A Fresh Face for Maryland – A Candidate We Can Believe In

Maryland FlagI have something a little different for everyone today. Many of you have a lengthy history at Stand Up For America. And during that time we have had some fairly in depth discussions and debates about what it will take to begin the process of taking back our country from a government that is growing too fast and spending too much. We have always concluded that change is going to have to begin at the local and state level, with candidates that truly care about getting America back on track. Candidates that truly care about serving the people that elect them to do so. I agree completely that the local landscape is the place where the people must begin to make a difference. Tonight I offer a look at one of those candidates that meet all the criteria we have discussed over the last year.

Many of you who have been reading here since the beginning have spoken with this candidate when she was running her own blog and posting comments here. Her insight was always informative and her passion for making her community better and more fiscally sound was always evident in every thought she shared. So I would like to offer all of you the opportunity to get to know her a little better and, perhaps, to even offer her your support as she runs for office. So I offer you all an article in support of:

RANI MERRYMAN for Maryland House of Delegates, District 8

Rani Invitation PictureRani Merryman is just a typical Marylander; concerned about the same day-to-day worries as every other Maryland Mom. She lives in Northern Baltimore County, and only a year ago was content to be a good wife to her husband Jimmy, a blue-collar worker putting in long hours, and a good mom to her children. She had given up her career to dedicate herself to raising their two sons, AJ and Max, ages 2 and 4. Over the last several years, she paid attention to the happenings in government at all levels. And her concern continued to grow. You see, she and her husband want what every other parent wants. They want their children to have the opportunity to study hard and succeed. They want their boys to have the same freedoms and liberties that America has promised since its inception.

However, watching the government in action didn’t necessarily inspire confidence that this was going to happen. Out of control spending, stifling business practices, and taxation that eliminates the average American’s ability to build a better life all pointed to a future that was not in line with the American dream. The growing debt that threatened the future for her children became more than she was willing to tolerate. Being a person of action, she could no longer sit idly by and watch today’s politicians throw away her boy’s future. Rani was called to action by a desire to prove that things can be done better.

Rani is running for the House of Delegates in District 8 for Maryland and believes that 2010 will be the year of the Patriot. Her belief is that the time has come for every-day Americans to once again step up to the plate and begin the process of making government work for the people (as it was intended?) once again. She is running on the foundation of working to lower taxes for citizens and small businesses, reforming education to get better results with incurring additional increases in funding, and decreasing the scope and reach of a government that become far too removed and far too intrusive.

Rani at Tea Party EventSmall business is what makes America run. More important, small business is the primary employer within communities and the largest contributor to the welfare and improvement with the community. Government has lost its way in terms of ensuring legislation is created in a way that serves the community ahead of government or corporate titans. As a delegate, Rani will work to ensure that new legislation focuses on the sustainability and advancement of small businesses in her district. Furthermore, she will work to repeal or amend existing legislation in order for government to better serve small businesses and the communities that they serve.

Education is the key to America’s future. It is no secret that the public education systems in Maryland are failing. Maryland spends $2 Billion more than the national average on education, and the result is a state that is ranked twentieth in the nation for results. Something needs to change, and the answer is not increasing the money spent. Throwing good money after bad is never a good decision. Instead the answer is to find a way to make the system work smarter. Ingenuity, efficiency, and a completely honest look at the system’s faults and successes are the keys to increasing education effectiveness in Maryland without increasing the burden of debt.

An overreaching government is a growing concern for all citizens, both in Maryland and across the country. The time has come for Maryland to lead the way in showing other states how to operate more efficiently and with more concern for the welfare of their citizens. One of the key components of Rani’s plan for stopping the ever-increasing size and scope of government is decreasing taxes, which puts money back in the hands of citizens.

Christmas 2008 in the Smokies Black and WhiteDecreased taxes allow the citizens to be empowered, ensuring that funding goes back to where it can impact the citizens in the most effective way: locally. Another key component is the commitment of elected representatives to hear and understand their constituents instead of their party or the best paying lobbyists. Every decision Rani makes will be in the direction of decreasing government’s scope and size and doing what is best for the citizens of District 8 and Maryland as a whole. Fiscal responsibility has fallen apart in government. The time has come for a reduction of the debt burdens placed upon Maryland’s citizens. The new breed of local politician must diligently be a guardian of our financial future. Those in power today have proven incapable of reducing debt and setting a course for a sustainable future for our children.

During her time as Delegate for District 8, Rani will also work towards decreasing the longevity of the modern political career. It is her strong belief that longevity in public office is the ultimate cause of corruption of otherwise principled and value driven public servants. Public service is a temporary position. Rani intends to stand by this belief by serving her community, doing her duty to right a listing ship, while ensuring that the next line of public servants are prepared to continue to move Maryland forward. While serving District 8 will be a great honor for her, Rani will not allow herself to become victim to the traps of longevity in public service. Her interests are not power or prestige. Her belief is that it is her turn to step up to the plate and set the table for the batters to follow.

Rani Campaign T-ShirtAs we have discussed on this site from the beginning, the key to turning this ship around is to begin to affect change at the local level. The time has now come for us to use our wallets in place of our words. Rani is a candidate that represents everything that those of us espousing liberty, freedom, fiscal responsibility, and smaller government could ask for. So I ask any of you who are willing and able to please visit her official site and offer financial assistance to her campaign. Rani is not getting her pockets lined by businesses with an agenda, so her success will be based directly on her message and the good will of those who have the ability to contribute. The amount of money is not important. What is important is that we do what we can to help when we find the few local candidates who support the principles that so many of us at Stand Up For America believe in. Please donate what you can by following the link below to her site. The first step to building a better America is affecting the campaigns that we have the ability to make an impact in.

As a final note, allow me to say that I am not simply endorsing a candidate that happens to share our values. I have known Rani for over 25 years. She is like a sister to me. This is one candidate that I can truly say that I know what is in her heart. She is the ideal candidate because of a simple truth; she will never default to simply taking the easiest path forward. She will always work to ensure that she does the right thing. She is one of the most principled and values driven people I have ever known. Most of you know that I don’t say that lightly. She is intelligent, compassionate, and charismatic. She is passionate, driven, and self-reliant. Above all, she is honest and has the ability to inspire those around her to do what is right and to do it because it is just the right thing to do.

You visit Rani’s official campaign sight here (which as a bonus has the video of a phenomenal speech she delivered):  http://www.ranimerryman.com/

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Comments

  1. Good Morning All! Just posting for comments. Rani, as highly as USW speaks of you, you seem to be a candidate that would do very well in the public service sector. Maybe if we had 536 candidates in D.C. like you, we would not have the problems that we do. Good Luck!

    G!

    • Bottom Line says:

      G-Man said – “Maybe if we had 536 candidates in D.C. like you, we would not have the problems that we do.”

      BL – You just said it all G. If we wanna take our country back, then we should take our country back. All we need is enough “real deal” candidates. Rani Merryman is one.

      One down and five hundred or so more to go.

      • You know, with all of this talk of needing good candidates, can I ask that all of you run for some kind of public office? We were just recently talking about the fact that here in MD there are several offices, some part time, some full time that will have no one else on the ticket besides the incumbent. We need to stop thinking that these positions require some kind of training. They really don’t, or they shouldn’t… the exception may be the judges but other than that, we should have everyday people in there. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could really clean the houses and get new candidates in all of the positions? It might jumble the system enough to do a soft reset. I know many of the positions like Judge of the Orphans Court is pretty obscure to most people. It would be wonderful to have regular citizens involved at all levels from the stand point that it will create more awareness about how our government works. If you don’t want the job or can’t take it, talk to some of your friends about it.

        • Good Morning, Rani. you do not know me from “Adam’s Off OX” however, USW is a brother and if he is behind you…tell me what I can do. I will not run for political office because I am way too controversial here (Texas) and the issues will be clouded largely because of my military background and my strong stand against illegal immigration. I cut down Mexican flags that fly over the Texas or American Flag and I am an English only believer in public schools. Because of my public stances, a run for public office would be overshadowed because of my NON Political Correctness. I am not PC nor will I be and that would be a distraction from any message that I would try to portray. Texas is fiercely independent but there are very good political candidates here that I can quietly help and organize behind the scenes and I am very good for getting out the vote.

          I work with Governor Perry and the new candidate for Senate, Roger Williams. I am a strong supporter of small business and do not like regulations and higher taxes. I am not a believer in a National Health Care system although, I am a believer that the health care system needs revamping…(ie. removing the State lines in competition, tort reform, etc.) I do not believe in taxing the wealthy simply because they can afford it. I believe in a flat tax approach with NO deductions for individuals or corporations.I believe that we have built a welfare system that robs individuals of incentive to get off their ass and work. I am a social moderate. I believe in a woman’s right to choose. I am a military veteran of 40 years and very strong that America comes first and the world second.

          That said, if you want me in your corner I am there. Let me know.

          D13 (USW has my email address)

          • D13,
            So kind for the offer. Again, I say get involved. It sounds like you tend to do a bit of “mucking it up” in your own way! God Bless Texas, there are some good liberty fighters down there!
            The English only in public schools is not that outlandish. I am a second generation American. My grandparents came right off the boat, one from Italy and one from Germany. By proliferating the cause of immigrants being catered to in their own language, we are in fact creating exclusivity rather than incorporation. My family learned the language, not because someone got them a tutor at the expense of another hard working taxpayer, but because they had to in order to make a living and survive here. Many of the immigrants I have spoken to want to assimilate. They left their home for the American dream. There is something to be said for initiation by fire. The biggest challenge that we have here is that precedent has been set and now undoing it may be a bit trickier than waving the magic wand. I am absolutely a fan of providing tutors at the sole expense of those immigrating legally. It seems to be the only fair choice for our taxpayers. No one is forcing them into our country and in their choice they must be and are in most cases happy to bear the costs and responsibilities of those choices. In return, they have the opportunity to live in the greatest country on earth.
            You are very funny and off the cuff. It is often misunderstood as rude though I usually find it to be simply blunt.
            We agree on the health care issue. We could go on forever about the trouble in the system. I agree on tax structures that you have stated and that everyone needs to pay their fair share, my dad always used to say there is no such thing as a free lunch, but what I have recently realized is that the cost of a free lunch is our own self reliance and self esteem.
            I have often in my life held down 2 or 3 jobs to afford myself. Those are choices that I made. You can point to many examples of people who have chosen to live in a manner above their means and that is their choice. I am a stay at home mom. It is a choice that we made. I do not drive a new car, nor do we have big screen TV’s, but we have a good family life. My husband is in school part time and while there are times that I think how nice it would be to have a nanny, a maid and a chef, it would not give us the sense of accomplishment that we will have as we live our lives. People have the opportunity in our country, no matter their circumstance, to achieve a better life (whatever that definition is to them) and the road to that accomplishment is often what creates the true honorable life rather than the goal they were initially trying to attain. It is part of what makes our country great.
            I couldn’t agree on welfare any more than you have expressed. It is abhorrent at best, it disgusts me. I am a Christian (which is my choice, not mandated) and my belief that we are meant to work is founded in that belief. God put Adam in the garden, to work the land. What a great beginning whether you are a Christian or not. There is nothing better than home grown vegetables that you have toiled over to produce. The sense of reward is beyond measure when you refer to self reliance and self respect. We as people need that. Shame on us for telling people they are so unnecessary that someone else must be responsible for them. My 4 year old helps me carry in the groceries. He certainly cannot carry much, but he does his part. Everyone can and should play some part for so many reasons.
            Lastly, I cannot thank you enough for your service to our country. Please pass those thanks on to your wife and children as well as their sacrifices are often overlooked and immeasurable.
            The last thing I will ask is this. Find every good candidate that holds these same values, donate $10 to their campaigns if you are able, more, and see if there are some sign building or yard sign placement jobs so that you can stay out of the public conversation that you seem to think does note bode well for you. Most important, continue to contribute here and continue to educate yourself. Be proactive in uncovering and spreading the word about corruption and make sure that above all, we tell the truth. This is the best that I can hope for our society right now and over the long run, perhaps these are some of the values to which we can return. Government cannot grow out of control if we are educated and involved in it’s workings. We just have a little make-up time to put in.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Today is the first I’ve heard of you Mrs. Merryman. I like you already. I like the way you think. Taking our country back isn’t all that complicated, it’s just a matter of doing it.

          Organization is the first step. If I were to guess, I’d estimate 100 million or more people in the US being sick and tired of it enough to wanna do something about it.

          Organize that 100 million to do something like support enough real deal candidates and you’ve done something.

          Not that complicated. It just requires gumption.

        • Buon Giorno, Rani.

          We’re probably not on the same political page on a few issues, but I commend you big time for what you’re doing (certainly more than my whining). Good for you and the very best of luck!

          • Charlie,
            Buona Sera!
            Don’t be so sure that we are not on the same page on some issues. There is always common ground somewhere and that is something we can build on. Thanks for the well wishes!

    • Too bad my daughter lives to the east of DC. Rani would be an incentive to move in with her !

      • How east of DC does she live? I still need volunteers to help, even if it is phone banking…. how old is she? I am asking everyone I know to get involved at some level, my state, your local races, whatever we have time and resources for. Find the candidates that you believe in, send them $10 bucks a piece and ask what you can do to help them.
        BF used to be the bane of my existence early in the site, but I have come to appreciate his logic and more than anything the steadfast rock he is in consistency. BF has contended for a long time that local politics are the only ones that you can make effectual change in. I actually have hope that it will begin a brush fire and cause change at the Federal levels. The 10th Amendment is where we can grab a little more of that control back, we just have to hire the right legislators who will get the job done for the States and stop giving their power away to the Feds.
        When USW and I started on this path, our intent was to make changes, to affect change. While he has continued to create awareness and get people engaged in conversations about the intent of government, I have started to engage in the next step of doing my time serving our community, it is the logical step. Informed citizens willing to help out their communities will subvert the philanthropic government that we have created. It is the big picture that we all need to look at and move towards. I would be honored if my children were to grow up and take part in the government process. I am actually sad that I was not brought up to understand how important it is to take part rather than watch from afar. I waited tables for a while and I have always said that everyone should wait tables at some point in their lives and I think my new motto for my kids is going to be, everyone should serve in some public office at some point. The communities need to take philanthropy back, it is the only way to really serve our society. Stealing from some, even with the right intent bothers me… 2 wrongs and all..

    • G-man,
      Thanks, we have been friends for a long time. One step at a time. I am not really planning on making this a career, but what I am also finding is that we need real citizens motivated by the thought of liberty for themselves and their posterity. I am currently planning on a term or two in the house, perhaps one in the State Senate and then I want to hang out with my family. When the kids are grown I may take a shot at Federal. We certainly need to refresh the bunch, if nothing else, it will take the new ones a while to learn to game the system!
      I keep trying to get USW to run for office though he hasn’t bitten yet, we will hold good thoughts for the future!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      G-Man – having watched you post and dialogued with you numerous times I know you fall not in that general bucket of the ignorant electorate that will vote for the latest slickster to feed us heaping steaming piles of rhetorical carbs and fats – so much we are left in the resulting political-food coma that prevents us from asking the hard questions and actually looking for results.

      Which leaves me very perplexed……

      You state that…..

      “…you seem to be a candidate that would do very well in the public service sector. Maybe if we had 536 candidates in D.C. like you, we would not have the problems that we do.”

      So G-Man:

      Why exactly do you think Rani would make a good candidate? Has she offered clear and concise platform positions that you politically and philosophically agree with? Or – as I suspect – has she said just enough things (“Big Government Bad!”, “Taxes Bad!”) that tickle your emotional center enough that “its good enough for me”? Please do tell – I fear that the backlash against all that is today will bring a new generation of people into power that are no better than what we just rid ourselves of. While I am not accusing Rani of such – she has offered no compelling reason to believe the opposite to be true either.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Ray,

        While I can’t post from work, and have much to do after, thought I’d try to reply in an unusual way. My first posts in the morning are to get e-mail replies, as I’m not a good morning person. Actually, evrything you wrote would have far to difficult for my brain to think of while still knocking down my first cup of coffee.

        My post was written as an act of kindness and to extend some encouragement. This, I based on USW’s article and my first impressions of the article. I am amazed that you read into that what you did, I think if I had attempted that feat, I would have given myself a headache.

        At this moment, I have not had the time to look into Rani’s political position, and may not get time till after the weekend, but going from a stay at home mom, into politics, would surely take alot of courage. Hence, my offer of encouragement.

        Seems you made need a beer and a shot today, hope your day gets better!

        PEACE

        G!

      • Thanks for keeping it honest Ray! Allow me to say the same thing to you. I take many of these words as words of encouragement. People are happy to see everyday folks stepping into the arena. There is some thought that we must hire grandly educated and accomplished blowhards to be the fiduciary mangers of our future. Well, we have tried that and here we are. Representatives were meant to represent. Bringing good ideas is helpful, but often costly rather than cost effective. There is certainly nothing in my background to suggest that I am willing to fund the immeasurable theft that has plagued the tax payers of our nation. I have no big machine, I am simple and perhaps it should just be that simple.

        • My dear Revolutionary:

          “There is certainly nothing in my background to suggest that I am willing to fund the immeasurable theft that has plagued the tax payers of our nation. I have no big machine, I am simple and perhaps it should just be that simple.”

          And therein lies a simple and powerful platform.

          Big hug my dear, a very big hug today.
          JAC

  2. Bottom Line says:

    BLACK FLAG,

    I regret that I was unable to engage you more with questions and replies to your posts on gold and economics. I’ve been slightly busier than normal. Today will likely be the same.

    Know that your tutoring is much appreciated.

    There may come a day when a room full of educated idiots gets schooled on economic theory by a formally uneducated nobody redneck house painter. lol. The fun won’t be about my ego, but rather the confused look on their faces as they struggle with accepting something they want to reject, but can’t logically do so.

    Learning is fun.

    Teaching is a reward.

    Knowledge is power.

    • Bottom Line

      98% of papered economists do not understand the theories they provide, nor understand money, nor understand central banking nor understand the free market system.

      They do understand that they get paid by the government – directly or indirectly – so that is what they preach.

      You’re way ahead of them.

      Paint on!

  3. Buck The Wala says:

    Hey JAC,

    Sorry I never got back to you yesterday – wound up being a busy day and then I headed into the city for dinner. If you’re game we can rehash the judge issue a bit today, or turn it on its head and go into pretty much anything you want. I have a feeling it will be a slow day and could use the distraction.

    I’ve been giving a lot of thought to your comments about radical or activist judges. Clearly there are activist conservative judges and activist liberal judges. It bothers me that the media largely only portrays liberal judges as activist.

    Both sides are reaching decisions based not only on their political beliefs but also on their interpretation of the Constitution (which I guess could be said to stem from their political beliefs anyway). Under judicial review, the role of judges is to hear the facts of the case, all the evidence, and apply those facts to the Constitution to determine whether or not the challenged action or law is unconstitutional. Judges will necessarily be influenced by their own views of the Constitution in undertaking this task.

    I understand some may feel anything other than a ‘strict constructionist’ or ‘original intent’ view is dangerous. Others may feel that anything other than a ‘living document’ theory is dangerous. After all, what if the ‘original intent’ of the Founding Fathers was to create a living document!? (I know there’s a Family Guy clip out there that brings this up which is hysterical; can’t seem to find it this morning – perhaps Mathius can help with that!)

    What is dangerous, to me, are the two very far extremes in Constitutional interpretation. And I don’t believe there are too many judges on either side that fit this extreme version. The far extreme on the right is the judge who rules anything unconstitutional if not explicitly in the Constitution itself; there needs to be some ability to recognize changing times and apply the text of the Constitution to these changing times. The far extreme on the left is a judge who ‘makes up’ law to suit their own agenda; this does not include a judge who interprets the Constitution under a ‘living document’ theory and reaches the conclusion that, lets say for a concrete example, the Constitution contains a right to privacy (the word ‘privacy’ may not appear in the text, but it is very well-settled law that the Constitution does in fact protect a certain right to privacy)

    Hope this helps clarify my position on things.

    • Buck:

      “Judges will necessarily be influenced by their own views of the Constitution in undertaking this task.” I would add that judges are also influenced by their view of what it SHOULD be as well. That in essence is the theory you are accepting as your own. Namely, the “living document”.

      First lets address the founders “intent” regarding “living”. There is absolutely no evidence that I have ever found to support the “living document” theory as it is presented by modern legalists. They fully intended that if be flexible enough that the citizens could “change” it ot address a future they could not forsee.

      Those with a “statist” bent need to believe and need to codify this “living” concept in order to justify their actions within the “contract concept” itself. Lets not forget what the Constitution is supposed to do. It was the “contract” that clearly specified those “authorities” delegated by the people and the states to “their” federal govt. Now if we are to accept your belief then the contract has no limitation on its delegation because the “definitions” and the “delegations” become subject to “interpretive modification” by later generations.

      A constitution is the peoples protection against tyranny. If it has no concrete bounds, or very few, then the people are not protected at all. Those who control the govt simply change the bounds as they deem fit. Whether they think those changes are “good” is not relevant. They do it without the “true” consent of the governed. It is in fact done “to” the governed by an oligarchy of “benevolent leaders” (yes sarcasim here).

      Madison was right to argue against a bill of rights and Jefferson was wrong to insist on it. It resulted in a document based on two different principles that in my opinion made all rights subject to “judicial review and interpretation”. That was Madison’s fear.

      Lets use the “right to privacy” as an example. A true constructionist would support the right to privacy but only at the Federal level. The fact it is not listed is irrelavent. Because all rights and powers NOT listed in the document are vested in the States or the People. But what the court did, as I understand it, was to extrapolate “right to privacy” from the “unreasonable search and siezure”, in order to establish a “Federal” prohibition on a State action. This represents a “revisionist” approach to the documents purpose. Because if the People of a State decided to give up this right to the State then that was their choice. The Federal Constitution does not prohibit such a delegation by the People.

      I do not view the true constructionist or strict interpretation of the document as extreme. Your view, I believe, is caused by the modern tendency to always seek “consensus” or some “middle position” when there are conflicting view points. But the fact of the matter is that sometimes one of those view points is the correct one, it is the TRUTH.

      Changing times requires “amendment” of the document, not a “living document” as has been applied.

      Now, I will concede this to you. We have what we have. My arguments do nothing to fix what we have within the same framework. I do not find the ambiguity in the original document that has been created over time. But now that it exists, it must be removed by rewriting the “contract” in a way that does not allow it to happen again. Impossible? Black Flag says hell yes. I’m not so sure, so lets try.

      Buck, I operate from the base principle here that a free people have the right to choose their form of government. When they make a choice then ONLY they can change that choice and create a new form. That power is not delegated to “elected representatives, bureaucrats, or judges”. It is the “peoples” right and it is their “power” only that can do so. That is called “amendment”.

      I once again make the point that those who search for ambiguity in a contract are only those who wish to undermine the obvious intent of the contract itself. I have never seen otherwise and I think the same applies to the Constitution.

      Now here is a shocker for you. As you know by now I absolutely detest Statism in all its forms and especially those that we usually discuss (socialism, communism, fascism, mercantilism). We started out with the intent of being a “nation of free people”. That should be our starting point. Now, if 75% of the people want to delegate such power to the Federal Govt as it has decided to “take” via the various mechanisms over the last 200 years, then I would have to, and would in fact, live with the result.

      Of course I would probably head for Black Flag’s camp the day after the vote but I would not stand around bitching about the Government’s take over of our freedoms. I do not think a majority has a right to take my rights. But I will concede as an American that the system devised for Americans gives the majority of 75% or more the right to in fact impose upon me. I will put my faith in the People as did our founders that you will never find 75% willing to give those rights up.

      And that my dear Buck is why I am a true Liberal and you are not. It is the Liberty of the People that I fight to protect. But to stand by that, I am willing to accept that they have the right to enslave themselves if they choose to do so, on their own. I stand willing to welcome you and Matt into the Radical Right Wing Liberal fold, if you will just turn away from the dark side.

      I hope it is in fact slow on your end as I am most interested in your response. I hope Matt jumps in as well if he likes.

      Top O’ the Mornin to Ya.
      JAC

      • Buck The Wala says:

        And a good morning to you!

        Seems I jinxed myself this morning and now have a nice pile of work to get through. The work gods are not nice when you are on the cusp of a nice long vacation! So unfortunately I must be brief here, but hopefully Mathius and others will chime in to add to the discussion.

        You find no ambiguity in the Constitution. There is plenty of ambiguity. I am not advocating for rewriting the document into what I, or others, want it to say. But the document does necessitate a certain amount of interpretation.

        For an example: the 8th Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment – What does that mean? A strict constructionist may argue that means whatever it meant in the 1700s. I argue under the ‘living document’ theory that the document was written with certain ambiguous phrases. The founding fathers knew that times change and they were unwilling to subject our current generation to the norms of their own. As a result, we need to define and redefine ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ to fit with modern society.

        This is also where the flexibility comes into play. Yes, the Constitution is flexible in the sense of the amendment process – we have the ability to change the document if enough people so choose and agree. But flexibility also comes through interpretation as in the example I just highlighted.

        Regarding the right to privacy as applying to the States, that is also a result of the incorporation process we had discussed the other day. Basically the right to privacy resulted from First and Fourth Amendments (and other provisions) and it was found to apply to States under 14th Amendment and incorporation.

        • Buck:

          I do not see ambiguity in the 8th as you do. Perhaps this is part of our debate. I see this as a general statement, with clear intent that it be defined and YES changed over time by the norms of society, without amendment. However, the “norms of society” are to be determined by the “people” not the “courts”. The meaning of this phrase is to be defined by Congress, with respect to those crimes for which the Congress is authorized to deal with, and by the States for all other crimes, including murder, rape, theft, etc..

          The Supreme Court and Federal Court has no authority here to override the politically and legisilatively established meaning of the term for any given state. There is in fact no basis for such a determination except the whim of the judge(s) involved in the decision. The imposition of the Federal Court in this matter is I believe “revisionist”.

          Lets not forget the purpose of the first eleven amendments. The people were afraid the Constitution would give the Federal Govt much more authority that Madison and other Federalists claimed it would. The Bill of Rights was a limitation placed on the Federal imposition on those rights that had been expressed in most of the states, where the various federal articles were derived from.

          That is one reason I believe, and this is my conjecture, that the framers did not reference Congress in the other amendments besides the first and references the Supreme court in only the eleventh. These rights were widely accepted at the time in most state charters, thus it was only the federal that required constraint because they feared a strong federal would claim authority over the states in most matters.

          I was perhaps a little sloppy also in my claims regarding ambiguity. When I say this I am usually talking about the primary document, prior to amendment. As I stated earlier, the Bill of Rights was a mistake because it didn’t fit the nature of the primary document. While it was intended to protect us it has in fact opened the door to continuous Judicial Fiat because anyone who wants can change the underlying “legal philosophy” thus creating new ambiguity. That is what happened with the “due process clause” and its relationship to the “incorporation doctrine” which evolved long after the 14th amendment.

          I would like to hear your thoughts on the underlying principles I have put forth above rather than the details on the various provisions in the document. I see tremendous hazard in continuing with a legal theory that can only result in giving our govt. essentially unlimited powers.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Regarding ambiguity, I see what you are saying in referring only to the original document and not the Amendments. Could you provide an example of where you say there is no ambiguity but judges have found ambiguity?

            Sorry for the lack of responses; this is a really interesting discussion, but I have been busy all day.

            • Buck:

              General welfare & Necessary and proper & commerce are three that come to mind. The first two were general statements and not authorizations of any kind. Even Madison argues as such. I only know of Hamilton who tried to expand those immediately.

              Commerce has been a longer evolving manifestation of evil. The framers would be appalled at what has been included under this provision. Remember, that was the big reason for the whole effort in the first place. Stop a trade war between the states. Not impose every control imaginable on the states from the top.

              It is not just the judges by the way. The legislative pushes, the judges open the door a little, and the legistlative rushes in, and then the judges let them stay.

              I too am about to go do some things with my youngest. Perhaps we can continue this over the next few days as time becomes available. Just post comments when you can. I’ll go looking.

              By the way this morning I read up on the history of the “inclusion theory”. The 14th was considered quite clear also for the first 30 years. Then the judges started imposing their new age and old age views of the legal philosophy supporting “due process”. A struggle that was finally lost in the 1940’s, to the new agers. It was trully interesting but I came away with a severe distaste for “lawyers”.

              As I said before, looking to split hairs where there is no need. I wonder if some of those who get to the high bench feel that they must leave their mark on the philosophy of law? It sure does appear that sometimes it is not just a political view but something else that drives these changes. Perhaps a large ego or dash of arrogance. I have known a few judges who fit the latter condition for sure.

              Glad your doing financial planning or I might have to rant. LOL

              Hope the day finishes strong for you.
              JAC

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I would gather to say those clauses (especially the commerce clause) are not so clear. You even provided an example of a Founding Father (Hamilton) who ‘tried to expand’ the definition of that clause. That proves my point – the Founding Fathers did not all agree as to the meaning or extent of their own clauses; they wanted future generations to review and define these terms.

                With incorporation there is a lot of evidence that the drafters of the 14th Amendment did not intend for it to be interpreted the way it was. But if memory serves correct (I just don’t have time to do the research on this today) there were quite a few people back then that argued for a more expansive meaning as well.

                And by the way, I’m a bit hurt by your distaste for us lawyers. 🙂

                Not sure how much time I’ll be able to spend on this either. As of Tuesday I will be away for two weeks.

            • Buck:

              I don’t think my example of Hamilton is an example of ambiguity but of dishonesty and his more monarchist/imperialist views of what a govt should be. He told the public one thing and then tried to undermine it as soon as it was passed. But he couldn’t because the ambiguity he tried to use didn’t exist.

              If I had lived in those days I would have probably beat Burr to the punch.

              Madison, who wrote much of this said any fear over these provisions was unjustified. The power to tax was limited to those purposes “explicitly” described. Those who approved the Constitution and those who wrote it all seemed to have solid agreement as to what it said. Those who opposed it tried to read much into it and the framers called B.S. on them. The differences do not appear to be legitimate concerns over “meaning” as some of the detractors had actually approved the provisions and defended them before going public against them (even “I voted for before I voted against” has a long tradition in American politics).

              Ironically, many, many years later the fears of the opponents were proven true. But it took decades. The new age legal scholars needed enough time to pass in order to use the claim of ambiguity and unclear meaning to justify their actions.

              The first two (welfare and necessary) are absolutely clear, both in their wording and especially upon reading the letters in attack and defense of the document prior to ratification. It wasn’t until many years later that judges started claiming that the authority to tax for the welfare meant the govt could do anything it wanted for the welfare, because it had the authority to tax. A classic case of reverse logic if ever there was one.

              These are the perfect example of deliberately finding ambiguity where none existed, until those who wanted to make changes figured out they could use the judicial and not the legislative approach.

              There was about 150 years of precedent limiting the role of govt then all of a sudden the “meaning” changed with the FDR crowd. I thought “precedence” was so important to the consideration of judicial prudence. At least that is what those grillling our new SCOTUS candidates these days would want us to believe.

              And I absolutely disagree with your claim that “they wanted future generations to review and define these terms.” These men were scholars in their own right. They had just won a bloody war for their liberty. They would have never considered such a thing as responsible behavior.

              You need to provide me with better evidence before I’ll even begin to chew on that idea.

              Hope your day went well.
              JAC

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Day’s going pretty well, thanks. Finally winding down.

                I would still maintain that there is plenty of ambiguity.

                Take tax: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”

                What does ‘general welfare’ mean? Can this phrase be reinterpreted too far? Yes. But it is not so limited as you may believe.

                Lets take a look at a few Founding Fathers:

                1) Hamilton (for the example you already cited)

                2) Edmund Randolph wrote of the importance in drafting the Constitution “to insert essential principles only; lest the operations of government should be clogged by rendering those provisions permanent and unalterable, which ought to be accommodated to times and events”

                3) Justice Marshall (in McCullouch v. Maryland): [the Constitution is] “intended to endure for ages to come, and, consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs”

                4) Jefferson – Jefferson did in fact often warn of the problems of taking constitutional interpretration too far, but he was mindful of the need to have a document that could be read to adapt to different times. A quote:

                “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors” –Jefferson

              • Buck:

                Marshall and Jefferson were discussing “amendments” not changing the meaning by fiat.

                Mr. Randolph I believe was referring the view of some that they should not just include the authorities of Congress but be “prescriptive” in how congress should implement those authorities.

                After 200 years and seeing what has happened, I am now of the more “prescriptive” crown myself. Although it must be done my amendment, and not judicial or legislative decree.

                I again ask, what good is a contract whose meaning can be changed as often as the sheets on the line. Moving always in the direction of the prevailing wind. It is of no use unless you do not care about liberty.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Actually these debates centered around not just the Amendment process but also the provisions of the Constitution itself.

                The Founding Fathers were smart enough to know that they needed to outline a government; that they could not subject future generations to their own times.

                I agree that the amendment process if the best (and should be the only) way of changing the Constitution. But the Founding Fathers (not all, but some) believed it fundamental that the terms of the original document itself could be applied to modern times. Have some judges and legislatures gone too far in this regard? Sure. But that doesn’t mean that the document wasn’t intended to be read in light of today’s times.

                Originalism, correct me if you don’t agree, would mean that we would need to read the document as a reasonable person would in the time the document was written. Do you honestly believe that there was only one ‘reasonable’ way of reading and interpreting the document back then?

                As the saying goes, reasonable minds will differ.

  4. Bottom Line says:

    Mathius,

    I had a thought last night and I thought I would share it with you in hopes of finding middle ground.

    I think I finally nailed what it is with us. I think you can agree that we are fundamentally different. Here’s what I think that difference is…

    Simply put, Our egos work differently. When I say “ego”, I mean it in the Freudian sense. Like I said, “fundamentally different”.

    I’d be willing to guess that you’re familiar with the Id, Ego, and Superego.

    The Id the cold calculated reptillian aspect of reason. The Super-ego is the voice of self awareness and morality/ethics. The Ego regulates the balance between the two.

    It’s kinda like a see-saw.

    The Id sits on one end and the Superego on the other, with the Ego acting as the fulcrum.

    I think that we weight it out differently. Our reasoning is just structured differently.

    I weigh the moral/ethical(Superego) seperately from the cold reptillian(Id) thinking, then weigh them against each other.

    You, I suspect, weigh morality as part of one equation. You simply factor it in where I would factor it seperately.

    You weigh it “as”.

    I weigh it “versus.”

    Does this make any sense whatsoever?

    • No, sorry, not really..

      I do know my Freud, but I’m a little hazy – it’s been a while. Mostly, I just try to weigh what is morally right, as best I can, in conjunction with what is practical. So in that sense, I think what you’re saying is accurate.

      Some left-wing-nuts think that the only way to live a good life is to live 100% in nature. They eat natural food, live in the forests, protest polluters, etc. Now they may be right (I doubt it, but let’s allow for the possibility). However, what they don’t seem to realize is that you can live your perfectly natural life, but if you don’t have access to enough veggies, you will get sick, and you can eat a perfectly natural mushroom and find yourself perfectly naturally dead. This is a convoluted way of saying this: you cannot live in a world of your vision of perfect morality (freedom) without regard for the practical ramifications – you have to watch out for the poison mushrooms. And eat your veggies.

      So I’ll award you 1 point. 🙂

      • Matt:

        Here in lies a MOST IMPORTANT point: “Mostly, I just try to weigh what is morally right, as best I can, in conjunction with what is practical.”

        The key word is “practical” as this is the classic statement of a “pragmatist” of sorts. I submit to you that what is “practical” is far to innocuous, relative and ever changing to form the basis of decisions regarding morality. “Practical” quite often in fact conflicts with what is “morally right”, which causes one to modify “moral” to fit “practical”.

        If you subsitute the word “reality” in your sentence and then begin the hard work to apply it, you will find a much more harmonious outcome to your life.

        Happy thinking
        JAC

        • My life is quite harmonious, actually. It’s like a fraking barbershop quartet, it’s that harmonious.

          I just choose not to drive off a cliff because of some perception that it’s the moral course of action. Even if I agreed that it was morally correct to, say, allow anyone to own biological weapons, I would not allow it if it were within my power. Morality is great, but practical concerns have to have priority over purity of ideology.

          Thus necessary evils.

          But you can have one point, too. I’m feeling generous today.

          • Matt:

            I do not wish a Point, I wish for you to stand on the side of Reason.

            Your life is NOT harmonious as it is imposing upon me in a very large way. Harmony is part of nature my friend and you are disrupting that harmony with your Altruistic and/or Pragmatist views.

            How can something that is Moral be considered such a threat to justify “necessary evil”?

            Either your Moral is not moral, or your assessment of the Need to restrict is distorted. Something is not consistent with Reality.

            I would suggest that in this case the ownership of biological weapons is NOT a moral issue at all. It is an issue involving rights, priveleges, and ethics. You may have a right to own them but unless you can prove their security and inability to harm me, I have a right to protect myself through common law litigation to stop you from having them. Negligence comes to mind.

            The issue of morality would come into play in the “creation” of such weapons in the first place. What moral man would invent a “weapon” whose purpose is to destroy the lives of thousands or millions of “innocent lives”?

            Are these weapons of a defensive nature, like guns? I see no practicle way to conclude so, do you? While guns can be used defensively and offensively their existence does not threaten the lives of innocents, without direct action by those holding the guns. Biologicals pose a threat to millions of “innocents” and could in fact kill, without any direct action by its owners. Thus several principles can come into play here that prohibit the ownership, storage etc of biologicals that does not impose on the imperative of FREEDOM.

            Now I have not ever spent much time on the biological issue, or radiological for that matter. My comment here is kind of on the fly, but I think you get the idea.

            You always jump to the extreme to try and destroy the premise of freedom. Yet your extremes don’t necessarily stand against full investigation. Your conclusions look more like “jumping” than reasoned “logic”.

            If you can go from A to Z and show that Z is false to reality, and all connections inbetween are solid, then we can revisit A as possibly false. But until then A, as in freedom, stands without reasoned argument against it.

            • What moral man would invent a “weapon” whose purpose is to destroy the lives of thousands or millions of “innocent lives”? See, here again is a problem. You assume that all people would act morally. Just because you choose to, does not mean that everyone else would. Someone would see this as an opportunity to make money and the would see to the highest bidder. That you would not do so recklessly is irrelevant.

              I would suggest that in this case the ownership of biological weapons is NOT a moral issue at all. It is an issue involving rights, priveleges [sic], and ethics. You may have a right to own them but unless you can prove their security and inability to harm me, I have a right to protect myself through common law litigation to stop you from having them. Why should I have to prove anything to you to justify the exercising of my rights? Further, these may be a deterrent in my opinion. Who are you to say otherwise?

              How can something that is Moral be considered such a threat to justify “necessary evil”? Just because something is moral does not make it safe. I tried to point this out in my example using the poison mushrooms. You claim a moral right to gun ownership, but, how often do we hear about some innocent being killed by a stray bullet? And when a man snaps and kills a bunch of people? moral ≠ safe*. Sometimes the security of society needs to override individual freedoms – but I know you disagree with me.

              You always jump to the extreme to try and destroy the premise of freedom. It is because it is at the extremes where the flaws in your worldview become most evident. For a large portion of the time, your view and mine are in sync.

              I do not wish a Point Fine, then I take my point back.

              *I tried to use a not-equals sign here.. just telling you in case it didn’t work.

              • Matt:

                Your still missing the mark: “You claim a moral right to gun ownership,”

                I claim a “right” to own a weapon to defend myself as needed to preserve my “right” to preserve my life.

                To violate my right would be immoral in my view. Rights stand alone.

                Morals are created by man to delimit mans actions according to good and bad or good and evil. Thus I would view a man’s actions as evil if they take my right, thus also immoral. But that is my definition of “moral”.

                My right to own a gun does not cause someone to be killed by a stray bullet. That would be the result of someone acting in an immoral or at least an unethical manner.

                And as for my biological weapons, my peers would be responsible for making that decision based on the evidence presented. But in matters of common law I doubt the issue would come up. It would focus on “imminent hazard”. The primary difference being as I stated before, a gun will not kill without human action. Biological weapons can kill without action, and in fact in abscence of action. That being the action needed to maintain their safety.

                In fact if you can prove that you can maintain their safety they I guess I see no problem with you having them. But I ask again, if you are a moral man, why would you ever even consider developing or owning them?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                “Just because something is moral does not make it safe.”

                Yes Mathius, this is very true. Which is precisely WHY some people will trade their freedom for the ILLUSION of safety.

                NOTHING is actually safe. You can make things as safe as possible for yourself and your family, and accidents can still happen, violent people may still attempt to harm you, random “acts of God” will still happen.

                The government does an even worse job of making you and yours safe than you could EVER do yourself, although the government will try to convince you otherwise.

                If you wish to trade YOUR freedom for the illusion of government-provided safety, go right ahead, but don’t force anyone else to go along for the ride. Not all of us like the destination.

              • Matt:

                By the way, I have yet to see where you have proven Freedom to be an irrational extreme or a concept that is flawed, within my worldview.

                You think you disprove yet you have not made a single case I can think of based on sound logic and reason. You still jump to irrational examples and analogies, you ignore reality when presented, you simply shout louder. I am witnessing it once again in your discussion with BF regarding health care.

                “Single payer will drive down costs”. HOW??????? Despite economic theory and examples to the contrary, based on logic and reason, you simply declare them false and continue with your defense.

                If the good of society takes precedence then what is there to prevent me from using the power of govt to round up all the Lefties and have them executed, or at least deported? I maintain it is needed to protect a free society from the ravages of slavery. Who are you to argue?

              • I can’t, because I don’t make the claim. They are not my claims. They are not my beliefs. I think only that everyone should have a right to medical care. The hows of providing it are currently not something I’ve settled on definitively.

                All I think is that society should take care of the weakest and most vulnerable of its citizens. As such, those who cannot afford health care should get it at the public expense. How to do this? Reform? Public Option? Single Payer? I don’t know, JAC. I don’t know.

                I think, given the options, that single payer is most likely to provide care to all. Does that mean that it’s economically feasible? I don’t know. Other countries do it, so probably. Will it drive down costs? Hopefully.

                I do not pretend to be an expert in this particular field. I will let you know my opinions once they have formed. For now, I am just trying to get a handle on things. I would have hoped that that was made clear by now.

              • Matt:

                What ever your answer to the Health Care problem it must be consistent with a core principle.

                Mine is liberty and individual freedom. I have discovered it through hard thought and reason.

                You currently do not share that principle. But I urge you to think hard, long and deep about where your principles or “pragmatic” ideas will lead. History is riddled with the dead caused by these concepts.

                You made a statment here that I can support. “All I think is that society should take care of the weakest and most vulnerable of its citizens.”

                The operative word is “should”, not “must” not “morally obligated to”. I submit to you that our society has in fact taken care of the weakest among us in the past (pre welfare)and that it will continue to do so.

                I further submit that charity would significantly increase if govt gets out of the business of running our lives.

                Are you really willing to gamble the last remaining freedoms we have, our liberty and our very existence as a nation of free people that your “hope” it will work actually works?

                You have an economics background. Start putting the paper to pencil. Resurrect those old theories and test them against this thing called govt health care. I believe you will find that it will not stand against the test.

                Compassion is a human characteristic. That includes those of us on the right, not just left. But I beg you, don’t let your desire for compassion empower a government to enslave us all.

                It is not necessary to achieve your goal.

                Freedom and morality of compassion are not only compatible they are integrally linked. It is statism that stands in opposition to both.

      • Okay Matt-lets say I accept the possibility that we have to have some social programs(eating our veggies) please explain to me how you are regarding the practical ramifications(watching out for the poison mushroom) if you support the heath care bill. I figure you know more about economics than I do-so convince me that the benefit is worth the cost and that it’s necessary to go to such an extreme. I simply don’t get it-especially with our economy being in such bad shape. I read, I listen and so far all I hear from the left is we must help people but I fear the long term effect will hurt more than it helps so I really would like someone to explain to me how they come to the conclusion that a one payer system will actually help our economy and not ruin it. This isn’t a sarcastic question-if my use of what I see as common sense is wrong(and I’ll admit I don’t think it is)please help me to understand your reasoning.

        • We were just talking in generalities here. I’ve already stated that I don’t know if I support the current health care bill. I will have to see what emerges at the end, then wait 5-10 years to see how I feel about it.

          In general, however, I support the idea of taxing higher earners to provide medicine to lower earners. I’ve spoke about the issues here before, but I think I’ll refer you to my post the other day to Mike M.

          I think we start to get into trouble when we think about medical insurance as being a shared liability. Realistically, we should think of it in terms of single payer (yes, I know this is not what we’re getting, but I’ll come to that, I promise). Given single payer, we are all taxed according to our abilities and given according to our needs (now where have we heard a slogan like that before??). I know we all hate and fear communism/socialism, but there are some things which we all recognize as human rights: food, water, shelter, basic sanitation, basic clothing, etc. Nothing too radical there. To this list, I and my ilk would like to add medicine.

          Now, I don’t feel that medicine is too much to ask. It’s not enough that a person simply have a pulse, they should be provided the means to hold on to that pulse for as long as medical science is able to keep it going. Further, they should not have to live a life wracked by pain or illness if it is within the scope of our knowledge to prevent or cure.* If we accept that society should provide shelter where necessary, it is an easy move to see why society should provide medical care as well.

          Why, then, are we getting this farkakte** insurance reform and public option stuff? The answer is that single payer was dead on arrival. The Democrats have no capacity for working as a team and ramming through legislation the way the Republicans do, it is like herding cats. So, theoretically, this is not going to be funded by tax dollars. Theoretically, this is going to be paid for entirely by premiums of subscribers of the public option. Please feel free to take a moment to throw the BS flag – go ahead, I’ll wait.. Done? OK let’s move along. So now we’re at the point where our tax dollars are subsidizing the public option. This makes the public option cheaper than it should be. This drives other people to it, which means more subsidizing. Sooner or later, it devours the entire market – and it’s paid for by premiums and tax dollars. The premiums are in accordance with your health risk, the taxes are in accordance with your ability to pay. So now we’ve got a hybrid – but what you’re really looking at (because everyone now has this insurance) is single payer. Ta Da! Cool, huh? (I can already hear many of you slamming your heads against your keyboards – stop it, you won’t be able to write angry letters to your senators if you break your keys).

