Documents: ATF used “Fast and Furious” to make the case for gun regulations

Would the Progressive faction of the Democratic Party knowingly allow criminals to buy thousands of guns that otherwise would have been denied just to support their agenda for more gun control?  The ATF instructed several gun dealers to make sales they knew were illegal.  They told them to ignore(break) the law to assist them in tracking the guns…..

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-57338546-10391695/documents-atf-used-fast-and-furious-to-make-the-case-for-gun-regulations/

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Comments

  1. 😐

  2. 🙂

  3. We always talk about definitions on SUFA. Here’s a good one from the AG on lying vs misleading….

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/lying-holder-says-has-do-your-state-mind_611731.html

    • That’s not only lyin’ -I believe it’s called blaming the help-passing the buck-talking out of both sides of your mouth-and double speak.

    • Georgia Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson accused the tea party movement and the National Rifle Association of creating an “manufactured” controversy over Operation Fast and Furious Thursday.

      Johnson’s comments came during an interview with The Daily Caller outside the House Judiciary Committee hearing room. Attorney General Eric Holder was testifying before the committee about Fast and Furious — a Justice Department program where Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents facilitated the sale of about 2,000 guns to Mexican drug cartels.

      “I think this is another manufactured controversy by the second amendment, NRA Republican tea party movement,” Johnson said.

      Johnson sung a different tune during the hearing, though, comparing the scandal to what he considers a surge in illegal gun sales to criminals.

      After asking Holder for the specific number of guns the Justice Department and ATF helped smuggle into the hands of drug cartels — to which Holder responded there were about 2,000 — Johnson alleged that the “gun show loophole” was far worse.

      “Now, how many firearms are sold to al-Qaida terrorists, to other convicted felons, to domestic violence perpetrators, to convicted felons, to white supremacists?” Johnson asked Holder. “How many unlicensed gun dealers, or let’s say, how many weapons, how many assault rifles let’s just say in a given year are sold to such individuals by unlicensed gun dealers at these gun shows and how many of those end up walking away to Mexico? Can you give us a number on that?”

      “I don’t have a number on that,” Holder said, offering to try to figure out later for Johnson what the exact number was.

      “Would it be more than a couple of hundred?” Johnson followed up, likely meaning to say a couple “thousand” because his reference was in the context of Fast and Furious.

      Though Holder previously admitted to Johnson he didn’t have those statistics, he played into the argument without the facts.

      “I’m pretty certain it’d be more than 2,000, but in terms of getting those numbers to you, I can try to do that after the hearing,” he said.

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/09/congressman-attempts-to-transfer-fast-and-furious-blame-onto-nra-radicals-the-senate-holder-obliges/#ixzz1g2wNAuN1

      • Yeah, this was the guy that was afraid Guam would tip over right? Running right up there for dumbest person in Congress!

        Holder was probably thinking, “dude, I appreciate your trying to cover for me, but really having idiots like you on my side hurts me.”

  4. gmanfortruth says:

    Common man, the government would never do anything in an effort to destroy your constitutional rights. That’s what I have been brainwashed to believe anyway.

    • “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”

    • If this was a surprise to anyone that did not immediately think this when the facts of ‘fast and furious’ were exposed months ago, shame on you.

      I guess the scum that devised this scheme didn’t clean up their mess well enough to hide all of their memos, its a shame that the justice department choose the route of defending rather then prosecuting the ones guilty of coming up with this failed, murderous program.

      It is also great to see in print that our government agencies are working to change our constitutional rights though deception.

      I guess over the years trusting the government less and less won’t accomplish anything anyways.

  5. It is telling that the researcher starts calling it “a baby” 24 hours after conception….

    • Doesn’t surprise me-but he also says it’s HARD not to see Divinity in it -too 🙂

    • I am interested in getting the whole video on this-do you have any idea how to get one. I have looked but all I can find is a book.

      • I will try to find it….

        • Thank you! 🙂 I’m curious BF-have you been reading the discussion on Natural Rights the last few days and if Yes-What do you think?

          • I have been AWOL for the last couple of days
            …will review..

            If JAC has been involved then nearly any argument I’d probably make (plus or minus a slight change of tint) would be mine.

            • 🙂

            • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

              I’d love to here your comments on our logic process (good or bad).

              It’s an exercise I have never done so it was extremely challenging.

              I’m fairly certain we exasperated JAC, but patience was shown and I think we all learned a little something about each others different thought processes.

            • Do you have a few extra hours?

    • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

      Too bad he claims hair is made of collagen when in fact it is made of keratin.

      The video also has a title of “indeterminate penis…baby is not yet boy or girl” which is patently false. Sex determination is governed by the presence of chromosomes AT FERTILIZATION.

      Cool imagery though.

      The reason it is so mathematically complex is that you have ~24,000 genes that can exist in multiple “states” (alternative splicing) leading to about 250,000 POSSIBLY interacting proteins. The differential equations for that would swamp even BF’s CPU!

      Biochemistry makes everything SEEM more complex.

      Thanks for the video .

  6. What’s up-with all the craziness over Trump sponsoring a debate?

    • TRUMP

      Any questions?

      • MSNBC

        • And this-I find it irritates me a lot! It is a debate for the people running for President on the republican ticket-If you want to blackball one of them-Don’t sponsor a debate. Not much for silencing those you disagree with. If they are going to boycott a debate it should be this one.

          • Ooops

            Republican Jewish Coalition to Ron Paul: You’re Not Invited to Our Presidential Forum

            * Katie Pavlich
            News Editor, Townhall

            Dec 05, 2011 03:14 PM EST

            The Republican Jewish Coalition is holding a presidential forum on Wednesday in Washington D.C. and will include Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. Why isn’t Ron Paul on the list? Because he wasn’t invited. Reason has the explanation:

            Paul was not invited to attend the RJC’s candidates forum because the organization – as it has stated numerous times in the past – “rejects his misguided and extreme views,” said [RJC Executive Director Matt] Brooks.

            “He’s just so far outside of the mainstream of the Republican party and this organization,” Brooks said. Inviting Paul to attend would be “like inviting Barack Obama to speak.”

            http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2011/12/05/republican_jewish_coalition_to_ron_paul_youre_not_invited_to_our_presidential_forum

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @JAC – while I think Trump is only doing this (and threatening everyone now with his “independent status” – even though there is no chance in hell he’d ever run) for self-promoting reasons + his ego demands he do this – many decry this because they say Trump has no credibility – yet no one challenges the credibility of the other so-called moderators thus far.

        Just sayin’

    • Trump has an ego, no doubt. But I find myself frustrated by all the debates including those hosted by the TeaParty and FOX. It seems they are all the same where the media has already picked the winner. I have now seen something different, the Huckster hosted a forum with three Repug Att Gen’s grilling all six, one at a time with some good questions and calling them for evasions. Was much better pleased with this than all the debates….

      http://constitutionclub.org/2011/12/04/fox-news-republican-presidential-forum-12-03-11-full-video/

  7. I am interested in everyone’s opinion-You need to listen to both video’s to get the whole interview-and Yes, those on the left-you can Stand to listen to Beck 🙂 -he doesn’t do much more than ask the questions and it is a very good, and Not an easy interview!!!!

    Beck Doesn’t Hold Back in Gingrich Interview: Tough Questions on Mandates, Big Gov’t, & Global Warming * Posted on December 6, 2011 at 10:52am by Jonathon M. Seidl

    Glenn Beck’s thorough interview with GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich Tuesday morning has gained traction in political news outlets throughout the day. Jim Geraghty of The National Review tweeted ”Bravo for a hard, fair, respectful, but deeply revealing interview of Newt!” and Glynnis MacNicol of the Business Insider writes that Beck “grilled” Gingrich in “a way conservative voters who are seriously considering voting for Newt should be eager to hear.”

    Below find video of the interview followed by a partial transcript:

    Part one of the interview:

    Part two:

    GLENN: Lot to do today, a lot to do. And we begin right now with Newt Gingrich. Look, this is ‑‑ so you know, I am… I am increasingly disinterested in Washington because I don’t believe the answers lie in Washington. However, we all have to be responsible and we all have to do, you know, the right thing and pay attention to politics and vote. Now is the time to ask the questions of each of the politicians.

    Newt Gingrich is a man that I’ve met several times. I’ve had dinner with him when we were in Washington, D.C. He seems like a very nice man. We don’t know each ‑‑ we’re not buddies, but I have been around him enough to know that, you know, he’s a ‑‑ he’s an honest guy, a decent guy that has always shot straight with me. I want to make sure that you understand and that he understands that this is not a gotcha interview. I have serious concerns with Newt Gingrich, but it’s not a gotcha interview. This is just, I’m asking questions because I truly, deeply care about the country just as much as Newt Gingrich does but we differ on the answers, I believe. I’d like to have him convince me that I’m wrong. I would love to have him convince me that I’m wrong. Mr. Newt Gingrich, how are you, sir?
    Click here to find out more!

    GINGRICH: I’m doing well. How are you?

    GLENN: I’m very good. Let’s start with ‑‑ let’s start with a piece of audio here where you were talking about healthcare and you went down the progressive road with Theodore Roosevelt.

    GINGRICH: And for government to not leave guarantees that you don’t have the ability to change, no private corporation has the purchasing power or the ability to reshape the health system, and in this sense I guess I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican. In fact, if I were going to characterize my ‑‑ on health where I come from, I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican and I believe government can lean in the regulatory leaning is okay.

    GLENN: Regulation and the government scares the crap out of me and I think most Tea Party kind of leaning conservatives, and Theodore Roosevelt was the guy who started the Progressive Party. How would you characterize your relationship with the progressive ideals of Theodore Roosevelt?

    GINGRICH: Well, that depends on which phase of Roosevelt you’re talking about. The 1912, he’s become a big government, centralized power advocate running an a third party candidate which, for example, Roosevelt advocated the Food and Drug Act after he was eating ‑‑ and this supposedly the story, after he was eating sausage and eggs while reading up to Sinclair’s The Jungle, which has a scene in which a man falls into a vat at the sausage factory and becomes part of the sausage. And if you go back to that era where people had ‑‑ dealing with the Chinese where the people had doctored food, they had put all sorts of junk in food, they ‑‑ you know, I as a child who lived in Europe and I always marveled at the fact that American water is drinkable virtually anywhere.

    So there are minimum regulatory standards of public health and safety that are I think really important.

    GLENN: Okay. So you’re a minimum regulation guy on making sure the people don’t fall into the vats of sausage?

    GINGRICH: Yeah. What I’m against is the government trying to implement things because bureaucracy’s such a bad implementer, and I’m against government trying to pick winners and losers. I mean, there’s no accident that the Smithsonian got $50,000 from the Pierre plane and failed and the ‑‑ from the Congress, and that the Wright brothers invented the airplane because ‑‑

    GLENN: Okay.

    GINGRICH: But I do think ‑‑ and I think almost everybody will see this, I believe. You want to make sure, for example, if you buy certain electric things that they don’t start fires in your house.

    GLENN: Got it.

    GINGRICH: You know, that kind of thing.

    GLENN: But you’re not into picking winners and losers. So you would not have done the GM bailout?

    GINGRICH: No. No, absolutely not. I think they would have ‑‑ I think they would be better off today ‑‑ remember you can have ‑‑ you can have a bankruptcy for reorganization, not for liquidation.

    GLENN: Right. But you are ‑‑

    GINGRICH: They go through a reorganization bankruptcy, they would be much better off than they are today.

    GLENN: Sure. But you have selected a winner when you are for, quite strongly, the ethanol subsidies.

    GINGRICH: Well, you know, that’s just in question. When Obama suggested eliminating the $14 billion a year incentive for exploring for oil and gas, everybody in the oil patch who’s against subsidizing ethanol jumped up and said, hey, you can’t do that. If you do that, you’re going to wipe out 80% of exploration, which is all done by small independent companies, not by the majors. I supported, I favored the incentive to go out and find more oil and gas. Now, that’s a tax subsidy. It’s a bigger tax subsidy than oil ever got. But I want American energy to drive out Saudi Arabia and Iranian and Iraqi energy and Venezuelan energy. And so I am for all sources of American energy in order to make us not just independent but to create a reservoir so that if something does happen in the Persian Gulf in the Straits of Hormuz, the world’s industrial system doesn’t crash into a deep depression.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/beck-doesnt-hold-back-in-gingrich-interview-tough-questions-on-mandates-big-govt-and-global-warming/

    • I think Beck did a good interview. I think Newt has some of the best ideals along with some of the worst. He is by far the most qualified with his knowledge of history and experience in politics, and totally unqualified by his history of questionable ethics, values, pandering or taking both sides of an issue. We simply cannot trust him to keep his word and have seen him not use his position in a credible way. He would be a great adviser or VP..

      • Buck the Wala says:

        “We simply cannot trust him”….”he would make a great VP”

        HUH!?

        • Mathius™ says:

          Well, you see, everyone knows that the VP slot is where you put someone if you want to make sure that no one ever takes them seriously.

  8. Okay, I don’t like the progressive troll comment-this isn’t about progressive or conservative or libertarian or far-left or far right(so many classifications-and no one really knows what they mean 🙂 ) it’s about blogging and libel. A new type of media or just people who can be sued -what say you SUFA????????

    Federal Judge Hits Blogger with $2.5m Charge For “Not Being A Journalist”
    Posted by P.J. Salvatore Dec 8th 2011 at 9:10 am in Justice/Legal, Mainstream Media, journalism | Comments (72)

    This is certainly scary, although it should scare some of the progressive trolls whose content is built on innuendo and libel.

    In a case that’s sending a frightening message to the blogger community, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that a blogger must pay $2.5 million to an investment firm she wrote about — because she isn’t a real journalist.

    As reported by Seattle Weekly, Judge Marco A. Hernandez said Crystal Cox, who runs several blogs, wasn’t entitled to the protections afforded to journalists — specifically, Oregon’s media shield law for sources — because she wasn’t “affiliated with any newspaper, magazine, periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system.”

    The Obsidian Finance Group sued Cox in January for $10 million for writing several blog posts critical of the company and its co-founder, Kevin Padrick. Obsidian argued that the writing was defamatory. Cox represented herself in court.

    The judge threw out all but one of the blog posts cited, focusing on just one (this one), which was more factual in tone than the rest of her writing. Cox said that was because she was being fed information from an inside source, whom she refused to name.

    Without the source, she couldn’t prove the information in the post was true — and thus, according to the judge, she didn’t qualify for Oregon’s media shield law since she wasn’t employed by a media establishment. In the court’s eyes, she was a blogger, not a journalist. The penalty: $2.5 million.

    The question then becomes what qualifies one as a journalist in the age of new media? Is one required to have a byline at a major media outlet when the perspective of MSM is so skewed one particular way that they’ve tanked public trust?

    There’s an underlying issue in this. Requiring a liberal pedigree with an overpriced four-year journalism higher education to simply do what thousands of bloggers do (and better) everyday is a scam. There is an effort to keep journalism in the hands of those who can be bought, who’ve proven that they can be bought, those who will report the stories in a way that leas offends the ideology in charge.

    Do you know why new media exploded, why citizen journalism grew so quickly? They told the stories that the MSM wouldn’t tell. They went out and performed original reporting and brought fresh content to the masses, content unlike what they were seeing in their papers and on the nightly news. If what they did wasn’t accurate or viable then they never would have succeeded. This is a testament to the checks and balances of the blogosphere and the diligence of frustrated citizen journalists. MSM was owned in a historic way and they’ve never recovered–and that they keep trying the same tactics also shows that they never learned.

    But back to the case at hand: should citizen journalists be protected?

    I’m curious as to your thoughts on this. I’ll paste some of the best comments below.

    http://bigjournalism.com/pjsalvatore/2011/12/08/federal-judge-hits-blogger-with-2-5m-charge-for-not-being-a-journalist/

    • Although, I assume even journalist can be sued for libel, even if winning is almost impossible. But this was based on Her not being a journalist-so not afforded the same protections as a journalist. Hmmm, not liking the sound of this at all.

  9. I’m missing Jon ! His blog even seems to be gone. Hope his business ventures are going well 🙂

  10. Jac,

    Is there any particular philosopher that you use as a basis for your arguments on Natural Law, etc. ?

    • V.H.

      No. Not on Natural Law.

      But in general I am using Rand’s Objectivism as a basic structure and then adding some ideas developed from many sources.

      In General I like Rand’s “philosophical system”. It addresses the Universe to ethics path better than any I have found. But she does not inject the idea of RIGHTS until you get to “ethics” and “politics”. I am trying to make a change based on my own ideas, which are of course influenced by what I read. The “Natural Law” stuff is largely my effort. And frankly, that is the result of our discussions here at SUFA. There has been much said here that I have spent considerable time thinking about and trying to use to construct a more complete “philosophy”. So I thought it was time to share with others and involve anyone in the effort who want to participate.

      I do rely heavily on Rand’s arguments on the inherent need for Humans to Think and take action in a rationale manner. If you recall from my first articles on her, this is what leads to the defense of a Right to Freedom. I use it because my study of others leads me to believe she was correct.

      Its off to bed for me, so I’ll see ya in the mornin.

      JAC

      • I find that rather neat-our own Philosopher on SUFA-If you ever write a book or books-I want to see SUFA or JAC on there somewhere-so we can identify you. 🙂 I can tell my grand children-I used to/still have dialogues with him 🙂 Might have even influenced him 🙂 That’s it -Sufa can be part of your dedication page. 🙂 Sleep well !-wish I could sleep !-seem to be suffering from insomnia tonight.

        Might have 20 articles posted by morning 🙂

        • V.H.

          Good morning. Hope you got some sleep. It is strange but I have been suffering the same lately as have others I know. Like a very restless sleep, if you will.

          There are MANY Philosophers here at SUFA. Differing ideas, arguments and stages. But at least actively PURSUING Truth.

          Your own arguments on abortion are well done and should cause any thinking person to stop and question their own position. Long way of saying, YOU have in fact influenced me.

          I do hope to write a book someday. Not sure who would want to read it, but is would ABSOLUTELY be dedicated to SUFA, among others.

    • V.H.

      For me, it is the writings of John Locke which established the seeds of Natural Law and Human Action.

      “Locke believed that human nature is characterised by reason and tolerance.
      Locke believed that human nature allowed men to be selfish.

      In a natural state all people were equal and independent, and everyone had a natural right to defend his “Life, health, Liberty, or Possessions”. This became the basis for the phrase in the American Declaration of Independence: “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

  11. New York Times reporter Stephanie Strom, who tracks foundation and charitable giving for the Times, gushed over George Soros in a story Wednesday on the new leader of “his unconventional philanthropic empire”: “Criminal Justice Expert Expected to Lead Soros Foundations.”

    Through his Open Society Institute, Soros has invested heavily in left-wing groups Moveon.org and the Center for American Progress. Although his philanthropy and fierce rhetoric and political activism clearly mark the billionaire moneyman on the left, Strom is averse to putting an ideological label on Soros in her coverage.

    On Wednesday, George Soros, the billionaire investor, is expected to name Christopher Stone, a well-known expert on criminal justice, the new leader of his unconventional philanthropic empire.

    Mr. Stone, a professor at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, will fully take the helm in July of the Open Society Foundations, a sprawling constellation of more than 30 organizations that operate in places as diverse as Baltimore, Jakarta, the Kremlin and Congress.

    Strom gushed:

    Mr. Soros has never endowed his collection of foundations, but he often gives away enough money in a year to make Open Society the most generous philanthropy in the country after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This year, for example, it is on track to give away about $860 million.

    Still gushing, Strom glanced by Soros’s most notorious financial gambit, when he made a fortune and caused market chaos by shorting the British pound, the sort of thing that ordinarily calls down Occupy sit-ins. But Soros is one “1%” person that’s virtually immune to criticism from the Times:

    That ability to knit together disparate groups will come in handy at Open Society, where Mr. Soros may elect to support struggling scientists in Russia, as he did after the Soviet Union collapsed, using money he made shorting the British pound. Or he may choose to provide loan guarantees to spur the development of low-income housing in South Africa and money to endow the Central European University, which he founded.

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/clay-waters/2011/12/08/nyt-still-no-leftist-labels-george-soros-gushing-piece-his-generous-phi#ixzz1g2ytMCex

  12. Canine Weapon says:

    • Canine Weapon says:

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Love it!

        Haha!

        Woe to you oh Earth and Sea, for the GOP sent the Cain with wrath…..because they knew the time was short. Let him who have understanding reckon the number of the Cain for it is a human number…..its number….is nine hundred and ninety nine…….

    • Can a President move up a religious holiday? And then alter key parts like lighting all candles at once. At least I didn’t see the teleprompter…

      Dec 8, 6:44 PM EST

      Obama celebrates Hanukkah at White House
      AP Photo
      AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari

      Obama celebrates Hanukkah at White House

      WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is marking Hanukkah as a story of “faith over doubt.”

      Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden convened a Hanukkah celebration at the White House Thursday in an early celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights.

      Obama said the Hanukkah story was about “right over might, faith over doubt.” In the Hanukkah story, a small band of Jews rededicating a Jerusalem temple found that a one-day supply of oil kindled a flame instead for eight.

      The president noted “our unshakeable support and commitment to the security of the nation of Israel.”

      Hanukkah begins at sunset on Dec. 20. Obama joked that everyone needs to be “careful that your kids don’t start thinking Hanukkah lasts 20 nights instead of eight.”

    • So much for the cries of “solidarity!” A large Occupy D.C. protest on December 7 brought out an interesting dynamic within the Occupy movement.

      Unions have been accused of “astro-turfing” rallies and hijacking causes through the use of money, manpower and political muscle. On Wednesday afternoon, some protesters seemed to agree.

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/08/occupy-dc-members-disillusioned-by-union-overseers-tight-grip-video/#ixzz1g44agtnl

  13. December 9, 2011
    EPA Fracking Report and Energy Politics
    Thomas Lifson, American Thinker

    Yesterday’s EPA report raising water pollution worries about fracking in Wyoming amounts to psy-ops in the Obama re-election campaign.

    One of President Obama’s biggest electoral vulnerabilities is his energy policy, which impoverishes America and hands money we borrow from the Chinese to enrich Hugo Chavez, OPEC, and other foes. The Keystone Pipeline alone will cost a hundred thousand jobs or more when spinoffs are considered, many of them high paying.

    The electorate is coming to realize that there are a lot of new hydrocarbon resources out there in the American interior and offshore. Even the New York Times has noted the oil boom in North Dakota, poster child for the New American Prosperity that lies ahead if we vigorously pursue the energy opportunities that lie ahead. Energy independence is in prospect, and that alone would change the strategic dynamics of world politics, and weaken many of our overseas antagonists. Oil prices could actually drop substantially if the worldwide potential of oil sands, shale, and fracking of natural gas is developed.

    The biggest game changer of all is the bounty of clean-burning natural gas unlocked by fracking, with which America is particularly well-endowed.

    The only way Obama can defend his energy policies is to raise fears of pollution.

    Cue the EPA which released a “draft” report raising fears. But the report itself actually uses weasel words like “may” and “possible” 14 times.

    A spokesman for Encana Corporation, a natural gas producer in Wyoming was acerbic:

    “This really isn’t a conclusion, it’s a probability. They talk about likelihood, but they don’t have a definitive conclusion.”

    The company maintains, “Encana didn’t put those components there, nature did. They’re naturally occurring and you would expect to find them at that depth.”

    Senator Inhofe, ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said:

    “EPA’s conclusions are not based on sound science but rather on political science. Its findings are premature, given that the Agency has not gone through the necessary peer-review process, and there are still serious outstanding questions regarding EPA’s data and methodology.”

    This is far from settled science, in other words. So why release only a draft? And why now?

    But it is certainly useful in creating a public impression that development of energy resources is problematic. This CBS News report features fearful victims, whose water supply in “arid” Wyoming is threatened. Now there’s an image to cause worry. It’s the same purported threat to water supply that underlies the postponement of the Keystone pipeline project.

    I expect to see more such operations, from government agencies, nonprofits, the tort bar, the education sector, and other members of the Democratic coalition, except of course for the private sector unions, who don ‘t really natter any more to the Democrats, now that government workers dominate the union movement.

