, 2007 – Six people including a woman and a teenage girl are killed by US and Afghan forces as they raided a suspected “car bomb cell” in the Bati Kot area of Nangarhar province, very close to the location of the March 4th 2007. Another woman and another teenage girl were wounded. incident.[127][128]

          * May 1, 2007 – About 50 civilians, including women and children were killed by US and NATO bombings in Herat province of western Afghanistan during the preceding week.[62][129]

          * May 9, 2007 – Between 21 and 38 civilians, including women and children are killed by a US Air Raid in the village of Soro, in the Sangin district of Helmand Province. Five homes were bombed after US Special Forces came under attack, an attack which cost the life of one US serviceman.[130][131][132][133][134][135]

          * May 31, 2007 – At least 15 civilians were killed by NATO forces in the Kajaki district of Helmand Province. [136]

          * June 11, 2007 – Three civilians are killed by “NATO-Led Troops” troops in the Kunar Province as they approached a checkpoint in a vehicle.[137]

          * June 15, 2007 – 6 children are killed and 4 injured when a suicide bomber attacks a NATO convoy in Uruzgan province. Another civilian is killed in a crossfire in Helmand.[138]

          * June 18, 2007 – Seven children are killed in a US Air Strike directed at a compound in Zarghun Shah, in the Paktika province. Initially the US claimed they did not know that children were in the compounds but some U.S. officials confirmed that U.S. forces were indeed aware of the children’s presence but military officials told NBC News that Abu Laith al Libi, an al-Qaida leader, was considered such a high-value target it was worth the risk that some children might become casualties of the attack. [139][140]

          * June 19, 2007 – 10 civilians are killed in a US missile strike inside Pakistan [141][142][143][144]

          * June 22, 2007 – About 25 civilians including 9 women and 3 children are killed in an air strike in the village of De Adam Khan, near the town of Gereshk in Helmand Province. [145][146]

          * June 24, 2007 – Two men on motorcycles were shot as they approached the site of an IED explosion against a British vehicle in which a British soldier was killed. This incident occurred near Lashkar Gahin, in Helmand Province. One of the two motrocyclists died, the other was wounded. [66]

          * June 29, 2007 – Four civilian men were killed in a house by US troops who were looking for insurgents. An 85-year-old man, Mohammada Jan, two of his sons and a grandson had been killed by troops who first blew up the gate of house in the village of Nokrukhel in Sherzad district of Nangarhar province.[147][148]

          * June 29, 2007 – Between 50 and 80 civilians are killed by Air Strikes on the village of Hyderabad, in the Province of Hellmand in southern Afghanistan. [149][150][151][152]

          * July 7, 2007 – Villagers from Watapour in the Province of Kunar claim that about 35 civilians were killed by Air Strikes, 10 on July 5 and another 25 on the 7th when the funeral for the 10 was bombed [153][154]

          * August 2, 2007 – Many people, possibly in the hundreds, are reported wounded and killed by an air strike in the Baghran district of the Province of Helmand. [155][156][157][158][159][160][161]

          * September 19, 2007 – One Afghan civilian and several others wounded in a traffic collision with a Canadian convoy. [162]

          * September 19, 2007 – Six civilians, women and children are killed by an airstrike in Helmand province. [163]

          * September 23, 2007 – A US helicopter accidentally killed two policemen and three security guards during an anti-Taliban operation in Kunar Province. Eight more were injured. [164]

          * October 2, 2007 – A man on a motorcycle is killed and a child riding behing him is wounded by Canadian troops in Kandahar [165]

          * October 23, 2007 – A child was found dead in a tent and four others found wounded after coalition forces fired on the tent from which they claimed they had received gunfire. [166]

          * November 15, 2007 – A man in a taxi is killed and another wounded when they were shot at in Kandahar by Canadian troops riding in a convoy [167]

