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5501  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness D-Day Speech - 147 first person references on: June 12, 2009, 12:53:05 PM
Obama's "Gift" May Have a Downside
By Tom Bevan, Real Clear Politics

Barack Obama is good at giving speeches. So good, in fact, he once referred to it as his "gift." More than any other factor, Obama's rhetorical skills are responsible for his rapid rise to the presidency, beginning with his blockbuster speech at the 2004 convention and continuing through a nearly two year primary and general election campaign. Obama's penchant for soaring oratory remains a political asset, but signs are emerging there may be a political downside to all of the President's speechifying.

The first warning sign is that Obama is already pushing the limits of exposure. It seems Obama is everywhere and always speaking. It became apparent early on that the president's combination of charisma, eloquence, and popularity made it a political imperative that he become the Salesman in Chief. No other figure inside the administration had the star power and the persuasiveness to sell the transformational policy changes sought by this White House.

That said, in the first five months of his presidency Obama has held three prime time news conferences, twelve formal Q&A sessions and has delivered a number of high profile policy addresses (in addition to other exposure like interviews and appearances), each one amplified by extensive coverage by the media. The President's willingness to step inside America's living room at every possible opportunity may help cause the early onset of Obama fatigue.

Not only does Obama speak often, but his speeches also appear to be growing longer. And here we thought Joe Biden was the loquacious one. But Obama is proving the one to be incapable of brevity. The president's answers to questions at press conferences and in interviews can sometimes run upwards of five minutes of more. His remarks at daily public events can routinely run over 1,000 words. In the past month Obama has delivered 8 speeches running at least two thousand words each, including a nearly hour long address in Cairo last week and a mammoth 6,500 word discourse on national security on May 21.

Another issue is that Obama's oratory is starting to sound very formulaic. During the campaign, Obama excelled by repeating a well-honed stump speech about hope and change at hundreds of rallies across the country. Obama has adopted a similar approach as President, and the sheer volume of speeches he's given makes the pattern quite noticeable. In almost every speech, Obama bemoans the extremes on both the left and the right, predictably employing straw man arguments to discredit his opposition and position himself in the "reasonable" middle.

Lastly, Obama's speeches are often strikingly self referential. Clearly, Obama sees unique background and his life experiences as an asset and a rhetorical tool, which helps explain why his recent speech in Cairo was peppered with 68 first person references (I, me, my, or mine). But the habit carries over to other speeches as well, leaving the impression that Obama is often interested in talking about Obama.

In his speech honoring the 65th Anniversary of D-Day, for example, Obama made 10 first person references. While not a huge number in itself, it was eight more than Gordon Brown made and nine more than Stephen Harper made in their respective speeches that day. In his aforementioned national security speech on May 21, President Obama made an astounding 147 first person references.

Most important, however, Obama's high profile speechmaking on a range of big issues from restructuring GM to solving Middle East peace has dramatically increased the pressure on him to deliver results. As the Wall Street Journal put it on Monday, Obama is finding that "his own oratory laying out an ever-more-ambitious agenda, both in foreign and domestic policy, is ratcheting up demands for concrete achievements."

Obama's "gift" propelled him to the White House. He's now relying on it heavily to sell the American people on his vision of change. But at some point the public is going to get tired of hearing speeches from Obama, no matter how eloquent or well delivered. They will expect results. If Obama can't deliver those results, his "gift" will become a handicap in the form of a reputation as the president who talked the talk but couldn't walk the walk.

Tom Bevan is the co-founder and Executive Editor of RealClearPolitics.
5502  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The American Creed/Limited Government on: June 12, 2009, 12:33:50 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't see a topic for 'limited government' - maybe since it hasn't been pursued by either party in our lifetimes.  Could be put as 'way forward for conservatives' but even more important to me is to get reasonable Democrats to remember the value of concepts like 'limited government'.   - Doug

June 12, 2009
New Bill Ends Government-Run Companies
By John Thune

The federal government currently holds various ownership stakes in over 500 private companies. This alarming fact, along with the events of recent days in the auto industry, should serve as a wakeup call for all those concerned about preserving the free market principles upon which our nation was founded. As we have been so rudely reminded, government ownership of private companies threatens the fairness of markets, creates coercive business conditions, and allows government bureaucrats to dictate business decisions.

Government ownership interests in private companies create an uneven playing field. Companies aided by the government are given an unfair competitive advantage that private companies do not enjoy. Because of this influence, government entities distort the competitive process and lead to inefficient market outcomes which favor the government-owned entity.

Greater government involvement in private companies also fosters coercion and government manipulation. In the last six months, the federal government has fired CEOs of major corporations, intervened in advertising and production decisions, pressured businesses to make certain decisions and take certain public policy positions, and coordinated "pre-arranged" bankruptcy filings designed to reward the government's "friends." Instead of the private hand of the market guiding market activities, the cold hand of political power is shaping business decisions.

The federal government now finds itself in the strange position of owning 60 percent of General Motors, one of the nation's oldest and largest car companies, and eight percent of Chrysler. To reach this point, creditors who thought they held positions superior to other creditors were sent to the back of the line so that government-favored creditors could receive favorable treatment. Those who opposed the government-imposed solution and the outrageous division of assets were branded as trouble-making "speculators."

Now in control of several private institutions, the federal government will have the power to make management decisions. Instead of being guided by the discipline of the market, however, government owned companies are free to pursue the social goals of government bureaucrats, whether they be certain kinds of cars, loans to preferred demographics, or the latest demands of government-favored unions. Whether these experiments are unprofitable may not matter in the same way that it would for privately-owned companies. Unlike their privately owned counterparts, these government owned companies benefit from untold billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, without any guarantee of repayment in the future.

This state of affairs sounds so strange because it is so new. The heightened degree of government control of our economy is a major deviation from our nation's free-market philosophy. From the beginning of our republic, the economic sector has largely been dominated by privately owned firms competing with one another without the government dictating how these firms should act. But with little warning, we have entered a brave new world in which a large number of private firms are now subject to government control, an economic model perhaps familiar in Europe or South America, but not the United States.

Neither the citizens of this republic nor their elected representatives in Washington voted for this degree of government control over private businesses. Instead, what was supposed to be a short-term program to relieve financial institutions of toxic assets morphed into an uncontrolled and unauthorized bureaucracy extending its tentacles into hundreds of private businesses. With no explicit vote of Congressional approval, the federal government is now in the business of running banks, insurance companies, and car manufacturers.

To stop this dangerous course of action, I have introduced the Government Ownership Exit Plan Act. This legislation would put an immediate end to government purchases of additional direct ownership interests of private companies. It would also prohibit government officials from making or influencing business decisions when it comes to the companies in which the government already has an ownership interest.

It is equally important to set an exit strategy for this unprecedented government intrusion. The Government Ownership Exit Plan sets a hard deadline for the final termination of government ownership interests in private companies and puts our economy back on the path to competitiveness and private ownership, not governmental control. The legislation would require the Treasury to sell any ownership stake in a private entity by July 1, 2010. Revenue from the sale of these assets would be used for debt reduction.

If we do not act now, government ownership of these private entities could persist for decades. If we want to once again promote free market principles and the private ownership of business, it is time to act.

Thune is a Republican Senator from South Dakota.
5503  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: June 12, 2009, 12:26:35 PM
CCP: "[Obama] means a lot more than hje is saying"

Scott Johnson, Powerlineblog today:
In his Rhetoric, Aristotle teaches that a good speech necessarily draws on ethos (the speaker's power of evincing a personal character which will make his speech credible), pathos (the speaker's power of stirring the emotions of his audience) and logos (argument). Paul's analysis focuses on logos to the exclusion of ethos and pathos.

Obama's flattery of his Muslim audience with historical howlers cannot be understood apart from ethos and pathos. In part the flattery supports Obama's declaration of the uncomfortable historical truth of the Holocaust. As rhetoric, Obama's falsehoods give him the standing with his audience necessary to advance a painful truth.

One cannot understand a given passage without considering its effect upon the hearers. The topic sentences of the two paragraphs of the initial passage in issue read as follows:

    Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust.

    On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people - Muslims and Christians - have suffered in pursuit of a homeland.

While Obama does not himself explicitly equate the sufferings of the Jewish people with those of "the Palestinian people," the structure of the passage does so for him. And this is of course how his intended audience would hear the words. Note as well how Obama includes Christians and excludes Jews from his definition of "the Palestinian people." It is an exclusion that conflicts with history but that serves his rhetorical purposes.
5504  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: U.S. Census 2010 on: June 11, 2009, 01:07:34 PM
I don't know why the govt is allowed to ask or keep track of 90% of what they do, and then for the important matters like verifying citizenship - they don't...  Meanwhile get ready for impostors to come by (and for ACORN/Census double agents to 'share' your info)

Be cautious answering census questions
Bureau employees won't use e-mail and won't ask for Social Security or bank numbers
Thursday, June 11, 2009
By Larry Walsh, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Cooperative, but cautious.

That's the advice the Better Business Bureau is giving to consumers when they are contacted by members of the 2010 U.S. Census.

"Most people are rightfully cautious and won't give out personal information to unsolicited phone callers or visitors," said BBB President Warren King. "However, [Census Bureau employees are] an exception to the rule."

Those employees already have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country. Next, they will collect information about every person living at those addresses, including their name, age, gender, race and other relevant data.

"It's important that people provide that information," Mr. King said.

Census data is used to allocate more than $300 billion in federal funds every year. It also is used to determine the number of members each state may send to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Households are required by law to comply with the Census Bureau's request for information. Unfortunately, that mandate has opened the door for con artists who are posing as census workers and asking people for their Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers or other sensitive financial information.

Although the Census Bureau will collect information by mail, phone or personal visits, it won't use e-mail.

Those who receive an e-mail that purports to be from the Census Bureau, and the odds of receiving one are great, delete it. No matter how "official" it looks, delete it. And no one should ever click on a link or open any attachments in an e-mail that supposedly is from the Census Bureau.

Mr. King said law enforcement officials in several states have issued warnings that scammers posing as Census Bureau employees are knocking on doors and asking for donations and Social Security numbers.

How can the public tell the difference between a Census Bureau employee seeking legitimate information and a crook trying to raid their bank accounts or steal their identity?

Mr. King said census workers will have a badge, a handheld device, a census bureau bag and a confidentiality notice. Residents should ask to see their identification and badge before answering any questions.

If a visitor purporting to be from the Census Bureau asks for a Social Security number or financial information, the resident should not give it to them, should close the door and should call the local police.

"While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, it will not ask for Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers [and they won't] solicit donations," Mr. King said.

He said the BBB's "cooperative but cautious" campaign is part of a partnership arrangement with the Census Bureau to help it collect the most accurate information it can. The public can do its part by cooperating with legitimate Census Bureau employees and reporting the con artists to the police.
5505  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security / hacked jet on: June 11, 2009, 12:47:23 PM
My brother who is trained in avionics used to tell me that if I thought my cell phone would interfere with the planes navigation and control systems I shouldn't be flying.  Now I check email and download dbma forums to read on my handheld right up to the last minute.
I thought airliners had replaced electrical wires with fiber optics that are far lighter, more secure and zero EMI - susceptibility to electrical interference.  As I google the topic now I find that transition is not as far along as I thought:
5506  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors, glibness vs. settlements on: June 10, 2009, 01:11:04 PM
My take (even though they all wanted someone else  smiley) on this Stratfior piece - that Obama is in a position of strength and Netanyahu of weakness:  Strat is always insightful and thought provoking.  Their points are valid, but... I don't think Netanyahu puts clinging to power above clinging to his principles and his vision Israel's best interests.  Far as I know he never has. Obama is just the opposite.  He has swayed with the wind on dozens of issues and shows no sign of extraordinary backbone on this one. 

Israel lost at least part of an ally in the last 2 American elections.  Israel's strategy now is survival with or without the full support of the U.S.  The re-emergence of Netanyahu is a sign of that.

From Statfor: "[Israel] is not facing a situation like 1973, when Israeli survival depended on aid being rushed in from the United States. The technology transfer now runs both ways, and the United States relies on Israeli intelligence quite a bit. In other words, over the past generation, Israel has moved from a dependent relationship with the United States to one of mutual dependence."

To me, that is instructive.  The debate on the board recently over who needs whom the most misses the reality that the need is mutual.  Obama may not realize this yet as he learns the names of the intelligence agencies, after basketball practice and auto company board meetings.

Strat thinks Netanyahu's political survival rests on compliance with US demands.  Maybe so but a man based in principle isn't likely to cave based on opinion polls or a cling to power.  The assumption that Obama is an eternal legend with the everlasting excitement of his victory speech in Grant Park Chicago is fading.  Power dissipates with falling opinion polls.  Bush learned that.  At the peak of the exuberance, Obama won 28 states.  Bush won 31 states just 4 years earlier before losing it all in the congressional midterms 2 years later. 

Netanyahu knows about 9.4% American unemployment and that Dems in the US are starting to poll behind R's on key issues at home.  That is before the fights on cap trade taxation, nationalized healthcare, activist confirmation hearings, full year record trillion and a half dollar deficit numbers release and double digit unemployment materializing.  His 'unity' coalition includes Jewish Americans (like Rahm) working with the world's greatest haters of Jews and Israel, and independent deficit hawks voting with the world's biggest spenders.  There is plenty on Obama's plate without this fight and Israeli settlements won't be in the top 10 or top 100 issues facing his administration or the American public as he heads into his own mid-terms, nor is Middle East tranquility about to break out suddenly either way. 

Obama makes pandering appearances and statements in his photo-ops for his own sake and Netanyahu recognizes that.  JMHO.
5507  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: June 08, 2009, 05:03:44 PM
Huss,  I don't buy all your pessimism on the US dollar as a world currency, but we will see.  Over the decades those types of enemies and economic competitors would have abandoned the dollar at any time if they could: Russia, CHina, Brazil, Chavez, etc.  If we really do rack up deficits in the tens to twenties of trillions of dollars in the near future, our collapse will force that move.  I don't know how but someohow I think we will still wake up.

Leaving the gold standard was forced by policies and circumstances of that time, leading up to 1973.  Going back is what I think they call putting toothpaste back in a tube...

The poster cheapshotting Ireland never did return to answer the questions I asked.  Did revenues and employment increase when they went to a low tax rate strategy.  Of course they did.  Instead he points to their current troubles, but that could be said of California, once the greatest economic 'nation' on earth, or Maryland as you point out.
5508  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: June 08, 2009, 04:52:34 PM
CCP: "...why is it ok for certain Americans to be targeted and discriminated against and their wealth confiscated..."

Thanks CCP for great points made.

My view is that equal protection under the law, consent of the governed, and common morality would prohibit taxing income earned from different sources or by different taxpayers differently.  I don't know the case but understand that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld our unevene tax system based on the logic that any taxpayer IF in any particular situation would be taxed the same way.  But politicians know they are targeting and pandering when they make promises to raise taxes on the 2% and not on the 98% of voters.  Voters know which people they are talking about. How does that pass anybody's test of consent of the governed?

The estate tax is the most egregious.  If we chose a system that allowed no wealth to be passed from generation to generation whatsoever,  at least pass for equal treatment under the law.  Instead we will confiscate the majority of assets from only a small minority of the taxpayers and don't even try to conceal how it aimed at so few citizens that they are powerless to oppose or stop it.

Under previous tax cuts the estate tax was phased out for 2010 but will be brought back in for 2011 at 2002 levels with exclusions as low as one million dollars and rates as high as 55%.  And that is only the federal portion of the tax.

The Pelosi-Obama leftist machine if still in power will likely tweak the estate tax limits so that it is only targeted, as your post suggests, at certain small minorities of people and excludes critical leftist electoral groups.

Compliance with constitutional and moral principles should NOT be trusted only for the courts to sort out.  That didn't work with McCain-Feingold where the court upheld limits on first amendment political speech, second amendment infringements, Japanese-American internments, public takings limits, or hosts of other encroachments.  Constitutional principles should be front and center on every issue, in every campaign and every debate IMHO.
5509  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Islamic Countries: on: June 07, 2009, 10:02:00 PM
(from Israel thread)

I will look forward to someone explaining to me how men beating up a woman for non-Muslim dress is not discrimination against non-Muslims - in a most brutal way.

One poster says a Muslim in same circumstance would receive same treatment so the beating is non-discriminatory.  UNBELIEVABLE.  An adherant Muslim would not be in the same circumstance.  That is a distinction without any meaning, a distraction and a diversion from holding that religion accountable for inhumane practices againsty many, many groups of people including non-Muslims.

Same poster: "She should have been either not there (many don't bring their wives) or educated in the proper rules and regulations before venturing off base."

5510  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: June 07, 2009, 09:15:07 PM
As a practical matter it would seem that no one - Republican or Democrat, enemy of the U.S or ally, marksman or biochemist - would prefer Joe Biden be President.
5511  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 06, 2009, 08:16:03 AM
Boyo,  I have found all your posts to be right on the mark.  Sorry if I sugar coated my criticism of the other poster so badly that it lost all its meaning.
5512  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 06, 2009, 01:03:43 AM
Boyo posted: "One unsuspecting wife (in Saudi) walked off the US compound in some capri pants (non-Muslim behavior) OOPS  .She was beaten by a group of men, with switches"

JDN actually wrote: "Sorry; she was stupid to walk around in capri pants. And the same punishment would have been meted out whether she was muslim or not...seems "fair" to me.  Hardly, a "mistreatment" of non muslims."

Repeat:  a western woman wore NORMAL western clothing, was beaten by a group of men, and that is hardly a mistreatment of a non-Muslim???

Crafty, you really want us to IGNORE that level of comment rather than react/over-react?  Besides offensive and not genuine (he also wrote: "they do seem seem to live in the dark ages), these posts are tiresome.  IMO he is just trying to bring down the conversation; these posts don't fit anyone's pursuit of the truth.
5513  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: June 03, 2009, 10:50:50 PM
"Odd you bring up Ireland"

No you brought up Ireland but perhaps you didn't read YOUR post?  Then cheapshot me and don't answer either followup question. 

"as of yesterday the EU reported an unemployment rate of 9.2%; hardly "double" that of ours"

Apparently didn't read my post either.  We are copying their failed systems and getting similar results.

Once again I regret the time invested.  Shame on me.
5514  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: June 03, 2009, 10:41:26 PM
Who is/are the biggest donors to the democratic party?" "Anyone care to guess"

Rich Limosine Liberals?  White Guilt? Second and third generation wealth? Buffet, Soros, rich movie directors like Al Gore and Spielberg?

Recently appointed interim Senators and their families?

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae? Lehmann Brothers? LOL

The PRC, DPRK, PSUV, KGB, and the PLO??
5515  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: June 03, 2009, 03:39:25 PM
"Never said the tax code was "simple" "  - Oh? To this reader it read: 'Reynolds wrong, here are the correct rates'.

"it wasn't taxes and regulation that sunk them(General Motors); it was bad management and a poor product" - Likewise, never said it was, though interesting that all seemed to fail simultaneously indicating that it wasn't just a couple of flawed individuals.  Business regulations and tax compliance were among the big burdens they had to carry, even at the zero income tax level.  The 2 things that really brought them down IMO were the regs banning most new production of oil and gasoline and the bizarre relationship with labor where a company pays healthcare (among other things)for ten times as many people as it employs while the feds keep inventing new mandates (family leave?)  $4 per gallon on vehicle manufacturers that make most of their money on SUVs and trucks was a killer and prices higher than that are certain to come back.  But now they are little more than a government agency while we mandate they build vehicles they are not good at building, that consumers don't want and that don't turn a profit.  I digress but was the power granted for that in Article II - or WTF?

Yes, as we discussed federal corporate income tax rates I knew you would measure something different to prove you right (?) since that taxrate is second highest in the developed world.  So you find another study making a different measurement finding the US to be exactly average... sad

We come at this from different points of view, you from your point of view and me believing in American exceptionalism - at least up through November 2006.  I wonder what the founding fathers would think of taxation rates here on business that compare with state-run economies and stagnant social democracies at levels near 50%, before they are double, triple and quadruple taxed, and "exactly average" with the systems we tried so hard to not become.  To find just one tax rate higher than a state run, oppressive, communist(?) country is shocking and shameful.  I would hope it strikes others that way as well.

Even JDN admits he would not want to see the rate go higher for the damage it would do. Quite a change in just a couple of days: "don't know if that is too high or too low". (Am I that persuasive or ?) Does that not mean that even in your estimation we are at or near a point where lower rates would bring in greater revenues?  If so then what is the advantage of the higher rates , other than scaring evil employers out?

Curious, did Ireland bring in more or less revenue and did it bring in more or fewer employers when it decided to become a low marginal tax rate state?

And for the stagnant social democracies of western Europe that we wish to emulate, do we also strive to attain their levels of unemployment as well - that have been historically double ours? 

If so, we are making good progress.
5516  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, adjustments and tax rates on: June 03, 2009, 10:24:01 AM
"How can you make "logical adjustments missed in the tax code" if we are discussing the marginal TAX rate?"

Reynolds is aware of nominal tax rate tables, lol. No one argues that.  The tax rates from the tables are applied to income or as you say - profits.  The table you pasted took up a paragraph of space and the tax code takes 7500 pages.  You will find if you look that there is substantial disagreement over the ever-changing government definition of business income.  I wonder how many changes have been enacted since my business school accounting taught us that corporations must always keep at least 2 sets of books...

For example, the first 'Bush tax cut' repeal from the Pelosi-Obama congress took effect in 2008 and had to do with favorable depreciation treatment in the tax code for capital equipment investments.  Like it or not, that has the effect of a change in the marginal tax rate if you compare apples with apples for the same measurements of previous years, without rewriting the tables.

America's corporate tax rate is second highest to Japan in the developed world.  While you refer back to verify that, China was lowering theirs.

We also 'tax' corporations with our plethora of regulations, some helpful and some not, but all requiring teams of lawyers, lobbyists and accountants that are not involved involved in production, marketing or innovation.

Before you tell us again how simple it all is, please post all the rules that go with the tables and all the rates, adjustments and exclusions of the 50 states along with the federal and state individual tax rates that the share owner must also pay in order to see a spendable dime in return for his or her ownership investment in a c-corp.
Not a great example, but even a one man senate candidate couldn't figure it out:
"tax experts say the accountant should have known that Franken needed to pay taxes in the 19 different states where Franken earned money in the last four years." Of course the rules, rates and adjustments are different in each one.  Same goes for Geithner and Daschle, much less GE or the former General Motors.  I wonder what tax and regulation compliance costs General Motors paid in order to make a ZERO profit these last several years.  What is the marginal tax rate on profits there??! Infinite and unmeasureable.
5517  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics of Health Care - the meeting was closed to reporters on: June 03, 2009, 09:37:47 AM
Huss notes the meaninglessness of Obama's positions in the campaign to his own positions now.  Unbelievable how many times on so many topics that has already happened, starting with when he joked (?) about things said in a campaign when he appointed Hillary to be Sec. of State.

I was most struck by a phrase tucked at the end of the AP story:

"... Obama said before the meeting was closed to reporters" !!!

When it was the old Hillary task force or when it is the new leftist machine, they do that to get things done for the American people.  When it was Cheney trying to develop a proposal for energy production so that the economy would not collapse in 8 years (whoops), it was black helicopters and evil conspiracies. 
5518  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: June 02, 2009, 11:20:04 PM
CCP correctly notes the berating of the US in glibness speeches.  I would add the hypocricy of acknowledging Iran's need for nuclear power generation while denying ours.
5519  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, Alan Reynolds analysis on: June 02, 2009, 11:14:41 PM
Guinness posted and Crafty agreed that Alan Reynolds is insightful and well respected.  Our usual critic pretended to refute Reynolds analysis by posting nominal tax tables.  Believe it or not nominal tables do not tell the whole story, hence the need for a whole case of printer paper if you care to see tax tables in context.

Reynolds was clear in what he was measuring:  "Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments)"

Crafty wrote: "he may be taking into account other taxes e.g. state taxes, as well."

No, I believe that Reynolds is making logical adjustments missed in the tax code and saying the federal corporate taxes increase ate up 74% of new profits.  Then the rest of that gets chopped with double, triple and quadruple taxation when you figure in state corporate tax, federal individual and state individual taxes.

One confused poster wrote, regarding US corporate tax rates: ""I don't know if that's too high or too low"...

If we want to compete for production (and jobs, income, etc.) in a global economy - it's too high!

For comparison, Eastern Europe's rates are lower. Western Europe's rates are lower.  Even Communist China's rates are lower and they reduced them further in 2008.
5520  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Legal issues: Living without consent of the governed on: June 02, 2009, 01:17:49 PM
I condemn the murder of the abortionist.  May he face the full penalties of the law including death penalty if available. 

Beside the crime, he hurts his own movement, encouraging drivel like this: "anti abortion groups.  A rather cold blooded and vicious lot...Lock them all up; for a very long long time."  - Lock up whom? The ones who killed an abortion doctor (we already do that) or the ones who are trying to save lives?

"A late term abortion doctor praying in a church produces in me a deep sense of cognitive dissonance."

I've shed not a tear yet for the late term abortionist, but his life would have been saved IMO if we lived under one of our own pretend principles called 'consent of the governed'.  As posted elsewhere, no serious anti-abortion law has EVER been proposed that does not make exception for protecting the life of the mother.  Assuming the killer's objective was to save innocent life, he would not feel driven to murder, so powerless in the democratic process if there was a possibility in his state to even debate, lobby or petition the government for the right to protect innocent human life from slaughter.

Instead that issue is determined for us by the likes David Souter et al posing as royalty for life, like a third world country.  They even time their departures to allow for the continuation of their agenda with 'policy makers' that cannot be recalled by election and will not answer anything in confirmation that resembles a 'litmus test'.

Regarding the church, offering forgiveness for sins on Sunday for those who then continue their lawful killing on Monday through Friday, may I refrain from posting my view of how the late term abortionist will be judged when he meets his maker.

Sorry I didn't follow the argument about which one of these guys was a martyr.  One kills at least in his mind the guilty to stop the killing of innocent human life, and these are not gobs of goo or embryos.  These are formed, small humans with unique DNA and beating hearts but 'the law' from the liberal elites does not allow any legal means to pursue their protection.  The other was also a martyr, bless his soul, killing to protect the right of the mother to not be forced give birth to a baby, defective or unwanted by her.  The baby is killed inside the womb because a 'legal issue' is created if you remove from the womb first and then kill it.  Also the gruesome procedure allows them to shrink the killed, late term 'little one' to make the procedure easier for the doctor and 'the mother'.

As we judge a wrong and a wrong after removing the issue from legitimate debate in the political arena leaving only street 'justice', we might also take a look at the kill ratios of the 2 martyrs. One killed once wrongly, and the other M-F by occupation.

Regarding prosecution ratios, I don't believe any abortionist killers have ever walked free.  Still waiting for our followup from France regarding the prosecution of the peaceful protesters by day who lawlessly torch vehicles by night.  Even if they are not one and the same, the 'peaceful' protesters  benefit from the intimidation.  He who made the false comparison could post the prosecution rate for cars torched and other violent acts in that particularly peaceful French municipality, but that I don't expect.

Repeating, their is no legal issue over aborting to save the life of the mother.  That is true in far less than 1% of abortions according to planned parenthood statistics and not banned under any pro-life proposal.  And there is no legal issue about prosecuting the accused murderer under the full extent of the law.  His action was wrong and it was illegal.  Too bad that it is likely in his view that it was the only recourse left to him living in an undemocratic society that rejects the principle of consent of the governed for its most hotly contested life and death issue.
5521  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sotomayor on: May 28, 2009, 01:29:56 PM
"But President Obama won, is a liberal and gets to put liberals on the court. That's the way it works. Ideology aside, is she qualified?"

No.  They are subject to confirmation (that's the way it works) and we require them to take the oath of office to uphold the constitution which involves upholding the right to bear arms and uphold equal protection under the law.  If she is honest, she will decline the oath and the search for a good liberal justice will start anew. 

Seriously, this process should become a conversation between the party competing for power and trust and the American people about the meaning of the constitution and it should become a challenge to the leftist machine's views and methods BEFORE they win another lifetime appointment. Why do they think it is okay to change (AMEND) the constitution WITHOUT going through the rigorous amendment process spelled out in the CONSTITUTION.

For example, should free health care or ANY kind of FEDERALLY subsidized health care be a right for anyone? If yes, then great, start working on getting support from 2/3 of the house, 2/3 of the senate and 3/4th of the state legislatures and make it a constitutional right. 

How about an amendment to abolish private property rights, that your right to stay put in your home depends on the whim of your city council and 5 justices supporting Kelo!  Let's get that issue on the agenda in 50 states as we consider another forced quota and distributionist for a lifetime of mockery 'upholding' the limits on government.
5522  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 27, 2009, 05:16:03 PM
Wealth and savings destroyed and federal revenues down 34% (?) but reassuring to know income disparity is lessening.
5523  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: May 24, 2009, 02:22:12 PM
"I am currently not interested in discussing abortion and I don't see that changing." - Rachel

During your break from this divisive issue, I offer to switch sides of the issue with you.  You would make a WONDERFUL Pro-Life advocate for the unborn life and I can personally attest to the inconveniences of having to raise a child as a single parent in difficult circumstances. 

The unplanned pregnancy with an unable mother and canceled abortion has been disruptive to me in so many way. Financially in costs and I had to sacrifice my career path.  Parenting takes up otherwise valuable time everyday as I drive my daughter to her activities constantly and look after her every need.  Did I mention braces now and college soon! OTOH, I am a little bit proud as I helped this blob of cells develop into a healthy, beautiful, outgoing, blue-eyed, smiling, red-haired girl, with a large, supportive, extended family on both sides, completing her first year of high school with straight A's, 3 sports letters, second chair viola in the top orchestra, first place ski racer, USTA tennis champion, performed at Orchestra Hall - sold out, and completed the confirmation program within her religion.  And won't clean her room.  I could go on.

Let me know if you think the switch will work.  smiley   - Doug
5524  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 19, 2009, 12:13:49 PM
"And on that gracious note, may I suggest we move on from this particular little discussion."

Like the best NHL hockey referees, they wait unitl the fighters are exhausted and then they break it up.
5525  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 19, 2009, 11:13:13 AM
CCP and all , thanks for health care info.  One piece said the virtual was cheaper (assuming no follow up invasion is needed) and I think another said virtual costs more (maybe because of the follow up).  I will be getting quotes soon.  I have only major medical coverage so I will be the ever so rare, cost-conscious patient.  We have family history of colon cancer - I should have done this starting at age 45.  The photo sounds a lot better to me than the snake.  Besides the cost, I think I have snake through anus phobia.  Now at 52 and change I should be a fine candidate for a free one at a medical university (wiulling to travel) - any suggestions? 

As a polical matter, liberals contend that health care is much better in western Europe than the US but then they measure it in percentage insured.  I would measure heath care systems by survival rates of the worst ailments we are most likely to face.  For men here that include prostate and colon cancer (women - breast concer etc.)and I think survival rates are much higher in the US.(?)
5526  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 19, 2009, 10:38:49 AM
Thanks Huss, here is a link:

After the 2003 tax rate cuts we had incredible double digit growths in revenues that ended with the inauguration of the Pelosi-Obama congress promising to reverse the cuts especially on investors and employers.

Looks like we have fiscal year to date increases of 17% growth in spending not counting trillions in new future obligations along with a 24% decline in revenues!  I guess the promise that the era of irresponsibility is over was just a bunch of BS.

"A budget is more than simply numbers on a page. It is a measure of how well we are living up to our obligations to ourselves and one another."
                                              – President Barack Obama

"when push comes to shove, the only way the government is going to come up with the money needed to meet its aggressive spending is to print it up."  - But when we print it up we don't really have more money, we are just printing the word dollar on something that is really only a fifty cent piece.  sad I doubt if that is the policy that many of the supporters were supporting.

Maybe someone can help me here, but is there not a constitutional obligation of these officials to protect the value of our currency and honor our obligations?? 

If we were done borrowing, devaluing our currency would be a very clever trick to lower our debt.  Unlike third world countries, we have borrowed at least until now in our own currency.  Conversely, the day we have to borrow trillions in yuan or euros we return to third world status asking others for debt rescheduling and forgiveness.  sad

"Im curious to see how obama is going to fund health care"  - Of course he is NOT going to fund it because tax rate increases we know are not how you grow revenues.

It was hard to find actual numbers.  Not on a search of OMB, CBO or google...  Try this:

(It would be nice if cut and paste from a pdf worked better)

Table 9. Summary of Receipts by Source, and Outlays by Function of the U.S. Government, April 2009 and Other Periods
[$ millions]
                                                                                                               This Month,  Fiscal Year to Date, Comparable Period Prior Fiscal Year

Net Receipts

Individual Income Taxes ... 136,668  566,369  747,558
Corporation Income Taxes... 14,545 70,781 171,142
Social Insurance and Retirement Receipts:
Employment and General Retirement............................................................................................ 90,985 508,833 507,153
Unemployment Insurance... 7,058 17,117 18,801
Other Retirement ... 323 2,401 2,415
Excise Taxes ... 5,642 34,343 37,130
Estate and Gift Taxes ... 3,976 16,082 18,121
Customs Duties ... 1,878 14,063 15,717
Miscellaneous Receipts ... 5,158 26,077 31,684
Total... 266,232 1,256,066 1,549,720

Net Outlays

National Defense ... 54,273 385,925 359,275
International Affairs... 4,341 21,699 16,171
General Science, Space, and Technology....................................................................................... 1,963 13,911 13,210
Energy ... -25 193 -29
Natural Resources and Environment ............................................................................................... 2,550 18,963 17,303
Agriculture ... 566 22,070 19,470
Commerce and Housing Credit... 3,520 202,359 755
Transportation ... 5,918 43,967 41,123
Community and Regional Development........................................................................................... 1,813 17,230 13,870
Education, Training, Employment and Social Services.................................................................... 7,940 53,538 52,538
Health ... 33,541 189,735 163,115
Medicare... 36,888 243,177 220,427
Income Security... 49,527 321,196 256,969
Social Security... 56,649 380,825 353,363
Veterans Benefits and Services... 8,024 54,214 48,608
Administration of Justice... 3,831 27,674 26,580
General Government ... 1,261 11,989 9,103
Net Interest... 19,223 114,047 145,301
Undistributed Offsetting Receipts ... -4,663 -64,352 -53,962

Total... 287,139 2,058,360 1,703,191

It all reminds me of a personal story from more than a dozen years ago.  I was at a friend's home for a party.  He is a conservative, his wife's politics I don't know, but they met at a liberal twin cities college and these were their friends.  A gal talking was the daughter of the Minneapolis congressman, Kieth Ellison's predecessor (name withheld) who went on tho become state senator of south mpls and a failed Dem. candidate for Lt. Governor.

She explained in the sweetest most genuine way that the difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats care mostly about others while Republicans care mostly about themselves.  I waited for my chance to jump in and tried so hard not to say anything that would get me thrown out before the food was served.  I replied that 'Republicans know how to load the wagon and Democrats know how to unload the wagon so we really need BOTH!'  She looked stunned and said she never heard anything like that before.
5527  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: tennis elbows on: May 18, 2009, 04:53:21 PM
My experience with it also is from racquet sports.  I suffered for about 2 years and stubbornly played through it.  My logic was to not quit what I enjoy while still aggravating it in the more mundane tasks of life that I can't quit so easily.  Besides when I tried to quit sports I ate more and got more irritable to be around. sad I received advice from many sources.  My advice is do all of the above. Disclosure:  I am not a trained professional, just passing along what I think I've learned.

1) Ice it after use like you would a badly sprained ankle.  I was told it is a similar injury to a sprain although mine was mostly in the upper forearm more than in the joint.  Make ice by filling paper Dixie cups in the freezer.  Then break the cup to give an ice massage, pressing the cold past the skin deep into the tissue areas that hurt.

2) Rest, then rest and stretch carefully, then rest and stretch and strengthen carefully.  As you come back, try for lower impact and shorter periods of time.  Stop at the first sign of trouble if you can. With rest alone, the pain subsided for me and I felt healed, but the partial healing was brittle and re-injured instantly on the next impact.

3) Anti-inflammatories: People recommended ibuprofen which I take for other achs and pains, but for me nothing alleviated this pain.  Then from two different sources I received advice to take low levels of anti-inflammatories continuously over a period of time.  One was from an MD, but not of this specialty, and the other was from an athlete I thought least likely to put these poisons in his systems.  This was the remedy that seemed to work.  Run it past your trusted medical advisers first as I assume these can be bad for stomach, liver and kidneys.  I took a fraction of maximum dosage several times a day - something like 1 (or even 1/2) tablet ibuprofen at a time instead of 2 as over-the counter might suggest or 4 like pharmaceutical strength, and 1 Alleve (or a half) over night - longer lasting.  I don't remember for how long but the plan was something like 3 weeks, not completely continuous because I feared the other damages, but often. If you try this, make sure you keep up the other therapies, ice, rest, stretch and very carefully strengthen.

4) 'Elbow brace': The only that works in my experience is this, go here  You can buy it in a large tennis store.  Basically it absorbs the shock before it goes into the elbow or protects whatever areas in the forearm/elbow that you choose.  You tighten down two pads but still allow blood flow.  Don't bother with the other styles IMO especially if tightening hard cuts off the flow and most don't really absorb the shock. Search the words 'bandit elbow brace' in google to get competitive prices online.  I use the white one and continue to use it for prevention.  The black one includes magnets for increasing blood flow.  Costs more and I haven't tried it.  I don't know about those claims.  If you are serious and willing to spend the money, buy 2 of each.  Maybe try the magnets without tightening for treatments when not training or competing.  I know chiropractors have treatments that stimulate blood flow for healing tennis elbow or at least to make you feel good enough to keep you coming back.  I think they use ultrasound(?).  For hockey I wear the elbow brace under the protective pads and for outdoor sports in colder seasons I wear it under the clothing.

Good luck and keep us posted. 
5528  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF What if this mess was Palin's? on: May 16, 2009, 09:53:34 AM

President Palin’s First 100 Days
A near disaster.

By Victor Davis Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first 100 days of the Palin presidency, according to a consensus of media commentators, have proven a near disaster. Perhaps it was Palin’s scant two years’ experience in a major government position that has eroded her gravitas, or maybe it was her flirty reliance on looks and informal chit-chat. In any case, the press has had a field day, and it is hard to see how President Palin can ever recover from the Quayle/potatoe syndrome. Here is a roundup of this week’s pundit mockery.

“Ted Stevens may have gotten off,” wrote Bob Herbert in the New York Times, “but he taught our Sarah something first — like using $100-a-pound beef for her state dinners. And what’s this $50 mil for her inauguration gala? Since when do you fly in your favorite pizza-maker from across the country on our dime? Or send the presidential 747 for a spin over the Big Apple for a third-of-a-million-dollar joyride? Does Palin think she’s still in Alaska and has to have everything flown in from the South 48 by jumbo jet?”

Also in the Times, Gail Collins weighed in on the already-tired yokelism of the new commander in chief. “What we’re getting is Wasilla chic. That’s what we’re getting. She arrives in the Oval Office, and first thing sends back Blair’s gift of the Churchill bust as if it’s a once-worn Penney’s outfit. Then she gives the Brits some unwatchable DVDs as a booby prize — as if she idled the old Yukon and ran into Target’s sale aisle. Did Sarah send Bristol into Wal-Mart back in Anchorage for that ‘engraved’ iPod for the queen? And what’s this don’t-bow-to-the-queen stuff, but curtsy for a Saudi sheik? Maybe that explains why she brags to Stephanopoulos about her ‘Muslim faith.’ So far, the best things going for her are Todd’s biceps.”

“Well,” lectured Paul Krugman, again in the Times, “we were worried that they didn’t teach math at Idaho U., and now we know for sure they don’t. Is it $1.6 trillion, $1.7 trillion, or $2 trillion in red ink this year? Are we supposed to be impressed that she offers ‘fiscal sobriety’ by cutting 0.003 percent of the budget? She gives out money to those who don’t pay taxes and calls it a tax cut. And now Queen Sarah tells us that in four years she’ll ‘halve’ the deficit, as if she hasn’t borrowed another $5 trillion in the meantime. Does she think we’re morons? How many ‘Drill, baby, drill!’ oil wells can she tap into up there in Alaska to pay for the extra $11 trillion in debt she’s saddling us with?”

ABC’s Katie Couric summed up the general disappointment with the president’s communication skills. “I tried to warn the American people in that interview a few years back what they would get if they voted for her. Let’s face it: She’s a walking embarrassment. I mean just count ’em up: The mayor of Wasilla thinks Austrians speak some lingo called ‘Austrian.’ Then she tries her hand at Spanish and comes up with some concoction, ‘Cinco de Cuatro.’ Next thing she’ll walk into the window of the Oval Office and expect it to open — oops, she’s already done that. No wonder that when her Teleprompter stalls, she shuts her mouth until it catches up. I’m surprised she managed to get sworn in. And did she think that tasteless ‘Special Olympics’ slur was funny? Or making fun of octogenarian Nancy Reagan’s séances? No wonder Wanda Sykes feels at home.”

A “dragon lady in heels” is what President Palin is, according to the NYT’s Frank Rich. “Don’t fall for this pageant nice-girl stuff. Our former beauty queen is a ward hack. Look at her nominations. Can’t Palin find anyone who has paid his taxes — or do they simply ignore that stuff in no-tax Alaska? Does ‘No more lobbyists’ mean ‘More lobbyists than ever’? Her chief performance overseer doesn’t perform too well herself — and, like Daschle, Geithner, and the rest, skips out on her taxes. When Palin brags about fiscal sobriety, it really means record deficits. In Sarahland, not wanting to take over banks and car companies translates into, ‘She already has.’ Highest ethical standards equates to ‘There are none.’ Calling herself the VA president means she’s just told vets to use their own health insurance.”

“Pretty crude, pretty petty,” Sally Quinn sighed in the Washington Post. “No manners at all. Does our new mom in chief think it’s neat to laugh when her court jester at the correspondents’ dinner calls Michael Moore a traitor and a terrorist — and hopes he dies of kidney failure? Is that funny? Ask those on dialysis. Is that what Alaskan hockey moms do — scream out at every talk-show host who hurts their itty-bitty feelings? Limbaugh, Hannity — who will it will be next? Poor old Jim Cramer?”

“She’s a Bush clone,” the Times’s Maureen Dowd chimed in. “Bush is out, Palin is in — but we keep getting renditions, military tribunals, wiretaps, e-mail intercepts, Predator drone executions over Pakistan, the same in Iraq, and even more of the same in Afghanistan — all retrofitted with new ‘hope and change’ banalities. I mean, who’s putting Mommy Dearest up to this — Wolfie, Perlie, Cheney?”

“There is no foreign policy,” Chris Matthews said on Hardball, his voice dripping with scorn. “She just tours the world and nods, as if her good looks and serial apologies are going to win us a collective tingle abroad. I don’t think Hugo Chávez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad care much that she’s got great legs and a nice wink. How many times can Ms. Vapid say, ‘We’re sorry’ and ‘Hit that old reset button’ and expect thugs to make nice?”

Eugene Robinson worried in the Washington Post about Palin’s emphasis on race. “Look, she gets 95 percent of the working-class white vote. She promises next month to talk to the ‘Christian world’ from Estonia, of all places. Hello? She goes to the Summit of the Americas and immediately puts race on the table — as if we are supposed to separate those with European heritage from those without. Then she tells al Arabiyya that she hopes to heal the rift with Europe ‘because of my own shared European heritage that seems to resonate in ways I hadn’t imagined throughout the EU.’ I guess we’re learning that those ‘gaffes’ last year on the campaign trail, like her ‘typical black person’ remark and Todd’s ‘I am finally proud of my country again’ nonsense were not gaffes at all.”

Howard Kurtz summed up the press cynicism the best in his Washington Post column. “How long does she think she can keep picking on her right-wing plants in the audience for these softball Q-and-A sessions? I mean, there are only so many pukey ‘What has surprised you the most about this office? What has enchanted you the most about serving in this office?’ questions you can lob.”
5529  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 16, 2009, 09:48:16 AM
"I simply went from one form of aggression to another."

I try to only get bent out of shape in 3 situations:  attacks on life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
5530  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: May 16, 2009, 12:03:11 AM
BBG, Squeegee man looks more even-handed to me than the 9th circus.  What's illegal in their venue is not in yours or mine.  How 'bout that for equal protection.  We are into about the 6th round of pretending the issue is "criminality".  Before the digression it was "free speech we all value", with values being the process of trying to make distinctions between right and wrong.  But that failed so we went for the straw man.

For now, the ignore button rests somewhere between the urge and the click finger and I failed the test miserably.
5531  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Selective Literalism (continued as a Rant) on: May 14, 2009, 03:42:26 PM
From Islam in Europe,  I agree with Huss exactly on choosing and encouraging positive immigration before the fact.  Mass deportations never seem to happen.

The JDN conversation with the Justice was interesting for him.  Bringing it here is what the Justice would call 'heresay' because the paraphrasing of cherrypicked answers to cherrypicked questions might not tell the whole story.

I suspect he wasn't asked the question about protesters rights in the checkout lane or dead-baby delivery room at an abortion clinic because they are banned to the sidewalk.  I doubt he was asked whether a gang with "straight power" signs could remove gay oriented products from stores shelves and I doubt he would say no problem on the record, or whether shingles protesters could disrupt a job site by moving the neatly stacked materials in carts and dropped in a pile at a different point on the property.  In that scenario, I think we would be discussing second amendment rights more than the first.

Even more ridiculous than saying the boycotted and removed goods might have been paid for by the hate-Israel people is to believe this justice would have allowed them a protest, with speeches and cameras, removing Israeli-made chairs from their arrangement in his courtroom, while in session, under his watch, without consequence, and even he did, that would be on public property, not in a privately owned store. 

But let's assume he does think I am obligated to host your free speech in my living room or business showroom and vice versa because it's 'free speech' and that you get Justices Breyer and Ginsburg along with Mother Theresa to agree with you, that does not change my view that their utter disrespect for the sanctity of private property is contemptible.
5532  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: May 13, 2009, 05:24:12 PM
BBG, Thanks for kind words, the appreciation is mutual.  Problem here is that this isn't supposed to be a debate IMO, just each person who wants to make their own observations about a situation.  I am here to look for a wider and deeper understanding, not here to dish out punishment.

I made the mistake of repeating points already made as if saying again would help.  It didn't.

My interest was not to narrow the focus to the contents of a promo film for a hate group, but to widen the focus and learn more about the context, who these people really are, what else do they do, how do they decide which cars to torch, who are they linked with and what will they do next.

I came across the video originally on powerline, a rare conservative voice out of MN.  I posted it mostly because of the interest here in the subject of Islam in Europe.'The most telling part was to translate their website and read their hate views on Obama and their adoration of the mob violence in Malmo, Sweden.  They literally put their "boycott" label right over their posting of the thugs throwing bricks at the authorities.  So I know that "Boycott Israel", to them means 'Destroy Israel' and it means 'Destroy the U.S.' too as time permits and their reach widens.

The violence in Sweden preventing spectators at the Davis Cup is a tragedy.  Assuming tennis is one of the top two sports in Sweden, keeping fans out is an act of war in my book, but a fact of life in Malmo and a feather in their cap to these thugs.

So Islam or middle easterners in Europe are tied to these business disruptions and car fires, riots and events canceled in Sweden, the cartoon violence in Denmark, the Theo van Gogh murder in the Netherlands, the threats to Salmon Rushdie, the bombings in London and Madrid and one other important one: these thugs attacked me on my last trip to Europe..

Forget my brush with Islam, or the murders, the car fires, the riots and the bombings... it is offensive and intimidating beyond words for these groups or any protesters, smiling or masked, to enter a private store and stage their event.  I share no values that I know of with anyone who thinks that is 'free speech we all value' and that no harm was done to the store when they are tromping all over the rights and freedoms of others.
5533  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues, cell phone jamming on: May 13, 2009, 09:27:43 AM
The prison application of cell phone jamming is extremely persuasive though I would think guards also need some form of wireless communication for emergencies such as calling for backup.

In a church or music/theatre application I have mixed feelings.  When I turn my ringer off I miss calls half the following day until I discover it off.  But on silent mode in a quiet area I at least might know what calls I've missed and could excuse myself.  Playing tennis or golf with doctors on call for example, it may be rude to take a call,  but if jammed they couldn't participate if they couldn't regularly look to see if calls were missed.
5534  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: May 13, 2009, 09:09:36 AM
Previous media post of Huss where the student fools the media but gets caught by wikipedia is funny, but sad.

Similarly, here is the vice glibness spoofing the Washington Post.  Reminds me of Jay Leno on the national enquirer, 'you know it's true because they check, double check and check again before they run with a story' lol.


Washington Post (May 11) served up this headline: "Obama Enlists Biden's Expertise About High Court." The sole source cited by the Post for the proposition that Biden has a major say in selecting the next Supreme Court nominee is Biden himself. The only other source in the portion of the story that deals with Biden's role in policy matters is Ron Klain, Talkin' Joe's chief of staff. Klain touted Biden's foreign travels and asserted that "having a vice president who can do that sort of work has been a huge asset to the president."
5535  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: May 12, 2009, 03:25:51 PM
"suggesting a boycott is a valid and legal method of protest, isn't it?" - No.  They were not "suggesting a boycott", they were physically removing items from the shelves. You can't walk into a department store and take down their display.  You can't walk onto a roofing project, object to their shingles and move the shingles, after they are carried and stacked near the roof, to another location on the property, unstacked.  Not in a civilized country.  But these people would love to turn France, Sweden or the US into a third world country, parts of each are already.

"Baseless accusations"?

"Trespassing" - Yes. They are entering the store, private property, with no intention of buying, applying for a job or anything to do with why the doors are open to them.

"Vandalism" - Yes. Disrupting the flow of business and taking down displays of value to the store.

"Stealing merchandise" - No. Why lie? I didn't write that.  I said stealing the investment they had in the labor etc. invested to place the items in the locations where they wanted them.  I have explained that 4 times now.

"took a few items off a retail supermarket shelf, decided they didn't want to buy these items, and then simply left them in another part of the store" - No. Who are you fooling? Anyone reading this can see the video and that isn't what was happening.

This is what I take away from this exchange: You and I don't have shared values enough to have any kind of back and forth exchange and the time I spent trying to explain myself to you, only to have it twisted back, is part of my life I will never get back.

I will try not to comment on your posts in the future and ask the same in return.
5536  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: May 12, 2009, 10:21:56 AM
"I am always grateful I live in America where we all can express our different views."

 - Same goes for freedom in France.  This group however openly favors the Taliban over the elected government of Afghanistan for example, which means to forcibly remove rights from others that they currently enjoy.

"IF (no proof that I am aware) the product was taken (stolen)..."

 - I will try a third time.  The product was taken from shelves.  If it was left in baskets instead of destroyed or stolen to avoid arrest for theft, they have still taken and stolen from the shopkeeper.  A store is not just a pile of products randomly strewn.  Part of the 'product' IS the placement and design.  The right to have oranges neatly arranged and stacked in the produce section and shampoos of the vendor's choice in the shampoo section.  If one customer takes one item from the shelf, changes his mind and leaves it by the checkout, that may be a nuisance less than a crime.  I have left a loaded cart in a store when I discovered that I had no chance of a checkout in a reasonable amount of time.  But I did not take their products from their shelves WITHOUT the intention of buying them as is the case here, on a massive and systematic scale.

The "product" in "GDP" includes goods and services.  The product of a supermarket is again not a pile of random goods, it is a arrangement, a presentation, an offering to the customer that they will be able to find and purchase that which they expect to be able to find and purchase and we know the shopkeeper wanted THOSE GOODS on THOSE SHELVES until someone takes the quantity they desire for purposes of BUYING them, which is where he can finally recover his sunken from buying the goods and PAYING THE LABOR cost and electric lighting cost and property tax, insurance etc to try to eek out a profit.  The store owner paid to have them put there and pays everyday to have them always look full and neatly arranged!  That is where he wanted them, until sold.  A mob even with a smile that undoes that has STOLEN something from him.  On the third try, do you really still not see that??