    The EPA has pulled this kind of stunt before, making a similar claim about fracking in Texas, later refuted.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/12/epa_fracking_report_and_energy_politics.html#ixzz1g3RpswPw

  14. Every now and then it is fun to have an “I told ya so” moment.

    I tried to explain what was happening and what would happen to many people when the “stimulus” first happened. Oh, you can imagine the reactions I got. Especially since so many were still in love with the ONE. Anyhow, much of what I tried to argue is included in this.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Great video JAC – we relied upon incompetent buffoons to solve a problem they were largely at fault for helping enable. Brilliance.

  15. The European banking system is at risk of collapsing.

    That is because Europe’s banks are not part of an overall protective umbrella, unlike the USA.

    We have the FED.
    There is a market for US federal debt.
    The FED can buy it.

    We have a single regulatory system.
    There is one national government.
    Out states can run deficits, but the banks in every state have the same rules.
    The financial system has the same rules.

    The USA has the FDIC. The depositors are protected against loss, up to $250,000.

    There is no FDIC in Europe.

    The FDIC is the #1 subsidy in America.
    It leads to complacency on the part of depositors, but it also gives them a port in the storm. It gives them time.

    Their money is safer, longer.
    In a banking crisis, depositors can buy time.
    Time is crucial.

    The PIIGS are going to default.
    Depositors who want to get their money out of PIIGS-heavy banks now — before the default — are closing their accounts.

    The banks that are facing withdrawals must sell assets to get the digital cash to transfer to the depositor’s bank of choice — probably German.

    French banks are at risk.
    Greek banks are at risk.
    So are Italian banks.
    Some big ones are going to go belly-up.

    If the ECB does not intervene fast enough, the way the FED did in October 2008, then there is going to be an contraction of the money supply. There is going to be deflation.

    Banks are fractionally reserved. When banks go bankrupt, their assets disappear. But these assets were part of the money supply.

    Then common depositors will start pulling out currency. The front-door bank runs will begin. The back-door ones are taking place now: “I am closing my account.”

    There is no FDIC in Europe. Would you pull out your currency if you lived in Italy or Greece? I hope so.

    The FDIC gets a subsidy from Congress. Right now, I’ll take it. So should you.

    I closed all my trading accounts quite awhile ago. I have my money in cash/gold/silver/property or in FDIC-insured accounts.The limit is $250,000 per bank.

    If you want to follow my lead, and you have over $250,000, then you can use a CDARS account to spread your money over several FDIC-insured institutions.
    Or use more than one bank.

    I plan to use this money to buy foreclosed bank housing in 2012 or 2013.
    Or buy houses from desperate sellers.

    This way, I do not worry about another MF Global.

    The financial system is broken.
    What MF Global did broke it.
    The authorities are not going to protect investors.

    The FDIC will work in the midst of a breakdown in the financial clearing-house system, because Congress has a stake in keeping the FDIC alive.
    It has no similar commitment anywhere else.

    The rules have changed.
    The rules now favor the FDIC-insured banks.

    In a falling-domino scenario, here is the rule:
    be at the tail end of the dominoes.

    The last one to fall with be the FDIC. That’s because Congress will back it.

    Will the FED allow the banking system to collapse? No.

    An FDIC-insured bank is the last digital domino in the row. That’s where you should have your digital “must have” money.

    You can move from digital money to currency. Maybe you can’t get all of it in a crisis, but you can get some of it if you get to your ATM before panic sets in. You buy time.

  16. Canine Weapon says:

    AH HAHAHAHA HAHAH HHAAHAHHAHAHAH HAHHAHA!!

    • I don’t get it-What’s funny?

      • Mathius™ says:

        ::sigh::

        That’s Perry from the ad “Strong” where, amongst other things, he takes a cheap shot at homosexuals and gay-rights. “[…] there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military […]”

        The other picture is from Brokeback Mountain.

        • Mathius

          Curious why everyone jumping on this leave the rest of the sentence off.

          When they can serve openly BUT our kids can’t openly pray in school. Seems like a legitimate point to me.

          • What have the two points got in common with each other at all? This ad makes no sense whatsoever.

            • Bob

              It makes sense to me. I see it as an attack on Political Correctness and anti-christian as an accepted policy goal of this administration. Now you can argue as to whether those are real goals. But the message makes total sense to those of us who understand the hypocrisy of Govt officials standing behind one thing and against another, when the same principles apply to both.

              In this cased, gays should be free to openly serve, and christian kids should be free to openly pray or display their religion in school.

              Now, I am willing to concede that clever people may have constructed this to contain several messages. Or it could simply be that those who are very sensitive are trying to make it say something more.

              • JAC,

                I see it as an attack on Political Correctness and anti-christian as an accepted policy goal of this administration.

                No JAC, its part of that “alternative reality” conservatives have created, where Christians are a persecuted minority.

                Or it could simply be that those who are very sensitive are trying to make it say something more.

                I couldn’t agree more – the right-wing has gotten very sensitive and make a mountain out of every mole hill.

              • You will have to bear with me on this, what has Obama specifically done that is anti-Christian? Why would you class it as political correctness for openly gay people to serve in the military?

                I am also confused about the Christmas stuff, some of my friends moved to West Virginia from the UK a couple of years ago. I have seen pictures of their kids at school with Christmas decorations up? Are Obama’s jack booted agents just about to burst through the windows to tear them down or something?

                My personal take on this is Perry looks to be using some buzz words to rile up his base. I know that youtube likes and dislikes dont count for much in the real world, but when you are rushing towards 600,000 dislikes on a video I think this was a swing and miss.

  17. I realize it’s Friday and all – but it is too quiet around here today. So with that in mind (and having to much time to let my mind wander).

    1. Do you believe that in the vast universe there exist planets with life on them that equals or exceeds, at this point in time, human life?

    2. Of these two Star Trek technologies, which would you prefer to have in existence now: Transporter or Food Replicator?

    3. What year would you prefer to live in, if you could pick one?

    4. Name the television commercial that you find most enjoyable (that you’ve seen in the past year)?

    5. How many licks does it take you to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

    (Yes, I can hear you all now, “Somebody find something to occupy him please!”)

    • Seriously? Planning a trip to Wisco in the near future? I have a house for you to clean, Christmas cards to get out, shopping, wrapping, baking, plus lots going on in my business….

      Having said that…

      4. LOVE the e-trade baby commercials!

      • I’m only coming to Wisco if that transporter is available – cause I ain’t driving and dang sure ain’t flying. 🙂

        As to all those other things, ummmm……….I can rent you a 12 year-old?

    • This isn’t a commercial but is one of my all time favorites clips.

    • 1. Anything is possible-or in other words I don’t know.
      2. Food replicator-it’s kinda like saying World peace-it’s the only acceptable answer. 🙂
      3. Would I know what I know now?
      4. Can’t think of one-I try very hard not to watch commercials-but I do know one that I absolutely can not stand-Targets-blond haired, workout suit wearing, training to go to their big sale totally irritating ad-I can’t hit fast forward fast enough.
      5.Don’t know-I always bite it before I get there.

  18. D13

    Good morning Colonel.

    Montana State aims to eliminate Stephen F. Austin today. If successful the semi-final will be an ALL Montana show. Go Cats.

    P.S. GO NAVY!!

    • D13

      My apologies. Seems my intell was bad. Sam Houston not Step. F. Austin.

      And the Cats got whipped as bad as the Griz put on N. Iowa last night.

      Over 400 yards RUSHING. Boy that is going to be fun watching next week against the Griz.

      How fitting though. Texas vs. Montana

  19. Hmmmm, After some thought and reading-I have come to the conclusion that Natural Law is another word for moral absolutism and the rights derived are those absolutes.

    • V.H.

      No. Not another word for the same thing. You could say that Natural Law “informs” the discovery of moral absolutes, IF THEY EXIST. But it requires discovery to find them.

      A statement from the article: “Principles mean moral absolutes. Unchanging rocks beneath the changing waves of feelings and practices. Moral relativism is a philosophy that denies moral absolutes. ”

      The first two sentences are FALSE. Unless you recognize that “absolute” is temporary. Principles must be tested against reality and then modified or discarded if they are are valid. So they can not be concrete unchangeable things. If principles are moral anything then they must change as our understanding of morality changes.

      The last sentence is TRUE. But the first two are a different animal than what is concluded by the third.

      • I instinctively think you are wrong-but I am going to think about it awhile longer. I will only say-the moral truth does not change-only man’s understanding

        • I have a question-If Natural Law and the rights which come from it-are not based on unchanging moral principals-What is it based on”?

          • V.H..

            Reality!

            Natural Law is an expression of the way things are. The other day everyone seemed to agree that the Law of Identity is in fact a Natural Law. Man is Man and Man is man because he exists. He can only exist according to his nature and the other laws of the universe. He must live according to REALITY.

            Morality is an expression of what Mankind thinks is right and wrong.

            The question should be is whether there is a SINGLY IMMUTABLE MORAL PRINCIPLE.

            Such as Ayn Rand’s claim that Man’s life is his PRIMARY moral standard. But this is a PRIME moral standard derived from, or informed by, Man qua Man. It is not THE Natural Law itself.

            You are thinking in a realm where there is a distinct divide in scholarly thought. You are alluding to a single set of Moral standards that would apply to all Humans. I happen to agree with you that they do exist. Ayn Rand agreed with you as do others. Prime moral principles can be “objectively” identified. That is discovered by applying reason. But note here, “discovered”. Just like we discovered the Natural Law of Identity. If only one Human existed on earth, the moral principle would still apply.

            The other school is that Moral standards and thus principles are invented to guide the interaction between Humans in ways considered “acceptable” by humans. Thus they can change with time. But that is not the same as “relativistic morality” which really says doing whatever makes you feel good is moral. Not the same things. In this school of thought, if there were only one Human on earth, moral principles would NOT apply as there would be no reason for them.

            Notice also that these general areas of morality apply equally to ethics and the concept of RIGHTS.

            • Another question-if you boil a man’s rights down to a singly immutable moral principle and make mans life the primary moral standard- based on the supposition that if only one man existed it would still be applicable-are you not reducing our morality to survival of the fittest.

              • Just in case this is not clear enough-I don’t have a problem with man’s right to defend his life as the primary moral standard-it makes perfect sense-man must have this right in order to have any rights. I have a problem with “singly”-the above supposition seems to ignore the “reality” of nature and man’s nature as a whole and used an unrealistic measure to do so. One which is not based in reality

              • Oooops, You didn’t say it was the single immutable principal-you are saying there isn’t an immutable principal, only standards. Sorry 🙂 Lets start over-why is a man’s natural right to live according to his nature not an unchanging moral principal. Is something going to change which makes this right moot?

              • V.H.

                If a Natural Right exists it would precede a Single Moral Standard or Principle.

                The concept of Right would apply to all living things while Moral is an issue for mankind.

                Moral is also a concept that involves judgment of action where Right is a concept expressing ones entitlement to act.

                I had not considered your notion that a Primary Moral could be reduced to survival of the fittest. But I suppose that could be true if you define/describe “fittest” properly.

                It is far more than just cunning, strength, speed, etc. That is why I was having heart burn over the term the other day. Most who use it do so in a way that describes man as just an animal. Some beast or savage. But part of human’s nature is the complexity of spiritual and psychological needs, not just physical or biological.

                So if you consider fittest to include the entire package of the man you get an answer that says that those who identify and live the most flourishing life in the fullest since stand the greatest chance to thrive in the long term, then I would agree.

                Single Immutable does not mean it is the ONLY standard. Just that it is the foundation stone from which other Moral Principles would be derived.

                Let me share one more idea related to Moral. If we consider that continuation of our existence is our primary directive and that we must do so within the constraints of Nature (as dictated by the way things are) then those things (rules, principles, values, etc) that enhance our long term existence are Good and those that inhibit or impair are Bad.

                This also raises another consideration, that I have been trying to prepare and article on. VALUES.

                These are similar to moral principles if you will, or at least related. They are the things we strive to achieve in order to live Good as opposed to Bad. Things like Honesty, Integrity, etc. But lets not get ahead of ourselves.

              • I will agree that the right to pursue our life is the cornerstone to build on for rights. But I don’t accept it is our primary directive-I do not see the truth of that statement supplied through the observation of nature or the examination of man’s nature.

                And I can’t put my finger on it yet, but something else in this conversation doesn’t feel right.
                It has to do with rights vs. morality. If I have the right to act-that right to act by it’s self is a moral truth-but there are standards that apply to the actual actions. Just like I don’t have a right to murder-it is an absolute moral principal-but there are standards that apply to the action which determine whether or not the action it self was murder. So there are absolute truths and there are moral opinions.

              • V.H.

                If pursuit of our life is not our prime directive, then the opposite must be true.

                That being the pursuit of death.

                Everywhere in nature we observe LIFE doing what ever it can to EXIST. To CONTINUE its existence. It is the thing that drives all living things. It is observable it is the only rational answer to what we see.

                Otherwise, LIFE would not exist. It would have simply suffered to random chance, where the odds are much greater against, or it would have pursued itself into extinction.

                So I see it as a prime directive. The Natural Law of Identity.

                But that is not the same as a Moral Principle if that is your heart burn.

                Your murder example is slightly flawed. If Murder is NOT Moral then that is the end of the line in the argument. Murder by definition is KILLING an INNOCENT person.

                But No Murder exists as a derivative of a more basic Moral Principle. Non initiation of violence against the non-violent.

              • I don’t see the answer limited to this or the opposite of-In nature animal and man seem to have a strong desire to protect their young-they may well be pursuing life -but not necessarily their own-but at the same time they are not pursuing the opposite either. But their prime directive is not pursuing their life above all else. Now I don’t know if this is arguing against The Law of Identity”-It wasn’t my intention-I don’t think, I disagree with the law but at the same time, I can’t speak to what exactly applies to all humans, only those that seem to speak to the majority.

                I really don’t understand why my argument on murder is flawed-I agree when it comes to murder that is the end of the argument, murder is morally wrong, an absolute-but we still have to define when a killing becomes a murder. And murder isn’t just killing an innocent it is intentionally killing an innocent.

              • One other thing, I would appreciate if you would think about and tell me your thoughts. Man has rights-but these rights come with responsibilities. I have the right to be free but there are limits on those freedoms-because others also have the right to be free-so I have the responsibility to not impose on their rights. I think it is those responsibilities which create the standards by which we determine whether an action is moral or immoral or if you prefer whether we have the right to the action or not. But the underlying immutable principal of freedom is not in question-just the action.

  20. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/12/09/images-iranian-nuclear-facility-provide-intel-into-recent-explosion/

    Could our drone be connected to this somehow? Do we have a clandestine war with Iran?

  21. T-Ray

    I don’t think so. If I recall the drone went rogue sometime before this happened.

    Furthermore, the pictures do not support missile or bomb attack in my opinion.

    Clandestine war? Probably.

    But direct attack like this? No.

  22. V.H.

    Given our discussion of the past few days, I thought you and the others at SUFA would be interested in the following discussion I had with someone yesterday at HuffPo. The general topic was the economy and Mr. O’s admission it will take many, many years. This thread starts with a jab by “Left Agitator” at Obamacare as an “anchor” on recovery. I am the one guilty of getting the discussion derailed but I would say, re-focused on the true issue.

    What struck me was this person’s view of Libertarians and how that fits the narrative created by the Left about Ayn Rand and her philosophy. I did not know it had been assigned to Libertarians. Of course BOTH are WRONG, but I thought you would find the use of Christ to defend Socialism of great interest.

    Left_agitator:

    Recovery will never happen as long as Obamacare is not repealed…repeal Obamacare and all the fears of the business community will disappear.

    Jannsmoor Dec 10, 2011 ( 2:34 PM)

    Perhaps you could flesh in your new economic theory. If 30 million Americans lose their health insurance . . . . If insurance companies can deny people health insurance because of a pre-existing condition . . . If insurance companies can cancel you coverage when you need it most . . . how is that going to increase demand for goods and services again?

    JAC Dec 10, 2011
    Jannsmoor

    “Demand exceeds supply. It did before this atrocity was passed and now it will probably increase.

    So explain YOUR economic theory that supports the notion that increasing demand even further will somehow reduce medical costs.

    And please don’t say Magic. The administration already laid claim to that one.”

    Jannsmoor on Dec 10, 2011 At 16:00:06
    “I was responding to the notion that eliminating health insurance for 30 million Americans would spur the economy in general. I do not make an economic judgment on life and death matters. I use morality in that situation. It is immoral for the richest country that has ever existed can allow 45,000 Americans to die each year because they don’t have health insurance, particularly when EVERY other advanced nation has universal health care.”

    JAC Dec 10, 2011

    “Jannsmoor

    In my view it is a far greater immorality for Govt to interfere in the voluntary actions of a free people. It in facts eliminate freedom. So you see a “nation” can not let people die. People can choose to try and help, or to prevent death if possible. But that is and should be an individual choice.

    You cannot create a more moral society by being immoral in your methods of achieving what you consider righteous.

    As to the first point. I agree that rescinding Obamacare will not spur massive economic growth. It will however eliminate a damper that will restrict growth, but mostly that is in the future.”

    Jannsmoor on Dec 10, 2011 At 19:15:56
    “I think you have put your finger on the difference between a liberal and a libertarian. Liberals believe human life is more important than money, libertarians believe money is more important than human life. It’s just a difference in our fundamental belief systems. Liberals believe the teachings of all great religious leaders, including Christ, that it is our duty to take care of the poor and disabled. Libertarians believe it is optional. Really pretty simple.”

    JAC on Dec 10, 2011

    “Jannsmoor

    If you think the difference between liberals and libertarians is love of human life or love of money you don’t know anything about what Libertarian means.

    Notice that “liberal” is the root of Libertarian.

    Love of human life requires that freedom and liberty be sacred. Not to be sacrificed at the whim of the first person claiming compassion as their righteous mission.

    You will find NO PLACE where Christ called for the people to use Govt to take money for charity. In fact Christ was adamant that charity as well as love of mankind and God himself must come from the INDIVIDUAL¬.

    Your characterization of Libertarians is grossly in error.”

    Jannsmoor on Dec 10, 2011 At 21:33:28
    “Again, you are correct in a respect. Libertarians see money as freedom and liberty (even as their ‘freedom and liberty’ relegates some people to unnecessary death) and a democratically elected government as the enemy of their money. Liberals see money as a MEANS to achieve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all human beings and a democratically elected government as the MEANS to effect the will of the majority of the people to achieve that goal for all people, within the limits of fairness to the minority . . . . Stepping over the dying bodies of others on the way to the bank is hardly a freedom that needs to be cherished. . . . You will find nowhere in the Bible where Christ said our duty to the poor and disabled cannot be performed by a democratic¬ally elected government. We know that if left to choice, at least 45,000 Americans will die each year from lack of health care insurance. To condone such a system is to condone the unnecessary deaths of 45,000 people each year so the freedom to keep one’s money can be exalted. There is no other logical conclusion that can be reached. I repeat, you are making a conscious decision that money is more important than their lives. Simply an impossible position for me to defend.”

    Jannsmoor on Dec 10, 2011 At 22:13:00
    “In accordance with Christ’s command (Matthew 25:40), the care of the poor is the duty of all the members of the Christian body, so that by the works of each the welfare of the whole community may be promoted. Duty is that which is obligatory. Libertarians believe duty is optional. For how do you make something obligatory except by making it obligatory?”

    jbouti on Dec 11, 2011 At 07:42:13
    “First in order to accomplish these wonderful things force and usury are required . Jesus would have been vehemently opposed to both .

    Second the term Liberal has been convoluted . To be clear the only real “Liberal’s¬” left are Libertarian . The emergence of classical Liberalism from the likes of Locke , Jefferson ,and Mills was a movement towards more freedom and liberties to the individual and less power to a large and imposing central body. The exact opposite of what we were supposed to believe from the pseudo modern liberals of the 20th century. The socialist not wanting to call themselves “socialist¬s” co-opted the term. They did so much damage that by the end of the last century they had to move on to “progressive”.

    Just two points of fact, and a quote from Bastiat I will paraphrase ” If we opposed nationalizing all the farm land in this country the socialists would say we are opposed to people eating”.

    There is a better way to take care of societies problems with out bankrupting our children’s future with piles of debt run up by an intrusive ,wasteful ,violent,and corrupt system we have now.”

    By the way.

    Happy Sunday to All
    JAC

    • Mostly it just irritates me-I get tired of the hypocritical unbalanced attack on Christianity by those on the left , when it is very clear that Christianity is used to attack the right on the basis that we should have separation of church and state and then also used to attack the right because we aren’t being true Christians. Seems Christianity is just fine-it’s obvious that basing policy solely on Christian beliefs is okay too, as long as the beliefs line up with their beliefs. It’s only a problem when it doesn’t then they scream for separation of Church and State.

    • JAC,

      “at least 45,000 Americans will die each year from lack of health care insurance”

      Where do these numbers come from? Has anyone documented the US deaths where medical treatment was refused? Deaths in the US are always reported. If there are any questions, an autopsy is done to determine cause of death. I have seen firsthand some of the problems cause by drug use. How many drug addicts are there in the US? Not users or pot smokers, the hard addicts on meth and such? A meth addict is committing suicide, maybe slowly and painfully, but it’s just a matter of time until they destroy their body. Health insurance can’t change self-inflicted death by drugs. And I would bet there are more than 45,000 drug addicts in the US. If anything, we should be amazed so few die despite the sickness in so much of our society.

      est. of drug costs…
      The social and health costs to society of illicit drug use are staggering. Drug-related illness, death, and crime cost the nation approximately $66.9 billion. Every man, woman, and child in America pays nearly $1,000 annually to cover the expense of unnecessary health care, extra law enforcement, auto accidents, crime, and lost productivity resulting from substance abuse.

  23. http://books.google.com/books?id=LsXmMHOT8VsC&pg=PA686&lpg=PA686&dq=prioritizing+environmental+problems+life+expectancy&source=bl&ots=uoOkXc3b54&sig=Feuj9ArjaVrY50KPkf-JtqqNu4o&hl=en&ei=ixblTpqaNOiriQLwhbS6Bg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CGAQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns By Jay H. Lehr

    I hope the above link works. Mr. Lehr describes a term LLE, Lost Like Expectancy, which he uses to prioritize envirionmental issues. It can be used to remove the emotion from arguments and ensure that we get the most bang for our bucks. In total quality managment, they teach using a Perato chart to identify which problems to solve. It can be organized by the number of incidents or by the cost. The idea is to tackle the biggest problem first and then work downward.

    • Sorry Charlie but life is not always fair but the idea of using government to make it fair only multiplies the problems.

      • Glad to see you can still excuse something so horrible so casually …

        • He didn’t dismiss anything; just stated reality.

          • Kathy, my dear … so the government’s intervention during the civil war was a bad thing?

            Oy vey …

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Hmmm… Government intervention during the civil war… what precisely do you mean by that? Government intervention CAUSED the Civil War, but I am not certain that that is what you are referring to.

              • Right, Peter … the north should have let the south continue with Slavery. At least you would have been happy …

                You’re an amazing guy …

              • Charlie,

                Error #1: The North did NOT invade the South to stop slavery. So you believing the North “stopped” Slavery is a massive misunderstanding of the War.

                Error #2: No other nation on earth required the slaughter of 650,000 of its own people to stop slavery. Slavery was ending all over Western civilization on the basis of its radical immorality. USA was well on its way to follow these examples.

    • Ignorance noted.

  24. (AP) SEOUL, South Korea — A Chinese fishing captain fatally stabbed a South Korean coast guard officer and wounded another Monday after they stopped his boat for illegally fishing in crab-rich South Korean waters, officials said.

    South Korea, which had asked China’s ambassador just last week to try to rein in illegal Chinese fishing its waters, lodged a strong protest with the diplomat over the latest incident — the first deadly clash between the South Korean coast guard and Chinese fishermen in three years.

    China’s Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, urged Seoul to safeguard the rights of detained Chinese fishermen. However, an analyst said the incident was unlikely to significantly affect overall ties between the countries.

    Officers from two coast guard ships boarded the fishing boat over suspicions it was illegally operating Yellow Sea waters rich blue crabs, anchovies and croaker, when the captain attacked with an unidentified weapon, coast guard spokesman Kim Dong-jin said.

