Another Step Towards Senate Madness

Here it is 2:20 am and I am just beginning to write for tonight. It lends itself, as many of you know, to my offering my opinions on something rather than a well researched article. Tonight will be no exception. I ate up over an hour of the night watching the health care debates in the Senate on CSPAN, and then watching them pass a cloture vote 60-40 to end debate on the additions to the health care bill from Senator Reid. Then I spent an hours discussing health care on facebook with a few of Rani’s friends, while simultaneously being insulted by another friend of hers. It was quite comical as he continued to spout that I was stupid, ignorant, uninformed, and talking out my ass. He accused me of being a Republican, perhaps the biggest insult of the night, and summed up my invitation to the other two to come and debate here by saying that any asshole can write a blog. What he never did was offer a single fact for debate. Not one. The entirety of his argument was that I was a stupid Republican and my writing a blog doesn’t mean anything (the one point that I agree with). I don’t imagine he will attempt to come here and engage any of us here. But I certainly hope that he does…

At any rate I watched the debate and saw nothing but party rhetoric from both sides. I obviously was more supportive of the Republicans in this case because I don’t want this health care bill. It is a bad bill. What I found interesting was that the insults thrown around at me tonight were exactly the same things being thrown around in the Senate. And I find it appalling that this is what the American citizen has fallen to. Allow me to expound on some of what I saw in the Senate tonight, and pepper in a few comments from my personal debates for the evening.

Before I begin, allow me to say something about the opinions here. The person who attacked me led out with an extensive resume recitation that was apparently meant to say that he was far smarter than I, and that he had the degrees and experience to back it up. I think that we can all agree that if there is one thing that we have all learned on this site, it is that the level of education is not the determining factor for what someone knows. We have all ranges of education here. Folks with PhD’s, all the way to folks who are high school dropouts. Yet everyone has something important to add to the conversation. Experience working in government gives you a unique perspective, but so does working as a street sweeper. What is important in our debates is the ability to think with critical thought. Nothing else matters. Critical thought is the key to understanding your position, its strengths and weaknesses, and analyzing the positions of others. I have seen comments on this site that folks like BF, JAC, PeterB, Mathius, or myself are far “smarter” and therefore understand things better. I say bulldookey.

What makes those folks credible is that they think critically, and stick to values and principles. They attempt to eliminate contradictions in thinking. THAT, my friends, is what I feel makes the readership of this blog, every one of you, unique in the world of political discourse. Every reader who has stuck around on this site has done so because they are critical thinkers and willing to hear out the other side of any issue. I thank you all for that. It is what makes my time here valuable as opposed to an argument where the only argument against me is that I am “stupid”.

I led off my watching with John McCain, who bashed the President for his campaign promise broken that discussions and deliberations about health care reform would be open, televised, and transparent. I absolutely am with John on this. The sheer magnitude of back room deals done to get this bill passed has been abhorrent. Far from being the most transparent legislation passed, as the President promised, it is perhaps the most secretive legislation I recall ever seeing. Closed door sessions, payoffs to AARP, big pharma, Congress members (most notably the deals for LA and NE members). And cap that off with sessions called at midnight and votes completed at 1:00 am. Everything about this bill points to legislation that the party in power is determined to get passed before the American public has the opportunity to read it and see what a absolute failure of a bill it will be.

That was followed by Senator Harkin from Iowa. I have to say I heard nothing from him besides the liberal rhetoric. He said Republicans are in disarray and the party of no because they haven’t offered an alternative solution. A few thoughts on this. First, Republicans aren’t going to waste hundreds of hours writing a bill that has zero chance of passage in a Senate that has 60 votes against it. Second, not having an alternative bill is not a valid reason to vote for this bill. If jumping off a cliff is the option at hand, you don’t vote yes simply because someone hasn’t offered an alternative plan. This bill is jumping off a cliff. No alternative bill is not a good reason to vote yes on a bad bill (I am attempting to wade through what I can find on the bill so that I can write about it, but another 400 pages of amendments were added yesterday morning). It was worth noting that you could of made a drinking game by drinking every time he said the word “supermajority” and been drunk in 5 minutes.

Then Senator Dodd got up and gave a moving tribute to Ted Kennedy and talked about how a failure to vote yes for this bill would be to dishonor the legacy of the late Senator, who fought for years to get health care for all passed. Again, not a pertinent reason to support the bill. But I add this just so you can see the kind of absolute bullshit that passes for “debate” in the Senate. The reason it was done, in my opinion, is because it ate up 10 minutes of the one hour this evening allocated before a vote to end debate. Ten minutes of Dodd’s BS was ten minutes the Republicans couldn’t voice opposition for Americans to hear.

Finally, the Senate Minority Leader took the podium. Mitch McConnel, who is about as exciting to listen to as watching grass grow. He talks too slow, with too many pauses, and far too little “fire”. But his comments, despite lacking emotion, were pertinent. He talked about how if the Democrats were actually proud of what they were doing, it wouldn’t be done behind closed doors, and it wouldn’t be debated and voted on in the middle of the night on the weekend.

Then the vote went on and was passed strictly on party lines. All Republicans voted no. The two Independents voted yes, and the 58 Democrats voted yes (although not without some payoffs to make it happen). Debate was closed on the amendments. It looks as thought the final bill passage vote will be Tuesday morning. All we can do is pray for a defector at this point.

But what I have really been paying attention to lately is the tone and rhetoric in the Senate. It is as bad as I can remember it. For those who didn’t catch it in the news, I thought that the conduct of Stuart Smalley in his capacity of President of the Senate (a post that rotates nearly hourly through all Democrats) was deplorable. Joe Lieberman was offering comments and debate on the subject when his ten minutes ended. He requested “a few moments” to finish his thoughts, a routine request that is almost always granted. That is just the decorum of the Senate. However, instead of simply allowing Lieberman to finish, the junior idiot Senator from Minnesota decided instead to object and cut Lieberman off. It was ignorant, and uncalled for. Lieberman was stunned. John McCain stood up and stated that he felt that what was happening in the Senate was wrong.

That is the mindset of the Democrats in control of Congress now. They have literally given the Republicans the finger and told them to go screw themselves. They are not interested in debate. They are not interested in hearing opposing viewpoints. They don’t care what the American public thinks. They don’t care about anything. They see an opportunity to ram through any bill they like, with no ability for anyone to stop them. And they are attempting to capitalize on it as quickly as possible. I wrote months ago about how they have passed more legislation in this session of Congress than any other Congress in history. And that should tell the American people something. It means debates aren’t happening. It means they are ramming things through at record speed.

It also means they are well aware that their days are numbered. The Democrats will no longer control Congress after the 2010 elections. And they know it. They knew it when they won the 2008 elections. They knew right away that they had a two year window to go crazy with legislation. They knew they wouldn’t be taken out of power for what they were about to do. Which means they knew that the American people would not approve of what they were about to do. So they have moved at breakneck speed to get everything done they can.

So tonight, I find myself frustrated with Congress yet again. And I am disappointed to see how uncivil, and how incompetent, and how petty, the representatives of the people have become. I am frustrated to see such open corruption, buying votes and stifling debates, insane rhetoric and illogical legislations. And I am frustrated with how so many Americans have sacrificed their principles and values, accepted the idea of gigantic government and dependency, and rejected the ideas of personal responsibility, individual freedom, and liberty. I have found myself in a night where I see such a daunting task ahead if we are to ever have our country regain what made her great. And I have found myself truly afraid of the path that our country is on. We have to find a way forward. We have to stop the madness. And we have to take actions that will do it now……

I am not preaching revolution. That isn’t my style. I am simply baffled at the moment on the true way to make progress.

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Comments

  1. Interesting what you experienced on facebook, USW. I finally finished Atlas Shrugged and although I wasn’t thrilled with the message, etc., I did make a point in my post about exactly what you discussed above (the name calling, especially the word “stupid” used way too often by those with different opinions).

    I was pretty tough on Rand’s magnus opus, but I do respect from where it comes. I think follows of Rand and myself come from different starting points but that neither is “stupid”.

    I also find, over and over, that “some” liberal bloggers are much quicker to get nasty than I find in conservative blogs (but that is in my experience so it is not a generalization or meant to be).

    My thoughts on Atlas Shrugged are here: http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2009/12/atlas-shrugged-knucks-drank.html

    I didn’t expect to be converted so I had that prejudice going in. I found my convictions reconfirmed. I have a suggested reading too, however. George Bernard Shaw’s, The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism. Good stuff.

    All best to all a’yous … if I’m not back before the holiday, have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a GREAT new year!

    • Appreciate the recommendation. I will add it to my Amazon wish list! I will also get over and offer thoughts on your posting about Atlas Shrugged as soon as I find a minute or two to read them!

      USW

    • Charlie,

      Some thoughts (since we can’t dialogue at your site…)

      universe does not permit contradictions; contradictions do not exist

      Exactly. As Stephen Hawking stated, the reason this universe did not collapse back into the primordial black hole upon its birth was that the laws of nature became consistent – and the Universe became rational.

      It was pretty astute of Aristotle to figure that out so long ago.

      A constant flaw I find in the arguments of those who subscribe to Rand’s philosophy is the use of “morality” to justify much of their motivation. I don’t believe in an objective definition of morality (if there is one).

      Of course there is an objective definition – that is what a definition means.

      The question, though, is your definition the same as mine. Often I feel it is not.

      Rand claims that man’s highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness. I say what is moral to one man may be immoral to another (talk about contradictions co-existing);

      That is not a contradiction.

      Because I like green and you like red does not create a contradiction, because we are immersed in irrational emotional subjective opinion.

      What would be a contradiction is you calling the paint on your wall green AND red at the same time, while defining green and red to be different colors.

      Since you accept morality to be wholly subjective, those that deny your claims of morality (or immorality) are neither right nor wrong – but merely opinionated.

      The test, however, of you is are you consistent in maintaining your definition of morality?

      If today you point to one thing and call it moral, but when it is done to you, you call it immoral – you are contradicting yourself – and hence, whatever you believe may be moral or immoral will be wholly disregarded by those around you – since the term, in your context, would be completely meaningless.

      Those who adhere to Rand believe that to take from one man (i.e., a tax) to give to another (welfare) is immoral; that unless it is a charitable contribution an individual makes of his own free will for another’s benefit, it is looting and therefore evil. “Why take from what I have earned to give to another who hasn’t earned it?”

      It is a valid argument, except it assumes all those who might need the benefits of such a tax (i.e., the unemployed) are in bad shape of their own free will; that all have had an equal opportunity to “make good” and that those who don’t have made their own poor choice.

      There is no such presumption or assumption to your claim here.

      A man must recognize that he is not Creator of your Life.

      I am not the cause of your life, creator of your gifts, remover of ability, nor was I the one who chose your rich or poor parents – there is nothing of my action that made what was given or taken away at your birth.

      If I am there or I am not there – and the outcome of ‘something’ would not be any different for you – you cannot claim it is my fault, nor my obligation to fix that outcome for you.

      You obviously do not demand fantasy people to ‘fix’ your life. That would be insane. Because they do not exist, they cannot carry have done anything to you and hence they cannot be obligated to you.

      If I exist, and do nothing to you – I am as much a ghost to you as the people of fantasy. Equally, I have no obligation to you either.

      The only difference between the fantasy people and me is whereas neither are the cause of your life, your attempt to demand compensation from fantasy people is moot (and irrational). But because you see me as real, irrationally you believe you can force me to compensate you for something I did not do to you.

      If you have a complaint about your state of life, complain to the Universe. Perhaps it will give you a hearing about it.

      However, to complain that since the Universe did you poorly so now I am obligated for the Universe’s work is irrational.

      Strict followers of Rand go one further and claim that even if one has a legitimate need, why should others be forced to provide whatever it is?

      Sneaky. “Legitimate” need.

      Again, if you define all needs as legitimate, then you can justify all violent force to obtain it.

      I’m surprised you slipped that word (legitimate) into your statement. Either you don’t need the word (as you may believe all needs are inherently legitimate) OR you need that word to create some sort of separation of needs.

      And I believe because you’ve slipped that word in, you have misread and misinterpreted Rand completely.

      She most certainly had no issue with anyone enforcing their legitimacy, which would also include legitimate needs. She would define legitimate, however – where you haven’t (as yet).

      So, such a statement requires you to define what is legitimate?

      The nastiest thing I’ve been called at the conservative site was a “savage” but I later learned (from reading Rand’s novels) that “savage” is part of the author’s lexicon. There is something to learn …

      I’m glad that you gleaned that out from the book. I was emphatic that when I used the word, it was not meant to insult but to define the differences between the two primary manifestations of the Natural Law of Mutuality.

      One manifestation leads to Civilization. This path: total rejection of the initiation of violence.

      The other leads to Savagery. This path: Force and Violence is a Right, and the Mightier, the Rightier.

      So, in that context – I saw you promoting the Savagery.

      I suspect those at the conservative site won’t agree with my analysis of Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, but we do come from different starting points.

      Actually, I think you did a great job.

      You brought a refreshing and unique view point of that book – and even in some parts, I wholly agree with you (the strange female characterizations, for example, or the repetition of the same basic story line)

      I am one of those who believe that man in the state of nature wasn’t to be trusted; that without a social contract, he would do what he had to do to survive and it wouldn’t be pretty.

      But that theory has a big concrete stumbling point.

      If man cannot be trusted as an individual, then centralizing power and violence to be used by these very same (untrustworthy) men is probably the most dangerous thing one can do.

      If you can’t trust a man with a rifle, you most certainly can’t trust a man with an army.

      Governments were formed for the betterment of mankind and that those which have been bastardized (dictorships, fascism, etc.) have more to do with time and circumstance than the nature of greater mankind.

      Government was formed out of the worse of mankind and since all of it has eventually fallen into tyranny (whereas in contrast civilization advances steadily and graciously) the failure of government cannot be due to the failure of man (or civilization could not exist).

      The failure of government and the success of civilization is because of their core premise.

      Government = monopolization of the initiation of violence.
      Civilization = the prohibition of all initiation of violence.

      The gap between the richest 1% and the rest of us is too great and unnecessary.

      Yet, for 10,000 years the difference between the wealthy few and many poor remained unchanged. Even as short as a 500 years ago there was only two classes – the wealthy royalty and the desperately poor everyone else.

      It was capitalism and the free market that changed that, so that today, the poorest in America are nearly as rich as the richest 500 years ago.

      That gap is shrinking – and shrinks faster in countries which are the most free.

      I posted the TED video on that.

      Your mindset does not fit the dataset.

      Ignoring the data and maintaining the mindset will surely lead you to disastrous conclusions.

      Nobody needs to earn $192 million a year, but everybody needs to eat, have shelter, health insurance and a job.

      No one ‘needs’ health insurance or a job.

      One must earn his own food and shelter – least him come to believe that he can force others to provide it for him.

      The “sweat of my brow” argument, it seems to me, only applies to those who actual sweat for what they earn; not those sitting on piles of cash and investments either gifted through inheritance or “earned” through some windfall that involves 90% luck and 10% actual work.

      Of these three men, who provides the most value?

      The man who drops the seed on the ground.

      The man who pushes the seed into the ground in rows.

      The man who knows how, where, and what soil to farm.

      Believing that these three fellows provide the same value will create an economic conundrum so bizarre that any economic system that attempts to manifest it will fail – at the cost of thousands if not millions of lives.

      By sheer numbers alone they would overrun Galt and Company to sustain their lives. And if rational selfishness is what it’s all about, savages or not, they’d be the ones who survived … and to that end, social Darwinists wouldn’t have much to complain about.

      They wouldn’t make it. The maximum extent would be the distance a man can walk in three days without food. That is no more than maybe a couple of hundred miles at best – while fighting off the rest of the masses also in migration.

      Galt’s Gluch wouldn’t be under serious threat at all.

      However, the Gluch will never need to exist. The system would fail long, long before then.

      George Bernard Shaw’s, The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism.

      Charlie, there is nothing wrong with Socialism as long as the extent is carefully measured to be not much bigger than a family unit.

      Socialism works where there is no requirement of price calculation to determine resource use, simply because Socialism has no way to perform it.

      In a family, goods and services are shared, not on a basis of price calculation, but by measures of emotional attachments.

      A family would not work well if the means to the goods in a family was done by price mechanisms. My daughter would starve if she had to ‘earn’ her meals.

      But Socialism fails when it is attempted pervasively throughout a Society.

      Consuming resources to where they are most effectively used requires a pricing mechanism – and none exists in Socialism.

      Eventually, Socialism collapses completely as the inefficiencies of allocation overwhelm it. Socialism muddles along today because the Socialists – with no way to measure pricing – copies the capitalists in their production.

      So the Socialists see the Capitalists building ovens – so they start building ovens. When the Capitalists begin to make cars – so do then the Socialists. The Socialists are economic followers and wholly unable to articulate why they need more golf clubs than cars or ovens. Without some capitalist to follow, Socialists would be, as Mises said, sailors on the ocean with no rudder or compass, destined to ruin upon some rocks somewhere.

      So, Capitalism and the Free Market is the optimum system for a pervasive society and Socialism is among the worse for society.

      Socialism is the optimum system for family units and Capitalism is simply unworkable in such a confined form.

      • BF … I’m busy at work today … but I continue to learn from you (seriously). You make some very valid points … not all, but enough for me to reread your comments when I get home tonight (and hopefully don’t have to shovel snow all over again).

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Charlie,

          One of the things I have learned on this site (and you helped me learn it), is that many (not all, but certainly many) of us perceive exactly the same problems in society currently. The main differences which we have seem to be our starting points when attempting to formulate solutions.

        • No prob, Charlie – whenever you get to it…

          I’m not a guy who believes that just because you haven’t respond means “I WiN!!”

          It just means, you haven’t responded yet.

          🙂

          Later, buddy.

  2. Good Morning!

    USW, thanks for your input as to what took place last night under the big top in D.C. 🙂 I, like you are in a state of “what the hell can we do to stop this madness” mindframe. I’ve considered trying to force, legally, the state to deem this healthcare bill (and cap and trade) as in violation of oour stste constitutional rights in article I (state of Ohio), but I’m pretty sure the state political machine is equally corrupt. Still might try, just to piss some of them off.

    Posting for comments and will read along today. Congress sure is helping Black Flag and Kent’s “no government” position, that has to be better than what we have going on now!

    PEACE 🙂

    G!

    • USW:

      You have my sympathy in watching the sham take place in the senate. I will not put myself through that type of mental abuse. It angers me and I don’t need to get upset over something that I have no control over and no input in. I did my part earlier this year in attending a tea party, town hall meeting, and writing both senators. Resistence is truly futile. Health care (really power and control over the people) has been their holy grail for over 100 years and they will ram it through no matter what. This country is divided between statists and liberty loving people and I believe it is very close to a civil war. Like G-Man, I hope that some state stands up and refuses to go along with health care and cap and trade. If we had a Supreme Court that worked, they would step in and declare this law unconstituional. I have no hope of that happening after they failed to intercede on behalf of the bond holders in the automotive industry.

      I don’t know how to stop this insanity either. I think everyone needs to prepare for economic collapse and how to survive it. Why waste your energy in trying to stop something that cannot be stopped.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Birdman,

        You inadvertantly (or perhaps purposely) hit upon the key.

        ” It angers me and I don’t need to get upset over something that I have no control over and no input in.”

        If any of you here at this site somehow think that you are still “represented” by this government, think about that statement that Birdman made. If you agree with the statement that Birdman made, your belief that you are represented is a contradiction.

        • PeterB:

          You probably remember this prayer:

          God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can — and Wisdom to know the difference.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I do know the serenity prayer; however, in this case, it is not supposed to apply.

            According to what many people say, we are supposed to have a voice in our government. We are supposed to be able to control it and change it and have input into it.

            Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. So, what is the answer? Do we just serenely accept the way it is now, or do we work our butts off because we know that we are supposed to be free?

            • That’s the 64,000 dollar question.

              Working your butt off will just make you frustrated and miserable.

              Government doesn’t care what you think or what you want.

              Your freedom is an impediment to their goal of power and control (tyranny) over you.

              Our founding fathers tried to contol government and the experiment failed with Abe Lincoln and the progressive movement.

              There is nothing we can do to stop this.

              I’m taking Kent’s advice and trying to live my life as free as possible and with as little contact with government as I can.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I suppose that is one answer. I certainly COULD simply live as free as I possibly can and avoid contact with government as much as possible, but my feeling is that eventually the attempt to merely ignore government will become a big impediment to your own ability to live “as freely as possible”, so I am not sure that your goal is achieveable in the long-term.

                I believe that “the system will eat itself”, which is fine and dandy, but when the system does succeed in eating itself, we had better make sure that we have a moral foundation for the aftermath or we may well be eating each other.

              • PeterB:

                Health care will infringe on our freedom. I cannot stop that from happening. My goal at this point is to survive whatever is coming.

                I agree that the system will collapse. If VDLG is achievable, I would consider supporting it but I fear that it will just be another rebirth of government and in another 150 years we would face the same type of problems that we now. I don’t know if the beast can be contained and restrained. That was the goal of the Constitution and it is a complete failure.

              • Maybe we’re looking at it rom the wrong angle. what is their most used weapon?

        • This makes me think of a comment I just made on my own column:

          “If their job is to ‘represent us’, then we expect the impossible. No one can ‘represent’ another person any more than they can eat for another person or reproduce for another person.”

          I would recommend that everyone here read the column, since it was written in answer to someone who thinks similarly to a lot of people here who don’t like the direction “the country” is heading.

      • Good Morning Birdman and everyone else!

        I feel the same way. I got to the ‘resistance is futile stage’ when O ‘won’ the election. Our fellow Americans are ultimately responsible for the mess we’re in. Sadly, a majority of voters still don’t know what’s going on, or really care. So long as they flip the switch and a light comes on, turn the tap and have clean water, or open the fridge and find food, they WILL NOT care what happens in DC. The only way to get their attention is for the electricty to be gone, the water to be filthy, and find no food in the fridge. Even then, there’s no guarantee that the masses will figure it out. They’ll just keep blaming the Republicans and conservatives. Very few will see that anyone who supported the Liberal agenda is responsible. I don’t think you can fix that.

    • Posting for comments.

      • I found this article today:

        Wednesday, December 16, 2009
        Officials and Experts Warn of Crash-Induced Unrest

        Numerous high-level officials and experts warn that the economic crisis could lead to unrest world-wide – even in developed countries:

        •Today, Moody’s warned that future tax rises and spending cuts could trigger social unrest in a range of countries from the developing to the developed world, that in the coming years, evidence of social unrest and public tension may become just as important signs of whether a country will be able to adapt as traditional economic metrics, that a fiscal crisis remains a possibility for a leading economy, and that 2010 would be a “tumultuous year for sovereign debt issuers”.
        •The U.S. Army War College warned in 2008 November warned in a monograph [click on Policypointers’ pdf link to see the report] titled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development” of crash-induced unrest:
        The military must be prepared, the document warned, for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,” which could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse,” “purposeful domestic resistance,” “pervasive public health emergencies” or “loss of functioning political and legal order.” The “widespread civil violence,” the document said, “would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.” “An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home,” it went on. “Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD [the Department of Defense] would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance,” the document read.
        •Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair said:
        “The global economic crisis … already looms as the most serious one in decades, if not in centuries … Economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they are prolonged for a one- or two-year period,” said Blair. “And instability can loosen the fragile hold that many developing countries have on law and order, which can spill out in dangerous ways into the international community.”***

        “Statistical modeling shows that economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they persist over a one-to-two-year period.”***

        “The crisis has been ongoing for over a year, and economists are divided over whether and when we could hit bottom. Some even fear that the recession could further deepen and reach the level of the Great Depression. Of course, all of us recall the dramatic political consequences wrought by the economic turmoil of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe, the instability, and high levels of violent extremism.”

        Blair made it clear that – while unrest was currently only happening in Europe – he was worried this could happen within the United States.

        [See also this].

        •Former national security director Zbigniew Brzezinski warned “there’s going to be growing conflict between the classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there could be even riots.”

        •The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff warned the the financial crisis is the highest national security concern for the U.S., and warned that the fallout from the crisis could lead to of “greater instability”.
        Others warning of crash-induced unrest include:
        •The head of the World Trade Organization
        •The head of the International Monetary Fund (and see this)
        •The head of the World Bank
        •Senator Christopher Dodd
        •Congressman Ron Paul (radio interview on March 6, 2009)

        •Britian’s MI5 security agency
        •Leading economic historian Niall Ferguson
        •Leading economist Marc Faber and billionaire investor Jim Rogers
        •Leading economist Nouriel Roubini
        •Leading economist John Williams
        •Top trend researcher Gerald Calente
        •European think tank Leap2020

  3. A friend at work asked me how I felt about this, and I replied “Get used to not spending much money.” In congress they know they are passing a bill with no means to support itself. They are hoping that they don’t have to raise taxes and that some bum in the future will have to.

  4. I hope you and your family is well USW!
    Well I think that this healthcare bill is mess that at this point it is pure political. Nothing more than checking off a box on the list. I realized this on Saturday night when I was having my annual dinner with a bunch of very close friends. We do this instead of buying gifts. There was 22 of us sitting around the table talking, everyone from very liberal to very right wing and everyone who falls between that sitting there have a very enlighted talk about the world. The end conclusion on healthcare was that everyone thought it was a terrible bill. I have found that when all my friends from different political ends agree on something, then things are in bad shape. This is in bad shape.

    So for these senators who think that passing any bill is better than scrapping it and trying to do the right thing, shame on you. At this point no one is on your side.

    Ellen

  5. Ray Hawkins says:

    I don’t put a lot of stock in any promise made (if he did) that he would ensure legislative transparency. Unless I am missing something here, President Obama has little or nothing to do with how legislative rules are made and enforced – it would be akin to him promising something around SCOTUS – it isn’t his territory so why focus on it?

    I disagree that there was no reason to offer an alternative bill. That is a primary reason we end up with garbage. Would the folks in D.C. have to respond to a populace that was presented a reasonable and more viable option by the minority party? I would think if the ground swell were large enough they’d have no choice. Instead we focus on the small and petty – spinning up on death panels, killing granny and frequent shopper clubs for taxpayers funded abortions (ok – I made that last one up).

    Going back – politically I am still a single payer guy – but I know that will never be a reality – our Country is pretty adamant that we have the ‘have’s’ and ‘have-nots’. And apparently, to pay for this train wreck of bill we will now have a third class of ‘have-less’ – I’m still waiting to find out my health plan is considered “Cadillac” and therefore should be taxed a little harder – I suppose it will take but a cycle for employees like me to see trickle down. So much for working my ass off and making what I thought were good choices to sacrifice some take home pay for a stellar health plan (and other bennies). This soon-to-be rationed care is what we need to get away from folks. If all my TV channels are pre-programmed to play something shitty like Yentl – then if I want to watch TV I am going to be watching Yentl. But this “TV” is so big it takes time, time and more time to find another TV – and that assuming I won’t hear something like “you have pre-existing viewing habits which will force us to pre-program your TV to watch an endless loop of The View”.

    Anyway – done ranting. This bill should not pass. My sense is that push is to merely have something to hang hats on: “look, we reformed health care” – its irrelevant that substantive changes will not be seen for a while – the whole point was to improve a brag sheet and become re-electable.

    • Ray,

      The Repug’s did offer a health plan in the house, and have proposed amendments in the senate, but have been shut-out. Examples, allowing insurance sold across state lines would HAVE to reduce cost, but the Dem’s will not allow, tort reform, same thing. This bill is not about IMPROVING
      healthcare, its about the liberal agenda, power and control.

      As for Obama, he made promises, and should be held accountable. He goes to the senate and meets with only Democrats behind closed doors? Come on Ray, you don’t buy that crap. He could have spoke to both parties, live on CSPAN right then, he could have lead a bi-partisan effort. Instead, he showed his ethics are the end justifies any means. I WON!!

      The next question, can the economy survive this hit? Will our foreign creditors bail on us and cause the dollar to tank? This could be the “straw”. Remember, 1/6th of our economy.

      http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/CBO-Prepublican-health-plan-would-reduce-premiums–69270747.html

      CBO: Republican health plan would reduce premiums, cut deficit
      By: Susan Ferrechio
      Chief Congressional Correspondent
      11/05/09 6:30 AM EST

      The Congressional Budget Office Wednesday night released its cost analysis of the Republican health care plan and found that it would reduce health care premiums and cut the deficit by $68 billion over ten years.

      The Republican plan does not call for a government insurance plan but rather attempts to reform the system by creating high-risk insurance pools, allowing people to purchase health insurance policies across state lines and instituting medical malpractice reforms.

      “Not only does the GOP plan lower health care costs, but it also increases access to quality care, including for those with pre-existing conditions, at a price our country can afford,” House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

      According to CBO, the GOP bill would indeed lower costs, particularly for small businesses that have trouble finding affordable health care policies for their employees. The report found rates would drop by seven to 10 percent for this group, and by five to eight percent for the individual market, where it can also be difficult to find affordable policies

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Hey LOI, hope all’s going well.

        Obama did make certain promises regarding transparency and he should be held accountable.

        I disagree with your characterization of the GOP’s efforts though. The GOP sought to block and delay any effort at health care reform – they fought tooth and nail every step of the way. Yes, the GOP did offer their own bill, but that bill wouldn’t have accomplished bubkus! According to the CBO, the GOPs plan would have failed to insure the uninsured and omitted many fundamental issues, including eliminating the ban on pre-existing conditions.

        The GOP has taken a piecemeal approach to health care — offering minor ‘reforms’ here and there. Allow insurance to sell across state lines? Sure, that could well reduce some costs…if done properly. Done wrong and it could result in insurance companies seeking safe haven in those states with the least restrictive laws. Even if done right, I doubt that this singular reform would have much of an impact on the continuously inflating cost of insurance. Tort reform? That’s a small drop in a very large bucket. Also, most states already have some form of tort reform. Could a bit more be done in this regard? Perhaps. I can get behind some form of national guidelines such as standard medical procedure; but I cannot support capping an injured patient’s recovery.

        All in all, I agree with you and many on this site – the current bill has many, many flaws. I’m not sure if I would vote for this particular bill as it currently reads and I for one am pissed at the Democrats for not sticking to their guns, putting together a real bill, getting their act together and passing that bill.

        • Buck,

          We have had lay-offs and reduced hours, so no as well as hoped for. Rain/snow may hit before or on Christmas, have a ” soggy, jolly X-mas is popular here.

          You said: I disagree with your characterization of the GOP’s efforts though. The GOP sought to block and delay any effort at health care reform – they fought tooth and nail every step of the way. (agree, this does not make them right or wrong, the question is whether this bill HELPS reform healthcare?)

          Yes, the GOP did offer their own bill, but that bill wouldn’t have accomplished bubkus! ( I challenge you here sir, do you honestly believe allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines would not lower costs? Tort reform may not work as well as we would like, but it would be cheaper for me to buy insurance in New Jersey (has tort reform) than here in Arkansas)

          According to the CBO, the GOPs plan would have failed to insure the uninsured and omitted many fundamental issues, including eliminating the ban on pre-existing conditions.
          (According to Sen. Lincoln, there are 60,000 un-insured children in our state, 40,000 of them are eligible for SCHIP, but have not signed up. Want to bet that the un-insured the Dem’s claim they will cover misses its mark?
          Add to that the number who drop their insurance and switch to the governments because it will be “free”? Look at Hawaii’s failed insurance effort, went bankrupt in seven months. Pre-existing, I could see that worthy for debate, but they did not allow debate, did they? One little point here, why should I have to subsidize a smoker or obese person’s health costs?)

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Sorry to hear about the layoffs and reduced hours; hopefully things pick up soon! We got a bunch of snow over the weekend out here and hopefully it won’t turn to slush before Thursday; otherwise, we’ll also be having a soggy, jolly one!

            I would say the GOPs efforts have overall HURT health care reform. I agree that the bill put forth has serious problems; I said myself I’m not sure if I could or would vote for it. But the GOP did not help matters in the slightest. Rather the GOP trumped up ‘death panels’ and sought to declaw and delegitimize the president.

            Yes, some Republicans did offer their own bill and incremental steps towards reform. But again, incremental reform to possibly save a few dollars here and there is not what is needed right now.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Buck,

              Incremental reform to save a few dollars here and there is HIGHLY PREFERABLE to this bill in the Senate, which DOES NOT SAVE ANY DOLLARS AT ALL, and in fact raises the cost of healthcare for everyone.

              You are not clear on your own goals I don’t believe…

              What is it that you actually want? Guaranteed healthcare for all regardless of cost, or actual reforms that would make healthcare more affordable for everyone?

              If you want the first option, then the Senate Bill doesn’t actually accomplish that. If you want the second option, the Senate Bill accomplishes the exact opposite, so either way, the Senate Bill is bad.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Incremental reform that MAY save a few dollars will do nothing in the long term given the overarching problems with our current health system. What we need, to me, is wholistic reform.

                The current bill, as I’ve said, has major flaws and I don’t know if I would vote for this bill. But I would much prefer an attempt at real reform, than to pass a few piecemeal rules and regulations that will have no real impact and could even make matters worse.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Well, according to the CBO, the Republican reform proposals actually would have demonstrably cut the deficit. Of course, the CBO did not offer any analysis on whether they would have saved money for anyone else other than the government, or made insurance more affordable to anyone, but at least the CBO was convinced that the Republican proposal would have indeed reduced the deficit. I know that the same CANNOT be said for the current bill in the Senate.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I may be mistaken, but I thought I read that the CBO found the Senate bill would reduce budget deficits by $130 Billion over the next decade.

              • Buck:

                Thats only because the costs hit in years 9 and beyond. The cost after year ten jumps dramatically.

                Same game Clinton played with his budget. Put the cost out in the future.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Thanks JAC; I’ll try to take a closer look into that.

              • Buck

                “Incremental reform that MAY save a few dollars will do nothing in the long term given the overarching problems with our current health system. What we need, to me, is wholistic reform.”

                How do you know what is needed?

                I haven’t seen anyone here clearly identify the REAL problems or factors affecting the cost of medical care.

                This was all about insurance and had nothing to do with containing REAL costs.

              • Buck,
                When I have a problem to solve I usually try to think of the most likely cause of the problem and then change that one thing while leaving all other things constant. This bill that is thousands of pages long and makes all kinds of changes to the system is like going to the doctor and having him prescribe every medicine he can think of to try and make you better. I tend to think a few well thought out changes would be a much better approach.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I wouldn’t characterize the GOPs proposed changes as well thought out.

                I would think of them more as, what can we do to make it look like we care, while not harming the status quo?

              • buck:

                Then you have no idea what they actually proposed and how they came up with it.

                Many of the proposals came from more free market think tanks. It wasn’t just a game. It was in fact their proposal made before any legislation passed.

                And they were told to pound sand. That is what started the war. Obama could have stopped it immediately but didn’t. He in fact added to it by only meeting with Dems and then when he met with the R’s he told them he had won a mandate and they had better get used to it.

                Man, how quickly we forget history.

            • Buck,

              See Peter’s #20. Apply same to health care.
              Do what you know works, not what you think should be better for the greater good. Its
              better to fix one thing than wreck ten.

              Consider the economy, should we really be starting another entitlement program now?
              In the past year we have gone from 800 billion to 1.7 trillion US dollars in circulation. They seem intent to add on another stimulus and cap and trade.

              Do they BELIEVE the US is like Bruce Willis, Unbreakable? Sure looks like they are putting us all to the test.

    • Ray:

      You are being a little disengenious this morning I think.

      “I don’t put a lot of stock in any promise made (if he did) that he would ensure legislative transparency.” Your insunuation that he may not have actually made such a promise is only overshadowed by the numerous times he stated that the debates and discussions would be held on C-Span. As this has been played over and over on both Far Left and Right Left TV, radio and internet sites I find it hard to believe you haven’t heard any of the replays yourself.

      You are absolutely correct that he has no power over the conduct of congress. That was in fact one of the earliest signs to me that he was a statist selling snake oil during the campaigns. His claim that “HE” could make all these things happen meant that he was the worlds’ most arrogant narcissist, he was dellusional, or he and the Dem. leadership were in lock step. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, at first, on the first two and sided with lock step. In the end, he may suffer from all three.

      Regarding the Republicans obligation to offer alternatives. How fast we forget that they have been offering alternatives in the form of separate bills and amendments since the entire discussion started. I do believe just last week one of the proposed amendments was killed on a floor vote. The substantive changes or alternatives never got out of committee.

      Did we forget already about what happened last August at the townhall meetings? Republican and Democrat alike were skinned by a “ground swell” that was large enough for the elected to notice. Many Republicans had offered changes that were in general favorable to more govt intervention. They got chastized by their constituants at the meetings just as did the Dems who were supporting the changes.

      So you see Ray, there was a major change in the public mood and in the end there was a majority of the public yelling STOP. But they didn’t stop, did they.

      Last night there was no reason to offer an amendment as it would have been out of order. The debate was over a proposal to end the debate on the amendments that had been allowed. That is the motion before the assembly not the bill itself.

      And, yes. This bill will be passed just so they can brag that they got something done that they promised they would do. And they will stand before their supporters acting like it was in fact what they promised expecting the supporters to swallow the pill and live in an alternate reality.

      It should not pass. But that is because govt provided medical care is immoral, not just because it is now a three humped camel.

      Hope your back has survived the snow shovel.
      JAC

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        JAC – I was looking more towards the right showing their own car rather than sitting in the passenger or back seat and yelling to make one turn opposite the one the left was intending to make.

        As for promises? I have often simply ignored that I guess – with respect to how he supposedly convinced everyone that he’d take command of Congress (uh – yikes – weird saying that). Its ultimately the folks that work there that need to make it happen.

        I didn’t forget about the town halls – but to look for a commonality or a thread is false – often people were pissed in general rather than specific and side tracked by sensationalism rather than fact (‘well – it COULD be construed as a DEATH PANEL’).