          * November 28, 2007 – An Afghan official, Nuristan governor Tamim Nuristani, claims U.S.-led coalition troops killed 14 road construction workers in air strikes in eastern Afghanistan. This incident was confirmed by Sayed Noorullah Jalili, director of the Kabul-based road construction company Amerifa whose employees were killed in the bombing. [168]

          [edit] 2008

          * January 24, 2008 – Nine or ten Afghan policemen and two civilians were killed by US Forces in the Ghazni province, 100 km south of Kabul[169][170]

          * January 30, 2008 – Three civilians showed up at a Kandahar hospital with gunshot wounds, claiming they had been shot at by a Canadian convoy. One of them later died of his injuries.[171][172][173]

          * March 12, 2008 – The British government says its troops were responsible for an airstrike that killed two women and two children around Helmand. At least 10 others were injured.[174][175]

          * March 13, 2008 – Two women and two children are killed in Pakistan by cross border shelling fired by US forces in Afghanistan [176]

          * March 19, 2008 – Several civilians are killed by US troops in Muqibel, a village of Khost province.[177]

          * June 11, 2008 – At least 30 killed at 10 P.M. on Tuesday night, June 10, 2008, in the village of Ebrahim Kariz, Mata Khan district of Paktika Province. US forces launched an air and ground attack upon the village allegedly targeting a “militant hideout.” Residents said that dozens of civilians were killed [178]

          * June 23, 2008 – A father and son were allegedly killed by gunfire from US-led soldiers, a governor and witnesses said. Around 200 people demonstrated in the Khogyani district of Nangarhar province. [179]

          * July 4, 2008 – 23 civilians are killed by US air strikes the district of Waygal, in the province of Nouristan[180]

          * July 6, 2008 – 47 civilians attending a wedding (including the bride) are killed by US air strikes in Nangarhar province [181]

          * July 14, 2008 – Officials in Nuristan province said almost 30 defenseless civilians have been reportedly killed during NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) airstrike in Want-Waigal district of the eastern province. ISAF denies the claim [182][183]

          * July 15, 2008 – US Forces admit to killing eight civilians in the Bakwa district of Farah province. They bombed a number of houses from which they were receiving fire. [184]

          * July 17, 2008 – Dozens of civilians are reported killed and injured by air strikes in the Shindand district of Herat province. [184]

          * July 20, 2008 – Thirteen civilians are killed in two separate incidents: nine policemen were killed by a US air strikes in the Ana Darreh district of Farah province. In the second episode, a NATO statement said, at least four civilians were accidentally killed and four other civilians wounded in mortar strikes by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in the eastern province of Paktika. The deaths of an additional three people had not been confirmed, the statement said. [185][186]

          * July 26, 2008 – British troops opened fire on a vehicle that failed to stop at a checkpoint in the Sangin district of Helmand province, killing four and injuring three. [187]

          * July 27, 2008 – Canadian troops opened fire on a vehicle that came too close to a Canadian convoy in Kandahar. A two-year-old girl and her four-year-old brother were killed and the father of the two children was wounded. [188][189]

          * August 7, 2008 – US troops “inadvertently” killed four women and a child in an exchange of fire in an area of central Ghazni province.[190]

          * August 10, 2008 – Eight hostages held by the insurgents are killed by a coalition air strike in Uruzgan province. [191]

          * August 16, 2008 – Four civilians were killed by a British rocket attack against a compound in the Sangin district of Helmand province. Three others were wounded. The casualties included women and children.[192][193]

          * August 21, 2008 – The Afghan Interior Ministry reported that U.S. coalition bombs had killed up to 95 (up from 76) civilians, including 60 children, in an airstrike on Azizabad, a village in the Shindand district of Herat province. [194][195][196][197]

          * August 31, 2008 – Three children are killed by ISAF-fired artillery shells in the Gayan district of Paktika province. Seven other civilians were wounded. [198]

          * September 1, 2008 – A man and his two young children are killed in a night raid on his home in Kabul. His wife is injured. [199][200]