    A South Korean officer stabbed in the side was taken by helicopter to a hospital in the port city of Incheon but later died, Kim said. The other officer was stabbed in the abdomen and was to undergo surgery. The Chinese captain had minor injuries from the fight and was also taken to the hospital, Kim said.

    The weapon was not identified. Besides the captain, eight other Chinese fishermen on the boat were arrested and taken to Incheon, the coast guard said in a statement.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Monday in Beijing that the ministry was ready to work with South Korea on the case. He told a daily news conference that Chinese authorities had taken steps to better educate fishermen “to prohibit cross-border fishing and irregularities.”

    Monday’s fighting isn’t likely to undermine overall ties, although Seoul is expected to pressure Beijing harder over illegal fishing, said Lee Chang-hyung of Seoul’s government-affiliated Korea Institute for Defense Analyses.

    The coast guard says it has seized about 470 Chinese ships for illegal fishing in the Yellow Sea so far this year, up from 370 last year. The coast guard usually releases the ships after a fine is paid, though violence occasionally occurs.

    Chinese fishing fleets have been going farther afield to feed growing domestic demand for seafood.

    With some 300,000 fishing vessels and 8 million fishermen, the Chinese fishing industry is by far the world’s largest, producing an annual catch in excess 17 million tons. But catches have decreased in waters close to China’s shores, forcing the fleet to venture farther.

  25. V.H.

    “But their prime directive is not pursuing their life above all else. ”

    Perhaps you are mis-applying the concept. It is not that every entity at any given point will try to extend its life over all else.

    All living things strive to continue living. The ultimate goal of LIFE is to LIVE. All living things display this characteristic. From single cells to complex organisms, like humans. The very design of all living things is to perpetuate their existence.

    That is why I called it the prime directive. It is the ultimate, core level, foundational, GOAL of all living things. And I don’t mean goal as in a consciously derived and planned concept. If there is a design you could say it was God’s.

    If it were not the prime directive, the primary goal, purpose, etc. then tell me. What is it?

  26. 13-0!

  27. Love this quote by John Bolton. Disagree with use of Republican vs. Democrat as we all well know Republican party is full of non-liberty loving members too.

    http://www.therightscoop.com/john-bolton-on-the-greatest-misconception-that-democrats-have-about-republicans/

    “The core misimpression is that a fundamental belief in liberty and it’s implications is somehow cruel and uncaring. When in fact, liberty is absolutely central to the most massive economic change in the history of the world that has brought more concrete material advantages to people in the last few hundred years than in millennia before that. And that understanding liberty means you have to value the possibility of failure as well as the possibility of success. Because if you don’t have failure as an option, you’ll never have success as an option.

    It’s not lack of compassion that drives many Republican policy preferences, it’s a belief in the inherent importance of individual self-worth and not being dependent on external factors like the government.”

  28. http://theweek.com/bullpen/column/222107/americans-dont-really-want-spending-cuts

    Somebody has woken up and read what BF wrote a year or two ago.

    Forget about Fed Politics – it is a glorious waste of your time.

    Focus on where you can be effective – time is short, and the wave of staggered collapses is coming… sooner then you think.

  29. It is past time to end this charade known as the UN and also the climate crap.

    http://uddebatt.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/the-real-story-behind-durbancop-17-through-twitter/

    • At least two major United Nations development agencies, described as having accumulated some $3.2 billion in cash in 2009, refused to divulge exactly what they spent their program money on, according to a confidential draft report prepared in the summer for the government of Norway and examined by Fox News.

      According to the consultants who prepared the two-volume draft study on behalf of the Norwegian development agency known as NORAD, the refusal meant that the agencies, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNICEF, failed “grossly” to live up to the “credo of adherence to transparency” that both agencies claim to follow in their work.

      A third agency, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, was not cited for “gross” failure, but also refused to provide spending details, “particularly recent staff costs.”

      The two-volume draft study, was prepared for Norway, one of the U.N.’s biggest donors, in June by the private consulting firm IDC, and aimed to “contribute to the understanding of financing flows and current financial planning and budgeting processes,” at five selected U.N. agencies, including “how are resources allocated” and “where does the money go.”

      Fox News examined the first volume last summer and reported that four of the five U.N. agencies examined by IDC had a much bigger total of at least $12.2 billion in unspent cash by the end of 2009. The first volume of the study warned that the multi-billion-dollar bulge might “result in a situation where donors may not fund the U.N. system as much as before, until these reserves are utilized and brought down to an appropriate level.”

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/12/12/un-development-agencies-accumulate-billions-and-keep-spending-secret/?test=latestnews#ixzz1gLVS89vj

  30. Lets change it up a bit. Unabashedly copied for electric city. Enjoy and note his special call out of Mr. Hamilton. The first American Fascist. I do not share the view he was a monarchist, but I could be wrong. He represents what I see as a major character flaw in Mr. Washington.

    More Constitutional Baby Babble—this time at Vanity Fair
    Written by Rob Natelson on 04 December 2011

    Vanity Fair’s sophisticated approach to rescuing a drowning man is this: Lecture him about how we all need plenty of water.

    The tony mag’s new attack on the Tea Party is entitled “Debt and Dumb.” But the attack shows the authors and editors at VF to be the ones either deaf or dumb: Either deaf to what the Tea Partiers are really saying, or too dumb to understand them.

    The article, written for VF by Simon Johnson and James Kwak, is the latest “progressive” effort to enlist the American Founding in their cause. Like many others, it unintentionally reveals that the authors and editors actually know very little about the Founding, and probably could care less.

    The gist this time is that the Tea Party is undermining the foundations of American government by asserting that taxes are high enough and that public debt should be paid through spending cuts.

    Much of the article is an account of why a federal taxing power was necessary to make the United States a viable nation. True, but how this is relevant to the Tea Party is a complete mystery. Few, if any, Tea Partiers are arguing that Congress should not have the power to tax. It’s the classic fallacy of arguing against a strawman.

    The article tries to connect Tea Party protests to the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion, when Pennsylvania farmers dodged a federal tax on spirits. But as far as I can see, there are fewer verified tax cheats in the modern Tea Party than in the Obama administration.

    The article dismisses the Tea Party claim that the federal government is exceeding its constitutional powers, and cites in support the career of Alexander Hamilton.

    In choosing an exemplar of constitutional meaning, VF could not have made a more inept selection. Hamilton’s views were not only out of the mainstream; they were diametrically opposed to the actual constitutional settlement.

    For example, at the Constitutional Convention, Hamilton urged his fellow delegates to erect a national government with an executive and senate elected for life that could “pass all laws whatsoever.” When he failed to get his way, he went home. Toward the end of the convention he returned, but confessed on the floor his “dislike of the [Constitution’s] Scheme of Govt in General,” and admitted that “No man’s ideas were more remote from the plan than his own were known to be.” His unpublished notes, apparently written shortly after the Constitution was signed, reveal him scheming for a new administration that would “triumph altogether over the state governments and reduce them into an entire subordination, dividing the large states into smaller districts.”

    During the ratification battle, Hamilton repeatedly represented the new government as one of limited authority, but once the document was safely ratified he switched his story and claimed the General Welfare Clause (I-8-1) was a fount of unlimited congressional spending power. Almost none of his contemporaries bought this argument.

    In short, the choice of Hamilton as constitutional exemplar merely reveals the ignorance of the authors and the editors at Vanity Fair.

    Anyway, it is not the congressional taxing power that Tea Partiers object to, but its abuse. Congress has repeatedly violated two constitutional restrictions on its taxing authority: (1) that taxes be limited to funding enumerated powers of government and (2) that, within those enumerated powers, taxes fund only expenditures for the “general Welfare” rather than for the welfare of localities or special interests.

    The authors attack “the Tea Party’s preference for default over higher taxes.” Another strawman: Even if the debt limit had not been raised, there would have been no need for the U.S. to default on sovereign debt because there was plenty of revenue to pay it. There also was enough revenue for other constitutional functions, such as national defense and the operations of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. What the feds would have had to cut (or at least defer payment for) were programs that were never constitutional in the first place.

    Unfortunately, the folks at VF are too sophisticated to understand that taxes are like water: You need some, but too much can kill you.

    • Anyway, it is not the congressional taxing power that Tea Partiers object to, but its abuse.

      That’s quite a fine line JAC. Who gets to define the term “abuse”?

      Congress has repeatedly violated two constitutional restrictions on its taxing authority: (1) that taxes be limited to funding enumerated powers of government and (2) that, within those enumerated powers, taxes fund only expenditures for the “general Welfare” rather than for the welfare of localities or special interests.

      Oh, I guess the Tea Partiers get to define “abuse”?

      Although, just because some Conservative writer calls it “unconstitutional” certainly does not make it “unconstitutional”…shouldn’t we have defined process for that?

      The authors attack “the Tea Party’s preference for default over higher taxes.” Another strawman: Even if the debt limit had not been raised, there would have been no need for the U.S. to default on sovereign debt because there was plenty of revenue to pay it. There also was enough revenue for other constitutional functions, such as national defense and the operations of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. What the feds would have had to cut (or at least defer payment for) were programs that were never constitutional in the first place.

      And this is my favorite STUPID argument of the day (probably the year, but there’s a lot to review for that award).

      “Default” does not refer only to “sovereign debt” or “constitutional functions”. It refers to any legal obligation. And I believe every payment the Federal Government makes stems from a “legal obligation” – otherwise you guys would be jumping all over that!

      And if the USA never defaulted, why did S&P downgrade our rating?

      Unfortunately, the folks at VF are too sophisticated to understand that taxes are like water: You need some, but too much can kill you.

      But JAC, not enough will kill you faster than too much…

      • Todd

        And if the USA never defaulted, why did S&P downgrade our rating?

        Incorrect, sir.

        The US has defaulted multiple times in its history – as recently as 1933, 1971 and 1983.

        • Do you mean 1979 vs 1971?

          I’ve never heard of the default in 1983. Care to share?

          But obviously I was referring to July 2011: If the USA did not defaulted this past summer, why did S&P downgrade our rating?

          • Todd,
            1971 – Nixon closes the Gold Window – defaults on converting dollars to gold.
            1979 – missed payments
            Since 1913 – default thru inflation.
            1983 – first time the “debt ceiling” was repealed (under Reagan)
            In 1983, Reagan warned that the consequences of failing to raise the nation’s borrowing limit “are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate”:

            Rating agencies do not rate after a default but are supposed to judge risk before default.

            The rating change was a statement that the levels of indebtedness and the velocity of its increase is unsustainable.

            • Black Flag,

              Rating agencies do not rate after a default but are supposed to judge risk before default.

              The rating change was a statement that the levels of indebtedness and the velocity of its increase is unsustainable.

              Right. And that was my point. This line in JAC’s post is incorrect:

              The authors attack “the Tea Party’s preference for default over higher taxes.” Another strawman:

              It’s not a strawman. The Tea Party’s preference for default makes the US Dollar less secure, therefore lowering our credit rating.

              • Todd,

                It is a strawman.

                The Tea Party do not prefer a default.

                The US$ is insecure due to government debt.

                That is the fault of the governments in place – not the Tea Party.

                The Tea Party wants budget CUTS. Budget cuts will save the US$ and the nation.

                Where they fail is they want other people to absorb the cuts, but not their own special interests. Thus, nothing will be cut.

                But bluntly, the government will default.

                It will default by breaking its promise to the citizens and renege on health care, SS, etc.

                It will default by not paying its debts, including T-Bills – it will pay some, but not others – in a staggered way.

                It will default by increasing inflation and destroying savings.

                How it defaults is the only debate – but it will default. There is no other way.

      • Todd

        Your whole line of argument consists of changing the argument then using your position to ridicule the author. Its very similar to the strawman fallacy. Let’s take them one at a time.

        RN: Anyway, it is not the congressional taxing power that Tea Partiers object to, but its abuse.

        Todd: That’s quite a fine line JAC. Who gets to define the term “abuse”?

        THE ISSUE WAS THAT THE LEFT CLAIMS THE TEA PARTY ARE ARGUING FOR ZERO GOVT AND ZERO TAX. THE POINT MADE BY RN IS THAT THIS IS NOT WHAT THE TEA PARTY IS ABOUT. THE TEA PARTY IS ABOUT STICKING WITH CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY. SO THE WHO DECIDES IS IRRELEVANT TO THE KEY POINT.

        BUT SINCE YOU ASKED, WE THE PEOPLE GET TO DECIDE WHAT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THIS, JUST LIKE THE ARGUMENTS MADE BY THE REVISIONIST LEFT WING ARE PART OF THAT DISCUSSION AND DEBATE. IT IS A CONTINUATION OF THE SAME DEBATE THAT STARTED IN 1787.

        RN: Congress has repeatedly violated two constitutional restrictions on its taxing authority: (1) that taxes be limited to funding enumerated powers of government and (2) that, within those enumerated powers, taxes fund only expenditures for the “general Welfare” rather than for the welfare of localities or special interests.

        Todd: Oh, I guess the Tea Partiers get to define “abuse”? Although, just because some Conservative writer calls it “unconstitutional” certainly does not make it “unconstitutional”…shouldn’t we have defined process for that?

        YOU DO REALIZE THAT THE GUY WHO WROTE THIS IS A RENOWNED CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR DON’T YOU? YES, HE IS FROM THE CONSTRUCTIONIST OR ORIGINALST SIDE, BUT HIS ARGUMENTS ARE BASED ON HISTORICAL RESEARCH AND NOT SOME WHIM.

        AS FOR A PROCESS, WE HAD ONE UP UNTIL THE 1930’S WHEN THE PROGRESSIVE COURT DECIDED TO CREATE SOMETHING CALLED “LIVING DOCUMENT THEORY”.

        ONCE AGAIN, WHILE THE SCOTUS IS THE BODY THAT MAKES DECISIONS, THE ULTIMATE VIEW IS THAT HELD BY THE PEOPLE. THE COURT CAN CAUSE THE PEOPLE TO GO THROUGH GREATER GYRATIONS TO IMPOSE ITS WILL, AND CAN ACT TO STIFLE THE PEOPLE, BUT THE PEOPLE STILL HAVE THE FINAL SAY.

        I WOULD PUT MR. NATELSON’S ARGUMENTS UP AGAINST ANYONE AS TO WHAT IS OR IS NOT CONSTITUTIONAL. JUST SO YOU KNOW, HIS CONCLUSIONS DO NOT ALWAYS SUPPORT THE POSITIONS CLAIMED BY MANY LIBERTARIANS OR TEA PARTY FOLKS. I HAVE DEBATED HIM A COUPLE OF TIMES. ACCORDING TO HIM MY ARGUMENTS WERE SOUND, BUT HISTORY WAS ON HIS SIDE.

        RN: The authors attack “the Tea Party’s preference for default over higher taxes.” Another strawman: Even if the debt limit had not been raised, there would have been no need for the U.S. to default on sovereign debt because there was plenty of revenue to pay it. There also was enough revenue for other constitutional functions, such as national defense and the operations of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. What the feds would have had to cut (or at least defer payment for) were programs that were never constitutional in the first place.

        Todd: And this is my favorite STUPID argument of the day (probably the year, but there’s a lot to review for that award).

        “Default” does not refer only to “sovereign debt” or “constitutional functions”. It refers to any legal obligation. And I believe every payment the Federal Government makes stems from a “legal obligation” – otherwise you guys would be jumping all over that!

        STUPID? SEEMS QUITE HARSH FOR SUCH A FACTUALLY ACCURATE STATEMENT. HIS COMMENT IS REGARDING SOVEREIGN DEBT. IF YOU RECALL THAT WAS THE ISSUE THIS SUMMER. YOU HAVE TO ADDRESS HIS ARGUMENT, NOT CREATE YOUR OWN AS A REFUTATION. IT WAS VANITY FAIR THAT MADE THE ACCUSATION, ONE SPREAD FAR AND WIDE BY THE LEFT, THAT THE TEA PARTY DIDN’T CARE ABOUT DEFAULTING ON OUR DEBT PAYMENTS AND OUR ENTITLEMENT OBLIGATIONS AND MILITARY PAY.

        THE POINT WAS MADE THAT THERE WERE SUFFICIENT FUNDS TO PAY SS/MEDICARE/MEDICAID AND THE INTEREST PAYMENTS ON THE DEBT, ALONG WITH DEFENSE. THIS WAS TRUE. AND BY THE WAY, LATER CONFIRMED WITH GIETNER’S CONFESSION THAT HE OVERSTATED THE CRISIS.

        YOU SEEM TO CONFUSE ALLOCATION MADE BY CONGRESS WITH ACTUAL OBLIGATIONS. SO THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION IS NO!! EVERY PAYMENT IS NOT AN OBLIGATION LINKED TO DEFAULT. JUST ASK THE MANY AGENCIES WHO HAVE FUNDS TAKEN AWAY BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR TO ADDRESS SHORTFALLS IN OTHER AREAS.

        PAYMENT TO CONTRACTORS WHO WERE DUE PAYMENT WOULD BE A DEFAULT. BUT FAILURE TO HIRE A CONTRACTOR TO DO WORK AUTHORIZED BUT NOT STARTED IS NOT A DEFAULT.

        Todd: And if the USA never defaulted, why did S&P downgrade our rating?

        ALL CREDIT RATINGS ARE BASED ON THE FUTURE OUTLOOK, NOT NECESSARILY WHAT HAPPENED TODAY OR YESTERDAY. THEY MADE THAT CLEAR WHEN THEY DID IT.

        RN: Unfortunately, the folks at VF are too sophisticated to understand that taxes are like water: You need some, but too much can kill you.

        Todd: But JAC, not enough will kill you faster than too much…

        WE WILL SIMPLY HAVE TO AGREE TO DISAGREE ON THAT POINT.

        Todd, if you have any semblance of respect for the need for a Constitutional constraint on govt then I suggest you side with the likes of Mr. Natelson and not those that view the document as nothing but a blank piece of paper with a few cumbersome constraints. It is people like him that stand between us and tyranny. Dismiss him if you like, but you do so at your own risk.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        “Oh, I guess the Tea Partiers get to define “abuse”?

        Although, just because some Conservative writer calls it “unconstitutional” certainly does not make it “unconstitutional”…shouldn’t we have defined process for that?”

        Todd,

        Please actually READ the Constitution. The Tea Partiers are not the ones doing the defining, the Constitution itself defines “abuse” quite well. The Constitution defines precisely how taxation can occur, and what the “revenues” from taxation can and CANNOT be used for.

  31. Thinking about becoming a butter smuggler…..Somehow that sounds creepy….

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/world/2011/12/12/norway-butter-shortage-threatens-christmas-treats

  32. Methinks this was a liberal…. And yes, I’m jealous of a cat.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/woman-leaves-13m-fortune-pet-cat-123953959.html

  33. My computer went nuts today-Up and running again but lost my bookmarks-does anyone have the Ip Address for the comments page?

  34. It’s been a little slow here today – maybe this will get some conversation going:

    http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/11/zakaria-the-real-burden-on-the-u-s-economy-2/?hpt=hp_bn4

    • Todd

      It will take time to wade through all the claims. But I would say that it doesn’t do your credibility any good when you start with this:

      “Whether you agree with all of it or not, he has begun a national conversation about the economy and the role of government.” REALLY???

      The President STARTED this national discussion? You have got to be freakin kidding me.

      Then of course he closes with even more ridiculous. He will have us believe that business is slow and will remain slow because of drops in support for infrastructure. AND that we dropped from top of the heap to mid class in ONLY 5 YEARS!

      Todd, just so you know there are several new reports out making claims our taxes as a percentage of GDP are the lowest since WWII or whenever. If you dig you find they are ONLY talking about the last two years during the depth of the recession, AFTER tax revenues dropped. When you look at the tax before the crash it is in fact very high. AND if you look at the CBO’s projections of future tax revenue it grows even higher, to around 26% of GDP.

      In the past I liked a lot of Zakaria’s work. But honestly, in my opinion he is looking ever more like a shill for this Administration.

    • Todd

      Within the article lies the answer to the question: “Rather, the key question must be the effect of changing their tax rate on the well-being of the rest of us.”

      In other words, the key question is how much theft can the mob get away with for its own benefit. Rights, freedom, liberty and justice be damned.

      Tax them all you want. All you will do is cause the further erosion and corruption of the govt you want to clean up.

    • Do you agree with this article Todd? You’re OK with statements like this?

      “The superrich command and control so many resources that they are effectively satiated: increasing or decreasing how much wealth they have has no effect on their happiness. So, no matter how large a weight we place on their happiness relative to the happiness of others – whether we regard them as praiseworthy captains of industry who merit their high positions, or as parasitic thieves – we simply cannot do anything to affect it by raising or lowering their tax rates.”

      Determining one’s happiness level? Despicable.

  35. And this stuff really rubs me the wrong way:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raymond-j-learsy/citiroups-ceos-monster-pa_b_1142808.html

    In May of this year, Vikram Pandit, the CEO of Citigroup received a retention award that could reach a pay package of $42 million. The payout will be spread over four years and is subject to meeting certain performance goals.

    And how will he meet those “performance goals?”

    The New York Times has just reported “Citigroup to lay Off 4500 Over Coming Months.”

    And this not the first time at Citigroup or with Vikram Pandit. In 2007/2008 just before becoming a tin cup institution, Vikram Pandit, after just six weeks on the job, was awarded $26.7 million stock bonus and 3 million in stock options while almost concurrently announcing that Citigroup’s work force would be cut by 4200 employees.

    And that was in January 2008, before the meltdown in September that same year, and before it took $45 billion in government funds to bail out Citigroup alone.

    This is the reality we all face. The rich getting richer by cutting jobs for everyone else. And so many of you are worried the rich are taxed too heavily.

    • So a man should not get richer by improving the profitability of his company?

      Should we still have all those Pony Express Riders, Wells Fargo Stage drivers, rope weavers, and blacksmiths, just because letting them go would have allowed the companies to move forward with technology and new markets???

      OH, forgot the Buggy Whip makers.

      • So a man should not get richer by improving the profitability of his company?

        How much does a man need? What did he do to become more profitable? How did he “earn” his profit by firing other people?

        Sweet Jesus, you seem to advocate for eventual Kingships.

        Time to face the facts, JAC, the more technology, the more people resources worldwide, the more unemployed, the less get to “share” the “american dream” … the faster a revolution comes (and I doubt it’ll be peaceful).

        Shareholders sitting on their duffs reap rewards (or “earn” them, as you might say) while thousands lose their homes … of course it was their fault for losing their homes, they didn’t become CEOs …

        Speed the plow, brother … speed the plow …

        • Great video here, hope you check it out Charlie.

          http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/12/the_spending_threat.html

        • Charlie…..My Pluto friend…..I have been on the border going after bad guys……..so…

          I know that you have been asked this before, but I see Todd on here as well…….”Who determines when there is enough? You? Me? A committee? If it is a government or a committee, then you are building a different mousetrap, are you not? You will still have a “one percent” no matter what system there is….correct? Venezuela is about to fold, Cuba is introducing capitalism AND private health care now…. China is fighting double digit inflation and must manipulate their currency,…..the European community is plagued with their shrinking economy and their one percent….The North Korean regime is driving around in their Limos and eating food that their masses do not have……So, If Charlie, the Plutonian Canoli Man was in charge and implementing his brand of “justice”…you just became the one percent………

          This movement you call OWS….has lost all credibility….(at least in Texas) and if they take over…….what about their one percent? Anyway…I see a vicious circle. Even in your beloved Marxism, there was a one percent that invested money stolen from the peasants….so where do you go and whom decides?

          Hope you and yours are doing well.

        • Charlie

          How much does a man need?

          As much as he wants.

          But whatever his needs, you have no right to determine that for him.

          What did he do to become more profitable?

          Made better decisions.

          How did he “earn” his profit by firing other people?

          Keeping people who do not produce will get in the way of people who do produce.

          Time to face the facts, JAC, the more technology, the more people resources worldwide, the more unemployed,

          But reality proves you wrong.

          We have more people then ever in history – yet unemployment on a massive scale tends downward.

          You have no answer to why, other than promoting an error and fallacy.

          Technology relieves man from doing what merely a machine can do, and propels men into doing what only men can do.

          • Technology relieves man from doing what merely a machine can do, and propels men into doing what only men can do.

            There is nothing “only men can do.” There is only what “only men can do at the moment, but which computers will eventually do better.”

            How many jobs have been defined as something only a human can do, or only a skilled artisan, only to be eventually supplanted? (Remember John Henry?)

            The light at the end of the tunnel is Charlie’s utopia, though. Once robots are doing all the producing, there will be plenty for all. No man will ever have to go without enough food or shelter. And humans will only work at the things they enjoy.

            … until the revolution comes …

            • And Charlie and his crowd will be marching in the streets demanding the Robot Govt provide them with JOBS.

              • And then the Robot Government will provide them with jobs. Presumably nothing important since humans are notoriously unreliable. But why would he want a “job”? He will probably want to keep busy, but this is different from a job – he wouldn’t need money or a boss, so maybe he would travel the world, or spend his days painting sunsets. But if he insists on sitting in a chair and doing something he doesn’t like doing for no appreciation, then the Robot Government will let him sort mail or something.

                I, however, will be marching in the streets demanding that the Robot Government provide me with a Red Bull, hammock, and internet connection so I can SUFA all day every day.

                This, too, will be provided.

          • But reality proves you wrong.

            You need to step outside the world you’ve created in your mind, BF. Reality, my friend, is one big ass revolution waiting to happen due to the selfish nature of what you propose.

            The greater good is what counts/what will win in the end. There’s no reality that can avoid that fact. You can only bulldose people for so long before they’ve had enough.

            We may one day make it to an anarchy worth the wait, but I doubt it. Whether Marxism is precious to me or not isn’t the question, the question is how do you avoid the US become a third world state (more so than it already is) due to capitalism. We’re there … it’s only a matter of time, brother.

            • Charlie

              Reality, my friend, is one big ass revolution waiting to happen due to the selfish nature of what you propose.

              So you returned all the monies from your last book to the publisher, because it would be selfish of you to keep the money.

              Of course you didn’t.

              Selfish is why you want to improve your life. And a revolution of eliminating the collective is coming.

              The greater good is what counts/what will win in the end.

              Yes, you may win.

              But what will you win?

              Death, destruction and endarkenment of the human race.

              Your victory is the end of mankind.

        • Charlie

          What used to take me days to do in my youth can now be done in a few hours, thanks to “technology”. Leaving me more time to golf, fish and talk on SUFA.

          That damn technology, putting me out of work. Things like dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers (we need a folding machine), power lawn mowers, trimmers, rototillers, vacuum cleaners that run on their own, and an oven that turns on and off when I tell it, all by itself.

          In your world we would still have buggy whips and wagons. Oh, wait. That was technology. Perhaps just horses and the occasional Travois.

          Sorry, plows not allowed. That is technology and eliminates jobs. Back to using sticks and stones for you Charlie.

          • Folding machines?? PLEASE! I can fold faster and neater. 600pcs/hr I staged several competitions in my day. Had to give a free paid day off 1 time to an employee who folded 800 pcs in 1 hr…but not consistently! 🙂

          • Very clever … except what do you do with all those unemployed people? Shoot them off your porch? Good luck with that.

            • except what do you do with all those unemployed people

              Nothing, because people are not “mine” to do anything with.

              Like the last 6 billion other people, they find better work to do – that is why progress happens, Charlie.

              Technology relieves men from doing the work of mere machines, and allows men to do work that machines cannot do.

              Thinking is one of those things …… how about it, Charlie? 😉

              • Like the last 6 billion other people, they find better work to do – that is why progress happens, Charlie.

                A bit less clever. I ask: So, where are the jobs and/or the better work to do?

                The more I poke around here, the more I understand the Cambodian concept of Year Zero … now that’s scary.

                Telephones, BF … they allow Indians across the world to do the job of Americans … with only the owners of the means of production earning profits (while American workers find “better work”). Reality screws with your paradigm at every turn, doesn’t it?

    • gmanfortruth says:

      “This is the reality we all face. The rich getting richer by cutting jobs for everyone else.”

      Todd and Charlie, It’s safe to say that this is a travesty. The question you should be asking isn’t about taxes or the rich getting richer, but who is allowing this to occur? The answer is their costomers, the lefties and the righties, the rich and not so rich. the credit card holders from both sides of the political spectrum. So how would you fix this?

      • Todd and Charlie, It’s safe to say that this is a travesty.

        How you been, G-man! Good hearing from you … I’ve been busy so can only pop in early mornings of late.

        I think you’ll have to ask BF about your statement above. He seems to think it’s all fine and dandy.

    • It’s been a while since I’ve logged on. I’ve been in Beijing for work and it turns out China blocks this website (go figure).

      Just an observation here.

      Vikram Pandit, after just six weeks on the job, was awarded $26.7 million stock bonus and 3 million in stock options

      I may not be a financial wizard (far from it), but doesn’t this mean that he doesn’t get “money,” just stocks? I assume this is to further encourage him to make the company better. So when the company bombed in 08, didn’t he “lose” a boatload?

      I think it’s ridiculous that this happened, but I think the company should be allowed to do as it wishes, it should just have to pay the piper when those actions lead to bad consequences. SHOULD the company pay executives reasonably and put more effort into preserving jobs? Yep. MUST they? Meh. No one is OWED a job by this company.

      Before you say I just want rich people to get richer at the expense of the workers (in the words of Charlie, “oy, vey”), think about what I mean (SHOULD vs MUST).

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        One must also realize that if it were not for government intervention, Citigroup would have ceased to exist, or at least have been forced to go through bankruptcy, and the idiot Pandit would most likely himself been out of a job. It was government intervention which allowed Citigroup to continue to exist, and morons like Pandit to continue to make these windfalls (taken directly out of “TARP” money – i.e. your pocket and mine) and used to prop up a failed company.

        Hooray for those of you who are FOR massive government intervention! Your faith in government has further enriched this idiot, and YOU are indirectly responsible for his ability to lay off another ~5000 people or so! Yippee!

        Now yes, if Citigroup HAD gone bankrupt, many more people probably would have lost their jobs, but the economy would have probably been well on its way back to recovered by now had we NOT had massive government intervention, and the employment picture would probably look a lot brighter by now instead of taking many many years to recover, as even Obama recently admitted was very likely the current case.

        So, be careful what you wish for. Massive government created massive corporations. Massive government intervention propped up the massive corporations which massive government deemed “too big to fail” and now those of you who supported both the massive government and the massive intervention of massive government are complaining about the results….

        • Mathius™ says:

          If it were not for government intervention, Citigroup would […] at least have been forced to go through bankruptcy Nope, that’s still government intervention. In fact, what would have happened is that they would have laid off everyone, lost all their investor’s money, paid off some bond-holders, then shafted everyone else.

          Then, because some of those stake holders who were wiped out were other banks, they, too, would suddenly find themselves insolvent. However, because the government is staying out of it, there is no insurance on deposit insurance, so when they go bankrupt as well (firing all their employees), they also wipe out everyone’s life savings.

          YOU are indirectly responsible for his ability to lay off another ~5000 people or so! Yippee! Well yes, because they would have all been fired when it collapsed.

          “too big to fail” I’m not sure I believe anyone is too big to fail.. but maybe fail is the wrong word. They should be unwound or restructured. It should, essentially be an extended version of bankruptcy court where the objective is both to protect the creditors AND, if necessary, to dissolve a corporation in a way that is the least impactful to the economy.

          So, Citi doesn’t have the money, they enter bankruptcy court and are unwound sloooowwwwly, or they are restructured with private loans like any other bankruptcy. Either way, I’m not really in favor of the govt just handing out fists full of dollars in exchange for worthless assets or propping up failed companies – not only does it send the wrong message, but it doesn’t necessarily even work.

          That said, I think your view of government intervention is the problem is, if not completely wrong in this case, at least lopsided. You ignore the good done by government intervention while considering all the bad. Take them both into account and maybe the net is negative, maybe positive, but it’s probably not as one-sidedly awful as you make it out to be.

  36. @ Charlie and Todd……….I might add…..want to keep jobs here? You had better compete globally……the global market is much cheaper. China has NO corporate income tax…..and you wonder why everyone goes there? Or do you advocate a WORLD authority? But you can’t do that…you just created another one percent. China has slave labor, which you claim to abhor,,,,,so does India…..so does Sri Lanka….etc…….They ignore pollution issues, child labor issues, women’s rights….etc……They subsidize the very things that you want. So…you asked the question…..where does it stop…..it stops with the biggest kid on the block.

    • want to keep jobs here? You had better compete globally……the global market is much cheaper.

      From Pluto, Sir … I’ve lost 2 jobs to the “global economy” aka outsourcing. We’re a third world country because of it … keep that freedom ringing, fellas … we’ll have an out in the street revolution soon enough.

      • So you agree… ?

      • In Islamic law there is provision that any government is better than chaos. The persecution of the hijab for Muslims is chaos. Some see a bigger issue here. For them, the ban on the hijab is encroaching on Islam. If this happens, Muslims, like all religious people, are obliged to defend their faith. The extreme form of such protection is jihad, an act of faith as a holy war. Muslims do not wish such a turn of events. Radical Islamists, covering themselves with the camouflage of hijab, can once again shed blood of innocent people.

      • Oops…..a strange post…..to answer your statement though……..My point was……outsourcing is a direct effect of taxing. Eliminate the corporate income tax….you eliminate the outsourcing. Want to eliminate China? Quit buying their products.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Its just sad, really.

      • You two guys are among the most intellectually incomprehensible people on this forum.

        You have no problem using violence to force people to agree to your whimsical and bizarre Progressive beliefs.

        You have serious problems with free men making their own decisions about their whimsical and bizarre beliefs while not being violent about it at all

        Good for Lowe using their non-violent power to reinforce their own moral standards.

        I use my own non-violent power to reinforce my own moral standards – which are probably different then Lowe’s.

        But as long as we are both free from you two, we are able to freely choose which standard we wish to hold.

        The moment you two become dominant, we all lose our freedom.

        • Good for Lowe using their non-violent power to reinforce their own moral standards on making a profit, not on making political statements.

        • I’m not judging the tactic. I’m judging the beliefs/biases/attitude/ignorance/intolerance behind the decision to employ that tactic.

          The television show centers around American Muslims to show that they are humans like you and me, and that they are not all American-hating Jihading terrorists. The point of the show is to understand a religious people which is demonized and feared, largely because they are so poorly understood. The show is about spreading tolerance and understanding. (“See? Muslims are just like you. They have jobs and families and soccer practice, just like you. So what if they face Mecca when they pray?”)

          And the FFA was so bigoted that they launched a campaign to drive away sponsors and (presumably) get the show canceled. Their “moral standard” is that they fear and hate an entire demographic and do not want anyone to gain a humanizing perspective on them because that would make it harder to paint the world’s 2.2 BILLION Muslims with the same brush as towel-headed savages who “hate us for our freedoms.”

          That is what I find to be worthy of scorn.

          Now, what say you, Mr. Flag?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          BF,

          Please see Mathius’ response to you immediately above. Nowhere did either of us decry the tactic employed by Lowes (nor the FFA) in opposing the show. The issue we both have is with the bigotry and ignorance Lowes (and FFA) have displayed.

          I for one support Lowes’ “non-violent tactic”, and wholeheartedly support the work of others to boycott Lowes for their (bigoted) decision.

          • Excuse me, but Lowe’s did not employ a tactic except trying to avoid controversy.

            Something it has consistently done in response to other “left wing” efforts to boycott its stores, along with Home Depot.

            I can understand your disdain for FFA but not Lowe’s.

            • I have some disdain for Lowe’s for bowing to bigotry. I don’t really fault them for trying to duck a controversy, and I certainly recognize that their ultimate goal is to operate a successful business, but still, I feel that a major companies should – should, not must – take a moral stance against certain things. Bigotry is one of those things that should always be fought against.

              If the klan or neo-nazis pulled this kind of campaign, I think Lowe’s would probably tell them to go boil their heads, so why does it duck the issue when it’s against Muslims?

              So, to summarize, I don’t fault Lowe’s. But I am slightly disappointed and would have preferred that they grew a spine.

              Meanwhile, the FFA are a bunch of bigots who deserve nothing but scorn (for their message, not their tactics).

          • You are, of course,, talking about the same bigotry that eliminates the Nativity Scenes from private and public property? The same bigotry that takes away “Merry Christmas” and replaces it with “Happy Holidays”? In the name of “tolerance”? The same bigotry that says “Easter” is to be changed to “Spring Soltace”? The same bigotry that boycotts stores with Christmas displays depicting any form of Christianity? That bigotry?

            Interesting.

            • Perhaps it is a backlash?

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Colonel, methinks you need some coffee this morning!

              It is not eliminating the Nativity Scene; it is a request for the insertion of a Menorah. It is not eliminating the phrase ‘Merry Christmas’; it is a request for recognition that not all celebrate Christmas. It is a request that in the public sphere, the government (local / state / federal / whatever) does not spend our tax dollars to raise one religion over any other. It is about inclusion of all.

              Here, it is all about maintaining the narrative Muslim = Terrorist. Did you see the Daily Show last night? Stewart did a marvelous job (as always) of addressing this issue. He showed an interview of one of the leaders of the FFA arguing that the show in question is controversial because it fails to depict the average Muslim as a Jihadist Terrorist; that the show fails to demonstrate the threat Muslims pose. This is bigotry. Requesting a “Happy Holidays” is not bigotry, it is courtesy.

              • Nice lawyerly answer, my friend. You know I do not drink coffee….nor kool aid….but I won my bet. I have a very good friend that reads this blog although he does not participate….in writing in it…..I almost quoted you verbatim….lol.

                It is more politically correct bull crap……but what the hell…it is what the left does. What is apparent to me…..in this politically charged atmosphere, is that we are dropping things in the name of tolerance. I see the elimination of traditions…….Requesting Happy Holidays is not a courtesy……it is a demanded change. Now understand, that I do not profess to be a “christian” at all…..so this Christian Holiday does not mean much to me. You do like what Lowes did and you call it bigotry……I do not like what K mart or the other stores have done in eliminating our tradition of Christmas. Hell, you cannot even give out Valentines at schools anymore…

                I do not give a hoot in hell about Muslims…..I do not care if they live or die…..it is not about the Muslims…..it is about claiming bigotry on one hand and justifying it on the other hand. I have been somewhat tolerant of the issue of double standards and try not to do that….however, I am human, although some think not, and I am beginning to see a double standard and this Kumbayah approach that, quite frankly, I cannot support. You call it a request, I call it a demand. You call a request for insertion of whatever it is at the expense of the other side. But, ok, I understand your approach.

                Sorry, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck……it is a damned duck. It is NOT water fowl.

      • What’s your point?

        • In the trailer, they were shown dancing, women with their faces uncovered. Grounds for sever punishment in most Muslim countries. I have no issue with American Muslims, but think Muslims in other countries would still have an issue with them, just as they would with me. And maybe pushing their culture this way is a good thing. For myself, no way I could watch that any more than I could sit thru Snookie & Co.

          • Grounds for sever punishment in most Muslim countries. ::throws challenge flag::

            And even while you’re busy fact-checking that nonsense, I’m going to point out a simple fact, for the 457th time. Sharia law, as implemented in the countries you’re thinking of, is cultural, not religious. There is nothing in the Koran that requires a women to wear a burqa. There is nothing that says a woman cannot drive a car. There is nothing that says a woman is property of her husband. Et cetera. These are simply not justified in the scripture. Period. Not there. They are made up and enforced under the guise of being the “will of Allah” as interpreted by MALE clerics in misogynistic societies, enforced by male rulers, male judges, male police, and patriarchal families. All societal.

            Here’s a fact: The Koran specifically mandates that a man treat his wife with respect. The Koran specifically gives women rights.

            • Egypt is again proving to be an unwelcoming place for female reporters.

              In the wake of massive protests against Egypt’s military rulers, the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders reports that at least two female journalists have been sexually assaulted.

              On Friday the group reported that Caroline Sinz, a French reporter for public TV station France 3, was sexually assaulted Thursday in Cairo while covering the protests.

              Sinz described her ordeal to Agence France-Presse, explaining that she was separated from her cameraman Salah Agrabi and attacked by local men.

              “We were then assaulted by a crowd of men. I was beaten by a group of youngsters and adults who tore my clothes,” she said.

              Sinz explained that she was assaulted in a way that “would be considered rape,” adding that “[s]ome people tried to help me but failed. I was lynched. It lasted three quarters of an hour before I was taken out. I thought I was going to die.”

              Her cameraman was also beaten, according to the report.

              On Wednesday Egyptian-American journalist Mona Al-Tahtawy reported that she was sexually assaulted by the Central Security Forces after being arrested at Mohamed Mahmoud Street.

              Upon her release she described a brutal 12-hour sexual assault by security personnel.

              “5 or 6 surrounded me, groped and prodded my breasts, grabbed my genital area and I lost count how many hands tried to get into my trousers,” she said,

              Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/11/25/more-female-journalists-sexually-assaulted-in-egypt/#ixzz1gREqiJ4Z

            • The principle behind the burqa is that it is clothing that maintains personal modesty. Clothing that is worn as recommended by the Qur’an is called Hijab. In certain portions of the Qur’an, Allah’s words as stated by Muhammad are that women should cover their “beauties”: their chests, hair, legs, and arms. These should only be viewed by husbands and family. Not all Islamic scholars feel that these passages describing Hijab mean the same thing.

              Some Muslim women feel that the command is kept by covering the hair only by wearing a headscarf called Khimar. Others may wear a headscarf and veil, called the Niqab. Some wear the Chador, which is very similar in construction to the Burqa. Others feel that no women should have their clothing dictated to them by an oppressive “male led” government. However, dressing modestly is usually a large part of following Islamic law for Hijab. Modest dress is imparted upon men as well.

              Some countries with large Muslim immigrant populations have tried to outlaw the Niqab. This has often led to protests by women, who feel that covering the body or the face is a direct commandment from Allah. The Burqa is not worn much outside the three countries listed, but some women feel a sense of freedom wearing the burqa that they would not have otherwise. They cite that they don’t have to be concerned with personal appearance when they need to run quick errands. They don’t have to worry about being scrutinized or getting unwanted attention from men. Their personal expressions, except for in the eyes are hidden which can also promote better bargaining at certain shops.

              • Hijab for the believers is as mandatory as a prayer and help to the disadvantaged. It suffices to quote one verse of the Quran: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allâh is Ever Forgiving, Most Merciful. “(33:59).

    • OTTAWA — Canada became the first country to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, saying the pact on cutting carbon emissions was preventing the world from effectively tackling climate change.

      “We are invoking Canada’s legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto,” Environment Minister Peter Kent said following a marathon UN climate conference in South Africa, at which nations agreed to a new roadmap for worldwide action.

      The landmark pact reached in 1997 is the only global treaty that sets down targeted curbs in global emissions.

      But those curbs apply only to rich countries, excluding the United States, which has refused to ratify the accord.

      “Kyoto is not the path forward for a global solution to climate change,” Kent said. “If anything, it’s an impediment.

      “We believe that a new agreement with legally binding commitments for all major emitters that allows us as a country to continue to generate jobs and economic growth represents the path forward.”

      Canada agreed under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce CO2 emissions to 6.0 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, but its emissions of the gases blamed for damaging Earth’s fragile climate system have instead increased sharply.

      Saying the targets agreed to by a previous Liberal administration were unattainable, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government last year unveiled its own measures aimed at curbing emissions, in line with US efforts.

      Pulling out of Kyoto now allows Canada to avoid paying penalties of up to CAN$14 billion (US$13.6 billion) for missing its targets.

      Kent also cited major impacts on Canada’s economy that will be avoided by withdrawing from the treaty.

      “Under Kyoto, Canada is facing radical and irresponsible choices if we’re to avoid punishing multi-billion-dollar payments,” Kent said, noting that Canada produces barely two percent of global emissions.

      “To meet the targets under Kyoto for 2012 would be the equivalent of either removing every car, truck, ATV, tractor, ambulance, police car, and vehicle of every kind from Canadian roads or closing down the entire farming and agricultural sector and cutting heat to every home, office, hospital, factory, and building in Canada.”

      • LOI

        I have seen an immediate reaction here.

        The Canadian Geese all seem to have gone on STRIKE this morning.

        They are huddled in large crowds, milling around in the park and on the golf course. Seems they are refusing to fly or swim around in the ponds. Just huddled together Squawking about the Canadian Govt’s refusal to address the COLD WEATHER.

        • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

          JAC

          Leave the geese alone….they are thoroughly confused, it is Dec. 13th and there is liquid water in Northern Ontario!

          I can go outside in a T-shirt right now (Mathius would require 3 layers of clothing and a Parka though)!

          Hmmmmm….maybe, just MAYBE, the Al-gorians were right 😉

          This weather is scaring people in my neck of the woods, some sort of sign of the Apocalypse or something.

          • Caribou,

            They don’t make clothing warm enough for me to be caught dead in Northern Ontario in the middle of summer, let alone December 13th.

            However, if the entire planet heats up to 115, D13 and I will be the only ones lounging around comfortably while the rest of you lock yourselves indoors with the air conditioning on full blast.

            Meanwhile, you’re a cold weather type – I love my jacket, but it’s about had it. In your humble opinion (I think I asked this already, but forgot, so forgive the repeat), what is the warmest jacket in existence. Let’s pretend you were going on a vacation and also that you were nuts, so you wanted to travel to the northern Yukon in January – what would you wear?

            • My uncle was a mountain climber – the big ones. He died in an accident while training for Everest, but his training partner and Sherpa made the summit one year later along with his ashes.

              He wore North Face gear before North Face was mainstream. I’d go with that. Underneath I’d go with UA.

            • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

              Mathius,

              Easy answer…check out:
              http://www.kanuk.com/ang/02_hommes/02_09_longs.html

              The “Inuit” long coat is stylish, incredibly warm, *&^$ing expensive, and I used one (along with snow pants) to collect samples in the Northwest Territories in February. (A place and time even Navy Seals would refuse to go)

              Canadian certified good winter coat. And, yes, I have been nuts enough to go where the only place colder was the Antarctic in June (or so). -69 degrees Celsium with windchill is a LITTLE uncomfortable for even us canadians.

              • Mathius™ says:

                I’m sorry, I’m American – we use Fahrenheit in these parts.

                Thanks for the tip on the coat. I’ll take a look.

          • DCU

            Heh, heh, heh, WE SHOOT and EAT the Canadians down here, don’t ya know.

            Well if you got water and we got ice, I can see why they are on strike this morning. Total confusion.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Don’t worry about the Algorians being right – they weren’t.

            Sure, “your” weather (NOT your climate) has been unusually warm this fall, which was also true of a lot of the northern hemisphere… but the southern hemisphere and the oceans were unusually cold for the most part. The Globally Averaged UAH satellite-measured temperature for November was 0.033 degrees (C) above normal, DOWN from 0.11 degrees above normal in October.

            As of today, the GLOBAL sea ice total is only 0.3 million square kilometers below the 1979-2008 average, the closest it has been to average in quite a while. Northern hemisphere ice is 0.83 million sq. km below normal, but southern hemisphere ice is 0.52 million sq. km ABOVE normal for this date….

  37. European Central Bank Research Shows that Government Spending Undermines Economic Performance

    Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell

    Europe is in the midst of a fiscal crisis caused by too much government spending, yet many of the continent’s politicians want the European Central Bank to purchase the dodgy debt of reckless welfare states such as Spain, Italy, Greece, and Portugal in order to prop up these big government policies.

    So it’s especially noteworthy that economists at the European Central Bank have just produced a study showing that government spending is unambiguously harmful to economic performance. Here is a brief description of the key findings.

    …we analyse a wide set of 108 countries composed of both developed and emerging and developing countries, using a long time span running from 1970-2008, and employing different proxies for government size… Our results show a significant negative effect of the size of government on growth. …Interestingly, government consumption is consistently detrimental to output growth irrespective of the country sample considered (OECD, emerging and developing countries).

