Open Mic extended

Illustration: Rangel by Alexander Hunter for The Washington TimesKUHNER: Obama’s Watergate

Officials cover up culpability for gun smuggling and murder

By Jeffrey T. Kuhner– The Washington Times –Thursday, December 15, 2011

A year ago this week, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered. He died protecting his country from brutal Mexican gangsters. Two AK-47 assault rifles were found at his death site. We now know the horrifying truth: Agent Terry was killed by weapons that were part of an illegal Obama administration operation to smuggle arms to the dangerous drug cartels. He was a victim of his own government. This is not only a major scandal; it is a high crime that potentially reaches all the way to the White House, implicating senior officials. It is President Obama’s Watergate.

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Comments

  1. OK, I haven’t been too involved with this, but maybe you can shed some light for me on:

    Mr. Holder insists he was unaware of what took place until after media reports of the scandal appeared in early 2011. This is false. Such a vast operation only could have occurred with the full knowledge and consent of senior administration officials. Is this the “evidence” that this was approved by higher-ups or is there more?

    ATF effectively has armed murderous gangs. About 300 Mexicans have been killed by Fast and Furious weapons. More than 1,400 guns remain lost. Agent Terry likely will not be the last U.S. casualty. What happened to “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”? Many SUFA-ites argue that access to guns should be less restricted because the current gun laws only affect “good guys” and the “bad guys” get them anyway. These two positions seem at odds (not that I agree with what the ATF did) – but either people are responsible for their actions and guns should be readily available to everyone, or guns are dangerous and need to be controlled. If they don’t have to be controlled, then it seems disingenuous to fault ATF, just because they happened to have supplied these particular guns. Does this make sense?

    Agent Terry was killed by weapons that were part of an illegal Obama administration operation to smuggle arms to the dangerous drug cartels. I keep seeing/hearing that this was an illegal operation. What, exactly, was illegal? Law enforcement regularly operates under cover by means of special exemptions to existing laws. Narcotics officers will buy/sell/use drugs as they work their way up to arrest higher ups. So if selling guns to people who are not authorized is (presumably) illegal, why is it necessarily illegal for the ATF to have exempted themselves from the relevant laws in order to attain the goal of tracking the guns in order to make a bigger bust. Does this make sense?

    What did Mr. Obama know? Massive gun-smuggling by the U.S. government into a foreign country does not happen without the explicit knowledge and approval of leading administration officials. It’s too big, too risky and too costly. Mr. Holder may not be protecting just himself and his cronies. Is he protecting the president? This hardly seems like an unbiased assessment of the situation, but as with the above, I see no evidence (maybe a hint of logic, but nothing firm) to suggest that Obama was directly involved. Given this, do you consider it fair to title this article “Obama’s Watergate”?

    • What did Mr. Obama know? We don’t know. Is it “fair to title this article “Obama’s Watergate”?” Had this happened under Bush, would you even ask that question? Isn’t there a “the buck stops here” expectation with our top officials? Obama has proclaimed his support for Holder, who he nominated. And if your dog bits my kid, I will hold you and the dog accountable!

      A largely overlooked exchange from Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing includes what appears to be an admission from Attorney General Eric Holder that emails to and from him about Operation Fast and Furious may exist, and that he’s refusing to provide them to Congress.

      The possibility was first addressed during an exchange with House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, who also sits on the House Judiciary Committee, early in the hearing.

      “Most of the 5,000 documents you turned over are emails,” Issa said to Holder. “Mr. Attorney General, I have a question for you. Not one of these emails, in fact, is yours. Aren’t you a prolific emailer?”

      Holder responded that, “No,” he is not a “prolific emailer.”

      Issa followed up: “Don’t you email?”

      Holder responded in the affirmative. “Do you have a personal email account as well as an attorney general email account?” Issa pressed.

      “I have an email account at the Justice Department, yes,” Holder equivocated.

      “Do you have a personal email?” Issa asked again. Holder replied that, “yes” he has a personal email account.

      “Do you regularly email to Lanny Breuer, your former partner, and your criminal division head?” Issa then asked.

      “I wouldn’t say regularly,” Holder answered. “But there are only a limited number of people who know my email address in the Justice Department.” (RELATED: Full coverage of Operation Fast and Furious)

      Issa, still not satisfied with Holder’s response, pressed further. “Let’s cut to the chase,” Issa said. “Don’t you think it’s a little conspicuous that there’s not one email to or from you related to Fast and Furious in any way, shape or form?”

      Instead of answering whether or not there were any emails to or from him, Holder said the Department of Justice’s document production to the House oversight committee had been “unprecedented.”

      “There are a variety of reasons why the emails we have shared with you are there,” Holder said. “We have shared in an unprecedented way emails and information that no Justice Department and no attorney general has ever authorized before. You have deliberative information contained in that.”

      Issa has issued subpoenas and made official requests for many of the emails Holder has withheld from Congress. Because Holder isn’t citing any legal or constitutional exemption, Issa said later in the hearing that he “stands in contempt of Congress” if he continues to stonewall.

      “But isn’t it true that executive privilege does not flow to the attorney general, only to the office of the president?” Issa asked during that initial exchange. “So, deliberate process within law enforcement, in your department, in fact, doesn’t deserve executive privilege. As the chairman said going on, you haven’t cited any reason why these have not been delivered.”

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/11/holder-may-be-holding-onto-private-emails-about-fast-and-furious/#ixzz1giO8EgDZ

  2. Buck the Wala says:

    As horrible as Terry’s death was, can it really be said that absent this program (and like Mathius, I am not condoning this program) he would still be alive? It most certainly is disingenous to say: “He was a victim of his own government.”

    I also haven’t been fully following this story, but has there been any evidence whatsoever at this stage linking Holder or Obama directly to this program? I am unaware of anything other than assumptions.

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I read somewhere that this program was started under Bush — once again, before everyone jumps on me for ‘blaming Bush’ that is not what I am doing in the least; just asking if this is true.

    • Buck,
      My understanding is that under Bush, the guns were not allowed to cross the border. They were tracked then arrests made. Also, the Mexican gov. was informed. Compare this to under Holder, they deliberately ordered ATF agents not to make arrests and allow them to cross the border where all tracking ceased. Add to this, the ATF requested the gun stores make these sales. The gun stores were very clear on this, that they could/would not make these sales. The ATF told them to ignore federal law, that they would be apprehended and prosecuted. Instead they allowed over 2,000 guns to cross the border using the ATF to shield these purchases. Tracing guns back after they have been used in a crime doesn’t seem to be a proper police procedure to me…..

      • LOI,

        My understanding is that under Bush, the guns were not allowed to cross the border.

        Then your “understanding” is wrong (not surprising for a “Bushie”).

        Documents the Justice Department has sent to investigators on Capitol Hill have shown that a separate investigation that used the flawed tactic called Operation Wide Receiver was run out of ATF’s Phoenix division back in 2006 and 2007. A memo to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, dated two days after he took office, said that ATF agents had unsuccessfully attempted a “controlled delivery” of weapons to Mexico that allowed the weapons to go into the country untraced.

  3. How ironic that the two progressives from this site have not been following this situation. Turn a blind eye much?

    Lots and lots of background info, testimonies, etc. You two have a lot of catching up to do.

    • That’s helpful, Kathy! Thanks for answering our questions.

      • Do your own research.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          You know Kathy, that’s not playing very nice during this HOLIDAY season. Mathius and I asked legitimate questions about the program and any evidence linking Obama and Holder. Your refusal (or inability?) to answer makes me question how much you have been following this yourself.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      I’m sorry Kathy. Would you like to give my boss a call and tell him to stop dropping files on my desk so I can better follow this issue?

      • Buck

        Yes! We could use you around here more often.

        But Kathy does raise an interesting point. Especially given the comments the other day about Fox viewers being far less informed than non Fox viewers.

        So either you and Matt are watching way to much Fox, or your media is way behind the curve here.

        Or, neither of you are paying much attention when off work.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          “or not paying any attention when off work”

          DING DING DING!!!

          • Oh but on the day when LOI posted this Fast and Furious business to SUFA you were all over the blog that day. But I see you dodged even a lengthy post by D13 that day….
            https://standupforamerica.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/calling-a-bluff/#more-7045

            RESIST WE MUCH?

            And just to refresh your memory here is D13s rant:

            d13thecolonel says:
            June 29, 2011 at 10:22 am
            For LOI……Good morning. I hope all is well with you. A lengthy post but spot on and apparently well researched. Several things that I will have to comment as time permits…so I will start with the border issue since I am in it first hand…on the ground. I see and deal with it almost daily.

            Fast and Furious was a failure even in the planning stages. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TRACK WEAPONS IN A STING OPERATION AND THEN STOP IT. It cannot be done. We see this daily. Obama AND his administration have lost all credibiilty whatsoever in Texas. They are corrupt and they are criminal and if they are reading this blog…come and get me for saying so…. Not that he or anyone cares. We have border agents that are supposed to use “non leathal” force on the border. Non lethal force is the use of “bean bags” instead of bullets. We simply laugh at this because the Federal Border Agents will not respond to calls. They will not interfer in a robbery, rape, murder in progress, drug smuggling apprehension…etc…for two reasons. Bean bags instead of bullets and they have been directly ordered by Homeland Security and the Obama Administration (one and the same) to turn away from such. DIRECTLY ORDERED by this administration. I stand by that and anyone from the Feds reading this blog….come and get me. I talk with these guys every single day.

            Guns that are being captured ARE NOT being bought in the United States at normal gun shows and smuggled to Mexico unless ordered to do so by this administration. Let me repeat this…..ORDERED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION. Every gun show in Texas…EVERY ONE OF THEM….do not sell to anyone without a background check. It is true that you can buy any weapon here….but NOT without proper identification and it has to be more than a driver’s license. There are no “mass sales” of AK 47′s or Uzi’s or any assault type weapon to one individual.

            Of the weapons that we capture, over 70% are not obtainable in the United States. They are coming in through the ports of call in…..ready…… Puerto Vallarta, Matamoros, Acupulco, Tijuana, Santa Rosalio, La Paz…..to name a few. All ports of call and most tourist spots because of the lack of scrutiny. It is no secret where these weapons are coming into Mexico….Everyone knows this. The MSM knows it, Eric Holder knows it. Janet Napolitano knows it. President Obama knows it. Felipe Calderon knows it. I know it and now you know it. This is no secret and the administration pretends that there is no problem on the Mexico border and Obama makes jokes about moats and alligators.

            We, AMERICANS, are being kidnapped, robbed, raped, extorted, pillaged, sons and daughters molested, weapons and drugs are in mass quantitites in and on the border and being used to kill innocent non violent Americans…..and this administration is doing nothing except…..ordering a stupid, idiotic, non working policy of non intervention and turning away from the real problem down here. Our President needs to get his black/caucasian ass down here and see what the problem really is and quit ordering blackouts of the news media, quit threatening to cut off funds because Texas does not toe the proverbial liberal line, quit ordering the border agents to NOT REPORT crime statistics, quit ordering the non arrest of illegal activity so as to affect the crime statistics in the local jurisdictions, quit running guns and the ordering of sales under the penalty of shuttuing the dealer down if he does not comply, and quit lying about the border. It is a war zone and getting worse. It is an abomination. And this administration has ordered it.

            d13thecolonel says:
            June 29, 2011 at 10:26 am
            By the way….any Fed monitoring this site……come on down a get me. You will find me on the Texas size of the border doing YOUR job

            • Buck the Wala says:

              And what was I busy discussing and posting about that day? Moreover, what was I busy doing at work that day?

        • The truth is that this story just never interested me that much. In my head, it looks like an attempted sting operation that went badly, must like an undercover drug deal where the dealer gets away with the drugs and then sells them on the open market later on. Yes, it sucks, but shit happens.

          If they didn’t have these guns, they would have gotten others, and this at least gave the government a shot at tracing them and figuring how to shut down the cartels.

          And I don’t see anything illegal about the operation, per say, though as we’ve already established, I’m not very well informed on this specific topic.

          As for informing Mexico, it seems clear the cartels have thoroughly infiltrated the government to the point that any effort to inform the government would immediately tip off the cartels and render the program moot – so it makes perfect sense to keep them out of it.

          Now, would you care to address my questions above rather than changing the topic to ask why I don’t know as much as you think I should?

          • Matt, answers above and more coming, but,” it looks like an attempted sting operation that went badly”.

            Not “a”, over two thousand firearms. How many trips to a gun store would that take?
            Over 300 victims in Mexico. This is not a small story.

          • Mathius, Buck

            Selling guns to buyers in Mexico is ILLEGAL, both in US law and Mexico law.

            It is a violation of International Treaties, as I understand it.

            This is nothing like drugs that got away.

            The first testimony from an ATF filed agent stated that when he called the office and told them the buyers had arrived and to prepare for the “capture”, he was told to “let them go”. Nobody showed up to intercept the shipment.

            There was NO structure on the other side to pick up the shipment and track it. They simply LET THEM GO. So the ONLY way to track them was to wait until they showed up at a crime scene, and then try to determine WHO last used the gun. But that fails to identify the guns movement from the USA dealer to the killer. You have SELL and KILL, that is all. The whole thing FAILS basic law enforcement 101.

            Memos have been released showing Holder was briefed months prior to the time he claimed “he became aware of the program”. There are other memos and testimony that indicates he knew, but nothing I have seen showing he directed this or Signed the operational orders. But given the nature of the effort I doubt he put his name on anything.

            The ATF used Gun Show Dealers to run the transactions. Then if you recall when shit happened Mr. Holder and others pointed to Gun Shows as the source of thousands of illegal guns moving into Cartel hands. They used the evidence as a political tool to try and increase regulatory control over gun shows. This of course feeds into the conspiracy stuff. No evidence seen yet to indicate this was their purpose. It appears it was an “opportunity” created by their own actions. And since you can’t pass up a crisis…………

            Whether the criminals would have acquired OTHER guns or killed anyway is IRRELEVANT to the accusations. Remember that if a gun dealer sells an gun “illegally” to someone and that gun is part of a crime the dealer is in deep legal shit. Our Federal Govt did the exact same thing, AND violated another countries laws by allowing them to be shipped across the border, unknown to anyone else.

            As for the Bush program, it was aimed at gun movement within the USA only, and it was halted when it was determined that the chain of custody could not be maintained. At least that is my understanding. I was also told that the order to halt the program was reviewed by Bush and ordered by the AG. So that tells you at what level the program was KNOWN under the prior administration. I do not have copies of documents to prove this.

            This is NOT Watergate. It is much more insidious and dangerous. The actions revealed in this operation are no surprise to anyone familiar with Ruby Ridge and the govt’s actions that led up to that event. But they are becoming ever more BOLD. Both in what they do and the subsequent cover up.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Side bar:

              “Selling guns to buyers in Mexico is ILLEGAL, both in US law and Mexico law.

              It is a violation of International Treaties, as I understand it.”

              The guns were not sold to buyers IN Mexico. By my understanding they were sold only within the US. This is not a violation of any international treaty I have ever heard of. Insofar as it is a violation of US law, as Mathius points out, law enforcement can and does carve out exceptions for itself for sting operations and the like, no?

              • Buck

                It is my understanding that there were two types of buyers, both KNOWN to ATF and DOJ.

                One was Americans who move contraband.

                The other was Mexicans who came to the US to purchase the weapons.

                In either case, the US Govt KNEW Who was buying, and WHERE the guns were headed.

                That was the PURPOSE of the supposed sting. To TRACK guns into and “supposedly” within Mexico.

                That Barrister is a violation of law. That is selling guns to buyers who are in Mexico, with full knowledge beforehand.

                That fact that Govt allows itself to break the law does not eliminate the fact that the law was broken.

                I have not read the treaties and laws involved so I can’t say what the fine print is. But I do know that the Mexican Govt has raised holy hell over this and claimed a violation of their laws. Maybe that is just politics.

                Bottom line Buck, our Govt is DIRTY and there is a massive effort to cover up the tracks. As one Senator stated, Mr. Holder either knew or should have known, especially given the “international” nature of the operation. In fact, State Dept should have been notified. This would have required at least a briefing of Secretary and the AG. by their primary staff.

                So either Holder is a liar or he is incompetent. Either way, HE NEEDS TO GO.

                And we need to clean house in the DOJ and ATF.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                JAC, maybe I’m missing something here, but in all of your posts on this you have explicitly said that the guns had been sold in the US. Sure, maybe Mexicans were coming into the US and purchasing said guns, but they were still being bought and sold within the US. How is this a vioaltion of Mexican or international law??

                I grant you the purpose may have been to track guns into and within Mexico — and that could be a violation of Mexican and/or international law. But selling guns wholly within the US (even to Mexican citizens) is not.

              • Buck

                As I said, I have not read the applicable laws and treaties. I am going from what some Mexican official stated and what some or the US legal talking heads have said.

                So I don’t know just HOW it violates Mexican law.

                But it sure as hell violated USA law. I bet it violated a treaty as well, since the Govt knowingly participated in shipment across the border without consultation and/or notification. But I can not say that with absolute certainty. Just that I know of other international agreements requiring notification between nations. Such as shipment of lumber and wheat from Canada to the USA.

                Perhaps it was just a violation of a Memorandum of Agreement or Understanding created within the authority of another treaty. I don’t know specifics. But if it didn’t violate something of this nature we wouldn’t see the Mexicans and State Dept up in arms.

                The Selling of the Guns to the target buyers WAS ILLEGAL, according to USA Law. The Govt Coerced Gun Dealers into VIOLATING US Gun Laws to make the transactions possible. It now appears that they then used the discovery of the guns as a political tool to create support for new gun laws.

                Was this intentional or just an opportunity? Either way, it is OBNOXIOUS.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                But that’s one of my problems with this whole mess — admittedly I haven’t really been following this, but everything I am reading is based on assumption after assumption, he said vs she said, etc. etc. etc.

                I don’t even know if it did violate US law — not if it was an authorized sting type operation as Mathius suggested. Or would you say the police violate the law when they launch a sting operation and sell/buy drugs/prostitutes?

                International law? Perhaps be knowingly allowing these goods to enter another country. Very possible. But again, I don’t know for certain. Even if it didn’t violate any law I could still see the Mexicans and State Dept being up in arms (good pun, by the way) over this whole fiasco.

                The decision to now use the fiasco as a political tool? I’ll grant you obnoxious, throw in a bit of conniving too, for good measure. But again, thats not indicative of any design or purpose behind the program from the beginning. Circumstantial evidence at best.

              • Buck

                Yes, the govt selling drugs or prostitutes is ILLEGAL.

                But notice that is not what they do. They set up phony buyers and bust the sellers. They do not SELL the drugs and then try to track them. They might allow an illegal transaction to occur in order to track to others.

                The Pose as prostitutes to catch Johns and as Johns to catch Prostitutes.

                Did you read the testimony of the Gun dealers LOI posted above. The ATF had them SELL guns to Known traffickers and suspected Cartel guys WITHOUT background checks as REQUIRED by Federal Law.

                That Buck is a VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW, and probably some STATE LAWS as well.

                The thing is NOT being used just as some Political Tool. There was a violation of law on the US Side. There was absolute IGNORANCE evidenced by the operation itself. Which leads to LEGITIMATE questions about who authorized it and why the hell did they authorize it.

                They had ZERO operation on the Mexican side to TRACK the weapons. Yet this was the SUPPOSED purpose of the operation. So what the hell is going on?

                That is what Congress asked. And then Holder started the song and dance, covering his tracks. Other ATF folks have been caught lying. If this was really no big deal then WHY?????

                THIS IS A VERY BIG DEAL AND IT IS GOING TO GET BIGGER. Even some Dems are starting to call for Holder’s head. Don’t think this is all just a bunch of trumped up political games. If it were it wouldn’t have gotten as far as it has.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I’ve never said this is not a big deal, only that I haven’t been following it, that I don’t know nearly enough, and most people who are walking around lambasting the administration over this simply do not know enough either.

                Do we need to know more about this program? Certainly. But I’m not willing to stand here based on what little I do know and claim it as Obama’s Watergate.

        • JAC,
          Or this could be another example of the conservative media “provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel).”

          Just a thought…

          • Buck the Wala says:
          • Todd

            Since you know that I do not get all my information from “conservative” media then you should equally know that such a claim is way off, at least with respect to MY discussions.

            The only real claim relative to Holder, by anyone directly involved with investigating this, is that either he did know or he should have known. If this were an entirely USA operation then maybe not. But it involved an International sting operation. As various Senators and Congressmen, both Dem and Rep., have said. This stinks and the DOJ is stonewalling.

            So just perhaps the “left wing” media is trying to downplay this because it is inconvenient. This is as equally plausible as your claim.

            Perhaps you and Buck here are trying to rationalize this away by using your own “confirmation bias”, Media Matters. Please note that Buck’s reference does not PROVE anything relative to the actual claim. It is a strawman designed to confirm your predisposition to denigrate Fox and not believe anything from “conservative” media.

            FACT: Holder claimed in testimony to Congress this summer that he did not know of the operation until it was made public in the spring. Sometime around March or April.

            In one of the document dumps made by the DOJ a memo was found to Mr. Holder briefing him on the status of the operation, in JANUARY. There were statements made by subordinates that indicate he knew earlier. But one of his subordinates is now taking the blame. Is he where the buck stops? Or is he simply the guy who was willing to sacrifice himself?

            Now here is some speculation on my part. Given the TOP DOWN control this administration has exerted on other agencies I find it hard to believe that Holder knew nothing at all about this from the start. Unless he needed cover, as in deniable plausibility. Much like Reagan and the guns for hostages/contra fiasco.

            Do I KNOW THIS? NO!!

            Would it be consistent with this Administrations management style? YES!

            But that PROVES nothing.

            But all the testimony from agents and then the DOJ’s actions against those agents seems to speak volumes, don’t you think?

            • JAC,

              In one of the document dumps made by the DOJ a memo was found to Mr. Holder briefing him on the status of the operation, in JANUARY. There were statements made by subordinates that indicate he knew earlier. But one of his subordinates is now taking the blame. Is he where the buck stops? Or is he simply the guy who was willing to sacrifice himself?

              That memo was a standard weekly briefing, which means absolutely nothing. I routinely send emails about future trends, long range plans, and major project status to my manager, VP, CIO. But unless I “red flag” the email, or someone else in the chain raises an issue, my VP and CIO don’t read them in detail. That’s not their job.

              And since this ATF Phoenix division had run a similar operation in 2006 and 2007, why do you think they’d need top approval to do it again?

      • Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News reported Wednesday that the emails show agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussing how they would use Fast and Furious to “argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.”

        “ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called ‘Demand Letter 3,’” Attkisson reported. “That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or ‘long guns.’ Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.”

        In the emails CBS News acquired, lead Fast and Furious agent Bill Newell and ATF Field Operations Assistant Director Mark Chait discussed how to use the scandal’s aftermath to promote the long-gun reporting requirement for multiple sales

        Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/07/new-documents-tie-fast-and-furious-to-gun-control-agenda/#ixzz1giUmtQcG

  4. Nobody in the government will be held accountable, so it’s all a moot point. The government is not trying to stop any so called crimes, they are criminal through and through.

    • Kathy

      I have always admired what this guy has done with his life. Athletics and otherwise. I don’t have to agree with his faith to admire him as a person committed to his values. Values which harm NOBODY.

      BUT, I have to say that given the media’s sudden infatuation with this guy, including coverage this morning of some kids kicked out of school for praying in the halls “like Tebow”, I expect it won’t be soon before I am TIRED of hearing his name or seeing his fact on the tube.

      Then it occurred to me that this may be the goal. Make us so sick of the guy he becomes irrelevant.

      Oh! I happen to think Bill Press is a despicable human being. He would have made a perfect character in the book Atlas Shrugged.

      Merry Christmas Kathy

      P.S. Want a little wager on the Rose Bowl?? As much as I can’t stand Oregon, they are representing the best football conference in the country. 🙂

      • Rose Bowl will be interesting. Our weakness is our defense and against Oregon’s speed we will have major troubles.

        Hoping redemption for last year’s Rose Bowl loss will be an incentive and Wilson/Ball on offense can have big days and just plain outscore the Ducks.

        Ducks definitely have the advantage in ugly uniform category!

        Always up for a wager though – what’ll it be?

        • Kathy

          I will give it some thought. But first I want to make sure that enough of the Duck starters are STILL eligible come bowl day.

          YES, they win the UGLY uniform category, at least west of the Mississippi. I think Maryland had the east cost trophy for that one.

      • Oh my confused friend, the best conference, please.
        The SEC leads the Pac-12 63-40-5 (.606). However, over the past 13 years (1998 – 2010), the Pac-10 actually leads the SEC 12-10 (.545).

        Surely you have not forgotten the little game between Auburn and Oregon last year?

        • Bamadad

          Nope. Nor the one between Boise St. and Georgia THIS YEAR.

          I’m talking total conference Bama. Not National Titles.

          And for the record, if not for that crazy Oregon coach and his idiotic “risk taking”, and thus giving Auburn the ball back twice on the 50, I am confident that Auburn would have lost that game.

          But Auburn did benefit from a single great player, just as Texas did against USC a few years ago.

  5. SUFA

    Election Alert: In the category of I told you so.

    OK, as much as this pains me to bring it up, is anyone noticing all the GOOD economic news lately???

    Notice how Christmas shopping is “great”, “far higher than expected”, etc, etc.??

    Unemployment, both current claims and household survey, is DOWN?

    Manufacturing is UP?

    Well let me share this with you. This week the Administration sent directives to all the Agency heads to, get ready, drum roll please…………………………..

    “Immediately speed up the expenditure of remaining Recovery Act funds.”

    Now I put that in quotes but it is my wording per the directive as shared with me.

    Anyone remember what I told you we could expect starting about now???

    Sorry to take the shine off the Holiday Season but I thought you all deserved to know what is happening.

    One more thing from insiders. The Administration is strong arming some agencies to accelerate hiring of “minorities of color” to get their ratios in line with National population ratios. Jobs are being threatened if the “targets” are not met.

    So the same folks telling us they are cutting Govt spending are ordering agencies to hire people JUST BECAUSE. Whether they are necessary to the agency mission is irrelevant.

  6. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    What do you get when you have an economic idiot interview a rich person with no understanding whatsoever of economics? You get THIS article!

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/finally-rich-american-destroys-fiction-rich-people-create-152949393.html

    • Good Grief!

      These people are so weak minded they not only accepted but then expanded on the seed/tree ecosystem analogy.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Yeah JAC, that may be one of the worst articles on “economics” I have ever seen. The other articles cited at the end don’t do anything but make it even worse.

        The sad thing is, many people are going to believe what is in that utter failure of an article (or series of articles).

        To paraphrase… demand must come before supply, for without demand supply is not necessary…. and therefore, it is the demand itself which creates jobs… YEESH!

        Actually the article is even worse than that… my paraphrase sounds almost intelligent compared to the article. The article has more flaws than broken glass being marketed as “diamonds”… just UGH.

        I hope BF is drinking or eating something when he reads that article, just so he can spit it all over his keyboard 8)

        • Peter,

          We live in the economic times equivalent of the Dark Ages – where belief in magic dominates and scientific understanding does not yet exist.

          Economic illiteracy is substantial in our society.

          My only comment about the article:

          There is no economic law that says rich people are smarter than other people nor any economic law that says that the rich are any better at economics then other people.

          They are as stupid as most anyone else about most things.

          • Oh BF…..I wish you would quit that….If I had more time, I would take you on….but…I have an appointment with Merlin…………………………………………to discuss economic philosophy.

            🙂

            BTW….I hope that you and yours have a fantastic holiday season.

    • So once this is signed by Obama, which it will be, each one of us can be detained for any reason the State thinks is detrimental to their power. Welcome to the new slavery, be careful what you say, you may soon find yourself in a jail somewhere.

      • At the risk of stressing you out G,

        This has gone back and forth. Language in, language out. I specifically pointed out to BF the other day that the bill pointed to those being ‘covered’ in the bill had to be linked to Al Queda or their affiliates. You need to point me directly to where Joe Citizen will be picked up for terrorist blogging before I’m buyng this.

        • Anita

          Near as I can tell the fear is that the Administration will be able to declare either you or I as an “affiliate” without your or I having an opportunity to prove otherwise.

          If this does as is claimed I really can’t see SCOTUS allowing it to stand, given their prior rulings.

          BUT, then again these are very strange times and I don’t trust any of them.

          For the record, I don’t want to see US Citizens supposedly tied to Al Queda or any other country, declared a traitor and shipped off for holding WITHOUT DUE PROCESS. Hell, we even tried the German spies in WWII before executing and imprisoning them.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Why would we execute a German spy and then imprison their body? I just dont’ get it!

            • Buck

              Some were executed and the others put in prison.

            • Oh, my friend…..you are on the prod today……too much rum in the egg nog?

            • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

              Two guys came forward and deliberately spilled the beans. Apparently they allowed themselves to be recruited just to get back to the US having been trapped in Germany when the war started. They were the only two that got prison. The others were hung. I believe that their bodies are still buried in the prison yard. Nobody got Gitmo and I think the whole thing was over about as fast as the Lincoln conspirators trial.

        • Anita, Not stressed at all 🙂 In short, a blogger makes an anti-govt post, the govt arrests him while they investigate whether he is associated with AQ or not.

          • And per this law, if they decide the military should perform the arrest, they can be held indefinitely, without charge, without any rights as provided in the constitution.
            They don’t have to admit they have you in custody.
            No attorney.
            No notification to family.

            By this law, you are guilty until they decide you are not guilty. And I doubt you’ll have the right to remain silent….

  7. Indeed.

    It is not that the failure occurred.

    It is that the failure is unaccountable upon anyone responsible.

    I warned about the nature of all Democracy – unlimited justification to do any action, with no responsibility for the outcome.

  8. 8)

    • Congrats on your new project. When do you start? And on that topic…

      “Much of climate science, in terms of the computer processing that goes on, remains a black box to the outside world. We see the data go in, and we see the data that come out as a finished product — but we don’t know how they adjust it in between.”

      Watts said he would like to be given the adjustment formulas to make his own determination.

      “The fact that they are trying to keep people from replicating their studies — that’s the issue,” Watts noted. “Replication is the most important tenet of science.”

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/12/16/complicit-in-climategate-doe-under-fire/#ixzz1gj2IQQ1Y

        • Wow, after digging around from these links, I found this article: http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2005/09/mcintyre.grl.2005.pdf

          “The ‘‘hockey stick’’ shaped temperature reconstruction
          of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) has been widely applied.
          However it has not been previously noted in print that, prior
          to their principal components (PCs) analysis on tree ring
          networks, they carried out an unusual data transformation
          which strongly affects the resulting PCs. Their method, when
          tested on persistent red noise, nearly always produces a
          hockey stick shaped first principal component
          (PC1) and
          overstates the first eigenvalue.”

          It’s hard to believe that this analysis exists and yet scientists generally have faith in the hockey stick graph…

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            McIntyre and McKitrick debunked the hockey stick YEARS ago. If you read some of the most recently released “climategate” emails (from the latest release batch) you will see emails from Kevin Trenberth, Phil Jones, Tom Wrigley and others stating that at the time Mann first produced it, they thought that the study was garbage. Of course, the fact that the hockey stick was (and is) garbage never made it out to the mainstream press, but any and every study which reproduced temperature plots which look like hockey sticks all get trumpeted on the nightly news regularly.

            There is even a warmist study out there now claiming that if you remove (some but not all) of the natural factors (which we didn’t really analyze correctly and made some pretty invalid assumptions about), even though the “raw data” shows no warming at all from 1997 through 2011, once these natural factors (improperly analyzed) are gone, the hockey stick reappears! See the following:

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/17/frank-lansner-on-foster-and-rahmstorf-2011/

            This has links to the original Foster and Rahmstorf paper, as well as the analysis of its many flaws. Grant Foster (not to be confused with Foster Grant) is also known as Tamino and is a “warmist” blogger.

            Tamino is basically trying to demonstrate that recent “natural events” are simply “masking” the on-going warming that we DON’T see in the real temperature data, but once you “un-mask” the natural events the warming magically re-appears.

            First of all, if CO2 was the PRIMARY DRIVER OF CLIMATE as the warmists claim, “natural events” could not mask it, because nothing can be of stronger influence to the climate than the “primary driver”. So the fact that they had to kluge this paper together (badly) in the first place is already a tacit admission that CO2 in NOT the primary driver of the climate. They already admit that the CO2 signal can be completely drowned out by “natural variability”….

      • LOI

        Congrats on your new project. When do you start?

        Today.

        And on that topic… “Much of climate science, in terms of the computer processing that goes on, remains a black box to the outside world. We see the data go in, and we see the data that come out as a finished product — but we don’t know how they adjust it in between.”

        Yep, which is why I offered to review Chpt. 9 specifically.

        I am hoping to see more of the detail on the base assumptions, etc.

        But I am keeping an open mind. I didn’t take on this task to “disprove” anything, but to learn.

  9. Judy said…

    TO ALL MY LIBERAL FRIENDS: Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2012, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wish.

    TO ALL MY CONSERVATIVE FRIENDS: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  10. @ the Fast and Furious debate.

    SINCE, I am apparently the only one that has actually seen the application of Fast and Furious…please allow me to clarify.

    Buck, in his barrister mode, has raised an interesting point. Were the sales of weapons illegal in the United States. There is a treaty (CIFTA) that was originated in 1997 under the Clinton Administration that was to address certain problems dealing with the sale and manufacture of weapons in Mexico. The treaty, which has not been ratified by the Senate, is still on the table. Blocking it is Senator Reid, and rightly so ( I can’t believe I agreed with him on this) because it is a direct assault on the 2nd amendment and the Senate needs a 2/3 thirds vote. The only assault I see on the 2nd amendment is that it releases the names and addresses of all privately held gun owners to any and all co signers of the treaty. In short, other government can have access to private gun ownership.

    The other impediment is the statement issued by Obama in 2009 that 90% of the arms in Mexico are sold in the United States. This is totally a fabrication and scare tactic as the ATF’s own records show gun sales to Mexico and the guns found comprise only 17%. Additionally, “José Miguel Insulza, the secretary-general of the OAS, noted at the signing that the treaty “particularly stresses the needs for arms control; arms confiscation;
    regulating authorizations and licenses for export, import and transit; and strengthening controls at export points.” This statement sent a shock wave through the United States gun owners for good reason…..hence that treaty has not been ratified.

    Please note: “Operation Fast and Furious” was, in fact, a plain violation of u.s. law—specifically the Arms Export Control Act, which prohibits anyone from exporting firearms to other countries unless the u.s. State Department issues a permit. There is no “law enforcement” exception that would apply to “Fast and Furious.”

    Please note: Moreover, the assertions about American guns in Mexico turned out to be greatly exaggerated. Only a fraction of crime guns found in Mexico are traced by BATFE agents. Most of the traces fail. Many of the American guns turn out to have originally been supplied to the Mexican army or police, and then given to Mexican gangsters by corrupt Mexican government employees.

    SPECIAL NOTE: “A report by the u.s. Department of Justice revealed that the average age of an American gun found in Mexico is 14 years. That shows that the American guns in Mexico are mainly guns that are stolen one at a time in the United States and sold into the black market, where some of them get taken to Mexico. In other words, the typical
    American gun found in Mexico is not a new firearm that was recently purchased from a gun store in the southwest US.”

    FACT: Every time an American gun store sells a firearm, the store first must get permission from the FBI’s National Instant Check System or a state police equivalent.
    And never mind that the only way that American gun manufacturers sell firearms to consumers is via federally licensed firearm dealers who only make a sale after approval
    from the government.

    Hope this helps some of you.

    ANOTHER FACT: Gun shows do allow “individual” sales w/o background checks. This is an area that the NRA and Texas does not wish to allow. However, it is a freedom enjoyed by Texans and would certainly be fought. This is a very weak link…….HOWEVER, and individual purchasing a block of weapons is screened and registered by serial number.

    Now, there are many reports that will show differing statistics and it is important to know how the statistics are collected. (Figures don’t lie but liars can figure). I can tell you, that since I am personally involved and see the weapons and the drugs and the prostitutes and the immigrants…..I can say with certainty, that the majority…….60% of the weapons that are confiscated are traced to the Mexican Army (which uses our AR 15 and various versions of M-16’s, not to mention machine guns). These figures are put into the Obama Administration numbers to get to higher percentages. The real fact is that the overwhelming majority of weapons (not issued to the Mexican Army) are EASTERN BLOC weapons….openly sold on the market.

    Texas gun dealers must have a Federal Fire Arms permit and back ground checks are run without fail. To not run a check will result in the loss of permit and prison time.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      So….no international treaty/law was violated as the US had not yet ratified the treaty that would have applied here? Man that egg nog does wonders!

      On to the issue of US law — I would need a lot more information on this law, its applications, exemptions (if any), methods of obtaining exemptions/waivers, interpretations, history, etc. etc. etc…

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        Buck, all on the internet. All dealers must do instant background check. Severe penalties if they do not. No convicted criminal can even touch a firearm. No mail order sales since 1968. Cross a State line with a handgun without authorization from the state and you have committed a federal felony (not rifles or shotguns, just handguns). Machine guns ie. fully automatic weapons are severely restricted, require federal registration and a transfer tax. Must be legally in the US to purchase any weapon. That’s the short of it.

        Problem has always been, lack of prosecutions, not considered important enough. Supposedly.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Doesn’t really answer my questions on US law.

          Us lawyers are notorious for writing very complex legislation with tons of loopholes, exceptions, exceptions to the exceptions, etc. I just don’t know nearly enough about these particular laws, nor about the program as a whole, to enter judgment. Nor do I have the time to read through all of this material.

          As I’ve said though, based on what I do know, definitely something that should be looked into, as is being done.

          • Buck…..the Arms Export Act addresses this, I believe. I will find the exact excerpt for you….I think I know where it is. If I remember correctly, there is not provision for violation even in a “sting” operation….but that is from my VERY limited memory and too much rum laced egg nog.

            So, being of the Jewish faith,,,,,,what do I say….Happy Hanukah? Merry Hanukah? Or just have a fabulous time.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Colonel,

              You should know by know that while I may be Jewish I really don’t celebrate much. But a Happy Holidays, Happy Hannukah/Chanukah/Hanuka/Channuka/Channukah/who knows, is always welcome! Hell, I’ll even take a Merry Hanukah!

              Hope you have a great christmas and new year as well!

              • Yeah, I know…..and I am not a professed Christian, either…….but Merry Christmas to all who care….and Happy Holidays to the rest……

                To DPM…….. MERRY ARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

          • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

            Looked into, fine, swept under the rug, probably. On individual purchases, I’ve run the gamut. There are, to my knowledge, no exceptions. When GCA ’68 was passed, sales over state lines for rifles and shotguns were prohibited. Gradually, the states made exceptions so that I can now purchase, after a background check, across a state line assuming that that state has granted reciprocity. Handguns, no no. Need them to be shipped by a licensed dealer to a licensed dealer in your home state.

            Until the big shoot up at Virginia Tech there was a loophole, mental defectives. It was PC NOT to have them prohibited. Certainly there was the option for the government as in the old Soviet Union to “declare” you mentally defective and thereby prohibit you from owning but this was never taken very seriously as a possibility. The thirty plus bodies at VT suddenly brought to an end the making of “excuses” about crazy folks. Dead bodies will do that.

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      Thank you Colonel. I have found that it is necessary for anyone, pro or anti 2nd Amendment to familiarize themselves with the Federal Gun Laws. I find that on call in shows for example, most pro folks are very familiar with the rules but anti’s are not nor do they want to be.

      The average anti still believes that you can mail order weapons and that semi-automatic and full automatic mean the same thing. Just try telling them that a convicted criminal cannot legally even touch a firearm!

      They remain blissfully unaware of the instant background check which I think is kind of funny since, with a little tweaking, it solves aliens who are illegally here hiring problems. But then being aware, would collapse a whole lot of sails and a wonderfully effective disinformation campaign.

    • “FACT: Every time an American gun store sells a firearm, the store first must get permission from the FBI’s National Instant Check System or a state police equivalent.”

      Not so fast D13, I have a CCP and do not have to go thru the instant background check.
      By getting vetted by the FBI/state popo, I am pre-approved. I do still have to fill out that idiotic form…if I were a convicted felon, would I check yes or no to that question???

      “individual” sales w/o background checks.” I have seen guns for sale in many states listed in the classifieds and have even made such purchases. Why should a gun show be any different than what is legal for the public at large?

      • My point is that everyone goes through the check. As a convicted felon, you would lose your CCP……I am sure that if you purchased a weapon and they ran the CCP check, it would come up declined. It does in Texas and if you are pre-approved, they still check the license.

        You can sell shotguns and .22 caliber in Texas through the classifieds…..but not rifles nor handguns…used to..but not now….

        As to the unchecked sales at a gun show…..it is unfortunate that sales are made to bad guys….so….as much as I would hate it…..I would agree to instant checks on individual sales.

  11. No one at DOJ is known to have been held accountable for this attack on Dodson. Meanwhile, the whistleblowers who blew the top off Fast and Furious are paying the price.

    Agent John Dodson, after nearly a year of harassment, including being given menial assignments and being barred from areas of the ATF building in Phoenix, is in the process of trying to sell his home in Arizona so he can transfer to South Carolina.
    Agent Larry Alt transferred to Florida. He still has unresolved legal claims against the ATF.
    Agent Pete Forcelli was demoted to a desk job after he testified before Congress. He has requested an internal investigation to address retaliation targeting him.
    Agent James Casa took a transfer to Florida.
    Agent Carlos Canino, who was a deputy attache in Mexico City, was moved to Tucson.

    Meanwhile the officials who went along with the operation and its subsequent cover up have mostly been rewarded. “These transfers/reassignments have never been described as promotions in any of the documents announcing them,” said an ATF statement after journalists noted that those who didn’t become whistleblowers profited from their silence. The ATF says that because these officials pay didn’t go up they weren’t promoted; however, in many cases their titles and positions have inarguably been enhanced.

    Former Acting ATF Chief Ken Melson, after refusing to be a scapegoat for this operation, became an adviser in the Office of Legal Affairs in Washington, D.C.
    Acting Deputy Director Billy Hoover is now the special agent in charge of the D.C. office.
    Deputy Director for Field Operations William McMahon—he’d received detailed briefings Fast and Furious—is now at the ATF’s Office of Internal Affairs.
    Former Special Agent in Charge of Phoenix William Newell—he oversaw Fast and Furious and lied by saying guns hadn’t been allowed to go south of the border—is now at the Office of Management in Washington, D.C.
    Phoenix Deputy Chief George Gillette is now in to Washington, D.C., as ATF’s liaison to the U.S. Marshal’s Service.
    ATF Group Supervisor David Voth—he managed Fast and Furious out of the Phoenix office—is now in a management position in Washington, D.C.
    Agent Hope McCallister—she had management duties on the team that ran Fast and Furious—was given a “Lifesaving Award” after it came to light she’d ordered agents to stop tailing suspects who the ATF had allowed to buy guns.

  12. 😐

  13. d13

    Congratulations to Sam Houston State.

    The Griz put up a good fight but WOW, what a running game. Haven’t seen anything like that since the old days of USC.

  14. This is a stunning admission of a Democrat.

    If Ron Paul gets the nomination, I may actually vote.

  15. I’m starting to like this guy

    • If more people would wake the hell up, things might not get so bad. That won’t happen.

      • Don’t worry my friend. After all, regardless of what we think possible with this law doesn’t matter since so many seem to believe the law doesn’t allow that to happen to us.

        So for many who decry our government and its behavior, they continue to trust that it won’t happen to us. They have faith in the unfaithful government. 🙄

        But I’m just sitting on the crazy bench – so what do I know?

    • Me again 🙂
      Fellas..here is what actually passed:

      (2) COVERED PERSONS- The requirement in paragraph (1) shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under section 1031 who is determined–
      (A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and
      (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.

      (b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-
      (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

      http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c112:2:./temp/~c112C7fNn1:e551744:

      • Yep – as I said before – the <b>requirement doesn’t apply. It doesn’t say that it can’t happen, just that it is not required.

        You have your understanding/belief and I have mine. Lets hope yours is the right one and mine never materializes – not even once.

      • My dear Anita, Like so many you fail to read the words. “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.”

        The “Requirement” to detain in miltary custody does not exist. It doesn’t say it can’t be done. This is lawyer speak for “we’re screwed”.

      • Anita,

        **Alert Notice**

        Listen to the video one more time.

        The Senator says “..in the text we PASSED excludes citizens… Obama demands that clause be removed or he will veto…”

        • Then Obama must veto what was passed. The language is clearly there that it apllies to AlQueda and not US citizens. I don’t trust them any more than you guys do. I’m just reading what actually passed. The way I read it is that they are ‘required’ to hold AlQueda. They are not ‘required’ to hold US citizens. That means let them go..right? .

          • Anita, AQ can be anybody, it’s not a race. US citizens can be AQ. The military is not required to detain, this doesn’t apply to local LE or Feds. You are reading that this law doesn’t apply to you or I, you are dead wrong.

            • Ok I’m wrong but I’m not going to worry about them showing up at my door over this bill.

              • I would not be so sure

              • I’ll compromise. I’ll sweet talk (grovel) GMan into protecting me if Obama vetoes the bill. If he knows what’s good for him he’ll protect me. Right G?. 👿 🙂

              • Anita,

                Of course I will protect you as best I can. Obama will NOT veto thie bill, it will become law. Sorry, but our future is not looking to friendly. It’s best to be prepared at this point, I hope you have taken all the advice over the last couple years and have done so 🙂

          • That means let them go..right?

            No, it doesn’t mean let them go. It means that the military doesn’t have to take them into custody. It doesn’t mean the Commander-in-Chief can’t order the military to do so.

            This law has unlocked a back door for the government to arrest and detain – indefinitely – anyone it deems an enemy under the terms of the law, whether or not they are a US citizen or legal resident.

            I’m not saying it will be used for sure, but it is available to any administration. If you believe the government will follow the Constitution then I have three words for you: The Patriot Act.

  16. O.K this is not cool. This could boil over quickly. Allen Park is basically next to Dearborn. I am 10 minutes from both cities. Check out the comments too. There is an article posted about the Pastor Terry Jones protest also:

    http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/region/wayne_county/dozens-protest-lowes-decision-to-pull-advertisement-from-all-american-muslim

    • Yikes! Comments are scary. Maybe you should move to Wisconsin. We only have batshit crazy recallers here.

  17. Sorry to change the subject-Can anyone substantiate this? or Give additional information about the situation.

    December 18, 2011
    A Humanitarian Catastrophe at Ashraf Spells Political Catastrophe for the White House
    By Henrick Hermansson

    U.S. troops are set to completely withdraw from Iraq on the 31st of December. That is also the date for another more ominous deadline: al-Maliki’s government has ordered what looks to be a bloody attack on innocent political refugees on that very same day, despite strong condemnations from human rights groups, parliamentarians, and journalists from around the world. Maliki’s order to empty Camp Ashraf, which will no doubt lead to a massacre, came after his meeting with the Iranian leader Khamenei. Dispersion of the camp residents no doubt will resemble what happened to the Jewish community during the Second World War.
    The attack will target the 3,400 residents of Ashraf, or “Camp New Iraq,” who are Iranian political dissidents hated by Iraq’s powerful neighbor. The camp has been attacked by Iraqi forces twice before, once in April this year and once in 2009, and in total more than 47 of the civilian residents were killed — either shot or run over by armored vehicles. At present the camp is inhumanely blockaded by Iraqi troops who prevent medical and other vital supplies, journalists, human rights groups, and parliamentarians from entering. Al-Maliki is now summoned by the tribunal court in Spain for crime against humanity. The fact is that the Iraqi government’s plan is now to disperse rather than allowing the U.N. high commissioner for refugees the time needed to safely resettle the residents in Europe.
    The residents of the camp have a complicated history. They fled Iran after tens of thousands of political dissidents were executed by the Khomeini regime in the eighties. They were welcomed in Iraq, which, with the support of Western governments, was at war with Iran. Most of the residents have lived in or near Ashraf now for a quarter-century and have built lives, schools, and a beautiful mosque there. They were also integral in revealing the Iranian secret nuclear facilities. As a source of inspiration, they are important to the “Persian Spring.” All in all, this is more than enough to put them on the regime’s death list.
    The residents also have a complicated history with the U.S. In 1997, as a gesture of goodwill to the “moderate” Khatami government in Iran, the U.S. put the residents (or rather the organization many of them belong to) on the State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations, without any factual basis. In the EU and Britain, courts have declared terror designations of this organization “perverse” and removed them. Despite a federal court ruling ordering the designation to be reviewed, the removal process is being stalled for political reasons in the U.S. by the State Department. At the same time, the residents of Ashraf have been protected by and had very good relationships with U.S. troops, been designated as protected persons by the U.S. under the fourth Geneva Convention, and have been declared U.S. allies by chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, FBI directors, and other prominent members of the intelligence community.
    But never mind this complicated history — the facts of the current situation remain. On the last day of this year, President Obama will participate in a ceremony analogous to standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier underneath a banner reading “Mission Accomplished.” CNN will show footage of the last U.S. troops leaving Iraq. On split-screen, they will show thousands of Iraqi troops pouring into a refugee camp with the purpose of “dispersing” the residents across Iraq. In practice, this will mean firing indiscriminately at civilians, burning buildings, dragging severely ill men and women out of the clinic, running people over with trucks, and kidnapping residents to be tortured. All of this has happened in Ashraf before. Twice. See YouTube if you don’t believe it. The residents will not go quietly, because they know that they will be going to their deaths. Their unarmed and peaceful resistance will be met by deadly violence by U.S.-trained forces under the command of an Iran-friendly budding dictator.
    The residents of Ashraf enjoy as wide bipartisan support as any issue in Washington today. But that support will quickly translate into a very pointed and harsh critique by the Republicans of how the Obama administration, for political reasons, is abandoning U.S. allies in its rush to leave Iraq. The Republican candidates will, with good reason, attack the president’s failed Iran policy. They already have, but now there will be blood on the administration’s hands to prove the point. The split-screen video described above will prove to be a political nightmare for the president.
    Human rights advocates, U.S. allies, and family members of the residents have pleaded with the administration to take action — to pressure Iraq to cancel its deadline for the “closure” of the camp and allow the UNHCR to do its work. Their humanitarian pleas have fallen on deaf ears. It is with a sad heart that one can note that the residents’ best hope of survival is the political survival instincts of President Obama. Perhaps the administration will listen if it becomes clear that its members have electoral skin in the game, and not just a moral responsibility. Voters are looking for true leadership — and I, for one — hope that the president will display it in saving 3,400 lives in Ashraf.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/12/a_humanitarian_catastrophe_at_ashraf_spells_political_catastrophe_for_the_white_house.html#ixzz1guY2UAV9

  18. Kathy,

    Wha….wha……..wha…….what the heck? The Pack is beaten by the CHIEFS? OMG………..I can’t live in my house today (my wife is a Chiefs fan). Oh the shaaaaaaaaaame.

