The Sky is Falling! Everyone Vote!

I often point to history to discredit doomsayers, support arguments, and generally vet various arguments and statements. In the interest of consistency, I have to call out the “this is the most important election ever” crowd, and even more so, the “defeat Obama at all costs” crowd. Is the sky really falling? Is it really the most important, life-or-death-level election ever? Will the country really not survive another four years of this administration? Is reactionary voting the right idea? Does that really work? Is the “most electable” guy really worth having? Will it really be any better? These questions, and more, must be asked and answered. So here goes.

Is the sky really falling? Not quite. We have major issues, sure, and we are in it deep. Does that mean this situation is beyond recovery? No. It might be beyond fixing politically, but it’s not beyond help economically, the country and its people are not really that fragile. And the ones who are? Well, good riddance. I have serious questions about the ability of the people to fix the mess we are in with our government without a revolution. I think it might be possible, but not within the warped structure and norms that are in place now. The party system, the voting system, the blatant ignoring of the people by its supposed representatives, etc make fixing this through “normal” channels unlikely. The elitist, favor trading, corrupt people in Washington have a lot of power and are not interested in letting it go easily. Can it be taken from them? Of course. Can it be taken by playing the game they created by the rules they laid out? Not bloody likely. So, yes, it is bad. Really bad. But it is also not going to be fixed with hype and fear and emotion and reactionary voting.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying do not vote (the only people whose decision to not vote I agree with or understand are the true anarchists). I am not saying the system has to be redone from scratch. It may come to that, but it has not yet, necessarily. What I am saying is that voting for “anyone but Obama” is not even worthy of being called a strategy, and not principled enough to carry any sort of real message. It is, in fact, incredibly easy to manipulate into anything you want it to be by those who would benefit from doing so. I am also saying that replacing Obama, even with someone good, will not fix the problem. The problem is with a LOT more than the presidency, was caused by more than this administration, more than this president’s political party, and will take a lot more than four years to fix. Do not act like this is the one big act that will fix things because if you do beat him in this election, you will just put everyone back to sleep.

So is this even the most important election ever? Maybe, but that has been said almost every national election, at least within my lifetime. It is possible that it was true every time, but if that is the case, then it is an obvious indicator that whatever is being done is not fixing the problem, it is just perpetuating it. It’s like the war on drugs or the war on poverty. If you have been fighting with a certain tactic for 4 decades and you are losing, don’t you think a change of tactics is in order? Besides that, as bad as Obama has been, is he doing more harm than FDR? Woodrow Wilson? Andrew Jackson? Is it really true that this is the worst ever? Again, maybe, but in perspective, it’s not that much more extreme than the last dozen elections, it’s just getting progressively, well, progressive. Again, it’s a good indicator that we need fresh tactics.

Will we survive another four years of Obama? Sure. Why not? We have survived many things. Many of those things were worse in some ways, not as bad in others. Regardless, for all the power this administration has collected and is wielding, it is not enough to destroy the country in four years. The checks and balances are in jeopardy, but they are not dead yet. The government is messing with more and more stuff, but they do not make this country what it is, they never have. There is a lot of good left here, a lot of strength, and it will not go quietly. The worse it gets, the more people wake up and fight. Even if Obama gets 4 more years, and Congressional elections make few changes or slip further left, I think you will see a major shift come the midterms. If things get as bad as many think, that midterm could have more “awakened” people than ever, and we could see a better shift in Congress than we have ever had.

So what is the plan I keep hearing from conservatives and conservative media? Elect Romney because he is most likely to win? Who says? It’s another one of those self-fulfilling prophecies. If you think the non-political, honest, common sense guy is a wasted vote because he will lose, then he will. So you pick the pandering moderate because he fits the lowest common denominator and won’t rock the boat. Throw principle to the wind and vote for the lesser of two evils, thus perpetuating evil because you want to “win”, or “beat the really bad guy”. Please, that accomplishes nothing…or, at least, nothing good. If you vote for the status quo, then you have nothing to complain about, and no credibility when things continue to decline. If you succeed, you find things don’t improve much and your message has no credibility because people point out, rather accurately, that your guy’s policies led to bad stuff. If you fail, you and those who think like you chase after and even more moderate candidate so that maybe you can win next time. It’s a fool’s game.

So what needs to be done? We need to stop voting like desperate serfs ousting the evil lord at the behest of his evil cousin who will treat you just as badly after you bled to get him in power. We need to stop voting “strategically” like this is some chess game. This is not a game, and it is NOT about this election. This is about the very concept of representation. Winning is not what this is about, this is about finding a proper representative. If you fail to elect him/her, fine, but if a large number votes that way, it makes more impact than a win with a guy that is just like the other guy. And honestly, if the really, really bad guy gets in, then maybe more people will truly wake up.  If not, then we deserve what we get, and collapse might just be less bloody and easier to accomplish than a revolution.

So who do we vote for? None of the people the news media talks about. Santorum is not for small government, not really. Romney is worse, and is definitely an “elite”. Gingrich is among the leaders of corruption and doublespeak in Congress. Paul, hypocrite that he is, was the best of the lot, but even he plays the game, though will probably hold my nose and vote for him since he is at least radical enough to get us turned around, to the extent a President can. That is, if he is not just another liar, which he may well be. The guy I want to vote for may or may not exist. I will be writing about him in my next couple articles.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. gmanfortruth says:

    🙂

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Jon, Good article! I personnaly don’t see how National Elections are anything more than a joke at this point. The corruption has infested our system and the only way to get rid of an infestation is to elliminate it. Easier said than done, but the corrupted ones will cross that line one day and the fight is on. Elections are no longer a viable solution to fixing our countries ailments.

      • gman

        Elections are a viable solution. That is if you support the notion of any type of Government.

        The problem is that to many of us think in terms of “this” election. We also don’t understand how the entire process/system works.

        There is a “Tidal Shift” coming via the “voting process”. Which way that tide goes will depend on the Philosophical Foundation created over the next 20 years.

  2. Interesting article, Jon….and pretty correct. I have the wonderful and exciting ability to talk to my father…age 93. He has a boat load of experience to draw upon over the formation and the changes in our governmental system. His statement that Obama is the worse President in his history and that is over FDR. I would consider “dad” a true independent because he has voted for the man and not the party. He does not claim to be republican nor democrat but he is conservative and has been a very successful business man that taught his children that honesty and integrity and ethics are the most important most important blocks to lay a foundation in life. His main complaint is with the two party system that has become so unwieldy and corrupt, that is may be impossible to get them out…now. He laments upon the fact that Obama has grabbed more power than FDR even thought about. He does it behind the scenes with Presidential appointments and Executive Orders and the creation of the czars that circumvent Congress. My “dads” definition of conservative is economically based. He is not religious and claims no particular faith. I have always loved his statement on religion…”Son, religion is a powerful persuader. It plays upon emotion greater than anything else in this world. If I want to worship a lamp post…..that is my decision. You or no one has a right to take that away.” So, his definition of conservative is NOT religion based……..it is economically based. He would say,” When you are out of money,you are out of luck. Son, you do not borrow what you cannot payback and you do not live on credit.” His belief is in individual responsibility. His belief is that the government should not take care of anyone’s financial needs…. not one single penny. He said, ” If I go broke and I have no food, then I am at fault. It is not government’s job to pat me on the back and say , here, have some money to tide you over because in order for them to give me money, the government had to take it from someone else. I would hope that I could turn to my family or charity for some temporary help, but if I cannot, I do not expect government to give me anything because they have nothing to give.” Charities and churches fulfilled the needs of the poor just fine before FDR and would again. His exception was the great depression and he openly scoffs at the idea of this current economic turbulence being the same or worse than the one before. He just laughs and says, “anyone who lived through the last one, is not saying that this one rivals it or is even worse,…the only ones saying it are the ones seeking power.” “The depression that I lived through did not have people standing in lines fighting over who gets the first computer or new telephone…they stood in lines with a nickel to buy two apples which was dinner.” This rings true of your article. Scare tactics seem to be the name of the game and everyone is over looking the long term.

    Here is where you and I will disagree to a point. This IS a major chess game. It is strategic now and always has been. I firmly believe, as my “dad” believes, that the democratic party is totally based upon controlling the masses to remain in power. You control the masses by giving them everything and telling them that they have a right to it. You phrase it as a temporary help and a hand up but it is not. It has always been a strategic play for the TWO party system. I, personally, can point to many areas where certain elections were based on long term strategic moves to make it easier the next time around. There is an elitist crowd but where I think Charlie is wrong….it is not the rich. It is the government elitist crowd and the way you keep it…. is to grow government.

    Voting is very important. The only way to change our system is with the vote, for now…..but you must start it on the local levels…..down to the city dog catcher. The pawns lead to rooks and bishops and on up the chain but each equally powerful in their own way. You have to get the good people to run for office…..but…..in our system, the smart ones that should run for office are creating jobs….and leaving the derelicts and the despots to run for office.

    You have often heard me brag about Texas as all Texans will. But. despite our own internal problem areas, I think we are on the right track. A constitutionally mandated balanced budget and NO professional politicians…..they make slightly less than $10,000 per year and only meet biennial. Professional politicians, create the elitist crowd, in my opinion. I like a mandated balanced budget because it means, as my dad used to say, when you are out of money, you are out of luck. Perhaps a lesson or two here…..Our legislators usually do not stay in office long because they must work separate jobs. This means a fresh new legislature on a pretty consistent basis and ones who have worked in society and understand the dollar versus the ones who have never worked in society and lived off the government tit.

    Maybe………..besides, we have DPM and his nifty Jack Sparrow Hat and we can make good nature fun of the Walla Man.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Good day Colonel 🙂

      I do have an opinion about Executive Orders. First, if any govt agency acts AGAINST the people under the direction of an Executive Order, then the people have the right to defend themselves, with lethal force if needed. EO’s are not laws, and can’t be legally used against the people.

      Your dad is a very wise man 🙂

      Peace!

    • I agree to some extent. I guess the issue is, if this is a chess game, most people are playing the short game. A good chess player has to be thinking 4-5 moves ahead. A great chess player is 8-10 moves out or more. Thinking only of your next move will get you beaten soundly. The reason I called it not a chess game is that people are playing each election like a chess game, as in, what is the best way to win this one little game, rather than how do we win the war. And they are playing the game by the rules handed to them. Thats why I say its not a game. It is a war. A war on tyranny. The stakes are too high to be called a game, and there are no rules, since the other side does not follow any. This is a war, and the strategy must be on that level, not on the level of chess, as much as I love that game. 🙂

      As for the elitist part, I think you may not realize how much the government elites and the business elites are one and the same, or at least from the same school. I mean that literally and figuratively. The Harvard Business elites are no different than the Harvard Law elites. The idea that they may be in collusion is not at all farfetched to me.

      • Jon

        A good chess player has to be thinking 4-5 moves ahead. A great chess player is 8-10 moves out or more.

        This is actually not true.

        Great chess players do not thing that far ahead at all – it is their vast experience of playing so many games that they understand the board position as it stands and maneuver within that.

        You can set up chess pieces on a board, and a chess master at a glance can tell you if that arrangement is possible within the legal moves of the pieces. It is this view – a perspective of the current situation – that makes them great.

        Same as politics. They have no extra way to predict the future then you. They are merely more adept at maneuvering within the current situations then you are.

        • THanks BF…that was what I was trying to convey.

        • Issue of description/language. “Thinking ahead” does not presume prediction capability, it involves the ability to consider all possiblities within the scope of the board, the pieces, and the moves. Strategic thinking is not all born of experience, as that involves a memorization of patterns. A master of strategy can imagine the potential moves within the rules of any given game, it does not necessarily require playing it over and over, tho that does help. Too many people, whether because they do not think strategially enough and/or because they are too unfamiliar with the game and its patterns, fail to think through their moves, they do not plan for the response of the opposition, nor do they consider the results of their own move on the following moves, much less the effect on the opponent and what moves that opponent can, and probably will, make. It takes a lot more than familiarity or perspective of current situations, because there is a predictive element, only you are not foretelling a move, you are considering the various possibilites and preparing to counter them through a number of iterations.

          The real issue, however, is that people are playing a small, short game. They look at an individual election as a chess game, rather than it being, at most, a single move of a mere pawn on a very large board.

          Your plan, on the other hand, is to shrink the board, but play the long game. It is a good plan, because the problem with the big board is that we aren’t really even being allowed to play. It is a good argument, but I still think we can get a player into the national congressional level. We get one or more there and have them progress to the presidency after a term or two in either house and we could rock the system. Or, we could waste a lot of energy trying to get a player in place, and even succeed, only to have them get kicked right back out and be right where we started rather than making the needed progress on the minds of people. Still, it is the arena that is on the radar enough to be visible to enough people to make a real impact. For me its a tough call, a lot of people at the “my neighbor” level won’t really listen without a larger scale plan being available. I do this national stuff to assist the local, not instead of the local.

    • There is an elitist crowd but where I think Charlie is wrong….it is not the rich. It is the government elitist crowd and the way you keep it…. is to grow government.

      Colonel, if the government is owned and operating for the 1%, how could it not be the 1% pulling the strings?

      I agree there is an arrogant crowd on the left (ivory tower liberals, no doubt) but they are as complicit in the 1% game as those who own the most wealth. They advocate for a welfare state. Socialism does not have to be all welfare. Shared income as opposed to gifted income; everybody works. If they don’t, they get no benefits. But the playing field requires being leveled before any system can work.

  3. I think our elections are becoming increasingly important for several reasons. We talk about nearly half the people not paying income taxes but skim over that they do pay many taxes. “Besides that, as bad as Obama has been, is he doing more harm than FDR? Woodrow Wilson? Andrew Jackson?” Well, when you continue with Johnson, Carter, Clinton, we want to think in terms of a pyramid, with one building on top of the other. I say it’s more like a see-saw, with us in a balanced state. 300 million in this “playground”, and we’ve kept it balanced, maybe grounded to one side, but the other side has changed the rules and we can see they are about to dog pile us and tip things permanently to their side. Their side is what has brought down nations and empires, an entitlement society. 48.5% of Americans now receive some support from the government. They are dependent on the government and are unlikely to support reform. The deficit and our path to economic ruin is laid out for all to see, but the Progressives keep promising a better life for all as we walk seemingly blind towards a cliff. When 51% are dependent on the government, can we ever turn ourselves around?

    http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=43131

    • True, which is why I noted that it may be true that this is the most important election, and that each of them have been. The problem is, that only proves my point. Our short-term tactics are not working. We need to think outside the box. As for the see-saw, I disagree. Its more like a see-saw on a truck. We keep it balanced, or even leaning to our side, all the while, the truck has been driving the whole thing towards the autoritarian side. The balance of the see-saw is irrelevant. We see the see-saw tipping left and freak out, not even paying attention to the movement of the fulcrum.

      • Agree our short term is failing. The progressives long term approach to erode our freedoms over a period of time has been very successful. The average person cannot imagine schools without the federal government, even after decades of failure and erosion of values and standards. But I think the balance/tipping point is critical. Once more than half of America becomes dependent on the federal government, it will be nearly impossible to change our course before the dollar defaults.

  4. @ Buck…..good day to you, sir. Hope you survived yet another weekend. Your suggestions of disenfranchisement of voters intrigued me….especially your suggestion of disparate impact upon the poor and elderly. So, I took some time to do some research.

    The issue is voter picture ID….here is what I have found so far.

    1. To drive requires a picture ID.
    2. To fly requires a picture ID.
    3. To qualify for SNAP (food stamps) requires a picture ID.
    4. To qualify for welfare payments requires a picture ID.
    5. To cash Social Security checks requires a picture ID and a thumb print.
    6. To direct deposit Social Security checks and welfare checks requires a signature card and a picture ID.
    7. To receive and use medicare and medicaid requires a picture ID,
    8. To buy cigarettes and liquor requires a picture ID.
    9. To go to college requires a picture ID.
    10. To pick up certain prescriptions requires a picture ID.
    11. Disability assistance requires a picture ID.
    12. FHA housing assistance requires a picture ID.

    These are just 12 areas that pertain to the poor and elderly as well as middle aged and young people. So, tell me again, why a poor person or elderly cannot have a picture ID? Whom is disenfranchised? There a some 20-30 other programs that require picture ID.

    • Oh, perhaps a modicum of explanation needs to be furthered,…. even if you apply for ONLINE and pre-qualify for SSN or SNAP…you still have to cash checks or set up auto deposit……all require picture IDs.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Regardless, there is no inherent right to:

      1) vote
      2) fly
      3) SNAP
      4) welfare
      5) SS
      6) SS direct deposit
      7) medicare/medicaid
      8) cigarettes/alcohol
      9) college
      10) prescription
      11) disability assistance
      12) FHA housing

      But there is to VOTE!

      And not to mention that your list isn’t 100% accurate – depending on the state and circumstances there are exceptions to most of those requirements.

      • Buck

        Regardless, there is no inherent right to: 1) vote

        True

        2) fly

        False

        3) SNAP 4) welfare 5) SS 6) SS direct deposit 7) medicare/medicaid 8) cigarettes/alcohol 9) college 10) prescription 11) disability assistance 12) FHA housing

        True

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Gah! I need more coffee.

          Change (1) Vote to (1) Drive.

          And BF, just because you may enjoy flying, does not mean you have the inherit right to do so. And by rights, you know what I’m talking about.

          • Buck,

            In fact, I do.
            I have a right to my freedom of movement – and it is my choice to choose the means of that.
            You getting in my way is a violation of my right.

          • I have the right to drive or fly, so long as it is on my own property or, with permission, on the property of others. The right to vote is a political thing, part of our political structure. It is not a natural right.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        And of course, not requiring a picture ID allows Illegal aliens and dead people to vote. We can’t exclude them just because of some silly requirement. 🙂

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Buck,

        There is no INHERENT right to vote either. Voting is a privilege, not a right.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          I would argue otherwise.

          • Buck,

            A right is that which all people can exercise.
            Voting is granted only if you meet certain arbitrary standards, which such standards exist so to PROHIBIT certain people from voting.

            It cannot be, therefore, a RIGHT.
            It is a GRANT

            • Buck the Wala says:

              It is a constitutional/legal right.

            • BF

              Having a little trouble with your argument.

              If the use of “arbitrary standards” to restrict your ability to “exercise” something is the measure of a Grant, then wouldn’t ALL Rights be considered Grants?

              For example, your right to your property depends on the lack of “standards” imposed by others. So once they impose some standard, such as property tax, your Right becomes a Grant.

              Seems to me you need a better definition of a Right vs a Grant.

              • JAC

                . If the use of “arbitrary standards” to restrict your ability to “exercise” something is the measure of a Grant, then wouldn’t ALL Rights be considered Grants?

                No, the other way around.

                Voting does not exist independent of an abstraction.
                I do not need to vote myself a grant to achieve freedom of speech … bootstrap problem if speech is a “grant”; how do I proclaim my grant to achieve free speech if I don’t have free speech to start with?

                So, a right has no bootstrap problems – voting does; it requires a predecessor, in this case, government.

      • Yes…possibly but I do know about banks and they all require it…at least here.

  5. I always think you make a good point, Jon-but I actually do believe that the sky is falling. Not at all sure, I would label that responding to fear as much as facing reality.

    I don’t believe Ron Paul can win-that is my personal opinion-I might be wrong but I think too many people simply think him too extreme-I don’t think it is time for a Ron Paul-maybe one day-but right now we are still too far on the other side of freedom and the right mind set, for the extreme libertarian talking points to fly. As I think JAC said-even though I know he supports Ron-maybe an interim guy will do at this point.

    I will repeat my earlier stance-I don’t know what our guys will do-but I know what Obama will do-and he cannot be allowed to win. My choice out of the available choices, Gingrich(and no I’m not sure he can win either-but AI think he might of made a very good interim guy) has already lost and I have no idea who can beat Obama-but I will vote for whichever one wins the primary.

    • but I know what Obama will do-and he cannot be allowed to win.

      I’ll remind you that Obama did more for Corporations in America than any president before him. I often wonder (seriously) if the GOP put up this collection of idiot to face Obama because they could care less if Obama wins (he’s been very good to their cause–hanging on to many of Bush’s policies and MAINTAINING THE STATUS QUO–BF is correct–it makes no difference which clown act is performing on any given day).

      Why Obama bothers you so much suggests to me you’re caught up in the GOP vs. Democratic Party argument; akin to spitting into the wind. I’d rather see Ron Paul win than the Democrats … I’d prefer Ralph Nader to them all (and will probably vote for his or the socialist party) but I have no delusions about that vote meaning anything more than a token rejection of the status quo. The powers that be in this country would do nothing short of what is going on in Syria, if push came to shove … they would turn the Army on its own in a heartbeat if they thought they’d lose their control of the state … the 1%, when the time comes, will be on their private jets heading out long before they stand alongside the suckers who support their cause.

    • The problem I see V, is that far too many think that Obama is doing good things, so they are not facing reality. And if we put someone in that makes no real changes, then when the whole thing inevitably falls apart, the other side will blame the guys you put in office. Not believing someone can win is a sure way to be right. Taking a chance, if enough people do it, is the only way we will ever make any progress.

      Also, when you take that chance, you have to be able to handle the risk. I say the sky is not falling because if you can be convinced that you cannot survive the risk, you can be convinced to never take a chance, and you miss the opportunity. Its the same thing that has lead to the loss of freedom in this country. People are convinced the risk is too great, so they will allow the risk to be mitigated by a loss of freedom. Freedom is risky, but it also provides opportunity. The removal of risk also removes freedom and opportunity. They are linked inextricably.

  6. Every has an opinion and almost all of them are devoid of reality.

    It does not matter who you vote for because whoever it is (and it will not be Paul) will have been vetted by the elite so to maintain the status quo, not to change it.

    If change is impossible, so is the solution to the problem that the status quo has created.

    The only change that can come will come from a major crisis.

    People only change their ways when they have to – and that “have to” is usually a life-crisis.
    Who changes their eating habits before,/b> they have a health problem???
    No one.
    They change their eating habits after their health problem has shocked them to do so.

    Same with nations.

    Nothing will change until a crisis, then everything will change.

    So Jon is really trying to do is maintain the status quo – with Washington calling the shots – except having “Jon’s people” in Washington.
    (“Washington have a lot of power and are not interested in letting it go easily. Can it be taken from them? Of course”)

    But maintaining the status quo – that is, projection of power and violence from a small, centralized core – cannot be sustained; or to sustain it will require a level of violence that is unimaginable to the common, naive citizen.

    Aside: Brzezinski: “Its easier to kill a million people…than it is to control them”
    – Listen carefullyto this man, a key leader in the CFR – his insights have a tendency to be correct.
    “…Global Political Awakening – First time in all human history, all of mankind is politically conscience and aware…
    ….Where in the past it was easier to control a million people then kill them, modern technology has allowed this to reverse. For the first time in human history, it is far easier to kill a million people than control them.”

    To advocate that merely changing butts in the big chair will create the necessary changes is naive.
    Butts have been changing in the big chair for the last 150 years, and nothing has changed. To naively believe that “this time” is different is a fool’s errand.
    There is no crisis in Washington to cause systemic change.

    The course of action, then, is not to stand in the way of the massive political tsunami naively believing it can be stopped by merely throwing a few sandbags in its way, but to acknowledge that it is coming, that it is eventual, and only those that get out of its way -now- with as much as they can carry -now- will be the ones that will be best prepared to create and build on the new landscape that such a tsunami will most certainly create.

    The day: Washington’s checks bounce.

    The day after: Political power evaporates from Washington and condenses locally.

    All political issues maintained by Washington which will directly effect the lives of the People: welfare – seniors – health – law enforcement; are all local issues. These all involve your neighbors, and the solutions sans Washington will involve those locally who are ready to take responsibility for them.

    Unless you -right now- are preparing for this by building your credibility as a local politically responsible person, you will not make an impact here. To do so, you cannot be tainted by Washington, for after the crisis, any past involvement with Washington politics will be a Scarlet Letter.

    If you do not start now, and build this local political base, then you have no excuse or complaint when the local politics post-crisis takes such a form of your displeasure.

    In many locales, this will occur.
    Charlie’s boys are not idle.
    They have a plan, they have the people, they are ready.

    You, instead, are wasting time playing a pointless game called “Washington”.

    You will have only yourselves to blame for your folly.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Flagster,

      I will say that your consistant to the core! I happen to agree with your summation, Washington is not fixable, unless, a violent overthrow or let it destroy itself (that’s my choice). Then we can fix things with those who survive.

      • Then we can fix things with those who survive.

        Me thinks you might be overreaching here, Gman. “We” don’t seem to have the numbers necessary to win. “We” seem to be about 20% (if that much) of the population. “We” are funded by 1% … We is kidding itself as much as Mr. Smith going to Washington …

        • gmanfortruth says:

          “We” will grow in numbers by virtue of need. “We” will not need funding, money will be useless, “we” are ready!

          • All 15 or so here at SUFA?

            Good luck with that, Gman (I mean that sincerely). I’d root for anything to overthrow the criminals in Washington and those who own them.

            The problem you might have, assuming you’re successful, is the remaining population … I doubt enough of them would support a return to the same old thing (meet the boss, same as the old boss) which a so-called free market is destined to repeat.

            • gmanfortruth says:

              Charlie, I’m sure you can go back and read my past articles. I do not promote going back to anything near the same. Under my ideas for the future, any Federal Government would have no power over the people, they have abused that power enough already.

              • Gman, i hear you (and what you are advocating for) but I think you’re ignoring what eventually happens when power ultimately resides with those who can earn the most money (no matter how it is earned). They will seek to protect their interests in whatever form is possible (i.e., government). I wish your paradigm was something I could believe in, but I’m not as sure as you are it can work. I suspect it hasn’t a prayer. That said, I’d root for anything that upset the current applecart, if for no other reason than to prove it can’t work. I think we need something radical and I suspect, because of how wide the gap is now between haves and have nots, that it have to be a more socialist approach. I don’t see why we wouldn’t give it a try. I refuse to accept the propaganda handed down from schoolbooks to FOX news (calling Obama, for instance, a socialist–he couldn’t be further from one). And the “school book” propaganda is why I so often point to what happened to Native Americans in our past–because it just wasn’t presented to us the way it happened. Why I’ll lean towards the higher end figure proposed by Mr. Churchill rather than the government propanda, etc. Equating Churchill to Michael Moore (as USW does) is a typical blind faith argument that is EXACTLY what the 1% and status quo require. The name of this site, Stand Up For America kind of says it all, don’t you think?

              • gmanfortruth says:

                Charlie, All past attempts at government have failed in some form or another, causing great horrors. I will not go backwards to ideaologies that have failed, time to move forward! 🙂

                https://standupforamerica.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/after-the-fall-part-two/

    • You may be right, and I am very close to agreement with you, closer than I have ever been. Just a few shreds of hope remain. I do not believe that “my people” will be maintaining the status quo, because “my people” would change the face of Washington. “My people” would have Paul as the most authoritarian among us. The thing that makes me agree with you in part is that the odds of “my people” ever making it to Washington is almost lottery winning level, and it would have to be done repeatedly and in a widespread manner. Sort of like winning the lottery in every state every other year for 20 years….

  7. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/03/the-ground-zero-of-global-corruption-it-starts-with-the-currency/#more-20872

    Really good stuff in this article which I believe BF would agree with in large part (I know I do). At first might seem a bit tangential for today, but the more you read it the more you will realize that what is discussed in the linked article is INTEGRAL to why things are NOT FIXABLE by voting.

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Who has the real power in Washington (and in the world)?

    The Bureaucracies, the Military, and the Corporations.

    Now, dear readers, tell me, PRECISELY, what change are you going to affect on the bureaucracies, the military, and the corporations by VOTING??? (If you answered “very little if any”, you win a prize).

    • gmanfortruth says:

      The power is over people who cannot fend for themselves without govt. We can all take that power back by being self sufficient.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Yes, we can at least do our best to free ourselves from their power over us by being self-sufficient, but VOTING ain’t got nothing to do with it 🙂

        • gmanfortruth says:

          I agree Peter 🙂 To me, voting in a National Election today is accepting the corruption this has infested Washington. I do not accept it, so I will not waste my time.

  9. Black Flag

    Black Flag® says:
    March 19, 2012 at 11:43 am • Edit

    I see.
    You will never be able to change the American Mind, since no such thing exists.

    You may be able to change your neighbor’s mind, though.

    Ah my pirate friend, I did not say change the American Mind. I said change the “thinking” of the American Public.

    And yes, it starts with your neighbor’s, and your family. But here is the wonder of the modern age. I have neighbors all over the country who stop in to sit on the SUFA and visit with me every day.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      JAC,

      The internet has already been a very powerful tool for this, and it will continue to be unless and until “they” figure out how to control it.

      They are trying in Australia… we will see how they do there. If you aren’t following the story of the attempted crackdown in Australia, you should check it out… scary stuff indeed.

      • Peter

        I agree. They are afraid of the power of the internet.

        So if this is true, then WHO holds the REAL power?

        The True Power would not waste its time trying to control information if they were in fact the TRUE power.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          JAC,

          True power IS control of information, among other things, which is precisely WHY the elites (Military, Corporate, and Bureaucratic) all fear an uncontrolled internet.

          Power = Control.

          Trying to exert control over a new factor which has not been under their control (and that they fear due to their own current lack of control) is absolutely natural.

          What they are afraid of is that if enough of the people have access to “uncontrolled information” then the people could BECOME the true power, and that is precisely what the current “true power” fears the MOST, because it could mean a LOSS of their power.

          So of course, they are naturally going to attempt to control information, it is critical to them maintaining their positions.

          • Peter

            I view “true power” much as I view “truth about nature” such as “true gravity”.

            The “ELITE” you describe do not hold the “True Power”. They are False Gods.

            But just like humanity before Newton, we can do nothing about the False Gods until we “discover” where the “true power” lies hidden.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Ok, I see what you are getting at, but my point is that those who are CURRENTLY HOLDING THE POWER are primarily interested in KEEPING IT. Because they currently hold it, whether they be false gods or not, they STILL HAVE THE POWER.

              For all practical purposes, it doesn’t matter who you BELIEVE has the true power, what matters is who HOLDS THE POWER CURRENTLY and how you are going to try to change that situation!

              If you think you can change that situation by voting for someone WHO HAS BEEN FULLY APPROVED BY THOSE CURRENTLY HOLDING POWER, then I think that ain’t gonna work so well.

              If you think you can change that situation by using things like the internet (while you can) and by using word of mouth and local action, then I would say you are on the right track.

    • Thumbs up!

  10. I guess we’ll have to be nice to Matt for a little while, the inventor of RedBull has passed away…..

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_THAILAND_OBIT_CHALEO?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-03-17-13-48-50

  11. BF
    You have given the Tea Party credit in the past for their ability to affect change in Washington. You also say that you could vote for Ron Paul.

    Peter
    You have (correct me if I’m wrong) given Paul Ryan’s budget a thumbs up

    But at the same time you say that nothing can change. Doesn’t add up.

    • Anita,

      BF You have given the Tea Party credit in the past for their ability to affect change in Washington.

      Actually, no I haven’t.

      I have used them as an example of how change is impossible – they want to cut other people off of government, but not themselves – thus, nothing changes.

      You also say that you could vote for Ron Paul.

      I could, but a “could” is infinitely far from “can”.

      He will never get to a position where you could vote for him.

      Single individuals, like Paul, are the anomaly, and as such have been successfully marginalized – like an infection in the body, the body-politic has isolated Paul to be a pimple, but nothing systemic.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Anita,

      I like Paul Ryan, and a lot of things in his budget would be an improvement. However, you ain’t never gonna see anything even vaguely resembling the Paul Ryan budget plan actually PASSING AND BEING IMPLEMENTED regardless of who you vote for, and therein lies the real problem.

      It is nice to hear someone in government talking about a budget that at least makes a hell of a lot more sense than what we are doing now, but don’t confuse “nice to hear about” with “actually within the realm of possibility”. That is where a lot of people make “the big mistake”.

      They hear a few people in government sounding perilously close to making a certain amount of sense, and they make the critical mistake of believing that the elites are actually going to allow such people to have any real power and influence.

      Watch when Paul Ryan’s next proposal comes out later this week. He will simultaneously be vilified by the left for trying to “cut the balls off of the poor” while being vilified by the Tea Party for “not going far enough and caving to the Democrats”.

      • I agree. Ryan will be roasted.

        With all due respect, and this goes to my brother who is also on the non-voting bandwagon, I, oh geez i’m going to get hit for this one 🙂 , I equate yous who think voting is useless to those who are too lazy to become involved! There! I said it! Then you have a smaller block of voters, most of whom go for the popular candidate. Then we’re in real trouble.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Anita, I act on the local level and the state level, and if I think it is worth it, I vote on that level (especially local). Those of us who disapprove of voting are generally discussing it on a NATIONAL level, where it makes almost no difference whatsoever.

          You see, let’s take the current Republican Primaries as a perfect example. Hardly anyone really likes Romney, but the elites who are in control only approved of a bunch of buffoons to run against him, so there is at this point about a 95% chance he is going to be the nominee for Republican Presidential Candidate.

          And yet, the guy can’t even muster up better than 25-30% support even against a bunch of hacks (well maybe Ron Paul isn’t a hack, but the media and the elites have ensured that he has been totally marginalized so he has no chance of making any real impact other than to thrwo his support behind someone else… and that someone else will be ROMNEY, so maybe that DOES mean Ron Paul is a hack after all…)

          Anyway, my point is, on a national level, we will be FORCED to choose between Obama and Romney, which is basically the equivalent of choosing between a root canal with no anesthesia and water-boarding. Some choice eh???

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Oh, and we ARE in real trouble already, and have been for some time. The REASON we are in such big trouble is we keep VOTING to keep the status quo going, and we keep BELIEVING that we are somehow accomplishing something by doing so.

          • Agree. BUT..not voting also keeps the status quo going because there will always be people who vote. We are stuck in a loop with no way out. So what is the solution? Your non voting route will lead to …what? Status quo until when? What is the result..and in how many years? Voting at least has a chance of changing the status quo..quicker.. notice the tea party. We can get to limited government quicker with true tea partiers than with non voters. Can’t get true tea partiers if you don’t vote. What if Paul Ryan was to run in 2016? Would that change your opinion? Or (i know its a stretch) someone like Kent? I would say BF but I know that’s not going to happen. Or someone from the GOOOH club or a memeber of Oathkeepers? At some point things will have to change. And that someone will have to be voted in. Right?

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Your claim that voting at least has a chance of changing the status quo quicker needs evidence. I believe that you will find that there is none.

              By the way, Kent did run for President. 2008 I believe.

              A vote for Kent, a vote for BF, a vote for a member of the Oathkeepers or a GOOOH member would literally be a wasted vote. We have a 2-party system, and the elite control both parties. You are not going to see Kent or BF or an Oathkeeper or a GOOOH get the nomination from either of those parties. You are simply going to see an endless stream of Obamas and Romneys until their system collapses under its own weight.

              If by some miracle a Kent or a BF or an Oathkeeper or a GOOOH were to start getting any kind of measurable support, the media would crush them.

              Now, on a local level, people like that can (and often do) make a big difference, and sometimes even on a State level.

              I am interested though… say Paul Ryan decides to run in 2016… especially given how infamous his budget proposals have been, what do you think the chances are that he could actually get the nomination? My feeling is that if he started to get popular, the media would do their best to grind him to a pulp.

              You saw what they did to Herman Cain and what they did to Newt. They were scared shitless of Herman Cain, so they smashed him to bits. Then Newt started becoming popular and they smashed him to bits as well. Santorum they can live with, because they know Obama will beat him. Romney they can live with because they know he won’t significantly change anything.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Also, at some point, things WILL change, but unfortunately this change will most likely not be voted on, it will simply HAPPEN, and probably be catastrophic in nature. Sorry to be pessimistic but that is the greatest likelihood at this point. Voting MIGHT delay the outcome for a short while, or it might hasten it, but in the grand scheme of things I don’t think voting will accomplish much.

  12. BF

    Re Right vs Grant

    “No, the other way around.

    Voting does not exist independent of an abstraction.
    I do not need to vote myself a grant to achieve freedom of speech … bootstrap problem if speech is a “grant”; how do I proclaim my grant to achieve free speech if I don’t have free speech to start with?

    So, a right has no bootstrap problems – voting does; it requires a predecessor, in this case, government.”

    I was not referring to voting alone. But your use of restriction to define Grant as opposed to a Right.

    Your added statement doesn’t seem to clear up the issue I see with your description.

    Yes you are free to speak. You have a right to speak. But then somebody comes along and places restrictions on your speech. In your first case you said the presence of restrictions is a Grant. So at this point, using your terms, your Right is not a Right but now a Grant. Since it can’t be both, it must have been a Grant in the first place.

    My suggestion is that Rights exist “absent” Government or any such entity that would place “outside” restrictions on said rights. Voting, at least for Govt, does not exist until Govt is created, as Govt does not exist in Nature. Our Right to speak as we wish exists outside Govt, as does our Right to property, self defense, etc.

    Now as to “voting” in the general sense, we must address “voting” as a means of expressing ones opinion about a decision made by a “group”.

    • BF

      Another way to consider Rights. A true Right does not require action by anyone else. Many claim it creates an “obligation” of others. But in reality a True Right creates a third party obligation to “DO NOTHING”.

      In other words, your Right to speak requires that I do nothing. Your right to property requires that I do nothing. Nothing that is except respect your right, to that very point where you begin to affect my similar rights.

    • JAC
      Old from above:

      But then somebody comes along and places restrictions on your speech.

      How and why?
      If we are supposing within a framework of Rights, what Right are you insisting upon to place such a restriction?

      For example, I am at your house decrying the color of your wallpaper. You do not like this and ask me to leave. You are not restricting my right of speech, you are enforcing your right of property and association. I leave still complaining about your wallpaper.

      In your first case you said the presence of restrictions is a Grant.

      Yes, you grant me access to your property and company. This is a grant from you, it is not my right to be on your property.

      Voting is a grant to those who have a real stake in the organization. That is is why it is restricted, those that have no interest at stake are not allowed to decide upon the interests of others who have a stake.

      Thus, government system of republican democracy of the USA claims the citizens have a stake, therefore they have a vote. Canadians are not Americans, thus do not have a stake in the USA, and do not get to vote. Thus, voting is a grant.

      (To others: This dialogue in no way confirms anything about voting being what you think – what you are doing with your vote – you are not electing a representative, you are confirming the system)

  13. gmanfortruth says:

    Humans want security from bad people who will steal and kill. So they vote! They vote for other humans called politicians, and when they are all together, they make up government. Government passes laws that takes money from humans and uses it to commit mass murder in other countries. So voting achieves the very thing that humans want protected from. Voting makes a government of humans who are allowed to boss the people around, steal their money and kill other humans. Interesting how well voting works. 👿

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Typical argument for voting:

      Guy A (or political party A) will steal less of my money and control less of my life than guy B (or political party B) so I will vote for guy A.

      Wait, what was that?

      Typical argument #2 for voting:

      Most people are too damn stupid for their own good. Guy B says that he will take lots of our money, but he will use it to tell people how to live their lives better, and he seems like a smart guy, and Lord knows we need a smart guy to tell most people how to live, since most people are so damn stupid. Guy A says he will take less of our money, and he wants government to have less control over the people, but since most people are so damn stupid, we really need MORE government control, not LESS, so I am voting for Guy B.

      Typical argument for voting #3:

      Guy B says he will tax the hell out of the rich bastards and give poor people their fair share. Guy A says that the rich earn what they make and have a right to keep it, and will create jobs with it. I don’t give a damn about jobs, I just want the government to GIVE me my fair share, and I know those rich bastards didn’t EARN their money anyway, so I am voting for Guy B.

      Add up what you get from reason #2 and reason #3 and usually Guy B is going to be the “winner” 🙂

  14. Watched a great series on History Channel yesterday. Lost Civilizations.

    Guess what folks. The oldest evidence of a “central govt” among a “large group” (ie. City) is now about 5,000 B.C. This was in the middle east and eastern Europe.

    So this begs the question I have asked before. Is the creation of Govt “part of our nature”?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      JAC,

      As long as we have people who desire to control others, and people who want to be controlled or don’t believe they are good enough or smart enough to run their own lives, then yes, government probably will be a very unfortunate part of our nature.

      Part of our problem as human beings is we have a tendency to believe that we can run our own lives ok, but the guy next door is a goddamn idiot or a crook, and THAT guy for sure needs some rules enforced by a central power to keep him under control.

      • True, but the reason behind that is not just disrespect for others, it is fear. Freedom is risky, there is no way around that. You cannot be free and free of risk at the same time. It is fear that drives people to accept control. Sometimes it is fear of others, sometimes it is fear of misfortune. National health care is not supported by people because they want to control others, it is because they are afraid of medical misfortune and the financial burden that can create. If they tempered their reaction to the fear with reason, they would realize that national health care cannot prevent them from getting sick or reduce the overall costs, and it violates freedom and puts the control of health care into the most inept and non-innovative group possible. But fear and reason make poor bedfellows.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Jon, the idea/support for national health care is not borne out of fear. It is borne out of an understanding that we cannot control all aspects of our medical health and that no one should be forced to go bankrupt to get the care they need, that health care should not be a privilege of the rich, but something that morally must be provided to all in our society.

          • There may be some who believe that, but that is one of the reasons I say that morality should never be the basis of law or government action. You rail against people like Santorum because you believe he will push his morality on people using the law. I join you in this. However, you make a morality argument supporting another government law? I do not consider national health care a moral decision, not because I think it is a good thing that people be forced to go broke paying for medical care, but because I believe it is immoral to take from one by force, regardless of the intentions for the money stolen.

            We cannot control all aspects of anything in this life, and putting the government in charge will not change that. The attempt to mitigate medical risk in this manner is, like or not, born of fear. Fear of the risk of living. If you fear risk that much, then do you ever really live life at all? Is money so important to you that you would destroy the freedom of a whole society to mitigate the risk of an expensive medical condition? And you consider that sort of materialism and fearfulness to be moral simply because you convince yourself that you are mitigating risk for everyone, whether they want you to or not? That makes as much sense as outlawing all pornography or making women wear burkas. Its just moral hautiness and a superiority complex.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Morally was perhaps not the best choice of words, especially as there are so many other arguments to be made in support of a single payer system.

              • Buck

                Many arguments to be made, but none that could be considered logical or reasoned.

                It requires ignoring the laws of economics and human behavior, for starters.

                If you are going to justify the use of FORCE against everyone I suggest you had better have a compelling Moral case for your action. Otherwise you are just pissing in the wind.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                JAC,

                There are all types of arguments to be made for single payer — moral, economic, social, legal, etc. We’ve been through many of these arguments before and I’m sure they’ll come up again. I’m not going to go through each of them once again right now. But don’t be so quick to just cast aside each and every argument as illogical or irrational simply because you disagree or can make a valid argument against. As you well know, there can be, and often are, two competing arguments for and against a given thing, both of which are fully logical and rational.

              • Well said Buck. I believe that there are often two valid arguments to be made on each side. Too often, we eschew perusing them in order to ridicule the other side or to instead argue against something other than their actual premises. I disagree with the single payer solution, but am willing to hear the reasons why you believe it should be that way. Could I perhaps suggest that we have this discussion at some point, just you and I, no irrational outside talk from the rail….

                Doesn’t matter when… just some day soon when we both think we have time to dedicate to it. We can both jump on here and discuss. Perhaps some Saturday afternoon or whenever you think it possible.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Will try to find the time one day coming up. It would make for an interesting debate!

        • Yes, Jon-it is fear-but you say it, like it is an irrational fear-it is not. Medical care and now insurance is, as you know ridiculously high-a good portion of people, including me, cannot get it from an employer and a good number can not afford to get it individually which is even more expensive. And having to go to the hospital and finding out you have-pick a very large number bill-is scary and threatening-and very rational.

          • It is an irrational reaction to the fear. I do not criticise the fear itself, I criticize the solutions chosen. It is rational to fear a wild predator. It is not a rational reaction to run when there are better courses of action to handle the problem. Running, as most people are aware, will always invite a chase, and the predators in the wild are all faster than humans.

            • My point Jon-is that you do not bring people to the truth by seeming to belittle their-truthful argument or calling them basically a coward who is afraid of freedom.

              This is a very real threat to the viability of families economically-personally, I see the government’s actions over years, as the main cause for the outrageous medical costs-this is what people need to be shown-why we are where we are-and if anyone actually knows-how to fix the problem.

              I’m fairly certain that it wasn’t that many years ago people didn’t even have health insurance-how did that work?

              • You are absolutely right, I need to be less caustic sometimes, especially on things I am most passionate about. I have always had a thing about risk. A lot of my attitude, I imagine, would be far more tempered if I had kids or other people depending on me. I tend to be a risk-taker, and having been through losing everything and come out on the other side, I am wiser about risk, but even less fearful. I harp on it, in part, in recognition that freedom is scary, and I understand people’s unwillingness to go for it. That said, I agree that I often come across to harshly. Calling people irrational cowards is not exactly tactful.

                I get that the costs of health care are insane. And I get that many have been ruined by it. As I said, it is a reasonable fear, but the reaction is the key. People who fear something are often vulnerable to manipulation by people who claim to have a solution.

                Before health insurance, three main things were different.
                1) People did not go to the doctor for minor things, or consider matters of discomfort to be medical issues.
                2) People did not live nearly as long, part of it because mortality rates were higher in cases of injury, etc. This was not so much because people could not afford medical care, but because it was not available at all. There was no multi-million dollar facility with hundreds of thousands of dollars of lasers and x-rays and surgical robots, etc. There were not drugs that cost millions to develop. Some of the rising cost of care is because of what we can care for. We can keep people alive long after our 100 years past predecessors woud have been out of ideas. Some of this is because innovation and technology represents a cost. Some of it is because we will pay any cost to stay alive, thus the market responded by spending this nearly unlimited amount of money on more and more health technology, and maintained a healthy profit as they did so.
                3) People helped each other out more, communities pitched in, not just families, because they knew that there was no one else that would help, and because there was a culture of responsibility for one’s fellow man. It is the passing off of responsibility on government that is destroyed the charitable spirit of this country.

                Government regulation is part of the rising costs. Legal liability is a part of it. Profitting on people’s willingness to pay any cost for health and long life is part of it. Inflation (from government monetary policy) is part of it. The cost of technology is part of it. The ever growing availability of medical procedures due to expanded technology and medical discovery is part of it. The cost of medicines for non-medical issues being included in “health care costs” is part of it. The rising cost of education is part of it, driving up the costs of salaries and, due to salaries, the cost of legal representation. The culture tending towards getting medical attention for minor things is part of it. The ruination of the American diet is part of it, as is the loss of exercize and increased stress. Junk science is part of it, pushing medical and dietary fads on people that are both costly and inneffective, and in some cases cause more issues. The cockiness of western medicine is part of it, alternative medicines that are very effective take a long time to be accepted, and sometimes never are, because of how it would impact profit, and how much control would be lost by the government and other powers that be in the medical arena. I saw a piece out of Johns Hopkins about cancer treatment recently that is finally admitting the limited effectiveness of chemo and radiation, and describing the benefits of proper diet, attitude, exercise, and other matters of immune system support, as well as the dangers of various chemicals including fake sugars. All things that have been known in alternative medicine circles for a long time. A lot of our issues have to do with seeking medicine when living properly would take care of the problem.

  15. @ Peter B and in defense of voting and Anita:
    The only wasted vote is the one not cast. If you truly believe that the vote itself is evil, because it is a way of acknowledging the idea of representative government, then by all means do not vote. To vote then would be to compromise one’s principles. I would never try to convince BF to vote, not because I know I would fail (that has never stopped me before), but because I would be asking him to engage in an act that violates his very core. If you believe as he does, then that is fine, but present your argument that way.

    Otherwise, you are simply playing the game as you have been manipulated to play it. Disenfranchisement is a favorite tool of those seeking power in a republic or a democracy. To make a statement that would be heard through a non-vote would require either an overnight abandonment of the vote of more than 50% of current voting trends, or a trickle down to less than 25% of voting trends. If you have the ability to weild that sort of widespread influence, you could just as easily elect some decent people like Kent.

    What do you think has more impact? Let’s say Kent could muster 10k votes through local marketting, facebook, and other free or inexpensive means of advertising and outreach. Let’s say there are 1,000 people like Kent that do the same thing. No political parties, not junk, just people doing write-ins or maybe getting on the ballot in a single state, etc. Do you think 10 million votes for no-names with no shot at winning but clear agendas leaning towards freedom and small government would be better, or just 10 million more added to the ranks of those who do not bother to vote? Saying nothing means nothing to those who only are swayed by loud voices. I get that “my guys” won’t get in, because the powers that be will stop it. But to have millions of votes cast for something other than the status quo is still an impact, certainly more than no votes, since those are a silent vote for the status quo as well.

    If you want to not vote, fine, but don’t avoid it because it is a waste. If a vote is an acceptance, I get that argument, but that is the only one worthy in my opinion.

    Now, on the flip side, I find a vote for the status quo to be a bad move. It is not a waste, it is, in fact, very effective and making sure the status quo stays put. More effective, in fact, than no vote at all. I think those who vote against the worst guy by choosing the only other “winnable” option are the ones who really maintain the status quo, and they are the ones who accept the game as it has been corrupted. I do not accept this version of the voting game, we do not need political parties, we do not need these elite bums that we get pushed into voting for.

    Real change will start at the local level because we can actually get people into office that love freedom, but the national levels still have to be voted in, just, for heaven’s sake, don’t vote for an establishment person.

  16. Okay, Matt, Buck-this one goes too far-a definite NO !

    Tennessee bill would direct state Health Department to post a report of every abortion
    posted at 5:25 pm on March 19, 2012 by Tina Korbe

    Under consideration in the state legislature of Tennessee right now is a bill — the Life Defense Act of 2012 — that would direct the state Health Department to post a report of every abortion. Not surprisingly, the bill has already become a source of controversy:

    The reports must include the “identification of the physician who performed the abortion and the physician’s office, clinic, hospital or other
    facility where the abortion was performed,” according to the official summary of the bill.

    Chas Sisk of the Nashville Tennessean reports that abortion-rights advocates are worried that this could result in the intimidation of doctors, given violent acts against abortion providers in the past.

    Although the bill states that patients will not be identified in the reports, it says the documents must include the woman’s county, age, race, marital status, plus her number of prior pregnancies, number of prior abortions, the gestational age of the fetus, and her preexisting medical conditions. That, critics say, could make it easy to guess identities, particularly in sparsely populated rural areas.

    The sponsor of the bill, Matthew Hill, is a Republican state representative from the east Tennessee town of Jonesborough.

    “The Department of Health already collects the data, but they don’t publish it,” Hill told the Tennessean. “All we’re asking is that the data they already collect be made public.”

    In general, I’m highly in favor of state-level measures to deter abortion up to and even including personhood amendments, but this one stumps me. Right now, the law treats abortion as just another medical procedure. To direct the state Health Department to publish the details of a medical procedure in this way sets a dangerous precedent. Would we want the state Health Department to publish records of every medical procedure we receive? While I don’t want to invoke that awful “right to privacy” that abortion advocates pretend gives women the right to kill their unborn children, if ever a “right to privacy” existed, wouldn’t it be in relation to doctor-patient privilege?

    The problem, of course, is that the law treats abortion as just a medical procedure, rather than the elimination of an innocent life. The criminalization of abortion is probably a long way off, but, in the meantime, a variety of less-drastic, pro-life legal measures can at least create or advance the awareness that a fetus is actually a human person with the right to life. Ultrasound requirements, for example, have that as their aim. So, too, do parental consent laws. But this new measure seems to have a different, less sympathetic aim: To shame doctors who perform abortions and to shame women who seek them. But I worry that such a law would do less to change the hearts and minds of abortion advocates than to harden in them the denial of the very awareness of reality we seek to awaken in them.

    Let’s hope the Tennessee legislature proceeds cautiously on this one.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/03/19/tennessee-bill-would-direct-state-health-department-to-post-a-report-of-every-abortion/

  17. Jon

    Great article by the way, and timely.

    But……….. I didn’t know that Chicken Little was REALLY a Duck.

  18. Regarding Buck or Mathius’ comment about Health Care, etc.

    The argument is that there is some Right to health care, thus we have an obligation to make sure people don’t suffer for lack of medical care.

    First of all, this supposed Right is a REVERSE of the original definition of the concept of Rights.

    Second, it presumes that MAN has some Natural Right to FORCE other men to help him try to CHEAT GOD.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Cheat god. Talk about illogical arguments! 🙂

      What are you trying to say here? Too bad if you can’t afford a needed medical procedure — must have been god’s plan? Just must be your time to go? (unless of course you’re wealthy, then god must have wanted you to live!). I’m being a bit facetious here, but this does seem to be along the lines of what you’re saying. Can you elaborate?

      • I have to admit the cheat god statement threw me for a little loop too….

      • Buck

        Our attempts to secure ever more “medical care” are nothing but our effort to deny the grim reaper. To “cheat god” or to “cheat nature”.

        Now it is in our nature to do so. But that is up to each of us since our nature is to survive on our “brains” and “effort”. This includes “mutual cooperation”.

        The majority of medical expense in this country is by those near the end of their lives who are trying to cheat death. That should be their choice. They have no “right” to force me to participate.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          So, the middle aged cancer patient is merely cheating death and should just die? The middle aged woman who has a brain aneurysm or a tumor that requires surgery — too bad? And what a shame about that kid who was hit by the car whose parents cannot afford the care the child now needs for the rest of his life…

          Sorry, its not just about cheating death in your old age, giving an extra few months or couple of years to the 89-yr old who is going to pass from old age regardless.

          • Buck

            Typical logical fallacy. “So, the middle aged cancer patient is merely cheating death and should just die? ”

            Yes, the middle aged cancer patient is merely “trying” to cheat death.

            Whether that person “should” die is a matter that I have no reason or right to judge. And the claim of “should just die” is an appeal to emotion as it has nothing to do with the premise. Namely, that they are trying to cheat death. They are free to try and cheat death to the best of their ability.

            They have NO RIGHT to FORCE me to participate in their effort.

        • I don’t have any figures but I think a lot of the end of life expenses isn’t cheating death. As much as making the person comfortable-hospital beds, wheel chairs, nurses to come in and help with baths, teaching the family how to move people into wheel chairs or in the bed when they can’t walk, etc.

  19. BF, I have a couple questions for you about local voting.

    I understand the idea of wasted resources and effort trying to change Washington and constantly failing. What, however, is the issue with casting a national level vote, so long as it is for a non-establishment candidate?

    Also, I have concerns about the local politics. What is to stop the Federal and even state level from accelerating their consolidation of power when they see grass-roots local politics turning against them? What is to stop a tyrannical government from demonizing and crushing local municipalities? What strength can the localities wield that would stop rogue elements in a hostile takeover post-collapse? In other words, is it wise to totally ignore national politics because it is a lost cause? I would think that, perhaps, it is strategically wise to preserve as much of the protective structure as possible to prevent a collapse or perceived threat by the higher government levels from undoing the good done at the local level. Just curious how you envision the various potential scenarios in the event of, and leading up to, a federal collapse.

    • Jon

      I understand the idea of wasted resources and effort trying to change Washington and constantly failing. What, however, is the issue with casting a national level vote, so long as it is for a non-establishment candidate?

      It is an unnecessary distraction.

      You end up getting all balled up in the affair, wasting time watching debates, following the news, etc. — time better spent organizing local politics while the majority of your political adversaries are all balled up watching Washington.

      Also, I have concerns about the local politics. What is to stop the Federal and even state level from accelerating their consolidation of power when they see grass-roots local politics turning against them?

      Money.

      Washington will have no money to buy the necessary providers of violence.
      Cops will be paid locally.
      Militia and Guardsmen will look locally for their wages, not Washington.

      An order from Washington will be made as a “collect call”, and I doubt anyone on the other end will accept it.

      • FYI..Half way there…..Guardsmen are already paid locally….not Washington.

        • When deployed, they fall under Title 10 USC and that’s federally funded.
          The state pays when the National Guard is called up by the governor.

      • The money argument only works if America is the last to fall. A power broker will make a deal with another country in exchange for funding in a heartbeat. The collapse of the dollar can do a lot of damage, but there will still be a lot of wealth out there, and the militaries seekign pay will not find enough at the local levels either, meaning they may be able to be bought easily.

        • Jon,

          Why do you believe another country will destroy their own national economy so to support the US economy?

          • Power, resources, ideology. Why do you think we are doing it now ourselves? Propping up nations that we have an interest in or can get political capital from, etc.

            • You think China, who have been chasing bad money with good in terms of US debt, would not try more aggressive tactics if the US was vulnerable? I am not talking about direct military invasion, I am talking about basically buying Washington. And I see it happening before a complete dollar collapse. In the event of an Atlas Shrugged scenario, I think your strategem is right, BF, but I am just not convinced it will play out that way. Socialists who believe in socialism will play the game till such a collapse, thinking they are right, but power seekers will jump ship as soon as socialism ceases to be a tool in their quest for greater power.

              • Jon,

                Review the Mercantilism mind-set that China holds.

                China depends on selling its goods at a discount into the US.

                Establish the Chinese strategy based on this fact.

            • Jon,

              Why do you think we are

              You are mixing up two different things.

              There is one thing to act in ignorance of consequences (USA)

              There is another thing to act knowing it will destroy you. (No one)

              These guys know where their bread is buttered and will not act against it. In doing that, they may create other dire consequences because they do not understand what they are doing.

              Work in a self-rational basis not believing that the other guy is irrational.

              • I disagree that the US is acting in ignorance, and I disagree that I should go against what I observe (foolish financial action done by many nations) and presume rationality. I certainly do not see superior intelligence in other countries. I see it in some cases, and I see it in some people. I have seen little of it at the government level in any nation.