          OK, so the meat of your question, why should something that costs you one price cost someone else a different amount just because you’re able to pay more? You are, in essence, paying more since you pay more taxes, the fact that you have comparable premiums is irrelevant. So why? It’s a tough question. The gist is that, in the vast majority of cases, the reason you make more is not that you work harder (though, you might), but rather that your knowledge, intelligence, positioning, education, and job skills set you up to merit a higher wage. They aren’t lazy – they’re unable to garner higher wages.***

          But that didn’t really answer your question – why should you have to pay more just because you are able to? It’s because in a civilized society, we have a duty to take care of one another. Just as you pay more for police protection that they get to use as well (because safety is also a right), you will pay more to provide medicine (because health – insofar as possible – is also a right). In a society, we are obligated to provide, to the best of our collective abilities, protection for those who are unable to protect themselves. “The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens. As Americans, we are blessed with circumstances that protect our human rights […]” – Jimmy Carter.

          Think about it this way. Say you have a light case of asthma. Because you are well off and conscientious, you carry with you an inhaler. As you are walking down the street, a man – clearly down on his luck, has an asthma attack right in front of you. He falls to the ground choking, gasping for breath. Do you have a moral responsibility to give him a hit off of your inhaler? It costs you little, but it does cost you. You will have one fewer dose and will need to replace sooner (also, it’s kind of gross to share with someone you don’t know, but let’s ignore that). However you can afford it – and it doesn’t break your back to do so. Many here would say it’s not my fault and, while I might choose to help him, I certainly have no obligation to do so. And therein lies the fundamental crux of the issue. I think you do. I think that failure to save a man when it’s within your power and it doesn’t cost you too severely**** is tantamount to killing him yourself [emphasis added]. That’s where it comes from. Depending on where you stand on this issue, we may or may not be speaking two completely different and incompatible languages, but I would hope you see what I am saying even if you do not agree.

          I see, frequently the analogy to subsidize poor people’s cars. I think this is a specious argument. We are not talking about luxuries here. We are talking about life, and a standard of living where you are not sick and in pain. If, in a comparable example, that man had dropped and broken his sunglasses and you happen to have an extra pair, it is certainly not your obligation to give him one of yours. Because the harm which will happen when he has no glasses is that he will need to squint for a while – while uncomfortable, it is certainly not a human right.

          I hope this clarifies things, and I welcome your thoughts. Apologies in advance for any lack of clarity.

          The One,
          The Only,
          Mathius

          *Yes, there should reasonable limits on what this means and we can debate those, but for now, take it as intended.
          **Say what you will, Yiddish is the greatest language ever created.
          ***Some are, to be sure, lazy, but they are the exceptions. Almost everyone I know works and works hard and aspires to earn more, but some of them just can’t seem to acquire high paying positions. I know at least one guy with a law degree and an MBA who can’t get a job at all – he is living with his parents while applying.
          ****How do you define this? I don’t really know, but we can debate it as well

          So here we have the opposite of what I was saying above. Rather than reason overriding morality, here I am allowing morality to take precedence. Will the plan work? Is it a good thing? Will it lead to rationed care? Will it kill my grandma (Grandma Eve-ius?)? Will it bankrupt (more so) the US economy? I don’t know. But absent a definitive answer, I have to follow what I believe to be the moral imperative. Many here claim a definitive answer, but I remain unconvinced.

          • I really was talking more about the economic ramifications of single payer over time. How do you see that working out? President Obama continues to say that health care will save our economy but doesn’t say how. So how?

            • Ah, well that’s a little easier. The theory goes like this: with one big single payer, they can negotiate prices down. Thus everything is cheaper. Huzzah!

              There’s another hidden benefit. With health care, people are more likely to take advantage of preventative care. This lessens the need for the horrifically expensive $25,000 procedures.

              Additionally, a healthier populace is more productive. Thus they earn more and pay more taxes, so it’s a self re-enforcing cycle. I am sure that these benefits are not being factored into the equation.

              Of course, this is all theoretical. I’ll let you know how it’s working in a few years.

              • “with one big single payer, they can negotiate prices down.”

                Sounds like a monopoly-sorta makes alarm bells go off in my brain-just who are they negotiating with and if it’s a monopoly why would we use the word negotiate.

                “With health care, people are more likely to take advantage of preventative care. This lessens the need for the horrifically expensive $25,000 procedures.”

                Don’t neccessarily disagree with this but it seems that we have access to health care already. I remember talking to a brother of a friend once-he was having medical problems but he wouldn’t go to the local free clinic because he didn’t like to wait-seems he had decided that having to wait was more important than his health.

                “Additionally, a healthier populace is more productive. Thus they earn more and pay more taxes, so it’s a self re-enforcing cycle.”

                This is not what I have found when reading about welfare it seems getting free anything has the opposite effect of making people less productive. If not shouldn’t the need for welfare be gone by now.

              • Of course, this is all theoretical. I’ll let you know how it’s working in a few years.

                I’m just telling you the argument.. I’m just going to sit on this fence until it starts to hurt my butt

              • Okay Matt-but before one can determine what is the right thing to do morally, they must access the cost in the long term and I’m not talking just in relationship to money but on the effects of the population as a whole. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do things to help people in the short term but making extreme changes to the system that will hurt everyone in the long run, isn’t in my opinion the moral or right thing to do. So letting your opinion of “allowing morality to take precedence, doesn’t work unless you have an idea of what the cost will be.

              • I know I started this conversation but the opportunity to take the rest of the day off has come up and I’m out of here. Have a great day and thanks for answering my questions.

              • So long!

              • Kristian Stout says:

                Matt, I want you to know that I read here everyday just to see what you are going to say next. That whole fence sitting thing just tickled my funnybone tremendously! Thank you for the laugh!

              • My pleasure. I hope to win Comedian of the Year for 2010 as well. 🙂

              • Mathius

                I posted before on the fallacy of ‘single payer’.

                (1) It’s a monopoly, and as such shares every single defect of all monopolies – lower quality at higher prices.

                (2) Bulk buying – this is a function of the marginal utility theory – but this cannot be demonstrated in Health Care.

                Doctors have a finite number of hours to work; this limits the maximum number of hospital beds/visits/procedures.

                Whereas the next apple I eat satisfies less hunger, therefore I value that apple less then the first one, medicine does not share this effect. Every pill I take is as important as every pill I already have taken. This is the essence of medicine.

                Therefore, there is no economic basis or theory to support single-pay (socialists) Health Care

              • Buck The Wala says:

                BF, correct me if I’m wrong (as I’m sure you will) but I don’t believe your analogy to apples works.

                “Every pill I take is as important as every pill I already have taken.” Very true. But I’m not suggesting buying in bulk for myself. I am suggesting buying in bulk for an entire nation of people. Even though every single pill is as important as the next, I guarantee the more pills you buy the cheaper those pills will be.

      • By the way this question is for anyone who agrees with a one payer system

        • The answer to the question is to look at every other industrialised nation, they have UHC and most countries do it at half the cost of the US while also leading longer lives.

          • From what I’ve read the Countries who have a lot of social programs including health care and have had these programs for a long time are starting to have problems and are starting to vote in more conservative leadership. So how do you determine that the long term effects aren’t bad-is what I’m reading wrong or are you basing your conclusions on countries that haven’t had these programs very long?

          • For instance the UKs NHS while not perfect in any way shape or form has been around for over 60 years. It provides health care for everyone and if you need it you can get treated privately. The NHS was created just after WW2 when the country was in terrible debt and while cities were being rebuilt after the blitz. We did not stop rationing food until the mid 50’s.
            The conservatives here will probably win the next election (although they just suffered a defeat in Glasgow) but they have promised to keep the NHS to the standard it is now (although they wont).

            • I read a little about another country, darn what country, it won’t come to me, the one that’s suppose to have the perfect combination of socialism and democracy-Sweden-maybe I’m not sure-anyway it seemed that over time the people had become lazy they were starting to have more sick days from work than they were working because basically they were given everything they needed to survive-the people who are working and actually producing simply can’t support the huge percentage ,that only do what they have to-so the country was starting to hurt economically and they were starting to push for more conservative politicians because it was becoming apparent that over the long run society just can’t support all these social programs.

          • Bob:

            Wrongo my dear Brit. “The answer to the question is to look at every other industrialised nation, they have UHC and most countries do it at half the cost of the US while also leading longer lives.”

            We separated ourselve from your tether many moons ago. It matters not what other “industrialized” nations do or do not. What matters is what do other “Free Nations” do.

            Since we are the closest thing that has been around in this group if is what WE do that is ALL that matters.

            And it is only important, the only criteria for acceptability is, whether our system is consistent with the principle of Liberty.

            Currently it is NOT.

            WE need to eliminate ALL Federal Govt involvment/control in Health Care.

            • Meh do what you like, I sure hope your health premiums dont keep going up.

              Its getting to the point now where companies will move their manufactoring base to other countries due to lack of UHC. Toyota recently decided not to open a new car plant in Alabama but decided to open it in Canada instead, health premiums were the reason.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Matt,

      I’ll try to elaborate by using an example we’re familiar with.

      You have made comments that are indicative of my stance on immigration being about fear and intolerance. When I’ve responded with a contrary answer explaining how I don’t think they are bad people, you seem a little confused. You are interpreting what I say as hedging it so that you can’t see where I stand on an issue. My stance is that…Good people CAN STILL cause problems. It’s not really a stance so to speak. It’s more about weighing the problem.

      I weigh it as such:

      Id: They’re causing alot of problems.

      Super ego: They’re mostly good people just trying to have a better life, and deserve the opportunity to do so.

      Ego: They’re good people that are causing problems.

      I weigh it as good people vs. causing problems.

      If you weigh it out as good people aren’t a problem(which is what I suspect)…then you deny yourself a true appreciation for the gravity of the situation as it alters your understanding

      Remove the morality from the equation and you have the bottom line…They’re causing problems.

      In order to see the bottom line, you must seperate the two. This is what I meant by reasoning things seperately.

      Am I making sense yet Matt? I’m trying.

  5. BL / BF,

    You need to watch this. I nearly died laughing. Skip forward to 5:50-ish.

    I promise it’s worth it.

    http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=255248

  6. Ray Hawkins says:

    Rani – I don’t know you, but congrats on your effort and I do wish you luck.

    A few points-to-ponder/questions/observations:

    1. You’re running as a Republican – knowing from experience that even in local races there is well-oiled political party machinery how do you plan to be different? Why would anyone believe you are different than the same crooks (left or right) that have been in office for years? Your website does not (yet) answer this.

    2. Issues – issues matter – I only get a vague sense of where you stand on a very limited set of issues – you’re for local business, you’re for a ‘safe’ Maryland, you’re ‘for’ several things – I see a lot of high-level “what” but not “how” – think YBH – Yes But How. Based on your website (which is core for a guerrilla campaigning and viral communications) there is no compelling reason to vote for you – other than “being” for a lot of issues even the far left would have trouble disagreeing with – I left your site with no sense of what your plan is, how you would execute it and what key issues for your district are you going to hang your hat on. Maybe that is to come – but having a clear and detailed message is how you become different – rather than asking someone to vote for you because there is a wave of anti-government sentiment you can ride in on.

    3. On your home page is the following sentence: “By electing regular citizens to manage our legislation we are insuring laws that benefit every citizen in an equitable manner within the boundaries of our Constitution.”

    I think you may want to replace “insuring” with “ensuring”. Sorry – bad grammar and spelling on websites makes me nutz.

    4. Anytime you list your email on your website it should have the underlying script to initiate the email client of the reader to auto-generate an email – asking people to copy/paste your email reduces to likelihood they will email you.

    5. Talk to GoDaddy – there is no reason for me to so easily obtain your home address and telephone number simply because of your site registration (I do now see you list this elsewhere on your website (contributions) – consider using a P.O. Box).

    6. On your home page – the blog link on the right redirects back to your home page while the link on the left goes to your blog.

    7. I rendered the site in IE and Firefox – a lot of real estate is wasted in the left and right hand margins.

    8. Consider making anonymous your pictures you use for your website – no issues with using family pictures from your Christmas in the Smokies in 2008 – just not sure you need to share personal info like that.

    9. At 5:34 in your speech – its just NOT a good idea to even remotely compare POTUS to being a ‘monkey’ – I don’t think your comment is racist – others may not feel the same.

    10. As you do more speeches – practice being a little more extemporaneous – holding your speech in the air as you read from it – it looks somewhat practiced/contrived and prevents you from fully leveraging your passion for certain issues – it also made me wonder – if you are passionate for your issues why you need to write them down and read directly from them – not trying to be an ass – sometimes looking too polished is a bad thing as well.

    Thanks,

    Ray

    • Ray and Rani

      Ray, excellent job vetting her site. All your suggestions are very important.

      Further, your questions are excellent too. Being anti-political, the ‘whats and hows’ to accomplish ‘goals’ by legal violence is abhorant.

      However, eliminating government involvement in lives is laudable.

      I’d like to hear which road you’re dedicated in taking….

      • BF,

        Oh, you are just trying to rope me into this conversation…. you……

        I don’t know that we will agree on this because you believe in no government, I find it mildly useful if controlled and used by those who are watchful. That being said, it took a long time to get here, reducing the governments size can be done though not over night. There is a TON of wasteful spending and quite a bit of money that should be returned to its rightful owners (with apologies in my opinion) nearly immediately. I do however believe that there are some infrastructure and basic components of government that are good and necessary. The objective is to get closer to your world while living in mine. There is a lot of progress that can be made by State and local government that can effectively choke off much of the feds power grab, that is one of my goals.
        Make no mistake, I am a fan of the Constitution, founding documents and ideals of the founding fathers. That is the America that I would like to see being reborn.

        • Rani,

          I’m sure you’ve read a few of my posts over the year, so much of my comments will be no surprise.

          I’ve stated that any thing at the Federal Level is wholly a waste of time. There is no way or no how any change can be made from inside that system.

          I’ve advocated to USWep that if he still wished to cover himself in pig poo, it may be somewhat effective if he worked at the civic level and remotely plausible at the State level.

          It appears he waited for you to go roll in the pig poo instead of him 😉

          Any effort that reduces government has my support – simply because it moves closer to no government which is the goal.

          I will offer my predictions, in the event you succeed in being elected.

          1) You find it nearly impossible to identify what you call ‘wasteful spending’. Though it appears easy to point to it while ‘outside the system’ you will find nearly impossible to point to it while ‘inside the system’. There is an economic explanation for this called “Price calculation capability” -but I won’t bore you with that right now.

          The only way you will find you can cut government expenditures will be to dismantle entire programs. However, the political fight to accomplish this will probably prove too daunting.

          2) Resisting the Federal government. I think you might have fair success here. It appears there is a growing grassroot movement that is taking hold that might propel such action. The Fed’s are powerful, so it will be a huge battle with lots of risk for all sides – however, being closer to the people, you have a good shot at prevailing.

          3) I am no fan of the Constitution. However, if by some miracle the governments were pushed back to even a fraction of that documents attempt at containment, it would be a huge, huge change for the better.

          As I repeat many times,

          I support the Federal government over International government

          I support the State government over Federal government

          I support Civic government over State government

          I support community groups over Civic government

          I support the individual over community.

          ….at least you’re working toward my direction and not away from it.

          Good luck!

    • Ray:

      I urge some caution here in how you evaluate candidacy.

      You question “how” several times. This implies some detailed answer about just “how” certain goals will be achieved.

      By placing such a criteria on a candidate you are in effect limiting the field to only those on the “inside”. Because most of us don’t have the inside knowledge of procedures to answer that question.

      I myself, want to know the core principles so that I can expect “my representative” to act in accordance with those principles on any given matter. The CORE matters much more than the HOW.

      I would offer one exception to this, however. In order to be a TRUE REPRESENTATIVE of the people in what ever area, the elected must have some idea of how they are going to determing what the PEOPLE are thinkin or wish to happen. I would like them to explain to me HOW they intend to go about finding out what I think or want with regard to certain matters.

      The mere election based on “positions” is not enough because we all know that a minority or small majority usually elects the representatives, especially in local and state races. There has to be strategy in place to continuously update oneself on the “peoples” concerns once elected.

      • JAC,
        You are not kidding about the insider thing. I am learning things every day that are disturbing at best. I agree that core principles are the way to go. I have often thought exactly how do you find out what your constituents want. It is actually in part, the reason I chose to run. I had a very hard time figuring out what the legislature was gunning for. Bills were sponsored by one set of legislators only to be withdrawn and replaced by a whole new set of legislators. The problem I kept coming up with was the lack of straightforward intent rather than jumbled research ridden back door policy for purposes unbecoming.
        It should be easy for people to figure out what you are doing and newspapers will gladly publish any material from delegates, they just have to put it out. I am interested to see what I can do with all of that. I wish our newspapers actually had more news in them!
        The bottom line does come down to core morality.

        • Rani:

          I suggest you develop a plan for meeting with precincts if elected to get feedback.

          This empowers the “precinct captains” and puts you in touch with the people directly.

          If you can figure out a plan that is not overwhelming in the number of meetings, ie group some precincts together, then make sure you share it during the campaign.

          The “townhall meetings” just seem over used these days. But that is another strategy as long as you tell them you will hold such meetings to explain what is happening and then to “listen”, not to tell them why you are going to do something your way.

          • JAC,

            Funny you should mention such a plan. I had a meeting with my team this evening and we were discussing exactly that. Great idea, we have a sort of modern spin on it, but same thoughts. I agree, people aren’t used to being listened to. The info is out there and if enough people start to learn where their hard earned money is going, they might be just as disgusted as I was when I found out.

            Thanks JAC, I will keep you posted!

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        JAC – you need both – solid principles that guide decisions and something more than lofty rhetoric that can be used as an escape hatch down the road. I totally get it when it comes to “insider knowledge” – but my hope would be that someone who is willing to truly represent the will of the people that elected him/her – has something tangible to offer the taxpayers.

        We can take a sample position relative to the current tax burden in Maryland and the resulting spend on education and the resulting results in educational performance. There are a litany of issues inherent in the string of relationships – the candidate needs to decompose the problem – continually ask why, why, why, why, why……to get to the core of the issue or problem. The insider may have some knowledge the candidate does not – knowledge of relationships (people and process based), knowledge of political deal making (you do “x” and I’ll do “y”) – but many times, the candidate that is best positioned (talking theory here) to represent the will of the people is the one that has ALREADY researched the core issues and has learned enough (and not necessarily everything) to offer concrete tactical and strategic positions that a voter can properly assess. One may then get elected and then find out they were wrong or off-base on a small number of things – that is ok – so long as you are up front with those who put you in office.

        What I find fascinating is this notion of – it takes an insider. A junior Senator from Illinois was elected POTUS, and SIGNIFICANT time is spent here carefully dissecting each and every position and decision that has been made with less than a year in office. Re-read many of Obama’s positions and platforms and decide for yourself how granular and decomposed they are – certainly there are more than a few that offer ample wiggle room for him to squirt out of your grasp. And recall also how so so many people have kicked this guy around that he was elected on lofty rhetoric and good looks and great speeches and not in having substance to what he actually for or how he would effect the arching ideas he espoused.

        Cheers,

        Ray

    • That is very funny Mr. Hawkins… in fact you do know me. I dated a friend of yours and we have several mutual friends considering we went to the same High school. But to the issues at hand…

      1. In the State of Maryland, there is a well oiled political DEM machine, though no such REP machine. I am known in the community and through avenues that are perhaps not as public. We are doing a large grass roots campaign, though perhaps you are right, it might actually be prudent to put what separates me from the “crooks” on the website. It is initially good news that I have never been involved in politics before and therefore would have a hard time actually being part of either machine, but it is still a great question…
      If you are looking for the answer to the actual question, here goes. Part of my thought is that longevity (in government) breeds corruption. The more you are in the “favor loop” the more people you need to pay back. You are welcome to look and see that there are no funds from PAC’s or Lobby groups. I intend to be held accountable to the people I represent, rather than a party line or ideology. I will not be in office for more than 2 terms. I am one who believes that public service is just that and should be temporary; however, I will be looking for someone to coach during that time in order to endorse another liberty fighter when I leave. Turnover is crucial to the democratic process. We have done a very poor job of involving the next generation and in light of that I am working with some Young College Republican’s groups to try and support that process.

      2. Good point and well taken… Issues do matter. I do not have to pontificate about the state of our state or nation, we are all well aware, especially here…
      Spending should be prioritized to a few categories important to the long-term vitality of our district and state: education, law enforcement and public infrastructure (utilities, roads, metro, etc.). Particularly in tough economic periods such as today, all other government spending needs to be curbed or eliminated. We simply need people who can make the tough decisions.
      Savings from spending cuts must be returned to taxpayers in the form of a reduction in sales and income tax rates for all citizens. Let the people and their businesses keep more of what they earn, and prosperity will surely return to our citizens in short order.
      Maryland’s K through 12 schools should be among the most revered educational institutions in the world. Maryland’s educational expenditures are $2 Billion more than the national average and yet ranks 20th among all states in educational outcomes. Not acceptable. Spending needs to be re-focused from adding administrators and bureaucracy to upgrading classrooms with well-trained teachers who have proper monetary incentives and advanced educational tools that prepare our children for today’s needs. In certain cases, it will make sense to shut the schools that prove beyond reform and provide effected families vouchers that will allow their children to attend specified schools of their choice.
      These are 3 of my big issues and while there are tons more that could be discussed, those are some main points that must be addressed in our state to achieve a sustainable future for our children.
      If the State of Maryland were a business, we would have failed… thanks to the ability to raise taxes they have replaced deficits in programs with tax dollars instead of reworking the program in a fiscally responsible manner. There are only so many times that a business owner can go back to investors for a “cash call” before the investors expect to see a return on their investment. Tax payers should demand the same. There are several properties here that could be leased out (The Airport) that run in deficit every year. Hand them over to the private sector ( who doesn’t have a sea of taxpayers funding their poor business management practices) and you have eliminated deficit and gained additional revenue through land leases and rents. A nice swing.

      3. Thanks for the grammar correction.

      4. Honestly, this is truly a grass roots effort. I built my own web site and knew nothing about it when I did. Glad to have the advice, but wasn’t really aware of that until you brought it up… a good idea to correct, I agree. Thanks again.

      5. Yes, the P.O. Box is definitely coming… agree on that.

      6. Again, thanks… that should be corrected.

      7. I have no idea what you have just said, but I will certainly see if I can find someone who knows what on earth that could mean! Thank you.

      8. Disagree on the photo, thanks for the advice. I rather wish the legislators, especially local offices and their families were more connected to their constituents. Federal office may be another issue, but the break down in our communities are in large part much of the reason for our legislative woes. The community should be responsible for philanthropy, it is not the role of the government. We cannot take care of our communities without knowing our communities and being known in them. I am OK with people seeing my kids, they go with me everywhere anyway, including door knocking, they really enjoy it.

      9. Hmmm, sorry, more in line with the Wizard of Oz rather than a racial remark. I am so sad every time people bring up race, for so many reasons… and you are right, I have no race issues, just humans here.

      10. Agree that reading a speech is bad, a brilliant orator may not be what the country needs, we already have one of those. I happen to disagree with most of his policies.