  19. Perhaps a new hope….

    Kim is dead (N. Korean leader)

    His 20-some year old son new leader.

    I understand he is Western Educated and may have a full deck of cards for a brain.

    The world takes a serious swerve…….

  20. Should be an interesting dinner….

    Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson will have a very special dinner date before the end of 2012 — with Bill Ayers. Yes, that Bill Ayers.

    Carlson donated $2,500 to the Illinois Humanities Council for the honor of supping on a home-cooked meal at the Illinois home of Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn — both unrepentant leaders of the terrorist Weather Underground.

    “I bought the auction dinner because I support the important work of the Illinois Humanities Council,” Carlson emailed The Chicago Tribune. “Anything I can do to help.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/18/tucker-carlson-wins-online-auction-for-dinner-with-bill-ayers/#ixzz1gzSwDN6Y

  21. A married couple had been out shopping at the mall for most of the afternoon, suddenly, the wife realized that her husband had “disappeared”. The somewhat irate spouse called her mate’s cell phone and demanded: Where the hell are you?
    Husband: “Darling you remember that jewelry shop where you saw the diamond necklace and totally fell in love with it and I didn’t have money that time and said Baby it’ll be yours one day.” Wife, with a smile blushing: “Yes, I remember that my Love.”
    Husband: “Well, I’m in the bar next to that shop.”

    Good Morning SUFA 🙂

  22. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/12/the_hitman_cometh_america_to_be_war_zone.html

    Anyone remember when certain of us were warning people about this very thing?

    • Hi Peter,

      We are entering very interesting times. I wonder when we become a complete police state and how many will perish or be “disappeared”? All of this is of course a conspiracy theory and can never happen here in the good ole USA. 🙄

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        It is an ancient Chinese curse which roughly translates as, “may you live in “interesting” times”

    • Somebody is going to have to put me completely in check on this issue! As I posted above the bill that passed clearly states that you must be Al Queda or affiliated with AlQueda to be detained. Further it states that American citizens are not required to be held.

      What I have not posted yet is that section 1031 is also NOT included in the bill that passed.
      Obama has not vetoed the bill. So the bill at this point stands.

      So if anything I would say that according to 1867 non of us on this blog have anything to worry about.

      Now if you want to tackle the Patriot Act…that’s a different story.

      But from where I sit…and trust me..alllll you guys are smarter than I…but you’re beginning to sound like a bunch of Chicken Littles. And you make me out to be naive. It’s getting annoying.
      G and PS are using semantics about the word “require”. Then they bring in lack of LE or Fed agents. LOI reposts from Infowars about what is NOT in the bill that is passed. BF and Peter are saying “I told you so”. For a bunch of smart people who DEMAND proof of everything… I have posted everything that proves you wrong…but I’m the one in denial? WHATSUPWITHTHAT? Now a police state? It’s entirely possible..but not from this bill. It’s more from the Occupy crowd and the Wisconsin protesters, the flash mobs in the streets..NON OF WHOM ARE ME OR YOU.

      .

      • It’s getting annoying……………G and PS are using semantics about the word “require”.

        Semantics, no. How laws can be interpreted by lawyers, yes. The “semantics” are annoying you because you chose to accept only your view it seems.

        If you don’t wish to be annoyed then don’t make statements others choose to challenge and debate..

      • Anita

        Your doing just fine.

        Their argument is backwards.

        First there has to be authority, not some strange interpretation that “not requiring” is the same as “allowing”.

        What nobody is even discussing is the STRANGE nature of the bill in that it does “require” an action. That meaning that Congress has eliminated discretion. Why would they do that???

        Sorry guys. First has to come the authority.

        Find that first before you get all twisted with the later sections of this bill.

        • psssssssst…….Gman,

          This is JAC’s way of telling us to sit down and shut up cause we know not what we’re speaking of.

          Slide down the bench farther towards D13, maybe he has some extra DP’s?

          • Not at all.

            I am just asking for someone to present a rational legal argument that shows how you get from A to Z.

            I have not seen a single such case made. Not here and not by all the media and Congressmen crying foul. That includes Judge Napalotono.

            The arguments that because it does not require then it allows is not a sound legal argument. It does not require then it does not require. Allow is not part of the bill. It was a bill requiring action.

            Sorry guys but I still don’t see it. I have said I could be wrong, but I have yet to see the case made, according to the actual wording and sequence of laws. NOT on the speculation of how it could be abused. Hell, we all know ANY law can be abused, twisted, cajoled, etc. So that is nothing but an argument for NO LAWS.

            • JAC,

              One thing is consistent, government has circumvented and/or twisted the law at any time it has chosen to in the past 10 years especially. Whether it was through the executive orders or signing statements.

              The government has chosen to assassinate enemies in allied countries and assassinated an American citizen in a foreign “allied” country (all the while declaring them to be on the “battlefield.”). What would make you believe this isn’t another pillar being put into place in the continuing story to circumvent the US Constitution?

              While – in your arguments – there is no authorizing law, how long would it take to change that?

              • plainly

                In the blink of an eye. It was in fact done not that long ago. But then it was returned to the way it was when folks realized what had happened.

                “On September 30, 2006, the Congress modified the Insurrection Act as part of the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill (repealed as of 2008). Section 1076 of the law changed Sec. 333 of the “Insurrection Act,” and widened the President’s ability to deploy troops within the United States to enforce the laws. Under this act, the President may also deploy troops as a police force during a natural disaster, epidemic, serious public health emergency, terrorist attack, or other condition, when the President determines that the authorities of the state are incapable of maintaining public order. The bill also modified Sec. 334 of the Insurrection Act, giving the President authority to order the dispersal of either insurgents or “those obstructing the enforcement of the laws.” The law changed the name of the chapter from “Insurrection” to “Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order.”

                The 2008 Defense Authorization Bill, repeals the changes made in the 2007 bill.[3]

                The 2007 Defense Authorization Bill, with over $500 billion allocated to the military, and which also contained the changes to the Insurrection Act of 1807, was passed by a bipartisan majority of both houses of Congress: 398-23 in the House and by unanimous consent in the Senate.[4] For military forces to be used under the provisions of the revised Insurrection Act, the following conditions must be met:

                (1) The President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to–

                (A) restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that–

                (i) domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order; and

                (ii) such violence results in a condition described in paragraph (2); or

                (B) suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such insurrection, violation, combination, or conspiracy results in a condition described in paragraph (2).

                (2) A condition described in this paragraph is a condition that–

                (A) so hinders the execution of the laws of a State or possession, as applicable, and of the United States within that State or possession, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State or possession are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or

                (B) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.

                [edit] Differences between old and new wording

                The original wording of the Act required the conditions as worded in Paragraph (2), above, to be met as the result of

                insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy

                The new wording of the Act, as amended, still requires the same conditions as worded in Paragraph (2), above, but those conditions could, after the changes, also be a result of

                natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition

                and only if

                domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order.

                Congress was granted the right to be informed immediately and every 14 days thereafter during the exercise of federal authority under these conditions.”

                AS NOTED ABOVE: This amendment to the Insurrection Act was rescinded in 2008.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              JAC,

              Name the last Presidential Administration which required a “rational legal argument” to get from A to Z or any other letter of the alphabet for that matter. They may not be able to “legally” nab anyone they feel like (just yet), but they keep moving incrementally in that direction, removing more and more of our freedoms all the while.

              You keep saying, “The government cannot do XYZ, because the law says they can’t”. I am certain we both could find quite a number of examples where the government HAS ALREADY done things which “the law said it couldn’t” and the vast majority of the time, the government seems to be getting away with it.

              Your assertion that “XYZ cannot happen” may be “legally correct”, but do you really trust “legal correctness” when it comes to government action?

        • I’m lost -Don’t even know what to ask-Just explain your Authority comment-Please.

          • V.H.

            WE gave Congress certain authority. Now obviously it has exceed that which was granted but still there was a document outlining the authority given.

            Congress passes laws that then establish agencies and give them the authority to carry out whatever mission Congress assigns.

            Congress passed a law prohibiting the use of US military to arrest, detain, etc, people on American Soil.

            Now Congress occasionally TELLS agencies what to do. In each case this action is predicated on an “authority” previously given or must include the “authority” to carry out the directed action. That is how our laws work.

            So this law directs the arrest and detainment of Al Queda and affiliate, but then states this does not apply to US Citizens.

            Since no authority has been previously given for the military to arrest US Citizens then none exists. Because this bill clearly excludes them from inclusion, then no “new” authority is given either.

            The logic being argued is that because it DOES NOT REQUIRE then it automatically ALLOWS at the discretion of the Military or Administration. That is NOT how our laws are constructed nor how they are evaluated by the courts.

            I am saying that for this to be true, there has to be some legislation that can be construed as having given such authority to the Administration. I do not see it in this bill, so it has to exist somewhere else.

            Frankly, Congress has this power. But it took the authority from the Administration a long time ago.

            Now while I do not think this legislation was calling for nor clearly allowed the things being claimed, it does not mean the Govt might not try. I would expect the Supreme Court to strike it down if that were to happen. But then would the Govt return the person they sent away? Or would they just play more games.

            Quite frankly the whole arena of stuff passed that is tied to the “War on Terror” leaves far to many cracks in our system. Put another way, “ambiguity” exists where those who want it to exist can find it or construct it. And I don’t trust the buggers farther than I can throw them.

            This law was NOT NEEDED to execute the war on terror, even for those operatives and traitors located within the USA. That is why I asked WHY did Congress feel it needed to compel the Administration to act.

            • WE gave Congress certain authority.

              No WE did not.

              A bunch of men long dead may have, but they have no bearing on MY decisions.

              This is the root of the extension of evil – the misguided belief that other men can commit the actions of men not yet born.

              • OK, if you want to get all technical on me then fine.

                They RETAIN the original authority because WE have not acted to rescind or modify that authority that was given previously.

                Such is the NATURE of the legal THING called a CONSTITUTION.

                It’s authority is not limited to those who signed it. It is NOT a CONTRACT but a COMPAQ with GOVERNMENT. One that is perpetual until revised, by the pen or sword.

                If you think they have no bearing on your decisions then I challenge you to openly and actively DEFY those decisions.

                Your last sentence doesn’t fit. It is not a commitment of the actions of men not yet born. It is a condition of Govt which future men “MAY” ACT to change or not change. At their pleasure.

              • JAC

                They RETAIN the original authority because WE have not acted to rescind or modify that authority that was given previously

                Not one bit.

                There never was authority – that’s the point.

                Such, it is all tryannt.

                . Such is the NATURE of the legal THING called a CONSTITUTION.

                It is a piece of paper signed by dead white men.

                It has zero bearing today…. ironically, if you are a Black Flag and do not ever see it as legit … and if you believe it had some force!

                It is truly a dead letter by both blows.

                It’s authority is not limited to those who signed it.

                It has no authority over me.

                It is NOT a CONTRACT but a COMPAQ with GOVERNMENT.

                It is a dangerous illusion that makes men believe you can entangle evil with paper work.

                One that is perpetual until revised, by the pen or sword. If you think they have no bearing on your decisions then I challenge you to openly and actively DEFY those decisions.

                Every day and in every way.

              • He (BF) makes a valid point, even if he chooses to ignore a few other facts. It wasn’t just a group of white men who scripted the constitution … they were rich white men scripting a document to protect their own interests (property over people); hell, that included people as property. I wonder how the average shmuck working the fields (who couldn’t read or write because they were too busy working for their bosses (I’ll get to the other slaves later) felt about a rich man’s constitution.

                It kills me (funny/frustratingly) when yous righties bow to the constitution. Whose constitution? I didn’t sign it. I wouldn’t sign it. Some here (no disrespect intended) are willing to go to war for the same document (which is something I’ll never understand; the idea of disliking a government and governmental power, yet going to war for the same government, even when you don’t believe in the cause, because of a constitution written a long time ago that had nothing to do with their interests).

                So, we’re all to be held slaves against our will because rich white men scripted a “constitution” many years ago?

                Let’s not forget they didn’t have a problem owning human beings/slaves (some of the clowns who did the scripting). They didn’t bother acknowledging same slaves … and wars (100 years removed) had to be fought to release those people from bondage. Another hundred years brought civil rights for the same … nice constitution.

                You can keep it, buddy.

      • Anita,

        First thing, why is this law needed? We already have laws that allow us to defend our country from invaders. And with all the local, state and federal police organizations, is that not the equivalent of an army? Who could they possibly face within our borders that they would not vastly outnumber? Think about how many SWAT teams there are in the US. So why is the military needed? From Peter’s link

        “Other sections of the legislation illegally claim the authority to round up citizens deemed terrorists by would-be apparatchiks at the White House and hold them “indefinitely,” usurping the Habeas Corpus rights of American citizens. Section 1031 of the NDAA reads: “Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force … includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons…. [including] [d]etention under the law of war without trial….” ”

        If the military is called in, American citizens lose their established rights. Police are required to follow due process laws, not just shoot you. You also get to be tried by a jury of your peers, which is public to show the law was fairly administered.

        I also have an issue with deemed belligerent by the president, even though I’m not a big fan of Rush, Beck or Hannity. As others have noted, allowing lawyers to determine what something means is a little scary when they get to decide to have you shot or arrested without any trial.

        And doesn’t it identify Al Qaeda as a specific organization targeted by this law?
        Aren’t there other equally violent and dangerous terrorist organizations? Will they be offended that we didn’t include them and do some terroristic act just to make our top ten list? Remember the artist formerly know as ACORN? What happens if they change their name?

        “I have posted everything that proves you wrong…but I’m the one in denial? ”
        (sorry, but I never said that)
        ” Now a police state? “(well Ron Paul did say that, and he’s out there sometimes. He’s also right quite often)
        “It’s more from the Occupy crowd and the Wisconsin protesters, the flash mobs in the streets.” (I go back to the belligerent word, and who determines who it applies to, since OWS has been championed as “peaceful” but the TeaPart was violent and racist.)

        • Mornin LOI. I will grant you that another law is ridiculous. But again you site section 1031 which was not in the bill that passed. It just reads clearly to me that this bill is targeting AlQueda not you. Further, I see this as you guys handcuffing attempts to “get” AlQueda. Further,further, guys like G and PS basically refuse to acknowledge that Al Queda even exists, “the boogeyman”, so why they’re so uptight about it, when it’s just a boogeyman, but I’m naive, doesn’t make sense.

          • Targeting AlQueda, well I’m not against that per say, but isn’t terrorism the larger target?
            But who or what is a “terrorist”? Obama Calls Fort Hood shooting ‘Workplace Violence’ .
            Did he need an AlQueda membership card? Guess I’m naive too…..

            “I see this as you guys handcuffing attempts to “get” AlQueda.” Don’t they still have all their wire taps and read all the emails, etc??? They have all the legal “tools” they need.
            The problem is in how they use them. Remember D13 telling us about them training in Mexico? And Obama is reducing border patrols.

            • Agree to all of this. I just don’t see it as targeting you or me. Under the Patriot Act…yep we’re probably on that list but not this one.

          • Anita,

            I know you won’t be able to, but I’ll provide you the opportunity to anyway. Please show me where I have ever said Al Queda doesn’t exist?

            There are plenty of civil criminal laws to deal with the criminal acts (what you call terrorism that seems to need to be a “war” to solve here in the US). If we didn’t how did we ever deal with the like of McVey and Nichols or the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, or Richard Reid, etc., etc., etc.?

            The US already violates the sovereignty of nations at will to assassinate enemies of their choice. The US assassinated a US citizen at will in a foreign country in lieu of that individual’s constitutional rights – which so many claim was a “battlefield” attack on an enemy combatant. The dangerous laws getting enacted by Congress and the Presidents (Bush and Obama) will not be rescinded when they end their “war” (which likely will never end – much like the “war” on drugs. The feds will just find a “new” terrorist group to target). We’re stuck with them and that just leaves them in place to be used against domestic “terrorists” as the President declares them.

            The US leadership (both Republican and Democrat) continue to come up with creative legislation to shred that bedrock document even more.

            You seem not to give one whim of care how the government does it as long as they “get” al Queda. For you (and others) the end justifies the means it would seem.

            Truly, IMHO, if you cared at all for the principles contained in the US Constitution you’d be angry and alarmed with your government and at the losses of your liberty and freedoms that are in jeopardy with the continued enactment of these types of laws.

            BTW – for you Posse Comitatus defenders – the military can, if/when Congress so provides the lawful authority, be used against civil society. Reread the law.

            • You are probably right Plainly and I apologize for that statement. I just see you and G running pretty parallel and just grouped you together. I am offended though by all the comments similar to blindly following the govt, and we better wake up, and the like.. You know what..I’m awake, OK? I may not see things exactly as you do, I may not not understand things as well as you, but I’m definitely not a slouch, I’ve tried to learn as much as possible, I don’t like the laws any better than you, I don’t trust them any more than you. I’m not defending them. It’s just my opinion vs yours on this particular bill, nothing more or less, TRUCE?

              • Anita,

                Truce accepted.

                As to the inferences throughout many discussions, comments, or even articles i have written wherein I call out to those who blindly follow the govt – etc – I do it as a general statement. If you are not one who fits that category then one need not be offended – I leave it to each individual’s personal beliefs as to whether they are one or the other.

                Where, in this discussion, I have made direct statements as to what it seems you may believe, I base it upon what you’ve written and my interpretation may well be inaccurate, incorrect, or wrong. If so, you have my apologies. I can only say that I try to speak plainly what I think and believe.

  23. Heh, heh, heh,,,Oh Charlie, how’s that socialism working again?

    Divers all over South Florida were probably drooling last night while watching the huge lionfish that appeared in the 60 Minutes broadcast about Cuba’s Jardines de la Reina coral reef off that island’s southern shore. The reason is that the state of Florida has declared open season on the invasive lionfish, introduced from Asia, which is known to devastate marine life on coral reefs. Fortunately lionfish flesh is quite tasty and its population has been kept in check in Florida by hungry divers with spearguns.

    Not so in Cuba. As you can see in the video at the 15 second mark and later in their full broadcast, the lionfish at the Jardines de la Reina are both quite large and numerous. Why? It seems that Anderson Cooper shied away from asking the question that would have a politically very uncomfortable answer.

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/pj-gladnick/2011/12/19/60-minutes-fails-note-why-invasive-lionfish-dominate-cuban-coral-reef#ixzz1h0M2QHCq

  24. Makes for some interesting reading viewing some of the 25 Point Plan of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party and compare it today with some of our government’s goals.

    7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations are to be expelled from the Reich.

    9. All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

    10. The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently we demand:

    11. Abolition of unearned incomes. Breaking of debt – slavery.

    12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

    13. We demand the nationalisation of all associated industries.

    14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

    15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

    20. The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.

    24. We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: The good of the state before the good of the individual.

    • And before them were the Italians

      Italian Fascism promotes a corporatist economic system whereby employer and employee syndicates are linked together in a corporative associations to collectively represent the nation’s economic producers and work alongside the state to set national economic policy.[3] Italian Fascists claim that this economic system resolves and ends class conflict by creating class collaboration.[4]

      And before them were the American Progressives

      Teddy Roosevelt “The greatest good for the greatest number in the long run”; and of course
      Woodrow Wilson.

      • December 19, 2011
        EPA’s next big thing
        Rick Moran

        The EPA has decided that it needs more power over the economy, our living spaces, and our lives. They are about to declare that the US should be on put on a path of “sustainable development” — just like any other third world country — and want the regulatory authority to make it happen.
        Fox News:
        The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to change how it analyzes problems and makes decisions, in a way that will give it vastly expanded power to regulate businesses, communities and ecosystems in the name of “sustainable development,” the centerpiece of a global United Nations conference slated for Rio de Janeiro next June.
        The major focus of the EPA thinking is a weighty study the agency commissioned last year from the National Academies of Science. Published in August, the study, entitled “Sustainability and the U.S. EPA,” cost nearly $700,000 and involved a team of a dozen outside experts and about half as many National Academies staff.
        Its aim: how to integrate sustainability “as one of the key drivers within the regulatory responsibilities of EPA.” The panel who wrote the study declares part of its job to be “providing guidance to EPA on how it might implement its existing statutory authority to contribute more fully to a more sustainable-development trajectory for the United States.”
        This is the logical, inevitable outgrowth of state power. And what they propose should send a shiver down the spine of anyone who cares about liberty:
        Jackson compared the new approach, it would articulate to “the difference between treating disease and pursuing wellness.” It was, she said, “a new opportunity to show how environmentally protective and sustainable we can be,” and would affect “every aspect” of EPA’s work.
        According to the study itself, the adoption of the new “sustainability framework” will make the EPA more “anticipatory” in its approach to environmental issues, broaden its focus to include both social and economic as well as environmental “pillars,” and “strengthen EPA as an organization and a leader in the nation’s progress toward a sustainable future.”
        Whatever EPA does with its suggestions, the study emphasizes, will be “discretionary.” But the study urges EPA to “create a new culture among all EPA employees,” and hire an array of new experts in order to bring the sustainability focus to every corner of the agency and its operations. Changes will move faster “as EPA’s intentions and goals in sustainability become clear to employees,” the study says.
        The international “sustainable development” freaks want to do stuff like control the size of populations, minimize industrial activity, destroy the corporation, make governments responsible for literally everything, and give the UN a bigger role in economic activity. They believe that a “sustainable” world population is about 900 million. What their plans are for the other 6 billion of us have not been announced.
        This has to be nipped in the bud. Ordinarily, congress would bring the EPA administrator in for a tongue lashing. But as long as Obama is president, the EPA will have carte blanche to gather as much power as they can and traditional American liberties be damned.

        Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/12/epas_next_big_thing.html#ixzz1h0cE2WVU

  25. Several great articles listed, increases in federal crimes, pizza guns….

    http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/

  26. Should have listened to the whole song before posting-Don’t like partials 🙂 Listen to this one instead.

  27. Anita 🙂

    Congressmen Claimed The Bill Specifically Limited Actions Of The US Government To Al-Qaeda And Taliban Terrorists Involved In 9/11 Aggression

    False. This refers to: Sec. 1031(b) Covered Persons: (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed , or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks. (2) A person who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition forces…

    Which continues:

    …including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

    Congressmen Claimed Section 1032 Does Not Cover US Citizens.

    False. Section 1032(2) states that the requirement to detain an individual applies to someone who has been determined to be “a member of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda: and to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.”

    Which continues, section (4) “The Secretary of Defense (Leon Panetta) may, in consultation with the Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) and the Director of National Intelligence (James R. Clapper), waive the requirements of paragraph (1) if the Secretary submits to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.”

    Congressmen Claimed Section 1032(b)(1) Specifically Excludes US Citizens

    False. Section 1032(b)(1) states, “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” What this section says is the REQUIREMENT to detain doesn’t extend to US Citizens, but the OPTION does. That means they don’t have to detain them, but can if they want to!

    • The requirement “to be detained in military custody” as described by the law, comes from the authority provided in Public law 107-40 (Authorization for use of Military force). This is a requirement about captured enemy combatants (as they determine). So, if D13 is determined to be suspected of breaking this law (as the State determines of course), he can be arrested and detained indefinately, but the requirement to be held in military custody would not affect him unless that is the chosen path. Instead, D13 could be held in a civilian jail or newly opened detention center. This eliminates the requirement that the military are the detainees. It doesn’t change the fact that D13 has been arrested and thrown in jail cuz the State has decided he fits in the guilty list of the law.

  28. Here’s something really disgusting. Nothing we didn’t know, but when you hear it from their own mouths you realize just how despicable they really are.

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/12/bombshell-new-york-times-jay-rosen-clay-shirky-caught-on-tape.html

  29. So I’m curious (as always when it approaches this time of year) … what do you Ayn Randers say to these classic Dickens’ lines?

    Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!

    • Interesting what you learn about foreign countries. I had no ideal. But it was the Dutch that brought the first African slave to America.

      • My question is this:

        Since this is the tradition for more than 150 years, is it “PC gone wild” to try to change it because some people perceive it as culturally insensitive?