                You are still thinking along the lines of trade relations. I am talking about near collapse of the dollar or US government. At that point, others will be looking for new ways to butter their bread. It is the old federalist debate. I am not a federalist, but I still believe in a national defense and basic structure because I proceed in a self-rational basis believing that the other guy may be rational OR irrational.

                Now, don’t get me wrong, I see the wisdom in being strong and having structure locally. If there is truly only the energy for one or the other, then local wins. That, however, will be the thing hardest to teach, so many people are federally focussed. Perhaps that is the key, people do not truly have the energy for both. I dunno. In terms of fresh tactics, this may be the ticket.

                Still gonna vote in the national election this year tho. Third party or no party as usual. I’m just not quite where you are yet.

              • Jon

                I disagree that the US is acting in ignorance

                They don’t think they are acting in ignorance – I think they are.
                They are Keyensian Mercantilists and they are doing what Keyensian Mercantilists do.

                and I disagree that I should go against what I observe (foolish financial action done by many nations) and presume rationality. I certainly do not see superior intelligence in other countries.

                Rational and Intelligence are not co-linked, though each aids the other.

                I am talking about near collapse of the dollar or US government.

                How will the dollar collapse?
                How will the US government collapse?

                Put a rational plot together and you will find that the outcome is harsh, but recoverable and very different paradigm then you see today.

                I proceed in a self-rational basis believing that the other guy may be rational OR irrational.

                Then you organize yourself for an event that is highly improbable to occur – thus shield yourself from organizing yourself for events that are much more likely to occur.

                Now, don’t get me wrong, I see the wisdom in being strong and having structure locally. If there is truly only the energy for one or the other, then local wins. That, however, will be the thing hardest to teach, so many people are federally focussed.

                Please explain to me why you have trouble seeing people involving themselves locally, with people they know and share the close customs and norms – but you believe will have no problem involving themselves with other people 2,000 miles away who they do not share close customs and norms?

              • Perhaps so, many are sold on Kenesian economics. It is the only theory that justified government control of an economy that appeared to make sense, or could be convincing to those with little understanding, so it got taught in colleges and has become the predominate thought. I still think some know what they are doing and have alternate motivations.

                Conditioning is what makes people get energized about national politics and not local. Much of it is because people have been taught to look to the federal government. Even those who oppose it are focussed on it. I am not saying it makes sense, I am saying that is what people are currently conditioned to.

        • Since you are talking about bailing out countries-can someone explain to me why Germany is so much better off than the other Euro countries??

          • Not sure, but I am thinking it is because of their tradition of innovation and productivity. They are still making things that are in demand, and even if they have some of the same socialization, they likely have fewer people sitting around on the dole because of their culture. If everyone truly is working as hard as they can, social safety nets cost little and have far less impact on the economy of a country. Its when people lay in the net, or take risks they shouldn’t, or fail to plan and save, or are generally unproductive because of either lack of work or lack of innovation that the cost of socialist policies really soar.

            • Thanks Jon-I have to think that Germany’s condition after the war, would affect the people’s opinions on being more self sufficient.

          • V.H.

            One theory is that it is because Germany’s cultural memory is their experience with “hyper-inflation”, and the associated political upheaval.

            Thus they have acted to avoid this at the expense of cutting programs and suffering higher unemployment if needed.

            Other countries had bad experiences with unemployment causing political disruption. So they view the solution as STIMULUS.

        • China and Japan are also manipulating their money supply. As the largest foreign holders of US debt, how does that affect the dollar? Weiss Research says it’s strengthing it….

          the case for a multi-year bull market in the U.S. dollar. At the time I shared several reasons, and most of them seem to be playing out. One of the key factors was my belief that interest rates in the U.S. would be hiked by the Fed before any hikes came about in Europe or Japan. This is important because interest rate support is a powerful driver for a currency.

          Interestingly it is not the Federal Reserve that may be the driver of higher interest rates here, supporting the U.S. dollar. Instead it’s the breakdown in the Chinese growth model and their desperate need to refocus on their own consumer for future growth, which could trigger real global rebalancing.

          Let me explain …

          First, take a look at how the U.S. dollar index has done since my November column: The dollar staged a sharp rally into January 2012; then fell in a decent sized correction. But the interest rate and global macro backdrop seems to be clicking into place for another leg up.

          As you can see in the chart below, U.S. long-bond yields are rising. And that got me to wondering: What if the fall in the Japanese and Chinese current account surpluses continues, i.e. is this trend for real?

          If so, it means Japan and China recycle less of their yen and yuan, respectively, back into the U.S. capital markets. And that means the global economy could finally see some rebalancing between the major deficit country, the U.S., and the major surplus country, China.

          It also means the U.S. current account deficit, which seems to worry many people and economists alike, is likely to improve, as Japan and China morph increasingly into capital importers instead of capital exporters.

          Has this rebalancing begun?

          We don’t know yet. But interestingly, given the needs for Japan to rebuild and China to change its growth model, it could very much be the next major global macro trend for the global economy. If so, there are three major implications, and several investment themes spawned:

          U.S. long bond yields have likely bottomed (price topped).

          The next major growth phase for the global economy will be the rise of the Asian Consumer.

          Global capital and trade flow will become a two-way street.

          • LOI

            As the largest foreign holders of US debt, how does that affect the dollar?

            How does your IOU affect the dollar?
            Zero.

            • I disagree. The dollar and nearly all currencies are “fiat”, with “value” determined based on multiple factors including credit agency ratings and the money supply of other countries. The “value” fluctuates relative to the yen, pound, euro and gold. This matters to me and us because I have yet to be paid in gold or silver, nor have I ever paid for any services in that manner. Everything that we as Americans interact with is “valued” in comparison with the dollar’s “value”.

              http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_determines_the_value_of_the_dollar

              So if Japan and China print more IOU’s than we do, our IOU’s will “buy” more of their IOU’s. It has a higher made-up value.

              • LOI

                I disagree. The dollar and nearly all currencies are “fiat”, with “value” determined based on multiple factors including credit agency ratings and the money supply of other countries.

                Instead of raising some pet crackpot theory of value that you made up, please provide a economic theory of value in demonstrating your assertion here.

                Credit agencies do NOT rate currency, ever. No such measure exists, sir. To claim such -even by proxy- is fantasy.

                Credit agencies merely measure the risk of repayment of debit. You ability to repay or not does not one thing to the value of the currency.

                The “value” fluctuates relative to the yen, pound, euro and gold.

                The dollar, and everything else is an economic good and obeys all the laws of economics and contrary to your assertion, does not have a set of “extra” economic laws applied to it

                This matters to me and us because I have yet to be paid in gold or silver, nor have I ever paid for any services in that manner. Everything that we as Americans interact with is “valued” in comparison with the dollar’s “value”. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_determines_the_value_of_the_dollar So if Japan and China print more IOU’s than we do, our IOU’s will “buy” more of their IOU’s. It has a higher made-up value.

                WikiAnswers is no answer – but merely another clueless individual with no economic theory manufacturing a crackpot theory in his head.

                What is your theory of value? Without this, all your muck about “value” is utterly pointless.

                IOU’s are not money. They do not buy things. Money buys things.

                Get the links in the chain of economic thinking “right” and you will end up with proper conclusions of cause/effect.

              • LOI

                As soon as some crackpot (regardless of the funny letters behind his name) says this:
                “If the Federal Reserve increases the money supply so quickly that dollars fail to become a store of value..”

                You know he is a crackpot.

                Value is subjective. You can store value as equally well as you can store “love”.

                Money is something valuable to store, but it is not a store of value.
                If you do not understand that last sentence, economic theory will be very difficult for you.

  20. Buck and USW

    Yes, it is possible that two competing arguments are both logical and rational.

    In such a case, the BETTER argument wins.

    However, that is not the case with Govt provided health care. The fundamental principles are opposed to each other.

    That is why the argument is not made from a logical position. It requires obfuscating the information and making appeals to emotion in order to overcome the limits of reality.

    Now, I agree with USW in that I would love to see an objective and in depth discussion of this issue. I have yet to see one presented ANYWHERE that involves ALL THE PLAYERS. Which should tell you something about the nature of the debate itself.

    • I look forward to the debate as well. I have seen a lot of arguments, but none consolidated into one spot. Buck and USW, if you guys do this one privately, can I at least see the transcripts when you are finished?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Its going to be very hard for me to find the time to get into a lengthy back and forth. Over the next few days I will try to find the time to at least put together a more lengthy article detailing some of the arguments in favor of a single payer type system and forward it to USW for him to read and reply, adding his own arguments against a single payer system.

        • No rush, you guys take your time, I just want to see it when youre done. 🙂 I’d love even more to join in, but debates can be exhausting, more so if against multiple opponents.

  21. Kinda funny, a police officer told me to go check out a new product, that I would want one. It is legal to own and install on any AR or AK and will make them fully automatic to all intents and purposes (technically a bump-fire device). Had one demonstrated yesterday and they work just as advertised.

    http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/slide-fire-solutions-ssar-15-rifle-stock-kit.aspx?a=881934

  22. To SUFA and all who believe in the message its name represents:

    “These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

    Live Free
    JAC

    • Yeah well…it would be nice to hear a little more patriotism around SUFA..some folks round here are making me be a hater. Remember I’m the one who came in here preaching baseball, hot dogs,apple pie and Chevrolet! Three cheers for the red white and blue!!!!!

    • Col. Martha McSally sat down with The Daily Caller last week to discuss her Air Force career and her campaign to represent Arizona’s 8th Congressional District — the district previously represented by Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who resigned earlier this year to focus on recovering from injuries suffered during a Jan. 2011 assassination attempt.

      McSally was deployed to Kuwait in 1995, where she became the first woman to fly in combat and command a fighter squadron. Her assignments in the Middle East included enforcing the no-fly zone over Iraq and carrying out Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

      While stationed in Saudi Arabia, she led the charge to remove restrictions on U.S. military women abroad, including Department of Defense policies that forced American women to wear Muslim garb and be escorted by males while in the Middle East.

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/20/after-eventful-air-force-career-col-mcsally-eyes-ariz-congressional-seat/#ixzz1pl0e9Gtp

  23. Its an old one but just got this from a friend. Since the friend is a lawyer I had to respond. Lets see how you all do with the question.

    “Here is a golf ethics question for you.

    What if you were playing in the club championship tournament finals
    and the match was halved at the end of 17 holes. You had the honor and
    hit your ball a modest two hundred fifty yards to the middle of the
    fairway, leaving a simple six iron to the pin. Your opponent then hits
    his ball, lofting it deep into the woods to the right of the fairway.
    Being the golfing gentleman that you are, you help your opponent look
    for his ball. Just before the permitted five minute search period
    ends, your opponent says: “Go ahead and hit your second shot and if I
    don’t find it in time, I’ll concede the match.”
    You hit your ball, landing it on the green, stopping about ten feet
    from the pin. About the time your ball comes to rest, you hear your
    opponent exclaim from deep in the woods: “I found it!”. The second
    sound you hear is a click, the sound of a club striking a ball and the
    ball comes sailing out of the woods and lands on the green, stopping
    no more than six inches from the hole.

    Now here is the ethical dilemma:
    Do you pull the cheating bastard’s ball out of your pocket and
    confront him with it or do you keep your mouth shut?”

  24. Black Flag,

    It’s that time again.

    I’m getting ready to sink some more savings into metals. Two questions for my learned colleague:

    1: Preference
    A) Silver
    B) Gold
    C) Platinum (trading even with gold for some reason)
    D) Adamantium
    E) Other / some mix?

    2: When
    A) Today, this second
    B) Later this week
    C) Early next week
    D) Other?

    For reference, present holdings: 1 oz gold, 102 oz silver

    • Mathius

      WHY are you putting savings into metals?

      • A few reasons:

        A) I like juicy returns. Metals (may) offer that in a way that stocks don’t
        B) Some day I’ll give them to my children, and Uncle Sam won’t be any the wiser
        C) Inflation protected long term investments.
        D) I like having my wealth in my physical possession, not in just as a 1 or a 0 on a hard drive somewhere.
        E) I like shiny objects.

        • Mathius

          B) and C)…………Silver or Gold coins. Prices are to high now but you don’t know when or if the big boys will knock them down farther. So given your two goals just figure cost averaging.

          A) Copper…………today for mid term returns (next 1 to 2 years). Go with futures here though, not the real metal.

          D) Looks like a misconception of wealth.

          E) Buy cheap Fishing Lures and hang them around your house.

      • I should add that I am putting SOME savings into metals. Most of my savings goes into an investment account. Metals are really a diversifying investment for me, and if I’m going to invest in metals, I might as well have them sitting in the mayonnaise jar out back rather than buying an ETF.

        • Mathius

          Gold and Silver is a “hedge” against Inflation and Catastrophe. Most especially when in “coin” form.

          If you are simply pursuing high return “investments” then don’t buy coins and put them in a jar. In fact, I can tell you from personal experience DO NOT BURY Gold or Silver Coins. Not unless they are simply “junk” quality already.

          Since you don’t think the Govt is going to collapse or that we will be subjected to hyper-inflation then why not simply purchase TIPS?

          If as you think, the Global economy will recover soon, then copper and other industrial metals will skyrocket. Both due to demand and inflation.

          In this regard I think I heard something a couple weeks ago about Palladium being in short supply but high demand. You might want to check that out.

    • Mathius

      Now is a good time to buy!

      Black Flag, It’s that time again. I’m getting ready to sink some more savings into metals. Two questions for my learned colleague: 1: Preference A) Silver B) Gold C) Platinum (trading even with gold for some reason) D) Adamantium E) Other / some mix? 2: When A) Today, this second B) Later this week C) Early next week D) Other? For reference, present holdings: 1 oz gold, 102 oz silver

      My thinking:

      Rich people buy gold.
      Central banks buy gold.

      Buy what the rich people and Central banks buy, and you will always have a ready-made buyer when you want to sell.

      Silver et al go up and then go down in wild swings.

      I would say 4/1 gold/silver measured in reference to Reserve notes (ie: money) value….. for every $4 of gold, $1 silver.
      If you want to have fun, buy a platinum, palladium coin — it’s unique – believe me, almost no one has one (other than me). But that is merely as a conversation piece and not for any investment protection, etc.

      Buy now. Do not wait.
      Jim Rogers can’t guess what will happen tomorrow, neither can I … so neither can you.

      • Palladium is a buy for collectors. We have bought a Palladium Ballerina series from Russia…..but it has no real value except to a collector. I agree with BF on the gold but that is also a very long term issue. If you can afford it, I would also suggest all the Panda Silver series (China) that you can get. We have all the gold we want because it is so long term and we only trust it so far…..I would not suggest an entire portfolio in gold but that is my suggestion. We have tried to sell some recently to test the market…..there are not many buyers out there for large amounts (50 oz or greater)….however, there are bazillions of small collectors willing to pay premiums. Especially for distinct and rare coins.

        Silver is too volatile we believe unless you have specific coins and complete series. Very few even know what Palladium is so the market is small but can be lucrative if you pick the right time. Watch the Central Banks very closely. That is what we have been doing for years now and do not pay much attention to wall street investors. I would suggest keeping a close eye on German Fiscal Policy in the next two years.

        Many countries have coin sets that you can get that are pure in nature (,999) and those seem to carry and hold value even when gold takes a dip but those deals are usually high in initial out put. However, remember that rare coins and proof sets are collector items and you need to be in that market to understand and profit.

  25. Good example of the evolution of human values.

    From slave owner to abolitionist. In our MODERN world.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/17/world/africa/mauritania-slave-owner-abolitionist/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

  26. U.S. space tourism set for takeoff by 2014, FAA says

    By Irene Klotz

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida | Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:56pm EDT

    (Reuters) – The Obama administration is preparing for a space tourism industry that is expected to be worth $1 billion in 10 years, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration’s commercial space office said on Tuesday.

    Rocket planes and spaceships to carry passengers beyond the atmosphere, similar to the suborbital hops taken by Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard and Virgil “Gus” Grissom in 1961, are being built and tested, with commercial flight services targeted to begin in 2013 or 2014.

    “Based on market studies, we expect to see this type of activity result in a $1 billion industry within the next 10 years,” George Nield, associate administrator for the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation testified before the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.

    “This is a new and growing industry. If you look at the last 25 years, almost all the launches were for the same basic purposes – to launch a satellite, such as a telecommunications satellite, to orbit – and that level of business for that part of the industry is continuing today. But there are several new segments that we see just on the horizon,” Nield said.

    The boom in launch business is expected to begin this year, he said in the hearing, which was carried via webcast.

    NASA has hired two companies, privately owned Space Exploration Technologies and Orbital Sciences Corp., to fly cargo to the International Space Station, a $100 billion research complex orbiting 240 miles above Earth. The contracts are worth a combined $3.5 billion.

    “We know that’s going to start soon, probably this year,” Nield said.

    Space Exploration Technologies, which is known as SpaceX and owned and operated by entrepreneur Elon Musk, is preparing for a trial run to the station on April 30.

    “We need to be careful not to assume that the success or failure of commercial spaceflight is going to hang in the balance of a single flight,” NASA space station program manager Mike Suffredini told reporters during a separate news conference.

    “If they have problems along the way, it’s the kind of thing you experience in this difficult process of not only trying to launch into low-Earth orbit, but do the next-hardest thing which is to try to rendezvous safely with another spacecraft in orbit,” Suffredini said.

    Also on the horizon are commercial flights that reach at least 62 miles above the planet, an altitude that exposes passengers to a few minutes of weightlessness and a view of Earth juxtaposed against the black sky of space.

    In addition to tourism, suborbital spaceflights are being marketed and sold to research organizations, educational institutes and businesses that want to conduct experiments and fly payloads in space.

    One company, Virgin Galactic, an offshoot of London-based Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, already has collected about $60 million in deposits for rides that cost $200,000 per person.

    “Exactly when those launches will start is hard to predict, but it looks very very clear it’s going to be in the next one or two years,” Nield said.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/20/us-usa-space-tourism-idUSBRE82J0W720120320

  27. gmanfortruth says:
    • It is “Big Brother” who has arrived. All is very reasonable, all is well, there is no need for alarm, we are here to protect you, there are terrorists out here who want to harm you, we will not allow that to happen. you are safe, everything is fine.

  28. I want one, I want one, I want one!

  29. Jon,

    Some facts around Chinese policy:

    The People’s Bank of China owns almost $1.2 trillion in U. S. Treasury debt. It is the largest holder. Close behind is Japan.

    China held a maximum of a little over $1.3 trillion in July 2012. Then it began to reduce its holdings by about $140 billion by January. The official policy of the bank is for greater diversification.

    This is a code phrase for “selling Treasury debt.” But there has been no timetable. There have been no official targets.

    We know this: by mid-2011, China had gotten rid of almost all of its T-bills, meaning 90-day IOUs. It was holding U. S. bonds

    So, when it ceases to buy bonds that come to maturity, its holdings fall. It does not have to sell T-bonds. It simply lets them mature. The U.S. Treasury must then credit China’s account with this money. The Chinese central bank takes the money and runs.

    This is what happened to Bear Stearns. The creditors refused to roll over their loans. These were short-term loans. But China’s loans to the Treasury are longer-term loans.

    The quiet way to get out of the dollar is to do nothing. Just take the dollars from the Treasury and invest them elsewhere in U.S. markets, or sell them for other currencies.

    It is not clear that China has begun a bank run on the Treasury. But word is beginning to get out. If the bank’s present policy continues — a refusal to roll over maturing debt — the Treasury Department will have to find new buyers.

    China is Keynesian.

    It uses monetary inflation to fund spending, including the purchase of Treasury IOUs. It can spend this on domestic purchases. It will take time to shift from its export-driven policy to a domestic-driven economy. But, either way, it is demand-side economics: Keynesianism.

    • @ BF “The quiet way to get out of the dollar is to do nothing. Just take the dollars from the Treasury and invest them elsewhere in U.S. markets, or sell them for other currencies.”

      We deal in off shore monies quite a bit but have, so far, not found other currencies that are suitable. Not even the Sterling. We sold all Euro’s some time ago. There are currencies out there that will buy USD but they are not feasible and much weaker than the USD. Tough call right now.

      • D13,

        Yes, in a race to the bottom of who can destroy their money faster, the best you can do is leap from the ship that is sinking fast to a ship that is sinking slower…until the blast a few more holes into their own hull….

        • What is most astounding to me….UTTERLY astounding, is no one seems to understand that spending IS NOT an inflation hedge….even short term. I do not understand where someone gets the idea that you can spend your way out of trouble. I do NOT understand how balancing your cash is immoral. Even the most stupid have to understand that you cannot just spend. That printing money is an illusion.

          • Mathius.. I believe the Colonel is speaking to you! I recall way back when I made the call to please quit spending and you bashed me saying “nope..it doesn’t work that way”!

            • That does sound like me…

              But what the hell, I’m a Keynsian! Spend your way to prosperity!

              Ok, kidding aside, spending is a double-edged sword. Yes, spending money you don’t have in too great of quantities or for too long will, eventually, cause cataclysm. Meanwhile, spending can, at least temporarily, help spur the economy if done in the right way or at a large enough scale.

              That said, rapid reduction in spending in response to an economic recessionwill only exacerbate the situation. The answer, I believe, is a VERY gradual reduction in spending. VERY VERY gradual. And, yes, perhaps a temporary increase to get us over the hump. I would like to start throttling back on spending once things level out, starting with the DOD. I would like surplusses by, say, 2020. Debt paid off by 2030-2040.

              But the problem is, if you just pull the plug, then the economy goes into shock and the patient dies. The economy is built around a certain amount of government spending and those businesses will fold if the well suddenly goes dry. Then their employees are out of work. Revenue decreases. Demand for safety net spending increases. And the whole thing spirals downward. But make it slow and, importantly, transparent, and now everyone has plenty of time to adjust and the scale back is relatively painless. If my company sells steel to the navy to make ships, then the navy pulls the plug, I go bankrupt. If they tell me that they’re going to stop buying in 10 years with a set schedule of decreases over that time, then I can adapt, find new buyers, and prepare. Conversely, if I’m thinking about laying off employees following weak demand, the government can pick up the slack with something they like to call stimulus spending – it’s by no means a permanent fix, but it can be a stop-gap.

              Does this make sense?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                “…spending can…help spur the economy…”
                “…VERY gradual reduction in spending…And, yes, perhaps a temporary increase to get us over the hump…”

                Spoken like a true Keynsian! Good job.

              • No, all you are doing is pushing the consequences of inflationary spending farther down the road. Instead of accepting the pain of bad fiscal policies now you hope to spread the pain over time. What you don’t take into account is those in the future will not want to accept the pain we caused, so they will try to push it off on their future till it all falls down. The problem is spending too much,

              • Mathius and Buck

                Please explain how the economy ever “levels” off when you want to continue jumping from one bubble to the next.

                STOP focusing on JOBS and focus on Long Term Economic Health.

                You will suddenly see a different set of “solutions”.

              • I don’t agree with spend to prosperity but if you do you have to make the case by what you spend it on that will give a return on investment, like infrastructure. Build roads, bridges, etc and claim it will bring more business to that area. But they didn’t build many roads, they put up a lot of signs. Great if you are a sign company. But I kinda have doubts on what they spend on….their priorities and such….

                http://nation.foxnews.com/obama-campaign/2012/03/21/obama-camp-spends-10k-nail-polish

              • Buck the Wala says:

                LOI, you make a very good point, and one I believe Mathius was getting at above — it depends on what you are spending on.

              • Thanks Buck,

                How about what they spent it on vs what they promised?

                http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38903

              • Mathius

                Meanwhile, spending can, at least temporarily, help spur the economy if done in the right way or at a large enough scale.

                True – but that is the problem temporarily

                Like taking an “upper” … yep, you go! but you come down hard.

              • Yes. Like taking an upper.

                And then slowly backing off the dose rather than a hard-stop.

                If you want to run with this analogy, it actually fits fairly well.

              • Mathius,

                It never works that way, individually or by government, and you know that.

                Instead, they take even a higher dose to negate the effects of the downer, making the highes not as high, but the low even deeper – which they then take even higher and higher doses with less and less effect, but the low get worse and worse until collapse.

              • The upper thing works when you have a break. Like a cup of coffee or three to keep you going through the day. But you work 8-10 hours and go home. You get a break. Economies don’t do that. You cannot use it to “get through the day” and then go to sleep later or veg out in front of the TV. This is more like individual (micro) economics. The only cases where it works are:
                A) You spend maintaining your lifestyle, borrowing all the way, betting your income will increase later. The spending has no effect on you increasing your income, it just keeps you comfortable and when your income does increase, you pay it back and you never had to vary your lifestyle. It is a foolish risk at best, and generally does not involve increasing spending, it just involves borrowing so that bad times do not affect your lifestyle..
                B) You spend more money on things that will lead to increased income, such as a business owner borrowing to expand or purchase materials, etc. It is a huge gamble, and it is only viable when every bit of it is spent on things that lead to profit.

                In the case of the government, you are either taking money from people to keep up spending or borrowing money to keep up spending, betting that maintaining spending would keep floundering companies alive and that growth would just “happen”. Unfortunately, that does not work. And even if maintaining spending helps prevent businesses failing, it does nothing for actual growth. Infrastructure might be helpful, but tacking on a little bit of extra infrastructure spending on top of all the other stuff is worthless. If the existing spending were not so burdensome it might not be so bad. If that were the case, however, the mess would likely not be there to start with.

              • I love infrastructure spending. I think that should be the priority for any spending we do about/beyond the baseline.

                And, for what it’s worth, I would suggest that education is “mental infrastructure.” But I would also suggest bridge building, energy grid upgrades, road maintenance, R&D, science grants, levy construction, internet infrastructure upgrades, etc.

                To me, the way way to spend money is in a way that will pay you dividends later on. It is why I’m paying an arm and a leg right now to get an MBA which will pay me back later on. It’s why I paid thousands of dollars to upgrade the windows in my house so that I don’t leak heat/cold – it won’t pay me back for a decade, but it will eventually. And so on.

                Economies are the same way – build the bridges, roads, etc, and it won’t pay you back immediately, but it will eventually. So if you’re going to take an “upper,” then it might as well be one with some extra benefits long-term, unlike tax cuts for the super wealth or agricultural subsidies.

              • Yea, its that “above the baseline” part that bothers me. Our government has such a high baseline that it is impossible to afford, and the relative positive effect of infrastructure spending is negligible, due to the massive size of the baseline.

                Also, while education is important, its the one thing the founders got wrong. Education should NEVER be in the hands of government. The ruination of the quality and long-term liability of our corporations is due to the drivel they are taught in our highest institutions of learning. The idiocy of the american people is directly related to our public schools. Our education system is a dismal failure, and not because of a lack of spending.

              • Mathius,

                *sigh*
                Economic ignorance strikes again.

                I love infrastructure spending. I think that should be the priority for any spending we do about/beyond the baseline.

                I love computer spending – but why should my desire be so important as to steal money from someone else?

                I mean, you take my money to buy computers so to fund your insanity of building roads. You merely believe your roads are so important you will steal money to fund it.

                But I do not think your roads are that important. But because you are ego-centric, you don’t care what other people want, yours is always “right” – so right in fact, you have no qualms using violence to achieve it.

                You claim it pays dividends – which means you believe your idea is profitable – but you refuse to test your claim by actually making it a business.

                In fact you know it is not profitable – therefore does not deliver “dividends” – because you believe roads would not be built unless you used stolen money

                So you are lying to yourself, and to convince yourself of your own lie, you lie to us.

              • Mornin Matt! You realize I’m loving this conversation, right? I set you up on purpose here figuring my buddies would roast you…and they did! But yet, you continue to be a brat, so I’m going to continue to set you up every chance I get. Stirring the pot, I guess… 🙂

              • Sorry Jon,
                You have this completely backwards. The only thing worse than a public education system…is a private education system.
                Before public education, the world was two classes – rich/educated and poor/uneducated. Moving between the two classes was almost impossible.
                It is the public education system in the US that makes the US so great.
                And the current problems are directly related to a lack of spending.

                And just for fun:

                The ruination of the quality and long-term liability of our corporations is due to the drivel they are taught in our highest institutions of learning.

                Corporations? Do you care about PEOPLE at all? Or is your only concern for the all-mighty CORPORATIONS?

              • Todd

                Before public education, the world was two classes – rich/educated and poor/uneducated.

                This is absolutely and factually untrue and is a common lie used to justify “public” education disasters.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Todd, don’t you remember…Corporations ARE people.

                🙂

              • Buck,

                Oh damn – I forgot. Maybe we need an amendment that says “YOU MUST PROVE YOU PAY corporate INCOME TAXES” to vote…

  30. Tonight, Romney said:

    “WE’VE HAD ENOUGH”

    Great campaign slogan!!

    • And then someone gave him a little “shake” and he said “Obama is a socialist”

    • And then someone gave Romney a little “shake” and he said “George W. Bush And Henry Paulson Saved Country From Depression”

      • And Obama says: It’s not my fault, per se and how dare China do what I’m doing.

