I’ll Pay You $5 To Beat Up That Guy

Fresh off some very interesting (although full of doom) conversations yesterday, I offer an extension of a discussion that we started a week ago. We were discussing the increase in rhetoric around Yemen and the fact that I was hoping this was not a precursor to yet another military operation in yet another muslim territory on yet another Al Qaeda is a threat to the world charge. I still believe that this is the precursor to increased involvement in Yemen. And that is disappointing to me, because I don’t want us involved in another cat-fight in ANY other country (including Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, or Nigeria). As I perused the news this evening I find this little gem of an article on the Fox News political site. It probably started on the main news page but wasn’t there for long. The article was titled: “The Other Terror War: Pentagon Eyes Foreign Aid to Fight Al Qaeda.” And I found myself even frustrated with this simple premise that most Americans won’t bat an eye at…

The article was focused on the fact that in addition to the two wars we are fighting with our military and the military strikes we are doing in Pakistan, Yemen, and who knows where else, we are upping the ante in terms of financing for others to attack Al Qaeda and other terrorist networks throughout the world. While it does present the opportunity for Obama to maintain his “we aren’t committing to new military excursions” stance, it certainly doesn’t make us a good guy in the world fronts. Here is an excerpt from the article:

The Obama administration, facing a growing terrorist threat out of Yemen, is turning to a counterterror tool that for the past four years has allowed the United States to battle extremism in dozens of countries outside the official war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan: cold, hard cash.

The Pentagon since 2006 has budgeted more than $1 billion to train and equip foreign militaries and security forces through a program known in Congress as “Section 1206.” Pakistan has absorbed more of that money than any other country, but other nations — most notably Yemen — are rising in prominence on the list of recipients.

Gen. David Petraeus, head of Central Command, announced on a surprise visit to Yemen over the weekend that the United States will more than double its counterterrorism funding — $67 million in fiscal 2009 — to the country.

Yemen received renewed attention after a terror attack on the U.S. Embassy there in 2008. The attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas has brought the country into focus once again as a staging ground for extremists. Aided by U.S. funds, the Yemeni government has stepped up attacks on terror targets inside its borders.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Monday that he couldn’t pinpoint exactly how high the funding would be for any country in the year ahead, but he said the Pentagon is working on a proposal with the State Department.

I want to be clear about what I think of this plan from the Obama administration. When you go out and tell the world, “I’m sorry, we were wrong and we are a bad country for it. We will now build a new relationship with you peace-loving muslim types,” I expect you to mean it. Let’s be honest, the only real hope I had from the hope and change BS was that this far left liberal would STOP the attacking and threatening and bombing, and give the whole dialogue thing a try. I want to be clear, I don’t believe that it was going to necessarily work, but I was willing to give it a try. After all, the tree-huggers elected their king. But the protector of American values has done nothing different. Afghanistan gets a boost in troops. Yemen gets some missiles thrown into a terrorist camp. Pakistan gets some Drone bombings thrown its way. All this from the guy who promised to be different.

So when the richest kid in school is also the school bully, that is a bad deal. And that is what we have had for a really long time. Now the rich kid claims to have found his heart, looked inside at his demons and learned a lesson. He will no longer pick fights and beat people up anymore. GREAT! But that is all rendered moot when we watch that rich kid instead simply pay other kids to beat up on people. And that is what we are seeing here. Not only has Obama NOT stopped the ridiculous instigation of military conflict, he is attempting to do an end around and simply pay others to do the work for us. And by the way, he is spending your money to do it. $350 Million of your tax dollars in 2010, to be exact (and that is not counting the billions in additional aid sent to Pakistan each year, see articles below). I would imagine that could provide health care for quite a few people. Maybe even save a few tse tse flies or Mohave Desert Tortoises. Instead we will give it to a bunch of foreign governments. Redistribution of our tax dollars on a global scale now.

And for the record, I am not leaving George Bush out of my thoughts. I am well aware that this is a tactic that the United States has used for a very long time, but that doesn’t make it any more right in my book. We are still the asshole bully on the block when we pay others to do our bidding. But it wasn’t George Bush who ran on a campaign of “Hope and Change.” And it wasn’t George Bush who stood up and decried the warmongering Republican’s tactics. And it wasn’t George Bush who went on a world tour apologizing and promising a kinder, gentler United States of America. It was Barack Obama. And once again his actions are not at all in line with his eloquently spoken words.

So instead of doing our own dirty work, the Pentagon has a plan that will take more of our hard earned tax money, distribute it to smaller and poorer countries with issues, and assume that those countries will use that money in the best way to combat the terrorist threats to us.

Did we not learn our lesson with Pakistan last year? When we got a report showing the massive fraud and waste of the money we had given them to combat the terrorist scum? Here’s a great idea, let’s DOUBLE the amount of money that we give away to other countries. Sure there will be double the fraud and abuse, but the little bit that is used productively will double as well! Brilliant! On the up side, Pakistan got a great new fleet of helicopters on the the US taxpayer’s dime. And Yemen has already improved their Coast Guard. For the $67 Million we gave Yemen last year, we got a more focused Al Qaeda movement there and an attempted terrorist plot on Christmas Day. So let’s double it! What a deal!

The best part of this plan? The fact that Americans won’t bat an eye. We have been funneling money to other countries to do our bidding for so long, no one will even question the tactic. Democrats will simply say “well, the Republicans did it too!” while Republicans exclaim “The Democrats are no better than us!” And no one will stop and ask themselves whether this is something that we should be doing at all. And they should stop and ask that question. Because funding the initiation of violence really isn’t that different than perpetrating it ourselves. I have often spoken of my desire to revert to a purely defensive posture in terms of foreign policy. And this is a direct violation of it. I suppose I am simply a little disappointed because we, as a country, never seem to stop and ask ourselves whether we should simply stop trying to control the world, and instead attempt to simply live peaceably in it.

Enough is enough folks. I don’t care which party is in power. They both suck. But we have to, as Americans, stand up for our ideals. We may be a vast minority right now, but we must be vocal. This is yet another example of the United States using interventionist policies to control the actions of other countries. It is yet another example of our tax dollars being wasted. For all that money going to Pakistan we could have built a hell of a wall on our border (estimates for a high tech wall are around 8-12 billion). Then D13 wouldn’t have so much other stuff to work on and he could focus on ousting this federal Congress folks!

The world won’t change its opinion of us until we change our opinion of ourselves. When we begin to hold ourselves to that higher standard that Obama talks about but never practices, we will begin to change to mindset of the world in terms of America. Until then, our actions speak louder than words. And so will the actions of those who are tired of our broken promises.

.

The article I copied from above:

FOXNews.com – The Other Terror War: Pentagon Eyes Foreign Aid to Fight Al Qaeda

And some articles on the fraud, waste and abuse in Pakistan from last year:

U.S. Fears Pakistan Aid Will Feed Graft – NYTimes.com

U.S. Officials See Waste in Billions Sent to Pakistan – New York Times

And a 2 hour video from CSPAN on the hearings into the fraud and abuse on aid to Pakistan and Afghanistan:

Fraud and Waste in Afghanistan and Pakistan – C-SPAN Video Library

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Comments

  1. Good Morning All!

    Posting for comments, but want to add one comment. IMHO, we the people should demand the end of all foriegn aid. When you 12 trillion in debt, it’s time to stop giving out handouts to the same countries that have been getting them for decades. Billions have been funneled to undeveloped countries for decades, and they are still no better off today than in 1970. Put our farmers to work and send grain and other nneded foods instead, the money stays here, where it belongs!

    G!

    • Posting for comments.

      It would be great to have a defensive posture only and bring most or all of our forward deployed troops home. I agree that this would go a long way toward ending hostility toward the U.S. Foreign aid should be severely reduced or stopped. We are broke and cannot afford it.

      We’ve talked about the definition of “defense” in the past. We need to defend our territory only.

  2. Just so we all know that I am a fair man, let me say this: If the US invades anyone without a DAMN GOOD reason*, I will personally join the ranks of people blasting Obama for it.

    *The attack us in a way that necessitates reprisal / they come into possession of WMD’s with intent to use them** / et cetera. And I want to see actual proof. It wasn’t good enough for me when W said “trust me,” and it’s not good enough for me now. No stampeding, we can weigh the evidence openly and evaluate if the cost benefit ratio makes sense.***

    **For real this time.

    ***It rarely does – this is a high bar in my estimation.

    PS: I’m back from my vacation and spoiling for a challenge.. who wants to give it to me?

    • Matt:

      The young pirate apprentice steps off the boat and starts swinging his sword wildly around, looking for a fight that does not exist. Within seconds he has sliced off a piece of his ear.

      V.H. posted a link to a youtube video of a talk on States Rights yesterday. I urge you to check it out this evening. It takes almost an hour.

      In your mind, what constitutes a “DAMN GOOD reason”?

      I did not know you were on vacation but hope it was restful and fun.
      Best to you and your family.
      JAC

      • I, sir, am no pirate apprentice, if that is your implication. I, sir, am a ninja.

        I’ll take a look if time permits.

        A damn good reason. Well that’s a tough question and the answer is this: I’m not entirely sure. I guess it’s a case of I’ll-know-it-when-I-see-it. Pakistan falls (more) apart and it’s nukes disappear, they turn up in al queda’s hands (with sufficient* proof) and the “government” protects them. Something along those lines. It’s not an easy metric to create and there are a lot of factors. Basically, I would say something that creates substantive* risk for catastrophic damage to the US or it’s vital interests. Anything shy of, let’s say, 1,000 civilian deaths isn’t worth it. Anything which does not, let’s say, cripple out economy isn’t worth it. But I’m just making this up – it’s highly variable depending on the scenario.

        It’s a big stick and I want to be sure it’s worth it before I beat someone with it.

        *And just what does this mean? I’m not entirely sure either.

        You didn’t know I was on vacation? Did you think I’d just abandoned you? Surely this place isn’t the same without my presence. 🙂

        • Matt:

          Your criteria look alot like the ones used by Mr. Bush! OTFLMAO

          I thought your abscence was due to a change in positioning of your computer screen.

          I was in and out over the holidays so must have missed your departure. And yes, I did miss you, I admit it.

          • Wow, JAC.. that was harsh. I penalize you 700 points and challenge you to a duel to the death: swords at high noon.

            No, Bush just liked the image of being a cowboy. I am not saying that, if there’s a chance of a 1,000 people dying we have to invade, but rather that if there’s no chance of 1,000 people dying, it’s probably not worth it. We should risk 100,000 to save less than 1,000? How does that make sense? (these numbers are all arbitrary for the purpose of this conversation).