        Kill the bill

        My back? Wow – been a while since I had to hump two feet of snow – times like that make you wonder why the driveway needed to be so long. 🙂

  6. Eyes on

    • Your stay over at friends sounded delightful.

      I am hosting much the same, with kids home including daughters new boy friend.

      Hope your batteries are sufficiently recharged.
      JAC

  7. Morning, all

    I have seen comments on this site that folks like BF, JAC, PeterB, Mathius, or myself are far “smarter” and therefore understand things better. I say bulldookey.

    While I certainly consider myself to be smarter than the average bear, I do not think it is necessarily intelligence that is the determining factor, but rather the act of informing yourself with facts. I have said this before, and will likely say it again: Joe Schmo who gets his news from 10 second soundbites on the local radio cannot be expected to have an informed view comparable to, say, the people on this site who have read the bill cover to cover. Intelligence doesn’t even factor into it. Einstein wouldn’t be able to debate this bill, because Einstein doesn’t know anything about this bill* – being smart is insufficient by itself.

    That said, it never hurts to be smart.

    Adding, I found your views very one-sided today, Mr. Weapon. Certainly the Democrats have behaved childishly in some regards, but the Republics are no angles. I definitely do not excuse the Democrats’ behavior on the grounds that the Republicans are worse, but to say that they haven’t tried to engage in debate is categorically false. They have simply been flummoxed with bate-and-switch tactics, abortion amendments, nonsense about end of life counseling, nonsense about death panels, et cetera. At every step along the way, they were met with bad faith by their counterparts. It is unfair to blast only the Democrats – if the Republicans had worked with them rather than against them, we could have had a great bill.

    If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him – Jim DeMint R-SC

    QUESTIONER: …on health care, how much of this disagreement with the Administration is about the policy of health care and how to fix it, and how much of it is Republicans’ obvious and understandable desire to declaw the President politically? How much of that does fit into the equation.

    VOINOVICH (R-OH): I think it’s about 50/50, but I will tell you this…

    http://crooksandliars.com/dday/voinovich-admits-gop-opposes-health-care-refo


    *Also because he’s dead. The dead typically debate poorly.

    • Matt:

      Your accusations against the Elephants is made from the middle of the story, not the beginning. If you take the time to think, or search, back you will find many alternatives and options offered very early. The donkeys told the pachyderms to go to hell. That is what eventually led to the inflamatory rhetoric once the house bill was made public.

      And pray tell, how would a “better” result come from one side sacrificing its principles for the “sake of compromise”? What you are really saying is that if the Republicans would have just gone along then you could have what YOU want and that would be BETTER.

      And, what difference does it make if the Repbulicans used the opportunity to “declaw” the president politically? Is that not how the system is supposed to work? Checks and balances, remember? Have you forgotten already how the Dems’ conducted themselves upon Bush’ election?

      By damaging the president they also damage the far left leadership to which he is attached at the hip. Soon the real fun will start.

      Mr. Obama will have to distance himself from those that brought him to the dance, because the public has discovered just how ugly they are.

      Here’s to a snow day to play.
      JAC

      • The Democrats do not have the corner on truth. Sometimes we need input from the other side of the aisle to get good results. It’s not about sacrificing principles, but rather about exploring all options and not needing to buy votes. If the the Republicans will unanimously vote in lockstep, that means that the relative power of the on-the-fence dems and independents is extremely high, no?

        All that is irrelevant, however, since, NO! That’s not how the system is supposed to work. They’re supposed to be loyal opposition. They’re on the same side (pro-America), but they just disagree with how to get there. They shouldn’t be trying to “break” the President.

        Finally, screw the snow. It’s cold and wet. I had to pay $60 to get my driveway plowed, and my cousin backed into my mailbox. Now I have no mailbox and the ground is frozen, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do until the thaw. Grr. We don’t have these problems back in Los Angeles.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Nope no snow in LA, just plenty of smog. I’ll take the snow.

          • I’ll take the smog, thank you. Makes for some beautiful sunsets.

            And it’s not cold.

            • Matt:

              Last time a volcanoe went off in Indonesia we had three years of great sunsets in n. idaho, on totally clear days.

              Looks like more may be coming soon with action in the Phillipines.

        • “They shouldn’t be trying to “break” the President.”

          Just like the Dems should not be committing political suicide to chalk up a win for Obama! There are many that obviously don’t like this bill, but vote with their party anyway!

          Both parties disgust me!

        • Matt:

          “They shouldn’t be trying to “break” the President.”

          You have failed to explain why this should not be the goal of the opposition. If the Pres. is totally on board with the oppostion then why not try to dilute his ability to use his pulpit to control the debate and outcome?

          It seems to me you just want YOUR outcome to get the OK. And for the life of me I don’t understand how you can say that compromising on a govt provided health care bill, if your principles say such is not appropriate, is also not compromising your principles.

          This is the political system you want yet you are constantly complaining about it working just the way it would have to work, according to the laws of nature.

          Time to clear up your contradictions my dear lefty friend.
          JAC

          • There is no contradiction.

            I want health reform that works.

            I don’t care what that actually is. If it’s European style, Canadian Style, public option, opt in, medicare buy in, generic reform, co-ops, complete removal of all government intervention – whatever – I don’t care. I just want the system fixed. Small government, big government, medium government, no government, huge government, VLDG, I don’t care. I just want it to work.

            And, here’s the kicker, the Republicans feel the same way. They really do. They may disagree on the best way to go about it, but they want it to work too. They want people healthy in a system that doesn’t cause 60-something percent* of the bankruptcies in America. But, in this case, they cared more about “breaking” the President and scoring political points.

            So instead of working together to find the best solution, they sabotaged it at every step of the way. And, instead of sticking to their guns and just trying to fix the system, the Democrats tried to win at all costs. So everyone loses.

            In short, winning became the goal rather than reform.

            *Yes, we’ve been over this number before and we’re not sure if it’s right or indicative, but even 25% extremely conservatively is too high.

    • Matt,

      When you( the Democrats) start with a lie, what do you end up with? From your link:

      Bipartisan Bull
      Wed, 07/22/2009 – 13:50 — Plisko

      The current health care debate in a nutshell: Obama and Democrats want to use their new political capital to do something meaningful about health care. Republicans want Obama and the Democrats to fail in that goal. The Washington media pundits, in their infinite wisdom, think that we need to find a “bipartisan” middle ground between these two things.

      God Bless America.

      This has been touted as healthcare REFORM. How does REQUIRING everyone to buy health insurance reform anything? I can agree the Repug’s are a sorry lot, but the Dem’s have complete power at this time and are abusing it with
      arrogance. Can anyone defend BUYING votes from democrat senators with a straight face?

      • If the Republicans had been interested in negotiating with the goal of reforming health care (whatever that means) instead of scoring political points and “breaking” the President, we could have arrived at a compromise wherein we kept the parts of the bill that, you know, worked, and killed the rest. We wouldn’t have needed every last senator to pass the bill so Snowe, Stupak, Lieberman etc wouldn’t have been able to exert just an inordinate amount of power over it. We wouldn’t have to pull stunts like forcing Byrd to be wheeled into the chamber to vote. We wouldn’t be voting at 1AM. We would have more transparency because the need for secrecy would be obviated if there is no one to hide it from etc.

        Of course this would all happen to some lesser degree or another, but it adds up. It’s the difference between adult behavior and child behavior.

    • Mathius,

      I agree that my comments were a bit one sided today. Last night I was pretty disgusted with what i saw on both sides of what passes for debate in today’s Congress. But I was especially disappointed with Dodd and Harkin, who spewed nothing but rhetoric and liberal talking points. My current frustration is more aimed at the Democrats, but I really do feel that this is because they are simply the power players at the moment. I certainly have no love for how Republicans have acted either. But I do support the idea of saying no to this bill, with or without an alternative to offer. Bad is bad.

  8. Morning all! Been reading along but not much time to post.
    I have to admit I have been walking around with a “whiskey-tango-foxtrot” attitude for the last few months. I find it’s easier to try and ignore the lunacy since there is nothing I can do about it.
    😦

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Yes, there is nothing any of us can really do about it, Just like Birdman pointed out above as well.

      If you feel that you are represented…
      If you feel that your vote “counts”…
      If you feel that our system helps ensure your freedom…

      My only advice is, seek professional help 🙂

  9. Corruption and petty partisan politics rules Washington. I have little hope that it will ever abate, but it sickens me nonetheless. There are several key factors to this whole healthcare mess that I would like to point out.

    1. Despite the fact that polls have consistently shown < 40% approval for this health reform bill, still a majority of senators vote for it. Is it just me, or do these people not represent the country? Are they not supposed to be representatives? If you claim they must exercise their right to vote against their constituents just because they were elected, I say bull! On something this big, this far-reaching and important, voting against the will of the people is completely wrong! Since taxes will increase to pay for this, can we not claim taxation without representation? They very obviously don't represent the will of the people! I don't propose this, but it makes me sick!

    2. What does this bill do? Well, let's see. No more denials because of pre-existing conditions, mandating "good" insurance (with "good" defined by the government). What could possibly happen to health insurance rates but to go up?!?!?! Why the hell would insurance companies take a hit by covering everyone and having to pay out more? A few years from now, when no one can afford health insurance, watch for the public option to rear its head. There is no better way to get it in effect than to pass this monstrosity of a bill… But maybe that's what they want?

    3. This bill is projected to leave 24 million without health insurance. Maybe it's just me, but 24 million is a lot… Sounds like our health insurance costs will still be up because of emergency room visits from the uninsured, so that tired argument holds no water!

    4. Absolutely rampant corruption. The fed will pay for medicaid for one state only past the three year mark in order to BUY a vote. How the hell does this happen?!? How can anyone in their right mind be OK with this?!?

    5. Petty partisan politics! I know the republicans have done their part to be complete idiots in this sense, but let's think about the Dems for a moment. With all of the above, why in the world would certain dems vote for this bill? In particular, let's think about my own senator, Evan Bayh (D-IN). A fiscally conservative democrat voting for this bill that will certainly raise prices (the CBO even said so). Why would he do this? Take one for the team. Democrats are committing political suicide so that Obama can have a plaque on his wall. Seven presidents have tried and failed, Obama says, and he will be the one to succeed. Who cares if it is a crappy bill as everyone agrees. Absolute madness!

    I fear that the more I learn about politics and stay up with current events, the more I am disillusioned. Cap and trade is a perfect example. This legislation will not stop global warming, it won't even slow pollution, it will just make the government money. Companies buying carbon credits from the government. Do you honestly think they will just take a hit in the profit margin? Hell no! They'll just pass the cost along to the customer. All this crap coming through Washington now will be in effect the largest tax increase in history! DURING A RECESSION! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!?!?!

    Sorry this is so long. I'm a bit upset and totally disillusioned at this point. All I can say at this point is, I hope the Dems are right. I hope health care doesn't self destruct and that our industrial core doesn't implode. I shudder at the consequences if they are not…

    • JB:

      Please repeat after me:

      WE…….ARE………SO…………SCREWED!

      There now. That should help put it all in perspective for you.

      And yes, those Senators, Congressmen, and Administration Bureaucrats are the ones doing it to us.

      Wish I could bring you better news but I see none on the horizon.
      So I give you best wishes to you and the family instead.
      JAC

      • WE…….ARE………SO…………SCREWED!

        Phew, don’t think that makes me feel better… *sob*

        Thanks, JAC. Merry Christmas to you and yours and wishes for a safe and happy new year!

        To tell the truth, I’m not really surprised. This sort of thing is just what happens in life. I’ll just do the best I can do and try to support everyone who chooses not to support themselves as well as my own family. I only hope some sort of revolution happens and puts this country back on track.

      • Screwed, blued and tattooed.

      • One more thing, how do SUFA members get into the gulch? I’m ready. Please come and take me!

      • WE…….ARE………SO…………SCREWED!

        woo.. that was fun..

        WE…….ARE………SO…………SCREWED!

        Or…

        Thinks.. are.. going.. OK.. not great.. but OK..

        • Typo: Things.. not thinks..

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            You might think that thinks and things are going OK… you might even be right… or you just might be delusional 🙂

            • I’m pretty sure that I’m delusional. But then again, I might be delusional about that as well. Which means that I’m not delusional. Which means that if I think I’m delusional I must be right. Only then I can’t be delusional.. right?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I don’t know, because everything I say is a lie….

                (including- by definition- the thing that I just said)

                🙂

              • Statement 1: Statement 2 is true.

                Statement 2: Statement 1 is false.

              • But then again, I might be delusional about that as well. Which means that I’m not delusional.

                No, being delusional about being delusional still makes you delusional….and right at the same time.

                You can be sick, and sick of being sick at the same time, for example.

              • But then again, you may not exist in any real sense..