        Obama on Solyndra Loan: ‘This Was Not Our Program’
        Blames ‘Congress’ and ‘the Chinese’ for firm’s failure

        BY: Andrew Stiles – March 22, 2012 11:08 am

        President Obama denied culpability for the failure of solar firm Solyndra in a radio interview on Tuesday, instead pinning the blame on
        Congress and the Chinese.

        The loans initiative used to finance Solyndra was “not our program,” he told American Public Media in response to question about Solyndra’s bankruptcy and subsequent controversy.

        “Understand, this was not our program per se,” Obama said. “Congress–Democrats and Republicans–put together a loan guarantee program…to help start-up companies get to scale.”

        APM: With all respect, it was a gutsy move I think to come to a solar facility. Your administration has staked a lot on clean technology, green jobs – the biggest item most people know about that strategy is, of course, a company named Solyndra, which your administration gave loan guarantees to, then went bankrupt and has been the subject of many investigations. Are you doing your ‘all of the above’ strategy right if that’s what we have to show for it, Solyndra?

        OBAMA: We are doing the all of the above strategy right. Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was because the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways that Solyndra couldn’t compete. But understand, this was not our program per se.

        Congress–Democrats and Republicans–put together a loan guarantee program because they understood historically that when you get new industries–it’s easy to raise money for start-ups, but if you want to take them to scale sometimes there’s a lot of risk involved, and what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to help start-up companies get to scale. And the understanding is that some companies are not going to succeed, some companies are going to do very well, but the portfolio as a whole ends up supporting the kind of innovation that helps make America successful in this innovative 21st century economy. Do I wish that Solyndra had gone bankrupt? Absolutely not. And obviously it’s heartbreaking it happened for the workers who were there.

        Obama has previously argued that the Department of Energy program used to finance a $535 million federal loan guarantee to Solyndra “predates” his presidency.

        That’s an exaggeration of the truth, according to FactCheck.org: “Solyndra’s loan guarantee came under another program created by the president’s 2009 stimulus for companies developing ‘commercially available technologies.’”
        This entry was posted in Obama Administration, Video and tagged Solyndra. Bookmark the permalink.

        http://freebeacon.com/obama-on-solyndra-loan-this-was-not-our-program/

  31. The Inevitable History of an Occupy Movement

    Lincoln Brown

    The first thing I notice about Cambodia is the heat. Just standing at the curb at the airport, I break a sweat loading suitcases into our bus. The second thing I notice is the air. It is the dry season in Cambodia, which means two things: weddings, because during the rainy season it is impossible to hold any kind of event outside (in some places in Cambodia, the water level can rise beyond 20 feet) and burning. The burning of trash and in particular the burning of rice fields. As a result during the dry season the sun never seems to fully shine and the sky is never truly blue. Columns of smoke dot the land and city scapes giving rise to the distinct smell of burning vegetation and a haze that does not clear away.

    In Phnom Penh, the thing that strikes me is the congestion. The congestion of vehicles, people and buildings. One thing is heaped atop another in Phnom Penh. The fact that telecommunications exist here at all is miraculous. Miles upon miles of wire and cable are bundled, looped, strung, doubled back and tied into any number of boxes on any number of posts and then twist their way around the city like a nest of snakes. The cable fights for space with concertina wire that lines the walls of stores and courtyards of homes. The sidewalks are crammed with people. Those who are not crammed into the stores sell everything from food to computers to motorcycles to building supplies. Other people are crammed into tiny houses or third floor apartments with wire cages in front of the doors that serve as balconies.

    The streets are chaotic by Western standards. I am told traffic accidents are frequent here, but I never see any. And that strikes me as odd since the first rule of the road in Cambodia is apparently that there are no rules of the road. Pedestrians, pushcarts, cars, trucks and in particular motorcycles, which are the predominant form of transportation; all jockey for pole position in narrow streets that resemble medieval Europe.

    Phnom Penh seems to be a city that is trying to catch up with itself. Old and new exist alongside one another. Buddhist monasteries sporting TV antennae share the streets with massage parlors, cell phone stores and beauty salons. Outside of my hotel room is a traditional spirit house, which contains a statue of the Buddha. At night it is accented by the garish lights of an amusement park located next to the hotel. In the city, buildings are gutted or demolished in the tight quarters to make room for new construction, with the debris spilling out into the sidewalk. Entire buildings are being constructed or refurbished as if Phnom Penh is in a race to complete a makeover before some unknown deadline.

    To the newly arrived, Phnom Penh, and Cambodia itself seem to be in the midst of an identity crisis. Indeed, Cambodia is still trying to recover from the events of the 1970’s and other wars that turned the nation inside out.

    But how did the country of Cambodia find itself in such disarray?

    On April 17th, 1975, following years of conflict, Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge, effectively bringing the communist group to full power in Cambodia. People in Cambodia believed at the time that peace was at hand, but they could not have been further from the truth.

    The ascendancy of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot brought almost unfathomable misery to the Khmer people. Cities were emptied as the Khmer Rouge soldiers told residents that American or Vietnamese forces were preparing attacks, or that the Khmer Rouge needed to conduct house-by-house searches for enemy troops or spies.

    Many Cambodians believed they would be returning home within a few days. In fact, it was Khmer Rouge policy to end the urban way of life in Cambodia and force everyone into the countryside to create an agrarian nation. Families were separated, some family members killed outright. Many were resettled into districts far from their homes and were tasked by the government to begin year-round rice production.

    That meant people working long hours in the fields, often with little or no food. They would work until they died, or were shot for treason or for stealing food.

    Most people associate Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge with the 1984 movie “The Killing Fields”. When Pol Pot took power, he began to execute government officials and anyone who was educated or even appeared to be educated.

    Wearing glasses in Cambodia in the late 1970’s could be enough to have one branded as an intellectual and imprisoned. Imprisonment and execution was not just limited to government officials or educated people.

    Those that did not work hard enough, or were suspected of plotting against the government could be put to death. Owning a radio was an obvious indicator that you were a spy for the CIA or for Vietnam. And you were executed. Owning cloth could get you executed.

    Two people talking on the street could be in an indicator that they were conspirators against the Khmer Rouge. Laughing, or crying and showing pity could mean being arrested.

    Twelve hour workdays, and little more than a weak broth with a few grains of rice to eat meant that some people resorted to stealing food. And they were executed. And as the reign of the Khmer Rouge wore on, the regime became increasingly paranoid of even its own members and began to arrest and execute many of them too.

    I meet people who tell me stories of diving for cover during air raids, some of them conducted by the United States in an effort to target the Communists in the country. I hear stories of people being beaten by the Khmer Rouge until they lost their site. I hear stories of the Khmer Rouge taking babies from their parents either to be raised by the state. I hear stories of people laboring in the rice fields until they die of exhaustion and malnutrition or of being forced to haul human excrement barehanded from toilets to the rice fields for fertilizer. I hear stories of families being separated and loved ones never seeing each other again.

    The Killing Fields can be found all across the nation, and some of the stories that accompany them such as that of Women’s Island are nothing short of horrific. But the legacy of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge can be best experienced at Tuol Sleng Prison in Phnom Penh.

    Now a national memorial site and genocide museum Tuol Sleng Prison, or S-21 was originally a high school. The Khmer Rouge transformed it into a secret holding and interrogation facility. Out of approximately 14,000 people that were brought there, only about 12 survived the hell that was S-21. 1

    The rules of life at S-21 are posted on large signs in English and Khmer for visitors to the museum:

    You must answer according to my questions. Do not turn them away.

    Do not try to hide the facts by making pretexts of this and that. You are strictly prohibited to contest me,

    Do not be a fool for you are someone who dares to thwart the revolution.

    You must immediately answer my question without wasting time to reflect.

    Do not tell me either about your immoralities or the revolution.

    While getting lashes or electric shocks you must nor cry out at all.

    Do nothing. Sit still and wait for my orders. If there are no orders, keep quiet. When I ask you to do something, you must do it right away without protesting.

    Do not make pretexts about Kampuchea Krom so as to hide your true existence as a traitor.

    If you do not follow all of the above rules you shall get many lashes or electric shocks.

    If you disobey any point of my regulation you shall get either ten lashes or five electric shocks.

    At S-21, dorm rooms and class rooms became prison cells and torture chambers whose floors to this day still bear the bloodstains of the victims. Some rooms still contain the metal bed frames and shackles used to hold prisoners during interrogations. Children’s exercise equipment was turned into racks upon which prisoners were hung head down and were repeatedly raised and lowered until they blacked out. They were revived when their heads were dunked in pots of water laced with excrement. The porches and balconies of the buildings were covered in barbed wire, in order to prevent people from flinging themselves out of the doors in suicide attempts.

    Some of the rooms at Tuol Sleng are full of pictures of those who went there to die. Photograph after photograph is on display. Most are of men, but some are women, even women with infants. Their faces showing fear, a few defiance, many blank. One photograph of a young woman seems almost accusatory. Although I know that her anger is directed at her captors; she also seems to be looking at the present day visitors to S-21, demanding that her story be told to people yet unborn when she died.

    People have painted pictures from their memories from elsewhere in the county. Memories of people dunked repeatedly under water to extract confessions; and of infants taken from their mothers and tossed into the air to be shot by Khmer Rouge soldiers.

    One room defies my mind’s ability to process information. It is the same room in which hangs the picture of the soldier shooting babies. The room consists mostly of cabinets, housing bones and skulls of the victims of S-21. It puts one in mind of an anthropology exhibit: the remains of distant ancestors from the prehistoric past. But these remains are the result of the bloody carnage that occurred from 1975 to 1979, and represent only a tiny fraction of the slaughter that took place in Cambodia.

    As our bus prepares to leave the museum, a man presses his face to the window. Half of his face looks almost human, the other half-anything but. He resembles a wax figurine held too close and too long to a candle, his features melted into a mass of scar tissue. Like too many in Cambodia, this man found one of the many land mines left over from the years of conflict that have besieged this country. He makes his living begging on the streets.

    Under the Khmer Rogue five thousand women and children were shipped to Women’s Island in the center of the Bassac River to be massacred. There were at one time, two trees on the island used by the Khmer Rouge. The soldiers would beat infants and children against these trees until they died from the trauma. The trees were cut down, but one of them absorbed so much blood from its victims that their blood began to appear in the tree’s newly bitter fruit. The tree eventually developed a permanent curve from the impact of tiny bodies. The women and children were not shot, as so many of the victims from that time were because the Khmer Rouge decided that these victims were not worth wasting the bullets.

    Because the Khmer Rouge executed so many government officials, doctors, lawyers and other educated people, Cambodia developed a phobia of higher education. Pol Pot has cast a long shadow over the years, and education and economic development have been a long time in coming. The present generation of young people is the first in years to even consider continuing their education, and most people in Cambodia exist on less than one dollar a day. The deaths of the community leaders and millions of other people in the 1970’s left a vacuum that has proven hard to fill. The country is trying to find its way out of chaos.

    In one benighted section of Phnom Penh, Children walk barefoot over broken bricks and rubble. Black water trenches filled with human sewage run under the rickety patched-together shacks raised above the flood level on stilts. These homes, which would be considered slightly larger than a backyard storage shed in America may house up to ten people in some cases. When the rainy season comes, the leaky roofs make sleep impossible. The only thing the residents can do is get up and stand in the rain coming through their roofs until the storm passes, and then try to go back to bed. It is poverty on a scale none of us have ever seen. A man relieves himself in a pit as we walk by and the smell of human waste and rotting garbage is overpowering. I feel the bile rise in my throat and ashamed of my reaction to another’s plight, I fight back the urge to retch. How would I feel if someone were to vomit at my front door? The residents of this alley are squatting on government land. They have no food and no clean water, and rely on the charity of others for enough food to make it though the month. Children in some cases become prostitutes, child soldiers, beggars or street peddlers.

    The United States of America is far from perfect. It has its list of sins and it is now and ever shall be a work in progress. But it remains the most successful republic in the history of the world. And for whatever the faults of this nation, the people here, especially those Occupiers who have the gall to portray themselves as poor and oppressed with their laptops and cell phones, demanding you and I foot the bill for their condoms and their college degrees have fared far better than our counterparts in other parts of the world. Perhaps it would behoove these protestors to spend some time in these countries in which the ideas of Lenin, Marx and Alinsky found full flower and reached their inevitable bloody conclusions. Perhaps it would benefit them to live under such regimes before they try to establish such a nation under the threat of violence for the rest of us.

    http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/lincolnbrown/2012/03/21/the_inevitable_history_of_an_occupy_movement/page/2

  32. gmanfortruth says:

    Good Morning SUFA 🙂

    It’s going to be another perfect day here in NW Pa. If this is what Al Gore has been whining about all these years, I say shut up and get out some sunscreen. The roosters are crowing and the hens are laying (eggs that is). Our flags are flying high and the garden is ready to go. It’s great to be American today 🙂

    Now for the bad news. Obama is still the President and Congress is still as useless as tits on a boar hog. We have a great nation, our government just really sucks. So just how do we change this?

    • Do not comply. Don’t play their games, don’t fight on their terms, and don’t do what you are told. Of course, that all equals a massive risk, but is it really a greater risk than doing nothing? 🙂

      It is a fine morning indeed G, a little foggy in VA, but the temperature is flawless. 🙂

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Jon, I agree with all of your don’ts, now to organize and protect each other, we can suck there power away 👿

        For now though, time to breakout the chainsaw and cut up some firewood for next winter 🙂

        • I would love to come help you. My hands are getting soft. Granted its because work has been busy and my work is computer stuff, but I like to keep some real work mixed in. One fine day I would love to swing by with a splitting wedge and take out some frustration splitting some of that wood into stackable, stove size pieces. 🙂

    • So just how do we change this?

      Hiding out in NW PA ain’t gonna change anything.

  33. Slavery exists, its called “income tax”

    That is not a joke, but a truth.

    • BF

      Since we are sticklers when it comes to definitions, I must respectfully disagree.

      However, “indentured servitude” might come close as an analogy.

      • JAC,

        I would disagree:
        indentured servitude:
        – historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture.

        It is not a contract, it is not a fixed time, there is no exchange.

        It is slavery.

        • BF

          Well given that definition I would say it is “neither”.

          I was thinking more along the lines of being in “debt” and then agreeing to work in return for elimination of the debt. Of course the debt is NEVER paid so you must work for the state’s benefit your entire life.

          It is not slavery because they do not hold TITLE to YOU.

          • But it is a debt you did not apply for, paying back money you did not borrow. Its like being born in debt. Actually, its probably closer to alimony and child support for a wife you never agreed to marry and a kid you didn’t father.

            • Jon

              Actually it is THEFT.

              That fits perfectly by existing definitions. Slavery, servitude, etc require far too much dancing around for my liking.

              Taxation is THEFT……….. unless you willingly pay without threat from the Govt for not paying. But then I am not sure they would call it TAXES.

              • No argument here. It is theft and/or extortion.

              • “Taxation is THEFT……….. unless you willingly pay without threat from the Govt for not paying. But then I am not sure they would call it TAXES.”

                Like the saying, “nothing is sure but death and taxes”. If death was a voluntary decision to stop living, I am not sure they would call it “death”. 🙂

    • Got the TurboTax blues?

      Sounds like a good song title, any poets on here?

      • Ohhhh…I gotta try this…

        • But start with this one…..I do not know the author.

          Tax his land, Tax his bed, Tax the table At which he’s fed.
          Tax his tractor, Tax his mule, Teach him taxes Are the rule.
          Tax his work, Tax his pay, He works for peanuts Anyway!
          Tax his cow, Tax his goat, Tax his pants, Tax his coat.
          Tax his ties, Tax his shirt, Tax his work, Tax his dirt.
          Tax his tobacco, Tax his drink, Tax him if he tries to think.
          Tax his cigars, Tax his beers, If he cries, then tax his tears.
          Tax his car, Tax his gas, Find other ways To tax his ass.
          Tax all he has Then let him know, That you won’t be done till he has no dough.

          When he screams and hollers Then tax him more,
          Tax him till he’s good and sore.
          Then tax his coffin, Tax his grave, Tax the sod in Which he’s laid.
          Put these words Upon his tomb, ‘Taxes drove me to my doom.. . ‘
          When he’s gone, Do not relax, Its time to apply The inheritance tax.

          America is a land of taxation that was founded to avoid taxation.
          ~Laurence J. Peter

        • The TurboTax Blues

          Tis the fourteenth of April and all through the land,
          There is a cry of despair filling the air.
          With forms W-two and ten-forty in hand
          I must compute a tax that is fair?

          On the nineteenth of April in seventy-five
          At a bridge, the farmers stood firm,
          “No tax without votes, only free will we live”
          Representation we got but with each new term

          More taxes are passed, more money we pay.
          With ten thousand pages of code I must cope
          By midnight tomorrow I rue the day
          Franklin was right, avoid taxes, BAH, there is no hope

          Income I have, on which line does it go?
          Deductions abound but my mind is a swirl
          Is there a credit for honesty? I do not know
          But deduct I will for my new baby girl

          She arrived with two minutes to spare.
          And a howl loud and clear
          Can we find a tax that is flat or fair?
          Never, “Tax the rich” is all we hear.

          Who will rescue me from this plight?
          Do I call Black Flag or H&R Block?
          Or with the IRS man do I fight?
          TurboTax is the answer, to the store I must flock.

          Keep the receipt, rip off the cellophane
          Load the CD and install this non-game
          Open a window in a new pane
          Read the instructions, they are so lame.

          Answer the questions one by one
          First wages, interest, dividends, and gains
          Then taxes, healthcare, business I have none
          My head, My head, what are these pains?

          No retirement for me, back to work I go
          To the taxman I must give my due.
          For a large sum to the IRS I do owe
          Why does TurboTax leave me so blue?

  34. Do you want to know why voting MATTERS?

    from hp.

    “WASHINGTON — The progressive movement lost one of its biggest primary battles in the 2012 cycle Tuesday. Ilya Sheyman, a 25-year-old community activist, was defeated by businessman Brad Schneider, who will now face Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) in the November election for Illinois’ new 10th Congressional District.

    Schneider received 47 percent of the vote, with 99 percent reporting. Sheyman received 39 percent, and the other two candidates — John Tree and Vivek Bavda — received a combined 14 percent.

    Sheyman conceded shortly after 9 p.m. CT to a full room at an election night party at the Ramada Inn in Waukegan, Ill., according to a source at the gathering. He told his supporters that he already had called Schneider and conceded.

    The progressive movement threw all its muscle behind Sheyman, who had a team of 600 volunteers participating in a get-out-the-vote effort. He told The Huffington Post Tuesday, before the polls closed, that in the past couple days his campaign had knocked on more than 12,000 doors and made more than 15,000 phone calls.

    “We have 15,000 MoveOn members on the ground in the 10th Congressional District,” he said. “We have thousands in the American Federation of Teachers, AFSCME, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America,” Sheyman said. “So these are literally the people who are the boots on the ground, who have worked in campaigns in the past, who are fired up to elect a progressive. They’re the ones who have built the backbone in the district with their volunteer army.”

    And as Paul Blumenthal reported, USAction, MoveOn.org and the Communications Workers of America united prior to Tuesday’s election to paper primary voters’ houses with negative mailings about Schneider. The mailings were strategically timed to coincide with the home stretch of the primary race.

    Sheyman’s loss will no doubt lead to some soul-searching and strategy analysis in the coming days for the progressive movement. Sheyman, the former national mobilization director for MoveOn.org during the health care reform debate and a former employee of TrueMajority.org, had surged in one late poll.

    In a pre-election night interview Tuesday, Schneider said the progressive groups certainly made a difference in the race, and he criticized their attacks on him.

    “What I’ve said all along is that I think the voters of this difference should be put in a position to make up their own mind to judge the candidates based on the true reflection of the record. The fact that [a number] of organizations and individuals came into the race and distorted my background, my record — they’ve made assertions that other people had to come out and say were clearly not true,” he said.

    Schneider said that his 50 years of experience — and at least 25 years of work experience — distinguished him the most from Sheyman. His larger message, however, won’t change when running against Dold, he said.

    “We have to get Congress working again, we’ve got to get the country moving forward again,” said Schneider. “We have to focus on growing the economy, getting people working again, so they can put a roof over their heads to provide health care and education for their children and plan for their retirement. Our message has been consistent since day one.”

    P.S.: Anyone besides me remember when Glenn Beck identified all these groups as part of the “Progressive Movement” and George Soros’ efforts to control the Dem. Party? Or when he was promptly attacked by the MSM as a “nut job”?

    I love it when they let down their guard and spill the beans for all to see.

    • Tell em JAC!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      You are speculating that it actually matters which one of these clowns gets elected to Congress…

      Another fine example of “do you want to be flushed down the toilet really fast, or do you want your trip down the toilet to take slightly longer?”

      Now, I understand, lots of you prefer to have the “less evil” guy win as compared to the “more evil” guy, and that’s fine. I just don’t think that in the long run it is going to matter much, but those of you who do not agree with me are certainly free to disagree 🙂

  35. The story of an American Slave who fought for our Liberty and his. Also another example of how “stereotypes” about our history are BS, regardless of which groups push them.

    http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/whipple-prince-1750-1796

  36. Is there anything honest and ethical about this adm? Anything?

    http://michellemalkin.com/2012/03/21/obamas-algae-racket/

    • gmanfortruth says:

      No, there really isn’t. THe same will be said about the next one as well, just like the past one. Go figure 👿

  37. It’s official, the Y-E-T-S, Yets, Yets, Yets are now the dumbest organization in all of sports. The first pick-six captain check-down throws (my son named Sanchez that), the Mooanchie Green faithful will start the chant: Te-bow! Te-bow! Te-bow! and Fatso Rex Ryan’s circus tent will fold along with Sanchez’s confidence … way to go Green!

    Meanwhile, the Bills have beefed up their defensive line and will CRUSH the AFC East next year …

    On pluto anything is possible …

    • I thought of you and laughed hard when I heard the news. I knew you’d have something to say about it! It’s that karma thing haunting you Charlie 🙂

  38. If our system is so unjust-how is this woman’s story possible?

    When freedom is 4,000 miles away
    By John D. Sutter, CNN

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/17/world/africa/escaped-mauritania-slave-ohio-cincinnati/index.html?hpt=wo_c1

  39. I wonder what the atheist’s plan on doing to help the community.

    Faith Atheist Group Demands Christian Church Be Evicted From Public Building In Hawaii

    Posted on March 21, 2012 at 9:12pm by Billy Hallowell Billy Hallowell

    The Solid Rock Fellowship Assembly of God is a church that is stationed inside of a low-income housing complex in Kalihi, Hawaii. Run by Pastor Taavao Alualu, the house of worship has been in operation since 1996. Despite its 16-year history, the Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church (HCSSC), a group that values church-state separatism, is seeking to have the church evicted.

    In addition to urging the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to evict the church and prevent it from using the public space, the group wants the state to collect back-rent that the house of worship didn’t pay during some of its time using the building.

    “It’s basically a separation of church and state issue,” explains David Tveraas, director of HCSSC. “The issue is this is a state building and the state is not allowed to be funding any private churches.”
    Atheists Seek to Evict Solid Rock Fellowship Assembly of God | Hawaii

    David Tveraas (Image Credit: HawaiiNewsNow.com)

    On the surface, the notion that the church used space free of charge may raise questions. But Pastor Alualu explains that when he opened the church, it was in an old building that was so run down that nobody wanted to use it. In exchange for permission to utilize the building, now called Towers at Kuhio, the faith leader claims he and his congregants agreed to renovated it.

    “The place was all rubbish. In front of the building was all graffiti, parties, drug dealing, and gangsters,” he said. “We prayed for it and I asked the management office if we can use it. They said the place is too old. It is not safe.”

    In the end, permission was apparently granted. Pastor Alualu claims that he spent $37,000 to reinvigorate the building, which has since been used for prayer meetings, outreach projects to youths, a food bank and more. But, despite these investments, HCSSC believes that the church must be booted from the property and that taxpayers are unfairly footing the bill for the church’s use of the land. Alualu, of course, disagrees and believes that his church’s contributions to the local community more than justify its presence.
    Atheists Seek to Evict Solid Rock Fellowship Assembly of God | Hawaii

    Pastor Taavao Alualu (Image Credit: HawaiiNewsNow.com)

    “They knew that I spent a lot of money here, so that’s my rent. And I’m willing, if they want me, whoever wants me, to pay more rent,” he said. “Even though it’s not fair — I will.”

    The Hawaii Public Housing Authority is investigating the dilemma, with Executive Director Hakim Ouansafi claiming that he was only recently made aware of the atheist group’s request.

    “This entity (the church) has spent over $40,000 in renovation and maintenance and they do bring a lot of service to the community,” Ouansafi said. “Having said that, it is something we were not aware of and are in the process of getting to the bottom of it to make sure that no laws are broken.”

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/atheist-group-demands-christian-church-be-evicted-from-public-building-in-hawaii/

    • It is pretty obvious that these guys are cooked. For the life of me I do not see what is wrong with donating public space for any legal use if it is not being used otherwise. In NYC, a number of small pentecostal churches had been using Public Schools for Sunday services for years. The current administration was informed about it and stopped it. Now, if the building was being heated anyway, if there was a janitor their anyway, if there were no liability issues and there were no refuse issues, why not allow them to use it? Seems to me their taxes paid for the building too.

      • That’s because there isn’t a good reason not to allow church’s to use school property. Just an invented definition for “separation of church and state” that fits their goals.

  40. Some really sick people-I wonder what part of the 1% they so despise-they figure will have to clean this up. And stairs-someone could be seriously hurt falling down those stairs.

    Shock Video: OWS Protesters Caught On Camera Dumping Feces In ATM Lobby

    Posted on March 21, 2012 at 10:40pm by Mike Opelka Mike Opelka

    Last Wednesday, there were two separate and very nasty attacks on banks and public spaces in Manhattan. Both involved large quantities of human waste being dumped in public. Security cameras and witnesses were vital in helping police identify and arrest a suspect.

    OWS Protester Dumps Human Waste In ATM Lobby | Urine & Feces Chase ATM Lobby

    NBC-NY reports:

    Police said Occupy Wall Street protesters were captured on surveillance video dragging a large receptacle of human urine and feces to an open-air plaza at the corner of Nassau and Cedar streets last Wednesday evening, just before 8 p.m.

    They then poured the waste down a set of stairs there, police said.

    The second crime happened less than an hour later and was caught on video when the ATM lobby of a Chase Bank was fouled with a large trash can filled with human feces and urine.

    Thanks to the witnesses who reported the license plate of the van used to deliver the awful mess, police were able to find the suspect and charge him with “unlawful possession of noxious matter and aggravated unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.”

    The NBC report also states that police recovered a stun gun inside the van.

    The NY Post also confirms the stun gun story and says that the NYPD is still looking for two other people involved in the crimes. The paper did identify the arrested man as Jordan Amos Brooks of Philadelphia.

    Jordan Brooks Amos, 25, of Philadelphia, was arrested on March 16 after he was caught on a surveillance camera dumping what police believe to be the protesters’ own waste, a source said.

    In a bizarre twist to the story, it seems that Mr. Amos’ van was also used to haul food for the Occupiers. Also in the NY Post story:

    Amos was in charge of bringing food for protesters at 60 Wall St. and his white van was caught crossing the Brooklyn Bridge several times.

    As more information becomes available, we will update this story.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/shock-video-ows-protester-caught-dumping-feces-in-atm-lobby/

  41. This sounds like a really bad idea. Raise the cost of helping these children-and the no firing rules the unions implement might be a big problem. But just add it to unionizing parents for taking government help to take care of their own children. Greed-seems I’ve heard that word used a lot-it applies here.

    Proposed Bill Would Unionize Foster Parents
    By

    Paul Guppy, Vice President for Research
    , February, 2008

    It starts with a phone call. “Can you take a child this weekend?” “Do you have space for a little girl?” “We have two boys who need a home.”
    These are the kinds of calls foster parents receive, often with little notice.

    Then they arrive. Teen girls, who are polite but slightly defensive. Boys who like to roughhouse, but need boundaries. Small girls who always stay close to you, but seldom smile.

    They arrive with everything they own in a box, or a backpack, or a couple of suitcases. They have all the basics – clothes, toiletries, prescriptions, school books, maybe an iPod. Then there are the special items, a favorite toy, a treasured blanket, a stuffed animal, a scrapbook, an envelope of photos. But whatever they have, all their possessions have one thing in common – they’re portable.

    These are foster kids. They are funny, smart, troubled, creative, helpful, defiant, moody, quiet, loud, generous, selfish, talkative, introspective. They are adaptable, resilient and inwardly fragile. What they want most is a place to belong.

    Some are in foster care temporarily, until conditions at home allow them to return to their parents. Some are legal orphans, available for adoption, and quietly hoping to someday find a “forever family” (I’ve had kids ask me, “Can you be my daddy?”). Being a foster parent means caring for children in need, and embracing all the joys and problems that come with them.

    As if helping kids weren’t hard enough, some lawmakers in Olympia want to treat foster parents like state employees and require them to join one of the powerful public-sector unions. The bill, HB 3145, doesn’t specifically mention unions (the title reads, “Implementing a tiered classification system for foster parent licensing”), but the policy direction is clear: push foster parents into mandatory collective bargaining. The idea comes from a local division of the AFL-CIO.

    Nationwide, union membership is at historic lows. Today 92% of workers in the private sector do not belong to a union. The one area where union influence is growing is the public sector. The reason is simple. Government cannot be put out of business, so there are no market forces to limit union demands. When public payroll and benefits rise, elected officials just pass the cost on to taxpayers.

    Requiring more people to join means big money for unions. Naturally, labor leaders press to expand the definition of “government worker” as far as possible. Each expansion contributes to the growth and political clout of the union. A separate bill to unionize day care workers would bring in about $7.5 million a year for one of the state’s largest unions. The Seattle P.I. reports that under last year’s unionization of home care workers, “…the state pays roughly $3 million a year into union bank accounts…”

    Foster parents are not state workers. They are caring people who welcome needy children into their home. Most will tell you the support payments they receive barely cover the cost of supporting the child. Believe me, nobody becomes a foster parent to get rich.

    Being a foster parent is not a job, it is providing a home for kids who have no place else to go. It involves all the blessings and challenges of raising kids, plus being sensitive to the unique, often traumatic, past experiences of foster children, plus all the headaches and red tape of dealing with the state. It wouldn’t take much to push many foster parents to the tipping point, when they decide to drop out altogether.

    Being forced into a union would certainly make it harder to recruit new foster families. Can you imagine this appeal from an overburdened state social worker, “Would you like to open your home to a child in need, and by the way you’d have to join a union.” The foster care system is short on homes already. Unionizing foster parents is a sure way to have even fewer of them in the future.

    Given the very real needs of children, lawmakers should be considering ways to encourage more families to become foster parents, instead of passing bills that expand the power and influence of private labor organizations.

    http://www.washingtonpolicy.org/publications/opinion/proposed-bill-would-unionize-foster-parents

  42. California union to parents: Stop volunteering!
    posted at 3:05 pm on March 21, 2012 by Tina Korbe

    In Culver City, Calif., a local union wants to force unionization of — get this — parent volunteers at the local public schools. At several schools in the city, parents have banded together to form non-profit booster clubs to fundraise for and hire part-time teacher’s helpers, who also mostly come from the ranks of the parents themselves.

    The local union — the Culver City Association of Classified Employees — is not OK with that kind of initiative. The union wants the parents to continue to fundraise, but to send the funds directly to the school district so the district can then hire union employees to fill the part-time positions. As the union’s scheme makes clear, the school district presently doesn’t have the money to hire anyone to fill the roles parents have voluntarily filled. The parent volunteers aren’t stealing existing jobs from union employees.

    The union has taken its request to the labor-friendly Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), a “quasi-judicial administrative agency that is charged with upholding and administering collective bargaining statutes that cover employees working in California schools.”

    If the union has its way, parents will have to raise even more funds to cover the additional costs of union dues, administrative overhead and higher union wages — but they’ll have no say over hiring, control, supervision or decision-making. What’s to incentivize the fundraising in that scenario? As likely as not, parents will just stop putting forth the effort to raise funds in the first place — and students will lose the benefit of the added help in the classroom.

    According to UnionWatch.org, this one local union’s war against volunteers isn’t an isolated example. From the website:

    There are so many facets to the problem of public sector unions that one of their most outrageous abuses, their war on volunteerism, is barely covered by the media. But it happens all the time, especially in public education. If any volunteer does work that could be done by a unionized worker, even if no funds exist to hire that worker, the union is likely to use all their power to stop that volunteer from providing their services.

    Last year, it was the unionization of babysitting. This year, it’s the unionization of volunteering. What’s next?

    In case anyone’s forgotten, public employee unions are fundamentally different than their private-sector counterparts. In many states, efforts to curb public employee unions are essential to ensuring taxpayers receive services as efficiently and affordably as possible. UnionWatch.org explains:

    Whether or not you agree with unions in the private sector, the justification for unionizing government workers rests on very different, and far more debatable assumptions. The purpose of government is to provide services to citizens as efficiently and equitably as possible. The purpose of unions is to extract as much money and benefits to their members as possible, as well as to acquire more members. These two purposes are intrinsically in opposition. In the private sector, unions oppose management, and union demands are mitigated by the fact that private companies must compete for customers and must therefore operate efficiently. In the public sector, unions are essentially opposing taxpayers, and the efficiency and the expense of government is not checked by market forces because the government is a monopoly with the power to force citizens to pay taxes.

    It’s compassion and concern for all taxpayers that motivates efforts to limit the power of public employee unions.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/03/21/california-union-to-parents-stop-volunteering/

    And guess what will happen when they don’t or can’t raise enough donations to pay these salaries the school system can’t afford.

  43. Okay, I’m done-gotta go to work-but this is very interesting and has a link to the original article written by a woman on the left-but it was about 5 pages long-I haven’t had time to finish reading it yet-but it’s there if you want to read it all.

    March 21, 2012 12:00 A.M.
    The Federalist Solution
    Making political decisions at the lowest democratic level is the best Left-Right compromise.

    By Jonah Goldberg

    http://www.nationalreview.com/author/56454/latest

    • As way of explanation for all these posts-I woke up at 3:30 this morning-couldn’t go back to sleep-of course-NOW-I could go to sleep on the floor without a pillow 🙂

      • Been there myself V. It’s been so nice and warm here for a week, that means plenty of lake and outdoor time for me..I can hardly wait to hit the bed at night! Still gonna be nice here today, 83 and sunshine before the end of March, love it!

  44. “The Devil of Ramadi”

    Just whipped through my military history rotation of books read – finished an autobiography of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, aka “the Devil of Ramadi” / aka “the deadliest sniper in U.S. Military History” – title of the book is “American Sniper”

    This is an excellent book told by Kyle in snippets through some of his early life, BUD/S, and then his time in training and Iraq. This book gives me a whole new appreciation for folks like Kyle.

    It also gives you a new perspective on the utter bullshit that soldiers like him endure in doing a deadly, ugly job. I am amazed at what is asked of these brave men in the heat of battle to ensure that their execution of ROE’s is airtight and cannot be judged sideways by the filthy media, spineless military officers or the confused public. (Documentation? Eyewitnesses for each kill? Really? WTF!). Kyle does not get too too graphic – but the book underscores the violence that we can scarcely imagine and should always be mindful that it is not easily sanitized and scrubbed for public consumption.

  45. Jon Smith,

    Also, while education is important, its the one thing the founders got wrong. Education should NEVER be in the hands of government. The ruination of the quality and long-term liability of our corporations is due to the drivel they are taught in our highest institutions of learning. The idiocy of the american people is directly related to our public schools. Our education system is a dismal failure, and not because of a lack of spending.

    Can you do me a favor and elaborate on your vision of education in America? How do you see this working if government is removed from the equation?

    Specifically, I was fortunate to have parents with enough money to send me to school without incurring debt. The Haves in this world will always be ok. The question I have is about the Have-Nots. What education opportunities do you see for them, how are they expected to afford these opportunities, and will this solidify an already rigid class system in America where the poor cannot get ahead because they don’t have the money for an education?

    Disclosures: My wife is a teacher at a private school, formerly at a charter school in a bad area and formerly to that a charity school. She went to public school up to high school then private (and very expensive) college. I went to private school my whole life, then private college with a scholarship.

    • Mathius

      Can you do me a favor and elaborate on your vision of education in America? How do you see this working if government is removed from the equation?

      The Soviet disease is universal.

      The woman, seeing the fall of the Soviets, dismayed says “Now, where will we get our milk and bread if the government doesn’t provide it?”

      Much to hers and your shock I assume, the Russians have milk and bread.

      The way the education system will work without government will be about the way the education system worked when government wasn’t in it – pretty darn well.

      • Mathius,

        It must be a shock to you that the poor have nots in the slums of London during the Industrial Revolution had a 98% literacy rate.
        You do know who Charles Dickens was, right? You do know where he learned to read and write?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        We all KNOW (even Mathius and Buck) that virtually ANY business you can name works far better when run by private interests than by the government – yet when it comes to businesses like education, the vast majority of people suddenly have a massive disconnect. The same thing is happening with healthcare now.

        • Peter,
          Marx was utterly correct.
          Control the education of the young, and in one generation you can change their society.

          It is because Mathius and Buck were raised within the grips of public education that they have trouble seeing outside of it.

          John Gato has a series of youtube essays about this effect and how it compounds to such a degree that, IMO, it will be next to impossible to dislodge without a massive economic collapse of government – and even then, it may be difficult to supplant.

          Consider that most parents use the public school system as a day care – as both parents in their ego-centric world view – leave the home to work. The traditional model of mom raising the kids has been systemically destroyed and replaced with the school system raising the kids.

          It is not just the school system (though it was the catalyst), but now it is systemic society who uses the school system for child care and no longer demands it to provide an education.

          • It is because Mathius and Buck were raised within the grips of public education that they have trouble seeing outside of it.

            Just a reminder.. I was raised in the PRIVATE school system. My high school cost something like 15k / yr.

            I was afforded opportunities which were not afforded to the poor. Yes, I took advantage of those opportunities and am grateful for that, but the question stands: When I can give my children a first rate 15k/yr education, and then a ticket to a 4yr world-class college, how are poor children supposed to compete?

            Is your assertion that education will simply become cheaper?

            Is your assertion that they will be home-schooled or self-taught?

            Is your assertion that they simply don’t need as much education?

            Is your assertion that it’s not your problem, so screw ’em?

            Is your assertion that charity organizations pick up the slack?

            Is your assertion that there was a high literacy in ye olde England, so sans public ed, there would be in America again? And that, further, their ability to read/write will trump or match my education?

            Stop insulting me, and answer the questions:
            A) What becomes of education, in general, in America?
            B) How do children of the poor compete with children of the rich, without publicly funded education?

            • Mathius

              Just a reminder.. I was raised in the PRIVATE school system.

              Just a reminder, private schools are wholly regulated by the government, requiring certification from your State.

              When I can give my children a first rate 15k/yr education, and then a ticket to a 4yr world-class college, how are poor children supposed to compete?

              The flaw in your argument is that you believe spending $600,000 on an education will provide some serious and significant benefit beyond what another can do for $15,000.

              However, the facts show, it does not.

              The facts show you would do much, much better by giving your children a comprehensive education delivered to them by you and your wife, and you giving them $600,000 stake to start their own business, or get a job apprenticing under a successful businessman in some area that interests them.

              You do know about a guy named “Steve Jobs”, right? The number of “uneducated” world changing success stories fills volumes.

              Is your assertion that education will simply become cheaper?

              It is a widely accepted economic theory that monopolies raise prices while lowering quality.
              Education is an economic good and obeys economic laws.

              Therefore, the government monopoly over education will exhibit the consequences of economic law of monopoly – high costs with poor quality.

              Therefore, if your desire is low cost, high quality – you must remove the government monopoly.

              Therefore, yes, without government education will become cheaper and better – just like every single economic good removed out of the hands of government. Why do you suddenly believe that education is somehow so special as to abrogate economic law?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I don’t have the actual statistics at hand, and don’t care to look them up right now, but I seem to remember seeing that in the era of the “one-room-schoolhouse” literacy rates for Americans were in the 88% range.

                Nowhere close to that now.

                Mathius seems to claim that people need MUCH MORE beyond the ability to read and write. Sure, gotcha.

                However, when public schools are FAILING TO TEACH KIDS TO READ AND WRITE, how the hell are the kids supposed to learn anything beyond that?? It is physically and mentally impossible!

              • The flaw in your argument is that you believe spending $600,000 on an education will provide some serious and significant benefit beyond what another can do for $15,000.

                However, the facts show, it does not.

                Can you support this assertion?

                You do know about a guy named “Steve Jobs”, right? The number of “uneducated” world changing success stories fills volumes.

                I love statements like this. Take exceptions, show that there are a lot of them, and then act as if they’re the rule. If Person A graduates from Harvard and Person B doesn’t finish community college, Person A is MASSIVELY more likely to be one of your world changing success stories. Tell me I’m wrong? Tell me that there’s an equivalence between the two.

                Yes, there are occasional uneducated success stories, but from where I’m sitting in the hedge fund world, you can’t get into an interview without a diploma from a 4-yr college. Maybe you can make something of yourself in another field, or maybe you can convince some minor shop to take a chance on you, then work your way up. But without a $200K+ education, it’s extraordinarily unlikely.

              • Mathius

                Can you support this assertion?


                …nearly a quarter of undergraduates failed to complete their degrees as thousands also transferred to other universities or gained lesser qualifications, while the failure rate soared to half at one new university…..

                UK Times

                .Is a college degree worthless?
                The higher incomes that college education brings may not make up for the savings it consumes or the debt it adds early in the life of a typical student.

                MSN News

                You do know about a guy named “Steve Jobs”, right? The number of “uneducated” world changing success stories fills volumes. I love statements like this. Take exceptions, show that there are a lot of them, and then act as if they’re the rule.

                *cough*
                It was Mr. Mathius who argued his personal case as some sort of example FIRST, and roundly defeated by Mr. Jobs.

                I’m glad you will now abandon that specious line of argument.

                If Person A graduates from Harvard and Person B doesn’t finish community college, Person A is MASSIVELY more likely to be one of your world changing success stories. Tell me I’m wrong?

                You are wrong because your reasoning is wrong.

                What the studies have shown is that it is not one darn thing about the school they attend.

                It is completely due to the person.

                Person B who didn’t finish community college will not be as successful – not because of the school – because his attitude and personality simply inapplicable with the necessities of success – perseverance and positive focus.

                Person A will succeed no matter what school, or the lack of it because he already exhibits the attitude and personality that is aligned with success – perseverance and positive focus.

                That is the problem with your perceptio in this matter.

                You believe it is the school, not the person.

                It is not.

                It is the person, no matter what school.

              • Sounds like the problem might be the companies requiring a college degree before they will talk to you. But why center the conversation on no government participation-that is highly unlikely to happen-how about just bring it down to the State level to start.

            • # 1. If parents do not insist on their children learning, which ,means parental involvement in all phases including homework, there will be NO education.

              # 2. Vouchers, not Charters which are rapidly becoming a joke.

              Regarding # 1, If we are honest we will acknowledge that almost all rich insist on educating their children and are involved. In poor communities, many parents ( I will say most) do not care and are not involved. If they were, the kids would not be running the streets at 10PM and homework would get done.

              Regarding # 2, I do not want to hear about how public education would be robbed. Simple math, $ 15,000 per year to educate a child in a Public School. $ 7,000 in a private NFP, religious or otherwise. Government issues $ 7,000 voucher. Student leaves Public System. Lets assume that 30% of all students leave Public system, for 3,000 students who leave, this means $ 24,000,000 will be unspent on those kids. That money will then either be returned to taxpayers (big Ha!) or be plowed back into the public school providing yet additional funds to fail with.

              I realize that I am a dinosaur, yet I insist on bringing up the past. In the first half of the 20th century, the public schools educated a much more diverse population than they do now and a far, far poorer population than now exists. Ask yourself, what are the differences? What are the variables. You can only answer the question if you examine the entire issue.

            • “Is your assertion that education will simply become cheaper?”
              Yes. Not all of it will, but there will be less expensive options. This is not by magic, there are inexpensive options now, especially for homeschoolers. If were to transition from the current system sans a total revolution/reboot-from-scratch, I would support vouchers vehemently. Taxes that are already being paid to support education would still do so, only the market would be allowed to be involved, as would parents in the decisions of the quality and location of such education. Competition always drives down prices, and innovation does as well. Modern technology makes the potential for home/private education hybrids that could represent very low costs, such that, even with profit in the equasion, the costs would be vastly lower than what is being spend on education now.

              Is your assertion that they will be home-schooled or self-taught?
              Yes. This will be the case for many. Not all, of course, not all parents have the interest/aptitude/time to do it. Especially the time. Single families or families where both parents work would likely seek non-home education options. Many, however, will discover the cost benefits versus typical private education, and many will discover the other benefits, especially the flexibility which allows teaching that matches the student, rather than the other way around.

              Is your assertion that they simply don’t need as much education?
              I think a LOT of people would benefit from a reduction of formal or academic education in exchange for other types. Often, the “less educated” have surpassed the educated in history. This is not necessarily due to extraordinary talent. It is often due to over-education or a lack of life education in favor of academic education.

              Is your assertion that it’s not your problem, so screw ‘em?
              No, not at all. In fact, it is my problem, which is why I am so angry about the government run education system. It is destroying people, especially the poor. Especially those children who need role models because their home life is messed up or missing. They suffer the worst under the current system.

              Is your assertion that charity organizations pick up the slack?
              Much of it, yes. Education is a cultural thing, and needs for education are already funded heavily by private charity and philanthropy. I would see this increasing dramatically, not decreasing.

              Is your assertion that there was a high literacy in ye olde England, so sans public ed, there would be in America again? And that, further, their ability to read/write will trump or match my education?
              Education, as I said, is more cultural than a matter of money or materials. The education of people will be high if it is important to the people in the society. I am not comparing reading and writing to your education, but I am comparing literacy and cultural as well as individual drive to learn to yours or any other person’s fancy education.

              Stop insulting me, and answer the questions:
              A) What becomes of education, in general, in America?
              Transition from now, it is developed into a free market system via vouchers. The public system will eventually be phased out entirely, then the education taxes will be gradually reduced along wil the voucher amounts. States who want to have a seperate system, like the lottery, supporting education where the expenditure is not compulsory, can remain. In a start-over system, education is private and/or home based. Colleges and universities remain. The concept of education will change, putting focus on useful things, not cultural manipulation of useless degrees for the sake of degrees. The market will assist in finding a balance, and charity will assist the market with this.
              B) How do children of the poor compete with children of the rich, without publicly funded education?
              They will compete much more easily without being held down by the dismal quality, dearth of useful knowledge, manipulation of young minds, and horrible learning environment that is the public system. I think, with your private education, you fail to see what the public schools really are. I was homeschooled, but I now work with several public schools as a contractor providing entertainment. The treatment of the children and the content of their texts that I have seen in my reaserch makes me not-at-all astonished at the continued plight of the poor and minorites.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                “They will compete much more easily without being held down by the dismal quality, dearth of useful knowledge, manipulation of young minds, and horrible learning environment that is the public system. I think, with your private education, you fail to see what the public schools really are.”

                Hey, I’m a product of the NYC public school system (and a very expensive private college to boot) I’ll have you know! My parents weren’t able to afford a private education for me, nor even if they could, would they have as in their estimation we lived in a great area of the city, with a great school system. In looking at where to live, my wife and I looked into the school systems as well, choosing a town with a first rate district.

                Also, on the issue of homeschooling, that is not an option for most families — my parents (for one example) wouldn’t have been able to do so from a monetary standpoint as they both needed to work.

                And, for the expensive private college, I would not have been able to afford to go absent the scholarship I received (which was also courtesy of my prior education, even though it was ::shudder:: in a public school). And, had I not received the scholarship, I would have wound up going to SUNY Geneseo (came very close to going there as it was).

              • Good for you Buck, but the schools are not like when you grew up, for one thing. I know many could not do what I did, but many, with help of charities or vouchers or something, could have a decent private education, with the options and flexibility that is needed. The greatest issue with the current system is the combination of a rotting culture and curriculum and the design of the system itself, which tends to cater to, and force all to match, the lowest common denominator.

                Still, your experience, if anything, proves it is the person and the family, not the education system or expense.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Or, as Todd points out, we can return to actually funding these schools. That’d be a pretty good start. A big problem now that will need to be addressed is the fact that college (public as well as private) is becoming completely unaffordable for the average student.

                But I do agree, more focus needs to be placed on the parents, community, etc.

                By the way: “The schools are not like when you grew up” — are you calling me old?? This wasn’t that long ago and I’d be willing to bet that the schools I attended still have an excellent reputation.

              • Erm, if we arent funding the schools, then what is the money being spent on?

                I dunno how old you are, but I am betting you have been out of high school for at least a decade.

                Harvard has a “good reputation” too, but as I mentioned in another comment, they are teaching crap that is ruining our business leaders.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Umm, state funding for public education has been decreasing pretty much across the board.

              • Buck,

                Check your facts.

                Almost no state has reduced their education budget.

                Most states have increased their education budgets.

                http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/statetables/13stbystate.pdf

              • I am always suspicious of so-called “cuts”. In almost all cases the cuts are off of projected numbers, meaning the cuts are in rate of growth, not in actual numbers. Its like jacking up the price 25% then having a 30% off sale. Its not really much of a sale.

              • re: Homeschooling

                You can be “homeschooled” by anyone not just your parents. I could send my son to my neighbor’s home to be homeschooled then still go to work. So its not valid to say that some families can’t afford homeschooling. I paid $450 for my son’s curriculum..so send him to the neighbor’s with his books and that’s “homeschooling” also. In Michigan, at least.

              • Buck the Wala says:
              • Buck, would like to know per pupil cost, number of administrators per pupil, number of administrators per pupil 30 years ago, number of children in special ed. Cost of children in special ed, number of children in special ed 30 years ago. Hope you can see where I am going with this. Trust nothing!

                One of my Manhattan classmates from ’68 told me that i should be looking at administration to student ratio when I look at tuition (from $ 1,000 per year to $ 45,000 per year) and compare that to 40 years ago, when we went. There are also 1,000 less students in the school today than there were when the boomers hit the place. Before us, it was the GI bill hordes at even lower tuitions.

  46. PeterB in Indianapolis says:
  47. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://nbcpolitics.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/21/10798301-romney-credits-bush-wall-st-bailout-for-avoiding-depression

    Yup, significantly different from Obama… NOT!

    Although Obama would give credit to HIMSELF, not Bush, though in reality it makes no difference.

  48. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-ryan-20120322,0,7921896.story

    Wow… the Chicago Tribune actually published this??? I am actually amazed.

  49. PeterB in Indianapolis says:
    • Buck the Wala says:

      now you’re gonna get it…

    • Biggest bunch of crap-I’ve read in awhile.

      May the woman R.I.P.

    • Well I can relate to this woman. I will not purchase health insurance because of the Obamacare mandate, even if I reach a point that I can afford it. I will refuse on principle, to make a stand, to draw a line in the sand. Only thing is, I will not be doing this because of some lie from some news media. I read the act that was signed into law. My reaction is to it, not to some report on it. Much of this woman’s reaction was against things that were valid, not just a reaction to the death panel stuff. When will those stealing freedom be held accountable for this?

      Don’t kill the messenger!

      Altho, if we want to get into the kill the messenger mode, what of the hundreds of FDA approved substances has the media pronounced safe that have turned out to be very bad for people. Is that the fault of the news, the FDA, the manufacturer of the stuff, or the people who consumed it?

    • What do I think? Well, that’s a good one. I can only go by what I did in circumstances not quite as serious, but serious enough.Mom wound up in a nursing home at about 80. Still was pretty sharp but the Parkinson’s got to her enough to slow her down and an abdominal aneurism had almost killed her and did put her in an ICU for 45 days. For reasons better known to my sister than I, Mom wound up in a home 110 miles from me and 120 from my sister. My sister had the durable power of attorney. My children and I made a point of visiting Mom once a week, we would alternate. The oldest would drive up from Jersey City and when he graduated, his brother took over and drove up from Philly. I did the other week, my other son and daughter dropped in as their schedules permitted. The wife was a saint not only encouraging me and the kids but coming along herself. Mom was not crazy about the place and the place was not that terrible but old folks when they get warehoused, tend to get ignored. I can take a certain amount of pride that we looked after her health, noting bumps, bruises, colds coughs etc and always were on top of those things , I suspect Mom got better care than most because of this. A few months before she passed in ’04 we started noticing that her vision had gotten terrible, she had been looking at a disconnected from the cable TV for a week and didn’t notice. We questioned the staff and they hadn’t noticed!,. By the following week, my son had taken days off from school and literally dragged her (power of attorney be damned ) to an eye specialist in the area. The cataract surgery was scheduled for the week that she died.

      I am no saint here but I suspect Mom would have gone on indefinitely looking at that blurry screen rather than bother us. So, my opinion? I don’t want to play Jesus here but, “son, are you not your Mother’s keeper?”

      I wish I had done more for her, known more about medicine and the law for that matter. I wish when she complained about the stomach pain that I had thought it might be something other than her hiatus hernia acting up and seen it as a possible aneurysm. I wish a lot of things had been different.

      • Parkinson’s got my grandfather. That’s a terrible one, and I’m sorry for your loss. At the end, my grandfather was sitting in a chair staring at a blank wall for hours on end.

        I’ll never forget one time, when I visited him, he thought I was my father, and he asked me if I was still dating “that shiksa” (my mother). I laughed until I couldn’t breathe.

        Off topic of what we were discussing though, and the above notwithstanding, he was a proud man. He was intelligent and had a razor sharp sarcastic humor (my extended family refers to it as a “legendary wit” – my mother refers to it as “rudeness”). He never would have wanted to live in that condition, and I don’t either. If the time comes that my brain has turned into a toxic sludge, I hope that someone would have the mercy to end it for me if I am no longer able. I’m not saying this should be a public policy or any such point – it’s a private decision – but we as human beings should have the right to decide when and how we wish to die, and to be able to die painlessly with dignity. My childhood dog, one of the sweetest animals who ever lived, was put to sleep, surrounded by his family who loved him, then went painlessly and mercifully euthanized. My grandfather died alone of painful bed sores. How is that right?

        • It is a hard call to make. There is family legend that my maternal grandfather was accidentally “overdosed” with morphine by my uncle. He had been coughing up his lungs for years (black lung) and he suddenly passed. My uncle was always a bit of a mystery to me. An intensely religious man, he was apparently a 29 year old designated sniper in Europe during the war. Rather old for that job. The sniper character in “saving Private Ryan” reminded me of him. After the war, he married, lived a financially secure life, had two kids and his own business and was in depression 98% of the time. Never drank though. I can see him with that needle in his hand doing the deed, regretfully.

          I thank you for your thoughts. We won’t know until we are old but I remember my Dad after being diagnosed with cancer at 66, just deciding that he was going to let himself die. He did the chemo route to make Mom and us happy, and it was working but he did nothing else and ultimately pneumonia got him. His younger brother told me that Dad would never have wanted to just hang on for a few years fighting the cancer. I at 35 thought it would have been worth it, he thought otherwise. A few years later, that Uncle, having major circulatory problems pretty much did the same thing rather than let them cut off his feet and legs an inch at a time. My mother in law, God bless her, lived half her 89 years with major heart problems and took great care of herself until almost the end. On her last hospital stay, I remember her telling me one morning that she was getting annoyed waking up every morning. She thought it was time and knew it. We sort of think that the pallitive care folks spiked the needle in that case too.

          • I’ve made my wishes known repeatedly and publicly. I hope someone I know cares enough about me that they can follow through if I am unable to spike my own needle. In addition to my personal preferences to never live without a functioning mind, I would never want to be the financial burden on my family that diseases like Parkinson’s can be. My grandfather’s care all but drained my grandmother’s entire life-savings. I’m pretty sure my father stepped up to plug the gap, but that was everything they had for retirement – gone. And why? So that he could continue to consume food and oxygen while having nothing resembling a true “life”? Not for me.

            If it comes to it, I hired D13 to take me down with a head shot from at least 800m. I would do same for him.

        • Mathius,
          This is the problem with Progressives
          You say this:

          but we as human beings should have the right to decide when and how we wish to die</blockquot

          Then you contradict yourself by this example:

          was put to sleep, surrounded by his family who loved him, then went painlessly and mercifully euthanized.

          And you glue them together.

          “Grandpappy should have a choice to decide for himself how to die, therefore his family or his doctor or others can kill him anytime they think it is right.

          • Not quite. My grandfather was quite adamant that he didn’t want to live once his brain was gone. Now what, exactly, constitutes his definition, we could debate, but knowing him, I can say quite confidently that near the end, he was well past that point. He didn’t want to live that way. He didn’t have a clear legal way of ensuring that, and his wife (my grandmother) and my father and his sister weren’t ready to let go of him yet anyway. But it shouldn’t have been their choice. It should have been his.

            Grandpappy should have a choice to decide for himself how to die, HE DID make the decision. HE let us know. He was clear that he didn’t want to be a vegetable. Exactly “when” and “how” were decisions he delegated to his family and doctors, knowing that he would be in no condition to assess matters. But THEY (his doctors and his family) did not follow his wishes. THEY declined to show him the merciful end he should have had, surrounded by his family, and painless, and in full retention of his dignity. THEY decided to keep him “alive” as a bag of meat in order to temporarily hold off the pain of losing a loved one. THEY decided to be SELFISH and ignore his wishes. THEY decided to allow him to reach a point where he soiled himself publicly and didn’t even notice. THEY allowed him to reach a point where he died of sores which occurred because he didn’t have the mental faculties to move without external instigation.

            therefore his family or his doctor or others can kill him anytime they think it is right. Sort of. Therefore his family and his doctors can reach a conclusion based on his stated preferences and kill euthanize him when they think it’s right. It’s not about when THEY think it’s right. It’s about when THEY think HE would have thought it’s right. He delegated this decision.

