Tuesday Night Open Mic for June 1, 2010

I hope that everyone is sufficiently rested after a long holiday weekend for Memorial Day. Allow me to here say again thank you to all who have chosen to serve their country, and to pay a small tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for what they believed in. For this week’s open mic we have some interesting topics. Our first topic involves yet another anti-christian ruling in Connecticut. We are also delving into the flawed tactics of the census and how it is being used as a tool of manipulation rather than to accomplish its actual purposes. Add to that yet another jackass California local government entity deciding that they will ignore reality and boycott Arizona, while the leader of the country says nothing. Finally, we will hopefully get some input from the economically literate folks at SUFA as to why the Federal Reserve wants to stop regulations protecting small businesses but not consumers.

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Comments

  1. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #1

    Conn. Town Can’t Hold Graduations in Church, Judge Rules

    A federal judge has ruled two Connecticut public high schools can’t hold their graduations inside a church because that would be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

    U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall made the ruling Monday in the case of Enfield High School and Enrico Fermi High School, both in Enfield.

    The Enfield school board says it voted to hold services June 23 and 24 at The First Cathedral in Bloomfield because it had enough space at the right price. But two students and three of their parents sued.

    The judge says Enfield had unconstitutionally entangled itself with religion by agreeing to cover much of the church’s religious imagery. She also says the town coerced the plaintiffs to support religion by forcing them to enter the church for graduation.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/31/conn-town-hold-graduations-church-judge-rules/?test=latestnews

    You know, I continue to be baffled by the concept that there can be no religion anywhere at all, at least not if it is a reference to the christian religion. I am even further baffled by the absolute bullshit arguments made by one or two idiots that want to whine and complain and inconvenience the entire population over dumb crap.

    I will start with the first. Having a graduation inside of a church is not a violation of the Constitution. The Constitution states that government cannot establish a religion. It does not say that government cannot mention, practice, or use the facilities of religion. This decision in Conecticut does not establish any religion. The schools in question found that having the graduation in a church was the best option not because it was a church, but because it was the most cost effective and able to hold enough people. They even had it set up that the religious symbolism would be COVERED UP during the graduation. Somehow, the judge felt that covering up the religious images and sculptures ENTANGLED them with religious endorsement? Isn’t covering up the stuff UN-entangling themselves with religion?

    Second, I have had it up to my eyes with the concept that one or two people in a community of thousands have the right to tell the others what they can and cannot do. For me it started when a single muslim family in a Maryland town complained about having Santa in the Christmas parade. The town was forced to remove Santa Claus from a Christmas parade because of one shitty family. And here we see it again. Two kids feel that being forced to walk through the doors of a church is somehow forcing them to endorse religion. Bullshit. They are not being forced to endorse anything. They are being offered a venue for a crappy ceremony bestowing them with a worthless piece of paper proclaiming them successfully finished with a sub-par education.

    Obviously, I am a little edgy on this particular subject. But I really have had it with this type of behavior. Their parents should be guiding them back to reality instead of supporting their childish tantrum. I will be tackling this type of behavior in a full article in the coming weeks.

    • As I read the Constitution it says that “CONGRESS” can make no law endorsing a particular religion, nor prohibit the free practice of religion.

      Since when does a school become congress?

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Very good point. I am scratching my head trying to understand how we got to where we are today.

      • Because it is a GOVERNMENT school…. the Courts have determined that a dept. of the government is the same as the government.

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          Or maybe because this State public school accepts Federal Dollars it is a condition that they do not endorse religion?

          Puritan continues to scratch head…

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            I see Peter makes a great point below. The constitution reads “Establishment” not “endorsement”. The judge above in the article uses the word endorsement. But the judge is probably correct if we use todays “New Wave” Supreme Court presedant mutilated Constitution.

        • BF, no matter what you say the Constitution says “CONGRESS”. Just because the government funds public education does not mean that all of public education is now the “CONGRESS”. Maybe your friends in the federal courts are just as confused as you and the ACLU are . . .

          • G.A.

            That’s like says, “Congress shall mint money” means that only a Congress man by his own hands can mint money.

            It means what applies to the government (Congress) applies to ALL government, no matter where that government rests.

            Your contention simply doesn’t make sense.

            • BF

              Actually it is your argument here that makes no sense and is NOT supported by legal arguments.

              It is not JUST because it is a government school.

              It is because the Supreme Court decided that one of the Amendments requires the State’s to live up to the same standard as the Congress.

              Up until that ruling was made this would have been dependent on the wording of the STATE constitution and would not have made it to the Supreme Court.

              • JAC,

                Since the Federal law is the Supreme Law of the land, it is self-evident that the States must live up to the same standard as Congress.

                If your debate is whether school is a State issue or Federal – is a different argument.

              • BF

                It is not self evident. It must be authorized or required.

                Under the original First Amendment only Congress was prohibited from establishing a religion or imposing upon religion. Some states in fact sponsored Religion and others passed Constitutions prohibiting State legislatures just as the First Amendment did to Congress.

                Other Amendments do not mention Congress and were therefore interpreted to include both Federal and State legislatures.

                Despite all this, it wasn’t until modern times when SCOTUS changed the meaning to adopt Jefferson’s “WALL” as the “official interpretation” that schools and country court houses got caught up in this conflict.

                So there is nothing self-evident as you have described it. In fact, States were given much more authority than Congress originally.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      I am not fully awake yet (my disclaimer) but I wonder what the reaction would be if the graduation was held in a local mosque…….

      • I wonder would a mosque even allow a graduation-Perhaps I watch too much TV but don’t they separate the men from the women.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          You’d probably see quite a few heads explode VH.

          • Heads exploding at the idea of having a graduation at a mosque or people in the mosque heads exploding. I can see both actually-it’s just an interesting question that Puritan put up-but I question whether or not it is relevant -would we be allowed in a mosque at all, or without following a bunch of rules. So is having a graduation at a mosque frowned upon because it is a religious facility or because of the rules that would have to be followed to do so.

    • USW….it is done all the time around here. Churches rent out there facilities for varying reasons…including school functions. It is a source of revenue. For somebody to get their hackles up is beyond me. Last I understood (Southern Baptist teaching), it is the people that make up the church….not a building and not an artifact.

    • USW

      While I agree this ruling is idiotic, as was the law suit in the first place, I caution you against using this type of argument:

      “Second, I have had it up to my eyes with the concept that one or two people in a community of thousands have the right to tell the others what they can and cannot do.”

      When it comes to our rights we should not tolerate any majority imposing upon even two people in the community.

      I realize you are not talking about rights here, as you see them, but the fall back to this argument is often too easy and thus poses a hazard.

      • USWeapon says:

        JAC,

        I was, in fact, thinking about exactly what you are talking about when I was writing this. One definitely has to be careful in understanding that a single person standing up for individual rights is correct in doing so regardless of the size of opposition. That thought never left my mind, and I actually weighed my opinion against that reality to make sure I wasn’t stepping in it here.

        Where I draw the line is a few radical idiots attempting to force everyone to adapt to their line of thinking.

        USW

        • USW

          The key to avoiding the trap is to first address the question of rights and then, and only then, address the question of “majority will”.

          We have a right to practice our own religion.

          Thus we constrained govt to prevent it from imposing upon that right. Govt shall make no law establishing or interfering with…….

          So first, was this an issue of a right being violated? Absolutely not. No religion is imposed nor interfered with by the school’s actions. “I’m uncomfortable” is not an imposition of my rights.

          As this is not an imposition on rights then we can claim it was wrong for a minority to make such an issue, especially given the attempts to “hide religious symbols”. In this case, the majority should win the day.

          JAC

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      If the ceremony is held at the Church (I read elsewhere that this was done the past 3-4 years) then the Church is receiving taxpayer money to provide a service. I would think we need Jefferson & Madison’s “wall” in that event.

      What is less clear:

      1. Where there truly other options to use? The Enfield Civic Center?

      2. How in the world do you really de-church a church? I’m not buying it.

      What also amazes me:

      Folks here who claim to be strict Constitutionalists apparently are not real consistent when applying their own philosophy

      16th Amendment – narrow, itsy-bitsy teeny weeny interpretation

      2nd Amendment – the broadest interpretation possible

      1st Amendment (Establishment and Exercise Clauses) – relatively broad interpretation

      Ya’ll makes no sense to me.

      • Bama dad says:

        “How in the world do you really de-church a church? I’m not buying it.”

        Help me with this Ray; are you saying that a building that has been used as a worship center carries some mystical power to influence the nonbelievers? Years ago before our church building was complete, we rented an abandoned store to meet in. Does this make that building contaminated?

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          No Bama – from what I read they were supposedly covering up everything in the Church that looked ‘religious’ – considering the prevalence of iconography in most Churches I was wondering exactly how the hell you do that w/o covering up the whole Church?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Why should you even need to cover up anything in the church.

            Who in their right mind equates a public school RENTING a church for a graduation ceremony to CONGRESS attempting to ESTABLISH a religion?

            No sane person can make that equation work.

            And don’t even mention “Separation of Church and State”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state

            I see nothing there that would actively prohibit a school from renting a church as the venue for their graduation ceremony, even based upon Locke, Jefferson, Madison, or any others cited there.

      • I don’t buy that they should have had to “dechurch” it at all. Seeing some symbol of something you disagree with is not grounds for a suit.

        As for interpretations of the Amendments, the 16th is about government rights, not people’s rights, so you can be dang sure I am going to narrow the interpretation. It is one of the amendments that takes away from freedom, instead of the other way around. Besides all that, its history is a little foggy, many question its ratification, and the rampant use of taxation since that time, many of which were disguised as other things, but were still taxes, shows a lot of constitutional violations. So no, I am not being inconsistent with my interpretations, I am questioning the validity of some amendments, ones that do not fit with the spirit of the rest of the document.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Jon Smith Said: “I don’t buy that they should have had to “dechurch” it at all. Seeing some symbol of something you disagree with is not grounds for a suit. ”

          Ray: If my money is not supposed to find its way from the Government I gave it to on to the Church then yes – I have grounds for a lawsuit. Would you be upset if taxpayer money found its way to DailyKos or the Keith Olbermann show (maybe through the National Endowment for the Arts – perhaps because both found a way to qualify as artists?)?

          Jon Smith Said: “As for interpretations of the Amendments, the 16th is about government rights, not people’s rights, so you can be dang sure I am going to narrow the interpretation. It is one of the amendments that takes away from freedom, instead of the other way around. Besides all that, its history is a little foggy, many question its ratification, and the rampant use of taxation since that time, many of which were disguised as other things, but were still taxes, shows a lot of constitutional violations. So no, I am not being inconsistent with my interpretations, I am questioning the validity of some amendments, ones that do not fit with the spirit of the rest of the document.”

          Ray: Surely you recognize that the Jefferson/Madion Wall has long been seen as permeable no? As for the 16th amendment – the Government does not spend the money on “itself”. You can most certainly question the validity of the amendment – I often question the validity of the second amendment (the astonishingly asinine interpretation that ‘arms’ can and should mean any type of weaponry), that it should require a more practical and reasoned interpretation.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Ray,

            Would the public school be paying “government money” to rent the church as the venue for the graduation?

            Almost assuredly YES.

            I fail to see how that equates to Congress establishing a religion though.

          • Ray

            The minute we succumb to the belief that a “Constitution” should be interpreted differently because of changing times and to “require a more practical and reasoned interpretation” we are doomed to slavery of a tyrannical govt.

            So lets look at the 2nd Amendment. Arms ABSOLUTELY meant any kind of weapon at the time the document was written. They had no reason to think otherwise or see a future where that would not be the case. Now fast forward, I agree that nuclear weapons should not be owned by private citizens or by State govts. So WE AMEND the Constitution to specifically ban those weapons that are NOT practical or reasoned. We can list other “prohibited” weapons as well.

            We do not allow one or a group of people in black robes make those choices for us based on their “reasonable and practical” view points. And we do not give Congress the authority to determine at some future date what those weapons might be. Unless the threshold for passing such a law is the same as for an Amendment.

            A Constitution must be viewed as RIGID or in the end it has no value relative to its purpose.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              @JAC –

              “So lets look at the 2nd Amendment. Arms ABSOLUTELY meant any kind of weapon at the time the document was written. They had no reason to think otherwise or see a future where that would not be the case. Now fast forward, I agree that nuclear weapons should not be owned by private citizens or by State govts. So WE AMEND the Constitution to specifically ban those weapons that are NOT practical or reasoned. We can list other “prohibited” weapons as well. ”

              – I could not disagree with you more. You are intentionally negating the role of the Judicial branch for what I refer to as far more administrative in the efficacy and application of the law.

              • No, their role is not being negated, it is being properly defined. They were there to make certain that laws were not passed that violated the constitution, so that, in spite of popular support by the legislative and executive branches, and even the people themselves, laws could not be passed that violated the constitution. If a change needed to be made to the constitution, then there is a path to do so. “Interpretation” was not left to 9 people to decide the fate of a country, such consolidation of power was not in the plans of the foundrs whatsoever. The Supreme Court has been failing miserably at its job for a long time.

              • Ray

                If we accept your view, then what good is a Constitution?

                Should not a Free People living under the auspices of a Democratic Republic choose when and how the meaning of the authority the granted to govt should be changed?

                The concept of “living document” was subverted. What made the founders so great was their recognition that future generations may think or live differently. They gave us the mechanism for making those changes. It is called Amendment.

          • I am not questioning the interpretation of the 16th, I am questioning whether it was legitimately ratified. Further, I question whether it belongs there, as it is specifically designed to take from people, it is the amendment that legalized theft.

            As for the government not spending money on itself, that is BS. Of course it does. It adds agencies and personel and equipment. It spends massive amounts of money on “itself”. Compared to the vast majority of charities, the government spends far more on itself per dollar than is even remotely reasonable. And when its functions are not even constitutional in nature, then it does not matter who is the beneficiary, it is in violation of the document that underpins their authority.

            Now, I do understand the idea of taxpayer dollars not being used to support a church. I get that the revenue went to the curch. If, however, it was indeed the cheapest venue of reasonable size, then I still don’t see the issue. If the Kieth Olberman show had rented them the space, and the rent money meant that Kieth gets to stay on the air longer or be on more channels because they have an alternate revenue stream, then so be it. I don’t think it is proper to discriminate that much. If it was the church of the KKK, I would feel the same way, unless, of course, that money was used to do something illegal, then we have a problem. But of course we have that problem regardless of who funded it.

            On the other hand, if preference was given to the church because it was a church and taxpayer dollars were used, then I have no problem with the suit, providing that was the reason for it. If the church was picked because of incompetence, and there were better options that were not researched, then I still have no problem with the suit, again, providing it was bsed on misappropriation of funds.

      • USWeapon says:

        Ray,

        You make a simple mistake in judging my interpretation of the Constitution. In my opinion, the Constitution itself is the contradictory problem. The ones that you cited:

        1st Amendment – Individual liberty
        2nd Amendment – Individual liberty
        16th Amendment – Granting government the right to infringe on individual liberty.

        For the record, I don’t have an itsy bitsy teeny weeny interpretation of the 16th amendment. I simply believe it goes against the principles of individual liberty. It should never have been ratified in the first place.

        USW

    • 1) This is yet another reason to remove government from schools. It is ridiculous that a school would have to be devoid of religion, so even if you do find that there is an issue with “endorsement” of a religion, it should not matter with a school because the school SHOULD NOT
      BE AN ARM OF THE GOVERNMENT.

      2) The use of a facility with certain imagery is NOT an “endorsement”. Besides, if the school removed all religious everything, then by that logic they could be accused of “endorsing” atheism or agnosticism. That is, quite frankly, just as “offensive” to some people. You cannot be devoid of symbolism, we have it everywhere. We use the Roman Calendar, with days of the week and months named after gods, is that an “endorsement” of Roman mythology or religion? Should we ban teachers from saying “good luck” because that is a reference to a pagan god? Should we strip half of our history out because it involved a lot of religion and just let people guess as to why the Pilgrims came over from Europe? Where does it stop? The restriction of people or groups from doing something based on religious “offense” is a violation of rights. It is the use of law to stop religious activity. That is no different than the use of law to force a religious activity.

      3) I am all about the rights of the individual, but that does not mean tyranny of the minority. Tyranny is tyranny, it does not matter who is doing it.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Even if it was an “endorsement” that would be irrelevant.

        As long as CONGRESS is not trying to ESTABLISH a religion, there is no violation.

        A local public school is not Congress, and a school using a church to hold a graduation ceremony is in NO WAY an “establishment” of religion.

        People seriously need to get their heads out of their asses.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          You oddly use a very broad definition of religion Peter – but a narrow idea of what establishment is.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I have a very exact definition of what religion is, and a very exact definition of what Establishment is.

            I would suggest that the problem which you are having is that your definition of these terms is so vague as to cause you great confusion.

            Renting a church as a venue for a public event does not equal establishment of anything, and NO, it does not even equal “endorsement” of anything. In fact, covering up of the religious symbols indicates that they were GOING OUT OF THEIR WAY to make it abundantly clear that they were not endorsing anything, merely renting the cheapest venue available for the event.

            Also, Religion does not equal “church”. Religion is a system of belief(s), not a building.

            Therefore Ray, I feel that if you define Religion CLEARLY AND SUCCINCTLY for yourself, and if you define Establishment CLEARLY AND SUCCINCTLY for yourself, your confusion on this issue will disappear, almost like a MIRACLE!

            🙂

        • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

          Yea Peter,

          Roger that!

          I believe that it was well into the 1840’s before Mass. disestablished its state religion. Now, the state collecting taxes to support a particular religion is “the establishment thereof”, no ifs, ands or buts. Using their facility for a graduation, for voting on election day or for Health Department screenings can only be construed as “establishing” by the most abstruse perverting of the meaning of the word, and, as I have said in the past, how exactly does an 18th century dictionary define the word?

          Shakespeare suggested we hang lawyers for a reason. The law is sometimes, an ass.

    • Murphy's Law says:

      USW said-“They are being offered a venue for a crappy ceremony bestowing them with a worthless piece of paper proclaiming them successfully finished with a sub-par education.”

      ROTFLMAO!!!!!

      Well said….no, perfectly said! Priceless!

      And I’m a public school teacher…. 🙂

      Murf

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Murf – I read that more as an immature jab – how refreshing that yesterday was spent talking about how “unique” SUFA is with respect to trying to “get it right” and not falling into the trappings of the MSM or others that play on emotion. I am disappointed that USW would use such low brow epithets on what for many families is a huge deal – I’ll have to remember that in 17 years when my son graduates so I can tell my wife to forget about attending any crappy ceremony celebrating his sub-par education. This entire posting plays on the emotion of “shitty families” that have the gall to ask that we adhere to Sep of Church and State – I recognize that those ‘rights’ are not absolute, but part of what makes us great is that we have a system that allows us to continually challenge where the line in the sand is drawn with respect to that. That does not make them “shitty” people, it makes them patriots.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Ray,

          On the whole, public education sucks and is nearly worthless. Deal with it, it is reality.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            No thanks Peter – I don’t subscribe to the theory that all schools are cut from the same cloth – they are not. There are many things that could be changed – but I refuse to toss my hands in the air and say “F it”.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Ray, in spite of the fact that there may be a few decent public schools out there, I really have to agree with Bottom Line below.

              Also, Government should not be in the religion business, NOR should it be in the education business.

              By being in the business of education, the government is violating the 1st amendment by establishing a religion of State Worship.

              Of course, the Supreme Court would laugh if anyone brought them that case, but it is true nonetheless.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Wow Peter – would love to hear your definition of what a religion is then.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Religion is any defined system of beliefs which require faith rather than evidence.

                Most government teachings fall into this category.

            • Ray, they are from the same cloth, and being made mroe and mroe that way. That is the whole problem with public education in general. It is standardized to the point of lowest common denominator. That means it is automatically sub-par and cut from the same cloth.

              There are heroic teachers everywhere that are making exceptions, but their hands are being tied tighter and tighter. Can you not see the path education has been on for the last several decades?

        • Bottom Line says:

          RAY – “This entire posting plays on the emotion of “shitty families” that have the gall to ask that we adhere to Sep of Church and State – I recognize that those ‘rights’ are not absolute, but part of what makes us great is that we have a system that allows us to continually challenge where the line in the sand is drawn with respect to that. That does not make them “shitty” people, it makes them patriots.”

          USW – “For me it started when a single muslim family in a Maryland town complained about having Santa in the Christmas parade. The town was forced to remove Santa Claus from a Christmas parade because of one shitty family.”

          BL – What makes them shitty people is that they intentionally ruined it for everyone…Because they’re selfish, self rightous assholes. They care nothing about the constitution and the seperation of church and state. It was about a religious superiority complex.

          The seperation of church and state was about preventing the government from endorsing/sponsoring or banning any particular religion. It wasn’t about being offended by Santa or where a graduation ceremony is held.

          The other day when I mentioned that we’ve lost the vision of the founders, This is exactly what I was talking about.

          As far as the educational system goes…Public school is almost a complete waste of time. Personally, I have learned WAY more since graduating than I ever did in school. I should have dropped out in 4th or 5th grade.

          Todays public school systems are more of an indoctrination daycare center than they are an educational institution.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Bottom Line – a few things here to comment on:

            I am not certain how old you are – but I would be disappointed if you have not learned more since graduating. I am definitely not certain how you assert that dropping out of school in the 4th or 5th grade would have improved your situation. You’re talking hypotheticals that are nearly impossible to normalize and quantify against innumerable variables.

            You use a key word – “endorsing” – exactly how do you endorse? There are many ways – some obvious, some not so obvious. I am using a strict litmus test for endorsement – either you received endorsement or you did not. You can cover the Church in tin foil inside and out and its still a Church.

            You insinuate that the “shitty people” just wanted to intentionally ruin it for everyone. Really? Sounds to me they are taking a strict interpretation of the 1st amendment. I whole-heartedly encourage folks as such to challenge what the boundaries are – it is what makes us a great nation. I don’t call you an asshole because you challenge aspects of or interpretations of the Constitution that I agree with.

            The founders were not perfect – far from it.

            • 1st amendment would allow them to say whatever they wanted about it. Not sue over it.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Ray,

              No, these shitty people are not taking a “strict interpretation” of the 1st amendment.

              A STRICT INTERPRETATION WOULD BE “THE STATE CANNOT ESTABLISH A RELIGION, PERIOD”

              Renting a damn building (regardless of who the hell owns the building) for a graduation ceremony HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ABOVE STRICT INTERPRETATION!

              Less confused yet?

            • Bottom Line says:

              Ray – “I am not certain how old you are – but I would be disappointed if you have not learned more since graduating. I am definitely not certain how you assert that dropping out of school in the 4th or 5th grade would have improved your situation. You’re talking hypotheticals that are nearly impossible to normalize and quantify against innumerable variables.”

              BL – I’m 35. And I wasn’t just referring to real life lessons. I meant acedemics. I learned something in elemntary school, after that it was just 7 years of repeating the same lessons. What’s the point when I can learn more from two hours of reading than I would have learned all day in school?

              Keep in mind I was one of those smart bored kids in class.

              In 2nd grade, I kicked butt on the annual final, but bombed on further testing for advanced courses. I was 7 and couldn’t fully appreciate the situation. I didn’t even try. I didn’t care.

              Again in 5th grade, I kicked butt on the final. I was offered a place at a special school. Transportation was a problem, so I missed out.

              The rest of my education was basically a pattern of goofing off, getting in trouble, and cutting class. I would much rather spend my school day in in-school suspension/all day detention reading my aunt’s college textbooks or something I found interesting at the library. It was much better than tolerating 1000 idiotic peers, and served as a motivation to break the rules.

              At 16, I quit school to open up my schedule for work. I later went back to an alternative program and made up 4 years of high school in 1 year. I graduated at 19 yrs old. BTW, My graduation celebration consisted of picking my diploma up on the way to work and shaking the principle’s hand.

              After the service, I decided to use my G.I. Bill and enroll in the only college I could afford, which was a crappy community college that was about to lose it’s accreditation.

              When I went to take the entrance exam/assessment, I was disappointed that, with the exception of about 10 questions, It was all grammer school stuff. There were only a few that were at a college level.

              I aced the test and was pulled aside to talk to the IT program administrator. He REALLY wanted me to attend the new IT campus so he could justify the funding. I told him that I was on a REAL TIGHT budget and could not afford the gas to go back and forth every day, and instead would be riding a city bus to the downtown campus. He didn’t offer to accomodate me. I guess he didn’t want me there after all. lol.

              My first week in “College” was a joke. In sociology class, the teacher drew a circle on the chalk-board and asked the class to fill it in as a pie chart demonstrating the socioeconomic stratification of America. I was the only one in class participating. I filled the whole thing in myself from memory within a margin of error of 2%. The entire class consisted of a conversation between her and I. After class we sat and talked for a few. She asked me if I had ever taken any college courses. I responded with “No, I just read.”

              After that class was World History. That class was much the same. I was given a homework assignment that consisted of labeling 30 countries. I had visited 18 of them.

              I sat there in the school library looking through my text books and pondering how I was about to spend 2 years of my life and $20,000 on what I could learn from a free public library or what I had already learned from real world experience and watching educational TV.

              I wasn’t going to learn much, or at least not $20,000 worth. I withdrew the next day and got a refund.

              What I realized is that in spite of me spending the last 7 years of my public education goofing off and failing school, I was still able to perform at about the same level as someone with a formal education. I’ve always learned, most of which wasn’t at school.

              I realized that unless I found a way to come up with $100,000 for a legitimate education, I was wasting my time and FRN’s.

              Moral of the story: School as we know it is IMHO, Bullshit. Wanna learn something…read books.

              (For anyone that cares, ask BF what kind of economics degree he has.)

              Ray – “You use a key word – “endorsing””

              BL – I also used the word “sponsor”. I could throw a few more synonyms out there if you like, but I’ll just sum it up this way. With respect to freedom of religion, the 1st amendment means that there is no room for an official religion in America, nor the prohibition of one or any. It speaks to the reason why the pilgrims came here.

              Ray – “You insinuate that the “shitty people” just wanted to intentionally ruin it for everyone. Really? Sounds to me they are taking a strict interpretation of the 1st amendment.”

              BL – I wasn’t insinuating anything, I was calling it straight up. They aren’t about freedom of religion, they are about freedom of THEIR religion only. Would they have taken the same approach to a Muslim symbol on a Ramadan parade float? Would they have complained that it might offend Christians or Buddists?

              Ray – “I don’t call you an asshole because you challenge aspects of or interpretations of the Constitution that I agree with.”

              BL – And I don’t call anyone an asshole for challenging the constitution either. I do call people assholes for being assholes to their entire town.

              RAY – “The founders were not perfect – far from it.”

              BL – Agreed, and I suspect they would agree as well.

              • Cyndi P says:

                Hi BL,

                Your education experience up to high school sounds much like mine. For what my opinion is worth, I have much respect for you.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Sweetums,

                Your opinion is worth PLENTY, and the sentiment is mutual.

              • Cyndi P says:

                I think we should spare everyone else the torture and just go get a room for the night. Whatya say sugar muffin?

                8)

              • Cyndi

                Well that sure would put an end to your Liberal boy friend problem.

                Bwahahahahaha

              • Bottom Line says:

                Okay!

                Two questions though,…

                1) Why just one night?

                2) Do you have any heart rhythm irregularities?

                😉

              • Bottom Line says:

                BL – “I learned something in elemntary school”

                BL – Apparently, I didn’t learn how to spell the word “elementary” though. lol.

              • Bottom Line says:

                I screwed up “academics” too.

                In a post about education, I just had to misspell words like these?

                ughhhh!

              • Are you talking to yourself BL 🙂

                Thanks for the classic rock the other day even though I didnt see it til yesterday !

              • Bottom Line says:

                Hi sweetleaf,

                I was until now.

                It was my pleasure, and I’m glad you enjoyed them.

                Anytime.

                How about now?…

                Electric Light Orchestra – Sweet Talkin’ Woman

              • Sloooooow Down… YEAH..

                I better quit before SWEETUMS gets mad at you.

                Hey Sweetums? (_x_) 🙂

        • USWeapon says:

          Of course you read it as an immature jab Ray. And you are welcome to do so. But, IMHO, our public education system is flawed and broken. What they teach is not history, but instead what they want children to believe history to be.

          Whether you like it or not, when you graduate High school these days, you are leaving with a sub-par education. You have learned nothing of critical thinking, economics, or much else of real value to your ability to survive and thrive in today’s world. I am sorry that you are offended when that truth is spoken.

          USW

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hello Everyone

      Good article US, and I agree with you as well. I’m getting fed up with those few who complain about pitting religion with everything also.

      What difference does it make where they hold graduation ceremonies anyway, whether it be in a church, on a beach, or in a circus tent. Why does somebody always have to go complain to a judge for everything anymore? Enough is enough.

      This is as bad as the cross in the Mojave Desert. Just because of one person who bitched about it, and who just might happen to dive out of his way and see it wanted it removed or covered. Now look what happened, it was stolen, but replaced by a different one, and for what I understand, that one might have to come down as well, because it’s not the original. So what, at least it was replaced in memory for which is was built in the first place.

      When will these people stop all the whining and boo hooing because of certain symbols? Geez Louise, what do they do with the money n their pocket because it says In God We Trust on it. Oh, yeah, that’s right, they want that removed as well. Give me a break.

      Hope all is going well today.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Judy – our system works precisely because we allow and in some ways encourage people to test the boundaries and push the envelope – it is what enables us to get to consensus most of the time and re-evaluate what works. We don’t get right all the time, but the downside is much worse. Imagine the flip side if Conservative dissent was also disallowed or painted to be nothing more than people bitching and complaining (well – sometimes it is posed that way)?

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          Hi Ray

          Was just saying my opinion and how I feel about it, that’s all, not saying it’s liberal or conservative thing, just tired of all the bitching from people. No matter which way you turn, somebody’s there complaining about something. Just gets old after awhile.

          BTW, glad to hear your little guy is doing good.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Thanks Judy – the boy is a bruiser – keeps us very busy! I never realized my music CDs made such great frisbees – all 600+ of them. 😉

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              Don’t tell me, he’s using them for that purpose? LOL! Sounds like you have one tough little guy there Ray.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      I think this fits in with this subject.

      Judge Orders School to Reinstate Boy Suspended Over Rosary Beads

      Published June 02, 2010

      A federal judge on Tuesday ordered a school to reinstate a 13-year-old boy who was suspended for wearing rosary beads, pending a hearing into whether the suspension violated his civil rights.

      Oneida Middle School officials contend Raymond Hosier violated a policy banning gang-related clothing, as rosary beads are sometimes worn as gang symbols. But the seventh-grader, who initially was suspended two weeks ago, says he wears the purple rosary in memory of his younger brother, who died while clutching it after a bicycle accident.

      The American Center for Law and Justuice, an offshoot of Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court contending the suspension violated Hosier’s rights to free speech and religious expression.

      The center took on the case for free, saying it was “deeply offensive” for the school district to call all rosary beads gang symbols. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Hosier and his mother, Chantell Hosier, against the Schenectady City School District and school officials, including the middle school’s principal.

      A district spokeswoman did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Tuesday.

      The lawsuit asks the court to declare the school’s dress code and Hosier’s suspension unconstitutional. It requests a jury trial.

      Hosier received a one-week suspension for refusing to take off his prayer beads or hide them under his shirt two weeks ago. Hosier, saying he won’t go to school without the rosary, was suspended again last week when he returned to school with it.

      Judge Lawrence Kahn ordered Hosier reinstated pending the June 11 hearing.

      Other school districts have punished students for wearing rosaries. In February, a 14-year-old boy in Haverstraw, in southeastern New York, was suspended for a day for wearing a rosary. And in Texas, a Dallas high school student was told to stop wearing her rosary in September 2008.

      In recent years, rosaries worn by celebrities including Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Dakota Fanning and soccer star David Beckham have made the Catholic prayer beads popular as jewelry.

    • Unbelievable. Check out http://www.cujodesigns.com.

  2. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #2

    Detained Immigrants Slated For Deportation Being Counted For Census Money

    Paulo Sergio Alfaro-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant being held at a detention center in Washington state, had no idea that the federal government would count him in the census.

    No one gave him a census form. No one told him his information would be culled from the center’s records.

    But counted he was, along with other illegal immigrants facing deportation in detention centers across the country – about 30,000 people on any given day, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement.

    By the time the census delivers the total tallies to the state and federal government, most of the immigrants will be long gone. But because the population snapshot determines the allocation of federal dollars, those in custody could help bring money to the towns, cities and counties in Texas, Arizona, Washington and Georgia where the country’s biggest and newest facilities are located.

    “I think the irony, if there’s any irony, is that the locality is what’s going to benefit, because you have a detention center in a particular city where people have been brought from different parts of the region, and that community will benefit,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, an organization that has pushed Latinos to participate in the census.

    This census brings a twist, though. For the first time, states have the option of counting people in detention centers and prisons as residents of their last address before they’re detained, worrying some local lawmakers who say cities and counties that host detention centers could lose money

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/31/detained-immigrants-census-money_n_595464.html

    I found this to be interesting as it points out a clear manipulation of the system, and further, shows that such manipulation has become so commonplace that it is not even questioned any longer. The article discusses the fact that the “change” this time is that people can be counted at their last known address rather than where the detention center is. The merits of which version is better (counting at incarceration point or previous home) are debated, but there is never the obvious question asked…

    Why in the hell are they counting illegal immigrants that are being deported as part of the census in the first place?

    They are being deported. Funds shouldn’t be allocated to where they were living OR to the city where they are currently incarcerated. If there is a need for money to fund the incarceration or deportation process, why on earth are we funding this through the census rather than through legislation that is based around funding the legal aspects of illegal immigration?

    This is one little tiny blip on a giant radar full of blips of government working out of sync. The census should be getting a count of people. Nothing more and nothing less. Money should not be allocated based on census data. Money should be allocated based on what is happening on the street, not based on some numbers we sloppily gather every ten years. For example, the money allocated for dealing with people incarcerated should be allocated based on real time information about who and how many are in custody. Every prison administrator in America can tell you off the top of their head how many prisoners are in their facility. So why are we going to base fund allocation in 2016 on census data from 2010?

    Our government has gotten so bloated and dysfunctional that it simply can not longer perform its functions effectively.

    • I find it odd that the Census couldn’t even find my town let alone my house until I called them and gave specific mailing instructions . . . and they still had to send somebody out here to actually see that there was in fact a town here.

      However, while at the RV park where we spent the winter, all those who were in the park were counted as residents of CA, of all places, regardless of what their license plates said . . .

      What a farce!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Not sure about this one – IF a substantive number of II are processed through City XYZ – why in the world would de-fund the process or refuse to acknowledge that that is where your spend is? I don’t get it USW.

      • Ray

        The Census is not used to fund Correctional Facilities. That is done through Federal Budget Process.

        The Census is used as a basis for doling out welfare and other PET project money. The Illegals awaiting deportation have not effect on the demand or need for that money.

        Oh, and of course there is the issue of apportioning representation in Congress and State legislatures. There was nothing in the Census about legal status so the total number by geographic block will be used for reapportionment.

        Counting illegals sitting in jail awaiting deportation is Bull Shit.

  3. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #3

    Los Angeles County Votes to Boycott Arizona Over Immigration Law

    Los Angeles County on Tuesday became the latest government body to boycott Arizona to protest the state’s tough new law targeting illegal immigration.

    After a heated debate, the county’s board of supervisors voted 3-2 to ban new contracts with Arizona-based companies and review those that could be canceled. The county has more than $26 million in contracts with Arizona companies this year.

    Several California cities, including Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco, have passed similar measures.

    The Arizona law, set to go into effect July 29, requires police enforcing another law to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are in the country illegally.

    Supervisor Gloria Molina said law “goes too far.”

    “I am sworn as an L.A. County supervisor to uphold the Constitution. All I can say is that I believe that Arizona’s law is unconstitutional,” she said.

    U.S. Justice Department officials have drafted a legal challenge asserting that Arizona’s law is unconstitutional because it intrudes on the federal government’s authority to guard the nation’s borders.

    Critics of the law also say it unfairly targets Hispanics and could lead to racial profiling.

    Proponents insist racial profiling will not be tolerated.

    Dozens of people spoke on both sides of the issue Tuesday, trying to sway Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was the last to announce his position and finally voted yes.

    “We need solutions, not boycotts,” said Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who voted against the motion along with Supervisor Don Knabe.

    The boycott also calls the county’s pension fund to rid itself of any investments in Arizona’s state and municipal bonds. The county does have investment that would be affected by the boycott, said the county’s treasurer, Mark Saladino.

    A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found that about three-fourths of voters in the U.S. think boycotting Arizona because of its immigration law is a bad idea. The national survey of 1,914 registered voters also found that most support the law itself, with 51 percent of voters approving of the measure and 31 percent disapproving.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/01/los-angeles-county-votes-boycott-arizona-immigration-law/

    This thing is really getting to the point of ridiculous. I will tell you what I find most interesting… Here we have the council for the county of Los Angeles. These are supposed to be some fairly smart people. After all, they are in charge of making decisions that affect millions of residents of LA County. Yet they are unable to grasp what every single reader of this site, whether they agree with the law or not, was able to grasp on the very first pass. The Arizona law does nothing other than enforce federal law. There is nothing new here. Yet they are not boycotting “America”, just Arizona.

    It just goes to show that the people of Southern California are absolutely lost in terms of representation. From the local level all the way up to Maxine Waters, Barbara Boxer, and Nancy Pelosi, they are represented by progressive imps that have no interest in what is right, what is fair, what is Constitutional, or what is a violation of civil rights. They are only interested in political expediency, political exploitation, and political activism. My opinion of California continues to plummet with each story like this that comes along.

    But I will also share what I think is the most telling thing in all of this. The most telling thing is what we are hearing from the man who is supposed to be the leader of all 50 states, President Obama. We are hearing nothing. He has said absolutely not one word about all of these activist cities and counties boycotting the entire state of Arizona. Where are you Mr. President? Why is it that you are not telling all of these idiots to stop boycotting one of the states you represent? You are sending a very clear message that you don’t care about Arizona at all. And a very clear message that your progressive agenda is more important than the people who you are supposed to lead. But you can’t seem to find enough opportunities to express your “outrage” at BP. Some leader you are.

    • Arizona should just put L.A. in the dark for awhile ans ask how their boycot is working 🙂 As far as Obama, Worst President in my lifetime.

      Have a good day everyone!

      G!

      • Mathius says:

        Umm… W…?

        Seriously?

        Warrantless wiretaps, torturing prisoners, two wars, unfunded mandates, stem cells, Cheney, Rove, Terry Shivo, Katrina, MASSIVE deficits… and BO is worse?

        ::sigh::

        • Hard to believe, isn’t it? 🙂 and I thought no one could be worse that Carter.

          • oops…caveat here…I am not leaving out the past Republican 8 year administration…I put them in the same basket although I do believe that this administration is doing far more damage and more quickly.

            How are you, Matt? Basement repaired yet?

            • Mathius says:

              Basement’s all better – I found your secret nuclear submarine entrance and sealed that up. All the walls are reinforced, so all I need to do now is fly to Sedona tonight and capture him.

              Then I’ll confiscate his iPad and you’ll never hear from him again. Ever.

              • Matt…..you would interrupt a man in Sedona? Come on….at least let him have his R&R….but perhaps he will still escape.

                Have a great day, sir. Going to be a mite warmish here….mid 90’s. Not hot yet but will get there soon enough.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Mathius,

          Gee, and OBAMA is CONTINUING OR EXPANDING EACH AND EVERY THING YOU JUST SAID YOU HATED ABOUT BUSH!

          Even more of the same is EVEN WORSE; therefore OBAMA HAS TO BE WORSE THAN BUSH by definition.

    • Ok….so Los Angeles decides to boycott….woopee wow wow…..

      I wonder what the feeling on this blog is….to the following question.

      Is it ok for Arizona to respond to the boycott by shutting off their electricity? ( I think it was reported that Los Angeles alone gets 20% of their power from Arizona) If not…why not!

      Here is my take on it…..I have no problem with retaliatory boycotts at all. Arizona, by passing their law, did not create a danger to California. It is Arizona’s right, as a state, to enact their own laws. So, I hope that they have the “gonads” to cut the power….or just consider the source (being California) and continue to take their revenue and even increase the rate next time contract talks come up.

      • I actually would love to see them turn off the power. In reality though it would probably make the situation worse.

        • Mathius says:

          It’s an open secret that California maintains a ninja army that can easily annex the Hoover Dam.

          • naten53 says:

            Haven’t you seen “Deadliest Warrior?” Arizona has employed Spartans to defend against the ninja threat.

      • Mathius says:

        Bring it.

        We (California) are massively bigger and, though bankrupt, far richer than Arizona. Cut our power, we’ll buy from elsewhere in the grid. We’re used to brown-outs, they don’t scare us. Every house has a supply of candles at the ready. It would suck to lose a power supplier as important as AZ, but we’ll live.

        But…

        Arizona cannot afford to lose us. Period. That’s it. They can’t afford it. They need us far more than we need them. They need our tourism.

        From AZOT.gov

        Travel and tourism is one of the most important “export-oriented” industries in
        Arizona. Spending by visitors generates sales in lodging, food services, recreation,
        transportation and retail businesses – the “travel industry.” These sales support jobs
        for Arizona residents and contribute tax revenue to local and state governments.
        In recent years, the travel industry has been one of the top two export-oriented
        industries in the state in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

        • What’s your personal opinion Matt-I saw a poll that says California is about 50/50 on the immigration law-California may be able to boycott Arizona but should they as a State do so. Individuals-okay-a whole state deciding to do so-irritates me-unless they take a vote-I just don’t believe the gov. should decide for the whole state to try and hurt another state and it’s people.

          • Mathius says:

            Re AZ Immigration Law: I am 99.9923749236% against it.

            Should CA boycott as an official state policy: Nope. Bad idea. We really shouldn’t bully our neighbors.

            • Obviously, I messed that up-I do actually realize that the whole state of California isn’t boycotting Arizona-I do however see no difference between the cities of California deciding to bully their neighbors or the whole state doing so. Especially when all Arizona is doing is enforcing the law. They even put more qualifiers in their law than is in the federal law to protect against profiling. But lets not put the blame where it belongs-at the feet of the Federal government-lets hurt people who are already hurting and begging for some fraking help.

              • Mathius says:

                I do not support Los Angeles bullying its neighbors either.

                No matter how wrong their neighbors may be.

                Not to excuse their actions, but you should understand that the Latino demographic is very large and strong in SoCal, and especially in LA. Actions that use their anger make good red meat in local politics.

              • Ahhhh…the old political feeding frenzy?

              • Mathius says:

                Yup. Politics is a blood sport.

      • I dunno, here is some reasoning against shutting off LA power:
        1) This is a transaction, not a gift, meaning that ARizona gets revenue for what they sell. They need said revenue.

        2) If the power was not so regulated, it would be up to the individual companies in question to decide such a thing. They can do what they wish. I am not a fan of the ARizone GOVERNMENT deciding for a utility company that they will enact a retaliatory boycott.

        3) The citizens and businesses of LA will be hurt by this, not the government that decided it. Sure, maybe the LA county residents need a wake-up call, but it seems a bit of an attack on civilians to make a point to the military.

        I don’t like it. Emotionally it would be satisfying, but it is not a rational idea.

    • Ah yes, the select defense of the Constitution:

      “Supervisor Gloria Molina said law “goes too far.”

      “I am sworn as an L.A. County supervisor to uphold the Constitution. All I can say is that I believe that Arizona’s law is unconstitutional,” she said.”

      Dear Supervisor Molina:

      What the hell about the “Commerce Clause” you lefties are so enthralled with?

      Don’t you know it is against the law for one State to restrict trade against another?

      Could it be that this has absolutely nothing to do with YOUR view of the Constitution?

      Sincerely,
      JAC

      • Mathius says:

        Dear JAC,

        We will do whatever we want.

        Sincerely,
        California

        PS: If you have a problem with it, please take it up with The Governator and/or our 55 electoral votes (soon to be 56).

        • Dear California….perhaps a blockade by Thor’s Hammer?

          Sincerely,

          The Masked Avenger

          PS. It appears that Texas will pick up two electoral votes to 36.
          (37 if we can count the number of dead drug runners this year).

          • Mathius says:

            Dear Masked Avenger,

            We have word that Thor’s Hammer will be leaving port in two days time. Further, the raptor crew will not enforce it’s blockade as long as we continue paying tribute in the form of In ‘n’ Out (3×3’s animal style) and Dr. Pepper. We admit that we are beginning to run low on Dr. Pepper stockpiles (nobody here drinks that garbage – we like Red Bull), but we should easily last another few days.

            Sincerely,
            The tax-loving, freedom-hating liberals

            • Dear tax-loving freedom hating liberal,

              even you would stoop to bribery? You would bribe my raptors? but…but….and with Dr. Pepper and In ‘n’ Outs?

              Have you no sense of pride? You know my raptors will change sides with that….hmmmm…must think on how to rectify this.

              Sincerely,

              A shaken but not deterred Masked Avenger

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        I think it is all posturing JAC – this “boycotting” is nonsense to play to the emotion of the issue. Its easier to create a common enemy than to make friends.

        • Now that is a great statement, Ray. I agree. How is that boy doing? Run you ragged yet?

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Hey D13 – he turns “1” on Saturday. Cannot believe how fast the first year has gone. His daycare teacher asked my wife today if I play “tackle” or roughhouse with him (I do not). At first I thought something accusatory was afoot – turns out he has been “tackling” the girls in his classroom. Do I scold him or congratulate the little caveman?

            And one other thing – maybe CA should focus more on their own problems than trying to figure out who else they are going to piss off.

            • Wow…..teach him to high five (he probably knows this already)….tackling the gals used to be fun but in today’s environment, if you just compliment a female…you get sued.

              But, ya gotta give him credit…..

            • Mathius says:

              And one other thing – maybe CA should focus more on their own problems than trying to figure out who else they are going to piss off. It’s called deflection.

            • My son has managed to live to be 38 (this year). Amazing. But, even with the trying to raise a son in the 70’s/80’s, it was worth it. we are closer now than we have ever been. He finally admitted that “Colonel Dad” is not so dumb after all.

              Enjoy your son..he will be fun. Tackling the girls already…cool!!!!!

              • Side Note: Ummmmm…..could it be that he is a “chip” off the ol’ block? (Tackling the gals, that is?)

        • Ray

          I think it is more than posturing although I am in agreement on the rest of your comment.

          I kind of wish the City would enforce their stupid boycott. Can’t wait for the lawsuits over breach of contract and “discriminatory practices and/or commerce clause violations ” when awarding new contracts.

          I’ll tell you Ray, as someone who lived through and stood with the fight for Civil Rights in the 60’s and 70’s I am heartbroken at how RACE has become the political football in this country.

          It is hard to express my contempt for the political leadership in this country who have actively and deliberately contributed to this putrid atmosphere.

          Hope your weekend with spousal unit leader and little Hawkins was filled with fun.
          JAC

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        If the Arizona Law is unconstitutional, then ALL FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAW IS ALSO UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

        This may actually be the case.

        Bringing up the law for constitutional review is dangerous business 🙂

    • Memo

      To: All those Californians who fled to eastern Oregon & Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Utah over the past 15 years.

      Sub: Repatriation

      I urge all of you to move back to California and take the State away from the Loons.

      Your flight from insanity is detrimental to the General Welfare of our Nation. You should consider it your patriotic duty to return to the land of fruit and nuts to fight for the Union.

      Thanks in advance for your personal sacrifice.
      JAC

      • Mathius says:

        Dear Liberals of the Midwest,

        Please move to Texas. Your votes do not count where you are, but if all of you move to Texas at once, you can take over the third* most powerful state in the union.

        Sincerely,
        Mathius

        *Yes, third! 1 – CA, 2 – NY. Deal with it.

        • Ahhhhhh, Matt…my intrepid friend….we deal with it all the time. We may have only 34 votes…but like Alaska…it is indeed a bigger land mass state than Texas..but where would we get all the ice for our margueritas if we did not harvest it from Alaska?

          However, Texas is still a much less regulated state than NY or California and we really like our guns and independent ways….we are on the lookout for you “furriners”….you don’t even know how to say ya’ll properly yet much less get is meaning. 🙂

        • Common Man says:

          Matt;

          Do you include Michigan as part of the Midwest? If so then I salute you for a wonderful idea as it will result in the following:

          – We will have to re-elect about 70% of the state representatives currently seated as well as both Senators
          – We will have to replace the current Governor – “Thank You Jesus!”
          – The auto industry will be restructured to produce quality cars and trucks while maintaining a respectable profit margin, and will win back the hearts of the American car buyer from the foreign producers
          – Schools will re-vamp their current curriculum and start educating our students real history, math science, etc
          – Hillsdale College will see a 5 fold increase in applications forcing them to expand with extensions and as a result become one of the leading colleges in North America
          – More kids will learn to hunt and fish giving them a ‘real’ understanding of the environment, greatly improve their physical apptitude and as a result greatly reduce the number of gang related deaths
          – Michigan will finally produce a balanced budget
          – The majority of stupid laws currently existing today will be over turned sparking new businesses, and increased revenues, and a renewed sense of freedom
          – Welfare will no longer eat up 20% of states funds
          – Broken cities like Detroit and Flint will experience a rebirth as businesses flurish and employment drops to an all time low.
          – Charitable organizations will see an increase in donations and as a result will be able to offer assistance to states like CA and NY
          – And finally Michigan will no longer be viewed as an example of where our country is headed under the current liberal regiem to a shining example of an American state promoting individual freedom, free trade and a government of the people.

          Where do I start signing peole up for this transition?

          CM

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      I think boycotting Arizona is just plain stupid if you ask me. There are those here in Reno as well who want the state to boycott as well. Why, where is it going to get you anyway? If Arizona pulls the plug on Calif, then so what, then maybe they’ll think twice about it. I say good for Arizona for doing what should have been done in the first place. All these other states are so chicken hearted anyway, it’s not funny, guess they’re afraid they’re going to lose cheap labor if they do.

      If you want to immigrate to the U.S.,fine, do it the right way. Don’t come here expecting to have everything handed to you on a silver platter. I’m not just talking about those who come over from Mexico either, I’m talking about from anywhere.

      Just my opinion.

    • Bottom Line says:

      CA is the most completely bass ackwards ucked fup society I have ever seen. I can’t say that I am surprised.

      This boycott is wrong on so many levels, I don’t even know where to begin.

      California is being foolish. This boycott is about to backfire on them. The vast majority of the country sides with AZ. Other states are working on similar laws as AZ. Is CA gonna boycott everyone?

      As far as I am concerned, we should just get rid of California. As in…annexation to Mexico. 49 states is fine by me. We don’t need the dead weight.

      • Cyndi P says:

        Annexation to Mexico! I love it! We can give them the most sincere apology and turn it over. The Mexicans would be like the car chasing dog that finally catches one. They wouldn’t know what to do with it. 😉

      • I like this idea! T-Ray, Dee and other SUFA CAians, we are giving you fair warning and invites to our places to relocate.

  4. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #4

    Federal Reserve Adopts Megabanks’ Arguments, Warns Against Added Protections For Small Business Credit Card Users

    The Federal Reserve warned Congress in a recent report that protecting small businesses from the kind of “harmful” credit card practices it prohibits from being used on consumers would lead to a reduction of credit and higher borrowing costs for businesses — a similar argument advanced by the banks the Fed regulates.

    The American Bankers Association applauded the report and the Fed’s recommendation.

    The report comes at a time when Congress is debating how to stimulate moribund bank lending levels to small businesses, which have been hit particularly hard by the credit crunch, financial crisis and subsequent recession.

    “[S]mall business credit remains severely constricted,” according to the May report issued by the Congressional Oversight Panel, the bailout watchdog. Lending “plummeted during the 2008 financial crisis and remained sharply restricted throughout 2009.” With Wall Street banks cutting lending and smaller banks “strained by their exposure to commercial real estate and other liabilities,” many small businesses “have had to shut their doors, and some of the survivors are still struggling to find adequate financing.”

    The report also slammed the Obama administration’s efforts to revive small business lending.

    Because loans and lines of credit have been so hard to get, many small businesses have had to resort to using credit cards to help finance their operations. The Fed noted in its Friday report that in 2009 small business applications for lines of credit were rejected about two-thirds of the time, while applications for bank loans were rejected at a 50 percent clip. Applications for business credit cards, however, had a rejection rate of just 26 percent.

    A little over a third of small businesses used business credit cards in 1998, according to the Fed. That rate now stands at about 64 percent.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/01/federal-reserve-adopts-me_n_596675.html

    I found this really interesting. So the Fed has an issue with regulations being put in place around small business lending. They feel that those regulations will cause lenders to choose not to lend. They feel that those regulations will cause the cost of borrowing to go up for small businesses. In other words, those regulations are simply bad for business.

    Yet they weren’t so concerned that similar regulations might lead to a lack of lending and higher borrowing costs for individual consumers. I would like to understand what exactly makes small business lending different than consumer lending in this particular case. Because it seems to me that a lack of lending and higher borrowing costs would be a bad thing for consumers in an economy that is absolutely tanking under the failed leadership in Congress and the Fed.

    I know when it comes to economics I am a novice. I am therefore willing to accept that I may be completely wrong in my assessment here. So I will capitulate should someone who understands it better than I offers some insight. But it just doesn’t seem to fit in my opinion.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      They claim that small business is the engine of the economy now (even though the Government employs more people than small businesses do), and yet they claim that the US is a “Consumer Driven Economy”.

      I doubt I could make sense out of much of anything that the Fed says, but then again the whole entity of the Fed is based on NONSENSE to begin with.

      The point about more regulations making it more difficult for small businesses to obtain loans is valid on face at least.

      Beyond that don’t ask me to figure out anything the Fed says/does….

      🙂

    • USWep,

      The explanation about the new regulation is as incomprehensible as the new regulation.

      Do not waste your time trying to figure it out. Simply stick to the core rule of all regulation upon voluntary exchange:

      “It will damage the economy”.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        If BF and I are 0 for 2 trying to help you figure it out USW, it is pretty safe to say it is nonsense and beyond the ability of mere mortals to decode in to something sensible 🙂

  5. Cyndi P says:
    • Careful, Cyndi….careful what you read and believe. There are other indicators out there to compare things to as well.

      • Cyndi P says:

        True, but the trend hasn’t been one that inspires hope for improvement. The recent record of the Doom and Gloomers has been a lot better than that of the Cheerleaders. If the Cheerleaders are right, then life will be great real soon and we have no worries, but if they’re wrong, a little preparation will come in handy. I’ll prepare for the worst, hope for the best….

        🙂

        • Absolutely…always prepare…but take a long look at the stock market performances since Moses was a mess cook and their trends. Take a look at world economics and their trends over the last 100 years.

          However, in today’s environment, things change quickly. Always prepare and be prepared the best you can.

  6. Brought forward from yesterday: Maritime and International Law questions concerning blockades and acts of piracy. I will interdict my opinions in between and preface them by D13 says:

    “We do not yet know all the facts about what happened aboard the Marvi Marmara. We do know that Israel boarded it to enforce its blockade of Gaza.

    D13 AGREES THAT THIS IS FACT.

    International law tells us that states may create and enforce blockades during an armed conflict, but it also tells us that those blockades must meet humanitarian standards to be lawful.

    The underlying legal question is whether or not Israel’s blockade of Gaza is lawfully established. The final assessment of whether Israel’s actions were lawful or not could well depend on the answer.

    D13 AGREES WITH THE ABOVE.

    In times of peace, a vessel on the high seas may be stopped only either with the permission of its flag state, or on suspicion of international offenses such as piracy and slave trading.

    During an armed conflict, however, a belligerent state is entitled to blockade enemy ports as a measure of economic warfare.

    D13 DOES NOT THINK THERE IS ANY QUESTION THAT THIS IS CONSIDERED AN ARMED CONFLICT AND THAT ECONOMIC WARFARE IS A WEAPON.

    Historically, such a blockade had to be conducted close to shore. In modern law, however, a blockade may be enforced against neutral vessels on the high seas, where the events on the Marvi Marmara took place.

    D13 THINKS THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO YESTERDAY’S POSTINGS THAT A BLOCKADE CAN NOT BE ENFORCED FROM THE HIGH SEAS, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS INTERNATIONAL WATERS. THE ABOVE STATEMENT REFERS TO MODERN LAW.

    A belligerent may stop, inspect and divert any vessel it suspects of intending to breach its blockade.

    THE MARVI MARMARA EXPRESSLY SIGNALED ITS INTENT TO RUN THE BLOCKADE. SINCE THERE HAS BEEN NO INTERNATIONAL LAW FINDING THAT THE BLOCKADE IS ILLEGAL, THEN ISRAEL, ACCORDING TO MARITIME AND INTERNATIONAL LAW, HAD A RIGHT TO STOP IT AND BOARD IT.

    While a merchant vessel has a right to freedom of navigation on the high seas, it can be intercepted legally when its express intention is to breach a blockade.

    D13 UNDERSTANDS THAT THIS WAS ONE OF SIX SHIPS IN THIS FLOTILLA. FIVE OF THEM STOPPED AND WERE BOARDED. THE MARVI INTENDED TO NOT STOP AND, THEREFORE, ACCORDING TO MARITIME LAW WAS BOARDED LEGALLY.

    The ships that were intercepted by Israel, however, were carrying aid. The law or armed conflict requires that blockading states allow aid through to the civilian population; however, the blockading state may control the channel through which aid is delivered, and that is what Israel has been doing.

    The authority to intercept vessels and control aid deliveries, however, is available only in a lawful blockade. To be lawful, a blockade must not be implemented where the damage to the civilian population is excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade, and this is where Israel’s legal position is open to question.

    D13 AGREES. IT HINGES ON THE LEGALITY OF THE BLOCKADE, AND SINCE ISRAEL AND EGYPT HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS WITHOUT CHALLENGE (ISRAEL ON THE SEA AND EGYPT BY LAND) THEN THE GENERAL INTERNATIONAL CONSENSUS IS THAT IT IS A LEGAL BLOCKADE.

    The BBC has reported UN agencies as saying that insufficient aid is reaching Gaza, possibly less than one quarter of daily needs. This raises serious questions about the underlying legality of the blockade.

    D13 AGREES THAT IT RAISES SOME QUESTIONS, BUT THOSE QUESTIONS HAVE NOT YET BEEN ANSWERED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CONSENSUS AND SINCE THERE IS NO UN FORCE MOVING IN TO END THE BLOCKADE, THEN IT MUST STILL BE CONSIDERED BY MOST TO BE LEGAL.

    The relevant rules of armed conflict prohibit intentionally starving the civilian population and require that humanitarian supplies essential to survival must be allowed to pass, albeit subject to certain controls by the blockading power.

    D13 AGREES WITH THIS AS WELL. AS FAR AS I KNOW, ALL NON MILITARY SUPPLIES HAVE BEEN ALLOWED IN AFTER INSPECTION.

    To maintain a population at a level just above the bare minimum needed for survival might arguably be within the strictest letter of the law, but could never seriously be thought consistent with its spirit.

    Calls for the immediate cessation of the blockade may well have a good case in law as well as in humanitarian policy.

    What law applied to what happened aboard the vessel?

    As long as the blockade is lawful, then enforcing it is lawful, but the question of how it is enforced is also subject to law.

    Enforcement action must be both necessary and proportionate. Going aboard a civilian vessel with the intention of using lethal force against civilians would clearly be disproportionate and unlawful. Indeed, it could easily be a war crime.

    D13 AGREES WITH THIS AS WELL.

    There is, however, a real difference between deliberately murdering civilians and the mistaken exercise of self-defense, and it is not yet clear whether the events on the Marvi Marmara could be classified as self-defense or not.

    Israel claims that its military attempted to divert the vessels using minimal force and non-lethal means, which is exactly what happened on five of the six vessels intercepted where no one was hurt.

    D13, IN IS OPINION, THINKS THAT THE SIXTH VESSEL WAS A TRAP AND THAT ITS INTENT WAS TO PROVOKE THE RESPONSE THAT IT GOT. IF THAT WERE NOT THE CASE, WHY DID FIVE OF THEM STOP AND NOT ALL SIX? WHY DID FIVE OF THE SHIPS HAVE NO CASUALTIES OR PROBLEMS BUT THE SIXTH ONE DID?

    Precisely what happened on the Marvi Marmara is a matter of dispute. Both sides have released video tapes supporting their position that the other side attacked first, and that they acted in self-defense only.

    Every individual who is attacked or threatened, be they soldier or civilian, has a right of self-defense. Reasonable action in self-defense would preclude a finding of murder or unlawful killing, but it will take independent investigation to establish whether this was a reasonable exercise of self-defense or not.

    D13, IN HIS OPINION, THINKS THAT IF ISRAEL HAD INTENTIONS OF MURDERING INNOCENTS, WHY BOARD A VESSEL WITH PAINTBALL GUNS? PAINTBALL GUNS ARE A 68 CALIBER PROJECTILE USUALLY FIRED AT 300-400 FPS AT CLOSE RANGE…STINGS AND HURTS BUT DOES NOT KILL. IT IS AN APPROVED METHOD OF CROWD CONTROL NOW IN THE UNITED STATES AND IS A VERY VALUABLE TRAINING DEVICE AS WELL. HAVING A SIDE ARM IS NECESSARY SHOULD CROWD CONTROL NOT WORK.

    Was this piracy? If the blockade was unlawful, then enforcing it was unlawful. This, however, would still not make Israel’s actions piracy. Under the UN Law of the Sea Convention, piracy can be committed only by military forces that have mutinied or by private persons. As a technical matter states cannot commit piracy, only private individuals can. Even if the interception lacked a basis in law, it was not piracy.

    D13 AGREES THAT IT IS NOT PIRACY UNDER THE ABOVE DEFINITION.

    A great deal of attention will be paid in coming days as to whether what happened aboard the Marvi Marmara was lawful.

    The more important question is whether the blockade itself is causing excessive damage to the civilian population of Gaza. If so, it is illegal and must end.”

    D13 AGREES THAT IF THE BLOCKADE IS RULED UNLAWFUL..THEN IT MUST STOP OR CHANGED TO FIT WITHIN MARITIME AND INTERNATIONAL LAW….BUT UNTIL THEN, IT IS MY OPINION THAT IT IS NOT UNLAWFUL AND THE BOARDINGS WERE NOT PIRACY.

    The author is a lecturer at Faculty of Laws, University College London

    • D13

      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Bottom Line says:

      D13 mentions maritime law – “In times of peace, a vessel on the high seas may be stopped only either with the permission of its flag state, or on suspicion of international offenses such as piracy and slave trading.”

      BL – For what it’s worth, I know this to be true and valid. When I was in the Caribbean patrolling for coke runners, this was the rule when we needed to board and inspect vessels.

      We “pulled over” every kind of vessel you can think of, except foreign naval vessels. Before we could do anything, we had to get permission from their country.

    • BL,

      RE: Your “Coke” runners.

      You mistaken “International Law” completely.

      The power of the US to interdict these guys is by agreement between the nations in the Caribbean. That is, these countries have agreed that the US can enter their waters, and enforce upon ships in those waters as well as ships flagged by their nations as if it was US waters and US flagged ships.

      • BL,

        During your days there, did you ever port in Curacao?

      • Bottom Line says:

        I’m not claiming to be an authority on Maritime Law. I’m just referenceing my personal experience.

        For what it’s worth, We never boarded ANYONE in in ANY coastal waters. It was always in international waters. We had a Coast guard boarding crew for reasons of juristiction. I’m not sure how that works, just sayin’.

        And yes, I’ve been to Curacao. Cool place. I like the floating bridge and the dutch style architecture. Locals were very friendly too.

    • “We do not yet know all the facts about what happened aboard the Marvi Marmara. We do know that Israel boarded it to enforce its blockade of Gaza.

      The FACT is that Israel did so in INTERNATIONAL WATER in contradiction to International Law.

      International law tells us that states may create and enforce blockades during an armed conflict, but it also tells us that those blockades must meet humanitarian standards to be lawful.

      No.

      International law says that No state can board a ship flagged under another nation while in international water, regardless of whatever blockade may exist.

      UN Maritime Convention specifically states that such interdiction can only occur by permission of the United Nations Security Council Resolution

      Quote:
      The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

      Israel is NOT the Security Council, nor holds a seat on the Security Council, nor holds a Resolution from the Security Council regarding interdiction on the High Seas.

      The underlying legal question is whether or not Israel’s blockade of Gaza is lawfully established. The final assessment of whether Israel’s actions were lawful or not could well depend on the answer.

      This may be a further legal question above and beyond the attack on the Turkish ships.

      But as far as Israeli action upon those ships, it is unequivocally illegal and an act of war upon Turkey and NATO.

      The ONLY way for Israel to act within International Law was to hold a Security Council Resolution, which they do not hold.

      D13 AGREES WITH THE ABOVE.

      In times of peace, a vessel on the high seas may be stopped only either with the permission of its flag state, or on suspicion of international offenses such as piracy and slave trading.

      Neither of those situations pertains to this incident.

      During an armed conflict, however, a belligerent state is entitled to blockade enemy ports as a measure of economic warfare.

      ONLY by a Security Council resolution.

      Section 51, which is what Israel believes gives it a right, says:
      “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

      BUT the Security Council HAS determined the situation at the Gaza, issuing Resolution 1860 which demands an immediate end to the blockade and immediate ceasefire of all forces in Gaza and, this is key, Unimpeded Humanitarian Assistance

      Thus, Israel has contradicted a specific Security Council Resolution by attacking (thus impeding) humanitarian assistance.

      Israel cannot claim Section 51 since the Council HAS ordered Israel to end the blockade and observe a ceasefire.

      There is NO DOUBT that Israel purposely and flagrantly violated International Law and Security Council Resolution 1860.

      Now, we’ll see how NATO deals with it.

      • Take it up with the Maritime lawyers in England…it is their premise…not mine. I simply agree with it. I noticed my post did not have the name on it…but will find it again.

        As to NATO…..they will most likely do nothing other than lip service.

        as to the Security Council….it is also laughable…..why is it not doing anything? It will not do anything to Israel and it will not do anything to the weapons grade enrichment stockpiled in Iran. It will not do anything to anyone…it lacks the moral and intestinal fortitude…….however, should they decide to get testy, then I will say I was wrong….but I think that is a long way from coming.

        • “When it’s at war, or the United Nations has granted special permission. Naval blockades are acts of war under international law, so one country may legally blockade another only if it is acting in individual or collective self-defense—the standard requirements for going to war—or the U.N. Security Council has proclaimed the action necessary to maintain international peace. Some legal scholars, however, view the aged and restrictive laws governing blockades as being out of step with modern conflict. They argue that, under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, countries have broad rights to interdict and inspect any ships that may be carrying weapons into their territory, and such actions should not be interpreted as formal acts of war.”

          Curious…is Israel at war?

          • D13,

            The matter of war is referred to the UN Security Council and it has already determined by Resolution 1860 to declare a full cease-fire and elimination of the blockade.

            End of story.

            • No sir…not end of story. End of a chapter maybe….but I will wait and see what comes of it. If I am wrong, I will say so….right now…I do not feel that I am wrong.

        • D13

          Obviously you agree with it, but you can’t argue with it! You simply defer to some English chap but you don’t understand anything about the issue.

          You can’t point to any International Law or Convention – simply cross your fingers and shrug…. disappointing given you were all “hype” for this debate.

          Re: NATO
          From Craig Murray is a human rights activist, writer,
          former British Ambassador, and an Honorary Research
          Fellow at the University of Lancaster School of Law.

          Israeli Murders, NATO and Afghanistan

          I was in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over 20 years and a member of its senior management structure for six years, I served in five countries and took part in 13 formal international negotiations, including the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea and a whole series of maritime boundary treaties. I headed the FCO section of a multidepartmental organisation monitoring the arms embargo on Iraq.

          I am an instinctively friendly, open but unassuming person who always found it easy to get on with people, I think because I make fun of myself a lot. I have in consequence a great many friends among ex-colleagues in both British and foregin diplomatic services, security services and militaries.

          I lost very few friends when I left the FCO over torture and rendition. In fact I seemed to gain several degrees of warmth with a great many acquantances still on the inside. And I have become known as a reliable outlet for grumbles, who as an ex-insider knows how to handle a discreet and unintercepted conversation.

          What I was being told last night was very interesting indeed.

          NATO HQ in Brussels is today a very unhappy place.

          There is a strong understanding among the various national militaries that an attack by Israel on a NATO member flagged ship in international waters is an event to which NATO is obliged – legally obliged, as a matter of treaty – to react.

          I must be plain – nobody wants or expects military action against Israel.

          But there is an uneasy recognition that in theory that ought to be on the table, and that NATO is obliged to do something robust to defend Turkey.

          Mutual military support of each other is the entire raison d’etre of NATO.

          You must also remember that to the NATO military the freedom of the high seas guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is a vital alliance interest which officers have been conditioned to uphold their whole career.

          That is why Turkey was extremely shrewd in reacting immediately to the Israeli attack by calling an emergency NATO meeting.

          It is why, after the appalling US reaction to the attack with its refusal to name Israel, President Obama has now made a point of phoning President Erdogan to condole.

          But the unhappiness in NATO HQ runs much deeper than that, I spoke separately to two friends there, from two different nations.

          One of them said NATO HQ was “a very unhappy place”. The other described the situation as “Tense – much more strained than at the invasion of Iraq”.

          Why? There is a tendency of outsiders to regard the senior workings of governments and international organisations as monolithic. In fact there are plenty of highly intelligent – and competitive – people and diverse interests involved.

          There are already deep misgivings, especially amongst the military, over the Afghan mission.

          There is no sign of a diminution in Afghan resistance attacks and no evidence of a clear gameplan. The military are not stupid and they can see that the Karzai government is deeply corrupt and the Afghan “national” army comprised almost exclusively of tribal enemies of the Pashtuns.

          You might be surprised by just how high in Nato scepticism runs at the line that in some way occupying Afghanistan helps protect the west, as opposed to stoking dangerous Islamic anger worldwide.

          So this is what is causing frost and stress inside NATO.

          The organisation is tied up in a massive, expensive and ill-defined mission in Afghanistan that many whisper is counter-productive in terms of the alliance aim of mutual defence.

          Every European military is facing financial problems as a public deficit financing crisis sweeps the continent. The only glue holding the Afghan mission together is loyalty to and support for the United States.

          But what kind of mutual support organisation is NATO when members must make decades long commitments, at huge expense and some loss of life, to support the Unted States, but cannot make even a gesture to support Turkey when Turkey is attacked by a non-member?

          Even the Eastern Europeans have not been backing the US line on the Israeli attack.

          The atmosphere in NATO on the issue has been very much the US against the rest, with the US attitude inside NATO described to me by a senior NATO officer as “amazingly arrogant – they don’t seem to think it matters what anybody else thinks”.

          Therefore what is troubling the hearts and souls of non-Americans in NATO HQ is this fundamental question.

          Is NATO genuinely a mutual defence organisation, or is it just an instrument to carry out US foreign policy?

          With its unthinking defence of Israel and military occupation of Afghanistan, is US foreign policy really defending Europe, or is it making the World less safe by causing Islamic militancy?

          I leave the last word to one of the senior NATO officers – who incidentally is not British:

          “Nobody but the Americans doubts the US position on the Gaza attack is wrong and insensitve. But everyone already quietly thought the same about wider American policy. This incident has allowed people to start saying that now privately to each other.”

          • BF..Once again….I do not disagree with NATO position. They are in a tough position…but I have seen the inaction first hand… and any resolution that the UN does…does not have enforcement policy. I would seriously question the position of the UN since there has been no action. There has been no action against Egypt either and they had the same blockade on the land side for the last three years.

            I am pretty astute even if you think me a dolt….

            NATO is a toothless tiger….I worked there for two years in Brussels in operations. I have pointed to the same International Laws that you have and they are simply interpreted differently. When I was there, I saw and heard all of the arguments about other disputes. I was a mere LTC at that time and had to pull Assistant OPS 3 duty, however, I know the internal workings quite well and had to laugh at the endless protocol.

            Now, if NATO does nothing, I suppose that it will be the United States fault that they do nothing. If the UN does nothing, that too will probably be the United States fault….that is what everyone wants to think because we are the “big bad bully”.

            Yes, there was a boarding of a NATO flagged ship. They(NATO)does have a problem, tho…and you will see it sooner than later. Even though the blockade was “ordered ceased” it has not been done. Egypt even ignored it. Now, any nation has a right to ignore the UN and quite often do….so I would like to see where International Law falls on the issue of Israeli right to defense and embargo as well as blockade. They will have to take the same action against Egypt…which will not happen either.

            If NATO disintegrates….that is great, in my opinion. The United Nations should do the same thing. Europe needs to defend itself.

            What has not been brought up is the additional problem that NATO has with Turkey. NATO understands that it made a mistake with the introduction of Turkey but they did so because Turkey had a different political stance then. There is a reason Turkey is not a member of the European Union. I know what that reason is…do you? The reason is the EU turned it down was because of its decidedly leftward march to the militant Islamic side. NATO wishes it were not a member but it is and they are in a spot. Turkey is a candidate state but has been so for quite sometime and will not pass a vote to be admitted. Not right now.

            It will be interesting. I really do hope Turkey proceeds with an armed naval escort on its next effort. I would like to see the outcome. I submit that NO NATO ship other than Turkey will escort….but time will prove that.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        “Quote:
        The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

        Israel is NOT the Security Council, nor holds a seat on the Security Council, nor holds a Resolution from the Security Council regarding interdiction on the High Seas”

        Sorry BF,

        I do not recognize “The Security Council” as having any more authority than any government which participates in it, so THERE! 🙂

        • Peter,

          Then the concept of “International Law” is moot.

          Remember, Israel, USA, Turkey and Palestine all signed the UN Charter – thus, are bound to its agreement.

          If Israel flaunts it – then they will have removed themselves from the UN.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I suspect that Israel would actually like to remove itself from the UN. From a strictly Israeli perspective, I would think that the benefits of being in the UN are currently outweighed by the negatives.

            That being said, if it were not for the UN, Israel would not even exist currently (or at least it would have been far less likely), so staying in the UN is probably a good idea for them in some ways 🙂

  7. D13

    Howdy Colonel.

    Was just wondering if you were scratching your head as hard as I was over the discussion the other day regarding the “minimal” role the USA played in defeating Germany?

    Do you think we should tell the boys about that little thing called L-O-G-I-S-T-I-C-S ??

    I found the same arguments on other places of the internet the last couple of days. Many of the posts were older but of the same tone. Basically the USA didn’t do squat. Makes me wonder why this line of thinking has become established and why it seems so important to spread it around.

    Curious as to your thoughts on the bigger picture.

    By the way, I am now going to the Bank as often as possible. The sweetest young gal is teller there who welcomes me and my son with that wonderful sounding “How ya’ll doin today?”. She moved here from Dallas/Ft. Worth, as she called it.

    Lifting the coffee mug to you this AM.
    JAC

    • Howdy, JAC. Yes..it is an on going battle down here. Of course, I will refer to it as Fort Worth/Dallas but that is ok. Rush (no, not Limbaugh) hour in Fort Worth (15 minutes) Rush hour in Dallas…all day and night. However, Dallas is Avant Garde and we go there for our New York culture fix and then come home to the more down to earth serene lifestyle of BBQ, guns, and beer.

      To your question: It is amazing that, in today’s environment, the belief that the US did not play large roles in its wars, always started all the wars (never the fault of the other guy), responsible for the monetary crises, BP’s oil debacle, global warming, the demise of the spotted owl, the killing of the snail darter, the Mexico issue, the Middle east problems, and the sun spots. We are probably going to be guilty of contaminating the Universe as well…I mean with all these satellites and things floating around up there.

      Logistics will never be understood by the layman. Just recently, we ran a study on military operations…what used to be 3 support (logistic) personnel for each combat troop is now 7 logistic personnel per combat troop. THAT is how important it is.

      I just read that stuff and shake my head and wonder where they come up with all of this other than jealousy and egos. I have read pretty closely the statements and they are mostly hypothetical at best or conclusions drawn from bias. However, success of others brings out the worse in humanity and these days being successful is a pariah.

      Hope you have a most bodacious and great day, sir.

      • I for one don’t understand the argument at all-shouldn’t we all just be grateful to each other that we stood together and defeated evil.

        • V.H.

          Absolutely.

          But being as it is me, I must add one little point.

          WE picked one evil over the other. Whether he said it or not I do not know. And I expect it was not possible. But I side with the legend, that Patton urged we go ahead and kick the Soviets back to Russia while we had our troops in Europe.

          I know, it seems I am violating my own ethics here. But I always wonder…….what if!

          Best to you this fine day my dear.
          JAC

          • JAC,

            The US would have lost the war.

            The US was wholly unprepared for the millions of US casualties that it would have taken to attack the Soviets.

            It would have bled America white.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              BF,

              I believe that Patton was crazy (brilliant, but crazy, just like many other great generals).

              If we had completely caught the soviets by surprise (unlikely), then we would have had a remote, outside shot at winning what would have been a very fast war against them.

              FAR more likely is your scenario. A long, drawn-out affair producing many millions of dead on both sides and no sign of “victory” for the US.

              • Peter,

                The US would have had to use nuclear weapons. I have no doubt that the US would have used nuclear weapons.

                Imagine Europe devastated by nuclear war. It would have driven Europe into the Dark ages.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I would agree with that assessment.

          • Common Man says:

            JAC;

            Not only did Patton want to push inot Russia, but he also wanted to employ the German military as additional resources. I, along with you, wonder what would have happened had Patton gotten his wish?

            CM

            And PS. My uncle landed on Normandy and fought through the Battle of the Buldge, however he never mentioned anything about how whimpy the German army was???? He did tell me that he hated German 88’s and was not particularly fond of “Tiger” tanks in open terrain.

      • I think some of us understand.

        Life of Illusion said
        June 1, 2010 at 12:57 pm
        I agree. Russia may have had a troop advantage, but they had to be fed. Armies require food, ammo, fuel, as well as tanks. The US material aid proped up a failing defense effort. An how long would the UK stood without US material aid? How many Liberty ships got through, and how many were sunk?

      • JAC and D13,

        Both of you seem to suffer “Can’t read a Calender” disease.

        US entered the war AFTER Germany had fatally impaled herself in Russia.

        US and Western Allies entered France AFTER Russia was deep inside Poland, was on the border of the Baltic states (1 March 1944) and was rampaging through the Balkans (First Jassy-Kishinev Offensive, 8 April 1944)

        Just to remind you, D-day was in June 1944.

        • You still don’t get it do you?

          LOGISTICS my Pirate friend.

          Russia loses without adequate supplies to launch a counter offensive.

          You seem to suffer from “narrow vision” disease.

          • JAC

            Obviously the Russians had plenty of logistics to roll up the Germans 2,000 miles in 12 months.

            The Lend-Lease stock [to Russia] did not start being shipped until 1944.

            • BF

              Always with the absolutely positive statements: “The Lend-Lease stock [to Russia] did not start being shipped until 1944.”

              I think you need to start reading your sources a little closer. Here is a tidy summary of when it started (1941) and how we got material into Russia.

              http://uboat.net/allies/documents/lend-lease.htm

              I have also seen references to documents released by Russia that state Stalin and one of his generals told other Communist officials that they would not have prevailed against Germany without lend-lease.

              Khrushchev supposedly confirmed a similar story in his diary/autobiography.

              • *sigh*

                From 1941 food and munition supplies were delivered from British convoys to Leningrad by trains, barges, and trucks. Supplies were often destroyed by the Nazi air-bombings, and by Naval Detachment K while on the way to Leningrad.

                However, convoys continued deliveries of food in 1942, 1943, and through 1944.

                Towards the end of the war the material significance of the supplies was probably not as great as the symbolic value hence the continuation—at Stalin’s insistence—of these convoys long after the Soviets had turned the German land offensive.

                Lend Lease program provided -at best- minor importance to the ability of the SOVIET ARMY to turn the Germans.

                At its best, it saved the humanity in Leningrad.

            • Bama dad says:

              Wrong BF the US supplied over 2/3’s of the rolling transport for the Russian army during WW2, that made a big difference in the success of the Russian offensive.

          • JAC,

            The most significant thing that the US did for the defeat of Germany was to provoke Japan to attack the USA.

            Japan, now at war with USA, moved dozens of divisions away from the Manchurian front, and via the spy “Red Serge”, Stalin knew Japan would not attack Russian Manchuria.

            This allowed Stalin to shift 1.5 million men from Siberia to her Western Front.

            That is when the war with Germany was won.

            • BF

              So did the 1.5 million Russians walk to the Western Front?

              Or did they ride on USA provided trucks?

              • JAC,

                Since they “walked” (actually they took the Trans-Siberian Train) in 1942 and Lend Lease didn’t reach Russia until 1944 … I guess they were those “virtual” trucks the US is famous for producing.

              • BF

                Russian Pilot: “Aleksandr Ivanovich Pokryshkin, the third-highest scoring Allied ace (with a score of 53 air victories plus six shared)[44] flew the P-39 from late 1942 until the end of the war (though rumors exist that he changed in late 1944 to a P-63 Kingcobra); his unofficial score in the Airacobra stands at nearly 60 Luftwaffe aircraft.”

                So these non-existent P-39’s flown in 1942 didn’t actually arrive until 1944?

                Were these “virtual” fighter planes?

              • JAC,

                One plane… biggie deal 😉

                I’ve made my point – Russia didn’t need the Western Allies and the war was over by Feb. 1943.

                The rest of the time was merely the reorganization of Europe.

              • BF

                You have made no point at all.

                Just because you claim it so does not make it so.

                Fact: There is a lot of disagreement among historians as to the importance of lend-lease and USA involvement in the European war.

                But I find it interesting that even some Russians believe our efforts saved them from destruction. Apparently that included Stalin himself.

                It seems your statement of “definitive truth” ie no lend lease shipment until 1944 is FALSE. Yet you now change to “well it didn’t matter anyway”.

                FACT: We don’t know what would have happened without the USA lend-lease or the USA actually entering the war. We can all speculate based on various scenarios and assumptions.

                Which brings me back to respectfully invoking the Law of Frogs once again.

              • JAC

                You have made no point at all.

                Well, I have.

                As typical, the West far over-emphasizes their impact in WW2 – and it is simply not justified.

                The best you’ve come back with is “oooo— we sent a few planes and trucks!”

                Big deal, I say.

                Fact: There is a lot of disagreement among historians as to the importance of lend-lease and USA involvement in the European war.

                Sure there is, and i am firmly and obviously in the “not much of a difference” camp MILITARILY.

                But I find it interesting that even some Russians believe our efforts saved them from destruction. Apparently that included Stalin himself.

                …while he laughed at the stupidity of the West…

                He ALMOST got what he wanted – ports on the Atlantic, and his “poor old Uncle Joe” stick almost got him there.

                It seems your statement of “definitive truth” ie no lend lease shipment until 1944 is FALSE.

                The vast majority of the stuff didn’t come across until ’44. Most of the rest ended up in Leningrad.

                Yet you now change to “well it didn’t matter anyway”.

                Well, IT DIDN’T!

                ..it helped in the Battle of Germany, but the WAR WAS OVER long before then.

                FACT: We don’t know what would have happened without the USA lend-lease or the USA actually entering the war. We can all speculate based on various scenarios and assumptions.

                Which brings me back to respectfully invoking the Law of Frogs once again.

                Yep, we sure can speculate.

                But the FACT remains that before one American boot touched French soil, Russia had essentially destroyed the core of the German Army and was well on its way to seizing all of Europe.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                As usual, BF attempts to de-emphasizwe the Western contribution to WW2.

              • Peter,

                Strictly speaking, you are correct – because the contribution of the West to the War was insignificant within the terms most people seem to believe.

                Western forces did not defeat Germany. The best one can say, they picked off some decay meat from the dying body – but it wasn’t what did the kill.

                The contribution was the prevention of Soviets from seizing ALL of Europe.

        • Don’t know where you are coming from here…..I have not said anything about Patton at any time.

    • Bama dad says:

      Jac are you referring to Lend/Lease program? Bob was correct the other day that the Russians did do the bulk of the fighting and dying in Europe but without the logistic support from the US, they probably would not have survived.

      • Bama Dad

        Yes, that is what I am referring to. It was a joint effort before we were “officially” sending troops. I read a commentary by a supposed Russian Vet some time back stating that the Russians could not have thrown everything they had at Germany without knowing the USA was resupplying them in a timely manner.

        So to claim that the USA somehow played an insignificant role is a FALSE claim in my view.

        And of course, there is the matter of SPAM!!!!!!!!

        OK, you gotta be laughin now 🙂 🙂

        • JAC,

          I like Spam! with brown beans! Campfire food!

          Yes, such aid served the Russian PEOPLE, and that is not to minimize that. The Russian PEOPLE were saved from starvation by US aid.

          But MILITARILY, the best I would attest is was minor. Stalin didn’t need it, but he most certainly accepted the stuff.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I prefer bacon and eggs fried over the campfire at about 6:30 AM, with a pot of “cowboy coffee” percolating in the embers off to the side, but then again, breakfast has always been my favorite meal (even though I am distinctly NOT a morning person unless I am camping!)

            🙂

      • We quickened the German defeat, by how much I dont know and I doubt anyone could tell you. The point I was making was if there was no land lease or D-Day the Germans would have been defeated by the Russians all the same, the Russians were in a death struggle and they were willing to throw millions of troops at the Germans. Our non involvment would have meant more Russian deaths but they would still have won. As for Patton wanting to fight the Russians back to Germany, he was either insane or he imagined a plan to make a long trail of nukes to send them back.

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/01/the-chasm-between-apollo-and-the-gulf/#more-20122

    I couldn’t add a whole lot to this, it is pretty spot-on in my opinion.

    • Interesting article.

    • Peter:

      Couldn’t help but pull this little ditty from the article: “President Obama has shown repeatedly that the best interests of the American people are a lower priority than his ideological goal of changing America from what it has been, to some mystical, socialist utopia with a renewable-energy-based standard of living equivalent to that of the late 1800s.”

      Of import is the very last part. “standard of living equivalent to that of the late 1800’s.”

      Why you ask? OK you didn’t but you were thinking it.

      I think I have discovered the basis for the supposed call to reduce the global population to around 4 billion, or less. There are differing numbers out there but I am going with 4 billion as the MAXMIMUM global population to be allowed.

      Cyndi P…..for you as well.

      If we were to reinstate the Agricultural practices of the 1800’s the world would not be able to sustain a human population of more than 4 billion.

      This means no synthetic chemicals, as in fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.

      So you see, there does not have to be some conspiracy to poison our foods or vaccines to make us sterile. All one has to do is significantly cut back on the use of synthetic chemicals in agriculture and half the world will starve to death. Easy peezy, courtesy of the Green Movement.

      I wonder if Tipper Gore will lose her place on the ARK if she and Al split for good?

      🙂

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The climate has not reached a tipping point, but Al Gore apparently reached Tipper’s Tipping Point 🙂

  9. After 4 days of no internet or cable access over the long weekend I find myself trying to catch up on SUFA and other news sites and I’m having a hard time getting excited about any of it. Everything suddenly seems so negative and complicated. I challenge everyone here to do the same. Leave the information world behind for a few days, that includes most of your thoughts, then come back and look at things… I’m shaking my head thinking I just want to enjoy life. What’s up with that?

    • What???????????? SUFA withdrawal? You would miss me.

      • Mathius says:

        Lack of internet can lead to spontaneous combustion..

        • It can be ugly. The shakes, eyes rolling back, babble, uncontrolled breathing, forced to carry on adult conversations without text abbreviations….. :shudder:

      • I admit to SUFA (and D13) withdrawal, but could I suggest maybe a part-time real world. Maybe then the real world wouldn’t be so complicated.

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          Did you miss me too?

          • Dread Pirate

            If you haven’t already, leave Sedona immediately. Your alter ego is sneaking up on you.

            I suggest a short jaunt to the hills around Flagstaff. That city boy would never find you there. Then an easy run to the coast to pick up your ship.

            • Jerome – head to Jerome!

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Hey Kathy,

                I never did get your email from USW… wanted to send you the name, address and phone # of the coin dealer friend of my father in SE Wisconsin 🙂

              • No I was wondering about that too..

                USW – please send my email to PeterB. Thanks!

          • Sorry DP. I didn’t miss you! 🙂

        • Anita

          I know EXACTLY what you are feeling and agree to an extent. Part time is a good term. We all need to take some time to clear the head and re-focus.

          I also feel anger and frustration that my desire to simply enjoy life has been interrupted by the actions of so many………..ass-clowns…….I can’t seem to keep track of them.

          I find myself moving back and forth emotionally from “its hopeless so might as well ignore it” to “I can’t let my kids deal with this shit.”

          So tell me. Did you come up with an answer for me while you were vegetating on the lake this weekend?

          🙂 🙂

          P.S. Big Hug

          • JAC: The answer to your question is no I didn’t come up with an answer because I left the world behind..AND..now I don’t feel like dealing with it because it won’t get me anywhere anyway. Not getting smart with you, I just can’t get fired up about it suddenly.

            FTR: I worked myself crazy,happily, for those days but also had fun with lots of good people. Now its time to really enjoy the summer !

            • Anita

              That’s OK. Let it rest for now. The seed has been planted so it will grow on its own. Someday you’ll be digging up weeds or sitting on the deck and all of a sudden………..

              Just promise me to you’ll share once it arrives. 🙂 🙂

              I do challenge your idea that it won’t get you anywhere though. But until you discover it you really won’t know what it means.

              It is indeed time to enjoy summer, I only wish we had some. First road trip of summer coming up next week. Two weeks on the road, maybe more.

              Do me a favor. Keep an extra chair on the porch of your lake cabin. Might have to come by and visit one of these days. I make a mean gin and tonic once the weather gets hot.

              Best to you and yours
              JAC

      • Oooohh Anita….look who has missed his adulation!

    • A 4 day sabatical can bring perspective. From experience, however, I can say a 6 month or more one just makes you stupid and lost. And if you care about this stuff, you start feeling a nagging hole. Taking a vacation is good, quitting work is not.

  10. Mexico cuts cable TV, CNN, Fox, MSNBC…and banned sales of short wave radio from Radio Shack.

    Dateline San Miguel de Allende, June 2, 2010. Have been notified by my parents that all cable TV, Satellite TV, Radio communication and all news from the United States on Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc has been taken off the air. It has also been reported that Radio Shack has been banned from selling short wave radio receivers as well. Local stations only are available.

    This is all unconfirmed but reported in San Miguel….stand by for further confirmations. If anyone out there has friends down in Mexico and can contact them, it would be interested to see if this is actually true. I have a sister and parents in San Miguel Allende and it is happening there.

  11. Cyndi P says:

    Over here D13!

    I was a Girl scout, but wanted to hang out with the Boy Scouts! They were always having so much more fun. Yep, I was a tom boy. 😉

  12. Cyndi P says:
    • Cyndi

      Sorry my island buddy. It is VERY TRUE.

      Because they view him as “The Canadian-born Cameron is considered an expert on underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies.”

      Because he has produced/directed movies involving underwater equipment his advice to the deep sea scientists and engineers will be invaluable. Choke, gasp, snarf, 😦

      Daughter is headed your way again today. Well, if you consider passing by a couple thousand miles in the neighborhood. Ha, ha, ha.

      • Cyndi P says:

        Don’t they need engineers? You know, people that know something about oil drilling? So far as I can tell the underwater cameras are working just fine. Did Cameron plug up some holes on the Titanic, or something????

        Hey, a few years ago I wrote and produced a short sketch called Dr Suzi’s Medicinal Tapeworms. Everybody thought it was brilliant! That means I can run the US health care system! Wooo-hooo! I’m getting a payraise! /sarc off

        JAC, tell me again what your daughter does that she gets to fly across the Pacific Ocean?

        • Cyndi

          Daughter is part of a performing arts troop that travels around the world conducting “workshops”. They work with local kids on song and dance routines and at the end of three days the kids put on a show for parents and others. Then my daughters group puts on a finale show for everyone.

          She is returning to Japan for the summer. At the end of their tour her group has been asked to perform in late August or early Sept at a ceremony remembering Hiroshima. Having a USA group perform is to be part of a “forgiveness” theme of the event this year, as she understands it.

          While on tour she stays with families in each town where they conduct a workshop. The families provide room and board and sometimes entertain the kids who stay with them. She has a wonderful collection of photos and memories from families across Russia, Europe, Japan and the southern USA.

          She is all of 21. And you thought you had the good life on that island of yours.

          • Cyndi P says:

            Wow, she does have it good! I have it good too, though, but not quite as good as she does! 😉

            Let me know if she ever heads to the Marshall Islands…..

  13. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    My father (now retired) used to work for Mobil Oil Corp (now Exxon-Mobil).

    He has been calling their chemists and engineers and tossing back and forth different ideas for helping to stop the oil leak in the gulf.

    They have come up with some pretty good ideas, but of course so far no one at BP and no one in the government is asking for any of their ideas…. not that that is terribly surprising!

    In my opinion, the government should have asked for the voluntary cooperation of all of the chemists and engineers from every major oil company as soon as this thing happened. It is in the best interest of ALL of them that this get stopped as soon as possible. Why this was not at least requested is completely beyond my meager comprehension.

    • naten53 says:

      Asking for help from industry counterparts would have been a great idea. Granted in the best case scenario this might not have happened until a week after it started and BP’s ideas started to fail. But when was the last time corporate america or the government knew how to handle large scale emergencies.

  14. Judy Sabatini says:

    Iran to sell 45 bln euros, buy dollars, gold -Xinhua
    BEIJING
    Wed Jun 2, 2010 6:43am EDT

    BEIJING June 2 (Reuters) – The Iranian central bank has announced that it will sell 45 billion euros from its foreign exchange reserves to buy dollars and gold, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday, citing unspecified Iranian media reports.

    Currencies | Bonds | Global Markets

    Xinhua said that the sales would be conducted in three stages and that the first had already begun, citing unnamed sources.

    It also said that other Gulf states had also started cutting their euro holdings. (Reporting by Michael Wei and Simon Rabinovitch; Editing by Neil Fullick)

  15. Cyndi P says:

    I love Mark Steyn. I think he nailed it here….

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/05/27/were-too-broke-to-be-this-stupid/

    • Good read.

      • Cyndi P says:

        Thanks. I enjoyed it. I hope more folks read it and think about it.

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          Hey Girls

          I read it, and thought it good. And, I bet those 24 percent were the ones who voted for O.

          Hope you’re doing well today.

          • Cyndi P says:

            I’m not really happy with that 24% these days…….

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              But, what they’re not saying here is, according to what I read in the paper this morning is, that a lot of these people don’t think Reid will get re elected. GEESH!, I sure hope he doesn’t.

              Michelle Obama Boosts Reid in Reno and Las Vegas
              Tuesday, 01 Jun 2010 10:14 PM
              Article Font Size

              First Lady Michelle Obama promoted healthy lifestyles among women and children Tuesday in Nevada and tried to help breathe life into the re-election campaign of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, calling him “one of my favorite people in the world.”

              “Over the years, he has been a tireless advocate on behalf of women,” Obama told about 1,600 people in a keynote address to a women’s summit in a downtown Reno convention hall.

              The Nevada Democrat, facing trouble in the polls in his bid for a fifth term in November, has been a leader on such things as health care reform for women, protection from domestic violence and equal pay for equal work, she said.

              “This state and this country is lucky to have Harry Reid and (his wife) Landra working on our behalf in Washington,” said the first lady, who headed to Las Vegas for another appearance with Reid Tuesday afternoon.

              “Presidents can’t do anything if they don’t have a good team, and Senator Reid is part of that team,” Michelle Obama told a Las Vegas crowd of fewer than 300.

              President Barack Obama carried Nevada in 2008 and Reid already has enjoyed his support this year, with the president traveling to Las Vegas in February for two public events and a campaign fundraiser for the Senate majority leader.

              A Pew Research Center survey from November showed 71 percent of respondents expressing a favorable opinion of Michelle Obama, compared with 16 percent unfavorable.

              Reid is not as well-regarded in his home state, where 54 percent of respondents polled by the Las Vegas Review-Journal in April said they had an unfavorable view of him, compared with 33 percent favorable.

              Before the conference in Reno, Reid sidestepped questions from reporters about his re-election prospects and refused to discuss the 12 Republicans vying for his seat in the June 8 primary election.

              Polls have shown former Nevada GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden and ex-state assemblywoman Sharron Angle about even in the primary, with Las Vegas businessman Danny Tarkanian trailing slightly.

              “I have no idea who will be my opponent,” Reid said. “I don’t vote in the Republican primary so I don’t study it very much.”

              Is he worried about troubling poll numbers that show him trailing and tied with some of the GOP hopefuls?

              “We’ll have to work hard. There’s five months to go,” he said. “I’m not one that is very boastful. I’m just going to continue doing the best I can. The people of Nevada know me pretty well.”

              Asked if national pundits are underestimating him, he answered with a smile, “Have to wait until November, huh?”

              In her speech in Reno, the first lady talked about her husband’s accomplishments and his administration’s efforts to provide better health care for women, better child care opportunities and equal pay in the workplace.

              “For too long, policies that help people balance work and family responsibilities have been viewed as niceties for women rather than as a necessity that can benefit all of us, men and women,” Obama said. Entire families suffer when insurance companies deny coverage to women for pre-existing conditions, pay women less than men for the same work or deny female employees flexibility to care for their families, she said.

              “While these issues may affect women in particular, they aren’t just women’s issues,” Michelle Obama said.

              “That’s why we’re working to make the federal government a model for the kind of change that we’re talking about — things like expanding telework options and providing emergency childcare and affordable day care.”

              In Las Vegas, Obama touted the benefits of healthy living and encouraged kids to get outside and play for at least one hour each day. Obama said part of that effort should include kids playing in America’s national parks and conservation areas.

              After addressing a crowd at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area visitor center, Obama and Reid joined 18 local children on a trail for some stretches and to watch several children scramble up a rock. Obama then swore in the children as junior rangers, asking them to promise to help preserve public lands, play outside and share what they learned.

              During one stretch, Reid and Obama pressed their palms together and leaned on one another.

              “Sen. Reid almost knocked me over,” Obama joked afterward.

  16. Judy Sabatini says:

    Goldman Sachs sold $250 million of BP stock before spill

    By John Byrne
    Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 — 10:12 am
    submit to reddit Stumble This!
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    goldman sachs logo Goldman Sachs sold $250 million of BP stock before spill

    Firm’s stock sale nearly twice as large as any other institution; Represented 44 percent of total BP investment

    The brokerage firm that’s faced the most scrutiny from regulators in the past year over the shorting of mortgage related securities seems to have had good timing when it came to something else: the stock of British oil giant BP.

    According to regulatory filings, RawStory.com has found that Goldman Sachs sold 4,680,822 shares of BP in the first quarter of 2010. Goldman’s sales were the largest of any firm during that time. Goldman would have pocketed slightly more than $266 million if their holdings were sold at the average price of BP’s stock during the quarter.

    If Goldman had sold these shares today, their investment would have lost 36 percent its value, or $96 million. The share sales represented 44 percent of Goldman’s holdings — meaning that Goldman’s remaining holdings have still lost tens of millions in value.

    The sale and its size itself isn’t unusual for a large asset management firm. Wall Street brokerages routinely buy and sell huge blocks of shares for themselves and their clients. In light of a recent SEC lawsuit arguing that Goldman kept information about a product they sold from their clients, however, the stock sale may raise fresh concern among Goldman’s critics. Goldman is also a frequent target of liberals and journalists, including Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, who famously dubbed the firm a “vampire squid.”

  17. Cyndi P says:

    Pretty picky for an oppressed and starving people. From CNN, hardly a Right-Wing Extremist Organization…

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/06/02/israel.palestinians.aid/

  18. Judy Sabatini says:

    Illegal Alien Legal Challenge

    By John Lott

    Published June 02, 2010

    Little noticed, last Friday the Obama administration yet again tried to make it easier for illegal aliens to stay in the United States. In a brief filed with the Supreme Court, the administration asked the court to carve out a special exemption for businesses who break the law by hiring illegal aliens.

    In every state, individuals must have a business license to do a huge range of jobs, be it a restaurant, stores, salvage, selling cars, cleaning people’s houses, pest control, or other businesses. But people must get a criminal background check to get a license. Different states vary in terms of what crimes can disqualify one from getting a license — some including misdemeanors not covered in other states.

    Similarly, if you commit a crime, your business license is very likely to be revoked. The same is true for professional licenses for lawyers, doctors, or even barbers. The logic for these rules is pretty strong. If someone commits a crime, states have decided those people can’t be trusted in dealing with consumers.

    Both state and federal crimes are included in these criminal background checks, and it has always been up to the states to determine what crimes will bar people from being licensed. This is what the Obama administration now wants to change. The Obama administration wants crimes involving immigration violations specifically excluded from their licensing decisions.

    When Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was Arizona’s governor back in 2007, she signed a law that added hiring illegal aliens to the list of crimes for which a business license could be revoked. Napolitano didn’t think that there were any legal problems with the law, and even defended it in court. Indeed, even the Ninth Circuit Federal Appeals Court — known for its left wing views — rejected challenges by illegal alien rights groups.

    But the Obama administration has tried to rationalize its challenge to the Arizona law.

    “Those provisions disrupt a careful balance that Congress struck nearly 25 years ago between two interests of the highest importance: ensuring that employers do not undermine enforcement of immigration laws by hiring unauthorized workers, while also ensuring that employers not discriminate against racial and ethnic minorities legally in the country,” Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal wrote the Supreme Court. “There is no reason to believe that Congress intended a result that would subvert the purpose and operation of its general prohibition on state sanctions.”

    As states have always had the power to determine how criminal activity can cost people their business licenses, why didn’t the original Federal immigration law ban immigration law violations being considered?

    But instead of guessing whether Congress “intended” such a result in 1986, there is a simple solution: Have Congress pass a law stating that immigration violations are the one crime that states must not consider for licensing. With massive overwhelming Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, Democrats can do virtually anything that they want.

    Part of the Obama administration’s motivation for this Supreme Court appeal is to create a legal precedent that only the Federal government can deal with immigration issues. They aim to use such a precedent to strike down the new Arizona immigration law that was just signed this year that allows local and state police to enforce Federal immigration law.

    Asking courts to rewrite laws doesn’t show much respect for the rule of law. But maybe, despite massive Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, the Obama administration knows that it doesn’t have the votes to pass such radical reform.

  19. Small update on military movement in Pa awhile back.

    There is an excellent article by Wayne Terhume in the latest issue of the Oath Keeper Newspaper titled, “The Noose Tightens”.

    Basically, he details the governments operation “CBRNE”. This is proceeding under US-NOTRHCOM. They are making an end run around posse comitatus where they have merged elements of the US, Mexican and Canadian military that would respond to “domestic” emergencies.

    I find it very interesting that the armies of all three countries are actively training while wearing UN colors and a three nation patch.

    Looks like we found out what that suspicious military traffic on I-80 was last week?

    • I have not confirmed this report, but thought it interesting.

      Spy Chief Quits

      Top US Spy Chief Quits After Obama Orders 2 Americans Assassinated

      An interesting Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) report prepared for Prime Minister Putin circulating in the Kremlin today states that Obama’s top spy chief Admiral Dennis Blair [photo top left with Obama]abruptly resigned on Friday after the US President ordered the“immediate assassination” of an anti-government dissident and his 16 year old son in the US State of Arkansas.
      As the Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Blair controlled 16 US spy agencies (including the Homeland Security Department, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Coast Guard) and had warned the US Congress this past February that for the first time in American history Obama’s government was asserting the right to assassinate any American citizen they deemed was a terrorist.
      Obama’s power to order the assassination of American citizens without benefit of trial, this reports says, was derived from what is called the “Memorandum Opinion For the Deputy Counsel To The President” that was issued to former President George W. Bush on September 25, 2001 granting him (and all future American Presidents) extraordinary “constitutional power” to retaliate against any person, organization, or State suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks on the United States.
      Now according to this SVR report, Jerry Kane Jr. and his 16 year old son Joseph Kane [photo 2nd left] were put on the US terrorist “watch list” by Obama Federal Police officials because of Kane’s growing following of Americans seeking to find relief from the financial crisis imposed upon their country by their banking system.
      Kane and his son were reported to have left Las Vegas, Nevada this past Tuesday where they had given one of their financial seminars (May 15-16) and were enroute to Safety Harbor, Florida to deliver another one on May 28-29 when while traveling through the State of Arkansas they were intercepted by what the US media is calling one of Obama’s “interrogation teams” at an Interstate highway roadblock where a shootout occurred killing 2 US police officers.
      US media further reports that Kane and his son were “tracked down”90 minutes after the initial roadblock shootout to a Wal-Mart parking lot where in a hail of bullets both Kane and his son were killed and another 2 US police officers were wounded.
      Bill Sadler, an Arkansas State Police spokesman, is reported by the New York Times to have said it is “unclear” why Kane and his son were targeted in this roadblock in the first place.
      This SVR report, however, states that upon nearing the roadblock Kane and his son came under fire from US military snipers targeting them for assassination whereupon fire was returned from Kane’s vehicle allowing them to escape death but resulting in the other police officers deaths.
      After escaping, this report continues, a “furious” Admiral Blair called the White House to “demand” an explanation of what was occurring only to be “firmly rebuffed” by Obama officials who had set up this assassination plot causing Blair to “angrily retort” he would have nothing more to do with Obama and his resignation would be on the President’s desk “as soon as I write the fucking thing up”.
      Once Admiral Blair was “sidelined” by the White House, this SVR report further states, Obama officials ordered their forces to “terminate” both Kane and his son so the true facts of this assassination would never reach a court of law, and which occurred when Kane and his son were gunned down by an estimated 80 military, federal and local police personal.
      To the treasonous crime Kane and his son were assassinated for, a Maryland-based insurance analyst, who had previously testified before the US Congress, named JJ MacNab, said she had been tracking him for 2 years and claimed Kane’s seminar business was “centered on debt-avoidance scams”. An SVR analysis of Kane’s seminar though (posted in 7 parts on YouTube) states that far from being a “scam” it appears to offer a legitimate course of action, that if taken by Americans would indeed free them from the stranglehold put upon them by their banking system.
      Also interesting to note in this SVR report is that earlier in the week another American anti-tax dissident group named [delete for US-EU report] located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania was assaulted by United Nations troops (UN) allowed to operate in the United States by Obama and destroyed the entire facility with an explosion so loud it was heard throughout the region.
      Though not reported by the mainstream propaganda US media, the existence of this UN assault convoy roaming rural Pennsylvania this past week was reported on by their dissident news reports, and as we can read as reported by one of them named InfoWars.Com:
      “At approximately 0715 a convoy of 25-30 camouflaged military, Humvees and armored vehicles with UN markings was observed traveling westbound between State College, PA, and Milroy, PA on US. Route 322.
      At approximately 0900 the same member encountered another convoy of UNMARKED military vehicles, refueling at Toms’s Travel Center on U.S. Route 322 at Milroy, PA. The member tried to engage the troops, but was ignored. They were in uniforms without insignia, but the covers did have ranks, from colonel to private. Convoy was a similar size, with Humvees and personnel carriers.”
      To all of these latest events occurring in the United States the most surprising thing about them are that so many Americans are still unaware of what is happening to them, or why. But to the future they are entering into it can be best summed up by the quote of the great English writer George Orwell who warned them all many years ago…. “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”
      Unfortunately for the Americans who now have a government ordering the assassination of all who oppose them, that future is now.

  20. If I had found this weeks ago, I would have added to my guest post, but here it is anyway! Peace Ya’ll!

    G!

    From Intel Hub…

    Counter Insurgency of the American People
    Secret Document: Counter Insurgency of the American People

    May 26, 2010 by NotForSale2NWO
    Filed under Featured, Intel Hub Exclusives, Military & Overwatch, Orwellian Police State, U.S. News

    1 Comment

    This Document was submitted to the Intel Hub by an disclosed source. This is an example of how the American People will be categorized as insurgents. Please submit all tips and Intel to tips@theintelhub.com

    Distribution Restriction: Distribution authorized to the DOD and DOD contractors only to maintain operations security. This determination was made on 1 June 2007. Other requests for this document must be referred to (redacted)
    Destruction Notice: Destroy by any method that will prevent disclosure of contents or reconstruction of the document. ….

    This publication uses the term insurgent to describe those taking part in any activity designed to undermine or to overthrow the established authorities……

    Counterinsurgency is those military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civicactions taken by a government to defeat insurgency (JP 1-02). It is an offensive approach involving all elements of national power; it can take place across the range of operations and spectrum of conflict …

    In dealing with the local populace, the primary aims must be to:
    •Protect the population.
    •Establish local political institutions.
    •Reinforce local governments.
    •Eliminate insurgent capabilities.
    •Exploit information from local sources. …

    An insurgency is organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through use of subversion and armed conflict (JP 1-02). It is a protracted politico-military struggle designed to weaken government control and legitimacy while increasing insurgent control. Political power is the central issue in an insurgency.

    An insurgent organization normally consists of four elements:
    Leadership.
    Combatants (main forces, regional forces, local forces).
    Cadre (local political leaders that are also called the militants).
    Mass base (the bulk of the membership). …

    A perceived serious potential of dissident American groups rising up against constituted authority has been clearly identified by counter-intelligence agencies.. The stated cause for such an uprising appear to be growing dissatisfaction with the course and conduct of the war in Iraq, the chronic inability of Congress to deal with various pressing issues and the perception of widespread corruption and indifference to public needs.

    The support of the people, passive or active then, is the center of gravity. It must be gained in whatever proportion is necessary to sustain the insurgent movement (or, contrariwise, to defeat it). As in any political campaign, all levels of support are relative.

    Insurgent movements begin as “fire in the minds of men.” Insurgent leaders commit themselves to building a new world. They construct the organization to carry through this desire. Generally, popular grievances become insurgent causes when interpreted and shaped by the insurgent leadership. The insurgency grows if the cadre that is local insurgent leaders and representatives can establish a link between the insurgent movement and the desire for solutions to grievances sought by the local population.

    Insurgent leaders will exploit opportunities created by government security force actions. The behavior of security forces is critical. Lack of security force discipline leads to alienation, and security force abuse of the populace is a very effective insurgent recruiting tool. Consequently, specific insurgent tactical actions are often planned to frequently elicit overreaction from security force individuals and units.

    Insurgencies are dynamic political movements, resulting from real or perceived grievance or neglect that leads to alienation from an established government.

    A successful counterinsurgency will result in the neutralization by the state of the insurgency and its effort to form a counterstate. While many abortive insurgencies are defeated by military and police actions alone, if an insurgency has tapped into serious grievances and has mobilized a significant portion of the population, simply returning to the status quo may not be an option. Reform may be necessary, but reform is a matter for the state, using all of its human and material resources. Security forces are only one such resource. The response must be multifaceted and coordinated, yet states typically charge their security forces with “waging counterinsurgency.” This the security forces cannot do alone.

    These imperatives are—
    · Facilitate establishment or reestablishment of a ‘legitimate government’.
    · Counterinsurgency requires perseverance.
    · Foster popular support for the incumbent US government.
    · Prepare to perform functions and conduct operations that are outside normal scope of training.
    · Coordinate with US governmental departments and agencies, and with vital non-governmental, agencies.

    Urban operations.
    · Protection of government facilities.
    · Protection of infrastructure.
    · Protection of commercial enterprises vital to the HN economy.
    · Protection of cultural facilities.
    · Prevention of looting.
    · Military police functions.
    · Close interaction with civilians.
    · Assistance with reconstruction projects.
    · Securing the national borders.
    · Training or retraining a national military police and security force.
    Establishing and maintaining local government credibility.
    · Contributing local government is both tangible and psychological. Local security forces must reinforce and be integrated into the plan at every stage.
    · Facilitate and use information and intelligence obtained from local sources to gain access to the insurgent’s economic and social base of support, order of battle, tactics, techniques, and procedures.

    Army forces help local pro-government police, paramilitary, and military forces perform counterinsurgency, area security, or local security operations. They advise and assist in finding, dispersing, capturing, and destroying the insurgent force.

    US forces may conduct offensive operations to disrupt and destroy insurgent combat formations. These operations prevent the insurgents from attacking government-controlled areas.

    There are many organizations and extensive resources available to aid counterinsurgent forces.

    Commanders should not overlook the aid these organizations may provide. All forces assigned an AO or function should determine which departments and agencies are assisting in that AO and coordinate actions so that there is no duplication of effort.

    Such departments, councils and agencies include—
    · National Security Council.
    · Department of Defense.
    · Department of State.
    · Department of Justice.
    · Department of the Treasury.
    · Department of Homeland Security.
    · Department of Agriculture.
    · Department of Commerce.
    · Central Intelligence Agency.
    · Department of Transportation

    Various governmental departments directly administer or support other governmental agencies. Examples of these US agencies are—
    · The US Coast Guard (under Department of Homeland Security).
    · The Federal Bureau of Investigation (under Department of Justice).
    · Immigration Customs Enforcement (under Department of Homeland Security).
    · Federal Communications Commission

    . The proper application of force is a critical component to any successful counterinsurgency operation. In a counterinsurgency, the center of gravity is public support. In order to defeat an insurgent force, US forces must be able to separate insurgents from the population. At the same time, US forces must conduct themselves in a manner that enables them to maintain popular domestic support. Excessive or indiscriminant use of force is likely to alienate the local populace, thereby increasing support for insurgent forces. Insufficient use of force results in increased risks to US forces and perceived weaknesses that can jeopardize the mission by emboldening insurgents and undermining domestic popular support. Achieving the appropriate balance requires a thorough understanding of the nature and causes of the insurgency, the end state, and the military’s role in a counterinsurgency operation. Nevertheless, US forces always retain the right to use necessary and proportional force for individual and unit self-defense in response to a hostile act or demonstrated hostile intent.

    The media, print and broadcast (radio, television and the Internet), play a vital role in societies involved in a counterinsurgency. Members of the media have a significant influence and shaping impact on political direction, national security objectives, and policy and national will. The media is a factor in military operations. It is their right and obligation to report to their respective audiences on the use of military force. They demand logistic support and access to military operations while refusing to be controlled. Their desire for immediate footage and on-the-spot coverage of events, and the increasing contact with units and Soldiers (for example, with embedded reporters) require commanders and public affairs officers to provide guidance to leaders and Soldiers on media relations. However, military planners must provide and enforce ground rules to the media to ensure operations security. Public affairs offices plan for daily briefings and a special briefing after each significant event because the media affect and influence each potential target audience external and internal to the AO. Speaking with the media in a forward-deployed area is an opportunity to explain what our organizations and efforts have accomplished.

    Continuous PSYOP are mounted to—
    · Counter the effects of insurgent propaganda.
    · Relate controls to the security and well-being of the population.
    · Portray a favorable governmental image.
    .Control measures must—
    · Be authorized by national laws and regulations (counterparts should be trained not to improvise unauthorized measures).
    · Be tailored to fit the situation (apply the minimum force required to achieve the de-sired result).
    · Be supported by effective local intelligence.
    · Be instituted in as wide an area as possible to prevent bypass or evasion.
    · Be supported by good communications.
    · Be enforceable.
    · Be lifted as the need diminishes.
    · Be compatible, where possible, with local customs and traditions.
    · Establish and maintain credibility of local government.

    A control program may be developed in five phases:
    · Securing and defending the area internally and externally.
    · Organizing for law enforcement.
    · Executing cordon and search operations.
    · Screening and documenting the population (performing a detailed census).
    · Performing public administration, to include resource control.

    Support to the judiciary may be limited to providing security to the existing courts or may lead to more comprehensive actions to build local, regional, and national courts and the required support apparatus. To avoid overcrowding in police jails, the courts must have an efficient and timely magistrate capability, ideally co-located with police stations and police jails, to review cases for trial.

    Cordon and search is a technique used by military and police forces in both urban and rural environments. It is frequently used by counterinsurgency forces conducting a population and resource control mission against small centers of population or subdivisions of a larger community. To be effective, cordon and search operations must have sufficient forces to effectively cordon off and thoroughly search target areas, to include subsurface areas.

    PSYOP, civil affairs, and specialist interrogation teams should augment cordon and search orces to increase the effectiveness of operations. Consider the following when conducting cordon and search operations:

    Cordon and search operations may be conducted as follows:

    Disposition of troops should—
    · Facilitate visual contact between posts within the cordon.
    · Provide for adequate patrolling and immediate deployment of an effective re-serve force.

    Priority should be given to—
    · Sealing the administrative center of the community.
    · Occupying all critical facilities.
    · Detaining personnel in place.
    · Preserving and securing all records, files, and other archives.

    Key facilities include—
    · Administrative buildings.
    · Police stations.
    · News media facilities.
    · Post offices.
    · Communications centers.
    · Transportation offices and motor pools.
    · Prisons and other places of detention.
    · Schools.
    · Medical facilities.

    Search Techniques include—
    · Search teams of squad size organized in assault, support, and security elements.

    One target is assigned per team.
    · Room searches are conducted by two-person teams.
    · Room search teams are armed with pistols, assault weapons, and automatic weapons.
    · Providing security for search teams screening operations and facilities.

    Pre-search coordination includes—
    · Between control personnel and screening team leaders.
    · Study of layout plans.
    · Communications, that is, radio, whistle, and hand signals.
    · Disposition of suspects.
    · On-site security.
    · Guard entrances, exits (to include the roof), halls, corridors, and tunnels.
    · Assign contingency tasks for reserve.
    · Room searches conducted by two- or three-person teams.
    · Immobilize occupants with one team member.
    · Search room with other team member.
    · Search all occupants. When available, a third team member should be the re-corder.
    · Place documents in a numbered envelope and tag the associated individual with a corresponding number.

    SCREENING AND DOCUMENTING THE POPULATION
    Screening and documentation include following:
    · Systematic identification and registration.
    · Issuance of individual identification cards containing—
    A unique number.
    Picture of individual.
    Personal identification data.
    Fingerprints.
    An official stamp (use different colors for each administration region).
    Family group census cards, an official copy of which is retained at the local po-lice agency. These must include a picture and appropriate personal data.
    Frequent use of mobile and fixed checkpoints for inspection, identification, and reg-istration of documents.
    Preventing counterfeiting of identification and registration documents by laminat-ing and embossing.
    Programs to inform the population of the need for identification and registration.

    Covert surveillance is a collection effort with the responsibility fixed at the intelligence/security division or detective division of the police department. Covert techniques, ranging from application of sophisticated electronics systems to informants, should include—

    Informant nets. Reliability of informants should be verified. Protection of identity is a must.

    Block control. Dividing a community or populated area into zones where a trusted resident reports on the activities of the population. If the loyalty of block leaders is questionable, an informant net can be established to verify questionable areas.

    Units designated for counterinsurgency operations
    · 115th MIB, Schofield, HI
    · 704th MIB, Fort Made, MD, Collaboration with NSA
    · 513st MIB, Fort Gordon, GA in Collaboration with NSA
    · Arlington Hall Station, VA
    · Aberdeen Proving Ground (Maryland)
    · US Army Intelligence and Security Command – INSCOM- Huachuca ( Arizona )
    · INTELLIGENCE THREAT and ANALYSIS CENTER ( Center Analysis for threat and Intelligence )
    · 501st Military Intelligence Brigade EAC
    · 3rd Military Intelligence Battalion Exploitation Area

    • Bottom Line says:

      Great finds G!

      This is NOT GOOD. I hope it’s BS.

      If not, we are in for one hell of a ride.

      • I HOPE it is as well 🙂

        But too many voted for “Hope and Change” 😦

        Everyone needs to understand that the “Change” part is far from good, and may be deadly.

        G!

  21. I think someone shared this before but it showed up in my email yesterday. So figured I would pass it on.

    Subject: 1947 Birthdays
    Date: Wed, 26 May 2010 21:21:26 -0400

    *1947*

    The year is 1947

    Some of you will recall that on July 8, 1947, a little over 60 years ago, witnesses claim that an unidentified flying object (UFO) with five aliens aboard crashed onto a sheep and mule ranch just outside Roswell, New Mexico . This is a well known incident that many say has long been covered up by the U.S. Air Force and other federal agencies and organizations.

    However, what you may NOT know is that in the month of April 1948, *nine months after* that historic day, the following people were born:

    Albert A. Gore, Jr..
    Hillary Rodham
    John F. Kerry
    William J. Clinton
    Howard Dean
    Nancy Pelosi
    Dianne Feinstein
    Charles E. Schumer
    Barbara Boxer

    See what happens when aliens breed with sheep and jackasses?

    I certainly hope this bit of information clears up a lot of things for you. It did for me.

    No wonder they support the bill to help illegal aliens!

    🙂

    Happy Thoughts, nothing but Happy Thoughts

  22. Cyndi P says:

    BL,

    My heart is fine, its you I’m worried about. I’m no lady, but I’m all woman. Hang on, Baby. Use both hands….

    :mrgreen:

  23. Cyndi P says:

    Over here Antia,

    Its too sqwishy up there (in more ways than one).

    I think BL is man enough for us, and if he dies takin’ us on, he’ll be having fun right up to the last moment!

    😉

  24. Judy Sabatini says:

    Good night all, have a great rest of the night, and a great tomorrow.

    Take Care

    Judy

  25. Mark Twain and the “Reasoning Animal”

  26. The Silent Lie

  27. USW

    God I am feeling old this evening. Ken Griffey Jr. has announced his retirement at the age of 40.

    Seems like yesterday I watched him and his dad take the field in Seattle together. They hit back to back homers in one of the games I watched. We used to get all the Mariner games on Fox N.W.

    Then there was the run at consecutive games with a homerun and of course the great pennant chase, coming from something like 11 games back in August to beat the Yankees in the division series.

    Thank you Ken Griffey for the great memories.

    • Speaking of baseball….

      Did you catch that wrong call by the 1st base ump in the (almost) perfect game last night? Unbelievable.

      • Kathy

        I did not see it but did read about it this morning.

        How absolutely sad for everyone involved. But I would not support expanding instant replay. Baseball is slow enough already and we forget that every game would have to have the technology employed, not just the televised games.

        I see some are now calling for robots to call balls and strikes. No way Jose’. Guess I’m to Old School.

        Even more unbelievable is that this would have been 3 perfect games within a month. If the pitching in the majors is supposed to be diluted, then what does this say about the hitting?

        By the way Kathy, yesterday I thought you were referring to Jerome, Idaho. But then got out a map and found Jerome, AZ. I have a “Cousin” in Prescott and may go see him next year. Will have to check out your suggestion.

      • Common Man says:

        All;

        The wife and I watched the game from home. On the edge of our seats the last 3 innings hoping that young man could be added to the record books. Had an absolute sh*t fit as a result of the bad call. The Detroit Free Press front page this morning read “ROBBED” and for once the paper got it right.

        The morning news had a quote from the first base umpire saying that he really kicked the sh*t out of that call.

        It’s a shame that Gallaraga didn’t get the “perfect game” but at least the fans didn’t hang the ump.

        CM

    • USWeapon says:

      JAC,

      Junior had one of the most beautiful pure swings in baseball. I too, feel like it was just yesterday that I watched him and his father play together. I remember the back to back homer game.

      I had always hoped he would be the one to hold the home run record. I will miss watching him play.

      USW

  28. Bama dad says:

    AP Impact: US-Mexico border isn’t so dangerous

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100603/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_mexico_us_safer_border#mwpphu-container

    D13 what do you think about this?

  29. Eminent Domain vs. Property Rights in New York

    Just love the attitude of the govt official in this report.

    Those that stay WILL be removed from their property. WE will take the land because WE have determined a better use………..that involves businesses of our friends.

    http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/06/03/last-stand-battle-against-eminent-domain/

    😦 😦 😦 😦 😦

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      A man’s land is his own. Why should anyone be allowed to determine a “better” use for it and force it on you?

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        To raise the land’s value and increase the property tax revenues for the benifit of all. Screw individual rights, they are not important in AmeriKa. So says our U.S. supreme court, or at least 5 of the more liberal justices including Kennedy.

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          Can anyone ever forget this ruling?

          “Stevens was joined in the majority by Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.”

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/23/AR2005062300783.html

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            And to add insult to injury (if my memory is correct) the whole development went Bust!

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          BAH!

          I bought it. I own it.

          Mine.

          Not yours.

          Mine.

          You want it?

          Raise the offer price until I am willing to sell.

          Otherwise, frak off.

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            And what they do not want to take into account is what the property is worth to the Owner. My land I will never sell for any price. My Orchard can’t be replaced, I will die here!

            • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

              Well now..

              I’m not positive, but I think the law says “fair value” – I would construe this to mean that it has to take into “reasonable” considerations what you value it as. Otherwise, they would just give everyone the book value and no one would ever get the millions that they mentioned in the article.

              Secondly, what you say is not quite true. You will sell. It’s just a question of at what price. If they offer you a billion dollars, you will move. You will have someone uproot your entire orchard and move it with you to your new villa estate.

              That said, I am against them forcing you to move. The fact that they have to take it away from you rather than you willingly selling means that what they are offering for it does not match your utility. Therefore, you are losing utility, and they are taking it from you. Thus, STEALING.

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                I think they only have to offer “fair market value”. What I think it is worth to me does not matter. They might be generous but I would not count on it.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                Count on it. They’re usually generous to avoid exactly this type of issue. It isn’t out of the goodness of their hearts, but rather out of a self-interested urge not to draw too much attention to eminent domain. They don’t want to lose that power.

              • Don’t be too sure that everyone has a price they will willingly sell at. A very good friend of mine’s grandmother lived in the downtown area of my city. She was old and she didn’t care about money. They took her property for what they thought it was worth and put in a parking lot. Just knocked down a beautiful home, which was actually two houses in one and kicked the old woman out. It was heart breaking to watch this woman cry for a stupid parking lot.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                Everyone has a price.

                The price is not always in dollars.

              • That’s not a price, it’s more of a no sacrifice is to high to pay
                situation.

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                I agree with V.H.. Not all people live a life of greed. Some people, if they have all they desire or want (such as a lifetime supply of hard cider lol), have no price.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                Sure they do. But remember, the deal can work both ways. See Mathius’ link below. China couldn’t get the person to sell at any price, so they started construction all around them, cut off water and power and roads. Eventually life was so miserable that they sold.

              • Don’t we have access and egress laws in this country.

              • Mathius says:

                Sure (though, interestingly, not to Indian reservations), but I am unaware of laws guaranteeing access to water or power or sewer or any other public services..

              • Well that would certainly present a problem, not to me personally, because I don’t own any property that is priceless to me. Offer me a million, I’ll be packing before you walk out the door. 🙂

                Not to Indian reservations-That kinda makes sense-their like a separate nation or something, not sure of the right word to use here.

              • Mathius says:

                Sovereign. That’s the word. A long time ago, when pot was made illegal, the reservations in (where else?) California kept selling it because our laws don’t affect them. California said that if they didn’t stop, they would block off every road and cut off all aid. The Indians caved in.

              • I reckon the government found their “price” 🙂

    • Mathius says:

      I understand building a road or a bridge or razing a public safety risk, but to commandeer property so that you can build a shopping center is an abuse of eminent domain.

      60% of people sold? Great. Now work around the rest.

      That’s in China where a property owner refused to sell.

  30. Mathius says:

    I understand building a road or a bridge or razing a public safety risk, but to commandeer property so that you can build a shopping center is an abuse of eminent domain.

    60% of people sold? Great. Now work around the rest.

    That’s in China where a property owner refused to sell.

    • Mathius says:

      Sorry, meant this as a response to #30.. disregard.

      It’s too early for my brain to be fully operational.

  31. My oh my. Seems our Vice President thinks Israel is withing its rights to board ships in international waters in order to prevent weapons from getting to Gaza.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/03/biden-israel-right-stop-gaza-ships/#content

    This is really going to get interesting now.

    Aside from the international chess match, how do the Republicans and conservatives continue to blast Obama for his anti Israel stance after this?

    Oh the web we weave in our attempt to deceive.

    • Mathius says:

      how do the Republicans and conservatives continue to blast Obama for his anti Israel stance after this? Because the Republicans (like the Democrats) are not interested in fairness, honesty, or being reasonable. They have one interest.

      Scoring political points in order to secure their positions of power.

    • I heard the old “look at your fingernails when you talk to someone jerk” say the same thing on Hardball.

      • V.H.

        How are you today my dear?

        Gee, maybe they could hire me to replace the old pasty white guy. At least I’m not pasty.

        It does seem that there are several games afoot here. But it is truly hard to see through the fog.

        Hope your day unfolds wonderfully.

        JAC

        • Things are getting scary and complicated-N. Korea now Israel-hope these fools proceed with caution. Not sure what to be more concerned about-the Middle East the economy, or the oil spill(which effects the economy too).

          • Mathius says:

            Here is a little song I wrote
            You might want to sing it note for note
            Don’t worry be happy
            In every life we have some trouble
            When you worry you make it double
            Don’t worry, be happy……

            Ain’t got no place to lay your head
            Somebody came and took your bed
            Don’t worry, be happy
            The land lord say your rent is late
            He may have to litigate
            Don’t worry, be happy
            Lood at me I am happy
            Don’t worry, be happy
            Here I give you my phone number
            When you worry call me
            I make you happy
            Don’t worry, be happy
            Ain’t got no cash, ain’t got no style
            Ain’t got not girl to make you smile
            But don’t worry be happy
            Cause when you worry
            Your face will frown
            And that will bring everybody down
            So don’t worry, be happy (now)…..

            There is this little song I wrote
            I hope you learn it note for note
            Like good little children
            Don’t worry, be happy
            Listen to what I say
            In your life expect some trouble
            But when you worry
            You make it double
            Don’t worry, be happy……
            Don’t worry don’t do it, be happy
            Put a smile on your face
            Don’t bring everybody down like this
            Don’t worry, it will soon past
            Whatever it is
            Don’t worry, be happy

    • One of the dead is an American – shot four times, close range in the head.

      The US official response will be – nothing.

      • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

        Of course not.. Israel receives the permanent benefit of the doubt.

        Don’t you know anything, flag?

      • Which peace organization was the american from? Code Pink or the Weather Underground?

        • Mathius says:

          Both?

        • I personally see these peoples actions as an undercover mission to help one side in a war-I’m sure there’s an official name for this but innocent humanitarians-I think not.

  32. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Kathy,

    USW has STILL not sent me your email, and although this site seems troll-free (at least for the moment), I am hesitant to put up the info on the coin dealer in SE Wisconsin directly on the site here (although he might not mind the free advertizing!).

    Anyway, hopefully this will light a fire under USW’s butt to have him send me your email 🙂

    • Thanks Peter. Also just sent him a message on FB.

      • Mathius says:

        I sent him an email a few minutes ago on your behalf as well.. Poor guy’s going to be inundated with requests to give out your info.

        • He did tell everyone that he was having to work almost 7/24. Give him a break-he’ll get to it 🙂 🙂

          • Mathius says:

            No. I demand super-human feats out of USW.

            • Okay, but don’t blame me if you hear from Mrs. Weapon-I suspect she’s one of those “irreplaceable protect my man” women.

              • USWeapon says:

                She’s tough. Don’t let that pretty face fool ya! Anyone who can deal with me has to be given respect, lol

              • Mathius says:

                Emilius too.. don’t mess with that girl..

              • You know who one tough lady is? AZ Gov Jan Brewer!!

                She’s got some…..well I guess it would be a spine, wouldn’t it?

              • Yes she does-Figure the long awaited meeting won’t mean much though. Perhaps I shouldn’t be negative but hard not to be.

              • She’ll be bribed to back off. It’s the WH way – think of Stupak and others that they’ve needed cooperation from.

              • Not to sure they would comfortable enouh about her silence to try and bribe her-sittle threats I can see

              • sittle-subtle

            • USWeapon says:

              And you shall get them should I be forced to go on the run from my government. I will make Jason Bourne look like Little Miss Moffet, lol

              • Mathius says:

                Ludlum is a tough read but Bourne is one of his best.

                Not that I have time to read anymore.

                Ever.

    • Email waiting for you Peter.

  33. Cyndi P says:

    Now This would be Hope-N-Change I could be happy about!

    http://spectator.org/archives/2010/06/02/the-coming-resignation-of-bara

    Dreaming is free.

  34. By 1936, fighting had broken out between Jews and Arabs. Anti-Semitic sentiment was spreading throughout the Middle East and Persia. Toss Hitler into the mix and the Jewish people were getting it from all sides. Hitler’s top propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, epitomized the hate. He wrote that they needed to “throw out the Jews” and to “give them a serious beating.” He said, “We see Jewry as a direct threat to every nation”; “Jewry is a contagious infection” and “there can be no peace in Europe until the last Jews are eliminated from the continent.”

    The hatred wasn’t just contained to Hitler. Persia and Germany were allies at one time and eventually Persia changed their name to Iran. That name change came at the suggestion of Iranian diplomats in Berlin to the Persian foreign ministry in Tehran; the idea was that Iran was considered to be the birthplace and the original homeland of the Aryan race. The significance of this is that Iran, in Farsi, means the land of the Aryans.

    Sorry, can’t past the link, but it’s on fox news site.

    • Cyndi P says:

      Don’t forget the Mufti of Jerusalem. You can find a lot of good info over at Atlas Shrugs hosted by Pamela Geller.

  35. Cyndi P says:

    Okay BL,

    That last one has me seriously considering a vow of celebacy……

    😆

    • Glad I gave his ass to you last night!

      • Bottom Line says:

        ?”…gave…”?

        LOL

        • Yessir–gave–sorry 🙂

          anita said
          June 2, 2010 at 9:59 pm
          I don’t think so. He’s all yours Sweetums. I’ll just keep pestering Kathy about D13

    • Bottom Line says:

      Now how would you feel if that really WAS me?

      😉

      • Cyndi P says:

        Same as you would feel if I looked like Rosie O’Donnell….

        😉

        • Bottom Line says:

          Rosie O’Donnell is no Jenna Lee or Megan Fox, but I wouldn’t consider her to be “ugly”.

          • Cyndi P says:

            That looks like Photo Shop, or at the very least LOTS of makeup and extremely flattering lighting. What you see is not what you get, lol!!

  36. Cyndi P says:

    Kathy,

    EEEWWWWWWWWWW! He looks like his breath could stop a freight train!

  37. Dread Pirate Mathius says:

    I wanted to share something with y’all. This morning, I woke up and broke camp in Sedona, AZ. I was worried because my friends, JAC and D13, had warned me that I might be in danger.

    No sooner had I set out to continue my journey than I set off a tripwire. I noticed too late. Like triggering a claymore, you know that there is nothing to do but wait for the inevitable. Mathius had beaten me – I would be dragged back to the basement and never heard from again.

    But the trap never sprung. I traced the cord back to the mine to see why it hadn’t gone off. I then found dozens of other traps that would all similarly fail.

    In the barrel of every turret, marking every rope snare, blocking every motion sensor, and denoting every spike-pit was a simple marker:

    A small flag. Solid black.

    Sent from the command deck of Thor’s Hammer

  38. THE SAGA CONTINUES: IT MUST BE THE WHITE EYES!!!!!

    A California congresswoman is pointing the finger at white supremacist groups, who she says have inspired Arizona’s new law cracking down on illegal immigrants.

    Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., told a Democratic Club on Tuesday that white supremacist groups are influencing lawmakers to adopt laws that will lead to discrimination.

    “There’s a concerted effort behind promoting these kinds of laws on a state-by-state basis by people who have ties to white supremacy groups,” said the lawmaker, who is of Mexican descent. “It’s been documented. It’s not mainstream politics.”

    Click here to listen to the audio tape.

    Sanchez said front organizations for white supremacist groups are approaching lawmakers to propose the language to the bills and urging them to push them through state legislatures in an effort to legalize discrimination.

    “It creates a Jim Crow system where based on the color of your skin you could be treated as a second-class citizen or harassed based on how you look,” she said.

    The Arizona law, which makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally, requires police enforcing any other law to question people about their immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that they are in the country illegally.

    Supporters of the law say it will save taxpayer money and reduce crime by pressuring illegal immigrants to self-deport. But critics say the law is unconstitutional and promotes racial profiling.

    Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., told the Whittier Daily News, which first reported the story, that Sanchez’s comments are “an outrageous accusation.”

    “It’s trying to find somebody somewhere you can accuse of something,” Miller told the newspaper. “It’s red herring. (She’s) trying to change the debate from what the law says.”

    A spokesman for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who will meet with President Obama Thursday to discuss immigration and border security, also criticized Sanchez’s comments.

    “Gov. Brewer signed S.B. 1070 because it mirrors what is already federal law and because our federal government has failed to secure our international border, leading to Arizona become a super highway of illegal drug and human trafficking,” Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said in an e-mail to the newspaper.

    Sanchez told the newspaper after her speech that she based her accusation on online stories, particularly a blog written by Andrea Nill, an immigration researcher for ThinkProgress, an offshoot of the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund.

    Nill wrote that the Immigration Law Reform Institute, the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), helped write the law. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled FAIR a hate group, a designation that the organization disputes.

    OF COURSE SHE DOESN’T NAME ANY OF THEM …..JUST ALL WHITE SUPREMACISTS GROUPS…….the race card yet again.

    • Mathius says:

      Good morning, colonel.. You’ve been awfully quiet today. I was beginning to worry about you.

    • Just heard on TV that Ms. Sanchez was defending her statement. She said, not an exact quote, that she never said everyone who agreed with the Arizona law was a white supremacist and anyone who says she did was just trying to INFLAME the situation.

      GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

    • Cyndi P says:

      The only race that is discriminated against is the white race. So much for everybody being equal.

  39. One for the ladies,

    10 PIECES OF ADVICE TO BE PASSED ON TO YOUR MOM, YOUR DAUGHTERS OR GRANDDAUGHTERS, NIECES, AUNTS, GIRLFRIENDS, ETC.

    1. Don’t imagine you can change a man – unless he’s in diapers.

    2. What do you do if your boyfriend walks out? You shut the door.

    3. If they put a man on the moon – they should be able to put them all up there.

    4. Go for the younger man. You might as well, they never mature anyway.

    5. Men are all the same – they just have different faces, so we can tell them apart.

    6. Best way to get a man to do something is to suggest he is too old for it.

    7. Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.

    8. The children of Israel wandered around the desert for 40 years. Even in Biblical times, men wouldn’t ask for directions.

    9. If he asks what sort of books you’re interested in, tell him cheque books.

    10. Remember a sense of humour does not mean that you tell him jokes, it means that you laugh at his.

    • #6 is dangerous-My son -said to husband -while he was sitting on our bed-you can’t do those flips anymore-end of story-broken bed. Well not the end-he can do those flips 🙂

    • Mathius says:

      I like #9

  40. Looks like John Stossel’s show is the one to watch tonight @8pm. Drat! I dont get Fox Business here.

    http://stossel.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2010/06/03/tonights-show-road-to-serfdom/

    • Oooh, we don’t either. I think we are going to have to cough up more cash for the next tier on Dish so I can watch his show. Saw him on a clip with Meghan Kelly, I think it was yesterday, and he was wearing a ball and chain to promote his show.

  41. Bottom Line says:

    Okay, Time for some tunes…

    Immigrant Song with lyrics HQ Led Zeppelin

  42. Cyndi P says:

    Hey Ya’ll,

    Here’s a little update from the Kwajalein Women’s Club. The Women’s Club runs a thrift shop and a Micronesian handicraft gift shop. The article discusses what happens to the proceeds. I thought ya’ll might be interested in something Americans do that no one complains about…

    Article from the Marshall Islands Journal…

    Yokwe Yuk Helps Schools

    The Yokwe Yuk Women’s Club on Kwajalein has awarded schools in the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia nearly $72,000, with the majority going to schools in Kwajalein Atoll and the outer islands. This year’s grants for schools is lower than previous years, the result of the decreasing number of Americans living on Kwajalein where the volunteer women’s group generates the funds to support island schools, according to club Education and Assistance Committee co-chairperson Judy Kirchner.

    “Our club on Kwajalein exists solely to support education in Micronesia,” Kirchner told the Journal last week as checks were being distributed to schools.“The checks we are able to offer schools represent many hours of volunteer work by ladies here on Kwajalein. Our two sources of income are the Bargain Bazaar, our thrift store, and the Micronesian Handicrafts Store.” She explained that Kwajalein residents donate goods to the Bargain Bazaar, which was renovated this year, and our Yokwe Yuk Women’s Club (YYWC) members sort, price and help display the items, then staff the store.

    “There’s a dedicated group of volunteers who keep this effort going,” she said.

    The Micronesian Handicrafts Shop provides an outlet for crafts people from throughout the Marshall Islands and Micronesia to sell their handicrafts and help develop the local economy, and then uses profits from the shop to further educational efforts in the RMI and Micronesia. “The shop is supported by a large group of dedicated volunteers, some of whom serve as board members and handle the management of the shop,” she said. “Also working with the Micronesian Handicrafts Shop are buyers who work closely with the crafts people to place orders and price merchandise and finally, salespeople who staff the shop, which is open at least 20 times each month. “

    Following a routine developed over many years of supporting island schools, at the end of October, “we send grant applications to schools throughout Micronesia and ask the schools to return them by a designated date the following year, usually around February 1,” Kirchner said.

    “Our priority is first on private versus public schools, as they receive less funding, especially here in the Kwajalein Atoll, where it appears the private schools have received no funding at all from the RMI government this year.”

    Ebeye schools get first consideration “as Ebeye residents contribute to the money we make at the Bargain Bazaar by shopping there,” she said. “We also consider the schools’ track record, including whether we heard from them in the past telling us how their money was used, if the money appears to be spent wisely, and if it seems that the need is critical to the education of their students. “We also consider how many students are at each school and how much money the school likely receives from other sources.”

    Where did the funding from the Kwajalein Yokwe Yuk Women’s Club for schools go?

    On the receiving end of $71,650 are schools in:

    • Kwajalein Atoll ($29,000).

    • Majuro ($18,000).

    • Outer islands ($13,650).

    • Federated States of Micronesia ($11,000).

    “Some of the projects about which we are especially excited are that three schools in Kwajalein Atoll— Jabro Private School, Ebeye Gem Christian School, and Ennubirr School— are making additions or renovations to their buildings so they will be able to accommodate more students,” said club Education and Assistance Committee co-chairperson Judy Kirchner.

    “We all feel this need is particularly urgent, as many students in the Kwajalein Atoll are not in school at all, a matter that concerns us greatly.”

    Regrettably, the funding available to the Yokwe Yuk Women’s Club has been declining recently, the result of cut backs by the US Army in the force of Americans resident at Kwajalein. “Because the island population and the number of people working on Kwajalein is considerably less than in past years, the money we make at both the Micronesian Handicrafts Shop and the Bargain Bazaar is less than in previous years,” she said.

    “Therefore our contribution to island schools is reduced. We expect this trend to continue, unfortunately.”

  43. Cyndi P says:
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