                As I continue to talk to you, I see the cracks in the foundation of reality, until the cracks become chasms and the abyss stares back at me.

                As I read your 1,000 word posts, I feel as though I am drowning an Olympic swimming pool full of hot chewing gum fondue – does it even matter anymore if our liberties are being trampled when your endlessly nested blockquotes destabilize my limbic system, probably forever?

                The world is reduced to a kaleidoscope of whirling shapes, I am totally free. Nothing matters, effect precedes cause, fish spawn in mid-air, and you can do whatever you want.

              • I’m stealing here from the greatest movie review of all time, but I feel it fits.
                http://io9.com/5301898/michael-bay-finally-made-an-art-movie

                I really, really wish I could take credit for that.

    • JB,

      You said: I hope health care doesn’t self destruct and that our industrial core doesn’t implode. I shudder at the consequences if they are not…

      Your words reminded me of the moment I decided to file for divorce. I’d spent over ten years putting all my effort into making the marriage work only to find myself feeling the same way you do. The stress of it almost destroyed me, physically, financially and emotionally. I shuddered at the conseqences. Then it occurred to me that no matter which way things went it was going to be painful and expensive. So I had a choice. I could go on as I had been, and die a little everyday until something big came along and finished me off, or I could deploy the nuclear option, and be done with it. I chose the nuclear option. It was painful and expensive just like I knew it would be. But now 4 and 1/2 years later, life is much better than I ever thought possible.

      I think that once the current systems implodes, things will be really, really bad. For those of us who are still alive and kicking, things will be better in time. Personally, I’m hoping the Chinese Government deployes the nuclear option. That should bring a screeching halt the Marxist agenda. It’ll be very bad for alot of people, but the Chinese will have done what the rest of us cannot, and that’s cut the kleptocrats off at the knees.

    • JB,

      Great job laying it out, point by point! It will be kinda funny a few billion dollars from now if, as has been suggested, this is un-constitutional.

      What makes me loose sleep at night:

      The government, that cannot run medicare/medicaid is going to take control of everyone’s health care.

      The government mandates who/what and how medical insurance is to be done, but not how to pay for it if it cost more than expected(when has that ever happened to the government?).

      After being warned by foreign governments that are securing our debt that our spending is unsustainable, they have passed a pork filled “defense” bill, and are trying to ram thru a trillion dollar entitlement program.

      • All of this is because they will lose their power soon. This shows just how petty the left is. They whine and complain for 8 years about not getting their way. They take total control of congress and slam through everything they’ve wanted for the past 8 years as much as they can. They don’t care what the country wants, they care what THEY want. The only light at the end of the tunnel is that they’ll be out of power soon. Hopefully we can clean up the mess they’ve made, though. Good luck to Obama to get anything done for the second half of his tenure!

        In the spirit of fairness, I think the right did a bad job of this the last time they had power, but I will say that they did not act from the far right. We had plenty of big spending over the Bush years, which is not a very conservative position…

        • JB

          I agree that new people will most likely be in power come 2010. My fear is they will not be any better than the ones we have now. We need people with a whole new way of thinking and acting in power.

          Ellen

          • Amen Ellen. The Republicans have not shown any better skills at running the country well. A new way of thinking is needed, one that starts with limiting government involvement.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The word “unconstitutional” lost it’s relevance a long time ago.

        No one will bother stopping something simply because it violates the Constitution. That hasn’t happened in a LONG time.

  10. Disgusting behavior. I’m amazed that anyone can begin to try to justify the recent behavior in Washington. I’m not sure there is a paddy wagon big enough to round them all up; bribes, blackmail, you name it – all so they can control and steal more from us.

    Attended a healthcare forum in Madison last week, where the panel was Pres/CEO’s of the hospitals and clinics located here. The questions were great, the panel was very open about the need for reform (like needing a better entry point to medical care for non-insureds than the ER) and talked about the ways the 3 hospitals/clinics in this area work together for cost efficiences. They spoke about the grim realities that will occur if this bill is passed in its current form, with the leading issue being the lack of primary care physicians. In fact it was suggested that a 10-year timeframe for building up these doctors was more realistic.

    There are reforms and changes that could be made to make the system better and more affordable; and it could be done in bits and pieces (someone above mentioned this would not be a good approach???), ie remove insurance mandates, tort reform especially for reducing defensive medicine practices, increase incentives like HSA’s for making the consumer more responsible for their health and the decisions affecting such.

    Unfortunately none of our elected officials were in attendance. This is the part I really don’t understand. How can one side of the equation be there to answer questions, but the ones making the decisions not attend.

    Of course, one liberal in the group, at the end of a great night of facts and logic, did his wrap up and brought in the “moral obligation of everyone to not be so concerned with our wallets, but with the justice needed as a society”. What a loser – if I went to his clinic, I would change immediately.

    • Kathy,

      Great post! I talked with a hospital CEO, he said many who use the ER that are eligible for medicaid, will not sign up, even when the hospital will do the paperwork for them. Which means the hospital has to eat the cost, which gets passed on to the rest of us. He also said their insurance $120K a month, would be half that in New Mexico, which has effective tort reform.

  11. Not meant as a highjack, but doesn’t the government run the school’s? And now they are trying video games in PE classes? Truth is stranger than fiction.

    http://douglassreport.com

    Videogames don’t belong in school

    Normally, I wouldn’t mind anything that cuts back on organized exercise… but in some cockamamie schools, they’re using P.E. class to play Nintendo Wii – that videogame system where you play by moving around a little.

    The last thing today’s kids need is more time in front of a glowing screen, and the last people who should be giving it to them are teachers, especially gym teachers.

    Don’t be fooled by the name – “Wii Fit” doesn’t lead to any kind of fitness. Just a few weeks ago, I told you about research that found these video “exercises” barely provide the kind of workout you’d get from a simple walk, and many of them don’t even give you that. (Click here to read, “Weight loss through a videogame? No way.”)

    One of those studies was even sponsored by Nintendo – and it still came up empty.

  12. More demonization of the politcal opposition. I wonder if this is how it went down in Germany during the 1930’s….?

    http://washingtontimes.com/weblogs/watercooler/2009/dec/20/sen-whitehouse-foes-health-care-bill-are-birthers-/

    Sen. Whitehouse: foes of health care bill are birthers, right-wing militias, aryan groups

    • VDLG must require mental competency tests! If we had this requirement right now (and annually rechecked), more than half of them would be out. Throw in vetting for paying taxes and other ethical violations and you’d have about 10 left – about right for VDLG!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Cyndi – while I don’t think the opposition ever did much to help their own cause in a rational & organized way – I’m not sure how a speech like that is supposed to galvanize them to see the light the Senator from Rhode Island wants them to see. His idiocy is just as bad. They need an ‘eject’ button at that podium.

      • I agree Ray, the Rs have provided very little in useful leadership.

        What makes you think the esteemed Senator’s speech is supposed to make the Rs see the light?

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Cyndi – nothing – his words are anti-collaborative and just plain stupid. Who’d want to work with someone that uses the Senate floor as his dummy pulpit? I’m tired of all these jerks. I just wonder how many in the House will want a deal like Ben Nelson received to win votes? Friggin ridiculous.

  13. Why we cannot defend the Repug’s, which does not mean the Dem’s are not screwing the country over.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_Prescription_Drug,_Improvement,_and_Modernization_Act

    The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (Pub.L. 108-173, 117 Stat. 2066, also called Medicare Modernization Act or MMA) is a law of the United States which was enacted in 2003.[1] It produced the largest overhaul of Medicare in the public health program’s 38-year history.

    The MMA was signed by President George W. Bush on December 8, 2003, after passing in Congress by a close margin [2].

    One month later, the ten-year cost estimate was boosted to $534 billion, up more than $100 billion over the figure presented by the Bush administration during Congressional debate. The inaccurate figure helped secure support from fiscally conservative Republicans. It was reported that an administration official, Thomas A. Scully, had concealed the higher estimate and threatened to fire Medicare Chief Actuary Richard Foster if he revealed it.[3] By early 2005, the White House Budget had increased the 10-year estimate to $1.2 trillion.[4]

    Former US Comptroller General David M. Walker has called this “…probably the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s… because we promise way more than we can afford to keep.”

    Legislative history

    The bill was debated and negotiated for nearly six years in Congress, and finally passed amid unusual circumstances. Several times in the legislative process the bill had appeared to have failed, but each time was saved when a couple of Congressmen and Senators switched positions on the bill.

    The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives early on June 25, 2003 as H.R. 1, sponsored by Speaker Dennis Hastert. All that day and the next the bill was debated, and it was apparent that the bill would be very divisive. In the early morning of June 27, a floor vote was taken. After the initial electronic vote, the count stood at 214 yeas, 218 nays.

    Three Republican representatives then changed their votes. One opponent of the bill, Ernest J. Istook, Jr. (R-OK-5), changed his vote to “present” upon being told that C.W. Bill Young (R-FL-10), who was absent due to a death in the family, would have voted “aye” if he had been present. Next, Republicans Butch Otter (ID-1) and Jo Ann Emerson (MO-8) switched their vote to “aye” under pressure from the party leadership. The bill passed by one vote, 216-215.

    On June 26, the Senate passed its version of the bill, 76-21. The bills were unified in conference, and on November 21, the bill came back to the House for approval.

    The bill came to a vote at 3 a.m. on November 22. After 45 minutes, the bill was losing, 219-215, with David Wu (D-OR-1) not voting. Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader Tom DeLay sought to convince some of dissenting Republicans to switch their votes, as they had in June. Istook, who had always been a wavering vote, consented quickly, producing a 218-216 tally. In a highly unusual move, the House leadership held the vote open for hours as they sought two more votes. Then-Representative Nick Smith (R-MI) claimed he was offered campaign funds for his son, who was running to replace him, in return for a change in his vote from “nay” to “yea.” After controversy ensued, Smith clarified no explicit offer of campaign funds was made, but that that he was offered “substantial and aggressive campaign support” which he had assumed included financial support.[14]

    About 5:50 a.m., convinced Otter and Trent Franks (AZ-2) to switch their votes. With passage assured, Wu voted yea as well, and Democrats Calvin M. Dooley (CA-20), Jim Marshall (GA-3) and David Scott (GA-13) changed their votes to the affirmative. But Brad Miller (D-NC-13), and then, Republican John Culberson (TX-7), reversed their votes from “yea” to “nay”. The bill passed 220-215.

    The Democrats cried foul, and Bill Thomas, the Republican chairman of the Ways and Means committee, challenged the result in a gesture to satisfy the concerns of the minority. He subsequently voted to table his own challenge; the tally to table was 210 ayes, 193 noes.

    The Senate’s consideration of the conference report was somewhat less heated, as cloture on it was invoked by a vote of 70-29.[15] However, a budget point of order raised by Tom Daschle, and voted on. As 60 votes were necessary to override it, the challenge was actually considered to have a credible chance of passing.

    For several minutes, the vote total was stuck at 58-39, until Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Trent Lott (R-MS), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) voted in quick succession in favour to pass the vote 61-39.[16] The bill itself was finally passed 54-44 on November 25, 2003, and was signed into law by the President on December 8.[17]

  14. Bottom Line says:

    USW,
    I have to agree with you about the value of personal experience. That’s why I know better to argue with BF unless I have personal experience to back it up. It’s the only way I can really hang. lol.

    …And since I’m thinking about it…

    BF,

    You’ve warned both USW and myself in regards to challenging your knowledge of Iran’s affairs. I think you told us both to be careful what we say, as we are likely to lose an argument.

    Q: What do Muhammad Ali, Tom Cruise, Diane Sawyer, Colonel Higgins, and BL all have in common?

    I remember sitting in sixth grade English class waiting for it to start one day. The girl sitting behind me was talking with her girlfriends about some guy she knew…saying Tommy this Tommy that, Tommy Tommy Tommy.
    I wasn’t really listening until I heard her say that it was Tom Cruise. I turned around and gave a her a look of dismissal and disbelief as if I were calling bullshit on her. (What are the odds of some nobody chubby faced little girl actually knowing Tom Cruise personally?)
    She replied with something like “What?, you don’t believe me? I’ll prove it, watch.”
    I continued to dismiss the notion until class started.
    The next morning, while I was in the same class waiting to start, she walks past and drops a 4 in. thick stack of pictures on my desk.
    They were pics of her whole family, and the cruise family…(Adolescent “Tommy” included), together at Christmas parties,barbecues, posing on the front porch, etc. To her and her sisters, he was literally the boy next door.
    All probability and logical thinking had just been trumped by a stack of pictures. My foot didn’t taste so good.

    BF, The answer to the above question, as you must have already guessed, is that we all grew up in the same town.

    Myself, family, friends, etc…all grew up in the same end of the same town as Col. Higgins and his friends, family, etc. I remember when he was kidnapped. It was a big thing locally. There was alot of talk about it around town.

    I had the unique opportunity of chatting with some of his network over a couple friendly games of pool one night several years ago. Very interesting conversation. I suppose they could have been lying to me, but I seriously doubt it. They had no reason to lie and were obviously quite knowledgeable of the circumstances. Like I told you before BF, Dig deeper. You’ll find that they were originally not going to send him to Lebanon out of fear that he would be kidnapped for what he knew. They saw it coming. What you may not find in your research is that they were spying on Iran and knew that Iran was up to something. Iran had a hand in it and they knew it before they even sent Col. Higgins to Lebanon. They assumed the risk and lost.

    Anyway, I just thought I would share that with you.

    USW,

    I didn’t catch the conversation, But the man you refer to as calling you stupid, sounds as if he was a bit intimidated by your intellect. He probably couldn’t find an angle, and could only attempt to illegitimise your position by attacking you with his resume’.

    He probably has celeptic and/or narcissistic tendencies stemming from insecurities. His sensitive ego won’t allow him to be wrong, for that would be, in his mind, a display of weakness and vulnerability.

    I hope he DOES come to SUFA with a challenging argument. He’ll likely be humbled as he is ripped to shreds by the “wolves”. If he is able to put his ego aside, he may just learn something.

    USW – “I have seen comments on this site that folks like BF, JAC, PeterB, Mathius, or myself are far “smarter” and therefore understand things better. I say bulldookey.

    “What makes those folks credible is that they think critically, and stick to values and principles. They attempt to eliminate contradictions in thinking. THAT, my friends, is what I feel makes the readership of this blog, every one of you, unique in the world of political discourse. Every reader who has stuck around on this site has done so because they are critical thinkers and willing to hear out the other side of any issue. I thank you all for that. It is what makes my time here valuable as opposed to an argument where the only argument against me is that I am “stupid”.”

    I myself have made such comments. I’d like to explain just why…

    I’m aware of my intellect. It’s one of the few things I have going for me in this world. I’m no genius, but I am a smart man.

    I use my level of intellect as a frame of reference to gauge individual, as well as the collective intellect, at SUFA.

    I’m usually one of the smartest people in any room I stand. I’m usually somewhere near the top of the list. Here at SUFA, I’m nowhere near the top.

    Often, when engaging in a group discussion, I find that I’m thinking on a deeper level and contributing things that no one thought of. Not at SUFA.

    Here, I read your articles, USW, and while reading, think of several points to make. But when I read down through the comments, All my points have already been made, countered, and thoroughly debated. For me to post would be a bit redundant. You guys are always ahead of me.

    You folks have taught me quite a bit since I got here a few months ago. It’s been quite an educational experience. There are so many things that I’ve known for years without being able to fully extrapolate, organize my thoughts, and/or articulate. You guys, on many levels, have enlightened me in a way that has honed my abilities for critical thinking and given me the missing links in my political idealism. You’ve reaffirmed personal righteousness and shown me strengths that I wasn’t sure I had. Your collective education and wisdom have been somewhat of an inspiration and reminder of where I’m trying to get to in life. The wide range of pespectives and opinions have broadened my mind. I’ve grown because of you folks.

    You have empowered me by simply sharing your thoughts.

    Thank you.

    So, I would argue that it’s not exactly Bulldookey.

    …But I got the point and agree, We all have something valueable to contribute and can learn from each other.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Oh yeah, and about the healthcare bill. I’m just waiting to see what happens and which version actually gets passed.

      I have a wild idea that if I could find a team of lawyers willing to represent me pro-bono, …I’m willing to put my name on thousands of lawsuits challenging the constitutionality/legality of the H.C. Bill, and anything else I can pick a fight with.

      I’m sooo tired of this shit. I really am.

      Anyone know a good team of lawyers willing to make some noise for free?

      lol

      • Maybe you could get the undead corpse of Johnny Cochran to help you sue the undead corpse of Nancy Pelosi?

        • But even if we won… can you collect from undead corpses? Are they not part of the circle of life, and therefore, subject to some protection in order to save the planet from the perils of global warming. After all, an undead corpse stores no body heat. They are thus a component of the cooling plan from the AGW folks. The more folks we can convert to undead corpses, the safer the planet it. They don’t emit heat, require energy consuming food, or exhale CO2. Undead corpses are the key to solving the climate crisis.

          USW

          • They don’t emit heat, require energy consuming food, or exhale CO2.

            Not quite. It is well known that they feast on a steady diet of brains. You see, senators have no brains and are, thus, safe around the likes of Undead Pelosi (they are, in fact, the only people around whom they can hide).

            As for CO2, you are again correct, but they do emit methane as they decompose. This, too, is a powerful greenhouse gas.

            Finally, you say that they emit no heat and this is patently false. For there is no creature on this Earth or any other world, for that matter, which is capable of generating hot air to quite the same extent as the House leadership. Undead Reid’s house has to be cooled by liquid nitrogen to avoid spontaneous combustion.

            You display an alarming lack of knowledge concerning this serious matter. I suggest you read up. It could save your life one day.

            But don’t forget the raptors, too. They may be working together.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            So, the main goal of Arthas the Lich King is to save the planet from global warming by turning all of us into the undead!

            WoW, I didn’t see that plot twist coming….

            🙂

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Oh, and yes, they do require a steady diet of BRRAAAAIIINNNSS in order to survive and thrive (which is why there are no undead within miles of Washington DC).

              If we are all converted to the undead, eventually all of the undead will die, because the supply of brains will eventually completely run out….

              🙂

              • They are mostly in Washington DC, actually. It’s a safe place to hide because they won’t be tempted to consume everyone they see. Thus why they constantly fly about the country to “see their constituents.”

                Hide in DC. Eat elsewhere.

                Emit lots of methane and hot air. Consume precious resources you didn’t create or earn (our brains). Yup. I think DC’s full of ’em.

          • But they emit a pile of methane!!!!!!!!

      • Yeah, where is the freakin’ conservative version of the ACLU anyhow??

  15. Common Man says:

    BF:

    This does not follow the train of thought here, but thought you might be able to help. I am an Executive Recruiter and have a client that need a Six Sigma Master Black Belt with strong Lean Manufacturing experience. Do you know anyone? The spot is in Philly and with a well known and established company.

    If you can help let me know and we can communicate off-line

    CM

  16. v. Holland says:

    Something silly-Maybe it’ll help with the realization that we are standing on the edge of a cliff-waiting to be pushed off. Leaving to shop-while I still have a little money left.

    WASS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hey All

    Just popped in to say hi. Will have to catch up later with all the reading I see here,hope I can anyway.

    Well, you all have a good day today.

    Love you all

    Judy

  18. WE…….ARE………SO…………SCREWED!
    JAC you are so correct. We have no representation in Washington, the elitist just gave the finger to the majority of the citizens of this country. This has nothing to do with reforming healthcare, it is all about control. How can anyone think that turning over healthcare to government control will save money and provide service to all. As BF constantly states you cannot mix politics with an economic problem and expect a good outcome. I did a little research on the dollar and it was eye opening. In 1774 if you bought a good that cost $10 that same good in 1860 would cost you $10.31. Pretty darn good inflation for 86 years. One thing to note about that 86 years was the federal government was very weak and we were as close to a free market society as we ever were (You know dirty capitalist). In 1860 if you bought a good that cost $10 that same good in 1913 would cost you $11.91, still pretty good inflation. This period is what I call the beginning of the federal government intrusion into the free market. The reason I stopped in the year of 1913 was because that was the year the Fed was created to protect us little people. In 1913 if you bought a good that cost $10 that same good in 2008 would cost you $224.27. How can this be? Starting around 1913 we began the slow movement to the progressive idea that said all problems can be solved with government intervention; we are starting this program or that program for “the greater good”. The slow movement has turned into a speeding train during the last 10 years and gets faster with each passing day. How can anyone out there say that government will make any program or service better than the free market principle is beyond me? Some of you “greater good” people are going to have to explain it to me, cause I don’t get it.

    • Without the FED, massive infusion of dollars could not have happened.

      Without that infusion, the Government could not have funded the WW1.

      The creation of the FED had many concurrent rationals – and one of them was access to inflation to pay for war.

      With no surprise, USA has been at war ever since.

      • Bottom Line says:

        Funny how the isolationists in our gov. were all but extinct by the time WW1 came around.

      • BF

        I was joking when I said the Fed was created to help the “little people”. I understand the Fed was created to help banks and the Government.

  19. Let’s put this in perspective….hmmmm…..buying off votes not considered bribes but considered the “way of doing business”, passing said senate bill in the dead of the night, refusing C span of Senate hearings and committees, passing the bill in the dead of the night, not allowing the reading or posting of the bill, passing the bill in the dead of the night, the full context of the bill NOT…repeat NOT to be public until AFTER, repeat AFTER, the holidays, passing the senate version in the dead of the night…prostitution is supposedly illegal…oh wait, I guess you can be a whore congressperson and sell your integrity, passing the cloture vote in the dead of the night,….it is better to be a street prostitute than be a Congress member….at least the street version looks at you while you are being screwed, passing the bill in the middle of the night…

    Did I mention…passing the senate version and voting cloture in the middle of the night….not being public with the senate version….then skulking away like vermin?

    And there are those that support this kind of crap?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The fact that the Senators see bribing each other with your money and mine as just “the normal way business gets done” is a clear indication the entire “business” needs to be abandoned.

      If they are gonna bribe each other, they should at least be forced to do it with THEIR OWN MONEY!

    • Nice post D13. I like the way you put into words what many of us are feeling……

    • D13,

      Agree on all points, liked your phrasing. We have mentioned frequently that the republicans are as bad, I posted #13 just to balance that out.

      Just heard a rick of firewood is selling for $120. Its $45-$65 here. You don’t blame that on Obama do you? After all Bush caused it. LOL

      • Common Man says:

        LOF;

        What is a “rick” of firewood? I know a “rank, Cord, face cord”, but have never heard of a rick. Is it part of a cord?

        CM

        • DamnifIknow, my fireplace is gas. I suspect its the same, just regional term? I sometimes have trouble speaking “southern”.

        • Common Man says:

          LOF;

          Never mind is is a “face cord” 4 x 8 x 16 inches

          • Comment was a lot of people are taking wood to Texas to sell. I might need to switch jobs. Is cutting firewood “work”? (hate splinters, also)

            • LOI, Giggling here, but getting a witers supply of firewood is a lot of work. One big Oak last summer, took 10 days to cut up and haul to house, the 5 more weeks to cut up samller, split and stack. Got 12 cords out of one tree. Worked every night after work until dark and every weekend. Yup, it’s work.

              G!

              • Typo. winters and smaller. They need to outlaw these evil keyboards 🙂

              • Sounds like a lot of work. How about buying a house with a lot of trees? No hauling, go out back and cut as you need. LOL, I’m not that cityfied.

                I kinda prefer electric chain saws, where you have power. Plug it in and let it rip!!

              • Take a lot of limbs to make a cord cut with an electric chain saw !! (or maybe you have one that will cut more than 4 inches)

      • No wonder we’re screwed – folks don’t even know when they’re screwed !!

        A cord of wood up here is 4 X 4 X 8 FEET !!!

        That is 128 sq ft !! or an eighth of a K (1024) or 2^10 – its just computingly natural ! Oh well — when I 1st thought of this in relation to the fact that we throw around billions of dollars like we used to talk about millions, and now starting on TRILLIONS !! Oh my..

      • Oh yeah….repubs are no different in the congress….they are earmarking and sucking money just like the rest.

  20. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/12/widening_the_achievement_gap.html

    A lovely example of Democratic idiocy:

    1. The voucher program is costing less than sending kids to public schools ($7500/year vs $14,000/year) and the black and hispanic kids participating in the voucher program are demonstrably performing academically BETTER than their peers.

    2. The teacher’s union sees this as a real and credible threat to their existence (if the government pays for private schools and the kids do better, our union might cease to be relevant!)

    3. Government kills the program, because even though it helps the children, it is going to mean that the NEA is going to cut funding to politicians re-election campaigns.

    So typical….

  21. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2009/12/20/david-gregory-healthcare-bills-not-want-obama-campaigned

    MR. GREGORY: But, but look–here–but here’s the issues. Look–what liberals say is look at what you gave up along the way: Medicare expansion, a public option. And then go back and look at the president’s performance when it came to getting this compromise vs. how he campaigned for health care as a candidate. And I’ve got a few of the bullet points of campaign promises made: that it–there would be universal coverage when it came to getting healthcare.

    He opposed an individual mandate, which, of course, is part of this bill. And he indicated this would be paid for by rolling back Bush tax cuts, tax cuts. There’s not universal coverage here. The individual mandate is in there and, in fact, there are a slew of taxes that are part of this legislation, including on the Cadillac plans that a lot of union members hold. So can’t you understand that the left in this country says, “Hey, this is not how you campaigned”?

    MR. GREGORY: I want to press you on one other point that needs to be challenged, it seems to me. The president said this week that this legislation will bend the cost curve. Now, I take that to mean you bend the cost curve, that healthcare costs begin to come down. In fact, in this legislation–and not just those familiar with it, but other experts I’ve talked to say it’s not the case, it will not actually bring costs down. In fact, over a 10-year period, costs will go up. They may be contained, but they are going to go up. Healthcare costs do go up. There are only pilot programs in this legislation, only pilot programs that actually bend the cost curve.

    This is not reform when it comes to bringing down overall healthcare costs.

  22. WOW, Finally got through all the comments and disillusioned seems to be the mood with everyone (Matt’s dillusional, but it’s just a few letters different, so I say he can have the benefit of the doubt 🙂 ).

    The question haunting me, is what to do about it (I hate feeling helpless 👿 )?

    G!

  23. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hey all, thought I’d put up a little humor just for a break in between your discussions.

    A Christmas Story

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas–Old Santa was pissed.
    He cussed out the elves and threw down his list.
    Miserable little brats, ungrateful little jerks.
    I have a good mind to scrap the whole works!

    I’ve busted my ass for damn near a year,
    Instead of “Thanks Santa”–what do I hear?
    The old lady bitches cause I work late at night.
    The elves want more money–The reindeer all fight.

    Rudolph got drunk and goosed all the maids..
    Donner is pregnant and Vixen has AIDS.
    And just when I thought that things would get better
    Those assholes from the IRS sent me a letter,
    They say I owe taxes–if that ain’t damn funny
    Who the hell ever sent Santa Claus any money?

    And the kids these days–they all are the pits
    They want the impossible–Those mean little shits
    I spent a whole year making wagons and sleds
    Assembling dolls…Their arms, legs and heads
    I made a ton of yo yo’s–No request for them,
    They want computers and robots…they think – I’m IBM!

    Flying through the air…dodging the trees
    Falling down chimneys and skinning my knees
    I’m quitting this job there’s just no enjoyment
    I’ll sit on my fat ass and draw unemployment.

    There’s no Christmas this year now you know the reason,
    I found me a blonde. I’m going SOUTH for the season

    • Humor is always the best medicine! 🙂

      Here’s another one:

      If Santa answered his mail honestly…

      Dear Santa
      I wood like a cool toy space ranjur fer Xmas. Iv ben a gud boy all
      yeer
      yer Frend, BiLLy

      Dear Billy,
      Nice spelling. You’re on your way to a career in lawn care. How
      about I send you a friggin’ book so you can learn to read and write?
      I’m giving your older brother the space ranger. At least HE can
      spell!
      Santa

      Dear Santa,
      I have been a good girl all year, and the only thing I ask for is
      peace and joy in the world for everybody!
      Love, Sarah

      Dear Sarah,
      Your parents smoked pot when they had you, didn’t they?
      Santa

      Dear Santa,
      I don’t know if you can do this, but for Christmas, I’d like for my
      mommy and daddy to get back together. Please see what you can do?
      Love, Teddy

      Dear Teddy,
      Look, your dad’s banging the babysitter like a screen door in a
      hurricane. Do you think he’s gonna give that up to come back to
      your frigid mom, who rides his ass constantly? It’s time to give up
      that dream. Let me get you some nice Lego’s instead.
      Santa

      Dear Santa,
      I want a new bike, a Play station, a train, some G.I. Joe’s, a dog,
      a drum kit, a pony and a tuba.
      Love, Francis

      Dear Francis,
      Who names their kid “Francis” nowadays? I bet you’re gay, I’ll set
      you up with a Barbie.
      Santa

      Dear Santa,
      I left milk and cookies for you under the tree, and I left carrots
      for your reindeer outside the back door.
      Love, Susan

      Dear Susan,
      Milk gives me the runs and carrots make the deer fart in my face
      when riding in the sleigh. You want to do me a favor? Leave me a
      bottle of scotch.
      Santa

      Dear Santa,
      What do you do the other 364 days of the year? Are you bus! y making
      toys?
      Your friend, Thomas

      Dear Thomas,
      All the toys are made in China. I have a condo in Miami , where I
      spend most of my time making low-budget porno films. I unwind by
      drinking myself silly and squeezing the asses of cocktail waitresses
      while losing money at the craps table. Hey, you wanted to know.
      Santa

      Dear Santa,
      Do you see us when we’re sleeping, do you really know when we’re
      awake, like in the song?
      Love, Jessica

      Dear Jessica,
      Are you really that gullible or are you just a Blonde? Good luck in
      whatever you do. I’m skipping your house.
      Santa

      Dear Santa,
      I really really want a puppy this year. Please please please PLEASE
      PLEASE could I have one?
      Timmy

      Timmy,
      That whiney begging shit may work with your folks, but that crap
      doesn’t work with me. You’re getting a sweater again.
      Santa

      Dearest Santa,
      We don’t have a chimney in our house, how do you get into our home?
      Love, Marky

      Mark, first, stop calling yourself “Marky”, that’s why you’re
      getting your ass whipped at school. Second, you don’t live in a
      house, you live in a low-rent apartment complex. Third, I get inside
      your pad just like the boogeyman does, through your bedroom window.
      Sweet Dreams, Santa

      G!

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi G

        Can you imagine a little kids face if he really got letters back from Santa like that? Santa sounds a little crabby there.

  24. Judy Sabatini says:

    > HOLIDAY EATING
    >
    > TIPS
    > 1. Avoid carrot sticks.
    > Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday
    > buffet table knows
    > nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if
    > you see carrots,
    > leave immediately. Go next door, where
    > they’re serving rum
    > balls
    >
    > 2.. Drink as much eggnog as you can-
    > and quickly. It’s rare. You
    > cannot find it any other
    > time of year but now. So drink up! Who
    > cares that it has 10,000
    > calories in every sip? It’s not as if
    > you’re going to turn into
    > an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s
    > a treat. Enjoy it. Have
    > one for me. Have two. It’s later than
    > you think.
    > It’s Christmas!
    >
    > 3.. If something comes with
    > gravy, use it. That’s the whole point
    > of gravy. Gravy does not
    > stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out
    > of your mashed
    > potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the
    > volcano.
    > Repeat..
    >
    > 4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if
    > they’re made with skim milk or whole
    > milk. If it’s skim, pass.
    > Why bother? It’s like buying a sports
    > car with an automatic
    > transmission.
    >
    > 5. Do not have a snack before going
    > to a party in an effort to control your
    > eating. The whole point
    > of going to a Holiday party is to eat other
    > people’s food for
    > free. Lots of it. Hello?
    >
    > 6. Under no circumstances
    > should you exercise between now and New
    > Year’s. You can do that
    > in January when you have nothing else to
    > do. This is the time
    > for long naps, which you’ll need after
    > circling the buffet
    > table while carrying a 10-pound plate
    > of food and that vat
    > of eggnog.
    >
    > 7. If you come across something really
    > good at a buffet table, like frosted
    > Christmas
    > cookies in the shape and size of
    > Santa, position yourself
    > near them and don’t budge. Have as many
    > as you can before
    > becoming the center of attention.
    > They’re like a beautiful pair
    > of shoes. If you leave them behind,
    > you’re never going to see
    > them again.
    >
    > 8. Same for
    >
    > pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice
    > of
    > each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat,
    > have two apples and one
    > pumpkin. Always have three. When else do
    > you get to have more
    > than one dessert,
    > labor Day?
    >
    > 9. Did
    > someone mention fruitcake? Granted,
    > it’s loaded with the
    > mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid
    > it at all cost. I
    > mean, have some standards.
    >
    > 10. One final tip: If
    > you don’t feel terrible when you leave
    > the party or get up from
    > the table, you haven’t been paying
    > attention. Re-read tips;
    > start over, but hurry, January is just
    > around the corner.
    > Remember this motto to live by:
    >
    > “Life should NOT be
    > a journey to the grave with the intention
    > of arriving safely in
    > an attractive and well preserved body, but
    > rather to skid in
    > sideways, chocolate and wine in one hand,
    > body thoroughly used
    > up, totally worn out and screaming
    > “WOO HOO what a
    > ride!”
    >
    > Have a great
    >
    > holiday season!!
    >
    >

  25. I thought this article was interesting.

    The Real Debate

    by Alex R. Knight III

    Exclusive to STR

    December 21, 2009

    Most of STR ’s readers by now are likely no longer deluded by the falsehood of the Left Wing vs. Right Wing argument. Most of you correctly perceive both “wings” as really being one force unified against individual liberty in both economic and personal affairs. However, it occurred to me recently that – even in libertarian circles – there is still a strong perception of America’s overall philosophical wrestling match boiling down to Big Government Statists vs. Small Government Minarchists vs. Zero Government Anarchists. Take your pick, wait for the bell, and no hitting below the belt.

    Yet, it then occurred to me that even this is inadequate to accurately describe the situation. Looking further, I think what we can truly say is that the entire debate revolves around this: There are those who believe in laissez-faire free market capitalism, and there are those who don’t. Let’s have a closer look at this.

    Those who believe in a regulated economy, first of all, will point to the current recession as indicative of perceived flaws in free market philosophy that government – and its endless interventionist tactics – must be there to counter when necessary. Never mind that in truth such Keynesian beliefs, as libertarian Austrian School economists have long warned, are almost exclusively responsible for the current conditions – from the existence of the Federal Reserve and fiat currency inflation, to the burst of the housing bubble and mass unemployment. Interventionists will still argue: “You say we are limiting freedom. But how free is a man with no job, no home, no health care, and no retirement plan?”

    This is where things get interesting. This is where the fundamental difference between those who actually understand a few things and those who don’t, or won’t, or can’t is exposed under unerasable light.

    What such interventionists focus on – or, what they like to think they’re focusing on – is “compassion”; that is, using government as a catch-all tool to provide for those who fail to provide for themselves. What they are most reluctant to admit, both to others and themselves in many cases, is that in order for this to be possible, government must threaten what it always threatens in order to sustain itself in the first place: Brute force, up to and including deadly force, in order to carry out whatever its mission du jour happens to be. Squirm as they might, these apologists for government can’t get around this fundamental precondition.

    Some of them, at this point – many in my experience, actually – will then bare their fangs in retort, only to show the true vampire, the true werewolf, lurking beneath the seemingly mild – usually leftist – exterior mask. They will admit of advocating raw force when some mean, greedy, selfish individualist decides to resist their Marxist fantasies. They wallow in the fecal matter of their own innate hypocrisy. And they would be laughable were the legacy of their illogical zealotry not so tragic, and wholly unjust.

    Try to imagine having a conversation with one of these folks back around, say, 1850 or so. You put forth the idea that slavery is immoral. They nearly jump out of their seat with outrage, stating that the economy would collapse, the cotton and textile industries would fail, no one else would give blacks jobs, and increased crime would result.

    Personally, I’m not too concerned about what happens when we remove violence and coercion from a given situation. Things resolve themselves, as history demonstrates time and again. Market forces, with their endless choices and innovations, rectify inequities justly and peaceably, when not artificially distorted by governments and their guns, bombs, and other weapons. As another recent column by Jim Davies, published here at STR points out, you don’t kill your customers or your employees, current or prospective. That’s called bad business.

    And so is intervention in a true free market. Hence, so also is the sum total of government.

    • Here is an example of how we can live free, even when this health care bill passes.

      Time to Discharge the State from Our Health-Care System
      December 16, 2009 by Dan LaPonsie

      While watching the various members of the Political Class going back and forth on how, exactly, to further socialize our health-care system, I am noticing the glaring omission of a major question. The question no one seems to be asking is should the politicians do this at all? Of course, the politicians are not willing to ask this of themselves.

      But the reason we need to ask the “should they do it?” question, and answer with a resounding “NO,” is because the members of the Political Class often create the very problems they set out to fix. Moreover, they have a habit of making those problems worse. This health-care issue is no exception to this sad fact. Rather, it is the perfect example.

      Fixing Health Care, or Putting it in a Fix?

      Less than a hundred years ago basic health-care was widely affordable. The early 1900s were a time when thousands were fleeing countries that offered government guarantees of wages and food and medical care. They were flooding into to this Republic, a land that offered no such guarantees, and building wealth, promise of a future for their children and their children’s children, and built an economy that included charities that surpassed that of any other country on Earth.

      That should tell us something about these State programs—they cause more problems than they fix, and harm the very people they are said to help. Here in the United States, health-care, and pretty much everything else, was entirely within the realm of the Private Class. Until recently, the Market determined the cost, and the State had no say in it. So what happened?

      Fraternal groups were incredibly popular in the early-to-mid 1900s. Unlike the portrayal in some books and movies, they were not thriving on the promise of secrets and treasures. What they offered the poor and newcomers to this Republic was affordable health-care, among other things (such as early forms of life insurance). Groups like the Knights of Columbus, the Shriners, the Elks, the Masons, and more, offered what was widely called Lodge Practice.

      Lodge Practice was a Market-driven vehicle that provided basic affordable health care for those who couldn’t otherwise afford such care for themselves and their families. Unlike the State-driven model we have today, everything was entirely voluntary, based on mutual agreement of only two parties: the provider and the consumer.

      Annual dues paid by members of the fraternal organization funded payment to a physician who was on contract with the Lodge. The contract, which was renewed annually on review, was an agreement to provide basic health-care to members’ families. The participating doctor made a little less than he would otherwise, but he found the security of steady work for the year attractive. The families had health-care that they otherwise would not be able to afford. The agreement was mutually beneficial for all parties.

      So what happened to this entirely voluntary and affordable system? While it made a lot of people happy, and fulfilled a genuine need, it also made a lot of people angry. Some of the more greedy members of the medical industry began to complain to the Government that health-care was too cheap! Lodge Practice, along with the evolving efficiency of technology, was pulling down the cost of health-care for the entire industry.

      Rather than allow the medical community to cope and to compete, members of the Political Class began working with lobbying members of the medical community. The collusion of State and the health-care industry resulted in medical societies, such as the AMA, imposing sanctions on doctors who signed lodge practice contracts. Controls on medical license procedures were used to coerce doctors into not participating in Lodge Practice. Laws were enacted making for stricter, and more expensive, processes to gain the various licenses and permits being required to practice medicine.

      It was claimed that the State was simply looking out for the safety of the Private Class. The result of all this was physicians unwilling to sign Lodge Practice agreements, medical fees rose, and the overall pool of physicians decreased. The lobbying medical groups were satisfied and the election coffers of the Political Class were filled. The free market had made health care too cheap, but government fixed all that.

      By the 1970s the cost of health care had gone up. After blaming the “evils of the free market” for the high cost of basic health care, the politicians offered themselves as the solution to the very problem that they created. In the early 1970s the Political Class embraced HMOs as the solutions to everyone’s problems. Thus we were given, among other things, the HMO Act of 1973.

      Of course introducing a third party the size of, well, the Federal Government only served to further drive the cost of health care ever higher. So again they are promising to fix health care, and cursing the evils of the HMOs, and hoping we will all forget that the Political Class gave us the very problems they are prosing to fix.

      I guarantee more government will only bring more problems. The only solution is to eject the State from the health care market. (And why stop there? …from EVERY market.) Because the Political Class doesn’t see fit to reduce their own size, we’ll have to do it for them. And we can do it in a very peaceful and practical way: by refusing to comply with the demands of the State.

      Agora! Action!

      Of course many of us are quite angered at the Political Class. They often do not have to live a day-to-day existence with the consequences of their actions. But we in the Private Class do. It makes us mad, and for good reason. It makes us want to demonstrate our feelings of resentment for those clueless elitists living in Versailles D.C., but violence would only serve to give the Political Class a special victim status and more power.

      There’s a more practical, peaceful, and utilitarian way we can react to the ever-expending socialism. Agrism is a Counter-Economic lifestyle, and it involves choosing to live with as little government as possible. Through voluntarily rejecting State-aid, avoiding payment of taxes into the system, and simply where ever possible avoiding Government; we are in fact fighting the ever-expanding reach of government.

      Whenever someone does work “on the side” and receives payment “under the table;” that person is being an Agorist. Whenever a family could qualify for State aid, but refuses it; that person is being an Agorist. Whenever someone says “don’t vote, it only encourages them,” and means it; that person is being an Agorist. It a wonderful “do what you can,” “take what risks you are comfortable with” approach. Agorism is less of an activism, and more of a lifestyle. It also lends itself well to business practice, including the medical profession.

      In fact, we can choose to live our entire lives, not in a belligerent way, but by simply going about our lives as if the State didn’t even exist. There are some doctors who are choosing to ignore the system, and are practicing medicine as doctors did 40 years ago. Guess what? They are treating people, outside of the State-managed system, with affordable quality health care.

      One such doctor is Dr. Robert Berry, of Tennessee. His clinic does not accept insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. And because he refuses to operate within the system, he has no interference from the fat bloated third party we call the Federal State. Because the only people involved are the patient and the provider, costs are low. Best of all, the treatments are decided only by the doctor and the patient, not some HMO bureaucracy. Dr. Berry boasts that his patients are largely low income.

      In the end, if we wish, we can avoid participation in that system called the State. Some even choose to unplug altogether. After all, we always have a choice. We don’t have to have State-managed health care (or State-managed anything). Especially in light of how government tends to create more problems than it fixes. I believe that as the hand of the Federal State continues to meddle in the medical community, more and more physicians will begin to practice medicine outside the official system.

      The truly beautiful thing is, the more we shun the State-driven system, and operate in the alternative market; the more the alternative market will become, simply, the market! This Counter-Economic model is a wonderful, and peaceful, way of protesting the intrusion of the Political Class into every nook and cranny of our lives.

    • Good find Birdman!

      These same sentiments have been repeated here many times, maybe in different terms, but the same meaning. Seems that as we move forward , the truth is coming out about our government and just how bad they really are for our way of life.

      New hunting season for 2010: Beginning Labor Day, it is open season on all politicians. There is no bag limit or limits on weapons used to take your trophy (s). Artists will serve as the traditional taxidermist, and provide a portrait of the harvest with the hunter at a tax free low cost to the hunter. Prices will range based on the perceived power of harvested politician. All meat will be processed as wild beef, packaged and shipped to China, Venezuela, North Korea, and Iran for consumption. The hunter who wins the “Big Politician Award” will recieve a free portrait and 100 million ounces of precious metal ingots. The season is to end on August 31, 2069, the year of the free orgy.

      PEACE! 🙂

      G!

  26. To all who give every gave a damn, and still do today!

    A *New* Christmas Poem

    TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
    HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
    IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
    PLASTER AND STONE.
    I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
    WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
    AND TO SEE JUST WHO
    IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

    I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
    A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
    NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
    NOT EVEN A TREE.

    NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
    JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
    ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
    OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

    WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
    AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
    A SOBER THOUGHT
    CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

    FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
    IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
    I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
    ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

    THE SOLDIER IN IRAQ , LAY SLEEPING,
    SILENT, ALONE,
    CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
    IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

    THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
    THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
    NOT HOW I PICTURED
    A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.

    WAS THIS THE HERO
    OF WHOM I’D JUST READ?
    CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
    THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

    I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
    THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
    OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
    WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.
    SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
    THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
    AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
    A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

    THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
    EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
    BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
    LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

    I COULDN’T HELP WONDER
    HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
    ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
    IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

    THE VERY THOUGHT
    BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
    I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
    AND STARTED TO CRY.

    THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
    AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
    ‘SANTA DON’T CRY,
    THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

    I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
    I DON’T ASK FOR MORE,
    MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
    MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.

    THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
    AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
    I COULDN’T CONTROL IT,
    I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

    I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
    SO SILENT AND STILL
    AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
    FROM THE COLD NIGHT’S CHILL.

    I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE
    ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
    THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
    SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

    THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
    WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
    WHISPERED, ‘CARRY ON SANTA,
    IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.’

    ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
    AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
    ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,!
    AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.’

    Merry Christmas! If you know a lonely vet, or a family of one deployed, show some love!

    G!

  27. Bottom Line says:

    I’m very much an Agorist.

    I learned a new word today.

    Great post Birdman.

  28. Judy Sabatini says:

    > This was sent to me, but I forgot to put it up here.

    HUGE VIRUS COMING ! PLEASE READ & FORWARD !
    >
    > >
    >
    > > Hi All,
    >
    > >
    >
    > > I checked with Norton Anti-Virus, and they are
    > gearing up for this
    > virus!
    >
    > > I checked Snopes, and it is for real. Get this E-mail
    > message sent
    >
    > > around to all your contacts ASAP.
    >
    > >
    >
    > > PLEASE FORWARD THIS WARNING AMONG YOUR FRIENDS,
    > FAMILY AND CONTACTS!
    >
    > >
    >
    > > You should be alert during the next few days. Do
    > not open any
    > message
    >
    > > with an attachment entitled ‘POSTCARD FROM
    > HALLMARK, ‘regardless of
    >
    > > who sent it to you. It is a virus which opens A
    > POSTCARD IMAGE,
    > which
    >
    > > ‘burns’ the whole hard disc C drive of
    > your computer.
    >
    > >
    >
    > > This virus will be received from someone who has
    > your e-mail address
    >
    > > on his/her contact list. That is the reason why
    > you need to send
    > this
    >
    > > e-mail to all your contacts. It is better to
    > receive this message 25
    >
    > > times than to receive the virus and open it!
    >
    > >
    >
    > > If you receive a mail called’ POSTCARD,’ even
    > if it is sent to you
    > by
    >
    > > a friend, do not open it! Shut down your computer
    > immediately. This is
    >
    > > the worst virus announced by CNN.
    >
    > >
    >
    > > It has been classified by Microsoft as the most
    > destructive virus
    >
    > > ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee
    > yesterday, and there is no
    >
    > > repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus
    > simply destroys the
    >
    > > Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital
    > information is kept.
    >
    > >
    >
    > > COPY THIS E-MAIL, AND SEND IT TO YOUR FRIENDS.
    >
    > > REMEMBER: IF YOU SEND IT TO THEM, YOU WILL BENEFIT ALL
    > OF US
    >
    > >
    >
    > >
    >
    > >
    >
    > >
    >
    > >
    >
    > > E-mail message checked by Spyware Doctor (6.1.0.447)
    > Database version:

  29. Hi All,

    Is anyone still on that can help me help my son with a paper? Where’s the best site for getting current status of Social Security, Amtrak, Medicaid/Medicare and the Post Office.

    He chose the “Why government should not provide healthcare” option and while many reasons, one paragraph talks about how government never runs anything efficiently. Thanks!

    • Kathy:

      I do not have references at my finger tips and am very tired. BF may have quicker and more comprehensive links.

      I would offer that he should stay away from the “government never runds efficiently” argument. It is a non-starter because there is little way to know whether it is or isn’t. “Efficiency” does not mean “effetive” and it certainly doesn’t mean “least cost”.

      Besides, as you have learned here, it is a moral question not just one of economics. The economic argument is “how do you increase demand without increasing supply and reduce price?” That is the claim made by the “health care reform” proponents.

      Govt provided health care eliminates the market forces reflected in “pricing”. In short, the value we place on a particular service.

      The moral question is by what right does the govt take from the unwilling to pay for health care of others? It is an issue of theft. The use of coersive force against innocent people.

      If your son attacks this from the philosophical he will stand a better chance of winning the argument. The economic arguement of supply vs demand is the icing on the cake.

      Got to hit the hay.
      So will check back on this tomorrow, er today.
      Good luck and best wishes
      JAC

      • Thanks JAC, it is for a HS sophomore English paper. The first thing I had him do is read SUFA’s series on healthcare. He loved it and from there laid out his paper starting with “right or privilege”. I think he has done a pretty good job so far so I’ve stayed away, but he did ask for info on other government run agencies just as an additional arguement. This is such a complex issue and I’m impressed with his grasp – thanks to SUFA!

  30. This one may be better for an Open Mic night but if you don’t have something for Monday….

    What a bunch of New Age gobbldy-gook. The scary part is that people give her money. But that’s okay because she just wants to help us evolve. I wonder how feels about people who are happy being neanderthals?

    http://www.evolve.org/pub/doc/evolve_about.html

    At this time of rapid change in human society and global ecology there is a need for the connecting, coordinating, and integrating of individual and organizational initiatives working on behalf of balanced, ethical, and life-enhancing evolution for humanity and Earth.

    This is the mission of EVOLVE: a Global Community Center for Conscious Evolution—to serve as a central resource hub for individuals and communities worldwide that are choosing to embrace and apply the emerging principles, tools and templates of cocreative self and social conscious evolution.

    EVOLVE is being catalyzed by and is a program of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution (FCE). It is the specific intent and interest of FCE that EVOLVE ultimately is developed in collaborative partnership with numerous colleagues and organizations as a joint initiative. We feel it is not possible for one organization or group to comprehensively acquire the resources, knowledge, skills, etc. needed to guide humanity during this period of evolutionary transition. Indeed, it is our belief that those people and organizations that can best cooperate, fulfilling the self-interest of each unique contributor while fulfilling the collective-interest of the whole, will most readily and appreciably succeed in the coming years. In this spirit, we invite collaborative partnerships to be explored by those who feel a calling towards this shared vision.

  31. Here’s what the Healthcare Bill could include, I tried to take look into the future >>> http://whatsinthefinalhealthcarebill.wordpress.com/ <<<

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