    There are two very interesting takeaways from this new research. First, the evidence shows that the problem is government spending, and that problem exists regardless of whether the budget is financed by taxes or borrowing. Unfortunately, too many supposedly conservative policy makers fail to grasp this key distinction and mistakenly focus on the symptom (deficits) rather than the underlying disease (big government).

    The second key takeaway is that Europe’s corrupt political elite is engaging in a classic case of Mitchell’s Law, which is when one bad government policy is used to justify another bad government policy. In this case, they undermined prosperity by recklessly increasing the burden of government spending, and they’re now using the resulting fiscal crisis as an excuse to promote inflationary monetary policy by the European Central Bank.

    The ECB study, by contrast, shows that the only good answer is to reduce the burden of the public sector. Moreover, the research also has a discussion of the growth-maximizing size of government.

    … economic progress is limited when government is zero percent of the economy (absence of rule of law, property rights, etc.), but also when it is closer to 100 percent (the law of diminishing returns operates in addition to, e.g., increased taxation required to finance the government’s growing burden – which has adverse effects on human economic behaviour, namely on consumption decisions).

    This may sound familiar, because it’s a description of the Rahn Curve, which is sort of the spending version of the Laffer Curve.

  38. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/8-2-kiloyear-event-and-you/

    A very interesting statistical analysis of temperatures over the past 12000 years or so, and what you can REALLY expect in the next 30 years or so (hint, it’s going to be VERY cold).

  39. Hee Hee 🙂

    From the Irony Department: Union Election Requires Photo ID
    Share
    10

    POSTED AT 9:17 AM ON DECEMBER 13, 2011 BY ROVIN
    PRINTER-FRIENDLY

    Tom Blumer at Newsbusters ran a story yesterday on a Politico report on the approval of the Machinists Union’s contract extension:

    On Wednesday, the Politico ran a story about the International Association of Machinists Union at Boeing agreeing to approve a contract extension, the result of which ultimately led to the National Labor Relations Board dropping its controversial decision to prevent the company from beginning to operate a mostly-constructed plant in South Carolina.

    Politico ran their story with this photo:

    “You really must look at the photo-a very big Sign” -VH

    With the liberal media, and the ACLU in full tilt rejection of voter ID requirements that will prevent voter fraud, is it just a bit ironic that Politico, and the rest of the liberal media missed pointing out that a “reputable” union has established the same requirements to protect the integrity of their voting process?

    http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2011/12/13/from-the-irony-department-union-election-requires-photo-id/

  40. I just talked to a women on the internet who lives in the Upper Peninsula north of Houghton. She said that since early this morning the snow is nearly waist high and is still falling. The temperature is dropping and is at about 15 degrees and the north wind is increasing to near gale force.
    Her husband has done nothing but look through the kitchen window and just stare.

    She said if it got much worse, she might have to let him in…

  41. Mathius™ says:

  42. Interesting……the IAEA has now publicly stated that Iran’s intentions are to acquire a nuclear weapon and have lied.

    Iran now threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz in a war game scenario to show that it can…I say……do it, Iran….Please……do it.

  43. Question: A Greek, an Italian and a Spaniard walk into a bar. Who picks up the tab?

    Answer: The Americans.

    …..if you thought this was a joke, review the recent economics in the EU……

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Flagster 🙂

      What do you see happening in the next year, economically, here?

      • Commodity prices will continue to fall as people pull back from purchases and save (or pay down debt).

        This pull back has a deflationary effect on prices – albeit temporary. It will be a buy opportunity for gold/silver.

        If you have not picked up some “nice to have” items that are durable, there will be good opportunities in the next 1st and 2nd quarter of 2012 to find cheap prices.

        The crisis in Europe will boil over – and the FED will intervene with a European version of QE1/QE2 – the situation will stabilize for about 1 year – but poor economic growth will be the best news.

        The EU will split into three major groups – those no longer in the EU (headed by UK), those still in the EU (headed by Germany) and a mini-EU (headed by Italy). This will not stop the erosion of the Euro – it will be gone by 2016 – BUT in the mean time, you can make a killing with the Euro right now – people are dumping it and going to US$, but the goods in Europe are still priced in Euro. The arbitrage on goods priced in Euro, but exchanged for US$ is very favorable.

        After the election +/- 4 months – after the first 100 days – the first strong tinge of inflation will roll across the globe in a sudden surge in oil prices. Other commodities and goods will lag behind this wave in price increases.

        The question will be what the FED will do – continue to fund $10 trillion in global national debt or stop writing the checks. They will walk a tight rope – I do not know how good or how much risk they are willing to engage.

        If another major war breaks out – such as with Pakistan or Iran – all bets are off.

        But I could be completely wrong, too.

        • I’m thinking of busting out some PMs for rental property..This would still leave me with some cash but I haven’t had credit in over 20 yrs so a loan is probably outta the question. I could get 2 local homes for my PMs..Yes..NO?

  44. gmanfortruth says:

    I have been absent as of late, filling the freezer and stocking the shelves, but I haven’t lost my desire to fight!

    http://gmanfortruth.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/congress-declares-war-on-us/

  45. This is the complete refutation of Charlie and the rich

  46. gmanfortruth says:

    This is a recent statement by one of our elected officials in D.C. I will leave the name out and focus on the statement. What do you think of it?

    “It is not unfair to make an American citizen account for the fact that they decided to help Al Qaeda to kill us all and hold them as long as it takes to find intelligence about what may be coming next,” remarked $^&*#$%. “And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.’”

  47. Doe anyone think our government might “cook” numbers, just a little?

    http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/17679

    • LOI

      While the Govt has been known to cook a little as you say, I want to point out that the Govt numbers actually exceed this guys estimate if you use all the Govt numbers that would make the sample comparable.

      His method uses a full employment trend of the entire workforce. So if you take the Govt survey data that includes those who are no longer looking but would like to work, you get over 15%.

      This is one method, the Govt survey is another method. Neither is ACCURATE, in that neither portrays the EXACT number. They are not comparable. That is you can’t use one to say the other is false.

      But in either case, it is NOT 8.6%. What is not discussed in the PRESS is that the monthly and quarterly numbers are adjusted during later periods. Lately the adjustments have all been UP from the initial numbers. So it will be interesting to see what the adjusted numbers look like in a month or two.

  48. Mickey Mouse is alive and mad as ‘ell in Wisconsin.

    http://www.wisn.com/politics/29987729/detail.html#ixzz1gVsy6F80

    • Can you believe the idiocy in this state? I have signed up to be a signature verifier come January when petitions are due. My understanding is that as long as someone issues a complaint, ie, “line 102,000 says Mickey Mouse” GAB will have to further review it. I have a feeling I will be lodging a lot of complaints.

      One guy on TV was bragging he signed his name 80 times; another said she downloaded petitions and went through her phone book and wrote names/addresses and filled several sheets. I’m guessing having lots of signatures in one handwriting will also be a common complaint.

      The ethics of these petitioners is non-existent. I’m so sick of it. Sometimes wish the union would just have to deal with cuts and be done with it. See what is happening in Ohio due to their following the Union propaganda and still having to deal with state’s poor financial shape.

    • LOI and the rest of SUFA

      Within the article LOI posted is a very important statement. One that is revealing of the key issue raised by we Radical Right Wing Liberals often. Ponder its meaning in its entirety.

      “The board unanimously approved the board’s plan for reviewing the petitions.”

  49. From above:

    Charlie Stella says:
    December 14, 2011 at 7:20 am
    Right, Peter … the north should have let the south continue with Slavery. At least you would have been happy …
    You’re an amazing guy …

    Charlie I know this is a lost cause but I just can’t let this die on the vine. First let’s get the slavery issue out of the way. Slavery is/was wrong, it is/was vile and I have no support for it. It was instituted by the 3 governments that controlled early America, England, France and Spain. By and large in the beginning it was GOVERNMENT sponsored. Next most say that the direct cause for the Civil War was the issue of slavery; it was part of the reason but far from the only reason. If it was only about slavery why then did the over 100 thousand slaves held in the Northern States not freed when the first shots of the war were fired? Why were they not freed when the emancipation proclamation was signed into law, why did they have to wait until after the war for their freedom? Many countries of the 19th century ended slavery without bloodshed and it could have happened here without the military invasion by the Federal Government on its own citizens.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Until Charlie learns to be an adult instead of a little child, and argue the point I actually made, rather than some twisted bizarre point which he either (A) wanted me to have made, (B) thinks I was making even though it is clear to any rational adult that I wasn’t, or (C) a point which he completely made up, he isn’t even worth responding to.

      I would be happy to debate him, if he learned the abilities to understand the point being made, and actually debate based on the point being made. Right now, in order to debate him, I have to refute what he said, which is based on something I DIDN’T say, and then go on from there, at which point he resumes the debate on something ELSE I DID NOT SAY, and the whole process starts over.

      For example, all I said was that government intervention STARTED the Civil War, which is a COMPLETELY ACCURATE STATEMENT, and he twists it into some complete utter inaccurate bullshit that I would have been happy had slavery not ended. You see, he is completely incapable of trying to find a way that slavery could have ended without the government intervention or the massive use of force, and is also incapable of reasoning out what my point was in the first place.

      Complete waste of time.

      • Peter

        I think it is more insidious than that. He is not the only one I have seen, or heard, use the slavery and native American meme to denigrate our “Founders” and/or the “Constitution.

        You see it isn’t that they need to show govt was required. They need to show that our heritage is evil and therefore should be abandoned for their “enlightened” concept of “utopia”.

        In order to get Americans to abandon our core values you must make Americans feel guilty about those values. You must “destroy” the values themselves. One method we have talked about is changing the meaning of words, like freedom itself. The other is to belittle and ridicule the values by connecting them to any shortcoming, regardless of historical context.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          JAC,

          That may be part of it also. Many people want us to believe that the United States is, was, and always has been “evil”. Where government has been involved, that is certainly true to a large degree, but that is because ANY government is AGAINST the core values of freedom, liberty, self-determination, and self-reliance.

          Unfortunately, many seek to completely abandon freedom, liberty, self-determination and self-reliance, and replace these things with values that are ACTUALLY evil at their core.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        And by the way Charlie, sorry if that post sounded insulting, but you have to realize that when you take what someone says, twist it into something hideously awful which they IN NO WAY WHATSOEVER SAID, and then make them out to be “happy if slavery never ended” you pretty much went WAY OVER THE TOP in the insult department to begin with.

        ANYONE here who has read anything I have ever written is WELL AWARE that I am against slavery, regardless of the race(s) or people(s) being enslaved, and your comment to the contrary is baseless and defamatory. Seriously dude, learn to debate like an adult, and then I will be civil. Until then, I am just not gonna bother responding to you anymore when you make defamatory and insulting posts like that. It pisses me off, and then I tend to be insulting right back, which is not why any of us are here. Hopefully we are here to have a rational discussion, even if we disagree, and not to insult each other.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Amen Bama!

    • By the way, I heard on the news that there are more slaves worldwide now than ever in history. Just food for thought…

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Does that include at least 40% of “US Citizens” ??? (It probably should). Being completely dependent on government = being a slave.

        • I think your joking, but just in case…

          No, real slaves. If slavery was such a big deal to many people, why isn’t there massive outrage about this? There certainly should be!

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Not joking at all, dead serious. Complete and utter dependence on government for your food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities is slavery. We have many slaves in this country right now. The only real difference is these slaves are forced to NOT work, as opposed to being forced TO work.

        • What would you call it when someone decides where you live, what you can buy and how much money you are given? Sounds like slavery to me. Beholden to the master = beholden to government.

          Not much outrage because the liberal faction views it as being generous instead of being a master.

  50. Hey Matt, Plainly and anyone else of course. Read this today-think it goes along with our discussions about using the word illegals.

    December 14, 2011
    Democrats Follow Obama Down the Low Road
    By Karin McQuillan

    It is not good for our country when a president of the United States singles out one group and tries to get the public to blame that group for the terrible problems facing us. Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on much politically. These days, we can’t even agree on the basic proposition that scapegoating is destructive. Scapegoating tears a country apart. It distracts us with false solutions when we are facing an economic emergency and have no time to waste. And it raises the specter of violence — actual physical violence, with businesses destroyed and people hurt and killed. Yet Democrats applaud President Obama’s scapegoating rhetoric.
    On a recent visit to the East Coast, I was told by dear friends and relatives who know I’m a Tea Party Republican that Republicans are selfish (three times), moronic (four times), crazy (once), and racist (twice). I witnessed friends and family scared about lost jobs, failing businesses, losing their homes, their retirement money, friends with college grads who can’t get a job and are living at home. Every day of my visit, I witnessed these people who are so dear to me rant on and on, faces contorted with angry enthusiasm, against “The Rich.”
    What if instead of “The Rich,” we called them the Jews, or the lawyers, or the bourgeoisie? Why is it so comfortable to blame one group of citizens for our enormous and complex problems when we call them The Rich? Scapegoating is evil, whatever the group targeted. This is a form of hate-mongering Republicans can’t stop — Democrats have to speak out and stop it.
    It is not politics as usual. It has never existed in our lifetimes in America. Why are Democrats cheering the president on instead of saying, no, this is not okay, even if it plays well in the polls? We are not going to scapegoat a class of people for the country’s problems. We don’t target anger on groups of fellow citizens in America.
    Here is another reason why Democrats should care. A leader scapegoats for one purpose: to deflect public attention away from how the public is being screwed by said leader. Our federal government is spending at a rate the country cannot afford. Obama wants his followers to think we can afford it, if only the top 1% of earners would give a little bit more. This is a lie. It may be a comfortable lie for Democrats, but it is one that none of us can afford to believe.
    One liberal friend told me that she can’t stand hearing any more about our debt-to-GDP ratio. None of us can stand hearing about it. It is terrifying. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the federal debt will rise to 101% of GDP in ten years. That’s Greece territory.
    The Rich don’t have enough money to pay for $4,000,000,000,000 (that’s trillions) a year in government spending — not even if the government confiscated 100% of their income every year. Yes, that is every penny they earn.
    Democrats could vote to take every penny of the income of families who make $100,000, and it still doesn’t pay for our yearly federal budget. Why? They earn only $3.4 trillion in taxable income. Our president has spent $3.6 trillion this year, we are in debt for 15 trillion, and the looming Social Security deficit is over $50 billion this year — and $500 billion in a decade (again via the CBO). And still the Democrats are asking for more. The money isn’t there.
    Either our government — that means both parties — faces reality and makes actual spending cuts, or we are finished as a prosperous nation. If we don’t curb our spending, our economy will sink into something that made the Depression look like child’s play.
    Note that this disaster is completely bipartisan. The ballooning federal government has been created over decades by Republican and Democrat presidents and Congresses. There are big forces of history at play — to name two of the biggest, longer lives and medical miracles are bankrupting Social Security, and China’s unfair trade practices have gutted our industrial sector. Democrats and Republicans have failed to cope with these challenges.
    The long-term problems aren’t Obama’s personal creation. But he and his loyal base are responsible for how they choose to meet these challenges. The summer debate on raising the debt ceiling focused the public’s attention for the first time on where we stand: right at the edge of the abyss. Everyone is scared. Fear gives rise to anger. Obama’s poll numbers plummeted. This is when scapegoating became the policy of choice for Democrats.
    Obama’s pollsters told him that his chance of being re-elected on his record was zero. But they had good news for him: Obama didn’t have to do anything as hard as tackling our economic problems. He didn’t have to pivot to the middle and find bipartisan solutions as Bill Clinton did. Obama didn’t need to change his budget proposal, which still calls for increased spending. He didn’t need to respect the Tea Party’s grassroots demand for budget responsibility. All he had to do was make speeches about how the rich are too greedy to pay their fair share.
    So that’s what we’ve had since the Martha’s Vineyard vacation: three months of nonstop Blame Game. It’s gone on and on because Obama’s loyal followers like it. They think it’s strong leadership.
    Obama was advised to scare people about Social Security, make them think Republicans are greedy, evil, moronic, “you’re on your own” extremists. The liberal media and pundits are working overtime on the same message. They are thrilled that Obama has changed the topic from the need to lower government spending to the unfairness of income inequality. Of course, Obama promises Democrats that he will raise taxes on only Other People, the undeserving millionaires and billionaires. No one has to do anything hard — the millionaires and billionaires will pay for it all. Nothing has to be cut. Nothing has to change.
    I can’t help but smile as I write this. Obama’s ploy is so childish, even ridiculous — and yet it works! I heard each and every talking point coming out of my liberal friends’ mouths. This is the power of leadership. My smile doesn’t last. It hurt me to see a friend’s love for her handicapped child abused, turned into gut-wrenching fear of Republicans — and then to see her gentle face all blurry and distorted with anger, a few inches from mine, as she yells into my face that Republicans want to abandon her child because we’re not willing to pay taxes. In that moment, the potential violence of the OWS crowd became chillingly real.
    We are getting toxic leadership from this White House. Obama doesn’t have the power to destroy my old friendship. But he does have the power to destroy our country. Only Democrats can stop him.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/12/democrats_follow_obama_down_the_low_road.html#ixzz1gWchECj0

  51. All commodities, including gold/silver – have dropped dramatically.

    This is a temporary condition and a buying opportunity.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      Do you look for this condition to last a few months (or perhaps even more)? It seems to me that “phantom dollar strength” as the Euro continues the downward spiral, might continue for a while, giving us maybe 6-12 months of extended “buying opportunity” but I am basing that on personal, gut-level analysis and nothing else at the moment. What do you think? You study economics a lot more thoroughly than I do 🙂

      • Peter,

        Do you look for this condition to last a few months (or perhaps even more)? It seems to me that “phantom dollar strength” as the Euro continues the downward spiral, might continue for a while, giving us maybe 6-12 months of extended “buying opportunity” but I am basing that on personal, gut-level analysis and nothing else at the moment. What do you think? You study economics a lot more thoroughly than I do 🙂

        Unfortunately, my forecasts rarely have a time scale – only “probable/eventual/possible” – could be only a day, could be 24 months.

        Humans are resilient.
        Humans are frail.

        The paradox makes predicting humans difficult.

        My feeling is that it will continue for a few months.

        This broad-based drop in commodity prices (and stock market) is probably due in most part to the sudden re-capitalization of Euro-banks by the global bank cartel last week.

        Euro’s are being cashed in, and US$ being stashed – reducing the immediate money supply. This has a deflationary impact, so prices drop – first in the commodities, then eventually to the durable goods.

        However, the major fundamental is the huge increase in latent money supply – those Euro’s will be used to prop up the PIIGS, and more US$ will eventually flood back – so the long term outlook remains steeply inflationary.

        Hence, buying opportunity.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I agree. I think “a few months” may well last until the next US “general election” if the Fed can finagle it that way though 🙂 They are rapidly running out of finagle-power though.

      • In Little Rock today, the paper reported the theft of a fifty ton transformer. The thieves had special tools and knowledge to dump the insulating fluid and make off with it. Just got this email:
        “reported the theft of catalytic converters from their facilities in the Elkhart, IN area, close to 100 have been reported stolen to date. Although this has been more common in the retail market at public garages & commuter parking areas, it’s recently been on the rise at modifiers, auction yards & dealer lots.

        Law enforcement has estimated that bolt on units average 2 to 4 minutes for removal; welded units take approximately 6 to 10 minutes with battery powered reciprocating saws.

        They can be sold as a used replacement part to unscrupulous muffler shops or sold to salvage yards for their precious metals. The catalytic converters contain platinum-group metals that are used in the manufacturing of electronics, as well as jewelry, glass, and medical and dental equipment. The small amount of platinum used in the converters is now trading for about $1,200 an ounce on the open market, making it a profitable item for scrap yard sales. Platinum, worth about $900 per ounce a year ago, is now $1,250 per ounce. Palladium, $200 per ounce a year ago, now sells for $322 per ounce. The price of rhodium soared from $1,900 per ounce a year ago to about $4,000 per ounce. ”

        I think there has been an increase in copper/scrap thefts and it in an economic indicator. This long recession has had a tremendous impact on the poor. If/when the Euro fails, it will get much worse. When buying, don’t forget that other precious metal, lead.

  52. gmanfortruth says:

    Temporary work will be available soon in every state. The big question is, WHY?

    http://static.infowars.com/2011/12/i/general/kbr-doc.pdf

  53. In case I haven’t offended anyone lately…

    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/82069490/

  54. John Stossel had a great show last week. It was an hour of interviews with those evil corporate leaders. I urge everyone to try and watch all the segments from the Dec 9th show. It was actually aired on Fox Business channel on Thursday, Dec 8th.

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/stossel/index.html

  55. Another interview to look for in the coming days.

    On Judge Napolitano’s show last night, Freedom Watch, he interviewed Yaron Brook, from the Ayn Rand Institute. I could not find a copy on the net but maybe it will be out there in a few days.

    In a nutshell, Brook reinforced a few key points that I have made here many times, as well as one of BF’s favorites. Let me hit the hightlights.

    1. We are in deep trouble and Americans REALLY DO NOT want to solve the problem because most don’t understand it. And;

    2. NOBODY REALLY wants to cut Govt as much as needed, NOT EVEN THE TEA PARTY. Each group is fighting to save their piece of the pie and take someone else’ piece.

    3. No matter who is elected in 2012 they won’t make much of a difference. Not until most Americans change their views.

    4. Education is what is required, more than political activism, and it will take anywhere from 8 to 16 more years to have an effect. But….Brook sees a change occurring. “More Americans are waking up to understand what freedom really means.”

    5. This one I found very interesting. Brook could vote for Ron Paul, DESPITE his disagreement with Paul on his foreign policy positions. Especially as it relates to Israel.

    6. This one I found most interesting. Despite his stating the elections really won’t have a big impact he was emphatic that Mr. Obama must be defeated. If necessary he would vote for Gingrich to accomplish this. He feels that the current Administration and its support groups are a real danger. They could tip the balance before the education efforts could save us, was my read on it.

    But, I also wonder to what extent his support of Israel has in his judgment on Mr. Obama being a greater threat than Gingrich.

    Anyway, his thoughts did capture the bigger point made here often. That MOST Americans are not on board with the “Traditional” Freedom, Liberty, Justice notion. They all want to save their free cookies. It will take time to wake enough folks up to make a difference. Meanwhile, make political decisions that will allow us to tread water or make slight movement in the RIGHT direction.

    So just as it was almost a century ago. We come to a time when someone like Mr. Gingrich looks like a right winger when standing next to someone like Mr. Obama.

  56. @ Buck……down here, my friend. I do not see very many shades of gray…….it is like the border…..You do not see an illegal immigrant….you see a man that wants work. I see a violation of law. When an illegal kills a cow from a ranchers 5,000 head ranch…..you see a man feeding his family……I see a man that just committed theft. But I guess that is the way it is going to be in this country…and that is ok. You are at least consistent and that is cool.

    Have a great day, counselor…..I will be going after bad guys again in a day or two. (Bad guys = human traffickers, drug runners, gun runners, and illegals) I show little to know mercy on the human traffickers, drug runners, and gun runners…..I show very little tolerance on the illegals but I do not mistreat them. As to the others…….well…….we shall leave that alone. Justice on the border is swift and often times brutal.

  57. BF’s (aka Scrooge) take on Christmas…..

    The Nazarene was not born in December.

    Christmas is a Catholic strategy of encompassing other cultures celebrations and re-framing it – the easiest way to claim converts is by merely changing the reason they celebrate.

    The Celebration of the 25th of Dec is about the rebirth of the Sun, not the Son.
    It is the first day that men can notice the days stop getting shorter and start getting longer.

    The Christmas tree is Druid religious symbol.

    Flying Reindeer is from Nordic, non-christian religions.

    There is nothing about the 25th that has anything to do with the Nazarene – not…one…thing.

    ….other then deception perpetrated since 361 AD.

    • Shame on you…..you left out crass commercialism.

      • Common Man says:

        Colonel Sir;

        USW sent you my email relative to our discussion about helping to eradicate some of those pesky fur bear’en critters down your way. Would love to email you off line about this. So could you let USW know it is OK for him to send me your email address.

