Tuesday Night Open Mic for November 30, 2010

Another Tuesday Night comes and that means Open Mic. Please allow me again to thank all of you for your well wishes for my family and especially for your patience over the last couple of weeks. My transition to a new career is challenging to say the least. I am learning a whole new vocabulary and a whole mess of regulatory and procedural madness. I am not out of the woods yet. I will be working both jobs, old and new, until the beginning of January. That means some long days and very few days off. Come January I will no longer work the old job and things will ease up a little bit. But the new job will still have plenty for me to learn. So my time will be limited for quite some time. I will continue to work to post here on a very regular basis. I will say that any guest commentary articles are more than welcome though! I know I have one or two to process and post but the more the merrier! I have four topics below, but there was a fifth one that I wanted to get and ran out of time to look up. I heard on the news tonight that a farmer, I think it may have been in Georgia, was fined for growing food on his own land. If someone could find that article and post it I would be very grateful (even if you just find the link I will try to jump in during the morning and put it into my format and add comments when I have a moment). I would like to have some discussion on that topic as well! As always, feel free to pull forward your discussions that you might be continuing from the last article.

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Comments

  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    NYC Regulators Want New Dress Code for Cabbies

    New York City’s taxi regulators are planning a new dress code for cab drivers that requires them to “present a professional appearance.”

    Taxi and Limousine Commission chairman David S. Yassky tells The New York Times Thursday that proper dress can’t be enforced easily. He says the new code is an attempt to communicate standards.

    Currently, cabbies can be fined for violating the dress code. It bans tube shirts, tank tops and bathing trunks.

    The revised code doesn’t mention specific types of apparel.

    The New York Taxi Alliance’s director, Bhairavai Desai (BEHR’-vee duh-SEYE’), says she’d be concerned if the “idea of professional attire is left to the naked eye to decide.” The alliance is an advocacy group for taxi drivers.

    The new code is expected to be approved next month.

    Read the rest of the Article here:  

  2. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/11/26/nyc-regulators-want-new-dress-code-cabbies/?test=latestnews
  3. I have two issues with what is going on here. First, if a cab company wanted to appear more professional, I absolutely support them in their endeavor. They have every right, as a private company, to determine whatever appearance standards they feel are necessary. However, once you get the government involved, I (shockingly) have issue with it. The “Taxi and Limousine Commission” is little more than another government group who feels that they are there to enforce the standards of behavior that they deem correct.

    And I don’t buy the Commissioner’s little BS line about the new code is nothing more than an attempt to communicate standards. If you want to communicate standards, then COMMUNICATE them. If you want to enforce your version of standards, then you pass a new code and make it essentially law. THAT is what is being done here. This is not an attempt to communicate, it is an attempt to control.

    My second issue is that the new code was left intentionally ambiguous. It is my belief that any time there is a regulation put forth, it should be very specific and detailed. There should be no question in the mind of the taxi drivers what is and what is not a violation of the new code. In leaving it ambiguous, they do nothing to help the cabbie understand whether his choice of attire is acceptable or not acceptable. Further, leaving it ambiguous opens it up to selective enforcement. It essentially creates a tool to punish someone or to harass a certain company while not applying the standards uniformly across the entire industry.

    I will cede, however, that I am more OK with a local group doing such things than I would be if the federal government had made such a move. The more local the better. But best would be if we didn’t have something like this at all, IMO.

  • Truthseeker says:

    If the dress code was to ensure safety on the public roads (like no ski masks) then I am all for it. But since this is not about safety and about someone elses standards of perception, it is flat out wrong to do. If a private company wanted to do this to entice consumers to using their Taxi service vs. another, then that is great! This is another big brother initiative for herding the sheeple.

  • Buck the Wala says:

    So when a private company (I would assume even a private company with a monopoly) does something, it is perfectly fine. But how dare the big bad government do the exact same thing!!?

    I will agree that this particular regulation is a bit overbroad, but there are tons of workplace ‘regulations’ in a private company that are similarly overbroad. But your insistence that the new code is not meant to ‘communicate standards’ but to impose greater control is ridiculous – the exact same thing can be said to every single thing written in an employer handbook at a private company.

    Although the TLC may be a government agency, it is a government agency acting more as a private company in this regard – no one is forced to work for the TLC and they can quit (or be fired) at will.

    • Truthseeker says:

      Buck, are you saying that it is not fine for a private company to have dress code standards and that it is okay for the government to tell you how to dress as a private citizen? Did you forget that you choose to work at said company and that you can choose to quit if you dont like it but if it was government enforced, you have no choice?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        The same holds true for taxi drivers.

        NYC is not dictating how its citizens dress. The TLC is developing a dress code for its drivers, much like I must wear a suit and tie to work. I don’t go around screaming ‘evil office managers’ in this situation, nor should you go around lambasting the ‘evil overreaching government’.

        Nowhere did I say it is not fine for a private company to impose a dress code. Of course its fine. But it is also fine for the TLC to do it. Be consistent.

        • Truthseeker says:

          Who gave the TLC their authority? Again, this is another step into regulating peoples lives using government regulations. Since this is a government authority, guess is paying them to waste their time with this? This could of been done for free (to the tax payer) if a Private company wanted to step up their game. Again, do you like all these silly regulations that tax money is paying for?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Would you also argue that the IRS cannot tell its employees to wear professional attire? (They do).

            Would you argue that the President cannot tell his aides and staff to dress professionally? Mandate suits and ties if he so chose? (He can and he does).

            This is not some silly regulation – we have tons of those. This is an employer (albeit a government funded agency, but still an employer) coming up with a dress code for its employees. Let’s not make it into something more than it is.

            • The IRS employs people, those people are under its authority for dress code just as if the IRS were a private company. The President has direct control over his staff. TLC does NOT have direct control over cabbies, as they are NOT employees of TLC. So no, this is absolutely not an employer coming up with a dress code for its employees. The issue is not that it is government doing it, it is that government is setting dress codes for people who are not employed by them. So lets not make this into something less than it is.

              Should the FDIC be able to dictate all bank employee dress codes?

              Should the FDA be able to dictate supermarket employee dress codes? Sure, they have regulations for food prep, such as hairnets, sterile gloves, etc., but not dress codes for appearance and professionalism.

              Should the FCC be able to tell all people in media what they can wear to work? Maybe they can set standards for what is seen on camera, but not what is worn.

              These are not slippery slope examples, these are equivalent examples.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Buck,

          What kind of penalties are there, if your boss/partners decide to not require you to wear a suit and tie to work?

          What if the BAR all of a sudden required you to comb your hair a particular way?

          I’m guessing that there is something in the BAR standards that mentions a professional appearance…so what if they pulled your license because you weren’t wearing top of the line Armani suits?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Again with the slippery slope?

            Not sure I understand your question about penalties if my boss decided to not require me to wear a suit and tie…but let’s say they did require me to and I repeatedly refused – I would be fired.

            As far as the bar, in the UK barristers wear wigs when arguing before a court. I don’t have a problem with this. I think I would look rather dashing with a wig.

            • Bottom Line says:

              Buck – “Again with the slippery slope?”

              BL – Yes, government has once again chose a slippery slope.

              Buck – “Not sure I understand your question about penalties if my boss decided to not require me to wear a suit and tie…but let’s say they did require me to and I repeatedly refused – I would be fired.”

              BL – I’m trying to equate the cab world to the attorney world as it relates to government regulation.

              If you refused to wear a suit and tie to work, against the requirement of your office, you’d be fired.

              Key phrase – “against the REQUIREMENT OF YOUR OFFICE”

              It’s up to your office to decide…NOT the law.

              But what if it WAS required by law?

              What if your office decided on casual dress while at the office and a suit and tie when appearing in court, but was fined because the law decided that they have the right to regulate office attire?

              Would it be right to tell a PRIVATE firm how THEIR employees are to dress?

              And when I said “I’m guessing that there is something in the BAR standards that mentions a professional appearance…so what if they pulled your license because you weren’t wearing top of the line Armani suits?”…

              I was demonstrating ambiguity of the language of standards.

              If you are required to wear professional attire with no definitive understanding of exactly what that attire is, it leaves it wide open to individual interpretation…which is a slippery slope.

              While a decent suit is just fine, someone could subjectively decide that anything less than a top of the line Armani is sub-standard.

              Any time the law requires something, there is a penalty for non-compliance. This is called COERCION.

              So by requiring something that isn’t specified, it’s setting the regulated up to be penalized as in the case of the cabbies.

              I am a skilled tradesman. Being a professional painter, I wear “painters whites”, because it’s the industry standard. It identifies me as a professional.

              Most companies that I will work for require it as a way to be professional, to assure customers that they’re getting a quality paint job done by skilled professionals. It is to offer quality as a way to be competitive.

              When I do a job independent of any company, I wear whites for the same reason, even though it is required by no one.

              Government regulation is wholly unnecessary as the free market sets a standard just fine.

              Government regulation of attire is just a bullshit control tactic.

    • The government has a monopoly. If a private company were a monopoly (which exist only in theory in a free market), and they forced their customers to do something particular, that could be an issue as well, because then people have no choice. Altho, even then, you could just not buy the stuff. When the government does something like this, there is no way to “opt out”. So yes, it is VERY different when the big bad government does something than when a private company does it.

      And what the hell business does the government have defining standards? Its not their cab company! Are they saying they can enforce standards on the roads because the own the roads? What is next? Dress codes for truck drivers? Individuals? What if you wear trunks and a tank top to work? Are lifeguards and construction workers going to have to dress up for their commute and then change when they get to work? The audacity to think that they even have the authority to do something like this is insane.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        First off, the TLC is not forcing its customers to do anything. It is forcing its drivers to dress in a professional manner (and yes, I know that TLC drivers are technically not employees of the TLC but that is irrelevant for this discussion).

        The government is not defining standards because they own the roads. They are defining standards for the TLC, a city governmental agency.

        Why is it that you must resort to a slippery slope argument of how if we allow this to happen the next thing we know we are going to be told how to dress when we drive our own cars or walk along the city streets, etc., to make an argument? Though I did just learn (dumblaws.com) that Elizabeth, NJ has a law on the books that, on Sundays only, women must wear petticoats!

        • Truthseeker says:

          The point is that we do not need any more stupid laws and regulations. Why add another one to the pile?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I guess its how you classify this – you see this as a stupid government regulation (hence evil and wrong). I see this as a stupid workplace standard (hence just stupid).

        • Ok, skip the slippery slope. It is still an over-reach. A commission should not have the ability to set dress code standards for all companies and employees of businesses that are regulated by the commission. Commissions like TLC are there to make sure businesses are not defrauding people or being unsafe, not to make sure that people dress nice.

    • Buck the Wala

      My dear lawyer friend, you are way off the track this morning. The Drivers are NOT employees of the Commission. The cabs are NOT owned by the Commission. The cabs are not PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. The Commission is just another onerous government regulatory and licensing organization. Following is from their web site home page:

      “Welcome
      Welcome to the official web pages of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). This site contains useful information for both the TLC’s regulated industries and the riding public. Our industries can obtain access to TLC regulations, download TLC forms, apply for health insurance and auto-insurance discounts, as well as up-to-date information about current events and business opportunities by viewing industry notices. Passengers can file complaints, compliments and report lost property, as well as view information about licensed services, rates of fare, and their rights.

      What is the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission?
      The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), created in 1971, is the agency responsible for licensing and regulating New York City’s medallion (yellow) taxicabs, for-hire vehicles (community-based liveries and black cars), commuter vans, paratransit vehicles (ambulettes) and certain luxury limousines. The Commission’s Board consists of nine members, eight of whom are unsalaried Commissioners. The salaried Chair/Commissioner presides over regularly scheduled public Commission meetings, and is the head of the agency, which maintains a staff of approximately 400 TLC employees assigned to various divisions and bureaus. The Hon. David Yassky was nominated by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as his designee to the Chair of the TLC in March 2010 and was unanimously confirmed for a seven-year term by the New York City Council on March 24, 2010.

      The TLC licenses and regulates over 50,000 vehicles and approximately 100,000 drivers, performs safety and emissions inspections of the more than 13,000 medallion taxicabs three times each year, and holds numerous hearings for violations of City and TLC rules and regulations, making it the most active taxi and limousine licensing regulatory agency in the United States.To find out more about the TLC, or to review the agency’s procedures, rules and regulations and programs, you may review the constantly updated information available throughout this web site, or you may call the TLC’s Customer Service Hotline at 311. ”

      Under employment opportunities they list “Inspectors” but nothing for “drivers”.

      So they should NOT be dictating dress codes for drivers who are not their employees. In fact, they should not be dictating anything that isn’t related directly to public safety. Government controlled “licensing” is one of the most corrupt ideas ever invented by the guilds to protect their markets. Like all Govt controlled protections, it eventually bites the guild in the butt along with everyone else.

