Tuesday Night Open Mic for August 24, 2010

Tuesday night comes again. This week we are on the heels of my proposal to eliminate the FDA. I was a little disappointed with the first day’s responses, but I felt the second day was better. I especially liked Mathius’ alternative plan offering. While I am a little skeptical of it, I love having alternatives offered and the real ideas discussed without the silly games of simply attempting to discredit the original idea with nonsense. If people would like me to, we can sit on the FDA thing for a week or so and repost some of the stuff later for more discussion after people have time to think it through. Let me know if you want to do that. For the open mic we have three topics from me, including Hillary continuing to beat the climate change thing down people’s throats, California cities looking at punishing accident victims by charging them taxes for emergency services and then charging them fees when they use them, and my personal frustration with the conflicting information spewing from all sides of government these days. Additionally, we have a topic carried over from Peter in Indy and the possibility of Snopes being exposed from Cyndi. I look forward to the conversations.

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Comments

  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    Bring on the “Crash Tax”

    Getting into an accident can be traumatic enough, now tack on a few more fees. In some municipalities across the country, revenues are so low that finding money has become impossible enough to now charge for basic emergency services. Yep, the next time you get into a wreck, for each engine, ambulance and even the jaws of life, the bill will swell…and your aches and pains will go beyond the aftermath of the accident.

    Critics argue that taxpayers already foot the bill for services and these new fees by cities and counties across the country are nothing other than a “crash tax”, meant to milk more money out of citizens already burdened by government misspending. Opponents also say that the belief insurance companies will cover the new fees is also untrue because some policies already fail to cover emergency response fees and companies that do cover them say it will drive up rates to the consumer.

    Meantime, several hundred municipalities across the country have already set up a fee structure and garnered the necessary votes to collect the dough. Here in Sacramento, the city has postponed its decision until September, deciding to take a closer look to make sure all the questions are answered. If California’s State Capitol institutes the idea, Sacramento would become the largest city in the country to pass the “crash tax” and that might be enough to encourage other cities to do the same.

    Already in this area of Central California, a number of smaller cities collect emergency responder fees and Sacramento would likely only charge for non residents involved in a crash. As city leaders tell us, it is all about being cash strapped in these tough economic times and the money collected would go directly to first responders, to ensure services are not cut back and that the department’s are properly funded.

    So what are the charges you ask? Basic scene stabilization…$435. With Hazmat cleanup….$495. Jaws of life…..$1875. Airlift to hospital….$2275. Is that a small price to pay for security, safety and lifesaving measures? By the way…8 states have already outlawed this so-called “crash tax”, but California isn’t expected to do so.

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/08/18/bring-on-the-crash-tax/?test=latestnews#ixzz0wzJz3uz6

    When we, as the taxpaying citizen, see this sort of thing going on and accept it, I simply sit and wonder about the mental capabilities of Americans. Let me put this in perspective for you. The taxpayers of Sacramento are the ones who pay for emergency services as part of their taxes. This is done whether they need them or not. Fire, police, and emergency services are already paid for by taxpayer dollars. And now, because the city cannot manage its budget, they are working to pass a law that says taxpayers have to pay these ridiculously high fees for services that they already pay for, at a time when they may be more financially challenged than any other time in their lives. $1875 if they use the jaws of life!!!!!!

    AND THE CITIZENS ARE NOT MARCHING ON THE STATE HOUSE!

    Wasn’t it the California Democrats that were making the claims about 66% of all bankruptcies are being caused by unexpected medical emergencies? That was one of the justifications they were using to hammer home this farce of a health care bill that the Congress shoved down the throat of a public that didn’t want it. So now, they look to increase the costs of having a major medical emergency, so that people who have an accident will be forced to pay for even more things that they can’t afford.

    This is exactly why we are so screwed. Rather than demand that cities get their damn spending under control, the citizens are sitting on their assets while the city instead simply raises revenue at the expense of the taxpayers. Couple this with Los Angeles and their absolutely ludicrous fines for moving violations ($1800+ for parking in a handicapped spot or $980 for using a cell phone while driving as a minor) and you start to realize that the cities are simply going to mimic the state and federal government. Keep increasing costs, spend more money, and simply charge the taxpayers for it. How much of the fruits of your labor will it take before you say “enough”? I am way past that point.

    • Not to mention that in all likelihood your account could well be sent to a collection agency when you are unable to pay their charges, further causing you economic harm.

      There is NO redeeming quality in government anymore (if there ever was). None, nada, zip, zero!

    • Hmmmm….pay as you go crashing…. However, in Fort Worth, we already have private ambulance service. But everything else is tax supported. Jaws of Life $1875…wow. So let’s privatize. I can now see this like wrecker service. Have an accident now and 20 wreckers monitoring the emergency channels show up exacerbting the traffic problem…..I can see 20 people running up with “jaws of life” and fighting over who got there first…..meanwhile, life in the car is slipping away….

      So….have an accident and what do we have…let’s see….private ambulances showing up, lawyers showing up with business cards (which they already do), private jaws of life showing up, private wreckers showing up, private helicopters showing up….kinda reminds one of the movie…It’s a MAd MAd World.

      Of course, in a totally free society, there can be no bidding for city contracts because that would probably mean kickbacks and such to get the contracts and, therefore, not being a free competitive society.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        D13,

        Sounds like you are pretty firmly convinced that competition for services is a bad thing rather than a good thing.

        This saddens me.

        • No sir…that was NOT my reasoning at all. I am merely pointing out the inconsistencies with this and the great amount of confusion that would come with no controls at all.

          There is also responsibility. I am all for freedom of services and competition but I also want responsibility that goes with it. I do not believe that the public, in general, understands the problems associated with this. For example, Peter of Indianapolis is in a car wreck, rendered unconscious and unable to make a choice for the services that show up….three people with jaws of life show up all with different and competitive pricing….how do YOU make a choice at this time? How do YOU make a choice in the selection of the hospital or the ambulance seervice or the airlift or whtever is necessary. Do you lie there until someone calls the next relative? Where is your choice in this competitive instance or do you assume that competition will keep ALL the prices low or high.

          If you go to competitive bidding for city services…who makes the decision then and on what basis?

      • While I generally support the idea of government supported emergency services, I do not think they should have a monopoly on it, and I certainly do not think privatization would end up like the firefighter scene in “Gangs Of New York”. One case like you describe covered by the media and the competing companies would be so mortified by the bad press that they would either fold or work something out with the competitors.

        I would imagine that most emergency services companies and workers would be more inclined to operate as a non-profit anyway. Some of their expenses would be covered by donations, so that their fees were more reasonable. I think the scenario you fear D13 would not happen in today’s world at all. A donation supported and community oriented non-profit emergency organization would kick the pants off of a for profit, gotta-get-there-first version anyway, since the for profit one would be charging a lot more and would not be able to make money, especially after the first lawsuit or two that slammed them for putting money over lives.

        • Jon,

          There are many private ambulance services operating throughout the US, such as AMR & Rural Metro. Many cities, with ongoing budget issues bid the contract out to a private
          company that will then give the same or better service, for less money than the city operated service. The city still evaluates them on response time and quality of treatment, but for profit, private service has proven itself.

      • D13,

        No, you would not pay for your rescue, your insurance company would.

        As part of your accident insurance would be the clauses that would cover all the required aspects.

        Insurance steps in as the broker between you and these types of services – in fact, they do that already in other parts of the world.

        It benefits all parties – you don’t have to worry about trying to pay while bleeding to death and your saviors don’t have to worry about not being paid if you die.

        • Ok…good point….I did make the assumption that there would be no insurance….but speaking of that, what about NO insurance….who would pay then? Me, you, the public…like we do now? If so, then does that not defeat the purpose of fee based services and become a tax base service yet again?

          • By no insurance, I mean like people now do not have it and refuse it…

            • D13,

              No Insurance…

              So the same people who would not pay for insurance …. would be the same people who would not pay for their rescue either…

          • That would likely be the donation side of things. If the cost became too great for the emergency service company, then they would have to work out something with the insurance companies to help track who had insurance and who did not, or they would have to make a broad appeal to people and businesses. In the case of roads and so forth, they could appeal to whoever managed the roads to make sure that at least some insurance was carried by drivers as part of their contract that allows them access to those roads.

            • But Jon, does this not go against the freedom thing? You are going to make me purchase insurance, right?

              • Sure, but not by law, but contract. It is part of a transaction. It is not a violation of freedom for a bank to require you to carry full coverage insurance on a car as part of the terms of the loan, it is protecting their investment. Whoever owns the roads will work out a set of rules for usage. Even if the government still manages the roads, I do not have a major issue with being required by the road owner to carry emergency services insurance and/or liability insurance. If, however, I am on my own personal road, then no such requirement can be made. If the road owner/manager refuses to add an insurance requirement for drivers, then you could simply choose to drive on those roads. Of course, the emergency services companies could refuse to respond to rescues on those roads as well. 🙂

          • D13,

            Why should you pay for someone else?

            If you want to give to charity – then do it.

            • I don’t want to pay for someone else, sir….I was asking the not so hypothetical….like we have people that do not purchase insurance and take the risk…car insurance for example…. so they go out and have a wreck….but their expenses are not going to be paid because of no insurance and no money and probably no assets to attach (other than their wrecked car)…would we have a responder using a satellite dish checking the credit worthiness of an individual laying there and then refuse service? I guess I am asking, where is the incentive to have insurance? the responders are going to extract me, fix me up, and send me to a hospital. Some doctor will work on me and save my life and will walk out of the hospital grateful but render no money for the services.

              So, the for profit enterprises just have to asorb the loss…and pass the cost to consumers with higher prices, correct? Or, in a truly free society, would the responders have the right to say I will not pick this guy up because he has no way to pay. That is true freedom, is it not?

              This same person would not contribute to and charity either, most likely.

              • D13,

                What happens now when a person refuses insurance and wrecks?

                Why do you believe the problems you suffer today will magically disappear without government?

                Why do you believe the solutions you use today to solve problems will not work without government?

                You have to start asking yourself your own questions, sir…. and start thinking for yourself.

              • Was wanting to see if you would answer a question without a question. You gave me your classical non answer but that is ok. I know exactly where you are coming from. I was not disappointed.

              • D13,

                On questions of action, such as “What should be done in this situation”, rarely do I say my answer is the end-all-be-all

                I argue by principle – but principles can define an infinite number of correct answers to the problem you are applying to them.

                “My” right answer is merely one of the infinite, and yours -though different- could be as easily correct too.

                So, I ask the questions back at you for your right answer and merely test your answer against principles. If it survives, it is right.

        • And there is a solution whether the emergency services were non-profit or not. 🙂

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      One of the most valuable commodities in Emergency Response is territory coverage – ambulance companies and other constantly battle over who gets what slice of the pie – imagine that conundrum with what this article just posed. That is why it is not uncommon for the response to sometimes be inappropriate for the issue at hand.

  2. USWeapon Topic #2

    Clinton Invokes Climate Change Debate to Explain Pakistan Floods

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials are pointing to the devastating floods in Pakistan and other extreme weather events as signs that climate change is getting worse.

    Clinton, in an interview with Pakistan’s Dawn TV, said “there is a linkage” between the recent spate of deadly natural disasters and climate change.

    “You can’t point to any particular disaster and say, ‘it was caused by,’ but we are changing the climate of the world,” she said.

    Clinton said that on top of the Pakistan floods, which have forced millions out of their homes, the forest fires in Russia stand as another example. She said there’s no “direct link” between the disasters in Pakistan and Russia but that “when you have the changes in climate that affect weather that we’re now seeing, I think the predictions of more natural disasters are unfortunately being played out.”

    Climate change skeptics say the planet is going through natural phases — the kind it’s gone through for eons. Pakistan, in particular, is prone to flooding and is routinely drenched by the monsoon rains. Some officials have partially blamed deforestation and inferior levee systems for the historic flooding which has affected one-fifth of the country’s landmass and triggered nearly a half-billion dollars in international aid commitments.

    Scientists who study climate change tend to offer more nuance in their explanations of the possible link to a rise in greenhouse gas emissions. They generally say that no one natural disaster can be chalked up to man-caused climate change, but that it can contribute to those disasters happening more frequently and more intensely.

    Both the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change and the World Meteorological Organization reiterated that point in light of the Pakistan floods. WMO climate data chief Omar Baddour was quoted saying it’s “too early to point to a human fingerprint” behind the recent disasters but climate change may be “exacerbating the intensity” of them.

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/21/clinton-links-pakistan-floods-climate-change/

    I have to give the Democrats, progressives, environmental quacks, and control freaks a ton of credit. Despite the concept of man-made climate change being little more than a husk of a figure lying on the ground with no life, they continue to do CPR and not give up on resuscitation. They simply will not let this die. I am convinced at this point that man has either zero impact on climate change, or so little that it is not even noticeable. And when I look at graphs such as this one: Global Temperature Trends Since 2500 B.C. I tend to understand that without all of our industrial stuff and horrible pollution, the earth has gotten much hotter and much cooler than we have been able to affect.

    But that kid of stuff, you know…. logic and facts, are completely irrelevant to the folks who crave power and control in today’s political landscape. I know that the AlGorians are sooooo frustrated right now. They are literally sitting around in Al’s 20k+ square foot mansion saying, “we were this close to pulling that scam off. If only those folks at East Anglia would have been more careful with their email.” I understand their frustration. It is difficult when the facts and results get in the way of your crisis.

    Again, though, I give some extra credit points for perseverance. Enter Hillary. I have to admit that over a large part of the Obama administration, my respect for Hillary was actually on the rise. I kept thinking to myself that she would at least have been a better leader than Obama. And she wasn’t saying anything crazy. Then along comes this article and I am right back to seeing that she is just as lost as the rest. Any politician who is still attempting to convince me that man-made global warming is real, or that it has any effect on natural disasters, has done the equivalent of telling me that they think I am a dumbass. Well, I am not Stephen Hawking, but I will guarantee my IQ is higher than 95% of Congress. Hillary loses me here because she simply has shown that she lacks the ability to use critical thinking skills.

    And the fact that politicians and the media are still trying to capitalize on every single crisis, whether created by man, created by mother nature, or created by government, as an excuse to push their agenda, is simply wearing on me. I am not sure that America’s fever for eliminating all the incumbents in DC is going to last through November, or even if it is as strong as it was a couple of months ago, but I can promise you that my personal desire to achieve that does nothing but go up with every statement like this form a major player. Is there a way we can also eliminate all the incumbents in the media, and the higher education systems too?

    • I remember people (especially liberal women who supported her) saying that Hillary was one of the smartest women in America. I always responded that that was one of the greatest insults to women and female intelligence I had ever heard. They usually had no response for that…

    • Filmmaker James Cameron Backs Out of Global Warming Debate HE Organized

      By Noel Sheppard
      Mon, 08/23/2010

      Multi-millionaire filmmaker James Cameron on Sunday backed out of a global warming debate that he asked for and organized.

      For those that haven’t been following the recent goings on concerning Nobel Laureate Al Gore’s favorite money-making myth, an environmental summit was held this weekend in Aspen, Colorado, called AREDAY, which is short for American Renewable Energy Day.

      Ahead of this conference, Cameron challenged three noted global warming skeptics to a public debate where he was going to personally “call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads.”

      One of the invited skeptics, Ann McElhinney of NotEvilJustWrong.com, wrote about Cameron’s surprise cancellation Sunday:

      His representatives contacted myself and two other well known skeptics, Marc Morano of the Climate Depot website and Andrew Breitbart, the new media entrepreneur.

      Mr. Cameron was attending the AREDAY environmental conference in Aspen Colorado 19-22 August. He wanted the conference to end with a debate on climate change. Cameron would be flanked with two scientists. It would be 90 minutes long. It would be streamed live on the internet.

      They hoped the debate would attract a lot of media coverage.

      “We are delighted to have Fox News, Newsmax, The Washington Times and anyone else you’d like. The more the better,” one of James Cameron’s organizers said in an email.

      The AREDAY program listed the debate as taking place 5:30 PM Sunday (page 8):

      McElhinney continued:

      But then as the debate approached James Cameron’s side started changing the rules.

      They wanted to change their team. We agreed.

      They wanted to change the format to less of a debate-to “a roundtable”. We agreed.

      Then they wanted to ban our cameras from the debate. We could have access to their footage. We agreed.

      Bizarrely, for a brief while, the worlds [sic] most successful film maker suggested that no cameras should be allowed-that sound only should be recorded. We agreed [sic]

      Then finally James Cameron, who so publicly announced that he “wanted to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out,” decided to ban the media from the shoot out.

      He even wanted to ban the public. The debate/roundtable would only be open to those who attended the conference.

      No media would be allowed and there would be no streaming on the internet. No one would be allowed to record it in any way.

      We all agreed to that.

      And then, yesterday, just one day before the debate, his representatives sent an email that Mr. “shoot it out ” Cameron no longer wanted to take part. The debate was cancelled.

      Morano wrote Monday:

      Cameron backed out of the debate at the last minute after environmentalists “came out of the woodwork” to warn him not to engage in a debate with skeptics because it was not in his best interest.

      Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/08/23/filmmaker-james-cameron-backs-out-global-warming-debate-he-organized#ixzz0xdNKZsmN

  3. USWeapon Topic #3

    Stimulus added millions of jobs in Q2

    The massive U.S. stimulus package put millions of people to work and boosted national output by hundreds of billions of dollars in the second quarter, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.

    CBO’s latest estimate indicates that the stimulus effort, which remains a political hot potato ahead of the November congressional elections, may have prevented the sluggish U.S. economy from contracting between April and June.

    CBO said President Barack Obama’s stimulus boosted real GDP in the quarter by between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent, adding at least $200 billion in economic activity.

    During that time the economy was growing at an anemic pace.

    Gross domestic product rose just 0.6 percent during that period, according to preliminary Commerce Department data which economists expect will be revised sharply lower when new figures are released on Friday.

    The massive package of tax cuts, construction spending and enhanced safety-net benefits was passed in February 2009 in the midst of the deepest recession since the 1930s.

    It raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs during the second quarter of this year, CBO estimated.

    Measured another way, CBO said the stimulus increased the number of full-time equivalent jobs by up to 4.8 million, as part-time workers shifted to full-time work or employers offered more overtime work.

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USTRE67N55X20100824

    I had to put this one on here because, to be honest, I am simply so fed up with government reports and claims by “non-partisan” groups and sound bytes from politicians, all claiming radically different things. It has gotten to the point where, lacking an advanced degree in macro-economics, I am absolutely dumbfounded when confronted with the multitude of claims. Because the obvious point is that not all the claims can be true. They are completely contradictory. And since we can no longer trust our government to even come close to the truth in reporting anything anymore. we are all left simply having no clue what to believe. At least I am smart enough to know that I don’t know what is true anymore. There are others that simply believe whichever report supports their side of the argument. I would rather be an ignorant skeptic than a blind lemming.

    The biggest part of the problem for me is that the things that I hear simply often don’t make any damn sense. How many times did we have politicians, the President himself even did it, come to the podium and tell us that they saved or created “3 million jobs,” all while the next report cited by Congress shows that unemployment went up 1%. If you added jobs, how exactly does the unemployment level go up? Are we reproducing at a far higher rate than you can create the jobs? Likewise, we see all the reports about what the “Actual unemployment” is, ranging between 15% and 21% depending on who you listen to. I won’t claim to understand it well. Perhaps Peter can help me understand better. I know he has talked about that before.

    Case in point the article above. Look at that last line. “Measured another way, CBO said the stimulus increased the number of full-time equivalent jobs by up to 4.8 million, as part-time workers shifted to full-time work or employers offered more overtime work.” I am not a rocket scientist, and as I said, I don’t pretend to understand it all. But we have been around 10% unemployment for a while now. In a country with a labor force of roughly 154.5 million, that means that 15.45 million people are unemployed. Wouldn’t a 4.8 million increase mean that the unemployment rate would have dropped to 6.9%. Now THAT would be big news, and would probably result in a Democratic massacre of Republicans in November. But the unemployment rate didn’t drop. I don’t understand.

    I have read a lot of articles talking about the dubious ways that these claims are created by groups like the CBO. Comparisons against arbitrary projections of what “would have happened without the stimulus,” elimination of certain groups from the workforce numbers, all kinds of madness.

    So for me it is coming down to “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” What I see is a country in economic trouble. I don’t see the unemployment rate getting much better, despite these rosy reports from government agencies that are supposed to be non-partisan. And the question that I then have to ask is who benefits from the rose colored glasses reports? Right now that would be Democrats, who are really worried about losing control of Congress. You don’t suppose that the reports are biased in a way that would help Democrats hold onto seats, do you? Noooooo, our national politics aren’t that corrupt, are they?

    • See cross-post on why this will be very destructive.

      http://freedomfliesblackflag.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/winwin-vs-winlose/

      $2 trillion spent to boast the economy $200 billion. Yep, that is government – spending $10 to make $1.

    • This is the same CBO that said the stimulus would cost X and then afer it is passed saying…ooops…..it is actually X+++…..

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I don’t have a whole lotta time right now, so I will give a brief answer at first, hopefully more later.

      If you have been unemployed for so long that you become “discouraged” and simply stop bothering to even look for work, you become a “ghost” and are no longer counted in the “official” unemployment number.

      Also, if you previously had a full-time job paying you $45k per year, and now you only do temp work 4 days per week for 5 hours per day, you are not “officially” unemployed.

      When you count the “ghosts” and the “chronically under-employed” you get well over 15% and much closer to that 21% figure.

  4. Peter B Topic #1

    OK, here is somthing that USW can chew on and probably carry over to open mic night.

    It seems to me that many people (regardless of left/right “alignment”) believe the following:

    “Without Government, there would be a power vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum. Naturally those with the resources would seek to fill this power vacuum. Their motives are almost certainly not pure. They would seek to fill this vacuum to amass power for themselves, and the result would almost certainly be WORSE than what we have now, and would certainly not resemble anything even vaguely like “freedom”.”

    Does that sound about right?

    I know certain ways that I would say that this could be avoided in a free society/free market. Right now, my ideas are not the important ones (since I already know my ideas!)

    What I want to hear is what you all think.

    Would any attempt at a free society/free market end up in a worse mess than what we have now? Why or why not?

    Would there be EFFECTIVE MECHANISMS in a free society/free market to prevent this and preserve the freedom of the people? Why or why not?

    And please, don’t just say, “The Robber-Barrons would eat us for breakfast and you know it!” I DON’T know that. I know that they would probably TRY, but I do NOT know that they would succeed. As such, especially if USW chooses to carry this over to open-mic, please give as many juicy details as you can. Also, if you are one of the people that are pretty firmly convinced that the Robber-Barrons would eat us for breakfast, still make an honest attempt to flesh out how they could be prevented from doing this in a free society.

    I already know that one of the potential results COULD be a totally not-free society and/or a bloodbath.

    Obviously those are the things that we DON’T want, even though we all know that they COULD happen, so try to focus on potential solutions, not worse-case scenarios.

    Thank you in advance for your participation in this discussion

    • Black Flag says:

      Peter,

      Like opening a warm beer, the speed of the release of pressure is directly proportional to the spilling of the beer.

      Thus, removing government from society must be taken slowly so not to spill blood.

      With careful removal, you can let “nature” take its course and let natural human action gently fill the government vacancy.

      But, “overnight” removal of government violence will quickly explode with a replacement of equal evil.

      • So, to extrapolate, you support having government (albeit more limited and for a limited period of time). That sounds evil to me….

        • Mathius,

          No, I do not support government like I do not support knives being plunged into living human bodies.

          I recognize that removing all the knives at once will kill the body due to massive blood loss.

          Removing one knife at a time will control the blood loss and not kill the patient.

          The the knives are all “evil”.

          • Really? Oh, I was so hoping you’d say something like that.

            (Anita, grab your popcorn)

            Mr. Flag: who are you to tell me what will kill or not kill me (the patient)? You would perpetuate a system of violence upon me (even if more limited and temporary than the current one) based on your superior knowledge of what is good for me?

            • Mathius,

              Removing the force of coercion upon you does not create a force of coercion on you.

              • If you are hitting me with both hands and stop using one hand, you would contend that you are not inflicting violence upon me?

              • Mathius,

                Removing coercion is not coercion

                Continuing coercion is still coercion.

              • And you are advocating for continuing the coercion as you dismantling the government, are you not?

                You say you would not pull all the knives out at once, but leave some in to protect the patient. Leaving some in equates (unless I am misunderstanding your metaphor) to leaving some government in place.

                Continuing government = continuing coercion

              • Mathius,

                Advocating for the careful removal of the knives is not advocating for the knives.

              • Your “caution” is oppressing me. I demand my freedom and you would claim superior knowledge that means your “caution” in removing the knives slowly is better for me than what I think is good for me.

              • Mathius,

                You are free to remove your own knifes as fast as you wish.

                Good luck.

      • Other than decimating the military….where else would you start?

        • He’d start with all entitlements, then he’d pair down the military. Next he’d ease up and then eliminate zoning laws, etc. He’d take all gov’t agencies private – if they can’t stand on their own, they get eliminated. Disband the CIA, NSA, FBI, EPA, FDA, HHS, and IRS. The last stage is to privatize police and emergency services.

          Fast forward a few years, he would join the resistance militia against the local warlords.

          • I would agree with the exception of the military. It would end, in his world, I bet…and put the dependence upon local militias.

            • I don’t know – he’d probably take it private and either it justifies itself as a “nation” organization or it breaks up into militias (or we have both). But you can be sure of one thing: whatever he would have happen would be the result of the free market making decision about it.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Wait a second here: are you saying that government is a direct result of the free market!? That if we disband the government in favor of a completely free market system, we would only end up with a government again!?

                Methinks the free market is evil…

        • D13,

          “Decimate” the military?

          How about simply bring it home? That’ll save $500 billion a year right there.

          Second, eliminate all personal income tax.
          Though how does one repeal an amendment that is enforced but was never ratified? (I’m sure there is a tar-baby in there…however…one will just need to get out the tar remover…)

          Third, INCREASE tax on Corporations to 5% revenue tax and 90% profit tax – on any “artificial person” – you want to avoid responsibility by appealing to violence, then you will pay for the whole darn machine yourself. Don’t want to pay 90% profit tax? Don’t incorporate and assume the risk and liabilities personally.

          Fourth, (maybe first) end the FED. ‘Nuff said there.

          Then – pause for 36 months to see what the fall out is. Obviously government revenue will collapse and will point to the need to close things like the DOE, BAFT, FDA, FCC, FAA, HLS, Dept. EDucation, etc.

          • If you didn’t see the underlying strategy, it is kill the beast by cutting off its funding

          • Bring em home….agree
            Eliminate personal income tax…ok
            End the Fed….undoubtedly.
            Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..assume all liability and not incorporate…ok so…..without income taxes, then you are saying that everything is fee based. If you want it, pay for it.

            Without funding/////ding dong the witch (government) is dead…(Sorry Wizard of OZ, if fit)…

            Now you must assume that there will be voluntary militias because without funding, the military is dead and gone…..the bad guys will surely come…and, I fear, worst than the beast we have.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              This is what I was talking about in my original post D13.

              You STATE that you fear that the outcome would be worse than the beast we have…..

              AND THEN YOU STOP!

              This violates my request in my original post!

              Why?

              What steps could be taken to make a smooth transition?

              What would you recommend instead (other than a maintaining of the status quo?)

              Saying you fear the results of change is EASY.

              Stopping there is NOT what I was asking for in my original post! 🙂

              • Fair enough, Peter. I thought it obvious but I can see where it is not.

                I stopped because I have NO answer. I simply do not know. But, I will try.

                First, one has to assume and accept that the total elimination of government would work. There have been lots of discussions on here why people think it would not work. Ok, let’s short cut.

                Bringing the military home is a great thing. I agree with that. We should be for defense only with a strong offensive capability. That can mean several things. Defense only on our shores or defense away from our shores. There are great rules of thought for both sides. But, let us keep it economic for the time being. Closing all the military bases not on our shores will certainly save a lot of money and bring a lot of people home. I am a strong proponent of a true defense military with a massive strong offensive capability. I DO NOT believe that the private militias will work because I do not share the concept that if “we leave them alone, they will leave us alone”. ( I will further explain private militia thoughts a little later ) Quite the contrary, I think the minute we decimate and kill the military and offensive capability, we will pay a terrible price on freedom. Our freedom, as we envision it, will cease. we will no longer be the biggest kid on the block and I think we NEED To be the biggest kid on the block. What is wrong with being the biggest kid on the block? (IE. You can be the biggest kid on the block without being a bully).

                Now, to private militias. I have to agree with Mathius on this one fact…..warlords. Having private militias in sects of the country will make us, in my opinnion, third world and I do not want that at all. I think that concept is archaic and destructive. I can just see…say D13’s Texas..being fiercly independent (Texas has open ports, agriculture that never freezes, energy ( complete with oil/gas, solar/wind, and refineries ), meat production, and the largest standing complete Reserve Army/Air Force in the United States. We have the largest defense production in the United States and an economy that is the 11th largest in the world). Hence, my statement of independence. Now, Texas has learned from the early 1800’s, that militias, that were initially formed for protection of the settlements from Indians and bandits from Mexico, did very little to protect any one other than small local settlements and there was no organization to still combat the bigger forces arrayed against the settlements and small enclaves. Bandits and Indians and Outlaws were randomly roaming the territory. After the war of Independence from Mexico, all the forces of Texas were brought under one unified command and, consequently, structure was put into place and remains so to this very day. Texas is also the ONLY free standing Reserve Military in the United States that retains its unified command. We do not “round out” any active duty force anwhere. Ok, all this to say, that Texas would be the “big kid” on the block once there was no government around to supply the defense forces of the United States. I set the stage purposely this way to go further with the elimination of the Federal Government. The next rational step would be that of states. With the dissolution of the Federal Government, states and territories would step in to fill that void.

                But to keep on with economics and free trade and free enterprise. As the 11th largest economy in the world, Texas is able to stand on its own. We are currently forced , by congressional edict, to sell oil and natural gas to the Eastern Seaboard at rates lower than we sell it to our own population. The first thing that I would do as President of Texas is to raise my energy prices. Other states, especially the eastern Seaboard, would have to find alternative sources for energy or buy from Texas, the largest oil and gas reserves in the Continental US. Of course, you could buy it from Alaska but who refines it? We do not need to trade for food because we have our own agriculture (second largest in the US)and our own seafood (third largest) and our own cattle industry (largest in the US). We do not need to trade for technology as we have six of the top fifty technocrats that are located here because our tax base is very attractive. We are not a state that is depenent upon one or two industries for employment, hence, Texas has weathered the unemployment issue of the last two years better than most and are forcasted to have a .2% job growth while the US is forcasted at a negative .5%. Our GSP is also forcasted to increase by 3.5% (depending on who you believe, the lowest growth forcast being 2.8%) which is higher than the rest of the United States. ( I suggesst reading the (ahem) Wikipedia stats to see how this group rates the state ). You will find that Texas leads the nation in wool, cotton, petrochems…etc. and even has its own lumber industry that makes Texas also independent upon the Western States for lumber.

                ALL of this to say, we now have an enclave that has the largest and best trained Army and Air Force in the Northern Hemisphere, 99.9% independent of the rest of the United States, control 90% of the refinery capacity, control most of the oil imports from the East, have a balanced budget ( by Constitution )…and you do not think that we would not act to use that power? Who would be around to stop us from…say…taking Oklahoma to increase our hold on energy production? Certainly no militia that Oklahoma could muster…..and I predict that Montana could care less what happens to Oklahoma, or New York, or California.

                I do not fear the results, Peter. I would dearly love for each state to stand on its own….without Federal Protections. But BF suggested new corporate taxes to eliminate corporations….I ask, who would enact these taxes? It would take the very government he, and you, are saying to abolish…to me, this sounds hypocritical. But, I can see that , they, you, and BF and whomever will USE the government to accomplish your task and then hope that the remaining government dies on the vine.

                You ask me how I would enact change? Very simply put, and I agree with you and BF, disolve our government. Let it go, and let the strong survive. Do we do it all at once? Hmmmm…how about going back to State’s rights? The state’s run their own defense, their own governemnt and live within their means…period. No transition period…just do the Nike thing and “DO IT”.It is easy for me to say this, because I am in a State that will survive. Let the free market reign. I am not going to sell tainted beef or veggies to you…but if I wanted to, who would stop me? BF says that if one part of the market fails, another will step in. This is true in the Utopia. So, as President of Texas, I would ensure that my produce and meat was clean and germ free. I would sell clean and viable energy to you. I will do this at lower prices to keep the competitors at bay. I would create, by good deeds, a monopoly on many of my goods. Why should you go elsewhere if I am the lowest and best around. I would then do the capitalist thing and raise my prices right to the breaking point. Who is going to stop me? Since there is no Federal Government….no one. The consumer? No….he needs my product but I will not be stupid enough to raise my prices so high that competitors will come in. I will get all your money eventually.

                As President of Texas, I would close my borders and increase my defense forces. By controlling my borders, I can monitor imports and exports to ensure quality. I would keep the business environment, legislative environment, and tax environment that we have now. We are a balanced budget state and already pay as you go. I would then openly compete across state lines away from the Federal guidelines that were just abolished.

                But, as Texans…we like what we have. We do not want Federal involvement….we would be better off without it. The biggest fear…would be military intervention from abroad……..and I sincerely believe that will happen…once the US is no longer the biggest kid on the block. You will not win hearts and minds…no matter the strategy.

            • D13,

              Now you must assume that there will be voluntary militias because without funding

              Gee, study your history – that’s how they started

              PS: what service does government provide that is worth paying for? (Answ: nothing).

              • But, you will probably not acknowledge….voluntary militias will not work today as they did 200 years ago. The temperament is not there. The stomach and the heart is not there. Sad to say.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                So what would YOU do to bring back the tempermant, the stomach and the heart to ensure that they DID work today?

                There are reasons that the temperment, the stomach and the heart are now missing, what are these reasons, and how would you reverse or eliminate them?

              • D13,

                I disagree. The temperament is always there – but, as with Public Choice Theory – if someone else is doing it for you, you will stop doing if yourself.

                When people stop doing it for you, you will start doing it for yourself.

    • Jon Smith says:

      I think processes like USW posted for this discussion should be tried all over, leave the existing system in place, but remove the monopoly. Begin to shift tings like education and charity to the private world, even if it involves some government funding to assist it at first, providing that funding is a significant cut from the current levels.

      An overnight shift to a free world would fail, unfortunately.

      The alternative would be the creation of a totally free state somewhere, preferably within North America. If it goes well (and I am sure it would) it would grow. Such a thing would have to allow for encroachment of existing borders tho.

    • No, I don’t believe any attempt would make things worse-but I also don’t believe that free has to mean completely government free. I would go so far as to say if we don’t make the attempt to slowly turn things around we are doomed, doomed,doomed. We have the advantage of having history. We can look back and see why we started these different agencies, which is why I get a little confused when people seem to want to ignore the past or just shrug those problems off as unimportant. We also can see exactly what these programs turned into, the problems that they created and whether or not they did any good. Now we need to take that information and use it to develop a plan. We have so much technology today in communication. We have a society that is aware and suspicious of false advertising. WE have companies that already make a profit testing and reporting on product safety , they can expand that to report on medicine, etc. We have companies that are well aware of the cost of bad publicity and the cost of being sued. We have books that doctors use that list all medications-would you want your product to state that it wasn’t tested so no one knows the side effects etc. If you were a doctor would you prescribe this medicine. All these things would help to force companies to voluntarily test their products. It’s not a complete answer but it is a start.

    • “It is harder to maintain the balance of freedom than it is to endure the weight of tyranny.”

      Simón Bolívar

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I like the input we are getting so far. Naturally some of the serfs are resisting freedom (or even processes which would move us TOWARD freedom) because they don’t fully understand freedom, and so they fear it.

      In spite of this, the conversation is going well so far 🙂

    • I see freedom coming to America in the future. I see it coming in one of the following ways. I do not know how soon or which one tho…

      1) People wake up and we start moving towards freedom. BF’s method above I like, killing the beast by cutting the funding. The only step he missed is that we have to force a “balanced budget” before cutting funding, the biggest funding source we have now is borrowing and printing. I also like the concept of hitting some key things, then taking a breath, then pushing forward again.

      The other method I like would be in going after the programs as I mentioned above. Doing what USW mentioned with the FDA with all sectors of government. Start, hopefully, with the business ones (including business welfare and bailouts) and then moving to the private safety nets. And we still need to bring the military home, not all at once, the economy could not handle that, but other countries can handle their own stuff while we handle ours. I doubt the EU would have survived this long with their socialist policies if they had been forced to handle their own defense. Not our business, not our problem. The only issue with this, while it is the most peaceful, is that it will likely lose steam. It takes a lot of discipline to push for freedom over the decades that would be required to remove all the stuff government should not be doing without hurtiung too many people. So, the question would be how much momentum could be maintained and how far would we get towards a free nation?

      2) Revolt. A lot of people wake up and wake up mad. The country splinters into 4 or 5 nations. Such a division would probably happen with the secession of a group or several groups of states, and the people supporting such a move would migrate there from all over the country, while the people opposing it would leave. There is a slight chance of a peaceful secession, but I would not bet on it. It would be nasty and bloody and horrible, and there would have to be a LOT of rebuilding by the survivors, and what would be formed in the end would be rather unpredictable.

      3) People do not wake up in time at all, at least not enough, and those who are awake decide to use the Joh Galt or Cyndi method and just let it all fall down, collapse on itself. We have a total economic meltdown, the currency goes to hyperinflation and then becomes worthless, the beast starves because it ate all the food there was. Lots of people get hurt this way too, a lots of little battles will be fought, riots and such. In the end, we would likely end up with a landscape not much different than scenario two, with possibly even less predictable results on what forms from the ashes. I still think we would likely end up with multiple nations in such a scenario.

  5. CyndiP Topic #1

    Snopes Exposed

    From Blogsphere

    Snopes receives funding from an undisclosed source. The source is undisclosed because Snopes refuses to disclose that source. The Democratic Alliance, a funding channel for uber-Leftist (Marxist) Billionaires (George Soros etc.), direct funds to an “Internet Propaganda Arm” pushing these views. The Democratic Alliance has been reported to instruct Fundees to not disclose their funding source.

    For the past few years http://www.snopes.com has positioned itself, or others have labeled it, as the ‘tell-all final word’ on any comment, claim and email. But for several years people tried to find out who exactly was behind snopes.com. It is run by a husband and wife team – that’s right, no big office of investigators and researchers, no team of lawyers. It’s just a mom-and-pop operation that began as a hobby. David and Barbara Mikkelson in the San Fernando Valley of California started the website about 13 years ago and they have no formal background or experience in investigative research.

    The reason for the questions – or skepticisms – is a result of snopes.com claiming to have the bottom line facts to certain questions or issue when in fact they have been proven wrong. Also, there were criticisms the Mikkelsons were not really investigating and getting to the ‘true’ bottom of various issues.

    A few months ago, when my State Farm agent Bud Gregg in Mandeville hoisted a political sign referencing Barack Obama and made a big splash across the Internet, ‘supposedly’ the Mikkelson’s claim to have researched this issue before posting their findings on snopes.com. In their statement they claimed the corporate office of State Farm pressured Gregg into taking down the sign, when in fact nothing of the sort ‘ever’ took place. I personally contacted David Mikkelson (and he replied back to me) thinking he would want to get to the bottom of this and I gave him Bud Gregg’s contact phone numbers – and Bud was going to give him phone numbers to the big exec’s at State Farm in Illinois who would have been willing to speak with him about it. He never called Bud. In fact, I learned from Bud Gregg that no one from snopes.com ever contacted anyone with State Farm.

    Yet, snopes.com issued a statement as the ‘final factual word’ on the issue as if they did all their homework and got to the bottom of things – not!

    Then it has been learned the Mikkelson’s are very Democratic (party) and extremely liberal. As we all now know from this presidential election, liberals have a purpose agenda to discredit anything that appears to be conservative. There has been much criticism lately over the Internet with people pointing out the Mikkelson’s liberalism revealing itself in their website findings. Gee, what a shock?

    So, I say this now to everyone who goes to snopes.com to get what they think to be the bottom line fact ‘proceed with caution.’ Take what it says at face value and nothing more. Use it only to lead you to their references where you can link to and read the sources for yourself. Plus, you can always search a subject and do the research yourself.

    I have found this to be true also! Many videos of Obama I tried to verify on Snopes and they said they were False. Then they gave their liberal slant! I have suspected some problems with snopes for some time now, but I have only caught them in half-truths. If there is any subjectivity they do an immediate full left rudder.

    I have recently discovered that Snopes.com is owned by a flaming liberal and this man is in the tank for Obama. There are many things they have listed on their site as a hoax and yet you can go to You tube yourself and find the video of Obama actually saying these things. So you see, you cannot and should not trust Snopes.com, ever for anything that remotely resembles truth! I don’t even trust them to tell me if email chains are hoaxes anymore.

    A few conservative speakers on MySpace told me aboutSnopes.com. A few months ago and I took it upon myself to do a little research to find out if it was true. Well, I found out for myself that it is true. Anyway just FYI please don’t use Snopes.com anymore for fact checking and make your friends aware of their political leanings as well. Many people still thinkSnopes.com is neutral and they can be trusted as factual. We need to make sure everyone is aware that that is a hoax in itself.

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://thehuffingtonriposte.blogspot.com/2010/05/snopes-exposed.html

    Thanks to Cyndi for sending this through to me. I must first say that I have not worked to verify the information in this article. It seems pretty accurate but I have not done an independent investigation. The reason that I found it interesting is that, like Politifact, which has now come into question, Snopes has long been held up as the unbiased king and final answer by many on this site.

    That doesn’t mean that they are wrong on everything, or even that you shouldn’t go there and research. It means that we should not be accepting it as truth simply because it comes from Snopes. In fact, we shouldn’t be accepting it as truth no matter who it comes from. Research yourself. Find the answers. It is one of the things that I like to hear a reporter or commentator say: Don’t listen to me and accept what I am saying. Go research it for yourself.” Beck does say that all the time. I often find that no matter who I am listening to in today’s environment, I can find a part of what they say to be spin. Looks like the last bastion of “non-partisan reporting” (what a joke statement) is dead. Whether this article is all true or not, it is enough to make me not trust Snopes on their word and little else anymore.

    What say you, readers? Has anyone found anything that shows this particular claim about the people running Snopes to be a misdirection?

    • Reality has a well-known liberal bias – Stephen Colbert

      No surprise, therefore, that the left should be funding sites dedicated to fact checking 🙂

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Reality has a well-known liberal bias in the Classical Liberal sense. Not in the sense (or non-sense) that “Liberal” is defined as today.

        Don’t let changing definitions of words confuse you like Colbert does! 🙂

    • And there are those that are surprised? Can anyone point to a completely factual internet site? And prove that it is factual? No slant, no twists, no turns…completely factual with no bias? Is there anyone on this blog that takes any website serious without question?

      • I believe everything I read on SUFA!

        • Good morning my intrepid friend….had your Red Bull laced with Mad Dog yet?

          • It’s sitting on my desk unopened.. I’ll get to it in a little bit once I finish my bagel.

            What is this strange feeling… it’s like I don’t trust the government.. I have this strange urge to read Ayn Rand…

            • Uh oh,,,,you are going to slice your OWN bagel, correct? After all, there is a reported new tax in New York that when you ask for a sliced bagel, there is an extra 8 cent tax.

              OMG….Ayn Rand…before red Bull?

              • mm.. that was delicious.. (sips on tasty beverage).. now where was I?

                Oh yea, we should raise taxes!

              • I thought I sent you to the office

              • You’re not the boss of me!

              • Hey, I drink red bull and it never gives me any pro-government feelings! Altho, admittadly, I have switched to the much cheaper and equally effective compettitors spawned by the free market like Rockstar or Full Throttle or Monster. Maybe that’s why…

              • Perhaps you are not even aware of it? Sometimes, I wake up next empty bottles of Dr. Pepper and wonder what happened..

                I can’t be sure, but I think I may have an alter ego who is even more conservative than you.

              • The ony time I wake up next to empty bottles of Dr Pepper and wonder what happened are when I am using Dr Pepper as a mixer (it goes well with rum)…

              • THUD!!!!!!!!!

  6. From the Imam himself on what he hopes to accomplish with Cordoba House.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-ward-iii/imam-faisal-abdul-rauf-sp_b_691555.html

    • And another post on what the Founders would have to say about the Mosque near ground zero.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/parvez-ahmed/what-will-our-founding-fa_b_686742.html

    • JAC….read both posts from Huffpo…(since it was Huffpo, I had to give it the weight it deserved) There are actually some good points in both posts, especially the section pointing out that Obama is being railed against for his standing up for the 1st amendment…(he is finally on the score board…(1 in 420 is a start)..

      from what I have read, however, I have not found very many that claim the Mosque cannot be built….just questioning the locale and the wisdom of the locale…

      wonder what the reaction would be in Bagdad if a 20 story Christian based outreach building would be built and the site where the statue of Hussein was pulled down?

      • OOps…no DP yet…eliminate the and the site and substitute on the site, please.

      • But have to fall on the side of the right to build it.

        • Doesn’t mean we have to like it !

        • They have the right to build it, we have the right to protest it, but why do I keep having this feeling that SOMEHOW our taxes will end up paying for it.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            If our taxes were used to build it, it would be a CLEAR violation of the so-called “separation of church and state” and as such, I am sure that even Buck, Mathius, and Charlie would be hiring ACLU lawyers to fight it!

            🙂

            • I wouldn’t pay a penny for that thing. I think the choice to build it there is stupid if only because Americans are pigheaded bigots who conflate all Islam with terrorism. And I think using the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is especially stupid even though I understand what they’re trying to do/say. If a penny of my taxes went to help build this thing, you bet I’d join up with whatever lawsuits were launched.

              But then again, I’d join up for those same lawsuits if my taxes payed for a church or synagogue.

              But they sure have the right to build it there.

              Adding, interestingly enough though, I don’t have a problem with the US funding moderate mosques abroad…

            • I agree but call me suspicious-the politicians come out and tell us they have the right to build it-no calming voice, nothing, just shut up. We have a big to do about it for days-then another politician comes out and is the voice of reason-lets move it-maybe on STATE LAND-what I ask myself does this mean? Are they going to buy the land, are we going to give them the land for being so nice and reasonable and moving the thing. Would it be an even swap for their building-would the land values be even? Lots of questions-lots of suspicion, is my nature these days -Shall wait and see what happens. 🙂

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Oh, and by the way, V.H. has it exactly right. They have every right to build it there, and the people who do not like it have every right to protest it being built there and try to persuade them to move it to a more “neutral” location.

            As long as neither side uses coercion or force to get what they want, that is the way a free country should work.

            Whatever the outcome, it should be worked out freely between those that wish to build the moque there and those who are opposed for whatever reason. It may end up providing a good lesson for us as to how freedom is supposed to work.

            Then again, one or both sides may start to attempt to heavily involve government, or try creating legislation which states that all of the land within a square mile of ground zero is an “historic monument” at which point government got involved and usurped power of the people to freely resolve this issue between each other.

      • TexasChem says:

        D-13… you know what strikes me as utterly preposterous?

        The fact that Islamic ruled nations do not allow any other religion to build holy sites yet they are all for building Mosques in America to spread their idealogy!

        It seems as if some uninformed Americans in their efforts to expunge guilt over being “American” deem this an ok practice.

        I am all for Liberty and Freedom.However, do not ever expect me to allow you your freedom if it imposes upon my idealogical beliefs or can harm my family or community!

        Lastly, I am sick of this ground zero Imam and his Daisy wife with their anti-American views being allowed access to taxpayer funds!Ridiculous!It’s as if we are raising and feeding the tiger hoping that it will not turn on us and eat us!Islam can take its Sharia belief system and shove it up their arses.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          What Islamic nations do is irrelevant to freedom HERE.

          Imposing upon your “ideological beliefs” does no harm to you, so it is not a violation of your liberty. You would have to show ACTUAL harm in order to prove that the building of a mosque violated your liberty in any way. Sharia Law certainly seems to me to be anti-freedom, and any attempt by anyone else to impose it upon you or me would definitely violate our rights.

          The fact that the Imam and his wife have access to taxpayer funds just shows how easily the “left” will completely disregard the notion of “separation of church and state” when it is more convenient for them to disregard it, once again proving their hypocricy.

  7. USW: I especially liked Mathius’ alternative plan offering. While I am a little skeptical of it, I love having alternatives offered.

    Mathius: How so?

    • Well, my suspicions were related to the first steps still involving FDA testing as mandatory, thus still inflating the cost and time of getting to market. I understand the reasoning from a political and fear-calming standpoint, its just that it will greatly slow the free market’s ability to develop a solution, since it would not be free yet.

      You must realize that it is not just the cost of testing and the other FDA fees that make it hard for a competitor to enter the market against the big guys. It is time. A small R&D company might spend most of their capital developing and responsibly testing a new drug. Then they depend on getting to market quickly to survive. The employees still have to be paid during the approval process, hopefully the next project will be funded, and the other people working on the same thing, especially the big guys who can pay to put a rush on it and market the crp out of their drug, or worse, the irresponsible companies that will rush forward with less testing but still pass FDA initial phases will end up first to market, and the responsible small competitor folds while waiting for the FDA to move forward. I have seen it happen in a variety of innovations squelched by the government. Its not the costs, since the innovators are usually prepared for that, its the 12 months of waiting and still having to pay people if you want to have a company by the time your new product hits the market. Then, once there is approval, you still have to have enough left to market and go into production. 12 months in business is a lifetime.

      • Fair enough.

        So my assertion was that everyone should have to undertake at least the first round and, pass or fail, post it on their bottle. I’ll allow for a third way. You still have to undertake the first round, but you may go to market before a verdict is announced. That is, you now have three labels:

        A. FDA approved
        B. FDA disapproved due to X
        C. Pending FDA approval

        If C, then once the results come through, you simply update the labels.

        • That is better. In fact, so that it does not seem at all misleading (labels like “patent pending” are known to make an item seem more innovative), we could make the third label something like “Not FDA Approved” or “Not Yet FDA Approved” or perhaps “Pending FDA Testing”. This eliminates the time factor. The cost is there, but some sort of outside audit/testing would be budgeted for by any responsible company, and even if the FDA one is more, it is at least a fixed or predictable cost that can easily be factored into the development of a drug.

    • Mathius,

      My skepticism comes in in the part where you keep the FDA involved. The FDA started out as involved in the system very minimally at first. Over time they grew out of control and caused the problems we see now. I fear that allowing them to be involved from the start here is the first step towards moving back to exactly what we have now.

      USW

      • But they’re currently involved up to their eyeballs. If you want them out, you have to phase them out.

        At the end, their only purpose is to publish voluntary guidelines. I hesitate to make this privately done as it opens the door to manufacturers manipulating the “official” process. They can do whatever they like with the “unofficial” approval system and people can choose the level of risk they wish to take, but the “official” one should somehow kept as “official.”

        I see what you’re saying and welcome alternatives. But I don’t see a path that involved privatizing the roll of establishing testing procedures that doesn’t lead, inevitably, to drug companies creating their own dummy companies to establish the procedures used to test their own drugs (and all the attendant ramifications).

  8. I have read both articles. The Imam talks a good story but I remain skepticaland am having a difficult time squaring this up with myself. My heart says let them have at it. My brain says strongly HOLD ON and for good reason. The Imam himself has called for Sharia law to accompany the mosque. Of course I’m not buying that. He also can’t even bring himself, in the article, to say there should be a seperation of “church” and state. and then there are these two pesky little quotes straight from his mouth:

    “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than Al Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims.”

    Rauf added, “You remember that the U.S. led sanctions against Iraq led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations.”

    What kind of talk is that? We’re supposed to be tolerant of someone who says that? I’ve also heard, and I can’t site a source, something to the effect of ‘it’s ok to lie to further the cause’ of advancing radical Islam. It’s lose/lose on many levels if you ask me. So I guess I’m a hypocrite.

    • sorry.. this is to JAC @ 6

    • Tsk Tsk, Anita. Allow me to add some SUFA reader’s insights to the United Nations report….you must remember that our sanctions did not cause the deaths of so many children…it was the entity that “CAUSED” the sanctions in the first place that caused the deaths…(doncha love mountain roads?)

    • Anita, V.H. and D13

      Yes, we don’t have to “like it” but I think perhaps it is time we learn how to “accept” things with a little more grace. It appears to me that “rational concern” over the project is giving way to “irrational fear and hysteria” from both sides of the issue.

      It is absolutely OK for folks in N.Y. and families of 9/11 to voice their concerns. But what we are currently seeing is a demagoguery of the issue by “talking heads” and other supposed “political leaders” that seems to go beyond the rational and perhaps the truth. And now we are getting the same type of response from the “far left”. Remember that little saying………….Divide and Conquer.

      Every statement this guy has made, or makes, is taken out of context and then blown up to “prove” he is some closet radical Muslim who supports terrorism. I can find nothing about this guy that supports those claims.

      But lets go with “rational concern”. Since we are not sure why not simply keep a close eye on him. The State Dept uses him for training and overseas outreach. The FBI can certainly keep tabs on who comes and goes.

      As for some of his specific comments, they are no worse than those presented at SUFA. FACT, we ARE responsible for more Muslim deaths than Al Qaeda is for non-Muslim deaths. His point, per him, is that we need to understand that this feeds the fear and hatred from the other side. It is used against us by those who wish to fan the flames. We may or may not be justified but it doesn’t change the facts. But see how his simple statement of fact is twisted into “proof” he is “Anti-American”?

      I would like to remind you that the more “fundamentalist Christian” conservative don’t want a clear separation of church and state either. So why should this fact be used to turn this guy into a daemon?

      Based on much of the reaction we see in the press and media I think we need to seriously ask ourselves if we have TRULY become Islamo-fobic. And if we have, how is that going to affect our pursuit of freedom going forward.

      When in Grizz country you stay vigilant at all times. You do not run around out of control screaming “killer bears”, every time you hear a twig snap. If you do, you will find yourself in the arms of the bear, or worse yet. You will find you have killed someones horse in supposed self defense.

      Perhaps an open dialogue with this gentleman would be appropriate, rather than all the fear mongering that is currently in full swing. If he is one of those “moderate Muslims” we are always asking for, then lets engage instead of isolating him.

      It is time for calmer heads to prevail. And perhaps this first salvo is the normal rush of passion and the more reasonable will now surface. But I fear that the “political season” may not allow that to happen and by the time it is over, we will have caused very serious damage to ourselves as a freedom loving people.

      • TexasChem says:

        JaC stated:”As for some of his specific comments, they are no worse than those presented at SUFA. FACT, we ARE responsible for more Muslim deaths than Al Qaeda is for non-Muslim deaths.”

        TC:Hrmmm…JaC, I wonder if Al Qaeda is responsible for the deaths of more Muslims than we are?
        Also, would you care to explain how we are responsible per se?I mean cmon…are we just a nation of cold blooded capitalist killers out to kill everyone for no reason or what?

        • TexChem

          No. We are not!

          And you will not find me saying that.

          My point is that the Imam didn’t say that either.

          You are doing exactly what I am concerned about. You infer meaning on my words just as you do on the Imam’s words. If you are wrong about mine they why are you not wrong about his?

          Al Qaeda may have killed more Muslims, but I am not sure. But you see that is not the question. The question was why do “they” dislike “us”. “Their” perception of us killing Muslims is part of the equation.

          As for the details of how we are responsible Tex, it is simple. We drop bombs and fire shells that kill people who happen to be Muslims.

      • I see your points but lets face it anytime there is a disagreement the politicians and talking heads are going to try and use it for their benefit. The crazies are going to come out and blow it out of proportion. I don’t find these facts a reason to back off from making our point. But I do find your concern that our using the power of our voices to try and stop something we disagree with as a bad thing for freedom strange, when you have consistently said that the power of our voices based on our societal norms is the tool we should use instead of laws.

        • V.H.

          It is not the mere act of using our voiced to oppose something that I am talking about.

          It is the WHY of our opposition that fuels the voices, I am concerned about. Why do we distrust this man? Most Americans were strongly opposed and there was inflammatory rhetoric spewing around before anyone published any comments by this man other than his refusal to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. So why? Why were so many so quick to condemn this as something more than it was proposed to be?

          It is the loss of rational thought to irrational fear that I am concerned about and which threatens freedom. Once irrational fear takes hold, the people don’t act like sheep, they become the sheep.

          For example, I listened to Beck yesterday play the word chop game and then go off on a “why should we be the tolerant ones” rant. Sounded much like Anita’s comments above. He was taking the Imam’s words completely out of their context and then placing his interpretation over them for the audience.

          I like Beck and have defended him on many occasions. But he was playing into the game yesterday and it does have an adverse effect on those who listen.

          • I personally feel that there are legitimate reasons to be suspicious and if we shut up because the discussion gets out of hand or some of the whys are crazy. We would be forced to never oppose anything.

            • V.H.

              I totally agree.

              So we need to demonize the crazies and talking heads on both sides.

              We need to yell “shut the F. up” once in awhile so the rest of us can read, listen, speak and think.

              We need to DEMAND rational discussion from everyone we deal with.

              See my comment to D13 regarding leadership on this issue below.

              As I said, when in Grizz country stay vigilant but do not live in fear. I think that applies to this entire issue relative to the USA.

              • Does that mean I can tell Texaschem, BF, and Mathious to ““shut the F. up” in their little -which one of us can out due the other in condemning religion under the cover of talking about this mosque. Probably best not to. 🙂

              • I’m not sure who “Mathious” is, but I’m sure I can out-do those guys 🙂

              • HELP!!! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!

                V dropped the F-Bomb everyone!

                LM F AO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              • That’s not very lady-like..

              • Sorry. I don’t know how that F got there

              • Occasionally the word seems appropriate for emphasis-when it is used in every other sentence it loses any value.

              • V.H.

                No need to do that. I will.

                Why don’t you guys shut the hell up or at least move your arses to another Box.

                There, how was that?

                Every notice how people who brag about their brain size can’t seem to stay on topic?

                🙂 🙂

              • 🙂

              • 🙂

              • So, on an unrelated topic, brain size is somewhat of a complicated topic. It turns out that males have slightly larger (physically) brains than females, so if a large brain is indicative of smarts, then we males are indeed the superior gender (something marriage has taught me is probably not the case).

                Incidentally, whales (sperm and blue) and elephants have brains that are 5.2 and 5 times as heavy as ours, respectively. So, when talking about big brains, I think it’s necessary to adjust for body size. After all, it takes a lot of brain to control a large body, but that doesn’t necessarily make you smart.

                Scientists aren’t exactly clear what about the brain defines a “superior” brain but we’re pretty sure it isn’t as simple as “bigger = better.” However, within certain regions of the brain that may be true (Einstein’s overall brain size was average, but his inferior parietal region, which affects mathematical thought, was significantly larger than average). Stephen Hawking’s brain is much smaller than average, but he is a paraplegic so much of it may have atrophied.

                That said.. wait, what where we talking about?

              • Mathius

                You are missing a prime cause/effect relationship.

                Man’s brain is bigger than woman’s brain.

                But blood flow (oxygen) is needed for proper function.

                Man’s brain loses much of its blood flow approximately every thirty minutes, as that blood moves to extremities farther south.

                The odd thing is that it is the brain itself that creates the demand and thus the reduced supply, which if retained would help overcome the extra demand.

                The only known cure was old age, but now they invented a pill to overcome that. So we are doomed to a complete life of less than optimum thinking ability.

                Of course there is one other theory as it relates to man vs woman.

                They are simply aliens and their brains just don’t work the same as ours.

              • Mathius

                One more thing.

                Move your arss to a new box.

                You almost made me forget my promise to V.H.

                Arrrrrrrrrrgh!

      • JAC… I, like you, have found that this is a political football for this year. It is a problem for the people of New York. Of rational concern, I think the use of “Cordoba House” carries with it a far more sinister meaning than…they just like the name but that still does not change the fact that the right to build is there. I agree with that. I do think that the symbolism of building it there will be far more detrimental than anyone believes but only time will prove or disprove this. Neither you, nor I, nor anyone, can predict this. I disagree with the pundits that we are fanning the flames of more discontent with the Islam community because of the controversy…but again, time will tell. This is my viewpoint but I will not be a sign carrying protester for or against.

        For my position, I could care less where it is built. My opnions of Islam are made and no one on here knows what they are. They think they know but they do not. If I disagree with facets of Islam, it does not mean that I find them or it distastful. I will be outspoken against it as much as I will be outspoken for it if the need be. I have lived with the Islamic Community and I have had great conversations with the Islamic Community and there are really great assets and learing that can come from this area.

        I will not agree woth you or the Imam about the Muslim deaths…unless you are going to bring the war into the numbers. I know the numbers..perhaps better than most and I have not seen accurate numbers anywhere posted on the supposedly unbiased internet. What he, nor you, did say were the number of Muslim deaths attributed to the various factions of radical Islam. It is always non muslim deaths that is supposed to mean what? Nothing in my book other than it is apparently ok for Muslims to kill Muslims and ignore those numbers. I also know those numbers and they far outweigh and outnumber anything we have done when taken in the whole context…..including sanctions and war.

        However, having said all this, I will agree with you that I have seen nothing from him, the Imam, that supports that he is any type of closet terrorist. The jury is still out in my mind whether or not he tacitly supports it..tho I have nothing to back me up other than his words which I’m not quite so believing but will give more time.

        What will go a long way for me, and I am sure a lot of those whom are on the fence on Islam….is for the Islam Community to be outspoken against the Islamic Fundamentalist and their teachings and atrocities. Not just one or two Imams….but the Community as a whole. I would also like to see total transparency on the funding of the Community Center/Mosque… I am NOT satisfied that there is no US government funding. I think their funding is our business, in this case.

        I agree with you that we can keep a close eye on him and the comings and goings of those that are there.

        I also agree with you on the fundamentalist Christian…it is no different in my mind. I have seen many fundamentalist movements that are on the fringe with many religions.

        Maybe this clears up my thoughts and reasoning.

        Then I will close with some humor…that I am sure will be interpreted as ant muslim..but here goes..

        Speaking of the freedom of trade and really true enterprise, I have a friend that has come up with a great idea. Land mines disguised as prayer rugs….prophets are going through the roof.

        (come on…laugh a little) Not my joke tho….passed to me but funny.

        • By the way, sir, I was remiss earlier…how are you doing this morning? Talk about a cold front for us…it is 73 degrees this morning…brrr.

        • D13

          I am fine sir, thanks for asking. An absolutely clear big sky blue bird day.

          I have not reached final judgment on this entire thing, or the man (men) behind it. In fact I may never be able to reach such a judgment. But I am not going to start projecting all kinds of “evil intent” unless I can find some real evidence.

          And I think we should condemn those who are doing so, like Mr. Gingrich. And we should condemn those who are now trying to make the case that opposition is some how revealing America’s “hatred for Islam”. If we had a real leader in the White House he/she might convene a “summit” of sorts to encourage all the moderates from every side to speak openly and explain their concerns and dreams. But then the goal of real leaders is to create a team with shared goals and purpose, not to keep people divided. 🙂 🙂

          Yes, I think it will be viewed by some as having a different meaning than is portrayed. But that still doesn’t reveal the real intent, only how things can be twisted by radicals of all stripes.

          As for the Muslim deaths, I was counting our war actions. I have no idea what he was discussing except as he explained, he was trying to explain to Americans why Muslims mistrust or don’t like us. What we don’t know, is whether he mentions the Muslim on Muslim deaths when he is visiting with Islamic leaders. Notice in his interview he does mention the violence within Islamic due to different sects.

          I do have one unfounded opinion at this point regarding this Imam. I am starting to think this is a man who has envisioned himself as some type of “bridge” or “leader” if you will, and based on his own words I think he may have exceeded his pay grade with respect to skill sets.

          I would like to see a broader “community” condemnation as well. But then if we demonize their leaders every time one of them tries to explain what is happening in the community, we may not ever get the response we want.

          I go back to the leadership issue.

          And your joke had me choking on the coffee. Maybe I shouldn’t admit it but it was damn funny.

          Best to you this fine day.

          By the way, did you ever get my email?

      • Ditto D13. Adding. JAC: No Islamaphobia here. Like I said to BF. I live amongst them. My kids play sports against them. We shop together and work side by side. It can be done. We are proof. We all live in peace here. I just fear this particular mosque is radical Islam in sheep’s clothes.

        • Anita

          No accusing going on here. I just responded to you three because you had all commented.

          My biggest point is that we need urge others around us to remain calm and not slip into the Islamophobic trap, that I think is being set for political gain. And BOTH sides are playing it.

          I had a Muslim and a strong Catholic in my office for three years. I would take them to lunch when I was getting bored with the regular grind. Both were salt of the earth wonderful people. Both would have done anything to help the other if needed. But boy were they on opposite side of the religion debate.

          How is the All Star doing today?

          Planning a little lake time this weekend? This is our last before back to school so thinking of another camp out in the woods.

    • Anita,

      So you are against building any mosque anywhere in the USA?

      • TexasChem says:

        I am BF.
        Islams idealogy is fundamentally against the original concept of liberty and freedom as set forth by the founders of this nation.If you don’t like how it is set up then stay in your own damn country.

        • TexasChem says:

          P.S.
          Sharia Law goes against natural law and hence cannot be the word of God in the first place.

        • Texas,

          Modern Christianity is opposed to freedom and liberty – heck, they relish in telling the story of Satan’s refusal to obey an irrational edict of God.

          And why don’t you leave to some other place that loves to persecute others?

          • TexasChem says:

            Your effort to illicit an emotional response is hysterical BF!

            BF stated:”Modern Christianity is opposed to freedom and liberty – heck, they relish in telling the story of Satan’s refusal to obey an irrational edict of God.”

            TC:Wow you really tried to pull that one out of your rear BF!Kudos for the attempt!

            Modern Protestant Christians that adhere to the teachings of Jesus are the most soothingly temperate peoples in the world!

            • Texas,

              Actions of moderate Christians

              • Penalty flag thrown.
                First infraction… emotional appeal.
                Second Infraction… Assumed cause and responsibility of damage.
                Third Infraction… Improper comparison

                15 yards and loss of down

                USW

          • TexasChem says:

            BF Stated:” heck, they relish in telling the story of Satan’s refusal to obey an irrational edict of God.”

            TC:Since when did you become enlightened as to the mind and purpose of God?I was not aware that you had this knowledge!

      • Never said that at all BF. Don’t forget where I live. AMONGST THEM! 10 minutes from Dearborn, Mi. A huge mosque is right on Michigan Ave. There is no violence here. We live together in peace. Many business owners are muslim and they themselves have issues with this particular mosque. Like I said I’m having a hard time with this myself. I guess my biggest problem is that I don’t trust Rauf.

        • Anita,

          So you are protesting the burger stand, the strip club, the gay bar, the drinking hole, the escort service too, right?

          • TexasChem says:

            No BF I think she is protesting Sharia Law.I took the liberty of posting these for your review since you are so pro-Islamic perhaps you can explain to us how their use will better society?

            1. Islam commands that drinkers and gamblers should be whipped.
            2. Islam allows husbands to hit their wives even if the husbands merely fear highhandedness in their wives.
            3. Islam allows an injured plaintiff to exact legal revenge—physical eye for physical eye.
            4. Islam commands that a male and female thief must have a hand cut off.
            5. Islam commands that highway robbers should be crucified or mutilated.
            6. Islam commands that homosexuals must be executed.
            7. Islam orders unmarried fornicators to be whipped and adulterers to be stoned to death.
            8. Islam orders death for Muslim and possible death for non—Muslim critics of Muhammad and the Quran and even sharia itself.
            9. Islam orders apostates to be killed.
            10. Islam commands offensive and aggressive and unjust jihad.

            • Oops..

              GE 38 8-10
              A man who refuses to impregnate his widowed sister-in-law is put to
              death.

              EX 21:12
              Whoever strikes a man so that he dies is to be put to death–except that, in some cases, God will appoint a place to which the offender may flee
              instead.

              EX 21:15
              5 Whoever strikes his father or mother is to be put to death. (well, there goes my brother)

              EX 21:16
              Whoever steals a man is to be put to death. (Note: This is in spite of the fact that a father can sell his daughter into slavery; EX 21:7-11

              EX 21:17, LE 20:9, DT 21:18-21
              A child who curses his parent(s) is to be put to death. A stubborn and/or rebellious child is to be put to death.

              EX 22:18, DT 18:10
              A witch or sorcerer is to be put to death. (I’m not sure if this one include Sigfried and Roy..)

              EX 22:20
              Anyone who sacrifices to other gods must be destroyed.

              LE 20:10-12, DT 22:22
              Adulterers (in some cases) must be put to death.

              LE 20:13
              Practicing male homosexuals are to be put to death. (this one does include Sigfried and Roy..) (Note: Female homosexuality is not considered in the OT though it NT. See R 1:26-32)

              LE 20:14
              If a man has sexual relations with both his wife and his mother-in-law, all three of them must be put to death. (But first, they must go on the Jerry Springer Show)

              I could keep going, but I think that’s enough for now..

              • God then commanded Moses to kill and hang the heads of everyone that had engaged in idolatry, and Moses ordered the judges to carry out the mass execution. At the same time, one of the Israelites brought home a Midianitish woman in the sight of the congregation. Upon seeing this, Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron, took a javelin in his hand and thrust through both the Israelite and the Midianitish woman, which turned away the wrath of God.

                Good ol’ Christian belief at work – slaughter those that dare to pray to other Gods

              • Don’t forget the time that Moses(?) was attacking a pagan town. He told them that he would spare them if all the men would submit to circumcision. The town agreed and all the men underwent the (very painful for adults) procedure. While they were recovering, the Jews attacked the town and killed every living thing.

              • That was two brothers, Simeon and Levi, (Levi was the ancestor of the priesthood tribe) in revenge for the rape of thier sister, Dinah. It was just the two ofthem against a small clan, but its hard to fight post-circumcision….

              • Thanks Jon.. I was hazy on it.

                Either way, nice use of tactics even if it’s not very sportsmanlike.

              • True. I gotta admit, if there is just me and another guy, and one of my sisters was raped, and I had to take on 15 dudes hand to hand to avenge it, I might consider the option….

              • TexasChem says:

                @–BLACKFLAG
                Hey there brainy guy!
                Let me explain something to you.In Moses time there were no “Christians”.Only the tribes of Israel.
                Christianity is an offshoot from judaism just as Islam is.So stick with the facts wont ya’?

              • Tex,

                Well at least you admit that they are all the same root.

              • TexasChem says:

                I have never denied that fact.Your point?All three have very different doctrines when determining the social mores and ethics towards mankinds course in life.

              • TexasChem,

                Given that you have abandoned the Bible and only adhere to the Testaments, please provide where Jesus said for you to condemn other men’s religion and beliefs.

              • Why Can’t I Own a Canadian?
                October 2002

                Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative:

                Dear Dr. Laura:

                Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

                When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

                I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

                I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

                Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

                I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

                A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

                Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

                Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

                I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

                My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

                I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

                Your devoted fan,
                Jim

              • LOI, watch this..

              • Entertaining. Perfect for sheeple who get their news from Jon Stewart.

              • Hey! I get my news from John Stewart!

            • TC,

              While you’re listing the things Islam commands, could you do me a favor and cite chapter (sura) and verse? It’d be helpful for the rest of us. I’ve read the Koran and don’t remember some of those..

            • http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/2010/08/three-things-about-islam-you-might-not.html#links

              John Lott has a video, 3 things about Islam you might not know.

              Flag, I am unplugging my computer and crawling into my bunker for several weeks. Will come out then if there was no earth shattering blast.

              • Where have I seen that before LOI? 😉

              • Incomming…………………….

                Taqiyya, as the video suggests does not permit lying to advance goals. Taqiyya is a specific exemption carved out by the Qur’an against a rule forbidding Muslims to deny their beliefs if acknowledging their beliefs would cause a legitimate fear of danger.

                That is, if someone is rounding up Muslims to be killed, you may (under taqiyya) lie and profess that you are not Muslim.

                [Q 3:28] The believers never ally themselves with the disbelievers, instead of the believers. Whoever does this is exiled from GOD. Exempted are those who are forced to do this to avoid persecution. GOD alerts you that you shall reverence Him alone. To GOD is the ultimate destiny.

                Note also, that the first sentence says “instead.” This does not mean that a Muslim may not ally if a non-Muslim, just that he may not do so against another Muslim. (but that’s not the topic at hand)

          • What does that have to do with the price of apples BF?

      • Yes. Similarly, I am against the building of any synagogue, temple, church, monastery, enclave, nunnery, etc. Organized religions are based on the premise of sole and exclusive claims to knowledge of The Truth Of God. They all (every. single. one.) brain-wash (Sunday school), manipulate (God is watching!), threaten (hell), bribe (heaven), coerce (sermons), manipulate (sermons again), and extort (collection plates / fund raisers) their followers. Further, they perpetuate themselves upon children who possess no recourse (I was never asked if I wanted a moyle to.. never mind..).

        As such, I am against all structured religions (Judaism included). I am against the construction of centers of power for religions. The harm done by organized religion (as opposed to personal religion) is incalculable. I consider myself nominally Jewish based on the cultural aspects such as a deeply rooted respect for life, education, and family. I abhor many of the religious aspects.

        However, I support the right of people to build such institutes if such is their wish. (Just to be clear, I am against it, but I feel I have no right to interfere).

        • Mathius…let me be clear….do I understand you are against all structured religions? (vain attempt at humor…ar.ar)

          • I’m also, generally, against unstructured religion as well.

            Pretty much, I don’t like anything that gives one person claim to absolute divine authority which just so happens to be unverifiable and, conveniently, is always in line with what the person thought anyway.

            It’s amazing how many different sides god is on.. he’s on the side of the Jews while simultaneously being on the side of the Muslims.. he was on the side of America and on the side of the 9/11 hijackers.. he was on the side of Hitler and he was on the side of the French resistance. He was on the side of the secessionists and on the side of the Union.. He conveniently agrees with both sides of every debate.. he loves everyone, but hates the gays..

            I don’t really have a problem with it when it’s people’s personal beliefs, but when they start pushing their beliefs on others, we run into problems.

            I remember being told, point blank, by a bible thumping bitch that, because I haven’t accepted Jesus into my heart, that I am doomed to burn in a lake of fire for all eternity. Screw her. And screw everyone like her who attempts to bully others based on divine authority.

            Think what you want, but speak and act like a rational being.

            Harrumph.

            • Bah Humbug… Anger management classes start immediately..Down the hallway on the LEFT

            • A lake of fire??????? Swim quickly, sir….I have a fire proof boat waiting astern of ye…I am in the same lake.

              Damn….don’t tell my young second lieutenants that I am not God. They think that I am. ( By the way, I don’t hate gays )( You have to also give me credit for an imperfect world, I also invented the fly….even made a hard biting deer fly for the hunters)

              I put “thumper” (the Bitch) out there to give you something to put on this blog. See how benevolent I am? (a simple bow will do, sir).

              PS…how did I do? How is that for rational thought? Over the top?

  9. Guess what I just won 2.5 million dollars because I pay my bills on time. Man on the phone told me so-so it must be true. Told him to mail me something and hung up. The fool actually called me back-hung up on him again.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      If he calls back again, tell him:

      “Shut up and mail me the check! You obviously know my name, because you called me, you obviously know my address, because you can find it if you found my phone number, so if I won 2.5 million dollars, shut up, hang up, and just mail me the check! Thank you!”

      And then hang up again.

      • Pretty much what I told him-but because I pay my bills on time-seriously–that’s the best they could come up with

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Considering the extremely small number of people that fit into the category of “paying their bills on time” anymore, it might be worth that sort of prize just due to your uniqueness!

    • Dang, V…2.5 mil..that’s at least worth waiting to see how much you’d have to pay for it! 🙂

  10. TexasChem says:

    @-Mathius…
    Mathius stated:”Oops..

    GE 38 8-10
    A man who refuses to impregnate his widowed sister-in-law is put to
    death.

    EX 21:12
    Whoever strikes a man so that he dies is to be put to death–except that, in some cases, God will appoint a place to which the offender may flee
    instead.

    EX 21:15
    5 Whoever strikes his father or mother is to be put to death. (well, there goes my brother)

    EX 21:16
    Whoever steals a man is to be put to death. (Note: This is in spite of the fact that a father can sell his daughter into slavery; EX 21:7-11

    EX 21:17, LE 20:9, DT 21:18-21
    A child who curses his parent(s) is to be put to death. A stubborn and/or rebellious child is to be put to death.

    EX 22:18, DT 18:10
    A witch or sorcerer is to be put to death. (I’m not sure if this one include Sigfried and Roy..)

    EX 22:20
    Anyone who sacrifices to other gods must be destroyed.

    LE 20:10-12, DT 22:22
    Adulterers (in some cases) must be put to death.

    LE 20:13
    Practicing male homosexuals are to be put to death. (this one does include Sigfried and Roy..) (Note: Female homosexuality is not considered in the OT though it NT. See R 1:26-32)

    LE 20:14
    If a man has sexual relations with both his wife and his mother-in-law, all three of them must be put to death. (But first, they must go on the Jerry Springer Show)

    I could keep going, but I think that’s enough for now..”

    OOps is right Mathius.
    You quote scripture from the old testament as to laws that were followed WELL over 2000 years ago to make what point?Christian followers today have a New Testament that they follow do they not?Do you see any christians killing their children today for being stubborn?Absolutely absurd of you to claim any correlation to todays christianity and the cult of Islam.Islam is a barbaric idealogical/political machine today as it first was when Mohammed used it to carve out an empire.

    Didn’t you just post…and I quote…”Think what you want, but speak and act like a rational being.”

    Harummph!

    • TexasChem says:

      @-Mathius

      And I’ll let ya’ in on a secret as I did Blackflag up above….there were no Christians during the timeframe you depict in the above scriptures!
      Shocking isn’t it but they were all ….Jews!

      • Tex Chem

        All that is true. But I have always been curious about one thing.

        WHY did these “old testament” books get included in the “Christian Bible”?

        I also know, and I guess you do as well, Christians who will quickly cite some old testament verse when they think it suits them. But it is not the teachings of “Christ”, so why cite it for any reason?

        • Beat me to it 😦

        • TexasChem says:

          Well if you follow the New Testament you can apply those teaching towards your sense of right/wrong and discern between relevant scripture.Personally I read the Old Testament for the “wisdom literature”. You can gain quite a bit of knowledge from it.But that’s just me.

    • Christianity is based on Judaism. You disown your own heritage. Show me evidence that the New Testament disregards the old rather than builds on it. It’s amazing how Christians tend to selectively believe the “Old Testament.” For example, they know that the story of Genesis is true, and they use Leviticus as justification for the belief that homosexuality is an abomination, etc. But when it comes to the stuff they don’t like, for example, keeping Kosher, they conveniently write that one off. Bizarre.

      The Koran was written a long time ago and Islam is practiced peacefully in most places.

      If you argue that Christianity is exempt from the barbaric laws of the Old Testament, I would point you to some or all of the following:
      *Salem witch trials (thou shall not suffer a witch to live)
      *The Inquisition
      *The Cruisades
      *1992-1995 Bosnia (The genocide of over 300,000 Muslims and systematic rape of over 100,000 Muslim women by Christian Serbs)
      *The current gay-bashing / oppression in modern America
      *The Holocaust (let’s not forget this was a purging of the Jews by Christians)
      *Pogroms (far, far too many to begin to think about listing, but we can at least mention Kristallnacht specifically)
      *Ireland (Protestant vs Catholic)

      • This is so bad….

        A friend of mine just started a new business and he is already
        hiring new workers. They are manufacturing land mines that
        look exactly like Muslim prayer mats.

        The business is doing great.
        He says that Prophets are going right through the roof.

        ……..I just had to share

      • Mathius

        Your mushy logic is seeping into an otherwise good rebuttal.

        You “lefties” really need to stop using the Holocaust or anything to do with the Nazis as evidence of Christian wrong doing. It was not done in the name of Christianity but by a bunch of lunatics using religion as cover.

        Where as the Crusades are more an example of the religion itself being largely the cause.

        • I would argue that the Crusades were an excuse. You see, prior to the Crusades, Europe was invaded by mass quantities of Vikings. Once the threat was finally dissipated, Europe was left with thousands of trained soldiers who the Church was afraid of as a potential threat to their power. So they gave these soldiers a new cause: the Crusades! As an added bonus, they brought back quite a bit of loot.

          Religion was really an excuse. It almost always it. But that’s no different terrorism, Islam is just an excuse.

          Adding:

          “By defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord” Hitler in Mein Kampf

          • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

            Wrong. Mass quantities of Vikings?! Holy crap, have you seen “prince Valiant” one time too often?

            • SK,

              Yes, the Vikings are responsible for massive geopolitical changes in Europe.

              The entire Iberian peninsula was infested with them until the Muslims displaced them.

              Spain

              After 842, when the Vikings set up a permanent base at the mouth of the Loire River, they could strike as far as northern Spain.[39] They attacked Cadiz in AD 844.In some of their raids they were crushed either by Kingdom of Asturias or Emirate armies. These Vikings were Hispanized in all Christian kingdoms, while they kept their ethnic identity and culture in Al-Andalus.

      • TexasChem says:

        THE POINT IS…Christianity and Judaism in these modern times does not condone nor endorse the atrocities that Islam does.How difficult is that to understand?

        The “extremist” Islamic Imam is teaching scripture from the Quran that mindf**** people into believing if they strap on a bomb and blow up the infidels they will enjoy the fruits of heaven.WTF?Do you gentlemen not have the common sense to see this as wrong?Is it wrong to kill your daughter to save your honor?Is it wrong to beat your wife?

        Oh…but I forgot…I am sure someone wants to post that not all of Islam is like that.There are only a handful hunh?This handful is what is causing all the problems the West is having in regards to the immigration invasion of Europe? I suggest for you a heavy dose of research into WTF is going on in the world.Those of you that believe Islam harmless do not know the history of Islam nor how it was originated specifically to carve out Arab Empires and I assume you just are not aware of the last 10,000 Islamist terrorist attacks since 9/11 -60,000 dead and 90,000 injured.But hey it’s just the religion of peace hunh?Nothing to worry about here.

        • The “extremist” Christian, Scott Roeder, shot an killed an unarmed man in church. Should we hold all Christians accountable?

          There are Jews who go out on the Sabbath and stone cars because the drivers are breaking the Sabbath. Should we hold all Jews accountable?

          There are a BILLION peaceful Muslims. Should we blame all of them for the crimes of a handful? Should we say paint them all with the same brush of violent maniacal fanatiscm that seems to be the only color in your pallet?

          You say modern Christianity as if there is only one Christianity. The Westboro Baptist Church applauds every time a soldier dies.

          Ultra Orthodox Jews living in illegal settlements have been known to murder, in cold blood, Palestinians because “God’s Law” grants the West Bank to the Jews and the Palestinians were therefore the trespassers. See also: Baruch Goldstein (formerly of New York) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Goldstein. After he murdered 29 Muslims at prayer (and injured 125 others), he was beaten to death by a mob. A plaque near his grave reads “To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah and the nation of Israel.” At least 10,000 people have visited the grave since the massacre.

          Christians and Jews don’t sit around singing coombaya. Our extremists are just as bad as theirs. And we have crazies who are just as willing to praise them. Don’t ignore them and pretend that only Muslims approve of evil acts. And don’t pretend that, because some Muslims support evil that all Muslims do. Unless you want to try to make the case that Judaism is a religion of evil and violence as well.

          • TexasChem says:

            The case I am making you arguementive little pipsqueak, is that Judaism and Christianity today do not practice a 7th century mentality when dealing with members of their society as Islam does.They do not teach that their religion should be above all even at the cost of depriving life, liberty and freedom of other religions.And yes I do sit around singing Kumbaya with my youth group.

            What part of “it aint’ right!” do you not understand?

            • Of course I’m argumentative… I’m Jewish

              But your case fails on its face. I have shown you Jews using “7th century mentality” and I have shown you Christians using “7th century mentality”. But you insist that Jews and Christians are, for want of a better word, peaceful. But there are some Muslims who practice “7th century mentality” and that is proof that Islam is violent and barbaric.

              So, again:
              A: Jews do it.
              B: Jews are peaceful, but A is an exception to the rule.
              C: Christians do it.
              D: Christians are peaceful, but C is an exception to the rule.
              E: Muslims do it.
              F: Therefore Muslims are violent and barbaric.

              Do you see something here that doesn’t add up?

            • And, just to be clear, since you seem to be drawing your distinction from the opinion that Jews and Christians used to be violent but aren’t anymore, I’d like to point out that Baruch Goldstein committed his act of terrorism in 1994. To this day, certain extremist ultra-orthodox Jews still celebrate the anniversary of his death, some even going so far as to dress their children up like him. This should sound eerily similar to the fanaticism you’re so aware of in the Muslim religion.

              • TexasChem says:

                So you are basing your arguement on the number of incidents of crimes against humanity?That is one BIG fail Mathius.You are comparing a few isolated instances of nutjobs to a worldwide orchestrated idealogical movement of terror!

                http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3254

                This next link scroll down to the bottom of the page.
                http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks

              • There are 6mm Jews. There are 1.3b Muslims.

                If 10,000 people are so proud of Goldstein and admire him enough to visit his shrine (which has since been bulldozed by the Israeli government), then I’d say it’s fair to call those people extremists.

                Assuming a constant ratio, 6:1300, those 10,000 extremists would equate to approx 2.17mm radical Muslim extremists.

                That’s 2,166,667 people who actually actively praise the wholesale mass murder of innocent men at prayer. Add in a brutal occupation, and it’s not so hard to see how you arrive at the level of terrorism we’re seeing.

                And, seeing as Baruch Goldstein “martyred” himself, that’s (again, holding the ratio constant) 217 Muslim suicide attackers (Goldstein used a machine gun, Muslims use bombs, no major difference there). Add in a few other factors to the secret sauce (Iran, Iraqi invasion, Afghani occupation, Israeli occupation, poverty, etc), and I think they’ve been remarkably restrained, actually.

              • TexasChem says:

                Apologists for Islam spend a great deal of time and energy asserting that violence committed in the religion’s name are an aberration; the sordid actions of a small, fanatical and deluded minority within the Muslim world. Let us assume for a moment that every single Muslim prone to violence could be rooted out and rendered harmless. What would remain?

                The world would be left with a religion that boasts hundreds of millions of adherents, the vast majority of whom live in places where the standard of living is far below that of the west. That religion would still demand that its followers accept its holy book as the absolute, unalterable word of God and would allow no deviation. Islam would still forbid any melding of secular values and faith. Women would still not possess anything approaching equal rights. Islam would still define all other religions, and those who believe in them, as inferior. All of the troubling aspects of the Quran – such the belief that it’s acceptable to lie to infidels in order to further Islam; the acceptance of polygamy, marriage between grown men and child brides; the idea that rape cannot be proven unless it happens in front of four witnesses; and God’s promise that Islam will one day be the universal religion on the face of the Earth – all of these deeply disturbing ideas would still be devoutly believed by hundreds of millions of people. As a condition of this thought experiment, none of those hundreds of millions of people would choose a violent path to achieve their goals, but they would still cherish and pursue such goals, not just in their own communities, but throughout the world.

              • Wow.. you really can’t see it, can you?

                I mean, you really can’t see it?

                The bible commands that women “be subject to” their husbands.

                It sets out the relative value of men and women (where men are far more valuable).

                The Church blames women for Original Sin.

                The Church allows for no other paths to heaven but through the acceptance of Jesus. (Thus Jews and Muslims go to hell)

                Christianity and Judaism both advocate for the spread and advancement of their religions to new peoples.

                Christianity says that, in the end times, unbelievers will be left behind in the rapture.

                Mormonism (undoubtedly a Christian denomination) allows for polygamy and child brides.

                Lott offered up his young virgin daughter to be gang-raped and is held to be an example of a virtuous man.

                God promised Israel to the Jews exclusively.

                God promised the Earth to the Christians exclusively.

                Orthodox Jews wish to ban other religions from Israel (and they wouldn’t be satisfied with reformed Judaism either).

                The Catholic church tried Galileo for heresy for reasoned observation and sentenced him to house arrest for the remainder of his life and banned all of his books. Because they contradicted church doctrine.

                See a trend here?

                Some of these are old, some are recent, but they are the exact same things. And you are deliberately ignoring my point. I’m done here.

              • TexasChem says:

                No I am not ignoring your point.Following your train of thought can you not see how the various religions have evolved into something better in this day and age?
                Except for a few in particular that are stuck in the 7th century my friend!

              • yes.

                Christianity has evolved since the middle ages.

                Judaism has evolved since the middle ages.

                Except for the parts that haven’t. Both still have their lunatic hardline sects.

                So does Islam.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        Matt

        Stop with the Crusades already.

        They were DEFENSIVE wars fought against rampant Islam which had OFFENSIVELY conquered lands which were Christian. Had it not been for them and for people like Don Juan of Austria, the Cid, and Charles Martel, neither you nor I would probably be here today.

        We have been down this road before, if you can refute the above,go to it.

        • SK,

          The Crusades were not defense by any stretch. They were offensive and religious.

          I am here because of my parents, and most definitely not because El Cid

          • TexasChem says:

            Oh come on BF we have beat this horse to death already.

            1.Islam spawned on the Arabian peninsula.
            2.Arabs used Islam as a political/religious movement to conquer lands slithering through north Africa and Europe.Mohammed himself was involved in 74 campaigns/skirmishes/battles.
            3.The crusades were the campaigns used to push the encroaching Islamic empire back to their own lands.

            What logic are you using to deduce that the Crusades were offensive when the lands were originally settled and held by a different peoples other than Arabs?

            • *blink*

              An invasion by Europeans into the Middle East is because an area settled by Egyptians and nomadic Arabs is held by nomadic Arabs….

              • TexasChem says:

                Don’t be condescending you know what I meant.

                Just as the Allies drove into the heart of Germany (after the Axis powers controlled almost all of Europe.)so did the Crusades drive into the heart of the Islamic empire.Point is the Crusades would never had happened had Islam not invaded FiRsT!

              • TexasChem,

                Europe invaded the Middle East first – ever here of a fellow named Alexander? Or Rome?

  11. And once again, fiction becomes reality –

    Pre-Crime Technology To Be Used in Washington, D.C.

    Law enforcement agencies in Washington D.C. have begun to use technology that they say can predict when crimes will be committed and who will commit them, before they actually happen.

    The Minority Report like pre-crime software has been developed by Richard Berk, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Okay – so if this works right – every freakin’ politician in the D.C. error should be behind bars!

    The technology sifts through a database of thousands of crimes and uses algorithms and different variables, such as geographical location, criminal records and ages of previous offenders, to come up with predictions of where, when, and how a crime could possibly be committed and by who.

    The program operates without any direct evidence that a crime will be committed, it simply takes datasets and computes possibilities. (emphasis is mine)

    Well – I guess the good thing is that at least they aren’t using psychics living in freakin’ swimming pools.

    Does this also mean that the “thought police” are going to arrest you? Guess what – I see that coming next –

    Other forms of pre-crime technology in use or under development include surveillance cameras that can predict when a crime is about to occur and alert police, and even neurological brain scanners that can read people’s intentions before they act, thus detecting whether or not a person has “hostile intent”.

    What other freakin’ evidence do we need in this country that government has gotten way out of control? George Orwell anybody?

    What the hell happened to this country? I hardly recognize it any more.

    http://thebobofiles.com/

    This has got to be one of the funniest things I have ever heard:

    Justice Department Seeks Ebonics Experts

    How freakin’ funny is that?

    Ebonics has widely been described as a nonstandard variant of English spoken largely by African Americans. John R. Rickford, a Stanford University professor of linguistics, has described it as “Black English” and noted that “Ebonics pronunciation includes features like the omission of the final consonant in words like ‘past’ (pas’ ) and ‘hand’ (han’), the pronunciation of the th in ‘bath’ as t (bat) or f (baf), and the pronunciation of the vowel in words like ‘my’ and ‘ride’ as a long ah (mah, rahd).”

    Detractors reject the notion that Ebonics is a dialect, instead considering it a bastardization of the English language.

    Holy bastardized English, Batman! – What the HELL did he say? LOL

    Additionally, while “technology plays a major role in the DEA’s efforts, much of its success is increasingly dependent upon rapid and meticulous understanding of foreign languages used in conversations by speakers of languages other than English and in the translation, transcription and preparation of written documents.”

    This Ebonics crap has really gotten out of hand when you need the government needs to hire a linguist in order to figure out what American criminals are saying. Is it any wonder that our school systems are failing? They actually TEACH Ebonics in many inner-city schools around this country. Rather than educate the African-Americans and other inner-city kids and elevate their English skills – they just continue to dumb them down – to the point now where our Federal government needs a freakin’ translator!

    Is this really funny or is it a sad commentary about our education system and society?

    • I’ll take Sad Commentary for 30 Million, Alex.

    • LOI

      “The technology sifts through a database of thousands of crimes and uses algorithms and different variables, such as geographical location, criminal records and ages of previous offenders, to come up with predictions of where, when, and how a crime could possibly be committed and by who.”

      Seems to me I saw this movie a few years ago. It ends badly as one might expect of power in the hands of government.

      • Reminds me that the CIA tried to buy a mini-sub from the movie company after seeing it in a Bond movie. They had to explain it was a fake, using special effects.

        HEY!!! We need a new law! Movie companies shall be required to inform viewers when they fake anything, so no one in our government tries to buy something that does not even exist.

    • I nominate BDN to be the translator ! 🙂

    • Sorry, LOI…..but you are now under arrest for thinking of the crime before it happens even you are not going to do it. So, please turn yourself in to the T.P.I.U. (Thought Police Intervention Unit) for R.S.T. (Rehabilitation and Sensitivity training). You are hereby commanded to rid yourself of all S.H.I.T. (Sensory Human Interpretation Thought). You will be reprogrammed into C.R.A.P. (Cognizant Reasoning Application Process). Once complete, you will be “assimilated” back to the Obama world of I.A.U.O. (Instant and Unquestioned Obedience). Please enjoy your stay and welcome to the Hope and Change mantra……subject!

  12. Here is your chance to dump your mortgage on the taxpayers!
    What a deal for people who have lost money on their homes. This is a huge bailout for Wall Street investment banks.

    Suppose that you have a homeowner whose house is underwater. That mortgage has been bought up by Wall Street investment banks at may be 30, 40, 50 cents on the dollar. The government now says that if the holder takes 10 percent off the mortgage, the government will guarantee 90 percent of the mortgage. So they may have bought a $100,000 mortgage for $50,000. If the mortgage holder agrees to write-off $10,000, the government will guarantee the mortgage for $90,000. You, the taxpayer, has just given these Wall Street investment firms $40,000!

    Why is the government giving a 10 percent write-off to people whose homes are underwater? Marking down a $400,000 mortgage by 10% is $40,000. That is a lot of money. Why do people in California, Nevada and Florida get these pay-offs? But not people in Texas? Why do people who bought houses recently get the money, but not people who have lived in the same house for 15 years whose houses are unlikely to be underwater?

    Even worse, suppose that you couldn’t afford your home and you didn’t want to default, so you did the responsible thing and rented out the home and moved into a smaller apartment. Guess what. You aren’t eligible for this money.

    Starting September 7, 2010, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will offer certain “underwater” non-FHA borrowers who are current on their existing mortgage and whose lenders agree to write off at least 10% of the unpaid principal balance of the first mortgage, the opportunity to qualify for a new FHA-insured mortgage.
    The FHA Short Refinance option is targeted to help people who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth—or “underwater”—because their local markets saw large declines in home values. Originally announced in March, these changes and other programs that have been put in place will help the Administration meet its goal of stabilizing housing markets by offering a second chance to up to 3-4 million struggling homeowners through the end of 2012.
    “We’re throwing a life line out to those families who are current on their mortgage and are experiencing financial hardships because property values in their community have declined,” said FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens. “This is another tool to help overcome the negative equity problem facing many responsible homeowners who are looking to refinance into a safer, more secure mortgage product.” . . .

    How big will this program be?

    HUD estimates that between 500,000 and 1,500,000 borrowers will refinance using these enhancements and the net economic benefits will be between $11.774 and $35.322 billion.

    • Also from John Lott,

      So why not have government fund sex with prostitutes for the disabled?
      At least that is the attitude of one columnist in Ireland. I guess if the government pays for everything else, why not sex?

      I thought the story about public money sending a 21-year-old guy with learning difficulties off to Amsterdam to soak in the sights, sample the unique local cuisine and have sex with a prostitute was the feelgood story of the week.

      Not everyone agreed. Since it came to light that council money handed out to disabled people has paid for visits to lap-dancing clubs, prostitutes and sign-ups to internet dating sites, newspapers and radio phone-ins have been jam-packed with indignant voices.

      Some object to a ‘mis-use of public funds’, some have expressed concern about the immorality of promoting ‘loveless’ sex as a social service, and some have even suggested that the state putting money into the hands of a sex-worker is ‘evil’ and/or ‘sick’.

      It never ceases to amaze me how energetic people can get disapproving of acts of compassion being visited upon those less fortunate than themselves. . . .

  13. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Why are you all re-hashing the IDIOTIC argument over “which is worse, Chritianity, Judaism, or Islam?”

    Sorry, STUPID argument.

    You have 3 choices in this world, only one of which is good.

    1. Have someone else set laws for you based upon their claimed access to the “word of God”

    2. Have someone else set laws for you based upon their claimed secular superiority to you in some way or other.

    3. Live by Natural Law.

    We spend too much time arguing about #1, when #1 is clearly one of the two bad choices.

    • TexasChem says:

      I agree Peter.
      It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out Natural Law.Nor does it to become educated in the religions of the world to be able to see which follows it now and which doesn’t. 🙂

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Another thing to note is that there is nothing technically wrong with following the “laws of God” or the secular “laws of man” provided that those laws do not impose coercion or violence upon non-violent men.

        The problem arises when law (either God’s law or man’s law) is violently or coercively to give one group of men power over other men.

  14. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Mathius, your agrument with Black Flag above is false.

    He did not put the knives in you, therefore he did NO act of violence or coercion.

    Now, YOU decide if you want him to take the knives out one at a time or all at once.

    Keep in mind, REMOVING 100 KNIVES THAT SOMEONE ELSE PUT IN YOU IS NOT AN ACT OF VIOLENCE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE KNIVES ARE REMOVED ONE AT A TIME OR ALL AT ONCE!!!

    You perpetually blame the person trying to SAVE you as the one “inflicting violence” or “continuing to inflict violence” on you rather than blaming the person who stabbed you.

    This makes no sense!

    • I admit that I’m having a spot of fun with Mr. Flag, but my argument holds water within his internal framework.

      He, supports removing the knives slowly.

      Once he has removed even a single knife and likes the direction of the trend, he is a supporter of the existing (and future) government. That’s the key. He agrees with and supports the government’s use of force on the non-violent, if only in order to create a soft landing.

      I don’t want any force imposed on me, but because Mr. Flag is supporting the government as it imposes on me (regardless of his motivation), he is imposing on me.

      What he is saying, in effect is: I, Black Flag, know what is best for others. What is best is a soft landing. Therefore, I will use government force to create that soft landing (by supporting the current government as it is in the process of dismantling itself). I know better than Mathius what is in his best interests, so I am ethical in my use of force upon him for his own best interests – besides, it is only temporary, and it is less onerous than what he had before.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        That is an interesting point, and one which I think needs to be considered.

        Once again, it brings up the fact that speculation about future events is merely, at best, an educated guess.

        This is why I asked my question of the day. I think that we ALL know that the road to real freedom is fraught with peril. I also think that we all know that freedom is decidedly NOT where we are now.

        Black Flag is answering within the framework of my question, which was basically if we do truly want a free society, how do we get there from here while ensuring that there still IS a society by the time we get there.

        Keep in mind that it is perfectly reasonable to recognize that a free society is the only moral society, while still recognizing that if we attempt to get rid of every non-free aspect of society SIMULTANEOUSLY, there very likely may not be any society left to be free!

        This is what I wanted my discussion to be about in the first place. Concrete ideas.

        I would argue that BF’s belief that the knives need to be removed one at a time does NOT contradict his desire that we all be free. He is also NOT saying that HE is the ultimate arbiter of which knife gets removed first, and how long we wait until the second knife gets removed, and which one the second one is, etc.

        The point you seem to be missing is that his belief is that the only way for the patient to survive, recover, and then FINALLY THRIVE is for SOMEONE to take out the knives one at a time at a somewhat measured pace.

        That someone should be ALL of us that wish to be free.

        Does that make any more sense?

        Keep in mind, leaving a knife in you that SOMEBODY ELSE PUT THERE because leaving it in until we know it is safe to remove it IS NOT AN ACT OF VIOLENCE, it is an act to PRESERVE YOUR VERY EXISTENCE, which is the exact opposite of an act of violence upon you!

        If you come to me and have 100 knives in your body but are still alive and at least semi-coherent, and I give you the CHOICE of having them removed all at once (which will have a high likelyhood of killing you) versus removing them one at a time, fixing the individual wound, and then moving on to the next one until they are finally all removed, and I GIVE YOU THAT CHOICE, then I am not using coercion or violence in any way, shape, or form WHATSOEVER.

        • The point you seem to be missing is that his belief is that the only way for the patient to survive, recover, and then FINALLY THRIVE is for SOMEONE to take out the knives one at a time at a somewhat measured pace.

          The problem here is that he is using his belief about what is best for me in order to support (if not unilaterally, then at least in a co-conspiratorial way) the use of violence and coercion against me so that I don’t destroy myself. This is antithetical to his standard view.

          He generally takes the hardline approach that agreeing with the government action and failing to fight/argue against it is support for that government action and that therefore, you share culpability for that action.

          For this reason, he considers casting a vote as an act of violence against him. This is because my vote is equivalent to a vote of support for the government which harms him. Basically I am funding his oppressor (funding using the currency of “validation” rather than money). By this, it perpetuates itself and harms him, but I am partly to blame. We have had this argument before.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            No Mathius, he is NOT.

            He is presenting an idea of how to get there. There are an INFINITE NUMBER OF POSSIBLE WAYS TO GET THERE, of which his is one. To HIM, his makes the most sense.

            He is not suggesting that you MUST accept his answer is the right one or he will IMPOSE his answer on you anyway! At NO POINT did he say that!

            As the stabbing victim, you will have the choice of leaving the knives in (which will kill you, although slowly) or having them taken out all at once (which will most likely kill you quickly), or having them carefully removed and the wounds repaired 1 at a time, which MIGHT allow you to survive.

            Alternatively, you can come up with your OWN solution to the problem of having 100 knives sticking out of your body – you do not HAVE TO ACCEPT the one that BF offers, he is not gonna FORCE you to do it his way!

            It is ludicrous to see you lambaste someone for presenting what they believe would be the best idea, and then accuse them of desiring to IMPOSE THAT IDEA ON YOU when they said nothing of the sort.

      • Mathius

        Your argument fails on the difference between the meaning of Tolerate and Support.

        Your logic is flawed.

        • Flag is proposing a concept for how to get from the current status quo to “freedom” by removing the knives one at a time.

          He does not support the status quo. Check.

          He does support freedom. Check.

          But he wants to get from her to there using his plan.

          The top stair is evil. The bottom stair is not. Progressively from the top to the bottom the stairs are less evil, but because they still all have government until the bottom, they are still evil.

          He proposes to use those stairs. He supports using those stairs, because it is not safe to jump from the landing straight to the bottom.

          • Mathius

            The stairs are not evil. The stairs are one path to removing the knives.

            It is called rational judgment. Besides, you don’t have enough hands to pull out all the knives immediately.

            You are trying to project support for an evil system because rational thought tells us that to pull the plug completely would get people killed. You are trying to assign the evil of the knives to the stairs themselves.

            As I said, your logic is flawed.

            • Let’s just pick a random stair in the middle. At this stage, half of the government has been dismantled. The half remaining still imposes and coerces and threatens violence.

              Is this stair evil?

              Yes.

              • Mathius

                NO!

                The stair is just a stair.

                The remaining knives are still evil, but there are half as many evil knives as they once were.

                Carry your logic to the ultimate conclusion of anyone trying to overcome evil. They must kill 100% evil on the first try or NOT try to kill evil at all. Because anything less than 100% effort will be deemed hypocritical at best or as support of evil itself at worst.

              • If he were to run, full speed, down those stairs, just barely touching each one on the way down, the effect would be the same as jumping to the bottom, and no support of evil would have transpired. Instead, he chooses to step onto each step and then, here’s the key, stay there for a little while. He fights the gravity pulling us down – it is his effort that helps keep us on each step rather than allowing inertia carrying us along to the next.

              • Mathius,

                JAC has called your bluff.

                You advocate that unless 100% is removed, none can be removed.

                It is irrational.

                The fact is, we are where we are.

                If one wants to get somewhere else, there is time and distance required to travel.

                Because one requires time and distance to travel does not mean that they agree to stay where they are.

                It does not mean they love where they are – because if they did, they would not move.

                The act of moving from here to there means they do not want to be where they are and what to be where they want to go.

                The act of travel does not invalidate where they are going, nor does it confirm where they left.

                Stop trying to create artificial contradictions by linguistic machinations and try to stick to good old plain logic and reason.

  15. August 19, 2010 – Cost of Government Day Has Arrived!

    Every year, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and the Center for Fiscal Accountability calculate Cost of Government Day. This is the day on which the average American has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state, and local levels.

    In 2010, Cost of Government Day falls on August 19. Working people must toil 231 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government – 8 days later than last year and a full 32 days longer than 2008.

    In other words, in 2010 the cost of government consumes 63.41 percent of national income.

    http://costofgovernmentday.com/

    • TexasChem says:

      Why do we accept this as a society?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Because over the past 100 years they have used creeping incrementalism.

        If the patient can stand a little pain and does not complain, you keep the level of pain constant for a short while, and then you gradually increase it to a higher level. The patient will barely notice the increase, and will shortly tolerate the higher level of pain. After another short period, you gradually increase the level of pain slightly again.

        If you pace this correctly, the patient will never notice the process taking place at all, especially if you convince the patient that increasing his level of pain is not only for his own good, but it serves the “greater good” as well.

  16. Stella Awards

    It’s time again for the annual ‘Stella Awards’! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald’s in New Mexico , where she purchased the coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? That’s right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

    Here are the Stellas for this past year — 2009.

    *SEVENTH PLACE*

    Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

    Start scratching!

    * SIXTH PLACE *

    Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn’t notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor’s hubcaps.

    Scratch some more…

    * FIFTH PLACE *

    Terrence Dickson, of Bristol , Pennsylvania , who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn’t re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count ’em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner’s insurance company claiming undue mental anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish. Keep scratching. There are more…

    Double hand scratching after this one..

    *FOURTH PLACE*

    Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella’s when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor’s beagle – even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner’s fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

    Pick a new spot to scratch, you’re getting a bald spot..

    * THIRD PLACE *

    Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

    Only two more so ease up on the scratching….

    *SECOND PLACE*

    Kara Walton, of Claymont , Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000….oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.

    Ok, Here we go!!

    * FIRST PLACE *

    This year’s runaway First Place Stella Award winner was: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven onto the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner’s manual that she couldn’t actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down?

    $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

    Are we — as a society — getting more stupid, or are more members of Congress serving on juries these days?

    • I’m going to the liquor store to buy a bottle of whiskey.

      • I think I’ll join you.. wanna split a blue label?

        • Mathius

          I must ask, what is a “blue label”?

          • Johnny Walker Blue label, a fine scotch, runs about $300-$350 a bottle. Its one of those things I want to be able to afford to drink one day. 🙂

            • Jon

              The Scotsman in me says there aint no whiskey made by man, and especially the Scots, that is worth that much.

              Finest sippin whiskey I ever had was free and came in a mason jar from the hills of West Virginia.

              • You are probably right, if I were to share a bottle with a couple of my closest friends (I have 3 in mind whom I have know more than 25 years) it would be more symbolic in nature to get a bottle of blue label than a belief that it is actually that good. Its like a ferarri, it really is a better car than a corvette, but I don’t think its really 5 times better, as the price would suggest.

      • I don’t even drink but I think it’s a good time to start.

    • OMG! It’s not just the “victims” and their attorneys…….

      What was wrong with the jurors?

      • That’s a great question.. if I were on the jury for some lady who tripped over her own kid, I’d laugh her out of court.

        Then again, there are frequently details that are left out of these types of stories…

        For example, the McDonald’s for the original coffee spill was superheating their coffee to unsafe temperatures (190 degrees vs 130) so that they could get away with using fewer coffee beans. At this temperature, two seconds of skin exposure is enough to cause a “full-thickness” burn, or put another way, eat through your whole epidermis. The effect was to create a very dangerous product. Additionally, Stella was not driving as is often said, but was a passenger – and the car wasn’t moving anyway at the time. When she spilled on herself, the sweatpants she was wearing absorbed the coffee and held it close to her skin.

        The coffee caused 3rd degree burns over 6% of her body. She was hospitalized for 8 days. She attempted to settle for $20,000, but McDonald’s refused. It came out during discovery, that McDonald’s had received hundreds of complaints about similar burnings but had ignored them.

        McDonald’s claimed that they sell coffee for customers to consume at home or at work, not in the car (like drive through liquor stores, wink wink). But their own internal research documents showed they knew it was frequently consumed in the car. Further, their own commercials showed people drinking in the car.

        She was awarded actual damages of 200k (reduces to 160k because she was found to be 20% responsible) and punitive damages equal to two days worth of McDonald’s coffee sales: 2.7mm. The court reduced it to around half a million. Following an appeal, Stella and McDonald’s settled for an undisclosed amount.

        Kinda takes the fun out of it, no?

        • The 2007 True Stella Awards Winners
          by Randy Cassingham
          Issued February 2008

          #3: Sentry Insurance Company. The company provided worker’s compensation insurance for a Wisconsin “Meals on Wheels” program. Delivering a meal, a MoW volunteer (who was allegedly not even wearing boots) slipped and fell on a participant’s driveway that had been cleared of snow, and Sentry had to pay to care for her resulting injuries. Sentry wanted its money back, so it sued the 81-year-old homeowner getting the Meals on Wheels service. It could have simply filed for “subrogation” from her homeowner’s insurance company, but by naming her in the action, it dragged an old lady into court, reinforcing the image of insurance companies as concerned only about the bottom line, not “protecting” policyholders from loss.

          #2: The family of Robert Hornbeck. Hornbeck volunteered for the Army and served a stint in Iraq. After getting home, he got drunk, wandered into a hotel’s service area (passing “DANGER” warning signs), crawled into an air conditioning unit, and was severely cut when the machinery activated. Unable to care for himself due to his drunkenness, he bled to death. A tragedy, to be sure, but one solely caused by a supposedly responsible adult with military training. Despite his irresponsible behavior — and his perhaps criminal trespassing — Hornbeck’s family sued the hotel for $10 million, as if it’s reasonably foreseeable that some drunk fool would ignore warning signs and climb into its heavy duty machinery to sleep off his bender.

          But those pale compared to…

          The winner of the 2007 True Stella Award: Roy L. Pearson Jr. The 57-year-old Administrative Law Judge from Washington DC claims that a dry cleaner lost a pair of his pants, so he sued the mom-and-pop business for $65,462,500. That’s right: more than $65 million for one pair of pants. Representing himself, Judge Pearson cried in court over the loss of his pants, whining that there certainly isn’t a more compelling case in the District archives. But the Superior Court judge wasn’t moved: he called the case “vexatious litigation”, scolded Judge Pearson for his “bad faith”, and awarded damages to the dry cleaners. But Pearson didn’t take no for an answer: he’s appealing the decision. And he has plenty of time on his hands, since he was dismissed from his job. Last we heard, Pearson’s appeal is still pending.

    • The 2006 True Stella Awards Winners
      by Randy Cassingham
      Issued 31 January 2007

      #5: Marcy Meckler. While shopping at a mall, Meckler stepped outside and was “attacked” by a squirrel that lived among the trees and bushes. And “while frantically attempting to escape from the squirrel and detach it from her leg, [Meckler] fell and suffered severe injuries,” her resulting lawsuit says. That’s the mall’s fault, the lawsuit claims, demanding in excess of $50,000, based on the mall’s “failure to warn” her that squirrels live outside.

      #4: Ron and Kristie Simmons. The couple’s 4-year-old son, Justin, was killed in a tragic lawnmower accident in a licensed daycare facility, and the death was clearly the result of negligence by the daycare providers. The providers were clearly deserving of being sued, yet when the Simmons’s discovered the daycare only had $100,000 in insurance, they dropped the case against them and instead sued the manufacturer of the 16-year-old lawn mower because the mower didn’t have a safety device that 1) had not been invented at the time of the mower’s manufacture, and 2) no safety agency had even suggested needed to be invented. A sympathetic jury still awarded the family $2 million.

      #3: Robert Clymer. An FBI agent working a high-profile case in Las Vegas, Clymer allegedly created a disturbance, lost the magazine from his pistol, then crashed his pickup truck in a drunken stupor — his blood-alcohol level was 0.306 percent, more than three times the legal limit for driving in Nevada. He pled guilty to drunk driving because, his lawyer explained, “With public officials, we expect them to own up to their mistakes and correct them.” Yet Clymer had the gall to sue the manufacturer of his pickup truck, and the dealer he bought it from, because he “somehow lost consciousness” and the truck “somehow produced a heavy smoke that filled the passenger cab.” Yep: the drunk-driving accident wasn’t his fault, but the truck’s fault. Just the kind of guy you want carrying a gun in the name of the law.

      #2: KinderStart.com. The specialty search engine says Google should be forced to include the KinderStart site in its listings, reveal how its “Page Rank” system works, and pay them lots of money because they’re a competitor. They claim by not being ranked higher in Google, Google is somehow infringing KinderStart’s Constitutional right to free speech. Even if by some stretch they were a competitor of Google, why in the world would they think it’s Google’s responsibility to help them succeed? And if Google’s “review” of their site is negative, wouldn’t a government court order forcing them to change it infringe on Google’s Constitutional right to free speech?

      And the winner of the 2006 True Stella Award: Allen Ray Heckard. Even though Heckard is 3 inches shorter, 25 pounds lighter, and 8 years older than former basketball star Michael Jordan, the Portland, Oregon, man says he looks a lot like Jordan, and is often confused for him — and thus he deserves $52 million “for defamation and permanent injury” — plus $364 million in “punitive damage for emotional pain and suffering”, plus the SAME amount from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, for a grand total of $832 million. He dropped the suit after Nike’s lawyers chatted with him, where they presumably explained how they’d counter-sue if he pressed on.

    • *Sigh*

      http://www.stellaawards.com/bogus.html

      These are bogus stories.

      Be very skeptical of insane judgments. Courts, as much as I rage against them on principle, are rarely idiots. It is not in the best interest of government to award insanity.

      • And even when juries award crazy amounts, the courts usually knock them down to more reasonable levels.

  17. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Well, Mathius did an incredibly good job of taking a conversation that had promise and turing it into something totally irrelevant.

    As such, I would like to try again down here with my original post.

    • Sorry, Pete.. I’ll be serious.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        I think the side-track tangent with the knives was actually important.

        It is critical to be able to discern when violence is being done to you (as opposed to when violent or coercive force is being removed from you) and it is critical to be able to figure out who is inflicting the violence or coercion versus who is helping you to remove the violent or coercive forces.

        All in all I thought it was actually a useful tangent to go off on for a while.

    • Actually, I ignored Matt’s little attempt to trap BF in a debate game at first, due to its irrelevance, but there are two important points stumbled upon in the process that are very relevant to the discussion.

      1) How do we decide the path to getting back to the solid ground of freedom? Or perhaps the question is, who are we to decide it? It seems the general consensus, for good reason, that a stepped method is the best, the most predictable, and the most peaceful way towards freedom. The thing is, however, which steps should be taken, which ones are first? The impact will not be perfectly even. the path will be too slow for some, and too fast for others. Do we have the right to decide this for others? Is there an alternative? Is there a way to make sure that we do not violate rights by dictating the path to freedom?

      2) NIMBY. Not In My Back Yard. Will whatever path we try to take be sabatoged by people always pointing to someone else that is on the dole saying, “take thier stuff first” or “its not fair, you arent taking away that guy’s government support, why me?” We have to find a way to not get derailed by the fact that people who are getting government benefits of some sort will resist, even those who want smaller government in general. They want to start with someone other than themselves.

      • 1. That was, though I attempted it through humor, my initial point: “Do we have the right to decide this for others?” For me, being a statist, I have no qualms about deciding things for others, but for absolutists, this should pose a serious mental hurdle. I don’t see how they can accept anything other than an absolute hard cutoff from 100% to 0%, no steps.

        2. This is why you are living in a fantasy land. The effect of Big Government, as we all well know, has a ratcheting effect. Yes, occasionally something will be rolled back, but this is an exception and is pretty rare. Every attempt to remove established government will be met with FURIOUS opposition from (A) politicians hoping to use it to their advantage (B) people who benefit direct (C) the employees of that institution and (D) idealogues who happen to like that institution. There is no politically viable way to substantively reduce the size and scope of the government. None. It will grow and the economy will keep up enough to support it, or it will grow and collapse under its own weight. There is no other way.

        • TexasChem says:

          Mathius stated:“Do we have the right to decide this for others?” For me, being a statist, I have no qualms about deciding things for others, but for absolutists, this should pose a serious mental hurdle. I don’t see how they can accept anything other than an absolute hard cutoff from 100% to 0%, no steps.”

          TC: Wouldn’t this mindset make you a dictator vs a statist?

          • No, I use mob rule, ie democracy. While this can still be looked at as a dictatorship, I think it’d be unfair to consider me a dictator since I’m not making the rule unilaterally, and you still get a say in things.

        • Mathius

          So you and master Black Flag are of the same mind.

          The difference being he chooses to not participate as best he can and you choose to contribute to the eventual collapse.

          See, I told you that before you were done here you would convert from your evil ways. You now agree on the end, it is just tactics your arguing about. 🙂

          • Sorta like going up to the very beautiful and perfectly formed lady and asking if she would have sex for $1,000,000 and she says YES!!! Then you ask to have sex for ten bucks to which she replies..OF course not, what do you think I am….you tell her we have already established that…we are just haggling price.

            Kinda like that?

        • Mathius,

          1. That was, though I attempted it through humor, my initial point: “Do we have the right to decide this for others?” For me, being a statist, I have no qualms about deciding things for others, but for absolutists, this should pose a serious mental hurdle. I don’t see how they can accept anything other than an absolute hard cutoff from 100% to 0%, no steps.

          Fallacious.

          Removing your coercion FROM me is NOT a form of coercion ON YOU.

          It is self-defense – me defending myself from your evil.

          If you did not coerce, then you would not suffer my self-defense

          You want to only look at your side – that is, you do not see you swinging the “beating stick” – you ignore that, and only see others swinging their sticks in response to you.

          That is why your argument never worked – your trap door required you to trip it yourself first.

        • Mathius,

          There is no politically viable way to substantively reduce the size and scope of the government. None. It will grow and the economy will keep up enough to support it, or it will grow and collapse under its own weight. There is no other way.

          Bingo!

          I completely agree!

          All governments lead to collapse of society – 100% of the time, in all cultures across history. There are no exceptions.

          This is why I argue it is futile to fix it – it must be purged out of the belief system of mankind as a tool to solve human problems for it is the source of the greatest problems of human evil.

  18. Buck the Wala

    Buck asked this earlier and I forgot about it until now.

    “Wait a second here: are you saying that government is a direct result of the free market!? That if we disband the government in favor of a completely free market system, we would only end up with a government again!?”

    THIS is perhaps one of the most relevant and important questions asked at SUFA in awhile.

    Now lets see who has been practicing their “thinking”. Please explain why the answer to this question is SO IMPORTANT.

    That includes you Buck, even if this was by accident.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      It was not an accident.

      Unfortunately way too busy today to get into it. But I’d be very curious to see others’ takes on the thought – threw it out there as bait. Kinda surprised no one took it as of yet…

      • Buck

        Good, and well done then. Something for us to look forward to tomorrow.

        Although I am heading up river for a game of swat and follow later in the morning.

    • Yea I saw this one too, and for the record Buck, I was pretty sure it was not accidental.

      This is definately something to consider in the path to freedom. If the government were totally gone, would the demand for governing be high enough that a government formed due to market pressure. This is something that a good debate buddy of mine asked me a couple months ago. Is the presence and growth of government really driven exclusively by a thirst for power, or is it also driven by a demand to be governed? I know a great many people want to offload the responsibility of being an adult. We did not get here by being fooled by sneaky government salemen, we got here in large part due to demand, not only that government do something about others, but that they do something for ones own self that we should have the cahonies to do ourselves.

      If that is the market demand, what do we do? Is it back to the drawing boards?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I wouldn’t cast it aside as ‘people trying to offload the responsibility of being an adult’. I see it as a more natural, organic evolution. There’s a reason why there have always been governments; and its not just driven by a desire for power nor a demand to be governed.

        So anyway, if we get rid of all things government and allow for a truly free market, what happens if we start seeing small communities bind together and create their own mini-governments? What happens if that spreads and the free market sees an advantage to having community leaders, town governments, and *gasp* taxes to pay for certain things. Lets say you all see this happen in your own communities, or neighboring communities. Do you suddenly support government because it is a natural outgrowth of the free market??

        • TexasChem says:

          Why were the city-states formed during the dawn of early civilization?

          What motivates and energizes man to produce a product?

          Why not pay taxes for your local community rather than paying some fat-cat politician to make decisions for you that you do not even agree with?

        • The organic evolution/development might make sense if that was teh way governments had formed in the early days. It is not.

          The early governments were tribal leaders who made decisions for others based on physically winning the “right” to lead, or living long enough to have good advice, or due to some mystical connection. This religious right ended up being the predominant type of leadership, developing into the dictatorships like pharoah, caesar, and the various kings with so called divine right to rule or royal blood. Within these constructs governments began handling certain aspects of life like infrastructure and the making and enforcement of laws. By the time people realized dictators and monarchs were not good forms of government and demanded more modern democratic structures, the idea of government was already ensconced in our thinking. Thus I think the actions and roles of government has been evolutionary, but the fact that such roles were ever even asigned to government is due to their existence based on a totally seperate path of evolution.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Regardless of the evolution in the past, my question remains: If we go to a purely free market and government comes to be from that free market, would you support government as the natural product of the free market?

            • Buck

              I think you forget sometimes that there are distinct differences between us radicals here at SUFA.

              I have consistently argued that “some” government is required. The test of what is appropriate is consistency with the underlying ethical and moral principles. Thus govt’s role becomes very restricted. In a sense we NEED to redefine government. We need to make it into something closer to our ancestral, ie tribal, roots rather than the monarchist model we currently have.

              BF’s village simply does not think this “caging of the beast” is possible. History shows us this may be true. To which I reply just as our Founders did, VIGILANCE is the guardian of Liberty.

              In my view we need a much improved legal system, including the courts and increased use of jury trials. This constitutes Government to many. I can accept that if that is the name everyone wishes to give it. So, yes, government is needed.

              One other slight mistake in your use of terms in this debate. Free Markets do not develop governments. A Free Market requires that transactions between individuals are free of coercion by government. The reason govt could develop under a free market economy is because NOT ALL people are willing to live free. They will seek the POWER of govt to resolve problems they aren’t willing to solve on their own.

              This is key. A Free Market doesn’t create the demand for govt in and of itself.

              As long as govt has a monopoly on the use of legal force, there will be men and women who seek that power for what ever their reason. Once they hold the ring, we are headed back to the same place.

              So, once again, we either redefine govt (eliminating the arbitrary power of force), move to Black Flag’s village, or learn to love our life as slaves.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Provided that the “Government” or whatever they decided to call it were able to provide services (defense, roads, perhaps even a “social safety net” WITHOUT resorting to coercion or violence against non-violent people, I would support it whole-heartedly.

              For example, if the “Government” said, “you can purchase security services through us for a fee of $XXX, or you can choose a private service if you feel they give better service or a better deal.” Then I would be all for that.

              Another example would be if the “Government” said, “You can donate to a government fund to support the poor, the unemployed, and those that cannot afford medical coverage, or you can donate to a private charity if you think that the private charity will do a better job of distributing the funds to those who actually need it.” That works for me too.

              It is when government says, “You MUST donate to a government fund to support the poor, the unemployed, and people who cannot afford health coverage!” that we have a problem.

              These are the types of things that can (and SHOULD) be handled locally, and as such, there may well be a demand for local “government”. Provided that the local government does not form a monopoly and exclude competition for services, and then force the residents to pay for services whether they are wanted or not, then that is fine.

            • I do not oppose government as an entity. If there is a demand, it may exist, so long as I am not forced to have one over ME that I do not agree with. This was the reason I came up with the government with non-cercive tax policy and no monopoly of services. Anything else is an imposition. In other words, a service meeting a demand is fine, unless the demand is for control over another. The market may demand assassins, but that does not mean it is ok to be an assassin.

        • Buck

          So anyway, if we get rid of all things government and allow for a truly free market, what happens if we start seeing small communities bind together and create their own mini-governments?

          See, this is the problem.

          Buck does not know what government “means”

          He uses the term loosely to define by synonymous with “organization” – but it is NOT

          So where he will see a group self-organize – he declares “government” (fallaciously) and then he will point to a real government and say this is the same thing, so what’s BF’s problem???

          The problem: Revolution in the Form – he changes his definitions between the two situations.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I never stated that a small community-organized government is the same as the massive federal government we have in place.

            However, don’t kid yourself that a small community group that organizes itself together is not a form of government. Of course it is.

            • Buck,

              Of course it is.

              Of course it’s not!

              …but who knows what you are thinking because we still do not know what you mean by “government.

              At this stage, it could be a chorus line in Vegas for all we know.

  19. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    The reason why removing the knives one at a time works:

    If we gradually remove “official” violence and coercion (i.e. government) from society, this gives the opportunity for people of all viewpoints the opportunity to see things actually functioning properly in the absence of violence and coercion, and gives time for the light-bulbs to turn on in their minds when they see things actually WORK!

    This is ONE of the reasons why a gradual transition to freedom is basically necessary. The other reason (of course) is that an abrupt and immediate attempt to change to a free society (removal of all of the knives at once) might just kill the patient rather than saving him.

    The question of whether there would be a “market demand” for government is a good one. I think that for many there is currently a STRONG market demand for government. However, I think that if we transition to a free society over time, the market demand for government will become weaker and weaker and much more “local”. The demand for “National” or even “Global” government would hopefully vanish over time.

  20. TexasChem says:

    BF stated:”Given that you have abandoned the Bible and only adhere to the Testaments, please provide where Jesus said for you to condemn other men’s religion and beliefs.”

    TC:I condemn any action that goes against natural law regardless of religious affiliation as should any sane man.

    example:Just because a mans religion states that it is ok to slay his daughters if he feels that they have dishonored him in some fashion it goes against natural law and therefore is wrong!
    It is not correct to believe that freedom of beliefs/religion over-rides the right to life!

    How say you?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      But yet haven’t you argued against gay marriage? To me natural law would dictate you have no right to impose your own religious beliefs on others. So if you condemn any action that goes against natural law regardless of religious affiliation, where do you stand on gay marriage?

      And if you are in favor of gay marriage, how do you justify opposing the construction of the Cordoba project in NYC? Wouldn’t this action go against natural law as well, as they have the right to build whatever they want whereever they want?

      • TexasChem says:

        Ummm…No and No.

        You may want to look up the definition of Natural Law if you honestly believe that gay marriage is a right endorsed by Natural Law.

        Who says they have a right to build anywhere they please?Where is that stated in the Constitution?
        Islamic doctrine is governed by Sharia Law which is full of beliefs that go against Natural Law so therefore I am opposed to it spreading in my community,my state and my country.Hell no I do not want myself or my children to live in an Islamic society/government.Are you mad?

        • TexasChem says:

          By the way do you keep up with any current events from Europe?

        • Gay marriage is not a right anymore than heterosexual marriage is a right. It is also no less of a right. It involves a contract/agreement between consenting adults. There is no call for interference in that by any government other than to handle contract disputes (property and custody rights, etc.). Any private influence for or against is fine so long as force and coersion and legal means are not used.

          • TexasChem says:

            Ok Jon so lets replace marriage with mating then.Does that come under the pretext of Natural Law?

            • What about mating for purposes other than reproduction. The Church (big C) used to consider this a sin since spilt “seed” was wasted life.

              (Bursts into song…
              EVERY SPERM IS SACRED!
              EVERY SPERM IS GOOD!
              IF A SPERM IS WASTED!
              GOD GETS QUITE IRATE!)

            • Well lets see, depends on how you define “mating”. If defined as a sexual act, then it is the same as marriage providing it is between consenting adults, except that there is usually no contract for dispute. There remains potential for one in cases of sexual acts that are used in trade and in cases where sexual acts end up involving accidental reproduction, wherein custody could come into play. In a homosexual relationship, however, this last part would not be a concern.

              If you are asking whether homosexual mating is a “natural act”, that is a seperate discussion, but I would still say, based on actions in nature, that it is rare, but still natural.

              If you are asking whether “natural” (meaning not manipulated by technology) homosexual sexual interraction is able to accomplish the reproductive function of mating, then the answer would be no, but that is rather obvious to anyone who understands reproduction at all, and it has nothing to do with “natural law” in the philosophical sense, thus it would be way off topic for SUFA in general, certainly for the topics at hand.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Buck,

        You still have a fundamental misunderstanding of natural law. Natural law does NOT state “you can do whatever you want whenever you want and wherever you want.

        As such, it is pointless to discuss it with you, because your definition is flawed.

        You wish us to discuss it with you based upon your definition, but discussing a topic based upon a fundamental flaw in the definition of the topic itself is not a useful endeavor.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          So please provide a clear, concise definition of Natural Law that would enable you to impose on your fellow man in this fashion.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Buck,

            Your response is further indicative of your inability to understand the concept.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            By that, I mean that insisting that you use a proper definition of terms when participating in a meaningful discussion is not an imposition on you or anyone else.

            If I insist upon using a proper definition of terms, it is merely because otherwise, conversation/debate about the subject would be completely meaninless, and I have no desire to fill USW’s blog with page after page of stuff that is essentially meaningless because we are both defining the same term in different ways.

            Therefore, if you find my insitence on defining terms correctly to be an imposition, then you are free to continue to define terms in any way that you please.

            However, if you define terms in any way that you please, I am also free to not bother to discuss them with you, since I feel that the discussion would waste your time, my time, and everyone else’s time.

            Does that make more sense?

          • Maybe starting with Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden is where the thinking should start?

  21. Tex Chem, Peter, Buck, Jon, BF, SUFA

    What are examples of Natural Laws?

    How do you know them to be true?

    • The strong kill and eat the weak.

      I know this to be true because it is well documented in nature and in human society. It is the driving force behind evolution.

      • Raptor-meister says:

        Matt…they are tasty.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        Your response is further evidence of your inability to understand the concept, which is why discussion of it with you is a pointless endeavor.

        • Please do condescend to enlighten my feeble mind.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I do not need to, because your mind is not feeble.

            If you know the correct definition, but persist in using an incorrect definition BECAUSE IT BETTER SUITS YOUR GOALS, that means that you are probably brilliant, not feeble-minded.

      • Mathius,

        strong…kill weak

        Is not a Natural Law

        Proof, sometimes the weak win.

        Therefore, your example is an observation of outcomes OF an EXERCISE of a Natural Law

        Do you understand the nuance of what I just wrote?

        • Yes. So perhaps we should call it natural “rule” since there are exceptions?

          Maybe the underlying natural law is that “the universe does not care about you”?

          • Mathius,

            It’s not a rule either. It is a general outcome.

            You play Poker? The game really helps understand this concept.

            PS: Regarding the Universe.

            For IT to not care must infer it is capable of caring.

            You are trying to attribute a trait to it that simply has no meaning in this context.

          • TexasChem says:

            Mathius stated:”Maybe the underlying natural law is that “the universe does not care about you”?”

            TC:Since you are indeed part of the Universe; logic dictates your premise to be false, since you care about yourself.

            Try again.

    • Natural law, as I understand it, is a group of rights that can be objectively quantified as equal among humans. I will do examples later, I gotta go…

      • This, I think, is interesting……..

        It speaks to a fundamental difference in our worldviews. You see nature as conferring certain “rights” to you. I see nature as indifferent to you and more than happy to take advantage of you.

        Thus you see artificial structure (gov) as a hindrance whereas I see it as a necessity.

        Just some food for thought…

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Mathius,

          Nature is neutral, you are CONFERRING upon Nature a desire to “take advantage of you”.

          Nature operates as an impartial, logical, rational system. You may not always understand the fundamental organization and logic of Nature, but that does not mean that the logic and organization are not there.

          By stating that Nature wishes to “take advantage of you” you are imbuing nature with characteristics that Nature simply does not possess.

          • To revise. Things in nature will happily take advantage of you or kill and eat you.

            Nature doesn’t care.

            Nature gives you no rights.

            Thus the only “laws” seem to be as follows:
            (A) The strong survive – often at the expense of the weak.
            (B) Shit happens.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Mathius,

              I can certainly see why you believe that, you were probably taught that that is the way nature actually is. I can relate. I was taught that as well.

              It took me YEARS to learn that that particular bit of teaching is incorrect.

              Certainly, if you are confronted by a hungry lion, it is highly likely that the lion is gonna kill you and eat you, unless you defend yourself (perhaps up to and including killing and eating the lion).

              However, if you are confronted by a hungry human being, it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that the first thing that hungry human being is going to do is attempt to kill you and eat you. He will probably ask if you have any spare change first 🙂

              • Re lion: it eats me (because it’s stronger, or I kill it (because I’m stronger – by virtue of technology)

                Re human: it is highly unlikely that he would attempt to eat me… at first.. but he will eat me if he is able and if he feels he has no other recourse. (See: Donner Party – note this also falls under Law (B). Do you think the ‘food’ Donners chose to be in that category?)

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              One other thing. You need to modify “Shit Happens” to “Shit Happens for a REASON”.

              You may not always understand the reason, but in nature, there ALWAYS is one.

              • Manure… An interesting fact

                Manure : In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common.

                It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, not only did it become heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas of course. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.
                Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!

                Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening

                After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the instruction ‘ Stow high in transit ‘ on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

                Thus evolved the term ‘ S.H.I.T ‘ , (Stow High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

                You probably did not know the true history of this word.

                Neither did I.

                Some of you always thought it was a golf term.

              • true or not, I choose to believe that.

              • Me too. very cool. Learn something new every day.

              • I’m always happy to share my expertise on a subject.
                😆

              • Yes, there is always a reason, but it need not be as a direct result of ones own actions, at least not entirely attributable to such.

                That is, I may be walking down a street and a piano falls on my head. It is, nominally, my actions (walking) which cause my headache (remember, I have a very thick skull).

                But the real cause is that the rope being used to hoist the piano was too weak because the factory worker didn’t pay attention because his girlfriend left him the night before because.. blah blah blah. Causality is endless, going back to the big bang.

                So, yes, there is a reason, but it is unimaginably complicated and, ultimately, unknowable.

              • Mathius

                “So, yes, there is a reason, but it is unimaginably complicated and, ultimately, unknowable.”

                Then for the life of me I don’t understand why you think a few people in government can somehow figure out how to manipulate the whole thing to the advantage of everyone.

                Perhaps each of the everyone’s would have better knowledge and ability to control their own little piece.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Ah JAC,

      How do we KNOW anything to be true??? It may seem like a flippant question, but it really is not.

      The only way I KNOW things is to test them. If I test something and it has internal contradictions it is likely that it will fail. Sometimes it may take repeated tests to reveal the failure, but eventually, something that is internally contradictory will fail.

      If I test something and after repeated testing it seems to be internally CONSISTENT, then it is highly likely to be true.

      MOST people do not subject their ideologies to such testing, which is why so many ideologies that ultimately utterly fail remain so popular.

      • Some ideologies accept imperfection and attempt to do their best within those limitations. You have never heard me say that government is perfect in any way.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Oh I know Mathius, you have NEVER argued that government is “Perfect”, you have merely argued that it is “always better than anything else” meaning that it is still the only viable option.

          To me, this indicates that you believe it to be closer to perfect than any other option.

          I accept that imperfection and inconsistency are sometimes unavoidable, but I feel like it is our duty to try to eliminate the imperfections and inconsistencies whenever and wherever we can.

          My fundamental problem with government is that it takes imperfections and inconsistencies and INSTITUTIONALIZES them, and then delares them to be “the right way to do something”.

          • “always better than anything else”.. change that to frequently.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Ok, I will change that to “frequently”. I will admit that there has been the RARE occasion when you do agree that a private entity could perform task X better than the government does 🙂

    • TexasChem says:

      The natural inclination of man to acheive his proper end through reason and free will is natural law. Formally defined, Natural Law is mans participation in the Eternal Law, through reason and will. Humans actively participate in the eternal law of God (the governance of the world) by using reason in conformity with the Natural Law to discern what is good and evil.

      • Texaschem,

        “using reason in conformity with the Natural Law to discern what is good and evil.”

        As I’ve posted:

        Human evil is created when man tries to manifest a contradiction, a state which is wholly prohibited by the Universe”.

        EVIL is a human definition, not a God definition.

        • TexasChem says:

          BF Stated:”EVIL is a human definition, not a God definition.”

          TC:So lets assume the war in heaven did happen.How would God define the actions of those that opposed him and were cast out?Would it not be a contradiction in and of itself to oppose the will of God?

          • TexasChem says:

            Not that I don’t agree with your definition of human evil…I do.

          • TexasChem,

            Allow me to rephrase your question:

            So let’s assume there are leprechauns. How would tooth fairies define those that opposed leprechauns.

            My answer:

            :
            (note the emptiness between the colons.)

    • Bottom Line says:

      Natural law is the natural Order of the universe.

      Omnipotent.

      Inherent in all.

      God.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Omnipresent, yes.

        Omnipotent? Maybe, but not in the way that most religious folk mean it when they say “Omnipotent”.

        However, by shortcut, you have just proven the existence of God, so I have to give you credit for that one 🙂

        If you define God as “the natural order of the universe” then you cannot disprove the existence of God unless you can prove that the universe has no natural order and is merely a chaotic system.

  22. Buck, bless the good man, provides further examples of the whole misunderstanding of politics/economics.

    Regardless of the evolution in the past, my question remains: If we go to a purely free market and government comes to be from that free market, would you support government as the natural product of the free market?

    NO!

    Read this very carefully, Buck (and everyone):

    The moment violence enters the free market, it is no longer the free market but SOMETHING ELSE

    Thus, if government is created and introduces violence (called edicts or laws) into the free market, it is not a free market. The free market does not create violenceFree is the operative word here, and in the context of ECONOMICS is means voluntary.

    So Buck’s question is nonsensical once you break it down.

    He is asking if a non-violent system creates violence, is it the creator of violence? But no one is saying to Buck “Please explain how a non-violent system creates violence????

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I would add, also, that there will most likely ALWAYS be people who attempt to create violence and use it to CONTROL the marketplace.

      This is precisely WHY there would be a “demand” for government.

      People are capable of taking care of this on their own, but many people would instead say (in essence) that because some people are attempting to use violent means to control the market, it is now necessary to create an institution with the monopoly on “lawful” violence to counteract those who are attempting to control the market.

      Remember, any act of trying to control the market is by definition going to involve either coercion, violence, or both, and as such, free people can defend themselves against such action. They can even organize in an attempt to eliminate that action. The problem arises when they create an organization that not only COUNTERS violent action with a (potentially) violent response, but it then seeks to PREVENT further violent acts by imposing coercion or violence upon NON-VIOLENT people, at which point your organization just became a GOVERNMENT.

    • There’s violence and there’s violence and then there’s violence…..

      Everyone keeps blowing off my example, but please tell me how your Free Market would avoid situations such as the trucking system, or if not, if you feel this is an acceptable outcome?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I’m still a bit curious as to what would happen if the free market breeds government; if people voluntarily decide to form a government despite our destruction of government and imposition of the free market.

        BF’s answer just doesn’t cut it — if government evolves then there is no free market so that is bad. Umm…right…but…if government evolves perhaps that is the natural state. Perhaps the free market only works with some government influence as the will of the people.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Buck,

          Your insistence that a free market would be an imposition is further example of your inability to understand further discussion on the subject.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        It is useless to discuss specific examples until you understand the fundamental definitions and concepts behind the discussion.

      • Mathius,

        I did a search for “trucking systems” post of yours in this thread and found nothing.

        What are you talking about?

  23. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Part of the problem that I know that SOME people are having is that right now, in our current system, there are institutions that exist BASED UPON THEIR ABILITY TO CONTROL THE MARKET.

    The fundamental flaw in many people’s examples is that they insist that an organization which exists on it’s ability to control the market would still EXIST in a free market.

    This is a contradiction.

    That is why I refuse to even discuss certain “hypothetical” situations, because the hypothetical was constructed with an internal contradiction imbedded in it to begin with.

    • Peter says: “The fundamental flaw in many people’s examples is that they insist that an organization which exists on it’s ability to control the market would still EXIST in a free market.

      This is a contradiction.

      D13 says: I see your point, Peter but it still does not fit…..I can see the contradiction where it relates to existence on its ability to control….

      But, please explain, why the reverse would not create the same? I can see where a totally free market will (or can) create the same controlling functions. If your theory of free market is based solely on the fact that monopolies will not exist because someone will simply step in…then I find this to be flawed…UNLESS..there are some precepts that have to be ACCEPTED in order to have a free market. If that is the case, then I suggest that such acceptance is a forced issue, and therefore, violates your natural Law, does it not? Are you telling me that I have to ACCEPT the fact that a monopoly (as an example) would NOT exist in a totally free market?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        D13,

        You are still thinking about the issue from a NON-FREE MARKET perspective, and this is clouding your thinking.

        Would there be people who would ATTEMPT to form monopolies in a free market? Almost certainly. However, the free market has NATURAL mechanisms that prevent a monopoly from being successful over any long period of time…

        UNLESS that monopoly is ALLOWED to use COERCION OR FORCE to maintain the monopoly.

        ONCE the monopoly is ALLOWED to use coercion or force to maintain the monopoly, you NO LONGER HAVE A FREE MARKET.

        Does that make any sense?

        • Peter: I having a hard time seeing the guys’ disconnect also. Maybe presenting a simple example may help. Think of the roadside produce stand. The produce is there for the taking. You don’t want to buy it you don’t have to. But there are no rules for having your produce stand. Am I correct?

      • D13,

        Please provide your economic theory that supports this statement.

        If your theory of free market is based solely on the fact that monopolies will not exist because someone will simply step in…then I find this to be flawed

        • Ok..and it will be the theory of D13 solely…..

          Hmmmm…thinking here….

          I do not think that you will eliminate monopolies because I do not think that, in certain circumstances, that anyone will move in….especially if I happen to have a corner on most of it. Economics would keep most people out of it (cost may be too high or not worth the effort)…supply would keep most out of it ( again, assuming that there is not an ample supply or that the main supply is owned by one )…(demand would still be there assuming it is a viable product)…

          Let me use an analogy….I will use our own ranch as an example. We have two natural underground springs that surface on our property. They are the only two natural springs that feed the reserve water supply for Ardmore, Oklahoma. Now, as far as I am concerned, since the source of the water is on our property and we own our property and the minerals, then that water rightfully belongs to us. The source of the two springs provide enough water to fill a 35 foot wide stream bed 18-24 inches deep 24/7. right now, we are prohibited from damming up that stream as it provides water to four ranches and fills the reserve reservoir for a city. The government, in this case, county, has said that we cannot dam the water, even though we own it, because it is a necessity uunder some state law. So, in your theory, with no government, then I would own my water and could do with it what I wanted. If I decide to dam it and sell it, I would constitute a monoploy because the four ranches would not get water and the city of Ardmore would not get it. Now, I would not hold a monopoly like standard oil but I would hold a water right monopoly. The ranches cannot drill for it as there is no water to drill for without going down to over 4,000 feet. Not worth it for water and one well would not suffice. The City of Ardmore would be without their reserve supply. They could not feasibly truck it in because the amounts are so great and they would have to store it. There are no rivers close by (within 40 miles), I think and the Red River is usually very low most of the year and is 60 miles away. (The reserve water supply is a lake that is 1700 acres big and 26 feet deep snf one half of it sits on our land.)So, would that not be a monopoly? Who would step in? Or do you just assume that since I could create a hardship that someone would just naturally step in. Water is a more demanded product in this part of the world than oil or Dr Pepper is. So, in theory, I could own the water supply and charge what I wanted for it and no government could do anything about it. Now, let me ask this. If I have a product and take a physical action to deprive it, do you consider that as a violent act because water is needed to survive? IF you do consider it a violent action, please explain. So, if I decide to sit on my water or bottle it and sell it elsewhere, then no one has a right to do violence upon me because of my monopoly, correct? Would you split hairs and say that since the law made me release the water and now it does not and people are dependent upon it for survival, do I create a violent act by cutting off what is rightly mine, under your theory of violent action.

          Now bear with me on this one because this is a reality. We could really do this. This is not a hypothetical situation.

  24. Gawd!

    Buck is brilliant today… both as an “idiot” and as a “genius”

    He hit his idiot mode above, and now, he hit his genius mode!

    BF’s answer just doesn’t cut it

    Yes it does.

    Not not confuse your inability of comprehension as being my error.

    Umm…right…but…if government evolves perhaps that is the natural state.

    Score! (Though you needed a lucky bounce)

    “…Perhaps that is (not “the” but) “A” natural state…”

    You got it!

    I have often posted that the Natural Law of Mutuality offers two equal but opposite paths:

    What I do to you gives you the right to do to me.

    Freedom: “If I do not want you to impose upon me, I cannot impose upon you”
    (“Golden Rule” doctrine)
    This creates “Civilization”

    Barbarianism: “I don’t care if you try to impose upon me, I am stronger than you”
    (“Might is Right” doctrine)
    This creates “Government”

    Humanity’s civilization is in DIRECT CONFLICT with government.

    BOTH are conditions derived from natural law.

    • Whoa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need to digest your statement….

      BF syas: “BOTH are conditions derived from natural law.”

      D13: (scratching head – blinks- drinks DP) Am I understanding you correctly here….that Natural Law is not absolute? That natural law has multiple facets in which one of them can create the very thing that you are against? Did I understand you correctly here?

      • D13,

        (scratching head – blinks- drinks DP) Am I understanding you correctly here….that Natural Law is not absolute? That natural law has multiple facets in which one of them can create the very thing that you are against? Did I understand you correctly here?

        No, you did not understand correctly.

        Natural Law is absolute. The “outcomes” are not.

        Example within your experience:

        Law of Gravity = Absolute.

        You fall. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes people fall and they die, sometimes they fall and they do not die.

        The consequences of Natural Law creates circumstances.

        The Law of Mutuality creates a duality (equal (as in “ability to exist”), but opposite (as in “conflict with the other”) – to paraphrase Newton)

        (1)Civilization

        OR

        (2)Government

        They are in conflict – but both derived by Natural Law.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The key phrase there is “DERIVED FROM”.

        Natural Law IS NATURAL LAW. It does not change.

        WHAT YOU DO will determine the outcome of a situation FOR YOU based upon Natural Law.

        If I choose to act violently, this results in “kill or be killed”.

        If I choose to not impose upon others, it RAISES THE LIKELYHOOD that others will not impose upon me!

        There is always the CHANCE that even though I choose to not impose upon others, they may attempt to impose upon me anyway, at which point I have a right to reasonably defend myself against such imposition.

        None of what I just said is in contradiction with Natural Law. None of what I just said implies that Natural Law is inconistent.

        Does that make more sense?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The CONFUSION arises when people come to believe (through indoctrination) that it is government which PREVENTS the might is right doctrine.

      This is fundamentally INCORRECT.

      As BF points out, Government is the INSTITUTIONALIZATION and DECLARATION OF THE BELIEF IN the Might is Right doctrine! It is NOT a refutation of the Might is Right doctrine, it is the EMBODYMENT of the Might is Right doctrine.

      If you believe that government is necessary, then you believe that the ONLY way you can protect yourself is to make sure you are stronger, more powerful, and more capable of inflicting major damage than anyone who might try to harm you, and you believe that the ONLY way to do this is to institutionalize it and force others to pay for it.

      • There’s violence and there’s violence.

        If you are crossing a street, minding your business, and I run up and shove you down, you might consider that violence. But I was actually saving you from a drunk driver who would have inflicted more violence with superior might (pickup truck). I, the government, impose on you, true, but only to hold the worse violence (anarchic barbarism) at bay.

        Stop fighting me.

        And take your veggies.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Mathius,

          Your DECISION to shove me out of the way of an incoming car was indeed an “act of violence”. I did not give you the right to do that, yet you decided that saving me from the oncoming car was worth the risk of a small violation of my individual rights.

          As a rational human being, rather than be upset at you for your “act of violence”, I would instead thank you for your “act of bravery”.

          HOWEVER, it is important that you realize that you DID ACTUALLY usurp my individual liberty for a moment within the process, because YOU MADE A DECISION that saving my life was paramount to my individual liberty at that moment.

          • So are you saying that it is acceptable for me to substitute my judgment of what is best for you in place of your own? (at least within narrow bounds)

    • You know, Flag.. not to put too fine a point on it, but Buck is a good friend of mine and I happen to think he’s fairly sharp (or I probably wouldn’t bother being his friend). You should really consider using some tact when considering referring to people as “idiot,” regardless of the awkward phrasing.

      You are very smart, no doubt and, from your vantage point, I’m sure most people appear to you to be idiots (as they often do to me), but that doesn’t mean it’s nice to say as much. In all honesty, you are the only one on this website who consistently violates USW’s rule of courteous behavior.

      Perhaps you should consider installing an Emily Post patch during your next system upgrade?

      • Seconded.

      • Mathius,

        I use my terms, most often, accurately.

        When Buck (and often you) create contradictions (generally by redefining words to mean their opposites), you are idiots.

        Whether you know you are doing this or not (shrug) – often I believe you do know and are faking your ignorance or you are truly ignorant of it.

        That’s when you both really irritate me because I know you guys are smarter than that (ie: shouldn’t be ignorant) OR, worse, you are purposely doing it – and that’s just plain ….. idiotic and stupid.

        —-

        And yes, I am often harsh. It is a personal trait and, IMO, a personal liability. I am working on it.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Hehe, I like the way you phrased that Mathius 🙂

        I am trying very hard today to point out inconsistencies in people’s definitions, positions, or understanding today without resorting to being outright insulting. I hope I am doing a reasonable job of this.

        Please feel free to Emily Post me if I get out of hand as well.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Thirded.

        But the same holds true for everyone today — see VH post below at #30…

  25. I don’t know that much about natural law but I think it basically means that interaction between men should be on an equal footing-that freedom is the only means by which the individual man can be equal because it allows him the right to choose. It doesn’t guarantee that his choices will be fair or even good but he will have the right to choose. Now in principal I agree with this-but in application-it has it’s drawbacks-because it is only in principal that the outcome doesn’t matter. Which means in order to incorporate the idea of civilized into the equation-we need some type of structure. I don’t care, would even prefer that this structure not be government, but whatever structure it is-I simply cannot see how it will work without enforcement capabilities.

    • Ya know, this actually ties into the discussion these guys are having here today !

      • Yeah, so let’s see if any of them notice, lol!

        Awe, what’s point, our masters are gonna do what they’re gonna do. What we think/know/want doesn’t make a difference. Fuck it.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Cyndi,

          You have to refuse to let the “masters” control you.

          Then you have to come up with a society in which there are no “masters”.

          Unfortunately, we are currently a LONG way from there, and there are WAY too many people that WANT the masters to control them (and everything else).

          • Sad but true. Most people WANT to be controlled.

            The debates here go on and on and on. Very little seems to get accomplished. Its like watching people argue about irrelevant crap while the house burns down around them. They are so focused on fighting each other, they don’t realize just what a dangerous situation they’re in. Soon they’ll be utterly destroyed and their last breaths will be spent fighting each other. THIS is why I spend so little time at SUFA these days, if anyone has noticed or even cares.

            • An email a friend sent me,

              JESUS AND THE DEMOCRAT

              (I don’t care what party you like, this one’s funny!!)

              A Republican, in a wheelchair, entered a restaurant one afternoon and asked the waitress for a cup of coffee. The Republican looked across the restaurant and asked, “Is that Jesus sitting over there?”

              The waitress nodded “yes,” so the Republican requested that she give Jesus a cup of coffee, on him.

              The next patron to come in was a Libertarian, with a hunched back. He shuffled over to a booth, painfully sat down, and asked the waitress for a cup of hot tea. He also glanced across the restaurant and asked, “Is that Jesus, over there?”

              The waitress nodded, so the Libertarian asked her to give Jesus a cup of hot tea, “My treat.”

              The third patron to come into the restaurant was a Democrat on crutches. He hobbled over to a booth, sat down and hollered, “Hey there honey! How’s about gettin’ me a cold mug of Miller Light?” He too looked across the restaurant and asked, “Isn’t that God’s boy over there?

              The waitress nodded, so the Democrat directed her to give Jesus a cold beer. “On my bill,” he said loudly.

              As Jesus got up to leave, he passed by the Republican, touched him and said, “For your kindness, you are healed.” The Republican felt the strength come back into his legs, got up, and danced a jig out the door.

              Jesus passed by the Libertarian, touched him and said, “For your
              kindness, you are healed.” The Libertarian felt his back straightening up and he raised his hands, praised the Lord, and did a series of back flips out the door.

              Then, Jesus walked towards the Democrat, just smiling.
              The Democrat jumped up and yelled, “Don’t touch me … I’m collecting disability.”

            • Cyndi,

              (1) Ideas have power.
              Do not disparage ideas. They are the source of all change.

              If you do not know why we ended up here, it will very difficult to avoid the same mistakes.

              Much time must be spent figuring this out to avoid repetition.

              (2) There is not much you can do yourself except be the change you want to see in the world. Work locally, for that is where everything will “rise up” after the “fall down”.

              Remember Isiah.

              • Hey BF,

                I’m not disparaging the ideas. The ideas are great if serious thought is going into them, however, that isn’t what I see happening at all. I see people arguing past each other. The liberals will never stop arguing for the sake of arguing.

                To me, liberals are like a bag of rocks around my neck while I’m swimming in 15ft of water and being pushed further out with the tide. I can’t save them and if I try, I’ll be destroyed with them. Liberals want to be saved; by someone else. They will never save themselves. Arguing with them only wears you down and will destroy you too because neither side is addressing the more pressing problem. If you want to go down with them, that’s fine by me. But I’ve decided they deserve to die if that’s what it comes to. They’re on their own. I’ll focus my efforts on those who want to save themselves.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                The ideas are the foundation which will lead to rational action.

                Without the proper foundation, we will get irrational action, which could be useless or worse.

                However, even with the foundation, a complete lack of action will never build anything useful.

                The environmentalists (who are mostly “leftist”) actually DO have ONE THING right:

                “think Globally, act locally”

              • Waht has a year and a half or aruging with Mathius, Buck and Ray accomplished locally?

              • Canine Weapon says:

                Actually I’ve only been around for a year.. I joined this happy family 8/17/09

              • Cyndi,

                Nothing…yet!

                My first goal was to convince USWep to stop bothering with Federal nonsense – I’d suggest not even posting anything about it.

                However, I do see it as a “gathering tool” – people like to rant together against a common, distant, enemy.

                However, I have seen a beginning – a drift – to understanding the futility.

                I have seen the beginnings of a beginning of some who actually believe they can do something LOCALLY, or at least try.

                The try is important even if it doesn’t win – the signal that there is other thinking and ideas out there means a lot to the “Remnant” who believe they are all alone.

  26. TexasChem says:

    Mathius stated:”Nietzsche and Machiavelli”

    TC:Irregardless of whether there is a God or not Mathius ask yourself this one question.Where would mankind be without hope and faith?

    • Living in a more peaceful and logical world. Likely, that world would be named Vulcan.

      Adding, sorry, pet peeve: “irregarless” is not a word.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Irregardless is my favorite “non-word” because it is (in and of itself) a double-negative 🙂

      • TexasChem says:

        Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance.Probably originating from a blend of irrespective and regardless
        First Known Use: circa 1912

      • Live long…and prosper…………..weed hopper.

  27. Is it just me-or is the sarcasm so thick today that it’s getting in the way of the dialogue.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      V.H.

      I admit that some of my posts probably seem a bit harsh today, but there is a good reason for that. I think we are on to some topics during this open mic where we can really enlighten some people, and really make some progress.

      However, progress depends upon using the correct definition of terms within the framework of discussion. If someone insists on continually mis-defining something and then still insists on discussing something BASED UPON THEIR FAULTY DEFINITION, all that will do is side-track the conversation and any progress we hope for will likely come to a grinding halt.

      This is why today in particular I have been pointing out to people when they are persistently using an incorrect definition of something, because I am hoping to move the conversation forward rather than sideways. There is probably a better way I could go about this, but I am in a bit of a strange mood today 🙂

      Let’s say you are discussing something about the sky with someone else, and you hope that this discussion educates those around you about the sky, and gets them to participate further in the discussion in the hopes of increasing the knowledge of everyone involved.

      If the 2nd original participant in the discussion persists in defining “the sky” as “the surface that I walk on” even though you would define “the surface that I walk on” as “the ground”, then the chances of anyone else understanding the discussion between the 2 of you are so remote, that they are not even going to pay attention after the first few minutes of discussion, much less begin to participate and/or learn anything 🙂

      • The problem is, Pete, that if I allow you to unilaterally define the terms, then you control the conclusion.

        For example, if we are discussing abortion and you define it as “killing unborn children,” it’s going to be impossible for me to convince you that it is not murder. But if I get to define the terms as “a medical procedure whereby a fetus is removed from the womb,” then it is plausible that I will convince you that it is not murder.

        Definition have tremendous power in a debate, as you well know, and I cannot allow you to decide the outcome by deciding the terms upon which the debate rests.

        • No, No, No, the definition is the definition-abortions are medical procedures which remove a fetus from the womb-whether are not this procedure is murder is what is up for debate-not the definition.

        • It was Peter’s discussion to begin with. He gets to determine the angle of debate.

          I’ve never seen you or Buck head up and open mic or guest commentary. You constantly try to knock an alternative but the world you are currently living in does not work.
          You refuse to acknowledge that. Yet you continue to try to tweak it. Tweaking doesnt work either. Then you wonder why people get frustrated.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Mathius,

          Sadly for you, there is such a thing as a correct definition and an incorrect definition. For example, one of the definitions you gave for abortion is correct, the other is not.

          The attempt to use the incorrect definition AS A CORRECT DEFINITION is a classic progressive trick to make what they desire SOUND acceptable, even when it is not. This is what leads to “moral relativism”.

          I insist that if you wish to debate me, WE AGREE ON THE DEFINITION OF THE THING WE ARE DEBATING. Otherwise the debate is pointless. You get nothing out of it, I get nothing out of it, and anyone else reading it gets nothing out of it.

          If you insist on defining the sky as “the surface that you walk on”, then it is a waste of my time to discuss the sky with you, so I am not going to bother. Further, if you wish to side-track the debate into “whose definition of “sky” is better”, then that is equally a waste of time.

          Sorry, that is just the way it is 🙂

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I hereby amend this statement… Neither of Mathius’s proposed definitions of abortion was “correct”.

            V.H. gave a correct definition!

            This provides a GREAT example of WHY WE NEED TO AGREE ON DEFINITIONS OF THINGS before we even begin to debate them.

            If we are using FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS when debating what is supposedly the same topic, then it is IMPOSSIBLE for the debate to actually make sense!

      • Sending mood changing raptors North.

  28. A Ron White question.

    Q. How many government agencies does it take to destroy the economy?
    A. I don’t know how many it would take, but I know how many they are using.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/08/mr_president_we_need_your_help.html

    August 26, 2010
    ‘Mr. President, we need your help’
    Mike Johnson
    This supplication introduced the full-page ad that the Northeast Seafood Coalition ran on 8/24 in the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette.

    The ad is in the form of a letter from Russell Sherman, the Captain of the fishing vessel Lady Jane out of Gloucester, MA. The letter is elegant in its simplicity and comprehensive in its content. Mr. Sherman sets forth the fishermen’s desire to work with the government in rebuilding fishing stocks without destroying the industry in the process. He also sets forth the severe economic constraints imposed by the catch shares system of fishing allocations and the frustrations felt by the fishermen when repeatedly ignored by the Department of Commerce.

    By the way, I don’t think the avuncular Mr. Sherman named his vessel after Dr. Jane Lubchenco, administrator of NOAA.

    The fishermen also plan a demonstration in the waters off Martha’s Vineyard on 8/25, but its been blowing up a gale, not good weather for small boats.

    Mr. President, do you feel like that Al Capp character, Joe Btfsplk , who wandered around under a perpetual rain cloud? It’s a shame, Martha’s Vineyard in the rain is not the ideal place for a much-needed vacation, but we do thank you for ending our drought.

    • http://www.gloucestertimes.com/local/x1414119204/NOAAs-stonewall-draws-fire

      NOAA wrote that a document fitting the description of the one sought by the Times was protected from release by an exemption for records “compiled for law enforcement purposes, the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

      A lawyer who has represented fishermen and fishing businesses said that claim should be read with caution — that, while the reason for withholding the document suggests a prosecution could be in the offing, the action is not necessary.

      Stephen Ouellette, another lawyer with a fishing industry practice, said he believes the report should be released and legally can be under the Freedom of Information Act.

      “I would appeal it, arguing that in light of the IG report and testimony to Congress, it is a matter of public trust and to extent it does require disclosure of otherwise confidential information, it is wholly warranted,” said Ouellette.

      The revelation that Jones had authorized the destruction of government documents was made by IG Todd Zinser in March at a meeting of a House Natural Resources subcommittee. NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco told the subcommittee that she had been advised by Zinser to withhold any disciplinary action until after the final report was delivered.

      Tierney and Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who led a House oversight subcommittee meeting in Gloucester on the NOAA enforcement scandal, warned Jones that he faced possible obstruction and contempt charges for destroying documents.

      Since then, however, Lubchenco has declined to answer questions about the status of the matter.

      Many critics of NOAA law enforcement said the victims of rogue enforcement excesses, validated in the IG’s report, deserve to know details of the agency’s response.

  29. Still waiting for Buck’s definition of government….

  30. A truck system is an arrangement in which employees are paid in commodities or some currency substitute (referred to as scrip), rather than with standard money…

    So what about it, Mathius?

    Either you accept the terms of the exchange of goods/services or your decline. What’s the problem?

    • You know what I’m asking flag.. getting into the busy part of my day, so you can answer or not. Up to you.

      • No idea what you are going to say, but I’m sure it will be laden with contradictions 🙂

        • ::sigh::

          I areas with limited economic opportunities, such as mining towns, the mining company would pay in “scrip” which was only redeemable in the company store. The store inflated prices because of the captive market. The miners wore company clothes, used company tools, lived in company housing, got company medical attention, contributed to mandatory company burial funds, drank and bathed water from the company well, and ate company food. All of which invariably cost more than they were paid.

          So the company extended them credit. And charged interest. They never earned enough to pay off their debt. This was a deliberately setup system by the mining operation whereby no one could fulfill their debt obligation.

          Thus they had no choice but to continue to work for lousy wages in lousy conditions, effectively becoming debt bonded labor (permanently indentured servitude).

          This was not an isolated system, it was in widespread use in the wild-west, in England, and Australia to name just a few.

          Men and women trapped in this system occasionally ran away, but not they had no possessions, no belongings, no savings, and were, for all intents and purposes, thieves who had stolen the money the company loaned them.

          Your thoughts?

          • Mathius,

            Starting slowly…

            I areas with limited economic opportunities, such as mining towns, the mining company would pay in “scrip” which was only redeemable in the company store.

            Did the company offer jobs and would accept or decline labor based on voluntary agreement to terms?

            Did the labor accept jobs or decline based on their voluntary agreement to terms?

            • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

              Yes and yes. Though, to be fair, they did so based on unequal information. The company knew that acceptance of the offer would almost certainly drive workers into unpayble debt (by design). This predatory action was not foreseeable by the, often poorly educated, workers entering into the contract.

              • Dread,

                Yes and yes.

                Thus, “the end” of our discussion.

                Though, to be fair, they did so based on unequal information.

                Theory of “unequal” information has these conditions:

                (1) All knowledge is available.
                Problem: this cannot exist, thus as a condition, it is irrational.

                (2) Judgment (ie: subjective) understanding of what knowledge is important
                Problem: non-objective, and hence Irrational

                (3) Equality is desired.
                Problem: another subjective judgment.

                Thus, any appeal to “unequal” information holds no argument.

                The company knew that acceptance of the offer would almost certainly drive workers into unpayble debt (by design).

                The workers knew that if they wanted to eat and not die of the cold, getting food and shelter in trade of work was a darn good deal considering the alternative.

                This predatory action was not foreseeable by the, often poorly educated, workers entering into the contract.

                So let’s give the workers “God power” of all knowledge and future sight.

                Mathius: “The company is going to rip us off! They will pay us in food and shelter and we will have to work for them for the rest of our natural lives!!

                Don’t do it!”

                Workers: “We’re behind you, Mathius!! We’re not going to work for this company!!….

                ….ah, Mathius, how do we eat?”

              • You eat by having a government which forces the company to pay you in dollars so that you are able to escape from the cycle.

                So you take the job, you can buy things from the stores which pop up around you to accept the legitimate money, which drives down your expenses.

                You use your money to rent housing from someone outside the Company, you buy tools outside the Company, food, water, etc.

              • Mathius,

                You eat by having a government which forces the company to pay you in dollars so that you are able to escape from the cycle.

                The cycle is broken:

                The company leaves town and moves to India.

                Workers starve to death.

                So you take the job, you can buy things from the stores which pop up around you to accept the legitimate money, which drives down your expenses.

                Actually that is exactly what happened.

                People bought the script in exchange for real dollars; they took the script that the bought at a discount and went to the company stores and bought bulk.

                By paying a discount for the script, PLUS getting a discount at the store, they turned around and sold the goods for cash cheaper than the store!

                Arbitrage was born!

                Can’t keep a free market down!!.

          • Mathius,

            The miners wore company clothes, used company tools, lived in company housing, got company medical attention, contributed to mandatory company burial funds, drank and bathed water from the company well, and ate company food. All of which invariably cost more than they were paid.

            So, correct me if I misunderstand:

            In trade for food, medicine, clothes and shelter, men had to work.

            Is that what you are saying?

            • Yes. But, again, by design the value of the labor was greater than the value of the benefits. Because of the de facto debt bondage, the only way to pay off the debt was to use company supplies which necessitated more debt.

              Hence,
              You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
              Another day older and deeper in debt.

              • Mathius,

                value of the labor was greater than the value of the beneifits

                Question:

                Who judges value?

              • An objective measure. In a competitive market, the man’s labor would go for X. Because he is in this system, his labor goes for less than X. If he were paid in money and allowed to spend it where he wants, the things he would buy would cost Y. Because he is in this system, the things he is able to buy cost more than Y.

                Thus, by harnessing the lack of competition, The Company is underpaying and forcing the recapture of their money.

              • Mathius,

                Objective, is it?

                In a competitive market, the man’s labor would go for X.

                Please give me the precise and exact true amount “X” is

                If it is objective, it must be standard everywhere on Earth, doing different jobs.

                X is the same X whether you are a ditch digger in China or a Brain surgeon in New York, if it is objective

                Please give me the exact “value” of the Apple I have in my left hand and the Apple in my right hand, vs. the Apple I may eat tomorrow.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Am I to assume that this above system as described is all well and good to you??

              • let him build his argument. I want to see where this is going……

              • Buck,

                The above system – trading effort for food and shelter is well and good since the alternative is starvation and freezing to death.

                To survive in the Universe, a man must act to survive.

                “Man wait long time for cooked chicken to fly into mouth”

          • Mathius,

            What stopped them from picking up, moving to another state, and starting over? Communication as it exists today didn’t exist. Heck you could change your name and start a new business. They went into a work for all their necessities system and if they didn’t like how it was working out, they could walk away.

            • Firstly, they had no possessions. Their clothes, shoes, everything belonged to the company. So leaving would be theft.

              Secondly, runaways were occasionally hunted down and chained up. This, while anathema to us, make perfect sense in the mindset of the period – you are attempting to run away from money you owe me, so I will tie you up and make you work it off. While this is contrary to the free market you and Flag espouse, I see nothing that would stop such a thing from happening.

              Conversely, some were simple killed (murdered) as an example – they were, after all, stealing. Likewise, I see nothing to prevent this from happening again, absent government.

              Next, in the current world, modern communication does exist and creating a new identity is somewhat tougher. As such, blackballing you from other industries and/or destroying your credit would be well within the bounds of what The Company could do.

              Now, Flag’s argument will be that no one would take such a job in today’s world because they will be able to access information in advance to know that it is an inescapable financial trap. I think you are enough of a realist to know that people will still fall into this either through desperation or gullibility. It is not the only place the “free market” can create financial slavery, but it perhaps the most glaring.

              • Mathius,

                No, that would not be my argument, for it would repeat the same fallacy you put forth – “equal knowledge”.

                My argument is this:

                It was the best deal it town at that time, so they took it

              • Right, and that deal turned them into slaves for the rest of their lives.

                Are you ok with this?

              • Mathius,

                …or they starved to death…

                …you ok with that?

              • Or the big bad government makes it slightly less profitable to be a mining company but makes you pay your employees money and short circuits this process entirely..

              • Mathius,

                So, you are arguing – once again – that you are smarter with a gun then men with their free choice.

              • Mathius,

                And we’ve gone down this argument path already –

                you come with your government and the company moves to India.

                The government is there “helping” them, the workers starve.

                I saw this in real play in the Caribbean.

                The government wanted to tax the financial services marketplace.

                1% tax, the government said – “too small, they won’t leave over a small tax”.

                Everyone said – oh, yes they will because you will have set a precedent.

                The government did it anyway.

                Overnight, the financial industry for the entire country left.

                Massive unemployment resulted – widespread as the chain-reaction of the collapse of a major industry rippled across the nation.

                A few months later, one of the politicians pushing for the tax holds a press conference in a neibhborhood now impoverished by the economic collapse, and on TV – right there to watch proclaims;

                “See, this is why we needed the tax, to help these people during these hard times – the government is here to help”.

              • Next, in the current world, modern communication does exist and creating a new identity is somewhat tougher. As such, blackballing you from other industries and/or destroying your credit would be well within the bounds of what The Company could do.

                Yes, but also in today’s world of communications, the bad press for the company who did this would be enormous. We all know how Americans love a story about the horrible company that took advantage of the little guy. Not to mention that the workers of today would get together and not allow this to happen. Communication means that it is easier to organize against the company as well.

                And I am a realist. I agree that there would be companies that would manipulate the workers. It wouldn’t be a perfect system. But as we stand today, don’t the companies already do this sort of thing under government protection. Despite government being a MASSIVE regulator and despite unions that have been given extraordinary power by government, we still live in financial slavery in America. Slaves to the banks, slaves to employers, slaves to our government.

              • Firstly, they had no possessions. Their clothes, shoes, everything belonged to the company. So leaving would be theft.

                So everything that they owned they only owned as a result of employment by the company. The alternative to working for the company was starvation and ownership of nothing because they couldn’t afford it. So they took the deal, lived off the company’s dastardly ways, and when they choose, leave the company and all the possessions that the company provided in exchange for labor. They left with nothing except what they had before the company provided it in exchange for labor. They were getting a rotten deal that they were unable to opt out of because the company held all the chips and forced them into compliance.

                How exactly is that different from the deal the Federal government is giving us right now. As someone mentioned earlier, over 60% of what we earn is taken from us to pay for government. 60%. Sounds like you are espousing that your version of economic slavery is better than a different form of economic slavery. But there is no way to walk away from your form of economic slavery. At least with the companies, I can walk away.

                Could they murder me or enslave me against my will in the ways you mentioned? Yes. But at least in doing so they would be breaking the law. When government does it they do so under the premise of enforcing law.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I am asuming that this is the busy part of Mathius’s day because now traders have learned to completely manipulate the stock markets during the last 60-75 minutes of trading time, and this often results in market swings of +/- 100 to 200 points within the last hour of trade.

        It happens nearly every day now. I would be interested to hear Mathius’s take on that issue. Why do the markets almost always swing up or down a minimum of 100 points from where they sit at 2:45 PM Eastern Time to when they close?

        • By this stage in the day, traders are starting to think about going home. They have made (or lost) most of what they will make for the day and do not want to carry the risk of their positions overnight. So what happens is that they sell off (or cover) some of their portfolio. This results in high volatility (amplified by systems trading platforms (black boxes)). High volatility results in market swings.

  31. The an excellent graphic regarding Political Parties comes from another site I frequent:

    http://pieceofmind.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/agitprop.jpg?w=208&h=300

  32. Mathius here exhibits the fatal flaw many have with their theory of economics

    In a competitive market, the man’s labor would go for X. Because he is in this system, his labor goes for less than X

    Let’s break down this thinking process to see where it grossly goes off the rails.

    Simple economics:

    A good in abundance has a lower price than a good in rarity.

    If I have 10 apples and 100 buyers, the apple’s price will go UP.

    If I have 1,000 apples and 100 buyers, the apples’ prices will go DOWN.

    I don’t think anyone – including Mathius – would argue against this.

    Holding on to that, Mathius argument at the top is – the “real objective price of the apple is X in a competitive market place”

    But whoa! We all agreed that the price of the apple is based on scarcity, not competition!

    That’s the gotcha – he is confused about where and how price is allocated and confused of where value is placed.

    He argues price is fixed by competition, when it is fixed by supply and demand.

    Mathius gets an “F” in economics.

    • So, now knowing this, we can all answer Mathius’ question regarding LABOR

      The company was able to buy the labor cheap because there was an abundance of labor.

      The workers had to sell their labor cheap and buy food and housing expensive because there was an abundance of what they were selling and a shortage of access to food and shelter, which made those expensive

      It is not a matter of “exploitation” – it was a matter of supply and demand.

      And USWep got it right. Unlike an apple, the Labor is mobile because it is human. The Human can decide to shift his marketable goods to another location if this location is saturated with labor.

      The reason he stays or goes is his own, not Mathius’ or mine to judge.

      • He can leave, but to do so is theft (not also that his clothes, food, water and bedding all belong to the company, to say nothing of his debt).

        In this system, while he is free to leave, doing so is immoral. (taking what is yours is immoral).

        So you argument that he can leave, while true, necessitates an immoral act.

        • First, a debt is not immoral, nor reneging on it an act of evil.

          Second, the leave naked. That is how you came to the world….

          • Reneging on a debt absolutely is evil.

            I have stuff.

            I hand you stuff on condition that you will give me it back but some other stuff.

            You do not give it back. You are therefore taking stuff that rightfully belongs to me.

            This is theft.

            • Mathius,

              Please provide your legal theory that shows:

              “An exchange of goods, given voluntarily, is theft.”

              What in fact you did is trade your goods for my piece of paper with writing on it.

              You felt that piece of paper was very valuable so you accepted it.

              You have now discovered it is merely a piece of paper with writing on it.

              I feel you pain of discovery (not!).

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Simple contract law.

                I lend you money. You sign a contract stating you owe me that money + interest by X-date. This is a voluntary exchange. X-date rolls around and you do not pay me. You stole from me.

                In what sense of the imagination is this not theft?

              • Buck,

                You are a lawyer, right?

                What court do you take your “contract” to?

                CRIMINAL court
                (where crimes like “theft” is heard)

                or

                CIVIL court
                (where things that are NOT crimes are heard)

                As pointed to Mathius,

                the legal theory – which I am positive you learned in first year law school was that you

                traded your product for a piece of paper

                The trade was voluntary – both parties acted freely in this exchange.

                Thus, there exists no claim of theft since the action of you giving me “your stuff” was done voluntarily

                Theft requires coercion

                Law 101, Buck.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Come on BF, you gotta stop being so condescending to people. I know perfectly well that you take a contractual claim to civil court. This does not mean it isn’t theft; we as a society just choose not to prosecute it in that manner. That being said, there is such a thing as criminal prosecution for fraud, so its not as plain and simple as you make it out to be.

              • Buck,

                Your tactic of redefining terms does not work with me.

                Theft requires coercion

                That is why it is in CIVIL court, and it is NEVER prosecuted (as you erroneously claim) – there is no prosecutor – there is plaintiff and a defendent.

                Certainly the law has many contradiction, and fraud is one of them, in my opinion.

                Regardless, the legal theory in this matter is clear.

              • Buck,

                Further….

                We see this in real life.

                You fail your side of the contract, and have my goods.

                If I go and take them back, I will be charged with theft – even if I say I took them because you failed your contractual duty!

              • OJ Simpson is in jail right now in part for this very reason – he thought he could go and take what he said was his.

  33. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/08/weve_made_a_deal_america_picks.html

    Vitally important read here. There is no door #3, and it is highly unlikely that door #1 actually exists, so even though we know Door #2 sucks, it looks like it is the only working door on the stage for us to pick.

    Too bad this isn’t a game show with a bunch of people in funny costumes….

  34. D13,

    Thanks for the excellent attempt.

    Now, I’ll rip it apart 😉

    I do not think that you will eliminate monopolies because I do not think that, in certain circumstances, that anyone will move in….especially if I happen to have a corner on most of it. Economics would keep most people out of it (cost may be too high or not worth the effort)…supply would keep most out of it ( again, assuming that there is not an ample supply or that the main supply is owned by one )…(demand would still be there assuming it is a viable product)…

    So, let’s review your concepts here, and please pipe up if I get it wrong. I’ll comment piecemeal as I raise the concepts.

    A natural monopoly will exist when:
    (1) the supplier is selling the goods as such a low price, no competitor can afford to enter the marketplace.

    So, what is being said here: “the goods in demand are being supplied at the lowest possible price by one competitor, instead of 100 competitors. But, it is still the lowest price for the goods demanded.

    I’d ask: …and your problem with paying the lowest price is….what???

    (2) a particular unit of the product is under severe shortage such that only one manufacturer can buy it (control of a main supply)

    Economic theory states that a good under supply constraints will increase in price. I don’t think you’d debate this.

    If the economic ability to buy this particular good exists only one company can do it, does not change the fact that the issue is the shortage of supply. Whether there are 100 companies vying for the short supply or one, the supply is short, thus the price WILL go up.

    As that price goes up, so will the goods sold to you. Economic law – can’t sell lower than the cost to make it.

    So, both conditions do not create a natural monopoly – first one, you are getting the best possible and lowest price on Earth – hardly a problem, and secondly, a shortage always causes a rise in prices – and economic fact independent of monopolies.

    D13, remember the complaint is about what monopolies do – not that they exist or not.

    You are a monopolist in your own home – you are the single supplier of economic goods to your family. You do not complain that you are evil because of this, correct?

    I would own my water and could do with it what I wanted. If I decide to dam it and sell it, I would constitute a monoploy because the four ranches would not get water and the city of Ardmore would not get it.

    So let’s piece this up a bit.

    You can’t own the water, the State/County owns the water so you can’t dam it.

    So they compel your neighbors to buy the water from them under a monopoly so your neighbors don’t suffer under your monopoly and this is to prevent a monopoly on water.

    Hmm….. I think you see the little knot you’ve tied yourself inside… 😉

    The ranches cannot drill for it as there is no water to drill for without going down to over 4,000 feet.

    Oh, excuse me… you don’t have a monopoly on water. You have a monopoly on CHEAP water.

    So if you raised your prices to the roof, your neighbors would stop buying from you and drill themselves.

    So, you do not have a monopoly at all – simply a cheap economic good that you sell at some price equal to the value your neighbors place on it – balancing your price to the cost of their drilling and security of supply….

    So, would that not be a monopoly?

    Nope, because by your own description, it doesn’t exist.

    All you have is access to an abundant, cheap supply where they have access to expensive supply. So? I have access to cheap computer power, and you don’t – I have a monopoly on computer power?

    So you sell your water at a price lower than what they could find it themselves. Sounds like every single business model on earth.

    So, in theory, I could own the water supply and charge what I wanted for it

    Not in theory at all, only in myth.

    You can only charge up to but not over as they would find it elsewhere. “What the market will bear”. And the market bears up to the price of the next guy.

    If I have a product and take a physical action to deprive it, do you consider that as a violent act because water is needed to survive?

    If I have food, and you need to steal it to live, is your theft an act of violence?

    So, if I decide to sit on my water or bottle it and sell it elsewhere, then no one has a right to do violence upon me because of my monopoly, correct?

    (1) You do not have a monopoly.
    (2) It is your water and your right to sell to whomever, whenever, however you deem it.
    (3) No one has a right to use violence on you.

    Would you split hairs and say that since the law made me release the water and now it does not and people are dependent upon it for survival, do I create a violent act by cutting off what is rightly mine, under your theory of violent action.

    A bunch of men with guns have said “Give us water”. You gave them water because you don’t want you and your family slaughtered. It is still rightly yours, even if they took it.

    Getting it back may prove difficult and dangerous, but difficulty and danger does not change your rights.

    Now bear with me on this one because this is a reality. We could really do this. This is not a hypothetical situation.

    Men with guns like cheap goods, even if they are expensive and rare. They either use their guns to lower your price or they take it outright or they try to kill you.

    None of this changes your rights. It may impact your choice of actions however.

  35. Over here BF,

    All I can say is you have a lot more patience than I do. I can see your point but after awhile doesn’t it feel more productive to go beat your head against a wall when dealing with certain liberal individuals? I make the effort but when I realize that they’ve been educated beyond their intelligence and will only argue and not think, I move on. Why should I waste my precious time and energy on someone who would rather argue than anything else? There are plenty of smart people who are willing to listen and THINK. The return on investment, time wise, is much higher with them, than aruging with your typical liberal. Just my take.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      So you’d rather only deal with people who agree with you?

      Cyndi, I’m sorry, but you gotta stop working from the impression that Mathius, Ray and I (and others here) don’t think. We think; we just disagree with you.

      • TexasChem says:

        I always have followed my own logical conclusions to solving problems and understanding various issues.I use a form of the scientific method the majority of the time when doing this.I do not ever take someone elses word for granted and assume it to be absolute truth.I am the furthest animal evolved up from the majority of this countries sheeple stock.I think for myself.

        Not to sound demeaning or hurtful in any way guys but; honestly, it simply blows my mind when I read yall’s posts Buck.The main thought I have almost each and every time is where is the logic and common sense these guys need to see this issue correctly?It’s like dealing with brainwashed zombies or something…brains…brains…must eat brains…brains…

        🙂

      • Well, Buck, you’ve done an outstanding job of proving my point. Well done.

        You accuse me of only wanting to talk to people who agree with me AFTER I clearly stated that I don’t want to waste my time with people who are only interested in arguing for the sake of arguing. I couldn’t have explained it better than you just demonstrate.

        And you wonder why I think you’re not worth my trouble.

        **sigh**

    • Cyndi,

      Buck, Mathius and a few others have warped their premises and principles to suit their desires.

      It is unlikely they will see it that way – because they fight like hell to avoid discussing their principles in a sort of “if I don’t see it, I can’t contradict it” theory.

      However, they serve a purpose, a contrast. You can’t see the color of a candle if there was no darkness to contrast its light against.

      My biggest complaint with them is they abandon their thread of arguments (but do not change them) when they get trapped by their own contradictions. But my goal is not to change THEIR mind – but to showcase a different order of thinking.

      Maybe it’s worthwhile or its not – I’ll never know, which is why I pointed to the story of Isiah.

      He was ordered by God to preach the “way” to a city that God was going to destroy, but they refused to listen and tried, instead, to kill him.

      After barely escaping with his life, he asked God why God put him in such a place, if there was no hope to save the city.

      God said “I didn’t send you to save THEM, but to give hope to the Remnant. You didn’t see them, but they heard you and you gave them the strength to hold on for a bit longer more. That is who I sent you to speak to. You will never know who they are, how many there were – but they know you, and heard. Good job! They will be there to rebuild after I destroy the rest.”

      That’s the reason we write here – not for Buck or Mathius but those behind them.

      • TexasChem says:

        Whom was that remnant made up of oh great preacher man?Leprechauns and fairies?

        🙂

      • I can underatnd that. However, I wonder why some of the original SUFA posters have stopped posting. Remember Nubian? NubiQ (?), I’m Learning? Why have they stopped? Are they lurking, or like me, see all of this as spinning wheels?

        • Cyndi,

          USWep has his daily view number, and I believe they are as high or higher than ever.

          Maybe he can post his current ones….

          Cyndi, you are heard and read – trust that….

          • Thanks Flag.

            I’d be interested to see if USW has noticed a change in the individuals reading this blog.

          • Sadly Flag…. not true at this point.

            I am unsure what has happened. I imagine that the problem has been that I have not posted regularly enough lately. Or perhaps I have been less edgy with my posts or simply am not interesting to some any longer.

            But the reality is that traffic is quite a bit lower at this point than it was 3-4 months ago. At that point (in May) I had the highest traffic month to date, as traffic had steadily built up. But starting in June I started witnessing a decline. I will post my thoughts on a new article this evening with a thread of its own.

  36. Still waiting for a concise definition of government from Buck

    • Buck the Wala says:

      No concise definition to be had really. The simplest I can come up with at the moment is any body tasked with some governing authority.

      But since you hate when I change definitions of defined words, how about throwing in your concise definition?

  37. concerning the company store:
    I dont eat because of government. In fact, for a couple of years, up untill the last few months, I have been unable to eat because government forced me to pay for some absolute crap I did not even want, that did not benefit me, and was not done efficiently,. which constitutes a ridiculous markup. It forces everyone to deal in “scrip” that is only worth its face value to them, because by the time I get what I am paid, it has been reduced in value by dilution from excessinve printing and fractional banking.

    then they turn around and start taking over companies, essentially becoming the company store only much worse and much harder to escape from.

    Workers of the world, unite against the oppressors! No, not the business tycoons, the real thieves, the government. I feel first hand the cut of their whip, and if they think I will be their slave, they are sorely mistaken. They are playing a dangerous game Matt. A dangerous games with the lives of men. And if they do not cease their meddling, they will find their own lives are the ones forfeit.

    As for companies doing what they did to mine workers, it is not merely the power of the workers deciding whether to take the job. It is the power of the consumer deciding if they will buy from the slave owner. There was a time that man would turn a blind eye to where their good came from, because they did not really abhor slavery. Now, only a few are like that. And to be honest, if mankind is still so evil as to do business with a slavedriver, then manking deserves no help from the good men on earth, no system will function for them, because with that much evil, a free market or a regulated one will still be a vile cesspool of evil, because it is filled with nothing but evil men. No philosophical design will help such evil. Either man is created equal, or he is not. And if he is not, no system will make him equal. If he is, then no system, no matter how evil, will last forever, freedom will triumph. Even if it does so from the blood of men like me. I die free.

    • sorry if that was too harsh, just feeling a bit emotional and not as objective as normal. It builds up on a fellow sometimes….

      Also “good” in “man would turn a blind eye to where their good came from” should be “goods”.

  38. Buck, Mathius, Ray, etc.

    For the record, I find your presence here insightful and educational.

    I am sorry I missed today, but hunting golf can be time consuming.

    Buck and Matt, Company towns will not exist in a free market. Even under our current system, they are simply not profitable. Cheaper labor is available by contracting than by having employees.

    Potlatch Corp. was one of the last major timber companies to have company logging crews and company logging camps. The let them all go in the mid 90’s and went to contractors.

    Just wanted you to know that I am very glad you guys are all here. Somebody tell Chris Devine to stick his head back in the window once in awhile. I am dying to turn the old woman in the closet loose again. 🙂

    • Hunting gold? Catch anything good?

      Thanks for the recognition.. glad to be of service!

      • Mathius

        It was a mixed day. Killed 3 pars and a birdie in 9. But also found several very elusive, especially around their hiding hole. They succeeded in putting a couple 8’s and 6’s on the card. Those damn golfs. One of these days.

  39. Agreed JAC, BF and Peter on the less statist side of me and Matt, Buck, Ray, and a few others on the more statist side of me make this site a real discussion, not just a “yea me too” site. This is not just because of their differeing views, but because of their intelligence, tenacity, debate skill, and, most of all, their civillity.

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