      I am quite simply tired of the money grab and political paybacks for the purpose of power. I know who I am, I know I am certainly capable of doing the job though it will be a learning process and I know that many people in our society are tired of polished politicians. The thought that it is a MAGICAL office is ludicrous and the laws that are being passed are often not enforceable and without constitutional merit. Hopefully at the end of the next election we will be on our way to a much smaller, less complicated government that regularly involves every day citizens who are willing to simply be the voice for their constituents.
      Finally, thanks for the advice, glad to take the criticism. When I decided to run I knew I would be “outmatched” on the Greatest Show on Earth aspect, though I am honing it every day and through experiences just like this, I should be able to target better each month. I have no ego, I just want to do the right thing, that takes discernment, good communication skills and a want to serve. Hopefully, those are the areas I can be a help in.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Rani – well put on many fronts – please do not read me as a “bash” – I’m merely pushing some buttons because I think as in your reply – you have some excellent ideas and approaches. While I may be the left leaning punching bag here (or one of them) – there are some issues I go far to the right on. But anyway – you can show that you can get “in the weeds” – you’re showing that you are not so much telling them what they want to hear – you are putting core/baked positions out there. I am firmly believe that, ahem, ‘change’ must be truly local to be truly organic – which puts you in the right spot – what you do with this will be very interesting!

        ~ am a bit surprised there is no GOP machinery where you are, but the same is true of the DEMS in my County. I just give you a strike one before you get in the batters box because you are already affiliated with a party of crooks. 🙂

        ~ when I look at your website there is ‘unused space’ to the left and right of your content – wasted space. Consider, as you move forward and have time, on realigning content – but don’t fill space just to fill it. Find some other candidates and ‘see what they do’

        ~ no need to be brilliant orator – but speak to your audience rather than the stack of paper – connect to them with your passion.

        ~ point on family photo – just be cautious of ‘that next photo’ that may read “Jane Doe BDAY party 10-06-09” – now I know your kids name and when they were born. As you move towards a political life (no matter how short) you inherently bring your family into it. We all have to make decisions based on how much/little we reveal – the political person is now public so they reveal more. But you can still be selective on what. Part of putting out there who you are is effectively managing the message – being a completely open book is not a good strategy.

        Lastly – I actually remember your face – the name less so – there are many things about that town in South Central PA I try to leave behind (20 years ago – woohoo). Will send you a note offline.

        Best of luck in your endeavor – honestly. Where you are is where it starts.

        • lingeringmethane says:

          They are all crooks!

          The sooner you realize that the better off you will be!

          Does redistribution of wealth ring a bell?

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Lingering –

            “They are all crooks” – to whom do you refer? Rani?

            “Does redistribution of wealth ring a bell” – what do you mean? Our Country was founded on elements of wealth redistribution – does that ring a bell to you? Its only a matter of how much the citizenry is tolerant of.

            • Ray,

              I don’t think the country was founded at all on “wealth distribution”, though I will submit that is what the country now holds as its core.

              As long as the citizen believe “some theft” is a good thing, they will suffer, eventually, the complete loss of all their wealth.

              “Thous shalt not steal” must prevail over “Though shalt not steal, unless by a majority vote”

            • lingeringmethane says:

              Ray,
              All the career politicians are crooks.

              No, that does not ring a bell. I seem to recall something in the Declaration about fruits of my labor. This country was not founded on redistributing wealth, it is the exact opposite! Have you been reading those scrubbed text books again?

              By stealing money of the producers and giving it to the “less fortunate” under the guise of “I am helping you” and it is “the right thing to do”, they only further embrace an underlying feeling of uselessness, spoken or not. It seems to be a contaigent that when you allow it to begin, it grows out of control even generationally. Welcome to our current status. Sad for all the do-gooders, they meant well, but when you see the kind of results that have been created how do they not look for better avenues to serve those they want to help, unless that is just a guise to create a victim class in our country.

              The road to hell…
              How about we start with more of the teach a man to fish…

        • Ray,
          Thanks for the vote of confidence. While I have not posted here as much, I often read. The challenges you proposed should only help and are good for perspective sake. I appreciate all those who take so much time discussing government and the path it will take regardless of which side we fall on. SUFA is kind of our own grungy dimly lit pub where we meet up over a couple of pints. I love that and think in the future perhaps we should try and get the virtual pub going! The technology is certainly out there. In any case, good to chat and I will look forward to hearing lots of opinions as it is truly the only way to deduce how you actually feel about something and can eventual discern right from wrong, or hope to get as close to the mark as possible.

  7. posting for comments

  8. Judy Sabatini says:

    Good Morning Everyone

    Rani, I too don’t know who you are, but I have seen several people on this site talk about you. Guess I should get over there and read.

    I want to wish you all the luck there is in your campaign, and although I live in Reno, Nevada, if there is anything I can do, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Judy

  9. Judy Sabatini says:

    Thought I’d share a funny with you all.

    Subject: FW: Fwd: DOCTORS ………politics..

    > DOCTORS
    >
    > An Israeli doctor says ‘medicine in my country is so advanced that we
    > can take a kidney out of one man and put it in another, and have him
    > looking for work in six weeks.’
    >
    > A German doctor says ‘that is nothing; we can take a lung out of one
    > person, put it in another, and have him looking for work in four weeks.’
    >
    > A Russian doctor says ‘in my country, medicine is so advanced that we
    > can take half a heart out of one person, put it in another, and have
    > them both looking for work in two weeks.’
    >
    > An ILLINOIS doctor, not to be outdone, says ‘you guys are way behind,
    > we recently took a man with no brains out of ILLINOIS, put him in the
    > White House for NINE MONTHS, and now half the COUNTRY is looking for
    work.

  10. Judy Sabatini says:

    NEW KFC DINNER
    We all remember the “Hillary Meal”—
    small breasts and big thighs.
    Now, KFC has announced an
    addition to their chicken dinners.
    It’s called the Obama Cabinet Bucket.—
    It consists of nothing but
    left wings and assholes

  11. Judy Sabatini says:

    Rats in America

    A Tourist walked into a Chinese curio shop in San Francisco . While
    looking around at the exotic merchandise, he noticed a very lifelike,
    life-sized, bronze statue of a rat It had no price tag, but was so
    incredibly striking the tourist decided he must have it. He took it to the
    old shop owner and asked, “How much for the bronze rat?”

    “Ahhh, you have chosen wisely! It is $12 for the rat, $100 for the
    story,” said the wise old Chinaman. The tourist quickly pulled out twelve
    dollars. “I’ll just take the rat, you can keep the story”

    As he walked down the street carrying his bronze rat, the tourist
    noticed that a few real rats had crawled out of the alleys and sewers and
    had begun following him down the street…. This was a bit disconcerting so
    he began walking faster.

    A couple blocks later he looked behind him and saw to his horror the
    herd of rats behind him had grown to hundreds, and they began squealing.

    Sweating now, the tourist began to trot toward the Bay. Again, after
    a couple blocks, he looked around only to discover that the rats now
    numbered in the MILLIONS, and were squealing and coming toward him faster
    and faster. Terrified, he ran to the edge of the Bay and threw the bronze
    rat as far as he could into the Bay. Amazingly, the millions of rats all
    jumped into the Bay after the bronze rat, and were all drowned.

    The man walked back to the curio shop in Chinatown .

    “Ahhh,” said the owner, “You have come back for the story?”

    “No sir,” said the man, “I came back to see if you have a bronze
    Democrat..”

  12. Judy Sabatini says:

    Since I have been deemed as the Official SUFA Team Mom by G-Man, I hope that all my boys will behave and play nice today, I don’t want to have get rough with any of you. LOL!

    Judy

  13. Judy Sabatini says:

    Finally, a stimulus package that makes sense.

    Sometime this year, we taxpayers will again receive an Economic
    Stimulus payment. This is an exciting program.

    I’ll explain it using the Q and A format:

    Q. What is an Economic Stimulus payment?
    A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

    Q. Where will the government get this money?
    A. From taxpayers.

    Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
    A. Only a smidgen.

    Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
    A. The plan is for you to use the money to purchase a
    high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

    Q. But isn’t that stimulating the economy of China ?
    A. Shut up.

    Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the US economy by
    spending
    your stimulus check wisely:

    . If you spend the stimulus money at Wal-Mart, the money
    will go to China .
    . If you spend it on gasoline, your money will go to the
    Arabs.
    . If you purchase a computer, it will go to India .
    . If you purchase fruit and vegetables, it will go to
    Mexico , Honduras and Guatemala .
    . If you buy a car, it will go to Japan or Korea .
    . If you purchase useless stuff, it will go to Taiwan .
    . If you pay your credit cards off, or buy stock, it will go
    to management bonuses and they will hide it offshore.

    Instead, keep the money in America by:

    1 spending it at yard sales, or
    2 going to ball games, or
    3 spending it on prostitutes, or
    4 beer or
    5 tattoos.

    (These are the only American businesses still operating in the US .)

    Conclusion:

    Go to a ball game with a tattooed prostitute that you met at a yard
    sale and drink beer all day.

    • I like the drink beer all day idea.

      Mathius will pay my health care bills – I’ll need a new liver soon….

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        BF, You’re too funny.

        Have a great day.

      • Sounds good.. I think I’ll join you for that beer though. I’ll pay for your cirrhosis, you pay for my suds, deal?

        • Definition of an alcoholic –

          Someone who drinks more than me.

          Are you an alcoholic?

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Nice to see that 2 of my boys are playing nice so far.

            • What he doesn’t know is that my thyroid condition allows me to drink and process alcohol far better than my 160 lbs would indicate. I can drink with the kind of fortitude usually reserved for Irish dock workers.

              And when he begins to get a little tipsy, that’s when I’ll relive him of his sword and musket.

          • I can’t be an alcoholic. Alcoholics go to meetings.

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              You’re being too funny too Mathius, my sides are hurting from laughing so much. Oh, it’s going to be a good day I see.

  14. Mathius
    “With health care, people are more likely to take advantage of preventative care. This lessens the need for the horrifically expensive $25,000 procedures.”

    How do you claim this, even theoretically?

    The effect of “free” health care is precisely opposite your claim.

    If there is no cost to being sick, why shouldn’t I burn the candle at both ends? I can avail myself to any procedure, pill, and doctors to “fix me”, because there is no cost to being sick as there is no cost to being healthy.

    However, I try to remain healthy, because sickness is expensive.

    Your claim demands my actions today are not correct. For your claim to be correct, I should be reckless.

    • For example, Matt –

      Would you claim that giving people free rent, free food, free TV, free car… would encourage people to be thrifty with their money?

      That is the economic theoretical equivalent you are claiming with ‘free health care’ will motivate people to be healthy.

    • No, you try to remain healthy because being sick is unpleasant. Even if we give you know we’ll give you a new liver, you’re problably not going to want to get to that stage. Yes, there is an economic force keeping you healthy, but health is a far stronger force. Consider that we can give you a prosthetic leg, but wouldn’t you rather keep the one you have? Or, because it’s free, do you not care?

      Also, Mathius Said:

      Of course, this is all theoretical. I’ll let you know how it’s working in a few years.

      I’m just telling you the argument.. I’m just going to sit on this fence until it starts to hurt my butt

      Also, did you watch the Colbert video? I thought you’d get a kick out of it.

      • Yes, you did say “Theoretical” but, sir, you have provide a base to make the claim.

        Simply stating ‘in theory’ is not sufficient. I expect to see the reasoning.

        As I exampled, applying your ‘theory’ in other economic models present obvious contradictions to your claim of this economic model.

        Can you explain the contradiction?

        • As I said above, it’s a system of pros and cons.

          Would you claim that giving people free rent, free food, free TV, free car… would encourage people to be thrifty with their money? This is a poor analogy. The downside of poor health choices is not just financial. It’s also that being unhealthy well and truly sucks. Further medical science cannot undo all damage. If you get the aforementioned liver transplant, you will be sickly the rest of your life. You will need immunosuppressants, you cannot drink, you may stroke out, etc. Thus the downside risk of choosing to be unhealthy is still huge.

          So, you have the choice, be healthy, or don’t. If you choose not to be, you may still have to deal with health problems and unpleasantness that medical science cannot fix. And with affordable and readily available preventative care, there is no reason they should risk such huge downsides. Costs vs Benefits. Removing some of the cost does not, in this case, guarantee a tip of the scales.

          • As I said above, it’s a system of pros and cons.

            Sure is, no doubt.

            A big con on the tax payer, and a big pro on people who don’t want to pay for their health care.

            Would you claim that giving people free rent, free food, free TV, free car… would encourage people to be thrifty with their money?

            This is a poor analogy. The downside of poor health choices is not just financial. It’s also that being unhealthy well and truly sucks.

            It is an economic equivalence.

            Remember, we are talking about economics here – nothing else.

            It sucks having to walk to work, instead of driving a car.

            Obviously every thing provided for free will demotivate individual action of effort to obtain it.

            If you give a car for free, you demotivate a person working to buy a car.

            If you give health care for free, you demotivate a person working to maintain their health.

            Thus the downside risk of choosing to be unhealthy is still huge.

            However, poor health is a ‘distant’ consequence. Me drinking beer all day will have few severe consequences (“I have no problems; I drink, I get drunk, I fall down, no problem”) – but long term consequences may be severe – but those are ‘too far away’ to make much difference.

            Cost, however, is an immediate consequence. Beer costs money. Free beer costs nothing. I am far more likely to drink all day, everyday when beer is free, then when I have to pay for it.

            Cost is a demotivator of human action.

            You are removing that – therefore, you are motivating the opposite action – more care less for one’s health.

            And with affordable and readily available preventative care, there is no reason they should risk such huge downsides.

            “Preventable care” cases – which I assume you mean “My right shoulder is hurting; I can go to a doctor free, for him to tell me my liver is dying”.

            The only ‘preventable care’ is actions that maintain health – which does not require a doctor Western doctoring is not based on health – they learn nothing about exercise or nutrition. They learn about sickness and disease. By the time you go to a doctor, you are sick.

            Costs vs Benefits. Removing some of the cost does not, in this case, guarantee a tip of the scales.

            It most certainly does.

            In every case of subsidy Matt, your argument has been shown to be false.

            You are making the claim – that by some unstated circumstance that health is different – that this subsidy will cause exactly opposite reaction of every other subsidy ever given by every government or entity on any other economic object in all history

            That is one hell of a claim.

      • Further, being sick does cause people to care for their health.

        But you argued that free health care would encourage this MORE care.

        But there is no motivation to do so, in fact, you’ve removed one further motivation – cost.

        Therefore, you’re demotivating.

        Yet, your claim demands that demotivating would actually motive more of the behavior you just demotivated.

        Gads, you can see why its a huge contradiction!

        • But along with removing the financial cost of getting sick, you’re also removing the financial cost of preventative care. You’re taking weights off of both sides of the scale.

          • Matt:

            Preventative care, the kind that actually deters health problems, costs nothing.

            What the left calls “preventative” is really a diagnosis of current health problems and risk.

            More Political Rhetoric.

            Of course it still avoids the primary moral issue that taking money from me to pay for your care is theft, and thus immoral on its own.

            That your taking of my property to provide your care is based on your premise that YOUR rights have precedence over MY rights. Another immoral position.

            Unless of course you subscribe to the philosophical belief system which declares there ARE NO RIGHTS EXCEPT THOSE GRANTED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

            • That your taking of my property to provide your care is based on your premise that YOUR rights have precedence over MY rights. Another immoral position. My rights do not in any way take precedence over your rights. However, all of our needs combined do take precedence.

              Let A = The infinite number of points in a line.
              Let B = The infinite number of points on a plain.

              Both are infinite, yet B > A regardless. Your rights may be infinitely important, but society’s are infinitely more important.

              • Without three points you have no plane.

                And, the planet/univers is even far greater than your planer society, therefore its safety is paramount. You shall be destroyed.

                Your analogy is once again flawed.

                Trying to use geometry to explain rights and morality?

                Come on my young friend. Stick with philosophy when discussing philosophy. Your “greater good” is nothing but “Altruism” at its core.

                The “sacrifice” of the individual is justified for the good of the many. Now lets look at history and see where that has taken us before.

              • If it were demonstrated that humanity is a clear and present and substantial threat to the safety of the galaxy, I would not hold it against them if they chose to destroy us. (of course, I would fight against them anyway, but I would know that I was on the morally wrong side). You, of course, disagree.

                Greater good is altruism at the core.. sure. Per our friends at Wikipedia: “Altruism is selfless concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Sikhism, and many others. This idea was often described as the Golden rule of ethics. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness.” I’m ok with that. Altruism is a good thing.

                Now lets look at history and see where that has taken us before. I can’t. It’s never been tried before. Men have seized power and claimed the mantle of the Greater Good, but they have all been in it for themselves.

              • Matt:

                How convenient you left off the original definition of the philosophical concept of Altruism.

                The individual is “obligated” to sacrifice for the good of the many.

                The concept that one, or some, may be sacrificed leads to mass slaughter. Because per your own philosophy, someone must make those decisions as to what is “the greater good”.

                You die by your own sword.

              • Matt,

                You said:

                “It’s never been tried before. Men have seized power and claimed the mantle of the Greater Good, but they have all been in it for themselves.”

                I say: Exactly!! So why is it any different this time???

              • And of course his argument against freedom is “it has never been tried”.

              • “Society” I will assume you mean to be a set of individuals.

                Your right of free speech does not multiply by the number of people in a group.

                No right multiplies by the number = the right remains unchanged.

                Let R= right

                1 person = 1 R
                100 persons = 1 R

                No persons = 0 R

                A group of people have no more (and no less) rights than any single individual in that group.

                There cannot be superior rights for a group than an individual.

    • Very true Flag, being in a country with UHC I regularly get a pin hammer and break the bones in my left hand because I can get it fixed for free. At work we juggle flaming chainsaws (after my hand is healed) because any injuries will be fixed for free. We chuckle that other people will be paying for our recklessness when we get stitched up.

      No one (apart from people with psychological problems) enjoys being ill, breaking bones and developing life threatening diseases; in fact most people go out of their way to avoid these things happening because it makes them feel bad.

      • Bob,

        You claim people go out of the way to avoid these things?

        You jest, right?

        No smokers, drinkers in UK?

        No cars?

        No reckless driving? No driving with cell phones?

        Your anecdotal evidence does not change my argument one wit.

        By removing a motivation to improve one’s health (that is, taking away the cost of being sick) you will remove the motivation to avoid ill.

        This does not mean you will be juggling with chain saws.

        I does mean that you will not care as much about the medical cost of juggling with chain saws.

        • Wait so what are the statistics of car accidents between health insured and uninsured drivers. Do people with no health insurance purposefully not drive due to worries about them getting into accidents?
          BF the motivation to avoid illness is illness, the body is quite good at telling us something is wrong and it usually does not feel good.
          I do not juggle chainsaws because it is a stupid thing to do, I do not smoke or drink because it is a stupid thing to do. What you can do though is offer programs to help people try and stop smoking and binge drinking while also providing preventative care. Do uninsured people in the states not smoke and drink?
          The other solution is to not do anything and wait for them to turn up at the A&E when they are on deaths door and then spend hundreds of thousands of pounds to stabalise them before chucking them out the door, hmmmmmmmm I wonder what system that sounds like?

      • Bob,

        Your fellows citizens have indeed demonstarted that they are seriously self destructive. They been voting in the New Labour for what, 14 years now?

        • Hahahahah if you knew anything about British politics and what the conservatives did in the 80s you will understand why labour have been voted in for the past 14 years. No one likes labour but they sure as hell hate the tories even more.

          • Hahahahah back atchya! I lived in the UK for two years, 95-97. I was married to a libtard corpral in the RAF, lived on RAF Welford, and worked for CableTime, and the Discreet Logic, in Newbury, Berkshsire. I had no affiliation with the US government. So, actually I DO know something about British politics. The voters did the same thing the American voters did. They went from bad to worse and don’t want to admit it. They’d rather self destruct. I stand by my previous statement.

            • Sorry if I dont count your 2 year jaunt in the UK against my lifetime of experiences here. Having been through the 80’s with the conservative government things were a hell of a lot worse then they are now. If you are ever in the UK again go to a northern mining town and ask them their thoughts on the conservatives in the 80’s. When Margeret Thatcher dies there will be a long line of people literally queueing up to dance on her grave.

              • Thank you for your dismissive attitude. I really appreciate that.

                So how long have you lived in America? If It hasn’t been at least 40 years, then I guess I can just skip your posts right?

  15. Piano stairs – TheFunTheory.com

    People don’t need to be pushed – they are moved easily by happiness and fun….

  16. Judy Sabatini says:

    Why Parents Drink

    A father passing by his son’s bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was
    nicely made and everything was picked up. Then he saw an Envelope, propped
    up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to ‘Dad..’

    With the worst premonition he opened the envelope

    with trembling hands and read the letter.

    Dear Dad:

    It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with
    my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you.

    I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice.

    But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercing,
    tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I
    am. But it’ s not only the passion…Dad she’s pregnant.

    Stacy said that we will be very happy.

    She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole
    winter. We share a dream of having many more children.

    Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn’t really hurt
    anyone.
    We’ll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that
    live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy.

    In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so

    Stacy can get better. She deserves it.

    Don’t worry Dad. I’m 15 and I know how to take care of myself.

    Someday I’m sure that we will be back to visit so that you can

    get to know your grandchildren.

    Love, Your Son John

    PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at Tommy’s house.

    I Just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than a
    Report card That’s in my center desk drawer.

    I love you.

    Call me when it’s safe to come home.

    • WOW! You’re on a roll.. I award you 50 points.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Thanks Mathius,, I’m getting them from my son, then I in turn share them with you all here. If he sends anymore, I’ll put them up.

        Judy

    • Our daughter pulled something similar to this when she was in college. Her freshman year she attended a house party that was busted and she got an underage ticket. Her roommate that year became pregnant when she went home for a long weekend and we had just found out about that news.

      She emailed us and said she would be calling us on this particular night and as a heads up, it wasn’t the best news. Of course, even getting that kind of email, gave me a sinking feeling.

      So she starts the call by saying, well you know about Katie’s news right? (her roommate) By now, I’m ready to throw up, and she goes on to say…..”well it’s not that, but I was busted the other night and have an underage ticket”

      It’s all about perspective….

  17. Rani,

    Glad to see a person like yourself running. It’s possible I will do a school board run, but I am one of those un-electable types. Its best for some of us to act from the sidelines.

    • Someone with the same name as me ran for the state assembly a while back. My 80 year old grandmother stole a lawn sign and gave it to me. That’s about as close as I’m ever going to get to public office. I suspect that many of the things I’ve said here would come back to haunt me..

    • yes, sidelines are fine… educated and involved in government is my push. I come here for education, there are many levels of involvement! Thanks again and we will keep you updated!

      • Rani,

        You are welcome. If I can help in any other way, give me a shout. Per Matt’s #5 post, a box of .22 shells is in the mail(OK, I’m a cheap bastard,but lead is getting expensive).

        • My theory is that if you can pepper the objective with enough .22 shells, they will eventually drop the target ending up with the same result as the .50 cal. It may take longer, but the result is what matters! I will take all the lead I can get!!!!

  18. Judy Sabatini says:

    Subject: indian

    President BARACK OBAMA was invited to address a major gathering of the American Indian Nation two weeks ago in upstate New York.
    He spoke for almost an hour about his plans for increasing every Native American’s present standard of living. He referred to his time as a U.S. Senator and how he had voted for every Native American issue that came to the floor of the Senate.
    Although President Obama was vague about the details of his plans, he seemed most enthusiastic and spoke eloquently about his ideas for helping his “red sisters and brothers.”
    At the conclusion of his speech, the Tribes presented Obama with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name, “Walking Eagle.” The proud President then departed in his motorcade to a fundraiser, waving to the crowds.
    A news reporter later asked the group of chiefs how they came to select the new name they had given to the President.
    They explained that “Walking Eagle” is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.

  19. Hi Rani,

    Kudos to you for stepping up. I will visit your website. I wish you the best of luck and hope you are successful, however, if by chance it doesn’t look good on election night, DO NOT concede until all votes are counted!

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/politicaljunkie/2009/11/the_counting_in_ny_23_is_gasp.html

    • I can promise I will not. The other thing here is that in my district, winners and losers are often separated by 200 votes. No one here concedes with that tiny wiggle room! Thanks for the heads up though, and I agree!

  20. BUCK THE WALA AND MATHIUS, and anyone else interested.

    As a continuation of our discussion regarding the Constitution and the Law, I am interested in the various views regarding statements made in the following article.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/13/self-proclaimed-sept-mastermind-face-trial-ny/

    And you may pick which ever statments you like to discuss. There are plenty of them coming from all directions.

    JAC

    • I’m running a little short on time, so I’ll have to finish the article later, but my gut reaction is this: GREAT!

      Criminals – regardless of how heinous their crimes – should be treated as criminals. Hijacking a plane is a crime. Providing logistical support for a crime is a crime. Accomplice to murder (1 count, or 2,973 counts) is a crime. They can be handled within our laws. I think Gitmo was one of the biggest tactical errors of the entire Bush presidency. He, in effect, elevated these people when he should have made a point of treating them as common criminals.

      Treat them like petty thugs and you take away some of the glamor. Give them their own legal system and you’re saying that they are special. Which is the message you would prefer to send?

      Adding, I don’t like the government to pick and choose how to handle criminal cases. If I commit a crime, I should go through the same channels as everyone else. What is to stop them from saying that I should have to go through an alternate system just because it’s politically expedient for them?

      Your thoughts?

      • “It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”

        – Voltaire “Rights” (1771)

        The monopoly on justice creates the same distortions as any monopoly – like ALL monopolies, the monopoly only can exist by the violence of government, the quality of the product degrades over time, and the cost of the product increases constantly.

        It is no surprise to see government justice act the way it does.

        Today, the government doesn’t even need a law to arrest and convict anyone. They can create mythical ‘charges’, threaten the accused with massive harassment of themselves, their loved ones, friends and colleagues to force a ‘negotiated plea’.

        see Micheal Milken
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Milken

        Critics of the government charge that the government indicted Lowell in order to put pressure on his brother to settle, a tactic condemned as unethical by some legal scholars. “I am troubled by – and other scholars are troubled by – the notion of putting relatives on the bargaining table,” said Vivian Berger, a professor at Columbia University Law School, in a 1990 interview with the New York Times.

        As part of the deal, the case against Lowell was dropped. Federal investigators also questioned some of Milken’s relatives—including his aging grandfather—about their investments

        As government grows in size – so does its need to consume resources. Thus, it needs to seize more resources, and thus needs to increase its ability to threaten not only the criminals, but the innocent citizens with jail for any resistance.

        Today, everyone in the United States committed a crime – 100% guarantee. Such threat on every American, that at the whim of any law enforcement and prosecutor can knock on the door of any citizen, arrest them and jail them.

        Welcome to America.

      • Matt:

        My thoughts are this, You need to finish reading the article in an objective and critical manner.

        There is much more there than you have discussed.

        Your comments seem to be tainted by your prior political views on the matter, but it is the “other things” I was hoping you would notice.

        I’ll give you a hint.

        What is “Justice”? And, does the “meaning of justice” change depending on who is talking?

        • It’s still open in my browser.. I’ll get to it.. I’ll get to it..

        • Buck The Wala says:

          What ‘other things’ are you referring to? Admittedly I haven’t had time to more than skim the article but if you could point me to where you’re going I’d be happy to give some thoughts.

          • Buck:

            My hint was “justice”, what does it mean and does the meaning change.

            Notice how it is used and by whom.

            Your the lawyer so tell me, how does “justice” fit with holding the trial in this location?.

            What’s the first thing a good lawyer would do in this case?

    • Rush was all over this today. He asserts that the mastermind already plead guilty and wanted to be put to death. This is not about putting a terrorist on trial but rather the U.S. government on trial.

      • Death penalty, especially in this case, is a terrible, terrible idea. If we kill him, he gets to be a martyr. If he rots in jail the rest of his life, he is nobody.

        • I agree, let him rot in prison the rest of his life. I don’t know why a trial is necessary if he plead guilty.

          • A trial is necessary because we have laws in this country and we are bound to follow them.

            • Are you saying that he cannot plead guilty and avoid the trial?

              • No. He can plead guilty at the trial. Then the trial ends.

              • Does the trial end immediately?

                I don’t think so.

                Don’t they still have to enter a statement of fact into the record so that the judge can determine a sentence?

              • And isn’t a trial automatic if the death penalty is a potential?

              • You’d have to ask a lawyer – Buck, you still around? – but my point was just that a confession does not immediately move you to sentencing. There’s a process that has to be followed.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                As I believe someone mentioned, assuming a guilty plea was entered, there would still be a trial on the issue of punishment/sentencing.

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          HI

          Mathius I have to agree with you on this one. And believe me, I’ve been a few rounds with Flag and JAC on this too, and they convinced me about putting people to death. I sure had a change of heart about it too. Won’t go into details, but I’m sure Flag and JAC will back on this.

          You will, won’t you guys?

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Meant to say back me, sorry.

          • Yes, the Death Penalty is a horrific measure of revenge that threatens the innocent with Death by Statisim.

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              Thanks Flag.

            • I feel no joy or remorse, but he will not kill again. I will not have to pay to keep him locked away til his natural death. May God have mercy upon his soul.

              And Flag, how much will you cheerfully pay the government to keep such people safely kept from the public, and will you allow their enslavement to repay their debt to society?

              http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,573829,00.html

              D.C. Sniper Muhammad Executed in Virginia

              John Allen Muhammad

              JARRATT, Va. — John Allen Muhammad, the mastermind behind the sniper attacks that left 10 dead, was executed as relatives of the victims watched, reliving the killing spree that terrorized the Washington, D.C., area for three weeks in October 2002.

              • Interesting question. Mr. Flag, you’ve caught a murderer. He killed your entire family and all of your friends and even your dog, but he is not currently a threat to you. What do you do?

              • LOI, Matt

                Yes, the criminal needs to provide restitution for his crimes.

                The 13th Amendment provides for the use of criminal labor.

              • So, the man who has murdered your friends and family and beloved dog, fluffy, is now your slave?

                How do you determine with sufficient certainty that he is guilty? What defines sufficient?

                Who determines the length of the term of slavery (indentured servitude)? Do you get to unilaterally decide?

                Can you use force to make him work as your slave? If he will not work, can you strike him with a whip? If he tries to run away, can you place him in chains?

              • So, the man who has murdered your friends and family and beloved dog, fluffy, is now your slave?

                Or until restitution has been made.

                How do you determine with sufficient certainty that he is guilty?

                Beyond a shadow of doubt.

                What defines sufficient?

                Me and my peers.

                Who determines the length of the term of slavery (indentured servitude)? Do you get to unilaterally decide?

                Until restitution has been fully paid.

                OR

                I forgive his debt.

                Can you use force to make him work as your slave? If he will not work, can you strike him with a whip?

                No, but he will most likely starve to death.

                If he tries to run away, can you place him in chains?

                Where would he run?

                I suggest he would receive a better treatment from my hand of restraint then the hands of my peers who would probably see his escape as a Clear and Present Danger to themselves.

              • Matt:

                I would having slopping the hogs twice a day and cleaning their pens the rest of the day.

                In fact I may purchase several hundred pigs to make sure he and his friends stay busy.

                That is only if they are found guilty by a jury, of course.

            • You’re very predictable.

              We’ve been over this, but my litmus test of for the death penalty all but assures that it’ll never be used. However, within certain bounds, I do support it.

              1. Crime must be of sufficient severity.
              2. No trial irregularities / solid conviction.
              3. Mentally competent.
              4. No chance of recidivism.
              5. The death penalty must act as a deterrent to others who would commit the same crime.

              1-4 have their own issues and we could debate endlessly how to satisfy these criteria. However, let’s not.

              5, though, is important. I want to clarify. If I catch Emilius in bed with Buck the Wala, and beat him to death with a nearby lamp, the potential consequences will not have crossed my mind. As such, the potential for the death penalty does not deter me. However, let’s say I decide to murder Flag because I find him annoyingly tough to beat in an argument. I make a concerted effort to track him down, avoid his many booby traps and trip wires, make friends with his guard dogs, swim across the moat (avoiding the crocodiles), manage not to set off his motion detectors in the cave, deflect his ball shot, and disarm him with my katana (I am not left handed either). If, after all of that, I am about to kill him in cold blood, we can be confident that the risk/reward equation occurred to me. Thus, I will have thought about the potential for the death penalty. And perhaps, because the downside risk is now even greater, I will allow him to live. Then, because it saves an innocent life, it is worth ending a life that is effectively worthless as determined by #1-4.

              • Since you are killing a man for his crime of killing an innocent man….

                … if you kill an innocent man who was wrongly convicted, will you submit to the same punishment you have delivered upon other people who kill innocent people?

              • I have listed solid conviction as a criterion.

                You could debate what defines a solid conviction. But for purposes of allowing the death penalty, take my list as presented. He is guilty, sane, unable to be rehabilitated, and committed murder with malice and forethought. I know you cannot be certain of these facts, but if you were, where do you stand?

                BF: But you can’t be certain, so your question makes no sense.

                Mathius: God himself came down from on high, he informed you of the facts himself. Further, you were present at the events. And the murder confessed. And he he has stated that he will do so again given the chance. Etc etc. You’re 100% positive – 100%. Now what?

                BF: Who am I to kill another man? I have no right.

                Did I get that about correct?

              • Solid conviction.

                Yet, mistakes are still made.

                There exists no such thing as 100% guaranteed conviction.

                There are malicious prosectutors, overzealous police, medical mistakes, and even the innocent under pressure will plead guilty to crimes they did no committ.

                If you kill the innocent, are you willing to submit yourself to the same punishment you measured upon those that kill the innocent?

              • Creating a hypothetical that cannot exist ever in reality proves or disproves nothing.

                There is 100% certainty in death.

                There is less than 100% certainty in laying guilt.

                If you deliver a punishment that resolves to 100% death, based on less 100% certainty, you will -enviably- kill an innocent man.

              • There is no 100% certainty in death either. Medical science may some day find a way to reverse it.

                Ironically, according to the tv screen in my elevator, today is the anniversary of Ben Franklin’s quote “but in the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”

              • Death is certain in the fact you cannot re-animate it.

                It is a fallacy to argue the future. One cannot claim any certainty about what may or may not be invented or discovered.

                Death penalty exists in reality today. Death 100% fatal.

                Mistakes will be made.

                Are you willing to submit to the same punishment you so deliver upon others for the same crimes?

              • Reply at #23

              • Buck The Wala says:

                How did I get drawn into this debate?

              • Because you are new to the Cave and your friend did not alert you to all the traps.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                But it was my so called ‘friend’ who dragged me in…

              • Perhaps you should keep one eye on this supposed friend?

        • But where can we find a jail that doesn’t cost us a bunch of money for many years ?

          Where I live, the annual cost of confinement is a good salary for someone even with a college educated !!

          Had a discussion with a friend a few years ago, when I first found out that it was costing California a billion or more $$ a year to incarcerate ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT CONVICTS !!

          We didn’t have a final detailed solution, but I thought it would solve a few worlds problems, if we paid in say ;Nicaraugua; half of what it costs to imprison them there. Of course with penalties for failure to keep the prisoners there. They would have a great income – Calif would save a bundle.. .. Oh well –

          • I like it! 😉 But I don’t think outsourcing those job will go over very well, I’m guessing there’s a union involved and lots folks who vote for people with the letter D after their name…..

            • Oh – that would be part of the deal – all current correction people would also be employed there if they desired. We would not force a lose of jobs ! Then they could send their pay back to the US !!

      • I’ll go with Rush’s assessment on his one. I was thinking the same thing on my own BEFORE I heard Rush. This isn’t about ‘justice’ for the KSM. This is about destroying America by demoralizing her citizens, keeping the citizens fighting among themselves so as to distract them from the destruction being wrought upon them, and best of all, getting President Bush, VP Cheney, and all those on down, turned over to the International Criminal Court. America will be thorougly discredited in the eyes of ‘The World’, and will have to pay the price. We will pay by surrendering our leadership role and then with our sovereignity.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Maybe I’m missing something about Rush’s “logic”.

          How does trying KSM in a court of law destroy America?

          • Think about what I posted above for a minute.

            Do you think Americans are going hold hands a sing Obama worship songs as our country is dragged through the mud? Are the CIA, NSA, and FBI people going to protect us, or are they going to protect themselves? Is the Islamic world going to suddenly love us, or will they riot and call out for blood? Will there be anything we don’t already know discovered, or will the images and rhetoric be used to make the US under GWB look evil? I’m sure there will be lies by ommission. What about the UN and the ICC? Won’t there be demands for justice now that there is ‘evidence’, and an international war crimes trial? I do believe I’ve heard calls for that already. This trial isn’t about KSM, its about hanging President Bush, much like Saddam was hanged. Bush, is not as despised as you think, especially after less than a year of Obama. The trial could be done privately and at Gitmo, but it won’t be. The propagada value will be used to demoralize Americans who still think this country is a good one, or least used to be before Obama took over. Americans are going to be fighting each other rather than fighting their loss of freedom. Its a wonderful distraction while the power and wealth grab continues. How will all of that NOT lead to the destruction of America? The only thing left will be lines on a map.

            So tell me how you think KSM’s trial will improve America? Be realistic.

        • Cyndi P:

          I humbly disagree with your proposition regarding motive. In fact who is it that is beating the living crap out of this drum in order to keep US divided?

          I like Rush but he is all wet on this one. He’s falling for the standard “conservative” mantra.

          Amendment 14:

          “…….No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the priveleges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due proces of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

          Please note while the first statement applies to “citizens” the latter two apply to “persons”. Quantanamo Bay, Cuba is “under our jurisdiction”. So are all embassies and other facilities oversease that are operated by U.S. personel.

          The only legitimate legal issue that has existed was whether these guys were “prisoners of war” or some related category that excludes them from our laws. But that would put them under “international law”. So Bush tried to split the hairs. Our “conservative” Supreme Court called B.S. on Bush. They are under our jurisdiction and therefore subject to protections of “our Constitution”.

          Are we going to start hand picking what and when we support our laws because we are angry or offended?

          NOT ME.

          Liberty has not room for hypocrisy.

          • I don’t think Rush is the one causing the division. The Left has been doing it for years. Rush is just pushing back, just like the Islamic world pushes back against American Imperialism. So his actions are justified. But in case you don’t buy that line I borrowed from someone we all know and love, I’ll go with Rush is just exercising his first ammendment right and that Americans would still be divided without him.

            As for the 14th Ammendment, so you really think Obama and his people are going to respect that? They don’t seem to have much respect for the frist, second, or fourth, at least so far as I can tell. Time will tell if Obama has respect for the Constitution, or if he doesn’t.

            • I don’t care what they respect.

              I care what I respect and I care what YOU respect.

              If WE are going to resurrect a nation built on liberty, if WE are going to rip these guys for violating the Constitution, then WE must stand behind and defend the Constitution, no matter how obnoxious that may seem for this particular case.

              If Rush and the other statist conservatives stopped yelling about this do you think the “division” would simply continue to grow? They are just trying to use this to play on our “superficial understanding” and “anger” in hopes of further damaging this President and the Democratic party.

              I say let it go. They have already damaged themselves and will continue to do so on issues where they forfiet the moral high ground. But to attack them for adhereing to the Constitution and the laws of our nation?

              Makes do damn sense.

              • JAC,

                I believe the Constitution and laws can be followed without the dog and pony show that this trial will be. The division will continue to grow if Rush were silenced. Dividing Americans is a long time tactic. The want us to keep fighting each other rather than focus on the real problem, which is THEM, the Leftists/Statists. As long as the citizens are arguing about Rush, Maddow, Olbermann, Gay Marriage, Black, White, Brown, Legal, Illegal, whatever, were are not focusing on THEM.

                Can you please explain to me exactly how this trial will strengthen America? What will the international raction be?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Terrorists have been tried in our criminal courts before. They will be tried in our criminal courts again.

                It demonstrates how strong of a country we are, how strictly we adhere to the rule of law. The fact that KSM will possibly try to turn this into a ‘dog and pony show’ is irrelevant.

                The division you are talking about is not because KSM is being tried in our courts; the division is a direct result of factions on the right and left bickering amongst themselves. Rush Limbaugh (among others) is flaming the fires for his own personal agenda.

              • I think the only thing this trial will show is how clueless America really is. Justice and law can be respected without this foolishness.

                I’m asking how exactly this trial will make America stronger and better?

                I agree that both sides are fanning the divisions. Rush, is an entertainer. The bigger the audience, the bigger the money. Obviously the message resounds with people. Why? Because they are stupid? What’s Pelosie’s excuse? Al Sharpton, Rev Wright? Rev Jackson, Maddow, Olberman, etc?? What about those followers? Are they stupid too? Where are we now? Where do we want to be? No one knows or cares because its all Rush’s fault, right? Let’s keep arguing over it, blah, blah, blah. What will have changed for the better while we were at it? What are those czars up to? Who is Obama contacting on that personal Blackberry he insisted on keeping? What about the treaty of Copenhagen? What about that national debt? What about the depreciation of the dollar? What about all those lost jobs? Do you see what I’m getting at? The KSM trial isn’t about law and justice. That can be served without causing a major distraction.

              • Cyndi:

                “Can you please explain to me exactly how this trial will strengthen America? What will the international raction be?”

                Is this our new criteria for determining when we will or will not follow our laws? Only if it makes us stronger?

                Quite frankly I doubt this trial will make a significant difference in attitudes overseas. I do think our stock among some will increase as they will view us as following our own laws. In short, a step away from hypocrisy.

                I do not understand what your questions have to do with this man getting a trial by jury.

                My point about Rush and the others banging the drums of anger over this is that it is our law. It is hypocritical to bitch about Obama breaking the law everyday and then complain about KSM getting a trial by jury.

                Whether it turns into a circus will be determined by the competency of the prosecution and the defense, and the steadfastness of the judge.

              • JAC,

                Obama hasn’t broken any laws. He and his party are working on new laws that will render the old ones moot.

                I don’t believe looking like less of a hypocrit to some is worth the price America will pay. Besides, I thought Obama was supposed to prove to the world how nice we are without Bush around, right? That’s why so many people voted for him, so the world would think well of us again. Isn’t international opinion why Obama goes around apologizing for the US? Obama’s voters want the world to like us again. Personally, I don’t give a rats patootie what the world thinks about our laws and if we follow them. If any one has a problem with that then they shouldn’t take up arms against America or come to into our country.

                I still don’t see how this trial makes us stronger. And that trial by jury, I thought that was a right for American citizens and legal residents only. Do the rights of Americans apply to everyone on the planet? How do those people feel about that? Isn’t forcing our laws on citizens of other countries the mark of Empire? Isn’t Empire bad? If health care is a right, does that mean America is required to provide it to every person on the planet? What about the rest of our rights and laws? If KSM is entitled to a trial by jury then he’s probably entitled to a lot of other stuff too.

                BF states that the GC applies to protected persons. Okay, KSM was in our custody and had certain rights. Where in the GC does it say he gets a civilian trial by jury? Can’t a military trial be conducted in this case?

                Who excatly is on trial in this case? KSM or the Bush Administration? I suspect the Bush Administration will be on trial more than KSM. Allegations of torture will be the focus.

                As for your confidence in the judge, I don’t share it. I suspect the judge will be selected to conduct just the type of trial Obama wants. I’m pretty sure that what Obama wants for America is very different than what I want, but I guess I just have to see what happens.

              • The problem with a military trial is that would mean KSM is a solider – and cannot be tried for resisting the Occupying Power.

                The act he is charged with was not an act of war. He is not a “State” nor a “Government” – he is a man.

                Thus, he committed a crime – murder.

                Hence, it needs to be heard in a criminal court.

              • JAC:

                When are military tribunals supposed to be used and when are civilian courts supposed to be used?

                Yes, I want to follow the Constitution. The terrorist, warrior, soldier (whatever you want to call him) was being tried under military authority and pled guilty. He wanted to be put to death. Obama stopped the military trial and put it in civilian courts. Was that due to the Supreme Court decision last year? What happened to cause Obama to stop the military trial and go the civilian route. What did the Supreme Court say?

                You seem very confident that this is a clear cut, no brainer decision that the military trials were inappropriate and the civillian court route the correct way to go. Can you help educate me on this?

              • Bird:

                I have not studied nor even followed the details of this case.

                I am confident on the military tribunal issue however.

                That is because he was captured by our people in Pakistan. He was not nor could he be even remotely considered an “enemy-combatant”.

                He is a criminal conspirator, under our laws, as I understand those laws.

                But I am not a lawyer. My opinions are based on my reading and study of laws and how they have been applied. I also rememeber the recent SCOTUS ruling that said Bush had to get all of these folks a trial and could not hold them indefinitely. The justification was that they are entitled to due process.

                If you extend that criteria the KSM should have given a civilian trial because his capture was not a “military” matter. He is not a soldier nor a combatant.

                I was unaware that they went forward with military tribunal for KSM. I was waiting for his civilian trial as I expected would be required after the SCOTUS ruling.

                Lets move further discussion to the Friday night open mic post.

                Easier for all to follow.

                JAC

          • Why didn’t the Bush Administration declare them as prisoners of war? Were they afraid to follow the Geneva Convention rules on prisoners of war? Are terrorists really prisoners of war? I’m sure the Bush Administration thought about this at the time. If they wanted them tried under a war board, then they should not have delayed for as long as they did.

            I see the 14th breaks apart citizens and persons. I know you stated this once before and I now see why it is important. I’ve learned something today.

            • Birdman,

              I believe the Geneva Convention rules apply ONLY to uniformed soldiers of nation states. Since Al-Qeada isn’t the army of anything but a relgion, I don’t think the fighters qualifiy for protection/classification.

  21. Buck The Wala

    “Every pill I take is as important as every pill I already have taken.” Very true. But I’m not suggesting buying in bulk for myself. I am suggesting buying in bulk for an entire nation of people. Even though every single pill is as important as the next, I guarantee the more pills you buy the cheaper those pills will be.

    So, what economic theory are you using to demonstrate that “making 1 of X at the cost of Y sold for Z; but making 10 of X at the cost of 10 y will be sold for LESS THAN 10 Z”

    I have mine – called “Marginal Utility”. The second unit satisfies LESS of my needs then the first unit. The second apple satisfies less hunger than the first, thus I value the second apple less than the first

    For you to sell me the second apple, you will have to discount the price down to what I would value it at.

    Real example; we go food shopping once a month and buy, essentially, only things on sale. I will buy 3x more than normal on sale, but only 1x the thing not on sale. Why? The extra units – which I do not need to satisfy my needs right now are priced lower than the value they provide my needs in the future.

    But this does not occur with medicine. I do not buy “extra” medicine to use “in the future”. I only buy the medicine I need now. I do not buy for the future because I do not anticipate needing the medicine in the future whatsoever.

    If I get a disease, I get medicine to cure it. I do not buy 3x more – just in case I get the same disease again! I did not anticipate getting the disease in the first place, and I do not anticipate I will get the disease in the future! So why would I buy more than the first Unit of Utility.

    Case of a chronic disease: I will need to use medicine for the rest of my life. But, again let’s measure the marginal utility. If I do not take the medicine, I die. Every single unit of medicine carries exactly the same ability of satisfying my desire. The first pill I take relieves my pain. I do not take the second pill to relieve 50% more pain at half the price. It would poison me. Further, I do not avoid taking the pill on the timely basis as prescribed, or that would kill me.

    Every single pill holds exactly the same Unit of Utility that is, 100%. There is no discount of value to me.

    The only other case is not needing to buy medicine at all. So why would I? It would use my capital to buy an inventory that I would not use – no one but the insane and pill collectors would do this.

    So, Buck, it appears you simply believe “buy 1 at X price, therefore buy 10 at Less then 10X price” is some sort of ‘economic law’ on its own standing. It is not. There has to be an underlying Human Action that must explain it.

    I wait yours.

    • Just because “government” pre-buys the medicine does not change the utility.

      The only way government dispense its purchases is to people who need precisely that amount of medicine – with the Unit of Utility to be precisely 100% OR chronic, where the Unit of Utility for every pill is 100% too.

      Government as a middle man does not change the Marginal Utility of the end user.

      The next question, is how does the Government’s Marginal Utility be measured and used?

      How does the government predict how much medicine it should buy?

      Remember there is a cost of capital – the government needs to borrow money to buy this medicine and store it. Interest is being accumulated on that stale medicine.

      If the government buys 100 pills (to satisfy what need?), why would its Marginal Utility go down on the purchase of 200? Are the governments needs “less” for the 200 pills vs the first 100, for it to lower its evaluation for those extra 100 pills? What need is the government satisfying with the first 100 pills? The second 100?

    • Buck The Wala says:

      That human action is negotiation.

      The more of nearly anything (there is always an exception) you buy the cheaper each unit is.

      I go into a store to buy 1 of anything and the price is X. I buy 10 of anything, the price is 10X. But if I go in ready to buy 1,000,000 of anything, I guarantee I will pay less than 1,000,000X.

      It doesn’t even need to be the government pre-buying. It can negotiate (as can the private sector) to pay a certain amount going forward for each unit given the number of people that will be purchasing through the government/private company. Insurance companies do this all the time.

      • Buck The Wala

        That human action is negotiation.

        The more of nearly anything (there is always an exception) you buy the cheaper each unit is.

        Why? You make this statement as if, on its own, it is a basic economic theory.

        But it is not. What is the root of your belief that by buying MORE will lower its cost?

        For example, if you come to me to buy gold, I don’t care if you have $1,000 or a million – there is no discount on quantity.

        Another, go into a bank with $1,000 – ask for it in $5 bills – will they give you MORE $5 bills, if you come in with $10,000? Why not?

        The reason why not is the fact that the Marginal Utility of a $5 is precisely the same for every unit of the $5! There is no discount necessary for the bank to deliver to you for you to accept the 500th 5-er then the first 5 you got.

        I go into a store to buy 1 of anything and the price is X. I buy 10 of anything, the price is 10X. But if I go in ready to buy 1,000,000 of anything, I guarantee I will pay less than 1,000,000X.

        X is $5 bill or ounces of gold.

        Your guarantee failed.

        It doesn’t even need to be the government pre-buying. It can negotiate (as can the private sector) to pay a certain amount going forward for each unit given the number of people that will be purchasing through the government/private company. Insurance companies do this all the time.

        It is not the same thing.

        Insurance companies guarantee a price by deposit. That is, they give the companies cash without requiring immediate delivery.

        The discount the drug companies give insurance is equal to the value of what is essentially an interest-free loan. The product is discounted between 0% and less than the interest rate the drug company would pay on the open market for the same money.

        Again, the government could do the same thing – but what difference does it provide consumers or the drug companies that the insurance company can’t do already?

        If the government buys much, much more – the government has to borrow more and more or print more and more – so to give to the drug companies as (and I repeat, its important) interest free loan.

        Somewhere, somehow, there is a cost to government via the taxpayer – either payments of interest the government had to borrow or inflation of the currency for the money it needed to print.

        Unlike an insurance company – who raises free capital from the savings of the citizens and thus is constrained in not over doing the “interest free loans” – the government has no such brakes.

        The benefit of single payer government health care is wholly delivered to the drug company – nearly unlimited access to interest-free (and tax free) money with the cost of this money dropped directly on the taxpayer (if borrowed by the government) or every single human soul in America (via inflation).

        • Buck The Wala says:

          “Your guarantee failed.”

          Ah, but I did say there is always an exception.

          • There is can be no exceptions in a theory.

            If there is an exception, then the theory fails and a new one is required.

            The Marginal Utility Theory has stood unmoved for nearly 200 years.

            The Buck Theory of Negotiation lasted 15 minutes.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              An exception doesn’t destory a theory. Rather, it is the exception that proves the rule!

              • (sigh)

                Your theory is toast – right beside Keynes’ – so you have pleasant company.

                The fact remains:

                There exists no economic theory that provides for a sustainable Socialist Health Care System

  22. Chapter 1: Harpo ÷ Gekko = Monkey Business x Terminal Greed

    The Sprocket of History

    This series has been written against the background of one of the most momentous events in history: the unraveling of the wealthiest, most powerful and most hopeful empire the world has ever known: the United States of America.

    The orgy of U.S. government spending on every too-big-to-fail bankster or too-loud-to-ignore “social justice” race huckster is accelerating daily, funded by phantom dollars printed by the government or extracted otherwise from the value of its subjects’ savings. The banksters’ main column is feasting on the taxpayers’ dollars while in a maneuver worthy of Patton, the Goldman Sachs cavalry detachment has been sent to secure the perimeter of a socialist White House.

    The Nobel-laureate in economics Gary Becker linked the financial travails of Argentina in the mid-1990s to government spending at more than 30% of GDP. The Swiss economist Peter Bernholz has linked hyperinflation triggers to government deficits exceeding 40% of expenditures. But government spending in Obamerica is 45% of GDP, and its deficit stands at 43.3%. Peronism has acquired a permanent perch in Washington, DC.

    http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4158

    • LOI,

      That article has me depressed. I think he’s an astute observer.

      ;(

      • Sorry to be a downer, thought it interesting that people from other nations see what is happening while so many here are oblivious. How about some chuckles to turn that frown,,,you know, something.

        Funny Historical Accounts

        DAILY RECORD (15th MAY 1992)
        Frank Perkins of Los Angeles made an attempt on the world flagpole-sitting record in 1992. But after he came down, he not only discovered he was eight hours short of the 400-day record, but also that his sponsor had gone bust, his girlfriend had left him, and his phone and electricity had been cut off.

        INDEPENDENT (19TH DEC 1996)
        A rapturous welcome awaited Antonio Gomez Bohorquez and Pascual Fuertes Noguera when they returned home to Murcia in southern Spain after pioneering a new route up Mount Sisha Pagma in the Himalayas. On studying specialist publications, however, they had to sheepishly admit that they had, in fact, climbed the wrong mountain.

        HOUSTON POST (13TH SEPT 1990)
        In Cebu city, Philippines, Enrique Quinanola made a determined effort to kill himself. Quinanola, 21 and unemployed, attempted to hang himself, but relatives cut the rope and took him to hospital. While doctors prepared a sedative, he slipped away and ran to a nearby restaurant where he grabbed a knife and slashed his wrists. Police saw the incident and tried to subdue Quinanola, but he put up a terrific struggle, so the officers shot him, first in his leg, then in the chest. He died a few minutes later. His relatives sued the government for violating his civil liberties.

        INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE (20 JUL 1992)
        Tiring of crowds attending football games at the Kennedy Stadium when the Washington Redskins were playing, Charles Buki moved from his home near the ground to Arlington, Virginia. He said parking was impossible on game days, and was sick of picking up beer bottles in his front yard. On arriving in Arlington he was “absolutely paralyzed” to discover that his new home was only a short distance from the Redskins’ planned new stadium. The Washington Post compared his fate to that of farmer Wilmer McLean, who fled Manassas, Virginia, after the American Civil War’s first battle was fought there. He moved to Appomattox Courthouse, the eventual site of the final battle of the war, where Lee surrendered to Grant in McLean’s living room.

        VICTORIA TIMES (19TH SEPT 1990)
        Another wartime incident caused Danny Simpson of Ottawa, Canada, much grief. In 1990 he was given six years imprisonment for robbing a bank of $6000 using an elderly Colt .45 pistol. He was arrested and the gun was impounded by the police, where it was recognized as an extremely rare collectors’ item, worth between $12,000 and $100,000. It was made under licence by the Ross Rifle Company in Quebec City during WW1, one of only 100 Colt .45’s ever made there. Simpson could have walked into any gun shop and sold the pistol for at least twice the haul from his raid without breaking the law.

        DAILY MIRROR (28TH SEPT 1995)
        Another armed robber, jailed for eight years in Argentina, decided to hire a private detective to trace the father he never met. The detective discovered the man’s father was the warder of the prison in which he was incarcerated

        WESTERN MORNING NEWS (28TH SPR 1994)
        Ian Lewis, 43, of Standish, Lancashire, England, was also interested in finding out about his family. He spent 30 years tracing his family tree back to the seventeenth century. He travelled all over Britain, talked to 2,000 relatives and planned to write a book about how his great-grandfather left to seek his fortune in Russia and how his grandfather was expelled after the Revolution. Then he found out he had been adopted when he was a month old and his real name was David Thornton. He resolved to start his family research all over again.

        INDEPENDENT (26TH JULY 1995)
        Markku Tahvainen drove his family 250 miles to a zoo in Finland in order to see the bears. Whe they returned home, though, they discovered footprints and droppings in their garden which revealed that in their absence they had been visited by a bear which had eaten their ducks.

        BIG ISSUE (20TH FEB 1995)
        After three days of uninterrupted heavy music from the flat next door, Gunthwilde Blom, 63, of Klagenfurt, Austria, began to get cross. She hammered on the walls and put notes under the door of the offending flat. All this had no effect so she confronted her neighbour, Wilma Kock, directly. Kock protested her innocence, but Blom did not believe her, calling her a “venomous herring”. When the noise continued Mrs Blom finally went berserk and pushed 20lbs of fresh herring through her neighbor’s letter-box. Ms Kock called the police, who discovered while interviewing Blom that the music was actually coming from a radio she had inadvertently left on beneath her own bed. Unrepentant, she declared, “They didn’t understand – Kock’s a cow.”

        DAILY MIRROR (2ND JUN 1993)
        A South African came 6,000 miles to photograph the church clock in Grantchester, Cambridge, at ten to three, as in the Rupert Brooke poem. It had broken down, and was stuck as 1:05.

        EDINBURGH EVE NEWS (12TH JAN 1990)
        Albin’s trek across the world had a similarly disappointing end. He set out for New Zealand from London, England to to track down a cousin he had not seen for 30 years – but cousin Bennett Birch was a recluse who lived in the remote settlement of Takehe in New Zealand’s far north. He had died a month or so before Albin’s arrival, but due to his reclusive habits no one had noticed.

        NEWS OF THE WORLD (21ST AUG 1988)
        Meanwhile, Martin Reeves travelled 8,000 miles to India to find parts for his 1957 Morris Cowley. His mission was succesful, but when he got back to Brighton, England, he found the car had been stolen.

        SUSSEX EVE ARGUS (20TH DEC 1990)
        Athlete John Oliver, 31, went all the way from Bournemouth, Dorset, England, to Nepal – a journey of over 5,000 miles – to take part in his first marathon, only to sprain his ankle on the starting line.

        DAILY MIRROR (25TH MAY 1990)
        Security measures bring their own headaches. In Broadway, Worcestershire, England, in 1990, a safe was unlocked for the first time since its key had been lost in 1942. All it contained was a note urging people not to lose the key.

        DAILY TELEGRAPH (16 SEPT 1986)
        In Mumbles, Swansea, England, Robin Branhall got tired of vandals who had broken the window of this surfing shop more than 20 times, so he fitted an unbreakable one. Arriving at his shop next day, he found the entire window had been stolen.

        REUTERS (20TH JULY 1994)
        Likewise, a Dutchman who invested more than $1,000 in a police trained guard dog to protect his house in Schalkhar woke up two days later to find the house had been broken into. The only thing the burglars had taken was the dog.

        CHESTERFIELD & DRONFIELD GAZETTE (20TH MAY 1988)
        A lonely heart who placed an ad in an unnamed Yorkshire, England, paper seeking to meet a lady for outings and friendship received one reply – from his mother.

        NEWS OF THE WORLD (15TH DEC 1991)
        Had he had better luck, he would have been wise not to use the condoms issued by the New Zealand Health Department in their safe-sex guide. They were attached to the booklet by a staple through the middle.

        THE GUARDIAN (26TH APR 1989)
        La Cicciolina, the Italian porn star MP, returned to her native Hungary in 1989 to visit the hamlet of Kiskunhalas in order to celebrate the departure of Soviet military forces from the land they had occupied since 1945. She marked the beginning of the withdrawal by releasing a white dove, but could only watch, along with bemused villagers, as the symbolic bird fluttered down onto the railway transporter’s loading ramp and the first tank of the first regiment of the Soviet Southern Army Group 13th Division rolled right over it.

        DAILY TELEGRAPH (18TH NOV 1988)
        Sheffield City Council’s Norton Nurseries, England, was home to a magnificent 25ft-tall succulent, Agave americana, which had survived WW2, and 50 British winters. In its native South America it flowers once every 15 years, but in the British climate that was believed to take 50-100 years. In 1988 it began to develop a flower spike and was excitedly tended by nurserymen awaiting the great event – until a council workman reversed his lorry over the plant, smashing it to oblivion.

        DAILY TELEGRAPH (25 JUL 1986)
        A fireman in Bath, Somerset, England, using a metal detector to trace a fire hydrant which had been covered in tarmac after road resurfacing, dug seven holes in the wrong place before realizing the device was being set off by the steel toe-caps in his boots.

        DAILY TELEGRAPH (23 AUG 1986)
        Water supplies also caused much vexation to historians trying to discover the identity of someone buried in the graveyard of Evercreech Church, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England. They were trying to identify the person under the gravestone simply marked “H.W.P.” until the Wessex Water Authority put them out of their misery by pointing out that it was a marker for the church’s hot-water pipe.

  23. Judy Sabatini says:

    Watch it Mathius, he’s doing the same thing to you he did to me, asking you the same questions he did me, and that’s when I felt cornered, couldn’t fight my way out, was being pounded by Flag and JAC. Had to stop and do some major thinking on everything they said, and you know what? I finally saw the light, for what they told me, made me stop and do some hard core thinking, actually made me change my mind about the death penalty.

    I was determined not change my thinking ever, until JAC pointed out some things to, and some other things that BF said to me, and I didn’t want to be known as a closed minded person, so I did some long hard thinking and came to the conclusion that they were right. The way I felt, I felt for most of my life too, but then these 2 wonderful people came into my life and showed me how wrong I was.

    Just thought I’d let you know how they helped me, and for that I am very grateful to them. BYW, I’m trying to keep up with all of you, but don’t have the time to read everything, but some things are jumping out at me, and I wanted to say my peace.

    Judy

    • Black Flag:

      What should be done with Nidal Hasan who killed 13 soldiers?

      How could Hasan ever make restitution for killing 13?

      What possible restitution could there be for murder?

      What if someone doesn’t want a slave (a murderer) around them?

      • What should be done with Nidal Hasan who killed 13 soldiers?

        Provide restitution to the families.

        How could Hasan ever make restitution for killing 13?

        He can never supply full restitution but something is better than nothing.

        What possible restitution could there be for murder?

        Money, what else is there?

        What if someone doesn’t want a slave (a murderer) around them?

        Then send him to someone else who doesn’t mind.

        • He cannot pay any restitution. He can live through our supplying him caretakers. Your “moral” solution provides justification for the government to take from me and use it for this scum.

          http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,574908,00.html

          Accused Fort Hood Gunman May Be Paralyzed, Lawyer Says

          Friday, November 13, 2009

          FORT HOOD, Texas — The Army psychiatrist accused in the fatal shootings at Fort Hood may be paralyzed from the waist down after being shot multiple times during the attack, his attorney told The Associated Press on Friday.

        • BF or JAC,

          This is not really my question, but I was asked this and thought of your conversation… wanted your thoughts…

          The Maj. in Fort Hood that killed 13/14… When he entered the armed forces and signed on the dotted line swearing an oath, he became bound to the UCMJ. In those docs, there are many articles which he may have broken and a couple are punishable by death… again, voluntarily signing these… thoughts on course of action? Just curious on your take.

          • If we agree that there exists ‘some level’ of evidence enough to convict a man to death – we also must admit that such level cannot achieve 100% certainity – and therefore a mistake will happen and an innocent man will die one day at the hands of an executioner.

            The argument for capital punishment rests on punishing a murderer for killing the innocent.

            By killing an innocent via capital punishment, those that demand such punishment are now culpable to the very crime they condemn.

            It is not whether this man is a murderer and should receive death – it is by agreeing that there exists enough evidence to proceed with such fatal punishment, one then has inevitably condemned an innocent man to death some time in the future for a crime he did not commit.

            Are you willing to submit yourself to same fatal punishment you demand upon the killers of innocent people when this happens?

            A killer is a Clear and Present Danger, and responsible action to protect the People is justified.

            If however such condemnation is made upon an innocent man, restitution can be made to restore -at least in part- the loss of his freedom – if he is alive.

            Nothing can restore life after death.

            Killing a killer is merely revenge and as such pointless. It returns nothing, does nothing, solves nothing.

            Revenge killing risk killing the innocent. That most certainly is something that can never be taken back.

            • lingeringmethane says:

              This is interesting… you are saying that the man should not be put to death even though he agreed to serve in the US military for a specified amount of time and to abide by the laws which are laid out in the UCMJ. As he willingly signed on “the dotted line” it is his and only his responsibility to do his due diligence to ensure that he can uphold the terms of the contract. Do you not believe in contracts either?
              How do you define responsible action in reference to protecting the people?
              Where is personal responsibility?

              • Hi, lingeringmethane

                This is interesting… you are saying that the man should not be put to death even though he agreed to serve in the US military for a specified amount of time and to abide by the laws which are laid out in the UCMJ.

                That is exactly what I am saying.

                As he willingly signed on “the dotted line” it is his and only his responsibility to do his due diligence to ensure that he can uphold the terms of the contract. Do you not believe in contracts either?

                There exists no such contract that states that the failure to abide by a contract results in death.

                Consider this, Lingering – if the government fails to abide by its side of the contract, can you put the government to death???

                Therefore, no such valid contract of death exists the other way,too.

                How do you define responsible action in reference to protecting the people?
                Where is personal responsibility?

                There exists no valid argument that states killing people who are no longer a threat “protects other people”.

                However, there is a very valid argument that states killing people who are no longer a threat creates a serious threat of death to all people

                If you can justify killing a man who is not a threat – you’ve justified the killing of your family and yourself by the State – for you are not a threat either, are you? But you’ve justified the State in taking your life, since ‘not being a threat’ no longer matters as a exoneration from threat of being killed.

                Death penalty advocacy means, Linger you are advocating for the killing of innocent and/or non-threatening people.

                I am not looking at the man you claim “guilty” of heinous crimes to judge whether capital punishment is right or wrong

                I am looking at you and me, innocent, non-threatening people who, by accident, ignorance, stupidity or malice could be put to death by the State.

              • lingeringmethane says:

                I guess I did not express myself correctly.

                You are correct the contract itself does not stipulate “punishable by death”; however, it does stipulate that by signing and swearing an oath you agree to adhere to “proper conduct” laid out in the Geneva convention and the UMJC.

                Here in-lies my point, there are consequences for everything. If a man voluntarily joins the armed service and commits treason, which is punishable by death, how could he expect a different result?

                I am not understanding your logic on non-threatening people.
                How all of a sudden is he non-threatening? Because we know what he has done?
                Cause he is incarcerated? Paralyzed?

              • I repeat my core point;

                Capital Punishment advocacy will lead to the killing of innocent people.

                That alone makes it abhorrent and evil.

                The measure of an act of evil is not based on its application upon those that you believe “deserve it” – but because it will be applied upon those that do not deserve it

                As far as consequences, I am sure -if he is guilty- will suffer them without having to die.

                And…
                Cause he is incarcerated? Paralyzed?

                Do you think he is a threat if he is behind bars in a wheel chair, sucking noodles from a straw?

                I think my daughter could take him on, if he was a threat.

    • Ah, but Judy, I have some long guns of my own. Mr. Flag is just misunderstood. All he needs is some softening up from my 9 pounders. I’m warming them up right now. 🙂

      • Ah, Mr. Mathius – your cannons, as usual, are pointed in the wrong direction.

        I am standing behind you.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Ah, but Mathius, I don’t fight with Flag, I am with him, not against him, for he leaves his weapons at the door when he comes to “visit” me, don’t you know that? I am not a fighter, I am peace maker.

        That’s why I have this new job on this site. I have been deemed as the new mom of SUFA by G-Man, and I have to make sure all my boys are playing nice with each other, not fighting. For my heart and nature are warm and caring, not fighting.

        • But mom, I’m just roughhousing with my big brother.. boys will be boys, afterall

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Yeah, and I know how rough housing can get out of hand, after all, I do have 2 of my own for real, 27, and 24 and when they get together, watch out. One always tries to see if he’s bigger and tougher too.

            So you 2 will have to be careful when rough housing.

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              Forgot to add this too Mathius, remember, Flag has been around a lot longer and knows how to get the best of people. He won me over to his side, so that should tell you something. I fought tooth and nail with him on certain issues but the death penalty was the biggest one that pushed me over to join him. Sorry honey.

              • If he can convince me, I will happily switch sides. I have no vested interest either way. But it will be a mighty deed to do so.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Mathius, I’m not telling you what to do, I was just telling you the way I thought and how I was determined not to change. But when JAC and Flag called me closed minded, well that did to me.

                I won’t go into any details here, not now, maybe some other time I will explain the way I thought, and then how I changed my mind after doing my thinking, and what they said to me made sense.

              • I don’t think you’re closed minded. And I don’t think I am either. I just take a lot of convincing 🙂

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Thank you for saying that, I appreciate it very much.

                But it took me some time to get convinced, but they did it.

                Don’t think you’re closed minded either. We didd have that talk about abortion before, and it seemed like you were willing ti give it some thought. At leats, I think it was you, not sure though.

              • He may have been around the block longer, but I’m no slouch, ma’am.

                We get stronger by challenging ourselves, if I stuck to knocking around flyweights, I’d never get anywhere. I’m 26 now. Not sure how old Cap’n Flag is, but let’s see what the fights start to look like when I reach that age. Should be quite a show.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Well, since you don’t know how old he is, then how will you know when you’ve reached your peak?

              • I never plan to peak. I plan to live forever and get better every single day.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Go to bottom of page.

  24. Flag says,

    “Yes, the criminal needs to provide restitution for his crimes.

    The 13th Amendment provides for the use of criminal labor.”

    And if he/she won’t work, they can starve. I can live with this, except you are forcing me to pay for him being kept where he cannot harm others. You are against government taking by force my earnings, yet this is what you would require of me. Perhaps there could be another nation that would operate as you imagine, but here it means I am forced to pay to house criminals. Don’t forget
    they must have HBO and widescreen’s.

    Will Flagland open anytime soon? Can I apply for citizenship now? Opps, you might not want me as a neighbor. Damn, have to work on the people skills.

    • LOI,

      No such force is applied to you to pay for him. He would need to earn his keep just as you do.

      If he refuses to earn his keep, then he suffers the consequence of laziness, called starvation.

      The complaint you have is not my answers, but the existence and methods of evil government. You know me well enough now to understand I do not apologize for any action of government – I condemn all action of government.

      The perversion of justice creates perverted justice. It compounds itself by justifying the killing of innocent men so to justify the killing of the guilty.

      It takes the restitution due to victims and seizes it for itself. It punishes for revenge. It instills fear in everyone.

      My answer to you is the same since day one. Do not expect a solution to government perversion by asking government for a solution.

      • Cost of incarceration

        The United States spends an estimated $60 billion each year on corrections.[42] While cost varies from state to state, in 2005, the average cost of incarceration per prisoner in the United States was $23,876, coming out to $65.41 per day.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States

        A 2002 study survey showed that among nearly 275,000 prisoners released in 1994, 67.5% were rearrested within 3 years, and 51.8% were back in prison.

        American prisons and jails held 2,299,116 inmates as of June 30, 2007.[12] One in every 31 American adults, or 7.3 million Americans, are in prison, on parole or probation. Approximately one in every 18 men in the United States is behind bars or being monitored. A significantly greater percentage of the American population is in some form of correctional control even though crime rates have declined by about 25 percent from 1988-2008.[13] 70% of prisoners in the United States are non-whites.[14] In recent decades the U.S. has experienced a surge in its prison population, quadrupling since 1980, partially as a result of mandated sentences that came about during the “war on drugs.” Violent crime and property crime have declined since the early 1990s.[15]

        As of 2004, the three states with the lowest ratio of imprisoned to civilian population are Maine (148 per 100,000), Minnesota (171 per 100,000), and Rhode Island (175 per 100,000). The three states with the highest ratio are Louisiana (816 per 100,000), Texas (694 per 100,000), and Mississippi (669 per 100,000).[16]

        Nearly one million of those incarcerated in state and federal prisons, as well as local jails, are serving time for committing non-violent crimes.[17]

        And we could agree on your solution for non-violent criminals. It would reduce the staggering cost of prisons, but would not remove that cost. The Ohio serial rapist, can I castrate him? Or will you require I pay the government to keep him locked away? All I’m looking for here is that the violent criminals will never again harm an innocent. But try to make it cost effective.

        No response to Flagland? If I can’t move there, can I visit? Tourism is good for the economy.

        • LOI

          Be careful my friend when you start using such numbers to justify action.

          It appears to me we should put most Americans in prison.

          You see the average per year cost is much lower than what Mr. Obama is spending to “save or ceate” my job that supports my family.

          He would save money if he just puts me in jail and feeds me and the family.

          Now go drink some beer while pondering that one.
          LOL

          • JAC,

            You got me. I need to start researching what crime
            my family should commit. Hold it, what kind of beer do they serve in prison? I’m kinda picky. Not sure I would like the changes to my sex life either. Would have to get my first tattoo before going in,

            It would be on my tush, large letters,

            EXIT ( ONLY

            Beer 30, nite all.

  25. So, the man who has murdered your friends and family and beloved dog, fluffy, is now your slave?

    Or until restitution has been made.

    This is your only recourse? Slavery or money? How is either one able to make up for your loss? This is not justice.

    How do you determine with sufficient certainty that he is guilty?

    Beyond a shadow of doubt.

    As determined by whom? You and your peers. They can never know with 100% certainty that he is guilty. By your own logic, a non-reversible error cannot be risked if there is any change that you are wrong. This is from your belief that because death is non-reversible, you cannot be sure enough. But you cannot give a man back the time he has spent as your slave. You may, upon learning the truth, release him, but the years he has lost in the mean time are gone. How is this different?

    What defines sufficient?

    Me and my peers.

    Who are you to judge? What if you and your friends are idiots? What if you have it out for this guy? Who are you to pronounce judgment on another human being within the framework of your beliefs? Specifically, how is it that you have the right, collectively, to impose on his rights?

    To this, you probably respond that you don’t have any such right. You would say that all you can do is announce a verdict and hope that the town collectively recognizes the need to ostracize this man as punishment for non-compliance, correct? If the town is big, is every shop keeper supposed to keep a list of blackballed individuals and ID everyone before a purchase (and who defines an acceptable ID?)? The implementation of this is a nightmare. Even a small town of just a few hundred people would probably be prohibitively large. The man will simply shop or seek employment in another part of town. Or, if his skills are in demand or he is too wealthy, the price of his ostracism is too high, and people will continue to work with him anyway. He is thus beyond judgment? You cannot blackball all the people who would fail to adhere to your ban, and you have no means of seeking restitution from them either.

    Who determines the length of the term of slavery (indentured servitude)? Do you get to unilaterally decide?

    Until restitution has been fully paid.
    OR
    I forgive his debt.

    This was already addressed, but again, he cannot pay off this debt. No restitution is possible for the loss of your friends, family, and Fluffy. Further, why are you entitled to restitution before the family of your friends? They, too, suffered losses. The man cannot serve in entirety multiple masters. Must you come to some terms to share the fruits of his labor? Who determines the structure of this arrangement if you can’t agree?

    You would say that something is better than nothing, yes? But now you are getting a pittance for your grave loss. And, if he has small children, and cannot take care of them now, they will surely die. Your actions will cause their death, thus you are responsible. Yes, his actions caused you to determine slavery as appropriate, but it is your decision to opt for this punishment rather than granting reprieve. So, can you morally follow this judgment knowing it will cause the death of innocent children?

    Also, in your view, if I understand correctly, every individual is an autonomous unit. Simply because a man is your brother, why does that entitle you to restitution in the event of his death? Because you loved him? Because he shares some of your DNA? It was not, after all, you who he killed or physically harmed. That you were saddened at his death does not distinguish you from his neighbor who was upset by the news.

    I assume you would indicate that this will follow “natural law” lines of inheritance. Given that, are you entitled to nothing in you are second in line as next of kin, but not first?

    Can you use force to make him work as your slave? If he will not work, can you strike him with a whip?

    No, but he will most likely starve to death.

    Why will he starve? Because you’ve locked him in your basement? How is this use of (restrictive) force any different that striking him?

    Or do you mean because the town will ostracize him and refuse to provide him food? What prevents him from stealing more? Provided he is a competent criminal and can only be caught after the fact (thus you cannot harm him while defending your property), and he has no goods or belongings which you can take in restitution, how do you stop this?

    If he tries to run away, can you place him in chains?

    Where would he run?
    I suggest he would receive a better treatment from my hand of restraint then the hands of my peers who would probably see his escape as a Clear and Present Danger to themselves.

    It seems to me, that in his situation, I would simply leave in the middle of the night and move to a town where I wasn’t known. If he moves elsewhere and starts over, you receive no restitution, and he receives no punishment, and no other criminals receive an effective deterrent. And where is the justice? Can a civilized society exist without justice?

    • Matt:

      You said: “This is not justice”

      I ask you: What is justice?

      • From our friends at Wikipedia:

        Justice is part of natural law (e.g, John Locke), it involves the system of consequences which naturally derives from any action or choice. In this, it is similar to the laws of physics: in the same way as the Third of Newton’s laws of Motion requires that for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction, justice requires according individuals or groups what they actually deserve, merit, or are entitled to. Justice, on this account, is a universal and absolute concept: laws, principles, religions, etc., are merely attempts to codify that concept.

        • Matt:

          Do you see something there that has any meat on it??

          Is “Justice requires” the same as “Justice is”?

          There is much more on Wiki regarding this as well. Please dig deeper.

          Now lets look at “natural law”. Is this not the law that you have been arguing against as justification and/or defense of an absolute free society? Yet now you wish to use the “natural law” in your definition to justify the Death Penalty?

          You can not stab the horse and then hope he will carry you out of the cave later.

          • You are the ones always arguing for natural law, so John Locke felt like a pretty good match to me. But for my money, I’d go with this:

            Justice is:
            A. Providing sufficient restitution to the injured party.
            B. Providing sufficient disincentive to the offending party.

            That’s off the cuff and subject to revision.

            • Good start except now you must addrss “sufficient”.

              • Well that’s going to vary case by case. We have volumes of case law in my judicial system. How about in yours? Is it arbitrary, or is there a standard you would use?

                Note, it occurs to me that some of the language I have used and the way I use it may appear combative. I assure you, though we are arguing, I endeavor to do so in a positive spirit. I hope that comes across.

              • Matt:

                You have not offended me in any way, except for your continued support of my enslavement. But that is the underlying purpose of our argument.

                Now, I asked first. What does “sufficient” mean to you? While your at it, how would you determine that value? Assuming it would vary from case to case.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        You know you have justice when neither side is happy with the outcome.

        • Buck:

          No my dear sir. That is the Governments definition of two things.

          1) Consensus, and
          2) A good decision.

          Everytime I hear a bureaucrat make that statement I want to go Burr.

      • In context, I said that money and/or servitude are not sufficient restitution to the murder of a loved one, and so this is not justice.

        If a man steals twenty dollars from you, spends half on lunch, then is caught, is it justice that he gives you $10? You lost ten dollars. He got a free meal. He has nothing left to give. Justice?

        How do you define it?

        • Matt:

          It is your statement I wish to understand, therefore it is for you to define.

          If you declare it is NOT justice then you must have some metric for determining when it IS justice.

          This is not some trick, I would like to know how you would define justice.

          Perhaps you could just explain whether any type, or what type of restitution you would consider as “justice” for a murder.

          • Let’s go with my two part answer (restitution and disincentive).

            In the $20 theft, it is the remaining $10 (by whatever means – wage garnishment, whatever), and perhaps a fine (paid to a charity or the society at large via the general fund).

            In the event of murder, I would say the next of kin gets everything he owns. Then, unless it meets my very specific and narrow criterion, I would say life in prison. This is (A)a disincentive to others and (B)absolutely bars a repeat offense.

            But, again, it’s off the cuff. And I’ve been working 12 hours so far and am starting to get a little run down.

  26. Ray Hawkins:

    I have just returned from the Hastings store where I diligently found Becks new book (idiots), started turning the pages muttering to myself not to forget to get an answer for Ray. Then it hit me.

    I couldn’t remember what the hell it was you asked me.

    I’m claiming old timers. Sorry

    Do you recall?

    JAC

  27. Judy Sabatini says:

    Down here Mathius

    Yeah, we all say we plan on living forever. I say that all the time. I don’t plan on dying. I have a deep fear of dying, something I can’t explain. I also have a deep fear of enclosed places. Claustrophobia, a really bad case of it too, so don’t ever plan on putting me a box.

    • In the list of phobias people claim to have, public speaking is #1, death is #2. So, by that list, more people would want to be in the box than giving the eulogy. Just a thought.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        I don’t claim to have it Mathius, I sincerely have it. It happened when I was a little girl around 7 years old. I was in my aunts swimming pool, I didn’t know how to swim, and to this day, I still don’t.

        What happened was, I was in the pool with my cousin and she was mentally retarded, and I’m not sure if she pulled me under, or if I fell asleep at the side. But I remember I was trying to scream and nothing came out. Next thing I know, 3 firemen were above me with an oxygen mask on my face. For what I was told, I was as blue as you can be, almost didn’t make it, if it wasn’t for my older brother. He was about to jump in the pool and he saw me, yelled for help, and my uncle jumped in and got me out.

        To this day, I don’t like deep water or enclosed places, and as far as I know, that’s what caused my claustrophobia, and I don’t swim.

        Hope that answers any questions you may have.

    • Also, I was born into an age where I can feasibly hope that medical science will grant me eternal life. If I can make it to 100, I should be good to go.

      And with that, it’s the weekend. Good luck, and good night.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Well, you just might make then if technology keeps going the way it is. My mother is 87 and I think she plans on living forever as well. Smokes like a chimney stack, has a slight case of emphysema, outside of that, not a damn thing wrong with her. She eats like a horse anything she wants, and weighs all of 84 LBS. The doctor said she’s is just fine and has a few more years left in her. BYW, she lives with us and I am the one who takes care of her. Forgot to mention, that she also has some Dementia as well. Wouldn’t dream of putting her in a home either, this way I know she is being taking care of.

  28. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hey BF

    Do you have any poker games tonight? If you do, I’m wishing you good luck. Hope you win.

    Judy

  29. Judy Sabatini says:

    Thought I would put this up here as my way of passing it along. A friend just sent it to me, and now, I’m sending it to you all.

    As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open.

    The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car and continued to watch the old gentleman from about 25 feet away.

    I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm, walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too, and took a few steps towards him. I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something.

    The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade and then turn back to the old man and I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying, ‘You shouldn’t even be allowed to drive a car at your age.’ And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.

    I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine. He then went to his wife and spoke with her and appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough and I approached the old man. He saw me coming and stood straight and as I got near him I said, ‘Looks like you’re having a problem..’

    He smiled sheepishly and quietly nodded his head. I looked under the hood myself and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me. Looking around I saw a gas station up the road and told the old man that I would be right back. I drove to the station and went inside and saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them and related the problem the old man had with his car and offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him.

    The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us, he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine) I spoke with the old gentleman.

    When I shook hands with him earlier, he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked the usual question, ‘What outfit did you serve with?’

    He had mentioned that he served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadal canal. He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me and I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.

    He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it and I stuck it in my pocket. We all shook hands all around again and I said my goodbye’s to his wife.. I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me.

    One of them pulled out a card from his pocket looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then, that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.

    For some reason I had gone about two blocks when I pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name ‘Congressional Medal of Honor Society.’

    I sat there motionless looking at the card and reading it over and over.

    I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together, because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage and an honor to have been in his presence.

    Remember, OLD men like him gave you FREEDOM for America . Thanks to those who served and those who supported them.

    America is not at war.

    The U.S. Military is at war.

    America is at the Mall.

    If you don’t stand behind our troops, PLEASE feel free to stand in front of them!

    Remember, Freedom isn’t “Free” — thousands have paid the price so you can enjoy what you have today!

    LET’S DO THIS — JUST 19 WORDS

    GOD OUR FATHER,

    WALK THROUGH MY HOUSE

    AND TAKE AWAY ALL MY WORRIES AND ILLNESSES;

    AND PLEASE WATCH OVER AND HEAL MY FAMILY AND OUR FRIENDS AND THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE FOUGHT AND ARE FIGHTING FOR OUR FREEDOM

    IN JESUS ‘ NAME. AMEN

    This prayer is so powerful. Pass this prayer to 12 people including me!

  30. A dedication to Rani, hope all will enjoy.
    Because we all have the power…

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Thought you were out for the night.

      • Thought so as well, home on dial-up(raser-fracken)
        computer fighting me. Wife was window shopping(I hope), got her to look at today’s post.
        Asked if she wanted to discuss death penalty and the computer suddenly became mine. Kids have temp. control of TV, Suite Life on Deck.

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          Time to get something different. Dial up is so passe. We used to have dial up, but it was so slow, I could have knitted a sweater waiting for it. We got Charter, in fact we have the Charter bundle, phone, internet, and cable all on one bill. You figure with all the what you pay for phone, cable, and internet service, you can get it all one one. We have unlimited long distance calling anywhere in the US for one low price. You ought to try it.

      • Maybe the best rock song ever.

    • Try again.

    • LOI,
      Very kind! Love the song and the video. I was an 80’s girl!
      One of the best things about so many people here is they get the basic concept that giving to one by stealing from another compromises your morals rather than balancing them. I often wonder how we got so far from that concept. Thanks LOI

  31. Mathius

    So, the man who has murdered your friends and family and beloved dog, fluffy, is now your slave?

    Or until restitution has been made.

    This is your only recourse? Slavery or money? How is either one able to make up for your loss? This is not justice.

    Matt, there exists no complete solution which makes up for a loss of life.

    The best, therefore, is “Something”, not?

    Would him delivering you his cut off fingers make it up? I doubt it.

    However, we deliver exchange of value for money – so if he provides money – making up for ‘something’ – the use of money to trade for things that are needed can be done.

    How do you determine with sufficient certainty that he is guilty?

    Beyond a shadow of doubt.

    As determined by whom? You and your peers. They can never know with 100% certainty that he is guilty. By your own logic, a non-reversible error cannot be risked if there is any change that you are wrong.

    No, I have the ability to reverse – he still lives.

    A mistake can be corrected because he is still alive to receive it.

    Your choice was to kill him. There is no correction of any mistake there.

    This is from your belief that because death is non-reversible, you cannot be sure enough. But you cannot give a man back the time he has spent as your slave. You may, upon learning the truth, release him, but the years he has lost in the mean time are gone. How is this different?

    Huge. He as years left. If you kill him, he has no years no matter what.

    You trade your years for money right now. One can repay his lost years the same way.

    No amount of money can fully replace his life take in mistake.

    What defines sufficient?

    Me and my peers.

    Who are you to judge? What if you and your friends are idiots? What if you have it out for this guy? Who are you to pronounce judgment on another human being within the framework of your beliefs? Specifically, how is it that you have the right, collectively, to impose on his rights?

    I can pronounce judgment easily based on my belief.

    Since the belief system is rooted in Natural Law and Freedom, any breach of Natural Law is obvious.

    Killing someone is an obvious breach of Natural Law.

    Demonstration of his action – the evidence – rooted in fact, reason and logic – creates proof beyond a shadow of a doubt. If such level of proof is not reached, no judgment can be made.

    But you wish to ignore reason and logic and throw intellect to the wind? What is your reasoning?

    To this, you probably respond that you don’t have any such right. You would say that all you can do is announce a verdict and hope that the town collectively recognizes the need to ostracize this man as punishment for non-compliance, correct?

    No.

    A breach of Natural Law allows response. Remember:

    “What you do to me gives me the right to do to you”

    The Law of Mutuality. Tattoo that on your forehead. It is important.

    By the LoM, I have right to act – however, the extent of that action up to but not to exceed is the limit. I have the right to act with less than or to equal to the action imposed upon me, if I chose.

    Thus, in your extreme example, the Natural Law allows me to take his life.

    However, this holds no value for me other than revenge.

    Restitution – repayment for my loss – does much better, and as an action is less severe than my right of action – therefore, easily falls within my full right by any justification to my peers.

    If the town is big, is every shop keeper supposed to keep a list of blackballed individuals and ID everyone before a purchase (and who defines an acceptable ID?)?

    In a free society, the opposite occurs. It is not distrust that is recorded – but trust.

    Shopkeepers deal with those they trust – not with those they do not know.

    You are aware of Letter of Introduction – this is a document that attaches the trust of a known person to another person on behalf of person unknown to one of the parties.

    The implementation of this is a nightmare.

    I agree. YOUR METHOD is a NIGHTMARE – because you have spent zero time understanding the consequences of freedom – thus, you make up stories based on your nightmare of Statism.

    They, too, suffered losses. The man cannot serve in entirety multiple masters. Must you come to some terms to share the fruits of his labor? Who determines the structure of this arrangement if you can’t agree?

    The one who has suffered the greatest loss. This is rarely difficult to ascertain.

    You would say that something is better than nothing, yes? But now you are getting a pittance for your grave loss.

    Pittance is more than nothing. Your solution is empty execpt for revenge. Which do you think I think is better?

    And, if he has small children, and cannot take care of them now, they will surely die.

    Maybe. Not my concern. I did nothing to his children -he did his action. The consequences are what he delivered to his children – not me.

    Your actions will cause their death, thus you are responsible.

    No, his actions are the cause, not mine. My are reaction, not action.

    Cause and effect is important, Matt. Watch the direction of the arrow of time, it does determine responsibility and consequences.

    Also, in your view, if I understand correctly, every individual is an autonomous unit. Simply because a man is your brother, why does that entitle you to restitution in the event of his death? Because you loved him? Because he shares some of your DNA? It was not, after all, you who he killed or physically harmed. That you were saddened at his death does not distinguish you from his neighbor who was upset by the news.

    Of course, brother is more important then friend, friend more important then neighbor, neighbor more important then stranger.

    In any killing all those impacted, near and not, have been effected to a degree.

    In measuring restitution, degree of loss needs to be established. “No harm, no foul”.

    I assume you would indicate that this will follow “natural law” lines of inheritance. Given that, are you entitled to nothing in you are second in line as next of kin, but not first?

    Depends. What was lost? What was anticipated? What was expected?

    Can you use force to make him work as your slave? If he will not work, can you strike him with a whip?

    No, but he will most likely starve to death.

    Why will he starve? Because you’ve locked him in your basement? How is this use of (restrictive) force any different that striking him?

    If he does not work, how does he earn his keep? Matters not if he is under lock and key or not – the Law of the Universe still applies:

    1) Earn your food
    2) Steal your food.

    Option two would probably be met with severe response by anyone.

    Refusing Option One gets him nothing.

    What is your third option, Matt?

    Or do you mean because the town will ostracize him and refuse to provide him food? What prevents him from stealing more?

    Death by armed response from the owner.

    Provided he is a competent criminal

    A contradiction.

    and can only be caught after the fact (thus you cannot harm him while defending your property), and he has no goods or belongings which you can take in restitution, how do you stop this?

    Clear and Present Danger doctrine.

    Free people are not stupid people.

    If he tries to run away, can you place him in chains?

    Where would he run?
    I suggest he would receive a better treatment from my hand of restraint then the hands of my peers who would probably see his escape as a Clear and Present Danger to themselves.

    It seems to me, that in his situation, I would simply leave in the middle of the night and move to a town where I wasn’t known.

    Where trust is king, no one trusts a stranger.

    He can move anywhere he wants to, but without a recognized letter of introduction, his prospects remain very slim.

    A stranger traveling without such document would be met with great suspicion. His prospects are very tenuous.

    If he moves elsewhere and starts over, you receive no restitution, and he receives no punishment, and no other criminals receive an effective deterrent.

    Deterrent is a myth, it simply has no effect on anyone of criminal mind. It merits no consideration whatsoever.

    And where is the justice? Can a civilized society exist without justice?

    A civilized society cannot exist where evil is justified.

    “Justice” is always in the minds of the beholder. For some, it is met, for others not.

    However, as long as a society can justify killing and stealing, as long as it is ‘government’ that does it – society is doomed.

  32. Bob

    Wait so what are the statistics of car accidents between health insured and uninsured drivers. Do people with no health insurance purposefully not drive due to worries about them getting into accidents?

    I doubt there exists any such measurements to even bother answering.

    However, and once again, anecdotal evidence proves nothing but a good story.

    You fail to offer any reasoning or theory which demonstrates eliminating a motivation for an action increases the motivation of that action which is what you are suggesting.

    If cost motivates action to prevent an action – removing such cost will not motivate action of prevention. Reducing preventative action must increase the consequences of action.

    You can suggest and muddle all you’d like with irrelevant hypothetical and anecdotal and non-existent study.

    Try, Bob, in providing some simple logic or reason to why you think removing a motivation will increase the action that motivation was supposed to cause!!

    Your challenge is “demonstrate that not pedaling will increase the speed of your bike”

    BF the motivation to avoid illness is illness, the body is quite good at telling us something is wrong and it usually does not feel good.

    I do not suggest otherwise.

    However, cost also increases the motivation to avoid sickness.

    If you remove that cost, you remove that motivation.

    Removing motivation MUST increase the opposite (or else it was never a motivation for action in the first place, Bob).

    So, either you are saying cost does not cause people to avoid an action (which would be a grave error to claim) or you have some really profound theory that overcomes your contradiction.

    I wait with bated breath.

    • BF::

      Your words “So, either you are saying cost does not cause people to avoid an action (which would be a grave error to claim)” show me that you are operating under an apparent misconception.

      You assume we are dealing with “rational” people. But the very target of this whole effort are those who supposedly can’t afford health care, yet can afford the other essentials such as ipods, cell phones and nike shoes. Those who push the idea assume that by dictating low prices for a scarce resource that both the quantity and quality will increase. Then of course there are those, from countries whose economies are in rapid decline due to the increased tax burden to service their failing health care system, who claim that proof of its success is the fact they haven’t completely collapsed in the last 60 years. As the waiting lines get longer and the horror stories more numerous they cry, its not perfect but its better than yours.

      Oh how I crave to propose a fallacy of the future here but I will relent. Suffice it to say, you don’t pull on Superman’s cape and you don’t ……………… and you can’t argue logically with the irrational.

      A big howdy to your wife and child.
      Live free my friend.
      JAC

      • Yet the waiting times are getting shorter and service is improving, for every horror story you can bring up I can produce 10 from your system. If the NHS is failing then you must have already buried the American system and be putting flowers on its grave. Americans are spending double per person than what we are in the UK, you pay more in taxes to pay for health care as well as buying private insurance. Your premiums continue to rise 4 times higher than the workers wage

        and is going to impact your industry. Which was recently displayed by Toyota deciding to open a new car plant in Canada instead of Alabama due to Canada having UHC which is cheaper than paying Americans health premiums. Damn right its not perfect but having experienced American health care first hand I would not want to get seriously ill there.

        http://www.pluralofanecdote.com/

        Have fun.

    • You may think that way but I am betting the majority of people dont. They are coasting along on their bikes and going faster without pedalling because they are going downhill and are not thinking about the uphill climb before them, there is no motivation BF because they do not know about it.
      It would be like me thinking “If my daughter helps around the house I will give her a sweetie” but not tell her about it. I should not be surprised when she dosnt help as she did not know about the possible reward.
      The smokers and drinkers when they decide to get addicted in their teens are not thinking about the possible health costs in the future, uninsured drivers are not thinking about the statistical probabality of getting into a car accident and being unable to pay for the health costs so there is no motivation rending your point moot.
      Teenage girls here are still using sunbeds. When they use them are they thinking of the possibility of skin cancer and the resulting treatment or are they thinking of making their skin darker?

      • Bob

        Once again, anecdotal evidence is meaningless to an argument. Anecdotal evidence is used to explain a point, not prove a point, Bob.

        For you to prevail in this argument, you simply have one – simple – task ahead of you.

        Prove your statement:

        Incurring a Cost is NOT a motivation to avoid incurring a cost”.

        Should be simple, right?

        • What I am saying BF is there is no motivation for these people because they do not think about the possible consequences of their actions rendering the argument pointless.

          • That is not the question, Bob.

            Either you believe cost is a motivator to an action, or it is not.

            It is a binary.

            If cost is not a motivator, you will need to prove your theory – running against 5,000 years of legal theory of fines, seizures of property, etc.

            Or cost is a motivator. Thus, removing cost also removes its (not all, though) motivation of avoidance.

            • Your argument with the examples you have given is completely pointless to discuss as it does not apply to them.

              • Bob,

                You are one confused puppy.

                I have not given examples.

                I have asked for your theories of motives.

                One more time….

                Either you believe cost is a motivator to an action, or it is not.

                If cost is not a motivator, you will need to prove your theory – running against 5,000 years of legal theory of fines, seizures of property, etc.

                Or cost is a motivator. Thus, removing cost also removes its (not all, though) motivation of avoidance.

                Which is it, Bob?

  33. You assume we are dealing with “rational” people.

    Human action is based solely on the theory that all people act with a purpose.

    Judgment of rational or irrational is not measured – simply, people act with a purpose.

    We define ‘motivation’ as a catalyst to action.

    If something ‘motivates’ we know it causes said action. We do not claim something ‘motivates’ if it does nothing.

    We know people avoid costs as much as possible.

    The theory of “fines” is based on this. If one wishes to debate that this theory is not accurate or flawed – that is another argument. However, for now, given that fines and financial penalties are systemic throughout the world, we can suggest with great confidence that cost motivates avoidance of cost.

    Therefore, removing costs will also remove motivation that the costs provide.

    Bob and Buck may want to debate the level of loss of motivation – that’s fine. However, it exists and importantly, contradicts Mathius statement that it ‘improves’ health – the exact opposite consequence of the removal of the motivation.

    Those who push the idea assume that by dictating low prices for a scarce resource that both the quantity and quality will increase.

    Those that makes such a claim fail to provide any economical theory to explain how forcing low prices on a scarce resource increases quantity. Such a claim is contrary to every economical principle – include Keynesian.

    Then of course there are those, from countries whose economies are in rapid decline due to the increased tax burden to service their failing health care system, who claim that proof of its success is the fact they haven’t completely collapsed in the last 60 years.

    Economics is the science of human action, not a time clock.

    No one can accurately predict with the rock will move, but we can tell the water will always win.

    Socialism was predicted to collapse because of what it creates with systemic errors in price calculations. Mises predicted the fall of the Soviet Union. He did not live to see it fall 70 years after he predicted it.

    and you can’t argue logically with the irrational.

    That is completely true.

    • Black Flag:

      Sometime my dear friend you just need to take a deep breath and revel in my attempt at humor.

      It is OK for the Teacher to just laugh once in awhile.

      Hope your stove is stoked today.
      Fall is failing fast.

      JAC

      • JAC:

        I’m not sure where you live in Montana but you mentioned Hastings yesterday so I enterd it in Yahoo Maps and found the satelite view. There was nothing there but it was a place on the map. Just for kicks, I entered Area 51 and it brought up Area 51 on the satelite view. I’m waiting for someone to knock on my door.

        • Bird:

          You crack me up. Hastings……….the book store.

          • JAC:

            Well I guess I found the book store. It’s out in the middle of nothing. Pretty country out there. The book store must be underground because I didn’t see a building but couldn’t get any closer with Yahoo Maps.

            You and Black Flag really are underground! Probably saves on heating bills in the winter.

            • JAC:

              I found a Hastings book store in Bozeman. Very beautiful area. Homes are expensive but the view is awesome. I’ll have to check out jobs in the area.

              • Bird:

                Bozeman is absolutely one of the prettiest places on the planet. Unfortunately the rich folks discovered it about 20 years ago. Ted Turner among others.

                Not much left of the quaint western town I once knew and had many good times in.

                Montana State Univ. is in Bozeman so that would be your best bet.

                Winters are very cold but snow probably not as deep as your used to. Plus less humidity. Greate skiing in the winter and within and hour or two to the greatest cutthroat fly fihsing streams (rivers) in the west.

                As I said before, if you are trully looking to relocate, which I doubt you are, but if, you need to check out Spokane, WA and the Coueur d’Alene, ID north to Sandpoint, ID area.

                You wouldn’t get as homesick and there is a lot more business opportunities.

              • JAC and Black Flag:

                I have an interesting idea for a new way to generate electricity with no moving parts. All I need is someone with good PLC skills, knowledge of electro-magnetic force, and coil design. This will revolutionize the world and provide good, clean energy. We would still need some generating capacity with conventional means (coal, gas, nuclear) but not as many power plants.

                Will this buy my pass into the hidden valley? You’ll need energy. Black Flags mechanical generator and fuel supply will not last very long.

              • We have nuclear in the familiy room.

                Coal and Gas are down the road a little ways. Oh I almost forgot. Windmills not to far away either.

                I’ll bring it up at the next council meeting.

            • Told you we have lots of missle silos out here.

              They don’t know yet that we removed a few rockets to build our own little “Galt’s Gulch”. BF lives just down range in Silo 51.

  34. Ray Hawkins says:

    Sorry to hijack here ~

    This past Wednesday I was flying home from Denver to Philadelphia. Early to the airport I grabbed a seat at my gate so I could do some school work and people watch. A man arrived 10-15 mins later and sat down a few rows down from me. He was clearly about 20 years my senior – clothes were a bit rugged – dirty blue jeans, dirty boots, flannel shirt, blue jeans vest, tan overcoat covered with small patches too dirty to decipher. He has shoulder length hair – mostly gray with some dark peeking through. A cap was pulled down tight on his forehead, eyes peering out and mostly just straight ahead. As time passed many people arrived to the gate and sat down near this man – he was in a sense – very much blending into the surroundings. But, as many sat down and then took notice of him, I watched their faces wrinkle in disgust and horror – clearly they wondered what a homeless man (or God knows what) was doing sitting in their gate. Most all of them got up and moved to seats further away from this man. After a bit I picked up my bag and went to grab some coffee and hit the head. When I came back the gate was markedly full – except of course for the area around this man. I sat down diagonal from him, maybe 5-6 feet away. I was trying to answer some work emails on the crackberry when I spied another fella sit down next to the first one. As I watched this unfold, I tried again to read the patches on this man’s jacket. The second gentleman then engaged the first – first words were “ where did you fight’ (or something to that effect). As my brain tried to register what the hell he was asking, it dawned on me that one of the patches read “USMC”, and this man was a Vet. He very quietly reeled off some names from a far away land (Vietnam) and the years he was there, and there, and there, and so on….

    You see, this man, whom so many people in the terminal had dismissed with a look of disgust and horror, was a Vet who’d given his country several tours in a land most will never know and often try and forget. He was in Colorado to visit his daughter, stationed at Fort Collins. As I listened, I could hear him tell of brothers lost then, and brothers lost now. Of being one of the last to leave Hanoi. Of experiencing the seething hate set on so many like him when he returned. He went there are a very young man – and returned grizzled, with darker eyes, and experiences I can only guess, many who look at Veteran’s Day as another day to great shopping bargains, will never understand or appreciate. As I thought of all the people that looked down their noses at this man, I thought in anger and simultaneous sadness – how bad this broken man must feel. But you know what – he was not a broken man – that he didn’t sport fad jeans or have a gaggle of wires and other crap connecting his head to a belt clip full of electronic devices was of no consequence to him. He was proud to have served and said he held no grudges that most people “put off by his appearance, will no less enjoy freedom he nearly died for, and watched so many of (his) brothers die for”. I caught a tear that had run down my cheek unbeknown to me – I didn’t care. Fuck anyone who cannot appreciate a man like this that volunteered for a job that could cost him his life – to defend the freedom of people that years later will judge him without knowing him.

    After our flight landed I waited – waited as he and I were among the last to leave the airplane. I reached out my hand as said “thanks for your service. I was too young to even know what Vietnam was when you were there, but I appreciate what you have done.” He said nothing. But he shook my hand and slightly shook his head.

  35. Black Flag,

    I can accept your reasoning on KSM’s civilan trial. For the record, I believe that he should get a trial, and a fair and honest one, at that.

    My concern, however, is that the trial will be a three ring circus. This in turn will cause plenty of conflict and heated emotions in the population. So while the US citizenry is expending time and energy arguing the finer points of US law, Bush’s alleged crimes, impact of sunlight on security ops, etc., the Obama Administration continues to “fundamentally change America”. In the words of Rahm Emmanual: Never let a good crisis go to waste.

    We have to remain focused if we are to regain our country.

  36. In case anyone is interested in the implications of the KSM trial

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/11/nonei-darwish-.html

    Saturday, November 14, 2009
    Nonie Darwish: Khalid’s Trial is America’s Trial
    Khalid’s Trial is America’s Trial
    Nonie Darwish

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed to be the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attack, will be tried at a federal courthouse in lower Manhattan with the same rights as any US citizens. What is the purpose of this trial if Mr. Mohammed has already confessed? For the Obama administration, the trial will kill two birds with one stone and neither one is to seek justice for Mr. Mohammed since we all already know he did it.

    The purpose of the trial is to embarrass the Bush administration and America itself and to give Arabs a golden opportunity to indulge in propaganda to convince the West with falsehoods regarding the root causes of Islamic terrorism; mainly that it is the consequence of US foreign policy, old grievances and America’s supports Israel.

    Mr. Mohammed will have a chance to make a case against the US for the waterboarding used on him during his interrogation. That will be a confirmation to Attorney General Eric Holder’s reopening of the waterboarding investigation.

    The war between Islamism and the rest of the world is largely a cultural and ideological war. Jihad, violent and non-violent, is a cornerstone of Islam that seeks to penetrate the West by any means. Jihadists are commanded to strike terror in the hearts of non-believers, as the Quran says. Deep fear resulting from such terror, renders some Americans vulnerable to appeasement rather than fight it. Islamists understand that dynamics very well and have used it throughout their history. Now that they have already done the terror, which softened some Americans, it is time to play with American’s minds; to desensitize Americans to Islamic tyranny and as to who is right and who is wrong. In the process, Islamists want us to hear their manufactured propaganda of Arab grievances and put the West on the defensive. That will not be very difficult in Western culture where many are eager to blame America first.

    The purpose of jihadists is to make the victims of jihad (America on 9/11), confused as to Islam’s jihadist goals. That is why teaching violent jihad to Muslims must go hand in hand with teaching them hatred of the West, the object of jihad. Jihad education won’t work unless it is simultaneously accompanied by promoting fear and lies about non-Muslim nations Islamists want to conquer. Islamists must also convince the West that Muslim countries are their victims. This is the only way to justify jihadist aspiration. Jihad will go much easier and faster if it is packaged as self defense both to the West and to the Jihadist Muslim youth. Muslim victim-hood image must always be maintained.

    The coming civil trial of Mohammed in New York is perhaps the best gift Obama has given to the Saudi Kind Abdullah, leader of the country that produced 15 of the 19 terrorists. He is giving him a chance to save face and present Islam as the victim. When Obama bowed to the Saudi King, it was a sign of subservience to Islam, whether Obama wants to admit it or not. This trial will solidify the claims by some of Obama’s czars that America had it coming on 9/11. The Arab world must be celebrating.

    Nonie Darwish: Author: “Cruel and Usual Punishment; the terrifying global implications of Islamic law”

    The reader comments might be interesting too…..

  37. From NRO:

    Bringing al-Qaeda to New York
    By the Editors

    Candidate Barack Obama urged a return to pre-9/11 counterterrorism-by-courts. President Obama’s Justice Department overflows with lawyers who spent the last eight years representing America’s enemies. Thus, Friday’s announcement that top al-Qaeda terrorists will be brought to New York City for a civilian trial is no surprise. That doesn’t make it any less inexcusable.

    The treatment of jihadist terror as a mere law-enforcement issue, fit for civilian courts, was among the worst of the national-security derelictions of the Nineties. While the champions of this approach stress that prosecutors scored a 100 percent conviction rate, they conveniently omit mention of the paltry number of cases (less than three dozen, mostly against low-level terrorists, over an eight-year period, despite numerous attacks), as well as the rigorous due-process burdens that made prosecution of many terrorists impossible, the daunting disclosure and witness-confrontation rules that required government to disclose mountains of intelligence, the gargantuan expense of “hardening” courthouses and prisons to protect juries and judges, and the terrorists’ exploitation of legal privileges to plot additional attacks and escape attempts.

    In placing the nation on a war footing after the September 11 attacks, the Bush administration invoked the laws of war to detain terrorists as enemy combatants and to try those who had committed provable war crimes by military commission — measures that were endorsed by Congress despite being challenged in the courts by some of the lawyers now working in Obama’s Justice Department. This military-commission system provided due-process protections that were unprecedented for wartime enemies, including the right to appellate review in the civilian courts. But they protected national-defense information from disclosure.

    This commission system is tailor-made for the 9/11 plotters, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suicide-hijacking mastermind who is brazen in taking credit for that and numerous other attacks against the United States. In fact, last December, KSM and his four co-defendants indicated to the military judge that they wanted to plead guilty and move on to execution. But then the Obama administration swept into power and undertook to repudiate many of Bush’s counterterrorism practices, declaring its intention to close Gitmo within a year and forcing a moratorium on military commissions so the process could be “studied.” Friday’s announcement that KSM and the other 9/11 plotters will be sent to federal court in New York for a civilian trial is the most significant step to date in Obama’s determination to turn back the clock to the time when government believed subpoenas rather than Marines were the answer to jihadist murder and mayhem.

    It is difficult to quantify how dangerously foolish this course is. As they demonstrated in offering to plead guilty while bragging about their atrocities, KSM and his cohorts don’t want a trial so much as they want a soapbox to press their grievances against the United States and the West. With no real defense to the charges, they will endeavor to put America on trial, pressing the court for expansive discovery of government intelligence files. Having gratuitously exposed classified information on interrogation tactics and other sensitive matters in order to pander to Obama’s base, the Justice Department will be in a poor position to argue against broad disclosure, even if it were so inclined. As the court orders more and more revelations, potential intelligence sources and foreign spy services will develop even graver doubts about our capacity to keep secrets. They will reduce their intelligence cooperation accordingly, and the nation will be dramatically more vulnerable.

    Moreover, the transfer of the worst al-Qaeda prisoners into the U.S. will grease the skids for many, if not most, of the remaining 200-plus Gitmo terrorists to be moved here. This will be the worst of all possible outcomes. These are trained terrorists who have been detained under the laws of war, but most of whom cannot be tried because the intelligence on them cannot be used in court. We are still holding them because they are deadly dangerous and because no other country is willing to take them off our hands. Once inside the United States, they will indisputably be within the jurisdiction of the federal courts — which are staffed by judges predisposed against wartime detention without trial. As long as the terrorists were at Gitmo, those judges were reluctant to order them released into the U.S. — a transfer that would violate federal law. If the terrorists are already here, though, judges will not be as gun-shy. Inevitably, some will be freed to live and plot among us.

    The Obama Left delusionally argues that running these risks will make us safer. The international community will see how enlightened we are, the fable goes. The hostility of America’s enemies will melt away. They’ll lay down their bombs and stop attacking us. As observed by former attorney general Michael Mukasey — who presided over terrorism cases as a federal judge — “We did just that after the first World Trade Center bombing, after the plot to blow up airliners over the Pacific, and after the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. In return, we got the 9/11 attacks and the murder of nearly 3,000 innocents.”

    • Another article from NRO:

      Friday, November 13, 2009

      Holder’s Hidden Agenda, cont’d . . . [Andy McCarthy]

      This summer, I theorized that Attorney General Eric Holder — and his boss — had a hidden agenda in ordering a re-investigation of the CIA for six-year-old alleged interrogation excesses that had already been scrutinized by non-partisan DOJ prosecutors who had found no basis for prosecution. The continuing investigations of Bush-era counterterrorism policies (i.e., the policies that kept us safe from more domestic terror attacks), coupled with the Holder Justice Department’s obsession to disclose classified national-defense information from that period, enable Holder to give the hard Left the “reckoning” that he and Obama promised during the 2008 campaign. It would be too politically explosive for Obama/Holder to do the dirty work of charging Bush administration officials; but as new revelations from investigations and declassifications are churned out, Leftist lawyers use them to urge European and international tribunals to bring “torture” and “war crimes” indictments. Thus, administration cooperation gives Obama’s base the reckoning it demands but Obama gets to deny responsibility for any actual prosecutions.

      Today’s announcement that KSM and other top al-Qaeda terrorists will be transferred to Manhattan federal court for civilian trials neatly fits this hidden agenda. Nothing results in more disclosures of government intelligence than civilian trials. They are a banquet of information, not just at the discovery stage but in the trial process itself, where witnesses — intelligence sources — must expose themselves and their secrets.

      Let’s take stock of where we are at this point. KSM and his confederates wanted to plead guilty and have their martyrs’ execution last December, when they were being handled by military commission. As I said at the time, we could and should have accommodated them. The Obama administration could still accommodate them. After all, the president has not pulled the plug on all military commissions: Holder is going to announce at least one commission trial (for Nashiri, the Cole bomber) today.

      Moreover, KSM has no defense. He was under American indictment for terrorism for years before there ever was a 9/11, and he can’t help himself but brag about the atrocities he and his fellow barbarians have carried out.

      So: We are now going to have a trial that never had to happen for defendants who have no defense. And when defendants have no defense for their own actions, there is only one thing for their lawyers to do: put the government on trial in hopes of getting the jury (and the media) spun up over government errors, abuses and incompetence. That is what is going to happen in the trial of KSM et al. It will be a soapbox for al-Qaeda’s case against America. Since that will be their “defense,” the defendants will demand every bit of information they can get about interrogations, renditions, secret prisons, undercover operations targeting Muslims and mosques, etc., and — depending on what judge catches the case — they are likely to be given a lot of it. The administration will be able to claim that the judge, not the administration, is responsible for the exposure of our defense secrets. And the circus will be played out for all to see — in the middle of the war. It will provide endless fodder for the transnational Left to press its case that actions taken in America’s defense are violations of international law that must be addressed by foreign courts. And the intelligence bounty will make our enemies more efficient at killing us.

      Seems Andy has some incorrect thoughts too.

      • If American’s are so afraid of their own system of justice that they are unwilling or scared to put a man on trial for heinous crimes…

        …what does that really say about the American Justice System?

        It can’t stand up to procedure, evidence, truth, and fact?

        Perhaps that is what this is all about – exposing the the US Justice is merely another kangaroo court – and all effort must be to hide that from the world…

  38. I don’t know if this will copy. If not, go to American Thinker or Breitbart TV and watch the video.

    November 15, 2009
    Senator Obama in 2006: Try KSM in a military tribunal
    Rick Moran

    Breitbart TV dug up this old video of then Senator Obama supporting the idea of a military trial for KSM.

    Obama’s remarks were made during a debate over the Military Commissions Act that set up regulations in response to the Supreme Court’s Hamdan decision that outlawed the tribunals because of unconstitutional procedures.

    Obama assured the senators that terrorists like KSM would not receive the same rights as American criminals get, that he would certainly be tried in a military court “with all the bells and whistles.”

    That was then. This is now.

  39. I just spent 20 minutes on twitter (with tweetdeck) and sent these for Rani..

    @dcdecker @RaniMerryman is on Rally for America at noon on Fox 45! Be sure to watch or program your DVR! http://bit.ly/3KD2cW //RT pls

    @dcdecker @RaniMerryman is on Rally for America at noon on Fox 45! Read more about her at: http://bit.ly/3A842U

    Then saw these themes (or whtever they call them.. so had to just RT a few LOL

    RT @FederalistNo2: #YouMightBeALiberal If you see your neighbors house on fire and call the nearest government office for help.

    RT @bccohan: #youmightbealiberal if you blindly hate Palin and fail to recognize that she is a true feminist.

    RT @IndyPiggy: #YouMightBeALiberal If you drive a BMW and hate capitalism

    RT @4aviva: #youmightbealiberal if you didnt know that conservatives and republicans have given more to charity than any of the left(fact)

    RT @TinaVane: #youmightbealiberal if you didnt know Al Gore’s daddy voted against the 64′ Civil Rights Act

    Just a few —

  40. I have to admit that she’s cute, although that shouldn’t figure into it at all. Still….. But, no. I am done with voting. If someone has to “win”, though, I wish her the best of luck.

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