            I think there has to be calculation involved to decide if something is worth it. Anything less is simply stupid.

            Now we run into the Cheney 1% doctrine: If there is a 1% chance of a cataclysmic event, we can justify invasion to prevent it. I see this as equally stupid. I want a real likelihood that real damage will ensue in my failure to act. I do not swing my sword at shadows – or I might slice off my own ear (this works as a great analogy to Iraq).

            My change in monitor position will diminish my posting but not eliminate it. You won’t get off so light.

            • Ahhhh..Matt….you are a Ninja with Raptor qualities…surely your stealth will not let a mere change in monitor position inhibit you?

            • Matt:

              Not intended to be harsh but a REALITY check.

              You see, your criteria are in FACT no better. That is the problem. Your cheap rhetoricals about Cowboys and 1% don’t change the fact that what you have proposed is subjective and is not supported by a clear moral base. For example:

              We have a right to defend ourselves, therefore:

              1. If WE are attacked.
              2. If WE have evidence of Clear and Present danger of attack to US.

              There are no cost/benefit analysis needed. There is no % threshold. They attack we eliminate the threat of future attack. And I mean eliminate.

              We do not attack others just because they threaten or attack our friends. Which of course leads to the question of just how we decide who is our friends.

              And for the record. Bush was no cowboy and never tried to pretend he was one. That image was created by the left and spread by the media (and it started with Reagan). Its continued use shows that they never understood Bush and they sure as hell don’t understand what a cowboy really is.

              I am curious however as to why the left thinks the “cowboy” label is a derogatory term. Most of the country thinks highly of cowboys. So do you lefties have something against cowboys that make them a good characture?

              At the same time, I find it interesting that many on the left use Ninjas as their alter ego. Highly trained assasins. Somehow seems so fitting.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                JAC,

                Hope all’s going well.

                You criticize Matt for coming up with an entirely subjective standard (Sorry Mathius, but JAC is right on this one – you can do better! I know it when I see it is directly out of W’s playbook), but prong 2 of your test can be pretty subjective as well:

                “Clear and present danger” – What constitutes a clear and present danger? You argue that there can be no % threshold, but how would you define ‘clear and present danger’ without resorting to some type of % or probability of attack? I’m not arguing against having any %, I think its necessary. But clearly not 1%, that is ludicrous. But what about 75%? 85%? 95%? At some point a clear and present danger would arise, but isn’t that a subjective point?

              • Yes it is.

                Clear and
                Present
                Danger

                …is a doctrine of subjective measure. It is used in two ways.

                First, establishing whether you should act or not.

                Second, justifying your actions to peers, should you act.

                In a CPD scenario, by definition, you are not able to go to your peers and ask for advice. You have established a mortal threat, right now, in your face. Do you think your adversary will give you a “Time Out” for you to discuss your circumstance with third parties?

                Your inability to involve third parties effectively in advice and discussion is, in fact, a demonstration of CPD.

                If you are able to ask advice and discuss, you cannot be in a CPD.

                Thus, USA invasion of Iraq could not be CPD, and therefore cannot be justified.

                After you act, you then must justify your attack to your peers (least they deem you a rogue, and preemptively attack you!).

                You will have to demonstrate with a preponderance of evidence why you declared CPD.

                Yes, it is full of subjectives on all sides – the nature of the beast. However, we can discern darker shades of gray toward black vs lighter shades of gray toward white.

              • We have a right to defend ourselves, therefore:

                1. If WE are attacked.
                2. If WE have evidence of Clear and Present danger of attack to US.

                Isn’t that pretty much what I said? “The[y] attack us in a way that necessitates reprisal / they come into possession of WMD’s with intent to use them**” The first is your #1, the second is your #2.

                But there has to be cost benefit analysis. There has to be. Actions have consequences. If we choose to invade someone, we must make sure it’s worth doing, not just that we would be justified in doing so. We cause harm, and we commit resources.

                Let’s say we get attacked by Iceland for whatever reason. They attack and are easily repulsed causing negligible damage. Are we then obligated to invade their country and impose a new government on a hostile people taking several years and hundreds of lives and billions of dollars? It makes no sense. We’d be better off with another approach, no?

              • Matt:

                We conguer Iceland, kill the hostiles and then befriend the remainder of its people. They will be given a one time chance to immigrate to the USA.

                We will then send Al Gore and all his friends to resettle Iceland. All socialists will be encouraged to attend the party as well.

                Then we sell it back to Norway or whoever wants it……..For A Profit. All inhabitants will be included in the sale, no extra charge.

                The cost of destroying Iceland for its mistaken hubris must be also weighed against the cost savings resulting from countries who now know not to mess with the USA.

                And remember, our retaliation is that of a country who has ABSOLUTELY NO INVOLVEMENT in other countries except as open and free traders.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Ok, major computer problems here – third attempt to post, let’s see what happens:

                JAC, You criticize Matt for coming up with a subjective policy (and Matt, sorry, but he is absolutely correct – “I know it when I see it” is too subjective and, to make matters worse, taken directly out of W’s playbook), but prong 2 of your own policy can be just as subjective.

                “Clear and Present Danger” — What constitutes a clear and present danger? How do you define such a threat without resort to a % threshold or probability? Is a 75% probability of attack sufficient? 85%? 90%? 95%?

                Hope all is going well today!

              • Give me a logical framework for dealing with a threat and/or attack and I will gladly adopt it. But there are too many variables for a mathematical model.

                If they kill x, then we do y. If there is z% chance of q, then we do p? It’s like playing chess where the pieces can move any way they want, the board is 1,000×1,000, people move out of turn, you can’t see the whole board, cheating is allowed, and there are hundreds of players. You expecting to set a system of rigid rules to play when the best answer is: I’ll have to play it by ear as best I can.

                I need the pros and cons and we can discuss and decide. I have no other way.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Don’t get me wrong, I agree. Any test must be to a certain extent subjective.

                Cheney’s 1% Doctrine and “I know it when I see it” are just too subjective (or perhaps too far removed in a sense) than I would prefer. “Clear and present danger” is a bit better, but by no means (as you pointed out as well) objective.

              • Buck:

                Clear= Absolute clarity. Plain as the nose on your face. No doubts. Multiple corroborations.

                Present= Right now, immediately.

                We are sure, others are sure, the evidence is overwhelming and we know they are in operational mode.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I would argue that we can never be entirely sure. There is always some measure of doubt.

                This doesn’t bother me in the slightest though. In criminal law you must be found guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. Just because there is some measure of subjectiveness, does not mean the test should not be used.

                By the same token, ‘clear and present danger’ is probably the best standard I’ve heard yet and one I would be willing to apply. But don’t kid yourself that there is no subjective element there.

                Also, I would agree with Mathius that any test applied does not end the inquiry. Just because we were attacked or there is a clear and present danger of being attacked, does not mean we then attack back. There still must be a cost/benefit analysis.

              • Buck:

                I realize there is some subjective nature but the threshold is probably higher than beyond a reasonable doubt. It should be there is damn little doubt. The trick is to organize in a way to get solid analysis without the effect of group think.

                I disagree with your position that the decision to retaliate involves a cost/benefit. It absolutely should not.

                We are talking about countries here, so let me be clear. You attack we retaliate with full force to eliminate all future threat from you.

                If we catch you taking direct action to attack we retaliate with full force to eliminate all future threat from you.

                You can insert your cost/benefit from a tactical standpoint, but not strategic. The goal is to neutralize the existing and future threat from a govt that has proven its desire for violence against a peaceful and free people.

                How we accomplish that goal is a subject of costs and benefits and tactics. But the goal MUST not be subject to debate after the fact.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                JAC,

                I will agree that almost any attack (or threat of attack that meets the clear and present danger test) must be met with some form of retaliation.

                So yes, much of the cost/benefit analysis will necessarily deal with the extent and type of retaliation.

              • Buck:

                “I will agree that almost any attack ”

                So what type of attack would you NOT retaliate against?

              • I agree with JAC.

                We have to remember the context of this discussion – they are sovereign nations.

                Take the Taliban. Faced with the prospect of absolute defeat – they remain steadfast in withholding Bin Laden from the USA until their demands of proof was met.

                Their cost/benefit analysis – if they did one – was undeniably bad.

                They didn’t care. Sovereignty of action is priceless.

              • Matt,

                While you are taking time deciding weather it’s worth it, our guys are getting killed and the enemy is figuring out more ways to get us. They are already a step ahead.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                But I’m sure Matt would be taking his time deciding whether its worth it BEFORE sending in our guys to get killed. At least I hope so!

              • Absolutely.

              • Perhaps, Anita, but a moment of delay is usually worthwhile if it grants you a better course of action.

                How many times have you wanted to do something brash but stopped yourself? If someone attacks us, of course we want to retaliate. But it’s sometimes better not to. We need to weigh the options, not just do what feels the most satisfying.

                Just reacting is dangerous and costly.

                And what’s more: sometimes it’s what they’re counting on.

              • Agreed

                All sounds good on paper.

                But right now..IT’S ON..and they aren’t going away. It is now. Right now. It is happening. It’s not a theory anymore

              • Anita:

                In fairness to Matt and Buck here. We were discussing future attacks from the philosophical point. We all know we are engaged where we are.

                What we are trying to figure out is what the proper course should be in the future, should we assume the peaceful role of a free nation.

                Hope this helps reduce your stress.
                JAC

              • Matt:

                In all seriousness. Those scenarios are gamed out far in advance. You should not need to deliberate on what to do if attacked. I am talking about other countries at this point. That is group A.

                Group B is the ideological groups with no country. But alas, no man can live in air. So in effect he always has a country. The question is whether the country claims him. If they do in absolute terms then they are in group A.

                If not, he is a criminal and subject to international search and siezure, or ninja execution.

              • Agree, except for one catch: we cannot predict and plan for all scenarios.

                But I do so love ninja executions.

              • JAC

                Ok you did make me laugh. I’ll settle down

              • v. Holland says:

                Question JAC-Wouldn’t pretending you don’t support him when you actually do, be a pretty good strategic move.

              • V.H.

                Yes it would. But that is why we need a stronger intelligence agency.

                Fool me once shame on me…….

                In this case, like we had with the Taliban, we can make things very uncomfortable for the sponsor. Remember, the Taliban were moving away from Bin Laden. I think they realized they had befriended a snake that would bring the mongoose to their village party.

                But I would not support an outright attack on a country we could not prove was a direct supporter of such a man/organization.

                We would send in Matt and let him deal with the culprits.

              • v. Holland says:

                Matt, stated awhile back-that he ain’t going-smart man.

              • Matt says:
                “cannot predict and plan for all scenarios”

                I find it interesting that a person believes we cannot plan for ‘all scenarios’ in a finite system – like geopolitical push and shove – but believes we can plan for such scenarios in a infinite chaotic system like economics.

                (PS: did you tell your boss what I said about his bellwether belief in Mises and Austrian Economics?)

                Planning for scenarios in geopolitics is not claiming a knowledge of outcomes.

                It is a planning for initiation and/or initial reaction to an initiation.

                I can plan for invasions from Canada or Mexico, or Cuba. I cannot declare knowledge of the outcomes of these attacks.

                I cannot plan automobile output vs. making ovens or golf clubs. However, I offer general knowledge of outcomes for those that do try to do this, however.

    • Welcome back, Matt…. I’ll give ya a fight…but have to have something to fight about first. It won’t be this article. I do have some questions to pose to several tho….in a little while. I am dealing with the Feds this morning and two “observers” from Interpol…and a justice department weenie. (This won’t take long). They were supposed to wait until Wed but I pissed ’em off yesterday and last night. I have been asked, very nicely mind you, to assign border escorts to these, ummm, gentlemen…But I have refused and told them they are welcome to trod along the border anywhere they wish….but to be sure and stop when you hear STOP in English…there will not be a Spanish version…So here I sit in frozen Fort Worth (24 degs this am and that is a blizzard for this Texan) and in radio and telephone communication with my border surrogate and 4,000 armed National Guard troops patrolling the border deciding whether or not to give the coordinates out to the Feds on where to go, if they wish to see the hot spots and not inform the patrols. (heh heh)

      So, this morning is a multi task morning. We are protecting family money and interests, running my own little business for the ladies, and fulfilling my now 2.2 year contract with the DOD that was supposed to be part time (Now up to 40 hours per week). I was supposed to be in an advisory capacity but that has been elevated to more of a training/advisor role. It is fun teaching brand spanking new “butter bars” how NOT to think they are bullet proof.

      Anyway, welcome back.

      • D13:

        I vote for holding back on the coordinates.

        Lets see if the justice dept fellow can even find the border on his own. Could be kind of funny when he calls in from Louisiana or someplace else.

        • Actually, the coordinates were meant to, ummm, coincide with a patrol route and not inform the patrol….(heh heh). But, they will probably go out there without water, get snake bit and we will have to go after them….or leave em for the coyotes and buzzards as part of the food chain.

      • OK, D13, it’s a new year and I want more info on the “running my own little business for the ladies”.

        Website? If not, USW has my email. The women of SUFA want to know more!

        Oh, and stay safe with the Feds; kind of wish I could be a fly on the wall………

        • YEAH!!!!!!! What she said !!!

        • Hi kathy….I guess “business for the ladies” was a little ambiguous….not to say probably misleading…depending on where one’s mind is/was.

          However, I have developed a procedure that is anti-aging in appearance on the face and reduces and smooths cellulite on the thighs and buttocks. This procedure is not invasive and uses no chemicals nor preservatives. It is not a procedure that “tightens” the skin for a short period of time. There are products that are used and the products themselves are not proprietary but the composition and mixing of them is proprietary. It is not a facial with the silk peels or chem lasers. The good thing for me is (and the bad thing for the ladies) is that it is not a one time procedure. The process actually works the muscles, muscle fiber, and tissue. (epidural). As far as the cellulite is concerned, it is also a process that is non invasive and works great on the buttocks and the thighs…For some reason I am not getting the results on the arms. My ladies LOVE me because they can wear shorts and bikinis again at the ages of 50 to 70 and still look pretty good. I cannot make you look 20 again but I can give you a more youthful look.

          I am currently teaching some therapists now with long term non compete agreements. I have a small spa now and will be expanding as soon as the damned DOD leaves me alone long enough. It is very lucrative and fills a cost niche that undercuts the big spas by as much as 50%. The middle class can get treatments that do not cost $4,000 per week.

          • OK, so we have to come to you at this point? How often do I need to trek to TX for these treatments?

            • I need info also, for mom. Six hour drive, not a problem.

              • Sure….as soon as my classes are over, I will have a website that will give all the details….with the exception of the ingredient and the mixture ratios.

            • The first set of treatments for the face are twice a week for 6 weeks. You will see results within three weeks. Then once a week for the next 90 days and then twice a month thereafter.

              For the cellulite, you will see results within 3 hours. However, the cellulite treatments are twice a week for 8 weeks, then once a week for 6 months and then once every 15 to 20 days to maintain the level you are.

              I have some really neat pictures of the progressions and the ladies are very satisfied with the results. It is important to know that this is not a weight loss program and there are things that the individual will have to do with their diet.

          • D13:

            Do you allow others to franchise? I may want to consider something like this as a business opportunity. You can e-mail me the details. USW has my e-mail.

            • Where are you Birdman? Closer to WI than Texas is? I may have to wait ’til you open up shop. Hope I don’t get too many wrinkles or too much cellulite by then……

            • Hi Birdman…..been thinking about franchises if this continues to work. There are some FDA standards that we have to meet (which is no problem). However, any franchise will have specific long term agreements that will have restrictions on the techniques and mixtures. Keep you posted.

              • D13:

                I’ve been out of town the last couple of days. Keep me posted. How did you ever get into something like this? What’s the story?

    • Matt,

      I was very impressed with your flips and tricks,

  3. …from the shadow.

    • I thought I saw a single glowing red eye in the recesses of a cave..

      Do yourself a favor though.. look around to make sure there isn’t ninjas directly above you with his katana already drawn..

  4. v. Holland says:

    Off Topic, Sorry-but it’s a feel good story-nice way to start the day.

    Family’s ‘Angel’ dog saves boy from cougar attack
    From Cheryl Robinson, CNN
    January 5, 2010 7:30 a.m. EST

    (CNN) — One lucky boy in Canada can say without a doubt that he has his own personal guardian angel — not of the spiritual kind, but of the furry.

    On Saturday an 18-month old gold retriever saved her owner from being attacked by a cougar while in the backyard of their home in Boston Bar, British Columbia, about 130 miles north of Vancouver.

    The dog — named Angel — leaped into action and threw herself between her owner, 11-year-old Austin Forman, and the cougar that was charging at him.

    Sherri Forman, Austin’s mother, said her son was outside with Angel around 5:30 p.m. gathering firewood from their backyard. She explained that Angel normally runs around and plays when she is outside, but on this afternoon she was behaving differently.

    “He had come in at one point to tell me how cute Angel was being because she was sticking pretty close to him in the yard, which was unusual for her,” Forman told CNN.

    In hindsight she realizes that Angel was protecting her son from an unseen danger.

    When the cougar charged, Angel ran to protect the boy.
    Video: Dog saves boy from cougar
    RELATED TOPICS

    * British Columbia
    * Canada

    “She intercepted the cougar,” Forman said. “Austin came into the house very upset, and I had to get him to calm down so I could understand what he was saying. Finally he said ‘there’s a cougar eating Angel.'”

    Angel and the cougar fought under the family’s deck, while Austin’s mother called 911 for help. A constable was in the area and able to make it to their home and kill the cougar quickly.

    Forman said when her nephew pulled the cougar’s body off Angel, who at first appeared fatally injured, the dog sucked in a “big breath of air and then got up.” Ever the protector, Angel “walked to Austin, sniffed him to make sure he was alright, then sat down.” Despite receiving a few deep bites and scratches Angel’s prognosis is good.

    “She had some pretty nasty injuries across the front of her head and neck” said veterinarian Jack Anvik who is treating Angel at the Sardis Animal Hospital. “If there had been enough time for the two of them together the cougar would have probably killed the dog,” he told CNN.

    According to his mother, Austin is so thankful for Angel’s bravery that he “went to town with his grandpa and bought a huge steak for her.”

    “I feel very good now that we know she’s alive and the fact that she saved me and survived is amazing,” Austin told CNN.

    And Angel appears to be in good spirits while she recovers at the Animal Hospital.

    “She’s a golden retriever,” Anvik said. “They’re always happy.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/01/04/boy.cougar.attack/index.html

  5. HIJACK

    And I fully admit it. Hopefully it won’t completely break down the discussion today.

    I admit that after reading the following I felt a little upset but then remembered that most people who write about sports don’t know much about the games they write about. Here, in my personal opinion is an example.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&id=4797061&sportCat=ncf

    Don’t get me wrong. I did play the game and never have claimed either of these teams should be considered a legit national title candidate. Top ten yes. But here is where this fits in our political discussion, and what made me angry this morning. It wasn’t the criticism of Boise State and TCU but how the entire debate has been created.

    The sports writers created this discussion all by themselves. I have watched it evolve. They spent weeks whining about the two not getting a shot at the big boys. Now the whine about a great defensive contest by two very well coached and talented teams. Why? Because now they can’t write about he controversy that only existed in their minds in the first place.

    This ladies and gentelmen is a great example of how our media is playing us like little fish in everything they do.

    OK, I’m better now.
    We now return to your regular programming.

    • Not so fast, JAC meister….Obama PROMISED to fix the BCS. Can’t wait to see how THAT turns out.

      Good morning to you, sir.

      • D13:

        You are right. I forgot. Althought I am not sure either of these two teams would get into a playoff system. Maybe the Mountain West teams but not the WAC.

        Late night and early morning Colonel. I thought you were retired. Those interpol/justice guys keep you up all night?

        A big good morning back at you, sir.
        JAC

        • I am “retired”….I have elected to wait until age 63.5 to draw any retirement pay because at that point my tax rate will be much lower and while my retirement points are maxed, I will make about 12% more in pay at a lower rate…so…the DOD asked me to train/advise as a civilian ( with full bird benefits ) on a part time basis (was supposed to be 20 hours per week) and teach young National Guard lieutenants how to deploy and utilize combat logistics in the same process and perform a duty for Texas to help stem illegal immigration and drugs. But it has become a much more hostile area. The area from Del Rio westward to El PAso is very rugged and has no water or food except around the ranches. The Big Bend area is mountainous and has terrain like Afghanistan (except the mountains are not as tall) but the ruggednes of them is the same and no water or food in most areas. We have armed drug runners, illegal immigrants from Eastern Europeans to South and Central America’s and Mexicans all trying to cross the border at various points. So, they get training in arrest and detainment techniques, communication coordination with civilian authorities(laughable at best here), combat logistics training, drug intervention and weapons smuggling intervention training, and combat training when shot at. WE use drones and night patrols with night vision as well as satellite infrared imaging. Very good training environment. And…as a civilian with Colonel benefits, I do not get my feet wet any more or go hungry. I have my own Humvee and driver assigned to me and my own Blackhawk at request, and four armed body guards that are civilian and armed with the cool stuff. (I am old fashioned and still prefer my .45) but have a Hi Power 9mm as a back up weapon and a .380 for fun, with 007 loads WHEN I decide to border hump.