        CM

    • Mathius™ says:

      ::stifles another nose bleed::

      But hey, as the token Jew of SUFA, I feel obligated to point out that Jesus was the most influential Jew in history. 🙂

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      I was raised a Cathaholic… err… I mean Catholic, and even in my youth the church freely admitted it choose a time near the winter solstice to (A) appease pagan converts, and (B) give the masses something to celebrate in the dead of winter instead of lingering over the fact that they were cold, oppressed, sick, and starving. They also admitted the date had nothing to do with the actual birth-date of Christ. They did not give the exact date of this decision as 361 AD, but that wouldn’t surprise me in the least. But at any rate, I heard most of this in church from a Catholic Priest in the mid-1970s. As far as I am concerned, your story is SOOOO 35 years ago….

      lol 🙂

      • Peter,

        Just reminding those that yell “Keep Christ in Christmas” that there is no Christ in Christmas to keep!

        I say, Keep the “Druids in Druidmass”!

        • You sound very much like a friend of mine, who is on ‘our’ side politically, but constantly compares biblical messages to today’s politics. He is certain we are near the end times. He has no formal religion but volumes and volumes of books, bible, Koran, concordances, etc and he studies them all the time. Have you ever heard of Herbert W. Armstrong? Not looking for a religious discussion, just curious if you’ve ever heard or followed Armstrong?

    • The mighty in-law battle of 2011 peeked before Thanksgiving when mother in law and (separated) father in law expected us to be at their house on Thanksgiving. After realizing that based on who was going to be in town when, that it would benefit one family on Thursday and the other on Friday, each refused to listen to the point that the actual date doesn’t matter, because it is only a symbol.

      Instead of putting up with that nonsense this month we are just going to my parents.

  58. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://www.kitco.com/ind/Nathan/dec092011A.html

    BF et al. agree, disagree, some of both??

    • A lot to disagree with some agreement.

      Deflation … other then the temporary run current … nope. How can you have deflation when the governments of the world require $10 trillion of new money in 2012? (Remembering there is about $13 trillion in money in the whole world right now!)

      The Euro will evaporate but return in national currency. Where is the shrinking of the money supply? There is none. It is money conversion, not a retraction.

      Gold does not serve well in deflation – if you see deflation is the future, sell Gold soon.

      I am not selling, by the way.

      Economic downturns do NOT cause deflation. “Stagflation” anyone?

      Remember the root of inflation/deflation is the increase/shrinking of the money supply, by the economic mechanism of supply and demand. Watch that … not economic “activity”.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        As the EU disintegrates and the economy goes into a complete shambles, I could foresee another European War on the horizon, but I hope not. It is even conceivable that Germany, Britain, and France could all be on the same “side” this time if it happens….

  59. suicide by capitulation.

    It is a death brought on by succumbing to the wishes of another.

    Currently, we see this taking place as the West slowly bows the knee to the demands not only of jihadists and other Islamist factions, but also to those of Muslims in general.

    For example, in the United States there is a new White House strategy to battle homegrown terrorism, but which is predominately focused on training agents to fight terrorism “sensitively,” and to do so in a way that roots out “Islamophobia.” (“Islamophobia” is a descriptive which leftists use as a pejorative when trying to paint pro-Westerners as bigots, racists, etc.)

    Another example is the Obama administration’s support of the U.N.’s resolution 16/18 – a resolution ostensibly aimed at ridding the world of “religious defamation” but which is actually aimed at silencing those who are critical of any aspect of the Muslim faith. In other words, it creates a special sphere of protection for the countries with which Western nations may (and do) find themselves at war vis-à-vis terrorist attacks, kidnappings, beheadings, etc.

    Moreover, there is serious concern that once resolution 16/18 is fleshed out, it will “criminalize criticism of Islam.”

    Promoted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and fully supported by President Obama, the resolution is but one more aspect of the suicide Westerners are committing via their capitulation.

    Of course, there are other less explicit ways in which Westerners are slowly killing themselves and their culture in order to make nice with jihadists, Islamists, and Muslims of all kinds. For an example of this one need look no further than Montreal, Canada, where a nativity scene and menorah were removed from a town hall because Muslim’s were offended by it. (The nativity scene had been displayed for 15 consecutive Christmases.)

    And in a manner that seems to be almost anticipatory of Western culture’s death, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been openly critical of Israel, saying she fears for “the future of Israel’s democracy and the rights of women in the Jewish state.” All the while, women in many Muslim nations are being stoned to death, tortured, whipped, or otherwise punished because of the demands of Sharia law.

    Think about it this way: Israel is a Western state in the Middle East. Historically, it holds a place which is foundational to Western Civilization. Nevertheless, Clinton finds Israel’s socio-political structure worthy of criticism while she remains strangely silent about actual mistreatment of women throughout other parts of the Middle East.

    For example, I have yet to hear Clinton complain about the Saudi woman who was condemned of “committing adultery” when she was raped. (That’s right—condemned because raped.) Nor have I heard Clinton take up the cause of the Sudanese woman who was publicly whipped for wearing trousers under her normal Muslim garb.

  60. Anyone ever read about this in their US History classes? Charlie, tell us again how we need more government……

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2010/02/the_chemists_war.html?fb_ref=sm_fb_plugin_activity

    • The deaths, as investigators would shortly realize, came courtesy of the U.S. government.

      Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.

  61. Since there were several comments I wanted to make, I decided this would be the best way since my wife is listening to her online videos for her Masters course.

    @VH – Yes, the term “The Rich” can and is being used in the same manner as “illegals” at times. The use by some in their context is to stir up that same emotion to delegitimize/dehumanize a segment of people. Again, as I said originally, we are adults and know the difference of context when we hear it. I disagree with JAC, the term “illegals” is not used just to force accuracy only. Do I think that D13 was using the term derogatorily in his comment – nope. But it is used that way and denying it is some of the time is deluding oneself to the full truth.

    @D13 – Speaking of immigration yet again, you never did answer my question to you. If the feds passed law enacting open borders would Texas comply?

    @Charlie – Peter is correct; you completely twisted his statement. You do have, as you have decried of others for doing, a tendency of doing so. Peter showed the truth of the direction slavery was going in this nation. Slavery became great propaganda for fighting the South, yet I wonder how those legally enslaved in the five states of the Union felt about the issue while they were kept in bondage? The Emancipation Proclamation couldn’t pertain to those States since it carried no legal force (i.e. wasn’t a law implemented under the rules of the US Constitution). Government started the war and slavery had nothing to do with it.

    Further, I agree with JAC, that there is a more insidious reason for it all. The general railing against the Founders and the Constitution is wrong. There were problems with the Constitution (slavery for instance), yet you’re throwing out the baby with the bathwater when you fail to acknowledge the positives and motives of the Founders. I do not recall anyone here denying the wrongs and mistakes of the US Constitution and the Founders, so why must some here fail to acknowledge the positives?

    @Buck – “Requesting a “Happy Holidays” is not bigotry, it is courtesy.” No sir, I will strongly disagree. It is not a courtesy, it is a demand. A courtesy can be politely declined, which is unacceptable to those requesting the “courtesy.” Therefore it is a demand, subject to legal action to compel a certain behavior. I do get a bit tired of this “using tax dollars” argument against a Christian Nativity. If the majority of voters support the nativity scene then you lose. Many of us “lost” when it came to the passage of the ACA. If anything, bring it to a vote of the people within the jurisdiction – let them decide. After all, that is what democracy is all about isn’t it?

    @BF – Yeppers, you got that right about Christmas. And now Christmas has been usurped again and turned into more about the commercial aspects that the religious or pagan celebrations. If one wants to truly celebrate the Christian Christmas – don’t buy presents; don’t put up a tree (there wasn’t one in the manger); go to church and celebrate the misdated birth of Jesus Christ or just sit at home and watch some TV.

    It is also interesting to me that this is one aspect of the early Church that all Christian denominations accept and practice.

    @Peter – You must have attended one of those “liberal” Catholic churches? My parish priest would never say such to us (a “conservative” Catholic church of the Sixties). Just one of many, many reasons I am not Catholic today (Baptist would be closest to a defined denomination I could use).

    @JAC – I can agree with a lot of the points you recapped from Judge Napolitano’s show.

    @All – Muslims extremists have “won” one of their – probably unspoken – goals. They have created a general feeling among non-Muslims that all Muslims are evil. Muslims have become the new Jews to be rid of in society.

    • Mathius™ says:

      Muslims have become the new Jews to be rid of in society. PHEW!

      Does this mean Buck and I are off the hook? Are they going to let us join their country clubs now?

      • I didn’t mean you were off the hook, just sent to the back burner. They’ll let you in their clubs though (which is more than they’d do for this country boy) as long as you agree the the employment terms as a restroom attendant. 😉

        They don’t want us lesser beings doing more than waiting on them. 🙂 Danged those rich people!

      • Sure…come on down…we do not have a Jewish exclusion in our country club…and I belong to one of the most strict.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      “If the majority of voters support the nativity scene then you lose.”

      Plainlyspoken at the bat…fast ball straight down the center of the plate…and….SWING AND A MISS!

      The Constitution does provide for majority rule, but provides for safeguards for minority rights. Or do you believe a simple majority can vote to impose Christianity as the nation’s official religion? (Hint: the answer is no, they cannot!)

      • While you guys are discussing majority rule-you might consider what the true end game is-it is not, IMO, just a matter of being inclusive-it is a matter of excluding all religious thought and influence in the public square and exchanging it for secular “religious” thought and beliefs.

        • Can’t disagree with your thinking.

        • Mathius™ says:

          And what is wrong with that?

          If your thoughts and beliefs cannot stand on their own on secular grounds, then they have no place in government. Period. None.

          You said “public square,” so I’m not sure if you meant just in public in general, or in an official capacity (such as Christmas as a federal holiday, blue laws, euthanasia laws, etc). If, however, you mean that we want it out of the public at large, well..

          I, me personally, would prefer that everyone keep their religion to themselves. I don’t want your mall Santas, I don’t want Christmas cards from people I do business with, I don’t want prayers to open the congressional session, I don’t want trees in the White House (except what the President wants in his personal residence for himself and his family), I don’t want church bells ringing at all hours on Sunday morning and steeples dotting the skyline, and insofar as there are equivalents in other religions (including Judaism!), I don’t want these either. I don’t want that guy on the corner shouting that I need to repent or I’m going to hell, I don’t want carolers, I don’t want Christmas music played in every store I enter, I don’t want my neighbors to have an ostentatious light display complete with manger in their yard – none of it – I wish everyone would keep their faith to themselves and keep it out of my face.

          That is what I want. BUT..

          But that’s me. Private people and private businesses are free, in my humble opinion, to express their faith as they wish, they are free to pander to holiday shoppers (even if they specifically single out a certain religion while ignoring others), they are free to send cards, they are free to wish me a Merry Christmas or a Happy Festivus as they desire.

          I got a card in the mail the other day, overtly Christian, wishing me a Merry Christmas in the spirit of celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ who came to redeem our sins in the name of the lord God, amen. From a company I do business with. I resented it. I’m not Christian, I don’t want to be proselytized. I don’t celebrate Christmas, and I find it obnoxious to assume that everyone does. So that’s me. Bah Humbug.

          If you were constantly inundated with Muslim messages of faith from every side (and you don’t realize how saturating the barrage is), how long would it take before you were annoyed?

          It’s just inconsiderate, that’s all. The people who are more mild about this than me, like Buck, just want everyone to keep in mind that there are other religions than Christianity, that this is NOT (or at least not supposed to be) a Christian country, that not everyone celebrates Christmas, that not everyone wants to be constantly excluded from well wishes of having a joyful celebration of their own faith, not everyone likes seeing trees everywhere and menorahs nowhere. Do they go overboard in pushing back sometimes? Yes. But are they wrong? Really wrong?

          “Under God” was added in the 50’s
          “In God we trust” was added in the 50’s
          Christmas as a national holiday was added in the 1870’s

          These are not permanent fixtures of America – they are overreach of a strong Christian majority from the last 150 years. If the pendulum swings back and some, but not all, of the overreach is stripped away, this is not a war on religion. It is just a rollback of an excess.

          Harrumph

          (I wonder if they’ll give me Andy Rooney’s old job after reading this.. someone forward it on to 60 Minutes)

          • I vote for you to be the next Andy Rooney. For a youngster you do a pretty good “old codger” routine. 🙂

          • It’s odd that people are insulted and offended by “Merry Christmas” or “God Bless You” or any other well wishes from Christians or people from any other religion. If someone is wishing you well, isn’t that a good thing?

            I say “Merry Christmas” and I will continue saying it to everyone I meet. I am not trying to be offensive, I am trying to be friendly. If you are offended, it’s your problem not mine.

            • It’s not the intent which is offensive. In fact, it’s not offensive at all – obnoxious is a better word. It’s the assumption that I celebrate Christmas.

              I don’t celebrate Christmas.

              Because I am not Christian.

              So why should you act as if I am? When you KNOW there’s a good chance that I am not?

              We’re inundated with it from every side, I tried counting on my way home..
              – At least a half dozen Christmas songs on the radio
              – Lost count in the 30’s of houses with Christmas displays (overt, ie intended to be viewed by everyone rather than just a personal decoration choice, obviously some personal interpretation here, but I excluded those from my count)
              – Giant tree in my lobby
              – Several stores decked out with wreaths, lights, and trees
              – Radio DJ talking about Christmas traditions
              – Two billboards advertising Christmas specials (most of my commute is rural)
              – A guy dressed up as Santa ringing a bell for donations
              – And, oh yea, we have our CHRISTMAS office party tonight despite half of my company being Jewish
              Versus
              – ONE house with blue (Hanukkah) lights in the window (it was pretty sedated, but I counted it anyway, just to be fair)
              – ONE house with a giant lit-up peace symbol and nothing else

              How do you think all this adds up for non-Christians?

              Do you think it is possible to escape the feeling that you’re an outsider in a Christian country?

              • Mathius

                “How do you think all this adds up for non-Christians?”

                I think it is all WONDERFUL.

                It makes me feel WONDERFUL.

                Its affect on others, for the most part, is WONDERFUL.

                During this time of year it is A WONDERFUL LIFE.

              • I find it offensive that you are hating on our Christian holidays. I wouldn’t have the nerve or the intention to hate on Hannakah.

                Funny how you can easily say ‘goddamit’ when I find that offensive.

                Did you just admit that we are a Christian country?

                You are mixed up Matt.

              • Mathius™ says:

                JAC: During this time of year it is A WONDERFUL LIFE. The only great thing about Christmas for me is Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. Two CLASSIC pieces of American cinema. (Yes, I’m an 80 year old, deal with it)

                Anita: Did you just admit that we are a Christian country? No, I’m saying living in America FEELS like living in an officially Christian country.

                I find it offensive that you are hating on our Christian holidays. Who is hating on your holidays? I think you’re holidays are just fine. If you want to celebrate the birth of some Jew who wasn’t born anywhere near December by stealing pagan holiday traditions and putting up gaudy light displays complete with a fictitious guy in a red suit who was created by Macy’s and giving your children toys they don’t need based on a massive commercial brainwashing campaign which tricked you into thinking the tradition is to give presents (and credit the aforementioned fat guy for breaking and entering via the chimney and magical flying deer in order to drop them off under your pagan tree) instead of going to mass, well that’s your prerogative, and I have nothing bad to say about it.

                I just wish you’d keep it to yourself, and stop foisting your beliefs on the rest of us. Some of us prefer to celebrate the story of a group of guerrilla warfare terrorists who advanced a version of our religion based on arid monotheism and blind submission to the scriptures over advanced and free thoughts therefore taking our culture from one of the most advanced and enlightened in the ancient world to bearded zealots living in caves, who attacked both Romans and fellow Jews in order to advance their beliefs in an early rendition of the Taliban in beta version, but who couldn’t figure out how much oil a lamp uses in one day and miscalculated by a factor of 8 on a date which is conveniently close to the non-birth of another Jew about two hundred years later, so that 2,200 years later we would have something we could point to as our competing holiday, then somehow factor in gifts so that our kids wouldn’t be as jealous of their goyim Christian counterparts on a floating date based on a Lunar calendar which nobody has used in centuries.

              • Mathius,

                Now that is a great post I am going to save!

                Merry Druidmass, Mathius…..

              • It makes perfect sense to have Christmas as a National Holiday-a large majority of Americans are Christian-which means logically all these people are going to want off to celebrate the birth of Christ-another rather large portion are agnostic and simply enjoy the holiday as a secular fun time. For the majority of people this situation works out just fine. For the rest they have their own holidays, as their numbers increase the logic may change. For those who have no holidays to celebrate-they don’t have a right to not be offended or to take away the right to Freedom of religion.

              • Mathius

                You: “I just wish you’d keep it to yourself, and stop foisting your beliefs on the rest of us. ”

                Think about it!

                🙂

            • JB,

              I am not trying to be offensive

              I know.

              However, it is offensive to many because of the hypocrisy of Christians in general.

              IF the Christians were principled – then their blessings toward others would be a great gift to receive.

              But instead, they mouth peace and good will, and then drop cluster bombs on women and children,

              The funny thing is, Christians are aghast at when others do not genuflection before Christian “values”!

              Truly, Christians are blind to their own evil.

            • Good grief…

              Mat: “So why should you act as if I am? When you KNOW there’s a good chance that I am not?”

              I don’t assume you celebrate Christmas. I do celebrate it. Part of celebrating Christmas for me is to wish other people well. If you want to wish me a pleasant winter solstice or merry druidmas or whatever, then do so. I won’t be offended when you wish me well on your holiday. I tend to think you’re just being a little more prickly about it because it has to do with religion.

              I also find it amusing that you say “Who is hating on your holidays?” and proceed to hate on Christmas…

              BF: “it is offensive to many because of the hypocrisy of Christians in general.”

              This thought never ceases to baffle me. Let’s think about this shall we? Christians believe that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Why then should anyone think that ANYONE could NOT sin? If I say murder is wrong and then go and murder someone, my previous statement is not incorrect! It just means that I am an imperfect being. Whether I sin or not has no bearing on my intent at wishing you a Merry Christmas!

              “they mouth peace and good will, and then drop cluster bombs on women and children,”

              I’m pretty sure that the VAST MAJORITY of Christians would call cluster bombing women and children a bad thing, so I’m not really seeing your point with that statement other than an ad-hominem in order to push your thought.

              • Mathius™ says:

                I also find it amusing that you say “Who is hating on your holidays?” and proceed to hate on Christmas…

                I was going for humor, so I guess I hit the mark that you were “amused”.. though I wasn’t being completely unserious.

                Now, to be fair, I was hating on the observance of Christmas in the non-religious form of a commercial sham that it has become. Note the last part of my schtick on Christmas: “instead of going to mass.” If you want to celebrate your holiday (note: HOLIday = HOLY day) as a religious observance, that’s something I may not agree with, but I can respect. The rest of it – santa, reindeer, lights, trees, presents – well it’s really just nonsense, and I will happily skewer it as I see fit.

                And, in the spirit of do-unto-others, I did take the liberty to rather thoroughly hate on Hanukkah as well. I thought I did a pretty fair job, though humility has never been my strong suit.

              • I don’t assume you celebrate Christmas.

                Then why wish me a merry Christmas.

                Would you think it odd if someone wished you a happy independence day on September 16th? That’s Mexican Independence Day (not Cinco de Mayo, by the way)

          • Mathius

            ““Under God” was added in the 50′s
            “In God we trust” was added in the 50′s
            Christmas as a national holiday was added in the 1870′s

            These are not permanent fixtures of America –”

            BUT, the Living Document Theory of Constitutional interpretation was established during the FDR administration by a left wing court.

            AND that IS a permanent fixture, but a holiday established in the 1870’s is NOT?

            • Living document theory is an interpretation of the intent of a group of people who have been head for hundreds of years. There is no real way to know for sure the right answer (as if they all agreed, anyway). So this is a matter of opinion.

              The FACTS, however, are that these things (under God, et al) are new. They represent a CHANGE from the way things used to be. So they are, FACTUALLY, not permanent staples of America. They, FACTUALLY, were not there at the inception of this country. In FACT, the first congress was in session on Christmas day. So, yes, these are examples of a strong Christian majority changing the country to cater to their beliefs.

              The distinction, however, is that these things did not occur in your lifetime, or if they did, you were probably very young (D13 is the only one here old enough to remember the 1870’s clearly). So, to you, America has “always” been this way. So when things change BACK, it feels to you, as if it’s really something new and hostile to your religion. You have become ENTITLED. You feel as though the favoritism shown to your religion is your RIGHT, and that any encroachment on this “right” is a “war on Christianity” or that you’re being victimized for your faith, and this is simply not true. You’re just being treated like everyone else, and you don’t like it.

              In 50 years, things will have come full-circle.

              • Mathius,

                Look at the dates these “institutionalization of Christian values” occur.

                After every war.

                Why?

                Because the Christians have to appease their own hypocrisy of the slaughter and destruction they have wrecked upon others.

                After their enemies have been slaughtered and subdued, Christians celebrate their piety over the process and make it a tradition.

              • Mathius

                Living Document Theory is not just a form of interpretation. It did not exist prior to the Progressives devising it and then codifying it in the law schools and courts. It’s purpose is to allow modification without amendment. Ambiguity is used to “modernize” and of course, virtually all things are ambiguous.

                I don’t care WHEN these things came to be, especially Christmas. It is our culture. Yes, culture changes. It should be allowed to change naturally, as even the nature of Christmas itself has changed.

                But using the courts and obnoxious boycotts to impose these changes is destructive to our society at a much deeper level.

                There is no assault upon your Rights if the Govt has a holiday during a time when the nation celebrates a thing called Christmas.

                If it is so damn offensive to the non-Christians then I suggest they go ahead and work on that day. That includes all those secular Govt employees.

                Funny how the biggest knock on Christmas from the left in my youth was that it was really nothing but an invention of the evil Capitalists. Short, it was a national holiday designed to spur BUYING.

                But now the left attacks Christmas because of the Christian overtones. Good grief.

                Just enjoy the festivities and good will that grows this time of year.

                One more thing and you should have remembered this. I am NOT a Christian. This makes your whole argument against me irrelevant, let alone illogical.

        • V.H.

          The END GAME is to eliminate Religion, period.

          Those who drive this bus have very specific goals that the rest on the bus, like Matt and Buck, don’t clearly understand.

          Or maybe they do and just don’t care.

          • Mathius™ says:

            The END GAME is to eliminate Religion, period.

            Maybe by some. Most just want to be included or for you to be more considerate.

            For the ones who want to eliminate religion, period, I understand. And I don’t care.

            An end to (organized) religion would see the greatest improvement in peace on earth in the history of man kind.

            • Mathius

              No it wouldn’t.

              Because the secular mind would replace Church with State in total.

              • Mathius™ says:

                And…..?

                Do you think more wars have been sanctioned by secular logic or by “God”?

              • Mathius

                Most were by secular men. But “logic” was not necessarily involved. Just traditional State power used by those who would choose to rule others or those who simply wanted to steal property.

                Now there were some wars started by men who claimed God on their side. But of course that can not be true, so that puts us back to either secular or ?????

                To my knowledge GOD has never sanctioned a war. That is except the ones that YOUR tribe was involved with a very long time ago.

      • Foul tip at worst good sir. I knew that tossing that in would guarantee a response, though I shot myself in the foot somewhat as you ignore the point of my rebuttal – courtesy versus demand.

        No, you are correct, the 1st amendment prohibits the establishment of a government sponsored religion. Too bad so many seem to forget the other half, “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” in the amendment.

        Placing a nativity scene is not – in my humble non-legal trained opinion – establishing a religion, but forcing it not to be there is certainly prohibiting the free exercise of religion. If the other faiths want to put up one, by all means do so. Let the atheists put up a banner of some kind if they wish to publicly deny religion. I have no problems with that either. But no one group has the right to deny another the free exercise of their faith – even on public property (yes, I am well aware many court decisions state otherwise, but I bet you don’t agree with every court decision ever made either?).

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Fair enough. On to your point:

          As far as private is concerned, yes, absolutely a request.

          As far as public is concerned, true, a demand that government stay out of religion (or, where it feels the need to butt in, at least to include others).

          • Buck

            Here is what is wrong with the arguments against, in my view.

            A town square, court house or city hall property is PUBLIC land. It is governed by the rules of the Govt body that owns it in trust for the people. I know that is not real but that is OUR concept.

            The only REAL issue is whether Govt is supporting a state sponsored religion in its actions. If the Govt body ALLOWS citizen groups to use said property to display Religious symbols during their designated holidays then that IS NOT A VIOLATION of the Constitution.

            No State sponsorship, no interference, and EQUAL protection under the law.

            The only test that should be applied is whether the RULES for public display are designed to sponsor one religion over another.

            It is time to stop this insane attack on displays of religion in public spaces.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I wouldn’t call the Catholic church I was brought up in “liberal”, it was a pretty normal Church in Southeastern Wisconsin. One of the Priests told the “real” story of the Holiday of Christmas, but he was also very clear that even though “the date was wrong” and many aspects were designed to cater to pagan converts to Christianity, it was still a representation and celebration of the birth of Christ, and should be honored and celebrated as such.

      • So I am reading along and then stare at your reply. “pretty normal Church in Southeastern Wisconsin” describes my “conservative” Catholic Church of the Sixties (in the little town of Lake Mills, WI). Just where was your church?

        i agree that, while the wrong date, it’s fine to celebrate the birth of Christ. I just wish Christians would get back to doing that and honoring Him all throughout the year.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          My church was in Racine. I know Lake Mills, been through there a number of times, and used to stop at a restaurant there for pancakes on the way through 🙂

          One of the priests at my church might have been considered a bit “liberal” for the mid 1970’s but his main point was, “yes, the church chose the date for the following reasons, but those reasons do not in any way negate the miracle we are celebrating”.

          • Dates, in truth, are meaningless and arbitrary, who cares where the earth was relative to the sun at the time of his birth? The point is, as you and your priest so correctly point out, to celebrate him, his birth, and the accompanying miracles, et cetera.

            That said,

            The poll asked 1,000 adults questions about the Christmas story as narrated in the Bible and found that the vast majority – 73 percent – were familiar enough with the ”classic elements” of the Christmas story such as the appearance of an angel to Mary or the birth of Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

            This was in Brittan, and while the “vast majority” of 73% knew the “classic elements” (whatever that means), And while this may be good, more important, I feel, is that the converse is also true. 27% (more than a quarter!) did NOT know the basic elements of the Christmas story. To these people, Christmas isn’t about Jesus – it’s about Santa.

  62. @ Plainly…….did not see this before but you asked “@D13 – Speaking of immigration yet again, you never did answer my question to you. If the feds passed law enacting open borders would Texas comply?”

    Funny you asked this. It has been discussed….the Feds control the border, so to speak…..they do not control past the border. There is an exclusion zone….three miles I think. We have already set up inspection stations on every highway…..outside the exclusion zone. Every private plane is checked at arrival and departures.

    So, to answer your question….Texas already complies with the exclusion zone…..the Feds have no say after that….and our inspection stations…,manned and paid for by state employees….are on Federal US highways as well as state highways….outside the exclusion zone.

    • How is co-ops or employee ownership anti capitalism? It’s just the opposite. Capitalism works best when everyone is a stakeholder. The more their personal success is tied to the companies, the better they and the company will do.

      http://www.nceo.org/main/column.php/id/315

    • “In 2009 a Rasmussen poll reported that Americans under 30 years old were “essentially evenly divided” as to whether they preferred “capitalism” or “socialism.”

      It is because they are too young to remember and have never been taught about the massive failures of most socialism style governments. You know governments controlled by the elite few, living well, that decide “for the greater good” the fate of millions, living in poverty, who have no say in their own affairs.

      • bamadad

        ““In 2009 a Rasmussen poll reported that Americans under 30 years old were “essentially evenly divided” as to whether they preferred “capitalism” or “socialism.””

        On behalf of all of us getting a little long in the tooth, I must say that if such a survey were done in say 1970, the results would not have been much different.

        So! Is the Tide going to get er done this time?

    • From above:

      Charlie Stella says:
      December 14, 2011 at 7:20 am
      Right, Peter … the north should have let the south continue with Slavery. At least you would have been happy …
      You’re an amazing guy …

      For those confused about the “official” purpose for which the Civil War was fought for originally see the following:

      http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/congress-passes-crittenden-johnson-resolution

      TEXT OF THE CRITTENDEN-JOHNSON RESOLUTION

      Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States, That in this national emergency, Congress, banishing all feelings of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty to the whole country; that this war is not waged on their part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired; and that as soon as these objects are accomplished the war ought to cease.

      Decided in the affirmative:
      Yeas 117
      Nays 2

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @Kathy – reminds me of my experience at a Giant food store in my area a few months back. These “incidents” are not isolated – there are more examples than we can ever count of a welfare state run amok. In PA they can literally use the card like an ATM/Debit card – says so right on the State of PA website – no controls or restrictions whatsoever on how the money is used.

      Is there an answer?

      (a) Continue to ignore the problem while we create thousands/millions more people dependent on the State for supporting them;
      (b) Completely eliminate the programs – let’s so how long it takes to turn that iPhone into a month worth of groceries;
      (c) Severely limit the time one can receive benefits – 6 months? A year? The you get the boot – no questions asked. If there are no consequences then people are never forced to think of alternatives.

  63. Charlie

    So, where are the jobs

    …ah, right in front of you.

    The USA economy generates +30 million brand new jobs every year, over and above the jobs that existed last year.

    and/or the better work to do?

    You aren’t slinging coal, are you?
    You aren’t pushing a plow, are you?

    The US leads the world in the number of “white” collar jobs and the “blue” collar jobs aren’t that bad either.

    they allow Indians across the world to do the job of Americans

    No one “allows” them to work, Charlie.
    Men must work to live.

    Cooked chickens flying into your mouth are not delivered by the hand of God to you, Charlie.

    Indians are doing jobs that Americans are too expensive to do.

    This is very very good, Charlie.

    It means Americans would rather do something more valuable – which is why they demand a higher price called a “wage” – then what an Indian is able to do.

    Not pushing a plow for $1.50 an hour frees Charlie to do what you do for $50/hr.

    You cannot do $50/hr while doing something worth $1.50/hr.

    So we hire someone else who can only do the $1.50/hr work, so that we can do the $50/hr work.

    The fact is, Charlie, that the “job” the Indian is doing was first offered to an American – at the price a bit higher then eventually offered to the Indian – and the American said “No, thanks”

    It is not the Companies that are going offshore because they love India.

    The workers in America want to do something else for a higher price.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      You are ignoring a few factors here and over-simplifying a bit, but generally correct.

      1. An American may well have wanted the job, but was either unwilling to accept the wage offered (as you said “said “No thanks”, or prevented (usually by a union) from accepting the wage offered.

      2. Not only are labor costs cheaper in India, but other factors such as regulatory and tax costs are cheaper as well, meaning in some cases, the job was never even offered to an American, it was simply taken away from an American and given to an Indian without any negotiation with the American employee taking place. The company may not “love India” but the overall costs of doing business there may be so much more advantageous that they did indeed just up and leave, and not give American workers the option of taking or retaining these jobs.

      3. Those $50/hr. jobs are getting increasingly hard to come by in America due to all of the distortions which have caused massive mis-allocation of labor. They are out there, but there is often an actual shortage of qualified persons to fill such jobs, and the “educational system” and government intervention are actually PREVENTING people from becoming qualified for such jobs. It would be lovely if this was easy to correct, but currently it is not.

      I think in general your analysis is correct as far as it goes, but it isn’t complete as it misses some of these factors.

      • Peter,

        I didn’t add all that since we were specifically talking about labor, but generally your points are correct.

        There is other side too – don’t forget. There are more costs doing business there then advertised. If goods are made in China/India to take advantage of cheap labor, shipping costs go up for such goods to be imported.

        We see this if you are a Ebay user. Great deals for the product! Merely a buck …plus $15 shipping…..

        The workers may not have the same skill or education and require more training, etc. etc.

        It is not a trivial or arbitrary decision to move off shore. Months and months of study and analysis is undertaken.

        But because people like Charlie – who believe they have a right to stuff their nose into other people’s business – and who have no idea about the business they are pushing their nose into – make it appear that moving offshore is to “spite” the Charlie’s of the world personally – and that it is done off-the-cuff…. because that is how Charlie makes his decisions; emotionally. Such is the ego-centric world view….

  64. gmanfortruth says:

    @LOI, The National Defense Authorization Act is the end of freedom in the nation. We the people can now be incarcerated for just about anything, including our political views. Nobody is paying attention, shameful. DHS is telling ICE to be ready for a large influx of immigrants, why, i do not know, unless Mexico is going to explode is some kind of war.

    @mathius, For Christians, it is time to celebrate. They do it with lights, songs, Nativity scenes ect. What you see is an expression of faith, utilizing one’s free speech. Athiest’s should respect this and move on. There is nothing in the Bill of Rights that says you will not be offended, so get over it, LOL 🙂

    • I am not discussing mandating anything. I feel I’ve been very clear that I think private people and private businesses should be free to celebrate as they see fit.

      I just find it obnoxious when people act as if everyone believes the same way you do. I find it obnoxious when stores advertise Christmas specials but nothing for Hanukkah. I find it obnoxious when someone sends me a highly-religious Christmas card telling me that Jesus died for my sins. I find it obnoxious that there is a giant tree in the lobby of my office but no Menorah. And so on.

      I am not saying the Bill of Rights means that I have a right not to be offended. I’m saying that people should have the courtesy to recognize that not everyone believes the same as you and we do not enjoy being inundated with your religion.

      Conversely, when it comes to the government, there is no reason Christmas should be a Federal holiday. This is clear favoritism of Christianity over other religions. Period.

      There is no reason our money should say “in God we trust” because this raises monotheistic religions over polytheistic religions (and over the non-religious as well).

      There is no reason the pledge should say “under God” for the same reasons.

      There is no reason blue laws should exist as this is clear recognition of a Sunday sabbath over, say, a Friday sabbath or no sabbath.

      I could go on, but you’re never going to agree with me, so why bother?

      • Mathius

        If only you were as equally offended by the decay of our nation and the assault on our freedom, liberty and justice, and on the basic precepts of our Constitution.

        If ONLY.

        Perhaps this country wouldn’t be in such a mess IF ONLY.

          • LOI

            Before I read the article let me say one thing. Then I’ll see if they share my thought.

            Marriage rates decline during hard economic times. Young people without jobs move home they don’t get married.

          • Mathius™ says:

            So?

            Why is marriage, a religious and/or legal institution necessary?

            What is wrong with people simply moving in together to raise a family?

            Why does it have to be a man and a woman, why not two men? Why not two women?

            Why not one man and two women? Why not fourteen men and two women?

            What is wrong with one woman and a sperm donor?

            • Matt,

              My viewpoint is the United States is/was the greatest nation in the history of the world. It has brought us to new levels of prosperity. It’s success can be traced to it’s roots, as can all of western civilization, namely Judeo-Christian values. Our history also contains many failures, and I think learning from them is both proper and important. The US has the largest prison population by most measures. Some 70% of that prison population is made up of children raised by a single mother. Reality seems to argue to me that the nuclear family has proven it’s success over the course of time.

              I don’t see a “wrong” to anything you posted, just a cost.

              • LOI

                It’s success can be traced to it’s roots, as can all of western civilization, namely Judeo-Christian values.

                A common, but absolutely wrong view point.

                For 1,700 years, Christianity established the complete backwater civilization of the world. It was sick, stinking, unenlightened, perverse and totally ignored by the world – unless it went to war.

                To believe that such a belief system created success is totally wrong.

                What happened in Western Civilization that did not occur elsewhere was not a religion.

                It was an economic understanding based on a epiphany of freedom.

                The free market is the success of the West – which is why it is also successful where there are Jews, Muslims, Confucians, Buddhists, etc. etc.

                There absolutely nothing special about Christian “values” – they are, in practice, horrific based on demonstration.

                The strength of Western civilization is based on a “nation of shopkeepers”. To forget this has been the doom of the West.

              • Mathius™ says:

                Some 70% of those people in jail committed “crimes” which should not be crimes, such as using drugs.

                So, when so many people wind up in jail for things that AREN’T WRONG, they are VICTIMS of an immoral system.

                So your assertion is that so many victims of the system have only one parent, therefore having two parents (nuclear family) is superior?

              • Let me see-Christianity-not man is the cause for all wars and everything bad that happens in the world -but the majority of the people who settled this country were and are Christians-but they get no credit for the good. Funny how that works.

                People say Christians are sanctimonious, and judgmental but they are mere babies when it comes to you. Now I must leave before I resort to Huff po tactics and say something I will regret.

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                Hmmm.

                I think that a good case could be made for the individual value of the individual man and his soul which was boosted by Christianity and the freedom we now have. A friend of mine once said that Christianity was the only religion that ever placed men on an equal footing before God. I’ve thought about it for literally decades and have no reason to doubt her. It is that individual freedom that allows us to succeed regardless of the station we were born to.

                I am of course aware that here were times and places where there were exceptions to this and there are still are today but that equality before God was and still is a revolutionary idea.

            • Nothing……

    • G!

      Not sure it’s the end, but do think it’s wrong just as those passed in WW1 were, and they were found to be unconstitutional. Of course, that was after all the illegal detentions. And all it takes is for the President to decide someone is belligerent.

    • gman

      Where did you find this gem? “DHS is telling ICE to be ready for a large influx of immigrants, “

  65. A coworker of mine has a “wall of shame” for devalued currencies. On it is the Vietnamese Dong (20k:1), Old Mexican Peso (discontinued), Old Russian Rubble (discontinued), etc.

    Also on this wall is a bill which I bought him as a gift on ebay: a 100 Trillion Zimbabwe dollar. I paid $1.50 for it.

    I had an interesting observation this morning:
    – When the US dollar left the gold standard, it lost it’s intrinsic value and gained fiat value.
    – When the Zimbabwe dollar hyperinflated, it lost it’s fiat value and gained intrinsic value.

    No real point here.. it just amused me, so I thought I’d throw it out there..

    • Mathius,

      When the US dollar left the gold standard, it lost it’s intrinsic value and gained fiat value.

      Be cautious in believing things have intrinsic value.

      Nothing has value unless valued by a man.
      There is nothing that has value without a man valuing it.

      The dollar has value today, and had value back in 1930 too.
      Gold has no intrinsic value, but it is valued by a lot of people.

      The difference between gold as money and a Reserve Note being money has not one thing to do with “intrinsic” value.

      The problem: you cannot manufacture gold out of thin air, but you can do that with Reserve notes.

      It is the ease of manufacture of the money that is the issue and that has absolutely nothing to do with intrinsic anything.

      • BF

        My 100 oz bar of silver DOES have intrinsic value.

        It it the 100 oz weight itself.

        Great door stop. Great paper weight. Great counter balance.

        Sorry, couldn’t resist. The second I saw Matt’s comment I turned to see the mast of a pirate ship on the horizon, forging ahead at full speed.

        Figured I would wait and watch.

        Hope all is well at the Flag House.

        MERRY CHRISTMAS my friend.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        BF,

        It could be argued that absolutely NOTHING has “intrinsic” value, except perhaps food and water….

        • By this logic, even food and water have no value if no one is there to want them.

          • Mathius

            By this logic, even food and water have no value if no one is there to want them.

            Not quite but close.
            Food and water have no value if no one values them.

            You may not WANT food, but still value it (such as you have made too much rice, you do not want to eat any more, but you still value the rice, so you store it in your fridge for later).

            We let bananas rot on a tree – because no one values them to pick and eat them.

        • Peter,

          Not even water and food has intrinsic value.

          You have thrown out food, right?

          All things have value only when a man values it.
          It has no value until a man values it.
          It has no value when a man no longer values it.

  66. gmanfortruth says:

    @Mathius,

    I really don’t disagree with you. But it is political correctness gone wild. These Holidays have been around much longer than the lives of those who are offended. Here’s my take on it. I don’t care what other people do. I choose to ignore what I don’t like and embrace what I do like. Everyone can celebrate thier religions however they see fit, it matters nothing to me. I will be courtious to those who are of a different religion, when I am aware of that fact. If some people don’t like how Christmas is celebrated in a prodominately Christian country, they are free to move to another country. If one doesn’t believe in God, that is fine. Leave those that do alone.

    • Mathius™ says:

      But it is political correctness gone wild. How is it political correctness gone wild when it’s just undoing a change in culture?

      This is not CREATING a new policy, it’s RETURNING to an old policy.

      If a new tradition popped up that everyone had to wear Jersey Short caliber amounts of cologne, then after a few years once everyone was used to it, there was some push-back that maybe, just maybe, people ought to be more considerate of others and wear less. Would you say that this later trend is “political correctness gone wild”?

      If some people don’t like how Christmas is celebrated in a prodominately Christian country, they are free to move to another country.

      Just curious. Let’s imagine it’s 50 years from now and Islam has spread over the US. Now, it’s 70% Muslim, 5% Christian, 5% Jewish, 20% Atheist. The Muslims move the federal holiday from Christmas to Ramadan. All advertising is directed to Muslims. The radio plays middle-eastern music for the occasion. Everyone you meet wishes you a “joyous Ramadan in the name of the Prophet.” Minarets are everywhere and they play the call to prayer every morning at sunrise at full volume. And so on.

      Will YOU move to another country?

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        Item #1 is what we used to refer to as common courtesy in the late,lamented middle of the 20th century. It fit in along with not farting or belching in public and wearing deodorant. This period in time will someday be considered the high point of civilization excepting the issue of racism and segregation. However, since the late 1960’s we, as a society, have discovered “ourselves and the personal pronouns I, me, mine” to the detriment of the rest of the human race on both a large and small scale.

        Item #2 is related and has to do with toleration. I would posit however that if 70% of the population is Muslim then the Jihad worked (for any number of reasons including accidentally) . Assuming that to be so, the 5% Christian and 5% Jewish population would be severely put upon but the 20% Atheist population would be dead and subsequently unable to relocate. There will be no other country to move to anyway. It will be interesting to watch the remainder of Western Europe empty out over the next few decades.

        • Mathius™ says:

          SK,

          You are aware that in ye olden tymes, Muslim societies were the most peaceful, advanced and free in the world, right?

          • Mathius

            You mean before they were Muslim? Those “olden tymes”?

            Good lord man. Was the expansion of the Caliphate PEACEFUL?

            No need to rationalize it as a response to the crusades. The point here is that “peaceful” is a very relative term when used to describe those “olden times”.

            • Mathius™ says:

              Methinks you need to reread your history books.

              The Crusades were brutal, invading, raping, looting, murdering both Jews and Muslims.

              History Crash Course #45: The Crusades

              The “Noble” Quest

              To our Western minds, reared on the Hollywood version of so much history, the Crusades mean noble knights rescuing damsels in distress. Oy vey ― is that ever a lie.

              Now, it’s true that there were knights, and there were kings(2), and there was a chivalric ideal. And that King Richard the Lionhearted, a Crusade leader, (who was incidentally one of the worst kings England ever had) was definitely a macho warrior. But that’s pretty much where it ends.

              The Crusades turned into campaigns of slaughter, rape, and pillage, and woe to the poor Jews in the way. Indeed, the Crusades mark the first large-scale European mob violence directed against Jews which is going to become, unfortunately, the pattern for the next hundreds of years. The later pogroms are just going to be a repeat of this idea.

              The Jews were not the only ― and in fact, not the primary ― victims of the Crusaders. Muslims were. All the brutality directed toward them devastated the Arab peoples economically, pushed the Islamic world to be more reactionary and closed, and contributed to Arab hatred of the West.

              Under Saladin, once the city of Jeruselem was captured and most of the Christians had fled, he invited the Jews to return where they were treated as honored members of society. In fact, at one point in the Crusades, a community of Jews were captured by invading knights – Saladin gave his personal jewels as ransom to save them.

              Though the Muslims and Christians fought for centuries in the Crusades, the Jews were largely free within the Muslim world. It was the Jews who operated the banks (the proscription against usury applies to Muslims as well as Christians) which allowed the Muslim armies to finance themselves to defend the Islamic world.

              Meanwhile, Jews were being slaughtered left and right in Christian Europe. Considered as literal property of the various kingdoms, they were the subject for constant pogroms and oppressive laws as well as specially levied taxes. They were banned from virtually all fields of employment and forced to live in ghettos.

              In Europe, it was well known the Jews poisoned the wells which caused the Plague, and that all Jews had horns and were proud and personally responsible for killing Jesus.

              You tell me. Which one seems more peaceful and tolerant to you?

              • Mathius

                Like I said, don’t give me the crusades to rationalize the invasion of northern Africa and Spain and eastern Europe by the Muslim tribes.

                Or how about that most peaceful Ottoman Empires.

                Matt, ignoring the truth about the force used in conquest to expand the Muslim empire in order to castigate the Christian empires is not a rational argument.

                Neither of them seem peaceful and tolerant to me. Your judgment is one of relative evil, not good and evil.

              • Has there ever been a “peaceful” conquest of another’s lands? Seriously, regardless of reason, when one group wants what another has they will violently take it and justify it under any reasoning they find useful.

                What positive aspect comes from this incessant argument of who is more wrong? There is enough blame to go around to all.

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                Now Matt, you know I have to jump in here. You have to answer me the magic question, WHY WERE THE CRUSADES FOUGHT?.

                Did the folks in Europe just wake up one morning and decide to march a few thousand miles and kick some ass? Or, maybe there was another reason?

                We have been down this road before and it always comes down to, If something was not done then something else would not have happened. In the case of the Crusades what was the causal factor?

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                So today, it is the fundamentalist Christians who are the staunchest defenders of the Jews and the Jewish state and the Muslims want to exterminate them all. Go figure?

          • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

            Yes, and at one time the entire Mediterranean basin was Christian too all the way into modern Iraq. . I guess that it was that peaceful stuff that changed it.And there is this place Constantinople whoops, I mean Istanbul. And there was this guy, Charles Martel and Don Juan of Austria and some battle or other outside Vienna a couple of years after the Dutch founded Niew Amsterdam.

            Spare me please. Let us go with what is happening today vs. the likelihood of returning to “olden days” This is Islam rampant you are talking about.

            Actually, I have a call into Theo van Gogh on the subject. When he gets back to me I’ll let you have his take.

  67. Peter B.

    I forgot to comment on this the other day:

    “As the EU disintegrates and the economy goes into a complete shambles, I could foresee another European War on the horizon, but I hope not. It is even conceivable that Germany, Britain, and France could all be on the same “side” this time if it happens….”

    I was watching a discussion with an EU legislator from England and some other European economists the other day. They pointed out that the break up will more likely inflame OLD passions between TRADITIONAL rivals. As evidence they noted that many in the EU parliament are starting to BLAME the Germans for the problems. Why?

    Because Germany is demanding accountability and won’t just fork over the cash they want. The whole thing is fueling the increase in “nationalism” that we see popping up all over Europe. This will in turn feed the OLD jealousies.

    I say we side with Germany this time. OK, just kidding.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      JAC,

      At this point I see little hope of us siding with Germany, as they are demanding at least a tiny amount of accountability, and to our government, that is a foreign concept! But yes, the reemergence of what has been (for a very short time) the barely submerged nationalism of many European Nations is something very few people are talking about, but it is very important.

  68. FYI

    I have been accepted as an Expert Reviewer for the IPCC 5th Assessment Report.

    I will be reviewing specifically Chapter 9: Computer Models of Climate

    Should be interesting…..

    • BF

      Good lord man, have you no shame??

      Can’t wait. Inquiring minds want to know.

      Although I am guessing you will be just reviewing for programming errors. Since the modeling is based on assumptions made separately. But it should give you insight into the assumptions and statistical background, I would think.

      Anyway, congratulations on your new contract. Should keep you busy for a few days. 🙂

      • I guess I can say I am a Nobel Prize Winner….?
        Or does that only apply to those in the last report…. 😉

        • BF

          You could, but then you will have to stand next to Gore without strangling him.

          That is a tall task, even for non-violent pirates.

          If you want a Nobel you have to toe the line. So I won’t hold my breath waiting to see you get the big prize.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      Excellent, maybe you can inject at least a minim of sanity into an insane process!

  69. Mathius™ says:

    OK, this made me giggle:

  70. Common Man says:

    Hope everyone is doing well. Thought everyone would get a laugh out of this one.

