Tuesday Night Open Mic for February 9, 2010

Open Mic night returns once again and this week we have some interesting topics and some conversations that we are continuing from other days. I wanted to discuss the Sarah Palin speech from the other night, but it didn’t warrant an entire article so it is a topic here. Additonally, I was planning on discussing Mathius’ contribution yesterday written from the perspective that liberals are elitist and he wondered aloud what one written from the other side would look like. I have instead decided that I will make that its own article instead of giving it small legs here. I think it will be a good discussion to focus on. That should be Sunday night’s article since there will be a guest commentary this week. For the record, I really liked that last week there were some folks who posted open mic topics of their own. That is more what I envisioned this to be. I provide a few topics to get us started and then others provide the things that they want to talk about.

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Comments

  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    Folks were asking about the Sarah Palin speech at the Tea Party Convention. I had figured I would write an article critiquing her speech in a similar way to the Obama State of the Union speech. But I didn’t find nearly as much that was an outright lie in what she was saying. A lot of comments she made were snarky, but not inaccurate. That being said, there were a few things that she said that I was not especially pleased with.

    One that immediate comes to mind is her comment around Democracy and the fact that Democracies don’t fight each other, they find better ways to solve their problems. First I disagree that they don’t fight with one another. But I really had issue with the way this was presented. Something in her tone insinuated that the entire world should be changed into a Democracy. It showed, in my opinion, a lack of respect for other forms of government. Sure, I believe that we are the best thing going, but I didn’t like that premise. It makes me believe that her ultimate goal as President would be to convert the world to our form of government. Given that I would rather see us respect national sovereignty, I don’t like that sentiment.

    I also wasn’t so keen on her dialogue about national security. She, correctly in my opinion, said that the Obama administration’s defense plans leave us in danger, and that the Christmas bombing luck did not mean that the system worked. But she followed it up with a lot of war talk. It seemed that she is content to go forward with the “we’ll kick your ass” mentality, which as you all know I am against. Defense only. But she and the Republicans seem to have a fight nastier approach while the Dems have a fight nicer approach. Meanwhile no one is asking themselves if we should bring to an end the fighting at all. Don’t bring our soldiers home…. keep them at home.

    I also heard her in several spots talk about how Americans want common sense conservative principles. But I fail, at this point, to understand exactly what common sense conservative values are. Does she mean that we all should be forced to bend to the will of the church the way that she has done? There is the problem in America with being conservative at this point. No one knows what the hell that means.

    Overall, I felt her speech was long on rhetoric but short on substance. There were a lot of shots at Obama and the Democrats, and while they were not really far off base, she failed to present me with any reasoning why her ideas are any better. Realistically, she very rarely shared many ideas at all in terms of improvement. Just abstracts such as, “we need to spend less money.” I felt that her speech was weak. There was no other word for it. She seemed to be campaigning on vague concepts rather than actually addressing issues with solutions.

    Now before I drop the Sarah Palin subject, I do want to note for all those who are stammering on and on about the fact that she looked down at her hand for notes when answering a question. I have two words for you…. Grow up. There is a gigantic difference between a teleprompter feeding you a speech, which I have no issue with, and having three words written down on your hand so that after going astray in discussing an issue you can go back and make sure you hit the three points you wanted to hit. Some of the liberal media acted as though she had instead peered into the depths of hell and received an answer from Mestopheles himself. She looked at her hand once, it had three words on it. Especially bad was the fact that Press Secretary Robert Gibbs made fun of it during his press conference. From John Stewart, OK. From the official voice of the most powerful office in the world, I expect a little more maturity than that. Grow up and get over it.

    Anyway, USW’s grade for the Palin speech….. C- Passing, but barely

    • USW-“But I fail, at this point, to understand exactly what common sense conservative values are. Does she mean that we all should be forced to bend to the will of the church the way that she has done?”

      TC-You know it never ceases to amaze me that the faith that gave birth to tolerance is no longer tolerated.

      • Completely false statement. Where, anywhere in anything that I said, was there an ounce of intolerance for the christian faith? There is no more tolerated religion in America. And I have zero issue with people practicing the christian faith in America. What I have absolutely zero tolerance for is a belief that because you choose God as your direction or guidance, that you for some reason have the right to force others to adhere to what you believe. To make the statements such as she made, which boil down to your political stance should be rooted in the religious teachings of the church, is a clear violation of the principle of separation of church and state, and shows a vast lack of foresight as to what you are condoning government to do to you later. When your religion is no longer the popular one, would you be OK with every candidate standing up there and saying we should be moving forward with Sharia law as the guiding force for the movement?

        • USW,

          What I have absolutely zero tolerance for is a belief that because you choose God as your direction or guidance, that you for some reason have the right to force others to adhere to what you believe.

          If I believe something is wrong, should I not fight against it? If I believe something is right, should I not fight for it? What you call forcing others to adhere to what you believe, I call trying to do what is right. What country does not make laws it believes is right and try to enforce them? Why are my opinions of right and wrong less worthy than yours because mine come from my faith?

          For instance, the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. A sin destroys a person’s soul. Only repentance and sanctification by Jesus Christ can fix the damage. Why should a Christian not try to stop homosexuality if it is harmful to a person? What you call imposing religious values, I call doing what one believes is right.

          A friend of mine thinks smoking should be banned because it is harmful to the body. You certainly can’t accuse him of trying to impose his faith on others, but isn’t it the same basic principle? Trying to protect others from harm you perceive. Can you really say that his is ok, but mine is not?

          If I cannot act on my principles because they come from faith are you not imposing your faith (or lack thereof) on me? I’m so sick of hearing that I can’t fight for something because of my religion, but others have a right to fight for anything because of freedom of speech. I’m pretty sure freedom of religion is given more weight by the founders than freedom of speech.

          And I hate hearing the separation of church and state idea thrown in like it’s a part of the constitution! It’s not! It is an ideal that Jefferson espoused. I’m for it! But if we can’t attempt to make laws based on what we believe is right and wrong because they come from religion, what values can we use?

          The phrase separation of church and state is generally traced to the letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists, in which he referred to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as creating a “wall of separation” between church and state.

          Note: On the homosexuality issue, as I have said before, I think homosexuality is wrong, but I think legislating against it does nothing to stop it. Just get the government out of marriage and there is no longer an issue of gay marriage. How about that for separation of church and state? The best way we can protect people from sin is to be firm in our conviction, but compassionate in our methods. I have gay friends (some who are very close friends) and I am not cruel to them, I just let them know how I feel and what I believe. Thankfully they put up with me and maybe give it some thought.

          Sorry this is so long, but one more important note. I do not espouse making ours a religious government. I have faith in a democratic republic as the best form of government in this world. What I want to point out is that in such a government, all opinions should be given equal weight. If we are going to legislate, let it be doing what is right (stop murder, etc), but we cannot reject opinions based on religion. That is the foundational principle on which our country was built.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            The difference lies in your belief that homosexuality is a sin. That is a fundamentally religious argument. Now you are completely free to speak out against homosexuality and homosexual marriage. But to ban the practice solely because of your own religious beliefs is to impose your religious beliefs on another.

            Taking smoking as your other example – that is not a religious belief. Smoking is harmful. This is scientifically proven. Not only is smoking harmful to the individual choosing to smoke but it is harmful to OTHERS who choose not to smoke. I personally would never seek to ban smoking because that would be me imposing my beliefs (it is a disgusting habit) on you. But I may seek to ban your smoking in a public place. The reason is not because my religion views smoking as evil or I view smoking as disgusting, but because science has proven that your smoking harms me.

            • Buck

              Such a Randian or Anarchist view is dangerous to your long term Left Wing existence.

              Be careful my young friend.
              LOL

              JAC

            • See below.

            • Science has also proven that leading a homosexual lifestyle greatly increases the odds of certain life threatening diseases.Specifically those caused by homosexual practices.It has also proven this leads to greater odds of those diseases being spread into the heterosexual population.So yeah lets use science and a little common sense coupled with natural law and what conclusion does that lead you to in regards to a homosexual lifestyle?

              • Texaschem,

                Science demonstrates the heterosexual intercourse can be fatal too – the “French” disease – aptly named – the spirochetal bacterium.

                Man, woman and unborn child can all be victims.

                If left untreated, it can damage the heart, aorta, brain, eyes, and bones. In some cases these effects can be fatal.

                Ask Al Capone, Napoleon Bonaparte, Paul Gauguin, Henry VIII, Ivan the Terrible, Friedrich Nietzsche (said to have caused his insanity),Vincent van Gogh (his insanity too), Adolf Hitler (and maybe his too).

                I wonder what conclusion does this lead about heterosexuals??

                So, let’s not heap fault on top of innocent people.

                Thousands of gay men are disease free and do not deserve violence.

                Perhaps, one should simply take care of themselves and avoiding painting so broadly blame?

              • Oh cmon’ BF…

                Male homosexual intercourse ranks right up there with intravenous drug usage in terms of risk vs contracting specific blood-borne pathogens. No matter how you try to sugarcoat in regards to your relating heterosexual risk; that still does not change the facts.

              • TexasChem,

                The fact that the massive majority of gay relationships are not biologically toxic invalidates your argument.

                As I suggested, you refuse to take a small minority of heterosexual liaisons and refuse to create an opinion blanketing an entire sub-set of the population with that opinion – yet hold no qualms about doing the exact same thing with another sub-set of the population.

          • JB

            You start out disagreeing then agree in the end. I am confused.

            Obviously everyone’s belief system will affect what they think is right and wrong or good and bad. That includes political viewpoints.

            But the point is that you have no right to impose your value system upon me if my values do not directly impose upon you. Just because you think it is a “sin” does not impose upon you. In fact God will not think any less of you because of my actions. God will judge me, not you or this country. Sin is a very personal matter and needs to remain so and not in the realm of govt.

            To use govt to impose you values on others when their actions have no effect on you is contrary to the concepts on which the United States was founded, individual freedom, liberty and justice for all. And it will lead to your own enslavement by the other side when they get the majority.

            This is not a Christian nation in the context that many want to believe. It is a country formed from a mix of concepts. Those include the judeo/christian, puritan, and secular enlightenment. Those who claim our laws are all founded on the Bible ignore the fact that many of those legal concepts existed in natural law before Christ was even born and in other civilizations that are not christian. They are universally understood to be good and necessary for the well being of humanity.

            Which leads me to this statement: “But if we can’t attempt to make laws based on what we believe is right and wrong because they come from religion, what values can we use?”

            How about those basic values that fit the “don’t impose on others” base concept. Religion is not required to form such concepts and values. Religion may be compatible to those values or it may not, depending on what the religion’s teachings.

            The Gay Marriage issue is a classic. This is totally religious based. I agree govt should get out of the marriage business, but even if gays are married it creates absolutely no imposition on anyone else. It does not change your religeous beliefs and does not ask you to change them. It has no effect on how God is going to judge you.

            USW is not saying the ideas of the religious are to be discounted, nor am I. We are saying don’t impose laws upon me, don’t restrict my freedoms because of your religion when my freedom does not impose upon you.

            The best to you and yours
            JAC

    • Buck the Wala says:

      USW,

      I agree with your overall characterization of the speech – no substance. However, I also think there were plenty of inaccurate and misleading comments made.

      Here’s a rundown by MediaMatters of her speech in terms of national security claims:

      http://mediamatters.org/research/201002070017

      Hope you aren’t snowed in today!

      –Buck

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Also how is it, specificically, that Obama’s defense plans have left us in greater danger? Not quite sure how it is that you are characterizing (by way of agreeing with Palin’s characterization) Obama’s policies as leaving us more vulnerable to attack and thus in greater danger.

        Under Obama: more troops have been sent to Afghanistan, more airstrikes have been carried out, and more terrorists have been killed in the past year than in the last year of Bush’s presidency.

        Frankly I’m a bit surprised you would throw this out there without any additional facts/opinions on your part as to why it is that you believe we are in greater danger now than a year ago. Was hoping you would elaborate a bit on this.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Obama’s defense plans have not left us in greater or graver danger. In fact, our foreign policy initiatives, which I addressed in a posting yesterday to the thread two days prior, demonstrate an even more aggressive in engagement and initiatives – and not of the type in throwing out dumb rhetoric about invading other countries.

          • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

            Ray,

            The curse I suffer from is that I don’t forget things. There were at least two occasions where I believe that candidate Obama called for taking the war to the terrorists. In those statements he specifically mentioned Pakistan. I also believe there was one post election call for the same thing. Last time I looked it was a country.

            Now, we have launched drones and have bombed there and not in the “hot pursuit” condoned by some international laws. This of course is making friends and influencing people the Obama way.

            I cannot and will not support Sara Palin for a variety of reasons but I also will not accuse her of advocating things that the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. has done and has been given a pass on (as usual).

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              But SK – are you claiming Pakistan has zero knowledge we had “advisers” there in the tribal regions? Far different from an invasion sir.

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                When you are messing with another country and are killing its nationals, are you saying that will win hearts and minds if it is done with the tacit collusion of a bunch of tin horn dictators?.

                Seems to me we had a pass with the Shah in Iran and he did our bidding on a number of things and it was a proximate cause of his unscheduled departure. Some might even say that the current mess throughout Southwest Asia dates back to that.

                Besides what does your comment have to do with Pres and Candidate Obama’s desire to invade another country?

                Are you trying to shape shift me here?

                What if Governor Arnold decides to look the other way while Canada sends drones to deal with the Crips, Bloods and MS13? Is that ok with you?

        • Ray and Buck

          But wasn’t it just a couple of years ago that the Dems said this “aggression” overseas was creating a “less safe” environment?

          I know that is not what Palin was getting at but I love the hypocrisy by the Dems on this one. At least the far left is consistent. They are pissed that Obama hasn’t ended the whole thing.

          By the way guys. Media matters little snips at Palin’s speech are equally full of it. Look closely at how they try to take a piece, change the context, and then apply to more generalized statements. I also get a kick out of how they rely and accept completely what the govt tells them as truth if it fits their “the conservatives are liers” mantra.

          It was a political campaign style speech. Not policy and no details. That was obvious and should be taken as such. I provided my view of her performance the other day. She has revealed herself as just another statist conservative politcian in my opinion. She has time to recover her “independent” status but I don’t think that is who SHE is. She IS a Republican and she IS a modern conservative.

          Which USW is correct in being concerned about. The Dems and the modern Conservatives both seem to think the USA should actively spread democracy around the world. They only seem to differ on which countries are to be a higher priority.

          One special note to Ray. The dumb rhetoric you reference regarding hard line was really only offensive to the far left. Even around the world, most folks didn’t get their tail tied in a knot over it. It is the reality of our actions that are being judged.

          Hope you fellas are havin a good day.
          JAC

          • Buck the Wala says:

            “But wasn’t it just a couple of years ago that the Dems said this “aggression” overseas was creating a “less safe” environment?”

            The issue I had with Bush’s foreign policy stemmed from his switching the focus from Afghanistan to Iraq. It stemmed from his refusing to work with other countries. It stemmed from his rhetoric (us vs. them — any criticism of his policies is un-American). It stemmed from his utter lack of diplomacy.

            • Buck

              “any criticism of his policies is un-American”

              Would that be the same un-American that Mr. Obama’s staff folks played the other day when stating that criticism of the president was playing into the hands of our enemies?

              The “us vs them” comment would not have been bad in itself Buck. That is partly my point. The left had a cow over it but that was not the problem. Given the time and context it was a perfect statement.

              It went to hell in the execution. If it means you stand with freedom or against, if you harbor our enemies you are our enemy then fine. That was clearly the intent when it was offered. But in the execution it turned out to mean WE will decide what WE want to do and then if you don’t like it you are against us.

              A little truth in telling here Buck. Bush did not refuse to work with other countries. That is a flat propoganda talking point of the Dems during the first two years.

              There was not an utter lack of diplomacy. Again a talking point.

              What there was, was a significant difference in philosophies about how to deal with the rogues and what to do once many nations begged out of the Iraq invasion. And by the way, many of these countries supported our invasion behind the scenes. They just didn’t want to be seen supporting it in public.

              All is not as you think it was in those years.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I never said I had no criticism for Obama’s policies or some of his rhetoric. But to argue that Obama’s policies have made this country less safe is patently false and misleading.

                You can pick apart my statements regarding Bush, but overall (and yes, this is an oversimplified generalization) I do see more of a return to the type of diplomacy that was largely absent in my view under Bush.

                Leaving these issues aside for a moment though, do you honestly believe that Obama has made this country more vulnerable to attack? If so, how?

              • U.S. torn over whether some Islamists offer insight or pose threat12:00 AM CST on Sunday, February 7, 2010
                By BROOKS EGERTON / The Dallas Morning News
                begerton@dallasnews.com

                http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/DN-NUsafi_07pro.ART1.State.Edition2.4be96ce.html

                After the worst military base massacre in U.S. history, officials acknowledged that they failed to “connect the dots” – the shooter had been corresponding with an imam tied to al-Qaeda and had condemned the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a war against Islam.

                But Fort Hood gunman Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan wasn’t the only one working on a Texas Army base the day of the shooting who had links to radical Islamists.

                At Fort Bliss, an experienced military trainer was teaching soldiers about his Muslim faith. He, too, had denounced government counterterrorism efforts, and public records show he and some of his closest associates had ties to terrorism suspects.

                But when The Dallas Morning News first inquired about the instructor, Louay Safi, military officials praised him. Only later did they say that Safi had been suspended from working on military bases pending a continuing criminal inquiry.

                The Safi affair reveals the deep divisions within the U.S. government over how to combat terrorism and over what constitutes moderate Islam.

                Some believe insight into Islamist thinking can be gained only by engaging a wide range of people in North America’s close-knit Muslim community, where leaders may well have ties to extremists – ties that do not necessarily signal alliances or support. Others argue that engagement should be limited or shunned to avoid legitimizing radicals or embarrassing the government.

                Safi is a senior official of the Islamic Society of North America, the country’s largest Muslim organization. ISNA has been consulted for years by Washington and is described as a partner in the fight against terrorism. In addition to serving as ISNA’s communications director, Safi runs its program certifying Muslim chaplains for work in the U.S. military and prison system. He publicly denounces terrorism and advocates peace.

                Safi was also named by government prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in one terrorism case in 2005. His last two employers were implicated in other government terrorism investigations while he worked for them. He was never charged, nor included among the targets of those investigations.

                But Safi has called the widespread raids on Muslim organizations after 9/11 “a campaign against Islam” – a term that 9/11 Commission director Philip Zelikow says is part of “the jihadi narrative.”

                Safi has also complained that Muslims are treated differently from Christians and Jews when they do wrong. They are unfairly identified by and questioned about their religion, he says, treatment that can lead to isolation and aggression.

                “The extremist ideology responsible for violent outbursts is often rooted in the systematic demonization of marginalized groups,” Safi said in an Internet posting after the Fort Hood shooting.

                Some view Safi’s rhetoric as incendiary.

                Zuhdi Jasser is a Navy veteran who founded the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and has spoken publicly about the dangers of politicizing Islam. He said Safi’s “separatist mindset of the world against Muslims” is the “mindset that created Hasan.”

                Safi would not answer most questions from The News. But in a brief interview, he said the legal assaults on him and his associates even as Washington sought their advice represented the government’s divided approach to Islam.

                “There are those who are prejudiced and would like to deny Muslims their rightful place in this country,” Safi said, “and there are people who are more open-minded. It’s as simple as that.”

                Safi’s case, however, is anything but simple. It illustrates not only the divisions in dealing with Islam but also the difficulty in knowing which dots to connect.

                “You have a schizophrenic government and a schizophrenic institution,” Zelikow said, referring to ISNA. “The schizophrenia cuts right into how the government views the whole Fort Hood affair. We don’t know whether to treat him [Hasan] as part of an international conspiracy or as a lone wolf who happened to have gotten solace from a radical imam.”

                Lectures suspended
                Safi, a 54-year-old native of Syria, is a military subcontractor who has lectured on Islam for the Army since 2005. His relationship with the Pentagon began a year earlier, when he became ISNA’s leadership development director, providing Muslim chaplains the religious endorsement they need to work in the military and prison system.

                He is one of seven lecturers in the Army’s Islamic education program, overseen by the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. Much of the work is contracted out to Huntsville, Ala.-based Camber Corp., the privately held firm that hired Safi.

                The training on Islam is part of a broader military educational program for which Camber is paid about $17.7 million annually, Navy Commander Brenda Malone said. Camber spokeswoman Rivka Tadjer declined to comment, citing instruction from the military.

                One lecturer not affiliated with Camber who has worked alongside Safi is Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., and a staunch ally of Israel.

                Safi’s presentations stick to religious theory and do little to prepare deploying soldiers for how extremists exploit Islam, said Rubin, an Iran expert who also lectures at the naval school. “There’s an element of excusing rather than explaining,” Rubin told The News.

                Military officials would not identify the five other trainers. They said federal privacy law forbids naming the subcontractors without their consent, which they did not give.

                One trainer who has previously identified himself publicly is Yahya Hendi, a chaplain at the National Naval Medical Center near Washington. He serves with Safi on ISNA’s chaplaincy board and sits on the ISNA-affiliated Fiqh Council of North America, which issues Islamic legal decrees. He did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.

                Investigators came across Safi at least 15 years ago during a government investigation into terrorism financing. Later, after he began working at ISNA, the group was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the prosecution of Richardson-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. It was the government’s largest terrorism financing case and ended in 2008 with convictions against senior Holy Land leaders.

                Yet U.S. military leaders seemed unconcerned when first questioned about Safi.

                “He has not been the subject of any indictment,” Fort Hood spokesman Tyler Broadway told The News in a Dec. 9 e-mail. “His presentations have always [met] the high standards expected.”

                In January, military officials told the newspaper that Safi was under investigation and that his lectures had been suspended. The investigation, begun by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, was recently referred to the Army, said Ed Buice, an NCIS spokesman. He would not elaborate, but other military officials said the inquiry began after a Dec. 3 complaint about ISNA. The complaint came in as Safi concluded three days of lectures at Fort Hood, which is still traumatized by the Nov. 5 massacre.

                Thirteen members of Congress, all conservative Republicans, wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Dec. 17 asking him to halt military base lectures by anyone affiliated with ISNA. Gates did not respond, said Rep. Sue Myrick of North Carolina.

                Myrick, who founded the congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, co-signed a similar letter during the Bush administration, asking the Justice Department not to co-sponsor an ISNA event. There was no response then, either.

                “We never get an explanation for the strategy,” she said. “They just ignore us.”

                Even counterterrorism experts differ on what the government’s strategy should be and how much nuance is necessary for success.

                Paul Pillar, a retired CIA expert on terrorism and the Middle East, said The News’ findings illustrate “how hard it is to come up with some person or organization that is Muslim in North America that does not have some kind of associations or links that when we looked into them we’d say, ‘Oops, that gives us pause.’ ”

                Not everyone with such associations is “unsavory,” Pillar stressed. He said he was unfamiliar with Safi and ISNA.

                Christopher Hamilton, a former FBI counterterrorism expert who oversaw intelligence-gathering on Palestinian and state-sponsored terrorism matters, advocates limited engagement.

                “You can’t not have contact with them,” he said of ISNA, but “keep them at arm’s length.” Do not involve them in military and law-enforcement training, he added.

                The Pentagon has acknowledged that not enough attention was paid to the warning signs evidenced by Hasan’s rhetoric and connections before the shooting. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is accused of murdering 13 people and is awaiting a military trial.

                “It is clear that as a department we have not done enough to adapt to the evolving internal security threat,” the defense secretary said Jan. 15 in presenting an investigative report on the Fort Hood violence.

                The report did not examine policies concerning contractors, but its authors said, “We strongly recommend that they be addressed in a future review.” They also warned that military standards for those who certify chaplains may be too lax and allow “improper influence by individuals with a propensity toward violence.”

                Defense officials would not say whether the recommendation and warning related to Safi and ISNA. They were not named in the “Lessons from Fort Hood” report.

                The raids
                Safi came to law enforcement’s attention in 1995 when he telephoned Sami al-Arian, a terrorism suspect who was teaching computer science at the University of South Florida. At the time, Safi was a political science professor at an Islamic university in Malaysia, according to his resume.

                Federal agents listened in as the two men mocked a broad terrorist-financing ban that President Bill Clinton had just announced. A partially redacted transcript of their wiretapped phone conversation, included in court records, also shows them agreeing that Jews controlled the U.S. government.

                “My brother, it is a war, a war waged by the Zionists,” al-Arian said, according to the transcript. “They are controlling the White House and the State Department.”

                Clinton “just wants to please them,” Safi responded. “Nobody understands these things in America.”

                In 2003, the Justice Department formally accused al-Arian, a Kuwait-born Palestinian, of financially supporting a Palestinian terrorist group. Two years later, jurors acquitted him on eight charges but couldn’t reach a verdict on nine others. In a subsequent deal with prosecutors, al-Arian pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiring to support a terrorist group and was sentenced to nearly five years in prison.

                Safi was named an unindicted co-conspirator during al-Arian’s trial. Nothing in the public record beyond the intercepted call links him to the al-Arian case.

                Prosecutors use the unindicted co-conspirator designation for several reasons, including cases in which there is insufficient evidence to convict. The label also allows prosecutors to introduce evidence that would otherwise be blocked by rules against hearsay. Those rules don’t apply to statements made by co-conspirators.

                Civil libertarians complain that the practice is abusive because the named person isn’t allowed a defense.

                Safi agreed, in a recent Internet posting that protested ISNA’s designation as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case.

                “The ‘unindicted coconspirator’ designation has been exploited by Muslim bashers,” Safi wrote, “with the hope that this cheap and abusive tactic would frighten the public.”

                Safi left Malaysia and moved in the late 1990s to the Washington area, where he became research director at the International Institute of Islamic Thought. It, like his previous employer, says it seeks to achieve the “Islamization of knowledge.”

                In early 2002, federal agents investigating terrorism-financing allegations raided the institute and dozens of related businesses, tax-exempt groups and individuals’ homes in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington. A former ISNA leader targeted in the raids was later convicted on a terrorism-related charge and imprisoned.

                Court records show that the institute had funded alleged front groups formed by al-Arian, and that a man who had run one of those groups worked with Safi at the institute. Al-Arian has since been released from prison but still faces criminal contempt charges for refusing to testify about the institute before a grand jury.

                About a month after the raids, the head imam of one of the most prominent mosques in the United States quit. Anwar al-Awlaki had been repeatedly questioned by the FBI about his ties to some of the 9/11 hijackers, who had attended his Dar al-Hijrah mosque in northern Virginia. The mosque is owned by an ISNA-related trust, and ISNA leaders have served on its board of directors. But the U.S.-born imam was never charged with a crime and later moved to his parents’ native Yemen.

                In late 2008, a top U.S. official called al-Awlaki an “example of al-Qaeda reach” into the United States. Two months later, the Fort Hood gunman began corresponding with the imam. The FBI intercepted their e-mails but decided they were harmless.

                Al-Awlaki and other al-Qaeda operatives were targeted by Yemeni airstrikes on Dec. 24, and he is suspected of aiding the Dec. 25 airline-bombing attempt near Detroit.

                Zelikow, the 9/11 Commission director, told The News that al-Awlaki was one of the “biggest loose threads” of the 9/11 investigation.

                ‘Grand Jihad’
                ISNA, which Safi joined in 2004, is based in the Indianapolis suburb of Plainfield. It grew out of a Muslim student organization that formed in Illinois nearly half a century ago.

                Over the years, it has affiliated with several other groups. ISNA’s Web site lists the North American Islamic Trust, which claims to hold title to about 300 mosques and schools, as a “constituent organization.”

                Court records show ISNA sent large sums of money to the Holy Land Foundation, which supported the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The transactions occurred in the late 1980s and were legal – it wasn’t until 1995 that the U.S. designated Hamas a terrorist organization for its sponsorship of suicide bombings against Israel.

                Holy Land continued to aid Hamas, leading prosecutors to file terrorism-related charges against foundation officials. Prosecutors put ISNA on a long list of unindicted co-conspirators, contending it was among groups that “are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood.”

                The Brotherhood aimed to take over the United States, according to a document from the group used as evidence in the Holy Land trial.

                Brotherhood members “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” and they “must possess a mastery of the art of ‘coalitions,’ the art of ‘absorption’ and the principles of ‘cooperation,’ ” the 1991 document said.

                Hamilton, the former FBI counterterrorism expert, said that document reflects ISNA’s current thinking. “They’re trying to portray themselves as moderate in the West when they are not,” Hamilton said, referring to ISNA and several other large Muslim groups. “Too often we’re finding people connected to them doing bad things.”

                “You can’t prove they’re bad guys,” he added. “Morally they are culpable.”

                It’s unclear whether the brotherhood is active today in the United States, but it remains a potent force in Muslim-majority countries. Its leaders, based in Egypt, describe themselves as nonviolent, pro-democracy moderates.

                ISNA has fought in court, unsuccessfully, to have its name removed from the unindicted co-conspirators list, arguing that the designation violates its constitutional rights.

                Kathy Colvin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Dallas, would not say whether the government believed ISNA was still active in the brotherhood. Nor would she answer any other questions about the co-conspirators list.

                Safi has described the 1991 document as a “fantasy” that his organization does not share.

                “ISNA is not now nor has it ever been subject to the control of any other domestic or international organizations including the Muslim Brotherhood,” says a 2007 statement posted on the organization’s Web site. “ISNA was founded by Muslims in North America for the purpose of establishing an open, pluralistic platform for presenting Islam, supporting Muslim communities, developing educational, social and outreach programs and fostering good relations with other religious communities, civic and service organizations and all levels of government.”

                Close contacts
                For years, ISNA has enjoyed a mostly close relationship with the federal government, including the departments of Justice, State, Defense and Homeland Security.

                In 2005, ISNA helped the U.S. Embassy in Belgium organize a meeting between Muslims there and in America. Tom Korologos, then U.S. ambassador to Belgium, said some government officials balked at dealing with ISNA but failed to show him concrete reasons why the collaboration should not occur.

                “Somebody’s got to talk to them,” he told The News, citing the organization’s size and prominence. “I’d do it again.”

                Korologos, testifying before a Senate panel in 2006, acknowledged that “some of the organizations whose members participated in the conference have been accused of being extremist.” He said they were chosen based on their “stated policies and specific actions” regarding Muslim integration into Western societies.

                ISNA’s 2006 national convention featured an address by Gordon England, then the Pentagon’s No. 2 official, who called terrorism “the fundamental challenge of our time.” He urged organization members “to be even more active in reaching out to others and sharing your values, beliefs and experiences,” adding, “America wants you to be more involved.”

                The Justice Department, shortly after making the Holy Land co-conspirators list public in 2007, organized an event that was to feature Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and an ISNA board member. The event was canceled for reasons that remain unclear.

                Also in 2007, an expert on Islamist ideology working on contract for the Pentagon repeatedly warned that the U.S. risked undermining its anti-extremist efforts by working with ISNA and similar organizations. “Despite a track record of self-serving denials with regard to extremism, ISNA continues to function as an important component of the Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood global network,” analyst Stephen Coughlin wrote.

                He named Safi as one example of the “numerous” connections between ISNA and the International Institute of Islamic Thought, the Virginia group raided in 2002, and he alleged that the institute was also a Muslim Brotherhood entity.

                Coughlin’s warnings created controversy in the Defense Department, and the analyst now works at a Washington think tank. He did not respond to requests for an interview.

                High-level contacts with ISNA have continued under President Barack Obama. ISNA president Ingrid Mattson spoke at his inaugural prayer service in January. Valerie Jarrett, a senior Obama adviser, was a featured speaker in July at the group’s national convention in Washington, which thousands attended.

                “We share common values,” Jarrett told the audience, and “we also share common dreams – for security, progress and opportunity.”

                One convention panelist was Warith-Deen Umar, a former prison chaplain with a history of extremist rhetoric. He advocated “more jihad,” blamed Jews for the Holocaust and said Israelis “have control of the world.”

                Safi responded in a news release that condemned anti-Semitism, said nothing about the “jihad” remark and did not apologize for ISNA’s invitation to Umar.

                The speaker’s proposal “described a completely different content than what reportedly transpired,” Safi wrote. “The title of the speaker’s presentation was ‘Jews for Salaam [Peace],’ and the presentation was described as a ‘… blue print for world peace. Christians, Jews and Muslims have common roots; focuses on the unique position Jewish people are in to move the world toward peace.’ ”

                Umar’s title is the same one he used for a 2008 book in which he traced Jews’ problems to their failure to convert when Islam emerged in Arabia more than 1,400 years ago.

                Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, also spoke at the convention. He said it should be remembered for its extensive outreach to Jews, not Umar’s “repulsive” remarks.

                “I’ve only had the most positive experience with ISNA,” Schneier said.

                He did not know Safi, Schneier said, nor was he familiar with his and ISNA’s past ties to terrorism suspects. “That’s not the ISNA I see today,” the rabbi said. “Institutions evolve.”

                Victim fundraiser
                Three days after the Fort Hood massacre, Safi announced that ISNA was launching the Fort Hood Family Fund. “Mosques throughout the country are expected to join fellow Americans in contributing to help the families of the victims,” his news release said.

                A fund Web site said the initial goal was “to raise $100,000 for immediate relief,” with further amounts invested in a mutual fund. ISNA promised “to maintain full transparency to ensure that your donated dollar gets to its intended destination.”

                About $55,000 had been collected by early December, Safi told The News.

                When he went to Fort Hood at the beginning of that month to train officers, Safi took a $10,000 check to the Association of the U.S. Army. Ron Taylor, president of the military-support charity’s regional chapter, said he was grateful for the donation.

                Safi called him about a week later and promised $100,000 more after learning that The News was asking questions about the money, Taylor added. He said recently that the pledge had not materialized.

                Taylor admitted to wondering what was going on. And he recalled how Safi described Hasan to him – not as a religiously motivated extremist who planned to kill soldiers but as “someone who just lost it that particular day and did some bad things.”

              • Buck

                “do you honestly believe that Obama has made this country more vulnerable to attack? If so, how?”

                Short term, NO. I am guessing his Admin has continued implementing the Bush Admins plans for the most part and are plugging holes where they find them. That is if the professionals are left to do their jobs. And with this bunch that is a BIG IF.

                Medium term, YES. I think the ramp up in Afghanistan and Pakistan may well come back to bite us big time. But this will depend on how the Palestinian issue is resolved.

                I do not see the issue of crime vs war on terrorist acts as weakening us. I HATE this issue from the Conservatives. I do think there are legit legal issues not resolved relative to the status of these “terrorists”. Are we at war or are we not? If we are would someone please tell me who we are at war with and who we are not.

                Now long term, maybe. I think this Admin. is dancing a dangerous dance in public. I am guessing the private dance may not be as bad but not sure. There is a danger if the U.S. appears weak or, worse, confused internationally. I don’t mean militarily but weak in our position and resolve regarding certain values and principles.

                Mixed messages are the biggest threat. This lies at the root of Saddam’s behavior which got him killed. Years of mixed messages and then comes along a guy who did what he said he would do but nobody else would. OOPS!! (not judging good or bad on the action, just how it plays on the world stage).

                I wasn’t trying to pick apart YOUR statements. They just happened to coincide with the general left wing talking points so I used them as examples.

                JAC

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                Above I said it and I say it again here, Obama’s policies vis a vis Pakistan have made us less safe. If you have any doubts, ask a Pakistani.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                SK – tricky you are – one of my best friends is a Pakistani – his wife is there now visiting family. Your viewpoint is not as shared as you may think.

                😉

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                I guess they must hang out in different circles than the Pakistani contractors I know in NYC..

                They love the uS but think we have no business there.

        • Good question Buck,

          Note that I said it was my opinion. Obama has continued the long tradition of bombing and striking where he sees it necessary (whether it is militarily necessary or politically necessary is an important distinction though). Where I believe he has fallen down is in treating the enemy combatants like common criminals. The xmas day bomber was read miranda rights and immediately clammed up. I am not in the mindset of send everyone to Gitmo and torture them, but I think to treat them as a civilian criminal is a mistake and will lead to less information being garnered from those captured. The whole NY trials thing is an example of how it becomes a political football rather than an investigation focused on securing the country.

          Additionally, I think he has portrayed our country in a way that makes us appear weak. The fundamentalist muslims who want to do us harm sure do love hearing that our leader sees theirs as a religion of peace. Further, I think they are under the belief that he will not retaliate against them in a substantial way.

          You can go completely on the offense, such as Bush did, or you can go completely defensive, as I have espoused, and either way is an effective strategy. What is not effective is waffling in the middle, which is what I think Obama is doing. He needs to set a clear path for foreign relations, and further needs to set a clear path for how our military will be used going forward. Then stick to it.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Yes, Obama has continued the “long tradition of bombing and striking where he sees it necessary” but he has also continued another long tradition — arresting and prosecuting terrorists such as the Xmas Day bomber in our courts.

            It is simply untrue that the xmas day bomber was immediately read his rights and clammed up. All reports indicate that we obtained valuable information from him even AFTER reading him his rights – he has been cooperative with authorities, answered questions and provided certain information.

            Terrorism is a crime. When committed in the US, it is a crime committed on American soil and thus subject to the jurisdiction of our courts. Part of the problem with Bush’s approach (and with Obama to the extent that he has continued down the same path) is his labelling of those captured as enemy combatants, throwing them in secret prisons and torturing them. A lot of the ‘war on terror’ requires winning hearts and minds – it is not possible to achieve ‘victory’ (whatever that means in this ‘war’) through the military alone, but also requires diplomacy, education, etc.

            For this reason I don’t believe Obama has been making our country look weak. I think it speaks to our strength that Obama is able to speak to the world, acknowledge mistakes made, acknowledge that Islam is a peaceful religion (the version touted by Al Qaeda is a perverse militant version of the religion used effectively by Al Qaeda to achieve their own ends). In other words, to me, this is not an indication of trying to have it both ways, of waffling down the middle. Rather, it is a sign of strength.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Agree 1000% with Buck – I am fed up with this lie that Abdulmutallab zipped it all up after being read his rights – every report has stated the same – he has provided useful and valuable intelligence before and after the Mirandizing. Perpetuating this lie just serves a misguided agenda – there have been ample missteps in this administration. This is NOT one of them.