      If the cabbies were actually employed by the Commission then your arguments would be valid. Government or not, an employer has the right to demand a certain appearance in its employees.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I freely admit that taxi drivers are not employees of the TLC. However, that still does not change my analysis.

        Look – is this stupid? Yes. should the TLC be focusing on this? Probably not. However I just don’t see this as some huge government overreach, especially when others here argue with a straight face that if it were a private company (also where the drivers are not technically employees) this would be perfectly fine.

        • Buck

          If it were a private company whose drivers were EMPLOYEES then YES, they would have that right.

          If it were a govt agency whose drivers were EMPLOYEES then YES< they would have that right.

          They DO NOT employ the drivers Buck. They have no authority to dictate how the drivers dress. Or at least they should not have any such authority.

          Your argument has more holes than Swiss cheese.

          • Truthseeker says:

            To add on, how are these poor taxi drivers going to afford the new standard if the drivers have very low income? Is this a war on the “Poor”?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            In your opinion, would a private taxi company have the authority to dictate how its drivers dress, if those drivers were likewise not considered employees?

            Keep in mind, as Ray points out below, there is a difference between maintaining standards and imposing a uniform.

            • If they were contractors, there is still a transactional relationship. If they were a taxi company that rented their taxi’s to private drivers, then there is still a transactional relationship. The TLC is a regulatory commission, there is no transaction and there is no choice but to deal with them.

            • Buck

              NO and YES!

              If they are NOT employees then they are not the company’s drivers.

              But the rub is they own the cabs and supposedly rent them out to drivers. So in this sense they could exert some control on how the contractor/renter dresses. It would be a condition of the rental/contract agreement.

              In one case the company owns the cabs and employs the drivers. This gives them direct authority.

              In the other, the company owns the cabs and rents them to individuals. This gives them indirect authority via the contract. The same would apply if they were contracting for both the cab and driver.

              The Taxi Commission does not fit either of these examples as I understand it. It is a Regulatory and Licensing Agency. And using Govt Power to force licensing and then claiming contract relationships to force licensees to act/behave/dress in some manner not directly related to public safety is a violation of government’s role and proper authority.

    • “So when a private company (I would assume even a private company with a monopoly) does something, it is perfectly fine. But how dare the big bad government do the exact same thing!!?”

      That is exactly what I am saying. A private company is setting the standard for IT’S OWN property. A private company is enforcing control on IT’S OWN property. Government is doing the same on SOMEONE ELSE’S property. That is a gigantic difference Buck.

  • Ray Hawkins says:

    All – just a repost from the NYT blog – interesting read…..

    Driving a taxi in NYC has become de-professionalized such that the majority of current drivers represent a fairly desperate segment of NYC’s population, who are willing to put up with an horribly exploitative & abusive system. When I drove taxi in the 70’s, fleet drivers were unionized workers with various benefits, who worked on a commission basis for their garage. These former “employees” are now “independent contractors” who must rent their vehicle at ridiculous rates, must buy their own gas and have no benefits. Many drivers rent vehicles from owners who rent the vehicle on a 7 day (weekly) basis only, forcing the drivers to work 7 days, or to absorb the extra expense since he cannot “sublet” the vehicle to another driver. I could go on, but I believe the riding public, and most middle class New Yorkers, (judging buy the other readers’ comments, as well as my observations) generally does not care about the plight of the taxi drivers, just as they care little for the legions of exploited, largely foreign, workers in the service sector here, who cater to their comfort & convenience. We could have a professional taxi industry here, as in London or Paris, but that would mean making working conditions attractive enough to attract people who would would want to make a lifetime career of it. (Isn’t that the definition of professional?) This would also entail addressing the taxi industry fat cats who profiteer from the over-inflated value of the taxi medallions, as well as the banks and politicos who enable them. The medallion is nothing more than a permit to do business, like those issued to food vending vehicles, tow trucks, etc. The artificial scarcity of medallions caused by their limited number has led speculation, further driving up their cost. Due to pressures from their artificially high price, all industry members must bear unreasonably high costs that are then passed along to the drivers, and ultimately to the public. This has also spawned an apartheid taxi system for New Yorkers. Since the need to maximize profit forces the yellow taxi to service the upscale districts of Manhattan, the majority of New Yorkers, city wide, are forced to rely on “lightly regulated” car services, (a.k.a “Gypsy” cabs) who must break the law while picking up the majority of their passengers via illegal street hails. I know of no other (non third world) city which has to sets of taxis, one set serving the affluent areas, the other operating largely illegally, serving the rest of the population.

    There should be one type of taxi serving the entire city. The status of limousines should be clearly defined, since many “Gypsy” cabs masquerade as limos. As long as the majority of New Yorkers are silent on these issues, no real solutions, addressing causes and true benefits to all, will be found.

    From Bronx Bob at http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2010/11/26/nyregion/26dresscode.html

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Personally I think they are reaching here – should be far bigger fish to fry. I used to work in NYC – cannot say I ever noticed what the cabbies wear.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I agree that there are far bigger fish to fry and, constantly being in NYC, this is a non-issue and I could care less what the drivers wear.

        But where do you stand on whether the government has or should have authority to come up with dress code standards for the TLC and the drivers?

  • TexasChem says:

    Let’s just all go to work naked.

  • Interesting. Last year, because of the issues pertaining to small companies and employees, we went to contract basis and independent conractors. They are own their own, however, in our contract with the independents, we have a dress code and if they violate said dress code, we have the right to terminate their contract on the spot. They read it…they sign it. Pretty simple. (Buck, before you ask, the contract passes the smell test according to law and the dress code does not represent an “employer” relationship).

    The Texas Department of Health regulates our licensing requirments in order to have massage, cosmotology, and antiaging services. BUT…the Texas Health Department does not have nor should have any regulation over the dress of the licensee. However, if I have the space and the protocol and I lease to independents, I do have the right and do so dictate the dress of the individuals in our contract. It is a contract item.

    Of course, everyone on here already knows that we decided on independent contractors as a result of Obama Care and the tax items we felt the dems were going to institute. But, in the dress items and control, this is how I see it.

  • USWeapon Topic #2

    Jindal Says Congress Should Work Part-Time

    Gov. Bobby Jindal says the United States would be better off if members of Congress spent less time in Washington.

    In an interview this week with Human Events, the Louisiana Republican, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, said U.S. lawmakers should work part-time, be term-limited and not allowed to become lobbyists once they leave Congress.

    “When they live under the same rules and laws they passed for the rest of us, maybe you’d see some more common sense coming out of Washington, D.C.” he told the conservative publication. “Instead, you got a permanent governing political class.”

    Jindal, who once served as a congressman, cited Mark Twain in his proposal.

    “We used to pay farmers not to grow crops, let’s pay congressmen to stay out of Washington, D.C.,” he said. “Mark Twain said that our liberty, our wallets were safest when the legislature’s not in session.”

    It turns out members of Congress aren’t spending that much time in Washington anyway. Lawmakers work 128 days or less per year and an average of 7.4 hours per day.

    Rank-and-file members of the House and Senate make $174,000 per year. Based on the average American 52-week year, that amounts to $669 per day but calculated on Congress’ 128-day year, lawmakers are taking home twice the daily pay — $1,359 per day – for about half the working time.

    Based on a normal 40-hour workweek, lawmakers make $84 per hour. But figuring on their actual 37-hour workweek, they make $90 per hour.

    Jindal’s proposal may not be so far-fetched given the rising cost of running Congress — more than $5 billion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to Legistorm, a website that tracks congressional salaries and staffing.

    Operating costs have soared 89 percent over the past decade, rising three times faster than the rate for national inflation, according to the Capitol News Connection based on data from Legistorm. The publication found that congressional salaries grew 39 percent from 2001 to 2009 and security expenses for the Capitol Police increased 860 percent in the past 10 years.

    Read the rest of the Article here:  

  • http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/25/jindal-says-congress-work-time/?test=latestnews
  • I have so many things that I want to say about this….

    But I am going to say a very little and then hopefully take part in the discussions as everyone else offers their thoughts.

    I agree with Jindal. I have long said that one of the primary differences between Congress today and the members of Congress during the time of the founders was this aspect. Members of Congress in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s were PART TIME representatives. They then went back to their farms, their medical practices, and their lawyer duties. They lived under the rules they passed. Congressional members today will NEVER return to the professions that they held prior to being in office. They are paid that salary for the rest of their lives. Once elected to Congress, they are never again going to have to live under the rules that they pass. Heck, most of them don’t bother with the taxes even while they are still serving.

    But what do all of you think? Is moving the role of Congressman or Senator to a part time gig possible at the federal level. I know it can be done at the state level. Several states already do it. If I recall, Texas is one of them. North Carolina is another. And the pay in both of those states, if I recall correctly, is nowhere near what it is at the federal level. So it can work at the state level. Is it even possible at the federal level.

    If you support the idea of the federal government relinquishing much of its power to the states as put forth under the tenth amendment, do you think that then the states would have to be full time as well? I look forward to your thoughts.

    • Well, USW, you had to ask . . . so here is what I had posted on my website recently – To be honest, I have long held this belief but short of a total make-over of DC I do not think anything near this would ever happen anytime in the foreseeable future.

      However, I can still hope and pray . . . . . . .

      Here is an idea to prevent our currant political disaster from ever happening again . . .

      Congressional Reform Act of 2010

      1. Term Limits.
      12 years only, one of the possible options below..
      A. Two Six-year Senate terms
      B. Six Two-year House terms
      C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

      2. No Tenure / No Pension.
      A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

      3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
      All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

      4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

      5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

      6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

      7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

      8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.

      The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

      Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

      • On #1 – A for the Senate and B for the House.

        You have my vote for all your proposals!

      • Truthseeker says:

        Now this is a plan I am willing to vote for! Well put together and it makes complete sense. The power belongs to the people.

      • I concur.

      • Great porposal but you are 1999 pages short of a bill.

      • PapaDawg – perfect!

        Yesterday in the news there was a big splash about McCain drooling over Feingold’s leaving and how unfortunate(?really?) it is for such a good man to be voted out. Local online paper comment section was full of crying libs (remember, this is Madison), saying how wrong this is blah, blah. The paper asked “What should Feingold do now?”. Many were the “please stay in politics to continue to serve us” type of thing but the best comment was “I’d suggest he get out and get a real job in private industry so he can see and feel firsthand the damage he has inflicted on us”.

        Of course, given his 18 years there, he now has lifelong benies (although PD says all null and void – nice!), so he will never be a regular private citizen.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          I’m hoping he makes a bid for President! The guy was a progressive powerhouse!

          Coincidentally, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe he was the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act. Anyone know if this is true?

          • I’m hoping he makes a bid too – in fact I’d like to see him go against BO in the primaries.

            The country shows what it thinks of the Progressive agenda last month. Would love to see him kicked to the gutter once again.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              From my reading of the data, the ones in the Democratic party that lost the most were the Blue Dogs. Hardly a vote against the progressive agenda. Feingold was one of the exceptions for whatever reason. A real shame…

              • Well of course it was the Blue Dogs that lost big. What makes them Blue Dogs is that they are from moderate areas. Their votes, however, were not moderate – especially voting for the Stimulus and O-Care. Thus, their moderate electorate said, bye bye!

                The far left wackos that made the cut were from far left wacko areas, California for instance.

                Feingold was too Progressive for the entire state of WI – he’d do fine in inner city Madison and inner city Milwaukee but that’s it.

                I’ve heard your take before – must be a common talking point to diminish what is really happening in the country. That’s OK Buck, you keep believing that the Progressive Agenda is where it’s at.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Be honest – there are a myriad ways of looking at and analyzing the recent election and determining the ‘take away’.

                From my own perspective: The Blue Dogs votes were moderate – as I’ve said before, Obama did not put forth a thoroughly liberal agenda. The health care bill is much closer to what the GOP put forth in the 1990s than what the progressives were looking for. Already on tax cuts Obama is trying to compromise with the right, who have made it abundantly clear that it is their way or the highway.

                What progressive agenda do you see happening here?

              • Been over this a thousand times. The healthcare bill was written by the Apollo Alliance, an offspring of George Soros. When Daddy Warbucks speaks they listen.

                And Obama’s only taking the bait on the tax cut issue to save his own ass otherwise he’s already on record as saying “at some point you’ve made enough”.

                That’s progressive agenda!

    • They already work part time. 128 work days per year/52 weeks = 2.5 days a week. That’s 1/2 week so let’s cut their pay in half and their ‘work week’ in half then they can only create half as much chaos.

      • Let’s pay them double, but make them give a dollar back to the treasury every time they do something self-motivated rather than civic-minded.

        By the end of the year, I have no doubt that they’d all be deep in debt.

