Wednesday Night Open Mic for June 23, 2010

Open Mic again gets moved to Wednesday night this week. As many of you know, work has kept me extremely busy these last couple of weeks. It hasn’t gotten better yet, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It is distant, but it is there. Let’s just hope it isn’t a freight train heading my way. On top of that I was really hoping to wait to weigh in on the whole Obama/McChrystal debacle until some sort of decision was announced. It would have been OK to speculate on what was going to happen, but I was more interested in commenting on what went down instead of what might go down. As for the other topics this week: We have Iran doing its best to ratchet up tensions in the Middle East. We have an Iowa school where some uptight parents are up in arms because their children were shown parts of the human anatomy. I will leave it at those three topics to start. They should be plenty to get things started. Then I can add to that throughout the day as the discussions dictate.

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Comments

  1. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #1

    Iran to send blockade-busting ship to Gaza, Israeli commandos train for confrontation

    Iran said Tuesday it would send a blockade-busting ship carrying aid and pro-Palestinian activists to Gaza, fueling concern in Israel, where commandos were training for another possible confrontation at sea.

    Israel warned archenemy Iran to drop the plan. The Iranian announcement came days after Israel eased its three-year-old blockade of Gaza under international pressure following its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla last month.

    “No one in their right mind can believe that a ship sent by the ayatollahs and their Revolutionary Guards has anything to do with humanitarian aid,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. “I don’t think there is one single country in this region and beyond that would let such an ayatollah ship come near its coasts.”

    Security officials said the prospect of an Iranian boat headed for Gaza had Israel deeply worried, and that naval commandos were training for the possibility of taking on a vessel with a suicide bomber on board. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose operational details.

    After an international outcry over the killing of nine Turkish activists in a May 31 raid, Israel eased its land blockade of Gaza but insisted on maintaining a naval blockade it says is necessary to keep weapons shipments out of the hands of Gaza’s Hamas rulers. Israel imposed the blockade after Hamas, with its violently anti-Israel agenda, overran the Palestinian territory in June 2007.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/06/22/report-iran-send-aid-ship-blockaded-gaza-strip/?test=latestnews

    Oh, how I look forward to being told about how Iran has not invaded anyone in 300 years so this is nothing for Israel to worry about. Those peace loving Ayatollahs are sure to only have rice, water, medical supplies. They would never take part in an act of violence against Israel. Oddly, I almost agree with that last line. They wouldn’t take part in the act of violence, they would simply fund Hamas or Hezbollah so that they can keep their hands clean.

    I have a fairly big problem with this particular act from Iran. They are clearly looking to provoke Israel into some sort of incident that can be used as more propaganda. There is absolutely ZERO reason for Iran to send a ship to attempt to break the blockade of Gaza. The country that has funded both of the two largest groups attacking Israel regularly is the last country that should be doing so. If Iran was interested in helping the people of Gaza, they could easily send their aid through a different country. Nearly any choice they made would be better than this.

    For the record, I believe that this particular ship will be “clean.” They fully expect to provoke some sort of incident and they want to make sure that when they do, they are able to point back and say this was nothing more than an aid ship. The article mentioned a suicide bomber as a possibility on board. I don’t believe they will take that route either. They are going to push every Israeli button to provoke an incident and then claim to be “the good guys.”

    And don’t rule out that this is a cover for some other sort of operation. With the Israeli military focused so hard on the ship in question, they will be vulnerable in other areas, especially other aid ships that could be moving at the same time. This being a diversion for a movement over land isn’t as likely, as the parts of the Israeli military dealing with the water blockades are different from the land blockade forces, and thus the land forces are not going to be as distracted.

    I think this has a lot of bad potential. It is like sending a Liverpool fan into Manchester United territory with a flag saying ManU Sucks and a few too many pints in his system. It is a recipe for disaster. Watch this closely.

    • Mathius says:

      Wep, I agree 100%. I actually had this conversation with someone the other day. My assertion was that if they really wanted to destroy Israel, they would work harder to rob them of the high ground by doing exactly this type of thing: provoking overreactions. Israel is a bully – that it is a bully out of necessity does not change this fact. So the best thing they could do is show this to the world. An unarmed aid ship getting assaulted would certainly fit this bill.

    • USWep,

      forward to being told about how Iran has not invaded anyone in 300 years

      I sure hope you don’t go “bizarre” on me, and claim this is an “invasion”!!

      so this is nothing for Israel to worry about.

      You jest!

      You really believe that Iran has the power to sail an invasion force, through the Suez Canal, and actually threaten an invasion where their supplies lines have to either cross Iraq, Turkey, or the Persian Gulf!!!!

      If you think anyone is worried about an invasion, I’d worry about yours and theirs mental health (or complete idiocy of military operation).

      Those peace loving Ayatollahs are sure to only have rice, water, medical supplies.

      Do you really believe that they would put missiles on these ships – knowing full well that Israel will intercept and probably successfully seize these ships?

      It would be the single greatest folly of Iran – proving Israel’s case for the blockade.

      They would never take part in an act of violence against Israel.

      Oh, they might do that.

      Oddly, I almost agree with that last line. They wouldn’t take part in the act of violence, they would simply fund Hamas or Hezbollah so that they can keep their hands clean.

      They might do that, as the US funds Israel’s attacks on the Lebanese people and Gaza and West Bank (etc.)

      I have a fairly big problem with this particular act from Iran. They are clearly looking to provoke Israel into some sort of incident that can be used as more propaganda.

      That is its only goal.

      They are forcing Israel to attack Iran.

      The obvious situation: Israel and the US will most probably trip Iran into a state of retaliation over some provocation by the hegemony that the hegemony will use to justify an all out assault on Iran.

      Iran has no doubt understood that there will be some provocation by the USA/Israel that will require a response with force since such a failure to respond will destroy the legitimacy of the ruling factions in Iran. But such a response will most probably light Iran as the AGGRESSOR, and Iran will end up alienating her tentative allies and lose Russian and Chinese support.

      Therefore the best strategy will be to provoke the hegemony to attack asymmetrically – that is make an assault on an Iranian “peace and humanitarian” mission – exposing the hegemony as the Aggressor at the outset. This will maintain her tentative alliances and maintain international support of Russia and China.

      There is absolutely ZERO reason for Iran to send a ship to attempt to break the blockade of Gaza.

      You are not looking at the geopolitical picture and hegemonic power.

      especially other aid ships that could be moving at the same time.

      Turkey and Lebanon will probably cooperate with the Iranian mission.

      I think this has a lot of bad potential.

      Iranian position: the situation of conflict is inevitable. The machinations of Israel and USA against Iran will -eventually- lead to an aggravation and response, resulting in conflict.

      As such, the order of who-caused-what will determine world opinion and support for one side or the other.

      Iran will NOT prevail without Russian and Chinese support.

      Iran probably WILL prevail with Russian and Chinese support.

      Therefore, she will move to solidify that support BEFORE Iran is provoked into hostile actions against Israel/USA.

      It is a recipe for disaster. Watch this closely.

      If “disaster” is assured regardless of tactic, the best tactic is to ensure it is blamed on the other side.

      Indeed, the game has gotten very, very critical.

      If the Iranian succeed, and induce Israel to be the aggressor….

      Turkey will cause NATO to abstain.

      Europe will not aid either side.

      Egypt will close the Suez and Saudi/Jordon will withdraw all support from the Hegemony.

      US will be trapped in Iraq and in Afghanistan will have to depend exclusively on Pakistani support as NATO speeds up her withdrawal – and Pakistan is on the edge of civil war because of the governments support of US attacks on the Pustan.

      Iran will receive significant support from Russia – perhaps even troops.

      The Gulf will close. US economic situation will go into full Red Alarm as concurrently China withdraws financial support in support of Iran “defense”.

      Israel, in its madman push against the Palestinians, has alienated the globe. They have completely exhausted all the international goodwill bought by the blood of the Holocaust.

      • LOL

      • USWeapon says:

        BF,

        You spent a lot of time making an argument that was wasted time. I never said it was an invasion, or even came close to insinuating that it was so. I made it clear that there would be nothing but aid on the ship. I made it clear that the intent was to provoke Israel into a confrontation. In fact, I made it clear that everything that you just stated was already factored in.

        I will disagree on a point or two. I dismiss your continued fantasy that Iran has done no wrong here. You blame it all on the US and Israel. As I have stated to you many, many time, to no avail: The shame is that I am very aware of what Israel and the US have done and do wrong. You, on the other hand have no ability to look at the situation objectively. Iran does no wrong here. You can live in your fantasy world where no one in the world does anything bad that is not caused by, provoked by, in retaliation to, or directly attributable to US hegemonic power. That you dismiss my opinion so quickly as unintelligent and uninformed is disappointing. There is only the world as BF says it is, and nothing anyone else says has base in reality unless they agree with you.

        I also disagree with your assessment that China and Russia will side with Iran. But that is a debate for another day.

        USW

        • The other problem is that hegemonic power is being introduced all over the world by Russia, China, and Iran….not to forget the limited hegemony being introduced in South America by Venezuela.

          Russia and China will NOT take the “field” in favor of Iran. They will bluster and offer some minor aid….but they are not a military threat to the point of putting troops on the ground. Russia especially cannot do that. China…a little different but still not an immediate threat. Iran can rush its troops to the border but all they can do is the “hokey pokey” or the “chicken dance”….however, I will say this…if they wish to mount some ground issue…now is the time….Obama is a coward and a blight on this country and is the laughing stock of the world…and will do nothing….and Iran knows this and is having fun with it right now. NATO is ineffective and will do nothing. The UN? Well, Canine Weapon has more bravado.

          Egypt will not close the Suez and there will be no Syrian war with Israel.

          Israel, even though I do not agree with their policies right now, has a complete and legal right to do exactly what they are doing. And, they are completely within their legal right to inspect and stop any ship in territorial waters or on the high seas that wish to run the blockade. Israel is in a time of war…..blockades and inspections are going to happen and if Iran thinks that the Arab countries will jump to their (Iran’s) side….they are mistaken. They are scared to death of Iran and its hegemony. Oh, Syria and Egypt will bluster and yell for the world press, but the back door channels are saying….go for it. I just hope that Israel does not back off…and sinks the bastards. No one…including Turkey (who gives a rat’s ass about Turkey anyway…Europe sure does not) will do much.

          Turkey has sunk its own ship, metaphorically….the EU does not want them and will not vote them in and NATO will not come to their aid. NATO does not even want Turkey now….not the direction it is headed, but does not know how to get rid of it.

          BF and others make it sound like the United States and Israel are the outcasts in the world…when the rest of the world, including Europe is very wary and scared of a nuclear Iran….to which I have been proven correct….it is not a peaceful nuclear program. The IAEA has a real problem of identity now because of Iran. Iran has thrown the last two inspectors out and are refusing to abide by the terms of the last supposed treaty. ( As an excuse, Iran is claiming that the US is telling the IAEA what to do). Iran’s tentacles now reach to the African Continent and the South China Sea and is growing. Growing so quickly under the radar screen that New Zealand, Australia, and various others are now sounding the alarm.

          A nuclear armed Iran will not only target Israel….it will target its neighbors and become a major threat to them because Ajad is an idiot and a dangerous one at that…he thinks that he and Iran are the next Messiahs. The clerics are losing power to the military complex in Iran and they know it. The Saudi’s, UAE, Qatar, Syria, Egypt, Libya….they are all scared shitless about Iran

          This crap about the last 300 years is smoke screen. Do not limit the research to 300 years….let us take a look at hegemonic influence beginning ten thousand years ago and trace it forward. What has changed the perceptions… is technology.

          The world is an interesting place…..and, while the US is guilty of some of the things, it is not the cause. These things were happening before the US even came along.

          • D13

            Good morning Colonel.

            I agree with your over all assessment but differ on your categorizing hegemony.

            I would not place Russia, Iran or Venezuela in the hegemony category as their actions appear to be primarily regional in nature. While Iran may send funds into our hemisphere to poke us in the eye that is not hegemony per se’.

            China on the other hand is a hegemonic play in infancy, in my humble opinion.

            Best wishes to you this fine morning.
            JAC

            • Good morning, sir. Ok…I see any influence as hegemony…not just regional…however, regional hegemony is the same, is it not? If that were the case, the Israel is not hegemonic in any way, correct?

              Also, how about sending advisers? Would you consider that hegemony per se’? Is not hegemony actually the intent to influence and control with said influence?

              • D13

                Hegemony is global in nature, as I understand its use.

                Yes, control is the goal. Projection of power via various means.

                I do not consider Israel as hegemonic in nature. Its goals are limited to taking control over the biblical “Israel”, again in my opinion.

                I think Iran’s reach into our hemisphere is more about causing problems in hopes of furthering their goals for regional control. I could be wrong but that is how I see it at this point in time.

                China is building a “global” network of influence with the goal of creating a “global” economic presence (aka control) equivalent to the USA. This is where I split China from the rest of the pack.

                Advisers, depending on their mission, are just one tool of many used to project hegemonic power. I guess the criteria is whether those advisers result in the advisee dancing to the tune of those who provided the advice.

          • D13 and USW Sirs. Ditto I say, or rather, what Y’all said.

            BF. I have tremendous respect for your peaceful ideas and also for your opinions even when I do not share them intirely.

            As you know, I share a few of your ideals, but in this case I have to agree with your opposition.

            I a perfect world, all would live in peace with each other. In this world however, this is not the case.

            I wish the U.S. could live in isolation with the rest of the world and in Jefferson’s words, “have trade with all, alliance’s with none.”

            But as much as I too wish the world were such, it is not. More’s the pity ain’t it!

        • USWep

          I think you confuse yourself with loaded words such as “blame”. You want to allocate blame so to justify violence as a remedy.

          I do not “blame” US or Israel. I apply responsibility of action IFthe goal is peace.

          It does not matter who started what/when. If you want peace, ALL ACTS MUST BEGIN by UNILATERAL action of the Hegemony. You cannot expect the weaker party to act unilaterally nor act first.

          • USWeapon says:

            I will ponder your thoughts on blame and its use to justify violence. I don’t believe I look at it that way, but I will give it some thought.

            As for the belief that all acts must begin by unilateral action of the hegemony, I do not agree. The weaker party is every bit as responsible for initiating the peace. I respect your opinion on this matter, but I do believe that when you say “ALL ACTS MUST BEGIN by UNILATERAL action of the Hegemony. You cannot expect the weaker party to act unilaterally nor act first,” you are giving that: your opinion. That statement is not rooted in fact, IMO.

            • USWep,

              My opinion that the hegemonic power must act first and unilaterally is based on my theory derived by observation and reasoning.

              If you accept the following:

              (1) the weaker party withdrawing from the assault of a greater power is defined as “surrender”.

              (2) if the weaker will “never surrender” (for whatever reason), they will not withdraw

              (3) the stronger party withdrawing from the assault vs. a weaker power is called “a cease fire”.

              (4) if peace is a desire of the hegemonic power, given (1) and (2), it must move unilaterally and withdraw

              If you have a disagreement with any of these 4 arguments, please present – I’ll use it and add it to my essay.

    • I think they are taking a page from our present administration, never let a crisis go to waste.