          Pretty cool but takes a toll on my other business and family busness’ at times. But I also have great support and good staffs.

  6. v. Holland says:

    Yemen’s coming disaster
    Its oil is expected to run out in 2017, but Yemen hasn’t planned for its young, poverty-ridden population’s post-oil future.
    By Richard Fontaine and Andrew Exum

    January 5, 2010

    The Nigerian Islamist who allegedly attempted to detonate a bomb on a Christmas Day flight to Detroit, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has brought Yemen once again into the spotlight as a breeding ground for terrorists. Abdulmutallab is thought to have trained with Yemen’s Al Qaeda affiliate, and the group has claimed credit for the failed attack.

    Yemen has long been a place of concern. Last month, before the attempted airliner bombing, the United States facilitated a missile attack against two suspected Al Qaeda strongholds in Yemen. And over the weekend, the U.S. Embassy in Yemen’s capital city of Sana was closed because of security concerns.

    But terrorism is just one of the threats the deteriorating situation in Yemen poses to U.S. interests.

    Over the last few years, Yemen has been hurtling toward a disaster that could dramatically harm the interests of both the United States and its regional partners. An active insurgency in the north, a separatist movement in the south and a resurgent Al Qaeda franchise inside its borders present the Yemeni government with difficult short-term challenges. And managing the country’s longer-term problems is likely to prove even tougher.

    Yemen’s economy depends heavily on oil production, and its government receives the vast majority of its revenue from oil taxes. Yet analysts predict that the country’s petroleum output, which has declined over the last seven years, will fall to zero by 2017. The government has done little to plan for its post-oil future. Yemen’s population, already the poorest on the Arabian peninsula and with an unemployment rate of 35%, is expected to double by 2035. An incredible 45% of Yemen’s population is under the age of 15. These trends will exacerbate large and growing environmental problems, including the exhaustion of Yemen’s groundwater resources. Given that a full 90% of the country’s water is used for agriculture, this trend portends disaster.

    This confluence of political, ideological, economic and environmental forces will render Yemen a fertile ground for the training and recruitment of Islamist militant groups for the foreseeable future. More than 100 Yemenis have been incarcerated in Guantanamo since 2002. And today, Internet message boards linked to Al Qaeda encourage fighters from across the Islamic world to flock to Yemen. The country is home to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has carried out attacks in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

    Yemen’s role as a haven for transnational terror groups with global reach could easily continue to grow. President Obama has stated his intention to work with the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to eliminate havens in those countries for terror groups such as Al Qaeda. This could make Yemen an even more attractive place for would-be terrorists. Recent Saudi offensives against insurgents in northern Yemen, together with a Saudi naval blockade of the Yemeni coast, demonstrate how seriously other countries on the Arabian peninsula take the threat that instability in Yemen could radiate outward.

    U.S. policy should aim to bring Yemen back from the brink, mitigating the risk to the rest of the peninsula by increasing the country’s domestic stability. This task will not be achieved easily, quickly or inexpensively, and the use of force alone won’t be sufficient. Any effective strategy must combine security assistance with mediation efforts, development, regional engagement and an effective communications approach.

    Since 2001, U.S. policy has focused mostly on counter-terrorism. Given the threat posed not just by terrorism but by the potential for nationwide instability, the United States should move toward a broader relationship with Yemen, still focusing strongly on counter-terrorism but also on economic development and improved governance. The U.S. approach should publicly stress the comprehensive relationship that America seeks with Yemen. In so doing, the U.S. can build on the ad hoc, uncoordinated efforts of numerous international players in Yemen — from Europe, the Persian Gulf states, Jordan and Japan, among others. This could start with a new international donor’s conference, including a “contract with Yemen” that would provide aid in response to steps taken by the government to address issues of corruption, governance and human rights.

    No amount of foreign assistance will cure Yemen’s deeply entrenched economic, social and political problems. Yet in light of our compelling national interest in avoiding a failed state in Yemen, the United States has reason to devote even greater resources to the effort than it does today.

    Over the weekend, Obama pledged to double aid to Yemen, but this money must be spent strategically. Several areas are ripe for foreign help, including training and equipping counter-terrorism forces, bolstering border security and building the capacity of the coast guard, expanding counterinsurgency advice to the Yemeni government and expanding programs focused on basic governance and anti-corruption.

    A key challenge will be encouraging Yemen’s government to confront Al Qaeda, something it has not been sufficiently willing to do up to now. The government’s repeated battles against Houthi insurgents in the north have claimed resources that might otherwise have been directed at Al Qaeda elements. It is thus worth exploring whether mediation aimed at a political settlement of that conflict is achievable. In addition, the U.S. should privately make clear that the degree of political support it extends to the government of Yemen will depend directly on its taking action on the array of issues that concern Washington.

    The goal of U.S. foreign policy toward Yemen should be for the country to emerge as a stable, functioning state, one that presents no sanctuary for transnational terrorist groups. U.S. policy alone can’t bring this about. It can, however, attempt to mitigate the worst of the coming challenges that will plague Yemen.

    Richard Fontaine is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and traveled to Yemen with a Senate delegation in August. Andrew Exum is a fellow at the center.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-fontaineexum5-2010jan05,0,5758223.story

    • V,

      Intresting. As I’m reading your post, Fox News has an alert that Yemen is suddenly taking it Al Queda in a big way. Like USW was saying, it’s us, the USA paying their way. Guess I’d rather have our money fighting the problem than our sons & daughters.

      • taking it “to” Al Queda sorry

      • v. Holland says:

        Wish I had an answer, I certainly see where Yemen being so unstable could cause us problems and terrorist are obviously a threat but how many fronts can we have and we’ve gotta stop spending borrowed money. I’ve gotta say, as long as we’re fighting this type of enemy, that have no borders, I don’t see how we can ever really win.

        • Right. What I don’t get is if the terrorist are after everyone, not just us, why won’t everyone just stand up & take care of business.

          • v. Holland says:

            I suspect for the same reason some people are all for the government taking care of them-they don’t have to- they know the US will take care of the bulk of it.

  7. Common Man says:

    All;

    Isn’t it interesting how the government has gone from ‘covert’ to direct since Russia initially invaded Afganistan? The Government just can’t let go of a “good crisis”, and all in the spirit of righteousness. Hypocrisy does not even begin to address their actions.

    For years and years we have been sticking our noses in other countries business, and for years and years we have only managed to get people killed, soiled our image and further the evolution of corruption. Maybe we should try turning our backs and staying out of other countries business. Maybe we should focus our attention on righting the wrongs which have plagued our own citizens. Maybe we should concentrate on being the country we claim we really are. Who knows, if we managed to provide the rest of the world with a ‘good example’ possibly the rest of the world will follow.

    CM

    • Damn, CM….you are smokin’ some good stuff this morning….to do as you propose is way too easy and logical. Have you lost your mind?

      • Common Man says:

        D13;

        Sometimes crazy is logical

        CM

      • v. Holland says:

        Perhaps you are right-We fight to supposedly help the people, they hate us-We send money and weapons they always seem to eventually be used against us because they hate us. But setting a good example and maybe they will follow-I don’t think so-We will then be hated for setting back and being greedy and not helping them. The old phrase-between a rock and a hard place-seems to apply. I also find I have a concern that by just ignoring them they may become strong enough to defeat us and I really don’t like the idea of being controlled by the crazies but I suppose that last one is more of an immature emotional response. I like the idea of just coming home, and protecting ourselves in theory, but as small as the world is becoming is it actually possible and this last is a question.

        • Common Man says:

          V;

          I don’t know if it will work or not, but it has never been tried. We have, since we became an independent nation either influenced or joined in almost every campaign on earth; maybe a paradigm shift is needed?

          I do not fear a military like invasion by another country, it’s not possible; they wouldn’t make it to the shore line. And on the chance that they did the resistance here would be far more vicious than Japan’s prior to the bomb.

          I really don’t give a hoot what other countries think of us anyway, and if we as a people could regain control over our representatives and their actions, we as a nation would once again shine.

          The reality of deploying money, guns and troops is not to avoid attack or weaken a foe, it is to further the evils of a tyrannical government; ours.

          I love my country, but I hate what the elected officials are doing in its name. They and those like them are the biggest threat to freedom; whether it is here or abroad.

          Who knows what would happen if we decided we are no longer going to support war, and focused on ensuring our own freedom and prosperity.

          It certainly can’t hurt to try. Sometimes unique ideals have a way or flowering.

          CM

          • Common Man says:

            All;

            And to further my idea of turning our backs and minding our own business:

            Everybody went to High School and I am willing to bet that there was 1 or 2 individuals at your High School that everybody liked and nobody messed with; at least not more than once.

            In my High School there was a fellow named Bob Scott. He was about 6′ 3″, 275 pounds an “All State” defensive tackle, Track and Field, superior guitarist, straight ‘A’ student and all round nice guy. He would help everyone, was funny, played in a band, respectful to the staff and always smiled. Nobody messed with Bob; ever. Why? Well, Bob was almost super human strong and very agile. He benched almost 500 pounds as a Junior and was witnessed by the entire school lifting 235 pounds over his head in a ‘strength’ demonstration with 1 arm. In addition he was one of the most devistating defensive tackles to play football. If you witnessed him tackle a QB you even felt the pain.

            Even though he was one of the nicest guys anyone ever met he was feared by those that would seek to do him harm simply because they new he would crush them with little to know effort.

            We as a nation need to be the Bob Scott of the world; friendly, strong, smiling and respectful.

            BTW: Bob did not lend money nor did he borrow money. Bob would help you with school work, but would not do it for you. Bob and Bob’s friendship was never taken advantage of, because Bob lived by a strict set of self defined rules.

            CM

            • Curious…what is Bob doing today?

              • Common Man says:

                Kathy;

                Despite having grown up with Bob and his brothers, gone to school with him K – 12 I have not spoken or seen him for 20+ years. Shortly after High School Bob was asked to audition for the School of Music at the University of Cincinnati for guitar. He came in 3rd and they only had 2 seats. After that he quit playing got married and the last I heard was a janitor at one of the local schools.

                Although we have had several reunions he has never attended and those that have have not seen or spoken to him.

                Funny how sometimes life acts.

                CM

            • CM:

              Perfectly brilliant.

              How have you been my friend?

              • Common Man says:

                JAC

                I am fine. Working a crazy schedule, already tired of the cold here in MI, but had a wonderful Christmas with children and grandson.

                How are things, life and the world out your way?

                CM

              • CM

                Well today it has decided to be winter again.

                Snow falling slowly but heavy flakes and pretty steady.

                No wind, the kind of stuff that stacks up and then sets up. I know you know what I mean.

                Glad to hear you had kids and grandson around for Christmas.

              • Common Man says:

                JAC;

                Well keep the fires burning and enjoy the view.

                CM

            • Bob’s strength was not in his arms.

              It was in his principles.

              As we are a visual species, we do tend to measure other humans by their size and physical ability. We pay attention to their ability to do us physical harm (or lack thereof).

              However, in my time on this planet (vs. other planets), I’ve found that those of mere physical ability can not extend beyond one or two people at once. Doesn’t matter how big you are – all it takes is a couple of others at the same time, and they are done for.

              But men of principle – they command leagues of men in support.

              Gandhi was no physical specimen. Short, thin, gaunt… hardly a threat to anyone physically.

              But an entire Empire shook when he took a step.

              • Common Man says:

                BF;

                Yes Bob was a man of Character despite an alcoholic father, and family’s modest income.

                I remember he was asked to try out for the wrestling team, but he refused because he would have unseated the schools heavyweight who was also the football team center and a friend to Bob. As a result Roy (the Center) went on to win State that year.

                I’m pretty sure Bob new it and felt their friendship was worth more than another title or trophy.

                BTW: Chuck Norris can kick the ass of any 12 men and not even break a sweat on a not day.

                However, his Samson like strength was impressive

              • Common Man says:

                BF

                Sorry the last line about Samson was out of context.

                The Chuck Norris comment was to see if anyone else here will follow suit

                CM

              • Nah, Steven Seagal has got Norris down in a count of two.

                A 7th-dan black belt in aikido, Seagal began his adult life as an aikido instructor in Japan. He became the first foreigner to operate an aikido dojo in Japan.

              • Common Man says:

                Seagal is one bad cat, but dumping Kelly LeBrock was crazy.

                BTW: Have you seen his TV show? I caught it one night last week flipping channels. He apparently is a cop in Jefferson Parish and has been one for 20 + years. At least that is the story line of the show.

                CM

              • Nope.

                I’m cutting way back on TV viewing. I was a view-aholic.

                In the past I watched about two hours a week, and I felt it was way too much. I was losing brain cells and I started to dribble spit down my chin and mumble incoherently.

                I’m now down to under an hour a week – under ten minutes of a weather report per day. At least the slobbering stopped….the mumbling still reoccurs once in awhile.

                If my internet wasn’t “Free” with cable TV, I’d cancel the whole darn thing.

  8. USW…wonder why the Saudis just don’t go ahead and take Yemen? No one would stop them and they (Saudis) already control the Red Sea access anyway.

    Of course, the Saudis might not want the problem…but a little Arab justice would solve the Yemen problem anyway….Interesting thought, no?

  9. My first thought, how are we morally different from Saddam? We pay better?

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3355924,00.html

    Saddam further endeared himself to the Palestinians during the latest Palestinian intifada, or terror war, which began in September 2000. The Iraqi dictator donated about USD 25,000 to the family of each Palestinian suicide bomber and USD 10,000 for each Palestinian killed while committing attacks against Israel. The stipends amounted to an estimated USD 35 million.

    • How our tax dollars work in foreign countries,

      And FlagNinga, I still say peace is not dependent on the US/Israel only.

      Terror in Fallen Tyrant’s Name

      Palestinians in the northern West Bank have named a major street after late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein that was funded – along with the surrounding municipality – by the United States Agency for International Development.

      Following Saddam’s hanging earlier this month, thousands of Palestinians gathered in the Yaabid municipality, just outside of the northern West Bank town of Jenin, to hold a vigil in his honor.

      According to Arabic media reports translated by Palestinian Media Watch, local Palestinian municipal leaders and members of armed factions in Jenin named a school and the municipality’s main street after Saddam.

      WND confirmed with local leaders the Yaabid Street currently bares Saddam’s name.

      The Palestinian daily Al-Hayat al-Jadida stated the street’s dedication was meant to emphasize the “values of Arabness and Jihad, which (Saddam represented).

      But USAID held a ceremony in July 2005 marking its contributions of USD 402,000 for paving the Yaabid municipality’s main street – now named after Saddam – as well nearly two miles of inner streets. The American agency also contributed to the reconstruction of the city’s main entrance.

      USAID regularly funds reconstruction efforts in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, usually hiring local crews to carry out the construction.

      USAID’s office in Tel Aviv confirmed to WND it coordinated the Yaabid municipality’s paving and reconstruction projects.

      ‘Beloved Saddam, strike Tel Aviv’

      Saddam was considered a hero to most Palestinians. His final words prior to his hanging reportedly included “Palestine is Arab.”

      During the first Gulf War in 1991, Palestinians cheered Saddam’s missile attacks on Israel, chanting “Beloved Saddam, strike Tel Aviv,” as the Scud missiles flew overhead. Some scuds fell short and landed in Palestinian areas.

      Mideast analysts say Saddam’s support for the Palestinian cause was mostly aimed at gaining widespread support throughout the Arab world.

      This is not the first time USAID projects to the Palestinians have been connected to support of terrorism and jihad.

      WND reported USAID has reconstructed roads and municipalities in areas in the Gaza Strip controlled by Hamas.

      In a WND interview, Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar thanked USAID for its efforts.

      According to Palestinian Media Watch translations, after USAID funded road projects in Jenin in 2004, a central street there was named after the first Iraqi suicide bomber, who killed four American soldiers in Fallujah.

      The mayor of Jenin reportedly participated in an anti-American dedication ceremony in which speakers blessed the “resistance of the residents of Fallujah”

      Also, a USAID-funded Palestinian sports center was named after Salef Khalef, operational head of the Black September terror organization, which was behind the killing of two US diplomats in Sudan in 1973 and the massacre one year earlier of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich.

  10. Ray Hawkins says:

    I suppose what I struggle with is what then is the appropriate action or response? I’m taught in my field to dig and decompose a problem until you find the very nature of the problem – what is its root cause and how can that be dealt with in the most effective manner? I believe I understand the defensive-only posture, but that carries forth many assumptions that we see colliding now with respect to the last incident = the collision of balancing safety/security with privacy. While the EU has far surpassed the US in terms of evolving privacy rights, we are not far behind. At some point, just having really good defense may not be good enough if you are compromised from having the best defense available to you. Going further – if Al Queda is recognized as a threat, a perpetual threat to safety/security – then how do you deal with the root cause of that threat so it is permanently eliminated OR reduce the risk of the threat such that Al Queda is not much more than a website with dated content. The question becomes – what is the root cause? Contrary to some – I do not believe the answer is simply the underlying religion – and I do not think that cutting the head off the snake will be permanently effective either. Question becomes – what does one do? (Or – is eliminating the root cause not the right approach?)

    I am not a complete advocate of dumping money to others to fight my fight for me – we’ve been doing it for years and it has not worked. So what will work?

    • Ray:

      You are thinking hard and long these days. Excellent questions in my opinion.

      In my view finding the root may be futile. It is like trying to find the root cause of criminal behavior. There is no single and definitive answer that will cure the problem. Some people simply are criminal by their nature. They have a very distorted view of reality and nothing we do can really change that.

      I look at it more like a raging fire. We can reduce the oxygen, the heat, and/or the fuel. All will reduce the intensity and potential damage of the fire. But we can not eliminate the heat source all together. With hard work and perseverance we may be able to reduce the oxygen and fuel to the point where all we have is a burning ember that is ignored for the most part.

      Philosophical analogies aside, I think Bush did articulate a clear picture of at least part of the underlying cause for the strength and breadth of the problems as well as the end goal to reduce it. Unfortunately, he did little that I can see to address the root cause he identified.

      The root he described was the despair felt by a large, unemployed, disenfranchised and very young population. This makes fertile ground for the likes of Al Qaeda. The end goal was political and economic reforms that empowered the local populations. The problem…….that is not our job and there is no way we can accomplish that. THEY must accomplish that. This is the fuel.

      At this point in time I firmly believe that our mere presence in the region is adding fuel to the fire. Our departure would reduce the fuel and thus the fire in the medium to long term. It will not eliminate the fire however. That is because our presence is not the real reason for Al Qaeda existance. Only their effectiveness at recruiting new members. This is the oxygen.

      In my view a good defensive position includes offensive capability. It does, however, prohibit using offensive strategies except when retaliating against an attack. And a good defense includes a strengthened CIA or equivalent.

      I am with BF on one part of this. That is we need to treat Al Qaeda as a criminal operation and reduce the “WAR” rhetoric. More public emphasis should be made on how Al Qaeda is distorting Islam for personal power and fortune. Notice who hides in caves and holes in the ground and who are beoming the martyrs? That kind of stuff. For a country that invented mass marketing and propoganda we sure seem reluctant to use it on anyone but ourselves.

      Here’s one for you to ponder in a slow moment. It comes to me once in awhile and gives me the chills. What if we are all wrong? What if this really boils down to a religious war at the root? I think to Al Qaeda leadership and their counterparts it is really more about their interpretation of their religion and not just about our presence. So what happens if millions of Muslims suddenly accept this dogma, and decide that they must conquer the world in the name of their faith. Can we prevent this from happening? If it does, then what do we do?

      A hearty good morning to you, Ray.
      JAC

      • Good post JAC.

        A statement that stands out: “The end goal was political and economic reforms that empowered the local populations. The problem…….that is not our job and there is no way we can accomplish that. THEY must accomplish that. This is the fuel.”

        Just like poverty and racism, we can’t “fix” it; it must come from within the effected community. The more we try to do, perhaps with good intentions, the more we are expected to do and the less empowered the people are.

        This article is inline with the last part of your post:

        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100104/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_us_arrests

        “We are jihadists, and jihad is not terrorism,” …..

        How are we supposed to deal with this when there appears to be much conflict within the Islamic “religion”?

        • Kathy:

          There are mutliple parts here.

          First, the 5 Americans are Traitors and if returned should be tried and imprisoned as Traitors.

