Tuesday Night Open Mic for April 6, 2010

Another Tuesday night comes and with it the ever popular open mic! A lot of topics out there in the media this week, but there is little coming out of Congress since they are not in session at the moment. Of course, they will back in DC soon and giving us plenty of things to talk about. But for now, we will have to suffice with news from Dubai, some internet control issues, a controversial appointment to the crazy 9th Circuit in California, and a Pirate’s tirade against the US military. I also appreciate all the conversations the last couple of days around the unions and medical ethics. There were a lot of good comments and thoughts around them and I will continue to go back to those articles and read what anyone adds.

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Comments

  1. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #1

    Obama Administration Eyes New Taxes, Fees for National Broadband Network

    The Obama administration has a plan to expand online innovation and boost national public safety. And it wants to do it with more taxes and higher fees.

    The massive national broadband plan the Federal Communications Commission released last month proposes creating a national framework for the taxation of digital goods and services and imposing a fee to establish and maintain a national public safety wireless broadband network.

    The FCC says the national tax would eliminate the headaches that come with varying state and local taxes on digital goods and services. And the public safety network would help avoid the communication failures among first responders to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

    But the proposals are already drawing fierce criticism.

    “Americans already suffering from a recession prolonged by Mr. Obama’s policies are being asked to concur that raising – yes, raising – taxes on a nationwide basis will somehow ‘reduce uncertainty and remove one barrier to online entrepreneurship and investment,'” Timothy Lee, vice president of legal and public affairs for the Center for Individual Freedom, wrote in an opinion article published in the Washington Times.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/06/obama-administration-targets-internet-taxation/

    Just figured I would throw this out there as example 1,357 of how the Obama administration is raising taxes on everyone while still claiming to have not raised taxes except on the wealthy. Because I have to admit that I am growing weary of having the discussions over at HuffPo and having the lefties there claiming he hasn’t raised taxes at all on anyone but the top 5%. Then you give example after example and they simply don’t seem to have the brain power to process what you are pointing out to them.

    What I found interesting about this is that the FCC says they are doing this, in part, to help eliminate the “headaches that come with varying state and local taxes”. What a joke. State and local taxes aren’t a headache for the federal government because they are STATE AND LOCAL TAXES. They aren’t a headache for the consumer because state and local taxes are more relevant to the locality and as a general rule lower than federal taxes (after all there is less bureaucracy to pay for at the local level).

    The other excuse they use is the communications failures for first responders during the disasters. Then perhaps the answer is to ask one of those defense contractors to share the communication technology that the US military is using. That doesn’t seem to fail during disasters, such as war or combat. So this excuse is yet another failed attempt to justify what they are doing.

    They are doing nothing more than attempting to gain control, money, and power. They have issue with state and local taxes (which by the way would STILL be there in ADDITION to the new federal taxes) because it is state and local governments that are getting taxpayer money that the federal government feels they are entitled to. Not to mention a new federal tax on digital goods, because lord knows the federal government cannot sit by and not get paid something from transactions they have zero part of.

    This plan is a farce. Nothing more than a money and power grab. And it is this type of behavior that has not only ruined the economy, but has polarized those who look at this logically from those that accept the government excuses for action without thinking them through. The progressive movement can continue on this tax everything they can path if they want to, but they are only hastening the uprising that is going to inevitably come.

    • Good Morning!

      At some point, there will be no money to pay taxes, as people will find other ways to meet their needs and desires out of the Govt eye. I’m searching for the law that was passed by Congress and signed by a past President, that requires us to pay Federal income tax. At this point, I can’t even find a date that this may have occurred.

      Hope everyone has a great day!

      G!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I believe federal income tax was something like the 16th amendment, but I will have to check to verify this.

        • PeterB!

          The 16th Amendment was determined by the Supreme Court in 1916 that it gave no additional taxing authority to the government. I’m still searching! Wouldn’t mind some help!

          Peace!

          G!

    • Bottom Line says:

      USW – “This plan is a farce. Nothing more than a money and power grab. And it is this type of behavior that has not only ruined the economy, but has polarized those who look at this logically from those that accept the government excuses for action without thinking them through. The progressive movement can continue on this tax everything they can path if they want to, but they are only hastening the uprising that is going to inevitably come.”

      BL – My sentiments exactly. I couldn’t have said it better myself…so I won’t try.

    • Actually upgrading the radio communications system is in progress. Homeland Security is doing it. They are upgrading the relay stations around the country. This was started under Bush as part of the 9/11 response. HS has been passing out money as well as spending on the project. And yes military contractors are involved. I do not know why the FCC is involved.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hi All

      I agree with what G-Man said. What’s going to happen when the people just don’t have anymore money to pay for more taxes. What are they going to do to those who don’t pay or can’t afford it? Throw them in jail?

      This is the most power grabbing hungry administration I have ever seen, ever. They won’t be happy until they have taken every last dollar of yours, if they haven’t already.

      Hope all of you are having a great day.

      Judy

  2. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #2

    Dubai jail sentence upheld for UK kissing couple

    A Dubai appeals court on Sunday upheld a one-month prison sentence for a British couple convicted of kissing in a restaurant.

    The pair landed in court after an Emirati woman complained about the public kiss, which the couple insisted was just a peck on the cheek. They were arrested in November and convicted of inappropriate behavior and illegal drinking.

    Cosmopolitan Dubai has the most relaxed social codes in the conservative Gulf, but authorities enforce strict decency laws and regularly crack down on people accused of pushing the limits, which can include everything from wearing a mini skirt to losing one’s temper in traffic.

    Last month an Indian couple was sentenced to three months in jail for exchanging steamy text messages. In 2008, two Britons accused of having sex on the beach got three months in jail, though their sentences were later suspended.

    Ayman Najafi and Charlotte Adams — both in their 20s — were arrested after an Emirati woman claimed they exchanged a passionate kiss in a restaurant where she and her daughter were having dinner.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/04/04/dubai-jail-sentence-upheld-uk-kissing-couple/?test=latestnews

    I wanted to add this in not because it is a relevant part of our national political discourse, but because it is a warning. This certainly doesn’t affect us here in America. If Dubai wants to have a rule such as this, they are a sovereign nation and have every right to do so. That you can be arrested for kissing in what passes for the “most relaxed social codes in the conservative gulf” seems a bit over the top for me, but it isn’t my business.

    But what I want to point out is how over the top the tyranny of the majority can be. BF likes to use the left handed blondes as an example. That seems ridiculous to many of you. You simply say that a society of thinking people would never be so ridiculous as to allow such a majority opinion to happen. But here we have a country of thinking people, swayed by their religion, in one of the most modern countries in that region, that has a ban on kissing in public, punishable by jail time!

    We often discuss issue on this site and we find that those on the religious right believe that it is justifiable to legislate their version of morality on others. Here is an example of what can happen when you allow religious beliefs around morality override the human rights of freedom and liberty, so long as you don’t infringe on others. You will rightly ridicule the woman who filed the complaint as being stupid to get upset that her child saw something as harmless as a kiss on the cheek. Then you will turn right around and tell me that your children should not be subjected to something as horrible as a same sex couple walking through the mall holding hands. It’s against the laws of morality, an “abomination against your religious beliefs!” you will scream. Do you see the hypocrisy in that stance? The second that you believe that YOUR religious beliefs are right enough to force your version of morality on others, you have taken a step towards what we see happening in Dubai.

    Just a thought.

    • I find myself having a really hard time with these types of discussions-first of all I don’t believe in theocracies-I believe they are very dangerous-but I do see a necessity for a society to come to some type of agreement on what is acceptable behavior and those discussions are going to be based on individual peoples opinions on what is right and wrong. I see no way around this so there are going to be disagreements which hopefully our Supreme court will sort out based on individual freedoms. But I would say that we aren’t going in the direction of people not being allowed to kiss-we are going in the direction of people being allowed to have sex in the street.

      I’m all for freedom but I find that very few people agree on what constitutes imposing on someone else’s freedom-So just how do we determine what is acceptable behavior because if standing for freedom means people get to walk naked in the streets in front of my children or having to support peoples rights to kill themselves-I can’t support those things and others based on freedom or anything else.

      • Mathius says:

        Oddly enough, I absolutely can support it. I am just fine with people roaming the street naked if that is what they choose.

        The only reason you are not OK with them doing it in front of your children is because your were raised to believe that this is inappropriate. Therefore, in your mind, it is inappropriate. You see the circular logic at work here? There is nothing based on solid logic that should make this the case – why is public nudity equivalent to immorality? (is it still immoral on nude beaches?)

        It’s like saying a word is a bad word and then getting offended when someone says it. Well, if you never considered it a bad word in the first place, it wouldn’t offend you. Such is the nature of this type of issue.

        Your children would have grown up with it and there would have been nothing wrong with that. But because they believe it to be offensive, it is so.

        • Bwahahaha…….That’s a big leap Matt. Wait til you have children. I for one don’t want the naked child molester watching my naked daughter walking down the street.

          • Mathius says:

            If you don’t want that, then you should encourage your naked daughter to wear clothing in public. But I fail to see where you get the right to demand that he wears clothing when he doesn’t want to. Just because you think it’s inappropriate doesn’t make it so.

            It would be the same if someone demanded that you wear a head scarf.

            Adding, for every child molester out there, there are 10,000 innocents. Why are you ok with imposing on all of them because of one of them? That’s like saying, some women are murderers, so we can morally lock all of you up just to be safe.

            • No point in arguing I guess. I feel sorry for your daughter. You
              will justify anything.

              Ask Dread Pirate what he thinks.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I have a feeling the Dread Pirate and Mathius see eye to eye on this one…

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Not necessarily, but I will let BF speak for himself on this one.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Dread Pirate Mathius, not BF – I would never presume to speak for BF.

              • I’ll speak for him, though: he also agrees.

                Flag, if I’m mistaken, please let me know.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius: I agree with the bleeding heart liberal. Unless they are imposing violence or an unacceptable threat thereof on you which necessitates action in self-defense (which this clearly does not), you have no right to impose on others. This holds true no matter how distasteful you may find their actions.

              • Anita,

                I somewhat resent that comment. There is no reason to feel bad for my (not-yet-conceived) daughter. She will be freer from the tyranny of social convention than almost anyone.

                She, unlike so many, will be free to be who she wishes to be. I promise you that I will make damned sure of that. If, ultimately, that means she wishes to be naked in public while having sex with three transgender lovers, a gibbon, and a donkey while lying on top of the American flag in the middle of the Washington Mall*. I will spend every dime I have in court to defend her right to do so.

                Same for my not-yet-conceived sons. American Puritanical morality will not bind my children. I will not allow that to happen. My children will be free of that burden.

                Bah Humbug.

                *I do certainly hope it doesn’t come to that.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                You say that now….would you also support her right to raise raptors?

                I agree in principal – your daughter should have those rights, fine. But let’s be honest here – you as her father would never allow her to do that.

              • Buck, I would have thought you knew me better that that. The only thing in that post that is probably not accurate is that I would spend my money defending that right. In less outrageous activities, I probably would.

                Her mother on the other hand…. she might not be so supportive.

                Nothing could make me prouder of my daughter than knowing that she feels free enough to be who she wants to be and not who society wants her to be.

                And she is free to raise raptors, but not as long as she is living under my roof.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                It seems I may know you better than you know yourself.

                I don’t doubt you will give you child ultimate freedom – I will do the same with mine (Again, notwithstanding her mother!) But I also know that you will draw the line, much as I will – not by prohibiting a certain action but by teaching right from wrong and passing down your values (giving ample opportunity for her to decide for herself as well).

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Though to be fair, who knows what will actually happen once the time comes…

              • I think you have successfully made my point-which wasn’t whether or not someone should have the right to be naked in public-it was that basing our laws totally on freedom seems impossible when we disagree on what an imposition is-and what you call just Puritanical morality -I would consider a huge imposition on my freedom. But I find the fact that you , as I, base what we think the laws should be on what we think is right or wrong somewhat funny. I see the contradiction and I am looking for an answer-you- I don’t think you see the contradiction-I do however question whether absolute freedom is possible in a society or even advisable but I do think we should use it as our guiding principal – and yes I know I am arguing both sides but that is where my thought processes are taking me. All this stuff is just too darn complicated.

              • Below. Waayy below.

                #9

              • V.H.

                Separate laws enforced by government and social norms or laws enforced by communities.

                It is legal to be naked in public. But is is unacceptable behavior as determined by human norms.

                It is also stupid. Humans invented clothing for a reason and it wasn’t because of chaste or puritan based moral principles.

              • We invented clothing because it was cold. Also, I don’t know about you, but I image that dirt would get into every nook and cranny without it.

              • I’m trying JAC but I keep coming up against this wall that tells me if absolute freedom reigns than a cesspool we will become but it does make me understand the huge need for state rule not federal rule in just about anything.

              • V.H.

                You deal with social norms (non-violent actions) with non-violent measures of compliance.

                If you do not like their clothes (or lack of) – do not deal with them. Do not sell or buy or converse – called “ostracize”

                Very, very effective in maintain non-violent, social norms.

              • V.H.

                As a compromise I would be willing to tolerate local laws that enforce norms of the community.

                If those communities are small, like where I live.

                Large cities are simply to large to impose standards on millions.

                I think that in reality there would be few problems after a short period. That vast majority of us share certain behavior as acceptable.

                Those who wanted to go naked would be laughed at and would not be able to frequent any businesses. “NO shirt, no pants, no shoes NO service”

                You get big bonus points and a great big hug though for hitting the nail on the head regarding the basic source of the contradictions we must work out.

                For far to long we have relied on “laws” to enforce our social norms. And some of those norms are in direct conflict with freedom because most of us haven’t had to resolve those conflicts through hard thinking.

                Great job.
                JAC

              • Thanks JAC -I think morality is important but I also realize it is as Matt would say a slippery slope.

            • Does this pertain to Raptor Breeders and Dr Pepper drinkers?

              • You have the right to drink that vile disgusting beverage to your heart’s content. Likewise, you have the right to continue to breed raptors unless/until they become a clear and present threat to my safety, at which point I may attack and kill them in self-defense.

                Dread Pirate Mathius (from the basement via iPad): Arrg.. I do love the sweet, sweet nectar of Dr. Pepper. And I have several raptors on the crew of my ship. ARRRGH!

              • TO: Dread Pirate Mathius
                FM: D13’s Security Adviser code named – KTAALGSTO

                SJ: Commission in D13″s private Raptor Navy

                “Avast, ye dread pirate, ye are hereby requested to accept a naval commission in the rank of “Raptus Commandus” in the newly formed Raptor Naval Units of D13. Please accept this Letter of Marque, ye one eyed barbarian, and take command immediately using your own ship as Flagship (name inserted here).

                Signed: D13 Universis Dominus Emeritus

              • From: DPM
                Location: Mathius’ Basement

                SJ: Commission in D13″s private Raptor Navy

                Respectfully, I much decline. There are two reasons for this.

                The first is that my ship, Thor’s Hammer, cannot sale under your flag. You have exhibited statist tendencies which preclude this possibility. Perhaps in time, you will find the path and we can join forces.

                The second is that I am locked in Mathius’ basement.

                Sincerely,
                Dread Pirate Mathius

              • new thread below, sir.

        • I think I could make a reasonable argument, here.

          I believe it is wrong to engage in extra-marital affairs and my religion declares that lust bears the same sin as the actual action. People walking around naked are sure to create lustful emotions in many people, hence inducing them to do something I find immoral. Therefore, I say it is immoral to allow public nudity. You may not find fornication immoral so you may not think public nudity is immoral. Who is right? How can we legislate this? It is an interesting situation, as are all situations in which we legislate morality.

          • Feel free to make that case, but I would say that you need only look at fundamentalist Islamic countries so see that this is false.

            In Iran, it is illegal for a woman to read poetry aloud because the sound of her doing so is considered provocative. This is the exact same argument that you just employed.

            How do you justify one set of laws but not the other? What is the distinction?

            • And how do you justify having laws based on giving other people other peoples money-how do you justify regulations on private businesses -you justify it on what you believe is right or wrong-just religion of another name-So lets admit it-we as a society base our laws on what we as the individual members of this society think is right or wrong. We vote on it and hope that the Supreme Court will agree with what we believe-No offense Matt but your loud opposition to anything religious is hypocritical at the very least-the whole point of all these discussions is trying to figure out how to do things based on freedom because it is the fairest for everyone but we don’t do this-I’m not sure it is actually possible and I am confused and I contradict myself but you my friend do the same thing-you just have a different religion that you are following.

              • My problem isn’t with religion, per say. It’s with irrationality. Something is not bad just because an old book says so. It is bad because it can be logically demonstrated to be the case.

                Show me one argument against public nudity that does not, in some way or another, come back to circular arguments or religious invocations.

              • Really-but you find no problem with your religion of the greater good when it has been argued quite successfully that taking from one to give to another takes away freedoms-your view that only what you deem is good for society is good based on logic -is contradicted by the statistical evidence of the actual effects that welfare has had on our country. All I am trying to point out is that your views are contradictory, my views are contradictory-holding onto the argument that your logic is more logical because you believe it is logical isn’t too strong of an argument to people who disagree with you based on there own logic.

            • I can make a counter to that. Imagine there were a country that required you to NOT wear clothes, because it feels wearing clothes is too restrictive to our natural selves. From this, according to your argument, it is obvious that public nudity on the basis of freedom from “puritanical morals” is absurd.

              Why are my morals worse than yours because they were given to me by God? Even if they were created by a person, why are yours better than his? Who says your logic is more sound? Perhaps his logic was more logical than yours?

              All of this is getting a bit beyond the point and I certainly don’t advocate any of this, I’m just making a point. Everyone thinks their way is best because it IS the best in their mind. No one will push their second best idea, right? Why do you think yours are so much better than anyone elses? The point is that we need to try to reach a reasonable conclusion without totally disregarding the others viewpoint. For example, disregarding my moral system because it comes from “some old book” does nothing to convince me that you are right. If anything, it makes me want to prove you wrong even if I realize that I am wrong.

              Destructive criticism does nothing to prove your point.

        • Murphy's Law says:

          I have to weigh in here…..though I’m getting into this discussion late….

          I was raised to think that public nudity was wrong, and I would have been offended by it in the past. I used to believe that any public nudity was by nature sexual behavior…..and now I know from experience that was absolutely wrong. After being encouraged to step back from what was narrow(on my part….not implying on anyone else’s part), I tried going to a nudist resort about 3 years ago. I felt self-conscious for about 2 seconds naked in front of the others there, and then their acceptance of me and the total lack of gawking that somehow I expected gave way to a wonderful, totally nonsexual feeling of freedom that I just love to experience as often as I can. At this resort and others like them there are families whose children of all ages can also be nude and again there is no sexual stigma…..and no sexual behavior is allowed in the open or implied in anyone’s conversations. The children grow up learning that there is nothing to be ashamed of with any part of their bodies. By the way, for reasons of sanitation, people carry towels to sit on in the common areas of the resort. And these resorts are clothing optional…..no one is required to be nude unless they wish to swim in the pools. There is no stigma either way.

          I have found that there is more acceptance at these resorts than any other place I’ve visited, where normally people are judged by their choice of clothing and how expensive or fashionable it is or isn’t. No one cares how wealthy or “important” anyone else is- all that seems to disappear when the clothes don’t define the person.

          Just my two cents…..

      • V.H.

        I’m always amused by those that have a problem with one particular “archy” – like you with THEOcracy – but do not recognize the same defect in other “archy’s”.

        • Mathius says:

          Flag, nice of you to join me. I’m running a bit behind on work, but I trust you can hold your own in this debate while I catch up on it? I assume you and I see eye-to-eye on this one?

          • Mathius,

            Yep, pretty much!

            The freedom of others may at times be very disagreeable and perverse;

            …but that doesn’t change their Rights.

            If we can’t respect the freedom of those that disgust us, we don’t understand freedom at all

        • Glad I can amuse you but I am simply being honest-I am conflicted by my contradictions and frustrated that others on here will not admit that they are also full of contradictions-a process which I figure you would agree is critical before we can really have a conversation which is based on our actual beliefs and how it effects this country. I simply have noticed that some freedoms people support and other freedoms they don’t. I think it’s time for some honestly.

          • V.H.

            Right on the mark!!!!!!!!!

            🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

            That is a 5 smiley award by the way.

            JAC

          • USWeapon says:

            VH,

            Very well put. This is the crux of the discussions and debates that must happen in order to get things back to where they should be.

            Many will argue that THEIR version of freedom is correct and not others. What those on both sides of the aisle do is fail to live by the underlying principle of freedom.

            I see your argument with Mathius, and I personally think you are dead on. You have a moral code and struggle with how to make your personal moral code work in a society of laws. Mathius has a different moral code, and struggles to do the same.

            As odd as it sounds, the answer is to forget the moral code and focus on the fundmental rights of men and women, then fashion your laws from those rights. The moral codes will take care of themselves.

            USW

            • “The moral codes will take care of themselves.” Ah but this is my point of contension-will the moral codes take care of themselves or will we through time and the birth of new generations become that cesspool that I personally already see us becoming-

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I think the point here is that what you define as a ‘cesspool’ is not what I would define as a ‘cesspool’ and vice versa.

              • I think I have acknowledged that arguments not based on freedom are based on personal opinion and arguments based on freedom can be hard to define-so what is the answer ?is freedom the one and only basis we should base laws on- or do we believe that right and wrong arguments can usurp freedom in some situations.

              • V.H.

                I do not know if freedom is the only argument from which to base law on

                I do know it is a valid argument from which to base law on

                The question that must be answered before you act:

                “If I force other to do ‘this’, do I accept it to be done back at me?”

                If you dictate the clothes worn by another person, are you willing to accept their dictates of the clothes you wear? (…as an example).