          * September 9, 2008 – At least two Afghan civilians have been killed and 10 wounded in an air strike by Nato-led forces in the eastern province of Khost, Nato officials say. [201][202]

          * September 18, 2008 – Canadian soldiers in a convoy fire at a civilian truck in Kandahar, killing one of the occupants.[203]

          * September 29, 2008 – A British soldier shot and killed a civilian on a motorbike at a checkpoint near the Forward Operating Base Inkermanin in the Sangin district of Helmand province. [204]

          * October 16, 2008 – About 18 civilians are killed by an air strike in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province [205]

          * November 3, 2008 – Dozens of people, including over 30 women and children, are killed by air strikes in the village of Wech Baghtu in the district of Shah Wali Kowt, Kandahar province. The strike was called in on the village when a wedding was taking place. [206][207][208] A joint Afghan-U.S. investigation found that 37 Afghan civilians were killed and 35 others wounded by the U.S. air strike.[209]

          * November 6, 2008 – At least seven civilians were killed by an air strike by international forces in the Ghowrmach district of Badghis province.[210]

          [edit] 2009

          * February 12, 2009 – Australian special forces soldiers killed 5 Afghan children in an attack on a compound in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan.[20]
          * March 2009 – A Danish smoke grenade that hit a kitchen during the course of fighting with insurgents flung a little girl against a wall, killing her. The Afghan child’s death occurred at the start of March during joint military action with British soldiers in the province of Helmand.[211]
          * April 9, 2009 – American-led military forces killed four civilians – a man, a woman, and two children – as well as an unborn baby in an overnight U.S. raid in the eastern province of Khost. The night raid killed the schoolteacher wife of Afghan National Army artillery commander Awal Khan, his 17-year-old daughter Nadia, his 15-year-old son, Aimal, and his brother, who worked for a government department. Another daughter was wounded. The pregnant wife of Khan’s cousin, who lived next door, was shot five times in the abdomen, killing her nine-month-old unborn baby. “The coalition has to stop this cruelty and brutal action,” a grieving Khan said. The US-led military initially said four people killed by troops were “armed militants”, but later admitted that the people killed and wounded were civilians. International humanitarian organisation CARE said in a statement that the slain schoolteacher had been working at a school that it supports. “CARE strongly condemns the action and demands that international military forces operating in Afghanistan are held accountable for their actions and avoid all attacks on innocent civilians in the country.”[75][76]
          * May 4, 2009 – American B1-B bombers killed at least two dozen and possibly as many as 147 Afghan civilians in western Afghanistan in what has been called the Farah massacre. Local Afghan officials in Farah province collected the names of 147 people that were killed in the airstrike.[85][212] After the Afghan government’s investigation, the Afghan Defense Ministry announced an official death toll of 140 villagers. A government list with the names and ages of each of the 140 killed showed that 93 of those killed were children, while only 22 were adult males.[86] A U.S. military investigation, on the other hand, estimated that 26 civilians were killed, but also admitted in its report that they would never be able to determine precisely how many civilians were killed by the operation. The U.S. military report concluded that at least two airstrikes on buildings should not have been ordered, and called for changes in the U.S. military’s rules for using airstrikes as well as retraining. The report was also critical of the military for failing to assess battle damage quickly, and called for the creation of an investigative team that can respond within two hours of a reported incident.[213][214]
          * September 4, 2009 – As many as 70-90 people, most of them civilians, were killed in northern Kunduz province by a U.S. airstrike called in by German ISAF troops after militants had hijacked two fuel tankers headed from Tajikistan to supply NATO forces. The hijacked tankers got stuck in the mud by Kunduz River near the village of Omar Khel. According to Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid, the insurgents opened valves to release fuel and lighten the loads, and villagers swarmed the trucks to collect the fuel despite warnings that they might be hit by an airstrike. According to some Afghan officials, the militants encouraged local people to take advantage of the situation. Word spread quickly and about 500 people from surrounding villages flocked to the trucks. At 2:30 A.M., a U.S. F-15 fighter jet dropped two 500-pound bombs on the fuel tankers, triggering a huge fireball that incinerated many of the people nearby. Video footage filmed in the morning showed piles of charred bodies lying by the river. An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team member and others said it was impossible to know how many people had died, with many bodies possibly having been washed away by the river. According to Afghan police, provincial officials, and doctors, most of those killed were civilians