          Second, our lack of targeted public relations has allowed the other side to portray our presence as an attack on Islam itself. This is where Mr. Obama could have made a real difference if he would just speak out loudly and often on the matter.

          Third, sometimes the fire becomes to strong and we must simply build a defensive postition around it and let it burn itself out. Such a strategy relies on some luck as well. That a strong wind won’t blow the fire over our defensive position.

          Fourth, If we remove ourselves from the equation then we eliminate much of the excuses used to garner support. Then inter tribal or internal power struggles will become more evident to those being affected. They will lose support of the people and many other governments as well.

          We need to remember that there are not only opposing forces within the religion but among the various tribes that historically occupied this part of the world. Many assume that the religion will unify all Muslims. I don’t think that is any more true for Muslims than it is for Christians. Our tribal and family cultures often act to prevent such unification. That is if there is no outside influence that acts as a catalyst for them to unify.

          The Hatfields and McCoys would stand side by side if some damn Yankee tried to bully either of the other ones around. But with no Yankee to fight, they fought with each other.

          Best wishes to you and yours, my dear.
          JAC

    • Ray…paying surrogates and mercs has never worked. Propping up foreign governments has never worked. Just plowing food and medicines has never worked. It is a dilemma. I just wonder if we just take care of our own and leave the rest of the world alone is not a bad idea. They will, of course, not leave us alone but then our response would be justified no matter the severity.

      So perhaps we say….I leave you alone…you leave me alone. Should you choose not to leave me alone, do not bring a knife to a gunfight. I do not think that I would be an advocate of a “proportional” response. That is so objective. If my foot gets stomped on, I am not going to stomp the others foot…I will take his head off.

      I wonder.

      • Oops…Matt’s keyboard snuck in here….objective=subjective.

      • we used to have a problem with poachers on our ranch…we do not any longer….at least we have not caught one in several years…but our approach was not to call the game wardens or the police…we handled it ourselves. Word got around. I wonder.

      • D13

        I see that point as a better one then what we are doing now. We defend our own when bothered, but dont bother others until then. Make sense to me

        Ellen

        • Yes, Ellen. I have to agree. That is the philosophy that we adopted and it is working. But it did take shooting down an ultra light about 6 years ago. Brazen poacher flew an ultra light into our Northern most pasture, killed a deer, threw it on and was trying to take off. The extra weight apparently kept him from climbing too fast so it was easy to shoot the engine out. He hit the ground from about 70 feet high and ruined his day..not to mention the ultra light. we got our deer back and ate it, he went to jail for 3 months and probation for 24 months, paid a $10,0O0 fine and lost his $3000 ultralight…he could have bought a hunting license for $75. Our foreman wanted to blast the poacher but we yelled at him that the paperwork would be too much…just the engine. So, a 30.06 put a great hole in the engine and the extra weight of the deer threw him into a stall..the rest was history. We understand that the pins are out of his shattered knee now. Amazing what a fall from 70 feet in a stalled ultra light will do to ones body.

          Have a nice day.

          • I love the stories about Texas.

          • Hi D13,

            Did the poacher try to sue you for damages or anything? Don’t criminals often try to sue for damages when the get injured committing their crime?

            • Hi Cyndi….nope…no law suits. We did have an inquiry by a “do-gooder” journalist out of Houston. We invited him up to the ranch and they declined. We have heard nothing more from the incident but we also have had ONE poacher in the last 6 years (that we knew of) and we also caught him. Word has gotten around and we are left alone now.

      • D13,

        Nice post! I don’t wonder, I think that is the unspoken reason Bush pressed to invade Iraq. WMD’s, UN resolutions were PC bulldookey because they could not say they were going to pick the first, loudest
        SOB with a problem with the US, and kick the chit out of them just to set an example. Then look around and ask,”who’s next”!

    • Ray:

      We have talked before about how we are manipulated.

      Check out the link I posted above to ESPN sports writer. The tactics he uses are the same as the MSM but are easier to see because we don’t have political/personal investment in the subject matter.

      Only the media can find an argument and controversy in a one man discussion.

  11. I recommend watching Beck all week. Yes, he does talk way too much, but check him on facts, and he makes a strong case.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/seton-motley/2010/01/04/glenn-beck-revisits-ample-evidence-against-fcc-diversity-czar-mark-llo

    • v. Holland says:

      I suspect that a lot of people have no idea how grateful they should be that Beck has shined a light on many people and subjects -that would have stayed unmentioned. At least until after the damage was done.

      • Matt, Ray???

        Any thoughts on ACORN, Van Jones, climategate, anything???

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @ V. Holland & @ LOI

          Glenn Beck is a serial liar. He also can present some interesting facts that occasionally include context. Having said that, I guess you could pick an Olbermann or someone similar and say the same thing.

          So ~ if we want/need to have a tit for tat on what Beck spouts then sure. I usually give the cycle 24 hrs for Media Matters to formulate the response from the left.

          🙂

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Hey Ray,

            Thanks for the reminder on media matters — just took a quick look and found a rundown of some of Beck’s ‘greatest hits’ over the past year if you’re interested:

            http://mediamatters.org/research/201001040054

          • Beck spouts a lot, no question. But what about the “facts” he presents?

            Did ACORN commit voter registration fraud in over 12 states?

            Did that same ACORN have its people in multiple locations show a willingness to assist a “pimp” in child sex slavery?

            Did Obama/White House appoint a self avowed communist as a presidential advisor?

            Did the leading institute studying global warming
            conspire to withhold and distort their data on climate change?

            And the really big question, were these stories worth national coverage? And if so, where was the networks?

            A Beck tit for tat is fine with me, if we are talking facts. Personal attacks are a waste of all out time.

  12. Good Morning All,

    Well I have to say that their parties policies concerning this topic is terrible. We give HUGE amounts to money in hopes that they wont hate us and try to attack us at some point. What logic is that? Why not keep our money and hope they dont attack us? I believe that they reason we will continue to stay in Afghan, so we have access to bomb Pakistan on a regular basis.

    I was station in Italy when the USS Cole was attack. We actually were their next port for them. I had two friends who by grace of God maanged to live through that day. So I would have no issue with someone taking over Yemen.

    Hope all is well with everyone- welcome to 2010!

  13. posting for comments

    • Welcome back!!! How was the vacation?

      • Hello? Reality to Cyndi: Please report to the office

      • Hi Kathy and Anita!

        The vacation was very nice. I had two lovely dresses made in the local style, My boyfriend really likes them (always a plus). I bought some over priced locally made handy craft items and a bunch of my favorite bath soap. I met some interesting people: A sea cucumber farmer (who would have thought there’s a commercial use for those things!), a Canadian tax advisor to the FSM Government, and a business woman from London. Also, a fellow resident of my island was staying at the same hotel. One of the women who remembered me from my last visit with my boyfriend, saw me with my aquiantance. When she realized that he wasn’t my boyfriend, the look on her face was something to see! It was so funny. I could just imagine the thoughts running through her mind. It didn’t take long to clarify the situation, fotunately. My boyfriend got a good laugh out of it when I told him what happened. He got back from his family visit yesterday, so now, all is well. And yes Anita, reality has called. I’m at the office as I type, and am expecting the boss anytime. He is quite the task master……..

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Cyndi – was wondering about you – heard there were severe quakes in the Pacific – wasn’t sure if that affected you or not. Hope all is well.

      • Hi Ray,

        I’ve been on vacation in the FSM. I haven’t heard anything about quakes in the Pacific. We don’t generally have problems with tsunamis. The surrounding ocean is very deep, so the energy pretty much passes right by us.

  14. Canine Weapon says:

    An old Orthodox Jewish Rabbi is
    diagnosed with a terrible cancer
    and is told he has only months
    to live. Before he dies, he
    wants to try pork once in his
    life. He knows it’s not kosher,
    but believes that God will
    forgive him this one violation
    of His laws.

    Because he is well known and
    respected, he travels to a town
    fifty miles away to order his
    pork so that he will not be
    seen and shamed.

    He walks into a restaurant and
    orders the suckling pig,
    complete with an apple stuffed
    in the mouth of the pig. Praying
    God’s forgiveness he is just
    about to take a bite when in
    walks the president of his
    temple.

    “What are you doing?!” Exclaims
    the president.

    “Would you believe it! I
    order and apple, and this is
    how they serve it to me!”

    • Two friends are talking, one, a Jewish Rabbi, the other, a Catholic Priest.
      The Catholic Priest asks, so in your entire life, you have never tasted pork?

      The Rabbi replies, well, back when I was young, before taking my vows, I tried a ham sandwich, which I found to be tasty.

      And you, my friend, have you ever laid with a woman?

      Well, like you, before taking my vows, there was one time that I met a young woman, and well, one time we did make love.

      Rabbi says, sure beats a ham sandwich, doesn’t it?

  15. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hey All

    Since the topic of today seems to be Yemen, I found this on onenewsnow.

    Hope all is doing quite well today.

    Yemen – a terrorist haven
    Chad Groening – OneNewsNow – 1/5/2010

    YemenThe retired naval officer who commanded the USS Cole when it was hit by terrorists nine years ago in Yemen says that country is clearly becoming a haven for al-Qaeda activity.

    The New York Times recently reported that the U.S. government had intelligence from Yemen before Christmas that leaders of an al-Qaida branch there were talking about “a Nigerian” being prepared for a terrorist attack.

    A Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is now charged with trying to destroy a Northwest Airlines aircraft that was headed to Detroit from Amsterdam on Christmas Day.

    The Times reports that Abdulmutallab told FBI agents he was connected to the al-Qaeda affiliate, which operates largely in Yemen and Saudi Arabia by a radical Yemeni cleric whom he contacted online. If corroborated, Abdulmutallab’s travel to Yemen for explosives and terrorist instruction underscores the emergence of that country as a major hub for al-Qaeda, perhaps beginning to rival the terror network’s base in Pakistan.

    Kirk LippoldKirk Lippold was the commander of the USS Cole when it was attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists on October 12, 2000, while at anchor in the Yemeni port of Aden to obtain fuel. He weighs in on the situation.

    “Clearly Yemen has become a key place for al-Qaeda to recruit, train, and now conduct operations from,” he says. “We should not be returning any [Guantanamo Bay] detainees back to them like the administration did just before Christmas. We should in fact be trying to figure out if Yemeni’s government can’t do it, then we will.”

    Lippold explains that he does not want to put troops on the ground any more than anyone else does, but he feels the United States must be able to defend its national interests if that country is on its way to becoming a failed state.

  16. Judy Sabatini says:

    Since there are a couple jokes here, just got this one from my son.