            Here’s the scenario: Mr. Flag, I have prions in my brain which is going to devour my brain cell by cell. When this happens to a point where I am no longer “myself,” I want to die. I will not, however, at that time be capable of recognizing it or of effectively ending my life. I DON’T WANT TO LIVE LIKE THAT. So can you, my dear friend, keep an eye on my condition and when you see that the “time has come,” end my life? Maybe you’ll be a day late or a day early, but all I ask is that you do your best to help me die on my own terms. I want you to use your discretion to decide when you think I’ve reached the point where, knowing all you know about me, I would have no longer wanted to “live.”

            Then, you check in on me one day and I’m staring at a blank wall and don’t recognize my own name. You walk up to me, say your goodbyes to my empty husk, and put a large caliber slug in my brain. Does that meet your interpretation of something immoral? Why?

            • Lesson 1 – make your wishes perfectly clear, not ambiguous
              Lesson 2 – make a living will or letter of wishes
              Lesson 3 – make sure your family clear understand lesson 1 and lesson 2

              • True, but there are segments who wish to override such things, that would outlaw suicide, for instance. I think that violates rights. Suicide may, to some, be immoral, but morality is not a proper basis for law.

              • 1. His wishes were clear. I knew perfectly well what he meant. The rest of the family did as well. Yes, it is possible that I (had I been in charge) would have miscalculated and gone too soon or too late, but he understood this possibility when he asked us to help him. He trusted our collective judgment knowing that he would have no such capacity – this, it turned out, was a poor decision.

                2. A living will does not permit a doctor to euthanize you in California – maybe somewhere else, but not in California. Nobody was in doubt about his wishes. His doctors could have, as it was put earlier, spiked the need, and helped him. But they certainly weren’t going to do it if his wife and children weren’t on board. If he had written in his living will and/or letter of wishes that he wanted to be euthanized when his mental faculties reached a certain point, it would have carried zero weight since the government has determined that you have no right to die on your own terms.

                3. We all knew. We were all clear. THEY WERE SELFISH. His children and wife made it about themselves and holding on to him. They ignored his expressed wishes. They ignored that he wanted to die with dignity as the man he was, not as some hollowed out husk sitting in a wheelchair facing a blank wall.

                So, I ask again, having expressed my wishes to you as I have, would you be acting immorally or improperly if you ended my life pursuant to my previous post? Would I have been immoral if I had helped my grandfather to die in accordance with his wishes?

                I plan to live forever, but if I do reach this point, I want my close friends and family around me. I want them all to have a chance to say goodbye and achieve some closure. I want them all to know I’ve had a good life and don’t wish to be a burden (emotional or financial) to any of them. And then I want someone to quickly and painlessly end my life with some dignity. That’s what I want. And why, damn it, shouldn’t I be able to have it? Why was this denied to my grandfather? On what moral ground should he have to die as he did? Why should anyone?

                ————–

                I understand the concern of people “interpreting” what a mentally ill patient “would have wanted” and then killing them. I see the point. But there really wasn’t any ambiguity about my grandfather’s wishes (or mine, for that matter). The question arises at what exact point is it time, but we (he and I) understand that we have to abdicate that responsibility to our doctors or family given the situation. We recognize that there’s no quantitative foolproof test to say go or don’t-go. We understand that it’s a judgment call. And I would not advocate for euthanizing killing a mentally ill patient who has not explicitly expressed a wish to have this done. But for those of us who have explicitly and expressly stated this, is there something wrong in following through with it on our behalf?

                In the Netherlands, where Santorum says 5% of all deaths are caused by involuntary euthanasia (ie, murder) (ie, also complete bullsh*t), the truth is that you have to express your will – TWICE – with a 24hr minimum separation between requests, then have the (terminal) diagnosis and requests verified by an independent third party and a panel consisting of a doctor and an “ethicist.” THEN you can be euthanized. I think this is a good safeguard. I understand your reticence about government involvement, and I don’t want to make this about government and legality, just morality and rights.

  50. @Todd:
    “Sorry Jon,
    You have this completely backwards. The only thing worse than a public education system…is a private education system.
    Before public education, the world was two classes – rich/educated and poor/uneducated. Moving between the two classes was almost impossible.”

    That is crap Todd. Movement between classes before public education was restricted as a result of a lack of freedom overall. Mercantilism was the closest thing there was to a market system in Europe, and it was designed to be essentially a good-ol-boy network, and wasnt really much different than feudalism except there was an actual middle class.

    “It is the public education system in the US that makes the US so great.
    And the current problems are directly related to a lack of spending.”

    The US has horrid education, far worse than it used to be when half the people didnt even attend school for large parts of the year because their parents needed them to work. Statistic after statistic shows that significantly lower spending with a better system and better culture/family results in far better academic performance and employment/business performance later. Constant increases in education budgets have resulted in worse and worse results.

    “And just for fun:

    The ruination of the quality and long-term liability of our corporations is due to the drivel they are taught in our highest institutions of learning.

    Corporations? Do you care about PEOPLE at all? Or is your only concern for the all-mighty CORPORATIONS?”

    As someone who has frequently called for the end of corporations, you should realize I was not bemoaning the plight of the poor, defenseless corporations. The modern corporation is run by nothing more than glorified accountants, myopic ones at that, who think business success is all about the next quarterly statement and its effect on the stock price. This leads them to make foolish decisions cutting quality and staffing and outsourcing when they lay off their best and brightest because they are expensive and cut customer service, etc. These dolts are products of your precious ivy league institutions of higher learning. A business of quality and long-term viability has to consider not just the bottom line, but must consider people (both employees and customers) and vision/innovation. Otherwise, they will not be able to respond to the market or meet the needs of the market, meaning it will result in a declining business that will either be beaten by another business or, at least, offer their customers a poor solution to their needs. For fun, I would compare your statement to a response to a comment about clean water. “Water? Do you care about PEOPLE at all? Or is your only concern for the WATER? 🙂

    • People can live without Corporations.

      They can’t live without water…

      • I really hope you are picking at me and that you got the analogy. 🙂

        Either way, you are correct. In fact, people would be better off without corporations…

    • Jon,
      It’s not crap. An education has always been the best way out of poverty. I agree that the lack of family support is a huge issue with education – and our society in general. But how does cutting education funding change that?

      If you want to break the cycle of poverty that makes so many people dependent on the government, education is the place to start. High quality teachers in properly funded schools can break that cycle.

      But if we continue to cut education funding, especially in poor neighborhoods, the cycle of poverty will continue to spiral downward.

      In the past, “when half the people didn’t even attend school for large parts of the year because their parents needed them to work,” it was a simpler world and an education wasn’t a necessity. You could learn a trade and work hard to provide a decent quality of life for your family. That’s not true in today’s world.

      I agree with your description of those who are running most corporation, but that’s not the result of my “precious ivy league institutions of higher learning.” First, I don’t necessarily support the “precious ivy league institutions of higher learning.” I think they are highly over-rated. I’m the product of the Green Bay Public Schools and the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Not world-renown institutions, but highly rated for the quality of their education at a decent cost. But that’s not so true anymore – the tuition costs in the UW System have skyrocketed thanks to cuts in state funding, pricing many out of a decent education.

      Secondly, the business focus on short term results is not the result of their “precious ivy league institutions of higher learning.” It’s the result of investors who are short-sited and don’t have the patience to focus on long-term strategy.

      I guess I don’t get your water analogy. Comparing corporations and water isn’t valid.

      • Todd

        Jon, It’s not crap. An education has always been the best way out of poverty.

        No.
        The best way out of poverty is to become productive. It is dangerous to convoluted this fact with believing it merely is a need of education.

        America has the most educated poor people in history – and they are still poor.

        If you want to break the cycle of poverty that makes so many people dependent on the government, education is the place to start.

        No.
        First, poor is relative. America’s poor is richer than 90% of the rest of the world.

        People are dependent on government because it pays.

        If you want to break that cycle, government has to stop paying.

        It won’t stop until it is dead broke.

      • Look, anyone who has actually been in the trenches “gets it”. The society is crumbling from within, the family is shattered. Learning CANNOT occur where there is no desire, no encouragement and no role model. Is there that special one child out of a hundred who has a different “spark” than the kid down the block or next to him? Sure there is but that is because his or her thought processes work that way. It is not even four years ago that we were “told” maybe not is so many words, what a new day was dawning because we had elected a black president. he would set the example, he would be the Messiah to his people, he would encourage education and prove that a black man could make it in a white society. Well, where in the hell did that actually get us? Don’t hear it no more you don’t. There is still some “special” kind of oppression going on out there which is causing failure.

        It’s funny, we are actually back to arguing whether throwing money at a problem works!!! Thought that debate ended thirty years ago when we surrendered after losing the war on poverty, much poorer but apparently no wiser.

        I actually agree with you on one thing, “high quality teachers in properly funded schools will work”. Damn straight but it will never happen because along the way, you will have to enforce discipline by getting rid of the disruptive ones, by teaching morality, that women are not “hoes”, that guns are not the way, that drugs are not just bad but almost satanically evil, that a man is not defined by the caliber of his gun and the number of little bastards (not pejorative) he has left behind, that a two parent family works better than a single parent household for like 93.627% of the population. And by not putting everything you have into that hopeless remaining, elusive 6.373% while the vast majority slide toward oblivion.

        I do not understand the disconnect in our society. Watch “Cops”. It is real, it may be edited and there are several crazy stories in every half hour but the reality is that if you are there in those places, those stories happen on a daily basis. Go visit Philly, Newark or Detroit. Walk through a Public Housing project like my wife’s late friend Pat Daly did at Red Hook Houses and get dead like he did. Then, just maybe you will get it. Then tell me if “more money” is the answer.

        Oh yes, and read Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Victor Davis Hanson. These are not stories for the squeamish or delusional.

      • Todd,
        My point is that when I was talking about what was wrong with our corporations, I was really referring to large businesses, which all happen to be corporations. And when I was referring to something being “wrong” with them, I was referring to its effect on people. In other words, a business, like one from the banking industry, provides a service to people. However, if, as seems to be the case in this country, none of the banks are worth a dang, and most people choose a bank from a lesser of the evils view. This is because they banks have all declined in quality. Were the industry not so consolidated and competition was easier to create, they would also not be viable in the long-term. In fact, they still would not have been without taxpayer support forced by the government. The lament is not for the poor banks, but for the customers. They are plagued by poor quality services and large fees, all the while banking with an institution that is unstable, which is a really bad thing for a bank to be. Thus, those fools running them are having a negative effect on people. It is my concern for people that drives me to be concerned about poorly run businesses. I do not care about the business itself.

        If someone were to talk about dirty water, it is the effect of polluted water on people that motivates it. Water has no feelings, it does not know that it is dirty. People who are concerned about water pollution are not concerned about water per se, but the effect of dirty water on the ecosystem, which effects us, and on its direct effects on us people. So to exclaim that someone should care about people, instead of caring about water would be foolish. I found that someone exclaiming that I should care about people not badly run corporations to be equally foolish. Life is not lived in separate modules, everything is interconnected. I have no emotional attatchment to businesses any more than I do to water, but I recognize their effects on people, and when there is a problem I have concern for it because of how it affect people.

  51. I just love Europe, nothing ever changes. And THESE are the people we should emulate?

    http://www.adl.org/Anti_semitism/adl_anti-semitism_presentation_february_2012.pdf

    • I am not going to defend these statistics but I have heard some pretty disgusting things come out of Americans mouths regarding Jewish people.

  52. Who is dumber than the GOP field of presidential candidates?

    The Y-E-T-S, Yets, Yets, Yets, that’s who …
    http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2012/03/football-exclusive-change-we-can.html

  53. gmanfortruth says:

    A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so
    > > many others her age, she considered herself to be very liberal, and
    > > among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to
    > > support more government programs, in other words redistribution of
    > > wealth.
    > >
    > > She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch
    > > conservative, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures
    > > that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a
    > > professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil,
    > > selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.
    > >
    > > One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher
    > > taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs.
    > >
    > > The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be
    > > the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking
    > > how she was doing in school.
    > >
    > > Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and
    > > let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was
    > > taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which
    > > left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She
    > > didn’t even have time for a boyfriend, and didn’t really have many
    > > college friends because she spent all her time studying.
    > >
    > > Her father listened and then asked, “How is your friend Audrey doing?”
    > >
    > > She replied, “Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy
    > > classes, she never studies and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so
    > > popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She’s always invited to
    > > all the parties and lots of times she doesn’t even show up for classes
    > > because she’s too hung over.”
    > >
    > > Her wise father asked his daughter, “Why don’t you go to the Dean’s
    > > office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your
    > > friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and
    > > certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.”
    > >
    > > The daughter, visibly shocked by her father’s suggestion, angrily
    > > fired back, “That’s a crazy idea, how would that be fair! I’ve worked
    > > really hard for my grades! I’ve invested a lot of time, and a lot of
    > > hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She
    > > played while I worked my tail off!”
    > >
    > > The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, “Welcome to the
    > > conservative side of the fence.”
    > > If you ever wondered what side of the fence you sit on, this is a
    > > great test!
    > > If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. If a liberal
    > > doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
    > >
    > > If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat. If a liberal
    > > is a
    > > vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
    > >
    > > If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his
    > > situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
    > >
    > > If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
    > > Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down.
    > >
    > > If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church. A
    > > liberal
    > > non-believer wants any mention of God and Jesus silenced.
    > >
    > > If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping
    > > for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A liberal demands that
    > > the rest of us pay for his.
    > >
    > > If a conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have
    > > a good laugh. A liberal will delete it because he’s “offended.”

    • ooooh boy..

      She played while I worked my tail off!”

      So poor people are poor because they’re lazy? Got it.

      This would be a much better analogy if the friend wasn’t lazy, but unintelligent. And she was struggling to keep up a minimum GPA or get kicked out of school. The 4.0 student would be asked to give up 0.01 points (a minor sacrifice), which would be collected with other students and result in the dumb friend getting enough that they could squeak by.

      ———————–

      > > If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church. A liberal
      > > non-believer wants any mention of God and Jesus silenced.

      If a liberal is a strong believer, he works to convince others of his faith.
      If a conservative is a strong believer, he wants to use the government to force his faith on everyone else (see, blue laws, obscenity laws, gay marriage laws, prostitution laws, euthanasia laws, etc – *cough* Rick Santorum *cough*)
      Adding, in general, liberals don’t want “any mention of God and Jesus silenced.” We just want any mention of God and Jesus (and Mohammad and Allah and Buddha and Yahweh and the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Giant Turtle that holds up the world) removed from GOVERNMENT. If you want to be religious, that’s fine with us. If you want to talk about God and Jesus, that’s fine with us. But if you want to inject it into politics, that is NOT fine with us. I think you’re smart enough to know that only a very minor fringe of the “liberals” are interested in eliminating religion entirely – the vast majority of liberals just want you to stop forcing it on the rest of us. I think it’s disingenuous when this “war on Christianity” theme is applied to liberals as a whole.

      If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. If a liberal
      > > doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

      If a liberal doesn’t like abortion she doesn’t have one.
      If a conservative doesn’t like abortion, he wants all abortions outlawed, then failing that passes laws which protect doctors who negligently don’t tell patients about congenital defects, defund clinics, protest clinics, ASSASSINATE doctors, firebomb clinics, mandate medically unnecessary invasive ultrasounds, require doctors to read medically inaccurate scripts, force patients to look at ultrasounds images while the doctor describes the anatomy, force patients to listen to a heartbeat, require 24hr waiting periods, and wants the names of abortion providers listed on government websites along with demographic details of abortion recipients, etc. (in the interest of fairness, I’ll note that some of this such as the assassination of Dr. Tiller, is attributable only to an extremist subset within the “conservative” group and is not necessarily indicative of “conservatives” in general).

      Channeling certain other people here at SUFA, I’ll point out the obvious: the difference between “conservatives” and “liberals” in 99.9% of cases is just HOW they want to use to the government to push their agenda. Both camps want to use the government to get their way, to manipulate and control people and society. You just want it to do so in the way you prefer. You see any efforts by “my side” as evidence that liberals are pushing their invasive agenda, but you don’t look at the things “your side” that way because you agree with them.

      —————————————–

      > > If a conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have
      > > a good laugh. A liberal will delete it because he’s “offended.”

      This liberal would delete it because it’s stupid, not because he’s offended.

      • Good plan Matt, let the stupid ones sqeak by, that will make sure the best and brightest have the important positions in our society. You know what the difference is between a 1.0 doctor and a 4.0 doctor? Nothing, they are both doctors. In your system, you know what is different about a smart doctor and a stupid doctor that should have failed medical school? In your world, nothing, they would both be doctors because the stupid one squeaked by. You know, it helped her self-esteem and she got a good paying job. Who cares if she kills someone because she is too stupid to handle the job she got based on her degree. Seriously dude, not everone should be allowed to squeak by, there is a pass/fail for a reason, and its not just to weed out the lazy ones. Sometimes its to make sure the dumb ones dont get put in posititons of responsibility.

        You may be right about most liberals concerning faith, but there are a lot who really do get offended just because someone talks about it. A person talking about their faith or working their faith into conversation is not offensive, but a LOT of athesists and other liberals get livid and call it “shoving it down their throats”. Honestly, even people of faith are not nearly as offended by those who have a different faith as people who supposedly believe in nothing. I see getting it out of government or whatever, certainly it should not be in law, but a nativity scene on public property? Really? That is some sort of official endorsement violating the 1st amendment? Thats horse poopie, its just a bunch of atheists with their panties in a wad because its “offensive”. That may not be the verbage used by the lawyers, but thats the words on the street used by the people pushing that crap. Whats worse, those same people are as preachy as any christian I have seen, they just preach a different faith.

        Not touching the third one or disagreeing with the fourth. 😛

        • Seriously dude, not everone [sic] should be allowed to squeak by, there is a pass/fail for a reason, and its not just to weed out the lazy ones. Sometimes its to make sure the dumb ones dont [sic] get put in posititons [sic] of responsibility. Yes, for school. But this is an analogy and it breaks down there. We’re not really talking about school (where I agree, you should not have this kind of thing going on). We’re talking about LIVING. Where, if you ‘fail,’ you lose your home and starve to death on the streets.

          You may be right about most liberals concerning faith, but there are a lot who really do get offended just because someone talks about it. I think you may be overestimating their numbers because (A) they’re hyper-vocal and (B) every time they open their noise-holes, the right wing media grabs the story and runs with it as proof of what “liberals” believe. The left-leaning media does the same thing when some far right idea says something that fits with the preferred narrative as well. So the comments of the few are distorted into being seen as the prevailing view of many.

          a LOT of athesists [sic] and other liberals get livid and call it “shoving it down their throats” I know that I have heard a lot of religious people preach at me. One, in particular, screamed at me that I was going to hell because I hadn’t accepted Jesus. Another told me (nicely though) that I was a “bad person” because I didn’t follow the bible. This is what a lot of atheists are objecting to. We have no problem when you talk about your religion or try to sell us on it, but we hate the confrontational and condescending manner in which you “know” you’re right and we’re wrong and we’re just fools. We don’t see it that way and don’t like it when people act like that. So, when missionaries show up at my door to try to talk to me, I don’t have a problem and politely decline (unless I feel like having an interesting debate). But when they show up to rant about fire and brimstone and lakes of fire and eternal damnation and my sinful ways.. well, I think you can see why we would consider this being shoved down our throats.

          To view it another way, think about when you are talked to by an atheist (like me) – I can tell you what I believe and why, but not shove anything down your throat. But consider the alternative, like Richard Dawkins (who, ironically, had throat cancer). He was hostile and in-your-face. So what do you associate when you think about atheists trying to “convert” you? You think about him, though he was only a very minor contingent.

          but a nativity scene on public property? Really? That is some sort of official endorsement violating the 1st amendment? To YOU. To YOU, it’s horse manure. To me, it’s government property celebrating a faith I don’t hold. How do you feel about a menorah or a crescent or a giant turtle holding up the world or a totem pole? I don’t like it. I don’t know that I’d kick and scream the way some do, but primarily the objection is to the belief by so many in this country that this is Christian country, and it’s not. And, because Christianity is so dominant, we are often more sensitive to perceived overreach by members of that religion. its just a bunch of atheists with their panties in a wad because its “offensive” It’s really not – it’s not about being offended, but about pushing back against a perceived endorsement for your religion by a supposedly secular government.

          Honestly, even people of faith are not nearly as offended by those who have a different faith as people who supposedly believe in nothing. Why should that offend you? This is an honest question. I know that it does, but I don’t understand WHY? Can you explain?

          • Mathius

            “and starve to death on the streets.”………..BULL SHIT.

            Another left wing logical fallacy. Play to emotion of a FALSE proposition.

            • – how many people actually starve to death on the street?
              – the starving person doesnt want a meal anyway..he wants a pint
              – Matt, offer the starving person a room in your home.
              – the starving person didn’t care too much about starving while he was partying in college
              – i’m tired of the starving person in the street story

              • Anita,

                Exaclty – the ugly fallacy of “starving people” just reeks.

                A famous economist was being interviewed about free market systems and welfare.

                The interviewer asked “Well, if there wasn’t any social services to provide welfare, what would happen to all the people who need it today”?

                The economist said, “Well, they would all perish and die in the streets like they did before government welfare!”

                The interviewer exclaimed, “When did that ever happen!?!?”

                The economist answers, “Exactly”.

            • Hyperbole. Calm yourself.

          • 1) Failing at life, as BF and Anita mentioned, does not mean dying in the street. That has not happened in any non-dictatorship that I am aware of. The most recent real stories of huge numbers of families starving that I am aware of came out of the USSR. Failing at life when you are skydiving, sure, thats pass/fail. Failing at life in general? Been there, done that. I lost a house, two cars and probably will not be able to do anything on credit for another decade. I had nothing. I did not move back in with my parents. I worked my butt off. Maybe if I was stupid and infirm to boot there would be more issue, but even then I am not so sure. The number of people that truly cannot care for themselves is VERY low. And that number would be EASILY handled by private charity. The government is not needed to keep people alive that are not successful. Period. The whole damned thing is completely false, a lie to justify control and the forcing of an ideology.

            2) I might be overestimating the numbers. I agree, that was sort of an emotional reaction, as a lot of liberals have about the evangelical conservatives, etc. The numbers are very inflated, it is not really a majority. I might be willing, however to admit that a higher percentage of people of faith are trying to use law to enforce matters of faith than the percentage of humanists and atheists trying to use law to force only their views. However, understand that nothing is a belief system and as “offensive” to a person of faith as the presence of a religious icon is to those who have none. Many atheists labor under the illusion that they do not have a belief system or that the absence of religious icons is somehow neutral. It is not. It is, in fact, a religion of its own and is as offensive and “government sponsored” as the presence of said icon. I know, that does not lead to any acceptable solution, but that is the point, you cannot please all the people all the time. And what is called “reasonable” by some is not by the standard of others, and those others are not just irrational, they have as legitimate an argument as anyone else. I might accept that noting is “most neutral”, but not entirely neutral. Regardless, it really is the vocal minority that drives all this crap, and the media that hypes it either for their own agenda or for ratings or both.

            3) Again, I agree. I can offer similar evidence of screaming and people calling persons of faith (not me so much because it is easy to shut them up since I am not committed to any particular faith, a state of mind I am not proud of) stupid and idiotic and irrational. In my opinion, because I value intelligence, being called stupid is as great an offense as being called “bad”. Honestly, to most humanists and atheists who value the mind, and are often the purveyors of such insults, the intent is as bad as christians who use the term “bad” since “good” is so valued. Now, I will grant that I have not had door to door atheists bug me. I have heard of such, but it is just a few pranks really, not like the numbers of Christians and other faiths that actually try to evangelize. I understand why so many see it as being shoved down their throat. I also see the pressure to have evolution and other atheistic theories be the standard is schools as an affront to persons of faith, and I see why they feel it is shoved down their throat. Not by screaming, but by legal pressure. There are many who push for matters of faith to be pushed via the law, and that is a horrible thing. Still, morality of other beliefs, like the morality of equality and other humanistic principles, as well as the atheistic beliefs on origins are pushed in law and government education systems, etc. quite forcefully and far more effectively. And that is equally horrible.

            4) I get that it is not offensive to me and it is to others, but it remains a “perceived endorsement” which is not the same as “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. A display is not a law, or an establishment of anything. If taxpayer dollars pay for it, fine, that should not be done. If a private group pays for it, then whatever. In common areas, often a democratic solution would be best. If the majority want one thing and not another, so long as no actual rights are violated by it and it is paid for privately, then it should be fine. Your rights are no more violated by a minorah than another’s are by a nativity or another’s by the lack of any display at all. We might not be a christian country, or we might be. Politically we are not, or are not supposed to be, but if the majority happen to be and the majority vote locally to put a nativity in every local park and courthouse lawn at their own expense, then that is not a violation of any right of any person. If some locality prefers an upside down cross and a pentagram, then that violates no one’s rights either. If the losing side wishes to picket it and assemble peacefully to protest such displays but does no property damage and violates no rights then that is perfectly fine too. It is only an issue to me if taxes are used to fund such displays. Not taxpayer properties housing it, but funding of setup, operation, breakdown, or cleanup. It is a tragedy of the commons, and if you have a better idea, I would love to hear it.

            5) It bothers me because of the hypocrisy. An atheist who is more offended by christianity than a jew or muslim but claims to be the neutral one and takes the moral high ground that they offend no one by their nothingness is as ignorant and hypocritical as the christian who decries immorality and secretly beats his wife or cheats on her or commits other sinful acts. If atheists were up front about the fact that theirs is faith or belief of another type and recognized that there is really no such thing as neutral or unbiased, it would not bother me at all that they were the most offended. Tho I doubt they would be if they were willing to see their own beliefs for what they are.

            • Then again,all that talk of the wider gap and disintegration of the middle class and America is a 3rd world country now is nonsense too.

              Poverty in the United States

              The official poverty measure is published by the United States Census Bureau and shows that:
              •In 2010, 46.9 million people were in poverty, up from 37.3 million in 2007 — the fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty . This is the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty rates have been published (DeNavas-Walt 2011, p. 14).

              While the 1% reaches record profits day in and day out … everything is just fine, you libtards … quit your whining …

              Oy vey …

              • maybe not a million reasons but a significant number.

                Moving jobs offshore

                Importing legal cheap labor

                importing illegal cheap labor

                Goldman Sachs

                Institutional investors ***

                For openers anyway.

                *** This is my pet theory based on Walt Kelly’s “Pogo”. “We have met the enemy and he is us”. The bulk of stock is owned by institutional investors including, Union pension plans, Hospitals, universities, State and Municipal pension plans, charitable trusts, Foundations. They routinely demand the “highest” returns on their investments. This in turn results in the managers of those funds investing in corporations with a high return. the high returns are quite often a result of Union busting and going offshore. Ergo, we have met the enemy and he is us! I don’t know if there is a thing called self-cannibalism but this sure sounds like it!

              • SK,

                You’ve never explained why yo believe this is a very good thing – paying less for a car you want, or the TV or even your groceries is a good thing – even if it means you drive by the nearest store and go to the one across town with the better price…

                – but you complain it is a bad thing when a company does the same thing except going a few miles, they go a few thousand miles?

                How do you reconcile the contradiction of your good and bad things when they are the same thing – bargain hunting

              • Well with me I guess it comes down to the issue of where do you sell your new whamamajigs when no one can afford to buy them anymore? I must plead guilty here to not be concerned solely with either profit or bargain hunting. I love a bargain as much as the next guy but think that there are intangibles lost in the process.

                here is a stupid one. Last month, I broke a shoe lace on my imported Chinese knock off shoes. . There was a time when I could walk to the little shopping district four blocks away and visit Woolworth’s where not only could I chose from a vast supply of shoelaces but buy shoe polish, shoe rags, a polish dauber and brush. If necessary, I could walk around the corner and have the shoes re-soled or re-heeled for a fraction of the cost of new ones. Well, Woolworth is gone, the shoemaker is gone and I have to get in my car and go searching for shoe laces. I had to go to three stores to find a 36 inch pair of brown laces. While I was there I bought a formerly .29 cent can of Kiwi Polish for $ 3.49. Now, I am not a rocket scientist but there is something missing these days from the “American experience”.

              • Stephen K. Trynosky,
                I know what you mean. There used to be a family owned hardware and appliance store in our town. It was a REAL hardware store – they had several aisles of those little bins with every diameter (1/8″ to 1″), in every length (1/4″ to 10″), in every style (hex, carriage, flathead, roundhead) in every type (standard, grade 5, grade 8, stainless steel, galvanized) of bolts and screws. I’d go in there and buy 6 of these, 8 of those, etc, until I had 10-15 little bags and it would take 20 minutes to at the check out to figure out what everything cost.

                They also had every single power tool in all the top brands. And even though they were about 10% more than the big box stores, I bought all my power tools there to support them, and because you could talk to them which one was best for my job, how to use them correctly, the cool attachments that make the tool even more versatile and maybe a better way to do whatever I was building.

                About 5 years ago, they dropped the entire hardware department. The square footage that all those aisle of bolts were taking up didn’t produce enough revenue. So now they have an expanded “Chef’s Store” (which my wife loves!), and I have to drive to 3 big box stores to get 10% of the bolts I need, and then order the rest on line, which means UPS has to drive 60 miles to my house to deliver a shoe box of bolts that cost $15 and $18 to deliver.

                Not the “American experience” I’d like to tell stories about when I’m old(er)!

            • Jon,

              Many atheists labor under the illusion that they do not have a belief system or that the absence of religious icons is somehow neutral. The best way I have ever heart this put is that atheist is a belief system in the same way that bald is a hair style.

              Now, I will grant that I have not had door to door atheists bug me. I do find this interesting. What do you make of this?

              I also see the pressure to have evolution and other atheistic theories be the standard is schools as an affront to persons of faith, and I see why they feel it is shoved down their throat. Is it really an “atheistic theory,” or is it just basic scientific consensus? Religion or no religion, shouldn’t SCIENCE control what is taught in the classroom. If that happens to support one side or another, so be it. But evolution and creationism are NOT equal. They simply aren’t. One is faith and one is science. Now, it may be that the faith answer is the right one – I doubt it – but hey, it could be. But when you’re in science class, the one that should be taught is the one supported by the preponderance of the scientific evidence gathered and interpreted according to the scientific method, shouldn’t it? If you want your children to learn a position based on faith, that should be up to the parent and not the public institution – and it certainly shouldn’t be taught on equal footing with science.

              If the majority want one thing and not another, so long as no actual rights are violated by it and it is paid for privately, then it should be fine. So you could ‘vote’ to put up a creche on White House lawn, then ‘vote’ to prohibit a Muslim display (what would that be, by the way?)? And this seems to be ok with you? How would you feel if the roles were revered and Muslim symbols were everywhere and crosses/creches were ‘voted down’?

              It is only an issue to me if taxes are used to fund such displays. And who pays for the property? Who pays for the upkeep on and around the property?

              Tho I doubt they would be if they were willing to see their own beliefs for what they are. I’m confused. I BELIEVE that I have no special insight into the nature of God and the universe. I BELIEVE that my best chance at getting to The Truth is through reasoned and impartial experiment and interpretation of the results. I BELIEVE that I have seen nothing to support any religious viewpoint. I BELIEVE that, all things being equal, the simplest answer is probably the best. I BELIEVE that I am not hypocritical in not believing things for which there is no falsifiable evidence. I BELIEVE that faith and science are not comparable. Nor are they, necessarily, adversaries, but when they conflict, science should always control. The decision to side with observable facts over faith is a belief system in the same way that “none of the above” is a political party.

              • Bald IS a hair style. Half the people you see that are bald shave their head. Its just another hair cut. Keep in mind, I find there to be a clear separation between atheist and agnostic. Athist says there is no higher power, agnostic says “I really have no idea”. Agnostic is as close to naturally bald as it gets. Now, I will grant that agnostic, and even atheist might be counted as not a religion, but a belief system does develop. Everyone has one, there is no denying it.

                I make of this that it is not a religion. It does not have structure and institutions and writings that call for evangelism. It does, however, seem to be in a variety of educational institutions, and exists withing those organizations with the arrogance of believing it is right and all else is wrong. This sort of arrogance is not scientific, in fact it flies in the face of science. However, while its arrogance leads it to belittle all other beliefs and preach it from its strongholds, it does not include evangelism, as it believes that those who are intelligent will come to it on their own, and anyone else is a foolish idiot, with whom it would not wish to associate.

                Basic scientific consensus has been proven false on many occasions. Major scientific breakthroughs have not been a “consensus” in the history of man, at least not for some time. The idea of consensus is valuable in the sense that it calls for other great minds to check findings for error and do their own tests to make sure the science is pure. The modern definition of “scientific consensus” does not fit this. Also, if you look at how evolution, for instance, is taught in schools, it is not at all presented as the leading scientific theory. It is presented as the truth, just as firmly as creationism is in religious schools. The truth is that we are not at all certain, in scientific terms, of our origins and the details thereof. The evidence supporting adaptation and variances within species is well proven, but the evidence supporting evolutionary shifts outside of species or genus is still very weak at best. This weakness does not necessarily add creedence to intelligent design, but it does make me suspect of the manner in which evolution is presented as fact or “consensus”. Such things are BS. Furthermore, fiction and entertainment and politics have joined the game in pressing evolution as the only reasonable explaination of human origin. Such non-scientific involvement always comes with an agenda. Again, this does not make it true or false, it just means there is more to it than science. It is a belief, and is being “preached”, just not through the same means as mormonism or islam, etc. That said, I do NOT disagree that intelligent design and evolution are not equivalent or that they should avoid being taught as equivalents. However, in a science class, above all, science should be taught, and a clear definition of what is scientific fact and what is theory needs to be part of that teaching, else we end up with the host of junk science that we have today.

                I would have no more issue with muslim or wiccan or hindu or anything else. You labor under the assumption that I have a specific faith and that it weighs on my philosophical position on religious freedom and public display. It does not. I have no concern whatsoever for religious icons, even if I find them offensive. I do think that, perhaps, local displays are on a different scale than federal ones, but regardless, it is NOT a state religion just because there is a display on the lawn. In fact, if a person’s religion called for a certain level of display, and such a person was in the White House, it being officially a residence, then to restrict such displays would be to violate the rights of the person in office, who is, by definition, a citizen of the United States and is therefore afforded the right to believe as they will and practice those beliefs so long as no rights are violated. Your fervor to remove public displays in both action and icon is, in fact, in violation of the first amendment as elected persons in public service are, in fact, just as much citizens with rights as you or I.

                The property is a common area. As I said, if you have a better plan for how common areas should be used and how such decisions should be made, I am open to hear it. As it stands, a vote seems to be the best option. The payment for the upkeep of the property is irrelevant to a display on it so long as the costs associated with that display, including the setup and breakdown and whatever cleanup afterwards is needed, etc. is paid for privately. You have no basis to claim that the lack of an icon is a more proper use than the presence of one, since such a display would be at the behest and expense of the majority of persons who use the property and not, in fact, a legal endorsement of said religion. But again, you got a better idea, lets hear it.

                None of the above is not a political party, but it is a political position. One which I espouse myself. I do not claim that agnosticism or atheism are a religion (political party). I am saying they are a belief system (political position). Not all belief systems are religions, but all religions are belief systems. The fact that you have chosen a belief system that is not a religion does not make it superior nor does it stand outside of the jurisdiction of the First Amendment. Congress shall make no law restricting or establishing such a thing, meaning it cannot pass laws that force people to either engage in or refrain from engaging in the tenants of their beliefs unless those beliefs violate other rights such as the right to life or property, etc. I do not think your beliefs are in any way unreasonable, in fact they may be the “real truth”, but who is right and who is not is irrelevant. If you cannot see that your beliefs are just that, beliefs, and that the implementation of the “tenants” of your faith, or belief system, are a lack of religion or religious display, then you will never understand the offense taken by those who believe, just as fervently as you, that the lack of display is the same to them as the presence of a display is to you.

      • A Virginia middle school teacher recently forced his students to support President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign by conducting opposition research in class against the Republican presidential candidates.

        The 8th grade students, who attend Liberty Middle School in Fairfax County, were required to seek out the vulnerabilities of Republican presidential hopefuls and forward them to the Obama campaign.

        Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/22/va-middle-schoolers-assigned-to-do-oppo-research-on-gop-candidates/#ixzz1pxhLBrZH

        • Heard about this. It is one of the schools my girl and I have done entertainment in. One of the ones I have seen the treatment of the students and the power structure between students and teachers and the way they get grouped and herded, etc. When I was talking to Buck earlier about witnessing the destructive manner of the education system and the generally poor design of it, this was on my list of places that I have seen it first hand. A lot of what I have seen there is hard to describe or point out a singular thing, its just a lot of little aspects of student treatment and organization that, collectively, are quite horrifying. Much of it is control in place because of class sizes and because of the foolishness of age segregation, but that is a critique of the system concept itself more than the execution of it.

          • I was wondering what Matt would say about if a liberal was teaching and how tolerant of other views they would be……

            I think the more they push for centralized standards, the less thought is allowed by the students and teachers. If it’s a “rule”, that’s it, end of discussion, doesn’t matter if it’s stupid or doesn’t apply. Zero tolerance means a pre-schooler gets suspended for drawing a gun being held by his uncle the soldier.

        • teacher recently forced his students to support President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign I like how it says (A) he forced them, as if every homework assignment weren’t the same amount of imposition on students and (B) to support the Obama campaign as if the students are discovering new opposition views that the multi-million dollar, professionally staffed campaign hadn’t already thought of.

          “Hey Barry.. look at this email I got from some kid.. he says that we can hit Gingrich for cheating on his wives and being married three times!”

          “Wow.. I don’t know why we never thought of that! Put it in our next commercial! What else do you have?”

          “Well I’ve got this other one saying Santorum’s views are too fundamentalist Christian to appeal to moderates. It also suggests googling the his name.”

          “Amazing! This stuff is gold. Ok, run that too! We are so gonna win this thing.”

          • Matt,

            It isn’t about whether they are actually going to help the Obama campaign or not, and you know it. It is about creating a mindset. It forces the students to find the flaws in the GOP candidates, thus reinforcing the belief that the left side of the political spectrum is the correct side to be on. I think the point is, I don’t want teachers influencing politics at all. I would be happy if they could just teach our kids to read, write, and do math correctly. But since they can’t seem to do that, the fall back plan is to teach them political bias at an early age….

    • Even worse: Link

      • LOL..leave it to Matt to pull that one out of his sleeve! He’d be smart to listen to his parents but as far as the school goes, he should be able to bring whoever he wants, as long as they’re not a felon. Of course, I side with the parents.

        • I feel badly for the kid. He should bring her to prom anyway, and if they won’t let her in, they can hang out in the limo. That promises to be more fun anyway 😉

  54. gmanfortruth says:

    So, you still think your vote counts? Check this video out.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/mhfm1?v=OynCgwmD-HM

    • gman

      Another example of If A = B and B = C then A = F.

      Or

      A conspiracy theorist looking for confirmation of his conspiracy.

      Many of the conclusions are not even supported by the statements presented as “evidence” of the conclusion. Most notable, the “agreement” between Santorum and Romney people in Iowa. They did not make an agreement as to the totals, they agreed that the total is what they had previously certified.

      Now with that said, there are always voting problems. Because PEOPLE run the elections. And I agree there is great “hazard” with electronic voting that involves “computer programs”.

      Your vote counts GMan. Your vote just may not be in the majority, but it still counts.

      If you think there is fraud, then sign up to work in the polls and to validate the voting process.

      For evil to win, good men simply need to turn their back.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        JAC,, Voting may work at the local level, but you and both know that the two party system is corrupt to the core. Beyond the local level, voting is just accepting evil, for DC is pure evil. THe corruption is far too deep to have the illusion that voting will change it, it will not! It’s time to begin serious discussions on alternate methods of elliminating the corruption. Voting has proven that this can’t be done, but rather promotes further corruption, as your vote for evil is accepting them to rule over you.

        Peace! 🙂

        • gman

          You leave yourself only two options. One, however, simply replaces corruption with violence which will turn to corruption as well. The other is to pretend nothing exists outside your local world. And that is how we got into this mess in the first place.

          Corruption is not “created” by voting, it is not “created” by a two party or many party system. Corruption is “caused” by corrupt moral and ethical principles.

          Voting has in fact made a difference in D.C.. Look to the “crazy Tea Party” who is blamed for the “gridlock”. Not the Tea Party described by the media, but the ACTUAL elected officials of the Tea Party mold. They are causing a major disruption in the Republican Party.

          And this was done with ONE election. This year we have a chance at a SECOND election. We have a chance to ADD to the effect, to push change just a little farther down the road.

          Believe me, when Politicians think that the majority of Votes for them are dependent on what we want, they will do what is needed to give us what we want.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            “The other is to pretend nothing exists outside your local world. And that is how we got into this mess in the first place.”

            THat is interesting considering most people think starting at the local level will manifest to the higher levels, so THIS is how we got into this mess? I agree, Voting at the local level is the cause. OK 🙂

            “And this was done with ONE election. This year we have a chance at a SECOND election. We have a chance to ADD to the effect, to push change just a little farther down the road.”

            Yes, and you also have a CHANCE to lose and subtract from this. Voting now appears to equal gambling? I think that we can come up with something better than rely on CHANCE! 🙂

            “Believe me, when Politicians think that the majority of Votes for them are dependent on what we want, they will do what is needed to give us what we want.

            Yep, that threat has worked real well the last 100 years. Please, we have to be able to do better.

            • gman

              Voting at the local level did not cause the problem.

              Ignoring what was going on and “leaving it to others” or “My vote doesn’t county anyway” is what got us to the problem.

              Yes, the REALITY of where Votes come from HAS WORKED very well for the past 100 years.

              You simply fail to realize that of those who VOTED, the majority were not on your side.

              • Its not just that. It is that the majority who voted did not vote for representation. They voted for the best of what they were handed by those that cannot be trusted. “Hey there Snow White, would you like a poisoned or a poisoned pear?” Seriously, I am all about voting, but voting with ANY party, ESPECIALLY the two leading ones, will only lead to the wicked witch’s poison. A lot who voted really were on our side, they just thought they were doing the best they could. People don’t think their vote doesn’t count because they doubt the counting system or whatever. Its not about voter fraud disenfranchising the left of ID requirement disenfranchising the poor. People are disenfranchised because of the franchise. Its because how can their vote count if they are still voting for the bad guy no matter which they choose? And then when people vocalize that frustration, they get shouted down by the rest of the sheeple for “wasting their vote” or “splitting the vote” by trying to pick a guy that is not evil or maybe as a brain. We need to vote in vast numbers without regard for winning and losing, but only with regard to picking a person that represents us. If that means the liberal vote puts Obama back in and the conservative vote is split a hundred different ways. The fact is that no one will buy a landslide victory of 30% even if it is the technical winner. Change will only happen along this path, not along the current path.

  55. Annoyingly, SUFA now requires me to be logged in in order to post anything. Is anyone else experiencing this and is there a way around it?

    • Mathius

      Nope. Been stuck in that mode ever since I got 86’d a week ago.

    • It happened to me … it might be a liberal thing 🙂

    • Yea, pretty sure its a wordpress security thing. I just log in before I start reading comments. Sort of annoying cause I comment under a different login than I post. I had an old login before I discovered SUFA that goes to my primary email. I could not figure out how to make that my SUFA login, so I did a new one using an alternate email so that I could be a contributor. 🙂
      All good, and not sure USW could do anything about it if its a universal wordpress thing. If its a setting, I am sure he will figure it out and get to it.

  56. canineweapon says:
  57. Well SUFA, it is ROAD TRIP time again.

    If I can I will check in but if not I will see ya’ll in a week.

    Hang in there and best wishes to all.

    JAC

  58. I wonder if it will become impossible to be American and religious-because to me this sounds like just the system Matt and Buck keep promoting.

    Why You Can’t Be Both French and Jewish
    The Toulouse school shootings were horrible. But they should come as no surprise.

    By Rachael Levy|Posted Thursday, March 22, 2012, at 7:38 PM ET

    I’m an American Jew who lived in France for most of the last four years, first in Nantes and later in Paris. Last year, I was sitting in a café in the 6th arrondissement with two French college friends, randomly recounting to one of them—a nonpracticing Jew whose family has long lived in Paris—a philosophical debate from a Jewish studies course about married women covering their hair. The other friend, not Jewish but also raised in Paris, cringed as he listened to our conversation.

    “You see? This is the difference between you and us,” he said as he glared at the Parisian Jew and me. “While you spend your time talking about this, in France we debate culture and politics.”

    Taken aback, my Jewish friend and I both looked at each other, me hoping he would break the silence. I was the foreigner, after all—wasn’t it his place to defend himself in his native city?
    Advertisement

    But nothing came of it. Seconds later, the awkward moment passed and my two friends went about chatting as if nothing had happened. But that experience—between supposed friends, no less—confirmed a suspicion I’d come to harbor about how many French view their Jewish countrymen: with furtive skepticism and distaste.

    To understand exactly what happened in that café, you must first grasp a simple truth: You cannot actually be both French and Jewish.

    For an American, that sounds odd. After all, in the land of plenty, Jews can identify with endless variations of hyphenation: Jewish-American, American Jew, “half-Jewish,” even “quarter-Jewish.” It would rarely, if ever, occur to you that someone would question whether you could be both American and a member of that Israelite faith. You are considered as Jewish as you are American, as American as you are Jewish.

    But what seems so simple in the United States is anything but in France. In the end, the trouble stems from the idea that “French” means you follow the values of the state—in this case, secularism. What Americans often believe to be the mere French version of “separation of church and state” is actually diametrically opposed to Americanized freedom of religion. In short, while Americans value freedom of religion, the French value freedom from religion.

    In practice, French secularism, or laïcité, means that you don’t express your religious beliefs in public: That means in public schools, Muslim girls can’t wear their veils, Jewish boys can’t wear their kippot, and Christians can’t draw attention to their crosses. It also means that when a state exam falls on your religious holiday, well, tant pis, because laïcité means you’re supposed to be French before anything else.

    Secularism regularly pops up in political debates. Indeed, it has been one of the driving points in this year’s presidential election. Just this month, Prime Minister François Fillon suggested that Jews and Muslims give up their “ancestral traditions” of eating kosher and halal meat, highlighting the French belief that one can’t be both a religious person and dedicated citizen.

    Interestingly, no one knows with certainty how many people in France practice different faiths: The République doesn’t keep official stats. It is only by approximation that we estimate that largely atheist France is also home to the largest Jewish and Muslim populations of Europe, with roughly 600,000 Jews and 5 million Muslims.

    And after those four years living among the French, I concluded that the country’s nearly religious devotion to secularism is at least a partial explanation for the country’s latent racism and anti-Semitism. It also fosters an ignorance that likely contributed to the perverted mindset of the suspected Toulouse gunman. Mohammed Merah might have been a radical Islamist of Algerian background, but he’s also a French national who grew up in Toulouse.

    To understand French anti-Semitism, one must first understand the origins of its Jewish population: Jews have lived in France for over 2,000 years, with even some prominent Jewish religious commentators residing there in the early Middle Ages*; between the 18th and 20th centuries came the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe who were often fleeing pogroms; and the most recent wave, along with much of France’s Muslim immigrants, is of North African Jews from France’s old colonies, who largely began leaving as tensions rose in the Arab world after the creation of Israel and left en masse when enmity spiked around the 1967 Israeli-Arab War.

    France has a long history of anti-Semitism with two main, albeit separate, strains: the more modern one coming from descendants of recent Muslim immigrants, and some leftists, who identify very strongly with the Palestinians—Merah seems to fit this camp—while the other stems from a centuries-long, heavily Catholic-influenced tradition. One of the most well-known instances is surely the 1890s Dreyfus affair, when the French rioted over whether a Jewish army officer could truly be considered French. The vitriolic reaction so marked one Austrian reporter that he decided Europeans would never accept their Jews. He left Paris convinced that sooner or later, Jews were going to need a place of refuge—a fairly perceptive observation, in hindsight. That journalist was Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern political Zionist movement that eventually led to the creation of Israel in 1948.

    And of course there is the old narrative of the valiant French resistance—and that it was ordinary Frenchmen, not the French Jews, who were the victims of Nazism—that remained the accepted storyline for decades after World War II. If indeed one in four of France’s Jews had perished in the Holocaust, collective memory indicated that the Nazis alone had been at fault. The fact that most arrests of French Jews were made by French policemen and that Drancy internment camp was policed by French authorities conveniently slipped public consciousness once France sought to rebuild its postwar economy. While it’s notable that the first research on French collaboration under Vichy wasn’t even undertaken until the early 1970s, it’s more revelatory that these studies were not completed by a Frenchman, but an American, Robert Paxton. And who can forget François Mitterand, president from 1981 to 1995, who insisted that France “was never involved” in the ill-treatment of France’s Jews; that it was 50 years after the war’s end, in 1995, before Jacques Chirac finally admitted France’s “inescapable guilt”; or that the SNCF train company, which provided cattle cars that transported France’s Jews to Poland’s death camps, issued its first public apology only last year.

    U.S. media noted this week that the Jewish school shooting in Toulouse was the worst violent anti-Semitic attack in France “in decades.” They were referring to the 1980 rue Copernic synagogue bombing, which rose to further infamy after then Prime Minister Raymond Barre characterized the attack as “a heinous act against Jews in a synagogue that struck four innocent Frenchmen crossing the street”—again reinforcing the idea that one couldn’t be French and Jewish.

    The claim that Monday’s shooting was the worst violent attack in “decades” is somewhat misleading, since it glances over the fact that there have been scores of violent anti-Semitic acts in recent years—yes, perhaps not reported by the international press, but certainly on par in horridness. How could the media largely forget when Ilan Halimi, a Jewish 23-year-old of Moroccan origin, was brutally tortured in 2006 for weeks on end before his body, burned in acid and gasoline, was found in a woodlot outside Paris, all because his kidnappers thought his family could afford a ransom? (The kidnappers had presumed that he could quickly access funds because he was Jewish, ignoring that Halimi was from a working-class family.) It always struck me as a bit off that the French largely viewed that case as one perpetrated by Muslim immigrants: The ringleader of the gang grew up in Paris, and if that doesn’t make one French, what does? Or what of when an entire Jewish school was burned down in a middle-class Paris suburb in 2003?

    And what about the hundreds of anti-Semitic acts that are recorded each year? True, the number of anti-Semitic acts in France has decreased recently—there were 466 in 2010 and 389 last year—but the number of violent attacks have increased over the same time.

    That is why I wasn’t all that shocked by Monday’s shootings. When I lived there, France seemed like a powder keg of stubborn intolerance. If that is true nearly 70 years after the Holocaust, there was no reason to think it would be much better any time soon.

    And as bizarre as this may seem, my heart sank when I learned that the besieged gunman was not a neo-Nazi, one early popular theory, but a radical Muslim. I actually would have preferred him to be a neo-Nazi. For now, I predict that in an ironic twist of fate, what was explicitly an anti-Semitic attack will become a source of anti-Semitic and hypocritical finger-pointing, as French presidential candidates will use Merah’s background to supplement their borderline racist rhetoric on the importance of laïcité and integration, while those who wish to downplay the very horror of an attack carried out by a French citizen will point at Israel, which the gunman named as a reason for targeting Jewish children. But if you say as much, people will only glower at you and stare.

    Clarification, March 23, 2012: This article originally stated that Jews have lived in the south since at least the Middle Ages. More specifically, Jews have lived in France for more than 2,000 years, including prominent religious commentators in the early Middle Ages. (Return to the revised sentence.)

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2012/03/french_anti_semitism_must_share_the_blame_for_the_murders_in_toulouse_.single.html#pagebreak_anchor_2

    • University: Classes No Longer Cancelled For Christian, Jewish Holidays

      Mar 20, 2012

      By Todd Starnes

      New York’s Stony Brook University has decided to no longer cancel classes for major Christian and Jewish holidays in an effort to ensure that some religions aren’t given special treatment and to “afford equal support and equal respect to students and faculty from all faiths.”

      Jewish students would be impacted on Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Passover and Holy Week. Christian students would be impacted on Good Friday. The Christmas holiday is protected under a union contract and occurs when classes are traditionally not in session.

      The university had considered allowing faculty to schedule exams on Saturday and Sunday – a time when many students attend worship services. However, that decision was tabled after reaching a compromise with students.

      “As a secular university, as a state-funded university our priority must be to maximize instructional opportunities for our students,” said Charles Robbins, vice provost for undergraduate education. “First and foremost, it’s important to note that while I respect everyone’s concerns, the reality is it’s a relatively small number of people who are upset.”

      Robbins told Fox News the university’s decision to stop cancelling classes for Christian and Jewish holidays offers “equal protection under the regulations to everybody and no one is getting quote, unquote, special treatment.”

      Robbins, who has a background in social justice, said many religions, including the Muslims and Buddhists have never had their holidays officially recognized by the university.

      “Now all segments of our population will be equally recognized,” he said. “It really is the American fair thing to do.”

      However, Stonybrook University’s 24,100 undergraduate and graduate students are not as religiously diverse as the vice provost said. According to a report in The Jewish Week, 26 percent consider themselves Roman Catholic, 24 percent consider themselves other Christian, eight percent are Muslim, five percent are Jewish, and five percent are Hindu.

      Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, told Fox News that the university’s board of trustees should conduct an investigation into the matter.

      “The goal here is radical secularism being shoved down the throats of the people at Stony Brook,” he said.

      The university’s decision led the school’s Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Catholic and Asian Christian chaplains to write a letter encouraging them to reconsider.

      “We’re not taking an adversarial position against the university administration,” Rabbi Joseph Topek told Fox News. He heads the university’s Interfaith Center and wrote the letter with “a heavy heart.”

      Topek said the new policy “becomes less respectful of religious diversity instead of more respectful.”

      “Rather than ‘respecting all religions equally,’ as we were told the new calendar would do, it will surely be perceived as an attack on student and faculty religious identity and observance,” the letter read. “We fear that this will be seen as making Stony Brook a less tolerant community that seeks conformity over diversity.”

      But Robbins disagreed and said the new policy is anything but disrespectful. He said students may still attend and participate in their religious activities. They will also have the ability to make up any class work should they be absent. Faculty members will also be instructed not to assign exams on religious holidays.

      “We’re giving more students the ability to practice their faith in any way that they see fit,” Robbins told Fox News.

      Donohue also took issue with the university’s contention of religious fairness.

      “There are thousands of religions but this country was founded on the Judeo-Christian ethos,” he said. “No one should be apologetic about it. It’s just a matter of giving due tribute to the heritage and the legacy of western civilization. So that argument doesn’t work either.”

      A number of faculty and students are outraged over the decision.

      “You really have to choose between my faith and my school work and I don’t want to be put in that position,” Aaron Gershoff told CBS News.

      Norman Goodman, a professor of sociology, told The Jewish News the policy “stinks.”

      “It was done without any input except from the administration – and it was done in secret. It does not take into account the variety of needs of faculty and students and it shows no respect for religion.”

      Robbins said the university is undeterred.

      “It’s not that we don’t recognize holidays,” he said. It’s that we don’t feel that as a secular and a state institution that we are in a position to decide which holidays to cancel classes for.”
      Other Posts

  59. March 24, 2012
    Chicken sandwiches for family bad, ice cream for same-sex marriage good?
    By Benjamin Bull

    Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is ubiquitous. You can buy it in supermarkets, video stores, gas stations, movie theaters, pizza outlets, and ice cream shops around the world. And besides just making and selling ice cream, Ben and Jerry are often trying to make and sell a point for the left — namely, that it’s time to redefine marriage worldwide.

    And that’s their right, certainly. In fact, they require all franchise owners to share their political and social view. Note, however, that you hear nothing but crickets about this while the left and its willing allies in the media relentlessly attack Chick-fil-A for its views about marriage — views that don’t fit with the left’s agenda. The hypocrisy is staggeringly obvious.

    For example, in 2009, Ben & Jerry’s demonstrated their support for marriage redefinition in Vermont by changing the name of “Chubby Hubby” ice cream to “Hubby Hubby.” And now, they are giving their Apple Pie-flavored ice cream a new name, “Apple-y Ever After,” in an effort to support Stonewall, a homosexual activist group pushing for the redefinition of marriage in the U.K.

    Where is the outcry? Where are the people lined up to protest Ben & Jerry’s? Can you find one college or university campus which is asking Ben & Jerry’s to pack up and leave?

    No. But Chick-fil-A, another well-known and ubiquitous food chain, is being relentlessly attacked by “tolerant” leftist groups, who want to force them off college and university campuses.

    Why? — because they support pro-family groups instead of groups that are harmful to the family. A group of bloggers who carry water for the homosexual agenda even joined together last year in calls to boycott Chick-fil-A over the restaurant chain’s support of pro-family causes.

    And whereas Ben & Jerry’s mission statement is bundled with pro-activist stances supporting the “Occupy Movement,” social justice, and of course same-sex “marriage,” Chick-fil-A’s mission statement includes a commitment “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.”

    Honestly, in this tale of two companies, the eateries are worlds apart.

    Yet the duplicitous left is doing its level best to make sure only one of the two gets to support the causes they wish: because only one of the two supports causes of which the left approves.

    And that is illustrated most clearly in the fact that a person cannot believe in the timeless definition of marriage as the union of only one man and one woman and get a Ben & Jerry’s franchise. That means that Ben & Jerry’s makes not only financial demands on their franchisees, but also moral demands that must mirror those behind the homosexual agenda.