          • BF, I sure hope you cut and paste all of this! If you actually type it all, might I suggest getting a subscrition to Hustler magazine, at least you can sue them when you get Carpal Tunnel!

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            BF,

            Most of these accusations use words such as “claim” and “possibly”. Obviously, western forces would do their best to cover up these sorts of things, but “claim” and “possibly” leave a bit of doubt as to what actually happened.

            After all, I could claim that you possibly have killed 101,000 people on your own.

            This is highly unlikely, but I could claim that you possibly have…

      • http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1119470.html

        “We will demand that the prime minister continue to build in the West Bank,” she added

    • Beer 30, Flaggy, have a good evening.

  25. HELL EXPLAINED BY A CHEMISTRY STUDENT

    The following is an actual question given on a
    Washington State University chemistry mid-term. The answer by one
    student was so “profound” that the professor shared it with colleagues,
    via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of
    enjoying it as well:

    Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or
    endothermic (absorbs heat)? Most of the students wrote proofs of their
    beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it
    is compressed) or some variant.

    One student, however, wrote the following:

    First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing
    in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell
    and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely
    assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no
    souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look
    at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these
    religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will
    go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since
    people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all
    souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect
    the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at
    the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that
    in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the
    volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

    This gives two possibilities:

    1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate
    at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell
    will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

    2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the
    increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop
    until Hell freezes over.

    So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me
    by Teresa during my Freshman year that, “It will be a cold day in Hell
    before I sleep with you,” and take into account the fact that I slept
    with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure
    that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of
    this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is
    not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct……leaving only
    Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains
    why, last night, Teresa kept shouting “Oh my God.”

    THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY “A”

    • How do these people survive?

      > ONE Recently, when I went to McDonald’s I saw on the menu that you
      >could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets. I asked for a half
      >dozen nuggets. “We don’t have half dozen nuggets,” said the teenager at the
      >counter. “You don’t?” I replied. “We only have six, nine, or twelve,” was
      >the reply. “So I can’t order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order six?”
      >”That’s right.” So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets
      >
      > TWO I was checking out at the local Wal-Mart with just a few items and
      >the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine. I picked up
      >one of those “dividers” that they keep by the cash register and placed it
      >be tween our things so they wouldn’t get mixed. After the girl had scanned
      >all of my items, she picked up the “divider”, looking it all over for the
      >bar code so she could scan it. Not finding the bar code she said to me, “Do
      >you know how much this is?” I said to her “I’ve changed my mind, I don’t
      >think I’ll buy that today.” She said “OK,” and I paid her for the things
      >and left. She had no clue to what had just happened.
      >
      > THREE A lady at work was seen putting a credit card into her floppy
      >drive and pulling it out very quickly. When I inquired as to what she was
      >doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they kept asking for a
      >credit card number, so she was using the ATM “thingy.”
      >
      > FOUR I recently saw a distraught young lady weeping beside her car.
      >”Do you need some help?” I asked. She replied, “I knew I should have
      >replaced the battery to this remote door unlocker. Now I can’t get into my
      >car. Do you think they (pointing to a distant convenience store) would have
      >a battery to fit this?” “Hmmm, I dunno. Do you have an alarm, too?” I
      >asked. “No, just this remote thingy,” she answered, handing it and the car
      >keys to me. As I took the key and manually unlocked the door, I replied,
      >”Why don’t you drive over there and check about the batteries. It’s a long
      >walk.”
      >
      > FIVE Several years ago, we had an Intern who was none too swift. One
      >day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, “I’m almost out of
      >typing paper. What do I do?” “Just use copier machine paper,” the secretary
      >told her. With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of
      >paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five “blank” copies.
      >
      > SIX I was in a car dealership a while ago, when a large motor home was
      >towed into the garage. The front of the vehicle was in dire need of repair
      >and the whole thing generally looked like an extra in “Twister.” I asked
      >the manager what had happened. He told me that the driver had set the
      >”cruise control” and then went in the back to make a sandwich.
      >
      > SEVEN My neighbor works in the operations department in the central
      >office of a large bank. Employees in the field call him when they have
      >problems with their computers. One night he got a c all from a woman in one
      >of the branch banks who had this question: “I’ve got smoke coming from the
      >back of my terminal. Do you guys have a fire downtown?”
      >
      > EIGHT Police in Radnor , Pa , interrogated a suspect by placing a
      >metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy
      >machine. The message “He’s lying” was placed in the copier, and police
      >pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn’t telling t
      >he truth. Believing the “lie detector” was working, the suspect confessed.
      >
      > NINE A mother calls 911 very worried asking the dispatcher if she
      >needs to take her kid to the emergency room, the kid was eating ants. The
      >dispatcher tells her to give the kid some Benadryl and it should be fine,
      >the mother says, I just gave him some ant killer….. Dispatcher: Rush him
      >in to emergency room!
      >
      > Life is tough.
      >
      >It’s tougher if you’re stupid

    • The Ark In the year 2005, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in the United States, and said, “Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save two of every living thing along with a few good humans.”

      He gave Noah the blueprints, saying, “You have six months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights”.

      Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard … but no ark. “Noah”! , He roared, “I’m about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?” “Forgive me, Lord,” begged Noah. “But things have changed. I needed a building permit. I’ve been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbors claim that I’ve violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision. Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power l! ines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark’s move to the sea. I argued the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it. ”

      “Getting the wood was another problem. There’s a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists I needed the wood to save the owls. But no go! ” “When I started gathering the animals, I got sued by an animal rights group. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. As well, they argued the accommodation was too restrictive and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space. ”

      “Then the EPA ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until they’d conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood. ”

      I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I’m supposed to hire for my building crew. ”

      “Also, the trades unions say I can’t use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark building experience. ”

      “To make matters worse, the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

      “So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least ten years for me to finish this Ark.”

      Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.

      Noah looked up in wonder and asked, “You mean, You’re not going to destroy the world?”

      “No,” said the Lord. “The government beat me to it.”

    • A blonde walks into a bank in New York City and asks
      >>>> for the loan officer.
      >>>>
      >>>> She says she’s going to Europe on business for two
      >>>> weeks and needs to borrow $5,000.
      >>>>
      >>>> The bank officer says the bank will need some kind of
      >>>> security for the loan, so the blonde hands over the
      >>>> keys to a new Mercedes Benz SL 500. The car is parked on the
      >>>> street in front of the bank. She has the title, and
      >>>> everything checks out.
      >>>>
      >>>> The bank agrees to accept the car collateral for the
      >>>> loan.
      >>>> The bank’s president and its officers all enjoy a good
      >>>> laugh at the blonde for using a $110,000 Benz as collateral
      >>>> against a $5,000 loan.
      >>>>
      >>>> An employee of the bank then proceeds to drive the
      >>>> Benz into the bank’s underground garage and parks it there.
      >>>>
      >>>> Two weeks later, the blonde returns. She repays the
      >>>> $5,000 and the interest, which comes to $15.41.
      >>>>
      >>>> The loan officer says, “Miss, we are very happy to
      >>>> have had your business, and this transaction has worked out
      >>>> very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were
      >>>> away, we checked you out and found that you are a
      >>>> multimillionaire.
      >>>> What puzzles us is, why would you bother to borrow
      >>>> $5,000?”
      >>>>
      >>>> The blonde replies, “Where else in New York City can I
      >>>> park my car for two weeks for only $15.41 and expect it to
      >>>> be there when I return?”
      >>>>
      >>>> Finally, a SMART blonde joke.
      >>>>
      >>>> (and you thought there weren’t any!)