    A Mexican woodpecker and a Canadian woodpecker were in Mexico
    arguing about which country had the toughest trees. The Mexican woodpecker
    claimed Mexico had a tree that no woodpecker could peck.

    The Canadian woodpecker accepted his challenge and promptly pecked a
    hole in the tree with no problem. The Mexican woodpecker was amazed.

    The Canadian woodpecker then challenged the Mexican woodpecker to
    peck a tree in Canada that was absolutely ‘impeccable’ (a term frequently
    used by woodpeckers). The Mexican woodpecker expressed confidence that he
    could do it and accepted the challenge.

    The two of them flew to Canada where the Mexican woodpecker
    successfully pecked the so-called ‘impeccable’ tree almost without breaking
    a sweat.

    Both woodpeckers were now terribly confused. How is it that the
    Canadian woodpecker was able to peck the Mexican tree, and the Mexican
    woodpecker was able to peck the Canadian tree, yet neither was able to peck
    the tree in their own country?

    After much woodpecker pondering, they both came to the same
    conclusion: Apparently, Tiger Woods was right, when he said, your pecker
    gets harder when you’re away from home.

  17. Judy Sabatini says:

    Totally off topic, but this is for all you gun owners out there.

    Thank you Obama Voters.

    Look what’s on the 2010 tax return.

    Verified true on Snopes at http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/blairholt.asp

    Now ALL GUNS must be listed on your next (2010) tax return!
    Senate Bill SB-2099 will require us to put on our 2009 1040 federal tax form all guns that you have or own.
    It will require fingerprints and a tax of $50 per gun.
    This bill was introduced on February 24, 2009 by the Obama staff. But this bill will only become public knowledge 30 days after the new law becomes effective!
    This is an amendment to the Internal Revenue Act of 1986. This means that the Finance Committee has passed this without the Senate voting on it at all.
    The full text of the IRS amendment is on the U.S. Senate homepage: http://www.senate.gov.
    You can find the bill by doing a search by the bill number SB-2099. You know who to call. I strongly suggest you do. Please send a copy of this e-mail to every gun owner you know.
    Text of H.R.45 as Introduced in House: Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h45/text
    Obama’s Congress is now starting on the firearms confiscation bill. If it passes, gun owners will become criminals if you don’t fully comply.
    It is very important for you to be aware of a new bill HR 45 introduced into the House. This is the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sale Act of 2009.
    Even gun shop owners didn’t know about this because the government is trying to fly it under the radar as a “minor” IRS revision. And as usual, the political lawmakers did not read this bill before signing and approving it!
    To find out about this, go to any government website and type in HR 45 or Goggle HR 45 Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sales Act of 2009. You will get all the information.
    Basically this would make it illegal to own a firearm – any rifle with a clip or any pistol unless:

    · It is registered.

    · You are fingerprinted..

    · You supply a current Driver’s License.

    · You supply your Social Security number.

    · You will submit to a physical & mental evaluation at any time of their choosing.

    Each update change or ownership through private or public sale must be reported and costs $25. Failure to do so you automatically lose the right to own a firearm and are subject up to a year in jail.
    There is a child provision clause on page 16 section 305 stating a child-access provision. Gun must be locked and inaccessible to any child under 18. They would have the right to come and inspect that you are storing your gun safely away from accessibility to children and fine is punishable for up to 5 years in prison.
    If you think this is a joke – go to the website and take your pick of many options to read this. It is long and lengthy. But more and more people are becoming aware of this. Pass the word along. Any hunters in your family pass this along.
    This is just a “termite” approach to complete confiscation of guns and disarming of our society to the point we have no defense – chip away a little here and there until the goal is accomplished before anyone realizes it.
    This is one to act on whether you own a gun or not.

    Please! Copy and send this out to EVERYONE in the USA, whether you support the right to bear arms or are for gun control. WE ALL SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE!
    This is more change you can believe in!

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      For some reason this part didn’t come up with the rest of the above. Hope it will come up.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Sorry, didn’t come yp here either. Guess they don’t want anybody to contact them, so scratch the above what I just put under neath the 2010 tax return.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      Went to senate.gov and did a search for SB-2009. This is the only thing that came up:

      http://www.senate.gov/reference/common/faq/SB2099.shtml

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi Buck, how ya doing? Personally, I think this whole taxing on guns, ammo, and what ever else, is just plain ridiculous anyway. Just more of the same money hungry grabbing, greedy ways to get their hands in your pocket.

      • Buck:

        This is just one of many elaborate hoaxes created this past year.

        I trully do wonder who is behind this stuff. There is alot of similarity among them all so I am thinking a small group or an individual.

        I do wonder what their purpose is as well.

        Has anyone seen anything about these stories that may shed some light?

        JAC

        • Buck The Wala says:

          This is the first I’ve heard about this particular hoax. Curious what are some others you’ve come across?

          • Buck:

            There have been a few posts regarding supposed gun legislation. Usually playing off older legislation or stuff that gets introduced every year but never gets out of committee.

            Gun control has been the biggest bait line used so far.

            Then there was the supposed letter from a friend who lived in Bozeman, MT who sent the letter to another friend who then posted it on the internet. Very elaborate just like the gun ones. That one claimed all kinds of inside stuff about the cost of Mr. Obama’s trip to Bozeman and Yellowstone. Identical letters were circulated but the names of the players in the letter changed.

            The commonality I see is the very elaborate stories surrounding real events or items that make them seem plausible. If you don’t stop and take ten minutes to check it out you wouldn’t know it was a fake.

            Life of Illusion may be onto something. These have all circulated on the internet via forwarded emails. Perhaps it is a data mining effort. Or a set up for future virus infection.

            Anyway. My B.S. detectors have been going off with this stuff. There is a stink about it that goes beyond any simple explanation.

        • I have no info, but suspect its data miners, just gathering personal info.

    • Judy,

      This is a myth that has made the rounds for a few years now. If you go to the senate link it even tells about it. What is not a myth and damn scary, California passed a law requiring ID and fingerprinting to buy ammo. This is gun registration! If you buy 9mm ammo, the state will have a record and is building a database that indicates you own a 9mm.

      And history has shown registration is the first step before confiscation.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi LOI

        I just put it up because someone had sent it to me, and thought maybe someone out there would be interested in it.

        Hope you’re doing good today LOI.

    • Much ado about nothing, read all of the following:

      http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/blairholt.asp

  18. Judy Sabatini says:

    About all this foreign aid going to all these other countries, then it seems it doesn’t go where it’s suppose to go to, but only supplying more terrorist. I have an idea. Why don’t thy keep the money right here in this country, instead of sending it over seas all the time?

    I know there are those countries that might actually use it for the purpose for which it’s intended for, but there are a lot of people in this country that can use it as well. Why not give it to them?

    Looks to me, like the more we give to other countries, the more they thumb their noses at us. I know, it’s been going on for years and years, but where has it really gotten us, or what has it gotten us for that matter?

    Why bother to send aid to them if only the rich fat cats in these countries use it for themselves, but not for what it’s intended for? I always thought that charity began at home. Well this is home to me, and I would like our bureaucrats to help this country first and foremost before helping other countries.

    • My thought, giving “aid” is almost a loose/loose situation. Those in need do not receive much aid, and what they get is short term. So the old saying
      give a man fish vs teach him to fish contains a lot of wisdom. If our aid does not result in them becoming self sufficient, then they become a foreign welfare class.

      • Hi LOI,

        “If our aid does not result in them becoming self sufficient, then they become a foreign welfare class

        That is a very true staement. You have pefectly described Pohnpei in the FSM.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        With all this aid we’re giving to these countries, I thought was it’s suppose to go towards food for them, homes they can build, not mud huts, or is that their form of homes? education, medical needs, clothing and such. Not to line the pockets of their government.

        And to think in all my 58 years, that’s what I thought foreign was. Shows how naive I am, doesn’t it. Just getting tired of our government wasting trillions of dollars sending it to other countries, when it can be put to use right here in this country.

  19. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Hello everyone!

    Not much else to say today for me… see you all tomorrow 🙂

  20. Continuing from Post #1 !

    Having read along today, I have formulated a better opinion on things. Based on this link:

    http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2010/tables/10s1262.pdf

    It shows that the U.S gave over 22 billion dollars to Middle East and North African contries in foreign aid in 2007 alone. While I have no problem helping feed starving people, or giving clean water to same, I asked myself what I could think of that we got in return for our investment. No country would dare invade us, so thats not it, They don’t offer much in trade, except oil in some cases, which ofcourse we pay for (again), so thats not it,,, Oh, I got it, most of the citizens of these countries HATE us.

    Yes, we should get out of their business. Yes, we should demand accountability as to how our money was spent. Yes, we should stop all foreign aid, in the form of our almost worthless money. We can keep our money, lower the deficit, lower taxes, pay farmers to grow food to send to the starving. We can send our people to provide clean water, so we know thats where the money is going. But that is it. If you want to hate us, it will be without our money. 👿

    We need to take care of our own, let the chips fall where they may, what happens in Lybia or any other country is their problem, not ours.

    No more Visas to come into our country, unless you are completely checked out and have a legitimate reason to be here, like business. Go shopping in China, they have the same stuff, cheaper. You want to visit a relative, webcam it, it’s cheaper. We have enough crime in this country without have to worry about some asshole named Mohammad trying to blow up a plane with 300 innocent people on board. I do believe enough is enough. It’s time to draw the damn line and tell them, “NO MORE” 😈

    That is my rant for today!

    G!

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hi G

      Thank you, that’s basically what I’ve been wanting to say, but just couldn’t quite figure how to phrase it. I said the same thing earlier about taking care of this country first. When, I wonder if we’ll ever see that happen here. NAH! Probably not.

      Hope you’re doing well.

      BYW, I answered your E last night.

    • Happy thoughts, happy thoughts,

      FAILING THE MATH TEST

      A ten-year-old Jewish boy was failing math. His parents tried everything from tutors to hypnosis; but to no avail. Finally, at the insistence of a family friend, they decided to enrol their son in a private Catholic school.

      After the first day, the boy’s parents were surprised when he walked in after school with a stern, focused and very determined expression on his face. He went straight past them, right to his room and quietly closed the door.

      For nearly two hours he toiled away in his room – with math books strewn about his desk and the surrounding floor. He emerged long enough to eat, and after quickly cleaning his plate, went straight back to his room, closed the door and worked feverishly at his studies until bedtime.