              • In all honesty I think it’s a double edged sword both options comes with dangers-In theory I choose freedom but in reality I see bad in both options.

              • V.H.

                Ah, the issue comes clear.

                You seek perfection, peace, no pain, no effort in an existence in this Universe.

                So you see “bad” no matter where you look.

                I seek something else – but each of us must find that “something else” for ourselves.

              • You do tend to exaggerate Bf When one questions your beliefs or perhaps this is just your theory of ridicule as a teaching tool-I know the danger-I simply questioning whether or not having a society of absolute freedom would or wouldn’t turn us into a cesspool. I’m will question until I have the answer that suits me and my beliefs not yours and ridicule pretty much just helps to close my mind not open it.

              • I don’t believe I “ridiculed”

                I observed.

                There are disagreeable consequences everywhere – including after you do “right”.

                That is not the measure, therefore, of action.

                The measure is not the “ends” – it is the “means”.

              • I will have to think about your answer because it has merit but since we are under a government -not sure I have another means to choose from 🙂

              • V.,

                You most certainly have a choice.

                All human action is, ultimately, individual.

                How you achieve your ends is all that matters.

    • Bottom Line says:

      I have to argue this from a “when in Rome” perspective.

      I’ve been to Dubai. It’s a rather nice town with an interesting culture. Very clean, new-ish, and chuck full of money. It is kind of the Saudi peninsula’s equivelent of Vegas…Hence the more relaxed laws.

      It is my understanding that the local authorities/city planers are trying to attract visitors and are catering to them by, among other things, relaxing laws that may deter vacationers…to the disatisfaction and disapproval of the more conservative Dubaians.

      The local authority knows that they have to relax laws to attract tourists. A typical European vacationer will simply go somewhere else if he/she has to worry about getting arrested for some rediculous law. The more conservative townspeople see tourist’s behavior as an immoral influence and threat to their culture.

      There is a conflict between some Dubaians and local authority regarding a culture clash. This is the root of the problem and I have no suggestions/ideas as to how to remedy the situation.

      However, I think the burden to conform to and respect the local culture and law of the land is on the tourists.(when in rome…)

      If you visit a place where there is a custom of qucking like a duck when you cross the street, and there is a penalty of a month in prison for not doing so, …then by all means quack like a duck when you cross the street. However silly it is, it is their culture, way of life, and law. Respect it.

      IMHO, The couple should have acted on the side of caution. Seems to me like two “friends” bumped into each other and decided to have a romantic vacation…and through the intoxicating affects of endorphins, forgot where they were.

      Put yourself in the shoes of the lady that made the complaint.

      Imagine you are sitting in a restaurant in the good ole USA with your 5 yr. old child, and a foreign couple sits down at the table next to you. They decide to fill the time between ordering and receiving their meal with a face sucking make-out session. They’re kissing, necking, petting, fondling, breathing heavy, making moaning noises, etc…and look like they are about to have sex right there on the table.

      Wouldn’t you be a bit annoyed and disturbed?

      What do you do? – Do you mind your own buisiness and try to ignore it? – Complain to the manager? – Tell/ask them to stop?

      From the perspective of the lady in Dubai, it wasn’t much different to see a couple kiss in public. What seems like an innocent public display of affection to us is an act of obscenity to her. And is probably something she especially didn’t want to expose a child to.

      Another example of “culture clash”…

      In some places in Mexico, the sewage system isn’t what it is here in the US. Toilet paper isn’t flushed down the toilet, but rather thrown in the garbage. On many construstion sites where Mexican immigrants are working, it isn’t uncommon to find the porta-pottie/out-house with a layer of fecal matter caked toilet tissue on the floor. Out of habbit, they don’t throw it in the toilet, and since there is no trash can in there, …they just throw it on the floor. What is normal and acceptable to them is discusting and unsanitary to us.

      What do you do? – Walk in and track shit into a new house every time you have to take a leak? – Complain to the superintendent? – Call the health department? – Find somewhere else to pee?

      How DO you deal with culture clash?

      • How DO you deal with culture clash?

        By ignoring it.

        If it is not harming me, why should I care?

        • Bottom Line says:

          BF – “If it is not harming me, why should I care?”

          You shouldn’t.

          And if it IS harmful behavior, YOU should just deny it exist and rationalize instead. Simply reject anything that isn’t concurrent with your idealism and philosophy and blame it on the government.

          Denial always solves problems.

          🙂

          • Bottom,

            The question is not “harming”, but harming WHO?

            You may do lots of harm to yourself – (shrug).

            But to me? – problem!

            • Bottom Line says:

              A port-a-jon a thousand miles away with a 2 in. layer of crap on the floor – (shrug)

              The port-a-jon at the site where I am working that has a 2 in. layer of crap that I have to step in in order to pee – Problem!

              The combined total of ALL the port-a-jons with a 2 in. layer of crap on the floor that ends up spreading a variety of highly communicable diseases to hundreds of thousands of people – BIG problem!

      • If two people are getting busy at the table next to me I just stare at them. It usually makes them uncomfortable.

        If my kids are with me and something like this happens, I point it out and make a joke out of it or just lie. Kind of like the two ducks we saw screwing in the pond. It was the best wrestling match my son and I ever watched.

    • Why anyone would want to go to Dubai is beyond me, the whole place is built on slave labour quite literally.

      • They have a really great beach?

        • “The next day I turned up at her office. “If you reveal my identity, I’ll be sent on the first plane out of this city,” she said, before beginning to nervously pace the shore with me. “It started like this. We began to get complaints from people using the beach. The water looked and smelled odd, and they were starting to get sick after going into it. So I wrote to the ministers of health and tourism and expected to hear back immediately – but there was nothing. Silence. I hand-delivered the letters. Still nothing.”

          The water quality got worse and worse. The guests started to spot raw sewage, condoms, and used sanitary towels floating in the sea. So the hotel ordered its own water analyses from a professional company. “They told us it was full of fecal matter and bacteria ‘too numerous to count’. I had to start telling guests not to go in the water, and since they’d come on a beach holiday, as you can imagine, they were pretty pissed off.” She began to make angry posts on the expat discussion forums – and people began to figure out what was happening. Dubai had expanded so fast its sewage treatment facilities couldn’t keep up. The sewage disposal trucks had to queue for three or four days at the treatment plants – so instead, they were simply drilling open the manholes and dumping the untreated sewage down them, so it flowed straight to the sea.

          http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/the-dark-side-of-dubai-1664368.html

          Hope you enjoy the swim in the sea D13 just try and avoid the used condoms and turds.

          If you go to Dubai you unknowingly (or knowingly) support the slavery of thousands of people.

          • Can’t say that I want to go swimming….however, the beach that I went to was exceptionally clean.. did not go into the water. Not for sanitary reasons….I hate sharks more than Mathius hates Raptors….and the sharks know this. When I set foot in the Ocean, every shark for tens of thousand’s of miles come looking.

            In the background, I hear….dum…dum…dum….

            • Dont think Dubai has a big shark problem, just in case carry around a gas cylinder and a rifle, seems to do the trick.

      • It’s interesting, Bob, that you mention slave labor. Aren’t the citizens of socialist Europe essentially slaves to their government?

        • I assume you are making a joke or have absolutely no knowledge at all of Europe and making an idiotic statement. I am hoping its the first option.

          • No joke at all, Bob. Perhaps denial on your part?

            • OK Kathy please list the European countries you have lived in, hell I will even be glad for the list you have visited. Also your initial “socialist Europe” screams ignorance, you do realise that Europe is not a country but actually a continent that contains many different countries, all with different values, customs and government? Please also take into account when you make your response I have lived in the US, UK, France and Germany and travelled through Scandinavia and eastern europe.

              • Opposite of slavery is freedom. Obviously the word slavery is an emotional one – it certainly got you going! Kind of like when BF talks about violence.

                Just as a for instance, let’s look at the tax rates that Europe, the continent of several countries, places on its citizens.

                Freedom to spend your money as you’d like? I think not, ie – slavery.

                http://www.ask.com/wiki/Tax_rates_of_Europe

              • Oh dear, stretching a bit here arent you Kathy, again please list the European countries you have lived in.
                I assume you pay taxes in the states right? How big are the shackles you are carrying around?

                Please do not comment on things you obviously have no idea about.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Income_Taxes_By_Country.svg

                On the mean average I would possibly save 4% tax living in the US than where I live now. Is that 4% the difference between being a slave and being free?

              • NOPE!

                We are slaves here also.

              • Good we are all slaves.

              • Don’t worry Bob, Kathy has been called worse than ignorant. Nice try though. So are you saying Europe is not Socialist?

              • Again Europe is not a country but a collection of many different countries, DIFFERENT, I bolded an important word I hope you can understand the concept. If you wish to discuss a particular country in Europe I will discuss to the best of my knowledge.

                I will discuss the point you are ineffectively getting at though, countries in Europe have social programs that people pay taxes for, much like the US. If you consider them socialist then I hope you consider the US a socialist country.

              • It sure is evolving into a socialist country. Many of us try hard to defeat the charge. We realize that’s not where we came from nor where we want to get to. But don’t deny that Europe is socialist. And don’t put words in our mouths as though we don’t know Europe is a collection of socialist countries.

              • Please define socialist.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Bob,

                Many of us DO believe that the US is becoming a Socialist country.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      My son was in Dubai when he was in the Marines, went to an indoor snowboarding place, and said that Dubai was a very nice place.

      I guess my point would be, if you don’t want to get thrown in jail for public affection, then don’t display it, but I can’t for the life of me think, that a peck on the cheek warrants it. IMO, I think that’s just a little absurd.

  3. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #3

    Republicans Slam Obama Judicial Nominee Over 117 Omissions From Record

    Senate Republicans on Tuesday slammed one of the Obama administration’s most controversial judicial nominees for failing to initially disclose more than 100 of his speeches, publications and other background materials — an omission the Republicans called unprecedented and a possible attempt to “hide his most controversial work.”

    They said Goodwin Liu’s nomination to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is in “jeopardy” in light of the problem.

    The complaint came after Liu, a Berkeley law professor, gave the Senate Judiciary Committee a bundle of supplemental material that contained 117 things he left out after his February nomination.

    Among the items disclosed were several speeches on affirmative action and his participation at an event co-sponsored by the Center for Social Justice at Berkeley and the the National Council of La Raza, a Latino advocacy group.

    In response to the new information, all seven Republicans on the Judiciary Committee fired off a letter to its chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., demanding that Liu’s hearing be postponed again.

    Liu’s hearing already has been postponed twice, and Republicans have mounted somewhat of a campaign against him — targeting him for his writings suggesting health care is a right and describing the Constitution as a document that should adapt to changes in the world.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/06/republicans-slam-obama-nominee-omissions-record/?test=latestnews

    Personally, I think that this nominee should immediately be removed from the ability to serve in the position that Obama appointed him to. He obviously initially attempted to hide some of his more radical speeches and writings from the Senate in order to avoid criticism that could hold up his nomination. If it had been a speech or two, I might have believed it was an oversight. But 117? That isn’t an oversight. Some of his most controversial work? I am not buying the “oops” excuse on this one. He has now proven to lack the personal integrity to serve on the bench, although I know integrity is a low priority for the 9th Circuit.

    There is another side to this as well. Do you believe for a minute that the Obama administration wasn’t aware of the omissions? Do you think for a second that when they nominated him they were not acutely aware of every speech he made and what his positions were on all the issues that were being covered up? I don’t. And that means one of two things. It means that either the Obama administration was complicit in the omissions, or they are completely incompetent in evaluating potential appointments and should be banned from making them.

    You know that the Republicans are not going to come out and say that the Obama administration is just as culpable in this situation. Doing so would open them up to attack for all the times that THEY did the same thing. What is palpable here is the level of corruption and deception that goes on at the federal level of government. And it is there on both sides.

    It is high time those on the left stop believing that the Obama administration is something different and better than all the other administrations that have come before them. They are using all the same dirty tricks, and a few new ones that other administrations didn’t have the balls to attempt.

    • Mathius says:

      Just one question: 117 out of how many?

      If he omitted 117 out of 118 items, I’d say that’s fundamentally dishonest. However if it’s 117 out of 12,000, I don’t see it as such a big deal.

      And now a second question: How regularly does this happen?

      That is, if every candidate has supplementary disclosures, then this is just the Republicans being hypocritical idiots. Do many of them have 90 extra items and 117 is just a little bit higher? Would anyone here really put it beyond them to act like this is something new and unheard of when it’s actually common practice?

      That said, I am perfectly ok with putting his nomination on hold to allow the committee to digest the additional data. And if they consider it a deliberate omission, they should vote accordingly.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Agreed. Seems to me that, absent evidence of deliberate omission, this is completely routine. It is why we allow for supplementary disclosures.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Sounds like he needs to get off of his butt and start supplementarily disclosing these things in that case 🙂

    • USW, you ask: “Do you believe for a minute that the Obama administration wasn’t aware of the omissions?”

      It doesn’t matter to this Adm. what is disclosed or not. They’ve been often accused of not vetting properly, ie Van Jones. BS, or wait, PELOSI! They know exactly what is there but know if the public won’t like something, they just attempt to withhold it.

      Remember this is a president that signed an EO as one of his first acts to hold back his own historical information from the public’s eyes: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-1712.pdf

  4. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #4

    More Upheaval at R.N.C.

    There is more upheaval at the offices of the Republican National Committee as it struggles to recover from fallout from the disclosure that it had paid a $1,946 tab for staffers and contributors to go to a West Hollywood bondage and strip club.

    Michael Steele, the committee’s national chairman, said Monday he had replaced the committee’s chief of staff, Ken McKay, with a deputy, Michael Leavitt, as part of an effort to regain control of expenditures of the committee. Mr. Steele has said that he was unaware of the outing, and did not know his committee had reimbursed a Republican consultant who put in for the expense.

    “I want to do everything in my power to ensure that the committee uses all its resources in the best possible fashion and for this reason I have appointed Mike Leavitt Chief of Staff,” Mr. Steele said after Mr. McKay’s departure was reported by the Politico Web site.

    The expenditure for the night at Voyeur was in a spending report that also listed thousands of dollars in expenditures for limousines, charter airplanes and upscale hotels. Republicans have expressed concern that this disclosure of the latest problems shadowing Mr. Steele’s tenure would scare away big donors in an election year in which Republicans are hopeful about making big gains.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/05/second-official-steps-down-at-r-n-c/

    This story has been all over the news for the last week. I have to admit that it is a story that I simply wasn’t interested in. Let’s face it, hearing national politics mixed with strippers, drugs, prostitutes, and illegal activity has become so commonplace that hearing that some low level person at the RNC took some donors to a strip club in LA really isn’t something that should get anyone all fired up. The bigger news story is if we can find a US Senator that has NOT taken in the sights at the local flesh pit.

    And that is a topic all its own: the fact that this type of behavior on the federal government level has become so commonplace and so accepted that it isn’t really even a story any longer. We live in a country that re-elected a mayor in a major city who was caught smoking crack with a hooker (that bitch set me up!). How many mayors of major cities have ended up in federal jails (Detroit, New York, Chicago)? Every sex scandal that hits Congress is really only accompanied by a single question from Americans: was he caught with a woman or a boy? It seems to me that half the major players in Congress have taken bribes and been caught, only to be reelected later. We have the most corrupt federal government in the world, and that is saying something. But again, this is another topic for another day.

    The point is that with all this corruption, is it really big news that the RNC spent $2000 at a strip club in LA? Not to me, and it wouldn’t change for me if it was the DNC, because I would bet my car that you could find similar things from them if you dug hard enough. I mean, this wasn’t even an ILLEGAL activity. It was a legal club doing legal things. And don’t give me that whole speech about how it was a “bondage” club. It was a strip club like an other. Just because a dancer or two prefers to play to the bondage fetish with whips and leather on her particular trip around the pole doesn’t make it a bondage club.

    And it isn’t lost on me that this money was spent at the Voyeur West Hollywood nightclub. A nightclub that is high end and caters to the rich and famous in Hollywood. That’s right, the club makes its vast amount of money from serving the wealthy in hollywood, who are overwhelmingly….. liberal. So spare me the outrage that such a thing could occur. If anything the liberal left is making this a big issue because on the night in question, the RNC contingent made it tougher for the liberal Hollywood crowd to get their drinks more quickly at the club.

    Likewise, I don’t want to hear from the pundits that this is a strike against the party that is supposed to be for family values. Some low level guy takes donors to a strip club and that invalidates a solid family values message from 50% of the population in the US? Really? And let’s be honest, is there anyone besides pundits who want to play the “gotcha” game around this issue that really thinks the Republican party is still the party of “family values”? I don’t think anyone has confused the Republican party with family values in quite some time.

    And I have to tell you, the fact that the claim is that this will hurt them when it comes to donations seems a bit ridiculous to me. Those wealthy folks that give significant money to the RNC are all well aware of what goes on in the political world. Hell, I bet you would have trouble finding a man who contributes $1000 or more to the RNC that hasn’t visited a strip club himself…. regularly. Despite the claims from the pundits, this story means absolutely nothing. It won’t hurt the RNC contributions in the slightest. And it doesn’t say anything about the RNC that we don’t already know about the two parties in American politics. And Michael Steele has nothing to do with any of this, so the calls for his head are ridiculous.

    There’s my two cents.

  5. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #5

    From Black Flag

    The US, in a random attack on civilians, killed two Reuters news reporters in Iraq.

    After demanding an investigation, the military claimed it was within the Rules of Engagement, and said they had attacked a group of insurgents.

    The military refused to release the cameraman’s equipment and film, nor the film from the gun camera’s nor the audio.

    Reuters began an FOI and the military have been ignoring it for nearly two years.

    Wikileaks received an anonymous release of the audio and gun cameras.

    It is Murder – cold blooded – and white washed by the US military.

    Be forewarned. This is not from some video game. The footage is raw.

    You can watch the videos here: http://collateralmurder.com/en/index.html

    I have heard this story swirling for the last two days. Of course the liberal left and all Pirates that hate anything having to do with the US government are up in arms, decrying the videos as evidence of how horrible the US government is. Just a couple of problems with that sentiment radiating from these videos.

    First, these videos don’t show what appears to me to be any sort of military policy that the US government can be held accountable for. Had the voices on the tape said, “remember, they told us to make sure we shoot enough bullets to cover up the fact that they didn’t have guns,” I would understand the outrage with the US military establishment over the actions taken in the videos. But these are the actions of a few soldiers. Like it or not, it says nothing about the US military, only about these two soldiers.

    As for the actions themselves. BF says they are coldblooded murders. I disagree. From the vantage point of the helicopter pilots, they cannot tell that the thing slung over the one guys shoulder is a camera. To them it is a gun. There are other people in the frame who do have what appears to be a gun in their hands (at 3:42 you can clearly see a weapon in one guy’s hand). The intel coming to the pilots is that the group on the ground has AK-47’s and possible RPG’s. So the pilots are told they have weapons. They see what appears to be weapons. So they ask for permission to engage based on what they believe the situation to be. Permission is granted. Note that before they swing around for that first shot, they are clearly stating that they see an RPG and believe it will be used. That isn’t cold blooded murder BF, despite what you claim. That is the military acting on the intelligence that they have that these are the enemy.

    Could the military be wrong? Sure, but there is a big difference between being wrong and intentionally killing innocent people. They believe they are killing the enemy. Now, in hindsight at least two people were innocent in this group: the Rueters guys. And afterwards it is easy to know that it is a camera they are carrying, but I couldn’t have told you that it wasn’t a weapon over his shoulder if I hadn’t been told that by the narration of the video. As for the rest of the people in the video, are they innocent? Who knows? But they clearly had at least some weapons, and the spotters on the ground say they were insurgents, so how can you say they weren’t? Were you there? Did you know these people? Why did they have weapons?

    The van comes in and they are clearly concerned that the van is there to pick up both the bodies and WEAPONS on the scene. I understand that concern. We want to deny the enemy any weapons that we can, especially if they believe RPG’s are down there. They ask for permission to engage the van. It is granted and they do so. I didn’t like this part of the video. I always liked the rule that you don’t fire on the medics trying to save lives. I understand the concern about weapons, but so long as it looked to me like they were only picking up people, they shouldn’t have fired. And even if that van’s occupants had picked up the weapons, who is to say that they aren’t simply attempting to remove the weapons from the reach of any children who may come by? I didn’t like firing on the van, but I somewhat understood it. The unfortunate thing was that there were two children inside the van who were injured. But the pilots had no way of knowing that. The children were never visible at any point in the video.

    The banter between the pilots is certainly callous. I won’t argue that. I read somewhere that people were outraged that these guys were talking like it was just a regular day at the office. I have news for you. It IS another day at the office for them. They have a level of detachment from their victims that is chilling, but that is also necessary to do the job that they do. They have no mercy for their enemies. They don’t feel bad for killing their enemies. That is exactly what I expect from soldiers in the military. They are operating in a very testosterone laden environment. And in that environment, one of the common coping skills is detachment and humor. It is shocking to those of you who have never seen combat, but it is not to those who have.

    I do not condone what I see as a lack of respect for human life. I cringed when they laughed that the humvee accidentally drove over a body. I cringed when they wanted the wounded person to pick up a weapon so they could finish them. I applaud, however, the fact that so long as he wasn’t picking up a weapon they weren’t firing.

    The bottom line for me is that in hindsight we can see some mistakes made here. In hindsight we know that the Rueters guys had cameras, not weapons slung over their shoulders. The pilots didn’t know that. What the pilots knew was that they were told these were enemy combatants with weapons. So they did what they are trained to do. But one of the worst parts of this situation is that it could have been avoided if the enemy combatants in this region didn’t attempt to blend in with the civilians. Because they are coward soldiers, they do not wear uniforms that signal that they are soldiers rather than civilians. As a result, innocent civilians are in much greater danger because the military has lost a key means of identification.