    • LETTERS ABBY ADMITTED SHE WAS AT A LOSS OF WHAT TO SAY

      Dear Abby,
      A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a
      middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid
      twenties. These two women go everywhere together and I’ve never
      seen a
      man go into or leave their apartment. Do you think they could be
      Lebanese?

      Dear Abby,
      What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence
      on
      my VCR?

      Dear Abby,
      I have a man I can’t trust. He cheats so much, I’m not even sure the
      baby I’m carrying is his.

      Dear Abby,
      I am a twenty-three year old liberated woman who has been on the
      pill
      for two years. It’s getting expensive and I think my boy friend
      should
      share half the cost, but I don’t know him well enough to discuss
      money
      with him.

      Dear Abby,
      I’ve suspected that my husband has been fooling around, and when
      confronted with the evidence, he denied everything and said it would
      never happen again.

      Dear Abby,
      Our son writes that he is taking Judo. Why would a boy who was
      raised in
      a good Christian home turn against his own?

      Dear Abby,
      I joined the Navy to see the world. I’ve seen it. Now how do I get
      out?

      Dear Abby,
      My forty year old son has been paying a psychiatrist $50.00 an hour
      every week for two and a half years. He must be crazy.

      Dear Abby,
      I was married to Bill for three months and I didn’t know he drank
      until
      one night he came home sober.

      Dear Abby,
      My mother is mean and short tempered. I think she is going through
      mental pause.

      Dear Abby,
      You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to
      send
      him to a doctor. Well, my husband lost all interest in sex and he
      is a
      doctor. Now what do I do?

    • Why, in my own twisted sense of humor, imagine a young Black Flag writing the bonus question about hell?

      RLMAO!

      G!

      • In university, I was taking Computer Science courses – I already had been a professional programmer since I was 15 – so I was rather arrogant in class.

        The class had about 350 students at the midterm.

        The test was about 35 pages long, with merely 45 minutes to write. Obviously impossible to finish.

        The first question was utterly bizarre. I skipped it. I actually skipped most of the test, and only did the questions that were “easy”.

        A week later, he returned the tests – calling out names to come and pick them up. He also announced the scores.

        “BLACK FLAG”, and as I went up to get my test, the Prof yelled – “…and he got 13.5% !!”

        The class exploded in laughter and catcalls directed toward me.

        As I stood in front of him – he held the test a bit behind his back as he surveyed the hysterical class. He waited and waited and waited….. until the class settled down.

        Finally, the laughter stopped. He then said…

        “That, Ladies and Gentleman, is the highest mark in this class”.

        You could have heard a pin drop.

        The next day, there was only 19 left in the class…..

        I got an “A” of course….

        • No maliciousness meant ofcourse, but I could not help thinking how easily that would come from you. Still have a big smile thinking about.

          I’ll think I’ll have a beer, I’ll buy one for you as well!

          Cheers!

    • BF is an alum of Washington State?

  26. bottom line says:

    SEED,

    If you here today… in case you didn’t catch it yesterday…It’s your move bro.

    1. Nc3 e5 2.e4 Nf6 3.Nf3

  27. Bottom Line

    It’s no different than being stolen from BF

    Then you believe if you get a price for a product that you paid lower today then the price for that product was yesterday, you are a thief?

  28. I will soon be one of those unemployed in about 3 weeks to add to that number.

    It’s the unemployment rate, stupid.

    That could be the rallying cry for Republicans in elections next year, and possibly in 2012, as they seek to regain power in Congress and the White House.