        • Matt, I think it’s up to them to decide. I’m not likely to travel there either way but I do think they are in denial when it comes to their own history.

          “Each year, on Dec. 5, the morning before the feast of St. Nicholas, children all over the country wake up excited for gifts and candy while thousands of adults go to their mirrors to apply brown paint and red lips. In their Zwarte Piet costumes, they fill central Amsterdam and small village streets, ushering in the arrival of Sinterklaas who, in the Dutch tradition, rides a flying white horse.

          Trying to tell a Dutch person why this image disturbs you will often result in anger and frustration. Otherwise mature and liberal-minded adults may recoil from the topic and offer a rote list of reasons why Zwarte Piet should not offend anybody. “He is not even a black man,” many will tell you. “He is just black because he came down the chimney.” Then, you may reply, why aren’t his clothes dirty?”

          their history,
          “At the time, the Dutch empire spread across three continents and included the colonies of Suriname and Indonesia. The Dutch were deeply involved in the slave trade, both transporting African slaves to be sold and using slave labor to work coffee and sugar plantations in their colonies. Minstrel shows were a popular form of entertainment.”

          Their intolerance to criticism,
          “This year, on Nov. 12, as Sinterklaas prepared to make his grand entrance in Dordrecht, Quinsy Gario was being held on the ground and pepper sprayed by police officers. Gario is a published poet and artist and a Master’s student in women’s studies at the University of Utrecht. He was born in 1984 in the former Dutch colony of Curaçao and raised in Sint Maartin. He went to Dordrecht last month wearing a homemade T-shirt stenciled with the words “Zwarte Piet is Racism,” an action that quickly led to his arrest—though when he later demanded to know why, no specific law was cited.”

          • Mathius™ says:

            but I do think they are in denial when it comes to their own history.
            In a similar manner to the way in which Christian Americans are in denial about their vast and obvious favoritism in America?

            Their intolerance to criticism,
            In a similar manner to the way in which Christian Americans view any rollback of their excesses to be an assault on their religion itself?

            • I think you should be penalized 15yds and loss of down for illegal change of subject! You brought the story about the Dutch painting themselves black to celebrate their holiday and we responded. You ignored that response and made the leap to Christian Americans.

              How about finishing off the Dutch, or are you going to leave them hanging? Do they buy face black for next year or not?

              • Mathius™ says:

                You didn’t ask a question in your post – you just said you weren’t going there (neither am I), you thought they were racist (agree), and then quoted the article at length (I already read it before posting). So I didn’t realize we had much more to talk about on the subject. What would you like to know?

                “do they buy face black for next year or not?” Well they’re going to. It seems there’s been a slow shift from “santa has black slaves” to “santa has black helpers, some of whom are comical and some of whom are competent”.. maybe in another 20 years…?

                But you never commented on my point: Does pushing for a more politically correct stance in Holland, where this is going on, count as “PC gone wild”? And if not, then why does it count that way in the US where all most people are asking for is to not be inundated with your religion and/or to be included?

        • There is nothing wrong with people trying to influence their countries cultural norms-it is the methods used and the intent that matters.

          • Mathius™ says:

            Intent like asking you to stop assuming I believe in your holidays by wishing me a merry Christmas when I don’t believe in Christianity? Intent like that?

            Or methods like pushing the government (a theoretically secular institution which represents Christians and NON-Christians) to stop blatantly favoring one religion over another wish such things as “in God we trust,” “Under God,” Christmas as a national holiday, etc?

            • No, I was talking about whether or not the intent is to promote religious freedom for all or abolish religious thought and freedom from the public arena.

              Your feeling offended-is a matter of your personal feelings not a matter of your rights.

              As far as “in God we trust” we may be favoring religion but we are not favoring a specific religion-I think most religions believe in a God-even if their God is man himself. I’ll give you that making a man swear on some type of Holy Book who doesn’t believe in said book is a waste of time and he should have to swear on his own honor perhaps.

              But just as a question-would you like to explain to me logically why we shouldn’t have Christmas as a national holiday-when the majority of the nation is Christian-especially when Santa-which can be used in a purely secular way is a part of the festivities-based on something besides your Feelings?

              • Mathius™ says:

                we may be favoring religion but we are not favoring a specific religion-I think most religions believe in a God-even if their God is man himself.
                And why should we be favoring religion over non-religion? Shouldn’t a secular institution just stay quiet on the subject?

                And you’re playing a numbers game? Because “most” religions are monotheistic, you think it’s ok to exclude those which are not? Please explain that to the 900 MILLION Hindus.

                especially when Santa-which can be used in a purely secular way is a part of the festivities
                So now your contention is that Santa is secular? The jolly old fat guy purported to be Saint Nicolas (patron saint of sailors, merchants and others; the 4th century bishop of Myra) the Saint Nicolas who climbs down chimneys on Christmas Eve (after spying on you all year to establish whether you’re good or not) to give toys to Children as popularized in the movie Miracle on 34th Street? That Santa? Santa, whose name means SAINT, or literally, holy. Yes, this is very secular.

                ::sigh::

              • YES. I bet that the Wal Mart shoppers have no clue that Santa and St. Nick are one in the same. Santa is just the guy who brings gifts. Seems you’re stretching again, and infringing on our freedom of (not from) religion.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Santa is just the guy who brings gifts. For…..???

                Are you seriously going to make the argument that people do not associate Santa Claus with Christmas, a religious holiday? I don’t know a single person who does not make this connection. And us secularists are the one’s stretching!?

              • Mathius™ says:

                “The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there” – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

                So, now, your assertion is that because so many Wal Mart shoppers are ignorant of their own religion, that it’s ok to push it on me?

                Seems you’re stretching again It’s a stretch to contend that Santa Clause is part of Christian mythology? On what planet?

            • Mathius

              Some times your behavior is about as constructive as BF’s on these matters.

              Only less informed.

              Somebody who greets you is not imposing anything upon you.

              Good day! So given your logic I should not make such a salutation because you may not believe in Good or you may not believe id Day or you may just have a differing interpretation of one or both.

              Good freaking grief man. Somebody wishes you a Merry Christmas you are free to respond with Happy Holidays, Good Day, or just Bah Humbug. Your choice.

              For the record, we don’t have millions of Hindus living in the USA so your point is moot.

              Christmas is a National Holiday and the period surrounding it is a season of celebration.

              If you don’t like it, then don’t participate. Can’t wait to see how the little future Mathius rug rats react to your Scrooge like attitude.

              • Mathius™ says:

                So given your logic I should not make such a salutation because you may not believe in Good or you may not believe id Day or you may just have a differing interpretation of one or both. Fair question (for once in this conversation).

                So, I may not believe in Good or Day, as you put it, but what assumptions are you making about me in wishing me a “good” “day”? Neither says very much about me intrinsically. Neither of which is you taking a shot at something very personal like religion.

                A better comparison might be saying “Good day, ma’am” to someone whose gender is difficult to determine. If you guess wrong, you’re making certain assumptions about that person, and specifically that person’s fundamental nature, which are inaccurate. You’d be better off just saying “good day” instead of venturing into the more specific “ma’am” or “sir.”

                Same with wishing someone a happy holiday. Whether they celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or Other, holiday is fairly generic. Better still, would be wishing them a happy “season” since they may not celebrate any holidays at all (note, again, HOLIday —> HOLY day). But I’m only pushing for baby steps.

                Can’t wait to see how the little future Mathius rug rats react to your Scrooge like attitude. I’ll let you know.. First one’s due on my birthday in June, 2012! 😀

              • Yea!!!! Congratulations 🙂

              • Now-to your statement-why would you intentionally make the decision to be offended-does Logic tell you that people who say Merry Christmas are meaning to offend. If someones says Happy Holidays to me -I don’t care-If they say Happy Hanukkah to me-I say Happy Hanukkah back-If they said Happy Ramadan-I would say Happy Ramadan to you. I choose not to be offended-unless it is obvious that they are trying to be offensive. Why do you choose to be offended????

              • Mathius™ says:

                Thank you, V.. I honestly could not be happier. If it’s a boy, we’re going to name him Blue Flag. If she’s a girl, obviously, Pink Flag.

              • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

                Can we name your rug rat Babius?

              • Mathius™ says:

                It’s easy not to be offended when you’re in the vast majority. Why would you get annoyed when people guess your religion right 99% of the time and only rarely with you a happy Hanukkah?

                Go back to my gender comparison. If you call 100 people for business and 99% call you ma’am, that 1 who says sir isn’t going to bother you too much. But what if it’s the other way around? How many people are going to call you sir, before you’re steaming mad?

              • Mathius™ says:

                Can we name your rug rat Babius? SURE!

                Though right now, it’s just Feetius 🙂

            • Would that not be favoring secularism-would that not be abolishing religious thought from the public arena? No one is forcing anyone to worship or to worship a certain way. A religion hasn’t been established, No one is forcing anyone to worship or to worship a certain way- we are simply using our right of religious freedom. Which does not impose on your religious freedom or your secular beliefs. Although, you would gladly disallow my religious thoughts from the public square. What gives your secular thoughts priority over my religious ones? And it is the thoughts that you are trying to stop.

              I didn’t exclude them-“Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism, atheism, agnosticism, gnosticism among others;[73][74][75][76] and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each individual and the tradition and philosophy followed. It is sometimes referred to as henotheistic (i.e., involving devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of others), but any such term is an overgeneralization.[77]”

              One does not have to identify Santa as a religious figure-I know this-because I celebrated Christmas and identified the Man in the red suit and beard -in a non-religious way for many years. And you simply don’t have to celebrate Christmas at all-if you so choose.

              • Mathius™ says:

                Would that not be favoring secularism-would that not be abolishing religious thought from the public arena? No. It would be doing nothing in the public arena and keeping religion in the PRIVATE arena. Not insisting on wishing everyone you meet a happy celebration of your own religion wouldn’t say anything about your religion (other, perhaps, than that you don’t make obnoxious assumptions about other people).

                A religion hasn’t been established, No one is forcing anyone to worship or to worship a certain way- we are simply using our right of religious freedom. Which does not impose on your religious freedom or your secular beliefs. BS FLAG! Blue laws, (I would add abortion laws, but I’ll leave that out of this list), euthanasia laws, Terry Shivo, DOMA, DADT, public “decency” laws and before that, such gems as the “Religious Tolerance Act”.. no one is imposing on my secular beliefs with their religious beliefs? HAH AHHA AHAHAH HAHAHAHA HAHAHA ::aneurysm::

                didn’t exclude them-”Hinduism […]” Sure you did.. Just not all of them. Some are monotheistic, in which case “under God” fits them. Others are not, in which case you are declaring an official position of the country as before a single god, in direct conveyance of their beliefs.

                And you simply don’t have to celebrate Christmas at all-if you so choose. Oh, how I wish this were so. But no. In this country you don’t have a choice. The radio is full of Christmas songs. The TV plays the same movies over and over. People rehash their annual absurdity about the war on Christmas. The gaudy lights and displays come out. Maybe I’m not celebrating it (we Jews tend to go out for Chinese food on Christmas.. seriously.. that’s not a joke.. a huge number of us do this though nobody knows why).. Maybe I’m not celebrating it, but I sure as hell can’t escape being inundated with it.

                I sure can’t escape the true annual message of the season: “this is a Christian country, and don’t you uppity non-Christians forget it!”

              • The first one is total BS-if I am forced to keep my religious views private-than my religious views are not being allowed in the public square. I will not be labeled a second class citizen because I am religious.

                Total BS-we are a democracy, Matt, what I base my views on or fighting for a cause is my right and You do not have the right to say your views are okay but mine are not. One person-one vote.

                I did not leave them out-I said even if their God is man his self. I covered everything-what ever they think is God. If they don’t believe in a God than Man is his own God. If they believe nature is the eternal law -than God will still fit. Just ask BF-he calls the universe God.

                You still seem to think that your being offended is an actual basis to disallow someones elses’s freedom and that secular means you have the right to silence the religious. When secular means everyone is free to be. This attitude Matt is very dangerous.

              • Mathius™ says:

                Ok, first, atheists don’t believe Man is his own God. We believe there IS NO GOD. Maybe this seems like a subtle distinction to you, but it’s kindof a big deal. God is a mythical figure with superpowers – Man is just man. So let’s not keep conflating those, shall we?

                Second, I have never pushed to “banish” your religion from the public sphere. BANISH implies an external coercion. Such as REQUIRING you to do something, or FORBIDDING you from doing something. I have never suggested this. I suggest you SHOULD be more considerate. In the public sphere, you SHOULD keep your religion (or non-religion) to yourself. I have never said that you MUST do so. But I find failure to do so, in a way which assumes I share your believes, to be obnoxious.

                Matt, what I base my views on or fighting for a cause is my right and You do not have the right to say your views are okay but mine are not. One person-one vote. And when you base your vote on your religious views, say blue laws, and get those imposed on me, how does that support MY freedom FROM religion. Having NO religious laws would still allow you to practice your religious beliefs of not buying alcohol on the sabbath, and it would not compel private companies whose owners are Christian to be open on the sabbath, but having the laws DOES impact my secular life based on your religion. To see this more clearly, just escalate it – imagine if there were a law requiring no business on Sundays, or better still, church attendance. Now compare the secular converse – simply not having such laws – and you will see that your way is slavery for non-Christians to your religion, whereas mine is freedom for all while retaining your right to still observe your religion as you see fit.

                and that secular means you have the right to silence the religious Again, I am not silencing anyone. I’m asking you, nicely, to be more considerate. That’s all. Nothing more.

                However, as concerns the government, I think they should be purely secular – no trees, no religious holidays, no religious messages, no holiday cards, no decorations, no NORAD Santa Tracker, Government is a secular institution (or it’s supposed to be, anyway), and should act that way.

            • “Christian Americans are in denial about their vast and obvious favoritism in America?”
              Any proof of this? I will accept some Christians are in denial, just as some liberals are in denial. But what “favoritism”? Do Christians get better seats at the Packers games or lower interest rates on loans? Are there any laws that don’t apply to Christians? And is anyone “forced” to say a prayer before the game? Are some offended? Sure, but are Christians not offended by many things they see every day? Although homosexuality offends them, is it not a small segment that offers protest? And is that not done legally?
              Contrast that with those who seek to silence them, making any remark against gays to be “hate speech” and seeking to use force-by-law to silence them and to hell with freedom of speech.

              And what about you, my friend? Have you really looked at our history and how all the Christian influences were written into so much of our government’s works? Who demanded “In God We Trust” be place on our currency? Have you ever considered it was a natural way for our founders to speak because it was part of their culture. Remember back then, the Bible was used to learn reading when books were scarce and expensive.
              Pity all those poor children who just wanted to learn to read and caught religion as a consequence.

              “In a similar manner to the way in which Christian Americans view any rollback of their excesses to be an assault on their religion itself?”
              Why is any rollback of the 1st amendment not cause for outrage? How long until it’s illegal to say “bless you” when someone sneezes? Sorry my words offended you when you blew slime all over yourself! Maybe you can invent a new catch phrase for that situation?
              “Well blow me away”? “There she/he blows”?

              • Mathius™ says:

                Are there any laws that don’t apply to Christians? No, but you want the laws. If you pass a law that says everyone must change their name to (your name here), it wouldn’t affect you. But the rest of us would be put out by it. Does this make sense? So when CHRISTIANS pass laws such as blue laws, euthanasia laws, (abortion laws), public decency laws, or make their flagship holiday a federal holiday, it doesn’t “apply” to Christians any more than a law requiring you get older would cause you to age – you were going to age regardless. It only applies to people who want to do otherwise (including a subset of Christians who disagree with these particular tenets / applications of their religion).

                And is anyone “forced” to say a prayer before the game? No.. but many people want prayers in public school. And you try telling a young child that he/she’s not “forced” to pray while everyone around him is doing it. Children just love ostracizing themselves, and bullies do a great job of respecting individuality in (religious) minority students. So, yes, if some Christians had their way, then yes. Children would be FORCED to pray along with the group out of fear – not from authorities, but peers. And I defy you to tell me otherwise.

                Although homosexuality offends them, is it not a small segment that offers protest? And is that not done legally? I’m sorry it offends them, but they have no right to REPRESS THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS based on their sensibilities. Note, for the 150th time that I don’t suggest that anyone be required to say happy holidays instead of merry Christmas, only that they should.

                Contrast that with those who seek to silence them, making any remark against gays to be “hate speech” and seeking to use force-by-law to silence them and to hell with freedom of speech. I do not support any effort to quell hate speech by law except at the point at which it rises to meet a clear and present danger standard. I disagree with anyone who advocates for such laws outside of C&P. By the same argument above, people do not have the right to not be offended at the expense of REPRESSING THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS to free (if stupid) speech..

                Have you really looked at our history and how all the Christian influences were written into so much of our government’s works? Yes. Yes I have.

                Who demanded “In God We Trust” be place on our currency? Have you ever considered it was a natural way for our founders to speak because it was part of their culture. It wasn’t our founders. In God We Trust was added in the 50’s. It may have been a natural way for the founders to speak, but they opted to leave such a thing out because they recognized that this was a country of Christians AND non-Christians, and that they shouldn’t favor one group over another.

                Remember back then, the Bible was used to learn reading when books were scarce and expensive. Remember back that, that Jefferson wrote his own version of the bible where he edited out all the miracles and turned it into essentially a secular lesson on morality.

                Pity all those poor children who just wanted to learn to read and caught religion as a consequence. I do pity them. Religion is a terrible affliction to catch. Fortunately, there are clinics that can help. Sadly, Christopher Hitchens passed last week, but his books are still an excellent aid to recovering religion-addicts.

                Why is any rollback of the 1st amendment not cause for outrage? Who is rolling back the first amendment? The first amendment forbids government from favoring one religion over another. Rolling back laws WHICH FAVOR ONE RELIGION OVER ANOTHER is not rolling back the first amendment – it is RESTORING THE FIRST AMENDMENT. I want to get rid of governmental favoritism of Christianity and/or monotheism over other religions/non-religions. I want to get rid of blue laws, of euthanasia, of laws that forbid certain people from marrying each other.

                Further, for the 151st time, I am not advocating for using laws to stop anyone from putting up lights, playing Christmas music, or wearing gaudy Santa-sweaters. I am asking them only to be MORE CONSIDERATE. That is all. No outside force, law, requirement or other… just “could you please stop wishing me a celebration of a religion I don’t practice? It’s annoying. Thanks.”

      • And the Dutch were the last to end slavery too (and it didn’t need a civil war)

      • Mathius™ says:

        That article right there is proof of the “Liberal Media Bias”

        Total and utter BS. But the media is in the tank for Obama.

        Harrumph.

    • Always imaginative, the ACLU’s elves are finding new ways to step on Christmas, which they seem to regard as about as important in America as, oh, churches.

      This year, the liberal organization’s lawyers are playing off the traditional carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” with an ACLU version, “The 12 Days of Religious Liberty.” It’s not a song, just a litany of religious cases.

      Here’s their exquisitely multicultural explanation:

      During what is often referred to as the holiday season, a variety of cultures and religions honor an equally diverse number of both religious and secular traditions. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Bodhi Day are just some of the religious holidays that are celebrated this time of year.

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/19/the-aclus-12-days-of-litigation/#ixzz1h5tFdJEO

  30. ABC’s Jake Tapper reported “an all-star list of progressive and liberal media folks” had coffee with President Obama in the Roosevelt Room on Monday — including MSNBC hosts Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, and Chris Hayes. In the Bush years, it was considered a major scandal for Roger Ailes to send a note to the White House, but MSNBC stars meet with Obama, and it’s just another day of “hope and change.”

    Tapper added the conversation included Obama’s economic messaging, fighting corporate influence in politics, the Obama agenda for 2012, the arguments against different GOP candidates, the desire among some Democrats for Obama to highlight his foreign policy accomplishments, and “the ‘crappiness’ of the Senate filibuster , as one attendee put it.” The fairly nonpartisan blog Inside Cable News also underlined “frequent MSNBC contributors Ezra Klein and Joy-Ann Reid” and doesn’t like the chumminess of it all:

    All I’ll say is that if that many of FNC’s hosts and contributors had shown up at the same time for a Bush chat, it would be all over the web and probably the media as well. I don’t like it. It makes me uncomfortable for MSNBC to let that many of its people have open access to the President. It may be innocuous but at the very least it looks bad/smells fishy, especially when we don’t really know what goes on at these things beyond the most cursory of summaries.

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2011/12/20/pile-msnbc-hosts-go-white-house-coffee-talk-obama#ixzz1h5Qpn6OU

  31. That is really odd-I was going to add a reply on the previous page and there aren’t any reply buttons.

    OH well, JAC-perhaps when we talk again about the Law of identity -we should consider whether or not man’s need to justify his actions-is an instinctual identifier-like the desire to pursue our lives?

    • V.H.

      The need to pursue is part of our identity.

      What we pursue is part of our discussion on epistemology, morality, and ethics.

      Still having problems with the idea that pursuing our continued existence is the prime directive?

      • No, just pointing out that your qualifiers on identity-is based on instinctual behavior-not our ability’s which make us unique from the rest of the beings on earth. And trying to determine what those other identifiers are and what truth’s, or rights, or responsibilities we might derive from them.

        And I also wonder what truth is derived from our having special abilities. Why do we have them? What responsibilities come with just having the ability to determine right from wrong-to use logic, etc.

        • And you really need to write that article-doing this piecemeal without at least an outline of the whole picture probably makes for a lot of unnecessary questions. But my mind just won’t quit bugging me. 🙂

        • V.H.

          To say that Man’s “identity”, or my description of it, only includes “instinctual behavior” would not be accurate.

          Humans can not survive on instinct in the strict sense. That is part of our Nature, so to speak. We must Think, not just react.

          Now obviously humans do have certain instinctual traits. We breath without thinking is a simple example. But for the most part, we must conceptualize what it is we need to pursue life and then we must devise strategies to get it.

          And I am not saying that other animals may not think as well. Only that human capacity for thought is much greater and thus our ability to define LIFE itself is much greater.

          It seems to me that the phrase “free will” captures the notion in simple terms that have broad meaning.

          • Okay, but are you not, deriving our right to pursue life based on our instinctual drive to survive. This makes perfect sense to me, to use the instinctual to prove they are God or nature given-which your past words seemed to say- If how we manage to survive is part of our identity-than why are other identifiers simply an opinion instead of a truth.

            • V.H.

              “Okay, but are you not, deriving our right to pursue life based on our instinctual drive to survive. ”

              I would say yes, essentially.

              But I would substitute “inherent” for the word “instinctual”.

              All living things inherently pursue living. How they pursue living is confined by their nature. Some of this may be “instinctual” and some driven by “reason”.

              How we manage to survive in not “part of our identity” as much as it is the result of our identity.

              Let me put it this way. Nature gave us a drive to live. Nature gave us a brain. Nature requires that we use that brain and then act to live. We can not sit still and expect to live. Nature also gave us the ability to decide. But nature did not provide us with What, Where, When or How.

              But this is where nature leaves off and WE take over. How we use the brain. How we think and how we act is now up to us. It is our exercise of the Free Will that Nature gave us.

              Is that better? Or did I just make matters worse?

              • Have to get back to this-going to a Christmas Party-Got so involved here I’m gonna have to hurry. 🙂

  32. Black Flag

    When you inherit a piece of property does the bank contract tied to the property come with it?

    Do you not inherit the Contract with the property, and are you not obligated to the terms of said contract?

    That is until YOU take action to change those terms. By either selling the property or paying off the debt to eliminate the contract.

    • JAC

      Black Flag When you inherit a piece of property does the bank contract tied to the property come with it?

      1) I can refuse the property/pay out the bank/change the terms.

      None of these features exist for your “constitution”.

      2) Property is not human. You cannot assign me to a bank as chattel (ie: slavery is a no-no)

      Without this feature, your analogy is lost.

      • BF

        Actually it is not lost at all.

        Your very first point affirms my argument.

        Your second point is irrelevant as you are trying to redefine the terms and very nature of the Constitution. The document does not assign you to anything. It is a long term contract with Govt. that controls the nature of Govt.

        It is the Govt that creates the imposition upon you, not the Constitution.

        A contract you inherit at birth and which you get to act upon when you become an adult.

        If you choose not to act then you don’t get to simply claim it doesn’t exist.

        REALITY my friend must be accepted for what it is. You err when trying to hang your hat on the notion that a contract written by others has absolutely no bearing on you. It has and it will continue to do so.

        Your argument should be with the concept of one group acting that results in imposition of your freedoms and rights without your explicit agreement. This is the violation, not the concept of transferable contract.

        • JAC

          BF Actually it is not lost at all. Your very first point affirms my argument.

          I do not think so – but you best restate your argument.

          The document does not assign you to anything.

          It demands my obedience and acceptance to it, no matter my yea or nay.

          • BF

            It does NOT demand your obedience.

            It does ASSUME your acceptance, until you act to change it.

            Again, the issue is in the method of “changing” it. Or in your case, the method of denying its primacy over Govt.

            • JAC

              BF It does NOT demand your obedience.

              It takes my rights without my consent.
              It imposes taxes upon me that should I refuse, it will act upon me.

              If I obey (submit) it will not act upon me.

              This is a demand and a demand of obedience.

              It does ASSUME your acceptance, until you act to change it.

              I, BF, cannot change it.

              It assumes more than my acceptance – and it is its assumptions that are wrong.

              Again, the issue is in the method of “changing” it. Or in your case, the method of denying its primacy over Govt.

              It is a paradigm, and as such it is a mess of contradictions.

  33. JAC

    a contract written by others has absolutely no bearing on you. It has and it will continue to do so

    No, sir.
    You have a conceptual error here.

    No contract written by other has any bearing on me, including your example.

    What you infer is that my inheriting a contract (via property in your example) has a bearing on me.

    But it does not.

    The property is not mine – it is owned by someone else, and they made the contract.

    I chose to be bound by the contract by my sole agreement – and NO ONE can force me to accept said contract – the property is NOT mine to start and is NOT mine at the end… nothing changes for me (as it should not change). No contract has a bearing on me, and I am what I was before (property-less).

    My specific agreement to contract changes my situation – but that is already accepted as a matter in action and affairs – so simply because a gain to be based on my voluntary agreement does not suddenly change this either.

    • Saw it on the news but did not see it in person. You had to be in Birmingham to see it and I was not, I was at home. Only working 4 days a week as things are quite slow in our neck of the woods, being off every Friday is nice until you get your check.

  34. I couldn’t squeeze into the right spot above so ….

    CONGRATULATIONS MATHIUS AND EMILIUS ! 🙂

    • Mathius™ says:

      Thanks, Anita!

      • Matt, Aren’t you afraid naming your child Flag -might have unintended consequences-A little BF running around. Oh my!! Your own little anarchist! 🙂

    • Ditto!

      There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.
      – Winston Churchill

    • There is a little BF running around… though she isn’t little any more – taller then her Mom now….

      PS: why are you congratulating Mathius?
      His head is too big already… that’s why the pirate hat keeps falling off….

    • Congratulations Mathius! I can’t wait to see the changes in you!

      From above:

      “Can we name your rug rat Babius? SURE!

      Though right now, it’s just Feetius :)”

      Actually for you that would be Parasitius, right?

      • 🙂 I was waiting for that!

      • Mathius™ says:

        I was waiting for that, too..

        I might argue that it’s more of a symbiotic relationship than parasitic. A parasite steals from the host against the host’s will and gives nothing back. A symbiont is wanted and takes nutrients which are willingly given. As my wife and I very much want children, this fetus is taking from my wife what she willingly gives, and in return, my wife and I get the happiness of knowing (hoping) that soon we will have a child.

        So, I might argue that parasite is a poor descriptor in this case.

        My two cents.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          cute little Simbiotius!

          We all hope s/he takes after its mother….minus the conservative leanings.

        • And look who is evolving already! Funny how we change the description when it’s our own; it really is a living, breathing fetus isn’t it?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I don’t think Mathius is changing his position or definition here — since this is a wanted pregnancy, there is a symbiotic relationship; however if it was unwanted it would be a parasitic relationship.

            See the distinction? Then again I don’t want to speak for Mathius or little Simbiotius here…

            • Funny-the baby hasn’t really changed -just the attitude of the parents towards their baby.

              • What baby? Do you mean the fetus?

              • Yes, Mathius – the baby.

                def:
                . An unborn child; a fetus. c. The youngest member of a family or group.

              • Call your child whatever you want-I had to make the observation-I simply don’t have the ability not too. 🙂 But I absolutely refuse to discuss abortion with you-right now-this is a Happy, celebratory time. Your life will never be the same but it is soooooo worth it. I’ll never forget being given that baby to hold-right after the birth-A feeling of intense love and an almost overwhelming feeling of responsibility all rolled up into one.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                VH, with abortion, at least to me, its all about the attitude of the parents (specifically the mother) — does the mother want to have a baby? does she want to carry the fetus to term? is it a wanted or unwanted pregnancy?

                If the mother wants the baby, it is a wanted pregnancy, she wants to carry it to term, etc., then there is no discussion on abortion.

                If the mother does not want the baby, if it is an unwanted pregnancy, etc., then (in Mathius’ terms) it is more akin to a parasitic relationship and abortion may come into play.

                Make sense?

              • No, it doesn’t make sense-It will never make sense.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                And therein lies the problem of debating abortion — the two sides talk completely past one another.

                Can we at least agree that abortion is a difficult decision for the mother involved? That we should work to limit abortions by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies?

                Isn’t there some common ground here as opposed to a heated debate that will never get anywhere?

              • What a bunch of lawyer speak from…..a lawyer!

                What is inside the mother doesn’t vary depending on the emotions of the parents! I can’t even believe this attempt at justification.

                Bulldookey! Major bulldookey!!!

              • and an almost overwhelming feeling of responsibility

                V.H. I am going to screw this kid up so badly, it’s terrifying. I guess that’s what second children are for..

              • Buck the Wala says:

                “that’s what second children are for”

                You sure about that? Seems your parents needed at least a third to get things right! 🙂

              • Maybe I should have said an overwhelming feeling of protectiveness-didn’t mean to freak you out-you will do fine-you will only screw the kid up a little-they are programmed to love us. So they usually forgive us for our mistakes as long as they know we love them. You should be more worried about you hurting someone else-because they had the nerve to hurt your baby. And he or she will always be your baby. My oldest baby is 30.

              • Buck,

                Yes the conversations are worthwhile-you will never convince me that abortion is Right but I may convince someone that abortion is wrong 🙂 But abortion is a reality-so talking about the policies and such surrounding it can be productive.

              • Buck,

                Can we at least agree that abortion is a difficult decision for the mother involved?

                Answer me this question:

                Does the degree of difficulty of a choice impute more right into the decision? …less? doesn’t make a difference?

                That we should work to limit abortions by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies?

                The best way to avoid the negative consequences of some actions is by avoiding the action to begin with.

                One of the worse ways to avoid the negative consequences of some actions is to kill somebody so to avoid responsibility.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I advocate getting rid of this right-wrong nonsense in the context of abortion. Abortion is not morally right nor is it morally wrong.

                While not having sex is the most certain way of avoiding an unintended pregnancy (rape notwithstanding), advocating abstention only and doing nothing else is most certainly not the best way of reducing unintended pregnancies as it just will not happen. Why not instead support greater availability of contraceptives?

              • Buck,

                Abortion is not morally right nor is it morally wrong.

                It is an absolute moral wrong to inflict harm on innocent people – which is exactly what abortion requires.

                That’s the problem with the Progressive/Leftist/Abortionist stance.

                They apply no moral judgement to their action … which is exactly where such judgement is required.

                They apply their judgement to the consequences of the action – if the consequence is a negative for them, they claim they have a right to more evil action to mitigate the consequences of their last irresponsible act.

                They are truly
                “The Ends justifies the Means”…. which is why almost every policy or program they implement or try to implement seems to always end badly … and often causing the slaughter of millions.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I’m not going to get into a debate right now as to whether or not abortion is killing ‘an innocent person’. We’ve been through this ad nauseum and clearly we will never get anywhere with it.

              • Buck,

                Exactly.
                You require the necessity of ignoring humanity so to provide mitigation of consequences due to a behavior.

                You do not measure the behavior – indeed, you ignore it as part of your evaluation.

                Thus, you are trapped into supporting evil and horror as long as it benefits you.

              • Mathius™ says:

                But, Buck.. That’s only because Flag refuses to draw out his theories from first principles. If only he would draw a straight line from natural law down to “abortion = murder,” I would be forced to change my mind.

              • Mathius,

                hat’s only because Flag refuses to draw out his theories from first principles. If only he would draw a straight line from natural law down to “abortion = murder,” I would be forced to change my mind.

                I have done this already – but you always abandon the argument when it is presented…. sort of a “lalahalalhalalah can’t hear you” tactic.

              • Buck,

                You equate a fetus with a living, breathing human being.

                You do not believe it is alive???? You are truly bizarre.

                So if it does not intake air, it is not alive , nor human?

                Then what is it???

                Hence, abortion is murder,

                In most circumstances, it is such beyond any doubt.

                I do not.

                Thus, humanity suffers great evil at the hands of those that have a self-serving need to avoid the consequences of their own action.

              • Wow-that is the problem-morality has been pushed down to be nothing more than a matter of opinion-usually based on math. WE can argue about how morality should effect actual Law. But it damn well shouldn’t be nothing more than economics when it comes to man determining right from wrong. You dismiss the importance of morality on mankind and a society-you have doomed yourself just as you doom the baby in the womb.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                From a discussion between Saletan and Katha Pollitt (of The Nation):

                I think the meaning of abortion is what the woman says it is: For a woman who wants a child but can’t have this one it can be sad; for a woman who doesn’t want a baby, it can feel like a huge relief, like having your whole life given back to you. Negative feelings—the sense of the road not taken, that maybe you would have wanted to take had life been different, the feeling that you chose yourself instead of the baby-to-be and maybe that means you are not a good woman, the feeling that you messed up somehow—are often confused with morality, but they are not the same. Morality has to do with rights and duties and obligations between people. So, no: I do not think terminating a pregnancy is wrong. A potential person is not a person, any more than an acorn is an oak tree. I don’t think women should have to give birth just because a sperm met an egg. I think women have the right to consult their own wishes, needs, and capacities and produce only loved, wanted children they can care for—or even no children at all. I think we would all be better off as a society if we respected women’s ability to make these decisions for themselves and concentrated on caring well for the born.

              • Buck,

                I think women have the right to consult their own wishes, needs, and capacities and produce only loved, wanted children they can care for—or even no children at all. I think we would all be better off as a society if we respected women’s ability to make these decisions for themselves and concentrated on caring well for the born.

                Then why do you not extend this to the woman’s child after its born? Why can’t a woman make this very claim you suggest here at any time in her life?

                You can make this argument equally at any time!

                Where is your coherent argument that suddenly draws an arbitrary line at some point in time to suddenly make it “immoral” to make this decision about her child…say, when the child is 20??

                If this is her “right” – it remains her right.

                …Well, we both know you don’t agree with that either.

                So you are totally inconsistent, as usual.

                Arbitrary, whimsical, irrational …. anything goes as long as the consequences can be avoided.

              • I’m hearing all about a woman’s “feelings” and “economics” but not much on why exactly a baby in the womb isn’t a person. You are either alive or your dead. You are either human or you are not. There really isn’t an in between-now we pronounce people dead if they are brain dead(which is Matt’s big stumbling block) but a brain that is developing and growing is not dead and ability is not the measure for life. The abortion supporters had to totally throw out the definition for LIFE and Human and exchange it for a new definition that means-JUSTIFICATION for EVIL.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                You equate a fetus with a living, breathing human being. Hence, abortion is murder, a moral wrong that cannot be allowed to occur.

                I do not.

                And this is why I say that it is a pointless debate as the two viewpoints just talk past one another without any ability of reaching consensus. This is why I agree with Saletan in trying to place the focus more on how to reduce unwanted pregnancies (the ONLY proven way of reducing the number of abortions – something I am sure you would support).

              • Buck the Wala says:

                BF — I don’t believe you have provided a straight line argument on this, but in case I missed it, can you please provide it?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Simply put, a POTENTIAL human being.

              • Buck,

                If it is not human, what is it?

              • Buck,
                What is your “measure” to determine the difference between potential and reality?

              • Mathius™ says:

                If it is not human, what is it? A feeeeetus.

                But, again, I would simply like to know what your sense of natural law is such that you draw your distinctions for killing cows is ok, but killing humans is not. Alllll the way back to basics:

                Natural Law = X
                X, therefore Y
                Y, therefore Z
                Z, therefore eating cows is ok
                Z, therefore aborting fetuses is not ok

                I know we liberals are slow, but I promise to do my best to follow your logic.

              • Mathius,

                Darn – I forgot.

                I am dialoguing with a fellow who has a hard time understanding that black is not white.

                If it is not human, what is it? A feeeeetus.

                Definition of a fetus:
                …. fetus is a developing mammal or other viviparous vertebrate after the embryonic stage and before birth.

                As I cannot get you to understand self-evident fact (black is not white), it is probable that you will not understand the difference between a stage of development and the being

                If you were consistent, you would argue that a 4-year old child (a stage of development) is not human either, since it is not an adult (a stage of development).

    • Kathy,

      Yep — yet no one would buy the book about “Everything BF knows about economics”….

      …God is a troublesome teenager….

      He makes lies easy to tell and quick and emotionally powerful.

      He makes the simple truths appear behind complex concepts — that are really very simple —- but take hard time to power through the lies to discover and end up boring people after the first 3 chapters of a 16 chapter dialogue.

      Twain understood.
      “A lie is half way around the world before the truth is finished tying its shoe laces”

  35. If there a description of the power of the State and its evil and its sick perversions.

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/kims-11-ace-debut-round-recalled-twitter-191948700.html

    I can imagine the “Dear Leader” smacking the ball… falling off the tee…. and his guards screaming “Hole in One!”

    There is so much depth of understanding the power of violence in this story, it would be a novel.

    • So our own media and all the president’s minions have some catching up to do. I have no doubt they can and will rise to the occasion on behalf of The One.

  36. Is Mathius pregnant???

  37. The difference between a Free Market and a Government service:

    Two friends meet, one a postman, one a UPS man.

    “How are you doing?” asks the UPS guy.

    “Horribly,” replies the postman. “Too many packages! How about you?”

    “Our best year ever,” says his UPS friend. “So many packages!”

    • So true!

      What is Chicago School of Economics?

      • Kathy,

        The Chicago school is a label on a particular economic theory (like “Austrian” Economics …. a certain school of economic theory that was loosely founded in Austria…)

        Their base premise is called “Monetarism”…. the belief that the government, by manipulating the production of money can smooth the “business cycle” optimally.

        They are anti-Keynesian … they do attack many of the same contradictions of Keynes as the Austrians… that is, they do not believe demand creates supply and they believe in Say’s Law.

        The difference though is that though they tend to free market values in most goods, they do not believe in a free market over money.

        They believe that government is required to create money – and they believe government should control the production and destruction of money as necessary for the economy.

        They do not like gold, for it limits the production of government money. They are pro-fiat currency, and pro-artificial manipulation of interest rates.

        Milton Friedman is probably their ideological leader (like Mises/Rothbard/Hayek is for the Austrians) and it is from him the “Chicago” School derives as he taught at the University of Chicago.

        Much of their work is meritorious as it is essentially based on free market theories, but they drift badly when it comes to monetary theory… they are very confused, contradictory and incomprehensible as they do not have a coherent understanding and theory of money (unlike Mises and the Austrians)

        • Hmm, that makes sense. Was reading a debate in a comment section on a site earlier and one of the people was a strong Friedman supporter (another a strong Mises and another a Keynesian). The Chicago and Austrian agreed on a lot but they would occasionally turn on each other seemingly in the free market area. It was fun to read along.

  38. Common Man says:

    All;

    I most likely will not get much of a chance to write prior to the Christmas / Holiday weekend, so wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and joyful celebration. Spend time with those you love, help someone who needs a hand-up, say a prayer and have a Happy New Year.

    And just for fun here is a riddle:

    A man walks into a bar and up to the bartender and asks for a glass of water. The bartender pulls out a sawed off shotgun and points the business end between the mans eyes. The man who asked for the water lays down a $20 tip says Thank You and leaves.

    Why did he leave a tip and say thank you?

    Wait for it…..

    wait….

    The man who asked for the water had the hiccups.

    CM

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Asking for support of the “red cause” by asking us to participate in a CAPITALIST transaction….

      Interesting tactic Charlie!

      However; I have found that political ideals often have little bearing on one’s skill as a writer, so I am betting the book is well worth a read; I may have to check it out 🙂

  39. Anita and all,

    When talking about the US moving closer to becoming a police state, I don’t think it’s one thing such as the Defense bill. It’s the death by a thousand paper-cuts that is killing us.
    I posted a cartoon from American Thinker yesterday that said, if you build it (any business), they will come(multiple gov. agencies). I have posted such acts as swat raids on orchid growers, raw milk sellers and Gibson Guitar. I have also personally spoken to local and state police officers about SWAT programs and even offered assistance. Most of them strike me as kids wanting new toys than having any desire to become oppressive. And these guys have been in hostage situations where better equipment might have made a difference to all involved.

    But I am concerned with the change in mentality I see in some. On TV you can watch Dallas SWAT serve warrants. When/why/how did that become a common SWAT duty?
    Do they want to arrest the bad guy or provoke them into a firefight? And this morning I cam across an article from The Daily Beast…..

    Nestled amid plains so flat the locals joke you can watch your dog run away for miles, Fargo treasures its placid lifestyle, seldom pierced by the mayhem and violence common in other urban communities. North Dakota’s largest city has averaged fewer than two homicides a year since 2005, and there’s not been a single international terrorism prosecution in the last decade.

    But that hasn’t stopped authorities in Fargo and its surrounding county from going on an $8 million buying spree to arm police officers with the sort of gear once reserved only for soldiers fighting foreign wars.

    Every city squad car is equipped today with a military-style assault rifle, and officers can don Kevlar helmets able to withstand incoming fire from battlefield-grade ammunition. And for that epic confrontation—if it ever occurs—officers can now summon a new $256,643 armored truck, complete with a rotating turret. For now, though, the menacing truck is used mostly for training and appearances at the annual city picnic, where it’s been parked near the children’s bounce house.

    “Most people are so fascinated by it, because nothing happens here,” says Carol Archbold, a Fargo resident and criminal justice professor at North Dakota State University. “There’s no terrorism here.”

    Like Fargo, thousands of other local police departments nationwide have been amassing stockpiles of military-style equipment in the name of homeland security, aided by more than $34 billion in federal grants since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a Daily Beast investigation conducted by the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

    • Here I am. I promise you I am not in denial about a growing police state. I have read every scary article that every one of you has posted. I have prepared myself and my family as best as I can and continue to collect up what I see as necessary. My freezers are full, my pantry is overloaded, I have milk jugs clean and ready to fill with water at any time, my safe is loaded, I continue to warn my friends and family. I have discussed with both my kids about a meetup place should something happen while we are not together. I have spoken to both my ex’s for crying out loud that should either of them need anything during a collapse that I’d be willing to team up. I have flashlights, batteries, solar radio, manual tools, firewood stacked, seeds stored for next year, 15 gallons of gas in cans. What else would you like me to do? Build a bomb shelter? 🙂 I GET IT.

      I’ve also learned to keep my mouth shut next time on one damn bill that has everyone uptight. I won’t do that again.

      • No ma’am-you bite your tongue-you keep speaking up-your thoughts are as important and relevant as everybody else’s.

      • OK – you’ve got to believe her! She’s including the ex’s in her plan!

        LOL!

        BTW, you are doing just fine! I honestly haven’t read the bill like you have, but I view the debate as “you give an inch…” thing. Like, oh I don’t know, Social Security is only a short-term program.

      • “What else would you like me to do?” Didn’t you & Kathy have a lake outing? Send pic’s
        (yes, I am a perv) I think your preparedness may be a little over the top, but don’t see it as a bad thing. If all stays well, what was the harm? And if it just helps you sleep at night, it’s worthwhile.

        “I’ve also learned to keep my mouth shut next time on one damn bill that has everyone uptight. I won’t do that again.”

        Then I’ve failed in my message. I never want to stop any intelligent discussion. Doesn’t mean we will agree, but your view is worth my time to hear! To me one big point on all this is even one congressman proposing a law that violates a fundamental right in the constitution should spark outrage. The media hypes every story about Chaz getting his feelings hurt, but ignores the suspension of American citizens right to fair trial. One way to fight this is with a lot of talk. Spread awareness of the issue and the principle. It doesn’t matter that we aren’t connected to any terrorist group, so won’t be affected. What matters is them saying the constitution doesn’t apply to any certain Americans, on American soil.

        PS, gas needs to be stirred weekly or so, or becomes stagnant.

  40. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense confirmed during a Tuesday morning conference call with members of Congress that the administration will be reducing the National Guard troop presence on the border with Mexico by 75 percent, according to Texas Republican Rep. Ted Poe.

    The briefing featured U.S. Customs and Border Protection Assistant Commissioner David V. Aguilar, Border Patrol Chief Michael Fischer and DOD Assistant Secretary Paul Stockton.

    The administration representatives revealed that the National Guard’s presence on the border will be reduced from 1,200 to 300 troops and their budget will decrease from $120 million to $60 million.

    “It is a mistake,” Poe told TheDC. “Last week Jason Altmire, Democrat from Pennsylvania, and I sent a letter to the president asking him not to reduce the number of National Guard troops. I’ve always thought 1,200 wasn’t enough. In fact I introduced legislation to put 10,000 at the border.”

    Poe pointed to statistics as the reason he opposes the planned reduction.

    “GAO, the General Accounting Office, says the border is only 44 percent secure,” said Poe. “Well, if we only control 44 percent, who controls the other 56 percent? It’s not Mexico, it’s not the United States, well who is it? It’s the drug cartels. So its an unwise decision.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/20/administration-to-reduce-guard-troops-on-the-us-mexico-border-by-75-percent/#ixzz1hBGDbl2G

  41. Buck,

    Please answer me this question:

    You steal property but you are caught, and as part of your restitution, you have to repay the owner his loss.

    Would you claim that the owner is a “parasite” on you?

  42. Buck,

    An acorn is not an oak tree

    It is an OAK acorn – it will be nothing else!

    You are truly bizarre, sir. Your arguments here are totally irrational.

    You use labels to create the definition of the material, when it is the other way around.

  43. Buck the Wala says:

    BF,

    First, I didn’t make that statement, I quoted that statement.

    Second, to work within that analogy, yes, an acorn will (absent some other force or event) develop into an oak tree. But it is pretty silly to look at an acorn and say, wow that’s a beautiful oak tree.

    Pollitt’s point, I think, in making that statement is that, much like an acorn is a potential oak tree, a fetus is a potential human being.

    • Buck,

      Second, to work within that analogy, yes, an acorn will (absent some other force or event) develop into an oak tree. But it is pretty silly to look at an acorn and say, wow that’s a beautiful oak tree.

      It is incredibly irrational to look at that acorn and say “gee, it is NOT an oak” when, IN FACT, it is.

      Read this carefully:
      A stage of DEVELOPMENT does not change what it is

      Do you believe a human child is not human because it is not a human adult?

      If you do not, then you agree that development does NOT make the being.

      If you agree, then what being is the child vs the adult?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        BF,

        No, it is incredibly irrational to look at an acorn and call it an oak tree. It is not an oak tree. Is it a thing on the developmental path to becoming an oak tree? Sure. But no, it is not an oak tree.

        Similarly, I agree that it is a human fetus (as opposed to a monkey fetus, dog fetus, etc.) but a human fetus is not a human being. I understand you believe otherwise. And this is why, once again, I find these debates so annoying – we continue to just talk past each other and are completely incapable of reaching any sort of consensus, except to agree to disagree.

        • Buck

          BF, No, it is incredibly irrational to look at an acorn and call it an oak tree.

          It is an OAK acorn – not a tree.
          It is HUMAN baby – not an adult.

          Do you understand the concept of development at all?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Yes, it is an oak acorn, but NOT an oak TREE. That’s what I’ve been saying all along!

            See? Continuously talking past one another….not very productive.

            • Buck

              BF: Do you understand the concept of development at all?

              Buck: Yes, it is an oak (stage of development), but NOT an oak (stage of development).
              That’s what I’ve been saying all along!

              Yes sir, that is exactly what you have been saying all along, hence, why your argument is irrational.

              As I pointed out to be consistent – you equally would claim a fetus/baby/child/teenager is not human because it is not an adult.

              But you cannot have your way if you are consistent, so you champion irrationality whenever it suits you.

        • Buck,

          Is it a thing on the developmental path to becoming an oak tree?

          A tree is the “adult” stage of an oak.

          but a human fetus is not a human being.

          Definition of “Being”:
          Noun:
          Existence: “the railroad brought many towns into being”.
          Living; being alive.

          So, you now argue that a human fetus does not exist in reality and/or is not alive.

          I find these debates so annoying – we continue to just talk past each other and are completely incapable of reaching any sort of consensus, except to agree to disagree.

          No, you find these debates annoying because you cannot worm your way out of an irrational position and into a rational one without appearing evil, whimsical and arbitrary.

          Do do not want to appear evil whimsical or arbitrary because you do not wish evil on yourself, you do not wish to be subject to the whimsical choices of others nor do you wish others make arbitrary decisions upon you.

          But in your attempt to justify the avoidance of a consequence of behavior, you have no other path.

          So you try to fool yourself and others by playing this game.

          You have no principle upon which you measure your position.

          I have asked for it, and you have abandoned the argument – as I expect you will do right now … like you have always done…

          • Buck the Wala says:

            No BF, I abandon these discussion – as yes I am doing now — because my boss so happened to decide to dump a file in my lap that needs to be completed today.

            I do not abandon these discussions because of a perceived inability to worm my way out of a so-called irrational position you believe me to hold.

            • Buck

              100% of the time, this is what you do – and always at this point – the demand you provide the basis and principle for your position.

              You will never provide it, for it will demonstrate your contradiction and inconsistency.

              Because you see yourself as honest, you would be doomed to admitting a serious error, or risk being a dishonest man.

              An honest man, seeing his error, corrects himself – or else he is no longer honest.

              Thus, for you, your answer to this conundrum is to never test the honesty – and avoid the test at all costs.

              If no one can peg your principle, your “principle” is a ghost and malleable upon your whim – and you can appear to youself in the mirror as “honest”.

              But it is a dishonest tactic – so, where does that leave you now?

              • Buck,

                So I repeat:
                You now argue that a human fetus does not exist in reality and/or is not alive.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                BF,

                I sincerely do not know what you are looking for. I have provided my views on abortion many times, we have gone back and forth on this many times. You refuse to accept my position that a fetus does not equal a living breathing human being. So be it.

                The basis for this belief? The basis stems from the fact that prior to viability, a fetus cannot survive on its own. A subtle distinction? Sure. A distinction without merit? I think not; You think so.

                The argument that my position necessitates an extension to points past viability or past birth? Irrational, bizarre and ridiculous (to use some of your words). As I’ve said many times before, viability works for me. You don’t like it, or disagree, I’m ok with that. I promise that I will never ever try to force you to have an abortion.

                But seriously, the only reason I walk away from these debates is due to work….which I must get back to!

  44. Buck the Wala says:

    BF,

    “Then why do you not extend this to the woman’s child after its born? Why can’t a woman make this very claim you suggest here at any time in her life?

    You can make this argument equally at any time!”

    Speaking of utterly bizarre arguments…

    • Buck

      I agree it is bizarre but that is your argument!

      You posted that exactly!

      Now, you discredit your own argument…. so now where do you stand?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Please point to where I made the argument that a mother should have the right to kill her child.

        By the way, still waiting on your straight line argument, step by step, from natural law to abortion=murder.

        • Buck
          Right here:

          I think women have the right to consult their own wishes, needs, and capacities and produce only loved, wanted children they can care for—or even no children at all. M/i>

          So, explain to me why if the child is not loved, you believe she can kill it when it is in her womb, but if the child is not loved after it is born, she cannot kill it.

          Why does time makes you draw the line?

          Do you hold she can kill it at any time up to birth? Why not one second after birth?

          What happens in that one second that changes the baby from something that can be killed to something that should not be killed?

        • Buck,

          By the way, still waiting on your straight line argument, step by step, from natural law to abortion=murder.

          Murder – killing of innocent human being.

          Abortion – killing of innocent human being.

          If M=K and A=K then M=A

          Ergo,
          Murder=Abortion.

  45. Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit.
    – Bill Cosby

  46. Buck

    You refuse to accept my position that a fetus does not equal a living breathing human being

    Your position is merely an arbitrary claim that you do not believe a fetus is a being and it is living – though it is a being (it exists) and it is alive

    So you ask me to accept a position that is completely and utterly false.

    How can you say this is a good argument?

    • Buck,
      So the breathing part.

      A person on in an operating room who is not breathing – but attached to a machine which is oxygenating the blood.

      They are not “viable” – the loss of the machine, they die.

      So, all of the conditions to which you assign to be “a human being” do not exist.

      This person is not a human being.

      Is this correct?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Sigh. This is why I didn’t want to go down this road today — we’ve been here before and it is utterly pointless. You try to conflate my argument with a completely different situation to make your point that my position is either a) arbitrary, b) irrational, c) the root of all evil, or d) some combination of the above.

        My position stems from the simple fact that a fetus is not a person. End of story. No matter how hard you try, you cannot with any sincerity argue that my position in any way necessitates an extension to a child, a man on an operating table, or a woman on life support in a hospital room.

        • Buck

          Sigh. This is why I didn’t want to go down this road today — we’ve been here before and it is utterly pointless

          Sir,
          It is pointless because you have no principle.

          I have charged you with this moral crime (lack of principle) and you have defended yourself with the statement:
          “I have a principle, but I will not tell you what it is”

          And I understand why you say this.

          If you provided such a principle, you will show you contradict it.

          And you do not want that.

          But I challenge you:

          Are you honest or dishonest?
          There is no middle ground here.

          Admit which side you support – and believe me, if you say you are dishonest, I will no longer grind your gears… I will leave you alone.

          And when I leave you alone, that means you are unworthy of dialogue…. if that means anything, you will avoid that. If it meaningless, then what are you losing to admitting it?

          . You try to conflate my argument with a completely different situation to make your point that my position is either a) arbitrary, b) irrational, c) the root of all evil, or d) some combination of the above.

          No, sir.

          You cannot demonstrate at all my conflation

          I have specifically uses your own principles upon circumstances

          You PROVE that such use of principle CHANGES by circumstances … this is the definition of arbitrary

          My position stems from the simple fact that a fetus is not a person.

          FACT!>!>!>!>

          What utter bullshit.

          Prove it, sir.

          You merely make a declaration out of thin air

          YOU
          HAVE
          NO
          PRINCIPLE
          BY
          WHICH
          YOU
          CAN
          MEASURE
          YOUR
          CLAIM!

          You merely pull it out of your ass.

  47. Buck

    a fetus cannot survive on its own.

    Thus, you equally believe a man in a hospital who cannot survive without machines is not a human being either, since he cannot survive “on his own”

    Is this correct?

  48. Buck

    As I’ve said many times before, viability works for me.

    I know “it works for you”, but it is still evil.

    Evil does work for many people – that is why they use it!

    You don’t think they use something that doesn’t work, do you???

    Just because it appears to work for you, Buck, does not dispel the evil of your position

    Murder works for the killer – it accomplishes his goal of eliminating a person he does not want to be alive. It eliminates the disagreeable consequence of their irresponsible behavior.

    But you think this is good — simply because it works!

    That is why your position is wholly despicable.

    You hold no personal responsibility for the consequences of one’s own behavior.

    You support the use of murder as a valid means to dispense the unwanted consequences of someone’s behavior.

    Your measure is outcome based – if the outcome benefits “Buck” it is a “good” – no matter the cost to other innocent people.

    You are an “End justifies the Means” type of a person. You do not measure the “means” you accept for action whatsoever – it is irrelevant to you – it is the “end” – your gain – that is the only measure.

    I recognized that the day you came to the forum – it is a necessary position of all progressive/leftists – which is why millions die by such hands.

  49. Buck,

    As demonstrated, your position is completely unsupportable by principle.

    None exists.

    Your position is only support by arbitrary whim.

    You accept this – and doom yourself.

    If you accept arbitrary whim to define what is human or not, thus, what can be killed without consequence or not, you doom yourself, your children and humanity to suffer the arbitrary whim of others who – equally – may deem you “not human”.

    It is these very arguments that you present that were the roots to the greatest atrocities of man upon man.

  50. Buck,

    Finally…. asked at least 100 times… and 100 times ignored….

    What is the fundamental principle you are applying to this question that defines your position?

  51. Buck the Wala says:

    BF,

    When it comes to abortion, as with most (if not all) topics, you are an absolutist.

    Out of curiousity, is there ever a situation where you would support a woman’s right to an abortion? If you were crafting policy — would you allow abortion in the case of rape? How about when the woman’s life is in danger?

    You ask for my fundamental principal, and mock my irrational view that a fetus is not a person challenging me to prove it. Prove that a fetus is a person. This has been an ongoing debate for decades, yet you claim to know; that you are right and everyone who believes differently is wrong. How do you define ‘person’; what are the necessary requirements a ‘person’ must have; at what point does a fetus have all of these requirements to be a ‘person’?

    • Buck

      BF, When it comes to abortion, as with most (if not all) topics, you are an absolutist.

      Do not try to label me, because you always get it wrong.

      I am a person of principles, which you are not.

      You cannot hold to any principle, because you act in a manner that avoids consequences of pain or avoids cost to yourself.

      You want to keep all the “good” consequences – but you want others to carry the burden of YOUR consequences that you deem “negative”.

      You want to keep the “good” consequence of sex – pleasure – but when the act also delivers what you deem a “bad” consequence -baby- you want to avoid that responsibility of such behavior by killing it.

      You do not believe in personal responsibility.

      You see no problems with working to avoid self-inflicted consequences of ones own action by any means necessary to accomplish the avoidance, including murder.

      You hold this because you ignore (or are ignorant of) the magnification of negative consequences that such an act of avoidance creates.

      Justifying wholesale murder within society will eventually collapse society into an orgy of slaughter.

      Bluntly, I do not think you think ahead nor do you think things through properly.

      So you offer/agree/support certain human action – such as abortion – as a means for people to avoid the responsibility of their own behavior. You support people in their desire not to be subject to that responsibility because you see that responsibility as onerous, and worthy of avoiding.

      And that is as far as you think this out

      But that is NOT where the consequences of this stops, though you do not consider these things at all.

      The negative consequences, by massive orders of magnitude, begin to ripple throughout society.

      If one can avoid responsibility by killing in this circumstance, where else can responsibility be avoided by killing in other circumstances?

      What other critical responsibilities and consequences can be avoided so easily?

      I ask these questions of you – and you are mute.

      You do not even offer a single word in response, because either you have never considered them, or you really don’t care about the damage to the society of your children, as long as YOU-Buck are doing just fine.

      This is the root problem of Progressives/Leftist – they do not think.

      The act out of emotion with no regard to the consequences of their action – because they will continue to act to avoid responsibility of those actions.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        “You do not believe in personal responsibility.” Couldn’t be farther from the truth.

        You see it as me justifying murder. As I’ve said, I am doing no such thing as I do not find it to be murder.

        • Buck

          You do not believe in personal responsibility.” Couldn’t be farther from the truth. You see it as me justifying murder. As I’ve said, I am doing no such thing as I do not find it to be murder.

          Your little trick and game does not fool the likes of me.

          By redefining the killing, you believe you absolve the murderer from the murder.

          Like you do with theft, you believe if you define away the theft, you absolve the thief.

          It is your common trick – redefining – and it does not work.

          It is the fatal trick and game of the Progressive movement.

          How does a regime slaughter tens of millions? By redefining what is means to be human.

          Simple.

          All Progressive minds are simple.

  52. Buck

    Out of curiousity, is there ever a situation where you would support a woman’s right to an abortion?

    There is no right to abort.

    There are situations where it is right to abort.

    If you were crafting policy — would you allow abortion in the case of rape?

    Ask yourself this:
    If a man injures you, do you have a right to kill your neighbor?

    How about when the woman’s life is in danger?

    Ask yourself this:
    If a man is about to kill you, do you have a right to kill the man to save your life?

    You ask for my fundamental principal, and mock my irrational view that a fetus is not a person challenging me to prove it.

    Yes, and you still refuse to supply it.

    Your view is irrational as it requires falsehood to be true.

    Prove that a fetus is a person.

    It is a unique living human being.

    It is unique – it will never has existed nor will ever exist again as it is for the entire time of this universe.
    It is human.
    It is a being.
    It is alive.

    All of these things are facts, Buck, not opinions.

    Fetus is a stage of development of a human being. It does not define or undefine a human being

    You and Mathius cannot comprehend the difference between a stage and an existence.

    This has been an ongoing debate for decades,

    Your arguments are nothing more than the same rehash of arguments about black African men.

    They were not persons, therefore they could be slaves as they had no human rights that persons have.

    Now, you believe those arguments are bizarre – when applied to slavery.
    But you pick up exactly the same arguments when applied to babies.

    what are the necessary requirements a ‘person’ must have; at what point does a fetus have all of these requirements to be a ‘person’?

    Conception, Buck –

    All those facts I presented above come to exist precisely at conception.

  53. Buck,

    Take my definition to see if these situations acquire human rights (person-hood).

    A man lying unconscious in a bed, living off a machine have human rights?

    Is he alive? Yes.
    Is he unique? Yes.
    Is he human? Yes.
    Is he a being? Yes.

    Thus,he has human rights – all of them.

    A man dead:

    Is he alive? No.
    Is he unique? Yes.
    Is he human? Yes.
    Is he a being? Yes.

    He is dead, he needs no rights – none of them.

    A fetus living in a womb:

    Is it alive? Yes.
    Is it unique? Yes.
    Is it human? Yes.
    Is it a being? Yes.

    Thus, it has human rights – all of them.

    A Corporation:

    Is it alive? No.
    Is it unique? Yes.
    Is it human? No.
    Is is a being? No.

    A Corporation has no human rights – none of them.

    For Mathius (since you are not confused by cows):

    Does a cow have human rights?

    Is it alive? Yes.
    Is it unique? Yes.
    Is it human? No.
    Is it a being? Yes.

    A cow has no human rights – none of them.

  54. Black Flag, down here!

    In my opinion, the thing that sets humans apart, the thing which makes us “special” and which, logically, can be the only explanation for the origins of our special set of rights which, if any, are unique to humans and separate and distinct from other animals, is that we have more powerful minds. We have a higher state of consciousness. Cows do not have this. Dogs do not have this. It is possible monkeys do have this – I don’t know. But the only special thing about humans is that we’re smarter than other animals. In every other way, we are equaled or surpassed by other animals. So our minds must be the repository of any special rights which humans possess.

    So, if this is the case, as is perfectly logical, then it must derive that absent this quality, these rights do not apply. It is why I do not have a problem aborting a single cell embryo (no brain) or a coma patient whose brain has died (dead brain). It is why I think that, at some point (and unique to every individual), they cross the threshold into that special category. Eventually, they cross out of it.

    So, I make no claim as to when a developing human embryo/fetus/baby/child/teenager will meet this test, only that it must be so. It could be that I have estimated wildly inaccurately.

    —————————————-

    So here goes:

    A. The law of nature is force. That which acts with the superior force (expanded concept includes tactics/luck/timing/skill/speed/etc) gets it’s way.

    B. Superior force leads to survival of the fittest. That which wins may breed, thus the next generation is modeled upon the victors – that is, the most forceful/tactical.

    C1. Human cooperation is a highly successful tactic. Thus by banding together, we increase our odds of survival and increase the quantity, quality, and survival odds of our progeny.
    C2. Human intelligence is a highly successful tactic. Thus because we are smarter, we increase our odds of survival and increase the quantity, quality, and survival odds of our progeny.

    D. Human cooperation includes competitive economic systems following rules such as “don’t murder other humans”.
    D2. Human cooperation is more effective than human / non-human cooperation because it is enhanced by the cumulative effect of human superior intellect tactic (C2)

    E. Rules such as “don’t murder other humans” exist because a society in which such activity is permissible cannot function cooperatively – this behavior diminishes the effectiveness of the tactic employed to increase human survival (C1) – that is, it harms our ability to function as a group. Thus any society which permits such actions fails and is replaced by societies which do not permit this.

    F. It is not necessary to cooperate with a cow because a cow is not capable of reciprocating. Killing and eating a cow does not harm the cohesiveness of the society and is thus not prohibited. (C1). Killing and eating a cow is not a loss to the intelligence amplifying affect of a cohesive society formed around intelligent beings (D2).

    G. Killing and eating another human does harm the cohesiveness of the society and is thus prohibited. (C1). Also, by removing a “human mind” from the society, you have diminished the collective survivability (C1, D2).

    H. Killing a human who violates the rules, for example thief, may not be harmful (or it may be) to the cohesiveness of the society. It may thus (depending on the society and the situation) be permissible to use lethal force. In fact, it may be important in that it reinforces the rules which benefits society which increases odds of survival (E). This, despite the loss of the intellectual capital, because that capital is deployed AGAINST society rather than in a cooperative manner.

    I. A human is responsible for his actions. This is because a society in which no one takes ownership of their actions fosters an environment in which people act outside of the benefit of society in violation of the rules. To be clear, active participation in a peaceful and honest manner is constructive. Note that the terms “acting for the benefit of society” and “cooperative” are not referring to a communist society specifically, though it does not exclude such a possibility explicitly. (E)

    J. Thus society organically grows and enforces rules which protect 1. the cohesiveness and stability of the society itself 2. the intellectual capital of the society and 3. the resources of that society. Like any organic structure, the rules as applied and/or exercised may not develop perfectly.
    J2. Governance and Law Enforcement grow organically to specialize the function of (J). This is much the same way that multi-cellular organisms develop white blood cells and specialized organs. As a society grows in size and complexity, it becomes impractical if not impossible for the rules to self-enforce as they can in a small community.

    K. Human “rights,” thus, are the rules logically derived from the need of society to preserve itself and it’s intellectual capital and resources (J) for the benefit of the enhanced likelihood of survival of the member of that society and the species in general. (B, C1, C2)

    —————————————

    … before we go any further, let’s see your objections/comments. Please no “you’re confused” as a generic rejection. Try something along the lines of “I disagree with point K because…”

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I am not BF, but I will take a shot at this anyway:

      A. The law of nature is NOT force – if the law of nature was force, killing of other human beings would be fine and dandy, which would contradict most of your other letters of the alphabet below. Since the law of nature logically cannot be force without inducing contradictions, you need to redefine for yourself what the law of nature actually IS.

      B. Superior force is one of the factors which lead to survival of the fittest, but if it were the only factor, lions would be extinct, because their food sources would be extinct, because their food sources would not be able to avoid the superior force of the lions. Since the food sources of the lions clearly still exist, and they are not MORE FORCEFUL than the lions, they must exhibit survival characteristics OTHER THAN SUPERIOR FORCE which allow them to survive and thrive.

      C1 and C2, no real argument there.

      D. I am not sure you could really attribute the rule “do not murder other humans” to being the product of “economic systems”

      D2. You keep using the term “cooperation”, which I am fine with. Just be VERY CAREFUL to not confuse or conflate cooperation with coercion. The two are not the same whatsoever.

      E. Correct as far as it goes – the important point which you do not mention is that any society which allows or condones murder commits, at base level, the grossest possible violation of the sanctity of the individual; which is the root reason why such a society could not possibly function.

      F. Not sure I have any comments on this one other than flippant ones 🙂

      G: Killing and eating humans – see my comment on E. above.

      H: The act of stealing most likely would not justify the killing of thief, although this depends on the circumstances. In many cases, restitution by the thief to the party who was harmed would be sufficient.

      I. I agree that a person is responsible for his actions. Responsible actions may, or may not, be of any benefit to society whatsoever; however, responsible actions will not harm society in any way, because responsible actions will not initiate force in any way and thus will produce no harm.

      J. Society organically grows, yes. I get lost at “and enforces rules”…. How does “society” enforce rules?

      J2. Governance and law enforcement… maybe. The important thing is do these aspects of society arise out of cooperation or out of coercion? If they arise out of coercion, then they are harmful to the cohesiveness of a society.

      K. Human rights are individual, not societal. Without them, what we call “society” could not exist, but the basis of human rights is the individual.

      That’s my take on your thoughts anyway 🙂

      • Peter

        K. Human rights are individual, not societal. Without them, what we call “society” could not exist, but the basis of human rights is the individual.

        Precisely.

        All human action is ultimately individual.

        Human rights is the yardstick we use to measure human action.

        Since human action is individual, human rights are individual.

      • A. The law of nature is NOT force – if the law of nature was force, killing of other human beings would be fine and dandy, which would contradict most of your other letters of the alphabet below. Since the law of nature logically cannot be force without inducing contradictions, you need to redefine for yourself what the law of nature actually IS.

        First, you cannot reject a premise based on the conclusions you may draw. I don’t like where this is going so I reject the basis? Nope, sorry.

        Second, killing humans is not fine as established later.

        B. Superior force is one of the factors which lead to survival of the fittest, but if it were the only factor, lions would be extinct, because their food sources would be extinct, because their food sources would not be able to avoid the superior force of the lions. Since the food sources of the lions clearly still exist, and they are not MORE FORCEFUL than the lions, they must exhibit survival characteristics OTHER THAN SUPERIOR FORCE which allow them to survive and thrive.

        I was careful to establish TACTICS, specifically including intelligence and speed, as an expanded concept of “force.” For example, a fighter may be stronger (more force), but still lose to a more skillful fighter – thus the tactic or skill is really just a part of the broader meaning of force – that is, a means by which one entity exerts its will over another.

        E. Correct as far as it goes – the important point which you do not mention is that any society which allows or condones murder commits, at base level, the grossest possible violation of the sanctity of the individual; which is the root reason why such a society could not possibly function.

        I see no support for the concept of “sanctity” – if you wish to integrate it into the equation, please show me how it derives from the premise (A). Otherwise, I see it as a man-made construct.

        H: The act of stealing most likely would not justify the killing of thief, although this depends on the circumstances. In many cases, restitution by the thief to the party who was harmed would be sufficient.

        I was careful to specify that it depends on the situation. For example, if you caught them in the act and defended your home. Or if they stole something vital (say medicine). Or if you consider them a threat to your ongoing safety (they habitually steal your crops, threatening the safety of your family). Etc.

        In many/most situations, I would generally agree that restitution plus a penalty is sufficient. But my point here is that a person acting against the interests of society is not necessarily subject to the protections of that society.

        I. I agree that a person is responsible for his actions. Responsible actions may, or may not, be of any benefit to society whatsoever; however, responsible actions will not harm society in any way, because responsible actions will not initiate force in any way and thus will produce no harm.

        Sure.

        J. Society organically grows, yes. I get lost at “and enforces rules”…. How does “society” enforce rules?

        Society establishes norms. These norms center around identity and security. Generally speaking, a society will establish a formal or informal hierarchy. Further, rules such as “what’s mine is mine” may emerge, because the absence of such rules destabilizes the society. However, as the society grows in size and complexity, more rules and norms emerge. In a small town where everyone knows everyone, it may just be understood that if you’re caught stealing, everyone will simply shun you, thus the rules self-enforce.

        J2. Governance and law enforcement… maybe. The important thing is do these aspects of society arise out of cooperation or out of coercion? If they arise out of coercion, then they are harmful to the cohesiveness of a society.

        This is a tough one. I think that as a society grows to sufficient size/complexity, it becomes infeasible for everyone to maintain standards as they do in (J). The role of “enforcer” and or “norms creator” is thus outsourced from The People to The Government and/or The Law. It is codified and enforced.

        Though, like all organic structures, this is generally far from perfect, the idea is that I can’t track down and demand restitution from the guy who stole my car, and even if I could find him, I have no means of attaining restitution since society can no longer collectively shun or ostracize him. So the police instead investigate because he violated a rule which was codified by the governance.

        Despite the imperfect nature of the system and it’s application, the fact that it is coercive (forced on all citizens) is, ultimately, by the decree and will of those citizens. If such coercion were to become too onerous, the society would destabilize and collapse to be replaced by a society which does not do this.

        But we’ll get back to this one later… let’s focus on the above.

        K. Human rights are individual, not societal. Without them, what we call “society” could not exist, but the basis of human rights is the individual.

        I suggest that it is the other way around – you’re “rights” are derived from the society. Your only Right, as given by Natural Law (A), is the Right to try to exert your will. The “rights” that you’ve come to know and love (note the quotes) are the “rights” which are required to form a stable and effective society in compliance with the tactics of C1 and C2 in furtherance of B. These “rights” are subordinated in the logic structure to Natural Law.

        • K. Human rights are individual, not societal. Without them, what we call “society” could not exist, but the basis of human rights is the individual. I suggest that it is the other way around – you’re “rights” are derived from the society.

          I believe you have misapplied cause/effect.

          Society exists because individuals have rights.

          Society is a consequence derived by the exercise of human rights.

          You must FIRST respect the existence of another individual BEFORE society arises.

          • I don’t agree. I don’t think cavemen had a discussion of rights and intrinsic values of man BEFORE they banded together to divide of labor or increase their odds of success at hunting and/or protecting themselves.

            I think they banded together to try to do these things, and in doing so, recognized that there were certain things they could or could not do if they wanted to continue the joint venture.

            Ogg: I team up with that guy. He steal from Ogg. I no work with him again.

            or…

            Ogg: I team up with that guy. I want to take extra meat. But if Ogg take extra meat, he no work with Ogg again. Then less meat for Ogg. So I no take.

            So the team either works or doesn’t, and a society builds up around the rules, based on cause and effect, not some intrinsic sense of “rights.”

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Mathius, it does not matter whether the chicken or the egg came first, the key is that when the cavemen banded together in cooperative fashion, they recognized that EACH INDIVIDUAL must have rights.

              It is irrelevant whether the “discussion” took place before or after the decision to cooperate with each other.

              You argue that society came first, and without that society, human rights would not arise.

              This is not the case.

              If we were all lone individuals who had no interaction with each other whatsoever in any way, shape or form, human rights would still exist, though there would be no need to recognize them as such, since no human interacted with any other human at all.

              Society forces humans to RECOGNIZE THE EXISTENCE of human rights, but society does not CREATE human rights. The “best” (worst) society can do is to ignore or attempt to take away or suppress human rights, at which point such society becomes unstable and tends to collapse, either immediately or over time.

              • Great! So show me where they come from.

                If they are intrinsic to humans, what ABOUT humans explains why we have certain “rights” and not others?

              • Mathius

                Great! So show me where they come from. If they are intrinsic to humans, what ABOUT humans explains why we have certain “rights” and not others?

                You are truly a strange duck.

                You believe there is intrinsic value is goods – which means something has value just because it exists… this, for you, is no problem (though you are totally wrong).

                YET!

                You cannot believe there is intrinsic rights for human beings – means rights exist simply because you as a human exist… this, for you, is a problem (though that is exactly how you get rights!)

                (roll eyes)

                I’d bet your the guy who convinced God to make birds that do not fly, fish that cannot swim and the platypus…..

              • Mathius™ says:

                You really smoke some interesting things, don’t you?

                You believe there is intrinsic value is goods – which means something has value just because it exists… this, for you, is no problem (though you are totally wrong).

                Ok, let’s try this. I understand your economic concept of an intrinsic value – I understand that, without people to value it, gold would have no value, thus it has no true intrinsic value. When and if I refer to something as having an intrinsic value, I mean that it has value in a capacity other than monetary. For example, cold is a good conductor and is valuable (still, to people) for use in electronics.

                So I said the other day that the dollar lost it’s intrinsic value and gained fiat value, I meant that it lost it’s value in terms of a metal which has uses other than a a medium of exchange and pick up value as a fiat currency (“because we say so”). I was using short hand.

                In the converse, where I pointed out that the Zimbabwe dollar lost it’s fiat value and gained intrinsic value, it was again short hand that you chose to misinterpret, because you’re not that stupid. What I was saying was that the value of the fiat (“because we say so!”) of the Zimbabwe government was greatly diminished while a value was created by the novelty of a bill with such a large number printed on it. The novelty, of course, has not true intrinsic value (that is, it’s not worth anything in a vacuum), but it is worth something because humans are easily amused and are willing to pay $1.50 for that amusement.

                Ok? Can we stop being obtuse now?

                You cannot believe there is intrinsic rights for human beings – means rights exist simply because you as a human exist

                No. Because nothing supports it. If you can just summons up rights from a vacuum, so can I. There must be something which builds these rights from something fundamental in the universe. I posit that A leads to B to C to D leads to “human rights” and you ignore me and insist that fairies descended from the elder realms, waved their wands and endowed humans with intrinsic rights because they’re humans.

                One of these is “because I said so!” and one of them is a logic structure which you done nothing to discredit directly.

              • Mtahius,

                When and if I refer to something as having an intrinsic value, I mean that it has value in a capacity other than monetary.

                Again, this is your fundamental error here.

                All things of value has a price.

                What confuses you – you do not understand what “money” is.

                Money is merely an economic good.
                Yes, often people price other economic goods with reference to money.

                But you can price other economic goods with reference to any other economic good you wish!

                My house is worth 4 of your cars

                So, my house has a price of your 4 cars.
                I value my house to be the same as your 4 cars.

                I price my value of my house in terms of your cars.

                Got it?

                You cannot believe there is intrinsic rights for human beings – means rights exist simply because you as a human exist

                Yes.

                No. Because nothing supports it.

                *blink*

                Because rights DO NOT NEED SUPPORT to exist!

                That is what INTRINSIC MEANS – it is independent of anything from you.

                (1)My rights exists whether or not YOU exist, true?

                (2)I can say that statement and apply it to anyone else – substituting any name in the place of YOU.

                (3)Every single human ever existed, exists now, or exists in the future can be substituted for the YOU, and the statement remains true.

                Therefore, MY rights are intrinsic to MY existence, and nothing else

                My existence created my rights.

            • Mathius,

              I don’t agree. I don’t think cavemen had a discussion of rights and intrinsic values of man BEFORE they banded together to divide of labor or increase their odds of success at hunting and/or protecting themselves.

              Do not get hung up on when man described what he was doing with when he first started doing what he was doing

              For ANY society to exist, men must FIRST respect the existence of other men.

              For us to cooperate, I have to view you as someone I wish to cooperate with.
              Which means at a minimum level, I have to see you as something more than an ant.

          • When you start with force then end up getting your rights from society..that sounds a lot like might is right. Who died and made you boss? (rhetorical not personal question)

            • When you start with force then end up getting your rights from society..that sounds a lot like might is right.

              It is. That’s the way the universe works. We just don’t like to think about it.

              Who died and made you boss? (rhetorical not personal question)
              Kim Jong Il

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Human rights cannot be derived from society, society is an abstraction. You cannot derive anything from an abstraction. You have this bassackwards. Without human rights society could not exist. You seem to think that without society, human rights would not exist.

          In order to succeed, the “pyramid” of “society” must be constructed correctly. If we use the current terms:

          Individual
          Family
          Neighborhood
          Local
          State
          Regional
          National
          World

          Notice that in my pyramidal construction, the individual is at the top of the pyramid.

          Those that argue that “human rights derive from society would construct their pyramid thus:

          World
          Nation
          Region
          State
          Locality
          Neighborhood
          Family
          Individual

          This construction puts the individual at the bottom of the pyramid, in other words, the pyramid is constructed upside down.

          If you attempt to build a pyramid upside down, (point on the ground and huge base in the air) the structure cannot possibly be stable. In the upside-down pyramid analogy, the individual is, quite literally, crushed, and the foundation of the society collapses.

          If you build the pyramid right side up, (huge base on the ground, point in the air), the structure is amazingly stable and lasts a ridiculously long time.

          • Great! So show me where I’m wrong.

            Where do you derive “rights” from? I got them from:
            A. Natural Law = Greater force wins
            B. Survival of the Fittest
            C. Society makes us more fit (in the survival of of the fittest sense of the word)
            D. To have a society, there must be certain rules
            E. Those rules include property rights, freedom from violence, etc.

            Suspiciously those rights are the same as your idea of “human rights”. So my “pyramid” makes perfect sense. Where are you deriving them from? Or do they just magically appear and are attributed to “being human” with nothing below that?

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Mathius, I already showed you where your derivation is wrong. See the comment that I made about your assumption in A.

              If natural law = greater force wins, then a stable society cannot exist; therefore the premise that natural law = greater force wins cannot logically be the correct premise to start from, and you need to redefine for yourself what natural law is.

              Instead, all you did was say that “you can’t reject a premise because you don’t like the conclusion”, when in fact, logic demands the rejection of premises which lead to illogical conclusions, so I don’t understand your demands that I accept your illogical premise!

              Think of it this way: In a universe where Natural Law = Greater Force Wins was a true statement, cooperation would not be necessary. Use of force would ALWAYS be preferable to any other method, because use of force would be use of Natural Law. Why cooperate if the Natural Law of the universe states that my path to success is paved by beating you over the head with a stick, not cooperating with you?

              • If natural law = greater force wins, then a stable society cannot exist; Why?

                If it is in my interest to cooperate, and if I am able to engineer a system of negative feedback which stabilizes that society (ie, law and law enforcement), they why can’t it exist?

                By the way, I reiterate that I was clear that “force” as an expanded concept includes tactics such as skill/speed/etc, and that these tactics also include intelligence and cooperation.

                and you need to redefine for yourself what natural law is. And just what IS natural law? How can it be anything other than the driving force behind evolution, behind competitive markets, behind all human and non-human interaction?

                What makes some businesses fail and others succeed? Tactics (ie, their will trumps yours)

                Why do some guys get the girls and others don’t? Superior appear/social skills/etc (ie, their will trumps yours)

                Why are humans dominant over cows? Superior intelligence, ie tactics (ie, our will trumps theirs)

                Use of force would ALWAYS be preferable to any other method, because use of force would be use of Natural Law.

                You are confusing force for physical force (ie, I hit you with a rock), but it’s not just this. I can win because I have the force of better tactics. Force, in this sense, is really just anything that let’s you establish your will as dominant over anyone/anything else’s will. That’s why I was clear to expand the idea to include tactics/intelligence/teamwork/etc.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Mathius,

              So basically you are saying that the only natural law is ‘survival of the fittest’, humans bonded together to form society in order to survive (survival of the fittest), and therefore all human rights are a construct of humans/society? Correct?

              If so, I completely agree.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Unfortunately, Mathius did not say:

                Natural Law = Survival of the Fittest

                Mathius said:

                Natural Law = Greater Force Wins

                The two statements are NOT EQUIVALENT, which is why his definition is problematic.

                Buck might be on to something, but I bet his pyramid is still built point-down 8)

              • Mathius™ says:

                Mathius pointed out that the driver of survival of the fittest is that the greater force wins.

                And he clarified, that he was talking about force/tactics/luck/skill/speed/strength/etc. Anything that you can do or use to succeed over the will of others.

                Bears want to eat us. We don’t want to be eaten. Bears are stronger. We are smarter. Bear uses claws, we use assault rifles. We win. We survive.

                Force of will.
                Force of intellect.
                Force of personality.
                Force of superior speed.
                Force of physical strength.

                It doesn’t matter – it just matter that the one with the ability to exert it’s will over another’s will wins.

                If I am in a fight against a stronger opponent, I may still win, because I have certain martial arts skill sets. My FORCE > his FORCE. So I win.

              • Buck,

                No.

                There is a more fundamental requirement PRIOR to “bonding”.

                First human “society” started as a family. The only reason family exists is because the parents VALUE children. If parents held no value for children, the human race would have extinguished itself long ago.

                This valuation is the precursor to rights.
                Individual rights came before family; family came before society.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          “First, you cannot reject a premise based on the conclusions you may draw. I don’t like where this is going so I reject the basis? Nope, sorry.

          Second, killing humans is not fine as established later.”

          Mathius, humans reject premises based on conclusions all the time. If the premise clearly leads to an ILLOGICAL and CONTRADICTORY CONCLUSION, the premise MUST be rejected! To do otherwise would be nonsense.

          • Yes.. If there is something about the conclusion which contradicts evidence or itself. There is not. You just don’t like the idea that “killing humans is fine and dandy” (I’ve shown it’s not, by the way), so you reject the premise.

            No. What evidence do you have to support the idea that one of my conclusions is wrong other than “I think otherwise, therefore your premise is wrong”? If you think one of my premises is wrong, such as the idea that “rights” come from the need to maintain society, then show me your structure for where they come from. You can’t just summons them from thin air and then reject my premise because it doesn’t match your BASELESS assertions.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Matt,

              Until you understand logic, this discussion is pointless. As I state in a post below, if I am ok with initiating force against other human beings, then LOGICALLY I MUST be ok with other human beings initiating force against me. Accepting that “system” as “logical” would be contrary to my own survival, and therefore would be insane.

              If you start with the premise: Natural Law = Superior Force Wins
              then the ONLY conclusion it is POSSIBLE to arrive at is that the way to survive in a universe with that particular “law” would be to initiate force on everything and everyone else as soon as and “forcefully” as possible, before someone else did it to you first! Don’t you get that?

              However; I am pretty sure that even you agree that initiating force against everything and everyone else as forcefully as possible and as quickly is possible is NOT PRO-SURVIVAL for yourself or your species.

              If you disagree with that, please explain where YOUR BASIS IS, because FAR FROM BEING BASELESS, my assertions are based on CLEAR, READILY EVIDENT, EASY TO FOLLOW LOGIC.

  55. Mathius,

    I see you typed a lot of stuff – thanks for the effort.

    But you’ve started off on the wrong foot at the very start.

    is that we have more powerful minds.

    I do not agree.

    I believe what sets us apart and what is unique is that man can change himself and his own nature.

    The first animal man domesticated was himself

    Cows do not have this. Dogs do not have this. It is possible monkeys do have this – I don’t know. But the only special thing about humans is that we’re smarter than other animals.

    The issue I have with your yardstick is that the concept of “smarter” is relative.

    I’d like to see you build a waterproof dam using only twigs.

    A beaver does that naturally.

    I’d like to see you survive the whole winter in the arctic by yourself.

    Polar bears thrive.

    …etc.

    So, I make no judgement of humans over animals based on “smart”.

    ————————-

    The only reason humans have rights is because we are human.

    Human rights exist for humans to measure the action of other humans

    Notice the entire lack of any other being as part of this.
    Martians are unnecessary to this
    Cows are unnecessary to this

    No other species, object, existence, ghost, imagination,….. is necessary to this.

    It is entirely unnecessary to inject anything else into this understanding.

    Human rights is about human action upon other humans. Period.

    No other species need apply.

    • Mathius,

      The danger with your premise of “smartness” is – as you have admitted – that it cannot be objectively measured – and therefore, will be horrifically abused.

      Yes, you can use this as your premise and build a human system –including Mathius system of rights — however such as system will collapse since the root of your premise requires a measure that does not exist.

      This is probably why no society has been sustained based on such a system – it has a systemic flaw within its premise.

  56. Mathius,

    So after the whole mush of your presentation, though you wandered into it backwards, sideways and upside down, you present this argument:

    Human rights is about human action upon other humans.

    Now, pick it up from there…..

    • No, Flag, I took a long time to write all that out.

      Let’s pick it up from A and move on from there.

      Do you disagree with A? If so, why? Otherwise, let’s move to on B. See how Peter did it above? That’s the way to do this. Not by ignoring the whole logic structure then demanding I argue it on your terms.

      I have a premise (A), and I got from there to “human rights” (K). So if you don’t like my conclusion, show me where I’m wrong. Don’t start with your own middle-of-the-structure idea that “human rights is about human action upon other humans” and demand I take it on faith and then argue it from there.

      Or, if you prefer, start with your own statement of natural law and build from there.

      • Mathius,

        Frankly, “A” thru “F” is irrelevant to “human rights”.

        The descriptions of why social order is a good thing has already been established.

        We start at “Human rights for humans”, and go from there.

        • Mathius™ says:

          Naw…

          Human societies employ the tactic of division of labor, accumulation and development of intellectual capital, accumulation and development of resources, and cooperation as a means by which to ensure the survival of the members of that society.

          To that end, there are certain universal qualities required for a society to be able to function. Without these, the society fails. Amongst these, no violence on the non-violent. Amongst these, no taking what does not belong to you. Amongst these, you are responsible for your own actions.

          Now, do these qualities sound familiar to you?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            You are almost correct…

            Human INDIVIDUALS employ the tactic of division of labor, accumulation and development of many kinds of capital and resources, and cooperation as a means to ensure the survival of the individuals and the SPECIES.

            This gives rise to what you call “society”. Cooperation is, by definition, an act which is non-violent which allows the society to come to exist in the first place. Violence against the non-violent is coercion and destroys cooperation, thus eroding the foundation of society (individual human rights) and either slowly or quickly destroying that society.

            Notice that many societies have come and gone, but cooperating human beings have ensured that the SPECIES has survived, regardless of the rise and fall of various societies.

            If a society can collapse, and yet the human species continues, and new societies arise….

            Take it from there!

          • Mathius

            Naw… Human societies employ the tactic of division of labor, accumulation and development of intellectual capital, accumulation and development of resources, and cooperation as a means by which to ensure the survival of the members of that society.

            No.
            We are way past the necessity of searching for a means of survival (needs).

            We are in the act of providing wants and desires – and it is this search of satisfying desires that the division of labor, capital and accumulation of wealth comes from.

            You do NOT need a division of labor to satisfy your meager needs.
            You, individually, can do that by yourself just fine.

            A hermit by himself satisfies his needs.

  57. Buck the Wala says:

    BF,

    I give you kudos — you have developed your own four (4) question infallible test to arrive at the very conclusion you wish to arrive at.

    I ask only one question: Is it a person?

    Child depending on mother? Yes
    Adult on operating table? Yes
    Old woman on life support in hospital? Yes
    Fetus in womb? No.

    More to come later….

    • Buck

      BF, I give you kudos — you have developed your own four (4) question infallible test to arrive at the very conclusion you wish to arrive at.

      No, sir, I have not.

      This is the test derived by other great thinkers centuries before my birth.
      I merely happen to comprehend their argument.

      I ask only one question: Is it a person?

      Yes.

      Child depending on mother? Yes Adult on operating table? Yes Old woman on life support in hospital? Yes Fetus in womb? No.

      No substantial situation has changed with any of your examples from which to deny a baby its rights.

  58. Jac

    The above is highlighting my problem with your primary-as the only identifier which is highlighted. It makes it appear that survival is the only thing that is important. Man’s ability to reason may be in there but as a philosophical statement -it simply isn’t clear enough. And even if one includes man’s ability to reason as a part of his ability to pursue his life-reason can still be based solely on a man’s right to survive as a negative -I do not see where it places any limits on that right-such as imposing on another man’s rights.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I am an incurable buttinsky…

      Survival must be primary, if you didn’t survive, you aren’t able to do any reasoning (at least as far as we know…)

      That doesn’t mean other factors aren’t important, but unless you are alive, there are no other factors of importance!

      Human rights evolve FROM survival of the individual because an individual, by him- or herself, cannot survive, thrive, and reproduce, cannot form societies, can’t do much of ANYTHING.

      If I am ok with initiating force against others, then I MUST also be ok with others initiating force against me (unless I am completely illogical and think I am the king of the world….)

      Being ok with others initiating force against me would be counter-survival; so being ok with with me initiating force against others must also be counter-survival.

      • Philosophical thought is a tool to teach-Note I said only identifier highlighted. I think this is not reaching far enough to identify man’s intrinsic nature. It leaves everything besides the fact that we want to survive and we think -to nothing more than personal opinion.So since we have the ability to reason-is there any commonality in how or what man thinks that are intrinsic to our nature or leads us to other rights or responsibilities?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          V.H.

          I don’t know about “intrinsic nature”. Some human beings sure seem to me to be vile, violent, and disgusting and only interested in their own survival, and that seems to be THEIR nature. Other human beings (seemingly and hopefully the majority) have seemed to realize that by voluntarily cooperating with each other, we can promote the survival of individuals and the species and ensure it to the point that “higher thought” now becomes possible, since we no longer have to devote ALL of our effort to merely survival and reproduction and the like.

          Cooperation (a non-violent mutual action for mutual benefit) leads to the ability and the time to “reason” and hopefully improve upon our “intrinsic nature”. Once someone inserts “force” into the equation, cooperative individuals perceive a threat, and revert to survival mode, which greatly reduces the time for “higher thought”.

          In my view, this is precisely why freedom offers the individual the maximum possible chance of success.

          Does that make any sense? (Or am I just rambling because it is almost time for a 4-day weekend?)

          :0

      • Mathius™ says:

        If I am ok with initiating force against others, then I MUST also be ok with others initiating force against me (unless I am completely illogical and think I am the king of the world….)

        Remember that force, here, is referring to anything that allows you to exert your will (force your will) over another’s will.

        So being, say, smarter, allows you to get your way over someone who is stronger.

        For society to form, certain things cannot be permitted, such as unwaranted violence against the non-violent. (If I don’t feel physically safe, I will leave, others will leave, and the society will fail). So society must require this. So, to get my way, I must use a different device/tactic to force my will over others. That tactic might be economic/manipulation/intelligence/sex appeal/etc. But if the tactics I employ win, you will do my bidding. If they do not, you have won.

        So, I do not need to initiation VIOLENT force against others (thereby permitting others to do the same). I only need to employ a method to allow my will to triumph over yours.

        We both want the same girl. You are stronger, but society will not condone physical violence to “take” the girl. Because I am more socially adept, I get the girl. My will wins, your will loses.

        And then, as is the key, I procreate and you do not. Ergo, survival of the fittest. (remember, fittest doesn’t mean strongest or most violent – it means best adapted, which is really just code for whoever’s tactics works best).

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          You just made my argument for me, the fittest are not necessarily the strongest, and I don’t even have to use FORCE to get the girl, when I can use my wits and my charm!

          So, if the fittest are not necessarily the strongest, and I have non-violent means of successfully getting the girl.

          So, it seems like the initial definition of Natural Law = Superior Force Wins has now been successfully revised.

          Natural Law = I am able to “win” even though I may not use force at all, and it seems that at least among other humans, I am likely to be MORE SUCCESSFUL when I do NOT use force at all!

          • Mathius™ says:

            Personality, charm, wit, looks, even pheromones – they’re all tactics.

            They’re all just a means to an end. You wanted the girl. I wanted the girl. Your will triumphed over mine. She chose you because your tactics were superior.

            Natural Law = I am able to “win” even though I may not use force at all, and it seems that at least among other humans, I am likely to be MORE SUCCESSFUL when I do NOT use force at all!

            Seriously, I don’t want to repeat this again. For purposes of this conversion, we are using the term force to mean anything that allows you to exert your will over another’s will.

            As I originally put it

            A. The law of nature is force. That which acts with the superior force (expanded concept includes tactics/luck/timing/skill/speed/etc) gets it’s way.

            So charisma is a tactic. “That which acts with superior force/tactics gets it’s way.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Your definition is still contradictory. My TACTICS can EASILY involve using NO FORCE WHATSOEVER, thereby directly contradicting the premise that “The law of nature is force”.

              If I use superior TACTICS and I WIN, but my tactics did not involve force, and yet I succeeded, then the law of nature cannot be “force”, it must be something else.

              • Mathius™ says:

                I see where the hang-up is and it’s just terminology.. call it anything you want..

                A. The law of nature is force of will. That which acts with the superior force/tactics/luck/timing/skill/speed/charisma/camouflage/wit/intelligence/strength/etc gets it’s way.

                Is that better for you?

              • No because you can use every one of those forces and still not get the girl. You can’t force the girl to like you. She likes you voluntarily. So you getting the girl has nothing to do with you. It has to do with her.

              • Mathius™ says:

                Anita,

                No.

                If your tactics fail, then your tactics weren’t right.

                Maybe you didn’t emit the right pheromones.
                Maybe you weren’t good looking enough.
                Mabye you have the wrong interests.
                Maybe you weren’t the right ethnicity.
                Maybe you weren’t funny enough.
                Maybe you weren’t cool enough.
                Maybe you were too slow.
                Maybe you moved too fast.
                Maybe you dressed wrong.
                Maybe you can’t dance.
                Maybe you can’t sing.
                Maybe you smell.

                It doesn’t matter – something about the way you tried to get the girl failed.

                Your will failed.

                She chose someone else because you did not do a good enough job of selling yourself and/or being who she wanted.

                That’s why she chose someone else. That’s person’s will trumped yours. So he won.

                so you getting the girl has nothing to do with you.

                This is horribly, horribly wrong. When you get ready for a date, do you dress up? Do you groom? Do you check the mirror to make sure there’s no broccoli in your teeth? Do you put on perfume?

                Of course you do.

                If it was, as you suggest “nothing to do with you. It has to do with her” then why should you bother to PRESENT YOURSELF a certain way? You are selling yourself. It’s a mating dance. You try to make yourself appealing to him, he tries to make himself appealing to you. If you are successful, you win. If your tactics do not work, you do not get the mate.

                you can use every one of those forces and still not get the girl. But did someone else get the girl? They did something right that you did not. Maybe it was just pure luck, being in the right place at the right time. It doesn’t matter what – all that matters is that they got their way and you did not. They won, you lost.

              • Then you forced your wife to like you, right?

              • There is something you guys are leaving out of your discussion of how a man gets what he wants-Why he wants what he wants-What is in a man’s nature which makes him want this “particular girl” What is in man’s nature that makes him want this particular girl to want him?

              • Mathius™ says:

                You’re hung up on the same sense of “force” as Peter was.

                It’s a force, like gravity. In this case, the force of attraction.

                My force of attraction was stronger than that of rivals. So she chose me.

                This is because I looked the right way. I was the right religion. I had enough intelligence. I was at the right place at the right time. I was funny enough. I was charismatic enough. Etc. But perhaps just as importantly, I employed the right tactics – I courted her, I acted the right way, I said the right things, I spent time and money on her. All these things are tactics that helped me get what I wanted (which was for her to like me).

                She, on the other hand reciprocated by acting a certain way and doing whatever it is that women do to “catch a husband”.

                It’s called courtship.

                It was the force of will and force of personality and the force of the traits biology endowed me with (such as looks/height/etc) which caused the attraction which won the girl.

              • Mathius™ says:

                What is in man’s nature that makes him want this particular girl to want him?

                We are mules for our DNA.

                We are biologically programmed to seek our high-quality mates and procreate.

                The formula for how we determine “high-quality” is, of course, complicated and highly individualistic.

                That said, I know what I wanted. I wanted a smart girl who would make a great mother. Those were top of the list. Next, I wanted someone fun to be with who shared my interests. Next I wanted someone clever and funny. Next I wanted someone reliable. Next I wanted someone cute. And so on. I have a thing for Asians, but that didn’t happen.

                Emilius fit the bill pretty well – of course no match would be 100% perfect – but she’s pretty great. So I wanted her.

                HOWEVER. She sold herself that way. Once she figured out what I wanted, she played up the qualities she figured I’d like. She did this because she wanted me. She wanted me because she had her own list which I fit pretty closely.

                She wanted someone smart. Someone who would make a good father. Someone reliable. Someone Jewish. Someone tall. Someone devastatingly handsome. Etc.

                And I played up these qualities. I made sure to dress a little more preppy around her. I make sure to try to be a little funnier around her. I tried to be a little more generous to her.

                So she tried to be the girl I wanted and I tried to be the guy she wanted. Eventually, everything worked out.

                This is how these things work. But if I had failed in my tactics, or if she had (for example, if I had been rude or slovenly or ugly.. or if she had been obnoxious or moody), things probably wouldn’t have worked out.

                And several other guys wanted her. But they weren’t as effective as me. So I got the girl. My will trumped theirs.

              • Don’t get me wrong Matt..but that sounds like conceit. Your will did not get her.. she voluntarily wanted you.

              • Mathius™ says:

                Well conceit is nothing new for me.

                But you could put it another way, if you prefer, her will got me.

                What do you think, Anita? Guys just stand in a line-up and girls pick one out that they like? Is it like going to a pet store?

                No, of course not! We market ourselves. We try to appeal by grooming, by behavior, by acting a certain way. Our genes set us up to look a certain way which will hopefully appeal.

                We all have techniques for appealing to the opposite (or same!) sex. If you appeal to each other – that is, if you have both done a fair job of convincing the other that you are what they want – then you attract and start a relationship.

              • Not-why is there a force of attraction-why does it matter? You state one can’t just say it-and expect one to accept it. The how may well consist of some type of force/persuasion but the why is not answered simply by declaring the how as a matter of force. Man’s basic nature cannot be identified solely based on force of will, survival of the fittest, or pursuing his life. It also cannot be identified by outcome. Man is both good and evil. But man’s nature is complex and we have an intrinsic need to be just in our actions. We are more than capable of using our ability to justify to justify a wrong, but the drive is “we should be just in our actions.”

              • Mathius™ says:

                Not-why is there a force of attraction-why does it matter?

                Because we’re animals.

                Animals attract mates.

                Our biology screams at us to attract mates.

                It is fundamental to who we are.

                We are more than capable of using our ability to justify to justify a wrong

                Actually, this is a great example of what I’m talking about. Have you ever met a guy who seems perfect, says all the right things, and you start to get serious about him, then you realize he’s really just just a jerk?

                He was selling himself to you a certain way.

                Because he wanted something (which he either did or did not get). He was able to exercise his will to manipulate you – to control you – to get what he wanted.

              • Again why is it fundamental-is it just to perpetuate the species-is it just to create the best humans we can-or is it based on other human needs-why would one man choose just to rape-because of his biological fundamental need-and another man choose to persuade.

              • And your example-it doesn’t prove your point-it simply shows that you are pointing out the negative and ignoring the positive.

              • Wish I could hang around and discuss this more-but I’ve gotta go-will check back later to see your response. Have a good night 🙂

  59. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Down here Mathius:

    “If it is in my interest to cooperate…”

    You still have not explained HOW COOPERATION COULD EVEN COME TO EXIST IN A UNIVERSE IN WHICH THE NATURAL LAW WAS:

    Natural Law = Superior force wins

    In such a universe, cooperation could have no existence whatsoever. The weak would DESPERATELY want to cooperate with the strong, but the strong would merely exterminate the weak.

    Cooperation as a CONCEPT is not even logically possible in the universe which you have created using the Natural Law which you have defined, so it is pointless to assert that in such a universe it would be in your best interest to cooperate.

    • Mathius™ says:

      You still have not explained HOW COOPERATION COULD EVEN COME TO EXIST IN A UNIVERSE IN WHICH THE NATURAL LAW WAS:

      For the Nth time, force as I am using it here does not mean merely physical force, ie stronger. It also means tactics. If the guy is stronger than either of us, I may employ a tactic of working WITH you to fight him. Once I see that this works, we may continue to work together.

      The weak would DESPERATELY want to cooperate with the strong, but the strong would merely exterminate the weak.

      The strong don’t just kill the weak because the strong also depend on the weak. If Bill Gates killed all those who are weaker than him (remember, it’s not about physical strength, it’s about ability to exercise your will over the will of others), then who would buy his goods? Who would sell him things? Who would farm his food? Who would clean his mansions? And more importantly, who would protect him if someone physically stronger than him tries to steal from him?

      By giving up the tactic of cooperation, Bill Gates has weakened himself and made himself vulnerable. But by cooperating, he has made himself far stronger.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        As I attempt to explain below, I don’t necessarily disagree with you that cooperation arises from the desire of the weak to successfully compete with the strong, in fact, that is probably precisely WHY cooperation exists.

        However; the point that you are missing is that by definition, cooperation DOES NOT INVOLVE FORCE. If you attempt to force me to cooperate with you, it is no longer cooperation, it becomes coercion, which is a different animal entirely.

        So, what you seem to be saying is that voluntary cooperation is a successful tactic for the week to compete with the strong; and yet you cling to your definition which states that Natural Law = Superior Force Wins.

        Hmm… so you can create a SUPERIOR FORCE by NOT USING FORCE is what you seem to be saying.

        • Mathius™ says:

          If you attempt to force me to cooperate with you, it is no longer cooperation, it becomes coercion, which is a different animal entirely.

          I SEE!

          You skipped ahead a few chapters.. ok..

          You absolutely can force someone to “cooperate” Yes, it may be coercion, but the net affect is the same – two people working toward the same goal, whatever the motivation, may have a stronger likelihood of success. I won’t get into judgments on this – yet – but you are correct that these are different things.

          For now, let’s focus on, society can only function if certain rules are in place – these rules are what we think of as “human rights” because their absence causes human society to fail.

          So, what you seem to be saying is that voluntary cooperation is a successful tactic for the week to compete with the strong; and yet you cling to your definition which states that Natural Law = Superior Force Wins.

          Hmm… so you can create a SUPERIOR FORCE by NOT USING FORCE is what you seem to be saying.

          Not using, perhaps, physical force. The will of two people.. the teamwork of two people.. the skill of two people. etc, will trump the will of one person.

          So I can create a superior FORCE (read: means of acquiring my desired outcome through whatever means) without using “force” (read: violent coercion). So, put another way, I can get my way by teaming up without being violent to my teammate.

          I want to run open a store in a crowded industry. So I team up with a banker and some employees. We do a better job (ie, have better tactics) than the existing company. So my will is greater (ie, wins). The other store’s will is trumped (ie, loses) by a greater ECONOMIC (in this case) force. So natural law as applied here: superior (economic) force wins. Maybe that’s clearer?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            You seem to be equating “the will of two people” to “superior force” and then saying “the force does not have to be physical”.

            Ok, now we are getting somewhere… what we have here is a failure to communicate!

            I am defining force in a different way than you are defining force and it is causing us to talk right past each other. Gotcha.

            So, to me, “force” means “the initiation of violence against the non-violent” and to you, “force” means something like “the Higgs Boson” or “String Theory” or “when we cooperate, we create a superior “force” compared to what we could individually”

            So, now all we have to do is AGREE UPON which definition we are going to use, and then make it abundantly clear what definition we are actually using, so as not to confuse anyone!

            • Mathius™ says:

              what we have here is a failure to communicate! GREAT movie! +10 Mathius Points.

              So, to me, “force” means “the initiation of violence against the non-violent” and to you, “force” means something like “the Higgs Boson” or “String Theory” or “when we cooperate, we create a superior “force” compared to what we could individually” BINGO! +10 more Mathius Points.

              I was really struggling to make that clear, and I think you did it perfectly – I wish I’d come up with it hours ago. Thanks.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I too have a June birthday, perhaps that generates some force between us whereby we can begin to communicate now that we begin to understand each other!

                🙂

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Oh, and by the way, for me, when I say “force is the initiation of violence against the non-violent” that also does not have to by “physical”. Beating you with a stick when you have done nothing would be “force”, but there are also many ways in which an individual can initiate violence against a non-violent individual which are not physical. Coercion can take many forms.

  60. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Let me attempt to clarify here for those of you following along.

    Above, Mathius stated: Natural Law = Superior Force Wins
    I stated that this premise led to illogical conclusions.

    Buck later stated: Natural Law = Survival of the Fittest
    I stated that now we might be getting somewhere, but that Buck’s statement and Mathius’s statement are not equivalent. The non-equivalence of the two statements is critically important!

    Let me put it this way and see if others can “pick up what I am puttin’ down”

    As an INDIVIDUAL human, I am incapable of reproducing. That’s a big problem right there.
    Also, as an individual human, in the past, I would have been unable to successfully avoid competing against the lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). With modern tools, I could individually hold my own against predators of other species, but in the past, not so much 🙂

    Also, I cannot simultaneously hunt, grow crops, provide shelter for myself, avoid being eaten by predators, or any number of other things.

    How, as a human, am I to survive and (hopefully) thrive, and (hopefully) reproduce?

    In Mathius’s universe of Natural Law = Superior Force Wins, all I have to do is initiate force against all other individuals, and be more successful at it than any other individual (because keep in mind, ALL individuals would have to initiate force against all other individuals in order to increase their own odds of survival), and then the “winner” could FORCE the losers to cooperate with him and form a “society” using the rules of the winner (and subjugating the losers) and then we could all “cooperate”. Of course, this would not actually be “cooperation” because cooperation is by definition voluntary, which obviously could not be the case here at all. In this universe, we would not have cooperation, we would have subjects performing the desires of the supreme ruler, and the supreme ruler would be under constant threat of attack from anyone who thought that they could successfully use force to usurp the supreme ruler. You can see where this gets messy very quickly, and is decidedly NOT pro-survival for the individual or for the species.

    Now, in Buck’s universe where Natural Law = Survival of the Fittest, humans would have the OPTION of recreating this same scenario, which they would (hopefully) quickly realize was contra-survival. They would also have the option of each individual choosing to perform a task which was beneficial to himself, AND other individuals, thereby increasing the odds of survival of both the individual AND the species. This IS actual cooperation.

    So, the question becomes, if we are to cooperate and thus benefit the survival of individuals as well as the species, why must this logically start with INDIVIDUALS? Why can it not, as Mathius wishes, start with society, and THEN individual rights come FROM that society? Why is this thinking backwards (or upside down)??

    Once we can all answer that question, we are making progress.

    I know that there are some here who will INSIST that human rights MUST derive from “society” because without society human rights would have no meaning.

    I rather think that instead society must derive from human rights, because without human rights, society could not exist.

    Once again, I am not becoming a Hilary clone and saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”. It is not the village which “creates” the children, it is the common desire to cooperate, survive, thrive, and raise children which CREATES THE VILLAGE.

    I hope you all get the distinction 🙂

  61. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Voting Section career employee Stephanie Celandine Gyamfi perjured herself three times during an internal investigation, the Heritage Foundation’s Hans Von Spakovsky reports for Pajamas Media.

    According to Spakovsky, the DOJ inspector general recently launched an investigation into several document leaks between 2005 and 2007. “The genesis of Ms. Gyamfi’s perjury is apparently rooted in political attacks on the [George W.] Bush Justice Department,” Spakovsky wrote. “Throughout 2005-2007, numerous attorney-client privileged documents, confidential personnel information, and other sensitive legal materials were leaked from inside the Voting Section to the Washington Post and various left-wing blogs.”

    Throughout the inspector general’s investigation, one individual that Spakovsky said investigators interviewed multiple times was Gyamfi. “According to numerous sources within the section, Ms. Gyamfi had been asked in two separate interviews whether she was involved in the leaking of confidential and privileged information out of the Voting Section,” Spakovsky wrote. “Each time, she flatly denied any knowledge as to who was responsible for the leaks. In a third interview, she was once again questioned about her role in the leaks.”

    “At first, she adamantly denied involvement,” Spakovsky continued. “Then, however, she was confronted with e-mail documents rebutting her testimony. At that point, she immediately broke down and confessed that she had lied to the investigators three separate times.”

    Gyamfi reportedly said that she lied to protect others within the DOJ.

    Spakovsky said that Gyamfi then cried and told a coworker about how she lied to investigators and admitted it.

    Gyamfi still works for the DOJ Civil Rights Division Voting Section, and is involved with the ongoing Texas congressional redistricting process — which is the subject of the documents she helped leak.

    “Not only has she not been disciplined, but right now the department is reviewing Texas’s new redistricting plan and she’s one of the people assigned to review it,” Spakovsky told The Daily Caller in a phone interview.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/22/report-doj-employee-admits-to-perjuring-herself-3-times-holder-keeps-her-employed/#ixzz1hI6wSdkk

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      It is a sad commentary on the state of our “country” that I find this story to be completely unsurprising 😦

  62. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Mathius,

    Thanks for the conversation today, I found it enlightening (and hopefully others did too) and it kept me from doing much work most of the day, which was fine, because the day before a four-day weekend I wasn’t intending to do much work anyway, so you kept me from suffering from boredom! 🙂

    After sorting through all of it, it seems to me that we agree upon many things, but perhaps we still disagree on where human rights derive from. I believe that fundamentally, I must trust you in order to cooperate with you, and that trust is derived from the fact that you have not, in the past, used force (my definition – you have not initiated violence against me when I was behaving non-violently). This allows us to cooperate, and then grows from there.

    It seems to me that you believe that whether you know me or not, your ability to trust me derives from the fact that we live in a “society” which has created “rules” and you believe that I will abide by those “rules” and therefore you can cooperate with me.

    My problem with that line of thought is that pretty much all current “societies” have “rules” which condone or even encourage or even insist upon violence against non-violent individuals, and in my view, such “rules” are not valid, and if you were to follow those “rules” to the “letter of the law” then I probably would NOT trust you!

    So, if I do not know you at all, how is it possible in my universe for us to have a cooperative interaction? Simple! Either we set out the rules in a contract, or I trust you to not initiate violence against me until you show yourself to be incapable of behaving. If you act in a way which harms me (physically, financially, or whatever) then I would be entitled to seek a remedy for the redress of my grievance. Note that this does not REQUIRE “government” as such, nor does it REQUIRE “society” to have any “rules”. It merely requires that you recognize that I have (human) rights, and I recognize that you have (human) rights and we behave accordingly.

    I don’t know how much time I will have to continue the conversation today, but anything I don’t get to today I will try to catch up with on Tuesday next week 🙂

    • Mathius™ says:

      I’m pretty much out of time today as well – half of my office is out today and I’m holding down the fort.. the amount of work I’ve neglected today is not good. Regardless, it’s been fun.

      Let’s pick it up next week.

  63. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    V.H.

    We were out of room above 🙂

    What makes a man want a “particular girl”? Don’t be confused by what you are attempting to call “intrinsic nature”. Intrinsic nature is inherently individual. I am personally attracted to females that are between 5’9″ and 6’1″ tall, relatively slender, and having a few other specific characteristics (e.g. I tend to prefer brunettes over blondes). You could say that it is my “intrinsic nature” to prefer females of this specific body type. Certain other men probably share this preference to some extent, but certainly not ALL men.

    When it comes to a SPECIFIC woman, first of all, even if she isn’t in my “ideal body type” wheel-house, I may very well become very good friends with her, but she isn’t nearly as likely to set off my pheromone emitters or activate my pheromone receptors, so even if she started sending out biological “I want you” signals, the likelihood of me responding and/or sending out my own signals is reduced.

    We like to dress up our mating dances as humans and make them out to be far more complex than they really are, in my opinion. In the end, it is still biology, even if you dress it up in human social constructs.

    For example, when I was a senior in college, I went to a friend’s room to talk, and there was a woman in the room who was totally unknown to me. Before I was even introduced to her, we both knew. It was just one of those things. Happened within about 10 seconds of us being in the same room together (not anything physical, just the mental realization). My friend claimed that when she and I first laid eyes on each other, he could see the electrical current flowing between the two of us. He was completely unsurprised to be completely left out of the remaining conversation, even though she and I were both in HIS room! 🙂

    She and I were together for quite a while, but several months after I graduated (she was several years behind me) we just couldn’t keep the long-distance relationship going. The few times we did actually see each other after that, the sparks would immediately start flying again, but we never did manage to actually “get together”.

    I have now been married (twice) and luckily the current marriage is really wonderful (we won’t talk about that first one, ok?) In neither case was it an immediate instance of being mutually absolutely thunderstruck (I am pretty sure that is a relatively rare occurrence) but in each case the biological emitters and receptors were functioning 🙂

    So, the moral of the story is, to get a relationship like that started is often a matter of biology at work. To keep a relationship going and have it be successful requires a hell of a lot more than mere biology, of course.

    And yes, there are relationships where two people first become very good friends, and then eventually that leads to “romance”, but I think at least for the most part the majority of people wake up the morning after they get married and come to the realization that they are really still strangers in many ways.

    Sorry, but that was my long-winded opinion on what makes me want “her” specifically, and what make her want me specifically. I believe that even in our species that part of it is mainly biology at work in the vast majority of cases.

    • Mathius™ says:

      I believe that even in our species that part of it is mainly biology at work in the vast majority of cases.

      Biology.. .and a ritualistic mating dance.

      Act a certain way, dress a certain way, take her to dinner, pick up the check, bring her flowers, etc.

      It’d compare it to a pair of modems syncing up – the basics need to be there (the biology), but before you’re going to have an, er, connection, there are a number of other signals you need to convey.

      And the trick, of course, is to convey the right signals.

    • Your a mite picky, Peter -you reject anyone shorter than 5’9″-rather limits your choices 🙂

      Just gonna make one clarification here-I was not talking about an individual’s personal choices being intrinsic-I was talking about the general fact that man makes these choices based on things other than the biological( even if the biological needs to be there) as intrinsic. In other words, more goes into the decision than the mere physical.

  64. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    “Man’s basic nature cannot be identified solely based on force of will, survival of the fittest, or pursuing his life. It also cannot be identified by outcome. Man is both good and evil. But man’s nature is complex and we have an intrinsic need to be just in our actions. We are more than capable of using our ability to justify a wrong, but the drive is “we should be just in our actions.”

    Don’t be confused. Man’s BASIC nature is precisely biological. Man’s basic nature is the desire to survive, procreate, pursue his life. However, we have (I hope) in the main found that being just in our actions is a survival trait. Notice that societies which do not value justice, honor, and other such things tend to be just horrid places to live and also tend to collapse sooner or later.

    I don’t think everyone has this trait though… either that or some people have a really sick, perverse concept of “justice” anyway. I kinda hope that the lack of this trait is contra-survival….

    • Pursue one’s life-is a rather large statement and covers just about everything-it’s just a little short on the actual details of how and why a man does what he does. So I don’t get a whole lot of what a man’s basic nature is-by hearing those words.

      So I will say it again, I feel like a broken record, but I still feel that no one has really addressed this point. Why does man have to justify his actions, why does man feel guilt-if there is not an intrinsic knowledge that what he is doing is wrong-Murder is wrong-so man will feel guilt for killing and will either admit to murder or will claim it was not murder. His justification can be anything from-he was threatening my life to something totally crazy, like, He wasn’t really a person-so I had the right to kill him. But either way-man must justify his actions in an attempt to make them moral. So it just makes me a little nuts when no one will admit that there are absolute truths-like murder is wrong-just because man uses reason to determine when something is or is not murder.

  65. Peter, Mathius, et al.

    RE the discussion about strongest, fittest etc, relative to getting the girl.

    Peter nailed it with this, which is what was missing from Mathius’ arguments all day:

    “So, the moral of the story is, to get a relationship like that started is often a matter of biology at work. To keep a relationship going and have it be successful requires a hell of a lot more than mere biology, of course.”

    And that Mathius, is one of the reasons Humans are not the same as other animals. We have needs that go far beyond mere reproduction. Those needs can only be achieved by thinking and then acting.

    It is not all just a bunch of biological instinct.

  66. Mathius, Buck, etc.

    Re: the issue of “natural law” is “strongest”, “fittest” etc, etc.

    A Natural Law must apply equally to ALL things at ALL times under ALL conditions.

    So, Strongest is NOT a law. Because we all know that the Strongest does not always survive.

    Fittest is NOT a law, for the same reason.

    If either or both were “LAWS” then the strongest and fittest would ALWAYS be the one on top.

    Now the “fittest” comes closer but that depends entirely on how “fittest” is defined. But the notion that one emits pheromones that match up with a mate is not fittest. That is simply random outcome.

    I have been in and out all day but didn’t have time to comment. Glad I didn’t because just following the discussion can sometimes be more enlightening.

    Natural Law: The Law of Existence. It is because it exists.

    Natural Law: The Law of Identity. All things are what they are, because they exist.

    Natural Law: Don’t have a cute name for this one, but could be an extension or part of Identity. We could call this the Law of Natural Action. All things must act in accordance with their nature, because they are what they are, because they exist.

    Natural Law: The Law of Life. (?). All living things pursue life. The goal, purpose, of life is to live.

    Living things pursue life, that pursuit MUST be in accord with their Nature because they are what they are and because they exist.

    There may be more we could identify but basically this is where “Natural Law” ends regarding the discussions about morality, ethics, and most rights.

    The discussion I have been having with V.H. relates to a question raised a week or two back. That being is there a Natural Right?

    My proposition is that if the goal, or “prime directive” of living things is to pursue existing, according to their nature, then it follows that if there is a Natural Right it is the “Right to Pursue Existence according to One’s Nature”

    This can be considered a Natural Right because it would apply to all things under all conditions.

    But don’t think that a Right means that the result “MUST” happen. It does not. We have the right to pursue our existence, but there are no guarantees. The Bear has the same rights and thus his right to act like a bear may end our life.

    Some would say, well then JAC it can’t be a right because the bear ate me. It is not your life that is the right. It is your “pursuit of existence according to your nature”, that I propose is the Natural Right.

    Thank goodness for humans, we have figured out how to keep the bears, tigers, and lions from just eating us whenever they get hungry. We put them in cages and feed them dead chickens. In doing so, we have acted in accordance with our nature.

    So before we get lost again, we need to consider whether such a Right exists. And if so, where on the philosophical scale does it occur. Is it intrinsic to all things that “exist”, and thus a metaphysical truth? Or is it something else.

    Mathius: Re your question about the source of our Rights. Black Flag and Peter are correct in that these Rights exist because we exist. But they are not tangible concepts, like molecules and atoms. They are concepts that derive from our need and ability to REASON.

    And that is why it is possible to identify those Rights that are right and those Rights that are wrong. Because REASON dictates that those which are rational, those which are consistent, those which comply with the Natural Laws are in fact “right”.

  67. V.H.

    I wanted to address yours directly to you. The “prime directive” as I call it does not imply nor require action in any certain manner, except according to the nature of the living thing.

    Most animals pursue their existence in an “instinctive” and “reactionary” manner. Obviously some thought is needed but they rely on speed, strength, cunning, agility, and their “instincts” for survival.

    Now humans have some of these instincts. We often refer to them as “animal instincts”. But there is something far more complex about humans. Something that is part of our “Nature”.

    We must learn and then act to survive. This involves developing concepts, testing them, and then selecting (free will) those options that work best. So it is that HUMANS have the ability to develop more complex ideas like Morality and Ethics.

    Humans have the capacity to DECIDE via Reason what is a “better” way to act among ourselves and with other things in a way that better meets our “prime directive” to pursue living.

    We also have the need and ability to DECIDE what LIVING means to each of us as well as to groups of us. We can then DECIDE the rules for day to day function that allow us to pursue that LIFE we each choose.

    God gave us FREE WILL. Those that argue otherwise, argue against the nature of humans.

    So, in summary the Prime Directive places no requirement nor any constraint upon HOW we pursue our existence. A Natural Right to pursue existence according to our nature does not dictate nor allow any specific behavior in doing so. Specifically, it does not condone nor automatically lead to a “might is right” ethic. Such an ethic would in fact be irrational.

    Now this is where Ayn Rand gets her opponents in a twist. She claims that a set of “proper” moral and ethical standards or principles can be discovered by applying reason and logic. That these standards are thus “objective” in nature and not “subjective”. This is because they can be clearly and rationally identified and defended. And that they would be applicable to ALL HUMANS, and not just the particular person who took the time to think them up.

    In other words, Proper or Correct Morals can be identified that would equally apply to everyone. Meaning that to violate these Morals would lessen one’s chance of achieving a flourishing life.

    The non initiation of violence would be one such standard.

    Hope you had fun at the party last night. Been many years since I partook of such festivities. I miss them.

    Best to you and yours.
    JAC

    • Thanks Jac, I did enjoy the party. I’m not trying to be stubborn here, and I would like to hear more about these standards which are objective-because it they aren’t subjective-they are not mere opinion 🙂 I just believe that man has an intuitive knowledge about somethings -he does not learn it-but our free will and ability to reason -determines how we use and implement the knowledge. I would put our need to protect our young and knowing that we shouldn’t kill without a justified reason.

      I’ve said this a few times but how we implement this intuitive knowledge is by justification. This justification process is the process of thinking. That process may lead me to good or evil. But again just the fact that we must justify our actions if we harm our young or kill any person-shows that we know these are things we shouldn’t do.

  68. Buck

    I know BF already said this but it is critical to understand when constructing analogies or other arguments using examples.

    The acorn is not an oak tree statement is an argument based essentially on a strawman.

    It is also the fallacy of false identification. A TREE is a stage of development OR it is a gross classification of a group of plants, based on their “adult” stage of development.

    Thus the acorn/tree analogy is apples to oranges.

    seed, seedling, sapling, pole, immature, mature, over mature. All of these are STAGES of development of trees.

    acorn = seed of an oak tree

    acorn = oak

    oak = tree

    therefore acorn = tree

    Now if you want to use the acorn argument, then you need to consider the relationship of the embryo within the nut to the nut.

    But this is still NOT comparable to human beings.

    BECAUSE HUMANS ARE NOT TREES.

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