    Now, as for the military coverup, based on my interpretation above, I don’t think that the military had anything that they needed to cover up for legal reasons. The soldiers involved didn’t do anything that the military would deem as illegal. It is, however, with all the information we have in hindsight, somewhat embarrassing for the military, simply because some civilian reporters were killed. I do not agree with the military stalling on the FOIA requests. Once they concluded their investigation, they could have released the tapes with an explanation. However, I do understand that it is not in their best interest to do so. They are well aware that this will be used as propaganda against, them. They are even aware that the anti war folks will lambast them in their own country because they lack the ability to objectively look at what they see.

    In conclusion, I believe that you are simply unable to objectively look at things like this BF. You simply don’t have it in you to see things in any other vein than the anti-US military filter that you have. So I was fully prepared for you to see the situation in the way that you did. And you used the usual inflammatory terms… cold blooded murder. I don’t pretend that you care a bit what I have written above. You made up your mind the second you read the headlines. And I won’t change your mind on any portion of this subject with my reasonable explanations or alternative views. That is OK. You get to say what you believe. And now I have done the same.

    • I have to admit BF when I saw this posted yesterday I wondered why, if you wanted us to see it, did you post it on the previous days’ discussion so late at night?

      This is a sad story of war. We’re fighting terrorists and terrorism. People get killed. They were clearly walking in the streets with guns. It is a shame about the reporters, but death is a risk they take for covering the war. Also a shame the kids were wounded but I agree with USW. Why bring kids to a gun battle? We didn’t bring the kids into it, they did.

      And just for kicks I heard a line on Fox that is relevant here: You cannot defeat an enemy if you cannot name it or define it. Citizens don’t just walk the streets with those kinds of weapons. They were terrorists and we took em out. Should be end of story.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Anita,

        “You cannot defeat an enemy if you cannot name it or define it.”

        This is precisely why we cannot win this war.

        • Buck: We won’t win this war because they won’t come out of the shadows to fight it when they started it. Where’s Bin Laden and his cronies? They are hiding and they send their grunts into the neighborhoods with guns. Same with all the other groups. We are at war with terrorists. They dont fight fair. That’s why we won’t win it. Spin it however you like.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            If you and I were fighting, why would I fight ‘fair’ if I knew I would lose in doing so?

            I’m not trying to spin it. The fact is that we are at war with an undefinable and unidentifiable enemy.

            • So they guys on the video were just guys? They were terrorists.

              They started it. We get to finish it. That’s fair. If we dont get them they get us. If you dont want to fight them then go stand in front of them and let them shoot you because they aren’t going away.

              As far as defining the enemy I was aiming that at BF. He won’t win because he won’t name them.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I wasn’t saying anything about this particular incident. This is clearly a tragic incident, but I would not classify it as cold-blooded murder in the least.

                I do find it somewhat funny that Fox used that line (a line often used by those of us on the left to argue against the ‘war on terror’) to automatically classify these individuals as terrorists. The entire point here is that it is often very difficult, if not impossible, to know who are citizens and who are terrorists.

              • Buck…you are correct. It is difficult when time is of the essence. In combat, you often do not have the time to make decisions…you act. What you do not see, are those times, when the shooting is over, and you actually see that there was an innocent in the way…you live with it…for the rest of your life. Read post below. It better explains things.

    • USW,

      I watched the video with the sound turned off, so I didn’t get any narration. I certainly looked to me like the pilots were firing on gun carrying people, and they did have what looked like at last RPGs, if not SAMs. The gun camera footage is simply too grainy to make out any more deatil. What the webiste fails to mention is that this took place in an area of Baghdad that was controlled by that Mahdi Army in 2007. There had been already been attacks on US forces that day by RPGs. It was a very reasonable assumption that what they saw was in fact Mahdi soldiers carrying RPGs, and not Reuters reporters. Shooting the van was fully within the rules of engagement. The pilots really had no way of knowing what the true purpoose of the it was, and there is no way that the Mahdi would have been concerned with removing weapons so that children couldn’t get them. I even understand the apparent lack of respect for human life. Its been a part of warfare for centuries. Soldiers must dehumanize to some extent those that they are trying to kill in order to deal with psychological trauma that does come from taking a human life.

      I do believe that Reuters holds some responsibility for the deaths of their reporters. They put them into a known combat area, with nothing to truly distinguish them from the combatants around them.

    • Too bad the full footage and transmissions were not part of this “U Tube” bullshit. Nice sanitized hatchet job. Yes, the children were injured…the journalist killed…and that is a tragedy.

      The full version of this actual incident will never been seen due to “National Security” issues that are not part of the FOI, until declassified. ( I am sure that there are those that will say that it is classified to protect these “murderers” and that attitude is a greater tragedy than the one on the “raw footage”.) The actual raw footage and transmission is 84 minutes, 14.44 seconds in length. The U Tube version only shows the result and not the preparation that went into this….the supposition that many make conveniently do not mention that, like reporters in the states, the journalist in the war zone have figured out how to monitor the military frequencies of potential hot spots and throw themselves into the fray trying to get the “Pulitzer”. I have seen journalists follow insurgents and terrorists hoping to get a picture of the war……and allowing innocent people to die for their 15 minutes of fame when they ( the innocent people ) could have been warned.

      So, I do not hold journalists in war zones in very high esteem….I hold them a step below that of…ummmm…well, more like members of Congress. I often got ostracized for my viewpoints on journalists in combat zones and never once, did I allow any journalist to be imbedded in my units. I was never ordered to do so. It was always a commanders decision.

      However, since I am a realist, I will have to acknowledge a breakdown on this operation. As a result, a couple of journalists that should not have been there in the first place were killed. Recognized? No. Deliberately killed…of course for they were perceived as enemy in an area where there were enemy. (Not unlike the policeman that shoots a 16 year old in the middle of the night with something in his hand that “looks” like a weapon.) The rules of engagement are varied. They are varied by location, time of day, situation, and threat. It does not surprise me at all about the callous remarks. Those of us in active combat always did this. It was our way of letting off stress…laughter seems harsh, but laughter was better than crying. If anyone thinks that these guys go back and sit around a glass of cold beer and brag about “today’s” kills…have not been in combat. Usually the ones that brag…are not the ones that pulled the trigger.

      Combat is mean and it is nasty and it is not sanitized and it is not perfect. In this case, Murder…no. Unfortunate…yes. A breakdown in the rule of engagement…no. A recognizable situation that could have been avoided…possibly. Those that call this a pre-meditated act of wanton killing, and label it murder….well, they simply do not know…and never will know…and even if they knew the truth, would not act upon it for they are agenda driven in a different direction.

      I also know that there are those that utilize a combat zone for senseless acts of violence, rape, theft…etc. To those that do….throw the book at them.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Out of curiousity – why are you so against having embedded journalists? Any reason from your own experience?

        • Morning to ya, Buck. It has been my experience that most journalist are sensationalists. For the most part, they do not print the truth….they spin it according to their employers wishes or to get recognition. This, does not pertain to ALL journalists, however, for there are some that actually wish to do good…but until you read their writings, you do not know.

          In addition, in Vietnam, if there was going to be no action, they did not want to go. It was boring. They did not want to take pictures and print how we were helping set up sanitation in the jungle or delivering children with our medic, or inoculations of plague or chicken pox, or teaching modern techniques to the inhabitants. They were not interested in human emotion stories unless it was pure sensationalism.

          That is why, sir. And, to this very day, I paint with a broad brush on journalists…until I read what they write.

          Make sense?

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Definitely fair enough.

            Thanks for the insight D13, and morning to you as well!

      • D13

        Good comments above on the Apache attack. I would only add that the rhetoric or words we choose to use depends on how we define murder. If it is the killing of innocents then the action resulted in some murder and some killing of bad guys.

        I personally have no heartburn using the term murder because then we could simply have an honest discussion about what War really is all about. It is HELL and it involves killing innocent and not innocent people. Always has and always will.

        But I recognize that the word “murder” is being used here not for the purposes of having an honest discussion but for condemning for political objectives. There are not words vile enough to describe my contempt for those who are using this.

        I also agree with your view of reporters in war zones. They should report what is happening. But when they try to claim “objectivity” it creates an inherent conflict of interest with those who they are hanging with. Any reporter who films an ambush without crying out to prevent it should be skun and hung on the fence. If you start running around with the enemy to get a story, don’t come crying when you get your ass blown off.

        And the killing DOES weigh on the minds of those who do the killing. For as long as they live.



    • Winning hearts and minds one 30mm shell at a time.

      • And your point, sir?

        • Incidents like this create us more enemies. The more people shrug their shoulders and go “Oh well” the more angry the victims get, while we sit here blustering about the rules of engagement they are putting shredded bodies into the ground. Is that not the complete opposite of what we were originally trying to achieve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

          • USWeapon says:

            Bob,

            You assume that we are saying “oh well”. I am certainly not saying that. I despise that innocent people die. But I do realize that this is part of the reality of war.

            And you are vastly mistaken when you say “the complete opposite of what we were originally trying to achieve in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

            What we are trying to do in those places is fight and win a war. Winning hearts and minds is a part of the strategy to win the war, not the objective itself.

            • Again the war ended several years ago this is an occupation, two very different things.

              • USWeapon says:

                That is a matter of pure opinion, one that you are entitled to. I believe it will be an occupation when the government of Iraq tells us to get out and we don’t. At this point there is a clearly defined timetable for withdrawal of all combat troops in both countries. We are there with the blessing of the two governments in question. So how does that qualify as an occupation?

                This is precisely the type of emotional rhetoric that puts people in a position where they cannot discuss things. It is clearly not an occupation, as we are getting ready to leave and we are there only with the government’s approval in each. Yet using the word occupation carries with it an emotional response, which is why you choose to use it.

                USW

    • Winning hearts and minds one hellfire missile at a time.

    • Bottom Line says:

      I only watched the short one, and I’m not as versed in ground tactics and procedures as a professional soldier(I was Navy), but from what I can tell, this was textbook operating procedure by a forward combat air patrol unit. They(crazy horse one-eight)did exactly what they were supposed to do.

      After receiving reports of insurgents from ground units, they aquired the target and tracked them while they confirmed they were indeed armed.
      Once confirmed, they reported them as armed and asked for permission to engage. The were granted permission and took them out, …clearing the way for ground units.

      It looked like a rather controlled and successful operation if you ask me.

      I could care less about the brazen attitude of the soldiers/helo-crew. They are trained warriors doing what they are trained to do. If they were too compassionate, they wouldn’t get anything done.

      I have to agree with Weapon though, about them opening up on the van. That wasn’t necessary as they had already neutralized the threat and the people in the van were no threat.

      On the other hand, If I just saw a group of people get gunned down in a courtyard by an apache that is still circling overhead, I would stay clear of said courtyard until it was safe to enter…especially if I had children with me. The folks in the van weren’t practicing common sense very well.

      As far as the mistaking a camera for an RPG, that was an honest mistake. I would argue that the responsibility is on the journalists. NO ONE should be in a war zone without expecting the possibility of death. The journalists willingly assumed the risk and got exactly what they asked for…to be up-close and personal with a fire fight.

      If ya don’t wanna get shot up, stay the hell out of war zones.

      • The apache is just under a mile away, to be precise I think they calculated it to be about 1536 metres away. It certainly isnt hovering overhead. What you saw was a man driving his van in his neighbourhood and trying to give aid to someone. Its much like what you would do if you drove past someone (I hope) in need of help, except he paid for his kind act with his life.

      • “If ya don’t wanna get shot up, stay the hell out of war zones.”

        Sorry have to comment on this as well, the war finished in Iraq several years ago, what we have now is an occupation. Going back to the man in the van this is where the attack took place, the mile marker is where the apache probably was.

        As you can see this is a densely populated area, this is where the man in the van probably lived with his family. Should everyone leave Iraq if they dont want to get shot up?

        • Bottom Line says:

          BOB – “It certainly isnt hovering overhead.”

          BL – Watch the video again. Take note of the camera angle. They were flying around in circles over the courtyard area the whole time. And I am curious about how much of that 1536 metres was actually verticle distance/altitude.

          BOB – “Its much like what you would do if you drove past someone (I hope) in need of help, except he paid for his kind act with his life.”

          BL – I most certainly would help someone in need …provided that I wasn’t going to die and/or risk others’/children’s lives in the process. (Perhaps I am inhumane for not wanting to die for the bodies of a few dead strangers/neighbors?)

          BOB – “Sorry have to comment on this as well, the war finished in Iraq several years ago, what we have now is an occupation.”

          BL – Yeah, it sure looked peaceful there in 2007. Maybe the guys in the van should have held up a sign saying “Technically, we’re not at war, so you can’t fire on us.”

          BOB – “Should everyone leave Iraq if they dont want to get shot up?”

          BL – Yes, unless they’re okay with living with the constant possibility of death.

          If your neighborhood became a combat zone, would you sit around and wait for a bomb to drop on your house?

          And when I said…“If ya don’t wanna get shot up, stay the hell out of war zones.”…I was mainly speaking about the journalists.

          While my comment seems cold and insensitive, I was merely making the point that they knew full well what they were getting themselves into and chose to do it anyway. They willingly assumed the risk.

          • I am glad you have telescopic vision and have the ability to immediately discern what the cause of the mens injuries would have been. Unluckily for that man he did not have your abilities, he did not immediately see that the mens wounds were caused by 30mm shells and immediately equate that to the apache no matter which way you look at it is a mile away. He wanted to help and got killed for it.

            The unarmed man with children in the van should not have been fired on at all as he was rendering aid to wounded. No sign was needed.

            I am sorry you seem to not have empathy for your fellow man. I wonder if you show the same disregard for US soldiers who get killed, firefighters and police officers who die as well. I mean they chose the job live (or die) with the consequences.

            “Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.”
            Cheney

            HEY WE ARE HERE TO LIBERATE YOU NOW GET THE HELL OUT OF THE COUNTRY BEFORE WE BOMB YOU!!!!!!!!!!

            Also at no point has it been confirmed that the men the journalists were with were actually insurgents.

            • Bottom Line says:

              BOB – “I am glad you have telescopic vision and have the ability to immediately discern what the cause of the mens injuries would have been. Unluckily for that man he did not have your abilities, he did not immediately see that the mens wounds were caused by 30mm shells and immediately equate that to the apache”

              BL – I may not have telescopic vision, but I think I would have noticed an apache overhead wasting people with multiple rounds from a rapid-fire 30mm. grenade launcher.

              BOB – “no matter which way you look at it is a mile away.”

              BL – (Since ya wanna get technical)If you care to reveiw the video, you will notice to the right in the targeting information, there is a range indicator that fluctuates from 700-1300 yds. That distance is not lateral/horizontal, but rather a direct line of sight – which is more of a diagonal. The lateral distance from the courtyard to the helo was more like a 1/2 mile, maybe even less depending on altitude.

              Also, at around 8:45, Ground units tell the pilot that they are right below and ask the pilot if he can direct them to the site.

              ~Ground unit – “We are right below you right time now. Can you walk us onto that location? – over”

              ~Pilot – “This is two-six. Roger. I’ll pop flares”

              When this conversation is happening, the range to target indicator was at about 900+ yds. and it looks as if they are only a couple of blocks away.

              Also, what sense would it make to drop flares and mark the location as a mile away from the actual location?

              BOB – “He wanted to help and got killed for it.”

              BL – I know – tragic isn’t it?

              BOB – “The unarmed man with children in the van should not have been fired on at all as he was rendering aid to wounded. No sign was needed.”

              BL – I agree. That’s what I said in my original post:

              BL – “I have to agree with Weapon though, about them opening up on the van. That wasn’t necessary as they had already neutralized the threat and the people in the van were no threat.”

              BOB – “I am sorry you seem to not have empathy for your fellow man.”

              BL – It’s not that I have no empathy, it’s just that I have to put it aside in order to be logical. Empathy seems to interfere with logic. Forgive me.

              BOB – “I wonder if you show the same disregard for US soldiers who get killed, firefighters and police officers who die as well. I mean they chose the job live (or die) with the consequences.”

              BL – I wouldn’t call it disregard, but yes, I do look at it the same way. If you willingly take on a dangerous job and end up dying, you asked for it. When I was in the service, I looked at myself the same way.

              And to add – I don’t feel sorry for policmen, firemen, and soldiers when they die.

              …I instead, honor and salute them. Just my humble opinion, but feeling sorry for them is disrespectful. It takes away from their honor and heroism. They aren’t sorry saps – they are heroes and deserve to be treated as such.

              Cheney?

              As I so elequently stated a few months ago here at SUFA…

              “F&#K Cheney!”

              I’m guessing that you generally agree with the sentiment.

              Look Bob,

              I don’t approve of this war any more than you do. If you care to read some of my earlier posts, you will have a pretty clear understanding of where I’m coming from.

              I don’t like the idea of going to war on the false premise of having “no doubt”, so countless human beings can die over money, oil, and power all while we are trying to sell some bullshit propaganda of being “liberators” either.

              But that still doesn’t take away from the basic concept of having enough common sense to stay the hell away from danger if you aren’t comfortable with the prospect of death.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Disregard what I said above about the flares. After, re-examining, I realize that I misinterpreted radio communications. The conversation was between ground units.

                🙂

    • USWep,

      Because they lied.

      They said they were “under fire” – a blatant lie.

      Their controller could only accept their call, and authorized a response.

      Then, when a rescue was being made of a wounded man – they committed a war crime – firing on a wounded “combatant” – killing two more and seriously wounding children.

      • Rules of engagement in combat zone: You do not kill unarmed wounded…wounded combatants with arms are still lethal and fair game.

        You do not fire upon designated rescue personnel that are unarmed. To bad our enemies do not subscribe to the same rules.

        To fire on a clearly marked…CLEARLY marked…person trying to give aid is a rule we follow and that person is to be unarmed.

        If the person rendering aid, picks up the weapon and the wounded combatant, they are no longer exempt from being fired upon.

        It is not a war crime to fire on wounded soldiers in these circumstances.

  6. It was just a little over one year ago that I came upon SUFA and started participating.

    In those early days when many here called themselves “conservatives” most were crying about the impending onset of “socialism” from the Dems.

    At that time I explained we were living in a basically fascist economic system not socialism. USW created a series of articles on the issue and in doing so asked that I provide the fascist definition. I had stumbled across it in some very old economics documents years ago but had not saved the citation. I still don’t have that citation but thanks to a friend, have found another which does a good job of explaining what fascism, socialism, corporatism etc are and how they are ALL related.

    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Fascism.html

    I still like the blended term FASCIOLISM to describe our current situation and the views of the current regime. But it is fascism pure and simple. The fascist economic system was an offshoot of the “progressive” movement of the era. The goals and economic theories of the movement remain alive in the Progressives of today.

    • Hey JAC….howzit going today?

      • D13

        Doin good Colonel. Taxes still driving me nuts but will be done soon.

        Just have a personal problem with engaging in a painful practice that has nothing but painful results at the other end. Somehow violates my belief that a little pain now is worth the payoff later.

        Had snow flurries yesterday. That should make you feel better about your weather.

        Hope all is well in Texas.

        JAC

    • Hey JAC,
      Happy Anniversary – to you and to me!! I started here just about a year ago too.

      It certainly has been an interesting year!!

      As far as Fascism goes, I think this statement defines the US as interventionism, or the mixed economy, not Fascism:

      Fascism is to be distinguished from interventionism, or the mixed economy. Interventionism seeks to guide the market process, not eliminate it, as fascism did. Minimum-wage and antitrust laws, though they regulate the free market, are a far cry from multiyear plans from the Ministry of Economics.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I personally believe that the government having a > 50% stake in many banks as well as 2 of the 3 major US auto makers is a bit more than mere intervention and “guidance”, but that is just my humble opinion.

        • Peter,
          The intent of the government stake in the banks and auto industry is not to take over those companies/industries, but to bail them out. The government is already trying to sell the stake in the banks (Citi at least), and I expect the same for all of the bailed out companies.

          Time will tell…

          • Todd,

            There is no market for the shares, and the amount of cash is irrelevant to the TARP costs.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Todd,

            They should not have been bailed out in the first place. Also, Obama kicked out a CEO at GM and replaced him with someone else. Because he did that, he now OWNS GM.

            Oh, and by the way, I notice that GM had a 4.3 BILLION dollar LOSS this past quarter… nice to see that nice efficient government bailout working out so well!

      • Todd

        I think we passed the “just” interventionist point along time ago.

        Look at the tax code for example. It is designed to force certain investment and business behavior in the economy. More a fascist goal than interventionist goal.

        I will agree that the lines drawn by academics become very fuzzy at times. But there is no doubt that we have been moving deeper into the fascist model since WW 1. What I find interesting is that the communists always thought that fascism would evolve to communism.

        But it appears that the govts desire and attempt to control private sector results in the private sector infiltrating govt. Thus the govt provides the means for corporatism to once again take hold.

        There is considerable effort going on within our government to plan and carry out central planned economic activity. Look around your community and state for all the Federal/private partnership programs.

        We have a hard time accepting what it is because of the Nazi stigma that was attached to Fascism by the academics the past 30 years. Think of fascism as a two headed snake. One is the social/economic and the other is the social/political. It is the first we have for the most part.

        But it is the second that is played by the partisan political hacks on both sides. Thus during the start of the wars the left called Bush a fascist for invoking a “patriotic spirit”. Thus the Cons call Obama a fascist for his invoking on “nationalist pride” and “youth corps” programs.

        I think Goldberg coined a good name for what we have. If not fasciolism then we can use his: Liberal Fascism.

        Bottom line, what we DO NOT have is Capitalism.

        Yes, it has been an interesting year. It has greatly retarded my reading and studies but has been a “learning” experience in itself.

