Answering Some Inquiries About SUFA Readership

I am postponing the guest commentary for tonight. I will post it tomorrow night, but wanted to discuss something else for this evening’s topic. I noticed in the comments on the Tuesday Night Open Mic that some folks (specifically Cyndi) were asking about where people went who used to post here regularly. Black Flag, always my champion for the site, noted that he believed that readership at SUFA was as high as ever, but that I could perhaps offer some stats. So I figured I would offer what is actually happening at SUFA and ask for everyone’s thoughts on why that might be or what I could do differently. Sadly, Black Flag’s optimism around the readership at SUFA was incorrect. I have been bleeding traffic for a couple of months at this point. Readership of this blog during the month of August looks as though it will be the lowest that it has been since March of 2009. I have some thoughts on why this might be occurring but I am open to what everyone else thinks as well. Once I lay everything out below, I will open it up for all of you to offer your thoughts and suggestions. Perhaps together we can build SUFA back up to where it once was and even go beyond that to the readership that I hope to have.

So, for anyone who has not been here all along, this blog was started in November of 2008, just a couple of days after the election of President Obama. I know that many jump to the conclusion that I started it out of hatred for Obama or because I was mad that the Democrats won the Presidency. I assure you that was not the case. I started it for a couple of reasons. First, I was frustrated with the entire process: media bias, voter ignorance (on both sides), candidate dishonesty and spin, and a general lack of faith in either party. I wanted to do three things. First I wanted to educate people on politics. Second, I wanted to explore my own beliefs as I pondered things like Libertarianism. Finally, I wanted a place where people of all political persuasions could come together and discuss things without the nastiness that other political forums have. Traffic at the site has run like this (Green number is up from previous month, Red is down, Blue is high points):

  • November, 2008 – 1,916
  • December, 2008 – 5,427
  • January, 2009 – 3,327
  • February, 2009 – 17,984
  • March, 2009 – 30,158
  • April, 2009 – 52,167
  • May, 2009 – 52,033
  • June, 2009 – 38,369
  • July, 2009 – 41,979
  • August, 2009 – 49,590
  • September, 2009 – 54,420
  • October, 2009 – 54,907
  • November, 2009 – 71,589
  • December, 2009 – 58,121
  • January, 2010 – 64,299
  • February, 2010 – 57,156
  • March, 2010 – 66,892
  • April, 2010 – 60,831
  • May, 2010 – 73,232
  • June, 2010 – 52,868
  • July, 2010 – 39,226
  • August, 2010 – 28,475

As you can all see, the traffic has gone up and down for various reasons. But I cannot find rhyme or reason for most of it. May/June of one year is a big drop, while the following May is the highest traffic ever. I can say that in November of last year, I stopped going out and actively promoting this site (posting links on other forums). It became difficult to do, as most sites out there changed their formats to make it tougher to do so. Fox News forums, for example, completely switched how they were set up and it became impossible to hit them like I used to do. I have done some random posting at sites like HuffPo, but nothing as regular as I used to do. I am not sure how to go back to doing so given the inability many sites now have for doing so.

But I am also of the mind that I am doing something different than what I used to do, and that has made readership drop. I will wonder out loud here, as I have a couple of thoughts. Have I become less edgy? I tend to think so. I used to hammer the left pretty hard, because I was more frustrated with the left, and they had all the power, so they simply gave me more material. I am still as frustrated with them, but I am equally frustrated with the right. But I became “nicer” to the left because I had left-leaning members of the readership whom I didn’t want to lose (Mathius, Buck, Todd, Ray). I do know that I felt if I was too harsh on the left, I would alienate them and lose them, which I didn’t want to do. Their perspective is too valuable to the discussions. Of course I haven’t gained any additional left leaners, either, which makes me sad. The ones we have are great, because they are willing to discuss rationally. But I would like more. So did my becoming less edgy lose readership? Do I have to piss people on the left off a good bit simply to get them to come here and participate?

I also wonder if the changes that I made in posting articles less often became a true detriment to the site. As you can all recall, I used to post nearly every single night with something. But I wanted to give more time to Mrs. Weapon (who tolerates my writing really well) and gain some time to read again. I missed reading. I have read a lot lately, probably more than I needed to. And a lot of it was not politics, which was nice for a change. But did I cut back too much? Is a main article on Sunday night, open mic on Tuesday night, and guest commentary on Thursday night too little? I think perhaps that is the case. I feel like maybe I need to add at least one more night of writing back into the mix. Perhaps move guest commentary back to Friday and write an article on Thursday? Or push open mic to Wednesday and write a new article Tuesday night? Or leave things where they are and add Monday night as a new article?

I guess one of the true questions I have for all of you is whether you think that the content has changed in a way that makes it less appealing? Do I not hit enough controversial topics for everyone? Should I be more focused on multi-article series? More research? Less research and more opinion?

Or, honestly, has the conversation here at SUFA gotten stale? The readers who are regulars here know each other pretty well. Has it gotten to the point where people simply feel like they know where people stand on the issues and conversation really is just for fun, with no real insights to make us think? If this is the case, how do we remedy that? Is the answer better topics from the host? Is it finding ways to get new readers? If it is the former, what topics should we start covering? If the latter, what can we do to get more people to come over to SUFA?

One other thought that I have been having lately. What are people’s thoughts on having more than just my articles as a regular thing? There are times when I am so busy I know I don’t write a quality article, or when I know I don’t participate as much as I would like. Is the answer that SUFA needs to grow the number of authors who write the articles, bringing fresh perspectives and topics? Should I add an author or two or ten or whatever? Folks that have all the same access and rights at SUFA that I personally have, able to write and publish their articles with minimal to no input from me. Several authors who add an article or two a week here at SUFA. It would mean days with more than one article, and more topics (although at this point I don’t think I would want more than two articles on any given day). All the big sites out there have multiple authors so that content is fresh every day without a single author killing themselves. Would we be better off with a new article every day? Perhaps five authors who each have a designated day of the week? Or four authors and an open mic night where each author has one topic they throw out there the way that I do for all four now? I started SUFA, but I am not so vain as to believe that I need to be the sole answer or author here.

What I want is a site that continues to grow, and gain readers, and spur discussion and learning. I ultimately want to control the site, as I want to have it remain true to my vision (which I would perhaps have to clearly outline and state if others began writing here). But what is important is that the site remains interesting and relevant. That we continue to have the ability to bring forth new ideas and promote an understanding of the differences in the philosophies that we each have.

And a final thought, and somewhat of a request. As most of the regulars here yesterday noticed, I was toying with the look of SUFA yesterday. I am bored with the current look of the site. I am interested in changing the appearance of SUFA. In fact, I am desperate to do so. I want it to look more modern, more exciting, with more impact. Here is how things work. I am a wordpress.com blog, meaning that I am limited to the 100 or so themes they have. Some have a ton of changes you can make and some have almost none. But I do have the ability to customize my CSS (style sheet). With that ability, I can literally do just about anything at all to the site (so long as it is html and not java or flash). But I don’t know anything about how to do so. If there is anyone who is really good at customizing websites, who is interested in helping me to change the site to the appearance that I want, please let me know. My budget is minimal but I am not time constrained. I would imagine changes over a month period that we could talk through and someone could show me how to change it. Could be done remotely (I can give access to you where ever you are) with me on the phone or something. I know nothing of programming. But I am a quick study.

So there you all have SUFA laying exposed. My thoughts and concerns. So now I turn it over to all of you. I know it isn’t as sexy a topic as I usually strive for. But a day or so of discussing the site is a good thing. We all come here every day. Why not spend a day talking about how we can make it a better place to come.

So let me have it…….

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Comments

  1. Hey USW,

    I think you do a great job. My issues with SUFA are that 1) I have limited time to invest in information gathering. 2) I have a dreadfully slow connection. It can take almost two mintues for a page to open depending on how many hundreds of comments there are. 3) I am impatient, as undoubtedly, most have noticed. 4) I find hypothetical arugments and bickering a waste of my time and energy, and to be honest, I just can’t be bothered to follow along.

    My objective with on-line information gathering is to stay one step ahead of Hope-N-Change if I can. Following endless discussions about Islam vs Christianity, and any other pointless (to me)topic is not a good use of my time. But I am just one person. I don’t want to spoil SUFA for everyone else. I’ll just pop in or lurk as I see fit and visit other sites that I find more relevant to my needs.

    I do like the idea of other authors. That might help. And I’m okay with an article every other day.

    I’m grateful to you USW; and to Black Flag, Anita, BL, JAC, LOI, Esom, Kathy and VH. I’ve learned ALOT from ya’ll and don’t regret the time I’ve spent here. Its just that my interest has changed a bit. Don’t get me wrong. I still find this site useful, just not as much as before. It’s probably just me and NOT you.

    🙂

    • USW:

      I agree with Cyndi P’s comments. The two of us are on the same page.

      I try to visit SUFA daily but I do not have time to engage in debates and post. I’m working now and could never blog while at work. When in my apartment, I do try to check out what people have to say but quickly skim through.

      I’m glad I found this site. I respect Black Flag and learned my way from him. I now consider myself closely aligned more with his views than any others. I have no use for government at all.

      Like Cyndi, I’m constantly trying to see what is happening in the economy to stay one step ahead of the situation. I check out numerous sites, mainly on the coming economic collapse.

    • I fall in line with Cyndi here too. I still try to get here everyday, but find that some of the discussions are just too off point to get involved. I do give BF huge kudos for the patience he shows in trying to help all posters better frame their arguments and definitions and hypotheticals. I don’t have nearly that much patience!

      I like the idea you presented about inviting other authors to the site. We’ve asked our progressive friends for guest commentaries on how they see things playing out, in other words, what are the reasons it is good for our government to continue to grow and intervene in all walks of our lives. I don’t recall any have done that and perhaps going outside of this group for different perspectives would be beneficial.

      As far as the scheduling of articles, doesn’t matter to me except that at one time, guest commentaries were submitted on Friday nights and because many people are away from the computers on the weekends, the responses were often minimal. It wasn’t due to the quality of the piece but just posters’ weekend schedules. (seems a lot of us use work time for the site, but not personal time so much!) I remember feeling bad for the person that took the time to write but didn’t get much feedback, so I’d suggest staying away from Friday night guest articles.

      You have an excellent site here USW, and I’ve learned so much and look forward to the camaraderie.

  2. As always USW, great kudos to you for hosting the site to begin with. I’ve learned an incredible amount from all the fine folks here. I’ve been notiicing a “staleness” to the site myself and just my opinion but I think its a result of fewer new articles being posted. I’ve noticed also that its become much more of a 9-5 site. By 5 every night the new article gets discussed out and until a new article gets posted its either a free for all or a dead zone. New posters are few and far between- not sure how you deal with that. I think I’m still the newest poster and I’ve been around since January even though I’ve been following since I saw your links on the Fox site. I’ve wondered if maybe the poor economy has led some people to give up their internet access as I know that to be the case with many people I know here in Michigan. I also threw out some bait to the lefties here yesterday. How about some guest commentary from them? I think that would be interesting. I’ll follow Cyndi’s lead and recognize a couple people here.

    Black Flag: You really are going to heaven (if you even believe in it ) for your patience with people like me, many thanks.
    JAC: I’ve caled you my mentor for a reason, thanks a million.
    PETERB: Wow! Stick to your guns. I love your posts.
    D13: You’re crazy, Colonel! Your take on things is hillarious and I can’t remember ever disagreeing with you
    Matt & Buck: you guys are lucky I can’t get my thoughts outta my brain in politically correct terms. If I could talk street language to you guys you’d be in trouble 🙂 I’m happy to have gotten to know you though and feel you are both assets to the site. I will continue to fight you both.
    LOI: You pop up and blindside folks all the time. Funny as hell but you’re always right on.
    VH: How can you not love VH? She sticks to her guns big time. Polite as they come.
    Kathy: She’s still a hater on me cuz of D13 but she knows her stuff too. See ya at the party
    Cyndi: You aint goin nowhere, sister. How could you give up on SUFA?
    The rest of ya’s: I didn’t forget you. I’m just outta time. I have to get on the road to go see the judge for failure to pay the ticket I got on my jetski. 🙂

    LONG LIVE SUFA

    • You want guest commentary from us, give me a topic.. I’m interested (though short on time) but haven’t found something I really want to write about.

      • Can’t give you a topic-needs to be something you are passionate about-what pushes your buttons the most about our currant political climate. For me it is the divisiveness of our political debates in the media. Only problem with that discussion is that everyone would probably agree.

        I’m out of here for the day-will be very curious to read the discussion when I get home. Have a great day, everybody! 🙂

      • Buck the Wala says:

        You can write the next liberal/progressive manifesto…because I know you have tons of free time to work on it at the moment.

        • My plan for the weekend:

          *Clean the garage
          *Clean up the back yard
          *Plant (more) shrubs to block my neighbor’s boat trailer
          *Fix leaky gutter
          *Supervise installation of propane gas line
          *Supervise installation of new refrigerator
          *Beg/bribe fridge installers to help me move old fridge to the garage
          *Write liberal manifesto
          *Work on training the dog
          *Supervise installation of new microwave (built in) and oven
          *Supervise installation of new dishwasher
          *Arrange for pick-up by Good Will of old microwave, oven, and dishwasher
          *Make travel plans for December trip to LA (or Las Vegas), book flights and, if applicable, hotels
          *At least 5 as-yet unannounced errands

          I suppose I should probably eat, sleep, shower, and shave sometime as well. Maybe, with all the spare time, I’ll read a book or watch TV.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Not that busy at all…

          • Vegas…let me know when you are going. A nice flight out in my new Baron 58 (with G1000). Have not learned the art of dive bombing yet…but no Mescal in system. We can buzz the new Hoover By pass and fly under the arch….(would lose my ticket for that, but it would be fun).

      • TexasChem says:

        Mathius stated:”You want guest commentary from us, give me a topic.. I’m interested (though short on time) but haven’t found something I really want to write about.”

        TC:How about writing an article about what contributing factors (root causes) led to your liberal views and I’ll do the same for my conservative.I find it very interesting to know and understand why people have the idealogical views that they do!Perhaps we could even learn more about our own belief systems than we once did!

        • Buck the Wala says:

          They could both be posted on the same day, even – a side by side comparison, perhaps…

        • hmm.. could be interesting.. you weren’t satisfied by my post the other day from Liberals Anonymous?

        • I like this idea as well…How hard would that be USW…

          (BTW…tell Canine Weapon that the next time he is around, clean up his own mess, ok? It throws my Raptors off)

    • Don’t pay that ticket! It’s an unjust law.

      Take it to the Supreme Court!

    • JETSKI???? YOu can get a ticket on a Jet Ski????

      • Sure can.. she was creating waves… tsk tsk

        • Riding after dark, Riding to close to barges I think is a ticketing offense too.

          • In some places, you’re even required to have a fire extinguisher on your jet ski..

            Now, I’m not 100% sure about this one, but, assuming the jet ski catches fire, isn’t it surrounded by, you know, water? If you catch fire from the jet ski are you going to use the fire extinguisher or just jump into the lake?

      • TexasChem says:

        You can get a DWI on any vehicle with a motor in the state of Texas actually.A friend of mine got one on a jet-ski on lake Livingston.

        • I remember seeing someone who got one on a lawnmower.

        • DUI I can understand….but speeding or making wakes??????? Sheesh. YOu can even get a ticket for being drunk on a horse and riding in down main street….sheesh…this is Texas, for crying out loud. Can wear a six gun anywhere but can’t drink Mescal on horseback…

          • TexasChem says:

            D-13 stated:”YOu can even get a ticket for being drunk on a horse and riding in down main street…”

            TC:That is the main reason why we do our trailrides on the deer-lease now!

          • TexasChem says:

            Ughhhh Mescal.
            The last time I drank Mescal was in june of 1991.It was a horrible experience.I was in New Orleans with some friends staying at the Hotel on Bourbon.One of my friends brought two bottles of it.We had a tremendous night out on the town (they told me) and I blacked out somewhere on Bourbon street.The next thing I remember was running the elevator for people at the hotel up and down up and down while I was butt naked and then trying to convince two police officers that the precinct headquarters was on the top floor and asking if they needed a ride up!
            Needless to say I have never drank Mescal since!

            • It is nasty….and not for the faint of heart or young. I will have to say you beat my running down a police car on a neighbor hood street with a broom in my hand, in nothing but underwear, and brushing off his windshield….Mescal is interesting… (This was 1992) after returing from Kuwait….they were not amused.

          • Three of us were ticketed on jetski’s for making a wake (3-5 MPR)at $75 a head. Last time I went to Lake Norfork. Game & Fish was correct, we were making a “wake”.
            So do ducks,
            government sux.

            • This is true (ducks). THey make an even larger wake when chased by 4 shot 20 guage.

              • A gun seller was trying to interest me in a 10ga this week, that it will really reach out there. Not convinced yet, I have little trouble with a 20 or 12, 10 seems overkill.

              • True Story….. Took some customers to Mexico (when it was safe) on a White Wing Dove Hunt in the 80’s. One of my cohorts took a 10 guage shot gun. It was a hilarious hunt. A flight of dove comes over and you hear the Boom Boom of the 12 guage, the bang bang of the 20 guage and the ever present kapow of the 4-10….then the BAAALLLOOOIIIEEE of the 10 guage. It seemed as if time stopped when that weapon was fired…however, I have the most interesting picture of my friends arm….picture him doing the strong arm pose…biceps showing…and the an equal size hump where the Tricep was supposed to be…only it was filled with blood from the broken blood vessels from shooting over 150 rounds of 10 guage shot. No “sissy pad” on the butt either. He was a Cajun from New Iberia, La. Used the 10 guage for geese…limit two at most. Took it dove hunting in Mexico where there is no limit. He only made one hunting session for the whole weekend. Arm was inoperable. It will reach out and touch someone….but the after affects on the arm were disaterous.

              • Stupid is as stupid does!

              • TexasChem says:

                10 gauges are a remarkable weapon when you load the shot with dimes I was told…

              • LOI

                If “reaching out” is the goal then get a slightly longer barrel for your 12 ga.

                If putting more shot in the air, and bigger shot with same power, then you go to 10 ga. or you can just get a 12 ga that will shoot 3 inch magnum shells.

                I would seriously consider the 10 ga. along with 7 shot shells if you were thinking of joining the Colonel where the “velvet tails” roam.

                When dealing with snakes that chase you there is good cause for MAXIMUM shot possible.

              • Common Man says:

                JAC/D13;

                .10 gauge is too much weight and takes much more effort to swing and shoot. And at close range you risk injury to others from ricochet.

                Anyone looking to pack an effective snake, medium critter and/or personal protection weapon should look into the Tauras “Judge”. A five shot revolver you can load with either .45 long Colt or .410 shot shells. The .410 handles ANY snake and well…I don’t think I need to detail the benefits of a .45 long Colt.

                Easy to carry, you can equip it with a lazer and you can even dispatch wild piggies with it.

                CM

              • CM…yeah to the snake gun….I do not try to imitate gunfighter skilss with a pistol… I have a side weapon that shoots a 4-10 shell. Stops most snakes…

                The 10 guage was refrring only to the Cajun that thought it would be a good weapon for dove hunting in Mexico. He learned.

                I can’t get close enough to the oinkers at the ranch unless I am stand hunting…need a .222 or a .223 or a .243… laser dot scope works well. Most shots for the little critters are from about 75 to 150 yards. (unless you walk up on one hidden in the brush)…after you clean your britches when it squeals and runs…you have about a 50 yard shot…unless you are a quick draw and can shoot with a rather pungent substance in your drawers from being totally surprsied and hoping it was not a Russian Boar or Razorback treeing you.

              • CM

                I would agree with the 410 snake gun under normal circumstances.

                But we are talking about snakes that chase you.

                Sorry, I’ll be firing over my shoulder as I run. Need MEGA QUANTITIES of fine shot, with open choke. 🙂

                We used to carry .22 pistols when chasing cows in the desert. Loaded with bird shot shells. It worked just fine but sometimes took more than one shot. Of course that may have just been the adrenaline.

              • JAC…handgrenades…..run…throw…run some more….boom!

          • What’s the big deal about riding a horse while drunk? Hell, the horse isn’t drunk! He also knows his way home! As long as you can stay in the saddle, you’re good to go!

            😉

            • Yep….if you installed your seat belt to the saddle horn…otherwise…from a 16 hand buckskin..it is a fer piece to mother earth.

              • LOL! 16 hands! That’s tall. Its been a while since I’ve come off a horse but my memory tells me that being very drunk at time of impact will lessen the pain. The next day, however, will make up for it! Its been decades since I’ve eaten dust.

              • Yeah…and he is a persnickity cuss. Range bred and harness broke…a bit tempermental at times but has the bottom of a Mack truck….never wears out. Not a good cow horse (we use Appaloosa’s for those)but a great hunting and ranch horse that will last all day. Does get skitterish when a hog darts out from under a log or thick brush…does not like rattle snakes or the pumas at all…but is sure footed on rainy days and rocky slopes. NOt quarter horse fast but will lope for miles without a lather. Gets playful sometimes and tries to forcfully disembark me with low branches,,but I am resilient. I do not get to ride him as often as I like so he gets a little pissed at first when I do show up. (No one else rides him so he gets to liking no saddle a lot). Too big and wide for proper bareback. His name is Napalm… fitting doncha think?

              • Nice. I miss riding very much. My whole family consists of horse people. My older sister authored ‘Horses for Dummies’. She has three of them now. She’s in Norco, CA. Its know as Horsetown USA. Its very nice, and if I were filthy rich I would consider living there if it weren’t for the self destructive politics of the state.

                Check out her site:

                http://www.audreypavia.com/personal.html

      • As I recall it was something about not having renewed license posted on said jetski. Now the fact that she tried to outrun the DNR boat and they had to pull all boats out of Lake Michigan to catch her might have added to the fiasco. Hopefully the judge will show mercy on her!

        • Wait, I think I might have seen this in the news.. was she the one firing flares at the patrol boat?

  3. More articles-sorry I know it’s a lot more work. But we seem to be rehashing the same topics a lot of the time-so a little more focus on specific topics would be good. Can’t help but feel we venture off into the no-government/government argument a little too much. This last one, I hope doesn’t sound like I’m trying to be a censor considering this is a blog about the government but I think there’s too many attacks on our country and religion for most people’s taste. I guess this sounds negative and I hate that because I truly like this blog and care about the people on it. But your question was asking for the negative not the positive. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • I generally agree..

      More articles – 100%

      Specific topics rather than vagaries – 100%

      Too much no-gov vs gov argument – 75%

      Too many attacks on the country – 75%

      Too many attacks on religion.. no I think religion is dangerous and should be “attacked” more

      Thanks for your thoughts, V!

      • “I think religion is dangerous and should be “attacked” more”

        Understanding Jihad, American thinker
        editor’s note
        AT contributor Andrew Bostom was quoted last night (8/26/10) by Bret Baier during his “Grapevine” segment at the midpoint of the one hour prime time newscast, Special Report. The quote, below comes from this 2005 American Thinker essay of Bostom’s, at 0:53 to 1:07, and the underlined text was displayed:

        The jihad is intrinsic to the sacred Muslim texts, including the divine Qur’anic revelation itself, whereas the Crusades were circumscribed “historical events subjected to (ongoing and meaningful) criticism by Christians themselves.”

        The title of this Grapevine segment with video link embedded, and transcript, are provided below:

        Holy Moley

        “…ABC ‘20/20′ anchor Chris Cuomo is getting some flack-even from some of his fans-over a twitter comment about violence and religion. Cuomo told his nearly 1 million followers this morning: ‘To all my Christian brothers and sisters-especially Catholics-before you condemn Muslims for violence-remember the Crusades. Study them.’

        A follower pointed out ‘by the time the Crusades began, Muslim armies had conquered almost two-thirds of Christian world. Neither just.’ Cuomo responded that he is ‘not sure how pointing out Muslim wrongs erases Christian wrongs.’

        Shortly after the 9/11 attacks historian and author Bernard Lewis noted that the Crusades were in response to jihad and author Andrew Bostom wrote of the jihad-to-Crusade comparison that jihad is a notion contained within the Quran, while the crusades were ‘historical events subjected to ongoing and meaningful criticism by Christians themselves.’ “

        • Jihad is a very misunderstood concept.

          Offensive “Jihad” as popularized in Western Islamophobia, is the subject of intense debate in the Muslim world. I assure you that the vast majority do not recognize it as a valid Koranic principle when used in this way.

          • “I assure you that the vast majority do not recognize it as a valid Koranic principle when used in this way.”

            Sorry, I am not assured, to the best of my knowledge, you do not speak for them. Nor am I phobic, thinking all Muslims are out to eradicate all Christians. I would be reassured if more Muslims were to come out and denounce violence, as Christians and Jews have done.

            • Are you called to account every time some lunatic shoots someone in the name of Christ?

              Why should they have to make their case to you?

              I don’t have to personally denounce white idiots when they’re racist.

              I don’t have to personally denounce Jewish idiots when they stone violators of the Sabbath.

              I don’t have to personally denounce male idiots when they.. well they do a lot of stupid things.

              Firstly, I lack the authority to speak on behalf of all members of my group. Secondly, I don’t answer to you.

              Walk into a random mosque. Go ahead, do it. Or I will. And ask the first person you see to tell you their view on Jihad. Tell them that you are a representative of SUFA and that you are trying to understand the roll of Jihad among non-extremists.

              Or I will. I’ve been to one mosque already where they couldn’t have been more open, respectful, and tolerant. The women I was with were not required to cover. We had to remove our shoes on the prayer rug, but other than that, there was nothing. They explained their views and expressed a desire to be better understood by non-Muslims. I bet you’ll find the same thing.

              There is nothing like first hand knowledge.

              Adding, WTF, are there no Muslims on this site? Speak up!

              • TexasChem says:

                @-Mathius,

                How did you feel Mathius after 9-11 when film was playing on the news of entire cities of Muslims celebrating dancing and singing with joy?

              • TexasChem says:

                Oooops..WTF I forgot there are only a small number of extremist Islamic terrorists though…

              • Correction: only a small percentage of Muslims are extremist. A small percentage of a huge number is a large number.

                But the percentage is not all that different from other religions.

              • TexasChem says:

                First, how many validated stories of christian lunatics killing someone in Gods name do you know of?

                Second, when was the last time a Jew was stoned by another Jew?

                Third, maybe you’re hanging with the wrong crowd if you are around white people saying racist things.None of my white friends say racist things!

                I went to a Mosque in Houston and specifically asked if they endorsed the implementation of Sharia Law and YES they did!

                Common sense and logical thinking dude.Research.

              • how many validated stories of christian lunatics killing someone in Gods name do you know of? Quite a few. I listed more than one genocide already, but you can add Dr. Tiller’s killer if that helps.

                when was the last time a Jew was stoned by another Jew? Quite recently, probably. These things don’t get much media attention because of the established narrative that Jews are good and Muslims are violent.

                None of my white friends say racist things! That’s because there are a huge number of white people and only a small percentage are racist. Thus you don’t necessarily make friends with the racists. I assure you, they’re out there.

                asked if they endorsed the implementation of Sharia Law and YES they did! Did you happen to ask if they endorse imposing it upon non-Muslims by violent means?

              • Mathius,

                I was in love with a Muslim, does that count?

              • I suppose.. but you have not spoken to whether she endorsed a campaign to use violent means to impose a fascist Islam-centric theocracy by violent means.

                That you were in love with her does not specify that she was not a terrorist. I imagine though that statists are not your cup of tea. But, having loved her, I assume you can speak with authority that not all Muslims are evil.

              • Mathius,

                I suppose.. but you have not spoken to whether she endorsed a campaign to use violent means to impose a fascist Islam-centric theocracy by violent means.

                Ah – no.

                She was the most gentle, accepting person I had met to that time.

                She was an extreme radical to her father – since she was in love with an infidel – but she was by far her families most favorite – she empowered her siblings to go “live” regardless of some “taboo”.

                Her older half-sister used our relationship to finally confront her father and eventually marry an infidel German she had loved in secret for a decade.
                —-
                She occasionally wore her hijab – usually when she was dealing with the Muslim community (or in the presence of her father), and she did own a burqa, though I cannot recall ever seeing her wear it.

                But, having loved her, I assume you can speak with authority that not all Muslims are evil.

                I can say that it was a love greater than I had ever endured in my life to that time.

              • Matt,

                D13 visited a mosque a while back, asked questions, etc. There are no mosques near me, or I might give it a try myself, I like having personal knowledge, give one a better perspective.

                Idle thought, has the Ground Zero group spoken out against violence?
                It’s good to know the values of perspective neighbors.

              • “Are you called to account every time some lunatic shoots someone in the name of Christ?”

                That would be a Yes answer. We are also blamed for (almost-word inserted solely for the PC police) every war and every law which anyone on the left disagrees with. It is suddenly NOT the wonderful power of the majority at work(which means when the majority agrees with me and my logic)-it is the fault of the hypocritical, illogical, evil, bible thumping, controlled by a mystical creature, based on a old book christian right.

          • TexasChem says:

            My definition,
            Islamophobia:Having enough common sense and logical thinking ability to percieve and understand the threat of Islam from a historical and modern day point of view to its actions and their impact upon their own and any other society they have come in contact with.

  4. TexasChem says:

    I love this site.Sadly I have not been able to post nearly as much as I want to because of work and my new work out schedule and my family and helping a good friend of mine get back on his feet AND clearing a fenceline for 168 acres of Gods country here in southeast Texas!(The run on sentence was on purpose!)I have averaged 60 to 72 hours a work week the past three months along with 2 hours at the gymn trying to balance wife and children time out.I am on a VERY low carb diet lifting light weight with a lot of reps that has me walking around like a zombie to get shredded (the past 3 years I have been on a high calorie diet lifting heavy to bulk up muscle mass) and am now at 246 with 26 pounds left to slice off to be the freak you see in the store wondering how in the hell he got like that!

    Anyways I am glad I found this site.I found it off a link on Fox if I remember correctly USW.The varying views of the posters here towards current events and social issues really keeps my wheels spinning.You guys here at SUFA are the bomb and I hope to continue enjoying yalls’ company here for many years!USW just wanna let ya know I appreciate the time you put into the site and think you do an outstanding job sir!

    • TexasChem says:

      By the way I liked the blue background you had up on the site way more than the orange.The blue is calming and easier on the eyes.The orange brings out the beast in me!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @TexasChem – off topic – you use any supplements (the GNC kind)? I’m doing something close to you but never had a big big mass building stage beforehand – I’m prepping for World Championships in grappling early next Spring – trying to re-build “grappling strength” and slowly make weight cut down to 200-205 range. I’m not using supplements other than for energy boost pre-, during and post- workout.

      Later,

      Ray

      • TexasChem says:

        The only legal supplement you are going to find that works worth a darn is a pharmaceutical grade creatine monohydrate.Anabolics are amazing but, illegal.Creatine basically allows your muscle tissues cells to absorb more water.More water equals more nutrients equals faster repair/recovery.When you lift the “pump” you feel is your muscle tissue swelling with blood and water/nutrients.To me it seems as if my body absorbs more creatine when I take it with grapefruit juice or cranberry juice.Seem to get a better pump.May be all in my head though! 🙂

        Strength training and bodybuilding are both 75% diet and 25% working out.If you are strictly strength training eat an hour or two before lifting a balanced carb-protein meal and hydrate with a couple of glasses of water.Hydrate during your workout as well.I drink a gallon of water during my workout!After your workout eat another balanced carb-protein meal.Your muscles need the nutrients to repair and the sooner you get them in there the faster the recovery.

        I have never grappled but it seems to me you would need a lot of core mid-body strength and cardio endurance so I would lean towards a lot of core mid-body excercises along with emphasis on forearms,shoulders and legs.

        When I am “bulking” I eat everything.Sugars,carbs,protein whatever gets in my way is food!9000 calories a day!I lift heavy and eat before and after workouts.Whey shakes are good for this as well.
        When I am “cutting up” I eat lean and fatty protein, lots of protein so I don’t lose as much muscle mass.Flaxseed oil for my fat.Multi-vitamin for any nutrients I am missing.Along with a minimum amount of carbs…like only 20 or so to put my body into ketosis so that it uses only fat for fuel.Lift light weight with lots of reps.Lots of black coffee.

        • creatine is very effective. Added 20lbs to my bench almost overnight when I was taking it. It is hard on the kidneys tho. If you take it, you should drink cranberry and a LOT of extra water. I have a genetic sensitivity to getting kidney stones, which happened when I was on creatine because I did not increase my water intake enough. Its still worth it, just keep your hydration up.

        • 9000 calories/day? How damn big are you TC? Around here we’d say you were big as a brick shithouse. 🙂

          • TexasChem says:

            My last bulk cycle I weighed 275 at the end.
            Weighed today at 243.I have about 20 to 25 lbs. to lose till reaching shredded Greek demi-god status! lol 🙂

            I do this torture to myself in yearly cycles.I love to eat so when I start getting to heavy I just eat more and start lifting again till I put some mass on and then diet down.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            TexasChem is a big sumbitch. Not a guy to meet in a dark alley, or a Barney Frank rally.

  5. What in the world would you do with more people like Buck, Todd, Ray, and me? Readership here can barely stomach the four of us – imagine if there were an even mix of conservatives and liberals?

    Truth is, I feel like I’m fighting uphill in virtually every argument. I happen to like this (though it is time consuming). For every liberal position I hold, I know that at least a dozen people are going to take me to task. And I know that I can at least help to keep the discourse here honest.

    What I get out of the balance is both an intellectual challenge, but the benefit of confirming that (A) I’m not a blind idealogue but can back my opinions up, (B) I can trade blows with a cyborg and live to fight another day, (C) (and the most important) I gain a valuable perspective on the far right. Prior to coming here, all “right winger” or “wingnuts” were simply deluded, uneducated, stupid, misled or some such. Though I still think that about the vast majority of the wingnuts (on both sides), I know it’s not true of all of them. Also, I like arguing and this is fun.

    Without you guys, I would never have this. Reading right wing articles is fun, but the real value is in the debate. Without us liberals, I suspect SUFA would be little different from other echo chambers such as fox or huffPo – another “me too” site.

    I wonder, Wep, if the drop in readership is linked to the decrease in new articles? You used to post something new virtually every night (a Herculean feat), but these days it is down to three or so a week. I know that as a participant in the forum, there is incentive for me to come back and debate, new article or not. But without new articles, I wonder if the bulk of your readers just shrug and check back later.

    Reading SUFA for the articles and not participating in the debate is like reading Playboy for the articles and not… well, never mind.

    I promised you a guest article month ago and I promise to write it if (A) I can ever come up with a topic I like and (B) I can ever find the time. I am open to suggestions from the crowd re topic suggestions.

    By the way, when you say “traffic” and show a number next to a month, is that unique visitors or just page views? Because I know that I never check the notify box, so I constantly reopen the site to check – according to Firefox, I have visited this site 5,180 times.

  6. Common Man says:

    USW;

    There maybe some valiity to less articles, but my issue is simply time; I have less and less. Couple that with the approaching season (Deer) and I will have even less.

    I cannot tell you how much I have learned since coming on board 16 – 18 months ago; and yes even from Matt, Buck and the other intelligent “liberal/Progressive/Lefties” members. I have changed my perspective on a number of things and issues, and I can honestly say that is due to those of you on this site.

    I intend to submit more articles to USW for Guest Commentary over the next several months if for no other reason than to check my thinking and logic.

    It is a great site and one that I have enjoyed, and I am sure whatever you do it will only get better.

    CM

  7. Buck the Wala says:

    I’d hafta agree with the general sentiment — time factor. It takes a lot to contribute on this site in a lucid manner, especially when you get to a back and forth on an issue (it takes even longer just to get through some of BF’s massive posts!) and I just don’t have it at the moment.

    Maybe it would help if in addition to the 3 or so articles a week you or someone throws out a mini-article focusing on a more narrow issue. Kind of like open mic but even more focused just as a segue from one article to the next to maintain readership interest?

  8. Ray Hawkins says:

    I think you do a fantastic job USW – a little more volume may help, polarizing topics always works, and definitely promo of your site at other sites cannot hurt.

    Maybe some drop is simply you’re deeper into the current POTUS tenure and there is not as much “fresh” anger?

    Are more people on vacation last 3 months and just not as active?

    More and more workplaces are blocking sites like this

    Any way you could guest post at a site like HuffPro (gasp)? Something like an anti-Cesca?

  9. YO !!!! USW…… I do not think that there is anything out of the ordinary. Great site….have to admit that I will read this before any other site….and, since a lot of peole on here read and bring things across…I stay on this site.

    Have been at the border a lot lately (at least every week) Really heating up down there but in Texas, we are getting a great handle on it. We take no prisoners now (metaphorically speaking) and they are running to Arizona and California to cross. We also have an unusual influx of Velvet Tail Rattlesnakes that are very agressive and we are finding an unusual number of illegals with snake bites (who needs a wall)…The Velvet Tail seems to be very prolific in their mating habits…and they are not nocturnal as much as the others are…they can see really well and do not rely on infrared sensing. THey act very much like a Coachwhip and will chase you. Like a moving land mine with sensory perception.

    Stay with it sir, I do like the variety of people here. You have centrists, left wing, right wing, left wing radical, right wing radical……then you have Mathius (a genre’ of his own)…he reminds me of a shotgun pattern….

    THen you have your anarchists ( Utopia generation )…. (BF, Todd, Peter)

    YOu have a great variety of ladies on here that are involved and that is very refreshing…

    Anyway, brother, I will be more than happy to take on an article per week or at least every other week to help….not that anybody really wants to hear from a dumb old retired Army Colonel who knows nothing.

    And…what other site has a Raptor Breeder and a Dread Pirate, who now sees the light and is awash in grog and frivolity upon the TExas coastline with a never ending letter of MArque?

    Luv ya man……

    De Oppresso Liber…

  10. USW,
    I have always been blown away by this site and the readership and quality of both articles and comments here. I have learned a lot, especially from folks like Kent and BF. I could go on and on about the positives here, but I will get to the meat of your questions.

    1) I think one of the secrets to your early success was, indeed, the daily or almost daily posts. This accomplished two main things. One was fresh content, especially for those not inclined to heavy debate. The other is something new to debate and comment on. One of the most time consuming things about SUFA is plowing through 300-500 comments, and finding what to comment back on, etc. I think it would be less exhaustive for the readers and commenters to have fewer comments, and we would be less likely to stray off topic and into the standard government/no government and other debates that have been hammered on incessantly. I personally like those debates, as evidenced by my participation, but I know it bores a lot of people, even when they find the debate valuable, because its just so extensive. So yea, more articles.

    I know more articles is REALLY hard, having my own blog which I cant even seem to write once a week for, I certainly am impressed at the amount of posting you pull off. I think adding authors is a good idea. I am sure there are many here who would be happy to help with that, I certainly would, and if I had a “deadline” or knew I have people depending on me, I would be more likely to make the time to write. I also think that having other authors may add to the appeal. I love your articles, and I think they are generally superior to the guest articles you post, especially mine, because you research things so well. That said, I enjoy the guest articles a lot, and I think a regular second and third and fourth perspective authoring content would be appealing to a lot of people. I do not know what criteria to use for other authors, whether it should be people who are on board with the SUFA mission statement, or just differing perspectives. I think the SUFA mission statement should stay largely the same, but maybe with added authors it will need to be adjusted slightly. I dunno.

    2) Some of what is happening is, I am sure, simple burnout. The ups and downs you have seen are likely related to that as well, I have even been one of the ups and downs people at times. I would have a lot going on or whatever and stray away for a while. I do not think it is a permanent condition, this drop-off. I do think that some changes in look and content or post frequency will help.

    3) I do a bit of web design, especially with WordPress. I have not done a lot of manipulating of wordpress.com itself, but I am sure I can work within its constraints. Feel free to contact me, I will help with whatever changes you want to make on this site. And don’t worry about your budget.

  11. Buck the Wala

    I was looking through all the fun ya’ll had yesterday.

    I see that you were pronounced a “brilliant” idiot and a “brilliant” genius at the same time.

    My God man, how did you do it?

    Is it a little like splitting yourself in two and then traveling to different dimensions or places in time, simultaneously?

    Happy Friday

    • Good Morning JAC…..how in the “h” is your Friday? Only BF could come up with that designation.

      • D13

        Good morning sir. Today finds the temps dropping 25 degrees below yesterday (95 to 70).

        A very large flock of geese flew by this morning as the cold wind kicked up across the valley.

        By the way, were you satisfied with BF’s response to your water monopoly? I was going to answer last night then found his response way down the list.

        Velvet tails huh? Don’t need to rattler that likes to chase me.

        Best wishes to you and family Colonel.

        • Have not seen it yet…will go back and take a gander..

        • As to the Velvet Tails…they are relatively new to South Texas. A cross breed of the Diamond BAck and Timber Rattler. Introduced in some parts for rodent control (rabbits, field mice, etc) These guys really have taken off in the arid parts….very independent snakes that are meaner than a menopausal female with a Mescal hangover after eating jalepeno “migas”. Brutal!!!

    • Buck the Wala says:

      I’m just unique that way! I wear the designation with honor.

      How’s your Friday treating you? I’m just hoping I can get out of here a bit earlier today and enjoy the weekend…

  12. Cyndi P said
    August 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    “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.”

    I agree with Cyndi on how many of the debates go on and on. BORING!!!

    I understand that principals are important, for example, are you a thief?
    A person that does not steal for fear of being caught can say they are not a thief, but would not be welcome in my home. I am not a thief because of the moral code I impose upon myself. Numerous times I have returned excess change from a cashier(they always seem surprised). But I exceed the speed limit on a regular basis and feel no guilt or remorse.

    Some of the discussion seems to devolve into nitpicking nuances better suited to lawyers or English scholars. Yesterday I posted an article on a government agency that is destroying the US fishing industry, and no one responded. Thousands of Americans are about to loose their jobs, boats, possibly their homes and it’s not being reported by any of the media. It makes me wonder how many others are being destroyed by our government, such as gulf drilling being shut down for six months. And I thought that was what we all came here to explore, to Stand Up for America.

    I think the loss in readers is because of fewer articles that focus on issues that are hurting America, or things that could be done to help. I do not think all articles must be original to SUFA, but they should be consistent with the theme of this site.

    • One of the things that attracted me here most was the detailed level of the debates. When a large issue or question was tackled, like the libertarian platform, it was broken into peices to make it more manageable. I think focussed posts on certain issues or on a certain sector at a time would be good, and when a large one comes along, break it up into two or three parts. Just a thought.

      • Sometimes its interesting and worthwhile. I think Ray has change some of his thinking, from day one he was against gov. waste, and that brings us all together on many issues.

        I see a lot of immovable objects here at times, which to an outside observer looks a lot like two rocks sitting together in a meadow. I’m sure they are enjoying their talk, but it’s not much of a spectator sport.

        JAC did an excellent job on his Core Principles articles. Consider all Mexicans are taught that the US stole Texas, New Mexico, California and Arizona from them. They don’t just think this, they KNOW this id the TRUTH. It is a fundamental belief they do not question.

        I think Matt has failed to question some of his core beliefs, such as on gun laws. He responded to Cast Out of Eden, that he would look over Klecks research. And that’s great if you want to read that long, boring paper. But I am more interested in the why’s of your beliefs. You were taught this at some point, and I never get the feeling you look back and examine where your beliefs come from.
        You were taught taxes are a fee government has the right to demand.
        An interesting article might be the history of income taxes in the US.

        Charlie, you have never shown us an example of forced government redistribution of wealth creating a more prosperous society. Every attempt in history has resulted in more poverty. So why is this still your belief?

        Black Flag, you have examined your core values on multiple issues, but on one I still see strong bias. Anything to do with Israel seems to provoke an emotional based response, much as Matt’s responses on guns. If your core value says initiating violence is wrong, how can you always answer Israel brought it on itself, when they are attacked?

        As for me, an in-depth look at my values leads me to conclude, if I can’t hit something with a 20 or 12ga. it’s my shortcomings, not the gun.

        • My response on guns is that, like many technologies, they amplify everything. If a man is robbing you, he may hit you, you will be injured. If a man is robbing you, he may shoot you, you will be dead. So, given that, I am inclined to eliminate the amplifier.

          I am open to evidence that they reduce harm, but it seems to me illogical.

          • Death is not a sure bet when shot. I’d rather not be shot anyway, but people have a mistaken idea of the lethality of being shot. It is survivable, and most do.

          • My point, good sir, is that you have not looked back at your sources. You think it logical to reduce availability of guns. Why? Kleck IS a liberal, but his research showed him logic defying results.That more guns do NOT equal more gun violence. I don’t think he went any farther than that, but it’s research that still stands today.

            So the next question, what do you do when reality
            conflicts with logic? How would you answer the most civil, intelligent Mexican citizen who tells you we took California illegally, and it must be returned? Can you get him to question his core beliefs?

            And thanks for a well thought response. Notice Flag is still hiding from me.:lol:

            • LOI,

              Missed the reference to me

              Black Flag, you have examined your core values on multiple issues, but on one I still see strong bias. Anything to do with Israel seems to provoke an emotional based response, much as Matt’s responses on guns.

              For a simple reason, it is so one-sidedly bizarre in the common understanding of Americans that reasoned discussion is nearly impossible without invoking emotion on them.

              The irrational justifications in favor of Israel and the utter ignorance of the other side and their positions is a fatal disease of America that now is in the position of destroying the country by war.

              I’ve been in North Africa and Muslim countries, and yes, they are as screwed up as anywhere else but the people are the same – they love their kids, want to be free and happy, want to love and smile everyday – and they cry when their kids and family are slaughtered.

              To believe differently than this is a self-imposed mental block – a defense mechanism to justify killing other people.

              I do NOT support killing innocent people.

              I UNDERSTAND why some people seek revenge on other innocent people.

              Slaughtering people and then pretending their response is the real evil is evil

              how can you always answer Israel brought it on itself, when they are attacked?

              Because the root is: Israel acted first or irrationally.

              You’ve read my hegemonic theory – re-read it again.

              • Flag,

                Sorry, just doesn’t compute. I am not taking Israel’s side here, just looking on as an outsider, and what I have seen is you apply a different standard whenever Israel is involved.

                Consider the Hatfields and McCoys, can there never be peace as long as the first one to be wronged re-iniates violence? Even if they had a truce that lasted a year or decade? That argument means one side is always right, because they were the first to be wronged. “You killed my prize pig! Now I can burn down you house and barn throughout eternity”.

                Nope, I still think you have not examined your core vales on this issue.

              • LOI,

                Flag,

                Sorry, just doesn’t compute. I am not taking Israel’s side here, just looking on as an outsider, and what I have seen is you apply a different standard whenever Israel is involved.

                Not at all.

                I have been very consistent in claiming that dropping bombs and artillery shells on children is evil.

                Consider the Hatfields and McCoys, can there never be peace as long as the first one to be wronged re-iniates violence?

                There is peace when the hegemonic power declares it.

                There will never be peace if the weaker party never surrenders and the hegemonic power never stops.

                Even if they had a truce that lasted a year or decade?

                It’d be a start – worked in Korea for 60 years…

              • Grrrrr! 🙂 This answer has officially been tagged as a Politician Answer-evade and dodge tactics employed.

              • V.H,

                Not one bit.

                Understanding that a man will commit himself to savage revenge upon those that kill his children is not a “argument avoidance tactic”

                Further, I’ve already presented my geopolitical theory of Hegemonic power in numerous posts in the past.

                My theory offers an explanation to why the US lost in Vietnam, Russia in Afghanistan and they lost their “Iron Curtain” and will lose in Iraq and Afghanistan and why Israel will lose everything should they all continue in their course of action.

              • Okay if they had a truce that lasted a decade and Palestine broke the truce, would it still be Israels fault solely because they are the hegemonic power? Is it possible in your view for a weaker power to ever be at fault. You see I have no problem with you saying Israel is at fault because they may have done something to cause Palestine to break a truce, may or may not agree with your reasoning, but this it’s always the fault of the hegemonic power simply because they are more powerful simply, in LOI words doesn’t compute.

              • V.H.

                But why would Palestinians break the truce?

                In fact, the Palesitinians have never broken a truce it has been -in every case- either an Iraseli action of aggression or reneging on a condition.

                This makes sense – why would a weaker power want to aggress against a stronger one for no reason

                Thus, your hypothetical is missing details.

                You ascribe an of insanity to a group of people

              • So your logic is that groups of people never do things which are illogical or just based on faulty reasoning because it would be stupid to do so-having a problem with that logic 🙂 -but that isn’t the point-the question is : can a weaker power ever be at fault-if Israel moved back to the original borders and Palestine attacked her-would it still be Israels fault? Based solely on your hegemonic theory is it possible for the weakest to be wrong? It’s really a yes or no question when it is based simply on theory. So I’ll ask it another way-in theory is it possible for the weakest power to be wrong?

                And yes, sometimes I believe people place their beliefs above survival, is this insanity?

  13. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi USWeapon,

    I found this site from one of your postings at Fox, I think it was Feb or March, 2009. It was SOOOO refreshing to find a site where people are respectful in HOW they debate things. Sometimes if you are really po’d about something, it’s nice to have a place where you can get up on the soapbox for a few minutes. I have to say, it has been a stress reliever for me!

    I haven’t been here much in the last year because alot has happened that is keeping me focused elsewhere. I do jump on occasionally, but it has been hit or miss for me.

    I think more articles would be beneficial…more guest commentaries would help with this. (Can you PLEASE try to get Charles Krauthammer?????)

    Please continue going to the other sites to bring in some fresh meat!!!!! I greatly admire each and every poster here for each of their unique perspectives, but after a year, you can almost predict what a person will write. And, I’d like to mention that EVERY poster here should be advertising SUFA at other sites too.

    USW…the thing that separates SUFA from all other sites is that YOU demand respectful discourse…sometimes it gets a bit hairy (Cyndi and Ray) 😉 but all-in-all, your site tends to remove the “fear” that some people have of opening themselves up. Thank you and God Bless you for this!!!!!

    God Love you Black Flag, but sometimes I feel very challenged when reading your material. Other times, I totally GET it!!!!!

    JAC…If I weren’t married…. 🙂

    D13…I have the greatest respect ever for you Dear Sir…your article on what was happening at the border…WOW…that really opened my eyes!!!!

    TexasChem…I wish you were my brother…I mean I do love my hippy socialist brother that I already have, but, well…you would be great too!

    Cyndi…You are the girlfriend who tells it like it is!!!!

    Kathy…You are so kind and so smart!

    Esom…You are the one that I want to hang out with at Pool. We’d knock them dead!

    LOI…you rock!

    Everyone else who is not specifically mentioned…You are the best and this site would not be the same w/o you!

    No matter what, how busy I am, how long I’ve been away, I ALWAYS COME BACK TO SUFA!!!!

    Hugs to each and everyone of you,
    RS (Karyn to Ray)

    • Spitfire

      My dear southern belle, you make me blush.

      I would like to hear your take on the banking world if you get a chance someday soon. Perhaps you could construct a short piece over days and then send to USW for him to post.

      Best of the best to you and family
      JAC

    • Thanks….not everyone wants to hear it though. LOL!

      🙂

    • Krauthammer had a great article today, didn’t he? Saw you were also a “like” on FB. Did you bring any $$ back from Vegas?

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Hey Kathy…I came back with $2 in my wallet…enough to pay tolls from the airport!!! I did have more when I left Vegas, but had to pay for luggage and eat on the way home.

        Out of 400 teams from US, Canada and Japan, my team came in somewhere between 65th to 128th. All-in-all, the competition was somewhat nice and friendly until we hit money brackets…then, it went all South!!! Got very nasty…

        My daughter had a great time and my team loves her and wants her to join the team…WE PLAN on being in this tournament next year!

        RS

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Karyn – great to see you every so often – I’d be hopeful you could write for us sometime – you have some interesting perspectives. Best of luck in all your days…

      Ray

    • Spitfire, my Princess of Wands.

      I am multi-talented. I don’t just rock, sometimes I roll.

      I miss when you aren’t posting, you are a spice that livens up a good recipe.

      • Ummmm LOI? She’s JAC’s….back off.

        • If JAC has a problem with me, I’m pretty sure I will know it.

          Princess of Wands is a John Ringo novel, main character is very married (and very hot), does magic thru her her faith in God. Also very into guns. Hope you check it out, we might have more than on princess here.:lol:

  14. I often just don’t have the time to spend as much time as I’d like here, but I’ll say this: the discussions are mostly very respectful. The slant to the right is obvious but that’s okay, it isn’t called Stand up for Socialism … or Temporary Knucksline.

    Sometimes the lead in articles are just too long for me to get through (but that is my bad; I have very limited time–I have liberal democratic blogs to torture as well).

    Overall I find this site to be much more tolerant of opposing opinions than I do those on the left I deal with (I’m like a virus at most of those–and sparked an honest to goodness blog war once because I pushed too hard, I guess). They’re good people too, just over passionate at times … way too caught up in the name calling to hear themselves.

    SUFA is a good enough site (fair as these types of blogs go). I don’t hold it against you(s) that you swallow that Ayn Rand nonsense so willingly; the ideology exhibited here is at times equally as blind as that exhibited on liberal blogs. But I’m cool with that.

    I enjoy popping in and out. I probably torture the liberal democrat blogsites more because they think I’m conservative (a guy who insists on national health care and a scaled down to almost nothing inheritence). So it goes.

    When I really take the time, I’m probably closer to fascist because I really do believe the punishments for what this government (both sides) did to the working man should be life imprisonment and/or a firing squad. I also would turn those regulations that don’t stick into genuine punishable offense that offer real consequences (not slap on the wrists unemployment or club fed). I also know THIS government (both sides) doesn’t work the way it could and should, but I remain steadfast in my belief that no government is a chaotic fantasy that would only enhance power where it already is.

    You do a more than admirable job putting this stuff out in the timely fashion you do, USW. I know first hand, this stuff isn’t easy. I joke around on my blog. You go for actual research; that is very time consuming. Big ups to you, brother. Good work.

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      Charlie,

      Just wanting to kill the SOB’s does not make you a fascist. Might actually make you a patriot. Would tar and feathering do instead followed by exile to Coventry where they only have each other to deal with?

      • That works for me too. I’m still baffled how this country didn’t rise up in revolution (both sides of the political ailes) after what this government did with those bailouts. Not a single protection for workers and no stipulations for how that money was to be used, etc. They just gave it away and tried to impose a sense of panic on all of us (had to be done quickly, etc.).

        Nah, now that I wrote that out, shoot the SOBs …

        • Charlie

          They tried. It was called a Tea Party. And the powers on the Left immediately attacked, denigrated and characterized it as a bunch of racist conservative nutjobs out to destroy the presidency of the first black messiah.

          Is it really a wonder that people keep their heads down in this day and age?

          The “liberals” lost a tremendous opportunity when they decided to jump on the progressive’s trashing of the tea party.

          • Hmmm, some of what you say is true, but … there were/are some genuine whack jobs spewing from the tea party as well (some of that Glenn Beck paranoia about this country becoming a Marxist state under Fredo is a bit absurd–he couldn’t have given in to big business any more than he did).

            I just don’t get how they got away with it without a hitch. The country swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

            • Hi Charlie,

              If you want to know why people ‘swallowed it hook, line, and sinker’, you should start reading up on the legisltation that is being written up and passed under Homeland Security. Czar John Holdren has authorized the integration of UAVs in the national airspace. WHY? If you still don’t understand why people ‘swallow it’, start researching the writing of Obama’s czars and the shadow government they are creating. If you can do that with an open mind, you might be able to understand.

              • Cyndi: I like to think I’m becoming more open-minded. I walked away from the Dems to vote for Bush … twice (it pains me to type that now) … but I have no idea what UAVs are (my bad). That said, a shadow government sounds a bit paranoid to me. Someone once warned me to research the writing of Bush’s war czars (the neo cons who convinced him invading Iraq was a bright idea) and I ignored the warning. They were right (about the neo cons who were writing about waring there long before 9-11 — not that that had anything to do with Iraq) but … my point is maybe you have a point. I honestly don’t know. Still, shadow government … I don’t know. Fredo seems to have bought into American capitalism pretty good from where I stand (two memoirs before he’ll be my age). I suspect Fredo is just incompetent as all heck and that our system will generate more and more like him (and Bush) because it’s now greased to fail.

              • Charlie

                It is NOT an open mind nor a closed mind that you need.

                It is an ACTIVE mind.

              • Charlie,

                UAV= Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Like a Predator drone, for example.

                Fredo IS NOT a capitalist. He, at best, is a Corporatist. Don’t get me started at what he is at worst. As for being paranoid, if you’ve read the legislation, and the background of the czars, you’d be paranoid too, or at least wondering why its needed.

              • Cyndi: I’ll do my best to follow-up (I’m intrigued as to what UAV’s are supposed to do here) …

              • Let me know what you think…

                🙂

        • Hi Charlie….I tried to make the point yesterday that there is no stomach for an uprising. No heart. Sad commentary.

          • Hey, D. Hope all is well.

            I suspect everybody is struggling to survive the mess both parties made of this economy … so Wall street could reward themselves.

            Boggles the mind, brother … boggles the mind.

  15. Quote of the day:

    Christians are atheists about Thor and Baal and the golden calf. We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. – Richard Dawkins

    • Buck the Wala says:

      I like.

    • TexasChem says:

      A skeptic or atheist is governed by two main principles: 1) all beliefs must be supported by observational evidence, and 2) beliefs that contradict observational evidence cannot be tolerated. However, strong atheism states that there is no god, even though observational evidence indicates that the universe has a cause that cannot be detected observationally. So despite the lack of observational evidence for a naturalistic cause for the universe, the strong atheist believes that the universe has a naturalistic cause and that there is no god, contradicting the tenet that all beliefs should be based upon observational evidence.

      No, God has not left His name etched onto the surface of planets. However, there is abundant evidence that the universe was designed by some intelligent means, that purposed that the universe should exist and be capable of supporting advanced life. The design of the universe is just one line of evidence that God created the universe. The design of the earth and solar system is also quite impressive. Likewise, chemistry and physics preclude the possibility that life evolved on earth. In addition, human beings are remarkably different from every other animal on earth, suggesting a departure from naturalistic processes.

      Many religious truth claims are testable. Those who are truly interested in whether a religion represents truth should test the claims to see how they stand against the evidence. Modern cosmology destroys the Hindu model for the universe, but affirms the Judeo-Christian model. Cosmology and earth sciences destroy the strange assertions of the Quran. Archeology, cosmology and molecular biology destroy the claims of the LDS Book of Mormon., but confirm many claims from the Bible. For an ancient document written thousands of years ago, the Bible makes some remarkable scientific claims – many of which were not verified until this century. However, the Bible was never written to serve as a science textbook, but was given as guide to having a relationship with God and our fellow human beings. The Bible answers the “why” and “what” questions that naturalism says are unanswerable:

      Why does the universe exist?
      Why do human beings exist?
      What is my purpose?
      Why do I do things I know I shouldn’t do?
      Is this all there is?

      http://www.godandscience.org/

      • TC,

        “However, strong atheism states that there is no god, even though observational evidence indicates that the universe has a cause that cannot be detected observationally. So despite the lack of observational evidence for a naturalistic cause for the universe, the strong atheist believes that the universe has a naturalistic cause and that there is no god, contradicting the tenet that all beliefs should be based upon observational evidence.”

        What???

        Is there some form of observational evidence that the universe WAS created by a God? It sounds to me like you are arguing that because athiests can’t prove no God they must therefore be forced to accept that there is a God, which there is also no proof of.

      • Hey Texas, I found this to be interesting-thought you would like to read it and hopefully everyone else too.

        http://www.abundanthope.net/pages/Ron_71/The_Balance_between_Heart_and_Brain_Intelligence_4123.shtml

        A little teaser 🙂 “SO, 3D research confirms that the advice we get from the Celestials
        and our Space Brethren is SPOT ON! We become what we think and what we
        think depends on what we feel. And our feelings can be intuitively
        intelligent. Thus we find that 3D research is rapidly confirming the
        truth of the basic spiritual message we receive from the Celestials.
        Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe: BUT ultimately we
        will not have to believe – we will KNOW, both intuitively and in reality.”

        • If you read the above-this is one of the links that it references that speaks about the effect this knowledge has on how we teach our children and talks about the effects of TV and the computer on the brain-very interesting

          http://www.ratical.org/many_worlds/JCP99.html

        • V: That is some powerful stuff you posted. I believe every word of it. Same with Cyndi’s post. If more people would just allow common sense into their thinking we might get somewhere. I’ve also come into a different line of thinking as far as employment/income goes. I’m fortunate to be debt free but that came with a plan from the beginning. I lived at poverty level purposely when I first took over the family business. I paid my parents off (6 big digits) within 5 years. Then I invested in new equipment and up’d the employees wages,, continuing to save and purchase what I needed/wanted personally. Fast forward to present time where I again am living on very little income but I have no desire to jump back into the “climb the corporate ladder” mentality. Don’t misundertstand me..I still need income. I just don’t buy into the whole mind game of “you must play the game so you can….whatever.”
          How much do you actually need to survive? All you really need is enough to cover your monthly bills. Write out your budget, include payments to a retirement plan and the kids college fund. The rest is just a mind game to me. It’s a stress maker. I don’t need it. Some people might call me crazy but it works for me. Family and faith fill in the gaps.

          What the hell? I got lost in my own post and got off topic! Who am I to preach? The point, I guess, is we need to prioritize. The rest is easy.

  16. USWep,

    A statistical review shows no concern.

    The drop is the typical summer hiatus that many take from posting – and the economy also has to do with it.

    By fall/winter, it will be back to 70k+ (which, by the way, is mind boggling!)

    • Hey BF, would like your take on Bernanke’s speech today and what it all really means……

      • Kathy

        We are so screwed!!!!!!!!!!!1

        Can’t make it any simpler than that.

        By the way you get 🙂 🙂 for answer to my baseball question a few nights back.

        If you ever remember a replay on radio or tv of the announcer screaming…The Giants win the pennant, the giants win the pennant, the giants win the pennant………..that was the home run Thompson hit in the bottom of the ninth.

        It marked the end of one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, and baseball in particular. The next one came with Seattle Mariners to make the playoffs and then beat the Yankees in the first round.

        • And of course, as Cubs fans, we are still waiting for the biggest, biggest, pennant win in modern day baseball!!!

          • Kathy

            Think World Champions my dear, World Champions.

            It is the one remaining baseball legacy that I want to see overcome in my lifetime. Well, I would go for a Mariners World Championship as well.

      • Kathy,

        Option 1:
        He wants to monetize more “securities”. How did the last time he did this work out?
        IF he does this, expect the same result (which was, didn’t make a dent – this option is like trying to push a string)

        Option 2:
        He wants to change the Bank reserve rate from 0.25 to zero

        The last “rescue”, the FED “gave” the banks a trillion bucks of capital to loan out. The banks, instead, stuffed the cash into their reserves – rather than loan it out. They’d rather earn 0.25% with the FED then risk their shirts loaning to you.

        This is why the trillion bucks had no effect on inflation – it never left the banking system.

        But now, if the FED pulls the plug on the interest, the banks wills start to bleed cash (they have all those wages and rent to pay) – they will loan.

        The Fractional Reserve banking as a system “loans” out, if fully extended, to just under 10x the capital reserves a bank has. For every dollar in the FED, the bank can loan 10 dollars.

        They have a trillion dollars in EXCESS reserves. This -if fully realized- is $10 TRILLION in available loans.

        The current economy has about $2 trillion – economically-speaking overnight would jump to $12 trillion – an annualized inflation rate of 600%.

        That would be in the realm of “hyperinflation” and the end of the dollar.

        I do not think he will let that happen, though he will drop the FED interest.

        I believe he will use this tool to cause the banks to lend – to cause inflation to rise steadily up to ~18-20% and then fight like hell to hold it there (if he can).

        No economy in history has ever successfully walked this tightrope.

        Neither will he.

        I see the inflation threatening to go “escape velocity” and the FED will pull the whole thing – that is, stop buying Treasury debt and bankrupt the Government.

        This will cause the Great, Great, Great Depression – but Western Civilization will survive.

        In other words, Kathy – he has no options. Option #1 will do nothing for the economy but will certainly set up the bowling pins of a future disaster.

        #2 will be that bowling ball racing for those pins.

        Bernanke is a man without a parachute.

        • You know, I always get this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach when I read this stuff. Thanks for laying it out in easy to understand language.

    • Yes, but is it 70k+ unique visitors or 70k+ hits?

      • Hits, Mathius. If it were unique visitors I would be a rock star. I would like it to get there eventually.

        • Well I think you’re a rockstar anyway!

          How many unique visitors?

          • It doesn’t tell me that in the stats they provide. The only thing they provide is that there are 180+ who subscribe to the site.

            • Subscribe? You mean to Word Press?

              • You can subscribe to the site up on the left hand side of the home page. It basically sends you an email when there is a new article posted. I don’t think you have to subscribe to wordpress to do so. However, for the record, starting an account at wordpress is a good thing to do. It is free and it will allow you a little more ability to edit your comments before sending them (if you use the right view there are buttons to italicize, bold, or block quote the way BF and I do regularly).

              • Ok…I will try to do that. I have not subscribed to either. Cool-A-MUNDO !!!

  17. SK Trynosky Sr says:

    I believe that we have quite a group out here. There are some heavy thinkers. What I have found in the past is that this scares a lot of folks who are not necessarily any less heavily into thought but lack the confidence to jump in. How you encourage them I don’t know. It would be fun to have them just jump in with a Hi from time to time to let us and most especially you know they are out there.

    Last week, while on vacation, I remembered how it was in the Army back in ’69, that’s when I first realized I could go up against heavy thinkers as an equal. Picture Ft. Lost in the Woods MO in mid summer. Old WW 2 barracks, poker game on Saturday night with mass quantities of 3.2 beer. Inner circle of players, all college grads. discussing esoteric crap like Thomistic philosophy. I came from a smaller Catholic College and had a Yalie, a Villanova guy, an MIT guy, a Brown guy a Cornell guy and a few other heavy hitters. Suddenly it popped that not only could I hold my own but I had a much deeper knowledge than they. Can’t shut me up since. The relevant part for SUFA is the second circle, the watchers if you will who were HS grads, some with a smattering of Jr. college, maybe. After a while they realized we wouldn’t bite and started putting in their two cents. It was like this Socratic moment to us all. These, USW are who we have to appeal to. I think they are out there, we just have to bring them in.

    YO, OUT THERE, DON’T BE AFRAID, JUMP IN, THE WATER IS FINE!

    Off topic. Is anyone else out there going to visit DC tomorrow beside me? Am I, like my eldest says, crazy?

  18. Why does the universe exist?

    To convert entropy into exotropy

    Why do human beings exist?

    To create complex machines and plastic

    What is my purpose?

    To use complex machines to make plastic

    Why do I do things I know I shouldn’t do?

    Because you want to

    Is this all there is?

    No.

    • ????

      Are you talking to yourself?

      • Kathy,

        No, answering TexasChem post who offered those questions.

      • TexasChem says:

        Kathy,

        BlackFlag is just trying to be witty because he somehow figured out I work with a process of polymerizing ethylene under free-radical initiating conditions and in continuous manner at pressure of at least about 500 atmospheres and temperatures between about 125° and about 325°C at which the exothermic reaction of addition polymerization of ethylene is sustained without decomposition in a stirred autoclave comprising a relatively thick sidewall capable of withstanding the reaction pressure and defining at least one polymerization reaction zone, said continuous manner comprising continuously feeding ethylene to the reaction zone while stirring the resulting polymerization reaction mixture therein and continuously removing therefrom a portion of the resulting polymerization reaction mixture and sustaining the polymerization reaction in a substantially steady state.

        • TexasChem says:

          In other words…I make plastic! 🙂

          I’m sure he figured this out from my facebook page!

        • TexasChem says:

          This process is by no means an easy task.
          The reactor, compressors, exchangers, scrubbers, pumps, piping and other associated machinery involved compromises approximately four city blocks!Bad things can happen when ethylene gas is pressured up over 32,ooo PSI!

        • TexasChem,

          Yep – sorta figured it from your name…

          …and that I’m a George Carlin fan…

          George Carlin: The Universe Wanted Plastic

        • TC makes it, I measure it.

    • Alright, alright, need to read all postings first. Just saw where D13 beat me to the punch with this Texas idea of fun.

  19. USWeapon- I do read every topic you post, but I subscribe through Bloglines so unless I feel compelled to post a comment, I doubt my page view is counted.

    You know from my correspondence that my page views on my Examiner column are also way down. Maybe it is an internetwide slump.

    I also am much more pressed for time these days so I tend to not comment and get drawn into discussions as often. My own writing takes up too much time already, and my daughter (whose 3rd birthday is tomorrow) is pretty demanding of my time and attention.

    I did just finish another book, though. It isn’t officially available for sale yet, but you can get it for free already: http://www.kentforliberty.com/books.html

  20. OK Sarah Palin was right, there’s a serious lack of cojones here.

    What a girly-man!

    http://www.daylife.com/photo/0fOo3Dq6Dv902?q=Barack+Obama

  21. TexasChem says:

    If time is purely quantitative and doesn’t really exist and was only created by humans to perceive and measure changes in our reality…would it be reasonable to assume if we had the correct means of sensing/percieving reality we would know EvErYtHiNg all once?

    • Tex

      A is false.

      A is not related and is thus independent of B.

      B may be possible, but there is no way to prove whether it is true because it is not in our nature.

      • TexasChem says:

        If A has been proved to all or to some B, then B

        must belong to some A: and if A has been proved to

        belong to no B, then B belongs to no A.

        BUT,

        If A does not belong to some B,

        it is not necessary that B should not belong to

        some A: for it may possibly belong to all A!

        JaC,

        You silly syllogist you!

        • Tex

          Your original statement is a fallacy.

          You have included two conditional statements (If, then)and questions within a longer statement.

          The second statement/question is not linked to the first in any way shape or form. In fact the first condition includes contradictions within itself.

          If time does not exist then it could not be created by man, unless of course man does not exist. But I do exist and therefore I exist.

          • TexasChem says:

            Think about it JaC.

            Time absolutely is quantitative.
            Time is merely a means of observing and measuring changes of the material aspects of our reality.

            I was merely stating that time had no actual physical measurable qualities with my statement.

            The intent of the statement was to question whether or not it possible to perceive reality from a different perspective somehow so that time as a quantitative force had no sway over perception!

            • TexasChem,

              Err, sorry buddy – no.

              Time is not absolute, nor quantitative.

              Einstein showed time varies with velocity. It is an observable effect – time clocks on Helios satellite (the fastest man-made object) move slower than on Earth…

              • No… Einstein showed that perception of effect on a mass’ reality altered with speed.Time in and of itself has NO measurable physical properties.

              • TexChem,

                Atomic clocks are not a “perception”.

                Time is not a “perception”

                Time IS a measurable quantity.

                A second is defined to be the amount of time it takes light to travel exactly 299,792.458 kilometers in a vacuum.

              • BF Stated:Atomic clocks are not a “perception”.

                Well duh, you mean we are not observing radioactive materia decaying?

                BF Stated:”A second is defined to be the amount of time it takes light to travel exactly 299,792.458 kilometers in a vacuum.

                TC:Hrmm…you mean were not measuring distance using a constant?

                Time is the observation of effect on materials.Time contains no mass.Are you stating that time containsquarks, leptons and bosons?

                🙂 🙂 🙂

              • Texaschem

                BF Stated:Atomic clocks are not a “perception”.

                Well duh, you mean we are not observing radioactive materia decaying?

                That’s not what you meant.

                Time is NOT a perception. The atomic clocks MEASURE.

                BF Stated:”A second is defined to be the amount of time it takes light to travel exactly 299,792.458 kilometers in a vacuum.

                TC:Hrmm…you mean were not measuring distance using a constant?

                Duh… the speed of light IS a constant, that is why it is the BASE of the measure.

                Start counting…light 299,792.458 km later… that’s a second, folks!

                Time is the observation of effect on materials.

                Time is no such thing.
                You confuse time and entropy.

                Time contains no mass.Are you stating that time containsquarks, leptons and bosons?

                🙂 🙂 🙂

                “Up and down” have no mass either. Neither does “left or right”. Nor does “in or out”.

                Try again, Tex.

  22. I still get SUFA in my e-mail, but don’t have time to read and comment like I was for awhile.

    The comments do tend to get way off topic (friendly bantering)which is fine, but take more precious time to skim through if you’re not part of the conversation. Also in a way I think all that friendly bantering keeps new comers from commenting as they feel out of the conversation.

    Also there does need to be a substantial topic every day. But the amount of time required would be too much for one poor soul. I think USW should get some regular guest posts, maybe two days a week from the same people each time. Even just one co-writer would probably do it.

  23. Don’t know (and just really don’t care) how most of the other regular readers of this site will take what I have to say.

    When I first started reading you, I thought that the title to your website had some meaning – that there was something specific that you wanted to accomplish. Over time I have noticed that is not the case, at least from my perspective. As you all have probably figured out by now I have zero tolerance on purely philosophic discussions as I view that a waste of time and energy. I suppose that has a lot to do with my background and life history.

    What I would like to see is a defined purpose, something of actual substance rather than meandering philosophical discussions. I know that most of your readers are well educated and well read. That being said, I did not get my knowledge solely from books. I have been around this planet a few times and have actually observed, during a “working” environment if you will, how the rest of the world lives and how their governments treat them and have compared what I have actually seen out there to what I have actually experienced in this country. I know it is a far different world than what the books will ever tell you. That is fact.

    Okay, you asked for suggestions and not the personal rant from an old fart who sometimes doubts his own sanity, so here are a few;

    1. Get back to the basics of what we can do to get this country back to where it belongs and away from this headlong rush to dump the Constitution and start all over again. (That ought to send Black Flag into a hissy-fit)

    2. Stop all this nonsensical philosophical meandering about nothing that means anything to anyone.

    3. Stop being afraid of offending anyone with your points of view – controversial conversations among intelligent people is how we got our country started in the first place!

    4. Last, but not least, define what you want to see accomplished from those who participate in the discussions on your website. (on mine, I have stated that I want the readers to actually THINK for themselves)

    Well there it is in a nutshell. Add more writers? You can. Contribute more articles from you or other people? You can. However, as an afterthought, here is one suggestion I might submit – set more “Open Mic” days. Then add a few controversial subjects of your own into the mix as that might liven the discussions up a bit.

    Okay, I’m done. Gonna be out for a few days. (I am beginning to feel like a lab rat, and doctors are fast becoming my least likable people)

    • “As you all have probably figured out by now I have zero tolerance on purely philosophic discussions as I view that a waste of time and energy.”

      “Doing SOMETHING” is what got us where we are. Without a firm philosophical understanding of where we are, how we got here, and where we want to go, doing “something” is much worse than doing “nothing”. The philosophy gives me a foundation, and lets my actions be consistent and helpful in building the world I want to live in and that I hope my children will want to live in. Until I got philosophical I wasted a lot of time and energy on misguided and contradictory things. You do what you want, but I know what works for me.

  24. Many of my thoughts have been captured in statements above so I will not repeat them. My time is limited and often late in the day on PDT so I come in like now after the fact. I like this site because of the civil discourse although it does tend to end in trivia. I am looking for ideas and solutions to our current national and political problems. What will it take to bring sanity back to the state and federal capitals?

    By the way, did anyone see the EPA float the idea of banning lead for bullets, shot and sinkers? They backed off once Drudge picked it up but that may be until after the elections. Like regulating CO2, this is more laws by dictate (tyranny).

  25. Update: $75 fine for failure to display updated registration stickers on PWC. Luckily, no additional fine for failure to pay ticket on time. If they pull me over Labor Day weekend I’m damn sure gonna splash them before I come to a stop! 🙂

  26. Let me chime in with some of my limited knowledge in Internet marketing. Which is really what you’re talking about. Site numbers (visitors counts) are good, but must be taken in context. Where do those visitors come from? Most are probably due to search traffic. Slower posting schedules will drop that in a big way. Watch your logs to see how often search engine bots visit your site (they’re usually counted separately in analysis) and you’ll see how popular your site is with the SE’s.

    What I will tell you is that your numbers (assuming those are visitors counted once every 24 hours and not “hits” or something else) are phenomenal. Here’s some perspective using info from MilitantLibertarian.org server logs using only the month of August:

    So far this month, as of 12 noon today, the site has had 23,012 unique visitors (each IP counted only once for 24 hours). Of those, the following breaks them down:

    43% are direct visitors meaning they typed in or clicked a link that goes to “militantlibertarian.org” and not a specific page or post on the site. That’s unusually high, my other blogs have a 5-12% average in this regard.

    39% are from search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) – this number on my other sites is usually the largest chunk of visitors. On EVMeme.com, for instance, it’s in the mid-70%.

    8% are from Facebook, amazingly enough. My site automatically publishes posts to the Militant Libertarian Facebook account as well. Twitter does nothing for me, FB does a lot.

    The rest are a mixture of people who directly went to a page from an unknown source, clicked through from an RSS reader or email, and so forth.

    Add to the total visitor count the number of RSS subscribers (currently 2,724) – those are direct daily readers as well.

    A lot of other factors come into play as well. I don’t write much original material for MiliLib, so I don’t get the kind of search engine optimization numbers I could get if it were all original.

    Then you add in seasonal trends. There is always a drop in website visitors, no matter the site, in the Spring as people escape from their houses and start doing things. Weekend traffic usually dies at this point and doesn’t come back until mid-summer when it’s getting very hot out. This month has seen an increase in Friday-Sunday visitors, in fact.

    Commentary on MiliLib has always been light (not like here at all), but again, I’m not publishing a lot of original stuff. About 5% or so of visitors click through to original sources on content. Which is why I have all those links opening a new window/tab (so they don’t leave my site).

    Then add in your change in tone and that you’re doing less left-bashing (as you said) and you can guess that most of the GOP losers have left your site to find a more Glenn Becky venue in which to vent their spleens on their favorite bad guys (aka Democrats).

    I had a drop in site visitors earlier this year when I ran a series of anti-Israel/Zionist articles. There are still a lot of Bible thumpers in the right wing and even the Constitution/Libertarian parties. They hate anything that goes against “God’s chosen.”

    Oh well. I didn’t need them anyway. Fairweather types. They can FO. I’m sure MilitantLibertarian.org would be a lot more popular had I started out as I did in 2003 (registering the domain in ’04) as a more generalized Libertarian and hadn’t evolved into the more anti-state type I am now. Much of my search traffic is still based on the word “libertarian” in fact. haha

    • You had me up to this point:

      “…of the GOP losers have left your site to find a more Glenn Becky venue in which to vent their spleens on their favorite bad guys (aka Democrats).

      I had a drop in site visitors earlier this year when I ran a series of anti-Israel/Zionist articles. There are still a lot of Bible thumpers in the right wing and even the Constitution/Libertarian parties. They hate anything that goes against “God’s chosen.”

      Oh well. I didn’t need them anyway. Fairweather types. They can FO.”

      Really, are the insults necessary?

      • I haven’t read his blog-but from reading his post-I Suspect his “fairweather types” didn’t leave because his article was anti Isreal-it is much more likely they left because HE was Anti-Them.

        • “I haven’t read his blog…” “HE was Anti-Them”

          That pretty much spells it out.

          Look, I’ve been trying to do my part to educate people (and myself) on what’s happening in the world – for real, not the clap-trap they tell you on the nightly news. During that time I’ve learned that there are people who are so happy to have their head in the sand, to play their little left-right/GOP-DNC b.s. games and to continue on in their “conservative vs. liberal” trenches that they aren’t going to see the smoke for the fire.

          Usually when you challenge their paradigm, they either attack you directly or they run away so they don’t have to listen. These people, I’ve found, cannot be saved (as it were) and aren’t worth the trouble. Usually they’re part of the problem. They’re the ones who believe that the next Sarah Palin, the next Ronald Reagan, the next Obama, the next Clinton will save us all. They can’t see that if you compile the works of all four of those people together, they’re the same result. Different rhetoric to justify it, but they’re all screwing you over.

          These Fairweather Friends are of no help to anyone and are probably the largest detriment towards real change and freedom in this country.

          • I applaud you for trying to do good-and I was very careful to base my comments solely on your post here. But you can call people close minded-but there are ways and there are ways to make ones points-we are all guilty of making emotional rants-but if people believe that you not only disagree with them but that you hold them in contempt-they are NOT going to listen to you. It is human nature-if you want to reach people-you cannot do it by calling them Bible thumpers and telling them to FO. Now you may think they aren’t worth the effort but most people are not really all of the same mind-they may sound the same in the middle of an emotional group rant but when you truly TALK to them-you will find that their beliefs differ. The problem with our society is that we go with the emotional group RANT.

            • …”if people believe that you not only disagree with them but that you hold them in contempt-they are NOT going to listen to you. It is human nature-if you want to reach people-you cannot do it by calling them Bible thumpers and telling them to FO”..

              Well said, VH. I’m tired of automatically be insulted for my independent thinking and questioning of what I’m expected to believe. I’m not going to waste my time with abusive people. And yes, I do find it abusive.

              • I certainly can identify with why people react harshly and sometimes just walk away from a conversation. But we also have to make sure that we aren’t overreacting(because we need to really talk in this country)- because the people who disagree with us are usually as passionate in their beliefs as we are and it is very easy to become the abusers. I’m not gonna list them 🙂 but I may have been guilty of this overreacting myself a time or two or three. 🙂

              • Crap-I’m starting to sound preachy -something else that I’m occasionally guilty of. Think I’ll shut up for awhile-Go watch TV

              • That’s very true, BUT, it just tells me they aren’t ready to listen, and until they are, I’m wasting my time.

                More and more people ARE now ready to listen. So why should I waste my time on someone who isn’t ready when the time is much better spent on someone who is? I have a full time job, at least for a couple of more days, friends, and a life. I’m not going to waste time arguing with people who think I’m stupid, racist, brainwashed, etc. Let them alone, I say. They’re blissfully ignorant. In some ways, I’m jealous of them. They may be idots, but they’re HAPPY idots, lol.

              • Ah, don’t be so hard on yourself VH! I am sometimes fond of “overeacting” myself. I have begun to try to not take things personal, but dang it’s hard!

                Unlike what you may think Aaron, some of us are not as much bible-thumping, chosen livers, as just people who are alarmed at the direction this Nation has taken in just the past few years. It has happened so fast it has taken us by suprise.

                We have gone from “One Nation Under God”, to several communities divided by ideology and Government.

                Whether you believe so or not, I and several on this site do not share the views of the right or left, but rather we believe that both sides have both right and wrong views and are being sharply divided by them by our leaders instead of trying to find a middle ground where we can all live together.

                I would gladly, GLADLY, compromise to bring my Country back together. Would you?

          • “I was very careful to base my comments solely on your post here.”

            Didn’t convey what I meant -I was very careful to state that I was basing my comments solely on your post. I am aware that I do not have a complete picture of you, from this one statement.

            • Thanks and I understood that. My blog is mostly not written by me. It’s reposts of other websites – a sort of daily conglomeration of news you won’t see on CNBC or CNN or FOX. I write very little of my own content. I do include commentary (usually a sentence or two) occasionally and I do write rants once in a while, but mostly it’s all someone else’s writing.

              That probably wasn’t really clear in my original comment here, which was mainly about taking visitorship into context.

              At any rate, what it all boils down to is that I’ve learned that there are those who aren’t going to change their minds on anything and there are those who are open to new ideas. It’s my experience that they come in a ratio of 1,000,000:1 or thereabouts. :/

              • I agree that there are some people who will not change their mind but I think most people’s views simply are not as extreme as they are portrayed. Even by themselves most of the time. None the less, changing people’s views may take time and they may not admit it but they do hear you, if the presentation doesn’t cause them to just react emotionally. So I disagree with your ratio-I think it might be more of a measure of the frustration that we are all feeling.

      • What insult? If they left the site because they can’t handle a little questioning of their own paradigm (be it religious, cultural, or whatever), they aren’t open to learning anything new and so their time is wasted on my site (or sites like this one, for that matter).

        • “GOP losers”, “Glenn Becky”, “vent their spleens”, “favorite bad guys”, “I ran a series of anti-Israel/Zionist articles”. etc.

          I didn’t realize these are ‘questions’. My bad.

          • I am “Glenn Becky”! And proud of the fact. Especially since he has changed to trying to bring us back to our Founders.

            Contrary to what some may think, he NEVER talks hate. He tells us to QUESTION EVERYTHING WE ARE TOLD.

            That’s why the campaign to discredit him. The big dogs in charge don’t want us asking questions. We might discover the truth that some of us have already discovered Aaron.

            THAT NONE OF THEM CAN BE TRUSTED, REGARDLESS OF PARTY!!

            • I kind of like GB and find him very entertaining. I don’t get to watch him anymore because his show is on while I’m at work. We monitor the AFN feed, but there isn’t any sound, though new monitors were installed yesterday and possibly audio has been connected. (I may have to take a look at that next week 😉 )

              I see how the Left tries to discredit him. It is also done on the minion level and extended to anything negative about the Chosen One. The other morning I had yet another ‘Bamliever go off about the ‘born in a Hawiian manger myth’. We weren’t even talking to her and as usual she just shouted us down. We let her walk off feeling superior in intellect and then continued the conversation. She’s a backstabbing you-know-what who works in IT. Hope-N-Change has come to Kwaj. Some of my friends have already received their lay-off letters, with the bulk of the unfortunate ones expected to get their’s next week. This is a very good time to watch one’s back…

  27. I haven’t posted for a while, so I guess I fall in the category of “lost” reader/poster. I still get the emails when new articles are published, and I usually scan them and the comments.

    The reasons for my inactivity here:

    1. Life and work have been extremely busy.

    2. While I’ve noticed a little “softening” of some of your articles USWeapon, the overall tone of the articles and comments seems to have slid to the right and gotten harsher.

    When I browse thru some of the articles and lots of the comments, I find myself just rolling my eyes and thinking “here we go again”…sometime in the past I had brought up “group think” or “mob mentality”, but it was quickly dismissed. I think it’s more and more obvious that that is happening (it almost can’t be avoided). You have a group of people that generally have the same political outlook and a few that you can all disagree with. You constantly reinforce each other, and as a group “attack” those that disagree with you…

    I was traveling for work this past week (guess where I was PeterB??). I watched a little Fox News and Glenn Beck a couple of the nights, and quite honestly I was simultaneously appalled and amused. How can anyone take any of what they broadcast seriously? But so many “conservatives” do, and that drives the “group think” on the entire conservative side…

    Every once in a while I’ve started to write a response to an article or comment, but I usually end up dropping it (well, I guess I’ve always dropped it in the last few months!). Trying to refute even a small percentage of the arguments, knowing what all the same old responses are going to be…

    The best way to explain how I feel is that it’s just not worth the effort…

    • TexasChem says:

      Todd,

      Could you post some of the topics you were apalled by on Fox and describe why you didn’t take it seriously please?

      • TexasChem,
        Is that the only question you have about my post?
        So you’ve more concerned I may have slandered Fox News than you are about SUFA in general?
        Do you really need examples of Fox News bias?
        You don’t see it yourself?

        First there’s Glenn Beck and his rally today. The way he promoted it – like his rally is going to save the USA and restore honor. Glenn Beck wouldn’t know honor if it bit him in the face. He is nothing more than a snake oil salesman looking out for himself – and that’s all his rally is about.

        O-Reilly was on vacation this week and his guest host was talking to Karl Rove. The host was going on-and-on about how bad the Dems are. Her example was the “Cornhusker Kickback”. Her and Karl Rove went on-and-on how this is an example of how the Dems are ruining America.

        TexasChem – can you give me three reasons why that is a ridiculous example?

        One morning, the hosts on Fox & Friends were chatting about – guess what – how bad the Dems are. One of them said “I can’t wait until November when the GOP takes back control of Congress…”

        TexasChem – can you tell me what’s wrong with that?

        If that’s not enough examples, then reread my original post… Your reply is exactly the problem I was referring too here at SUFA. You don’t want to discuss issues, you simple want to defend your beliefs and attack anyone who disagrees with you.

        • 🙄 Todd, this site came into existance AFTER Obama was elected. Can you honestly say that Obama has moved the USA in the right direction? You say “group think” but the group think is that government is out of control. I don’t see anyone defending the republican party around here. What is wrong with us bashing an out of control government? STAND UP FOR AMERICA. You should be standing with us not bashing us.

          Glenn Beck. The man is trying his best to get people to wake up. Would you rather see the New Black Panthers up there trying to reunite America?

          Fox News. They are one against the rest, but you attack them. Care to defend the rest?

          Speaking of attacking. TC asked a simple question, then YOU attacked HIM. What’s up with that?

          Most of us at SUFA have changed our thinking big time in the last several years. You are still in hate mode. Why can you not move past that and put forward some solutions?
          Or are you content with where we are?

          • Anita,

            Most of us at SUFA have changed our thinking big time in the last several years.

            Do you have some examples of this?

            • SK Trynosky Sr says:

              Todd.

              For me it’s Afghanistan. There is no percentage in staying anymore. Whatever we do is temporary. The best we can do is either leave a very small very professional force behind and pull the rest out or let them kill each other to their hearts content then, if they reach outside their borders, come in and kick their asses again but follow the Brit example and leave right away.

              No Afghan or Iraqi refugees allowed in here period. Let them fight for their country.

            • Todd,

              For me it was the realization that BOTH Rs and Ds are thoroughly corrupt and screwing the people. The whole Left vs Right Friday Night Fights are a distraction meant to keep the sheople fighting each other so as not to interfere with the Two-Shirts-One-Team bullshit party system.

          • Your request sounds like a trap. What is the point of your question? I’ll let the others weigh in for themselves. You’ve been around long enough to see the posts for yourself so I don’t get your point. But I’ll humor you and respond for myself. The biggest change in my thinking thanks to SUFA is that the R’s are no better than the D’s. It’s not R vs D anymore it’s US v THEM.

            I asked you 7 questions. You didn’t answer one of them. Care to try? Especially this one: What is wrong with us bashing an out of control government?

            • Anita,
              A trap? Are you a little paranoid? 🙂 It was a simple question about your statement…

              What is wrong with us bashing an out of control government?

              It just leads to out-of-control rhetoric.
              It does nothing to fix the problems.
              It leads to things like “it’s US v THEM”.

              It contradicts your own statement:

              Most of us at SUFA have changed our thinking big time in the last several years. You are still in hate mode. Why can you not move past that and put forward some solutions?
              Or are you content with where we are?

              You accuse me of being in “hate mode”, but it seems you can’t move past your hate of the current administration.

              Why can you not move past that and put forward some solutions?

              • Paranoid? No. Just not falling into your trap. Like I said what is your point? You have no point except to get the last word. You are smarter than that.

                Us v Them. Can’t you see that Todd?

                Yes, you are correct. I do not like the current administration. But I also do not like any administration anymore. They have gotten us nowhere except broke. Defend your government if you think it is so great. What is it that they have done that makes you proud to be an American?
                Defend the media if you think it’s so great. Are you content with where we are as a nation?

                Those are simple questions. No need to attack me. Just answer the questions.

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Solution # 385

                How to deal with illegal immigration.

                1. Establish a 12 month period for all illegals to come forward and identify themselves.

                2. Do a background check on all illegals for criminal records.

                3. Deport all who fail either to pass # 2 or fail to come forward (no second chances)

                4. Grant permanent legal residency to all who remain with the understanding it can be withdrawn for criminal activity and lead to deportation.

                5. Grant all the benefits of citizenship EXCEPT the right to vote.

                The above should satisfy everyone, everyone who is not lying that is.

        • TexasChem says:

          Actually I watch FOX news all the time and seldom have I seen a story that I was “apalled” with.Other than when they covered the illegal immigration on our borders.

          That was being apalled at the lack of leadership and interest by our federal government that is!*!*!Not at fox.

          If you stop and re-read your post with a calm mind you will notice the emotional outpouring of what I myself term “Liberal laser pew-pew attack mouse mode”.It is very ugly and non-professional.

          90% of it makes absolutely no sense!Why are you so angry.If it had been Matthews in the reverse position saying that he couldn’t wait until November for the Dems to regain control would you be so upset?

          The cornhusker kickback was a bad deal Todd.Given both sides are pork laden gluttons but hell man you should be more upset with the deal than with the repubs making an issue of it.It is not right!

          I do not attack people on the forums.If I did Todd my postings would look more like your mini rant above!

          Good day to you sirrah!

          • TexasChem,
            You call my post ugly and non-professional? Have you ever read one of your own posts? Would you consider this “professional”? I’d call it childish…

            My definition,
            Islamophobia:Having enough common sense and logical thinking ability to percieve and understand the threat of Islam from a historical and modern day point of view to its actions and their impact upon their own and any other society they have come in contact with.

            You’re for freedom and all that stuff, right? Well, at least for good Christians and people that agree with your views. But anyone else – you’ll just kick them all out. Quite the bazaar definition of “freedom”…

            If it had been Matthews in the reverse position saying that he couldn’t wait until November for the Dems to regain control would you be so upset?

            Absolutely I would. It’s unprofessional – but you seem to have a hard time with that word…

            Just to help you along here…the 3 reasons the “Cornhusker Kickback” is a ridiculous example:

            1. It was removed from the bill – it is not part of the law.
            2. Both sides do this all the time.
            3. Karl Rove was the master “horse-trader” during the Bush administration. For him to complain about someone else doing it is the ultimate hypocrisy.

            And yet 7 months later Fox News is still harping on it. The word that came to my mind while watching that was “Childish”. Seems to come up a lot…

            I do not attack people on the forums.If I did Todd my postings would look more like your mini rant above!

            Oh sure – except for your childish valediction…

    • Todd,

      So, you say there has been no change “same old, same old” – and then complain USWep has actually moved “more right”.

      So your real complaint is: USWep has moved in a direction away from you.

      Group think is not a problem with you, as long as the group thinks like you!

      I, personally, have found massive shifts in many people here.

      Perhaps they hold a standard bias and view when first faced with an issue -more like a habitual response- but I have found that in their dialogue – after a time when they’ve contemplated and digested a bit – the responses are far more thoughtful, reasoned and articulated.

      Sure, when some get frustrated, they quickly fall back to old habits – but that’s merely the result of doing the same thing over and over – that becomes the natural state. But with practice, the habit is changing – and I see that change in quite a few people big time.

      Anyway, I’ve enjoyed your past posts, I’m sure I’ll enjoy any future one of yours as well.

      • BF, I know what I believed when I came here as changed dramatically. Further to the right or not I don’t know. I BELIEVE I have become more of a Radical Right Wing Liberal.

      • Aw, good ole BF. I see nothing’s changed with you. Taking other’s words, twisting them around for your own benefit…

        So, you say there has been no change “same old, same old” – and then complain USWep has actually moved “more right”.

        So your real complaint is: USWep has moved in a direction away from you.

        USWeapon asked for opinions, I gave mine. It was not a complaint, it was an opinion. I don’t need you to interpret or clarify it. If you don’t understand, ask for clarification – but don’t tell me what I’m saying.

        Group think is not a problem with you, as long as the group thinks like you!

        I think “group think” is always a problem. It never leads to good solutions. It would seem you’re the one that doesn’t have a problem with group think. You’re constantly brow-beating everyone about how they’re wrong and you’re right…

        I, personally, have found…

        I didn’t ask for your opinion. Tell it to USWeapon…

    • Todd

      Wish you would stop in more often.

      I enjoyed some of our discussions, especially on the environment. I suspect our goals are aligned but we simply differ on tactics.

      Best wishes to you and your family.

      Rumors around here are heavy snow this winter. Hope you get some to exercise those X-Country skis.

      Until then,
      JAC

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      Todd, good to see you back here. You guys who disagree with me and whom I disagree with, keep me honest.

      I went to the Beck rally yesterday and was uncomfortable with the religious overtones but then have to ask myself why? This is a country where Union Soldiers went into battle singing about Christ having died to make men holy and that they should be willing to die to make men free. Yes, that was 150 years ago, but we are the same people, from the same roots, with the same desire. They apparently did not feel uncomfortable or have shame. My personal hero (before the movie Gettysburg I might add) Joshua Chamberlain was both an ardent advocate of science, reason and religion. A great question would be why so many of us today (me included) feel frankly ashamed to wear our faith out in the open. I for one do not know but would love to.

      Regarding Beck, he may very well be a charlatan and a tireless self promoter. He may be Andy Griffith in “A Face in the Crowd”, a carny geek if you will. On the other hand, he may be the real deal. I was never a big fan of the Rev. Billy Graham, but I never doubted him either. It is just possible that with Beck, what you see is what you get. As a guy who survived his flirtation and obsession with booze and drugs, like Bill W, Beck will share what saved him with you whether you want to hear it or not.

      You and I, I feel are both cynics. We’ve been burnt way too often and we have been taught to question everyone’s motives. I however, still remember my father’s dictum, that I should trust all men, until they prove otherwise. Still waiting on Beck and hope he doesn’t.

      • SK Trynosky Sr,
        A cynic? Not me! I’m an optimist. I’m usually accused of wearing rose colored glasses here! 🙂

        I’ve been burnt plenty of times, but I take those as good lessons to learn from. In my experience, the people that do the “burning” may gain in the short run, but it catches up with them in the long run. They never get very far.

  28. USW and SUFA readers: Some of the comments about improvement seem to dwell on small talk issues (ie. being friendly and carrying on some light convivial banter and not staying on subject). I am guilty of that and admit it. Being totally serious all the time, I think, is detrimental. The true personality of some readers will not come out, in my opinion, without a rabbit trail or two to make people laugh and quit being so serious 100% of the time. I think that it allows some to show their true personality and humor without taking away from the site. However, I might be in the minority of thinking here.

    I am curious if this needs to stop or slow down. What does everyone and especially YOU, sir, think about this?

    NOTE: I will not go away but I can certainly stay directly on subject.

    • I think the friendly banter and humor is what keeps us from just yelling and arguing-we actually get to know each other and respect each other as human beings. Our country needs more of this-not less. I may disagree with what a regular says but their my regular and it makes me angry if I feel someone goes past disagreeing or even fighting sometimes into attacking.

    • The problem with going off topic seems more a matter of:
      1.We will be talking about how to handle a currant problem.
      2. People will be giving ideas.
      3. Someone will introduce the non-government position into the discussion
      4. All talk about ideas to fix the problem end
      5. the discussion becomes the normal one of non-government vs. government

      Now I am NOT saying we shouldn’t talk about gov. vs. non-gov. but perhaps whoever is introducing it-could move to another box-so the original conversation can continue.

    • D13,

      Personally, I really like all the banter that happens here. I think that it is a part of what makes the site fun and worthwhile. I am a social creature by nature, which means that I like the concept of making friends. The banter here does that. I tend to think that I could have dinner with a lot of the folks that are regulars here and enjoy the evening talking with them, something that is a result of the “off-topic” conversations. I think it also is a major part of the reason that the discussions remain so civil.

      USW

      • Some have asked what we are accomplishing here. I think the making friends thing is a big part of it. Most of us who regularly post here, if we were traveling, would be welcomed into the homes or at least onto the front porches of each other at a moment’s notice. When dealing with the problems we are dealing with, finding like minds, finding new ideas, and most of all, just finding other people, makes a big difference. America did not win its freedom without a lot of words and debate and talking and unity of thought and purpose. It may not be obvious or tangible, but we are accomplishing a lot.

        • And when the ecomomy collapses from all the stupid crap going on and bring America down, we here and others like us will have to be the ones to try and pick up the pieces.

          And that is my firm belief. Notice I said WHEN. Not IF.

      • USW. I am NOT a social creature by nature, as you said you were. If it were my choice I would never leave the house.

        My belief is that when I am by myself, I am in dang good company. 😀 This is said only half in jest. I do love my family, I just also love being at home.

        I take after my Grandma. I think she was sort of Agoraphobic. Or maybe it was just from living way out in the sticks back in the 30’s to the 70’s, when the women mostly stayed at home and tended the house. And that’s not downing her role as a woman either. In my mind, she is the greatest woman, except for maybe my Mama, that ever lived.

        But having said all that, I will get to the point. This is the 21st Century. 2010. And with all that is going on in the Country today, I realized in 2008 that you can’t just sit with your head in the sand. We ALL need to get ready. We need to reach out to others and get ready for the big bang that’s coming our way.

        As bad as I knew it was going to be when Mr. “Hope and Change” was elected. Nothing prepared me for the disaster that has become this Government. We are in deep doo-doo. The economy is officially at a standstill, and we are divided as a people as never before in our History. This from a promise of better things and “Change”. Well he got the change part right, but not for the better.

        We and others like us need to get prepared. Disaster is coming. And God help us all.

        • ..”As bad as I knew it was going to be when Mr. “Hope and Change” was elected. Nothing prepared me for the disaster that has become this Government. We are in deep doo-doo. The economy is officially at a standstill, and we are divided as a people as never before in our History. This from a promise of better things and “Change”. Well he got the change part right, but not for the better.

          We and others like us need to get prepared. Disaster is coming. And God help us all.”

          +1 Million thumbs up.

  29. TO JAC: You asked me a question yesterday about BF’s answer to monopolies and did it satisfy me. I read through it three times, wrote down some of his points, and thought them through. I even pulled out some old books to look up to see where his conclusions could possibly come from….

    So, to answer your question directly….No, I was not satisfied with his answer and definition of monopoly. He makes assumptions that some things will happen but they are just assumptions. NOthing can be proven in philosophical reasoning until something actually happens. Reality.

    History proves a lot of things but is not the only answer. I suggest that the definition of monopoly has changed. Monopoly does not have to be the only one left in order to have one but can also be one of control…even with competitors. I used an example of water and tried to keep it simple. In April of 2011, our agreement to the City and County will expire. We do not intend to renew it nor do we intend to cut off the water but we will have the power to do so, if we desire. The fact that a neighbor can drill a well is not relevant nor does it break a monopoly. It will still bankrupt him (them) and will take several wells to supply even 50% of what we allow to flow downstream. Taking his definition, one person drilling breaks the power….I say no it does not.

    NOw, I took his argument of no government. IF THERE WERE NO GOVERNMENT…then controlling the water rights will be my right to do. Since the water, originates….ORIGINATES…on my land, then it it mine. No one else’s…according to the doctrine that he supports. It matters not if the water source that bubbles forth on my land is actually an underground river that is over 12,000 feeet below surface but comes up in limestone cracks on my property…it still originates on my property for the purpose of use and flow. The next potable water table is approximately 7,000 feet below the surface. Too expensive to drill just for water and, as previously stated, it would take several of those wells to approach even 50% of the flow.

    IF I were to shut off the flow to the reserve water supply for a large city and in drought situations, which are ample around there, resulted in limited or no water, then I submit that I have a monopoly on the water. Control is the deciding factor. When Standard Oil was declared a monopoly..they were not the only oil company around….there were several smaller ones…home owned ones….but control of the market went to Standard. I see the same deal…although samller on scale. So, my point, is three. (1) under no government, I think monopolies will exist to a greater extent. (2) Since I am the owner of said water, then my actions will not be violent if I decide to cut off water…because, BF also says, no one has a right to tell me that what is mine is not mine….and if it is mine, then I am not subject to the violence upon innocent rule, and (3) If my neighbor gets pissed because he cannot afford to drill for water and tries to do something like blow up my dam, then he is NOT justified in doing so under BF’s rule lest HE be guilty of violence and then I can retaliate.

    Conclusion being, in my mind….there will be monopolies, in a NO government environment. There will be control by individuals of certain things. Control is not violence if it is mine. Any attempt to wrest control away, is then violence upon me and a violation of his and NAtural LAw…if I am understanding correctly.

    • D13

      I’ll keep it very simple for now. May write more later.

      You will have a monopoly in the accepted definition sense. But it is limited in its geographic market.

      Your ability to maintain that monopoly will depend on your pricing and your ability to withstand social/political pressure. If you raise water prices to high then drilling wells, pipelines from Colorado and trucking in water become feasible. Or, you may kill the town. This carries an indirect cost to you as well.

      So, yes monopolies can form under free market conditions. Historically they could not maintain themselves as monopolies without govt help. Market forces and social pressures simply cause them to fail. To me that is the key point.

      Your situation is slightly different because you own the only water. But viable alternatives will develop if your price is too high or your supply to low.

      The other important point with monopolies is that they are NOT bad in and of themselves. If they can keep from getting lazy they can result in the lowest and most stable pricing of a product. The FEAR of monopolies was created by political operatives for reasons that are not “economical” in nature.

      In free markets monopolies will arise where they make economic sense. When they don’t they will cease to exist. Historically this doesn’t take very long to happen.

      As for the other, the water is yours. Take control of YOUR water.

      In summary, I have now discovered the true identity of D13.

      He is Cable Hogue.

      • OK…cool. I will accept that. I like Cable Hogue. 🙂

        Now..having agreed with you and Mr. Hogue…

        JAC says: “So, yes monopolies can form under free market conditions. Historically they could not maintain themselves as monopolies without govt help. Market forces and social pressures simply cause them to fail. To me that is the key point.”

        My wole point is that I can control whether or not “my monopoly” continues to exist due to market forces that INFLUENCE MY decisions. That is all. I was trying to prove… nothing more.

        In this case, I will never cut off water from my down stream neighbors nor the reserve water supply of Ardmore Oklahoma….but I could. My point is that I could. I could exploit it if I wanted but I certainly would not let a city die nor my neighbors perish. It would not be to my gain. I would be smart enough to maintain my control at the highest possible price taking away, in reality, the need for the downstream users to have to seek alternative sources.

        I am not an in depth student of the Austrian model. I know enough about it in that I do not want it.

        But, in closing, I just set up my tub and put a blond in it…..time to go.

        • D13

          And I agree with you. Your initial example/discussion tossed in a bunch of chafe but I ignored that as I figured the real point was that YOU control ALL of the water, that is currently accessible.

          As for Austrians and monopolies, they don’t all agree totally on monopoly theory either.

          But I did find the following where Mises recognizes your type of monopoly, namely a “natural resource” monopoly.

          “Mises also argues that although most monopolies and monopoly prices are made possible by government intervention in the free market (tariffs, licenses, etc.), there are certain instances in which monopoly (and monopoly prices) arise in the unhampered market. He specifically mentions natural re­source monopoly,[12] geographic monopoly,[13] limited-space monopoly,[14] and monopoly that might arise because consumers place a “special confidence…on the individual or firm con­cerned on account of previous experience,”[15] as with certain trademarked drugs.”

          Cable Hogue is one of my all time favorites. Thought you might appreciate the connection.

          Have fun in the tub.

          • Yes sir….I did throw in some chafe that I thought was pertinent…..lol…..perhaps is was not. Anyway, there are so many definitions of monopoly out there and so many variations of it, I discount that there is only one definition. You just stated it more eloquently than I. I tried, in vain, to apply it to a NO government, free environment scenario. I then applied the Natural Law theory to it as it pertains to violence on non violent men. Nothing more than that. The other point being that if the neighbors decided to get together and take my water, then they are the violent ones and I am not simply by holding control and exercising it.

            (Remember, I am just a retired old Texas hick Colonel who knows nothing)

            As to the tub…..she is waiting. Have a great evnening, sir…and remember this….NEVER stand downwind from a spitting camel.

    • TexasChem says:

      Hrmmmm….

      My great aunt has had a monopoly on water for decades in the city of Houston with…

      water bonds.

  30. Good day one and all … today I linked to SUFA with some good points a couple of yous (forgive my brooklynese) made yesterday:

    http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2010/08/two-sides-worlds-apart-or-just-plain.html

    Of course once DOC has something to say, it’ll be a much funner read (at my expense) …

  31. Have we always had this comment button on the left side?-this feature is wonderful 🙂 , I’m gonna kick myself if it’s always been here. 😦

    • VH, I have looked at your post twice today and can’t for the life of me figure out WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT! Nothing has changed on my screen. How have you been submitting your comments?

      • It may not have changed. I may have just ignored them. But if you go up to the top of the page under Subscribe it says entries and comments. If you push comments it gives you the most recent posts-and it is really cool. If you push entries you can go to past articles. Has saved be lots of time today!

  32. OT for Black Flag

    What do you make of this? I think its very bad but not the least bit surprising, though I admit I didn’t expect it this soon. Things are moving VERY fast, indeed, no?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/us-postal-service-starts-quoting-sdr-dollar-conversion-rates-and-imf-endorses-replacing-doll

  33. Sorry I’m late, as usual. My problem is that I don’t have Internet access at home. No Broadband yet. I won’t have it until they expand out a little further.

    I enjoy most of the conversations and have taken to pointedly put out some things to targeted folks just to see their comments.(Glenn Beck :-))

    I like most of your articles USW, but as Cyndi, Anita, and others, sometimes I am just out of my depth on some topics. And sometimes some people here tend to be flat out sarcastic to some of the things others say. I know that is just people’s differing views, but they need to understand that just because they don’t share our view, that doesn’t make it wrong. As I say though, that happens when you get widely differing views.

    I don’t have an opinion on what you can do to change anything other than maybe have articles more often. Sometimes two days between new articles is just too much. But I don’t know how much time you have to fix this.

    Let me just say that I enjoy this site more than any other I have read, and the ONLY one I respond on most of the time. I do read others but usually don’t respond but occasionally.

    Keep up the good fight USW. Don’t get down.

    Esom Hill out.

  34. D13,

    I even pulled out some old books to look up to see where his conclusions could possibly come from….

    Here’s a hint.

    When talking economic systems with me, do not go pulling out books to find my description, theories or definitions.

    99% of the economic text books written out there talk about one form of Keynesian theory or another – or an extension built upon his theory.

    You will find lots of books that same the same thing, but few that say what I say.

    I am an “Austrian” Economist.

    There is a library of Austrian Economics of stuff rarely read by any of the mainstream economists that defines all these economic terms – but you will find them defined far more precisely and truthfully – that is, actually describes the nuance and the features, not merely the generality.

    Now, unless you understand very well Keynesian economics so that you can argue it with me without resorting to the texts of other men – you’ll find yourself very confused and out-gunned.

    So, to answer your question directly….No, I was not satisfied with his answer and definition of monopoly.

    If you are unsatisfied with a definition, start first with your definition and let’s compare.

    He makes assumptions that some things will happen but they are just assumptions.

    Actually, I make few assumptions at all. What typically confuses people is that I do not accept your assumptions when they are argued via hypothetical statements.

    If you start your argument with these words : “Well what if in this situation…” — you’re in real trouble.

    You use “what if” to describe your argument for clarity – but it is not an argument.

    NOthing can be proven in philosophical reasoning until something actually happens. Reality.

    Not true. It’s the other way around.

    Reality is a consequence of some underlying action. Orbit of planets was known (your reality) but the underlying reasons that were thought for 5,000 years was wholly wrong.

    To you, by your claim, the 5,000 years of error was “not wrong”.

    Newton, using reason figured out Gravity. He then used this “philosophy” to explain the orbits of the planets!

    So when it comes to monopoly, the definition and nuance is important – so that when you see something, you know it is or it is not that thing!

    If you see a situation that “is this” – but is NOT by definition your thing – It is not that thing, no matter how hard you want it to be that thing

    I suggest that the definition of monopoly has changed.

    Well, oh boy – now there’s the problem. Constantly changing definitions.

    Change that definition to suit your thing! If your thing isn’t what you want – simply call it that anyway – and **poof** it is!

    My #1 complaint about many arguments of people…right there…

    Monopoly does not have to be the only one left in order to have one but can also be one of control…even with competitors.

    So you change the definition of a monopoly so to contradict itself!

    Hellva a definition!

    Monopoly is “sole companies control over the economy with that sole control made up of many companies”.

    Eekk!

    See, that’s what I mean about people and definitions – they are totally confused.

    A group of companies working together to control a market place is called a cartel — NOT a monopoly.

    A cartel has a whole other set of conditions, circumstances and consequences that share some, but not all, things of a monopolist as well as it has some things that a monopoly does not have.

    The fact that a neighbor can drill a well is not relevant nor does it break a monopoly.

    Why is this not relevant? What is the basis of your claim?

    If you have in the past been the sole supplier of apples, and then you threaten to cut off my supply why is my ability to go and get some apple trees irrelevant to your economic calculation

    It will still bankrupt him (them) and will take several wells to supply even 50% of what we allow to flow downstream.

    Please explain your economic theory that because one does not have the economic capital to provide a good creates in those that have the economic capital a monopoly

    By your claim here, because you cannot afford to build a fleet of ships, all ship owners are monopolists.

    Because you cannot afford to build your own car by hand, all car manufacturers are monopolists.

    Because you cannot afford to build a coal-fire electrical plant, all energy companies are monopolists.

    As you can see, your definition sucks.

    Taking his definition, one person drilling breaks the power….I say no it does not.

    Please provide your definition and your argument for your claim.

    It matters not if the water source that bubbles forth on my land is actually an underground river that is over 12,000 feeet below surface but comes up in limestone cracks on my property…

    So?

    If I am the guy 12,000 feet away and I drill it before you get it – it’s now mine.

    Whatcha goin’ do about that?

    Too expensive to drill just for water and, as previously stated, it would take several of those wells to approach even 50% of the flow.

    D13, please explain your economic theory of “too expensive”? How can that be?

    Your confusion steams here: you believe, like Mathius, there is an objective measure of value.

    But no such thing exists. All value is subjective to the individual. You value water very high, but I value water very low. How can there be an objective measure of water then?

    Read carefully:

    When you claim “it is too expensive” – what you are really saying is:it is cheaper for me to buy it from D13 then to drill it myself. … and as you admit, this is the case.

    But read carefully again: this situation changes the movement D13’s supply is unavailable – either by physically inaccessible OR the price D13 places on his water is higher then me to drill it myself Or to find an alternative supplier

    You simply have ignored this part of the situation in your short-thinking economic calculation.

    A man has infinite options unless prevented by physical violence!

    IF I were to shut off the flow to the reserve water supply for a large city and in drought situations, which are ample around there, resulted in limited or no water, then I submit that I have a monopoly on the water.

    No, you are simply a current supplier that has cut of his supply.

    Do not confuse the time scale required for an alternative to be delivered as you being a monopoly – it is merely a matter of time before they get their supply.

    Again, move out of your situation.

    I receive computers from a supplier. He is my only supplier, because his prices are cheaper than anyone else. Is he a monopoly? No. He is merely the cheapest game in town.

    One day, he decides he is tired of selling computers.

    My only supplier either raises his prices or stops – makes no difference – as soon as the price of his supply (including a price of infinity if he stopped selling, that is there is not a high enough price that can by goods that do not exist) — this is an important concept here, D13 – I enter what is called “price calculation” and note: a product that does not exist has an infinite price.

    So we can evaluate the action of a customer – it is always a price calculation. So the price I pay goes up to the next lowest supplier’s price of computers and that is what I pay.

    This is the concept of what the market will bear the market will bear the price of a product up to the price of the next supplier

    No different than with your water.

    Your customer goes into his price calculation and selects another supplier (which could be himself).

    You are NOT a monopoly, you are simply an annoyance to your (ex)customers for the period of time they are without supply.

    (This is why customers rarely have a single suppler – even I buy occasionally from #2 and #3 suppliers (by price) so to ensure if #1 disappears, I have a supply over the transition of my new price calculation and choices – your city has this too – whether your neighbors (shrug) it’s their problem if they do not)

    Control is the deciding factor.

    Control of “what”?

    You do not control ME. That is the key.

    You control your own product – but if this is your definition of a monopoly, then you have defined every supplier of any good anywhere as a monopoly – and your definition becomes nonsense!

    The key part of the definition of monopoly is that the monopolist prohibits YOU from buying it somewhere else – that is the control part – not the product (that is irrelevant) it is the Prohibition of finding an alternative supply, even if one exists.

    When Standard Oil was declared a monopoly..they were not the only oil company around….there were several smaller ones…home owned ones….but control of the market went to Standard.

    So that’s all it takes, is for a bunch of men in a room to say:

    He’s a monopoly! and …**Poof** he is!!??!~!

    Eek!

    (1) under no government, I think monopolies will exist to a greater extent.

    What is your proof (by deduction)?

    (2) Since I am the owner of said water, then my actions will not be violent if I decide to cut off water

    Because, by argumento negato, (the reverse argument) – one would have to claim any control of one’s own property is an act of violence. But that is irrational.

    Thus, true, your action is not violent.

    (3) If my neighbor gets pissed because he cannot afford to drill for water and tries to do something like blow up my dam, then he is NOT justified in doing so under BF’s rule lest HE be guilty of violence and then I can retaliate.

    I get pissed that I can’t afford “my” Ferrari, therefore can I go and blow up the factory?

    So “being pissed at the price” isn’t a very good justification to use violence, is it D13??? 🙂

    Conclusion being, in my mind….there will be monopolies, in a NO government environment.

    And in many people minds, there exists angels on your shoulder, tooth fairies, Santa Claus, and a man in the sky with a white beard listening to your prayers.

    But prove it by principle that monopolies can exist in a free market.

    There will be control by individuals of certain things.

    Self-evident. You control yourself.

    So how can this prove monopolies if the Control is a universal component of every human on earth?

    Control is not violence if it is mine. Any attempt to wrest control away, is then violence upon me and a violation of his and NAtural LAw…if I am understanding correctly.

    This you understand well.

    A monopoly can only exist where you, as a person is prohibited by an act of violence (law) from obtaining an alternative to a good.

    Bell had a monopoly on telephones, because by violence (patent law), you or your grandfather was prohibited by law from buying it from anyone else.

    Pharmaceutical companies are a monopoly, because by violence (patent law), you are prohibited by law from buying it from someone else.

    Monopolies cannot exist in a free market because there is NO prohibitions on you determining who you can or cannot buy from. You are free to find and buy where ever you can find it.

    There is also a deductive reason why monopolies cannot exist in a free market, and I’ve posted that many time in the past.

    If you want to read it again, let me know.

    • BF

      “A monopoly can only exist where you, as a person is prohibited by an act of violence (law) from obtaining an alternative to a good.”

      So is this the Austrian definition of Monopoly?

      Seems to me you once again created a definition which includes the presence of govt as a condition for the other to exist. So two entities with exactly the same market power and control, the one operating under laws is a monopoly, and the other one is what?

      You also seem to be assuming that perpetual existence is a criteria of monopoly. I am not aware of such a requirement in the definitions. A monopoly can form naturally and then it can die naturally.

      • JAC,

        There are there are three possible definitions of monopoly: one, the single seller of any given good; two, a grant of special privilege by the state, reserving a certain area of production to one particular individual or group; and three, “a person who has achieved a monopoly price.”

        I reject the first one – though theoretically possible in a very small, defined area – does cannot exist in a practical sense.

        I am the only seller of wheel barrels on my block. Am I a monopoly? Why? Why do I not consider the competition on the other part of the city, county, country?

        The larger the area, the exponential unlikelihood I am the only supplier – yet, the more intense your claim my be that I’d be a monopoly – such that if I was the only seller of wheel barrels in North America you say “For sure, that’s a monopoly” – but there is no way I’m the only seller!

        Or does being the only seller of pink and purple wheel barrels makes me a monopoly?

        At what point does unique selling proposition change me from competitive to a monopoly??

        So, definition #1 ends up to be declarative – that is, you merely point and say He’s a monopoly and avoid trying to objectify your reasons and everything then is defined a “monopoly” and becomes purposeless and irrelevant.

        I do reject #3 as well, for different reasons.

        Monopolies are described and argued because of the consequences one fears from such a situation – that is, the consumer, unable to acquire any other goods is at the mercy of the supplier.

        This is a fear manifest because the free market system is predicated on the principle of the Consumer is King – that is, the vying for the consumer’s dollar manifest the maximum benefit for society.

        A monopoly threatens to over turn this, if it exists in a free market, due to the reverse of onus – the Supplier is King.

        So if such a condition where a supplier is so efficient, effective and ruthless as to cut his price to the consumer so low that no other competition can earn a profitwhat is the fear???

        The consumer is NOT dethroned. To maintain his monopoly, the supplier must continue to supply the best product at the lowest possible price – in other words, the threat of yet-to-exist-competition is more than enough competition for him

        This is where D13 tends to argue – his price is so low that no one else drills – yet, he maintains his price low so that no one else drills.

        As soon as the supplier raises his price, he will introduce profit for his competition.

        So, by being the best supplier, with the lowest price, and the best quality makes a monopoly in the free market – then I argue, Let it happen all the time!! … the “virtual” competition – the threat of new entrants – is more than enough to maintain the Consumer is King foundation.

        So, #2 is all that is left.

        Prohibition to purchase from another supplier, even if it exists by government writ

        This is a monopoly since entry into the privileged activity is prohibited by the state; logically, no such monopoly could ever exist in a free market.

        This definition is the one I use as the “proper” one because of these reasons:

        (1) – it manifests all the fears of monopolies, that is, it reverse the “Consumer is King” to be the “Supplier is King”. The consumer – by writ – cannot purchase anywhere else regardless of supply. The supplier is wholly immune to the threat of competition – there is no ‘virtual’ competition that restrains the supplier when all real competition is voided!!

        (2) – the extent of the prohibition is typically nation and often international
        I can be the “monopoly” on this street for wheel barrels, but inconceivably be a monopoly nationally or internationally. But by government writ such limits of geography do not exist. Alex Bell’s patent extended everywhere – no one, no place, could sell a phone – even when many knew how to make one better. Only the power of government could such an extent of reach be accomplished.

        So, the extent is geographically huge – one cannot barely escape it – and there is no threat of competition, real or virtual.

        All the fears manifest!

        Thus, the statement A monopoly can only exist by writ of government

        • JAC,

          Doing some quick research on Monopolies from Mises’ point of view, ran across this conclusion from him:

          “Mises realized the inherent difficulties of defining monopoly, and so he moved on to the catallactic significance of monopoly: obtaining the monopoly price and, thus, frustrating “the wishes of the consumers.”

          …about where I argue as well – it is the threat of the action which makes monopolies ugly – and threat of such action cannot exist in a free market – but always exists by government writ

        • And this:

          … that any and all state restrictions are “monopolistic,” competition reducing, and destructive of con­sumer satisfaction vis-à-vis alternative free-market situations.

          We also conclude that this particular theory of monopoly is the only theory that meets all the standard critical objections and remains entirely consistent with the general Austrian methodology.

          – Dominick T. Armentano is professor emeritus at the University of Hartford, an adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute, a member of the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and author of Antitrust and Monopoly: Anatomy of a Policy Failure and Antitrust: The Case for Repeal

    • BF says: “Now, unless you understand very well Keynesian economics so that you can argue it with me without resorting to the texts of other men – you’ll find yourself very confused and out-gunned.”

      D13 says: No need, sir..you have limited yourself to your definition and yours only…. and, therefore, no one else is going to be correct unless they agree with you. Argument, no matter how fruitful…would be a waste of time. You have sufficiently told me that if I believe in another model…it does not matter. You have told me in straight terms….not to waste my time. So…I will not.

      • D13,

        I ‘limit’ myself to the definition of many things and ignore all of those that are wrong. I hear you complaining that I do this – to me such a complaint is bizarre.

        You do not provide a definition, then complain that you are stuck with mine – sir, that happens when you do not provide a definition! Those that do always win over those that do nothing!

        I did not one day trip into Austrian economics as say ‘Yep, that’s the one’

        I study many different schools of economic theory and beyond any doubt, the Austrian school explained the reality of economic situations the most accurate. To hold to other thoughts would be similar to holding on to Ptolemy’s world view after you learned about Einstein!

        You can believe anything you wish, White bearded guys in the sky, Santa Claus, etc. Doesn’t much matter to me.

        But what can you prove or argue is a whole set of other things.

        Do not come to me with belief. Come to me with argument and reasoning.

        • Thank you for the teaser, sir, but I decline. Arguing economic theory is tantamount to arguing politics and religion. There are too many rabbit trails. I am quite sure that we are both very successful in our economic status and thought. I think that I am correct..you think that you are correct. That is all that matters and THAT is the nice thing about America. So far, we can argue and disuss without being thrown in jail or taken out to the back forty and shot. I am not a conspiracy theorists nor am I a philosopher. It does ot take a rocket scientist to be academia…and thus far academia has proven nothing to me. I am sure that you and I are very well read and very well formally educated. You already know my formal education….but I have found that formal education is 1/5th of what is needed for survival. An MBA in finance has not helped me in any way EXCEPT to understand and know how to read and interpret balance sheets and operating statements. My introduction to the world of PHD was exactly three hours which was in economics (as there was no Doctorate in business other than economics, however, as you probably know, International ecomomics was required learning in the MBA Finance program) and that is all it took for me to realize that all economics is theory…. hence the PHD was going to be nothing more than a bucnh of expensive initials that mean nothing in the real world…..UNLESS you wish to teach or be on Obama’s staff. I think that the current administration and all its academia prowess has already proven that it is minimal at best. It deals not with logical thought nor the reality. Academia often ignores logic and history and replaces it with theorem. The main thing that I see in our society today is the reliance on academia as if they were some sort of god and we allowed real teachers to be replaced with clones of progressive or left leaning lunacy.

          BF states: “I study many different schools of economic theory and beyond any doubt, the Austrian school explained the reality of economic situations the most accurate. To hold to other thoughts would be similar to holding on to Ptolemy’s world view after you learned about Einstein! ”

          D13 asserts: That one statement, sir, contradicts this other statement that you offered which is: “Do not come to me with belief. Come to me with argument and reasoning.” This statement says that you could possibly be open to discussion…but the other statement says not. Contradiction.

          You are only going to argue one side and that is the side that you BELIEVE and that is Austrian economics. Good for you. I am both proud of you and respect your choice and for standing your ground…..that is good. Where you leave the arena…is the assumption that you and only you are correct and you twist words and phrases in an attempt to belittle others (and some actually do get intimidated) and answer questions with questions. You are very artful at dodging and weaving and offer a moving target. Even if I had 10,000 angels sitting on my shoulder swearing I was right….I will always be wrong in your viewpoint. So, it is not worth the effort. I prefer to bypass small islands of resistance that result in futility and go with the big picture. The small islands end up being nothing more than a wart on a gnats ass…to be taken care of later.

          It, again, does not take a genius to see what is happening in this world today and that includes economics. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that the European model is about to die on the vine. I am reading the European economists beginning to lament the devauation of the Euro as a result of the Greece bailout and that the Euro is not strong enough worldwide. China is about to enter into hyper inflation despite their trade imbalances…even trade imbalances that are heavily weighted in their favor still tip the boat too far. China is selling its gold in huge numbers and weight….we buy lots of it as personal investments. The Panda series is a collectors gem. Russia is selling its Ballerina sets in record numbers….and both these countries are taking American dollars in preference to Euros. So, in our (the family’s) little corner of the world, the reality of what is happening dictates the steps we take. Do we consider economic theory? No…we really do not. We can look around and see what works and what does not. I had the priviliege of having a grandfather that was a bankruptcy attorney during the depression era….what he learned of economics from that time period was that when you are out of money, you are out of luck. End of sentence. His argument, back then, was that there is no other greater concept in the world than what we have right here…the problem was Hoover and Roosevelt and Congress. It was not capitalism that was hurting our economy, it was huge government spending, public work projects, and entitlement programs that were being developed that hurt the economy. Our economy back then was worsened by an even more drastic European economy that was worse than ours. AND THE SAME IS HAPPENING AGAIN…

          So, in short, economic theory is ok…but practical reality is better.

          Therefore, sir…our outlook has served us well. I am sure your outlook is serving you well. We are both from different spectrums. The $10.00 per hour clerk can make a fortune…open eyes is all it takes.

          I do hope you and yours are having a great weekend….as Mathius would say…..live long and prosper.

          The Dread Pirate says: Arrrrghhh ! (He is too drunk on grog to say anything else)

  35. Well, somehow my entire comment explaining what I know of Internet marketing was ignored and boiled down to the last paragraph, in which many seem to have thought I was calling readers of this site “GOP losers” and whatnot.

    Look, if you still believe that the GOP can save you and save the U.S. then more power to you, but you’re wrong. Same with the DNC. Or any other “party.” Glenn Beck is a schill used to hijack what’s left of the mostly-aware “right” (now usually called the Tea Party) and feed you the information you want to hear while leaving out key points that will make you realize what’s really happening.

    How often does Glenn Beck talk about the banking cartels? The Zionists? Their connection? How about the crony capitalism we call a “free market” and how it’s really come about? Does he use his little blackboard to show you why the IRS is evil, why the two parties are the same, and who really calls the shots in the White House? (Hint: it’s nobody with the last name “Obama.”)

    No, he flaps on about the Founding Fathers and the need to “get back to our roots” and rips up CURRENT political happenings, but ignores real history and the bigger picture.

    If he didn’t, he sure as hell wouldn’t be on Fox News. I find Glenn Beck entertaining, just as I do John Stossel. But that’s it.

    Meanwhile, like VH, I don’t waste a lot of time on people who aren’t willing to question their own accepted truths. I don’t argue with Mormons about Joseph Smith and I don’t argue with Republicans about the folly of Reaganomics. It’s pointless unless they’re willing to listen. Meanwhile, I find out every day that some of what I thought might be right is wrong. I’m willing to accept that if I can verify new facts and build a new understanding.

    Most of my writing is generally non-political and centers on finding science to prove (or disprove) what modern medicine claims or ignores. From that, I see almost daily a new piece of research or another series of papers written that fly in the face of what I thought was accepted science.

    At the same time, I get a lot of hate mail from so-called “doctors” (the least-scientifically trained of all “scientists”), “experts” and so forth telling me that this or that is bunk. So far, none have actually come to me with empirical proof to prove their points. Welcome to what passes for science in most circles today.

    • TexasChem says:

      Wow man your wound tighter than the springs on a virgins chastity belt!

      I now relinquish my title of most tightly wound SUFA poster!

      lol J/k

      • TC

        I’m not a virgin (not by a very long shot), but after some of your posts today, I’m ready to see some picutres, BABY!!

        Yeah, I’m a bit ‘tightly wound’ today. Oh Yeeeeeeaaaaahhhh.

        8)

    • “Look, if you still believe that the GOP can save you and save the U.S”….I never said that. You’ve gone off the topic of my post with this statement.

      “Well, somehow my entire comment explaining what I know of Internet marketing was ignored and boiled down to the last paragraph, in which many seem to have thought I was calling readers of this site “GOP losers” and whatnot”…BINGO!! WE HAVE A WINNER HERE! Name calling takes away from your message. Use that knowledge as you will.

      Have a great day!

      🙂

    • Aaron

      Just to let you know I did find your information on website viewer ship very interesting. I wish I knew how to figure that stuff out.

      As for everyone’s response to you it really comes down to Cyndi’s summary. You don’t know for sure if someone is a “lost cause”, so if you alienate them with criticism to quickly you might be losing a potential ally.

      But in the end it is your choice. After all, it is an “almost” free country.

      Happy Weekend
      JAC

  36. What’s the matter JAC? I was just kidding around, ya know….

    🙂

  37. OT to D13, are you aware of this? It arrived in my email….

    Border Manifesto # 2
    On Wednesday August 4th I met with Supervisory Border Patrol Agent, Mark Monin. He had contacted me a few days earlier to discuss the possibility of using a high hill about a quarter of a mile south of Highway 80 at mile marker 400 to establish a camp for several National Guardsmen. They wanted to establish an observation post complete with modern optics and night vision capabilities. The purpose of this post would be to aid Border Patrol agents in spotting and identifying illegal alien groups. The hill referred to is on deeded land so Agent Monin needed my approval to proceed with the plan. My first response was to question his choice of this certain hill, it being quite high and steep, 4 or 5 hundred feet above the valley floor and having no established trail or road ascending to the summit. His response was that those obstacles could perhaps be overcome. I suggested a smaller hill on the opposite side of the hiway with a road to the top and easily accessed. This seemed fine at the time and we agreed to proceed.
    It seemed odd to me that the much talked about Guard was to be deployed 22 miles north of the border so I told Agent Monin that I had thought the guard was going to be sent right to the border itself. His response was that no suitable spot had been found to that point. They had looked at a hill on a ranch very near the border with a view extended 10 miles both east and west, but had decided against it because the (the Border Patrol, and National Guard) thought it would be too time consuming to get up and down it and it was a long way from town.
    Actually it is closer to town than either of the hills he was interested in on my place, and it had a road and trail already established going up to the top. I didn’t get it. Picking a hill 22 miles north of the border with no access and limited view after passing up the chance to establish a lookout right on the border? The rancher who controls the hill right on the border (we’ll call this Hill #1) pleaded with the Border Patrol to establish this new lookout there. The rancher has witnessed countless dope loads and outlaws cross the line within shouting distance of Hill #1 and was quite dismayed when they chose to go elsewhere. Hill # 1 is about 21 miles straight south of Hill #2 (the hill first mentioned at mile marker 400 on Highway 80). Several days after my meeting with Agent Monin, a Ford F-150 pick-up with over 1000 pounds of Marijuana was found at the Fairchild Ranch. The pick-up had Sonoran plates and so overloaded with dope that both rear tires had blown out. The driver escaped. The Fairchild Ranch where the pick-up was found is exactly half way between Hill #1 and Hill #2. Because of the lay of the land this truck could have never gotten north of Hill #1 undetected had there been an observation post established there. Actually in the first week of August there have been 3 drive-through loads of Marijuana pass through this same area, all easily detected from Hill #1. This isn’t counting the numerous loads going through that area on the backs of human mules.
    To me the significance of this is profound. Why would the Border Patrol and our National Guard pass up an opportunity to establish a look out in an excellent spot right on the border, only to choose a spot of lesser quality 22 miles north of the border? Is this mere coincidence? In my opinion, “No.” It is planned and deliberate incompetence.
    On August 5th the Washington Times printed an article written by Kerry Picket. It states that 7000 ICE employees have cast a unanimous vote of no confidence in the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), John Morton, and the assistant director of the ICE office Detention Policy and Planning, Phyllis Coven. The Times article mentioned a letter posted by the Center for Immigration Studies and authored by ICE Union President, Chris Crane. Quoting the article, “According to CIS, the letter provides a litany of examples of how ICE’s mission is being skewed toward supporting an unflinching goal of amnesty by refusing to allow agents to do their job, allowing criminal aliens to roam free, depleting resources for key enforcement initiatives that preceded this administration, misrepresenting facts and programs, demeaning the extent of the criminal alien problem, and geared to support amnesty.”
    When I read the Times article, it really hit home because I’ve been seeing and hearing these thing for years. I’ve had no less than a dozen Border Patrol agents tell me there superiors purposefully do things to make them unsuccessful. I mentioned this one time to Congresswoman Gabriell Giffords and Border Patrol Tucson Sector Chief, Robert Gilbert, and I thought they were going to have me arrested. After the meeting where this happened, I had an out-of-uniform Border Patrol Agent hug me and thank me profusely for speaking the truth.
    This deliberate incompetence (I’m sorry, but putting a National Guard lookout post 22 miles north of the border, when there is a much better spot right on the border is incompetence) that we’re seeing here on the frontier isn’t the fault of agents like Mark Monin, or even the station or sector chiefs. This is a deliberate method of operation that comes straight from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The border patrol and ICE agents and the Guard are mere pawns in a grander scheme that is being directed by a President who has repeatedly shown that he is the biggest open border advocate alive. Barack Hussein Obama does not consider himself to be a citizen of the USA. He is a citizen of the world. His actions and much the he has said and written make you think America to him is like a disabled halfwit brother that he is ashamed of. Certainly traditional taxpaying Americans are something to be suspect. Since Rob Krentz’s murder on March 27, 2010, neither Barack Obama nor anyone in his administration has ever contacted the Krentz family to make any kind of a statement, even though Rob’s murder has been and still is one of the biggest news stories of the year! The minute Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law, Obama and his entire cabinet lit up like a slot machine making hay over a law that a majority of Americans support.
    The petty fracas between professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley instigated the much televised beer bust that was no more than another photo op for Barack Obama – but no mention from Obama of the deliberate disenfranchisement of ranchers who have the misfortune of living south of Interstate 10.
    Obama and his Attorney General, Eric Holder, laud the imagined inequity of holding radical Islamic terrorists at Gitmo but refuse to make a statement condemning Samir Shabaz standing outside a polling place with a club in his hand intimating voters.
    One can’t help but compare the current administration with King George III and the American colonies in the mid 1700s. Good King George miscalculated the mood and capacity of the Americans for reprisal and revenge. But perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe Obama knows what trouble lays ahead for him come election time. That’s why he wants all these Mexican outlaws to make it north to freedom and amnesty. Good ole Barack can get his buddy Samir Shabaz to protect all these illegal outlaws (who tramp through my neighborhood) while they go inside and cast a vote for the Democratic ticket.
    While all this nonsense is going on the poor people on both sides of the border continue to suffer because of the current administration’s perpetuation of a bogus border policy that is doomed to fail. Hypocrites like Barack Obama, Janet Napolitano and Raul Grijalva cry about the poor Mexican people when the trail they are leading us down enables the Cartels to get rich and abuse the poor and innocent. And cowboys like myself get blamed for it.

    Ed Ashurst
    Apache, AZ
    August 10, 2010

    • The answer to this is very simple….I will have to answer this in relation to Texas. Obama has “nationalized” through budget a few Guardsmen. The only state they are in is Arizona. When the Federal Government funds state troops, they are under federal auspicies. meaning, Obama is the master. He is the Commander in Chief.

      In Texas, we refuse Federal Funds and our National Guard is funded by state taxes. They only answer to the Governor. Rick Perry is the Commander in Chief. Even if Obama were to come to Texas and say move your troops….Perry would lawfully and rightfully tell him to kiss his rosy ass. Obama has NO authority over State National Guard UNTIL they are Federalized under National Emergency.

      I am quite sure that these Federally funded troops are under strict orders to not set up in zones that would result in…….results. Obama has no intention of stopping the drug trade nor the immigration. It is to his benefit to not stop it. Arizona needs to just pony up funds as Texas has and deploy its own troops. THIS is the reality.

      John Wayne made a statement in the movie, “The Greeen Berets” which was…..(he was in the junlgles of Vietnam) The only due process out here is a bullet.

      This is so true for our borders. We can stop it….just have to do it.

      • Thanks D13. This whole border thing infuriates me. What the Hell is the matter with our so called government? Its a rhetorical question….ggrrrrrrrr.

  38. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi Again USWeapon,

    I would suggest that perhaps you include a “weekend” Open Mic night also so that posters can discuss things that are off-topic from any articles that you may have up…

    Thanks,
    RS

  39. Yikes!

    Laura Tyson, a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, was chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers and the National Economic Council in the Clinton administration. She is a member of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

    Why We Need a Second Stimulus
    By LAURA TYSON
    Published: August 28, 2010

    Economic Stimulus (Jobs Bills)OUR national debate about fiscal policy has become skewed, with far too much focus on the deficit and far too little on unemployment. There is too much worry about the size of government, and too little appreciation for how stimulus spending has helped stabilize the economy and how more of the right kind of government spending could boost job creation and economic growth. By focusing on the wrong things, we are in serious danger of failing to do the right things to help the economy recover from its worst labor market crisis since the Great Depression.

    The primary cause of the labor market crisis is a collapse in private demand — the same problem that bedeviled the economy in the 1930s. In the wake of the financial shocks at the end of 2008, spending by American households and businesses plummeted, and companies responded by curbing production and shedding workers. By late 2009, in response to unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, household and business spending began to recover. But by the second quarter of this year, economic growth had slowed to 1.6 percent, according to a government estimate issued Friday. Clearly, the pace of recovery is far slower than what is needed to restore the millions of jobs that have been lost.

    Households and businesses are on a saving spree to rebuild their balance sheets. Their spending relative to income has fallen more than at any time since the end of World War II. So there is now a substantial gap between the supply of goods and services the economy is capable of producing and the demand for them. This gap is starkly reflected by the 23 million Americans who are looking for full-time jobs and the millions more who have left the labor force because they could not find one.

    Read more:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29tyson.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

    • OMG! I almost didn’t read more because I was mad enough already. This woman, from bancrupt California, needs her head examined. Nice how she can so easily spend other people’s money. I’d love for her to go up against some people here at SUFA. We are so screwed!!

    • Ummmmm….just look at who wrote this. ” Laura Tyson, a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley “. First, you have Academia..then you have Berkley, then you have California…..and you are surprised?

      I wonder, now, if there is anything to the “black hole” theorem. There MUST be a parallel universe somewhere that allowed these aliens to invade.

    • Kathy, et al.

      Per this esteemed economist: “The primary cause of the labor market crisis is a collapse in private demand”.

      Per JAC: THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF THE LABOR MARKET CRISIS IS A COLLAPSE IN THE HOUSING MARKET.

      This can not be fixed by govt intervention, short of buying up enough houses to raise the demand for homes, to once again ARTIFICIAL levels.

      This means that anything else is just a “band aid” and a temporary one at that.

      I should say, anything less than sustained “increase” in government spending on projects that actually require “unemployed” labor to become “employed”. Such as a long term increase in highway repairs and maintenance. And that increase must replace the economic value lost due to the housing collapse.

      So that brings us back to “deficits” and the existing “debt”. We have reached the debt finance saturation point. Nobody wants our debt except the Fed Reserve and the banks who are in bed with them. They know that the Treasury/Fed will print the money needed to pay them back.

      Here is a hint to everyone reading this. When these “economists” start talking pay careful attention to what the criteria is that they are talking about. This person is focused on jobs but then mixes in “economic growth” to help sell her point. They are not necessarily the same and stimulus can improve one and destroy the other.

      We can spend more Federal funds and absolutely increase employment. It will also increase the GDP, because federal expenditures are part of GDP. Convenient how that works isn’t it?

      But the net result will be a catastrophic collapse of the USA economy as our debt load becomes so great that it must be monitized. Or Taxes increased on other sectors, which of course will reduce the economic growth there to increase it here.

      And thus the layman’s view of the economic fix we are in, ala JAC;

      We are so screwed.

    • Kathy

      Since you posted one, I figured I would as well. Seems the full moon has brought them out of the wood work.

      WARNING !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Keep a bucket handy if you are going to read this article. It will make you sick.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/business/29view.html?_r=1

      • JAC,

        This is an interesting article. I would be interested in hearing your further thoughts on it. On its surface, it seems to say take federal money and give it to states rather than allowing the federal government to spend it. That seems better than where we are now. But I only gave it a quick cursory skimming and didn’t read in depth. Could you perhaps bring it forward on open mic night and offer your thoughts? I think it would make a good discussion topic. Or you could jot your thoughts down in an email and I will post it on open mic night with your thoughts. That might work better. I fear it would get lost in this thread.

        USW

        • I would agree that anytime we can get more local spending vs. federal spending, it’s at least better.

          Would like to get more input from others so look forward to reading more on open mic.

  40. TexasChem says:

    God is not religion.

    Religion is a man-made concept often used as a control device.

    You do not have to belong to a “religion” to have a relationship with God.

    Study, research, learn, and seek all religions holy books and I guarantee God will provide a route to Him.

    I wanted to share this video with the intent of showing you guys how powerful and moving it is to be with thousands of people worshipping God through song and prayer.The movement within the new generation of Christians today are not your stereotypical “bible-thumping” brimstone slingers that some of you tout as being hypocrits.It’s real.If you have never experienced a christian rock concert I highly recommend it!

  41. D13

    Arguing economic theory is tantamount to arguing politics and religion.

    Not at all, though current economic understanding of the vast majority of people is about at the level of alchemy and astrology compared to physics and chemistry science.

    But because there are people who still believe in astrology doesn’t make physics wrong.

    That is the gift of the Austrian school.

    They turned astrology of economics into a science.

    Their biggest challenge now is to replace what people today call “economics” with the “Science of Economics”. This task is huge since nearly no one teaches Austrian economics to the mainstream.

    I am quite sure that we are both very successful in our economic status and thought.

    And here is my point exposed by you.

    Economic success has nothing to do with Economic science – no more than understanding the laws of Gravity will make me rise or fall any faster than you from or to the ground.

    Even Mises said to his bride – “the job I do will never make us wealthy.”

    What economic science tells me is the eventual consequence of human action. “If you do X, Y will happen”.

    It doesn’t say you should do X, it doesn’t say you shouldn’t do X, it doesn’t say Y is good or bad. It simply says: “If you do X, Y will happen”

    I think that I am correct..you think that you are correct.

    No.

    I know I am correct.

    (1) My understanding is built upon premise and reasoning.

    Unless you believe logic is flawed and truth is a lie, then this – alone – satisfies knowing. It is how Mises re-built the school of Austrian economics.

    He argued that since one cannot experiment with economics (how can you laboratory a country?) one must gain economic understanding by applying reasoning and consequences from the root premise; that being, from the first line in his book, Human Action;
    HUMAN action is purposeful behavior.

    881 pages later, you have the foundation of Economic Science.

    Thus, applying principles against actions, one can determine consequences.

    (2) Reality test – if one sees that this action must create this consequences, when one observes such action does such consequence manifest?

    Hayek -long before the 1970 stagflation- offered a series of essays completely outlining the cause/effect of the era’s economic policy completely based on Austrian economic theory.

    No one listened or believed him.

    When the consequences did in fact happen, no economic theory other than his was able to explain why. He won the Nobel prize for it, and this event moved – at least a little – Austrian economics out of the alley and into polite, but discrete conversation.

    The current economic disaster was long predicted by Austrian students like Peter Schiff and Jim Rogers. You can go to Youtube and find Peter’s CNN interviews where he was adamant of the coming housing collapse and being ridiculed and laughed at by the mainstream economic “experts”. But who was right?

    Economics is a science discovered by dialogue, debate and reasoning because it cannot be experimented.

    The method does introduce human rhetoric to the discovery which does divert many people’s thinking. What I try to do as much as I can is to demand concise definitions – for that eliminates much of the rhetoric.

    When I do that (and if you start doing that), you will find many of the things you assumed are, in fact, not at all what you thought they were.

    But I also know that just like you didn’t need a physics degree for you to do your job of lifting your foot to take your next step, you don’t need an understanding of economics for you to be a success economic human.

    You naturally act in the ways without requiring the underlying theory of why it works. You just know it does – naturally. Economic calculation is common to all people (again, Mises explained this in Human Action, too).

    So it does take human time and effort to understand the why and for most people, they don’t care why their foot moves – they are happy just moving their feet. Same with economics.

    But if you are engaged in offering the “why”, you must engage within a disciplined way.

    Science exists because of discipline – willy-nilly definitions, inaccurate measure, poor observation, ill-formed reasoning simply cannot maintain learning and understanding.

    Thus, I demand that discipline in enforcing and demanding concise definitions, articulate and clear reasoning free from fallacy.

    If your concepts cannot stand this scrutiny, how strong are the concepts you so hold?

    realize that all economics is theory

    All science is theory – yet, you still use its knowledge to create useful tools and explain natural events.

    It can be argued the until the day we understand all the Universe, it will always be a theory – but there is another theory that says even the Universe operates completely only on a theory – that knowing all of it will not know enough of it to understand perfectly how it works. (Godel’s Theory of Incompleteness)

    Academia often ignores logic and history and replaces it with theorem.

    But that is exactly what you are doing – using past observation and creating a theory to why such events occurred.

    So you are disparaging the precise process you argue should be used.

    Your complaint should be – they are not applying Human Action properly in describing their cause and effect – they are glossing over some cause/effects that they would invalidate their goal, so they ignore those parts.

    In other words, Academia for their own self-interest, cherry-picks and creates economic theory that promotes the goal they wish to achieve instead of understanding the real cause for the effect.

    This is the same “junk” science that is seen in, say, climate ‘science’ where the conclusion is already set, and the rest of the ‘science’ is warped to prove it.

    Academia is made up of 99% Keynesian – who root theory is that government can be a positive agent in economic strategy.

    Academia gets most of its money from government. It promotes government so to continue to receive a pay check. It is “Science by government decree” – a Lysenkoism phenomena.

    “Do not come to me with belief. Come to me with argument and reasoning.” This statement says that you could possibly be open to discussion…but the other statement says not. Contradiction.

    *blink*

    Saying that I have studied all the economic schools of thought, and the Austrians are the only ones that provide principled argument and reasoning is a contradiction to you

    *blink*

    Me thinks you are hunting for discourse and kicking sand in the air to see if irritates my eyes.

    answer questions with questions.

    There is a reason I respond this way.

    Me telling you how things works carries no weight.
    You figuring it out for yourself carries all the weight

    I can aid in logic, reasoning and principles – but you have to lift the weight yourself to see it work.

    You will never accept what I say by rote because you have given that role to AUTHORITIES already – the job is already filled for you by another force in society.

    I will never be able to replace them for you to accept by rote what I say until I am that AUTHORITY over you – and that will NEVER happen.

    Therefore, the only route left is for me to engage your own reason and logic and require YOU to lift YOURSELF to your own HIGHER understanding and work against the rote learning enforced on you.

    Even if I had 10,000 angels sitting on my shoulder swearing I was right….I will always be wrong in your viewpoint.

    NO!
    You could have 10,000 angels sitting on your shoulder and be right too!

    The point is, right and wrong is not determined by angels but by your reasoning and logic

    AND THE SAME IS HAPPENING AGAIN…

    Yet, the question you do not ask is:
    WHY is it happening again

    If you do not ask that question and learn – you risk repeating the same mistake over and over again

    • Thank you for your insight…but I do have one question. You stated to me the following: ” “Now, unless you understand very well Keynesian economics so that you can argue it with me without resorting to the texts of other men – you’ll find yourself very confused and out-gunned.”

      Can you explain the following?

      “Keynesian economics is based on the idea that the private sector isn’t able to ensure efficiency in the economy, and government intervention is needed to stabilize output. The theory promotes an economy driven by the private sector, with substantial government involvement.”

      I found this in one of my books and later found this same statement researching through the internet through google. Now, I have read many statements from you that the private sector does not need government….at all. So, as an ardent student of Keynesian theory and taking no other texts of men… this statement on Keynsian Theory seems to contradict what you are trying to champion.

      • D13

        Correct – Keynesian theory is in direct contradiction with the Austrian school.

        Let’s take it a part a bit and see…

        Keynesian economics is based on the idea that the private sector isn’t able to ensure efficiency in the economy,

        I just finished a week long back/forth with another fellow who was all caught up on “efficiency”.

        But what is efficiency without effectiveness? 100% efficiency with no effect has no effect

        Further, if you poke a Keynesian to question “Why does the private sector not operate efficiently” … you will run into the reason being: “..it is being manipulated by outside force (ie: government)…”

        So now we have a great loop – the private economy needs government to intervene so to correct the inefficiencies of the last time government intervened

        and government intervention is needed to stabilize output.

        The question here is: by what measure is output deemed unstable or stable?? – does constant static growth = stable? Why is a massive growth spurt bad? Why can’t an economy retract if it has meandered down a path that looked “stable” but really lead to a systemic instability?

        But the real question is: What is your measure? and How can you demonstrate that what you are measuring and what you are measuring with actually is meaningful.

        The theory promotes an economy driven by the private sector, with substantial government involvement.”

        Keynes wrote is General Theory after the war, in part to support government’s active and massive intrusion into the economy to (1)pay for the war and (2) absorb the men and the industry after the war.

        Hayek, his contemporary, friend and ardent critic, was about to dispute Keynes’ tome – and then! Keynes up and died. Hayek decided that no one would have paid attention to such a poorly thought out theory and let the opportunity of rebuke pass without a word.

        The window gave those government apologists an opportunity to promote themselves into government funding by declaring that there now existed a fundamental theory that supported government intervention into the economy.

        With little surprise, government funded these Academics lavishly.

        Later, Hayek saw his error – but it was too late. He had been marginalized and his voice carried little weight. He even struggled to get a paying job (Mises never did get a job – he worked at the University for free, given an office by an tenured friend of his …)

        Keynes would be aghast at the consequence of his theory. He insisted that government intervene in “bad times” but had to withdraw in “good times”.

        However, he made no mention on how government motives would actually withdraw once they obtained a foothold.

        Further, he did not explain how a segment of the economy, now buoyed by government largess, became independent of it.

        Once a business was in such straits to require government money, the withdrawal of government money would merely toss the business back into dire straits, requiring once again intervention. Keynes made no comment here explaining how this cycle could be broken.

        Keynes was a brilliant author. His other works were clear, concise and the logic and reasoning easy to follow.

        His “General Theory” was incomprehensible. The text was rambling and disorganized. Leaps of logic and reasoning was common. After reading it, if you came away saying “Huh??” – well, everyone did.

        It was obvious Keynes simply pounded this out as an excuse for government to act. It was never intended to last longer than the time government needed to get its post-war house in order – at the expense of the people and citizens. But when he suddenly died, it created a cult around him and his worse work now is a part of our vernacular – Keynesian economics

  42. TexasChem says:

    My Top 10 list of misconspetions about Christians…

    10.Christians don’t consume alcohol.

    Well, well, well shocking ehh?Each individual has their own particular relationship with God.Personally I believe in drinking in moderation and not to the excess.Drinking to supreme drunkeness in which you could harm others or your body, or if it commands control over your life is just not right.Heck ,I even have a few friends that partake of the herb that are Christians!

    9.Christians think it’s all about them and that only they hold the truth and are better than everyone else.

    It’s all about God.He holds the truth and it is up to you to discover and apply it!Learning to be humble is a hard task for any man.

    8.Christian faith is opposed to science and knowledge.

    Wrong.Science today has proven factually many of the civilizations, and people involved in the stories of the Bible historically true!

    7.Christians are prudes and have no fun!

    What could be further from the truth?Interaction within a true Christian community is very rewarding and fun!Social interaction with friends, helping others in need, study and philosophy…same as with any other group of people.

    6.Christians only want to associate with other christians.

    Not true.How else would I explain Christian beliefs to others?
    I have many friends who are not Christians but that does not keep me from socializing and doing things with them.

    5.Christians do not enjoy any earthly pleasures.

    See number 1 up above!And also, do you really know anyone that doesn’t enjoy sex?

    4.Christians are judgemental.

    All people are judgemental.This is how lifes decisions are made.Their is a huge difference between being judgemental and outright condemning.Sadly, few people whether Christian or not understand this.

    3.All Christian protestant denominations are the same.

    The negative stereotype that Christians are faced with stems from people professing to be Christian but by their actions proving otherwise.All Christians are not the same…not everyone that thinks they are living a Christian life are actually doing it.

    2.Christians believe all non-christians are going to hell.

    Not true.

    A. IF YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR
    THEN YOU DO NOT DIE FOREVER

    B. IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST
    AND YOU HAVE NOT HEARD THE GOSPEL OR DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT
    THEN YOU ARE JUDGED BY THE NATURAL LAW (OR BY THE MOSAIC LAW
    IF YOU ARE A JEW.) THE ROYAL LAW (“You shall love your neighbor
    as yourself”) FULFILLS ALL THE REQUIREMENTS OF BOTH THE MOSAIC
    LAW AND THE NATURAL LAW (according to Galatians 5:14).

    The Natural Law is approximated in the Ten Commandments
    (see Exodus 20:1-17) together with The Great
    Commandment (see Matthew 22:35-40). The Royal Law,
    so named by James, is “You shall love your neighbor
    as yourself” (see Galatians 5:14, James 2:8).
    The Mosaic Law is all the Law of the Old Testament.

    C. IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST
    AND YOU HAVE HEARD THE GOSPEL AND UNDERSTAND IT
    (but you reject it nevertheless)
    THEN YOU DIE FOREVER

    . . . unless Jesus decides to take mercy on you, which He as Judge,
    is allowed to do.

    1.This is my favorite one here.Christians only do one sexual position. 🙂

    Are you frickn’ kidding me man???Why would anyone think this?

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      Nicely said Tex, nicely said.

    • 3.All Christian protestant denominations are the same.

      The negative stereotype that Christians are faced with stems from people professing to be Christian but by their actions proving otherwise.All Christians are not the same…not everyone that thinks they are living a Christian life are actually doing it.

      3.All Christian protestant Muslim denominations are the same.

      The negative stereotype that Christians Muslim are faced with stems from people professing to be Christian Muslim but by their actions proving otherwise.All Christians Muslim are not the same…not everyone that thinks they are living a Christian Muslim life are actually doing it.

  43. This may be one of the best responses I’ve read to the whole GZM issue:

    http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=20737

  44. V.H.

    So your logic is that groups of people never do things which are illogical or just based on faulty reasoning because it would be stupid to do so-having a problem with that logic 🙂

    NO!

    You are trying to apply reasoning to a group of people to act insane, where you would argue you would not do the same thing because you are not insane!

    In other words, you apply justifications to others that you would never use yourself – yet claim they would!

    To make this claim, you then argue that they are, somehow, “different” – so you reach into your bag of fallacies to pull up “oh, its their religion” or “its their culture” or “its just THEM!”…

    But you have a religion and a culture and its just you – but you do not apply insanity to yourself

    -but that isn’t the point-the question is : can a weaker power ever be at fault-if Israel moved back to the original borders and Palestine attacked her-would it still be Israels fault?

    Please give me a sane reason why a WEAKER PARTY would attack a STRONGER PARTY

    Based solely on your hegemonic theory is it possible for the weakest to be wrong?

    Sure, but how did they get it wrong?

    What condition existed for them to analyze and say,

    “Well, gang, the situation is approaching hopeless and we are doomed to being wiped out, so we must instigate the assault for the remote and rare chance our army that has no tanks, no aircraft, no artillery, no ships, no Predators, with a few rifles and a bunch of homemade rockets will defeat an army that has 500 heavy tanks, 2500 artillery guns, 750 combat aircraft, a nuclear submarine and 10 naval destroyers, plus a militia army numbering in 500,000 strong – its our only hope”

    Pray tell me that scenario.

    • BF
      “NO!
      You are trying to apply reasoning to a group of people to act insane, where you would argue you would not do the same thing because you are not insane!
      In other words, you apply justifications to others that you would never use yourself – yet claim they would!
      To make this claim, you then argue that they are, somehow, “different” – so you reach into your bag of fallacies to pull up “oh, its their religion” or “its their culture” or “its just THEM!”…
      But you have a religion and a culture and its just you – but you do not apply insanity to yourself”

      No, I wasn’t implying all that-just making a point that people or groups of people have principals and they will fight for them even if the odds are against them but their principals are not always right-what a group of people view as a reason to attack a power stronger than them is not always justified and when it isn’t they are the ones in the wrong.

      -but that isn’t the point-the question is : can a weaker power ever be at fault-if Israel moved back to the original borders and Palestine attacked her-would it still be Israels fault?
      “Please give me a sane reason why a WEAKER PARTY would attack a STRONGER PARTY”

      To become FREE

      “Sure, but how did they get it wrong?
      What condition existed for them to analyze and say,
      “Well, gang, the situation is approaching hopeless and we are doomed to being wiped out, so we must instigate the assault for the remote and rare chance our army that has no tanks, no aircraft, no artillery, no ships, no Predators, with a few rifles and a bunch of homemade rockets will defeat an army that has 500 heavy tanks, 2500 artillery guns, 750 combat aircraft, a nuclear submarine and 10 naval destroyers, plus a militia army numbering in 500,000 strong – its our only hope”
      “Pray tell me that scenario.”

      Well, thank you, that is all that I wanted to hear-there are exceptions-your theory isn’t absolute-it is based on the actual facts as you see them,not just a black and white proclamation that the hegemonic power is always wrong.

      • V.H.

        No, I wasn’t implying all that-just making a point that people or groups of people have principals and they will fight for them even if the odds are against them but their principals are not always right

        Who says that they are not right?

        Why do YOU get to JUDGE them?

        Who says your principles are right?

        Humans act with a purpose – and attributing such purpose on others while you claim you would not is irrational.

        “Please give me a sane reason why a WEAKER PARTY would attack a STRONGER PARTY”

        To become FREE

        …which means they are not free; they are oppressed and enslaved.

        Darn good reason to me….

        Well, thank you, that is all that I wanted to hear-there are exceptions-your theory isn’t absolute

        NO!

        There are no exceptions!

        Which is why I demanded you to define the scenario.

        There is a reason for them to attack – there must have been some act, threat, failure, renege, … something for them to find themselves without any recourse other than risking annihilation.

        In all cases, it is a ACTION of the Hegemony that creates a REACTION from the weaker party

        • You asked for a SANE reason I gave you one-The point isn’t that they have a reason-of course they think they have a reason-it’s whether or not their reason is a VALID reason, which can only be determined by looking at all the circumstances-not some black and white absolute theory-your theories simply do not allow for man’s ability to justify his actions based on any criteria he wants too.

          • V.H.

            I repeat:

            In all cases, it is an ACTION of the Hegemony that creates a REACTION from the weaker party

            • Well, I agree with that statement upto a point, although the actions of a hegemonic power isn’t the only thing in the world that causes a reaction. So even if the actions caused a reaction, it still does not make their reaction right or make them blameless for their actions.

              • Correction.

                although the actions of a hegemonic power isn’t the only thing in the world that causes an action.

              • V.H.

                Please provide the reasoning behind your comment.

                Stating that Santa Claus doesn’t need to use the washroom while flying around the earth does not prove a darn thing

              • No, I think I’m done for the day-You admit that circumstances matter -but then you state that there are no circumstances which would make the weaker party’s actions wrong. I call that a contradiction but somehow I’m sure you will say it isn’t. As far as hegemonic powers actions being the cause of every reaction, who knows maybe your right about that basic statement. We have a very complicated world. But again that does not mean the reaction chosen is right. And please tell me, does in your view of justified killing as a reaction have a time limit-do generation after generation-in every scenario have the right to keep killing-are does there come a time when reacting from a past wrong or perceived wrong become unjustified.

              • V.H.

                You are making up stories in your mind and claiming they are examples which refute my theory.

                You refuse to present any case, let alone a valid case.

                Hence, my statement stands without refute.

              • Not making up anything-talking principal. Which you have a problem doing because your arguments seem to depend on using actual facts and situations in order to be debated and supported-they don’t IMHO, stand up on principal alone. This is my opinion, you have yours and I don’t think further discussion will accomplice anything. But I still love ya. 🙂

              • Actually, I do have something else I want to say-you want to claim that the hegemonic powers are the cause for every reaction of the weaker power and debate it with actual historical events. The only problem with that stance is that one would have to go back to the beginning of civilization to determine what hegemonic power did what to cause what reaction and work it down through time to determine who is at fault. Taking a moment out of time and blaming all the worlds problems on the hegemonic power is using the same tactics that the global warming activist use. It ignores what came before. I will give you that every action causes a reaction but to determine who’s at fault can’t be boiled down to blaming it on whoever happens to be the hegemonic power, our world and the events that shaped it are far to complicated.

                But looking at Israel based on your theory they weren’t always a hegemonic power in the Middle East-what hegemonic actions could have caused their reactions, and who’s to say that wasn’t the beginning cause of all this crap. It just doesn’t work to debate these issues based on your theory.

              • V.H.

                You are making up myth and fairy tales to create a circumstance that you are demanding real answers for…

                This is a common problem in much dialogue when discussing things like this.

                You claim I have to justify my philosophy based on your fairy tale.

              • V.H.

                The only problem with that stance is that one would have to go back to the beginning of civilization to determine what hegemonic power did what to cause what reaction and work it down through time to determine who is at fault

                No, V.H., you do not have to go back into history at all.

                You have to determine who is the Hegemony Now.

                Because Babylon was a hegemony 5,000 years ago does not make one wit of difference today.

                The Hegemony today is the action

              • Only if one totally ignores the fact that past actions in history effect the present actions of the hegemonic powers in order to blame them for all the actions of the weaker powers-I do not.

  45. V.H.

    ..Ignores the fact that past actions in history effect the present actions of the hegemonic powers in order to blame them for all the actions of the weaker powers-I do not…

    Another baseless statement.

    Please provide a concrete example of your justification for a Hegemony action which is in response to a weaker parties past

    • NO 🙂 I have already explained why I think that is a waste of time. Besides no matter what argument I might bring up basing the argument on facts and currant history-you will in the end base your argument on your theory-to override any other claims. Tis a waste of time.

    • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

      An interesting debate between the two of you. My two cents include:

      The past has everything to do with the present. It’s how we got here. The big dog can change. The initial gang-up on Israel at its independence wherein the little dog kicked the big dogs ass led to the little dog becoming big. the big dog cannot now be taken down by smaller dogs in a one on one fight, they can however, individually nip at his tendons and ultimately bring him down.

      All people are not stupid. The not stupids in North Viet Nam fought half their war on the evening news in the United States. Had the stupids in 1950 in North Korea known that trick there would be a united, communist Korea today (see Fernbachs book, “This Kind of War”. Uncle Wally’s performance on CBS in his flak jacket and helmet, turned a strategig victory into a loss. That one scene of the execution of the VC terrorist by the South Vietnamese general had to be worth at least three infantry divisions, a carrier and a bomber wing. The stupids in the US bought it. You think the PLO and Hamas are not smart enough to figure that out?

      The European war by the Nazis was lost on D-day and the generals knew it. The continuation of fighting by the German leadership was tantamount to committing national suicide. Hitler’s decision to take his country down with himself says reams about all dictatorial regimes including the PLO, Hamas, North Viet Nam, North Korea, Iran etc. It is the confusion and delusion of the dictator with the populace and the attitude, they don’t deserve to survive if they don’t see it my way.

      Just a few of my thoughts.

      • Good points-one can’t ignore the effect that world opinion has on the actions of both parties. I suspect part of the continued fighting is because of all the forced “so-called peace talks”

      • V.H.

        Interesting argument style.

        You claim you have some sort of fact and history, but – because I am a man of facts and history, I won’t believe you.

        So you don’t bother.

        Me thinks you have no facts and history.

      • S.K.

        The continuation of fighting by the German leadership was tantamount to committing national suicide. Hitler’s decision to take his country down with himself

        Not true for even a second.

        They were constantly holding out for a negotiated peace with the West so to continue the war against the East (Russians).

        In there, too, was the vague hope of a “wonder weapon” which would turn the tide against her foes. They almost got it, too.

        But Hitler, not once, decided to burn Germany for his suicide. His Last Testament and Will demonstrates this in his on words.

        I have carried out the greatest part of my daily work in the course of a twelve years’ service to my people.

  46. “Okay-let me weigh this-God or Stephen-who am I gonna listen too. Care to guess :)”

    V.H and TexasChem:

    Obviously I would listen to Stephen Hawking. Why? Stephen Hawking actually exists. I can prove that the God of the Bible does not exist. At least to anyone who won’t try mental contortions and dishonesty to avoid the truth. I know, supposedly one can’t prove a negative. But we do it every day. In mutually-exclusive situations, “if A is true, then Not A is proved to be not true”. I can prove this animal is a cat, so I can also prove it is not a frog. I can prove that God can not exist as described in the Bible, and that the Bible is not true in any real-world way.

    However, I won’t do it here in an open forum because honestly I don’t like damaging unwilling people’s faith. Superstition makes life easier. I’m not looking for a fight and would love to be proved wrong. Feel free to email me if you are serious about wanting the proof, and will actually think about it instead of discounting it out of hand because it isn’t what you want to hear. And remember, because you “feel His presence” or “know He speaks” to you isn’t proof to anyone except yourself. Worshipers of Zeus or ??? could make the same claims with just as much sincerity.

    Now, if you are determined to believe what you want to believe no matter the evidence, then don’t bother getting into a debate. You would be wasting both our time.

    From Saturday morning until Monday night I will be out of internet communication, but I will get back to you as soon as I can.

    • Oh Kent, you cannot disprove what GOD has proven. I do not say this because I am this weak little human who needs something to lean on-I don’t say it because I’m determined to believe no matter what. I say this because God has proven his existence to me, he has proven his existence to many people. So no, I do not want to “debate you” because I cannot convince you-only God can do that. All I can do is tell you want God has done for me and to be truthful, I don’t think you really want to hear it. And as you just stated if you aren’t willing to even contemplate the possibility, I might do more harm than good.

      Take care of yourself and have a great weekend. V

    • Kent,

      The paradox of a belief in God is that such a belief requires intelligence.

      To believe in God requires a questioning mind – “What/Why/How is the Universe?” As far as we know, we are the only species capable of such an inquiry.

      The first believes in deities derives from an attempt of putting answers to these questions where such answers -in the scientific sense – were not forthcoming. Thus, we are also probably the only species that believes in a God.

      Many argue that believing in something “bigger” than one’s own ego improves society. Perhaps that may be true.

      Others argue that believing in a myth over reality injures society. Perhaps that may be true, too.

    • Unlike debating liberty, I don’t enjoy debating God. It always ends with the person doing one of two things: saying that they don’t care about the truth- they will believe what they believe, or (like the most recent experience) calling me names and ending with: “I have to say just this: YOU are a COMMUNOFASCISTIC STATIST. I wish no further communications with you -or your kind- as you have nothing less in mind that the COMPLETE subjugation of MAN. Having a discussion with you is akin to touching the ‘tar baby.’

      Yes, that’s an actual quote from an email that ended what I thought was a friendly discussion on God and evolution.

      • I would never call you a ” COMMUNOFASCISTIC STATIST” not even sure what it means in relationship to a discussion of God. Maybe an atheist nutjob -Hee hee hee-just kidding-I would end the conversation before I actually said the words 🙂

        I am curious-why do you feel that you need to convince people that God doesn’t exist? Do you feel that the world would be safer without religion?

        • I think the truth is always better than a lie, even when the lie is comforting.

          However, I don’t normally feel the need to convince people there is no God. Truth is independent of people believing it, and it holds up to examination.

          Until people start using religion as justification for “laws” I don’t worry about what they believe. I do think that religion, when combined with government in any way, is a very harmful thing.

          Individual people might be safer if they stopped believing in imaginary things, but I doubt it would make much of a difference to the world in general. Most people rely on natural laws in their daily activities and don’t pretend that God will intervene on their behalf if they violate those laws. So, most people give God lip-service but actually respect reality and nature instead.

          However I do think it’s good to be able to point out that people are acting/talking crazy when they start saying that God demands they harm “those people” because “they have disobeyed Him” in some way. That includes harm based on “laws”. What is holy to one religious group is an abomination to another, and rules based on religion should never be applied to those who are not followers of that religion. Morality often has nothing to do with right and wrong.

          • Our laws have been effected by religion but they have been effected by secular views too. Man will always try to make the laws conform to their beliefs. But I personally believe that without religion people would group together under some other title and do and believe the same types of things. The nut cases would find some other excuse to kill and hurt. If people want to do something they will use religion or some other justification. Religion normally unites people in some basic moral principals, which I believe helps people to be more civilized.

            I noticed that Stephen said this “”There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.”

            I found the word “authority” sounded strange most people say faith. I can’t help but wonder if it is the idea of an “authority figure” that makes you so adamant that God doesn’t exist.

            • I can’t help but wonder if it is the idea of an “authority figure” that makes you so adamant that God doesn’t exist.

              We have a small failure to communicate, and I know it is mainly my fault for answering quickly without going into deep detail. I have no way of knowing whether “God” of some sort exists (to claim otherwise would be foolish and arrogant beyond comprehension), but there is absolute proof that the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible does not exist. And all the proof needed is right in the Bible itself.

              It isn’t “authority” in this case that bothers me (or in any case for that matter), it is illegitimate authority. If someone is an “authority” in some area, and has earned that title through experience and expertise, I defer in a heartbeat if I am not also an authority in that area. But, if someone says “do this because I say so” then I weigh the demand before I automatically obey.

              • Well, I am happy to see that you don’t believe that you can prove that “a” God exists because I did feel your statement was rather arrogant 🙂 Obviously I disagree with you about he Christian God-but again only God can convince you and you of course have the right to believe as you choose.

              • I suspect that in some corner of the Universe there could be beings that, due to technology or evolution, possess attributes that we would think could only belong to a God. I don’t think they would be “supernatural” since that is, by definition, outside the laws of nature. But, if we encountered one of them, especially if we didn’t know there were more than one, we would call it “God”.

              • 🙄

              • Kent,

                As Arther C Clark said, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

              • Obviously, I meant prove a God doesn’t exist. 🙂

        • Also, if I were sick and had to choose between a Christian (or insert the religion of choice) with no medical training and an atheist doctor, I would choose the doctor without a second thought. That’s because I trust science over belief in God to understand how the real world operates and produce the results I want.

          • Why in the world would someone choose a person with no medical experience over a trained doctor? People may believe in God but they are not God. You can’t just decide that God is going to give you the skills needed to do something-how arrogant could one be-to think they can determine what God will do or even should do.

            • This just means that in matters of reality where results matter, you also choose reason over “belief”. For good reason.

              • Now this you do not have the right to decide. I am not choosing reality “over ” faith, and unless you become me or you feel you can interpret my religion for me-I think you are going a little far with the belief that you can determine my motives. I also have to wonder what your answer would have been if I had answered the Christian-why do I feel that you have a prepared answer. Now I’m thinking we need to stop this conversation because I think we are both trying to be civil but I’m just not sure it is possible when we disagree on such a personal and to me important subject.

              • I don’t feel I stated that the way I wanted to-we are trying to be civil but I think we are and will unintentionally insult each other because our belief’s are so different and we both say things that we don’t realize are offensive.

              • That’s OK. Like I said, I don’t really like debating this subject. But it isn’t possible offend me in this debate, either. What is, is, no matter what I’d prefer.

          • Sorry Kent-gotta leave for awhile-will try to come back later.

        • I think the world would be better off with out religion. I think it could also use a lot more Faith. In my mind, Relgion and Faith are not the same thing. Just my two cents.

          • I have been waiting for someone to pull this one out since my first “religion” comment.

            My family also always said “Christianity is not a ‘religion’ because religion is man reaching out for God, while Christianity is God reaching down to man.” Yet, the results are the same.

            “Faith vs religion” is mostly the same argument. You can have “religion” without any faith if you go through all the motions but have no expectation that you are doing it to please any sort of spiritual being. You can also have faith without any religion if you believe in something unseen and unprovable (and non-falsifiable) but don’t do any associated rituals based on that belief. Religion is more harmful to third parties/bystanders than faith, for sure, but faith can be very harmful (when based on imaginary things) to the person holding the faith. When combined you easily get some universally devastating consequences.

            • People have the right to have faith in God. I can assure you that most people who have faith but are not outwardly religous are harmful not no one, even themselves. You’re judging the majority on the evidence of the few. I know many people who have faith in God and they don’t preach to or condem anyone. They aren’t afraid to speak about their faith when asked but that doesn’t mean they want to enforce it on everyone else. Neither do they feel the need to legislate morality. They go about their business and you don’t even know who they are because to them faith is a private matter, not something to jammed down someone’s throat.

              • People have the right to have faith in God.

                Of course they do. I never claimed otherwise. They also have a right to have faith in Thor, Ba’al, or FSM. Anything that does not initiate force or fraud on others, no matter if it is monumental or completely trivial, is within your rights. Where that right ends is when they try to impose their faith on others.

                I can assure you that most people who have faith but are not outwardly religous are harmful [to] no one, even themselves.

                I’m not saying their actions are harmful to themselves, but that holding those beliefs are harmful to their minds. I was once there, so I know it was harmful to me. Now that I have gotten over it I can see the harm that was done to my thought processes. It was like coming out from under anesthesia or getting sober. Suddenly I could see with clarity the inconsistencies, and worse, inherent in it. Things that can not be seen while still on the inside.

                Neither do they feel the need to legislate morality.

                To convince me of this they need to denounce those who claim to speak for them as they try to impose “laws” based strictly upon a literal reading (to their understanding) of the Bible. Denounce those who advocate Creationist “equal time”, “Defense of Marriage Act”, blocking the “Ground Zero Mosque” (sic), putting the Ten Comandments in courthouses, and The War on (some) Drugs. Among others. I have done just that, throughout my libertarian activism, to those who advocate “laws” that would hamper a free exercise of Christianity.

                OK. I hafta leave now for a few days. Having no internet access will be liberating. 😉

              • I think I was wrong, Kent, you are intentionally insulting. You pretend you just want to have a friendly conversation about religion but that is far from the truth. You don’t just say-I don’t believe and this is why-which is conversation-you say-I don’t believe and this is why you are stupid and weak for doing so. You use your distaste for religion as an excuse to attack and then you smile and say-well, they just aren’t willing to believe the “truth”. Give me a break, people walk away screaming at you because you do everything in your power to cause them too. I started not to post this-it was just to work off my anger but what the hell a little “truth” from the other side won’t hurt you either.

              • V.H.

                I have not seen one comment that Kent made that could remotely be considered insulting.

                I, too, see religion as dangerous. It is institutionalized spirituality that degrades human beings to sacrifice themselves for a myth and illusions.

              • Funny, I don’t agree with your above comment but I don’t feel insulted. Yet, Kent manages to insult on a regular basis-he is not stupid so I must assume it is intentional-part of his basic tactics. You of course do not have to agree.

  47. Not man enough to do his own dirty work. Look likes he needs the UN to fight his treasonous battle for him…

    http://www.infowars.com/obama-violates-constitution-again-elicits-un-involvement-in-arizona/

    • Posted this same subject on another page but will happily re-post my opinion-if Arizona can be sued for following the law-than I am more than happy to see this administration charged with treason. As far as I’m concerned this administration is saying -you have the nerve to disagree with us states-we won’t just use our own laws and see if we can win the battle in court-we will become an ENEMY to one of our own states. So much for the UNITED States of America. I can’t believe the left is accusing the right of being militant when this admin. is the one declaring war.

      • I think I was wrong, Kent, you are intentionally insulting. You pretend you just want to have a friendly conversation about religion but that is far from the truth. You don’t just say-I don’t believe and this is why-which is conversation-you say-I don’t believe and this is why you are stupid and weak for doing so. You use your distaste for religion as an excuse to attack and then you smile and say-well, they just aren’t willing to believe the “truth”. Give me a break, people walk away screaming at you because you do everything in your power to cause them too. I started not to post this-it was just to work off my anger but what the hell a little “truth” from the other side won’t hurt you either.

      • I’m with you. Treason, definitely.

  48. Kent, BF, VH
    I would like to weigh in on this, I am actually writing a piece related to this debate and will let you guys know when it is complete, but my basic thoughts are as follows:

    I grew up very religious. I was fortunate to be in a family that was not hypocritical in their pursuit of their faith, and put faith above religion, at least the organized religion aspects, in every case. Simultaneously, I was unfortunate enough to be in a church that turned out to be downright evil in many ways, and the combination left me a very confused lad in my early 20s. After the fallout, however, I found myself in a nearly agnostic frame of mind, with some Christian aspects still having some influence. Mostly, however, because of my family, I maintained a strong respect for faith, and a great disrespect for blind faith. If you pursue life with your brain turned on, no matter what your belief system is, it is superior to any belief system that anyone operates in with their brain turned off. If indeed atheism is the more “wise” or “smart” path of belief, I still submit that a non-thinking atheist who believes blindly that there is no god is inferior to a thinking Christian, or even a thinking worshiper of the tooth fairy or the flying purple people eater.

    As such, I have always made certain that my pursuit of philosophy always left room for faith, as it is something I still have respect for. My dad is one of the smartest men I know, his analytical thinking is incredible. A part of me always bristles when people say or imply that only stupid people believe in God.

    There are those who are intelligent, thinking persons who simply have not questioned certain aspects of their lives. This may mean a brilliant person of faith, whose faith is just something that they have not questioned enough. There are atheists who are also socialists, blindly following Marx because they failed to think it through. I personally believe that there are those whose personal experience and research has led them to honestly believe in God. I take issue with the arrogance of those who presume, because their research or thinking led to a different conclusion, that one side is more intelligent than the other. Our understanding of the universe in incredibly tiny, and the potential for the existence of higher powers, other dimensions, etc. is infinitely high. Where faith breaks down is when it is attempted to be defined. I think that God is too often put into a box by man, such that even if he exists, it is obvious that our understanding is inadequate, thus the reason for such variety of religions and denominations that are all tied to the same God or higher being.

    The idea of rights has been fairly settled on SUFA, nearly everyone is on board with the idea that people can believe what they want to believe, so long as they do not try to use force or law to make others believe too, or follow moral codes that are not related to basic “natural rights” or “objective fairness”. So I will not go into that one any further.

    I do think, however, that SK’s comments about hiding his faith, or feeling a need to, are based in this notion that smart people do not believe in God. I submit that a lot of smart people do, and a lot of smart people do not. I also say that a lot of stupid people do, and a lot do not. Where the problem comes into play is not faith, but blind faith. If you have blind, unthinking faith in anything, you are being a fool. If you have your eyes open and are willing to question and reason, then you are not a fool, regardless of your conclusion. You may still be wrong, but you are not a fool. As for who is right and who is wrong, well, when it comes to subjects like people and relationships and history and economics, we can make some valid statements, because we are dealing with something within our grasp of knowledge, experience, and understanding. However, when it comes to God and the Universe and all that, I just do not think anyone on this planet is qualified to tell anyone else they are either right or wrong.

    • Jon,

      The issue of religion is multi-dimensional and most of it depends on what you define as God. I’ve found that most people are very conflicted at this point, which is where most of their confusions begin.

      Beyond that, when faith interferes with learning and knowing, that’s when it becomes a problem.

      • Agreed. When one no longer asks questions, then one ceases to learn or be open to learning. This is what I define as blind faith. I have faith, as you do (tho not as strong admittedly), in freedom. I have faith that it is the path humanity should follow. I have not, however, ceased to question that belief. I think that someone can follow their religion in the same manner.

        • There is a big difference between questioning the existence of God and questioning man’s interpretation of God’s word or how that word should be applied to government or non-believers. I do not question the existence of God and to me that is Jesus Christ-the fact that I will not question his existence does not mean I blindly follow my religion.

          • Fair enough. Regardless of whether everyone will agree that you are blindly following Jesus, the fact is you are fully aware of your choice. It is a decision that you are making with your brain turned on. Thus, I do not think you are blindly following your religion either, I apologize if it sounded like I was saying that.

      • SK Trynosky Sr says:

        Flag,

        God: “The Supreme Electromotive Force” Definition courtesy of the Science Fiction table in the cafeteria at Manhattan College, Spring 1968.

  49. V.H said: “I think I was wrong, Kent, you are intentionally insulting. You pretend you just want to have a friendly conversation about religion but that is far from the truth. … I started not to post this-it was just to work off my anger but what the hell a little ‘truth’ from the other side won’t hurt you either.

    I keep looking back at what I wrote trying to see what was so insulting and I just can’t see it. I’m sorry if I offended you. Your “truth” doesn’t hurt or offend me at all. As I say, it isn’t possible for you to offend me on this subject.

    As I originally said, I don’t like discussing this subject. I was not wanting “to have a friendly conversation about religion” and even stated that I didn’t wish to discuss it in the forum. I only kept answering responses to be polite.

    I suggest this YouTuber for people interested in more information: http://www.youtube.com/user/brettppalmer

  50. Have been really busy with work lately and dont get here as much as I would like. Just my two cents.

    I think what you do with this blog is your business. I do like the non-name calling that isnt allowed here. I do like the sharing of viewpoints which helps me to at least understand what the left is thinking.

    To be perfectly honest I stopped coming here because all it did was make me angry. The government is screwed. You can never get a straight answer from anyone anywhere about anything…It is just spin spin spin and saying lots of words without saying anything at all. Call me names if you want but I actually started going to the tea party events near my house. It feels like I am doing something.

    I come here and read how this is broken and that is broken. Its not a stick my head in the sand mentality but if I dont get a daily dose of we are all screwed I tend to feel better about life in general. Yes the BS is still going on but I dont have to swallow it daily.

    If there was a purpose like get “10,000 signatures and present something to some agency to fix something” there may be some momentum behind the site. We could follow along on the progress or help change something and see the outcome.

    This is a great site and yours alone to do with as you wish. I will always come here because this is the only site that allows open debate.

    Thanks for all your hard work.

  51. Ray Hawkins says:

    USW – I’d like to offer something additional here – and hopefully it is taken as an observation rather than a criticism.

    It would **appear** that over the last several months that as you post an article you are not really consistently involved in the responses and debate that then occur. It seems like early in SUFA you were. The few times you have posted some guest articles from Ron Holland, there was some griping (maybe mainly from me?) that many of our inquiries directed at the author go unanswered. That can be aggravating. Conversely, when a Jon Smith or Chris Devine or LOI article has popped in – the author usually hangs around to participate in the debate over that they wrote (and the rabbit trails that emerge). Another example is Part II of the Rand article – a very heady debate-ready topic – and not a single post-posting from USW regarding the multitude of directions the debate went.

    Perhaps the intent was for you to write and post and watch from the sidelines as others pick things up and run. The side effect is that many of the debates fall empty because those that take the time to write thoughtfully in response are left a little slighted. And we acknowledge there are only so many hours in the day. Its a crappy quandary.

    • Ray,

      Thanks for the feedback. I didn’t take it as a criticism. It is a quandary that I acknowledge readily at this point. Over the last month, my life has been a bit hectic. My company is preparing for its biggest product launch in a decade. It eats up my time. For example, last week saw me working 4 16 hour days in addition to my regular 8 hour days. What I am hoping to do is add some other writers here as regulars for this very reason. If I was writing one article a week, or even two, the time available for me to participate in the discussions would be greater. I will try to be more active going forward. As for the part two article the other night, I was planning on doing some answering tonight as a separate article as opposed to a guest commentary (which will be Friday or Saturday instead for reasons I will include in the article when I post it.

      USW

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @USW – best of luck on the launch – from what I remember of you when we were all a little shorter in the tooth – those 16 hour days aren’t for shits and giggles – something good is about to come of it.

  52. Christian Patriot says:

    I think I read bits and pieces of 1% of the responses and do not have time to read any more, I’ve been on this site for over an hour this morning.

    I’m sure your readership decline for this month is due to the upcoming election. People are focused and working.

    This was my first visit to your site and I found you by searching for writings by Warren “Bones” Bonesteel. Reading two of his entries and the various responses, I was impressed with the number of entries that followed and the method of catergorizing them, especially when the debate was sidetracked, I could just go further down the page.

    Keeping in mind that I am visiting for the first time, I would be a return visitor if I knew I could find a post about a current event and read comments to help me get my bearings about it.

    I get very frustrated with simple information articles that do not provide vehicles in which to effect change! I’m looking for the – what do I do now – information. So linking is important to me.

    Another reason for the decine in readership, could it be the multitude of online radio broadcasts? Personally, I listen to HOURS of programing that keeps me up to date and helps me to learn how everything has gotten so out of control. Which brings me full circle, I heard Warran “Bones” Bonesteel for the first time on The Dame Truth Blog Talk Radio program and went looking for more of his work.

    Though the decline is substantial, I would accept the decline as part of a cycle and recognize that increased numbers is not the goal, helping people come to an understanding of an issue is!

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