  2. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #2

    Graphic Sex Ed Class Under Fire

    Parents are outraged after young teenagers were instructed on graphic sexual acts during a Planned Parenthood sex education class at the local high school in Shenandoah, Iowa.

    “It was horribly inappropriate,” Colleen Dostal told Fox News Radio. “To do that in a mixed-gender classroom, — I truly believe it was inappropriate.”

    Dostal’s 14-year-old son was one of a handful of eighth graders in the class. The students, she said, were given instruction on how to perform female exams and the instructor used a 3-D, anatomically correct male sex organ to explain how to use a condom.

    But Dostal said she was most upset over the instructor simulating sexual acts using stuffed animals designed to resemble STD’s.

    “I do not understand why any adult with a classroom of children would show them sexual positions,” she told Fox News Radio. “I think that’s horribly inappropriate.”

    As for the photographs, “I believe some of those photos were pornographic,” she said.

    “Had we known this was going on, I would have sat in the classroom or I would have pulled him out,” Dostal said.

    She took her concerns to the principal, who Dostal said was “mortified.” The principal apologized but several other parents decided to take the issue to the school superintendent.

    “I understand it’s a state law that sex education be taught but it is also state mandated that parents be told that this is going to happen and we were not told.”

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/22/graphic-sex-ed-class/?test=latestnews

    Alrighty then. I will be interested in hearing what it is that the folks here at SUFA have to say about this one. Allow me to first say that I could certainly fall into the camp of sexual education should be taught at home. However, the reality is that many parents today take zero interest in their children, and can not be counted on to have what is a very tough discussion with them. Therefore, I feel like it has become more reasonable for the schools to handle sex ed.

    I don’t have any issue with the fact that the anatomically correct items were used in the demonstration of using a condom or giving a proper female self examination. We can dance around the reality of our bodies if we like, but that simply isn’t the smart thing to do in today’s world. These are 14 year old teenagers, not 2nd graders. In a society where a 13 year old pregnant girl no longer elicits so much as shock value an longer, I don’t think it is out of place for them to be taught properly, meaning including graphics and anatomically correct visual aides.

    Now, I do feel that there were some things done here that were not done correctly. For example, that a teacher used the STD dolls to simulate sexual positions is not OK, at least not on the surface. What we don’t know is what the context of the representation was. I don’t teach sex ed so I don’t know if there is a reasonable explanation for why that was done. Additionally, there is apparently a rule that requires that parents are notified when the school is going to have the class, which would allow parents that wish to do so to pull their child out of school that day. This wasn’t done, and that is wrong. Ultimately, parents should always have a say in a matter such as this.

    Before anyone gets all high and mighty on me here, telling me how it is a parents role to teach this and schools should stay out of it, I ask you to remember that many parents aren’t good parents. They don’t talk about this or teach their children anything about sex ed. In fact many of the parents who I have talked to personally about this subject who object, claim to me that they are teaching their children how to have sex against the parents will.

    Personally, I liken this to the ostrich mentality. Kids are going to have sex. They are going to learn about it from their friends. They are seeing it in today’s movies, TV shows, music videos. Teen idols parade out to clubs with no underwear and make sex videos that go viral. If you really believe that they wouldn’t be learning about sex if it weren’t for the sex ed classes that you object to, I say you are sticking your head in the sand and praying all the bad you no longer see doesn’t exist.

    • USW, this is a can of worms if ever there was one!

      First let me point out that I once spoke to a child psychologist who informed me that today’s children, because of cell phones with cameras and the internet, know and have seen more about sexual matters at eight years of age than most twenty year olds did of my generation. I am in my mid to late sixties.

      It all boils down to this; parents need to supervise their children’s education, which of course the great majority of them do not.

      As for this school, that teacher, and those parents involved in this mess, well it just isn’t going to end in any kind of good outcome. I think that some of those kids will be mentally traumatized by their parents reaction (over reaction in my opinion), and the fact that this teacher will most likely be locked up and labeled a sex offender for the rest of his/her life because of the parents over reaction.

      Children are information sponges. My wife’s sister is a just retired special ed (gifted children) teacher, that is the only reason I say that. The information they receive is literally everything they come in contact with, the bad as well as the good. Institutions (schools) cannot control everything they experience, and neither can parents, but both should do their best to guide children into making the right decisions about the information that they run into (or that runs into them).

      Without knowing all the circumstance surrounding this incident, I will say that my initial feelings are a heartfelt sorrow for those kids due to their parents over reaction and almost the same for that teacher – I say almost because that teacher should have known better than to circumvent the approved protocols for that subject.

      This is a can of worms laced with C-4, I think.

      • Mathius says:

        I’m with you, Rowe.

        The way I look at this is that the purpose of school is education. If you place your child in public school rather than private school or home school, they are going to education your child the best way they know how. You will not necessarily like or agree with everything they learn or the ways in which they learn it. For example, a fundamentalist Christian may take exception to the teaching of evolution. A raging liberal may take exception to, well, everything. And sexually prude (not the word I would like to use, but I couldn’t think of a better descriptor) will take exception to sex ed.

        If the protocol says that the parents should be notified, then there’s a legitimate question of why it wasn’t followed, but that’s a whole other ballgame.

        The best way I feel I can put sex ed in perspective is by comparing it to curse words. In ye olden time, the word “crap” probably would have gotten my mouth washed out with soap. But in today’s world, it is no big deal. The only reason it was such a bad word was because people agreed that it was a bad word. The same is true for sex – the only reason talking about it can be traumatic is because people react to it in a traumatizing way. So kudos to you, G.A. You hit the nail on the head.

        • WHAT!?!

          Mathius agrees with me? Run for your lives, this is like BF saying something nice about the USA and Israel! All Hell has frozen over! 😉

          In all seriousness, yes Matt, this is not going to end in a nice way. Unfortunately my ideas on how government should be able to assist the parents in providing a sexual education to their offspring would most likely get me labeled a raving lunatic. If government wanted to actually help instead of going for the total control thing, government would make available the appropriate videos to all parents in order for them to choose just how much sexual education to expose their offspring to. I am sure that the Hollywood elite and the porn industry would be more than willing and able to produce said videos ranging from the barest essentials to absolutely graphic in detail on how to make babies or what ever else a parent would want to show their offspring at any age. You see, it is my personal belief that it is the parent that should teach their child these things, and if the government wants to help, then that is the only way the government should be allowed to help – provide the visual references and the audio text to accompany them and nothing else.

          IMHO that teacher should be severely reprimanded and perhaps even fired, but not sent to jail or labeled a sex offender. But then, I am just an aging ex-cop retired Marine DI who for lack of a better word is a raving lunatic who has seen something similar to this kind of case too many times before . . . 😦

      • We want parents to pay attention but when they do we say they are over reacting-perhaps they are-I question why the press always gets involved-but in general parents should pay attention, they should get involved-the schools shouldn’t just be allowed to break the rules and teach whatever each teacher decides they want to teach-there should be guidelines and they should be made to follow them.

    • naten53 says:

      I think one of the problems of why teaching in schools is needed is because a lot of parents don’t know about the risks and STDs themselves. Call it scare treatment, but the pictures I remeber seeing were horrible. Now after so many years do I remember all of the things I was taught, heck no, would I be able to teach a teenager today about the dangers, probably, but not that well. I at least remember the importance of safe sex.

      • Mathius says:

        Hell, I’ve had a few opportunities with girls I wouldn’t have touched with a ten foot poll. Not even if you put a condom on the ten foot pole. If I hadn’t had some very good sex education in school on the subject (my parents have never broached the subject even once), I don’t know that I would have necessarily passed them up, and who knows what the results could have been?

        It’s like the video they show in driver’s ed of car accident victims.

    • I have always believed that sex ed should be taught at home, but in today’s society that is just not happening in the way it should. Most parents not even involved with homework much less anything else.
      I had sex ed in school in the 8th grade( a private school), they had a the girls and boys in different rooms and taughts all the basics. We had real anatomy dolls and really gross pictures that I still remember today.

      I think kids must get some kind of sex ed, they shouldnt be kept from the information just because their folks wont do the education themselves.

    • First I thought sex Ed. classes were supposed to be separated into boy and girl classes. Second the parents are supposed to be notified. Third how the heck does one simulate sex positions with stuffed animals shaped like STD’s. A Barbie and Ken doll demonstration I would understand. Fourth these pictures are enough to scare your kids from ever wanting to have sex. Obviously, sex ed. is still highly debated and this sounds like a case of the teacher breaking all the rules. I personally am for some basic education-but I want to know what they are covering as topics of discussion and see some actual demonstrations of how & what they are going to teach visually and I want them to follow the Rules. If they don’t, I would be one of the first to throw a fit. I also would much rather a trained teacher teach my children in the schools not Planned Parenthood.

    • Planned Parenthood? Why in the world would any school district let them anywhere near students unless there is an ulterior motive?

      • Murphy's Law says:

        Agree with you totally, Kathy! But I am scratching my head over the “stuffed animals designed to resemble STD’s”. Anyone seen pics of STD’s? How do you make a stuffed animal to resemble that????

        Personally I have no problem with schools teaching human reproduction. It’s science. Teaching about STD’s….yes also. But sex positions? Performing female exams? Please. Gives a whole new meaning to “planned parenthood”, IMO. Sounds like they plan to make “parents” out of these kids asap so they can then profit from all the abortions they will perform.

        Murf

    • I have to agree with most of what USW said here. In a perfect world, children would be taught sex ed at home. This is NOT a perfect world however. The only problem I would have had was teaching the sexual positions.

      Maybe to some even that doesn’t seem too bad, but to me, that is a kind of acceptance that not only are the kids going to have sex, but they believe that the school system must show them how to do it right so that they can enjoy it more and thus cause more of it.

      I accept that my 14 year old boy may have sex. All I can do, and have done, is talk to him and tell him the dangers of having sex at that age and possible consequences that could result. Both of mine have decided to wait until they are married. At least so my 21 year old says. 🙂

      But I will be damned if I’m going to tell or teach them HOW. I have told them about the fact of using protection IF they do because I want to have my grandkids the right way. And also I want to at least try to have a chance to know and love them because they have them with the right woman. And if you knew my brother-in-laws you would know what I mean by that.

    • This issue, like the issue of gay marriage, only exists because governemnt is involved where it should not be. Government has no business being a part of marriage, nor a part of child rearing.

      Notice I say “child rearing” because that is a seperate part of education. There are many arguments that could be made in support of a public education system, or having some public education available (I may not fully agree with such arguments, but they are decent ones). For the public system to take over raising a child, however, is ludicrous. Just because parents do a bad job sometimes does not automatically mean the governmetn should get a shot at it. For one thing the government has a far worse track record than parents in general. For another, people do bad at a lot of stuff, does that justify the governmetn taking over? GM did a bad job as a car company, are any of us fans fo the government running car companies now? I think not.

      I don’t care that “in todays world parents suck at talking about sex”, that is not enough justification for government taking on that role. There is some justification for instructing children so that they can deal with the situation they are forced, that of being in a co-ed environment with little supervision and a lot of kids of similar age. That, of course, begs the question of whether that situation should exist.

      I am not totally against sex education being available, but it should be something parents sign for. Kids do not go to the class without their guardian’s permission, and the guardians have full right to observe the class and remove their charges if they do not approve.

      In this case the parents are not overreacting. Even if they are being prudes or whatever, they are still reacting to something that was out of line, and enough was out of line in this case to merit a sever reaction.

  3. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #3

    McChrystal’s Exit Comes at Key Point in War

    The Afghanistan war effort Gen. McChrystal had been leading—and the strategy he personally devised for it—are entering a crucial few months that may well determine their success or failure. Before being dismissed Wednesday for intemperate remarks about civilian officials, Gen. McChrystal had put in place what most analysts consider the most comprehensive plan of coordinated military action and economic development in eight years of warfare. The troops he persuaded President Barack Obama to dispatch to execute that plan are still arriving.

    A rising number of insurgent leaders have been killed or detained recently, and, with U.S. help, the size of Afghan security forces has been ramped up about 30% in the last year.

    But in recent days, implementation of the strategy, as well as political support for it, have started to look considerably more shaky. A military push into the city of Marjah hasn’t been the success hoped for, and a larger operation in the major city of Kandahar has been put off.

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai, after briefly reassuring American officials of his reliability, has lately rekindled doubts by firing two cabinet ministers highly regarded in Washington. Allied support is fading; two allied nations plan to pull out next year, and only about a third of the Western military trainers once thought necessary to upgrade Afghanistan’s security forces are on the job. American troops in the field have begun to openly question rules of engagement that require a high degree of caution in launching military attacks to avoid civilian casualties.

    Now the troubled war effort proceeds minus Gen. McChrystal, its main architect and the one commander President Karzai appears to really trust.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/24/mcchrystals-exit-comes-critical-time-war/

    I saw that some of you were already discussing this particular situation yesterday. As you can expect, I was in agreement with a lot of what was said, especially D13’s comments, which I would mirror but I will expand a bit further on.

    Let me first say this. The President was absolutely justified in accepting McChrystal’s resignation. The General was out of line with what he said publicly. Not because he was wrong in what he said, but because as a commanding General, he absolutely should know better than to criticize the commander in chief in a public forum.

    Personally, I am a fan of General McChrystal. For many of the same reasons as the Colonel. He was a field commander. He at one point was in charge of Special Operations Command, which made him a legitimate commander in my book, even if I had known nothing else of the man. But I do more of him. I know that his soldiers love him. I know that he is a funny guy, who can cut the tension when needed most. I know that he is a smart tactician and someone who understands the many different avenues that can be used to approach any given situation. He spent a large portion of his career serving in Special Operations of some sort. He had both Tabs (Ranger and SF), and before commanding all Special Ops had command positions with 2nd Ranger Battalion and eventually 75th Ranger Regiment. I can’t claim to be his friend, but I do know him, and served at two separate Military installations with him.

    What has been lost was one of the major brains behind the entire current plan in Afghanistan. I think it was Ray who asked if this was yet another step back in the Afghanistan conflict. The answer is yes it is. What is happening now there is a result of his planning and his leadership. General David Petraeus is a smart man, and a capable commander. It isn’t meant to be a knock on him when I offer these thoughts. It speaks more to the leader and commander that General McChrystal is.

    As to what he was thinking when he gave the interview. I personally think he knew exactly what he was doing. I think he purposely intended to call attention to the things that were blocking him from doing what he was selected to do. I don’t think that he thought the Rolling Stone reporter was going to do it so brashly or in a way that would embarrass the President. But he should have know better. It does seem in the article as though most of the more critical things said were attributed to his aides rather than him directly. But there was enough, and the article certainly painted a picture of a command team that had no respect for any of the political players involved. Again, I don’t think this is wrong. I have no respect for politicians either, but the General should have known better than to let that become public.

    My personal opinion is that Obama was justified in taking the action that he did, but I do not believe that it was the right course of action. I think the President should have privately read him the riot act, reminded him that he was talking about and to the Commander in Chief. And then I think he should have chosen to not accept the General’s resignation. It would have shown foresight and would have won him points in the public eye. He would have appeared magnanimous and in charge.

    Instead, what will stick is the quote that the President seemed intimidated by the military brass and he will seem as though he cannot control his commanders and has too thin of skin to be handling the job of Commander in Chief.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @USW – good wrap up. I do wonder what his soldiers would think of his actions – or does it fundamentally not change how they operate?

      • Ray…it will not have a fundamental effect….unless the new CDR changes the operations orders. The soldiers will function. Soldiers are used to changes in the chain of command.

        As to his actions, I do not know the man personally…but I know his motives and his M.O. I still cannot believe his interview…unless there is a deeper reasoning for it, which there could be.

        He should have called a Security Council meeting and let it out there. He would have still been fired, most likely, but that was the forum. This is not the same as MacArthur/Truman or Patton/Eisenhower….

        Blackwater? No…McCrystal is not Blackwater material…he has the training but he will not be part of that.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Thanks D13 – I still think it sucks when we lose a well admired, capable soldier/leader. I am less and less certain that POTUS has the right inner circle with respect to advising him on military strategy and capability. I cringe when I see Rahm Emmanuel referenced as a top military adviser (really? are you shitting me?). I’ve said many times that POTUS’ success would be just as dependent on his own ability as the people he surrounds himself with. Some of been good/ok – others not so good. Too much “all hat and no cattle”.

          • You are correct. POTUS, in this case, should have reprimanded him and left him in charge. He is the most capable out there and true soldier and tactician. I still want to slap the dog doo out of him for his interview….but there is a much deeper and underlying thing, I feel.

            • BTW…how is the little girl tackling hellion today?

            • My feeling is that McChrystal was tired of Obama to begin with and went along with the Rolling Stone interview anyway knowing full well what the consequences would be. He just wanted to air his beefs in a way that wouldnt look like sour grapes after the fall out occurred. McChrystal knew what he was doing. Look at the others in the inner circle. They are all starting to bail on Obama, the National Intelligence guy (forgot his name at the moment) being the latest to bail.

              • Anita…you could be correct but, as an officer, if he was hoping for a future assignment….he blew it.

    • As much as I dont agree with alot of things that Obama is handling, he is right on this one.

      AS a general ( or anyone in charge) you never do a public interview and critize the people in your chain of command period.

      He should have never done a interview with a reporter( much less a Rolling Stones reporters).

      Obama had to take action on this as the POTUS, the general put himself in this spot, no one else.

      This is military 101, you have to know when to keep your mouth shut!

    • Mathius says:

      Knock it off, Wep.. This is the third time today I’ve been in complete 100% agreement with you. I come to SUFA to argue with people who believe the opposite of what I think.

      Good job, though. I actually lost $10 on a bet that he would do exactly what you suggested he should have done (riot act, refuse resignation) – alas.

    • I agree that what he did was incredibly bone-headed of him. I also think that replacing him was a mistake. But no matter what I think it is done. Obama made the choice he felt was right and at least Patraeus is the right choice for replacing him. Since I am not Prez, and didn’t have to make that decision, I will use a rare decision not to second guess the man.

      The one thing I think most miss about this debacle is the WHY. WHY did they feel they had to make the decision to say those things about the command structure on the civilian side? To a ROLLING STONE Reporter no less!! Are things that bad in the command structure that there is that much frustration and anger and contempt?

      Maybe The Administration needs to look at the underlying reasons behind the comments that were made. Also there is the fact that, right or wrong, that is how all of them feel about it. The comments weren’t retracted or denied. He apologized for making them, but notice that he didn’t try to say he or his subordinates didn’t say them nor did he say he didn’t mean what he said.

      Remember before you climb my ass too hard, I DID say it was stupid for him to have done so. He was the top commander in Afganistan. This is 2010. Reporters imbedded with the troops and the commanders are a fact of life. Politicians meddling and going on “fact finding missions” in war zones have ALWAYS been a fact of life. I can well imagine that The Ambassador what’s his name is still as big a CYA guy as he was when he was an Unpopular commander before. That also is something Generals should be used to.

      I just believe that the obvious tensions between the military side and the civilian side should be looked at, and see if there is something there that may cause another blow-up down the line.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Esom – you said “Maybe The Administration needs to look at the underlying reasons behind the comments that were made. Also there is the fact that, right or wrong, that is how all of them feel about it. The comments weren’t retracted or denied. He apologized for making them, but notice that he didn’t try to say he or his subordinates didn’t say them nor did he say he didn’t mean what he said.”

        Great point and I agree 100% sir! How is weather down in the Peach State? Hotter than pig nuts up here in PA.

    • Common Man says:

      Got some questions and comments about the whole thing;

      -What will McChrystal do now…was he doing a great job…will he be part of the Afgan team or come home…is his career over for all practical purposes…who will replace Petraeus..

      obama should not have replaced him, he should have repremanded him privately, reafirmed that obama was the boss, the rules would be followed and if it happened again he would sh*t can his ass for insubordination. That is what a true leader would do provided the subordinate was a worthy and accomplished manager.

      Now McChrystal should have kept his mouth shut…hell he knows better, but that is not how one deals with a valuable employee/manager.

      obama has further demonstrated his absolute incompetence…but what else would be expect from the likes of him???

      CM

    • from American Thinker

      Was McChrystal set-up to be smeared?
      Ann Kane
      NBC’s Brian Williams covered President Obama’s smackdown speech in the Rose Garden yesterday calling the McChrystal affair “a crisis” to add to the crisis in the Gulf. Absurd. There is no comparison. High level flaps happen all the time, and they don’t decimate the landscape.

      This leads us to conjecture about the hidden agenda of the mainstream press and Rolling Stone Magazine. The way the mainstream media spun the remarks of McChrystal’s team has some in the blogosphere speculating that the Left set out to smear the general and cause him to lose his job.

      Details are scant about who said what to whom, and how the magazine got access to the highest command unit in Afghanistan. Here’s a post from Larry Johnson’s blog, No Quarter:

      This was a set up of General McChrystal. While I’m not a personal friend, I worked under his command for several years and know that he frowned on sharing anything with the media. In fact, I’m certain he did not invite the Rolling Stone reporter into his lair.

      [snip]

      Here’s what I think happened. Rolling Stone asked someone at the White House or DOD for permission to do a piece on the counter insurgency progress in Afghanistan. McChrystal was told to let the reporter accompany them. He thought that the piece being done was on the counter insurgency. Boy, was he wrong.

      Who’s to say what really happened, but it could be a blessing in disguise for a well-loved general. Even a tough guy like Gen. McChrystal could use a break from a detached, uninterested Commander-in-Chief.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        So, like anyone is surprised here. The SDS of 1967 is running the country from the White House. They won, nobody seems to get that. Calling those people liberals is like calling Chairman Mao an agrarian reformer.

        • TexasChem says:

          I agree 100%.
          IMHO the current administration is full of Communists.NOT Socialists.Communists.

    • MoveOn.org Removes ‘General Betray Us’ Ad From Website

      By Noel Sheppard
      Thu, 06/24/2010 – 17:49 ET

      In a classic example of liberal hypocrisy, the far-left leaning, George Soros-funded group MoveOn.org has removed its controversial “General Betray Us” ad from its website.

      For those that have forgotten, shortly after General David Petraeus issued his report to Congress in September 2007 concerning the condition of the war in Iraq and the success of that March’s troop surge, MoveOn placed a full-page ad in the New York Times with the headline, “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?”

      This created quite a firestorm with media outlets on both sides of the aisle circling the wagons to either defend or berate both the Times and MoveOn.

      Now that President Obama has appointed Petraeus to replace the outgoing Gen. Stanley McChrystal to lead the war effort in Afghanistan, the folks on the far-left that castigated Petraeus when he worked for George W. Bush have to sing a different tune.

      With that in mind, the ad, which has been at MoveOn’s website for years, was unceremoniously removed on Wednesday as reported by our friends at Weasel Zippers:

      It was there the last time Google cache took a screen shot of it (June 18th), so it was scrubbed sometime between then and today. If you try the link now it goes to MoveOn’s default page.

      I guess MoveOn couldn’t possibly bash this General now that he’s working for Obama.

      To give readers an idea of the firestorm this created at the time, here are some NewsBusters articles published after this ad hit:

      *
      CBS and NBC Morning Shows Ignore Dem Embarrassment Over MoveOn Ad
      *
      Parroting MoveOn, Matthews Accuses Bush of ‘Betrayal’
      *
      Keith Olbermann Coined General ‘Betray Us’ Not MoveOn
      *
      Senator Hatch Lashes Out at MoveOn and ‘Nutroots’
      *
      MRC’s Bozell Slams NYT’s MoveOn.org ‘Betray Us’ Ad Discount
      *
      NYT Shares Plunge While It Deeply Discounts MoveOn’s Ad Space
      *
      NYT-MoveOn.org’s ‘Petraeus — Betray Us’ Ad Cited NYT’s Own Reporting Wrongly
      *
      NYT Rejected Advocacy Ads Like MoveOn’s From Conservative Groups
      *
      How Will Media Report Senate Vote Condemning MoveOn’s ‘Betray Us’ Ad?
      *
      Michael Kinsley Defends MoveOn’s ‘Betray Us’ Ad
      *
      Senate Condemnation of MoveOn’s ‘Betray Us’ Ad Receives Mixed Coverage
      *
      NYT’s Public Editor Says Paper Made Mistake Running MoveOn’s ‘Betray Us’ Ad
      *
      Russert Lets Hillary Off Hook Concerning MoveOn’s ‘Betray Us’ Ad
      *
      New York Times Admits Discount Rate for Moveon.Org (Blogosphere Roundup)
      *
      NYT Confesses: Mistake to Grant MoveOn.org Deep Discount

      With Petraeus now part of the Obama administration, it’s going to be fascinating watching all of the media members and outlets that supported MoveOn’s ad now backtrack and gush over the General they once despised.

      Stay tuned.

      Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/06/24/moveon-org-removes-general-betray-us-ad-website#ixzz0rsC4kuVx

    • sfkjsdfjkhsdkfsdflsdkfj says:

      BHO isn’t president. He isn’t eligible. He is a foreign usurper.

      He falls under both “foreign” AND “domestic”.

      The good general should have refused to take orders and resigned as soon as the coup/putsch took place.

  4. Morning All 🙂

    Briefly, I’m not fond of Obama being in charge of the military. USW said:

    what will stick is the quote that the President seemed intimidated by the military brass and he will seem as though he cannot control his commanders and has too thin of skin to be handling the job of Commander in Chief.

    Sometimes, the truth hurts! I wouldn’t want the current POTUS to be Commander of the Latrine Queens, much less the most powerful military in the world.

    G!

    • Mathius says:

      Doesn’t matter what you want. He is the commander in chief. If you think the truth will hurt, say it in private.

      I don’t remember who said it the other day, but someone posted a quote to the effect of “if you tell the truth, tell it with love, or both the message and the messenger will be rejected.” If he felt he was being sidelined (and perhaps he was, I don’t know), he should have met with Obama and offered up his complaints directly and sincerely and offered his resignation if he wasn’t satisfied – what he did helped no one.

      And accepting the resignation, I think, was a tactical error.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I don’t believe it was a tactical error in the least – I think it was exactly what needed to be done given the situation.

        Sure, Obama is taking some criticism now for removing the General at this point in time (as you and USW say) and also for having too thin a skin to be Commander in Chief (as G-Man says). But if he did not do precisely what he had done, all we would be hearing about is how Obama is too weak to be Commander in Chief as he obviously doesn’t have control over his own military.

        • You are correct Buck…whatever he does will be scrutinized and fault will be found in any direction he goes…sound familiar? If not please ask GWB…this is the kind of crap that needs to stop.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Precisely – the whole damned if you do damned if you dont’ attitude is ridiculous.

            The other night on the Daily Show, Steward played clips of all these Republicans criticizing Obama for his ‘shakedown’ of BP in ‘forcing’ the company to set up an escrow account. he then played clips of the SAME Republicans (only two days later, mind you) talking about how great it is that BP set up an escrow account to help those harmed by the spill. Where is the media (other than Stewart – sadly, one of the only real news sources left) calling them out on this garbage?

            I use the above as an example – not to say that the GOP is the only party guilty of this bull****.

        • Mathius says:

          I mostly agree with Terry, fault will be found no matter what (though I disagree with his W comparison – that guy deserved most of what he got and more). But I think that, from all accounts, McChrystal was an exceptional commander. Given this, Obama should have put the needs of the war effort first and kept the guy in place after quietly reading him the riot act.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            By all accounts McChrystal was an exceptional commander. But he is not the only exceptional commander. Also, so long as the current ‘plan’ (or lack thereof) stays in place anyway, not much is going to come of this decision.

            • Perhaps, but I don’t think high ranking generals are interchangeable cogs and they don’t grow on trees.

              Maybe there will be no disruptions, but if he’s doing a good job, then his performance in that capacity (and that capacity alone) should determine whether he keeps his job.

              I’ll put into terms you can understand. It’s like firing your top billing attorney because he is a jerk. You keep the jerk around and let him bill his hours because that is more important than your sensibilities.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                But you don’t make him partner in many instances.

              • You do if he bills high enough.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Nope – that’s why god created ‘of counsel’.

                Then again it depends on the meaning of ‘jerk’. If they’re a jerk to work with, you are correct and they will be partner. If they are a jerk towards clients (not necessarily jerk, but bad client relations), they will be kept around but often not made partner.

          • See, I believe that O is getting what he deserves as well…that is why the partisan garbage needs to stop. Can’t we all just get along!

        • I have to agree with you Buck-McChrystal messed up-I don’t think the Commander in Chief and his top general should be airing their disagreements in public-they need to show a united front to our enemies.

    • G…briefly, I am not too crazy for someone who has probably never even fired a BB gun being in charge of our military!

      • Mathius says:

        See, I like that.

        I don’t think the person who has his finger on the button should be a person with any propensity for physical violence. As long as he is guided by people with extensive military experience in the “how”, I am very happy to have someone like him in charge of the “when”. I like non-military people to decide when to engage in violence and military people to figure out how best to do it.

        • See, I don’t. He hasn’t a clue what it takes…oh well…surprise, surprise, surprise…we can agree to disagree here. For those older folks please don’t miss the Gomer Pyle impression!

        • I am mostly with Terry here, tho I recognize Matt’s point. I do not think that someone with a military background automatically ahs a proensity for violence, quite the opposite in many cases. Sometimes it is the passive aggressive person who has never been faced with hostility that hits the button fastest. Also, many who have not been in battle still think war is glorious. It is not. But there are times that it is necessary. This, too, is something that many who have never faced battle do not get. Avoiding violence when it should be used is just as dangerous as engaging in it when it should not be used.

  5. McCrystal had to be fired. if McCrystal felt as strongly as his words indicate, he should’ve quit and THEN made his statements public. I’d have a lot more respect for that; the idea that his men are at risk due to a restraining policy makes sense to me and had he quit first and made these points, the public at large (and enough of the media) would have been on his side and the pressure to get out of the god forsaken place might’ve worked.

    As it was, however, whether he was shooting from the lip or venting frustration, I’m surprised Obama permitted him to resign.

    The real issue is what McCrystal brought up (about restraining soldiers; fighting with one hand behind their back). Hopefully the media will seize on that and get our people back sooner rather than never. There’s no point to this fiasco anymore. There wasn’t 10 years ago and there’s a lot less of a reason now. Bombing from the air/sea would’ve been more than enough. The cost of these two wars in blood has been insane. For what? That punk that tried to set off a bomb in Times Square last month will be replaced by another punk some day. Us being in Afghanistan isn’t going to change that. And putting our people there with restraints seems idiotic.

    I’m a big Patton fan and McCrystal seems (from what you soldiers say) to be perhaps more popular. Patton wouldn’t have lasted 15 minutes with todays media/you tube, etc., much to our detriment.

    Still, there’s no denying the media is there, perched to bring up one career (the reporter) at the expense of the other (victim). The General f–ked up.

  6. Farmer who put up sign claiming Democrats are ‘party of parasites’ has taken $1 million in farm subsidies.

    Missouri farmer David Jungerman has raised the hackles of local residents with a politically-charged sign he’s placed on his “45-foot-long, semi-truck box trailer” on his farm. The trailer reads: “Are you a Producer or Parasite Democrats – Party of the Parasites.” Now, the Kansas City Star reveals that Jungerman has been the recipient of over a million dollars of federal farm subsidies since 1995:

    The Raytown farmer who posted a sign on a semi-truck trailer accusing Democrats of being the “Party of Parasites” received more than $1 million in federal crop subsidies since 1995. […]

    After a story about Jungerman’s trailer ran in Sunday’s Star, however, some readers called him a hypocrite for criticizing others for getting government help while taking government subsidies paid for by taxpayers.

    Jungerman said he put up the sign to protest people who pay no taxes, but, “Always have their hand out for whatever the government will give them” in social programs.

    Trying to defend himself, Jungerman told the press, “That’s just my money coming back to me. I pay a lot in taxes. I’m not a parasite.” He also said that the sign is aimed at national Democrats, not local Democrats, many of whom are “are old-fashioned Harry Truman Democrats,” who Jungerman says are “more conservative than many Republicans.” For the record, Harry Truman campaigned on establishing a single-payer health care system and famously vetoed tax cuts, making him much more progressive than many of today’s Democrats.

    ——————-
    AH AHHAHAH AAHAHAHAAH AHA

    Adding: God, I hate farm subsidies.
    ——————-

    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/06/23/farmer-democrats-parasites-subsidies/

    • Yea, I think if I was him I would shut up. Although if the government wants to control what farmers plant, where they plant them, and micro-manage the prices, maybe the farmers have a right to be paid. If I understand the system the government takes away their rights to manage their own economic situations. Perhaps one can feel they are owed the money because they are being forced to follow someone elses rules, while at the same time they would rather the government butt out. Or maybe this particular guy is just a hypocrite. Or maybe I misunderstand the system. Either way I don’t like subsidies.

    • Matt,

      You need to take that up with Hoover and FDR. FDR was the first to pay farmers to NOT grow anything. You want to fix it, then we have to move back to a true free market(I’m sure Obama/Pelosi/Reed are about to propose that, maybe in the next stimulus)

      http://www.fee.org/pdf/the-freeman/0604Folsom.pdf

      • Mathius says:

        The Democrats would love to end farm subsidies. It’s easy, when you think about it, to see why. Where are most of the farm? In red states. Since the Dems aren’t going to get those votes anyway, screw ’em. But it won’t happen because the Reps love bringing home the bacon even as they decry wasteful spending.

        • Matt,

          Reality is not what MSM tells you. Despite what the charts they put up on TV, Arkansas votes for Democrats
          around 90% of the time. One of our four rep’s is a repug, neither of our senators or the Gov. Huckabee
          was a rare Republican Gov. for our state. And they all cater to the farmers, to buy votes.

          BTW, did you ever travel to CA’s farm belt? How much revenue does it generate for your old state?

          “The Democrats would love to end farm subsidies.” Sorry, my friend, that a Bulldookey statement. Farm subsidies are used for income redistribution and vote buying. Neither party is likely to end that, but most especially the dem’s.

          • Mathius says:

            Fair ‘nough.. revising: Dems would love to end farm subsidies for crops grown in Red States.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Mathius,

            Most farmers, historically, have voted Democrat. Look at the Democratic Farm Labor Party in Minnesota for example.

            Look at how farmers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, and even Indiana to a large extent have voted in the past.

            For Presidential Elections, Indiana is usually Red, but Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois are usually blue. Ohio sometimes goes Red if the conservatives surrounding Cincinnati really come out and vote.

            Democrats buy the votes of these farmers by paying them to not grow anything.

            Any claim that Democrats want to end farm subsidies ANYWHERE is simply false.

            • Let’s be honest with each other.

              Niether Party really wants to end farm subsidies. They are BOTH vote buying Bastardoss’! 😉

    • Hypocrisy definately puts a damper on an otherwise good point. This guy needs to shut up AND stop taking tax money. VH’s point about government control of farming forcing farmers into taking the handouts, or just handouts to competitors forcing the farmers to take the money is well taken tho. A policy of non-acceptance of subsidies by individual farmers would do nothing more than ruin those farmers unless it was done unanimously, and was combined with violating other regulations and controls. This is one of the things that has to change at the government level.

    • Mathius et al.

      Something for everyone to consider.

      We so quickly condemn folks who take the subsidy while criticizing it as “hypocrite”.

      But let me ask you.

      What is someone to do who lives in a system where their government has made “handouts” essential to one’s survival if they oppose such handouts?

      I do not think it is “rational” to starve one’s self to death in order to oppose the corrupt system. In fact it would be an immoral act as it threatens the individuals ability to live a flourishing life.

  7. Mathius, from yesterday….

    Flag: Pure pragmatism can be selfish

    It is always selfish – it is a concept that reverses civilization as it is the single greatest corrupter of principles and the single greatest source of deception.

    – that is why you have to be pragmatic in service to (A) The Greater Good and (B) Freedom. Then you don’t wind up a genocidal pragmatist. Follow?

    Greater Good theory ALWAYS LEADS to genocide.

    Argument:

    (1) Mathius is the #1 source of knowing what is best for Mathius. This is a Natural Law.

    (2)Black Flag is infinitely inferior to knowing what is best for Mathius, as he is not Mathius. This is a Natural Law.

    (3) Therefore, the best one to determine what is “good” for Mathius is in fact Mathius, and not Black Flag.

    Greater Good theory cannot contradict Natural Law. In fact, the vast majority of Greater Good theorists agree with the above argument.

    But the Greater Good theory says that some other man will determine that good for Mathius in direct contradiction to Natural Law!

    Greater Good theorists are people who have utterly surrendered themselves to someone else. It is a theory that is completely “fear based”.

    They have to admit that another man can determine “good” without them. They surrender to someone else and place into hands of others all the power of who will determine their lives and probably their deaths.

    When this “Greater” man slaughters millions under this Greater Good theory, Greater Good theorists (who survive) shrug their shoulders and say “Opps, that was bad – we promise it will be better next time”.

    And that is the extent of their argument.

    They cannot derive an argument from Natural Law of Men other than “Might is Right” doctrine. – that is “He who can exercise the most violence determines the Good for all”

    This makes the ‘Greater Good Theory’ the root of the greatest evils done my man upon man.

    • No, flag. Bad! Bad pirate!

      An ant alone in nature will probably die, or at the very least, it will not accomplish much. A colony of ants working independently would die, or at the very least, they would not accomplish much. But put them all under the direction of a queen and have them work in tandem and they can accomplish so much more than the sum of their parts. This is natural law: 1 + 1 = 3.

      In ye olden times, it took a long time to produce a single automobile. Add in an assembly line with each person doing one part and suddenly, we can produce one car every 10 minutes. AMAZING! This is natural law: 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 100.

      But someone has to direct the madness. We do not self-organize very efficiently.

      But the Greater Good theory says that some other man will determine that good for Mathius in direct. Not quite. Greater Good theory says nothing at all on the subject of who directs. But where you’re wrong anyway is this: I do not have to know perfectly what is best for Flag to know that if Flag does X and Mathius does Y then Flag and Mathius both get more. The assembly line boss doesn’t have to know perfectly who should be doing the passenger side and who should be driver side doors to know that if he puts on person on each station, he’ll end up with a better result than if he just let’s everyone decide for themselves.

      And, yet again, genocide only occurs when you disregard individual rights to such an extent that you are nearly 100% greater good and 0% freedom. I feel I have been very clear on this point: you have to get the mixture right or it will blow up in your face.

      • Mathius,

        As usual, you create arguments that have nothing to do with the subject, in an attempt to apply it to another argument that does not exist – believing you have created a return argument!

        An ant alone in nature will probably die, or at the very least, it will not accomplish much.

        Cooperation with people is a voluntary action which all participants engaging in action to their mutual benefit. If such cooperation provides a negative benefit to you, you will not cooperate!

        Enslavement is forcing people to act against their own benefit and for your benefit – the essence of “Greater Good” theory.

        You cannot declare cooperation where you need FORCE to create.

        But someone has to direct the madness. We do not self-organize very efficiently.

        Totally False!

        Humans organize incredibly effectively! In fact, we organize better than any life form in the known universe!

        If we didn’t we could not have been the dominate species of the planet.

        But the Greater Good theory says that some other man will determine that good for Mathius in direct. Not quite. Greater Good theory says nothing at all on the subject of who directs.

        Of course it does!

        It requires that someone else other than the individual MUST make this determination, or else “Greater Good” cannot be enforced.

        But where you’re wrong anyway is this: I do not have to know perfectly what is best for Flag to know that if Flag does X and Mathius does Y then Flag and Mathius both get more.

        Yes, you MUST!

        How can you make such a measure??

        You are comparing what “is best for BF” before and after — but you cannot make this determination independent of BF!! – “Greater Good” theory requires that you act upon people who do not know.

        But you cannot know what is good for them without engaging them independently!.

        Therefore, you CANNOT know that “Good” for them.

        The assembly line boss doesn’t have to know perfectly who should be doing the passenger side and who should be driver side doors to know that if he puts on person on each station, he’ll end up with a better result than if he just let’s everyone decide for themselves.

        This is a job – where one person is buying money and another is buying effort. The trade exists under a definition and description of tasks. The voluntary and mutual purchases are to the benefit of each.

        This is NOT an example at all of “Greater Good” – you have provided a false argument.

        —–
        Again, as Mathius more then capably provided, the “Greater Good” theorists cannot create an argument that does not require violence upon the People to create “their” warped sense of Good.

        • Above correction:
          Greater Good” theory requires that you act upon people who do not know you nor you them.

        • Of course you can declare cooperation. Does it make a difference if the line worker wants to be there as long as he does his job? Nope. The only one who notices is him and he won’t mind once his check comes in for more than he would have been able to make on his own since he is getting a piece of a larger pie.

          • Mathius,

            Keep up, son!

            Working for a living is cooperation – a voluntary trade of money for effort.

            The worker wants to be there, because that is where he gets money to trade for other goods he wants. He has free choice.

            An employee is a person with a short time preference – they want stuff NOW, and are not willing to wait for the future. That is why they trade their effort for money NOW.

            An entrepreneur or business owner or investor is a person with a long time preference, they are willing to wait for a larger FUTURE gain, and not draw consumption today.

            An employee gets his pie today. If he wants a larger pie in the future, he has to forgo taking the pie today.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        “This is natural law: 1 + 1 = 3.”

        Since you show such a completely bizzare and total lack of understanding of Natural Law with the above statement, it is painfully obvious to me why you simply don’t get it when BF and I (and others) attempt to explain it to you.

        If you persist in the belief that 1+1 = 3, then it is clear that your perception of reality does not line up with the perception of reality of a good majority of people 🙂

    • BF & Mathius

      Pragmatism is a Selfless not selfish belief system.

      As are all altruistic based systems.

      Selfless = Without self.

      In other words, there is no fundamental moral code, no personal identity that supports ego and self.

  8. Mathius, from yesterday.

    I am very consistent internally it’s you who, looking in from the outside believe that I must apply absolutist logic. As I believe no such thing, there are no contradictions.

    A complete falsehood!

    I have been very specific in trying to get you to disclose your core premise and principle. You have yet to provide this.

    I have often stated my operative argument style.

    I cannot prove you right or wrong using my beliefs. There exists no consistent reasoning the proves MY beliefs superior to yours.

    I prove you right or wrong using your beliefs. The reason exists that if you contradict yourself, either your argument or your principles are in serious error.

    In all your days at SUFA, you have yet to avoid contradicting your own principles (to the degree you have provided them)

    • Mathius says:

      A complete falsehood. (see? I can say this too – it’s kind of fun, actually)

      The reason exists that if you contradict yourself, either your argument or your principles are in serious error. See, this is where you slip – again. You consider that a contradiction is a problem, but since my whole logical framework is designed to allow for contradicting forces, there is no issue. You are still using external and incompatible ideology to analyze my views.

      Think of it this way:

      Sub FlagLogic()
      Dim X as action
      If X != Freedom then
      return False
      else
      return True
      endif
      End Sub

      Sub LiberalLogic()
      On Error Goto ErrorHandler
      Dim X as action
      Dim Y as Freedom-Duty-Ratio //defined by user (ie .4 would value freedom at 4:6 vs Duty)
      if f(X,Y) > d(X,1-Y) then
      return FlagLogic(X)
      endif
      if f(X,Y) < d(X,1-Y) then
      return not(FlagLogic(X))
      endif
      return false
      End Sub

      f(x,y)
      Returns the value to freedom of specific action and weights it against y. For example, something that takes away your right to life would return a very high coefficient and then that would be multiplied by the weighting. Something that deprives you of a penny that you won't notice would return a low coefficient to be multiplied by the weighting.
      end

      g(x,y)
      Returns the value to society (your duty) of a specific action and weights it against y. For example, something that would cause the destruction of the economy (ie, running 30x leverage on unstable MBS's) would return a high coefficient. Something that has little or no tangible effect on society (ie opting to paint your house an ugly color) would return a very low coefficient.
      end

      ErrorHandler
      return your best guess
      end

      You're a computer. That's probably clearer to you.

      • It’s not clearer to me but I get it 🙂 -I just think you need to change your ratio.

        • Mathius says:

          I’d say I set Y at approximately .55.

          Some estimates:
          Black Flag: 1.0
          Dread Pirate Mathius: .998
          V.H.: .65
          Buck: .55
          Ray: .49
          PeterB: .8
          USW: .75
          Cyndi (the valley girl): .85
          D13: .65

          I realize some of those numbers are pretty close, but there’s a big difference between .55 and .65 when you look at them in terms of ratios.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            And we agree again. Y = .55

            Its pretty obvious if you ask me.

            Now what are we talking about here? I’m not a robot!

          • You think Ray sets freedom lower than you-I don’t think so-could be wrong but I doubt it.

            • Mathius says:

              Maybe he’ll weigh in – I just couldn’t stop myself from putting someone to my left.

              Adding,
              Obama: .5
              Beck: .9
              Coulter: .91
              Pelosi: .45
              Bob Cesca: .4
              Lenin: 0.0
              My boss: .85
              My coworker: .86

              • .65 seems low to me. But I do see your reasoning for the differences you have placed on the different people on this blog, except for Ray that is. Curious, where would you place JAC and Anita?

              • Mathius says:

                .65 seems low, but think of it in terms of an election result. 65:35 is a blowout. This would require a fairly substantial benefit to society and a relatively minor cost to freedom for you to approve.

                If you look at a .8, that’s a 4:1 weighting.. that’s pretty extreme. That said:

                Anita: .8
                JAC: .65, maybe .7? You’d have to ask him, I’m not really sure.. What do you think?

              • Based on your rating of everyone else I would have to put JAC at a .85.

              • Mathius says:

                I would really love to see all the regulars self-reported ratios, then stack them up and see where everyone falls. I think that would be awesome. SUFA average is probably somewhere around .7 but it would be great to know for real.

              • Based on your other ratings I would say I am around .94 or .95. I think you rated Coulter and DPM too high tho. 🙂

              • I think the bigger concern on my side of this discussion is that I wouldn’t rate Matt as a .55, more like a .25-Sorry Matt 🙂

              • I will wear my .8 rating with pride.

                If I’m .8 then I demand VH get a higher rating than me, like .85 . Therefore JAC, D13, and Peter need to be .9

                What about Kathy and Judy? We’ll take them in the .8s

                BO & G-man(see G they left you out again) .9 ! 🙂

              • Give me a .9 or so.

                I am at least as far a Beck

      • Mathius

        Thus, you admit your beliefs, arguments and reasoning is irrational.

        • Mathius says:

          I admit no such thing. Where do I admit this?

          I forgot to add this to the above subroutine:

          if UserNamer = “Nancy Pelosi” then
          return (-1)^.5
          Endif

          • Mathius,

            Contradictions cannot exist in the Universe.

            You admit your belief system is infused with contradictions.

            Thus, you admit your arguments MUST BE irrational (that is, not in this Universe).

            • Mathius says:

              I do not define a contradiction as a problem. You do. You cannot use your beliefs as a basis to fault the internal workings of my system.

              And there are no contradictions, just contradicting forces, the universe allows for contradicting forces.

              • Mathius

                I do not define a contradiction as a problem

                Therefore, you are irrational.

                There are contradicting forces

                No, there are not – contradictions cannot exist in reality – period. This is the #1 Law of Nature.

                There are conflicting forces (not contradictory forces) in the Universe where both forces are exist in reality.

                Conflict exists when there are two solutions to a problem where only one solution is necessary.

                This is completely different from “Contradiction” which where one thing is claimed to be both true and false at the same time.

              • Mathius says:

                I can’t remember, was Schrodinger’s cat alive or dead…?

                And, while we’re at it, is light a particle or a wave?

                Incidentally, if matter cannot be created or destroyed, how do we account for “virtual particles”?

                What happens if virtual particles occur at the edge of a black hole and one piece falls over the event horizon but the other escapes?

                While we’re on the subject, what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

                Is God so powerful he can create a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it?

              • Mathius,

                I can’t remember, was Schrodinger’s cat alive or dead…?

                It was dead.

                Do not try to get into Quantum Mechanics.

                The knowledge of whether the cat was dead or alive cannot be determined UNTIL you look – but the Cat’s STATE was well defined before than.

                Because you could not act upon the knowledge UNTIL you get the knowledge, you whether you act as if the cat is alive or if the cat is dead would be an act of PROBABILITY.

                For example, the cards in poker are shuffled and are “what they are” and will not change.

                The hand is played out and bets are made based on the PROBABILITY of what card may turn up.

                But your bet does NOT make the card that turns up. It was already there – you simply have no knowledge of what card it is.

                And, while we’re at it, is light a particle or a wave?

                Both. Neither of these conditions invalidates the other.

                Incidentally, if matter cannot be created or destroyed, how do we account for “virtual particles”?

                They exist and disappear faster than anything in the Universe can measure them – therefore have no effect whatsoever on the thermodynamic law.

                What happens if virtual particles occur at the edge of a black hole and one piece falls over the event horizon but the other escapes?

                Before gravity particle can interact with the virtual particle, it is gone OR the gravity particle introduces sufficient energy into that region of space/time that turns that energy into a non-virtual particle and becomes matter.

                Both conditions meet the law of thermodynamics

                While we’re on the subject, what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

                This is a linguistic contradiction, akin to saying:

                What color is the wall that is both black and white at the same time?

                …and thus, is -by definition- nonsense. (makes “no sense”)

                Is God so powerful he can create a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it?

                Another linguistic contradiction. Just because you introduce a different actor (God) does not remove the nonsense.

              • Mathius says:

                If a tree falls in the forest and it crushes a mime, does anyone care?

              • Mathius,

                Perhaps the mime’s wife and child….

              • Mathius says:

                Now you’re just being ridiculous..

              • Mathius,

                Mime’s do not marry?

              • Mathius says:

                Of course not. 😛

  9. In an email form Human Events:

    40l(k)/IRA Nationalization Quietly Moves Forward

    “The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort.”

    They want to “get” people to invest their 401k’s and IRA’s into annuities, or likely into U.S. T-Bonds, which are in the biggest overvalued bubble the world has ever seen.

    They are doing this because they will have $2 Trillion Dollars in bonds to sell this year, and foreign buying is drying up. China doesn’t want them…. Do you?

    Who’s behind it?

    The White House and a powerful network of Congressional activists, and The highly-influential Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. They are engineering a new regulatory and tax-incentive. The purpose is to herd and ultimately force Americans to convert their 40l(k)s and IRAs into government-directed retirement accounts.

    The 40l(k)/IRA de-privatization plan is the brain-child of Teresa Ghilarducci (Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis – SCEPA), who is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

    The extreme tactics used to ram nationalized health care down the country’s throat are a blueprint for what could be the biggest asset grab in history.

    This is exactly what took place in Argentina. Yes, Argentina was once a powerful nation; the 3rd wealthiest nation until the 20th Century.

    Another reason as to why our government needs to nationalize retirement accounts…

    Is reported by the New York Times, “This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, this important threshold was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office.” The trickle of red ink will soon become a flood under the pressure of 78 million retiring Baby Boomers…. Less money going into the system!

    Who will you need to Trust in the Handling of your money?

    The March 9 edition of Business Week notes that new federal regulations designed to “promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams” would help drive cash into government-controlled entities such as American International Group (AIG), which was bailed out to the tune of $182.3 billion.

    You Do Trust AIG.. right?

    The Real Question Is..

    Is there a safe haven for retirement accounts?

    Tangible Gold & Silver.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @Cyndi – a big no thanks from me. Maybe my money is safer in the freezer or a mattress.

      • Maybe?? LOL!

        Better to take those FRN fiatscos and convert them to gold and silver coins first. Do it quick. Time is running out.

        • No it’s not, Cyndi. Time keeps on ticking, ticking, into the future..

          • Mathius,

            And those FRN’s get more worthless, worthless, worthless in the future….

            • Mathius says:

              “worth less” not “worthless.” Such is the nature of inflation. Eventually they will have to re-center the currency. But that shouldn’t matter as I plan to beat inflation with my investments in perpetuity. The value of a single dollar is actually quite irrelevant – if I have 10 times as many and they’re worth 1/10th as much, I have the same amount of wealth.

              • Mathius,

                Worth less to the point of “worthless”. That will happen – no fiat currency has avoided turning into toilet paper.

                You perhaps avoid the worthless nature of fiat currency by investing in non-fiat systems – however, you avail yourself to the same forces you hate – the marketplace.

                There exists no such thing as a free lunch.

                I expect your success in investing will match your acumen with economics.

      • Ray,

        Go here:
        http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl

        Do not ignore the erosion by inflation. If you were the fellow in 1960 who put his $100 in a mattress, it is now worth a staggering:

        $13.70.

        It lost 86% of its value.

    • Meh.

      I have one gold coin. I think it’s a good investment and a small insurance policy against a total collapse that I don’t believe is coming. That’s all I need. The rest goes into the ol’ 401k invested in high risk long term growth funds at ING. I made 48% last year and am pretty much flat this year so far. I’m ok with that. I don’t have to retire for another 40 years, so the ups and downs don’t bother me at this stage.

      • A man who holds an 401k is saying:

        I believe and trust the government to protect my money for my future

      • Mathius,

        What do you think ONE gold coin will do for you in a total collapse?

        • Help him with his decisions!

        • Mathius says:

          One gold coin will buy me a new beginning after a collapse. If we accept the educated guess of my boss that an oz of gold is actually worth about 7,000 of today’s dollars in buying power in the event of a total collapse of the dollar, then it should be quite sufficient to give me time to get on my feet in the new world order. Remember, my debts (mortgage, car) will have inflated to nothingness since they’re dollar denominated (not that anyone would be able to collect anyway) and there are no taxes. $7,000 goes a long ways in this environment where almost everyone has had almost all of their wealth destroyed. I may opt to buy one more coin in a few years (I especially like how they can just be passed down w/o estate taxes), but one should be sufficient for now.

          But then again, no collapse is coming, so it’s just a shiny object. I like shiny objects..

          • Mathius,

            One gold coin will buy you a nice suit and a pair of shoes. I hope that is all you need to get “a new start”.

            Your boss makes a number fundamental errors in his premises regarding gold price vs. value.

            • Mathius says:

              Enlighten me.. I’ll take your comment to him and see what he thinks.

              • Mathius,

                Gold is not a currency.

                There is NO central bank that holds gold that “floats” the price of gold as a measure of its reserves.

                For example, Fort Knox gold is set at $42/oz.

                We do not say “if silver was money, the amount of silver in Fort Knox would make silver’s price really $45,500/oz.”

          • Buck the Wala says:

            They can only be passed down without estate taxes if either:

            1) No estate taxes are due OR
            2) You (or your heirs) do not disclose that you have said coin

            And I would never advise you to do such a thing…

            • Buck,

              He just has to do a death bed gift. No transaction fee nor paper trail.

              If the kids simply said “Dad gave it to me last year” – its a done deal.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Gifts causa mortis are to be included in the estate for determining taxes due. And again, I would never advise Mathius’ kids to say such a thing.

              • Mathius says:

                You’re both confused. You see, I would transfer ownership to my children long before my death. But I would just keep it in my safe. So it’s already theirs when the time comes – they’ll just gain access to it.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                kudos.

              • Mathius says:

                Being my father’s son has it’s advantages…

              • Buck the Wala says:

                just make sure if gold ever skyrockets you gift the gold over a period of years to avoid any gift tax implications. 🙂

        • Considering the way value is measured, that of scarcity and relative demand, etc., a single gold coin may be quite valuable due to the large number of people without gold coins. Also, a gold coin in combination with skills or other assets, like seeds, could do nicely as well. If I had the means I would get more than one. With my current means, even one is not realistic, so I depend on my brains and brawn. Before I buy into gold I will likely purchase equipment and seeds. Just sayin, one coin will still put him ahead of the average schmo…

          • Jon,

            Indeed, a well-dressed man will probably get the job vs. a poorly dressed one all other things being equal.

          • Mathius says:

            I’d say one coin should be sufficient to place me in the 90th percentile in terms of wealth. A second coin would probably put me in the 99th percentile and make the difference between “well off” and “loaded.”

            They say everyone should have a box (not sure how many that is – I think 50) of silver coins for each member of their family and store wealth in gold. But who knows?

            • Mathius,

              You over-estimate your personal percentages. Frankly, you will not be materially better off then your neighbor with merely a coin or two.

              If you bought the coin to preserve through difficult times, I would suggest you sell it and buy goods and long term food.

              If you bought it to mark your cards in a poker game, it will be very good for that.

              Silver coins: again, in the midst of “difficulties” no one will determine a “silver” coin from a “lead” coin. They will treat all coins as lead.

      • Argentina, Matt.

        Don’t listen to the warnings. No skin of my back.

        Enjoy the Hope-N-Change you voted for.

      • Whippersnapper!

      • You are quite humorous though (I assume this post was a joke, right) so maybe you could do standup when all hell breaks loose?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I will be the first (and probably only on this site) to say — smart man! Gotta kick in the money to that ‘ole 401(k) each and every year.

        Forget these doomsayers…keep saving for that eventual retirement 🙂

        • Mathius says:

          Why is it that you’re the only one on this site who ever agrees with me?

          Adding, I forgot to mention that my employer matches my contributions, so that drives the implied returns through the roof. Even if I end the year flat, I get a 100% return.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Single best thing about 401(k) — its all in the employer match!

          • Mathius, Buck:

            Both of your calculations are bizarre because you fail to account for the “unseen”.

            Your employer is NOT matching your contribution!

            He is taking part of your wage and applying it to your contribution.

            You both are mystified by slight of hand.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Hey, he pulled a rabbit out of that hat!!! Awesome!

              You seem to be arguing that my base salary would be higher if there was no such thing as employer match (or no such thing as a 401k). Somehow I’m not too positive of that.

              • Buck,

                The fact is: your total compensation has to be higher by the mere fact he is giving you money.

                You are fooled by the slight of hand between what you get to take home and what your compensation actually is for your work.

                This slight of hand is significantly reduced when you are an independent consultant, so often I get to witness the employees I work with befuddled about “why I get paid so much?”

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I still believe you are wrong on this score.

              • Buck,

                Either he paid it for your benefit or he did not pay it for your benefit.

                He paid, and you benefited.

                Therefore, by definition it is compensation.

                Or do you believe your employer is “gifting” this to you?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Ok, in the sense you are using the phrase, then yes, it is part of your overall ‘compensation’.

                But if you are trying to make the argument that, absent a 401(k) and employer contribution, I would still be getting the overall same amount from my employer (as it currently stands through salary + contribution to 401k) then I would say you are mistaken.

            • Mathius says:

              I’m pretty confident that that is not the case for me. They’re unlikely to give me more if they gave me fewer benefits – they’d just give me fewer benefits.

              And is the argument that, if I don’t contribute the maximum that I’m somehow giving up my earned income?

              • Mathius,

                If your employer said:
                “Any one who pushes this button 10x will get a dollar”.

                If you push it 10x, and get paid, would you say this is a “gift” or compensation?

                If you push it 9x, and do not get paid, would you say you are “giving up earned income”? — because the next comment would be “well, obviously you didn’t earn it”.

    • What I would like to know, is whay they think they can just “nationalize” my money. IT IS MINE. Should this come to pass I will withdraw every dime from mine and invst it myself.

      That would be a better option than handing it to our loving and beneficient Government.

      • Cyndi P says:

        They can do it because they know that most people believe like Matthius and Buck. Forty some percent of sheeple still believe in the Teleprompter Jesus. Of course they can get away with it.

        Most of the peasants haven’t stopped to think WHY the gov wants us to buy its debt. The forgeigners that have been buying are wising up to the game. They aren’t brainwashed into believing the US gov. is anything but corrupt. So they’re keeping their money out of USTs. The coming police state needs money. The American middle class is still high on Hopium and are still expecting their Change. Like stealing candy from a baby.

        Those of you who take the threat seriously might want to pay daily visits to http://www.zerohedge.com

      • Esom,

        IT IS MINE.

        No it is NOT!

        Please understand your contract.

        They are NOT the custodian of your money. You sold your money to them for a contract that says they will pay you a sum in excess at a point in the future

        You sold money and bought a contract.

        They are reneging on the contract.

        Good luck in getting the contract enforced by the courts who are part of the contracting party (the government) that just defaulted.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        All Federal Reserve Notes are the PROPERTY OF……

        ……………….. DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!! …………
        ……………………………………………..

        The FEDERAL RESERVE BANK!

        If you think that “your” money is actually yours, they fooled you good!

  10. People Trust Facebook and Google More Than They Trust The Media
    By Noel Sheppard
    Thu, 06/24/2010 – 11:36 ET

    A new study found significantly more people trust tech giants Apple, Google, and Microsoft than they do traditional media.

    Adding insult to injury, the relatively new social networking website Facebook is even more trusted than the media which 88 percent of respondents said they had little to no trust for.

    As reported last week, “A Zogby Interactive survey of U.S. adults found that among Apple, Microsoft and Google, 49% had trust in each of these brands. Twitter and Facebook were rated much more poorly, with trust levels of 8% and 13% respectively.”

    And here’s the marvelous punch line (h/t NBer pvoce):

    (Sorry, chart would not copy, basic rundown of % that gave them high trust ratings)

    Apple 49%
    Google 49%
    Microsoft 49%
    Facebook 13%
    MSM & Twitter 8%

    All of these companies except Twitter were trusted more than traditional media’s 8%.

    America’s news outlets should be so proud that a website created a few years ago by a college student looking to meet girls is more trusted than they are.

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/06/24/people-trust-facebook-and-google-more-they-trust-media#ixzz0rneNk600

    • MRC Study: Media Blackout of Supreme Court ‘Battle’

      By Rich Noyes
      Thu, 06/24/2010 – 10:32 ET

      When President Obama picked Elena Kagan to replace Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the broadcast networks referred to the upcoming Senate confirmation process as “contentious” a “meat grinder” and a “battle,” warning Kagan was “in for a fight.”

      But a Media Research Center analysis of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts in the six weeks since Kagan was nominated shows the broadcast networks have failed to cover the “fight,” and have ignored most of the controversies that could lead to suspenseful hearings next week.

      MRC analysts found that the broadcast network evening newscasts aired just eleven stories about Kagan since her May 10 nomination (six on CBS, three on ABC and two on NBC), plus another three brief items read by the anchor. All but one of those stories appeared during the first week after Kagan’s selection; only the CBS Evening News, in a June 3 report, has bothered to cover any of the thousands of pages of Kagan documents released in recent weeks.
      Story Continues Below Ad ↓

      Both CNN and FNC provided substantially more coverage of Kagan during their 6pm ET news programs (10 full stories on CNN’s The Situation Room, 11 on FNC’s Special Report) and offered in-depth coverage of Kagan controversies that the broadcast networks glossed over.

      The NBC Nightly News hasn’t mentioned Kagan since she met with senators on May 12; ABC’s World News hasn’t said a word about Kagan since May 16. For its part, the CBS Evening News aired one item on Kagan on June 3 aimed at bolstering the nominee against complaints from the Left that she isn’t liberal enough:

      CBS’s JAN CRAWFORD: Elena Kagan has kept her cards so close to the vest that some on the left have worried she’s too moderate….But documents buried in Thurgood Marshall’s papers in the Library of Congress show that, as a young lawyer, Kagan stood shoulder to shoulder with the liberal left, including on the most controversial issue Supreme Court nominees ever confront: abortion.

      Crawford did acknowledge Kagan’s overt liberalism might wind up hurting her nomination: “While that may encourage liberals, it’s going to give Republicans a lot more ammunition to fight against her.” But neither CBS nor the other broadcast networks offered a follow-up, even as thousands of documents from Kagan’s stint in the Clinton White House were revealed.

      Networks Trumpeted Opposition to Roberts and Alito

      The networks’ disinterested approach to this year’s Supreme Court “battle” is at odds with how they covered the run-up to the hearings of the last two Republican nominees, when ABC, CBS and NBC all ran multiple stories in the weeks before each set of hearings began.

      Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/rich-noyes/2010/06/24/mrc-study-media-blackout-supreme-court-battle#ixzz0rngTf267

      • That is because they have the Liberal person they want to be in. They believe, most likely correctly, that she will win nomination anyway. Why should they CARE about the reporting of the Congressional hearings?

        They only care when it’s someone they DO NOT want.

  11. American John Isner Wins Longest Match in Tennis History at Wimbledon

    Published June 24, 2010

    | Associated Press

    June 24: American John Isner throws his arms up in triumph as he collapses to the ground after defeating France’s Nicolas Mahut in their epic 11-hour singles match at Wimbledon — the longest match in tennis history.

    WIMBLEDON, England — John Isner won the longest match in tennis history Thursday, taking the fifth set against Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in an epic struggle that stretched over three days and 11 hours.

    The American closed out the victory with a backhand passing shot, then collapsed to his back as he tossed his racket in jubilation and relief.

    The final score of the first-round match read: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68.

    “When you come out and play a match like this, in an atmosphere like this, you don’t feel tired really out there,” Isner said, “even though that’s exactly what we both were.”

    The match totaled 183 games and lasted 11 hours, 5 minutes over three days. The fifth set alone lasted 8 hours, 11 minutes.

  12. Spain: A Political Risk Analysis
    From the desk of Soeren Kern on Fri, 2010-06-11 17:44
    spanish-chronicles.jpg
    1. Introduction

    Spain is in the throes of the worst economic crisis in its recent history. Reeling from the collapse of a debt-driven construction boom, Spain entered recession in the second quarter of 2008 and posted six consecutive quarters of negative growth. Although the economy grew by 0.1 percent during the first quarter of 2010, Spain’s growth prospects are poor and any pick-up could be short lived.

    Spanish GDP fell 3.6 percent in 2009, and a package of harsh austerity measures announced since then will undermine any economic recovery during the foreseeable future. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says there will be no positive GDP growth in Spain until 2011, at which point it will still be below 1 percent. The Spanish Finance Ministry on May 20 said it now predicts a 0.3 percent contraction in 2010. It also cut the forecast for Spanish growth in 2011 to 1.3 percent from 1.8 percent.

    Meanwhile, Spain now has the highest unemployment rate in the European Union. More than 20 percent of working-age Spaniards (or 4.6 million people) were without a job during the first quarter of 2010. That compares with an average rate of 10 percent among the 16 countries that use the euro currency. Persistently high unemployment presents an obvious threat to political stability in Spain.

    As unemployment soars, Spain is also facing an exploding budget deficit. The collapse of the labor market, which has resulted in a steep drop in tax collections, and the Socialist government’s spendthrift policy response of increasing unproductive public sector stimulus spending skyrocketed the deficit to 11.4 percent of GDP in 2009 (or five times higher than in 2008).

    The combination of negative GDP growth, rising unemployment, and a high deficit has raised concerns about the sustainability of Spain’s finances. Indeed, two international ratings agencies, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s, have recently lowered Spain’s long-term sovereign credit rating, citing the risk of a prolonged period of below-par economic growth and persistently high fiscal deficits.

    The downgrades will make it more expensive for Spain to finance its debt, and increase concerns over Spain’s overall creditworthiness. Indeed, investors anxious that a debt crisis in Greece could create a domino effect in Spain are already demanding higher interest rates to hold Spanish debt.

    Although Spain’s problems have been known for years, concerns about the Spanish economy were thrust into the international spotlight in January 2010, when noted New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini said Spain posed a major threat to the stability of the European single currency. Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Roubini warned: “If Greece goes under, that’s a problem for the eurozone. If Spain goes under, it’s a disaster.”

    A debt crisis in Spain would make the problems in Greece look tame by comparison. At €1.3 trillion, the Spanish economy is more than four times the size of Greece’s. (While Greece represents about 2.5 percent of eurozone GDP, Spain accounts for about 11.5 percent.) Spain is also the fourth-largest economy in the 16-nation euro zone, the eighth-largest in the OECD, and the tenth-largest in the world. Many analysts believe Spain is simply too big to be bailed out, and that a Spanish default would almost certainly lead to the breakup of the euro zone.

    Fearing for the future of the euro, the European Union and the IMF have put intense pressure on Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to implement a series of austerity measures aimed at bringing the public deficit down to a eurozone limit of three percent of GDP.

    The IMF, for example, has called for “urgent” labor and banking reforms in Spain. “Spain’s economy needs far-reaching and comprehensive reforms,” the IMF said in a May 24 report. The IMF described the challenges facing Spain as “severe,” citing a “dysfunctional labor market, the deflating property bubble, a large fiscal deficit, heavy private-sector and external indebtedness, anaemic productivity growth, weak competitiveness, and a banking sector with pockets of weakness.”

    But the prospect of draconian cuts in government spending will not sit well with Spanish voters, and growing resistance to reform will pose a continuing threat to the stability of the Zapatero government. In a preview of things to come, the government barely averted collapse on May 27 when the Spanish parliament narrowly passed a €15 billion austerity package with a one-vote majority. A defeat of the bill would have forced new elections and thrown Spanish markets further into instability.

    Although Zapatero’s spending cuts have been met with praise from abroad, Spanish trade unions are now calling for nationwide strikes. In a climate of rising social tension, it remains unclear whether the Zapatero government will risk its own survival by actually following through with its pledges to cut government spending. Either way, Spain is facing a prolonged period of economic, social and political instability.

    http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4458

    More at link

  13. SK Trynosky Sr. says:

    A gun and ammunition and knowledge of how to use it is the cheapest insurance policy around. I love the non hybrid seeds commercials on the radio. After the collapse, when you are doing your damnedest to learn how to farm, I wait for the harvest and take it, proving for once and all, the truth and accuracy of Chairman Mao’s comment from the little red book I used to own, “The only real power comes from the barrel of a gun”. Heh, heh, heh.

    • I already know how to farm. And shoot. 🙂
      Anyone coming to steal my harvest instead of earning a portion or trading for it will become more compost for my cornfield.

      • Jon

        Meat will ruin your compost.

        Better to use them for bait to catch fur bearing critters. Make coats or blankets from the critters.

        🙂

        • Perhaps. I figure if fish works as a compost for high carbon/nitrogen consuming plants like corn, then tresspassers will do ok too.

          The bait thing is a good idea tho, I will definately need fur for the winter, especially if I have to move north to avoid scrutiny…

          😀

      • SK Trynosky Sr says:

        See, that’s good, then you will get to be the Duke of the new province next door to mine as we bring back feudalism. After all, if you are going to do away with freedom, why not all the way?

        What was that HG Wells based movie from the thirties? “Things to Come”. I always liked the Boss character. Sort of like a pre Obama, Obama.

  14. Mathius

    What is this thing DUTY?

    Where does DUTY come from?

    What is its philosophical construct, defense or support for DUTY?

    • What is this thing DUTY? Duty is your moral obligation in service to others. You could say you have a duty to provide for your family. You could argue you have a duty to protect your country. And I would argue that you have a duty to the less fortunate to ensure that they have the barest necessities of life (food, sanitary conditions, shelter, heat (if necessary), water, access to medical care, etc). Some liberals take this much further than I do – I just seem like a radical because you are all so far to the right.

      Where does it come from? It comes from the cockles of your heart. Maybe in the liver. Maybe even in the colon. We don’t know.

      What is its philosophical construct, defense or support for DUTY? There is no defense or support for it, neither is there any viable argument against it. It is a fundamental pillar and premise of the worldview advocated by liberals. Whereas you would say freedom is the only premise, we embrace both freedom and duty and try to find the sweet-spot between them (note that I think many liberals have lost their minds in their determination of just where this is, but that is beside the point).

      • Dread Pirate sir. Whilst I agree I have a duty to my family and Nation. I have absolutely NO duty to care for those less unfortunate than I.

        The Constitution decrees the OPPORTUNITY to succeed, not the GUARANTEE of success. Of course, anyone less fortunate or poorer than me is poor indeed!

        But there are food banks and other things, at least in my State, to keep anyone from starving or living in the street.

        • Mathius says:

          You confused me with the Dread Pirate – he is my libertarian alter-ego.

          He would generally agree with you that you have exactly zero obligation to help anyone but yourself. Strict Darwinianism.

          I, however, think you do have an obligation to the less fortunate, obviously. But as I have said many times, only the basic necessities* and only to those who can’t help themselves**.

          *Whatever that means
          **Those who don’t want to help themselves and would prefer to just sponge off me can go jump in a lake.

          • Sorry Mathius, I didn’t notice the change in your gravatar.

            My apologies sir!

            But as I said, anyone less fortunate than me is sho’ ’nuff unfortunate. 🙂

      • Mathius

        Please explain how it is you know that I have a “moral obligation in service to others”.

        How do YOU know this exists?

        As I feel no such obligation how can YOU KNOW that it exists in me?

        • Mathius says:

          How can you know it doesn’t?

          It’s a premise.

          Your premise is the inverse: No one has the right to make demands of me. How do you know that to be true? You believe it as your starting point, but you cannot substantiate it any more than I can.

          • Mathius

            I see you’ve been studying the Black Flag avoidance technique.

            I KNOW it does not exist because I do not feel any sense of such DUTY to others. But that is not the issue before us.

            You are the one who claims it exists in us all. It is YOUR premise, not mine.

            It is up to you to prove this to be true. Premise or not, you should be able to defend such in some logical and rational manner.

            • Mathius says:

              My premise allows for force to be used on the non-violent who disagree (that would be you), thus proving it to you is not required. All that is required is that there are enough people who think the way I do to impose such a system. As this is the case, premise justifies itself. (to wit, it is ok because we agree it is ok)

              I KNOW it does not exist because I do not feel any sense of such DUTY to others. I do not feel the gravity of Polaris. Would you agree that that means I KNOW it does not exist?

              • Mathius

                Polaris is a physical entity.

                Duty is a concept of man. It requires philosophical defense not a scientific defense.

                I do not see how your premise that DUTY exists also allows for the use of force. I thought by your own definition that is was a thing that WE all have. An internal drive and thus inherent requirement.

                Are you now admitting that DUTY is simply a concept imposed upon someone by a majority, or minority with the ability to exercise force without retaliation?

                It seems to me this thing you call DUTY is nothing more than a rationalization of Altruism. You know, that little philosophical concept that requires the “sacrifice” of the individual for the good of the “many”.

                So what is your metaphysical premise that supports this philosophy of altruism and imposed duty?

              • Mathius says:

                It’s really quite simple: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

                I’m not being flippant, that’s the pure and simple truth. Many people are more important than a few people. And society is many people – you are few.

              • Mathius

                Why are the needs of many more IMPORTANT than my needs?

                Do all the MANY share the same needs?

                Do the MANY have some inherent NEED to be slaves?

                Or do the MANY have a need FOR slaves?

      • Matt and JAC,
        You are arguing over the wrong issue. The thing, Matt, that makes you a liberal statist leftist is not your sense of duty to those less fortunate, or any sense of helping others. JAC, it is not Matt’s sense of duty that is a threat to your freedom. It is perfectly fine for free men to feel duty bound to help their neighbors or to do things with the sole motivation of improving life for all or helping society or benefitting others than themselves. Altruism is not a bad thing.

        This is the big problem with the whole liberal statist versus free capitalist battle. It centers on the wrong issue. It is not greed and selfishness versus compassion and charity. It is individual versus society. It is not Matt’s sense of duty as an individual. I know many individuals who love freedom and would not impose their standards on others who help those around them, not jsut out of charity, but out of a feeling of duty. A requirement that their personal belief system places upon them. This is not wrong, it is not a problem, and it is no threat to freedom. In fact, a fully functioning free society that is not abiding strictly by a darwinian principle of “strongest survive” would only function properly with a sense of duty and altruism like this. Such a personal sense of duty is not a bad thing, and is in fact very productive, as long as that sense of duty is balanced by a sense of wisdom that prevents people from givng so much away that they are unable to function themselves, or to grow in success.

        The threat to freedom comes when a person wishes to force others who do not comply with their thinking to comply by use of force. This can even be the case with supposed lovers of freedom, if they choose to attempt to make everyone abide by their principles. It is the concept of society that creates this. I understand the concept of society, and of synergy (the sum of the whole is greater than its parts). The whole 1 + 1 = 3 thing I get. It is not a matter of bad math, it is a productivity/cooperative effort equasion. Two men can move a lot more furniture in one hour than those same two working seperately in two hours. Society is a relationship between many individuals, and it has different rules and needs than individual life. I get it.

        It is not, however, an entity of its own. Individuals are the construct of society, and the idea of needs an rights and property and everything else of any real importance are individual things. Society needs nothing, it, essentially, is nothing. It is merely a structured interaction of individuals, it is more an act than an item, more verb than noun.

        As such, it has no power or authority over individuals, not legitimately anyway. When attempts are made to place authority over individuals, it always ends with some individuals weilding power over other individuals. This is because there is no way to excape the reality that society is a state of being for individuals, not an entity of its own.

        I do not criticize Matthius for having a sense of duty, only for his willingness to use force to make others abide by it. That sense of duty is part of his beliefs, and he has a right to them, just as someone has a right to any belief or religion. State enforcement of charity or duty is nothing more than theocracy. If JAC has no such sense of duty, then he may not be a nice person in Matt’s opinion, and Matt may choose to never do business with him or to completely berate him for his lack of morality, at least morality as Matt sees it. That is fine, he has a right to that opinion of JAC. JAC likewise might deem Matt a fool for his sense of duty and choose to never deal with him in business, as he may be a credit risk, since he is likely to place the needs of others above repayment of debt or above business profit, etc. This is fine as well.

        As long as force is not used by either party to make the other do what they say, it is fine.

        The rule of the majority is another aspect in Matt’s arsenal. This idea is based in the concept that many individuals outweigh few individuals. This is slightly more understandable, but it still amounts to violation of rights. Essentially, it also flies in the face of the very sense of duty MAtt proclaims to have. If majority rules, then why look out for minorities? Why look out for the poor if the majority decides that they are not worthy members of society? If it is voted that they all be exterminated to remove their drag on society, is that not majority rule?

        It then comes down to who gets to decide what moral code is forced on others, unless you do without force on others. That is the difference, not the sense of duty, not the sense of self-sufficiency. It is the sense of the individual, versus that of society and the right to control others. The concept that some have the authority to rule and others must be enslaved. Without that, a sense of duty to others is a wonderful thing, and harmful to none, helpful to many.

  15. Buck the Wala

    My dear lawyer friend, it is good to see you have been able to join the fray this past few days.

    As an employer I decide whether to offer a 401K or any other type of compensation benefit. I usually do this because there is a tax advantage and thus added benefit to the employee that goes beyond the direct compensation I am willing to pay to have that employee.

    If I have decided to provide you with matching funds for your 401K then I would most certainly be willing to continue those payments in the form of salary/wages if the 401K did not exist.

    Your question, or skepticism, is more pertinent to such things as payroll taxes. While I must pay those according to law, I may not be willing to give you the full amount if such taxes did not exist. I would certainly give you some as you would expect it and I would have to provide it or lose my employees.

    I would try to give as little as possible to increase my profits and you would demand more. We would reach an agreement on the final amount. But this is not the same as the retirement accounts where I have decided to give you a certain amount as “compensation”. In the latter case I decided the value received was worth the cost of the contribution I make on your behalf.

    Hope all is well with you and your bride.
    JAC

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Hey JAC!

      How have things been going with you lately? Unfortunately I have been under a pile of work for weeks now. Only yesterday things started to ease off a bit – decided to give myself the day off today to recoup (especially since next week is already looking particularly busy). Otherwise, things have been going well.

      I don’t think I’m being skeptical here – I think I’m being a realist. Sure there are many companies that offer 401(k) plans, at least in part, out of the goodness of their owners’ hearts. But it certainly helps that such plans offer them tax benefits as well. Take away these benefits and I would bet most companies would either abandon 401(k)s altogether, or at the very least stop contributing to their employees’ accounts. On top of that, I would bet that most of those companies would NOT increase their employees’ base salary to ‘make up’ for the loss in compensation by way of 401(k) contributions.

      You say that, absent 401(k)s, you would be more than willing to continue those payments in the form of wages. I’ll take you at your word on that – you’ve always seemed like a standup guy! But would most companies follow your lead? Doubtful.

      • Buck

        I believe most companies would do the same as I would. They have made the same business decisions.

        A 401K does not provide any tax benefit to the business that is not gained by simply paying wages.

        When the compensation package is approved by the board, or executives, they assume that all employees will make the maximum contribution. They make a determination that the company contribution is worth it and will also be the maximum. I have been in those meetings and made those decisions. That is why I believe the vast majority would simply include the amount as wages.

        The bottom line here is that the “compensation” is determined by open and fair negotiation between the employer and employee. If the 401K is eliminated then the employees and employers will determine through trade what the value of that compensation is at any point in time.

        Been on the road last couple of weeks. It looks like summer may have finally arrived to the northern Rockies. We’ve had three whole days without rain or snow.

        Got a few rounds of swat and follow in but I am having a hard time adjusting to a shoulder that no longer causes severe pain during my follow through. Lets just say “consistency” is not something that carries over to my golf game at this moment.

        Rivers are appear to have crested so the fly fishing should pick up in the next couple of weeks.

        By the way, Mr. Natelson has left the Univ. of Montana and has taken a job with a “think tank” of some sorts in Colorado. It was sure nice having that kind of resource so handy.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Dare I ask which is more important — a pain free shoulder or a good golf game?? Keep up the practice and you’ll have both in no time I’m sure.

          I see your point about compensation but I would still argue that that would not carry over in most cases. 401(k)s may well be used in the negotiation process as part of compensation, but absent 401(k)s I have a hard time believing I would be getting the exact same total compensation from my employer as I currently am receiving. For instance, I know for a fact that my employer will not increase my base salary if I were to opt out of the 401(k). If I choose not to contribute then there is no employer match and thus less total compensation.

          • Buck

            I agree that under your current system the employer would not replace your compensation if YOU opted out of the plan.

            That would create an “unequal” situation with other employees.

            I am saying if there were NO 401K option, if it were eliminated entirely, you would see the compensation in full, or very darn close. Especially if the employer did not have to put up the payroll taxes for the added compensation.

            The caveat is the state of the economy for the labor/skill or VALUE you bring to the trade. If your skill is common then you could be correct. Just a good way to cut cost. But if your skill is in demand, you get your full compensation.

            But then that raises the question as to why the company is giving 401K payments to someone who has common skills in the first place.

            I am curious as to why you seem so confident they would not pass the compensation on to you. My experience with Boards and Executives leads me to a different answer.

            Pain free is far better. It will take some time but I am pretty sure I will improve the game. Biggest challenge right now is reminding my body that it works. The muscle memory of three years of bad swings is harder to overcome than I thought it would be. I can get in about 7 good holes at the start before the body starts using the old swing. Example, the other day a 44 on the front and a 55 on the back.

    • Welcome back JAC. My turn for a minor roadtrip to the beautiful northern Michigan woods to retrieve my son from camp.

      • Anita

        Thanks my dear.

        I hope you have a most enjoyable drive up and back.

        Tomorrow I’m headed out for the weekend again myself.

        Thanks for watching my back with regards to the whole “freedom equation” thing. Only a lefty could come up with a “freedom coefficient” that was less than 1.0.

        Happy trails
        JAC

  16. Mathius says:

    N Korea seeks $75 trillion in compensation

    Cash-strapped North Korea has demanded the United States pay almost $US65 trillion ($75 trillion) in compensation for six decades of hostility.

    The official North Korean news agency, KCNA, says the cost of the damage done by the US since the peninsula was divided in 1945 is estimated at $US64.96 trillion.

    The compensation call comes on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the start of the 1950-1953 Korean War.

    KCNA said the figure includes $US26.1 trillion arising from US “atrocities” which left more than 5 million North Koreans dead, wounded, kidnapped or missing.

    The agency also claims 60 years of US sanctions have caused a loss of $US13.7 trillion by 2005, while property losses were estimated at $US16.7 trillion.

    The agency said North Koreans have “the justifiable right” to receive the compensation for their blood.

    It said the committee’s calculation did not include the damage North Korea had suffered from sanctions after its first nuclear test in 2006.

    ———————-
    AH AHH AHAHHAHAHA

    Good luck collecting. They can get in line.. hasn’t anyone told them we’re broke?
    ———————-

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/24/2936414.htm

  17. Just for fun

    http://politicalhumor.about.com/b/2010/06/25/quiz-what-kind-of-liberal-or-conservative-are-you.htm

    I came out an anti-government gunslinger-was a little surprised 🙂 Tried to answer the Liberal test questions-but there just weren’t any answers I could pick.

    • V.H.

      Here is my result from the “Liberal” test:

      You are a Social Justice Crusader, also known as a rights activist. You believe in equality, fairness, and preventing neo-Confederate conservative troglodytes from rolling back fifty years of civil rights gains.

      I tried skipping questions but it wouldn’t let me.

      • V.H.

        And here is my results from the Cons. test

        You are an Anti-government Gunslinger, also known as a libertarian conservative or Tea Partier. You believe in smaller government, states’ rights, gun rights, and that, as Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

        Seems I am in good company.

        🙂

        JAC

        • Why thank you , sir. I feel the same. 🙂 Guess I’ll try to take the test again and pick the least objectionable answers. Although, there just isn’t any answer to the Mt. Rushmore question on either test that isn’t nuts.

          • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

            I had trouble with that question, too..

            • On the liberal one I finally choose the Kermit the Frog answer-not that I have anything against the frog-but thought his being there might show my thoughts about the other people.

              On the Liberal test-I was a Peace Patroller, also known as an anti-war liberal or neo-hippie. You believe in putting an end to American imperial conquest, stopping wars that have already been lost, and supporting our troops by bringing them home.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            On the liberal side you just have to go with President Bartlett, arguably the nation’s greatest president. No other choice makes any remote sense.

      • I got that too, and I got Fiscal Conservative for the con one.

      • You are a Free Marketeer, also known as a fiscal conservative. You believe in free-market capitalism, tax cuts, and protecting your hard-earned cash from pick-pocketing liberal socialists.

    • Mathius says:

      AH HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAHAHAAH!

      You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.

      • Mathius

        Note it say “Intellectualist” not an “Intellectual”!!!! 🙂

        Funny how a left leaning test would conclude that delusion and reality are the same thing.

        • Mathius says:

          I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who has ever met me who would seriously argue that I’m not an intellectual.

          Intellectual (-noun)
          [in-tl-ek-choo-uhl]

          a person who places a high value on or pursues things of interest to the intellect or the more complex forms and fields of knowledge, as aesthetic or philosophical matters, esp. on an abstract and general level. – Check

          a person of superior intellect. – Emphatic check

      • Buck the Wala says:

        That’s pretty funny — I am also a Reality-Based Intellectualist.

        • Mathius says:

          What a surprise! I think I’m going to have a heart attack and die from that surprise!

          • Mathius

            Sorry my friend. But your “Reality-Based Intellectualist” health care system has reached its “heart attack” quota for the month of June.

            You will have to wait until late next week if you hope to get treatment!

            Reality = Delusion

            Fact = Fiction

            Truth = Myth

            Freedom = Slavery

            Ah yes, the world of the “reality based intellectualist elites”.

            By the way Matt, FREEDOM coefficients can only be 1 or 0. There are no values in between. It is a binary function. Yes or No. On or Off. True or False.

            • Mathius says:

              That’s what you think.

              f(x,y) returns double

              This is because, while there are many assaults on your freedoms, some are more severe than others. Thus the more severe one should be given a higher coefficient – if you had to decide between being murdered (f = .99) or being robbed (f = .75), you would choose robbed, but if this is an integer instead of a double, both would return f = 1 and you would be indifferent between the two.

              • Mathius

                False choices my dear Progressive.

                My preference regarding imposition against my freedoms is not a measure of freedom itself.

                If I am free then I am free to defend myself against either form of aggression. I am free to judge for myself what actions are appropriate to protect my life and property. That I should place more value on my life than my property does not eliminate nor diminish Freedom.

                In fact, the lack of freedom restricts my ability to make such judgment and will result in my being murdered and/or robbed, regardless of which I would prefer.

                FREEDOM is either Yes or No, True or False. It is by its very definition a condition of absolute.

                We are NOT truly free. What we struggle with is the degree of slavery we are willing to accept in exchange for something else. Whether that be perceived safety or comfort.

              • Mathius says:

                I guess we’re going to have to disagree on that.. I’m done for the day.

                Good night, and good luck.

              • Have a good weekend! 🙂

          • Buck the Wala says:

            ha!

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      You are a Free Marketeer, also known as a fiscal conservative. You believe in free-market capitalism, tax cuts, and protecting your hard-earned cash from pick-pocketing liberal socialists.

      Sounds about right..

    • You are an Anti-government Gunslinger, also known as a libertarian conservative or Tea Partier. You believe in smaller government, states’ rights, gun rights, and that, as Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

      • The liberal one was tough, had to pick from least crappy answer
        several times.

        You are a Working Class Warrior, also known as a blue-collar Democrat. You believe that the little guy is getting screwed by conservative greed-mongers and corporate criminals, and you’re not going to take it anymore.

        • Seems you are a working class warrior who carries a gun and dislikes the government-sounds about right. 🙂 I on the other hand am a peace loving gunslinger. Now that I think about it-I rather like the sound of that characterization. 🙂

        • That would make Matthius a fiscally responsible reality based intellectualist-sounds plume boring. Hehehe

  18. I have been hanging around in the shadows for a few months, only occasionally able to visit USW’s Premo blogging establishment.

    I have used this time to think and contemplate about the future of my Nation, and of course my personal feelings and obligations.

    I have also of course kept up with our esteemed Government officials and recent political winds blowing across this still great nation.

    There is one word that I believe though, that is still, even with all the Tea Parties and Conservatives coming to the fore, that is not clearly understood, maybe even by me.

    That word is Liberty. When we say that we want our Liberty back, just exactly what does this mean? What do WE mean? Is this the Ideal of the ‘Liberty’ of the Founder’s, or do most of us even understand what Liberty meant to them?

    I believe most do not truly understand what true ‘Liberty’ is. I know this from the blank looks you get when you say that we are NOT a true Democracy, we are a Contitutional Republic.

    I am all for Republicanism. Not Republican Party, true Republic. I wish we still ahered to the Constitution. Is there a single person here who believes we still do? I wish we stood with the Washington and Jefferson Ideal of TRUE Liberty and their idea and dream of a TRUE Republic.

    Instead somewhere early in the Nation’s past we began to stray from that notion of true liberty and justice for all. We started early to give up just a little Liberty here and a little there. Never thinking about how every little step away took us farther and farther from what we are supposed to be as a Nation. Do not kid yourselves that we haven’t.

    We have strayed now to the point that we resemble more a socialist democracy than a Republic. Oh yes!! I KNOW we are not Socialist! Yet. But we are moving SWIFTLY in that direction. You can argue till Jesus splits the Eastern skies that we ain’t, but you are just kidding yourself or else living in a fantasy world where the Unicorns prance and the fairies fly. Or maybe you are blind. Or maybe you even approve?

    I wish we could go all the way back to a true Republic of the kind we STARTED with, but I am not totally stupid. This is 2010. This is a world in which we are still the most free nation in the world. It just pisses me off immeasurably, that we are running toward a Socialist policy as fast as Obama and the Congress and the rest of our enormous Government can rush us.

    Notice that I do not solely blame the Obamanation for this. I lay the blame on the whole entire mess. Bush and his predecessors also. The only reason we have noticed lately is because Obama has sped up the process so only a moron would not notice it. I don’t call you who approve morons, but you do have to admit that he is the most Progressive and therefore Socialist leaning President we have ever had. That includes ALL of them.

    I know we will never go back completely. We live in too big and complicated political world where all other nations are more Socialist than we are. I just wish we could.

    However. It would be nice if we could turn around and head back a little towards the Republic we are supposed to be. And away from the Progressive Socialism we are headed toward where our precious freedoms we have held so long will disappear. And once gone will NEVER come back.

    Uncle Sam does NOT know what is best for us. WE do. I want TRUE Liberty and Justice for all.

    • Essom

      It is good to see you back in the saddle.

      We are NOT a socialist country. We are a Fascist country and have been for many decades.

      I am not sure that you can get to socialism via fascism. Any attempt by the socialists to revolt will result in fascist reprisal and they have all the guns and financial weapons.

      You will see what looks like socialism pop up from time to time but it will be buffered with the “mixed” govt/private sector “partnerships”.

      This is the technical answer but in reality it makes little difference to your primary question. Both systems are the enemy of freedom, liberty and justice for all.

      So you tell me. What does “TRUE LIBERTY” mean to you?

      • True Jeffersonian Liberty is what Liberty means to me. A Republic sir. Very small weak Federal. With no interference with my life.

        And free market, true free market principles in business.

        I have done extensive reading on our founding fathers and their beliefs about what this Nation should have been. IMO the ones such as Alexander Hamilton should have been weeded out of leadership BEFORE Mr. Burr shot his ass.

        With all my reading about all of them and their principles, this being 2010, almost 250 years since we declared for Republic, I am still not sure what TRUE Liberty would be like.

        But as hard as it might be to achieve, I still want it.

        • Esom

          Hamilton was in my humble opinion the FIRST American Fascist.

          Some scholars have claimed he was a monarchist at heart, but in modern terms he was fascist for sure. In those days it was more of a “corporatism” or “mercantilism” system except for the first time the govt controlled the partnership.

          I any case, I too wish Mr. Burr had lost his temper much sooner, or that George Washington would have understood the threat lying under his nose.

          Liberty my friend, is the ability to live one’s life without fear of the use of force by government upon you. Liberty is the constraint upon Government so that Freedom may exist it its fullest and grandest splendor.

        • Esom,

          free market principles in business

          And this is why such plans fail and fall into tyranny.

          You believe you can use violence on non-violent men OVER THERE, but you complain about other men using violence on you OVER HERE. You believe you have the right to “beat them up” – and then get angry when they use your arguments to justify beating you up.

          Until the People understand the depth and essence of mutuality, the People will suffer the rules of tyranny.

    • Essom,

      Great job expressing yourself. I am also conflicted where we are and where we should go, but think you and JAC have some good points. I do agree we are a little “F” fascist nation. I think before we can go back to the founders, we would have to go back to before the New Deal and the activist courts, after all, what does freedom mean to a judge today? Damn sure not what most of us think.

      • LOI, it is very nice to be back. I have not wasted my time away with idleness, but have used it to study and contemplate my position concering my Country and my propensity to almost violently oppose the conditions my nation finds itself in.

        I have to go for today. My 14 year old has a Baseball game to go get ready for.

        But one more thing before I go. D13 sir. You, you rascal have reinstated my liking for Dr. Pepper. Danged if I haven’t begun to enjoy it ALMOST as much Sweet Tea. 🙂

  19. Smile

  20. And welcome back JAC

  21. TexasChem says:

    Eye-opener @-BF.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hi TC

      Do you have a link to this video? Much appreciated, and thanks

      Judy

    • Islam4UK and you are quoting them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Geez……

      Christian leader claims US soldiers are all homosexuals and deserve death.

      http://www.godhatesfags.com/

      Eye-opener @-TC

      • USWeapon says:

        While I somewhat agree with you here Bob, there is a bit of a difference. The Muslim leader in that interview is a recognized big leader in Islam in Europe. The one you linked ot for Christians is a recognized fringe fruitcake and has nothing at all to do with the real Christians. As I said, I agree that TC’s video doesn’t “prove” anything, it is certainly more legitimate than what you offered in reply.

        USW

        • Being from the UK I can tell you with 100% certainty that Islam4UK is the Westboro Baptist Church of Islam. They are considered a fringe lunatic group here and constantly protest army parades and revel in UK soldiers deaths. I dont know where you got the big leader of Islam in Europe from, I bet he said it didnt he? If hes a big leader of Islam in Europe then I am the mega Pope of the world and everything I say is considered Christian canon.

          So having heard extensively about Islam4UK I would say my comparison is pretty spot on.

          • USWeapon says:

            I don’t contend that he is THE big leader in Europe, but I do say that he is A big leader in Europe. I have heard his name extensively and he has quite a following, unlike the Westboro Baptist Church which is basically a single family, a congregation of just about a dozen people. I won’t argue over who knows this muslim leader better. I don’t live in Europe any longer. I just didn’t think the comparison was quite accurate. I could be wrong. But don’t leave out the part that I agreed with you that what he said is irrelevant regardless.

            • You hear his name repeatedly due to him saying extreme things so he can get attention from the media much like Fred Phelps. I have heard more about the Westboro Baptist Church here in the UK than Islam4UK when they were around. I dont understand how a man wanting Sharia law implemented in the UK would be considered the leader of some muslims in Spain for example, there seems to be a misconception that Europe is one hegemonic mass and the actions in one of the countries represents all of Europe, Europe is incredibly diverse.
              You are probably right that he has more active followers but I would invite you to look at how many people have voted for Phelps when he has run for political offices.

          • TexasChem says:

            The essence of Western civilization is in having doubts and original ideas. Muslims have neither doubts nor original ideas. They are zombies. When their population is small, they are Meccan Muslims, so they are friendly and they have extremely large families. When their population is close to 50 percent they become Medina Muslims, so they are obsessed with killing their kafir (non-Muslim) neighbors. Having killed all the kafirs, they kill Muslims who are not perfect zombies.I base this observation off of the riots in France,Spain and England not to mention the Eastern European countries problems.But let Bob have his say and there is nothing going on there are just a “few” “ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS”.Nothing to see here, move along…

            • How many muslims do you know? How many do you work with? How many of them are your friends? How many have you had round for dinner?

              I actually know a fair few muslims, they care about their families and want good lives for their children, much like most people in the world.

              “Muslims have neither doubts nor original ideas. They are zombies.”

              You obviously dont know what your talking about. It is always the path to evil to dehumanise people, the greatest genocides in the world have been committed this way. It is a dangerous path you are walking down TC. I suggest you read this http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/dehumanization/.

              • TexasChem says:

                Bob said:”It is always the path to evil to dehumanise people, the greatest genocides in the world have been committed this way.”

                TC:I am not an altruisticaly moral person Bob.I believe that idealogy leads to idiotic political correctness.What you have stated above is a line of thought in and of itself that is the very definition of oxymoronic.You sound like such a mournful optimist!In essence if someone dehumanizes themselves by their very acts of in-humanity you dare place blame on one that would defend themselves from the very dehumanizing you speak of.Mind boggling thought process you have there sir.

                To answer your questions above yes I work with ex-Muslims at my place of employment that converted to Christianity.They are from UAE, Pakistan and Syria.We hang out and spend quite a bit of time debating the world at large. They have very interesting stories from thier home countries.So yes I do have an inside line into the Islamic world and how the social structure is structured.

                Which book about what our God really instructs us is it that rings truth to you?’Do Not Kill,’ or is it ‘Yes, Kill in My Name’?

                I know exactly what I am talking about.Is it you that don’t know what you are talking about or is just that you would mislead others?

                By the way what genocides would you be refering to?
                The Sudan-Darfur,Armenian,the Kurds and shiites in Iraq,Pakistan in 1971 jeesh on and on we could go.Muslims have committed genocide for 1400 years, wiped out many cultures and civilizations.Justhow many people do devout Muslims have to kill before it’s OK for others to express their opinion that Islam is an ‘evil religion’?

      • TexasChem says:

        You are comparing cherry bombs to nuclear bombs there Bub, I mean Bob.Care to research the number of followers of the two organizations and then their impact upon society?

        • Current Membership:

          Islam4UK: 0
          Westboro Baptist Church: > 1

          Hehe I think you should do your own research first.

          • TexasChem says:

            I tell ya’ what.
            I seriously am going to have to buy some stock in Kool-Aid.So many people are addicted to it these days…

            • Just remember man, kool-aid comes in a lot of flavors. Just because you are right about someone drinking grape doesn’t mean you aren’t drinking cherry…

  22. TexasChem says:

    If a man proposes to redistribute wealth, he means explicitly and necessarily that the wealth is his to distribute. If he proposes it in the name of the government, then the wealth belongs to the government; if in the name of society, then it belongs to society. No one, to my knowledge, did or could define a difference between that proposal and the basic principle of Communism.-Ayn Rand

  23. Cyndi P says:

    I found this over at Zero Hedge. Ya’ll might be interested…

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-us-fascist-police-state

    • Cyndi P

      My dearest Island buddy. You know the response by now as I have posted it soooooooo many times.

      WE ARE SO SCREWED!!!

      Hope all is well in the land of saltwater and sunshine.
      Best wishes
      JAC

    • Cyndi, and all…

      Remember, the system we live inside right now has been setup by the Elite to benefit the Elite.

      The collapse of this system does not improve the Elite – it damages them.

      The system collapse has not been caused by the Elite directly; the collapse is inevitable because the Elite believed they were conceited to believe they could control an infinitely complex chaotic system.

      They will work very hard to prevent systemic collapse by allowing specific collapse.

      TC’s plan would be the best IF you believe they will not be able to prevent systemic collapse. The odds you will survive systemic collapse, even with TC’s plan, is very low. TC’s plan will not work very well if the Elite are able to maintain specific collapses.

      Gold is the best option for recover in a specific collapse. It will also be the best plan if you survive systemic collapse as it will provide the capital to ‘start over’.

      Gold will NOT work well if you have to sell gold to survive inside either a systemic or specific collapse. You will have to spend way too much gold to buy your necessities to survive through this time period.

      Therefore, take a piece of TC’s plan – buy the necessities RIGHT NOW with fiat currencies and stock up for the long haul. Save your gold for AFTER this period to provide the capital to recover.

  24. D13

    Colonel, I would like to get your opinions regarding the following article. Both its conclusion and your ideas on solutions.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37952830/ns/us_news-washington_post/

    I’ll tell you up front I disagree with the premise that leads the rest of the discussion. Namely, we are demanding more than we should, in fact more than is humanly possible in most cases. The demands described require more than just one man with these skills. It requires teams of thousands. Yet, like the POTUS we assign our “dream” to a single seat.

    Seems to me the “civilian” wing is not accepting its responsibility to “lead”.

    Hope your weekend was good.
    JAC

  25. D13, USWep;

    Russia and China will NOT take the “field” in favor of Iran. They will bluster and offer some minor aid….but they are not a military threat to the point of putting troops on the ground. Russia especially cannot do that.

    I believe you are mistaken. You forget Yugoslavia

    Details of Russia’s surprise occupation of Pristina airport at the end of the Kosovo war are revealed in a new BBC documentary on the conflict.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/671495.stm

    They will most certainly occupy the territory around the Caspian Sea, perhaps occupy Tehran and absolutely occupy the nuclear reactor sites (as they are full of Russian workers).

    Iran can rush its troops to the border

    They will NOT do that. They will draw in the US forces as deep and extended as possible.

    Egypt will not close the Suez

    Beyond a doubt, it will be closed either politically or physically by scuttling ships.

    and there will be no Syrian war with Israel.

    Without a doubt, Syria will take any significant opportunity to reassert itself in the Golan Heights and in Lebanon.

    Israel, even though I do not agree with their policies right now, has a complete and legal right to do exactly what they are doing. And, they are completely within their legal right to inspect and stop any ship in territorial waters or on the high seas that wish to run the blockade.

    They absolutely do not hold such a right. Only a purposeful misunderstanding of international law can anyone hold your position.

    Israel is in a time of war…..blockades and inspections are going to happen and if Iran thinks that the Arab countries will jump to their (Iran’s) side….they are mistaken.

    There is no war as they are the occupying power. They can exercise their international rights in the national waters of Gaza and Israel but no where else.

    They are scared to death of Iran and its hegemony.

    Iran is 1500 or more miles away. To be scared of Iran would make them utterly irrational.

    Hmmmm…maybe you have a point….

    BF and others make it sound like the United States and Israel are the outcasts in the world

    They are.

    The only reason it is not obvious to you is that the world still holds a great respect out of fear of the US military might.

    Iran has thrown the last two inspectors out and are refusing to abide by the terms of the last supposed treaty.

    D13, Iran is precisely abiding by the NPT treaty!

    USA is NOT abiding by the NPT, and Israel is not a signatory to the treaty.

    Iran’s tentacles now reach to the African Continent and the South China Sea and is growing.

    Laughable!!

    To do so would require fleets – and Iran does not have fleets.

    A nuclear armed Iran will not only target Israel….it will target its neighbors and become a major threat to them because Ajad is an idiot and a dangerous one at that…he thinks that he and Iran are the next Messiahs.

    The same claim was made about the Russians, then the Chinese, then the Indians, then the Pakistanis, then Africans, ….. etc.

    The clerics are losing power to the military complex in Iran and they know it.

    Committing suicide will hasten this, therefore they will not go “nuclear” until provoked.

    The Saudi’s, UAE, Qatar, Syria, Egypt, Libya….they are all scared shitless about Iran

    As they are all puppets of the USA – they should be scared for they have the most to lose in a war instigated by the USA. USA can withdraw across the ocean – these guys get stuck with the nuke fallout and on-going regions instability.

    When the USA finally abandons the region, these guys who are the Elite in these countries will run for their lives or find themselves hung from lamp posts.

    So – no doubt, they are scared.

    This crap about the last 300 years is smoke screen.

    Coming from a advocate of a nation who has been at war for most of the last 300 years……

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