Not USWeapon’s Thoughts Tonight… An Internet Outage!

As I begin writing this quick explanation, the clock stares down at me with the little hand pointing at the number 3. I am unsure what caused it, but there was an outage for internet this evening at the Weapon household for about 3 hours. I use a cable modem and I had no cable, no internet, and no phone service at home. I first had to check to make sure that the lines had not been cut as the start of an assault on the Weapon household. My first thought was that the cat had finally organized an uprising against Canine Weapon, and aimed to catch him while he was running in his sleep. However, the line was not cut, and I suspect that the Cat has postponed the mutiny due the to threat of being forced to eat dry food. I will keep my eyes peeled though, as there is always the threat of a feline uprising. Those uppity cats always think we humans are meant to serve them. I have applied for a Raptor security contingent. D13 has yet to process the request. But enough about the internet outage. Instead of taking two or three hours writing a piece starting so late, I offer two articles from elsewhere that I found interesting today.

Raptor Security Team

The first comes from MSNBC. The article discusses the idea that Americans have lost their willpower in supporting the concepts that Barack Obama swept into power espousing. I obviously disagree with the author’s conclusions, but figure I would offer it up and see what everyone else thinks. The second article comes from the Huffington Post and details the “fear” that Europe has that a movement such as the Tea Party could manifest in Europe (because in Europe they will have none of that crazy freedom talk, or dissent to government like the stupid Americans allow!).

I will offer my thoughts on the two articles throughout the day on Monday. But I at least wanted to have something up for people to discuss. Of course, feel free to pull over and continue discussions from the previous threads as you see fit. And I will have a new article written tomorrow night!

Obama hasn’t changed, but the country has

“Change you can believe in” on education, health, energy, climate change, Iraq, immigration, Wall Street, and Guantanamo Bay. Barack Obama ran for president on all of that, he won on it, and now he’s trying to get it done.

He hasn’t changed. But the country that elected him has. We seem to have lost our collective nerve.

We’ve lost our confidence in ourselves, our government, and our institutions. We’ve lost our taste for boldness, our eagerness to experiment, our openness to the future. Enough of us are in hunker-down or angry-protest mode that Obama faces a struggle for every approval point in public opinion polls and on nearly every issue before Congress.

There is no question that this is the same person the nation elected with 53 percent of the popular vote and 365 electoral votes. His return to Cooper Union this week would have been a powerful reminder of that even if he hadn’t reminded us himself in his speech.

At the same lower Manhattan venue two years ago, speaking then as a contender for the Democratic nomination, Obama sounded awfully concerned. We’ve lost our sense of “shared prosperity,” he said, and allowed Wall Street to drag down Main Street. “We’ve excused and even embraced an ethic of greed, corner cutting, insider dealing” that threatens our long-term economic stability, he said. Foreclosures are rising and credit for students, states, and everyone else is drying up. We need, he said, new “rules of the road” for Wall Street.

Obama deserves credit for peering around corners and trying to think ahead, not just in 2008 but also in 2007, when he made a similar speech at Nasdaq, also in lower Manhattan. So Thursday’s speech was the third in the series. He is almost boringly consistent. The same cannot be said for Americans. What has happened to us?

The economy, of course, is the starting point. At the time Obama was sounding alarms at Cooper Union in 2008, the unemployment rate was 5.1 percent. It was the third straight month of job losses. Economists fretted because the loss of 80,000 jobs was higher than expected. There was little doubt a recession had begun. Gallup found 80 percent dissatisfied with the direction of the country. The federal deficit was projected to reach $250 billion by Oct. 1.

In retrospect, those statistics are laughably innocuous. Six months later, the economy went into a terrifying free-fall. U.S. households experienced losses of wealth measured not in hundreds of billions (as Obama predicted at Cooper Union) but in trillions (more than $14 trillion by April 1, 2009). For each of the six months starting in November 2008, more than a half million jobs vanished. The current 9.7 percent unemployment rate is down from 10.2 percent last October. The current deficit projection is $1.3 trillion — down from an initial estimate of $1.6 trillion.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks produced a “new normal” marked by security fears and heightened vigilance. The “new normal” since the Great Recession is economic uncertainty for just about everyone. Since 2008, Gallup says, less than half of Americans have rated their financial situations positively. On Thursday, the firm said that number has fallen to a new low of 41 percent. “Their ratings of their current financial situations have never been worse than they are today,” Gallup said of Americans in releasing the latest statistic.

It makes sense that in this economic climate, a lot of people would be wary of change and mistrustful of their government. As the Pew Research Center documents in a major study, trust in all levels of government has ebbed. In October 1997, when the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, 50 percent said the federal government had a positive impact on their personal life. That’s down to 38 percent now.

The Great Recession coincided with the election of the country’s first black president and an outpouring of anger on the right at his attempts to turn his campaign platform into law. That he is a Democrat means extra helpings of anger and mistrust. While both parties trust the government more when their party holds the White House, Pew says, that trend is more pronounced among Republicans. Right now, only 13 percent say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right, nearly as low as the 11 percent for Bill Clinton in June 1994.

The Pew poll makes clear that anger is not the prevailing sentiment across the land. Most people (56 percent) are more frustrated with the government than angry at it (21 percent), and 56 percent would be happy to see their kids work for the feds.

That said, the angry percentage — made up of “Republicans, independents and others who lean Republican, and those who agree with the Tea Party movement” as Pew put it — has doubled since 2000. That dynamic has driven the GOP’s elected officials to the right and contributed to an increasingly confrontational tone, not just in protests or on cable but on the campaign trail and even within the Capitol.

When representatives on the House floor talk about health reform as Armageddon and socialism, when a congressman shouts “You lie!” at the president, and one member yells “baby killer” at another, when a former vice presidential nominee says there are “death panels” in the Democrats’ health care bill, there’s no mystery as to why some people are inflamed. Nor, to be fair, is it any wonder voters are cynical about a process that allowed one Democrat to secure a permanent financial break on Medicaid costs for his state alone. (Gone after an uproar, but still…)

After massive government spending and intervention in the economy to stave off catastrophe, it’s also easy to understand why some people would be wary of more government action — even to address problems that many acknowledge need fixing. The exception to this in the Pew poll is financial regulation, or as Democrats like to call it, Wall Street reform. More than six in 10 say government should more strictly regulate the way major financial companies do business. People have not forgotten the causes of the financial crisis.

For those out there who may be wondering, I am not living a detached life in a recession-proof town, tower, industry or household. My husband was laid off late last year and he’s been trying to start his own business. We know dozens of people going through similar transitions. We are all too aware that the post-crisis world can be capricious and inhospitable, even cruel.

And yet I am rooting for change and I’m also rooting for Republicans to be a part of it. Maybe we’ll see a broader appetite to move forward, among the public and GOP officeholders, with the immigration and energy bills that are next in line after the financial bill.

There are two main reasons I’m on the side of change. One is personality. I’m willing to take calculated risks (Exhibit A, I left USA Today for a start-up — or should I say upstart? — website that turns one year old next week). The other is politics, since I generally approve of the directions Obama wants to go.

But here’s the thing. Whether you thrive on risk or not, whether you approve of Obama or not, whether you love our government or hate it, change is coming. We’re already in a global race to lead on energy and other technology. We’re already under pressure to produce a highly educated, top-notch workforce, to reduce our spending on everything from health to the military, to increase our exports and pay off some of our debt. Change is coming. We ought to get out ahead of it and try to shape it to our liking.

This article originally appeared at MSNBC and was written by Jill Lawrence. You can read it at the source here:  PD: Obama hasn’t changed, but the country has – Politics Daily- msnbc.com

Tea Party Fear in Europe

Tim Phillips, lobbyist and chairman of Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is in Europe and Oslo to endorse and teach the Norwegian right wing party (Fremskrittspartiet) how to organize so-called grassroots campaigns. But the grass root campaigns such as those the Tea Party Movement and AFP holds aren’t bottom-up crowds, but pure lobbying campaigns financed by billionaires with a clear political agenda.

When the financial crisis was a fact Mr. Phillips and AFP among others funded and organized campaigns to spread disinformation, fear and hatred. Crowds called the American president a Marxist to fight against government intervention to counteract the financial crisis. To the contrary Newsweek interviewed our Party Leader and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg this week about the financial rescue that really worked.

The campaigns have also traveled the country with a bloody hand logo to deny poor Americans the right to health insurance, and launched the “Hot Air Tour” to claim that the climate crisis is conspiracy and carbon cap and trade is the expressway to national bankruptcy. These so-called grass root movements and Mr. Phillip’s salary is for the most part paid by the oil and gas company Koch Industries. This week he shared the podium with Party Leader of the right wing party Ms. Siv Jensen, called Scandinavia’s Margaret Thatcher by her own International Secretary. Next week he shares the stage with non other then the Tea Party queen herself, Sarah Palin, to fight their common goal of tax cuts and limited government.

Until now we in Europe have watched this absurd political theatre from afar, but now I truly worry that the right wing party will learn from these extremely reactionary forces and adapt the same strategies, in Norway and Europe. It represents a form of campaigning that the Norwegian Labour Party fears. I am truly afraid that our society will not be recognizable in 20 years if the right wing party comes to power, with the help of a speculative American lobbyist – far away from the real grass root.

I ask you American progressives and people from the real grass root movements. How can we disclose and prevent these pure lobbying campaigns financed by billionaire’s political influence? Please tip me on Twitter or Facebook.

This article originally appeared at the Huffington Post and was written by Raymond Johansen, the Party Secretary of the Labour Party of Norway. You can read it at its original source here:  Raymond Johansen: Tea Party Fear in Europe

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Comments

  1. First article is encouraging, tho inaccurate in many ways. Also, like most politicians of late, Obama is not who he claimed to be in his campaign. He has broken all the promises that would reduce and open up and decorrupt government, keeping only the socialist promises domestically. He has also managed to continue the same bad foreign policy of his predecessor without retribution. Not exactly what I would call a man who has not changed his tune.

    The second article pisses me off. It is basically Europe getting a head start on the spin. The tea party is grass roots, it is not funded or party driven. If it is, it sure as hell did not start that way. That is all spin to hurt its credibility and capitsalizing on it by the other side which also hurts it. I fear ir may even be a coordinated effort. That article is intended to head off a grass roots movement in Europe by claiming it is funded from the start. Sneaky, slimy little politicall weasels!

    • Chris Devine says:

      Jon, while I might agree that the TPM started as a grass-roots effort, it has most certainly been co-opted by people wishing to manipulate the frustration for their own purposes:

      “Have you wondered how the Tea Party, portrayed as a “grassroots” movement, could possibly raise enough money in one year to procure a professionally-painted, luxury motor coach and send it on two highly-publicized national tours? Or how the Tea Party so quickly developed the expertise to plan, organize and execute the tours, and consistently draw major media attention to them?”

      http://www.prwatch.org/node/9012

      I also agree that Obama has shed his sheep’s clothing in many respects and shown where his allegiances lie (even if I don’t see him as the socialist many believe him to be). Much like Bill Clinton did, Obama campaigned on a plank of change and hope but quickly caved on many promises. Check out his truth-meter on Politifact:

      http://www.politifact.com/personalities/barack-obama/statements/

      • Chris

        Nice to see you still checking in once and awhile. Wish you would contribute more often.

        I agree Mr. Obama is not a pure socialist, and the Repubs/Conservs mis-characterize socialism in general. I see him as more fascist (socio/economic) in the progressive mold but I am curious as to how you would characterize his admin so far.

        • Chris Devine says:

          I’d say he talks a good game when it comes to helping out the working man, but mostly he just helps out the people who bankrolled his campaign:

          http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/apr/22/barack-obama/obama-campaign-financed-large-donors-too/

          I would have liked to see him show a backbone and do things like repeal DADT, close Guantanamo, bring the troops home, throw out the PATRIOT act, etc. Still waiting…

          • Chris,

            Don’t hold your breath – it won’t happen on his watch.

            Obama was vetted by the CFR during his term in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

            He will follow their lead – and their lead for the foreseeable future is American Global Hegemony

          • Chris

            I knew we shared some points. Guantanamo didn’t and doesn’t really bother me as a detention location. As long as its operations are on the up and up.

            The rest I agree with. Although I am opposed to the health care reform as well as the single payer or govt options, where as I am guessing you prefer one of the latter two, over the solution shoved down our throats.

            You raise one point I have seen offered on Huff Po and other sites as criticism from the left. That is Mr. Obama’s supposed promise to bring the troops home. I distinctly heard him and other Dems declare Afghanistan as the righteous war and their intent to WIN as opposed to Bush who “got distracted”.

            But it seems that many on the left think Mr. O said he intended to pull out. I find it very interesting how we have such disparate views of his intent. It kind of supports my view that if you listened closely to the campaign there was just enough there to allow all of us to hear what we wanted to hear.

            These guys (proff. politicos) are getting real good at their craft. We are all being played.

            I agree with your other statement today that we all share some very key viewpoints on specific issues. While our core values may differ they result in the same answer to specific things like ending our interference in other countries and bringing home the troops.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @Jon – it is patently ridiculous that you think the Tea Party is purely grass roots – many aspects of it are robustly funded by Koch Industries – to think Koch does not have an agenda is just sticking one’s head in the sand. To fully shine light on the hypocrisy – much of the Koch fortune originated in Stalinist Russia – nothing like a little Commie money to fund your flavor of “grassroots”.

      As for “broken promises” – this is really become an annoyance of a broken record….

      There is ample tracking and referenced support that exists to show that Obama has kept more than a majority of his promises.

      • Sorry Ray- I’m not saying another word to defend myself whatsoever but you’re a hater and in denial about the whole tea party situation. It’s here. Its a fact. Nuff said

        • Anita, I love ya girl, but calling Ray a hater gives me visions of the far left calling the tea party racist.

          • I understand V…but why even go there… none of that needed to be said.

            The fact is I dont care how it got here..it is here.. and there is tons of grassroots support for it. I didn’t call anyone a hater except Ray who in my opinion deserved it. It’s not like I called him an ASSCLOWN

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Anita – it is here and it has been jackpotted by special interests – its a shame you don’t see that.

              I’m more and more convinced that all political parties suck.

              • So what’s the problem if moneied interests are invovled? Look at the Soros sponsored Left. What do you expect the Tea folks to do? They’re just fighting fire with fire. If the Left is so concerned about it they should take an example from their president and give up their moneied interests ‘in good faith’ just like their prez is giving up America’s offensive nuclear weapons. If its good enough for their prez it should be good enough for them.

            • I agree there is a ton of grassroot support but I also know that those with money will attempt an invasion-We must stop them 👿

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Denial Anita? Look closely at the the Tea Party “state of the union” as it is today – there are well funded monied interests that are/have seizing/seized the message of the tea party – same thing I warned of months ago and I was dismissed as a left wing loon. It actually saddens me that something with such promise was so easily driven in the ditch – hopefully my eulogy is premature.

          (And thanks VH – the Tea Partiers are not inherently racist – I know that and believe that. The Olber-jerks of the world are, well, jerks, for insinuating that)

      • Ray

        I think if you read closely you will see that Jon said, “If it is, it sure as hell did not start that way.” This is the real story with the Tea Party as it now exists. Which part is funded and which part still remains grass roots? Both exist, I can tell you that for sure. But how much of which and what is funded I have no handle on that.

        As I have said before, Mr. Obama’s promises amounted to giving everyone a little something they wished to hear without any real meat. Thus I expect many of his “promises” to be kept because you can read almost anything into the promise and therefore the outcome.

        Transparency for example. On the surface it looks like he kept his promise. We see all these agency initiatives and public announcements, etc. But the real decision making, where the deals are cut is behind doors. We also don’t see the undermining and manipulation of agencies going on by Admin staff. We don’t hear about the gag orders placed on agencies that are at the same time talking publicly about their transparency initiative.

        I must give credit to these guys though. Unlike Clinton they don’t seem to be phased by the loud opposition. They seem intent on forging ahead regardless of political or public opposition. They seem to have learned from the Clinton years and to have prepared in advance for this eventuality. But we will see what happens come November. If the R’s win big I suspect this Admin will get harder and not move to the middle like Clinton. Could be wrong but that is how I read it now.

        They will play the R’s as right wingers and the “party of no” in hopes of holding the white house in 2012 and perhaps gaining some seats back in Congress. The economy should oblige them as I expect another dip after the elections. They will blame the new R’s in Congress.

        I know I am getting on the edge with fortune telling hear but thought I would share my thoughts as of today.

        Best of days to ya Ray
        JAC

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          So how long did the real and pure Tea Party exist? As with most principled things – it gets jack-knifed by special & hidden interests. As I stated months ago – as an org to be true to its roots it will fail – its only a question of how many still get snowed by what it overall pretends to be.

          Rainy and gloomy here in Philly.

          Idiots from DHS doing an unannounced terror attack drill running around in chem suits. Way to go guys – scare the shit out of everyone.

          • Are you in denial Ray-I won’t even try to say that special interest aren’t attempting to take over-but the grass roots part is not dead-not even close

          • Ray

            My read is that there never was A Tea Party. There were hundreds of tea parties held across the country. These resulted in all kinds of different efforts by people at local levels to start educating themselves and to try and have their voices heard.

            The TEA PARTY was largely created by the media. You can’t talk about a thing if A thing is really just a bunch of people getting together to demonstrate their frustration.

            The prof. politicos then see all these people and start trying to insert themselves and supporting the effort in hopes of making friends and gaining support.

            To say it has been hijacked is an oversimplification in my view. Those who feel they are part of the movement are diverse and change depending on where you are. The media attention is on those parts where the money is and where “leaders” have emerged that they can name and attack/support. But there are many who are not part of that “organized” effort.

            It is still evolving and time will tell what it amounts to. It is far to diverse and amorphous to make hard judgments at this time.

            It is funny watching the “conservatives” and the “republican establishment” try to claim them, not realizing that “them” may not agree in the end and could turn against both at any time. Remember Mad Mom’s interview on Cavuto? When he asked about their “conservative” values she stated they would support either Dems or Repubs depending on which district and whether the candidates supported the idea of reduced federal spending and balanced budgets. Notice, her Tea Party group wasn’t plastered all over the other shows or other media outlets.

            My theory? Her group doesn’t fit the mold the media is looking for in order to foster confrontation.

            Part of the whole problem in the criticism is that this is not a typical “movement”. I think you and perhaps Chris mentioned this last year. Typical movements start with a few who then organize and motivate the masses to act. This started with a fairly spontaneous act by the masses without any real ideological leadership or direction.

            It is a very interesting study and fun to watch. I caution you against generalizing though. This is still fluid and much more diffuse than anyone will admit.

        • People were denying the grass roots of the tea party when it first began-so they could destroy the message-whether some are trying to use the message to their advantage does not make the message untrue-and those who wish to deny the grass roots that began it and are still there-will lose.

          • Chris Devine says:

            To be fair, I’d say the astroturf claims coincided exactly with the time most people heard about it on Fox News. By that time the claims were probably warranted, even if they weren’t when it first started.

            • I don’t know whether it coincided or not-but I do know that the left is trying to use their power to deny it ever was grass roots so they can dismiss the people of this country and the republicans are trying to make it their movement but What is important in all this is that the GOVERNMENT better listen to the message.

              • Chris Devine says:

                Don’t blame the left, blame the pundits and politicians who like to divide and conquer. You may be surprised to find points of agreement on the other end of the spectrum if you stop vilifying us and assuming the corporate shills in the government are our patsies. We don’t get what we want either most of the time. They might throw us a token bone every once in a while, but we aren’t fooled.

              • I am blaming the politicians and pundits and special interest groups, note the use of the word power and I should have said republican party not just republican.

              • Hi Chris,

                This is my first time seeing you post, tho I’ve heard lots about you. Don’t mind my big mouth today it’s just that SOMEONE fired me up bright and early.

                Question: Why will you guys (lefties) not stand up to some of the BS your party crams down our throat. You cannot possibly believe it all yourself?

              • Chris Devine says:

                It’s not my party. I’m registered Green and send nasty-grams to my reps on a regular basis. My district is staunchly Republican though and I usually get the ‘thanks for playing, we’ve got some lovely parting gifts’ treatment.

              • Oh boy..didn’t know that. Keep sending those nasty-grams then. Thanks for the info

              • Chris

                Do you have any ideas on how to separate the people from the operatives?

                I have spent a lot of time on HuffPo these past weeks trying to learn. What I see is that so many were invested in Mr. Obama that they have swallowed the DNC and Administration propaganda, hook, line and sinker.

                I am convinced there are many paid shills on that site given the type of commentary. Somehow, we need to get the message to all the regular folks.

                We also need to find a way to deal with our fundamental differences in Core Philosophy that will allow is to reach agreement where we can and NOT destroy each other when we can’t. This means we need a way to avoid the media and proff. shit stirrers when trying to talk to each other.

                Have any ideas?

              • Chris Devine says:

                The first step would be to stop the name-calling. I’m not accusing you of it, but there is far too much of it going around. Then I would suggest starting from the big picture and finding agreement, then work our way down until we disagree and stop there. Does that make sense?

                There will always be people who like to take advantage of the differences by trying to confuse us about the similarities.

              • Chris.

                Procedurally you should start with finding common values then work to the actual issues. Which is what I think you are saying.

                The process is not my real concern. I would use the systematic development of informed consent as my basic model. Not consensus but consent.

                My real question is how do we create a forum to allow the process to work?

                How do we take the megaphone away from the screamers? Yes, they will keep screaming. But someday they will find they have no audience anymore.

                I again use Mr. Obama as an example. Breaking this pattern was I thought one of his biggest campaign promises. Yet he immediately fell into the partisan mode. My point is that I don’t think we can rely on leadership from either party to break the cycle of abuse.

                New political coalition perhaps?

              • Chris Devine says:

                “Values” has become too much of a loaded term. You should check out some of the recent work in cog-sci to see how our understanding of the world is tied to such terms. All of us need a new language that isn’t just a bunch of euphemisms for personal prejudices.

              • Chris

                I agree that today the term can cause problems.

                I was thinking of how it is used in professionally conducted negotiations. For example, FAIRNESS is usually a shared value that can then be used to find agreement on the process moving forward.

                In the work I did it was important to understand just what you mention about how we see the world. It allows the other side to gain understanding and thus help find commonality, if it exists. Or to find solutions that were acceptable to both sides.

                I am not sure we need a new language as much as we need to chill out a little and be willing to listen.

                Jump to the bottom to continue. I think we have a chance to flesh out some things that would be helpful.

      • I was not very clear in my statements about the tea party, I was being lazy because it was 4 something am. I meannt to say that it did not begin funded or republican, so rather than rewrite I threw in that caveat. I realize it has been damaged by republican hijacking and had nefarious looking support financially. That is why it is losing libertarian support and many who started out all for the movement are losing enthusiasm. I was at the first rally here in Richmond. It was pure grass root and open to all sorts. I did not bother with the last rally.

        It is not hard to hijack a grass roots movement once it gets big enough for media attention, all you have to do is already be big enough to get media attention yourself. It is not an indicator of a weak movement, it is an indicator of the sheep-like nature of humanity. Too many follow the herd, and the bull headed ones leading the herd are wolves in sheeps clothing.

        As for Obama’s promises, I was a lot more clear. I said he broke the ones pertaining to openning the government or shrinking it or limiting it or cleaning it up. The most glaring example is the earmarks. He has done NOTHING to stop them, has signed off on hundreds os them, and had no issue with those and other backdoor deals if it supported his agenda. I have no doubt that he has kept the majority of his promises, just not the good ones.

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Like you, I was at the first TP Rally in Richmond last year…

          I’ve sorta lost some steam though…didn’t go this year either…

  2. First article: What drugs is Jill Lawrence taking and can I have some?

    Second: I agree with JS abouve. Slimy llittle political weasels.

    Damn Communists. Why do they have to fuck up America? Haven’t they done enough damage to the civilzed world already?

    • Thank you CP,

      You started my day with a giggle, and a non-politically correct mindset 🙂 Today is day 2 of contract negotiations, which Birdman should appreciate. Day 1 was just a get to know session and share non-economic proposals, which, in the course of just 3 hours, the “other side” mangaed to lie 5 times and lay our some less than impressive lines of “emotional” bullshit. Today, I get to call them out on their BS and watch them squirm like Dems at a town hall meeting. I’m not known for being politically correct anyway, so I might have some fun today, although it will be mostly boring.

      Thanks CP, you have started my day just the way I had hoped.

      As far as the articles that USW posted, The first author is totally drunk on the Obama kool-aid and there is no hope for her, and as for the second, I can see why we became a nation over 250 years ago, Europeans are stuck on stupid and will never learn (not all Europeans of course).

      Peace to all my Friends here on SUFA, you all bring great joy to each day of my life, as well as the great knowledge that I have gained from all of you!

      G!

      • G-Man:

        E-mail me the details of their emotional BS and lies. Lies are usually easy to expose and I am surprised they are doing that.

        We just finished up a contract in southern Indiana. It got pretty emotional but we got things under control and the contract was ratified Sunday.

        Preparing for an arbitration hearing Tuesday and the hearing is Wednesday.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Big Ditto to Cyndi! Time to work, Later.

    • Go Cyndi!

  3. Richmond Spitfire says:

    1st article…I bet she believes in Tinkerbell too.

    2nd article…this guy is skippiing the grassroots effort and he’s attempting to lay some sod down…Oops…isn’t that a bad word in Europe…Damn Sod…

    • My dearest Spitfire, there is no need to drag Tinkerbell into the fray.

      And for the record, she lives in my garden, under the Oak tree and next to the Lilacs.

      I hope all is well with you my dear.
      Safeties On……….Biggest of Hugs to you.
      JAC

  4. @ USW…Raptor Security request in process. The problem is not the process…..the problem is the feline. Even Raptors, in all their cunning, are afraid of feline confrontation. It is not so much the open confrontation….it is the sneaky, clandestine, below the radar, black ops way that felines think. Remember that I have a Raptomese (Siamese + Raptor cross)…they are on strike and will not support a feline confrontation. Will continue to work on the problem.

  5. Ray Hawkins says:

    Courtesy of Chris Devine – thanks Chris!

    Will the Real Tea Party Movement Please Stand Up?

    http://www.prwatch.org/node/9012

    (This oughts throw some of that grassy rootsy stuff under the tea party bus )

    • Waaaa, Waaaaa, Waaaaa, But Its Ok to funnel millions of taxpayer money to ACORN.

      Let’s talk message

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Anita,

        What is critically important is for those of us that believe in less government (or in my case no government if at all possible) need to stay on message, and disavow any contradictory messages that might come from those attempting to hijack the tea party movement and make it into something that was not intended.

    • Chris Devine says:

      I tried to post that link hours ago, but I must have triggered a spam filter or something.

      To echo much of what has been said above, once the TPM went viral it was too much of a temptation for outfits like the GOP, Fox News, FreedomWorks, and Americans For Progress. They have pounded it into their mold with a big ol’ money hammer and aren’t likely to give it back without a fight.

      Having said that, it wasn’t too difficult given that the demographics of the movement made for an easier fit. I don’t mean to say the hijacking was deserved, but it certainly didn’t surprise me.

      • Chris Devine says:

        That should be ‘Americans For Prosperity’.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Nice to see you Chris, and you are correct that once the movement got large enough, it became a takeover target.

        Hopefully we will see more of you around the place again!

        • Chris Devine says:

          Perhaps I’ll stick around for a while, but my wife has veto power if all the fun makes me hard to handle at home (or if my chores don’t get done).

          All the best.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Just tell your wife, “Hey, I am trying to make this coutry a better place!”

            I am sure that will buy you some blog time…

            Ok, maybe not 🙂

            At least it sounds good!

            • Chris Devine says:

              I know here response would be something along the lines of “make this house a better place, then worry about the country”.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                If EVERYONE focused on making their own house a better place (and a LOT less on everything else), the country would suddenly become a much better place and the Statists wouldn’t even understand what the hell just happened!

                🙂

              • Chris

                Sounds like your spousal unit leader and mine are related.

                Only trouble is that the house is never good enough to allow time for making the country better.

              • I overcame this by getting rid of my house… 🙂

              • Jon

                If I got rid of the house,
                I would also be losing the spouse.

              • JAC,

                That is a serious problem for all men.

                Women buy nests.

                Men live in caves.

                I would live in a hole in the wall for a few hundred bucks.

                Wife demands a bit more room, a view, easy access to stores, parks, swimming pools and libraries – and has to be safe, and clean with good and friendly neighbors who are quiet at night – and if there are similar age kids to ours, its a bonus.

                Guess where we live. 😉

              • BF

                Same place I do.

                Far away from where I should be.

              • I grant that my situation is unique.

        • Chris,

          Use only 1 link per post to avoid the “filters”

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Any “movement” in America that gets big enough will get taken over in just such a way. Why? Because a true grass-roots movement like the Tea Party movement is a THREAT TO THE GOVERNMENT.

      As such, special interests which have a vested interest in keeping the government just as it is right now will attempt to infiltrate and take over any such movement in an attempt to reduce or eliminate the perceived (or real) threat to the status quo.

      This is completely unsurprising. However, I believe that the “real” tea party movement will still have a big impact. Perhaps not enough to completely change government just yet, but it is inevitably coming.

      P.S. I miss Chris Devine, hope he is doing well 🙂

      • Peter,

        Not sure if threat to the gov. is accurate. The Gov. is made up of Dem’s & Repug’s, the two party system. I think both parties will try to hijack it, or destroy it, as it is a threat to the parties.

        You are correct, the Tea Party survival depends on staying on message. I think I have heard Beck backing away from them maintaining independence from the Repug’s, fearing Tea/Rep split giving the Dem’s an easy win.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        peter – I dont think it is just a threat to government – often there are also well-monied interests looking for the not-so-hostile takeover.

  6. Ray or someone…..why is everybody afraid of the Tea Party? why is there so much attention to it. I do not understand it. I know it for what it is and so does everybody else…but the left seems afraid….this I do not understand.

    • Oh…I missed a post. Is it because it is deemed hijacked?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        I deem it generally hijacked. I am sure there are pockets where it is still pure and true.

    • I’ve been trying to figure out how to say just that..but I’m so fired up right now it wouldnt come out as politely as you just said it.

      So what if it is hijacked anyway as long as the same message is there.

      • You have a point Anita, I mainly see the Republicans who are supporting the movement backing the message -the only problem I have, is do they truly mean it or are they just using it to get elected.

      • Been thinking it through, friend Anita. IF and that is IF the Tea Party movement is genuine, then, in my opinion, it would make a difference if it was hijacked. Otherwise, it would be like Move On etal…that has hijacked the Democratic party.

        If you will notice on this blog, there are very few TRUE progressives….probably only two….the Progressive movement is not the true Democratic Party. The Progressive movement is way past liberal.

        I do not consider myself a part of the Tea Bag movement but I am very strong conservative…..fiscally. I consider myself a moderate on social issues. But, if the Tea Party movement is genuine, I never saw it as a gun toting, religious right wing element. The one meeting that I went to was very nice and laid back except for the protesters that were there trying to destroy it.

        If the far right wing associates itself with the values of the Tea Bag movement…ok…. but to take it over from a far right wing would not be good in my estimation. The rally that I went to was not a fanatical rally at all. There were no confederate flags or burning crosses or beer drinking gun toting ass holes. There were no militia nor people that advocated these extremist view points. It was conservative and open. It’s primary focus was eliminating big government and not worried about Obama or Reid or Pelosi but the result that they are bringing.

        I vote conservative…but not far right wing. I believe in the philosophy that the movement presented here and I will back it….but I do not back the extreme right at all and will not. I think that the message should stay the course…and that is anti big government….not anarchy…not over throw by violent means…none of that crap….but vote and get the bastards out and raise the voices…..I still believe in our system when others do not and, quite frankly, do not give them much mind. I suggest you stay the course in which you believe….use your own mind and use your own intuition. it is probably correct.

        • Hey D13, I don’t think it will get to that point I’m kind of seeing it as a paradigm shift. The mindset thing . The many different messages. None of which are violent, too religious, too anti-govt, pretty much just good ol middle America talk. Then you have the big guys like Beck and even Rush and Hannity talking deep down politics which many Americans tune out but still realize its the correct frame of mind. Then you have the regular Joes in the street like me talking tea party.

          After talking SUFA for a while I’m starting to wonder what right wing is anymore anyway. So I’m curious who by name, or group who would hijack it and for what. What could be a different message that they would care to bring out? And is it harmful to the original ideas of the tea party anyway?

          It still doesn’t matter because if the paradigm has shifted then we’re not buying trickery anyway. Seems we just kind of want to be in the middle. So at this point I don’t know what my point is anymore. Care to take it from here? 🙂

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      It isn’t just the “left” that is afraid of the Tea Party movement, the “establishment right” is afraid of it as well.

      It represents the first real potential threat to the status quo of government in a LONG time.

      The Statists (regardless of shirt color) take such threats very seriously.

      • EXACTLY

        And all the mudslinging in the world will not change anything. I think all the pols are doomed because the message is out. And nothing can change that. The more opposition the better really. It just validates the tea party more. That’s what everyone is afraid of. They can’t stop it even when they try to smear it.

      • “It represents the first real potential threat to the status quo of government in a LONG time.”

        D13 says: Ok..this I can get a handle on but it seems to me that this movement has been around for some time….long before the last two years. I went to a “Tea Party” meeting in Dallas just to see what it is like because I really do not know. what I found were conservative minded people there…some pretty ultra conservative…but mainly conservative. What I did not see were signs depicting racial overtones, as I have heard reported, and I did not hear any advocacy of “over throwing” the government. Just people that were tired of big government. I did not see skin heads nor gun toting (automatic weapons) people (except for me) I have a concealed permit and I always carry but it is concealed. I did not see anyone trying to incite the crowd (other than the protesters) and it was calm. I would say it was 60% Caucasian, 20% black, 15% Hispanic, and the rest scattered out. They even had a person there that would “sign” to the deaf and they had a Spanish Translator there. There were approximately 1,500 people there.

        So, what is the deal on the right or left OTHER than it may be against the established norm.

        The “move on” rally that I attended two years ago to find out what they were about was far more threatening than this…so…I am just trying to understand the hype and fear.

        Thanks for your replies.

    • Chris Devine says:

      I’m not afraid and nobody on the left who pays attention is either. There are plenty of good articles describing how this current movement is just another incarnation of an always-present group of Americans. The tea party hat is just a new costume.

      I don’t mean to belittle this movement or insult its members, but they comprise about the same percentage of the voting public as my ilk do (i.e., real liberals) and we have suffered from the same misrepresentation more than occasionally. We just don’t get corporate sponsors that often (that’s not necessarily a bad thing). By definition grassroots efforts are not popular amongst those in power. When the left’s causes get mainstream acceptance it’s usually called green-washing instead of astroturf. They’re both disingenuous and are long term liabilities for any movement.

      As for why it garners so much attention, it seems pretty obvious that confrontation makes for good ratings (not that the confrontation is the important part, it’s just the part that keeps those ad revenues flowing in).

      • I’d say the biggest difference in this movement is because they are talking fiscal responsibility -period-not abortion-not gay marriage-fiscal responsibility.

      • “We just don’t get corporate sponsors that often”

        No Chris, the left’s movements never involve, oh let’s say SEIU, or Soros funded groups.

        Denial.

        • Chris Devine says:

          When did I say ‘never’? Besides, I’m sure if you tally up the amount spent to further conservative causes and weigh it against liberal causes it would look like Laurel and Hardy on a see-saw.

          Who’s really in denial? How many liberal billionaires are there to balance out the effects of the Koch’s, the Mellon Scaiffe’s, the Prince’s, the Walton’s, et al? You could add up all the wealth of every single Hollywood “liberal” and still not come close to just these four families.

          • What if you add in almost all the forms of the news media.

            • Chris Devine says:

              The media is about as liberal as the corporations who own it:

              http://www.cjr.org/resources/

              I honestly don’t see General Electric or Viacom as being very liberal. Feel free to disagree. Rupert Murdoch owns the network that airs The Simpson’s, but no one accuses him of being a liberal.

            • And Move-On, Acorn, Soros, etc. etc. etc.

              • Chris Devine says:

                If Move-On didn’t constantly ask me to chip in $25 I’d be worried about their war chest. You think ACORN is a threat in comparison to Xe (formerly Blackwater) or Wal*Mart?

                Be serious.

              • Isn’t that the point of the tea party-they are all dangerous-but yes I think the combined power of the left organizations and the fact that the dems are in power makes them more dangerous.

              • Ok Chris, You may have a point about some R money floating around.

                But I now stand with Kathy:

                DENIAL

                Sorry

              • Chris Devine says:

                Don’t be sorry. Prove me wrong.

              • Stand by: Nov 2 will say it better 🙂

              • How are Xe and WalMart threat to the Republic?

                I think voter fraud on a massive scale is more damaging to the Republic than a retail giant and a corrupt private physical security firm.

              • Chris Devine says:

                Really? Private mercenaries controlled by a billionaire and a retailer with more resources than most countries aren’t a threat.

                If you say so.

                http://www.thenation.com/sections/blackwater

                See what Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler had to say about war profiteers or what Eisenhower had to say about the military-industrial complex.

              • Chris…I am full aware of Blackwater…know several people there…had a chance to work for them myself…but being a merc is not my style….

                However, please explain your theory on Walmart.

              • Chris Devine says:

                For a company who suggests its employees should take advantage of welfare programs instead of providing benefits (all while avoiding any beneficial contributions to the communities it invades), it seems to me that a metastatic tumor on society is a pretty big problem for a republic.

                Never mind the jobs they send overseas to third world sweatshops instead of sourcing their cheap plastic crap locally.

              • Chris,

                All such ventures require centralized government – without the existence of legal violence, they would be substantially muted.

                Government sits waiting and eager to entertain the designs of evil men.

                Eliminate the self-proclaimed right to do violence on non-violent men, and evil men lose their most powerful tool.

              • Chris Devine says:

                Or we could just revoke their charters.

              • Chris

                Or we could just eliminate the welfare programs and the corporate veil for Officers and Directors.

  7. I tried reading the article today, but couldn’t get past the raptors 😦

  8. I’ve attended many “tea party” events and am always amused by those that haven’t attended a single gathering, yet know all about the people that attend them.

    I’m not being hijacked by anyone, but am finally awake to the BS, err pelosi, that has been dealt to us by our elected officials. I’d say that’s a common feeling among those that are coming out to these gatherings.

    Wishful thinking among many that we will just go away.

  9. Jill Lawrence article. Delusional.

  10. I think Black Flag and PeterB need a microphone to preach at the top of their lungs about NO GOVERNMENT.

    People might think they are crazy but enough talk about no govt might bring more people around to the idea of limited government. Look how far they drug all of us here..kicking and bitching..but most here believe much of what they say. Even the lefties.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Funny when the pirates turn out to be the good guys, isn’t it?

      By the way, if you have Encore (TM) I think “The Princess Bride” is on again.

      Funny that Rob Reiner would make such an accidentally completely anti-leftist movie… but then again, I tend to like a LOT of movies that he has been involved in 🙂

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Oh, and by the way, microphones and preaching at the top of my lungs is not my style… I prefer to change people by infiltrating one mind at a time! 🙂

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Peter – I knew there was a reason for that faint buzzing sound I seem to hear nowadays. Damn you!

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I have yet to figure out the mind infiltration trick without the faint buzzing that accompanies it, but I have a crack team of technicians working on the problem even as we speak!

          In the meantime, talk with your doctor about remedies for tinitis, I hear that they help get rid of that faint buzzing 🙂

          • Doesn’t work. recently tried Quietus….the new wonder drug for that….did not work.

      • Peter

        That’s 150 million speeches each. Please grab a mic. We only have til November 🙂

        • Anita

          Did you notice what happened to Glenn Beck when he stood before CPAC and stated BOTH parties are the problem?

          The next day, Rush L. was criticizing him and he and Hannity were telling everyone that you must vote Republican or the Dems will win.

          The biggest problem we have right now, those of us who want freedom restored, is that we have no alternative. We are forced to vote for the R’s or find a D who promises to tow the line against the Dem leaders who are on the power drink. That is all we can do for now but it creates a real problem.

          It leads the R’s to think we support them. It leads the D’s to think we are just conservative republicans in disguise. They attack accordingly. And the Libertarians don’t seem to have a clue either. That would be the natural route to take but their leadership is afraid of losing control as well and won’t compromise on some of their issues.

          Remember, that November is just a STALLING action. That is all we can hope to gain. If we keep that in mind we will not feel as frustrated by the criticism and the failures. Let the R’s and D’s think what they will. And some day a NEW party will arise and throw them all out and they will sit around wondering what happened.

          • JAC: Consider your other shoulder broken now– by me.(oops violence!)

            Didn’t you just spend the night before your surgery convincing me to vote principle over party? And I told you I would. Now what’s your problem again. Have a seat on the SUFA…you’re in time out. 🙂

            • Anita

              I stand by my original advice and admonishment.

              I did not mean to confuse you with the above. You must still use your principles to select the one you vote for.

              My point is that if WE invest to much of our own motivation and hope in this November we will be severely disappointed.

              That is because WE are still a minority.

              Therefore, WE need to view the election as nothing but a stalling tactic while WE continue to build OUR size and effectiveness. WE do not need to vote for the lesser of two evils, there will be more than enough to do that. I am talking more about how WE view the results.

              Based on your comment about November I just wanted to remind everyone that it is not the cure, unless the Libertarian Party were to sweep all the open seats. That would send a message.

              I apologize, I am so sorry, please forgive me for muddying up the water. Can I get off the SUFA now? I need to go hit golf balls with my boy. 🙂 🙂

              You get TWO Big JAC hugs for being on top of your game today. Just reading the words it did appear I was stepping on myself.

              HUG, HUG

              • Yes JAC you can go play now 🙂

                And I do realize that November solves nothing but it should start ruffling some feathers

  11. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    As to the “who has more funding” argument above, no offense to anyone, but WHAT A SILLY THING TO ARGUE ABOUT!

    The truth is, both the right-statists and the left-statists get obscene amounts of funding from sources that have absolutely no interest whatsoever in the concepts of freedom, individual liberty, and personal responsibility. As such, people that believe that this country was founded on, and should contiunue to be based on, these essential concepts shouldn’t trust either the right-statists or the left-statists whatsoever, nor should we particularly care how much money they get and where they get it from.

    Our job is to make them obsolete so that no one will have any particular interest in funding them anymore.

    • Chris Devine says:

      As long as everybody uses the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” doctrine (at home and abroad), we all continue to look like suckers. That’s why I’m in favor of a coalition/multi-party government instead of the he-said/she-said crap we have now. If everybody stuck to their principles and supported candidates who didn’t have to be everything for everybody then we could have a government that isn’t like two mob families dividing up territories just to keep the rackets running peacefully.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I am in favor of individual liberty and personal responsibility, and voluntary coalitions of people working together to get common goals accomplished without the use of coercion and force.

        Until we give up the mentality of “there is NO WAY we can get XYZ done without the government!” we are doomed.

        There are ALWAYS ways of getting XYZ done if enough people really believe that XYZ is a good idea, and getting anything done by a “government” is always the least efficient, most expensive, and most damaging way to get XYZ accomplished, regardless of what XYZ happens to be.

      • Chris

        I tend to agree with the many parties concept. But why would various groups not eventually form coalitions to do exactly what it is we hope they couldn’t do?

        It seems to me that when you offer the kind of power that exists in our Federal govt it will eventually corrupt those who touch it, regardless of how many different colored shirts they wear.

        While I like more parties, I would like to see the Federal reduced to bare bones and have the States start dealing with most of the issues. This would give us added diversity and require that we work together rather than having the KING tell us what to do.

        I know there will be bumps but it seems much more likely to actually solve problems in the least imposing way possible.

  12. http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/04/fighting_statism.html

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made the same error in a recent appearance on CNN. He discussed the Democratic health care bill and identified the slogan “repeal and replace” as a key component of Republican campaign strategy. He went on to say, “[H]opefully we’ll be able to repeal the most egregious parts of this and replace them with things we could have done on a bipartisan basis much earlier this year.” McConnell implied that Republicans are willing to compromise with Democrats on health care legislation, which is a tragedy in itself, given the horrifying national crisis of debt. But even worse than this, Republicans propose a bill that is principally and morally no different from the Democratic bill.

    Where Democrats seek to plan health care directly, Republicans propose tax incentives and federal-to-state bonus payments to plan the industry “indirectly.” The key similarity is that Democrats and Republicans both agree that politicians must use their particular methods of planning to manipulate buyers and sellers of health care services. Because the free market already provides a profit incentive for exceptional services at the best prices, Republican legislation is unnecessary and even harmful.

    As mentioned above, markets deal with the facts of reality, and any kind of successful business venture must gauge these facts accurately. Republican health care legislation will distort the view of the marketplace by making it appear as if some kinds of services are better than others. If individuals actually require different services, then this legislation will necessarily increase cost and waste. Just as with the previous example of nuclear energy, capital would be forced away from better services to those “encouraged” by Republican legislation. With this proposal, Republican leaders would create more government control, fewer choices for individuals, and yet more cracks in the foundation.

    Republican leaders do not question whether government should interfere at all in the choices of free individuals, but rather how the interference should be implemented. Both parties treat society as a singular entity that should be herded, steered, and molded in the image they envision. In reality, a society is composed of individuals making their own decisions. Treading on the rights of individuals will necessarily damage the society that emerges. The simple point has been lost on Republican leaders that the most effective way to encourage innovation is to stop meddling with people

  13. USW,

    Cable modems are not the high tech that they portray to be – They just make you a slave to the cable company, which is just about as low tech as you can get . . . Not to mention prone to failure. I had that problem this winter at the RV park. My internet connection was sporadic, at best and just plain unreliable.

    FYI – cats have a tendency to whiz on cable modems that are placed close to the floor – they do that thinking that you will blame the dog. My two dogs (German Sheppards) continue to argue about cats – one thinks they taste great, and the other thinks they are less filling. 😉

    P.S. – I am beginning to worry about you hanging around that Huffington Post, I hear that too much exposure to it can cause temporary brain damage and make you actually like cats for short periods of time.

    After reading that European article I know exactly why we broke off of Europe so many years ago . . . That guy writes like he is ready for a padded cell.

    There are “Progressives” all over the place, and the true Obamatrons still think that if we just blindly follow his lead we will be just fine. I think that is the words that Jum Jones told his people as they were drinking the kool-aide . . . These Progressive policies are nothing short of committing National suicide both politically and economically.

    Will check in again later today.

  14. Down here Chris. Doesn’t the government do the same as Walmart by encouraging people to sign up for their entitlements, as opposed to encouraging people to be productive and responsible for themselves? When was the last time either party preached personal responsibility and actually encouraged it? Walmart is simply using the system imposed upon it to its advantage. If you don’t like it, then maybe the system you support should be given another look.

    • Chris Devine says:

      While the delivery might be flawed, I see nothing inherently wrong with programs that do what they’re supposed to. The so-called welfare reform did nothing but push vulnerable people into the low-wage workforce without any regard for the long-term effects. Government programs should most definitely serve to give people a means to improve in addition to the incentive to do so. It might be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. The problems arise when any given program (whether it’s in the form of individual assistance or corporate subsidies) becomes an end in itself rather than a means to succeed. That’s where the ‘eternal vigilance’ part kicks in.

      • Chris,

        The root of the problem is as soon as you believe you “pet project” deserve government violence to enforce, anyone’s “pet project” deserves government violence to enforce.

        Answer: No one’s “pet project” deserves government violence to force.

        If you can’t convince me on the merit of your idea – it doesn’t have merit to me. You don’t have the right to force it down my throat when I say “no”.

        If the People do not understand these concepts, we’ll end up right back at economic and social disaster – over and over again.

        • Chris Devine says:

          Our disagreements will always boil down to our views of a representative government. You want what amounts to a public referendum on everything. That’s not practical however principled such a stance may be. I want to trade the smallest amount of principle for the greatest practical effect (i.e., democracy). I’d wish you luck in your endeavor but we both know I wouldn’t mean it.

          Regardless, I wish you no harm. [Don’t read too much into that. I’m just trying to be friendly.]

          • Chris

            Our disagreements will always boil down to our views of a representative government.

            The irony:
            my view allows you to hold yours; your view does not allow me to hold mine.

            I cannot nor will ever subscribe to a belief that there exists a reason to use violence on non-violent people; if attacking innocent people cannot be defined as evil, then the words “innocent” and “evil” holds no meaning.

            You want what amounts to a public referendum on everything.

            Tyranny of the mob does not make evil a “right”. Does it really matter if 10 hands or a million wave in the air, granting themselves the right to steal from others??

            Yes, a million maybe more successful at it then the 10 – but capability as making Right is the philosophy of Barbarians (“Might is Right” doctrine).

            I’d wish you luck in your endeavor but we both know I wouldn’t mean it.

            And I reciprocate your sentiments.

            Regardless, I wish you no harm. [Don’t read too much into that. I’m just trying to be friendly.]

            Likewise!

            Cheers!

      • What are the effects of the unemployed be pushed into low wage jobs? Are these bad effects? How are these people better served by staying on the dole long term or indefinately?

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Good Questions Cyndi…

          Another question that I have is that no matter what, there are low-paying jobs, right? So, by virtue of them being there, someone has to do them…right?

          Or Chris…Is it the intent of social welfare (and associated training programs) to get to the point in the US where compensation for Job A = same compensation for Job B?

          Thanks,
          RS

          • Chris Devine says:

            If you mean that all jobs should pay the same, then I’d say no (apologies if that’s not what you meant). That’s not the intent of welfare programs. I am a firm supporter of John Rawls’ ideas as he laid them out in books like A Theory of Justice. Jobs should pay in accordance with the amount of work it takes to achieve a particular position. We should pay doctors more than ushers because of all the education and personal sacrifice required to become a doctor.

            http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rawls/#JusFaiJusWitLibSoc

            I’m also a firm believer in living wage ordinances. Everyone should afford to live on forty hours worth of pay. This should be the standard by which everything else is adjusted. If a business can’t stay in the black without paying people less than that, then it should change or fail. Anything else is externalizing the actual costs of doing business, pushing the costs of living on to other taxpayers.

            • For Chris’ plan to work, “someone” needs to judge value.

              Of course, he doesn’t like the actual participants in a trade to be the judges – he wants a disinterested, evil third party to make those judgments – of course (tongue in cheek) will be completely devoid of any personal benefit or preference

              A person should be paid based on what his effort is valued by the person who pays him.

              If the pay is too small – do not work for that person.

              If the asking price is too big – do not hire him.

              The definition of “fair” belongs to the participants – not some government idiot.

              • Chris Devine says:

                You’ve got me all wrong. I do think the actual participants should be the judges under ideal conditions. However, when one party has much more leverage than the other then I think the playing field should be leveled a bit.

                I like collective bargaining and I think labor movements would get nowhere without such tools. If every employee had to go it alone against a powerful boss, who do you think would win every time? However, if all those employees get together and decide collectively to bargain, doesn’t that seem fair. It’s all about balance.

                The only time the government should be involved is to set the ground rules and to enforce those rules. Let equal parties decide amongst themselves, but if one side is cheating then it needs to be corrected.

              • Chris,

                You’ve got me all wrong.

                Chris, I think I have you pegged to a “T”.

                You will allow people to freely act in their best interests as long as in your opinion it satisfies you – either materially, or intellectually.

                You reserve the self-proclaimed right to interfere on your whim.

                True, often that means “you” couldn’t be bothered to act but your threat to act is never diminished.

                However, when one party has much more leverage than the other then I think the playing field should be leveled a bit.

                So you agree we should shoot top-flight sports stars so that those with less ability can play “better”?

                No playing field is level – ever.

                The play exists precisely an inequality – you have something I want.

                And, it works the other way – I have something you want.

                Both must exist for free trade – if one does not wish to participate, but by an act of violence it is still taken from him – that is an act of evil.

                I like collective bargaining and I think labor movements would get nowhere without such tools.

                The free organization of men to better represent themselves is their right.

                They have no right to force anyone to join them, nor force the other party to accept them.

                If every employee had to go it alone against a powerful boss, who do you think would win every time?

                Both do!

                I go against my “boss” every day. I buy my money with my effort every day – and every day my boss has the RIGHT to say “not tomorrow, thanks”.

                He also knows that I have the right to say “Won’t be there tomorrow” too.

                But almost every day, we both win.

                I want to work, and he wants my effort. We trade – my effort for his money.

                We both win.

                However, if all those employees get together and decide collectively to bargain, doesn’t that seem fair. It’s all about balance.

                Cooperative group works.

                But if they use violence – legal or not – to obtain their goals, they are evil.

                The only time the government should be involved is to set the ground rules and to enforce those rules.

                The rules allow one side to use violence on the other.

                This is an act of evil.

                Let equal parties decide amongst themselves, but if one side is cheating then it needs to be corrected.

                Cheating?

              • Chris Devine says:

                The lack of rules also permits violence. Before labor laws were enacted many businesses routinely used violence to put down peaceful strikes. Private mercenaries like the Pinkertons were often used against non-violent workers to threaten and intimidate them. This is most definitely cheating.

                You possessing something I want isn’t inequality, it’s opportunity. The market is meant to find the point of agreement where we trade. You want to make widgets. I want to feed and clothe my family (just like everybody else). We’ll trade our labor for your capital provided the terms are reasonable. If they are, we work. If they aren’t, we walk.

              • Chris,

                Do you really believe that People do not understand that attacking someone is “not a good thing?”

                Civilized men have long figured out that there exists no reason -none- to initiate violence on another man

                This is beyond a “common” understanding – it is universal in civilization.

                The only “Law” that is required is provide:

                (1)mitigation of the use of initiation of violence

                (2) protection from the use of initiation of violence

                (3) restitution from the use of initiation of violence.

                Whatever “rules”, that is the non-violent enforcement of societal norms, you want to place – that’s up to the individuals in the community.

                I agree that there are many instances of men using violence on other men – millions of examples.

                But none of them were a Right – but much of it was legal.

                The market is meant to find the point of agreement where we trade.

                NO!

                The market does NOT work to find agreement!

                That is a consequence of a successful trade – but the market supports in a perfect way unsuccessful trades.

                You want to make widgets. I want to feed and clothe my family (just like everybody else). We’ll trade our labor for your capital provided the terms are reasonable. If they are, we work. If they aren’t, we walk.

                Correct.

                The market does not make agreement or disagreement.

                Individuals do – each based on their own needs and wants.

                No stirring required.

              • BF, the only thing “universal” in mankind IS violence. That is why guys like me have job security – we will always need cops to keep the peace . . . even if we have to resort to violence to do so.

              • G.A. Rowe,

                Did you get mugged when you went walking?

                Did someone pop off a few bullets when you got out of bed?

                Did someone purposely crash into your car on your way to work or shopping?

                No, violence is NOT universal.

                If it was even a bit more than 1% all of civilization would crumble.

                Cops do not PREVENT crime – if that was the case, why do we have crime?

                The best Cops do is punish my killer – but as if I care; I’m dead.

                No, violence is certainly a part of the universe and for many humans, very profitable.

                But is is NOT common.

                …except if your government

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              Thanks Chris…that is what I was asking…

              I don’t know about the “Living Wage” Ordinance suggestion and how if businesses cannot pay the “living wage” and operate in the black….

              I’m trying to imagine how this would go in my mind and I think that it would go badly…I think that many businesses would go under and large corporate monopolies would develop, which in turn would push the “living wage” higher and higher – ’cause folks just won’t be able to live on their wages.

              Just my opinion for what it is worth…

              Thanks,
              RS

              • Chris Devine says:

                Just think of it this way: if the asking price for a product doesn’t cover the actual cost to produce it, then something’s got to give. Either the price needs to be increased to reflect the actual cost or the product shouldn’t be for sale (and nobody should be making a profit if that’s the case).

                The term in economics for this is ‘externalities’. It wouldn’t be fair for someone to steal all your apples and sell them without giving you your fair share. Likewise, a community shouldn’t have to cover the living expenses for employees of a business that privatizes the profit at the public’s expense. Sound reasonable?

                Lots of businessmen talk about a free market and such, but when they don’t have to account for all the costs themselves (while keeping all the profits) it hardly seems fair.

              • Chris,

                Just think of it this way: if the asking price for a product doesn’t cover the actual cost to produce it, then something’s got to give. Either the price needs to be increased to reflect the actual cost or the product shouldn’t be for sale (and nobody should be making a profit if that’s the case).

                Or someone will innovate a better way of produced said goods.

                It wouldn’t be fair for someone to steal all your apples and sell them without giving you your fair share.

                Nice try!!

                It just isn’t RIGHT to stealno matter how many apples they leave or give back!!

                Likewise, a community shouldn’t have to cover the living expenses for employees of a business that privatizes the profit at the public’s expense. Sound reasonable?

                Since the community “must steal” the money to give out, that is where the problem starts.

                Lots of businessmen talk about a free market and such, but when they don’t have to account for all the costs themselves (while keeping all the profits) it hardly seems fair.

                They account for all the costs just fine – its called “accounting systems”.

                What isn’t fair is some arbitrary third party believing they know what is “fair” for someone else – and when they disagree, uses a club to beat them.

              • Chris Devine says:

                I’ll say this once: give me a charitable reading and don’t try to put words in my mouth or else I’m gone. I don’t appreciate it when people purposefully misinterpret my words to score points for their side. I think I have treated you with respect today and I would like it if you did the same for me. Having said that…

                Sometimes there isn’t a way of building a better mousetrap. In such cases the actual cost of building and selling the mousetrap should be reflected in the price tag or it shouldn’t be for sale.

                It isn’t right to steal. A better example would be that using chemicals to grow apples that run off and kill my neighbor’s livestock (while making my apples more profitable to me) isn’t fair if I don’t account for recouping his losses in the price of my apples. If I turn a profit at my neighbor’s expense then I am effectively stealing from him and I should change my growing practices. Please explain how accounting systems will fix this problem if I have no intention of making good on my neighbor’s loss.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Any mandated “living wage” is doomed to cause ecomomic and social catastrophe. A worse idea could not possibly be formulated.

                Only YOU can determine what wage you need in order to live how you want to live, and then it is up to you to do what you need to do in order to go out and obtain that wage.

                The government cannot possibly do this for you or for anyone else.

              • Chris Devine says:

                It is not rocket science to figure out the living costs for any given area. COLA’s (cost of living allowances) for similar positions in different locations are based upon calculations such as average housing costs and such. Just because it’s difficult to quantify doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

                Given that the only jobs affected by this would be minimum wage jobs I fail to see how it would cause catastrophe. Every time a minimum wage increase is proposed there are plenty of chicken little’s out there who foretell the demise of small business. Yet every time the small businesses remain.

                All I’m saying is that employers should not be allowed to pay workers less than what it would take to pay for base subsistence. The lack of surplus cash for luxuries should take care of the motivation for people to improve their situations.

        • Chris Devine says:

          For high school kids there’s probably nothing wrong with a job that won’t cover living expenses. They presumably have parents who do that. But forcing a single parent to take a low-wage job that won’t cover the child care expenses necessitated by it seems rather ill-conceived. Real reform would have addressed issues like that instead of just making people like that (who were already desperate) ripe for the picking. Also, forcing large amounts of people into low-wage jobs depresses wages even further.

          • Who says they have to stay in low paying jobs all their lives? I worked those crappy low wage jobs until my thirties when I returned to school. I was the mother of a five year old daughter and then went through a divorce and still finished my degree AS while supporting my self. I then went on to finish my BA degree while remarried and supporting a husband in addition to my daughter. If I can do it, anybody can, and many people do. It just kinda sucks and is really really hard. but not as hard as staying in a dead end job and not sacrificing for your future. Of course, whining and getting others to pay your way is the easy way out if you can vote in the politicians.

            • Chris Devine says:

              I think we can agree that hard work is necessary, but it’s not always sufficient. All I’m suggesting is that (for everyone’s benefit) we should make the transition from unemployed to successful as painless as possible without giving people a disincentive to work hard. A hand-up instead of a hand-out.

              It doesn’t take much to derail somebody who is already vulnerable. An accident or a crime can put the dream of self-sufficiency out of reach for many people. I just want to bridge such gaps while at the same time rewarding hard work.

              • Chris,

                You cannot “make” anyone successful no more than you can “force” someone to be free.

                You cannot mitigate the negative consequences of an action while hoping that the only the positive consequences of an action provide motivation.

                What you end up with is exactly what you want to avoid – more imprudent action – and contradicting your aim.

              • Chris Devine says:

                Are you saying that we should just let some people starve due to accidents or crime, regardless of how hard they have worked?

              • Chris,

                Let’s take a walk to understand the situation.

                (1)Person is starving. But I am dead. I am not there. Therefore I do nothing.

                The Universe is at fault for their starving, it is not my fault.

                I have no obligation since I am not at fault. I also happen to be dead.

                Please demand the Universe provide, though from experience, it rarely answers demands.

                (2)Person is starving. But I am not dead. But, I am not there. I am thousand miles away.

                Therefore I do nothing.

                The Universe is at fault for their starving, it is not my fault.

                I have no obligation since I am not at fault. I also happen to be very far away.

                Please demand the Universe provide, though from experience, it rarely answers demands.

                (3)Person is starving. But I am near. But I do nothing.

                The Universe is at fault for their starving, it is not my fault. I have no obligation since I am not at fault even though I happen to be near.

                Please demand the Universe provide, though from experience, it rarely answers demands.

                Of the three, I do understand you find the (3) repugnant and maybe immoral – but it is my right.

                If you do not #3 choice, exercise your non-violent social enforcements of ridicule but keep your guns in your holster.

              • Argg..
                garble mouth

                Rephrase the last paragraph because it got too skinny to see…

                If you do not LIKE the #3 choice, PLEASE exercise your non-violent social enforcements of ridicule but keep your guns in your holster.

              • No Chris. That’s what lawsuits, charity and insurance are for.

              • Chris Devine says:

                You don’t see a problem with relying on the courts and insurance companies for everything? Lawsuits require lawyers and courts and are meant to be a last recourse, not a first line of defense. Insurance is fine as long as you can afford it. Plus in many cases you have to fight to get them to pay which brings the courts back into the equation. I wouldn’t call either one of these solutions efficient.

                Regarding charity, I’m all for it provided there are no strings attached. Offering someone a bowl of soup (but only if they sit through your sermon) is about as charitable as giving someone a “free” vacation as long as they sit through a short presentation about timeshares.

                In any case, the point I was trying to make is that there are plenty of good reasons for the government to provide assistance when such assistance benefits more than just the one cashing the check. Education, training, and individual assistance make plenty of sense as long as they improve the overall situation of all those concerned.

                Does that make sense?

              • I partially agree with you, I’m all for helping someone help him/herself. About those derailments, most can be overcome IF the desire is there. In many cases it is not….

  15. Todd,

    No surprise to the Austrian School….

    Economists: The stimulus didn’t help

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The recovery is picking up steam as employers boost payrolls, but economists think the government’s stimulus package and jobs bill had little to do with the rebound, according to a survey released Monday.

    In latest quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics, the index that measures employment showed job growth for the first time in two years — but a majority of respondents felt the fiscal stimulus had no impact.

    NABE conducted the study by polling 68 of its members who work in economic roles at private-sector firms. About 73% of those surveyed said employment at their company is neither higher nor lower as a result of the $787 billion Recovery Act, which the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers says is on track to create or save 3.5 million jobs by the end of the year.

    • I hear they just realized that water is wet too. 🙂 I wish this sort of research got more main stream press.

    • About 73% of those surveyed said employment at their company is neither higher nor lower as a result of the $787 billion Recovery Act

      What about the other 27%? What’s their opinion of the stimulus? Why aren’t they mentioned?

      That sentiment is shared for the recently passed $17.7 billion jobs bill that calls for tax breaks for businesses that hire and additional infrastructure spending. More than two-thirds of those polled believe the measure won’t affect payrolls, while 30% expect it to boost hiring “moderately.”

      If 30% think the $17.7 billion jobs bill will boost hiring “moderately,” maybe the remaining 27% think the $787 billion Recovery Act will at least boost hiring “moderately”?

  16. A couple of days ago I raised a warning about the dramatic rise in food prices.

    Today, I raise another warning

    From my web files …..

    Dr. Robert Murphy posted an article on the decrease in excess reserves of $41 billion in March. He says that this matches a $40 billion increase in purchases of Treasury debt by commercial banks.

    This may not be a trend. But it may be.

    At $41 billion a month, it will take banks over four years to get rid of their $1.2 trillion in excess reserves. Long before that deadline, the FED will have to do something to prevent a doubling of M1 and reversal of the M1 money multiplier, which has been in decline ever since the 2008 crisis.

    The FED had been able to pump in between $1.6 and 1.7 trillion in high-powered money without having it become high powered.

    This has bailed out the bailout.

    But if commercial banks are ready to reduce their excess reserves, the FED will no longer be able to sit “tight.” It will have to persuade the banks not to lend — the opposite of what Bernanke has told them to do.

    This scenario will be the moment of truth for Bernanke.

    If the M1 money supply doubles, and the M1 multiplier actually multiplies, mass inflation will arrive. Maybe more than mass inflation: increased prices above 40%.

    More will be money chasing few goods. This is a recipe for disaster.

    The economy will boom. That much money will create new bubbles. Gold and silver will rise.

    I am not convinced this shift in March is permanent. But it won’t take much to be persuaded.

    The bankers are in charge. They will determine who gets the money. The Treasury has received it so far, plus Fannie/Freddie. That has not not provided capital.

    This expansion of bank lending will be fiat money, pure and simple.

    Pay attention here, Todd

    This looks productive in the early phase of a boom.

    Then it creates mass inflation, or worse.

    The FED must decide: to wind down by selling Fannie/Freddie bonds, thereby torpedoing the housing market, else or allow the banks to create mass inflation by expanding loans up to the maximum allowed by the FED’s expansion of legal reserves.

    To stop this lending by banks, the FED must pay interest above what the Treasury is paying on T-bills. It has been . . . just barely.

    All this month, the 90-day T-bill rate has been at .16%. If T-bill rates rise above .25% because the FED is paying commercial banks more for excess reserves in deposit, the FED will have to raise rates paid on excess reserves. That would mean raising the federal funds rate. If banks can get more than .25% for excess reserves, why lend overnight money to other banks for less? That would send a signal to investors: tight money is making a comeback.

    But today, there is no such signal.

    No exit
    Despite internal dissent, the Fed plans to maintain ultra-easy monetary policy

    http://www.economist.com/business-finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15955288&source=hptextfeature

  17. Some pundits put forth the future:
    —–

    How could the government fail?

    By default – but what does that mean? It may mean…..

    1. No more payments.

    The government admits that it is busted and announces that it will no longer honor ins debts. Latin American countries did this repeatedly in the 19th century.

    Overnight, all Treasury IOUs become worthless. Banks holding them must write down their balance sheets. Deflation begins. The FED also loses most of its assets. Total monetary deflation begins — vastly worse than the Great Depression. All debts become unpayable. All banks collapse. All insurance companies would collapse. Tens of millions of people would die: the collapse of the division of labor.

    This is the least likely of all possibilities.

    To counter this potential, the FED would immediately buy new assets to replace the worthless U.S. assets. It would buy stocks, bonds, whatever: $2.5 trillion. It would intervene to save banks. It would own more private assets. It would be the single largest seizure of private wealth in modern history. Think “serfdom”.

    This could happen. It is a long shot, however. Politicians don’t like to admit the truth openly. They like to pretend that the government is still solvent.

    2. Hyperinflation.

    The government sells debt to the Federal Reserve, which keeps buying it.

    The FED inflates.

    This continues upward until such time as the economy shifts to black market monies. Gold and silver would be among these currencies. There would be massive bankruptcies. No one would lend money long term. Interest rates would skyrocket. All creditors would be wiped out. No more bond market. No more bank loans for more than a few days. Banks would be ruined: no profits.

    It could happen this way. It hasn’t ever since Germany in 1923 in any Western industrial nation. It has never happened to a modern industrialized country that didn’t first lose a major war.

    Gold will be popular in scenario #2. If the public goes to gold coins, fine. But that will take an educational process like we have never seen. An escape from chaos would be the motivating factor. How will people buy gold coins? There are only a few mom-and-pop dealers. Banks don’t carry them. The distribution system would have to come in the middle of chaos.

    Barter would be the great device, and barter is inefficient. There would be no government gold standard. That would force the government to stop inflating. That would lead to deflation and open default: scenario #1.

    So this ends right back up to Scenario #1: massive death and the end of civilization or Serfdom.

    3. Default by degrees.

    The government owes the oldsters.

    The age of retirement is pushed up. The people who got in late get stiffed, but in a salami-slicing process.

    Promises are broken, but piecemeal.

    Some groups bear the brunt of the default.

    Others don’t.

    There is a political split: welfare-absorbing oldsters vs. tax-paying workers. I think the workers will win, but it will take years. Meanwhile, the debt rises.

    So far, this has been the pattern in the U.S. Social Security’s age for retirement with full benefits was increased marginally above age 65.

    But Medicare hasn’t, and it is the fiscal killer.

    This salami-slicing default delays the day of reckoning by many years. It is default by degrees, so it is not called default.

    4. Default on foreign-owned U.S. debt.

    We stiff foreign investors, mainly foreign central banks, who own 40% of the debt owned by the public.

    That would cut back on maybe $3.2 trillion. Peanuts.

    It would end foreign purchases of government debt. Interest rates would skyrocket in the U.S. There would be a great depression . . . and then some.

    The Western democracies all face this problem. They will not all take the same road to default. The timetables will be very different.

    5. Stop and go.

    The central banks all play stop-and-go: inflation, boom, tighter money, bust. They have done this from 1914 until today. World War I was the turning point.

    The pundits think it will be mass inflation,
    then monetary stabilization,
    then depression,
    then a return to inflation,
    then “repeat” for decades.

    The default will be concealed. It will be piecemeal. Mass deflation and hyperinflation will be avoided.

    This will happen at different rates and different schedules, nation by nation.

    Don’t expect any retirement program to survive.

  18. Off topic but interesting to me since I’m considering doing it for political reasons…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/us/26expat.html?hp

    • Good for you.

      Being an American Citizen costs the average person $5 million. It is the single greatest determinant to financial success – being a citizen.

      But make sure your excuse is a lot better than that! 🙂

      “It’s because you LOVE your new country!”

      If you infer its for politics or financial reasons – they’ll rip to you to shreds.

      • I have no finances to speak of. Big Governemt and my worthless exs took care of that. I’m not sure anyone would care if I left for political reasons. I’ve had many an Obot tell me if I don’t like what their president is doing I should get out of their country. Its a shame because I’ve served in the military, paid my taxes, obeyed the BS laws, and all I get for it is a hardy FU. Tell me why I shouldn’t leave for political reasons?

        • Cyndi,

          You’ll get no questions from me!

          • Geez o pete Flag. You’re kickin Cyndi to the curb pretty easily. Remind me not to tell you if I leave.

        • Might consider telling them to do the same-the President is a temporary elected servant-not a king you must bow down to-and you certainly don’t have to bow down to them either.

          • I’m not so sure this president isn’t a king or temporary, and am planning accordingly.

            I don’t care to associate with people who worship that man. There are too many of them. I don’t want to be near them. If they get their way I don’t want to live in a country like the one they’re creating.

            • Giving up ones citizenship seems like a big step to me-would proceed with caution and a lot of thought. Wouldn’t let anger or jerks influence my decision. 🙂

              • I’m giving it lots of thought and am doing research. I haven’t decided but am open to it. It all depends on what happens, though I’m not optomistic. I’ve spent about 13 years of my adult life overseas and am okay with it if things come to that. The country is so divided and the Left is so full of hate and full of themselves. I see it leading to violence and then destruction of the Republic. I could be wrong and the vote might just turn things around but I don’t see that happening. If Americans accept Obama and what he’s doing that’s up to them, but I don’t accept him as president or his plans for our nation.

  19. TexasChem says:

    First off in regards to the first article it sounds like biased propoganda by an author to use just a little bit of common sense to persuade the reader to Obamanize themself yet enough dodging for anyone with real common sense to not be fooled.Yes we recognize the problem.Secondly, No it is NOT Big Brothers jobe to force their liberty/freedom taking agenda upon the populace.

    The second article is pure biased socialist doctrine attempting to mislead the public of the actual reason behind a real populist movement such as the Tea Party.Nothing new here just take a stroll through the HuffPo and you will see tons of this.Incidentally I felt as if I were blogging at the HuffPo a few days ago here at SUFA in relation to views of prostitution and morality!

    Well I still had a couple of points to address from last topic so am gonna carryover post em’ here!

    I had a busy weekend.Cemetary Homecoming Reunion…found out I am being coerced/swindled into local politics and that my off-time from work will be… working on a new family homestead.

    I suppose for you city folk to understand I need to delve into a bit more detail!

    The local Cemetary in my hometown is ran by a board of elected men chosen once a year at the Reunion.They are responsible for the upkeep of the cemetary, scheduling of funerals, and collection of donated funds.The problem is once a man has been elected it has become tradition for the eldest male of the family to pick up the torch from the father.While growing up I helped with the upkeep of the cemetary dreading this day.Come to find out I have no dread of it at all now, though!Odd.

    As to the new homestead.Both my parents are retiring and have purchased 128 acres of south east texas’ finest pineywoods with an artesian fed creek.Alongside the creek is a hardwood bottom full of Mayhaw trees!The finest jelly on earth is Mayhaw jelly people.My dad told my youngest brother and I that there is an additional 100 acre tract adjoining his land so we each bought 50 acres.The great thing about buying forested land is you can almost pay the full purchase price of the land from logging the timber!
    We’re going to leave A third of it forested and harvest the pine and leave the oak off the other two thirds and make that two thirds improved pastureland and run us a herd of black Angus with a Simmental/Angus crossed bull.Going to be a lot of hard work getting the land ready.Especially considering my workplace is located 2 hours away!

    Anyways, back to the mind-war…you guys amaze me with your preconceptions that morality is not/should not be legislated.*BLINK*BLINK*
    What would you deem our laws against murder, robbery, rape, child abuse etc.?!? *BLINK*BLINK*
    What is law if nothing more than a means of enforcing morality?
    Seems to me that some of you are so into this “freedom for all, you can’t TELL ME what to do!” mindset that you are willing to allow your beliefs to infringe upon those innocents that would be preyed upon by the dregs of our society.*BLINK*BLINK*

    ALMOST ALL human behavior is learned.Instinctual behavior by humans is very, very limited.
    If a man lacked the senses needed (Vision, Hearing, Touch, Smell, Taste)to learn language would he be able to form cognigant thought?It seems to me that his very core would be driven by purely emotional response.Some of us here at SUFA may need glasses I believe! ROFLMAO
    Learned Human behavior has had a profound effect upon our society.Negative Learned behavior is incorporated into our morals and mores; inexcusably contributing to the degradation of our society over time.The writings on the wall lads! It’s not for me to read it to you, but; for you to read the writing yourselves!

    BF and USW I still fail to understand why you guys try to place my responses as purely emotional rhetoric! Based upon what assumptions? LOL If my post elicits an emotioanl response from you then perhaps I have done my job using Pathos?

    How far do we let our morals drop in western culture before we begin feeding upon ourselves in some mindless frenzy?Wait a second!I do believe it is entirely possible this may already be occurring.Perhaps we need to ask ourselves how best to reverse it!

    Legalizing Prostitution in America would be giving the government control over the women involved.Taxes, testing, medical on and on; all aspects of prostitution would be controlled and regulated by the federal government.Where is that womans freedom when she becomes a mindless host of the government?

    I don’t know gents…perhaps I’m just old fashioned and need to “get with the times”.My mom and dad raised me to respect women and that sex was a gift given to mankind from God.I say missus’ and maam’ and I hold the door and allow women entrance first into a room.It’s out of respect I do this.It’s also out of respect that I do not believe that a woman should have to demean herself or the act of creating life to get a few bucks to put food on her table and a roof over her head.

    BF STATES IN REPLY:

    TexasChem States:So hows that shunning and ridicule worked for us so far?

    BFStates:It is so powerful that in some cultures they will kill their own families to preserve “honor” to avoid it.

    Western Culture has discarded these tactics and replaced them with physical violence or its threat.

    TexasChem states:I don’t believe shunning and ridicule are considered politically correct!

    BF STATES:Exactly.

    It has been removed as the method of social enforcement – to your and your children’s loss.

    TexasChem STATES in Reply:WHAT? *BLINK*BLINK*BLINK* You have made the correlation between shunning and ridicule usage in a culture to kill family members yet you state western culture should not adopt a stance using physical violence to stop negative behavior or morality?WHAT!?!

    I’m confused here BF.
    This sounds entirely hypocritical and makes absolutely no sense.
    I’ve seen something similiar on Youtube!

    • You gotta love Achmed….

    • TexasChem

      Missed this! Better late than never….

      Anyways, back to the mind-war…you guys amaze me with your preconceptions that morality is not/should not be legislated.*BLINK*BLINK*
      What would you deem our laws against murder, robbery, rape, child abuse etc.?!? *BLINK*BLINK*

      Those are not moral questions. Moral questions are whether you kneel to the East a dawn or pray to a side-ways X every Sunday. Or whether you’re naked in your back yard or use toys in the bedroom. Or a bunch of other stuff.

      Use of violence on non-violent people is an abuse of Rights – it does not matter what morals you may have, this is always evil.

      The use of violence is a right as a response to initiation of violence – thus this is the RIGHTFUL application of LAW. (LAW= the use of violence to enforce an edict).

      What is law if nothing more than a means of enforcing morality?

      Morals cannot be Rightfully enforced by law – law (the use of violence) on non-violent breaches of social order is evil.

      ALMOST ALL human behavior is learned.Instinctual behavior by humans is very, very limited.

      Oooo…. I’d not hitch too much to that star!

      You’d be surprised how much instinct you’re running around with – just read your opening of this post, you’ll find TONS of instinct creating the emotions and desires of yours.

      BF and USW I still fail to understand why you guys try to place my responses as purely emotional rhetoric! Based upon what assumptions?

      For me, it is the failure to provide a core principle.

      As I’ve asked endlessly:

      To you believe you have a right to use violence on non-violent people

      Legalizing Prostitution in America would be giving the government control over the women involved.

      You do realize that there have been successful cultures that promoted wide promiscuity of their women – and Concubines that have ruled enormous Empires…

      Morals are NOT universal – they are cultural. Simply another different solution to social order.

      But no matter what moral you hold, the moment the use of violence becomes legitimized on the non-violent to enforce morals, great human horror and tyranny will be the eventual consequence.

      ..respect women…

      Perfect! And I’m sure you’ll be their toast as well.

      But you respecting women gives you no right to use violence on me.

      Western Culture has discarded these tactics and replaced them with physical violence or its threat.

      You’re right! And to the greatest threat to society since the fall of the Roman Empire!

      Yet, they have not been discarded! My Mom washed her kitchen floor every day, just in case we had visitors. She did not want the ridicule of uncleanness or her neighbors to “talk behind her back”.

      We were washed and give clean clothes every day – so to look “respectable” in the eyes of others.

      She waxed her floor twice a week – to ensure it was “perfect”. And so on.

      Don’t give this that “ridicule” and non-violent social enforcement is weak! It is among the most powerful of forces.

      When a person resists these enforcements, they usually fall into the dregs of society – where they have massive social enforcements as well.

      The power of the gangs is the same power as the women in the neighborhood – simply different tools, but the same tactics.

      You have made the correlation between shunning and ridicule usage in a culture to kill family members yet you state western culture should not adopt a stance using physical violence to stop negative behavior or morality?WHAT!?!

      I’m confused here BF.

      Yes, but no fault of yours.

      You leaped (and I followed) -innocently- between a question of the POWER of social enforcement upon individuals (so great they kill to maintain “honor”) to where social enforcement in General for Western Society has been displaced by violence.

      I do not support violence (if you didn’t get that point yet 🙂 )

      I was using the POWER social enforcement has on a society as an example of its strength – that it is as powerful (or more so) then using violence.

      We do not need LAW (violence) to enforce morals (non-violent breech of social order) when non-violent social enforcement holds MORE THAN ENOUGH POWER to provide all the “attitude change” to provide such social order.

      • TexasChem says:

        Ok lets try this once more! =)

        Morality: refers to personal or cultural values, codes of conduct or social mores that distinguish between right and wrong in the human society.

        With this definition of Morality I think I can strongly adhere to the statement of morality having a strong definitive influence upon the laws in our western society as it being legislated into law by our government.Methinks you are confusing customs with morals BlackFlag!

        Morals can be enforced by Law and entirely approved within your context of believing you have no right to use violence on non-violent people.EXAMPLE:A man breaks into your home and is attempting to strangle your wife.You have every right to defend your wife so you initiate force with the use of your 7mm peashooter.

        This can be legislated into Law (as it has been) by providing the use of force against someone attempting to murder.

        BF States:”You’d be surprised how much instinct you’re running around with – just read your opening of this post, you’ll find TONS of instinct creating the emotions and desires of yours.”

        Only logic led me to the conclusions I have drawn from reading those two articles BF.My response may have elicited an initial emotional response from readers but I never allow emotion to guide my thoughts into irrationality!

        I agree with you that morals are not universal.Yet I pose the question to you as to what constitutes a good moral versus a bad moral and where would you draw a reference resource to validate your conclusion?

        BF, States:”We do not need LAW (violence) to enforce morals (non-violent breech of social order) when non-violent social enforcement holds MORE THAN ENOUGH POWER to provide all the “attitude change” to provide such social order.”

        Ok BlackFlag what are we going to do to enforce our laws if violence is never initiated to protect ourselves?Are we going to blow an attacker kisses till he falls down and hugs us?
        I understand your line of logic when it pertains to non-violence examples and actually agree with you.My question is what to do in regards to violence?

        • USWeapon says:

          TC,

          I will answer tomorrow when I have time. I will move my response over to open mic so you don’t have to go searching for it. I appreciate the time you are taking to articulate what you are thinking. I want to ensure that I take as much time to answer you honestly, and to be perfectly honest, my back won’t take another minute of sitting in front of this computer.

          USW

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          You are missing an important point here…

          You NEVER have a right to initiate violence against a NON-VIOLENT person!

          You ALWAYS have the right to PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST A VIOLENT PERSON, up to and including the use of deadly force if such a use of force is justified in protecting yourself.

          If you CHOOSE to blow kisses at someone who is attacking you, good luck with that! 🙂

    • Bama Dad says:

      Mayhaw jelly is the best of the best.

      • TexasChem says:

        We plan on making several cases of it so if any of you readers have never experienced the delicious burst of ecstatic flavor from Mayhaw Jelly be sure to remind me in June and I will send ya’ a mason jar of it!It’s by far the sweetest nectar from Gods’ country (Texas) you will have ever tasted!

  20. Chris Devine

    I’ll say this once: give me a charitable reading and don’t try to put words in my mouth or else I’m gone.

    I am neither your excuse to stay or to go.

    I think I have treated you with respect today and I would like it if you did the same for me. Having said that…

    Yes, you have treated me politely.

    I believe I have as well – though I may vehemently disagree with much of your position.

    In my read, you create rationals to use legal violence to support some political outcome you’ve judged as desirable.

    You are articulate, thus able to submerge this requirement of violence inside emotional rhetoric of “fairness”, “equality”, “charity”….

    I do not merely chop at the branches of your argument – but at its roots – the legitimization of violence on non-violent men.

    This is the root of the greatest of human evil – and it is the root your rationals depend.

    If I’ve been rude in revealing this, I do apologize.

    Sometimes there isn’t a way of building a better mousetrap. In such cases the actual cost of building and selling the mousetrap should be reflected in the price tag or it shouldn’t be for sale.

    The price of any good/service is “what the market will bear”.

    Value is in the “eye of the beholder”.

    What may be diamonds to you is merely rocks to me.

    As a producer, I measure my price basically on what the consumer will pay.

    If my product solves human problems very well, people will pay a lot. If it is marginal, people may not pay enough to cover my cost.

    But the KING is the Consumer – it is the Consumer’s judgment of value that is sacrosanct.

    Labor is just another economic good – no different then a mouse trap.

    Labor obeys precisely the same laws of Economics as the mouse trap.

    Attempting to treat Labor as some sort of “different” economic good that is “immune” to economic law will pervert the good (labor) – the outcomes will always be a worse economic situation for all.

    You cannot create a better economic outcome by distorting economics in favor of political outcomes.

    It isn’t right to steal. A better example would be that using chemicals to grow apples that run off and kill my neighbor’s livestock (while making my apples more profitable to me) isn’t fair if I don’t account for recouping his losses in the price of my apples.

    There is no right to poison you. Period.

    The choice of accepting compensation for past poisoning does not give anyone the right to continue to poison you.

    It would be your choice to decide if the compensation for yourself to accept the future poisoning is -again- your sole choice that no one else has the right to make.

    If you decide “no” to being poisoning – it is “no” – even if a million other people scream “but what about my apples!!”.

    If you say “yes” – then your cost becomes a part of my product. Whether that changes my market opportunity …(shrug)…

    The root of this example is not anything “unfair” in pricing – it is the Abuse of someone’s Rights.

    There is no amount of money that exists in the world that gives a man carte blanche right to abuse someone’s rights.

    It is completely up to both parties to work out compensation – and should either party walks, the poisoning must stop – period.

    • Chris Devine says:

      Why you think that I am excusing theft is beyond me. The only thing I’m doing is providing an example of an economic externality and trying to show that it is a form of theft. Paying a man less than he needs to survive is externalizing the costs of his survival onto people not involved in your business. All I propose is that wages be set at a rate that will provide a living for employees. This will only apply to the most vulnerable people who are in minimum wage jobs. If a product cannot be produced profitably using a living wage workforce then it shouldn’t be for sale.

      All I’m suggesting is that we be honest about the actual costs of the things we buy, not the price tag. Companies like Wal*Mart have us trained like monkeys to look for the cheapest price, but at what cost?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Chris,

        Paying a man “less than he needs to live on” is not an economic calculation. I do not know how much a man “needs to live on”.

        I make decisions in my own life that affect how much money I require to live, and others also make such choices. I do many things that I do not technically NEED to do in order to live, and these things cost more money than I would spend if I were to choose to do without them.

        I do not know how much YOU need to live, because I do not know you. If I am an employer, I will pay you what I am ABLE to pay, based on many factors. If the pay I am offering is not enough for you to “live on”, then you would be wise to choose not to work for me.

        If enough people choose not to work for me, I will experience a labor shortage for my business, at which point I can choose to pay people more, or I can calculate that I am unable to pay people more which would mean that I have to find a way to do things more economically so that I CAN pay people more, or I need to find another business model, because my business simply is not viable.

        The problem which comes in is that when a business isn’t viable, the government TENDS TO SUBSIDIZE IT to make it appear to be viable, WHICH ACTUALLY DEPRESSES THE AMOUNT THAT WORKERS GET PAID.

        If you subsidize a failed business model, it simply allows the business owner to continue to exist and continue to pay low wages to his employees, thus distorting the market.

        Get the government out of the equation, and business models will improve and wages will tend to go up all on their own!

        • Chris Devine says:

          I am not proposing or supporting government subsidies for unsustainable business models. All I suggest is that attempts be made to determine what base subsistence costs and that minimum wages be based on such determinations. At that point the market will determine which business models are viable or not.

      • There is no way anyone can determine what someone else may need to live on.

        Each year when my husband and I go through our financial review, one of our tasks is to determine if we are still on target with our life insurance needs. Because we still have a minor child, we believe we need to carry term insurance until he reaches an independent age. To determine what each of us needs to carry, we separately complete information on what we would need financially if the other spouse died tomorrow and we make sure we are covered for that desired lifestyle. Perhaps not surprising, my “needs” are much greater and thus we carry a larger policy on my husband (you know, it’s all those shoes I’d need to buy to get over my grief…..)

        In all seriousness, though, even within our household, we don’t agree on what our financial needs would be. How and why should anyone else determine what someone else should live on?

        • Chris Devine says:

          Stop pretending that figures for a base-level subsistence are impossible to calculate. All it takes is to find the least amount required to afford a place to live and buy the bare necessities of food etc. Minimum wage should be easily calculated based upon such information (divide X by 40 hours/week).

          Why do so many people seem to think this is an impossible task? I’m not even remotely suggesting the government set everybody’s wages, but they should be able to set the absolute minimum that is allowable. Any business that can’t survive as a result shouldn’t survive through externalizing its actual costs (whether it’s through subsidies or making its employees partial wards of the state).

          • Richmond Spitfire says:

            Hi Chris,

            Does this “Wage” include vacation/sick time?

            I’m not trying to be ignorant here, I am truly trying to see your point of view…(yeap…here’s my big but coming thru)…

            Wouldn’t things like bonuses and Rewards & Recognition Plans go to the wayside? Employer’s perspective…”I’ve had to increase my payroll by xx% due to the new “Wage Laws”. Because of this, no one gets bonuses or R&R. Sorry, I know that you’ve busted your hump — and Sally over there didn’t, but, well…there’s nothing I can do about it…We’re operating on a paper-thin margin already.”

            Best Regards,
            RS

            • Chris Devine says:

              As far as I know there is no federal government mandate for vacation/sick time, so I guess the short answer would be “no.”

              Regarding the other changes an employer would have to make to stay profitable that’s just part of economics. All I have to say about that is if those things aren’t affordable unless the bottom-tier earners are paid less than a living wage, then who is subsidizing whom in that case?

              The one thing that is often forgotten (or underplayed) about minimum wage increases is that people who earn a minimum wage spend most or all of their paychecks. That money won’t be going into off-shore savings schemes. It will most likely be pumped right back into the local economy.

          • Chris,

            One of the reasons that it won’t work is due to people never being satisfied. Just think about it. If all you had for your entire life was just enough to stay alive, would you be happy with that or would you want more? More stuff, more electronic gadgets, better quality food, nicer clothes, a car, etc?

            So Daddy Obama confiscates from the folks that a little more than the basics and hands it to those who have less. Do you really believe that who get will be grateful and satisfied? If so, why aren’t they satisfied already? Why did they line up by the thousands wait for their portion of ‘Obama’s Stash’ as some refered to it?

            • Chris Devine says:

              I’m not talking about any type of confiscation. All I’m suggesting is that minimum wages should be based on bare-bones subsistence and not lower than that. It is precisely the dissatisfaction and desire for more that will give people an incentive to better themselves. But allowing employers to pay people less than they need to survive only pushes them to look for help from taxpayers.

              If a business isn’t profitable paying it’s lowest tier of employees a living wage, then the rest of us will have to foot the rest of the bill in some way. I would rather the price tag reflect such actual costs. Then let the market really decide whether that business is sound.

  21. A new study suggests that children who aren’t allowed to watch R-rated movies are much less likely to start drinking alcohol at an early age.

    Hmmmmm…wonder what is defined as an early age?

    • TexasChem says:

      Haha!

      Better yet: what is the the definitive time at which a child becomes a young adult and then an adult!?!

    • TexasChem says:

      Hmmmmmm…wonder if it also affects the time at which children engage in sexual behavior and drug usage?

      Human behavior is a learned process so if being exposed to it at an early age…

      Hmmmmmm…wonder if it affects childrens views of right/wrong…morality if you will.

      Lets see…prime time television is inundated with all sorts of adult behavior even delving into deviant sexual behavior.I watched an episode of Law and Order a few weeks ago and the storyline was about a crossdressing 13 year old homosexual male child involved in a cover-up for a homosexual murderer.Yet the story lesson played out that it was wrong for the murderer to do what he did yet he did it out of the clique of “fighting the system” since he was stealing drugs he needed to convert to a woman!

  22. Input needed!

    Employer proposes that, applicants must sign a form that they do not use tobacco products, and it will verified in the pre-employment drug screen. After being hired, if employee is suspected of using tobacco products, employee will be tested. If the test is positive, employee is terminated.

    What do ya’ll think of this proposal and why?

    G!

    • TexasChem says:

      Resistance is fultile!
      We are The Borg Collective and will assimilate all of your citizens!
      If you fail to assimilate you will be destroyed!
      Resistance is futile!

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hey G

      I had answered your question, but I guess I took too long in typing because it came up, server cannot be found, and I’m not going to retype it, too long.

      But to answer you, I wouldn’t sign it because I don’t think it’s anybody’s business what anybody does out side of work. What’s next, how many time a week do you have sex, what kind of foods do you eat, where do you go on your days off? Why not test them for drugs or alcohol? Why just tobacco?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The employer is well within his rights to set forth such a policy if he sees fit. It may save the employer and the employees on health insurance.

      The employer owns the business, therefore he can set policy for his workplace.

      If you do not like the policy and think that it is silly since tobacco is a “legal” substance, you are not required to work for that employer and are free to choose to work elsewhere.

  23. A Puritan Descendant says:

    Refering to the above TexasChem/BlackFlag debate.

    BlackFlag?

    So if a non-violent prostitute gives ‘Aids’ to a man who transfers it to his wife, we should do nothing to prevent this with laws (violence)?

    If a non-violent jaywalker crosses the interstate setting off a 100 car chain reaction accident we don’t need laws (violence) against j-walking ?

    I could go on endlessly but I am sure you get the point of my question.

    • Puritan,

      So if a non-violent prostitute gives ‘Aids’ to a man who transfers it to his wife, we should do nothing to prevent this with laws (violence)?

      (1) Prove harm.
      (2) Prove who harmed who – (don’t forget consent is in their as well as knowledge of risk).
      (3) What law would fix this?

      If a non-violent jaywalker crosses the interstate setting off a 100 car chain reaction accident we don’t need laws (violence) against j-walking ?

      Who hit who?

      I could go on endlessly but I am sure you get the point of my question.

      And yep, everyone of these scenarios could be handled by non-violent societal enforcements and property rights.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        You are very smart man and I have great respect for you but I find your argument falling way short for my reasoning process. 😉

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          If a Dick of a prosecutor wanted, he could maybe charge both the hooker and the j-walker with manslaughter.

        • Puritan,

          It is probably because you are starting in the middle to try to prove a point.

          Without starting from a core principle, I guarantee you’ll get lost in the wandering.

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            If a core principle has flaws, it won’t matter where I start. Until I find a ‘core principle’ without flaws I will stick with our founding American tradition and work from there.

      • Chris Devine says:

        Property doesn’t have rights. People do.

        • Chris,

          I agree.

          People have a right to determine the use of their own property – including not allowing someone else to use it or damage it – even if they wear a uniform.

  24. Black Flag:

    Last week you talked about positive and negative freedom (Berlin’s idea/paper published on the subject). I watched a video yesterday and part III talks about negative freedom. The video states that the concept was tried in Russia and Iraq and it failed. Shock treatment didn’t work. The people were not ready for it. The video asserts that negative freedom cannot be achieved. If you get the time, watch part 3 and let me know what your thoughts are.

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-trap/

    • Birdman,

      The concepts of the “wholly rational person” – where paranoia becomes the best self-defense mechanism – is NOT a definition of freedom, nor a necessary consequence of negative freedom.

      As the narrative explained, this theory “of rational actors” came out of the nuclear war planners – based loosely on Dr. Nash (“Brilliant Mind” fame) Game theories (the prisoner’s dilemma, for example).

      One has to keep in mind these are theories from a mind of a man who himself was psychotic paranoid! And such theories do work where the actors are psychotic and paranoid – Nation States and their governments.

      But these theories do not apply at all to real people.

      Mises economic theories foundation is that “Humans Act” – and they act based on their own self-actualized desires, needs, and wants. The satisfaction of these is base wholly on that person’s own evaluation of “value” – as such, value is completely personal and subjective – thus, is not OBJECTIVE and thus, not necessarily rational.

      So the belief that values etc. can be ‘rationalized’ as required by Nash is a faulty premise.

      Negative freedom is more than rational value – yes, my goals are not yours and thus, my freedom to seek and exercise my own path free from anyone else’s demands must be mutual. But such a demand does not make the search rational – a person’s freedom can be completely irrational in its goal or path – negative freedom simply says “he has a right to seek it” – it does not judge it nor does it label such a search “rational” or “irrational”. Tilting at Windmills is a your right – if you chose.

      Negative freedom cannot exist in Mathius’ Freedom for me but not for you world. Here, a third party judges your search and if the judge is indifferent, you can seek. If he is not, he uses force to prevent you. Here, the definition of rational actor is made by the one with the gun.

  25. TexasChem says:

    So the Tea Parties seem to be an unfettered new voice of the middle class tapping into the anger and disappointment felt not only towards Republicans and Democrats, but most major American institutions such as Wall Street, education, Hollywood, the media, big labor, and others who have betrayed their public trust.The majority of Middle America is fiscally conservative.These are the people that Reagan appealed to when he won election.This is a group of voters that leans center-right.This is the sole reason the Democratic party has attempted to quell and ridicule the Tea Party movement.The Democrats know this voting populace to be a deciding factor come election time once it has been awakened from its labor induced sleep.The middleclass is a working class and more often than not has disregarded voting in general until major policy change and reform rears its head.I see more people involved in current political events now than I have seen since the Reagan era people.The Republicans are jumping on the bandwagon shouting their approval and attempting to show the Tea Party that they are riding shotgun right along with them on the stagecoach as it heads to Washington.The Tea Partiers are hoping the Republicans shells contain lead but are leary because in times past they have reverted to using blanks!It all boils down to the lesser of two evils mindset.Middleclass America thinks Democrat=socialist agenda and Republican=Fiscal conservatism.The voting booths will definitely be a slaughter house time of blue blood come November and the Democrats have Obama to thank for this.I see no magical rabbit being pulled out of the hat.I for one would rather throw my cards in with the Republicans and hope they have learned what voter ire can do to maintain them holding to the values and agenda they supposedly support than run the risk of more socialist change we know will be in store with the leftist controlled Democrat loonies.

    • TexasChem says:

      My point is don’t split the vote amongst the conservatives.That could lead to the disaster of more leftist control of government!There is currently no third party out there with enough clout that could achieve the victory we need to stop this socialist agenda.I believe we must hold Republicans accountable and have them adhere to their fiscally conservative voices or pay the consequences at the next election time.

      • Tex Chem

        What makes you think it is a socialist agenda?

        I do not see such a clear distinction.

      • I believe we must hold Republicans accountable and have them adhere to their fiscally conservative voices or pay the consequences at the next election time

        …or if not the next election, they’ll pay the consequence in the next one after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that, or after that…

        …then maybe something else?

      • They haven’t since Reagan- what makes you think they’d start now?

      • TC,
        First of all, we already have leftist control, sometimes even when Republicans are in office. Splitting the conservative vote won’t make things any worse. What it will do is clean up the Republican Party or kill it, which is the only way to fix this problem. We cannot just look at the next election and vote in reactionary way and call it good strategy. Its horrible strategy, its short-sighted, and its the reason we are where we are, with no decent representation unless you are a socialist.

  26. CATS ARE IN FACT PLOTTING AGAINST THE RAPTORS

    OK, I can’t believe I stumbled on this picture after USW’s description of how the Cat is trying to take over.

    So if you had any doubts, check out the little picture of cute kitty in the upper right corner of this article.

    http://liberatorr.blogspot.com/2007/03/positive-and-negative-freedom.html

  27. Over here Chris,

    I don’t have a problem with insurance and lawsiuts. In a SANE society, this would function well. If people don’t want charity with strings attached they don’t have to accept it. Having spent several years in the lower soci-economic demographic myself, I can assure you that a good portion of the people there don’t want to make the effort reaquired to rise above it. Many of them are their own worst enemy. Why do you believe that coddling them with other people’s money will improve their situation? When I was working on my AS degree and going through divorce from my abusive husband, I applied for food stamps. I was told I’d have to get rid of my five year old paid for car that I needed to get to work and to school, and get something at least ten years older if I wanted assistance. It didn’t matter that I was a full time student, or veteran. Maby I should pulled the race card because I’m Hispanic, but I didn’t. I was living in Alabama and near some pecan trees. So I pretty much lived off of pecans for about nine months until I graduated and took a job overseas. I had to leave my then six year old daughter THOUSANDS of miles away so I could earn my keep. I also got to listen to many lectures about what crappy mother and person I was for ‘abandoning’ my child. Yep plenty of hot air but no a single offer of any assitance. How’s that for set back material? My point, everybody has setbacks, and working to over come them sucks big time, but it can be done WITHOUT tax payer provided assitance. People just need the will to do it.

    • Chris Devine says:

      Everybody develops a comfort zone. After many years of living below the poverty line people get jaded and pessimistic about their chances for improvement (can you blame them?). But some people will never be comfortable in such an environment and will sacrifice just about anything to get out. I imagine you are one of these people. I like to think I am too. I put myself through college after serving in the military. However, I can’t take all the credit.

      As a result of my military service I received money from the Montgomery G.I. Bill and was fortunate to have made contacts that got me a good job. I also attended a community college that was funded mostly through the taxes I and others paid. I then transferred to a state university that was likewise taxpayer-supported. As a result I now have a BA from a prestigious university and relatively few loans to pay back. I worked hard to graduate (both in school and working part-time). Would I have been able to accomplish all that without the help I received? Perhaps, but the odds would have been against me. The whole purpose of helping individuals out using taxpayer money is to ensure that society as a whole benefits. That’s why they call it investing in OUR future.

      Nobody is suggesting that we give everybody a full-ride scholarship and do their homework for them. But it is prudent for a society to give a hand to those who express a desire and willingness to help themselves so that everybody benefits (I’m assuming you don’t disagree that more college graduates are a good thing).

      I don’t know who told you that the age of your car mattered or why they did so, but don’t use that as an argument against public assistance. I imagine that they saw your lack of a car payment, which put you above a certain debt/income ratio (or some similar guideline for means-testing). Whatever the case, that’s a matter of poor follow-through, not a wholesale indictment of public assistance. Don’t assume that everyone can do it without help from fellow taxpayers because there are plenty of easily-imaginable scenarios that could stymie even you and me. The purpose of a government is to serve its citizens.

      I firmly believe that efforts to eliminate public assistance programs have more to do with creating a permanent underclass (aka cheap labor) than trying to get people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. You might counter that all they do is create a bunch of institutional children who want to mooch off of hard-working people, but it can’t be that difficult to weed out the abusers provided the desire and means to do so.

      What do you think?

      • Chris

        The whole purpose of helping individuals out using taxpayer money is to ensure that society as a whole benefits

        No, only you benefited. I didn’t benefit at all from your education, your effort or your tax-funded activities.

        Only you did. I repeat, Only you did.

        You will later (maybe) come to me and trade your effort in exchange for my money and/or effort.

        But according to you, I’ve already paid for that. So, you get to be my slave for awhile until you pay your theft back?

        No?

        So, by what Right do you believe you can steal from me for your benefit?

        • Chris Devine says:

          It’s about cumulative effects, not individual quid pro quo.

          You need to understand that I wholly disagree with your ‘taxes are theft’ premise. Any points you want to score starting from that point will only bring us more quickly to an impasse. Taxes are the dues we pay to live in a society. If you want to live out your self-made man fantasies by all means go ahead. But as long as you expect to live in this country under the rule of law you should expect to pay taxes, in my opinion. Feel free to disagree.

          A healthy, safe and educated populace provides the framework for a stable economy. While you may be quite willing to live with instability or inequity I would rather contribute to prevent it as much as feasible.

          • Chris,

            It’s about cumulative effects, not individual quid pro quo.

            What accumulated effects?

            All trade is ultimately individual. It is only when (and if) you trade with me, that I may get the benefit.

            There is no “accumulative” effects to anyone else. They aren’t party to our trade.

            You need to understand that I wholly disagree with your ‘taxes are theft’ premise. Any points you want to score starting from that point will only bring us more quickly to an impasse.Taxes are the dues we pay to live in a society.

            No, they are not. That is an established lie.

            It is by definition theft.

            For you to justify this theft, you must change the root definition – called “Revolution in the Form”.

            Thus, you now have “theft is the forceful taking of goods by someone that does not belong to them – except of government does it, then its ok”

            It is theft. It has been called theft for 5,000 years. This is not a new.

            I do understand, however, for your schemes to work, you must – somehow – justify the forceful taking of property and earnings from innocent people.

            Without this, your schemes will be seen to be evil.

            You do not want to be seen supporting evil.

            Therefore, instead of not supporting the evil, you decide to change the definitions of the evil to be “good”.

            Somehow, you believe that absolves the evil action.

            If you want to live out your self-made man fantasies by all means go ahead. But as long as you expect to live in this country under the rule of law you should expect to pay taxes, in my opinion. Feel free to disagree.

            I disagree. I do not have to agree to evil to live in peace.

            A healthy, safe and educated populace provides the framework for a stable economy.

            Nope. Stupid people are economic beings just like smart people. Intelligence and education do not matter in determining their rights.

            Education etc. determines their capability.

            A stable economy rests – solely – on the prohibition of violence as a transaction methodology.

          • …as long as you expect to live in this country under the rule of law you should expect to pay taxes….

            As long as you expect to live in my house, under my benevolence, you have to follow my rules.

            Are we dealing with adults or adolescents?

            I have to give this discussion to Black Flag. Welcome to the Soviet Union. Indeed.

            • Chris Devine says:

              “Section 8 – Powers of Congress

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

              That isn’t from the Constitution of the USSR in case you’re wondering.

              Some of the people here may want to rescind the Constitution, but I’m not one of them.

              • Chris,

                If I write words on a piece of paper and sign it, will you obey?

                Gee, didn’t think so.

                So why do you think I will enslave myself to what some DEAD men wrote on a piece of paper a couple of hundred years ago?

                You can obey “them” if you like.

              • Chris Devine says:

                I happen to like the Constitution. It’s not a perfect document, but it’s the only one we’ve got. Thankfully it is capable of adapting to changing times. Would I have done it differently? Probably. But for the sake of avoiding the problems of another revolution in the age of nuclear weapons, I’d rather just do my best to fix it.

              • The Constitution embeds a terrible evil at its core.

                It was a tyranny at its root, we merely are witnessing the blossom.

                The Constitution, at the very most (since it is wholly unnecessary except some need words written on paper before they believe things) is:

                “Do no harm, then do whatever else you wish.”

              • Considering how easily the constitution was warped, I imagine that the word “harm” would soon disentigrate your consitution into little more than the current one….

              • Another revolution in the age or nuclear weapons??? What do nukes have to do with the political opposition in the US? Is Rachael Maddow and the the other mouthpeices accusing the Tea Partiers of wanting to nuke America, or something?

                Revolution is taking place right now. Its being done by the Left. The installation of Obama was the coup d’tat. Just because the blood shed hasn’t happened in large quantities YET, doesn’t mean this isn’t a revolution. Most folks on the Right don’t realize this is what’s happening.

              • Chris Devine says:

                If anybody was installed it was GWB in 2001. Obama was duly elected by a healthy margin. You should give up smoking whatever is making you so paranoid. If Americans don’t like Obama then they can vote somebody else in next time around.

              • Cyndi, You’re holding out on me. Share some of that stuff with me.

                Chris: Drink some more Kool-Aide

              • I know you’re wanting to recreate the USSR, but if your ideas are implimented that’s what we will have, whether or not you intend it.

                As for our Constitution, I guess any change is ok as long as its not in the Soviet Constitution, you can get a free pass?

      • I’m all for helping those you want to help themselves. Unfortunately, there is a sizeble portion of people who EXPECT someone else to do it for them. They are perfectly capable of helping themselves but are provided the luxury of having someone else do it for them. How many able bodied adults have you provided for for YEARS while they sat back on their butt, and leeched off you while you damn near killed yourself trying to pull their weight and yours? I did for over a decade. The more I did for him, the less he did for himself. Not only that, he would complain that I didn’t do enough! Needless to say, I divorced him when my bullshit meter pegged out and made him someone else’s problem. People like my ex are a large problem. They will take advantage of whatever system/chump is in place. I believe the government already porvides plenty of assistance. The leeches need to be weeded out. That would free up help for people who sincerely want to improve themselves. I 100% support helping those who want to help themselves. I’ve just come to the conclusion that many people are peferctly happy letting someone else pull their weight. The more weight we pull, the more we’ll get.

  28. Chris,

    Why you think that I am excusing theft is beyond me.

    You support the forceful seizure of my wealth by (someone) to support these schemes, right?

    The only thing I’m doing is providing an example of an economic externality and trying to show that it is a form of theft.

    And I’m still waiting to see such an example.

    Your “apple” example was one of poisoning.

    Me poisoning your cow so I can sell the grass it therefore did not eat is not theft. I may have had a fair claim to that same grass as your cow.

    But it is most certainly an abuse of your Rights – your Property Rights.

    Paying a man less than he needs to survive is externalizing the costs of his survival onto people not involved in your business.

    Only in your world where you justify theft to support such a poor man

    Because you support theft, you then complain that the money the thief spends therefore must become my, the victims, business – under the threat that if “something doesn’t improve” the thief will steal even more!

    How about “No” to the theft in the first place?

    Another man’s ups or downs in his life is NOT my obligation or concern. I have my hands full with my own ups and downs.

    All I propose is that wages be set at a rate that will provide a living for employees.

    It is not your or my Right (ie: mind our own business) to set such a rate between two other parties trade of services. That’s up to them.

    The severe consequence of your proposal – beyond merely justifying each and anyone’s reason to thievery to pay for the “worthy causes” – is the economic distortion it imparts on the market.

    If you force me to pay more for apples than I believe they are worth, you will convince me to not buy any apples – I see no value at the price you are forcing on me.

    So, only two further consequences (1) you will up your ante and use your guns to force me to buy apples, whether I want them or not or (2) cause a drop in the sales of apples.

    Now, substitute Labor for Apples – as they are both economic goods, and the same laws of economics apply.

    You will cause – for “society” – an increase in more government intrusion and violence into the marketplace and society – forcing people into jobs against the will of business owners

    or

    business owners will stop hiring. The guy who was at least earning “something” now thanks you – he is now earning “nothing”.

    But of course, that will be your excuse to demand even more theft to give this man more money – now that you destroyed his job – to pay for his welfare.

    This will only apply to the most vulnerable people who are in minimum wage jobs. If a product cannot be produced profitably using a living wage workforce then it shouldn’t be for sale.

    So your answer is to throw the fellow into desperate UNEMPLOYMENT – a situation you think is better than working for something!

    • Chris Devine says:

      To put it bluntly, this market needs a correction. Until we are willing to pay the least amongst us a living wage we are living on borrowed time. Any unemployment that results from such a correction is just an inevitable consequence of our own greed and mismanagement, but I don’t share your doomy outlook.

      We need a stable and sustainable economy, not one that requires human suffering and perpetual growth. Before you go off on some ‘suffering is inevitable’ rant you should understand that I don’t expect to solve every problem or cure every ill. But insofar as I can avoid being the source for someone else’s misfortune I am willing to do what is right. If you aren’t then you are a predator, not a contributor.

      I am actually advocating for less government influence in the market. If businesses must survive under realistic expectations of cost control instead of government subsidy then the market will be freer than what we currently have. All I propose is a set of rules to be followed, not a complicated mechanism for dealing with the consequences of lawlessness in an undisciplined market.

      • Chris

        To put it bluntly, this market needs a correction.

        Whether the People want it or not, its coming good and hard.

        Until we are willing to pay the least amongst us a living wage we are living on borrowed time.

        You commit a stagnant economy to even deeper stagnation.

        If this is your goal, it will succeed.

        If this is not your goal, I would suggest another tactic.

        Any unemployment that results from such a correction is just an inevitable consequence of our own greed and mismanagement, but I don’t share your doomy outlook.

        The math does not lie – but politicians do.

        You listen to the politicians and I’ll listen to the math.

        Good luck!

        We need a stable and sustainable economy, not one that requires human suffering and perpetual growth.

        No matter how much money government steals, it cannot solve human suffering – it will increase it.

        You do not solve suffering by transferring onto innocent people.

        Perpetual growth is certainly possible. Humans have a skill – problem solving – which solves some human problems.

        Before you go off on some ‘suffering is inevitable’ rant you should understand that I don’t expect to solve every problem or cure every ill.

        You can’t even solve most of them.

        But insofar as I can avoid being the source for someone else’s misfortune I am willing to do what is right.

        If you cause harm on another then indeed you must do what is right and fix it – and then stop doing that act.

        I am actually advocating for less government influence in the market.

        Me too.

        That means LESS government, not MORE.

        But you are advocating MORE, not less.

        If businesses must survive under realistic expectations of cost control instead of government subsidy then the market will be freer than what we currently have.

        I agree. Cut subsidies across the board – 25% reduction of the subsidy every year. About every 3 years, it will fall by 1/2 of that current amount. In 21 years, the subsidy will be essentially non-existent (0.7% of the original) that it can be eliminated entirely.

        All I propose is a set of rules to be followed, not a complicated mechanism for dealing with the consequences of lawlessness in an undisciplined market.

        The only “lawlessness” is the use of violence as a method of transaction.

        • Chris Devine says:

          “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” -Edward Abbey

          Sustainability should most definitely be our goal. Entropy isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law (Second Law of Thermodynamics). The laws of economics are not natural laws. They are efforts to describe human behavior and don’t really care if they reflect truth as long as they’re useful. They carry with them many unsupported axioms and result in much human suffering as currently practiced. We can change them at our whim by establishing rules of fair play. The consequences will be no more nor less arbitrary than what we have now, but we can account for other priorities like justice in doing so.

          • Leave it up to an environmentalist to be confused about economics and the Universe.

            The Universe demands life to grow … or it dies.

            Whether Ed Abbey is aware of this, I don’t know. But he discovered it when he died – whether he understood it or not.

            The only thing that survives stasis is a rock – but not forever, either.

            The laws of economics are not natural laws.

            They are absolutely natural laws!

            They are the direct consequence of human action.

            They are NOT physical laws like chemistry.

            They are efforts to describe human behavior and don’t really care if they reflect truth as long as they’re useful.

            They reflect universal human truths – the issue is that most people are disappointed in the truths they tell, like you.

            Chris, you’re a guy I’m sure I’d be friends with – as long as we didn’t talk politics. You’ve got a good heart, appear to be kind, smart and articulate.

            But IMHO you’re challenged with disappointment that the Universe does not provide what you want it to.

            The Universe says you will die. It also says you will probably die rather badly. That’s a truth – bad and ugly.

            Most of the Universe is bad and ugly. No amount of human violence will make it less bad and less ugly, but it most certainly can make it a lot more bad and a whole lot more ugly.

            Freedom does not make the ugly pretty, the sick healthy, the sad happy. It just makes you free to try.

            The opposite – force – in trying to make the ugly pretty, the sick healthy, the sad happy – may make a few that – but the cost will be massive ugly, massive sick and massive sadness for the rest of humanity. Human history demonstrates this amply.

            Often the truth is disappointing – the Universe says “no” most of the time.

            But it is the truth, nonetheless.

            We can change them at our whim by establishing rules of fair play.

            An incredibly dangerous belief.

            You believe that there exists the ability of knowledge that can be seized to a degree so that men can alter a circumstance so immense, large and unknown – a situation called “society” – a society that no brain of man ever could conceive – but exists by the action of free choices of millions of unique and individual human decisions.

            Fatal conceit is what Hayek said of you.

            The attempts by impatient or evil men to force society to act in the manner of their own choosing – overrunning the free action of their fellow man – is doomed to destroy the civilization these impatient men are so eager to improve.

            • Chris Devine says:

              I’m pretty sure Abbey had it right. The purpose of growth should be sustainability. If a species overpopulates then starvation and disease occur. If it eats more food than it needs then the same results can be expected. However, if it reproduces just enough to maintain its numbers while consuming resources without depleting them it will stick around for a while. This doesn’t solve the problem of tragic events, but it’s the only prudent course of action.

              Thanks for the compliment. As much as you frustrate me I admire your consistency, even if I utterly disagree with your premises.

  29. Chris Devine

    At that point the market will determine which business models are viable or not.

    Exactly.

    You prefer rampant UNemployment as a better solution than UNDERemployment.

    Egads, sir!

    Stop pretending that figures for a base-level subsistence are impossible to calculate.

    They are perfectly easy for YOU to calculate for YOURSELF.

    You cannot calculate that for ME, let alone everyone.

    Your problems:
    (1) no one lives in the same place. One cannot imagine 10,000 people packed into a small apartment on 1st and Main.

    So everyone lives all over the place, in different conditions. There is no “one price” – unless of course, Chris with his guns forces it.

    (2) No one eats the same. (3)Or wears the same clothes. (4)Or travels to the same places. (5)Or enjoys the same entertainment (you believe they ‘deserve’ some fun, right? – on my dime, though, right?).

    So, you have no God-brain to know this for everyone.

    You know this.

    So, you will force housing prices to be the same, no matter where they are or their condition. Food prices, no matter what it is or where it came from. Travel prices, no matter what is the mode or the distance…and of course, everyone will have to watch the same channel that tells everyone how great their life is…. welcome to the Soviet Union.

    • Chris Devine says:

      In any given area there can be a survey of housing and food costs. It seems like pretty simple arithmetic to figure out what the least amount of money it would take to purchase said products on forty hours’ earnings. Do the survey periodically and adjust the interim years based on the rate of inflation.

      Regional cost of living allowances are already used for most federal jobs. The information already exists. Just put it to use in determining the minimum wage for any given area. If a business can’t stay competitive in one area then it should move to one with a lower cost of living. How is this any different than what we have now (except that the minimum wage is tied to bare-bones subsistence)?

      It’s all about establishing rules of fair play. No more, no less.

      • If a business can’t stay competitive in one area then it should move to one with a lower cost of living

        This is so bad its interesting.

        (1) You demand business leave! …. causing what? … rampant unemployment! Is this a better consequence for you?

        (2) If business needs to move if its not competitive …. why doesn’t the labor move if it isn’t competitive? (Move as in physical location, different job, or apply different skills…etc.)

        • Chris Devine says:

          I’ve got news for you, they already leave when they don’t want to play by the rules. Sometimes they don’t even turn a net profit as a result (e.g., GM moving its factories to Mexico from Flint, Michigan).

          As far as labor being willing to move or adapt, I expect that to occur as well. In either case a balance will occur at the point where cost of living and profitable businesses can coexist in a sustainable way.

          You talk a lot about letting the market decide and giving individuals the freedom to act. Individuals should be allowed to collectively agree upon what they consider a fair minimum wage. If it results in unemployment then they must deal with the consequences. How is that wrong?

          • Chris,

            collectively agree upon what they consider a fair minimum wage..

            Sure!

            Any group of men can coordinate themselves voluntarily to act as a group with shared concerns.

            Good on them!

            Of course, the business owner is wholly in his right to ignore the whole lot of them too….

            …but maybe he might listen…

          • Its fine if laborers determine a minimum wage they will work for. It is not fine if they determine a minimum wage that I will work for. I might be willing to do the job for less. I might also think they sold themselves short and set the bar too low. So I work with the market. If, however, labor makes it a law, then I am screwed. Thanks very much tyranny of the majority!

      • “Living wage” is not quantifiable. I currently live in a van, my overhead is low and I am putting any extra resources I have into my business. Another person doing what I am doing might be able to make it on even less, because I have debts to cover as well. On the other hand, I pay nothing for shelter and very little for food because I require nothing special. Others seem to require a lot more to “live”. How do you determine what standard of living constitutes a “living wage”? What if I require certain diet for my health? What if I do not? What if I need medication? What if I am sensitive to temperature fluxuations and sunlight and alergens? What if I am not but I am a whiny bitch and I think I “need” those things? What if I cannot live on my wage because I spend money on other stuff? What if I don’t and I go psycho trying to subsist on very little?

        Definately not an easy determination, not really even a possible determination.

  30. “If anybody was installed it was GWB in 2001. Obama was duly elected by a healthy margin. You should give up smoking whatever is making you so paranoid. If Americans don’t like Obama then they can vote somebody else in next time around.”

    OMG!! So THAT”S what all this Obama support is about?? Getting back at conservatives because you’re mad that Bush won the election???? You’ve tipped your hand Chris. It isn’t about policies and what’s best for Aemrica. Its about getting even. Thank you for clarifying the whole Obama Cult for me. Now I really know how to wind up the O-Bots and watch ’em spin. 👿 I mgiht as well have my fun with O-Bots because WE ARE SO SCREWED. Obama will destroy the country and you’ll be helping him to do it. I hope you’re happy with the result. Good Day to you Chris.

    • Chris Devine says:

      You sure like to read things I didn’t say. While I can’t speak for everyone who voted for Obama, I can say that I chose to not vote for McCain/Palin. I was no fan of Bush, but it was a foregone conclusion that his time would be up on inauguration day.

      It should also be obvious that I am not a member of Obama’s fan club (much less a cult devoted to him). Don’t assume:

      • Chris Devine says:

        Skip to 4:43.

      • OK COME BACK CYNDI…I gotta hear this!!! 🙂

      • Chris, I’m sitting on a lump of coral in the middle of the ocean with dial up internet. I can’t do video more than two, maybe three minutes long and thats if I’m lucky.

        As for reading things you didn’t say, YOU mentioned Bush. EVERY O-Bot I’ve tried to talk with about Obama’s policies ALWAYS brings up Bush. That says plenty. Its just adolescent revenge. Its about getting even with the conservatives. Its foolish and destructive. You can deny this to me all you want. You can even keep denying it to your self but it won’t change a thing.

        • Chris Devine says:

          I brought up Bush? You’re the one who used the word ‘installed’. Is that how you honestly describe the results of an election?

          I don’t vote to exact revenge on anybody. I am a mature adult who chooses the candidate I feel better represents my viewpoints. You, on the other hand, are somebody who likes to call people names like ‘O-bots’ and can’t see that I am not a devoted follower of anybody who breaks his promises.

          I wish Obama actually was a liberal and not another corporate shill. Then perhaps conservatives like yourself would get a chance to be more than knee-jerk reactionaries when he instituted real liberal changes instead of bending over for the insurance companies.

          Grow up.

          • Why, yes, I believe you DID mention Bush. And yes I do believe your Preisdient was ‘installed’ into office. ACRON fraud, and millions of dollars from unknown donors overseas, not to mention a lack of documention and many, many unanswered questions about his past. The guy is a fraud and a puppet. When his masters find he’s no longer useful to them, they will leave him to twist in the wind, and all will know him for what he his.

            What’s your problem with the insurance companies? Obviously you’re incapable of a grown up discussion. You keep insulting me. Try taking your own advice, little boy.

            • Chris Devine says:

              If you’re inclined to believe all those stories about birth certificates and voter fraud but are unwilling to concede that there were just as many unanswered questions (if not more) about our last president, then to me you are nothing but a partisan hack. Obama is no more nor less of a fraud and a puppet than any of the recent White House occupants.

              My problem with the insurance companies is the fact that the so-called health care reform was for the most part just a hand-out to them. I should have added the banks to that statement too.

              Obviously you don’t understand the meaning of the word ‘obviously’. Anybody is free to read the above comments and decide who is doing all the insulting and who is incapable of holding a mature discussion.

              • There you go again, whining about about Bush. You know, the more you do it, the convincing to me it becomes that I’m right. You’re still having a temper tantrum because Bush won the election back in 2000. That was 10 years ago, get over it. Sheesh.

              • Chris Devine says:

                I’m sure you don’t need any convincing. Your mind was probably made up before I uttered a word.

                I am not just ‘whining’ about Bush. I see most of the recent politicians as symptoms of the same disease (i.e., corporate control of our political process). I am just as dissatisfied with the Democrats as I am the Republicans. I don’t wear any blinders and I’m honest enough to admit that Obama and Clinton are/were every bit as tainted as both Bush’s, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy…

                The question remains as to whether you’re willing to give up your rose-colored spectacles and admit that the Republicans are just as disingenuous as the Democrats. We are all being played for suckers. The Reps pander to their base with promises of ‘family values’ while simultaneously doing everything in their power to ensure that the system benefits big donors like oil companies and defense contractors. The Dems pander to their base with promises of social justice while at the same time bending over for the financial institutions that prey on us all. It’s all a shell game and as soon as we stop fighting over gay marriage and flag burning we might actually accomplish something that benefits more than just the wealthiest Americans.

                Do I still sound like I’m whining? Sounds more like justified anger to me.

              • That’s better, Chris. As most everyone on SUFA can tell you, I don’t think much of the Republicans either. I agree that we are being played for sickers. Both parties have been using a divide and conquer strategy. The more time and energy we spend fighting each other, the less time and energy fighting THEM.

                Ray, who pulled your string?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Unfortunately Cyndi no, you are not right. You are erroneously painting those of us supposed “O-bots” as lacking objectivity wherein it is more so the other way around. Please make more of an effort to not just read and react but read and comprehend.

  31. Chris and BF,

    Thank you for the dialogue. I am learning lots!

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