              • You and Buck are 100% entitled to your opinion. I have mine and I laid out my reasoning. I hold no ill will that you are in disagreement. It was a minor point in my overall review. I was more interested in giving my thoughts on Palin’s presentation and her lack of details.

                USW

            • Buck and Ray

              Lets ALL be honest on this Christmas bomber thing.

              A supposedly official report was released a few weeks or so ago that clearly stated the guy started talking but said little of importance and then clammed up with legal advice. It was time to deal for plea bargaining was the story.

              He recently started talking again with more important stuff. Making me wonder, what the deal was if any.

              So why did the official report change from He didn’t have much to say initially to he gave us actionable intelligence soon after arriving at the hospital.

              I smell skunk, I smell skunk. Two stories, two alternate realities. Somebody aint tellin the truth.

              • As the story goes, he clammed up after being read rights at 50 minutes. The approval came from Holder.

                He started talking again (per the Adm. – always questionable these days), after his family arrived and encouraged him to talk.

    • Palin is the front runner for the Reps.

      She can say the moon is made of cheese – and it wouldn’t make a dent in her taking over.

      She is not in control. She is a puppet. She will not be voted in or out by anything she says or does.

      The Elite are using her as a piece of cardboard as a replacement for Obama should his cardboard get limpy in the economic hurricane.

    • I think her speech did exactly what is was meant to do-rally the masses and to build steam for the Tea Party movement. I think most of us here agree with the movement itself. She wasn’t out there to put an agenda on the table for her presidency.

      USW: I think it may help if you think of it as common sense instead of common sense conservatism. I’m with you that no one can define conservatism. I’m no where near as bright as a lot of you guys here but whatever conservatism is any more is better than socialism. We’ll get further if we just focus on common sense and stop parsing every word. I know, I know–slippery slope–yeah,yeah..it all comes back to common sense. Getting the govt out of the way and cutting spending-two big points in the speech are common sense.

      We may be tiring of her same old talking points and she has probably been getting too much airtime but her message is still strong.

      Fire away but its my turn to shovel for a while.

      • Hi Anita,

        I think you’re as smart as anyone here. Its a matter of possessing information and reflecting on it, which, BTW, I feel you do. Just my thoughts this early AM….

      • Anita

        Yep, you are a true dummy. Dumb like a fox……..heh, heh, heh!

        I have one more thing to add to the Palin speech.

        I think my biggest disappointment was that she gave a basic campaign style speech attacking the administration.

        I was hoping for more focus on the general tea party theme of its time for a major ovehaul and we need to restore our liberty. It could have been a great call to arms.

        I noticed she seemed a little disjointed during the speech. So I am wondering, outloud, if the publicity around the “division” in the tea party leaders caused her to change her original speech. The result was an old campaign speech with some new stuff worked in at the last minute. Just pure speculation on my part.

        Best of the best to you and yours.
        Remember to bend your knees and use your legs to throw that snow.
        It will save your lower back.

        Big hugs and hot chocolate
        JAC

    • Ellen Spalding says:

      Good Morning All

      I did watch Palin this weekend. Here is what I got out of the speech.
      1) I already know what I dont like about present politicans, I really dont need you telling me what is wrong. I didnt see any real facts about what she thinks she is capable of doing to change the current direction

      2) I happy that you have your beliefs but I do not want you making policy based on those beliefs.
      3) respect for the military is great. But that means you have respect enough not to have them fighting in ever ending wars with little breaks between deployments.

      All around I was not that impressed by her speech. I felt like it was same typical speech with little substance in it. It is easy to tell people that the current people are doing it wrong, but telling people how you would actually do thing different is the hard part.

      Ellen

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      I’d mostly agree with USW and Buck on her speech. If anything, this whole affair shows how fractured the Tea movement is – something I warned of months ago and has unfortunately appeared to come true. Palin didn’t offer anything new or Earth-shattering, or for the most part even true – just more empty rhetoric egged on by folks who shelled out hundreds and hundreds of dollars to feel more grass roots – the same folks who cheer on a colossal asshole like Tom Tancredo and his hateful ignorant commentary. Going forward, I’m happy to see Palin associated with this crowd – it almost guarantees that it will not be successful.

      On the subject of Sarah’s crib notes…..

      On a serious note – I would hope that the “Palin ’12” gang would at least cringe a little at this. Not sure I can even fathom a POTUS who is so astonishingly incompetent in extemporaneous speaking needing to do a quick glance at the hand for a quick reminder of talking points. How does that play out when conversing with other world leaders? I don’t even harangue so much on that – I think its funny – but when I watch her in friendly confines with folks like Wallace or Beck and she squirms at simple questions – it doesn’t make questions like “what do you read” seem so overtly partisan or as some kind of trap now does it?

      On a not so serious note – Sarah could easily use other parts of her body to help ensure that she has ready made access to crib notes and key phrases like ‘drill baby drill’, “joe something-or-other”, “hockey moms’, “real Americans”, God this, God that”, “lipstick on a pig”, “hope-y”, “change-y”, “moose huntin”, “first dude”, and so on. Think about it – she has the other hand, the tops of both feet, hell – so many conservative goo goo eyes gaga’d over her; the voluptuous pretty one; she could crib note the upper slope of each boob – with the right fitting blouse she could write half a speech there!

      • You know Ray, you’ve pretty well convinced me to vote for Sarah Palin. Just to spite you. I’ve pretty well decided that voting is a waste of time anyway, but if I can use it for something, why not. Keep up the good work.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @Cyndi – if it makes you feel more irresponsible to do so then go for it – it is your choice who to vote for. 😉

          • You’re slippin’ Ray. You didn’t call me a racist!

            😛

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              @Cyndi – do you agree with Tancredo’s statements regarding administering tests for voting?

              Wondering if islanders such as yourself feel like you’re missing out on all the shoveling many of the rest of us are doing. Can’t imagine Dyess or Bucholz sees much snow. This sucks!

              • We’re all quite glad we’re missing out on Climate Change/Warming. NO ONE here, BTW, is fussed about alleged rising sea levels. Its crying wolf kind of thing. We don’t see snow, but the winds really kick up the sand. I got nailed pretty good yesterday on the ride home.

                I vaguely remember Tancredo, or someone, mentioning voting requirements. I’m all for it. I don’t pay federal income taxes. If EVERYONE who voted was required to pay taxes before they were allowed to vote, I’d be okay with that. I’d gladly trade my vote for ensuring that only people with skin in the game have a say in it. If you want to vote, you’d better make your contribution. Otherwise, you take what you get. Also, I think requiring people to have a basic knowledge about government, speaking and reading English should be a requirement.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                The Tancredo reference – during his speech (and I wish I could find full text or full video) he referenced that Obama won the election because we lack a “civics, literacy test”. To be factual, the Voting Rights Act outlaws this. What has many up in arms (from left AND right) is that he would call for such a thing in the first place. This Country has a long history in such tests being used deliberately to prevent minorities from being able to vote – any call for any test would seem horribly misguided and at least insensitive to where we came from to where we are now with respect to voting rights.

                Thoughts on that Cyndi?

              • Minorities will no longer have that problem. They have full access to everything they need to become informed and literate ciitzens who make a contribution. If they can’t be bothered to do that, than they should find another country to live in. I believe you personally can help them do that by posting the same link you provided to me when you told me that if I didn’t like what your president was doing, I should find another home. It works both ways.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @Cyndi – so much for meaningful dialogue I guess.

                I was actually hoping you would dissect Tancredo’s comments a bit more and place some context around voting tests given how, not more than 50 years ago, they were used in such a negative fashion.

                I postulate that there is no such test that will meets any sniff test for appropriateness, reliability and adequacy. Its the same reason I think SAT tests should be thrown out – especially, especially if you think education should be local versus a top-down driven agenda (I would think you and I at least agree on that).

                I polled some family I have in Georgia – none have any recollection of ever taking such a test.

                However, they do recall many of the minorities in Northern Georgia being required to take the test.

                Luckily – Georgia makes one such test that was used available for folks like you and I to understand why they may be a bad idea.

                Here is one link: http://content.sos.state.ga.us/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/adhoc&CISOPTR=552

                How about these questions:

                1. Who is the Solicitor General of the State Judicial Circuit in which you live and who is the Judge of such Circuit? (If such Circuit has more than one Judge, name them all.)

                Pretty easy eh?

                Maybe this one is easier……

                2. What does the Constitution of the United States provide regarding the suspension of the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus? What does the Constitution of Georgia provide regarding suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus?

                Still think a test is a good idea? Not sure I do.

              • Ray

                I thought you were with Matt and Buck on this intellectual elitist thingy?

                Certainly you aren’t going to argue that the second question would be inappropriate for anyone wishing to vote in this country.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                JAC – unless you know the precise answer for both parts of the question then you get the question wrong and you cannot vote. How many people know both conditions described under Article I, Section IX? And the questions are not known beforehand so you cannot study them.

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                Ray,

                What is your take on calling for ex felons and for that matter currently incarcerated felons being given the right to vote.

                How do you feel about photo ID being required?

                There is even a movement afoot in local elections to allow illegals to vote . It is the desire to expand the right as broadly as possible in the name of fairness. I of course would disagree because I feel it is an attempt to water down the whole process to some meaningless but automatic “let’s vote for the guy who gives us the best bread and best circus.”

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                SK – great questions – never given much thought but here goes – please shoot full of holes (seriously – am ok with that)

                1. Photo ID good – not everyone is allowed to vote and while not perfect, this is the best authentication mechanism we have;

                2. Felons / ex-Felons – let them vote. Here is how I rationalize. For ex-Felons – if I have paid my debt to society as defined by society what is the risk in allowing me to vote? I still have to pay taxes, I still have to live as a functioning member of society. Currently incarcerated is trickier – but look at this way – I have a wife and four kids at home. I commit a crime and sentenced to 5 years. My family must still live under the conditions set forth by the elected officials. I should have some say in that – further the example – should I not have a say in the school board makeup for the schools were my kids are going to school?

                3. Illegal Aliens – nope. You don’t get to vote because you are likely not even paying taxes.

              • Ray,

                See below

                USW

      • Ray

        I was actually happy to see the notes on her LEFT hand. That meant she wrote them with her Right hand.

        Three LEFTY Presidents in a row, each of them a left wing ho.

        Time for someone from the Righty side, someone to change the tide.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @JAC – given her wishy-washiness and flip-floppiness I think she is actually ambidextrous.

          • The top 5 reasons why leftist liberal kool-aid drinkers fear Sarah Palin…

            Sarah Palin ordered a Big Mac at Burger King, and got one.

            Sarah Palin sleeps with a pillow under her gun.

            Sarah Palin can slam a revolving door.

            If you spell Sarah Palin in Scrabble, you win. Forever.

            Sarah Palin, Chuck Norris and Mr. T walked into a bar. The bar was instantly destroyed, as that level of awesome cannot be contained in one building.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Texas – you forgot a few:

              The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse actually live in Sarah Palin’s nutsack

              Sarah Palin made Ellen Degeneres straight.

              One time while sparring with Wolverine, Sarah Palin accidentally lost her left testicle. You might be familiar with it to this very day by its technical term: Jupiter.

              Playgirl magazine once asked Sarah Palin to appear naked in an issue, Sarah laughed at the opportunity saying “there isn’t enough paper in the world to contain my bearded member”. She then killed the editors simply by unzipping her pants.

              Sarah Palin once walked down the street with a massive erection. There we no survivors.

              Cheers,

              Ray

          • Ray

            No way. Remember pix of her shooting. Right handed all the way.

          • Kristian Stout says:

            You two are a riot! Sheer poetry in motion! LOL

      • Ray said:

        “Going forward, I’m happy to see Palin associated with this crowd – it almost guarantees that it will not be successful.”

        That’s right Ray just keep saying the Tea Party folks will fail. Those folks in Washington want to ignore the movement and refuse to see the ground swell also.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Bama – too much talla in your dega? The version of Tea Party there in TN was likely not what the true Tea Partiers see themselves as (increasingly that is more and more difficult to define). I have no interest in seeing a bunch a yahoos who applaud Tom Tancredo’s crap and closet Socialist cum-grass rootsy tart like Sarah Palin succeed in dumping their ignorance on the rest of us. Understand this – I’d love to see the core of the grassroots of Tea Party make something of themselves and get their shit together – what happened last week wasn’t it and I think you know that.

          • Ray

            I will grant you the premise of what should be. But we really don’t know what happened in Tennessee because the media didn’t give broad covereage to eveything that went on.

            Did they have break out sessions? Did they discuss a unified platform? I don’t know.

            All I do know is Palin and Tancrado talked and the media had their usual fit with both. And I didn’t hear Tancrado’s speech so I can’t comment on the general tone regarding racist, etc. But the one example you gave today, regarding some type of test to vote is not all that bothersome to me. That is partly because we ARE aware of how they were used to disenfranchise the black population.

            It may not be feasible but it sure shouldn’t garner the “he’s a freakin red neck racist” B.S. that has erupted as a result.

            But to the real point. I do not think the tea party is as split as you portrayed earlier today. That view is supported by the press but may not be real. In fact there may be splits in who is trying to lead but not in the party goers themselves.

            As you said, time will tell.

            I see a bigger battle occuring right now. Will the tea party emerge as just a “conservative” movement or will it emerge as a bipartisan conservative centrist movement. And I use centrist here in a way you would use it.

            Right now it looks like the “conservatives” are coopting the entire thing. But notice the debates about their platform. If they focus on fiscal responsibility, balanced budget, cutting taxes, reducing govt., then they will grow to include many independents.

            It is fun to watch however, as I have never seen such broad scale grass root growth in activism. Will it last? I don’t know. But it is fun to watch. I just hope everyone gives it a chance to evolve naturally without trying to coopt or undermine it.

            Here locally the Republicans and Democrats are trying to undermine these types of groups, for differing reasons. But both use the strategy to alienate them as a bunch of right wing kooks to accomplish their mission. This is very discourageing to average folks unskilled at dancing the political/media dance. There is danger they will throw up their arms and fade away once and for all. Just more disenfranchised and cynical voters. It would be a shame but the danger is very real.

            Hope you had a good day and relaxing evening.
            JAC

    • Bottom Line says:

      I am so sick of hearing this petty knit-picking BS about “hand notes” …With all of the problems in America today, …the MSM, and the Press Secretary are focusing on THAT.

      ?!WTF!?

      It just seems SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ridiculous to me. IMHO, it isn’t much different than spending 5 hours a day worrying about Britney Spears’ new hair style.

      And with regard to Palin’s speech….

      I didn’t hear it. I didn’t watch it. I didn’t read the transcripts.

      I don’t care what she said.

      I reject it. I reject it because she is a REPUBLICRAT.

      As long as she affiliates herself with the Republicratic party, then she is null and void IMO.

      The Republicrats have already proven themselves as bad for America as the Demopublicans.

      She’s just another Republicrat trying to high-jack the tea party movement. Considering what has been done in the past, does anyone honestly believe that if America voted Republicrats in, …that this time is gonna be any different?

      I don’t.

      They had their chance. They’ve had chance after chance after chance after chance after chance.

      We’re still in deep doo doo.

      Hey, I know how to fix it…lets all run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall, then lets get up and run head first into a brick wall…

      AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

  2. USWeapon Topic #2

    Iran Begins Making Highly Enriched Nuke Fuel

    Iran began enriching uranium to 20 percent purity level Tuesday in defiance of world powers but under the supervision of inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog, state media reported.

    Al-Alam television quoted a source from Iran’s atomic body as telling the state-owned Arabic language channel that “Iran has started enriching uranium to 20 per cent in the presence of IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] inspectors at Natanz,” AFP reported.

    The United States and France said on Monday they will push for “strong” new U.N. anti-nuclear sanctions against Iran after Tehran announced it was going to step up its enrichment of uranium.

    Iran’s main enrichment facility is located in the central city of Natanz where sensitive atomic work has continued for years despite three sets of U.N. sanctions.

    Iran on Monday formally told the U.N. nuclear body of its plan to produce higher enriched uranium, sparking sanctions warnings by world powers who want Tehran to enter a fuel swap deal designed to allay their fears about the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.

    World powers led by Washington suspect Tehran is enriching uranium to make atomic weapons as the material in high purity form can be used in the fissile core of a nuclear bomb.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,585181,00.html

    Now the problem is that when you combine news like above with articles like this:

    Khamenei: Iran Set to Deliver ‘Punch’ to Stun West on Anniversary

    Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that Iran is set to deliver a “punch” that will stun world powers during this week’s 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution, AFP reported.

    “The Iranian nation, with its unity and God’s grace, will punch the arrogance (Western powers) on the 22nd of Bahman, February 11, in a way that will leave them stunned,” Khamenei, who is also Iran’s commander-in-chief, told a gathering of air force personnel according to AFP.

    The country’s top cleric was marking the occasion when Iran’s air force gave its support to revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a key event which led to the toppling of the U.S.-backed shah on February 11, 1979.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,585143,00.html

    You know, you can believe whatever you like about Iran. We have hashed this issue out countless times and there are those that think they are completely innocent and those that think they are completely evil, with folks everywhere in between. I am one of those who fall in between but lean towards not trusting them.

    But when you have a country who does as much double talk as they do, you have to be wary. We won’t do it. We are doing it. OK we won’t do it. Wait, we are doing it. Don’t get me wrong, the US is the king of double talk. But in one day you have the country stating that they are going to 20% despite the consequences and you have a leader telling us that on the 11th (tomorrow!) they are going to deliver a punch to the “west” (meaning us). It is time to stop pretending that they are a nice peaceful country who just wants to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

    But even if they were, we have to stop pretending that they don’t bring a lot of this upon themselves. What was the purpose of threatening the west? It is like all the folks who defend Iraq, saying there were no WMD’s. There were, you all know it whether you admit it or not. But regardless of everything else, the leader of Iraq continually told the world that he had them and was planning to use them. When someone tells me they have a gun in their car and they are going to go get it and shoot me, I don’t wait until he gets the gun and shoots me. I take him down right then and there.

    I am not advocating attacking Iran. What I am advocating is that we stop pretending they are not a threat. That we stop pretending that they don’t bring a lot of heat on themselves with all their blustering and posturing. When Iran gets major sanctions put on them, or worse, we will have to remember how much they sounded like Hitler’s Germany before they began attacking Europe.

    • Also disturbing to consider this along with the fact that Iran (Ahmadinejad) said that they will attack Isreal…

      The Zionist Regime of Israel faces a deadend and will under God’s grace be wiped off the map.” and “the Zionist Regime that is a usurper and illegitimate regime and a cancerous tumor should be wiped off the map.

      • JB:

        That quote has been refuted so many times – but as many lies do – refuses to die as long as it remains valuable to create alarm in weak minds.

        • I did notice the refutations and counter translations, but it doesn’t seem to change the tone of the statement. I feel comfortable saying that he is against Israel and will use force if the means present themselves.

          Then again, he doesn’t really have a lot of power does he… He’s doing a good deal of stirring emotions.

    • USWep,

      Iran isn’t any Germany, so you don’t have to worry about that.

      Germany lost a war, lots of territory, including her industrial base, and paying reparations. It had a lot of anger and want to reunify, rebuild and – as they felt they were betrayed at Versailles – revenge.

      Iran suffers none of that.

      Here’s my guess:

      (1) They will show off their new S-300 AA missiles – which will give Israeli and US air power a bit of a chill

      (2) They will announce they have a live nuclear reactor generating the first watts of power – in defiance of Western designs.

      (3) The AEC is watching. Nothing nefarious will be going on – Iran’s game is to keep the West off balance, but not to the point the West goes insane.

    • USW….who knows what they will be doing. There is a lot of speculation out there but you are quite correct that to trust Iran is like trusting a rattlesnake in your sleeping bag. Just do not do it.

      S-300 is a mid-range anti-aircraft system (SA-10 under NATO’s classification) designed to defend big industrial and administrative facilities, military bases and control points against aerospace attacks. This will scare no one. It is already an easily defeated system and we have defeated it several times already. It has been deployed around the world for over a year and tested. The new tactic is to utilize the old “Wolf Pack” mentality of WWII Germany submarine patrols. Put up a shield as you cannot jam them all…but they are expensive to shoot and not easily replaceable and, while mobile, take some time to set up and are easily tracked.

      It is possible they will announce nuclear ambitions and may even declare they are a nuclear power…this would not surprise me at all. I don’t think they are there yet but they may claim it. Their ambition is to be everything to the Islam world. They are already employing their own sanctions against Egypt as we speak because Egypt has almost finished its iron curtain and is closing off all the tunnels for black market profiteering and the arming of Hamas with Iranian supplies and money. Even Syria is about to jump on this as well and reject Hamas and the Palestinian movement as well as Jordan. Hamas and Hezbollah have not lived up to their agreements with anyone, under the direction of Iran. Everyone knows this.

      Iran has also moved another battalion of armor along its “disputed” border with Iraq and occupies previously Iraqi controlled lands considered “disputed”….but that is a crock as well. The United States is staying out of that one…but it is an armed incursion, none the less. The subject of the incursion is capturing two oil wells considered in “dispute”. That is funny.

      So trustworthy, they are not. As to their big announcement….let it come. It will amount to nothing and prove them to be untrustworthy and liars. I, personally, hope they announce they are a nuclear power.

      • D13,

        I wonder if they are not pushing now, while Obama is in the WH? It really comes down to do they want a war with Israel? If yes, they need to win it before 2012. Does anyone think Obama will support Israel?

        • I think that it does not matter who is in the Wh right now…I think they are going to push. The world and Russia and China have no interest in stopping them. I do have a bold prediction to make. Some of it is based on intel reports and some is conjecture on my part.

          I am predicting that Egypt/Syria/Jordan take a back seat IF hostilities break out with Hamas and Hezbollah and Israel. They will diplomatically back Israel through back channels and will not provide support nor land or air routes to Iran to supply the Palestinian issue.

          Interesting times ahead….especially if Iran claims nuclear power.

          • D13

            I respectfully dis-agree on who’s in the WH not being an issue. Bush or Regan had the image as hawks who would have responded equal to or greater than Nixon. Obama appears to be willing to talk for the entire length of a war.

            All this leaves them with a time window, not just to start the war, but to finish it before another President can take office. This is their best chance to take on Israel, one on one, that they are likely to have for another 8-12 years. So the question comes down to, is Iran peaceful, as Flag has stated, or does their Hitler wannabe President have the power to follow up on his words?

            Add to that, will Israel feel threatened enough to take out their nuclear sites, and if they do, how will Iran respond?

            I do agree with you on Egypt/Syria/Jordan, that they are actively engaging H & H within their borders, and opposing Iran using them.

  3. USWeapon Topic #3

    Feds Admit They Wrongly Tracked Wisconsin Abortion Groups

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security improperly conducted a threat assessment of Wisconsin pro- and anti-abortion rights groups before an expected rally last year.

    The department said in a memo released last year that it destroyed or deleted all of the copies of the assessment after an internal review found it violated intelligence gathering guidelines about “protest groups which posed no threat to homeland security.”

    The assessment was shared only with the director of Wisconsin’s intelligence-sharing center and police in Middleton, where the rally was expected to take place.

    The report was compiled prior to a February 2009 meeting in Middleton by the University of Wisconsin Hospital board to decide whether to open a clinic that would offer late-term abortions.

    Read the article here (although reprinted in entirety here): http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/08/feds-admit-wrongly-tracked-wisconsin-abortion-groups/

    This falls into the category of why aren’t people being put in jail? This was the reason, first and foremost that I was opposed to the Patriot Act from day one. I have always known granting the federal government any power to monitor our daily comings without legal protocols was a bad idea. So here we have that very thing happening. And when they get caught they simply say, “oops”, and then move on… nothing to see here.

    This is a direct violation of our civil liberties. The “accidentally” tracked these groups? How do you accidentally track pro-life and pro-abortion rights groups simultaneously and not realize that they have nothing at all to do with domestic terrorism or that they pose no threat to the security of the US? How does that happen accidentally? It was not an accident. They intentionally did this, got caught, and said it was an accident. And for every time they get caught, how many thousands of other “accidental trackings” have occurred over the last several years.

    I can’t wait to hear the explanation when it comes out that they “accidentally” tortured some 16 year olds who had signs denouncing the opposing team at the Friday Night football game.

    • Ellen Spalding says:

      USW

      I am with you on this one. People should be going to jail for this kind of stuff. And citizens should be on table screaming about this type of stuff that is going on.

      Ellen

    • Bottom Line says:

      This topic hits rather close to home. I’ve hinted at it a few times in here, but have thus far been a little squeamish about coming out with just how much I know about this kind of thing. I’ve even considered submitting an article to USW about it. There is sooo much to tell. I’m not even sure where to start.

      This is a problem that is MUCH bigger than most realize. There are thousands or maybe tens or hundreds of thousands of people all over America being stalked and harassed by the federal government. The number of known people affected is growing daily as more and more people come out with their own stories. Websites and organizations are popping up everywhere.

      Perhaps I’ll give a brief history of how it started…

      Back in the 1950’s and 60’s, the FBI developed a program code-named COINTELPRO(counter/covert intelligence program). It was originally designed and used as a means to disrupt, subvert, distract, divide and conquer groups like the KKK, Black Panthers and the like. Actually I think I remember reading somewhere that they learned it from the KKK while having them under surveillance. Anyone from civil rights groups, advocacy groups and even the most harmless, such as book clubs(depending on their reading material) have been targeted.

      It was stopped in the 70’s when it was exposed by “The Church Committee” and the events surrounding “Watergate”.

      But it didn’t really stop. It just went deeper underground. It’s actually developed into a bigger better rendition of the original COINTELPRO. They use private citizens, unions, vigilante organizations, and anyone they think can to pull it off. It has continued to this day, and especially since the signing of “The Patriot Act”. Anyone( Groups – individuals – whatever) can be targeted for even the most ridiculous reasons. There have even been a few famous people and public figures targeted.

      So, What exactly is it?

      Well, The closest thing I can relate it to that some may be familiar with, is the movie “The Game” with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn. It’s rather strange,but I’ll try and explain a little about how it is used and the tactics involved.

      For example, They will do things like bug your residence, or rent an adjacent apartment to eves drop on your private conversations. Then they’ll send someone to get hired at your place of employment or find a way to get close to you in social circles for the sole purpose of harassing you. They will basically find a way to get close to you and then repeat bits and pieces of your private conversations. This is meant to have an intimidating affect and drive you nuts, or drive you to react in a way that gets you a prison sentence.

      Confront them directly and they deny it. Tell on them and you’re dismissed as crazy, and maybe even fired from your job. Call the cops on them and you’re liable to end up in a mental ward somewhere. It sounds crazy, which is precisely their intent,…to make you sound crazy. It leaves you socially and occupationally isolated and handicapped.

      You never know who they are, so to avoid them, you tend to just avoid everyone.

      But there are other tactics used as well. They’ll do things like deprive you of sleep by sending people to knock on your door at 3:00 AM, then say “Oh, sorry wrong house”. Or, they may just make noise outside your home…whatever works. Imagine the effects of having your sleep interrupted on a nightly basis.

      They do things like turn your neighbors against you by spreading false rumors like…He/She beats their kids/spouse, is a drug dealer/user, is gay, is a child molester, etc, etc,…again,…whatever works.

      It’s basically designed to systematically subvert, disrupt, and destroy every aspect of your life to the point of complete dysfunction and isolation with regards to anything beneficial to you. It leaves you powerless, frustrated, and insane. Many targets have either committed suicide, gone homeless, or snapped(as in went nuts)

      And it isn’t just happening here in America. There have been a great many Canadian and European cases as well. I specifically remember hearing a woman from somewhere in Europe telling a story of how she was at her computer when it glitched out and a cartoon snail crossed her screen and winked at her. Then, for the next several days, she was winked at by strangers everywhere she went. IT’S NUTS I TELL YOU, NUTS! Imagine how easy it would be to pay a homeless person 20 bucks to wink at someone when they walk by.

      And if what you’ve read so far isn’t strange enough…it gets better. Many of the people targeted are having experimental non-lethal directed energy weapons used on them.

      I.E. – A device directing a sound wave that can be condensed to the degree of being aimed at you like a gun, that essentially uses your skull as a speaker. You hear voices in your head and think you’ve gone crazy.

      I’ve heard all kinds of stories such as this. One was a woman that KNEW she wasn’t crazy because when she heard “the voices”, her cat would also respond. (cats have VERY sensitive ears). She also said that occasionally, it would bleed through to her stereo speakers.

      Imagine trying to explain that one. NUTS!

      I’ve heard stories of where people have had their organs cooked by an unknown source. Apparently it leaves you with skin rashes,blisters and other ailments.

      I would encourage those of you who are curious about this “phenomenon” to do a Google search with terms like “Organized Stalking” or “Group Stalking” or “Cause Stalking” to see the many websites and organizations, and what they have to say about it. Youtube has some good videos as well.

      There have even been a couple of books written about it. One is called “Cause stalking” by David Lawson. Mr Lawson is a private investigator that managed to infiltrate one of these stalking rings and expose them through his book. Another book titled “The Hidden Evil” was “ghost written” by Wendy Haley. I haven’t read them, but it is my understanding that they’re VERY informative.

      Most everyone targeted are harmless average citizens that are for the most part, simply outspoken and passionate about their beliefs. They’re not at all terrorists or criminals.

      How does this hit close to home for me?

      Well, I’ll give the short version of my story…

      In March of 2001, I started a new job painting houses with a company that was affiliated with the local home builder’s association. I began to notice that a couple of my co-workers were saying things that I had mentioned while in the so-called privacy of my living room.

      At first I just dismissed it as thinking alike. After all, we were close in age with a similar background. I even mentioned it to them. As it began to form a pattern of repeated occurrences, I started to take closer notice. I starting getting suspicious as I thought it was probably one of my buddies playing a practical joke on me. But the punch-line never came.

      I didn’t stick around at that job very long as I was getting a bit annoyed with the harassment. I found another and it followed. Then on to another…it followed. I did alot of job-hopping for the next three years.

      I wasn’t sure how to react or if I was about to get killed by some whackos playing some sick game with my life.

      I basically experienced this conversation “echoing” for three years until I got a job with a company doing mostly re-paints. When I got out of the “New Construction” areas of my industry, it stopped. They tried to follow me there as well, but my boss was keen to the idea when I explained it to him. I was one of his more valued employees and even his friend. He fired both of them. hehe.

      They would also get to me when I was out in public places like the laundromat or grocery store for example. They would allow me to conveniently over-hear they’re conversation about something I had recently talked about in my home, …or they would just approach me in a “friendly” manner.

      Not long after that, I grabbed a couple of bags of clothes and a small wad of cash and just took off. I got rid of every means of being tracked via paper trail. I bounced all over the United States, going from one “under the table” job to another. And I did so in a rapid fashion. I basically moved so fast that they couldn’t possibly keep up. There was no time for them to organize. It worked rather well, and I’ve been having the time of my life traveling everywhere and meeting all kinds of good people.

      About a year ago, I returned to my home town and have since started to investigate those who I knew how to find. I slipped up behind them when the weren’t looking. I have managed to identify connections in their network of family, friends, and business associates to discover specifically who has been organizing and managing them.

      So who is it?

      A: I can say with a bit of confidence that it is the family, friends, affiliates, and business associates of an FBI backed organization known as INFRAGARD.

      INFRAGARD is a nation-wide organization consisting of approx. 35,000 professionals and business owners charged with acting as a citizen watch group and information sharing network to supposedly guard our infrastructure against possible threats.

      I like refer to them as American-style Nazi brown-shirts.

      They’re basically everywhere, and if you were to say or do the wrong thing in their presence that would be interpreted as suspicious, you’re liable to end up on their list.

      This is how I suspect I ended up on “The List”. As many of you already know, I am a bit outspoken, and at times,…even recklessly outspoken. So it is no surprise that I’ve been targeted. Not that it gives them any right in my opinion, but I can see just how easily it happened.

      So, now that I’ve put it out there, I’ll sit back and allow you all to digest the harsh reality of what’s really going on in this country.

      Go ahead and call me crazy, cuz at this point, I frankly don’t give a shit. I KNOW what’s up.

      Call me crazy, and I’ll just call you blissfully ignorant.

      Thanks for reading.

      Have a nice day,

      BL

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @BottomLine – ready for this one? I am a former instructor with Infragard (subject matter area – privacy risk assessment)- many of my employees and several former colleagues are current or former members and have had exposure across multiple chapters. Your depiction of Infragard is utterly preposterous. Please rest assured that I, nor my employees, nor the LE folks that also attend the meetings have the time of day to track and harass folks like your self. Infragard is focused predominantly on Infrastructure-based threats, cyber security issues and computer-related crime. Most of the meetings are topically focused and usually devolve into war stories about the latest hacking incident or kiddie porn case.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Ray,

          First I’d like to thank you for engaging me in conversation.

          I know that most who read my post are thinking “!WHAT!?, What the hell is that all about?” As expected, people aren’t really sure what to think about it.

          In order to explain myself properly, I would almost have to write a book about it myself. There’s quite a bit of information to sift through. The devil is in the details, and there are a whole bunch of said details.

          I know that the function of INFRAGARD isn’t to just stalk and harass people. I’m not saying that they are all doing that. What I am saying is that I know that the people who were harassing me are affiliated with AT LEAST two members that I know of. They were involved in my particular case. I know this. I suspect their role was to provide information not privy to most people.

          I happen to know an INFRAGARD member, and for a long time I might add. There has been information that my former stalkers knew, that only that person knows about me. It HAD to come from that person.

          Are you familiar with the science of 6 degrees of separation? There is something to be said when it’s only 2 degrees. They all know each other. It just took a little bit of digging to discover.

          They are connected. They have the same occupations, same type of business, same area of residence, same family members, go to the same church, etc etc…

          I was harassed by a “good ol’ boy” network, ….to include members of INFRAGARD. (oh – if I could only get my hands on a member roster list)

          • Bottom Line says:

            Further,

            After reading your reply, I was reminded of something that happened YEARS ago that I had overlooked, and it just now clicked.

            I think I just figured out the reason I was targeted…

            Holy shit! Thanks Ray!

            No wonder that video game wouldn’t install…It wasn’t a conventional computer set up.

            They must think I was trying to tap into their secured network or something.

            I think I was deemed a “cyber-threat”.

            Given what my INFRA-Tard friend does for a living…it makes perfect sense.

  4. USWeapon Topic #4

    New Mexico House Votes 65-0 To Move State’s Money To Credit Unions, Community Banks

    New Mexico’s House of Representatives voted Monday to pass a bill that allows the state to move $2 billion – $5 billion of state funds to credit unions and small banks.

    The municipal funds bill was approved 65-0 (roll call – PDF), and is subject to a vote by New Mexico’s Senate. Governor Bill Richardson told the bill’s sponsor that he supports the legislation.

    Credit Union Times, spoke to one banker who believes that the bill got a boost from Huffington Post’s Move Your Money campaign:

    The altered view of New Mexico lawmakers in favoring local control of state funds, officials said, follows national mention of the New Mexico effort in the “Move Your Money” campaign of New York pundit Arianna Huffington in her online Huffington Post columns.

    “I think Huffington gave this bill a little traction,” said Juan Fernandez, vice president of government affairs for the Credit Union Association of New Mexico

    Read the rest of the article over at HuffPo: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/09/new-mexico-house-votes-65_n_456043.html

    This is an awful interesting development. We aren’t talking about a group of private citizens taking their $5,000 in savings out of the big banks. No sir, we are talking about a STATE taking $2-$5 BILLION and moving it to small community banks and credit unions. Allow me to first say that this might be one of the few times that I can completely agree that government is making the correct move.

    Traditionally, the government would instead impose regulations or penalties against the big banks to attempt to force them to do what the government wants. Tax manipulation and bribery would follow. But in this case, the government has instead opted to use the free market principle of consumer choice to make their statement. New Mexico has decided that they will simply choose to not do business with a corporation that they disagree with. The same choice that every American can make. And here is the kicker…. This is the only effective way to alter the behavior of these big banks. Now we are talking coercion that cannot be bribed away or loopholed out of effectiveness. New Mexico takes $2-$5 Billion and moves it to another small bank that they like. End of debate. Eff you Bank of America. Now if we could get everyone to follow suit.

    Now here is my question, because I have been considering this particular move for several years (procrastination is a killer). Mrs. Weapon and I combined have about 7 accounts with Bank of America. We despise them at this point. We would like to get into a credit union but I don’t know that we qualify to get into any that are in our area. I think from a consumer choice standpoint, this is the smart thing for us to do (going to local bank or credit union). But I often wonder if it is a smart choice from a financial aspect. Is our money any more or less safe in a community bank than in one of the giants?

    So I pose that discussion here for anyone with insight or thoughts to offer me some advice and information. Of course I am also interested in everyone’s thoughts on New Mexico’s decision above and the implications of more states doing this, perhaps followed by localities. Can it have a real impact on a giant like BoA or Chase?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Applause for New Mexico!

      USW – not sure what guidelines are – when wife and I moved to current area we had no issue joining local CU – I think some are employee only but they seem to be flexible in membership requirements.

    • I echo Ray (believe it!).

      USW – I have my money (pittance) in a local credit union and we had no trouble. In terms of safety I can’t really speak to much, but the government still insures up to $250,000 correct?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        $250K Per Account (unsure if you’re limited to one account at a given institution though – I’m sure someone else here would know that).

        • The $250…is limited. It goes back to $100 K this year…in June I think. Will check that out. You are limited to one account but you can have a variety of tax ID numbers. For example, D13 trust – D13 Trustee one – D13 trustee 2…each has a different account number and therefore, under the rules, each covered under the federal Insurance.

          However, check out State and local banks….carefully. If you are not a Fed Bank, you are not insured by fed money. Make sure that if your State Bank is local and strictly State, that any insurance is covered appropriately in case of bank failure. You will lose Federal coverage.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Hmm..thought the 250 was extended for another few years. If you find out do me a favor and let me know.

            Thanks!

            • It may have been extended. I am recalling a sign at my bank about three or four months ago with a “drop dead” date on it referring to the $250……but will check it out today.

        • From a response on BF’s Blog: http://freedomfliesblackflag.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/evil-ghosts-have-human-rights/

          From the FDIC web site:

          The standard insurance amount currently is $250,000 per depositor. …. is temporary for all other deposit accounts through December 31, 2013. On January 1, 2014, the standard insurance amount will return to $100,000 per depositor

          http://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/DIfactsheet.html

    • First,

      It is as safe as it would be in any bank. The FDIC fully guarantees your deposit that is held by any licensed financial institution – including trust accounts (such as brokerage firm cash accounts), etc.

      $250,000 per account PER PERSON on the account.

      So if you and Mrs. Weapon have a joint account – that account is covered to $500,000.

      It ends in On January 1, 2014 – it goes back to $100,000. Personally, I do not think they will do this – it will be held at $250,000 indefinitely.

  5. USWeapon Topic #5

    Third-hand smoke a danger to babies, toddlers

    Add a new health threat to smoking: In addition to the harm caused by actually smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke, so-called third-hand smoke may also pose a threat, particularly to babies and toddlers.

    A new study reveals that the residue of nicotine that lingers on surfaces can react with another chemical in the air to form potent carcinogens — chemicals linked to various cancers. While first-hand smoke is that inhaled directly by the smoker and second-hand is the smoke exhaled (and inhaled by others), third-hand smoke is the residue from second-hand smoke.

    Anyone who has entered a confined space — a room, an elevator, a vehicle, etc. — where someone has recently been smoking, knows that the scent lingers for an extended period of time.

    Read the rest of this madness from MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35318118/ns/health-addictions/

    I have to admit that I saw the headline for this article and thought that it was some sort of joke article. Imagine my surprise when I realized that this was a serious article detailing the dangers of “third hand smoke” to people, especially babies and infants. The claim is that the residue on one’s fingers or on the surface of a table or whatever can react with other chemicals and cause harm.

    Just when I think that the world cannot get any more whacked out than it already is, something like this comes along. I mean, come on, third hand smoke? Aren’t we getting close to the “butterfly effect” at this point? A cigarette lit in Hong Kong causes a wave on the East Coast of the USA that knocks a surfer into a pregnant mother who loses her child? Therefore cigarettes must be banned.

    I have to say that I am FAR past the point of annoyed with the treatment that smokers have had to put up with over the last 30 years. First the government mandated that for other people’s safety, people couldn’t smoke in their place of employment, a first step of intrusion into private industry. But I understood it a little. People have to go to work. But then they started saying that all restaurants and bars had to ban smoking. That was too far in my opinion. If I own a bar, it should be my choice whether I allow smoking. If I lose customers because they choose to not come to my bar because of it, that is my choice. No one is forced to go into a bar. And now we are starting to talk about “third hand smoke”? What is next? Will all smokers be forced to post a sing warning potential parental visitors that a smoker lives on the premises and thus there may be residue somewhere in the building? Will people who work with the public be forced to wash their hands in a special solution after each butt?

    • Good Morning!

      Could this be more government funded science? Posting for comments, then it’s off to plow snow.

      PEACE!

      G!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @USW – I think you’re reading way too far into this. While I sit firmly in the camp that smoking is a revolting disgusting habit I don’t feel that bar owners should be told whether they can or cannot allow it. In having an 8 month old baby I don’t feel I am over-reacting by not wanting him to suck on the finger (or shirt) of someone who was just choking on a cancer stick.

      • Ray,

        I don’t think I am reading too much into it just yet. I am not reading much into it all. Just asking some questions to stir the discussion pot. You and I feel the same about the bars it seems. Given this government’s history of jumping on whatever health bandwagon seems fun at the moment, it bothers me a bit to see this report. Smokers have been kicked around enough. I see this report as one more nail they are forging in order to find a spot on the coffin to nail it.

        It’s your child, nothing is over-reacting. But I don’t think that the finger of a smoker is even close to the worst thing that child will have in its mouth over the period of his life. What was it they used to tell us? Something along the lines of we each eat a pound of dirt a year?

    • I had direct experience with third-hand smoke not long ago. Helped a friend
      move some items, rode in his car for about 1 1/2 hours. He did not smoke the entire time, but the residual smell for years of smoking in that confined space left my sinuses in distress for a couple hours. A small child or infant would likely been affected even more in that confined space.

      I also say bulldookey. I was raised by smoking parents, and don’t seem to have been damaged by that exposure. Second hand smoke dangers are vastly overstated. I think I read that cooking bacon does as much damage as SHS from five cig’s. This is green police extremism, that will be used to increase government power. They cannot get a total tobacco ban passed, so they will use this backdoor approach by keeping smoking legal, but so difficult and costly, that smokers give up. And after all, they are doing this for the children.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        LOI – seems like you are contradicting yourself – either its bad or it isnt

        • Ray,

          Is it bad in a way that can be measured? Sure, so is sunlight. There is also evidence that too much protection for environmental hazards are bad for you as well, not allowing the body to develop natural defenses.

          This is an attempt of an extremist group to try to use government to force their agenda on the public. The government will be happy to act, as it will increase their power over the people.

          Are you contradicting yourself?

          “I don’t feel that bar owners should be told whether they can or cannot allow it.”

          Agree, private business should be able to allow or forbid smoking on their property. Or right is choosing which business gets our money.

          “In having an 8 month old baby I don’t feel I am over-reacting by not wanting him to suck on the finger (or shirt) of someone who was just choking on a cancer stick.”

          How does your child end up in contact with this person? You have the legal right to forbid ANYONE to touch your child. Does someone’s grandmother need to state they are a smoker before asking permission to tickle your child’s toe? Or should she be required to wear a red “S” on her forehead? I can understand your feeling on protecting your child, but I see that as your job, and you as being the only one qualified to handle it, and something government will do poorly, at great expense.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            LOI – I guessed I missed where this already a government regulation. This is an easy one to apply common sense to and I am not interested in waiting to see if our bodies develop natural defenses to cigarettes.

            • Ray

              So does that mean you support some form of regulation/law regarding this third hand smoke effect or not?

              Now, how about second hand smoke?

              How about first hand smoke?

              Please clarify.
              Thanks
              JAC

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @JAC – I don’t think we need legislation on this. However – if its okay for someone to blow smoke in my face then its okay for me to punch them in the face.

              • Ray,

                What a great example! I agree! And you and the government do not get to mandate the actions this evil smoker “might” take.
                He might just slip outside for a few puffs, only harm himself.

              • Ray

                Thanks, that clarifies. Turns out I was confused.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                JAC – I used to advocate such – but much as I detest meddling by the NHL to clean up ice hockey – its a better game when the players police it. In our example its zero sum.

    • Next ban, all plastic bottles? from the Douglas Report.

      FDA still can’t get it right on BPA

      The FDA claims they’re finally concerned about a toxic chemical added to our plastics…they’re just not concerned enough to actually do anything about it.

      What’d you expect, real action?

      BPA, or bisphenol A, is an estrogen-like chemical used in plastics and cans, and it’s turning us into a nation of flabby, weepy, impotent pansies. It’s been linked to sexual problems, some forms of cancer, obesity, diabetes, early puberty and more…and most Americans are exposed to it on a daily basis.

      But instead of banning this junk outright, the FDA has played blind, deaf, dumb and stupid — pointing to bogus safety studies provided by the chemical industry that makes BPA.

      You can’t make this stuff up.

      But now that they’re “concerned,” they’re still far more interested in buying time for their industry friends than protecting you from a dangerous hormone boost. They say they’re waiting for the results of a big BPA study being conducted by the National Institutes of Health, due in two years.

      Are these jokers for real? There have been more studies on this than I can count — and pretty much all of them point in the same direction: BPA is bad news.

      So don’t wait for the feds, take it from me: Limit your exposure, starting now. Avoid anything that comes in a can or plastic bottle — you shouldn’t be eating or drinking the crap inside these things anyway.

      Use quality glass cookware and real, fresh foods and you’ll minimize your exposure — and your risk.

      And for goodness sake, keep this junk far from your kids. Most baby bottles are now BPA-free, but you can’t thank the feds for that. Parents threatened a boycott and state lawmakers threatened their own action. Meanwhile, Canada banned BPA in baby bottles outright.

      That’s how you get things done — hit ’em in the wallet.

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      This is classic The sky is falling crap.

      All you have to do is think about the absurdity of it. Everything we use leaves traces behind. Can we all afford to live in a plastic bubble? No wait, hold on that, a plastic bubble is dangerous too.

      Anybody out there ever use compressed air to breathe? Then, you have inhaled trace elements of lubricants from the pumps all of which I am sure are known by the state of California to cause cancer.

  6. Monday Carryover #1

    JAC asked me on during Monday’s discussion the following question:

    Before you can say this: “But I don’t think it is because he wants to “destroy America.” , you have to tell me what is America? If it is nothing but a line and name on the map then you are correct. Otherwise you’ve got some splainin to do my friend.

    I think this is a good and valid question. I see America as an ideal. The ideal of freedom and liberty. Sure it is a line on a map and all that, but underneath it all is the promise that it is the land of opportunity. That is what people saw America to be years ago. The land of opportunity.

    With that said, I don’t believe that Obama wants to eliminate this definition. HE believes that his current course of action is the path to greater opportunity, and more important in his mind, more equal outcome. In that way he is altering the fundamental premise of America. It was never intended to be equal outcome. In fact, it was never even supposed to be the land of promised “good” outcomes. It was a land where life was what you made of it. A land where you came to pursue your dreams without being trampled by loss of freedom or pre-destined outcomes. The parts of that vision of America that no longer exist were there long before Obama took the oath.

    I believe that Obama has fallen into the false belief that what he is trying to accomplish is the righting of many wrongs that America has perpetrated on the poor, minorities, and foreign nations. I believe that he falsely sees the wealthy and big business as the problem, while ignoring all that they contribute to society.

    As for the discussion about whether he has fundamentally changed America, I both agree and disagree with you. I agree that the last year has seen a tremendous amount of fundamental change in America. Court decisions, an altering of the beliefs around entitlements, and dramatic increases in government intrusion in private industry have all happened and will forever alter the way things happen in America. As you stated, we don’t yet know how. It could later result in increased acceptance of government intrusion. It could later result in a massive revolution. Only time will tell HOW it altered the country fundamentally, but I agree that it has been altered.

    The one thing I disagree with is that it can all be laid at the feet of the Obama administration. Some can, but not all. He doesn’t control the SCOTUS, so their decisions are their own. He doesn’t really control the Congress so their decisions are their own as well. And overall, he hasn’t altered the country fundamentally any more than George Bush or other Presidents before him. The Patriot Act fundamentally changed America. So did welfare reform from Clinton. So did tax cuts from Reagan and his insistence on facing down the Soviet Union. Each President has, in his own ways, fundamentally changed America.

    In this way I would rather we focus on how every President has done so. It is an argument for eliminating government in its current form rather than simply singling out Obama.

    • USW:

      “The one thing I disagree with is that it can all be laid at the feet of the Obama administration.”

      If you look closely you will see I did not lay it all at his feet. I did say some was done on his watch and some was done by him. Obviously the changes caused by TARP etc started before but were finalized after he took office. But the fact remains, he could have taken action to stop much of the BS and didn’t.

      I did overlook Patriot Act. Not sure whether that was a slow creep or single event but its enactment certainly marked a fundamental change in our value system. That is evidenced by the fact there has been no major outcry to repeal the damn thing. Thanks to “Conservatives”, by the way.

      Now for the big one. In my opinion Mr. Obama is dead set on destroying America. And I define America as the freedom, liberty and justice for all envisioned in our Dec of Ind and Constitutional documents. He is an ideologue who does not believe in the America we started with. He wants to remake this country in the image visioned by the progressive/fascist/socialist dogma (fasciolism).

      Now the reality is that so did all his predecessors to one degree or another. Reagan is the only one I can remember that seemed to want to move back. But as I have said before, the walk didn’t match the talk. However, Mr. Obama is the juiced up version. He represented and I think is the epitomy of the frustrated, angry, progressives who have been trying to get the rest of FDR’s program implemented ever since the day he died.

      I do not see how you can say someone wants to change the fundamental thing itself, because he thinks it fits the theme, but doesn’t want to destroy the thing itself. Every despot in history did what HE thought was the right thing. That is how tyranny is born of liberty.

      Best wishes this great day.
      Live free
      JAC

      • Great post JAC.

      • Good Post JAC. I agree with you that O is trying to destroy America as we have known it. He said he wants to fundamentally transform it. How do you erect a building when there is already as building standing on the chosen location? You don’t build right over the top of it. You demolish the unwanted structure and start from the bottom up. If you want to build an edifice that will stand a long, long time, that’s what you do. If you just add on to what’s there in a haphazard way, the building will crumble over time.

      • JAC:

        I agree that Obama is out to destroy freedom and liberty.

        I know many don’t like Glenn Beck but he has been exposing the progressive history from both parties. The progressive movement is the cancer in the USA.

        Obama is bringing to a head the ulitmate clash between liberty and freedom versus the progressive/statist movement. I attended a speech last year and Dr. Arnn, from Hillsdale College, predicted that this is coming to a head and it’s time that it did. Which side will win?

        • Hi Birdman,

          Did Dr. Arnn beleive it would come to violence? Did he think the Republic will survive?

          • Cyndi P:

            He did not think there would be violence. He is optimistic that the Republic will survive. Dr. Arnn believes in the Constitution but recognizes that it has not been followed.

            • That makes me feel a little better, though I don’t know why. Wishful thinking I guess. Thanks…..

  7. Next week I will be in a non-disclosed third world country without internet. Therefore, I will post this a few days earlier than I would like. Let’s just go with it.

    It is a little known fact that my crystal ball can see the both the future and the past. Let us now gaze precisely 6 months ago (from Sunday)….

    It’s August 14th, 2009 and this article appears on BobCesca.com

    I’M AN IDIOT CHILD
    …At least, according to this extended screed by a revved-up wingnut blogger.

    Most revealing is that, once again, he never proves me wrong. But one thing he does prove is that Malkin and Fox News absolutely succeeded in stirring up wingnut paranoia and hate-mongering against an 11-year-old girl who simply asked a question of the president. In this case, the paranoid wingnut is named “USweapon.” I rest my case.

    Three days later, I make my debut on SUFA, leading out with this:

    While I appreciate the sentiment here, I would feel a lot better if there were a link to some corroboration of the idea that “the majority of Americans do oppose the current health care reform plan.” The Democrats largely claim the opposite, and there is a great deal of misinformation out there which is skewing the opinions of the masses.

    While I’m sure the bill is far from perfect, I am disinclined to believe that there are “death panels,” a hidden agenda to euthanize the elderly, support ACORN, destroy employer based plans etc – all of these irrational, and fundamentally dishonest theories being circulated cause health care reform issue to lose support which it might otherwise enjoy. Thus the it seems logical to infer a higher level of support for what the bill actually is than a straight reading of the poll data.

    I, myself, am undecided on the issue, but I do have a thought which may appear to be blasphemy to many on this site. It is that health care, like the nuances of international relations, is an issue which is too complicated and intricate for the average voter’s opinion to matter. The average voter cannot be expected to have a reasoned, well informed opinion on the matter. As such, he should be (largely) ignored. It is the reason we live in a republic, not a true democracy.

    Certainly, for the majority of issues, this is not the case, but in this instance, I believe it to be true.

    I should have been more cautious of the land mines..

    And this golden nugget addressed to the Black Flag:

    “I think, deep down, you have to acknowledge my point – it’s just a question of degree and methodology. Perhaps you think income tax is wrong and it should be a flat tax (I disagree, but logical arguments can be made for both), perhaps you dislike the estate tax, or some such, but it’s hard to argue against taxes entirely.”

    It’s dangerous to misjudge your foe so completely. I think he took it easy on me that day out of pity. (can a Balrog feel pity?)

    Oh how far we’ve come..

    I want to thank you all for (just shy of) 6 months of great political debate. And a special thanks to USWeapon, Black Flag, Peter, JAC, Judy, G-Man, Ray, and LOI. Here’s to the next 6..

    • Matt…be careful wherever you go. There are things that jump out at you in those countries. It is a dangerous world out there. Here is hoping that you and yours will be safe and see you back in a week or two. Rest assured that your Raptors will be properly taken care of and fed well.

      • Oh, D.. I feel bad.. I missed you in my list of special thanks.. I knew I would forget some people. Alas, my mind is slipping in my old age.

        I’m not so worried about things jumping out at me though. I intend to spend the whole time on a beach with good sight lines. (raptors can’t burrow through sand and attack from below can they? I know they don’t like water.)

        Adding, looking back at the last six months.. do you think I managed to convince a single person here of a single thing? I’m very curious. I don’t think anyone change my mind on anything (though perhaps they moderated my view a big in a few places.. I’ll have to think about that).

        • typos: I don’t think anyone changed my mind on anything (though perhaps they moderated my view a bit in a few places.. I’ll have to think about that).

          Grr.

          • v. Holland says:

            Perhaps the point isn’t so much whether we change our minds, perhaps it’s more that we open our minds and realize that maybe we aren’t as far apart in our actual thinking as the partisan hate made us think we were. After reading on other blogs I was beginning to think of democrats as my enemy-coming here-made me realize that our political war of words is based more on the extreme positions on both sides of the coin. Maybe the United States is more united than I thought, if every dem. wasn’t cast as the extreme left and every rep. cast as the extreme right.

            • V.,

              You definitely should have made the list of special thanks… mea culpa.

              Ah, hell.. a special thanks to everyone!

              The One,
              The Only,
              The Mathius

          • Forget the typos, Matt..we all do them…you are just worried about sand burrowing raptors….But not to worry…I have dispatched my anti raptor magical spell during your away time…you keep a line of sight for the obvious…the Raptors are controlled….until you get back, of course.

            As to convincing anyone? I don’t know. You have not changed MY mind on anything but I will be the first to say that I respect your steadfastness in your viewpoints. I do not believe that you are an evil type of person or being…I just do not share your views, however, your views have challenged me and this is good. The dialogue on this site is respectful 99% of the time. There are some “ghosts” that drop in but this site is kinda like a brotherhood, to coin a phrase. You have taken up for me and I you when we are “attacked” from the outside.

            So, in short, you are respected on here and I always read your posts. Like Ray, some of the things that you say, make me want to knock down brick walls….but that is ok. It is a difference of opinion and that is what freedom is all about..and I know you and I agree on that. But you respect my view points as well and that is what I get from you.

            Have a wonderful trip…it shall be Raptor free.

        • Mathius,

          Your presence here is one of gentle contrast – one cannot judge what color one is unless there is a different color to compare to.

          Black against black is rather hard to see.

          Change my mind? Absolutely!

          You and Matt have convinced me some Statists are funny, intelligent and articulate and have a lot to offer in any discussion. Who woulda thunk that a few months ago??? 🙂

          • LoL

            “You and Matt” is rather redundant statement!

            I meant;

            “You and Buck”

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Matt does suffer from multiple personality syndrome at times, so you were actually dead on.

              And likewise, you and others here have taught me that not all on the other side are unintellectual and uninformed.

              That’s the great thing about this site – we can completely disagree but at the same time forge ahead to better understand differing worldviews and even reach some consensus on the issues. No screaming matches, no talking over one another.

            • ha…BF I thought you meant that he had duo personalities in that head of his…Matt and Mathius…I was assuming you meant the two personalities held conflicting views much of the time.

    • Mathius,

      It was not pity.

      I felt if I moved too fast to eat my prey, you might have scurried away in time, never to be seen again.

      It is better to appear in the beginning to be non-threatening so to draw you closer…..

    • Ellen Spalding says:

      Matt

      You be safe when you are in this third world county! Never take anything as being something that is safe to you!

      Ellen

    • Matt,

      “It is that health care, like the nuances of international relations, is an issue which is too complicated and intricate for the average voter’s opinion to matter. The average voter cannot be expected to have a reasoned, well informed opinion on the matter.”

      In some ways I can agree with you about this, most people stay ignorant about the issues that DO have a profound effect on their lives. They are content to accept the view presented by a talking head in two minute sound-bites. The other side of that is, they are being delibertly deceived by those in government, and a biased media. How many “reported” the senate bill would reduce the deficit? How many left out the details of paying in for five years and cutting 500 billion from medicare??

      Have a safe and pleasant trip.

    • Kristian Stout says:

      Mathius,

      I know that you and I have had our differences but you are one of the reasons that I come to this blog. I think that you are smart and funny and this blog would not be the same without you. I hope that you have a very safe trip and come back to SUFA soon, you will be missed.

    • Have a good long mental health experience. The beach sounds good if that is were you are going, all I can see is a sea of snow.

      Peace and Live Free! 🙂

      G!

  8. In response to Buck and JAC:

    It seems we are starting to blend to subjects together, one on the value of religious ideals versus non-religious ones, and the need for governmental restrictions/laws. Perhaps the confusion JAC expressed toward my comment stems from this. I will try to explain more concisely.

    When I say someone believes something is right or wrong, I am speaking of absolutism, not relativism. That is, if I believe that murder is wrong, I believe it is wrong for anyone, not just for me. If that is imposing my values on others and so I cannot legislate them, then there is no point to having a government at all. Anarchy is the only result as every law will impose some sort of value.

    Buck,
    There is no law or government action that will not impose some sort of value on anyone. If I ban smoking, I am imposing upon smokers the value that I have from scientific study that smoking will harm others. They may not believe that, so I am imposing my belief (not religious belief in this case). If we are to be free from this sort of imposition, there can be no laws!

    How are laws (ideally) created in a democracy? The people decide what they think is right and wrong and legislate accordingly. You can debate the appropriateness of this action upon its own merit, there is no need to take into account religious views at this time. This is simply the will of the people to legislate morality.

    Now, who are you to say that scientific values are better than religious ones? You may believe this, but certainly some people do not. Are your opinions better than theirs? Of course you think so, or else you wouldn’t hold to them, but in a democracy, each person is entitled to have his say. If a majority of people think that homosexuality is wrong, guess what, they have every bit as much right as you do to say what they think the law should be. If you don’t agree with this, you can argue against their decision, but I believe it is dangerous to attempt to discard the result simply because you are of a different faith. As I pointed out before, I could come up with a faith of my own that you would infringe upon with certain laws. Do you have the right to impose your views upon me in that case?

    JAC,
    I think we agree on your arguments. I’m not sure where mine differ from yours, but you seem to think they do. I personally believe that the government should be in the business of protecting rights rather than restricting them (unless of course ones rights allow them to restrict others rights… confusing recursive relation follows…), but my point is that people have no more right to restrict someone’s rights because they are not using religious arguments than do those who do use religious arguments.

    Say for instance that scientists show that homosexuals are more inclined to spontaneously exploding. In my opinion, based on the founding principles of this country, that an effort to ban homosexuality based on this evidence (while it would be much more compelling in argument) should be given no greater weight than the religious argument. A person is entitled to believe and vote as they choose.

    I guess the point is this. The Prop 8 vote for example was heralded by many to be irrelevant based on its religious overtones, but does that even matter? If I believe something is wrong who care where that belief comes from. I am no less entitled to a vote because I am Christian than because I am atheist. Government involvement will ALWAYS impose some sort of value.

    If you think a law violates the constitution, then use that argument. Don’t try to do an end-around the people by claiming that their opinions don’t matter, or that since you are so much more enlightened then these simple religious masses, their opinion shouldn’t matter, but yours should. That they should not be able to decide what is right and wrong, but you can. That roads leads to oligarchy or tyranny.

    Finally, JAC,
    God will judge me based on my actions (luckily they won’t matter due to my sanctification through JC), but what will he say if I could have saved others from sin, but did nothing. If a friend of mine is considering murder, should I not try to persuade him otherwise? If I do not try to stop him if I could do so, am I not complicit in the crime? I know we’re big on personal responsibility here, but if I can stop a crime and do nothing, I’m not being responsible, I’m being uncaring.

    As a final disclaimer, please do not take any of the above as an attempt to legislate morality. I think this is a fallacy and leads to oppression of a minority by the majority. As always, I think the government should protect its citizens by keeping them free not by holding their hands and guiding their steps.

    • Ellen Spalding says:

      JB

      I am with you on the legislate morality. Its impossible. I cant legislate people who commit adultery any more than someone can regulate my life with my partner. Many have tried and failed with a very loud bang.

      Ellen

      • You’ve got it Ellen. I think it is also important to remember that, while we think such legislation should not be carried out, it is the right of others to think it should. We will fight our fight while they fight theirs (hopefully we will win though).

        Also, this doesn’t mean I don’t think adultery is wrong. I think it is the most detrimental thing to relationships there is, but I don’t want the government to get involved because it is not the gov’ts place! It is the responsibility of whoever dispenses morality (church, science, karma, your neighbor, parents, whatever) to try to persuade you to do the right thing.

    • JB:

      I thought we were on the same pager regarding outcomes, but you had me stumped with where you started your original argument. But you have again posted an excellent and well thought out response that provides a great chance to explore some of the concepts we’ve been banging around for months.

      The prohibition of imposing on others is a prohibition on the use of force. It requires actual action, not just creating a conflict in value systems. In this sense your murder example doesn’t fit. The prohibition against murder is a ban on the use of lethal force without provocation. It is a conept that can be defended on regligious or purely rational grounds. If killing is OK then eventually there is either only one or none left standing.

      While laws are supposed to reflect the values of the majority they must be constrained if you also believe in the concept of individual rights. These constraints are needed to assure the majority can not destroy the rights of the minority and vis versa. That is where constitutions come into play. That is where the separation of religion and state must be placed.

      I agree with your comment that those pushing for bans on gay marriage should not be attacked only on the religious points. But by relying on public statments that it should be illegal because the Bible tells me so creates the opportunity for such attack. If I am to argue with your value system I must be able to show you how your base values violate our common principles. But I DO get your point that the lefty will use the religious aspect of the belief system to scare and denigrate the person with those beliefs rather than address the “individual liberty” issues directly. But the same can be said for many political arguments today. Few get to the REAL issues.

      Now I would like to discuss your example of judgment: “God will judge me based on my actions (luckily they won’t matter due to my sanctification through JC), but what will he say if I could have saved others from sin, but did nothing. If a friend of mine is considering murder, should I not try to persuade him otherwise? If I do not try to stop him if I could do so, am I not complicit in the crime? I know we’re big on personal responsibility here, but if I can stop a crime and do nothing, I’m not being responsible, I’m being uncaring.”

      As you stated, you are free to discuss with others your view of “sin” and to share with them what you think is a better path. From my recolection that was the message Jesus gave. Go forth and tell the story and let each man come due to his own heart. Something like that. That is not the same as using the force of govt to stop sinners, when their sins cause no impact to others. Such is the homosexual marriage ban issue. I am pretty sure God will smile upon you for spreading the word but he will judge you based on your personal conduct.

      Now regarding your friend who wants to murder someone. Of course you try to pursuade him against it. In fact you should argue, restrain and injure him if need be to prevent it. You are not acting to prevent the sin alone. You are acting to prevent the murder of an innocent person. You are not imposing upon your friend, you are preventing him/her from imposing upon another. Obviously your action must be consistent with real vs. perceived threats. A dangerous but not impossible task. In the end, you save the innocent and perhaps your friends soal, although I am guessing he will have to do much more to get back in the big guys good graces.

      You are not complicit in a crime unless you help plot the murder. But you do have to live with yourself and the values of your religion. And of course it is also rational to prevent the murder of others if you can do so without getting yourself killed. To do so empowers other to do the same.

      While we all have opinions and will vote on issues based on our personal values, there are key values that must govern all others. I know, I said this already. But in a society of govt and laws even these rules are subject to change. But the threshold for changing them needs to be much higher. That is why the founders created the 2/3 of congress and 75% of states rule for amending the constitution. Some might argue that even that is to low but it is certainly better than a mere 51% of congress.

      That is why this issue (gay marriage) should be handled as an “amendment” to the various state constitutions and then the US Constitution. It is a restriction on individual freedom and as such it should require the higher threshold, under our “current” system. I am betting it would never make the 75% of states requirment, but then I might be wrong.

      The sound you now here is the pirate ship of Black Flag firing its guns in pursuit. For you see I have just made the case that 75% of the people can decide to have all the left handed people killed. But I already know that is what I have done. So this leaves us with only two logical choices.

      No govt. or a govt where imposition on individual liberty is prohibited unless otherwise determied by a higher threshold, lets say 90%, of the population. Such a threshold while theoretically immoral would never be passed in reality. Esepecially in a society that had tasted real freedom.

      JB, I will end with this. While you are correct that opinions based on religion should not be dismissed JUST because they are religious based, the same holds true for the atheist or secular viewpoint. I do see the religious folks playing the same game. And, I am not sure how I am to address ones values, if based soley on religion, without brining the religious basis into the discussion. For me that is why the reliance on logic and reason is so critical.

      Some issues can be supported by both. But when we get to one that is only supported by religion, why am I supposed to ignore that reality in my argument? Perhaps the real issue is the TONE of the debate?

      Good discussion and as always I enjoy your thoughtful comments.
      Best to you and your family.
      JAC

      • JAC

        Such a threshold while theoretically immoral would never be passed in reality.

        But it has.

        Saddam simply started shooting those that disagreed with him – including his best friend.

        Quickly he got 100% of the vote.

        As long as it is the premise that there exists a right for a man to force upon his neighbor, the institution built upon that premise will achieve it.

        As I’ve said before, trying to bury evil with paper does not work.

        • BF

          But once again you do not distinquish between the forms of govt.

          Saddam only had to act on his own.

          In a democratic republic the population would have to agree to the change before the likes of Saddam could exist.

          And yes, it poses a moral hazard. But if as you say, humanity is humane, then I see no reason to fear the people. If they can exist under No Govt they certainly can exist under one that requires them to willingly give up their own freedom.

          If you are saying they would gladly give up those freedoms due to some trick by limited govt then why would we not suppose they would do the same under no govt. All it takes is a small group of articulate and pursuasive men to start the ball rolling.

          • It matters little which system I join; they all have the same character.

            ~ Jacques Ellul

            Good question, JAC.

            It is in the institutionalization that the danger arises.

            Remember my position regarding artificial people – it is there to mitigate and deflect negative consequences from those real people responsible for the action.

            The institutionalization of people into a ‘government’ creates ‘office’ – a man, who acts by position.

            He can personally act in his own favor -as all human action is individual – however, deflect the negative consequences away from himself by inserting the artificial ‘office’ – and at the same time reap the all the benefits personally!

            There are no significant consequences to Bush – other than a few people calling him ‘war criminal’ in public. His action is shielded by office.

            Review Clinton in interview – where he admits mistakes of decision – which cost innocent, real human life.

            “Opps, sorry – my bad! PS: Send my $100,000 speaking tour check to this address….”

            In a “No Government” there is no “office” to deflect the consequences, good or bad – you sow what you reap.

            The Greeks, when they assigned office to a citizen, audited his duty after his term ended.

            If they found abuse of position, fraud, deception etc., the ex-officer was slaughtered in public.

            It significantly reduced the abuses of public office.

            But, eventually, even that did not matter.

            The office held the power to engage the whole of the citizenry into action – and if that action could be tyrannical, as long as it was placed upon Athens. If it was placed upon Sparta or other city states, it was no problem!

            With the shield of ‘democracy’ Athens moved as one – “Hey, it wasn’t just my vote, it was “everyone” …

            …to their self-destruction.

            The concept of the State laid an abstraction on individual action – where they could justify their personal evil upon other people by the claim they were operators within the State.

            Men kill men – but justified it by pointing to a abstraction – a figment of their imagination that absolves their guilt.

            • “as long as it was placed upon Athens.”

              That darn negation!

              Miss it again!
              Changes it the whole meaning!

              as long as it was NOT placed upon Athens.

            • BF

              But alas, all through history men have formed these institutions as you call them. They have been in various sizes, and forms but they are all things called govt.

              If history show us that this is the evolution of man then how does your tribe prevent such a thing from developing?

              If this thing called govt has no authority to use force on innocent citizens then why are not the citizens protected against the progression of tyranny?

              It seems to me that a limited govt bound by written contract is no more a moral hazard than the anarchist state. The former simply has one less step to take towards tyranny. But the risk remains with both. It seems inherent in the nature of man. At least for now.

            • Oh Mighty Flagster,

              Even if your ideal of no government is correct, we are left with the reality that nearly every nation has some form of government. Changing from the existing government to Flagland will require a transition period of some sort. Unless you prefer the deaths of millions? And you can say there is nothing we can do but prepare for the worst, but I see that as being beneath your intellect. Perhaps we are doomed to fall from a thousand foot height. That does not mean we can’t try to do so ten feet at a time.

              You asked me where I would start, my response was Freddie/Fannie. I do not have the expertise to answer how to do that, but still believe it can be done.
              Of course, reviving the economy would be fundamental to any such effort, so a massive increase in energy production
              would have to be a part of this, along with cutting taxes and spending.

              Its pretty easy for you to sit back and say its hopeless, but have you tried to figure out what could be done? Even if instead of a million dieing, only 990,000
              have to die?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      JB,

      I will ATTEMPT to alleviate a bit of your confusion. Are laws against murder, stealing, assault, battery, etc. all laws which “legislate morality”? Technically yes. Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill, etc. These could be said to come from religious sources.

      HOWEVER, that is NOT why we have these laws. We have these laws because hurting you, or taking your property, or taking your life, are all violations of your fundamental rights. So yes, there is overlap, and sometimes a great deal of overlap, between religion and law. This comes from the fact that most religions hold life to be sacred and also recognize personal private property. Natural law shows that life and personal property are essential for the proper functioning of a society. Hence the overlap.

      Anarchy, as YOU describe it, would not value life or property, and WOULD be total chaos. Anarchy as BF or Kent or I would describe it, would still have the fundamental basis that life and property are essential cornerstones of a functioning group of human beings, regardless of the size of the group. This is what PREVENTS total chaos. We are against “government”, because so far, no matter what FORM government takes, government asserts that it has the monopoly on the right to take away your property for any reason that it deems “good”, and it will directly threaten either your property, your life, or both if you happen to disagree that their reason is “good” and wish to retain that property for yourself.

      Hopefully that helps some.

      • I’m not sure what you think I’m confused about…

        My point was that we should not dispose of laws because they are based in religion. Instead try to get rid of laws that are not “proper” (a word that can mean different things to different people). You would say remove laws that take away individual liberty.

        Nothing you said contradicts what I said.

  9. Buck the Wala says:

    I will likely take some umbrage from this point, but I will say it anyway and then duck into the kitchen for some hot cocoa.

    Science is not a belief system. Religion is. Science is verifiable, if done properly. Religion is not. I would much rather have legislation based on scientific evidence that one’s religious beliefs.

    Take second-hand smoking for instance — you can believe all you want that second-hand smoke is harmless. However, your belief has been proven wrong. Science has proven that second-hand smoke is harmful to others. As a result we can legislate against smoking due to the harm it inflicts on others. We can debate the extent of that harm and the best way to mitigate same, which is why we should conduct further studies and adapt legislation to the problem posed.

    Now lets return to homosexual acts — again, you can believe all you want that this is a sin, that it is wrong and that it is harmful. But that is a religious belief. It cannot be proven or verified in any way. To legislate based on that belief is to imposes your religious beliefs on everyone else. Find a way to scientifically prove that homosexual acts are harmful not just to those who choose to participate, but to the rest of society and then maybe I can support legislating against such acts.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Sorry, that was meant as a response to JB at #8.

    • I’m surprised that you take umbrage with your own statements ;).

      I certainly don’t take umbrage. I understand your point, and I don’t fault you for it. It is a very logical and solid foundation. The problem is that you have no right to say that your opinion is better than someone else’s in terms of legislation (even though of course you think it is). This is the greatest weakness (or perhaps strength?) of democracy. Everyone’s opinion is valid. Even the psychopath murderer should be given the same weight as you. Luckily the majority of people don’t agree with him so we won’t allow murder on the third Tuesday of every month.

      So while you think it is wrong to ban homosexuality (as I do) because it is religious (which I don’t), it is not your place to discard a vote by the majority of the people of this country. While you believe that science is a better tool for legislation than religion, others do not and they are just as entitled as you are to determining the direction of legislation. This is a democratic republic, not an oligarchy or “sciencearchy”.

      I’ve stated before my opinions of “imposing” religious beliefs, so I won’t restate them here.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        You are correct – everyone’s opinion is valid and deserving of the same weight as my own. You are also correct in what you said in response to JAC – everyone has a right to vote based on their own beliefs regardless of what they may be.

        But regardless of people’s opinions and what they choose to base their votes on there must be certain standards in what we as a society permit. This becomes even more difficult as again, everyone’s opinion will influence what those standards should be. If we look to the Constitution as a ‘standard’ though then to me, any legislation based solely on a religious belief must fail as it is akin to imposing one’s religion on another. Just because the majority may believe something doesn’t make that belief constitutionally sound.

        In this regard I am in agreement with JAC’s standard of ‘does it harm others’ at least when it comes to strictly moral issues such as gay marriage, drug use, etc. Where I disagree is the definition of ‘harm’ and what we as a society are willing to take. But again, that is just my opinion…

        • Buck

          You opened the door:

          “Where I disagree is the definition of ‘harm’ and what we as a society are willing to take. ”

          Lets here it. Perhaps this is a key to the differences between us?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I did open the door and am unsurprised to find you standing there.

            This is definitely a key difference but also a key similarity. When it comes to so-called ‘moral issues’ or ‘social issues’ — gay marriage, drug use, prostitution, etc. — I am of the opinion that if it doesn’t hurt anyone else, who cares. I have never advocated otherwise.

