Wednesday Night Open Mic for July 21, 2010

And a hearty good evening to all of my dear SUFA readers. I apologize for my lack of participation this week. I traveled all day on Tuesday and arrived late that night in Central Florida for a few days spent with my father. I simply never seem to have as much time with him as I would like to have. Alas, this trip is the same, as I must be going back on Friday. It is worth all the driving just to watch Canine Weapon and my father’s dog play endlessly for the last 36 hours (and I do mean endlessly). Tomorrow a little golf with the old man, where he will whip me. I will post an article or two to the open mic this evening, but probably won’t get up to my usual 4. As always, everyone is invited to bring their own topics to the discussion. While I haven’t been able to participate, I have been checking in to watch some of the discussions. I will be doing the same for the next day or two until I get home and can get back to my regular schedule.

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Comments

  1. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #1

    Bailout Watchdogs Call Mortgage Program a Bust

    Government watchdogs on Wednesday raised a red flag over the Obama administration’s program for helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, saying the multibillion-dollar fund is not working and the Treasury Department refuses to fix it.

    Warning that the inefficiencies could hold the economy back, the officials told a Senate panel that changes should be made and that Treasury needs to come clean. One official called the program “one of the greatest failures in transparency and accountability” in the $700 billion bailout.

    A $50 billion fund was carved out of the Wall Street bailout for the mortgage program. The housing market being a root cause of the 2008 economic crisis, the money was pitched as a way to help millions of homeowners avoid foreclosure and get the economy back on track.

    But a fraction of that money, $248 million, has been spent.

    Elizabeth Warren, chairwoman of the congressional TARP Oversight Panel, said that for every one family that wins a permanent mortgage modification, “10 more have been moved out through foreclosure.”

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/21/bailout-watchdog-calls-mortgage-programs-bust/?test=latestnews

    File this under “A prime example of government ineffectiveness.” Yet another federal government bailout plan that simply does nothing towards what was promised as the reason for passage. I have to say that I am a bit shocked over this one. Given the way things have gone, I truly expected that the real news would end up being that a much higher percentage of blacks than whites were helped with the $50 Billion in funds. Whether that would be true or not isn’t the point, I simply expected that that would be the story that hit the news.

    To find out that after two years, only $248 million was spent in doing what many people felt was the only legitimate bailout that should have occurred, is shocking. And we are wondering why the economy continues to tank. Bailouts for banks and big industry get done quickly, while the bailouts meant to help the “little people” simply sit in limbo while people continue to lose their homes. As you all know, I was not a fan of ANY bailouts, this one included, but I have to point out that the one I objected to the least is the one that simply didn’t happen. We can’t even call it a failure, because it never got done.

    Now comes the bigger questions. First, why didn’t it get done better than this? Was it because the government required too much legwork and thus the process was simply too long to work for people losing their homes? Was it because so little was done to let people know how it worked or who was eligible? Or was it because a larger majority than first thought of the foreclosures were not the variable rate mortgages that would qualify? Or is this simply another example of a totally inept federal government promising the world that it has no ability to deliver? I lean towards the latter, or maybe a combination of all of the above. Given that something as simple as this cannot be handled, I dread to think what Health Care is going to look like when we travel down that path.

    And keep an eye on this: I am willing to go on record and say that if we really pay attention, we are going to find that this money wasn’t spent because it was never meant to be spent on what was promised. That was simply the excuse needed to get the money appropriated by Congress. Now we wait to see where they later “divert the unused funds” to. Because you can absolutely bet that they already have plans for money already taken from taxpayers via Congress. They won’t be simply choosing to not spend it since it didn’t get done right. Far be it from the federal government to do something crazy like, say, simply reducing the deficit by $49,752,000,000……..

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Would be interested in seeing how others view this one. How many of those facing foreclosure never should have been in the house in first place (rut-roh – I may be called a racist now also)? I suspect the money “has not been spent” because the problem was too big/pervasive for them to effectively and properly deal with it without having gobs and gobs of bureaucratic bullshit and red tape in place to consume an inordinate amount of the original allocation.

      • Ray, you said: “I suspect the money “has not been spent” because the problem was too big/pervasive for them to effectively and properly deal with it without having gobs and gobs of bureaucratic bullshit and red tape in place to consume an inordinate amount of the original allocation.”

        And I believe you are spot on. Having dealt a few times with the Feds, and can say without doubt that there is probably too much paperwork and bureaucracy to make it worth the effort.

        Also, you have to jump through 90 hoops just to find out you don’t qualify anyway, and even the ones administrating it don’t know what to do.

    • This would have been a rather simple way to “fund” the extension of unemployment benefits. It would have at least had the appearance that the administration was attempting to be just a slight bit fiscally responsible…I suppose they didn’t want to tarnish their image!

    • In keeping with the theme of this article I give you the Inspector General’s conclusion that the Obama Administration’s takeover of the auto industry killed jobs without justification.

      Here is a summary from Michell Malkin’s lead story. You can go to her site for her report and then link to the reports.

      “In sum, the inspector general found: “(A)t a time when the country was experiencing the worst economic downturn in generations and the government was asking its taxpayers to support a $787 billion stimulus package designed primarily to preserve jobs, Treasury made a series of decisions that may have substantially contributed to the accelerated shuttering of thousands of small businesses and thereby potentially adding tens of thousands of workers to the already lengthy unemployment rolls — all based on a theory and without sufficient consideration of the decisions’ broader economic impact.””

      I seem to recall some rather terse discussions at the time about how these guys had no business trying to run these businesses. The contention is that thousands of dealers and their employees were put out of work not because it made economic sense but simply because it was necessary to meet the Presidents directive on “sharing the pain”.

      If that is true it is a classic example of how a bankrupt philosophy leads to govt harm to its citizens, for no good reason.

      • What I would like to know is where El Presidente’ got the idea that he could just step in, fire the CEO of GM, and then just take the Bankruptcy out of the hands of the court and he and his cronies (read idiots) would do the courts job for them.

        Thereby screwing the bond and shareholders over and giving the company to the damn union that helped create the problem to start with.

        • Esom

          I think it started with dogma, spread to arrogance, and then they handed it to the lawyers and said find a loophole.

          Voilla, they did. Remember, the courts upheld the take over and the screwing of bond holders.

          • That screwing of the bondholders is why I will NEVER but a new GM product again.

            And they were my favorite brand too. 😦

            Of course, I ain’t looking to ever having a new anything at this point.

    • I know of several used car dealers that make a lot of money selling the same car two or three times. Say it sells for 5K, (worth/cost them half that)they require 1K down, buyer makes payments for three months then misses. Boom, repo! They offer to make their late payment to get car back, sure, 1K down, will finance the other 4K.

      from the rest of USW’s article…

      Barofsky said Treasury is giving mortgage companies too much leeway to decide which homeowners will qualify for a program to reduce the principal balance of their mortgages.

      The program relies on voluntary cooperation from mortgage companies, Warren said. She said:

      many of the mortgage debt collectors make more money when they foreclose than they do when helping homeowners.

      “We can’t have a program in which, in effect, we put incentives on the table paid for by the taxpayers to say, ‘Please do the right thing here,'” she said. “We have a crisis, and the consequences of not having cooperation from the servicers … (is) felt by this entire economy. We need a program with far more urgency and some real teeth in it.”

      “We need a program with far more urgency and some real teeth in it.”
      (Isn’t that what got us into this mess, with the government forcing banks to make loans to people who were not qualified?)

      • CBS’s Attkisson Finally Exposes Fannie Mae’s Dirty Laundry
        By Kyle Gillis (Bio | Archive)
        Wed, 07/21/2010 – 11:31 ET

        Some investigative reporters still live up to their job descriptions.

        On the July 20 edition of “CBS Evening News,” reporter Sharyl Attkisson exposed how government-sponsored entity (GSE) Fannie Mae and mortgage lender Countrywide “scratched each other’s backs” while their toxic loans fueled America’s mortgage crisis.

        Attkisson revealed new documents showing that Countrywide gave “very important person” loans to dozens of Fannie Mae executives while American taxpayers forked over $84 billion to bail out the GSE.

        Among the VIP loan recipients were Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson, who received $10 million, former Vice Chair Jamie Gorelick and former CEO Franklin Raines, whose total amounts received remain unknown. Attkisson reported the loans, but did not mention Raines, Gorelick, and Johnson all have ties to Democrats, from Bill Clinton to John Kerry to President Obama.

        Attkisson showed 42 Fannie Mae officials took 153 VIP loans from Countrywide. Additionally, Attkisson revealed an e-mail from Countrywide to Fannie Mae’s then Chief Operating Officer Dan Mudd attempting to cover their tracks:

        “Make sure the branch, and RVP, understand the sensitivity of this deal,” the first part of the e-mail read. “We already are taking a loss, it would be horrible to add a service complaint on top and lose any benefit we generate.”

        Attkisson concluded her report with an interview with U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and stated that Issa would like a congressional probe of Mudd and other Fannie Mae CEOs to see if they violated any ethical codes. However, CBS News anchor Katie Couric didn’t allow Attkisson to elaborate and swiftly moved on the next story.

        Attkisson broke the seemingly unwritten media code of not covering the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac debacles. Ironically, her story was aired on the evening before President Obama was scheduled to sign the massive financial reform bill that fails to include any GSE reform.

        Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-gillis/2010/07/21/cbss-attkisson-finally-exposes-fannie-maes-dirty-laundry#ixzz0uQNjJMq1

        • SK Trynosky Sr says:

          Now lets see if anyone runs with it.

          The problem I see with this type of reporting is that the story makes it out there… exactly once. The media can then claim they did not spike it that it was published. The very big but is that they spike the follow ups that should come. So, unless you were paying very close attention you never heard about it but they have the cover and can trot out the original story to show how unbiased they are.

          Mostly get my news from the radio. Have found over the years that there are many, many stories on the hour or half hour that were not filtered but you never have a follow up. They just kind of die.

  2. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #2

    GOP Lawmaker Blasts White House for $23M Spent on Kenya Constitution Vote

    A Republican lawmaker is accusing the White House of “unconscionable” and “illegal” acts for its role in Kenya’s referendum on a new constitution, which would legalize abortion in the country for the first time.

    Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey cited a report by the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, which estimated that more than $23 million in U.S. taxpayer funds have been spent on the referendum, and Smith and other conservatives have complained that at least some of that money has been spent in sport of the proposed constitution, possibly violating U.S. law.

    “Under no circumstances should the U.S. government take sides,” Smith said at a news conference Wednesday. “Yet that is precisely what the Obama administration has done.”

    He and other lawmakers accuse the Obama administration of offering incentives to Kenya to approve the controversial new constitution, promising that passage would “allow money to flow” into the nation’s coffers. A federal law known as the Siljander Amendment makes it illegal for the U.S. government to lobby on abortion in other countries.

    “We were unable to get any information prior to asking for those (USAID) reports,” Smith said. “There’s been no transparency in this process.”

    Smith had been joined by Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida in requesting the federal investigation into the administration’s spending on the referendum.

    “U.S. law is being violated with impunity,” Smith told FoxNews.com. “We shouldn’t be pushing for other the ‘yes’ or the ‘no’ camp, but instead, we’re bankrolling the ‘yes’ campaign.”

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/21/gop-lawmaker-blasts-white-house-m-spent-kenya-constitution-vote/

    I found this to be a pretty disturbing story. As you are all aware, I have a gigantic problem with the US having an interventionist foreign policy position under any circumstances. I recognize our right to state our position and tell whomever we like that we support or don’t support their position. But we cross the line when we take actions or make promises to countries which are designed to influence the direction of government action in a sovereign nation.

    It appears that in this case, we BOTH promised action and provided funds to sway the government direction in Kenya. To promise that passage of this will be the key to trading in the future is downright criminal. I would be OK if what we were talking about was a tariff on imports or something like that which actually affects trade. But to say that the passage of a referendum which legalizes abortion is a key component to future trade is ridiculous. And to compound that with actually providing money to support the yes side of the campaign goes even further in the criminal realm in my opinion.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that this is even remotely the first time that this sort of thing has been done. I am sure that stuff like this is done all the time, and by both parties when in power. But that doesn’t make it right. And to do so on such a volatile subject such as abortion when a large portion of the US is against the measure is infuriating. And that isn’t even taking into account that I have to wonder what in the hell we are doing spending millions of dollars funding a pro-choice referendum in a foreign country when we are already so far in debt that we are wondering if our economy is doomed because of the burden.

    This, my friends, is a prime example of why the income tax is wrong and bad. We can’t say unconstitutional simply because they added an amendment. But this type of spending is exactly what happens when 2.3 Trillion dollars is collected each year in tax money and then the government uses it as a slush fund the spend wherever they like. If we eliminated the income tax and went to a specific tax for services provided (a road tax to pay for road, for example), they would have the ability to so easily hide the billions and billions that they each year spend on shit like this.

    • Perhaps our government should take a good look at Human History, specifically the rise and fall of the empires of the past . . .

      It seems to me that the “globalizationitis” of all past great civilizations and forms of governance have undoubtedly caused the ultimate demise.

      I do believe it is way past time for the U.S. Military to return to American soil. Then, when someone does something like what happened at Pearl Harbor or in NYC, we nuke them into oblivion.

      Works for me.

      Or we could just pay more attention on something called “prevention” and leave a minimal number of troops in place worldwide . . . .

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      For what its worth – I scoured and could not find said report on the USAID OIG site (http://www.usaid.gov/oig/) – would be nice to read it before passing judgment but they do a really crappy job of indexing their site.

  3. Cyndi P says:

    posting for comments

  4. Common Man says:

    The Gulf Oil disaster, who’s to blame and what to do

    • BP is to blame. They are the ones who ignored safety regulations that lead to the blow out. Not to diminish the Federal Government’s lack of enforcement of those regulations though…and the rather lackluster response to the spill. But the blame for the spill should be placed squarely on BP’s shoulders…as it has.

      • Common Man says:

        Terry;

        Didn’t mean to post just that, the real post is bellow. Any additional thoughts?

        CM

    • Common Man,

      “Blame”?

      No.

      Accident.

      There is a difference.

      Who is responsible = BP.

  5. Common Man says:

    Ignore the post above, hit the wrong key and it posted. Should of had another cup of java before I started this…

    The Gulf Oil Disaster, who’s to blame and what do we do about it?

    I have watched the events of the oil disaster now for over 2 months and spent a great deal of time pondering the whole ordeal. I would like to know what everyone thinks about the following:

    Who is responsible and how should we deal with it?

    Is this disaster to be the total responsibility of BP and their business partners? I mean they were the ones garnering the profits from the well’s production, so should they be held accountable for the total cost of clean up? And what is the ceiling, dollar wise, for that clean up, and when and who says; “OK BP good job and your officially done?”

    Before you answer that question, first think about these key points:

    – Since the government heavilly regulates who, where and how an oil company can drill, should the government be added to the responsibility list?
    – Should the ecological community also be blamed? I mean they are the ones that have been hugging trees, screaming global warming and save the California Marsh Mouse for years and causing economical and costly regulations. So, should those organizations also share some of the burden?
    – How about the Auto/Truck industry for constantly producing and selling gas sucking vehicles that demand millions of gallons of oil each year, and at the same time refusing to develop alternate fuel sources.
    – How about the Oil Industry as a whole since they sometimes fail to abide by all the safety standards required, or don’t have the vision to plan for unlikely events of this nature. I mean we, as consummers are negatively affected by rate increases when the insurance companies are forced to deal with natural disasters like ‘Katrina’. So why shouldn’t it be the same in reverse? (This is kind of a retorhical question, but it does factor in to some degree)

    How about all of the above since “Off-shore Drilling” is one of the most risking methods socially, economically, financially and ecologically for garnering needed oil. And because we could be drilling in a number of other locations throughout the US that are either shallow water or land based.

    Cost estimates for this disaster are over $22 billion, and that is probably underestimated. I don’t think BP, even with insurance and record profits can sustain that burden. So, should they go belly up as a result of this mistake? (BTW: What happens if BP and it’s stakeholders just decide that the cost is too much and file bankruptcy prior to the completion of the cleanup?)

    Since the Government is responsible for regulating the industry, shouldn’t they also be forced into banruptcy? (BTW: that works for me, because we would then get to start over).

    So who’s to blame and how do we deal with the cost and devistation going forward?

    A great deal of this equates to this weeks earlier discussions about limited government. How would we manage disasters of this nature in an utopian nation?

    In a totally free market/society companies responsible for something of this nature would most likely go out of business. In addition, individual business owners who’s livelyhood depends on the surrounding area (tourisum, fishing, etc) would be forced to adjust or go belly up. And those actions would eventually affect the remaining majority.

    So oh learned one’s…how do we deal with this mess?????

    CM

    • CM

      Only those players directly involved bare any responsibility. Not trucks, not the general industry or the greenies, etc.

      That means BP and anyone else who is found to have pushed the limits of reason here, and the Federal Govt.

      BP should pay for the clean up.

      The Govt should pay for damages to businesses. Although I am sure BP’s payment system is faster.

      BP executives and managers who deliberately worked to circumvent standards should be fined. Those who authorized bribes should be put in jail.

      Govt employees who deliberately looked away should be fined and those who took bribes put in jail.

      Compensation for civil damages and jail time for criminal violations.

      • Common Man says:

        JAC

        Govt wise I agree, although I don’t see much of that happening. If the current regime does investigate and place blame, it most likely will be blamed on Bush and those related to his time as President. The current regime won’t ever take or accept blame for anything.

        However, as it relates to BP… what if it was an accident and no one was to blame? Should they still be held accountable, at least to the same degree, for taking a risk that was, via government regulations, more or less forced upon them?

        I mean if you look at the whole thing from a 10,000 foot level the oil industry is drilling where they can to make a profit and produce a commodity that is in high demand. If the government wasn’t regulating where oil could be drilled then given the alternatives we most likely wouldn’t be drilling offshore.

        I mean shouldn’t we look at things from a cause and effect perspective?

        Now what say you my western friend?

        CM

        • CM

          If it were a true accident then BP is liable for the cleanup. No criminal prosecutions.

          But we know there was shady behavior by BP executives so I would like to see that pursued. It is time to create a moral and financial hazard for industries that behave badly. That requires the pain to be felt by those who make the decisions and not JUST the investors and shareholders.

          Personal responsibility and liability.

          They weren’t forced to drill in deep water. They are supposed to follow standards. It is these standards that reduce the moral liability, just like the financial meltdown. I am not liable for failure if I am following the regulations.

          I think it is time to put liability back into the equation.

          You are stretching cause and effect to far. Am I liable for the field hand getting killed because I buy tomatoes? BP could make a decision to NOT drill in deep water. That was their choice to play the game that was laid before them. Once you enter the field you are in the game and you play by the rules of the game. You can not blame someone else because it was the only game. You could have just stayed on the sidelines.

          I think it is appropriate to point out the consequences of our policy decisions. That is the case here with limiting other drilling. Just as cutting back on federal and private timber harvest for environmental protection has exported the bad impacts to other places with less controls. It has in effect created more damage, but now it is not visible to us.

          • Common Man says:

            JAC;

            I think you went to about 20,000 on the cause and effect point, come down a few thousand.

            BP did take the risk, and most likely fudged on specific regulations, but the reality of things is our government does regulate how, where and when we can drill for oil, leading to companies taking risks. Maybe they wouldn’t have done so had the option to drill elswhere been available.

            My point: Once again the government is accountable to some degree.

            CM

    • I think big business and big government are equally to blame.

      Lets pick on government first. Isn’t there something called dereliction of duty? Why doesn’t that apply to a government inspector that fails so massively to do their job? TSA’s system worked when a guy was lighting his underware. Give me a break. When the government screws something up, nothing is ever done, and those who screwed the pooch, end up getting more funding and more people.

      I also blame government on the containment. If a train or tanker truck spills, one of the first responses is to contain, to limit how much area is contaminated, and the must be cleaned. If it had been within BP’s power, I think they would have hired the Dutch and other foreign containment vessels on day one! It would have saved them money in the long run, but they could not act without government’s OK.

      BP and all the oil companies apparently turn in the same bogus response plan to the government. They deliberately falsify safety reports and ignore safety procedures. For sure, they have some bills to pay.

      • LOI

        I wanted to mention one thing about the govt’s response on containment and clean up.

        The way the laws are written they attempt to make the company pay the cost. Which is correct in my view. But the problem is the way it is constructed.

        Had the President “taken over” the containment and cleanup and declared an emergency, the liability for all costs from that point forward transfer from the company to the federal government.

        So we need to look at the laws to prevent that kind of thing in the future. Of course it looks like if the govt employees were doing their job we wouldn’t have all this fodder to kick around. Remember, not only were the well inspections shaky but the Feds review and monitoring of the Disaster Plans themselves was garbage.

        • JAC,

          What if, BP could have hired these guys on day one or week one?

          Separately, a Dutch news site De Standaard also reported Belgian and Dutch dredgers have technology in-house to fight the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but the Act Jones forbids them to work in the U.S.

          A Belgian group–DEME– contends it can clean up the oil in three to four months with specialty vessel and equipment, rather than an estimated nine months if done only by the U.S. The article noted there are no more than 5 or 6 of those ships in the world and the top specialist players are the two Belgian companies- DEME and De Nul – and their Dutch competitors.

          The U.S. does not have the similar technology and vessel to accomplish the cleanup task because those ships would cost twice as much to build in the U.S. than in the Far East. The article further criticizes this “great technological delay” is a direct consequence of the Jones Act.

          Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-the-real-reason-america-refused-international-help-on-the-oil-spill-2010-6#ixzz0uQHmU1Ln

          • And I have to wonder, “why”. Why does the Federal Govt continue to obstruct the cleanup effort while blaming BP for everything including Beastiality.

          • LOI

            Yes, this is one of the areas that Govt failed miserably. This fell to bureaucrats who are not part of “emergency response”, thus they acted just as it is designed to act. Slowly!!

            The President should have issued an order to allow there use, making them available to BP. Immediately. But I bet someone would have chewed his butt in public for “violating the law”.

            This would have not jeopardized the Liability issue I mentioned above.

            • But what about the additional costs BP will bear due to gov. interference?
              Could the spill have been contained before reaching any of the beaches?
              Would treating 100 sq. miles of ocean for four months save them more than 1,000 sq. miles for ten months?

              The government caused cost factor is huge!

              • LOI

                I don’t think we really know if it could have been contained before reaching the beaches. It would have reached shore.

                Would the supposed “berms” prevented it from moving inland? I doubt it given the size of the are affected.

                And I doubt the skimmers would have prevented all oil from reaching shore.

                So I go back to both parties are liable. BP needs to do cleanup and the Govt needs to compensate those impacted. I am guessing that will result in about an even split on cost but maintains clear lines of responsibility.

    • Common Man,

      The Gulf Oil Disaster, who’s to blame and what do we do about it?

      First, let’s get the framing of the issue corrected.

      It’s an accident – avoid “blame”. Blame is the act of censuring,making negative statements about an individual or group that their action or actions are socially or morally irresponsible

      It’s not a disaster. In contemporary academia, disasters are seen as the consequence of inappropriately managed risk.

      Given that there hasn’t been such an accident in 100 years in the Gulf, or in the history of BP, we know that they have been managed appropriately and responsible.

      The responsibility of undoing the damage of the accident – to the limits of human power – rests on those that profited from the oil well – BP and the Governments.

      how should we deal with it?

      “We” don’t need to do anything. Everything that needs to be done is being done.

      If you want to do something yourself, good for you.

      Is this disaster to be the total responsibility of BP and their business partners?

      ..and government. Any entity that profited from that oil well is responsible for repairing the damage of the oil well.

      I mean they were the ones garnering the profits from the well’s production, so should they be held accountable for the total cost of clean up?

      Absolutely correct. You did not profit from it; you were not responsible for the accident; you are not responsible to fix, repair and clean up after the accident.

      A company in its operation must assign some percentage of its operations to contigencies. This assignment can be to purchase insurance or to self-insure and invest these funds for the “unknown unknowns” that will always occur. (This is why “blame” is an incorrect term – accidents will happen, its a law of Nature. Given this is the first big one, humans did pretty darn good avoiding them)

      And what is the ceiling, dollar wise, for that clean up, and when and who says; “OK BP good job and your officially done?”

      The ceiling is bankruptcy – no specific dollar amount – and it is finished when the property of the innocent is returned to back to its pre-accident condition to the maximum of human power (ie: humans can’t bring alive the dead)

      Before you answer that question, first think about these key points:

      – Since the government heavilly regulates who, where and how an oil company can drill, should the government be added to the responsibility list?

      Yes, because they profit by it.

      – Should the ecological community also be blamed? I mean they are the ones that have been hugging trees, screaming global warming and save the California Marsh Mouse for years and causing economical and costly regulations. So, should those organizations also share some of the burden?

      No.

      Though their actions in toto are evil (using violence against non-violent men to enforce their agenda) – those actions did NOT contribute to the accident, caused the accident, nor did these groups profit from the well.

      – How about the Auto/Truck industry for constantly producing and selling gas sucking vehicles that demand millions of gallons of oil each year, and at the same time refusing to develop alternate fuel sources.

      No. See reason above.

      – How about the Oil Industry as a whole since they sometimes fail to abide by all the safety standards required, or don’t have the vision to plan for unlikely events of this nature.

      Their vision is a whole lot better than yours! A 100 years or so and this is the first big one…. damn good!

      I mean we, as consummers are negatively affected by rate increases when the insurance companies are forced to deal with natural disasters like ‘Katrina’. So why shouldn’t it be the same in reverse? (This is kind of a retorhical question, but it does factor in to some degree)

      Insurance must increase for everyone if someone suffers a loss – that is the entire basis of the theory of insurance.

      How about all of the above since “Off-shore Drilling” is one of the most risking methods socially, economically, financially and ecologically for garnering needed oil.

      Nah. Producing oil in Iraq is far more risky.

      Offshore drilling is a known, proven engineering technology.

      Your complaint here makes little sense if you applied it to international jet airplane flights – those darn things “keep crashing all the time – look at the economic loss of human life! Look at the social losses! Can’t anyone build a plane that keeps flying! Ban the things!”

      No, accidents are unavoidable – the secret is: don’t repeat the same accident.

      And because we could be drilling in a number of other locations throughout the US that are either shallow water or land based.

      Big accidents happen on land too.

      Though the damage appears worse because of the area, it is easier to fix in the water.

      Cost estimates for this disaster are over $22 billion, and that is probably underestimated. I don’t think BP, even with insurance and record profits can sustain that burden.

      The estimates are exaggerated, in my opinion. But who knows? And it doesn’t matter. They have to do as much as they can until they are financially exhausted – and then, that’s it! That’s the extent of human power. Can’t get blood out of a stone or a dead company.

      So, should they go belly up as a result of this mistake?

      That is how the free market works. Those that make fatal mistakes die so to (1) create economic room for those that avoid fatal mistakes (2) offer lessons to the survivors regarding the risks of their actions.

      (BTW: What happens if BP and it’s stakeholders just decide that the cost is too much and file bankruptcy prior to the completion of the cleanup?)

      :blink: The company dies.

      Since the Government is responsible for regulating the industry, shouldn’t they also be forced into banruptcy? (BTW: that works for me, because we would then get to start over).

      No, Government will just increase your taxes or print money.

      So who’s to blame and how do we deal with the cost and devistation going forward?

      I think its being handled well.

      A great deal of this equates to this weeks earlier discussions about limited government. How would we manage disasters of this nature in an utopian nation?

      In Utopia, everything is controlled by the government, there is no private property and everyone is taught and believes the same. So, sorta like it is now.

      In a fully free political/economic society, those that damage fix.

      In a totally free market/society companies responsible for something of this nature would most likely go out of business. In addition, individual business owners who’s livelyhood depends on the surrounding area (tourisum, fishing, etc) would be forced to adjust or go belly up. And those actions would eventually affect the remaining majority.

      You got it!

      Those that gain when things are good suffer when those things go bad.

      So oh learned one’s…how do we deal with this mess?????

      Accidents happen.

      Do not repeat past accidents.

      • Common Man says:

        BF;

        Thanks for the input. A follow up question: If in fact it is discovered that neglect was in fact part or all the reason the platform exploded does that change anything from your perspective?

        CM

        • CM,

          …change anything…

          Not financially – as the solution of negligence is the same as accident – pay for the damage. I don’t believe in punishment – restitution is my mantra.

          However, should the company survive financially it probably will not survive if it was negligent.

          Stakeholders do not tend to work for bad companies – shareholders will sell, top employees will leave – being associated to bad companies is bad for your resume.

          To save itself, BP will have to roll some heads down the aisle, but even that probably won’t be enough.

          Anyway, I do not think BP will last 5 years.

          Union Carbide was torn apart after its disaster – became a shell of what it was before, and now is mere a sub of Dow Chemical. Union only had to pay $470 million in damages – BP is running into the tens of billions….

          I will cry no tears over its demise.

    • I weighed in on this on my blog recently. Basically, I think BP is responsible, but the EPA and governemnt regulation has severely hampered the cleanup. I think that the ecological effect is grossly overstated, unless our cleanup efforts make it a much bigger ecological disaster than it would have been, as happened with the Exxon Valdez and other spills. BP, if they had all options available to them, may or may not have the leak plugged yet, but the beaches would be in a lot better shape, as would the fishing in the gulf, just from the use of the Dutch ships alone (see the link in my post about the dutch skimmer ships).

  6. Here is an interesting and pretty good summary of the illegal immigration issue by John Stossel:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/07/21/john-stossel-immigration-libertarian-illegal-arizona-border-california-welfare/

    • Common Man says:

      JAC;

      I assume the main reason the majority of Mexicans want to come to America is because life is better here; or at least that is what they percieve. Can’t blame them for that, and life here is certainly better (on the average) than life in a war torn country.

      Why thought should it be any more easy for Mexicans than say those from China, Russia, South Africa or any other country? Simply because they can walk here? We regulate the number of individuals allowed into the States from those countries, why should it be different for Mexico?

      Stossel’s article claims that we should manage the number based upon economic requirements; isn’t that racist? And how in the Hell could we expect the Federal Government to do that given all the other things they have screwed up?

      Despite the fact that 99% of America’s current citizen population are 3rd, 4th and 5th generation immigrants, whose great, great grandparents contributed to our overall prosperity, opening the gates and shouting “Come on Down” would further add to our current economical problem.

      Like a number of other things currently askew in this country, I think the first action should be shut it down. Now, what is the moral and liberty based method for dealing with this problem, how do we implement it and what do we do as a temporary alternative until the perminant solution is implemented?

      CM

      • CM

        The interesting conundrum is that we need additional brainpower, especially in the sciences and engineering. But the most equitable policy would be first come first serve. But this does not guarantee brainpower.

        There is probably merit in a guest worker program to address the general labor nature of the Mexico and south crowd. They could come and go while providing work. Those from other nations are probably more interested in gaining citizenship.

        But maybe the guest program would be better for all groups. I do see a situation down the road where the number of guests might become significant compared to those who are citizens.

        Our challenge is maintaining a National identity, to protect our values of freedom, while allowing the free flow of others into and out of the country.

        • Common Man says:

          JAC;

          I am struggling with that concept “Guest worker”. I assume that those who come hear as a “guest worker” would not pay SS, I mean Canadians don’t. Why then must I, especially since I am not likely to see back all that I have put in?

          And if we as a nation create a “guest worker” program, should it not be reciprocal? And who would you see managing that program?

          CM

          • CM

            We already have a guest worker program, its just not big enough to handle the influx if it were less restrictive.

            I would say yes, it should be reciprocal. Basically a human capital free trade agreement. Heh, heh, that ought to start something.

            I think the payroll costs would have to be the same for the guests as the citizen. Otherwise we know what would happen. Perhaps the answer is in eliminating the payroll costs to the citizens. 🙂 🙂

            • Bingo. I cannot see charging a “guest worker” for a service he will not get. I can see charging a premium for the services he does get becuase he is not a citizen, so his base taxes could be higher. Eliminating the high taxes for citizens, or making them voluntary, is the fix for this issue. Besides, I cannot see charging a citizen for a service he will not get either, and SS definately qualifies for that.

        • On the subject of national identity, that will indeed be a large challenge in the next few.

          Our kids in school now are being REQUIRED to learn Spanish from the 1st grade. Why should this be so?

          I hate to sound racist but, after all, this is an English speaking Nation. Why should WE have to learn THEIR language?

          Learning another language is always a plus for sure, but why should it be Spanish? Why not German? French? Because Germans and French aren’t pouring over the damn border like a tidal wave maybe? Could that be it?

          One of the worst things to me is that there are a lot of jobs out there right now where, if can’t speak Spanish, you cannot get the job. What a shame.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I wish I was required to learn Spanish from the 1st grade. Being bilingual (or even trilingual) is a tremendously important skill in today’s world and something that many other countries require.

            I don’t support mandating Spanish per se – I would like to be able to choose from a few languages to have my children take.

            • I would like to see a secondary language as a standard in schools, tho ultimately I think it should all be an option for the parents. Multi-lingual people seem to have certain skills that uni-lingual people do not, and I dont just mean the skill of talking two different languages.

              Should it be forced? No. Should it be forced in immigrants? No, they will lose a major competitive advantage by not knowing the language of the country they are in. Should it be forced to be a certain language? Definately not. IS it a good idea to speak more than one language and good to recommend? Absolutely.

            • Dale A Albrecht says:

              I grew up in Southern California and never took Spanish in school. However, I took six years of French, four years of German and subsequently 3 years of Italian. These skills have proven to be very useful in my forty year work career, that has taken me all over North America, including Canada and working in Europe.

              Even after dating, for several years, a lady from Latin America, I have still refused to learn Spanish.

              It is a duty of a tourist or worker in a country to be compelled to speak the hosts language. Not only is it a smart thing to do for business, but is also polite and proper behavior.

          • Esom

            Agree that Spanish should not be required.

            I am wondering whether Greek and Latin should be mandatory.

            Our high schools now have an elective in Mandarin Chinese.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I wish I could have taken Mandarin in high school. Instead had to settle for Spanish and Latin.

              The problem is that, by starting in high school, it is that much more difficult to learn a second language. We definitely should be making this part of the curriculum starting in the 1st grade (if not sooner!)

              • Buck

                I agree. I have a friend who is fluent in several languages.

                He doesn’t just speak them, he thinks them.

                From babyhood forward he was immersed in these languages, due to a quirk of his parents heritage. Japanese and Portuguese/French.

                He told me once that dinner with his entire family would consist of discussions in several languages all going on at the same time. You might be asked a question in Spanish and answer in Japanese.

                When my kids were little we looked for a babysitter/nanny who spoke Mandarin or Japanese. Couldn’t even find one fluent in Spanish. I still think of that as an opportunity lost.

              • We also need to look at the FACT that if we keep borrowing from the Chinese. We’re ALL gonna have to learn Mandarin.

              • Esom,

                You will not have to learn Chinese.

                They hold pieces of paper issued by a government.

                What are the Chinese going to do? Foreclose?

                Nope. They are going to use the government paper to burn to boil water for their tea.

    • The Bacon Tree!

      Two illegal Mexicans are stuck in the desert after crossing into the United States , wandering aimlessly and starving. They are about to just lie down and wait for death, when all of a sudden Luis says………

      “Hey Pepe, do you smell what I smell. Ees bacon, I theenk.”

      “Si, Luis, eet sure smells like bacon. ”

      With renewed hope they struggle up the next sand dune, &there, in the distance, is a tree loaded with bacon.

      There’s raw bacon, there’s fried bacon, back bacon, double smoked bacon … every imaginable kind of cured pork.

      “Pepe, Pepe, we ees saved. Ees a bacon tree.”

      “Luis, maybe ees a meerage? We ees in the desert don’t forget.”

      “Pepe, since when deed you ever hear of a meerage that smell like bacon…ees no meerage, ees a bacon tree.”

      And with that, Luis staggers towards the tree. He gets to within 5 metres, Pepe crawling close behind, when suddenly a machine gun opens up, and Luis drops like a wet sock. Mortally wounded, he warns Pepe with his dying breath,

      “Pepe… go back man, you was right, ees not a bacon tree!”

      “Luis, Luis mi amigo… what ees it? ”

      “Pepe.. ees not a bacon tree. Ees

      Ees

      Ees

      Ees

      Ees a ham bush….”

      SO SORRY…. I know there is something wrong with me for sending you this. Just couldn’t help it!
      The little voices made me do it !!! And I bet you tried to do the accent didn’t you – I know you did!

  7. Since we are having open discussion day: I thought I would bring up the story that seems to be everywhere the last couple of days.

    Shirley Sherrod.

    So this is what I think of the whole situation. I think that no matter what you may feel of everyone involved: it was handled badly across the board ( my feelings)

    To me the news people and everyone else should just aired the entire speech and let us make up our minds of how to feel. I think it is unfair for anyone to air 2mins 38secs of a speech that ended up being 30mins long.

    Do I like what she said in that snap shot, not really. But I also feel she had a right to say what she was feeling at the time.
    To me this was a game about power and politics and she was the one that was the pawn in the middle of it all. If this blogger wanted to take a shot at the NCAAP, I have a hard time believing that this was the only way he had to do that.

    • Ellen, who is your day going?

      I feel like the NAACP and the Obama Administration threw her under the bus before they had all the facts.

      At least Obama and his Faction apologized for it. The NAACP just blamed someone else (FoxNews and Breitbart) and tried to act as if noen of it was their fault.

      When we saw the entire speech, it put what she said in a whole new light. She should actually, in my view, be honored for admitting that she had made a racist decision and through her faith realized it and made amends. She seemed to me like a good woman, and as Glenn Beck said, “Context Matters”.

    • Ellen

      I completely agree. This is also a sad testament to the state of our govt today. There was a time when this would have been given time to ripen and find out all the facts. In today’s environment it is all knee jerk reaction. Because polls matter most.

      I feel sorry for the lady but am getting a big kick watching the Administration wet themselves. Like watching the keystone cops. And now Vilsack looks like the sacrificial lamb, but have a hard time believing they will ax him.

      Love how they used Black berry text to demand her resignation. Just once I would like to see one of the SES employees tell an Administration to go to hell when they ask for the resignation.

      Best to you and yours this fine day.
      JAC

    • Seems like a lot of the media is blaming this all on FOX, even though she was fired before Beck or O’Riley could comment.

      NBC’s Today Show Inaccurately Blames Fox News for Sherrod Firing

      By Geoffrey Dickens
      Wed, 07/21/2010 – 13:26 ET

      On Wednesday’s Today show, Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and Savannah Guthrie left the impression that Fox News’s criticism of Shirley Sherrod was the reason she lost her job at the Agriculture Department, with Lauer, in his interview with Sherrod, charging: “I don’t know who to blame here, Miss Sherrod. I mean the, the, the activist who put forward this garbage in the first place has an agenda. We shouldn’t be surprised by that. The cable news network that, that played this garbage on and on and talked about it, has an agenda. We shouldn’t be surprised by that.” But Lauer and NBC News, itself, revealed they have their own agenda, by failing to report, as the MRC’s Rich Noyes pointed out, that Fox News didn’t mention the Sherrod story until she had already left her job.

      However, that didn’t stop Curry from claiming, in the 8am half hour news brief, that: “After the video was used to vilify her on Fox television, she lost her job,” and Guthrie advancing the NAACP’s notion, in her piece, that they had been “snookered” by Fox News.

      Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/geoffrey-dickens/2010/07/21/nbcs-today-show-inaccurately-blames-fox-news-sherrod-firing#ixzz0uQM87Gbu

      • The NAACP’s reaction is stemming from the backlash and criticism thay have recieved for calling the Tea Parties a racist organization, when they aren’t anything more than a racist hate group themselves.

        That’s not what they started out being, but that’s what they have become.

        • I think it’s funny how so many of the talking heads kept saying that the NAACP didn’t have any reason or responsibility to denounce the Black Panthers a small but still political group-yet they jumped right in there and denounced an individual without a second thought.

      • naten53 says:

        actually, i blame bush.

        • 😆

          So do others….

          Cyndi Lauper: George Bush a “Criminal,”
          Evangelism is “Bullsh*t”
          By Alana Goodman

          Retro pop sensation Cyndi Lauper may “just wanna have fun” – but not with the Bush administration, evangelists or the “gullible” American people.

          The singer slammed George W. Bush as a “criminal,” dismissed evangelism as “bullshit,” and mocked Americans during an interview with Xtra!, Canada’s Gay and Lesbian News on July 20.

          “The past – this year’s getting a little better, but the past eight years, it was so dark,” said the blonde popstar. “[I]t was like a fire sale, just before Obama came in … And then this guy goes in and it’s ‘his fault.’ But it’s not his fault – it’s the other two. The criminals that never got charged.”

          “[T]he way he would go on television – that George Bush, and speak hate. I mean, just unabashed hatred,” Lauper continued.

          Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/alana-goodman/2010/07/22/cyndi-lauper-george-bush-criminal-evangelism-bullsh-t#ixzz0uQtHtIo6

    • I am going to bare my soul for a little bit. I hope it’s not taken out of context and costs me my job with the Polk School District. Because this was when I was in my teens, like over 30 years ago.

      I feel for this woman, and it really touched a nerve with me. Not in a bad way, but certainly in a way that made me thank God I am no longer that kind of person.

      First, you have to take into account where I am from. I live in Esom Hill, GA. A small community really that is only as town because it has a Post office and a couple of stores. To this day there are NO Blacks, and NO Mexicans. And that is now. Imagine 30 years ago.

      I grew up in a home where we used the N-word, not because we were so much racists, but because that is just what everyone called black people. 30 years ago there were no Mexicans in Cedartown,(the County Seat and closest town to Esom) at all to even think about.

      Anyway, When in my teens I WAS a bit racist. I say a bit because compared to most of the kids I grew up with, I was a frickin’ paragon of virtue. But I didn’t like Blacks and made no secret of it. The only thing I can say in my defense is that, for the most part, it was reciprocated right back at me as well. Believe it or not, black people can be just as racist as whites.

      But then a few things happened. I played football in High School and developed friendships with several of my fellow black players. Race began to seem a little less important.

      Then I joined the Army. The post VietNam Army. That ratcheted my bigotry back up a little because they all seemed to have a chip on their shoulder like they should be bowed down too because of their race.

      All except my NCOIC of the office I was in. He was a former drill sgt. and he was the same with everyone. He always said the only color he saw was GREEN. If you did your job he was perfectly fair. If you didn’t, be would have your ass. He was a good guy.

      After the Army I partied a while like most young folks, and then I began to settle down. In church I began to see that Black people were no different than me. In all races there are both good and bad people.

      I began to look inside a person to see their character and not just their outside color. Thank God this happened before I had children too. My children have been raised to see race the same way I do now. They see what’s inside a person.

      For example, at the district and state tournament we met a Black family who’s name was Lindsey, the same as ours. They were very nice and very good people. Their son was a good boy too. I told them we were cousins and introduced them to my family, telling them the same thing. My son’s, both of them pulled for him and his team in every game except naturally the ones when we played them. But even then we still pulled for their son. After all, it is just a game, and we won anyway as we were just too powerful.

      I tell you this because I wasn’t just joking about them being cousins. Oh, I don’t think they would really be, but I also would not care if they were. I have come that far. My son bragged, actually bragged to his team mates, that we were kin.

      I tell this story in the hope that some will see. There is no place in this world for bigotry and racism. There will always be racists out there. Because there will always be idiots. We just don’t need to let race cloud the issues before us today. It’s bad enough without that. I think we all agree that we don’t like Obama’s policies. But his color should mean nothing. Hell we didn’t like W’s policies either, and he was white.

      On the Illegal Immigrants, I don’t blame the people for trying to make a better life for themselves. Everyone wants that for their family. I blame the Federal Govt for not fixing the problem to begin with and then using them for Political gain. And don’t kid yourselves that they are anything to Obama and Congress but pawns to he used when he needs them. And they should NOT get benefits from the Govt of ANY kind as long as thay are illegal. Not because thay are Hispanic. Because they are “Illegal”.

      • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

        Esom,

        Great piece, loved it. Back during WW 2 when the Army was segregated, my dad was stationed next to negro troops. As a country boy from Pennsylvania, who had never really seen blacks in quantity before, he was appalled at the mistreatment they received. That changed his whole take on ethnic and race issues which he then felt free to pass onto me. Living among people of all kinds from all over who you had to depend on could really play havoc with bigotry. Sure, some kept it after the war but a greater number didn’t. Even if they didn’t march in demonstrations, they knew in their hearts what was right and they allowed things to change.

        After the military integrated, it was those Sr. NCO’s, black and white who only saw “green” who made things happen. They brought it home to us. You might not like a man but the reason went beyond race. There were serious race problems in my Army of the late ’60’s reflecting the “burn baby burn” mentality of the time but it was those Sr. NCO’s who held it all together. Not the officers mind you, they were afraid of their own shadow but the NCO’s were magnificent. I used what they taught me with great success in my career when I had to supervise all kinds of folks.

        Over the years, MLK’s remarks regarding “the content of one’s character” have become so much more important to me. As a young man I just did not understand them then the way I do now.

        Reminds me of another great quote from a movie. “If you know me and don’t like me, that’s one thing but if you don’t know me and don’t like me, well…. that’s just plain stupid”. Those are pretty good words to live by too.

        • You know SK. There’s nothing like having to depend on the guy from a different race in the same foxhole with you and helping you stay alive to gloriously relieve all feelings of racism from your mind.

      • Réfugiée says:

        Monsieur Esom,

        I appreciate you sharing your story. I was raised in the South during the era of forced desegregation. It was a different time. I have not lived in that region for many years, so I can’t personally compare the atmosphere then and now.

        In the North, however, I have seen post-racial reality EXCEPT when people have made an effort to hold onto awareness of skin color.

        Merci!

        • Refugiee, I was raised in the Georgia of the late sixties and early seventies. We generally all used the n-word because, well, that’s just what we called black people.

          Sad too, because now I can see where I would be insulted if someone called me an insulting name just because of my color.

          The ONLY think I see that dissappoints me with them is the FACT that they will call each other that all day, use it in songs and movies and have absolutely no problem with it.

          If I were black, I would not want ANYONE to call me that, black or white.

    • I think there were still issues with her even after watching the entire speech. But I have no problem with what Breitbart did – his whole point was to counter the NAACP’s recent yapping about racism within the tea party. His clip was to show the response at a recent (March) meeting of NAACP, showing them very much a bigoted and racist group. The clip did that.

      Remember the NAACP had the entire tape all along – it was their event! Was her talk alarming? You betcha! And it’s not surprising her current employer, the gov’t. took a look. Their problem? They didn’t take a look – they just reacted.

      I also believe there might be more to the story yet – and that is her involvement with this whole Pigford (sp?) situation and bailouts of black farmers. Was that why the powers were so quick to yank her from the spotlight? I guess it’s another story to follow along on.

      • Kathy

        I have a couple of issues with this situation.

        1) No matter what anyone thinks of her entire speech, she is a American. Which means she has the right of process. I dont see that in this situation. I believe she was fired(resign)with out any explanation. I dont see that as being fair for anyone.

        2) I think that there are alot of people who have mud on their face with this one, NCAAP, the news outlets, USDA etc. No question. I dont like what Breitbart did. I understand what he was trying to do. But I think the way he did was misleading to me. I saw his first posting of this story, and I did not see that it was about NCAAP at all.
        -July 19, Breitbart stated that the video is clear proof “evidence of racism coming from a federal appointee” and that Sherrod discriminated against a white farmer in her “federal duties” as the USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development. This is false. She was not a federal employee at the time that the situation happen. He didnt report a correction about that until 3 days later. To me that is misleading.

        Look, do I think there are question that need to asked about Pigfarm etc, yes . But I also see that the way this played out was completely not needed from anyone.
        I think Breitbart has a right to report what he views as racism. No question. But to me he should of posted the entire video not just sections of it.
        Hope you are having a good one!

        Ellen

  8. I see your points CM…but for the spill BP is to blame…as stated before, they ignored safety regulations that lead to the blow out. It should fall to the states affected to say when they are complete with the clean up, but I realize that the Feds will most likely have that say.

    There should be no ceiling for the cost…with the caveat that BP does not get milked in the process…how that would be ensured, I am not sure.

    As for the rest of the parties that bear a bit of responsibility, I agree that what these groups have done exasperated the issue, and there are plenty of other places that would be easier to drill and represent a fraction of the danger, and I advocate drilling in all other locations. But still maintain that BP is the one at fault for this spil. Living in Louisiana and very close to the spill (relatively speaking) just north of Lake Ponchartrain, I have been plugged into this situation since the blow out occurred.

    • Common Man says:

      Terry;

      So can you shed any light on how all of this is going to effect the locals who’s livelyhood depends on the gulf? Should we expect a surge in unemployment claims, how about individual bankruptcy’s? How will the seafood industry fare? How are the effected states going to deal with the decrease in overall revenues now and down the road?

      And since the government regulates the oil industry, which is forced to risk offshoure drilling because of nation wide drilling regulations, should those effected be compensated by the government as well as BP? And if the government does compensate them, where in the hell is the money coming from?

      I see this playing out aa an additional kick in the pants of the economy regardless of who pays.

      CM

      • This disaster will have lasting effects on those who depend on the gulf for their livelihood. There will most assuredly be bankrupcies and foreclosures as a result of it…that situation is much more magnified given the moratorium imposed on the oil industry in general.

        The seafood industry, around here at least, will also feel lasting effects from the spill. In time, it will rebound, but it will take at least 3 to 5 years…IF the leaking well continues to be contained and no further measurable amounts of oil are spilled.

        How the affected states will deal with the decrease in revenue, will vary depending on the government in those states.

        As far as who should pay…it again will differ. For people directly affected by the spill (fishermen and their supporting businesses), BP should compensate them. The government has created the oil industry’s loss of employment with their moratorium, so I don’t believe that BP is responsible for those lost wages. I hate to say it, but the government, who is causing these job losses, should be responsible for them. Obviously that money would come from me and you sadly. And yes…another AA moment is in the cards.

    • Gulf boats having trouble finding any oil: US official

      WASHINGTON — Some 750 boats drafted in to scoop up oil from the Gulf of Mexico are having “trouble” finding any crude in the sea, a top US official said Wednesday, almost a week after a busted well was capped.

      “We are starting to have trouble finding oil,” US pointman Admiral Thad Allen, who is in charge of handling the government’s response, told reporters.

      The boats, which have been drafted in to skim oil off the surface of the Gulf, are “really having to search for the oil in some cases” around the area of the capped well, he added.

      According to official US government figures, more than 270,000 barrels of oil (11.3 million gallons) have been burned in controlled operations since the start of the spill in April.

      That is more than all the crude that spilled into the seas off Alaska in the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989.

      The US government also said that some 34.6 million gallons of oil water had been recovered from the Gulf since the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank in April.

      BP finally managed to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf on Thursday, when a new 30-foot (10-meter) giant cap was put in place.

      The government has allowed BP to keep the cap shut since then, extending permission in 24-hour stints.

      Allen said some of the boats used in the skimming operations were being brought ashore for repairs, as attention turned more towards cleaning up the oil that has already washed ashore along five Gulf coasts.

      • “The government has allowed BP to keep the cap shut since then, extending permission in 24-hour stints.”

        I really don’t understand this line-I can see having to adjust the valves to release pressure but permission to keep the cap shut????????

  9. Economic Warning

    For those who are tracking, another warning signal was given recently about just how bad the situation is.

    Mr. Bernanke testified to Congress urging them to NOT cut back on spending right now because it would hurt the economy. The same guy who last week was talking about the need to address deficits.

    So you have the Fed Chairman talking out of both sides of his mouth, but keeping a straight face.

    Here is the link to the story at HuffPo:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/21/bernanke-to-congress-the_n_654678.html

  10. Intellectual Property……………again.

    During the discussion the other day Black Flag posted a quote that I found full of faulty reasoning. So I did a search to find where it came from and found this on a fellow named Benjamin Tucker. I thought you would all find it informative. It gives you other names to search if you want to explore this issue more deeply. The following is from Wiki so you could go there for the entire article and links.

    Benjamin Tucker writes, “…the patent monopoly…consists in protecting inventors…against competition for a period long enough to extort from the people a reward enormously in excess of the labor measure of their services, – in other words, in giving certain people a right of property for a term of years in laws and facts of Nature, and the power to exact tribute from others for the use of this natural wealth, which should be open to all.”[10]

    Benjamin Tucker
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Benjamin Ricketson Tucker (April 17, 1854 – June 22, 1939) was a proponent of American individualist anarchism in the 19th century, and editor and publisher of the individualist anarchist periodical Liberty.

    Summary
    Tucker says that he became an anarchist at the age of eighteen.[1] Tucker’s contribution to American individualist anarchism was as much through his publishing as his own writing. Tucker was the first to translate into English Proudhon’s What is Property? and Max Stirner’s The Ego and Its Own — which Tucker claimed was his proudest accomplishment. In editing and publishing the anarchist periodical Liberty, he published the original work of Stephen Pearl Andrews, Joshua K. Ingalls, Lysander Spooner, Auberon Herbert, Victor Yarros, and Lillian Harman, daughter of the free love anarchist Moses Harman, as well as his own writing. He also published such items as George Bernard Shaw’s first original article to appear in the United States and the first American translated excerpts of Friedrich Nietzsche. In Liberty, Tucker both filtered and integrated the theories of such European thinkers as Herbert Spencer and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon; the economic and legal theories of the American individualists Lysander Spooner, William B. Greene and Josiah Warren; and the writings of the free thought and free love movements in opposition to religiously based legislation and prohibitions on non-invasive behavior. Through these influences Tucker produced a rigorous system of philosophical or individualist anarchism that he called Anarchistic-Socialism, arguing that “[the] most perfect Socialism is possible only on the condition of the most perfect individualism.” [2]

    According to historian of American individualist anarchism, Frank Brooks, it is easy to misunderstand Tucker’s claim of “socialism.” Before Marxists established a hegemony over definitions of “socialism, “the term socialism was a broad concept.” Tucker (as well as most of the writers and readers in Liberty) understood “socialism” to refer to any of various theories and demands aimed to solve “the labor problem” through radical changes in the capitalist economy; descriptions of the problem, explanations of it causes, and proposed solutions (e.g., abolition of private property, cooperatives, state-ownership, etc.) varied among “socialist” philosophies.[3] Tucker said socialism was the claim that “labor should be put in possession of its own,”[4] holding that what “state socialism” and “anarchistic socialism” had in common was the labor theory of value.[5] However, “Instead of asserting, as did socialist anarchists, that common ownership was the key to eroding differences of economic power,” and appealing to social solidarity, Tucker’s individualist anarchism advocated distribution of property in an undistorted natural market as a mediator of egoistic impulses and a source of social stability.[6][7] Tucker said, “the fact that one class of men are dependent for their living upon the sale of their labour, while another class of men are relieved of the necessity of labour by being legally privileged to sell something that is not labour. . . . And to such a state of things I am as much opposed as any one. But the minute you remove privilege. . . every man will be a labourer exchanging with fellow-labourers . . . What Anarchistic-Socialism aims to abolish is usury . . . it wants to deprive capital of its reward.” [8]

    Tucker first favored a natural rights philosophy where an individual had a right to own the fruits of his labor and not to be aggressed against, then abandoned it in favor of “egoism” influenced by Max Stirner, where he then believed that only the “right of might” exists until overridden by contract.
    He objected to all forms of communism, believing that even a stateless communist society must encroach upon the liberty of individuals who were in it.[9]
    The Four Monopolies

    Tucker argued that the poor condition of American workers resulted from four legal monopolies based in authority:
    1. the money monopoly,
    2. the land monopoly,
    3. tariffs, and
    4. patents.

    His focus for several decades became the state’s economic control of how trade could take place, and what currency counted as legitimate. He saw interest and profit as a form of exploitation made possible by the banking monopoly, which was in turn maintained through coercion and invasion. Any such interest and profit, Tucker called “usury” and he saw it as the basis for the oppression of the workers. In his words, “interest is theft, Rent Robbery, and Profit Only Another Name for Plunder.” [10] Tucker believed that usury was immoral, however, he upheld the right for all people to engage in immoral contracts. “Liberty, therefore, must defend the right of individuals to make contracts involving usury, rum, marriage, prostitution, and many other things which are believed to be wrong in principle and opposed to human well-being. The right to do wrong involves the essence of all rights.”[11]

    He asserted that anarchism is meaningless “unless it includes the liberty of the individual to control his product or whatever his product has brought him through exchange in a free market — that is, private property.” He acknowledged that “anything is a product upon which human labor has been expended,” but would not recognize full property rights to labored-upon land: “It should be noted, however, that in the case of land, or of any other material the supply of which is so limited that all cannot hold it in unlimited quantities, Anarchism undertakes to protect no titles except such as are based upon actual occupancy and use.”[12] Tucker opposed title to land that was not in use, arguing that an individual would have to use land continually in order to retain exclusive right to it. If this practice is not followed, he believed it results in a “land monopoly.”

    • Yea, I am rethinking this a bit based on an article I read and posted on the last thread and based on the debate with Flag. I still would like to see some protection in place, especially against fraud (someone saying that they are me or that my work is theirs), but on copying or replicating I dunno, its a slippery slope. SALE of copied or replicated stuff is a little more quantifiable, but I still think a contract should manage conditional usage/ownership and the level of what constitutes a violation and the associated consequences. I do not think a fixed law is a good idea, too many variables for something so inflexible.

    • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

      Thank you JAC. An interesting article. So, if Flag is not using his land, I am free to take it as long as I use it. A logical extention no?

      Not coming at this from a philosophical viewpoint, I see Mr. Tucker advocating freedom while at the same time denying freedom, perhaps I am too dense to understand but seems to me that Mr. Tucker would be comfortable in that most perfect form of communism, the kibbutz. the Kibbutz rose as much out of anarchy as it did out of socialism or communism. Once the pride and joy of Israel, the movement has shrunk to almost nothing. It flies in the face of human nature and mans desire to improve his own lot. It takes a very special person to subordinate his own desires for wealth, power, prestige for the benefit of a group. Kibbutzem have been compared to the monastic life which I think is an appropriate comparison.

      • SK,
        <blockquote.
        … is not using his land …
        Tucker infers such, as does other anti-property advocates.

        I don’t advocate that, however. If it became commonplace, a lot of people would be killed.

        • SK Trynosky Sr says:

          How do you feel about Kibbutzim? Do you see it as an extension of the non-government philosophy of anarchism?

          What I remember from my youth when I first heard about them was they were designed to stay relatively small, about 200 people, specifically so that all residents could know each other and thereby trust each other and that they aimed to more or less be governed by an anti government.

    • JAC,

      The quote of Tucker is not flawed because Tucker’s flaws of argument regarding real property (ie: land). Tucker could be absolutely correct in leveling his complaint against patents (non-property artificially created to be property, like corporations are artificial “persons”) while being wrong in applying his complain to actual property.

      My arguments against corporations (artificial persons) would not apply to real persons. If I made the same and such arguments against real persons, you could not say that because my arguments are wrong against real people, they are wrong as well against artificial people.

      ——
      Because you refuse to provide a coherent definition of property, and the reason property rights exist, it becomes impossible to measure whether your agreement for or argument against Tucker’s position is valid.

      • BF

        You need to stop reading meaning into my words. I usually say exactly what I intend.

        I DID NOT challenge his claim against property, I said the full quote is full of fallacies. Fallacies that he seems to use to justify his position.

        For example, the idea that patents and copyrights “extort” money from the buyer in excess of the labor contributed.

        That is a contradiction to the concept of value by the buyer.

        I told you the other day I was not calling these entities property. In fact I called them WUFDAS. What I said is that “intellectual property” is simply a name used by society after many, many years of trying to define this. The fact is that many old writings don’t even use the term.

        Since I wasn’t defending protection on the basis of your definition of property I don’t see why you keep claiming I am calling it property or why I need to give you some other definition.

        If you go back you will see that I said I consider the copyright or patent as a uniform way to display a contractual agreement that is attached to the object. The contract is within the book, for example. When you buy a book with the mark in it you know what the restrictions are. It has become in a sense a mark attached to common law.

        And to your question about contract restrictions, they can be passed to the heirs or future purchasers by the terms of the original contract.

        • JAC

          For example, the idea that patents and copyrights “extort” money from the buyer in excess of the labor contributed.

          That is a contradiction to the concept of value by the buyer.

          It is extortion as it is enforced by government violence. Further, economic theory says the price of goods are higher in a monopoly then goods not in a monopoly.

          The value obviously must still be there for some people as they pay the extortion. However, many others avoid the purchase as well.

          I told you the other day I was not calling these entities property. In fact I called them WUFDAS. What I said is that “intellectual property” is simply a name used by society after many, many years of trying to define this.

          There is a reason to use that name – it is not the happenstance that you make it to be.

          By attaching “property” to the description, it automatically invokes all the “property” protection schemes – including using personal violence, as in self-defense. It becomes arguable that protecting an idea can result in killing a man because he attempt to use the idea for himself – self-defense in name of property.

          It was “something else” then it would be something else.

          We have no limit of creating new ideas about legal constructions to solve a conflict in society.

          The fact is that many old writings don’t even use the term.

          But the new writings do, for a reason.

          Since I wasn’t defending protection on the basis of your definition of property I don’t see why you keep claiming I am calling it property or why I need to give you some other definition.

          If you cannot define what you are talking about, you can you argue for it or against it?

          If you go back you will see that I said I consider the copyright or patent as a uniform way to display a contractual agreement that is attached to the object. The contract is within the book, for example. When you buy a book with the mark in it you know what the restrictions are. It has become in a sense a mark attached to common law.

          Common law has already denied that by a merely making a purchase -which transfers property- can demand obligations upon that property after the purchase unilaterally.

          Because of this, when you install a piece of software, you have to do one more action – hit the “accept” button to confirm your agreement. Simply buying the product is not sufficient.

          A book declaring that by purchase you are bound to obligations which extend past purchase is not valid in Common Law, if that is our measure.

          Further, even if a method of acceptance was found – it is between the purchaser and the seller and does not bind me.

          And to your question about contract restrictions, they can be passed to the heirs or future purchasers by the terms of the original contract.

          I do not believe that is possible. You cannot bind those that are not party to the agreement – period.

          The contract would have had to be between parties that cannot “die” – such as a trust or company.

          But I am not a trained lawyer – so I can be wrong…..

  11. Ok V, I got a little lost between Anita’s idea of sniping spending one department at a time, my fisticuff debate with BF on copyrights, and the start from scratch approach you had to decide the role of government. Figured since that thread got so heavy we could carry it over, plut I hadnt really goten a shot at weighing in your your approach.

    So, we are the founding fathers starting from scratch somewhere. What do we do.

    1) Garaunteed right to life. This does not mean a right to the things that are needed for life, meaning you do not have a right to be fed or to health care even tho they are required to live. This is a right to sovereignty over your life (meaning you also have a right to die if you choose) and no one else is allowed to kill you.

    2) Right to own property. Really own it, meaning no property taxes and no imminent domain. You can do what you wish with, to, or on your property so long as the rights of another are not violated. The only exception to this is in cases of conditional ownership where property ownership and usage is restricted or required by terms of contract.

    3) The right to any action of your choosing that does not violate the rights of others without legal restriction or retribution.

    4) The right to a free market. This means you can refuse any service you want, even a government one, or you can pay for any service you want. You can buy and sell whatever you please so long as it does not violate a contract, is not fraudulent, and/or does not violate another’s rights.

    5) If you ignore the rights of another, you forfeit your own rights by your own choice. In other words, if you steal, then you can legally be stolen from.

    6) Government will provide certain services for a fee (I will list which ones later), but will not be the only legal provider of said services except for services specifically related to the national interests (to be defined later) and the citizens of the nation. No government action can be used to compell persons to become citizens except for the availability of certain services, which are paid for collectively by the citizens.

    7) Contractual violations will be handled according to the terms of the contract. All contracts will be acceptable unless they force a violation of the rights of persons not in the contract or the persons involved in the contract are not of sound mind or legal adult age. Contracts requiring agreement from a minor or an animal are not legal. Contracts requiring persons to violate the rights of another person are not legal.

    8) No international law will be valid inside the borders of this nation, nor shall any of our laws be forced on those outside of our borders.

    9) The government is not permitted to incur debt except by the unanimous vote of the taxpayers. Votes on government spending measures of any sort are only counted from taxpayers. Tax increases must receive a 3/4ths vote, and dissenters retain the option of leaving the citizenship if they so desire.

    10) The government is not permitted to weaken its currency by manufacturing more currency than there are precious metals to support, official government currency will remain on a gold standard. Competing currencies by any organization are not deemed illegal, but may not be used to pay for government services, an exchange of currency would first have to be made.

    More later, I am out of time for the moment…

    • *sigh* I always forget that “point 8”, using my favorite format, is always “cool dude” emoticon…lol

    • Sounds good for right now Colonel Suh. But do you think that even one of those things will ever actually take place? I don’t. It’s too late to do anything but watch us slide slowly downhill, picking up speed as we go down.

      The Feds are too big and too full of morons. They will never allow any changes.

      And when it all collapses, like the house built on sand that it is, Obama will just blame Bush. 😀

      • Sorry Jon. I just noticed that you are NOT D13. I’m obviously not all here today.

        • lol, I was wondering about the Colonel reference. 🙂
          As far as this being realistic, not really in terms of this happening in America unless it falls or splits and we are talking about one of the fragments. I was more approaching this from a standpoint where I won a billion dollars in the lottery or invented fusion and was able to purchase, say, all of greenland or something and start a new nation from scratch.

    • Jon,

      Interesting, but isn’t the gold supply not nearly the amount of our GDP?
      Seems to me some other tangible assets will have to be allowed inclusion, such as oil or coal?

      • While I would be fine with other hard assets being part of the currency backing, I am not sure that is necessary. GDP is measured currently with “dollars”, a fiat currency that is variable. If you measured GDP with a gold backed currency, lets they they are called “smithlets”, would the number not match the gold supply? If GDP grew faster than the gold supply, the prices of items would drop, in terms of “smithlets per item”, and the value of the “smithlet” would go up.

        • Jon,

          You are a closest Monetarist. Friedman suggested a similar idea – but tied to gold.

          In principle, it does not matter what the currency is ‘tied’ to.

          The theory is that government prints a bunch a paper. It fixes the unit of its currency to be X of a commodity (say “oil” so that we don’t get caught up about “gold”=”money” stuff)

          $100 dollars = 1 barrel of oil.

          If the government prints too much money, the price of oil in terms of dollars starts to go up. ($110 per barrel). The government starts SELLING oil and BUYING dollars. The economic law says that SELLING lowers the price of that commodity and BUYING raises the price of that commodity, so that SELLING oil lowers the price and BUYING dollars raises its price.

          The government continues to do this until is levels out the $100 per barrel.

          If oil starts getting cheaper, the government can print money and BUY oil by *watch this trick* by NOT buying oil, but spending it into government programs! The natural *inflation* will cause the price of oil to rise! Neat trick, huh!

          Thus, the unit of money is stable in terms of a commodity, and acts as a “brake” on excessive government expansion of the money supply. (Theory; a growing economy consumes more commodity, such as oil – so the price of oil goes up. Government does not need to “intervene” into an expanding economy, so it starts buying “back” its currency – raising the price of money and depressing the prices of the economy (deflation). When the economy sputters, commodities don’t sell, they drop in price, government prints money, spends it on programs to revitalize the economy, creates inflation, raising the prices of commodities, and so on).

          That is the root of Monetarist theory.

          What are its fatal flaws?

          • I was more thinking “This is worth ‘x’ ounces of gold, and can be trded for said ounces at any time from the financial institution you work with.” This would be done because paper is lighter weight than gold, and a digital marker tied to a debit card is even lighter.

            • Jon,

              You still are a Monetarist.

              Why is “gold” your choice and not silver? Or cows? or oil?

              Why is there a forced, set conversion rate?

              Who is going to enforce this rate?

              Who is going to enforce on the guy who enforces this rate to make sure the rate is right?

              Who is going to enforce on the guy enforcing the guy enforcing the rate?

              • Whoever is in charge of the currency. The Smith National Treasury, for instance. There would be, in this case, no legal block on competing currencies, so if there was a failure to abide by the promised standards, then a “better” or more trustworthy currency would win out on the open market. What would prevent my being a monetarist? Using actual gold or silver or other tradeable commodity? How would that work for electronic purchasing?

              • Jon,

                A “monetarist” is someone who argues that variation in the money supply has major influences on national output in the short run and the price level over longer periods and that objectives of monetary policy are best met by targeting the growth rate of the money supply.

                PS: I’m not saying you chose that position because you read about it – it is merely your own “homegrown” theories led you do it. That is a good thing – because it is you working it out in your own head how the economic world works….

              • PS: Though parts of monetarist theory is correct, I do not adhere to monetarist policy of central management of the money supply.

    • It we are looking at the starting steps to write a Constitution-then I have to point out that the words “so long as the rights of another are not violated” I see as the first words that will be attacked and argued over because there is a lot of disagreement over what violates one’s freedoms. Don’t know a better way of saying it-but it will still cause problems.

    • So far so good Jon. Can we insist on voting for one thing at a time? No add ons. And no 2000 page bills.

      • Anita,

        Why do you believe you can vote to deny my rights?

        • It is highly unlikely that you would choose to be a citizen in this country, tho you might choose to live and own property here. The freedom of people from coersion, violence, etc. is the law of the land. Additional laws agreed upon by the society would apply only to the taxpayers, which would only include citizens. If you agree to citizenship, you agree to the system. If you do not agree, drop your citizenship and the associated priveledges. Odds are the priviledges would not have been compelling enough for you to sign on as a citizen at any point anyway.

      • A section on code of conduct for lawmakers would be required and would include things like this. I still believe in a representative government for citizens.

    • “1) Garaunteed right to life. This does not mean a right to the things that are needed for life, meaning you do not have a right to be fed or to health care even tho they are required to live. This is a right to sovereignty over your life (meaning you also have a right to die if you choose) and no one else is allowed to kill you.”

      I agree these things are not rights. Right to die(have a problem with this one, yet I don’t believe a person should be jailed or persecuted for trying to kill themselves, helped psychologically maybe- yet I still question what the right answer is on this one)

      “2) Right to own property. Really own it, meaning no property taxes and no imminent domain. You can do what you wish with, to, or on your property so long as the rights of another are not violated. The only exception to this is in cases of conditional ownership where property ownership and usage is restricted or required by terms of contract.”

      This I like but I question putting a bar or such next to a school.

      “3) The right to any action of your choosing that does not violate the rights of others without legal restriction or retribution.”

      Please explain this one-don’t understand your meaning

      That’s enough for now

      • V.H.

        “Bar next to a school”

        You want freedom for YOU, but not for anyone else. You want YOUR property, but prevent others from using THEIR property.

        • If you want to open a bar or whore house or such next to a school full of children-yep I do.

          • V.H.

            ….next to a school….

            So very interesting you don’t demand that the school should move….

            • If the school was there first than anyone who bought land within a certain distance of the school would know about the restrictions before they bought the land. If the restrictions were not in place than the school should not be allowed to go there unless all who were affected agreed to the new restrictions.

              • V.H.

                But what if I was there first and I don’t want a bunch of screaming, smelly, poopy, slobbering, kids around me?

                Can I ban it? Can I restrict it?

                How far can I push it away from me? Like, to the next county? Another country? …because you know I hate schools – they are indoctrination centers for the young, and I think we need LAWS against indoctrination, don’t you?

              • Were the restrictions there when you moved in-should have done your do diligence 🙂 if they weren’t, yea you have the right to not allow the school to build there. That is if I was writing the law.

              • V.H.

                Who gave “you” the right to make laws “about me”???

              • V.H.

                So who gets to determine who gets to own the land beside me?

                It appears you believe that I have the right to determine who lives on property I don’t own

              • No, all land ownwers who were effected by the restricions would have to agree.

      • Didn’t think enough on number two-I have a lot of problems with it-I want some decency laws and I want some control over noisy, traffic producing business’s opening up in residential neighborhoods but violating my rights would probably cover most of the noise and traffic problems.

        • V.H.

          …I want some decency laws and I want some control over …

          People love evil too much to let it go.

          • I suspect those who protest ANY attempt to remain a civilized society with a few rules controlling decency have a true picture of of what they are going to create.

            • V.H.

              You believe “civilization” comes from “control” and “force” …yet… such things are opposite to the nature of civilization.

              Civilization rises where men are free – not where they are “controlled”.

              Free men depend on the voluntary nature of other free men. When a man cannot force another man to act in a particular manner, he must convince that man to act in that manner. That takes intelligence. I don’t know many people who are very convincing when they are rude, gross, and impolite.

              Rules are one thing….

              Control is completely another thing – and quite evil.

              • How am I violating your rights by installing restrictions on what types of business’s can be next to a school, if the school by contract requested this restriction and all the property owners around the school agreed. If you come along and want to buy the property you would have to agree with the restrictions or you would be free to not purchase the land. As far as decency laws, yea, they are limiting your rights
                and I am open to try not having these if having them will take away our freedoms but I don’t believe it will work and I believe we will be a cesspool but better that than slaves. I just happen to believe that people are mature enough to limit their adult freedoms to an area that isn’t populated by children.

              • If he buys the property, the seller still has the right to sell without contract or restriction, unless that was agreed to as well. In other words, all owners would have to agree to the restrictions, AND they would have to agree to only sell to buyers who also agreed. This could cause issues, because a seller may find themselves without a buyer in such a case. If the seller agrees to the restrictions but not to the restrictive contract on a sale, then a buyer could potentially purchase the property, not agree to the restrictions, and do as they wish. This would simply have to be dealt with. There are a variety of means, but the case is rare enough that I do not think it is a place for law or control or legal intervention of any sort. Otherwise we are just doing another power grab “for the children”.

              • V.H.

                How am I violating your rights by installing restrictions on what types of business’s can be next to a school, if the school by contract requested this restriction and all the property owners around the school agreed.

                First, that is NOT what you presented – you wanted, quote:
                “but I question putting a bar or such next to a school”.

                Second, anyone can contract something with anyone else to their hearts content – but never can you contract my compliance to something I do not agree.

                You and your neighbors can agree to whatever, but don’t expect me to join it.

                What you are going to do now?

                As far as decency laws, yea, they are limiting your rights

                My decency laws dictate that people who believe they think they can make decency laws are criminals.

                Go to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

                Who defines “decency?” You? Me? The Pope? Hugh Hefner?

                and I am open to try not having these if having them will take away our freedoms but I don’t believe it will work and I believe we will be a cesspool but better that than slaves.

                Have you not seen where slaves live?

                Have you not seen where free men live?

                I just happen to believe that people are mature enough to limit their adult freedoms to an area that isn’t populated by children.

                Children should be at home with their parents.

              • It’s a contract-if you don’t agree-you don’t agree-your choice-but I really don’t get your meaninf by children should be at home with their parents-we gonna lock them inside the house and not even allow them to play in their own yard because by thr rules being applied to freedom your next door neighbor may be f#@king in the front yard.

              • V.H.

                So now you’ve moved from a school to your front yard.

                The common problem with the approach per Jon and yourself and others is that you tend to always start in the middle of the problem

                You do not know why you are suffering this current problem, you do not peel the layers away to find its roots.

                You start “here” and try to fix what has been broken by trying to fix something that has been broken etc. without understanding what broke in the first place.

                You end up making the situation worse – which is how this mess got so bad in the first place.

                If you really want to fix the mess, start from the root.

                If you do not have a principle which to measure your actions, your actions will be irrational and whimsical as will be the consequences you suffer.

              • I was there in the beginning my friend -decency laws and schools next to adult entertainment is all part and parcel of the same problem. Maintaining some decency in society. It is not a fear that I will ever get rid of easily and I wouldn’t even contemplate trying to live without them in the society except for the ability of man to take slight common sense rules and build them into a huge road of laws which they use to take away all our liberties. So what can I say-I actually believe we would be better off with some decency laws but I am also well aware of the dangers. So if we can retain some decency laws through contractual agreement-I’m all for it-As you say if it’s important enough to you, you will find away.

              • V.H.

                Who defines decency?

                Why do you believe your definition is better than someone else?

        • Perhaps a review of some philosophical core basics before creating a Reformation of America

          You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance.
          Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil.
          A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.

          Violent means will give violent freedom.

          However much I may sympathize with and admire worthy motives, I am an
          uncompromising opponent of violent methods even to serve the noblest of
          causes.


          Destruction is not the law of humans.
          Man lives freely only by his readiness to die, if need be, at the hands of his brother, never by killing him.
          Every murder or other injury, no matter for what cause, committed or inflicted on another is a crime against humanity.

          Man’s nature is not essentially evil. Brute nature has been known to yield
          to the influence of love. You must never despair of human nature.

          It is the law of love that rules mankind. Had violence, i.e. hate, ruled us
          we should have become extinct long ago. And yet, the tragedy of it is that
          the so-called civilized men and nations conduct themselves as if the basis
          of society was violence.

        • An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.

          As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.

          Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.

          Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living ?

          I do all the evil I can before I learn to shun it?
          Is it not enough to know the evil to shun it?
          If not, we should be sincere enough to admit that we love evil too well to give it up.

      • #2 A case where this conflict arose would be exceedingly rare. Community agreed upon uses or contractual agreements for use by sellers would come into play, giving a method to address such things without affecting freedom. If you buy land next to a school with no contractual restrictions, or you had the land before the school did, then it could be possible, but this is unlikely. Also, social mores and market pressure would still be in play, just no legal pressure.

        #3 I did not articulate this well. I meant:
        There will be no legal restriction or punishment for any action committed by any person that does not violate the rights or freedoms of another person. This does not exempt one from consequences, it merely prevents the government form being a consequence, and it places government restriction on the consequences that could be carried out by others. You set up a whorehouse next to a school, and committed no contractual violation. This is not, then, illegal, as no rights were violated. The government can do nothing. An angry community refuses to do business with you or “shuns” you. This is fine, as it is not illegal either. An activist destroys your neon “girls, girls, girls” sign. This is destruction of property and is illegal, the government will step in and protect your right to property in this case.

    • Guarantee right to life.

      Impossible. You cannot guarantee right to life-you are not God.

      By proclaiming an impossibility as a right, you will utterly destroy real Rights.

      Right to own property.

      For example, I am starving. Can I claim (1)Right to Life to steal your food = and contradict your (2) Right to Property?

      “3) The right to any action of your choosing that does not violate the rights of others without legal restriction or retribution.”

      So you demand the ability to make laws that destroy my Rights?

      • Ok, the right to be alive then. “garauntee” was an unnecessary and comfusing word. No government action can make a decision for you on whether you live or die, that is the point. As I stated, this does not garauntee protection or sustaining of life. I consider this a right, but it must be listed in the constitution of the nation so that it is clearly defined. Gray areas are bad.

      • See my above explaination for point 3, I articulated it poorly at first, sentence structure was all screwy.

    • Jon,

      Could you please, please, please include some nudity free counties so V can have somewhere to live in peace. Thank you.

      • Hee Hee Hee-Thanks but don’t worry about Me I will be dead before any of this happens, if not I’ll probably be in jail.

  12. I will be gone for a few days this weekend. My 14 year old is going to the Dizzy Dean World Series!!! 🙂

    Though Dizzy Dean is not as big as Little League, it is more like real pro baseball. His team is very good. They blew through District and State, and now are headed to South Haven, MS to the Series.

    If anyone else on here is going or has kids going, Our team is called the Outcast. And my boy is going to smoke yours when he pitches! 🙂

    That is just a joke, but I AM VERY proud of him. Despite having the poorest parents on the team, hell the whole League, He is very understanding about it and he is VERY GOOD, if I can let that one small brag out.

    • Common Man says:

      ESOM

      Ah baseball has been very, very good to me! Congrats on the young one making the series. I hope he sets a series record for “K’s” and wins MVP

      CM

    • Esom,

      Play nice with the other parents. Don’t forget the sun screen.

    • Esom, a guy that works for me is attending as well. His son is 14 as well…and a pitcher as well…a pretty good one I understand. His team will be from Marrero LA…close to New Orleans. Good luck to your son!

      • Ah, Louisiana! I used to live in New Orleans when I was 13 and 14.

        I will go ahead and say good look to his son and his team as well, unless they play us of course. Then it’s on like donkey kong! 😀

        • We just got back from Opening Ceremonies. 1st game is 11:30 tomorrow against Irondale, AL. I saw the Marrero team in the parade. There are almost 150 teams up here from 8 to 16.

          And Lordy is it hot!!! About 98 at 6 in the evening at the Ceremony. Earlier, it was 102.

    • Réfugiée says:

      Monsieur Esom,

      The younger Réfugié offspring is also 14. However, he does not play baseball. Best wishes to you and yours.

      Idle curiosity: Is your 14-year-old taller than you? Looking (physically) up to my “baby” continues to be a strange experience.

      • Yes, BOTH of my boys are taller than me! Since I am only 5′ 7″, that is no great feat. My oldest is 21 and about 5’9″. But the 14 year old is already nearly 5’10”.

        They are both very good boys also. Judging from the way I was at those ages, I thought surely I was going to “pay for my raising” as we say in GA. 🙂

        But so far they are both good boys. My oldest does no partying at all, although he will go to parties sometimes, he does not do anything. And I have that from others who DO. They are both consciencious christians and I am very proud of both.

        I would be proud of them in any case, but they give me good cause for it every day. As far as I can see, I wasn’t worthy of having them as my sons, but God gave them to me anyway.

    • Murphy's Law says:

      The best to you and your son, and congratulations to him and his team! I hope it goes/is going well for him!

      I love baseball…..as I write this I am watching the Rangers try to close out a 1-0 game against the Angels…..one out to go….

      now one strike to go…..

      Ballgame!

      Maybe your son is the next Cliff Lee or (insert your favorite pitcher here)? What’s his best pitch?

      Murf

      • Hey Murph.

        His best is a curve ball. He also has a slider, and of course a change-up. And at 14, he has an 80+ mph fastball, I kid you not!

  13. BF,

    I know you’ve said don’t worry about the up & down price of gold but any thoughts as to why is it so down suddenly? I’ll check back later

    • Anita,

      As JAC posted today as I did yesterday, “Helicopter” Ben made a foggy statement “….unusually uncertain…”

      Wealth absolutely hates uncertainty – which is why they charge so much money when they lend into it. Using the word “uncertain” around money is like yelling “Cops!” in a drug den.

      When you add the word “unusual” – its like saying “What does it mean when that big Red Light is flashing on the nuclear weapon?”

      Everyone Rushed to Liquidity. They sold bonds and stocks and commodities. Everything went down yesterday.

      “Cash in hand” when times are uncertain.

      As you see already today, and it will continue tomorrow will be a Rush to Safety – gold went right back up, and tomorrow it will continue.

      • BF

        Or to sum up Ben another way:

        “You need to spend because I have no more options and don’t know what to do. In the long run we are screwed, but this will make everyone feel better until then.”

        • JAC,

          He has a Doctorate in Keynesian Theory.

          He is being consistent to his learning. No different then astronomers being consistent with Ptolemy.

          • BF

            I just can’t resist a little humor at his expense.

            During testimony while talking, also thinking to himself “And this will get us to where I can resign and someone else will have to deal with it!”

            See, he is just too much fun.

            Still waiting for his grand plan to pull all the money back to prevent inflation.

            Have you seen anything on that issue?

            • JAC,

              His grand plan is very plain.

              He will stop buying Treasury Bills.

              You will be able to hear the screeching of government economic tires slamming stopped all the way to China.

            • If it wasn’t so damn tragic because they will bring our Nation down with them, it would be funny as hell.

    • Why didn’t they want us reading that HEALTHCARE bill before it passed?
      Owning gold is un-healthy?

      http://abcnews.go.com/Business/gold-coin-dealers-decry-tax-law/story?id=11211611

      • LOI,

        Don’t fret.

        (1) The amount of reporting will bury the IRS. We are talking an increase in reporting by 1,000 times.

        (2) The IRS computers are from 1960’s.

        (3) There are more other small business’s effected then coin dealers.

        (4) It doesn’t take effect until 2012. If you are worried, buy gold now – and your guns, too.

        • Fret. Not sure that is the right word.
          Points 1, 2 & 3 are not what concerns me. The government has passed a law allowing them to register gold ownership. It may not have any effect for years to come, but the law is about power and control.

          Media Matters has an excellent video of Judge Andrew P.Napolitanoon on Varney & co. Sorry, I could not post the link. His opinion is registration of gold or guns will lead to confiscation, as it did in 1933.

          On 4, I will likely buy a few more ounces before 2012.
          I just gave a 30-30 to a needy friend, will likely replace with 30-06 for my medium rifle.

          • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

            On board with you on that one. When they replay the 1930’s, they will know where to go to pick up the gold. People are more sophisticated today in their dealings with government and would not all just “turn it in” as was done back then. So, they can go out and get it now.

            Paranoid taht I am, keep your eyes on the gun registration thing. I think that in the case of the Gulf drilling issue, the administration has already shown the disdain it has for the courts. The Congress, while not having the guts to pass a gun registration bill would have no problem, I think, turning their backs on some type of “executive order” or treaty that seems different than it is.

            Man, what a replay of Roman history.

          • Gentlemen, Gentlemen:

            This is not 1930.

            In 1930, the currency was gold. The dollar was based on gold. People used real gold coins. American gold eagles were common and found in every cash register.

            Today, less that 1% of Americans own gold. Few have ever held one in their hand, let alone own one. The dollar is not based on gold. People do not use real gold coins to buy things. No cash register (other than in coin dealers) have gold coins.

            Confiscation is pointless. 99.99% of transactional gold in the USA (ie: not jewelry) lives in Fort Knox or New York’s holding facility. The government has directly or by proxy access to essentially all the gold reserves it wants (8,100 tonnes).

            Here is where the other gold goes:

            • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

              But they will want it anyway. part of the plan my friend, part of the plan. Divide and conquor, go after the hoarders. Wipe out those Kulaks. Play to the mob. It is as clear as the nose on your face.

  14. Economy……..more: I couldn’t resist copying the following blog post from ACLU Card Carrier that expresses this persons view of several economic parameters. I about choked, then thought it a joke, but sadly I think it reflects the knowledge of economics in our population.

    HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
    ACLU Card Carrier 7 hours ago (3:48 AM)
    735 Fans
    Become a fan
    Unfan
    We incessantly hear, from the same people over and again about the impending “bankruptcy” of Social Security, Medicare, even the United States itself.. and the burden that public debts will “impose on our grandchildren”, or about “unfunded liabilities” supposedly facing us all… blah, blah, blah… ad nauseam.

    All of this forms part of one of the great misinformation campaigns of all time.

    To focus obsessively on cutting future deficits is a path that will obstruct, not assist, what we need to do to re-establish strong growth and high employment.

    Private borrowers can and do default. They go bankrupt (a protection civilized societies afford them instead of debtors’ prisons). With government, the risk of nonpayment doesn’t exist. Government spends money (and pays interest) simply by typing numbers into a computer. Unlike private debtors, government doesn’t need to have cash on hand. Since it is the source of money, government can’t run out.

    It’s true that government can spend imprudently, (too much spending, net of taxes, may lead to inflation, often via currency depreciation), though with the world in recession, that’s not an immediate risk.

    Wasteful spending (on unnecessary military adventures, say) burns real resources, but no government can ever be forced to default on debts in a currency that it controls.

    Public defaults happen only when governments don’t control the currency in which they owe debts (as Argentina owed dollars or as Greece owes Euros), but for true sovereigns, bankruptcy is an irrelevant concept.

    • What the hell? Shaking my head as I sign off for a while. We are so screwed!!!!! 😦

    • Did you notice -he has 735 fans-Lord Help us !

    • He is absolutely right.

      Governments do not go insolvent – they can monetize their debt (print money to repay their debts).

      What this poor soul does not understand is the word Inflation – which wipes out the savings (capital) of a nation.

      Without capital, there is no commerce or growth – stagnation.

      This persons solution – to solve stagnation, we must inflate, which will destroy capital and cause stagnation.

      Don’t worry -the end is near! 🙂

    • Who in the crap is this dumbass? Oh yeah, and his 735 dumbass friends!

    • OMG – I am just always amazed when I read stuff like this.

    • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

      I see that as just another part of the disinformation campaign. Kind of Wizard of Oz stuff, man behind the curtain. This fiat money thing remains valuable only so long as people think it is valuable. That he does not get or does get and deliberately lies. The people of post war Germany understood that as do, I think, the people of Zimbabwe.

      Ask him to explain all that overinflated real estate of three years back. There was real property, real bricks and mortar that lost conservatively 40% of value across the board. Why, because people finally perceived that the increases in value were not real but hype.

      When they figure that out about dollars, euros, or pounds, boy, are we ever in trouble them.

  15. This was once a thriving border town cross from Laredo, Tx…This is what is happening now. Just another’s days work for us. It is getting worse and this article is wrong on one premise….it is spilling across the border at times.

    NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico

    NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico (AP) — Late-night gunbattles with gangs who forced citizens from their cars and used the vehicles to block streets paralyzed a border city, sound of gunfire alarmed Texans on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande.

    The Nuevo Laredo city government posted messages on Facebook warning citizens to stay indoors as the battles erupted at several intersections in the city across from Laredo, Texas.

    Frightened people on the U.S. side of the border called emergency dispatchers after hearing the gunfire, Laredo police spokesman Joe Baeza said Thursday. But he said there was no spillover violence.

    “We were getting reports from people who live on the river’s edge that they could hear gunfire and explosions from the Mexico side,” Baeza said.

    “We didn’t have any incidents on the American side. It’s hard for people to understand who don’t live here,” he added. “They’re not Vikings, they’re not going to invade us, it doesn’t work that way.”

    Nuevo Laredo city officials said they could not immediately confirm witness reports that several gunmen were killed.

    Gangs used stolen cars and buses to block several main avenues in the city across from Laredo, Texas. Several residents called local newspapers to report thefts.

    “For your security, stay in your homes until the alert has passed,” the city government wrote on Facebook.

    When the violence subsided, the government urged citizens to come forward and reclaim their stolen vehicles.

    Nuevo Laredo is among several northern cities under siege from a turf battle between the Gulf cartel and its former enforcers, the Zetas gang of hit men. Violence has surged along the northeastern border with the United States since the two gangs split earlier this year.

    Gangs have frequently blocked streets in the middle of the cities to thwart soldiers coming to the aid of colleagues under fire.

    In the northern state of Chihuahua, a banner appeared on a bridge threatening violence against “innocents” unless the state government fires its chief of police intelligence, Fernando Ornelas, the Diario de Juarez newspaper reported Thursday.

    The banner appeared in the state capital, also called Chihuahua.

    Last week, drug gangs introduced a new threat to Mexico’s drug war, detonating their first successful car bomb. The attack killed a federal police officer and two others in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua’s largest city.

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      In Long Island NY (Huntington) this week they closed a school and transferred all the kids out because the neighborhood had become too dangerous. Last weekend, during a street party, a young girl was accidentally shot. For the past two days the “John Gambling” WOR radio show has been having residents call in. Huntington and Huntington Station used to be considered desirable suburbs to live in, not more than 10 years ago. Apparently the Latin American and Mexican gangs have moved in and have been taking over. Another “block party” was described where the police arrived and were told to leave and did several weeks ago.

      Two months ago I was up in Hazelton PA with the wife visiting old family haunts. The gangs are taking over there too. The gang graffitti is everywhere.

      Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, this is all headed to a neighborhood near you.

      • Murphy's Law says:

        I see it all over my neighborhood already. I go walking in a park only a block from my house, and there is gang graffiti there regularly. As soon as the city gets rid of it, more takes its place. This is true of all the parks in my suburban city in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. And I am seeing police presence while I walk quite often now, and have been told by policemen that it is because they are encountering more trouble/gang activity than ever before.

        I hate to say it, but I will move away from this neighborhood asap….

        Murf

    • And our Federal Government just continues to ignore the whole thing. I guess they figure if they ignore it long enough it will go away on it’s own.

      Obama and his Congress prove DAILY that they are completely incompetent to govern. Sometimes I wish we would rise up and toss ALL their butts out of office.

      “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” Thomas Jefferson

      I have to wonder just how far away we are from proving this?

  16. GET EM D13 – and thanks for having our backs!

  17. Réfugiée says:

    Et bientôt le gouvernement déterminera le salaire aussi. Ou bien il va essayer de le faire.

    White House Backs Bill to Collect Employee Pay Information from Businesses

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/69746

    • I made the statement the other day that all of this discrimination crap is like the 60’s and 70’s…..just another proof..amended the civl rights act of 1964. This is why we are dropping employees and going to independent contractors.

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      This is just so outrageously delicious. That is the only way I can describe it. As these revelations come out and they are coming out, it is like “Animal Farm”. “All the animals are equal, it’s just that some are more equal than others.”

      Some of the school administrator salaries here in Northern NJ are creeping up to the $ 300,000 level and the kids are, I am sorry to say, stupider than ever. I know it’s not their fault. It’s their parents fault and the rest of the jerks who keep voting “yes” on the budget out of some Union/PTA propaganda regarding don’t pass the budget equals watch your property values fall.

      • Common Man says:

        Here in Michigan we are dealing with the same kind of bullsh*t. A few months back there were several articles in the Detroit Free Press informing the people that the Detroit City Schools Superintendent was making a salary of $400K, while the teachers paid out $250.00 each paycheck to ensure schools were not closed. Despite the outrage the super maintained his income.

        My wife, informed me the Flint Public Schools held their budget meeting, which is open to the public, granted the Super a $18,000 raise and a $8,000 bonus. They waited until all other business was conducted and most of the people had left to pass the increase.

        It’s interesting how those chartered with ensuring the proper education of students, and improve the graduation ratio make the most money. Interestingly both Detroit and Flint have some of the highest dropout rates and poorest grade scores in the state.

        CM

    • Here’s a follow up on this story-I guess they had no real problem resigning-why would they

      Calif. City Officials Resign in Salary Scandal

      Published July 23, 2010

      BELL, Calif.– Three administrators whose huge salaries sparked outrage in this small blue-collar suburb of Los Angeles have agreed to resign, the City Council said Friday.

      Council members emerged from an hours-long closed session at midnight Friday and announced that they’d accepted the resignations of Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo, Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia and Police Chief Randy Adams.

      Rizzo was the highest paid at $787,637 a year — nearly twice the pay of President Barack Obama — for overseeing one of the poorest towns in Los Angeles County.

      Spaccia makes $376,288 a year and Adams earns $457,000, 50 percent more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.

      The three will not receive severance packages, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. Rizzo will step down at the end of August and Spaccia will leave at the end of September. Adams will also leave at the end of August, after completing an evaluation of the police department, the Times said.

      “I’m happy that they resigned but I’m disappointed at the pension that they’re going to receive,” said Ali Saleh, a member of the Bell Association to Stop the Abuse or BASTA.

      Rizzo would be entitled to a state pension of more than $650,000 a year for life, according to calculations made by the Times. That would make Rizzo, 56, the highest-paid retiree in the state pension system.

      Adams could get more than $411,000 a year.

      Spaccia, 51, could be eligible for as much as $250,000 a year when she reaches 55, though the figure is less precise than for the other two officials, the Times said.

      Saleh said the crowd applauded after the announcement but immediately yelled out questions about what would happen to the council members. Four of the five of them are paid close to $100,000 annually for part-time work. When the crowd’s questions were not answered, they shouted, “Recall!, Recall!”

      Revelations about the pay in Bell has sparked anger in the city of fewer than 40,000 residents. Census figures from 2008 show 17 percent of the population lives in poverty.

      Enraged residents have staged protests demanding the firings and started a recall campaign against some council members.

      “Woo-hoo, the salaries. Wow. What can I say? I think that’s unbelievable,” Christina Caldera, a 20-year resident of the city, said as she stood in line at a food bank.

      Caldera, who is struggling after recently losing her job as a drug and alcohol counselor, said she generally was satisfied with the way the city was being run but felt high-paid officials should take a pay cut.

      “What are they doing with all that money?” she asked. “Maybe they could put it into more jobs for other people.”

      Attempts to leave messages seeking comment from Rizzo and Spaccia failed because their voicemails were full. A message left for Adams was not immediately returned.

      The county district attorney’s office is investigating to determine if the high salaries for the council members violate any state laws. The City Council also intends to review city salaries, including those of its own members, according to Councilman Luis Artiga and Mayor Oscar Hernandez.

      “We are going to analyze all the city payrolls and possibly will revise all the salaries of the city,” Artiga said.

      However, both men said they considered the City Council pay to be justified.

      “We work a lot. I work with my community every day,” the mayor said, as he shook hands with and embraced people leaving the food bank Thursday.

      Council members are on call around the clock, and it is not uncommon for them to take calls in the middle of the night from people reporting problems with city services, Artiga said.

      Though many residents are poor, Hernandez said they live in a city they can be proud of, one with a $22.7 million budget surplus, clean streets, refurbished parks and numerous programs for people of all ages. He pointed proudly down a street to a park filled with new exercise equipment.

      When Rizzo arrived 17 years ago, Hernandez said, the city was $13 million in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy. Rizzo obtained government grants to aid the city, the mayor said.

      Rizzo was arrested near his home in Huntington Beach in March and charged with misdemeanor drunken driving. He pleaded not guilty and is due back in court for an Aug. 5 hearing, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney’s office.

      The Los Angeles Times reported the salaries last week, prompting a large protest Monday at City Hall in which residents shouted and demanded that Rizzo be fired.

      California Attorney General Jerry Brown said his office has launched an investigation in conjunction with the state’s public employee retirement agency into pension and related benefits for Bell’s civic leaders..

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/23/calif-city-officials-resign-salary-scandal/?test=latestnews

      • Common Man says:

        Interesting!

        A few thoughts:

        – There does seem to be a tolerance level that will cause the entitlement minded individuals to revolt; unfortunately it is only after the media makes a stink about it.
        – The city was broke prior to Rizzo’s arrival, but through his actions the city, as an ifrastructure, is profitable; yet he is chastized for turning it around.
        – Wonder why county and/or state officials address the salary issues prior to the media making a stink? Did they not know or just figured ‘to each his own, unless someone blows the whistle’
        – Those entitlement minded individuals qoted in the article still want the wealth spread around regardless of who has it.
        – Why weren’t the locals paying attention to these officials salaries and controling them prior to them graduating to this level?
        – I am willing to bet that the $22.7 million surplus was earmarked for additional ‘city’ improvements, city employee payroll and perks, but not finacial assistance to the 17% unemployed

        Maybe this is a small example of what is yet to come on a national level should the current regiem continue down their chartered path????

        And I will bet a $1.00 and a dozen donuts that Rizzo, Spaccia and Adams relocate out of the city within 6 months.

        CM

        • Did you read the original article?

          “Bell has sold two general obligation bond issues totaling $50 million in the past six years, according to prospectuses for the bonds and information in the city’s annual financial statement for 2009. In that time, its debt has risen to $1,972 per capita in 2009 from $599 in 2004, according to its annual financial statement. “

      • V.H.

        V.H> “Flag! You scoundrel! You’re ripping us of in the tune of $800,000 a year!! I demand you resign!”

        BF> “Do I get my pension??

        V.H> “Well, OK”

        BF> “I quit! Yahoo! Show up to this lousy job in this stinking poor city for $800K or go fishing for the rest of my life on $650K!

        …..

        Somehow I think the city thinks they “won”

        • V.H> “Well, OK” 😯

          OK, not hardly-that it will happen-don’t doubt it for a moment.

      • “Council members are on call around the clock, and it is not uncommon for them to take calls in the middle of the night from people reporting problems with city services, Artiga said”

        *blink*

  18. D13 and Displaced Okie

    I need you two to research something if possible. Just got an email from friends who are starting to freak out.

    Remember the email Cindi put up about drills somewhere, don’t remember where, involving troops.

    Well now there is one that has two claims.

    Massive police drill in Seattle where one of the cops admitted to a civilian that they were doing drills for Marchall Law. The officer was told the orders came from DHS. OKIE, I thought you might be able to shed light on this one, or any others like it.

    Large disembarkation of UN but mostly Russian troops in San Diego. OK, don’t laugh. I told my friends how silly this sounds but I am curious if there has been any such deployment in San Diego by any group. Is there some major drills about to be conducted? COLONEL, figured you could handle this one.

    I figure this is junk being put out by one of these conspiracy groups. Maybe they want people to buy their books on how to survive. I don’t know. But it is getting worrisome how this stuff is increasing and how it is affecting otherwise normal people around me.

    So could you two shed any light on this stuff, specifically or in general?

    Thanks
    JAC

    • Top O’ the’ morning, sir. We finally have our cold front. Only 102 today with 70% humidity. Not going to be a scorcher.

      Ok…First….all civilian agencies that provide essential services have strict SOP’s that are part of any local or state government. These operating procedures, since 1948, have been part of the landscape. They are intended to coordinate between securing and insuring that essential services are not disrupted in the event of any type of unrest….civil or otherwise, with the military. Essential services are water, power, and health. The secondary services will be food distribution centers, fire, and police. As long as I have been with the military, both state and federal levels, I have never seen a drill that moved men and equipment to specific sites for the purpose of martial law. I have seen the SOP’s but never a drill. Drill’s panic people. I have seen and been part of massive military equipment moves…ie. Desert Storm where we emptied out Fort Hood and Fort Carson of all of its heavy equipment (tanks, retrievers, Bradley’s) and such on the rail services to ports of embarkation. That scared the civilians enough seeing miles of military equipment on rail cars. There were all sorts of conspiracy theories that came out of that. It was thought that the movement of all that equipment was for martial law back then. Most, if not all, drills of this nature are conducted on game boards and through communications. Communications is the backbone of any type of coordination and that is what is usually done in massive drills but it is not seen because it is just communication coordination without the civilian commo traffic lines. The actual deployment of the hardware is relatively easy and setting up road blocks and corridor control is even easier. (Remember, I am doing an very in depth article on marital law. I am almost finished with it and it will be up to date. It is very misunderstood).

      Now, as to your request, to my knowledge, there has been no deployment of UN troops anywhere in the United States. There has been no deployment of foreign troops in the United States. I have thoroughly searched the martial law data bases and SOP’s. I have Top Secret (SSIR) clearance…albeit on a need to know basis…and I am not worried at all, if that helps. (Unless you want to think that I am part of something sinister). However, after reading your request, I actually did some behind the scenes research and have found nothing. There are no secret training sites around for UN troops. (This I already knew) and there are no contingency plans that I am aware of concerning the implementation of UN troops. Even back in the Eisenhower days, there were conspiracy theories about secret police.

      One last thing. Quite often, civilians misinterpret State Guard drills. In Texas, during summer camps for the reserves, quite often there will be large movements of military equipment on highways in convoy. These convoys require advance preparation of intersections and entry and exit procedures of city roads. Most people do not realize that military convoys are not allowed to stop at anytime other than scheduled rest stops. Not even red lights or stop signs, therefore, coordination of police and highway patrol is necessary. Convoy routing is especially critical because the highway patrol and local police will know exactly when a convoy will pass a certain location and traffic control is established so the convoy never stops. All convoys also carry weapons. That is why there are scheduled rest stops along the route. Most rest stops are in cities with armories, however, in long road marches, there are rest areas that are scheduled. When a convoy stops, soldiers and escort vehicles will secure convoys with armed soldiers. This has a tendency to scare civilians as well. Imagine eating a rest stop with your kids and in rolls a military convoy and the next thing you know, armed soldiers are out and securing an area around the convoy. This has a tendency to upset parents while the kids are all saying….COOL.

      Now, finally, and where I think people are getting the wrong idea…convoys and drills are conducted at night and early morning hours. The purpose for this is minimal disruption of major traffic highways during rush hours and normal hours for civilians. Large movements of equipment in the middle of the night, troops wearing the blue beret (not UN), and the fact that the police are blocking access to certain roads to enhance the quick movement of military equipment is often seen as strange. Strange because it is conducted in the middle of the night where people think secrecy. But these same people would be the first to curse the police and military if convoys are blocking freeways and loops and access during rush hour or keeping a soccer mom or some such from getting to a game on time.

      Remember, that the Blue Beret is a standard issue now. It does not signify UN and is often mistaken for the Blue Helmet of the UN. I wish there was another color, but Green is already taken, Red is taken, Black is taken, Maroon is taken, and Tan is taken. Since the Beret has always been associated with special forces…Green and Maroon for Army Special Forces, Black for Navy Special Forces, and Red for Air Force Special Forces, the wearing of the beret signified achievement and elite status. But there were some radical politically correct do gooders is the service that decided that we want all troops to be recognized…..hence the birth of the blue beret. Now…EVERYONE has a beret…not just special forces. Sorta like giving our a trophy in little league to everyone….even the team that went 0-10….so no one feels “under achieved”. Yes, even the Army has this mentality as far as berets go. Really sickening but I think that when blue berets are seen around…..people automatically think UN.

      Help any? Sorry for some of the rabbit trails but I thought them pertinent.

      How are you sir?

      • D13

        I am very good sir, thanks for asking. Expect a high of 90 today. The heat is just stifling :).

        I feel stupid for asking but I must, given the email I received.

        Care to comment on the reality of “Russian” troops offloading on US Soil?

        I appreciate the in depth answer as it may be more calming to those who are getting their tails tied in knots.

        I am glad you mentioned Guard drills and training because that was also part of the panic email. I simply had blown that one off because folks in these parts have a very good understanding of how the Guard works and how often.

        Gettin ready for a week or two road trip. Goin to explore parts of Montana not yet visited, along with some fly fishing in Yellowstone and the Henry’s Fork of the Snake in Idaho. Sorry, just couldn’t resist that. Of course you could test out your new pilot certification and meet me in Bozeman.

        By the way, if you are up for it have USW send me your email address. I would like to discuss some action plan items with you.

        Best Regards
        JAC

    • Displaced Okie says:

      I haven’t heard of anything about any of those type of drills, but my guess would be that it is just run of the mill training–Remember Seattle is one of those cities where the g-20 and IMF summits have taken place, so agencies there doing intergrated exercises to deal with riots(where I’m sure someone might refer to it as martial law)would not be an uncommon practice.

      –DO

  19. Yous guys and gals on the right will appreciate the DOC’s weekend note, after his review of a book his brother sent him. He discusses Gov’t misspending and incompetence in his usual charming way:

    http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2010/07/doc-reviews-book-his-brother-lent-him.html

  20. Common Man says:

    Help!

    Years ago I read a book that told the story of a community where the liberals continued to demand more and more from the revenue producers. As each need was met, and more were requested, the revenue producers started to realize they were going to go broke. So they called a secret meeting and decided they would pack up and leave, but not tell anyone else. They decided to relocate to an undisclosed location and rebuilt their businesses and lives.

    At first the liberals (sorry, I don’t remember how the book referred to them) didn’t realize the revenue generaters were gone, and when they did they decided it was just as well, because they could now do whatever they wanted. Problem was that since none of them worked or generated income / commerce supplies and necesities of life eventually ran out. As a result those left behind died out.

    The revenue producers obviously fourished.

    It was a fiction and I don’t think it got a lot of press, but it was a good read. Does anyone know the book I am referring too?

    CM

    • No, but it sounds like a micro version of Atlas Shrugged. 🙂

      • Atlas Shrugged … arguably the most inane piece of propaganda ever penned; as realistic as the communist manifesto.

        What usually happens is those at the bottom get fed up sooner or later and overthrow those at the top and reinstitute the same mess they revolted against.

        A vicious cycle, but that doesn’t John Galt being a superman (who gets to rape superwomen?).

        There’s gotta be something between the two extremes, but I’m damned if I know what it is.

        • Yea, the supercharacters are the primary flaw of that story. I can ignore Rand’s personal sexual stylings to get at the philosophy, but the realism of the story is laughable, at least parts of it.

          The Supervillains, however, are looking more and more realistic. The consolidation of power through catastrophe, the business regulation and takeover, the croniism and even the willingness to throw fellow cronies under the bus when it is convenience for the expediency of the moment are quite realistic, and reminiscent of much of what we have developing today.

          The idea of ignoring governmend and hastening its collapse is not entirely unrealistic, but it would require more than a handful of industrialists. The idea that all the top company people were geniusses is a bit off also. Finally, the abhorrence of charity (individual, not government) I have a problem with as well.

          Overall, however, there are some excellent philosophical reasoning, and some uncanny description of how things will progress at the government level in a country that used to be capitalist but is being directed toards socialism/facism. She wrote comse good speeches into the dialogue describing her thoughts, and it wasnt bad, its just not a bible for capitalism, lol.

          • Good points, Jon.

            I’m fuming two days now over Feinberg’s statement that it would be “unfair” to ask bailed out company execs to refund some of their “bonus” money (our money). This was the same thing (to me) as Joe Barton apologizing to BP. This President has as much in common with the working man as the last president. I remain torn between the two ideologies because I don’t believe a regulation free market will work any better than the fugazy one in place now, yet government proves every day it can’t run a lemonade stand. What I do know (or feel confident about) is that term limits are a must; these clowns are more corrupt (across the board) than the fictional mob I write about.

            • I think the only regulation needed in a free market is laws against fraud and false advertising, and courts to handle contract disputes.

              • Jon,

                By your argument, it isn’t a free market anymore.

                When two men voluntarily exchange – there is no violence – even if one man lies.

                You are arguing to create violence (enforcement) where no violence was used.

                You turn the free market into the Non-free market – and I bet you expect that this “will make it better”.

                But it never does.

                You are merely protecting ignorant people from doing their own diligence of others.

                You are destroying trust by using violence on liars!

                You make trust valueless by protecting people who would rather beat up liars then find out who the liars are with their diligence

                By your enforcement, you make ignorance more common and wisdom less.

              • I would only agree with this if I believed that the government was the only evil AND that it was the only thing that could manipulate or screw with the free market. There are other forces of evil. Corruption is the real evil, and it can infest anything. I consider corruption to be a greater evil than violence itself.

              • Jon,

                Please explain how your voluntary agreement is a greater evil than, say, violence.

                Further, you argue that as long as there are great evils, its ok to do little evils- correct?

    • Common Man says:

      I asked about this book because as a nation we could soon be in a situation much like it. Some states have discussed secession and no longer taking federal funds, or abiding by federal laws that violate State’s rights.

      I wonder what would happen should a state or two decide they were going to be self-sufficent, and refuse outside assistance/involvment; Texas is kind of like that now to some degree. What if they took it farther and announced they were going to be self governing, self-sustaining were going to shut down entitlement based programs? And to ensure their independence they were no longer going to allow individuals residency without proof of value; meaning that each individual who wanted to locate into Texas would first have to prove the ability to self-sustain. Then and only then would they be permitted entry, and then be able to interact with fellow Texicans.

      Would they as an independent state survive? And if so, would other states copy them?

      I think I will stop here. This may very well make for an interesting article; which of course I will share.

      I’m off to write the next great novel

      CM

      • I don’t think we would be given time to see if they could make it on their own. Look at Arizona.

  21. Common Man says:

    My request reminds me of a hunting analogy which seems to be appropriate for our current national circumstance

    If you have a heard of 100 deer to maintain throughout a cold and bitter winter, but you only have enough food for 50 deer, how many survive the winter?

    It will be interesting to see how many here get the right answer.

    CM

    • I’m gonna guess 25 🙂

    • Elitist – 50 because I will take the best 50 and keep them healthy to rebuild my herd.

      Leftist – 100 because I will ensure that ALL have something no matter how unhealthy.

      Rightest – Throw the feed out there and let the strong survive. It could be 50 or 75 or 25.

      DPM – Arrrggghhh..Who cares! shoot them, carve them up and eat them.

      Obama – 100. Surround the herd, take from the wealthy, feed them all, and then send them to foreign countries to apologize for past assumed discrepancies and to curry favor.

      Academia – 0 – Discuss the philosophy of the deer herd, and the origination of the feed, and the distribution of said feed for the greater good. Continue to discuss the ramifications of the application of law and discuss the reasons the laws were made. Then discuss the effects on global warming and the moisture content of the air and ground. The herd dies.

      Am I close?

      How are YOU this morning, sir?

      • Forgot one

        D13 – 99 because he puts on his best cammo, cleans his rifle, stalks and shoots the biggest one, mounts the head, eats the meat, sells the hooves to the Indians for herbal aphrodisiac, and leave the innards to the buzzards (they gotta eat to), drink his DP while the back strap is on the grill, and sit and chuckle about the conspiracy theories that abound.

      • Common Man says:

        Sir

        I am fine, working my hind quarter off, occasionally casting a lure or two, anxiously awaiting the deer season, and looking forward to my grandsons second birthday on Saturday.

        Loved your ‘informative answer’, and even though you went around the barn a few more times than you needed you did arrive at the correct answer; 0

        The moral goes along with the book I mentioned in the previous post, if there isn’t enough to sustain the entire population then the entire population will perish.

        Keep the air running, your feet dry and head down.

        CM

        • Exactly, CM!

          Your story helps understand my explanation of disasters and Black Swan.

          There is no “budgeting” of the food or “culling” of the herd. Everyday, the all eat their hand full. One day, there is no more food yet when yesterday there was. It is sudden, definitive and irreversible. It’s all gone.

          They all die.

        • Just my ill attempt at levity….the real answer is, of course, zero.

        • CM/BF

          Your answer of 0 is theory but has been disproved by history.

          Somehow, whether by superior strength or endurance, a few survive the ordeal.

          That is what is missing from the test. The variability of biological existence.

          • JAC,

            It is not superior strength or endurance.

            It is by sheer luck.

            • Really? I would have thought that survival of the fittest would play out, unless you are assuming management of the herd.

              BTW, the answer is:

              If left to themselves, somewhere between 10 and 40, survival of the fittest, the stronger get more from the beginning and the weak begin to die off, extending the food supply as the number of mouths to feed drops off. Depending on how matched the individuals are, luck may play a role, and the more matched they are the fewer survive.

              If managed with concern for “equality”, 0 survive.

              If managed with concern for “function”, 50 survive, it will the be best looking 50 and will likely, in the case of deer, be between 3 and 5 males and the rest females, for rebuilding the herd to its former numbers as quickly as possible.

              • Jon

                Really? I would have thought that survival of the fittest would play out, unless you are assuming management of the herd.

                In a systemic disaster, luck is the single biggest factor.

                You can be the most prepared guy, and then the building topples on top of you in an Earthquake.

                You can improve your chances by preparation – however, that adds only a small percentage to your success – better than nothing, but nothing to depend on.

                The best strategy is avoidance – get out of the way. But that is where the systemic comes in – where are you going to go when all of it goes to hell in a hand basket?

                BTW, the answer is:

                If left to themselves, somewhere between 10 and 40, survival of the fittest, the stronger get more from the beginning

                No, it does not work that way.

                Everyone can eat, so everyone eats. No one accounts for the future. Today, the strong and the weak both get their handful of food, so they both eat.

                Both the strong and the weak wake up one day and at the same time find out there is no more food.

                The strong can hold out for a bit longer but if the hold out is not long enough – they will die anyway.

              • Common Man says:

                Jon;

                As I stated below 1 or 2 may migrate far enough to find additional food sources, but mathmatically 99% of the time the entire herd will perish.

                Because these beings are not capable of logical reasoning, or planning ahead (kind of like the entitllement minded we are dealing with in todays society) they will perish.

                I do understand your point as it relates to rational, logical, thinking intelligent people. Those with the drive for self-preservation will do what is needed and prosper.

                But, just like nature and the wild, it could get very vicious and heartless.

                CM

              • Common Man says:

                And to reflect BF’s comment above we can through another actor into the equation; a wolf pack.

                The wolf pack has the same effect that a majority of entitlement minded individuals calling all the shots over the whole will have. The wolves will eat and eat well until the herd is killed off and then they too will perish.

                Regardless of the strength of the individual or of the herd no food and everyone dies.

                The objective is to educate more to prepare and hope that the educated out number the uneducated.

                CM

              • Common Man says:

                Sorry;

                “Throw another factor”

                CM

              • Actually, the wolves will not all diea because they will eat each other to survive. 🙂

              • Common Man says:

                Jon

                Not by the natural order of things they won’t. They too would travel as far as they physically could to find another food source. But, if they cannot find enough food to maintain the pack, lack of the ability to reproduce will eventually ensure their absolute demise.

                Bottom line = If there is not enough food to sustain the whole, death is an absolute.

                CM

              • CM,

                Again, I agree.

                People and animals, when suddenly faced with a disaster, tend to stay put with the belief “this too shall pass soon”.

                By the time they realize this is a dangerous long term problem, they are too weak to move far.

              • JAC,

                I am not disputing that some will survive.

                I am saying that those that do are merely lucky.

                As with Black Swan events, they are sudden and systemic.

              • CM

                Putting your analogy of consumers vs producers aside, your assumptions about populations is simply not true.

                You would have to eliminate food completely and eliminate mobility all together to cause complete death.

                Western deer herds in 1939/1849 suffered somewhere between 80 and 90% mortality due to extraordinarily deep snows for several months.

                Obviously not enough food for all but 10 to 20% survived and repopulated the herds within 5 years.

                Now, I am talking natural world here. Not some controlled experiment in a corral over an unusual time period.

          • Common Man says:

            JAC

            My initial purpose was to present an analogy simular to some’s potential future of entititlement gluttony; eliminate those that produce and those left will die out.

            Relative to the deer it is possible that 1 or 2 may migrate when the food becomes more and more scarse, however biologically 0 in the herd will survive the winter if there is only enough food for half anywhere.

            The deer are not intelligent enough to ration and therefore will eat as much as they need each day to feel full. The deer won’t realize that the supply is diminishing and will spend enormous amounts of energy looking for more, even after it has all been eaten.

            Kinda of like the entitlement minded we are dealing with today. They all seem to believe if we re-distribute the money then everyone will have what they need.

            They are also like the Bison in Yellowstone that die in the hot springs in the bitter winters. Their desire to maintain body warmth overrides their urge to find food.

            I guess one of the approaches I am taking with those who believe we should re-distribute the wealth is ‘what happens when the well runs dry and there are no more wells to drink from?’

            CM

            • CM

              I think as an analogy of human behavior it works well. Because humans have become “captive” if you will due to our social/political acculturation.

              See Katrina for latest example in the USA. Most of us will stay put “expecting” help to come. We have lost our ability to think and act for our own survival according to our own will.

              My point is that the rest of the animal kingdom has not suffered our fate.

              Kind of sorry I started the argument. I took away from your main point which is pretty accurate I think.

              Now for some real fun. I know where Galt’s Gulch is, do you?

          • The gypsy moth multiply over about 5 years until they eat themselves out of house and home when most die before laying eggs. Thus the following year sees few moths as a few the year befor did reach maturity. The cycle then starts over.
            Humans are on the same trend.

            • T-Ray

              And what is your evidence that humans are on the same trend?

              It seems that actual data dispels this theory. See my link below to Simons.

              • I said we were on that trend. Never said we were near the endpoint. We have centuries to go. Being intelligent beings we may be able to alter the outcome or being greedy beings we may reset the system through mass warfare. Simon is correct in that we are no where near exhausting the resources of the planet at this time. I have never believed in the doomsday prophecies held by many.
                If you plot the world population from 1800 to present and fit it to an exponential, the curve under predicts the growth rate. A cubic fits better. I could predict population growth from the equation but extrapolations are never accurate and I would be making the same mistake the AGW people are making. There will probably be some self limiting mechanism that prevents total extinction like the gypsy moth. Even though they strip all of the oak trees bare before they mature and can mate, there is always enough who survive to keep the species alive.

  22. Pity the Plight of the Poor Patagonian Penguins
    Randall Hoven
    Almost exactly two years ago I noted the journalistic attention being paid the poor penguins of Patagonia.

    “Hundreds of baby penguins swept from the icy shores of Antarctica and Patagonia are washing up dead on Rio de Janeiro’s tropical beaches.”

    Well, they’re back. (Not the dead ones from two years ago; new ones.) The Associated Press’s headline: “Hundreds of dead penguins dot Brazil’s beaches.” (What’s black and white and dotted all over?)In 2008, the plight of the penguins was being blamed on (cue Jeopardy music)… global warming.

    “Hundreds of half-starved penguins, many bearing the scars of shark bites, have been waddling ashore on some of the world’s most famous tropical beaches — and experts suspect it could be the result of global warming.”

    What do the experts suspect this time?

    “Scientists are investigating whether strong currents and colder-than-normal waters have hurt populations of the species that make up the penguins’ diet…”

    Say that again? “Colder-than-normal waters.” Colder. Than. Normal.

    Oh my. How can that be? Isn’t everything everywhere getting warmer? Well, Antarctica isn’t, apparently. Its sea ice just seems to keep growing. That’s right, the polar ice cap is growing. (The southern one, that is — one of the two on the planet.)

    But rest assured, scientists are also investigating “whether human activity may be playing a role.” That’s more like it. Maybe we can still blame Bush/Cheney/Halliburton somehow. I mean, baby penguins are dying; Cheney must have something to do with it.

    from American thinker

  23. Race Played Role in Obama Car Dealer Closures

    By William Tate, American Thinker

    The Obama administration, already under fire for unprecedented allegations of racial bias, faces a new bias claim from a most unlikely source: one of the administration’s own inspectors general.

    Decisions on which car dealerships to close as part of the auto industry bailout — closures the Obama administration forced on General Motors and Chrysler — were based in part on race and gender, according to a report by Troubled Asset Relief Program Special Inspector General Neal M. Barofsky.

    [D]ealerships were retained because they were recently appointed, were key wholesale parts dealers, or were minority- or woman-owned dealerships. [Emphasis added.]

    Thus, to meet numbers forced on them by the Obama administration, General Motors and Chrysler were forced to shutter other, potentially more viable, dealerships. The livelihood of potentially tens of thousands of families was thus eliminated simply because their dealerships were not minority- or woman-owned.

    As has been widely reported, the Inspector General’s study skewered the Obama Gang for strong-arming the companies into closing 2,000 dealerships, costing an estimated 100,000 people their jobs during a recession.

    But the news media has ignored key elements of Barofsky’s report — elements that are far more damaging, if possible, to Obama. As we reported earlier in the week, a top Obama official, manufacturing czar and “Auto Team” leader Ron Bloom admitted that the dealerships could have been kept open, saving those jobs, “but that doing so would have been inconsistent with the President’s mandate for ‘shared sacrifice.'”

    Barofsky says the administration insisted on the closings even though a GM official told him

    that GM would usually save ‘not one damn cent’ by closing any particular dealership. … Furthermore, a GM official stated that removing a dealership from the network does not save money for GM — it might even cost GM money — and that savings cannot be attributed or assigned to any one dealership.

    And a reading of the IG’s study makes plain that some dealership closings forced by the administration were based largely on politics.

    The report is highly critical of how dealerships were selected for closure, or termination. Barofsky notes that

    experts said that while metro areas were oversaturated with GM and Chrysler dealerships and reductions were needed in these areas, this was not the case in rural areas where GM and Chrysler had an advantage over their import competitors. […]

    Although sales volume in small towns may be lower, the cost of operating dealerships in small towns is lower as well. In addition, closing dealerships in small towns could ruin the “historic relationship” that GM has had with residents in small towns and force buyers to drive to metro areas, where there are more competitors. In the worst case, the loss of market share in small and medium-sized markets could “jeopardize the return to profitability” for GM and Chrysler, the (the Center for Automotive Research) representative said. Representatives from the National Automobile Dealers Association also concurred that dealership terminations would cause GM and Chrysler to lose market share in rural areas. [Emphasis added.]

    Nevertheless, as Barofsky notes, “ultimately close to half of all of the GM dealerships identified for termination were in rural areas.”

    That is where raw, hard, sewage-filled Chicago politics came into play.

    Records indicate that in 2008, Obama lost the vote totals in the nation’s 1,300 rural counties by nearly 80%.

    The Obama administration’s insistence on radical numbers of closures ended up shuttering dealerships in those rural areas disproportionately, while dealerships and jobs in metro areas — Obama’s geographical base — were left open.

    Additionally, it has been widely theorized that dealers targeted for closure as a result of Obama’s interference were predominantly those who donated campaign contributions to Republicans. Although evidence to date is largely anecdotal, given what we’ve already reported about the Obama administration’s handling of the auto bailout, such speculation does have considerable grounds for support.

    While that last point is leaves room for debate, the details contained in the Barofsky report are not. As Barofsky points out, the Obama administration was given an advance copy, and “Treasury [the Obama Treasury Department] might not agree with how the audit’s conclusions portray the Auto Team’s decision making or with the lessons that SIGTARP has drawn from those facts, but it should be made clear that Treasury has not challenged the essential underlying facts upon which those conclusions are based.”

    Included among those undisputed facts:

    -“[D]ealerships were retained because they were … minority- or woman-owned dealerships”;

    -Thousands of jobs were lost, unnecessarily, due specifically to Obama’s “mandate for shared sacrifice”;

    -A disproportionate number of Obama-forced closings were of rural dealerships, in areas unfriendly to Obama, even though such closures could “jeopardize the return to profitability” for GM and Chrysler.

    The media, of course, remain mute about these serious allegations in the Barofsky report. They have limited their coverage to the job loss numbers and tried to place the blame on Treasury Secretary Turbo-Tax Tim Geithner.

    For now.

    Before long, we’ll be reading that it was somehow Bush’s fault.

  24. Thought some here might like to read this. Turns out life is NOT a bitch and then you die. In fact, most doomsday predictions are FALSE.

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.02/ffsimon_pr.html

  25. Newspaper Chain’s New Business Plan: Copyright Suits

    Steve Gibson has a plan to save the media world’s financial crisis — and it’s not the iPad.

    Borrowing a page from patent trolls,</bI the CEO of fledgling Las Vegas-based Righthaven has begun buying out the copyrights to newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that re-post those articles without permission. And he says he’s making money

    Read More http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/07/copyright-trolling-for-dollars/#ixzz0uWDc8FDj

    • I think this fits well with Peter’s observation the other day.

      If you assume some privilege should exist regarding protection, does the current system serve that purpose?

      I would say absolutely not.

      This and others you have cited are good examples of how folks with no moral character will abuse something to the point that eventually it is destroyed.

      As I have tried to explain before, it is not the thing that is bad, it is the nature of “some” men to desire an easy way out, to fool nature and use the thing to abuse others.

      So you say get rid of the thing, whether it be copyrights or govt. I say that if “some” men are weak and/or evil enough to use the thing badly, they are also bad enough to reintroduce the thing in anyway they can.

      Thus we go round and round. Eliminate it, control it, eliminate it, control it. Both of which are impossible.

      • JAC

        If you assume some privilege should exist regarding protection, does the current system serve that purpose?

        I would say “What Right are you protecting” that justifies the use or potential use of violence (because that is what “protecting” requires).

        This and others you have cited are good examples of how folks with no moral character will abuse something to the point that eventually it is destroyed.

        BINGO, JAC BING

        YOU
        CANNOT
        ABUSE
        A
        RIGHT.

        Thus, this cannot be a Right but an attack on others Rights

        • BF

          I am finding your logic very twisted these days.

          I said “privilege”, not right.

          But lets chase your rabbit. It seems to me a right most certainly can be abused, that is why we have ethics and morals.

          Your non initiation of violence is an ethical standard that keeps you from abusing your exercising of your rights.

          OR

          You could abuse various “privileges” that stem from your rights. Such as driving in a dangerous manner, thus causing govt to impose licensing and training, instead of letting anyone drive.

          • JAC,

            My logic is fine –it is your subjective beliefs that are confounding you.

            You cannot abuse a Right – that is its meaning Right not a wrong!

            It is merely your subjective opinion that another persons exercise of THEIR rights is an example of abuse TO YOU. But you have NO RIGHT to judge THEIR RIGHT.

            Re: Driving. It is NOT a right to endanger other people.

            Government imposing licenses does NOT SOLVE THIS PROBLEM, thus claiming it was instituted to “solve” dangerous driving is irrational.

            Further, ANYONE CAN DRIVE it is your RIGHT. As generally typical, most people do not have a clue where and why licensing exists.

            I was driving a vehicle when I was 10 years old, and drove right past a police man and he smiled and waved at me. Bet that just confuses you to why, right?

  26. I just want to scream but the unprincipled liars are going to win -aren’t they?

    Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Insurance Mandate as a Tax
    By ROBERT PEAR
    Published: July 16, 2010

    WASHINGTON — When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”

    And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

    Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.

    Under the legislation signed by President Obama in March, most Americans will have to maintain “minimum essential coverage” starting in 2014. Many people will be eligible for federal subsidies to help them pay premiums.

    In a brief defending the law, the Justice Department says the requirement for people to carry insurance or pay the penalty is “a valid exercise” of Congress’s power to impose taxes.

    Congress can use its taxing power “even for purposes that would exceed its powers under other provisions” of the Constitution, the department said. For more than a century, it added, the Supreme Court has held that Congress can tax activities that it could not reach by using its power to regulate commerce.

    While Congress was working on the health care legislation, Mr. Obama refused to accept the argument that a mandate to buy insurance, enforced by financial penalties, was equivalent to a tax.

    “For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,” the president said last September, in a spirited exchange with George Stephanopoulos on the ABC News program “This Week.”

    When Mr. Stephanopoulos said the penalty appeared to fit the dictionary definition of a tax, Mr. Obama replied, “I absolutely reject that notion.”

    Congress anticipated a constitutional challenge to the individual mandate. Accordingly, the law includes 10 detailed findings meant to show that the mandate regulates commercial activity important to the nation’s economy. Nowhere does Congress cite its taxing power as a source of authority.

    Under the Constitution, Congress can exercise its taxing power to provide for the “general welfare.” It is for Congress, not courts, to decide which taxes are “conducive to the general welfare,” the Supreme Court said 73 years ago in upholding the Social Security Act.

    Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, described the tax power as an alternative source of authority.

    “The Commerce Clause supplies sufficient authority for the shared-responsibility requirements in the new health reform law,” Mr. Pfeiffer said. “To the extent that there is any question of additional authority — and we don’t believe there is — it would be available through the General Welfare Clause.”

    The law describes the levy on the uninsured as a “penalty” rather than a tax. The Justice Department brushes aside the distinction, saying “the statutory label” does not matter. The constitutionality of a tax law depends on “its practical operation,” not the precise form of words used to describe it, the department says, citing a long line of Supreme Court cases.

    Moreover, the department says the penalty is a tax because it will raise substantial revenue: $4 billion a year by 2017, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    In addition, the department notes, the penalty is imposed and collected under the Internal Revenue Code, and people must report it on their tax returns “as an addition to income tax liability.”

    Because the penalty is a tax, the department says, no one can challenge it in court before paying it and seeking a refund.

    Jack M. Balkin, a professor at Yale Law School who supports the new law, said, “The tax argument is the strongest argument for upholding” the individual-coverage requirement.

    Mr. Obama “has not been honest with the American people about the nature of this bill,” Mr. Balkin said last month at a meeting of the American Constitution Society, a progressive legal organization. “This bill is a tax. Because it’s a tax, it’s completely constitutional.”

    Mr. Balkin and other law professors pressed that argument in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in one of the pending cases.

    Opponents contend that the “minimum coverage provision” is unconstitutional because it exceeds Congress’s power to regulate commerce.

    “This is the first time that Congress has ever ordered Americans to use their own money to purchase a particular good or service,” said Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah.

    In their lawsuit, Florida and other states say: “Congress is attempting to regulate and penalize Americans for choosing not to engage in economic activity. If Congress can do this much, there will be virtually no sphere of private decision-making beyond the reach of federal power.”

    In reply, the administration and its allies say that a person who goes without insurance is simply choosing to pay for health care out of pocket at a later date. In the aggregate, they say, these decisions have a substantial effect on the interstate market for health care and health insurance.

    In its legal briefs, the Obama administration points to a famous New Deal case, Wickard v. Filburn, in which the Supreme Court upheld a penalty imposed on an Ohio farmer who had grown a small amount of wheat, in excess of his production quota, purely for his own use.

    The wheat grown by Roscoe Filburn “may be trivial by itself,” the court said, but when combined with the output of other small farmers, it significantly affected interstate commerce and could therefore be regulated by the government as part of a broad scheme regulating interstate commerce.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/health/policy/18health.html

    • Seriously, if you can claim a General Welfare Clause-is there anything they can’t do.

      • V.H.

        The answer is that when you combine interstate commerce and general welfare, there is virtually nothing they can’t do.

        There may be a few things, but generally those have to be shown to violate the bill of rights or directly conflict with other constitutional restrictions.

        And by the way, there is no such thing as a “general welfare” clause. It was the tag line on the clause regarding taxation. The SCOTUS interpretation of this provision has been an abomination and direct assault on Liberty, let alone the legacy our founders left us.

        • Okay, I’m counting 1,2,3 …. wonder how far I will get before Buck shows up. 🙂

          How do you interpret this tag line-I can’t help but feel that the words as written are extremely broad and I don’t know how the founders meant for them to be interpreted.

          • V.H.

            Those that have looked at this hare, and I am using one Rob Natelson’s comments here, show that this style of writing was common in the time. Especially in bylaws and other such constructs.

            It is like a salutation if you will. Such as we do this for the specific reasons stated and the good of the order. The last is tied to the first. It is a flourish to say that the particulars are viewed by us as for the “greater welfare”.

            Also of note is that fact that several initial SCOTUS rulings struck down laws that gave special privilege because they were not “general” in nature.

            General Welfare in this case would mean for ALL, EQUALLY.

            The real crux is that the wiggle room provided by the “commerce clause” is enough, given the courts expansion of that provision. Notice that the Obama admin leans on the “Wickard” case, where in the govt is given authority to stop you from growing food for your own consumption. Because it affects their control over interstate commerce.

            I enjoy my discussions with Buck and have learned some legal philosophy from him. But I couldn’t belong to the same fraternity as he does. I find it full of the most unprincipled people.

            • I will need some time to process this info 🙂 I did note that it specifically said GW of the United States which seems to limit this to taxes that support the whole country not individuals.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Was I just called unprincipled?? 🙂

              VH, JAC is absolutely correct that there is no general welfare clause under the Constitution. As a result, Congress cannot act for the general welfare. However, Congress most certainly can impose taxes to provide for the general welfare:

              “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States”

              • Okay, so how is taxing people to pay for welfare and health insurance and such related to the whole and not the individual.

              • Or please explain the difference between “acting for” and “providing for”

            • Man, I just thought about this -it is really gonna make me angry if our Country and our Constitution has been completely destroyed because the Founding Fathers were being polite.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                VH, you seem to think that the Founders themselves agreed on what the language of the Constitution meant!

                At the time of the drafting there were two basic views on this clause — a narrow interpretation (Congress can only tax and spend if related to some other enumerated power in the Constitution) and a broad interpretation (Congress is able to tax and spend for the general welfare without regard to other enumerated powers).

                There was no consensus even then! As caselaw developed over the years a broad interpretation was adopted and Congress was found to have a plenary power to impose taxes and spend for the general welfare.

              • No, I’m aware that there were disagreements. one nut I know of wanted centralized power-I just don’t agree that case law should be used to interpret the Constitution-I think they should have to go directly to the Constitution every time. Using case law in my opinion allows a gradual loosing and broadening of the original meaning.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I understand your frustration, but they do go to the text of the Constitution every single time. The problem is that the text is not clear and must be applied to a given fact patter. This is where caselaw comes in to play – how has the text been applied to similar situations?

              • I understand the reasoning but the result is still the same.

              • Buck, JAC and V.H.

                The Founders did not write the Constitution.

                They wrote the Articles of Confederation.

                Madison wrote the Constitution in contradiction to the Articles.

              • Arrg,

                Sorry, not Madison Hamilton

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Actually I believe it was Gouverneur Morris who actually wrote the final draft!

              • Buck, BF and V.H.

                From Answer.com

                Authors of the US Constitution

                A man named Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania was in charge of the committee to draft the final copy of the Constitution. Other men who had much to do with writing the Constitution included John Dickinson, Gouverneur Morris, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Edmund Randolph, James Madison, Roger Sherman, James Wilson, and George Wythe. Morris was given the task of putting all the convention’s resolutions and decisions into polished form. Morris actually “wrote” the Constitution. The original copy of the document is preserved in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.

                Jacob Shallus who, at the time, was assistant clerk of the Pennsylvania State Assembly, and whose office was in the same building in which the Convention was held, was given the task of engrossing the Constitution prior to its being signed.

    • In the words of Joe Wilson: “YOU LIE”

    • OK, I just have to comment on these two pieces of logic presented by our Govt attorney’s.

      “Moreover, the department says the penalty is a tax because it will raise substantial revenue: $4 billion a year by 2017, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

      In addition, the department notes, the penalty is imposed and collected under the Internal Revenue Code, and people must report it on their tax returns “as an addition to income tax liability.””

      First, if everyone complies then there is Zero revenue. So how could it be a tax if it generates Zero revenue?

      Did you know that the Govt considers a deduction as a “Tax Expense” in its records. This is because the tax otherwise collected by law, is reduced by the deduction. So if a “penalty” is not collected then is it shown as a “Tax Revenue” on the govt books? After all, it represents an amount to be collected that is not part of the general tax collected by law.

      Second. Years ago Congress forced the U.S. Forest Service to provide a community with funds to build a Gondola to a ski area. So does that mean that the Gondola was actually a forest and not a gondola?

      I agree that if this wasn’t so damn sad it would be funny. All I can think of is Keystone Cops.

      Or perhaps the Abbot and Costello routine of Who’s on First.

  27. Entertaining 8min video I found at newsbusters

    http://yesbuthowever.com/media-denial-musical-tribute-9000030/

  28. Wonder where they got the money to afford this 😦

    “Bad credit? GM buys AmeriCredit to do sub-prime loans
    09:59 AM

    Has the recession left your credit a little frayed? Maybe GM now can put you in this 2011 Camaro SS anyway.
    CAPTION
    By GM, Wieck
    Aching for a Camaro, but your credit is a little spotty? General Motors now has a deal for you. It announced this morning it was buying AmeriCredit., an auto finance company with a strong sub-prime loan specialty. Owning a finance company also will let GM do more leases.

    The deal is for $3.5 billion in cash (thank you, Uncle Sam) and will close in the fourth quarter. GM has lost sales because it owned no so-called “captive” finance unit to step up for sub-prime buyers — who are 40% of all car buyers. GM and Chrysler are the only major automakers without their own finance units to support sales. GM pioneered the idea of a car company having its own loan unit, but now-independent Ally (formerly GMAC) is pretty much out of sub-prime car loans and leasing as it digs out of its mortgage mess.

    “For some time, our dealers and customers have said that not having an in-house finance arm hurt our ability to offer sales and leases,” said GM CEO Ed Whitacre on a conference call. “As a result, we were not as competitive as we could be … Now we are going to fix that.”

    GM and AmeriCredit have run a non-prime credit program together since September 2009 that has increased loans to sub-prime GM customers and the company already does business with most GM dealers.

    GM says about 4% of its buyers now are sub-prime — up, but still a significantly smaller percentage than the other big automakers, so the company has been losing buyers to other companies that can get the customer a loan.

    While sub-prime loans helped sink the home loan business, its long been a big share of auto loans and lenders are experienced in making it work. The obvious difference: If you don’t pay, there’s no expensive, complicated foreclosure process. The repo man will have the car before morning.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2010/07/gm-buys-americredit-to-increase-leases-subprime-loans/1

    • Wow! Last year ‘dey in Bankruptcy. Now ‘dey buyin’ banks!

      Obama taking over their Bankruptcy DID do some good! 😀

    • 8wfkjweer0629 says:

      Okay, lemme get this straight – they(GM) used faulty business practices that resulted in bankruptcy.

      So to reward them for their mistakes, the government borrows a bunch of money, bails them out, and forces us to foot the bill until they can get back on their feet.

      Now GM owns a bank and due to the enormous pressure they face, are giving loans to people so they can buy cars that they’re already paying for via taxes.

      As far as I am concerned, they should be giving cars away for free.

      I’m tempted to go to a GM dealership, get a loan for and buy an escalade, immediately take it to a chop shop, sell it for a fraction of it’s worth, and report it stolen.

      When GM sues me for the value of an SUV they cannot find/repossess, I’ll file bankruptcy and include the expense as a deduction on my taxes.

      I figure it’s fair game at this point.

      🙂

      • Don’t start buying into the idea the GM had faulty business practices.

        The fact is, you would have done worse.

        They had an impossible situation thrust upon them. The government allowed employees to the ability to kidnap and ransom car factories.

        GM had only two choices, pay the ransom or close.

        They paid the ransom, over and over again, until the ransom exceed the price of the cars they made. Then they were forced to close the doors.

        The government – having prevented GM from protecting their factories, now faced the Unions losing their jobs – so the government had to try to fix the damage they caused in the first place – and bailed out GM.

        When government by force distorts the marketplace – it will ALWAYS create an even more deeper challenge in the market place somewhere else.

        • Birdman says:

          Well said Black Flag.

          GM was totally captive to the Union demands. The Company gave in over and over again because they could not take a strike and stay in business.

          The same happened in the steel industry. Government (Bush) gave them a temporary reprieve to allow the industry to consolodate and save Union jobs.

        • 8wfkjweer0629 says:

          Okay, lemme try to get this straight again then – they(Government) forced GM to use faulty business practices that resulted in bankruptcy.

          So to compensate for their mistake of interfering with the so-called free market, the government borrows a bunch of money, bails them out, and forces us, through coercion and violence, to foot the bill until they can get back on their feet.

          Now GM owns a bank and due to the enormous pressure they STILL face, are giving loans to people so they can buy cars that they’re already paying for via taxes.

          BF – “When government by force distorts the marketplace – it will ALWAYS create an even more deeper challenge in the market place somewhere else.”

          8wfkjweer0629 – We’ve been over this before and I agree 1000%. In fact, I’ve made the same point to others using Hayek’s Nobel speech as a reference.

          BF – “Don’t start buying into the idea the GM had faulty business practices.”

          8wfkjweer0629 – Oh, they had faulty business practices alright, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation….Not that it was entirely their fault.

          BF – “They had an impossible situation thrust upon them. The government allowed employees to the ability to kidnap and ransom car factories.

          GM had only two choices, pay the ransom or close.

          They paid the ransom, over and over again, until the ransom exceed the price of the cars they made. Then they were forced to close the doors.”

          BF – “The fact is, you would have done worse.”

          8wfkjweer0629 – Worse? Perhaps. I know what I would have done if I were in charge of a major auto maker…not that it’s ever up to one person, but…

          I would absolutely refuse to EVER sign ANY contract with ANY union. I would not allow my company to unionize. If they tried to form a union and/or strike, I would fire/replace every last one of them. They should have shown up to work.

          If government coercion did not allow me to do as such, I would be satisfied with whatever billions of FRN’s that were in my bank account and would sell the company at wholesale price or to the highest bidder.

          Under no circumstances would I allow my company to be controlled, manipulated and/or held for ransom by a union. I would let it tank first and start another company with my billions, …or just retire and go fishing.

          Perhaps you can help me understand something, Mr.Flag.

          How did Ford pull it off? Weren’t they subject to the same government regs?

          I remember watching Ford lay off a bunch of their workers(some of them friends) in the years prior to the bailouts. At the time, I dismissed it as a consequence of continuing to produce gas guzzlers when the demand was shifting to more efficient vehicles.

          What I realize now is that it was likely prepatory avoidance of bankruptcy.

          So what is the difference? What did Ford do to make the difference? What did Ford know that the others didn’t?

          • 8wfk

            We are “philosophical cousins” so don’t take my post as “kicking your shin”, but more as a way to highlight other peoples misunderstandings.

            Ford resisted – to much short term pain – the demand of the Unions to fund -without limit- health benefits of retired workers.

            GM in 2009 paid more money for health benefits for retired GM workers then the entire State of New York paid in health services.

            This was for people who no longer worked for GM. It did not include the people who did work for GM.

            Ford -essentially still a family run business, so had the generational focus- knew that such a thing was unsustainable for the long run so they bet they could suffer the short run risk -that is not die while fighting for the long term- they would make it out.

            By the skin on chicken’s teeth – they did! Good for them.

            • Black Order says:

              BF – “We are “philosophical cousins” so don’t take my post as “kicking your shin”, but more as a way to highlight other peoples misunderstandings.”

              BO – I didn’t take it as “kicking my shin” at all. It’s all good. No worries.

              And you know, it’s partially your fault that we’re “philosophical cousins”. Perhaps you should have let me win a couple of arguments over the last year. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a rebel. But now I’m a rebel armed with a bit more knowledge. 🙂

              And your response was rather enlightening. It definitely makes sense of it. Thank you.

              Resisting the unreasonable demands of a union vs paying “more money for health benefits for retired workers then the entire State of New York paid in health services” on top of your already high overhead…puts it into perspective.

              BF – “By the skin on chicken’s teeth – they did! Good for them.”

              BO – Good for them indeed – Good to the tune of $9B.

        • I agree, altho the unions do not tell the whole story. Manufacturing has been leaving the US for a long, long time, and its not all on the union’s shoulders. (Dont take this as defending unions in any way, unions became worthless as soon as they had government backing).

          The EPA and other regulatory agencies have hampered our production in a host of ways, increasing costs, restricting where they can make stuff, and what they can make, and how they can make it.

          Ridiculous trade agreements with other countries having unintended consequences that affect the cost of materials and a host of other factors.

          High taxes, both on profits and property, as well as on labor drives manufacturing elsewhere, or makes them less competitive if they stay.

          Pressure that affect innovation, either because money is thrown at funding a certain type of technology that may not be the answer for the future and the company chases it, or because pressure is put in place by the government to coerce a certain type of R&D. Or, just the killing of R&D in the typical budget. It all effects viability of an industry and makes it less competitive. People joke about “where are my flying cars” because thats what people thought we would be in by this century, based on the innovation pace the country used to be on. I submit that government involvement in innovation is a big part of that. Ridiculous funding of social safety nets and the debts that come with it are an even larger factor.

      • USWeapon says:

        OK, I am cool with the fact that you don’t want to be identified, so you use a fake email address and a name that is a random tap of the keys. Could you just pick some name and go with it. I really don’t care what it is. I won’t try to identify you, but it is difficult to respond using your name when it is random letters. 😉

        • Bottom8rhfgj67BlacK89sdfg89Line4f7f5Order says:

          I’m just goofing off. I figured it would be obvious at some point.

          I didn’t realize it would annoy you so much either, Wep.

          Perhaps I should go back to “Bottom Line” or “Black Order”?

          • USWeapon says:

            No, Please don’t think it “bothers” me at all! I just wanted to reply to you but didn’t want to type out that randomness. You are obviously free to use whatever you like, and I didn’t mean to come across as saying otherwise. Just wanted to ensure that it is easy to discuss things with you. You add good insight, and I wouldn’t want anyone not debating with you based on the tough to copy name, lol

            • Black Order says:

              Good point. I hadn’t considered that.

              I’ll try and stop making things any more complicated then they have to be. lol.

              And I’m glad to know my insight is appreciated. Thank you. I’ve always felt appreciative of SUFA because I am learning a lot from you fine people. It’s good to feel I am reciprocating at some capacity.

              And for whatever it’s worth, I know I have never filled out an email address(for a while I didn’t even have one). Don’t think that is anything against SUFA or you personally. I don’t mind you having it(I filled it in correctly when I posted this, BTW), it’s just that as a general rule, I don’t fill out anything with correct personal information unless I have to.

              I.E. – There are things like grocery membership cards all over the US filled out with names like Manfred von Richthofen(“The Red Baron”)

              I.E. – My cell is registered to a bogus name.

              I.E. – I will do things like make up a character, and then go get a bunch of free online accounts everywhere in that name. If someone wants to start stalking/digging into my information, they are digging into a literal figment of my imagination.

              Right now, I’m Gnazit Yerflmeen from Portland Oregon. I find it hilarious that people I didn’t go to high school with keep signing my classmates page.

              • I am the exact opposite, I use my real name and website, etc. all over the internet in an attempt to drive traffic to my site. Of course, my real name LOOKS like an alias, which helps with a certain level of anonimity. 😛

                I have toyed around with fake IDs, but will likely only use those once my real identity is hunted because of being a threat to government power, if that were to ever happen, lol.

              • Black Order says:

                Jon Smith – “Of course, my real name LOOKS like an alias, which helps with a certain level of anonimity.”

                BO – Until I read you mentioning once that you use your real name, I thought it was a BS name.

                If I were you I couldn’t resist messing with people. Every time I introduced myself I would verbally hesitate and/or studder to make it sound like I was BS-ing. That’d be hella fun.

                In terms of anonymity, you’re fortunate to have such a common name.

                Trying to find you without your numbers would be like trying to find a needle in a huge pile of needles.

                I’m not so lucky. My last name is rather uncommon. There are only five people in the world that share my first AND last names. I am the only one in the US. The other four are in Belgium. Two of them are father and son.

                I’ve talked to one of them. After doing so I got to thinking about how easily we could manipulate the circumstances.

                Good thing I’m an honest man.

          • Black Order and USWep (and anyone else, of course)

            http://www.fakenamegenerator.com/

            These guys are neat. You get a “real address” a “real phone” and other things to use on those dumb “please register before I give you free stuff” web sites.

            I use this a lot (oppss! A personal secret is out!!)

  29. James is making more and more sense every day !

    “We got a three-pronged strategy to keep the House–it’s called the father, son, and holy ghost.”
    — Democratic strategist James Carville on the Dems’ chances at retaining their House majority after November

  30. V.H. and everyone else:

    I offer the following reading as part of two topics we have discussed.

    One, the Constitution, and;

    Two, the formation of a new govt model.

    The article discusses Madison’s search for a “better way” and how he arrived at the choices that became our Republic.

    http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/summer97/madison.html

  31. Hi Ya’ll 🙂

    Been very busy in my new very country surroundings. Dad’s been canning pickles and beets, I’ve been getting my stuff together and doing some scouting for deer season. Getting some good pictures, enjoying the peace and quiet, not to mention the community is far more friendly than where I was.

    I can say that I have very little stress now! My dogs love the freedom and space, and most importantly, Dad is much happier as well. As soon as we get some cooler weather, I start dropping coyotes for the local cattle farmer. As Black Flag has mentioned in the past, bartering can be very useful. Life is MUCH better!

    Peace my friends, I will be on more often in the future.

    G!

    • G, glad to see you finally out here with the country folks and away from that nasty city! You have probably added years to your life just with this move.

      And if not, at least you will die happier! 😉

  32. One for yous guys …

    “Any government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul” – George Bernard Shaw

  33. I only have a little bit before I have to go to the first game of the Series. But I have questions partly brought on by ecents of the past few days.

    I thought when The Messiah was elected, one of his messianic titles given to him was the great conciliator. He was supposed to bring all the races together and all sing Kumbaya and tiptoe through the tulips.

    Well, by cracky, this is the funniest job of conciliation I’ve ever seen!

    Just look at the racial events just of the past few days, much less THE REST of his 1 1/2 years. He makes a racial event out of everything. We have lots of examples before us, such as the Black Panthers not being prosecuted for the most blatant case of intimidation at the polls I have ever seen. The Harvard Prof buddy of his acting a fool and getting his ass arrested. And accusing AZ of racial profiling for enforcing Fed immigration Law.

    And these are just a few. I thought the conciliator was supposed to bring the races of America together. Not show favoritism to his own and every one BUT the White one.

    And don’t even get me started about the apologies on behalf of all of us for OUR Nation’s transgressions against the world since we were still colonies of the British!

    Am I wrong, or does it seem to others also like this (pardon my French) Son-of-a-Bitch is trying to tear this Nation apart instead of bringing us together?

    Is it obvious to anyone else that he does not have a single frickin’ clue how to Govern? Nor how to do anything else positive?

    Does it seem like the more the public is against his policies, the more he tries to push and/or bully them through anyway like a petulant child?

    I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m the one with the problem and he is what he always claimed he was during the election.

    And maybe if I ate enough eggs, birds would fly out of my ass too! 🙂

    • It’s the old bait & switch trick, Esom !

      Divide and conquer is more like it.

    • Cyndi P says:

      Come on Esom, you didn’t really believe all that messianic bullshit, did you? 😉

      Anita is right. Its the old bait and switch. Works every time.

      Divide and conquer is right. Barack the Destroyer.

    • Thank You Anita. That was a lot more eloquent and well thought out than anything I said above.

      And more than that, it was absolutely true! Though I don’t know how much good it will do.

      The New Washington D.C. Mafia is gettin’ dug in tighter than a Alabama tick on a Hound Dog as fast as they can. Won’t be long before there won’t BE any removing him.

  34. TexasChem says:

    Sharia (Islamic) Law in New Jersey Court: Muslim husband rapes, beats, sexually abuses wife, judge sees no sexual assault because Islam forbids wives to refuse sex!

    Here. Now. Sharia law in New Jersey. When Obama went to Al Azhar University to speak to the ummah (worldwide Muslim community) last June and made the outrageous statement that “the struggle for women’s equality continues in many aspects of American life,” little did we know what a warning it was. How prescient. It’s here, the degradation and subjugation of women under the sharia. Foreign law, the most vile, in our nation’s courts.

    Luckily, the appellate court overturned this decision, and a Sharia ruling by an American court has not been allowed to stand. This time.

    “Cultural Defense Accepted as to Nonconsensual Sex in New Jersey Trial Court, Rejected on Appeal,” by Eugene Volokh in The Volokh Conspiracy, July 23 (thanks to CameoRed):

    Robert posted this:

    Sharia in New Jersey: Muslim husband rapes wife, judge sees no sexual assault because Islam forbids wives to refuse sex
    Muhammad said: “If a husband calls his wife to his bed [i.e. to have sexual relation] and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning” (Bukhari 4.54.460).

    He also said: “By him in Whose Hand lies my life, a woman can not carry out the right of her Lord, till she carries out the right of her husband. And if he asks her to surrender herself [to him for sexual intercourse] she should not refuse him even if she is on a camel’s saddle” (Ibn Majah 1854).

    And now a New Jersey judge sees no evidence that a Muslim committed sexual assault of his wife — not because he didn’t do it, but because he was acting on his Islamic beliefs: “This court does not feel that, under the circumstances, that this defendant had a criminal desire to or intent to sexually assault or to sexually contact the plaintiff when he did. The court believes that he was operating under his belief that it is, as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited.”

    More here.

    Further, I wanted Atlas readers to get David Yerushalmi’s take. David is my outstanding lawyer in my Detroit free speech case and a leading expert on sharia law. Here are his observations:

    OK, the court didn’t actually say Shariah, but “his culture” and “his perception of his religion”. Here’s the story in a nutshell (the lengthy appeals court decision is attached and I’ve excerpted it below):

    Young Moroccan couple wed in arranged marriage (remember Morocco is supposed to be super modern with super reformed Islam with super benevolent western educated king [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_VI_of_Morocco]). Almost immediately, the young couple come to America where husband (H) is accountant. Apparently his doting mother is here already or comes with the young couple (if you read the opinion, you’ll see this is one classy mother-in-law who was very much a part of the abuse). H immediately begins “punishing” his wife (W) and sexually assaulting her during intercourse. In effect, he sexually assaults her (the term for raping your wife) because she refused to be abused during relations and said “no”.

    During the sexual assaults and beatings, W is given refuge by Pakistani nurse from hospital where she was treated. The nurse subsequently initiated a reconciliation between W and H through the couples’ imam when she learns of W’s pregnancy. The very day W reconciles and returns to H, the beatings continue and imam takes in W. At that time, but all within a few weeks—the marriage lasted only a few months, H tires of W and “divorces” his wife per Shariah via witnesses [DY: H had earlier that day divorced W via oral declaration alone but this type of Shariah divorce must wait until the now pregnant W gives birth; thus, divorce is redone with witnesses w/the imam to have it take effect immediately].

    While criminal complaint is pending, W brings action in civil court per NJ statute protecting women from domestic violence and seeks restraining order. Evidentiary hearing is held.

    Trial court finds: [1] man sexually assaulted wife but [2] court will issue no restraining order because man did it thinking he could abuse his wife if she misbehaved and refused his sexually demands per Islamic law.

    In other words, the court held that man’s religious beliefs were sufficient to avoid the effects of NJ law to protect battered women. Nice, huh?

    The kicker: during the trial, H’s attorney apparently called the Imam as H’s witness (what would you expect, an Imam to testify for this beaten/raped woman?) but apparently the trial judge was not happy with W’s attorney’s cross examination and asked a few of his own questions. Here is how the appellate court describes the Imam’s testimony to the judge’s queries:

    At the conclusion of this testimony, in response to the judge’s questions, the Imam testified regarding Islamic law as it relates to sexual behavior. The Imam confirmed that a wife must comply with her husband’s sexual demands, because the husband is prohibited from obtaining sexual satisfaction elsewhere. However, a husband was forbidden to approach his wife “like any animal.” The Imam did not definitively answer whether, under Islamic law, a husband must stop his advances if his wife said “no.”

    [Note: I am willing to bet W’s attorney knew nothing about Shariah and was afraid to penetrate this line of questioning or to provide any expert of his own.]

    Now, I believe I know why per Shariah the imam equivocated if you assume he was not just hiding the ball from the court (a big assumption I grant you but I’m feeling charitable this evening). Thus, giving the imam the benefit of the doubt, per Shariah a women is obligated to satisfy her husband’s sexual demands: “It is obligatory for a wife to obey her husband as is customary in allowing him full lawful [DY: there are times when Shariah prohibits marital sex—e.g., relating to menstrual cycle] sexual enjoyment of her person.” (See, e.g., Reliance of the Traveller, Marriage, m10.12 and commentary from Jordanian Mufti, Sheikh Nuh ali Salman, at N(3).)

    An obligation or wajib is the highest order or rubric of affirmative Shariah dictate (there are the less affirmative duties, which fall under the category of ‘praiseworthy’ and the Shariah-neutral rubric of ‘permissive’ as well as the prohibitive rubrics of ‘forbidden’ and ‘disliked/abhorred’). Insofar as the woman has a wajib/obligation to satisfy her husband, the resulting ruling follows per Shariah’s fiqh (jurisprudential rules): a wife is “rebellious” if she refuses her husband’s sexual demands (because she refuses to comply with a wajib) if she if physically able and there are no Shariah-based impediments. The next step in the Shariah rulings also flows logically from the antecedent ruling that a wife must obey her husband even to the point that a wife may leave the home only with the husband’s permission (Reliance, Marriage, m.10.3-10.4). Finally, Shariah’s fiqh combines the two concepts (the wife’s wajib and the man’s control over her) into one by providing a husband some leeway if not encouragement to beat his “rebellious wife” to bring her into compliance (note that neither the husband nor court may force a wife to “service” her husband through cooking and cleaning; only sex is obligatory). (Reliance, Marriage, m.10.12 (commentary N [Jordanian Mufti Nuh] (4)(c)))

    Again, granting the imam a sizable benefit of the doubt, his equivocation on the question whether the husband is allowed to force himself on his wife I believe stems from the fact that there is no explicit source in Shariah for “permitting” a husband to force sex on his wife (at least not one I can find—although there are some individual fatawa [Shariah rulings from individual imams] that permit it—but there is nothing approaching ijma or consensus so these fatawa are just individual rulings that the Shariah faithful can accept or not). However, it is clear that there is no penalty for it which of course is the source of authority for the fatawa I have seen permitting marital rape. You can see the same equivocation more clearly in the form of misdirection represented here in this IOL response to the straightforward question posed whether Shariah recognizes marital rape or sexual assault. http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503545650 Bottom line: no, there is no penalty for marital rape. (The IOL answer is presented as a “good Shariah marriage should never come to this” but in truth the answer remains, no. A man cannot be punished for raping or otherwise sexually assaulting his wife as long as it is “permissible sex” under Shariah [e.g., not during menses].)

    On the policy/legal aspects. Note for those of you who know of my firm’s work on drafting state laws we call Void as Against Public Policy which make explicit that courts cannot rely on foreign laws that violate fundamental federal or state constitutional liberties, this case would have been easier for the appellate court had our draft legislation been law in NJ (at the very least Shariah’s permission for a husband to rape his wife is an Equal Protection violation if not a violation of her own Free Exercise liberty). I am pleased to say our draft legislation has become law in Tennessee and Louisiana. I am hopeful soon in Florida and other states. However, let me be very clear. Our draft legislation would not be necessary under any serious analysis of the First Amendment. The NJ trial court erred grotesquely and the appellate court, while reaching the correct result, also erred in even suggesting this Free Exercise argument (i.e., the state may not punish Ahmed for raping his wife because he was acting w/in the dictates of his religious law, Shariah) was of any merit whatsoever.

    Thus, …

    On the appellate court’s constitutional analysis: I think the court’s analysis of First Amendment Free Exercise law, while technically correct, was absurd and wholly out of place. It takes all of five seconds to analyze whether a free exercise claim would prevent the state (through the court) from imposing a restraining order on a violent husband. This is not akin to a polygamy or peyote free exercise claim where there is no third party victim (in polygamy cases of old there was typically no claim by an earlier wife of harm—all parties were practicing Mormons). This would be akin to a court analyzing whether our good friend and champion Andy McCarthy’s prosecution of the Blind Sheikh violated the imam’s free exercise rights because the Sheikh was religiously obligated to do what he did. Absurd. (State imposed criminal punishments and civilly imposed restraining orders would pass muster even under the so-called Strict Scrutiny analysis: a compelling state interest and a narrowly tailored law to achieve the state interest.) I assume this court felt it necessary to go through this absurd exercise because it was ruling against Shariah and Muslim custom and wanted to liken it to Mormons and polygamy and American Indians and peyote, another sign of the PC gymnastics we as a defensive society/nation go through to impose our own mores/values (assuming they exist any longer in concrete form). Thankfully, the appellate court reached the right result.

    On a lengthy note bene in the form of a short comparative law analysis: it should be stressed that this is another classic example where Islam/Shariah departs radically from the Judeo Christian tradition. Now, I cannot speak directly to Catholic canon on this subject or Christian Ecclesiastical law (although we do know that English common law, carried to the US, has long had a spousal rape exception—that is, husbands cannot be charged with raping their wives), but at least the Judeo portion of the Judeo Christian tradition is absolutely clear.

    According to Jewish law, any form of coerced sexual relations between married couples is absolutely forbidden. (Talmud Bavli, Eruvin 100b: Rami b. Hama citing R. Assi further ruled: “A man is forbidden to compel his wife to the [marital] obligation, since it is said in Scripture: ‘Without consent the soul is not good; and he that hurries with his feet sins’” (Prov. 19:2). (Ba’ailei ha-Nefesh, Sha’ar ha-Kedushah; Code of Jewish Law, Hil. De’ot 5:4; Even ha-Ezer 25:2.)

    Thus, even if the wife is not forced outright, as long as she is not amenable to intercourse, sexual relations are prohibited. (From authoritative Ashkenazi ruling on the Code of Jewish Law: Magen Avraham, Orah Hayyim 240, no. 7; from the leading Jewish mystical source, Kabbalah, Zohar, Bereshit 49b, 148b, Va-yikra 225b.) The greatest Jewish legal authority, the Sephardic Maimonides (known by his Hebrew acronym to Jews as the Rambam), rules, “[Her husband] should not coerce her [to have relations] when she does not desire to do so. Rather, [they should engage in intercourse only] when there is mutual desire and pleasure.” (Maimonides’ Code of Jewish Law, the Mishne Torah, Hil. Ishut [Laws of Women] 15:17.) Further, even if the wife is ambivalent about her desire, relations are forbidden. (Masekhet Kallah Rabbati 1:11; Tur, Orah Hayyim 240 and Even ha-Ezer 25.) Keep in mind that Maimonides is from the 11th-12th centuries and even the most recent of these (Code of the Jewish Law) is from the 15th-16th centuries. Old law is not necessarily bad law and “progressive law” is not necessarily good law. Shariah is not bad because it is old. It is bad because it is bad.

    [An important digression: I make this latter point about old vs. new law because we often hear the criticism of Shariah that it is bad and primitive because it is “Medieval law” as if that is enough to condemn it. But by implication, the person who makes this criticism, is in effect embracing the “progressivist” or Hegelian teaching that Time/History is the one transcendence that saves us from the nihilism of relativism (all morals are relative except that a new moral is better than an old one), which allows the Leftist/Elites to clamor on about “progress” and the latest version of this, “hope and CHANGE”. And, if you give it a half-second’s worth of thought, you’ll realize why the progressivism of the Elite is tyranny [hint: there are no transcendent boundaries only time as a measure of progress]. It also impacts our constitutional jurisprudence. If old is bad simply, then granting the Supreme Court the authority (to which Marbury v Madison effectively opened the door) to “re-interpret” [read: re-write or amend by judicial fiat] the Constitution to mirror the “progress” and “change” in society must be a good thing. That kind of hollows out the originalist/conservative view of the Constitution, no?]

    One of the most authoritative Jewish legal minds of the 12th-13th centuries, also Sephardic, was Nachmanides (common Hebrew acronym, Ramban), who wrote this stirring “Holy Letter” (Iggeret HaKodesh) on the question of conjugal relations:

    When a man has relations [with his wife] he should not do so against her will and he should not rape her; the Divine Presence does not abide in such unions in as much as his intentions in opposition to hers, and she does not consent to his desire. He should not quarrel with her or strike her concerning marital relations. Behold, the Sages said ([Talmud Bavli] Pesahim 49b), “Just as a lion tears [his prey] and devours it and has no shame, so an ‘am ha-‘aretz (ignorant boor) strikes and cohabits and has no shame.” Instead, he should entice her with kind and alluring words and other appropriate and reputable things. He should not have relations with her while she is sleeping because their intentions are not united and they are not of the same mind. Rather, he should wake her and arouse her with conversation. The bottom line is this: when a man is sexually aroused he should make sure that his wife is aroused as well [before having intercourse].

    [Note: I highlight the fact that the two legal and Jewish philosophical giants, Maimonides and Nachmonides, were Sephardic because they lived among Muslims at a time when Islam was ascendant and indeed when Islam was undergoing its own version of “reformation” in large parts of the Muslim world toward a greater adherence to Shariah. This serves to highlight the fact that Shariah, as a philosophic and legal matter, is of no kin to Jewish law/dogma.]

    Now, what is interesting, is that there is a concept of a “rebellious wife” in Jewish law. But once again, like martyrdom, lex talionis, and other subjects I have written on in the way of comparative law between Shariah and Halachah, the Shariah authorities turned the earlier extant Jewish legal concept on its head and distorted it to the point of evil perversion (e.g., a Jewish martyr may not commit any of the three cardinal sins [idol worship, murder, sexual offense] and must be willing to die in passive resistance rather than commit one of these sins—but there is no martyrdom for death in battle or even self-defense—which if done justly are called heroic (the person is not a martyr but a gibor). Thus, the first thing to note is that in Jewish law, unlike in Shariah, there is a parallel concept of a “rebellious husband”. (See, e.g., Code of Jewish Law, Even ha-Ezer 77:1.) The principle at work in the “rebellious husband/wife” concept is that a marriage includes implied mutual promises, one of which is a free and loving conjugal relationship. Thus, according to most Jewish legal authorities, Jewish law empowers a couple (husband and wife equally) to negotiate almost every aspect of their relationship and, for example, set as a condition of marriage that they will have no financial responsibilities or household obligations to each other. However, they cannot set as a precondition to marriage that they will not engage in intimate relations. (Talmud Bavli, Ketubot 56a; Code of Jewish Law, Hil. Ishut 6:10; Even ha-Ezer 38:5 and 69:6. See, however, authorities that hold that a marriage is valid under some conditions even if there is an agreement to abstain from conjugal relations; see, Teshuvot Tashbetz I:94; Ramban to Baba Batra 126b; Havot Ya’ir to Rif, Baba Mezi’a VII, 54a.)

    According to Maimonides, a woman who tells her husband that she no longer permits him to have conjugal relations (as a permanent condition) is classified as a “rebellious wife” (“moredet”). But now look at the difference between Jewish law and Shariah. In Shariah, this state of rebelliousness grants the husband the right to beat his rebellious wife and even to rape her with impunity. In Jewish law, according to Maimonides:

    If a woman prevents her husband from having sexual relations with her, she is called a rebellious wife. [The court] inquires of her as to why she rebelled. If she said, “I am repelled by him and cohabitation with him is impossible for me,” [the court] forces him to divorce her [if she demands a divorce] because a wife is not a prisoner who must consort with a person whom she despises.

    Mishne Torah, Hil. Ishut 14:8. Cf., Code of Jewish Law, Even ha-Ezer 77:2 (where the Jewish court attempts first to effect a reconciliation and then grants a divorce).

    In no case is the woman who refuses to have conjugal relations with her husband forced to do so. Maimonides’ view in this matter is controlling. Thus, R. Moshe b. Yosef of Trani, known as Mabit, states that a woman cannot be compelled to submit to her husband because “she is unlike a captive woman who can be compelled to submit to sexual relations with a man she does not desire.” He compares her conjugal rights to those of food and clothing which her husband is also obligated to provide, and which she can also reject. He also points out that the Torah speaks of “her conjugal rights” (Bible, Book of Ex. 21:10) and not simply of “conjugal rights;” those rights are hers and not her husband’s. (Kiryat Sefer to Hil. Ishut 14.)

    Finally, rape in Jewish law is clearly defined as a crime of violence and not one of the sexual crimes, as we now in “modern society” recognize it to be; specifically, ḥabalah (assault ). (Teshuvot Divrei Yeziv, Even ha-Ezer no. 77; see also Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 74a (where rape is analogized to murder.)) The civil penalties imposed for assault include damages for actual damages, pain, healing, lost wages, and shame. (Talmud Bavli, Baba Kama 83b) The various penalties imposed by Jewish law for assault do not exempt a husband who assaults his wife. While Shariah appears to permit a husband to beat his wife and even to rape her with impunity, and while the English common law might exempt a husband from rape, Jewish law does not.

    • Wow TC this post has so many angles for us to be worried about. Sharia Law in the US, progressivism in the US, political correctness in the US, activist judges in the US…its scary! And people have no problem with a new mosque at ground zero? Be careful what you wish for everybody! This includes non muslim females hooking up with a muslim guy! RIDICULOUS!

  35. http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/07/25/nasas-deep-space-camera-locates-host-earths/?test=latestnews

    We better hurry up and get this new country formed on paper! 🙂

  36. ROAD TRIP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    See ya’ll in a week or two.

    If any of ya are travelin in Central/eastern Montana or the Yellowstone country keep yer eye out for the JAC Gypsy Wagon.

    I’ll be wearin the white straw cowboy hat.

    Good luck, and best wishes until I return.
    JAC

  37. WOO HOO…………….FINALLY…rules of engagement have finally changed at the border in Texaas. With the rise of kidnappings and theft of vehicles on the Texas side and being taken to Mexico unmolested by the Mexican authorites….we can finally, from an official capacity, fight back. The mayor of Laredo has suggested that all residents arm themselves and protect their property. This is the third such mayor that has said this and the Sheriff and Police need the help. This in response to American tourists being robbed at gunpoint, cars stolen and used to barricade streets in Nuevo Laredo, and gunfire everyday on the Mexico side. To help prevent spillover, everyone is told to arm and protect. Back to the Old West days unfortunately….

  38. BF,

    Please explain how your voluntary agreement is a greater evil than, say, violence.

    I did not say your voluntary agreement is a greater evil, I said that corruption can be a greater evil. My argument is that a lie, if used to harm and steal, is a greater evil than properly used violence, such as that used to combat evil. A lie is not always evil or harmful, thus it is not ALWAYS more evil, but violence is not ALWAYS evil either, so there are times where it is not evil or is “less evil” than a lie.

    I do not voluntarily agree to give you anything, I volunteer to trade. According to the terms of the agreement, I own the property I traded for. If you do not give it to me, then it is equal to theft. Such an act is, in fact, considered “violence” according to you. The only difference is that there is a certain element of risk that enters the equasion becuase I CHOSE to do business with you. If you violate that trust, you are not just hurting yourself, you are hurting trust in general with reference to transational relationships. IF you and those like you (meaning dishonest person, which obviously does not include you personally) destroy the confidence in the market or add massive layers of research to market action, you are not helping the market. The market will be slowed down, and you impact a lot mroe than just you and the person you screwed over.

    Violence, then is not being carried out against a non-violent person. You are friggin’ stealing. By your own statement you agree that threat of force in order to recover your property is permissable and is not evil. Carrying out force in defense when you are in the act of recovering property is also not evil.

    You believe that making a law requires force. This is not true. Making a law requires the threat of force. This can be evil, but in the case of theft, threat of force is authorized. In the case of defense, use of force, or violence, is authorized and therefore not evil. As such, a law is not automatically evil, just as violence is not automatically evil. A law is not the use of force, it is simply saying that if you engage in certain violations you will have more than the response of the person you harmed and their friends. It is an ally of the person who is being harmed.

    That is, of course, unless a law is made to either “prevent” something, such as a regulation or restriction, or it is made concerning something that does not involve harm to another. That is the evil of law, not that it uses threat of force, but that it uses threat of force to limit rights. You do not have a right to steal from me or harm me, so a law against those things is not evil. You do have a right to harm yourself or to engage in actions that do not cause harm or limit the rights of others, so a law against those things IS evil.

    Further, you argue that as long as there are great evils, its ok to do little evils- correct?

    No, that is not correct. I argue that combatting great evil is not evil. I also argue that violence is not always evil, not when it is being used to combat evil. I am under the impression that you desire freedom, not that you desire a world free of violence. You have said before that evil and violence will still exist. It is violent to defend oneself against violent or evil people, but it is not evil to do so, thus violence is not inherently evil. It is not a little evil to have a law against theft, anymore than it is a little evil to use threat of force without law against a theif in order to recover one’s property.

    • Jon

      I did not say your voluntary agreement is a greater evil, I said that corruption can be a greater evil. My argument is that a lie, if used to harm and steal, is a greater evil than properly used violence, such as that used to combat evil.

      Please provide such proof or reason for your statement.

      You are arguing that words are violent. I would suggest that it is this idea – the belief that words are violent – that leads to much misguidance and actions of evil.

      “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words cannot hurt me”

      You are trying to excuse your lack of diligence and trust and using violence as punishment and revenge upon those that have lied to you.

      They have NOT done violence on you. You are doing violence on them.

      A lie is not always evil or harmful, thus it is not ALWAYS more evil, but violence is not ALWAYS evil either, so there are times where it is not evil or is “less evil” than a lie.

      Violence on the non-violent is always evil – there is no ‘less or greater’.

      Lying is immoral and despicable – but it is your fault that you got taken. To satisfy you anger at yourself for being stupid you want to beat the other guy up.

      I do not voluntarily agree to give you anything, I volunteer to trade.

      You placed your money or goods in my hand – without any coercion or violence on my part.

      If I had said nothing, and you put it my hand – and then you deemed under your own thinking I was evil could you beat me?

      So if I say something, and you put it my hand – and then you deemed under your own thinking I was evil could you beat me?

      So if I say something you disagree with – and then you deemed under your own thinking I was evil could you beat me?

      So if I say something you disagree with AFTER OUR DEAL and then you deemed under your own thinking I was evil could you beat me?

      According to the terms of the agreement, I own the property I traded for.

      No, you don’t.

      Even in our current legal theory, you cannot own what you do not posses. If your claim here was true, then I have committed theft. But there exists no legal theory that makes this claim.

      The reason: you gave voluntarily – thus it cannot be theft, and the property cannot be yours – it is still in my possession.

      If you do not give it to me, then it is equal to theft.

      Again, we’ve been over and around this already.

      Avoid redefining words to fit your argument.

      It is not theft – there is no legal theory that says this. It is NOT criminal law, it is civil law – a contract dispute.

      Such an act is, in fact, considered “violence” according to you.

      No, not even a shadow close to my consideration whatsoever.

      If you violate that trust, you are not just hurting yourself, you are hurting trust in general with reference to transational relationships.

      Mere opinion of “hurt”. The destruction of MY trust does not destroy YOUR trust.

      IF you and those like you (meaning dishonest person, which obviously does not include you personally) destroy the confidence in the market or add massive layers of research to market action, you are not helping the market.

      The gain or loss of the market is irrelevant to the use of evil.

      Claiming that the use of evil to improve the market is evil.

      Whether the market “speeds up” or “is better” or “is smoother” is all subjective judgments which is completely incapable of demonstrating that the use of evil sometimes is a good thing!

      So what if it is more difficult because you can’t beat up your villains?
      So what if it is more costly because you can’t beat up your villains?
      So what if it takes longer because you can’t beat up your villains?

      …because one day you maybe that non-violent villain, and they will come and kill you…..because you gave them the “right”.

      The market will be slowed down, and you impact a lot mroe than just you and the person you screwed over.

      So what?

      The speed, increase, profit – of the market place NEVER JUSTIFIES EVIL

      Violence, then is not being carried out against a non-violent person.

      Again, you are redefining the terms to suit your argument.

      You are friggin’ stealing.

      How can it be stealing if you voluntarily gave it to me?

      By your own statement you agree that threat of force in order to recover your property is permissable and is not evil.

      If it was stolen – that is, was taken without my voluntary agreement

      You believe that making a law requires force. This is not true. Making a law requires the threat of force.

      If the threat is meaningless, it has no effect.

      The threat is real, therefore, is force itself.

      Theft is the involuntary loss of property. You cannot demonstrate this “involuntary” action – as you VOLUNTARY gave you property away.

      You therefore cannot avail yourself to the resolutions due to involuntary loss when you have voluntary given it away.

      You will need to find something else.

      • Jon,

        A personal example to illustrate my point.

        We purchased a condo as an investment. So let’s go through the steps of this purchase.

        Every step demonstrates the massive voluntary nature, and hence, the complete lack of enforcement.

        The seller, to judge our commitment, asked for a small “earnest” payment.
        Because they are the owns motivated to sell, we the buyers do not need such a commitment – we know they want to sell by their offer.

        We both use a lawyer – ‘honest brokers’ who have no interest in the deal – to exchange.

        I gave the money to my lawyer – who will not give it to anyone until the other lawyer has “keys in hand’ and the deed to the property.

        The other lawyer will not give the keys or the deed unless our lawyer has our money.

        When I’ve given up my money, and the other party has given up their deed and keys – the two lawyers actually do the trade. My lawyer then give me the deed, and their lawyer gives them the money.

        This little game exists because if we did not have honest brokers, who would dare make the first move?

        If I gave the money, the other party could say “Opps! Thanks – but I’m keeping the keys!” I gave my money away voluntarily so what RIGHT do I have? …none!

        And same with them, if they signed the deed and then I didn’t give the money – it is my name on the deed! Hahah! I keep the money AND I have the property!!

        The lawyers solve this. Neither have any interest in this deal – so they act and do the trade.

      • Please provide such proof or reason for your statement.

        I deceive you into eating poison with intent to have you kill yourself. Have I not been violent? Am I absolved from violence because you believed me?

        Lies can be used to harm, and when they are, they are violence.

        You are arguing that words are violent. I would suggest that it is this idea – the belief that words are violent – that leads to much

        misguidance and actions of evil.

        “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words cannot hurt me”

        If words are so powerless and meaningless, then ownership is not perpetual. You can then, only own, what you physically occupy. A deed or receipt is

        merely words on a paper. You claim to own something, this too is only words. You are not justified in recovering stolen property unless transactions are

        relevant in terms of property ownership. If words mean nothing, neither do your claims of ownership. If your claims of ownership mean nothing, then

        theft is not violent unless it is taken from you by force or violent means.

        You are trying to excuse your lack of diligence and trust and using violence as punishment and revenge upon those that have lied to you.

        They have NOT done violence on you. You are doing violence on them.

        You are trying to absolve the man who would steal by deceipt by placing blame solely on the side of the victim. This position puzzles me. Beware of

        frauds and liars is good advice, but it is not a good basis for a society.

        Violence on the non-violent is always evil – there is no ‘less or greater’.

        Taking that which is not yours, regardless of whether it is by deceipt or force, is always evil as well. If there is no less or greater, then the liar

        is as evil as the thief is as evil as the beater is as evil as the murderer is as evil as the destroyer of worlds.

        Lying is immoral and despicable – but it is your fault that you got taken. To satisfy you anger at yourself for being stupid you want to

        beat the other guy up.

        Hogwash. Could a person have done more to avoid being taken? Sure. Could a victim of theft have done more to avoid having their stuff taken? Sure. Could

        a victim have done more to avoid the dark alleys and not have gotten killed or raped? Sure. Does that mean that any of those persons are at fault for

        being harmed?

        NO!

        Evil doers are the only ones responsible for the evil that is done.

        You placed your money or goods in my hand – without any coercion or violence on my part.

        I placed money in your hands conditionally, for a transfer of ownership based on words, the same words with the same relevance that gave us ownership of

        the property we are about to trade. If the words do not mean anything, then the property was never ours to begin with.

        If I had said nothing, and you put it my hand – and then you deemed under your own thinking I was evil could you beat me?

        No, because no agreement was made, thus the voluntary action was not conditional. I have no right to further action.

        So if I say something, and you put it my hand – and then you deemed under your own thinking I was evil could you beat me?

        That depends on what was said. If BOTH parties agreed to an exchange and only ONE party handed over the property, the there has been a violation. If the

        property is not returned, or the agreed upon property is not exchanged, then there is theft.

        So if I say something you disagree with – and then you deemed under your own thinking I was evil could you beat me?

        If I disagree, or you disagree, then an agreement has not been made, thus there is not legit transaction. If I hand you something anyway, then I have no

        right to further action.

        So if I say something you disagree with AFTER OUR DEAL and then you deemed under your own thinking I was evil could you beat me?

        Again, this is outside of the terms of our deal. If the deal has been followed but I wish to change it later, then I have no right to further action. If

        the deal was not met, then it does not matter if it is at the time or after, I have been stolen from.

        No, you don’t.

        Even in our current legal theory, you cannot own what you do not posses. If your claim here was true, then I have committed theft. But there exists no

        legal theory that makes this claim.

        Sure there does. MINE. This is my legal theory. I care no more for precedent of government legal systems than you claim to.

        The reason: you gave voluntarily – thus it cannot be theft, and the property cannot be yours – it is still in my possession.

        Wrong, I gave conditionally. If there is no defined time frame for you to handle your end of the contract, then it is ambiguous. If I have made a proper agreement, then there is no issue. This is not a voluntary gift, this is a transaction. Again, it is no different than any other transaction, if it is not a part of ownership, or transfer of ownership, then the entire theory of property ownership is irrelevant and void. By your position of “possession”, theft of any item not in your possession or occupied by you is not really theft.

        Again, we’ve been over and around this already.

        Avoid redefining words to fit your argument.

        It is not theft – there is no legal theory that says this. It is NOT criminal law, it is civil law – a contract dispute.

        I am not redefining anything, I am logically equating transactions as related to and a portion of property ownership. This is essential to a market. I do not care about the current system or what is considered criminal or civil, you cannot disregard the current system as evil government and then use it to support your own argument as you see fit. This is inconsistent. I am not using the current system to support my argument, it is not my basis. I am basing this on my own concept of market theory, how a market functions and how it should function.

        Mere opinion of “hurt”. The destruction of MY trust does not destroy YOUR trust.

        If this is the case, then shunning would not work, because I base my trust on yours if there is transactional history at all.

        The gain or loss of the market is irrelevant to the use of evil.

        Claiming that the use of evil to improve the market is evil.

        Whether the market “speeds up” or “is better” or “is smoother” is all subjective judgments which is completely incapable of demonstrating that the use

        of evil sometimes is a good thing!

        So what if it is more difficult because you can’t beat up your villains?
        So what if it is more costly because you can’t beat up your villains?
        So what if it takes longer because you can’t beat up your villains?

        Your definition of evil is equally subjective. Difficulty can prevent survival for those unable to overcome the difficulty. They are, however, innocent and non-violent. The villain is not innocent, and is only non-violent by your convoluted academic reasoning, not by function of their actions. Your idea of evil is that the villain be treated with violence to recover that which they gained by cheating the innocent. My definition is that the innocent suffer the loss of resources essential to their life because the villains tricked them and could therefore not be made to return those resources to those victims.

        …because one day you maybe that non-violent villain, and they will come and kill you…..because you gave them the “right”.

        If I am a liar and a fraud, then I should have that which I stole taken back. If I resist, I should be shot. I can live with those terms. I act as a scumbag and I get caught and someone comes and takes back what I defrauded people out of. This is something I should fear?

        Also, keep in mind, I am not speaking here of punishment, but of recovery. Punishment, as you say, is an argument for another day, and one we may not be as opposed on as this. I am speaking of the same force that would be used in the case of theft, and I justify it based on the fact that a transaction is a conditional agreement, not a voluntary two way gift. The “gift” method of transactions is something I have only entertained to avoid taxes, it is not something I would do in a free market. I also am basing this on the fact that a transaction is a transfer of ownership. If those words are not a transfer of ownership, then no one currently owns anything they do not physically possess.

        • Jon,

          Your definition of evil is equally subjective.

          You are really struggling.

          I have been very specific and have defined the term of evil.

          The concept of “innocent” is difficult because it is transitional and circumstantial.

          You maybe innocent of theft but not innocent of murder. Yet, both acts are evil.

          Difficulty can prevent survival for those unable to overcome the difficulty. They are, however, innocent and non-violent. The villain is not innocent, and is only non-violent by your convoluted academic reasoning, not by function of their actions. Your idea of evil is that the villain be treated with violence to recover that which they gained by cheating the innocent. My definition is that the innocent suffer the loss of resources essential to their life because the villains tricked them and could therefore not be made to return those resources to those victims.

  39. Jon:

    I deceive you into eating poison with intent to have you kill yourself. Have I not been violent?

    A sign that you are in trouble with your argument position is the need to continue to reach to more and more extreme examples to try to demonstrate your point.

    We are talking about copyright and intellectual “non”property – and here you are reaching for poison!

    Get back on the track, Jon!

    (Aside: to answer your question – Do you really believe I would listen to you – a completely stranger – to eat something you shoved into my hand??? Do you think I’m an idiot???)

    Am I absolved from violence because you believed me?

    Who are you to me for me to believe you in the first place?

    Lies can be used to harm, and when they are, they are violence.

    Prove it. All you will end up proving is that YOU fail your own diligence.

    You want a world where you do not want to work or think for yourself. The Universe does not allow such a world to exist. If you try to create the world regardless, you will be creating a world of evil.

    If words are so powerless and meaningless, then ownership is not perpetual.

    EXACTLY! So explain to me why, after a period of time your “ownership” of an idea “expires” within the (ill-thought) understanding of your copyright or intellectual (non)property?

    If it was property, it is yours until you decide it isn’t. Yet, not with this idea thing you have?? Why?

    A deed or receipt is merely words on a paper.

    Abstractions are not the problem here. A deed does acknowledge real, scarce property.

    Your copyright never does.

    You are trying to absolve the man who would steal by deceipt by placing blame solely on the side of the victim.

    That is not true, Jon. I am not absolving him at all!

    To you, unless you beat his brains out, he must have “gotten away with it”!

    I do not “blame”. I assign responsibility. The responsibility for YOUR VOLUNTARY ACTS are YOURS, not his.

    He is despicable – but he did not force you.

    Thus, you cannot use force against him.

    There are plenty of non-violent enforcements you can apply, but your brain is so full of the need to beat up someone, there is no room for other options – so you ignore the voluminous discussions I’ve already presented regarding non-violent enforcements.

    This position puzzles me. Beware of

    frauds and liars is good advice, but it is not a good basis for a society.

    *blink*

    It is a core basis of society. You are responsible for your own actions.

    I placed money in your hands conditionally, for a transfer of ownership based on words, the same words with the same relevance that gave us ownership of

    the property we are about to trade. If the words do not mean anything, then the property was never ours to begin with.

    The words are important – but the actions are more important and core.

    If you do not do your diligence, you get what you deserve.

    No, because no agreement was made, thus the voluntary action was not conditional. I have no right to further action.

    Voluntary actions cannot be conditional – for you are 100% in command of that action!

    You cannot place conditions on my actions without applying imposition and violence!

    The moment you believe you can condition my actions, you must have a club ready to beat me should I fail.

    You cannot let go of that club, sir, can you?

    That depends on what was said. If BOTH parties agreed to an exchange and only ONE party handed over the property, the there has been a violation.

    I agree – a violation of trust, but not of violence.

    If the property is not returned, or the agreed upon property is not exchanged, then there is theft.

    There you go again, redefining words to suit your argument.

    Again, it is not theftThere is no legal theory that supports your demand here

    I really wish you’d stop this. It is becoming boring having to correct you here all the time.

    Sure there does. MINE. This is my legal theory. I care no more for precedent of government legal systems than you claim to.

    If you insist on redefining words to suit your argument, our discussion will end right here.

    I have no interest in dialogue with irrational people.

    • Flag, I was talking about fraud. This particular thread was started with my statement that there should still be laws against fraud and false advertising. This is not tied specifically to IP, and my references to property are what you define as “real” property. I am taking a break form the IP discussion specifically because of some rethinking I have to do, much of it because of our previous discussion. I am doing a piece on it, but its nowhere near done.

      What I am trying to say is that an exchange of real property is a transaction. The very idea of a transaction is sacred in that it is the key to defining ownership of REAL property. A deed to land, in your example you gave earlier, is still just words. I do not see why it is any different than the words spoken. The intent to sell through an ad or listing, the offer to buy, the exchange of property involved, all of it is based on words, not just any words, but transactional words.

      Why is that deed valid? Because of the power of those words. Yet you say words cannot hurt you because they are not powerful. Because you think they cannot hurt you, then you say they are not violence. What I am trying to show you is that words can be powerful. IF words concerning transfer of property are not powerful enough to constitute a form of theft in the case of a breach, then they are not powerful enough to viably transfer ownership of property.

      If you believe I am being irrational, so be it. I believe you are refusing to listen to reason. I do not want to stretch this into an actual argument, if it has moved beyond debate, or into an arena where it is no longer productive to continue, then fine, I am happy to drop it. Perhaps we will fare better on the next subject we lock horns over.

      Cheers

      • Jon

        Flag, I was talking about fraud.

        ..and to attempt to demonstrate some point, you’ve had to reach for an extreme.

        Can you not demonstrate your point without extremes? If your point is so self-evident, such extremes are unnecessary.

        Therefore, the point is no where near self-evident.

        What I am trying to say is that an exchange of real property is a transaction.

        And I agree and we are not disputing this.

        The very idea of a transaction is sacred in that it is the key to defining ownership of REAL property.

        Again we agree.

        But you are missing a core point – that is the transfer of property that completes the transaction.

        When the exchange is complete, is when the transaction occurs – and not before!

        You are trying to demand that before the exchange, a transaction has occurred!

        You have given me money but I have NOT given you my property – there has been no exchange. Therefore, the transaction has not been done.

        If you believe I am being irrational, so be it.

        It is irrational to continue to mis-define words so to make your argument.

        You agreed to a definition of theft – when that failed to support your argument where you need violence as a solution – so you changed the definition of theft so to justify your violence.

        It is not theft – theft has a specific definition.

        It maybe fraud, it maybe a lie – it maybe a number of other things – but it is not theft.

        I believe you are refusing to listen to reason.

        Nonsense. I refuse to listen to you redefining your terms ad hoc.

        • But you are missing a core point – that is the transfer of property that completes the transaction.

          When the exchange is complete, is when the transaction occurs – and not before!

          You are trying to demand that before the exchange, a transaction has occurred!

          You have given me money but I have NOT given you my property – there has been no exchange. Therefore, the transaction has not been done.

          That is EXACTLY what I was missing. Embarassing error too, since “transaction” based on its roots would mean the “action of transfer”, not the promise of it.

          I have not been trying to redefine terms, I have been trying to understand the definitions. I do not have a loyalty to a definition until it makes sense, so I question definitions.

          I still feel like fraud is an evil thing, and it can be very damaging. I still do not like the idea of having no recourse outside of shunning to rectify it, but I understand how it is not theft. It just seems like a real sot can be “off on a technicality”. I do not agree that it is the fault of the victim, the evil was still carried out by the one who committed fraud.

          If recourse is confined to civil court, I am ok with that, but in todays legal system, civil court, while it cannot include jail time, it can take resources. Is this still permissible? Is threat of force admissible to make certain resources are handed over? If not, I can see how coordination with banks and other financial institutions would make it more difficult to live, but then with a different financial system, could the banks not choose to also ignore the actions of civil courts?

          I am coming around BF, I just have a lot of questions and perhaps too little trust of mankind in an unstructured world.

          • Jon

            I still feel like fraud is an evil thing, and it can be very damaging.

            Because I define ‘evil’ specifically, that definition does not fit in your statement for me

            I would say, instead:

            “Fraud is immoral and despicable and threatens the social order.
            But it is not violent.
            Therefore, society must apply its maximum of non-violent enforcement upon those that engage in fraud

            I still do not like the idea of having no recourse outside of shunning to rectify it, but I understand how it is not theft.

            Shunning is but one offered solution. There are many, many more social enforcements than just this one.

            Remember the Law of Mutuality? It comes to play full force here.

            “If you act fraudulently, you give everyone else the right to act that way to you

            Mr. Fraud comes to buy food. You accept his money in advance and -whoops!- sorry, no food.

            Mr. Fraud comes to buy fuel for his car. You accept his credit card in advance, because you know he is no good to pay after service and -whoops!- sorry, no fuel for you…but thanks for your credit card!!

            …that is why I say, he wouldn’t last two weeks.

            I point to real world example.

            The Great Train Robbery – the leader took all the money and escaped to Argentina. Everyone knew who he was.

            He went to the stores: a loaf of bread for a “local” was 10c – but for him, it was $5.

            He could not escape it. Everyone did this to him, and in less than 5 years, he ran out of money, was kicked out of Argentina penniless and sent back to England – where they jailed him!

            If recourse is confined to civil court, I am ok with that, but in todays legal system, civil court, while it cannot include jail time, it can take resources. Is this still permissible?

            Such an act of the “civil”court in a free society would not nor could be tolerated. It is an inexcusable act of violence on a non-violent man.

            In the current system, this is a normal course of action – and because of this, you would have no other option.

            Because human beings do not justify a dual punishment system – that is, if you “pay for your crime” over here, the People will not allow a “pay again, and again over there”. You pay “once, your debt to society” and then you are “free”.

            Same problem here. Because there exists a system of recourse – as evil as it is – any system of shunning will not be effective. The “debt” paid out of violence would forgo any option of shunning.

            Thus, today, your only recourse is to appeal to the Masters of Violence to enforce your claim.

            could the banks not choose to also ignore the actions of civil courts?

            Banks, in their international dealing with each, rarely (indeed, I cannot think of a single case) appeal to government authority. It is completely trust based.

            In their interactions WITH YOU, the People – darn right they will use the Masters of Violence – because that is the system that the People support, and thus, the banks cannot and never will trust you! Oh, the irony!!

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