        Best wishes to you and yours.
        JAC

        • JAC,
          The tax code – that’s an example of trying to guide the market process, not eliminate it.

          I guess I don’t see the govts desire and attempt to control private sector and carry out central planned economic activity. Do you have some examples?

          I agree there are partisan political hacks on both sides playing these “name calling” games. I find that destructive on both sides.

          We do not have pure capitalism, but a mixed economy.

          Can you explain what you mean by “Liberal Fascism”?

          • Todd

            Liberal Fascism is basically what we have now. The Federal Govt is controlling the means of production through use of the private sector via tax codes, regulations, partnerships, etc.

            It is fascist in its desire to override free market processes and to carry out Federal Govt goals. It fits the “modern” liberal agenda in that many of the goals are “socially liberal” in nature, such as health care.

            When we say we have a mixed economy it has to be one of the other ism’s or a gradation between. I believe the term “mixed economy” was invented to make us feel better about what was really happening.

            Much of the tax code is specifically intended to eliminate normal market forces and to thus cause the “desired” economic behavior. It can be no other way.

            One example that most wouldn’t even consider but shows how the “partnership” is used. The Fed’s offer grants to towns and cities for street improvments via State Grants. Conditions include the usual for matching funds, etc. But if the project includes fixing an intersection for traffic flow or accidents, they must now use a “round-a-bout” in the final design or get no federal money. You see, someone in the Fed. govt has decided that is how “they” want traffic problems resolved.

            Another. There has been a movement afoot for the past 15 years to replace all federal timber contract bids with government timber harvest crews and then sell the logs directly to the mills. This program has been implemented through “stewardship contracts” developed under “community planning groups” where govt and locals form “partnerships” to design the projects. Guess who gets all the work bid out after the projects pass the NEPA test? Yep, family and friends of those on the “committee”. There are now piles of small wood all over the west that were felled, yarded and decked under these new contracts. But no one would buy the decked material because the govt planners didn’t manufacture the stuff to a spec usable by anyone.

            I have said before that I viewed this Administration as being “progressive fascists”. That is because Mr. Obama’s rhetoric during the campaign and the views of those around him are more about using govt to take over the market forces via govt action. That is what the Green movement is all about. They actually want the govt to decide which cars get manufactured. Oh yeah, another example. MPG and other regulations that “force” companies to make the care the govt wants.

            Tomorrow I will try to dig up Goldberg’s definition just for comparison.

            To me, a simple “interventionist” approach would be something like imposing pollution standards. It establishes a rule that does disrupt market forces but sets no real goal regarding the market forces themselves. Its only purpose is to protect our health. Not that it does but that is its purpose.

            Is any of this making sense?

            JAC

            • Actually, very well put, JAC. We have the same type of policies on how much alfalfa we produce on our ranch. We can produce all we want to feed our own livestock but must meet production standards if we wish to sell to private market. That private market is usually to resellers that are family of the federally appointed commissioners designed to control market price by limiting availability.

              For example, because of all the rain we have had and the winter that dumped more snow than normal, we will probably get four cuttings of alfalfa. The nutrient value of cut alfalfa loses over 60% in the first three weeks after cutting. So, on a single cutting, if we produce more than is feasible to use and we wish to sell it to our neighbor a mere 12 miles down the road….we cannot unless we go through the new Federally appointed commissioner, who will then assign it to a reseller that is usually a family member. These new czars are very powerful and no one is watching.

              Rome is burning.

              • D13

                Under what program and authority is a Federal agent involved in setting alfalfa production limits?

                Wow, four cuttings. What’s your normal production per year?

            • It makes lots of sense JAC. They are called PPP’s Public Private Partnerships. All part of Agenda 21, right? We’ll be getting to that sometime

  7. More PC? Will playing nice work? Anita, maybe this is what FOX was referring to in not identifying an enemy?

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s advisers will remove religious terms such as “Islamic extremism” from the central document outlining the U.S. national security strategy and will use the rewritten document to emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terror, counterterrorism officials said.

    Read more…..

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/07/obama-bans-islam-jihad-national-security-strategy-document/

  8. Volcker suggests VAT. Surprise, surprise.

    “Volcker, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve, told the global economic panel that a VAT is “not as toxic an idea as it has been in the past.”

    He added, “If, at the end of the day, we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes.”

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/bam_man_pitching_national_sales_TyKWnlkz2W09rQuHKPJx4J#ixzz0kQTPYAQK

  9. V.H. Said:</b
    I think you have successfully made my point-which wasn’t whether or not someone should have the right to be naked in public-it was that basing our laws totally on freedom seems impossible when we disagree on what an imposition is-and what you call just Puritanical morality -I would consider a huge imposition on my freedom. But I find the fact that you , as I, base what we think the laws should be on what we think is right or wrong somewhat funny. I see the contradiction and I am looking for an answer-you- I don’t think you see the contradiction-I do however question whether absolute freedom is possible in a society or even advisable but I do think we should use it as our guiding principal – and yes I know I am arguing both sides but that is where my thought processes are taking me. All this stuff is just too darn complicated.

    Mathius Replies:
    The goal I seek is to base everything on logic. That is, I can accept requiring clothing if there were some logical basis for justifying it. There is not. I can justify requiring efficiency standards on people’s cars (a violation of their freedom) because there is a social benefit in having clean air. The only reason people see a need for clothing is because people see a need for clothing. Circular.

    If no one wore clothing except for warmth, no one would have a problem with it. Consider that many indigenous tribes were at least topless and they got along just fine. If everyone just stripped down, you would become inured to it relatively quickly.

    A good way to think about this is with swear words. In ye olden times, the word “darnation” might have seemed offensive, but no one would be offended today. In my own youth, the word “bitch” was a mouth-soaping offense. But I heard that word on the radio on the way in to work this morning, and no one seemed to have a problem with it. It is the same thing: a thing is defined as bad and that is what makes it bad. There is nothing about the word darnation which is actually harmful or bad, just as there is nothing actually harmful or bad about public nudity.

    When a thing is objectively bad, as in pollution from unregulated car emissions, I can see why taking action may be justified. Otherwise, we’re just imposing on people in accordance with our whims. Does that help?

    • no

    • I suspect that most people can use logic that they think is logical to support their position doesn’t mean they are right just that they believe they are-Lets take abortion-it started out as you can have an abortion up to what 3 months-it has evolved- now it’s okay to have partial birth abortions-our generation dies out and the next generation have become adjusted to believing the above things are okay-so what is the net step in this evolving situation-will we become like China where a couple felt it was just fine to allow a baby they didn’t want to just be allowed to die-I know you don’t like the word but evil can creep up on society-acceptance of un acceptible things begins with acceptance of less unacceptable things-and grows to include the unacceptable. Taxes started to just support the government and a few specific things-now it has grown to support everything-Now I suspect you don’t agree with my logic-but the point is how do we stop being contradictory or is it even possible.

      • you actually help my point.

        the harm being done in killing a child is object harm. that is, the child dies. harm.

        conversely, i am not wearing clothes. you are offended. that is harm, i suppose, insofar as it is mental anguish.. but is objective. is it something real? no. it is entirely subjective.

        further, as i have pointed out repeatedly, the only reason you find it offensive is because you find it offensive. that circular reasoning is very subjective. nudists are not anguished by nudity. neither are the aborigines. i am offended by the use of capital letters and therefore you are required not to use them either lest you offend me.

        i see your slippery slope argument, but it just doesn’t work. if you want to justify imposing on my freedom, you have to support it with a concrete social benefit.

        • I actually agree with Matthius on this one. Nudity is a social more, and I do not have a logica reason for having a law requiring clothing. I think a business owner can require clothing to enter his shop, I also have no problem with shops having a “common area” control for zones within a certain range of their shop. I do not think it is wrong for a shop owner to chase off panhandlers and prostitutes and loiterers from the front of their shop, at least to a certain range.

          The pollution requirements, on the other hand, while there could be some objective reasoning, it is not fixed. In other words, requiring certain emmissions standards does not mean that there are no emmissions, so there needs to be a better way to handle it. I would prefer to see an emmissions fee, payable to a private air cleaning firm or a public option. That is a scary can of worms too, just the first thought I had. There has long been debate over shared property like water, air, etc. If I am harming your property, I must pay for it. If I am harming hsared property, how is that handled? It is a good question.

          Thoughts?

        • If you think it helps your point Mathius-it’s because you are choosing to continue arguing on the basis of nudity and ignoring the actual point-which is contradictions in our view points. Basing some of our points on freedom but other points on what we personally believe is right or wrong.

          • Mathius says:

            I understand where you’re coming from. You have to understand that my moral framework is a work in progress. I don’t have it all figured out yet. Not all the i’s are dotted, not all the t’s are crossed.

            I try to interfere as little as possible with individual liberty, but defer where the balance tips to the social good. I do not see any contradictions in this, but rather, view it as a balancing act. In this case, I do not see the social utility justifying the infringement of individual rights. In other cases I do. That is why you sometimes see me arguing from freedom and others from the “greater good.”

            I do not believe that I base ANY of my opinions on what I believe to be right absent logic. That you disagree with that logic does not change this.

            • I think I’ve gotta give you 10 points for that last sentence 🙂 Made me laugh. But you are still in denial. 🙂

        • Mathius

          And here you fall off the track, directly into the path of the oncoming train.

          “if you want to justify imposing on my freedom, you have to support it with a concrete social benefit.”

          Your claim is a PURELY SUBJECTIVE determination.

          Where as my freedom is concrete and objective. Do not impose on me allows me to control my life. It can be objectively determined and evaluated.

          Yours can not. It starts with something that is not concrete, SOCIETY.

          I AM and there is no condition that makes ME something different.

          Society is determined by the eye of the beholder and has no distinct identity unto itself. IT IS NOT a PERSON.

          YOU ARE A WALKING CONTRADICTION. And that means you are illogical.

  10. D13 winces at the word Statist tendencies….so he looks up meaning…

    Statist – To believe in Statism.. (punches dictionary because it made me look at another word).

    Statism – From Webster: concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry.

    Ok, sir…you have got to come up with another description form me. I do not think that I have ever exhibited of ANY of the aforementioned description. I believe that I have succinctly demonstrated that I abhor, economic controls of any type to be put into a centralized government…especially leading to government controls of industry. I am so 100% against that.

    Perhaps you do not like my military commitment….but Statist under the above definition….no, sir…not even close.

    Looked under YOUR DICTIONARY.com….same definition.

    Unless, you wish to make the stretch that being in the military is somewhat Statist or a perceived statist position…but all the definitions that I have found relate to the economic controls and I am certainly not that….not even in the same ball park.

    Got another definition for me?

    • The Dread Pirate believes that support for the government in any capacity which infringes upon individual liberty is statist in nature. You support a military which is paid for in dollars collected from the people by force (or threat thereof) and from their businesses and enterprise. That alone qualifies as a “statist tendency” in his opinion.

      Please do not take it out on your dictionary.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        Supposedly “Provide for the common defense” is a legitimate societal function. Of course, this is only if the limit is placed at actual defense. One could pretty easily argue that foreign engagements rarely (if ever) have anything to do with national defense.

        However, it is NOT automatically Statist to support a societal organization which genuinely does provide for the common defense.

        Support for the military no matter what their actions are could certainly be seen as a Statist tendency though.

        • Dread Pirate Mathius: He supports the military. I believe I am capable of defending myself, thank you very much. Nonetheless, I am taxed under threat of force.

          But there’s more. He supports a defensive only military, let’s say. OK. But they need to get paid.

          So we have the IRS to collect the money. And those workers need to get paid.

          And they use US Dollars to pay them. And those need to be minted. And that equipment needs to be bought and workers need to be paid for that. So more money needs to be raised.

          So the IRS needs to collect more money.

          But someone has to make the decisions on how to do that. So we need Congress and the President. And they need to be paid. And they need somewhere to work. And they need staff. So now the IRS needs even more money.

          But the representatives need to be appointed, so we need a census and a vote. And that is also expensive and requires massive amounts of labor. And those people need to get paid.

          And all this money has to come from individuals and their businesses. Whether we want it to or not. It creates – INEVITABLY HAS TO CREATE – a large government which interferes and interacts with the economy.

          Ergo, statist.

          Somewhere, my fellow pirate Black Flag is grinning ear to ear..

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Black Flag is grinning from ear to ear because you used the faulty logic of Statism so many times in your argument 🙂

            Now, your homework assignment, as a purported Dread Pirate (in order to actually EARN the title) is to come up with a way that a society could have an organization to provide for the common defense WITHOUT all of the UNNECESSARY Statist trappings.

            Go for it!

            • Mathius says:

              Dread Pirate Mathius:
              All volunteer army paid for by donations. Run and organized by a private organization. Easy.

              But that’s not what he’s supporting, now is it?

              • Dreaded Mathius,

                Totally correct.

                The first “regiments” of British for war were raised by private individuals, who out of their own funds bought weapons and the uniforms for their volunteers.

                No taxation was required – (until the loss were so high that the government created conscription then blah blah blah, you know the drill…)

              • Mathius says: All volunteer army paid for by donations. Run and organized by a private organization. Easy.

                Does not “run and organized by a private organization” indicate a government?

              • Mathius says:

                No. Private organizations cannot force you to fund them. Only government can. If the government is running it, it is statist by default.

              • I understand the concept of non forced funding…So you give voluntarily and you have “hired” a private organization…with flow charts and organizational structure and rules for disbursements, etc….is that, sir, not a government?

              • Mathius says:

                That’s fine. Is that what you’re advocating for?

                You want to see our armed forces funded by telethon?

              • Actually….no. Just trying to understand your definition of government…I have it now.

              • D13,

                An organization is NOT a government.

                Do you think the Boy Scouts is a government?

                Do you think the Red Cross is a government?

                Mind your definitions.

              • USWeapon says:

                See Below

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I gotta stop throwing softballs 🙂

      • I think BF would agree on this one. Not sure I do in this case, but it is another tough argument.

      • The Dread Pirate believes that support for the government in any capacity which infringes upon individual liberty is Statist in nature

        Close and close enough.

        More specifically (or generally?):

        “Support for, and acceptance of, the State as a means of human action”

        • Mathius says:

          Dread Pirate Mathius:

          “The State” which does not impose upon individual liberty is no longer a true “state”. It is relegated, at that point to the status of private organization.

          Thus support for or acceptance of “the government” which does not impose upon individual liberty is support for an NGO. Regardless of whether it is engaged in “human action,” it is not statist at that point.

          Unless I am misunderstanding your meaning.

    • Ahhhhh….I see….so Statist by the strict definition does not fit….so….in the Pirates way of thinking….ANYONE who works for the government, by your definition, is a Statist? Anyone who takes a work project from the government, is a Statist. All fire, police, military, water services, etc…are all Statists.

      Since all operate from money collected from the people, their corporations, or business, then any employee of any government is a Statist.

      OK, if that is your definition, you are certainly entitled to it.

      However…question for both Matt and the Dread Pirate….if you believe in the confiscation of wealth and providing services for the greater good….are you not a statist? By your definition of course.

      • D13,

        “Support for, and acceptance of, the State as a means of human action”

        You can work for the government and still not be a Statist. It is hard to do, granted, but possible.

        When I was merely a Grey Flag and not Black Flag, that is what I did.

        • BF says: “You can work for the government and still not be a Statist. It is hard to do, granted, but possible.”

          Ok. Human action…wow…how broad is that definition. But, as I understand, the definition of Statist that you are using and the definition of Statist that Mathius uses is beyond that of what I have found…. Ok…Let’s assume that I accept that. ( Which I do not as yet )….which I cannot for the rest of my life because I will be accepting health services and retirement pay from the government…so by definition and human action of acceptance, then I guess I am a Statist.

          How do you get around the fact that collecting a mere paycheck is not Statist, then? You knowingly work for a government that knowingly steals your and everyone else’s money, through taxes, etc…(what ever label you wish) and it is your decision to to do, which is human action, then show me the difference.

          Also, if you collect a refund tax check from the government, it is confiscated money and you willingly take it back….is that Statist? (Not me, of course, because I never receive a kick back…I zero sum or within small dollars of that very year. (Do not believe in overpayment so they can use my money.?

          • Mathius says:

            Dread Pirate Mathius:
            I do not pay taxes as I have no job – I live in a basement.

            But submitting to a great force is not an act of support. Likewise, giving your wallet to a mugger is not a voluntary act. So no, taxes removed from your paycheck with threat of force does not make make you a statist.

            Further, receiving a refund is just as you described it, getting back some of your stolen money. Also ok.

            HOWEVER, accepting Social Security does make you a statist. Just because they stole from you does not mean it is right to support theft from others. You are accepting stolen money and willingly supporting a system which uses force upon innocents.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              If Social Security worked the way that the government CLAIMED that it is supposed to work and you were ACTUALLY getting the money that YOU YOURSELF PAID IN over the years, plus accrued interest, then accepting social security would NOT, in fact, be strictly Statist.

              • Mathius says:

                Dread Pirate Mathius:
                Government doesn’t claim that. The government says that current retirees are paid for by current workers. Thus it is theft. Simply because someone stole your wallet does not make it ok for you to steal someone else’s.

                If it worked the other way (that they’re just giving you back your money with interest), it’s a forced savings account. As long as you only get back your own share, this does not make you a statist.

              • Yes it does!

                You authorized Govt to force the savings.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                JAC,

                I do not agree that the government should have the ability to “force me to save”, and yet they do, and it is unavoidable. Therefore, me wanting back what I paid in plus a reasonable amount of interest does not make me a Statist.

              • Peter

                The question is whether you are simply getting back what was taken from you or whether you are “supporting” the concept.

                As I read Matt’s comment it looked like he was rationalizing a Federal savings plans as not statist because it returns your money.

                The latter is Statist.

                How ya been by the way?
                JAC

          • D13:

            Human action…wow…how broad is that definition. But, as I understand, the definition of Statist that you are using and the definition of Statist that Mathius uses is beyond that of what I have found….

            Depends where you look.

            As you are aware, many definitions are offered in a manner to support a constrained vision – for example “theft” and “murder” which is often defined to exclude actions of government.

            For example, Mercantilism – government supported “capitalism” usually carries “in the 1800’s” – purposely defined so NOT to apply to modern international corporatism.

            Or the definition of government – “initiator of violence to enforce edicts” is not common – for a reason – as it defines government too precisely than comfortable for the mindless and unthinking masses.

            So, with as with definitions of “Statism” –

            Ok…Let’s assume that I accept that. ( Which I do not as yet )….which I cannot for the rest of my life because I will be accepting health services and retirement pay from the government…so by definition and human action of acceptance, then I guess I am a Statist.

            Not really.

            I have to use government road – there is nothing else – and I pay for it via gas tax. I am not a Statist – but I am a living human being.

            I am aware of what I am doing, why I am doing it.

            This is very different then being someone who demands and insists roads be provided by government – that is a Statist.

            How do you get around the fact that collecting a mere paycheck is not Statist, then?

            You need to live.

            If the only job reasonably available is a government job – what are you going to do? Starve to death? Of course not.

            You knowingly work for a government that knowingly steals your and everyone else’s money, through taxes, etc…(what ever label you wish) and it is your decision to to do, which is human action, then show me the difference.

            The difference is supporting its actions vs doing what you need to live

            The man with a gun to his head that flew the helicopter to break out a crime boss out of jail – do you say, because he had a choice, he supports crime?

            Not at all.

            Also, if you collect a refund tax check from the government, it is confiscated money and you willingly take it back….is that Statist?

            Getting your own money back can hardly be called “supporting Statism”.
            money.?

      • Mathius says:

        Mathius: That is perhaps stricter than I would personally define it. However, I am an unabashed statist.

        Dread Pirate Mathius: It is all fruit of the poisoned tree. If you accept statist work projects, you are supporting a statist system. Supporting statism makes you a statist. Either/or, sir. You cannot have it both ways.

        • Agreed….

        • NOw…to Dread Pirate:

          To understand you correctly…you refused commission in my own privately funded Navy, because I have received compensation from a government….and since that compensation is in the form of taxes and I have amassed a portion thereof…to form my OWN navy….despite that the money is now under my control, the mere fact that I received it from a government….means that I am Statist and, therefore, you cannot.

          However, if I make my own money from investments…but use tax codes to maximize my own investments, then I am still Statist.

          Do I have you correct, Matey? Have sum RUM before ye answer.

          • Buttered Rum…of course.

          • Mathius says:

            Dread Pirate Mathius:
            It’s not that the money came from a government. It is that you support that government.

            I don’t drink buttered rum. I Dr. Pepper and rum (equal parts rum/Dr. Pepper).

            I have a wench down here in the basement, Dread Piratess Emilius.

  11. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/04/06/dr-cl-gray-medicare-medicine-doctors-health-care-law-physician-fee-service/

    Not only is it better (and cheaper) for YOU as a patient to pay out-of-pocket for your medical expenses whenever possible, but according to this article (by a doctor, for what it is worth), it is also MUCH better for the doctor!

    As I have pointed out many times in the past (blowing my own horn here), YOU get charged far less when you pay out of pocket, and the doctor STILL makes a much better profit margin.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I have a high-deductible plan coupled with and HSA currently, and I love it. The “healthcare reform” legislation MAY do away with high-deductible/HSA plans (I hope it does not).

        I am going to keep my high-deductible plan and my HSA right up until the point where the government forbids me to do so.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Remember: HSAs are only available to those with high deductible plans (I believe the deductible must be over $1200 for an individual and somewhere around $2400 for a family).

        Doubtful the reform legislation will do away with HSA plans. There’s even been talk of expanding eligibility to participate in HSAs. We’ll see where that goes…

        • Buck

          I tried to establish HSA’s for myself and my employees several years ago.

          You basically have to be poor to qualify.