    Note the utter lack of any cries about “discrimination” or “intolerance.” Note the fact that those who support protecting marriage do not argue that Ben & Jerry’s has no right to their opinions or business practices. Chick-fil-A, of course, doesn’t get the same pass that Ben & Jerry’s does because, in the eyes of those who love political conformity, Chick-fil-A doesn’t hold to the right opinions.

    But that’s the sad thing about the political left. They’re always pushing their morality on everybody else.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/03/chicken_sandwiches_for_family_bad_ice_cream_for_same-sex_marriage_good.html#ixzz1q27TGHDl

  60. I wonder what these babies learned from this sick little exercise

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/03/23/LifetimeTV-Sexualizes-Topless-8-Year-Old-Girls

    • The first thing that came to my mind, and I hate to say it, was the now famous Limbaugh word with “in training”. I wonder what the judges said? How did the backstage managers let this act even get on? You could see some of the parents were apprehensive. Why did they not stop this right from the start? It says something about our society.

  61. I’m curious what yous zealots of liberty think about the “stand your ground law”?

    It seems to me people under direct life-threatening attack would know to use whatever means they can to protect themselves. This law seems to permit shoot first and ask questions/make up a story second. And apparently it took a racial case like this to bring it to everyone’s attention (at least MY attention because I had no idea anything this insance (the law itself) was on the books anywhere (and apparently a few states have it). What says you on this one? Inquiring minds (even on Pluto) want to know.

    • The Hispanic gunman in this case is not, based on a cursory examination of constantly changing “facts” not covered. If the perp, felon or innocent bystander is retreating, you can’t shoot him. Has anyone said where he has been shot yet? Front, Back, Side?

    • Clear and Present Danger is the only moral doctrine for preemptive self-defense.

      From what I see, it was present, but very unclear what, if any, danger was apparent.

      When a mistake of CPD is made, it is completely the fault of the one who used violence and consequences should be metered out to the same degree as it would be if he was the criminal.

      • Absolutely, at the very least manslaughter although when the cops, on the phone told him to back off and he didn’t, he may have opened himself up for a higher degree or multiple felonies.

    • I don’t know charlie-I look at this law and I think -it’s one thing for me to be in court proving it was self defense and a whole other to have to prove not only was it self defense but in order not to go to jail for defending myself I have to prove I had no way to retreat.

      • I hear you, VH (and BF and SK). I think the problem with the law stems from the one on one scenarios. If A kills B, who’s to say what B’s side of the story was? I agree with clear and present danger, absolutely. And although some may deem something less than genuine danger clear and present, I think the idea of a threat is somehow much more ambiguous (i.e., danger vs. threat).

        What a can of worms this case has opened, but I really had no idea the law existed until last week when I read up on it. It does look as though (from what I’ve gathered so far) there a ton of explaining to do by the shooter and the police for their actions/inactions.

        • And I agree with you, Charlie.

          CPD is supposed to be very, very hard to prove – the onus of proof is on the one claiming it, because he acted preemptively, and thus, there is no definite aggressor action to demonstrate self-defense (that is, the knife was not thrust – he shot before the knife did its work, as a general example).

          So with no actual demonstration of physical threat by observation, those that claim CPD have to provide overwhelming evidence (in the range of “beyond a shadow of a doubt” to “beyond doubt”).

          I do not think this particular case has achieved even the basic “preponderance of circumstance” level, let alone anything more strict.

    • I have not followed this case very closely but here are my impressions:
      1) If, and that is a big if because I do not know the facts, like the pictures posted, the victim was wearing a hoodie, then that would make him somewhat suspicious. I know that hoodies are the rage among many young people especially young black males. I see them frequently here in Sacramento even though it is a relatively warm climate like Florida. I grew up in the upper Midwest and hated hoods as they restricted vision even though they were necessary in -20°F weather. The climate here in Sac like Florida does not warrant wearing hoods. So when I see one here on anyone, I wonder what they are trying to hide. Hence the suspicion.
      2) if the victim was retreating and the gunman pursuing, then I would think that stand your ground does not apply. It is all in the details of the law. Was the assailant equipped with a camera? I would think that for a civilian watchman, a camera would be a very a effective tool. If not then, are his motives more aggressive, i.e., does he have a hero complex and want to play policeman?
      3) I would let a grand jury hear arguments and determine if a crime was committed and determine what the crime is.
      4) This is a local crime, the feds especially the president and president want-a-be’s need to stay out of it. That goes for Sharpton and others as well.
      5) Why is everyone assuming this is racial. Crime is crime, treat it like any other it is.
      6) If a crime was committed, then by all means let a jury decide his fate.

      • T-Ray, go to youtube and listen to the 911 calls. The shooter was told by the police not to pursue. Your hoodie explanation isn’t a good one; it is an awful way to judge someone/anyone. They are assuming it’s racial for exactly the reason you posted 1) the hoodie issue. Bad, bad, bad.

        The other reason(s) it stinks of racism was the followup. Allegedly, the corpse was drug tested (not the shooter). The kid was carrying his cell phone (and had been talking with his girlfriend during his seeing the shooter following him), the police never checked it for 3 days. Incompetent police work, definitely, but quite possibly racially motivated (that one will stick in the PD’s craw if it’s true).

        As to a grand jury, the shooter wasn’t even arrested.

        • Charlie, I am glad you have the ability to read the minds of everyone directly involved from a distance of 1500 miles away. That is a skill I lack. Yesterday I saw an article that said there is another witness that says the shooter was on the ground with the victim on top of him. The shooter had grass stains on his back and evidence of a physical attack on his person. I think everyone should back off and let the system work. It looks like the DA is taking the case to a grand jury which is where it belongs if it is uncertain that a crime was committed. No arrests need to be made before a grand jury indictment. Let a group of ordinary citizens decide if a crime was committed on mobs, not presidents or president want-a-be’s, and certainly not race baiters like Sharpton and Jackson.

          As for wearing a hoodie, it is not racial with me. I have a personal bias against hoods as head wear. I get suspicious anytime I see them worn in inappropriate times or locals because they hide the wearer’s face from the side. In 20 years of living in CA, I have yet to experience weather sufficiently cold to require one, unless one is in the mountains. I would suspect FL is the same.

          Once again, I think everyone should back off and let the system work. Stop prejudging the situation. Stop trying to read peoples minds.

          • T-Ray,
            For someone who’s not following the case, you suddenly seem to have a lot of “facts” that support your pre-conceived notions of this case.

            It’s interesting how fast the rush to judgment is here at SUFA when a Liberal does something, but when a young black man is killed by someone with a concealed weapon, you’re just so concerned about getting the “facts” before we draw any conclusions.

            Well of course except for the “fact” that there is another witness that says the shooter was on the ground with the victim on top of him. The shooter had grass stains on his back and evidence of a physical attack on his person.

            So we’ll just go with that “fact”, huh?

            PS – I saw an article that said there was evidence of a “physical attack” on Trayvon…

            • USWeapon says:

              Todd… I don’t think that very many have come to any conclusions about this case, although it would appear that you have. By the way, it wasn’t a “concealed” weapon, it was just a weapon, and properly registered.

              As I said about the Paterno case and many others, let’s wait until all the facts are presented. I would imagine that witnesses on both sides have been instructed to keep quiet until the Grand Jury. Who knows what we’ll find. My thoughts will be presented in an article in the next few days.

              • USWeapon,

                By the way, it wasn’t a “concealed” weapon, it was just a weapon, and properly registered.

                So, just like T-Ray, you need to make up your mind. First, you present this “fact”, and then you say “let’s wait until all the facts are presented.”

                So which is it – wait, or present “facts”?

                My thoughts will be presented in an article in the next few days.

                I thought we were gonna wait until all the facts are presented? Or doesn’t that apply to you?

                And why the hell would I care what your thoughts are?

              • so you say concealed weapon. I offer what the police report says. And I say let’s wait for all the facts before we hang Zimmerman. You really are confused, my left leaning friend. Allow me to answer more clearly, so I don’t lose you….

                So which is it – wait, or present “facts”?

                WAIT… let’s not convict the man until we have ALL the facts.
                Present “Facts”…. on the facts that we do have.

                It really isn’t that confusing unless you are trying to create controversy in my statement where none existed.

                I thought we were gonna wait until all the facts are presented? Or doesn’t that apply to you?

                You should really read what my thoughts are before you jump to conclusions about what I am going to say.

                And why the hell would I care what your thoughts are?

                You don’t have to. In fact, come tomorrow morning, should you not care what my thoughts are, you are free to skip reading the article altogether and go straight to the comments from those whose thoughts you care more about.

                Bottom line here…. you were wrong in your assessment of what T-Ray very clearly said. I called you on it. You are not happy with me about it. You are lashing out. I can live with it. I aint mad at ya….

              • My thoughts will be presented in an article in the next few days.

                Are you expecting results in the next few days or are your thoughts somehow more informed than ours? Of course it’s all conjecture, except the facts as we know them. A black kid wearing a hoodie was whacked for being a black kid wearing a hoodie (that is clear on the audio tape of Zimmerman) …

              • No.. My thoughts (which go up tomorrow morning) center around the facts we do have, the concept of the hoodie, the law in question, and the race baiting that continues.

              • USWeapon,

                You should really read what my thoughts are before you jump to conclusions about what I am going to say.

                Oh I’ll read your thoughts. It will be interesting to see how you cherry pick the “facts”.

                You are lashing out. I can live with it. I aint mad at ya….

                I’m not lashing out. You give yourself way too much credit. Just trying to keep you honest – not an easy job.

          • Yep, a mind reader, that’s what I am, T-Ray. You’re suspicious of a black kid in a white neighborhood wearing a hoodie … there’s not much more to say, my man. I mean, I think it’s the same 1500 miles, no?

            • Charlie, read what I said. I am suspicious of ANYONE wearing hoodies in climates that do not call for them. That is not being racist, it is being cautious. If I were on the ski slopes or in the upper Midwest in winter, I would not think anything of it. Stop implying I said things I did not say.

              I once came back into town (State College, PA) after a morning of deer hunting in the mountains. I needed some cash so stopped at the bank and cashed a check. All eyes were on me. I was in grubby clothes, unshaven and probably a little dirty from the morning trek. I wondered why everyone was staring at me. When I returned to the car, I understood. I had a rather large Buck knife in a sheath on my belt. Was their caution misplaced? Certainly not. By the way, I could have shaved with that knife.

              • My knife enthusiasm dates back quite far. Growing up I was in a group similar to the boy scouts but church based called the Royal Rangers. They had a division where everyone dressed and camped on pre-civil war garb. It was a great excuse to wear a lot of knives (not sure how accurate my costumes were, but it was a lot of fun, especially for a boy of 15, I won a lot of knife and ax throwing competitions in those days). I remember returning from one of our camping trips and stopping in a McDonalds on the way back. I walked in and got my food and wondered why I was being stared at, then it dawned on me I had not removed the 12″ Bowie on my right leg, the 14″ arkansas toothpick on my left, the 6 in dagger in my knee-high moccasins, or the throwing knife on the back of my neck. I freaked out a little, the big knives were no problem, but the knife hanging on my choker and the one in my boot definitely were outside of of legal limits for concealed weapons in my state. 🙂

                Good times….

              • I am suspicious of ANYONE wearing hoodies in climates that do not call for them.

                That isn’t a very good qualifier, T-Ray. If you read the tape, you’ll see why us libtards are rolling our collective eyes at statements like USW made above “race baiting” … really?

                The “concept” of the hoodie? What’s the concept, USW? Did you listen to the 911 tape? Did you hear what the shooter said, called the kid and that he was told not to pursue? Convenient out you seem to always have: If a fact works against your argument, it’s usually labeled emotional. If a black kid is killed with as much evidence over a radio dispatch proves (don’t pursue–he does anyway), it’s race baiting.

                And, of course, (you walked into this one since you reminded us of your blind faith defense of Joe P) if you talked with Joe Paterno, somehow that suggests you saw more in the man than would suggest he would do the right thing when one of his coaches was accused of being a pedophile (even if Paterno himself says; “I wish I had done more.”

                Guess what, USW. He didn’t do the right thing.

              • USWeapon says:

                Once again, Chaz, open mouth insert foot. Since you offered your thoughts on what my position was two hours after the article went up with my thoughts, I will assume that you didn’t bother to read it prior to rambling. How sweet for me that what I actually wrote in my piece completely makes you look like a fool…

              • What does being left or right have to do with this argument?

        • USWeapon says:

          @ Charlie

          As to a grand jury, the shooter wasn’t even arrested.

          But there is a Grand Jury scheduled for this case, none-the-less. I would imagine that charges will follow shortly after.

      • T-Ray,
        So you think Trayvon should adhere to some dress code, or else he’s a possible target? Or maybe it was just a tragic “accident.” I see you’re channeling the right-wing media spin.

        And yes, Zimmerman does have a hero complex and wants to play policeman.

        He is nothing more than a vigilante who was given a license to carry a gun by the state of Florida. He was the self-appointed neighborhood watchman who was a cop wanna-be. He was looking for excuses to act out his fantasies and Trayvon was an unwitting participant in his game.

        At 32 seconds into the first video in this link, George Zimmerman says “fucking coons”. You have to turn up the volume because he mutters it under his breath. But it’s clear what he says.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/21/trayvon-martin-911-tape-racial-slur_n_1368905.html

        Then there’s this exchange:

        Zimmerman: This guy looks likes he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something
        Operator: Are you following him?
        Zimmerman: Yes
        Operator: Ok, we don’t need you to do that

        At 42 seconds, they interview a neighbor.

        Reporter: 8 burglaries within 15 months, most done, he says, by young black males.
        Neighbor: The stage is already set. It was a perfect storm.

        So the neighbor is admitting there’s a bias against all young black males because of 8 burglaries. This is what racism is.

        Zimmerman also lied to police – or the police lied to the media:

        Police Chief Bill Lee said Zimmerman claimed he was attacked by Martin after he had given up his chase and was returning to his truck.

        Zimmerman was not tested for drugs or alcohol on the night of the shooting, something that is routine in many homicide cases. Moreover, a narcotics detective — and not a trained homicide detective — took Zimmerman’s statement in the wake of the shooting.

        Zimmerman was charged with battery against on officer and resisting arrest in 2005, a charge that was later “expunged” from his record. That allowed him to legally obtain the weapon he was carrying the night of the shooting.

        Trayvon had not broken any laws.
        He was not “looking for trouble.”
        He was in a gated community returning to his father’s fiancé’s house.
        He had every right to be where he was, doing what he was doing.

        This is not self-defense.
        The “Stand your ground law” does not apply.
        Zimmerman was following Trayvon for no valid reason other than he doesn’t like young black men in his neighborhood.
        Zimmerman was the aggressor.

        Zimmerman targeted Trayvon.

        The only person who can claim self-defense in this case is Trayvon. But we’ll never hear his side of the story, because he’s dead.

        • Todd and Charlie, I have come to no conclusions about the case although it clearly appears you two have. I have very clearly said it should go to the grand jury. I have also said that it is a local case and should stay local. I pointed out the grass stain facts to show that all of the evidence may not have been made public yet. Let’s wait for the system to work before rushing to judgment. There are a lot of possibilities here. Did the Zimmerman pursue the Trayvon who then feeling threatened, turned and attacked resulting in the fatality? If so self defense could be claimed but also Zimmerman could be prosecuted for stalking or assault or some other felony. If so he could be charged with felony murder thus negating the self defense plea. There are a lot of possibilities which is why it should be sorted out by the grand jury. Again, I am not defending anyone, just saying let the system work.

          • USWeapon says:

            T-Ray… when you post a comment that clearly states that you haven’t made up your mind, and that you believe that we should let the process play out through the legal system before jumping to conclusions, you DO NOT have to defend yourself against baseless claims like the one that Todd made. Todd clearly ignored the vast majority of your post and took you offering one potential fact that isn’t getting much media play to mean that you support killing black children who wear hoodies.

            • to mean that you support killing black children who wear hoodies.

              I don’t think anyone is accusing T-Ray of supporting killing anyone, but they are T-Ray’s words regarding being suspicious of black kids in white neighborhoods wearing hoodies. Seriously, how much more of an erroneous profiling statement can you make?

              • I agree that the erroneous profiling is an accurate statement. But what Todd insinuated is that T-Ray had made up his mind about this case, despite that the very first statement in T-Ray’s comment was “Todd and Charlie, I have come to no conclusions about the case although it clearly appears you two have. I have very clearly said it should go to the grand jury.” If there is a more clear way of stating that one’s mind is not made up yet about the case, I cannot think of it.

            • Todd clearly ignored the vast majority of your post and took you offering one potential fact that isn’t getting much media play to mean that you support killing black children who wear hoodies.

              Seriously USWeapon, you need to grow up. This is just a childish little whine.

              • LOL..you just got done saying this:

                And why the hell would I care what your thoughts are?

                …and you’re telling USW to grow up? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

              • Anita,
                Yes, this is childish:

                Todd clearly ignored the vast majority of your post and took you offering one potential fact that isn’t getting much media play to mean that you support killing black children who wear hoodies.

                Do I have to explain why it’s childish?

                For my comment, in his post, USWeapon:

                1. Presents some facts about the case
                2. Says we should wait until all the facts are in
                3. Says he’ll present his thoughts in a few days

                So this is an honest question:

                And why the hell would I care what your thoughts are?

                If USWeapon thinks we should wait until all the facts are in, why would he present his thoughts before all the facts are in? And, honestly, (and thanks for giving me the chance to ask again!!), why the hell would I care what his thoughts are?

              • Because Todd, you have to figure out the realities one way or another. Without me providing thoughts, where would you be 🙂

              • Todd,
                some had advocated awaiting all the facts before drawing conclusions. Conclusions are not the same as thoughts. There are some facts about this case and thoughts about the currents laws and so forth that are open to debate. This, being a blog site, is where such a debate can occur. If you do not care what the thoughts of others are, why are you here? If you do not care about the thoughts of others, what makes you bother to put your own, why would anyone care about your thoughts?

                Now, if you are being accused of drawing conclusions prematurely and you are not doing so, then perhaps it is a simple matter of misunderstanding. Either people are jumping to the conclusions about your thoughts, or you are wording your thoughts in a manner that make it appear you have already drawn a conclusion.

                Now, if my thoughts mean anything to anyone, I must say that the “hoodie” argument is a bad support of someone being threatening in terms of a self-defense or clear and present danger situation. You can talk all you want about profiling or considering someone shady or threatening based on their clothing, and you may have a reason to call an report suspicious activity, etc. You DO NOT have any justification in using clothing to support your decision to take a life. The ONLY exception to that I can think of is if the clothing is a vest made of explosives.

              • USWeapon,

                Because Todd, you have to figure out the realities one way or another. Without me providing thoughts, where would you be 🙂

                You haven’t been around much lately, and I’m doing just fine.

                SUFA on the other hand…well let’s just say your childish comments fit right in…

              • Todd, do you get something special out of being caustic? I never really understood the benefits of getting personal in debates….

              • Jon,

                Todd, do you get something special out of being caustic? I never really understood the benefits of getting personal in debates….

                Why don’t you ask USWeapon why he makes such childish comments?

              • @Todd

                I guess I can take this as “apology not accepted”? That is OK, I can live with just knowing that I offered it.

          • T-Ray,

            I pointed out the grass stain facts to show that all of the evidence may not have been made public yet.

            But you are drawing conclusion. The comment you made:

            Yesterday I saw an article that said there is another witness that says the shooter was on the ground with the victim on top of him. The shooter had grass stains on his back and evidence of a physical attack on his person.

            This is NOT “evidence of a physical attack on his person.” This is evidence he was in a fight. He may have been the victim or the aggressor, but the wording of this one bit of “fact” shows which way your leaning.

            • If the shooter was told not to pursue and he pursued and he wound up in a fight which he was losing or lost, that gives him even less justification for shooting the kid. The fact the PD didn’t have the shooter tested for drugs or booze but instead checked the corpse is pretty friggin’ telling in itself. Call it race baiting all you want … why not, native americans continue to “whine” over the slaughter, rape and robbery of THEIR people and land … then tell us again how much you all believe in LIBERTY …

              I just wonder you can imagine what it must feel like to this kid’s family. Not just the lose of his life, but also the why of it.

              • USWeapon says:

                Again, you assume a position when the actual position was only a quick click away. You have made my morning far better than it started.

    • CPD is a judgement call that a person must make. I agree with BF, it is the only justification for pre-emptive violent defense. But it can be a variety of different threat levels, depending on the person. My definition of CPD, for myself, would likely involve a gun pointed at me or multiple attackers. For my girlfriend, it might be just a large unarmed man who was threatening. Ability to retreat from someone who may well be a better runner may have little to do with the presence of a backdoor or unobstructed escape route. There does have to be something to justify a perceived threat, but even that is not a hard and fast rule. Such situations will always be tricky.

      • For my girlfriend, it might be just a large unarmed man who was threatening.

        I agree with you on this up a point (and it is unfortunately a very ambiguous point). Define threatening? If he’s cursing or moving toward her, shooting him in the leg might be one response. Killing him might be something else. That’s the problem with the law, it leave way too much to the shooter’s discretion. Way too much. I think there was a case last week where some guy felt threatened, then proceeded to chase the guy who had threatened him for two blocks and stabbed him to death. WTF? I don’t know what happened after that (arrest/no arrest) but the fact someone might feel that confident about chasing someone and then stabbing them to death … I don’t know, brother … seems like we’re asking for a lot of unnecessary deaths.

        • True, threatening would have to be something serious. I personally believe rape and murder to be equivalent, so direct threat of that would justify lethal self-defense. That said, her chasing someone completely blows the whole “feeling threatened” thing. The only justification for that would be defense of someone else, like a child, where you are trying to remove a threat. Even that, however, would have to be a VERY clear threat, not just “he looked threatening”, or “he said some stuff”. I think leaving things to the shooter’s discretion is important to a viable self-defense. However, I think that what is the shooter’s discretion is clear and present danger that cannot be escaped from, not just “feeling threatened”. There is, unfortunately, no way to remove any chance of abuse of such a law, but what side do you err on? On one hand someone could fail to protect themselves because they waited until the danger was so clear they were unable to defend, or they might go to jail for killing someone that really was going to kill or rape them. On the other hand, someone who was innocent, or at least no real threat could be killed and the killer get off scott free, or worse, the victim could be set up to look like an attacker by the shooter, and would have no say in court, being dead and all. So its a sticky one, but then, some problems have no perfect solutions, laws cannot solve all problems.

          Either way, if a law justifies chasing someone down who is “threatening” then I think that law is out of line, unless the circumstances are specifically justified as defense of another, like one’s child. Even that is potentially questionable, since, if you must chase someone you could just as easily have escaped the situation with the person you wished to defend. There are very few circumstances I would consider chasing someone down and killing them legally justified. There are more cases where I would consider it morally justified, but that is a separate discussion. 🙂

  62. Maybe it’s just me-but somehow “ignorance on display” doesn’t say much for the secularist/atheists ability to reason!

    Faith ‘Bring Your Kids!’: Atheist Performer Drops 75+ F-Bombs On Stage at ‘Reason Rally’ (WARNING: EXPLICIT VIDEO)

    Bring Your Kids!: Atheist Performer Tim Minchin Drops 45+ F Bombs On Stage at Reason Rally (WARNING: EXPLICIT VIDEO)

    Family friendly? Reason Rally performer Tim Minchin

    The Reason Rally, held in the shadow of the Washington Monument this weekend, has been heralded as historic for many reasons. But the “largest gathering of the secular movement in world history” might have just hit the record books again: for dropping the most f-bombs through loudspeakers on the National Mall.

    This historic achievement was reached through the joint efforts of a couple speakers headlining the Rally however, the golden participation award certainly goes to songwriter Tim Minchin.

    Minchin was a paid performer who spoke and sang onstage for more than 20 minutes. The Australian entertainer, not exactly known for his civility, dropped more that 75 f-bombs in that interval. Minchin’s performance was in the middle of the National Mall and in front of some estimated 10,000 people.

    Performing in front of The Washington Monument and flanked by the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the Smithsonian Castle and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Minchin’s near-80 f-bombs echoed through to countless children and families simply touring the nation’s capital on a Saturday afternoon.

    Here are the historic highlights of Minchin’s performance in a Blaze Exclusive video.

    Editor’s note: Observe the multiple children in the audience.

    CONTENT WARNING — Extremely vulgar language

    The major offense came from Minchin’s performance of the ‘Pope Song’ which includes lyrics about Catholics:

    So f–k the motherf–ker ,

    And f–k you, motherf–ker

    If you’re still a motherf–king papist.

    And includes lyrics about the pope:

    As that motherf–king, power-hungry

    Self-aggrandized bigot

    In the stupid f–king hat.

    The performance was met with crowd exuberance and participation. Minchin received a standing ovation after the set.

    The Reason Rally was advertised as “Family Friendly” and “Inclusive.” On the front page of the rally website today there is still an invitation to “Bring Your Kids!”

    Bring Your Kids!: Atheist Performer Tim Minchin Drops 45+ F Bombs On Stage at Reason Rally (WARNING: EXPLICIT VIDEO)

    The FAQ page of the rally’s website however, disallows the attendees from “Being Rude” — even if you are talking to religious protesters.

    Bring Your Kids!: Atheist Performer Tim Minchin Drops 45+ F Bombs On Stage at Reason Rally (WARNING: EXPLICIT VIDEO)It’s worth noting Minchin has second billing on the Reason Website VIP section, just under leading atheist author Richard Dawkins:

    Bring Your Kids!: Atheist Performer Tim Minchin Drops 45+ F Bombs On Stage at Reason Rally (WARNING: EXPLICIT VIDEO)

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/bring-your-kids-atheist-performer-drops-75-f-bombs-on-stage-at-reason-rally-warning-explicit-video/

  63. USW: Nobody at SUFA is a bigger fool than you, kid.

    Your thoughts turns out are mine and Todd’s thoughts … way to go. Very original.

    Todd and I applaud you.

  64. Fair enough, wee man.

  65. USWeapon,

    Once again, Chaz, open mouth insert foot. Since you offered your thoughts on what my position was two hours after the article went up with my thoughts, I will assume that you didn’t bother to read it prior to rambling. How sweet for me that what I actually wrote in my piece completely makes you look like a fool…

    You chastize us for our positions Sunday night, and you post the exact same position Monday morning.

    And you think that makes us look like fools?

    Sorry, but it makes you look like a fool.

    Again, you assume a position when the actual position was only a quick click away. You have made my morning far better than it started.

    So adopting our position just makes your day? I suggest you do it more often!!

    Whatever helps you sleep at night, big guy

    Geez – you really want to keep this line of attack goiong? How far doen the “rabbit hole” are you going to chase this?

    • You chastize us for our positions Sunday night, and you post the exact same position Monday morning.

      Incorrect sir.I did not chastise you for your position. As you recall, my issue was that you were mischaracterizing what T-Ray said. That was what I had something to say about. All I said about your position last night was that it would be incorrect to take action against Zimmerman before the course of law has concluded. As for positions, if you will recall, what I said was that before you jump to conclusions about what it is that I am going to say “tomorrow”, you should wait and see what I actually said. And what I wrote to you was after my article was already written, so it would have been silly of me to chastise your position knowing that the next morning I was taking the same position… Of course, I couldn’t be sure you would ever know my position. After all, who the hell cares what my thoughts are on the subject?

      And you think that makes us look like fools?

      No, I said it made Charlie look like a fool. I don’t believe that I mentioned you in that comment. And when you make caustic comments regarding my position when that isn’t my position and on top of that my actual position is there for you to read posted two hours earlier, it does kind of make you look foolish.

      Sorry, but it makes you look like a fool.

      It’s good to see that you and I are back to normal…

      So adopting our position just makes your day? I suggest you do it more often!!

      No it makes my day when someone goes on the attack against my “position” only to find that my actual position posted two hours earlier is the opposite of the position they attacked me for having. C’mon, Todd, you have never felt somewhat gratified when something like that happens? I don’t dislike Charlie, but you have to admit that it is gratifying when you can prove that they guy screaming about you taking position A has to look and find out that you actually hold position B, just like he does. As for adopting your position more often, I will do so at any point when I believe your position to be correct. Admittedly, our differing outlooks don’t make that happen often, but I will believe what I believe even if that means agreeing with you. Sorry to disappoint!

      Geez – you really want to keep this line of attack goiong? How far doen the “rabbit hole” are you going to chase this?

      I must admit that I am completely befuddled by this statement. I am unsure what line of attack you are accusing me of continuing or what you mean by how far down the rabbit hole. Perhaps you can explain and then I can alert you to the depths below rabbit hole entrance I am willing to go to. But it seems that despite anything written this afternoon, you have decided to go back to comments from last night and early this morning in order to continue this particular line of attack. So how far down the rabbit hole are you going to go? I mean, no disrespect, but you seem kind of bi-polar at the moment. This afternoon everything seemed like it was calming down, Chaz and I reconciled and I apologized to you and thought things were cool. And this evening you have decided to go back on the attack personally. Don’t ask me to understand what is going on with it…

%d bloggers like this: