Tuesday Night Open Mic for July 6, 2010

Another Tuesday night means that we have found our way to another open mic night. I have chosen to not yet address the video series that JAC suggested, for a couple of reasons. First, I would like to give more people time to view the videos. It takes a total of about three hours, which is more time than some have had to give to it quickly. Second, I want to be very available to discuss those videos when the time comes. Today will be a day of my being on the road, which means that I will not be able to weigh in on anything during the day Wednesday. I will try to do so Wednesday night, but cannot be sure I will be able. For this week’s offerings from me, we have the black panther voter intimidation case, the ban on offshore drilling being re-pushed by the “never waste a crisis” administration, some key players in the middle east suddenly not so friendly with Iran, and the federal government’s suggestion of a far reaching online identity program that they propose would help us to be more secure in terms of our private information. As always, I encourage everyone to bring to the table the topics that they want to discuss as well. Open mic night is meant to be the night to do it!

Advertisements

Comments

  1. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #1

    Former Justice Attorney Set to Testify in New Black Panther Case

    A former Justice official who claims the administration backed off a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party for racial reasons is set to testify Tuesday before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    The testimony from J. Christian Adams, who resigned from the Justice Department last month in protest of the administration’s handling of the case, comes after he made a series of explosive allegations during an interview with Fox News last week. He said the administration abandoned an open-and-shut case of voter intimidation and that Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez gave false testimony before the commission in May.

    Adams claims the administration has failed to prosecute non-whites when it comes to voting intimidation cases and that the New Black Panther incident demonstrates that.

    “I don’t think the department or the fine people who work there are corrupt, but in this particular instance, to abandon law-abiding citizens and abet wrongdoers constitutes corruption,” Adams told Fox News.

    The case stems from an incident on Election Day in 2008 in Philadelphia, where members of the New Black Panther Party were videotaped in front of a polling place, dressed in military-style uniforms and allegedly hurling racial slurs while one brandished a night stick.

    The Bush Justice Department brought the first case against three members of the group, accusing them in a civil complaint of violating the Voter Rights Act. The Obama administration initially pursued the case, winning a default judgment in federal court in April 2009 when the Black Panther members did not appear in court. But then the administration moved to dismiss the charges the following month after getting one of the New Black Panther members to agree to not carry a “deadly weapon” near a polling place until 2012. The department boasted that justice had been served.

    But Adams, the former administration lawyer, accused the Justice Department of not continuing the case for political and racial reasons.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/05/justice-attorney-set-testify-new-black-panther-case/

    I think that this will end up being not nearly the case that people are thinking that it is going to be. But I also think that this is a very important case because it shows that the executive branch in the US Government chose to ignore blatant violations of the law in favor of a militant racial hatred group.

    We have discussed this incident before, with the requisite folks taking the position that nothing bad occurred and there was no voter intimidation. I think that is a bizarre assertion. Two militant black panther idiots stand at the entrance to a voting place, one with a billy club in hand, and make comments at white voters entering the polling place. Like it or not, that is intimidation. That makes what they did a federal offense, and a blatant one at that. Caught on camera no less.

    It has long been my belief that the federal government is full of corruption on a massive scale. Not partisan, as both parties are equally corrupt (yet somehow everyone admits this and still does nothing to change it?). Tolerance of minorities threatening and intimidating people is just as unacceptable as it would be if it were the other way around.

    Racial tensions are extremely high these days and we have to ask ourselves if electing a minority to the highest position in the land was a good thing or a bad thing. Forget the politics of the situation, I am only speaking of the social reactions. The 10% of whites who are bigots have become far more vocal and the 10% of blacks who are bigots have become far more emboldened. A long time Democratic defender of the right of blacks to vote, Bartle Bull, was a Philadelphia poll watcher in 2008, and he claimed that one of the Black Panthers turned to him and said “now you will know what it means to be ruled by the black man, cracker.”

    Free speech is protected in this country. So that black panther coward had the right to say what he did. But it points to the level of hatred in that organization, and to the level of emboldening that has occurred over the last 2 years. I have had similar types of statements made to me on two occasions since the election. I will refrain from reprinting my replies. I am not a bigot, but I also do not tolerate disrespectful language directed at me. No violence, just words. And needless to say, when I have a war of words, I am lethal against someone as poorly armed as one who would make that statement.

    If it is determined that the Justice department dropped this case in the face of clear evidence, which I think is the case, what do all of you think the outcome should be? Isn’t it about time that we demand the Department of Justice actually be a organization that focuses on real justice instead of simply another political arm of the executive branch? The challenging of the Arizona immigration law is another politically motivated cause that resources are being wasted on.

    • Actually, there was never a federal case. Only a civil action was carried out and was WON! The justice department dropped the case when it went to sentencing. Bizarre…

      • When the Federal Gov. started a formal investigation, they preempted the state from acting, as state laws were also violated. I think the state should investigate and file their own charges, then prosecute their criminal behavior. They may get a token sentence, but it will be criminal, not civil.

    • Common Man says:

      Interesting that you never hear about this kind of stuff happening in rural areas like Kokomo, IN, or Lake City, MI, or Mountain Home, AK; wonder why? Could it be that organizations like the Black Panthers know they would last 1 hour?

      In areas like those listed above it would be a very short time and the locals would have the situation under control, either legally or otherwise. It wouldn’t make the news and it would be the first and last time it was ever attempted.

      CM

      • CM, It would never happpen in those places for exactly the reasons you stated.

        Bigots both black AND white are cowards. These idiots go where they KNOW they can get away with it. We can only wish that they would try it in some place as you describe. Thay may be stupid, but they ain’t THAT stupid! 😉

    • Why isn’t the media covering the paramilitary aspect of the Black Panther case?
      Russ Vaughn (from American Thinker)
      Why, in all the media coverage of the Black Panther voting intimidation case, is no one, and I mean absolutely no one, even in the conservative media, addressing the paramilitary aspect of this issue, where jackbooted, black thugs wearing leather jackets and badge-adorned, black berets, obviously intend to communicate through their uniform appearances a menacing solidarity of purpose? Does not the wearing of those uniforms imply the ominous and looming presence of a more widespread and more frightening paramilitary organization to the voters of that precinct?

      And there is little doubt, upon viewing the video coverage of the incident that intimidation and the very real threat of violence was their purpose in being at that voting site bearing clubs as weapons. While I deplore the contemporary overuse and misuse of Nazi comparisons, there is no way that an historically knowledgeable, objective observer could fail to see the similarities between these thugs and the infamous Nazi Brown Shirts, whose very purpose for existing was this type of brute intimidation of the citizenry.

      Our contemporary media is a sick, slacking joke, a very sorry excuse for the watchdogs they are supposed to be. These lame, groveling, media mongrels, unwilling to compete and to fight for truth, may someday meet a fed-up American society.

    • I really think this case is absolutely ridiculous. How can it be defended? I mean, crap dude! It was on VIDEO!!!

      How blind Progressives must be. How blind must the Justice Department be. They are not, in reality, blind at all. They are seeing what they want to see, and ignoring the obvious racist acts of these punk bastards.

      Racism is still Racism, REGARDLESS of color.

    • I know we have freedom of speech-so he can say what he wants but his little speech at the end of this video paints a pretty good picture of the mans intentions when he is standing around with a billy stick.

      http://hotair.com/archives/2010/07/06/video-the-nice-young-man-eric-holder-left-off-the-hook/

    • Buck the Wala says:

      http://mediamatters.org/research/201007070020

      Interesting reading on some of the surrounding circumstances of this case.

  2. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #2

    Uncle Sam Wants You to Have an Online ID

    Our complex system of usernames and passwords is astoundingly outdated and increasingly prone to security breaches and theft. Yet, so far it has been mostly up to the individual to protect himself against various forms of identity fraud—with larger corporations taking relatively little responsibility.

    But this could change in a big way. Right now the federal government is proposing a new system being referred to as the “Identity Ecosystem”—which was highlighted in the recently-released draft paper, “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace” [NSTIC].

    The Identity Ecosystem would allow Americans to choose to obtain a single authenticated ID for online transactions. Like a passport, this single ID could travel with them online and be used to access everything from e-mail, to online health records and banking information. Furthermore, the Identity Ecosystem would only reveal the least amount of information necessary for each transaction.

    To highlight the potential consumer benefits of such a system, the White House’s proposal uses the example of an individual filling a prescription online. Under the “smart ID card,” the pharmacy would only receive proof that the individual is over 18 and that the prescription is valid. No other information like birth date or the reason for the prescription.

    It’s easy to see why consumers would benefit from an easy-to-use, secure and universal system. What’s harder to understand is the overall impact on e-commerce.

    This program could eliminate the biggest obstacle to the e-commerce industry: fear of identity theft and fraud, which could literally lead to billions of dollars in new online spending. It could also jumpstart health e-commerce, a market that has yet to take off because of serious privacy and security risks.

    But the costs associated with implementing such a system would likely be enormous. The NSTIC has anticipated some kickback and will be offering businesses incentives such as tax credits/breaks, insurance, grants and loans for early adoption.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2010/07/02/uncle-sam-wants-online-id/?cmpid=prn_baynote_Uncle_Sam_Wants_You_to_Have_an_Online_ID

    One of the things mentioned further down in the article that I think must be highlighted is the fact that this is being pushed as a voluntary measure, not a new requirement. I know people’s instinct is to rush to the belief that this is a federal program that gives massive control to government. I just thought it important to point out it is voluntary, not mandatory. Of course it won’t be voluntary that you pay for it. They will use taxpayer money to pay for those ” businesses incentives such as tax credits/breaks, insurance, grants and loans for early adoption.”

    I am really interested in what some of our more IT savvy folks think of this, especially Ray, who works specifically within the world of IT security. BF also has extensive knowledge in this arena. The article seems to say that the world has fallen behind in terms of security online, a premise that I tend to believe. Regardless of what security measures are in place, it seems as though hackers are able to easily bypass them. The sheer number of big companies who have had account information compromised over the last 5 years is massive, and it seems to be millions of customers at a time. My in-laws recently had their credit card info stolen for the third time, with the thieves purchasing a trip to Japan!

    Is it realistic to think that the solution that the federal government is proposing will somehow be more secure than what we have seen emerge already in the industry? It seems to me that companies that do nothing but this type of security cannot do enough to protect private information. What makes us think that the eternally inefficient and ineffective federal government is capable of providing us with a more secure solution?

    As another question that popped into my mind, I noticed that the federal government is touting as a benefit a drastic increase in online commerce. The question that I have is whether this is counter-prodictive in terms of job growth and economic stimulation. Doesn’t a rapid increase in online commerce mean a rapid decrease in brick and mortar commerce? After all people won’t have more money to spend, they will just be doing it online instead. Doesn’t that mean that brick and mortar suffers dramatically and eventually sees even more drawdowns on employment?

    • I’m not one of those IT savvy folks, but I read a lot. This sounds like a Big Brother moment. Where do I not sign up?

    • Common Man says:

      Next thing they will be doing is asking us to have ID / tracer chips put into our bodies so that we can be tracked, traced, documented, watched, manipulated, and controled. My father-in-law decided that the new Michigan Drivers License, which contains the same kind of computer chip installed in military ID’s was a great idea; location, driving record, and God knows what else.

      I won’t go near this stuff. They already know where I live, my income, my marrage status, and a number of other things; and that is far to much as it is.

      The free market will and is doing a far better job of protecting individuals and business from security violations, the government would only make it more difficult. Besides, given everything else the government is doing, why would anybody think this idea is solely for protection? It is not! Their real intent is to track and monitor all actions of individuals and corporations.

      My advice is to stear clear of anything offered by the government, especially if it is offered with the intent of help or protection.

      If it sounds to good to be true, then it is!

      CM

    • Yea, I am gonna be fighting this one. Is it not enough that I use my real name online? 🙂

    • Mathius says:

      I’m in.

      It would have to have one-time pad encryption that authenticates you against a registry which then provides the necessary information to the third party. With today’s technology, that should be entirely plausible.

      But, being a stark raving mad lunatic, I would like to take it further. Much further. I envision it as a small fob that you’d carry around with you or perhaps keep in your wallet. So, why not attach your credit card information and allow you to make purchases in brick and mortar stores with it? Sync it up to your car and use it to unlock and start your vehicle. Sync it up to E-Z-Pass. Use it to unlock or alarm your home. Give it some kind of biometric security so it can’t be used if stolen and we’re golden. It could have all the cards in your wallet (driver’s license, health insurance ID, even those pesky cards such as your store specific discount cards and gift cards).

      Now, if you want to go completely off the deep end, you could make it an option for an implantable chip in your arm that scans via RFID. That way you could never lose it and you would never have to think about bringing your keys or wallet with you. They would simply be with you all the time. Just wave your arm in front of the scanner and you’re good to go. (I think I saw this in a sci fi show back in the day – the guy wanted a soda out of a vending machine, just waved his hand in front of it and soda came out – very cool).

      Imagine full access to all of your information all the time, no pesky passwords, no annoying login names, no need to change your password to a different password that has as least one capital letter, one wildcard, and one number, no need to worry about lost or stolen information, no need to worry about replacing your cards, no forgetting your stop & shop card, no Costanza wallets, no filling out shipping and billing forms online, no bulky keys. All replaced with a single tiny device that is always with you.

      Sounds like utopia to me. And a massive boon for commerce.

      Just one thing I want to say… I don’t know if I’m entirely comfortable with the registry being maintained by the government. Even I am not quite ok with Uncle Sam having electronic records of every website I visit or purchase I make where I go and what I do. It is just too Big Brother for me. How ’bout if Visa or MasterCard did it instead?

      • Common Man says:

        Matt;

        Yes cool and handy, but even if MC of Visa managed it, the government would eventually find a way to garner the data as needed.

        Just keep one thing in mind: 10 years ago the majority of people would have looked at you like you were crazy if you would have predicted all the stuff we are faced with today, so my point is that your whole life is available via RFID, it will make it into the hands of the federal government somehow.

        If you are ok with them having that information and the security risk associated with it, all for ease of life, then I invision you will be giving away some or all of your liberty.

        Me, I would rather stay under the radar.

        CM

        • Mathius says:

          I’d like to have the option.

          Speaking of predictions of the future from a long time ago, I was debating upgrading to the iPhone 4, but I decided to get a Shoe Phone instead.

    • Riiiggghhttt,

      Government – whose computer systems are so outdated and antiquated – so much so that Arnie could not “roll back” government employee wages because the payroll system of California’s State Government is unable to do this –

      …wants to dictate and create your user ID and password systems.

      On second thought, this would create a ‘target rich environment’ for us Pirates…. hmmmm….

      • Mathius says:

        keyword: optional.

        If you see the word mandatory pop up anywhere, let me know and I’m sure DPM will come out of hiding.

        • Mathius

          When has the Govt ever created a program that was truly OPTIONAL?

          Without mandatory participation they can not justify the expense. You may not have to enter your data, but the companies you give it to will.

          By the way, CENTRALIZATION creates greater inefficiencies and greater risks of failure.

          • Mathius says:

            Really? I thought the centralized currency facilitates commercer pretty well – you think it’d be more efficient with more currencies or where everyone prints their own? I could go on, but I’m busy eating a chicken sandwich right now.

            • Mathius

              Always with the silly counter argument.

              I really do wonder about your thinking sometimes.

              You want to use a single currency to dispute the inefficiencies and hazards of centralized govt agencies or other institutions.

              Money vs Organizations. Apples vs Organges.

              But since you raised the question. Decentralized money, aka different types of money, would reduce the RISK OF FAILURE, just as I said.

              Unless of course you like your money rotting while it sits in your pocket, or on your microchip.

              Do not confuse convenience with efficiency and effectiveness.

              • Mathius says:

                Always with the silly counter argument.

                Life is a comedy to those who think,
                but a tragedy to those who feel.
                – Tchaikovsky

                Frustration turned outward is anger, turn it inward and it is depression.. But frustration turned sideways is humor. – Benjamin “Hawk Eye” Pierce

                Hope you’re having a good day 🙂

                I really do wonder about your thinking sometimes. See, that’s because you haven’t figured it out yet (I’ve only been around for 11 months or so), but here’s a hint: I’m completely off my rocker. Hope that helps.

            • It makes sense on the surface to have a central currency, but considering what they did to it and continue to do to it, I think less wealth would have been destroyed and lost if they had left well enough alone.

              So yea, even with that example, the government screwed it up enough to make me say centralization is still bad.

            • Mathius

              Mathius said
              July 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm

              Really? I thought the centralized currency facilitates commercer pretty well – you think it’d be more efficient with more currencies or where everyone prints their own? I could go on, but I’m busy eating a chicken sandwich right now.

              No! It does NOT!

              Centralized currency leads to massive financial fraud – abuse to the Nth order.

              Money and currency is not a different economic good – it is no different then any other economic good and obeys all the laws of Economics.

              If monopolies are thought to be a destructive force in a free economy, then a monopoly on money is equally a destructive force on the economy

              You print your “currency” today – just fine! It’s called an “IOU”.

              If you can sell it to someone, good for you.

              Money is the most desired economic good and so if your IOU’s become highly desired, your IOU will be come money.

        • Mathius,

          To echo JAC

          Nothing Government proposes is “mandatory”

          Careful observation will show that any thing government thinks is “optional” always has some order of coercion to enforce itself upon the People.

      • I have to throw my stick in with BF here.

        I just don’t think our inefficient Govt can possibly make the theft of information BETTER. I see all Kinds of ways that they can make it worse.

        I am an IT Tech at my schoold district and work with security some. Admittedly not much, but I wouldn’t WANT to be responsible for THAT security. I’ll just say that as a sample of Govt security, it is pathetic. The High School kids can hack it.

        Yes, I know the Federal Govt is MUCH better with their security than a backwoods School District. But their security is hacked regularly too.

        Thank very much for the offer Obama, but I’ll have to pass on you generous offer! 🙂

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      The most recent research (not in public domain btw) was more so centered around e-health records – but the application here is much the same – self contained devices/fobs/whatever containing all manner of personal information. The huge and ugly rub, imho, will still come back to:

      -who is managing the underlying technology – Government is very ill-suited in this task;

      -how are the buggers updated and managed? Encryption is made to be broken, hardware hacking is field unto itself, what if I lose it? Can it be remotely killed/wiped? I am not a fan of single points of failure.

      This is an idea really still in infant stages – there are too many technical and process holes in it now for it to be ready for prime time.

  3. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #3

    Revived Push for Drilling Ban

    The Obama administration asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to reinstate a moratorium on deepwater petroleum drilling, saying it is needed to reduce the chance of a second spill similar to the one now spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico.

    The fallout from that spill, the result of an April 20 explosion on a drilling rig leased by BP PLC, was evident in the Gulf region Tuesday, as tar balls lapped onto the Texas coast and oil was sighted in New Orleans’s Lake Pontchartrain.

    The developments show how the spill continues to invade new areas along the Gulf, harming coastal marshes and endangering fish and wildlife.

    In a filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Justice Department officials said a six-month suspension of drilling in more than 500 feet of water is in the “long-term public interest of the nation,” and is needed to give the Interior Department time to develop and implement new regulations to prevent another spill.

    The filing was in response to a federal judge’s decision in June to block the moratorium, saying the Interior Department had trivialized the economic impact of the temporary ban.

    In the filing, the administration cited not only the “catastrophic impacts” of the accident on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig but also the risk of a second spill, “which industry has shown limited ability to contain.”

    “Interior had to take immediate action to minimize the risk of another spill, especially while efforts to contain and clean up this one are ongoing,” the motion says. “The stakes are even higher now that it is hurricane season.”

    Read the rest of the article here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704178004575351361032082760.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

    File this under, as I have already stated, never let a crisis go to waste. As a side note, has their been a more boneheaded statement made by a high ranking official in the last two decades. “Never let a crisis go to waste,” is perhaps the stupidest thing that could ever have come out of the mouth of Rahm Emanuel. It created an entire culture of cynicism around any attempt the government makes to “take care of the people.” Don’t get me wrong, I am glad he said it. I can only thank him for exposing exactly how politicians operate, using whatever crisis they can to further their agenda.

    I still find it awful coincidental that a month after the President takes a stand against his party’s wishes and opens up off-shore drilling, we have the largest drilling disaster in US history. This disaster leads to the President immediately going the complete opposite route and stopping ALL deep water drilling. I am not accusing anyone of anything. I just find it awful coincidental is all. Especially during the administration who’s most remembered quote to date is “never let a crisis go to waste.”

    I have grown weary already of this story about the moratorium on drilling. The courts struck it down. Now the administration is attempting to put it back up. I personally think it was an idiotic move in the first place. First of all, we are once again seeing an entire industry punished for what amounts to an accident that happened on one rig. Instead of simply fixing the system to help minimize the chances of this happening again, the administration wants a complete ban.

    In an economy that is dangerously close to collapsing, this ban would essentially put an entire industry OUT OF WORK. It would also impact oil prices in a negative way (that whole supply and demand affecting price thing, that is unless the administration passes some new law further interfering in the market). The last thing that we need is a ban on offshore drilling. It simply isn’t good for the economy.

    But further, it is a gigantic waste of time. We cannot control the entire world’s oceans. BP is already looking at moving rigs off the shores of Libya. Can’t drill for oil off US shores? No problem, we will just drill for it elsewhere, and charge America a premium for oil! Cuba is already looking at operating rigs off its shores. In case anyone hasn’t consulted a map lately, when they do so they will actually be closer to American shores than the Deepwater Horizon rig was. The IAEA director was quoted last week as saying that if the moratorium is in place for anything longer than 6 months, then the right thing for the private companies that own the rigs to do is to move them elsewhere, leaving the US high and dry.

    I don’t like what has happened in the Gulf any more than anyone else. I do not fall into the realm of believing that it is as catastrophic as the environmentalists claim, but it isn’t good. The pictures of birds and dolphins dying in oil are sad, but let’s not pretend that we don’t kill far more than what will be done in the disaster on a regular basis in a multitude of ways (dumping chemicals, testing nuclear weapons (which destroyed entire reefs), building cities, etc). Nature rebounds. Always. And in twenty years there will be no proof this spill ever happened. Just my personal opinion. And while it hurts our economy right now, the clean-up and restoration will create jobs for the next two decades. I am not saying this is not a horrible disaster, but it is not the end of the world.

    The damage done to our economy in Washington DC will be far more disastrous for us than anything happening in the Gulf of Mexico. We are leaking money far faster than that spill is leaking oil.

    • There is another important point pertaining to the rig that exploded. It was EXEMPTED from federal regulations! So no one can drill in deep water because the government let one company do a shoddy job and a disaster happened. Just another example of the ineptitude and idiocy of the government.

      • Mathius says:

        But I thought regulations were bad because companies will self-police.. I thought that they didn’t need regulations because it’s already in their best interests to avoid a spill..

        hmm..

        • The regulations that are needed are already in place and have been for some time. The problem IMHO is oversight. Nobody is enforcing the regulations…current administration included.

          • Mathius says:

            So you support government regulations?

            • To an extent. There comes a time when the regulations become too cumbersome and are ridiculous. If COMMON SENSE regulations are implemented and the proper oversight is used, I have no issue with it.

        • Your sarcasm is noted.

          You should know, though, that I am no partisan hack who believes what they are told to believe. I think reasonable regulations are necessary because companies are, after all, out for profit. The difference is that I take a quality over quantity approach, as does Terry.

          • Mathius says:

            As do I. But that doesn’t seem to be an option. So I take quantity over nothing. It’s the swiss cheese model – there are a ton of holes, but if you stack enough pieces on top of each other, hopefully they all get blocked.

            It would be nice to get some quality though

            • The regulation is bad, but with enough of it we can stop the bad practices…

              Talk about a business killer…

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                If they can stop all business practices, they will 100% eliminate the bad business practices. Why is that so hard to understand?

        • I still stand by the no regulations thing, as long as those who cause damage are taken to task. BP does not want oil rigs leaking. They would want it even less if they were sure they would be charged for every bit of damage and cleanup. Self-policing will happen.

          • Mathius says:

            And who is going to charge them? Who but Big Government has the power to force them to pay out?

            • IF you had said “who but government has the power to charge them”, I would have responded “that is why I do not believe as Flag does, I see the need for a government that can enforce laws and contracts and other things that are necessary for a free market to work.”

              Because you said “who but BIG government”, I have to respond that a small government with the proper authority, but still severely limited in scope, can do as good, nay a better job of enforcing such things. They are not ladened with beaurocracy and burdened with the excessive costs of bullcrap, they are only there to protect freedom, part of which is to enforce violations of freedom.

            • Jon, Mathius,

              Government is completely unnecessary to enforce this.

              As we speak, BP is reeling – not because of any “government law enforcement” but the enforcement of the market place on their shares and their income.

              BP gas stations are going bankrupt all across the nation as motorists are voting their displeasure by boycott.

              Shareholders are dumping their shares – it is entirely possible BP as a company will not exist in a year.

              You gentleman are too trapped up in “revenge-brain” thinking – believing that unless some club pounds a fellow senseless, he will not learn.

              BP is actually praying that the government intervenes with its “enforcement” – which as it always does ends up protecting the company from its own disastrous consequences.

              • Perhaps you are right. At least most of the time. There are those who will not learn or will not care. It may be a minority, but the minority, the rare case, still has a major effect on humanity. It cannot justify locking everything down, but it is a great enough issue to need addressing through means outside of the ideal, because it is not an ideal problem.

              • Jon,

                Do you have an example to back up your assertion?

                What large company (not feeding the pockets of government) can afford to alienate its customers and survive?

              • None….what I am finding astounding is the over kill on BP. The situation is simply that there is a catastrophe….BP is paying for it big time. They were held up with government extortion…it is doubtful that BP North america will survive…the holding company cannot be penetrated unless there is fraud and criminal intent…

                The strippers will not get any money…. the restaurants in Philadelphia will not get any money because of no gulf shrimp…. The discharge has about another 6 months to go before it is the largest spill ever….I think that BP North America is finished.

              • And they will walk away….this thing could be cleaned up if government was out of the way.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Ooh, I know this one! Comcast!

                Seriously, have you ever tried dealing with this company!? All they do is alienate. Yet they survive…

              • Buck,

                But that does not answer my question since Comcast is forcefully protected by the government (FCC).

                If they did not have this protection, they would act differently or die.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Says who? Do you have any evidence of this, or does this just reflect your own beliefs?

              • Buck,

                Are you denying the existence of the FCC?

                Do you understand what the FCC primary purpose actually is (I’ll help – prevent entry of low cost local communication companies which would threaten the established semi-monopolies)

              • Buck the Wala says:

                BF, you argue that by eliminating government suddenly all these large companies would actually have to answer to their customers and would be forced to amend their ways or go under. It seems you have absolutely no evidence to support this belief.

              • BF’s right here Buck. Used to work in telecommunications and we (essentially) reported to and thusly were protected by the FCC.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I’m not denying that the FCC doesn’t protect these companies. My issue is that there is no evidence that, absent the FCC and other government regulations, things would magically be different in how these companies operate and treat their customers.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Flag and Buck – I used to work at Comcast – they play the FCC just as much as the FCC plays them.

              • Capital One comes to mind. They are being sued for false advertising and related deceiptful practices with their credit lines. This was not a big news story until a suit was filed. IF there were no laws or courts, no attention would have come to the issue, at least not enough to affect them. Maybe that is the key. BP has a lot of media attention, I would even say too much, so they are being taken to task in a big way, no government needed in this case, in fact it would be better if government was not involved in many ways, not the least of which is the evidence that cleanup is causing more harm than the spill. Compare this situation to the Mexican spill that got no attention in the 80’s. It went on for 9 months, no ecological effects noticeable fairly soon after.

                Still, there are a host of large businesses who do unethical and illegal things that, if they are small enough, they never answer for. Only if the media gets involved or the government is there a significant impact for the company.

                The pool of companies to look at, however, is quite small when you have to look at those not on the government teat. This is due, in large part, to the fact that sleazy business owners who will do unethical things and try to get away with screwing customers are the exact types that will seek government money just because they can.

                If all corporate welfare was removed, and all regulations, most of these things would evaporate and operate as you say, with the market handling the vast majority of issues. Companies, without the government created entity of the corporation, would also likely not get so large to start with. Still, laws against fraud and theft, enforcement of contracts, and settlement of damages to property when they occur should remain in effect. If they are not needed because of the effects of the free market, they will simply not be used.

              • Jon,

                Like Buck, you did not answer the question.

                Capital One is protected by the government and thus are immune to yours (and others) petty demands.

                I asked – find one company NOT protected by government that acts in a manner that alienates its customers.

                There exists NONE.

                The reason: if they do, the company dies, ergo, none exist.

    • The Obama administration is floundering…especially when it comes to this disaster. They see it as an opportunity to further their adgenda of cap and trade and to villianize the oil industry. The fact is that the US needs this oil, and IMO drilling should be allowed anywhere there is oil. Futhermore, the nation needs to be SERIOUSLY exploring alternatives.

      The fact is that currently there are no viable alternatives…with the possible exception of natural gas which we have an abundance of.

      The Moratorium they seek will only hurt the working people, and they seem not to care in the least.

    • The Federal Government’s inept bureaucracy contributed to the spill, and has hampered the containment and clean-up. I think the obstruction on clean-up is deliberate. The EPA will not allow “A Whale” to begin skimming because the discharge is greater than 15PPM.
      How many PPM is the untreated oil slick?

      This is another example of big business and big government working together, leaving us with the bill and consequences. Remember, if the government were no part of this, all the oil companies would be accountable. Because the government approved their actions, they are protected.

      27,000 Wells Abandoned, Unchecked in Gulf

      Published July 07, 2010

      FromFOX/ Associated Press

      April 21: In this aerial photo taken in the Gulf of Mexico more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana’s tip, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig is seen burning. (AP)

      More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows.

      The oldest of these wells were abandoned in the late 1940s, raising the prospect that many deteriorating sealing jobs are already failing.

      The AP investigation uncovered particular concern with 3,500 of the neglected wells — those characterized in federal government records as “temporarily abandoned.”

      Regulations for temporarily abandoned wells require oil companies to present plans to reuse or permanently plug such wells within a year, but the AP found that the rule is routinely circumvented, and that more than 1,000 wells have lingered in that unfinished condition for more than a decade. About three-quarters of temporarily abandoned wells have been left in that status for more than a year, and many since the 1950s and 1960s — even though sealing procedures for temporary abandonment are not as stringent as those for permanent closures.

      http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/07/07/gulf-awash-abandoned-oil-gas-wells/

    • http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/07/obama_is_strangling_big_oil.html

      Oil Refining

      The other important component of the oil industry is refining. The Obama administration, through the Environmental Protection Agency, has just put 27% of the country’s refining capacity into limbo, on the assertion that the plants violate the Clean Air Act. The 27 refining plants affected just happen to be located in Texas, which has battled the EPA for years over the emissions standards and permits process and has followed its own set of rules until now. Someone is showing someone who is boss.

      Will one-third of the nation’s oil-refining capacity have to be shut down for expensive revamping to meet the Obama EPA standards?

      Nuareen S. Malik writes in the Wall Street Journal:

      The federal agency proposed striking down the so-called flexible air permits issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, last September, saying they violate the Clean Air Act. Under the act, all states have to develop a state implementation plan to meet federal requirements to protect public health. The move won’t require oil refiners, chemical and plastics makers, and others to shut their plants immediately, but will force companies to meet stricter regulations in order to earn new, more detailed permits. […]

      Bill Day, a spokesman for Valero, which operates six out of seven of its Texas refineries under the flex permits, said the EPA’s move was disappointing. These “facilities are caught in the middle, creating significant uncertainty at a time when our economy can least afford it,” Mr. Day said in an email.

    • I’ll I’m gonna say is that this is another SHINING example of our Administration’s HOAX AND CHAINS.

      Notice how Obama and his minions are doing everything in their power to obstruct and worsen this disaster. And I have to ask myself, WHY? Why would you be deliberately slowing the cleanup?

      Could it be because with the fear and anger this event has caused, Obama will clean up down the line? I mean, hey, we’ve allready heard the old “It’s the Previous Administation’s fault, not ours” line from them. When does THIS Administration’s responsibility for things take efect I wonder? Maybe in 2012? Maybe after he’s out of office?

      For that matter who give’s a flying dog turd WHOSE fault it is right now. Just clean the thing up and stop the leak. Worry about fault AFTERWARDS. There’s plenty of time then. NOT NOW!

      And, to get back to the subject. How many deep water oil disasters have we had before? Why must there be a moratorium becuase of this one? Why aren’t they allowed to drill ON the Continental Shelf in 250ft. of water? Divers could have fixed that spill in days in shallow water. On land the same.

      Why is it that we cannot drill for oil on our OWN land and PISS on the other countries? Even Bush could not do that. Why not?

      • Why/why not…because the (and I use the term very loosly) people in the ivory tower in DC have permanent headuprectumitius, and the term common sense is something that simply does not compute…

      • Common Man says:

        ESOM;

        Because they have an agenda that main objective is too colapse Capitalizm / Free Trade, because they want a Socialist regime. They want to control things. They want to dictate how, when, why, who and where everything. This will result in a regulated global ideal and they only ones able to control / influence anything and everything of substance will be governments.

        I truely do believe that all the efforts of this regime and the majority of those before this one back to Wilson (Harding and Coolidge were exceptions) were driven by their own greed and self-defined rightousness. None, I mean none of them have the interest of their fellow citizens in mind. As a matter of fact they could care less.

        It’s all about power, control, greed, and influence and they are working to establish an environment where they have all of it.

        I know I may sound like a nut, but it is interesting how one views things when you view it from this perspective; things are far more clear.

        If it comes from the mouth of a government official it is a lie, cover-up or distraction.

        CM

        • “I know I may sound like a nut”

          I prefer, just because I’m paranoid, doesn’t mean there’s not someone out to get me.

          Ray, you owe me bonus points for using MM as a source.

          “Out of the 68, government-to-government offers to date….. We’ve accepted nine of those offers already”
          Does that sound like government dragging its heels???
          Anyone, anyone, anyone….

          http://mediamatters.org/research/201007060012

          U.S. has accepted international offers for cleanup effort. During his July 2 press briefing, Allen said that “[w]e’ve received 107 offers of foreign assistance from 44 countries and four international organizations. Sixty-eight of those offers were really government-to-government — this one government extending the offer of equipment or personnel or supplies to us. Thirty-nine of those offers were by private offers, which become another potential source of supply for the types of equipment we might need.” He went on to explain:

          ALLEN: Out of the 68, government-to-government offers to date 35 appear to be equipment or resources that we could use. We’ve accepted nine of those offers already and 24 of those offers are being processed right now through the State Department for acceptance. This is an ongoing process has been from the start but wanted to give you an update here.

          Of the 39 private offers, it looks like 30 of those are equipment or types of materials that we could use. Those have been provided to our folks that are out there acquiring whatever it is booms, dispersants, or skinny material and they become part of the broader source of supply that we’re pursuing in trying to resource our operation moving forward.

      • CM, LOI,et al.

        I have been doing serious thinking about Obama and our Demo controlled Congress for a while now. I don’t know, and don’t want to sound like some kind of Conspiracy nut, but I wonder why they are doing the stupid things they are doing.

        Their repeated efforts to disrupt our economic stability and micromanaging our “war” efforts. Along with passing acts and regulations that most of the nation are solidly against. And their constant meddling in things such as the border when they are doing NOTHING to help, are starting to worry the hell out of me.

        I am starting to think all these Conspiracy Theorists have a point. Why else would they be doing these things? Why would they be going so fast to ‘change’ us, when the Majority do not want it? My God people, just look. Take a little while to watch what they are doing! Even the Liberals are disappointed and pissed at them!

        Most folks I have spoken with who voted for Obama have said that they did NOT vote for this! In their quest to remake our Nation they are DESTROYING the fabric that makes up our nation.

        I don’t know about the rest of you, and I know some out there will think I am Nutty as a Squirrel Turd, but I am starting to belive in The Conspiracies more and more everyday.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      My take is that it makes absolute sense to stop the train so we acceptably reduce the risk of an immediate repeat while we’re still fighting the current mess. I believe adequate root cause can and should be done rather quickly (likely human error – someone not following process – and FTR folks – that means NOT AN ACCIDENT) so we know if we can or cannot safely drill AND adequately respond to an emergency. Thing of 9/11 – was it smart or dumb to ground all flights until we figured out what was up?

  4. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #4

    The Arab World Against Ahmadinejad?

    When the wise man points to the moon, the imbecile looks at the finger.

    Rarely has the Chinese adage seemed so clear to me as it does today.

    For, of course, all eyes are riveted on the downward slide in the president’s popularity.

    The entire political class has pounced, as one man, on the episodes leading up to McChrystal’s sacking and their consequences.

    And yet, while all this has been going on, an event has gone completely unnoticed, a huge, colossal event, one which, in the long run, can redraft the map of the planet, and one which this shadow theater nonetheless conceals from view.

    This major event absent from all the main radars, this geopolitical reversal that has not earned a thousandth of the media coverage devoted to Hillary Clinton’s changing moods, is the United Arab Emirates’s decision to inspect ships more or less directly linked to Iran or to trade with Iran arriving in their territorial waters and to freeze 41 bank accounts belonging to Iranian entities that may serve as a screen for contraband operations to further Tehran’s nuclear program. In other words, the UAE has chosen to side with the camp of those who apply to the letter the new United Nations resolution of June 9th that provides for further intensification of sanctions against Iran.

    This event occurs a few days after Hamad al-Kaabi, permanent representative of The Emirates to the IAEA, declared, at the closure of the annual meeting of the Global Initiative to CombatNuclear Terrorism at Abu Dhabi, that within the past few weeks, Emirates police have already inspected several dozen ships containing sensitive materials.

    It follows Georges Malbrunot’s article in June 26th’s French daily Le Figaro, revealing how the strange circumstances of the Mossad’s assassination of Mahmud al-Mabhuh in Dubai last January may well have been another red herring, another tree for which we were unable to see the forest, and another version of the apologue of the wise man, the imbecile, and the moon. For during this time, The Emirates were working closely with Israel to secure their borders, protect their oil wells, and prepare themselves for eventual destabilizing operations on the part of Iran!

    It comes on the heels of still another news item that appeared, this time, in the June 13th Times of London and has since been denied, though laconically, by Riyad: Saudi Arabia has decided to open its air space to Israeli planes. No details were provided, but one cannot help but think of a hypothetical surprise attack conducted by Tsahal against Ahmadinejad’s nuclear sites.

    All of this constitutes a major event for at least three reasons.

    First of all, because it reminds those who refuse to observe the fact that Islam is not a bloc. Islam of peace exists, vs Islam of war; moderate Islam vs fanatical Islam; and, of course, in this case, Sunni Islam vs Shiite Islamor, to be exact, vs this heresy of Shi’ism that is the apocalyptic Islam of the loonies and the gangsters who, a year ago, stole their vote from the Iranians.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernardhenri-levy/the-arab-world-against-ah_b_636952.html

    A quite interesting little piece from the Huffington Post. I included the first of his three reasons because I really felt that it was important for some of the readers here to see what he said about Islam not being a solid block that can be judged as an entire religion. That is an important point that I have tried to make clear for a long time. There are bad muslims and good muslims. Falling into the belief that all muslims are bad is no different than believing something like, say…. negroes lack the ability to reason and are savages that deserve slavery (at one time the belief in America).

    What is more interesting to me is that many of the Arab countries in the region are suddenly not so lovey dovey with Iran. If the part about the Saudis opening their airspace for Israel, that is a major change that has drastic impacts on the entire region. Not only does it open Iran to attack via that route, but it sends a message to Iran that they have lost support in the region. That the UAE is now inspecting ships and taking a hard line with sanctions against Iran says a ton about the regions temperature. IT appears the tide is turning against the radical government of Iran.

    This does not mean that Iran suddenly finds itself friendless in the region. That is certainly not the case. But it does point to a division in the region that makes for a politically unstable environment. Some of us, D13 and myself being the most vocal, have been pointing to the fact that Iran is a threat for quite some time. It would appear that there are at least some regimes in the middle east that are beginning to feel the same way.

    But I hasten to say that this is somewhat bad news, despite the fact that a dangerous Iran is being challenged. It makes the region further volatile. Make no mistake that an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear sites that comes through Saudi Arabia would throw the region into turmoil in a very bad way. An all out conflict throughout the region is not a good thing for the US. Besides the fact that we would inevitably be drawn into it, there is the fact that oil prices could skyrocket. And despite all the rhetoric about “alternative energy,” there is simply nothing as viable as oil in the near future.

    Watch this situation with a keen eye. More important, watch the US reaction with a keener one.

    • UAE Ambassador to US urges Iran strike
      Rick Moran (from American Thinker)
      From an ambassador representing a country on the front lines against Iran, in the Washington Times:

      In unusually blunt remarks, Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba publicly endorsed the use of the military option for countering Iran’s nuclear program, if sanctions fail to stop the country’s quest for nuclear weapons.

      “I think it’s a cost-benefit analysis,” Mr. al-Otaiba said. “I think despite the large amount of trade we do with Iran, which is close to $12 billion … there will be consequences, there will be a backlash and there will be problems with people protesting and rioting and very unhappy that there is an outside force attacking a Muslim country; that is going to happen no matter what.”

      “If you are asking me, ‘Am I willing to live with that versus living with a nuclear Iran?,’ my answer is still the same: ‘We cannot live with a nuclear Iran.’ I am willing to absorb what takes place at the expense of the security of the U.A.E.”

      Mr. al-Otaiba made his comments in response to a question after a public interview session with the Atlantic magazine at the Aspen Ideas Festival here. They echo those of some Arab diplomats who have said similar things in private to their American counterparts but never this bluntly in public.

      The world has stood idly by and allowed this situation to reach a critical point. I am not one to use World War II analogies lightly, but if ever there was a clear lesson to be learned from the run-up to World War II where the nations of Europe had a relatively painless opportunity to get rid of Hitler and save themselves 50 million dead, this is it. The UN has refused to deal effectively with Iran – partly because some nations are cheering them on, hoping they get rid of Israel and maybe hit the US with a nuke or two.

      In the end, it will come down to what Israel and the US do about it; there never was really any other realistic scenario.

  5. Saw a movie on HBO last night, called “Taking Chance”. It was about a Marine Light Colonel acting escort a Marine PFC, KIA,he thought the marine was from his home town an volunteered for the duty. Is what was shown in the movie a fair representation of what goes on during the preparation, an transporting.

  6. An email I received,

    In 1978-9 I was living and studying in Denmark . But in 1978 – even in Copenhagen, one didn’t see Muslim immigrants.

    The Danish population embraced visitors, celebrated the exotic, went out of its way to protect each of its citizens. It was proud of its new brand of socialist liberalism one in development since the conservatives had lost power in 1929 – a system where no worker had to struggle to survive, where one ultimately could count upon the state as in, perhaps, no other western nation at the time.

    The rest of Europe saw the Scandinavians as free-thinking, progressive and infinitely generous in their welfare policies. Denmark boasted low crime rates, devotion to the environment, a superior educational system and a history of humanitarianism.

    Denmark was also most generous in its immigration policies – it offered the best welcome in Europe to the new immigrant: generous welfare payments from first arrival plus additional perks in transportation, housing and education. It was determined to set a world example for inclusiveness and multiculturalism. How could it have predicted that one day in 2005 a series of political cartoons in a newspaper would spark violence that would leave dozens dead in the streets -all because its commitment to multiculturalism would come back to bite?

    By the 1990’s the growing urban Muslim population was obvious – as was its unwillingness to integrate into Danish society. Years of immigrants had settled into Muslim-exclusive enclaves. As the Muslim leadership became more vocal about what they considered the decadence of Denmark ‘s liberal way of life, the Danes – once so welcoming – began to feel slighted. Many Danes had begun to see Islam as incompatible with their long-standing values: belief in personal liberty and free speech, in
    equality for women, in tolerance for other ethnic groups, and a deep pride in Danish heritage and history.

    An article by Daniel Pipes and Lars Hedegaard, in which they accurately forecast, that the growing immigrant problem in Denmark would explode. In the article they reported:

    ‘Muslim immigrants constitute 5 percent of the population but consume upwards of 40 percent of the welfare spending.’ ‘Muslims are only 4 percent of Denmark’s 5..4 million people but make up a majority of the country’s convicted rapists, an especially combustible issue given that practically all the female victims are non-Muslim. Similar, if lesser, disproportions are found in other crimes.’

    ‘Over time, as Muslim immigrants increase in numbers, they wish less to mix with the indigenous population. A recent survey found that only 5 percent of young Muslim immigrants would readily marry a Dane.’

    ‘Forced marriages – promising a newborn daughter in Denmark to a male cousin in the home country, then compelling her to marry him, sometimes on pain of death – are one problem’

    ‘Muslim leaders openly declare their goal of introducing Islamic law once Denmark’s Muslim population grows large enough – a not-that-remote prospect.. If present trends persist, one sociologist
    estimates, every third inhabitant of Denmark in 40 years will be Muslim.’

    It is easy to understand why a growing number of Danes would feel that Muslim immigrants show little respect for Danish values and laws.
    An example is the phenomenon common to other European countries and Canada: some Muslims in Denmark who opted to leave the Muslim faith have been murdered in the name of Islam, while others hide in fear for their lives. Jews are also threatened and harassed openly by Muslim leaders in Denmark, a country where once Christian citizens worked to smuggle out nearly all of their 7,000 Jews by night to Sweden – before the Nazis could invade. I think of my Danish friend Elsa – who, as a teenager, had dreaded crossing the street to the bakery every morning under the eyes of occupying Nazi soldiers – and I wonder what she would say today.

    In 2001, Denmark elected the most conservative government in some 70 years – one that had some decidedly non-generous ideas about liberal, unfettered immigration. Today Denmark has the strictest immigration policies in Europe . ( Its effort to protect itself has been met with accusations of ‘racism’ by liberal media across Europe – even as other governments struggle to right the social problems wrought by years of too-lax immigration.)

    If you wish to become Danish, you must attend three years of language classes. You must pass a test on Denmark ‘s history, culture, and a Danish language test .

    You must live in Denmark for 7 years before applying for citizenship.

    You must demonstrate an intent to work, and have a job waiting. If you wish to bring a spouse into Denmark , you must both be over 24 years of age, and you won’t find it so easy anymore to move your friends and family to Denmark with you.

    You will not be allowed to build a mosque in Copenhagen . Although your children have a choice of some 30 Arabic culture and language schools in Denmark , they will be strongly encouraged to assimilate to Danish society in ways that past immigrants weren’t.

    In 2006, the Danish minister for employment, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, spoke publicly of the burden of Muslim immigrants on the Danish welfare system, and it was horrifying: the government’s welfare committee had calculated that if immigration from Third World countries were blocked, 75 percent of the cuts needed to sustain the huge welfare system in coming decades would be unnecessary. In other words, the welfare system, as it existed, was being exploited by immigrants to the point of eventually bankrupting the government. ‘We are simply forced to adopt a new policy on immigration’.

    ‘The calculations of the welfare committee are terrifying and show how unsuccessful the integration of immigrants has been up to now,’ he said.

    A large thorn in the side of Denmark ‘s imams is the Minister of Immigration and Integration, Rikke Hvilshoj.. She makes no bones about the new policy toward immigration, ‘The number of foreigners coming to the country makes a difference,’ Hvilshoj says, ‘There is an inverse correlation between how many come here and how well we can receive the foreigners that come’ And on Muslim immigrants needing to demonstrate a willingness to blend in, ‘In my view, Denmark should be a country with room for different cultures and religions. Some values, however, are more important than others. We refuse to question democracy, equal rights, and freedom of speech.’

    Hvilshoj has paid a price for her show of backbone.. Perhaps to test her resolve, the leading radical imam in Denmark, Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban, demanded that the government pay blood money to the family of a Muslim who was murdered in a suburb of Copenhagen, stating that the family’s thirst for revenge could be thwarted for money. When Hvilshoj dismissed his demand, he argued that in Muslim culture the payment of retribution money was common, to which Hvilshoj replied that what is done in a Muslim country is not necessarily what is done in Denmark.

    The Muslim reply came soon after: her house was torched while she, her husband and children slept. All managed to escape unharmed, but she and her family were moved to a secret location and she and other ministers were assigned bodyguards for the first time – in a country where such murderous violence was once so scarce..

    Her government has slid to the right, and her borders have tightened.
    Many believe that what happens in the next decade will determine whether Denmark survives as a bastion of good living, humane thinking and social responsibility, or whether it becomes a nation at civil war with supporters of Sharia law.

    And meanwhile, Canadians clamor for stricter immigration policies, and demand an end to state welfare programs that allow many immigrants to live on the public dole. As we in Canada look at the enclaves of Muslims amongst us, and see those who enter our shores too easily, dare live on our taxes, yet refuse to embrace our culture, respect our traditions, participate in our legal system, obey our laws, speak our language, appreciate our history
    .. we would do well to look to Denmark , and say a prayer for her future and
    for our own..

    • We will be in the same boat if we do not tighten the borders…the ILLEGAL immigrants are already straining our system…

      • Agree, and that is the crux of the matter, ILLEGAL vs legal. The legal immigrants learn our language and assimilate, they join our culture. The illegals reject our culture, and therefore feel unbound by our customs or even laws. I have heard of legal immigrants actively resenting and protesting the illegal immigrants abuse of our system.

  7. Mathius says:

    Repost for anyone who missed it on yesterday’s thread. Seeing as nobody commented, I’m not sure anyone saw it and it’s too great of a video to allow it to go unnoticed.

    This is for all you Austrian economists out there 🙂

    • I watched it yesterday…entitlement programs are killing everyone.

    • Would you settle for the opinion of a B student of college economy?
      That class was worse than waterboarding!

      • What qualifies someone to be an “economist”? Wow, that 10 minute clip tells the story. And yet, we continue to hear more spending, more stimulus, more, more, more.

        Absolute idiots.

      • Timing is everything. Just got an invite to attend a presentation by economist Simon Johnson

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Johnson_(economist)

        There will be Q & A after his talk. Send me your questions! Will report back. (presentation is in early August)

        • Kathy,

          Thanks for a response, I’ve been pouting about Matt ignoring me because I wasn’t Flag.:lol:

          In the May 2009 issue of The Atlantic Online Johnson argues that the U.S. economic recovery will fail unless the “financial oligarchy”,[6] responsible for the crisis in the first place, now using its influence to block necessary reform, is broken. The government, captured by the finance industry, seemingly “helpless, or unwilling, to act against them”,[6] is, according to Johnson, running out of time needed to prevent a true depression.[6][7] He has argued that the recent SEC filing against Goldman Sachs may be a turning point in the right direction.

          If I were to ask a question of such an economists it would be where we are on the reform and changes made to Fannie/Freddie. As a follow up question, who the ‘ell is Sallie May, how much is she going to cost us and is she being run the same way as the other GCE’s?

          Another thought, Medicare/medicaid/healthcare reform and SS are ever increasing expenses, how and when does that get controlled, or break the bank?

          • Mathius says:

            Medicare/medicaid/healthcare reform and SS are ever increasing expenses, how and when does that get controlled, or break the bank? CORRECT!

            • Are you shouting? You damn pirates are
              too high strung!! Must have your RB/DP ratio off a bit.:lol:

              I think I like the Fannie/Freddie question better, as they are already under congresses control. SEC hitting Goldman does not bother me, but am more interested in the government cleaning up it’s own act. I expect a private business to act in it’s own best interest. I also expect a gov. organization nowadays to do the same, use Minerals Management as a current example.

              • Mathius says:

                If you watched my link (come on, it’s only 2 minutes), you’d understand my response.

              • Why is the US economy so much stronger than the European economy?

                Because it’s owned by China.

                Correct.

                (I think Japan and China are swapping
                who is the biggest US debt holder title, back and forth)

                Sorry I’m slow Matt, could you write with a British accent next time?

              • Mathius says:

                Correct!

              • Mathius says:

                how’s that?

      • Common Man says:

        Interesting. Wonder how those who argued against the possibility of the current situation are doing career wise.

        CM

      • Eating salted peanuts is worse than water boarding.

  8. The White House’s announcement today that they will bypass the nomination process of the United States Senate to recess appoint Donald Berwick as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is an act of unconscionable hubris.

    The White House claims this act is in response to “Washington game-playing”, accusing Republicans of planning to “stall the nomination” as long as possible. This is nothing more than a baldfaced lie. Republicans cannot stall this nomination — it is impossible for them to do so under Senate rules — as not one hearing has been called or scheduled. Even the New York Times doesn’t buy the White House’s explanation, reporting: “The recess appointment was somewhat unusual because the Senate is in recess for less than two weeks and senators were still waiting for Dr. Berwick to submit responses to some of their requests for information.”

    In truth, it is the White House that is playing games with the health policy of the nation and the welfare of the American people. In bypassing the traditional process through which the Senate advises and consents to nominees, President Obama is preventing Senators and the people they represent from obtaining any answers from Mr. Berwick, who has repeatedly made claims and statements that raise numerous questions about his suitability for this critical position.

    Such questions would have concerned his remarks attacking private-sector solutions to health care problems, in support of “rationing with our eyes open,” and speaking of his affection for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service as “romantic.” In footage discovered and highlighted by the Heartland Institute in May, Mr. Berwick made this audacious statement: “Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized, and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.”

    Senators have expressed concerns about statements like these, as well as Mr. Berwick’s background. He is a nominee with little management experience poised to head the second largest insurer on the planet, an agency with more funding to disperse than all but the top 15 economies in the world. In fact, the White House’s decision to make this recess appointment is as much a demonstration of their unwillingness to have any debate about Mr. Berwick’s views occur in the public eye as it is of their concern that some in their own party have privately questioned whether he is outside the mainstream.

    Such questions are of course appropriate. Thanks to the White House’s decision, they will not be answered. Understand: Mr. Berwick’s position as head of CMS will give him unprecedented power to apply his views on health care policy under President Obama’s new health care regime. Yet thanks to the White House’s game playing, he will not answer one question, not one, before he is ensconced in a position where his radical policy views will ultimately effect the lives and health care of every American.

    As we saw in the process of Obamacare’s passage, there is nothing – not precedent, not tradition, not even the most basic expectations of fairness or responsible governance – that will stop President Obama and his allies in their quest to remake American social policy in their image.

    http://www.redstate.com/ben_domenech/2010/07/07/donald-berwick-exemplifies-the-obama-agenda/

    • Death panels anyone?

      • So it would seem.

        http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/07/obamas_health_care_rationing_c.html

        Renowned for rationing health care, Donald Berwick was appointed to the position of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

        Dare we ask: Why does Obama need a rationing expert to oversee these two programs?

        While Nancy is funning and sunning, Obama placed Czar Donald Berwick, president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, in the position of deciding who lives and who dies. Obama circumvented the traditional confirmation venue because Berwick’s nomination was an uncertain one. Democrats realized a permanent vacation awaited them in November if the unpopular Obamacare discussion was broached again. Let’s just say Berwick was a touchy nominee.

        Thus, Obama dictated and denied America the opportunity to have dastardly Donald explain comments he made in an interview last year with Biotechnology Healthcare. Berwick said “society makes decisions about rationing all the time,” and that the “decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open. And right now, we are doing it blindly.”

    • Winners of this year’s Neologism Contest are …

      Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply
      alternative meanings for common words.

      The winners are:

      1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

      2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

      3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

      4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

      5. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly
      answer the door in your nightgown.

      6. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

      7. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.

      8. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run
      over by a steamroller.

      19. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

      10. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

      11. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by
      proctologists.

      12. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

      13. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with
      Yiddishisms.

      14. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that,
      when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

      15. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by
      Jewish men.

      The Washington Post’s Style Invitational also asked readers to take any
      word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing
      one letter, and supply a new definition.

      Here are this year’s winners:

      1. Bozone (n..): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops
      bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows
      little sign of breaking down in the near future.

      2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of
      getting laid.

      3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the
      subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

      4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

      5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the
      person who doesn’t get it.

      6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running
      late.

      7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

      8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit).

      9. Karmageddon (n): its like, when everybody is sending off all these
      really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s
      like, a serious bummer.

      10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day
      consuming only things that are good for you.

      11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

      12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter
      when they come at you rapidly.

      13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after
      you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

      14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your
      bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

      15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in
      the fruit you’re eating.

      And the pick of the literature:

      16. Ignoranus (n): A person who’s both stupid and an ass

  9. I am certainly glad that Iran has peaceful intentions and is in full IAEA compliance. I feel better…….

    Aug. 21, 2009: Iran grants inspectors admittance to an almost finished Arak nuclear reactor, as well as increased monitoring of the Natanz uranium enrichment site; the former, when completed, will be able to produce enough plutonium for a nuclear weapon every year. The IAEA continues to believe Tehran might be hiding other nuclear sites unknown to its inspectors or foreign intelligence agencies.

    Aug. 20, 2009: A top US lawmaker joins US and European officials in calling upon the IAEA to publish classified data indicating Iran’s efforts to weaponize nuclear program.

    July 17, 2009: New IAEA designated chief, Yukiya Amano, reiterates that Iran has conducted nuclear activities for some time without reporting them to the Agency.

    June 5, 2009: The IAEA releases its most recent report, including several important findings.

    •The number of centrifuges enriching uranium at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) has increased to 4,920 (up from 3,936), with an additional 2,132 installed since the IAEA’s last report in March 2009. This brings to 7,052 the total number of centrifuges either enriching uranium or installed and ready to begin enrichment.
    •Since the last IAEA report in March 2009, Iran has produced an additional 725 lb (329 kg) of low enriched uranium (LEU) hexafluoride. In total, Iran has produced 2,952 lb (1,339 kg) of LEU hexafluoride.
    •Contrary to the request of the Board of Governors and the requirements of the UN Security Council, Iran has neither implemented the IAEA safety protocol measures regarding peaceful nuclear activities nor cooperated with the IAEA in connection with its nuclear program. This has caused concern regarding the military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.

    Feb 19, 2009: In its first appraisal of Iran’s nuclear program since President Obama took office, the IAEA found that Iran recently understated by a third how much uranium has been enriched. The officials also declared for the first time that the amount of uranium that Tehran had amassed — more than a ton — was sufficient, with further enrichment, to produce an atomic bomb.

    February 7, 2009: the IAEA conducted an inspection at Iran’s Fuel Manufacturing Plant in Esfahan. At the time it was noted that the production line for the natural uranium pellets for the heavy water reactor fuel was completed and fuel rods produced.

    Feb 2009: The IAEA released a report stating: “Contrary to the decisions of the Security Council, Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities or its work on heavy water-related projects, including the construction of the heavy water moderated research reactor, IR-40, and the production of fuel for that reactor.”

    November 2008: According to several IAEA safeguard reports on Iran, in particular those from February and May of 2008, Iran has undertaken research into the development and testing of high voltage detonator firing equipment and the simultaneous firing of multiple explosive bridge-wire detonators. This is significant because these detonators would only be used in the construction of an actual nuclear bomb, and NOT for peaceful nuclear activities.

    May 23, 2007: An IAEA report discloses that despite diplomatic efforts to suspend Iran’s enrichment-related activities, Iran continues to proceed with its nuclear program.

    The IAEA also stated that its knowledge of Iran’s nuclear program has diminished since 2006, at which time Iran stopped providing certain information.

    Since April 13, 2007: Iran refuses to grant access to the IAEA to the Arak reactor site to inspect and verify design information.

    Despite the IAEA safeguards and U.N. sanctions requesting that Iran suspend its heavy water production, satellite imagery indicates that Iran continues to engage in this activity.

    The report also stated that Iran has not agreed to the required transparency measures, which clarify the scope and nature of its nuclear program. These measures include information concerning:

    •the conversion of uranium dioxide into UF4 (Uranium Tetraflouride, used for making ‘yellow cake,’ a kind of uranium concentrate);
    •high explosives testing;
    •the design of a missile re-entry vehicle.
    Since Feb. 22, 2007 Iran continues to test cascade machines at the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP).

    Iran continues to install centrifuges despite its agreement to suspend the import, manufacture and use of P-1 and P-2 centrifuge components in 2004;

    March 24, 2007: The U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1747, reaffirming that Iran should immediately take the steps required to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of its nuclear program. These steps include suspending all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities as well as heavy water-related projects. The resolution also encouraged all states to take the necessary measures to prevent the supply, sale or transfer of all “items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related activities.”

    March 7, 2007: El Baradei states that Iran’s actions “render the Agency unable to provide the required assurance about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.” The IAEA’s “confidence about the nature of Iran’s program has been shaken….[and] will only be restored when Iran takes the long overdue decision to explain and answer all the Agency’s questions and concerns about its past nuclear activities in an open and transparent manner.”

    March 29, 2006: The U.N. Security Council requests a report on Iran’s nuclear program detailing the process of Iranian compliance with the steps required by the IAEA.

    Jan. 10, 2006: Despite continuous requests to suspend its activities, Iran removes IAEA seals on enrichment-related equipment and material at Natanz and at two related storage and testing locations, Pars Trash and Farayand Technique.

    Aug.-Sept. 2005: Iran resumes production uranium despite EU and IAEA requests to suspend enrichment activities.

    Aug. 1, 2005: Iran notifies the IAEA that it has decided to resume the uranium conversion activities at the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) in Esfahan.

    Aug. 8, 2005: Iran starts to feed uranium ore concentrate into the first part of the process line at the UCF. The IAEA’s director general reports that on Aug.10, Iran removed the IAEA seals on the process lines and the UF4 (Uranium Tetraflouride-used to convert UF6 into yellow cake) at that facility.

    After the IAEA conducts environment tests, samples reveal types of nuclear testing that Iran did not include in its inventory of declared nuclear material, calling into question the completeness of Iran’s declarations about its centrifuge enrichment activities.[29] The IAEA continues to urge Iran to suspend its enrichment-related activities, including the production of feed material.

    May 18, 2004: Iran sends a letter to the IAEA stating, “Iran has not, at any time, made any undertaking not to produce feed material for the enrichment process. The decision taken for voluntary and temporary suspension is based on clearly defined scope which does not include suspension of production of UF6.” The IAEA disagrees.

    Sept. 2004: Iran does not heed repeated calls from the IAEA board to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.[32] At its Uranium Conversion Facility, Iran plans to introduce 37 tons of yellow cake which would run counter to the IAEA board’s request in resolution GOV/2004/49 (on NPT safeguards on Iran’s nuclear program).

    Despite Iran’s agreement to suspend the import, manufacture and use of P-1 and P-2 centrifuge components, three private workshops in Iran continue to conduct these activities.

    ___________________________________

    Sources:

    H.E. Reza Aghazadeh, “Statement at the 46th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” IAEA, Sept.16, 2006, http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/IaeaIran/iran_timeline.shtml#september02, pg.3

    Goodenough, Patrick, “Iraqis Subdue Iranian Dissidents, As U.S. ‘Monitors’ the Situation,” CNS News, July 31, 2009, http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/51823

    La Guardia, Anton, “’18 years of lies’ from Iran over its nuclear plans,” The Telegraph, Dec.12, 2003, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/11/12/wiran12.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/11/12/ixworld.html

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 2, 2005, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2005/gov2005-67.pdf

    “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” International Atomic Energy Agency, April 22, 1970, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/Others/infcirc140.pdf

    Jahn, George, “Diplomats: Iran improves access to nuke activities,” AP, Aug. 21, 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iijfYgMUu7W_-ZKg8BjH5QNTww5QD9A6O2MO2

    Jahn, George, “Iran calls for ban on striking nuke facilities,” AP, Aug. 12, 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iijfYgMUu7W_-ZKg8BjH5QNTww5QD9A1IQUO1

    “Top US lawmaker blasts UN over Iran nuclear drive,” AFP, Aug. 20, 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gEhpOKpXuDmtuTinhdSLbCdzn7FQ

    “Iran conducted nuclear activities without reporting them to IAEA, says Amano,” Daily Times, July 17, 2009, http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20097\17\story_17-7-2009_pg20_7

    Albright, David; Shire, Jacqueline, “IAEA Report on Iran,” Institute for Science and International Security, June 5, 2009, http://isis-online.org/publications/iran/Iran_IAEA_Report_Analysis_5June2009.pdf

    Albright, David; Shire, Jacqueline, “IAEA Report on Iran,” Institute for Science and International Security, June 5, 2009, http://isis-online.org/publications/iran/Iran_IAEA_Report_Analysis_5June2009.pdf

    Broad, William J.; Sanger, David E., “Iran Has More Enriched Uranium Than Thought,” New York Times, Feb. 19, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/world/middleeast/20nuke.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=iran%20uranium&st=cse

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Feb 19, 2009, http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/nuke/iaea0209.pdf

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Feb 19, 2009, http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/nuke/iaea0209.pdf

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007) and 1803 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, May 26, 2008, http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iran/IAEA_Iran_Report_26May2008.pdf

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    United Nations Security Council, “Resolution 1737,” Dec. 27, 2006, http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/IaeaIran/unsc_res1737-2006.pdf, pg. 2

    United Nations Security Council, “Resolution 1737,” Dec. 27, 2006, http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/IaeaIran/unsc_res1737-2006.pdf, pg. 2

    Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, “Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors,” IAEA, March 5, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Statements/2007/ebsp2007n004.html#iran

    “Iran Begins Removal of IAEA Seals at Enrichment-related Locations,” IAEA, Jan. 10, 2006, http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/PressReleases/2006/prn200602.html

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 2, 2005 http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2005/gov2005-67.pdf, pg.1

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 2, 2005 http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2005/gov2005-67.pdf, pg.1

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 2, 2005 http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2005/gov2005-67.pdf, pg.1

    Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 2, 2005 http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2005/gov2005-67.pdf, pg.1

    Report by the Director General, “”Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 1, 2004, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2004/gov2004-60.pdf, pgs. 6, Annex 11

    Report by the Board of Governors, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 18, 2004, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2004/gov2004-79.pdf, pg. 1

    Report by the Board of Governors, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 18, 2004, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2004/gov2004-79.pdf, pg. 1

    Report by the Board of Governors, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 18, 2004, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2004/gov2004-79.pdf, pg. 1

    The Board of Governors, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Nov. 26, 2003, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2003/gov2003-81.pdf, pg. 2

    This last: The Iranian government has banned two inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, from working in Iran. The ban was announced by Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, who said the two, who were not named, had filed “false” reports on Iran’s nuclear program.

    IAEA Press Officer Greg Webb said in a statement: “The International Atomic Energy Agency can confirm that on 10 June 2010 it received a letter from Iran objecting to the designation of two IAEA safeguards inspectors.

    “The IAEA has full confidence in the professionalism and impartiality of the inspectors concerned. The Agency confirms that its report on the implementation of safeguards in Iran, issued on 31 May 2010, is fully accurate.

    “The IAEA will continue to monitor the situation carefully and keep Member States informed as appropriate.”

    U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called the banning of the two IAEA inspectors by Iran “worrisome” and “symptomatic of its longstanding practice of intimidating inspectors in which Iran has engaged.”

    “IAEA inspectors should be free to report on what they see during the course of their duties. . . .Reducing cooperation with the IAEA will only deepen the world’s concern with respect to its nuclear program. Iran’s obligations are clear and were made more so through the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which underscores the requirement that Iran has to cooperate fully with the IAEA.”

    Iran’s decision to block the inspectors, said Mr. Crowley, “will not engender or encourage the international community to believe that Iran’s program is peaceful in nature.” He said the United States remains focused on implementing and enforcing economic sanctions that have been adopted by the Security Council, while at the same time making clear to Iran’s leaders that the diplomatic option to resolve the issues that have been raised by Iran’s nuclear program remains available.

    Interesting…I wonder……is Iran peaceful? (Insert tongue in cheek here).

    • D13,

      I’d suggest you worry about nations who have nuclear weapons and are NOT part of any oversight or treaty before you worry about countries that do not have any nuclear weapons.

  10. In September 2002, Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of its plans to advance its nuclear energy program, specifically that it was “embarking on a long-term plan….to construct nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 6000 MW (megawatts) within two decades.”[1] The program had previously been exposed in August 2002 by an exiled opposition group, the People’s Mujaheddin Organization of Iran.[2] For almost 20 years, Iran hid its nuclear weapons development program from the IAEA and denied its existence.[3]

    The IAEA’s director general, Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, and other key officials subsequently traveled to Iran and discovered “extensive concealment activities” regarding Iran’s nuclear enrichment programs.[4] This discovery raised much concern among world leaders, the IAEA and the United Nations because Iran had breached its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The IAEA remains unable to determine the full extent of Iran’s nuclear program.

    The NPT states:

    •Each nuclear-weapons state (NWS) undertakes not to transfer nuclear weapons or explosive devices, and not to assist any non-nuclear weapon state to manufacture or acquire such weapons or devices.
    •Each non-NWS party undertakes not to receive nuclear weapons or explosive devices; not to manufacture or acquire such weapons or devices; and not to receive any assistance in their manufacture.
    •Each non-NWS party undertakes to conclude an agreement with the IAEA for the application of its safeguards to all nuclear material in all of the state’s peaceful nuclear activities and to prevent diversion of such material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.[5]

    The following is a chronology of the seven years since that initial discovery:

    Aug. 21, 2009: Iran grants inspectors admittance to an almost finished Arak nuclear reactor, as well as increased monitoring of the Natanz uranium enrichment site; the former, when completed, will be able to produce enough plutonium for a nuclear weapon every year.[6] The IAEA continues to believe Tehran might be hiding other nuclear sites unknown to its inspectors or foreign intelligence agencies.[7]

    Aug. 20, 2009: A top US lawmaker joins US and European officials in calling upon the IAEA to publish classified data indicating Iran’s efforts to weaponize nuclear program.[8]
    July 17, 2009: New IAEA designated chief, Yukiya Amano, reiterates that Iran has conducted nuclear activities for some time without reporting them to the Agency.[9]

    June 5, 2009: The IAEA releases its most recent report, including several important findings.

    •The number of centrifuges enriching uranium at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) has increased to 4,920 (up from 3,936), with an additional 2,132 installed since the IAEA’s last report in March 2009. This brings to 7,052 the total number of centrifuges either enriching uranium or installed and ready to begin enrichment.
    •Since the last IAEA report in March 2009, Iran has produced an additional 725 lb (329 kg) of low enriched uranium (LEU) hexafluoride. In total, Iran has produced 2,952 lb (1,339 kg) of LEU hexafluoride.[10]
    •Contrary to the request of the Board of Governors and the requirements of the UN Security Council, Iran has neither implemented the IAEA safety protocol measures regarding peaceful nuclear activities nor cooperated with the IAEA in connection with its nuclear program. This has caused concern regarding the military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.[11]

    (Images courtesy of Institute for Science and International Security-ISIS)

    Feb 19, 2009: In its first appraisal of Iran’s nuclear program since President Obama took office, the IAEA found that Iran recently understated by a third how much uranium has been enriched. The officials also declared for the first time that the amount of uranium that Tehran had amassed — more than a ton — was sufficient, with further enrichment, to produce an atomic bomb. [12]

    February 7, 2009: the IAEA conducted an inspection at Iran’s Fuel Manufacturing Plant in Esfahan. At the time it was noted that the production line for the natural uranium pellets for the heavy water reactor fuel was completed and fuel rods produced.[13]

    Feb 2009: The IAEA released a report stating: “Contrary to the decisions of the Security Council, Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities or its work on heavy water-related projects, including the construction of the heavy water moderated research reactor, IR-40, and the production of fuel for that reactor.” [14]

    (Image courtesy of the Institute for Science and International Security-ISIS)

    November 2008: According to several IAEA safeguard reports on Iran, in particular those from February and May of 2008, Iran has undertaken research into the development and testing of high voltage detonator firing equipment and the simultaneous firing of multiple explosive bridge-wire detonators.[15] This is significant because these detonators would only be used in the construction of an actual nuclear bomb, and NOT for peaceful nuclear activities.

    May 23, 2007: An IAEA report discloses that despite diplomatic efforts to suspend Iran’s enrichment-related activities, Iran continues to proceed with its nuclear program.[16]

    The IAEA also stated that its knowledge of Iran’s nuclear program has diminished since 2006, at which time Iran stopped providing certain information.[17]

    Since April 13, 2007: Iran refuses to grant access to the IAEA to the Arak reactor site to inspect and verify design information. [18]

    Despite the IAEA safeguards and U.N. sanctions requesting that Iran suspend its heavy water production, satellite imagery indicates that Iran continues to engage in this activity.[19]

    The report also stated that Iran has not agreed to the required transparency measures, which clarify the scope and nature of its nuclear program. These measures include information concerning:

    •the conversion of uranium dioxide into UF4 (Uranium Tetraflouride, used for making ‘yellow cake,’ a kind of uranium concentrate);
    •high explosives testing;
    •the design of a missile re-entry vehicle.[20]
    Since Feb. 22, 2007 Iran continues to test cascade machines at the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP).[21]

    Iran continues to install centrifuges despite its agreement to suspend the import, manufacture and use of P-1 and P-2 centrifuge components in 2004;[22]

    March 24, 2007: The U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1747, reaffirming that Iran should immediately take the steps required to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of its nuclear program. These steps include suspending all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities as well as heavy water-related projects.[23] The resolution also encouraged all states to take the necessary measures to prevent the supply, sale or transfer of all “items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related activities.”[24]

    March 7, 2007: El Baradei states that Iran’s actions “render the Agency unable to provide the required assurance about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.” The IAEA’s “confidence about the nature of Iran’s program has been shaken….[and] will only be restored when Iran takes the long overdue decision to explain and answer all the Agency’s questions and concerns about its past nuclear activities in an open and transparent manner.”[25]

    March 29, 2006: The U.N. Security Council requests a report on Iran’s nuclear program detailing the process of Iranian compliance with the steps required by the IAEA.

    Jan. 10, 2006: Despite continuous requests to suspend its activities, Iran removes IAEA seals on enrichment-related equipment and material at Natanz and at two related storage and testing locations, Pars Trash and Farayand Technique.[26]

    Aug.-Sept. 2005: Iran resumes production uranium despite EU and IAEA requests to suspend enrichment activities.

    Aug. 1, 2005: Iran notifies the IAEA that it has decided to resume the uranium conversion activities at the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) in Esfahan.[27]

    Aug. 8, 2005: Iran starts to feed uranium ore concentrate into the first part of the process line at the UCF. The IAEA’s director general reports that on Aug.10, Iran removed the IAEA seals on the process lines and the UF4 (Uranium Tetraflouride-used to convert UF6 into yellow cake) at that facility.[28]

    After the IAEA conducts environment tests, samples reveal types of nuclear testing that Iran did not include in its inventory of declared nuclear material, calling into question the completeness of Iran’s declarations about its centrifuge enrichment activities.[29] The IAEA continues to urge Iran to suspend its enrichment-related activities, including the production of feed material.[30]

    May 18, 2004: Iran sends a letter to the IAEA stating, “Iran has not, at any time, made any undertaking not to produce feed material for the enrichment process. The decision taken for voluntary and temporary suspension is based on clearly defined scope which does not include suspension of production of UF6.” The IAEA disagrees.[31]

    Sept. 2004: Iran does not heed repeated calls from the IAEA board to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.[32] At its Uranium Conversion Facility, Iran plans to introduce 37 tons of yellow cake which would run counter to the IAEA board’s request in resolution GOV/2004/49 (on NPT safeguards on Iran’s nuclear program).[33]

    Despite Iran’s agreement to suspend the import, manufacture and use of P-1 and P-2 centrifuge components, three private workshops in Iran continue to conduct these activities.[34]

    Nov.-Dec. 2003: Iran voluntarily suspends enrichment-related and reprocessing activities at the Natanz facility[35] and signs additional Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards, giving IAEA inspectors greater authority in verifying the country’s nuclear program.[36]

    ——————————————————————————–

    [1] H.E. Reza Aghazadeh, “Statement at the 46th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” IAEA, Sept.16, 2006, http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/IaeaIran/iran_timeline.shtml#september02, pg.3

    [2] Goodenough, Patrick, “Iraqis Subdue Iranian Dissidents, As U.S. ‘Monitors’ the Situation,” CNS News, July 31, 2009, http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/51823

    [3] La Guardia, Anton, “’18 years of lies’ from Iran over its nuclear plans,” The Telegraph, Dec.12, 2003, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/11/12/wiran12.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/11/12/ixworld.html

    [4] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 2, 2005, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2005/gov2005-67.pdf

    [5] “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” International Atomic Energy Agency, April 22, 1970, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/Others/infcirc140.pdf

    [6] Jahn, George, “Diplomats: Iran improves access to nuke activities,” AP, Aug. 21, 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iijfYgMUu7W_-ZKg8BjH5QNTww5QD9A6O2MO2

    [7] Jahn, George, “Iran calls for ban on striking nuke facilities,” AP, Aug. 12, 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iijfYgMUu7W_-ZKg8BjH5QNTww5QD9A1IQUO1

    [8] “Top US lawmaker blasts UN over Iran nuclear drive,” AFP, Aug. 20, 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gEhpOKpXuDmtuTinhdSLbCdzn7FQ

    [9] “Iran conducted nuclear activities without reporting them to IAEA, says Amano,” Daily Times, July 17, 2009, http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20097\17\story_17-7-2009_pg20_7

    [10] Albright, David; Shire, Jacqueline, “IAEA Report on Iran,” Institute for Science and International Security, June 5, 2009, http://isis-online.org/publications/iran/Iran_IAEA_Report_Analysis_5June2009.pdf

    [11] Albright, David; Shire, Jacqueline, “IAEA Report on Iran,” Institute for Science and International Security, June 5, 2009, http://isis-online.org/publications/iran/Iran_IAEA_Report_Analysis_5June2009.pdf

    [12] Broad, William J.; Sanger, David E., “Iran Has More Enriched Uranium Than Thought,” New York Times, Feb. 19, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/world/middleeast/20nuke.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=iran%20uranium&st=cse

    [13] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Feb 19, 2009, http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/nuke/iaea0209.pdf

    [14] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Feb 19, 2009, http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/nuke/iaea0209.pdf

    [15] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007) and 1803 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, May 26, 2008, http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iran/IAEA_Iran_Report_26May2008.pdf

    [16] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    [17] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    [18] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    [19] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    [20] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    [21] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    [22] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” May 23, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-22.pdf

    [23] United Nations Security Council, “Resolution 1737,” Dec. 27, 2006, http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/IaeaIran/unsc_res1737-2006.pdf, pg. 2

    [24] United Nations Security Council, “Resolution 1737,” Dec. 27, 2006, http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/IaeaIran/unsc_res1737-2006.pdf, pg. 2

    [25] Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, “Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors,” IAEA, March 5, 2007, http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Statements/2007/ebsp2007n004.html#iran

    [26] “Iran Begins Removal of IAEA Seals at Enrichment-related Locations,” IAEA, Jan. 10, 2006, http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/PressReleases/2006/prn200602.html

    [27] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 2, 2005 http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2005/gov2005-67.pdf, pg.1

    [28] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 2, 2005 http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2005/gov2005-67.pdf, pg.1

    [29] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 2, 2005 http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2005/gov2005-67.pdf, pg.1

    [30] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 2, 2005 http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2005/gov2005-67.pdf, pg.1

    [31] Report by the Director General, “”Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 1, 2004, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2004/gov2004-60.pdf, pgs. 6, Annex 11

    [32] Report by the Board of Governors, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 18, 2004, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2004/gov2004-79.pdf, pg. 1

    [33] Report by the Board of Governors, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 18, 2004, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2004/gov2004-79.pdf, pg. 1

    [34] Report by the Board of Governors, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Sept. 18, 2004, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2004/gov2004-79.pdf, pg. 1

    [35] The Board of Governors, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” IAEA, Nov. 26, 2003, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2003/gov2003-81.pdf, pg. 2

    [36] Staff Report, “Iran Signs Additional Protocol on Nuclear Safeguards,” IAEA, Dec. 18, 2003, http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2003/iranap20031218.html

  11. “soft money collapses”… Will the US be listed in 2016?

    Marx got one thing right. History does bear out the dramatic story of centuries of class struggle. But if we eliminate his one small flawed premise, we can see it all much more clearly.

    The two classes are not the Labour and the Capital, the rich and the poor, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, or the workers and the elite. The two classes are the Debtors and the Savers. “The soft money camp” and “the hard money camp”. History reveals the story of these two groups, over and over and over again. Always one is in power, and always the other one desires the power.

    1. Debtors – “The soft money camp” likes to spend (and redistribute) money it did not earn, either by borrowing it, taxing the savers for it, or printing it. They like soft money because it is always and everywhere constantly inflating, easing the repayment of their debts.

    2. Savers – “The hard money camp” likes to live within their means and save any excess for the future. They prefer hard money (or in some cases “harder” money) because it protects their savings and forces the debtors to work off their debts.

    1789, the French Revolution, “the hard money camp” had been in power since 1720 when John Law’s soft money collapsed, and starting in 1789 “the soft money camp” killed “the hard money camp” and took back the power. This is the way “the soft money camp”, the Debtors, usually take power… by revolting against the hard repayment of their spending habits.

    Only nine years later, 1797, soft money collapsed once again (as it had just done in 1720) and a new French monetary system based upon gold was again reinstated. This is the way “the hard money camp”, the Savers, almost always regain control: when the soft money collapses. On very rare occasions and only under highly favorable circumstances (like moving to a new continent!), “the hard money crowd” takes control by physically separating from “soft money” and declaring independence from the Debtors.

    The American Revolution. Yes, the Constitution mandates hard money.

    So just to repeat for clarity: Hard money regimes almost always end in bloodshed, when the soft money camp slaughters the hard money camp to avoid hard repayment terms. And soft money regimes almost always end in financial suffering when the soft money collapses. Here are a few more examples of “soft money collapses”…

    Angola (1991-1999)
    Argentina (1975-1991, 2001)
    Austria (1921-1922)
    Belarus (1994-2002)
    Bolivia (1984-1986)
    Brazil (1986-1994)
    Bosnia-Herzegovina (1993)
    Bulgaria (1991-1997)
    Chile (1971-1973)
    China (1939-1950)
    Free City of Danzig (1923)
    Ecuador (2000)
    England (1560)
    Greece (1944-1953)
    Georgia (1995)
    Germany (1923-1924, 1945-1948)
    Greece (1944-1953)
    Hungary (1922-1927, 1944-1946)
    Israel (1979-1985)
    Japan (1944-1948)
    Krajina (1993)
    Madagascar (2004)
    Mexico (1993)
    Mongolian Empire (13th and 14th Century AD)
    Nicaragua (1987-1990)
    Persian Empire (1294)
    Peru (1984-1990)
    Poland (1922-1924, 1990-1993)
    Romania (2000-2005)
    Ancient Rome (~270AD)
    Russia (1921-1922, 1992-1994)
    Taiwan (late-1940’s)
    Turkey (1990’s)
    Ukraine (1993-1995)
    United States (1812-1814, 1861-1865)
    Vietnam (1981-1988)
    Yap (late 1800’s)
    Yugoslavia (1989-1994)
    Zaire (1989-1996)
    Zimbabwe (1999 – present)

    • WAYNE ALLYN ROOT

      Barack Obama is no fool. He is not incompetent. To the contrary, he is brilliant. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos — thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.
      Barack Obama is my college classmate (Columbia University, class of ’83). As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Columbia University. They outlined a plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands. Add up the clues below. Taken individually they’re alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant, Machiavellian game plan to turn the United States into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival … and can be counted on to always vote for bigger government. Why not? They have no responsibility to pay for it.
      — Universal health care. The health care bill had very little to do with health care. It had everything to do with unionizing millions of hospital and health care workers, as well as adding 15,000 to 20,000 new IRS agents (who will join government employee unions). Obama doesn’t care that giving free health care to 30 million Americans will add trillions to the national debt. What he does care about is that it cements the dependence of those 30 million voters to Democrats and big government. Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression?
      — Cap and trade. Like health care legislation having nothing to do with health care, cap and trade has nothing to do with global warming. It has everything to do with redistribution of income, government control of the economy and a criminal payoff to Obama’s biggest contributors. Those powerful and wealthy unions and contributors (like GE, which owns NBC, MSNBC and CNBC) can then be counted on to support everything Obama wants. They will kick-back hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party to keep them in power. The bonus is that all the new taxes on Americans with bigger cars, bigger homes and businesses helps Obama “spread the wealth around.”
      — Make Puerto Rico a state. Why? Who’s asking for a 51st state? Who’s asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression? Certainly not American taxpayers. But this has been Obama’s plan all along. His goal is to add two new Democrat senators, five Democrat congressman and a million loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government.
      — Legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. Just giving these 12 million potential new citizens free health care alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America. But it adds 12 million reliable new Democrat voters who can be counted on to support big government. Add another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security.
      — Stimulus and bailouts. Where did all that money go? It went to Democrat contributors, organizations (ACORN), and unions — including billions of dollars to save or create jobs of government employees across the country. It went to save GM and Chrysler so that their employees could keep paying union dues. It went to AIG so that Goldman Sachs could be bailed out (after giving Obama almost $1 million in contributions). A staggering $125 billion went to teachers (thereby protecting their union dues). All those public employees will vote loyally Democrat to protect their bloated salaries and pensions that are bankrupting America. The country goes broke, future generations face a bleak future, but Obama, the Democrat Party, government, and the unions grow more powerful. The ends justify the means.
      — Raise taxes on small business owners, high-income earners, and job creators. Put the entire burden on only the top 20 percent of taxpayers, redistribute the income, punish success, and reward those who did nothing to deserve it (except vote for Obama). Reagan wanted to dramatically cut taxes in order to starve the government. Obama wants to dramatically raise taxes to starve his political opposition.
      With the acts outlined above, Obama and his regime have created a vast and rapidly expanding constituency of voters dependent on big government; a vast privileged class of public employees who work for big government; and a government dedicated to destroying capitalism and installing themselves as socialist rulers by overwhelming the system.
      Add it up and you’ve got the perfect Marxist scheme — all devised by my Columbia University college classmate Barack Obama using the Cloward and Piven Plan.

  12. An email from Judy, 57% say the flag should be in school, 33% favor BANNING the flag at this time.

    Fox is running a poll about whether the flag should be banned in
    schools in order not to inflame Hispanic students. The poll is being
    sandbagged by SEIU and we should mount a counter action if you agree with me
    that the flag should be taken down for no one.

    Moveon org < ;,
    Organizing for America , and SEIU have
    been twittering today to go to Fox Poll and vote to ban the Flag
    …. and right now it is working.

    SHOW THEM WHAT TRUE PATRIOTS BELIEVE!!! Let's flip those numbers and
    show the leftists we are organized and on the move….flip the numbers
    now-FLIP THE HOUSE in November!

    GO HERE NOW:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/05/06/american-flag-banned-america/

    • Just voted. At the moment its No 57% Yes 33% not sure 10%. Wonder how many of the 43% were born here or currrently live here? #16 from the word list above applies to these 43%

    • A flag is just a piece of cloth, including the Black ones.

      A human being willing to kill and die for a piece of cloth is among the most bizarre things one can imagine. Yet, hundreds of thousands – if not millions – have done just that.

      • Flag, Flag, Flag…. Cmon and play nice… Forget the killing and dieing part for a minute. Do you have any pride about the country you live in? I said forget the killing and dieing part….

        • Anita,

          I see People, not flags nor “government” nor “countries” nor “nations”.

          Dying and Killing for an abstraction -a figment of your imagination- is to me the dumbest idea ever presented.

          • Ok I’ll buy that. Then do you have faith in The People of the USA? I didn’t say the politicians… I said the people, ya know, like me.. the regular joes. There’s 300 million like me only a few thousand like them. Now can you support the idea of the flag?

            • Anita

              Ok I’ll buy that. Then do you have faith in The People of the USA?

              Yes.

              They are sleeping or willfully acting as Blind/Dumb/Deaf Monkey, but in the end, they will be forced by the Universe to Stand Up for themselves, and then they will represent themselves magnificently.

              Now can you support the idea of the flag?

              It is a symbol – and symbols have tremendous power over People.

              I use symbols for that purpose, but symbols hold little power over me.

    • LOI, et al.

      Is anybody who can be taken seriously ACTUALLY asking to have the flag of the USA banned from school?

      This looks like a PUSH issue. In short, Fox is creating paranoia where there is no reason for fear to exist.

  13. Ann’s take on Steele’s “Obama’s War” comment. Interesting.

    http://www.anncoulter.org/cgi-local/printer_friendly.cgi?article=376

    • Term thrown around a lot, partisan hack. Steele might have miss-spoke, it became Obama’s war when he took the oath of office. It became his when he decided to send more troops instead of dis-engaging. The head of the RNC should be able to speak better, and not make Biden type statements. “that the mission is “probably a lost cause”” Those words should never be said while we have troops in harms way.

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/02/steele-blames-afghan-war-obama-drawing-calls-resign/

      Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Friday declared his opposition to the Afghanistan war, saying the nine-year-old conflict was of President “Obama’s choosing,” and that the mission is “probably a lost cause” – prompting at least one prominent Republican to call for his resignation.

      Steele made the comments at a fundraiser in Connecticut just two days after the Senate unanimously confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Petraeus is taking over for Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was ousted over his and his aides’ scornful remarks of Obama’s national security team to Rolling Stone magazine, at a time when America’s casualty rate in the war is at record high and the offensive is falling short of expectations.

      “This was a war of Obama’s choosing,” Steele said. “This is not something United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”

    • Ok, I have no problem with anything Ann said. I’m just glad I didn’t have to watch her or hear here say it.

      But I’ve been away from internet and cable for days. I keep hearing calls for Steele’s head. Help me out..Point me to where he put his foot in his mouth.

  14. Dread Pirate Mathius says:

    I have a question that perhaps SUFA can help me answer.

    I would like to build a fence in my yard. I would like this fence to be eight feet high. To do this:
    1. I need apply for a fence permit (free and easy enough, though I do not see why this is necessary)
    2. Because it’s higher than six feet, I need a variance.. ok…
    3. To get a variance, I need to fill out a lengthy form not once, not in duplicate or triplicate, but six copies.
    4. I need to pay $350 for the application.
    5. I need to notify all property owners within 500 feet of my home (my property borders, not 500 feet from the fence, so this would include people who are on the other side of a hill and cannot even see my fence) about my plans – all of whom will get a say in the matter. I must mail the forms via USPS and may not hand them out nor place them in mailboxes. I must then sign an affidavit asserting that I have done so, have it notarized, and mail that to the Office of Zoning Board Appeals.
    6. I must submit a site plan, survey, building elevations(?), and floor plan (why is that even relevant?), and the type of fence (style, design, color, material, etc)
    7. An inspector(s) will come to my property to evaluate the prospective fence location and property layout
    8. I must attend a town board meeting in person and present my “narrative”
    9. If they approve, then I can build the fence.
    10. Once built, an inspector may enter my property (unannounced!?!) at an undisclosed time within 6 months of approval to ensure that the fence complies with the variance, matches the site plan, style, color, etc, and that there was no extra construction. (if it does not, they may order it’s immediate removal at my expense).
    11. My name, address, and the details of my variance will be published online on the town website. Not that a fence is any great secret, but I fail to see why this information is anyone’s business.

    Now, I am confused, because I thought that I owned my property to do with as I wish. Can someone please explain this to me?

    • Dread,

      You own the property, however, you do not have your rights.

      Those rights were long taken away under the concept of Democracy – a system whose premise states the subjugation of the individual to the will of the mob.

      Welcome to the mob’s paper work.

      • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

        I have my rights. No one can take those. What I do not have is the freedom to exercise them without fear of reprisal.

        • DPM. You do not OWN your property. You RENT your property from the government in the form of Property Taxes.

          Don’t believe me? Try not paying them and see what they do! 🙂

          • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

            I own it.

            I paid for it.

            I used my money that I had saved.

            I gave that money to someone else.

            I have a piece of paper that says I own it.

            I live there.

            It’s mine.

            Period.

            I pay property taxes because they are providing me a service (roads/fire/schools/police/etc). That I don’t want and didn’t ask for this service is irrelevant. They are giving me this service and demand to be paid. It’s a protection racket. Nothing more.

            Try not paying the mob and see what they do. Does that mean you are renting your home from them?

            • AHA!!! But all you have to do in that case is not borrow from the mob to begin with.

              When you buy Property, you automaticaly owe the Government every year. If you don’t, they take it away from you.

    • Govt sucks doesn’t it DPM. Please convince your alter ego of your extreme displeasure and convince him to vote all incumbents out during the midterms and beyond. Oh, I almost forgot…….BAH HA HA AAH HAHA HAHAHA!

      • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

        I’m sure if you asked Mathius (of the non-pirate variety), he’d tell you that his is militantly against such idiotic governmental overreach in accordance with his freedom/duty equation. Because the payoff to society of controlling my fence size is negligible and the offense against my rights as a property owner is larger, the government has no business sticking it’s nose in.

        I would just argue that the government has no right sticking it’s nose anywhere. Period.

        • Well then please accompany Mathius to the polls then while behind the curtain threaten a raptor on him if he doesn’t vote how you tell him to vote. That should do it.

          • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

            I can’t threaten a non-violent individual with violence. That’s the whole problem in the first place, no?

            Besides, I just escaped from his basement, I don’t want to risk being captured again.

            • Mathius authorizes violence against you when he votes and when he supports the system you cry about.

              Take him out.

              I would claim self defense.

    • Dread,

      I leave you to John Adams:

      “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, [disorder] and tyranny commences.”

    • Someone once said, I forgot who, that…..

      “Who but Big Government has the power to force them to pay out?”

      • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

        I don’t know who would say such a think, but whoever it was is a complete idiot.

        • you say think, I say thing….whatever.

          You may be harsh on the complete idiot? Perhaps just young and easily influenced would be a better description.

          • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

            A typo, apologies.

            No, the thing you should realize about a man like that is that, while he may be a certified genius with an IQ that plants him firmly in the top percentile, he is also a complete and total idiot of the highest order. He’ll probably end up being eaten by a raptor or choking to death on a pretzel.

            Youth has nothing to do with it.

            • Many years ago, I used to say the same thing…If you’re lucky you too will come to realize.

              • Mathius says:

                You used to say what? That youth is irrelevant?

                I’ll tell you, my father is as liberal as I am and he is in his 50’s. Maybe the problem is genetic? Is there a genetic test we can perform for liberalism? Maybe I can protect my progeny from this hideous fate.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I thought we decided thats where IQ comes in. No?

                🙂

              • Not that youth is irrelevant in the least…it is that experience that you will draw on in your later years if you are lucky enough to get to them.

                There are plenty of liberals that are…seasoned. I would never pretend that you would totally change your beliefs, just that they would be better defined by experience.

              • “Better defined”

                I like that, Terry!

    • Black Order says:

      Move to rural America.

      • Getting there slowly but surely. When I was having electricity installed to my rural property I asked a trusted family friend to handle the actual installment of a pole and meter. He (we) followed the electric company’s many rules to the T. When the (rural) inspector came to inspect he hobbled over to the meter..looked at it for 3 seconds… then said “OK looks good to me” then hobbled on his merry way. Now had that been in the city that I currently live in….I’d still be fighting inspectors.

        • You didn’t go UNION?

          • NOT. Cash and a porterhouse makes work faster and more fun!

          • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

            Build solar panels and/or a wind turbine (depending on where you live), you’ll never have to pay for electricity again. In fact, in many instances, you can sell your excess back into the grid and turn a profit. Further, there are some huge tax incentives* to taking this path.

            If you install geothermal heating and air conditioning, you can heat/cool your house all year for about the same power requirements as running a few window units (depending on the size of your home) – it’s not cheap, but with the tax incentives, it’ll pay for itself in 10 years give or take.

            *Disclaimer: taxes are bad, so anything that ameliorates your tax burden is good.

            • Before you invest in solar, I suggest good old wood burning.

              There are quite a few of multi-burning power stations and heating technologies, where you can use oil, wood, gas, coal, etc. as your fuel source – creating electricity on demand PLUS heating water and your home for comfort (or cooling as necessary).

              Solar, while neato-techy, is really economically a poor investment per KW.

              Good old wood/coal furnace system is still the most economical, and functional (works without sun 🙂 )

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                problem with wood, et al, is that you need to somehow get the wood, et al. If you happen to have a forest on your property, you’d need to cut down trees as needed (a hassle to say the least). Otherwise, you need to buy the requisite fuel and that eliminates the self-sustaining benefit.

                I agree solar is inefficient per kw, but it eventually catches up to the install cost, especially with tax incentives to help offset the cost.

              • Dread,

                In North America, it is really hard to find a rural area without access to some trees! (contrary to the Enviro-nuts proclamations!)

                I lived in a very urban area and easily sustained my fireplace wood with occasional invasions of a nearby park and seizing its dead fall.

                Additionally, in many areas, there are ample coal fields. Meandering to one of these coal mines with cash in hand can buy a year’s worth of coal for a few hundred bucks.

                I love solar – as a hobby. It’s a long way off before its anywhere near mainstream (if ever).

                Solar power in space – check.

                Solar power on earth – hmmm…..

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                I don’t know, Flag, I’ve always been the kind of guy who, when he does something, wants to do it 100%. If you’re going to be self-sustaining, you should require no inputs at all. Either you have the wood and coal on your own land, or you are dependent on others. If the gov’ment says it’s illegal to burn coal, you won’t be able to buy it any longer, if they stop you from raiding the park, you won’t be able to burn wood anymore. But they can never turn off the sun or restrict your access.

                Sure it’s inefficient, but the only downside it the start up cost. Long term benefits outweigh short term costs. Plus when the Greenies go on the rampage, they’ll pass your house up because they’ll think you’re one of them.

              • The greenies are weenies…I invite them to rampage in my direction.

              • Hate to repeat what you’ve been told once in a post, but….

                “Move to rural America”

              • Now I know why I’ve been feeding the neighborhood for 12 yrs.

                I have a forest, chain saw and logsplitter.

                Now I just need the reap the benefits of my 12 yrs of feeding the children! 🙂

    • Buck the Wala says:

      I’m sure Mathius has the answer for you.

    • I agree with Black Order. Otherwise, check local zoning laws before you buy.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1033687/Builder-forced-demolish-600-000-dream-home-council-ruled-2ft-tall.html

    • Dread Pirate

      I will not even wade into the philosophical or the political.

      If you want a solution then follow along.

      A fence is measured from the ground line to the top of the highest point. Key here; GROUND LINE.

      Find out how that is defined. I once had this problem and it is solved by:

      Building a 2 foot berm of dirt, that is settled and firm dirt. Then build your six foot fence on top of the berm.

      Solution two, also used this one for a “bureaucrat” who thought they could beat my berm idea.

      A CURTAIN is not a fence. You can build your 8 foot , or even 20 foot high curtain that can be pulled back and forth as needed. Or if needed, you can have multiple curtains to surround your property.

      But the berm is the easiest if your local ordinance is constructed accordingly.

  15. But, but, don’t do as I did, do as I want you to do now!

    Obama’s New Take on Partisanship
    President Obama’s worst nightmare? A conservative Senator Obama.

    http://article.nationalreview.com/437690/obamas-new-take-on-partisanship/victor-davis-hanson?page=1

    • Kathy,

      Great article!

      President Obama is now calling for a surge in troops into Afghanistan to restore an unstable front, to be overseen by Gen. David Petraeus. He expects both Congress and the public to rally around that common effort. Both should. But Senator Obama once grilled the same Gen. David Petraeus and ridiculed his notion of surging into Iraq at a time when the military desperately needed public support to salvage the situation there. Senator Obama gave a speech rather than asked questions, as was expected in Senate hearings, and suggested that Petraeus had “punted” on telling the truth about the broader strategy in Iraq, and therefore had made it difficult to grant his request for more troops on a bipartisan basis.

      President Obama now hopes that when senators examine the Petraeus appointment and the administration’s request to surge into Afghanistan, they will not act in partisan fashion, in the manner of Senator Obama.

  16. I have often presented a case to why the economic situation in the USA and most other Keynesian-run countries will lead to collapse, and further, argued that there exists no option to avoid such a calamaty.

    From the Economist, this table:

    It asks which part of the Federal Budget should be cut.

    As you can see, the only part which carries any substantial vote is Foreign Spending – a part of the US budget that is less than 1%. Utterly insignificant.

    Of the rest, you can see in a picture my argument – there is no part of the US expenditures that can be cut since it asymmetrically damages some significant part of the political landscape.

    Where the expenditures are by far the largest and overwhelming (and doomed to get even larger) also are parts of the political landscape – according to this poll – the least-likely (by far) to even approach being cut.

    Thus, my conclusion:
    No government could survive the outcry of such cuts – no matter where it is applied.

    From that point, one must evaluate survival strategies and be ready for the enviable future of either systemic Government Default or Government Hyper-Inflation.

    • You haven’t given us a lesson on where we are at lately BF (and you seem to be on a long vacation on your blog???).

      Your take and predictions for 6 months to 1 year out.

      • Kathy,

        The curse of Economic Law – assured predictions of What will Happen
        … little ability to predict When it will happen….

        Humans are incredibly hardy things. They can battle in futility for a heck of a long time.

        The system as it is organized is incredibly exposed to “Black Swan” events – sudden and (apparently) unpredictable events that take “everyone” by surprise.

        If you went back to 2007, no one would have really predicted the economic upheaval. Goldman Sachs had a AAA+ rating. Months later, it was gone.

        Think of it in this way; you are eating your food stock over winter.

        You reach into your “bag” of food, and pull out a hand full of munchies – and eat.

        Next day, you reach in and get another handful, and the next day after that, and so on.

        It appears to you everything is fine – everyday, you get your handful of munchies, until one day – you reach in – and its empty.

        The point is, it isn’t a gradual decrease in munchies – its a “handful, another handful, another handful – then NOTHING”.

        It is not rolling down a hill, it is falling off a cliff.

        You are suddenly confronted with nothing – and if the timing is bad, you still have a long winter to try to survive. There is no real feedback to to tell you to start rationing your handfuls – because every handful confirms that the past handfuls will represent future handfuls. The past consistency appears (falsely) to suggest that the future is secure.

        But life isn’t like that – the past does not equal the future.

        My point, all of this makes predictions of timing very difficult – there are few “signs” to say “tomorrow it will collapse”

        …and ironically, if those signs actually existed, they would trigger the collapse today!

        If I said “tomorrow, the US dollar will be worthless”, what would you do?

        You’d spend every dime today, as would everyone else, which would turn the US dollar worthless right now, and not tomorrow!

        But ok, enough explaining to why any prediction of timing is subject to huge uncertainty…..

        Right now, the FED seems content in the Big Banks holding up the massive infusion of monetary stimulus inside their excess reserves.

        The big banks are happy to lend the government trillions while starving the economy of capital.

        The economic collapse is being borne upon those whose look upon the politics which appears to be working to help them.

        In place of economic rational, the People like seeing the government spending wildly to try to buffer the People from the economic destruction of the government spending wildly.

        Right now, most of the People are fooled by this trick.

        But the economic destruction is real and will manifest eventually.

        How long can the Elite play the game? Probably until 2012 and the next Presidential Election or near to it.

        • Thanks. And I do appreciate your pointing out how illogical it is to predict WHEN. I know this, but sometimes just hope to have a glimpse of that magic 8 ball.

          • Kathy,

            The best “Magic 8 ball” is preparation.

            If you “know this” will happen, prepare for it.

            Then, it does not much matter “when it will happen”. If it happens tomorrow, you’re ready. If it happens in 5 years, you’re still ready.

            Regret is knowing something will happen but doing nothing about it until after it happens.

    • Mathius says:

      I posted something similar here a while ago. It is very disheartening. I don’t know what else to say..

  17. Buck

    BF, you argue that by eliminating government suddenly all these large companies would actually have to answer to their customers and would be forced to amend their ways or go under. It seems you have absolutely no evidence to support this belief.

    Au contraire, ol’ Foe, there are examples every where!!

    When Bell’s patents were enforced, their service was lousy, its cost extreme, its extent limited.

    When the patents expired – in less than two years after – there were already 5,000 new telephone companies directly competing with Bell.

    Unlike Bell, they delivered next or next-to-next delivery of telephones. Their costs were hugely cheaper than Bell’s – they invented the “telephone operator services” more than merely connecting lines – such as services like a concierge – … and Bell was reeling.

    When American Telegraph suggested that Bell merge with it (to become AT&T) and petition the Government to Nationalize Wire Communication, Bell’s President was convinced by the argument of guaranteed profits and that demand that all interconnections between telephone companies MUST be made by Bell (of which Bell would demand a “fee” – which typically exceeded the price of the telephone service sold to any customer by one of the competing companies – essentially destroying the low-cost market).

    The result, from a high of over 25,000 telephone companies to only 5 by 1919.

    Large, behemoth companies are eaten alive by the faster, nimble smaller companies – the gains of some efficiencies of size only exist in the management portion of the corporation – such as accounting and not in the customer experience – where the “rubber meets the road”.

  18. Is Obama ‘faithfully executing’ the laws?
    Tom Rowan, American Thinker

    Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution demands that a US President “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Hence, the President is not only the Commander in Chief he is also the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Law Enforcement Officer.

    Obama has failed his duty to faithfully execute the nation’s laws in breathtaking cases for purely political reasons. The New Black Panther voter intimidation case was ignored despite the overwhelming evidence of criminality caught on tape. Not since Democrats wore the white sheets of the KKK have voting rights been so openly violated. The only sanction Obama’s DOJ deemed appropriate was a promise by the New Black Panthers to not show up armed at polling places until Obama’s next election in 2012. That kind of “justice” sounds like a punch line to a very bad joke.

    Three things at once are happening with our border security circus that Monty Python could not top. The Democrat controlled Congress and the Obama administration stopped constructing a much needed fence on our southern border with Mexico. Yes, these are the same Democrats who demanded that the sovereign nation of Iraq meet the Democrat’s frivolous “benchmarks” and kept moving the goal posts of success during wartime. (I am not sure, but I think Home Depot sells do-it-yourself kits to build “benchmarks,” goal posts, and fences.)

    Terrorists, drug traffickers, and slave traders are relentlessly breaching our border. The rights of the American people to be secure in their homes are being violated before our eyes. Kidnappings and murders are being allowed to flow into our nation along with the drugs. Yet Obama is not only openly hostile to his duty to enforce the border laws himself, he is obstructing those who would uphold the law.

    Again, Obama’s DOJ deems that it is within Obama’s prerogatives to ignore his Constitutional mandate to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. “Sanctuary Cities” are nothing more than local officials deciding to openly violate the immigration laws for purely political purposes. And Obama stands with the lawless. If that is not enough to make your head spin, Obama’s DOJ is now suing Americans who are doing nothing more than upholding the laws Obama’s own DOJ won’t uphold. What will Obama’s DOJ do next? Side with the terrorists and start investigating the CIA?

    If Obama is intent on leading a lawless nation where defenders of the law are prosecuted and the lawless are protected, then Americans are left with only one avenue of reprieve:

    Send the New Black Panthers to Arizona to defend the border.

  19. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100708/ap_on_re_af/af_kenya_somalia

    I would be interested to see BF’s take on this article (as well as others, of course!)

    • Peter,

      It says a lot when centralized governments fear the rag-tag and scattered survivors in a semi-government-free, decentralized country.

      • I can’t remember who said it, but

        “I’d rather have a 1,000 freeman fighting on my side than a million slaves”

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I found it interesting as well. Of COURSE, the “organized governments” are painting Somalia as a “haven for pirates and terrorists”, and to some extent that may be true…

        However, they also fear that a country with a completely dysfunctional, nearly nonexistent government, might actually be SUCCESSFUL 🙂

  20. Further to Kathy’s questions:

    We have established that the government will with total certainty default.

    The next question, “What government default?” and what does that mean? In what form?

    1. The Federal government cannot possibly pay off Medicare and Social Security. So, it will default. The default may be selective: stiffing old people.</b.

    There are only two types of people in this economy:
    (1) tax-eaters
    (2) tax-feeders.

    Tax-feeders will totally refuse anymore taxes. The TEA party groupies prove this.

    Therefore, the tax-eaters will need to organize themselves in priority or food chain.

    Top of the food chain – government employees.
    Bottom of the food chain – old age pensioners.

    Though old people are a powerful politic voting block, they're are essentially violent-less. Can't imagine Granny rioting down main street overturning cars and burning down businesses.

    Government employees are immune to votes. No matter who sits in the Big Chair, the employees will enforce the law to their benefit, including not enforcing some law and over-enforcing other law.

    They will make it so that no matter who is elected, the old people will lose their benefits so that the government employees maintain theirs.

    Planning:
    If you are (or soon to be) among the old people or have older parents, now is the time to organize affairs to NOT depend on government money. Old parents need to be upfront and talk to their children and children to their parents. It might mean that parents have to move in with their kids – now is the time to prepare for this (increase food stores, larger home, move closer to care facilities and other siblings for mutual support, etc.)

    2. The default may be concealed: calling on the Federal Reserve to buy the debt, leading to hyperinflation.

    Inflation can suddenly explode into hyperinflation – like Zimbabwe – it only took a couple of months to move from 3% per month to 10,000% per month.

    Planning:
    Purchase long term supplies and goods today before currency inflates away.

    Hold a store of Gold coins for post-apocalypse recovery.

    3. The default may be open: the confiscation of all pension assets, and the issuing of “retirement bonds” as payment. Then the government will declare a default on interest payments on the bonds.

    The default will likely be the third option if the FED refuses to buy Treasury debt after a round of mass inflation. The depression will last for a decade. The Federal government will cease paying interest. It will issue zero-interest bonds to everyone who owns T-bonds and T-bills.

    Thousands of small and medium-size banks will collapse. This will produce monetary deflation if the FDIC cannot cover the losses, which I think is likely. It will be Great Depression 2. It will be deflation. The dollar will appreciate. Think “1932” multiplied by 10.

    If the FED ever ceases buying T-debt, Congress could nationalize the FED and then order the money printed: hyperinflation. I think this is unlikely. But desperate times create desperate politicians.

    But the easiest way to solve this is to stiff granny.

    Medicare will be changed. The age for coverage will be raised. Problem: the Medicare system has led to the automatic cut-off of all health care insurance at age 65. The government will mandate that insurance companies restore coverage at cheap rates. A lot of them will get out of the business. Coverage will get scarce. Relatives will be required to take over this coverage. This will create havoc in family budgets. This is how the cost of the default can be transferred to the public.

    It will take a political transformation to beat the Gray Panthers. I think that transformation will come.

    The European Union is testing the waters on this strategy.

    The politicians will do everything they can to conceal the default. But it will still be a default.

    If the FED buys indefinitely, we will get hyperinflation. The dollar will die. Creditors will be ruined.

    If the government declares price controls, we will get shortages, rationing, and bankruptcies.

    If the FED ceases to buy, we will get Great Depression x 10. The dollar will soar, especially currency. Currency will be the only really safe haven.

    The FED, not the government, will decide which form the default will take.

    • OK, now I feel better. Who asked you for this update?

    • See my issue is I feel we are operating “on hold”. We do things but are nervous about doing too much. We are at a point, with only one kiddlet left at home and his expenses covered (ie school, etc.) where we should be able to loosen the belt so to speak. I still feel like I’m sucking in!

      • Kathy,

        Keep the belt tight.

        Save money. Invest in hard wealth, like gold. Be ready to move into currency.

        I expect the following:

        Inflation, probably high-inflation.
        Price and wage controls. Massive shortages.
        Government default and massive cutbacks.
        FDIC/Bank failures – leading to monetary destruction and deflation.
        Cash is King – those who have money win big.

        Be the ones who have large cash or near-cash reserves when that happens.

        • Birdman says:

          Black Flag:

          I have gold.

          When it is close to the time to convert gold back into dollars, would you let us know? You can e-mail me.

          What factors should I be watching for?

          • Birdman,

            Have no worries, I’ll suggest a general condition and time for gold redemption when that time comes – for now be patient and pick up a few ounces when gold goes down (like this week). My strategy is when it goes up, I hold pat. When it goes down, I buy an oz. or two. Price doesn’t matter – you are “averaging” down the prices over time.

            A general concept: when price of the ore pays off your mortgage – that is when you want to sell the gold.

            You will want to sell gold prior to government default and DEflation – gold is NOT a hedge in deflation. It protects against inflation.

            • Birdman says:

              Do you predict deflation to occur?

              As I recall, you are pretty certain of inflation.

              If and when there are obvious signs, send me an e-mail. You have my address.

              • Birdman,

                First, Inflation
                Then, Government Default as the FED stops the printing press.
                Then, Banking collapse or contraction
                Then, Depression and Deflation.
                Then, Recovery
                and if the FED still exists, a “Boom”
                Then Repeat from the top (if the FED still exists)

              • Birdman says:

                Blackflag:

                Thanks for the feedback.

                All I want to do is protect what little I have.

                We live in strange times.

  21. On June 30, the one-day increase of the deficit on June 30 totaled $165,931,038,264.30 – bigger than the entire annual deficit for fiscal year 2007

  22. LeBronomics: Could High Taxes Influence James’ Team Decision?
    By Kyle Gillis (Bio | Archive)
    Thu, 07/08/2010 – 14:50 ET

    While sports reporters have sought agents and teammates for the inside scoop on where NBA superstar free agent LeBron James will sign, there’s another person who may know The King’s next move: his accountant.

    In a July 1 blog post, the New York Post warned that “dysfunctional lawmakers in Albany” could cost the state a chance to bring the coveted athlete to New York.

    “If LeBron James goes to the Miami Heat instead of the [New York] Knicks, blame our dysfunctional lawmakers in Albany, who have saddled top-earning New Yorkers with the highest state and city income taxes in the nation, soon to be 12.85 percent on top of the IRS bite,” the Post said.

    The tax savings for James in Miami over New York City would be staggering, according to the Post’s analysis.

    “On a five-year contract worth $96 million — what he’d get from the Knicks or the Heat — LeBron would pay $12.34 million in New York taxes.” Florida has no state income tax.

    New Jersey and Ohio, the other reported frontrunners to attract James, also have state income taxes, but they are not as his as in New York. Based on a $96 million contract, James would pay $5.69 million in state taxes if he re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. If he signed with the New Jersey Nets, James would pay $10.32 million in state taxes.

    The New York Post isn’t the only media outlet using “LeBronomics.” In her July 8 EconWatch post, CBSNews.com’s Jill Schlesinger dubbed yesterday’s market rally “The LeBron James rally.”

    Robert Schoenberger and Teresa Dixon Murray of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer estimated thatdowntown Cleveland businesses will lose $48 million over the course of the NBA season without James.

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-gillis/2010/07/08/lebronomics-could-high-taxes-influence-james-team-decision#ixzz0t7XKegb0

    • Buck the Wala says:

      A bit oversimplified as a tax analysis for my taste. It also ignores the premium for getting to live in NYC.

      • And do you have numbers to show where this is inaccurate? If it’s in simple terms, what does that mean? Is it right or wrong?

        I think Miami winters would be worth a higher premium than NYC, which explains why you yankees keep moving to the south to retire. At which point, you become damn yankees, those who stay.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Its just overly simplistic and thus wrong in its simplicity. Professional athletes file tax returns in every single state in which they play (at least in those states which have state income tax). A proportion of their income is allocated to be taxed in the state per game played in that state, so they must file a return and pay taxes on that proportion to that state. They then file a resident tax return for the state in which they reside in which they indicate all the taxes paid on income deemed from other states and are granted a credit on their home state return for such taxes paid.

          So if moving to NYC, while it is loosely true LeBron would be taxed $12.34M, he would be granted a credit for state taxes paid to other states which would reduce the total amount paid to NYS itself. Likewise, if he moves to Florida, he will still pay NYS taxes on his ‘NYS income’ for games played in NYS.

          And although Miami winters are nice, that is just a reason to travel down to Miami for a few weeks out of the year. Not an argument to move there permanently and miss out on being a NYer!

          • “Its just overly simplistic and thus wrong in its simplicity.”

            Would you say that to a judge in court? If it’s wrong, it must be because details which make it inaccurate are omitted. Being overly
            simplistic does not make it wrong or false.

            “moving to NYC, while it is loosely true LeBron would be taxed $12.34M, he would be granted a credit for state taxes paid to other states which would reduce the total amount paid to NYS itself.”

            Ok, so to accurately report this story, they would have to take each team schedule, estimate taxes to be paid when traveling, yada, yada….

            And you, good sir, have shown again why there is so much lawyer bashing in the world. As for being a NYer, I’ve driven in Pittsburgh rush hour, would never put up with the hell you guys live with every day.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I would say that to a judge actually. It is wrong precisely because it over simplifies the issue.

              NYC traffic can be absolutely horrendous. Lately it seems to have gotten only worse. Fortunately for me, after a grueling 10 minute walk each morning, I am at my desk.

  23. Mathius says:

    This is interesting. It’s worth reading, but who has the time, so skim away. Make sure to stop and give page 19 a good look though.

    http://www.comw.org/pda/fulltext/1006SDTFreport.pdf

    Notable quote: “No serious effort to cut the deficit can exempt the largest part of the discretionary budget.”

    Any military types care to weigh in..?

    • Matt, not a military type, but saw some things there I could agree to, except I would want to do the same with ALL the budget.

      Defense 895.0
      Health Care 829.5
      Welfare 557.3
      Unemployment 194.3 (99weeks)
      Pensions 774.3(it’s good to work for Uncle Sam)
      Transportation 106.5
      Housing development 55.7
      Community development 28.5 (Obama’s old job)

      http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/year2010_0.html

      [+] Pensions 774.3 0.0 172.8 40.3 987.4

      [+] Health Care 829.5 -301.4 431.2 130.9 1,090.2

      [+] Education 157.0 -79.9 277.4 692.2 1,046.6

      Defense 895.0 0.0 1.2 0.0 896.2

      [+] Welfare 557.3 -50.7 151.9 92.0 750.5

      [+] Unemployment 194.3 -3.9 63.4 0.1 253.8

      [+] Housing 77.0 -46.9 14.3 40.0 84.4

      [+] Social exclusion n.e.c. 186.8 0.0 52.1 42.6 281.6
      [+] Police services 28.8 0.0 14.2 87.6 130.6
      [+] Fire-protection services 0.0 0.0 0.0 45.6 45.6

      [+] Law courts 18.4 0.0 34.9 29.4 82.7

      [+] Prisons 7.7 0.0 54.9 29.9 92.6

      [+] Transportation 106.5 -55.2 114.5 149.1 314.9

      [+] General Government 30.6 -1.3 35.3 68.9 133.6

      [+] Executive and legislative organs, financ 18.5 0.0 35.3 68.9 122.7
      [+] General services 12.2 -1.3 0.0 0.0 10.9

      [+] Other Spending 109.0 -43.2 93.3 426.0 585.1
      [+] Basic research 18.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 18.6

      [+] General economic, commercial and labour -26.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 -26.6

      [+] Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunti 33.2 -4.3 14.8 12.2 55.9

      [+] Fuel and energy 15.4 -0.1 18.1 87.7 121.1

      [+] Pollution abatement 11.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 11.5

      [+] Protection of biodiversity and landscape 12.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 12.5

      [+] Housing development 55.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 55.7
      [+] Community development 28.5 0.0 0.0 1.7 30.2

      [+] Water supply 12.4 -0.9 0.4 75.6 87.5

      [+] Recreational and sporting services 4.0 0.0 6.5 40.9 51.4

      [+] Interest 187.8 0.0 53.8 67.6 309.2
      [+] Public debt transactions 187.8 0.0 53.8 67.6 309.2
      [+] Balance 18.7 -0.0 -1.8 22.6 39.6
      [+] Total Spending 3,720.7 -531.7 1,433.7 1,882.1 6,504.7
      [+] Total 3,720.7 -531.7 1,433.7 1,882.1 6,504.7
      [+] Federal Deficit 1,555.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 1,555.6
      [+] Total Spending 3,720.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 3,720.7
      [+] Total Revenue -2,165.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 -2,165.1
      [+]
      Gross Public Debt 13,786.6 0.0 1,153.0 2,021.8 16,961.3

      • Mathius says:

        I propose a commission. You, me, Buck, Weapon, Dread Pirate Mathius, and a line-item veto. Three out of five votes and the item is stricken from the books.

        How’s that sound?

        • Mathius,

          You will be hung at the nearest lamppost 24 hours later by the mob whose budget you just destroyed.

          I am glad I’m not among your chosen few 🙂

          • Mathius says:

            I considered you, but thought you’d just vote to cut everything. Since it’s basically a suicide pact, I decided to replace you with DPM since you’ll vote the same way 99% of the time anyway. This way, you will survive long enough to see the ensuing havoc.

            • Mathius,

              I appreciate your consideration.

              I hope to sell popcorn at the ensuing “fireworks” – I can get rich watching you “swing” from your neck! 😉

        • Will there be grogg at each meeting? If Y, count me in!

          Beer 30. Happy Trails!

  24. Re-Post of a dialogue thread with Well Red on Socialism/Capitalism/Government/Corporations/Freedom/Labor/Property, etc.

    Well Red is in the blocks….

    Capitalism is primitive and predatory.

    Since it is a consequence of the Free Market, you are also saying that “Freedom is primitive and predatory”, too.

    Freedom is prime – without it, nothing much else matters.

    Predators will always exist – a fact of the Universe and Nature. Freedom, however, offers the optimum solutions in dealing with predators.

    Barely two steps beyond slave society.

    Freedom is, obviously, the opposite of slavery. One step above into freedom is all that is necessary.

    Systems such as Marxism and Socialism is a step DOWN into slavery – for they all require the use of violence upon non-violent men to enforce itself.

    You say the core to my outlook is violence (conflict, mainly over purportedly scarce resources, would be a better term to describe it, of course they are related),

    I agree that there is conflict over resources – which creates a necessity of determining who has right to such resource as it cannot be used at the same time to satisfy two different needs.

    Therefore, we organize either (1) by violence – he who is stronger wins
    or
    (2) by civilization – he who has his Rights wins.

    I support (2) whereas you support (1).

    yet in the capitalist “free” market, the entire premise is that even if I did not personally use my own labor to create a commodity, it’s my right to deny you from taking it, even if you DID have an actual hand in creating it.

    Not true – because you overlook an obvious step.

    The worker committed his labor into the product in trade for money in his hand. You did not labor for that particular good but you had to have labored somewhere to obtain the money for the trade for that good.

    You seem confused to see that even though you did not bake the bread you eat, you shoveled the dirt to earn the money to buy the bread you eat.

    That’s not “coercion” in your mind?

    You voluntarily chose to trade money for some goods and voluntary undertook labor to earn that money.

    Where is the coercion (other than the demand of the Universe that you must act to live)?

    The right of might? I take it (though you made it, I only made you capable of making it since I’ve exploited countless workers of the actual value of their products, and resold them to them,

    Your view is superficial.

    You have bought the his consequence of labor with money. You give money to the worker today so that he can today by the bread he needs to live.

    If you did not do that, and demand the worker to sell his own consequences, he will not have the money to buy his bread today, and will likely starve.

    You, instead, have accepted the time-delay of selling the consequence of labor to another customer. You paid out the labor today for a return of that payment sometime in the future.

    But the future is not determined. There is risk. Thus the time preference of all goods is NOW and any delay in that preference creates a cost and a value.

    You traded to the worker his bread today to fulfill his immediate time preference – and in compensation, you have gained the value of delaying YOUR PREFERENCE and GOOD into the future.

    If there was no value in delaying one’s time preference, everyone would consume today – and there would be no savings or ability to overcome Nature’s adversities with savings.

    Thus, you are not “exploiting” them – they are “exploiting” you! They get their immediate preference filled and transfer the risk completely on you to get your needs filled in the undetermined future!

    But, you do not see this exploiting either, since you gave value for assuming that risk.

    So, in the trade, both are happy. The worker gets his bread today, and you get your profit tomorrow.

    I agree with what you say concerning access or use of “political coercion” or legally sanctioned tyranny, however the entire nature of the corporation, even in a “free” market, say, without an official “government” is the same concept.. the corporation or the expansive owner takes the place of the state

    Do not mistaken me as a supporter of “Corporation”.

    Corporations are the manifestation of Government Law – hence, exist by the violence of government.

    Corporations cannot survive without a grant and protection of government. They are created by government writ -for the benefit of the government.

    Even without a “government,” in a capitalist market economy these goods will be purposefully with-held to uphold profit; they must be.

    You are either a slave or you are free.

    Freedom requires the man to control his own life, body and property. Thus, his freedom requires his ability to deny other people access to his life, body and property. Freedom is not the power to say “Yes” , but the power to say “No”.

    Because you are needy does not give you Right to seize another man’s life, body or property to solve your problems of your meager life, disabled body or lack of property.

    You do not have the Right to live by taking another Man’s life.
    You do not have the Right to sustain your body by stealing the act of another Man’s body (his effort).
    You do not have the Right to obtain property by seizing the property of another Man.

    Remove the government at this point without altering or abolishing large-scale capitalism and you have more blatant corporate feudalism: undemocratic ownership of the means for individuals to sustain themselves.

    Democracy is merely the concept that by vote, other men can seize the life, body and property of the minority.

    You would not agree that the 5 people around me have voted to me your house, even though I *allowed* you to vote too.

    Yet, you believe that if that number is …what? 1,000 – 10,000 – 100,000 – 1,000,000? … your house would be mine! Can you explain why 5 to 1 was not sufficient, but 10,000 (or whatever number) to 1 is?

    If you think no government will allow, or, more importantly, coax these corporations to suddenly disseminate more or grant a compensation which is somehow proportionate to the value of the wealth you create, then why is it even through all the “great conservative years” disparity still exists?

    I do not think this at all.

    Government created corporations to fund itself.

    Corporations are birthed by government writ.

    You are fooled by a merely slight-of-hand trick.

    Government Law creates the existence of Corporations – nothing else.

    Corporations require the power of government violence to exist – without government, corporations would not exist.

    Who gives the consumer the money?

    Consumers create “money”.

    I sense you do not understand what “money” actually is….

    Who does the consumer give it back to?

    Another consumer.

    Your idea of the consumer being king only relates to comfort commodities or “luxuries,” not necessities.

    They are King to all economic goods.

    A necessity vs. a want is merely a matter of trade offs and desires. Whatever you determine is a need and what is a want is equally and exactly the same “economic good”, obey all the laws of economics in exactly the same way.

    Private ownership of productive forces is just a coercive as any sanctioned government.

    A contradiction.

    Freedom from coercion is not coercion.

    America stepped out of that in the beginning, largely due to us having MORE OR LESS EQUAL ECONOMIC POWER IN A NEW LAND.

    This is true.

    What was removed was the INTERFERENCE of Government in the economy – and the Free Market system (or close to it) was allowed to flourish.

    Most of Europe was wholly government controlled economies. You could only buy or sell based on writ of government.

    The American experiment showed that the removal of such government violence created the greatest prosperity in human history.

    To demand a return of government control and its inherent violence is to REVERSE the American experiment and return to the stagnation of feudal Europe!

    “walmart has competition.” lmfao. yeah, other huge corporations.

    Perhaps, but there exists millions of small businesses competing very well with such companies.

    15 million vacant housing units (who capitalists call “hot property”), 1 million chronically homeless people (upwards of 3.5 mil intermittent). Yeah, capitalism is all about freedom, right.

    This economic issue is directly caused by government action in the economy primarily by artificially lowering interest rates and forcing lenders to loan money to people who have no real way to repay

    To complain that the consequences of such interference is the fault of “Free” market place is bizarre.
    Reply

    Private ownership is freedom from coercion only for the owner. The only option the non-owner has is to decide not to buy their product/work for them, but they will eventually be forced (or coerced) to labor for some other capitalist. If they do not, what is the likely eventuality?

    Your question, cleared of rhetoric, is:

    What is the only option of a man who refuses to work for his living?

    Answer: starvation.

    Note: it does not matter what such a man owns. If he refuses to “do something” to obtain his resources to live, he will die.

    In owning, I am free from coercion of my workers,

    Again, scrubbing out the rhetoric:

    In owning, I can use my property as I see fit. True.

    However, owning property does not acquire food. I still must do something.

    The workers can refuse to trade with me. Then I must do the work myself.

    This is the root of the power of “Striking Workers”.

    who are continually striving to achieve the abundance I must deny them in order to stay in business.

    You deny them nothing.

    They trade voluntary their effort at some price you are willing to pay. If they ask too much, you will not pay. If you pay too little, they will not work.

    Even if they have a “good job,” certain necessities, such as shelter, are still largely out of reach.

    Almost everyone lives in a home. I have no idea what picture you are seeing here.

    You buy your house with cash?

    I chose not to buy a home and save my “cash” for other purposes.

    (Enter credit, indentured servitude)

    No man is forced to borrow.

    And even if they have a “good job” I still, as owner, have a much better business than they have a good job, thanks mostly to THEM, not me.

    Without you, they have no job whatsoever. They would starve.

    If they can sell their goods without you, why do they need you, then? Obviously they do for a reason.

    They cannot sell their goods without you.

    Either:
    (1) they only supply a small component of the final good – hence, they cannot sell anything since they have no completed good to sell. You provide the ability to acquire all the other pieces and parts to complete the good of which they are but a part. Without you, “making the whole”, they get ZERO value for their part.

    (2) they cannot wait for their payment of their effort. They need money NOW, not later. You provide them money NOW, and you take the risk of the sale in the future. You may lose or you may win. But they are immune to either. They have eliminated their immediate risk of loss by you paying them off immediately. You assume that risk totally.

    I outlive my usefulness after I create the factory. The only reason I am still viewed as useful is because the owners in this system control the goods after they are created.

    Because you bought and paid for them by paying salaries to the workers.

    If I pay you for your wheat, and I make bread and sell the bread at more than the cost of your wheat, it appears you claim that is unfair, since it was originally your wheat and you now desire a part of my profit of the bread.

    Of course, that is ridiculous – yet this is what you claim when the word “wheat” is replaced by the word “labor”.

    The “free market” is eventually controlled by those who own the most.

    No.

    The free market is always controlled by the consumer. It is he who determines the value of the goods and services in the marketplace.

    (Note: the consumer does NOT determine the price – the vendor determines the price. If the price is at or lower than the value, a trade will be made. If the price is too high, the trade will not happen.

    Even here, the consumer is the favorite – since it is he who chooses to trade or not.

    The vendor can only set the price, and that is the price he will receive. The consumer, however, can determine that this price is far lower than his value – and immediately seize upon the trade as it dramatically favors himself. The consumer can then cheer “What a great deal!” – where the vendor can only say “I got what I asked”.)

    No matter what is offered, if it is not desired, it will not sell.

    No matter how beautiful and well made buggy whips are today, they have few sales as the consumer has very little desire for them.

    Therefore, the consumer is the King of the Free Market.

    Government is not itself the culprit,

    Government is evil.

    Individuals have long dispelled the notion of violence as a solution to problems. Violence is prohibited except in self-defense FROM violence.

    No matter how bizarre you may be, I have no right -ever- to inflict violence on you because your ideas or your non-violent behavior. Indeed, I may not even have a right to inflict violence on you even if you act in some forms of physical violence.

    But government demands exclusively this right – it demands it has the right to inflict great violence – even death – upon the non-violent. Hence, it is one of the primary roots of human evil.

    If anything all resources on earth belong to all residents of earth- only after one applies their labor to those resources does ownership become less paltry- owners are not applying their labor, they are applying other people’s labor- of course, it seems you believe that this is due to them wanting to work there, rather than them needing to work wherever they can.

    Ownership has nothing to do with “labor”.

    Ownership is merely the determination of control of property. Owners determine use, including non-use.

    It’s interesting to me that you accept the idea that “predators will always exist” (even in a civilization of minds which are capable of remedying such aspects, at least in the economic realm), yet say you support “he who has the right wins” (as opposed to he who is stronger win) when all right is, especially in the current trend of likening capitalism to natural selection, is the result of being a better predator, either in the forest, or in the economy.

    Man is not just an animal – he has intellect.

    Where raw Nature suggests the “stronger makes right” – Nature also has no civilization.

    Man has civilization because he has intellect. Man’s intellect has determined that “stronger does not make right” – and instead, man has chosen intellectual determinations of social order that abstain from violence.

    Man has choice: either he subjects himself to “Might is Right” – and forgoes the benefits of civilization, or he holds firm to freedom and human rights and gains the benefits of civilization.

    Barbarianism (ie: government) is in conflict to Civilization (freedom)

    • Post by Well Red:

      Yes, I view such irrational clamoring to the concept of “freedom” primitive, and based upon emotion. Even in a “free” market, most of your ENTIRE LIFE is devoted to completing the tasks others have designated for you, or in perhaps more technologically “primitive” societies, which must be satisfied in order to remain alive. Freedom is sacrificed to necessity, always. In this system, your freedom is sacrificed to necessity through all manner of convoluted apparatuses, many of which are not even tied to necessity- they are simply there due to someone restraining themselves long enough (in the name of someone else having a better life, first and foremost) for them to be capable of perpetuating the wage-slave system, so that they too may one day hopefully have a “better life.” These elements are connected only through the fact that money is the main tie-in between all manner of industry/commerce and you can do nothing without it, yet money itself does not prove at all that one has done anything actually, worth doing, nor done anything which was of their own accord, or what they did came about due to them “being free.” Only if you are a wage-slave owner is that true, for you are absolutely more “free” than the person who is not an owner, and your actions, your decisions you have made through owning your company, bring your profits, your money, through your “freedom.”

      At one point, someone may be so cynical as to think all adherents of socialist philosophies are “out to get you” or out to impose their tyranny, or think that direct democracy over industry would be “bad,” or is inherently tyrannical, as if people do not know what they want/need (of course, this has been rendered somewhat true due to the nature of capitalism/consumerism/marketing/privatization of EVEN THE INFORMATION WHICH WOULD ALLOW THE PEOPLE TO HANDLE THINGS THEMSELVES), yet then give most of their political and economic responsibilities up to their “betters” consign themselves to taking the orders of others and view that as making one “more human,” “a man,” a “good provider.” Your owner is the provider. You can do all the things you want independently, but if you are not in their money system, they do you little good, so good thing he needed you to make that completely ridiculous, practically useless comfort commodity, so that he can eventually buy property in other parts of the world for dirt cheap and escape the “headaches” of his quite comfortable material situation.

      • Well Red,

        Yes, I view such irrational clamoring to the concept of “freedom” primitive, and based upon emotion.

        Thus, you expose your leaning – that is, use of violence to impose your will upon others you deem lessor of yourself.

        Even in a “free” market, most of your ENTIRE LIFE is devoted to completing the tasks others have designated for you, or in perhaps more technologically “primitive” societies, which must be satisfied in order to remain alive.

        No matter what system you wish to devise, the requirement to you to act in some manner to live is immutable.

        Under Socialist systems, an elite exclusively determines such tasks, with little or not option for you, under dire threat of violence.

        In the Free Market, such exercise is determined by you, the individual. You can accept (or deny) what ever task is demanded – of course, accepting (or denying) always creates a consequence.

        Freedom is sacrificed to necessity, always.

        Freedom for man is the lack of imposition by another man.
        Man is not “free” to fly like a bird, thus human freedom is not determined by the ability (or lack of ) to do “anything”. It is measured by imposition. Lack of imposition is freedom.

        Freedom is not sacrificed to necessity in a Free Market. Man is not “free” from the Universe’s demand to act to feed himself. Man is free when he can act without imposition from another man.

        perpetuating the wage-slave system, so that they too may one day hopefully have a “better life.”

        Where we may agree in the view that the current, government-created, systems do perpetuate a form of slavery – the cause is government, not the “Free Market”.

        Government – through its public schooling and communication control – has taught the People that a “better life” is made by accumulating “stuff”, and by offering easy access to acquire such “stuff” have convinced the People to surrender their freedom.

        Government claims people have “freedom of choice” – except in areas that are most important. The People have no choice in their government – few, if any, choice in the currency and money – little ability to chose information sources – but the People have 35 different choices of jellybeans.

        Government perpetuates the myth of choice is minor goods – like the paint of their car, or the flavor of ice cream – but in the important and vital areas, government has removed all choice.

        Until the People “wake up” to the perversions of their government – and the Faustian deal offered to them, slavery is their lot.

        These elements are connected only through the fact that money is the main tie-in between all manner of industry/commerce and you can do nothing without it, yet money itself does not prove at all that one has done anything actually, worth doing, nor done anything which was of their own accord, or what they did came about due to them “being free.”

        Money has nothing to do with freedom.

        Money is an economic good, like any other economic good – and as such follows the Laws of Economics perfectly.

        Money is the most desired good in an economy.

        This makes it easy to trade for and easy to trade with.

        Money does NOT determine value of any other good or service. Because money is the most desired economic good, all other economic goods are priced in terms of reference to the “most desired good”. If cows were the most desired economic good, shoes and cars would be priced in terms of “cows”.

        In the US, the Federal Reserve Note is the most desired economic good. It is desired because the government demands the People pay their taxes in Federal Reserve Notes, and nothing else. The People therefore must trade to obtain these Notes so to pay their taxes – hence, creates a substantial trade in these Notes, and a high desire to obtain these notes. Thus, these Notes have become money, and all other goods in this economy are priced relative to this good.

        At one point, someone may be so cynical as to think all adherents of socialist philosophies are “out to get you” or out to impose their tyranny,

        I do not believe adherents of socialist philosophies are “out to get” anyone nor desire to impose tyranny.

        I believe these adherents are totally clueless to the consequences of their belief.

        I believe they are innocently ignorant of the evil they create. Few actually have penetrated the requirements that their philosophy must have so to create the system they hold dear.

        All socialist philosophies – bar none – require violence upon non-violent men to force their compliance.

        At some point in Socialist systems, someone has to point a gun to the head of another man and demand his obedience, even if this obedience results in poverty and slavery. A choice between death or slavery will be offered. Most will chose the slavery of socialism and renege on “Give me Liberty or Give me Death”.

        Socialist systems, therefore, attract the most vile of humanity. It gives these vile humans a philosophy from which to justify their great acts of evil – as highlighted by the Hitler’s, the Stalin’s, the Mao’s, etc.

        • Well Red,

          Make no mistake, my feelings are not against freedom.
          “irrational clamoring to the concept of ‘freedom’” is the statement “freedom is prime.” Freedom is never prime, and it always takes second seat to necessity; it is simply the cry of the individual who has none, and since none of us ever have true freedom, we all cry for it, making it an easily promotable, easily corrupted (via demagoguery) idea, same as communism.

          Freedom is prime – for without it, acting to resolve one’s needs are moot.

          You must be free to act so to solve the need to act.

  25. Well Red,

    There’s no one stopping you from going and making that guy more money than he’s going to pay you for doing what he says needs to be done. Awesome.

    It is not my concern whatsoever about how much money YOU MAKE reselling my services or production.

    I couldn’t careless, no more than I care how much money YOU make right now (or less) than I.

    It is simply not my business.

    My Only concern is how much money I make. If I get the trade of my services for the money I demand, then I must be satisfied.

    To then turn around and be complain of another’s trade with someone else – a trade I am not a party to – makes me an envious and irrational SOB.

  26. Who is Well Red (name speaks volumes, by the way)?

    BF, you are such a patient teacher – uh, most of the time. I hope this person realizes what you are giving him.

    • Kathy,

      Well Red is well read and probably immune to my arguments – he has planted deep and bloody spikes into his thinking that will resist bending.

      No doubt he has experienced some trauma that cemented those spikes – they are now the premise from which he launches his thoughts.

      My goal is not to change his mind but to contrast his arguments against mine and suggest others engage him to flesh out his thinking. He is not a lone in this thinking and it is good that he offers it up in dialogue for all of us to consider.

      Let the rest of SUFA read and contemplate the arguments and decide for themselves – it is truly out there where the future will be determined.

    • Well Red says:

      I truly, truly hope you realize it’s a purposeful play on words.

      • Oh, yes, Well Red – Deep as a Well, Red, with a long reading list behind you!

        I echo USWep’s welcome and hope you stick around – you offer an excellent alternative point of view.

  27. Well Red,

    Of course even in the most advanced utopian propositions, you will never, at this point in societal advancement and centralization, be able to receive the full product of your labor.

    As many here already know, I laugh loudly at those that raise arguments of “Utopia”.

    St. Thomas More, who wrote “Utopia” dreamed a society that had no freedom, everyone was taught the same, believed the same, and prayed to the same God – he felt that freedom must be destroyed so to create order.

    Sounds more like your philosophy then mine.

    Re: Labor.

    Labor is an economic good – nothing more or less. Your statement here makes as much sense as “you will never receive the full product of your apples”.

    The point is, that is not YOUR goal. When you sell your apples, you no longer have an interest in what happens after the sale. Those apples are not yours, nor your concern.

    Whether they are turned into juice or into a pie or eaten – is completely irrelevant to you. You do not own them.

    To believe you still hold some claim – after your sale – to the profit of the apple pie is absurd.

    To believe you still hold some claim – after your sale – to the profit of your labor is equally absurd.

    I will agree and see more clearly now thanks to some of your responses, is more-so now controlled by the consumer than in previous ages, though not quite entirely),

    …and I would agree to your point here as well.

    Government still holds substantial control over the economy, preventing the consumer from buying/selling goods and services.

    You cannot buy the beer I make – government prevents this so to enrich itself by “licensing” (ie: taxation).

    Great progress was made, and much of it is reversing.

  28. Well Red,

    You’re not party to the trade because you have no say,

    My Right of “saying” was terminated by my acceptance of the trade for money.

    There is no extra clause that says “oh yeah, I get to also still determine how the goods that I sold will be used after I sold them and I get money for that too”.

    The sale terminates your Right to determine the use of that property. That is what a “sale” means – transfer of ownership and rights of that property.

    (PS: You could make a contract that says that, however – nothing stopping you. Whether the other party accepts that clause (shrug) probably not, and probably you won’t get the job.)

    You have been exploited for the actual value of your product.

    Not at all.

    I am able to sell my service because I can produce my good cheaper then the buyer could do it himself.

    I sell my service at a profit – I am able to produce an entire weeks worth of goods (168 hours) while only spending less than 35 to do it! Even more, after a year, I have excess earning – called “savings” – I didn’t need to spend every dollar I earned to satisfy myself and family!

    And I got paid well before my contractor received payment for his product! I got all of this in advance and no risk.

    One hellva deal I say!

    If anyone was “exploited” it was me over my contractor. He paid me in advance for something I’d probably do for free, and carried all the risk of selling where I carried none of it.

    You have no say because you have been expropriated from the goods you create, though you seem to be okay with that- since you accept never owning them in the first place, and said “ownership has nothing to do with labor” (that’s the entire problem).

    I owned the product (my labor) up until I sold it. What happens after that is not my concern.

    His entire wealth comes from surplus value,

    There is no such thing as “surplus” value.

    Value is in the eye of the beholder.

    You can look upon a dusty old machine and say “it has no value” to you

    I can look upon that exact same machine and say “it is worth a million bucks” to me.

    Your argument as presented means that though you saw no value when you looked on it, it *somehow* held some surplus value because I thought it is worth a million.

    But how can that be if you didn’t see it in the first place?

    Is there a virtual “value tag” that only special people see and non-special people can’t see?

    Value is completely subjective to the individual. Hence, there exists no such thing as surplus value or inherent value.

    I don’t want money.

    Great! I’ll email you my address and you can send it all to me!

    I promise I will enjoy it greatly! 😉

  29. Well Red,

    the catch being that in order to fully receive the product of that labor, i’d have to be the one owning that material- though practically, directly, that is impossible for the position of a worker- until he himself becomes an owner… so yes, it seems, though I was not in total disagreement with the notion, that currently, there is at least a possibility for one to later become the owner of said materials… however, the surplus value/exchange-value, etc, etc, remain primarily in the interest of the owner’s personal wealth.

    I believe you are tightening the knot very well – don’t let up!

    If you, as a worker, wishes to capitalize completely on the fullest extent of your labor, you must become the owner of the entire process, including the owner of all the risk.

    There exists substantial risk that what you produce – even if you owned it “soup to nuts” – would have no consumer who would buy it – thus, destroying you. You would starve to death (or become a criminal and steal your food to live).

    Thus, prudence dictates that you might avail yourself with the “division of labor and capital” – dividing the risk and effort (and the profit) with a number of other actors.

    Thus, by selling your labor for immediate money now you relieve yourself of systemic economic risk should the product not sell tomorrow. You are freed from the risk of the uncertainty of the future by selling your services for cash today.

    By joining a company, which supplies in aggregate all the other means of the division of labor, your labor can become even more specialized – allowing you to capitalize your expertise into greater profit (that is, less effort for the same return or same effort for greater return).

  30. Well Red says:

    But then, what happens when I am working for a company which makes their profit for a time, but does not innovate, remain ahead, etc, and their business fails, leaving the workers out of a job through no fault of their own? At that point, the suggested “no risk” factor has actually come back to bite me as well, because while the risk did not lay upon the worker before, the consequence of failure now falls upon them- especially if an owner shuts down preemptively, “cutting losses,” and then even liquidates. If that happens fast enough, will there always be another company waiting to employ you?

  31. Well Red says:

    “Labor is an economic good – nothing more or less.”
    This is one of the main critiques of the system we find ourselves in by socialists.
    Our system has turned into a commodity and commercialized one of the main aspects of our intellect: our ability to create, our ability to alter our surroundings to appease our needs/wants. In this system, a wall is placed between your ability to create, and what you create- and in return for creating, you are granted certain amount of pieces of paper which, in large part, are rarely enough to completely satisfy even one’s needs at times. If one position will not do it, then a person must go and create at another position which also adds to the girth of the wall, and still, when compared to the amount of paper needed to trade for various needs (in particular housing/rent), may not be enough to satisfy one’s needs.

    • Well Red says:

      I do not mean to say that it was not a “commodity” before capitalism, or that expansion of labor is “bad,” I mainly meant to point out that the compensation of paper money in return for the labor is essentially an insult compared to the wealth the labor generates for the person/group who invested in buying your labor power from you.

  32. Well Red says:

    hah, was debating “largely” or “at times”.
    in large part, are rarely enough to completely satisfy even one’s needs at times.

    “…which are at times not enough to completely satisfy even one’s needs.

  33. Birdman says:

    I found an interesting site with some good articles. I try to check this site out daily.

    http://www.thedailybell.com/1198/Save-the-EMU.html

  34. Birdman says:

    Ever hear the one about the little old lady living in an old but paid-off house, with a shoe box full of gold coins in the basement? Across the street lived a big guy, in a big McMansion. It had a special garage for the RV, and another four-car garage for the other four cars. He had a boat at the side and a trailer with two jet skis in front of the boat. Then one day little old lady noticed big guy was gone. The bank had taken back his house.

    Most people thought big guy was rich and little old lady was poor. How wrong most people were.

    Tiger’s Tail

    I watched a pretty forgettable movie the other night on TV. It was just so-so from a film-maker’s perspective, but it had at least one redeeming quality from my blog-maker’s perspective. It highlighted a point I had been thinking about.

    The film is called “The Tiger’s Tail”, and the basic back story is identical twin brothers that were separated at birth when one was given up for adoption. The adopted brother is destitute when he discovers he has a twin who is a very public multi-millionaire businessman. So, filled with envy and anger over being given up as an infant, he hatches a plan to “steal” his brother’s identity and life for just long enough to liquidate his assets and make off with the cash.

    He is successful supplanting himself into his brother’s life only to find that the vast wealth is built completely on debt. What filled him with envy on the surface is nothing but a giant, net-negative hole once he looks behind the curtain.

    Here is an eight minute version of the movie that contains all the relevant scenes. We pick it up right at the point where the adopted twin first arrives at his brother’s office, pretending to be him, ready to liquidate a few assets…

    My apologies to John Boorman. I’m really looking forward to your remakes of The Wizard of Oz and Excalibur, and I loved Deliverance and Exorcist II: The Heretic. 😉

    Marx Had It Backwards

    Karl Marx predicted the breakdown of capitalism as a result of class struggle, followed by the establishment of a grand commune in which all the means of production would become publicly owned and used only for the public good. Sounds pretty nice, huh? “Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people, Sharing all the world…” … and all that peace and harmony stuff.

    Today we have many fine, intelligent and exacting analysts all looking at the same economic data and coming up with vastly different analyses of the present global financial crisis. What sets them all apart from each other is not intelligence, or math skills, or even popularity. What sets them apart is the foundational premises on which they operate.

    And a false premise can skew a brilliant analysis 180 degrees in the wrong direction. Few analysts fully disclose their premises. But Karl Marx did, and in this we can find the one, key flaw that sent his analysis off in a disastrous direction.

    Marx writes, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle.” He got this part right! What he got wrong was his delineation of the classes.

    Marx’s classes were:

    1. Labour (the proletariat or workers) – anyone who earns their livelihood by selling their labor and being paid a wage for their labor time. They have little choice but to work for capital, since they typically have no independent way to survive.

    2. Capital (the bourgeoisie or capitalists) – anyone who gets their income not from labor as much as from the surplus value they appropriate from the workers who create wealth. The income of the capitalists, therefore, is based on their exploitation of the workers.

    Simply put, Marx says it’s the rich versus the poor. According to Marx the rich exploit the poor to get themselves a “labor-free income”, which spawns a class struggle.

    This is an attractive perspective because it requires only a cursory, superficial judgement to place someone into one of the two camps, the rich or the poor. If someone is driving a Bentley we immediately know which group they are in, right?

    But within this simple, foundational premise lies an error so serious that within 130 years of Marx’s death it caused somewhere between 85 million and 150 million deaths, depending on how you count them. That’s an oddly large number of dead people for a commun-ity in which class struggle had been eliminated, isn’t it? Peace and harmony my ar$e.

    Inscription reads: “Workers Of All Lands Unite”

    As I said, Marx got one thing right. History does bear out the dramatic story of centuries of class struggle. But if we eliminate his one small flawed premise, we can see it all much more clearly.

    The two classes are not the Labour and the Capital, the rich and the poor, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, or the workers and the elite. The two classes are the Debtors and the Savers. “The soft money camp” and “the hard money camp”. History reveals the story of these two groups, over and over and over again. Always one is in power, and always the other one desires the power.

    1. Debtors – “The soft money camp” likes to spend (and redistribute) money it did not earn, either by borrowing it, taxing the savers for it, or printing it. They like soft money because it is always and everywhere constantly inflating, easing the repayment of their debts.

    2. Savers – “The hard money camp” likes to live within their means and save any excess for the future. They prefer hard money (or in some cases “harder” money) because it protects their savings and forces the debtors to work off their debts.

    1789, the French Revolution, “the hard money camp” had been in power since 1720 when John Law’s soft money collapsed, and starting in 1789 “the soft money camp” killed “the hard money camp” and took back the power. This is the way “the soft money camp”, the Debtors, usually take power… by revolting against the hard repayment of their spending habits.

    Only nine years later, 1797, soft money collapsed once again (as it had just done in 1720) and a new French monetary system based upon gold was again reinstated. This is the way “the hard money camp”, the Savers, almost always regain control: when the soft money collapses. On very rare occasions and only under highly favorable circumstances (like moving to a new continent!), “the hard money crowd” takes control by physically separating from “soft money” and declaring independence from the Debtors.

    The American Revolution. Yes, the Constitution mandates hard money.

    So just to repeat for clarity: Hard money regimes almost always end in bloodshed, when the soft money camp slaughters the hard money camp to avoid hard repayment terms. And soft money regimes almost always end in financial suffering when the soft money collapses. Here are a few more examples of “soft money collapses”…

    Angola (1991-1999)
    Argentina (1975-1991, 2001)
    Austria (1921-1922)
    Belarus (1994-2002)
    Bolivia (1984-1986)
    Brazil (1986-1994)
    Bosnia-Herzegovina (1993)
    Bulgaria (1991-1997)
    Chile (1971-1973)
    China (1939-1950)
    Free City of Danzig (1923)
    Ecuador (2000)
    England (1560)
    Greece (1944-1953)
    Georgia (1995)
    Germany (1923-1924, 1945-1948)
    Greece (1944-1953)
    Hungary (1922-1927, 1944-1946)
    Israel (1979-1985)
    Japan (1944-1948)
    Krajina (1993)
    Madagascar (2004)
    Mexico (1993)
    Mongolian Empire (13th and 14th Century AD)
    Nicaragua (1987-1990)
    Persian Empire (1294)
    Peru (1984-1990)
    Poland (1922-1924, 1990-1993)
    Romania (2000-2005)
    Ancient Rome (~270AD)
    Russia (1921-1922, 1992-1994)
    Taiwan (late-1940’s)
    Turkey (1990’s)
    Ukraine (1993-1995)
    United States (1812-1814, 1861-1865)
    Vietnam (1981-1988)
    Yap (late 1800’s)
    Yugoslavia (1989-1994)
    Zaire (1989-1996)
    Zimbabwe (1999 – present)
    Source

    You see, Marx had it almost completely backwards when he said the rich exploit the poor for free income. Once we shuffle and re deal the two camps correctly we see that it is actually “the soft money camp” (the Debtors) that always exploit “the hard money camp” (the Savers), taxing them, destroying their savings, destroying capital, borrowing money only to repay it on easier terms, and sometimes even killing them. So are “the Debtors” the rich and “the Savers” the poor? Of course not! Is this clear enough?

    What does all this have to do with Freegold today? Well, with history, ANOTHER and FOA as our guides, we can see clearly what is coming. And with a correct view and a wide enough perspective, we can also see how some fine analysts operating under false premises are inducing the wrong conclusions.

    Today we are living the end of the longest stretch of time in which “the soft money camp” has been in power both politically and monetarily. For a century now they have been softening our money more and more. And for those of you obsessed with the “emerging” NWO and One-World Currency… surprise! You’ve been living with it for 66 years now.

    This latest push for central control and massive deficit spending by the “soft money camp” is simply the blow-off phase right before the long awaited collapse. And when soft money collapses, the transition is always financially painful but not necessarily bloody like the French Revolution, which was the end of the “hard money camp”.

    Now, what happens during ALL periods in history, whether “the hard money camp” is in charge or “the soft money camp” are running things… is a transfer of wealth. This is important! Because when the soft money guys are in power the transfer of wealth happens slowly and gradually, and wealth flows from the Savers to the Debtors. But when “soft money” collapses – and it ALWAYS collapses – there is a very RAPID transfer of wealth in the other direction, from the Debtors back to the Savers.

    And this is where you need to take some action today. Because we have been living in a “soft money regime” for so long now, the delineation of the two camps is somewhat obscured. There are many many people who consider themselves Savers who are still sitting in the wrong camp, and will be on the WRONG side of the coming
    – extremely rapid – transfer of wealth.

    Today you need to be proactive if you want to get on the receiving end of this “blow back” transfer of wealth. You need to actively choose which camp you are in. And to do that, you need to recognize the two camps, or classes. Remember, this is a “class struggle”.

    So let’s put a few modern groups and people into these two camps. I think it is fairly obvious that almost all modern “socialistic” governments and their politicians addicted to sovereign debt and deficit spending are in the debtor class. These are the soft money guys. And the bankers as a class are generally there too. As I said in a recent post:

    The banker makes his largest profits during times in history when the liberal soft money crowd is in power both politically and monetarily. And he makes his most absurd profits when the debtor class allows its debt to go too far… to the very mathematical limit. But don’t worry. This unstoppable avalanche will reduce banking and central banking to what it should be; a utility for the public good.

    And this is because soft money debt must flow THROUGH the banking class as it is passed between the savers and the debtors.

    But as individuals, not “banks”, but individual bankers, we could say that some of them are Debtors while others are Savers. For example, would you agree that the Rothschild family, as a family unit, is in the “saver class” while their industry or profession (banking) as a whole falls in the “debtor class”? Or perhaps we could say that the banking institutions, as the hollow corporate shells that they are, are closely aligned with the debtor class.

    But on the other side of the coin, we can broadly say that most of the young “hot shot bankers” and investment bankers probably fall firmly in the “debtor class”. When you look at the lavish lifestyle of a lot of these young guys, you don’t see the debt it is built upon. Just like our character, Liam O’Leary, in The Tiger’s Tail. You could watch a Rothschild and a Goldman VP pull up to an event in identical Bentleys, not seeing that one is leased while the other is owned outright. Are you catching my drift?

    You can tell who the “soft money guys” are because they will always argue that a currency devaluation is preferable to forced austerity. They will say, “the euro got it wrong because it doesn’t allow for Greece to devalue.” And in saying this, they put themselves firmly in the Debtor camp. They are saying that the “Argentine/Brazilian
    /Soviet/Zimbabwe workout” is preferable to what is happening in Greece today.

    How about that Soviet “soft money collapse” in 1992? Who came out ahead? Most average people that thought they were savers lost everything. So did the Russian banks take over Russia? Or did a handful of “Oligarchs” emerge as multi-billionaires through the process and buy up anything in sight for pennies on the dollar? And which camp do you think these Oligarchs were in? The Debtors or the Savers? Curiously, one of them just bought the New Jersey Nets.

    Russian Oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov
    (Age: 45 – Born: Poor – Starting Industry: Precious Metals)

    As I said earlier, almost all modern governments are in camp with the Debtors. And this includes the Russian government. So are the Oligarchs in the opposing camp as their beloved comrades in the corrupt government? Here is an interesting article:

    Here’s The Real Reason The Russian Oligarchs Are Buying Up Professional Sports Teams
    By Henry Blodget
    Business Insider

    SNIP:
    …we hear that some Russian oligarchs feel that, if they become highly visible owners of beloved sports franchises, the Kremlin will be less likely to take them out.

    Yes, as in that kind of out.

    Remember Alexander Litvinenko, the ex-Russian spy who got poisoned in London…

    Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich
    (Age: 43 – Born: Poor – Starting Industry: Entrepreneur)

    So here’s the important thing in today’s dangerous world. We must each understand the difference between choices and inevitabilities. What is coming at us is inevitable. It is unavoidable. How we personally prepare for it is a choice we each must actively make.

    The coming “blow back” hyper-rapid transfer of wealth is not something that necessarily requires moral judgements of good and evil. It is simply a fact of life today. Pick which side you want to be on in THIS particular transfer of wealth. By selling your debt-financed paper savings and buying physical gold today you are making the conscious CHOICE to join the camp of the true Savers.

    Many people that consider themselves “savers” are precariously positioned right now. These people need to take active measures to get on the receiving end of this transfer of wealth to survive. Many, many, many average citizens amazingly still have this option, yet they don’t even realize it. They need to get up and move over into the same camp as the Rothschilds and the Russian Oligarchs, and prepare to own the future. It’s not a matter of good versus evil at this point, it is a matter of survival!

    The soft money crowd has had a really, really long run in the sun this time. There’s no need to feel bad for them. And all the last-ditch central control efforts we see today are simply the culmination of that run. But their influential position is completely dependent on the power afforded by the soft money debt machine that is now crumbling. Their “power generator” is out of gas. And it’s not the kind of gas you can legislate or print.

    But don’t take my word for it. And certainly don’t take financial advice from me! For that matter, don’t take financial advice from ANYONE. Think it through yourself, quietly. Use your own head. This is the only path to peace of mind. You and only you will lose your wealth if you take the wrong advice. And this time, it doesn’t take an MBA and a JD to understand the choices.

    It is easy to watch the dollar losing its reserve privilege today. And it is also easy to see who will come out ahead when it happens. All else is noise. Choose your camp wisely.

    Sincerely,
    FOFOA

    • Well Red says:

      If the bourgeois is not getting it’s wealth from the exploited surplus value, where is it coming from?

      • Well Red says:

        “by revolting against the hard repayment of their spending habits.”

        It is practically essential to take on debt to survive today. If you did not get your home on credit, you would have a very hard time getting anywhere near “financially stable.” You can live in an apartment, sure, and perhaps that’s the better option if the other is tens or hundreds of thousands worth of debt via mortgage, etc, but for many this is unfeasible or, to them, unacceptable.
        It’s the very fault of the imposed scarcity and value systems of capitalist market economy that this debt has become necessary. It is not only, and I would say hardly, the fault of the “debtor” class.

        • That was not meant to be sarcastic, or merely rhetorical. I am indeed wondering where you would say the wealth is coming from.

          • Well Red

            It is practically essential to take on debt to survive today.

            Not at all.

            You can “survive” and in fact thrive without debt.

            Debt does enable one to purchase a good and use it sooner – enjoy the use of the good while at the same time earning its cost.

            However, as pointed out before, time preference when it is delayed creates a return on that investment over that time, the reverse is equally true; that is, shortening a time preference creates a cost.

            Thus, buying a good on credit for immediate use will end up paying more for that good.

            I am indeed wondering where you would say the wealth is coming from.

            First, one must define wealth:

            Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions or the control of such assets

            Wealth thus “comes from” earning and retaining an amount of goods above your consumption.

            • Well Red says:

              o.O

              “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher
              consideration.”

              Abe Lincoln.

              Other people’s labor is where the wealth is coming from, no matter how you wish to paint it up.
              Only a smaller capitalist still labors within his own company.

              No one works for some other capitalist and then suddenly buys a huge factory to bring them into the capitalist class. Usually one will have to toil, and then employ others, and hopefully they can expand and rise the ranks to being a full fledged capitalist.
              You go ahead and save money for 50 years before you can afford a house with “hard money,” “without debt.”

              Your abundance of goods comes from your accumulation of paper money, which comes from the selling of the goods which others have labored to create. For a non-capitalist (class member), the paper money accumulated would rarely stretch far enough to cover all of the goods/services you need- which is why they implemented credit.

              • Well Red,

                “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher
                consideration.”

                Abe Lincoln.

                Abe was a politician and was no economist.

                Capital is the consequence of saving. Saving exists when one consumes less than what one earns.

                Labor is just an economic good. It has no inherent value, and its value is wholly subjective by the person buying that labor.

                One can test. What is the value of labor of a man who digs a hole in water?

                Other people’s labor is where the wealth is coming from, no matter how you wish to paint it up.

                Wealth is merely the accumulation of assets. Those assets can be obtained by theft or they can be earned.

                For you to obtain wealth, you need to act (work). For you to prosper, you will need to trade your goods for other goods of others.

                It does not matter how they obtained their goods for you to trade with them.

                Only a smaller capitalist still labors within his own company.

                He does not need a company to labor.

                All people labor for themselves

                No one works for some other capitalist and then suddenly buys a huge factory to bring them into the capitalist class.

                Everyone works for themselves you are not a slave (I hope).

                You trade your work for goods

                Your labor is AN ECONOMIC GOOD exactly the same as apples or cars.

                You trade your effort (an economic good) for another economic good (apples). You make this trade because you do not have apples, but you have a lot of your own effort.

                You trade what you have in excess (your effort) for something you have few (apples).

                This is the same basic economic action of all men, whether your title is “President”, “shareholder”, or “floor sweep”.

                You are merely subjectively allocating your value on the effort of others.

                You do not see the effort of the “Owner” to be as valuable as the effort of the “Floor Sweep.” I *shrug*. That is your free choice to value goods for yourself.

                I may value the effort of Owners/Floor Sweep differently than you, as is my right. You do not determine my value of goods, and I do not determine your value of goods.

                You go ahead and save money for 50 years before you can afford a house with “hard money,” “without debt.”

                I certainly may.

                Or I may buy the capital of others today, so to have a house today. I may chose to make terms of payment for that capital that suit my own personal preferences and that of the owner of that capital.

                Your abundance of goods comes from your accumulation of paper money, which comes from the selling of the goods which others have labored to create.

                My abundance of goods comes from trading my economic good (effort) for the economic goods of others.

                I have a huge excess of labor, and thus I am willing to trade some of it for other’s goods which I do not have an excess of.

                Because I do not consume greater than the goods I traded for, I gain wealth.

                Money -whether it is paper, plastic, gold or cattle- is just another economic good. It obeys the same laws of Economics as all economic goods (including labor).

                For a non-capitalist (class member), the paper money accumulated would rarely stretch far enough to cover all of the goods/services you need- which is why they implemented credit.

                Credit is the savings of a person who is willing to sell their savings to another person.

      • Well Red,

        To test your economic theory of labor, please explain this scenario:

        Men pay me $1,000 an hour for my knowledge. I go to their place of work, and tell them what to do, they do it, and they pay me $1,000 an hour for my time at their place of work.

        Question (1): Why do they do that?
        Question (2): Why do they pay so much?

        Continuing;

        I know that you would never pay me $1,000 an hour. In fact, you probably would never pay me even $1 for what I do.

        Question (3): Why do you do NOT pay me even $1 where other men would pay be $1,000?

        Continuing;

        In fact, 99.999% of the people on Earth would never considering paying me anything for what I do.

        Yet, out of the 00.001% of the people, most of them would pay me $1,000/hr (or even more – my best rate was $12,500/hr).

        Question (4): In casual observation, you could generalize and say: “No one would pay me $1,000/hr” and you’d -generally- be correct. But why is that not perfectly correct? Why are there people who would pay that?

        Continuing:
        The guy who mows my lawn earns $10/hr. I would not pay him $1000 to mow my lawn. He works physically very hard, and after 4 hrs., I pay him $40.

        You would probably pay him $10, too – and probably not $1000.

        Question (5): Why do I only pay him $10, and not $1000?
        Question (6): Why does almost everyone only pay him $10, and no one pay him $1,000/hr?

        Continuing:
        There are probably 10,000 more people in the world that would pay him to work for them, then people who would pay me to work for them. Indeed, he is about 1 million times more likely to work for you then I would work for you.

        This is about the same for everyone – he is far more likely to work for anyone by a factor of a million then me work for those same people.

        Question (7): Give that he can work for almost everyone, and I will probably not, why do I earn 100x more than he for the same hour of work?

        I’m interested in your coherent explanation for this economic situation.

  35. BF,
    As I said, by limiting the pool to companies not in bed with government, you make your task impossible. Now, maybe it is the very connection you speak of that permits this sort of action, or maybe it is the size and scope of the company (also possibly a result of government protection, or at least a result of the government created entity of “the corporation” that they even got that large), or maybe, it is the nature of those business leaders that they would be so foul as to take advantage of their positions of power to screw customers and take taxpayer money. Regardless, I am not certain that you can be any more certain of which of the above conditions is the case. I do not know what evidence you can offer, tho I would be open to hearing it. If, however, you cannot prove that the third case is not the cause of your severely reduced pool of businesses that can be presented as evidence, then there is no way to prove either of our points.

  36. TexasChem says:

    Obama is Strangling Big Oil-Jane Jamison

    There was no “official” announcement. Not in so many words. Connect the dots of what has occurred in just the past two weeks to deep-water oil drilling, shallow-water drilling, and oil refining. The effect is the same. Barack Obama is shutting down Big Oil.

    One of the first actions taken by the president after the BP oil leak began was to announce a six-month moratorium on all “deep-water” (deeper than 500 feet) drilling. That immediately affected 33 oil rigs and more than 120,000 oil-related jobs. The industry has an estimated $3-billion impact on the Gulf economy.

    The executive order, from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar via Obama, was taken to court by drilling companies. It was quickly enjoined by U.S. District judge Martin Feldman, who wrote a harshly worded opinion critical of the Energy Department’s lack of scientific basis for such an overreaching reaction.

    Not to be dissuaded by such trivialities as a federal court judge’s ruling, what did Obama do? It was announced immediately that an appeal would be made, even though Democrat-elected officials such as Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) oppose the moratorium as a jobs-killer.

    The Energy Secretary said he would make a new, reworded moratorium on deep-water drilling. In other words, the Obama administration would simply ignore the will of the court.

    After the court’s June 22 ruling, under questioning the next day from the Senate interior appropriations committee, Secretary Salazar disagreed with senators who said the moratorium could impact the Gulf states more drastically than the oil spill itself. He made it clear that day that the deep wells will be shut down, no matter what.

    Salazar’s “new” moratorium has yet to issue, but it may not matter. In stealth mode, the administration is attacking other aspects of the oil industry.

    Shallow-Water Drilling

    Though the president announced shallow wells would not be permanently affected by the moratorium, passive-aggressiveness in the permitting process has kept them off-line.

    Connie Hair writes in Human Events:

    [N]o shallow-water drilling permits-with the exception of two which were quickly rescinded — have been granted since the drilling moratorium was first announced on May 6th.

    “We’re told by the government that the de-facto moratorium doesn’t exist,” Cassidy said. “By industry, by workers, we’re told that it does.”

    Oil Refining

    The other important component of the oil industry is refining. The Obama administration, through the Environmental Protection Agency, has just put 27% of the country’s refining capacity into limbo, on the assertion that the plants violate the Clean Air Act. The 27 refining plants affected just happen to be located in Texas, which has battled the EPA for years over the emissions standards and permits process and has followed its own set of rules until now. Someone is showing someone who is boss.

    Will one-third of the nation’s oil-refining capacity have to be shut down for expensive revamping to meet the Obama EPA standards?

    Nuareen S. Malik writes in the Wall Street Journal:
    The federal agency proposed striking down the so-called flexible air permits issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, last September, saying they violate the Clean Air Act. Under the act, all states have to develop a state implementation plan to meet federal requirements to protect public health. The move won’t require oil refiners, chemical and plastics makers, and others to shut their plants immediately, but will force companies to meet stricter regulations in order to earn new, more detailed permits. […]

    Bill Day, a spokesman for Valero, which operates six out of seven of its Texas refineries under the flex permits, said the EPA’s move was disappointing. These “facilities are caught in the middle, creating significant uncertainty at a time when our economy can least afford it,” Mr. Day said in an email.

    Let’s try to imagine the paperwork, the bureaucracy, and the expense of this pencil stroke by the Obama administration, and what it might further cost in lost jobs and lost product for the country, if any of the Texas plants must eventually shut down for Obama “upgrades.”

    Texas governor Rick Perry, a Republican, had already locked horns, bringing a lawsuit against the EPA in February over its agency decision to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. He maintains that the EPA is now attempting to “take over” the state’s job of permitting its own businesses. The EPA ruling affects 122 Texas plants, including the 27 oil refineries.

    Gromer Jeffers Jr. Writes in the Dallas News: “‘There are some troubling decisions this administration has made toward Texas,’ [Perry] said. ‘The EPA is on the verge of killing thousands of Texas jobs.'”

    Perry’s Democrat opponent in the governor’s race has made the Texas tussle with EPA a campaign issue.

    There is a seemingly unending wave of ideological bureaucrats in federal offices doing the bidding of radicals whose goal is to have the populace ride bicycles and live in eco-clusters.

    The Obama administration environmentalists may not have a mandate from the electorate or even certain members of their own party to accomplish what they want. They may also have to ignore the judicial branch of the government. Right now, they have the power to regulate an industry to death. A side benefit for them is that they may also mow down some of the Republicans who dare to stand in their way.

  37. Jon Smith,

    BF,
    As I said, by limiting the pool to companies not in bed with government, you make your task impossible.

    Let’s simplify a bit and remove “companies” because that involves government if you include “corporations” into that definition.

    So let’s keep it simple – a one-man self-employed man.

    He earns his money by servicing his customers, and if he alienates them how will he earn the money he needs to live?

    By alienating, that includes lying, cheating, misrepresenting as well as poor service.

    Customers do not usually go back to the man who alienates them.

    He can steal. But that is stealing, whether you are in business or not, so the matter of the choice of theft really isn’t part of any argument.

    So, how is my task “impossible” to demonstrate this? You can claim that consumers are stupid and will ignore cheaters and liars – but you know that is specious at best.

    it is the nature of those business leaders that they would be so foul as to take advantage of their positions of power to screw customers and take taxpayer money.

    I expect men to take advantage of their positions – that is why they work hard to achieve.

    But what counter balances these men from using immoral actions in their positions is negative consequences delivered by those who would suffer.

    And this is core. By the creation of a corporation – an entity specifically created to deflect negative consequences of actions of men one guarantee that men in position of power WILL use engage in immoral and reckless behavior with a greater degree.

    All of this is praxelogical.

    • Perhaps. Still, when a product or service has limited competition, the provider is able to get away with a lot of crap. This is, of course, one of the reasons competition is a good, but I can say that there are still examples of customers getting screwed and the one man company surviving. All that is required is enough customers who do not care or have no better alternative and need the service. There is a gunsmith in Richmond who, while skilled, is very slow. Customers have waited several years for gun repairs. My dad is offering him some competition, but he got away with his slow service record for over a decade before a viable alternative (my dad) entered the Richmond scene.

      Imagine an environment where there were no laws or rules. If that same specialist had also done some business that was more severe with certain customers for whatever reason, it is unlikely that he would have gone under. There were still plenty of people to overlook his errors. If he had done something to attract media attention, perhaps this would not be so. People will work a lot harder to avoid a bad vendor if they are aware of his transgressions, but without that media attention, he would survive just fine, with few consequences. The market only operates perfectly under perfect conditions. I am not arguing that the market should not be free, but I do not think that it handles all ills without a legal code to protect freedom in addition to market action.

      • Jon

        Perhaps. Still, when a product or service has limited competition, the provider is able to get away with a lot of crap.

        So, dig deeper.

        Why would there be limited competition?

        (1) government prevents entry

        (2) the product is rare/specialized.

        If the product is rare or specialized, then it is core that the price is high and the service level low – because that scenario always attracts people who want to make money and given the incumbent has left the “door open” for a better, cheaper product, that is what will happen!…as long as (1) does not stop it.

        . All that is required is enough customers who do not care

        If they do not care, then service is not valued by the customer so why should it be offered? Service costs money and if the customer cares less about it, why spend the money/time providing it?

        or have no better alternative and need the service.

        See above. If there is money to be made and the incumbent has left the service offering suffer, someone WILL come and compete – guaranteed.

        There is a gunsmith in Richmond who, while skilled, is very slow. Customers have waited several years for gun repairs. My dad is offering him some competition, but he got away with his slow service record for over a decade before a viable alternative (my dad) entered the Richmond scene.

        So think about it.

        The customers did not want speed – they wanted his quality. If they wanted speed, someone else would have popped up – like your Dad – but they didn’t because the people didn’t want it.

        When they did, your Dad showed up. So what if it took 10 years? The people got exactly what they wanted to pay for – slow quality. They did not want to pay more for fast quality or the same price for fast junk

        Imagine an environment where there were no laws or rules.

        There are ALWAYS Laws and Rules

        The question always is: what Rightful Law and whose rules?

        If that same specialist had also done some business that was more severe with certain customers for whatever reason, it is unlikely that he would have gone under.

        Who knows and it doesn’t matter.

        The Free Market always wins because it delivers for a price what the customer wants.

        If the customer does not care about politeness and is more interested in quality, that is what he gets.

        When a customer wants politeness and is willing to pay for it, that is what he will get.

        without that media attention, he would survive just fine, with few consequences.

        Not at all. Word of mouth moves faster than any newspaper. People share good stories and more often bad ones.

        Again, if it is important, the customer will make it important and the vendor will heel to that demand.

        The market only operates perfectly under perfect conditions.

        The Free Market always operates OPTIMALLY

        Because economics deals with subjective values, there can be no Universal “perfection”, the concept cannot exist in economics.

        I am not arguing that the market should not be free, but I do not think that it handles all ills without a legal code to protect freedom in addition to market action.

        The only protection required is the prohibition of violence.

        The Free Market is optimum only when voluntary exchange exists. Violence destroys voluntary.

        Thus, the ONLY law required is the same law of free men – Free from violence and imposition of other men.

        • You misunderstand, when I say that people do not always care, I am talking about 1 customer does not always care about what you did to another customer. Or, more often, they may not know. Word of mouth may travel fast, but in a large town it does not reach everyone. Also, with certain offenses, if the product or service is needed enough, then people will ignore many things.

          I am not saying the market does not work, I am saying it is not often the means to enforce law on business. I believe there needs to be something additional.

          The case I am speaking of had difficult market entry because there was a somewhat limited market and, more importantly, it is a specialized market. The barrier to entry is largely skill level, a competent gunsmith is not easy to find. Most customers wanted speed and quality, which my Dad can provide, tho he is still developing experience versus the otehr guy for certain specialty things. In the absence of a speedy option, customers just dealt with the issue until someone took the risk of starting a competing company.

          Why do you say there will always be laws and rules? Who makes the laws in the world you want to have?

          • Jon

            I am talking about 1 customer does not always care about what you did to another customer.

            I strongly disagree.

            The existence of the BBB proves this. They make their living selling the BBB-Quality symbol – which is earned by a reputable business.

            People check BBB to see if the company they are making a purchase from is a good company. Reputation is important in trade – in fact, I will argue it is the most important. Without it, most often trade will not occur.

            Or, more often, they may not know.

            The only person responsible for educating himself is himself.

            If there is no effort in evaluating the reputation of your trading partner, then the losses are the responsibility of that ignorant person.

            Remember, Jon, trade is voluntary. No one is putting a gun to your head to buy. Because you can chose to not trade as well as trade, it is wholly up to you to make that choice. If you choose poorly, it is your fault and no one else.

            Word of mouth may travel fast, but in a large town it does not reach everyone.

            Almost every town I know has BBB.

            BBB is a private company, doing a private service for the benefit of reputable business and consumers.

            Everyone should study why BBB exists, how it exists, and how it makes money. It underlies how any wide-beneficial public good gets paid for….

            Also, with certain offenses, if the product or service is needed enough, then people will ignore many things.

            And that is their right to ignore whatever they want. Its their money and its their trade, not my money nor my trade. If they “do well”, good for them because its their fault; if they do not, too bad but its their fault too.

            I am not saying the market does not work, I am saying it is not often the means to enforce law on business. I believe there needs to be something additional.

            The Free Market has everything it needs to enforce itself as necessary.

            It’s called Consumer Free Choice.

            All the Free Market needs is to be free.

            The case I am speaking of had difficult market entry because there was a somewhat limited market and, more importantly, it is a specialized market. The barrier to entry is largely skill level, a competent gunsmith is not easy to find. Most customers wanted speed and quality, which my Dad can provide, tho he is still developing experience versus the otehr guy for certain specialty things. In the absence of a speedy option, customers just dealt with the issue until someone took the risk of starting a competing company.

            So what?

            It means that the price he was offering was good enough for the product he was offering and no one was willing to pay the price necessary to do it faster

            True, if someone offered to do the same job @ $5 more and get next day service you would have measured that offer and seen value and probably bought it.

            But the fact is no one able to price their faster service significanlty low enough for you to pay for it.

            If I said “next day service, but it will cost you $500 extra” – you walked away, because the value of next day service was lower than the price of $500.

            So you had a situation where the price someone was willing to do the work was higher than anyone was willing to pay.

            So the ol’gunsmith puttered along – because no one could price themselves LOWER than him and still provide the same quality, while no one would pay more money for the faster service.

            He obviously priced his service pretty darn good. Low enough to keep out competition, high enough to live.

            Why do you say there will always be laws and rules? Who makes the laws in the world you want to have?

            The Universe.

%d bloggers like this: