Cities Searching for New Ways to Take Your Money

I thought I would take a night and talk about the local level decisions and their impact on the members of their society. We often focus on the bigger picture here at SUFA, with discussions on National and State level politics. This certainly makes sense as discussing local politics really only matters to those who are, well, local. The readers here obviously come from all over the country, and in some cases even outside the country! But I felt like a discussion around local politics was warranted as the disease of deficit spending has spread to many local municipalities and towns. In the end, SUFA faithful, all politics are local. And the only place that most of us are able to make a difference are in our local spectrums. Unfortunately, while many of us follow the political scene, there are very few who are involved at a local level. That must change if we are going to start to find ways to survive the inevitable crash that we are racing towards. When things get bad, it is the local level of politics that are going to matter to you. The federal and state governments are going to be limited in the ways that they can help. Simply put, the higher you go, the more partisan bullshit gets in the way of helping. Likewise the bigger the city, the more difficult it is to have a serious impact. But we must try.

The bottom line is that cities across the country are facing large economic shortfalls. State budgets are facing budget shortfalls. In fact, the total state shortfalls equal roughly 28% of the total budget for states in 2010. As a result, states are cutting the money that is pushed down to the city level. A report by Christopher Hoene (cited below) gave the following outlook:

While the nation’s economy may be approaching the late stages of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, local government budget tightening and spending cuts over the next several years could well impose a significant drag on the nation’s economic recovery. Cities face layoffs, canceled contracts with small businesses and vendors, reduced services and sizable budget shortfalls for 2009 that are expected to grow much more severe and widespread from 2010 to 2012. With the pace of recovery still sluggish, the consequences of the recession will be playing out in America’s cities and towns, on Main Street and in the lives of families for years to come. Among the findings:

  • The municipal sector will likely face a fiscal shortfall of between $56 billion and $83 billion from 2010-2012, driven by declining tax revenues, ongoing service demands and cuts in state revenues;
  • The low point for city fiscal conditions typically follows the low point of an economic downturn by at least two years, indicating that the low point for cities will come sometime in 2011;
  • City leaders are responding with layoffs, furloughs and payroll reductions; delaying and canceling capital infrastructure projects; and cutting city services.

What brought this issue up for me was an article that I read a week or two ago where the topic was the “Homestead Act of 2010” as being enacted in Beatrice, Nebraska. Beatrice was also the starting point of the Homestead Act of 1862, which granted land to farmers in an effort to populate the west as the country expanded. The 2010 Act has a different purpose altogether. The intent this time around is to grant land to folks today under the premise that the city will gain revenue from the property in the future from the folks who take the offer. The land in question is land under city control now, so they aren’t taking away from someone else to do this. They are merely sacrificing public city land in the hopes that they can gain revenue from the land later. For the record I have no problem with this legislation. So long as the city lays out the contract in advance, the folks who are interested have the right to accept or reject the proposal based on whether they like the terms. What I would find unacceptable is if the city gives the land under the guise of, for example, a 3% tax later and then once the new owner build on it they raise the tax to 10%.

According to the article that I read, Dayton, OH, and Grafton, IL, are also using this plan. The point is not the city in Nebraska is doing that particular thing in the interests of raising revenue. That was just the stimulus that got me thinking about it. The point is that more and more localities are finding themselves in the negative in terms of the budget, and then panicking as they try to find a way out of the mess. Unfortunately, most cities are more like California, stupid. Rather than cut programs and lower costs, they look for ways to increase taxes and thus increase revenue. THAT is the point of what I am writing here tonight. But first a few examples of the ways cities are attempting to get more taxpayer dollars.

There are other things that are being tried. Boca Raton, Florida is looking to annex sections outside the city limits, essentially adding new taxpayers to the system by simply declaring folks as now part of the city and thus subject to city tax laws. Cities in New Hampshire and Massachusetts are looking into revoking the tax free status of non-profit charitable organizations. That one I didn’t like. One quote from that article was from a city official, who stated, “Private schools and nonprofit museums and community organizations benefit the town in lots of ways, except that they don’t contribute to the cost of running the town.” No sir they don’t, but they do offer people a reason to actually live in your town. His statement sounded a bit too much like the statement from Atlas Shrugged when they took Hank Reardon’s steel because he needed to “contribute to society, out of moral responsibility.” A shameful statement. What was that I said above about “changing the contract?” (Believe me we are going to talk about changing the contract soon with a discussion of Rule of Law).

Of course the most common ways that cities are attempting to break even is through increases in taxes and fees and creating new fees that didn’t exist before. Likewise there is the phenomenon where they are doing away with laws that restricted businesses that they found to be morally lacking in the past. We have seen states and cities suddenly reversing course on gambling, instead opting to allow it simply so that they can collect the tax revenue from it. Ohio, for example, rejected legislation to allow the building of casinos on four separate occasions in the last 15 years. But under economic hardship, they relented and approved the measure. What is most interesting in this turn around is that opponents of gambling and lotteries campaigned on the principle that they amounted to a regressive tax, that disproportionally hurt the poor. I guess the closer we get to everyone being poor, the more OK it is to damage them.

Southern states and cities that had “blue laws”, those that restrict businesses from opening prior to a certain time on Sundays or which restricted sale of certain things, such as alcohol, on Sundays, are suddenly reversing course and throwing those old laws out. Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi have all seen towns taking tis course of action. I don’t mind any of these. Any law that removes a prohibition of any kind on business is an OK law from my point of view. But it shows how desperate they are becoming.

Oakland recently passed a law to collect sales tax on medical marijuana, a move that is being mimicked in several cities that allow medical marijuana sales. Taxing health care? Sounds like something that would increase costs. I thought we were trying to bring down the cost of health care. San Francisco, realizing that tourism is vital to the local economy, has added a fee on all overnight guests in S.F. hotels to “support Tourism.” (Kind of a “hey, give me ten bucks to support the idea of you coming back and giving me ten more bucks later!”). Los Angeles, undisputed king of crazy costs, has some outrageous traffic fines in place. How about $980 for being a minor using a cell phone while driving or $1,860 for a second offense of parking in a handicapped spot! Heck it is over $50 for simply having an expired parking meter! (I must admit that I read these in an article but could not verify them as the L.A. Superior Court website with a list of fines would not load no matter how hard I tried).

The most common cut is to simply take the “easy way out” and cut payroll, meaning the elimination of city jobs. In most cities this means culling the number of police and fire workers. Lord forbid we cut out the fat, say something like staffers for the mayor. Nope. The police and fire companies get cut first, followed closely by teachers. Some cities are worse than others. Los Angeles may have a budget shortfall of $1 Billion next year and Chicago is upwards of $650 Million. Some examples of the cuts we are seeing in city’s payroll, again from the report I cited earlier:

  • Baltimore is cutting roughly 500 city jobs.
  • Bossier City, LA is cutting 117 of 897 city positions (80 of which are police and fire services)
  • Boston is eliminating 500 positions
  • Chicago is operating 700 police officers short and requiring city workers to take 24 unpaid furlough days
  • Dallas is cutting 637 full time positions
  • Dover, DE is requiring all to take 12 unpaid furlough days and deferred capital improvements
  • East Providence, RI is eliminating 55 positions, 44 of which are police and fire
  • Los Angeles has already eliminated 2,400 positions with more expected
  • Seattle is eliminating 310 municipal positions

That is all the craziness that I am going to offer from cities tonight. I could dig for hours and find all kinds of crazy stuff. I hoe that throughout the day on Monday all of you will add whatever you have heard or what you find in terms of drastic steps that cities are taking in order to make up for budget shortfalls. I really look forward to what you all find!

The point is that the cities, like the state and federal governments, have fallen into the trap of providing far more in the way of entitlement services that they can afford. On top of that they are paying ridiculously high pension and benefits amounts. We have watched this happen on the national level and fumed as we felt powerless to stop the madness in Washington DC. All the promises of what we are going to provide have bankrupted us! Both sides of the aisle are guilty on this spending. The only difference is in who the payee is. Much like we talked about a couple of weeks ago, regardless of how much the bleeding hearts among us want to do all of these nice things for people, we simply cannot afford it. Cities like Los Angeles are the result of decades of increasing the level of entitlements.

But here is the difference. At the local level we DO have a chance to impact decisions. Granted in larger cities such as LA, New York, Boston, or Chicago, you are dealing with cities that are the size of states in terms of budgets, so you can only have a limited impact there. But most of us don’t live in giant municipalities. We live in towns where attending town hall meetings is a real opportunity and where our voice is not drowned out by the bureaucracy. In a town of 25,000, you can rally enough support to make an impact on city officials. And that is what we must do.

Do not fall into the trap of believing that you cannot impact anything. At the national level and the state level, the two parties have gotten out of control. The wishes of the general population don’t matter one whit to those fools. But at the local level, you can make a difference. Start attending your town meetings. Get involved locally. Start demanding that your town get their budget under control. Start demanding that they cut services that are not fiscally sound. Start demanding that they get their salaries and their travel budgets under control. Start demanding that your city start moving away from the failed policies that we are seeing at the state and federal levels. You can’t change everything, but you can make a difference.

And there is an added bonus to all of this. During the guest commentary discussion that we had last week, we had several folks who stated that the steps offered weren’t in their budgets or possible for them. Getting involved locally is in your budget and it is possible for you. Many of you fear that the country will eventually have some sort of fiscal collapse. When that happens, you will have to be able to survive LOCALLY. State and federal budgets will dry up, leaving cities to fend for themselves. Making yourself part of the network, part of the local system, is how you ensure that when your city has to fend for itself, you will already be a part of the solutions. You will be better acquainted with your neighbors. You will have a better idea of who you can go to for help or for a barter for services you need. Don’t wait until being a part of the network is a necessity for survival. Become part of that network now, and you will be better prepared if the worst happens.

There is a great example of this in central Pennsylvania. All you have to do is look to the Amish. Where I grew up the Amish and German Baptists and Mennonites were all over the place. And they are completely self-sufficient within their communities. They don’t rely on government help. They don’t wait on government to provide anything for them. They are networked together and take care of each other. If a barn burns down on Thursday, the entire community shows up to build a new barn, and the barn is built by Monday. That is no exaggeration. I watched it happen when a barn burned down in my town in 1989 (Ray might remember this, a barn out behind Martin’s Supermarket  and the car dealership in Wayne Heights across from Renfrew Park). The Amish provide us with a shining example of self-sufficiency and networking BEFORE there is a problem. Getting involved in your local government process will begin to put you in that same position.

I will be traveling all week this week. I will be still checking in and offering my articles, but may be delayed in responding to questions or comments.

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I got information from the following articles while writing this article:

http://www.nlc.org/ASSETS/0149CE492F8C49D095160195306B6E08/BuddgetShortFalls_FINAL.pdf

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/us/26revenue.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&ref=politics

Cities, states loosen up on gambling, alcohol to raise money – MSN Money

Clout St: All on the table except property tax hike as City Hall deals with record shortfall

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Comments

  1. posting for comments.

  2. Truthseeker says:

    As noted, cutting entitlements is the best solution. But we have become an entitlement society. What is Ironic is those that don’t wish to cut these entitlements are instead wanting to lay off people, cut jobs and raise taxes, which in-turn raises the cost that they cannot aford on those said entitlements! Some people are just blind.

    A blind man being led by a blind horse.

    • Truthseeker,

      I often wonder at the short-sightedness of so many people in today’s society. The focus is on the now with no regard for unintended consequences. That is my ever present beef with the progressive movement. The focus for them seems to be on helping everyone now. They fail to see the unintended consequences that will result from doing what they are doing, despite the fact that after nearly 100 years of traveling further down this path, the consequences become more obvious each day.

      USW

      • An interesting statement. I wonder though, if those on the other side also recognize the possible unintended consequences..

        It’s easy to see the massive debt crushing us as we spend more and more..

        However, they have this fantasy world where, if only we would cut entitlements then the lazy bums who sit on their couches all day watching Maury and Dr. Phil instead of working will stop popping out children they can’t afford, learn The English (because they’re mostly Mexicans), and get a job. But not the job that people already have – another job, a new job that will be created spontaneously out of thin air by the magical confidence fairy who will sprinkle her pixie dust on the economy as the tax rates go down and businesses begin to expand again like a new Spring. In this Brave New World, there are jobs for all, and those few who cannot work are taken care of by the generosity of voluntary charitable donations. As the indoctrination centers (formerly called public schools) are shut down, the proletariat sends their children to private schools which are infinitely superior and more affordable. e tAnd they are able to do this becaushey are all making good wages – an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work! And the unions won’t be so greedy they destroy companies and companies won’t be so greedy people need unions. Then, this new and common-sense enabled populace will drive corruption and waste out of local politics, then state politics and finally federal politics. Conservatives will be swept into power in record numbers and, inexplicably, Barney Frank will be the only Progressive left in Congress. Once the liberals have been vanquished, the military will somehow grow larger and stronger but run on less money. And the world will leave us alone because we’re not bothering anyone anymore. Everything will be privatized from NASA on down to local road maintenance. The EPA will be abolished, but that’s ok because businesses will all act responsibly all the time for fear of a market backlash and there will be no pollution. Innovation will skyrocket and we’ll all be driving flying cars within a decade. And, even though there are no laws governing traffic in our shiny new non-polluting Mr. Fusion powered flying cars, everyone will drive safely all the time. As the world looks upon us with awe and realizes the shining example we once again set, they will turn to us as their role models as they did in ye olden times. They will join us and abolish the evil one-world-government that is the US and peace shall reign for a thousand years until the return of Jesus. Oh, if only those darned Progressives* wouldn’t get in the way!

        *Can we get off of this already? We’re liberals. It’s not a dirty word. Liberal. Let’s all say it together: LIBERAL! Huzzah!

        • Liberal as in JFK is one thing. Liberal as in Obama, Pelosi, and Reid is a whole different story. HUZZAH!

          • And which am I?

            • Whoa..wasn’t expecting you back tonight. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and put you with JFK..although I don’t think BF & JAC would agree 🙂

              • Anita

                We often like to joke that JFK would have been a conservative or at least a moderate Republican today but I don’t think there is any solid evidence to support that.

                He was the product of the Progressive Democratic party machine.

                Wilson and FDR and then Truman. Those who supported the Kennedy dynasty were all pretty far left of center and fascist progressives or progressive fascists, depending on your cup of tea.

                So in that respect I think Mathius is probably more like JFK than Mr. Obama. But I think if JFK lived today he would have little problem with the current Dem Party agenda. In his time, he simply couldn’t imagine the opportunities that Mr. Obama has been presented. He was constrained by his own recent history.

              • JAC,

                Family history has it that I learned to walk during JFK’s funeral but no one paid much attention to my accomplishment because the funeral was televised. See I told you I can’t have shit! 🙂 I have always heard that JFK was sniped because he had plans to clean House. So he had to be somewhat on track at least… which is better than what we have now!

        • I tried it Matt….just won’t come out good…. LLLLLIIIIBBBBEEEERRRRR>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>see? Doesn’t work.

          • What’s the matter? Raptor got your tongue?

            PS:.. heehee.. LLLLLIIIIBBBBEERRRRR>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      • It occurs to me, re-reading what I wrote, that it may come off a little harsh (rather than the intended humorous). The point I was attempting to convey is that there has to be a happy middle ground and each side’s pig-headed insistence that theirs is the only way is not only idiotic and doomed to failure, but indicative of an unhealthy level of narcissism.

        Any man who claims absolute conviction in his correctness is a man who should be regarded with great incredulity.

        • Displaced Okie says:

          Middle ground=Federalism

          One can live in a place like Montana where there would probably be less regulation or one could live in NYC where there would most likely be considerably more regulation…Diffusion of power over multiple layers of government, where the most control is exercised at the level where your voice is loudest is a good thing, wouldn’t you agree?

        • Mathius

          Your final statement is a rationalization of the claim that Man can never know the truth.

          Or even worse, should he discover the truth he must never support it nor claim to know it. He must act ignorant rather than admit he has discovered truth.

          It also presumes an equivalence between conviction reached by reason and simple pig headed non thinking dogma.

          • I think not. There are truths. Sometimes one side is simply completely right while the other is simply completely wrong. But I think this is the exception rather than the rule.

            The man who claims the corner on truth is almost always a man who refuses to think about the subject at hand in impartial ways. He is the devout Christian or the orthodox Jew who admits no possibility that he could be wrong. He is the suicide bomber who is so sure and without doubt that he will commit murder/suicide in service of a God who precisely matches his world-view. The man without doubt claims certainty that Obama is a Muslim sleeper. He is the man who knows that Obama is the savior or America.

            People who claim absolute knowledge of truth are ideologues and should be regarded as such. Sometimes, within the narrow confines of a specific topic, they may be correct. But I am very hesitant to believe someone like that – I want proof and logic, not platitudes.

            It also presumes an equivalence between conviction reached by reason and simple pig headed non thinking dogma. I assume no such equivalency. Conviction reached by logic will always permit doubt. Even Black Flag (though it’s borderline impossible) can be moved from a position with sufficient application of logic – he believes strongly in his views, but he doesn’t believe that he knows 100%. If you ask him how certain he is that it is wrong for the government to tax him, he will probably say 99.99999999999999%. He knows, however unlikely, that it is possible that he is wrong. It is the hallmark of a logical mind. I worry about the man who will say 100%.

            I doubt, I am uncertain. I question, I wonder. And, despite evidence to the contrary, I don’t know everything. The sheer volume of what I don’t know is mindboggling. In fact, the only thing I am truly certain of is that I don’t really know all that much.

        • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

          Actually Matt, I have told the children that the following is to be inscribed on my hedstone under penalty of me haunting them if they don’t:

          “He was not always right, but he was never wrong”.

          Has an interesting ring to it, doesn’t it?

  3. Local stuff will indeed be the key. Even if your focus is national, you have to connect locally to build enough of a network to impact anything bigger.

  4. Being from Michigan is strike one all by itself since folks are leaving the state single file just to find work leaving the tax burden on fewer people. My city of 25000 has cut many services to help weather the storm including several police and fire positions. But the administration has also agreed to 3% paycuts and freezes on pay raises, I give them credit for that. Our mayor has been very straight with us and has urged everyone to do whatever volunteering they can to keep the city from becoming over run by weeds, litter etc. The residents so far are responding well with very little complaining. There is also a millage increase on the ballot, a 4 year plan to be used ONLY to get the police & fire depts back to full staff. Common sense says if the administration can take cuts then we have to also be willing to kick in to help. I plan to vote yes.

    You bring the Amish community into the discussion. They make it with no govt help at all and they are successful. Today’s topic concerns the local level but my city and the Amish are 2 examples of how it can still work if everyone just does the right thing which is why I am skeptical of ideas like Ron Holland on the guest commentary who says to take your money and your self out of the country. I’m from the “when the going gets tough the tough get going” camp. Bailing the country now is IMO taking the easy way out. If we could get the Congress to JUST SAY NO we’d be OK.

    Having said all that we also need to be aware that the cops are on the hunt for more cash for the cities. They are giving tickets left and right to generate cash. I’ve seen it here in my city and also at my lake. In six years there I’ve never seen the DNR on the lake. July 4th I was unlucky enough to get a ticket on my jet ski for not having updated registration stickers on the jet ski.While one officer stayed on my dock writing my ticket his partner went after two other boats and nailed them but then they also stayed on the lake for 2 hours and made plenty of money writing tickets. Who can complain? You do the crime you pay the fine. Fair is fair.

    • The problem, Anita, is that it shouldn’t be a crime in the first place. Why should anyone be allowed to tell you that you have to have a registration on your jet ski in the first place? You would be screaming bloody murder if you were required to maintain registration on your children or some such.

      • Are you sure this isn’t DPM speaking? I hear what you’re saying but you still have to play by the rules or get them changed. Luckily, I did have the stickers but never put them on since I had never seen or heard of the DNR being on the lake. They’re on now but the ticket still stands. THAT pisses me off!

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          Y’aarrrgh

          Surprisingly, Mathius and I agree on many such issues. Whereas I view any encroachment by government into our private lives to be unacceptable on its face, he views it as a question of cost-benefit. Since he fails to see sufficient benefit to society to justify forcing you to register your jet ski, punishing you for failing to do so seems unfair.

          • And to that, DPM, I say let’s go jet skiing…I’m drivin..

            Sit down, shut up and enjoy the ride!!!!!!

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            But what better way to keep track of pirate vessels dear Dread Pirate? Keep your friends close but your enemies closer!

            • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

              The Thor’s Hammer bears no registration.

              I swear to the ancient gods that I’ll scuttle her before I allow that to happen.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Dear Dread Pirate Mathius – only Thor shall bear the weight of the great Mjollnir! And if you are truly Thor, as opposed to some snaggle-toothed English-lad-of-a-pirate, you owe your allegiance to “A God” – your father Odin (the “All Father”), not to “some Gods”! Unmask yourself confused Dread Pirate – who are you really?

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                I’m naught but a humble pirate.

                I just named my ship that, I’m not actually a viking God. And I offer no allegiance any any god(s) – I searing to the whole Nordic, Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Sumerian, Sumatran, Babylonian, Atlantan, Alteran, and Druidic gods.

              • DPM….AVAST…..pay no heed to the public,,,have some more grog and enjoy the pickins of the Carib…The Feda want none of what we have in these waters lest they become shark bait….arrrgh!!!

        • See, I think you have a fundamental confusion over the root causes of tickets. As with speeding tickets where the individual is not endangering others, the police are serving two masters.

          The first is public safety. Nominally, they wish to ensure that everyone follows to rules so that everyone is safer. By giving you a ticket for going 50 in a 40, you’re unlikely to go 70 in a 40, which might be dangerous to others. So even though 50 isn’t in-and-of-itself dangerous, they use it as a bulwark. To that end, your jet ski wasn’t dangerous, but ensuring that you have it registered can help to somehow make things safer (I fail to see how, which is why I think this shouldn’t be a law). Assuming they do have a good reason, public safety is probably somehow behind it. This is the purpose of having a police force.

          Secondly, and more prevalent in situations like this, they use it as a fund raising tool. Your safety isn’t at stake, just their bottom line. It is one reason police love drug busts so much: it allows them to seize a whole lot of money and assets to continue funding themselves. In fact, a vehicle which is used in commission of a crime becomes the property of the police and they will then auction it off. The conflict of interest should be glaringly obvious.

          To that end, if the point of the ticket was your safety, and if you could satisfy them that you were safe, they would let you go with a warning or maybe a reduced charge to cover processing fees. The only conclusion that can be drawn by their not dropping the fine is that their only real interest was in your wallet.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Are you ok with laws mandating car registrations?

            Seems to me that the same basic rationale governs the requirement for registration of a jet ski.

            • No. I am not really ok with car registrations, though I am ok with drivers licenses. What is the purpose of registration? What benefits to society does it confer that justifies its existence?

              • Mathius

                Vehicle registration has only one REAL purpose.

                To impose a “personal property tax” upon your vehicle that you would not pay if you had to voluntarily declare it.

                Now, I will admit to not being as upset with boat registration fees as car/truck licenses. In our part of the country such fees on boats/jet skies etc go back to support the boat docks and other water based recreation facilities.

                Auto registration, however, is just a tax to the general fund.

            • Car registrations, and other vehicle registrations, are extortion. I actually have had a lot of hardship because of car taxes and registrations.

              In VA, if you do not pay your car tax, you cannot get your registration. If your registration is expired, you get a ticket. If you cannot pay your ticket, your license is suspended. If you drive then, you get a moving violation of driving suspended, which, if that happens enough times, will land you in jail.

              It is a debtors prison for local taxes. I had all but the last thing happen to me. I now have to carry SR-22 insurance and have a lot of financial stuff I am digging out of becuase, when times were tough, I could not pay my car tax (on a car that I no longer owned because it was too expensive for me, but I owned it for a portion of the previous year) and thus could not get my registration, thus I had to drive illegally to look for/get to work, thus I got ticketted, which I could not afford to pay, which got my license suspended, which I got ticketted for as well. The day I got hit for driving suspended was the day I was coming back from the library, job hunting, where I had landed a contract installing servers. The proceeds from which were enough to use as collateral to borrow from a friend to pay the $1500 it ended up taking to get my license straight again. I made $1800 on that job, the government got almost all of it.

              Had I not had a friend able to help me, I would have had to skip the job or drive illegally. If I had gotten caught, which was likely because I still had no registration, I would have gone to jail.

              Like I said, debtors prison.

              • Oh, and I am pretty sure that nothing in that whole story had anything to do with my safety or anyone else’s.

              • On the one hand, I do generally see the logic in fining people for driving on a suspended license, and I do understand the logic behind sending someone to jail breaking the law in that case.

                Where I get off the bus is where they suspend your license as as collateral to ensure you pay a fine. At that point, you enter the catch-22 that you had above.

                Licenses should only be suspended if you are dangerous and/or have proven that you cannot be trusted to safely operate a vehicle. DUI/DWI, senile, serious speeding, etc.

              • agreed. Unfortuantely, the license thing gets used all the time. Possession of weed, various failures to pay taxes or fines, etc. A non-moving violation should never be able to turn into a moving violation. If you drive bad and got suspended, I have no pity, but if you are just broke, taking more resources and themeans to get income and fining you further is not the solution. No business would do that, it makes no sense. Even if one were to try to, the government would try to step in and prevent it. Anothr double standard, anyone surprised?

              • Hey! We agree on something!

                Tip o’ the Red Bull to you!

          • No argument here!

        • Remember, Mathius had a speeding ticket himself a short while back. Guessing he is still stinging from that.

          As to your cops story, Anita, same thing happening here in WI. At all levels of policing there are stings set up – it’s crazy! I’ve seen motorcycle cops, black SUV cops, sports car cops – all in the name of “safety”. It’s called raising revenue.

          • Yep, even the DNR was undercover. Not a single marking on their boat to identify them. They were in full uniform though right down to the USCG approved PFDs. oooooooooo!

            • Had a similar encounter years ago, $75 fine for a wake in a no wake zone. Game & Fish was cracking down on jetski’s, we were going less than 5MPH, but that does create a “wake” as does any vessel under power. They had these belt recorders they kept switching on and off, as if we didn’t realize what they were up to, catching us saying anything they could use against us. Was in a different county, several hours away, not worth the cost of driving up and have their pet judge uphold the ticket, or even hit us with additional fines.

              • Bummer!

                Other new rules:

                Jet ski’s must be off the lake 1 full hr before sunset instead of 1/2 hr prior

                No wake zone between a jet ski and all other objects goes from 100ft to 150 ft

                Anyone born after 1980 must go thru boater’s safety course and carry certificate. Used to be if you were over 16 you were good to go.

          • At some point, the focus shifts from police taking your money to discourage unsafe actions and to finance your protection to police taking your money to perpetuate themselves.

            “To protect and serve”.. yea right.

            (I’m sure my ticket had nothing to do with this….)

            • This is why all taxes, fines, penalties, fees, etc levied by govt MUST be disconnected from the agency or entity imposing the same.

              There should NEVER be a financial incentive for govt to commit force upon the citizens.

              • General agreement – though I’d have to say it’s impossible to raise taxes at all given that criterion. Some conflict of interest is unavoidable, I think.

    • Hey Girl,

      My two cents on staying and picking up the slack is that most people need to learn the hard way. There seems to be a never ending supply of parasites that are more than happy to let others take up the slack. The more slack you take, the more you are given. The parasites need to be allowed to self destruct. When someone is determined to hang themself, give ’em the damn rope already and be done with it. I’d say about 40% of the citizenry needs to be given the rope they so depserately desire…..If I can get out, I’ll do it, but I’ll leave ’em some rope. They deserve nothing less.

      • I figured you’d put your 2 cents in. 🙂 What’s to say you can’t give em the rope anyway and tell them to have at it. We can dig in til the storm is over. And you’re former military yourself. You can probably take down your share of sisters! AAAAAnd who’s to say anyone is going to let you back in when the storm is over? Cmon girl! you have to be my bunkmate in the FEMA camp!

        Running for cover…

        • LOL!

          Okay, I’ll be your bunkmate in the FEMA camp! There’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to escape ObamaLand anyway, so I might as well have a plan B!

          😉

  5. Ray Hawkins says:

    Great article USW (and yes I remember that 1989 fire & rebuild quite well). You’re spot on when you refer to the Amish & Mennonites keeping it as local as local can get – I live a stone’s throw from Lancaster County, PA – a dense area of Amish and Mennonite. I also have a neighbor a few doors down that has taken root in the notion of “personal homestead” – he installed geothermal, solar, grows his own fruits and veg, is building a smaller greenhouse – all while working a full time job. He isn’t a nujob or a crazy or think the world is going to end – he just likes knowing that he and his family can live more from their own sweat and toil and hands – and they take every opp they can to save money. As for local government – our local township gets decent attendance to meetings – people do volunteer a lot of time in the community to help keep costs down. At the County level they have gone through a couple of layoffs – yet there is plenty more fat to trim. I’m not even sure what to say of Philly – that place is a mess – rare is there some good or service they have not thought of taxing. They are doing some rolling service outages for firestations across the city to help save some money – but imho they need to tear the entire city government and start from scratch. This is the same city that a few years ago pissed away millions of dollars because they thought they would make Philly an entire wireless-Internet city – nevermind there was no model in place to fund ongoing repair, maintenance and administration – I guess they figured the money would just magically appear. Philly does continue to try and refresh/reinvent itself in other ways – there are still a lot of “plans” for new business and residential construction – but remember – this is a strong union town – so cost also becomes a huge factor.

    I’ll just end with a big nod of the head – shame on anyone who cannot find the time to get involved at least a little in local government – if it means missing an episode of Dancing with the Used-to-be-stars then so be it.

    • USWeapon says:

      Thanks Ray.

      Question for you… you mention Philly and the problems there. I wonder whether you think that the root cause of the city’s problems are because of unions increasing costs, the burden of entitlement programs, corruption, or all of the above. I dislike unions as they tend to inflate the cost of business overall. I obviously dislike entitlement programs and corruption. But you have a little insight to that city.

      Is there any way that Philadelphia could be turned around and saved? Or is it the mindset of the citizens that led to the problems and thus is not salvageable.

      USW

      • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

        have not been thee in several yars but….

        My take on Philly is that the government needs to stand up and say NO. Frankly, they need a Rudy Guilliani. As many negative things as can be said about him you cannot say that he did not kick ass and take names. It turned out that that was the missing ingredient for so long.

        My dad used to say that what is the sense of passing laws if you don’t enforce them? What NY had for over forty yars was exactly that.

        When I first became an Area Housing Director for Community Planning Board 12 for my agency (HPD) in upper Manhattan I had to attend night time community meetings. I was constantly bombarded with the following, “the City has to do something about the housing, people are moving out”.

        After a while I got tired of pointing out that the housing stock had remained virtually unchanged for fifty years in our area. While its quality had deteriorated a bit, it was nowhere near bad enough to write off. So I used to stand up and give them the following:

        “Nobody ever moved out of this city because they couldn’t find adequate housing. They moved because the streets were filthy, they couldn’t walk on the streets after dark and they couldn’t send their kids to the schools.”That gentlemen, sums up urban planning in a nutshell.

  6. They [the Amish] don’t wait on government to provide anything for them.

    Call me naive, but I believe that the only reason the Amish exist is because of the protection of the United States government. Without our military and police, they would would have long since been wiped out by outsiders.

    I can hear it now, Black Flag saying: “if they don’t bother anyone, they will be left alone.” To which I preemptively reply, “how did that work out for the Native Americans?” Without a federal government and military, they would have been wiped out or enslaved and their farmland stolen (along with everyone else’s). Without the police, Americans would have found some way (we are, after all, quite industrious) to steal what is theirs and profit by it.

    Adding, I went to school in PA and saw Lancaster first hand a few times. My favorite moment was I went to a wedding there. I sat quietly and waited respectfully while a prayer was made to thank Jesus before serving dinner. Afterward, I was asked why I didn’t pray and I explained that I am Jewish. The girl, perhaps in her mid-twenties, looked at me for a moment and then, with a very serious expression, she asked me: “so, what exactly is a Jew?” No one else at the table knew the answer either.

    • You know you grew up Jewish when….

      your family dog responds to complaints uttered in Yiddish…. 🙂

      • My family dog is named Latke (pronounced laht-kah), after a traditional Jewish potato pancake. She’s still working on English, but she’ll understand Yiddish soon enough. 🙂

        • We just call them potato cakes. If Latke doesn’t listen do you say “sit down ya damn potato cake” 🙂

        • HEY- That was the guy’s name on Taxi wasn’t it? Andy Kaufman played him and he spoke some kinda BS language!

          • That was a great, great show. Everyone who hears her name asks if I mean the potato pancake or the guy in Taxi.

            Da Vito: Hey, where are you from anyway?
            Kaufman: I am from small island called Caspia
            Da Vito: I’m never heard of it. Where is-
            Kaufamn: It sank.

    • USWeapon says:

      Remember Mathius, most of us are not in the boat of wanting to eliminate all government, just a vastly large portion of it. I believe a situation such as you are talking about with the Amish is one of the very few things that are within the scope of government.

      That being said, Don’t fall into the belief that in a modern America the Amish would be wiped out. First, if you face one you will face them all. They are fiercely loyal to one another. Second, there are a vast number of people who value liberty and freedom who would be willing to step forward and help the Amish against the threats that they face. I would be one of them.

      Finally, I have to point out the blatant flaw in your statement. You used the native Americans as your example as to what would happen to the Amish without government. You do realize that it was the government that wiped out the Native Americans, right? It wasn’t the work of private citizens. It was the government military. If there had been no government at all, the Indians would still be in possession of a vast amount of their lands. No private citizens could have done to them what the government did to them. To claim that the same government that wiped out 99% of the native Americans should be given credit for saving the other 1% is somewhat baffling to me.

      USW

      • More specifically, it was a foreign government that wiped them out. England and then the US were invaders. We wiped them out externally. Without a government to protect them, some foreign power would come over to America and wipe them out and steal their land. If you doubt this, I would suggest you have too much faith in the goodwill of foreign powers.

        • USWeapon says:

          Mathius,

          I have no faith in the goodwill of foreign powers. But I have tons of faith that any foreign power that chose to invade our shores would get their ass handed to them by the most well armed private citizens in the world. Don’t get me wrong, national defense is one of those things that, despite BF’s protests, falls into the realm of the proper role of government and something that is better done nationally than on a private militia level. I just wish our national defense force was all at home being used only for defense.

          USW

      • Esom Hill says:

        I am Kin to Cherokee. Go ask them out in OK how they were doing before the great state of GA came in and imprisoned, then removed all their asses to Oklahoma just to steal their land.

        Go on any reservation and see how the once proud and unyeilding Native Americans have become a bunch of drunks and welfare recipients dependent on the Govt for their living. Or else having casinos come in and turn them into gambling meccas for the white man to come to.

        Yeah boy! The Government really protected and helped them didn’t they? 😉

        • There ya go, Esom!

          Being peaceful and minding your own business will get you wiped out by a foreign power every time. It is only because the US government stands between the Amish and the rest of the world that the Amish can exist.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Incorrect again Mathius,

            It is BECAUSE of the government that the Native Americans are in the state that they are in.

            It is IN SPITE OF THE GOVERNMENT that the Amish exist in the way that they do.

            You are confused, my friend!

            • Didn’t say they weren’t. What I said is that without the gov, someone would come along and make it even worse.

              • Esom Hill says:

                No. Without the Federal Govt, the Natives would have kicked the white man’s asses up into their throats and they would have been afraid to come into Indian lands.

                The Palefaces only took the Injun’s land because of the Federal Army’s backing. The Army only backed the Palefaces up because the Federal Government told them to.

                So. It is BECAUSE of the Federal Government that the Natives are in the shape they are in.

              • I think we should separate current American government from historical American government.

                The current American government isn’t going around butchering whole populations.

                The current American government provides financial aid (where applicable), medical care (where applicable), roads to/from reservations, and defense (both domestic and foreign).

              • And it is also very deep into your life and your pocket. Which do you prefer?

        • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

          Yup,

          I always used to like Andy Jackson until I discovered what he was really all about.

          But it wasn’t everyone who went along. Seems to me that that Crockett fellow stood up to Jackson, lost his job, and hightailed it to Texas. I loved that last quote, “You gentlemen can all go to hell, I’m going to Texas”. Love the guy.

  7. http://411travelexpert.com/law_NYC.htm

    A small offense, not having kids.

    • What an absolutely ridiculous situation to have found themselves in. This is a fine example of a police officer determining that what he was presented with was an opportunity to get revenue for the city. These people were doing no harm, and had clearly simply missed the signage. That it is a fineable offense in the first place is ridiculous. Clearly New York is a bastion of stupidity when it comes to city workers.

      USW

      • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

        Funny, even if I saw the sign I would have thought it just some cutesy joke. That is because, I guess, that I was raised, achieved adulthood and fatherhood before they invented perverts. Today WE MUST PROTECT the children against perverts. Why, who but a pervert, would want to visit a playground alone anyway?

        Jeez!

        Notice the great collection of “don’t” symbols at the bottom of the sign. There was a time, in the not too distant past, when the whole sign would have been considered a joke.

  8. Police property seizures ensnare even the innocent
    Money raised by Metro Detroit agencies increases 50% in five years
    George Hunter and Doug Guthrie / The Detroit News

    Local law enforcement agencies are raising millions of dollars by seizing private property suspected in crimes, but often without charges being filed — and sometimes even when authorities admit no offense was committed.

    The money raised by confiscating goods in Metro Detroit soared more than 50 percent to at least $20.62 million from 2003 to 2007, according to a Detroit News analysis of records from 58 law enforcement agencies. In some communities, amounts raised went from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands — and, in one case, into the millions.

    “It’s like legalized stealing,” said Jacque Sutton, a 21-year-old college student from Mount Clemens whose 1989 Mustang was seized by Detroit police raiding a party. Charges against him and more than 100 others were dropped, but he still paid more than $1,000 to get the car back.

    “According to the law, I did nothing wrong — but they’re allowed to take my property anyway. It doesn’t make sense.”

    While courts have maintained the government’s right to take property involved in crimes, police seizures — also known as forfeitures — are a growing source of friction in Michigan, especially as law enforcement agencies struggle to balance budgets.

    “Police departments right now are looking for ways to generate revenue, and forfeiture is a way to offset the costs of doing business,” said Sgt. Dave Schreiner, who runs Canton Township’s forfeiture unit, which raised $343,699 in 2008. “You’ll find that departments are doing more forfeitures than they used to because they’ve got to — they’re running out of money and they’ve got to find it somewhere.”

    The increase in property seizures merely is a byproduct of diligent law enforcement, some law enforcement officials say.

    “We’re trying to fight crime,” said Police Chief Mike Pachla of Roseville, where the money raised from forfeitures jumped more than tenfold, from $33,890 to $393,014.

    “We would be just as aggressive even if there wasn’t any money involved.”

    From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20091112/METRO/911120388/Police-property-seizures-ensnare-even-the-innocent#ixzz0vSymEXzJ

    This is less than a fourth of it, suggest all with time read the whole article.

    • LOI, You’re spying on me…The new fleet of Chargers in Romulus? I can vouch for them. I live on the same block as the RPD!

      • LOI, You’re spying on me…

        Well,,,yes. Do you mind? And is a jetski as good as a “spin cycle”?

        • Much, much more fun. I’ve been tossed a good 25 feet from mine during a spin cycle..laughing all the way while swimming back to the jet ski. 🙂

          • Last time I was thrown, jumping a big wake, about 15′
            vertical, I was not laughing. Got off the jetski for the rest of the weekend, Aleve and bruski for the pain. No doubt, it was hard water that made the difference.

            • That’s that redneck water yous have down there. Come on up to the Great Lake State, LOI, I’d love to put you thru the spin cycle. (no gutter minds allowed!)

              I’ve been on 3 of the five Great Lakes. Talk about some waves. 3 ft waves will really launch you but catch the wake of a freighter and WHOA! you ain’t just whistlin dixie..it’s a blast!

    • Great find LOI,

      From the article:

      “Police departments right now are looking for ways to generate revenue, and forfeiture is a way to offset the costs of doing business,” said Sgt. Dave Schreiner, who runs Canton Township’s forfeiture unit, which raised $343,699 in 2008. “You’ll find that departments are doing more forfeitures than they used to because they’ve got to — they’re running out of money and they’ve got to find it somewhere.”

      And USW says: Take note of the completely ass backwards way that this supposed officer of the law views the situation. What he is basically saying is that because the force needs money, they are justified in illegally seizing private property in order to raise revenue. Forfeitures are theft in the first place. I have never believed them to be justified. The kid talking about having to pay $1000 to get his car back after charges were dropped should be filing a lawsuit against the city and hauling their asses into court.

      I was having a discussion with Mrs. Weapon a couple of weeks ago about the dog laws here. Canine Weapon looks dangerous and sounds dangerous, but is a big baby who loves everyone. But if he were to bite someone to protect my wife, the city would arrive on my doorstep to take my dog away, impound it as a dangerous animal, and possibly put him down. I made it clear to my wife that they would have to take the dog by force. He is a part of our family. I refuse to recognize ignorant laws, and I will refuse to recognize their authority to take my dog. It would not end well, and you would all see me on the evening news as they marvel over how one man took down so many officers of the law. It is high time that we stand up for ourselves as a people and deny legitimacy to the ridiculous nonsense that passes as law these days.

      USW

      • Wep.. I see you’re feisty today!

        I wholly agree with you in principle, but I do have to differ with you on a minor point… it’s really nothing more than semantics, but you say the please are “illegally seizing private property.” They are not. This is completely legal and backed up with legal precedent. It remains theft, however.

        Give my regards to Canine Weapon!

        • *Typo: The police, not the please.. odd how your hands auto-pilot sometimes…

        • USWeapon says:

          Mathius,

          Understood. I do understand that the law says that they can do so, so it is not technically illegal. But that is just one of the laws that is out of whack with the rights of free men. I am glad that you and I can agree that it is theft, despite the fact that the government has deemed it not so.

          CW says “woof” right back at you. He is currently running around like a hopped up caffeine junkie. 80+ pounds of energy looking for something to run into and break, lol.

          • A wise man once said: “sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”

            The government can call it anything they want, but that doesn’t change the fundamental reality that they are taking things from innocent people in order to raise money for themselves. In terms of police seizures of cars used in drug smuggling or such, this is legitimate. But in cases like the above it is simply theft/extortion. Period.

            A simple thought experiment. If I own a knife which I have used to stab Buck The Wala, the police would be correct in taking it away from me. If I own a knife which I have used to make a turkey sandwich for Buck The Wala, the police would not be correct in taking it away from me. Seems pretty straight forward to me.

            I remember reading recently about a car dealer whose lessee used it to sell drugs. The police seized it. Since the guy went to jail and defaulted on his loan, the collateral (the car) should have gone back to the dealer but the police refused to return it because it had been used in the commission of a crime. The poor guy was just out of luck. It’s ridiculous. The conflict of interest is just astounding.

            • Esom Hill says:

              A wise man also once said that “if your granny had balls, she’d be your grandaddy”. 😀

              • A wise man also once said: “I can see you in front of the stove, making me dinner. But, funny thing, I can’t see the stove.”

                10 Mathius Points if you can name the reference (use of search engines strictly prohibited).

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I’d prefer a ham sandwich. And not to be killed.

              Thanks.

        • Matt,

          Won’t you be feisty when they go after your RedBull again?

          http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-5009316-503544.html

          It will be legal, because Nancy says so, and it’s for your own good, and for the children.

          • I’ll actually be even feistier. I’ll have to drink my entire stockpile before the g-men show up. I don’t know what happens to a man when after when he drinks a 50-gallon barrel o’ Red Bull in one sitting, but it can’t end well.

            • Closest I came to that was back in my heavy drinking days. A buddy challenged me to a jaeger bomb contest for his birthday. We tied at 18 red bulls apiece, along with the accompanying 2 shots of jaeger per can. We were compelled to stop because we ran out of red bull.

              I ended up declaring him winner. He was a lil hungover the next morning, but was fine after that, whereas I shook like a leaf for 3 days. It wasn’t the alcohol, it was the caffeine. My buddy used to polish off a 12-pack of mountain dew every 1-2 days, so his system was pretty used to it. I had a high tolerance for alcohol, but the caffeine, well, I liked a cup of coffee now and again, but that stuff messed me up. 😛

              So, in short, I guess you would be better off fighting for your 50gal barrel than consuming it all at a sitting. Altho a combination of both of those would probably make you comparable to the average viking berserker….

              • HA! That’s fantastic. Next time you do that, let me know and I’ll see if I can give you a run for your money. I don’t drink like I did in college but there was a time when I would polish off a 750 of 151 with my buddy every week or so.

                Viking berserker.. priceless..

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          “This is completely legal and backed up with legal precedent. It remains theft, however.”

          MATHIUS!

          I have SOME hope for you! You FINALLY ADMITTED that the Government engages in LEGALIZED THEFT in order to get the bills paid!

        • Mathius

          So now you have finally admitted that the government CAN commit “legal theft”?

      • From the article:

        In Trenton, forfeiture revenues paid for a new firing range.

        “Forfeitures are a way to help supplement your budgetary issues,” Trenton Chief William Lilienthal said.

        “You can’t supplant your budget with them, but you can supplement it. If you need something, you can utilize those funds to purchase it.”

        *****
        I was in law enforcement once upon a time in California and the monies made from forfeitures was also under the exclusive control of the agency head – i.e. the city council or county commissioners had zero say in how it was used. Made for a heck of a ‘slush fund’ – you only had to follow a few (normally federal) rules on spending it.

  9. Esom Hill says:

    It’s funny how the first thing they cut are the last things they SHOULD cut. First thing cut in our county was School funds. We are now on 160 day schedule. Longer days and shorter year. We also ALREADY have 7 furlough days scheduled. That is just locally. The state may add as many as 10 more. We also cut 36 teachers. All this while our District officials make 6 figure salaries.

    Of course, with me working for the district I have to be careful what I say for fear of MY job. They are also cutting Police and Fire Departments like most others are. These should be the things they DON”T cut.

    Why don’t they instead cut the county officials big slaries? Because THEY are the one’s who make the decisions on who gets cuts, and they sure ain’t a gonna cut their own money! Ours, however, is fair game.

    • I think you’ll find that, accross the board, the long term priorities are generally sacrificed to short term expediency. The next generation of children who won’t have sufficient education aren’t going to be a problem for a decade or two, but if we cut entitlements, God help us all, there’ll be a riot.

      100% agreement on your last paragraph, by the way.

  10. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    This article actually ties in very well to the recent guest post, perhaps as a refutation of parts of the recent guest post.

    The answer is NOT to flee this country in droves if you can afford to do so.

    Regardless of whether you are rich or poor, as a free person you have the right to own property, and a duty to defend yourself and it against tyranny.

    Fleeing America just because the going has gotten tough is the path of cowardice, not the path of courage. If you do go somewhere else, you would be abandoning those who want freedom but cannot afford to go elsewhere. Secondly, in all reality there is a very large chance that wherever you go will not be anymore “free” than “here” is already. Most of the world is as bad or worse on the freedom scale as America is (and that is sad, because America is pretty darn far from “free” at this point).

    I agree that the way to change things starts on the local level. 95%+ of anything of real impact that happens to you happens on a local level.

    Making where you are (and where you want to be) more free is arguably easier than going somewhere else and then having to make somewhere else more free when you find out it isn’t really any better than the mess you just left behind.

    And (hat tip to Mathius, Charlie, and Buck) the ONE greater good argument that I MIGHT buy into, is that for the greater good, those that wish to be free and are well-off should not abandon those who wish to be free and have more meager means. Such abandonment would make them slaves of the unpreventable tyranny.

    BF might argue that the complete and total tyranny is already unpreventable, so if you can get out, get out while you still can. I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think that the next 10 to 50 years are going to be UGLY, but I think that they are going to be UGLY no matter where you go(although some places might weather the coming storm better than others). In my mind it is better to defend our property and our liberty against the coming upheavals rather than abandon our property for the questionable (at best) prospect of more liberty elsewhere.

    Liberty begins (and ends) with free individual cooperating freely. That should start HERE, and it should start and the local level.

    • My problem with the whole stay and fight thing is that I don’t see any realistic plan for victory. The parasite class and their masters, need to be neutralized, at a minimum. Also, what’s the plan to overcome the Leftist indoctrination of the least several decades? Most Americans don’t care about true freedom. All they want is their stupid TV shows and easy lifestyle. To be honest, a nation full of Obama supporters isn’t worth the trouble to me. Get rid of them one way or another, and I’ll consider changing my position. Until then, I’m out…..

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Cyndi P,

        You think you are out, but you are not really.

        You may be in a place that you are CURRENTLY more free than you would be in America, but if America does well and truly go to hell in a handbasket, where you are is likely to be just as bad of a nightmare, if not worse.

        • I’m very much aware of that, Peter. Its just that I REFUSE to try to save idiots from themselves. There is no doing it; and you try at great expense to yourself. I’m with BF, let the Beast eat itself. I’m willing to risk being in a a worse nightmare than continue playing a loosing game. Once the parasite class and their masters are eliminated, or I see a workable, plan, I’ll reconsider. Until then, I’ll look after myself thank you very much…

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Oh, nothing wrong with looking after yourself, that is (of course) the primary responsibility of everyone.

            If everyone were willing to look after themselves we would not have these problems to begin with.

            It is all of the idiots who insist that they know better than I do how to look after me that cause the problems.

            Looking after yourself is good, and getting as far away from a bad situation is good, I am just pointing out to you that if all of the good people abandon the “bad situation” and let it fully collapse in an uncontrolled and uncontested manner, the entire world is not going to be a safe place to be after the uncontested collapes occurrs.

            I hope there are enough of us here that say, “This is MY HOME and I want my home to be FREE” that you never experience what will happen if the collapse comes.

            • When I see workable plan, then I’ll reconsider. Right now, that plan hasn’t been identified. However, I see one of two things ‘working’. One is massive violence ala the French Revolution. I think I can say that none of us here advocate that sort of thing. So thats out. All good.

              The other option is undoing the Leftist indoctrination, power, and control, in time to save the Republic. I haven’t figured out how to do that before the Beast eats all of us and then itself. Even if I did, I’m sure very few would listen anyway.

            • You make me proud to be your fellow American Peter-would just like to add-although we should all look after ourselves-we should also look after our neighbor and help them as much as we can personally-it is much easier to show people with our actions than with our words that true compassion and love comes from people not the government. If one is willing to sit by and let their fellow citizens fall without lifting a finger to help- if they are able and they do nothing- One shouldn’t be surprised when that desperate neighbor grabs for any help they can get-they don’t have the luxury of thinking about the next generation or the future consequences, they are too busy trying to feed their children now. I’m not a psychologist but I can’t help but feel the “you owe me generation” is based more on a humans tendency to justify what they do than on a true belief. Have you noticed that people who have been receiving all these benefits, who have raised families where it seems to be handed down from generation to generation, hate the country that is giving them the help. I think it’s because they recent the loss of their pride-so they must turn it into a “right” to justify the taking-their pride want let them do anything else. But if their friend and neighbor is the one helping, their pride want let most continue to take. They will be encouraged to try harder. The true takers will run out of friends and they will be forced to try harder. So while some here harp on letting the takers fall, which does in fact mean the downfall of the non takers too-we might try to save all of us-by doing what we preach-lending a helping hand, instead of just condemnation.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                V.H.

                Agreed,

                True charity comes from individuals and goes to individuals.

                We should all help our neighbor in times of need (provided that helping our neighbor does not endanger our ability to provide for and protect ourselves and our own families).

                It is a very good example to live by, and it does tend to rub off on other people when they observe it 🙂

  11. Magnolia says:

    It’s either cut back on govt. spending or raise taxes. Decades old politicians represent bureaucrats….not us so anticipate more taxes.

  12. Dear SUFA

    I have returned from my journeys to the wilds of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. I bring you back two pearls of wisdom, picked from the minds of those people we commonly call the Salt of the Earth.

    1. Regarding conspiracies, our govt and the general nature of the universe. “Men in Black was not a sci fi film. It was a documentary.

    2. “After years of study and hard thinking I have concluded there is only one reasonable solution to the bitter partisanship and gridlock in Congress. We simply need to legalize dueling.”

    Further exploration of idea #2 concluded with the realization that it could be the ultimate solution. It wouldn’t be long before those in place were either dead or resigned and nobody in their right mind would want to run for fear of winning.

    Happy August
    JAC

    • Well rested are we JAC? Welcome home.

      • D13

        Good morning Colonel.

        Thanks.

        Like my son said on the way home yesterday. I need a day or two to rest up from our vacation.

        But it was a good trip. You would greatly appreciate a place called the Judith Basin in Montana. If you ever get a chance spend some time there.

  13. Excellent article and economic lesson:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-fire-ice-current-economic-policy-prescriptions-and-why-they-fail

    Submitted by Gonzalo Lira

    Fire & Ice: Current Economic Policy Prescriptions, and Why They Fail

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if I had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    —Robert Frost, Fire and Ice, 1920.

    Current global macro-economic policy is veering between two strategies: Fiscal austerity, or fiscal spending.

    The first camp—fiscal austerity—argues that governments should cut spending, and perhaps even raise certain taxes, so long as those taxes do not harm general economic productivity. The rationale is, the sovereign debt has to be reduced now, as one day, there will be no more buyers for all the debt that’s being floated by countries. When that day comes, the countries will be broke—and broke countries often go up in revolutionary flames.

    The second camp—fiscal spending—argues that cutting back and/or raising taxes in the middle of a slowdown is the sure path to macroeconomic suicide. To their way of thinking, the economic slowdown means lower aggregate demand. So the advocates of fiscal spending argue that to cut spending now would further depress aggregate demand—which would further slow down the economy, turning the situation into a vicious cycle: The dreaded Deflationary Death Spiral Freeze-Out. Therefore, to quote Cheney: Fuck the deficit. Rather than tighten its belt, the government should step in and spend more, so as to maintain the level of aggregate demand in the economy, until such time as it is once again back on its feet and able to expand without fiscal stimulus.

    The fiscal austerity crowd counter that adding more spending to an already over-spent state will just exacerbate the problem of fiscal over-indebtedness. Indeed, to their way of thinking, adding more debt to the problem will only hasten and make inevitable a final day of reckoning.

    The fiscal spenders don’t really have a counter-argument to this. Indeed, some of the more foolish members of the fiscal spenders’ camp argue that, with more spending, the economy will rev up to such a point that it will magically grow its way out of debt—but that’s just stupid; a mirror image of the Laffer Curve nonsense.

    It’s not all that surprising, once you realize it: Certain hard-core neo-Keynesians (who argue for even more fiscal spending), and the Reaganaut Supply Siders of the Big Eighties (who argued for even more tax cuts for the rich), really are just twins separated at birth—really stupid twins, who probably should have been smothered in the crib. Both hard-core Neo-Keynesians and Reaganaut Supply Siders basically argue that the greater the fiscal shortfall, the greater the private sector stimulus which will result, said private sector stimulus being the engine which will in time rev up the economy and make up for the fiscal shortfall—an obvious fallacy for anyone who knows basic math.

    The more honest members of the fiscal spending camp know this—they know that deficit stimulus will not result in such growth that it will wipe away the deficit through increased tax receipts. But they are also convinced that only government spending will keep the economy from that dreaded deflationary stall. So they hem and haw and equivocate, while all the while seeming to imply—with a weird little twitch—that over time, so as to service that monster debt, the state will simply have to devalue the currency, and thereby give U.S. Treasury bondholders a de facto haircut.

    Currency devaluation—or specifically, dollar devaluation—has a lot of obvious benefits in a potentially deflationary crisis. The problem, however, is that it can’t be done by diktat. Roosevelt did it in March of ’33 when he confiscated gold and then repegged the dollar—but that was then, when the dollar was in fact pegged to gold. Since Nixon and the end of Bretton Woods, modern currencies float on nothing but air. So if currency devaluation is to happen, then it can only be done through “controlled” inflation (as if such a thing were possible).

    In the fiscal spenders’ playbook—though it is never spelled out—this is the way by which the debt will magically disappear: “Controlled inflation” or “de fact devaluation” or whatever other term is invented for it, will force debt-holders to take the brunt of the shaft, while avoiding the deflationary death spiral. Or so the fiscal spending camp would seem to be implying, but carefully never stating: Krugman et al. are constantly arguing in favor of massive fiscal spending—fueled obviously by massive fiscal debt—but they never bother to give any reasonable alternative explanation as to how the monster fiscal debt will be serviced, aside from leaving the door discretely open for this posited stealth currency devaluation-slash-“controlled” inflation.

    Some might argue that devaluation or “controlled inflation” or whatever it’s called is not at all the exit strategy of the fiscal spenders’ camp—after all, they haven’t said that it is. But I would argue that, if the total nominal fiscal debt crosses some as-yet indeterminate ratio of debt-to-GDP—say for the sake of argument two times the GDP—then would there possibly be any other way to service the debt, save by inflation or currency devaluation?

    The fiscal austerity camp sees this too—and they give the big middle-finger to a de facto currency devaluation. Because just as the Neo-Keynesians are terrified of a deflationary stall, the fiscal austerity crowd are terrified of asset value destruction.

    The fiscal austerity camp freely admits that austerity measures will cut government spending and indeed lead to a slowdown—but they claim it’s necessary to “clean out the dead wood”, or arguments to that effect. They insist that any enforced or triggered slowdown won’t be a self-perpetuating deflationary black hole. The reason, they argue, is because eventually, once overhanging inventory is wiped out either through write-offs or price cuts or just regular old consumption, the economy will reach an inflection point: There will be no overhang left to consume—the economy will have to start producing again, which will naturally lead to the end of any deflationary downward spiral, and an upturn in the economic fortunes of America.

    To this scenario, however, the fiscal spenders camp asks the obvious question: How long will this process take? A year? Or a decade? Or maybe two? But we’ve got people hurtin’ now. So once again—fuck the deficit . . .

    . . . and so off they go again, both camps arguing endlessly as they spin off into space like a top built out of PowerPoint presentations, PDF papers with more footnotes than arguments, and mathematical equations from all those cool and useless models that sure as hell did not see this mess coming.

    These aren’t academic questions here: Both policy approaches are being tried out—fiscal spending on a world-historic scale in the United States, fiscal austerity for-real in the UK, and in-name-only in the Eurozone.

    My sense is, both policy approaches will fail, because both are ignoring the elephant in the room—the real culprit responsible for the hole we’re in.

    To understand the real culprit, let’s look first at the priorities of both policy camps:

    The fiscal spending camp are basically Neo-Keynesian, “saltwater” economists; ‘cause they’re on the coasts. They consider the maintenance of aggregate demand as the primary goal of macroeconomic policy. More demand means more production, which means more jobs, which means more demand—voilà: A virtuous Neo-Keynesian cycle. (They are so into their vicious and virtuous cycles that they remind me of Tasmanian Devils.)

    The fiscal austerity camp, on the other hand, are basically Monetarists, with a few Austrians thrown in for flavoring—so-called “sweetwater” economists; ‘cause they’re in Chicago and Middle America. This camp considers the stability of asset prices in real terms to be necessary for the sound running of the economy: Asset price stability means more investment, means more jobs, means more savings, means more assets, means more investment—and so on.

    The two camps view it as “normal” for both aggregate demand and asset levels to continuously and predictably (on a macroeconomic level) accrete. When demand and/or assets plateau (or let alone fall), one or the other camp gets into a tizzy—which makes perfect sense: Each camp views either aggregate demand (for the Neo-Keynesian “saltwater” economists) or asset levels (for the “freshwater” austerity camp) as the cornerstone of economic activity, and therefore of economic prosperity. Whatever damages that economic cornerstone is exactly what ought to be avoided—just as whatever benefits that cornerstone is precisely the thing which ought to be implemented or encouraged.

    They might as well just print up placards, and go march on either end of Wall Street: “What’s Good For Aggregate Demand is Good For America!!!” on one side, “What’s Good for Asset Levels is Good For America!!!” on the other.

    Neither policy prescription is inherently evil—or even inherently wrong. Both policy prescriptions are simply trying to bring back the good ol’ days—when everyone had a multi-million dollar McMansion-slash-ATM, and everyone drove the latest 3-ton urban assault vehicles to go pick up little Junior and little Missy at the private daycare center and soccer practice. In essence, both approaches are seeking a status quo ante.

    Neither camp, however, realizes that what they both want is impossible—not because they are contradictory or mutually exclusive: But because the aggregate demand increases and the asset level increases we have experienced over the past 30 years or so were artificial and illusory. Both the massive aggregate demand increases over the last 27 years, and the massive asset level increases over the last 27 years, were both caused by the same culprit: Subsidized money.

    Not cheap money—subsidized money.

    The prosperity in the U.S. over the last 27 years has not been earned. Those asset levels and aggregate demand levels that formed the basis of the prosperity of the last quarter century were both founded upon now-unpayable debt. That massive debt happened because debt was cheap—because the Federal Reserve, that bastion of free-enterprise, effectively subsidized the cost of money and made the debt cheap.

    Rather than let the market determine the cost of money—just as with any other commodity—the Fed basically carried out a Marxist-Leninist top-down policy towards money (How ironic, considering Greenspan’s love of Ayn Rand). This money subsidy kept both economic camps happy—because subsidized money goosed both aggregate demand and asset levels. But subsidized money led to the massive distortions which, over time, crested and broke, causing the near-existential crisis of capitalism we are living through today.

    The current crisis was caused by subsidized money. Period.

    This shouldn’t be controversial—this is Eccy 101: The price of something is the intersection of supply and demand. If a price is subsidized, then demand will ramp up, often to an unsustainable level if it is an essential good. In every single economy where the price of something essential has been subsidized—be it food, fuel, housing—the result has been messy to the point of disastruous. Why should it be any different when you subsidize money?

    The Fed artificially fixed the price of money—indeed, this policy was called The Great Moderation. The rationale for this money subsidy was an intellectually bankrupt hodge-podge ideology of Keynesian “pump-priming”, coupled with Monetarist “inflation fighting” bullshit. But then Greenspan, Bernanke, and all the rest of those self-important yahoos were never nearly as clever as they thought they were: That’s why they were all so surprised at the distortional effects of this subsidy, when the chickens came home to roost in September of ’08. That surprise was genuine—they didn’t have a fucking clue what they did wrong: And they still don’t.

    Let’s take the distortional effects on asset levels first.

    People today moan the fact that investors are constantly chasing returns, leading to serial asset bubbles. But let’s look at the obvious: If the Fed had not subsidized money, then plain vanilla FDIC-insured savings would have been getting decent returns (≥5%). Ten-year Treasuries would have been at average yields of 6% to 8%. We would not have had the asset inflation we’ve experienced since ’83. We would likely not had the fiscal deficits we’ve experienced, either—it would have been much too expensive for the U.S. Federal Government to service those deficits.

    Asset inflation really started in ’73, with the first oil shock—but it was part of an across-the-board inflation spike, which was finally brought to heel by Volcker in ’82–’83. Asset inflation as an exclusive phenomenon took off in ’83, then really picked up speed after the ’86 “tax reform”, until the 2007/2008 top.

    Subsidized money courtesy of the Fed—coupled with the perverse capital gains tax cut of ’86, which effectively abetted speculators—led to asset inflation on a scale not seen since the Tulipmania. I don’t think this needs much defense—the evidence is all around.

    The principal effect of this subsidized-money-and-low-capital-gains-tax-leading-to-asset-inflation phenomenon was that it became more worthwhile to trade than to produce. Since all asset prices were rising, and on top of that the tax code was benefitting asset traders over income producers, it created the perverse financial incentive to outsource American industries.

    This is what wreaked the American middle classes. Massive outsourcing, and the loss of manufacturing jobs it produced, wasn’t a case of “economic efficiencies” at work. Nor was it “globalization” at work either. Rather, this was the case of subsidized money wreaking American industries by making it more lucrative to trade away a company than to improve it. With the whole economy chasing returns, it was cheaper to “outsource” manufacturing to “cheaper” countries, since the Fed’s subsidized money, coupled with the lowered capital gains tax, made it more worthwhile to play roulette than to build a doo-dad.

    This was on the asset side of the equation. But the Fed’s subsidized money policy (if anyone ever again calls it “cheap money” I swear to God I’m gonna get one of my gold bricks and bash someone’s head in, I swear to God!), also had tremendously distortional effects on aggregate demand.

    Again, the obvious: Every consumer got cheap credit. So everyone went out and bought stuff with that cheap credit. Hence aggregate demand continued to rise inexorably—hence the Neo-Keynesians felt satisfaction that there was more demand (the engine of their economic ideology, don’t forget), even as they tut-tutted middle-class stagnation and “jobless recoveries”, and other weird distortions in the economy. Some people tried explaining this middle-class stagnation—of course they failed. They produced papers vaguely talking about globalization and improved efficiencies, but the explanations sounded as bogus as XVI century doctors blaming “the vapors” for a lethal case of pneumonia.

    The reason for middle-class stagnation, of course, as well as the stratification of American society, is that the wealthy became traders, and traded away the middle-class jobs so as to benefit from the capital gains tax breaks. The middle-classes didn’t complain much—they were getting offers for new credit cards every week in the mailbox, with which they went out and shopped, shopped, shopped ’til they dropped.

    Which they did: The middle-classes are in much worse shape than the macroeconomic numbers show. (This piece is a depressing case in point.)

    The subsidized money which the Fed provided made both economic camps happy: It was the financial steroid that provided rapid asset level increases, while bulking up aggregate demand.

    The only cost, of course, was that the subsidized money provided by the Fed hollowed out the American economy.

    Now, as both policy camps try coming up with a solution to return to the good ol’ days of the status quo ante, it is increasingly and depressingly clear that the status quo ante won’t be coming back any time soon—because the days of status quo ante were all a lie.

    So what to do?

    If I were absolute dictator of the United States, I would ignore both of these policy “choices”. Instead, for the sake of the long term health of the American economy, and the other world economies intimately connected to it, this is what I would do:

    •Allow interest rates to float at the whim of supply and demand. The Fed would provide liquidity, but only at market rates, never subsidized.
    •Impose a flat tax across the board of 15% for individuals earning any income over the minimum wage, 25% for corporations, a 20% national VAT, and impose a capital gains tax of 40%, with no loopholes, subsidies, tax breaks or tax write-offs—not even amortization or depreciation.
    •Cut government spending to the bare bones, until the budget is balanced. Cut military spending to 10% of what it is today.
    •Eliminate Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, and impose a private but highly regulated pension and health care system, like the ones here in Chile (which are damned good, BTW, and which were also, unsurprisingly, imposed by a dictator—but are still going strong 20 years after he left).
    •Cut the Fed’s life-support of the Too Big To Fail banking system, and let those zombies die already. Whie we’re at it, prosecute the banksters.
    •Finally—and this is the tough part—let the economy crash: Let the asset prices collapse to sustainable levels, and let aggregate demand collapse to sustainable levels.
    If the above measures were imposed, and the U.S. economy were allowed to crash quickly, harshly, unemployment as measured by U-6 would spike to 50% or 60%, and hang around 35% for a good six months before slowly settling to 20% in a year or so—which is where we are now. Half the S&P and all the Too Big To Fail banks would go broke. Imports would evaporate. The idea of America as a consumer society would be gone almost overnight. There’d also be riots and general civil unrest for a year or two, but nothing that terrible—Americans are a remarkably docile people.

    What would happen after that? What would the U.S. get for this short-term pain and suffering?

    The two thing needed for true long-term prosperity, from where the U.S. economy is today: Asset price levels would collapse. And aggregate demand levels would also collapse.

    It would mean that trading—in whatever assets—would cease to be financially beneficial, and instead production would reassert itself as the form of social wealth creation.

    It would also mean that mindlessly consuming would also cease to be a macroeconomically beneficial policy priority, much less a personal goal. It might even lead to a truly Green economic mentality—true conservation, as opposed to the pseudo-brand, where buying more and more “green” stuff is supposed to be “helping the environment”, when of course it isn’t.

    These measures would all be very painful—adaptation always is. But this approach—what I would call Free Market Redux—would be the healthiest way to rebuild the U.S. economy, and frankly American society.

    Of course, no one’s ever going to let me be dictator of the United States. And no one is going to so much as contemplate the need to take the hits that I propose. I’m sure many clever readers are smirking at my “foolish measures”, dismissing them, while they take seriously the two policy prescriptions—fiscal spending versus fiscal austerity—which I outlined above. Both will continue slugging it out, while they both ignore the causes—or rather, the cause—of what brought us here.

    Right now, in the U.S., there really is no debate: Fiscal spending on a world-historic scale is taking place. Fuck the deficit indeed.

    But don’t be fooled—the deficit is being handled.

    While world-historic fiscal spending is going on, a scam which I’d call Surreptitious Monetization is also taking place.

    Like all good scams, Surreptitious Monetization is basically simple: The U.S. Treasury is issuing debt, in order to raise the cash to finance this world-historic fiscal spending. The Big Six banks, the Too Big To Fail banks, are dutifully buying up every scrap of Treasury paper . . . while through the backdoor, the Federal Reserve Board is providing liquidity to the banks, precisely so as to buy up this Treasury paper. In the details, it’s insanely complicated, of course—deceptions live or die on how opaque the details of the scam. But in its basic shape, that’s what’s going on: Surreptitious Monetization.

    The Big Six banks are dutifully carrying out the game plan, while making themselves rich in the bargain, by way of massive bonuses. A lot of commentators have wondered why the U.S. authorities aren’t cracking down on the banksters bonuses—these commentators don’t seem to realize that the “bonuses” are in essence pay-offs from the Fed and the Treasury to the banksters, to keep them doing what they’re doing: They are effectively colluding with the authorities in their efforts to monetize the national debt.

    It’s why there hasn’t been deflation—the Federal Reserve has been pumping cash out into the economy, halting price deflation in its tracks. (BTW, it’s also why the Fed is terrified to open its books to outside scrutiny.) Though there ought to be deflation, there won’t be deflation. Helicopter Ben will be true to his moniker.

    Through Surreptitious Monetization, the U.S. economy is being kept afloat—but how will it end? Will the Fed close its windows, bringing about the much-feared Deflationary Ice Age? Or will the Fed continue printing money, until a hyperinflationary firestorm burns us all to a crisp?

    At the start of this piece, I quoted Frost’s Fire and Ice in its entirety, drawing the analogy between these two policy camps and the lines of verse. I actually never cared for the poem. It’s always sounded to me like an over-serious limerick—I keep half-expecting to hear the word “Nantucket” crop up in the middle of it. But be that as it may, most readers basically take Frost to mean that he does not know how things will end—it might end in fire, or it might end in ice. But regardless of how it will happen, Frost suggests that it will indeed end—because everything ends, regardless of the manner.

    Similarly, I have no idea if we will end in the revolutionary-hyperinflationary fire so feared by the austerity camp, or in the icy freeze-out of a deflationary death spiral as per the fiscal spenders camp.

    All I know is how we got here—subsidized money. And all that I am certain of is that our current system will indeed end—one way or the other.

  14. I offer a comment on taxes for welfare, welfare inspired indolence, trickle down economy, wage controls, work week mandates, free trade, and economy in one article written 242 years ago by one Medius. The arguments have not changed.

    http://www.historycarper.com/resources/twobf3/labourin.htm

    • TRay

      Great find.

      And yes, the arguments have not fundamentally changed for hundreds of years.

      I do think that is because the war over philosophical principles was never settled in a manner that allowed clarity of purpose. We see that today with “political” ideas that conflict with each other, proposed by the same person. Such as freedom and welfare.

      By my memory your summer should be getting sweltering hot by now. Have you tried your hand at a little gold panning in the Sierras yet this summer?

      JAC

      • Actually summer here in NorCal has been below normal. Very few 100+ days so far. If I was 30 years younger I might try the panning thing but right now I care for an invalid wife, work full time, keep a 39 year classic sports car on the road, and am remodeling my basement after a broken pipe flood this spring. I have made plum jelly this summer and will be making apple sauce from my trees shortly. So there is not much time for me to play in the black sands at the river’s edge although I could coast 700′ vertically down to Sutter’s Mill SP in a bicycle. The trip home would be a bear.

        Not long after moving here, I was called for jury duty. I had all I could do not laugh out loud when the judge read the charges. It was mining on state property without a license. Claim jumping in Olde Hangtown.

        For those who did not follow the link Medius = Ben Franklin.

        During the Revolution Franklin was in charge of printing the script. He fully understood the prinicples of inflation and used them to countries advantage at the time. Later, Hamilton also understood monetary policy and used it quite well as the early Sec of Treas. Franklin met Adam Smith in Scotland while he was writing his book. Hamilton later studied it carefully. The amount and breadth of philosophy, economics, politcal systems etc. these founders read, discussed, and understood is astounding. They truly were intellectuals but with a very practical streak unlike many intellectuals today.

    • TRay,

      Echoing JAC, great find!

  15. $500 fine for praying!

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/07/31/pub-chicago-man-charged-disorderly-conduct-praying-outside-planned-parenthood/?test=latestnews

    Praying Outside Clinic Gets Man Disorderly Conduct Charge

    By Diane Macedo

    Published August 02, 2010

    | FoxNews.com

    Complaining witness, left, stands next to Joe Holland, middle, as he prays the rosary outside Planned Parenthood’s Near North Center in Chicago.

    A Chicago man says he’s fighting charges of disorderly conduct for simply standing on a public sidewalk and praying.

    Joseph Holland, a 25-year-old graduate student at Northwestern University, says he was standing still praying the rosary outside a Planned Parenthood facility in downtown Chicago July 3 when police arrested him for violating the city’s new “Bubble Zone” ordinance.

    The law, passed in October, states that a person cannot approach within 8 feet of another person without consent “for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education or counseling” within 50 feet from any health care facility.

    It also says a person cannot “by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction” intentionally interfere with any person entering or leaving any health care facility.

    But Holland

    “I was just standing by the building praying the rosary and one of the Planned Parenthood volunteers came up to me and started yelling at me that I needed to move 8 feet away, but the thing is I didn’t actually approach anyone; I was just standing by the building and the building doesn’t actually have a bubble,” Holland told FoxNews.com.

    Holland said he never responded to that volunteer or said a word to any Planned Parenthood staffers or anyone entering the building, but he still got arrested.

  16. MATHIUS

    You posted this above regarding govt and Indians.

    “Didn’t say they weren’t. What I said is that without the gov, someone would come along and make it even worse.”

    Aside from invasion by outside forces, could you explain just how someone could make things worse without Govt protection.

    Top O’ The Mornin to Ya
    JAC

    • Top O’ The Mornin’ back ya!

      I suppose the answer depends on how you define “foreign.” I see that gangs / generic criminals / capitalists would destroy them in some way or another. To be fair, without government, I think that gangs / generic criminals / capitalists would destroy the rest of us as well.

      We were discussing, if memory serves, the Amish. The Amish are ardent pacifists. They will not fight for their own defense. I remember once seeing a video of an Amish man who was beaten severely by some punk kid when he refused even to attempt to defend himself or run away. The Amish guy was big (a lifetime of manual labor will do that) and I have no doubt he could have handled the kid just fine, but he wound up in the hospital anyway. You tell me what chance a people like that has without protection being provided by someone else.

      They will not be left alone just because they are peaceful – the “you’ll be left alone if you’re peaceful” concept is horse manure.

      • Mathius

        Note that the Amish man was NOT protected from the beating and Govt DID exist at the time that was supposed to protect him.

        This is a perfect example of the fallacy sold to all of us. “We need govt to protect us.”

        As you know, when it comes to foreign invaders (not USA) then I find a good case here. But not when it comes to domestic violence or crime.

        For the most part we are really talking about capture, trial and incarceration or some form of restitution.

        As for the Indians, the vast majority of Tribes would be better off without the Federal Govt’s supposed “protection”. The sad thing is that many of their members don’t believe that either. They have completely swallowed the kool aid due to the govt’s manipulations over time. Many are simply hooked on the subsidies, handouts and “trust” relationship.

        • Actually JAC, I find that the capture and incarceration is a viable way to stop a lot of crimes from happening-it’s hard to commit them when you are in jail. And being able to call the police to come help prevents a lot more.

          • V.H.

            Yes, to the extent that those in jail are prone to more crimes then it is preventative. While they are locked up.

            But it doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of Law Enforcement is not “prevention”.

            The question we should ask, is whether there is a level of Police staffing that does in fact result in serious prevention? If so, what is it and what would it cost us?

            Generally speaking the greatest crime reduction mechanism is a healthy and growing economy. The other would be elimination of laws that criminalize personal behavior that does not impose on others, like smoking POT.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            V.H.

            I would venture to guess that in 98% of all cases, the police are called AFTER THE CRIME HAS BEEN COMMITTED ALREADY.

            • I have no idea what the percentage is-but that is when finding, prosecuting, and putting them in jail to prevent them from doing it again comes in.

            • I would venture a guess that, in 98% of cases, the crime never happens in the first place because the risk of getting caught is too high.

              I probably would have stabbed my brother to death by now. Not worth the risk of getting caught.

      • Hmmmmm..Matt.. Do I need to be careful here? My “free roaming” raptor contingent would be considered a gang? They thrive on Pacifist snacks…and government lackeys..etc.

  17. JAC & PeterB

    Meet me on Yesterday would ya’s?

  18. Montgomery’s New Civil Rights Struggle
    August 3, 2010 – 9:42 AM | by: David Lewkowict

    In 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a bus and forever changed the course of history. Her very public struggle for equality began at a bus stop outside Columbia Court apartments in Montgomery, Alabama.

    “It is a very sad situation, it is quite ironic, that this is the place, this is the city where the civil rights movement began in 1955, a very assertive civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King. Yet you have the civil rights of minorities being violated here in a new kind of way, on, I think, a massive scale,” said David Beito, chair of the Alabama advisory board to the US Commission on Civil Rights.

    Residents — mostly African-American — accuse the city of Montgomery of taking their property without just compensation. Using the city’s blight ordinance, Montgomery is condemning properties, demolishing them, and even billing the property owners for the demolition costs.

    “We have good evidence that these homes are not in fact blighted, that is the pretext that they are blighted and that is why they are being demolished,” Beito said. ”Property owners are losing their land and I think that there is good reason to believe it often ends up in the hands of wealthy developers. It’s eminent domain on steroids.”

    Karen Jones testified before a hearing held by Beito’s advisory panel, charging that the city demolished her grandparents’ property without proper notice.

    “When we got here, like I said, half the house — the back half of the house was demolished,” Jones said. “I said let me see your paperwork, I need to know what are you doing here, because the taxes are paid on this land, you’re trespassing. And they told me that I couldn’t be on the land while they are demolishing the house.”

    Jimmy McCall and his attorney Norman Hurst were among more than 100 witnesses and property owners who testified before the same hearing. McCall says he was building a 5000 sq. ft. home out of salvaged and recycled wood. His property sits along a busy thoroughfare. McCall says many have asked him to sell his land but he is always refused.

    “It was my dream house and the day they tore it down my wife cried and my little girl cried.” McCall explained.

    McCall says he took the city to court to prevent demolition and won in both state and federal courts. McCall also got an injunction forcing the city off his property. Using the blight ordinance, McCall’s property was eventually demolished and he was sent the bill.

    “I never thought a municipality or any other government agents would go against a court order,” McCall said. ”I never thought they were that bold and arrogant and that they, you know, could just say away with you — we’re gonna do what we want to do and they did it. You know they actually came out and did it.”

    Mayor Todd Strange says he took office after McCall’s home was condemned and demolished. Without commenting on this specific case, Strange argues that the city is aggressively targeting properties that have been neglected.

    “I want property owners to act responsibly. If they don’t care about their property then I want them to sell it to somebody that does care. If they do not care and continue to violate the ordinances of the city of Montgomery then we are going to take all appropriate and necessary action to clean our city and to keep our city safe and attractive and growing.”

    Jones and McCall say they have the same interest in improving Montgomery and that the properties we’re not neglected.

    The Alabama Advisory Board found in favor of the property owners, recommending that the full U.S. Civil Rights Commission investigate any violations by the city. No one from the city appeared before the board.

    Beito says there is evidence the city of Montgomery is targeting black homeowners for the benefit of private developers.

    Mayor Strange disputes this claim.

    Read more: http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/08/03/montgomerys-new-civil-rights-struggle/?test=latestnews#ixzz0vZnO5oDq

  19. let the cities do what they going to do. Survival of the fittest says Im still going to find what is free and where its free. In north carolina we can hit the county or the city or the state or the feddies – ain’t no reason to sweat more than you need to do when some other chump can pay the bill. and no matter how many people go crazy about it the politicians not going to change it because they still want me vote – no matter what party they from

    • Ok guys who wants to go first? 🙂

      • say what?

        • I’m teasing the regular posters here BDN. I’m sure there are many who would like to challenge your opinions.

          I’ll start…YOUR THOUGHTS ARE THE REASON WE ARE WHERE WE ARE AS A NATION.

          Why can you not fend for yourself instead of depending on a broken system to bail you out?

          • not sure what you mean? i served my time and you all owe me – the system aint broke if i can use it and use my money to have a better standard of living. thats survival of the fittest baby. dont hate on it.

            • Ok. I served my time too and continue to serve. Why should I now serve you? Are you handicapped? Are you homeless, if so, who’s fault is that. Is it my fault? I’m Just a Citizen like you. I’m struggling to get by myself. Now you want to pull me down with you? How do you square that up?

              Calling JAC! 911 🙂

              • Anita my dear, you are doing just fine.

                🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

                That’s right, FIVE for you.

                And one to grow on:

                🙂

              • See what you made me do JAC? You personally made me stand up and scare BDN away! Then no one but Plainlyspoken and some traitor out in the middle of the Pacific would come to help me douse the flames. Actually that island dweller added fuel to the flames which she will pay dearly for shortly.

                I thought you would like my play on words though!

                Thanks for the 5 smiley award..my first.. and a bonus one to boot 🙂

              • Ahh….don’t get mad girl! Don’t you know passive-aggressive behavior when you see it? You’ve been married, you know how it works! 🙂

                My behavior isn’t directed at you, but at The Beast. My EngSoc now ex-husband taught me well.

                Don’t confront the Beast. It feeds on the anger and uses it to justify violence upon the Resistance. Use its institutions against it. Twist its intentions into a blade and kill it with a thousand small cuts.

                Need I remind you that the Left has been doing this to Republic for DECADES?

                Don’t get mad, get even.

                Kill the Beast.

              • You didnt scare me away anita – i had some business to scare up and get paid.

              • Crack or females?

                Peace,dude

              • It’d be no fun if i answered that

              • I agree Anita,,you are doing great…JAC and I have your “six”. No worries…

              • Thanks D13. I almost had to let you loose on our guest earlier but everyone else combined took care of what I know you could have done yourself! 🙂

                12 smileys in one day. SWEET! Take that everyone. I got the record and proud of it!

              • I didnt ask you to serve me you can work for me if you want but you may not be my type girl. I aint handcaped or homeless just smart to know how to get what it is I want and how to use a system that was there before me. i paid my dues for this country and was tossed on my ear – now I’ll take and use what is there for the taking.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                What “dues” did you specifically pay, and how did you pay them?

                Were you not properly compensated for your time while “paying your dues”?

                If not, why not? Did you negotiate a crappy contract for yourself? Did the counterparty to the contract renege on their end of the deal in some way?

                If the counterparty to the contract did indeed wrong you in some way, why do you feel you have the right to inflict harm upon other people who were clearly not counterparties to the original contract?

                Please help me understand, ’cause I certainly never made any contract with you, and I most certainly never had any agreements with you, so any claim of yours that I owe you anything is easily demonstrated to be false.

            • A red herring perhaps?

              • Perhaps! But pretty shortly I’m going to be over my head and JAC or someone better save me or deal with me later.

                Cyndi get out here immediately!

              • Here I am, but you’re not gonna be happy, LOL.

                I don’t blame BDN a bit. Actually, I’ve joined his camp.

                Let the stupid O-Bots that still have jobs pay for my easy living. If they don’t like it, too damn bad. They’ve sold their souls to him. I didn’t ask for this crappy governance, but since I’m stuck with it, eff ’em. The Beast will consume itself that much faster, an then those of us that survive (that survival of the fittest BDN was talking about), will be free, at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we’ll be free at least. AMEN!

              • I WILL MEET YOU IN THE LOCKER ROOM IN A WHILE!

                I have to go use my hard earned money to cook some expensive food for my family instead of going to the soup kitchen for a handout.

              • Go to the Soup Kitchen.

                Kill the Beast.

                Do I get any Black Flag points yet?
                😉

              • say what? I dont eat red herring. caviar and lobster maybe

            • The only people who “owed” you anything were your parents, they brought you into this world. They – presumably – cared for you until you became a legal adult. At that time it was no longer a free ride, for you or for anyone else as far as I am concerned.

              You now should be earning what you receive. While I understand an occasional need for help – which should be limited – you are not entitled to any permanent handouts from the work of others to live your life.

              And this was my “count to ten first” response.

              • Which is much more politelyspoken than I was ready to offer next 😉

              • how you gonna decide for me what I need and who i get it from? huh? you dont like what i take and use then dont put it there to start with. i wasted my ass for a decade for this country – i will enjoy what is there for me for a lifetime.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              BDN,

              No one “owes” you anything whatsoever, PERIOD.

              If you perform a service for me to which I contractually agree, and you MEET THE STIPULATIONS of that contract, then I owe you what I specified I would pay you in that contract.

              If you CHOSE to “serve your country” or “serve your time” or whatever, that was your choice and had nothing to do with me whatsoever.

              As such, for a choice which YOU made, you cannot claim anyone else has any obligation to you. Plain and simple, they do not.

              Face it, son, you made a bad choice and it bit you in the ass, and now you wanna “get what’s yours” out of revenge.

              The problem is, what you THINK is yours ain’t yours, it is someone else’s. You are just stealing it and using the government as your middleman.

              “Legally”, this is currently allowed, so go for it, more power to ya!

              However, if you want your logic to be actually correct instead of faulty, you need to realize that you are getting what you think someone “owes” you through “legalized theft” and that is really all there is to it.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      In many ways, BDN is precisely correct. For those of you who vote, VOTING IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE ANYTHING.

      The system is still gonna be the system, and people like BDN who have no qualms about being slaves to their government masters will continue to get their “free stuff” regardless of which party gets voted in.

      BDN has that part EXACTLY RIGHT.

  20. Over here Cyndi,

    How bout some Anita points where the sun doesn’t shine? 🙂

  21. BDN:
    You do what you want, play your “survival” game, just understand this. I do not owe you. You served of your own choice for a reward you valued highly enough to do it. I do not owe you unless I entered into a mutually agreed upon contract with you, and have yet to hold up my end. This is not the case.

    As for the state of the country, Anita is partly right. You may not be the sole cause, but people like you sure havent helped. Anyone with a “you owe me complex” is part of the problem.

    As for your “don’t put it out there” statement, I agree, only I did not put it out there, a theif stole it and put it out there.

    Cyndi:
    I get your frustration, and you have the option to do as you see fit I suppose. As for me, I figure the beast will starve on its own without me suckling its vile, corrupted, and contaminated milk. I have no interest in taking stolen goods to starve the theif. The one’s being taken from are the ones it will truly starve. I am more inclined to slay the beast than starve it. I know, I know, “no matter how right you are, or how hard you fight, sometimes the dragon wins.” Its a risk. But I would rather die fighting than not be able to live with myself.

    Anita:
    Keep kicking butt, you don’t need JAC as much as you claim to. 😛

    • Yeah! Take that BDN! AND Cyndi! Thanks Jon, I try hard, really I do 🙂

    • Jon,

      I’m also starving the Beast when I can; just bleeding it too. When people have had enough pain THEN they will act. The sooner the better. Playing by the Beast’s rules makes the fight much harder and longer. Why play by the Beast’s rules? The sooner the Beast dies the better off everyone will be. So far as I can tell, playing by the Beast’s rules is enabling it and prolonging the suffering of those who don’t deserve it. You can’t protect them from it, but why extend their torment?

      • Oh, don’t worry Cyndi, I only abide by the rules I haven’t found a way around. I am not extending its life, I just live on its gifts and keep my integrity. Especially if I am trying to find ways to cut down on how much is stolen from me. The less I pay in, the less I can justify feeding on the beast.

        • I still have my integrity. I observe the laws. I have found my tax loop hole. I didn’t create this system. I cast my pointless vote against the system every chance I get. When the Beast finally exhausts itself and dies, I won’t complain. Should the Beast begin to change its nature (as if!), I’ll change my actions. Until then, I’m Dear Reader’s awkward child, dragging her feet, and dawdling.

          When I believe that majority of citizens at long last ‘get it’ and are determined to fix it, I’ll change my actions. Too many citizens are still wating for their ‘president’ to save them while they watch the TeeeVeee. They deserve what they get and I’m just the girl to LET it happen.

          • I do not doubt your integrity Cyndi, I just don’t feel like I can follow the same path and keep mine is all. Partly because I still hold out hope that I might be able to lead some people out of the wilderness, and appearances are key.

            As for letting the beast die, make no mistake, I am not prolonging its life in any way.

            • My path to leading others out of the wilderness is the Path of Tough Love. Americans need to feel the pain of their choices. When they feel enough, pain they’ll chage their ways. Anyone who tries to ease the self inflicted pain is just enabling the denial that got us to this unfortunate point in history. I won’t be an enabler. I used to do that, but not anymore. When enough citizens are fed up, they do what must be done. When they’re ready to do that, I’ll be there.

    • jonny boy – you can read that as tight as you want bro – long as you paying your taxes i’m collecting what i think you owe me. plain and simple. just keep kidding yourself that we needed some contract. my economics are simply mug – you keep me in play you get my vote. we aint running out of money, we just print more or go take it from someone else. aint nothing for me to anger about – i’m cool on it and sleep with a fat smile on my face. i know ya’ll pay my bills – I’ll go have dinner tomorrow at The MINT and spy some new speakers at boses for the escalade. peace out man.

      • And how about if I don’t pay those taxes. You gonna come after me?

        • what would i care jonny boy? just means you and me are closer together than you think. i just reconize what i take and why i get it. but what tells me is since you still on the chump side of change you may not be smart enough to avoid feddies from coming at you

          • I am not worried about the feddies, I am worried about my fellow so-called Americans that will rat me out because I am not paying for their free ride. If you are not one of those, then do as you will. If you are, well, I hope you don’t think the incompetent feddies can protect you. 😀

            • JAC: Could I please tell Jon that I’m LMAO?

            • say what? so you saying you would do something illegal then worry about your fellow americans ratting you out? sure enough I’d rat you homes – why is it ok for you to break a law because you dont like the way the way a system works? that just makes you a criminal.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                BDN, your logic is flawed. “Law” states that it is perfectly legal for LEO’s to steal your stuff if they SUSPECT you of a crime.

                If later, you are proven to have committed no crime, YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY the LEO’s to get your stuff back.

                Therefore, the “law” says that stealing from you is legal, as long as it is done BY THE GOVERNMENT.

                However; you would agree that stealing stuff from you just based on suspicion of something SHOULD BE a crime, right?

                Please explain this paradox.

                There are MANY examples of this. I am sure that even YOU can come up with at least a dozen things that are totally illegal if you do them, but are perfectly legal if done by a government official.

                However, if we all supposedly have equal protection under the law, how is this possible?

                Please explain.

              • Nah, I am no more criminal than the people in washington running the show. Less actually, I found loopholes to avoid tax, they are just skipping out on paying.

      • Bottom Line says:

        BDN – “…i think you owe me”

        BL – ROFL

        • AHAA! Just as I suspected! Where ya been hidng out BDN…err uh BL?

          • Bottom Line says:

            Your suspicions are incorrect, Sweetleaf.

            That’s not me goofing off this time. There is actually someone out there that thinks like that. Hence the “ROFL”.

            And I haven’t exactly been hiding. It’s just been a bit hectic around here. There hasn’t been a lot of comp time available.

            • For some reason I’m not buyin it but that’s cool 🙂

              You could redeem yourself by fetchin me some classic rock to settle me down.

              • On second thought if I’m wrong then IOU. What’ll ya have?

              • Bottom Line says:

                Sweetleaf – “What’ll ya have?”

                BL – Do you know just how provocative that sounds to me?

                Do you really want me to answer that?

                😉

              • See below in hurry!!!

              • oops..in A hurry

              • Bottom Line says:

                I guess this is bad karma for accusing you of being “Butt Pirate” when it was really Sweetums.

                Seriously, That isn’t me, and I don’t feel the need to redeem myself. However, It’s always a good time for some classic tunes.

                Here’s a good one from CCR that seems to fit the times…

                Creedence Clearwater Revival: Bad Moon Rising

              • BL you have no clue how funny I find your reply. And Yes that’s an inside joke.

                You da man for the CCR!

                Name one.

              • Bottom Line says:

                I’m glad you enjoyed.

                Name one?

                Umm – I’ll take whatever is in stock that is sweet.

                🙂

              • I was Megan Fox, not Butt Pirate! USW can vouch for that!

                🙂 🙂

                Get it right!

              • WHERE IN THE H E L L DID YOU COME FROM

                :mrgreen:

              • Bottom Line says:

                I guess I’ve got more bad karma coming my way then.

                I think I’ll just shut up before I find myself in a hole I can’t get out of.

                🙂

          • There is only BDN missy – and im more of a top line then a bottom line.

  22. Over here you guys

    To cover my ass 🙂 For my buddies BL and Sweetums

    • Bottom Line says:

      Nice!

    • Threesome eh? You’re a kinky bitch ain’t ya?

      😆

      • And before you two get all confused, I said that because it seems we 3 are the only ones left posting this evening…

        8)

        • 🙂 I don’t think so sister. I did that for you two. Oh well at least I woke with a smile on my face 🙂 I still can’t believe some of the stuff I heard yesterday. Now rise and shine and go donate some more to BDN. We owe him remember?

          • that a girl anita – see – you got yur priorites straight – come work for papa

            • In your crackheaded dreams, bro!

              Now be gone with ya before I sic my real man, D13, on ya!!!!!!!

              Got a problem with it Kathy?

              BWAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              • I don’t deal with that stuff anita – clouds yuor judgment. i facilitate relationships between interested parties – there are always interested parties.

          • I don’t pay FedIncTax, remember? I won’t rub it in further cuz I like you….

            8)

  23. Oh, Thank God. There is hope. My guy won the GOP nomination and the one I had hoped would win for the Ds did also. I had no say-so on Cheeks Kilpatrick but she’s out to. She’s the mother of the now imprisoned ,former mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick.

    It’s shaping up to be a good day!

    After a long, hard-fought campaign, both Republican and Democratic nominees for Governor were chosen to move on to the General Election in November.

    Rick Snyder took the Republican nomination for Governor over Congressman Pete Hoekstra and Attorney General Mike Cox.

    Virg Bernero won the Democratic nomination for Governor. Bernero, the current mayor of Lansing, defeated Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon.

    In another closely watched race, Hansen Clarke won the Democratic nomination in the 13th Congressional District. The win over Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick is considered a major upset

    • Anita

      Sounds like the new bloods did well in both parties. Would that be accurate?

      Don’t let the hot winds bother you my dear. Just shut the window.

      Hope your day is wonderful
      JAC

      • Yessiree JAC! These three wins have lifted a tremendous weight from my shoulders. It’s win/win for governor far as I’m concerned. It should be an interesting last lap to the finish line.

        Warm winds? I’ve been looking for the Raid. USW might have some in the cabinet 🙂

    • Displaced Okie says:

      Could ya’ll please have Detriot re-elect Kwame?–He moved into my town a few monthes ago–into a HUGE house in a gated community by the way.

      • So sorry, Okie! The K’s are all yours now. But trust me the heat is still on because his fines are in the millions but yet Mrs.K still has the cash to live in that gated community. Don’t fret! Prosecutor Kym Worthy (also African American, so racism isn’t happenin) is all over it.

  24. BDN said
    August 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    let the cities do what they going to do. Survival of the fittest says Im still going to find what is free and where its free. In north carolina we can hit the county or the city or the state or the feddies – ain’t no reason to sweat more than you need to do when some other chump can pay the bill. and no matter how many people go crazy about it the politicians not going to change it because they still want me vote – no matter what party they from

    (And here is the results of the BDN’s worldview)

    • and what do i care about detroit mug? i live in raleigh north carolina. we do okay, nice city and i get what need and want. aint no problems there.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        BDN,

        Living in North Carolina, you shouldn’t care about Detroit. What happens in Detroit has almost no chance of affecting you.

        You should care about what happens locally, because that does affect you.

        • Petey – I vote bro – and it dont matter who i vote cause they gonna keep me afloat anyway. think im stupid?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Yes, BDN, YOU (in particular) SHOULD vote.

            AND, you have demonstrated that you are pretty intelligent, because you realize that IT DOES NOT MATTER who you vote for!

            No matter who you vote in, there is not going to be SINGIFICANT CHANGE!

            This is precisely why those of us who realize that government is an evil institution choose to NOT vote!

            You nailed the whole voting thing right on the head, excellent job!

      • BDN,

        Welcome, and good morning. Sorry I was not on last night, might have been fun. A warning, most here will read your words, and hold you to them, such as: BDN said,

        “and no matter how many people go crazy about it the politicians not going to change it because they still want me vote – no matter what party they from”

        So you will vote for whoever will pay the most for your vote? If you look around, the nation is rapidly following Detroit. California, NY and other STATES cannot meet their budget because of promised entitlements to an entire non-working class. Our education system is failing because the masses are becoming happily dependent on the government to provide for all their needs. The same thing happened to Rome. I hope you will give a little more thought to your words and actions. Or will you be happily cheering when America falls?

        Detroit Mayors since 1962

        Jerome Cavanagh January 2, 1962 – January 6, 1970 Democratic later ran for Governor of Michigan

        Roman Gribbs January 6, 1970 – January 1, 1974 Democratic

        Coleman Young January 1, 1974 – January 3, 1994 Democratic first African-American mayor; longest-serving mayor

        Dennis Archer January 3, 1994 – January 4, 2002 Democratic

        Kwame Kilpatrick Jan. 4, 2002 – Sept. 18, 2008 Democratic resigned due to scandal and ensuing felony conviction

        Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. September 18, 2008 – May 11, 2009 Democratic

        Dave Bing May 11, 2009 – present Democratic

        • ill usion – remember bro – we need more money we print it. we run outta ink we go take it from someone else. survival of the fittest my man.

          • BDN,

            “we run outta ink we go take it from someone else. survival of the fittest my man.”

            As you say, my man. They are getting ready to take your cut, “cause there are more voter in NY, than in
            your neck of the woods. You wanna play, ya got’s to pay.

            Open Thread: ‘The Blue State Tax Preference Act’
            By NB Staff | Wed, 08/04/2010 – 09:13

            Democrats from wealthy districts are torn: they really want to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, but the problem is many of those Americans hail from their own districts! What to do.

            One irony of the tax increase that arrives on January 1 is that the it will hit residents of high-income, Democratic-leaning states like California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York the hardest. This is a problem for pro-tax Democrats.

            Enter New York Representative Jerrold Nadler, who wants to exempt his own six-figure constituents from the tax hike he supports. Mr. Nadler’s bill would “require the IRS to adjust tax brackets proportionally in regions where the average cost of living is higher than the national average.”

            In other words, the various tax brackets would apply to residents in certain regions at higher income levels versus other parts of the country. A family with an income of $50,000 or even $1 million in Manhattan would pay less federal income tax than a family with the same earnings in Omaha. The bill is called the Tax Equity Act, but a more accurate title would be the Blue State Tax Preference Act.

            Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/#ixzz0vf3QXXgt

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I like it!

              Clearly there is a huge disparity in cost of living throughout the nation. Why shouldn’t that come into play in the federal tax code?

              • Buck,

                Is anyone forced to live in high cost of living area’s? If they don’t pay you enough to make it worthwhile, then move. If large cities are not economically viable, then let them evolve into something that can sustain itself. Do not force me to pay to make up the difference, just because I chose to live in a better place.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Companies routinely pay people based on the cost of living in a given area. Law firms, for instance, will routinely pay (and make public) a different starting salary for NYC as compared to another city.

                Why shouldn’t the same concept be applied to taxes?

                I think this could easily be taken to extremes, but a slight adjustment for cost of living makes perfect sense. Take certain phase outs in the tax code (ability to take advantage of certain deductions so long as you are under a certain income level). What seems like a reasonable phase-out in one city is also very low in other cities – why not impose a standard phase-out and make minor adjustments for cost of living?

              • You do realize how wierd that sounds coming from someone who has a “duty”,a “moral obligation” to help his fellow man.

                You’r trying to BUCK your own system.

              • Buck,

                You have seemed very proud of NY in some past posts.
                OK, I am happy you love it there. But why should you get a tax break for living where you want? I have to drive a couple hours to see a Broadway show. That’s a price for not living in a large city, plays not being offered. Dining, sporting events, etc, I have to spend more to watch. So if you get a break for living there, I want a break for anytime
                I visit a rate adjusted area, since I’m bringing in outside money without your tax credit, the tourist taxes they charge in NYC will have to stop, and be given as a credit instead.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I love NYC – I do a ton of travelling throughout the world, anywhere I haven’t been, any chance I get – and wouldn’t live anywhere else (Mathius – hold the NJ comments please!)

                However, when it comes to tax breaks – I am all for not extending those same cuts to the wealthy. As such I am all for imposing a phase out. But when the phase out doesn’t work as its supposed to I feel there should be a change. Phase outs that should not be hitting me based on the rationale behind those cuts (such as the ability to deduct student loans) are hitting me solely because I live in the NYC area which may pay more but once you factor in cost of living actually pays less than other areas. I am not trying to pass the buck on to you or anyone else. I am merely arguing that it would make sense to impose some form of cost of living adjustment to ensure that those who should be receiving certain cuts are able to.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Buck – “Why shouldn’t the same concept be applied to taxes?”

                BL – Because it is wrong to charge one for another’s choice of where to live.

                I.E. – LOI – “Do not force me to pay to make up the difference, just because I chose to live in a better place.”

                How is it my/your/our responsibility to compensate for someone who wants to live where they cannot afford to?

                How is someone wanting to live in Beverly Hills, instead of Compton, my/your/our problem?

                How is it my/your/our responsibility to contribute to making someone else’s standard of living a better one?

                Where do you draw the line?

                Should we buy cars for non-vehicle owning people that live in smaller cities without adequate public transportation systems?

                Should we pay for all of the $$ lost from declining home values in certain areas?

                Should we subsidize expensive restaurants so that everyone can afford them?

              • Maybe we shouldn’t fight this. What a great way to force conservatives to take over Liberal areas! When the number of conservatives swells, they can vote the libs out of power! Works for me…..

              • Bottom Line says:

                Hmmmmm…

                I’ll have to chew on that one for a minute.

                Sounds tricky. But who knows, it might just work.

              • What you see as a tax break for a choice you make (“you” in the general sense) I see as a tax penalty because I made a choice to live in a less expensive place to improve my ability to live without having to struggle so hard.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Interesting point.

                I suppose it could be viewed both ways.

                Either way, it isn’t right.

    • Mug,

      Great comeback but I think you’re ONLY preaching to the choir.

  25. Bottom Line says:

    If you want to better understand someone and find what makes them tick, you can start with identifying their primary motivators. This almost ALWAYS falls into one or more of four categories: Money, Ideology, Compulsion, and/or Ego.

    BDN, One of yours is obviously ego. Your display of arrogance basically confirms this.

    So, You are an egotist. And typical of any egotist is that they will go to great lengths to protect their sensitive ego…even deny personal responsibility.

    But how does this relate to your entitlement complex? I know virtually nothing about you, but you leave a ton of subtle clues. I’ll take an educated guess and say that it derives from whatever event that ended your service career. I find it curious that you spent 10 years in the service and come out feeling entitled. This is a bit uncharacteristic of most veterans as the service is big on accountability and personal responsibility. Even if recruits don’t get this simple concept when they go in, they usually end up learning it before they are discharged. Ten years is plenty of time and you get it. So what changed? What made you rationalize the situation to protect your ego?

    BDN – ” i served my time and you all owe me ” – “i paid my dues for this country and was tossed on my ear – now I’ll take and use what is there for the taking”.

    BL – Okay, these statements are rather insightful. Allow me to break it down…

    BDN – “i paid my dues for this country and was tossed on my ear…”

    BL – This tells me that you feel that you were treated unfairly in some way…that you did your part,held up your end of the deal and they(whoever that is)didn’t. Subsequently – you feel that things need to be squared up and made even.

    I.E. – ” i served my time and you all owe me ”

    Translation – I did my part and wasn’t duly compensated, so, justifiably, I’m just gonna take it by manipulating the system.

    Now, I dunno what happened, but I am a veteran myself and my experiences have shown me that there is some pretty screwy stuff that happens in the service, and it isn’t always a situation where fault can clearly be assigned. Sometimes it isn’t even about fault but rather an ends justifies the means to maintain good order and discipline. So I am inclined to give you credit.

    My guess…You made an honest mistake where there was no ill intent and you got shafted anyway. And instead of accepting at least partial responsibility, you rationalize the situation as you being the victim because to admit fault would damage your sensitive ego, self image and self respect. So you blame others and hold the average American tax-payer accountable.

    Life is rarely fair. Shit happens. Quit taking it out on others.

    • bottom man – i didnt serve in uniformed service – but i served otherwise msot in places before the girls in uniform were flown in. but they all the same in that after enough of a grind if you say i need a break then they say youre mentally ill or were before you joined. so mess that – i would still be there but im not and i will take what is available and what i think owed to me. i aint taking nothing out on anyone else – i use a system that is there – it is there and meant to be used – so dont be all mad because i use it – i jsut aint no dummy to do as ya’ll do when i can get it all free. work for you? dont feel you need to push your morals on me cuz – i dont need them.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        ” i use a system that is there – it is there and meant to be used”

        Sorry, your logic is bad again. The system is fatally flawed. Fatally flawed systems should not be used, and certainly not “meant to be used”. Using fatally flawed systems is dangerous in ways that you obviously do not yet comprehend.

        Also, no one here will “push their morals” on you. However, we will consistently point out when your logic is flawed and show you why it is flawed.

        You may or may not necessarily agree with us for whatever reason, but we will pick apart your logic every chance we get, and challenge you on your core principles (once you figure out what those are, which I don’t think you have yet).

        Also, don’t bother being insulting or condescending in your posts, it doesn’t rile us up or make us respond in kind. Basically all we will do if you resort to insults or condescention is that we will point out that that is precisely what you are doing, and then we will ask that you attempt to defend your position logically instead.

        • Cmon Pete! I’m getting my lessons in ebonics 🙂

          • Just curious where are our resident lefties to defend their brother!!!!!!!

          • Don’t be such a raaaaacist!

            :mrgreen:

            • I thought I told you to SSSSSSHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

              We got a real talker, here!

              WE GOT A REAL TALKER HERE!

              (for all you non tv folks, that is in reference to a pretty funny commercial here in the Motor City)

        • petey – it aint flawed if it works for me. i aint insulting anyone – im just tryin to help yall out to see why what you re doing is futlity.

          • I think BDN is on to something. We can’t stop the collapse that Cloward-Piven is bringing us. C-P’s objective is to overwhelm and collapse the system, allowing the Left to create some variety of permanent Leftist State in place of the republic.

            We can’t stop the collpase, and worse yet, by opposing ‘utopia’ we set ourselves up to play the role of scapegoat later. The Left is counting on this. Why play along? We should go passive-aggressive on their butts and prepare to offer something substantial, viable, and more appealing than what the Left can offer. Right now, we allow ourselves to be defined by the Left because we step right into their trap. We have to stop doing that.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            BDNey

            No, far from futile.

            People like you are a prime example of precisely why what we are doing is not futile in the least.

            You continue to be a slave to your government masters in order to get your “free” stuff if that is what you enjoy. If that is what makes you happy, then go for it! I ain’t gonna try to stop you!

            But, when it all comes crashing down and all your free stuff disappears, then whaddya gonna do?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Oh wait! I found my FAVORITE BDN line so far!!!!

        ” i jsut aint no dummy to do as ya’ll do when i can get it all free.”

        LOL

        It ain’t free BDN, SOMEBODY paid for it, you just think that it was somebody other than you, so that makes you THINK it is “free”.

        Better clear up that definition of “free” so it actually makes sense!

      • Bottom Line says:

        BDN – “i didnt serve in uniformed service – but i served otherwise msot in places before the girls in uniform were flown in.”

        BL – Okay, so you aren’t a veteran but you served in another capacity. How you served isn’t exactly what is important, but rather what happened with regards to your service, how you rationalize the situation, and how you came up with your solution.

        BDN – “but they all the same in that after enough of a grind if you say i need a break then they say youre mentally ill or were before you joined”

        BL – So, you worked your ass off to the point of accumulating enough stress to reach your threshold. And when you were responsible enough to ask for a break as an alternative to snapping, they accused you of being nuts and used it as an excuse to can you…instead of just giving you a couple of weeks vacation/R&R.

        I agree that that sux and isn’t exactly fair.

        BDN – “i would still be there but im not and i will take what is available and what i think owed to me.”

        BL – So why is it that you feel you are owed something? How does getting canned justify taking full advantage of a system that is supported by your fellow Americans? How is it that you feel it is justifiable to take from others as compensation for your misfortune? How is that our responsibility? Why should your fellow Americans be held accountable?

        BDN – “i aint taking nothing out on anyone else”

        BL – Sure you are. As Pete clearly pointed out, “It ain’t free BDN, SOMEBODY paid for it,…”

        For starters, every entitlement you receive is (usually involuntarily) taken out of someone’s paycheck.

        Secondly, you come in here to troll and rub it in our faces that you are getting our tax dollars, as if you are holding some kind of serious contempt and resentment.

        Sure you are.

        BDN – “so dont be all mad because i use it ” – “dont feel you need to push your morals on me cuz – i dont need them.”

        BL – I’m not mad. And no one is trying to push their morals on you. I’m just trying to define your premise and identify it’s origins so that perhaps we here at SUFA have something to work with and can enlighten you to understanding your own logic and justifications.

        The rest falls into place.

        This is what we do here at SUFA. Stick around here long enough and you will inevitably learn something valuable. I know I have.

  26. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Down here BDN:

    “how you gonna decide for me what I need and who i get it from? huh? you dont like what i take and use then dont put it there to start with. i wasted my ass for a decade for this country – i will enjoy what is there for me for a lifetime.”

    You get this right, and then you get it backwards, all at the same time! Amazing!

    First of all, you are totally correct. NO ONE should decide for you what you need and who you get it from! This is YOUR problem!

    Then you get it totally wrong. You think it is ok for the government to tell ME what you need and decide that I owe it to you. False.

    I have the same right to determine what I need and who I should get it from as you have.

    I don’t personally care what you “take”. As long as you admit that you are taking it, and as long as you realize that you don’t have any right to it if it belongs to or was earned by someone else.

    • petery – the govement aint telling you what i need – they tellin you what they want – they throw that shit in a big old pot of soup. i just found a bigger ladel and bowl to eat from thats all. ha

    • and petesy – i admit i taking it – it came from the goverment so its legal whether you lick it or not.

  27. Down here, Anita,

    Big Brother/Sis knows all about my non FedIncTax status. I file my ‘papers’ every year, just like the good little tax/debt-serf that I am. No worries. I follow the law right down to the letter.

    • OMG! Drink some more coffee. I some some brothers not BIG BROTHER! sheesh! 😆

      • I’m cool with the brothers and the sisters! 🙂

        They’re tax/debt serfs too. Most just haven’t figured it out yet. Maybe someday in the far off future, they will. Then we can put away all the racist this-that, and-other bullshit, and do what needs to be done.

  28. 8)

    • YOU,,,,,YOU,,,,,,,,,,,,,,YOU go sit on the SUFA………we have our hands full at the moment

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The smiley with the shades is just BF’s way of letting us know he is following along even though he isn’t saying anything.

        Maybe that means we are doing a decent job without his help? (Or maybe he is just busy :))

        • More like he’s saying “I told ya so”

        • He’s pleased with his disciples’ progress…..other wise he’d have had BDN for lunch by now, or, like me, he sees what BDN is getting at. Which is it Flag?

    • OK BF, You can get up now!! 🙂

  29. The heat index in Memphis yesterday was 122. Why? Could it be all that nasty CO2
    is retaining so much of the sun’s heat? The sun producing an abnormal amount of heat couldn’t have anything to do with it, could it?

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

    • I’m telling AlGore you said that….you…you…you…DENIER!!!!!!

      8)

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Cool stuff! (or maybe HOT stuff? :))

      • the sun’s surface is communicating from 93 million miles away by blasting “tons of plasma into interplanetary space — directly towards the Earth,” in an event being coined a “solar tsunami.”

        Scientists are predicting that a “wall of ionized atoms should hit the planet tonight creating a geomagnetic storm and a spectacular light show and possibly threatening satellites in orbit.” Leon Golub of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics predicts that the “eruption …directed right at us is expected to get here early in the day on August 4th.”

        Either the universe is restless, or Mother Nature is transmitting a birthday message to a president convinced his planetary presence ushered in “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow.”

        According to Golub, this is the “first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time.” A point of reference worth noting is that the last solar maximum on record occurred in 2001 just when Bill Clinton was almost done tooling around the Oval Office.

        When a coronal mass ejection reaches Earth, solar particles stream down our planet’s magnetic field lines toward the poles. In the process, the particles collide with atoms of nitrogen and oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere, which then glow, creating an effect similar to miniature neon signs.

        What does a coronal mass ejection have to do with Obama, you ask? Neon signs are environmentally friendly, which makes solar neon facsimiles the perfect addition to a high profile birthday party honoring President Barack Obama.

        “The sun’s activity usually ebbs and flows on a fairly predictable” 11-year cycle. Coincidentally, this particular solar maximum has broken with tradition. The premature manifestation inadvertently coincides with a glorious and momentous occasion.

        On the soon-to-be official national holiday of August 4th Barack Obama turns one year shy of half a century. This year even the G2V star will be involved in the festivities. Marking the day will be astral green and red aurorae bearing witness in the heavens to the birth of a green president with extremely red ideas, whose philosophy appears to rouse Mother Nature here on earth as well as in the cosmos.
        http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/08/solar_tsunami_arrives_for_obam.html

        • ROTLMAO!!!!

          Dear Reader needs to get those FEMA camps up and running. These Mockers must be punished!

        • And a view from the other side. (Sorry, they didn’t have a story on the solar tsunami.

          http://mediamatters.org/blog/201007260036

          Greg Pollowitz, global warming hypocrite

          July 26, 2010 2:33 pm ET by Jamison Foser

          Over at “Planet Gore” (National Review’s blog dedicated to mocking the reality of global warming) Greg Pollowitz approvingly quotes a column claiming “the warmists” (Pollowitz’s word) are guilty of “attribut[ing to global warming almost any unusual weather event anywhere in the world.”

          Seeing Greg Pollowitz, of all people, pretend to disapprove of using “almost any unusual weather event anywhere in the world” to bolster an argument about global warming is utterly hilarious. It’s like seeing Andrew Hayward complain that his neighbor’s dog relieved itself in his swimming pool: Even if it’s a legitimate complaint, he probably isn’t the best person to make it.

          See, Greg Pollowitz routinely points to “almost any unusual weather event anywhere in the world” in a lame attempt to undermine the scientific reality of global warming. Actually, he doesn’t constrain himself to “unusual” weather events: If it snows in Moscow in February, Pollowitz pretends that means global warming is a hoax. (Record high temperatures in Moscow in December, however, somehow escape his attention.)

  30. Ray Hawkins says:

    @Peter, Cyndi, Anita, LOI, Bottom Line,…….

    I know the SUFA dinner table is rather large with many seats – but is there a kids table for the bozo in the high chair that showed up for dinner?

    @USW – can you please publish another article soon? This is ridiculous.

    • Ray,

      Lets just go to open mic mode. What are your thoughts on the Detroit video?
      Or do you have a topic?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        That was a good video LOI – I often fear that is Philadelphia in the near future. We seem to take one step forward and 10 steps backwards all the time.

        • Ray,

          I think it’s the same in many places, which brings up the states vs fed. The founders expected each state to be a living experiment, where the nation as a whole could look at what was successful, an what failed. They may have had good intentions in Detroit, but the unintended consequences seem to show it did more harm than good.

    • Chill out Ray! Actually the ridiculousness could reach a significant crowd and maybe start to change the mindset some.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Sorry Anita – I finally got some downtime to come back here and it looks like a car wreck – I’ll let you guys finish washing the road off and watch in admiration.

    • Too funny, Ray. I guess we can still feed this troll, if that’s what he is. I think maybe not. I kind of like him.

      😉

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Cyndi – Only problem is whether trolls get more angry when they are hungry.

        Hope the weather is treating you well in your neck of the world Cyndi. Jealousy abounds from hot and HUMID Pennsylvania!

        • Life is still good here. Don’t be too jealous. I have to put in a full 40, sometimes more when needed. I actually have to earn my keep, and sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate with my outdoor activities. It was cloudy and rainy much of last weekend, so now my tan is fading….damn, I hate it when that happens.

          😉

  31. Adding:

    We got a beautiful view of this eruption,” Golub said. “And there might be more beautiful views to come if it triggers aurorae.”

    Views of aurorae are usually associated with Canada and Alaska, but even skywatchers in the northern U.S. mainland are being told they can look toward the north Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for rippling “curtains” of green and red light.

    • woops, sorry LOI. You got it covered

      • Not really. Do you have any thoughts on this event?

        • Only that it’s pretty cool and I wish I would have known about it last night..maybe I could have caught some of it..but then I would have missed the fun on SUFA. It’s overcast here now but I’ll be watching the heavens tonight.

          • Ha…Now that I’ve actually READ your article instead of skimming it I see that between the two of us we now BOTH have it covered 🙂

          • The point I was trying to make is all that pretty light has some meaning as well. I don’t have the
            same knowledge as Flag or Peter, but came to think AGW
            was natural, not caused by mankind. The biggest issue Gore avoids is the sun. We know very little about it, but we do know it has it’s own weather. And the kicker is the sun provides nearly all the earths heat, so a hot or cool sun has a much greater impact than the greenhouse gases.

            Those pretty lights = energy = heat.

            • I gotcha..but that’s too deep for me..I prefer to just see the prettiness…you guys work on Al Gore..I mean Algore

  32. August 04, 2010
    The Winds of Over-Regulation
    By Rosslyn Smith
    The EPA is on the verge of declaring that naturally occurring dust is a pollutant. This means they will penalize farmers whose livestock and horticultural operations create what the Washington bureaucrats consider to be too much of it. Needless to say, the proposal has become a huge issue in farm states. Twenty-one senators recently signed a letter to the EPA. The senators state:

    We respect efforts for a clean and healthy environment, but not at the expense of common sense. These identified levels will be extremely burdensome for farmers and livestock producers to attain. Whether it’s livestock kicking up dust, soybeans being combined on a dry day in the fall, or driving a car down the gravel road, dust is a naturally occurring event.

    Fertile soil is the most precious asset a farmer possesses. Modern agricultural practices are already designed to keep soil erosion to a minimum. One wonders what the EPA thinks farmers are supposed to do in a drought — allow an already meager crop to go unharvested lest they raise any more dust? Is a rancher to allow his cattle to starve in place rather than move them to better grazing? That a bunch of desk-bound theorists would presume to second-guess those whose very livelihood depends on soil conservation is beyond mind-boggling.

    KWTV in Oklahoma City asked some local farmers about the proposed EPA rules.

    One farmer said the possible regulations are ridiculous.

    “It’s plain common sense, we don’t want to do anything detrimental,” said farmer Curtis Roberts. “If the dust is detrimental to us, it’s going to be to everybody. We’re not going to do anything to hurt ourselves or our farm.”

    Roberts, a fourth generation farmer and rancher in Arcadia, said regulating dust in rural areas will hurt farmers’ harvest, cultivation and livelihood.

    “Anytime you work ground, you’re going to have dust. I don’t know how they’ll regulate it,” Roberts said. “The regulations are going to put us down and keep us from doing things we need to be doing because of the EPA.”

    These regulations are particularly ironic because those beloved organic crops of the politically correct set often require extensive dust-producing cultivation in lieu of chemical herbicides if the weeds are to be kept from overwhelming the food crop. That’s one reason my own vegetable garden, which is on a ten-degree slope, is not organic. If it were, much of my topsoil would be on its way down the French Broad River into Tennessee after every thunderstorm.

    The comments to the above KWTV news story greatly expand on the sentiment in the last line of the senators’ letter: “Common sense requires the EPA to acknowledge that the wind blows, and so does dust.”

    full article at,
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/08/the_winds_of_overregulation.html

  33. August 04, 2010, American Thinker
    GOP senators bribed to cave in on Dem boondoggle
    Ed Lasky
    Another multi-billion dollar boondoggle to buy off that most Democratic of groups, the teachers unions, gets passed in the Senate, courtesy of two Republican Senators from Maine — who get a bribe for their state. Lori Montgomery writes in the Washington Post:

    A $26 billion plan to prevent the layoffs of tens of thousands of teachers, firefighters and other state and local workers cleared a key hurdle in the Senate on Wednesday. The vote handed President Obama a long-sought victory on his election-year jobs agenda.

    The bill advanced by a vote of 61 to 38, breaking a GOP filibuster and setting the stage for final Senate approval later this week. Two Republicans — Maine senators Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins — joined a united Democratic caucus in supporting the measure.

    The wastefulness of this measure is clear. Teachers, administrators, superintendents, assistant superintendents, guidance counselors, therapists, etc — all are well-compensated, enjoy munificent pension and health benefits, tenure protection, and short school years. They, in turn, give a big part of their dues and time to Democratic politicians to help them get elected. The vicious circle: they get the same to deliver them taxpayer dollars.

    While some governors cry about the need for more taxpayer money to avoid the chore of dealing with the problem, New Jersey has Governor Christie who believes in dealing with the problem forcefully and decisively — and without the need for billions of taxpayer dollars to get states out of the holes their leaders have dug. Instead, the can gets kicked down the road again.

    Meanwhile, what was the payoff to the two Republican Senators from Maine for breaking the GOP filibuster by defecting to the Democrats on this measure?

    Democrats had tried for weeks to advance a bill to provide fresh aid to the states, but had been pushed repeatedly to scale back the proposal — and ultimately to pay for it. Even then, Democrats lured the needed Republican votes only after dropping proposed cuts to Navy shipbuilding, an essential part of the Maine economy.

  34. BL said,

    “How is someone wanting to live in Beverly Hills, instead of Compton, my/your/our problem? ”

    Love it, love it, love it. Somebody award him some points! Any I award would just be an Illusion.

    beer 30

    • Bottom Line says:

      I gladly accept “Illusion Points” as they’re worth plenty.

      And if it makes ya feel any better – FRN’s are an illusion too. 🙂

      Look at the cost of living stats for Compton and compare them to Beverly Hills…or Oklahoma City compared to NYC…or wherever.

      And they’re proposing that tax payers compensate for some of that!?!?

      Cloward/Piven is in full swing.

      sigh—

      • Don’t feel too bad. Most of the people in in BH are O-Bots anyway. Not to mention many wealthy in general of Libs to boot! Where do you think Dear Reader got alot of his American donations from? Let ’em pay for their Hope-N-Change. Make it hurt. Push for the tax. Don’t fight it.

        Make the Beast eat itself.

  35. Man faces 16 years in prison for filming a police officer who almost ran him over.

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2008566,00.html?xid=huffpo-direct

    The other cases in this article cause me severe heartburn.

    And some police departments and govt officials don’t understand why citizens are becoming ever more hostile to their needs or concerns.

  36. Buck,
    you do realize that at least part of the higher cost of living in NY IS the taxes. Sure, some of it is because there is a high concentration of people and little property and all resources must be brought in (not a lot of farms in manhattan), but a lot of it is due to the local and state governments. Supply and demand is definately skewed to even higher costs because of taxes levied.

    Changing taxes based on cost of living would very likely evaporate the disparity of dollars in versus dollars out on a state by state basis. The dollars in from places like NY would drop drastically.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Of course a part of the higher cost is due to state and city taxes, including property taxes due to scarcity of land, etc. I dont’ have any problem with this.

      But I’m talking about federal taxes.

      • Um, yes, I know you are. What you are saying is that high local taxes should get you a discount on federal taxes. Meaning that if you have a liberal city that jacks the cost of living sky high, you should not have to pay into the federal coffers for THEIR liberal crap too, someone else should do that.

        • buck the wala says:

          That may be part of the EFFECT of what I’m saying, but that is not what I’m saying in the least.

          I could care less what local taxes are. Forget state and local taxes. Regardless of state and local taxes there is a clear cost of living index. All I am saying is that this cost of living should be taken into consideration when calculating federal taxes and phase-out limits.

          For instance: If there is a phase out of 75,000 for a certain tax break I believe that 75,000 should be adjusted for cost of living so that if I were to make slightly more than that living in NYC I would still be eligible for the same benefits as someone living in another part of the country making the same as me based on cost of living.

          • Buck

            And of course there will need to be EXCEPTIONS to your exception because NY holds the country’s largest number of millionaires.

            We all know that they must be taxed and taxed for “justice” to exist. So if you get a cost of living adjustment, so will they.

            That just won’t do among your friends. You may find yourself without a group to hang with.

            Let alone that we are going to rely on an inept govt to establish an accurate and fair cost of living index/standard, or whatever you want to call it.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Yes, millionaires should pay more in taxes than the rest of us. But that doesn’t absolve the rationale behind a cost of living index.

              Assume the highest tax bracket kicks in at 250,000. Factor in a cost of living index and now suddenly in NYC the highest tax bracket would kick in at let’s say 350,000 for argument’s sake. (No time for actual research today). So now we have a millionaire living in NYC – he will still be paying at the highest tax bracket. The real advantage is felt by the middle class.

      • Also, I am NOT talking about the additional cost of taxes on the individual. I am talking about the additional cost of all goods and services because of the taxes on businesses. Property taxes and profits taxes drive up the cost of doing business, and that WILL get passed to the consumer. So its not just the increased level of personal taxes, its the overall increase because of overall higher taxes in NY and cities/states like it.

  37. Over here, BL,

    Of course it’ll work. How do you think the cancer of Liberalism has spread to predominately conservative areas? Migration! First they migrated, then they began to undermine the local governments, insideously working their way up. Look at what they’ve been doing with the S American immigrants. They’re importing indoctrinated Leftists in huge numbers to complete the power grab. I’m telling ya, we’ve got to play by their rules if we want to stand a chance against them. They’ve shown us they way. Our biggest advantage, is that they think we’re stupid. Lets prove them wrong and use their tactics and system against them. BTW, the Muslim Bortherhood is doing the same thing to us.

    • buck the wala says:

      I love being called a cancer! 🙂

      • Well, if you liked that, then you’d REALLY like some of the other things I’ve called you!

        😉

        • buck the wala says:

          Just be careful Cyndi – us liberals are infiltrating every city in America. We move in and lay low so as not to alarm the conservatives. Then we strike! One day you’ll wake up living in an unrecognizable liberal paradise…

          • Unrecognizable liberal paradise. Let me guess, FEMA camp?

          • I am already in one of those Buck. So far, its not much of a paradise. Actually, I would prefer a pair o’ dice. I have more freedom and opportunity in a craps game than in this socialist country.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Migration is one.

      But what about the other 4589769456567512347824359 things they’ve done to infect our great neo-conservative fascist oligarchy?

      Their strategy is complex, multi-pronged and goes back decades.

      While your idea is a good one, I think it’s too late. Besides, what good does it do to replace a bunch of evil elite lapdog puppet non-representative liberal progressive statist turds with a bunch of different evil elite lapdog puppet non-representative neo-conservative statist turds?

      We ain’t voting our way out of this one. We ain’t conserving our way out either. It’s coming. And when it does, those that are standing around waiting for what is “owed” to them will die.

      Who’s left? And what will they do with what they have?

      • You’re right on all counts! We can’t stop it, so let’s help them destroy each other. Come on, get in touch with your treachery bone. 🙂

        We’re being screwed, so why not screw back and see if we can get something out it?

        The sooner the Beast eats itself, the better off we are. The longer we resist, the weaker and less numerous we will become. We also set ourselves up to be the scapegoat. Don’t fall for it!

  38. Black Flag…………..and SUFA

    Here you go, all we need is to SPEND more Govt Money. But this time spend it better and all will be OK in the long run. We will recover and the growth will eliminate the deficit.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marshall-auerback/the-real-reason-banks-are_b_670183.html

    There is one truth in this article. Banks do not loan until they feel confident they will get paid back.

  39. I see a Federal Judge has overturned California’s Prop 8 on Gay Marriage.

    Oh its going to get interesting now, for sure.

    • buck the wala says:

      Dang activist judges upholding the Constitution!

      🙂

      Have a good night JAC – will try to find time to tackle this with you tomorrow…

      • TexasChem says:

        I suppose the judge being gay himself didn’t play into his interpretation of the Constitution ehh Buck?

        • I wonder if gay marriage will be legal in Atzlan??

        • buck the wala says:

          All judges regardless of political orientation bring in their own experiences and history in judging cases. That’s a fact.

          The fact that this judge was gay may have influenced his decision and his interpretation of the constitution; however, there are plenty of gay individuals who support Prop 8 as well.

          • TexasChem says:

            Speaking of individuality and its relevance to the majority Buck…The MAJORITY voted in favor of prop 8.This is just a classic example of our government once again defying the will of the people.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              True, the majority did vote in favor of prop 8. I just didn’t realize you believed the majority is able to discriminate against the minority in an unconstitutional way simply because its the majority.

              When it comes to a question of constitutionality, it does not matter where the majority stands.

              • EXCELLENT!
                So you agree that we should enforce the 10th amendment regardless of popular opinion and eliminate al this federal law, turning it over to the states. I am so happy to hear that!

              • Buck the Wala says:

                hahaha well played, well played…

              • Buck

                Below for new start.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                But needless to say, I disagree with your statement.

              • Do you disagree with my interpretation of the 10th amendment or with the amendment itself, or with the overall sentiment and how popular or unpopular it would be? If it is interpretation, then we can explore further, because I would like to understand your interpretation. If it is either of the other two, or anything else, then you are inconsistent and your fuss about constitution over popularity is purely agnda driven and has no basis in logic or legality.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I disagree with your overall characterization.

                The 10th Amendment reserves all powers not granted to the federal government to the states. No problem there.

                However, I have a more expansive view of the federal cosntitution and the powers it grants the federal government than you do. As a result, where you argue the 10th Amendment would mandate eradicating many federal laws, I would argue otherwise and find consistency.

              • Buck,

                So you say, yet provide nothing to discuss.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Not much too discuss on this one — you have a pretty good idea of where I stand.

                The reason I disagree with Jon about the 10th Amendment is not about the wording or meaning of the 10th Amendment itself; it is about my interpretation of the Constitution overall and the powers it grants. In other words many of the same laws he would argue violate the 10th Amendment I would find no objection to.

  40. TexasChem says:

    Well, well, well…Here is another way the govt. is allowed to redistribute wealth.Nanny state at its worst.

    Obamaland: The Welfare State and the Road to Serfdom
    The working get poor and the non-workers get rich off the backs of the producers. Disgusting.

    Things are getting out of hand! This letter came from a doctor in Danville, IL.

    Dear Mr. Limbaugh,

    I was speaking to an emergency room physician this morning. He told me that a woman in her 20’s came to the ER with her 8th pregnancy. She stated “my momma told me that I am the breadwinner for the family.” He asked her to explain. She said that she can make babies and babies get money for the family. The scam goes like this: The grandma calls the Department of Child and Family Services and states that the unemployed daughter is not capable of caring for these children. DCFS agrees and states that the child or children will need to go to foster care. The grandma then volunteers to be the foster parent, and thus receives a check for $1500 per child per month in Illinois. Total yearly income: $144,000 tax-free, not to mention free healthcare (Medicaid) plus a monthly “Linx” card entitling her to free groceries, etc, and a voucher for 250 free cell phone minutes per month. This does not even include Wick and other welfare programs. Indeed, grandma was correct in that her fertile daughter is the “breadwinner” in the family.

    I hope you share this story with your listeners so that they know how the ruling class spends their tax dollars.

    Also, many thanks for the fine service you provide in educating people about the merits of conservative thinking.

    Cheers,

    Sebastian J. Ciancio, M.D. Urologist, Danville Polyclinic, LTD.

    • Offensive as this, all middle class people should do this. Let’s help Cloward Piven along. The Beast eats itself that much sooner…

      • buck the wala says:

        Agreed this is offensive. However, lets not pretend that the above story is the norm.

        • We should make it the norm. Make people see where all this leads. Why save people from their self destructive ways? Let them destroy themselves. Talk about population control….ha! Kill the Beast.

        • TexasChem says:

          Whatevah’ Buck!

          If only 10 women in an urban community were taking the same exact route as the above “bread winner” you are looking at a 1,440,000 burden upon the taxpayers of that district.Can you puhlease say-uh rabid WTF sirrah?!?

          Lets go a step further and ask ourselves how many middleclass working men have to pay additional taxes to provide for these bloodsuckers?Is it their responsibility?Would they like their tax money to go towards their childrens education or better local facilities? JEESH!

          • TC: Just had to tell you I chuckle ever time I read your language. I can dig it..sirrah!

            • TexasChem says:

              I have a deep southeast Texas drawl…just trying to incorporate that into my posts… 🙂

        • Buck

          I am with you on this one.

          There was a time when this was far more common. Abuses now I believe are much fewer and located in areas with local community progressive support. Like mine. We have more abuse here than anywhere I have ever lived. It is the result of the Federal programs pushed by a “Progressive” community.

          As for the big picture, these examples and all they represent are but a pimple on the butt of an 800 lb gorilla. We may find it obnoxious, but it is not the cause of the destruction caused by the beast itself. It is nothing but a distraction.

          It is however, a symptom of the underlying disease. Focusing on the symptom will not cure the disease.

          • Somehow I don’t picture there being any ghetto’s in Big Sky Country.

          • TexasChem says:

            40,000,000 people on foodstamps as of right now.(SNAP has this posted on the front page of their web addy)
            4,572,252 on TANF.

            17 billion in fiscal year 2008 was spent on TANF alone.Latest year I could find on the gov website…hrmmm.

            There are 120 federal welfare programs in existence in the US.These programs cover everything from farmers to corporate big business.Housing for the poor etc.

            Seem like the norm JaC ?!?

            Gee I dun know…seems out of the realm of what I consider normal!

            • TEX

              We are talking about corruption, playing the system.

              It is NOT the norm.

              Numbers on welfare are currently high due to the recession.

              My experience is that the corruption depends to a large extent on the mentality of the local community and State that administer these programs.

              And the fact is that 17 billion, while a large number, is peanuts compared to the debt load that is going to sink this ship. Would it help to eliminate it? Yes.

              But to focus on this stuff is a distraction to a much bigger problem.

      • Cyndi

        I have watched for two days and I have concluded you should stay out of the sun when drinking adult beverages.

        🙂

        • LOL!!!I’m suffering a lack of adult beverages and sunshine! I haven’t been able to hit the beach since my duaghter left. My tan is fading.

          Don’t you like my form of resistance? Very passive-aggressive don’t you think?

          8)

          • more like menopausal-satanic- female -with horns

          • Cyndi

            Then perhaps you better get more sun.

            I think there are other affective and fun ways to resist without selling our soals, or is that soles.

            • It souls. And it takes effort to be passive aggressive.

              You can’t appeal to their reason, because they are incapable of reasoning. You can’t beat them by playing according to their rules. Use their rules to set them up for failure.

              Face it, America is swirling the drain and it can’t be stopped. So let’s just get it over with already, and be prepared for what comes next. Use THEIR system to collect YOUR resources and strength for future use. That’s all I’m saying.

  41. TexasChem says:

    This is a Soros-instigated economic depression we have developing if you follow the money and paper trail as to where the financial backing is coming from.Move-on.org,Tides etc. This economic downturn is being compounded by our federal government’s intrusion in housing, banking, and the money supply.If you look close enough Soros and his ilk are tied into the majority of ALL liberal progressive movements including the election of our current POTUS. Similar events are occurring in other socialist countries, too, as their currencies are tied to the stability of our dollar. Nations have spent more in delivering social programs than they are generating in wealth to sustain them.This man Soros and his group of elitists are making money hands over fist in hedge funds and other questionable monetary practices AND there seems to be NO media coverage whatsoever to place the blame where it needs to be!WTF.Why is that?

  42. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hey all

    Got an E from G-Man’s dad today about an accident he had this morning while working by his dad’s place. Thought I would let all know. Please say a prayer for him, and let him know you wish him well, and to get better soon.

    Hope everyone is doing well.

    Judy

    G-Man was up on the ladder 17 ft off the ground cutting off a 12 inch branch The branch kicked back hitting the ladder and G went flying, he was on a 20 ft ladder when this happened and G came down on his Back on the limb. He had 2 cat scans and back x-ray His right arm has road burn from the elbow down to the wrist and a compression fracture on his L1 vertebra and herniated disk in his neck c4 c5 c6 , Strained left wrist big bruise on his left back So hes out of omission for at least 6 weeks

    • Wow. Thanks for the heads up. Will pray for a fast recovery.

      On another matter, I found out my paternal grandmother’s surname is Sabatini. She was from a village in Abruzzi, Italy, called Santa Maria. Any chance your hubby can trace his roots back? Not too long ago, my dad met a woman at the grocery store whose name was Sabatine. Turns out they’re related….

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Well, his dad comes from Atina, I just asked him, and he said, as far as he knows, Abruzzi doesn’t sound familiar, and he can’t remember where his mom’s parents come from over there. Her maiden last name was Costantini. Both sets of grandparents come from Italy.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Cyndi It’s Abruzzo, not Abruzzi

    • Tell him I said for him to listen to the doctors and that I’ll keep him in my prayers.

    • OUCH!!!! Get well soon G-MAN & hurry back. As I’m looking to the northern sky for the light show tonight I’ll throw some words to THE MAN for ya!

    • Ouch, Judy, tell G’s dad to take good care of him, we need him back. Good vibes and prayers to him from us all.

  43. Judy Sabatini says:

    Thanks all for all your kind words. Got an E from him earlier and he said even though the pain is temporary, he’ll be back to normal in a few days, he’s tough, and nothing is going to keep him down.

    Hope all will have a good rest of the night and a good day tomorrow, and will try to post more often.

    Night everyone and take care

    Judy

  44. Ah…another episode of The Imperial Family, feature Michelle Antoinette. REad it and weep…

    $400,000? The cost of the air force jet flight to Spain alone has to be at least that much. Are we paying for the 60 rooms? The flights for the “long-time-family-friends?” The 70 secret service people and dogs? The 250 security people in Spain? Cars and food and entertainment? The real cost is probably in the millions. And I bet they didn’t contribute a dime. The Obamas act like the presidency is their own publicly funded trip to Disneyland. It’s sick

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1300240/Michelle-Obama-jets-Marbella-5-star-holiday-daughter-Sasha.html#ixzz0vhLEASsl

  45. Anyone looked at this site before?

    http://investigate911.org/

    • Cyndi P

      Yes, I have. The stuff on the page you linked is old.

      They look to be recycling and taking comments out of context to create an appearance that the Commission is in agreement with them on the “inside job” theory.

      If it were true, I would want to know. But then it would take far to much effort to discover that is needed to take back control of the Govt. Which would be needed before you could ever uncover the truth anyway.

      So I give the whole thing no further thought except in the way it is used as a distraction and tool of manipulation.

      • Agreed. Very distracting and no way to know what’s true and what isn’t. I found the part about the military interesting as people have discussed whose side the millitary would be on.

  46. Buck

    I see in this decision an “activist” judge. But not in the sense we usually assign. I have always thought that eventually any law barring gay marriage would be found unconstitutional in one of two ways.

    Either directly, in that the law violates our rights or indirectly, in that all states must recognize the laws of other states. And marriage being a primary law all states would be compelled to recognize a marriage in California or Massatooshits.

    But the entire “trial” and the ruling appears to be a carefully constructed and orchestrated play to make his decision appeal proof, by assigning a category of “lower right” to marriage. In this respect I think he plays games for a predetermined outcome.

    The ruling contains many findings and conclusion that quite frankly are disturbing for those of us who cherish Liberty. In essence, our rights come from government and tradition according to this Judge. He does not apply any logical analysis to this conclusion itself.

    What I found most disturbing was the lack of discussion regarding the standing of a State Constitutional Amendment and the U.S. Constitution. The criteria he uses and the arguments seem to treat this as if it were just another State Statute.

    And for the record, a majority in this Nation CAN vote to impose upon the rights of others. That is the weakness of any form of government. It can be done by AMENDMENT and is the reason why education about the underlying principles is so important.

    In summary for now, I like the outcome and do agree the CA Amendment violates the Federal Constitution. But I do not like the arguments nor legal basis constructed to defend that finding.

    The whole thing could have been done in less than 10 pages by simply sticking to the fundamental legal issue of equal protection and due process. And for the record, I do not think it violated the due process provisions because govt approved marriage is not a law that affords protection. It in fact a law that impedes upon our rights. It creates a “privilege” out of a “right”. It clearly violates the “equal protection” standard provided by the 14th Amendment.

    But here is the rub. So do many of the Federal and State laws. And to justify that the Courts have established various levels of “rights” so that they can rationalize Govt force in the form of a “compelling govt interest”.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Sorry JAC – don’t have the time to really go through all of this right now, but here’s a quick paragraph by paragraph response to your post:

      1) “Activist” judge depends entirely on the definition being used; as we’ve discussed before I find it to be a bad label that doesn’t explain anything.

      2) The best course of action is to find a DIRECT violation — makes the point much stronger

      3) All judges draft their opinions to be ‘appeal proof’. Judges do not like being told they are wrong. This is not indicative of shaping the law to fit a predetermined judgment.

      4) What specific portion of the judicial opinion do you find offensive to liberty? I admittedly haven’t had time to read the entire opinion…

      5) I don’t find the lack of discussion as to the standing of a state constitutional amendment all that troubling. State constitutional amendments are always inferior to the federal constitution. Where the state amendment fits into state hierarchy of state laws, statutes, etc. is irrelevant if the decision rests on the US Constitution.

      6) You are of course correct that by using amendments the majority can do what it wants and change the constitution to reflect their whims. But why do you think the amendment process is such a difficult process to go through? Much easier for a state to change its constitution to suit the majority but if they do so in a way that violates the federal constitution, too bad for them.

      Will try to write more later on…

  47. We have talked in the past about things only the government can do, and what private business could do better. Looks like those of us who thought private roads would be cheaper and better than government were right.

    Scrap the Traffic Lights, Give Private Enterprise the Green Light

    By John Stossel

    Published August 04, 2010

    | FoxNews.com

    In my book, “Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity,” I bet my readers $1,000 that they couldn’t name one thing that government does better than the private sector.

    I have yet to pay.

    Free enterprise does everything better.

    Why? Because if private companies don’t do things efficiently, they lose money and die. Unlike government, they cannot compel payment through the power to tax.

    Even when a private company operates a public facility under contract to government, it must perform. If it doesn’t, it will be “fired” — its contract won’t be renewed. Government is never fired.

    Contracting out to private enterprise isn’t the same thing as letting fully competitive free markets operate, but it still works better than government.

    Roads are one example that I’ll cover on my TV show this week. Politicians call road management a “public good” that “government must control.” Nonsense.

    In 1995, a private road company added two lanes in the middle of California Highway 91, right where the median strip used to be. It then used “congestion pricing” to let some drivers pay to speed past rush-hour traffic.

    Using the principles of supply and demand, road operators charge higher tolls at times of day when demand is high. That encourages those who are most in a hurry to pay for what they need.

    It was the first time anywhere in the world that congestion pricing was used. Bureaucrats were skeptical. Now congestion pricing is a hot idea for both private and public road management systems.

    Likewise, for years there was a gap in the ring road surrounding Paris that created huge traffic problems. Then private developers made an unsolicited proposal to build a $2 billion toll tunnel in exchange for a 70-year lease to run it.

    They built a double-decker tunnel that fits six lanes of traffic in the space usually required for just two.

    The tunnel’s profit-seeking owners have an incentive to keep traffic moving. They collect tolls based on congestion pricing, and tolls are collected electronically, so cars don’t have to stop. The tunnel operators clear accidents quickly.

    Most are detected within 10 seconds — thanks to 350 cameras inside the tunnel. The private road has cut a 45-minute trip to 10 minutes.

    Indiana used to lose money on its toll road. Then Gov. Mitch Daniels leased it to private developers. Now it makes a profit.

    The new owners spent $40 million on electronic tolling. That’s saved them 55 percent on toll collection. They saved $20 per mile by switching to a better deicing fluid. They bought a new fleet of computerized snowplows that clear roads using less salt.

    Drivers win, and taxpayers win.

    It also turns out that government roads often run more smoothly when drivers have more, not less, freedom.

    This sounds paradoxical. Politicians often sneer at libertarians, saying, “You want to get rid of traffic lights?!” Well, yes, actually. In some cases, traffic moves better and more safely when government removes traffic lights, stop signs, even curbs.

    It’s Friedrich Hayek’s “spontaneous” order in action: Instead of sitting at a mechanized light waiting to be told when to go, drivers meet in an intersection and negotiate their way through by making eye contact and gesturing.

    The secret is that drivers must pay attention to their surroundings — to pedestrians and other cars — rather than just to signs and signals. It demonstrates the “Peltzman Effect” (named after retired University of Chicago economist Sam Peltzman): People tend to behave more recklessly when their sense of safety is increased. By removing signs, lights and barriers, drivers feel less safe, so they drive more carefully. They pay more attention.

    In Drachten, Holland, lights and signs were removed from an intersection handling about 30,000 cars a day. Average waiting times dropped from 50 seconds to less than 30 seconds. Accidents dropped from an average of eight per year to just one.

    On Kensington High Street in London, after pedestrian railing and other traffic markers were removed, accidents dropped by 44 percent.

    “What these signs are doing is treating the driver as if they were an idiot,” says traffic architect Ben Hamilton-Baillie. “If you do so, drivers exhibit no intelligence.”

    Once again, freedom and responsibility triumph.

  48. I think our Department of Justice should be sued for false advertising! They are no longer about justice.

    DoJ steers money to favored groups to fund lawsuits

    Ed Lasky, American Thinker

    The Justice Department continues its path towards race-based policymaking. The latest revelation? The Department’s Civil Rights Division is using its power “to not just win compensation for victims of alleged discrimination but also to direct large sums of money to activist groups” to undo other lawsuits alleging discrimination.

    Byron York reports over at the Washington Examiner:

    In the past, when the Civil Rights Division filed suit against, say, a bank or a landlord, alleging discrimination in lending or rentals, the cases were often settled by the defendant paying a fine to the U.S. Treasury and agreeing to put aside a sum of money to compensate the alleged discrimination victims. There was then a search for those victims — people who were actually denied a loan or an apartment — who stood to be compensated. After everyone who could be found was paid, there was often money left over. That money was returned to the defendant.

    Now, Attorney General Eric Holder and Civil Rights Division chief Thomas Perez have a new plan. Any unspent money will not go back to the defendant but will instead go to a “qualified organization” approved by the Justice Department. And if there is not enough unspent money — that will be determined by the Department — then the defendant might be required to come up with more money to give to the “qualified organization.”

    To me, this sounds like a modern twist on the disgraceful practice of champerty and maintenance: the intermeddling of a party to encourage a lawsuit. Justice is throwing around its weight to wring more money from defendants to fund groups that Justice – using its own discretion – feels are deserving of money. This money will be used to fund other lawsuits: a perpetual suing machine that will no doubt gladden the hearts and fill the pocketbooks of these activist groups but also those of trial lawyers (a key Democratic support group), as well.

    Of course, the potential for this money to flow towards groups such as ACORN is clear. What is not clear is why this change in policy occurred. Where is the promised transparency and the pledge to run a post-racial Presidency, to be the President of all Americans (“there is no white America, there is no black America”)? Who actually sees a black America and a white America? Is it Eric Holder and the political appointees at Justice(or Just-Us as some wags write)?

    Eric Holder slurred Americans by saying we were a “nation of cowards” when it came to discussing race. Meanwhile, in his own bailiwick, he and his minions refuse to discuss their own raced-based policies (stonewalling inquiries regarding the dropping of charges against the New Black Panther Party, for example). But there are other issues that show Holder and Obama’s hand-picked employees following policies that do seem to divide us into favored and disfavored groups .(See also, “Justice Department Continues to Act in Non-Race-Neutral Fashion”).

    If Holder wants us not to be a nation of cowards when it comes to race how about starting with himself and his department? How about answering subpoenas regarding policies put in place by him that may strike people as being discriminatory?

    • The Department of Justice denied accusations by former voting section attorneys who say states are being encouraged to use waivers to bypass the new federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.

      The accusations prompted Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to write a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, dated July 26, demanding answers and requesting specific information about how the agency was going to enforce the MOVE Act provision that requires states to send military and overseas voters absentee ballots 45 days prior to elections.

      Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich responded with a letter dated July 30.

      “The Department of Justice is firmly committed to ensuring that our men and women serving in the uniformed services and living overseas have the opportunity to vote and to have their votes counted. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply untrue,” the letter stated.

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/04/doj-responds-accusations-ignoring-move-act/?test=latestnews

      As of Wednesday afternoon, 12 states had submitted waiver applications, Bob Carey, Federal Voting Assistance Program director told FoxNews.com through a spokeswoman.
      The states are: Hawaii; New York; Delaware; Virgin Islands; Alaska; Washington; Maryland; Washington, D.C., Massachusetts; Wisconsin; Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

      A Colorado secretary of state spokesman said Colorado also will be filing a waiver application by the end of the day.

      “It is DOD’s responsibility to approve or deny the state waiver requests by August 29, 2010. FVAP and DOJ will continue to work together with all of the states on the waiver process,” Carey said.

      The MOVE Act, enacted last October, ensures that servicemen and women serving overseas have ample time to get in their absentee ballots. The result of the DOJ’s alleged inaction in enforcing the act, former voting section attorneys Eric Eversole and J. Christian Adams told FoxNews.com, could be that thousands of soldiers’ ballots will arrive too late to be counted.

      • I really don’t understand-what do they need a waiver for-what is so hard about sending these ballots 15 days earlier. Were there other complicated steps added besides the time line?

        • I think Missouri, for example, was decided by 4,000 votes between Obama and McCain. This may be a deliberate act by some of the Democrats to prevent the military, which leans conservative, from voting. It might save them a few house
          seats, which could be significant.

          • I have no problem believing that-my question is more what reasons are they using to justify getting a waiver.

  49. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    By the way guys, I am sure that by now you have all realized that BDN is a “plant” and it is 99% likely that he is not what he claims.

    Primary evidence is that he only posts at night, which is indicative to me that he actually has a real 9 to 5 type of job, and either does not have access to a computer while on that job, or they forbid blogging using “work” computers. Not sure which it is.

    That being said, whether he is a plant or not, I (for one) am glad to have him here, because the things he says are the perfect example of precisely why what we are doing here is NOT futile (contrary to what he claims).

    It MAY be PARTIALLY futile. Sure, there are people who are completely dependent on the government “freebies” for their very existence, and probably a disturbing percentage of them are actually “happy” that way.

    I would agree that it IS FUTILE to try to change them in any way.
    However; all that does is convince me overall of the non-futility of what we do here every day. There are many people that want an honest education and want the tools to be responsible for themselves and their own families. There are also many people that recognize that government is, at root, an evil institution, and want to know what they can do about that.

    For all of those people, we perform an invaluable service here every day! 🙂

    • You’re right Peter which is why I posted to Ray yesterday that maybe thru BDN we can get a significant number of people who DO see the USA thru his eyes to actually open their eyes and change their mindset. BRING ON THE PLANTS. And we’ll probably see more of them as the march toward November continues.

    • Spot On, my Indy friend. Spot On!!

    • Displaced Okie says:

      You know SUFA has hit the big time when we have our first troll 🙂

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I make a distinction between a troll and a plant. A troll is usually intentionally offensive, hostile, and insulting, and no matter how much logic you use, the troll will simply resort to Ad Hominem to try to destroy the entire discussion.

        A plant, on the other hand, we be mostly civil, but will do specific things to demoralize the participants in discussions. Some of his behavior might be borderline offensive, but he tries to appear as a “real person” rather than just an obvious troll.

        One tactic is meant to destroy all rational discussion on a blog, the other tactic is an attempt to subtly render all rational discussion as pointless.

        Similar goal, different tactics.

        • Displaced Okie says:

          I tend to classify them as the same because of their goals, but I would consider a compromise of calling plants “Refined Trolls” and calling regular trolls..well um..just call them trolls

          I’m having a mental picture of two posters. One of a garden variety under-the-bridge troll and another with a troll dressed in a tux with a monocle…. 🙂

  50. http://spectator.org/archives/2010/07/16/americas-ruling-class-and-the/print

    Please take the time and read this essay. It is written by a brilliant conservative and the insight into the issues of politics are core for SUFA and understanding the way to the future.

    Vital in this understanding is nicely summed up in his conclusion, repeated here:

    How the country class and ruling class might clash on each item of their contrasting agendas is beyond my scope.

    Suffice it to say that the ruling class’s greatest difficulty — aside from being outnumbered — will be to argue, against the grain of reality, that the revolution it continues to press upon America is sustainable.

    For its part, the country class’s greatest difficulty will be to enable a revolution to take place without imposing it. America has been imposed on enough.

    Indeed!

    To replace one set of power-seekers with another affects the distribution of the political loot.

    It does not stop the looting.

    The looting must stop …..

    ….or else it will stop by force of economic law and with that will be the end of Western Civilization.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “Laws and regulations nowadays are longer than ever because length is needed to specify how people will be treated unequally. For example, the health care bill of 2010 takes more than 2,700 pages to make sure not just that some states will be treated differently from others because their senators offered key political support, but more importantly to codify bargains between the government and various parts of the health care industry, state governments, and large employers about who would receive what benefits (e.g., public employee unions and auto workers) and who would pass what indirect taxes onto the general public. The financial regulation bill of 2010, far from setting univocal rules for the entire financial industry in few words, spends some 3,000 pages (at this writing) tilting the field exquisitely toward some and away from others. Even more significantly, these and other products of Democratic and Republican administrations and Congresses empower countless boards and commissions arbitrarily to protect some persons and companies, while ruining others. Thus in 2008 the Republican administration first bailed out Bear Stearns, then let Lehman Brothers sink in the ensuing panic, but then rescued Goldman Sachs by infusing cash into its principal debtor, AIG. Then, its Democratic successor used similarly naked discretionary power (and money appropriated for another purpose) to give major stakes in the auto industry to labor unions that support it. Nowadays, the members of our ruling class admit that they do not read the laws. They don’t have to. Because modern laws are primarily grants of discretion, all anybody has to know about them is whom they empower. ”

      Exactly

    • Great article, but long.

      What really distinguishes these privileged people demographically is that, whether in government power directly or as officers in companies,

      their careers and fortunes depend on government.

      They vote Democrat more consistently than those who live on any of America’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Streets. These socioeconomic opposites draw their money and orientation from the same sources as the millions of teachers, consultants, and government employees in the middle ranks who aspire to be the former and identify morally with what they suppose to be the latter’s grievances.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      There is one key point that this article entirely misses.

      There is a THIRD class, and it is a large one.

      The third class is the willing slaves. The willing slaves get the vast majority of their livelyhood directly from the ruling class.

      Because of this, it is NOT safe to say that the “Country Class” has superior numbers.

      The question will all come down to whether the willing slave class will ACTIVELY support the ruling class or not ir/when the power of the ruling class is threatened.

      The willing slaves have been trained to be lazy in many ways, so they may not actively come to the defense of their masters. However, many of the willing slaves MIGHT realize that a threat to the ruling class is a threat to their very existence, and they may react with extremely violent force.

  51. Read it and feel the blood squirt from your eyes….

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/forget-instarefi-here-comes-instaloanforgiveness

    • Cyndi, good find! Others have heard the same rumor. From American Thinker

      Obama’s August Surprise?
      Clarice Feldman
      Rumors are spreading that in the face of a predicted blowout for Dems in November and Obama’s ever lowering approval numbers, he is planning to order Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to renegotiate down the principal on mortgages where the properties are now worth less than the existing mortgages.

      He’s banking on another redistribution of assets to save his and his party’s hides. James Pethokoukis writes on Reuters:

      Main Street may be about to get its own gigantic bailout. Rumors are running wild from Washington to Wall Street that the Obama administration is about to order government-controlled lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to forgive a portion of the mortgage debt of millions of Americans who owe more than what their homes are worth. An estimated 15 million U.S. mortgages – one in five – are underwater with negative equity of some $800 billion. Recall that on Christmas Eve 2009, the Treasury Department waived a $400 billion limit on financial assistance to Fannie and Freddie, pledging unlimited help. The actual vehicle for the bailout could be the Bush-era Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, a sister program to Obama’s loan modification effort. HARP was just extended through June 30, 2011.

      The move, if it happens, would be a stunning political and economic bombshell less than 100 days before a midterm election in which Democrats are currently expected to suffer massive, if not historic losses. The key date to watch is August 17 when the Treasury Department holds a much-hyped meeting on the future of Fannie and Freddie.

      • Thanks! 😉

        I think this is a trap! No way would I take this offer even if I were underwater. TANSTAAFL.

        The IRS counts debt forgiveness as income. Anyone who swallows this baited hook will likely pay taxes on the new ‘income’. I’ve seen mentioned that government loans are currently exempt from that, but I don’t know. Even if so, that can easily be changed. Who know what other surprises await the guillable?

        My advice on this is “Don’t do it! Its a trick!”

      • Correct me if I’m wrong-but wasn’t it being discussed that the banks be forced to buy back some of these loans-wouldn’t this sorta protect them from having to show bad loans on their books, hence the tax payers bailing out the banks again??????

        • The Regime already has the Banksters votes. This action would, additionally, garner the votes of the unwashed masses while benefiting the Banksters. Win/Win.

          Except for those of us who are responsible with our money have to pay for it. We get in the neck. Again

          • Have no argument with that point!!-am simply questioning whether one could accurately say this was a bailout for main street.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              It is not a bailout for anyone.

              It is ALLOWING people, banks, quasi-governmental agencies, and the government itself to ALL DEFAULT ON THEIR DEBTS.

              Remember what BF has been warning about.

              SELECTIVE DEFAULTS ARE COMING, but many of them will be thinly disguised in an attempt to make them look like something other than a default.

            • PeterB beat me to it.!

              It will be called whatever they think will get votes, but a rose is still a rose by any other name(default is still defualt)

  52. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Many of you have seen this hierarchy before, and the reasoning behind it, but I think this is a good point to bring up again:

    The NATURAL hierarchy of responsibility:

    1. I am responsible for myself. Once I have myself secure THEN

    2. I am responsible for my family. Once they are secure, THEN

    3. I am able to help my extended family and close friends.
    Once I am beyond secure in my ability to do that, THEN

    4. I am able to help my neighbors and my local community.
    Once I am beyond secure in my ability to do that, THEN

    5. I am able to make contributions to “society”.

    If you KNOW that you haven’t even gotten a handle on #1, trying to go beyond that is hazardous.

    Now, CONTRAST that to “progressive” dogma, which states:

    “My primary responsibility is to the greater good of society, which very likely will require me to make personal sacrifices of myself and my family in order to promote the collective good as a whole”

    Now, CONTRAST _THAT_ to uber-liberal dogma, which states:

    “Humans are essentially evil and are destroying the planet. We should strive, for the greater good of the planet, to reduce or possibly even eliminate all but the most rudimentary of human activities in order to reduce or preferably eliminate human influence over the planet, which in 100% of all cases is destructive to the planet itself.”

    Which one of these 3 makes the most sense?

    • #2.

      Hope that clarifies things for you. 🙂

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I already knew that to be the case for you, so the clarification was not needed in your case, but I appreciate it nonetheless 🙂

        • Well, then allow me clarify further. If we all do what is best for society as a whole, the society as a whole improves. Thus, our own position improves along with it. Your percentage of the pie might be a little smaller, but it’s a smaller percentage of a bigger pie and, thus, bigger in absolute terms.

          • TexasChem says:

            Mathius=Borg!

            I will not be assimilated Mat-bot!

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            The only pie there is is the pie you make yourself, or the pie that someone else makes for you.

            If you have a whole bunch of people claiming to be authorities on what you can and cannot put into a pie and why, and they all try to get their select ingredients in there to make it, you do not end up with “pie”. What you end up with is an ugly-looking half-baked mess that tastes like crap.

          • Mathius,

            We all are working for the best of society when we are peacefully working for the best for ourselves

            The problem always lies with you is that you
            (1) think you know what is best for society, regardless of what others may believe in difference

            (2) you are willing to you force and violence directly or (more likely) indirectly via government to push this conceit upon your neigbhors.

            The question is of “what is so good for society that I will force it upon others” has an answer of:
            Absolutely Nothing

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Key question Mathius,

          Let us say that you are not well off at all.

          Maybe you don’t have a steady job, income isn’t coming in regularly, etc.

          For you personally, would you still choose #2, and why?

    • Actually, I think that if people would do #1-number two would be the natural consequence. Whereas following #2- it is very doubtful you will ever actually achieve the second part of the definition “promoting the collective good as a whole”

  53. Buck

    The reason I disagree with Jon about the 10th Amendment is not about the wording or meaning of the 10th Amendment itself; it is about my interpretation of the Constitution overall and the powers it grants. In other words many of the same laws he would argue violate the 10th Amendment I would find no objection to.

    Again, my question.

    ….such as?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “it is about my interpretation of the Constitution overall and the powers it grants.”

      If you actually read the Constitution, the powers specifically assigned to the Federal Government are very few, very well described, and very specific.

      What the 10th Amendment says is, “Hey, in case you haven’t figured it out, anything we did not SPECIFICALLY assign as a power of the Federal Government in the main document above becomes the province of the States or of the People to figure out how to handle.”

      • Isn’t it funny that liberals will talk about the dangers that state power can have to take away the rights of just the citizens of that state. But they insist on a broad interpretation of the Constitution-totally ignoring the power that the Federal power has to take away the rights of the citizens of the whole country.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        For example – the commerce clause.

        I see this as a much broader clause than you do. As a result there are any number of laws the federal government has the power to pass under the commerce clause that you would argue violate the 10th Amendment as such was not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

        • Buck

          Commerce involves trade and aids to trade which help in the exchange of goods and services.

          So I am not clear why you believe this is as broad as you seem to think it is.

        • Buck,

          Also as a comment:

          If as many believe (and I see that you maybe one of them) that the entire power of the federal government exists in one sentence of the Constitution, does that -in of itself- demonstrate the perverse misunderstanding of those persons about this sentence and the Constitution?

        • TexasChem says:

          The commerce clause as written is to powerful a weapon for the government as it is interpreted now.Buck you know this.

        • Ok Buck, lets go with that one.

          “Regulate commerce among the states”

          There are two key words here that still show clear violations of the contitution with respect to, say, the health care bill.

          Regulate and Commerce. Commerce is an actual trade, a transaction. In order to regulate it, it must occur. This still does not grant power to FORCE COMMERCE TO OCCUR, that is not a regulation. Regulating something involves limiting it, not making more. If you regulate the flow of water, you can diminish it, but if there is no water, the regulator does nothing to make water flow. Thus the requirement to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional. I don’t care who you are or how you read that, you have to actually alter the definitions of the words to make the Health Care Bill pass muster.

          A third words appears to be “among”, which seems, at best, to support the “interstate commerce” stuff regarding regulations on transactions that cross state lines. This means that all transactions within state lines, where the product or service is made and sold within that state, cannot be subject to federal law. This covers a whole slew of stuff the Feds are doing, from the drug laws and gun laws to the regulations on utilities like power plants. Does “among” mean something else? I really want to know what you think that one sentence means and why. I still think it was a mistake to write it so openly and would interpret it far more restrictive than you, I get that, but there are still some VERY clear violations of it unless you know something about that sentence that I do not. What gives?

  54. Wow! Step away for a few days and miss a whole bunch of fun~

    Was in Chicago for a few days; fortunately was not interupted by BO’s birthday entourage anywhere. Traffic there is bad enough without having to deal with his. It’s fun to visit and I don’t mind paying the big city prices while I’m there, but sure glad to head north and return to reality.

    My daughter was home for two weeks from Costa Rica and it’s interesting to get perspective from someone who lives elsewhere. She has had to (unfortunately) use the CR national health system while living there and she cannot understand why we would ever think to resort to such a system here. We talked of their taxation/education/living conditions etc. and she would often say, “why don’t we learn from these other countries, that what we have is great and we shouldn’t be trying to get rid of the freedoms we enjoy”. yeah, good point. Tell that to Washington!

    Great job Anita with new guy! I agree that he is plant but it is frustrating to hear that mindset. What a loser, er user, er abuser, er all of the above!

    Go Missouri and their healthcare no thank you! Wish Wisconsin would have the cojones to do that.

    Glad to hear Michelle and her troupe is enjoying Spain – especially since they are not racist anymore (oops! hahahaha)

    Any of you doing Beck University? Details?

    • Hey Kathy,

      Been to Chicago a couple times.I cannot imagine why anyone would ever want to live in a massive concrete jungle like that. But it’s fine dining reputation does live up to it’s name. Went to a place called The Weber Grill. Outside the restaraunt was a huge Weber. Took a pic of the family and everyone fit UNDERNEATH it with the handle of the grill still another 10 feet up. Amazing!

      Too bad you missed our guest im-poster. It was funny and sad at the same time. I think we did a fine job and maybe gave him something think about in his Escalade. 🙂

      Glad you mentioned Missouri as no one else has yet. 71% opposed to healthcare reform Obama style. Yahoo!

      Haven’t even seen Beck U yet but he sure has been on fire on TV. The man know his stuff. Hindsite says I should have been recording all his shows for the last couple months to show my son as he gets to voting age.

      • anita – I’m still here – you better be careful on BDN – I may have to spank you like i spank my other girls when they naughte. Ha! aint been nothing me to shout out.

      • Yeah, I’m finding I didn’t “learn” history very well the first time around, so may check into Beck U.

  55. TexasChem says:

    Social Security in the RED!

    Social Security will pay out more this year than it gets in payroll taxes, marking the first time since the program will be in the red since it was overhauled in 1983, according to the annual authoritative report released Thursday by the program’s actuary.

    Meanwhile President Obama’s health care overhaul has given Medicare’s basic Hospital Insurance an extra 12 years of financial stability, though it did not solve all of the program’s long-term challenges.

    “The financial status of the HI trust fund is substantially improved by the lower expenditures and additional tax revenues instituted by the Affordable Care Act,” the program’s actuary said in its annual report. “These changes are estimated to postpone the exhaustion of HI trust fund assets from 2017 under the prior law to 2029 under current law and to 2028 under the alternative scenario.”

    But the actuary said the programs’ finances are still troubled in the near and long terms, and warned that Congress is making things worse by putting off scheduled doctor fee cuts.

    The Obama administration said the report shows the success of the health care overhaul, which passed earlier this year on the strength of Democratic votes.

    “The impact of health care reform is made clear by the Trustees Reports, which show some very positive developments for Social Security and especially Medicare,” said Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. “But they also remind us that we must continue to make progress addressing the financing challenges facing the long-term solvency of these programs.”

    Some of the grimmest immediate news comes in Social Security, where benefit payouts will exceed revenues this year for the first time since Democrats and Republicans came together to overhaul it in the 1980s.

    The deficit will last through 2011, then an improving economy will put it back into balance for three years, then it will dip back into the red in 2015, the actuary said. The program has enough money in its trust fund to cover the annual deficit for two decades beyond that.

    • TexasChem says:

      “The deficit will last through 2011, then an improving economy will put it back into balance for three years, then it will dip back into the red in 2015, the actuary said.”

      Wow! I’m so glad to see the feds have started hiring fortune tellers!I feel so secure now!

    • Texaschem,

      I warned of this awhile ago.

      Just listen to me and you’ll do ok 😉

      The deficit will last through 2011, then an improving economy will put it back into balance for three years, then it will dip back into the red in 2015, the actuary said. The program has enough money in its trust fund to cover the annual deficit for two decades beyond that

      If you believe that Social Security will ever get into the black, there are a few bridges that I am also willing to sell you.

      This is merely the beginning of the influx of the baby boomers, it goes exponential for the foreseeable future. The shift from more workers to more retired is just beginning.

      Do expect moving goal posts. Age limits for entering will rise. There will be age limits by which no further payments will be made. There will be income qualifiers and disqualifications – a “means test”.

      If anyone is approaching SS age, be prepared to never actually “reach it”.

      If anyone has elderly family, be prepared for them to be abandoned by the State.

  56. TexasChem says:

    Hrmmm…this is the Headline over at Drudgereport…I think Mike reads SUFA!Whatcha’ think JaC?!?

    Food stamp use hit record 40.8m in May!

    WASHINGTON — The number of Americans who are receiving food stamps rose to a record 40.8 million in May as the jobless rate hovered near a 27-year high, the government reported yesterday.

    Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program subsidies for food purchases jumped 19 percent from a year earlier and increased 0.9 percent from April, the US Department of Agriculture said in a statement on its website.

    Participation has set records for 18 straight months.

    Unemployment in July may have reached 9.6 percent, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts in advance of the Aug. 6 release of last month’s rate. Unemployment was 9.5 percent in June, near levels last seen in 1983.

    An average of 40.5 million people, more than an eighth of the population, will get food stamps each month in the year that began Oct. 1, according to White House estimates.

    The figure is projected to rise to 43.3 million in 2011.

    • Tex Chem

      Man you need reading lessons I think.

      There is nothing here that is in opposition to what I stated earlier.

      Welfare is way, way, way, up due to the recession. It is in fact the primary cause of most State budget deficits.

      The total pay out is a pimple on the ass of an 800 pound gorilla when looking at a 100 trillions freaking Debt.

      I think there is a deliberate play being made to get us to start arguing over “welfare” funding right now. Cheats and scams, etc. It has historically worked as a political “motivator”. Don’t be fooled. Throw the ass-clowns out on their ear.

      • TexasChem says:

        JaC stated:”I think there is a deliberate play being made to get us to start arguing over “welfare” funding right now. Cheats and scams, etc. It has historically worked as a political “motivator”. Don’t be fooled. Throw the ass-clowns out on their ear.”

        TC:Well of course there is JaC!The point of my poking at you has been this…The 800 lb. Gorilla you speak of has several million unaware handlers that are feeding him and his elitist masters!The debt is being enabled by the welfare state voting to keep these “benefits” through electing officials that endorse those benefits simply to stay in power!

        As the handling of the economy creates more welfare state citizens due to job loss it increases the chances of the elitist liberals who endorse these programs ability to stay in power.They hold the benefits out like a carrot on a stick!The tax burden falls upon the working middle-class and wealthy job creators.Essentially we have a snake consuming its own body tail first and is about to swallow its head!

        I just felt as if you were getting a little ahead of yourself.Striking through the purpose of the arguement over welfare with a blue pencil a bit too hastily!

        • TexasChem says:

          Don’t look at the literal monetary cost of the welfare programs so much as looking towards the impact at voting booths is all I’m asking!

          • Texaschem

            towards the impact at voting booths

            Man! I laughed for an hour!!

            You really believe you will create some sort of “impact” with your vote!?!?!?

            Pray tell – when did this ever occur in the last 200 years before???

            …and you hold hope that for reasons yet to be disclosed, it will happen next time????

            hahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahah

  57. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    When the government gets to pick and choose who will win and who will lose, the biggest loser of all is you!

    • Peter,

      Someone would like to speak to you above since he didn’t quite get all his questions answered yesterday and since I refuse to recognize anyone who refers to themself as my papa.

  58. This isn’t political but WOW can you imagine!!!!!

    Mexico Baby declared dead revives inside coffin

    MEXICO CITY — Authorities in Mexico say a newborn baby girl declared dead by doctors revived inside her coffin during her wake.

    Hidalgo state Attorney General Jose Rodriguez says the parents heard a strange noise coming from the tiny casket. Opening it up, they found her crying and very much alive.

    Rodriguez told state public radio Thursday that the doctor who pronounced the girl dead at a hospital in the town of Tulancingo is being investigated for possible negligence.

    The baby, who was born prematurely Monday, is in stable condition at a different hospital.

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