            When it comes to issues which can and do cause harm to others I am for government involvement. This would explain my views on sensible gun control and anti-smoking legislation.

            When it comes to economic issues I am also all for the government stepping in. I am for providing a safety net for those that need it. I am for higher taxation. I am for increased regulation of businesses and financial institutions. I am for providing universal health care. I don’t see taxation or regulation as causing ‘harm’ in the sense you and others do.

            And that would be Buck’s political philosophy in a nutshell.

            • But has “Buck” tested his theory with human action?

              If you create a system that allows a group of people to determine what some people need – and take from those who, by the fruits of their labor, have to give to those that did not earn, based on need – you have created tyranny.

              Revolution in the Form – simply by redefining “need”, the creep of slavery sweeps over mankind.

              Today it’s food, then shelter, then bed, then TV, then phone, then beer, then health, then manicures, then cars, then …..

              The definition of need is subjective – and wholly based on the desires of individual men.

              To use such subjective measure to justify objective violence is a cause of the destruction of civilization.

            • Buck

              If HARM is the threshold by which you determine appropriate govt action then how does this support “safety nets” or other “protective or support” efforts that invovle no direct harm by ONE TO ANOTHER?

              Your criteria is conflicted and therein lies the difference between left and right.

              Modern conservatives are on the left, just for the record. They may be right of you but they are still on the left side of center.

              That ought to get some more into the fray. LOL

              JAC

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Harm is the threshold I am using for moral and social issues.

                When it comes to safety nets I believe government’s and society’s role is to provide some level of support to those who need it through such programs. The fact that there is no harm by one individual to another is irrelevant as these are different issues and thus pose different questions that purely social issues like gay marriage.

                Of course this is all being oversimplified as there are bound to be overlaps.

              • Buck

                But then you sanction harm against me by using the govt to take my property to provide your safety net.

                Now that you have given govt this power you are doomed to be its victim in the long run. We have 100 years of history to prove that.

                Issues may differ but the core philosophical principles must be constant. Otherwise you will die a thousand cuts by the edge of your great sword called CONTRADICTION.

                You young sir are in search of a moral base and don’t even know it.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                As I have said on many occassions — I don’t view taxation as HARM, at least not in the same vein as the other issues I am discussing. It is a completely different context and hence no contradiction.

                With moral/social issues the legislation is aimed at preventing one individual from harming another. With taxation, no individual is harming another. You may (and will) argue that it is the government harming you by taking your property, but I just don’t see it that way; it is a completely different situation.

              • Buck:

                If I take your money is it harm?

                If so they why is it no longer harm when I have govt take it for me?

                Taking my money does harm me in many, many ways. How can you declare this is not harm?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                No Taxation Without Representation.

                You are represented in our government; there is implied consent to you being taxed by the government. That is how our system works whether you like it or not.

              • Buck,

                So if I represent you in my mob gang – I can take your money?

                I mean, I promise to make your view know to ‘da Boss…

                So, how is that different again?

              • Buck,

                Oh yeah –

                So if I don’t agree that I’ve consented, nor agree to anyone representing me and I don’t vote – you can’t take my money, right?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Sorry BF, you know full well how our government was established and how it works.

                Don’t like it, then don’t pay taxes and argue your position to the courts. Let me know how that works out for you. 🙂

                Want to change it, then get involved – start a rebellion or protest, vote in like-minded people to office, run for office yourself on your platform.

              • Buck

                Why is it that every time we get to this point your ability to form a rational argument vanishes and you resort to:

                Well thats how our govt works.

                Hell, we all know that Buck. The point is that it is immoral and needs to be changed. How do I know?

                Because the moral base that supports it is a contradiction to the nature of man. Just as you arrived at the contradiction all by yourself.

                But once you were faced with it you went right back to “well because”.

                Face your contradiction. You need to eliminate it one way or the other. And then follow the consequence to its logical conclusion.

                You need more than hot cocoa my friend. Suggest a little peppermint schnapps to go with it.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I do love some peppermint schnapps in my hot cocoa. Unfortunately, none in the house so I’ll have to console myself with a nice glass of wine.

                I will still say there’s no contradiction in my book. This is the government our forefathers have created. Can we change it? Of course, if enough of the populace agrees to do so. I myself don’t necessarily want to and am more than happy with the basic system set in place. But, as I said to BF – you want to change it, go for it!

      • JB

        Slight correction

        “The problem is that you have no right to say that your opinion is better than someone else’s in terms of legislation (even though of course you think it is). ”

        I have every right to “say” my opinion is better. I “don’t” have the right to use that opinion to harm you by restricting your freedoms.

        • My mistake.

          Perhaps this is more clear.

          The problem is that according to the principles of democracy your opinion is no better than someone else’s in terms of legislation (even though of course you think it is).

    • Displaced Okie says:

      Buck said: “Science is not a belief system. Religion is. Science is verifiable, if done properly. Religion is not. I would much rather have legislation based on scientific evidence that one’s religious beliefs”
      —————————-
      I think that that science is a belief system as well. Take basic physics for example. We are taught that an object at rest will remain at rest until it is acted upon by some outside force, right? But the simple fact that there “is” anything at all would seem to contradict this basic tenet of physics. by that I mean, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that something moved WITHOUT being acted upon to start the whole universe. So, in a way, since science would have you to believe something on faith, wouldn’t that make it a belief system? Anyway, I always think of that when I hear people who think that science is flawless and can logically explain everything.

      Stay Safe and Live Free,
      Displaced Okie

      *disclaimer: I am a big believer of science and logic, this is just something that I think about when I’m bored sometimes…yes, I know that is pretty sad.. 🙂

      • Science, like most things in society, is believed to be something it is not.

        Science is not answers.

        Science is questions.

        First comes the question – Why?

        Next comes an idea – Perhaps this?

        Then comes an experiment – Let’s try!

        Then comes the observation – Not quite!

        The comes the question – Why not quite?

        …over and over again.

        Science having answers does not make science – science is having unending questions, over and over again.

        I think people mistaken ENGINEERING with Science.

        Engineers take the understanding of the universe gained by asking questions and build things with that understanding.

        —-

        Displace Okie,

        You are moving into Cosmology – how does the Universe start?

        But understand the question is moot.

        It does not matter (pun alert!)

        Since it is impossible to know what was before what is, (because there cannot exist an experiment in this universe to tell us anything about anything outside our universe) it is nonsense to even contemplate it.

        We know precisely this.

        The Universe is.

        And that is the starting point.

        • Displaced Okie says:

          BF,
          While my rusty, banged-up John-boat(the S.S. Okie) is still cruising through these pirate infested waters, might I ask you if you would agree that many people(intellectuals, in particular) use science–or their incorrect definition of science as a belief system?
          ————-
          No, I don’t even pretend understand the beginnings of the Universe, as you stated it is moot, anyway. All I know is the Universe exists and I exist; and it has no oblgation to me, So it is up to me to make my own way.

          Stay Safe and Live Free,
          Displaced Okie

          • Kristian Stout says:

            I think that has got to be about the best that I have seen personnal accountability explained.

            “The universe exists and I exist; and it has no obligation to me, so it is up to me to make my own way.”

            Amen brother!

          • Okie,

            use science–or their incorrect definition of science as a belief system?

            I wholly agree.

            It is becoming a religion all on its own, with the great prophets and bishops – invoked with this hallow words said on bent knee…

            “Scientists say… (something profoundly unscientific)”

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Good point Okie.

        I don’t believe science is flawless and that it can logically explain everything…at least not yet. You are right that at its core there is a certain amount that must be taken on faith. Of course there are still questions to be answered. However, I would personally bet on science as to ultimately finding those answers.

      • As a physicist, I often ponder this as well. Take string theory for example. There is no possible way to test string theory. Hence many people claim it is not science. Nonetheless, many people (some of the smartest there are!) believe that it is true. Why do they believe that? Because it makes sense, because things seem to point to it as being true.

        I wonder what string theorists say to discourage any Christian about the existence of God… It’s not like they’re much different when you get down to it.

        • Yes, that was Karl Popper’s position – if it can’t be tested by some experiment, it is merely faith and not science.

          I think we have to be careful here though in not confusing to ‘experiment’ with ‘proof’.

          Godel demonstrated that there are truths in this universe that cannot be proven true – but are, nonetheless, true.

          The challenge is, we cannot know the difference between an extremely difficult proof and one that cannot be proven.

          He went insane trying to prove is own proof – which may be precisely an example of an unprovable truth.

        • JB,

          I had to laugh – there was a video of a talk by a cosmologist – brilliant lecture.

          But he highlighted the different theories regarding the universe.

          He is not a string theorist but in his video he went along…

          “I am not a string theorist, but I know about what they say about their theory, so I have two slides to help the rest of us understand them”.

          A cartoon of two stick men talking.

          “HEY! I have this theory! All matter and energy is just vibrations in different frequencies – creating ‘strings’ of reality in our universe!”

          “Wow! That’s cool! What does that mean?”

          “I don’t know….”

          “Cool!”

          • LOL

            I just got out of a lecture in which we calculated various Feynman diagrams for scalar electrodynamics, using selectrons (the supersymmetric scalar partner of the electron). At one point we asked, “do these particles exist?” The response was “I don’t know, maybe.”

            Crazy physicists, right?

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      Buck,

      Now I may be off here because the issue has not been on the front burner for a while but, like global warming, the issue of second hand smoke is not settled. As I remember it there was some research, the research was supposedly conclusive but could not be duplicated and like the East Anglica University thing, they were unwilling to share date. The conclusion, last time I heard was only supported by that one initial study.

      Any smoking or former smoking scientists want to back me up here?

      This stuff is like urban myths or Joe Stalin. Repeat it often enough and not only does it become the truth, it precludes anyone questioning it.

      I do have a stake in the conversation since both of my parents were smokers when I was growing up.

      • After the AGW mess, should we not question all science and the results? Who is funding them? Why?

        I remember when the World News said that scientists were saying the eggs were bad for you, back in the 70’s or early 80’s. I wonder if PETA didn’t fund that fiasco.

        Todays scientists are bought and paid for, mostly.

        G!

      • Buck The Wala says:

        From what I’ve read up on the matter second hand smoke (SHS) has been proven harmful. There have been a multitude of studies demonstrating this as fact.

        http://www.no-smoke.org/pdf/SHSBibliography.pdf

        http://www.repace.com/Repace-CV.pdf

        Though I do agree that more studies need to be conducted and more can be learned on this topic. I read a very interesting piece a few months ago (can’t seem to locate it today) about extending smoking bans to outdoor public places, such as parks. This I would agree is premature, based on the article, there just haven’t been studies conducted to see whether or not SHS has the same affect when done outside in the open. The article recommended further studies on this issue, and then, if and only if those studies confirm the same adverse affects of SHS, then we can begin to debate whether to ban smoking outdoors and the extent of any such bans.

        • SK Trynosky Sr says:

          But is it as dangerous indoors or out as broiling a steak? What about those paraffin based candles I use for a romantic evening at home? The fireplace in my living room? The marijuana smoke that was wafting through the public halls today of the building I manage in Brooklyn? How about living adjacent to the Cross Bronx Expressway? The burning insecticide candles in my backyard on the 4th of July? Being downwind of a grass or forest fire?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I sure hope you aren’t broiling a steak laced with carcinogens! Though you never know; could be a tasty steak..

  10. Bush to be honored by the Obama Administration

    The Obama Administration will be honoring the 43rd President of the United States.

    It has asked the U. S. Board on Geographical Names to name the fault-line in the

    tectonic area beneath Haiti after him.

    (Yes, there is such a board, created in 1890 and updated in 1947.)

    The area will now officially be referred to as “Bush’s Fault”

  11. $100M-a-Day Federal Shutdown Buys A Lot of Obama Initiatives

    FOXNews.com

    The Office of Personnel Management estimates that the shuttering of the federal government due to the snowstorms in Washington, D.C., is costing taxpayers about $100 million every day in lost productivity. So what does $100 million buy?

    Shown here is a view of the National Mall from the U.S. Capitol Feb. 10, as snow falls in Washington. (FNC)

    Remember when President Obama ordered his Cabinet to come up with $100 million in spending cuts last year?

    Sadly, the snowstorm blasting the nation’s capital wiped out those savings in a day.

    While D.C. residents take out their snow shovels for untold hours of back-breaking labor, the Office of Personnel Management estimates that the shuttering of the federal government is breaking the bank as well — costing taxpayers about $100 million every day in lost productivity.

    With Friday’s half day, and three full days of government shut-down this week, that adds up to $350 million — and it could top $500 million if the government, with its 230,000 D.C.-area employees, remains closed through the end of the week.

    Trillion-dollar deficits, health care packages and stimulus bills may have numbed the public a bit to the value of $1 million, or $100 million. So FoxNews.com took a look at what $100 million can get the federal government these days, and here’s what turned up:

    — 1,404 annual federal salaries. A recent estimate pegged the average federal pay at just over $71,000. With $100 million, the administration could fund 1,404 of those every day.

    — Nearly a full year’s worth of foreclosure prevention funding. The president’s fiscal 2011 budget calls for $113 million in foreclosure prevention “activities,” which covers counseling for about 40,000 homeowners every month. Five and a half days of closings would help nearly 200,000 homeowners every month.

    — 18,692 Pell Grants. Washington increased the maximum Pell Grant award by $600 last year, putting the total value at $5,350.

    — 667 full-body scanners for U.S. airports, more than the double the number the Transportation Security Administration plans to buy this year. Calls for the installation of the scanners increased after the failed bombing of a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas. The TSA, as of late December, had only 40 in operation, with plans to deploy 150 this year and buy another 300 at the same time — at a cost of between $130,000 and $170,000 apiece.

    — More than 300 new customs officers for screening at U.S. ports. The fiscal 2011 budget includes $94 million for that many new officers, hired to screen passengers and cargo at “ports of entry.” The money is also going toward improving screening on the front end, at foreign airports and elsewhere. Five and a half days of shutdown could save or create 1,755 customs jobs.

    — The total cost, and then some, for next year’s handling of the Guantanamo Bay detainees. The Department of Justice’s fiscal 2011 budget request includes $73 million for the “transfer, prosecution and incarceration” of Guantanamo prisoners.

    — 93,949 monthly Social Security payments. With Social Security going broke, recipients might want to get their payments while they can. The government estimates the average monthly check is $1,064.

    — One full Haiti aid package. Obama’s initial pledge of U.S. aid for earthquake-stricken Haiti was exactly $100 million.

    — 40 Super Bowl ads from the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau angered some lawmakers after it was revealed its Super Bowl ad promoting the 2010 Census cost $2.5 million. But why stop there?

    — Full funding for the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The bureau, which has its work cut out for it as the economy appears to stagger toward some kind of recovery, is funded for $109 million in the president’s 2011 budget plan.

    And the list goes on. The federal government is not completely shuttered. The Office of Personnel Management is granting an “excused absence” to all non-emergency employees, but “emergency employees” are being told to come in and some are expected to telecommute.

    This week’s shutdown is the longest period of time the federal government has been closed in more than a decade. The longest in history occurred for about three weeks from December 1995 to January 1996 over a debt limit dispute. In that case, hundreds of thousands of federal employees were furloughed, meaning they were not paid.

    That’s not the case this time. But OPM Director John Berry wrote in a memo last week to human resources directors that the decision to close was being made “out of concern for employee safety and to help alleviate traffic concerns.”

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The whole premise of this is completely silly.

      Every day that the federal government is shut down, it is SAVING US countless dollars, because if they are not there and “working”, they are not passing any new laws or regulations which would COST us tons and tons of money.

      Whatever money this shutdown is “costing” us, I assure you we are SAVING far more than the cost, so the whole premise is BS.

  12. SUFA

    Pay attention now everyone. Especially you Mathius, Ray and Buck.

    Here is my pick for Republican Presidential candidate in 2012. I urge you to read the whole link to see how she handled certain touchy issues.

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

    Palin vs Lingle in the primary. Oh how fun that would be!!!!

    I do have a couple of caveats however.

    First, is her ties to Israel. If she is willing to kick Israel in the ass and resolve the Palestinian issue from the point of view of what is good for America then I’m in. If she is just another We love Israel and it can do no wrong politico them I’m out. This next cycle we need someone who will play hard ball with Israel and Palestinians.

    Second, for you all here. I would view this as a “transition” office holder. Someone who could tone down the BS and move us towards fiscal responsibility. Someone who might slow down the erosion of liberties.

    Meanwhile we will continue building our army. Bwaaahaa haaa!

    JAC

    • JAC,

      Another Lingle issue.

      http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,534750,00.html

      Celebrating its 50th year of statehood, Hawaii became the first in the nation to attempt universal health care. On June 30, 2007, Governor Linda Lingle signed legislation into effect called Keiki Care.

      (voice-over) The word “keiki” means child in the Hawaii native tongue, and the Keiki Care program gave free insurnace to children whose families could not afford it on their own. Those covered had no monthly premium and had access to doctor visits for just $7.

      The program partnered the state of Hawaii with the state’s largest private insurance provider, HMSA.

      BARBARA LUKSCH, HAWAII COVERING KIDS: It had public-private partnership. We had a health insurance plan, HMSA, that was putting up 50 percent of the cost. And the state was putting up 50 percent, so there is a match between the public and private entities.

      JENKINS: The plan targeted Hawaiian residents who were the, quote, gap children: kids ineligible for state programs who had not had health care for six consecutive months.

      JENNIFER DISMAN, HMSA SPOKESPERSON: The original estimates for Keiki Care were 3,500 children, and the hope, of course, was to enroll all of those children. And the budgetary monies that were included in the statute covered 3,500 children.

      JENKINS: But the governor’s office soon found out that the plan was being abused.

      GOV. LINDA LINGLE, R-HAWAII: What the legislators did was they created a state insurance program that allowed parents who already were paying for their children’s health insurance to drop their private coverage and to come take advantage of the state coverage.

      And what that meant was that taxpayers were subsidizing parents for health insurance that they were previously paying for. It just didn’t make sense; it couldn’t be sustained.

      JENKINS: Governor Lingle cut funding for the plan after just seven months, because the state budget could not handle the strain of more families jumping from their private insurance to the free government health care.

      Most affected were the smaller private insurers, left high and dry when families switched to the government plan. A plan that just happened to be cosponsored by the largest Hawaiian insurance company. Critics call it the crowd-out effect. But HMSA says it didn’t happen.

      LINGLE: As far as HMSA saw, there was no crowd-out.

      JENKINS: When the government made the decision to cancel the program, the Democrat-run state legislature was baffled.

      STATE SENATOR DAVID IGE, D-HAWAII: We were shocked. Everybody agreed that the Keiki Care program was working as we expected it to work. It was a very targeted program. It was targeted for those who are not able to qualify for Medicaid and yet are not able to afford health insurance costs.

      JENKINS: But Governor Lingle argues that the statistics were on her side.

      (on camera) According to the Department of Human Services, 85 percent of those enrolled in Keiki Care previously had insurance.

      • LOI

        Sounds like she took prompt and rational action to me. That would fit the fiscal conservative mold we want, no?

        I am perplexed at Hawaii’s progrma given the CHIP program. There was no mention of CHIP but that is exactly who the target was for that program as well.

        Deserves some more looking.

        Lingle gave the introduction/nomination speech for Palin at the convention. I happened to be watching and was most impressed with her presence and command.

        I confess that I have no specifics on her. But I already like her more than Palin for Pres.

        • I thought there were good and bad aspects. That she signed the measure does not thrill me, but she acted promptly when it went south. I was underwhelmed by Palin’s speech, and did not like how she flipped on AGW during the campaign. Why can’t a Vice Pres disagree with the Pres???? I would have thought it added strength to their team.

          Agree, she could bear watching.

  13. http://views.washingtonpost.com/climate-change/post-carbon/2010/01/murkowski_targets_epa_on_climate.html

    Murkowski targets EPA on climate

    By Juliet Eilperin

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) offered legislation Thursday afternoon to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare.

    The resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, a rarely used legislation maneuver, directly challenges the Obama administration’s right to regulate greenhouse gases on its own. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) joined Murkowski in sponsoring the measure.

    Murkowski questioned why “bureaucrats” in Washington “are contemplating regulations that will destroy jobs while Americans are doing everything they can just to find one.”

    “We should take the EPA regulations off the table,” she said in a floor speech, adding that Congress will eventually be able to craft a bipartisan response to the question of climate change. “We are not incapable, or even unwilling, to legislate on this topic… We’re being presented with a false choice between unacceptable legislation, and unacceptable regulations.”

    The EPA issued the endangerment finding in December and it became final last week. The finding enables the agency to regulate greenhouse gases as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

    Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) called the move “a new low, in my humble opinion.”

    “The Murkowski amendment is a direct assault on the health of the American people,” Boxer said, adding that it is “an unprecedented move by a United States senator and her co-sponsors to overturn a health finding made by health experts, and scientific experts, in order to side with the special interests.”
    By
    Juliet Eilperin
    | January 21, 2010; 1:44 PM ET

  14. Black Flag,
    12 new photos of WTC 1-2. ABC said it was provided 2,779 pictures on nine CDs. Wonder how many more we’ll see?

    In the first two slides, I’d say those fires look pretty intense. Not the smoldering oxygen starved fires you’ve talked about.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/slideshow?id=9763032

    I’m trying to catch up here. It’s been a busy couple of days.

    I haven’t looked at the Flight 77 data recorder. Don’t hold your breath…hmmm, on second thought… 😉

    USA Has A History Of Attacking Themselves To Go To War.

    Given that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, such an assumption moves rapidly toward circumstance. Given that the US forces allowed Bin Laden to escape – and quickly grew bored chasing him – it further confirms it.

    Interesting video about the history of US going to war. I’ve heard of some of those – Pearl Harbor, Gulf of Tolkien, Kuwait/Gulf War.

    I agree Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and the case for invading Iraq was fabricated by the Bush Administration. And if the US had captured Bin Laden the US public would have been satisfied with that success and that would have made it harder to justify invading Iraq.

    But none of that is evidence that the WTC buildings were destroyed using explosives.

    I wonder what the odds would be for the US government to have an exercise that has an airplane hitting a US government building 4 miles from the Pentagon at 9:32 AM (according to the script) on Sept. 11 /2001. Just for the record, the Flight 77 hit the Pentagon @ 9:37.

    But, hey, the laws of physics went on a holiday in New York – I guess the laws of probability took the same vacation in D.C.

    Because of this exercise, the emergency action team was already deployed and ready. when the call came in, fire and rescue was less than 5 minutes away – all prep’d and ready for airplane crash into a building – AMAZING!

    This “pre-planned accident by forced probability” saved many lives.

    Yes, the odds are pretty long, but coincidences do happen every day. That’s why it’s called probability and not impossibility. But if you were planning the attack on the Pentagon, would you schedule an exercise on the same day? Wouldn’t that look like a set-up? I don’t think someone that would plan an attack like that would be worried about saving lives after it occurred. You’d want maximum casualties to justify your plans for war.

    And not surprisingly, your numbers are off. From your link:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002-08-22-sept-11-plane-drill-_x.htm

    Officials at the Chantilly, Va.-based National Reconnaissance Office had scheduled an exercise that morning in which a small corporate jet would crash into one of the four towers at the agency’s headquarters building after experiencing a mechanical failure.

    The agency is about four miles from the runways of Washington Dulles International Airport.

    The exercise was planned at the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, Va. It’s 4 miles from the Washington Dulles International Airport, not the Pentagon. It’s actually 25 miles from the Pentagon. 35 minutes to an hour’s drive depending on traffic according to Google maps.

    According to http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20090908124002991

    At 9:37, the first engine from Fairfax County Fire Department was scheduled to arrive on the scene. (It is unclear whether real fire department personnel were going to participate in the exercise. The document states that “inputs from simulated Fairfax responders” were to be used “if Fairfax does not play.”) At 10:03, four more fire department trucks and emergency medical technician vehicles would respond to the crash. By 10:30 all the simulated fires would have been put out, but it would be confirmed that at least four NRO employees died in the crash. The exercise was set to end at 11:45 a.m.

    Another coincidence that the first engine was scheduled to arrive at 9:37am…

    But the emergency action team was not already deployed and ready.
    Fire and rescue was not less than 5 minutes away.
    They were not all prep’d and ready for airplane crash into a building – it might have been simulated Fairfax responders.

    And they would have been responding to Chantilly, Va right at the time they were needed at the Pentagon. This exercise would have just created more confusion. And it was the local Fairfax County Fire Department. I doubt they’d be involved in the crash at the Pentagon.

    Will your next argument be that this exercise was planned to create more confusion on the morning of 9/11? Maybe you should have started there…

    Since the training is wholly planned in advanced, out in the open, everyone knows about it.

    This exercise was not “out in the open”. It was not made public until an announcement for a homeland security conference. I couldn’t find a date for this:

    An announcement for an upcoming homeland security conference in Chicago first noted the exercise.

    but that darn FAA Chief – wasn’t part of the plan – and he was a man who knew his duty was to save American lives. He screwed “them” up with the order to land all planes.

    It was audacious.
    Never been done before.
    Never even been planned, thought about, nor tested nor even contemplated as a possibility. Land 3,000 aircraft in 45 minutes.

    Thus, it was wholly unexpected and caught “them” by total surprise.

    But the FAA did it, he trusted his own air controllers to do a brilliant, safe, quick job as the key professionals they are. And he screwed “them” up. The day had to end immediately or risk exposing the extent of the perverse ‘shut down’ of military response.

    Wow – an awful lot of NEVER before’s in that! And yet it all happened. But you dismiss all other NEVER before’s that happened on 9/11 as impossible.

    More coincidences and improbable events…that happen every day…

    You’re really stretching to try to justify your conspiracy theories…

    • Hi Todd,

      12 new photos of WTC 1-2. ABC said it was provided 2,779 pictures on nine CDs. Wonder how many more we’ll see?

      A lot more, we hope.

      Boy those photos that show explosive discharge of materials completely circling all around the building in symmetrical style – never seen in nature!

      And those of the pyrocastic flow ….

      In the first two slides, I’d say those fires look pretty intense. Not the smoldering oxygen starved fires you’ve talked about.

      Hey, I posted what the fireman said – I’d suggest professional fire fighters know a fire when they see one – and they -right on that spot- found no ‘raging and intense’ fire. Two hoses were called to deal with it.

      Further, note the asymetry of the fire.

      And…the WTC suffered worse fires, as have other steel frame buildings – none, zippo, fell.

      I’m trying to catch up here. It’s been a busy couple of days.

      No problem. This will not go away quietly in the night.

      It will be here whenever you get around to it 🙂

      I haven’t looked at the Flight 77 data recorder.

      A brief video to help:

      But none of that is evidence that the WTC buildings were destroyed using explosives.

      I completely agree.

      It merely a speculation for cause, nothing more – and it does not prove a darn thing – other than one motive.

      It is merely the age old analysis, used since the Roman times:

      Quo Bono

      Who gains?

      Yes, the odds are pretty long, but coincidences do happen every day. That’s why it’s called probability and not impossibility.

      Here’s the problem. Probability is not additive – it is multiplicative.

      When this AND this AND this – the odds start falling precipitously toward “impossible” very quickly.

      Having a test on any day is, obviously, 1/365.
      Having a test regarding air crash … 1/50
      Having a test regarding crash and building … 1/100
      Having a test regarding it being a government building … 1/100
      Having a test regarding it within 4-10 miles from the real target …. 1/5000
      Having a test with the start time within 3 minutes of reality … 1/1200

      = 218,994,000,000 to 1

      But if you were planning the attack on the Pentagon, would you schedule an exercise on the same day?

      Yes.

      You can entangle all the key reaction actors into disarray. There is plenty of evidence where FAA and Military liaisons spend time debating if the event is ‘in game’ or not. When they finally decide they should at least act on it, they can’t find any of their chain of command – they’re all sequestered somewhere else playing a game.

      Wouldn’t that look like a set-up?

      99.8% of the population do not understand coincidence vs probability. They’d say “hey, anything is possible”.

      The 0.2% get written off as quacks.

      I don’t think someone that would plan an attack like that would be worried about saving lives after it occurred. You’d want maximum casualties to justify your plans for war.

      No.

      I agree with USWep. 10 would have been enough. Heck, zero would have been fine, as long as the symbols were hit.

      So, let’s think that out, too.

      The planes hit before the towers were filled for the day. Had they picked the early afternoon flights, easily 3x times the kill rate.

      Amazing that the Pentagon hit the section under renovation – most of the offices were empty.

      The White House was empty. Bush on tour, Cheney out and about. Nobody home except skeleton staff.

      The exercise was planned at the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, Va. It’s 4 miles from the Washington Dulles International Airport, not the Pentagon. It’s actually 25 miles from the Pentagon. 35 minutes to an hour’s drive depending on traffic according to Google maps.

      I stand corrected. Adjust odds down to only

      21,899,400,000 to 1 – … yeah, that’s a lot better 😉

      Will your next argument be that this exercise was planned to create more confusion on the morning of 9/11? Maybe you should have started there…

      But wait, that wasn’t the only one running on that day…

      There was the NORAD/FAA exercise – testing a multiple aircraft hijacked at the same time, over the East Cost – nah, couldn’t be…. there is no way….

      … it was running on Sept. 11 /2001 !!!

      Gee, now where are those odds???

      Since the training is wholly planned in advanced, out in the open, everyone knows about it.

      This exercise was not “out in the open”. It was not made public until an announcement for a homeland security conference.

      The retort you, Bob and others make that insiders would know – nobody cares if the public knows – the masses are stupid, they believe what ever authority tells them.

      The retort from ‘you guys’ is that insiders would blow the whistle. Joe Public does not knows when repsonse tests are running.

      These operations are to blind operator eyes, not the public eye.

      Wow – an awful lot of NEVER before’s in that! And yet it all happened. But you dismiss all other NEVER before’s that happened on 9/11 as impossible.

      Ah, bear trap and you fell into it 🙂

      Yes, because the event was man-made – by decisionThere are lots of “never happened before” man-made events – in fact, all of them at one time exhibited that.

      The fact the towers fell cannot be disputed. The fact it was ‘first time’ it fell symmetrically cannot make it natural. Like the FAA, it was by decision of men to make it happen that way.

      • Black Flag,

        explosive discharge of materials completely circling all around the building in symmetrical style – never seen in nature!

        But it’s not in nature. It’s a man-made building that is symmetrical in design.

        the pyrocastic flow

        You know there were no pyrocastic flows. There were lots of videos of people (and their cameras) being over-taken by clouds of dust. There were no burn victims in the dust clouds.

        Hey, I posted what the fireman said – I’d suggest professional fire fighters know a fire when they see one – and they -right on that spot- found no ‘raging and intense’ fire. Two hoses were called to deal with it.

        Yes, firemen who encountered the edges of the fires. From inside the building, they’d have no way of knowing what’s going on above them. But you used their comments out of context to try to show the fires were minor.

        Further, note the asymetry of the fire.

        So? What does that have to do with anything?

        And…the WTC suffered worse fires, as have other steel frame buildings – none, zippo, fell.

        Not true. I believe you’ve mentioned the Windsor Tower fire in the past.

        http://www.debunking911.com/madrid.htm

        The Windsor Tower, Madrid fire.
        This fire is one of the fires Conspiracy theorist like to point to when talking about high raise office fires. This fire lasted 26 hours. But what they don’t tell you is that the first collapse happened only 2 hours and 30 minutes after the fire began. But why didn’t the building fall completely? It was on fire for 26 hours. The answer is very simple. The building were constructed very differently than the WTC. Reinforced concrete was used in the core and under the 17th floor. Below are detailed descriptions of how the Madrid tower was constructed and the reason for it not collapsing…

        What you see above is the concrete reinforced core. What’s missing is the steel around the core of the upper floors which was not covered in concrete. As with the towers, it weakened and collapsed early in the fire.

        The steel not covered in concrete collapsed. Only the concrete reinforced core remained.

        I watched the video, but I haven’t done any other research on Flight 77. So does that simulation show the flight path doesn’t hit the poles?

        This simulation does show the plane hitting the poles (it came up after I watched your video):

        Here’s the problem. Probability is not additive – it is multiplicative.

        When this AND this AND this – the odds start falling precipitously toward “impossible” very quickly.

        Having a test on any day is, obviously, 1/365.
        Having a test regarding air crash … 1/50
        Having a test regarding crash and building … 1/100
        Having a test regarding it being a government building … 1/100
        Having a test regarding it within 4-10 miles from the real target …. 1/5000
        Having a test with the start time within 3 minutes of reality … 1/1200

        = 218,994,000,000 to 1

        You’re making a lot of assumptions with your odds.

        Air crash – it was only 4 miles from a major airport. An air crash drill makes perfect sense.

        Crash and building – it was a building. What else would they do drills for? I would assume they also have normal fire drills and tornado drills from time to time.

        Government building – the DC area is full of government buildings.

        4-10 miles from the real target – actually 25 miles, and again the DC area is full of government buildings.

        within 3 minutes of reality – actually the test started at 9:00am. The rest of the times were based off that.

        We could argue all night about the factors and probability of each. Any then we would have to divide that number by the number of government buildings in the area and the number of drills they have each year…

        Ah, bear trap and you fell into it

        Oh, I saw your trap, so I used my wooden leg. 😉

        because the event was man-made – by decision

        Yes, but the only conspiracy that occurred on 9/11 was the one planned by terrorists, and it involved planes, not explosive demolition.

        Finally, we agree!! 🙂

        • Todd,

          But it’s not in nature. It’s a man-made building that is symmetrical in design.

          Todd, you’re doing it again – being obtuse.

          The building is symmetrical – the fire and damage asymmetrical – come on, boy, keep UP!

          Asymmetrical damage does not create a symmetrical collapse.

          You know there were no pyrocastic flows. There were lots of videos of people (and their cameras) being over-taken by clouds of dust. There were no burn victims in the dust clouds.

          The flow – as described – fits precisely demolition events.

          There is no natural cause of any collapse in any building anywhere by any means other then explosives that creates such cloud.

          Further, the streets filled with burnt cars kinda contradicts your claim.

          Hey, I posted what the fireman said – I’d suggest professional fire fighters know a fire when they see one – and they -right on that spot- found no ‘raging and intense’ fire. Two hoses were called to deal with it.

          Yes, firemen who encountered the edges of the fires. From inside the building, they’d have no way of knowing what’s going on above them. But you used their comments out of context to try to show the fires were minor.

          Todd – now you deny witness verbal testimony of eye witness professionals – what game are you playing?

          Further, note the asymetry of the fire.

          So? What does that have to do with anything?

          Everything, Todd! Wakey wakey, boy!

          Asymmetrical damage cannot create symmetrical collapse. Laws of momentum and Newton, remember?

          I am starting to feel like I’m talking to a kid in Grade 4 again, Todd.

          And…the WTC suffered worse fires, as have other steel frame buildings – none, zippo, fell.

          Not true. I believe you’ve mentioned the Windsor Tower fire in the past.

          I shake my head in utter amazement.

          I say there were worse fires – you point to one.

          I say it didn’t’ collapse – and it didn’t

          And then you say “not true”.

          It’s like trying to convince a toddler Santa Claus doesn’t exist even though he sees all the street Santa Claus walking around.

          I’d like to know where they got this – do you have a resource?
          trusses that were bolted on with two 5/8″ bolts.

          Further, it did not collapse – you and your site have definition problems.

          Buckling is not collapse – many fires buckle steel – no steel high rise has ever collapsed because of it.

          Steel and its effects under heat is not a new phenomena, Todd. They are designed with this in mind – it is not ignored.

          I watched the video, but I haven’t done any other research on Flight 77. So does that simulation show the flight path doesn’t hit the poles?

          Todd,

          You’re confused a bit – its understandable.

          The video I sent is the NTSB flight recorder data. It has been visualized but it is not a simulationit is the real data from the flight recorder.

          A simulation -by definition- uses calculated information to perform – the NTSB uses data recorded readings.

          This is the same difference between taking the temperature outside and simulating the temperature 100 years from now – one is reality, another is a calculation.

          The NTSB is not a calculation – it is the data visualized.

          This simulation does show the plane hitting the poles (it came up after I watched your video):

          That IS a simulation – created from eye witness reports, video evidence (parking lot video) and on the 9/11 Commission documentation – it was NOT created from recorded data.

          Hence the serious problem – video recorded evidence, physical evidence (light poles) and eye witnesses contradict the recorded data in the Flight Recorder

          Since reality is – that is, light poles do not fall over in a row by design – and video evidence is assumed true, it must be the Flight Recorder that is wrong.

          But that cannot be – this is the flight data.

          Therefore the Flight Recorder claimed to be Flight 77 cannot be from Flight 77.

          So (1) what flight is it from? What plane on that date and about that time made the fly over of the Pentagon?

          (2) Why was this Flight used to create the NTSB version claiming to be Flight 77?

          (3) Where is the real Flight recorder for Flight 77?

          You’re making a lot of assumptions with your odds.

          Even a few orders of magnitude error – and don’t forget, I hadn’t multiplied in yet the probability of the FAA/NORAD multiple hijack scenario running at the same time – which will put the probability in the realm of “impossible” as a coincidence.

          And, oh, by the way this was calculated by a number of British mathematicians – their “9/11” is the 7/7 bombing of the subway.

          There, too – amazingly! – the British authorities were – shocking! – doing a drill on that day and time – shocking! – about a series of bombings of the subway and -shockingly! – buses! Gee, amazing, huh???

          They calculated the odds of both 9/11 and 7/7 as being “impossible” in the amount of “coincidences”.

          What else would they do drills for?

          There is, oh, 10,000 times more empty ground the buildings. That is why I gave it 1/50 – there are a lot of other scenarios possibly – but, adjust away – and multiply (but show your work) – let’s see what you come up with!

          I would assume they also have normal fire drills and tornado drills from time to time.

          No doubt. But they didn’t that day – they had this one, a very particular one – that’s why we call it “probability”, Todd!

          Government building – the DC area is full of government buildings.

          1/100

          4-10 miles from the real target – actually 25 miles, and again the DC area is full of government buildings.

          Acknowledged and already adjusted above!

          within 3 minutes of reality – actually the test started at 9:00am. The rest of the times were based off that.

          The plane crash was calculated to occur at 9:32 – that is in the script.

          No adjustment.

          We could argue all night about the factors and probability of each. Any then we would have to divide that number by the number of government buildings in the area and the number of drills they have each year…

          No. We are not looking for all the of drills – we are looking for THIS particular drill. The other drills are irrelevant.

          Thus, the 1/365. True, if they ran this EXACT drill more than once a year, that would change the numerator – however, I find only one instance of such drill – if you know different, let me know!

          Yes, but the only conspiracy that occurred on 9/11 was the one planned by terrorists, and it involved planes,

          We agree up to here.

          Who the terrorists really are, unknown

          IT was a conspiracy.

          And there were planes.

          • Black Flag,

            I’m only obtuse in your mind because I don’t agree with you.

            Further, the streets filled with burnt cars kinda contradicts your claim.

            The picture near the bottom of this page shows isolated fires surrounded by unburned trees and paper. Kinda destroys your claim of pyrocastic flows.

            http://www.debunking911.com/freefall.htm

            Todd – now you deny witness verbal testimony of eye witness professionals – what game are you playing?

            I don’t deny their testimony. I point out the game you constantly play of taking quotes out of context.

            It’s like trying to convince a toddler Santa Claus doesn’t exist even though he sees all the street Santa Claus walking around.

            I feel the same way.

            it is the data visualized

            I ask a simple question, and you get all worked up about the word simulation.

            But “data visualized” fits the definition of a simulation:

            the reproduction of the essential features of something, e.g. as an aid to study or training

            They’re both simulations.

            I don’t know where that flight recorder came from. You’ve studied this more than I have – where do you think it came from?

            Have you calculated the odds of your thermite theory? What would the odds of that be?

            We seem to be going around in circles here. It’s getting old.

            • Todd,

              When I accuse you of obtuse, its for a reason.

              It comes when someone actively begins redefining words – such as you did with “topple”.

              If you can’t keep your definitions, then meaningful dialogue is impossible.

              Further, the streets filled with burnt cars kinda contradicts your claim.

              The picture near the bottom of this page shows isolated fires surrounded by unburned trees and paper. Kinda destroys your claim of pyrocastic flows.

              The dust cloud itself is unprecedented in any collapse anywhere in by any cause except demolition, Todd.

              When a building is demolition, the dust cloud is called pyrocaustic – because its cause was puliverization by force of explosives.

              Your challenge is to find any collapse by any means excepting explosives that has created this effect.

              I don’t deny their testimony. I point out the game you constantly play of taking quotes out of context.

              *Cough*

              Out of context means I pulled ONE or a FEW comments out of their entire conversation.

              I provided THEIR entire conversation – or a link to it.

              There is no “out of context”, sir.

              I ask a simple question, and you get all worked up about the word simulation.

              Because it is inaccurate. Simulations use calculations to fill in data elements – as already described.

              This is not a simulation – it is a visualization. Not one spec of data was calculated.

              This makes that far more critical then the video you exampled (though that one, I believe was accurate and well done as well).

              I don’t know where that flight recorder came from. You’ve studied this more than I have – where do you think it came from?

              I don’t know, that it is why it is a question, not a comment.

              It is an important question, don’t you think?

              Have you calculated the odds of your thermite theory? What would the odds of that be?

              100% since there is chemical evidence.

              • Todd,

                I always laugh when people say the ‘argument gets old’ just when they run into an intractable situation – such as WTC 7 and Flight 77.

                No answers, so the question is old… LoL

    • Another video Flight 77

    • New pictures of the twin towers just realeased:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1249885/New-World-Trade-Center-9-11-aerial-images-ABC-News.html

      Can’t wait to hear any review of these, thay are good pics from that day.

      G!

      • Decent WTC 7 video

      • Ah, Found it – for SK

        The WTC crash simulator I spoke about last week

        • To me, this shows that the planes did a lot of structural damage to the exterior and the core. Not tin foil and not a pencil prick in a fish net.

          • 1st, it is an incomplete simulation – if you remember (but I bet you haven’t watched it yet) the AE911 video where he explains that any sim that doesn’t input the actual structural manifests can’t be used to fully describe the building.

            2nd, it isn’t that much damage – it is, at most, a handful of the 57 columns.

            3rd, since it didn’t fall immediately after the strike, the strike did not cause the fall.

            • BF

              This statement is not accurate or at least precise:

              “3rd, since it didn’t fall immediately after the strike, the strike did not cause the fall.”

              The more accurate statement would be “did not immediately cause the fall”.

              Direct and indirect and cumulative effects must be considered.

          • But you skipped the Flight Recorder stuff..

            …good choice.

            There is no question that something is seriously amiss there. It’s not even worth a debate – yet, here we are – years later – and no answer from authority.

            I can’t wait for the explanation – it’ll be a wroth the price of popcorn!

          • Todd,

            Yeah, review the 3:15 – 3:30 part – a handful of the core, nothing significant.

      • This one has always bothered me.

        This is a fixed camera – it was hard mounted on the top of another building for TV shots over the city showing weather, etc.

        It was turned and focused on WTC 1 –

        What is troublesome – it shakes seconds before the tower collapse – something had to shake the entire building that the camera was mounted on – this is NOT a hand held shake.

        Forward to 25 seconds into the video, then watch at the 33 second piece – the whole frame shakes – then 46 second mark, down it comes.

        • Another copy without voice overs

        • To my untrained eye, I had to watch the video several times to even notice the shake. It couldn’t have been wind or some other vibration? I can hear helicopters in the audio?

          The second video mentions a 2.2 tremor. I’ve looked at some of the tremor info, but not in detail.

          • There was light wind – the smoke does not move radically to such a burst.

            The camera is mounted solid on the building – it is the weather camera – it is made not to shake. It had been filming for nearly an hour – since the strike – and never shook until then.

            Is there other possibilities, certainly – but we know something shook it – and (darn coincidences just go on and on this day) within seconds of the collapse.

            • Black Flag,
              Yes, the camera shook. But the collapses starts at the fire line. If explosives had been used lower in the building, the entire building would have slide out of the video frame. It did not.

              • Todd,

                The building fell straight down, at free fall – meaning no resistance through the core.

                If you review other demolitions, the way WTC fell is incredibility similar – initial cutter demolitions of the core, then a few seconds later residual supports.

                No Flight 77 comments?

              • And PS:

                If the official reason was correct, the core should have been left standing straight up for a 100 floors.

                It was not.

        • BF

          Time delay between shake and building starting to fall seems too long for a demolition that destroys lower level.

          Even if the blast were aimed at only the interior columns from the base the top supported by the columns seems like it should have started falling sooner. It also would have created evidence of fall below the fire line would it not?

          Look at the other videos on that site of other demolitions.

          As with all this stuff, doesn’t rule anything out or anything in. It creates more questions.

          At the link check out the cooling tower demolitions. Notice smoke plumes from the columns as the structures start to fall.

          Can you find anything on the web as to whether there were additional charges set or are these the result of expansion and compression forces on concrete?

          • JAC,

            RE: Shake.

            (1) we have observable evidence. In a number of demolitions I’ve seen via video is there are cutting charges set off well prior to collapse and seconds later the building implodes. The timing of the shake and collapse is well within the time I’ve noted in other demolition examples.

            (2) There is video evidence of a dust cloud at the base of the WTC two seconds prior to systemic collapse.

            I will find it later tonight for you.

            (3)Eye witness who claim multiple explosions throughout the building prior to collapse.

            • SK Trynosky Sr says:

              Thanks for the simulation. It was well done. Not getting into this one again. Need a few months to recharge. Watched an interesting National Geographic show on the collapse last week.

  15. Down here Ray,

    1) It is impossible to have a ‘meaningful’ dialog with a Leftist.
    2) I think a test is a good idea. I don’t care what happened in the past.
    3) I will not answer your questions because I don’t have to. There is no law that says I have to know anything. Therefore, I chose to remain ignorant, AS IS MY RIGHT.
    4) I will vote in any manner I please. If you don’t like my voting too bad.
    5) It is my right and there’s nothing you can do about it.
    6) There are many PO’d voters just like me and there is nothing you do about it.
    7) Be careful what you wish for.
    8) Do you understand my point?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @Cyndi

      1 – Its only impossible to the degree you close your own mind
      2 – Ignoring the passt – even you know that is horrible approach in how to govern
      3 – You are contradicting yourself – if you believe a test is required to vote, then in order to vote you must take the test. You can remain as ignorant as you wish – just means under your rules that you may end up not voting – that is totally your call and no one should force you otherwise (doesn’t sound like a leftist eh?)
      4 – Agreed – not sure what your point was.
      5 – Never disputed that it was your right – you’re the one claiming a test should be used in order to allow you to exercise that right (which – is it really a right then or is it something else?)
      6 – I know there are many PO’d voters just like you – why would you think its a good idea to create more barriers for those pissed off people to properly express themselves at the ballot box?
      7 – Not sure what you think I am wishing for.

      Not sure you’re even sure what your point is. You’ve yet to explain why a Tancredo-style test is a good thing.

      • I think you’re wishing for Leftist Utopia, which will never exsist. Yes, my mind is closed: to Leftist BS. My point is, if Leftists keep pissing off people like me, and destroying the country with their hairbrainded doctrine, we’re going to use our vote to screw you and stop you in your tracks becaue we have no alternative. Its very similar to what Leftists have be doing to the rest of us four the lsst 40+ years.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Cyndi – you’re sadly mistaken if you think I am a pure Leftist.

          • So, what’s your excuse for defending the Left?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Cyndi – not sure what I mean – I defend ideas and concepts I believe, I also challenge them as I do with ones I do not agree with. The Left is no more right on everything that you or anyone else may assume themselves to be – which is why I asked you the questions above – the positions you refuse to defend or explain.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Not sure what you mean.

                That was almost funny 😉

              • Shoot, thought you were going to admit you’re confused Ray; here it’s just a typo.

              • I have explained it. You refuse to accept my explaination, as is your right. I’m exercising my rights. I owe you nothing. You owe me nothing. I will vote what I believe to be my best interest give the circumstances. If, I choose to vote at all. Just like Obama voters voted what they believe to be in their best interest. If its good enough for them, its good enough for me.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Cyndi – you opened the query – if you don’t want me to engage you then just resist the temptation.

                And you’re right – you did answer my question. Not real well – and I was hoping you could expand upon your comments so I could better understand where you’re coming from and challenge my own thinking on it. But its okay – I’m cool taking you at face value.

              • I don’t know how to make it any clearer. People who contribute nothing in taxes, shouldn’t have any input into how the money is spent. They will vote themselves goodies at the expense of the people who do the work. At some point, the people pulling the dead weight will get fed up, PO’d, or just plain worn out. Then what? As for having to pass a BASIC test, say, at the level of a “C” average high school student, isn’t burdensome in the least when one considers what is at stake. If voters don’t have at least that much understanding, then we have people who stand in line to ‘get some of Obama’s stash’ and have no clue where the ‘stash’ comes from. We also get lots and lots of ideologs voting. Remember the ideologs thing, because that cuts both ways. If enough voters get PO’d enough, you’ll have to deal with lots and lots of angry right wing ideolgs voting for your worst nightmare.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                But Cyndi, government does more than just spend tax money. Just because someone does not pay federal taxes does not mean that they have no stake in what happens – we all have a stake, regardless of the amount of taxes we pay.

  16. JAC,

    When asked by a reporter
    “What do you think about Western Civilization,”
    Gandhi said:
    “I think it would be a good idea!”

    There is a struggle between the peaceful and life-enhancing forces of civilization, and the violent and destructive character of institutionally-centered system, the State.

    This fight exists because humans have a duality –
    (1) we are wholly unique individuals – each with a DNA unmatched by any other – with our own minds and desires.

    but
    (2) we are social beings who require the cooperation and companionship of others. None of us would have survived for more than a few hours had our mothers been alligators who, following the birth of their children, tossed us beside the road and continued along their way.

    We require the constant assistance of others to help sustain ourselves.

    We, in civilized behavior and natural order, that is without any design – discovered the advantages of a division of labor – the exchange of labor and goods with others and, in the process, live well as individuals.

    But the key is – it is un-designed – no man created it, it was created by the natural behavior of free men working within the Law of Mutuality.

    I think a lot of people confuse describing its features as being equal to creating the system.

    The free men and the free market system is not created by men – it is a whole and complete consequence of free men in individual action with the voluntary cooperation of other free men

    Mises, Smith, others and I merely are describing its features – like Newton observing gravity but no one man created the free market as no man created gravity!

    If this thing called govt has no authority to use force on innocent citizens then why are not the citizens protected against the progression of tyranny?

    But how does this follow?

    Because no man has a right to attack another means the man cannot defend himself from attack?

    I see you talking one part of non-institutionalization and link it to institutionalized consequences.

    Tyranny progresses when consequences of evil action are deflected.

    A man does not long survive stealing from his neighbors when each attempt risks life and limb. The natural order removes such men from society.

    But a man by office who presents such office as the legitimized criminal avoids the loss of HIS life and HIS limb.

    When risk/reward is skewed , one can guarantee that more will engage in such risk.

    This expands the number of people who want such office and/or expands the number of officers who can exercise these actions. This is where tyranny breeds.

    • BF

      Ah hah…you tricky pirate. Tried to side step the blow. Well I’m having none of that. You must address the real question and not pick ONLY the cherries you want. My questions were:

      “If history show us that this is the evolution of man then how does your tribe prevent such a thing from developing?

      If this thing called govt has no authority to use force on innocent citizens then why are not the citizens protected against the progression of tyranny?

      It seems to me that a limited govt bound by written contract is no more a moral hazard than the anarchist state. The former simply has one less step to take towards tyranny. But the risk remains with both. It seems inherent in the nature of man. At least for now.”

      Please note that the summary statement refers to the situation of the second question. Namely a limited govt that does not have authority to inititate force against the innocent.

      So if you would address my questions and proposition that a contractually constrained limited govt poses no more a moral hazard than an anarchist state, I would appreciate it.

      It seems to me that you in fact described the evolution of the anarchist state into the tyrannical state with “govt” that we have endured now for centuries. If that is the case then how do you prevent it from happening again?

      • JAC,

        “If history show us that this is the evolution of man then how does your tribe prevent such a thing from developing?

        The evolution of man shows that reverse – more freedom from less, not to less.

        Man got along fine without government before and will get along now without it too.

        The evolution of man is co-linked with the advances and declines of violence – primarily defense and retaliation. One only needs to review MAD to understand symmetrical retaliation. One needs to only review current conflicts to witness the power of asymmetrical retaliation.

        Both are effective. Both rest on the ability of response, ie: defense being stronger than offense. Defenders win (eventually), attackers are losing.

        The ability of man to resist violence is increasing – in groups and singly against other groups and individuals.

        This is the roots of evolution of government – centralized, concentrated violent power. And it is diminishing – not increasing.

        If this thing called govt has no authority to use force on innocent citizens then why are not the citizens protected against the progression of tyranny?

        It is the government that causes tyranny – it does not protect citizens from it – and when it loses its ability to use force on innocents, it cannot be government – it is a voluntary security team.


        It seems to me that a limited govt bound by written contract is no more a moral hazard than the anarchist state.

        A contract can not bind the unborn. Without coercion, few would sign – or at least ensure an ability to cancel said contract upon demand.

        The US States tried that against the Federal government – it turned out poorly.

        Please note that the summary statement refers to the situation of the second question. Namely a limited govt that does not have authority to inititate force against the innocent.

        Then, your society will naturally dissolve into many, perhaps hundreds and thousands of competing governments –

        A “Panarchy”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panarchy

        Anarchists do not fear the evil man – the evil man is outnumbered and has no legitimacy in his evil acts.

        Anarchists fear the evil man – who by office gathers other men by calls to ‘duty’ to such office, who seizes legitimacy by the point of their guns and claim their evil a ‘right’.

  17. LOI

    Even if your ideal of no government is correct, we are left with the reality that nearly every nation has some form of government. Changing from the existing government to Flagland will require a transition period of some sort.

    So true, so true.

    Removing all the knives in the body at once will most certainly cause the body to bleed to death.

    One at a time, carefully, to stop the blood loss is key.

    You asked me where I would start, my response was Freddie/Fannie. I do not have the expertise to answer how to do that, but still believe it can be done.
    Of course, reviving the economy would be fundamental to any such effort, so a massive increase in energy production
    would have to be a part of this, along with cutting taxes and spending.

    Killing Fred and Fannie will kill America – $70 trillion in mortgages go “poof”. Everyone kicked out of their homes, no place to go – and everywhere homes for sale

    “Houses, houses everywhere but not one to buy!”

    Budget cuts – the deficit must be zero. If it can’t be paid by taxes, it can’t be done.

    Then cut again and drop taxes. And then again and again.

    The government must stop competing the the market place for capital. It must start returning real capital back into the market place for real growth.

    But….

    …it will never happen, as outlined in my blog. The People will never allow budget cuts.

    Any cut will injure a large group of Americans – more than enough to vote out anyone.

    They will find someone who will give them government money, no matter what.

    Like the war movies – “You will order the attack or I’ll replace you with someone who will order the attack”

    You know the scene: the fateful attack that wipes out the army is ordered. It can be nothing else.

    There will be no budget cuts – there will always be deficits larger and larger every year. The economy will muck into stagnation as more and more capital is consumed by government – jobs disappear, unemployment and social services expand without end. Inflation hits. No growth, high inflation, no jobs —

    Utter stagnation – a tar pit consuming the dinosaur.

    The money will stop. The People will riot. Cities will burn.

    OR

    A sudden, massive, horrific global war. Hundreds if not thousands of dead soldiers every day – a meat grinder.

    The public galvanized into suffering by sacrifice – they accept massive rationing and wage an price control. There is nothing on the shelves – the new money is rationing coupons. But the people cheer on! We will win this war buying war bonds (that will never be redeemed) – sop up all that liquidity, traded for those ration coupons and war bonds.

    The economy is turned into command and control. Men to war, women and babies on the manufacturing lines. New manufacturing makes war machines pop up everywhere.

    Doesn’t matter whether it ends in victory or not – as long as it isn’t doesn’t overthrow the elite …. the survivors stagger come home to empty shelves – but a far better sight than the blood and gore of battle – he’ll make do with what he has now….

    • “Budget cuts – the deficit must be zero. If it can’t be paid by taxes, it can’t be done.

      Then cut again and drop taxes. And then again and again.

      The government must stop competing the the market place for capital. It must start returning real capital back into the market place for real growth.”

      So money wise, it could be done. It comes down to having and holding the political will long enough to make those changes. That sounds a little better than your response to Maggie, “you will die”. Poor Maggie, so bright, so sweet, then Flag had to kill her with his power of suggestion. LOL

      • LOI,

        No, sir, you do not get it.

        Political will cannot exist. It is an impossible requirement.

        Cut program X – massive outcry from recipients of program X. Repeal. Try program Y – massive outcry from recipients of program Y. Repeal.

        There can be no cuts. Even if Ron Paul was there – there can be no cuts.

        Say he gets a cut – two years later either he or the Congress gets overwhelming voted out on the platform of more cuts vs the incumbents – we can save your house/job/life etc!

        Two years will not impact anything economically – after that fiasco, no one will dare to suggest cuts ever again.

        Remember Barry Goldwater?

        He had the audacity to promote Mathius’s Social Security idea! Back nearly 50 years ago when there was a chance to pay for it!

        Only for the needy and for the rest, a small platform for the rest of the individuals retirement plans and savings to sit on.

        He was cooked! The press announced that Goldwater would change SS and end up canceling it! His opponent repeated this over and over.

        Goldwater is now known as the political definition of a total loser.

        He was crushed at the vote – and never again would the Republicans ever raise a candidate that offered any changes to the Social Security or Medicare third rails.

        Tar pit, LOI, think tar pit.

        • Poor Maggie Flag, think poor Maggie, unless you can figure out a viable financial strategy for us to fix this.

        • SK Trynosky Sr says:

          Go find the copy of that DNC commercial on You tube where they tear up the social security card with the “big brother” voice in the background telling you what Barry would do to YOU!

          Actually, those commercials are probably the proximate cause for my conversion. Always being a fair play kind of guy, I figured anyone who would put out such lying, deceitful crap had to be on the side of darkness. Turned out I was right. In November ’64 we elected the first truly evil one who did not have an excuse (like FDR did) for what he was doing.

          One truly amazing thing I noted later on in college is the remarkable resemblance between LBJ and some statues of Vespasian
          the emperor who built the Coliseum and flattened Palestine. My main point being the emperor word. This has nothing to do with anything other than it is interesting to me.

  18. Buck the Wala

    Did you get the link I left you yesterday to the Oregon Green Jobs study?

    JAC

    • Buck the Wala says:

      No, must have missed it – will check it out later on. For now, hot cocoa time!

      Stay warm.

  19. Good Buck

    Sorry BF, you know full well how our government was established and how it works.

    So now you hop over on to that tricky plank – its footing is even more unsure, lad!

    Are you bound by words written by other men on paper? Why?

    Are you bound by my words written on paper? Why not?

    Don’t like it, then don’t pay taxes and argue your position to the courts. Let me know how that works out for you. 🙂

    So, your philosophy is one of violence – the one that can organize the violence the best is right, true?

    Want to change it, then get involved – start a rebellion or protest, vote in like-minded people to office, run for office yourself on your platform.

    So, to use violence to end violence – is that your suggestion?

    Wouldn’t the consequence be the same thing – except me in control instead of you?

    The same evil but with different hands?

    And that is an improvement for you?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Ah but BF, if you truly feel that the current system is nothing but violence, as I believe you do, you are free to argue against it and even work towards changing it.

      As I said to JAC – you want to eradicate the current government we have in place and start a new society? Work towards that goal. I personally am rather happy with the basic system we have in place – were I to work on a new system I would end up pretty much in the same place. You, my friend, should start acting — keep educating others as to your views, vote in elections for like-minded people, run for office yourself.

      Would the use of violence to end violence be justified? That’s an interesting question. My answer: Perhaps. Remember, our founding fathers fought for their independence from Britain. Was that not an act of violence?

      • Buck, Buck, Buck…..

        Ah but BF, if you truly feel that the current system is nothing but violence, as I believe you do, you are free to argue against it and even work towards changing it.

        What I feel has nothing to do with it.

        Government is, by definition violence. It uses Initiation of violence to enforce its edicts.

        That is where you and Mathius trip – you ‘believe’ and ‘feel’ – empty concepts, and try to build your case on such sand.

        As long as feelings and mere believe rules your principles – your principles are nothing but mist and air – and not the bedrock that is necessary tosocial order.

        As I said to JAC – you want to eradicate the current government we have in place and start a new society? Work towards that goal.

        No need to do anything.

        The fatal flaw of such institutions will cause their own destruction on themselves eventually.

        One would thinks humans would try something different.

        I personally am rather happy with the basic system we have in place – were I to work on a new system I would end up pretty much in the same place.

        I wholly agree – because you would continue to use the same flawed premise – the right to use violence on non-violent people.

        You, my friend, should start acting — keep educating others as to your views, vote in elections for like-minded people, run for office yourself.

        Impossible.

        The system is closed to change. Those that would change it are not allowed entry.

        Would the use of violence to end violence be justified? That’s an interesting question. My answer: Perhaps. Remember, our founding fathers fought for their independence from Britain. Was that not an act of violence?

        Sure was, and see where it left it – in precisely the same evil situation as the one they left and arguably worse.

  20. Man Sues California Mall After Guard Arrests Him for Having Conversation About God

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    By Diane Macedo

    Westfield Galleria shopping mall in Roseville, CA.

    Imagine getting arrested for just striking up a conversation about religion in public.

    That’s what happened to California resident Matthew Snatchko in 2006 when the youth pastor initiated a conversation about God with three shoppers at the Roseville Galleria mall.

    The women gave Snatchko permission to broach the subject, but a nearby store employee said they “looked nervous,” so he ordered the evangelist to leave. After Snatchko refused, mall security arrested him.

    “He was put in handcuffs and hauled down to the mall’s security station and later booked at the local jail,” said Snatchko’s attorney Matthew McReynolds of the Pacific Justice Institute, a legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom.

    Snatchko was later released and never charged with a crime, but he and the Justice Institute decided to challenge the constitutionality of Roseville Galleria’s restrictions on conversations about topics such as religion and politics.

    “He wanted to make sure that neither he nor anybody else got harassed again at this mall or the 55 other malls this company owns throughout the United States,” said McReynolds.

    In 2008, a California superior court ruled that the mall’s ban on controversial conversations with strangers didn’t violate freedom of speech.

    But late last month Snatchko and the Justice Institute appealed to the state’s 3rd Appellate District in Sacramento. All parties in the case are now waiting for the court to schedule a date for oral arguments or issue a ruling.

    Katie Dickey, spokeswoman for the Westfield Corporation, which owns the mall, would not comment on the case but issued a company statement saying that “everyone — regardless of race, color, creed, gender or religious belief — is welcome at our shopping centers.”

    Court documents claim that Westfield’s policy simply limits activities that have a “political, religious or other noncommercial purpose” to designated areas within the mall, in order to “minimize congestion.” Speakers must submit a written application at least four days in advance. Access to the designated areas is then awarded on a “first come, first selected” basis.

    Westfield argues in the court documents that mall security guards warned Snatchko on a number of occasions that he was violating the mall’s Courtesy Guidelines by discussing religion with strangers. During one of his visits, guards even gave him a copy of the guidelines, but Snatchko continued striking up the same conversations without applying for a permit or sticking to the designated areas.

    “By roaming the mall and randomly approaching other mall visitors, plaintiff effectively circumvents any attempt by Westfield to reasonably regulate his expressive activities in the mall’s common areas,” the court document reads.

    McReynolds confirmed Snatchko had been given the Courtesy Guidelines prior to his arrest but said the pastor “believed he was complying with them, and that they were being misinterpreted by the security guards who accused him of ‘soliticing,’ even though he was not selling anything.”

    McReynolds added that the mall has no right to regulate the kind of speech Snatchko was initiating.

    “He’s never pushy, he doesn’t haul out the megaphone or large placards or anything like that — he just asks people if they mind talking to him about issues of faith,” Snatchko said.

    But California-based constitutional attorney Bo Links says the mall’s restrictions are appropriate and fall within state guidelines.

    “Their rules appear to be content-neutral, reasonable time, place and manner restrictions which are allowed,” Links told FoxNews.com. “The fellow who was arrested clearly has free speech rights, and those rights apply to a shopping mall, but they’re subject to reasonable regulation such as what the shopping mall seems to have had in place.”

    “It’s obviously a sensitive issue,” he added, “but the shopping mall has a right to protect the people who are leasing stores and make sure there’s order in the marketplace and there was a way for this fellow to proselytize if he wanted to proselytize, he just didn’t want to do it the way the mall set it up.”

    But constitutional attorney John Eastman says that “to require a permit to even speak about your religious faith to anybody in the mall starts looking like it’s unreasonable and might well be unconstitutional.”

    Eastman, a professor at California’s Chapman University School of Law, says because Snatchko was seemingly engaged in a private conversation and not a public address, his speech would not have violated mall rules were it not for its content.

    “There’s a decent argument that if the mall is not consistently applying this to all kinds of speech but is targeting religious speech or political speech then it is a content-based restriction … and a content-based restriction like that would be unconstitutional,” he told FoxNews.com.

    McReynolds calls the incident a “national issue,” especially because Westfield owns malls all over the country, but he says California is the best place to tackle it.

    “Out here in California, because of the way our state constitution words its own free-speech clause, it’s been extended beyond the realm of just government property to large public venues like shopping malls.”

    Eastman warns that even if Snatchko wins his case, people outside of the state of California could find themselves in the same predicament.

    “In other states, unless they’ve take the step in interpreting their own constitution that California took … those malls are going to be treated as private property where they’ll have more control over the people who enter onto their property and a greater ability to set rules like these.”

    McReynolds said the ban is a “don’t talk to strangers” rule for adults. “We think that’s beyond the pale of what the constitution allows and what free speech allows in this country and certainly in the state of California.”

    • The mall has full right to determine the use of their own property!

      This is not a “freedom of speech” case at all – but right of private property to accept or deny anyone on their property as they see fit.

      • So freedom of speech is lost if you enter private property? I can see they have the right to eject him, for any reason. And the right to have him arrested for refusing to leave. But I do not see them being able to require God not be talked about on their property. Or can they make up a rule allowing them to make you a slave as well? Only while you are on their “property”.

        • It is not lost at all – he has it.

          But his feet need to be somewhere else by the demand of the right of the property owners, so I guess his tongue must follow his feet.

          You can make up any rule you want on your own property – including subservience – if you don’t like it, stay home or go elsewhere.

          Given they -in this case- want you to come over to spend your money, I wholly doubt slavery will be a condition of visiting.

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Maybe they should put up signs on all doors stating there will be no religious talk on these premises, or you can be arrested.

            Granted, maybe he shouldn’t have approached these women to talk about religion, but they opened the door by giving him permission to do so. If they got uncomfortable about it, then they should have excused themselves, and left.

            That’s my opinion anyway.

            • But the shop owner said they looked nervious.. I can just picture it.. a preacher corners these three woman and ‘asks’ if he can talk to them about the Word of God, and they sheepishly ‘consent.’ The shop owner sees these three women and asks him to leave.

              It makes perfect sense in this scenario (which may or may not be the case) – the mall has an incentive to making it a good shopping experience for customers. Being proselytized is not a good shopping experience. I know I wouldn’t go back if that happened to me.

              Flag and I are going to come down on the same side on this one – private property owners can make the rules on their private property. End of story.

              And it has nothing to do with the right to talk about religion, but rather his refusal to leave with asked – and that is a crime.

        • Ellen Spalding says:

          He has freedom of speech but this private property. He has been there several times before and the mall has a area were he is able to stand and talk to people if he chooses, the same place a vendor would set up. He had received the policy that the mall had set up for everyone. So I would be on the mall side on this one.

          Ellen

  21. More for Buck

    Where powers are assumed [by government] which have not been delegated [by the sovereign people], a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy . . . every Person has a natural right in cases not within the compact . . . to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits . . .”

    Black Flag in his best Jefferson imitation ….

    • Evening Mr. Flag!

      You are certainly on a roll today! After catching up, anything I would have said, has already been said, that’s a bummer. Bummer or not, it has meaning, that’s a good thing.

      Too much damn snow, in five days, 35 inches. I’m not a kid anymore, it can quit now, LOL.

      Hope you and your family are well and happy!

      Cheers! (Popping a top, long day)

      G!

    • Buck the Wala says:

      So wouldn’t that lend support to an affirmative answer to your question of the propriety of using violence to end violence?

      • Use of violence is justified in only one case – defense from violence.

        • So, since The System imposes violence on you, are you not justified using violence to end that system?

          (Note, I’m not encouraging this.. but I am curious)

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Mathius,

            The “system” hangs an implied threat of violence over your head (and my head, and everyone else’s head) on a pretty much constant basis.

            However, the extent to which you can reasonably defend yourself is determined by clear and present threat or danger. It would be inappropriate to use deadly force against the government unless the government was directly threatening to use deadly force against you.

            • Is it ethical to deliberately escalate the situation?

              That is, can Flag refuse to pay his taxes knowing full well that they will try to arrest him and seize his property to which he is perfectly justified (in his opinion) using deadly force to defend himself from what is now a clear and present threat?

              Oh boy, that was a run-on sentence.. oh well..

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I believe that Ghandi found “passive resistance” an acceptable way to escalate the situation to get what he wanted.

                Certainly it would be an effective way to escalate the situation if a whole bunch of people decided to stop paying taxes (although it would NOT have the effect of de-funding the government… the FED would just have to print more money!)

                Unfortunately, the only way this would work is for people to only take jobs that paid “under the table” and for people to trade goods with each other for other goods, rather than using FRNs.

                If you have a job that is “on the record”, then you pay taxes every time you get a paycheck, whether you wish to or not. If you buy goods and services using FRNs, then you pay taxes with virtually every transaction, whether you wish to or not!

                Why do you think that the government raided and shut down the Liberty mint?

                The government was VERY AFFRAID that the Liberty Dollar might represent a competing currency, and that people might start actually using it for transactions between each other, rather than using FRNs!!!

                If people started using Liberty Dollars instead of FRNs, the government’s power to AUTOMATICALLY TAX virtually every transaction would suddenly disappear!!!

                The government MUST have legal tender laws (which are COMPLETELY UNCONSTITUTIONAL by teh way), in order to ensure that they can tax and control anything and everything.

                Viable competition in money/currency would destroy this government monopoly, and significantly weaken the government.

  22. Here’s a good article on Obama’s budget request. Maybe Buck would enjoy this.

    http://moneynews.com/StreetTalk/Arthur-Laffer-Obama-Catastrophe/2010/02/10/id/349521?s=al&promo_code=9711-1

    Laffer: Obama Budget Is Plan for Catastrophe
    Wednesday, 10 Feb 2010 11:25 AM Article Font Size
    By: Julie Crawshaw

    Economist Arthur B. Laffer, head of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan and founder and chairman of economic research and consulting firm Laffer Associates, says President Barack Obama’s proposed budget “is the perfect plan for catastrophe.”

    “It shows no spending restraint and is raising tax rates,” Laffer told Newsmax.TV’s Kathleen Walter.

    He said the budget blueprint puts a greater burden on people who work and gives more money to people who don’t.

    Video — Laffer: Obama Budget Is Plan for Catastrophe

    “If you tax people who work and pay people who don’t, do not be surprised if you find a lot of people not working,” Laffer says.

    “If you tax rich people and give the money to poor people, you’re going to have lots and lots of poor people and no rich people,” he says.

    Get “Return to Prosperity” by Arthur Laffer from Amazon at a Great Price — Click Here!

    “The dream in America has always been to make the poor rich, not to make the rich poor. Obama’s budget literally tries to make the rich poor and does not try to make the poor rich,” he says.

    If you have two locations with different tax rates, producers and manufacturers will move to the locale with lower rates, he says.

    Obama takes no account whatsoever on the effect this will have on global competitiveness and the creation of jobs in the United States, he says.

    Obama, Laffer says, is wrong on every single issue, is unrealistic, lacks experience and is causing a lot of damage to the economy.

    “It’s just incredible how systematic he is in making errors,” Laffer observes.

    “It’s a classic professorial response: In the classroom, you never have skin in the game, you’re never held accountable for your pronouncement, and that’s exactly what’s going on here,” he says.

    Laffer would like to return to the tactics Paul Volcker used when he took over the Fed, which include intervening in the money markets to maintain purchasing power and parity of the dollar.

    “The results were incredible,” Laffer says. “The dollar soared, interest rates tumbled and inflation literally disappeared from the U.S.”

    Laffer also suggests eliminating the alternative minimum tax and reinstating the Bush tax cuts that are currently scheduled to expire this year.

    Not reinstating the cuts will make 2010 look very good on paper and cause a major recession in 2011.

    “If you know that tax rates are going to go up on January 1, 2011, you try to accelerate all the income you possibly can into 2010, which will make 2010 look a lot better than it should,” he points out. “Then, on January 1, 2011, the train goes off the track.”

    The sheer size of unfunded liabilities is “awesome, just amazing,” Laffer says.

    Civil service and military retirement and medical benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and that’s not even taking into account things like California and unfunded pensions.

    The Obama administration needs to go through each of these and literally change the rules.

    “You’ve got to go through all these programs meticulously and make sure you eliminate things that increase unfunded liabilities, which now exceed $100 trillion,” Laffer says. “Our GDP is only worth $14 trillion.”

    Laffer wants to see unspent bailout funds returned.

    “Not only have those programs not done any good, they’ve actually hurt the economy, and they’ve hurt it a lot,” he says.

    “You can’t bail someone out of trouble without putting someone else into trouble. For every stimulus check written, there is a liability to someone else,” he says. “The sooner we stop the stimulus packages, the better off we’ll be.”

    Laffer expects the U.S. economy will look very strong for 2010, but none of the things that will make it appear strong will be present in 2011.

    The government has printed huge amounts of new money, he points out, which has stimulated stock and bond prices and commodity prices, but the effects of that will be short-lived.

    However, we should not lose hope that the United States will once again become the land of opportunity, says Laffer.

    “All we have to do is go back to common sense economics. If we had a low flat-rate tax … can you imagine how this economy would boom with that? It would be beautiful,” he says.

    “And if you make the dollar solid … people won’t have to go into gold and silver. We can do that just the way Paul Volcker did.”

    • Another person who thinks social programs will be the cause of a disaster:

      Faber: Debt Interest Will Lead to Default, Then War
      Tuesday, 09 Feb 2010 04:41 PM Article Font Size
      By: Julie Crawshaw

      At a conference in Moscow, Marc Faber laid out the crisis that he sees coming in the next 10 years: Interest on U.S. debt will crush other spending, then inflation and depression will take hold and eventually lead to war.

      “Maximum, within 10 years time more than 35 percent of tax revenues will have to be used to pay the interest on the government’s debt, and then you’re in trouble, because then there is not enough money out of the budget to pay for other stuff,” Faber said.

      “I am convinced that the U.S. government will go bankrupt, but not tomorrow, and before they go bankrupt they’ll print money, and then you get very high inflation rate, then you get depression with high inflation and eventually they’ll go to war.”

      Social obligations will cause Western countries to default, in Faber’s view. “Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain — I think eventually they’ll all default,” he says.

      “The obligations of Western governments are far too high. They won’t be able to pay.”

      Faber suggests that governments raise the retirement age to 70 and cut back on social spending, but says that even that won’t be enough to solve the problem.

      The perceived credit risk of Western European nations overtook that of high-grade U.S. companies for the first time yesterday, Reuters reports, reflecting rising concerns over high debt loads taken on by governments attempting to spend their way out of the financial crisis.

      The SovX credit default swap index, a measure of the credit risk of 15 Western European countries, rose to 94 basis points, compared with 92 basis points for the benchmark U.S. index of investment grade companies.
      © Moneynews. All rights reserved.

      • I do not like when Faber agrees with me.

        Who knows how to prepare civilians for war?

        • Flag,

          I’m getting more and more of these types of articles via e-mail. It seems to me that much of what you posted last spring is being reprinted by these people! These types of articles are coming about 6 per day. Some are not as kind and seeing things years down the road, some are saying between now and the end of 2012 (I’m thinking summer of 2012).

          Just trying to get as much info as I can!

          G!

        • Who knows how to prepare civilians for war?

          Actually, we do!

          • It’s easy..

            In the event of civil war, I’m headed straight for D13’s place to hang out with him and his raptor army.

            In the event of foreign invasion, I’m finding a hole somewhere and riding it out.

            In the event of the collapse of civilization, I am looting the nearest vitamin store, riding the worst of it out in my home with canned food, and then making my way to Flag’s house where I will live off of food I earn by beating him in heads-up poker.

  23. Just 54 years ago!

    Comments made in the year 1955!

    That’s only 54 years ago!

    ‘I’ll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it’s going to be
    impossible to buy a week’s groceries for $10.00.

    ‘Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won’t be long before $1, 000.00
    will only buy a used one.

    ‘If cigarettes keep going up in price, I’m going to quit. 20 cents a pack is
    ridiculous.

    ‘Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging 7 cents just to mail a
    letter

    ‘If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will be able to hire outside help
    at the store.

    ‘When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 25 cents
    a gallon. Guess we’d be better off leaving the car in the
    garage.

    ‘I’m afraid to send my kids to the movies any more Ever since they let Clark Gable
    get by with saying DAMN in GONE WITH THE WIND, it seems every new movie has
    either HELL or DAMN in it.

    ‘I read the other day where some scientist thinks it’s possible to put a man on the
    moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts
    preparing for it down in Texas .

    ‘Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $50,000 a year
    just to play ball? It wouldn’t surprise me if someday they’ll be making more
    than the President.

    ‘I never thought I’d see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric.. They
    are even making electric typewriters now.

    ‘It’s too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having
    to work to make ends meet.

    ‘It won’t be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch
    their kids so they can both work.

    ‘I’m afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign
    business.

    ‘Thank goodness I won’t live to see the day when the Government takes half our income
    in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to
    government..

    ‘The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they
    will ever catch on.

    ‘There is no sense going on short trips anymore for a weekend, it costs nearly $2.00 a night to stay in a
    hotel.

    ‘No one can afford to be sick anymore, at $15.00 a day in the hospital, it’s too rich for my blood.’

    ‘If they think I’ll pay 30 cents for a hair cut, forget it.’

  24. Interesting words from Haiti:

    This is just in from a friend who went with a rescue team to Haiti .
    News back from Nick Brockhausen. He and Dennis Hebler made it back somewhat safe and sound. Here are their observations:

    To All,
    I just returned from Haiti with Hebler. We flew in at 3 AM Sunday to the scene of such incredible destruction on one side, and enormous ineptitude and criminal neglect on the other.

    Port-O-Prince is in ruins. The rest of the country is fairly intact.Our team was a rescue team and we carried special equipment that locates people buried under the rubble. There are easily 200,000 dead; the city smells like a charnel house. The bloody UN was there for 5 years doing apparently nothing but wasting US Taxpayers money. The ones I ran into were either incompetent or outright anti-American. Most are French or French speakers, worthless every damn one of them. While 1800 rescuers were ready, willing and able to leave the airport and go do their jobs, the UN and USAID (another organization full of little Obamaites and Communists that openly speak against America ). These two organizations exemplified their parochialism by:

    USAID, when in control of all inbound flights, had food and water flights stacked up all the way to Miami , yet allowed Geraldo Rivera, Anderson Cooper and a host of other left wing news puppies to land.
    Pulled all the security off the rescue teams so that Bill Clinton and his wife could have the grand tour, whilst we sat unable to get to people trapped in the rubble.

    Stacked enough food and water for the relief over at the side of the airfield then put a guard on it while we dehydrated and wouldn’t release a drop of it to the rescuers.

    No shower facilities to decontaminate after digging or moving corpses all day, except for the FEMA teams who brought their own shower and decon equipment, as well as air conditioned tents.

    No latrine facilities, less digging a hole. If you set up a shitter, everyone was trying to use it.

    I watched a 25 year old Obamaite with the USAID shrieking hysterically, berate a full bird colonel in the Air Force because he countermanded her orders whilst trying to unscrew the air pattern. “You don’t know what your president wants! The military isn’t in charge here! We are!”

    If any of you are thinking of giving money to the Haitian relief, or to the UN, don’t waste your money. It will only go to further the goals of the French and the Liberal left.

    If we are a fair and even society, why is it that only white couples are adopting Haitian orphans? Where the hell is that vocal minority that is always screaming about the injustice of American society?

    Bad place, bad situation, but a perfect look at the new world order in action. New Orleans magnified a thousand times. Haiti doesn’t need democracy. What Haiti needs is Papa Doc. That’s not just my opinion, that is what virtually every Haitian we talked with said. The French run the UN and treat us the same as when we were a colony. At least Papa Doc ran the country.

    Oh, and as a last slap in the face, the last four of us had to take US AIRWAYS home from Phoenix . They slapped me with a $590 dollar baggage charge for the four of us. The girl at the counter was almost in tears because she couldn’t give us a discount or she would lose her job. Pass that on to the flying public.

    Nick

    I know some people who went there as part of FEMA (NDMS). Not much different in opinions I’m afraid.

    G!

    • G-Man,

      Boy – shades of the Congo – total incompetence and massive corruption and waste of money by the UN – if I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t believe it.

      • Boy, is right! A few things stuck out to me, one was that those associated with FEMA, had what they needed, I can verify that. Two, dealing with the French is less enjoyable than dealing with Iraqi POW’s, been there and done that. To add, they were even worse than rioting Cuban Migrants in Panama. Three, the UN needs to become extinct, as soon as possible.

        G!

        • GMan

          This is the most telling to me, regarding what we have to look forward to.

          “I watched a 25 year old Obamaite with the USAID shrieking hysterically, berate a full bird colonel in the Air Force because he countermanded her orders whilst trying to unscrew the air pattern. “You don’t know what your president wants! The military isn’t in charge here! We are!””

          This is the attitude I am hearing is starting to build in some agencies. Remember I asked D13 the other day if it had showed up in the defense dept side yet? It reflects the underlying attitude of the Administration if it is widespread. If not it is just a few Administrators. But this is the third example I’ve seen in two weeks and all in different agencies.

          It is exactly the attitude of the Algorians and many Clintonites. This arrogance can cripple govt as agencies spend their time trying to side step immature, inexperienced and arrogant appointees. Or worse, doing what they want and then trying to pick up the pieces.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      G-Man / JAC / Black Flag – tsk, tsk, tsk

      Food for thought – what if, what if this story was a complete hoax? It is plastered all over numerous right wing media sites. It is chock full of holes.

      Let me help me you with one of them.

      SoS Clinton flew in and out on Saturday the 16th

      The writer states he flew in 3 am on Sunday – that would be the 17th

      It is impossible then they he was there the same time as SoS Clinton

      Am also fairly certain former POTUS Clinton was not there on the 17th

      Thought you guys were better than that?

      (The other easy one is the adoption claim. Astonished this passed your sniff test)

      Thanks,

      Ray

      • Looks like Hilary arrived 3:00pm on Saturday the 16th. No doubt her entourage (check out the pic) could still have been around on Sunday? Just to do the basic of unloading and reloading. Another article mentioned her joint statement from Sunday with the Haitian President.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/17/world/americas/17diplo.html

        • Looks like Bill arrived on Monday:

          http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/01/17/clinton.bush.haiti/index.html

          Simple Google check Ray. Not sure your point on the adoption?

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Kathy – they were in/out same day – given the risk there is almost zero likelihood they decided to camp out at the airport for the night. The joint statement was ‘issued’ the next day. Your other link proves both Clintons were not there at the same time (thanks).

          Point on adoption – read their quote:

          “If we are a fair and even society, why is it that only white couples are adopting Haitian orphans? Where the hell is that vocal minority that is always screaming about the injustice of American society?”

          Hmmm – “only white couples are adopting Haitian orphans”? Now we’re entering the hate zone. That is utter rubbish and grounded no where in fact.

      • USAID, when in control of all inbound flights, had food and water flights stacked up all the way to Miami , yet allowed Geraldo Rivera, Anderson Cooper and a host of other left wing news puppies to land.
        Pulled all the security off the rescue teams so that Bill Clinton and his wife could have the grand tour, whilst we sat unable to get to people trapped in the rubble.

        The writer only mentions info about planes waiting to fly in and security for rescuers being pulled to babysit both Clintons on their visits. Your assuming that he is on the ground in Haiti, he does not say that. He could be awaiting a fight to Haiti that has been delayed for Dog and Pony shows.

        As far as other info, it could have been relayed by other rescuers that WERE there.

        Good thing your not a doog, Ray, your sniffer has a cold.

        G!

        • I find it sad that, intelligent people, continue to manufacture facts that simply do not exist, to further their agenda. I’ve been dealing with these types for years, and it won’t work with me. Commenting on what is actually written, rather than making assumptions does not a wise man make 🙂

          Peace and Live Free!

          G!

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            So let’s deal with the facts G…….

            “Here are their observations”

            This means what they observed no? Not what they heard about after return to the mainland

            “We flew in at 3 AM Sunday to the scene”

            The earliest that could have been was Sunday the 17th

            “Pulled all the security off the rescue teams so that Bill Clinton and his wife could have the grand tour, whilst we sat unable to get to people trapped in the rubble.”

            First off, they state “whilst we” – that means “them” – they are the rescue team – they were part of “sat unable get to people trapped in the rubble”. But – even they mean “we” in a general sense and not them specifically it DOES NOT MATTER

            Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton were NEVER there at the same time! That is a lie G!

            Its a hoax G – plain and simple and right in front of you!

            • A hoax? Maybe, anything is possible in this world.

              The “whilst we sat”, as I read the whole thing, was an occurrance that preceded their arrival, hence the implied aggravation of having to sit and wait to go do their job, while the media and Politico’s were wisked right on in.

              You’re also implying, as I read it, that no search and rescue took place when the Clintons were on their respective visits, because their security was pulled. It does not say that at all, only states that the security for recuers was pulled. That I have seen happen with my own eyes, under different circumstances.

              What if it’s just a letter to coworkers, that got posted and made the rounds on the net? His personnal story in much less than book form.

              Or, it’s a complete hoax that will be exposed. Much of his story is quite believable, I didn’t get the adoption thing, though, seemed off track.

              Hope your day is well!

              G!

        • I dug deeper into this story, just to get a better perspective. What I’ve seen thus far is that most talk on this are on various blogs. I’ve read many veteran comments that support the USAID and UN position. I’ve also read many comments from those who appear to be left of center and want to completely debunk all of this.

          My research at this point, shows the lefties in an uproar, while few righties are even talking on the matter. Other than some vets sharing their experiences, and the lefties calling them crazy, seem that if this true, it will hurt the Obama agenda in some way, if’s it’s a fake, it’ll be balmed on a right wing nut job.

          I guess we’ll see which side wins this one in the future.

          G!

      • Ray

        What if the hoax is not complete but only partialy true?

        First of all, if you notice I didn’t comment on the entire letter. Some of it seemed hoaky, like the sudden comment about adoptions. But why would I even comment on the supposed lecture of a 25 yr old to a Colonel?

        Because I have seen it personally before and because similar reports have come to me from eye witnesses in the past couple of weeks.

        Why would it be easy to accept this as pretty much true?

        Because I have seen this type of FUBAR operation before. Including the logistical nightmare of getting media stars and politicos a tour while emergency folks were trying to do their job.

        Ray, you forget that many of us here sniffed out the other hoaxes that have been circulated. Like the IRS gun ban, the other gun laws and the Presidents trip to Bozeman MT. So why wouldn’t we pick up on this one right away?

        Because many of us have first hand experience that would support the plausibility of this actually being the story. I am curious as to why you felt it necessary to do research on this in the first place?

        But lets look at the last one (Bozeman, MT letter). I uncovered that one but I have to tell you the entire letter was not fabricated. Someone had enough accurate information to make the whole story believable. So, I wonder how much of this letter is true and how much is embellishment or if part is true and the rest is outright lie.

        And that brings me around to the BIG question I asked last time we uncovered one of these. There have been many of these hoax letters/stories floating the past year. All so far are aimed at inflaming the opponents of the Administration. Yet all have been fairly easy to uncover.

        So WHO is REALLY behind all this? And why? Are they all just single events perpetrated by pranksters or part of a deliberate attempt at disinformation.

        Best to you this morning
        JAC

  25. Does anyone think that banks won’t increase their customer’s fees?

    Gordon Brown said on Wednesday the world’s leading economies were close to agreeing a global bank tax, amid hopes in Downing Street that a deal can be concluded at the G20 summit in Canada in June.

    Mr Brown believes that opinion has shifted decisively in favour of a globally co-ordinated tax after President Barack Obama’s move last month to raise $90bn (£57.7bn) from a US bank levy.

    • Then there’s this:

      Fed to Reveal Its Strategy for Raising Interest Rates

      Ben S. Bernanke, having survived a surprising challenge to his second term as Federal Reserve chairman, now faces the delicate task of beginning to pull the central bank out of its extraordinary effort to prop up the economy, Sewell Chan writes in The New York Times.

      The main question is when and how the Fed should start raising short-term interest rates, which have been at a record low for more than a year. Related is the issue of how to manage, and eventually shrink, the record $2.2 trillion balance sheet that the Fed amassed as it pumped vast sums of money into the economy, starting in 2008. On Wednesday morning, the Fed will release a statement outlining Mr. Bernanke’s views on moving away from its exceptionally easy monetary policy.

      http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/10/fed-to-reveal-its-strategy-for-raising-interest-rates/

      • Kathy

        Please refer to this blog

        http://charlesrowley.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/does-the-fed-have-an-anti-inflation-exit-strategy-1/

        Essentially, Ben’s plan is no plan at all.

        • BF

          Your citation is outdated, while good. Yesterday Bernanke gave a little speech to outline his plan. Testimony to congress was cancelled due to snow. His supposed plan was nothing more than a listing of the normal tools used by the FED to reduce money supply.

          No actual plan or strategy was unveiled. The market immediately turned negative. Yesterday afternoon Larry Kudlow excoriated “helicopter Ben” as he called him. Larry’s guest did the same. The guest actually had a strategy that consisted of pulling 200 million of reserves for each 1/4 percentage point increase in the Feds lending rate. So as the Fed increased rates in reaction to inflation more money is removed.

          What was not explained was just how the reserves are removed. It is my understanding the Fed would sell bonds. But here is where I always get lost, as a simple businessman with a solid grasp of accounting principles. If you sell a bond there comes a day when you have to pay off the bond. In other words, it seems we need to keep inflating so that when we pay off the bonds it doesn’t suddenly increase the money supply in the future. It can be worked into the normal inflationary process.

          Bernanke did suggest he would look at increasing reserve balance requirements and at increasing interest payments on the reserves. This would supposedly keep money in reserve and not in the market.

          But this raised another question for me. Where does the money come from that is used to pay the “interest” to the banks on their reserves? Is this not just more printed money or does it come from the Fed’s profits on all its other transactions.

          The gist of Kudlow’s last comment was that the FED is trying to maintain a balance sheet that includes massive quantities of toxic assets acquired during the bailout. This includes large number of new forclosures expected this year.

          In short, your conclusion that Ben has no plan was echoed by many experts yesterday. And I might add, they have been working on this non plan intensively for 1 1/2 months now.

          Best to you my pirate friend.
          JAC

  26. Ray Hawkins said

    February 10, 2010 at 11:31 pm e
    SK – great questions – never given much thought but here goes – please shoot full of holes (seriously – am ok with that)

    1. Photo ID good – not everyone is allowed to vote and while not perfect, this is the best authentication mechanism we have;

    2. Felons / ex-Felons – let them vote. Here is how I rationalize. For ex-Felons – if I have paid my debt to society as defined by society what is the risk in allowing me to vote? I still have to pay taxes, I still have to live as a functioning member of society. Currently incarcerated is trickier – but look at this way – I have a wife and four kids at home. I commit a crime and sentenced to 5 years. My family must still live under the conditions set forth by the elected officials. I should have some say in that – further the example – should I not have a say in the school board makeup for the schools were my kids are going to school?

    3. Illegal Aliens – nope. You don’t get to vote because you are likely not even paying taxes.

    USW says – I think you are OK on all of these answers. I had not given much thought on them either. But off the top of my head I would have come up with the same responses.

    Further, I tend to agree with you on Tancredo. I think the guy is a jackass. I don’t like the idea of having a test for voting. It is far too easy to use it as a tool to deny folks voting rights, both in denying those less educated or more ideologically driven.

    USW

    • Ahhh…USW…you and I finally disagree on something in the voting area….

      Ex Felons…No. Does not matter to me if debt to society is paid. There must be a penalty that lasts a life time. There must be a deterrent that lasts after jail time and I would not rule out additional monetary penalty to repay society for having to house and feed them. I believe that jail, alone, is not a sufficient deterrent. There is too much of a mindset that people say…hell, I can do three or five years standing on my head and probably get time off for good time.

      Current Felons….Absolutely not. They, as an individual, should not have any rights at all. None. And that would include family visiting time, mail, computers, movies, weight rooms…etc. Any perks would have to be earned and I also believe in the old fashioned chain gang mentality. Pick up trash…cut weeds…paint buildings….pick vegetables…lay black top….unless they are absolutely the most violent types and then isolate them and stop the gangs and the violence in prison. It can be done but this candy assed approach we have now does nothing but breed contempt for our justice system.

      To those who do not believe in the death penalty because an innocent “might” be put to death….bull hockey. However, I can see a part of the argument…ok…no death penalty…isolation can replace it. If they are violent…end it. If they run…end it. If they kill in prison…end it. If they make someone a butt buddy…end it.

      Rehab for the violent criminal is non existent. Oh, I guess we can send them to Saudi Arabia where they can paint pretty pictures, play pool, go to the beaches, and listen to Lawrence Welk music all before they take command of the next cell after release and kill more people.

      Illegal Aliens (Immigrants) – They are illegal. Capture them, book them, finger print them, take their picture, and file it. They get ONE chance. Caught again they are criminal. Deny them jobs, health coverage, and American rights and liberties until they are legal. Make it criminal for business’ to hire them. We have a ranch that employs plenty of people and not ONE illegal.

      Too Draconian?

      D13

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        D13 – the notion of being denied the right to vote is not a deterrent to committing a crime. I think more so what you are proposing is a permanence of punishment – you commit a felony – then irrespective of any value you can or do offer in the future – you will be assigned punishment that lasts until the day you die. While that may appeal to a certain vengeance or retribution, it undermines fundamental concepts of criminal justice. If part of the objective of a person flowing through criminal justice is to produce an ex-criminal who contributes in a meaningful way to society, why permanently deny them the ability to fully and meaningfully contribute? Why voting?

        As on your thoughts for the current felon/convict – you raise some interesting points. I’m not 100% up to date on rehabilitation practice, but I am fairly certain that increased isolation has little positive net effect. There may be classes of criminals where there is no choice but to do so. I guess I lean on something I heard from one of the cops I do martial arts with – if they come in as a caged animal, and we treat them like caged animals, upon release – are we expecting them to act like anything other than a caged animal? It runs very counter-intuitive – and I do myself struggle with the reasonable and appropriate test – I think even the pros in this arena don’t have an answer that works 100% of the time. Denying them the right to vote just seems oddly arbitrary.

        • Hi Ray……snow here….in TEXAS….pretty….roads are clear tho until tonight, then icing.

          You have a pretty good point on the caged animal thought but the only statistics that I have seen recently (will try to find that link for you) address the violent criminal…the killers, rapists, and such and the rehab rate was somewhere around 15%….the article went on to say that most end up back in jail having committed the same thing again because the stay in jail was easier than making it on the street (3 squares a day, heat, air, TV, computers, books, basketball, baseball….etc.)There seems to be no penalty except being incarcerated for a time and then let back out. So…I admit to being Draconian in my approach. I just do not think you change a criminal mind for the most.

          I do not think the jails are full of people who did not know the law. I think that 99.9% knew the law and broke it. And the Vote was not the only thing that I mentioned…I added a whole lot to it than just that. I agree that the “no voting” is like saying nyah nyah…you caaannnntttt vooote. it does nothing as most felons probably do not vote anyway nor care to.

          Undermining the concept of criminal justice? Hmmmmm….The criminal justice system consists of three main parts: (1) law enforcement (police); (2) adjudication (courts); and (3) corrections (jails, prisons, probation and parole). In a criminal justice system, these distinct agencies operate together both under the rule of law and as the principal means of maintaining the rule of law within society. (not my definition but one I just copied). Understand the principles…so maybe the corrections need to be changed. But I am not a “bleeding heart” type ( and I am not insinuating that you are ) in that I personally feel that we are too easy in our “justice” and would work to change that. I admit to being harsh but I feel that right now…there is no deterrent except to the law abiding.

          Example…the recent pictures of that girl kicking and beating that other one up your way somewhere. It is all on TV…she should be put away and for a very long time for that crime. I do not think that any circumstances are going to warrant that type of attack. The guards that are there to “observe” violated common decency regardless of their contract. It was brutal and should have been stopped by others as well. But, back to the “crime”…she will probably get a wrist slap and that is it. Nothing more. Why would people just do this if they did not feel they would get harsh punishment? I don’t know Ray…I just feel that what we have now is not working. I know that there are those that would say it was none of their business and ignore it…as they have, but that is the reason that some of this is happening…no one gives a damn.

          Personally, I would have stopped it and sat on the other until the police arrived. It is a civic duty, in MY opinion. But that is me.

          Hope you and yours are doing well, my friend…

      • D13:

        “Too Draconian? ”

        Absolutely. You see you confuse VIOLENT criminal with FELON.

        I can be convicted of a FELONY for shooting my own dog after he kills a deer.

        Felony cruelty to an animal.

        The list of felonies is far to long to use that as a criteria for permanent osctricization from society.

        If the sentence is supposed to be the term of “payment of debt to society” then why would we impose a NO VOTING or any other restriction. We are not talking parol here. We are talking sentence has been done.

        Top O’ the mornin to ya Colonel
        JAC

        • Hey there JAC….looking outside and the white stuff down here..2.5 inches and falling. We are expecting 5 inches….this is NOT North Central Texas weather. However, temps are only 28-33….

          Not confusing felons with violent criminal at all. Example…my brother, when his head was not screwed on properly, gets picked up in Arlington, Texas for carrying an 8 inch boot knife. This was way back in the late 70’s. He knew the law but made the decision to take the chance. Third degree felony and plead no contest. Felony still on his record today, as it should be and, I feel, since he KNOWINGLY violated the law, he has forfeited his right to vote, to drive, to a security clearance, and to Federal employment, to entitlement programs, and to anything government provided.

          I do NOT differentiate between violent felons and “regular” felons, both of whom knowlingly violate the law. To me, intent means everything. The ONLY differentiation is the more violent, the worse the penalty. I even advocate making a family pay monetary damages for the actions of a family member. (Just as a family would with a juvenile).

          Answer me this, please sir. If you KNOW what the law is and you VIOLATE that law with intent, why do you feel that you are entitled to the same rights and privileges of those that do not….regardless of paying your debt to society?

          Obviously, I am in the minority on my thinking and expect to be…but that is how I feel about felons…and I love my brother dearly and would help him all I could, but I believe that he should have forfeited several rights and still believe that way and tell him so. He just tells me that he is glad that I am not in charge.

          That is ok, though, as a military officer, I still supported and suggested and wrote a paper on hard labor in Leavenworth. I feel that military felons should be making p gravel out of bigger rocks with a 16 pound sledge but that is how I feel. Not politically correct but I feel we are panty waisted zimbots as a society when it comes to corporal punishment and there is no deterrent….in my opinion.

          The guy that was dog fighting….the quarterback..(can’t remember his name) spent his time and can now go back to playing football…geez…no punishment and no deterrent. He just won’t get caught next time.

          Ok…soap box just caved in….

          watching snow, drinking Dr Pepper

          Luv ya man….

          • D13

            You presume one knows of the law. In my dog killing example I did not know that was a felony until last week when some poor sap gets charged.

            I had to put my own dog down once but it may not have been a felony then but apparently is now.

            You did not address my key point directly. If a prison term is the period designated by society as “restitution” then why should any type of punishment or second class status be placed upon the person.

            And for the record, I would be prone to agree with your manual labor ideas while they are incarcerated. They need to repay society in some way and sitting around watching Opra and lifting weights all day isn’t repayment.

            Ligth snow here this morning, as in dusting. Been fun watching our normal winter sail around to the rest of the country. Could be a bad fire year though as repayment.

            JAC

            • Ellen Spalding says:

              Good Morning JAC

              I think this decision should be made on a case by case. If you put your dog down not knowing that it was in fact a felony, do I think you should be not allowed to vote forever? No you didnt harm anyone else and you were not aware of the law. There is a good chance I would not have known that law either.

              But if someone is convicted of rape of a women. Yes I believe he should lose his right to vote. Why? Because that is a situation that the women will always carry with her. He has given her a life sentenance to deal with. So if he released after 20years he should not have that right to vote.

              Just my thoughts

              Have great day!

              • Ellen

                That is a good point. Same would hold for other crimes where vicitims are traumatized for life.

                My point is that the list of “felonies” has grown out of reasonable proportions and to lump them all together just doesn’t seem right.

                I could live with the felon forfeights certain privledges if we pared the list down to what I would consider real felony crime, like rape and murder.

                Hope your day is warm and bright.
                JAC

              • Ellen Spalding says:

                I am good with making the list match what is apporiate for the crime. Rape murder etc yes you lose your rights to vote again.

                Sunny here…not warm by anymeans

            • WHups……sorry I missed your point you asked…I thought I answered it but maybe it was not direct enough….

              Ok

              JAC Asks: If a prison term is the period designated by society as “restitution” then why should any type of punishment or second class status be placed upon the person.

              D13 responds: I have to agree that if society has dictated the terms and the terms have been met.. then there is no second class status.

              HOWEVER…(here it comes)

              I would approve of changing the terms of restitution and think they should be changed, to the terms that I have expounded upon. Obviously I cannot do anything now but accept what society has dictated.

              But, none the less, those are my feelings. Any clearer?

              D13

              • D13

                Yes!

                And I am guessing mostly in agreement on the details. I would like to see some actual restitution made to the victims of crime, myself. Not just breaking rocks for the highway project.

                Forced labor with funds sent to the victim perhaps. Or a lifetime of slopping the hogs and cleaning our their pens.

                Or a lifetime of snow shoveling for those in the north and rattle snake clearing for those in the southern climes.

                The really bad ones don’t need to be executed. I think we put them on the international swim team. Starting line is about 30 miles off the USA coast. Finish line is England or France for the easterners and China for the westerners.

                Prize? If you make it to the finish you are free. Have a good life.

                Now there’s an idea deserving of some Pepper….LOL

                JAC

              • Tip O the DP to ya JAC….still snowing here…but not worthy of shoveling…it is fluffy and slush on the roads…temps will not get cold enough for hard freeze tonite…only 29…

              • I know….perhaps put them in the Raptor training arena?

                would you comment on post 28, please…your thoughts.

          • Vic(k?)

          • Greeting D13,

            I have a question. You mentioned that you feel family members should “pay monetary damages for the actions of a family member. (Just as a family would with a juvenile).”

            Say my 45 year old sister who lives in another state, goes out drunk driving, and kills a family’s breadwinner. Do you believe that family has the right to sue me for my assets as restitution? I’m I understanding you? It doesn’t make sense to me. I have no control over what my sister does., yet I’m responsibile for her actions? 😮

            • Cyndi…I did not say I was right but I am merely talking from a deterrent standpoint. Meaning, would someone be likely to commit a crime if they knew that the entire family could be held responsible? I wonder if the mindset would change most? I am betting that it would. Right now, if you are caught speeding, for example, you are the only one that suffers the consequences…I wonder what you would do if you knew before hand, that if you are caught speeding, not only would you suffer the consequences, but there would be a monetary fine of say…treble damages to your immediate family ( mom, dad, husband, adult children ). I wonder if you would then speed? I wonder, if you knew you had an alcoholic sister or the family knew they had an alcoholic, would they become more involved in helping solve the problem if they knew they would suffer as a result?

              Now, don’t anyone get all riled here. I can identify the holes in my own theory but think it out and forget the, is it fair, question. Of course it is not fair. In my theory, it is not intended to be fair. It is intended to be a deterrent. Would a parent take a more personal role in identifying with their children and training or raising them different. I would say yes. I do not know about your state but in Texas, if a juvenile goes out and breaks windows and slashes tires and throws eggs….the parents are responsible and should be even if you do not know about it. Now, would this same training carry forward as an adult? I don’t know but I am willing to bet that most crime would be deterred if they actually knew it would involve everyone. It is a theory, of course, but it did have a direct correlation to juvenile crime in Texas.

              It will not happen, of course, and my theory will never be tested in the criminal world or the white collar crime world. But, I would vote for it if I had the chance and I have children and grandchildren and wayward family members..but it is interesting to think about.

              Holes? There are plenty of them a lot of them that can be abused…not unlike the Nazi theory of inform on your family to avoid prosecution, inform on your friends and classmates, etc…..I would not be for that, of course…but I wonder what the real effect would be out there, if that were the case?

              Interesting, no?

              • D13

                NO and not just no but HELL NO!

                It is immoral to impose guilt upon the innocent.

                That is in fact intitiating violence upon the innocent.

                And this basic premise applies to generational guilt, ethnic guilt, tribal guilt, national guilt, etc.

                The PERSON who does the crime pays……….PERIOD!

              • You are quite correct sir….but my theory and a thought. Just wondering, and now that it will never be tested.

                It has worked in juvenile areas though…or is appears to work. Parents are held monetarily responsible for their children here.

              • Hi D13,

                I can see your rational, and in a person like you, it would work. That said, you are an exceptional man. I’m thrice divorced. I’ll spare you the drama, but suffice to say, you can’t save someone who won’t save him/her self, no matter how hard you try.

                People who commit crimes are already affecting their families. I don’t see where making it harder on the families will make the preps change their ways. The perps don’t give a crap about how their actions affect others. If they did, wouldn’t they straighten up?????

                🙂

              • Yes, maam…certainly do see and agree with your point. My whole area of wondering is teaching this as beginning at the same time you teach your child…don’t touch that. Or you do it with allowances…but, never the less,,,,it is NOT fair and I knew this from the beginning….just wonder how much impact it would have? How many criminals would not be criminals?

              • How many indeed. It is a good question, but how do you make it happen? Dysfunctional people tend, though not always, to create more dysfunctional people. To break the cycle would require serious civil rights violations. I guess we must choose our evil.

                As to the compliment, you’re very welcome. It is my pleasure. I always like ti let a real man know that he is appreciated.

                🙂

              • Oh, thank you for the compliment….but you can take bets on the term exceptional…lol.

      • SK Trynosky Sr says:

        Colonel, a story for you.

        30 or so years ago, when I lived in Upper Manhattan, we had a local paper, “The Heights – Inwood”. Typical pennysaver type of paper but they would try and cover a few stories about neighborhood issues including crime.

        At one point the paper took a “rehabilitative” approach to some little miscreant who killed his dad or some such atrocity. There was a flurry of letter writing on that one.

        The most interesting letter came from an older Jewish guy who was one too many mouth to feed during the depression. He took to the rails and looked for work around the country.

        He found himself in Georgia circa 1933. He had not eaten in three days. Well, as he was walking down a country road, a chicken happened to cross it. Unhappily for PETA, the chicken did not survive the encounter.

        As he was sitting back next to the railroad yard savoring the last piece of chicken, he was accosted by a burly local cop. The quote, if I remember it correctly was “Whatcha doin there boy?”

        Well, here we got a Yankee boy in Georgia, a Jew no less and all that well known Southern hospitality at that time for both. The judge gave him six months on a road gang.

        The gang was everything you can imagine it (think Paul Mini in “I was a prisoner on a chain gang) At the end of six months, he was released and literally flew north. His comment in the paper forty years later? “I would starve to death before I’d ever steal another chicken in Georgia”.

        That story has stuck with me all these years. If you do the crime, you do the time and it should not be pleasant. Then, and only then will you learn something.

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      US, D-13 and Ray…

      Let’s remember that there is redress for a former felon who serves his time. He can seek a pardon and have his rights restored. Perhaps we should make this easier, you know, get out of jail, spend five or five plus X years as a responsible tax paying, law abiding citizen and have your rights totally restored. You could even distinguish between crimes that are against people (assault, rape, robbery, burglary) and those that are not (fraud, embezzlement, forgery, counterfeiting, bootlegging). This would then of course lead to much disagreement over what constitutes a crime against person vs a non-violent crime. I for example treat dope dealing as attempted murder. there is no dealer out there who is not aware of the possibly fatal effects of an overdose but again, that is my opinion and many disagree.

      Remember that as a felon you also lose your right to own, possess or carry a firearm. Should you want to allow the vote to a convicted felon, I could make a convincing camel’s nose under tent argument that you should hand him back the .357 he used to hold up the bodega.

      Agreed, agreed, agreed, there are way, way too many felonies out there. Shooting a dog or cat, craven maybe, but a felony? These laws get passed by the lily livered politicians to get the Humane Society and PETA voters.

      Ray, glad to see you onboard with photo ID’s for voting. There is hope after all!

  27. This is Texas…what the hell is all this white stuff doing here? GO to Washington.

  28. Interesting…..Iran claims Nuclear Status…is now enriching to OVER 20%….they lied, cajoled, and told the world to go to hell….We ignored it….

    Ok….the threats will now come and anyone who believes that Iran’s nuclear intention is peaceful is, well, wrong. Time will certainly tell.

    • D13

      At your request.

      I don’t trust the leadership of Iran.

      I think they have every intention of getting or at least getting very close to a nuclear bomb.

      I think they are capable of giving nuclear material to others to use against those they wish to harm.

      I think we are between a rock and a hard place. They haven’t done anything directly to us as yet to deserve retaliation.

      The best chance we have, in my humble cowboy/mountain man opinion is to kick Israel in the ass and get them to move back to the boudaries the world established for them. This is the only way I see to create the atmosphere in which Iran will then have to shut up or reveal their true intentions.

      If their intentions are to become the leaders of the new caliphate, which I suspect is true among at least some of them, it will be revealed. What the world will do about it I do not know.

      I also think the more we reduce our head banging in the region the better. As the Iranian leadership reaches out and interferes with others, Saudi’s and Egyptions for example, the sooner they will be standing in line to deal in UNITY with their growing problem.

      I don’t trust them Colonel, they need watched closely. We need to prepare but we are screwed financially at home.

      One for you. What the hell are the Russians up to? Will we ever get them to be an allie or are they committed to destroying us one way or the other? And for the record, I don’t trust the Chinese either. I have always viewed them as the greater threat, ever since about the 7th grade.

      How that for some rambling thoughts?

      Now its your turn. I would like to explore some solutions to the trap we face.

      JAC

      • Hey, JAC…thanks for answering.

        Iran – Well, no one thought they would ever declare nuclear power. Now, they have. They are now enriching past 20%. They have openly stated that they are going to enrich to 80% and stockpile it…why? It does not take 80% enrichment for commercial power and it does not take 80% enrichment for medical purposes. At their rally yesterday, the signs held by some were very plain…destroy Israel. I know the culture well and where history does play a role began 600 years ago. It is the desire of Iran to control, once again, the old Persian empire. I think Egypt and the Saudis and Jordan understand this and do not want it to happen and will tacitly support Israel. Iran, yesterday, threatened Egypt for employing their version of the steel curtain and vowed that Egypt will not keep them out. It would not surprise me at all for Israel to share nuclear technology with Egypt/Syria/Saudis IF Iran follows through with its stockpiling threat.

        Israel – I would like it if Israel would go back to pre 1967 borders. But Hezbollah and Hamas have both said that withdrawing to those borders will not stop their attacks. So, if you were Israel, what would you do? Where is the incentive? Some people wish to believe that the 1967 war was perpetrated by Israel. I remember it well. The Six-Day War of June 5-10, 1967 was a war between Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The Arab states of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria also contributed troops and arms.[7] At the war’s end, Israel had gained control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. The results of the war affect the geopolitics of the region to this day.

        Following numerous border clashes between Israel and its Arab neighbours, particularly Syria, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser expelled the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) from the Sinai Peninsula in May 1967. The peacekeeping force had been stationed there since 1957, following a British-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt which was launched during the Suez Crisis. Egypt amassed 1,000 tanks and nearly 100,000 soldiers on the Israeli border and closed the Straits of Tiran to all ships flying Israeli flags or carrying strategic materials, receiving strong support from other Arab countries. Israel responded with a similar mobilization that included the call up of 70,000 reservists to augment the regular IDF forces.

        On June 5, 1967, Israel launched a preemptive attack on Egypt. The Arab countries denied planning to attack Israel, and asserted that Israel’s strike was not preemptive but an unwarranted and illegal act of aggression. Jordan, which had signed a mutual defense treaty with Egypt on May 30, then attacked western Jerusalem and Netanya.

        Now, if I were a country and my neighbor massed 1,000 tanks and 100,000 troops on MY border…..you better bet that I am not going to wait until they cross the border. Some believe that Israel attacked…I suggest that it was a response to other aggressive moves (stopping flagged ships, etc) and massing of war materials and weaponry. If they closed the straits, why not attack? Israel was correct in its response. All this to say, pulling back to the 1967 prewar border means nothing to Iran at all and it will not stop the hostilities and it will not stop Iran’s support of Hezbollah and Hamas and the others. Now the question….do you try it? Well, every concession that Israel has done in the last five years never stopped the attacks. So…where is the incentive?

        Iraq – This is overlooked and will be a hot point. Iran wants it. End of sentence. If we leave it, Iran will get it. Russia will not stop it. China will not stop it. The other Arab countries will not stop it. It would be an economic treasure trove to Iran. Nothing more need be said. The people of Iran will not revolt and stop it. They will be repressed and murdered, just as they are now and this does not get reported.

        JAC states: I also think the more we reduce our head banging in the region the better. As the Iranian leadership reaches out and interferes with others, Saudi’s and Egyptions for example, the sooner they will be standing in line to deal in UNITY with their growing problem.

        D13 Agrees to an extent: I will add that if Iran follows through and stockpiles 80% weapons grade material (tactical), the Saudis, Egyptians, etal; may stand in line together but would be powerless and require the US or Israel as an ally.

        JAC says: One for you. What the hell are the Russians up to? Will we ever get them to be an allie or are they committed to destroying us one way or the other? And for the record, I don’t trust the Chinese either. I have always viewed them as the greater threat, ever since about the 7th grade.

        D13 responds: The Russians will NEVER be our ally. They also have severe economic problems and are more concerned in their backyard and Europe than us. They also have some internal leadership problems and the “old guard” is trying to re-establish but commerce and capitalism has taken a pretty good hold and the business side, which has considerable clout along with the Russian Mafia (old KGB), will not allow the austere communist system of Stalin. They are saber rattling which is ok…acting like a bully….but more bluster than bite.

        China, however, is another problem and their weapon of choice…our debt. You must look closely at China…it has bought a lot of debt in countries other than the US. China is no molehill…it is a mountain. The only way to logically defeat China..is to pay our bills and borrow no more money from China. One thing that blocks China, even though they have threatened to sell off some of our debt, is the rest of the world is still tied economically to the US…China forces us into bankruptcy…so goes the world….right now. But, rest assured China’s objective is economic control. We need to curtail their growing economic clout. It is not too late. They cannot win a shooting war but they are a black belt economically.

        To the traps we face?……hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……How about we pull in our horns, defend ourselves, save some money that way…pay down the debt…….quit printing money and taking on new debt. That would be a great start. The next step would be to replace all incumbents (wishful thinking).

        On a side note: I have been touting Debra Medina down here for gov and here she goes on Glenn Beck sticks her foot in her mouth. Beck asks a direct question about 9-11 and whether she believes that it was an inside job and her answer was a non answer. She admitted to wanting more information. She has grown to 26% popularity and she just lost me and probably several others to this friggin 9-11 conspiracy crap. She is a true states rights person and then does not debunk that theory. Texans will pull away from her unless she explains further what she means.

        • D13

          You last comment has be thinking hard. Why would Beck ask her that question in the first place?

          No politician can debunk the theory, that is the problem. You can’t debunk either side of the argument and certainly not in a 2 minute interview.

          Guess my suggested response would be my own view. It doesn’t matter. WE KNOW the govt is corrupt and out to stifle our liberty. Unless we clean up our govt it won’t matter because the real truth about anyting will never be known.

          Don’t abandon her yet Colonel. I am guessing she was completely blind sided by that question. Let me know when her “follow up” starts. Will be interesting to see how she couches it.

          The consession by Israel is needed to reset the table. If done soon it takes the wind out of Al Queda and Iran’s sails. They are exposed for who they are.

          It could also erode local support for Hamas and Hesbolla. Possibly triggering civil war in Palestine.

          My thinking is that the shady players have woven a complicated knot of intrigue and deceit. Any action to break the knot will expose the players as the they will not be able to hide behind the curtains anymore.

          I agree that there are some in Iran who want to regain the Persian empire. And others who wish to expand it using Islam to regain the Caliphate. And some who just want to be left alone. One or both of the first two are in charge, in my humble opinion.

          I don’t think Iran will take all of Iraq. If they do they will have a civil war on their hands. I think they take that portion where they can use Shiite Islam to solidify their population. They then leave the Sunni and Kurds outside to fend for themselves. I think that would give them most of the nations wealth producing capacity and avoid an insurgency.

          Why do you think Russia will NEVER by an allie?

          I like your solution to the trap. I would add, start building up our military defensive and deadly strike capability. We may be forced into a retaliation that must be swift and final.

          Oh, and we need to take over Haiti!

          JAC

          • JAC

            Re; Russia as an ally

            Only if we are attacked by aliens or China attacks Russia and the USA at the same time.

            Russia – frankly – is the most powerful nation on earth.

            It has the largest land mass, the most resources of everything and a durable hard working people.

            If it ever got a leg up, it would dominate without equal the entire world.

            Hence, since the British Empire, the Great Game has been to box it in – trapped in Asia.

            If it became an ally, it would naturally achieve open water ports for trade – and the world economy would be transformed, permanently, into a Russian hegemony.

        • Oh, boy – the number errors D13 presents so badly distorts the issue – but one can see how such poor presentation creates war.

          Iran – Well, no one thought they would ever declare nuclear power. Now, they have

          Where did they make this declaration?

          Out and out bold face untruth.

          First off, ‘everyone knew’ they could create nuclear energy – which always has a potential of abuse.

          But potential is not “declared” – by your measure, any nation that as a nuclear reactor is now a ‘declared nuclear power’.

          Bizarre.

          . They are now enriching past 20%. They have openly stated that they are going to enrich to 80% and stockpile it…why?

          Another bold face mis-truth.

          They have said no such thing.

          They have said the are enriching to 20% with the ability to go to 80%.

          Ability is not the same as ‘doing it’ – nor ‘stockpiling’.

          At their rally yesterday, the signs held by some were very plain…destroy Israel.

          Strange – you failed to notice your own (and others) rhetoric about threats to Iran?

          I know the culture well and where history does play a role began 600 years ago. It is the desire of Iran to control, once again, the old Persian empire.

          Wow! A six hundred year strategy – 400 years before the USA – the Persians calculated that some super-power would act in threat to Persia to cause the people to rebuild the great empire.

          Bizarre.

          I think Egypt and the Saudis and Jordan understand this and do not want it to happen and will tacitly support Israel.

          Perhaps. There are a lot of provocations in the region.

          Egypt and the Saudis are sitting on powder kegs with their own people – the rulers are out of step with the desires of the people – but as long as their respective armies are loyal to the leadership… but that can change in a whisper.

          Iran’s popular revolution provided the wrong example for tyrannies beholden to Western regimes. Saudi and Egypt ruling elite interests are aligned to resist Iranian examples of such revolution.

          Iran, yesterday, threatened Egypt for employing their version of the steel curtain and vowed that Egypt will not keep them out. It would not surprise me at all for Israel to share nuclear technology with Egypt/Syria/Saudis IF Iran follows through with its stockpiling threat.

          Never.

          Israel will never arm Arabs.

          Israel – I would like it if Israel would go back to pre 1967 borders. But Hezbollah and Hamas have both said that withdrawing to those borders will not stop their attacks.

          Another bold face mis-truth

          From Haartz (Israel’s leading newspaper)

          Hamas declared its willingness to participate in negotiations with Israel on condition that they would be based on an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders

          Further,

          Like the Hamas representatives, Musawi mentioned his organization’s [BF: Hezbollah] condemnation of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and tried to persuade his interlocutors that the man facing them was not a terrorist but rather the representative of a legitimate political party, a key player in Lebanese politics. He said that there is not one drop of American blood on Hezbollah hands and that it does not see America as an enemy. Those who attacked Americans, he said, were “freelancers.”

          [H]e said that Hezbollah has decided to put what he called the occupied territories in northern Israel outside the struggle, and this is the explanation for the extended quiet on the northern border.

          According to him, there is nothing in Hezbollah’s ideology that makes it an enemy of the Jews and it will respect any agreement that is reached between the Palestinians and Israel.

          Our enemy, he said, is the occupation, especially the occupation of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

          Steinberg agreed that an Israeli withdrawal from Shaba would enable Hezbollah to move from being a problem to being a solution. He said that it is possible to arrive at a practical “arrangement” with Hezbollah, and that this is in contrast to the situation with Hamas.

          Steinberg said Hamas’ growth in the territories threatens to transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a national into a religious conflict, to the extent that the PLO National Covenant will be replaced by the Hamas covenant.

          From the horse’s mouth….

          It is this pervasive attempt as highlighted by D13 to paint a false, but dangerous picture that prevents solutions and risks the peace of the world.

          • I recommend you read the entire speech that A-Jad said yesterday. Then reply to what you think I am lying about.

            Otherwise, thank you for your opinion.

          • The situation in Israel has changed significantly from 2001. There were small steps agreed to in order to get to the talks of 1967 borders. Both Hamas and Hezbollah agreed that these small steps were a good starting point.

            When some of the developments, encroachments, or whatever you wish to call it were abandoned and some territories returned and some settlements destroyed, the next step was up to the Hamas and Hez gov’t authority….when the rockets started flying again it was because it was said that Israel did not go far enough and it was further said that they (Hez and Ham) could not control every faction and that a lot of people had rockets but nothing stopped…so they are at an impasse again.

            It would be suicide for Israel to “trust” anyone and make a move prior to any agreement. But there will not be any agreement until Israel moves. It is a chess game and it is at impasse right now. No country, including Syria has been able to get to any form of agreement…again impasse.

            So, if you suggest that Israel move back without an agreement, I think you are incorrect in your thinking. If I were Hamas and I wanted a position of strength, I would not stop shooting until their first move was made…everything is an impasse. It is wanted that way , in my opinion.

            • Also, allow me to further state, that the agreement by the United Nations in, ummmm 1947 ish that allowed Israelk to become a State in the first place was a wrong decision and the US was wrong in backing it. But the fact is that they are there.

              • Agree and agree.

                Oh, and agree.

                So if I here you correctly.

                Just pull our asses out and come home.

                Don’t push Israel into anything.

                Let them sort out their own bulldookey.

                About right?

                Tipin one to Texas
                JAC

              • D13

                One more.

                Would still like your opinion as to WHY Russia will never be an ally.

                And just to spice it up…Will they ever be at least a friendly and fully cooperating nation or alway antagonistic?

                Your thoughts

          • BF-

            “Where did they make this declaration?

            Out and out bold face untruth.”

            http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100211/ts_afp/iranrevolutionanniversary

            I’m sure the source has its own spin, but it looks like the big plan to celebrate the anniversary of the revolution was to announce that they are now nuclear, whatever that actually means.

            President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used a keynote address to hundreds of thousands in Azadi (Freedom) Square to boast Iran was now a nuclear nation as he announced the production of its first highly enriched uranium.

            “One day they said we cannot enrich uranium, but with the resistance of our leader, nation … and with the help of God, the Iranian nation has become nuclear,” he said, defying mounting Western calls for new UN sanctions.

            • D13:

              Found a partial speech text:

              Ahmadinejad restated Iran’s position that it was not seeking to build nuclear weapons.

              “When we say we do not manufacture the bomb, we mean it, and we do not believe in manufacturing a bomb,” he told the crowd. “If we wanted to manufacture a bomb, we would announce it.”

          • BF asks: Where did they make this declaration?

            This statement was made yesterday in his fiery speech that was to shock the west. We are now a nuclear power. Pretty much a verbatim quote, as I remember reading the closed caption of his translation. Now, you and I both know that nuclear power, in this case, means nuclear energy as it stands now. The use of the term “power” is intended to grab support. Iran claims it is for energy and medical…I am claiming yes it is and more. In this statement he went further and said, “we have the capability of enriching and stockpiling to 80%” again, I was watching the entire speech and reading the closed captions…….Why was this statement made if not for grabbing attention and trying to display Nuclear Power status. I went back and read my post and should have stated capable not actually stockpiling…I admit to typing fast and being interrupted but it really does not change anything. All the IAEC will do is watch and report it as they cannot do anything else.

            BTW…his statement scares no one except the possibility of selling enrichment to other countries. They are, of course, free to do so. I do not think they will do that because I feel in this case there would be severe repercussions and not from US.

            BF says: Wow! A six hundred year strategy – 400 years before the USA – the Persians calculated that some super-power would act in threat to Persia to cause the people to rebuild the great empire.

            Bizarre.

            D13 says: Not bizarre at all. I posted this already and posted the sources which named the three imams and which Mosques I got my information from. They teach almost everyday about the past and how history will repeat itself and where it goes back to. Please do not patronize me, BF, I am not stupid. This is not my deduction…this is actually teachings from Mosques and Imams in the United States. It has nothing to do with super power status and projections in the future. It has everything to do with the feelings and the teachings that Islam is the only true religion (they used another term in place of religion..can’t remember it) and will once again be the leader of all..etc etc…They, the Imams, still believe this.

            BF says: Iran’s popular revolution provided the wrong example for tyrannies beholden to Western regimes. Saudi and Egypt ruling elite interests are aligned to resist Iranian examples of such revolution.

            D13 says: Yep…we agree here. and, there is something to be said about the ruling elite and their army. I feel this and your deduction is also correct.

            BF says: Israel will never arm Arabs.

            D13 actually concurs….but still I will not be surprised. I cannot see any reason that Israel would throw gasoline on the fire without controlling the gasoline….but this IS my deduction.

            • Also, if you cannot find the whole speech by A – med, I think that I can get the actual speech in Arabic with the English translation.( I don’t think it is classified. It was early in the morning but I do not remember any classification. it was a public speech, for cripes sake.) Be happy to send it to your email address that I have. I do not know how big the file would be tho. Will check that out tonight. It was long and I think you would be surprised in the tone and rhetoric. I was surprised in that it was stronger than I expected.

              • Thanks, D13 for your responses.

                All very well considered, though I don’t agree with some of your speculation.

                I do think Iran is playing a game of hubris in trying to promote capabilities that they do not currently have.

                And yes, please via email.

    • First, they did not lie.

      They are producing medical isotopes – as they have a right to do.

      They have the IAEC observers there, watching. They do not have to do this, but they did.

      They have informed the IAEC regarding their intentions, as they are required.

      I find it amazing how quickly hypocrisy grows in the field of politics.

      • BF..all you say is true. I will not deny it.

        I do not believe it. It matters not who is there monitoring the situation. Medical isotopes do not require 80% enrichment nor stockpiling.

        But you are right…they have the right to do so and I will not say otherwise. They are simply and mater of factly..untrustworthy….it matters not if they gad 10,000 angels sitting there swearing otherwise. But, I am entitled to my beliefs as you are.

        Question for you, sir…..You really have faith in the IAEA?

        • OOOPS…IAEC….sorry…my keyboard still does not know how to spell.

          BTW….how are you doing and your friend in Haiti?

          • He survived and has temporarily retreated to the US so not to be a burden on other relief efforts.

            He is a man who regularly dabbles in business opportunities in war-torn areas (rebuilding stuff).

            He says Haiti disaster was among the worse he has ever seen.

        • D13,

          Question for you, sir…..You really have faith in the IAEA?

          Well let’s see. They said Iraq hand no nuclear energy, and were not developing nuclear weapon technology.

          The US said the opposite.

          IAEC 1 – USA 0

          Every statement the IAEC has provided to the UN has been found to be accurate within the ability of their mandate and true.

          Nearly every statement the US has made about these issues has been in error, or a lie, or from a point of incompetence.

          So, at this time, I have no reason to dispute the ability of the IAEC.

          • I will grant almost all of that. What power do you suppose they have and why do you think that the IAEC is not biased in its reporting? Also, do you know who is on the IAEC…the country make up?

            • IAEC power – direct, none, but influence.

              Their report is weighted very heavily by the international community and the Security Councils (sans USA).

              Biased, no. They have no dog in the hunt other than prevention of nuclear proliferation. What reason do they have to support Iran against USA/Russia/China, the world? None.

              IAEC make up – I will research and report.

              • Thanks, I cannot find it. I understand the workings of the IAEC the same but do not share your views in how weighted they are in the International Community..however, I really do not know other than they are not looked on favorably in my neck of the woods…So, I have to digress in opinions except that all of the watchdog agencies have been unable to stop anybody….not just Iran but others.

    • http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17555

      NATO’s Role In The Military Encirclement Of Iran

      by Rick Rozoff

  29. v. Holland says:

    Here we go-another cutsie name “the Tenther” and of course a reference to segregation to try and make any arguments based on racism. Plus this:”Other critics point out that if states want to send a clear message to Washington — and not just pass resolutions — they would refuse federal money or other services.” Personally , I think the states shouldn’t have taken all this money years ago but to say they should just stop taking money now when the government has caused them to have to pay for so many things is unreasonable-like when people who are against all these social programs are told to refuse their social security checks after they have been forced to pay into the system forever-just strange logic.

    ‘Tenther’ movement aims to put power back in states’ hands
    By Ed Hornick, CNN
    February 10, 2010 8:25 a.m. EST
    States rights activists use the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment to support their cause.
    States rights activists use the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment to support their cause.
    STORY HIGHLIGHTS

    * States rights advocates cite the Tenth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution
    * Amendment: Powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states
    * Nearly 37 states in 2009 introduced and/or passed sovereignty resolutions
    * Activist: While non-binding, it is a symbolic in nature

    RELATED TOPICS

    * U.S. Government
    * U.S. Supreme Court
    * U.S. State Government

    Washington (CNN) — Their message is loud and clear: Big government is out of control; states need to take back their constitutional rights.

    A movement has been growing over the past two years of urging states to exert their rights under the 10th Amendment. The Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights, states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    A number of states have passed resolutions that assert their rights. While the resolutions have no legal teeth, they’re intended to carry a message: States’ rights are being trampled on.

    The anger behind the so-called ‘Tenther’ movement comes from what advocates see as the federal government’s forcing policies on the states — most notably on health care reform, economic recovery measures and social issues.

    But critics of the movement say the resolutions go too far by nullifying or ignoring federal laws.
    Interactive: State Sovereignty Movement

    After the Georgia Senate’s move in April 2009 for sovereignty, Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jay Bookman wrote that this push has a “particularly nasty legacy.”

    “It helped precipitate the Civil War, and in the 1950s and early ’60s it was cited by Southern states claiming the right to ignore Supreme Court rulings ordering the end of segregation,” he wrote.

    Bookman added: “You have to question the judgment of those who would have any truck whatsoever with such nonsense and who would jeopardize the reputation of the Georgia Senate to lend aid and comfort to such radical causes and fringe groups.”

    Other critics point out that if states want to send a clear message to Washington — and not just pass resolutions — they would refuse federal money or other services.

    Michael Boldin, the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, said the amendment is simply a reinforcement that the people created the federal government — and the “people are in charge.”

    His organization helps provide information to grass-roots groups looking to strengthen the sovereignty of states. Boldin pointed to several states laws that have been passed — such as medical marijuana and same-sex marriage — as examples why states should be able to decide their own fate.

    “These really important issues … were supposed to be left close to home,” he said. “That way you can have a huge country with all kinds of viewpoints living in peace because you don’t have people battling each other for the federal prize.”

    Steven Schwinn — a law professor at John Marshall Law School and Constitution expert — says that the amendment is too vague to be used as an argument for state sovereignty on key issues such as economic recovery, marijuana laws and same-sex marriage.
    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
    –Tenth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution

    “To say that the 10th Amendment somehow empowers states or gives them state sovereignty is just reading way too much into the text,” he said. “The 10th Amendment just can’t bear that weight.”

    But don’t tell that to the 37 state legislatures that introduced sovereignty measures in 2009. According to the Tenth Amendment Center, seven state legislatures — Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee — have passed such legislation.

    All the resolutions, Schwinn noted, are nonbinding and do not carry any legal muscle.

    Tennessee and Alaska, in particular, went a step further: The governors in each state, including Sarah Palin of Alaska, signed their respective legislatures’ resolutions.

    The one-time Republican vice presidential candidate has been a vocal critic of President Obama’s economic stimulus plan and tried to reject parts of the money allocated for her state that she deemed unnecessary.

    Already in 2010, sovereignty resolutions have been introduced in 17 states. One of the first to move the ball forward this year is Alabama; the legislature voted in late January to approve a state sovereignty resolution.

    Roy Moore — a former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was removed from office for refusing a federal judge’s order to remove a Ten Commandments monument — commended Alabama’s decision.

    “I am certainly pleased that the Alabama Legislature has passed a resolution affirming the sovereignty of our state under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” he wrote. “Alabama now joins many other states which have passed such resolutions as a principled response to unprecedented threats to our liberties by the bloated and ever-expanding federal government.”

    In early February, South Carolina’s House voted overwhelmingly in favor of a state Senate resolution on sovereignty. It now returns to the Senate for action.

    Boldin says many pushing for state sovereignty use history as their guide, remembering the run-up to the Civil War when states were seceding from the union — or when American colonists were “throwing off the chains of the [British] tyrant” during the American Revolution.

    “That tends to ring very strongly in peoples’ hearts and minds when they think of this. I think it’s really important to understand history … but I wouldn’t rely on it completely.”

    Boldin — who started the center in opposition to the Bush administration’s enactment of the Patriot Act and other wartime measures — said the movement is symbolic.

    “If you own an apartment in a building and your tenant hasn’t paid rent for a while, you basically have to serve notice,” he said. “And it’s basically that first step to serve notice to the federal government that they have to follow the Constitution or there’ll be follow up.”

    The U.S. Supreme Court several times has deemed the 10th Amendment as a truism that simply states “what we all understand to be the relationship between the federal government and the states,” Schwinn said.

    “The Supreme Court has kind of ebbed and flowed on its interpretation of the 10th Amendment, but the ‘truism’ reading of the amendment strikes me as the one that’s closest to correct.”

    And some lawmakers are also questioning the need for using the 10th Amendment in passing legislation.

    Last week, the Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee recommended for approval a nonbinding resolution that says the federal government has violated the 10th Amendment. The resolution — was approved 10-1 by the committee.

    The one holdout — Sen. David Haley, a Democrat from Kansas City — told the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper that while he at times disagrees with the federal government, the push didn’t necessarily warrant a sovereignty resolution.

    Nonetheless, there is growing support by national political candidates looking to tap into voters’ anger over big government. Opposition to legislation such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and health care reform are touchstones of the populist Tea Party movement, for instance.

    Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty urged other governors in September 2009 to counter what he deemed the growing power of the federal government as the health care debate was heating up. Pawlenty, considered to be a GOP 2010 presidential contender, backtracked a bit on his push while speaking on a radio show in Minneapolis, Minnesota, saying the 10th Amendment push should be used for debate and awareness of the issue.

    One case that drew widespread attention was when Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, hinted in a 2009 interview that Texas could secede from the union if health care reform were pushed on his state, though he later backed away from the comments.

    “The whole point of the Constitution is to bring states together in a union,” said Schwinn, the John Marshall Law School professor. “So secession is not a constitutional option.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/02/10/tenth.amendment.movement/index.html?hpt=Sbin

    • V.H.

      Excellent find.

      Within this article lies evidence of what has happened to our Constitutional Republic and why the road ahead will be so difficult.

      Everyone should read and re-read the esteemed “legal scholars” views of the tenth amendment.

      This view point might have been enough to cause Madison to reconsider dueling as legitimate.

      Big hug your way this AM
      JAC

    • He , Perry, backed away from that statement but it is not dead. It is tabled in the legislature. There are quite a few of us that like the idea.

      I know that it won’t work….and the Feds would try to stop us….and can, I guess, but it is a tabled motion…not dropped.

      • States rights is a hot button issue here and Debra Medina is running in the Repub primary….she is a staunch state’s rights activist and now has 26% popularity….up from 4%..and she is pulling the independent minded…probably will throw the election into a runoff….tho. Keep an eye out….Perry only has 46% and in Texas it takes 50.1% to avoid a runoff. Hutchinson is a Washington elitist and will probably survive to run against Perry in a runoff….but Medina is gaining attention and she is NOT….repeat…NOT a tea party person. Her platform is state’s rights and keep washington out and it is resonating well, here.

  30. Down here Buck,

    You’re correct. Everyone has a stake in what happens, BUT, there have to be a few safeguards. Tax paying is a great way to make people think about who they are voting for and why they are voting for that person. The way we do it now, is contributing to our self destruction. We already have sizable portion of voters who just vote for whoever promises them the most goodies at someone elses expense. It reminds me of my daughter wanting some stupid video game. I told her she could have it but she’d have to use her own money for it. She decided she didn’t really want it after all, if she had to pay for it, but as long as I was paying for it, hell yeah, she’ll take it!

    Don’t forget, I don’t pay taxes, and I’m perfectly okay with this. I’ll be glad to put my money/vote where my mouth is. If we go with this way of doing it, and I decide I want to vote, then I’ll get myself back to the US, get a job and pay my taxes. Otherwise, I’ll stay overseas, and keep my money and my vote to myself. Right now though, my vote counts just as much as yours. I don’t pay taxes, and don’t have to put with the same crap you do. (I to put up with a 100% government controlled environment that is very stifling for everyone, but I have my reasons for doing it. When I decide I’ve had enough, I can leave, and either find another country to live in, or go back to the smoldering heap called America. But that’s another topic. 🙂 )

    • Buck The Wala says:

      “Everyone has a stake in what happens” is precisely the reason you cannot limit voting to those that pay taxes.

      Do people vote for stupid reasons? Of course, and that’s their right. You are correct to point out above that assuming more and more people get frustrated and pissed off with the government they will vote to remove Obama and the Dems – now you want to reduce their right and ability to do so by placing restrictions on voting?

      • Yes, I am, including my own. Everyone should be so willing. Until then, things will only get worse. Happy Hope n Change in the meantime.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          I’m not quite understanding your position here — if you were to place a restriction on voting in terms of having to pay taxes, those that do pay taxes could still vote for whomever they wanted and for whatever reason they wanted, no matter how stupid.

          • Absolutley! However, when being stupid costs YOU rather than your neighbor, it tends to get your attention, does it not? One of the largest problems our society has is a lack of suffering the consequences. In America, and most highly developed countries, there’s enough prosperity and brains available to compensate for an individual’s stupidity. For example, several of hikers decide to climb a mountain. They don’t consider the weather conditions, time of year, terrian, their physical limitaitons, supplies required, or their level of expertise. They do however, remember to bring their cell phones. So up the mountain they go, happily enough until someone slips and breaks a leg. The buddies didn’t bring proper equipment but think they can help their friend. Next thing you know, all of them are in trouble. So they use their cell phones to call for help. While waiting for the rescuers to show up, the weather changes. It starts to rain. Now our friends have hypothermia because they didn’t bring the proper gear. Somehow, our little band manages to survive long enough for the rescuers to arrive. They are picked up, taken back home and given top notich health care for their injuries. The local government picks up the tab for the rescue, and the health insurance takes care of the hospital bills. Our little band of friends gets all sorts of attention and nurturing because of their ordeal and life goes on. Now,if all those resources were not available to our hikers, would they still have gone on that hike? Would they have prepared better? Would they still have taken foolish risks? Maybe, and they would be dead, and serving as an example to the rest of us. Or maybe, they not go at all, or plan, actually learn about mountain climbing, and prepare accordingly.

            Your right, restricting voting only to those who can meet certain qualification will not prevent all stupidity, but it will reduce it by leaps and bounds because people will understand that there are consequences to their actions.

      • SK Trynosky Sr says:

        Cyndi & Buck,

        In my ideal world, the vote is earned. See “Starship Troopers” by Robert A. Heinlein (not the movie, most definitely not the movie, as a matter of fact, forget that the movie even exists).

        Somebody somewhere should actually teach a civics course based on that book.

  31. D13,

    There must be a deterrent

    Only works on those that care – does not work on those that don’t care.

    Most criminals don’t care.

    Some how “not voting” as a punishment, to me, is particularly pointless.

    To those who do not believe in the death penalty because an innocent “might” be put to death….bull hockey.

    I do not believe in it because if one agrees death is the answer on a person who kills innocent people, I do not want that punishment on me if I support a mistake and kill an innocent person.

    If you are willing to risk the same punishment on you as you dealt to others – then its not a problem.

    Rehab for the violent criminal is non existent.

    I agree.

    If they do not want to change, no outside influence is powerful enough to cause change.

    If they want to change, no outside influence is needed.

    They are illegal.

    So?

    If the law is evil, you still enforce it?

    Too Draconian?

    No, but I would suggest you have not fully understand the implications you force.

    • Oh…BF..I understand it and know that it is impossible.

      I understand and respect your thoughts on the death penalty fully. Your statement is true…for you. I can and do support it.

      As to deterrent, you are correct..it will only work on those that wish it to work…hence my statement that my theory has more holes in it than a Dutch dike…however, you have to admit it would be an interesting conversation.

      On the voting issue…it is romper roomish but it fit.

      You and I will have to agree to disagree on illegals….they are that. I am sorry for their plight but they do not belong here and will stand by that with total conviction.

      You and JAC are the only ones that caught on to Draconian (or at least responded)….and its true measure. 🙂

  32. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    AGW/Global Warming/Climate Change redux:

    All of you need to start writing things down when a “scientist” says something. You see, ALL of us have been programmed to have VERY short attention spans and fairly bad memories, and the vast majority of us have been told to “trust scientists”. What this has allowed for is for the overwhelming majority of “scientists” to never actually admit that they were wrong about anything at all. Instead, they merely COMPLETELY CHANGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING in order to fit the current reality.

    Examples:

    A few years ago, scientists in Great Britain and in the US were saying that snow in Great Britain and snow in the Washington DC/Baltimore/Maryland/Virginia areas was “a thing of the past” due to climate change/global warming. This year those areas have had record snow seasons. Rather than “oops, we were wrong!” those SAME EXACT SCIENTISTS are now saying “record snow seasons prove global warming because warmer air holds more moisture than colder air, but if it is still cold enough to produce snow rather than rain, record snowfall in these areas is the logical outcome.” Nevermind that this completely contradicts what they said a few years ago….

    In the mid-2000s after several relatively active hurricane seasons, scientists said that the number of hurricanes making landfall in the US and other parts of the world would continue to rise unabated, and these hurricanes would be stronger and stronger due to global warming. Now, after several years of few (or even ZERO) hurricanes hitting the continental US, and many storms never making it out of the tropical depression/weak tropical storm phase, THE EXACT SAME SCIENTISTS are now saying, “well, we may not get as many hurricanes due to global warming, but the ones that we do get are going to be MASSIVE AND POWERFUL AND DESTRUCTIVE!” This not only contradicts what they said a few years ago, but it also isn’t borne out at all from evidence over the past several years.

    Back in the late 1990’s, scientists said that the climate would continue to warm unabated, with an ever-accelerating upward curve of hotter and hotter temperatures. Now that the decade of 2010 was essentially flat temperature-wise, and even showed a few years of declines, THE SAME EXACT SCIENTISTS are now saying, “Well yeah, the temperature seems to have plateaued in the 2000-2010 decade, but IT WAS THE HOTTEST OVERALL DECADE ON RECORD!” Of course they make no mention of the fact that a “plateau in temperature” directly contradicts their previous claim of an unabated and ever-accelerating rise in temperature….

    The problem is that most people believe whatever these yay-hoos say, because they don’t have any recollection of what these same guys said 5 or 10 years ago, and hey, these guys are SCIENTISTS, so THEY MUST KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT, RIGHT??

    So, my advice to all of you is anytime you hear some claim related to climate change made in the news, or in the paper, or in a magazine, or on some website, KEEP A RECORD OF IT. That way you can EASILY discover exactly when THE SAME SIDE contradicts what was said, and CLAIMS THAT THE CONTRADICTION STILL SUPPORTS THEIR CLAIMS!

    The logic of the AGW-crowd goes as follows:

    A is happening or is going to happen. A is a strong indicator of man-caused climate change!

    3 years later.

    B is happening. B is the EXACT OPPOSITE of A (but we better not bring attention to that part!), B is a strong indicator of man-caused climate change!

    Anyone see a problem with that?

    • The problem hss been there for along time, it’s just now being exposed for what it is, Bullshit!

      Peace!

      G!

  33. JAC,

    I needed more room to explain Ben’s lack of strategy.

    Alan Meltzer’s – probably the #1 expert regarding the Federal Reserve System – commented on Ben’s plan.

    Meltzer’s point – there is no price established for Ben to use to judge his actions.

    The FED rate is completely moot. The FED has dropped the rate to near zero – which SHOULD trigger bank lending – and the banks still do not lend. Ben holds the belief that the lever will start working when the banks do start to lend. He has not explained why it is not working now.

    The lever is no longer attached to the machine.

    Next, the ability to use assets to sell to mop up liquidity. But again, price is missing.

    He traded worthless property for dollars. He assumes the price he bought will be the price he sells. But it cannot be.

    If he starts to sell, the price will fall deeper than it is now. He will tank the real estate market while not absorbing liquidity.

    He can sell T-bills – but nobody is buying now. How at a turn rate of $300 billion (renewing due T-bills) every month, adding more $billions in new T-bills only makes the situation worse for sales.

    Refer to Prof. Rowley’s blog – he highlights the illusion of the FED’s strategy.

    http://charlesrowley.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/does-the-fed-have-an-anti-inflation-exit-strategy-1/

    • Darn, hit the send button to early.

      Continuing….

      The problem with the T-bill sale. To make the T-bills sell, the FED will have to increase interest rates.

      But that’s a problem. Interest rate increases will destroy the economic recovery. It will toss the US into a deep recession.

      Ben’s caught in the middle. As Meltzer says, Ben has two concurrent mandates – hold down inflation AND kill the recession (reduce unemployment). But he cannot do both. He can do either, exclusively.

      One destroys the money, the other destroys the politicians. The choice he needs to take is to save the money.

      He has already shown that he is a pliable as a wet noodle for the politicians.

      • BF

        But an increase in interest rates is assumed in Ben’s strategy and the fellow I watched yesterday.

        As I read his message, we start to act when inflation starts to service.

        Then they start raising rates. This will set the value of the T bills, so no price now is not relevant if there is a price later.

        I am curious how they expect to unwind the toxic assets held because as you say, selling them simply keeps prices down or even deflates them further. Which in turn causes more bank balance sheet problems which in turn requires more reserves and less lending.

        Of course if you cause further real estate crashes that is one way to keep extra money piled up in the reserves. While the quick sand engulfs the nation.

        While I agree the FED has two roles that are usually in conflict, for the past 30 years they have really been more focused on inflation. Will that remain the higher priority? I think so. But as you say, Ben is not as strong in his public stance as Greenspan and Volker. So maybe?

        But…..I think the fire is quickly getting out of control. When the inflation hits I don’t think they will be able to head it off, they will be chasing it. By the time they get ahead of it they will have killed any chance of recovery. I see no way to unwind this slowly and without some serious damage.

        • JAC

          As I read his message, we start to act when inflation starts to service.

          Then they start raising rates. This will set the value of the T bills, so no price now is not relevant if there is a price later.

          The FED sets the price, but as you’ve outlined here – the T-Bills will ignore it and set their own level.

          Thus, the FED does not set the price – the market does.

          So, the theory of manipulation is completely flawed. The FED is not the tool, it is the dupe.

          So the FED has two choices, pay the rate – and cause a recession, or don’t pay – and cause inflation.

          I am curious how they expect to unwind the toxic assets held because as you say, selling them simply keeps prices down or even deflates them further.

          They are not stupid. They know supply and demand. They are stuck.

          While I agree the FED has two roles that are usually in conflict, for the past 30 years they have really been more focused on inflation.

          Actually, no.

          Interest rates in the low single digits is not a ‘anti-inflation’ tactic.

          Inflation was held back due to Chinese purchases of T-bills and the housing bubble.

          The FED watched the inflation rate and as long as it was low, the kept the interest rate low to magnify the ‘economic expansion’ by artificial means – cheap credit.

          Will that remain the higher priority? I think so. But as you say, Ben is not as strong in his public stance as Greenspan and Volker. So maybe?

          Greenspan was a pansy – it is his fault we are muddled today.

          I doubt Volker would have the guts to deal with this issue.

          If he did, he’d be replaced.

          We’d end up – no matter what – with a Ben-like character.

          I see no way to unwind this slowly and without some serious damage.

          The absolutely wrong thing to do was done – preventing the wholesale collapse of mortgages and the banks.

          The fire sale would have swept the country – assets disposed of at any price – and the economy reset.

          Resources would have been transferred from failed hands to those that demonstrated the ability to manage them.

          We would be – by now – on recovery after a terrible two years.

          Now, we are looking at a terrible 20 years or more, or worse.

  34. Anyone have heart burn over anything in this?

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10451518-38.html

    • Yep….total.

    • GReat find JAC.

      I have some heart burn over it. No reasonable expectation of privacy around the location of my personal cell phone? Ridiculous. This is interesting enough that I am now considering writing an article focused solely on this subject. Just another example of how bad the Patriot Act really is.

      USW

      • USW

        Did you notice in the article where “homeland security” was named in the court order to track a phone over a divorce fraud case?

        Out of freakin control.

        Stay happy as best you can.
        JAC

      • Does the EO Dear Reader signed a few weeks ago (giving Interpol free reign) come under the Patriot Act? the two coming in such close succession sends up a warning flag….

    • On part of me says, hey I have nothing to hide, I’m not doing anything illegal. Who cares if they know where I am.

      The other side says, what use will they put this to and how will it affect me?

      • “I’m not doing anything illegal” – yet. As the police state comes into existance, more and more things will become illegal. And guess what? All the tools they need will be there. Waiting. I just love this hope-n-change thingy…..

  35. JAC,

    Now to answer specific inquiries:

    The guest actually had a strategy that consisted of pulling 200 million of reserves for each 1/4 percentage point increase in the Feds lending rate. So as the Fed increased rates in reaction to inflation more money is removed.

    Did the guest address the impact such a strategy will have on the economic recovery?

    Again, any attack against inflation will cause a deep recession. Which one do you want to solve?

    What was not explained was just how the reserves are removed. It is my understanding the Fed would sell bonds. But here is where I always get lost, as a simple businessman with a solid grasp of accounting principles. If you sell a bond there comes a day when you have to pay off the bond.

    Yes.

    Or roll it over.

    In other words, it seems we need to keep inflating so that when we pay off the bonds it doesn’t suddenly increase the money supply in the future.

    Yes, the rate of ‘planned’ inflation is ~1-3%.

    Bernanke did suggest he would look at increasing reserve balance requirements and at increasing interest payments on the reserves. This would supposedly keep money in reserve and not in the market.

    Yes, and cause a recession.

    But this raised another question for me. Where does the money come from that is used to pay the “interest” to the banks on their reserves? Is this not just more printed money or does it come from the Fed’s profits on all its other transactions.

    Part from profits – but yes, mostly from ‘new’ money.

    The gist of Kudlow’s last comment was that the FED is trying to maintain a balance sheet that includes massive quantities of toxic assets acquired during the bailout. This includes large number of new forclosures expected this year.

    Those assets are worthless. Nobody will buy them at the price Ben “bought” them.

    In short, your conclusion that Ben has no plan was echoed by many experts yesterday. And I might add, they have been working on this non plan intensively for 1 1/2 months now.

    Yep, its called “kick the can” – manana,manana – which really means “not today”.

    Since it cannot be dealt with, do not deal with it.

    “Someday” we’ll need to deal with it, but not today.

    The pray for a miracle in the mean time.

    Or they will create one.

    Called “Global War”.

    • BF

      “Did the guest address the impact such a strategy will have on the economic recovery?

      Again, any attack against inflation will cause a deep recession. Which one do you want to solve?”

      In theory the removal wouldn’t affect inflation itself. Money would be removed from “reserves” now being held.

      As inflation starts the fed rate is raised to counter. It will be a chase game but for each 25 basis point increase in rates you remove 200 million in cash from the reserves.

      As the reserves are not contributing to inflation or economic expansion it should have no effect. The removal stops when the excess cash printed by the Fed is reduced to normal levels.

      I guess the assumption is that as inflation increases the other book values would increase as well. But that was not addressed.

      I actually don’t think global war is the likely play this time. Our debt load to those who would oppose us is to great as well as our dependence on resources from other nations, that are needed for a sustained war.

      We may strike out and then China pulls the rug out. After a short spat we can’t pay our bills and the citizens riot along with the soldiers who are being paid in coupons and not money. Doesn’t mean the idiots won’t try, just that the conditions are different than the two last global wars.

      • In theory the removal wouldn’t affect inflation itself. Money would be removed from “reserves” now being held.

        As inflation starts the fed rate is raised to counter. It will be a chase game but for each 25 basis point increase in rates you remove 200 million in cash from the reserves.

        There is $1.2 trillion in excess reserves – so for every $200 million ($1,200 / 2 = 600) times .25 = 150% interest rate for the last $2 billion in excess.

        So, let’s work out the human action theory.

        First, there has to be some reason the banks start lending. What is stopping them now?

        They are holding their reserves in for 0.25% right now – $1.2 trillion of them.

        When they start to lend to business – the massive latent demand in the economy PLUS the increasing demand of funds from the government.

        Every interest rate increase by the banks effects the ability of the government to raise money for its budget in a tug-of-war with the economy.

        Something is going to give.

        As the reserves are not contributing to inflation or economic expansion it should have no effect.

        Right now its 0.25% and there is no lending – so yes, right now, nothing is working.

        The removal stops when the excess cash printed by the Fed is reduced to normal levels.

        The question is, how is the FED going to sop up the liquidity.

        We agree it isn’t disposal of toxic assets.

        We agree the government is unlikely to rein in the deficit any time soon.

        We agree massive tax increase will crush the economy.

        Any other suggestions?

        I guess the assumption is that as inflation increases the other book values would increase as well. But that was not addressed.

        Value doesn’t change – the price in terms of fiat changes.

        I actually don’t think global war is the likely play this time. Our debt load to those who would oppose us is to great as well as our dependence on resources from other nations, that are needed for a sustained war.

        The US has all the resources it needs for war indigenous to the USA. We don’t need Chinese held US dollars.

        We only need ration coupons.

        We may strike out and then China pulls the rug out. After a short spat we can’t pay our bills and the citizens riot along with the soldiers who are being paid in coupons and not money.

        The citizens will see a systemic threat to the USA in a war time psychosis. As I said it will be a ‘suffering by sacrifice’ for the country and nation – like WW2 was.

        Doesn’t mean the idiots won’t try, just that the conditions are different than the two last global wars.

        Hmmm….

        WW2 – a seemingly endless depression – deepening – a globe on the edge already with large regional wars…. the great Empires – Britain and France subdued or under threat of collapse….

        • Flag,

          You said “The US has all the resources it needs for war indigenous to the USA.

          Are you refering to a war against American ‘domestic terrorists’ of the ‘right-wing’ variety, and all that it entails????

          Should I go get some meds????

          • Sorry Cyndi – I didn’t say that very well now that I re-read it.

            I am saying that to wage war, the US has all the resources it needs – men and material – right on the continent.

    • BF

      Finally found the clip from the show I saw last night.

      http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1410253887&play=1

  36. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hey All, hope everyone is doing good today. Check out this video. Obama denies a flyover.

    • Hi Judy!

      Well, This qualifies as change, and I think we have much to be concerned by this person and his administration. We have not seen the true “him” yet, but we won’t like it at all.

      Too much snow, seven straight days and still not done at work. And of course, the next storm is expected Monday, five days from the last one, which was five days after the first one.

      G!

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi G

        I’m almost afraid to see the real O. Just down right pathetic to think, that a fly over is religious. You know, I really hope the people who voted for him are starting to regret it, and kicking them selves in their own butts, and if they can’t reach, then please, by all means let us who didn’t do it for you.

        As for all that snow you’re getting, it keeps up, and you’ll be able to build an ice hotel in your front yard. I’m surprised you’re not ready to leave there and go somewhere where it’s nice and warm.

        Hope you’re doing well in spite of all that snow..

        • I’m doing well!

          I should have a normal day at work tomorrow, that will be good. I don’t mind the snow so much, we don’t get this kind very often, (when we measure in feet instead of inches) This hasn’t happened here since 1950, when 27 inches fell over two days. Our 6 day total is 35 inches, that’s almost 3 feet, or up past my knee, LOL! 🙂

          G!

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Might be past your knee, but for me I think I would have disappeared by now for being so short. LOL

            Glad you don’t mind all that snow, I think I would have hit higher ground, some where where there was/is warmth and sun.

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      You are not qualified to point out these things. Where is your degree in meteorology? Even if you have one, is it from an approved university?

  37. Judy Sabatini says:

    This is really getting pathetic when day care centers treat kids this way, while parents entrust them to take care of their kids while they are at work. Day care centers who abuse kids in this way, SHOULD NOT be allowed to have a license issued to them.

    And, to think that the director of this day care center confirmed it was used in the past for punishment, yet , it was allowed to remain opened. Something is definitely wrong here.

    I wonder how these people would feel if they were to be given the same thing. Incidents like this one and many more I have read about really burn me up. When will people learn, you do not abuse children in any way, shape, or form? But, sadly, there will be many more that we will hear about.

    Parents Say Pa. Day Care Used Pickling Salt to Discipline Kids

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    SOUTH CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. — Parents sue Pa. day care that they say used pickling salt to discipline children
    Parents of seven children who were allegedly fed pickling salt that can cause nausea, vomiting and burns as punishment have sued a southwestern Pennsylvania day care center.

    State welfare officials investigated the allegations against the Regional Family YMCA of Laurel Highlands in South Connellsville in January 2009 but haven’t said what they found.

    The lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges children were given alum pickling salt as punishment and, last year, the center’s director confirmed the substance was at the center of the allegations.

    The lawsuit says the children say their mouths burned but they are too young to explain what happened in more detail. A supervisor allegedly told one of the parents what happened.

    The center has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

  38. I saw this reader comment on AT:

    Does anyone in this country realize how close we are to a dictatorship imposed by Martial Law? Sound a little crazy? Anyone reported on the bill Congress passed last friday stating that they are going to censor the internet and regulate it? Has anyone reported on the ten governors who Obama summoned to co-ordinate the federal control of state National Guards in the event of civil unrest?
    Sounds a little conspiratorial, but very true and very factual. Everyone in America should be concerned. Oh and let’s not forget about the Boy Scouts of America along some of the border states being trained by Homeland Security to take on gun owners and military vets. Don’ t believe me? Just go to their websites.

    Has anyone looked into/heard about the Boy Scout thing, and the internet control? I’m at work and gotta be careful about computer use…….

    • Have not heard anything about that, but looks real.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/us/14explorers.html?_r=1

      By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
      Published: May 13, 2009

      IMPERIAL, Calif. — Ten minutes into arrant mayhem in this town near the Mexican border, and the gunman, a disgruntled Iraq war veteran, has already taken out two people, one slumped in his desk, the other covered in blood on the floor.

      In a training exercise run by Border Patrol agents, Explorer scouts from Visalia, Calif., prepare to storm a “hijacked” bus.

      The responding officers — eight teenage boys and girls, the youngest 14 — face tripwire, a thin cloud of poisonous gas and loud shots — BAM! BAM! — fired from behind a flimsy wall. They move quickly, pellet guns drawn and masks affixed.

      “United States Border Patrol! Put your hands up!” screams one in a voice cracking with adolescent determination as the suspect is subdued.

      It is all quite a step up from the square knot.

      The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.

      “This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,” said A. J. Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. “It fits right in with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.”

      The training, which leaders say is not intended to be applied outside the simulated Explorer setting, can involve chasing down illegal border crossers as well as more dangerous situations that include facing down terrorists and taking out “active shooters,” like those who bring gunfire and death to college campuses. In a simulation here of a raid on a marijuana field, several Explorers were instructed on how to quiet an obstreperous lookout.

      “Put him on his face and put a knee in his back,” a Border Patrol agent explained. “I guarantee that he’ll shut up.”

      One participant, Felix Arce, 16, said he liked “the discipline of the program,” which was something he said his life was lacking. “I want to be a lawyer, and this teaches you about how crimes are committed,” he said.

      Cathy Noriega, also 16, said she was attracted by the guns. The group uses compressed-air guns — known as airsoft guns, which fire tiny plastic pellets — in the training exercises, and sometimes they shoot real guns on a closed range.

      “I like shooting them,” Cathy said. “I like the sound they make. It gets me excited.”

      If there are critics of the content or purpose of the law enforcement training, they have not made themselves known to the Explorers’ national organization in Irving, Tex., or to the volunteers here on the ground, national officials and local leaders said. That said, the Explorers have faced problems over the years. There have been numerous cases over the last three decades in which police officers supervising Explorers have been charged, in civil and criminal cases, with sexually abusing them.

      Several years ago, two University of Nebraska criminal justice professors published a study that found at least a dozen cases of sexual abuse involving police officers over the last decade. Adult Explorer leaders are now required to take an online training program on sexual misconduct.

      Many law enforcement officials, particularly those who work for the rapidly growing Border Patrol, part of the Homeland Security Department, have helped shape the program’s focus and see it as preparing the Explorers as potential employees. The Explorer posts are attached to various agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police and fire departments, that sponsor them much the way churches sponsor Boy Scout troops.

      “Our end goal is to create more agents,” said April McKee, a senior Border Patrol agent and mentor at the session here.

      Membership in the Explorers has been overseen since 1998 by an affiliate of the Boy Scouts called Learning for Life, which offers 12 career-related programs, including those focused on aviation, medicine and the sciences.

      But the more than 2,000 law enforcement posts across the country are the Explorers’ most popular, accounting for 35,000 of the group’s 145,000 members, said John Anthony, national director of Learning for Life. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many posts have taken on an emphasis of fighting terrorism and other less conventional threats.

      “Before it was more about the basics,” said Johnny Longoria, a Border Patrol agent here. “But now our emphasis is on terrorism, illegal entry, drugs and human smuggling.”

      The law enforcement posts are restricted to those ages 14 to 21 who have a C average, but there seems to be some wiggle room. “I will take them at 13 and a half,” Deputy Lowenthal said. “I would rather take a kid than possibly lose a kid.”

      The law enforcement programs are highly decentralized, and each post is run in a way that reflects the culture of its sponsoring agency and region. Most have weekly meetings in which the children work on their law-enforcement techniques in preparing for competitions. Weekends are often spent on service projects.

      Just as there are soccer moms, there are Explorers dads, who attend the competitions, man the hamburger grill and donate their land for the simulated marijuana field raids. In their training, the would-be law-enforcement officers do not mess around, as revealed at a recent competition on the state fairgrounds here, where a Ferris wheel sat next to the police cars set up for a felony investigation.

      Their hearts pounding, Explorers moved down alleys where there were hidden paper targets of people pointing guns, and made split-second decisions about when to shoot. In rescuing hostages from a bus taken over by terrorists, a baby-faced young girl screamed, “Separate your feet!” as she moved to handcuff her suspect.

      In a competition in Arizona that he did not oversee, Deputy Lowenthal said, one role-player wore traditional Arab dress. “If we’re looking at 9/11 and what a Middle Eastern terrorist would be like,” he said, “then maybe your role-player would look like that. I don’t know, would you call that politically incorrect?”

      Authenticity seems to be the goal. Imperial County, in Southern California, is the poorest in the state, and the local economy revolves largely around the criminal justice system. In addition to the sheriff and local police departments, there are two state prisons and a large Border Patrol and immigration enforcement presence.

      “My uncle was a sheriff’s deputy,” said Alexandra Sanchez, 17, who joined the Explorers when she was 13. Alexandra’s police uniform was baggy on her lithe frame, her airsoft gun slung carefully to the side. She wants to be a coroner.

      “I like the idea of having law enforcement work with medicine,” she said. “This is a great program for me.”

      And then she was off to another bus hijacking.

      This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

      Correction: May 18, 2009
      An article on Thursday about Explorer scouts who train to confront terrorism and illegal immigration, and a picture caption with the continuation of the article, misspelled the surname of a scout who said she was attracted to the program because of the use of pellet guns. She is Cathy Noriega, not Noriego.

      • Thanks LOI,

        By itself, its bad enough, but when combined with everything else that’s been going on, I can see why the original commenter said what he did. I keep telling myself its not that bad, and then, I get more information. Then I realize, that yes, it is that bad and probably worse……

  39. Judy Sabatini says:

    Krugman: Bush’s deficit bad, Obama’s deficit good
    Larry Elder – Syndicated Columnist – 2/11/2010 9:45:00

    Larry ElderLeft-wing economist, Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman hates deficits in tough economic times — when the president of the United States is named George W. Bush.

    Krugman, in a November 2004 interview, criticized the “enormous” Bush deficit. “We have a world-class budget deficit,” he said, “not just as in absolute terms, of course — it’s the biggest budget deficit in the history of the world — but it’s a budget deficit that, as a share of GDP, is right up there.”

    The numbers? The deficit in fiscal year 2004 — $413 billion, 3.5 percent of the gross domestic product.

    Back then, a disapproving Krugman called the deficit “comparable to the worst we’ve ever seen in this country….The only time postwar that the United States has had anything like these deficits is the middle Reagan years, and that was with unemployment close to 10 percent.” Take away the Social Security surplus spent by the government, he said, and “we’re running at a deficit of more than 6 percent of GDP, and that is unprecedented.”

    He considered the Bush tax cuts irresponsible and a major contributor — along with two wars — to the deficit. But he also warned of the growing cost of autopilot entitlements: “We have the huge bulge in the population that starts to collect benefits….If there isn’t a clear path towards fiscal sanity well before (the next decade), then I think the financial markets are going to say, ‘Well, gee, where is this going?'”

    Three months earlier, Krugman said, “Here we are more than 2 1/2 years after the official end of the recession, and we’re still well below, of course, pre-Bush employment.” In October 2004, unemployment was 5.5 percent and continued to slowly decline. At the time, Krugman described the economy as “weak,” with “job creation…essentially nonexistent.”

    How bad will it get? If we don’t get our “financial house in order,” he said, “I think we’re looking for a collapse of confidence some time in the not-too-distant future.”

    Fast-forward to 2010.

    The numbers: projected deficit for fiscal year 2010 — over $1.5 trillion, more than 10 percent of GDP.

    This sets a post-WWII record in both absolute numbers and as a percentage of GDP. And if the Obama administration’s optimistic projections of the economic growth fall short, things will get much worse. So what does Krugman say now?

    We must guard against “deficit hysteria.” In “Fiscal Scare Tactics,” his recent column, Krugman writes: “These days it’s hard to pick up a newspaper or turn on a news program without encountering stern warnings about the federal budget deficit. The deficit threatens economic recovery, we’re told; it puts American economic stability at risk; it will undermine our influence in the world. These claims generally aren’t stated as opinions, as views held by some analysts but disputed by others. Instead, they’re reported as if they were facts, plain and simple.”

    He continues, “And fear-mongering on the deficit may end up doing as much harm as the fear-mongering on weapons of mass destruction.” Krugman believes Bush lied us into the Iraq War. Just as people unreasonably feared Saddam Hussein, they now have an unwarranted fear of today’s deficit.

    Questions: Didn’t Krugman, less than six years ago, call the deficit “enormous”? Wouldn’t he, therefore, consider a $1.5 trillion deficit at 10 percent of GDP mega-normous? Didn’t he describe the economy with 5.5 percent unemployment as “weak”? Isn’t the current economy, at 9.7 percent unemployment, even weaker? If the 2004 deficit was “comparable to the worst we’ve ever seen in this country,” wouldn’t today’s much bigger deficit cause even more heartburn?

    Nope. Now a huge deficit is actually a good thing: “The point is that running big deficits in the face of the worst economic slump since the 1930s is actually the right thing to do. If anything, deficits should be bigger than they are because the government should be doing more than it is to create jobs.” The deficit “should be bigger”?! (Read related commentary by Michelle Malkin)

    Long term, Krugman says, we’ve got concerns about revenue and spending. But as for now? “There’s no reason to panic about budget prospects for the next few years, or even for the next decade.” In 2004, Krugman warned that without a “clear path towards fiscal sanity” before “the next decade,” we faced a “crunch.” Presumably, we now have this “clear path.”

    Let’s review. In 2004, an unhappy Krugman criticized Bush’s “weak” economy and “miserable” job creation. Running an “enormous” deficit was a bad thing. Times were awful — “by a large margin” the worst job crash and performance since Herbert Hoover. Today the deficit is four times as large in an even weaker economy with much higher unemployment. Times are awful. Now, though, the deficit is a good thing and should be even bigger.

    Krugman’s flip-flop on the deficit demonstrates a modern economic equation. Hatred of Bush + love for Obama = intellectual dishonesty.

  40. Judy Sabatini says:

    Va. House OKs ban on implanted tracking devices
    Associated Press – 2/11/2010 6:00:00

    Associated Press smallRICHMOND, VA – The Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill that would ban the forced implantation of tracking devices in people, with supporters citing both privacy concerns and religious prophecy.

    Del. Mark Cole says the bill means no one could be required to wear a tracking implant as a condition of employment or by insurers.

    Most people objected chiefly on privacy reasons — the fear of their whereabouts being electronically pinpointed at all times — and long-term health concerns.

    But Cole said some had religious objections, including those rooted in Christian teachings of an Antichrist who would compel followers to wear “the mark of the beast.”

    Del. David Englin, who’s Jewish, also noted that some Orthodox Jews would consider the implants a defiling of the body.

  41. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hidari accused, sued again
    Charlie Butts – OneNewsNow – 2/11/2010 6:40:00

    Albert HodariA well-known Michigan abortionist has been sued once again.

    Marcia Lanqua has filed suit against Alberto Hodari, claiming he performed an abortion on her even though her ultrasound did not reveal an intrauterine pregnancy. She did, however, have an ectopic pregnancy — but because of Hodari’s failure to diagnose it, Lanqua’s Fallopian tube had to be removed later at a hospital.

    Another revelation comes from Judy Climer, director of Flint Right to Life, who says that a former clinic worker who kept a journal recently turned it over to her. “In it, it was discovered that a lot of these employees that he had working for him were not licensed, were not credentialed,” Climer notes. “They were people who had personal relationships with him, but they didn’t have any authority within the medical community to perform the services that they were performing.”

    According to Climer, this occurred at the same clinic where aborted body parts and medical records were found in a dumpster.

    “You would think that after five women died, and I believe 17 lawsuits were filed against him where very serious injuries have resulted in these women, you would just think that something would happen,” the Flint Right to Life director comments.

    Hodari’s medical license was renewed in January through 2013, but the attorney general and Medical Board are investigating. Meanwhile, Climer plans to submit the recently obtained journal as additional evidence.

  42. JAC,

    Re: Ben

    I will create a coherent reply sometime today or tonight or tomorrow morning for you.

  43. LOI,

    To further explain my thoughts, I’m quoting another pundits words – which match mine exactly..

    We need an evolution: a quiet decentralization.

    No violence.

    No taking up arms against the U.S. government.

    Just a quiet forsaking of it when it runs out of money.

    When the checks stop coming, we will have our great opportunity.

  44. The problem with scientists!

    Doctor Calvin Rickson, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), announced today he has designed a revolutionary new brazzier.

    This new Bra stops women’s breasts from jiggling or bouncing up and down. It also prevents the nipples from pushing through the fabric when cold weather sets in.

    At a news conference, after announcing the invention, a large group of fellow staffers took Dr. Rickson outside and kicked the shit out of him.

    • The Cowboy Boots

      Did you hear about the Texas teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his cowboy boots?

      He asked for help and she could see why..

      Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on. By the time they got the second boot on, she had worked up a sweat.

      She almost cried when the little boy said, ‘Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.’ She looked, and sure enough, they were. It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet…

      He then announced, ‘These aren’t my boots.’

      She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, ‘Why didn’t you say so?’ like she wanted to. Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they gotten the boots off when he said, ‘They’re my brother’s boots. My mom made me wear ’em.’

      Now she didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. But, she mustered up what grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again.

      Helping him into his coat, she asked, ‘Now, where are your mittens?’

      He said, ‘I stuffed ’em in the toes of my boots.’

      She will be eligible for parole in three years!

  45. Judy Sabatini says:

    The Sack Lunches

    I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my
    assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. ‘I’m glad I have a good
    book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,’ I thought.

    Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and
    filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a
    conversation.

    ‘Where are you headed?’ I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.
    ‘Petawawa. We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re
    being deployed to Afghanistan

    After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack
    lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we
    reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time…

    As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if
    he planned to buy lunch. ‘No, that seems like a lot of money for just a
    sack lunch. Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks. I’ll wait till we get to
    base.’

    His friend agreed.

    I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I
    walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty
    dollar bill. ‘Take a lunch to all those soldiers.’ She grabbed my arms and
    squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. ‘My son was a
    soldier in Iraq ; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.’

    Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers
    were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, ‘Which do you like best –
    beef or chicken?’ ‘Chicken,’ I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned
    and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate
    from first class.

    ‘This is your thanks..’

    After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane,
    heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. ‘I saw what you did. I want to
    be part of it. Here, take this.’ He handed me twenty-five dollars.

    Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming
    down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was
    not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my
    side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his
    hand and said, ‘I want to shake your hand.’ Quickly unfastening my seatbelt
    I stood and took the Captain’s hand. With a booming voice he said, ‘I was a
    soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was
    an act of kindness I never forgot.’ I was embarrassed when applause was
    heard from all of the passengers.

    Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs.
    A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand,
    wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

    When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane.
    Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put
    something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word.
    Another twenty-five dollars!

    Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their
    trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five
    dollars. ‘It will take you some time to reach the base.. It will be about
    time for a sandwich. God Bless You.’

    Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their
    fellow travelers.

    As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe
    return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only
    give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little…

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank
    check made payable to ‘The United States of America ‘ for an amount of ‘up
    to and including my life.’

    That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who
    no longer understand it.’

    May God give you the strength and courage to pass this along to
    everyone on your email buddy list….

    I JUST DID

    Let us pray…

    Prayer chain for our Military… Don’t break it!

    Please send this on after a short prayer.. Prayer for our soldiers
    Don’t break it!

    Prayer:

    ‘Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they
    protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform
    for us in our time of need. Amen.’

    Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for a moment and
    say a prayer for our troops around the world.

    There is nothing attached. Just send this to people in your address
    book. Do not let it stop with you. Of all the gifts you could give a Marine,
    Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others deployed in harm’s way, prayer is the very
    best one.

  46. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hi US

    I tried to put up something my son sent me about this guy who bought sack lunches for a bunch of soldiers on the same flight as him, and it didn’t go up.

    Did it by any chance to into your modification system?

    Hope you will put it up for me.

    Thank you.

    Judy

  47. Judy Sabatini says:

    Katie Couric, Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams and a tough old
    U.S. Marine Sergeant were captured by terrorists in Iraq . The leader of the
    terrorists told them he’d grant each of them one last request before they
    were beheaded and dragged naked through the streets.

    Katie Couric said, ‘Well, I’m a Southerner, so I’d like one
    last plate of fried chicken.’

    The leader nodded to an underling who left and returned with
    the chicken. Couric ate it all and said, ‘Now I can die content.’

    Charlie Gibson said, ‘I’m living in ‘ New York , so I’d like
    to hear the song, The Moon and Me, one last time.’

    The terrorist leader nodded to another terrorist who had
    studied the Western world and knew the music. He returned with some rag-tag
    musicians and played the song.

    Gibson was satisfied.

    Brian Williams said, ‘I’m a reporter to the end. I want to
    take out my tape recorder and describe the scene here and what’s about to
    happen. Maybe, someday, someone will hear it and know that I was on the job
    till the end.’

    The leader directed an aide to hand over the tape recorder
    and Williams dictated his comments.

    He then said, ‘Now I can die happy.’

    The leader turned and asked, ‘And now, Mr. U.S. Marine, what
    is your final wish?

    ‘Kick me in the ass,’ said the Marine…

    ‘What?’ asked the leader, ‘Will you mock us in your last
    hour?’

    ‘No, I’m NOT kidding. I want you to kick me in the ass,’
    insisted the Marine.

    So the leader shoved him into the yard and kicked him in the
    ass.

    The Marine went sprawling, but rolled to his knees, pulled a
    9 mm pistol from inside his cammies and shot the leader dead.

    In the resulting confusion, he emptied his sidearm on six
    terrorists, then with his knife he slashed the throat of one, and with an
    AK-47, which he took, sprayed the rest of the terrorists killing another 11.

    In a flash, all of them were either dead or fleeing for
    their lives.

    As the Marine was untying Couric, Gibson, and Williams, they
    asked him, ‘Why didn’t you just shoot them all in the first place? Why did
    you ask him to kick you in the ass?’

    ‘What?’ replied the Marine, ‘and have you three assholes
    report that I was the aggressor…..?’

    Semper Fi!

    If You Are Not Willing To Stand Behind Our Troops, Please,
    Please Feel Free To Stand In Front Of Them!

  48. Judy Sabatini says:

    Sitting together on a train was Obama, George Bush Jr., a little old
    lady,

    and a young blonde girl with large breasts.

    The train goes into a dark tunnel and a few seconds later there is
    the sound of a loud slap.

    When the train emerges from the tunnel, Obama has a bright red hand
    print on his cheek.

    No one speaks.

    The old lady thinks:

    Obama must have groped the blonde in the dark, and she slapped him.

    The blonde girl thinks:

    Obama must have tried to grope me in the dark, but missed and
    fondled the old lady and she slapped him.

    Obama thinks:

    Bush must have groped the blonde in the dark. She tried to slap him
    but

    missed and got me instead.

    George Bush thinks:

    I can’t wait for another tunnel, so I can slap Obama again.
    – Show quoted text –

  49. This is an interesting book. It is dated but it talks about economics and how the government and other groups hurt you and what you can do to protect yourself.

    http://www.biorationalinstitute.com/zcontent/alpha_strategy.pdf

    • BF = John Pugsley?

      Birdman, only on Chapter 2, but so far very interesting and easy to read. Thanks for sharing!

      • Kathy, I read the entire book yesterday. It’s only 99 pages. This was probably written in the late 70’s or early 80’s but I think the message applies today.

  50. “”February 11, 2010 06:40 AM EST by John Stossel
    Forced Unionization

    Michelle Berry runs a day-care business out of her home in Flint, MI. She thought that she owned her own business, but Berry’s been told she is now a government employee and union member. It’s not voluntary. Suddenly, Berry and 40,000 other Michigan private day-care providers have learned that union dues are being taken out of the child-care subsidies the state sends them. The “union” is a creation of AFSCME, the government workers union, and the United Auto Workers.

    This racket means big money to AFSCME, which runs the union, writes the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank.

    Today the Department of Human Services siphons about $3.7 million in annual dues to the union….

    The money should be going to home-based day-care providers — themselves not on the high end of the income scale. Ms. Berry now sees money once paid to her go to a union that does little for her…

    Patrick Wright, a lawyer for the Macknac Center, says the union was forced on the women after a certification election conducted by mail in which only 6,000 day-care providers out of 40,000 voted. Wright told me his clients, like Berry, say they were “shocked” to learn they were suddenly in a union.

    They want nothing to do with the union. One of my clients has said, “Look, this is my home, I’m both labor and management here.” They’ve wanted nothing to do with this union and don’t think that it has any purpose besides than to siphon money away from them.

    Michigan isn’t the only state funding unions this way.

    Fourteen states have now enabled home-based day-care providers to be organized into public-employee unions, affecting about 233,000 people.

    Mackinac sued Michigan on behalf of the day-care owners, but the case was dismissed. They have appealed. Neither Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, the Department of Human Services, nor the union would talk to me about this. Last month, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash proposed a law that would end “stealth” unionization of private entrepreneurs.

    We’ll talk more about unions in tonight’s show on Fox Business at 8pm and 11pm ET.

    Read more: http://stossel.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2010/02/11/forced-unionization/?test=latestnews#ixzz0fHv2DKaN“”

    government subsides=government employee / government employee=forced union membership. Does this mean all the employees of the oil companies are government employees or just that they take advantage of the people who are less able to defend themselves.

    • Hi V, Great minds…

      I posted this exact article at the exact same time as you, however, doubled the link so it is in moderation. I just came back and here is the article in your name? Thought I was going crazy but then saw mine still in moderation….

      Union stuff is scary, isn’t it?

      • v. Holland says:

        That’s definitely funny 🙂 and yes Unions are scary, especially when they have the backing of the government. I’m not saying all unions are bad, I’m not even saying they weren’t needed but they have grown too big and too powerful.

  51. Stossel report on Unions and Government controlling home daycares.

    http://stossel.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2010/02/11/forced-unionization/?test=latestnews

    Forced Unionization

    Michelle Berry runs a day-care business out of her home in Flint, MI. She thought that she owned her own business, but Berry’s been told she is now a government employee and union member. It’s not voluntary. Suddenly, Berry and 40,000 other Michigan private day-care providers have learned that union dues are being taken out of the child-care subsidies the state sends them. The “union” is a creation of AFSCME, the government workers union, and the United Auto Workers.

    This racket means big money to AFSCME, which runs the union, writes the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank.

    Today the Department of Human Services siphons about $3.7 million in annual dues to the union….

    The money should be going to home-based day-care providers — themselves not on the high end of the income scale. Ms. Berry now sees money once paid to her go to a union that does little for her…

    Patrick Wright, a lawyer for the Macknac Center, says the union was forced on the women after a certification election conducted by mail in which only 6,000 day-care providers out of 40,000 voted. Wright told me his clients, like Berry, say they were “shocked” to learn they were suddenly in a union.

    They want nothing to do with the union. One of my clients has said, “Look, this is my home, I’m both labor and management here.” They’ve wanted nothing to do with this union and don’t think that it has any purpose besides than to siphon money away from them.

    Michigan isn’t the only state funding unions this way.

    Fourteen states have now enabled home-based day-care providers to be organized into public-employee unions, affecting about 233,000 people.

    Mackinac sued Michigan on behalf of the day-care owners, but the case was dismissed. They have appealed. Neither Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, the Department of Human Services, nor the union would talk to me about this. Last month, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash proposed a law that would end “stealth” unionization of private entrepreneurs.

    Read more: http://stossel.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2010/02/11/forced-unionization/?test=latestnews#ixzz0fHzPfErZ

  52. Big shout out to MadMom and her activism in RI! No doubt she and they are behind this end to Camelot!

    Patrick Kennedy won’t seek reelection

    Rhode Island Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the son of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, will announce on Friday that he is retiring, according to Democratic insiders.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/32877.html#ixzz0fIKrtbl4

  53. Thanks Kathy! Kennedy was our target #1 this year and he knew the jig was up. Woohoo! BTW, I was on Neil Cavuto and Happy Hour on Fox Biz News last week. Here’s the Cavuto interview. Keep up the fight! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Os-rPbDuTp4

  54. Often here at SUFA I’m asked What tools are effective for peaceful, dissociated Anarchists to use against the State

    I’ve offered the logic behind the “not voting”.

    The other I’ve offered in the past is ridicule.
    Of all my strategies, this is the one that generally gets the significant number of rolling eyes. “Yeah, right, ridicule will change the regime – dream on”

    I’m posting a very interesting essay from another blog.

    ___________________

    In the Soviet Union, humor was seen by the rulers as being a kind of release valve for a pressure-cooker society.

    The rulers had a humor magazine Crocodil. (It is also known as Krokodil.) I recall it from my graduate school days in the mid-1960’s, when I worked as a researcher for a professor who was writing on the Soviet Union.

    One reference is from a 1958 interview of Peter Ustinov, the great actor and satirist.

    USTINOV: Because any country that has really been in difficult straits, you can take difficult straits – I mean has become a festering point as far as the rest of the world is concerned. The first yardstick that that is happening is that their sense of humor vanishes. Nazi Germany had absolutely no humorist, and no humor. The humorous level of ‘Crocodil’ in Moscow is not particularly high. They’re very savage cartoons, but they’re not very funny.

    There was a reason why they were not funny.

    They were state-funded cartoons. They were officially funny, which meant not funny.

    The government funded it to deflect ridicule. They hoped they could avoid becoming targets. The strategy did not work.

    The masses made their own jokes, which were risky. The leaders could not stop this.

    The Soviet-era career in the U.S. of Jewish immigrant comedian Yakov Smirnoff indicates that he was not alone. He still works in Branson, but we do not see him on TV any longer. The USSR is gone. This ruined his TV career.

    We live in a free society. Political cartoons are widespread. They can inflict damage.

    But a video like Hoofy and Boo inflicts more damage, because it reminds people with money and educations that the actions of Goldman Sachs’ senior officers is short-sighted, self-conscious, and unconscionable.

    The Goldman Sachs people got bailed out by the government. Now they are paying huge bonuses to themselves. They know how damaging this can be in terms of PR. They don’t care.

    We know they don’t care. But a cartoon reinforces this. Cartoons are like the Chinese water torture: drip, drip, drip. They take a toll.

    Above all, they undermine legitimacy. This does not seem to matter, but in the long run, it does.

    When the real producers of a nation start to laugh at satire, the regime is in big trouble.

    You know the story of Robespierre, the murderous monster who ordered the deaths of thousands of innocent people in 1794.

    Do you know what brought him down?

    I studied the French Revolution in college. There was no mention of this fact. I learned it from Otto Scott’s biography of Robespierre, part of his Sacred Fool quartet: John Brown, James I, Woodrow Wilson, and Robespierre.

    The rulers were afraid of him. He could have them killed. But than an elderly lady claimed that she had given birth to a child, and the father was Robespierre.

    A member of the unorganized opposition mentioned this on the floor of the assembly. There was laughter. <b.That laughter indicated that Robespierre was vulnerable. Within days, he was executed.

    Scott was the first historian I recall to have mentioned this.

    Scott was in public relations for years.

    He told me that a rival auto firm decided to kill the Ford Edsel. It hired a team of men to think up dirty jokes about the Edsel’s front end. Scott said the firm understood the power of ridicule. Yet it was safe. How could Ford have sued the company for this? Ford would have become the butt of jokes about the lawsuit. Ford must have known. It had to pretend this was not happening.

    Satire over time undermines legitimacy.

    The power of Saturday Night Live in its skits is greater than people think.

    Sarah Palin has more to fear from Tina Fey than from the New York Times.

    Timothy Geithner has more to fear from SNL than from Congress. The Times announces the impending demise of a public figure. Ridicule gets the process rolling.

    Derisive laughter cannot be countered.

    Rush Limbaugh’s humor did more to hurt the Clintons than his recitation of the facts. As he has gotten less funny (I am told this — I have never listened), he has had less impact.

    When I was a teenager, liberals were funny. Mort Sahl was funny. Today, there is Al Frankin. He is no longer funny.

    When Goldman Sachs is worth an animated cartoon skit, it is in trouble, no matter how much money it makes.

    If there is a need for another bailout, Goldman Sachs may not get any money.

    No one will shed tears.

    There will be laughter.

    • Thus my little ditty on Big Green in response to Todd’s pro-Big Green rant.

      I’ve been paying attentioon to your posts BF…..

      🙂

  55. Conspiracy Theories

    Great article – and it highlights a truth.

    When a Conspiracy theory is presented to the public, but involves low-ranked people, goat herders in caves and all – except high ranking government, military or the wealthy – no one raises an eyebrow. No catcalls of “Conspiracy tinhat!” – and it passes as acceptable.

    But a conspiracy involving high ranking people and the wealthy – precisely opposite is true. The likes of Todd and Bob abound is proclaiming the impossibility!

    Pay attention, and you’ll notice that criticism of “conspiracy theories” is usually aimed at attempting to protect the state and key government players.

    The power of the state is seldom used to crush conspiracy theories regarding people who are not powerful . . . at least to the extent that they are not important to the government.

    http://www.georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/02/ridicule-of-conspiracy-theories-focuses.html

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