      • Yea, I was thinking that too. They spend too much time in Washington, yet still manage to be gone when they should be there.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      I was wondering when we’d get a quote from Piyush Amrit Jindal – I mean – even though he’s Governor and all of Louisiana he did somehow manage to write a book which he needs to promote and drive sales on.

      But I digress….

      Let’s see if Jindal self-selects and does not run for Governor in 2011.

      I’d be very curious where the “128 days or less / 7.4 hours a day” comment comes from. I think the issue is more so their productivity – I highly doubt the 128/7.4 numbers are remotely accurate.

      Let’s also remember that not all members of Congress are Gazillionaires – many have to maintain two residences (one in DC-area and one back home) – some actually do pay that from pocket rather than relying on “donors”.

      • Ray

        I wouldn’t be that surprised if the Congress critters themselves worked only 128 days, if your only counting time in D.C.. Much of the rest of the time they are “campaigning”, er I mean, meeting with the voters to brief them on what is going on.

        What is not mentioned is the ungodly hours put in by their staff, without financial compensation. Go to D.C. House or Senate offices and count the number of folks over 40 working in staff jobs. It won’t take many fingers. It is a YOUNG persons game due to the pace and stress.

        Which of course leads to the connected question/concern. We have KIDS running the legislative branch of government.

        Best to you and yours this morning
        JAC

      • Oh, poor congressmen and women. They only make, what over $100k a year! How can they ever afford to live!

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @JB – ever looked at real estate in DC?

          • Ray

            While I am with you on this in a general sense, the fact is that most of them still maintain substantial incomes from other sources once elected. The salary is much more than what is needed to cover the D.C. living expenses.

            But go back to my comment of last night. Govt employees and their pay makes for great “class warfare”. We can now thank the President and Republicans/Democrats for further fueling that fire.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              @JAC

              “the fact is that most of them still maintain substantial incomes from other sources once elected”

              Care to elaborate?

              • Ray

                Senators and Congressmen are able to continue making money from various business and investment mechanisms.

                As long as they conform with their own rules regarding conflict of interest. Following are those for the Senate:

                http://rules.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=RuleXXXVII

                As I understand it, most use a “blind trust” to comply with the rules yet continue to receive additional income.

                There are some true “working class” folks in Congress who have trouble keeping a home there. But most are pretty well off financially before they get there. And they continue to earn an income from their prior life while there.

                Perhaps we should make Congressional Pay a “means tested” compensation. Boy would that be funny to see the howling.

                Also remember that their base pay does not include their franking privileges, travel, or other budget allowances for their office operations. And neither of these include money gained via the fundraising efforts with their party.

          • Truthseeker says:

            There is plenty of office space that can be converted to Barracks that Congress could stay in when in DC. That would save an aweful lot of money.

          • Assign each member of Congress a row house of the standard and quality provided to military families to live in. Spread them out around the different military bases and assign housing no more lavish than a mid ranking officer or NCO would get. The services can manage and maintain the units to the same standard they do now for military housing. That would solve the housing expense complaint and give them a true idea of what service families deal with.

      • Ray,

        If you’re going to bash Jindal, let’s make it on issues.

        http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/bobby_jindals_downside.html

        Louisiana’s last budget was balanced with numerous accounting tricks, one-time funding sources, and massive cuts to health and higher education. Jindal has been criticized for pushing hard decisions down the road to avoid offending anyone in preparation for a presidential bid, and it is well-known in Louisiana that Jindal is preparing to run and campaigning across the country on trips funded by Louisiana taxpayers.

        Louisiana is a populist state that tends to overspend in flush times and flail in lean times. In Louisiana, health and higher education are not constitutionally protected from budget cuts and are routinely savaged when the economy dives. To be fair, there is a great deal of waste in higher education that needs to be eliminated, and LSU professors are not helping their cause by threatening to unionize in a state where unions are not looked on favorably. Also, LSU System President Dr. John Lombardi, Louisiana’s highest-paid state employee, recently refused to trim his salary for the good of the school and further exposed the hypocrisy in Louisiana higher education.

        During Jindal’s administration, Louisiana has added over 3,100 new employees, and its budget has increased from $12 billion in 2008 to $24 billion in 2010. The governor seems to think this surge in state government will somehow conquer the budget in the long run.

        When it comes to cutting spending, the governor can’t cut even his own travel budget. One of Governor Jindal’s favorite Louisiana campaign tactics is local church attendance by helicopter in rural areas rarely visited by any governor.

        Jindal’s celebrated ethics legislation promoting transparency in Louisiana government has backfired (see also here): it has been revealed that enforcement powers were stripped from the Ethics Board, resulting in several resignations in protest, and Jindal has zealously guarded the records of the governor’s office from the light of day

      • And Michael Chertoff and George Soros are making millions if not billions of $$$ selling porno scanners to the TSA, but that’s okey-dokey because the president, the HSA and TSA are all run by people with “D” after their title. So let’s all be sure to focus on the guy with a stupid book becuase he has an “R” after his title.

        Divide and Conquer.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @Cyndi – no – you are incorrect. I was merely pointing out that Jindal is as slimy as the people he tends to point fingers at.

          • meanwhile, back in DC, the looting and pwer grabbing continue unnoticed and uninterrupted. Good job.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Cyndi – so you’ll ignore the damage that can be done even closer to home? Brilliant!

              • You’re right. Bobby Jindal’s book is much more damaging than than the Patriot Act, HSA, TSA, TARP, Stimulus,Frank-Dodd FinReg, CoinIntel, FUSION centers, EPA regulation, SEIU influence, etc.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @Cyndi – I was not referring to only his book. Try again.

    • Do the Texas thing….Our legislature meets wvery two years and they are not salaried. Works for us.

  • USWeapon Topic #3

    Obama Faces Union Backlash After Gambling on Pay Freeze Proposal

    President Obama is hearing an earful from union allies who accuse him of chipping away at the deficit on the backs of federal employees, underscoring the political gamble he just took in proposing a two-year freeze on federal pay.

    Voter enthusiasm in the Democratic base was a challenge for the president’s party in the last election, and the fight Obama picked Monday with powerful unions didn’t help that relationship any. Unions, who command influential get-out-the-vote operations and account for millions in fundraising dollars, are charging the president with clamping down on the middle class for the sake of a proposal that cuts into the deficit by a fraction.

    “Cutting federal employee pay is really going to do nothing for the deficit,” John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, told Fox News Radio. “It just looks like a panic gesture.”

    Gage called the amount “peanuts,” arguing in a statement that a “VA nursing assistant making $28,000 a year or a border patrol agent earning $34,000 per year” should not be the target of “political scapegoating.” According to the administration, the starting salary for a Border Patrol agent is actually $38,619.

    Other union leaders, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and National Federation of Federal Employees President William Dougan, piled on. Democratic congressional leaders expressed skepticism about the plan. Once the hubbub settled, the president’s biggest backers ended up being congressional Republicans who viewed the pitch as an endorsement of the kind of cutback they’ve been demanding for months.

    But Democratic strategists said Tuesday that Obama ultimately has more to gain than lose out of his pay freeze plan. Strategist Joe Trippi compared the fiscal discipline posturing to former President Bill Clinton’s strategy after his party’s 1994 midterm wipeout — a strategy that paid off with his reelection victory two years later. The more Obama rankles the base, he said, the more credibility the president regains with independents.

    Democratic strategist Bob Beckel said the unions will bellow but that political realities will prevent them from abandoning Obama.

    “They’ll talk a tough game now … but in the end they’re about to face a Republican House of Representatives which has got not an inch of interest in helping unions anywhere,” Beckel said. “Their choices are pretty limited here.”

    Obama said Monday that the two-year freeze on civilian federal pay would save $2 billion this fiscal year and $28 billion over the course of the next five years. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., called the plan “exactly the kind of savings measure we have to make in order to begin to restore some fiscal sanity in America.”

    But two high-ranking Democratic congressman, who happen to represent Maryland districts packed with federal workers, cast doubt on the proposal.

    “By focusing exclusively on federal employees, the administration runs the risk of reinforcing the myth, pushed by some for politically convenient but cynical reasons, that America suffers from a federal government comprised of unproductive and overpaid civil servants. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said in a written statement, calling the pitch a “piecemeal approach.”

    Read the rest of the Article here:  

  • http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/30/obama-faces-union-backlash-gambling-pay-freeze-proposal/#ixzz16oaxtwPV
  • I will go on record and say that I want to applaud the President on this move. Of course the unions are going to be pissed about this. They don’t care a bit about the country. They don’t care a bit about the industry that they operate in. They don’t care a bit about anyone or anything. They care only about using whatever leverage they can get to make their members more money for the least amount of work possible. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that this is the union’s purpose. But I still think they are bad for everyone.

    Chris Van Hollen’s statement is pure idiocy. He says that this move runs the risk of reinforcing the myth that government employees are unproductive and overpaid. First and foremost, it isn’t a myth in the grand scheme of things. Government employees are overpaid, for the most part (soldiers are not overpaid, FTR, and were exempted). And unproductive is a vast understatement. Although at least 50% of the lack of productivity is due to the outrageous bureaucracy that is ever present in everything they do.

    But Van Hollen really misses the point. Whether you want to claim it is a myth or not, I fail to see how this move by the White house in any way works to reinforce that belief in American minds. What does a pay freeze have to do with the perception of unproductive? Nothing. Why does a pay freeze reinforce the thought that federal workers are overpaid? It doesn’t. These perceptions from Americans about the typical government worker are formed from OUR INTERACTIONS WITH GOVERNMENT WORKERS. A trip to the DMV or any other government agency is all it takes.

    What I see in this move is a move from the White House to lead from the front for a change. While I am not nearly naive enough to believe that the White House has suddenly become fiscally responsible, I am willing to acknowledge when they take an action that goes down the right path. The federal government needs to do some serious cost cutting. This is a step in the right direction. Their next move, in my opinion, should be to start evaluating every single position in the government and ensuring that the pay being offered is in line with where it should be. Freezing someone’s pay at $75,000 a year to administer Driving tests is not efficient or fiscally responsible. Cutting that pay to something more reasonable is. Just my two cents.

  • USWeapon Topic #4

    Senate shuns GOP push to nix pet projects

    By a sizable — but dwindling margin — the Senate on Tuesday voted in favor of allowing lawmakers to keep stocking bills with home-state projects like roads, grants to local police departments and clean-water projects.

    But with the House set to tumble into GOP hands and anti-earmark reinforcements coming to the Senate in January, the window seems to be closing on the practice.

    Tuesday’s 39-56 tally rejected a GOP bid to ban the practice of loading spending bills with so-called earmarks — those parochial provisions that lawmakers deliver to their states — but it appears the curtain is coming down on the practice.

    Most Democrats and a handful of Republicans combined to defeat the effort, which would have effectively prohibited the Senate from considering legislation containing earmarks like road and bridge projects, community development funding, grants to local police departments and special-interest tax breaks.

    The tally, however, was a better showing for earmark opponents, who lost a 29-68 vote earlier this year. Any votes next year should be closer because a band of anti-earmark Republicans is joining the Senate. “More like 45 or better,” said earmark opponent Jim DeMint, R-S.C.

    Earlier this month, Republicans bowed to Tea Party activists and passed a party resolution declaring GOP senators would give up earmarks. House Republicans have also given up the practice, but most Democrats say earmarks are a legitimate way to direct taxpayer money to their constituents.

    Seven Democrats voted with all but eight Republicans to ban the practice.

    Read the rest of the Article here:  

  • http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40433524/ns/politics-capitol_hill/
  • I thought about making this into its own article and really getting into it again. As many of you know, I am 100% opposed to any and all earmarks being added to bills. I think that it is a dirty way of doing business. I have always thought so. It was one of the primary reasons many years ago that I turned against the Republican Party. They had shown themselves to be as greedy and corrupt as the Democrats in terms of earmarks, so their claims of being fiscally different no longer held water. It was the first crack in their armor for me. I found so many other cracks later!

    But back to earmarks. I believe that the earmarks should be banned. I don’t want to hear this nonsense about Congressional members believing that they have to bring home that bacon. Bullshit. That is not their job. They have done their best to make it a part of their job. They pretend they are slaves to the whims of their constituents who demand that they do earmarks. The reality is that they created that demand because earmarks became yet another way that they were able to exert control.

    I believe that an earmark ban is right for several reasons. First, I think that they are completely outside of the realm of ethical behavior in the way that they are used. Adding earmarks for some pet project as a way to buy the vote of someone has become the norm, and buying votes for something that someone would normally oppose is just a legal form of bribery. Second, I think banning earmarks would be one step in a series of steps that would begin to reduce the power of lobbyists. It is step one in moving towards getting our representatives to represent us for a change. Perhaps an article on reducing the power of lobbyists and corporations would be an interesting topic if anyone wants to tackle it!

    However, it is because of the power and control that earmarks help Congressional members wield, that NO ONE in Congress REALLY wants to ban them. Pay attention to this game. The GOP is pushing this as though they are serious. They are saying what they believe voters want to hear. But they don’t mean it. Banning earmarks will NEVER happen. Remember that the GOP was just as guilty of using them as the Democrats in recent years. Now they have tasted that forbidden fruit. They cannot give it up. Mark my words…. this is a game they are playing, and the two sides are playing it together hoping that the voters will go back to sleep.

  • Hey there, USW,

    Here’s a link for you on the food growing fine:

    http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/georgia-farmer-fined-5k-for-growing-too-many-veggies/

  • JAC, sorry I did not respond when you first posted this, other irons in the fire.

    Just A Citizen said
    November 29, 2010 at 12:01 am

    What goes on between Governments is often NOT what we think, based on the News coverage.

    I urge everyone to read the following NY TIMES article on revelations from the Wikileak files.

    Very, very interesting stuff about Iran, the Arab World, N. Korea etc.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/middleeast/29iran.html?_r=1&hp

  • The House of Representatives approved a decades-old settlement worth $4.6 billion Tuesday that resolves two class-action suits filed against the federal government by black farmers and Native Americans.

    The thousands who joined the suit argued that the government discriminated against them as they applied for loans for agricultural ventures.

    The House approved the package 256-to-152.

    Black farmers would receive $1.2 billion, after they alleged they were cheated out of loans from the Agriculture Department. The government will direct $3.4 billion to American Indians who say the Interior Department swindled them out of royalties from natural resources like gas and timber. The Senate has already approved the package, but some lawmakers objected.

    Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., opposed the settlement. She says that many of the programs designed to accommodate black farmers are easy targets for fraud.

    Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, tried to delete money from the program with an amendment but was blocked by the House Rules Committee.

    “By cutting off consideration of my amendment, and by refusing to investigate serious allegations of Pigford fraud prior to voting on legislation allocating an additional $1.15 billion to the program, the lame duck Congress is, in effect, enabling Pigford fraud and this calls for an investigation by the 112th Congress,” King said in a statement.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the settlement’s passage as did several administration officials.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/30/house-approves-billion-settlement-indian-black-farmers/#ixzz16s4yknmI

  • Moving this topic from Kathy over to open mic…

    Kathy posted:
    Wikileaks. Just read this comment by BJ (within Atlas’ posting). This is what I’ve been thinking as well. Obama isn’t reacting to this because he is in on it.

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/11/impeachable.html

    Herewegoagain replied:
    Any evidence whatsoever? Or just more baseless accusations from the right?

    On another note, DailyKos highlighted three interesting stories today. Curious as to everyone’s thoughts on this site:

    1) Steve King — Obama is seeking to provide for slavery reparations through his support of a settlement in a discrimination case between the USDA and black farmers from the 1980s and 1990s.

    2) Judson Philips (Tea Party Nation) — only property owners should vote as they are the ones with a real interest/stake in the nation

    3) Celebrations in the South for the 150th anniversary of secession

    TexasChem replied:
    Herewegoagain,

    1. Reparations-Reparations for injustices committed against our ancestors is ridiculous. I’m from German descent. The Romans oppressed my ancestors. I don’t whine about it to Italians.If anything we see more reverse discrimination taking place against whites today in our “politically correct” world.Is it just me or does it seem as if it is fine to promote the advancement of your ethnicity and religion unless you are a white christian?Then you are considered a racist bigot.

    The main issue I have with this discrimination case is that the number of black farmers claiming issue far exceeds the actual number of black farmers!

    2. Property owners only-Citizen only.Nothing else to be said about this issue really.JaC said it all and I am in firm accord with him.

    3. Celebrations in the South-Send me your address and I will send you an invitation from the Sons of Confederate Veterans to ours!
    Why would anyone have an issue with celebrating an action to stop an oppressive out of control government? Abraham Lincoln was the worst president this country has ever had.At this point of time in American history slavery was what we’d consider today a social wedge issue: much like we have today with abortion, healthcare reform, gay marriage, taxation and global warming.Slavery was an issue pounced upon by Northern politicians to justify their lust for the control of the Southern economy.

    I will never understand why folks say the Civil War was about ending slavery in this country. It did indeed end slavery of black males, but 52% of the country was still treated like property. Women were not given the right to vote until 50 years after black males, and even then they were not given full autonomy.

    Even after the Civil War it was still legal to deny women the right to vote, to own property, to be paid for their labor, to make certain purchases for themselves, to press charges against certain males for raping and beating them, etc. How is this not slavery?

  • TexasChem says:

    I grew up here and I’ll tell you one damn thing right now.This is Reparations trying to buy democratic votes in 2012 plain and simple.The tribe already has numerous wells on their reservation and have bought up thousands of acres of land in our county with their minerals royalties and casino revenues.The tribe is about to re-open a casino here in Texas as well soon as the legislation passes.They already have one in Louisiana.Do you have any idea the amount of revenue a casino takes in?The government already pays full and partial on their home mortgages depending upon the amount of Native blood they have.Free healthcare,dental and vision.Wouldn’t it be great if each and every American had this advantage in life?I do not see how contributing my tax dollars to give someone else an unfair advantage over me and my kids in life makes this a level playing field for all.Cmon people what the hell…is their a belief that the white man has an unfair advantage over other races for some reason?Should all white people feel guilty for the sins of men long dead and gone?

    East Texas tribe ‘optimistic’ but ‘realistic’ on compensation prospects
    Alabama-Coushatta waiting since 2002 for Congress to act on court’s recommendation to pay $270.6 million.By Ralph K.M. Haurwitz AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

    Published: 8:48 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, 2010

    When President Barack Obama met with leaders of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes last November, he vowed that “you will not be forgotten as long as I’m in this White House.”

    He plans to meet again with leaders of the 565 federally recognized tribes on Dec. 16 at his second White House Tribal Nations Conference.

    Carlos Bullock, tribal council chairman of the Alabama-Coushatta Indian tribe, sees the president’s interest as an encouraging sign. With about 1,000 members and a reservation between Livingston and Woodville in East Texas, the tribe has been waiting since 2002 for Congress to act on a federal court’s recommendation to pay it $270.6 million.

    The U.S. Court of Federal Claims said the money is owed for oil and gas production, timber harvesting and trespassing by non-Indian settlers on the tribe’s ancestral lands. The court ruled that the federal government breached its legal duty by failing to object when the State of Texas doled out land grants to such settlers.

    In the eight years since the court’s recommendation, no member of Congress has introduced legislation to compensate the tribe. Nor did President George W. Bush include a sum for the tribe in his budget requests to Congress. And thus far, neither has Obama.

    Alabama-Coushatta representatives have been in touch with the U.S. Department of the Interior and with U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, whose district includes the tribe’s reservation.

    “We’re optimistic, but we’re also realistic,” Bullock said. “Politics plays a large role in it.”

    A major wrinkle is that the claims court also concluded that the tribe’s ancestral land rights have never been terminated. In other words, the tribe still holds so-called aboriginal title — the right to occupy and possess homelands — to 5.5 million acres, a vast stretch that includes all or portions of 11 counties. Recent federal court rulings involving other tribes cast doubt on the ability of the Alabama-Coushatta to assert that right.

    Asked whether the tribe would give up its aboriginal title in exchange for the $270.6 million, Bullock replied: “We would seriously consider it. But until the dollars are paid, we wouldn’t give it up upfront.”

    The Interior Department and the White House did not respond to requests for comment. Members of the Texas congressional delegation also didn’t have much to say regarding the case.

    “While there has been no new movement on this issue, we continue to stay in contact with the tribal leadership,” said Brady’s press secretary, Tracee Evans.

    Kevin McLaughlin, a spokesman for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said, “In January, Sen. Cornyn said that the court’s decision should be respected and not ignored. He still believes that today.”

    The office of the state’s other U.S. senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, also a Republican, did not respond to requests for comment. In the past, she has said that she does not favor payment of “reparations” to the tribe.

    Gavin Clarkson, an associate professor of law at the University of Houston and a scholar of tribal finance, criticized the state’s congressional delegation for not pursuing a payment for the tribe.

    “This is compensation for taking land,” Clarkson said. “When people are talking about reparations, they’re generally doing it in the context of slavery. To morph the two together is an attempt to intellectually hijack the discussion.”

    Clarkson noted that the Alabama-Coushatta lost their land despite assurances from some of the most important figures in Texas history that they would be secure.

    Sam Houston, who led Texas forces to victory in the war for independence from Mexico and became the first regularly elected president of the Republic of Texas, declared that “Indian lands are the forbidden fruit in the midst of the garden.” He also instructed a representative to inform the Alabama-Coushatta that “they are under the protection of the government.”

    “I’m sure everybody in the Texas delegation reveres Sam Houston,” Clarkson said. “They need to get off their butts, channel their inner Sam Houston and do the right thing.”

  • Need our resident economists to step up and help explain this:

    US Ready to Back Bigger EU Stability Fund: Official

    The United States would be ready to support the extension of the European Financial Stability Facility via an extra commitment of money from the International Monetary Fund, a U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday.

    Entire article:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/40454469

  • Why Does the Media Love to Pick On Palin?

    By John Lott

    Published November 30, 2010

    FoxNews
    The media just loves to hate Sarah Palin. And, if polls are to be believed, the constant media bombardment has hurt her standing among many independents.

    Unfortunately, over the last couple of weeks, even conservative media pundits such as Mona Charen, Peggy Noonan, George Will, Joe Scarborough and Matt Labash see these attacks and warn that she can’t win the presidency. They even buy into the attacks on her judgment, intelligence, and competence. But what these conservatives don’t appreciate is that Palin is being attacked because she is smart and effective, not because she is dumb.

    For just how far off base her coverage by the media has been, consider the reaction when Sarah Palin, a Fox News contributor and former Alaska governor, last Wednesday accidentally referred to North Korea as an ally. It was an obvious slip of the tongue and she corrected the trivial gaffe immediately in her very next sentence. The local, national, and even international news coverage was massive, making the trivial error front-page news. A Google news search finds 834 separate news stories run just that day alone.

    This is just the surface of the attacks. The media started attacking Palin as soon as she was nominated by John McCain to be vice president and they have continued ever since. Tina Fey’s performances on “Saturday Night Live” got people to actually believe that Palin really did claim she could see Russia from her house.

    The attacks have continued unabated. On Nov. 19, just days before the media coverage about the North Korea slip, she was being inaccurately attacked for supposedly being unable to name her favorite founding father, with one MSNBC commentator sarcastically pleading with Republicans to nominate Palin for president. In fact, Palin said that her favorite founding father was “George Washington,” for his ability to give up the trappings of power and not making himself a king.

    No other Republican gets even remotely similar treatment. One can systematically go through news coverage on this. A Factiva news search covers only a fraction of the news sources covered by Google news, relying more on major news outlets, but it does a much better job of linking different words in a story.

    Thus, in major news outlets, 194 news stories over the last month from Oct. 28 to Nov. 27 talked about Sarah Palin in the same paragraph that they used the words “extreme,” “dishonest,” “unpresidential,” “stupid,” “incompetent,” “gaffe,” or “dumb.” Fox News recently identified eleven other contenders — in addition to Palin — who will likely vie for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Those 11 candidates, combined, garnered 27 percent more news coverage than Palin, but had just 144 negative stories written about them.

    Of course, Democrats are virtually immune from such coverage in the mainstream media. Barack Obama’s intelligence is never questioned, even though he refuses to disclose his college or law school grades, but the list of his gaffes are almost endless. Obama uses a TelePrompter for a reason. Take him telling supporters on May 9, 2008: “I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go. Alaska and Hawaii . . . .” But a Google news search shows only six news stories mentioning the “57 states” mention over the first three days (virtually all in conservative publications) and only 14 after a week.

    Since becoming president, Obama has called Europe a country. He misspelled the city of “Syracuse” twice, even though the word was spelled correctly next to where he was writing it. And he said that the Constitution was written “20 centuries” ago, the FBI was founded “100 days” ago when he meant 100 years, “Austrian” is a language, breathalyzers are used to treat asthma, and that he is working hard to “halt the rise of privacy,” not piracy. None of these cases got more than a few minor mentions in news stories in the months after the gaffe.

    But slips of the tongue demonstrate neither a person’s intelligence nor their understanding of issues. Obama’s knowledge of economics is abysmal – his emphasis on higher tax rates and spreading wealth make the economy smaller. His health care regulations will cause people to be thrown off of private health insurance, raise costs, and lower quality.

    Sarah Palin has been pointing out many of these problems before anyone else. On health care, she coined the term “death panels,” and the press attacked her mercilessly for it. But after Obamacare has become law, even Democrats, such as Paul Krugman, are now using the term, acknowledging that Obama care will empower government panels to make decisions on who will be allowed to get medical care.

    Palin’s analysis of the economics of health care would make an economist proud. Take how Obamacare creates an incentive for people to wait until they needed care before they purchased health insurance. Banning any higher premiums for those who wait until they are sick to get insurance may be very bad public policy, but it is one part of Obama care that is extremely popular. Other Republicans have seen the polls and refused to discuss the problem, but Palin ignored the polls and made the right economic argument.

    What Palin’s conservative critics need to recognize is that any other candidate who posed the same threat to Democrats would also be attacked as viciously. The desire to give up on Palin and move on to another potential Republican presidential nominee is understandable. But there is a reason why the media wants to take Palin out.

  • Bottom Line says:

    U.S. Passes Most Restrictive Legislation Yet Against Health Freedom

    The United States Senate has passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) yesterday by a vote of 73 to 25 demonstrating a clear mandate to destroy health freedom in America….

    http://www.infowars.com/u-s-passes-most-restrictive-legislation-yet-against-health-freedom/

  • When measuring the success of economic policies, the baseline metric is a policy’s spending-to-growth ratio – how much economic growth is created by spending (or not taxing) one dollar? Keyensian economics is premised on the notion of an economic multiplier. Each dollar the government spends creates more than a dollar of economic growth as the money circulates throughout the economy.

    New research suggests the Keyensian theory is bunk, and that fiscal austerity combined with tax relief is a much more effective way to stimulate growth. Stanford University economist and former White Housre economic advisor Michael Boskin explained in Wednesdday’s Wall Street Journal:

    My colleagues John Cogan and John Taylor, with Volker Wieland and Tobias Cwik, demonstrate that government purchases have a GDP impact far smaller in New Keynesian than Old Keynesian models and quickly crowd out the private sector. They estimate the effect of the February 2009 stimulus at a puny 0.2% of GDP by now…

    Former Obama adviser Christina Romer and David Romer of the University of California, Berkeley, estimate a tax-cut multiplier of 3.0, meaning $1 of lower taxes raises short-run output by $3. Messrs. Mountford and Uhlig show that substantial tax cuts had a far larger impact on output and employment than spending increases, with a multiplier up to 5.0…

    Mr. Uhlig estimates that a dollar of deficit-financed spending costs the economy a present value of $3.40. The spending would have to be remarkably productive, both in its own right and in generating jobs and income, for it to be worth even half that future cost. The University of Maryland’s Carmen Reinhart, Harvard’s Ken Rogoff and the International Monetary Fund all conclude that the high government debt-to-GDP ratios we are approaching damage growth severely.

    The complexity of a dynamic market economy is not easily captured even by sophisticated modeling (an idea stressed by Friedrich Hayek and Robert Solow). But based on the best economic evidence, we should reject increased spending and increased taxes.

    Any thoughts on these studies? What are the odds this gets any media play?

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb-staff/2010/12/01/open-thread-new-studies-highlight-failures-stimulus-spending#ixzz16tML9gNa

  • Well, Well, Well-it seems that Arab countries are more concerned about Iran than Israel-It is rather sad that they for some reason feel they can’t be honest in their beliefs-if they were maybe, just maybe there would be less extremist in the world.

    WikiLeaks builds case against Iran
    By David Frum, CNN Contributor
    November 29, 2010 12:38 p.m. EST

    Washington (CNN) — Some say that the WikiLeaks document dump has embarrassed the United States government.

    Agreed — it is probably no fun to be the U.S. official in charge of calling Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi to admit that our government noticed his Russian business dealings.

    But here’s who really should be embarrassed:

    • Those who pooh-poohed George W. Bush’s “axis of evil.” WikiLeaks confirms that Iran and North Korea have for years been sharing weapons technology.

    • Those who suggest that it’s some “Israel lobby” or Jewish cabal that is driving the confrontation with Iran. WikiLeaks confirms that the region’s Arab governments express even more anxiety than Israel about the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

    • Those who have condemned Israel for inspecting or impeding Red Crescent ambulances. WikiLeaks confirms that during the 2006 Lebanon war, Iran smuggled weapons to Hezbollah in Red Crescent vehicles, including ambulances.

    • Those who have appeased Red Crescent demands that Israel’s Red Magen David be excluded from international Red Cross organizations. The Red Crescent has been thoroughly penetrated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and is regularly used as a tool of Iranian foreign policy.

    • Those who lamented that Israel’s interception of the Turkish blockade-runner Mevi Marmara would alienate Turkey as a key U.S. ally: The U.S. government itself has for years regarded the Turkish government as trending on its own impetus toward anti-Western Islamist radicalism.

    • Those who look blank-faced at the origin of cyber-attacks on Google and other crucial U.S. networks. WikiLeaks documents U.S. awareness that at least one cyber-attack on Google was ordered at the highest levels of the Chinese government.

    This is not to deny that WikiLeaks has done enormous harm. The leakers or hackers or whoever it was who obtained and published this information have put individual lives at risk. Toby Harnden of the Telegraph notes that one of the released documents names a U.S. informant in the region. The document identifies him as a U.K.-educated engineer from a prominent pre-revolution Isfahan family who once owned a large factory in Iran and is a former national fencing champion of Iran, a former president of the Iran Fencing Association and a former vice president of an Azerbaijan sports association. Harnden aptly asks: How many such persons do you think are out there?

    But here’s the ghastliest irony of the leak. If it was Julian Assange’s intention to use information hacked from U.S. computer systems to protect Iran from U.S. military action, he has very likely massively failed at his own purpose.

    The leak makes military conflict between Iran and the United States more likely, not less. The leak has changed the political equation in ways that reduce the restraint on U.S. policy.

    Public opinion in all U.S.-allied countries can now see that the dread of the Iranian nuclear program is not some artificial emotion whipped up by Israel, but a widespread fear among Arab and European governments. It’s Iran’s Gulf neighbors who have begged most urgently that the United States hit Iran’s nuclear sites.

    Iranian recklessness and duplicity has been widely publicized — as has Iran’s contemptuous rejection of all diplomatic approaches.

    President Obama’s hand has been strengthened inside the United States. Members of Congress can see the intimate details of the administration’s determined effort to restrain Iran by peaceful means. And they can see in equally intimate detail that the effort has failed, and failed entirely because of Iran’s obduracy.

    If any doubt remains that a nuclear Iran would massively destabilize the region, WikiLeaks alleviates it: It’s there in black and white, according to Israeli sources, that Saudi Arabia would seek a nuclear weapon. And it’s a good question whether an increasingly anti-Western Turkey would likely soon pursue a nuclear weapon too.

    I am not saying that a U.S. attack on Iran has suddenly become likely. Just that it has become more politically feasible than it was 72 hours ago.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/11/29/frum.wikileaks.iran/index.html?hpt=Sbin

  • A little humor.

    http://rightnetwork.com/posts/1001642388

    I have exciting news to report! Apparently my little website is such a hit that I’ve acquired my very own trolls! And to think that up until recently, I didn’t even know that trolls were progressives who write nastygrams on conservative websites. I had always had a positive association to the word because I adored my little troll dolls as a child!

    Generally, I just trash trolly comments. But I couldn’t resist responding to this “dude,” whom I’ll call Roger. I attempted to do the impossible: offer him a “teaching moment” — free of charge. Not surprisingly, Roger did a quick adios.

    As you’ll see, Roger’s comments showcase the number one weapon in the progressive arsenal: shame. Leftists use ridicule as a type of stun gun, to try to immobilize conservatives into submission. This shaming has been on full, abhorrent display lately with the degradation of new Speaker of the House, John Boehner, for simply having human emotions.

    Of course, Leftists’ Alinsky-like tactics are simply a smokescreen for the fact that Their Emperor Has No Clothes. Given that progressives themselves can’t explain or defend Obama’s behavior, they resort to schoolyard bully attacks.

  • Bottom Line says:

    Things that make ya go hmmmm…

    On Stand Up For America – Open Thread for December 29, 2009 Post #15, there was an interesting discussion where BF was trying to explain to a reluctant Judy about how when you support the law, you support violence against yourself.

    ~Black Flag: – Judy, All Law is Violence. It is violent force to compel a person to obey an edict. There is no law in existence that does not use violent force to compel its obedience. Thus, whenever someone cries “There ought to be a law…” they are saying “We must use violence to stop that…”

    ~Judy: – But, you didn’t answer my question Flag, What would you do if anything happened to you or your family that required law to step in? I’m sure you wouldn’t take the ” Law ” into your hands would you? You once said, that if a person did anything to you or family, that you would let them be dealt with by the law. Are you changing your mind? Now you have me confused. No one is saying you have to use violence to enforce the law Flag, if there is, then by all means show me who they are. Not all people are violent.

    ~G-Man: – HI Judy! I got all your emails and will reply to them soon. I’ve been reading along all day today, and think I can help with you and Flags little discussion. First, when you read BF’s words, you must understand that he is sending a message. He uses the word “violence” different that most people could understand at it’s face. Go deeper into his message, and look past his words. I won’t attempt to speak on his behalf, but I do see his message rather clearly, look deeper my friend, it’s right there. G!

    ~Judy: – Hi G Well, maybe you can help me, because he’s a hard person to read sometimes, and I guess this is one of those times. I’m still waiting for an answer. As for those Emails, don’t worry, just when you get the time. Hope you’re doing good today.

    ~Bottom Line: – If you disobey the law, you are fined. If you don’t pay the fine, you are jailed. If you resist being jailed, you get shot, tazed, or just beaten into submission. Law = enforcement = Coercion = violence. Supporting law is supporting violence. Laws apply to everyone. Therefore, if you support the law, you are supporting coercion and violent acts against yourself. Does that help Judy? Like G-man, I don’t like speaking for someone else, but I think that’s what he meant. Sorry if I overstepped BF.

    ~Black Flag – No apology necessary. That is precisely what I was trying mumble 🙂

    That is how and when my whole “Government = Law = Enforcement = Coercion = Violence” thing was born…which, as some of you already know, I have repeated many times since then(here and elsewhere). Flag, Kent, and myself have drilled this very concept into others on countless occasions, as well as the whole theft by proxy of government idea.

    Not that this concept is unique to us, of course…It’s a common understanding of most Libertarians that government is coercive and entitlement programs are supported by theft of others. Maybe I’m nuts, but IF I DIDN’T KNOW BETTER, it seems to have made it’s way to those in the mainstream media. What I saw the other day on TV prompted me to wonder if we haven’t been an influence.

    Saturday, I was watching the “Cashin’ In” segment of FOX’s show “The Cost Of Freedom” when something caught my attention. FOX Contributor “Jonathan Hoenig” was speaking in a manner that very much resembles the same message, ALMOST as if he’s been reading SUFA.

    JONATHAN HOENIG: – “…Call it a universal care, call it whatever you want, it’s socialized care. They believe that you have a right to care. That right is paid for by someone else. And Mark, you’re right, it is force, that is the use of the government, that institutes that care…”

    “…What unions do is appeal to government and use coercion and force…”

    ” …Lift your bottom line as interest rates rise. Buy (TBF)…”

    (I especially liked that last comment, …not that it has anything to do with it, but I had to include it. lol)

    Here is the link to the video of the segment and transcript:

    http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/cost-of-freedom/transcript/cashin/code-blue-private-care

  • RAY HAWKINS

    Re: Congressional Income….outside sources. I found the following posted on Google Answers to a question in 2002. Thought you would find it interesting.

    “The 2002 pay rate for members of congress is $150,000 per year. Rate
    for Leaders is $161,200 per year; Rate for Speaker is $186,300 per
    year.

    In addition to their salary –

    “Members of Congress are also allowed to make an additional maximum 15
    percent of their salary from outside sources, like speaking, legal
    practice and consulting. In addition, they are allowed unlimited
    income from book royalties.”

    They also receive retirement and health benefits the same as any other
    government employee.”

    The value of the retirement and health benefits should be about the same for high end federal employees. The only difference is that Congressmen get to access their retirement much sooner than regular employees.

    I also found a story about the number of millionairs in the Senate. At the time, also 2002, there were about 20 Republicans and 18 Democrats, although the wealthiest were two Democrats. John Kerry being number one.

    If you have any doubt they have access to additional income just think of the Ketchup queen living on a Senator’s salary and her fees from charity boards of directors. 🙂 🙂

  • any sci-fi fans out there? well this one is interesting. In the odd world of web-comics (comic strips printed exclusively on the internet with varying degrees of fan bases) an idea was born. What if a machine could tell you how you would die and nothing else, no details at all, and no date or time.

    “But the machine was frustratingly vague in its predictions: dark, and seemingly delighting in the ambiguities of language. OLD AGE, it had already turned out, could mean either dying of natural causes, or shot by a bedridden man in a botched home invasion. The machine captured that old-world sense of irony in death — you can know how it’s going to happen, but you’ll still be surprised when it does.”

    So the book is a collection of stories made by normal people like us that submitted their chapter over the internet. The intention of the book is just to share the story, they even put up a free download so people don’t even have to buy the book. So the book launches and they are excited it made #1 on Amazon that day.

    Except someone else released a book that same day GLENN BECK. Apparently he threw a little hissy fit on the radio that his book wasn’t #1 and mentions that he thinks it is a message from the left.

    Glenn Beck:
    “And then, the #1 book — TODAY, at least — is Machine of Death. And it’s a — collected stories about, you know, people who know how they’re gonna die. Haowww!

    So you have DEATH — I know it’s called Life(Life was the name of another book ahead of his), but what a life it is, really! It’s a culture of death! OR, “How do we restore ourselves?”

    These are the — this is the left, I think, speaking. This is the left. You want to talk about where we’re headed? We’re headed towards a culture of death. A culture that, um, celebrates the things that have destroyed us. Not that the Rolling Stones have destroyed us — I mean, you can’t always get what you want. You know what I’m saying? Brown sugar. I have no idea what that means.”

    Just pointing this out because I know our friends on the left will think that it is funny Beck would have thought this. Anyway, I have been reading the free download, pretty good stuff. http://machineofdeath.net/about

  • Buck the Wala said
    December 1, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    I’d be curious – on what issue, specifically, do you believe Mathius and I to be brainwashed? How so?

    It just seems that so often we hear how we must be brainwashed, or are being tricked by the media, or do not get it, or some other variation when we disagree. This is a pretty condescending attitude to take in the face of disagreement on a given issue.

    Now excuse me while I go enjoy my kool aid. Ah! So Refreshing! You really should try some.

    Buck,

    Sorry if I am coming of wrong, I do not mean to disparage you or our other left leaning friends. I have strong feelings on how the MSM is using it’s power and position to advance an agenda. Maybe brainwashed is the wrong term, would it be better to say you are being played? Above I asked if you have ever been lied to?
    Have you ever watched a news report that stated something as being true or a fact, and later found it to be false? Remember all three networks “reporting” scientist predict an ice free North Pole this summer? It didn’t happen, again.

    Specific issues I think you have been played on:

    Palin (194 to 14)

    AGW

    The issue with both is not if you are correct or me, but if both side have been given balanced reporting by the media. First, why was the media constantly comparing Palin to Obama? They kept talking about his/her experience and skipped over McCain, the guy running for President. Do you know about Obama getting his opponent disqualified to win his seat in IL? If you did know this, it didn’t come from any of the coverage of the presidential race. The media controlled the debate. They talked about Biden’s experience on foreign policy, but didn’t mention how many times he was wrong(check his voting record).

    Global warming, where have you gotten most of your information from? Al Gore recently admitted his support of ethanol was to get re-elected by TN farmers, not that it would have any positive impact on reducing greenhouse gasses.

  • The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Fox News has given a reporting gig to Doug McKelway, a former ABC anchor for the network’s D.C. affiliate.

    McKelway took heat from higher-ups after accurately reporting on President Obama’s ties to oil giant BP and on the inevitable effects of the president’s proposed energy policies (higher electricity rates). McKelway was fired after a confrontation with the ABC affiliate’s news director Bill Lord.

    As the Post reported it:

    WJLA fired McKelway after a verbal confrontation this summer with the station’s news director, Bill Lord. The run-in followed McKelway’s coverage of a Capitol Hill protest by environmental and religious groups that were protesting oil-industry contributions to elected officials.

    McKelway focused his coverage on Democrats, reporting that the protest “may be a risky strategy because the one man who has more campaign contributions from BP than anybody else in history is now sitting in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama.”

    Lord questioned McKelway’s reporting and asked to meet with him. A shouting match between the men ensued, leading to McKelway’s suspension. He was eventually terminated for what the station called insubordination and misconduct.

    McKelway has been critical of what he views as liberal favoritism in TV news reporting. When he left WRC/Channel 4 after nine years to join WJLA in 2001, he said in a newspaper article that the station’s reporting often lacked “balance.”

    And the station went right ahead and proved him right by reprimanding him for reporting the truth. McKelway’s comments about BP’s contributions to Obama’s campaign were right on, and Obama himself had admitted that under his cap and trade plan, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

    Hopefully Fox lets McKelway report facts like these without reservation.

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2010/12/01/fnc-picks-former-abc-anchor-fired-after-noting-obama-bp-connecrtions#ixzz16xxGEQME

  • @USW………Adrenaline rush Tuesday….several of us in a five helicopter flyover of remote regions on the Texas border….low level flights covered by higher level flight of…well, let us just say….we were covered. The front three choppers have a total of 64 holes in them fired from Mexico into US Airspace. My own chopper hit four times….return fire silenced the ambush…but the fact remains….Mexico has lost control. We can easily see the lines of the cartels vs the Mexican Army. Anti armor weaponry, anti aircraft weaponry, helicopter assets, automatice weapons and bunkers….all for the CARTELS. Entire towns on the border evacuated and residents have left their homes. THe Mexican Army has attacked several areas only to be repulsed. They have lost armored vehicles and had two helicopters shot down already. The cartels shot at us and we were on the US side. MAN….what a rush and wishing I was not 62 years old…my helicopter crew was a well trained combat veteran crew and easily dodged more hits… But what a rush….greater than a Red Bull 40 ounce chug followed by a DP I.V. Just the combat DNA in me getting a small lift. Closest round was about 18 inches away but was sitting on armored plating and flak vested.

    The Mexican Government did file a protest over our return fire into Mexico. We, of course, told them to go to hell, do not pass go, and do not collect $200. We are turning the refugees back at the border by the tens of thousands and insisting the Mexican Government take care of their own and Mexico is filing protests over that. So, Texas is doing our own thing and a Federal judge has indicated that she will have to become involved and Gov Perry said…go ahead…we will not listen to that either. So, the gauntlet has been thrown…….come on Feds.

    Our Gov is also the main speaker at the Gov convention and he is a very strong states rights advocate.

    SOOOOO…WIKILEAKS…..are you reading? Where are the documents that have been written to the government concerning the Texas border? Or is your agenda that same as………………………….BO? The destruction of the United States, as we know it?

  • Buck the Wala, Mathius, LOI, and all other victims of BRAINWASHING.

    I would like to explore the proposition that Mathius and Buck, or anyone here for that matter, have been “brain washed” with regard to their general value system or on particular issues. I think the rabbit is worth chasing because I see the arrogant intellectuals on the Left throwing this accusation at the right, especially the tea party, far more than in the past.

    So in this respect, Buck’s response yesterday, and again today, that “coming to a different” conclusion is not evidence of “brain washing” is appropriate. And of course, it applies to everyone equally.
    Lets take a look at what the term means in the world of academia. The following is a definition and discussion from Wikipedia.

    “Mind control (also known as brainwashing, coercive persuasion, mind abuse, thought control, or thought reform) refers to a process in which a group or individual “systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment of the person being manipulated”.[1] The term has been applied to any tactic, psychological or otherwise, which can be seen as subverting an individual’s sense of control over their own thinking, behavior, emotions or decision making.
    Theories of brainwashing and of mind control were originally developed to explain how totalitarian regimes appeared to succeed in systematically indoctrinating prisoners of war through propaganda and torture techniques. These theories were later expanded and modified, by psychologists including Margaret Singer, to explain a wider range of phenomena, especially conversions to new religious movements (NRMs). A third-generation theory proposed by Ben Zablocki focused on the utilization of mind control to retain members of NRMs and cults to convert them to a new religion. The suggestion that NRMs use mind control techniques has resulted in scientific and legal controversy. Neither the American Psychological Association nor the American Sociological Association have found any scientific merit in such theories.[2]
    The Oxford English Dictionary records its earliest known English-language usage of “brainwashing” in an article by Edward Hunter in New Leader published on 7 October 1950. During the Korean War, Hunter, who worked at the time both as a journalist and as a US intelligence agent, wrote a series of books and articles on the theme of Chinese brainwashing.[3]
    The Chinese term 洗腦 (xǐ năo, literally “wash brain”)[citation needed] was originally used to describe methodologies of coercive persuasion used under the Maoist regime in China, which aimed to transform individuals with a reactionary imperialist mindset into “right-thinking” members of the new Chinese social system.[4] To that end the regime developed techniques that would break down the psychic integrity of the individual with regard to information processing, information retained in the mind and individual values. Chosen techniques included dehumanizing of individuals by keeping them in filth, sleep deprivation, partial sensory deprivation, psychological harassment, inculcation of guilt and group social pressure.[citation needed] The term punned on the Taoist custom of “cleansing/washing the heart” (洗心, xǐ xīn) prior to conducting certain ceremonies or entering certain holy places.
    Hunter and those who picked up the Chinese term used it to explain why, unlike in earlier wars, a relatively high percentage of American GIs defected to the enemy side after becoming prisoners-of-war. It was believed that the Chinese in North Korea used such techniques to disrupt the ability of captured troops to effectively organize and resist their imprisonment.[5] British radio operator Robert W. Ford[6][7] and British army Colonel James Carne also claimed that the Chinese subjected them to brainwashing techniques during their war-era imprisonment.
    After the war, two studies of the repatriation of American prisoners of war by Robert Lifton[8] and by Edgar Schein[9] concluded that brainwashing (called “thought reform” by Lifton and “coercive persuasion” by Schein) had a transient effect. Both researchers found that the Chinese mainly used coercive persuasion to disrupt the ability of the prisoners to organize and maintain morale and hence to escape. By placing the prisoners under conditions of physical and social deprivation and disruption, and then by offering them more comfortable situations such as better sleeping quarters, better food, warmer clothes or blankets, the Chinese did succeed in getting some of the prisoners to make anti-American statements. Nevertheless, the majority of prisoners did not actually adopt Communist beliefs, instead behaving as though they did in order to avoid the plausible threat of extreme physical abuse. Both researchers also concluded that such coercive persuasion succeeded only on a minority of POWs, and that the end-result of such coercion remained very unstable, as most of the individuals reverted to their previous condition soon after they left the coercive environment. In 1961 they both published books expanding on these findings. Schein published Coercive Persuasion[10] and Lifton published Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism.[11] More recent writers including Mikhail Heller have suggested that Lifton’s model of brainwashing may throw light on the use of mass propaganda in other communist states such as the former Soviet Union.[12]
    Mind-control theories from the Korean War era came under criticism in subsequent years. According to forensic psychologist Dick Anthony, the CIA invented the concept of “brainwashing” as a propaganda strategy to undercut communist claims that American POWs in Korean communist camps had voluntarily expressed sympathy for communism. Anthony stated that definitive research demonstrated that fear and duress, not brainwashing, caused western POWs to collaborate. He argued that the books of Edward Hunter (whom he identified as a secret CIA “psychological warfare specialist” passing as a journalist) pushed the CIA brainwashing theory onto the general public. He further asserted that for twenty years, starting in the early 1950s, the CIA and the Defense Department conducted secret research (notably including Project MKULTRA) in an attempt to develop practical brainwashing techniques, and that their attempt failed.[14]
    The U.S. military and government laid charges of “brainwashing” in an effort to undermine detailed confessions made by U.S. military personnel to war crimes, including biological warfare, against the Koreans. (The United States and Biological Warfare: Secrets From the Early Cold War, by Stephen Endicott and Edward Hagerman at York University, Toronto; Indiana University Press, 1998).

    An expanding concept
    Mind control is a general term for a number of controversial theories proposing that an individual’s thinking, behavior, emotions or decisions can, to a greater or lesser extent, be manipulated at will by outside sources. According to sociologist James T. Richardson, some of the concepts of brainwashing have spread to other fields and are applied “with some success” in contexts unrelated to the earlier cult controversies, such as custody battles and child sexual abuse cases, “where one parent is accused of brainwashing the child to reject the other parent, and in child sex abuse cases where one parent is accused of brainwashing the child to make sex abuse accusations against the other parent”.[43][44]
    Stephen A. Kent analyzes and summarizes the use of the brainwashing meme by non-sociologists in the period 2000-2007, finding the term useful not only in the context of “New Religions/Cults”, but equally under the headings of “Teen Behavior Modification Programs; Terrorist Groups; Dysfunctional Corporate Culture; Interpersonal Violence; and Alleged Chinese Governmental Human Rights Violations Against Falun Gong”.[45]”

    Here is a discussion about how brainwashing works. From Discovery Health.

    “Brainwashing Techniques

    In the late 1950s, psychologist Robert Jay Lifton studied former prisoners of Korean War and Chinese war camps. He determined that they’d undergone a multistep process that began with attacks on the prisoner’s sense of self and ended with what appeared to be a change in beliefs. Lifton ultimately defined a set of steps involved in the brainwashing cases he studied:
    1. Assault on identity
    2. Guilt
    3. Self-betrayal
    4. Breaking point
    5. Leniency
    6. Compulsion to confess
    7. Channeling of guilt
    8. Releasing of guilt
    9. Progress and harmony
    10. Final confession and rebirth

    Each of these stages takes place in an environment of isolation, meaning all “normal” social reference points are unavailable, and mind-clouding techniques like sleep deprivation and malnutrition are typically part of the process. There is often the presence or constant threat of physical harm, which adds to the target’s difficulty in thinking critically and independently.
    We can roughly divide the process Lifton identified into three stages: breaking down the self, introducing the possibility of salvation, and rebuilding the self.”

    Here is the reference for the entire article which is a good description of the theories and application process. I urge everyone to read the entire article.

    http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/perception/brainwashing4.htm

    JAC’s conclusion: In the way that most people use the term brain washed I think it is fair to say that we ALL have been victim to the process at one time or another. However, the scientific, or clinical, term for what we mean is not clinically considered “brain washing”.

    Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe it as “conditioning”, “manipulation” or “indoctrination”. As indicated in the following paragraph from the Discovery Health article, we are being subjected to some form of “social manipulation” on a daily basis.

    “In psychology, the study of brainwashing, often referred to as thought reform, falls into the sphere of “social influence.” Social influence happens every minute of every day. It’s the collection of ways in which people can change other people’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. For instance, the compliance method aims to produce a change in a person’s behavior and is not concerned with his attitudes or beliefs. It’s the “Just do it” approach. Persuasion, on the other hand, aims for a change in attitude, or “Do it because it’ll make you feel good/happy/healthy/successful.” The education method (which is called the “propaganda method” when you don’t believe in what’s being taught) goes for the social-influence gold, trying to affect a change in the person’s beliefs, along the lines of “Do it because you know it’s the right thing to do.” Brainwashing is a severe form of social influence that combine¬s all of these approaches to cause changes in someone’s way of thinking without that person’s consent and often against his will.”

    In summary and plain talk, the critical thing is that we do not keep open or closed minds but ACTIVE minds. It is only by the continued hard work of THINKING that we can guard ourselves against being manipulated by others, or of trying to live our lives filled with CONTRADICTIONS that can be destructive.

    Now back to our regular programing.

    Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts……………
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Interesting thought I came across the other day.

    When mankind was considered “uncivilized” all of us were equal in our rights and freedoms. We were relatively the same with respect to our “wealth” and condition of living. We existed in groups in order to improve our living conditions and survival.

    When mankind became “civilized” the world was divided into those groups called wealthy and poor. For the first time we existed in groups based on our condition rather than our shared goals of accomplishment. For the first time in human history, we became either rulers or the ruled. Also for the first time, one group of humans lived in starvation and squalor so that the other group could live in luxury and comfort.

    And what was the criteria used by historians in determining the break point between the “uncivilized” savage and the “civilized” man? It was the creation of “government”.

    Now for 100,000 :)’s , who can identify the person that published this idea?

  • A Puritan Descendant says:

    Can anyone show where ‘Codex Alimentarious’ prevents gardens or seed production? And not from a regurgitated secondary source.

    Pse don’t take me wrong, I want no part of the Food Safety Bill. Maine already has enough problems with pesticide notification laws on top of all the other regulations that have shut Maine down and made Maine the worst state to do business in.

  • Richmond Spitfire, Are you out there?

    Talk of next Wikileak is info on “big bank” with BofA being mentioned. Can you give us any info (w/o jeopardizing job, of course) on what’s being talked about there?

  • Here you go Men of SUFA!

    I’ve heard of the association between shoe size and ummm, well, “junk”, but never this one. Get your ring fingers out, because in the shoe/junk association, size doesn’t matter, right? But this one could have some effect on your health.

    Dear Dr. Mirkin: How could finger length predict prostate
    cancer risk?

    Men with long ring fingers may be more likely to develop
    prostate cancer, according to a study in the British Journal of
    Cancer (December 2010). Researchers compared the hands of 1,500
    prostate cancer patients and 3,000 healthy men and found that those
    whose index finger was longer than their ring finger were 33 percent
    less likely to develop prostate cancer. Finger length is set before
    birth. A longer index finger is the result of exposure to lower
    levels of testosterone in the uterus, which may protect against
    cancer later in life.

  • Ray Hawkins says:
  • Ray Hawkins says:

    Cheney and Bush may unfortunately never be arrested, tried, convicted and executed for crimes against humanity – but perhaps this is a suitable alternative.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11902489

  • Ray Hawkins says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if all the shit Glenn Beck cooks and stirs up should not be considered free speech but something closer to yelling “Fire” in a crowded movie theater. Maybe John Wu can help craft a legal theory around that.

    With all apologies to the tin foil hat wearing crowd…….

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/02/beck-wikileaks-soros-conspiracy_n_790914.html

  • Ok……someone please explain something to me….I know I am just a simple old retired Colonel who knows nothing…but..

    By not extending unemployment to the unemployed will cause the loss of 600,000 jobs.

    And….if the dems still control the house and senate……why is there a problem passing the tax cut issue?

  • Tea Party Caucus Takes $1 Billion In Earmarks
    By Reid Wilson
    December 2, 2010 | 4:30 AM

    Members of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus may tout their commitment to cutting government spending now, but they used the 111th Congress to request hundreds of earmarks that, taken cumulatively, added more than $1 billion to the federal budget.

    According to a Hotline review of records compiled by Citizens Against Government Waste, the 52 members of the caucus, which pledges to cut spending and reduce the size of government, requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150 during Fiscal Year 2010, the last year for which records are available.

    “It’s disturbing to see the Tea Party Caucus requested that much in earmarks. This is their time to put up or shut up, to be blunt,” said David Williams, vice president for policy at Citizens Against Government Waste. “There’s going to be a huge backlash if they continue to request earmarks.”

    In founding the caucus in July, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said she was giving voice to Americans who were sick of government over-spending.

    “The American people are speaking out loud and clear. They have had enough of the spending, the bureaucracy, and the government knows best mentality running rampant today throughout the halls of Congress,” Bachmann said in a July 15 statement. The group, she wrote in a letter to House Administration Committee chairman Bob Brady, “will serve as an informal group of Members dedicated to promote Americans’ call for fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution, and limited government.”

    Bachmann and 13 of her Tea Party Caucus colleagues did not request any earmarks in the last Fiscal Year, according to CAGW’s annual Congressional Pig Book. But others have requested millions of dollars in special projects.

    more,
    http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2010/12/tea-party-caucu.php

  • The delicately balanced global climate talks in Cancún suffered a serious setback last night when Japan categorically stated its opposition to extending the Kyoto protocol – the binding international treaty that commits most of the world’s richest countries to making emission cuts.

    The Kyoto protocol was adopted in Japan in 1997 by major emitting countries, who committed themselves to cut emissions by an average 5% on 1990 figures by 2012.

    However the US congress refused to ratify it and remains outside the protocol.

    The brief statement, made by Jun Arima, an official in the government’s economics trade and industry department, in an open session, was the strongest yet made against the protocol by one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases.

    He said: “Japan will not inscribe its target under the Kyoto protocol on any conditions or under any circumstances.”

    The move came out of the blue for other delegations at the conference.

    “For Japan to come out with a statement like that at the beginning of the talks is significant,” said one British official. “The forthrightness of the statement took people by surprise.”

    If it proves to be a new, formal position rather than a negotiating tactic, it could provoke a walk-out by some developing countries and threaten a breakdown in the talks. Last night diplomats were urgently trying to clarify the position.

    The move provoked alarm among the G77, the grouping of developing countries who regard the Kyoto protocol as the world’s only binding agreement on climate change cuts.

    Japan gave no reasons for making its brief statement on the second day of the talks, but diplomats said last night that it represented a hardening of its line. “Japan has stated before that it wants only one legal instrument and that it would be unfair to continue the protocol,” said one official who did not wish to be named.

    Japan, which last night declined to clarify its position, has said in the past that it would not reject a new legally-binding overall agreement, but is concerned that it would be penalised if it signed up to cuts while other countries such as India and China were not legally bound to make similar cuts.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/01/cancun-climate-change-summit-japan-kyoto

  • I AGREE WITH MATHIUS!

    People.Are.Dumb

    Couple of your peeps on here that are proving your right. WTH!

    http://www.therightscoop.com/dana-loesch-smacks-down-stupid-liberal-comedian

  • Ray Hawkins and Buck the Wala

    Re: Mr. Obama expanding abortions.

    Didn’t Mr. Obama reinstate Federal funding for abortions? Did he not reinstate Foreign Aid to be used for abortions in other countries?

    Now I certainly don’t have numbers but wouldn’t logic dictate that if you reinstate Federal funding for abortion that more abortions will occur?

    If not, then those crying out for Federal funding have been lying about how the money is needed to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

  • Bottom Line says:

    Gold = $1384.89/oz.

    http://www.goldprice.org/

  • Subliminal thought for Ray……Palin/Beck 2012….Palin/Beck 2012…..Palin/Beck 2012………..drink Red Bull…….Palin/Beck 2012.

    Now, THAT is brainwashing….

  • Breaking news from Congress….a monumental decision was made this afternoon…….”dit dit dit dit dit”

    House architect was summoned today to ask for plans to bring the women’s restroom two minutes closer to the chamber doors….. “dit dit dit dit dit”

    Remember you heard it here. Just saw it on CNN….

    Probably will be attached to the tax bill….. God, what politics !!!!!!!

  • A Puritan Descendant says:

    What goes around comes around?

    Are we all sacrificial pawns in a battle between the Left and the Right (Organic growers versus big Agribusiness) ?

    Here in Maine MOFGA (Maine organic farmers and growers association) supports pesticide spray notification laws. This can require notification of neighbors within quarter mile radius everytime pesticides are applied. New Rulings are in the works which would could eliminate most any exceptions. Even just spraying your garden might trigger the law.

    Now if this new Food Safety Bill was to pass without any exceptions for small farms, small organic certified farms might be eliminated because of the potential cost of the requirements. http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/History-HACCP-and-the-Foo-by-Nicole-Johnson-090906-229.html

    As much as I hate new regulations, there might be a feeling of justice to see the elimination of MOFGA .

    On the other hand if the Senate passed version with small farm exceptions, was to become law, than the Big Boys would have this all thrown back at them to no advantage. Or at least for now……….

  • Common Man says:

    All;

    Just going to let off some steam, and since USW doesn’t get as much time to write these days, this is more for me than all of you.

    Charlie Rangell gets Censured…WOW!!! This basically means he gets a verbal repremand on the floor by the speaker of the house. I can just see it now, Nancy standing up there shaking her wrinkled finger at him and telling him he was a very bad boy. A scolding for all practical purposes.

    This is a crock and another example of an elite mentality. He missuses campaign funds, avoids paying taxes and cheats the public, and comes away with a scolding by the head mistress.

    And now he acts ashamed and forlorn. And they waited to see if he was going to get re-elected before they made a decision.

    The guy should be tared, feathered and run out on a rail.

    What a crock of pure shit!!!

    Charlie, you sir are a complete asshole, and I wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire. Hurry up and die will ya, you are sucking up good air.

    F**K YOU!!!

    CM

  • Does anyone know anything about this?

    Business State-‘Controlled’ Russian Company Set to Take Over Wyoming Uranium Mines

    * Posted on December 2, 2010 at 7:57am by Jonathon M. Seidl Jonathon M. Seidl
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    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the license transfer of two Wyoming mines to a Russian company, despite concerns over national security raised by local and national government officials including senior House Republicans.

    From the Telegram:

    Two uranium mines in Wyoming are on their way to control by a Russian company now that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved transferring the mines’ licenses.

    The NRC last week approved the license transfer to a Russian company known as ARMZ which expects to obtain a controlling interest in Canadian-owned Uranium One by year’s end. Uranium One holds the licenses for a proposed uranium mine and an existing uranium mine in northeast Wyoming.

    The approval comes despite concerns from local and national lawmakers. Bother groups worry that Wyoming’s uranium could in theory go overseas and serve against U.S. interests.

    “The administration must maintain rigorous oversight of this project and ensure this transaction does not undercut America’s national or energy security,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said through a spokeswoman Tuesday.

    In October, four U.S. House members sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to block the sale of the two Wyoming mines, citing national security concerns. According to the Wyoming Business Journal, “the sale would give the Russians control of up to 20 percent of the U.S. national uranium extraction capability along with a controlling interest in one of the nation’s largest uranium mining sites.”

    The Republican representatives who sent the letter inclue: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida (the ranking minority member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee); Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama (the ranking minority member of the House Financial Services Committee); Rep. Peter T. King of New York (the ranking minority member of the House Homeland Security Committee), and Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon of California (the ranking minority member of the House Armed Services Committee).

    Both Republicans Sen. Mike Enzi and Rep. Cynthia Lummis, from Wyoming, expressed concerns and promised to keep an eye on the deal, the Associated Press reports. In response, the NRC said the Russian company would have to apply for a special license to export uranium.

    Still, exporting is possible, and considering the ownership make up of Uranium One and ARMZ, any national secuirity concerns are not unfounded. According to World Nuclear News, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom received “356 million common shares in Uranium One” in a recent deal. And the Gillette News Record reports ARMZ is “controlled by” Rosatom.

    Why should that cause concern? According to the Record, Rosatom “has provided Iran with uranium in the past.”

    “The NRC paperwork states that the transfer means the Russian president and the government of the Russian Federation have the power to direct corporate policy and therefore direct activities under the NRC license and license applications for the Wyoming facilities,” the Record says.

    These ties make a recent warning from Russian President Vladamir Putin even more ominous. Speaking with Larry King on Wednesday, the Russian leader advised the U.S. “don’t interfere either [with] the sovereign choice of the Russian people”:

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/russian-company-with-govt-ties-set-to-take-over-wyoming-uranium-mines/

    “When we are talking with our American friends and tell them, there are systemic problems in this regard, we can hear from them ‘Don’t interfere with our affairs. This is our tradition and it’s going to continue like that.’ We are not interfering,” he said. “But to our colleagues, I would also like to advise you, don’t interfere either [with] the sovereign choice of the Russian people.” [Emphasis added]

  • Should of realized that this was coming.

    Black Farmer Mega-Settlement Clears Way for Discrimination Claims by Women, Hispanics

    Published December 02, 2010

    | FoxNews.com

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    This 2006 file photo shows a farm near Morrow, Ohio. (AP Photo)

    This 2006 file photo shows a farm near Morrow, Ohio. (AP Photo)

    The congressional approval of a whopping $4.6 billion settlement for black and Native American farmers who claimed they were discriminated against has cleared the way for a similar pair of costly lawsuits — drawing complaints that the government may be buckling to pressure and rewarding dubious claims.

    The so-called “Pigford” case involving black farmers who allege the Agriculture Department cheated them for decades drew to a close Tuesday when the House joined the Senate in approving the second settlement in the case to date. But the lawsuits don’t end there. Though Pigford has attracted the most attention, a separate set of cases filed by Hispanic and female farmers has been working its way through the courts since shortly after Pigford was filed more than a decade ago.

    Those cases are set for a hearing in federal District Court in the nation’s capital on Friday, and once again a large pot of taxpayer money is on the line. The farmers were offered a $1.3 billion settlement back in May, but the plaintiffs have since then pushed for more. Some Democratic lawmakers argue they deserve it.

    But the same lawmakers who fought Pigford warn that this week’s congressional vote could lower the bar for the other discrimination claims. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, declining to comment on the specifics of the claims by Hispanic and female farmers, said he remains concerned that the farmers won’t have to prove much in order to win a payout from Uncle Sam. He suggested anyone who’s not a white male could have a shot.

    “I’ve always looked at Pigford as the issue that opens the door for the others,” King told FoxNews.com. “They will point continually at the Pigford precedent.”

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    He said that precedent will probably “embolden” the remaining plaintiffs.

    Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who has called on Congress to investigate the Pigford claims, told FoxNews.com last week that the upcoming cases represent the “next generation” of discrimination suits. She suggested the government was handing out “reparations” for the sake of political correctness.

    The Hispanic farmers’ suit, called Garcia v. Vilsack, was originally filed in 2000 and claimed Hispanic farmers lost out on credit and disaster benefits because of USDA discrimination. They also alleged the USDA systematically refused to investigate prior discrimination complaints.

    Similarly, female farmers claimed discrimination based on gender in a case called Love v. Vilsack.

    A lawyer for the plaintiffs could not be reached for comment, but they have provided reams of testimony to back up their claims. In one filing, a 53-year-old Hispanic woman said her family had been farming in Santa Cruz County, Calif., since the ’60s but struggled in obtaining government loans when the family went through a period of low yields. She said the government gave them an “unworkable” plan with high payments that they had to accept. In a separate encounter, she claimed the government subsequently denied her family an emergency loan in 1995, qualified the family for separate assistance and then demanded that money back years later.

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has indicated a desire to close the book on these discrimination cases. He said Wednesday that the administration’s aim is “to try to resolve as many of these cases in as fair and equitable (a) way as possible.”

    “This has been a concerted effort the president has been behind, a concerted effort that we at USDA have been behind, and I think it is an historic opportunity for us to close the chapter on what has been a sordid chapter of civil rights in this USDA and start a new chapter,” he told reporters in a conference call.

    Though he noted that the cases do not enjoy class-action status and could be handled as “thousands of individual cases,” he said the plaintiffs can still accept the government’s settlement “that we’re in the process of finalizing.” He suggested the money, which has not been voted on by Congress, would come from the so-called Judgment Fund — a funding source set aside by the federal government for settlements and court judgments.

    He said plaintiffs need to provide “substantial evidence, documentary evidence, of the fact that you tried to do business or you did do business with USDA and you were not treated fairly.”

    Asked about King’s earlier criticism of the Pigford settlement, Vilsack said there is “absolutely no proof” to back up his concerns about fraud.

    Carl Horowitz, a project manager with the National Legal and Policy Center who has followed all the discrimination cases, described the Love and Garcia claims as “copycat suits” that would not have existed if not for Pigford. He criticized the claims as having “scant” documentation and said plaintiffs are just trying to strike while the government is in settlement mode.

    “This is a classic case of hitting the lottery,” he said.

    Leading Democratic senators, meanwhile, are pressing the Obama administration to do more to resolve the claims of farmers in the outstanding legal cases.

    Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Mark Udall, D-Colo.; and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder last month expressing concern that the administration was proposing a claimant cap “that may be dramatically underestimated.”

    “We are concerned that the program that you have announced regarding Hispanic and female farmers will not meet your stated objectives of parity and adequate redress,” they wrote.

    Citing the Pigford case and the settlement with American Indians, who had claimed the government swindled them out of royalties from natural resources like gas and timber, the senators said the remaining set of minority farmers was “not receiving the same level of justice.”

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12/02/black-farmer-mega-settlement-clears-way-discrimination-claims-women-hispanics/#ixzz1716Y5Bhl

  • Subliminal cut for Ray…… Palin/Beck/Limbaugh……….Palin/Beck/Limbaugh………Palin/Beck/Limbaugh……

    “Walk to the light”…Palin/Beck/Limbaugh….followed by Andy Williams tunes….

    🙂

  • Does anyone else feel troubled and dismayed by our societies lack of respect and worth of life?Especially human.
    Reading through the comments on abortion lays a heavy hand on my heart when I think of how the left can condone the death of an unborn human yet become inflamed at the thought of eating an animal.To think that there are those that will spend thousands of dollars on a pet and yet believe it right to deny life to an entity that cannot even lend voice to their own defense is MIND BOGGLING!
    It’s not as if we do not know what causes a woman to become pregnant!People should understand their is no fault in the life created, only fault with the couple that performed an act of procreation in the first place.If a couple are unprepared for the responsibility of raising a child then fault should lie with them.Do we condemn that couple to death for not being responsible?NO.So why is it lawful to deny the unborn child its right to life?

  • Truthseeker says:

    Ray, since you keep bringing up rape as a justification for abortion, I am thinking that you are presenting the fact that most abortions are from rape victums. Can you please post something to back that up? Can you also post anything to backup that if the rape victim did have the child and gave it up for adoption, that the rest of the mothers life was negativley affected? Thank you.

  • Has anyone thought of the notion that the wikileaks scandal could be used as justification for internet seizure, censure and control by the government?!? Could the current administration really have played a part in this to further their agenda? Anyone know the cost of building and placing a server system as large and demanding as wikileaks in an underground blast resistant bunker? Who would deem wikileaks important enough to have its agenda protected in such a manner that they would spend that amount of money and more importantly for what reason?There is an Obama/Soros connection with Moveon.org and Soros’ multiple other political organizations so does this thought make any of you go HRMMMMMmmmmmmm?

  • Nothing new here – we all know this stuff now, but sometimes its good to keep the faces and their own words in front of us.

  • Need to get outta here but just caught this so ending with this post for Ray. Don’t recall if you indicated your new baby (Mathius – read parasite), is male or female, but we all know that naming the little one isn’t always easy. Here’s some help for you!

    http://www.politico.com/click/stories/1012/palin_girls_names_climb_list.html

    Happy Weekend Everyone! First significant snowfall predicted for southern WI – looking forward to it!

  • It is the fact that you know you are talking about denying life to an unborn child that makes the decision so hard. And if you know you are killing an unborn child the decision should be not to do it unless your life is at stake.
    We don’t answer the question of whether it is wrong to kill a baby on the basis of what are we going to do to the mother if she decides to kill her baby. People who are trying to rationalize the taking of an innocent life come up with all kinds of arguments to try and support that which is unsupportable.

    But I will try to answer your question-You handle it as you do any other breaking of the law. I would think for a first offense you would handle it much like they do an attempted suicide. You don’t just throw an emotional woman in jail-you give her counseling-you look at all the factors and a court or the attorneys or however plea deals are worked out -decide what is appropriate.

  • From my email box

    “A chemistry professor at a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government.
    In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, ‘Do you know how to catch wild pigs?’ The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. ‘You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming.When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again.

    You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat; you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught.

    Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

    The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. While we continually lose our freedoms — just a little at a time.”

  • TexasChem says:

    Yearling Whitetailed Doe.Freshly killed last saturday.Chicken fried backstrap and tenderloin steak tonight with mashed potatoes and purple hull peas as sides.Gravy made out of the grease drippings.Homemade biscuits with real butter.Gigantic glass of iced tea.

    Taking a 2 week break from my Ketosis psychotic state of mind! I am so excited lol!

  • You would be hard pressed to find a situation where I believed the factors, though hard , override the wrongness of getting rid of an unborn child. But what factors. A wife who is deathly scared that her husband will literally kill her if he finds out she is pregnant. A teenage girl who is intimidated by a father or boyfriend who is basically forcing her to have an abortion. Basically woman who are so scared of the consequences of the pregnancy that they cannot think clearly. Stuff like that.

  • I love these politicians that speak their mind and to heck with the PC crap. Here’s an Austrian guy fed up with Muslim hyprocrisy.

    http://www.ihatethemedia.com/austrian-politician-goes-off-on-turkish-ambassador

  • Not long after The One was given the keys to the kingdom, he signed an executive order giving Interpol more freedom in the US. And now we have this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/02/nigeria-dick-cheney-to-be_n_790917.html

    Are the two related? Time will tell.

  • Black Flag,

    You’ve been pretty quiet about the economy lately. What with all that’s going, I would have guessed you have some updates for us. Just asking becuase a couple of us have been wondering….

  • Enjoy-I hope

  • Ray,

    I overreacted to your Palin Demon comment and I apologize. But I didn’t overreact to the slutty comment so I’m not apologizing for that one. Hope you have a good weekend too. Goodnight.

  • TexasChem says:

    Well mark another victory for the chicago political thugs.Hilary Clinton bows down to Obama and publicly states she will NOT run for any more public offices.
    Methinks wikileaks has only released a portion of the incriminating cables against Hilary and is with-holding something more that is very incriminating.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20024551-503544.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody

  • Buck the Wala said
    December 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I dispute the imputed meaning of climategate as ‘proof’ that climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the scientific community as a whole.

    Buck, sorry I missed this statement. As written, I agree. Case closed. BUT….

    Climategate was a scandal, AGW is the hoax.

    A major factor in the scandal/hoax is how the controlling scientists acted. The did not share their original data. Scientific method and peer review is the required standard. Failure to adhere to that standard means it is not science.

    In science, the results can be duplicated. When independent scientist attempted this, request for the original data and temp. readings were refused or obstructed. Several independent scientist took what was information that had been released and could not duplicate the published results. No wonder. The Medieval Warm Period was just as significant as the Little Ice Age. Removing it to hide the decline and produce Al Gore’s Hockey Stick was a scandal and a clear violation of professional ethics.

    The hoax was perpetuated by a small segment of the scientific community, those who controlled the data and an agenda driven media who only wanted to present one side of the debate. Consider again, the NY Times reporting and the three networks. All of the counter arguments were presented in the new media because the old media had shut them out.

    And if you would like, I would be happy to have a separate discussion on global warming or climate change and is mankind responsible for either.

  • Sorry..just had to do this! 🙂

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