      This pattern of behaviour continued until it was time for the first quarter’s report card. The boy walked in with it unopened – laid it on the dinner table and went straight to his room. Cautiously, his mother opened it and, to her amazement, she saw a large red ‘A’ under the subject of Math.

      Overjoyed, she and her husband rushed into their son’s room, thrilled at his remarkable progress. “Was it the nuns that did it?” the father asked.

      The boy shook his head and said “No.”

      “Was it the one-to-one tutoring? The peer-mentoring?”

      “No.”

      “The textbooks? The teachers? The curriculum?”

      “No”, said the son. “On that first day, when I walked in the front door and saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I KNEW they meant business!”

    • SISTER SUSAN PILES ON THE POUNDS

      A nun was walking in the convent when one of the priests noticed she was gaining a little weight. “Gaining a little weight are we sister Susan?” he asked.

      “No, Father. Just a little gas,” Sister Susan explained.

      A month or so later the priest noticed that she had gained even more weight. “Gaining some weight are we Sister Susan?” he asked again.

      “Oh no, Father. Just a little gas,” she replied again.

      A couple of months later the priest noticed Sister Susan pushing a baby carriage around the convent. He leaned over and looked in the carriage and said, “Cute little fart.”

    • POPULATING THE EARTH

      After a few days, the Lord called to Adam and said, “It is time for you and Eve to begin the process of populating the earth so I want you to kiss her.”

      Adam answered, “Yes Lord, but what is a kiss?” So the Lord gave a brief description to Adam who took Eve by the hand and took her to a nearby bush.

      A few minutes later, Adam emerged and said, “Thank you Lord, that was enjoyable.”

      And the Lord replied, “Yes Adam, I thought you might enjoy that and now I’d like you to caress Eve.”

      And Adam said, ” ‘What is a ‘caress’? So the Lord again gave Adam a brief description and Adam went behind the bush with Eve.

      Quite a few minutes later, Adam returned, smiling, and said, “‘Lord, that was even better than the kiss.”

      And the Lord said, “‘You’ve done well Adam. And now I want you to make love to Eve.”

      And Adam asked, “What is ‘make love’ Lord?”‘ So the Lord again gave Adam directions and Adam went again to Eve behind the bush, but this time he reappeared in two seconds.

      And Adam said, “Lord, what is a ‘headache’?”

      nite all

  21. Saw a cool T-shirt in an e-mail, so I would like to share. This is for all of you who will be voting in the next election. This should be a sign in your front yard come that time of year : You shoved it down our throats in 2009, now we’re gonna shove it up your ass in 2010! Your Liberal neighbors should just love this! Mine will, because I’m putting up the sign just for spite 👿

    G!

  22. v. Holland says:

    Some additional info.-Interesting reading.

    Why Saudi Arabia should rethink its Yemen strategy

    By Roula Khalaf

    Published: November 19 2009 22:17 | Last updated: November 19 2009 22:17

    Ingram Pinn Illustration

    It was a distinctly un-Saudi affair. The traditionally cautious kingdom, careful to the point where its diplomatic initiatives must be guaranteed to succeed before they are even launched, found itself militarily thrown into the internal conflict in neighbouring Yemen.

    In the past two weeks Saudi warplanes have bombed border positions of Houthi rebels battling the Yemeni government. It marks the sixth round of on-and-off fighting that has erupted since 2004.

    The Saudis have every reason to be fed up with Yemen, a lawless country of 23m people on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula beset by deep poverty and dysfunctional politics that regularly exports its troubles.

    Governments far beyond Yemen’s borders should also be alarmed at the deteriorating security in a country that has long been a breeding ground for the religious extremists of al-Qaeda.

    The rebellion of the Houthis, members of the Zaydi Shia sect that is, however, closer in its practices to a branch of Sunni Islam than to mainstream Shia Islam, is just one of a series of economic and political problems facing the government, including a secessionist movement in the south (north and south Yemen were only united in 1990) and the persistent al-Qaeda presence.

    With population growth among the highest in the world and resources dwindling – Yemen is running out of water as well as oil – it is reasonable to predict worsening instability. Yemen is not Afghanistan or Somalia, but there are real fears among western officials that it is on its way to becoming a failed and regionally destabilising state. Over the past year, Yemen’s accumulating mess has looked threatening for Saudi Arabia: the merger of the Yemeni and Saudi branches of al-Qaeda has provided a new base for Saudi fanatics chased away from the kingdom by a security crackdown.

    How the Saudis, supporters and generous financial backers to the government, became embroiled in a conflict with complex historic, religious and social roots depends on whose version you believe. The Saudis say they have been trying to clean up a long, porous border and push the Houthis away after a rebel infiltration killed a Saudi border guard. The Houthis tell us, through their website, that the Saudis have been in this war for a while, allowing Yemeni troops to use their territory to encircle the rebels.

    There is, however, a potentially more dangerous dimension to this conflict. The Saudis see the Houthis as a tool in the hands of Iran as the Islamic Republic attempts to widen its influence in the region. In official circles, the conflict in Yemen is portrayed as a struggle between a Shia sect and a Sunni-dominated government, not unlike the internal political fight in Lebanon, where Saudi Arabia has long backed a Sunni-led coalition and Iran the Hizbollah-led opposition.

    No doubt it seemed an opportune time to stand up to Iran as the regime has looked vulnerable since the rigging of the June presidential election and its violent aftermath. (If you read the Saudi press at that time you would think the Iranian regime had in fact collapsed.)

    The Saudis and Iranians – the Gulf’s two major powers – have been battling it out through their media for months. Iran has accused Riyadh of involvement in the disappearance of a nuclear scientist and has been enraged by the Saudi move to fingerprint Iranians travelling to Mecca to perform the Haj pilgrimage.

    The Saudi bombing of Houthi positions is adding fuel to the fire. This week, Iran’s joint chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi called Saudi attacks “state terrorism” and Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh accused Iran of “collusion in sin and aggression”. A group of Saudi clerics lambasted Iran for allegedly “financing and arming” agents to spread Shia Islam across Sunni lands.

    The irony is that no one outside the Middle East believes that Iran has much to do with the Houthis. Officials in the west argue that although Iran sympathises with the rebels, there is no evidence of military or financial support.

    Maybe these outsiders are talking nonsense. But maybe Saudi Arabia is allowing its resentment of Iran to cloud its judgment over Yemen. The Houthi rebellion is, above all, a reflection of social, religious and political grievances by a group that feels marginalised and considers that the state has succumbed to radical Sunni Salafi ideology. The Houthis are not moderate – their commander says their “cultural” platform is based on the slogans of “God is Great, Death to America and Death to Israel”. But in an interview with a Lebanese newspaper, he also says that the rebels want an end to discrimination and government military action and not, as is often assumed, the reimposition of a Zaydi state (an imamate that ruled the capital Sana’a until a coup in 1962).

    The even greater irony in this conflict is that Saudi involvement is certain to aggravate the grievances and possibly prolong the fighting. The rising destruction, casualties and displacement of the population have fed the rebellion, widening its territorial scope and winning the rebels thousands of new recruits. “The ultimate travesty is there is no way to militarily solve the problem – you need a humanitarian ceasefire and mediation,” says Christopher Boucek, an associate at the Carnegie Endowment’s Middle East programme. If stability is the aim in Yemen, then, as Bernard Haykel, a professor of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, argues, Saudi Arabia needs a policy that is neither “throwing money” at the problem nor military intervention.

    Back in May, a few months before the latest round of fighting, a sensible report by the International Crisis Group recommended that Yemen use its traditional instruments of co-option and social and religious tolerance to create a more inclusive state, reducing sectarian discrimination and bringing in the Houthis. It called on Gulf states and western governments to exercise their leverage and the promise of reconstruction aid to nudge the government and the rebels towards compromise.

    By the Middle East’s standards of violence, the Yemen conflict is a small war – and so can be easily ignored. But as the ICG warned: “In duration and intensity, destruction, casualties, sectarian stigmatisation and regional dimension, [it] stands apart from other violent episodes in Yemen. It will need more than run-of-the-mill domestic and international efforts to end it.”

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/37415c18-d558-11de-81ee-00144feabdc0.html

    • V.H.

      Another good find.

      One good turn deserves another. So I give you this for some hard thinking. I believe you will find some common themes, although Ms. Chua provides a fresh perspective as to the possible catalysts.

      Warning, its around 55 minutes long. Poor a drink and enjoy.

      JAC

    • V.H.

      Here’s another with same speaker, slightly different but related topic.

      And much shorter.

      • v. Holland says:

        Both were very interesting and you are right-they are causing a lot of hard thought-right at this moment all I can think to say is-why, oh why, do things have to be so complicated. Seems like the easiest answer might be not to play-question is should we or even can we take the easy way.

  23. Judy Sabatini says:

    I put this up on my face book, and the person under the statement is his answer.

    Judy Sabatini When the people fear their government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. –Thomas Jefferson
    5 hours ago · Comment · LikeUnlike
    Lev Tagayev
    Lev Tagayev
    AMERICA is not a man Or a group of men AMERICA in everyone is the feeling someone gets in their heart when the true meaning of freedom is expressed AMERICA is the pureness of the young and the intelligence and knowledge of the old AMERICA is the beauty of a flower. Greed and ignorance can not be tolerated by an AMERICAN, poverty and depression will not be tolerated by an AMERICAN ARE WE TRUE AMERICAS?
    “Think About It” written when I was almost twenty

  24. Home schooling is Child Endangerment.

    Parents arrested for failing to register home-schooled kids

    http://www.cbs6albany.com/news/district-1269895-school-county.html

    • Drunk Bus Driver Takes N.Y. Students On Wild Ride

      http://wcbstv.com/watercooler/drunk.school.bus.2.1406954.html

      But tomorrow these same kids will go to the same school another school bus – and not be declared child endangerment.

    • v. Holland says:

      Ever heard of the book by Hillary Clinton “It Takes a Village”, now I’m not saying that Hillary doesn’t genuinely care about children but I will say the left uses “protecting our children” in the same way that they use racism, as a mechanism of guilt to pass their liberal agenda-so it is obvious why home schooling simply wouldn’t fit in with their plans.

  25. Hello guys, we continue to immersed into constant wars against terrorism because most of us keep looking in the wrong direction, and keep believing the false assertions of authorities. These authorities have their own malevolent agenda called, “Self-Serving-Higher-Causes” and if we believe their false assertions, then they will happily lead us where we should NOT go. I have stopped listening to them, and I have found another way to discover what the truth really is; so far, its right on target >>> http://iranneutronbomb.wordpress.com/ <<<

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