    “Men are just Happier People”
    Your last name stays put
    The garage is all yours.
    Wedding plans take care of themselves.
    Chocolate is just another snack.
    You can be President.
    You can never be pregnant.
    You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
    You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
    Car mechanics tell you the truth.
    The world is your urinal.
    You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
    You don’t have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
    Same work, more pay.
    Wrinkles add character..
    Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.
    People never stare at your chest when you’re talking to them.
    New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
    One mood all the time.
    Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
    You know stuff about tanks.
    A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
    You can open all your own jars.
    You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
    If someone forgets to invite you,
    He or she can still be your friend.
    Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
    Three pairs of shoes are more than enough..
    You almost never have strap problems in public.
    You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes..
    Everything on your face stays its original color..
    The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
    You only have to shave your face and neck.
    You can play with toys all your life.
    One wallet and one pair of shoes — one color for all seasons.
    You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look..
    You can ‘do’ your nails with a pocket knife.
    You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
    You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives
    On December 24 in 25 minutes.
    No wonder men are happier.

    NICKNAMES
    · If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
    · If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba, and Wildman.
    EATING OUT
    · When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it’s only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
    · When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.
    MONEY
    · A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
    · A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn’t need but it’s on sale.
    BATHROOMS
    · A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
    · The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.
    ARGUMENTS
    · A woman has the last word in any argument.
    · Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
    FUTURE
    · A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
    · A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
    MARRIAGE
    · A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t.
    · A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, but she does.
    DRESSING UP
    · A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
    · A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.
    NATURAL
    · Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
    · Women somehow deteriorate during the night.
    OFFSPRING
    · Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
    · A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
    THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
    A married man should forget his mistakes. There’s no use in two people remembering the same thing!

    SO… send this to the women who have a sense of humor and who can handle it ….and the men who will enjoy reading it.

    • Ahhhh CM……you left one very important one out.

      A woman will put on a robe to answer the phone….even if she is the only one there but walk to the kitchen naked for a cup of coffee.

      • Common Man says:

        Colonel

        The female is a unique species and although we try our best to understand them I have come to the conclusion that we are wasting our energy and at the same time only serving to further our own frustration.

        Hope you are well and don’t forget to send me an email

        CM

  71. @ Plainly……. I am not saying that if the law changes and, therefore, changes the status of immigrants, that Texas will continue its current trend. As it now stands, there are Federal Laws that are on the books concerning illegal immigration. It is there for all to read. If the Federal Government gives a shrug of the shoulder and a tacit disregard for laws on the books, then Texas not only has the authority to enforce Federal Law but the will to do it…..we will do this and are doing it. In the absence of a Federal Law, then state law is king. Remember, we do not care about the immigrant that is here legally and working the fields…we know we need them. If they are here in violation of our law, they need to be treated as a criminal…they have broken the law. It is that simple.

    The Feds have a law on the books. They do not enforce the law at the border. Texas has no authority on the Federal border…….but we do have the authority under Federal Law and State law to enforce it outside the exclusion zone. Change the law, and we will change with it….have a law….enforce it or we will.

    That is what I am saying.

    But, along with our enforcement and the fact that we do not take federal unemployment dollars and do not extend state unemployment is also having an impact. It is surprising how many American citizens are taking minimum wage jobs. So we are doing economic things along with enforcing laws on the books and it is having a positive impact on the immigrant crossings. It is even further interesting in that the Feds, while having control of the US border, do not go onto private land….which comprises 92.4% of the border. Private fences run right up to the river. In an agreement with the Federal Government when Texas became a state, it retained certain rights. The exclusionary zone does not govern private land. Only known crossing points. Many, many ranchers own their land right up to the waters edge…..it is NOT Federal. Even our military bases are leased to the Federal Government….not owned by the Feds. They are 99 year renewable leases.

    So…we are doing an admirable job utilizing a multiple approach to immigration. We come down hard on employers, we have no extended benefits, our welfare programs have expiration dates, we do not have a professional legislature, and we balance our budget. All of this has a positive over all effect on illegal immigration. The elimination of sanctuary cities and zones and the repeal of business charters has had an even greater effect that we could imagine.

    Sorry for the rabbit trail but there is more to it. It is a comprehensive approach…and it has the backing of the majority of the Hispanic population…..the legal ones.

  72. Mathius™ says:

    OK, I knew there was a reason I read Cesca’s blog, and here it is. The man does not disappoint:

    This is tangential but something I’ve been thinking about: what if the government forced the big three credit ratings agencies to roll back credit scores to pre-recession levels? It would cost almost nothing and would go a long way towards allowing Americans to rebuild their lives.

    OK, who wants to take a crack that this gem?

    • The fact that this man makes money sharing his thoughts with other people causes me severe distress, deep in my bowels.

      That would be fancy talk for: This guy makes me sick!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Gee, use the government to FORCE private entities to do something which makes little to no sense! Sounds like a GREAT idea!

      Secondly, even if you have a “perfect” credit score anyway, banks are being incredibly tight and not loaning out much.

      Thirdly, even if you have a “perfect” credit score, chances are you are putting money into savings, not expanding your business (if you have one) and not making any major purchases at this time due to many uncertainties (and other factors) and are not seeking to put yourself (farther) into debt at this time anyway, so this “idea” would accomplish virtually nothing.

      I am sure I could come up with more reasons why this idea sucks, but that’s plenty to start with.

  73. Since the Christmas holidays are fast approaching, and you may be attending festivities where alcohol might be served, I would like to share an experience with you about drinking and driving.

    A couple of nights ago, I was out for a few drinks with some friends and had a few too many beers and some rather nice bourbon.

    Knowing full well I may have been slightly over the limit, I did something I’ve never done before – I took a bus home.

    I arrived back safely and without incident, which was a real surprise since I had never driven a bus before and am not sure where I got this one.

  74. Life of Illusion

    Re: That post the other day you made with the alternative unemployment figures. I sent it to an economist friend of mine. Following is the response I got.

    Hmm… interesting. I will ignore all of the errors on the page, like the fact that he calculates the “real” unemployment rate using the number of employed… and makes a bunch of errors showing a lack of understanding of the survey.

    Actually the BLS does calculate and report what this guy is trying to talk about. That is the whole point of the Alternative Measures of Unemployment. This guy is talking about the U5 which includes the unemployed plus all people marginally attached to the workforce. Persons marginally attached to the labor force are those who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months.

    Obviously actually measuring and calculating this figure is MUCH more accurate than estimating the number of people based on a decline in the workforce. So, in November the U5 was 10.2 percent (Seasonally Adjusted) or 9.7% (Not seasonally adjusted). Based on this guys calculation it looks like he is using the seasonally adjusted data.

    It is true that the official unemployment rate has been declining due to both decreases in unemployment and the labor force. Employment levels are not included in the calculation of the unemployment rate.

    As a last note, a survey sample of 60,000 households is actually VERY accurate for the summary statistics like the unemployment rate. The data have a slightly larger margin of error for stats like the unemployment rate of Caucasian males in non-metropolitan areas.

    You should put this link on his website: http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpsatab15.htm

    • JAC,

      Thanks for the info. I remember talk of most administrations making change on how the gov. would report key data, from unemployment, budget, education, etc. I think nearly every one has done this, Regan, Bush, Obama, FDR, …. I think some tried to report the unbiased truth, but that was rare. I think today, the most transparent administration ever makes Nixon look good.

      I have seen for many years now, people who cannot/will not hold a job. And I wonder how they survive? How can you be 40-50 and never have held a job for more than six months?
      They work somewhere for a week, get fire after only showing up two of the five days and somehow draw unemployment. Our county researched back 20 years and found that out of the 20K population, about 800 to 1,000 were unemployable. I have also had the chance to talk with people from other states, north, south, even west coast and all have the same issue. While we do have people unemployed, we have a large segment that are more deadbeats than unemployed. The why doesn’t matter, drugs, booze or just plain lazy.
      And I think that goes to show how the supposed “safety net” has become a pretty mattress.

  75. New WSI posting. (Note, this is the Wall Street guy not White House guy).

    http://theulstermanreport.com/2011/12/15/wall-street-insider-%E2%80%9Cleo-gerard%E2%80%9D/

  76. Nearly half the country is offiically in poverty today … but poverty today is so much better than during slavery …

    Capitalism … almost at its best

    • That’s lame Charlie, even I can handle this one:
      http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/executive-summary-air-conditioning-cable-tv-and-xbox-what-is-poverty-in-united-states-today

      But why? Here’s a caller to Rush yesterday:

      CALLER: In other words, I work all day long. I work 60, 65 hours a week. I still work a lot of hours, and I’m 53 years old today, okay? I own my own home. I worked my way out of this because I knew how to work my way out of it — and the thing of it is if you’ve got a roof over your head and clothes on your back and you’re paying your bills and you got a little bit of money left over? Man, you’re middle class! You’re not poor. You’re not poverty stricken. You’re middle class. And part of the reason the education system is failing is because they’re doing these kids a bad disservice by teaching them that they’re poverty stricken, that somehow or another they’re never going to be able to get up over this.

      RUSH: Yeah, you’re right. You are right. You are nailing this. You’re exactly right and the story that I just had where now the Bureau of Labor Statistics says one out of two Americans live in poverty? That is flat-out BS.

      CALLER: It is.

      RUSH: It’s flat-out BS. But you’re nailing it. The language is being totally corrupted. The reason why this is being done — it is sickening and it’s pathetic but the reason it’s being done — is they want people to think they’re poor. They want people to think that they are victims of Wall Street, of the rich, or whatever. They want people to think that if it weren’t for others who have more than they do, that they’d be happy. It’s pure, 100% class envy. This is why I maintain to you that Obama and the Democrats (and they’re one and the same) relish a story with the headline: “One Out of Two Americans in Poverty.” It’s made to order for “See what the Republicans did to you? See what Wall Street did to you? I’m here to help you! I’m here to help you. I’m here to give you health care. I’m here to put your kid into college. I’m here…” This is exactly it. You have nailed it. That’s precisely the whole point of this.

    • Ahhhh, but Charlie,you forgot to post the rest…..poverty in the United States is the rich class in the rest of the world. Poverty has been redefined.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Charlie,

      Once again, it is the product of a system which BARELY RESEMBLES CAPITALISM IF AT ALL, so you are wrong right off the bat.

      Secondly, it is simply a testament to how great a job the government is doing of impoverishing more and more of the people and how great a job it is doing of keeping them there once it puts them there. Government, at its best!

    • Charlie

      LIAR!!!

    • Charlie

      Nearly half the country is offiically in poverty today

      Nonsense!

      You are a victim of “Chartism” – that arbitrary lines or arbitrary values have some sort of meaning.

      The fact that the poorest American is richer than 85% of the rest of the world puts a lie to your statement.

      • Well…. the government defines what is “official”… so yes, in that sense, he’s right. The fact that the line is essentially meaningless is a different story entirely.

  77. In defense of Christmas:

    I’ve seen a lot of derision pointed toward the celebration of Christmas. Allow me to make a few statements about why I do celebrate this holiday and will continue to do so.

    BF is exactly right that the secular version of Christmas has little if any ties to the true Christian church. It is certainly possible (and probable) that the date for the celebration was chosen to line up with a pagan holiday. I say to all this… who cares? How I view this holiday has little to do with any of this.

    I celebrate Christmas in several ways. To me, primarily, Christmas is about remembering the amazing grace of God through His gift of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter which day we celebrate this, in fact we should do it every day of the year. The fact that tradition makes the primary day the 25th of December is irrelevant to its importance. For this reason, I greatly enjoy the Advent season and attend church services and events and whatnot.

    Secondly, Christmas is about family and friends. We take the time to realize that God has given us so many amazing gifts and turn that love and grace upon our loved ones. Giving to them with sincere love. We take the time out of our busy lives to spend time with them (like we should more often!).

    Finally, there is the secular part of Christmas. It is just plain fun to listen to Christmas tunes and decorate the house with colorful lights. It doesn’t have to conflict with points 1 & 2. In fact, I think it enhances them. My family and I have a great deal of fun watching Christmas movies, decorating the tree, stringing popcorn, looking at the neighbor’s light displays, etc.

    Nowhere in all of this am I intending to offend anyone. Nowhere in this am I disturbing anyone else’s rights (my lights are not that obnoxious). If you are offended, I’m sorry that you feel that way, but I will not ruin one of my favorite holidays just because you are too blinded by hate, ignorance, or whatever to understand why I celebrate it.

    If, as Mat points out, Christianity is knocked aside for some other holiday (winter solstice maybe?), I will still celebrate Christmas as I always do. I will not be offended by the holidays of other religions as long as they are not intentionally offensive. I am not offended if you wish me well in any language, with reference to any religion, holiday, whatever. I thank you for your well wishes and send the same right back at you. So, I wish you all the best.

    Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  78. Ray Hawkins says:

    RIP Christopher Hitchens…………

  79. Ray Hawkins says:

    On the subject of redaction…..

    So a few months back my reading stack took a familiar turn into military-themed books (history, current best sellers, biographies). I picked up two books written by former Seal Team Six members (or say they say right?). The first was the book by Howard Wasdin – “Seal Team Six – Memoirs of an Elite Sniper”. I had interest in this book because Wasdin fought with although maybe not directly alongside a former Delta soldier I knew (MOH Randy Shugart) that died in the “black hawk down” fight in Somalia. Very good book, insightful, couldn’t put it down type of book. The second was a book by Don Mann – “Inside Seal Team Six – My Life and Missions With America’s Elite Warriors”. I have really just started this book as I was trying to make my way through some others, but – let me say this – HOLY REDACTION! This book was delayed in printing and distribution and now I know why! I guess I’m a bit pissed that such a book would still be sold and delivered to me. But I’m equally head-scratching that even with detail in Wasdin’s book – why would Mann’s book be so censored? Sheesh!!!

    D13?

    USW?

    Others?

    Any ideas?

  80. Christopher Hitchens died yesterday. What a tremendous loss.

  81. JB,
    re:”Christ”mas

    Celebrate! Any reason will do… and the more the better!

    But when “Christ”mas is used to berate others it becomes not reason

    The berating starts with claiming Christ is the true meaning of Christmas.
    But this is a lie – a lie started in 361AD.

    Nazarene did not think his birth was any more special then yours – it became a myth 3 centuries after his death that the birth is important.

    But if you want to celebrate his birth – sure, you can pick any day you want, including all the days that are not his birthday – big deal…. up until you use your celebration to berate others who are not celebrating your arbitrary choice.

    There is NOTHING about the 25th of December that has anything to do with the Nazarene …. Not …..One ….Thing – except your arbitrary choice.

    When someone’s arbitrary choice becomes the reason to condemn others, it is not the err of others, but of that arbitrary person.

    • I think I now understand what you are getting at with all this.

      “When someone’s arbitrary choice becomes the reason to condemn others, it is not the err of others, but of that arbitrary person.”

      Agreed. The “keep the Christ in Christmas” routine should be a defensive maneuver, not offensive. That is, I should be allowed to celebrate as I wish and encourage Christians to remember why we celebrate this particular holiday, but I will not force others to celebrate in a specific way, particularly non-Christians.

      I berate no one for their choice to celebrate or not. I simply celebrate. If you are offended by my celebration, then it is your problem, not mine.

      Now, you find it an error for those who celebrate to berate those who do not. What do you say to the fact that you are berating those who celebrate just because of the arbitrariness of the date selected and the secular objects that have taken a large part of the celebration?

      Can’t we all just get along?

      • Ha! We are on the same page now!

        Merry Christmas!

      • PS;
        I say the same thing to those that berate the Celebration as I do to those that Celebrate – who the heck are you to do this?

        We do not celebrate enough, I say!
        Every day is a reason to celebrate, I say!

        Truly, every day I have living is a gift and I thank God for it.
        I shouldn’t be alive except by miracles.

        • Amen to that, brother!

          Merry Christmas to you (and merry Druidmas, just for kicks).

          • There is a war going on right now and it is being fought over having any religion in the public square-Any -Christmas is just a part of the overall push for denying people freedom of religion. A lot of words that sound so reasonable-but you best beware. No one is trying to make people celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday-but we are trying to stop people from making the word Christmas a dirty, unacceptible word. They are using shunning to stop religious freedom and we need to not let them get away with it

            • V.H.

              War??? No, I don’t think so.

              A concerted effort by a minority in this country. Yes!

              While I side with your concern that there is an effort, I think the War on Christmas or War against Christianity is far to strong. Mostly designed to drive up viewers/listeners to those who use this for their own advantage.

              You feel the assault and feel uncomfortable. So these talking heads blow that up and feed off your feelings, creating confirmation of your suspicions.

              This morning Fox tried this with the kids kicked out of school for “Tebowing”. They all knelt down and prayed in the halls of the school. Only one little problem. They were kicked out for “blocking the hallway” during class transition. They had been “warned” not to “block the hall way”.

              Yet this was first put up as “another attack on Christians or an attack on Tebow”.

              So while I agree there are people trying to cause problems, I urge everyone to be careful in jumping to conclusions about who, why and how big.

              • Just a minority- maybe you should consider how much damage and sometimes good that a minority can accomplish. I realize that the media exaggerates. And I do not believe that the majority of people out here-want to end Freedom of religion. I am not jumping to conclusions. I just see the escalating moves and I know it isn’t going to stop-it is going to get worse. So the battle has started-if you prefer to call it something else-suit yourself -but as a Christian-I see it as a very dangerous situation and I have no intention of minimizing the danger.

              • You also, should consider that the attack on Christianity is also an attack on anyone to the right of the progressive agenda-They can’t take away the rights of the religious without taking away every bodies rights. I wonder, would you say-we are in the middle of a WAR on Freedom?

                Good Grief-I need to go to bed. 🙂

              • One more thing before I go to bed. 🙂 You remember the saying-I may not like what your saying but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it.—All these arguments based on offending someone-makes my hackles rise. 🙂 So all I’ve got to say is bring it on-say whatever you like-be offended as all get out-but you are not going to silence the rest of us, at least not without a fight.

                Wow, I have been very angry the last couple days-I feel better now 🙂

  82. I have to ask-do financial problems or the so-called right to choose-make this Right!

    http://news.yahoo.com/video/tech-15749651/india-s-deadly-secret-27566497.html

    • Oh, is anyone still convinced that abortion which is devaluing and taking human life won’t escalate past birth?

      • V.H.

        Your past argument was that abortion would lead to devaluation of life which would then cause forced death to extend beyond birth.

        That is not what is going on here, so it does not really support your original claim.

        In this case, the value of the life has been diminished by other norms. Abortion has become one of several tools to carry out the goal. It was not the CAUSE.

        Of course, I also point out that this is India and not the USA.

        • No, my argument has always been that if a society accepts destroying their children in the womb-over time and with new generations being taught that doing so is okay-this will escalate the devaluing of life-which will/can lead to killing the born and breathing. I have never said that abortion is the only reason for the devaluation of life.

          Abortion was simply the device used in America to introduce the idea that it is okay to kill our children-to desensitize us -to make it acceptable. Even the reasoning is the same-economics for the most part-of course here in America they had to add in Freedom too. But bottom line it is selling the idea that one can solve our societies problems by killing the weak.

          My above example is a sample of how far people(and India may not be America) but they are humans, just like we are-they have just accepted killing children for longer than we have.

          Quite frankly killing off the weak isn’t something new in the world but it wasn’t the standard Here, at least to my knowledge, until after abortion became legal.

          • V.H.

            It seems to me that you stayed up far to late last night. I hope you are feeling better today. The Christmas discussion irritated me as well. I think it bothered you more because of the Christian aspect. But if you put that aside and look at just the American Cultural aspect, the attack on Christmas is STUPID.

            Now as for the harder discussion. I think I understood your position and if you look at my comment above with “rested eyes” I think I was saying the same thing as you.

            I was simply pointing out that in this particular example the killing of Born was already occurring. New technology was allowing the killing point to occur earlier. And I might add, at a point where any “guilt” might be reduced as those killed are not visible.

            I will concede that the numbers of killings may have increased with the access to Sonograms, but it was not the CAUSE of the devaluation of human life. At least not in this example.

            However, this example does raise a much bigger issue. That is the HUMANITY of Humans. This example does not bode well for those of us who see Humans progressing towards greater “civilization” if the force of Govt were reduced. 😦

            It is also worth noting that the Govt has OUTLAWED the Dowry but many simply ignore the law.

            So at least it provides a perfect example of how Govt will fail in the end when it tries to Dictate moral behavior. Even when it appears to have the better position. A CULTURAL change is needed. That MUST come from the Religious and other institutions where Personal values are established and/or reinforced.

            • This is where we enter the stage where VH causes JAC heart burn 🙂 Lets just leave the conversation for now-Maybe get back to it after the holidays.

              But just a parting taste.

              Culture doesn’t equal morality or guarantee civilized.
              It simply denotes what is accepted as moral by the majority.

              Humanity of humans -wayyyyyyyyy complicated. 🙂

              Man’s ability to justify almost any action-can lead to evil.
              The fact that man Must justify his actions to do evil-shows his ability and desire to be humane.

              Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays-take your pick-just enjoy the season! 🙂

              • Unfortunately, I had to see this today-if you can watch the attached video without crying you have a better control on your emotions than I do. It makes it abundantly clear that the most dangerous, corruptive, immoral “thing” in the world is unlimited power-something our Founding Fathers tried to warn us about and protect us from.

                A Photo That Encapsulates the Horror of Egypt’s Crackdown
                DEC 18 2011, 12:13 AM ET 140
                Three soldiers beat a defenseless woman, pull off her abaya, and drag her down a Cairo street

                Reuters

                The above photo shows Egyptian army soldiers beating a young woman in Tahrir Square in Cairo on Saturday, the second straight day of clashes with protesters that began on Friday and continued overnight. There’s no reason to believe that there was anything special about this woman or even about the way that soldiers treated her. Members of the army, once beloved by Egypt’s activists for standing by their side during the revolution in February, have sent hundreds of men and women to the hospital over the last 48 hours and have killed at least 10, some with live ammunition fired into crowds.

                But there is something especially barbaric about this photo. The taboo of violence against unarmed women is unusually strong in the Arab world. But to watch three soldiers beat a defenseless woman with batons, their fists, and for one extraordinarily cruel soldier with his boot, is not even the most provocative part. For these men to pull her black abaya above her head and expose her midriff and chest is, for Egypt, a profound and sexually charged humiliation. And there is a certain awful irony of using that abaya, a symbol of modesty and piety, to cover her face and drag her on the street that, though probably not intentional, will not be lost on Egyptian eyes. Here, below, is part of the photo pulled out in detail.

                Activists managed to capture a video of the incident. It is difficult to watch. She takes so many blows to her head, and one man stomps on her chest so forcefully, that it’s difficult to imagine she required anything less than hospitalization. Though one of the soldiers makes a half-hearted effort to cover her back up (after he is done beating her, of course, on the face and chest with a baton), she appears limp. Three soldiers pick her up from her arms and legs, and then the camera cuts away.

                Outraged Egyptian Facebook users posted a composite of three photos from the above video. Taken together, they appear to show that a pair of bystanders — a man and a woman, both well dressed — watched the young woman’s beating, went to her side after the troops discarded her, and were then beaten themselves for their effort.

                The Egyptian military, the strongest and most powerful institution in the country and perhaps the Arab world, has taken a dramatic and dark turn since winning power earlier this year. Though it initially safeguarded the revolution in February by protecting protesters from President Hosni Mubarak’s state security forces, it has gradually (if clumsily) consolidated power since his fall, declaring that it will retain independence from and control over any democratically elected government. As protests against the military have grown, the generals have abandoned their earlier pledges to support the people and refrain from violence against civilians. The SCAF — the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, a panel of top military leaders — increasingly looks like Egypt’s new dictator. Its troops, now openly attacking civilians, are unlikely to deescalate their war against democratic activism.

                All crackdowns are brutal. Stories of violence against women, frequently tinged with sexual aggression, are as common in Egypt’s crackdown as they are in every other. The story behind this photo, of a modest young woman stripped down and beaten like an animal, is remarkable precisely because it is ordinary.

                http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/a-photo-that-encapsulates-the-horror-of-egypts-crackdown/250147/

    • This is disgusting.

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