    Despite signs of improvement in the economy, the unemployment rate keeps climbing — up to a 26-year high of 9.8 percent in September — potentially providing Republicans political ammunition and putting Democrats on the defensive.

    Republicans have seized on the rising jobless figures as proof that President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package was a spectacular failure. But Democrats insist that the economy would be in far worse shape without the spending injection.

    Either way, top economists told FOXNews.com that even with the job growth attributed to the stimulus package, it won’t be enough to compensate for all the job losses since the recession began.

    “The hole that has been blown in the labor market is enormous,” said Heide Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute.

    In a new study by the institute, more than 53 percent of respondents listed unemployment and lack of jobs as the most important economic problem facing the country. The survey also found that 51 percent of respondents supported the stimulus package but an overwhelming majority, 81 percent, said the Obama administration still has not done enough to tackle unemployment.

    “The thing is, even if the stimulus worked, it wouldn’t have necessarily created a lot of jobs in the business cycle,” said Kevin Hassett, the director of economic studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “So I think the crowing on both sides in not the most defensible.”

    The economy has shed more than 7.1 million jobs since the recession began, in December 2007. All told, 15.1 million Americans are now out of work. But if the underemployed and people who have given up looking for new jobs are included, the unemployment rate is at 17 percent, the highest since such records were first kept, in 1994.

    The stimulus package had aimed to create up to 3.5 million jobs.

    Shierholz estimates the economy has lost more than 10 million jobs if the number of jobs needed to accommodate new workers — college graduates and immigrants — is included.

    “The stimulus package, it is the thing that brought us back from the abyss,” she said. “It is doing what it was expected to do. It’s not enough. The level of growth to get recovery is enormous.”

    Shierholz said those who say the economy would be much worse without the stimulus package are “unequivocally correct.”

    But she added that, politically, “it’s a tough one to talk about.”

    “Keep in mind just because we don’t have this parallel universe to compare it to, we have a much heavier lift to get people to understand how worse things would have been and it makes it easier to discredit the stimulus package,” she said.

    Hassett pointed out the irony of Democrats being on the defensive about the economy after sweeping to power in Congress in 2006 and capturing the White House in 2008 based mainly on blaming Republicans for the economic woes. Now Democrats have adopted economic policies that were not well designed and will extend the economic misery for the next few years, he said.

    Just like in 1994 when they retook Congress, Republicans are describing the economy as the worst since President Herbert Hoover presided over the start of the Great Depression, Hassett noted. The only difference? “This time it’s true,” Hassett said.

    The Obama administration is consulting with Democratic congressional leaders on how to extend and possible expand the economic safety net. Among the ideas under consideration are extending jobless and health benefits and renewing a tax credit for first-time homebuyers.

    David Autor, an economist at MIT, said those measures are good things. But when asked which political party will have the most effective campaign next year, he laughed and said, “Whatever is least true is most effective.”

  29. Kristian Stout says:

    Dumb as a box of Rocks

    A VERY GOOD EXAMPLE OF THE KIND OF REPRESENTATION WE HAVE IN CONGRESS,TRUE STORY:

    A noted psychiatrist was a guest speaker at an academic function where Nancy Pelosi happened to appear. Ms Pelosi took the opportunity to schmooze the good doctor a bit and asked him a question with which he was most at ease.

    ‘Would you mind telling me, Doctor,’ she asked, ‘how you detect a mental deficiency in somebody who appears completely normal?’

    ‘Nothing is easier,’ he replied. ‘You ask a simple question which anyone should answer with no trouble. If the person hesitates, that puts you on the track.’

    ‘What sort of question?’ asked Pelosi.

    Well, you might ask, ‘Captain Cook made three trips around the world and died during one of them. Which one?”

    Pelosi thought a moment, and then said with a nervous laugh, ‘You wouldn’t happen to have another example would you? I must confess I don’t know much about history.’

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