"An example of free speech which we all value highly."

 - Please do not include me in your "WE ALL VALUE...".  I certainly don't value any type of "free speech" that tromps all over other peoples rights and freedoms such as the right to conduct business in a legal manner of their choosing, to buy and sell products from the sources of THEY choose and for the shopkeeper's right to design his own displays and have product stay in those arrangements until a customer comes and takes them with the intent of buying.  What you say 'seemed peaceful' I witnessed as LITERALLY trespassing and vandalism, even more evident and 'proven' than a brick thrown at a window that did not break glass.
5537  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: May 12, 2009, 12:13:39 AM
JDN, I was wrong and I apologize.  You are only selectively literal since you remain confused over  whether or not the boycott people (boycott means DON'T BUY) were kind enough to pay for the items they ransacked off the stores shelves.  The placement of the items on the shelf is part of the investment of the proprietor and part of the product the store offers its customers.  The placement of the products was taken by the protesters WITHOUT COMPENSATION and they also should all be hauled off to jail for theft and destruction as much as the 'Swedish' rioters who were unable to break a window.

Your tolerance is not reciprocated.  They hate you the exact same amount that they hate GM or myself.

I'm guessing you don't own a store and never had a gang come in and 'peacefully' strip your shelves.

Arrest and prosecution did not not happen because of car fires, arson and intimidation.  Even though you don't see that, God Bless your right to hold and express a view.
5538  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interrogation methods on: May 11, 2009, 11:51:30 PM
"...called on the intelligence community to declassify documents..."
"In a letter to CIA Director Leon Panetta..."

Thank God they didn't pick someone political for that critical job, lol.
5539  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 11, 2009, 02:36:14 PM
Huss,  I don't disagree with your point that this mess is not over.  Would just add to points on econ stats: Unemployment tends to be a trailing indicator and that large job layoffs get widely publicized and hirings rarely do.

On another point, it is amazing that we have come to a point where 17 billion is chump change.  If I could every man, woman and child to pay in a full dollar to support a fund, I would raise only $300 million.  If I could get a full dollar from everyone who really makes any money, we are down to about $100 million.  17 Billion is 170 times that amount and still a drop in the bucket.  The near term spending that needs to be cut is about $10 Trillion.  To do any part of that we need to change our view government.  Too bad the view of the founders is so out of date. sad
5540  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, Protest videos France and Sweden on: May 11, 2009, 12:58:56 PM
We received two types of responses from the 'BOYCOTT' video, one a literalist who saw nothing other than peaceful, free expression, and all others who connected this intimidation with car fires and property crime at the least, the implied threat of burning the store and ‘I am going to cut you until you die' at the worst.

I wanted to ask the one who saw nothing wrong in the France 'boycott' what he thought of the brick throwing rioters attacking 'Polis' cars in Sweden, but anticipating the answer that there was no connection, I refrained, but there is a connection.

I went to 'boycotters' website (google will translate websites but not videos) and found that they hate more than Jews and they support and applaud more that non-violence.  They attack Obama's war in Afghanistan and they link and post nice comments about the Swedish riot protesters.  Reading the website in its entirety it is pretty easy to ascertain that the expression "boycott" is meant in jest, allowing them more freedom to operate in France but that their view is that this is a war, they are participants, and you very likely are the enemy.

Computer translations are not so perfect, here is 'europalestine' on Obama:
Obama stronger than Bush to Massacre the Population of Afghanistan

Published on 8-05-2009 (

The aviation of NATO has achieved a new record this week, killing more than 140 Afghan villagers, mostly women and children, in the western province of Farah. This is the balance the bloodiest in a single strike, attributed to U.S. troops and their subsidiary, since the launch of the war seven years ago.

The horror, that the U.S. authorities have sought to silence for 48 hours under a stream of lies, has finally been declared Wednesday afternoon, while Barack Obama received exactly the White House its Afghan puppet Hamid Karzai.

The U.S. administration has made a few crocodile tears over the bodies of Afghan villagers, but it has no intention of slowing its destructive madness, quite the contrary.
Obama has just to ask for a special supplementary budget of more than 60 billion dollars only for military operations in Afghanistan during the next fiscal year (October 2009 - September 2010) to finance the dispatch of tens of thousands (including 21,000 in the next quarter) troops as reinforcements.

BOYCOTT BOYCOTT   [Code word for destroy, destroy.  Please read.  - Doug]

No spectators, but many police officers for the Davis Cup in Sweden

Publié le 8-03-2009 Published on 8-03-2009

C'est dans un stade vide de 4000 places, protégé par un millier de policiers, que s'est déroulé le match de la Coupe Davis de Tennis, qui opposait un joueur Suédois à un tennisman israélien, hier à Mälmö. In a stadium of empty seats in 4000, protected by a thousand police, that held the match of the Davis Cup Tennis, a player who opposition to a Swedish tennis player Israel yesterday in Malmo.

La Fédération Internationale de Tennis, a eu beau faire les gros yeux, la Suède a maintenu sa décision de faire jouer cette coupe à huis clos, samedi. The International Tennis Federation, took to the big beautiful eyes, Sweden has maintained its decision to cut the play closed on Saturday.

Plus de 7000 manifestants s'étaient déplacés pour manifester contre les massacres israéliens à cette occasion, et le stade a dû être protégé par un millier de policiers, rapporte Al Jazeera. More than 7000 protesters had come to demonstrate against the Israeli massacres at this time, and the stage had to be protected by a thousand police, reports Al Jazeera.

Pas tout a fait une première en Suède, où la même chose s'était produite en 1975, lorsque la Suède avait accepté de recevoir un joueur d'une équipe chilienne de tennis, alors que le dictateur Augusto Pinochet faisait régner la terreur dans son pays. Not quite a first in Sweden, where the same thing occurred in 1975, when Sweden had agreed to receive a player from a team of Chilean tennis, while the dictator Augusto Pinochet was a reign of terror in his country .

Israël est désormais paria, de la même façon. Israel is now a pariah in the same way.

Et dans tous les cas de figure, c'est sous haute protection policière que ses représentants sportifs, culturels, artistiques, scientifiques, devront désormais se produire, dans le monde entier. And in any case, it is under police protection high that its sports, cultural, artistic, scientific, will now occur throughout the world.

Car aucun de ses sportifs, artistes, intellectuels... Because none of its athletes, artists, intellectuals ... ne conteste la colonisation israélienne et son escorte de crimes. does the Israeli settlement and its escort of crimes. Bon nombre d'entre eux font même partie de l'armée israélienne, et acceptent sans broncher —entre deux matches, deux concerts, ou deux dédicaces de livres— de participer à l'occupation des territoires palestiniens et la répression qu'ils subissent depuis plus de 60 ans. Many of them are also part of the Israeli army, and accept without flinching-two matches, concerts or two book-signings to participate in the occupation of Palestinian territories and the repression they suffered from more than 60 years. Et quand il n'y vont plus eux-mêmes, il y envoient leurs enfants, jouer le rôle de bourreaux. Car on sait le peu de valeur qu'ils accordent à la vie et à la moralité de leurs enfants. And when there are more themselves, send their children, act as executioners. Because we know how little value they attach to life and morals of their children.

BOYCOTT ! So to those who ask in the heart the mouth that "we do not mix politics and sport" or "politics and culture," we answer: BOYCOTT!

The words say "BOYCOTT!"  The photo immediately below the word "BOYCOTT" shows masked protesters trying to break windows on Swedish police vehicles by throwing large bricks.  You do the math.

5541  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: May 11, 2009, 12:05:54 PM
The truth in the Thomas Sowell quote of what is happening now is sickening.  We justify our accelerating ignorance of constitutional limits on federal power by pointing to a slippery slope tradition of all recent administration doing the same and court opinions in place that uphold most of it.  We can expand the powers of the federal government simply because of a 53% majority that for the most part didn't know what the were voting for or against.  It used to take a grueling, nationwide amendment process to do that.
5542  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 10, 2009, 07:19:38 PM
What a great question, Huss wrote:  "If the economy is on the way to recovery why does the FDIC need a new office with 500+ new employees in Georgia whose specific task will be "to manage receiverships and to liquidate assets from failed financial institutions" ?  Keep in mind the office wont be up and running until sept which is still 5 months away and they will only be serving the south east.  what do they know that we dont?"

I don't know the answer.  My guess is that they build government buildings and hire hundreds because they can, probably stimulus and TARP money.  If the recession bottomed, we are probably in for shaky and lethargic growth at best as the investor class is aware of an unprecedented amount of uncertainty going forward. 

I posted that economist Brian Wesbury recently headlined a post 'the recession is over, no more shoes to drop' but we need a bunch of qualifiers on that. Headlines of scientists and economists are usually overblown.  Click on the link, see the data, read the analysis and remember that the best forecasters don't really know the future.  'No more shoes to drop' he means we already know about the collapses of transportation, energy, housing, banking, insurance, release of terrorists, etc. etc.  We are not exactly sitting on the grassy knoll looking at the shining city on the hill.  Disposing of the so-called bad assets and trying to recover some value will be a major industry for some time to come.  At least in the case of FDIC, most people might agree there was some proper role for government, more so than taking over the automakers, insurance companies or the healthcare sector anyway.

Here is my prediction.  Recession I in this series is over and Recession II begins the day Obama and Pelosi ramp up their next attack on the private sector.  They seem to be delaying tax hikes on the wealthy - I wonder why?  Not because they know higher rates destroy economic growth I don't suppose. shocked  But in June - next month - I wouldn't be surprised if the House of Representatives passes both a version of socialized health care and a version of CO2 cap, trade, tax and ban. 

Those two freedom and enterprise killing bills along with the impending expiration of previous tax cuts should be enough to set off some kind public reaction as well as investor reaction.  They will go a little slower in the senate.  Red state Democrats will measure the uproar and the downturn and stake out their positions. In committee we will decide more about the future about this country than we decided with the constitution and the Revolutionary war combined.  I hope I didn't understate the importance of stopping this train wreck. 

In any case the next downturn is on Obama's watch and we will see how smoothly this smart man with a gift can transition our economy into communism or rescue his own career by flip flopping on his own key issues and pulling these proposals back off the table at least for a spell.
5543  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, france video comments and a sweden video on: May 09, 2009, 12:53:44 PM
Crafty and GM covered most of what my reaction to it is.  We don't need a translation to know that this group is not buying up all the products from Israel.  JDN, I hope you were pulling our chain or just enjoying an adult beverage as you wrote.

"And this boycott seemed rather peaceful"

Did you miss the intro that explained that this is the area with the car fire riots?

Again, with or without a translation there is a level of intimidation present IMO that you and I can hardly imagine.  

There is a difference between a free speech boycott and physically removing items from shelves that a private store keeper obviously paid people to put on the shelves.  This is a serious violation of the storekeepers private property rights, with or without knowing the laws of France.

At least an implied threat of violence exists to the patrons and the establishment, based on the numbers and the known past of the movement, with or without a visual sign of weaponry.  

The distinction between hating Jewish people and hating all people of Israel is lost on me.  I am neither and I fear these people greatly.  To most Americans, protecting Israel is part of protecting America and for Europe, turning their back on Israel and coddling Israel's enemies has not been helpful to security at home.

Not mentioned was that this is actually a promo video for the group ransacking the store, posted to the internet, obviously encouraging others/all to copy and join them.

An example of a free speech boycott IMO would be to put a sign on YOUR lawn or YOUR website and encourage people not to buy certain products from certain origins.

How about if 500 straight people walked into a shop of gay orientation all wearing colored shirts boldly marked 'straight power' and removed all items from the store that are gay oriented?  Still just an expression of free speech, not tromping on the civil rights of others?  I don't think so.

I posted and removed a video ('wrong thread') from Sweden in March that showed unrest (a peaceful boycott?) against Israel.  The victims were the tennis fans of Sweden because a major event, the Swedish hosted Davis Cup match, had to be played in an empty stadium BECAUSE OF FEAR OF VIOLENCE if they did not succumb to the wishes of the protesters.  Another version or the video is posted below.  My point then was that there is cross-link between the social behavior of these do-nothings and the social programs that pay people who contribute nothing.  Unemployment in the immigrant-ghetto neighborhoods is as high as 40%.  They do not come to the greatest social welfare states in the world for the job opportunities, or to Sweden for the climate or to France out of French pride.  Whether you call it hate-politics, intimidation or jihad, it is an invasion exploiting the generosity (and weakness) of the developed nations, not a friendly merger.

5544  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: May 08, 2009, 05:34:40 PM
From WSJ - Crafty's post, Debra Burlingame,sister of Charles Burlingame, pilot of the flight that was crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001:

"bringing unlawful combatants into the federal courts would mean giving our enemies classified intelligence -- as occurred in the cases of the al Qaeda cell that carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and conspired to bomb New York City landmarks with ringleader Omar Abdel Rahman, the "Blind Sheikh." In the Rahman case, a list of 200 unindicted co-conspirators given to the defense -- they were entitled to information material to their defense -- was in Osama bin Laden's hands within hours. It told al Qaeda who among them was known to us, and who wasn't."

What a powerful, specific example in the argument about why NOT to criminalize terrorism or bring court prosecutions of enemy combatants in times of war.  Defendants in courts receive rights including the right to see the evidence against them, which creates a motive to commit more acts of terror, get caught, expose our intelligence - information, people and methods - and sabotage our security.
5545  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: May 07, 2009, 12:40:30 PM
From powerline: A video of Israel haters scouring a French supermarket to remove Israeli products from the shelf. There isn't a manager in sight. All the shoppers go about their business like it is 1942 Vichy France. The video was apparently shot in the northeastern suburbs of Paris that gained attention as the scene of the mysterious French "youth" riots of 2005.

This video is even more grotesque than you think. It was shot in a suburb of Paris called Aulnay-sous-Bois. The next-door town to Aulnay is called Drancy, about one mile away. Drancy was used by the Nazis between 1942-1944 as a deportation holding camp for the Jews of Paris prior to the deportation to the extermination camps in eastern Europe. Sixty-five thoursand Jews passed through Drancy, of whom 63,000 were killed. In other words, the Israeli boycotters have chosen, of all the supermarkets in France, the one closest to France's most important Holocaust memorial site. Look on Google Maps to see how close they are.

5546  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: May 07, 2009, 12:30:16 PM
"China registered 6.1 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first quarter of 2009, down from the 6.8 percent growth rate for the fourth quarter of 2008."

That's a bit hard to believe for an export-based economy with falling exports.  Considering all the false economic statistics bandied around here in the U.S., makes me wonder how accurate theirs are.  Strat goes on to question those numbers as well.  Their analysis is excellent IMO. 

The Chinese economy is less that one third of the US, with more than 4 times as many people to support.  The people's acceptance of the government comes from a) coercion and b) a sense of security including economic.  Not exactly positioned for large downturns or turmoil.

If a Chinese citizen wants accurate economic data I suppose they could just 'Google' it?  No, Google works with the oppressive government to ensure consistent censorship.
5547  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: May 07, 2009, 12:10:19 PM
"The lone Democrat voting against the bill opposed it [Islam Day] on church-state separation fears."

That makes sense.  While we struggle to build a conservative party, it would be nice if the ruling party would exercise a little common sense and respect for the history of this country.
5548  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 07, 2009, 10:19:57 AM
Speaking of nuclear weapons in the middle east, the Iraq Study Group concluded that although we did not find stockpiles of WMD, that Saddam in 2002 retained the ability and determination to restart his programs and would likely have nuclear weapons capabilities within 5-7 years.  FWIW, 5-7 years has gone by.  Obama and Israel are lucky to have this one threat removed as they attempt to isolate Iran.

I favor Israel dropping its nuclear weapons program also ... dropping in on Iran's nuclear facilities.  wink
5549  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 07, 2009, 10:05:00 AM
"Huge deal that this is, I believe it understates the number-- and we need to remember that health care is about 15% of GDP.  Put the two together and we are looking at the feds being about 40% of GDP."

And then add in 'Government Motors' and the impending takeover of the energy sector... Luckily you don't have a large state government also.  embarassed

"Clinton says U.S. debt to China threatens security - Monday, March 31, 2008"
GM: "**So, was Hillary right?**"

Of course she had it exactly upside down.  The fact they are invested in the U.S. may be our only security after Obama-Pelosi unilaterally disarm us. 

Couple of months ago I posted: "the only check/balance on the American Left machine is 'Communist China'.  If they stop buying our debt, we will have to cut spending by most of the $10 trillion (and eat the rest as inflation) even without the participation in the process of Republicans."

With the Specter jump and Al Franken likely, China's unwillingness to buy more debt has become the 41st senator. As with other debt ridden third world countries, they may require some restructuring and discipline before agreeing to a 'bailout'.  Hopefully they will also impose their lower business tax rates on us as part of any agreement.

At this point I would rather see Obama inflate than borrow on that scale.  Then maybe we can muster up the political will to spend less.
5550  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 05, 2009, 10:16:53 AM
"President Obama is pouring more than 20,000 new troops into Afghanistan this year"

Just a note on political support for the wars, I notice most signs and stickers on liberal homes and cars that said "Stop the War" and "End the War" seem to be down.  Turns out it was more about who they were protesting than what they were opposing.
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