          In other words, you need to be poor enough that it makes savings hard in the first place.

          The HSA’s should have been made available to everyone. Along with Tax Credits or Tax Deductions for health care expenses.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            JAC,

            Establishing HSA’s as long as they are coupled with a high-deductible health insurance plan (>$1200 individual, >$2400 family) is a bit easier now than it was several years ago. If you still have the need, want, or desire, you might want to look into this again. Check with a bank that specializes in HSAs.

            • Peter

              Now I have a different problem. Thanks to State rules I can’t get a “high-deductible” plan that fits.

              Our FEHB plan will be cheaper than the HSA high deduct option.

              Which goes to my many points about opening up competition.

              Will continue looking though. Thanks for the heads up.

  12. Cyndi P says:

    late to the party again…

  13. I think 16 states are now challenging the healthcare law. So, is it legal?

    http://michaelconnelly.viviti.com/

    When I first read the original health care reform bill, HR 3200, it was akin to trying to cross a minefield in combat. The bill was a mishmash of confusing sections that established a massive Federal government takeover of the health care system in the United States. However, reading the version finally passed and signed into law by President Obama requires that I cross that same minefield with a blindfold on. The entire bill is a blatant attempt to hide what is really going on when it comes to the Constitutional implications for individual Americans and the states that we live in.

    I won’t even attempt to deal with all of the items covered in the bill because that would probably require a book. Instead, this is a summary of the most important parts of the bill that will deal a severe and possibly fatal blow to the Constitution of the United States of America.

    1. The passage of this bill far exceeds the powers granted to Congress under the provisions of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution which specifically states what Congress can do.

    2. The bill grants powers to President Obama and the Executive Branch of government that are not authorized under the Constitution.

    3. The new law requires every American, simply by virtue of the fact that they are alive, to purchase health insurance from private companies that will be heavily regulated by the Federal government. This is not authorized under the commerce clause of the Constitution and the Supreme Court has never rendered a decision saying that such power exists.

    4. The legislation not only requires people to purchase health insurance, but establishes the terms and conditions that such insurance plans will have. In other words, Americans will be forced to enter into contracts for coverage that they may not want or need.

    5. Failure to comply with the requirements to buy health insurance or even health insurance approved by the Federal Government will result in punitive action against American citizens. People will be fined for this failure although the bill calls it a tax. This is an effort to bypass the provisions of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution which provides protection against the taking of our property without “due process”.

    6. This tax will be collected by the Internal Revenue Service that will have an additional 16,500 agents and auditors hired to enforce it. This opens the door for people who fail to pay the “tax” being subjected to criminal penalties.

    7. In order to facilitate the actions by the IRS the Federal government will have real time access to the formerly private information of Americans including medical records and financial information. This is a violation of our right to privacy and the 4th Amendment protection against illegal searches and seizures.

    8. The imposition of this so called “tax” also violates Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution that limits the type of taxes that Congress can levy.

    9. The bill also takes away from the states their historic right to regulate the health care industry, including health care insurance, within their own borders. Everything will now be regulated by the Federal government. This is a clear violation of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

    10. In addition, the legislation will force State Governments to add millions of people to Medicaid, yet the Federal government will not be funding most of this. In other words, the bill will force the states to impose massive tax increases on their citizens in order to pay for this coverage. Congress has no authority to do this and it is another clear violation of the 10th Amendment.

    11. The impact on senior citizens in the United States will be immediate and devastating and will entail a breach of contract between Americans and their own government. We are required to pay taxes for Medicare coverage and have a right to expect that they will have adequate health care coverage when we reach age 65. However, enormous cuts in the funding of Medicare under the provisions of the new law will deny us the coverage we have paid for and inevitably lead to the rationing of health care for senior citizens.

    12. There are also numerous new taxes imposed under this law ranging from taxes on so called “Cadillac” policies that provide a high level of coverage, to taxes on medical devices, and even taxes on tanning booths. I consider all of these to be questionable under the powers granted to Congress in the Constitution.

    These are just some of the important Constitutional issues about this bill, yet there are other disturbing aspects that Americans need to consider. For example, the bill does not prohibit Federal Funding of abortions and that is something many Americans want. Yet, the votes of some members of Congress who opposed this provision were purchased by the President’s promise to sign an Executive Order prohibiting such Federal funding. In fact, he did sign such an order shortly after he signed the health care bill. This was a ruse. The President has no authority under the Constitution to issue an Executive order changing the provisions of a law passed by Congress that he has just signed. The Executive Order is meaningless.

    Finally, there is another section of the legislation that has nothing to do with health care. It is an authorization for the Federal Government to take complete control of the granting of student loans for our children to further their education. If you are preparing to send your son or daughter to college you will no longer be able to go to your local bank to take out a student loan. Instead, federal bureaucrats will decide who gets student loans and under what terms and conditions. What will be owed to the Federal government besides the repayment of loans? Will some type of Federal service will be required and will your child have to attend a university approved by the Government. The potential implications are staggering.

    For my part, I will continue to work with my friends at the U.S. Justice Foundation, to file a lawsuit to challenge the Constitutionality of this law. For the time being at least my retirement from the practice of law appears to be over. But, I truly believe the future of our country is at stake.

  14. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Something which Kent has brought up on his website previously:

    Let’s say you are not at all a Statist, but of course, you do stil pay those taxes which you cannot legally avoid because you don’t really relish the idea of large fines, jail time, etc.

    You then send your kids to public school, because you cannot afford to send them to a private school. Does this suddenly make you a Statist, or at least a hyppocrite?

    Kent has previously argued “no” because you are using a service which you have paid for.

    • Think it’s something you have to judge yourself for, how you define your core principles. What if a pacifist gives someone the bird for cutting them off in traffic?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Kent’s basic argument is that if you are FORCED to pay for it (for example, the government controls all roads), then there is no harm in USING the road.

        It doesn’t automatically mean you support a government monopoly of roads just because by necessity you must USE them.

  15. Judy Sabatini says:

    Florida says challenge to healthcare reform widens
    Pascal Fletcher
    MIAMI
    Wed Apr 7, 2010 12:55pm EDT
    Related News

    * Health reforms to be clear, transparent: Sebelius
    12:40pm EDT

    MIAMI (Reuters) – Five more states are joining a Florida-led group of states in a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, Florida’s attorney general said on Wednesday.

    U.S. | Health | Healthcare Reform

    The joint lawsuit led by Florida and now grouping 18 states was filed on March 23 by mostly Republican attorney generals.

    It claims the sweeping reform of the $2.5 trillion U.S.healthcare system, pushed through by Democrats in the Congress after months of bitter partisan fighting, violates state-government rights in the U.S. Constitution and will force massive new spending on hard-pressed state governments.

    While some legal scholars think the suits will reach the Supreme Court, many agree that the supremacy clause of the Constitution, which puts the powers of the U.S. government above those of the states, will trump the states’ arguments.

    South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, Idaho, and South Dakota had previously joined Florida’s lawsuit.

    All of these states’ attorney-generals are Republicans, except for Louisiana, where the post is held by a Democrat.

    “We welcome the partnership of Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada and Arizona as we continue fighting to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens and the sovereignty of our states,” Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said.

    McCollum is seeking the Republican nomination to run for Florida governor.

    Another state, Virginia, has filed a separate suit, arguing the new law’s requirements that most Americans buy health insurance clash with a state law that exempts Virginians from federal fines to be imposed for not owning health insurance.

    The filings have touched off political debates in many states on whether the U.S. government should be sued.

    The Justice Department, which is responsible for defending U.S. law in court, has said in response to the March 23 filing that it will vigorously fight any challenges to the new healthcare law, which it insists is constitutional. The White House has also said it believes the suits will fail.

    TO SUPREME COURT?

    The Florida-led lawsuit says the health overhaul law — which expands government health plans for the poor, imposes new taxes on the wealthy and requires insurers to cover people with preexisting medical conditions — violates the Constitution’s commerce clause by requiring nearly all Americans to buy health insurance.

    “On behalf of the residents in Florida and the states joining our efforts, we are committed to aggressively pursuing this lawsuit to the Supreme Court if necessary to prevent this unprecedented expansion of federal powers, impact upon state sovereignty, and encroachment on our freedom,” McCollum said in a statement released by his office.

    When he announced the joint lawsuit last month, McCollum said the healthcare reforms would add $1.6 billion to Florida’s spending on the Medicaid health program for the poor.

    Beyond raising Medicaid costs for Florida, McCollum argued in the 22-page lawsuit that the healthcare reforms added up to an unconstitutional power grab by the federal government that would force broad reorganization of state governments and massive hirings in order to comply with the new law.

    The lawsuit asks the trial court to declare that the federal government is violating the sovereignty of the states and to bar federal agencies from enforcing the new law.

    A scheduling hearing is set for April 14, 2010 at the federal courthouse in Pensacola.

    • TRUE FRIENDS

      Who is your REAL FRIEND?

      This really works…!

      If you don’t believe it, just try this experiment.

      Put your dog and your spouse in the trunk of the car for an hour.

      When you open the trunk, who is really happy to see you?

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        So, have you tried it yet? My spouse would probably take advantage of it and take a nap. LOL.

        • My wife sent it to me, so am a little worried……..

          One morning a blind bunny was hopping down the bunny trail and tripped over a large
          snake and fell, kerplop right on this twitchy little nose.

          “Oh please excuse me,” said the bunny. “I didn’t mean to trip over you, but I’m blind
          and can’t see.”

          “That’s perfectly all right.” replied the snake. “To be sure, it my fault. I didn’nt mean to
          trip you, but I’m blind too, and I didn’t see you coming. By the way, what kind of animal
          are you?”

          “Well, I really don’t know,” said the bunny. “I’m blind and have never seen myself. Maybe
          you could examine me and find out.”

          So the snake felt the bunny all over, and he said, “Well, you’re soft and cuddly, and you
          have long silky ears, and a little fluffy tail and a dear twitchy little nose. You must be a
          bunny rabbit.”

          The bunny said, “I can’t thank you enough. But, by the way, what kind of animal are you?”

          The snake replied that he didn’t know either, and the bunny agreed to examine him, and
          when the bunny had finished the snake asked, “well, what kind of animal am I?”

          The bunny had felt the snake all over and he replied, “:You’re cold, you’re slippery, and you
          haven’t any balls…………………………You must be a politician!”

    • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California has now identified with certainty the heaviest element known to science.

      The new element, Pelosium (PL), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

      These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

      Pelosium is inert, and has no charge and no magnetism. Nevertheless, it can be detected because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

      A tiny amount of Pelosium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete.

      Pelosium has a normal half-life of 2 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a bieannial reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

      Pelosium mass will increase over time, since each reorganization will promote many morons to become isodopes.

      This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Pelosium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

      When catalyzed with money, Pelosium becomes Senatorium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Pelosium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

  16. Judy Sabatini says:

    For some time many of us have wondered: who is Jack Shit? We find ourselves at a loss when someone says, You don’t know Jack Shit. Well, thanks to my efforts you can now respond in an intellectual way. Jack Shit is the only son of Awe Shit, who married O Shit. In turn, Jack Shit married Noe Shit.The couple had 6 children: Holie Shit, Giva Shit, Fulla Shit, Bull Shit, and the twins Deep Shit and Dip Shit. Deep Shit married Dumb Shit, a high school dropout. After 15 years, Jack and Noe Shit got divorced and she married Ted Sherlock and became Noe Shit Sherlock. Meanwhile, Dip Shit married Lota Shit and had a son with a rather nervous disposition named Chicken Shit. Fulla Shit and Giva Shit married the Happens brothers in a double wedding. The newspaper invited everyone to the Shit-Happens wedding. Bull Shit traveled the world and returned home with an Italian bride, Pisa Shit.

    So from now on, no one can tell you that you don’t know Jack Shit….Keep this shit going.
    >

  17. Judy Sabatini says:
  18. USWeapon says:

    BF Said:

    An organization is NOT a government.

    Do you think the Boy Scouts is a government?

    Do you think the Red Cross is a government?

    Mind your definitions.

    What BF should have said: An organization doesn’t fit MY definition of a government. You have a very narrow definition of what government is pirate. As I recall no one has completely agreed to your definition except for you.

    • USWep,

      First, it is not “my” definition, but one offered in most schools of Political Science

      Second, I accept it, as it applies to every government so established since the beginning of history.

      Third, many have offered alternatives and as far as I recall, I did not say they were “wrong” (other than claiming all organizations are “government”) but incomplete – they failed to address many obvious governments in existence within their definition.

      • USWeapon says:

        Correct sir. I have not said that your definition is wrong either. I simply said that your definition is yours, and not mine or D13’s. Nothing more, nothing less.

        • USWep,

          And if you disagree with my definition, I urge to show “why?”

          I have not (to my knowledge) let a definition that I did not accept to sit without explaining why I did not accept it.

          If the person offering the definition refuses to acknowledge my complaint – that is a different matter.

          • USWeapon says:

            I disagree with your definition because I have a different one. You don’t like mine, I don’t like yours. We have had this debate ad nauseum.

            • USWep,

              Yours is incomplete for it does not describe 100% of any government on Earth! 🙂

              There is not One government that holds to your definition. Thus, I disagree!!

              • Mathius says:

                Guys, guys.. please stop fighting. I alone know the true definition of a government:

                Government (n.) – A life form with six or more legs and no brain which imposes some form of taxation upon a subset of people.

              • That’s BF’s definition so you’ll need another.

                Unless you are agreeing of course.

              • Great minds think alike, I guess.

  19. Exclusive to STR

    Upon encountering the claim that some non-statist doctrine (e.g., anarcho-capitalism) is practically unsafe due to its radical character, it is worthwhile to point to the glaring radicalism of every form of statism. Having thus suggested, however, that it is not radicalism per se that is a problem with any given socio-economic doctrine, it is even more worthwhile to underscore that statism is not simply radical, but radical in its incoherence. It seems a very fitting description for the theory that claims, among others:

    1. That the only sure way of protecting oneself against violence, aggression and coercion is to help institute and continually support a vast, monopolistic apparatus of institutionalized violence, aggression and coercion.
    2. That the only sure way of protecting one’s private property rights is to help institute and continually support a coercive entity whose representatives do not own any of the said entity’s assets, and yet arrogate to themselves the right to expropriate any private property owner for the purposes whose utility it is up to them to appraise.
    3. That the free market economy, whose participants – in order to prosper – have to supply one another with productive goods and services, as well as bear the full financial responsibility for the potential failures of their actions, can survive only when subjected to the regulation of a monopolistic group of non-producers, who can always shift the costs of their failures onto the shoulders of producers.
    4. That statist coercion is necessary to enforce contracts, and yet the alleged “social contract” that is supposed to establish the state needs no meta-state to enforce it, thus effectively becoming a self-enforcing anomaly.
    5. That the wielders of any given monopolistic apparatus of compulsion and aggression use it out of altruistic motives, but if they were to stop using coercive methods (political activity) and instead turn to voluntary methods (market activity), their altruism would be immediately supplanted by base, greed-driven egoism.
    6. That states, institutions responsible for some 200 million cruel deaths in the 20th Century alone, are supposed to offer protection from “private criminals,” who even in their most organized form of international mafia networks never managed to take even the tiniest fraction of the statist death toll.
    7. That the state of anarchy among individuals, each of which can generally finance his activities out of his private pocket only, would lead to an intolerable escalation of violence and bloodshed, but the state of anarchy among states, each of which can impose the costs of its activities (including warfare) on private individuals, is at least a tolerable and relatively peaceful arrangement.
    8. That the lack of an external, monopolistic enforcer of agreements among individuals would lead to endless conflict, but the lack of an external, monopolistic enforcer of agreements among various organs of the state does not prevent them from cooperating effectively and even benevolently.
    9. That ceding the task of maintaining justice onto an entity that is both monopolistic and coercive will not lead to it continually perverting justice in its favor.
    10. That the notion of checks and balances whereby the rulers control the ruled and the ruled control the rulers does not violate the principle of Occam’s razor, suggestive of the vision in which a single group of self-ruling individuals keeps itself in peaceful balance just fine.
    11. That the ruled are wise enough to choose their rulers, but not wise enough to choose the way to use their own money.
    12. That a pair of travelers bumping into each other in the middle of a desolate forest do not immediately get at each other’s throats only because they fear being punished by the state.
    13. That an institution which forcibly imposes its protective services on others, unilaterally determines their price and excludes all competition in this area will not attempt to benefit from initiating conflicts or letting them develop rather them resolving them or preventing their occurrence.
    14. That compulsory expropriation of an individual’s private property need not be considered as a violation of anyone’s rights (given unilaterally determined “due monetary compensation”), but refusing to give up a portion of one’s independently created or contractually acquired belongings is a straightforward violation.
    15. That political rights precede property rights, which presumably means that the supposed original social contract was concluded by a bonfire in a cave and written down on the cave wall, or else the conditions of the pre-contract world allowed for creating the capital necessary to (at least) house the social contractors and provide them with ink and paper in some mysterious, propertyless way.
    16. That having a sufficiently large clientele turns what is normally considered a robbery into what is commonly accepted as part of a necessary social service.
    17. That a relatively small group of people is capable of possessing more knowledge and making more informed decisions with regard to directing the activities of any given society than the whole rest of the society in question.
    18. That the notion of equality before the law leaves place for functional privileges.
    19. That unconditional respect for the principle of non-aggression is “absolutist,” but unconditional respect for state-legislated law is not.
    20.That the prevalence of statism indicates the advantageousness of statism, as if the same could not be once said about astrology, witch-hunting, slavery and legal racial discrimination.
    21. That each of the above assertions is solidly justified, both theoretically and empirically, while the negation of any of them lies essentially beyond the pale of reasonable discussion.

    Having enumerated these (or other) reasons, it is worthwhile to confront the statist with the task of defending the allegedly moderate character of the doctrine he espouses. And even if he bites the bullet on this one and acknowledges statism’s radicalism, one should unhesitatingly confront him with another, equally difficult task – that of defending statism’s putative coherence. If he admits failure on this score as well, we should not be intellectually surprised, but we might at least feel tactically satisfied.

  20. To follow up on the union discussions yesterday.

    The Massey Energy mine where the accident occurred Monday is a nonunion mine.

    The Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is quite well known:
    * Long time foe of unions
    * In November, he donated $30,400 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
    * Not a fan of Climate Change and Democrats

    * As a Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Blankenship has helped buttress the chamber’s tough position against a climate change bill that many other corporate members support.

    * He shelled out more than $3 million of his own money for ads to help defeat a West Virginia state Supreme Court justice. Blankenship expected the justice to rule against Massey in an appeal of a $50 million award for a small coal company owner, who convinced a jury that Massey had driven his company into bankruptcy. The new judge cast the deciding vote against the $50 million award. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that the new judge should have recused himself.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/06/AR2010040601531.html

    I think this is exactly the type of behavior that would run rampant in a non-union, non-government type world. Those with money and power will do whatever is necessary to get the results they want.

    Doesn’t sound like Liberty and Justice For All – just those that can afford it.

    • Todd

      I would grant you that if we simply stopped govt today that you would get a lot of this behavior. But not as much as you think.

      Your conclusion is mistaken in that the guy used “government” to get or at least try to get the protection he wanted.

      Whether the mine was union or not is I think irrelevant in today’s situation. Remember the govt is supposed to protect the miners. And Unions could certainly exist in a no government world. But both the union and company would be on the same footing. Yes the company owner could just fire them all. But how long would his business really thrive if everyone knew that was how he operated? And the Union members would be equally free to walk, imposing hardship upon the company. I would think there would be more motivation to find common ground. And perhaps union issues would return to being concerned with employee welfare instead of union bosses and their political allies.

      Also in the no govt. world the mine owner would not be shielded from “personal” prosecution for actions that led to injury or death of employees. There would be no “corporate” shelter for him to hide behind.

      • USWeapon says:

        Exactly JAC. The Mine owner would be tried for manslaughter at a minimum and punished for his crime.

      • JAC & USWeapon,
        These types of problems were much worse in the 1800’s and early 1900’s before unions and government regulations.

        It’s a fallacy to think if government went away these problems would go away too.

        What court system could hold them accountable?

        The sad fact is these workers do not have much choice. Mining is the only decent paying job in the area, and they take their chances that they will avoid the accidents and long-term health issues. These people are not ‘upwardly mobile’ and can’t just move to a different town or job.

        It’s so easy to say government is the real problem, but you still have not presented an alternative that would deal with situations like this.

        You defend government action when it involves the military, but blame it for all problems in other areas. You can’t have it both ways – is government good or bad? Which is it?

        • USWeapon says:

          Todd,

          On the contrary, I don’t think that if government went away all the problems would go away with them. What would go away are the protections that the government has created for a man that is clearly without ethics. But I believe that you are not taking into account all the realities that have evolved around this situation:

          These types of problems were much worse in the 1800’s and early 1900’s before unions and government regulations.

          Perhaps they were. But let’s be clear about a few things as we make that claim. First, the ability to operate a mine or factory safely in the beginning of the industrial age in America was not nearly as affordable or easily done as it is now. Implementing safety measures is much easier and affordable today, and information sharing between industries happens now at levels that simply didn’t happen then. THAT was the major cause of poor working conditions then, not an owner who was evil. Some owners were callous, and some were even cruel, but that wasn’t the norm.

          Additionally, factories and mines operated in a vacuum then. Little to no information in or out. Now a mine explosion is on every news channel in 5 minutes. Any claims of poor working conditions end up on 60 minutes rather quickly. Hell, just the cruelty placed upon animals in a slaughterhouse is not tolerated in America. Can you imagine the public reaction to what was done in 1850 in this day and age? No sir, you cannot begin to compare the turn of the century to today. Technology changes, communication changes, and everything else has leveled the playing field between the worker and the owner. The problem is that government is on the side of the owner, and thus the balance of power remains with him, BECAUSE of government, not in spite of it.

          It’s a fallacy to think if government went away these problems would go away too.

          I don’t advocate government going away. I advocate government getting out of the way. Without protection from government, this mine owner would never operate a mine again. To put it bluntly, the people would hang him from a tree for creating a conditions that cost the lives of all those miners. The fallacy is thinking that government has anything to do with making things safer or better. If government is so great at this, why do we keep seeing situations like this occur?

          What court system could hold them accountable?

          The same ones that do today. But in reality that wouldn’t be needed. The people wouldn’t have allowed it to get this way in today’s information age. The owner wouldn’t be protected by the government. This man has been cited many, many times in this mine and just as often in other mines. What court system has held him accountable thus far?

          The sad fact is these workers do not have much choice. Mining is the only decent paying job in the area, and they take their chances that they will avoid the accidents and long-term health issues. These people are not ‘upwardly mobile’ and can’t just move to a different town or job.

          Never, ever believe for a second that they cannot move to a different town or job. And there are mines all over the mid-Atlantic. It would be a snap for a good miner to get on with a new mine that has better conditions. They ALWAYS have a choice. They may end up working for less but they will be alive. Soldiers make a choice to do a job where they can be killed. So do miners. And they know it. If they got together and decided that they aren’t going to work in that mine, since that is what EVERYONE does in that town, who exactly would the owner get to make his business work? He would be faced with two choices: Improve safety conditions or close a mine and lose the profits. Yet you pretend that the miners have no control at all. And no union is necessary for this to happen.

          It’s so easy to say government is the real problem, but you still have not presented an alternative that would deal with situations like this.

          I think I have. Government is what has allowed him to do what he has done. The inspector that cited him the day of the incident noted that he has cited him repeatedly. When asked why he didn’t shut the mine down if it was dangerous, he stated that the government does not give him the power to do so. If he had it, he would have shut down half the mines this guy owns. So what exactly is government doing that you think they should be praised for? If they have thus far done nothing to make things better, why do you think that things will get worse without their intervention. If I keep punching a wall and it has no effect, I don’t keep punching the wall simply because I don’t have another plan. I stop punching, because it has no effect. Government intervention here is the same. You tell me we can’t say we should stop what you believe should be done because we don’t have a plan that is better. I tell you your plan isn’t working. Government isn’t the answer. Just because I don’t know what the answer is doesn’t mean that I can’t see government isn’t working.

          So get government out of the way. Let the miners be the ones who decide when conditions are too bad to work. Let the public be the one who decides if this mine owner operates ethically. As it stands everyone believes the government is doing it so they don’t have to. When in reality the government is merely protecting the owner, nothing more and nothing less.

          You defend government action when it involves the military, but blame it for all problems in other areas.

          I do not defend government action when it involves the military. I defend soldier’s actions when they are doing a job and facing a situation that most people cannot fathom or understand. I defend the truth of a situation without allowing emotion to cloud my judgement. Because I refuse to submit to the emotional arguments that political pundits make does not mean that I blindly support the government or soldiers. It means I look at reality as I see it and make a decision on how I feel about it. Show me where I have supported government in regard to the actions of the military blindly. Because I don’t see it. What I see is that I refuse to let emotion cloud my judgement. I judge each incident or action individually and based on the facts around that incident, as opposed to most who start from a position of simply always hating the military or always supporting it. Politics and emotion don’t sway me the way they seem to sway most.

          You can’t have it both ways – is government good or bad? Which is it?

          Who says I can’t have it both ways? You? Government can do good things. I think that you have witnessed Black Flag and I arguing this very fact on many occasions. Government can do bad things. I am positive that you have witnessed my saying so often. I have never, NEVER advocated for the elimination of government, as BF will attest. What I have advocated is that they stop doing bad things, dumb things, or ineffective things. What I have advocated is that they stop trampling freedom and liberty the way they do. So yes I CAN have it both ways. I believe government to be a necessary and good thing. I also believe that OUR government has strayed way past the point of staying within what their limitations are supposed to be. That is why I want VDLG, not no government.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Gee Todd,

      You missed the point entirely where this guy USED THE VERY GOVERNMENT THAT YOU SEEM TO THINK IS SO GREAT to do all of these things.

      The blame for the whole thing could be placed on the existence of government and how easily it is manipulated by those with money and/or power.

      Stop mis-placing blame and learn to put it right where it belongs.

      • Peter,
        Once again it’s the all government is evil motto.

        If you think it’s easy for the government to be manipulated by those with money and/or power, but without government this manipulation will stop, you are living in a fantasy world.

        Without government, the manipulation by those with money and/or power would be exponentially greater.

        • USWeapon says:

          Really? Without a government (which you already got from above I don’t advocate, but let’s pretend), who exactly would those with money and power manipulate? Who would stop the evil rich owners from being beaten to death for trying to manipulate against the population?

        • Todd,

          Come on! Get with the program!

          How many times does it take to understand that it is by definition

          Evil=using violence on non-violent people
          Government= uses violence on non-violent people to enforce all its edicts.

          ALL Government=Evil

        • Todd,

          Manipulation is not necessarily evil or good.

          You manipulate my action and beliefs by providing reasoning and powerful rhetoric.

          Using violence to manipulate me is evil.

          Men with money avoid using violence themselves.

          Men with money buy violence.

          The best and safest violence to use on Earth is the legitimized violence. It allows you to claim your use of violence is a RIGHT.

          Government uses legitimized violence for all its actions.

          Money buys government because it is a the best product of violence.

  21. The Muted Plain: Anticipating the Wake of the Wikileaks Revelation PDF
    Written by Chris Floyd

    So, thanks to Wikileaks.org, Americans now know that their soldiers often gun down civilians in occupied countries during reckless missions based on little or no intelligence (in every sense of the word). This will no doubt come as a great shock — yea, a veritable political earthquake — in a land where the top commander in what is now its chief war just recently confessed that his troops were slaughtering an “amazing” number of civilians who posed no threat whatsoever.

    We all recall the vast hue and cry that greeted this astounding admission by Afghan top gun General Stanley McChrystal, who was hand-picked by the Nobel Peace Laureate himself to lead America’s noble crusade to stamp out Muslim extremism in Central Asia by killing innocent Muslims all over Central Asia. No less than the New York Times its own self reported prominently on McChrystal’s chilling candor. To be exact, the “Good War” general told his troops, by videoconference:

    “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”

    Remember how the Democrats in control of Congress rushed to set up special committees to investigate the murderous facts behind this admission of atrocity? Remember how the media went 24/7 on wall-to-wall coverage of the Potomac-churning aftermath of McChrystal’s unprecedented mea culpa? Remember how the president himself held a special news conference to offer “America’s sincere and shamed apology to the innocent victims we have killed so tragically in such amazing numbers”?

    And hey, remember how just this weekend, the purple mountain majesties and fruited plains rang with howls of righteous rage when it was confirmed that American Special Forces troops really did kill three innocent women (along with two officials of the American-installed Afghan government) during a savage night raid on a compound of sleeping civilians in February? Remember how all the weekend TV talk shows were filled with America’s great and good lining up to denounce the weeks and weeks of outright lies that the Pentagon had told about the killings? Remember how the Democrats in Congress, once again, launched a special committee of investigation into the charges by American-backed Afghan officials that the U.S. Special Forces troops had actually dug their bullets out of the bodies of the slaughtered women in order to cover their tracks after the massacre?

    While I am certainly no prophet, I think I am safe in saying we will see a similar reaction to the gut-wrenching footage unearthed by Wikileaks. The American people are simply too good, too just to let stand such a foul besmirching of their national honor. After all, didn’t they rise up as one after the Abu Ghraib atrocities were revealed in 2004, and boldly oust the architects of these crimes in the ensuing presidential election? Didn’t they take to the streets in their millions when first Bush and then Obama claimed the right to have any citizen put to death without charges or trial simply by declaring the victim a “suspected terrorist”? Didn’t a great groundswell of public ire force Congress to open impeachment proceedings against George Bush and Dick Cheney for their Soviet-style gulag of concentration camps and systematic tortures — and threaten similar justice for Barack Obama’s continuation and cover-up of this system? Didn’t the American people demand a national day of mourning and atonement when they realized that hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis had been murdered in a war based on false pretenses and cynical manipulation?

    So let us have faith in the American people. They have proven time and again in this last decade that they will not countenance crimes and atrocities being committed in their names. They will not abide leaders who unleash a war machine of blood money and blind fury against innocent people. When push comes to shove, when the truth is revealed to them, they will always — always — do the right thing.

    • USWep,

      You mean this ridiculous statement


      Military says it can’t find its copy of Iraq killing video

      By The Associated Press

      Published: April 6, 2010

      WASHINGTON – The U.S. military said today it can’t find its copy of a video that shows two employees of the Reuters news agency being killed by Army helicopters in 2007, after a leaked version circulated the Internet and renewed questions about the attack.

    • USwep,

      Or this is ridiculous, right?

      Salon’s Glenn Greenwald calls it “slaughter” and juxtaposes it with recent reports of the military leadership trying to crack down on WikiLeaks.

      Those two stories came together perfectly when WikiLeaks today released a video of the U.S. military, from an Apache helicopter, slaughtering civilians in Iraq in 2007 — including a Reuters photojournalist and his driver — and then killing and wounding several Iraqis who, minutes later, showed up at the scene to carry away the dead and wounded (including two of their children). The video is truly gruesome and difficult even for the most hardened person to watch, but it should be viewed by everyone with responsibility for what the U.S. has done in Iraq and Afghanistan (i.e., every American citizen). Reuters has been attempting for two years to obtain this video through a FOIA request, but has been met with stonewalling by the U.S. military. As Dan Froomkin documents, the videotape demonstrates that military officials made outright false statements about what happened here and were clearly engaged in a cover-up: exactly as is true for the Afghanistan incident I wrote about earlier today, which should be read in conjunction with this post.

    • Or this comment:

      UPDATE: Bernard Finel has a follow-up:

      In the final analysis, you have eight men, only two of whom appear to be armed. They are not engaging coalition forces at the time. There is no compelling military necessity to engage the entire group at that moment. We are the occupying power in Iraq. It is our affirmative duty to protect civilian lives under that circumstance. The presence of armed men, in a mixed group of people some of whom appear to be non-combatants (because they are clearly unarmed), does not justify killing them all.

      Attacking unarmed men who are helping a wounded man is also simply not justifiable. The man crawling on the ground is clearly no threat to coalition forces. He’s unarmed and crawling to his death. A van pulls up and unarmed men exit to help him, and we engage it?

      Given the presence of unarmed men, there ought to have been an assessment of proportionality. Can we justify killing six unarmed men in order to strike at the one or two who are armed? The answer to that is, maybe (probably yes), but only if they are actively engaging coalition force. Not if they are just milling about. There was no military necessity here to over-ride the presumption of non-combatant immunity.

      Sorry, but this was an unlawful killing. The Apache crew did not appear to be under fire. The men they attacked where not engaging anyone. This was not close air support. This was murder.

      Unless the video was doctored, this is not actually a particularly hard case. Which is not to say that I can’t empathize with the Apache crew or the difficulties of operating at that kind of environment. But empathy is one thing, excusing the inexcusable in another.

    • USWeapon says:

      You are apparently replying in simple fashion to the two sentence ridiculous comment that I began to post, thought better of, and then deleted? As you see there is no comment from me. It was literally deleted before it even posted. But perhaps it went to you anyway via update notifications.

      What I have decided is exactly what I said in my main piece on this, which is why I began to make a comment and then deleted it. You lack the ability to remove your anti-US military filter. Therefore, discussing this with you is a futile act which would probably do little besides raise the blood pressure of us both. I think you are throwing up as much emotional rhetoric as you can, finding whatever stories are written in a way that supports your version of things, and running with that. You are entitled to do so. And I am entitled to use what I know of the military from 10 years doing the job to view it from my perspective. We will not change each other’s minds.

      You say cold blooded murder. I say realities of a war where the enemy hides like a coward among the populace. I gave my assessment. I won’t waste either of our time by attempting to change your mind. There is no point. You lack the ability to view it from any perspective other than your own.

      USW

      • USW….you made the right choice. You will not change BF’s or any one’s mind. What they do not know, and will never know nor do they wish to understand, that we will do our discipline quietly and without fanfare. There is no need for public apology nor ridicule. BF quotes Chris Floyd a lot. I suggest you read his writings. He is more anti American and anti military than BF is. His writings so suggest.

        McChrystal….what can be said. Any of us in the active military or close enough to it, understands that any general that is put into command or that is promoted is done so, in these times, on the basis of their political stance and whether or not they were academy graduates. Generals are politicians now…not warriors. To save ones career…is to succumb to the political whims of the CIC. Simple. I was by passed three times for 0-7 rank based on one sentence in my OER. “Colonel D13 exhibits candor and frankness to both subordinates and superiors alike.” Translated…means…he tells it like it is and he does not care who he says it to. I have it framed and have used it as a teaching lesson to my son and daughter to always tell the truth. Integrity is truth. Ethics are non compromising….regardless of reward.

        The other thing that the military does is not air its dirty laundry. It is no ones business (the internal workings of discipline), although there are those on here that will say the military is the public’s business, and it is a no win situation. No one has asked where those Apache pilots are and what they are doing now, have they? No one knows. Well, I know and so does McChrystal and so does Obama but you will never see it publicized. Philosophers and writers who have never tasted the sting and realism of combat or commanded such, certainly have the right to pen anything they want and adopt any stance they want and they can do so without fear of reprisal. It is real easy to sit high and mighty and pretend that they know…and that is all it is…pretense…for they do not know. Even the most daunted military historian….unless he has seen it….can not really write about and make assumptions unless they have actually faced the realism.

        They (our detractors) simply do not know that we will discipline and court martial without fanfare and hoopla, our mistakes and our degenerates. They still refuse to acknowledge that the U tube footage, while labeled “raw”, is not the full footage. It was sanitized but sold under the guise of “leaked”. They do not know that there are plenty of military leaders, myself included, that have seen atrocities and used court martial to correct criminal acts….but we do so silently and privately. We correct our own. But when atrocities do happen, it is always…..ALWAYS….slanted to the left. You and I know that the military is not perfect…neither is Black Flag or his randomized philosophical rantings. He will always claim perfection and that he is correct on his basis….for to believe anything other than his basis is going to be wrong. Deal with, Sir, and do not let it bother you in the least.

        As to the detractors of the military on here….accept it…correct it…do not argue it. They know not what they say….and 99% have not experienced it.

        The one basic mistake that is made, by both civilian and military alike, is that an Army is designed to do one thing. We are trained to destroy. Not to occupy..police..or win hearts and minds. An Army is supposed to be a deterrent not a political whim. We are taught to win….period…. and war is very ugly and it is not intended to make friends. We are either on offense or defense ( I prefer defense until offense is necessary and necessary only to our defense…that will be hard for some to decipher. But like it or not, we are an instrument. Civilians use us and direct us.

        So, if we are to be in a blame game, and I will lower my standards this once…. The very people that put us into this situation are the real… “murderers”….we, the military, are the gun. It does not matter what political persuasion the orders come from….Democrats or Republicans. The common denominator is who is in charge. When a criminal uses a gun to rob someone and pulls the trigger, it is not the gun’s fault…it is the fault of the decision maker. When you train an Army to kill and you send that Army in and say…kill…the Army is the gun…the actual person who ordered it…is the culprit.

        Ever stop to wonder why there is very little criticism coming out of Afghanistan? Do you think that the military has suddenly become different….it is because it Obama’s war. Think about that, for awhile.

        Yesterday, I felt like I was awakened to quite a bit on here, hence the length of my reply. It was the use of the word Statist and the varying definitions. What I found yesterday was no one will pin down the definition. When I defined it according to modern day definitions, the only argument I got was that it did not match “their” definition, so, therefore, not acceptable to them. I saw nothing but a shotgun approach….you pick which hole to go through BUT, if you don’t go through mine…you are wrong.

        Same analogy with the military, USW. Nothing but words.

        • D13,

          The problem with your piece:

          (1) I am not perfect, but when I am I don’t slaughter 12 innocent people and shoot up full of 30mm cannon fire. Kinda makes a difference.

          (2) If this was NOT brought to light, the participants and the military would have been given a mulligan. Ain’t no matter, its just stupid Iraqis who, gee, bring their children with them in their own country who happen to try to help an innocent man shot by the great US military….

          (3) Silent justice is no justice. The family demanded to know what happened. They have a right. US answers:none. They have a right to know the war criminals have been punished. US answer: nothing. This isn’t justice, its a whitewash and you know it. What is said is that you and USWep are apologizing for cold blooded murder!

          (4) You admit you are a mindless tool – like a gun. No, actually, you are a human being you decides to use a tool to kill. It doesn’t matter whether there were orders or not, all human action is ultimately individual and sadly, until that gets understood the mindless tools of evil will continue to kill kids.

        • Which is exactly why you continue to be my hero D13. I wonder how opinions would change if the war was being fought on our soil. I bet, too, that if given the choice to defend me or BF first..you would defend me. But BF would scream for your help at the same time.

          • Actually, Anita, I would defend BF as well and, has been discussed with him last year, he stated to me that to defend him when it did not benefit me, would be wrong. (Words to that effect)…my response to him…he is an American and human being…I would respond to defend him even if he did not want it.

            • 🙂 I know you would defend BF, I would too. But if you defend me FIRST there will be a juicy steak and Dr. Pepper waiting for you after you rescue BF. I’ll have a steak for him too.

      • What responsibility do the news people have in a war zone?

        Do they wear uniforms or other easily identifiable markings to indicate a noncombatant?
        Is their equipment painted or marked so as not to be identified as a weapon?
        Apaches make a lot of noise, look hostile, did they look up and wave, act friendly, put down items to show a non-aggressive stance?
        Do they file a trip plan with coalition forces so their locations will be known?
        Where’s OHSA?
        Are the camera crew bodyguards armed? Do they wear identifiable uniforms? Do they carry AK47’s or M16’s?

        Can the chopper crews distinguish an AK from an M16?
        Are the coppers equiped with binoculars? Why weren’t they used to ID the cameras and kids?

        Also, this was 2 years ago? If so the situation was a lot more violent than now so judge according to the time. Were there US ground forces nearby? Were these people moving towards them?

        Lots of questions not answered by the videos.

        • Sorry T Ray…the only answers you will get here are….we are murderers and war criminals…. no one cares about the details. Even BF’s comme nts to me were wrong but I thanked him anyway.

        • FOR T Ray…

          T Ray asks: What responsibility do the news people have in a war zone?

          D13 responds: From my perspective…none. But, responsible reporting is always welcome. I never took any with me because I did not want to have to guard them and feed them and they were not trained in military tactics.

          T Ray asks: Do they wear uniforms or other easily identifiable markings to indicate a noncombatant?
          Is their equipment painted or marked so as not to be identified as a weapon?

          D13 responds: Sometimes yes…sometimes no. Most will wear an identifiable arm band…in white. Some will paint on the top of their vehicles to let pilots know. However, you need to understand, that the enemy will wear the same arm bands and paint their vehicles to avoid detection. As to weapons, there are no identifiable markings. In combat, if I see a person gong to his shoulder with anything…I shoot first..ask questions later.

          T Ray inquires: Are the camera crew bodyguards armed? Do they wear identifiable uniforms? Do they carry AK47’s or M16’s?

          D13 informs: They are not supposed to but they do carry weapons (usually sidearms) to protect their equipment.

          T Ray wonders: Can the chopper crews distinguish an AK from an M16?

          D13 says: Up close, you can tell. Far away…. no.

          T Ray asks: Are the coppers equiped with binoculars? Why weren’t they used to ID the cameras and kids?

          D13 says: No…an Apache helmet is tied to the weapons system which has some magnifying aspects. Cameras could not be ID’d. As to kids, some will tell you that he saw the kids others will tell you he fired upon a van and the kids were in it. He fired on the van.

          • Thanks D13, my point in asking is that the videos does not tell the whole story. There are lots of questions that any good investigation would cover. Too many are jumping to conclusions without digging for more facts. There are many obvious questions that one could ask.

  22. Or was it this “ridiculous General” who said:

    An Unaccustomed Truth: American Commander Admits Afghan Atrocities
    Written by Chris Floyd
    Saturday, 27 March 2010 01:16

    Here’s what the Times says:

    American and NATO troops firing from passing convoys and military checkpoints have killed 30 Afghans and wounded 80 others since last summer, but in no instance did the victims prove to be a danger to troops, according to military officials in Kabul.

    “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat,” said Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who became the senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan last year. His comments came during a recent videoconference to answer questions from troops in the field about civilian casualties.

    Let’s repeat the much-media-lauded general’s statement again: “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”

  23. Oh, you can’t mean this “ridiculous” piece of excrement…

    “There is no question that coalition forces were clearly engaged in combat operations against a hostile force,” said Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, a spokesman for the multinational forces in Baghdad.

    The video shows otherwise.

    Finkel also described a review session after Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, commander of the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment and his soldiers returned to base, which “concluded that everyone had acted appropriately.” (Kauzlarich was also involved in the Army’s Pat Tillman cover-up,

  24. Barney Frank Must Go

    By Andrea Tantaros

    – FOXNews

    When it comes to financial reform, before we know where we’re going, we need to find out where we’ve been. The government was intimately involved in the meltdown of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and Rep. Barney Frank was at the center of the scandal.

    The Obama administration has made clear that it’s setting its sights on another rush job, propaganda exercise to advancing the ruling class: financial regulatory reform. While there is no question that some smart and independent regulation is needed for Wall Street, giving more spending and power to a government that already has a too-big-to-fail mentality will only put lawmakers in the driver’s seat and U.S. taxpayers on the hook.

    At the helm of this ship of legislative action in the House is Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, a man who already has a cloud of unanswered questions hanging over his head about his involvement in the Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac fiasco, and the Troubled Asset Relief Fund.

    Why should he be allowed to play a key role in determining how banks will operate in the future?
    According to Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, Frank lobbied regulators to shell out a $12 million TARP grant for a hometown bank located in Boston.

    They reported that “on November 25, 2008, following Frank’s intervention, the Treasury Department awarded $12,063,000 in bailout funds to OneUnited.”

    Frank, a genius with numbers, hasn’t been too sharp when it comes to memory. The Wall Street Journal reported that Frank publicly admitted he spoke to a “federal regulator” regarding OneUnited, but he “didn’t remember which federal regulator he spoke with.”

    As it turns out, Frank hadn’t been chatting up just any regulator. In e-mails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, he was working over the country’s regulator-in-chief, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.

    And Frank isn’t the only lawmaker who is failing to come clean.

    Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) also pressured the Feds in pursuit of a grant for the same bank, OneUnited. Her husband Sidney Williams, was a board member of OneUnited, a financial institution that was hardly worthy of any government intervention.

    TARP was crafted to assist healthy banks who maintained above board practices. OneUnited was neither of those things. It was “under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives’ use.”
    Yes, you read that correctly. A Porsche. Bank officials used taxpayer money to buy themselves a flashy sports car. One that many of us will never own.

    If this is just one incident related to the misuse of TARP funds, imagine the abuse associated with the stimulus money and beyond. Where is the accountability? The transparency? Where’s the most ethical Congress ever that we were all promised?

    Because leftist members of Congress are often protected by a complacent and selectively responsible media, the story has received little coverage. Until Speaker Pelosi begins to feel pressure to act on the unethical actions my members of her caucus, she’ll continue to give a close political ally the cover he needs to keep his chairmanship of the Financial Services Committee rather than strip him of his power – much like she did with Reps. William Jefferson and Charlie Rangel until the crescendo of questions became so unbearable she was forced to take action.

    When it comes to financial reform, before we know where we’re going, we need to find out where we’ve been. The government was intimately involved in the meltdown of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and Barney Frank was at the center of the scandal. Now, he’s at the center of another ethical misstep with seemingly no repercussions as he begins to help orchestrate the most sweeping financial legislation in decades.

    If we expect real reform on Wall Street, it needs to start with those who are supposed to be keeping their eye on it. At the very least Frank needs to step down as Financial Services chairman. If he’s unwilling to give us answers about our money, he shouldn’t be tasked with helping to regulate it. In other words, he’s too-much-of-a-failure-to-be-this-big.

    Andrea Tantaros is a conservative columnist and FoxNews contributor.

  25. Q&A
    Going Undercover Among Evangelicals
    By Kristi Oloffson Monday, Apr. 05, 2010
    Click here to find out more!

    The divide between the religious and nonreligious is a wide one — even more so in America, where Christianity and politics are so often intertwined. Atheist Gina Welch wanted to bridge that gap. So she went undercover for two years, joining a megachurch and revealing her nonbeliever status to no one. She eventually became a true part of the community, even going on a mission trip with people she now considers friends. Welch details her journey in a new book, In the Land of Believers: An Outsider’s Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church. She talked with TIME about pastor Jerry Falwell and why even atheists can respect Christian evangelism. (See 10 surprising facts about the world’s oldest Bible.)

    Were you surprised at how you came to be part of the evangelical world?
    It’s very easy to roll your eyes at the whole culture if you don’t have any stake in anyone participating in it. Once I developed friendships with people whom I cared about, it was easier for me to see the appeal. It’s no accident that evangelical Christianity is as popular as it is. I even came to enjoy listening to sermons from Jerry Falwell, whose politics I was [initially] allergic to. The emotional, intoxicating experience of being at church and hearing that music, and the whole structure of a Sunday service, was moving to me. And I don’t believe in God.

    Did you have any misconceptions that got reversed?
    Evangelism seemed invasive to me. I thought of it as an imperialistic arrogance — that they wanted to overpower people. My experience with evangelism was something very different. They felt that they could do something about the eternal suffering of others. I came to see evangelism instead as a kind of empathy. That made me feel like there was something in it I could respect. (See the top 10 Jesus films of all time.)

    How do you feel evangelicals are portrayed in the media?
    The media often portrays evangelicals as brainwashed, simpleminded and angry. My book isn’t the story of falling in love with everybody. There were some people who seemed to sit perfectly into the picture that I’d always had of evangelical Christians. For me what was missing from the media portrait was complexity. (Comment on this story.)

    At what point did you no longer feel like an outsider?
    Jerry Falwell’s death. I felt unexpectedly saddened. In my [nonreligious] world people were celebrating, people were exuberant. I felt that he wasn’t being fairly represented. I’d grown this affinity for him simply by being intoxicated by his charisma. That sadness was unacceptable to show to people from my world because it seemed like it might suggest that I was supporting Jerry Falwell. (See the top 10 religion stories of 2009.)

    You talk a lot about evangelicals’ mission to save souls. Did you ever get the sense that being a Christian was about more than just a pass into heaven?
    I think that there are some people who are just motivated by the glory awaiting them in the next life, but the experience that I had of most people was that they were very concerned with being good in this life. They wanted to do as Jesus would do in this life.

    Did you feel like they really did as Jesus would do? Were they really living what they said?
    In many ways, yes. The selflessness that I saw there, the willingness to sacrifice, was very impressive to me. But I think there’s [also] a lot of bigotry there that did not strike me as being synonymous with Jesus’ attitude. I think their attitude toward the gay community — love the sinner, hate the sin — is very disingenuous because what it’s like in practice is that they are both repulsed and amused by gay people. To me it’s less important that they come up with a more palatable way of expressing their homophobia than that they get over their homophobia. Their prejudice needs confrontation.

    Do you regret going undercover and pretending to be a Christian?
    I regret it in that I think it hurt people I care about. I regret the blitheness with which I participated in religious rituals I just couldn’t bring myself to take seriously. But I think that the ability for my book to bridge a gap between evangelical Christians and nonbelievers does mitigate to some extent what I did.

    Do you hope nonbelievers will use this book to explore their own beliefs more?
    I hope that it inspires people to be more conscious about what they believe. I had never stopped to think why don’t I believe in God, or about a lot of my political points of view. Why am I pro-choice? Being around people who disagreed with me on almost everything, I had to re-examine every part of what I believed to make sure I believed it for a reason.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1977701,00.html#ixzz0kVzMPsVh

    • Very interesting. I can relate to her comments about how she felt being involved in the church. I’ve never understood the extreme labels religious people have placed on them as my experiences have been more along the lines of what she found.

      • Mathius says:

        My experiences have been slightly different. Though I’m sure many (most?) fit this view, the ones that I have interacted treated me as if I were a leper*. I had one inform me, point blank that “since you are a Jew and you have not accepted Jesus into your heart, you are a sinner and will spend eternity in a lake of fire.”

        Not. Friendly.

        I am not so weak minded that a single sentence can force me to give up my deeply held personal beliefs, but I strongly resent this type of thing. I find it very offensive.

        *Aren’t good Christians supposed to “go amongst the lepers and tend to them”?

        • I actually understand your being offended if people were rude to you and all I can say is some people simply lack any kind of tack. But the truth is that Christian do believe that if you do not accept Christ as your Savior that you will be separated from God, which means going to hell. Now you can be offended by all Christians because they say you might go to hell or you can consider the possibility that their concern is for YOU-not themselves. If you truly believed that your child or a loved one or anyone actually would go to hell if he didn’t receive the Holy Spirit from God and that accepting him would be the best thing they could ever experience during their lifetime and after- would you not try to tell them about God. Part of being offended is that the person doing the telling can be offensive but it is also possible to be offended because you disregard their actual intent.

          • Mathius says:

            I know their intent.

            Where I get off the bus is the point where they know – KNOW – the divine truth of God. And that, further, they are right and you are wrong.

            I happen be some weird cross between a Jew and an Atheist, but let’s make matters simple and pretend I’m not for the moment. Let’s pretend I am a devout Jew. My belief system is backed by a book handed down generation to generation that purports to be the direct and irrefutable divine truth of the word of God. I was raised to believe it. I have studied it. My friends and family share my faith. I feel it deeply and have been touched by holy spirit in the Jewish sense. I have been Bar Mitzvah’d and I have had a Bris.

            Everything about my faith is equal to yours. All the evidence is equivalent. All the personal faith is the equivalent. The acts of faith are equivalent.

            Yet he KNOWS that he is right and I am wrong. How? The hubris of it is staggering. It is unconscionable to accost me and declare, without superior evidence, that you know better than me. It is tantamount to saying that you are a human being more capable of knowing God than me.

            There is really no other way of looking at it. It boils down to a question of faith (of course), and you are saying that your faith in your version of God is superior to my faith in my version of God. Your faith is superior to mine. Mull that over.

            It’s is as if I accosted you and informed you that blue is the best color and your opinion that green is the best is simply wrong. And that, further, terrible things will happen to you if you do not agree.

            Plus they (there was more than one occasion) were simply rude. And I don’t like rude people.

            Now. I have met men and women of faith, deep faith, who are not at all like this. I have known men and women who believe all manner of things. And they are good and kind people. And the thing I like best about them is that not once have they tried to convert me or scare me with threats of eternal damnation. All any of them ever wanted was for me to learn about their beliefs, and make up my own mind – and I was happy to do so.

            I paraphrase Richard Dawkins: If I die and find myself before the pearly gates and St. Peter, I hope that God will forgive my sincere disbelief and judge me for being as good of a man as I could be.

            That is what faith should be. Believe what you think is right and be a good person. I don’t believe in God, but if he does exist, I hope he is not the angry jealous god these people envision him to be. I imagine he would forgive my sincere disbelief – after all, he made me the way I am.

            • Mathius

              “Where I get off the bus is the point where they know – KNOW – the divine truth of God. And that, further, they are right and you are wrong.”

              You mean kind of like your belief in the greater good and the needs of society outweigh the rights of the individual?

              And yes, my belief in VDLG is the same from YOUR perspective. But from mine VDLG is supported by logic and reason and yours by whim. Which pretty much makes it a religion, as V.H. so aptly pointed out the other day.

              Back to my hole in the ground. I am posting watch on my house for I fear the missle on my living room has been identified for surplus.

              Bwahhahahaha

              • I looked up the definition of the word whim and I do not believe it fits my statements. 🙂

              • V.H.

                Whim is often used to describe the belief in the supernatural because it describes the diffrerences between the use of faith and the use of pure reason.

                I used it because the left uses it to describe the religious and given your argument it seemed fitting to turn the tables.

                By the way, I forgot to mention your comments this morning. You were right in that Matt assumes his logic is logical as you do yours. But either you are both right, both wrong or one is right. You both can not be right.

                It is a defintion issue. Remember that logic is the thought process used to identify and discard contradictions. You did identify a contradiction between an ethic based on a moral value derived from background versus a moral value of freedom.

                They can not coexist and that is the source of your discomfort. But the process you used to get there was logic and reason.

                Your antagonist was not using logic because he simply declares his argument as logical, thus it is nothing but a whim. He not only does not identify the contradiction but replaces it with a rationalization.

                Of course if you remember for our philosophy discusssion way back when, you can also be arguing from separate worlds. Matt and Buck live in the land where altruism is the ethic. Because they accept it, the contradictions are just an “inconveniance” or “necessary evil” for the good of society. You can not present any logic that will break the shield because they use a different definition of logic and reason.

                As always, I hope your day was good.
                JAC

              • #35

  26. The new “Start”…yet another treaty that makes good headlines and means nothing. I hope that Congress has the brass cajones to not ratify it.

    I wonder….where was China, North Korea, Iran, Israel, India, Pakistan…and the rest of the nuclear party that I have neglected to mention?

    If our Congress has any “BALLS” at all ( and it will take some cast iron ones )…it will not ratify this treaty until ALL parties are present and in agreement. This is not even a good starting place….China is having a party right now.

    Why are you lefties not up in arms the same way I am about not bringing everybody on on the treaties? What good is a treaty among two when there are several?

    Please, no rhetoric about a starting place. Start with all of them.

    • Oh, and before any of you jump on it…I already know that this is an expired treaty with Russia….still does not answer my question.

      • What does it hurt?

        • Hey, my raptomese friend…. ummm….what does what hurt?

          • Good morning, colonel

            What does the treaty hurt? Why is it a bad thing? You see it as ineffective, ok, but what can it hurt?

            • It hurts nothing at all….it is a photo op. I am not against a treaty at all, provided that it is enforceable…most are not. However, does it not seem reasonable to include EVERYBODY if you want real non proliferation?

              • In a perfect world. But Russia has 6,000 and we have 7,500. Next up is France with 384*. Seems to me that, while 384 is excessive, 6,000 and 7,500 are simply crazy.

                If we could entice the others to join in, great. But it’s like the 800 lb man telling the 300 lb woman that she needs to lose weight.

                *Per LOI below.

              • Exactly….and when the 800 pound man loses weight….he gets sat upon by the 300 pound woman.

    • D13,

      Not sure I qualify as a “lefty”. I agree this treaty means nothing. But I can see it as a good thing. Do we really need 7,500 warheads? If the US and Russia both reduce their numbers, does it change the balance of power in any significant way? Under the MAD doctrine, we would have been attempting the total destruction of the Soviet Union. Seems to me, a thousand would still be enough to accomplish that today? So even with this treaty, Russia and America will still have an overwhelming advantage in numbers. And a decisive advantage over most on delivery systems.

      Info on China:
      The People’s Republic of China has developed and possessed weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and nuclear weapons. China is estimated by the Federation of American Scientists to have an arsenal of about 180 active nuclear weapon warheads and 240 total warheads as of 2009, which would make it the fourth largest nuclear arsenal amongst the five major nuclear weapon states.

      • Hey LOI….that is my point….why not bring EVERYONE in on a treaty. Making a treaty with Russia will not set any type of example….none at all…except to those of limited nuclear capability…

        If our illustrious leader really wants change….then let’s have a real treaty with EVERYONE…and not a photo op.

        • Sorry..I did not answer your question…hell, there are enough nuclear weapons on our possession to destroy the world over 1,000 times. I am not a nuke freak…do not want them. I do recognize they are an effective deterrent…especially to nations not capable of large armies.

          But what good is a treaty with Russia…and not the rest? Reducing our stockpiles is not going to change North Korea or China or Iran or Israel or anyone.

          • Agree, but both the US and Russian stockpiles are so overwhelming, we both need to act on that, just to reduce military spending in unnecessary areas.

            7,500 US nuclear warheads
            6,000 Russian
            384 France

            http://www.cdi.org/nuclear/database/nukestab.html

            I want to keep an advantage, no question. But this still looks like a good move on our part. It’s the next treaty I am a little concerned about. 30% now is OK, but what are our final target numbers?

            • Hopefully one.

              As Nicole Kidman said in that movie: “I’m not afraid of the man who wants ten nuclear weapons, Colonel. I’m terrified of the man who only wants one.”

          • Let’s imagine you’re a little kid. The cool kid you sit next to in class starts collecting baseball cards. What do you do?

            You, of course, start trying to collect some as well.

            But suddenly that cool kid, and another guy both agree to cut back on their collections – they don’t really need as many. They agree it’s kindof pointless.

            Well, if you haven’t started your collection, it’s not going to be so pressing to do so anymore. And if you have, you might not have the urge to collect many more at that point.

            See? Lead by example?

            Of course it’s not that simple, but I think the parallels are definitely there.

            • Wups…..I think you had a flat DP, sir. It is not a parallel at all…in my most humble opinion…which means nothing for I am just a retired old Colonel who knows nothing…however….

              So, we reduce our nuclear stockpiles….to 5,000 – 3,000 – to one…to none. Do you..and the dread pirate, really think that the others will do the same. Or a rogue nation that wants a nuke…?

              Why not get everybody together? Sing Kumbayah,… blow hazy MJ smoke at the sky and agree to a true treaty.

              There is no leading by example….

              If I was a pirate with a ship named Fools Folly and I decided to “decommission it” and live off my booty on my own Island…would not Dread Pirate Mathius, from the dark confines of your basement, be the “new world” power and react accordingly?

              • Dread Pirate Mathius, of the good ship Thor’s Hammer is already the power in these waters. Make no mistake. He directs his raptor crew via iPad from the basement where I keep him.

                He knows that there would still be others who want the bomb. But we have made it cool to be in the big boys club of nuclear powers. It’s like saying, look at me, “I’m so awesome and respected because I have nukes. But you can’t have any.” What do you think their response will be to that?

                Of course there will still be lunatics who want the bomb, and rogue nations. But they are not deterred by our currently having 7,000 bombs. Clearly something is missing from this line of reasoning.

              • NOW…you and I are in agreement….the thing that is missing…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

                Sanity.

                By the way…are you trying to pull a fast one here…

                Ummmmm….the “good” ship “Thor’s Hammer”.

                Probably has nuke launching capability.

              • Thor’s Hammer is a “good” ship in the sense that it is well constructed and well run. It’s raptor crew is highly efficient.

                Thor’s Hammer does not have nuke launching capability. But it is equipped with a full array of rail guns and photon torpedoes.

              • Of course…the Photon torpedo….how silly of me to forget the Photons….nasty little buggers…..ummmmm…..nuclear?

              • Mathius says:

                No. Photon based. You’ll have to ask JB how they work because I have no idea and the Dread Pirate won’t tell me. He just mutters something about “the fraking borg”.. I don’t know what a borg is – sounds Swedish..

              • Ahhhh…the old Resistance is fuuuu-tile”

    • Adding. Please give me a single scenario where using nuclear weapons is a good thing?

      Even in WWII, how many innocent civilians were killed outright or poisoned with radiation. The Japanese even have a term, pika don, for children who are deformed due to the radiation poisoning their parents sustained and for the individuals who were exposed and survived past the short-term. Think about that.

      We could have won that war, and yes, it would have taken more American lives. But they would have been soldiers prepared and willing to die in service of their country – not a whole generation of innocent human beings whose only crime was being born after their parents were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      There is no way to use a weapon like this without an unacceptable right of huge collateral damage. Period. If we can get someone – anyone – to reduce their stockpile by reducing our own, that’s fine with me.

      • Denial, again. I agree in theory with you. Do you honestly think if we get rid of ours that they will get rid of theirs? Now you are living on the prarie. We both don’t want a fight, but why are you willing to leave us defenseless?

        • Because it’s not a defense. There is no way to use it defensively. The only thing it can do is cause wholesale slaughter while killing thousands (tens of thousands? hundreds of thousands? Remember, our modern bombs are far more powerful than Little Boy which killed 140,000 people, or Fat Man which killed 70,000 CIVILIANS).

          No one is going to attack us. Our conventional military is quite sufficient to ensure that.

          Further, any country that would be deterred by total annihilation would also be deterred by a bomb. Either they care about the loss of life of their citizens and the damage done to their country or they do not. If the first, then the loss of your capital and/or a major city is going to do the trick. If the later, then the ability to destroy multiple cities won’t make a difference.

          There are no circumstances under which the deployment of a weapon of mass destruction is warranted.

          • Matt….If we were the only one with a nuclear weapon, your theory will ring true. The nuclear option is only a defense as a deterrent…it is an offensive weapon designed to keep war conventional. ( My opinion ).

            You keep capitalizing CIVILIANS….yes, They are mostly innocent and they die. That is war. Calloused? yes sir…it is. The nuclear option is no worse than..say…fire bombing with conventional weaponry..except long term effects.

            Matt says: Further, any country that would be deterred by total annihilation would also be deterred by a bomb. Either they care about the loss of life of their citizens and the damage done to their country or they do not. If the first, then the loss of your capital and/or a major city is going to do the trick. If the later, then the ability to destroy multiple cities won’t make a difference.

            D13 Says: I think you answered your own question in your example of Japan.

            I hope that a nuclear weapon will never be used. NEVER. So…EVERYONE get together and have an enforceable treaty….EVERYONE….not just two countries renewing an existing treaty for a photo op.

            You and I are in agreement, sir….just different methodology.

            • Innocents will always get caught in the middle, but at least with conventional weapons, you have finer control. Yes, you may hit a civie with a sniper rifle, but your mistake is limited to one casualty. If you drop a (conventional) bomb on a building you may kill a bunch of people, maybe as many as 100. If you firebomb an area, you could kill maybe 500 civies. All tragic. But dropping one nuke, even against a military target will kill tens of thousands of innocents. It is not only possible, but unavoidable.

              • Matt, you trust them too much. You keep avoiding the fact that if we get rid of ours they wont get rid of theirs. If we have none and they nuke us what will your answer be then? Our conventional military will be fighting a losing battle. But you still want to play nice because we are better than that. You are trying to live in a perfect world but that is not reality.

              • Mathius says:

                If they nuke us and we have available weapons, what will be our response? Nuke them back? What is to be gained by that?

                If they nuke us, we have already lost. Killing them as well won’t change that fact.

                It’s as if a man stabbed you in an alley and you are about to die. You use your last breath to stab him back and then another random person passing in the street. Why? What is gained?

              • Question: Do you own a gun? Or are you against owning a gun?

              • Mathius says:

                I do not own a gun. I am not against owning a gun, but I do not see it is a necessity in my life.

                I also don’t really like the concept.

      • FEAR. Being the biggest gorilla in the room does not mean you won’t be attacked. Showing you are WILLING to use your strength brings a level of safety. China and Russia will not attack the US.

        How long has Taiwan been free because of US protection?

        So how many nuc’s do you think we should keep?

        Sorry, will be out for a while, work is so inconvenient.

        • I know.. if only they would pay us to spend all day debating on SUFA. Alas.

          I think we should have one nuke. One. And it should not be operational, but we should let everyone think it is. It should be filled with silly putty in lieu of plutonium.

          We are willing to use our force, and we do. But China is not worried we’ll nuke them. They’re worried that if they attack Taiwan, we’ll show up and defend them, then we’ll get dragged into a direct shooting war with China. The very first thing the US would do in that event is declare void out debt to them. The next thing is impose a trade embargo. Both of these things would be bad for China. China does not act against its economic interests. So, if that means leaving Taiwan alone, then that’s what they’ll do. But it has nothing to do with use using nuclear weapons on them.

          We don’t need them.

      • Mathius correctly asks: Please give me a single scenario where using nuclear weapons is a good thing?

        D13 responds: I cannot think of a single scenario where it is a good thing. There is nothing good about killing and death.

        Mathius observes: Even in WWII, how many innocent civilians were killed outright or poisoned with radiation. The Japanese even have a term, pika don, for children who are deformed due to the radiation poisoning their parents sustained and for the individuals who were exposed and survived past the short-term. Think about that.

        D13 responds: Have thought about it. Glad I was not the one that had to drop it. Agreed that war is ugly and there are terrible consequences. You fight a war to win. Collateral damage is part of war. Keep on thinking. It has been said that the Japanese were willing to fight to the annihilation of their race. Even on Okinawa, Japanese civilians were hurling themselves and their babies off he cliffs because they thought we would eat them. They were committing mass suicides. Would it have continued? I think yes….as unbelievable as it sounds, using the bomb probably saved millions…although it hurt hundreds of thousands. Matt, my friend, in war there are no absolutes except suffering….for generations. Does it justify using the bomb? Only an individual can answer that. But surmise this further….had we not used it and learned how awful it was….it would not be a deterrent today…. and probably used later. I am not a nuke person. wish we did not have them at all…but make a treaty that is worthwhile.

        Matt hopes: If we can get someone – anyone – to reduce their stockpile by reducing our own, that’s fine with me.

        D13 is very skeptical: It is non enforceable. Setting the example? do you really feel that someone will follow it? I mean…down deep really feel that…or is it..(I hate to say this)….hope.

        • Hope and change 😉

          I’m us unilaterally reducing our stockpile. Why do we need the ability to destroy the world 50 time over? Surely once is enough.* So, at the very least, we can agree that the 7k+ bombs we have could safely be reduced to, say, 1,000. So if someone agrees to join us, I’m good with that. If they don’t follow through then that’s unfortunately, but at least we tried.

          Now, the way I see this, you want a large stockpile of nukes to wave at people and say “behave, of I could use one of these on you.” So maybe you should be arguing that we only need a handful since there’s no possible justification for using more than that. In that sense, whether we reduce unilaterally or by an unencoreable bilateral agreement shouldn’t matter. If Russia decides to launch 6,000 nuclear missiles at us, what could be gained by nuking them back? We’re all dead at that point regardless.

          *YES, YES, I KNOW, I KNOW.. shut up, Flag. The world will not end, just certain species. And even then, some humans will likely survive and repopulate the Earth afterward. And even if it didn’t generate enough radiation to kill everyone, or kick up enough dust to blot out the sun for months, 1,000 nukes would still probably be able to kill billions of innocents.

          • Matt…..I know you are at work…and I certainly know that keeping Dread Pirate Mathius in the basement is hard work…and I know that you probably have not had a LARGE 44 oz DP yet…but….let me be very clear once again…

            Matt says: you want a large stockpile of nukes to wave at people and say “behave, of I could use one of these on you.

            D13 s p e a k i n g s l o w l y: I do not WANT any nukes. NONE. Not even one. Reducing an arsenal to 5,000 or 1,000…what is the point. As you correctly say, we have enough to “murder” (could not resist) the world over a thousand times.

            So setting the example by eliminating our nukes WILL NOT deter others from getting or having them. So, how do we do this? How do we get rid of them…..and ensure that the others will? I am open to suggestion. My whole point in the beginning…was… why sit down with ONLY Russia. If Russia and the United States were to openly and verifiably rid themselves of nukes…..do you….Mathius…honestly believe beyond reasonable doubt…that China will? Israel? Iran? India? North Korea? Dread Pirate Mathius?

            • I am out of Red Bull so I may be slow today, apologies. I am trying to substitute with Jolt mints (yes, they are real) and Mountain Dew. Dr. Pepper is vile and I will have none of it.

              I get that you want none. I do. I’m just saying it can’t hurt to reduce our stockpile. If Russia joins us, great. If no, well, that’s unfortunately.

              Dread Pirate Mathius and I know the genie cannot be put back in the bottle. The world will likely never be nuke free again.

              I just think there is no situation which merits their use, so we shouldn’t have them at all. Just because China is going to continue to terrify the world with it’s stockpile doesn’t mean we should continue to do so as well.

              • Agreed, but therein , lies the dilemma. I think that it should mean exactly that…because, economics or not, I think China will move aggressively if we do not have a deterrent.

              • Mathius says:

                What are we deterring them with though? They know we’ll never launch against them. They’re not afraid of our nukes, they’re afraid of the economic ramifications of a confrontation with the US.

              • D13,

                Why would they “move aggressively”?

                Move where?

                Why would they be “aggressive”? What do you mean by that? Sell their goods cheaper than the US?

                For what gain? Do you think they see the folly of US hubris or do you think they will do the same thing as the US?

              • USWeapon says:

                Oh, that’s right….. I forgot that it is only the UNITED STATES government that is evil and would move aggressively.

              • USWep,

                As I pointed out previously regarding what you see as a negative bias, China and Russia both are arguably hegemonic powers.

              • Mathius says:

                Though I think Flag and I are mostly aligned on this topic as well, I do not subscibe to his theory that if we stop being agressive, everyone else will play nice.

                I still think we need to maintain the ability to impose catastrophic violence at will upon our enemies. Just nothing that is guaranteed to kill mass quantities of civilians.

              • To Black Flag: Not against the United States militarily but against everything else knowing that we will not do anything to stop them. Aggression is not only military…it is ideology…it is economic…it is technical….hegemony is not restricted to the United States….defined it means “the predominant influence, as of a state, region, or group, over another or others.” I think we would see the enormous expansion of China that would rival that of Russia, US, Rome, Persia….and I believe that China would indeed use the nuclear option to threaten a reprisal if the kow tow does not happen. China’s hegemony will make any US hegemony look like a romper room sand pile test. I firmly believe that they will extend and use military power over smaller countries and regions. I also believe that our currency will be replaced as a market leader and Chinese gold will set the new standard. The ECM will be powerless to stop them and cannot compete and no military power will be able to stop them because we will be toothless…..and if Obama has his way, we will be cowardly in response. The reason, BF…..power. Power corrupts…absolute power corrupts absolutely.

                To Matt: they already have us beat economically…they use slave labor with which we cannot compete. They do not have a government that uses safety standards and we buy that crap. They already own our debt. Our only hope therein, lies that for right now, they need us for trade. The only true way to beat China is to reduce our debt load and not with inflated dollars.

              • D13,

                You have great fear – as such, you council stomping yelling bullying and punching everyone around you in an attempt to create fear of you.

                (YOU= USA)

      • USWeapon says:

        Well Mathius, since you asked. When Bruce Willis and his shuttle crew used a nuclear weapon to break up the asteroid before it hit the earth and destroyed civilization…. that was a good use of a nuclear weapon. I can’t believe you forgot about the possible end of the world… geeeeesh.

        • Mathius says:

          Foiled again, by the brilliant minds of SUFA.

          And let us not forget about the steaming pile of horse dung that was Deep Impact, released around the same time.

          OK, keep a few on hand and locked up in Switzerland, just in case.

          • USWeapon says:

            But Tea Leoni was cute in Deep Impact. I was glad she decided to kill herself though. The world was a better place after the wave hit. Just think of how clean the streets of DC were!

            • Throughout this discussion about Nukes, I’ve wondered something. First, why do we need 7500 of them, and second, are they real or just some line of BS to keep people in a constant state of fear? I have found that Governments are not the most honest group of people, in any country.

              If scientists confirm their existance, and scientists confirm AGW, what the hell can we really believe as truth. I’ve seen a so called Nuke, looked like a big bomb with writing all over it. But I wonder….?

              G!

      • Bama Dad says:

        Matt said:

        “We could have won that war, and yes, it would have taken more American lives. But they would have been soldiers prepared and willing to die in service of their country – not a whole generation of innocent human beings whose only crime was being born after their parents were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
        There is no way to use a weapon like this without an unacceptable right of huge collateral damage. Period.”
        So it is your contention that there would have been less civilian deaths if we had invaded and fought a conventional war. Let’s compare Okinawa which was a conventional battle and see how the civilians fared. In 1945 there were around 500,000 civilians on the Island. No large cities with the people living in small towns or farms, very spread out. Of that 500,000 around 140,000 died and over 200,000 were wounded and 90% of the infrastructure was destroyed. Now take a conventional war to the Home Islands of Japan with millions of people living in large congested cities and there would have been millions of civilian deaths. Saying that the civilians would have been better off does not stand up to the facts.

  27. Between 5th and 9th of March, there was a private and personal email exchange between Karl Winn and Graham Brown the Managing Director of Forces Recruitment Services Ltd. FRS specializes in the recruitment of ex-British Army personnel, as part of the “Hire-A-Hero” campaign.

    In those emails Karl Winn stated that his personal preference would be to offer employment even to ex-offenders, rather than British Military personnel because at least the former had been investigated, and brought before the courts, and held accountable for their actions. “The reality for the families of their victims is that there will never be any justice, and there never will be any closure, for the loss of a son, a husband, a child, or a family member who has fallen victim to British Military personnel who are going beyond “just doing their job”.

    “The reality from the north of Ireland, to Afghanistan and Iraq, is that the perpetrators of such atrocities will always be free to get on with their lives, safe in the knowledge that the policy of the British Government is to ensure their protection from prosecution”.

    … “we are not talking about people who do their duty. Nobody is going to condemn any service man or woman for that. What I’m referring to is the unwillingness of far too many service men and women to give evidence against those who commit criminal offenses. .. I’m not talking about incidents that happen in the heat of battle against armed combatants, but actions, that by any standard, amount to murder, or other such crimes against a civilian population. However, I accept we’ll never agree on this. Your allegiance is to the British Military – mine is on the side of its victims”.

  28. Mathius says:

    Some amusement for those of us recall the golden days of video games.

    • Asteroids…….where were the asteroiods?

      • Mathius says:

        Right, and what about centipede?

        • Matt: I give you 10 Anita points for that one. I challenge you to many of the referenced games, especially frogger, defender, galaga, of course centipede but especially robotron! YEAH!!

          • Mathius says:

            I love Frogger. It makes me very sad that my little brother scammed out of my Atari and sold it on eBay. 😦

            Tetris is also awesome, but I feel bad for the people in the video whose floors were tetris’d out of existence.

      • Somewhere nearby is a colossal cave, where others have found fortunes in treasure and gold, though it is rumored that some who enter are never seen again. Magic is said to work in the cave. I will be your eyes and hands. Direct me with commands of 1 or 2 words.

        You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building. Around you is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and down a gully.

  29. Pelosi, describing healthcare bill:

    “It’s like the back of the refrigerator. You see all these wires and the rest. All you need to know is, you open the door. The light comes on.”

    Intellectually deficit doesn’t even begin to describe her.

  30. Bottom Line says:

    Things that make ya go Hmmmm…

    (:40-:57) Michelle Obama – ” Barrack has led by example. When we took our trip to Africa and visited HIS HOME COUNTRY IN KENYA, we took a public HIV test for the very point of showing folks in Kenya that there is nothing to be embarrassed about…”

  31. Hello,

    Your blog has been recommended to us as a interviewee’s favorite blog!

    We would like to do an interview with you about your blog for Blog
    Interviewer. We’d
    like to give you the opportunity to
    give us some insight on the “person behind the blog.”

    It would just take a few minutes of your time. The interview form can
    be submitted online here Submit your
    interview
    .

    Best regards,

    Mike Thomas

    • Mathius says:

      Hurray for free publicity!

      Want an interview with the blog’s chief antagonist?

  32. Glenn Beck has David Barton on and they are going over some interesting facts about the founding fathers and their faith. Mr. Barton is very easy to listen too. I’m sure you can catch “The One Thing”
    for today’s date on the Fox website. Here is a link to his book. Even the lefties around here can learn something.

    http://www.the912project.com/category/becks-reading-list/

  33. The wonderful term we call “ism”, as in socialism, facism, progressivism, Moaism, Statism, elitism, capitalism, Naziism, and any other “ism” that may come to your mind, all have one thing in common….. They all fail at some point in time.

    If we change “ism” to “dom” and add FREE, as in FREEDOM, maybe we can put the “ism’s” where they belong, in a grave! While we are at it, let’s kill the “ists” as well!

    Peace!

    G!

    • GMan

      You racist bastard you. How dare you make those coded threats to kill the “ists” knowing full well potus is considered an “ist”.

      Shame on you……………………….

      ROTFLMAO at my own joke. How sick is that?

      Peace and live free my friend.
      JAC

  34. Catch up on some old posts I wanted to respond to:

    D13:

    You said: “So in this Group, if one member wished to hire an outsider, that is his right and no one in the group has a right to attack this non-violent person.”

    Would you define the word “attack” in this scenario you provided. You have always stated or used the words violent attack and sometimes attack. If I am understanding you correctly, any rule or boundary is wrong.

    Attack
    1. To set upon with violent force

    Rules

    Rules are just fine – the help organize.

    But rules are not laws

    All human law requires violence to enforce – therefore, the failure to understand this is the seed of all tyranny.

    When we use laws to enforce rules we risk creating evil.

    But if this non-violent person comes onto my property and steals an ear of corn from me, then that person, simply by the virtue of crossing to my land and stealing an ear of corn, just created a violent act. He is guilty of theft and trespassing.

    (Shock!) We agree!

    ( Much like the definition of violence in “natural law” which uses fraud and embezzlement, as an example of violence. ) Therefore, since violence has been perpetrated against me, then, under natural law and your example, I can take whatever action, including violence, to protect my property and livelihood, correct?

    No question, you are correct.

    Even if I say no, and he is starving to death, are you saying that my “NO” answer then is an act of violence and not free choice? And, by my answer, does that then justify this man, to feed himself, the “right” to commit violence against me to eat and steal my corn?

    You stand in your right, no doubt.

    If I do not want you walking into my country and I have rules….does that constitute violence in your viewpoint?

    No, because review your examples.

    All human action is ultimately individual

    In each and every case previous, you could demonstrate a human doing harm to a human.

    Just because you raise the question into a level of abstraction does not change the conditionsyou must still demonstrate a human doing harm to a human

    This is fundamental.

    All human, ultimately, is individual All men are responsible for their own actions – regardless of any and all attempts to defuse this responsibility by appeals to violent authority.

  35. I see that we cannot base our laws on freedom and at the same time base them on morality. Which seems to be the argument and the contradiction on both sides of the political debate. I also see the stand alone logic and relevance of the morality arguments, Matts’ and mine. So I question whether or not freedom is always the most important consideration, I question whether society can address these legitimate concerns without the loss of any freedom . I do recognize that if I can prove that a freedom that someone else demands is an imposition on someone else’s freedoms would solve part of my concern but not all. Perhaps all can be handled by private not governmental means –I’m simply not sure. I do see a larger danger in having the law based on anyone’s morality so I am for small government and State rights but I still have concerns based on the morality of helping ones neighbor and not corrupting our young. So I am doomed to live with contradictions until I can work through my inner conflict.

    • Sorry this is an answer to JAC, an extension of # 25

    • V.H.

      I see that we cannot base our laws on freedom and at the same time base them on morality.

      Wow! You’ve got it nailed dead on!

      We cannot base laws on freedom and morality at the same time is exactly and directly correct.

      Morals are wholly subjective – one culture demands you do not touch a stranger with your left hand, another has you grasp new friends with both hands in a greeting.

      Laws cannot be subjective – find one law of Nature that is “subjective”!!

      Leave the Morals to Society Rules and use Society tools – shunning/ostracism/ridicule – non-violent enforcement- to manage these rules.

      Leave the LAW to deal with initiations of violence as the tool of Law is violence

      So I question whether or not freedom is always the most important consideration, I question whether society can address these legitimate concerns without the loss of any freedom .

      It is a debate, and the answer is personal. Thus, their is no right answer for all people.

      For some, it is life – they will chose slavery over freedom if fighting for freedom would likely mean death. For others, its’ the other way around.

      However, in all matters – your choice does not give you a right to make it my choice

      If you select life over freedom does not mean you have a right to enforce that on me.

      If I select freedom over life, I have no right to enforce that on you.

      The same Barbarian may be attacking us – and you surrender and I do not. You live and I may die. But I cannot hold you to defend my freedom, nor can you demand my surrender with you.

      But I will say this: “Without freedom, nothing else matters”

      I do recognize that if I can prove that a freedom that someone else demands is an imposition on someone else’s freedoms would solve part of my concern but not all.

      Never!

      This is like saying “If I find a law of nature that does not apply everywhere in Nature, then I prove that Nature’s laws are inconsistent and so is the Universe”.

      This attitude is wrong!

      If you find a law of Nature that appears to be inconsistent, it is not the law of Nature that is wrong – it is your understanding of that Law of Nature that was faulty, incomplete or wrong

      Same with Freedom. If you find a freedom claimed by one man that destroys the freedom of another man – it is not and cannot be an act of freedom!

      So I am doomed to live with contradictions until I can work through my inner conflict.

      That work is required by all people – and it is one that can be very long and lonely.

      • “I do recognize that if I can prove that a freedom that someone else demands is an imposition on someone else’s freedoms would solve part of my concern but not all.” I suspect this is a wrong use of words. So okay if I can prove that something someone is claiming as a right isn’t a right it will assuage some of my concern.

        So lets look at illegal drugs, I am not talking about all drugs-just the drugs which can be proven to be deadly, almost 100% addictive, and mind altering all at the same time. It is obvious that the use of these types of drugs will create a lot of problems and dangers for individuals any where near the people taking these drugs-In your opinion is the taking of these drugs a right?

        • “Wow! You’ve got it nailed dead on!” By the way you don’t have to be so surprised 😆

          • I wasn’t, but is was very nicely put – it was a great post because it really highlights the struggle for truth and no less the struggle I fought with a long time ago too.

            A person who really wants life and not merely sleep-walk through it in a race to their death – will at least once ask these questions to themselves.

            The next question will be: Once you have the answer, will you live it?

        • V.H.

          Beyond any question, it is their right to destroy their own bodies.

          I will council them not to – I will argue with them into the deepest edges of their mind to not do it.

          But I will not punish them for doing it to themselves.

          HOWEVER

          If it was my friend or family, I would stop them. Y

          es, I would be in the wrong, and the key is: I would accept the consequences and responsibility of my actions on them

          I wouldn’t walk around and claim “justification” or a “right” to do it. I would have “my reasons” and then let my fate be my fate because of it.

          • This is the point at which I hit a wall-why is it a right, if their destroying of their bodies will impose on me. I know it will impose on me in many ways-why should I be left with no option but in all probability to kill them instead of trying to stop them from doing something that we know will lead to them being a danger to us, not just themselves.

            • V.H.,

              You’ll have to provide some context around “destroying their bodies imposes on you…”

              • Drug addicts who are addicted to drugs which create a constant need for the drugs
                which inhibits logical thought and are addictive to almost all or all who takes them will lead to stealing and killing. I know through observation that it will do so-I believe the obviousness of this eventual out come needs to be high, hence my qualifiers, but the end is obvious-even if I’m unable to see the future.

            • V.H.,

              {Food} addicts who are addicted to {food} which create a constant need for the {food}
              which inhibits logical thought and are addictive to almost all or all who takes them will lead to stealing and killing.

              I know through observation that it will do so-I believe the obviousness of this eventual out come needs to be high, hence my qualifiers, but the end is obvious-even if I’m unable to see the future

              • My first instinct was to say, well that is just silly to compare a substance that is needed for survival with something that isn’t necessary and has no good qualities as used by addicts but with further thought I can’t deny that you showed that my qualifiers could be abused to include limits on things I have always consider a right. Am still not totally convinced because lack of food as a danger to our safety seems to be a situation that we simply cannot get rid of because it is necessary for survival -drugs aren’t-but you have given me a lot to think about.

  36. Well, I’ve been having some fun lately conversing in other blog-sites.

    I’ve come away with this (unscientific to be sure) analysis.

    If most other blogs on politics are representative of the knowledge and understanding of the general American people…

    It’s Over, folks. The nation is gone. Toast. Stinky and long ready to be buried six feet deep.

    Here is a sample of one – they blocked my IP only after two days and three posts 🙂

    http://4and20blackbirds.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/help-me-understand/

    and the next two posts on this blog…. and then *block* 🙂

    But seriously, these people -and I mean more than this one blog – they are all complete, total nuts. All of them.

    Left, Right, Middle, Up or Down on any political spectrum you want – they are all nuts.

    Boy, is it nice to have a home where almost everyone disagrees with me yet does so in a civilized manner.

    SUFA is truly #1..

    • Better be careful, my friend, talking a lot to people who are consistently uncivil can rub off on a person and you might well start taking that irritation out on the innocent. I used to spend a lot of time on Huffpost-I quit because their influence started rubbing off on me. Have noticed in the last few days that you have been- shall we say a little more forceful in your views.

      • V.H.

        I appreciate your comment – I’ll watch myself a bit more.

        And absolutely correct. One does start to respond in kind (Law of Mutuality creeps in….) and slowly infects one’s outlook.

        That’s why we resist letting our little one play with “Schooled” kids – their bad manners, behavior, idiocy, etc. rub off on her, and she starts acting like that too.

        No one is immune, not even me.

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